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Features

  • The annual Los Alamos County Science Fair will take place Jan. 26, 2013 in the Los Alamos High School Commons Areas. The public is invited to view the projects between 1-3 p.m.
    LAPS and home school students in grades four through 12 will display projects in fourth and fifth grade individual elementary, K-sixth grade elementary class, six through eighth grade junior division and nine through 12th grade senior division.
    The elementary projects are divided into three categories.
    The students in junior and senior divisions will compete for first, second and third place and honorable mention in 17 categories. This will give them an opportunity to participate in the Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair in Las Vegas, N.M. March 3, 2013.
    Every student will receive feedback from the judges, which will assess the student’s scientific approach, skills, creativity, clarity and thoroughness. Therefore, the participation in the County Science Fair is experience for student learning.
    Participation at the science fair helps the students to achieve State Standard I for every student in every grade level. This standard requires students to understand the processes of scientific investigations and use inquiry and scientific ways of observing, experimenting, predicting and validating to think critically.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on site adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.
    DOGS
    Axle — Don’t let those sad-looking eyes fool you. Axle is a playful and affectionate neutered male. The shelter temperament testers describe this Pit-mix as a total sweetheart. He would love a family that appreciates big, sloppy dog kisses.
    Bear — Large year-old male Heeler-mix. Housebroken, people oriented. Reported to be good with dogs.
    Ciera — Spayed female Shepherd-cross who likes to get to know her human associates before she shares her story with them.
    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.

  • Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is one of Northern New Mexico’s tourist destinations. With its share of galleries, museums and culture, it’s not hard to figure out what attracts out-of-towners to the area.
    Los Alamos might be the secret city, but Taos has some secrets of its own. Beneath Taos’ arts community and picturesque landscape, lies a dark, sometimes sinister history. It might be hard for some tourists to imagine that the Taos Plaza was once the site of various hangings and killings and that beneath the ground they are walking on, exist secret, underground tunnels.
    Many of the tourist attractions around the Plaza are allegedly haunted. From the Alley Cantina and Hotel La Fonda, to Moby Dickens Bookstore and the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, it’s not hard to find a specter hangout. Ask the shopkeepers and locals and they’ll likely tell you the stories behind the hauntings — and if you’re lucky ­— they might share some of their ghostly encounters.

  • The Major General Franklin E. Miles Chapter 229 of the Military Order of World Wars in Los Alamos announces that Janet McMillan (Charles) will present a talk at the Oct. 16 MOWW Chapter 229 Dinner meeting.  
    The meeting will be at the Hilltop House, third floor and will begin with a social period at 6 p.m., followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m.
    McMillan’s presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m. The dinner entrée is vegetarian crepe with asparagus tips, salad and roll for $23 per person.
    The Military Order of the World Wars dinner meetings are open to the general public for the dinner and program, or the program only at no cost. Please note that a dinner reservation made is a commitment to the chapter to pay for the reserved dinner(s).
    RSVP for the dinner is needed by Sunday. Call Lt. Col. Gregg Giesler, AUS retired, chapter commander, at 662-5574 or send email to g.giesler@computer.org; or Lt. Col. Norman G. Wilson, USAF retired, chapter adjutant at 662-9544 or email Nrmwil5@cs.com.
    Act of Congress chartered the Military Order of the World Wars in 1919 as a national patriotic organization.

  • Jed Williamson knows how people get in trouble in the mountains. He has been the chair of the Safety Advisory Council and the editor of the American Alpine Club’s annual report, Accidents in North American Mountaineering, since 1974.  
    At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at Fuller Lodge, Williamson will present an overview of his knowledge of moving through the mountains with other people, what works and what goes wrong.
    His presentation will include detailed analysis of the many factors that add up to an accident, not just weather and terrain, but human fallibility in behaviors and judgment.
    Through his knowledge, he will teach the facts and give some perspective on how to take risks and maximize the possibility of safe passage at the same time. His talk will cover trends and patterns in mountaineering and wilderness accidents and analysis of some classic accidents.
    Williamson has been a practitioner and consultant in education and outdoor pursuits, including more than 60 safety and quality reviews and accident investigations and 16 accreditation reviews.
    He was a member of the Board of the American Alpine Club from 1974 to 1998 and elected as an honorary member in 2007.

