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Features

  • Our son Spencer turns 18 today, a big deal in our house. You see I hate politics, but we have raised our children to know that voting is one of the most important rights you have as an American.
    Every year my husband and I waited until he got home from work and then would walk as a family down to the polling location, so they could watch us vote.
    Since it is a small town, we often knew the poll workers and they always got a sticker, but we hoped they were noticing it was important to us.
    So I have told him to avoid the sweet League of Women Voters table at the high school. Why you ask? It was equally important for me to take each young man to register as well. We even wait for our favorite worker to be there to do the official registering. Yes I take a photo and yes, I take a photo the first time they get to vote too.
    I remember being 18, I remember going to register to vote and casting my ballot. Ah, but it was, “the good old days.” It was a time when you kept your mouth shut because voting was personal, like how much you paid for your house or how much money you made. Oh how we long for the old days sometimes.
    When I was growing up, the only thing I remember about the whole process was my parents always saying, “You vote for the lesser of two evils.”

  • The Summit Garden Club will hold its May meeting at 1:30 p.m. May 2 at the home of Laurie Hixson, 307 Potrillo Dr., Pajarito Acres, White Rock.
    The meeting will start with a short talk on gophers by “Gopher Andy,” Andy Espinoza.  In addition, each May the club meets to assess its activities during the past year and to discuss its projects for the coming year.
    Included among the Club’s many projects are refurbishing and maintaining gardens at the Bandelier National Monument and the creation of the White Rock Community Garden (across the highway from the Visitors Center). Election of officers will also take place at this meeting.
    Anyone is invited to attend the meeting to learn more about the club. New members are always welcome. While the May meeting is a business meeting, all other meetings include gardening education.  
    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.
    For more information contact Shelby Redondo, president at 662-2625, or redondo@cybermesa.com. 

  • The Los Alamos Medical Center Auxiliary will hold a book and gift fair from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday in the Doctor’s Lobby area of the Los Alamos Medical Center.
    Books will be 30-70 percent off retail. All major credit cards will be accepted.

  • Anyone with a clown phobia might want to miss out on this week’s talk at Mesa Public Library.
    The Authors Speak presentation will feature Benjamin Radford, author most recently of “Bad Clowns,” published by UNM Press.
    The talk will begin at 7 p.m.
    Radford is the deputy editor of Skeptical Inquirer science magazine, a research fellow for the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, the author of eight books and more than a thousand articles on a variety of topics including urban legends, the paranormal, critical thinking and media literacy.
    Corrales resident Radford has built a career in “myth-busting” – finding those urban and rural legends that are pervasive, and then writing perceptive articles and books exploring how those myths might have come into being. Pick up any recent issue of Skeptical Inquirer and you can find Radford holding forth on topics as diverse as the efficacy of online brain games, the court case against seismologists who failed to warn the residents of Aquila of earthquake danger (they were acquitted), witchcraft claims and cryptozoology (which examined the effect of climate change on monster sightings).
    Bad Clowns blends humor, investigation and scholarship to reveal what is behind the clown’s dark smile.

  • TODAY
    Feature Film: “Mysteries of the Unseen World” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover what is normally too fast, too slow, too small, or outside the visible spectrum. There is far more to nature than meets the eye. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
    MONDAY
    Chapter AK, P.E.O., meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Joann Brown, 1722 18th Street. Membership Committee will provide the program. Gaye Talley is the co-hostess. RSVP to Joann at 662-3501.

    Nature Playtimes from 10-11 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun in nature. Free.

    Wildflower Walk at 5:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Take a gentle stroll and learn our local wildflowers.
    TUESDAY
    Fuller Lodge Art Center Takes Over the Nature Center from 6-7:30 p.m. Enjoy a family-friendly evening of nature-inspired art and learning. Free.

    Chamber Coffee and Connections, Ruby K’s Bagel Cafe at 10 a.m. Chamber members invited, there is no set agenda and the conversation is open to all topics. Reserve a seat at losalamoschamber.chambermaster.com.

    Kiwanis meeting from noon to 1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos. Committee Day.

