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Features

  • The Los Alamos Police Department held its third-annual awards banquet Dec. 10, handing out more than 70 awards.
    Included in these awards were three lifesaving and six “of the year” awards.
    “It is always a privilege to recognize employees of the police department for all their hard work and achievements,” said LAPD Commander Preston Ballew.
    The following were the highest awards presented for the night:
    • Dispatcher Roberto Lujan:  two life saving commendations
    • Dispatcher Angela Cordova:  life saving commendation
    • Civilian of the Year: Evidence Technician Anthony Lucero
    • Dispatcher of the Year: Dispatcher Roberto Lujan
    • Detention Officer of the Year: Officer Kathryn Philips
    • Police Officer of the Year: Corporal Adele Girmendonk
    • Supervisor of the Year: Detective Sergeant James Rodriguez
    • Supervisor of the Year: Jail Administrator Hilario “Eli” Salinas

  • Critical care nurse and bear attack victim Karen Williams will speak at the next Lunch with a Leader, a community event presented by the League of Women Voters.
    The lunch will be at 11:45 a.m. Jan. 17 at Mesa Public Library.
    Although Williams works as a nurse at the Los Alamos Medical Center, she is best known for her tragic encounter with a bear who thought her cubs were being threatened while she was running a trail marathon in the Valle Caldera last June.
    Williams is an Air Force brat, so she has lived in many places since they moved every two years. Her father retired in Albuquerque and she ended up in New Mexico.
    Williams became a nurse in 1982 and worked at UNMH for a year in the Burn and Trauma Unit. She entered the Army in 1983 as a military intelligence analyst and specialized in Central and South America. Around this time, Williams also started running in triathlons and completed her first marathon in San Francisco in 1986. In 1988, she left the Army and went back to nursing at UNMH until 2006.
    Following that she moved to Candy Kitchen, New Mexico and lived off-grid for six years. She met her husband, Mike, on Match.com and moved to Los Alamos in 2012 to be with him.

  • 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, to get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating. Also check out Petfinder website for pictures of adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    CATS
    Lemon—A sweet older cat that was left at the front door of the shelter with no information or history. Lemon is currently in foster care receiving treatment for diabetes; her foster home reports that they call her Sugar, since she’s so sweet! When Lemon is feeling better, she’ll be looking for a mellow home that is understanding of the needs of a diabetic cat.

  • Giving an adorable puppy or kitten as a gift this holiday season may seem like a wonderful idea, but it is important to remember that pets need a lifetime of care and commitment long after the holiday season. Surprising your family with a new fuzzy friend on that special holiday morning is tempting, but be sure to first consider these facts to avoid being unprepared when bringing a pet home.
    Giving the gift of companionship requires a considerable amount of research and preparation. There can be many reasons why a pet may be unsuitable for a home, such as if the receiver is not financially or mentally prepared for a pet. Dr. Stacy Eckman, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained how pets can often come with hidden expenses. “Pets, even healthy ones, require a financial commitment for basic requirements, such as food, collars, and leashes, as well as medical needs, such as basic vaccinations,” she said. “Unexpected illnesses or injury may also add to that financial burden, which can be too much for some owners to handle.”

  • Christmas came early for Los Alamos Family Council. Their gift this year is in finding a youth loving new employee in Jordan Redmond, to run the Youth Activity Centers in Los Alamos and White Rock.
    During the LA Public Schools winter break, the Los Alamos location will be moving to a temporary location when schools resume in January. Until that time a full slate of activities are available at the White Rock location in their equally beautiful new facility.
    “The remodel is very exciting as it will enable us to better serve the youth who participate in the program,” Redmond said. “While also providing a more welcoming and warm environment.”
    Redmond is the proud father of two children, a son, Severus, nearly two-and-a-half who already delights in sharing with others. His daughter, Edelweiss, was born this past September. Redmond says he and wife are blessed as the newest arrival already sleeps through the night and shows a keen interest in Darth Vader, a true mark of genius.
    The Youth Activity Centers are firmly rooted in the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets and understands that the relationship built between youth and community adults, equals success for the students.

