• I learned many years ago that it is the friends, books, music, games and movies you surround yourself with that help create the person you become.
    Last week, I had the pleasure of making a presentation to the Leadership Los Alamos class of 2015, soon to be “the best class.”
    I loved Robin Williams and after he died last year, I noticed a movie he made I had not seen. Ah, technology and sure enough, you can request a movie and watch it within a few days.
    I’ll save you the pain of the movie, unless you are up for something deep and profoundly sad from, “What Dreams May Come.” The truth is two children are lost in a car accident and later the father passes in a second car accident.
    The profound part was an exchange between husband and wife about the son struggling in school. The mother wants to ease the workload and the father doesn’t because he knows the boy is capable.
    The movie later shows how another conversation where the boy admits to the dad, that he isn’t as smart as the dad and always feels like he’s letting him down.
    Flashback to the Leadership Los Alamos session where it was admitted that youth often feel like they are continuously a disappointment when they never make the grade or do, as well as parents expect.

  • When Geologist Patrick Rowe leads a trip for the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, it always fills up with a waiting list equally as long.
    So this time, PEEC decided to bring Rowe to the PEEC nature center, to give everyone a chance to learn from Rowe’s extensive knowledge about geology.
    The free program begins 7 p.m. Wednesday. Rowe will share and discuss samples from his amazing rock collection, making special note of what can be found in northern New Mexico.
    The event will be a great introduction to local geology, or a refresher for those already knowledgeable about the subject.
    The program is free, and no advance registration is required. To learn more about this and other PEEC programs, visit PajaritoEEC.org, email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org or call 662-0460.

  • Eighteen students from Los Alamos elementary schools and Los Alamos Middle School were at Chamisa Elementary recently for the 2015 County Spelling Bee. Over the last several months they’ve been attending school Word Clubs for practice through listening, writing and pronouncing thousands of words that could have been used in the Scripps National Spelling Bee and learning to think through the surprises. Most of the contestants are avid readers as well.
    First place went to the New Mexico Spelling Bee representative, Nora Cullinan, who is an 8th grader at Los Alamos Middle School.
    Second Place went to Olivia Koo, a 5th grader at Barranca and third place went to Sruthi Garimella, a 7th grader at LAMS.
    The last rounds with five spellers, included Philip Ionkov, a 5th grader at Aspen and Hannah Gartz, a 6th-grader from Piñon. Supporting the spellers were families, friends, and teachers who were there to cheer on all of the contestants.
    Spelling Bees have been in operation across the United States since 1925, with now-famous Scripps sponsorship beginning in 1941. Bees had been in place for many years and the smooth operation of the contest has been dependent on school-level coordinators, a school district facilitator, and supportive judges from throughout the county.

  • The best state sales tax systems (or gross receipts tax, as it is called in New Mexico) are broad, low, and don’t tax necessities, like food.  
    If tax systems are broad and low, that means that the tax burden is shared widely by different products and services and doesn’t fall too heavily on any one product or service.
    Meanwhile, most states avoid taxing necessities so that citizens who live paycheck to paycheck are not forced to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table.   
    Unfortunately, New Mexico‘s gross receipts tax (GRT) is neither broad nor low. At last count, there were 338 exemptions for everything from boxing matches to all-terrain vehicles and these exemptions significantly narrow the tax base.
    The GRT also averages more than 7.25 percent across New Mexico, which is relatively high, according to the Tax Foundation.
    The one area where New Mexico’s GRT gets it right is the fact that, since 2005, New Mexico no longer taxes food or medical services. This was an important reform, since the food tax not only fell on a necessity, it was also very regressive in that it fell hardest on those who could least afford it.

  • Jan. 25-31, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.
    Betty Ehart
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Pasta primavera
    12:15 p.m.    Smart Driver course
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Tilapia
    1 p.m.         MindBody massage
    1:30 p.m.    “Friends”
    6 p.m.        Mahjong
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table Tennis

    8:30 a.m.    LAVA quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken chile             cheese soup
    1:30 p.m.    Daytime duplicate             bridge

  • Jan. 8: A boy, Jayceon Salazar, born to Eryana and Julian Salazar
    Jan. 15: A girl, Kayleigh Suzanne Hollowell, born to Brittany and Ben Hollowell
    Jan. 17: A boy, Elisa Daniel Mora, born to Samantha Jo Martinez and Isidro Urias Mora

  • 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 best friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:
    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday.
    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 some of your 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.
    Cordelia — A short haired, all-black cat with a tiny little white patch on her chest and a small notch out of her ear. She was trapped on 48th Street on New Year’s Eve, and she was certainly happy to be somewhere warm for the new year! She is extremely friendly, and now that she has received a clean bill of health, she’s ready for her own warm, indoor home.

