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Features

  •  The National Multiple Sclerosis Society invites individuals and teams to pedal toward a world free of MS during Bike MS: Pedal los Pueblos 2014, presented by Sam’s Club, on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6-7. This annual two-day fundraising ride is fully supported from start to finish and features a figure-eight route through Northern New Mexico. Registered cyclists commit to raise a minimum of $250 to fund MS education, programs, services and research that directly impact the lives of those affected by the disease. 
    “Bike MS represents more than just an opportunity to raise awareness and funds toward the MS movement, it’s the chance for community members, neighbors, and families to come together and connect with one another,” notes Maggie Schold, Senior Development Manager for the National MS Society in New Mexico. “We are excited for our cyclists to experience this extraordinary ride as they support an extraordinary cause.” 

  • The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Kids Ride Free program is back for a second year. Children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old will ride for free with the purchase of one full price adult ticket on the daily excursion trains. The successful program has also been extended to the Cinder Bear Experience — a half day excursion from Chama to Cumbres Pass.
    The train climbs the 10,015-foot-high Cumbres Pass, winds through tunnels and over trestles, and past waterfalls, mountain forests, and alpine meadows.
    A ride on the train is an adventure and is now a top summer vacation pick with the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad Kids Ride Free program.
    The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is America’s highest and longest narrow gauge railroad.
    The railroad is owned jointly by the states of New Mexico and Colorado and crosses back and forth between the two states 11 times.
    Daily excursion trains stop at the Osier Dining Hall for a lunch of roast turkey, homemade meatloaf, baked fish and a fresh salad bar. The children’s menu includes hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and chocolate and pumpkin pie peach cobbler desserts made fresh daily.
    The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was designated a National Historic Landmark in October of 2012.

  • Originally from Massachusetts, Heather Ward has lived in Los Alamos for more than 10 years. She strives to create highly realistic drawings of animals, both wild and domestic and pushes her media to the limits to achieve the effects she wants.
    Preferring to work with dry media, her favorites are charcoal, graphite, pyrography and scratchboard.
    Scratchboard is a subtractive medium, similar to carving, where material is removed to create the art. Abrasive tools are used to scratch away the ink on the surface to reveal a white clay underneath. “I was very reluctant to try scratchboard because I assumed it was very unforgiving — once you make a scratch it’s there for good,” said Ward who is a self-taught artist. “But it turns out that’s not the case at all. By using different tools and adding black ink when necessary, many mistakes can be covered up.”
    It’s not just knife-work either; almost any abrasive tool will work. “I use sandpaper, fiberglass brushes, even tattoo needles to get the textures and values I want.” To see what tools Ward uses, visit heatherwardwildlifeart.blogspot.com/2013/02/scratchboard-tools.html.

  • The Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will hold its spring concert in May and it will be conducted by Don Gerheart. The concert master will be Los Alamos High School alum Rachel Hixson.
    The spring concert will be 7 p.m. May 2 at the Crossroads Bible Church. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
    The program will consist of the following: Overture to Nabucco from Verdi, Carmen Suite No. 1 from Bizet and Symphony in D Minor from César Franck.
    For Hixson, the program is a wide-range mix of classical rhythms and scales. She said she is looking forward to the duties of maintaining the orchestra and helping colleagues tune and bow their instruments.
    “It is an excellent program,” Hixson said. “It is filled with fun overtures and Carmen is the perfect introduction to the Santa Fe Opera production coming up this season.”
    Gerheart also said he enjoys the range of tempos in Carmen, such as the overture to the bull fighting scene in the opera to the march-like beats.
    Gerheart admits the program is long and challenging. “It’s a nice variety of ranges,” he said. “Franck’s work is an extensive piece with many changing modulations.” The piece is several minutes long and switches from string to wind instruments.

