• NEW YORK (AP) — Which toys will warm the hearts of parents and kids for the holiday 2015 shopping season?

    Holiday toys hit the shelves in recent weeks. And so far, just as in the past few years, there's no single hot toy emerging. But anything "Star Wars," life-like robotic pets and remote controlled toys should drive sales.

    As the holiday shopping season kickoff starts over Thanksgiving weekend, toy sales will heat up.

    The Associated Press has compiled a list of some of this year's expected hot toys and trends for 2015:


    — The Black Series Kylo Ren Force FX Lightsaber by Hasbro: toy weapon makes light and sound effects. $199.99.

    —BladeBuilders Jedi Master Lightsaber set from Hasbro: system allows kids to customize weapons. $49.99.

    __The Force Awaken's BB-8 Droid by Sphero: remote-controlled robot that connects to an app. It changes expression and even perks up when given voice commands. $149.99.

    — Star Wars Millennium Falcon RC Quad by Spin Master: remote-controlled version of the iconic ship. $140


    —Little Live Pets CleverKeet from Moose Toys: interactive, singing and talking bird. He responds to voice. $59.99.

    Thanksgiving Happy Hour and Aspen Ridge Thanksgiving Buffet at 11:30 a.m. at Aspen Ridge Assisted Living Center.

    Family YMCA Thanksgiving Day Workout begins at 9 a.m. at the YMCA  Gymnasium. Bring your relatives, friends, and neighbors and join in for a free Thanksgiving Day workout. Doors will open at 8:50 a.m. Several different workout styles for all fitness levels. Be sure to hang around after the workout for door prizes. Ages 13 and up. Contact Stacey Castille at scastille@laymca.org or 662-3100.
    Fourth Friday Fractals at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Be mesmerized by this award-winning fractal show every fourth Friday by the Fractal Foundation. Journey into the never-ending world of fractals as a full-dome show featuring original music. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $10 for adults, $8 for children.
    Planetarium Show: Back to the Moon for Good at 2 p.m. Enjoy this award-winning planetarium show, which gives you a unique view of the space race, past and future. Suitable for ages 4 and up. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

  • In Celebration of America Recycles Day, Los Alamos County Environmental Services Division staff hosted a Recycle Fashion Show Nov. 14 at Fuller Lodge. The Recycle Fashion Show is an artistic expression of eco-conscious creations and is a fun event for people of all ages.   
    Fuller Lodge was adorned in flowers and snap dragons fabricated by Derrick Voight using reclaimed rebar and recycled glass. Local resident Becky Dahl hand-crafted geraniums and beautiful poppy flowers using the bottoms of soda pop bottles. Light refreshments were served using compostable cups, plates, napkins and utensils. There was essentially zero waste generated from this event, unless you consider all the glitter left sparkling on Fuller Lodge floor.
    There were over a dozen  participants that ranged from children to adults, but to be eligible the participants were required to design outfits that were composed of at least 75 percent recycled content.
    The participants created the hottest trends in recycle fashion using an empty green chile burlap sack, melted tortilla chip bags, Peet’s Coffee bags, the infamous red Starbucks cups and grandpa’s old playing cards.

  • The time has come to say thank you, by nominating someone for the Community Asset Awards.
    The program sponsored by the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation (LACDC) and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) is once again seeking the names and deeds of individuals that do good things in our community, the state or the world.
    “This is a great program where each year community members that live or work in Los Alamos are celebrated for being wonderful and doing great things,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, C’YA Director. “The stories and ages of those nominated vary each year and warm the heart every time.”
    Last January, some 50 do-gooders were recognized for their service in and around the community.
    Those noteworthy names included Tom Severinghouse, Kate Stoddard, Nicole’ Ferry, Henry Vigil, Kurt Steinhaus, Smith’s Food and Drugs Stores and many, many more.
    “The best part about each year is the sheer surprise at folks being stunned that someone took the time to nominate them,” Lauritzen said. “It can be for great volunteer work, going above and beyond as a business or organization, or for doing things that many might never know about.”

