• Registration for the Y Earth Service Corps (YESC) 2014 summer program is open for any interested youth ages 11-17.
    This program is a summer-long, hands-on experience for youth that teaches leadership development, environmental stewardship, service learning projects and cross-cultural awareness.
    This summer’s YESC program will focus on improving Los Alamos trails and on caring for the Hilltop Garden. Participants will also have a part in choosing to become involved in various other community service projects as well.
    The YESC summer program runs from 8 a.m.-noon Monday through Thursday starting June 9.
    The YESC participants will meet at the Los Alamos Teen Center each morning and will be returned to the Teen Center at noon each day. However, the YESC program will also provide opportunities for the participants to go on fun, afternoon field trips and hikes, as well as a couple of camp-outs throughout the summer.
    Registration takes place at the main Y facility. To register, the perspective YESC participant and a legal guardian will need to come-in to complete the YESC registration forms, and payment is due at the time of registration.

  • The Democratic Party of Los Alamos held its annual JFK Award dinner last week. This year the award for outstanding service to the community and to the Democratic Party went to Kyle and Mike Wheeler. Maggie Toulouse Oliver, candidate for Secretary of State, gave the keynote address to the 100-plus people gathered at the Betty Ehart Center. Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard introduced Congressman Ben Ray Lujan. The Congressman enumerated numerous committees, elected positions held, and service both Wheelers have given to Los Alamos for nearly 30 years before he presented the award to them.

  • Mary Carol Williams grew up loving the outdoors. A feeling that has remained instilled in her all of her life.
    Williams has lived in Los Alamos since 1972, when her husband took a job working on polymers and graphite for nuclear reactors at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She worked as an environmental chemist at the lab until her retirement in 2002.
    “Through that job, I got a lot of experience with all the different facets of the lab,” she said.
    Before moving to the southwest, Williams lived on a lake in Virginia when she was young.
    “There were a lot of ducks, fish, birds and all those good things,” she said. “I would paddle my canoe to visit my friend on the other end of the lake. Everyone played outside, so I’ve always been an outdoor person. We didn’t have TVs. As a consequence, I have been very active all my life in nature-related things.”
    Williams was involved with Girl Scout troops and camps since I was very young. I continued as a Girl Scout leader after moving to Los Alamos. She stopped to focus on her job at the lab.
    Williams remains fond of the oceans and said that she and her husband love to scuba dive. She has been diving along both United States coast, several spots in the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and South America.

  • The Bike & Gear Swap is a fundraising event for the Los Alamos Tuff Riders (the local 501c3 nonprofit International Mountain Bike Association chapter).
    This third annual event is an opportunity for the public to sell items no longer in use and purchase new items for the season at a discounts.
    The Bike & Gear Swap will be from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. June 7 at the Los Alamos Co-op. Professional mechanics will provide free bike safety checks during the Bike Swap.
    To sell items or drop of equipment, the community may come to the co-op between noon and 7 p.m. June 5-6 and before the swap on June 7 between 7-8:30 a.m. Items will not be accepted after 8:30 a.m.
    See the general manager at customer service desk for details about dropping off or selling equipment and allow time to fill out sale tickets and attach them to items. The Co-op will store all dropped-off equipment in secured storage.
    Sellers receive 85 percent of the ticket price for all items sold, and 15 percent of the proceeds go to Tuff Riders. The Co-op will pay sellers starting at 2 p.m. following the Bike & Gear Swap.

  • Jill Abramson, recently fired as executive editor of the New York Times, rose above vindictiveness a week later to tell graduates, “We human beings are a lot more resilient than we often realize.”
    Graduation ceremonies are all about encouraging future success, but thinking back, I wish somebody had talked to us about failure — namely, finding the strength and heart to put one foot in front of the other after life’s personal and professional disasters.
    Author J. K. Rowling a few years ago told Harvard grads about the “benefits of failure.”
    “Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had already been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”

