• The “Voices of the Manhattan Project” oral history website, a joint project of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society, now features 500 video and audio interviews with Manhattan Project veterans, family members, and experts.

    “The website contains 500 first-hand accounts, providing a kaleidoscope of perspectives on the Manhattan Project. Readily accessible online, the collection is a treasure trove for journalists, scholars, documentary producers, museums, educators, students and audiences worldwide,” said Cynthia C. Kelly, president of AHF.

    Launched in 2012, the “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website now reaches more than 10,000 people per month.

    Both organizations are continuing to record interviews around the country. AHF and LAHS hope to publish an additional 500 interviews on the website by 2020, and to expand the scope of the site to include interviews with Cold War nuclear workers, Japanese atomic bomb survivors, and nuclear experts today.

  • Members and friends of the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Universalist Church will host a church service dedicated to the work of the trip to Mexico Sunday.

    The spring break travelers will share their experiences of what took place on the life changing venture. The team of 75 built 3 homes for 3 families in four days. The Puerto Penasco venture is a year in the making, with a long history of service.

    One local first timer on the trip, was LAHS junior Jack Whitacre. Whitacre was invited by a friend who had been on a previous trip.

    The United Church of Los Alamos is located at 2525 Canyon Road. The Sunday service will begin at 9:30 and last for one hour. Additional information is available at 662-2971.

  • 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.”
    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.

    House of Eternal Return, Meow Wolf. Located at 1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe. Call 395-6369 for information. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed every Tuesday. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

    Spirit Lines Exhibit at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Find beauty in the broken and imperfect in the tradition of Wabi Sabi. Over 40 artists from around the country have submitted their works in the Spirit Lines theme. Works will be on display until May 5. Art gallery open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

  • The Whiskey Classic, an immersive event experience designed for whiskey, bourbon and scotch aficionados, industry professionals, as well as those who want to discover the art behind these beverages, will be Oct. 13 at the Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch in Santa Fe.

    The venue is one of the most famous western movie sets in the film industry. Bonanza Creek Ranch offers a 24-building western movie town, which was first used for “The Man from Laramie” movie set in 1955.

    Later, the ranch was used for such blockbuster hits as “Lonesome Dove” and “Lightning Jack.”
    Most recently, the movies “Cowboys and Aliens,” “Appaloosa,” and “3:10 to Yuma,” among many others have filmed there.

    “Utilizing this iconic movie backdrop nods to the history of New Mexico, the state’s incredible film industry partners and celebrates the tradition of whiskey making,” said Micaela Brown, Producer of The Whiskey Classic.

    “We have some availability for brands to participate as a vendor or sponsor in either our tasting tent or western movie structures. This is the most uniquely immersive event experience New Mexico has to offer, and we anticipate a sell-out crowd!”

    Early bird tickets can be bought right on the event website.

    Special to the Monitor

    My typical vacation often involves being on the go from morning until night, as I engage in a frenzy of activities aimed at seeing all the notable sights of a particular destination. I feel the need to do everything since I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to make a return visit to the place. The pace is tiring and I sometimes find myself needing a vacation from my vacation when I get back home. This time, however, I vowed things to be different. After extensive research, I opted to do a barge cruise in Holland with European Waterways.

    The prospect of kicking back and slowing down, while savoring immersive experiences along the way, greatly appealed to me. And the idea of being part of a small group, as opposed to a cast of thousands, was also attractive.

    But, what sealed the deal for me was the boat itself. Hearing the word, “barge,” I initially imagined I’d be roughing it an old, sea-worn craft with cramped quarters. Au contraire! 

  • In a span of 30 minutes Saturday I was: startled by a rattlesnake’s rattle, was squawked at three times by a bald eagle and walked up on a golden eagle eating part of a rat.

    I had never experienced any of those three things in person before. It’s safe to say the sound of the rattlesnake shaking its rattles at me is a sound I will never forget. It was truly a “stop you in your tracks” moment.

    Thankfully the snake was in an aquarium at the New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española. The two eagles were in enclosures outside the main building. Each had been rehabilitated after being brought to the center, but none of the three, for one reason or another, would ever be released back into the wild.

    I enjoyed my visit to the center. It was too quick, though, because I got there about 30 minutes before closing time.

    As I was leaving I was invited to come back when the cacti in the cactus garden would be in bloom. I most definitely will.

    But my visit to the center made me think about Earth Day 2018, which is scheduled for Sunday with accompanying activities going on all weekend.

  • To welcome in spring right, the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will feature works by Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and Mozart in a concert at the Crossroads Bible Church Friday at 7 p.m.

    The concert is free, but donations will be accepted.

    The concert will feature tenor soloist Tjett Gerdom and soprano Jennifer Perez.

    Local concertgoers may also be familiar with Gerdom’s work. Gerdom soloed with the Los Alamos Choral Society; Santa Fe Music Works; Coro de Cámara; New Mexico Bach Society; Los Alamos Oratorio Society; and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra.

