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Features

  • The United Church of Los Alamos is seeking donations for their Mexico Mission community auction in March. Items can be brought to 2525 Canyon Road and questions answered at 662-2971. Large items may be able to request a pick up.
    Adults from the United Church and the Unitarian Church will build homes for the poor during spring break.

  • Poet David Mutschlecner will read from his latest book of poetry “Icon” as the latest offering in Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak series.

    The reading starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Upstairs Rotunda of Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave.
    Mutschlecner’s published work includes the poetry books “Esse,” “Sign” and “Enigma and Light” from Ahsahta Press, and “Veils” from Stride Press.

    With “Icon” Mutschlecner continues his exploration of theopoetics, which is “where poetry shines a light into theology, cleansing it of dogmatism while nurturing inclusivity.”

    He views poetry as a place where “intensifications of reality occur.” Poems from “Icon” will also appear in “New American Writing.”

    Ahsahta Press prides itself on championing and promoting “surprising, relevant and accessible experimental poetry that more commercially minded small presses avoid.”

    Although Ahsahta is the press affiliated with the University of Idaho, there are many connections to Los Alamos and northern New Mexico.

  • With spring right around the corner, many of us are bracing ourselves for pesky allergies. Just like people, pets can suffer from allergies, too. While humans tear, cough, and sneeze their way through allergy season, pets usually deal with allergies differently.

    Dr. Adam Patterson, a clinical associate professor and chief of dermatology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said every animal has a different reaction to allergies, just as people respond to allergies differently. However, most animals display itch as a hallmark sign of allergic skin disease.

    “An itch may be manifested as licking, chewing, biting, rubbing, scratching, head shaking, and/or scooting,” Patterson said. “Common itchy body areas include the face, ears, paws, armpits, groin, rump, and anal region. Horses may present with an itchy skin disease and/or hives.”

    Allergens that most commonly irritate pets include fleas, pollen, molds, mites, insects, danders, and food.

  • What is it like to photograph wildland fires and firefighters? Kristen Honig will discuss her observations, show her photographs, and give a behind the scenes look at what it is like to be a wildfire photographer at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Nature Center.

    Honig’s wildfire photos have been recognized by National Geographic and featured in numerous magazines and publications, including Popular Science, Outside Magazine, High Country News, Wildland Firefighter Magazine, Fire Management Today, and in the novel “On the Burning Edge.”

    This special presentation at the Los Alamos Nature Center is free and made possible thanks to the Los Alamos Photo Club and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

    Los Alamos and the surrounding areas have been exposed to more than a half-dozen significant wildfires since 1977, including the 2000 Cerro Grande Fire that consumed more than 47,000 acres and damaged or destroyed more than 350 structures. The Cerro Grande Fire had a lasting impact on the community and inspired local photographer Honig to document not only the beauty and destructiveness of wildfires but also the sacrifices and camaraderie of the firefighters who battle them.

  • This week’s stunning Pet of the Week is Azrah, a 7-year-old love bug who is aging like fine wine.

    Azrah was surrendered to the Valencia County Animal Shelter after her owner was having some issues with their landlord.

    She adores kittens and loves to snuggle with them. She is also good with kids and is a housebroken lap cat that enjoys a good snooze in the sun.

    Azrah loves to snack on canned food and likes to be brushed. She has been micro chipped and, because she is considered a senior cat (7 or older), her adoption fee is only $35.

    For more information about this gorgeous girl please contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at 662-8179 or Police-PSA@lacnm.us.

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society will host a brief "meet and greet" party at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the social area of the United Church of Los Alamos to welcome the choir's new director, Steve Paxton.

    Paxton holds a bachelor's degree in music, with an emphasis in composition from the University of North Texas, a master's degree in music, composition and voice, from North Texas, and a doctorate in fine arts from Texas Tech University.

    He was on the faculty of the School of Music at Texas Tech from 1981 to 2003, and he was department chairman of the Contemporary Music Program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design for 12 years.

    Spring 2018 registration for LACS will be held simultaneously with the party on Feb. 20. Those interested in singing with the choir may join by paying a $25 music fee and picking up a set of music. No audition is required. Membership is open to all singers, but the choir is especially interested in adding more tenors and basses.