  • The display case at Mesa Public Library will feature embroidered artwork stitched by members of the Pajarito Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America, through Oct. 26. The EGA is a national educational organization dedicated to promoting and preserving needle arts. There are a number of different types of needlework in the display.
    The local chapter meets on the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in Gibson Fellowship Hall of Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Los Alamos. Each meeting features a program on a stitching technique or project. During the past year the group has explored stump work (three-dimensional embroidery), chicken scratch or gingham embroidery, crazy quilting, New Mexican colcha embroidery and Kumihimo (Japanese braiding.)
    Between 10 a.m. and noon Oct. 20, members of Pajarito Chapter will be in the lobby of Mesa Public Library to demonstrate various embroidery techniques. Watch the stitchers at work. They’ll explain the various techniques and answer questions. For more information call Marilyn at 672-9404.

     

  • Natali Steinberg, docent of the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve, is offering her guided tour leaving from Pajarito Environmental Education Center at noon.  
    This small preserve, located near Rancho de las Golondrinas just south of Santa Fe, has several ecological niches, ranging from scrub desert to the lush vegetation of the cienega (Spanish for “marsh”).  
    This range supports a wide diversity of plant and animal life.  Three trails, one of which is handicap-accessible, lead walkers through these areas, including open meadows, shady cottonwoods and a pond bordered by cattails.
    On this visit, expect to see bullfrogs and maybe some tadpoles, as well as a Bewick’s wren nesting in the donation box, Red Wing Blackbirds nesting in the cattails and possibly some Mallards or Coots.
    PEEC welcomes all who wish to join this field trip. Meet at PEEC, 3540 Orange St., to carpool or caravan to the Preserve.
    Bring good walking shoes, lunch and water. The trip is free, but contact PEEC by calling 662-0460 or register on their website so they will know whom to expect.
    White Rock people could meet at the Y if they wish. The trip will last approximately four hours (one hour driving each way, two hours at the Preserve).
    For more information on the preserve, go to  santafebotanicalgarden.org.

  • Come to PEEC from 7 – 8 p.m. to Hear how the Las Conchas fire affected the Valles Caldera National Preserve from Rebecca Oertel, a forest and range plant ecologist at the VCNP, from 7-8 p.m. Oct. 16.
    Oertel grew up in Los Alamos, obtained a degree in biochemistry and has worked in the Jemez Mountains Area for the past 18 years as a biologist.  
    Although Oertel has been at the VCNP for one year, her extensive experience in the Jemez Mountains includes 11 years as a biologist at Bandelier National Monument, nine of which were with the U.S. Geological Society under Dr. Craig Allen at the Jemez Mountain Field Station.  
    There, she performed scientific research in long-term ecological monitoring including botany, ecohydrology, tree demography and dendrochronology.  
    In addition, her checkered background includes biochemical cancer research, EPA Superfund cleanup, LANL environmental monitoring, radioactive materials handling and disposal and a Helitack wildland firefighter in Santa Fe National Forest.
    This presentation will include photographs and a discussion of Las Conchas Fire effects on the VCNP and possible short-term ecological outcomes in the Jemez Mountains.  

  • The following restaurant inspection reports were provided by the New Mexico Environment Department.

    Los Alamos

    Don Quixote Vanilla, 236 Rio Bravo
    Date inspected: Oct. 3
    Violations: One low-risk violation for poor personal hygiene — must wear hair restraints.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    El Rigoberto’s Taco Shop, 166 Central Park Square
    Date inspected: Oct. 3, opening
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation for contaminated equipment — seal around walk-in refrigerator may need replacing. Two low-risk violations for floors/walls/ceilings — ceiling panel missing, will put in today; self-closing devices for men’s restroom needed.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    Elk’s Lodge, 1601 Trinity Dr.
    Date inspected: Oct. 4, follow-up
    Violations: Two high-risk violations for contaminated equipment — scoop for ice was laying on top of ice machine. Corrected. Placed in container after washing it; sanitizer > 200 ppm. Corrected.  
    Notes: Thermometer read 142 degrees on green chile. Inspector’s thermometer read 147 degrees. All food handlers must wear caps and gloves.

