• Daddy/Daughter
    Valentine dance today

    The Los Alamos County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division will host the annual Valentine’s Dessert Dances at Fuller Lodge in February.
    The Daddy/Daughter event is today, the Mother/Son event is Feb. 11 and the Family Dance is Feb. 12. All events are from 6-8:30 p.m. and includes light refreshments, dancing, a craft project and a digital photo keepsake.
    The cost for the event is $16 per couple, $8 for each additional child and $30 per family (includes two adults and two children.) The event is limited to 80 participants.
    For more information about “Dessert Dances,” visit the website at losalamosnm.us/rec or contact the LAC Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division at 662-8170.

    Hilltalkers reschedule bake sale for Friday

    The Los Alamos Hilltalkers Speech and Debate team have rescheduled its bake sale fundraiser from 3-6 p.m. Friday in the lobby of the Los Alamos National Bank at 1200 Trinity Drive.
    The high school speech and debate team will be accepting donations in exchange for homemade treats including spanakopita, red bean paste buns, macaroons, caramels, brownies, cookies, breads and cakes.
    Baked goods will be available in small portions, as well as whole cakes and loaves.

  • “You could be that one person to make a difference in the life of a teen,” challenged Jason Sole, author of the book “From Prison to Ph.D.” Sole carries a heavy rap sheet from his past.
    A former drug dealer and gang-banger, Sole put in years of hard work and found the courage and resilience to turn his life around.
    He is now a proud family man and an assistant professor of criminal justice. He manages his own consulting business and tours the country as a motivational speaker, a gang prevention specialist and a trainer for the One Circle Foundation.
    Sole attributes much of his success to the mentors in his life — the people who believed in him and his ability to realize his full potential.
    Sponsored by the Los Alamos JJAB and funding from CYFD, Sole recently traveled from Minnesota to Los Alamos to lead a training program for facilitators of the Council for Boys and Young Men. Twenty-four professionals from New Mexico and Colorado gathered to participate.
    “This was one of the best trainings I have ever attended,” said Michelangelo Lobato, counselor at Chamisa Elementary School.

  • Master Gardener class forming now

    Los Alamos gardeners interested in expanding their horticultural horizons may register for the 2015 New Mexico State University Master Gardener training course, sponsored by the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension.  
    Designed specifically for home gardeners, the class is held every Tuesday from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 17-May 12.
    NMSU College of Agriculture, Environmental and Consumer Sciences faculty will teach the class and topics run the gamut from pruning and soils to pesticide safety and landscaping.
    Certified Master Gardeners become official educational agents of the university and work closely with faculty and staff to provide horticultural services and information to the general public.  
    “More than 650 Los Alamos residents have completed the training program since its inception in 1984,” said Carlos Valdez, director of the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service.  “They have both honed their horticultural skills and found satisfaction in sharing their expertise with the Los Alamos community.”
    In addition to the Demonstration Garden, the Los Alamos Master Gardeners’ Association has reached out to the community through various activities, programs and donations.

  • OK, we’ll start with something heavy and end with something light.
    I want to know what you think is missing, not just for youth, but in what makes a community?
    I want this to be a virtual, or if you wish, postal meeting where you tell me your thoughts. If you feel like you can trust me and can drop me an email, text, or phone call.
    I dislike meetings when things are decided by only who can show on that day. I want everyone to have valuable input which is my reason for the column.
    If you don’t know me well or just feel more comfortable putting pen to paper, then drop me a note.
    I’m not looking for two things in this goal. I am not looking for a free-for-all anonymous rant. It can be anonymous but I want to know real issues, for your family, a friend, or about something you see or hear in the community.
    I am also not looking for pie in the sky things, a Jacuzzi in every home, an indoor athletic facility that would take millions of dollars.
    I want to know what you’re seeing or not seeing. What are you, the youth, the senior citizens, or the poor, not feeling from this community?
    There will be a public meeting on March 12. Details will come later, but I want the community to help craft the resources pooled for such a meeting. I have heard some great suggestions and I want more.