    Planetarium Show at 2 p.m. Enjoy 180 degrees of entertainment in the  planetarium. Check peecnature.org for show details. Ages 4 and up. $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    Los Alamos CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot starts at 2 p.m. at the Los Alamos Middle School cafeteria. The walk/run helps raise money to alleviate hunger and poverty at the local, national and global levels. Registration is from 1-1:45 p.m. A potluck immediately follows the event. A free raffle will be held for turkeys and pumpkin pies. To donate or register, go to crophungerwalk.org. Contact Lynn Wysocki-Smith at tewapack@rt66.com or 661-9619 for more information.

    The Santa Fe Jewish Book Fair 2015 is 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Center for Jewish Living, 230 W. Manhattan. New Mexico publishers and dozens of writers will be represented. There will be talks by Jack Shlachter, Judith Fein, Sara Koplik and Sandra Toro on writing and books. Food court open all day. Free and open to the public, with a modest charge for talks. Organized by the Santa Fe Jewish Book Council. For more information, visit gaoninstitute.org or write hart.gaon@gmail.com or call 920-7771.

  • Shoppers, get your cell phone cameras ready. Old schoolers, grab a pen. There are two ways to enter the Small Business Saturday contest that will be held Nov. 28 – Dec. 6 in Los Alamos.
    Every year American Express encourages communities to hold a contest, race, pancake breakfast or other event as part of the promotion for Small Business Saturday.
    This year, the Small Business Saturday Committee combined two suggestions from American Express – a scavenger hunt and a selfie contest – with a contest customized for Los Alamos.
    The “Where’s Oppie” contest will have shoppers looking for pictures of Oppenheimer in each of the almost 60 participating Small Business Saturday merchants between Nov. 28 and Dec. 6. Like last year, shoppers have a week to participate in the contest, so they can get their Small Business Saturday shopping done, and still have time to also visit all of the participating merchants and participate in the contest.
    Social Media savvy shoppers can enter the “Where’s Oppie” contest online by posting selfies with the Oppie photos on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #FindOppie.

  • Shock absorption between our bones is essential to perform normal physical activities. Just like humans, dogs can injure their bones and their joints, making every day mobility a challenge. In intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) the intervertebral discs, or cushions in between the bones of the spine, can degenerate from an injury or as dogs age.
    Intervertebral discs are cartilage tissue between the spinal bones, or vertebrae, that act as shock absorbers during movement. Deterioration of the discs make them brittle and weak, so that the normal forces applied during movement cannot be effectively cushioned. This often leads to deformed or ruptured discs, which can press on the spinal cord above them, resulting in signs that range from neck or back pain to complete paralysis of the limbs.
    Canine IVDD occurs in two main categories: Type I and Type II. In Type I of the disease, the inner portion of the disc is calcified, or hardened. This occurs quickly and leaves the disc brittle and more prone to rupture. Type II develops slowly, and the discs become hardened and more fibrous over time, eventually bulging out and applying pressure to the spinal cord.

  • Nov. 22-28, 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: Beer Cheese Soup
    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: Meatloaf
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis

    8:30 a.m.        LAVA Quilters
    8:45 a.m.         Cardio Plus Exercise
    10:15 a.m.        Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Fish and Chips

  • 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.
    Hyacinth and her kitten were left at the front door of Ridgeview Vet a few weeks ago. Hyacinth’s kitten has already been adopted, and Hyacinth is ready for a home of her own! Hyacinth is mostly white, with a few tabby markings. She is still learning how to get along with other cats in the cat room, but for right now, she prefers her own little area of the cat room where she isn’t disturbed! She absolutely loves catnip toys, and she would be a fantastic partner for someone looking for companionship but still a bit of independence.

  • Join the County Council as they officially “light the holiday tree” in the municipal building lobby as part of Winterfest. Doors open at 5 p.m. Dec. 5, and the tree lighting will occur at 5:30 p.m.
    Step inside from the cold to enjoy the tree, munch on some cookies and sip cocoa while visiting with the councilors. A free, festive holiday photo booth will be available for all until it’s time to head outside at 6 p.m. to watch the light parade on Central Avenue.

