• The Community Education department at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos is offering a class in Wine Tasting Technique along with a winery tour at the Estrella del Norte Vineyard and Winery near Santa Fe.
    The class is from 1-4 p.m. Saturday. The Estrella del Norte Vineyard and Winery is located at 106 N. Shining Sun. Driving directions to the vineyard are available on the Estrella del Norte website at estrelladelnortevineyard.com.
    Liz Berdugo, a European trained and Italian-certified sommelier, will teach participants the finer points of wine tasting technique. Estrella del Norte owner, Eileen Reinders, will then treat the class to a winery tour in which she will show all the steps involved in growing grapes and producing wine in Northern New Mexico.
    “This is the perfect opportunity for wine enthusiasts and novices alike to experience Northern New Mexico wines at the source, while relaxing on the winery’s patio, practicing their new wine tasting skills,” UNM-LA Community Education Director Eva Artschwager said.
    She stressed that no previous wine experience is required to take this class and in the case of rain, the class will be moved inside the winery.

  • When Los Alamos County first approached the Pajarito Environmental Education Center with the idea of offering a Hiking Los Alamos 101 series, to introduce long-term residents and newcomers to the trails around Los Alamos, PEEC staff questioned whether there would be enough interest in such a program. What they discovered was that there is a huge demand for exploring the history, geography and flora of the trails and more than anything, just becoming confident to explore the trails on one’s own.
    So, PEEC is once again offering the series, which begins Monday and runs every Monday evening thereafter through June.
    The series kicks off with a classroom session from 6-8 p.m. The session will take place in the PEEC classroom, where Open Space Specialist Craig Martin will go over safety and comfort on the trail, as well as map-reading skills.
    On June 16, geologist Patrick Rowe will take the group on a hike down the Blue Dot Trail in White Rock Canyon. During this session, participants will get a hands-on perspective of the geologic formation of the Pajarito Plateau from approximately 13 million years ago until now, with a focus on the Bandelier Tuffs created by the Valle and Toledo Calderas and the Basalt flows of the Cerro del Rio.

  • In celebration of the summer season, Ski Pajarito is hosting its ninth annual Summerfest, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday featuring live music, New Mexico Brewer’s Fest, and Pajarito Punishment Downhill Bike Race, among other activities for the whole family.
    “Summerfest at Pajarito Mountain is a community festival worth sharing,” said Summerfest promoter Thad Hahn. “It highlights what is so fantastic about summers on the mountain — from the beer and bands, hiking, biking to music and family fun.”
    Located in the Jemez Mountains, Pajarito Mountain will offer scenic chair lifts to the top of the mountain during Summerfest.
    Festival goers can hike or bike down a number of trails, ranging from easy to most difficult/expert. Lift tickets are only $10 for hiking and $25 for mountain biking.
    For competitive bicyclists, the Pajarito Punishment Downhill Bike Race will begin at 1 p.m., where racers will careen down the mountain at top speed.

  • “Fizz Boom Read” program has started at the Mesa Public Library. Kid-friendly events are throughout June and teach children the joy of reading.
    Clan Tynker kicked off the program, June 2 at the skate park in from of the library.
    Here are other programs available for kids and teens. All events are at the Mesa Public Library unless otherwise noted.
    • Book Brunch Lunch. 1-1:45 p.m. every Wednesday. For ages 7-11. Bring lunch and hear librarian read favorite books.
    • Ready, set, read. 1 p.m., every Thursday. For kids 4-6.
    • Lego Club. 1-2 p.m., every Monday. For kids up to 6 with an accompanying adult; 2-3 p.m. for ages 7 and up.
    • TAG (Teen Advisory Group). 4 p.m. Monday between ages 13-18 for get first look at new teen books.
    • My Little Pony. 2 p.m. June 17. Kids under 5 with an adult
    • Fandom Freak-Out: Zombies. 6:30-8:30 p.m. June 19 for teens.
    • American Girl. 2 p.m. June 19-20 at White Rock Library; and 2 p.m. June 24-26 at MPL. For ages 8-12.
    • American Girl Jr. 2 p.m. June 23 at MPL. For ages 6-7.
    • Spy Night. 6 p.m. June 24. For ages 5-12 under 5 welcome with an accompanying adult.