    Gerdom also conducted the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, of which he is also the principal trumpet.

    Gerdom said this is the perfect concert to open the spring season with.

    “It’s the light classics, it’s a fun concert,” Gerdom said.

    Gerdom has also performed at Mardi Gras in New Orleans; at Carnival in Nice, France; Chicago’s Symphony Hall; St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy; Salisbury Cathedral; and the Pantheon in Rome.

    Perez is an accomplished opera singer who has sung for the University of New Mexico Concert Choir. Perez also performed in many children’s operas as part of the Santa Fe Opera’s Community Outreach Programs.

  • Visitors to Bandelier National Monument will enjoy a fee-free day and the opening of an art exhibit at the park’s Fire Tower on Saturday.

    “We invite everyone to come out and take advantage of a fee-free day this Saturday and enjoy Bandelier before the busy summer season sets in,” said Joanie Budzileni, who is the chief of interpretation and visitor services for the park.

    The fee-free day is in conjunction with Earth Day 2018.

    The art exhibit is entitled “The Edge Effect: re-Imagining the East Jemez Landscape.” It is being shown in collaboration with the East Jemez Landscape Futures Project.

    Installation of the exhibit is by Kathleen Brennan and Shawn Skabelund. It opens Saturday and closes May 6 and can be seen each day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Visitors will be able to record their stories of changes in the East Jemez for the oral history archives.

    Kimberly DeVall, who is the chief of interpretation and education at Valles Caldera National Preserve, said the preserve is currently fee free and will be open to the public, but there are no special Earth Day activities planned at the preserve.

  • One of the many reasons we try to promote the 40 Developmental Assets® is that as youth grow, they can gain the skills and traits that help them make good choices.

    April is underage drinking prevention month. Way back in October, many students planted bulbs in community gardens, which grow and bloom during this month. The nation-wide effort is part of a strategy to remind children to make good choices throughout their lives.

    My husband, along with Lonnie Mehlin, created a pledge garden at the direction of then Chamisa Principal, Kate Thomas that first bloomed in 2008. Every year, with the help of volunteers and Mother Nature, many students from the past, can see the current flowers bloom and are reminded to make good choices, respect their bodies and that it is their choice.

    I find one of the most important things we can do is talk to your children and talk to them often. You’ll see many opportunities, where a simple comment or question may lead to a good talk. If you have been talking about important things along the way, it makes hard conversations easier.

    On April 21, Power Talk 21 will take place online as a way to help parents with having the big talk. The MADD Facebook page is dedicated to it, for an easy way to remember to research the information.

  • Steven and Kim Looney of White Rock announce the birth of their son, Rylan David Looney. Rylan arrived at 3:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at Los Alamos Medical Center.

    Rylan weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and measured 21 inches in length. He is the Looneys’ first child.

    Maternal grandparents are Dale and Gina Goralczyk.

    Paternal grandparents are Richard and Martha Looney.

  • Former state senator, journalist and professor of political sciences Dede Feldman will be the guest speaker at this month’s Voices of Los Alamos progressive advocacy meeting.

    Feldman’s presentation will be based on her new book, “Another Way Forward,” which highlights the work of non-profits, social enterprises and grassroots organizations traveling another route to economic development and healthy communities.

    This free event will be from 6:30–7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 1738 N. Sage Loop, on Monday.

  • The 50-strong choir of the Cathedral of St John, Albuquerque, directed by Maxine Thévenot, with Edmund Connolly, organ, will visit Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, Los Alamos, on Sunday.

    The group will sing a service of Choral Evensong at 5 p.m. with the resident Evensong Choir and singers from other parts of northern New Mexico.

    The Cathedral Choir has toured the U.S. and the U.K., and has made several critically acclaimed recordings.

    The service, which uses the language of the 1662 prayer book, will last about 45 minutes, and feature music by Dr Thévenot, the 20th century New York composer Harold Friedell and British composers Charles Wood, Barry Rose and Noel Rawsthorne.

    There will also be congregational hymns and readings from the King James Bible. The service will be followed by a reception in Kelly Hall.

    The Los Alamos community is invited to join members of St. John’s Cathedral Choir and the Trinity on the Hill congregation for this special, musical event Sunday. For more information, call the TOTH office at 662-5107.

    The public is invited to a potluck dinner to learn about Polaris Charter School from 5:30-8 p.m. at Family Strengths Network, 3540 Orange St. Members of the Polaris team will be available to talk about the school and answer questions. Bring a dish to share! Polaris will engage students, grade sixth-eighth, in the community, environment, history and culture of northern New Mexico through personalized, hands-on learning experiences that strengthen and support student well-being and intellectual growth.
    Chamber Business Breakfast from 7:30-9 a.m. at UNM-LA Building 2, Room 230. Chief Building Official Michael Arellano and Fire Marshall Jeff Wetteland of Los Alamos County will discuss the county’s commercial code enforcement and building permits/licenses with a focus on how this may affect the business community. Register in advance only!
    Gentle Walk at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center.
A gentle walk during which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Admission: Free.
    Earth Day Festival
from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join us to celebrate Earth Day at the Los Alamos Nature Center, where there will be engaging activities, fun entertainment, and delicious food. Free.