  • Art exhibits
    Footprints: The Inspiration and Influence of Allan Houser. Through May 2015 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, 708 Camino Lejo in Santa Fe.

    Hiroshi Watanabe – The Day the Dam Colllapses at  photo-eye Bookstore and Project Space, 376 Garcia Street Suite A in Santa Fe. Exhibition runs through Feb. 14.

    First Friday Citywide event: Contemporary Artifacts — featuring the works of artists Chris Meyer (mixed media) and Jenn Noel (ceramics). At the Weyrich Gallery, 2835D Louisiana Blvd. in Albuquerque. Show runs into Jan. 30.

    Recently acquired works by artists Ansel Adams, Gustave Baumann, Betty Hahn and many others will be on view in “Hunting + Gathering: New Additions to the Museum Collection.” The exhibition runs through March 29.
    Solo exhibition by Jeri Moore. “The Language of Humanity.” Through February at the Act I Gallery.
    Auditions for Richard Atkins’ and Mark Medoff’s new, Holocaust play, “DelikateSSen.” 1-4 p.m. Saturday and 6-8 p.m. Sunday at the Adobe Theater, 9813 4th St., NW in Albuquerque. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Rehearsals beginning the last two weeks in February. Performance dates are scheduled for April.

    ON PAC 8
    Views expressed on programs shown on PAC8 do not necessarily reflect the views of the manager, staff, or board.

    Friday, Jan. 23, 2015
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! – Live
    10:00 AM The Tom Hartman Program
    11:00 AM County Council Meeting Replay 1-6-13
    02:00 PM MPL Authors Speak Series
    03:00 PM Gallery Discussion for Edith Warner & Tiano– Bridge Between Two Worlds
    04:00 PM Uprising
    05:00 PM Africa: Mothers of Invention
    05:30 PM Senior Olympics
    06:00 PM Democracy Now!
    07:00 PM Los Alamos Historical Society - “Seventy Years of
    Computing in the Nuclear Weapons Program”
    08:30 PM The Garage
    09:00 PM Bongo Boy Rock and Roll
    09:30 PM Global 3000
    10:00 PM NNMCAB Meeting
    12:00 AM Free Speech TV

    Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015
    Free Speech TV

    Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015
    06:00 AM FSTV
    05:30 PM Key to the Kingdom
    06:00 PM Drawing Men to Christ
    07:00 PM United Church
    08:30 PM Trinity on the Hill
    09:30 PM Generations
    11:00 PM That Which Is
    12:00 PM Free Speech TV

    Monday, Jan. 26, 2015
    06:00 AM Democracy Now! LIVE
    10:00 AM The Tom Hartman Program

  • Santa Fe
    Santa Fe County Detention Center, 4312 Hwy 14
    Date inspected: Nov. 4
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Dish temperature does not reach proper temperature. One moderate-risk violation. Ventilation fans need to be cleaned. Three low-risk violations. Exhaust hood with minor condensation and filters were not in place. Floor tiles coming loose by freezer. Minor chipping of ceiling paint around the facility.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Java Joe’s, 2801 Rodeo Road
    Date inspected: Nov. 6
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Insecticide stored along side cleaning chemicals, which was corrected at time of inspection.
    One moderate-risk violation. Oven, floors, ice scoop and fans have food and dust build up.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Blue Corn Café, 135 Water St.
    Date inspected: Nov. 6
    Violations: Six high-risk violation. Hot and cold holding not at proper temperatures. Dented cans mixed in with good stock. Ice scoop has grime build up. Bleach sanitizer over proper ppm levels. Chip holder has grease build up. Chemical spray bottle have no labels. Two moderate-risk violations. Refrigerators don’t have indicating thermometers. Containers have food build up.

  • Applications available for Veterans Creative Arts Festival
    New Mexico’s veterans are invited to show off their talents in the 13th annual Veterans Creative Arts Festival to be held Feb. 25-27 at the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 1501 San Pedro Dr. SE, Albuquerque.
    Main divisions for the festival are Music, Art, Creative Writing, Drama and Dance. Local winners go on to compete at the national level via digital images and videotape.
    The Visual Arts entries will be on display from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 25-26 in the Recreation Hall (Building 2), while the Performance Arts competition takes place from 1-3 p.m. Feb. 27 in the Education Auditorium (Building 39). First-place winners from local competition may be invited to the National Veterans Creative Arts Festival taking place Oct. 12-19 in Durham, N.C.
     The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival, presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Legion Auxiliary, is the culmination of a yearlong, fine arts talent competition involving more than 3,000 participants nationwide. The festival is open to all veterans receiving care at VA medical facilities, including NMVAHCS veteran employees.