  • After 23 years of teaching at Los Alamos High School, math teacher Joy Handsberry has had a chance to see a totally different side of staff and students, one of love and compassion.
    Handsberry was diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier in the school year, which was discovered during a routine doctor’s appointment and after an odd pain that happened a day earlier.
    “I mentioned it to my doctor, Dr. Molly Vosburg, the next day to her great credit, Dr. Vosburg immediately ordered a CT scan and we caught the cancer at stage 2,” Handsberry said. “Since the diagnosis, it’s been quite a whirlwind of treatment with surgery followed by chemotherapy. The thing that has stood out most to me along this path is just how wonderful people are and how much they long to help.”
    Thursday, LAHS students Emily Pittman, Emma Lathrop and the LAHS Key Club, with the help of the Kiwanis Club, will host a spaghetti fundraiser dinner at the Christian Church on East Road.
    The event starts at 5:30 p.m. with spaghetti, meatballs, bread, salad, cookie and a drink on the menu. Donations will be accepted for Handsberry.
    Pittman’s involvement was the organization of events. Pittman found the location for the dinner and also found adults and students willing to help with set up and clean up.

  • This week, we will cover two different Assets, numbers 18 and 19, youth activities and religious community.
    We’ll take a look at youth activities, when a young person spends one or more hours per week in a sport, club, organization, or in the community.
    We have so many kids doing so many great things, some things get some great publicity and so many other youth do things that don’t get such coverage.
    This past weekend, we had some great members of the Los Alamos Youth Leadership program held its annual Wild Day celebration for the elementary youth.
    While the day comes off as an intense day of play, there’s a lot of youth thought that goes into the event. The planning, the coordinating, the purchasing, the calling, the organizing and let’s not forget the paperwork.
    There are a number of Eagle Scout projects that make the community a great place to live and take a lot of work on behalf of the Scout and their troop.
    There are pancake breakfasts where choirs sing, car washes, even in not so great weather and fundraising galore.
    There are many high school students that go into the younger grades to teach, read and work with students in art, music and more.

  • Sarah Gustafson has an interest in nature as it relates to the young people of the community.
    She is the coordinator of the Nature Odyssey summer program for children in fourth through sixth grade. It takes place one to two weeks in June. Over the years, it has evolved to combine outdoor adventure with field science, which the kids love.
    “We have a lot of kids whose parents work at the lab, so that’s their view of what scientists do,” Gustafson said. “We try to instill the idea that you can do science outside, too. So we bring in geologists, ecologists and other field scientists. Over the last 4-5 years, I’ve been developing the theme of Nature Detectives to tie the activities together.”
    Gustafson also coordinates the Living Earth Adventure Program program for middle schoolers, that is also a summer program in June. “What (kids) love about it really comes back to the connections they make with nature, with other people, and with themselves. They all talk about making new friends and discovering interesting things,” she said.
    Gustafson served as the Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s first vice president and was very involved in early Earth Day celebrations. During PEEC’s infancy, she focused on forging connections with Bandelier and other local organizations.

  •  

    April 21-26, 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

    10:30 a.m. LARSO Advisory Council

  •  

    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:

    petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html

    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

    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 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.

  • It’s time for a big birthday party. April 22 marks the 110th anniversary of the birth of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, and the Los Alamos Historical Museum is hosting a daylong birthday party to celebrate.
    The museum, 1050 Bathtub Row (just north of Fuller Lodge), will have free cupcakes available while supplies last. Oppenheimer biographies, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning “American Prometheus,” will be 20 percent off regular price.
    In addition, Los Alamos visitors and residents alike can pick up coupons at the museum for $1 off Oppenheimer martinis and 10 percent off specially prepared Oppenheimer meals at the Manhattan Project Restaurant (formerly Dixie Girl).
    Coupons will only be available in the museum and are only valid on April 22.
    The restaurant will display Manhattan Project-era pictures from the museum and have some Oppenheimer “trivia” available, as well.
    Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project and a “founding father” of Los Alamos, was born in 1904 in New York. He visited New Mexico as a young man, and his love for the area helped him convince Gen. Leslie Groves, military director of the project, that it would be a good place for a remote, top-secret laboratory during World War II.

