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Today's Features

  • The last asset in the Positive Values category is No. 30, Restraint. That is when a young person believes it is important not to be sexually active, or to use alcohol or other drugs.
    So, I will start out with the data, because I’m sure it keeps some people reading the rest of the column. The survey for 2009 has the data at 47 percent. The 2013 data has the more recent number at 51 percent.
    I have two thoughts about these numbers. One that I have mentioned before, is that if your vehicle only worked half of the time, would that be OK? If you only got paid for 51 percent of your work week, would that be OK?
    So, only half of the time, youth are making the right choice, when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
    The other difference is that, I’ll bet if you spoke to almost anyone that works regularly with youth, they would say things are much more stressful now than they were five years ago.
    Do we know all of the reasons why we believe that to be true? No, but something needs to change and it needs to change soon.
    One way to get involved is to come to the showing of, “Race To Nowhere,” 6:30 p.m. Thursday at UNM-LA. The student-led production will include resources from several local programs available to families and ways even those without children can help.

  • Light diffraction, gravity and black holes might be typical subjects for a college lecture hall…or a second grade classroom at Barranca Elementary School.
    This semester students in Melanie Haagenstad’s and Kay Swadener’s classes have begun a six-lesson program introducing physics. This unit is made possible through a Los Alamos Public School Foundation Great Ideas Grant awarded to Haagenstad last fall. 
    The lessons are created and taught by Nicole Lloyd-Ronning, an astrophysicist affiliated with Los Alamos National Laboratory. With three young children of her own, Lloyd-Ronning has a gift for making high-level concepts accessible to early elementary students by breaking down the topics into simple concepts and by coupling instruction with a variety of hands-on experiments.

  •  The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home! Dogs and cats are great at chasing away the blues on cold nights, so come adopt a new friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of the adorable adoptable animals:

  • April is National Poetry month. The Mesa Public Library is celebrating a few days early as Quotes: The Authors Speak Series presents Veronica Golos and Andrea Watson, noted poets and publishers. The presentation is set for 7 p.m. March 27 at the upstairs rotunda.
    Golos is acquisitions editor and Watson is founding publisher and editor of 3: A Taos Press, a multicultural and ethically voiced publishing house, dedicated to fostering and honoring the work of writers of all cultures. The press places an emphasis on poetry manuscripts.
    Golos is an accomplished poet, teacher, editor, curator and activist. Her early writing was inspired by blues singers and the gospel and  protest songs of the 1960s.
    Her own poetry looks beneath the “accepted truths” to  investigate other possible perceptions. Golos’ first book, “A Bell Buried Deep,” (Story Line Press) was a co-winner of the 2004 Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her book, “No Ordinary Women,” was adapted for stage in New York’s Theatre Row, and at Claremont Theological Seminary in California. Her latest book, “Vocabulary of Silence” (Red Hen Press), won the 2011 New Mexico Book Award, for best single book of poetry.

  • The month of March found a new idea coming to life at Los Alamos High School, The Listening Post.
    As New Mexico SBA testing springs into action, The Listening Post will be open with a friendly ear as a place to stop by and pick up a snack on the way to or in between testing times.
    The times will vary and posters will be displayed around campus to let students know that The Listening Post is “open.”
    Listening Post volunteers have all been vetted by the district, fingerprinted for background checks and are available on a short term basis throughout the month.
    Listening Post volunteers will have resources including handouts on good nutrition, the additional need for sleep and benefits of a good old fashioned walk, when times are stressful.
    Parents and community members are welcome to donate healthy snack options to the prevention office to stock the proverbial shelves, when hunger pangs come to call.
    “I thought it would be fun to have a place to go if you need a granola bar, or to gripe,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, LAPS Prevention Specialist. “Sometimes you run out the door in the morning and didn’t remember to eat the most important meal of the day or you just need to vent about math, just kidding.”

  • Los Alamos High School’s Child Development 2 class, along with FCCLA hosted a diaper drive at LAHS, Los Alamos Middle School, Piñon and Aspen Elementary Schools last month. The project was to benefit a number of local families through LA Cares. Diapers are an expensive item for families and the LAHS youth greatly appreciated the community support for their project. From left: Mariah Armijo, Desiree Lopez, Jennifer Aguilar and Morgan Hohner.

