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Features

  • Two buildings in Santa Fe — Marian Hall, completed in 1910, and the old St. Vincent Hospital building, completed in the early 1950s — show that old structures can be given new life.
    Drury Hotels is transforming these buildings, the new Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe. Two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza and adjacent to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe will be the first new large hotel to open in downtown Santa Fe in 18 years.
    Also part of the Drury’s revival of these five acres of dormant space at the intersection of East Palace Avenue and Paseo de Peralta is the development of pedestrian walkways and gardens.
    The property, which will officially open in August, will be a full-service hotel with 182 rooms, a restaurant, a 3,800-square-foot ballroom, and a year-around, heated rooftop bar and pool with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There will be retail and gallery space on the Paseo de Peralta side of the property.
    An underground parking garage will underlie two-thirds of the south side of the property, with new suites and gallery spaces constructed above it. But even with all of the new and existing buildings, 40 percent of the site is devoted to open space.

  • In recognition of National Parks Week, Bandelier National Monument will waive entry fees on Saturday and Sunday. For the duration of National Parks Week — April 19-27 — Bandelier is offering several guided hikes. Both Bandelier and the County of Los Alamos will also celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with several events including the groundbreaking of the new Nature Center at Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
    On April 19, Bandelier National Monument’s lead archaeologist will lead a 4-mile, three-hour guided hike along Burnt Mesa Trail. On April 20, a similar two-hour guided hike near Loop C in Juniper Campground will be offered. Both off-trail hikes will give hikers a glimpse at the earliest and latest mesa-top Ancestral Pueblo sites. Both hikes are moderate in skill level.
    On Sunday, get a look at the areas impacted by fire and floods and see exposures of the Rabbit Hill volcanics during a “Fire and Flood Hike” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The 10-mile hike from Ponderosa Campground to Upper Alamo crossing will be led by plant specialist Brian Jacobs and Elaine Jacobs.

  • Last November, Los Alamos Stephen Becker embarked on the National Geographic Explorer ship to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Antarctica. During this voyage, the “National Geographic” photographers produced a 50-minute video showing some of the trip highlights. Becker will show the video, and talk about the trip in a 7 p.m. program Thursday at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. This event is free to attend and no advance registration is required. For more information about this and other events at PEEC, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or by call 662-0460.

  • Blanca Jones of Los Alamos is eager to share the developments of the 2013 Los Alamos Soccer Collection Drive for the Children of Uganda she organized. She will share the question posed to her that began the collection drive, from which 23 boxes of soccer supplies were collected.
    The public community event, “Hearts for Uganda,” is being hosted by Jones and will be from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 17 at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road.
    Music will be provided by the internationally known Ugandan Watoto Children’s Choir and the guest speaker will be Mark Hallamore, a youth pastor at Community of Joy Church in Rio Rancho who will have just returned from his latest visit to Soroti.
    Available for purchase will be African jewelry, handmade by the women of Soroti, as a fundraiser with proceeds going directly back to their villages through Aica Ministries and the Soroti Eagles Soccer Academy. 

  • I’d like to open this column with a special thank you to the Los Alamos Public Utilities Department, water, sewer and trash and road repair crews.
    I confess that I lied to you in last week’s column and you may have noticed I was suspiciously absent last week.
    While I told you to take it easy and stay in your pajamas, I spent the week with 54 of my fellow community members, working harder than many of us have ever worked in our lives.
    A crew of 55 traveled to Mexico during the break, not for fun and frolic, but to build two homes, and a youth school classroom in just four days, that’s correct, three structures in four days.
    Of the 55, half of these were youth from our community. The youngest was in seventh grade and the rest were high school students. They worked aside their adult counterparts, working so hard for the benefit of their fellow man, in Assets language; cultural competency at it’s finest.
    Our youth did what it might take their parents, 10 or even 30 years to accomplish, home ownership. Their free time resulted in a home that provides, safety, security and a door with a key and a handmade keychain.
    The families receiving the gift have weekly incomes of $65 to $115 and that may be from working two different jobs. There are five members living in each home.

  • Los Alamos County will be holding public information meetings about the teen center. The meetings are for teens from 3-5 p.m Wednesday at the current teen center, located in the lower level of the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.
    There were also be a meeting to update residents on the design of the new teen center. This meeting will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Building. The same material will be presented at each meeting.
    The design for the new teen center is underway and estimated construction completion set for August 2015. The Teen Center will be located in the Community Building, utilizing vacated space now that the county tenants have moved to the Municipal Building. NCA Architects is the architect of record and will be presenting concepts for review and evaluation. The County Council approved $4.2 million in funding in FY13 to design and remodel the Community Building for use as a Teen Center. The remaining tenants at the Community Building (United States Forest Service, New Mexico Extension Service, Youth Activity Center and PAC-8) are to remain in their current locations.
    During the upcoming meetings, the public will be able to view conceptual floor plans, exterior renderings, and site plans for the new Teen Center.