  • It’s that time of year again for school-aged kids to let loose and go wild. The annual Los Alamos Youth Leadership Wild Day is Saturday.
    Students (kindergarten through the sixth grade) are welcome to sign up and enjoy a day of fun with adult mentors and teen coordinators that encourage teamwork.
    The day kicks off 9 a.m. at either Los Alamos Griffith Gym or Sullivan Field, depending on the weather.
    The “Teamtastic” trio of teen coordinators will guide the children through arts and crafts, games and team events with younger kids vs. older kids. Nine kids will be assigned to each team coordinator.
    The teen coordinators helped plan the events and all are veterans to the Wild Day celebration.
    Los Alamos High School senior Haley Bridgewater has been with LAYL throughout her high school career, she has been a coordinator for Wild Day for three years. She has participated in many fundraising events for LAYL as well.
    “I helped organize a car wash fundraiser,” Bridgewater said. She has also participated in other activities associated with LAYL, such as setting up bike racks around town and plan Adopt-A-Family activities.

  • Closing party scheduled for exhibit

    A closing party for “Two Views One Vision” at 3 p.m. Saturday at the La Tienda Exhibit Space, 7 Caliente Road in Eldorado.
    Come see 60 collaborative paintings by Cuban artist Pablo Perea and American artist Linda Storm
    “To me our paintings are a visual representation of the harmony that can exist between different cultures.” Storm said.
    “We found our common ground as two artists. We thought we knew everything about ourselves, but from this surreal land that we created the whole world looks different... including us.”

    Jemez Gallery to host reception

  • Santa Fe
    Cloud Cliff Bakery, 1805 Second St.
    Date inspected: March 5
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations. Roof leaks found. Excess equipment needs to be removed.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Souper Salad, 2428 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: March 5
    Violations: Seven high-risk violations. Rodent dropping in display equipment, hot holding unit and inside storage area. Owner cannot safely manage pest control. No sanitizer on dish rags. Hot holding at improper temperature. Water on floor in prep area. Cold holding inadequate and not labeled correctly. Ice buildup in freezer. Ice scoop, can opener and ice machine had food build up and metal shavings. Paint stored in food prep area. No paper towels in restroom. Butter container not cleaned after each use. Two moderate risk violations. Heavy food build up on walls and vents. Grease on vents. Seal on upright freezer is degrated and not proper for freezer. One low-risk violation. Damaged tile throughout facility.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • The world’s largest gathering of Native American and indigenous people will begin April 24 in Albuquerque.
    The 31st Annual Gathering of Nations, considered the most prominent Native American powwow in the North America, will host tens of thousands of people and more than 700 tribes from throughout the United States, Canada and around the world.
    The three-day event will include more than 3,000 traditional Native American singers and dancers competing, and more than 800 Native American artisans, craftsmen and traders displaying and selling their work.
    In addition, 27 contemporary indigenous bands will be performing a wide variety of musical genres on Stage 49 including a fashion show and DJ glow dance event.
    Vendors in the Native Food Court will offer guests a large selection of food choices ranging between southwestern-style cuisine and traditional Native American fare.
    As part of the Gathering of Nations, a young Native American woman will be crowned Miss Indian World and represent all native and indigenous people as a cultural goodwill ambassador.
    Native American and indigenous women will represent their different tribes and traditions. The contestants will compete in the areas of tribal knowledge through interviews, essays, public speaking and traditional presentation and dance.

  • Two buildings in Santa Fe — Marian Hall, completed in 1910, and the old St. Vincent Hospital building, completed in the early 1950s — show that old structures can be given new life.
    Drury Hotels is transforming these buildings, the new Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe. Two blocks from the Santa Fe Plaza and adjacent to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, the Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe will be the first new large hotel to open in downtown Santa Fe in 18 years.
    Also part of the Drury’s revival of these five acres of dormant space at the intersection of East Palace Avenue and Paseo de Peralta is the development of pedestrian walkways and gardens.
    The property, which will officially open in August, will be a full-service hotel with 182 rooms, a restaurant, a 3,800-square-foot ballroom, and a year-around, heated rooftop bar and pool with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There will be retail and gallery space on the Paseo de Peralta side of the property.
    An underground parking garage will underlie two-thirds of the south side of the property, with new suites and gallery spaces constructed above it. But even with all of the new and existing buildings, 40 percent of the site is devoted to open space.

