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Features

  • Pfc. Casey Stavert of Los Alamos received a Meritorious Mast for academic performance from the United States Marine Corps during his graduation ceremony from the School of Infantry, Camp Pendleton, Calif.  
    Stavert was raised in Los Alamos and graduated from LAHS in 2008. The award reads, “You consistently performed your duties in an exemplary and highly professional manner by scoring higher on the written tests and on the performance evaluations than any of your peers, making you the academic leader for the company with an overall average of 96.0%.”
    The company consisted of approximately 450 graduates from around the country.
    In addition to the award, Stavert was invited to a private lunch with the commanding officer of the Marine Corps Training Battalion, to discuss positive and negative aspects of his training and his future career in the Marine Corps.  
    Stavert is continuing his training program at the U.S. Navy Air Station at Pensacola, Fla., and is being trained as an expeditionary airfield support technician.

  • Service to others is a perfect asset for the week. This week, try and think of a young person that you know that does great things in the community.
    During this week of Thanksgiving, drop them a short note and thank them for the work that they do.
    Do you need a better idea? You can nominate youth or adults for the Community Assets Award. The nomination process kicks off this week and goes until Dec. 17.
    There are so many youth that do great things and are never acknowledged for their efforts.
    I only dabble in the cyber world of Facebook, but I notice a lot of people taking the 30 days of November to announce their gratitude for something each day, this month.
    They say that you have to do something for 30 days in a row to make it a habit, so they are giving it a try.
    When you focus on the good things, you pay attention to them more often.
    How many of us rush around and never take the time to see the little things that make each day worth rolling out of bed in the morning?
    I hope you will take a minute to send me an email, Facebook post (AssetsInAction) or Tweet (#AssetsInAction) about what you are thankful for today, this month — or even this year.

  • Cancer is a four-letter word and that word, is hard.
    October was breast cancer awareness month and November is pancreatic cancer awareness month. The Los Alamos Council on Cancer assists men, women and children with free resources, advice and a kind word.
    While the Council on Cancer was founded in 1956, their members still work at full speed, to provide resources to those who have been affected by cancer.
    One of those resources sponsored by the Council on Cancer, along with the United Way of Northern New Mexico is Look Good, Feel Better.
    The meetings begin with a short video presentation by the American Cancer Society and free gift bags for each client.
    The bags are filled with a variety of free products to assist those who have undergone — or are currently going through treatment — with head to toe pampering.
    There are products by Cover Girl, L’oreal, Mary Kay, Bobbie Brown, Esteé Lauder and even Chanel. These major companies took the time to donate products for those going through what may be the most difficult time in their lives.
    The goal isn’t for the women to feel like they need to wear makeup or make themselves look better, but to allow them to have some time to remind themselves that they are still beautiful women, that deserve to shine.

  • 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
    Autumn — This spayed female is one of those rare breeds that doesn’t come around very often — a New Mexico Brown Dog. She is housebroken and leash-trained, just don’t try to force her to be friends with any dog smaller than her.
    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.

  • Start an annual holiday tradition at the North Mesa stables.
    Join the Los Alamos County Recreation Division, members of the Posse Lodge, Pony Club and Stable Owners Association as they create a holiday event for all ages from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 9.
    The event includes professional digital photographs with Santa and his elves, warm drinks, light refreshments and a holiday craft.
    Dress warmly, wear walking shoes and enjoy the North Mesa stables lit up with luminarias and holiday lights.
     The event is free and a photo with Santa costs $5, with all proceeds benefiting the Recreation Division Scholarship Fund. For further information contact the Recreation Division at 662-8173,visit the website at losalamosnm.us/rec, or email lacrec@lacnm.us.

  • The CROP Hunger Walk/ Turkey Trot committee announces the winner of the first-ever Los Alamos CROP Hunger Walk/Turkey Trot logo contest.

    The contest was open to all local fourth- through sixth-grade students who live in Los Alamos or whose parents work here. The winner is Sarah Worley,  a 10-year-old fifth grader at Piñon Elementary School.

