• Need a healthy cry? Catch “In America” (2002, rated PG-13) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library for a guaranteed catharsis.
    When the film opens, Johnny and Sarah Sullivan (Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton) are trying to immigrate into the United States, possibly hoping to outrun the death, about one year earlier, of their son Frankie.
    They and their two living children, 10-year-old Christy (Sarah Bolger) and 5-year-old Ariel (Emma Bolger), move into a tenement in New York City, a home to many drug addicts and one tenant described to the Sullivans as “the man who screams.” They appear to be the only family with young children in the building.
    Johnny, an actor, is often unemployed, but Sarah takes a job as a waitress at a local ice-cream shop and they scrape by. They make a friend in the building (the totally fantastic Djimon Hounsou) and embrace their new life as much as they can. However, they can’t put off grieving forever.
    Thoughtful, honest storytelling from writer/director Jim Sheridan makes “In America” the kind of film is hard to forget, in part because the story asks a lot of its viewers. This is not entertainment so much as a lesson in empathy, one that we might not want but can always use.

  • Jan. 9 — A girl. Aubrianna Padilla. Born to Marlene Martinez and Joshua Padilla.
    Jan. 15 — A girl. Kady Lynne King. Born to Elanda and Alexander King.
    Jan. 15 — A girl. Ava Catherine Wood. Born to Elizabeth and Brandon Wood.
    Jan. 18 — A boy. Donovan Joseph Salazar. Born to Destiny Velasquez and Derek Salazar.
    Jan. 20 — A girl. Aurora Rose Wong. Born to Charissa and Andrew Wong.
    Jan. 21 — A girl. Madeline Rose Martinez. Born to Alisha and Michael Martinez.
    Jan. 23 — A boy. Mason Ezra Rodriquez. Born to Vanessa Rodriquez.

  • Feb. 9  is Family Night at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Learn about geology through stories and music with Mesa Public Library’s Melissa Mackey from 6-7 p.m. The nature center will be open for exploring the exhibits until 8 p.m.
    This program is free to attend thanks to a generous sponsorship from Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos.
    For more information about this and other programs offered by PEEC at the Nature Center, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • Café Scientifique, New Mexico’s portion of the Teen Science Café Network, is gearing up for a two-part series of cafés about Mars. The first café, which will take place in Los Alamos at the YMCA Teen Center at 7 p.m. Tuesday and in Taos, at the Mural Room of the old county courthouse on Feb. 23 will be presented on Human Landing sites on Mars.
    Suzi Montaño and Steve Johnstone from Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Space Data Science and Systems Group (ISR-3)will present on the state of manned missions to Mars, and how close to a reality colonizing Mars has become. Teens will have a chance to review the criteria for landing sites and make recommendations to the LANL/NASA team.
    For more information and directions, visit Cafenm.org/schedule.html and for questions please contact RJ Montaño at RJ@scieds.com.

  • Feb. 1-6, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.
    Betty Ehart

    8:30 a.m.    Tax Preparation
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Baked Potato Bar
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Meatloaf
    1 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    8:30 a.m.        Tax Preparation
    8:30 a.m.        LAVA Quilters
    8:45 a.m.         Cardio Plus Exercise

    Feature Film: “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure” at 2 p.m. See prehistoric sea creatures come to life and follow fossil hunters to remote locations as they excavate the remains of some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $6 per adult, $4 per child.
    Nature Playtimes from 10-11 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join local families for fun in nature. Free. More information at peecnature.org.
    LRG First Tuesday Breakfast. Lab retirees are invited to join the Laboratory Retiree Group for breakfast on the first Tuesday of each month from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the Morning Glory Restaurant, 1377 Diamond Drive, Los Alamos (across from the high school). Morning Glory serves a full breakfast and pastries. LRG will pay for hot coffee or tea. Contact sgirard@losalamos.com for more information.

    Tales of Trails in the Bandelier Backcountry at 7 p.m. Discover the best ways to explore the Bandelier backcountry. Free.