  • In recognition of National Parks Week, Bandelier National Monument will waive entry fees on Saturday and Sunday. For the duration of National Parks Week — April 19-27 — Bandelier is offering several guided hikes. Both Bandelier and the County of Los Alamos will also celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with several events including the groundbreaking of the new Nature Center at Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
    On April 19, Bandelier National Monument’s lead archaeologist will lead a 4-mile, three-hour guided hike along Burnt Mesa Trail. On April 20, a similar two-hour guided hike near Loop C in Juniper Campground will be offered. Both off-trail hikes will give hikers a glimpse at the earliest and latest mesa-top Ancestral Pueblo sites. Both hikes are moderate in skill level.
    On Sunday, get a look at the areas impacted by fire and floods and see exposures of the Rabbit Hill volcanics during a “Fire and Flood Hike” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The 10-mile hike from Ponderosa Campground to Upper Alamo crossing will be led by plant specialist Brian Jacobs and Elaine Jacobs.

  • Last November, Los Alamos Stephen Becker embarked on the National Geographic Explorer ship to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Antarctica. During this voyage, the “National Geographic” photographers produced a 50-minute video showing some of the trip highlights. Becker will show the video, and talk about the trip in a 7 p.m. program Thursday at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. This event is free to attend and no advance registration is required. For more information about this and other events at PEEC, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or by call 662-0460.

  • Blanca Jones of Los Alamos is eager to share the developments of the 2013 Los Alamos Soccer Collection Drive for the Children of Uganda she organized. She will share the question posed to her that began the collection drive, from which 23 boxes of soccer supplies were collected.
    The public community event, “Hearts for Uganda,” is being hosted by Jones and will be from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. May 17 at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road.
    Music will be provided by the internationally known Ugandan Watoto Children’s Choir and the guest speaker will be Mark Hallamore, a youth pastor at Community of Joy Church in Rio Rancho who will have just returned from his latest visit to Soroti.
    Available for purchase will be African jewelry, handmade by the women of Soroti, as a fundraiser with proceeds going directly back to their villages through Aica Ministries and the Soroti Eagles Soccer Academy. 

  • I’d like to open this column with a special thank you to the Los Alamos Public Utilities Department, water, sewer and trash and road repair crews.
    I confess that I lied to you in last week’s column and you may have noticed I was suspiciously absent last week.
    While I told you to take it easy and stay in your pajamas, I spent the week with 54 of my fellow community members, working harder than many of us have ever worked in our lives.
    A crew of 55 traveled to Mexico during the break, not for fun and frolic, but to build two homes, and a youth school classroom in just four days, that’s correct, three structures in four days.
    Of the 55, half of these were youth from our community. The youngest was in seventh grade and the rest were high school students. They worked aside their adult counterparts, working so hard for the benefit of their fellow man, in Assets language; cultural competency at it’s finest.
    Our youth did what it might take their parents, 10 or even 30 years to accomplish, home ownership. Their free time resulted in a home that provides, safety, security and a door with a key and a handmade keychain.
    The families receiving the gift have weekly incomes of $65 to $115 and that may be from working two different jobs. There are five members living in each home.

  • Los Alamos County will be holding public information meetings about the teen center. The meetings are for teens from 3-5 p.m Wednesday at the current teen center, located in the lower level of the Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.
    There were also be a meeting to update residents on the design of the new teen center. This meeting will be from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Community Building. The same material will be presented at each meeting.
    The design for the new teen center is underway and estimated construction completion set for August 2015. The Teen Center will be located in the Community Building, utilizing vacated space now that the county tenants have moved to the Municipal Building. NCA Architects is the architect of record and will be presenting concepts for review and evaluation. The County Council approved $4.2 million in funding in FY13 to design and remodel the Community Building for use as a Teen Center. The remaining tenants at the Community Building (United States Forest Service, New Mexico Extension Service, Youth Activity Center and PAC-8) are to remain in their current locations.
    During the upcoming meetings, the public will be able to view conceptual floor plans, exterior renderings, and site plans for the new Teen Center.