    Worley said that she has participated in the walk her whole life. “I’ve walked in it with my family, every year of my life except one. So this will be my 10th time walking,” she said.

    Her inspiration for the logo came from the idea that people can win a turkey and a pumpkin pie through the random drawing after the walk, so she decided to draw a person holding those things. In the background, she drew people walking from all around the world because, in her words, “people all over the world have to walk to get something as basic as water.”  

    “We appreciate Sarah’s creativity and the inspiration she gives in being a lifelong walker and thinking about the difficulties facing many around the world. Sarah will receive a free T-shirt, as well as the sincere appreciation of our local CROP Hunger Walk committee,” said CROP Hunger Walk Coordinator Lynn Wysocki-Smith.

  • On a cold Sunday afternoon with temperatures sliding to sub-freezing for the night, a small kitten was found at the Los Alamos land fill. The good samaritans brought the nearly dead kitten to the police department.  
    Friends of the Shelter volunteers were contacted and the kitten was transported to the Emergency Clinic in Santa Fe. Diann Mills drove and Mary Timmers held the nearly frozen kitten next to her body, trying to keep it warm.
    Upon arrival at the clinic, the vets and technicians went to work and spent the night hovering over the four-to-six-week-old baby. The kitten named Milagro (Milly for short) survived the night.
    Mills picked her up from the emergency clinic the next afternoon and brought her to some experienced foster parents.
    Milly is thriving now and she is eating and starting to play. Friends of the Shelter would like to acknowledge the good people who rescued Milly, the quick response of the police department to a critical situation and Mills and Timmers for taking time to transport Milly to Santa Fe.
    Milly will be available for adoption once she is big enough to get all her shots and be spayed.

  • The Boys Scouts of America and NALC-4112 Letter Carriers will conduct their 15th annual Fall Food Drive throughout Los Alamos County Saturday, to benefit LA Cares Food Bank in Los Alamos and St. Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española.
    The annual Fall Food Drive is scheduled for Los Alamos and White Rock and is jointly conducted by the Los Alamos Letter Carriers Union (NALC-4112), the Northern New Mexico District of the Boy Scouts of America, LA CARES and the LA Community Food Banks with the support of the National Letter Carriers Union, the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Smith’s Food and Drug Stores, the Los Alamos postmaster and many individual volunteers.
    Residents should place non-perishable donations of food and supplies near their mailboxes by 10 a.m. (no glass containers).
    Cub Scouts will also collect donations at both Smith’s supermarket locations in Los Alamos and White Rock on Saturday only.

  • FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Victoria’s Secret has apologized for putting a Native American-style headdress on a model for its annual fashion show, after the outfit was criticized as a display of ignorance toward tribal culture and history.
    The company responded to the complaints over the weekend by saying it was sorry to have upset anyone and that it wouldn’t include the outfit in the show’s television broadcast next month, or in any marketing materials.
    “We sincerely apologize as we absolutely had no intention to offend anyone,” the company said.
    Headdresses historically are a symbol of respect, worn by Native American war chiefs and warriors. For many Plains tribes, for example, each feather placed on a headdress has significance and had to be earned through an act of compassion or bravery. Some modern-day Native American leaders have been gifted war bonnets in ceremonies accompanied by prayers and songs.
    “When you see a Lakota chief wearing a full headdress, you know that he was a very honorable man. He was a leader. He did a lot of honorable things for his people,” said Michelle Spotted Elk, a Santa Cruz, Calif., woman of mixed heritage whose husband is Lakota.

  • LONDON (AP) — Britain’s media are in a meltdown and its government is gaffe-prone, so Oxford Dictionaries has chosen an apt Word of the Year: “omnishambles.”
    Oxford University Press on Tuesday crowned the word — defined as “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations” — its top term of 2012.
    Each year Oxford University Press tracks how the English language is changing and chooses a word that best reflects the mood of the year. The publisher typically chooses separate British and American winners. This year’s American champion is “gif,” short for graphics interchange format, a common format for images on the Internet.
    The editors said gif was being recognized for making the crucial transition from noun to verb, “to gif”: to create a gif file of an image or video sequence, especially relating to an event. And, inevitably, to share it online. Cute kittens, Olympic champions, President Obama — they’ve all been giffed.
    Coined by writers of the satirical television show “The Thick of It,” omnishambles has been applied to everything from government PR blunders to the crisis-ridden preparations for the London Olympics.