    Rehearsals for the spring concert will, in general, be held on Tuesday evenings, 7-9 p.m., at the United Church.

    The spring concert will be presented at least twice. Times and locations are not yet scheduled. At least one of the performances will be on Memorial Day, May 28, in Los Alamos. Watch the local media for concert announcements in early May.

  • Art exhibits
    National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has opened a permanent exhibit by American sculptor Jim Sanborn called “Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” which recreates the Manhattan Project experiments that determined when plutonium goes “critical in an atomic bomb.” Some of the artifacts in the exhibit include the physics packs of the Trinity device, and an oscilloscope, and engineering devices from the Manhattan Project. The museum has also recently completed the only replica of the Trinity test tower for visitors to experience what the atomic bomb test would have been like to experience in July 1945. The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 601 Eubank Blvd. SE, in Albuquerque. Call 505-245-2137 for information, or visit nuclearmuseum.org.

    Inner Workings Exhibit open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center, 2132 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Free. What makes a person tick? Look into the minds of over 20 local and regional artists. Call Amy Bjarke 662-1535 for information.

  • LAS VEGAS (AP) — You’ve seen apps and toys that promise to teach your child to code. Now enter the robots.
    At the CES electronics show in January, coding robots came out in force. One convention hall area was packed with everything from chip-embedded, alphabet-like coding blocks to turtle-like tanks that draw on command.

    Of course, no one can really say how well these coding bots teach kids, or even whether learning to code is the essential life skill that so many in the tech industry claim. After all, by the time today’s elementary-school kids are entering the workforce, computers may well be programming themselves.

    But experts like Jeff Gray, a computer science professor at the University of Alabama and an adviser to the nonprofit coding education group Code.org, say kids can derive other benefits from coding robots and similar toys. They can, for instance, learn “persistence and grit” when the toys inevitably do something unintended, he says.

    CUBETTO

    London-based Primo Toys, the makers of this mobile wooden block, believes kids can learn coding concepts at age 3 before they can even read. And they don’t even need a screen.

  • By Debbie Stone

    Special to the Monitor

    Visitors entering Oxford, Mississippi’s historic Square will come nose-to-nose with its famed Courthouse. The stately white building stands in the heart of town, creating a scene that looks like it came right out of one of John Grisham’s legal thrillers.

    The well-known author is actually one of many writers who lived in Oxford, a town with an impressive literary heritage and more published writers per capita than most big-time American cities.

    As a state, Mississippi boasts such distinguished wordsmiths as Richard Ford, Willie Morris, Eudora Welty, Donna Tartt, Jesmyn Ward, Larry Brown and Curtis Wilkie. Perhaps the most acclaimed, however, is William Faulkner. Regarded as one of the greatest writers in the twentieth century, Faulkner made Oxford his home after briefly attending the University of Mississippi, and lived in his antebellum-style house, Rowan Oak, from 1930 until his death in 1962.

  • This is a Valentine’s Day love story about a man, his wife and his girlfriend.

    The man is Doug Pippin, 75, who lives in White Rock with Phyllis, 74, his wife of 56 years. Phyllis is, in fact, the one who introduced Doug to his girlfriend when he turned 70, six years ago.

    The “girlfriend” is actually a bright yellow 1931 Ford Model A, five-window coupe he received as a surprise gift from his wife.

    “We call it ‘his girlfriend’ because that ‘girlfriend’ is costing him money (in repairs),” Phyllis laughed.

    Doug’s love affair with that kind of vehicle started when he was in high school in Española. Another young man had a 1932 Ford Model A, five-window coupe and Doug offered to buy it. They made a “handshake agreement,” and soon after Doug towed the car to his house and was making payments to the young man at a rate of $8 a month, money he collected while working at a full-service gas station for 50 cents an hour.

    “I was going to hot rod that car,” Doug grinned.

    In the meantime, Doug found his real love the day in 1960 when Phyllis rode into the gas station where he worked.

    “That’s how I met her,” Doug said, “working at the gas station.”

  • Since the Secret City Kitchen opened a café in the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos Student Center in November 2016, students, university employees and community members have enjoyed the convenience of having a restaurant on campus.

    Owner Jeremy Varela’s menu of breakfast and lunch items has a regular following of customers, and draws new customers every day.

