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Around the Area

  • Time-lapse Perseids with fading meteors

    A view of the night sky of August 12-13, 2013, from Los Alamos, New Mexico. I had the camera take 20-second exposures every 21 seconds. It snapped away from 11:50 until the battery ran out at 4:52 (the timestamps on the images are Pacific time...add an hour for the local time).

    I stacked the images with the current image at full intensity and the previous images progressively fading out. As a result, the stars get little, fading tails and the meteors appear then fade.

  • Breakfast in Quemazon

    These two deer were seen catching Sunday brunch about mid-morning near the entrane to the Quemazon neighborhood. Wildlife sightings in Los Alamos are not uncommon, and this pair did not appear to be camera shy in the least.

    Share your photos and videos with more than 30,000 readers on LAMonitor.com... Click here to upload.

  • Permit denied for NM horse slaughter company

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico company's hard-fought attempts to convert its cattle plant to a horse slaughterhouse was dealt a series of new blows Monday, with the state denying its wastewater permit and actor Robert Redford, former Gov. Bill Richardson and the state attorney general announcing plans to intervene in a lawsuit seeking to block a return to domestic horse slaughter.

    The New Mexico Environment Department told Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, which has a lapsed discharge permit, that it won't renew the permit without a public hearing because of extensive comments already received.

    Valley Meat Co. attorney Blair Dunn said the lack of permit would not prevent the plant from opening as planned Aug. 5, but it would increase the cost of doing business because the plant would have to haul its waste.

    Dunn accused the state of unfairly targeting a small, family-owned business. He noted that many dairies are operating around the state with lapsed permits.

    He said the state ignored Valley's request for a renewal until the horse slaughter debate became so divisive and Gov. Susana Martinez announced her strong opposition.

  • San Ildefonso Day School holds first Cultural Day celebration

    San Ildefonso Day School hosted family and community members for a Cultural Day celebration last Thursday. The children not only presented their skills in the Tewa language and traditional dances, they shared bread, cookies and fruit pies they had cooked in an horno (adobe oven) the day before at a traditional luncheon for community members.

    "This is a day of celebration for our youth and young adults here at the school," said Tewa language instructor and tribal council member Tim Martinez. "This is something that we teach our young children. It's about our way of life, the songs and the dance that we do here."

    The celebration is an outgrowth of a Tewa language program instituted in the fall of 2012.

    The pueblo's Learning Center sought grants from the tribal council, the Administration for Native Americans, the Chamisa Foundation and some smaller funding sources. The goal is to revitalize San Ildefonso's language, culture and our heritage.

    Martinez and Rose Sanchez teach the program three mornings a week. In addition to teaching the K–6 grade students the pueblo's traditional Tewa language, Martinez and Sanchez arrange special projects such as learning the dances or making moccasins, take the children on field trips and bring in guest speakers.

  • Council adopts FY2014 budget

    After more than four hours of discussion, the Los Alamos County council adopted a budget for FY2014.

    During the evening's discussions, council added $378,565 to the $185.9 million proposed by staff.          

    The additions included $93,000 for community services. Council took out proposed reductions to Senior Center services, Youth Activity Center operations and the summer concert series. They also voted to fund Bear Camp at the current level and added $40,000 to the budget for Cooperative Extension Services in order to fund the home economics position at a three quarter time level.

    Council also transferred $300,000 from the general fund to the FY2014 indigent healthcare fund budget in order to maintain basic services. A more in depth discussion on how to address reduced revenues and increased demand on the indigent fund is scheduled for April 30.

    The only reduction to the proposed budget was  $15,000 from the county council's budget for contractual services.

    After considerable discussion, council voted to adopt proposed budgets for Progress through Partnering, transit and the lodger's tax fund without alterations.

    Look for more details in Thursday's Los Alamos Monitor.

  • 'I love mysteries,' says man claiming hidden gold

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — For more than a decade, he packed and repacked his treasure chest, sprinkling in gold dust and adding hundreds of rare gold coins and gold nuggets. Pre-Columbian animal figures went in, along with prehistoric "mirrors" of hammered gold, ancient Chinese faces carved from jade and antique jewelry with rubies and emeralds.

    Forrest Fenn was creating a bounty, and the art and antiquities dealer says his goal was to make sure it was "valuable enough to entice searchers and desirable enough visibly to strike awe."

    Occasionally, he would test that premise, pulling out the chest and asking his friends to open the lid.

    "Mostly, when they took the first look," he says, "they started laughing," hardly able the grasp his amazing plan.

    Was Fenn really going to give this glistening treasure trove away?

  • Preparing for Pilgrims

    New Mexico highway crews set up floodlights along NM502 in preparation for pilgrims walking to Chimayo. Although the greatest number of pilgrims walk on Good Friday, pilgrimages take place year round, particularly during Lent. A large number of pilgrims walk at night on Holy Thursday. Law enforcement stops drivers at this spot a mile down NM502 to remind them to watch for walkers and to keep an eye out for impaired drivers.

  • Be There 3-12-13

     

    Today

    As part of its 2012-2013 lecture series, the Los Alamos Historical Society will offer “Hiroshima and Nagasaki 2010,” with speaker John A. Andersen, at 7:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. The lecture is free and open to the public.

     

    Thursday

    Los Alamos Winter Farmers Market, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge. For more information, visit lamainstreet.com/farmers-market.htm.

     

  • Historical Museum receives Groves' portrait

    A portrait of Gen. Leslie Groves is now hanging in the Los Alamos Historical Museum. The portrait was donated by Groves' son, the late Gen. Richard Groves, and Richard’s children. The family decided to donate the portrait to the museum after the sculptures of General Groves and Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer were dedicated in May 2011.

    The portrait was painted by Artist Albert Murray, who has been called “the greatest of all American portrait painters after John Singer Sargent.” Murray's work is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of American Art.

    The official unveiling will be part of Los Alamos National Laboratory's 70th anniversary celebration, 3 p.m. April 5 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

  • Forecasters look at white Christmas probability

    From Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" to Bing Crosby's "White Christmas," Christmas is portrayed as a snowy time. However, many areas of the U.S. do not necessarily have a high probability of a white Christmas*.

    Since many people may have a different idea of what constitutes a white Christmas, it is being defined in this story as a snow depth of an inch or more on Christmas Day.

    Normal December snowfall and temperatures are both critical factors that play a role in who gets a white Christmas. This is due to the fact that snow needs to fall and stay put on the ground to meet the definition.

    Based on data from 1981 to 2010, northern New England, the Upper Midwest, Rocky Mountains and Intermountain West have the highest chance, more than 75 percent, of a white Christmas.

    Minneapolis, Minn., Green Bay, Wis., Buffalo, N.Y., and Burlington, Vt., are among the cities in the U.S. that have the highest chance for a white Christmas.

    "It tends to stay colder across the northern tier during the day and night, so when snow falls, it's less likely to melt," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.