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

    Santa Fe

    Café Castro, 2811 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: Nov. 8
    Violations: None
    Notes: Dishwasher sanitizing solution 75 ppm, good. Test strips are available. Kitchen is kept very clean all the time. Good process of cooling down food. Cutting boards and equipment surfaces look clean. Store raw meats at the bottom shelves of refrigeration units.
    Status of establishment: Approved

    Domino’s Pizza, 604 N. Guadalupe St.
    Date inspected: Nov. 6
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations, one for improper holding — food-grade thermometer needs to be calibrated; one for contaminated equipment — pizza cutter unsanitary condition; sandwich cutter unsanitary condition, broken.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    El Merendero Processing, 1514 Rodeo Road
    Date inspected: Nov. 7
    Violations: One low-risk violation for ventilation/lighting — light out of order in the walk-in refrigerator.
    Status of establishment: Approved, no follow-up required.

    Flying Tortilla, 4250 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: Nov. 6

  • The original Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair is just around the corner and this year, it will be at a new venue.
    A Los Alamos tradition for 45 years, the annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair will be from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Bible Church — a new venue, as the middle school is being remodeled.
    The Los Alamos Arts Council is hosting the event and admission is free.
    To keep the tradition of a pre-Thanksgiving, holiday shopping spree alive, the LAAC has lined up artists from across New Mexico and nearby regions.
    As in past years, jewelry, pottery, painting, metal work, fabric arts and photography will be among the highlights, as well as a wide range of holiday-oriented crafts.
    New artists and longtime favorites will be on hand. Kathy Hjeresen, who sells handmade jewelry and woodworker Adrian Martinez, both veterans of the fair will return. Mary Ann Somers and Marilyn Lisowski, two more local jewelers, will also be at the fair.
    Fiber arts will be represented, including Hillary Harrell, who will have wool scarves and shawls. Los Alamos fiber artist Jeanne Robinson and her daughter Elise Koskelo, will also have knit wear, wraps and shawls. Susan Young Tweet will be back with her fleece items for both adults and children.

  • Ending world hunger is not something that one can do alone. In fact, it sometimes takes an entire community to make a difference.
    The CROP Hunger Walk/Turkey Trot is one of those events that is trying make a difference. For the past several years, Lynn Wysocki-Smith has organized the event, in the hope of helping ease poverty and hunger. This year’s event will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Los Alamos Middle School. The two-and-a-half mile walk or run is free, but donations of canned food or money are welcome.
    Wysocki-Smith said the Turkey Trot was started more than “30 years ago, as the season finale event of the Atomic City Road Runner Club. It was always held either the Saturday or Sunday prior to Thanksgiving Day and has always been conducted out on North Mesa. It was a runners-only event, with the course being a fairly tough course, starting somewhere near the Los Alamos Posse Shack and going down into the canyon and then returning to the start by climbing out of the canyon behind the Posse Shack. There were a few turkeys given to best time predictors.”

  • Los Alamos High School will participate in the American Mathematics Competition Feb. 5 at Los Alamos High School.
    The mission of the Mathematical Association of America in offering this competition is to increase interest in mathematics and to develop problem solving.  
    Teachers and schools benefit from the chance to challenge students with mathematical questions that are aligned with curriculum standards at all levels of difficulty.
    Students gain the opportunity to learn and achieve through competition with students in their school and from around the world.
    The AMC offers a contest with an emphasis on problem solving, not just computation.  The problems are for all students with a mix of questions.
    Top students can receive recognition through honors and awards, including the best in each school and the best in each state.
    A $5 fee is due at sign-up, which will go through Nov. 28. Interested high school students may sign up in the Math Office, Room A212.
    More information and practice options may be found at amc.maa.org.