  •  Los Alamos National Laboaratory representatives Dr. Phillip Noll, Jennifer Payne and LeAnn Purtzer discussed ongoing environmental stewardship projects at LANL last week.
    The trio talked about LANL’s efforts to evaluate impacts of laboratory activities on cultural resources, assess ecological risks, and prepare environmental assessments, cultural resources reports and mitigation plans. They talked about the LANL Trails Working Group, which inventories, maps, and prepares historical reports for the many trails on LANL property that are used for recreational purposes.
    Federal laws provide the basis for protecting natural resources, while regulations construct the framework for how this is done at LANL. Many of these stewardship activities are the responsibility of the laboratory’s Environmental Services Group, including biological and cultural resources management, national Environmental Policy Act compliance, pollution prevention, and the laboratory’s Environmental Management System. As part of the environmental protection program, LANL specialists oversee and manage the laboratory’s cultural resources programs. Several laws including the National Historic Preservation Act and various regulations establish the policy, standards and processes that govern LANL’s resources management activities. 

  • Four Los Alamos High School seniors have been awarded scholarships from the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra. Judy Lee and Chip Mielke each received $300 and Kristen Haertling and Maria McTeigue each received $200.
    The LASO awards are presented to seniors who have demonstrated outstanding musical achievement and who plan to continue musical pursuits.
    Mielke is a violinist and Lee plays violin and viola. Both play in the LAHS top orchestra and have played with the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions and will be greatly missed next year. Haertling is also a violinist and has been active in the LAHS top orchestra. McTeigue is a flautist and has been the lead drum major for the LAHS ’Topper Marching Band this year. Courtesy 

  • Kristen Haertling, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month. Haertling is the daughter of Mike and Trudy Haertling, and sister of Sherri and Daniel.
    The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as a Student of the Month.
    This year’s recipients reflect a combination of both LAHS seniors and juniors; next year, only juniors will be recognized in hopes of inspiring their interest in Rotary programs starting the summer following junior year.
    Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and, in particular, their service to the community.

  • Ahh! The sweet sounds of summer are upon us.
    These are the days when you spend a little extra time loitering around, contemplating pool-ness and indulging in some additional ice cream.
    This year, there might be something new to indulge in, even though it might not sounds as fun as ice cream, it is more important than a swamp cooler on a warm June night.
    Teens and texting is the topic and this Thursday night, KOB-TV, channel 4 will host a program called “Driven to Distraction.”
    NBC news broadcasted a story last night on with percentages of teen related issues, which might be pretty alarming.
    Safe Kids Worldwide has captured data that shows car accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths, with 2,400 teens killed in 2012.
    The report also found that 25 percent of teens don’t always buckle up when driving a car.
    Thirty-nine percent of teens have been in a vehicle where the driver is texting and driving. Now, hold on to your girdle for this one, 28 percent of teens admit that their parent is driving the car and texting too.
    When we grew up, our parents said it to us all the time, “Monkey See, Monkey Do.” So I’m asking you not to be bananas and put the phone down.

  • 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 friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:
    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.
    Also, be sure to check out 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.


    Art exhibits

    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. Friday. Show runs until June 21. 


    “Collages and Bone,” the works of Robert Dean Stockwell. Opening reception from 5-7 p.m.  Saturday at The Grand Bohemian Gallery at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos. Free. 