  • 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 microchipped, 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 the 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.
    CATS
    Gracie—A 7-year-old tabby who was surrendered when her elderly owner could no longer care for her. She loves attention from adults and older, gentle children. She also enjoys lounging in the sunshine and hanging out in high perches, where she can survey her domain. She prefers a quiet, calm house, and she doesn’t mind the company of cat-friendly dogs!

  • TODAY
    Gentle Walks at 9 a.m. at Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Fourth Friday Fractals from 7-7:45 p.m. See fractals in nature as a full-dome planetarium show! $10/adult and $8/child. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
     Earth Day Festival from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Celebrate Earth Day at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Free.

    Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 11 a.m. at Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film reveals the global collaboration, technology, and dedication required to answer the unresolved questions of the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

    Feature Film: “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure” at noon at the Nature Center. See prehistoric sea creatures come to life, and follow fossil hunters to remote locations as they excavate the remains of some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.

    Young at Heart Hike. Join us on a hike that brings together people of all ages to connect, learn, play, and explore. Free.

  • Following the recent ice and snow storm Monday, the Environmental Services Division is seeking volunteers to help collect and dispose of branches in areas that have already received bulk item collection on the quarterly pick up schedule.
    Residents are encouraged to help with branch clean up and ask others to help in neighborhoods.
    Trees around many properties sustained damage and breakage due to the wet, heavy snowfall, and many individuals aren’t capable of cleaning up the debris around their property.
    Free gloves and bags are available to everyone participating in this effort and the 13th Annual Clean Up Los Alamos Day on April 30.
    Volunteers who participate in this particular tree branch removal effort are asked to go online and register with Environmental Services so that county resources for extensive, large piles of branches can be staged in areas that can be easily retrieved by county vehicles and scheduled for pick up that day.
    For smaller loads collected by volunteers, branches and other debris brought down by Monday’s storm should be taken to the Eco-Station, which is offering free load disposal on an unlimited basis on Saturday – as part of planned Clean Up Los Alamos Day promotional events.
     Volunteers can register at losalamosnm.us/gogreen.

  • The Family YMCA’s registration drive, where the $25 registration fee is waived, for  Y Camp, iCare Camp and 2016-2017 Afterschool care closes on Sunday, May 8. Parents may continue to sign up for the programs after that date, but will only have through that day for the per/child registration fee to be waived. Y Summer Camp is offering additional discounts to those registering by this date.
    The YMCA’s “Best Summer Ever” Camp will be based at Barranca Mesa Elementary School, as will LAPS’s summer school. Camp’s theme is Most Excellent Adventure and will focus on a wide range of adventurous experiences and places where youth will be in peer age-groups as they make explorations into science, art, reading, sports, swimming, field trips and community service projects.
    The registration fee will also be waived for the YMCA’s iCare camp, which is an outdoor free-play based, nature-focused summer camp. This program’s basecamp will also be at Barranca Mesa Elementary School.

  • Art and food enthusiasts will be delighted with the creations on display beginning Friday at the opening of DIGEST THIS! At Fuller Lodge Art Center.
    DIGEST THIS! opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. Inspired by all things edible, the show is a tasty mix of 3D, mixed media, traditional oils, textiles and ceramics. Anyone who hungers for eclectic art should be well satisfied.
    Culinary-related creations by artists from northern New Mexico include media ranging from Wonder Bread to clay to taxidermy. An “Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony” doll by fiber artist Fran Black and a pen-and-ink spread of “Rainbow Cupcakes” by Trish Ebbert, offer an energy boost while Jeri Burzin’s photograph of squash “Blossoms” and Celia Cortez’ pencil drawing of artichokes, “Violetta and Friends” add fresh produce to the menu.
    Watercolor artist Patricia Gould contributed another healthy-eating entry, “Lemon and Kale,” and said: “I just liked the way the lemon was reflective and juicy and the kale was rough and curly.”