    Initially, the Secret City Kitchen operated the café as a satellite service, with their main catering kitchen in a different location. Recently, Varela centralized his operations at UNM-LA.

    “I chose to locate the Secret City Kitchen on the UNM-LA campus to make an investment in the community,” explained Varela. “It was a way to fill a need for food service at UNM-LA, and also to complement their facilities rental program by offering on-site catering.”

    “This is the best place in Los Alamos to host meetings,” Varela continued.

  • TODAY
    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walk at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center.A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Astronomy Show: Water Worlds at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Join Dr. Rick Wallace on a journey to discover and explore watery worlds. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Feature Film: Exoplanets
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. How do we know there are planets outside our solar system: Exoplanets? Find out and venture past the edges of our solar system. 2:00 PM Admission: $6/adult, $4/child. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood in White Rock will have a Bag Day sale from 9 a.m.-noon.

  • Leadership New Mexico is pleased to announce that Marcus Lucero, Business Development Executive, Feynman Center for Innovation, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Andrea Martinez, Prime Contract Manager, Los Alamos National Laboratory from the Los Alamos area are among 30 statewide young professionals who recently graduated from the 11th Leadership New Mexico Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” Program.

    Open to 25-40 year-old leaders, this program is designed to offer young professionals the opportunity to develop personal leadership skills, learn how New Mexico systems and structures work, and explore critical issues facing the state.

    Participants represent the various geographic regions and communities, from the public, private, government, and non-profit sectors. Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” encourages participants to cultivate new ideas and introduces participants to recognized leaders who provide insight into a wide range of issues and topics.   

    In addition to the Connect New Mexico “The Next Generation of Leadership” Program, other Leadership New Mexico programs include the Core Program and the Local Government Leadership Program.

  • While I don’t want to be divisive, congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles on their Super Bowl win! I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was excited to see them win the big game.

    The win will be a huge sense of pride for the “City of Brotherly Love.” I also think that the nation could use a good underdog story.

    Personally, I have been feeling like I need a positive to focus on and recently one came to mind.

    As the Wilson Pickett song goes, “Late in the midnight hour,” when the brain winds down and there is a different kind of time to think, it hit me.

    I took the idea to two sources I felt needed to approve the project and feel that it has passed the test.

    You see, this April, a very dear person, Joy Handsberry would have turned 50 years old. Joy passed from cancer in November. We may have lost her this school year, but we will never lose the joy that Joy brought us. As a way to do that, I could use your help.

    To demonstrate to her son Max the love for that still remains, I am asking people that ‘Do Facebook,’” to post a photo, a story or a reflection on her Facebook page for 50 days, every day starting Feb. 15.

    I’m writing this early because I know around the 14th, folks may be too busy to read the paper or get online.

  • The Los Alamos Community Foundation will host a nonprofit training from 5-6 p.m. Thursday, at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, building 2 in the lecture hall.

    Chris Daniels, the finance director of the Los Alamos Family YMCA, will present “Internal Controls for Nonprofits: Viable solutions that are easy to apply.”

    Embezzlement and fraud within the nonprofit sector is probably more common and also more preventable than you would think. The damage and effect of fraud can be extensive and community trust hard to regain. By raising awareness of how it happens and implementing a few simple methods nonprofits can avoid such a calamity.

    In this interactive presentation attendees can learn the following:

    • Common ways that embezzlement and or fraud can occur.

    • The critical areas where controls are most needed.

    • Effective ways to establish internal controls with a limited staff.

    • Specific controls that can be applied immediately with minimal effort.

    • Examples where controls could have prevented fraud or errors.

    Nonprofit training sessions sponsored by Los Alamos Community Foundation are made possible with generous support from UNM-Los Alamos and the LANL Foundation.

  • The Los Alamos Democratic Party monthly will meet at 6 p.m. Feb. 12 at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, building 5.

    The guest speaker will be Pat Davis from ProgressNowNM.

    ProgressNowNM is New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization and helps to train candidates and activists statewide to run for office. As the executive director of ProgressNowNM, Davis traveled around the state talking to small groups of frustrated Democrats and progressives and got them involved in actions to fact-check conservative news and get trained to win elections.

    Davis is an Albuquerque city councilor and is running for Congress.

  • The Pajarito Players will present free staged readings of the play “Still in the Game” by local playwright Robert F. Benjamin, an upbeat family drama about aging with grace, courage and humor.