    Kiwanis meeting from noon-1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. Rick Reiss, new chairman of the Los Alamos County Council, will give Kiwanis a preview of the council’s activities in 2016.


  • A Brown Bag performance honoring Black History Month Wednesday will combine music and poetry. The event will feature poet and teacher Dr. Doris Fields and Los Alamos pianist Rheta Moazzami.
    The public is invited to the event that starts at noon at Fuller Lodge
    The two women collaborated after meeting in Santa Fe at a National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
    Moazzami will play her own composition, "Selma," written in honor of the 50th anniversary in 2015 of the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, which cost lives in the cause of getting the vote for African American people. At the end of the march, 25,000 people from all over the United States had joined the marchers. Now, 50 years later, people are still trying to keep people of color from voting.
    “‘Selma was very well received at the UNM-LA concert last year," Moazzami said.
    Also, Moazzami will play three compositions of Samuel Coleridge Taylor, a prolific Anglo-African classical composer at the turn of the century. “United States audiences are not familiar with his music," Moazzami said.

  • Like humans, it is normal for dogs to experience the occasional upset stomach, or episode of diarrhea, but experiencing severe symptoms, such as bloody stools, may be a sign of something more serious.
    Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) refers to a group of gastrointestinal diseases that result in the inflammation of the intestines. The exact cause of IBD in dogs is unknown, but bacteria and nutrients normally found in the intestine are thought to be the cause of the abnormal immune response that causes inflammation.
    Dr. Jonathan Lidbury, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained IBD’s potential causes. “IBD is a syndrome that is characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation in dogs,” Lidbury said. “The cause of IBD in dogs is not fully known, but recent research has provided some important clues. Basically, there is a loss of tolerance in the dog’s intestinal immune system to the nutrients or bacteria that are normally found in the bowel. This leads to inflammation of the intestines.”
    Common signs of IBD in dogs include excessive diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Dog owners may also notice rumbling sounds in the abdominal cavity, flatulence, and even bloody stools in dogs with IBD.

  • 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 your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out our website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    Fluffy—One cool cat! This 6-month-old male tabby was surrendered with his sibling Stripes. Fluffy can play all day long, but when he’s done playing, he’s ready for some snuggles! Fluffy is confident and fun, and he would light up any home. Fluffy is very friendly with other fun-loving cats, and he would likely do best in a home with another cat (or even a dog) to keep him company.
    Headlight—A sweet black and white tuxedo cat who was found roaming. His family never came for him, so he’ll head to the vet soon and be ready for adoption!

  • Rapid changes in our climate are affecting people and ecosystems in the Southwest and around the world, and there is a lot we can do. Dr. Chick Keller will introduce climate science and lead a discussion about how we how we can move forward at 7 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Nature Center planetarium. This talk is part of a lecture series on climate change.
    Keller has spent about 25 years studying climate change and interacting with the leading scientists in the field. He has written several review articles trying to make sense of the hundreds of scientific papers on aspects of the subject.
    PEEC’s Climate Change Lecture Series:
    • Feb. 16: Effects of the Southwest with Keller
    • March 1: The Future of New Mexico’s Pikas with Marie Westover
    • March 15: TBD
    • March 29: Understanding the Impact of Drought, Wildfire, and Infestation with Dr. Richard Middleton.
    • April 13: Where Do We Go from Here with Dr. Cathy Wilson and Dr. Keller at the Bradbury Science Museum.
    These lectures will be at the Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, except the April 13th event. They are free to attend, and no registration is required.

  • Los Alamos County’s Community Services Division has announced the roll out of the second phase of the public interface for its new recreation reservation software WebTrac on Feb. 1.
    The new website is user-friendly and allows customers to explore and sign up for recreation activities from home. Phase I was rolled out in November.
     As of Monday, patrons will have access to information and availability for camping and vendor permits; parks, pavilions and shelters; fields, courts and arenas and indoor facilities. Users can also place reservations for parks, pavilions and shelters as well as camping and vendor permits.
    Access the website at https.web2.vermontsystems.com/wbwsc/nmlosalamoswt.wsc/splash.html or via the link from the recreation page of the county’s website at losalamosnm.us.