  • As Bandelier National Monument celebrates its centennial year, a newly released book titled “Bandelier National Monument” offers a visual celebration of the history of the park.
    The book is part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series. Author Paul R. Secord has drawn together historic photographs, images of San Ildefonso artist Pablita Velarde’s murals and historic documents to illustrate Bandelier’s signature moments.
    The book’s content was drawn from archival sources, private collections and the Bandelier library’s recently catalogued collection of more than 14,000 images spanning 135 years. Volunteers have spent two-and-a-half years digitalizing the collection.
    The fascinating trek back through time gives readers an opportunity to see images of long-gone places and people of Bandelier.
    Photographs such as two of the Lodge of Ten Elders, built in 1909 by Judge A. J. Abbott of Santa Fe, of women rangers dressed like airline stewardesses and one of a flock of sheep spanning the bridge over the Rio Grande near the Buckman railhead help to characterize each era of the park’s history.

  • TODAY
    Chamber Breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. at UNM-LA building 2, room 230. Cynthia Delgado, Mandy Marksteiner and Kelly Stewart will be featured on a panel. The topic will be “Preparing Los Alamos Businesses for the Summer 2016 Tourism Season.” Breakfast will be pastries from Rose Chocolatier.

    Green Hour Hike at 10 a.m. at Nature Center. Join other families for a kid-centered hike. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting at 7 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center for a presentation on the state of the Bandelier back country and trails post Las Conchas fire by Kevin Stillman. There will be a slideshow and presentation about the Conchas fire and the floods of 2011 and 2013, how the backcountry and trails were affected, and where Bandelier is rebuilding the trail system.

    The Forest Stewards Guild, county officials and stakeholders will have their first public meeting at 5 p.m. today at the Municipal Building, 100 Central Ave., to discuss the update of the 2009 Community Wildfire Protection Plan learn about progress made since 2009 to reduce wildfire risk in your community. The public is encouraged to attend and provide input. For more information, visit forestguild.org/losalamosCWPP, or contact Matt Piccarello at matt@forestguild.org or call 983-8992.  

  • Los Alamos High School Olions will proudly present Monty Pythons “Spamalot” beginning with an opening night show at 7 p.m. Friday.
    In this musical retelling of the classic movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” King Arthur and his trusted knights seek the Holy Grail.
    Arthur and his knights encounter famous friends and formidable foes from the Lady of the Lake to the Killer Rabbit.
    Directed by David Daniel and starring Devon McCleskey as Arthur, Evelyn Wohlbier as the Lady of the Lake, and a student pit orchestra. The Olions cast and crew has poured their hearts and souls into the production, they said.
    All showings will take place in Duane Smith Auditorium.
    Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and $5 for children 5 and under.
    The play has PG-13 content.
    Spamalot’s performance dates and times are:
    • 7 p.m. Thursday, special dress preview
    • 7 p.m. Friday, opening night
    • Noon Saturday pre-prom matinee
    • 7 p.m. April 29
    • 2 p.m. matinee April 30; 7 p.m. evening show
    • 2 p.m. May 1 closing matinee.

  • Glen Wurden of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plasma Physics group will discuss his work with the Wendelstein 7-X stellerator in Germany at Science on Tap at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Unquarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square in downtown Los Alamos.
    Wurden will talk about how this work is allowing researchers to peer in the world of super hot plasmas during the lively program and allow questions from the audience.
    Science on Tap is a project of the Los Alamos Creative District. Discussions take place every Thursday evening at various locations and feature discussions on science, nature, history and art.
    The Bradbury Science Museum website has more information about Science on Tap and other museum activities.
    For more information, call Linda Anderman  at 665-9196.

  • Did you know that April is underage drinking prevention month?
    I have known about it for years, since the time my husband Chad and I began volunteering at Chamisa Elementary.
    You see as you drive past the school, there should be tulips and daffodils that call to you from the Pledge Garden, installed some eight years ago, under the tutelage of Principal Kate Thomas.
    That was when the efforts started to take on a more formal shape. Each year, students would plant a promise to make healthy choices for themselves and their bodies. As they graduated and moved on to Los Alamos Middle School, and later Los Alamos High School, the garden would bloom during April and remind them of their pledge.
    You could always count on a lovely time each October, during what is called, Red Ribbon Week. The Sci Guy, as he later became known, was then garden guy and would educate them about making healthy choices. He would tie the lesson into a life of the plant and what it needs, then physically have them plant their own bulb.  They would sign a pledge with then counselor Jen Schmierer and later counselor Michaelangelo Lobato and go on their way, keeping watch until April.
    Today, the DWI Planning Council still tries to drive the message to encourage both youth and adults to make the same healthy choices for themselves and our community.