  • Bandelier Offers Walks on Winter Solstice

    For Ancestral Pueblo farmers, keeping track of the changing of the seasons was crucial for knowing when to plant and harvest. This year, Bandelier National Monument will offer ranger-guided walks to observe possible solstice markers among the Ancestral Pueblo dwellings in Frijoles Canyon. 
    On Wednesday, winter solstice, the Sunrise Walk will meet at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and the Sunset Walk at 1:30 p.m.
    These times may sound strange, but the 400-foot canyon walls make a big difference in the first and last times of the day that the sun appears as seen from the canyon bottom. The walks will be postponed to the following day if the sky is overcast.
    The shuttles have finished for this year, so participants can drive down to the Visitor Center area, and no signups are required. Participants are encouraged to dress warmly in layers.  Both walks are about 400 yards each way on a level paved trail. The area along the trail, like most of Bandelier National Monument, is habitat for many kinds of native wildlife, so dogs and other pets are not permitted.

  • TODAY
    Astronomy Show: Exoplanet Update for 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
    How many exoplanets have we found this year? Which ones do we think are similar to Earth? Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Christmas Bird Count at 6:30 a.m. at the Nature Center. Participate in the longest running citizen science project in the world, the National Audubon Society’s 117th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Feature Film: “We are Stars” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film connects us to the evolution of the Universe and explores the secrets of our cosmic chemistry. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

    First United Methodist Church will host a dinner to recognize firefighters and police of Los Alamos County at 5:30 p.m. at the church, 715 Diamond Drive. For questions, call 662-6277.

    The Pajarito Lodge 66, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of New Mexico invite the community to attend an installation ceremony at 4:30 p.m. at the lodge, 1400 North Sage Loop. Refreshments will be served. Anyone interested about Freemasonry or what happens in a lodge is encouraged to attend the event.
    SUNDAY

  • Why do artists love light from the Northern sky?
    “Northern lighting is ideal,” said Karen Wray, owner of Karen Wray Gallery. “It’s a cool blue light and it doesn’t change like the southern sky.”
    This week, the Karen Wray Gallery moves to a new location at 1247 Central Ave., Suite D-2, right next to Boomerang and Warm Hearts Yarn.
    For the past six months Wray has prepared for the move by doing everything she can to make sure the light in her gallery showcases the art in the best conditions.
    “North light is what artists love,” she said. “Halogen light also brings out the best colors in oil paints.”
    To let natural light flood into her gallery’s 2,000 foot space, Wray installed four floor-to-ceiling windows. She also put in a track lighting system of halogen lights, and removed several walls so art lovers have enough room to stand the optimum distance from the paintings.
    The investment in time and money was worth it, because Wray has a passion for local art.
    Her gallery has moved locations four times, but one thing always remains the same.
    The gallery is completely focused on showing art of Los Alamos and northern New Mexico.

  • Winter weather is here and Los Alamos County reminded residents this week of some important safety considerations for motorists to take to make travel as safe as possible.
    Motorists are encouraged to equip their vehicles with chains and/or snow tires and carry a container of sand and a shovel in their vehicle.
    Motorists should make sure their vehicle is ready for winter driving by making sure the washer fluid reservoir is topped off with washer fluid that is winter rated, the windshield wipers are functional and working properly, the defroster is in good working order, each vehicle is equipped with a functional ice scraper, and that snow is cleared from the windows, roof and hood of the vehicle before traveling.
    Barrels of sand for public use are placed at locations that historically become icy and slick during storms, including:
    • San Ildefonso South at both ends of the guardrail
    • North Mesa Road east of the roundabout
    • Near the end of 37th Street off of Diamond Drive
    • At the dead end of Gold Street/Arroyo Lane
    • Near the intersection of State Road 4 and Rover in White Rock
    • Near the intersection of North Road and Quemazon
    • Other locations within Quemazon.

