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Today's Features

  • The holidays are all about family, and no two businesses in Los Alamos County speaks to family more than Warm Hearts Yarn and Atomic City Quilts.

    With its walls and floor space stacked with crafting, heirloom, scrap booking and quilt supplies, it’s easy to see why. The two businesses have everything one needs to make that special gift or create the next quality family keepsake.

    The stores also sell bead jewelry and regular jewelry. The store also sells soaps, candles and lotion from local vendor Heather Quinn, with many of the items making perfect stocking stuffers.

    Atomic Quilts and Warm Hearts also has gift certificates available.

    About two years ago, Atomic Quilts move in and the two businesses set up shop together in the same space at 1247 Central Avenue, Suite C.

    On Small Business Saturday, the stores will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., but since the day is a special one for Los Alamos, Atomic Quilts owner Shelly Kuropatwinski said they may keep the doors open later for those last-minute shoppers.

    Warm Hearts Yarn first moved into the shop from their White Rock location in September 2015 and Atomic City Quilts started fresh at the new location.

    Kuropatwinski got into quilting 17 years ago simply because her baby needed a quilt.

  • For those looking for a unique gift to give this holiday season, they might want to make a virtual stop at Caffeination Station. Caffeination Station is where one can order hand roasted coffee right here in Los Alamos.

    Caffeination Station owner Conner Maxwell sells three different flavors of beans, Tanzanian, Colombian (medium and dark roast) and Ethiopian Harar. The Station doesn’t yet have a physical address, but can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/caffeinationstationNM) where customers can contact her for orders. She’s also available by email at caffeinationstationNM@gmail.com.

    One-pound bags are $13 and half-pound bags are $8.

    She also has an instagram page at caffeinationstationnm where customers can follow her progress in her new business venture.

    While Maxwell would like to open a coffee shop in Los Alamos someday, she decided to start things off as a roaster and see where that takes her. After all, she said, “the heart of the coffee business in the bean.” She also discovered that state regulations are much kinder to coffee roasters.

  • For Brad and Rose Nyenhuis, the journey to opening Los Alamos County’s go-to spot for runners, cyclists, climbers and skiers began with a Craigslist ad.

    Before moving to New Mexico, the two of them lived in Chicago. Brad Nyenhuis owned a machine shop, and Rose Nyenhuis worked at a running store. But for years, they had sought an escape to the mountains, and thought opening a business would be the perfect opportunity.

    They looked for any kind of store for sale in Colorado, Utah and surrounding states, and one day stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a man selling a bike shop in Los Alamos.

    Though the ad didn’t lead to a viable opportunity, the town grabbed onto them and didn’t let go. 

    “We loved the town, and we especially loved the people,” Brad Nyenhuis said.

    They decided they could find success in the area by starting a business aimed at the athletic community, specifically runners and bikers, a community they found to be well-represented.

    On Nov. 21, 2013, the business became a reality when they opened Fusion Multisport.

  • The Los Alamos Nature Center will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 and open all other days in December and January.

    The nature center is free, and offers a great place to bring family to orient to the Pajarito Plateau before venturing outside or to the neighboring national parks and preserve.

    People of all ages enjoy exploring the nature center’s interactive exhibits, watching the local wildlife, discovering more about the geology of our area, and exploring the unique collection of nature-inspired items in their gift shop.

    The Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, is open from 10 AM to 4 PM on

    Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as well as 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. The nature center is open late on Tuesdays, until 8 p.m., closed Thursdays for regular maintenance.

  • If you’re interested in putting heart into the holidays, shop for a gift from the area’s wide range of museum gift shops.
    In most cases, part of the price of your a horno-shaped incense burner, carved wood tree decoration, locally sourced book or a squishy Einstein goes back to a good cause.

    Let’s begin the tour.

    The bookstore at the visitor’s center at Bandelier National Park has a nice selection of shady hats, ball caps and puzzles. Books are a big part of the store, but there’s a soft side, stuffed toys to remind you of brown and black bears, and mountain lions.

    What’s the best gift, though?

    Cecy Burciaga of the store says toys that capture the look of native birds, as well as their song. The cost ranges from $9 to $10.