  • Seventh-grade science and math teachers in New Mexico are encouraged to nominate up to five students for Tech Trek, an exciting week-long summer camp focused on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The program is coming to the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro from June 19-25. Cherie Burch is the camp director.
    The deadline for nominations is Sunday. After being nominated, students complete an application and interview process before final selections are made in early April. Cost for the camp is $50 per student, as the program is funded by AAUW, a national organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, and by New Mexico businesses and individuals.
    The Tech Trek summer camp is sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), nationally and in New Mexico. It builds on AAUW’s research report “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math,” which demonstrates that camps like Tech Trek improve girls’ interests in STEM.  
    Forty-eight to 60 girls will be selected from New Mexico to attend the camp, where they will gain first-hand knowledge of real-world applications of STEM, in a fun-filled, hands-on college environment. More information can be found at TechTrek-NM.aauw.net.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Once A Ponzi Time” at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar. Sly Investments and double-dealing abound in this hilarious madcap comedy. Tickets are available at CB Fox, BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door half an hour before curtain time. For more information, visit lalt.org.

    Fourth Friday Fractals at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Be mesmerized by this award-winning fractal show every fourth Friday by the Fractal Foundation. Journey into the never-ending world of fractals as a full-dome show featuring original music. 7:00 p.m. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $10 for adults, $8 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    Feature Film: “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure” at 2 p.m. See prehistoric sea creatures come to life and follow fossil hunters to remote locations as they excavate the remains of some of the most awe-inspiring creatures of all time. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $6 per adult, $4 per child.

  • Don’t miss the last opportunity to see this zany, madcap play at Los Alamos Little Theatre Friday and Saturday.
    “Once A Ponzi Time” is a fantastic frenzied, financial farce by Joe Foust. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar.
    Tickets are on sale at CB Fox, BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door half an hour before curtain. More information is available at lalt.org.
    Sly Investments and double-dealing abound in this comedy. For years, Harold (Michael Adkins) has helped his friends with their investments but now he is up to his neck in a scheme he never wanted to start in the first place. His artful dodging is about to collapse around him. With the help of Gramps, his flaky father (Rich Hassman), and naïve nephew (Stuart Rupprecht), he tries to hoodwink the Russian mob (Pete Sanford), bamboozle the SEC agent (Linda Taylor), and swindle the bossy, rude, and arrogant multi-millionaire (Dennis Powell) and his trophy wife (Holly Robinson). He also has to maintain other investors at bay (Justin Smith and Katrina Koehler) to keep his world from falling apart. All the while, his wife (Joy Reynolds) lovingly stands by. Throw in a sassy dummy and you will be rolling with laughter!

  • NEW YORK (AP) — Barbie's got a brand new bod.

    Mattel, the maker of the iconic plastic doll, said it will begin selling Barbie in three new body types – curvy, tall, and petite. She'll also be available in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles.

    The El Segundo, California, toy company will also continue to sell the original Barbie. The new options come after years of criticism that Barbie had created unrealistic expectations for women.

    Sales of Barbie dolls have been sliding as girls turn their attention to tablets and other toys, falling 4 percent from the previous year in the most recent quarter for Mattel.

    Even before Thursday, however, Barbie has been changing. New skin tones and looks were added last year. And Barbie's foot was movable for the first time, allowing her to kick her heels off and wear flats.

    Dolls with the new bodies are available for preorder at shop.mattel.com, and will ship in February. They will hit start to show up on U.S. store shelves in March and roll in the rest of the world after that, Mattel Inc. said.

  • All interested community members are invited to "Preventing Conflict on Backcountry Trails," a live webinar from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday. American Trails at the Los Alamos Nature Center, 2600 Canyon Road. Attendance is free.