    The readings will be at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 3 and 11 at the Los Alamos County Libraries.

    Following the performances audiences can participate in a talkback with director, cast and playwright.  Also, the library will provide a display of library books related to the play’s themes.

    In the play, David, who is recently widowed, strives to restart his life. His adult daughter Dawn lashes out at him for romancing. After his fling ends, he tries speed-dating, where he meets Ruby (60s), garbed in her new emotional care-wear.

    Sparks fly when David’s eccentricity undermines Ruby’s insistence on protocol.  Years later, David’s relationships with Dawn and Ruby take unexpected turns as he grapples with end-of-life issues. En route to tour a residential hospice, a wacky encounter with a policewoman complicates his plan. Where can he best find peace and spirituality while staying closely connected with loved ones?

    The performance features local actors Pat Beck, Dianna Duerre, Trish Ebbert, Tom Farish, Namrata Menon, and Kate Ramsey.

  • The Pig + Fig Cafe will welcome Kurt Beitler, owner and winemaker at Bohème Winery at 6 p.m. today.

    The restaurant will serve a five-course dinner with pairings from the wines from the Bohème winery, including the 2014 Boheme English Hill Vineyard Chardonnay and the 2013 Bohème Old Mancini Ranch Zinfandel and three different Pinot Noirs.

    These wines aren’t available in New Mexico. Beitler is travelling to New Mexico to represent Bohème in the Taos Winter Wine Festival, where he plans to meet distributors in the state. 

    Laura Crucet, Pig + Fig Café’s executive chef and owner, said she is pleased to introduce Beitler to her customers and present these wines.

    “These wines are very fresh and approachable. Their pinot noirs are especially delightful,” she said.

    Tom Hill, a local wine enthusiast who helps plan the wine dinners at the Pig + Fig said, “Across the board, the wines are outstanding...but in a more refined and elegant style than a typical in-your-face California style favored by many winemakers. The Syrah is a classic cold-climate Syrah with a lot of peppery character.

    The Zin, a one-off production, comes from the very old Mancini Ranch in the Russian River Valley along Olivet Lane. I think you will be impressed.”

  • By Debbie Stone

    Special to the Monitor

    St. Augustine, Florida, is a treasure trove of historical attractions. The city has more than 60 points of interests, including Ponce De Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaological Park.

    Visitors can enjoy the city’s many attractions but with all of this activity, it is a good time for sustenance. Not to worry, St. Augustine’s got you covered. Restaurants and bars dot the city and surrounding areas, offering a variety of cuisines.

    Head to intimate and trendy Catch 27 for some of the most delectable seafood in town. The establishment prides itself on preparing and serving fresh, locally caught seafood, and everything is made from scratch.

    Another special place is Michael’s Tasting Room, which emphasizes fresh, local and seasonal Spanish and Mediterranean inspired creations. This St. Augustine gem resides in a converted historic home dating back to 1764. Also memorable is lunch at Café Alcazar. This elegant eatery is situated in the Lightner Museum in a space originally designated for the largest indoor swimming pool of the Hotel Alcazar. The menu emphasizes entrees made from the freshest ingredients, local and organic.

  • The public is invited to the program of the Summit Garden Club at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road. 

    Gillian Sullivan, owner of Flowers by Gillian (flowersbygillian.net/index.html) will provide information on treating flowers from the gardens or florist.

    She will also demonstrate how to use unusual vases and containers for flower arrangements. If you have a vase or container you would like to use for an arrangement, bring it or a photo to the meeting for an opportunity to have Gillian’s input. 

    The public is invited to attend and learn more about the Summit Garden Club, participate in the program and enjoy refreshments.  For more information, contact Susan Larocque 695-0378 fdlsjl@yahoo.com or Shelby Redondo 662-2625 redondo@cybermesa.com, co-presidents of the Summit Garden Club. 

    Included among the club’s projects are maintaining gardens at the Bandelier National Monument and the White Rock Community Garden (across the highway from the Visitors Center).

    The Summit Garden Club is a member of the New Mexico and National Garden Clubs. The mission of the NGC is to provide education, resources, and national networking opportunities for its members, to promote the love of gardening, floral design, and civic and environmental responsibility.