Today's Features

  • It might be hard to believe November is upon us, but that means it is time once again for the annual festivals for the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and Champions of Youth Ambitions.
    The weeklong event kicks off with a feast for the eyes and taste buds with the festival of Chocolate on Saturday.
    “The FOC is an event for the senses,” said Pauline Powell Schneider, event co-coordinator. “Visually, the array of holiday trees and decor is delightful. One hears the sounds of My Blue Heaven as you enter the building and it just puts you in a festive mood … and then you start sampling the tables of confections or sipping the richest hot chocolate you’ve ever had.”
    Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club and Papa Murphy’s are just a few of the businesses that add their donations to the buffet including; cakes, cookies, candies, cupcakes and s’mores pizza.
    Locally, the chefs from Aspen Ridge Lodge and BESC chefs Fred Ortiz, Michael Mason are great supporters of the Festival of Chocolate. The event allows them to showcase their culinary skills not seen on a day to day basis.
    “They don’t get to do too many chocolate desserts for senior lunches, so they will go all out for the festival,” said Powell Schneider.

  • I confess I’ve never been a fan of chickens. They always seem like nervous and high strung birds, and their pecking and quick movements are unsettling to me. I would have never imagined that these creatures could be used in the realm of animal-assisted therapy. Dogs, yes. Horses, sure. But, chickens? They couldn’t possibly bring a sense of calm and comfort to people. Then I was introduced to Blanco and his gang and something special happened.
    At newly opened Sunrise Springs Integrated Wellness Resort in Santa Fe, sister property to the venerable Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa, animal interaction sessions are just one of the many experiential activities offered aimed at fostering optimal health and well-being.
    Currently, these interactions involve canines and chickens, both which reside on-site. Canine sessions are with adult service dogs and puppies-in-training from Assistance Dogs of the West, an agency the resort has partnered with to help guests learn canine handling techniques and practice specific training activities to prepare the animals for being future assistance dogs, take walks with the dogs or simply enjoy an opportunity to cuddle with them.


  • “Just existing became what was important.”
    So said Frank Kravetz, World War II veteran and former captive of Nuremberg Prison Camp, or what Frank called the Nazi “hell-hole.”
    “Yet even as I struggled with the day-to-day sadness and despair,” Frank said, “I never once had any regrets that I signed up to serve.”
    An extended tour of Nazi camps as a wounded POW scratching for survival wasn’t what Frank had in mind when he signed up to serve his country in World War II. The kid from the smoky steel mills of East Pittsburgh enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He became a tail-gunner.
    Frank’s life took a dramatic turn Nov. 2, 1944, in a bomb run over Germany. He crammed into the tail of a B-17, wedged inside a flak jacket. The target was Merseberg, a major industrial area. He flew amid an air armada of 500 heavy bombers – each carrying 18 250-pound “general purpose” bombs – escorted by 900 fighter planes.
    While the Americans were ready for business, so was the Luftwaffe. Frank’s plane came under hot pursuit by German fighters. Frank took them on with a twin .50 caliber machine gun. It was a dogfight, and Frank was badly wounded. His B-17 was filled with holes. The crew had to bail quickly.

  • In an effort to identify community needs for higher-level degree options at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management is working with UNM-LA and staff from the Provost office at UNM-Albuquerque to conduct an online survey which is asking for public input.
    As a branch campus in New Mexico, UNM-LA offers associate degree and certificate-level programs. Students who want to pursue upper-division or graduate-level classes typically transfer to UNM, transfer to another institution or stay on the UNM-LA campus and work with the bachelor and graduate program center.
    The survey being conducted by UNM students is designed to assess the needs for various degree programs.
    UNM students have been working with residents in Los Alamos and Albuquerque as they developed the survey.
    Ongoing discussions have suggested a strong interest in a variety of upper division and masters programs in the Los Alamos area. These programs could serve UNM-LA graduates who want to go beyond their associate degree or certificate program, individuals who live in the community and want to pursue more education or new career opportunities, as well as those who relocate here with family members or friends for jobs with LANL or other local businesses.

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center will give a special presentation this weekend of “Sea Monsters”  and will then begin showing the film through the end of December.
    The film brings 82 million-year-old animals to life in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium. Local paleontologist Ralph Chapman will give a special presentation to set the stage for the film “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure.” The film allows viewers to take a journey back in time to see some of the most bizarre, ferocious and fascinating creatures ever to inhabit the sea.
    Unexpected discoveries gave paleontologists vital information for creating this film about a time when the middle of North America was an inland sea, home to strange, yet oddly familiar, creatures. “Sea Monsters” follows the life cycle of a female Dolichorhynchops and introduces a variety of aquatic reptiles including the “T-rex of the Ocean,” the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus.
    The Bilingual Montessori School generously provided funding to bring “Sea Monsters” to Los Alamos. Sea Monsters opens Friday and also will be shown at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Afterward, Sea Monsters will have regular weekend showings through the end of December.

    The Los Alamos Genealogical Association will meet at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos. Speaker Ron Smith will present: “Sometimes one source makes all the difference: Two case studies.” The public is invited. The traditional no-host social dinner at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon.
    Fruitcake sale from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. the Order of Eastern Star will sell Collin Street Bakery holiday fruitcakes at Los Alamos National Bank lobby. The chapter continues a 50-year tradition of selling fruitcakes as well as apricot pecan and pineapple pecan cakes. The sale will continue on Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and 18 (or until sold out). We will not sell fruitcakes the Friday after Thanksgiving.

    Gentle Walks with PEEC at 9 a.m. Free. A gentle trail walk with an emphasis on discovery, not mileage gained. Adults. Meet at the Nature Center and carpool to the trailhead. More information at peecnature.org.
     “Sea Monsters” Planetarium film premier and presentation at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center — Meet local paleontologist Ralph Chapman who will set the stage and introduce the different types of animals that are featured in this new full-dome film. Suitable for ages 6 and up. $6 for adults, $4 for children.

  • This week, I’d like to focus on adults as role models and what our kids might see daily, as it relates to our people in the service industries.
    The other day, I took our youngest son to the Motor Vehicles Division for his learner’s permit. In the hour I sat there, I witnessed two people be extremely rude to the ladies and a trainee that were working.
    Ironically, I could overhear the conversation, and what the employees were doing was what their job entails. They were doing things that would make things safer, especially identity-wise for everyone.
    The only thing I could do was wait our turn and then tell them I “apologize” for when people act so rude. Then, I asked how often it happened and they said every day.
    So when you go into the MVD and your experience is good, push the little button that says you had a decent experience and thank them for their time.
    Young children not only watch how we as adults act, but when we see something that isn’t right, have a conversation in the car about that it was wrong to treat people wrong when they are doing the right thing. If an employee is doing something inappropriate, then tell a superior.

  • Nov. 8-14, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.

    Betty Ehart

    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Green Chile Chicken
    1 p.m.        Pinochle
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Salisbury Steak
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    BESC         Closed Veterans Day
    8:30 a.m.        Walk-In-The-Woods
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home, so come adopt your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are micro-chipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out our website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    Lucy — A 5-year-old calico who just loves cuddling! This sweet girl also enjoys being brushed, and her short-haired coat will certainly need lots of that. She is still young enough to be friendly and playful, and if she loses a few pounds, she’ll be even more fun and interactive! Lucy is reported to do well with adults, but she can be a bit shy around children.
    Nero—A 5-year-old orange tabby who was surrendered with his sister Lucy. His two loves are catnip toys and sitting on laps! He is reported to do well with both adults and children.