• The New Mexico Department of Health has changed the hours of operation and services provided at the Los Alamos Public Health Office due to staffing changes.
    The clinic, located at 1183 Diamond Drive, No. D, in Los Alamos, will be open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (closed noon-1 p.m.) and will be closed Mondays.
    Services provided at this clinic will include children’s medical services (children and youth with special health care needs), and women, infants, and children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program. Services will be provided by appointment only.
     All other public health services are available at the Rio Arriba County Public Health Office located at 2010 Industrial Park Rd in Española. Appointments are also required at the Rio Arriba office.
    For more details, contact the Los Alamos Public Health Office at 662-4038 or the Rio Arriba Public Health Office at  753-2794.

    Gentle Walks at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.
    Photography Class for second and third-graders from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Explore the basics of taking a good picture with retired teacher Mrs. Magelssen. This class is perfect for second- and third-grade students. A camera and snacks will be provided. Space is limited. Advance registration required. Cost is $16 for members, $20 for non-members.

    Feature Film: “From Earth to the Universe” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy 180 degrees of entertainment. Join us on a colorful and inspiring journey through our universe. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

    Dark Night at 6:30 p.m. at Spirio soccer field, Overlook Park, White Rock. The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding a County-Sponsored Dark Night, weather permitting. The public is invited to wander among the telescopes and star gaze. Five planets will potentially be visible during the night: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There will be a tour of the late-summer and fall constellations, and telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. Viewing will end before midnight. Call Steve at 662-3252 for information.

  • The Pajarito Astronomers will be holding a county-sponsored dark night beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Spirio Soccer Field, Overlook Park, weather permitting.
    The public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes and star gaze.  Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune will potentially be visible during the evening.
    There will be a tour of the late-summer and fall constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.  
    Viewing will end before midnight.
    Call Steve at 662-3252 for information.

  • Los Alamos Little Theatre will hold an open play reading of Tom Stoppard’s classic comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Performing Arts Center.
    Acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, the play is the tale of Hamlet, as told from the worm’s-eye view of two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play.
    In Stoppard’s best-known work, the Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads the two characters to a tragic but inevitable end.
    Brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet, who enact fragments of the original play’s scenes, add to the bewilderment of the two protagonists, who voice their confusion at the progress of events occurring onstage without them in Hamlet.
    LALT will produce the play in the spring. The reading is an opportunity to gain familiarity with the script prior to auditions in February.
    Men and women of a wide age range are needed for the cast. John Cullinan will direct. John Gustafson is the producer.
    The Performing Arts Center is located at 1670 Nectar St. More information is available at LALT.org.

  • Tax Help New Mexico and the IRS are seeking community volunteers across New Mexico and especially in the greater Albuquerque metropolitan area to provide free tax assistance to those who need help filing their taxes.
    Tax Help New Mexico volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Volunteers are needed to electronically file tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep running computer equipment used to electronically file tax returns, manage the tax site and do quality control.
    “Tax Help New Mexico needs fellow New Mexicans all across the state and at this time, from Albuquerque and near-by communities. We are looking for area volunteers who are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free,” said IRS spokesperson, Liz Perea. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple, non-business tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to their community.”


  • The 10th annual Elementary Mile will be held in conjunction with the Los Alamos High School Cross Country Invitational Friday.
    The race is open for any elementary-age runner who can run a mile. The Los Alamos Family YMCA and Los Alamos Public Schools elementary physical education teachers have entry forms. Check in ends at 4 p.m. Friday at the Los Alamos Golf Course clubhouse patio. The race will at 4:45 p.m.

  • Los Alamos Arts Council is ready to bring a bit of frightful autumn fun to downtown Los Alamos again this year by sponsoring the annual Scarecrow Contest.
    Since 2001, scarecrows have graced the streetlights along Central Avenue during the week before Halloween. The registration fee is $10, and the council awards prizes to the scarecrows for their creativity and seasonal spirit. Anyone can participate – individual, family, organization, business.
    The judging takes place during the week. Scarecrows are given points for creativity, being well-designed, and handcrafted. There will be places to vote for the community favorite at CB Fox and Ruby K’s.
    Fill out an application found on the Arts Council website or pick one up at the Arts Council office. Bring the application and scarecrow to the Visitor Center on Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. There will be someone there to assist you and direct you to a numbered pole.