  • TODAY
    Astronomy Show: Cosmic Distance Scale at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join Dr. Rick Wallace for a presentation and discussion about the distance to celestial objects. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SATURDAY
    Christmas Arts and Crafts Fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Food for purchase will be available. Great Christmas shopping opportunity.

    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.
    SUNDAY
    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
    Nature Playtimes at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun in nature. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • The League of Women Voters will hold Lunch with Leader at 11:45 a.m. Dec. 13 at Mesa Public Library. State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto from Albuquerque will speak about the recent elections, upcoming ethics legislation and public safety.
    Ivey-Soto is a life-long public servant. He is a former State Elections director, prosecutor and teacher as well as a member of the League of Women Voters. The senator started two small businesses that focused on helping others and improving the community. Over the past few years, Ivey-Soto has written over 12 bills that have passed the Legislature. The bills have been based on a philosophy of good government and accountability.
    To order a lunch from the Co-op for $10, call or text Karyl Ann Armbruster at 231-8286, or email her at kaskacayman@gmail.com, by 5 p.m. Saturday, but lunch is not mandatory. She will give you the menu choices.

  • As the year comes to a close, the ladies of the Preceptor Beta chapter of Beta Sigma Phi are celebrating 25 years of service for two of their members.
    Beta Sigma Phi is a sorority built on the foundation of friendship and culture and lucky for the community of Los Alamos, deeply steeped in service due to the goodwill of the membership.
    It all began in 1931 with Founder Walter W. Ross and today is present in more than 30 countries building friendships and providing an instant connection for its members wherever they may go.
    Kathy Enloe and Elena Guerra were celebrated at a recent meeting for their true dedication to the aims of the organization of; “Life, Learning and Friendship.”
    “They both live life to the full, whether it is with their families, their church activities or helping their community,” said Preceptor Beta President, Claire Swinhoe. “I truly value their friendship and sisterhood.”
    This past year, Guerra has been instrumental in organizing gift-giving for the chapter and always does it in a kind and caring way guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
    Enloe brings happiness to patients and staff at Los Alamos Medical Center by heading up a Halloween decorating pumpkin activity with a sense of compassion, while being family orientated.

  • The next Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center is set for Dec. 13.
    Enjoy an evening of games and hands-on activities with Mesa Public Library’s Melissa Mackey from 6-7 p.m. The nature center will be open for exploring the exhibits until 8 p.m.
    Mark your calendars: the second Tuesday of every month is Family Night at the nature center. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, this program is free for all.
    For more information about this and other programs offered by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), visit peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Los Alamos Makers has expanded its makerspace by 1,000 square feet, doubling the amount of room that members can use for personal projects.
    What do people do at Los Alamos Makers?
    People come in all the time to use the 3-D printer. Recently, a member used the 3-D printer to make a bird feeder.
    Sewing has also been very popular, especially because there are machines available for use, plenty of counter space to spread out work, and classes where students can learn the basics, as well as learn quirky new tricks.
    There is a new CoderDojo branch for teens. CoderDojo is a free global network of volunteer-led computer programming clubs. At CoderDojo, teens are welcome to come and learn how to code, build websites, create apps and games, and learn programming languages in a social setting. Attack Research, a company based out of White Rock, is one of the sponsors.
    People come to do woodworking projects, come to fix things at the Fix It Friday events, and come to experiment. Many members come knowing what they want to make, but not sure how they will make it.
    The expansion also allowed them to add a safe place for young children to play, with a sand table, water table and games.
    Los Alamos Makers is located at 3540 Orange Street. The website is losalamosmakers.com.

