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Features

  • Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities are encouraging customers to devote 10 minutes to rate the DPU’s performance in providing electric, natural gas, water and wastewater services.   The seventh biennial customer satisfaction survey is kicking off this week.
    An independent firm, Southwest Planning and Marketing is conducting a phone survey with some online options. Data from DPU’s residential and commercial customers will be compiled, interpreted and presented in a report.  DPU will post the report in June on the DPU website losalamosnm.us/government/departments/utilities/ and make it available in its office located at 1000 Central Avenue, Suite 130, Los Alamos.
    Information provided by customers is used by the DPU to plan for future improvements and enhancements. “I hope our customers will take the time to participate in the satisfaction survey,” stated Utilities Manager Timothy Glasco. “Our customers are important to us. We want to ensure that we are meeting their current and future utility service needs, while providing exceptional customer service.”
    For more information or questions, call or email the DPU at 662-8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.

  • The Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society have launched an online “Ranger in Your Pocket” program on the Hans Bethe House on Bathtub Row at Los Alamos, NM. AHF President Cindy Kelly explained, “During the Manhattan Project, two famous scientists lived in the Hans Bethe House. This program gives a unique glimpse into life at Los Alamos with first-hand accounts.”
    The Hans Bethe House is now the Harold Agnew Cold War Gallery of the Los Alamos History Museum. Formerly called Master Cottage Number One, it was the first residence built by the Los Alamos Ranch School. The director of the school, A. J. Connell, lived there briefly before it became home for the school’s masters (teachers). But, as LAHS Executive Director Heather McClenahan explains in one of the vignettes, “The building caught on fire. When A. J. rebuilt the building, he built it out of stone.” Today, tourists can visit what was originally just a little stone rectangle but was expanded over the decades.
    The quaint cottage has been home to eminent scientists. During the Manhattan Project, Edwin and Elsie McMillan moved into the house with their young daughter, Ann. When they moved out, Hans and Rose Bethe moved in. Both Edwin and Hans would go on to win Nobel Prizes for their scientific contributions.

  • Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop 122 hosted a youth leadership training session at Historic Los Luceros on March 5.
    In addition to enjoying the facilities and turkeys, the boy scouts cleaned out an irrigation ditch as a service project, helping prepare the location for the growing season. 
    Youth leaders learned team building and position responsibilities, developing skills to lead their troop and become mature young men to lead in their community. 
    “We were thrilled to host the boys of Troop 122,” said Historic Sites Director Patrick Moore. “Their contributions in helping clean the irrigation ditch was symbolic of not only the guiding principles of scouting, but also supported a time-honored agricultural tradition in preparing the acequia for the coming planting season. The best of combining service with New Mexico heritage.”
    Founded in 1953, Troop 122 continues to be highly active in the Los Alamos and surrounding areas, teaching life skills to boys using an outdoor program.
    Los Alamos area boy scouts interested in learning more about Troop 122 can attend a scout meeting to meet the scoutmaster Mr. Mosier, and the diverse group of scouts. Meetings are held Thursday nights from 7-8:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Los Alamos located next door to Sullivan Field.

  • If you’ve noticed your pet’s eye lenses becoming cloudy or opaque, your pet could be developing cataracts. Though cataracts can decrease vision, or even cause complete blindness, not every companion animal that develops cataracts requires surgery. Dr. Lucien Vallone, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained how cataracts can affect pets.
    “A cataract is an opacity of the lens,” Vallone said. “A clear lens is necessary for good vision; thus, any opacification can cause decreased vision. However, not all cataracts are the same. Some cases of cataracts are so severe they can cause blindness and inflammation in the eye, which may cause significant discomfort. Some cases are small enough they don’t interfere with vision at all and should be monitored.”
    All companion animals can develop cataracts, but Vallone said cataracts are common in dogs. Several breeds of dogs may be predisposed to cataracts, though not every dog within these breeds are affected.

