• Getting a grasp on the English language can be difficult, especially for those who were not brought up learning it. After all, there are so many things to consider, especially when words like cool have double meanings. Of course, there’s also words like their, there and they’re, to consider.
    Northern New Mexicans don’t make the task any easier. They seem to have a language all their own. It’s a fusion of American English and Castilian Spanish and produces terms such as acequia, mijo and patrón, which are mixed in with everyday English. It’s not uncommon to hear a native New Mexican speak Spanglish, a mix of English sprinkled with Spanish words here and there.
    While using Spanish terms is commonplace for most New Mexicans, it’s not so easy for tourists and those who have moved to New Mexico to understand the lingo. Until now.
    Mark H. Cross, a proofreader for the New Mexico Legislature, has written “Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico,” to help people understand the language and history of New Mexico.
    Cross’ tale of moving to New Mexico is not unique. Like many who fall in love with the Land of Enchantment, he came to visit a friend here and decided to make New Mexico his home. So in 1996, he made the move to Santa Fe and has lived there ever since.

  • Art comes in many forms and can be made out of anything an artist can think of. Now, Oregon native and New Mexico resident Nancy Judd is opening the eyes of fashionistas in and out of the state and letting them know the same can be said of fashion.
    Since 1998, Judd has been crafting fashions out of other people’s trash. She first got the idea while working in Santa Fe, as the city’s recycling coordinator.
    “I realized that art and fashion could be used to raise the consciousness of the public about recycling in a fun and positive way,” Judd said. “I started an event called the Recycle Santa Fe Art Market, that is still going strong.
    The opening night always features a recycled fashion contest and I would make a dress every year to promote the contest.
    Soon, I had a wonderful collection of recycled garments and I started to get invited by other recycling coordinators around the country to give recycled fashion shows in their communities.”
    She stopped doing fashion shows four years ago, because she said she realized she could “reach more people with my message of sustainability with exhibitions. I also wanted an audience that was not already environmentally minded.”

  • Kelley Kramer received a certificate of appreciation for service on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board last month. Kraemer is now attending college.

  • Kiwanis recently awarded Kathryn Hemphill with a scholarship. Hemphill served as a Key Club member and will attend Arizona State University to study biomedical engineering. Pictured from left to right are: Kiwanis Club members Morrie Pongratz, Don Casperson and Kristy Ortega (president), along with Kathyrn (Katie) Hemphill and Richard Hemphill. Kiwanis meets each Tuesday at noon at the Masonic Lodge with a focus on youth projects. Kiwanis was founded in 1948 and is the oldest service organization in Los Alamos. For more information on Kiwanis, visit their web site at losalamos.kiwanisone.org.

  • PEEC would like to thank the community and some special helpers for a fantastic program about cougars and people.
    We were fortunate enough to have Ken Logan, wildlife biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, came to PEEC Aug. 12 to talk about cougars  and their interactions with people, to a crowd of about 60. His talk made it clear that we live in cougar country and gave some practical tips  on how to stay safe.  
    One point that he stressed was to be in contact with your neighbors. If you see tracks, scat or a mountain lion, call your neighbors and let them know there’s been a sighting in your neighborhood. The more aware people are, the more likely they are to take a few simple steps to stay safe, like avoid hiking until two hours after sunrise, keeping pets inside at night and making sure outside pets and livestock are in cages with roofs.
    PEEC would like to thank James Brooks, of Yukon Wildlife Studio, for his help with this program. Brooks has been collecting and categorizing data about mountain lion encounters in Los Alamos on his website, yukonwildlifestudio.com, and was kind enough to tour Ken Logan before his talk, showing him the lay of the land in Los Alamos and places where sightings had been reported.  

  • This week, we talk about technology as it relates to adults.
    To me, technology is a blessing and a curse.
    When I know what I’m doing, it is a blessing. When I don’t know what I’m doing, it is a curse.
    I have a cell phone — by no means top of the line, actually a hand-me-down from my son. It is not a Smart phone, but alas, it is probably smarter than I am.
    The other day I was at Smith’s in White Rock, when a young worker named Shane (I think … I’m a bear of very little brain this week), asked to scan the barcode looking emblem on my shirt.
    You see them everywhere now, in advertisements, in stores and more.
    Do you know what happens when you scan them or what they do?
    Well, Shane took the time to show me what happens.
    The shirt I was wearing was for a group called America’s Promise. The emblem on the back of the shirt was able to be scanned by his cell phone and it took him to their website.
    Yes, a cell phone that could take a photo of what looks like a puzzle piece on my shirt, allowed the boy to look up information about a program and our community and have it all at his fingertips.
    Now, I want to talk about the downside of technology for me.

