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Features

  • Looking for something to do on Sunday afternoon? The Library will screen the Ken Burns film “The Dust Bowl,” free, as a lead-in to a major exhibit, which will open in early January. “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry,” a national traveling exhibition about the causes and aftermath of the historic Dust Bowl period, will be on display at Mesa Public Library from Jan. 7 to Feb. 20.
    “Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry” will be accompanied by a series of free library programs, including lectures and film screenings. The first film screening, of the Ken Burns Film “The Dust Bowl,” will be from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Upstairs Meeting Rooms at Mesa Public Library.  
    The exhibition recalls a tragic period in history — the drought and dust storms that wreaked havoc on the Great Plains in the 1930s — and explores its environmental and cultural consequences. It raises several thought-provoking questions: What caused fertile farms to turn to dust? How did people survive? What lessons were learned?
    Mesa Public Library is one of 25 sites throughout the United States and one of only two in New Mexico selected to present the exhibition and associated public programs in their communities.

  • Looking for something to do in Los Alamos once Christmas is over? Why not bring a friend to a Big Band dance?
    Monday is the annual Big Band after Christmas Dance in Los Alamos.
    The dance is free open to the public, but donations are encouraged. The dance is  from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Proceeds from the dance will be used to help the IHM youth group.
    Music will feature the Los Alamos Big Band with featured vocalist Rene LeClair. The Los Alamos Big Band has been playing at dances throughout northern New Mexico since 1984 under the direction of Jan McDonald, who for many years was the bandleader at Los Alamos High School.  
    The band features the danceable music of the Big Band Era such as “In The Mood,” “String of Pearls,” “Sing, Sing, Sing” and “Moonlight Serenade.” They also play other danceable music such as “Moon River,” Latin numbers like “Besame Mucho” and even “Rock Around the Clock.” Several new Christmas tunes will also be featured.
    Decorations and refreshments will be provided by the IHM Youth Group.

  • Recently, the Los Alamos Public School choirs combined for a festive event at Los Alamos High School. The choirs performed as an elementary, middle and high school choirs and then combined as one large ensemble.
     

  • Registration for the next session of dog training classes offered by the Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club (LADOC) will start Monday.
    Classes this session will include Puppy Kindergarten, Basic Manners, Agility,  Canine Good Citizen, Introduction to Scent Work, and Rally Obedience, which will begin the week of Jan. 26.
    Three new, one-session “Try It” Classes (Agility, Scent Work and Rally), and “Cujo to Compadre” (for dog-aggressive dogs) will also be offered.
    Schedule, guidelines and registration form will be available on the LADOC website (ladoc.dogbits.com) and at the LADOC building, 246 East Road. Registration is first-come, first-served, and classes often fill quickly, so timely registration is advised. Registration materials must be postmarked by Jan. 16.

  • Ecologist Karla Sartor has been a board member at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center for the past three years. In October, she was the guest speaker at the Nature on Tap Series, which focused on the topic of prescribed burns.
    Sartor told PEEC in a recent interview that she chose that particular topic because with proper planning, prescribed burning can help prevent fires, protect communities, and improving watershed and forest health. “There is a huge need for more prescribed burning, and a need for more people who are qualified to do it effectively and safely,” she said. Fire is a sensitive issue in Los Alamos and planning for prescribed burns is crucial. The way a prescribed burn is considered might reduce the severity of wildfire risk in the future. The burns are helpful in preventing large, high intensity fires.
    Sartor was accompanied by Craig Martin, who from 2005 to earlier this year, was in charge of the prescribed burning for Los Alamos County and he spoke of his experience.

  • Once again, it is time for my semi-annual column, for when there is some down time.
    I would like you to spend some time over the next two weeks either doing not much or doing something fun with your kids.
    I enjoy this time of year when people ask, “What plans do you have for winter break?” My answer is, “A whole lot of nothing.”
    Once you get through a little holiday hustle and bustle, spend some time chilling out, hanging around and schedule some time to do nothing together.
    Did you know the public library lets you borrow books for free? A book is a paper collection of words that…just kidding. The point is that sometimes we need to unplug and just find some solace in doing the simplistic things.
    Let your kids see you reading and encourage them to do it too.
    Purchase some cocoa and cookies, rent a movie and push back the living room furniture. Next, grab every pillow and blanket you can find and toss it into the middle. Then lay back and prepare for memories to form.
    My next idea is one for any day other than the actual celebratory days of Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa and that is to eat dinner around the table. If you do that every day anyway, then you are asked to eat on the floor around the coffee table, perhaps while playing a board game.

  • For a last minute holiday gift, why not consider giving someone entry to all the national park areas in the country for a full year? Come by the Visitor Center at Bandelier National Park and buying an Interagency Annual Pass. 
    With this pass, the recipient can visit all the National Park Service areas all over the country (think Petroglyphs, Pecos, Grand Canyon, Everglades, Glacier, Rocky Mountain and 395 others), as well as areas under the Bureau of Land Management (Tent Rocks — Kasha Katuwe), United States Forest Service (Mount St. Helens), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (Bosque del Apache or Las Vegas Wildlife Refuges). 
    In addition, the Valles Caldera National Preserve may begin honoring these passes sometime in 2015. For $80 the pass is good for a year from the month it is purchased, so one bought this December is good through the end of December 2015.  Many of the larger parks, such as Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, charge $25 per visit, so the pass can repay its cost in just a few visits.  This year’s passes will be available while supplies last.