  • Registration for the next session of dog training classes offered by the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club (LADOC) will begin Monday. Classes start April 14.
    Classes this session will include a special offering to introduce kids to the fun sport of agility. Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Manners, Recall, Intermediate Agility, Conformation, the paRENT Free Club, Canine Good Citizen and Competitive Obedience will also be offered.
    Class schedule, registration guidelines and registration form will be available on the LADOC website (ladoc.dogbits.com) and at the LADOC building (246 East Road, Los Alamos). Registration is first-come, first-served, and classes often fill quickly, so timely registration is advised.
    Registration materials must be postmarked by April 4. 

  •  MathCounts coaches, Phuong Nguyen, Jane Lataille and the students swept the regional on competition as sixth, seventh and eighth grade students worked their way into the record books.
    Participants go through a series of tests starting at the school level in January, the chapter level in February, the state level in March and for one lucky student, the national level in April.
    On Feb. 8, the Hawks ran away with the Chapter Competition, at Pojoaque High School.
    “This year we had one eighth grader and three seventh graders,” said Nguyen. “Unfortunately, this year the Chapter Competition was on the same day as the Science Bowl Competition, so a few students couldn’t attend both, we lost some good ones.”
    The coaches agree that the students are much faster at the computations, their solutions were even better than the adults could produce and that the students have excellent visualization skills.
    The teams have practiced on Tuesdays after school, since September, working through booklets of 300 problems to hone their skills, with additional practices added prior to the competition.
    The competition consisted of four rounds, much like a game show, with the top 50 percent of the total teams and 25 percent of individuals advancing to the state finals.

  • March 23-29, 2014
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.
    Betty Ehart
    MONDAY
    8:30, 10 a.m. Tax prep
    8:45 a.m. Cardio
    11:30 a.m. Lunch: Pork chop
    12:15 p.m. AARP Smart Driver Course
    7 p.m. Ballroom dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m. Variety training
    11:30 a.m. Lunch: Beer and cheese soup
    1:30 p.m. “Friends” meeting
    2 p.m. MindBody massage
    7 p.m. Bridge
    7:30 p.m. Table tennis
    WEDNESDAY
    8:30, 10 a.m. Tax prep
    8:30 a.m. RSVP Quilters
    8:45 a.m. Cardio Plus Exercise
    10:45 a.m. Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m. Lunch: Meatloaf
    1:15 p.m. Socrates Café
    1:30 p.m. Daytime Duplicate Bridge
    THURSDAY
    8:30 a.m. Walk-in-the-woods
    8:45 a.m. Variety training
    11 a.m. Santa Fe Care Center representative and information table
    11:30 a.m. Lunch: Beer batter cod
    1:30 p.m. Tap dancing
    2 p.m. Ballroom dancing
    6:30 p.m. Chess
    7 p.m. Bridge
    FRIDAY
    9:15 a.m. Line dancing
    11:30 a.m. Lunch: Chicken and dumplings

  • Suzanne Wilcox is a busy woman. Not only does she own Mesa Elite Fitness in Los Alamos, she makes time to do stand-in work for movies filming in New Mexico.
    Wilcox has done stand-in and extra work for many films and shows in the past, but now is playing an actual character in “50 to 1,” the story of the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird. Wilcox plays Jill Baffert, wife of horse trainer Bob Baffert, who is played by Bruce Wayne Eckelman.
    Although, she is only in about eight scenes and speaks to no lines, she was honored to be chosen for the part. “You can hear me screaming in one of the race scenes,” she said.
    She said the cast and crew made her feel really special. “They welcomed me as one of their own.”
    Wilcox was on the cusp of opening the fitness studio, when she auditioned for the part in Albuquerque, which was set up by her agent Elizabeth Gabel. “I was barely leaving Albuquerque after the audition, when they called me back for a second reading. Jim (director, Jim Wilson) wanted me for the part,” she said. “The opportunity came at the right time.”
    Most of the scenes were filmed in Albuquerque, with the exception of two weeks in Louisville, Ky. — home of Churchill Downs. Wilcox worked on the film a total of three weeks.