  • Do you see birds around Los Alamos and find yourself asking, “What is that bird? Can anybody help me figure out what I’m seeing?” Avid birder Dave Yeamans will give it a try in a presentation starting at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    The program, which has been very popular in the past, will last about an hour, followed by time for sharing problematic bird identifications, bird feeding ideas and general birding information. Yeamans will share photos, videos, and sounds, concentrating on about 20 common birds — some that are easy to identify and others that aren’t. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars.
    Yeamans has watched birds most of his life, starting in Los Alamos many years ago, and in the last five years has become a birder of the type he calls “semi-pro.” He is active in Audubon bird counts, bird banding, field trips, and local birding activities, and he has led birding trips for the PEEC birders group and for the PEEC Nature Center. He has been an outdoor educator all his life, especially as an Outward Bound instructor and BSA scout leader.

  • Feb. 1-7, 2015
    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
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio    
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken and rice
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    10 a.m.    Computer users group
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Pork roast
    1 p.m.         MindBody massage
    1 p.m.        My CD workshop
    6 p.m.        Mahjong
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.     Table Tennis

    8:30 a.m.    LAVA quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken chile             cheese soup

  • 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:


    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.


    Crest — An orange tabby. He is one of the current cat room greeters, and loves to be the center of attention! He can be a bit demanding and may prove to be a dominant presence in a multi-cat setting.

  • What began as a small group of students at Santa Fe’s Acequia Madre School concerned about global warming has grown to include more than 100 area children. The Global Warming Express (GWE) was founded by 9-year-olds to take action to encourage adults to adopt more earth-friendly practices. They testify at public hearings, have written a book to send to President Barack Obama and launched a successful campaign to solarize Acequia Madre Elementary School. Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales gave the keynote speech at a fundraiser for the GWE on Wednesday at Tomasita’s restaurant with support from Positive Energy Solar, the state’s leading solar installer.

    “It’s been an incredible experience to watch these young people rally their community to effect positive change in the world” said Positive Energy Solar CEO Regina Wheeler. “Imagine what could happen if every community had kids driving the conversation about climate change like we do here in Santa Fe. We’re thrilled to help them on their journey. I hope to see everyone in Santa Fe come out to support Global Warming Express on Wednesday night.”

  • Art exhibits

    First Friday Citywide event: Contemporary Artifacts — featuring the works of artists Chris Meyer (mixed media) and Jenn Noel (ceramics). At the Weyrich Gallery, 2835D Louisiana Blvd. in Albuquerque. Show runs through Jan. 30.


    Gallery artists group show. Opening from 5-7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the photo-eye Gallery, 541 South Guadalupe St. in Santa Fe. Exhibit runs through March 14.

    Solo exhibition by Jeri Moore. “The Language of Humanity.” Through February at the Act I Gallery.


    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce Under 35: Part III. The exhibition will feature works by Nicola López, Nouel Riel and Jack Warren. The opening will be 5-7 p.m. Jan. 30, in which artist Nouel Riel will be present. The show runs until Feb. 21.


    The Russian National Ballet theater presents, “The Sleeping Beauty.” With music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and choreography by Marius Petipa, the company creates an engaging experience for all ages. Based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault, the ballet features Princess Aurora, the wicked fairy and the Lilac Fairy. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at Popejoy Hall. 



  • What is the best follow-up to an Agatha Christie murder story? It is the comedy version of the story, of course.

    In November, the Los Alamos Little Theater produced “And Then There Were None,” a classic whodunit with a series of murders among a group of weekenders at an island estate. This month, LALT follows that production with “Murdered to Death” by Peter Gordon, another thrilling mystery but with a hilarious twist.

    The story begins as all Christie stories normally would — guests arriving for a weekend getaway at the invitation of their hostess Mildred. From the esteemed and bombastically British Colonel Craddock and his unhappy wife, to a French art dealer with an outrageous accent and his beautiful girlfriend, the guests fill the usual expected roster. Add a goofy Mrs. Maple, who has a history of always being present when a murder occurs (Agatha Christie fans know who this character is) and the drawing room is full.

    There is the matter of some fraudulent artwork, the gun shot in the study, the murder of the hostess, and the arrival of the police detective and his significantly more competent constable, and the game begins.