  • Santa Fe
    Thornburg Companies Cafe, 2300 N. Ridge Road
    Date inspected: April 14
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Wood Gormley Elementary, 141 Booth St.
    Date inspected: April 14
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Dish machine sanitation not working properly, but was corrected at time of inspection.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Inn on the Alameda, 303 E. Alameda St.
    Date inspected: April 14
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Sanitizing solution not working properly, but was corrected at time of inspection. One moderate-risk violation. Sanitizing test strips not available. Two low-risk violations. Dish racks stored on floor, which was corrected at time of inspection. Light fixtures shielded with plastic, need to provide adequate light protectors.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • New kids program explores outdoors

    Every Wednesday morning in June, Melissa Mackey will take children ages 6-10 on an imaginative journey of life in the canyons, mesas, mountains and skies. Mackey will use story, outdoor skills and group games to help children explore the wonders of nature that are all around them.
    The hands-on classes will be from 10-11:30 a.m. and meet at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    Mackey will teach fire building and fire safety and read stories about early humans and fire. As they explore canyons, they will play with water and mud and will talk about erosion. Children will ask themselves why there are deer around our town and coyotes in our backyard. Each week will feature one theme (canyons, mesas, mountains and skies), but in every session the group will talk about how the four are connected.
    The classes are intended for children ages 6-10; they must have completed first grade to participate. Space is limited to only 10 children for each session, so advance registration is highly recommended. Drop-ins are welcome on a space available basis.
    The cost for each session is $8, or $6.50 for PEEC members per child. For more information about this program and to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or by call 662-0460.

  • The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad kicked off its 43rd season with simultaneous festive ceremonies at both the Chama and the Antonito, Colo., depots on May 24. KZRM Radio and 96.1 FM broadcasted live from the Chama depot. The celebrations were free and open to the public.
    Dignitaries boarded the trains for a 10 a.m. departure.
    The railroad was recently designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.
    Ed Beaudette, Manager of Engineering and Operational Planning for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, welcomed the group of dignitaries and the public to the Opening Day Ceremony in Chama. Father Scott McKee, of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Chama, blessed the railroad. Raymond Tafoya, a Medicine Man of the Jicarilla Apache Nation, Dulce, performed a sacred blessing of the railroad, and there was drumming and dancing by the Butterfly Dancers from Dulce. The Master of Ceremonies was Clyde Vicente, Director of the Jicarilla Apache Cultural Center. The Chama Color Guard, headed by Paul Edwards, raised the U.S. and New Mexico flags. Jewell Maestas and Jessica Casados sang the National Anthem, and the famed DJ El Norteño from the Chama Valley played a mixture of all sorts of regional music.

  • Now that summer is approaching and the school year is about to end, kids tend to turn off their brain and lose their creativity. Author Angela Spady has created a series of storybooks with creative themes that keep kids imaginations roaring throughout the year.
    The part-time Taos resident has publishes two books of the series “Channing O’Banning and the Rainforest Rescue” and “Channing O’Banning and the Turquoise Trail” are available through Amazon. The third book in the series, “Channing O’Banning and the Tickled Pink Pencil Problem” is available for preorder through Amazon.com or channingobanning.com and will be out in July.
    Spady is an art educator and says she is passionate about kids using art to process the world around them. The lead character of the story, Channing O’Banning, does just that as she carries a colored pencil in her ponytail, along with a sketchpad, in case a creative moment occurs in her world and she learns valuable lessons of life along the way.

  • Nearly half of senior home accidents are preventable, according to an emergency room doctor survey.
    Home Instead Senior Care of Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Española offers free home safety checks and easy fixes to reduce accidents to help ensure safety of seniors.
    Nearly 20 million seniors visit the emergency room each year with almost a third of the visits related to injuries, many of which are sustained in the place seniors are meant to feel the safest: their home.
    In fact, 65 percent of senior homes have at least one potential safety issue, according to adult children of seniors surveyed by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network.
    These preventable home hazards, such as throw rugs or loose railings, can be particularly harmful, leading to falls and injuries that can impact seniors’ ability to live independently.
    However, the majority of seniors (85 percent) haven’t taken any steps to prepare their homes for their changing needs as they grow older. 
    “The home should be the safest and most comfortable place for aging seniors,” said Chico Marquez of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Española.