     

  • Course schedules for the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos spring semester are now available at newsstands in various locations in Los Alamos and White Rock, as well as on the UNM-LA campus. Schedules will also be arriving in area mailboxes soon.
    Spring classes will begin Jan. 17, but students are encouraged to register now, before classes fill. An online version of the course schedule is available by visiting losalamos.unm.edu/academics/class-schedule.html. Click on the Spring 2017 tab.
    As a branch campus of the University of New Mexico, UNM-LA offers programs leading to associate’s degrees and academic certificates.
    UNM-LA offers classes at the undergraduate level. The Spring 2017 semester will offer 170 undergraduate classes with 43 of those offered online. Upper division and graduate courses are offered through UNM Extended Learning.
    Popular degree transfer programs include Pre-Professional Health, Pre-Engineering, Pre-Business, Computer Science, and Liberal Arts. Programs developed for the community in response to employer needs include Emergency Medical Services, Fire Science, Electro-mechanical, IT with Cybersecurity, Environmental Technology, Personal care Attendant, and Certified Nursing Assistant.

  • The United Way of Northern New Mexico Behavioral Health Initiative (BHI) Group is working to provide resources, raise awareness and normalize behavioral and mental health issues in Los Alamos.
    With in-depth research and discussions of strategy and advocacy, the group deals with issues ranging from improved crisis intervention to statewide concerns and insurance policy.
    The group has met for a year. Representatives from the following contribute information and attend the meetings: The Los Alamos Medical Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory, The Los Alamos Public Schools, local non-profit organizations, Los Alamos Physician and Hospital Organization, therapists, counselors, social workers; Los Alamos County Community Services, Los Alamos Police Department, and Los Alamos Fire Department.  
    BHI Group meetings are every fourth Tuesday in the Los Alamos Medical Center Conference Room at 5:30 p.m.
    United Way of Northern New Mexico has also recently assisted in funding, through Self Help Inc., a new mental health website at losalamosmentalhealth.org.  
    For more information, contact Kristy Ortega, executive director, United Way of Northern New Mexico at kristy@unitedwaynnm.org.  
    Updates about the group’s progress will be available soon.

  • Dec. 4-10
    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
    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion             Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Swiss Steak
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: BBQ Chicken Thigh
    1 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    WEDNESDAY    
    8:30 a.m.        LAVA Quilters
    8:45 a.m.        Cardio Plus
    10:30 a.m.        Music w/Ruth

  • TODAY
    Winterfest will wind down with the continuation of the Annual Earth Treasures Show from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and a performance by the Coro de Camara Choir at the United Church at 2525 Canyon Road beginning at 3 p.m. New to this year’s event, today will also feature another North Pole Workshop at the Sheriff’s Posse Lodge and Luminaria Walk at North Mesa Stables from 5–7 p.m.

    Hike in Ojo Caliente with Kirt Kempter at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center.
    Join National Geographic tour guide, geologist, and photographer Kirt Kempter for a hike to the nearby mica mine. Cost is $50 for members, $62 for non-members.

    Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 2 p.m. at the 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, $4 for children.

    Los Alamos Gun Show from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Knights of Columbus, 104 DP Road. A wide variety of guns, ammunition and accessories will be for sale from area vendors, including FFL dealers. Authentic New Mexican cuisine will be served by Knights of Columbus members. Admission is $5 for adults. Two day pass is $8. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult.
    MONDAY

  • The holidays can be filled with festivities, food and family, including four-legged visitors. It is a good time to make sure holiday decorations, and home decor, is safe for pets.
    To truly pet-proof your home, start by getting down on the floor to see the world the way your pet sees it. This allows you to spot potential hazards that you might not notice from your vantage point.
    • Treat your pet like you would a child: Active puppies and kittens can easily get into dangerous situations. Use safety gates in areas where dangerous holiday items are to prevent your pet from getting into trouble.
    • Take caution with wires: Pets can easily injure themselves with electrical wires, and outlets. Use caution when hanging up holiday lights on trees and around the house. Secure all electrical cords and outlets and keep your dog in areas of your home where cords cannot be accessed.
    •Avoid holiday plants: Plants can be poisonous for pets, so be cautious when placing holiday wreaths, flowers and plants around the house where your dog can easily access them.
    • Candles: Lit candles pose a serious threat to both your dog and your home. Keep your dog away from candles because they can easily be knocked down creating a fire hazard.