  • The April program of the Los Alamos Mountaineers will feature a free talk by Rich Carlson, regarded as perhaps the most renowned canyoneer in the United States.
     Carlson will present his talk at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fuller Lodge, following the business portion of the Mountaineers’ meeting.
     Mountaineers ascend whereas canyoneers descend, through the twists and drops and geology of canyons narrow and wide. Carlson has been canyoneering for more than 35 years, building a reputation as the most experienced professional canyoneering guide and instructor in the United States.
     Carlson, in his talk, will give a general introduction to the sport of canyoneering and the basic skills and tools required to navigate canyons safely. He will then focus on a recent trip to Nepal and show the hidden treasures that canyoneering can unlock for adventurers, and why people are taking up canyoneering increasingly every year.
     Founder of the American Canyoneering Association, Carlson is extremely active in the global canyoneering community, offering training opportunities, building online resources, sponsoring events and designing canyoneering-specific gear with companies like BlueWater Ropes and Rock Exotica.

  •  

    The Los Alamos Phi Beta Kappa Association will have its 58th annual banquet to honor the top graduates of Los Alamos High School. 

    The banquet for the honored graduates, Phi Beta Kappa Members and their guests, will be 5:30 p.m. April 27 at Fuller Lodge and catered by The Blue Window.

    There is a deadline for the members who did not receive an invitation as of April 16 to call 672-0249 or 667-8927 if they would like to attend. 

    Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest undergraduate honor society in the United States and has about 255 members in Los Alamos County (1.5 percent of the county’s population).  

  •  

    April 13-19, 2014

    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.

    Betty Ehart

    SUNDAY

    2 p.m. Living Treasures Ceremony

    MONDAY

    8:30, 10 a.m. Tax prep

  •  

    La Leche League of Los Alamos will be discussing nutrition and weaning at its monthly meeting, 7 p.m. Tuesday in the First United Methodist Church teen room at 715 Diamond Dr.

    All interested, pregnant, or breastfeeding women are welcome to learn and share, through mother-to-mother support, the basics, and benefits of breastfeeding.  

    A lending library with books concerning childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting and nutrition is available. Nursing babies and toddlers who have difficulty separating, are welcome.

    LLL is an international, nonprofit, nonsectarian organization dedicated to providing information, education, support and encouragement to women who want to breastfeed.

    For more information, contact Gina at 661-8740, Cathleen at 480-0593, or Keisha at 500-6246. 

  •  

    The Dog Jog will begin at 9 a.m. April 26 at the White Rock United Methodist Church. (Race check-in is 8-8:40 a.m.) The Dog Jog offers a 3.1 mile competitive course or a 2 mile fun walk/run and is open to all participants with or without a dog and at any pace. Entry forms and instructions are available online at wordpress.lafos.org/dogjog/. A reduced-fee microchip clinic ($20) for dogs and cats will be offered from 9-10:30 a.m., no pre-registration is necessary.

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home. Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:

    petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html

    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday — Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

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    Art exhibits

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces an exhibition: “Bits and Pieces: Works by Karina Hean, Catherine Gangloff and Michel Déjean.” Through April 19.  

     

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces an exhibition: “A Day in the Life: Works by Holly Roberts.” The opening exhibition will be 5-7 p.m. May 30. Show runs until June 21. 

    Art tours

  • The month of April has many health-awareness workshops offered to caregivers and those who suffer from such aliments as Alzheimer’s and Dementia, Diabetes and Melanoma.
    Free Alzheimer’s education offered in Spanish. The Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter will present a course in Spanish specifically designed for people caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. “Cuidando con Respeto,” is an intensive training will meet over two days from 1-4 p.m. April 19 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 20. The class will be at San Isidro Catholic Church, 3552 Agua Fria St. in Santa Fe.
    These sessions will teach caregivers practical techniques for interacting with loved ones with Alzheimer’s, for long-term planning and for coping with associated stresses. The course also explains the signs, behaviors and pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
    The course attempts to impart burnout-avoidance methods to a population, which is u nder chronic emotional duress. More than 60 percent of family caregivers for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia rate their emotional stress from care giving as high or very high, and about 33 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers report symptoms of depression.