  • Art as therapy is not uncommon. It’s a way to release pent-up feelings, but can also breathe new life into the artist and give that person a way to express his feelings.
    For Santa Fe artist Marck Romero, art has provided a way for him to release his inner feelings and has given him a new lease on life.
    As a recovering addict, Romero found his inner artist while in jail. Clean for three years, art came from sobriety. “It’s always something I wanted to do, but never did it,” he said. He said he got clean, reconnected with his spirit and was able to do art.
    Romero is no stranger to the creative process, however. He used to be a tattoo artist and is a guitarist and vocalist in XMortis, a heavy metal/thrash band. He’s also pursuing a degree in drug and alcohol abuse counseling and is scheduled to graduate from Santa Fe Community College next year.
    “Getting clean did so much for me,” he said.
    Romero said drawing is a favorite thing for him to do, but the art he’s been creating recently isn’t just about drawing. It’s about bringing his creations to life by putting paint on wood. But if you’re thinking retablo-style work, think again. Romero’s creations are dark and 3D.

  • Finding a decent Northern New Mexican meal isn’t hard if you’re willing to take a short drive.
    There are plenty of places in Santa Fe that offer traditional New Mexican fare. There are also a few places in Española where you can get a meal reminiscent of those grandma used to make; La Cocina is one of those places. Just to be clear, we’re talking about the location at 415 Santa Clara Bridge Road, not Steve’s La Cocina, behind the fueling station on Los Alamos Highway.
    A recent trip to La Cocina proved to be satisfying and did not cause sticker shock when the bill came. The worst part of the experience was trying to decide on what to order. There is quite a variety to choose from. They offer everything from American comfort food like chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes, to burgers and sandwiches. But one doesn’t go to a Northern New Mexican restaurant for a hamburger (though they are probably pretty good). No,  one goes there for either a red or green chile fix.
    Enchiladas, burritos, tostadas and more grace the pages of the menu, each one tempting the diner to try something they don’t usually order.

  • Join the Los Alamos County Recreation Division Oct. 27 for the pirate-themed Pumpkin splash and Halloween carnival at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. This family event will be from 10 a.m-1 p.m. and includes pirate-themed carnival games, jumping into the pool and finding a pumpkin, decorating the pumpkin and watching pirate movies.
     The cost for the event is $ 7 per person. Sign-up at the aquatic center. The event is limited to 150 participants. For more information, contact the recreation division at 662-8173, visit the website at losalamosnm.us/rec, or email lacrec@lacnm.us.

  • Locals and visitors alike use the free access to online computers in the Reference and Youth areas at Mesa Public Library. Coming in mid-October, this service will be upgraded to provide a better experience.
    According to Gwen Kalavaza, Electronic Services manager for the Los Alamos County Library System, “The new computers will be faster, monitors will have larger screens, there will be enhanced security features, the computers are flash drive compatible and a brand new sign-up and printing program will make access easier.
    “The new system will offer quick, streamlined log-in for both computer use and printing: patrons will log in using their library card barcode or visitors may get a one-time use guest pass from either the Reference desk or Youth Services desk staff.”
    While the library completes the upgrade in both the Reference and Youth areas at Mesa, access will be unavailable Oct.16 for the switchover.
    Check with Reference and Youth staff for details.
     For information about this and all library programs and services, call 662-8240 or 662-8253 or visit losalamosnm.us/library.

  • The United Way Youth Team will host High Tea on the Hill from 1-3 p.m. Oct. 14 in the lobby of Los Alamos High School. A variety of teas will be served, along with cucumber and dill sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, cranberry and oranges scones, Ghirardelli’s brownies and pumpkin cupcakes with cinnamon-cheese frosting.  A student violinist will provide background music for guests. The cost is $15. Event organizers are United Way Youth Team members Lindsay Roach, Sarah Tripplehorn and Kaylie Burk. The event will benefit the United Way of Northern New Mexico’s Community Action Fund. Its major sponsors are Hot Rocks Java Café and the Hilltop House Hotel.  To reserve a spot, contact the United Way of Northern New Mexico at 662-0800 or email marie.unitedwayNNM@vla.com.

  • Come to Pajarito Environmental Education Center at 7 p.m. Oct. 10 to hear about the Biological Resource Management Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
    Chuck Hathcock will talk about the lab’s compliance with environmental laws and the plan to protect sensitive species found on lab property.
    The biological resource management teams at LANL assess the status of a variety of organisms on LANL property, including some with threatened or endangered statuses.  
    The team then reports back about how to best manage the biological resources involved.  They have surveyed many different species, including the Jemez Mountain salamander, Rio Grande chub and numerous bird and bat species.
    LANL scientists often call upon the biology division at the lab to give advice on proposed plans that may pose a threat to the local flora and fauna.
    Hathcock is a wildlife biologist at LANL with more than 15 years of experience in the field. Hathcock and his colleagues have documented many important reports on the biology found in and around LANL.
    His research focuses primarily on songbird population demographics. Outside of work, Hathcock is an avid naturalist and hiker and can be found most weekends birding, bird banding or traveling.  