  • You might have noticed that I don’t generally use this column to talk directly about my children.
    Today, that will change as I feel the need to elaborate on one particular senior in the class of 2014.
    My son Chandler will graduate from the halls of Los Alamos High School this Saturday.
    He is a pretty wonderful young man and I believe that is due, in no small part, to the many wonderful staff members of Los Alamos Public Schools and no, I won’t be able to name them all and for that, I do apologize.
    However, it all started with the most wonderful woman, named Becky Sims, whom I have spoke of before and feel the need to call out, just one more time.
    It continued from there with Mrs. Tricia Javernick, Mrs. Laura Gallimore, Ms. Valerie Adams, Mrs. Cathy Wiget, Mr. Joshua Wells and then Mrs. Kassandra Brandt, when he left mid-year and finally a rounded out our elementary years with Mrs. Debbie Smith. I should mention Mrs. Carol Hermes, who had the audacity to move to another school, but Chamisa couldn’t keep all of the love to herself.
    We then ventured on to middle school and more wonderful people like Mr. Curtis Terrill and Rita Sanchez.

  • Los Alamos Co-op Market, Taos Mesa Brewing and Chef Edwin Theodore present a beer dinner at 6 p.m. May 29 at the co-op.
    The four course meal features pairings and showcases a new beer by Taos Mesa Brewing. Weather permitting, this white tablecloth dinner will be served al fresco on the Los Alamos Co-op Market’s patio and lawn.
    The beer dinner menu includes the following:
    First course: Kolsch 45 with Insalata di Barbabietole — Arugula with golden beets, strawberries, ricotta, toasted almonds and vanilla bean vinaigrette
    Second course: Wheeler Peak Wheat with Avgolemono with Potato Frico — Delicate lemon soup with potato and cheese crisps
    Third course: New Beer by Taos Mesa Brewing with Curried Pork Loin and Polenta — Curry cured pork loin with soft polenta, caramelized apples, and hericot vert
    Dessert course: Scottish Ale with a Chocolate and Raspberry Cheese Tart
    Tickets are available at the co-op, and space is limited. This event is $50 for member and $60 for non-members.
    For more information visit the website losalamos.coop or call 695-1579.  

  • Outgoing ’Topper Parent Organization president Cecilia Frank was presented with flowers and a certificate of appreciation by Los Alamos High School Assistant Principal Carter Payne during the PTO staff appreciation luncheon earlier this month.
    Frank has volunteered for parent-teacher groups since her son, Brandon, started at Little Forest Playschool many years ago. She then went on to help at Piñon Elementary School, Ponderosa Montessouri School, Los Alamos Middle School and for the past four years at Los Alamos High School.
    Frank and her husband, Richard, have donated supplies to the nurses’ offices and NJROTC unit at LAHS. 
    On May 2, Frank was honored at the ’Topper Parent Organization’s staff appreciation luncheon at LAHS where she was honored for her efforts. She had already helped her team set up the luncheon and was there to help with clean-up afterwards.
    “I have really enjoyed helping out at our schools through the years,” said Frank. “We have some really amazing staff in our district and we need to let them know how much their hard work is appreciated.” Frank said she is leaving because her son is graduating in 2014. “I’m hoping someone else can come forward and take over.”

  • 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 friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals:
    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.
    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 the 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.

  • The Los Alamos County Parks, Recreation and Open Space Division announces the annual Hawk to Hilltopper Event. The event will be from noon to 3 p.m. May 30 at Urban Park. The event is a celebration for 8th grade students transitioning to high school.
    There will be a barbeque lunch, inflatable toys and the famous shaving cream war. The event will end with the Los Alamos Fire Department hosing off the students after the shaving cream war. The event usually ends around 3 p.m., so parents can pick up students at the park.
    A parent permission form is required to participate in the event and is available at the Los Alamos Middle School Administration office, the PROS Admin Offices at the Aquatic Center, or online at www.losalamosnm.us/rec. Turn in permission forms to the Aquatic Center or to the Los Alamos Middle School office by May 29. Shaving cream is not to be taken to school; it can be dropped off at the Aquatic Center any time before 10 a.m. the day of the event and have the cans marked with the participant’s name.
    The middle school is still looking for community partners to help facilitate this alcohol and drug free celebration.
    For more information contact the PROS Division at 662-8170. 


    Art exhibits

    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art announces an exhibition: “A Day in the Life: Works by Holly Roberts.” The opening exhibition will be 5-7 p.m. May 30. Show runs until June 21. 