    The store is part of the Western National Park Association network of stores at national parks and proceeds go to the association. Hours of the shop are the same as the visitor’s center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

    Bookworms and those who love them will have a field day at the newly remodeled Los Alamos History Museum Store. The remodeled store offers a feast for the eyes with well-lit nooks featuring historically significant items – not for sale, just for perspective.

  • This month’s meeting of the Military of World Wars Chapter 229 will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the second floor conference room in the Los Alamos Research Park located west of the South Mesa Fire Station.
    The speaker will be Commander Brian Gauck, the new commander of the Los Alamos High School NJROTC unit. He will provide an overview of his research on friendships formed by USAFA graduates.
    The meeting will begin with a social period at 6 p.m., followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m. The presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m. The Military Order of the World Wars dinner meetings are open to interested citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program only at no cost. The Hot Rocks Java Café staff will be catering the dinner: Pot Roast and appropriate side dishes. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person. A dinner reservation made is a commitment to the chapter to pay for the reserved dinner(s). RSVP (yes or no) for the dinner is needed by today.
    Call LTC Gregg Giesler, USA Retired, chapter commander, at 662-5574, or email him at g.gieslercomputer.org), or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750, or email her at depinyan@cybermesa.com).

  • Many of us know someone whose life has been impacted by cancer. Unfortunately, cancer can also occur in our pets. As part of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, associate professor, and Dr. Brandan Wustefeld-Janssens, a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discussed everything owners need to know about cancer in pets.

    One of the most common types of cancer in pets is skin cancer, Wustefeld-Janssens said. Primary care veterinarians can usually treat cancerous skin tumors without referring the pet to specialty care. However, more serious types of cancer—including tumors that appear in the bone, mouth, glands (such as anal sacs), or lymph nodes—may require surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.

    In some situations, Wilson-Robles said a combination of treatments may be necessary to prevent the cancer from relapsing. For example, an animal may undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, but that doesn’t mean the animal is free of cancer cells. The animal may still need chemotherapy to remove remaining cancer cells from the body, which can help prevent the cancer from developing again.

  • Wilbur can teach humans a thing or two about optimism and having an indomitable spirit. Wilbur, a 6-year-old Boston Terrier mix, was a stray living on the streets of Albuquerque was hit by a car Oct. 12.

    Wilbur lost an eye in the accident and his tail is forever crooked, but thanks to eye surgery funded by the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Allies, Wilbur is back to his old self.

    He’s 23 pounds, and has a tan-and-black coat. He arrived at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Nov. 7, and loves to greet every person that comes through the door with a wagging tail and a leash-tugging enthusiasm that makes everyone want to pet him and call him a good boy.

    Though he’s been through a lot, Wilbur now has a clean bill of health and needs no further medication. Volunteers say he loves all types of people, including kids. Though he loves to be the center of attention, Wilbur also does well with other dogs and cats and doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

    He also has a thing for squeaky toys, walks and hikes. Wilbur is also crate-trained and sterilized. He has also been vaccinated and has a microchip.

  • Santa arrives Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The Festival of Trees from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. is a fund raiser for youth and senior programs.

    The trees will be on display throughout the week during regular senior center hours. Admission Saturday is free, but hard candy, snacks and lunch items for students are gratefully requested.

    Call 662-8920 for information and check back next week for photos of the 2017 trees.

  • Navajo poet Sherwin Bitsui will read his poetry at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 in the UNM-LA Library as part of the celebration of National Native American Heritage Month on campus.

    A Diné (Navajo), Bitsui studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and now teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing for the IAIA. His honors include the 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award.

    Bitsui, also a painter, described how he tries to capture images in words. “My poems come first from a sense of image, texture, color. In Navajo, we process thoughts and speak from a language that has different sensibilities. It includes a view of the land, plant life, animal life as part of the everyday perspective. To navigate in English is like moving through a different consciousness.”

    At his readings, Bitsui asks the audience to close their eyes and watch the poem happen, to inhabit the place of the poem, as a way to journey in real time.

    The community is invited to attend the reading. Visit losalamos.unm.edu/sherwin-bitsui-poet.html for more information.