  • Bryan Huysman, former NASA Manned Space Flight Center Scientist,  will be the guest speaker at the Nov. 20 dinner meeting of the Major General Franklin E. Miles Chapter 229 of the Military Order of World Wars in Los Alamos.  
    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.
    Huysman’s presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m. The dinner entrée is green chile chicken with mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad and roll. Cost of the dinner is $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.
    Note that a dinner reservation made is a commitment to the chapter to pay for the reserved dinner.
    RSVP for the dinner is needed by Nov. 18; call Lt. Col Gregg Giesler AUS retired, chapter commander, 662-5574 or email g.giesler@computer.org; or Lt. Col. Norman G. Wilson USAF retired, chapter adjutant, 662-9544 or email NRMWil5@cs.com.
    An Act of Congress chartered the Military Order of the World Wars in 1919 as a national patriotic organization.

  • A variety of chocolate creations were on display Saturday during the Festival of Chocolate. Attendees sampled pastries, like Morning Glory Bakery’s beignets, below, and other assorted goodies.

     

  • Los Alamos Middle School has chosen to participate in Read to Feed‚ a reading incentive program designed by Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending world hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.
    Read to Feed allows children to help find solutions to global problems like hunger and poverty.
    LAMS students will record each of the books they read on the back of a sheet, through Dec. 14. Students will ask for pledges for each book they read.  
    A “buck a book,” from their family and friends is recommended, but any amount will be accepted, no matter how small. Cash or checks will be accepted.
    Checks should be made out to LAMS with “Read to Feed” on the memo line. School district policy prohibits canvassing: going door-to-door, to collect pledges.
    The Read to Feed Committee (a group of seventh graders organizing the fundraiser) will decide what kinds of animals to buy through Heifer International.
    Heifer then decides where the need is greatest and provides families and communities with the animals they’ve purchased through the money raised.

  • The 27th annual Los Alamos Heart Council Health Fair was held at Griffith Gymnasium Oct. 27. What a tremendous success. We had close to 1,700 attendees.  
    There were 67 exhibitors representing a wide range of health-related organizations. More than 700 flu shots were given and 307 blood draws were done. Along with many other health screenings, 190 bike helmets were given out to Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico children.  
    The health fair is only possible with the support of many organizations, a large number of volunteers and the broader community. Thanks are due to the Los Alamos Heart Council Board (a United Way community partner), which has put on the health fair every year for 27 years; to the Los Alamos Medical Center, which co-sponsors and assists the Heart Council by covering the costs associated with flu shots and advertising; to the phlebotomists from the medical center; to the Los Alamos Council on Cancer which subsidizes the PSA blood test for men; to the Los Alamos Monitor that publishes the Health Fair guide; to KRSN for their support of community activities such as the Health Fair through their interviews and public service announcements; and to the Tuff Riders for help in fitting the helmets for the kids.  

  • Asset number eight is Youth as Resources — and our focus for this week.
    What ways can you involve youth in decision making? As a part of your home, school, community or business, what input can they provide to make things better?
    The Chamisa Student Council is currently collecting food items to donate to those in need — in and around our community.
    The youth work as decision makers for the school, with the leaders selected to bring the thoughts and concerns of the school to the table.
    They work on a variety of projects including taking collections for non-profits and more importantly, coming up with the list of those organizations, for which to give.
    Often adults may want input from kids, but lead them in decision making by providing all of the information.
    At Chamisa Elementary, fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade representatives staff every class from kindergarten through sixth grade to get their input.
    The students are taught how to ask questions and field answers, regardless of the responses they receive.
    The students then get the final say as to what projects they work on and when they do them.
    The leaders take full responsibility for bringing the decisions back to their classes and promoting the events as they arrive on the calendar.

  • Los Alamos MainStreet is working with the Betty Ehart Senior Center and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) to make this the most wonderful time of the year.

    The festivities kicked off with the Festival of Chocolate and rolls into a weeklong event called The Festival of Trees.

    All week, residents are invited to tour the Betty Ehart Senior Center and view (and in some cases) bid on silent auction items.

    While the event is free and open to the public, it is an excellent opportunity to help those in need, during the holiday season.