    University of California, Davis

    Colorado has received a lot of attention recently as one of the first states to allow recreational marijuana, but it’s also legalizing other things. Denver, one of the nation’s hottest urban real estate markets, is surrounded by municipalities that allow backyard chicken flocks.

    This isn’t just happening in Colorado. Backyard chickens are cropping up everywhere. Nearly 1 percent of all U.S. households surveyed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported owning backyard fowl in 2013, and 4 percent more planned to start in the next five years. That’s over 13 million Americans flocking to the backyard poultry scene.

    Ownership is spread evenly between rural, urban and suburban households and is similar across racial and ethnic groups. A 2015 review of 150 of the most-populated  U.S. cities found that nearly all (93 percent) allowed backyard poultry flocks.

  • Puggle needs a huggle.

    Mason is what’s known as “puggle,” a cross between a beagle and a pug. He is a curious little guy, and is only 3 years old.

    He arrived at the shelter March 22 as a transfer from a dog kennel, and has been a very good boy during his stay at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter.  Mason gets along well with the other dogs, and is friendly with cats also.

    Mason has a short coat of tan and white.   

    According to Los Alamos County Animal Shelter volunteers say he’s also really sweet and loves his snacks. Mason has been microchipped, vaccinated and is ready for his forever home.

    He walks well on a leash, and knows some basic commands, so he’ll be sure to stay out of trouble.

    For more information, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.

    To find out who else wants a forever home, visit the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter’s Facebook page by typing in “Los Alamos County Animal Shelter into Facebook’s search bar.

  • This month’s Lunch with a Leader, a community event put on by the League of Women Voters, will feature Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent.

    The lunch is at 11:45 a.m. at Mesa Library on April 17.

    Steinhaus was born in Los Alamos and has dedicated his career to education. His prior appointment was at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director of student programs, education, workforce development, scholarships and community giving. Steinhaus has also served as Deputy Secretary of Education and Education Policy Advisory for the Governor of New Mexico. He and his wife Jo Beth have two children. Valerie is a software engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Their son Kent is a hydrology engineer in Colorado, and his wife Katy is an Electrical Engineer. 

    Kurt is a lifetime member of Leadership New Mexico.

    He will discuss school funding and the effect it has on Los Alamos.

    The League’s annual meeting will follow, when various decisions on positions will be made and dues for next year will be collected. Non-members are welcome.

  • Do you remember the joy you felt in learning to read, of escaping into favorite books, of exploring the world through books? Do you remember a favorite teacher who nurtured your thirst for knowledge? 

    Harriet Dodder was such a teacher. She began her career in Los Alamos in 1951 and taught here for 40 years. After retirement, she missed working with children so much that she volunteered as a reading tutor at Barranca Elementary School. Mrs. Dodder loved to read and fostered that love in the children she taught.

    Research shows that access to books builds literacy. One study of over 600 schools in Texas examined the effects on student achievement of several variables – and the quality of the school library outweighed the effects of other school variables, including computers per student, teacher experience, and even teacher turnover ratio. To inspire readers, school libraries must have a good supply of books; the greater the choice of books, the more children choose to read.

    However, the price of books goes up each year while library budgets do not. The average price of a book with a library binding is now $18.

  • Hello, my name is Bennett Horne and I may or may not be an artist.

    My mother was a wonderful artist. She majored in art at the then-College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, but ended up as a full-time elementary school teacher and mother of five children.

    So her artistic opportunities centered more around the delicious meals she created in a crock pot, the expert advice she gave her children when they needed to come up with an art project for school or even the handsome haircuts she created for me to help me not only look good, but also to help save money for our family.

    I have a sister who’s also a fantastic artist. It’s evident she inherited my mom’s art skills, but she doesn’t have a lot of time to take those skills out for a drive on canvas much anymore.

    These days most of her time is taken up creating safe, happy flights for her passengers as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

    After Friday night though, I’m thinking a tiny art gene or two may have actually jumped over from my mom into my DNA strand.

  • I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — State health officials report a case of plague in a dog from Santa Fe County, making it the first diagnosed case of plague in New Mexico this year.

    The Department of Health says it's checking the home of the dog's owner for risks to others and sending personnel around the neighborhood to inform residents and provide information on reducing risks.

    Plague is a bacterial disease of wildlife and is generally transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas.

    Pet animals also can be exposed after eating an infected animal. Plague can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

    The department says New Mexico had four human cases of plague in 2017 and that those people all survived the illness.