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Today's Features

  • USDA Forest Service visitor maps will increase in price from $10 to $14 effective Jan. 1.

    Rising costs of production, printing, and distribution have driven the need for the price increase of the paper and plastic-coated visitor maps, the first such increase in almost a decade. The agency continually updates its maps, seeking to enhance them as well. The Forest Service also expects to shorten the revision cycle as its cartographers continue applying new digital technology to the map revision process. 

    The agency is also working to increase the availability of digital maps, which cost $4.99 per side. Digital maps for mobile applications can be downloaded at avenza.com/pdf-maps/store. 

    As always, forest visitor maps are available for sale at those Forest Service offices in Arizona and New Mexico that currently sell them. 

    Volume purchases are available from the National Forest Map Store and can be ordered at NationalForestStore.com or by phone at 406-329-3024.

    To help offset the price increase for volume sales, discount pricing will now be available to all customers starting Jan. 1.

    Discounted maps are only available when purchased through the NFMS.

  • BY BARBARA CALEF
    League of Women Voters of Los Alamos

    Because the existence of a chromium plume in the regional aquifer below Sandia and Mortendad Canyons has been a source of concern for citizens of northern New Mexico, Voices of Los Alamos asked experts to discuss the problem at a meeting on Nov. 27.

    Danny Katzman is the Technical Program Director for LANL’s chromium project and a hydrogeologist.  Katzman began by saying that he was working on a way to explain the complicated technical project, putting together FAQs (frequently asked questions) for the DOE website. This is now posted at the linkenergy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/11/f46/Chromium-Project-Fact-Sheet-Fall-2017-FINAL.pdf.

    Katzman explained that chromium occurs in two forms: chromium-3 or trivalent, which is harmless, and chromium-6 or hexavalent, which is toxic to humans. The hexavalent form, which dissolves in water, is used for chrome plating. At the lab it was used to prevent corrosion in the power plant cooling towers from 1956 to 1972. During that time about 160,000 pounds of excessive concentrations were released into Sandia Canyon.

  • The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos will close for winter break from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2.
    There will be no classes or activities, and buildings will be closed.

    Throughout the year, UNM-LA strives to keep the community notified about weather delays, cancellations, closures and emergencies, through the media, the UNM-LA website, and the UNM-Los Alamos Facebook page. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff can sign up for text message LoboAlerts at loboalerts.unm.edu

    The UNM-LA campus, at 4000 University Dr., will reopen on Jan. 3, with classes beginning Jan. 16.

    UNM–LA is an innovative, rigorous and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities.

  • Last week, the Los Alamos Middle School Native Hawks celebrated a Feast Day, as Native American Heritage month came to an end.

    Throughout the month, students attended a special gathering at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, to spend time with Native poets and potters. The artisans shared their talents and backgrounds inspiring young students for the future.

    The Native Hawks “Rocked their Mocs,” and spent the early portion of the month fundraising for a school project.

    Students sold turquoise ribbons and scented pencils to raise $200 to share their culture with their fellow hawks. Several local residents were inspired by their efforts and made  donations to support their work.

    The fundraising was not to benefit their club directly, but to create awareness of local cultures for their fellow students.

    A Feast Day would give a real world learning opportunity to all hawks as they came together to sample cuisine.

    The Native Hawks raised the funds to hire Chef Norma Naranjo to bake Native American items to share. Narano of, The Feasting Place, baked Indian cookies, Horno Bread and Pies that arrived fresh in the morning, straight from the Okay Owingeh, also called the San Juan Pueblo. Her husband Hutch and master of the horno, is from the Santa Clara Puebo.

  • 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.

  • BY MARLEY JAY
    AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK — ‘Tis the season to keep that office holiday party from adding to the list of workplace sexual misconduct scandals.

    With the names of Weinstein, Spacey and Lauer likely getting more mentions this year than Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen, employers are making sure their year-end staff merrymaking doesn’t generate more inappropriate conduct.

    There will be less booze at many. An independent business organization has renewed its annual warning not to hang mistletoe. And some will have party monitors, keeping an eye out for inappropriate behavior.

    TV and movies often depict office parties as wildly inappropriate bacchanals or excruciatingly awkward fiascoes, if not, horrifyingly, both. But even a regular office party can be complicated because the rules people normally observe at work don’t quite apply, which makes it easier for people to accidentally cross a line – or try to get away with serious misbehavior. Especially when too much drinking is involved.

  • The holiday tree lighting ceremony at the County Municipal Building Saturday was one for the record books.

    This year’s key attraction was a 23-foot blue spruce from the Jemez Mountains, picked and decorated by employees from the Los Alamos County Public Works Department. The big buildup, leading up to the lighting, which included a concert from Schola Cantorum Choir and Mountain Elementary, did not disappoint.

    “This was the first time I’ve attended an actual lighting ceremony, and I thought the singing was beautiful too”, Los Alamos County Councilor Antonio Maggiore said. “It was very nice.”

    County Councilor Rick Reiss led the tree lighting, thanking residents “for coming out tonight to see the lighting of our tree, our community tree.”  He had the crowd do a backward countdown from 10 before flicking on the tree’s lights.

    There were plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” and applause at the critical moment, as the tree’s silver and blue ornaments caught the lights just right.

    Reiss also thanked Public Works for making the trek out into the Jemez to bring the tree back.

    “It’s just as beautiful this year as it was last year, we are lucky to have it,” he said.

  • Join the crowd this Friday, for a dive-in movie at the Walkup Aquatic Center. 

    Float in the warm water while watching “Despicable Me 3” on the big screen.

    The movie ticket, snacks, popcorn, drinks and glow necklaces will be provided for the low cost of $5. 

    Tickets are now on sale at the Aquatic Center or can be purchased on-line or at the door the night of the event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the movie will starts at 7 p.m. 

    For any questions, contact the Walkup Aquatic Center at 662-8170.

  • This week, I am writing about a community asset that is an asset in a very different way, but like a person that is an asset, may go unnoticed by many. The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and staff.

    You might need to sit down for the next bit of information I am about to share with you. Ready? You can join the Los Alamos Senior Center at the age of 50. Sure, the older you are the better the benefits and resources, but yes, just 50 years old.

    I want to highlight one program today, their wonderful home-delivered meal program. Los Alamos and White Rock have a fabulous staff and some pretty great volunteers, too.

    As winter approaches, maybe you would prefer that mom or dad doesn’t head out on those snow-covered roads during the next few months. While hot lunches are served at both senior centers during the week, maybe you didn’t know that those meals could come to the door.

    If you, a family member or friend are not able to cook for themselves sometimes due to a life situation, long or short term, good nutrition is imperative in healthy outcomes. Their meals not only have the ability to arrive compliments of a friendly driver, but also include milk, juice, an entrée, sides and dessert. 

  • The public is invited to an afternoon of holiday songs by Shashi Light Charles at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Her program will include holiday songs and some original work, all presented in her unique jazz-folk fusion style.

    Light fell in love with music at an early age, which beckoned her into singing (badly but passionately) and plinking on the piano and plucking on the guitar.

    She spent several years traveling around the country playing music and ended up in Nashville, where she played at places like The Nashville Palace, The Commodore, The Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner, The Broken Spoke, etc. She loves to share her music with others, so join her for an afternoon of some Christmas favorites, other fun tunes, and an original or two.

    Performing with her will be Bill Waganaar on acoustic guitar and Joy Charles on cello.

    Seating is limited in the Upstairs Rotunda, and people will be turned away when the room capacity is reached, so come early and enjoy the show! For more information about events at the library, visit losalamoslibrary.org