  • Imagine a situation in which you had to team up with someone with whom you had only one thing in common. How would you do?
    That’s a question director Iain May asks audiences to consider when watching “Night and Day,” currently being performed at the Los Alamos Little Theatre’s in “8x10’s Fifth Symphony.”
    The final two performances of this production are at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday at the Los Alamos Little Theater.
    “Night and Day” was written by Alix Hudson and emerged from her participation in a 24-hour Taos play festival, in which plays have to be written, cast, rehearsed and performed in 24 hours.
    “I was selected to write a play that involved a key, the theme ‘Night and Day,’ and three people: a woman in her 20s and two men aged 30s-40s,” Hudson said. “I was intrigued – and continue to be – how baffling and varied our laws of attraction can be.”
    The play features Iain May, Rose Corrigan and Dan Shields, who is new to the LALT stage and to theatre in general.
    The 8x10 format – eight 10-minute plays – offers plenty of opportunities for community members to get involved in theatre or for LALT members to try out new roles in a production. This production includes five first-time directors, six people new to the LALT stage, and others trying out roles such as lighting tech and stage manager for the first time.

    Gentle Walks with PEEC. 9 a.m. A gentle trail walk with an emphasis on discovery, not mileage gained. Free for adults. Meet at the Nature Center and carpool to the trailhead. More information at peecnature.org.

    Fruitcake sale from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in the lobby of Los Alamos National Bank. The Order of Eastern Star continues a 50-year tradition selling Collin St. Bakery fruitcakes and apricot pecan and pineapple pecan cakes. The sale will continue  
    on the following Fridays: Dec. 4, (afternoon only) 11, and 18 (or until sold out). They will not sell fruitcakes at LANB the Friday after Thanksgiving. Contact Judy Goldie, 662-3797/judygoldie1@gmail.com, or Nina Laird, 662-7580, for more information.

    Star Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Explore about the expansive universe and enjoy its beauty from our planetarium. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    Los Alamos Little Theater’s latest performance of the 8x10s,  eight  10-minute plays creating an evening of theatre. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, today through Nov. 21, with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 15. Tickets at CB Fox, Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

  • The original Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair is here and better than ever this year.
    A Los Alamos tradition for 48 years, the annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be held from 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Los Alamos Middle School. The event is hosted by the Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC). Admission is free.
    To keep the tradition of a pre-Thanksgiving, holiday shopping spree alive, the LAAC has lined up nearly 100 artists from across New Mexico and southern Colorado. As in past years, jewelry, pottery, painting, photography, metal and wood working will be among the highlights, as well as a wide range of holiday-oriented crafts.
    The fair will also welcome returning artists. Among the favorites are jewelers Kathy Hjeresen, MaryAnn Somers, Marilyn Lisowski, Teresa Starr, Kristi Cacy, Audra Short and Lyra Fiset. Adrian Martinez, of Martinez Woods, will be back, and Mary Val Whitesides, with items made from vintage quilts, will return.
     Look for new artists who will be at this year’s fair. Pam Williamson makes stained glass gifts including boxes, night lights and ornaments. There will be several gourd artists, including Annie Macker and Bertha Medina.
    Wood working is another area with several artists this year. Adrian Martinez, Taylor Dale, Bill Hamilton and Howard Granzow, to name a few.

  • Permits to cut your own Christmas tree on the Santa Fe National Forest go on sale Monday at Forest Headquarters, all Ranger District offices and select third-party vendors.
     This year, as part of the White House’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, every fourth-grader is eligible for a free holiday tree permit. To redeem the permit, the student must present a valid fourth-grade pass, downloadable at everykidinapark.gov.  The fourth-graders must bring a parent or guardian over the age of 18 with them to the nearest SFNF office to pick up the permit. The free permits can only be fulfilled at a SFNF office.
    In addition to Santa Fe National Forest offices, permits are available at Los Alamos Historic Society and Gift Shop, 475 20th St. in Los Alamos Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


    The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board will meet at 6 p.m. in Building #1, Camino Entrada Road, Pajarito Cliffs Site. LAPS Assistant Superintendent Diane Katzenmeyer Delagado will share survey results and other data from the Mental Health Task Force Design Team. All are welcome to attend.