  • LA Soup and Specialty Foods, LLC, owned by Monica Van de Water, has announced it will be offering a pop-up soup and perogies service at projectY cowork Los Alamos Oct. 25 for lunch and dinner.
    Since 2015, Van de Water has offered home delivery service of specialty soups and comfort food sides she cooks out of her licensed commercial-grade kitchen in White Rock.
    Having attracted some loyal followers through her research and development over the years, Van de Water is now ready to expand and wants to introduce her food to the greater Los Alamos and White Rock communities.  
    During the pop-up, patrons may pick up food from projectY cowork, located at 150 Central Park Square, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for lunch and 4-6 p.m. for dinner. Van de Water will be serving her roasted pumpkin garlic soup with Brazilian cheese breads, as well as perogies smothered with either caramelized onions and bacon, or a vegetarian-friendly version with mushrooms. Single- and family-sized portions will be served to eat on-site or take home. Advance orders may be made through the LA Soup and Specialty Foods’ website, but it is not required.

    Los Alamos High School Fourth Annual Career Fair from noon-3 p.m. the A-wing lobby. Over 25 Los Alamos community members representing a variety of careers have committed to attend this year’s event. There will also be mock interview sessions and resume reviews. The LAHS food service will be selling lunch items prior to the start of the Career Fair.
    The New Mexico Garden Clubs District II Executive Fall Board meeting is at 10 a.m. at Smith’s Market Place in the upstairs meeting room. Registration is from 10-10:30. Call Treasurer Laurie Hixson for reservations.

    Science on Tap: Harnessing actinium-225 for cancer treatment at 5:30 p.m. at UnQuarked Wine Room. All ages can attend this event. Maryline Ferrier, with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Inorganic Isotope and Actinide Chemistry group, will talk about the research taking place at the lab to better understand actinium-225. Q&A and discussion will follow a short introduction to the subject.

    Nature Yoga from 5:15-6:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members.

  • I write my column this week as just a mom, just a parent or caregiver like many of you.
    If you don’t really keep up with the news, last week our teachers, kind of got a punch in the gut. I dare to say two rounds of it, to be honest.
    Round one was the data release of teacher evaluations. The snippets that we hear about here and there are not really enough to allow the average bear to really understand what all of the fuss is about. It may even come across as people just not wanting to be evaluated, but if you could hear some of the tales, it is a slap in the face to good educators.
    There is not enough column space for me to explain what is involved in a teacher evaluation, how wrong they can be and how illogical it all sounds when talking about an educational system. As a town that thrives on data, the hypothesis is clearly not supported by the experiment, as the analysis of the data does not allow one to draw conclusions possibly allowing results that may not align partially or at all with the data.
    How’s that for the layman’s explanation?
    Now for round two of the fight. Last week, staff heard they were not allowed to miss more than three days during the school year without suffering more related to evaluations.

  • The Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office performed the certification and preparation process for the Absentee and Election Day voting machines to be used in the Nov. 8 General Election.
    The testing passed with a perfect match between the test votes cast and the test results. Every voting machine underwent functional testing, according to the clerk’s office.
    Functional testing ensures the proper operation of the buttons, connections and other components of the voting machines, such as the audio-visual ballot marking interface.
    “Testing is absolutely fundamental in the preparation of any election, and provides an added level of confidence in the accuracy of the election results,” said County Clerk Sharon Stover.
    With the certification preparation process complete, the ICE voting machines are ready for deployment to the three vote centers, which are: Los Alamos County Municipal Building - Council Chambers, Los Alamos County Golf Course Community Building, multi-purpose room, and the White Rock Library’s  multi-purpose room.

    League of Women Voters of Los Alamos nonpartisan candidate forum at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Room in Building 2 of UNM-LA. Come at 6:30 for refreshments and to meet the candidates. Candidates will be U.S. House of Representatives candidates Michael H. Romero (R) and Ben R. Lujan (D); County Council candidates Patrick Monroe Brenner (R), Jaret J. McDonald (R), Steven P. Girrens (R), Peter T. Sheehey (D), Chris Chandler (D), and Antonio L. Maggiore (D); and County Clerk candidates Naomi D. Maestas (R) and Amy Woods (D).

    The Knights of Columbus Sacred Heart Council 3137 invite the public to a Taco Fest from 5-8 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall on D.P Road. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for kids under 12 years.

    Los Alamos Genealogical Association meeting 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library. The presentation will be “Genealogical Praxis – Recent Experiences and Lessons in My Research,” by D. Kent Parsons. The traditional no-host social dinner will convene before the meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the China Moon Restaurant.

    Nature Yoga at 5:15 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members, $12 for members.