    “Collages and Bone,” the works of Robert Dean Stockwell. Opening reception from 5-7 p.m.  May 31 at The Grand Bohemian Gallery at El Monte Sagrado Resort in Taos. Free. 


    Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce an exhibition: “Complications:” Works by Matthew Szösz and “Byways:” Works by Damian Stamer.  The exhibition will be from 5-7 p.m. June 27 through July 19.  The opening reception will be from 5-7 p.m. June 27. 

  • Santa Fe
    Nasim LLC-Burro Alley, 207 W. San Francisco St.
    Date inspected: April 3
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. Back door is left open and should only be open during delivery. Violation was corrected at time of inspection. Three low-risk violations. Employee jackets held in dry storage area. Food permit is expired since January, permit fee has been received. Ceiling above kitchen is peeling and rusted. Water heater tank has cracked seal.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    El Chile Toreado, 950 Cordova Road
    Date inspected: April 8
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Raw eggs stored on top shelf in the reach-in until above ready to eat foods like cheese, which was corrected at time of inspection. One moderate-risk violation. Chlorine bottle for sanitizing is dusty, which may indicate that it is not being used.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    The Santa Fe Bite, 311 Old Santa Fe Trail
    Date inspected: April 8
    Violations: Two low-risk violations. Cases of soda and beer stored on the floor and must be six inches off the ground. Beer cooler does not have shelves, provide metal shelves for that cooler.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Estrella Del Norte Vineyard is coming into its fourth year of outdoor summer cooking classes and announces the cooking class dates.
    This year Estrella Del Norte Vineyard is partnering with both the Santa Fe School of Cooking and Santa Fe Culinary Academy to bring you flavors of the southwest in a vineyard setting from two different cooking schools.
    All classes are 10 a.m. Saturdays starting May 31 at Estrella Del Norte Vineyard, 106 N. Shining Sun in Santa Fe.
    For each class date, a chef from the instructing school will demonstrate cooking using a wood-fired oven and wood-fired grill located in Estrella Del Norte Vineyard’s garden patio.
    For each class, the vineyard owners will discuss New Mexico’s wine history, winemaking and the wines served with the class meal.
    Established in 1989, the Santa Fe School of Cooking is revered for their array of classes on authentic southwestern cooking in a fun and informative environment. To register for a class, call 983-4511 or register online at santafeschoolofcooking.com.

  • This summer is a great time for readers of all ages to explore and have fun with all kinds of science themed, hands-on activities, part of the Summer Reading Program at libraries across the country.
    And, a great way to kick off eight weeks of programs at Jemez Springs Public Library is with the experts in science fun, the Explora! Science Museum of Albuquerque.
    The program “Fizz, Boom, Read” starts May 30 at the Jemez Springs Public Library. All programs are every Friday night at 6 p.m. through July 25.
    From 5-7 p.m. Explora! will provide a range of exhibits and activities for locals and visitors alike in the Jemez Springs park, weather permitting, or inside the library otherwise. Some of the Family Science Night events include the following:
    Scribble Machines — Construct contraptions to make art. Combine pencils, markers and recycled materials with circuits, and motors to make small bots that draw or make marks in sand (or salt).
    Dixie Copters — Create your own flying contraption out of dixie cups and see how it flies in a wind tunnel. Create one that spins or one that flies high.
    Circuit Boards — Create a circuit to turn on a light bulb. Can you turn on two light bulbs? What about a motor?

  • “Inside the New Mexico Senate: Boots, Suits and Citizens,” a newly published book by former Senator Dede Feldman, has been variously described as a “How-To” book for reformers or candidates, a primer for how things work — and don’t work — in Santa Fe, and a legislative history with a human face.
    Feldman will share some of the stories and lessons that went into the book at two events in Los Alamos 7 p.m. today at the Mesa Public Library.
    She will be signing and selling the book. Last weekend, Feldman had a presentation at the Los Alamos Unitarian Church as well.
    “Inside the New Mexico Senate: Boots, Suits and Citizens” is a legislative history, which includes maverick leaders, shameless special interests and earnest advocates clashing in the unique arena that is the New Mexico Roundhouse.
    The New Mexico Senate comes alive, with stories of grit and grace, honor and disgrace. Students of government, advocates and lovers of politics could find many of the book’s stories of interest.
    Feldman represented the North Valley of Albuquerque from 1997-2012 in the state senate.
    She served as chairman of both the powerful Public Affairs Committee and the interim Health and Human Services Committee.