  • The 28th Annual Taos Winter Wine Festival will be uncorking a palatable blend of new additions to the event including an Aprés Ski Tasting at the newly remodeled TSV Resort Center and chairlift access to Taos Ski Valley’s Kachina Peak along with the return of key festival events including the Grand Tasting, Reserve Tasting, wine-paired dinners and seminars.
    Taos’ best restaurants will serve their finest signature appetizers paired with tastes of reserve wines from 40 participating wineries during the Reserve Tasting from 4-6 p.m. Jan. 29. The evening includes a silent auction of wines to benefit the Taos High School Culinary Arts Program. The cost is $75 per person and will be at the El Monte Sagrado Resort.
    Master Sommelier Joseph Spellman will be joined by importer Charles Neal to lead an Old World versus New World Blind Tasting with four pairs of wines on Jan. 29 at El Monte Sagrado Resort — a great way to test one’s wine knowledge and learn at the same time. The “Old World vs. New World Blind Tasting” seminar begins at 2:30 p.m. Cost is $50 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at taoswinterwinefest.com.

  • Angel Fire Resort, located in the southern Rocky Mountains is throwing its 11th Annual Big Ol’ Texas Weekend party on Friday and Saturday. It’s an appreciation weekend to thank the ski area’s loyal Texas crowd, which makes up more than 50 of its winter visitors, with themed entertainment, live music and special discounts for those living in Texas and in other parts of the country.
    “While we’re bringing back some of our favorite events from years past for this annual tribute weekend we are adding in a new Denim and Diamonds Ball, as well as, a day-long Texas Tailgate party at our base area,” said Dan Swanson, director of marketing, Angel Fire Resort. “If you’re looking for a great guys weekend, Angel Fire is the place to be with a poker tournament, a steak-eating contest, brews, BBQ and whiskey tastings and of course ski deals. If you’re on the hunt for a fun couples getaway then the Denim and Diamonds three-course dinner, Jim Beam Whiskey Tasting event and live music at our Country Club is a perfect tie-in to a weekend on the slopes.”
    In celebration, discounted lift tickets and lodging packages for the weekend are available online-with advance purchase only.
    The weekend will kick off Friday night with Texas themed events:  

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society and the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will be having its winter concert, once again under the direction of Music Director Mary Badarak and accompanied by Cindy Little.
    More than 70 singers and 35-40 members of the Los Alamos Symphonic Orchestra will grace the stage at 4 p.m. Saturday at Crossroads Bible Church. This year’s concert has an unusually large group of participants this year, according to coordinator Chuck Tallman. “It’s an amazing for this little town,” he said. The number of participants have continued to grow as the years go by.
    Tallman has been involved with the choral society for 43 years. “I’ve always been active in it and it is one of the main reasons I stay in Los Alamos,” Tallman said, who worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 30 years and is treasurer of the choral society.
    Two programs will be presented. First, will be Anitonia Viavaldi’s “Gloria,” followed by  Mozart’s Vesperae Solennes de Confessore K. 339. The text for both will contain an English translations.

  • Today
    For the January meeting of the Los Alamos Genealogical Association, Kent Parsons will lead a discussion on “Descendancy Research” at 7 p.m., upstairs in the meeting room of the Mesa Public Library. The public is invited. The usual no-host social dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon before the meeting.

    Backcountry Film Festival. 7 p.m. The Backcountry Film Festival is back in Los Alamos for another year, with nine unique films aimed to inspire winter adventurers to seek the snow less traveled. Pajarito Brewpub returns to sell beer and wine. Reel Deal Theater. $12 advance/$15 at door. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    Authors Speak Series. Sharon Oard Warner. Author of “Sophie’s House of Cards,” a family novel set in New Mexico. 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library upstairs rotunda.

    Temporary exhibit: Saul Hertz, MD: A pioneer in the Use of Radioactive Isotopes. Daily through Jan. 31 at the Bradbury Science Museum.

    Keep It Classy. Ongoing at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    The Paintings of Francis Harlow: Portraits & Pottery. Ongoing through February at the Los Alamos History Museum.

