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Features

  • Next up in the Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series is a film Chicago Tribune critic Michael Wilmington called “the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period.”

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” (1978, rated PG) will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the library’s upstairs meeting room.

    It’s Thanksgiving, 1976. An ice rink and music hall in San Francisco called the Winterland Ballroom hosts a crowd of 5,000 for what concert promoter Bill Graham dubs “rock ‘n’ roll’s last supper” as The Band plays its farewell concert, also known as “The Last Waltz.”

    “The Last Waltz,” both the concert and the film, features some of the biggest names in ’70s rock. Those joining The Band onstage for its legendary grand finale (though it regrouped, without guitarist Robbie Robertson, and began another tour in 1983) include Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

  • This month’s League of Women Voters’ community event, Lunch with a Leader on Dec. 12, will feature three women from Voices of Los Alamos.

    The speakers will be Becky Oertel, Cristina Olds, and Anagha Dandekar.

    The lunch begins at 11:45 a.m. upstairs at Mesa Library. The speakers will discuss how and why they formed Voices of Los Alamos, the activities they have accomplished and their plans for the future.

    Oertel grew up in Los Alamos and is the daughter of Jay and Carol Wechsler, who were active volunteers and founding members of the Los Alamos Community. After obtaining a degree in Biochemistry from University of Wyoming, Oertel enjoyed 30 years of working with people from all walks of life - from remote valleys and mountains of eastern Kentucky to the white sterile halls of biomedical research facilities. Oertel has been a Volunteer Fire Department officer and a PEEC board member. She is a board member for Living Treasures of Los Alamos and a founding member of Voices of Los Alamos.

  • TODAY
    Nature Yoga and Trail Run at 11:45 a.m. at the Nature Center.
Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Optional: Arrive at 10:30 a.m. to join Christa for a pre-yoga run. Admission: yoga or run for $7/$5 for members; yoga and run for $12/$8 for members.

    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.

    North mesa Stables welcomes the public to take a evening stroll through the stables. Leave the vehicle in the ball fields parking lot off North Mesa Road. Dogs must be on a leash. Owners decorate in the spirit of the holidays.
    MONDAY
    Nature Playtime, Sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of NM
at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun, hands-on activities, hikes, games, and stories in nature. Free.
    TUESDAY
    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. the first three Tuesdays of each month in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive.  Eileen Sullivan, the new library director for Los Alamos County, will be the speaker.

  • During this special time of year, the San Ildefonso Pueblo Visitor’s Center invites the community to its annual bazaar Saturday.

    The 9 a.m.-4 p.m. event will feature the newest creations from pueblo artisans for the holiday season.

    The Pueblo de San Ildefonso Tourism Department holds the annual Holiday Bazaar at the Pueblo’s Tewa Center. The exact address for first time visitors, is 74 Povi Kaa Road in Santa Fe.

    “The bazaar is open to the public and features the artwork of the local artists of our Pueblo, such as: pottery, paintings, jewelry, sewing and handmade crafts,” said Denise Moquino, of the Tewa Visitor’s Center. “There will also be baked goods including; Indian bread, pies and cookies, cakes and more.”

    The concession stand is staffed by members of the Tribal Youth Council to benefit the program. Members will have an array of good food, snack items and drinks on hand throughout the day. 

    Pueblo artists will also donate an item that will be raffled off throughout the day. All questions can be directed to Denise Moquino at 455-3549 or 692-5580.

    This story has been corrected to reflect the correct date of the event.

  • The annual Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos and DelNorte Credit Union, will be from 7-11 a.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    The breakfast is free. In return, attendees are requested to donate either non-perishable food items or money. Food collected will be used by LA Cares to feed local families in need. Money donated will be used for the Kiwanis/CYFD Foster Children Christmas party.

    Any money left over from the Foster Children’s party will be used for Foster Children needs.

  • Those planning to attend the annual Holiday Pops Concert this Friday evening at the Crossroads Bible Church, better brush up on their conducting skills. There may be a test.

    The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will choose one person through a raffle to conduct the 60-member orchestra for one song during the concert.

    The program will also feature a singalong.

    Songs for this year’s concert will be:

    “From the Realms of Glory,” “Winter Wonderland,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24,” “A Christmas Festival,” “Trepak,” “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Jingle Bells,” “A Most Wonderful Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” “Christmas Sing-a-Long” and “Sleigh Ride.”

    LASO Conductor David Chavez said choosing the songs was a collaborative effort with LASO President David Korzekwa.

    “Overall, it was a collaborative effort between he and I, with songs that haven’t been done, with those that have been done traditionally in years past,” Chavez said.

    This is one of the orchestra members’ favorite concerts. The concert will be a first for many in the orchestra.

  • A litter of six tiny kittens was transferred from an animal shelter in Moriarty to the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Nov. 17. The kittens are still trying to figure out where they are and what it’s all about.

    Animal shelter volunteers were going to attempt getting a picture of all six together but their curiosity level and willingness to make friends was just too strong.