  • April 29-May 6
    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
    9 a.m.        Pilates
    9:45 a.m.        Matter of Balance Class
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion             group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Chef Salad
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.        Ballroom Dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Hamburger with             Cheese
    1 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    WEDNESDAY    
    8:30 a.m.–1 p.m.    NO LAVA Quilters

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, (505) 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 micro-chipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are 12–6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, and 12–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out our website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating.
    CATS
    Mr. Whiskers—A big tabby cat that is about 4 years old. Changes are a bit stressful for him, so he will likely need a little bit of time to adjust to his new home. He can be independent, but he’s also very sweet and likes to snuggle when he’s in the mood! He is OK with mellow cats, but other dominant males sometimes bother him.
    Wally—A handsome and regal 3-year-old tabby. He has beautiful, inquisitive eyes that draw in volunteers and shelter visitors, and he loves when volunteers open his kennel to pet him. Wally came to the shelter as a stray, so we don’t know much about his history, but he’s excited about finding a home that will keep him inside and make him part of the family.

  • On a beautiful spring Saturday morning, a few local ladies (and a few men) gathered in the Memorial Rose Garden with Extension Officer Carlos Valdez to learn tips and tricks for pruning rose bushes. The New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service has been working with the Garden Club every year for 30 years on this particular talk.
    “It’s been a great relationship that we’ve had,” Valdez said, and thanked the Garden Club for providing all the beautiful roses in the garden. The Los Alamos Garden Club has been in place since the mid-1940s and has taken care of the Memorial Rose Garden since 1957.
    Although the workshop focused on pruning rose bushes, Valdez began the morning with general information concerning planting and rose care.
    Extra tip: It is best to ease into the growing season with water and fertilizer. In the same way, ease out of the season gently with those things.
    Plantings Roses: To explain most of his tips, Valdez used the example of bare root roses. “Find yourself a reputable rose supplier. You want to purchase the highest grade of rose that you can get,” he said. Once the rose bush is purchased, soak overnight in a bucket of water and plant it the following day.

  • Green thumbs moving to Los Alamos often get a shock. Not only is the soil difficult to work with, but the water situation is a little tough, too.
    One can go all winter without a drop and a very expensive water bill, and then suddenly wake up to a deluge when the spring arrives. It can destroy all the hard work of nursing that flower or vegetable garden through yet another tough year. With the lowest annual precipitation count of six inches and a high of 30(!) inches, New Mexico is indeed a land of contrasts.
    So.. what to do? The New Mexico State University Los Alamos County Cooperative Extension Office suggests the key to lessening water bills and frustrations is to just go with the flow. Instead of planting Touch Me Nots, Black-Eyed Susans and Spiderworts, try for something a little closer to home, plants native to New Mexico that are just as pretty and can thrive on little to no water.
    For vegetable gardening, a little research into how the Native Americans thrived up here on the Pajarito Plateau can go a long way. They did it on just a little water and very little work. The Three Sisters technique has been used by the pueblo indians for centuries. They discovered that planting beans, squash and corn together results in a garden that’s virtually maintenance free, even in the driest and toughest of conditions.

  • TODAY
    Join the Los Alamos History Museum for an exhibit opening from 3-5 p.m. Friday in the Los Alamos History Museum Rotating Gallery. Culture and Collaboration: The Los Alamos/Japan Project explores the goals of this unique intercultural initiative to create understanding through shared history, partnerships, dialogue, multiple perspectives, and collaboration. On display through July 9.

    Astronomy Show: Solar System Revelations
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Dr. Galen Gisler uncovers new revelations about our Solar System. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
    SATURDAY
    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.
     
    Saturday to March 5:
Earth Day Feature Film: We are Stars
at 12:30 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.

  • TODAY
    Astronomy Show: Star Stories - Color
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Cost is  $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    Fish Fry Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Immaculate Heart Mary Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Cost is $10 for Adults, $7 for children.

    Middle-schoolers invited to participate in Dance For A Cure at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos County Sheriff’s Posse Shack. Cost is $5. Pizza while supplies last. Benefits the American Cancer Society.
    SATURDAY
    Feature Film: “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. 
Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
     
    Coffee with the Warden
from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Bring wildlife questions and talk with the local Game & Fish warden Amos Smith. Free.
    SUNDAY
    Feature Film: Sea Monsters, “A Prehistoric Adventure” at 2 p.m. 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, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
     

  • The Los Alamos Nature Center is ending the month with a star workshop at 7 p.m. April 28 and an exciting astronomy film “Phantom of the Universe” at 2 p.m. April 29 and 30.
    The Friday star workshop is a family-friendly two-hour program that starts by charting the major constellations in the planetarium. Then, weather permitting, participants will practice identifying objects and constellations outside the nature center. Educator Jon Lorenz will weave Greek and Southwest Native American star legends of the visible constellations in view. Space is limited. Visit peecnature.org/planetarium to register.
    “Phantom of the Universe” is a full-dome planetarium show that showcases an exciting exploration of dark matter, from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider. This film will play at 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