  • An informal birthday party was held for Los Alamos artist Francis “Frank” Harlow Jan. 21 at the Los Alamos Historical Society. His 87th birthday was celebrated in conjunction with an exhibit of his artwork at the museum.

    His motorcycle helmet, jacket and gloves are on display as the centerpiece to his artwork.

    A painting of his beloved motorcycle is also on display. “I rode that until I couldn’t balance anymore,” Harlow said. The motorcycle has been on display at several museums in Santa Fe and is now at the New Mexico History Museum.

    Accompanied by his wife Patricia, the two celebrated his birthday with a piece of cake. The couple moved to Los Alamos in 1953 and lived at the same residence since 1962, according to Patricia Harlow.

    Along with being an artist Harlow was a Los Alamos physicist and a noted Native pottery collector and researcher. He specialized in studying the evolution of historical Pueblo pottery and wrote or co-wrote books about it, including “The Pottery of Zia Pueblo” (2003), “Historic Pottery of the Pueblo Indians: 1600-1880” (1990) and “The Pottery of Santa Ana Pueblo” (2005).

  • This spring’s trip to Washington D.C. for 8th graders is scheduled for April 3-7 and there is still a chance to sign up.
    The program is available for 8th graders that attend Los Alamos Middle School, as well as homeschoolers.
    It is a private trip that is organized by Los Alamos resident and former teacher Roberta Cocking. The middle school works in conjunction with WorldStrides touring company, based in Virginia.
    Cocking has organized the trip since 1997.
    The price is paid for by the student, with all airfare and accommodations included in the price. The students stay at a five-star hotel in Arlington, Virginia, near all the historical sites in Washington, D.C. There are nighttime chaperones and a doctor on call is available 24-7 at the hotel.
    Deadline to sign up at the current price is Feb. 7. Students are encouraged to sign up as soon as possible to lock the current price.
    Visit worldstridesdiscovernow.org for more information on costs.
    “So no strangers are coming onto the floor and no kids are leaving after the students are in lock down,” Cocking said.

  • A group of volunteers has been working to propel the history of Los Alamos into the global spotlight. On Tuesday, that group celebrated a significant milestone with a champagne toast in Fuller Lodge. Hundreds of local residents had received invitations marked “Declassified.” They filled the Lodge, which had been decorated with an aura of mystery, not knowing what awaited them.
    Los Alamos Historical Society president Ron Wilkins kicked off the festivities, which culminated in the dramatic unveiling of the “History is Here” campaign results, from the largest single capital campaign ever conducted by a nonprofit in Los Alamos. The long-range goal of the campaign is to raise $7 million, which will go to support several efforts:
    The collections and archives of the Historical Society
    The museum’s ability to enhance its visitors’ experience with new exhibits
    Bathtub Row press and the publications of the Historical Society
    The preservation of historically significant buildings
    New educational programs and technologies that can reach additional audiences
    The occasion marked the halfway point in the History is Here Campaign, with $3,508,189.18 raised to date.

  • Daffodils sale benefits hospice program

    The Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice Program is having its annual “Daffodils for Hospice” sale in March. Daffodil preorders are being taken now through March 1.
    Proceeds from the sale support the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service Hospice program for terminally ill individuals.
    A glass vase with two bunches (20 stems) of daffodils is available for $15. A glass vase with one bunch is for $10. A single bunch (10 stems) is for $5. Delivery is free with any $10 minimum order to a single address.  
    All flowers will be delivered March 7, or can be picked up at “Daffodil Central” (181 Central Park Square) from 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. March 5-6.  
    Watch for location sales at Los Alamos National Bank and Smith’s grocery stores on March 5-6.  The sale is sponsored in part by Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico.  
    To place an order, call the Visiting Nurse Service at 662-2525 or order online at lavns.com.
    For more details on this event, keep reading the Los Alamos Monitor.