    They said just two of them, Nikolai, a Russian Blue and Laka, a Bombay, was the limit, as far as pictures were concerned. Nikolai has grey fur, like two of her siblings, and Bombay has black fur, like two of his siblings.

    All of the kittens in the litter are spayed and neutered. They are also litter-box trained and have been vaccinated.

    While attentive and well-behaved, they seemed to have other things to do than sit for a picture. Nikolai and Laka seemed more interested in jumping off the table in an effort to get to know their new, older friends at the shelter.

    Very curious and active, Nikolai, Laka and the rest of the crew are also healthy, friendly with humans, and very anxious to explore the world outside the shelter.

    For those looking to provide a forever home for these curious kitties, they can, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.   

  • The Betty Ehart Center will host a free play reading at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the White Rock Senior Center will have a free play Thursday of “Epiphany” by David MacGregor.

    The play is directed by Pat Beck and features Jim Nesmith and Pat Beck. It centers on a long-term couple’s discussing what (and who) is truly important in their lives. How can one man’s simple epiphany trigger such a reaction in his partner? Are we really hard-wired by biology to live only 30 years or so, and now that medical science lets humans live much longer, how does that affect the way we should live our lives?

    The readings are part of an ongoing partnership among the Senior Centers, Los Alamos Little Theatre, and playwright Robert Benjamin to bring live theater in enjoyable snippets every few months to the senior community.

    The readings are intended not only to be entertaining, but also to spark conversation about issues relating to aging.

    Previous readings include “I’m Herbert,” by Robert Anderson; “Final Gift,” “Fresh Out,” “Swerving” and “Too Soon,” by Benjamin; “MusicPoemMusic” by Elaine Jarvik; and an excerpt from “Not Quite Right,” co-authored by Jarvik and Benjamin.

  • If you’re interested in putting heart into the holidays, shop for a gift from the area’s wide range of museum gift shops.
    In most cases, part of the price of your a horno-shaped incense burner, carved wood tree decoration, locally sourced book or a squishy Einstein goes back to a good cause.

    Let’s begin the tour.

    The bookstore at the visitor’s center at Bandelier National Park has a nice selection of shady hats, ball caps and puzzles. Books are a big part of the store, but there’s a soft side, stuffed toys to remind you of brown and black bears, and mountain lions.

    What’s the best gift, though?

    Cecy Burciaga of the store says toys that capture the look of native birds, as well as their song. The cost ranges from $9 to $10.

    The store is part of the Western National Park Association network of stores at national parks and proceeds go to the association. Hours of the shop are the same as the visitor’s center, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

    Bookworms and those who love them will have a field day at the newly remodeled Los Alamos History Museum Store. The remodeled store offers a feast for the eyes with well-lit nooks featuring historically significant items – not for sale, just for perspective.

  • For Brad and Rose Nyenhuis, the journey to opening Los Alamos County’s go-to spot for runners, cyclists, climbers and skiers began with a Craigslist ad.

    Before moving to New Mexico, the two of them lived in Chicago. Brad Nyenhuis owned a machine shop, and Rose Nyenhuis worked at a running store. But for years, they had sought an escape to the mountains, and thought opening a business would be the perfect opportunity.

    They looked for any kind of store for sale in Colorado, Utah and surrounding states, and one day stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a man selling a bike shop in Los Alamos.

    Though the ad didn’t lead to a viable opportunity, the town grabbed onto them and didn’t let go. 

    “We loved the town, and we especially loved the people,” Brad Nyenhuis said.

    They decided they could find success in the area by starting a business aimed at the athletic community, specifically runners and bikers, a community they found to be well-represented.

    On Nov. 21, 2013, the business became a reality when they opened Fusion Multisport.

  • For those looking for a unique gift to give this holiday season, they might want to make a virtual stop at Caffeination Station. Caffeination Station is where one can order hand roasted coffee right here in Los Alamos.

    Caffeination Station owner Conner Maxwell sells three different flavors of beans, Tanzanian, Colombian (medium and dark roast) and Ethiopian Harar. The Station doesn’t yet have a physical address, but can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/caffeinationstationNM) where customers can contact her for orders. She’s also available by email at caffeinationstationNM@gmail.com.

    One-pound bags are $13 and half-pound bags are $8.

    She also has an instagram page at caffeinationstationnm where customers can follow her progress in her new business venture.

    While Maxwell would like to open a coffee shop in Los Alamos someday, she decided to start things off as a roaster and see where that takes her. After all, she said, “the heart of the coffee business in the bean.” She also discovered that state regulations are much kinder to coffee roasters.

  • If Los Alamos Post Office customers looking to ship holiday gifts are lucky, they may get post office clerk Ted Romero to help them out. For the past 20 years, Romero has been using his smile and his wits to help customers through one of the most stressful times of the year.

    Not only is Romero good at solving problems, he can also tell a great joke.

    Romero said he likes to joke with the customers because it helps take their minds off their worries, especially if the wait may be a little longer than expected.

    “Life is tense enough as it is,” Romero said.

    It also makes good economic sense.