  • 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.

    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.
    Naney — Senior brown-and-white English Hound-mix. Owner going abroad. Needs a quiet retirement home. Has reasonable doggy manners. Would be a nice, calm companion in a quiet home.  Will have some tumors removed and a good dental next week.
    Phoebe — Young, black female Spaniel-mix. temperament testing shows no aggression or guarding issues. Enjoys being around people. Her choice is not to share her new home with another dog or cat.
    Olympia — Sweet, young Dachshund-mix Loves to be with her people, but not to be left alone for long periods of time as she tends to bark.

  • Award-winning University of California-Berkeley astrophysicist Alex Filippenko will deliver the 42nd Oppenheimer Memorial Lecture 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Duane Smith Auditorium in Los Alamos.
     The lecture, “Dark Energy and the Runaway Universe,” is free and open to the public.
     Filippenko has made a career of studying supernovae and using these cosmic beacons to probe the vastness of space. Filippenko was a member of two independent teams that in 1998 reported, based on observations of supernovae that the universe was expanding at a runaway pace. The leaders of those teams received the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for the discovery.
     Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for his research, Filippenko’s skills in teaching and conveying scientific concepts to non-scientists has been recognized with the Carl Sagan Prize, the Richtmyer Memorial Award and a Professor of the Year Award from the Carnegie Foundation.
     Filippenko will discuss how observations of supernovae have led scientists to conclude the universe contains a repulsive force, dubbed “dark energy,” that forces space to expand at an ever-increasing rate, pulling galaxies and other matter along with it. Einstein had once postulated such a mechanism but later rejected it and called it his “biggest blunder.”

  • The Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities is sponsoring a talk on rainwater harvesting at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.
    The talk is free and open to the public, with advance registration requested at PajaritoEEC.org. Walk-ins are also welcome. The DPU will provide a free water conservation kit for each participant.
    Is your garden thirsty for days, and then overwhelmed by a short cloudburst? Rainwater harvesting can help you store water on those overwhelming days to use on the following dry days, without costing a lot in water bills.  
    Integrated rainwater harvesting systems are designed to combine active systems, like tanks and barrels, with passive systems, such as rain gardens and bioswales. During this workshop, Jeffrey Adams will explore the principles and key components of integrated rainwater harvesting systems and introduce the basics of site assessment, designing, implementing and maintaining multi-functional rainwater harvesting systems. Participants will learn how to create spaces for water running off roofs, driveways and other impervious surfaces to slow down, spread out and soak into planted areas. This is a cost-effective way to decrease water demand in your garden and landscaped areas, and also helps protect water quality.

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


    La Botana mobile unit, 111 Riverside Dr.
    Date inspected: Aug. 9
    Violations: One high-risk violation for contaminated equipment — sanitizer didn’t have any bleach. Corrected. One cup/one gallon.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    Tiendita, 1027 N. Railroad Ave.
    Date inspected: Aug. 6
    Violations: None
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.


    Roadrunner Café, Hwy. 84/285
    Date inspected: Aug. 8
    Violations: Four high-risk violations for contaminated equipment — bins have scoops inside. Corrected; Coke nozzle needs to be cleaned, has residue on it. Corrected; sanitizer > 200 ppm, corrected. One for storage — container needs lids. Corrected. Two moderate-risk violations for contaminated equipment — walls need cleaning, food items on them; cutting boards need to be replaced, not smooth. Have too many deep grooves, difficult to clean. Two low-risk violations, one for floors/walls/ceilings — flooring in kitchen area needs repair. One for ventilation/lighting — light fixture must have covering.