    Conflict has come into focus in the trail world during the past few years. The webinar will address principles can be applied to any type of trail conflict. Presenters will include representatives from the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and Back Country Horsemen of Montana. American Trails is a national trails education and advocacy non-profit.

    There will also be a brief discussion of work being done on the Los Alamos Community Wildfire Protection Plan and its relation to trails and open space.  Public input is being sought into work being done by Los Alamos Fire Department to update and implement this plan.

    “Places and Spaces Los Alamos,” Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), and Eric Peterson, Trail and Open Space specialist with Los Alamos County are collaborating in offering this activity.  This is part of a series of trail-related webinars offered on the fourth Tuesday of each month.

    Green Hour Hike at 10 a.m. Join other families for a kid-centered hike. Free.
    Author, conservationist and environmental activist William deBuys will speak at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave. deBuys is the featured author in Mesa Public Library’s ongoing Authors Speak series for January. In recent months, deBuys has had two books published.
    Gentle Walks at 9 p.m. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Once A Ponzi Time” at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar. Sly Investments and double-dealing abound in this hilarious madcap comedy. Tickets are available at CB Fox, BrownPaperTickets.com or at the door half an hour before curtain time. For more information, visit lalt.org.

    Fourth Friday Fractals at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Be mesmerized by this award-winning fractal show every fourth Friday by the Fractal Foundation. Journey into the never-ending world of fractals as a full-dome show featuring original music. 7:00 p.m. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $10 for adults, $8 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • So there’s good news and there’s bad news, but either way, I hope to leave you with something to think about.
    Thirty six individuals, couples, clubs and organizations have been nominated for the Community Asset Awards.
    The seventh-annual event will be held on Feb. 7 and yes at this point, I know it is on Superbowl Sunday, must be why the room was available. More details on that later.
    Ironically every year, the very last email from former County Councilor Jim West rolls across my desk, as if a reminder from him about why we do this event in the first place.
    Since this column is usually on the opinions page and Councilor West isn’t able to respond to my column, I’ll just note again that it is on the opinion page.
    Sadly this is the first in the seven year history that not a single youth has been nominated for a Community Asset Award and that makes me very sad. Don’t worry, I know there is at least one person out there that is uttering the phrase, “Well Bernadette, why didn’t you nominate one?”
    Trust me, every year I, all by myself, could fill the room with plenty of folks that deserve kudos, but the truth is I do the legwork to allow you the opportunity to let your voice be heard.

  • Colorado State University-Pueblo: Eric D. Schmalz, of Los Alamos was one of 991 named to the 2015 Dean's List with a minimum grade-point-average of 3.5.

    Hope College: Irene Gerrish and Michelle Boerigter, of Los Alamos, were named to the Dean’s list with a minimum 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

    Baylor University: Hannah Nicole Dye, of Los Alamos, a student of the College of Arts and Sciences, was named to the Dean’s Academic Honor Roll for the 2015 fall semester. She earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.7, while enrolled in a minimum of 12 semester hours. 

  • Last Saturday, the two Los Alamos FIRST Technical Challenge robotics teams participated in New Mexico’s qualifier for the Arizona/New Mexico Regional Championship.  A total of 12 robotics teams competed at Menaul School in Albuquerque, comprised of teams from New Mexico, Arizona, and even Chihuahua Mexico, making this an international event.  
    The two Los Alamos teams, Hawks FTC, and a new rookie team, the Beta Hawks, went head to head in competition throughout the day, holding their own against the other teams.  
    While the Los Alamos veteran Hawks FTC team had trouble in their seeding matches, they rallied in their last seeding match to show what their robot could do and established the high score of the day.
    The Beta Hawks were organized this fall from seventh and eighth-grade Los Alamos students and had about eight weeks to design, build, program and field their robot.
    The Beta’s robot performed consistently throughout the day, winning the majority of its seeding matches. The team earned a fifth-place seed, and was selected as a valued alliance partner by the Magdalena N.M. Geek Bots for competition in the final matches.