  • The Family YMCA is celebrating National Mentoring Month throughout January by continuing to bring awareness about the Y’s Reach & Rise youth mentoring program and the ongoing need for caring adults in Los Alamos.
    Being a caring adult is great, but when caring adults put forth caring actions it changes the course of a child’s life. Youth mentoring guarantees to a young person that somebody cares about them.
    During the month of January, Reach & Rise is looking for five Los Alamos adults over the age of 23 to participate in the next Reach & Rise youth mentoring training.
    Kim, a Reach & Rise Y mentor talks about why she chooses to mentor a Los Alamos youth. “I have always loved the movie ‘The Sound of Music,’ and I always especially loved the relationship between Maria (the new governess of the Von Trapp children) and the Liesl (the eldest of the seven Von Trapp children). From the outset, Liesl von Trapp claims, ‘I don’t need a governess,’ but Liesl quickly and repeatedly learns about the great help and guidance that she can receive from governess Maria.”
    Like Liesl and the rest of the Von Trapp children, many mentors have had similar guide, such as sisters, brothers, aunties, godparents, or even that babysitter who also came to all of the kinder-kick games.

  • Los Alamos High School freshmen counselor Michelle Harrison, along with co-sponsors Sherri Smith and Family Resource Advocate, Troy Palmer spent the first weekend in November at the Sipapu Ski Resort for the Natural Helpers Fall Retreat. The JJAB collaboration yielded the training of 18 new Natural Helpers students and a refresher for three returning members.
    The goal of Natural Helpers is to help and support other students, to learn ways of caring for themselves and each other, and to help foster a safe and supportive environment in their school and community.
    A theme that seemed to return for the team was that everyone is special in their own way and how important it is emphasize the uniqueness of each individual and what they bring to the group.
    “We had an amazing time and formed a tremendous bond with one another,” Harrison said. “I look forward to working with each of them and getting to know the additional members as the year progresses.”
    As one of their many projects, the Natural Helpers brought about a weeklong event earlier this month called, The Attitudes of Gratitude Bucket Challenge. The students worked to man tables allowing students and staff to identify the many things they are thankful for in life on a daily basis. Their goal was to fill a 5-gallon bucket by the end of the week.

  • Today

    Game Night: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday at the Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Temporary exhibit: Saul Hertz, MD: A pioneer in the Use of Radioactive Isotopes. Daily through Jan. 31 at the Bradbury Science Museum.

    Keep It Classy. Ongoing at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    The Paintings of Francis Harlow: Portraits & Pottery. Ongoing through February at the Los Alamos History Museum.
    For the January meeting of the Los Alamos Genealogical Association, Kent Parsons will lead a discussion on “Descendancy Research” at 7 p.m., upstairs in the meeting room of the Mesa Public Library. The public is invited. The usual no-host social dinner will be held at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon before the meeting.

    Backcountry Film Festival. 7 p.m. The Backcountry Film Festival is back in Los Alamos for another year, with nine unique films aimed to inspire winter adventurers to seek the snow less traveled. It promises to be an evening of entertainment, prizes, and fun. Pajarito Brewpub returns to sell beer and wine. Reel Deal Theater. $12 advance/$15 at door. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • Author and teacher Sharon Oard Warner will talk about her work for this month’s Authors Speak Series. Her latest book, “Sophie’s House of Cards,” was published by UNM Press in October.
    Warner will bring copies of her books to sell and sign. The event starts at 7 p.m. Thursday in Mesa Public Library’s Upstairs Rotunda.
    Warner is also the author of “Deep in the Heart,” and “Learning to Dance and Other Stories,” and the editor of “The Way We Write Now, Short Stories from the AIDS Crisis.” She teaches creative writing at the University of New Mexico.
    “Sophie’s House of Cards,” is set in New Mexico, where Warner has made her home for many years, so the descriptions of the landscape, flora and seasons will ring true to every New Mexican. The family portrayed in the novel also carries that same sense of authenticity. Peggy, Jack, Sophie and Ian are just moving forward, in the way of most families, until the young Sophie finds herself pregnant. That fact causes the family to examine everything about how they have been living. The house of cards in the title refers both to the fragility of the stories people construct in order to proceed, and also to Tarot cards, which introduce each chapter.

  • Financial aid workshop available to help students

    A representative from the New Mexico Educational Assistance Foundation will be at Los Alamos High School to help students and parents complete the Financial Aid Application at the FAFSA Workshop at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the MacLab (located in the IMC).
    Parents and students will need to bring several important documents to complete the FAFSA, including a 2014 Federal Income Tax Return, W-2 Forms, birth date, Social Security number, any 2014 business and investment mortgage information, business farm records, stock, bond and other investment records, and current bank statements and an alien registration card for non-U.S. citizens.
    For more information on FAFSA, go to nmknowledge4college.org.

    Kiosk art contest now underway

    Los Alamos MainStreet announces the “Living Los Alamos” Kiosks Art Contest. The contest is a call for original photographs or artwork that represent “Living Los Alamos.”
    Winning art will be displayed in the four directional kiosks along Central Avenue. The only qualification is that the art should be representative of living in Los Alamos or the surrounding area.