  • Registration for the Y Earth Service Corps (YESC) 2014 summer program is open for any interested youth ages 11-17.
    This program is a summer-long, hands-on experience for youth that teaches leadership development, environmental stewardship, service learning projects and cross-cultural awareness.
    This summer’s YESC program will focus on improving Los Alamos trails and on caring for the Hilltop Garden. Participants will also have a part in choosing to become involved in various other community service projects as well.
    The YESC summer program runs from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Thursday starting June 9.
    The YESC participants will meet at the Los Alamos Teen Center each morning and will be returned to the Teen Center at noon each day. However, the YESC program will also provide opportunities for the participants to go on fun, afternoon field trips and hikes, as well as a couple of camp-outs throughout the summer.
    Registration takes place at the main Y facility. To register, the perspective YESC participant and a legal guardian will need to come-in to complete the YESC registration forms, and payment is due at the time of registration.

  • The Democratic Party of Los Alamos held its annual JFK Award dinner last week. This year the award for outstanding service to the community and to the Democratic Party went to Kyle and Mike Wheeler. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, candidate for Secretary of State, gave the keynote address to the 100-plus people gathered at the Betty Ehart Center. Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard introduced Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. The Congressman enumerated numerous committees, elected positions held, and service both Wheelers have given to Los Alamos for nearly 30 years before he presented the award to them.

  • Mary Carol Williams grew up loving the outdoors. A feeling that has remained instilled in her all of her life.
    Williams has lived in Los Alamos since 1972, when her husband took a job working on polymers and graphite for nuclear reactors at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She worked as an environmental chemist at the lab until her retirement in 2002.
    “Through that job, I got a lot of experience with all the different facets of the lab,” she said.
    Before moving to the southwest, Williams lived on a lake in Virginia when she was young.
    “There were a lot of ducks, fish, birds and all those good things,” she said. “I would paddle my canoe to visit my friend on the other end of the lake. Everyone played outside, so I’ve always been an outdoor person. We didn’t have TVs. As a consequence, I have been very active all my life in nature-related things.”
    Williams was involved with Girl Scout troops and camps since I was very young. I continued as a Girl Scout leader after moving to Los Alamos. She stopped to focus on her job at the lab.
    Williams remains fond of the oceans and said that she and her husband love to scuba dive. She has been diving along both United States coast, several spots in the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and South America.

  • The Bike & Gear Swap is a fundraising event for the Los Alamos Tuff Riders (the local 501c3 nonprofit International Mountain Bike Association chapter).
    This third annual event is an opportunity for the public to sell items no longer in use and purchase new items for the season at a discounts.
    The Bike & Gear Swap will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 7 at the Los Alamos Co-op. Professional mechanics will provide free bike safety checks during the Bike Swap.
    To sell items or drop of equipment, the community may come to the co-op between noon and 7 p.m. June 5-6 and before the swap on June 7 between 7-8:30 a.m. Items will not be accepted after 8:30 a.m.
    See the general manager at customer service desk for details about dropping off or selling equipment and allow time to fill out sale tickets and attach them to items. The Co-op will store all dropped-off equipment in secured storage.
    Sellers receive 85 percent of the ticket price for all items sold, and 15 percent of the proceeds go to Tuff Riders. The Co-op will pay sellers starting at 2 p.m. following the Bike & Gear Swap.

  • Jill Abramson, recently fired as executive editor of the New York Times, rose above vindictiveness a week later to tell graduates, “We human beings are a lot more resilient than we often realize.”
    Graduation ceremonies are all about encouraging future success, but thinking back, I wish somebody had talked to us about failure — namely, finding the strength and heart to put one foot in front of the other after life’s personal and professional disasters.
    Author J. K. Rowling a few years ago told Harvard grads about the “benefits of failure.”
    “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”