  • April 17-23
    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: by 10 a.m. for lunches.
    Betty Ehart
    MONDAY
    8:30 a.m.        Tax Preparation
    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    9:45 a.m.        Matter of Balance Class
    10 a.m.        Civic Discussion Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Catfish
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:30 a.m.        Mac Users Group
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    10 a.m.        Computer Users Group
    11:30 a.m.        Salisbury Steak    
    1 p.m.        Party Bridge
    1 p.m.        Bingo
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    WEDNESDAY

  • March 27 — A girl.  Katherine May Shewmaker. Born to Terra and Andrew Shewmaker.
    March 29 — A boy. Emilio Luis Marquez Born to Jessica Mendez and Jorge Marquez.
    March 31 — A girl. Kayla Lynn Myers.  Born to Kendall Micco and Thomas Myers.
    April 3 — Twins: A boy. Born to Khristian Kobe Martinez. A boy. Kameron Jordan Martinez. Born to Katrina Trujillo and Chris Martinez.

  • TODAY
     Aviation Weather presentation at 3 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library. David Bruggeman, a LANL meteorologist, will present a summary of the Los Alamos Laboratory weather monitoring system and components. This will be followed by a Q&A. Sponsored by Pajarito Flying Club. Contact Scott Miller at scott@pajaritoflyingclub.com, or 453-3327, for more information.

    Artist, photographer, and writer Diana Molina will speak at 2 p.m. in the upstairs meeting rooms of the Mesa Public Library. Molina has made a life-long study of the borderlands of Mexico, New Mexico and Texas. She brings her observational experiences together in a presentation called “Seven String Barbed Wire Fence.”

    Los Alamos Concert Association will present a performance at 4 p.m. at the Duane Smith Auditorium. Jon Manasse, principal clarinetist with American Ballet Theater, and Jon Nakamatsu, 1997 Cliburn Gold medalist, will perform music by Brahms, Chopin, Debussy and Messager. Tickets are $30-$35, available at losalamosconcert.org, ticketssantafe.com, Smith’s in Los Alamos and White Rock, the Lensic box office in Santa Fe and at the door. Youth 6-18 are free.

  • Every year National Park Service areas all over the country celebrate National Park Week in April with events and activities.
    This year is special since it is also the Centennial year for Bandelier National Monument as well as the National Park Service itself. Nationwide from April 16-24 NPS areas will be fee-free, with no entrance fees being charged, for nine days.
    At Bandelier, National Park Week activities will include:
    • A special presentation of all the entries of artwork for the 2017 Bandelier Annual Pass, along with announcement of the winners, Saturday, April 16, at 4  p.m. in the Visitor Center theater.
    • Interviews with staff members on local AM station KRSN, am1490 and fm107.1, each morning of the week, 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday and Friday.
    • “Secrets of the Museum” tours at 1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at the Visitor Center, indoors, 30-45 minutes, no signups needed.
    • “Geology and Botany of the Falls Trail” at noon on Saturday, April 16, Thursday, and Friday. Participants should bring water and wear a hat, sunscreen and comfortable shoes. It will be three miles, last two to three hours, moderate difficulty and no signups are needed.

  • According to the American Heart Association, there have been reported associations between pet ownership and cardiovascular health in the last decade. Owning pets—specifically dogs—may help reduce the risk of heart disease in pet owners in a number of ways.
    In addition to companionship, dogs can encourage laughter, physical activity, and other benefits effective in decreasing stress levels. Dr. Sarah Griffin, lecturer at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical sciences explained why owning dogs may be related to decreased stress levels.
    “The American Heart Association has said that owning pets can have a positive effect on how people react to stress,” she said. “Chronic stress has not been shown to directly increase risk factors associated with heart disease, but it can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices that are associated with high blood pressure and increased risk for heart disease.”