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Features

  • Many visual artists remember creating art from a very young age. For Umi Raby, this is true but with a twist. Raby grew up in South Korea, where she studied classical piano, vocal training, writing and traditional Korean music in her early years, winning the Aja University literature award for poetry when she was 15.
    By 16, she was performing on stage in “pansori,” a type of Korean opera, as well as “samul nori,” a traditional Korean percussive music. Raby’s career started in theater but she soon decided to pursue a career in design. After working in design and architecture for 10 years, she moved to the United States in 2000. While living in Santa Fe, she began to channel her art through painting.

  • The Los Alamos Big Band, under the direction of Jan McDonald, will host a free community concert and dance from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 9 at Fuller Lodge.  McDonald, a renowned jazz musician and former director of the Los Alamos High School Marching Band, said, “Los Alamos has been good to us for so many years. We’d like to give back, especially now after the fire and evacuation. We want to provide an opportunity for the community to relax and have a good time. We thought this (free performance) would be a good way to say ‘thanks’ and lift everyone’s spirits after a difficult summer.”

  • On Sunday, September 4th, Janie O’Rourke will lead a hike for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center at 11 a.m. Sunday, along the Anniversary.  This two to three-mile hike has steep sections and affords beautiful views.
    The Anniversary Trail was dedicated in 1993 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the town of Los Alamos. The east end of the trail follows the alignment of the original road constructed in 1921 for Los Alamos Ranch School and the homesteaders living on Los Alamos Mesa.  
    Forty years later, building materials for the Manhattan Project had to be hauled up to Los Alamos using the steep and narrow switchbacks that had been hewn into the mesa bluff.

  • He thrashes his head from side to side, giant red lips opening and closing, as he moans and groans at the crowd. He flails his huge paper mache arms and sometimes flips the crowd the bird. He sports a different color of hair each year and his bowtie, cummerbund and cuffs are always a different color, too; something that onlookers have come to anticipate. Sometimes he wears earrings, other times his lobes are bare.
    The fire dancer taunts him with a torch, while dancing around the 50-foot effigy. He never knows when his flowing tunic will be ignited, sparking the end to his “life,” which in turn incites a roar of approval from the crowd, complete with whistling and chants of “Burn him! Burn him!”

  •  U.S. Senator Tom Udall invites New Mexico college students interested in gaining legislative or press relations experience to apply for internships in his Washington, D.C. or state offices. To apply online, visit www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=internships  or www.tomudall.senate.gov.  
    Internships are available in the Washington D.C., Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Carlsbad and Santa Fe Offices. Deadline to apply for Washington internships is Sept. 15. State internship deadlines are flexible.  

  • Otowi Station Bookstore is sponsoring a book drive to help replace chapter books damaged in a recent flood in the library of Aspen Elementary School. According to Librarian Lisa Laprairie-Whitacre, rainwater from a thunderstorm flowed in through the windows, onto the tops of the bookshelves and down four bookshelves. Chapter books written by authors’ last names beginning with F through R were damaged or destroyed in the flood.

  • Mackenzie Wehner was the guest speaker at a recent Rotary Club meeting, received a $27,000 Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholarship for a year of academic study at Cambridge University, England. Wehner’s scholarship is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos under the auspices of Rotary District 5520, which encompasses all of New Mexico and West Texas.
    Wehner, who was born and raised in Los Alamos, graduated from LAHS in 2004. She is the daughter of Tom Wehner and Barbara Lange, now of Santa Fe.  
    Wehner earned a bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale and has completed three of four years of medical school at Stanford University.

  • I have a pouty lip as I write this week’s column, and there’s a good reason for it. The end of the month marks the end of assets month, which started at the beginning of August, with the help of the Los Alamos County Council.
    I will soon contact council to see what they have done to help spread the assets message, because the winner will receive baked goods from the “assets kitchen.”
    You see, we work pretty hard trying to get the asset message across, trying to tie it into pre-existing programs and projects and trying to teach people how to work it into the course of their day.
    It is the big impact events that help to get the word out, but the little things you do daily keeps it going.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on-site adoptable pets; others are in foster care with loving, temporary homes.
    Pardon our construction. We are installing solar hot water, so the shelter has been closed to prevent accidents. If you need some help, call a volunteers at 412-3451.
    It’s summer, remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises. Cooling animals (dogs, rabbits, cats) by giving them a “cool” bath or shower to help keep their body temperature down.
    A cool towel on a tile floor to lay on, a cool towel or washcloth laying over the skin, next to a fan will also help cool the animal.
    Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well.

  • Champion golfer Phil Mickelson, his wife Amy and ExxonMobil are sponsoring a free math and science camp for teachers called, “Send My Teacher.”
    The program is a week long professional development program focused on math and science education. Since 2005, more than 3,200 teachers have attended the all-expenses paid workshop. Teachers from all 50 states have attended.
     The deadline for teachers to be nominated to go to the 2012 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy next summer is Oct. 31.
    Students or parents can nominate a teacher, and the teacher just has to fill out the application. If selected, they will be a part of the 2011 Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy.