  • Starting this month, PEEC’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium curator, Chick Keller, will begin leading monthly Wildflower Walks.
    These will be easy walks to identify some of the wildflower found in and around Los Alamos. Each month Keller will pick a different trail, depending on what is blooming at the time.
    The walks are free and there is no advance registration required.
    The Wildflower Walks will take place over the next several months on Fridays, with the next one scheduled for June 27. Other walks are scheduled for July 18 and Aug. 15.
    Participants will receive a plant list and that, along with instruction from Keller, will help them learn how to identify wildflowers currently blooming in Los Alamos.
    The group will meet at 5:15 p.m. each month at PEEC and carpool to the trailhead. The events are free and no registration is required.
    For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org, or call 662-0460.
    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos.
    It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains and skies.

  • Chester Nez, the last of the original 29 Navajo code talkers from World War II will speak about his memoir, “Code Talker,” which is the first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo Code Talkers. The book is co-authored by Judith Avila.
    The two will pair up for the discussion from 2-4 p.m. June 14 at Jemez Springs Presbyterian Church Community Room. Chester Nez will discuss his experiences as a code talker, the Native American heroes of World War II.
    The event is hosted by the Jemez Springs Public Library.
    Nez, 93, was one of the men who developed the only unbroken code in modern warfare. During World War II, the Japanese managed to crack every code the U.S. military used.
    But when the Marines turned to their Navajo recruits to develop and implement a secret language, the men stymied the enemy and helped to assure victory for the United States in the South Pacific.
    After a career working at the VA hospital in Albuquerque, Nez now lives in Albuquerque with his son Mike and family.
    Nez’s prizewinning memoir shares his inspirational view of history, pulling the reader into the foxhole with the legendary men who developed a code that not even other Navajos could break.
    Avila, a graduate of Duke University, met Nez in 2007. She and Nez conducted three years of interviews.

  • Los Alamos High School is seeking donations of snacks for the Listening Post.
    The Listening Post is staffed with volunteers to lift student morale by offering snacks prior to testing times. The motto for the Listening Post is “Gab/Granola Bar/Grumble.”
    The Listening Post will be open during finals week.
    Those that would like to make donations can drop them by the main office at LAHS.
    Suggested items include pre-packaged cookies, crackers or pretzels, juice boxes, fruit snacks, candy, fruit, or jerky.
    Questions can be directed to the LAHS prevention office at 663-3252. 

  • The Los Alamos Co-op Market’s TerraCycle program raised $405 for local nonprofits over the past year, which benefited Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Friends of the Shelter. PEEC received $135, while FOS received $270.
    Each year the Co-op invites customers, staff and volunteers to vote for recipients of the TerraCycle funds.
    TerraCycle, a company seeking to eliminate the idea of waste, turns items previously considered trash into desirable products including park benches and hand bags. The Co-op’s TerraCycle program accepts items such as chip bags, cereal bags or cereal box liners and baby food pouches.
    Glass items can also be recycled separately at the Co-op.
    For more information on the Co-op or the TerraCycle program, call 695-1579 or visit losalamos.coop. 

  • Now that spring is here, so begins the preparation of the Youth Business Grant Program.
    The Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation is looking for businesses, individuals and organizations that can make a donation of any size, between $5 and $500 to benefit the program.
    “We are promoting our local youth by creating young entrepreneurs; giving them an opportunity to experience, first hand and at a very young age, what it takes to start and grow a local business,” said LACDC Executive Director Scott Randall. “One hundred percent of all donations go directly to selected students.”
    Building the financial base of the program is just one component, as the program will also look to build the foundation of the youth by pairing them up with business leaders from the community, with whom they share a vision.
    Those wishing to be available for youth questions, particularly one in their field can impact the sustainability of their business.
    Additional support can be made to youth, for those willing to hang posters or have YBGP business cards or listing available.
    After donations are solicited from the community, the YBGP program will release the annual application for youth wishing to apply for the program.