  • This month’s Military Order of the World Wars Chapter 229 meeting will start at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Los Alamos Research Park the second floor conference room.
    The speaker will be Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard. She will be reporting on actions taken in this year’s annual New Mexico legislative session.
    The meeting will begin with a social period, followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m. The presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m.
    The Military Order of the World Wars dinner meetings are open to interested citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program only at no cost. The Hot Rocks Java Café staff will be catering the dinner: Pork tenderloin and appropriate side dishes. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person. A dinner reservation made is a commitment to the chapter to pay for the reserved dinner(s). RSVP either with a yes or no for the dinner by Sunday.
    Call LTC Gregg Giesler, USA Retired, Chapter Commander, 662-5574 (g.gieslercomputer.org) or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750 (email: depinyan@cybermesa.com).
     

  • Art exhibits
    The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, 601 Eubank SE in Albuquerque, will host “Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” through Oct. 8. This special exhibit, created by world renowned sculptor Jim Sanborn – best known for creating the encrypted “Kryptos” sculpture at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia – invites visitors to explore and study the recreations of the super secret experiments from the Manhattan Project’s atomic bomb program. The museum is open from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., 361 days a year. For information, visit nuclearmuseum.org, or call 505-245-2137.

    The Museum of International Folk Art will host the national touring exhibition Quilts of Southwest China, beginning July 9 through Jan. 21, 2018. While both highly valued and culturally significant, Chinese quilts have received little attention from scholars, collectors, and museums and little is known about them outside of the communities that make them. Works featured in the exhibition come from the collections of MOIFA, MSUM, the partnering Chinese museums and private lenders. A new bilingual publication (in English and Mandarin) accompanies the exhibition. Museum location is 706 Camino Lejo.

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Reel Deal Theater will show “Racing Extinction,” an undercover documentary exposing the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them from mass extinction, at 7 p.m. Thursday.
    This film is $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students and children. Tickets are available at the Reel Deal Theater.
    Produced by Oceanic Preservation Society, the group behind the Academy Award®-winning film The Cove, Racing Extinction brings a voice to the thousands of species teetering on the very edge of life. This highly charged, impassioned collective of activists sets out to expose the two major threats to endangered wild species across the globe. The first comes from the international wildlife trade, and the medicinal “cures” and tonics that are marketed to the public at the expense of rare creatures. The second threat is carbon emissions and acidified oceans that are incompatible with existing animal life. Both threats are made clear in “Racing Extinction” through investigative reporting, undercover photography and covert operations.
    For more information about this and other programs offered by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Artists Jamie Winslow and Elaine Bradshaw will celebrate spring in O’Keefe country with the exhibit “A Sense of Place,” a show of engaging paintings and 3D works.
    Free and open to all ages, the art can be viewed daily from 9 a.m.-8 p.m. from April 29-May 28 at the Galleria Arriba at Abiquiu Inn.
    A public reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. May 5. During this time (and other times by appointment), the artists will be available to explain their techniques, answer questions and help visitors select pieces.
    About the artists
    Bradshaw paints “to celebrate the life force of the natural world, especially here in the high desert.” Through her energetic, colorful acrylic images, she hopes to help viewers to become more aware of and to connect with their own environments. She will display some fused glass works, as well.
    Winslow is a painter and sculptor who aims to intrigue viewers and to draw them into thoughtful dialogue with her pieces. She uses various media to express herself, and notes that her work  “has been described as organic, ethnic, contemporary and sometimes whimsical.” She delights in the joy that her art brings to her own life and to her collectors.