    “If people get the service they want, they will keep coming back. There is more than one shipping option,” Romero said. “We like people to be happy.”

    Romero also is a resident of Los Alamos County, which sometimes leads to some strange interactions outside of work.

    “Some of my older customers sometime say ‘I know you from somewhere,’ and I’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, I met you at your niece’s bar mitzvah…” Romero joked.

    It’s then, though, they catch on to where they really met him, and everyone’s in on the joke.

  • The holidays are all about family, and no two businesses in Los Alamos County speaks to family more than Warm Hearts Yarn and Atomic City Quilts.

    With its walls and floor space stacked with crafting, heirloom, scrap booking and quilt supplies, it’s easy to see why. The two businesses have everything one needs to make that special gift or create the next quality family keepsake.

    The stores also sell bead jewelry and regular jewelry. The store also sells soaps, candles and lotion from local vendor Heather Quinn, with many of the items making perfect stocking stuffers.

    Atomic Quilts and Warm Hearts also has gift certificates available.

    About two years ago, Atomic Quilts move in and the two businesses set up shop together in the same space at 1247 Central Avenue, Suite C.

    On Small Business Saturday, the stores will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., but since the day is a special one for Los Alamos, Atomic Quilts owner Shelly Kuropatwinski said they may keep the doors open later for those last-minute shoppers.

    Warm Hearts Yarn first moved into the shop from their White Rock location in September 2015 and Atomic City Quilts started fresh at the new location.

    Kuropatwinski got into quilting 17 years ago simply because her baby needed a quilt.

  • This month’s meeting of the Military of World Wars Chapter 229 will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the second floor conference room in the Los Alamos Research Park located west of the South Mesa Fire Station.
    The speaker will be Commander Brian Gauck, the new commander of the Los Alamos High School NJROTC unit. He will provide an overview of his research on friendships formed by USAFA graduates.
    The meeting will begin with a social period at 6 p.m., 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: Pot Roast 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 (yes or no) for the dinner is needed by today.
    Call LTC Gregg Giesler, USA Retired, chapter commander, at 662-5574, or email him at g.gieslercomputer.org), or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750, or email her at depinyan@cybermesa.com).

  • Many of us know someone whose life has been impacted by cancer. Unfortunately, cancer can also occur in our pets. As part of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, associate professor, and Dr. Brandan Wustefeld-Janssens, a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discussed everything owners need to know about cancer in pets.

    One of the most common types of cancer in pets is skin cancer, Wustefeld-Janssens said. Primary care veterinarians can usually treat cancerous skin tumors without referring the pet to specialty care. However, more serious types of cancer—including tumors that appear in the bone, mouth, glands (such as anal sacs), or lymph nodes—may require surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.

    In some situations, Wilson-Robles said a combination of treatments may be necessary to prevent the cancer from relapsing. For example, an animal may undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, but that doesn’t mean the animal is free of cancer cells. The animal may still need chemotherapy to remove remaining cancer cells from the body, which can help prevent the cancer from developing again.

  • Wilbur can teach humans a thing or two about optimism and having an indomitable spirit. Wilbur, a 6-year-old Boston Terrier mix, was a stray living on the streets of Albuquerque was hit by a car Oct. 12.

    Wilbur lost an eye in the accident and his tail is forever crooked, but thanks to eye surgery funded by the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Allies, Wilbur is back to his old self.

    He’s 23 pounds, and has a tan-and-black coat. He arrived at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Nov. 7, and loves to greet every person that comes through the door with a wagging tail and a leash-tugging enthusiasm that makes everyone want to pet him and call him a good boy.

    Though he’s been through a lot, Wilbur now has a clean bill of health and needs no further medication. Volunteers say he loves all types of people, including kids. Though he loves to be the center of attention, Wilbur also does well with other dogs and cats and doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

    He also has a thing for squeaky toys, walks and hikes. Wilbur is also crate-trained and sterilized. He has also been vaccinated and has a microchip.

  • Santa arrives Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The Festival of Trees from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. is a fund raiser for youth and senior programs.

    The trees will be on display throughout the week during regular senior center hours. Admission Saturday is free, but hard candy, snacks and lunch items for students are gratefully requested.

    Call 662-8920 for information and check back next week for photos of the 2017 trees.

  • Navajo poet Sherwin Bitsui will read his poetry at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 in the UNM-LA Library as part of the celebration of National Native American Heritage Month on campus.

    A Diné (Navajo), Bitsui studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and now teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing for the IAIA. His honors include the 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award.

    Bitsui, also a painter, described how he tries to capture images in words. “My poems come first from a sense of image, texture, color. In Navajo, we process thoughts and speak from a language that has different sensibilities. It includes a view of the land, plant life, animal life as part of the everyday perspective. To navigate in English is like moving through a different consciousness.”

    At his readings, Bitsui asks the audience to close their eyes and watch the poem happen, to inhabit the place of the poem, as a way to journey in real time.

    The community is invited to attend the reading. Visit losalamos.unm.edu/sherwin-bitsui-poet.html for more information.