  • Dec. 21-27, 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
    MONDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken stew
    Noon        Grief support
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fish and                 chips
    1 p.m.         MindBody massage
    6 p.m.        Mahjong
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table tennis

    WEDNESDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Carne asada
    1 p.m.        Downton Abbey                 show

  • 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 a new best friend today! 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, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday.
    Also, be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, to get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating, as well as read up on some of your favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals or cats and dogs currently in foster care.
    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations.
    CATS
    Aztec — A 14-week-old, male, gray tabby with white paws and tummy. When he was just getting used to humans, he was cautious and preferred to watch as his more outgoing siblings explored their new territory. Now he is right in the middle of things. He seeks out your attention with a sweet little meow and has a soft, gentle purr when you pet him. He would probably do best in a quieter home where he can feel confident and loved.

  • Los Alamos
    Los Alamos Middle School, 2101 Hawk Dr.
    Date inspected: Sept. 5
    Violations: All repairs completed and violations corrected.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up from previous inspection. No further follow up required.
    Tesuque
    Baked in Tesuque, 135 Tesuque Village Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 25
    Violations: Three moderate-risk violations Dust accumulation in walk-in ceiling and around skylight. Trash dumpster lids open. Baking equipment not NSF or ANSI approved.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on Oct. 15.

    Tesuque Elementary, 1555 Bishops Lodge Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 30
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.
    Eldorado
    Dream Cakes, 46 Chaparral
    Date inspected: Sept. 30
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.
    Santa Fe
    Joseph’s, 428 Agua Fria St.
    Date inspected: Sept. 26
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations Thermometer in the bar under counter unit is not working. Dishwasher is not dispensing sanitizer.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Black Mesa Winery in Velarde received top honors at the 15th Jefferson Cup Invitational Wine Competition held last month. Three of its wines placed in the top 95 wines in the competition, two of which were given the competition’s top award. There were more than 700 wine submissions from the 26 states that were invited to participate in the 2014 event. This year is the first time a New Mexico Winery was invited to the competition.
    Awards in the top 95 category are the equivalent of Double Gold medals in other competitions. Black Mesa’s winning wines were the 2012 Burd Vineyard Montepulciano, the 2011 New Mexico Cabernet Sauvignon and their Cosecha Ultima, a late harvest dessert wine made with grapes from the Las Parras Vineyard in Abiquiu. The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon and the Cosecha Ultima also were chosen for the competition’s highest award, the Jefferson Cup. Their fourth submission, the 2011 Coyote, received the Jefferson Cup Award of Merit.
    Black Mesa has received notable awards in other recent international competitions, receiving multiple “Best in Show,” “Best in Class,” “Platinum” and “Diamond” awards, as well as numerous Double Golds.

  • Tourism Santa Fe announces the 2014 Farolito Design Contest open to all current and new followers on the @cityofsantafe Instagram social media platform from now until midnight Christmas Day.
    Contestants who make and photograph their own creative farolito can post the image on Instagram using the city holiday #SantaFeJoy, the city’s ongoing #howtosantafe and the contest #Farolito. They also need to “tag” the Tourism Santa Fe handle “@cityofsantafe” in their post and they’ll automatically be entered to win prize packages from a variety of local hotels, restaurants and cultural attractions.
    The entries will be judged on three qualities: creative design, holiday spirit and image composition. Volunteer judges are Rod Lambert, manager, Tourism Santa Fe Community Art Gallery, Enrique Limón, arts & culture editor, Santa Fe Reporter and Bryan Cooper, production manager, The Santa Fean. Anyone else can be a judge too — a People’s Choice Prize will go to the post that receives the most overall engagement of likes, comments and reposts.
    Winners will be announced on Tourism Santa Fe social media channels Instagram, Twitter and Facebook on Dec. 30, on the contest webpage, and all entries will be “pinned” on the Tourism Santa Fe Pinterest page.

  • Bernalillo County Cultural Services and the Southwest Women’s Law Center announce a call for entry for women artists residing in New Mexico to be featured in an upcoming exhibit “Unconfined: Empowering Women through Art.”
    This art show will feature two-dimensional artwork by the selected women artists, women artists who are detained at Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) and young women at the Juvenile Detention Center (JDC).
    The exhibit will span the month of March in celebration of National Women’s History Month, known locally as Women and Creativity Month.  The art exhibit will be on display at the African American Performing Arts Center Gallery. 
    Presently, women at MDC and young women at JDC are participating in artist led workshops. Through movement, meditation, and hands-on art making, the art classes bring creativity and self-expression into an otherwise barren environment. Each participating artist is asked to share the story behind her artwork.  These stories will be posted alongside the artwork.
    Submission Requirements:
    • Women artists residing in New Mexico are invited to submit their artwork by Jan. 30.
    • Up to three artworks in .jpg format

  • Angel Fire Resort received four inches of new snow over the past weekend. The colder temperatures are allowing the resort to continue to make snow as well. Angel Fire opened Dec. 12 and has 25 percent of the mountain open and they expect to open more trails over the next two weeks.