  • Would you like to learn more about wildflowers on the Pajarito Plateau? Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator Chick Keller will lead the last wildflower walk of the season at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 17.
    This will be an easy walk to identify some of the wildflower beauties found in and around Los Alamos. Keller picks the trail based on what is blooming at the time. The outing is free, and no advance registration is required.
    Participants will receive a plant list that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify fall wildflowers found on the Pajarito Plateau.
    The group meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, before carpooling to the trailhead.
    For more information about this, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Ever wonder how homesteaders enjoyed and relied on nature? What did nature mean to the Los Alamos Ranch School? Find out from 7-8 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
    Enjoy photos and conversations with experts from Los Alamos History Museum about the history of our connection to the Pajarito Plateau.
    Kids and adults can churn butter, create a paper homestead cabin, and enjoy stories of the past. Judith Machen, co-author of Homesteading on the Pajarito Plateau, will be on hand to discuss how homesteaders made a living in our natural environment.
    The evening will include stories like this one from Michael Marchi: “I remember my grandfather talking about many difficult times they had in those days. There were no machines to help them plant or weed or harvest. It was all done by hand or with the help of horses.” Bring stories to share about what being outdoors in Los Alamos means to you!
    This historical evening will take place at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road.
    The program is free to attend, and no registration is required. For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • October is Bullying Prevention Month and Substance Abuse Awareness Month.
    There are many great projects afoot in the community and you will hear about some great youth driven projects soon.
    I find it ironic that Bullying Prevention month proceeds the month in which we vote in national elections. I feel like youth get to see adults at their worst in the month in which we focus on bullying prevention.
    One way adults can support youth projects is by wearing orange on Unity Day. The date is Oct. 19 and the whole nation will wear orange to support the cause.
    If you do snap some photos and text or email them to us, so we can show your support for the youth in and around our community.
    There’s plenty of time to get involved and if you need some ideas to engage some youth in your program, there are many ideas to check out at pacer.org.
    They have spent a decade working on bullying prevention and you can register for webinars on the website.
    There are many great events that surround substance abuse awareness, including Red Ribbon week at the end of the month. To  donate bags of soil, tulip or daffodil bulbs, or even mulch for youth projects, give us a call at 695-9139 for a free pick up and help us spread the word.

  • Third-grade students in the Aspen Elementary class, taught by Nicole Gutierrez, celebrated National Voter Registration Day Friday, along with Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover, who was asked to participate as part of Career Day.
    Gutierrez said her class has learned about past and present U.S. presidents and talking about why it was important to vote.
    “Hands on learning is found to be very successful in school, so I know this opportunity will help our Aspen third-grade class become active voters when they turn 18,” Guitierrez said.
    After having discussions with the students on the importance of registering to vote and exercising the right to vote, Stover and Elections Manager Gloria Maestas conducted a Mock Election, using demonstration ballots, called “ice cream ballots,” and a Dominion ICE voting machine.
    The students voted and inserted their ballots into the voting machine.
    Once everyone had voted, the students anxiously awaited, while Stover and Maestas tallied the results.
    Rainbow Sherbet was the most popular ice cream flavor, and Saturday was the winner for the favorite day of the week, along with Google as the search engine, and winter was their favorite season.


    Feature Film: Black Holes at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Voyage through the galaxies in search of answers to explain the riddles of black holes! Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for child. 


    Valles Caldera Field Trip from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Nature Center. Examine volcanology in the Valles Caldra and explore some of the preserve’s geothermal springs with scientists Fraser and Cathy Goff. Cost is $32 for members, $40 for non-members. More information at peecnature.org.


    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. With the assistance of the party chairmen, Kiwanis has invited the County Clerk candidates, Republican Naomi D. Maestas and Democrat Amy Woods, and the Probate Judge candidates, Republican Abraham Dispennette and Independent candidate Anne Nobile, to participate in an election forum during the Kiwanis meeting.


    Family Night Sponsored by Kiwanis Club at 6 p.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy a night of games and songs around the campfire with Melissa Mackey. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • The Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities will host the Energy Efficiency Home Tour to highlight real-world applications to reduce energy consumption and improve all-season comfort in the home. 

    Los Alamos County homeowners will open the doors to share their homes and the energy-efficient design features and upgrades that have worked for them between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 15. 

    Homes featured on the tour in the Los Alamos town site and White Rock neighborhoods incorporate passive solar design, energy-efficient building materials, energy-efficient windows and doors, thermal insulation, water-and-energy-conserving garden designs and irrigation systems, photovoltaic systems, and more.

    Owners have been able to greatly reduce electric and natural gas bills. 

    For more information and to register for the tour, visit the Pajarito Environmental Education Center website at peecnature.org/events/details/?id=15650. 

  • Los Alamos High School student Andy Shen was awarded the high school Community Youth Award from Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) last week.
    The award, sponsored by the Los Alamos Children’s Clinic and the Los Alamos Animal Clinic, was for his efforts to mentor speech and debate students and help the Hilltalkers succeed.