  • For the first program of its Fire Recovery Series, Pajarito Environmental Education Center will offer an exploratory hike from Ponderosa Campground at 8:30 a.m. Aug 25. Terry Foxx and Chris Judson will lead the non-strenuous hike.  It is free and open to the public, with no registration required.
    The slow-meandering walk will focus on observation and discovery of the complexity of the ecosystems of the Pajarito Plateau and the change that these ecosystems have experienced over the past 200 years.
    Judson and Foxx will discuss both the history of fire in the area and ecological recovery from fire. They will point out changes that have taken place through time from fire, urbanization and climate.
    Participants should meet at Bandelier Monument’s Ponderosa Campground on N.M. 4 at 8:30 a.m. and wear good walking shoes and bring water.
    For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • “I love and fear words — their potential to uplift or tear down. My father taught me to respect that potential. Dad, a man of few words, wrote poetry and sketched. My mother made me love stories. She’d sit at the top of the stairs every night and create magic with a book. It was reader’s theater. If mommy couldn’t be there, she assigned the reading to whomever she’d deputized to watch us that night. But no one could do it like her. So much of the writer in me is my parents’ doing. I got really lucky with them.” — Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
    It is no surprise that Nelson is New Mexico’s official Centennial Children’s Author. The author of 10 books, from a beginning reader, “Ready? Set. Raymond!” to her latest “documentary novel” for young adults and adults, Nelson simply and always with a touch of humor, tells tales that engage all ages.
    Nelson will discuss her award-winning non-fiction book for ages 7-10, “Bad News for Outlaws: the Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal,” at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 in the upstairs rotunda of Mesa Public Library, as part of the Authors Speak Series.

  • Self-Help Inc. has been the sponsor of Tools for School for 15 years and once again has completed another program. With money from United Way, other grants and donations from the community, $27,000 worth of paper, pencils, scissors and other supplies have been purchased, unloaded at the Masonic Temple in Los Alamos and then sorted and distributed to children in need throughout the Los Alamos, Española and Pojoaque school districts.
    Joyce Nickols has been the Tools for School coordinator for the last three years. Helping with Tools for School has been an annual project for the middle school and high school youth groups at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos.  
    Nickols, youth director De Anna Hoyle and the youth group had a pizza picnic and then worked several hours recently unloading a truck, donated by Remax of Los Alamos, that was filled to capacity with boxes of supplies.

  • Wednesday

    The Los Alamos School Retirees Not-Back-to-School Breakfast will be from 9:30-11 a.m. at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church’s Kelly Hall. The fully catered breakfast will cost $9. Call Judy Crocker at 662-9117, email drummer@rt66.com, or contact Emily Engel at 662-3846 or lars@ieee.org.


    This month’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Board meeting will be at 6 p.m. in Building #1, Camino Entrada, Pajarito Cliffs Site. Committees will meet at 6 p.m., the meeting will begin at 6:15 p.m. For more information, call 661-4097.



  • This week, my column salutes local youth Clay Adams.

    Adams is a sophomore this year and last school year, ignited a spark that changed his orbit.

    In Asset language, a spark is a hobby or passion, the thing that makes your life worth living and brings you joy.

    Last winter another local youth, Trae Randolph, taught Adams how to ride bulls — and so it began.

    Adams traveled to rodeos with Randolph, riding when he could and spending time in Jal, N.M. with his father James, indulging in bull riding whenever he had the chance.

  • Some think the Valles Caldera deserves a trail around its rim. At 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Fuller Lodge, Dorothy Hoard will tell of her 12-year still unfinished odyssey to make the dream a reality. 

    The resurgent dome of the Valles Caldera is, geologically speaking, very young. Its structure is largely intact. It is also a small caldera, 13-15 miles in diameter, so its bowl-shape depression can be easily seen atop a mountain. These attributes led a small group of dedicated hikers to the conclusion that a caldera of this caliber deserved a trail around its rim.  

    Hoard will discuss the effort to convince land managers of the value of such a trail, the current status of the trail concept and the results of a three-year reconnaissance effort to determine the feasibility of such a trail. She will also describe the effects of the Las Conchas Fire, which burned large sections of the caldera rim in 2011. The question becomes whether the concept of a rim trail is still viable.  

  • Kiwanis awarded Michelle Boerigter the Jeannette O. Wallace Scholarship on Aug. 7. Wallace was a longtime Kiwanian and former state representative. Boerigter will attend Hope College in Holland, Mich. and will study biochemistry and religion/theology. Pictured from left to right: Key Club Members, Morrie Pongratz, Kristy Ortega (president) and Don Casperson; Terry Wallace, son of Jeannette Wallace; Michelle Boerigter; and parents Cathy and Steve Boerigter. 

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


    Los Alamos


  • Internationally recognized cougar expert Ken Logan of the Colorado Parks and Wildlife division will talk at 2 p.m. Aug. 12 at Pajarito Environmental Education Center about his years of research on these animals. The talk is free and open to the public.

  • The Santa Fe Opera’s most modern sounding offering this season is Polish composer Szymanowski’s “King Roger.” 

    The piece premiered in 1926, which doesn’t make it the most recently written, but it is years away from the others, in regard to its structure and subject matter.