    Santa Fe episode of ‘The Bachelor’ to air Monday

  • I learned many years ago that it is the friends, books, music, games and movies you surround yourself with that help create the person you become.
    Last week, I had the pleasure of making a presentation to the Leadership Los Alamos class of 2015, soon to be “the best class.”
    I loved Robin Williams and after he died last year, I noticed a movie he made I had not seen. Ah, technology and sure enough, you can request a movie and watch it within a few days.
    I’ll save you the pain of the movie, unless you are up for something deep and profoundly sad from, “What Dreams May Come.” The truth is two children are lost in a car accident and later the father passes in a second car accident.
    The profound part was an exchange between husband and wife about the son struggling in school. The mother wants to ease the workload and the father doesn’t because he knows the boy is capable.
    The movie later shows how another conversation where the boy admits to the dad, that he isn’t as smart as the dad and always feels like he’s letting him down.
    Flashback to the Leadership Los Alamos session where it was admitted that youth often feel like they are continuously a disappointment when they never make the grade or do, as well as parents expect.

  • When Geologist Patrick Rowe leads a trip for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, it always fills up with a waiting list equally as long.
    So this time, PEEC decided to bring Rowe to the PEEC nature center, to give everyone a chance to learn from Rowe’s extensive knowledge about geology.
    The free program begins 7 p.m. Wednesday. Rowe will share and discuss samples from his amazing rock collection, making special note of what can be found in northern New Mexico.
    The event will be a great introduction to local geology, or a refresher for those already knowledgeable about the subject.
    The program is free, and no advance registration is required. To learn more about this and other PEEC programs, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org or call 662-0460.

  • Eighteen students from Los Alamos elementary schools and Los Alamos Middle School were at Chamisa Elementary recently for the 2015 County Spelling Bee. Over the last several months they’ve been attending school Word Clubs for practice through listening, writing and pronouncing thousands of words that could have been used in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and learning to think through the surprises. Most of the contestants are avid readers as well.
    First place went to the New Mexico Spelling Bee representative, Nora Cullinan, who is an 8th grader at Los Alamos Middle School.
    Second Place went to Olivia Koo, a 5th grader at Barranca and third place went to Sruthi Garimella, a 7th grader at LAMS.
    The last rounds with five spellers, included Philip Ionkov, a 5th grader at Aspen and Hannah Gartz, a 6th-grader from Piñon. Supporting the spellers were families, friends, and teachers who were there to cheer on all of the contestants.
    Spelling Bees have been in operation across the United States since 1925, with now-famous Scripps sponsorship beginning in 1941. Bees had been in place for many years and the smooth operation of the contest has been dependent on school-level coordinators, a school district facilitator, and supportive judges from throughout the county.

  • The best state sales tax systems (or gross receipts tax, as it is called in New Mexico) are broad, low, and don’t tax necessities, like food.  
    If tax systems are broad and low, that means that the tax burden is shared widely by different products and services and doesn’t fall too heavily on any one product or service.
    Meanwhile, most states avoid taxing necessities so that citizens who live paycheck to paycheck are not forced to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table.   
    Unfortunately, New Mexico‘s gross receipts tax (GRT) is neither broad nor low. At last count, there were 338 exemptions for everything from boxing matches to all-terrain vehicles and these exemptions significantly narrow the tax base.
    The GRT also averages more than 7.25 percent across New Mexico, which is relatively high, according to the Tax Foundation.
    The one area where New Mexico’s GRT gets it right is the fact that, since 2005, New Mexico no longer taxes food or medical services. This was an important reform, since the food tax not only fell on a necessity, it was also very regressive in that it fell hardest on those who could least afford it.

  • Jan. 25-31, 2015
    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
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Pasta primavera
    12:15 p.m.    Smart Driver course
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Tilapia
    1 p.m.         MindBody massage
    1:30 p.m.    “Friends”
    6 p.m.        Mahjong
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table Tennis

    8:30 a.m.    LAVA quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken chile             cheese soup
    1:30 p.m.    Daytime duplicate             bridge

  • Jan. 8: A boy, Jayceon Salazar, born to Eryana and Julian Salazar
    Jan. 15: A girl, Kayleigh Suzanne Hollowell, born to Brittany and Ben Hollowell
    Jan. 17: A boy, Elisa Daniel Mora, born to Samantha Jo Martinez and Isidro Urias Mora