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Features

  • 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.

  • The American Legion Post 90 in Los Alamos hosted a dinner Sept. 30 for the participants of the American Legion Boys State/Girls State program earlier this year at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.  The invitees included the families of the participants and the local sponsors of the event. County Council Chair Sharon Stover and Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt also attended.
    The Boys State participants included Conlan McCoy, Benjamin Mitsunaga, Kyle Partin, Cory Geyer and Aaron Roybal. The Girls State participant was Amanda Milligan. Beta Sigma Phi City Council, BPOE 2083 Elks Lodge of Los Alamos, Zia Credit Union and The Los Alamos Kiwanis Club were sponsors.
    Back row, left to right, Vernon Kerr, chairman Boys State Los Alamos; William J. cooper, commander Post 90; Shaughnessy Nadeau, Unit 90 president; Marie Todd, chairwoman Girls State Los Alamos.
    Front row, left to right, Aaron Roybal, Kyle Partin, Cory Geyer, Conlon McCoy, Benjamin Mitsunaga. Not pictured: Girls State participant Amanda Milligan.

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

    Los Alamos

    Elk’s Lodge, 1600 Trinity Dr.
    Date inspected: Sept. 9, complaint
    Violations: None
    Notes: Meat was brought from Matthew’s Meat Processor on Friday, left at 4 p.m. The pig was butchered and when they picked it up, they had a large metal tub. They placed a tarp inside, placed bags of ice and them placed the pig on the ice, then placed bags of ice on top of the pig. Covered with tarp. When they picked up the pig, it didn’t appear to be cool to the touch. They transported it to Los Alamos, which took approximately 13/4 to two hours. They immediately brought in the pig and began cutting up, unwrapped it and placed it in the refrigerator. Portion by portion got cooked. During cooling, they cooked for an hour at 160 degrees. The servings of food were picked up by some firefighters and taken back to the station. Approximately 30 out of 37 got ill (diarrhea). All ate about 5-6 p.m. Most got ill by 4-5 a.m. USDA will be contacted to investigate Matthew’s Meat Processing in Belen. Elk’s Lodge has been doing this for some time. This has been done 23 other times (approximately 20 years).

    Hot Rocks Java catering, 4200 W. Jemez Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 28

  • The 12th annual PEECnic, Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s  yearly meeting for members and friends will be from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 14.
    There will be activities, talks, and cider filling the air at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    PEEC traditionally holds its annual meeting in the fall, when Bandelier’s Park Flight ornithologist interns are still in town, so that attendees can learn about birds found across the Americas.  
    The PEECnic features illustrated talks by the interns, kids’ activities and light refreshments.
    This year, kids will be making a scarecrow to enter in the MainStreet scarecrow contest and there will be a cider press with plenty of apples to turn into juice.   
    Finally, PEEC members will vote on the board of directors for the coming year.
    As a special thank you to the community for encouraging county council to vote for a new nature center for Los Alamos, there will be a slideshow of PEEC’s history.  
    Council received hundreds of letters and emails from community members in support of the nature center.   
    The PEECnic is free and open to all, whether or not they are PEEC members.  
    For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • 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.