  • Young people ages 8-17 will have a chance to take to the skies Sept. 5 as the Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 691 hosts a Young Eagles Flight Rally at Los Alamos County Airport.
    The rally is part of the EAA Young Eagles Program, created to interest young people in aviation.  Since the program was launched in 1992, volunteer EAA pilots have flown more than 1.4 million young people in more than 90 countries.
    Young people are given the opportunity to discover how airplanes work and observe how pilots inspect their planes to help ensure that safety is the primary concern before every flight. Following the 15-20 minute flight, each person will receive a certificate making them an official Young Eagle.

  • The Los Alamos Historical Museum announces a new cooperative Exhibition Opening initiative with the Fuller Lodge Art Center and a kickoff collaborative evening celebration.
    The public is invited to visit the Historical Museum from 4-6 p.m. Sept. 2, for “Pre-Statehood Maps of New Mexico,” an exhibit featuring artistic and historically curious maps from the 1600s to 1909, with New Mexico seen in a variety of uncommon configurations.
    From 5-7 p.m. the Fuller Lodge Art Center will present the opening of “Umi Raby,” a one-person show of contemporary art.

  • The Los Alamos American Association of University Women will start its program year with a fall brunch from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2390 North Road.
    The AAUW is an organization of college-educated women. The programs of the organization include gender equity, help for women in the workplace and  legislative initiatives concerning women’s issues. \Members attending will bring a dish to share.
    The featured speaker will be Helena Whyte, who will talk about her experiences at the AAUW National Convention in Washington D.C. this summer.

    From a press release

  • The League of Women Voter’s Lunch with a Leader will be at 11:45 a.m. Sept. 8 at Central Avenue Grill. The guest speaker will be Los Alamos County Environmental Services Specialist Tom Nagawiecki.
    Nagawiecki coordinates public education and outreach for Environmental Services’ comprehensive waste and recycling programs that are provided to residents and the business community.
    His other duties include leading the county’s sustainability initiative, which is focused on reducing the environmental impact of  county operations in addition to educating the community about their role in the effort.

  • Combine six cups of clay, six cups of compost and a cup of wild land seeds and the result is the community at its finest.
    It is nice when a plan comes together, and last weekend a lot of planning paid off for the community and one youth in particular.
    Los Alamos High School senior Jin Park rallied the community, along with funds and supplies to pull off a day of playing in the mud that will rival any other, for what the community hopes is a once-in-a-lifetime event.
    On Aug. 20, almost 600 citizens came together to assist Park and Los Alamos County employee Craig Martin, in a seed ball project that will aid re-forestation efforts for the surrounding community affected by the Las Conchas Fire.

  • ALBUQUERQUE — For more than five decades, the spirit behind the Santa Fe Opera has stemmed from a commitment to commissioning new works and presenting rare productions that had never been seen or heard in the United States.
    Now, with its international reputation and location in the shadow of northern New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the opera continues to make good on its commitment with two new commissions and an American premiere despite the ongoing economic stranglehold that has brought some of the arts community to its knees.
    General director Charles MacKay says that means visitors to the outdoor venue will be treated to new performances for at least the next four years.

  • During the two years (2006-2008) that the exhibit, “Spider Woman’s (Na ashje’ii ‘Asdzáá) Gift: Navajo Weaving Traditions” was at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, there were numerous requests for a catalogue.
    “Spider Woman’s Gift: Nineteenth Century Diné Textiles” is a response to that interest. Images from the exhibit’s classical Navajo (Diné) weavings illustrate illuminating essays by Joyce Begay-Foss and Marian E. Rodee.

  • A free family fishing clinic at Fenton Lake is being offered by Pajarito Environmental Education Center,  from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.  
    The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish fishing skills instructor Ti Piper will teach the clinic. Fishing gear will be provided for those who have never fished or want to try a new type of fishing.
    Participants 12 and older will need to have a fishing license, and the vehicle entry fee to Fenton Lake is $5.
    The fishing clinic is geared toward all skill levels — from beginner to experienced — and will teach different kinds of fishing — bait, lure and fly. At noon there will be special fly-casting lessons.

  • As a celebration of creativity that crosses boundaries, and in conjunction with the Next Big Idea festival, Mesa Public Library will show Jack Ox’s intermedia painting in the Upstairs Art Gallery. A public reception will be from 4-5:45 p.m. Sept. 17.
    In today’s fluid world, definitions, perceptions and forms of expression are blurring: what is art, what is science, what is music? Or, can they intermingle, creating new forms? Ox has done just that with her vast, segmented painting, a visualization of a musical work by Kurt Schwitters, a groundbreaking artist who worked in multimedia in the 1930s. He is generally acknowledged as the 20th century’s greatest master of collage and installation art.

  • Casual observers and avid bird watchers might find Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s Birdscape Tour interesting. The event will be from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 10
    The tour will give bird enthusiasts an opportunity to see how four Los Alamos residents design their yards to attract wild birds and learn their secrets, which is sure to give them take home ideas for attracting birds to their yards.
    Beside the simple enjoyment that watching birds provides, attracting avian friends has other benefits.  Many birds eat a variety of insects that are considered pests, including mosquitoes, aphids and bark beetles. Hummingbirds and other species are important pollinators as they go from flower to flower, sipping nectar.