  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park will conduct its annual Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 22. Participants will meet at 9 a.m. in the Visitor Center lobby. Members of the public are encouraged to join park staff for a day of birding.
    This event provides valuable information on local bird populations, and is a great way for volunteers to experience more remote areas of the park.
    Experienced birders from the Four Corners Bird Club of Farmington will be assisting with bird identification. Participants need not be experts, but must be prepared to hike several hours off trail across semi-rugged terrain.
    Plan to bring a field lunch and snacks, plenty of water, sunscreen and clothes for varied winter weather conditions. A camera, field guidebook, and binoculars are also suggested.
    Participants must arrive at the Visitor Center by 9 a.m. to join in the bird count. To sign up contact Jessica Guenther, Jessica_guenther@partner.nps.gov or 505-786-7014, ext. 242.
    Winter is a great time to visit the park and wander through the Chacoan structures. Wildlife is much easier to view this time of year. The park will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, however the campground will remain open.

  • Savanna Strother may only be 7 years old, but she dreams big. The first grader at Mountain Elementary says wants to be a rock star when she grows up and she may already be on her way to success.
    During the Chamisa Carnival in October, Strother’s stepmother Nicole put in a bid to the silent auction where one of the prizes was “Be a Pop Star For a Day.” Savanna’s name was chosen and she showcased her talent during a lunch time performance Nov. 14 in the Mountain Elementary School cafeteria. Her and three friends sang “Let It Go,” from the movie “Frozen.” Sophie Saenz, Sydney Buck and Brooke Smit joined Strother in song. “Everyone knew how to sing that song,” Strother said.
    “We thought she might get scared and freeze up,” Strother’s grandmother Celia Browne said. “But no, she sang loud and clear. We were very proud. We could even hear her more than the other girls.”
    In addition to the performance, the Pop Star For a Day prize gave Strother a chance to lead the Pledge of Allegiance and read the day’s announcements.
    After the performance, Strother was escorted to a “pop star” throne, decorated bright with sequins and glitter and received the entire pop princess experience — sporting rock star sunglasses.

  • Los Alamos High School Driver’s Education instructor Scott Pomeroy has students educating other students before the holidays with posters throughout the school. Students are encouraged to text friends #X to let them know they will be driving and won’t respond until it is safe.

  • Sunday is Winter Solstice. All over the world, people have kept track of the passing of the seasons with markers built into such things as structures, stones and the horizon.
    At Bandelier, there are several places that may mark the position of the sun on dates including the solstices and equinoxes.
    One of them is the entryway to Tyuonyi, the large pueblo in Frijoles Canyon.
    It will be the annual ranger-guided walk to watch as the sun rises over the canyon walls and casts shadows in alignment with Tyuonyi’s entry walls. 
    There is no way to be sure that the pueblo was built that way on purpose, but Winter Solstice is an important date to many cultures. 
    In the northern hemisphere, it is the day that the sun turns back northward and days begin to lengthen, promising the return of warm days and growing crops.
    The walk begins from the front of the Visitor Center at 7:15 a.m. and lasts about an hour; the trail is level and paved, and only about 400 yards each way. 
    No sign-ups are required.  Participants should dress warmly, in layers and with warm shoes. If the sky is overcast, the walk will be rescheduled for the next day. 
    For more information call the Visitor Center at 672-3861, ext. 517. 

  • The annual Children’s Bazaar was held at the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church during the Winterfest celebration on Dec. 6.
    Children had the opportunity to shop for gifts for family and friends, while parents relaxed and enjoyed refreshments. Gifts were wrapped free of charge.
    Donations were collected at the church days before the event. Proceeds went to support youth choir members to attend choir camp and support medical clinics through the Episcopal Relief and Development. To read the thank you letter to the community, see page the opinion page. Courtesy

  • The Los Alamos Little Theatre has announced a fundraising effort to support the purchase and installation of an assisted listening system in the Performing Arts Center, the facility in which LALT theatrical productions are staged.
    “We have heard from many patrons over the years that their enjoyment of our productions would be greatly enhanced with an assisted listening system,” said LALT President Gracie Cainelli. “This system generates a signal that can be picked up directly by most hearing aids. They can be found in many facilities in Los Alamos County, such as Fuller Lodge and the Bradbury Science Museum.”
    The system that has been identified for the Performing Arts Center will cost about $3,000 for parts and installation, and will include a limited number of headsets for those without compatible hearing aids.
    “Los Alamos National Bank has committed to provide $1,500 toward the purchase of this system, or about half of what we need,” Cainelli said. LANB’s contribution comes through its community reinvestment program.