  • Have I told you lately that I love kids? I love everyone’s kids. After today, I hope you will try to do so too.
    Our assets this week are number three, which is other adult relationships and four, which is a caring neighborhood.
    They are defined as the child receiving support from adults other than her or his parent(s) and the child experiencing caring neighbors.
    This summer, my son’s two best friends moved to other towns in New Mexico. Either departure would have been sad, but for them both to move was pretty unreal.
    I find that it was also sad for me, too.
    I didn’t see the young lady often, but knew my son was in constant communication and they hung out when they had time. They were great sounding boards for each other and a safe place for each other to fall.
    The young man was like a family member. He is one of the nicest kids I know and was often referred to as another Lauritzen. He still visits from time to time, but I miss the daily interactions, watching him at sporting events and hearing him provide my son equal amounts of sass and encouragement.
    Kids do better when they have good adult role models in their life. You don’t have to be a spectacular person, crazy smart or have money, just take time to lend an ear or a smile.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on site adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.
    DOGS
    Axle — Don’t let those sad-looking eyes fool you. Axle is a playful and affectionate neutered male. The shelter temperament testers describe this Pit-mix as a total sweetheart. He would love a family that appreciates big, sloppy dog kisses.
    Ciera — Spayed female Shepherd-cross who likes to get to know her human associates before she shares her story with them.
    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.
    Four Border Collie puppies (Desmond, Bones, Reggie and Romper) — Four-months-old, all males. They are pretty shy and the volunteers are working on socialization. Keep watching as they develop into fun, approachable pups.

  • Learn about herbal remedies for children from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    Kristi Beguin, an experienced herbalist, will give a talk on how to use herbal medicines to treat common childhood illnesses and enhance children’s immunity.
    Participants in the class will learn how they can be in charge of their family’s health and wellness concerns using common herbal remedies.
    They’ll also learn to tune in to their intuition about health and wellness and learn how to quickly respond to those childhood “owies.”
    Finally, Beguin will teach participants how to prevent or shorten the duration of illnesses and ways to strengthen immunity through foods and simple remedies.
    Beguin is a scientist, an environmental consultant and expert herbalist.
    She has practiced and honed her skills through outdoor activities, martial arts, writing and making medicines.
    Her medical applications incorporate Western herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine and flower essence therapy.
    Many parents and caregivers consider alternative medications to maintain their children’s good health and treat illnesses.
    Learn more about herbal remedies for children.
    The cost is $17.50 for members and $22 for non-members.

  • It’s that time of year again. The leaves are turning, there is a chill in the air and autumn is officially here. Once again, Piñon Elementary will join forces with Chamisa Elementary for the Second Annual White Rock Fall Festival.
    Events will be at Piñon Elementary School, 90 Grand Canyon Dr., White Rock, Oct. 13. Crafts are open to the public at 9 a.m.; the carnival starts at 10 a.m. All events end at 2 p.m.
    Piñon will sell pumpkins and baked goods and have a variety of games. There will be games and prizes, a pie contest, local food vendors, bouncy houses, face and pumpkin painting and more. Tickets will be available for purchase. Attendees may purchase four tickets for $1.
    Those who attend may also decide to shop for their holiday gift needs. A variety of wares will be available at the Arts and Crafts Fair including jewelry, Scentsy candles, fashion and clothing, children’s items, decorative silverware and baskets and photography.

  • Join the Los Alamos County Recreation Division Oct. 27 for the pirate-themed Pumpkin splash and Halloween carnival at the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center. This family event will be from 10 a.m-1 p.m. and includes pirate-themed carnival games, jumping into the pool and finding a pumpkin, decorating the pumpkin and watching pirate movies.
     The cost for the event is $ 7 per person. Sign-up at the aquatic center. The event is limited to 150 participants. For more information, contact the recreation division at 662-8173, visit the website at losalamosnm.us/rec, or email lacrec@lacnm.us.