  • The Irishman who helped Charles L. Tiffany and others seek turquoise in territorial New Mexico left a treasure trove of letters… this is his story.
    For the first time, discover the adventure in the search for turquoise outside of Cerrillos on the Turquoise Hill.
    “Tiffany Blue” is the true story of territorial New Mexico told through the extensive documents of the immigrant Irishman who was the superintendent of the once biggest and best turquoise mine in all of America.
    Author Patricia McCraw discusses the novel, 7:30 p.m. April 15 at Fuller Lodge.
    The public is welcome to learn about parts played by Indians, outlaws, governors, sheriffs, adventurers, bandits, the New Mexico Insane Asylum, politicians — both good and bad — and an assortment of schemers and dreamers all seeking a piece of the American Turquoise Company. And the backers of the American Turquoise Co. were titans: Charles Lewis Tiffany, the New York jeweler, James Stillman, president of First National City Bank of New York and one of America’s richest men and Allan Pinkerton of the detective agency.

  • Santa Fe
    Chocolate Maven — food service, 821 San Mateo, Unit C
    Date inspected: Feb. 25
    Violations: Eleven total violations (Level of violation not specified): Light in prep area unprotected. Missing base covering in various areas. Opening in wall around storage area door. Ceiling not smooth, plaster coating ruptured with fiberglass exposed in prep area. No sanitizer test kits. Peeling paint on wall near hot holding area. Worn paint at front service area. Inadequate light in prep areas. Rafters and utility lines exposed not easy to clean. Hand sink access difficult with equipment close by. Service area hand sink is in poor condition. Last two violations were corrected.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Recruitment day for volunteers will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 15.
    Volunteers are an integral part of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.
    The museum rely on the dedication and commitment of volunteers to help in a multitude of ways and we offer a wide range of volunteer opportunities, including events such as Spanish Market, in offices, and in the gift shop. Volunteers are invaluable to making the Society and Museum function smoothly.
    Volunteer positions are now open to all individuals who are willing to commit. The musuem suggest that volunteers become Society members so they will receive all mailings about the changing exhibitions and ongoing activities within the various departments. As members, volunteers also receive discounts on
    Museum lectures, in the Museum Shop and will receive invitations to special events.
    Almost all departments throughout the Society need volunteers to be an indispensable addition to their staff. If needed, training is provided by the staff.   

  • Twirl Toy Store and Playspace in Taos has been named by CNN as one of the “15 Best Spots for Kids” in America. Twirl is in good company, alongside the country’s top kid-friendly attractions such as Legoland (Calif.), Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Fla.) and American Museum of Natural History (N.Y.), among others.
     The selections stem from Gogobot Traveler’s Favorites awards, which is based on user recommendations and the number of visits by the site’s 3.7 million users. The list includes only those kids friendly attractions which were also fun for adults.

  • Dubbed as the No. 1 “spiritual center” in the United States by Travel and Escape Magazine (2012), Taos will also be the peaceful center of the 19th annual “Global Peace Walk” until April 22, hosted by Turtle Compassion, a nonprofit organization based in Taos. 
    Among many activities, newly elected Taos Mayor Dan Barrone is expected to read this year’s Global Peace Zone proclamation at noon on Earth Day, April 22.  
    “Our goal is to bring light to the darkness of our society and stand together as one global family supporting each other to successfully manifest our highest potentials,” said Global Peace Walk coordinator, Wendy Mason-Sherwood. “Global peace is a prayer for future generations and it is our last resolve as human beings. If this message of peace spreads throughout the globe, then the earth will become peaceful.”

  • As a little girl growing up in Kentucky, I was always surrounded by interesting cars. One of my grandfathers was a mechanic and owned a small garage in a tiny town called Midway.
    I have fond memories of conversing with the customers, swindling free bubble gum and riding my bike in the gravel outside the garage.
    Occasionally, I would have the honor of being his helper. Grandpa would have both hands under the hood of a car, shouting out the name of the tool he needed. I would revel in the praise I received when I handed him the correct one.
    My other grandpa collected and restored old Chevys, including a deep burgundy 1957 Chevy Wagon. One of his garages was filled with cars in various stages of restoration.
    Part of that garage was filled with his completed projects, all carefully covered in white drop clothes. The only time the covers were removed was during parade season and for the occasional, and very rare, Sunday drive.
    As I grew up and moved away, I lost touch with the car culture a bit. Don’t get me wrong, I can still spot a sexy car from a mile away and, luckily, the car culture in this state is alive and kicking. I simply admire from the comfort of my Toyota sedan, as I tour the interstates of New Mexico.