  • Russ Gordon has released his list for the upcoming 2017 that promises to be his “best series yet.” This year will be his 28th year, and his last.
    The free concerts are Fridays in Los Alamos from May 19 through Sept. 8. Shows are from 7- 10 p.m. Bring your lawn chairs.
    The tentative lineup is:
    May 19: Chuchito Valdes Afro-Cuban jazz from Havana, Cuba and Cancun, Mexico. Master of Cuban music including Son, Danzon, Cuban Timba and Guaguanco. Los Alamos Kite Festival Night.
    May 26: Deke Dickerson. Alt-Indie Rock, Retro Swing, Rockabilly Revival, Roots-Rock, Hillbilly, Surf, Jump Blues and instrumental rock. The King of the Geek Guitar! From Los Angeles.
    June 2: The Coral Creek Band. Americana/Country Rock, bluegrass, Cajun, fol and Island rock from Colorado. Some of the musicians and friends of Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain string Band and Railroad Earth.
    June 9: Western Centuries Alt./Country-rock, with early R&B, Honky-Tonk twang. Reminiscent of the classic country rock bands like The Band, Flying Burrito Brothers and The Byrds. Los Alamos Chamber Fest Night.
    June 16: The Red Elvises. Russian Rock ‘n’ Roll and Siberian Surf Rok. From Moscow and Santa Monica, California. Los Alamos’s favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll band!! LA Daily Post night.

  • The University of New Mexico’s Institute for Medieval Studies will host its 32nd Spring Lecture Series, “Medieval Animals,” April 24–27, popular with Los Alamos and other area residents, all of whom are welcome to attend.
    “Medieval Animals” will explore how humans and animals interacted on the historical level at key points during the Middle Ages. The topics will include how medieval authors – much like their modern counterparts, including George Orwell and Jorge Luis Borges – used animal characters to critique human behavior and underline human foibles.
    The lectures will also cover how legends grew up around animals both real and mythical in order to offer men and women moral examples that accorded with the medieval worldview, and how the extraordinarily rich representation of animals in medieval art played both a didactic and a decorative role in the culture of the Middle Ages.
    An underlying theme of the series will be to compare and contrast the treatment of animals within medieval Western and Islamic cultures.

  • Author Judy Hochberg lived in Los Alamos from 1989 to 2000 and recently published a book about Spanish with Bloomsbury Academic Press. Hochberg has a Ph.D. in linguistics from Stanford University and teaches Spanish at Fordham University, New York.
    Although she has not been back to Los Alamos since she moved, the delicious breakfast burritos from Chili Works have not been forgotten.
    Hochberg worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory as a research staff member with CCS-3 Information Sciences, working mostly on projects having to do with computers and language.
    The project she was hired for involved training a neural net, which is a computer model loosely based on the workings of the brain, to make an association between the acoustics of speech and the movement of the lips and tongue.
    Hochberg explained, “The idea was that this would sort of make speech visible and people who had hearing problems would be able to use this as a way to teach them how to articulate.”
    Another project at LANL that utilized her linguistic skills was developing a program that would automatically identify the writing system used in a document, whether it was printed or hand written. “Of all the papers I published at the lab, those are the ones that get most cited,” she recalled.

  • Over 100 people attended the annual University of New Mexico-Los Alamos job fair, an event that attracts more and more visitors each year.
    “It’s become an annual event and we were able to get our press to the media quickly this year,” UNM-LA Student Advisor Grace Willerton said.
    Willerton has been organizing the job fair for three to four years, but the job fair was actually started several years before that through a grant by another organizer. Willerton was happy to take up the mantle.
    “When I took over that program, I really felt like it was valuable to continue that just for our student’s experience just to understand how to approach employers before they graduate,” Willerton said.
    Isabella Stevens, 16, was one of those people. She came to the fair looking for something that would fit with her schedule.
    “I don’t know yet… maybe something with the county or something like that,” she said.
    The job fair is also one of the ways UNM-LA connects with the community while adding to its own value as a community member.
    “There’s a lot of people looking for part-time workers, student employees, this is a really nice way to bridge those,” Willerton said.

  • The Unitarian Church of Los Alamos will host “Fractured Faiths: Spanish Judaism, The Inquisition & New World Identities,” a special lecture-recital on Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) Romanceros, Coplas and Kantigas at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

    This program was previously presented at the New Mexico History Museum’s Fractured Faiths Symposium, as part of their six-month special exhibit in the fall of 2016.

    The event features soprano Christina Martos and pianist Debra Ayers performing works by Ofer Ben-Amots, an Israeli-American composer and chair of the music department at Colorado College.

    Ben-Amots will lecture about his recreations of musical settings for songs dating to the era of the Jewish diaspora in Spain, a time that gave rise to the unique hybrid of Hebrew and Spanish known as Ladino.

    Los Alamos soprano Martos sang several seasons with Central City Opera in Colorado and the Washington National Opera, and most recently performed at the world premiere of Los Bufones by Santa Fe composer Ron Strauss at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.