    The Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting is at 7 p.m., a little earlier than usual, at Fuller Lodge. The meeting will include an election and regular announcements/business meeting before a special program by a world class outdoorsman. Arrive by 7 p.m. Speaker is Dean Cummings, a Los Alamos skier who now guides heli-ski trips in Alaska.


    Republican Party of Los Alamos monthly meeting at The safety of children and the integrity of the family is facing many threats today.  This Thursday take a brief tour of some of the most pressing issues current in parental rights, study the proposed legislation to protect parental rights, and find out ways to support the development of a grassroots legislative effort to secure explicit protection of parental rights in New Mexico.

  • I want to use the space this week to say thank you.
    The Assets In Action program has run an intergenerational event called Cookies & Conversation for a good number of years.
    The Betty Ehart Senior Center brings the loveliest of seniors out to the middle and high school to have lunch and fun conversation for young adults and the elders of our community.
    The conversations are light hearted topics about life experiences, best holiday vacations, favorite book or movie and of course, favorite cookie.
    This year, the program ran out of funding and two local community groups and a handful of individuals stepped up to benefit my program and some others as well.
    The congregation of Bethlehem Lutheran and the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club donated a variety of cookies to pull us through the next several months of programming. Lots of local families added to the kindness cupboard, too.
    The Cookies and Conversation program is off and running thanks to the kindness of so many.
    You might realize I have a fondness for seniors and the Betty Ehart Senior Center and particularly their Director, Pauline Powell Schneider. We have two wonderful events that benefit both our nonprofits, The Festival of Chocolate, which was Nov. 14, and the Festival of Trees, which is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

  • A $15 million grant is helping University of New Mexico-Los Alamos and 10 other two-year colleges educate a workforce to fulfill the growing demand for healthcare professionals in New Mexico. The grant, awarded in October 2014, is funding equipment, faculty and staff to support the students served in the Emergency Medical Service program that qualifies for funding under the grant.
    Funded by the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training, the grant is going by the acronym SUN PATH. The mission of the New Mexico Skill Up Network is to expand and improve the ability of community colleges in New Mexico to deliver education and career training programs that can be completed in two years or less. SUN aims to prepare program participants to succeed in acquiring the skills, degrees, and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment while also meeting the need of employers in New Mexico. Pathway Acceleration in Technology and Healthcare is about the focus on preparing students for a career in health care by teaching the necessary skills to do the job while strengthening reading, writing, and math abilities.

  • The November meeting of the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Los Alamos Research Park, second floor conference room.
    This month’s speaker is Dr. Glen McDuff. McDuff was a professor at Texas Tech University before coming to LASL to work in the weapons program. Since joining LASL in 1979, Glen participated in virtually every major DOE programmatic failure that unfolded during his long and highly questionable tenure at the Laboratory. He is retired from the Laboratory, but continues to serve as a consultant to the Weapons Division and to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Nuclear Weapons School at Kirkland AFB.
    Dinner follows at 6:25 p.m. with presentation at 7:15 p.m. Open to all interested citizens with RSVP by Nov. 15. Hot Rocks Java Cafe will cater dinner of fajitas.
    Cost is $25 per person. Call LTC Gregg Giesler, 662-5574 (email g.giesler@computer.org) or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750 (email depinyan@cybermesa.com).

  • Oct. 26 — A boy. Antonio Malaquias Duran. Born to Ashley Botelho and Robert Duran.
    Nov. 3 — A girl. Claire Elaine Wexler. Born to Catherine and Jonathan Wexler.
    Nov. 6 — A boy. Andrew John Work. Born to Sarah and Peter Work.

  • Nov. 15-21, 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
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion Group
    10:30 a.m.        Advisory Council Mtg.
    12:15 p.m.        Smart Driver Course
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Grilled Pork Chop
    1 p.m.        Pinochle
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    8:30 a.m.        Mac Users Group
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    10 a.m.        Computer Users Group
    11:30 a.m.        Green chile ckn tortilla soup
    1 p.m.        Bingo
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge