• The December meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers will feature its annual “potpourri,” a special meeting featuring a potluck dinner and a collection of short presentations from members who took a notable trip in 2014 and have stories and photos to share.
    The Mountaineers will provide barbeque from Bob’s Bodacious and cake from the Chocolate Maven. Others are asked to bring side dishes, desserts or main course alternatives as they like.
    The special meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Fuller Lodge.
    Following dinner, the meeting will present updates on upcoming LAM-sponsored trips or reports on recent ones, followed by the featured potpourri presentations.
    Kicking off his retirement tour, Larry Earley visited seven Arizona climbing areas in eight days during March 2014. More than 1,300 miles of non-stop driving enabled him and Don Taylor to climb at Paradise Forks, Oak Creek Overlook, Granite Dells, Isolation Canyon, Superstition Mountains, Isle of You and Sheepshead in Cochise Stronghold. Earley will describe what he calls a “once in a lifetime adventure.”

  • Pet adoptathon in Rio Rancho this weekend

    Watermelon Mountain Ranch in Rio Rancho is having an adoptathon Friday through Sunday in the big tent at PetSmart, 10248 Coors Bypass, near Cottonwood Mall.
    The event will be from noon-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
    The no-kill shelter will present dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, who all need a loving home in time for the Holidays. The public may also bring a pet to have their photo taken with Santa Paws, and also choose a wish from the WMR Giving Tree. There will be also an opportunity to donate dog and cat food to help feed pets at rescue groups.
    Watermelon Mountain Ranch is New Mexico’s largest no-kill shelter, saving thousands of animals since 1996. Watermelon Mountain Ranch relies on adoptions, donations and volunteers both at the Ranch in northern Rio Rancho and at offsite events throughout the year.

    Shakespears’s Twelfth Night’ to be performed in Santa Fe

  • Los Alamos
    Hot Rocks Java Café-LAMC, 3917 West Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 16
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. No sanitizer strips available during inspection time.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Hot Rocks Java Café-Catering, 4200 W. Jemez Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 16
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Hot Rocks Java Café, 4200 W. Jemez Road
    Date inspected: Sept. 16
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Chuck’s Wagon, Various locations
    Date inspected: Sept. 24
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.
    Pojoaque Elementary School, 1524 N.M. 502
    Date inspected: Sept. 25
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Pojoaque High School, 1574 N.M. 502
    Date inspected: Sept. 25
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. Refrigerators need thermometers.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

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

    “Sacrifice and Service: The American Military Family.” Exhibit runs daily through Jan. 2 at the upstairs art gallery at Mesa Public Library.  

    Affordable Arts. On display through Jan. 3 at Fuller Lodge Art Center. With 124 artists participating — the vast majority from northern New Mexico and more than 50 Los Alamos artists.
    The Los Alamos Federated Republican Women will have its annual holiday potluck luncheon. Noon at  the Los Alamos Church of Christ, 2323 Diamond Dr. All registered Republican women are invited to join. The new 2015-16 officers will be installed and members will be bringing gifts for the Adopt-A-Family program. To RSVP, call Donna MacDonald 662-4001.

  • Ian Tillotson, of Summit Foods, recently received the Client Recognition Award at their annual conference.
    The award is given to directors for exceptional service and this was his second, in the three years he has been with Summit Foods in Los Alamos.
    Summit Foods services the Los Alamos Public Schools lunch program. Tillotson was nominated by a client and was one of only 29 recipients, from their 260 accounts.
    The Education and Business Dining Group, is their largest sector and had just two recipients.
    Tillotson’s responsiveness to client needs and concerns, professionalism, and dedication to students were key areas for this award.
    While the food service manager has been with Summit Foods for 7½ years, he doesn’t accept the award without also acknowledging the hard work of his many staff members.
    “I have a truly dedicated staff that is eager to help in any way possible,” he said. “They come to work every day with a can do attitude and an eagerness to feed as many students as possible.”

  • Today
    Bats in New Mexico. 7 p.m. Join wildlife biologist Justin Stevenson and discover the beautiful and remarkable world of bats. Learn about the biology, ecology and behavior. No advance registration required. Free. For more information, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

    “Sacrifice and Service: The American Military Family.” Exhibit runs daily through Jan. 2 at the upstairs art gallery at Mesa Public Library.  

    Affordable Arts. On display through Jan. 3 at Fuller Lodge Art Center. With 124 artists participating — the vast majority from northern New Mexico and more than 50 Los Alamos artists.
    Holiday Eco Crafts. 1-3 p.m. Drop your children off at PEEC so they can unleash their creativity and make ecologically-friendly gifts. Advance registration required. $20/$16 PEEC members per child. For more information and to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

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

  • Amidst all the buzz about buying gifts at the holidays, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will offer its Holiday Eco Crafts class for kids again this year. The class will be from 1-3 p.m. Wednesday. Not only is this class a lot of fun for the kids, but it also teaches them that gifts don’t have to be expensive or fancy to be useful, practical and attractive.
    Gifts to make will include pinecone fire starters, recycled notebooks, holiday ornaments, toys and more. Plenty of materials will be available to make the perfect gift for parents, grandparents and siblings. There will also be a lot of recycled wrapping paper and cards on hand, so kids can wrap their gifts and address them to the recipients before they head home.  
    Parents are welcome to stay during the class, or to leave kids at PEEC and enjoy a few hours of kid-free local shopping. PEEC’s own shop also has some holiday gift items, including books, unique jewelry, stuffed animals and even PEEC animal adoptions. 

  • The official launch of the 2014 Community Asset Awards has begun and the community is invited to nominate anyone that lives or works in Los Alamos. While everyone is recognized, one lucky attendee has a chance to receive the big award of the night, the Spirit of the West Award.
    The Spirit of the West in named for former Los Alamos County Council member Jim West, who helped to create a community event where people are recognized for doing good things and being great people.
    “I was at a meeting where Jim and I discussed how so many great things were being done in our community and by our community members that went unnoticed,” said Bernadette Lauritzen, Assets In Action coordinator. “I spoke with Jim before he passed away to let him know one such award would be given in his honor.”
    Assets In Action, with the support of the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA), has the program underway once again.
    “We had some an unexpected reduction in funding for the program this year,” Lauritzen said. “And with a series of community fundraisers, we’ll muddle through this year.”

  • Tonight it is my goal to convince you to have that serious talk with your kids.
    Oh, don’t worry, it isn’t that talk, whew, had you sweating, didn’t I? The talk I want you to have is one with anyone that plays games with guns.
    The guns in question aren’t the real ones, but fake guns that look so real, it could get them killed.
    If you watch the news, you know it did happen, a 12-year-old boy was shot and killed in Cleveland, when he was walking in a park and pointing a pretend gun at people passing by the area.
    I know there is a lot happening in the nation related to police right now, but this is one we as parents can solve after a five minute conversation.
    Our kids want to be cool, they play some pretty serious video games and real life situation games, where the toys don’t look a whole lot like toys.
    The reverse can be said of real guns looking like fake ones, as I have seen my share of positively pink revolvers and shotguns.
    There are many crimes and deaths that would never take place if people simply used a little common sense. I’ll save some of those topics for another column.

  • Dec. 7-13, 2014
    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
    10:30 a.m.    Advisory council    
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken tenders
    Noon        Grief support
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Tilapia
    1 p.m.         MindBody massage
    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: Tater tot
    12:15 p.m.    Piano students

  • Nov. 12: A girl, Grace Xuanyue Lin, born to Shizeng Lin and Zhuang Yang
    Nov. 19: A girl, Aracely Baca, born to Sheryl and Abraham Baca
    Nov. 21: A boy, Reyes Lionel Campos, born to Julie and Donny Ray Campos
    Nov. 24: A boy, Owen Walter Maassen, born to Jessica and Joel Maassen

  • Antonia Batha, of Los Alamos is studying abroad during Union College’s winter break.
    Batha is in Argentina, studying social movements, human rights and other issues while traveling throughout the country. The college offers a variety of mini-terms, which are three-week programs running during winter break.

  • 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.
    Biggie Smalls — A handsome black neutered male. He’s very mellow in the shelter cat room, but he could get excited about a home of his own!
    Babes — A 9-year-old, spayed, female, black and white cat whose owner has been unable to find housing where Babes is welcome. She is a nice big girl who is good with adults and gentle children.

  • Stopping by Mesa Public Library should be on everyone’s to-do list from noon-3 p.m., because that’s where all the local authors will be set up to sell and sign their books.
    The public is welcome to meet with local writers, ask them questions, buy their books and have them signed.
    The fair will be in the upstairs rotunda of the Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave. While upstairs, the community is welcome to take some time to check out the new exhibit by the Museum of the American Military Family, which is on display in the art gallery until the end of December.
    Among the authors who have confirmed that they will be at the book fair is Jemez Springs resident Leandro Thomas Gonzales, author of “Follow the Spinning Sun,” an exploration of what might have happened to cause the early inhabitants of Bandelier to leave their home.
    Gonzales is retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he was a mathematician, nuclear physicist and engineer.
    “Follow the Spinning Sun” was nominated for the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, an award presented to a novel that makes a lasting contribution to excellence in world literature.

  • In the true spirit of the giving season, a 12-year-old Los Alamos Middle School student has organized an event during Winterfest.
    “Rock on Climbathon,” with the goal of raising at least $3,500 for local nonprofits, including YMCA and Self Help, Inc.
    Originated and organized by seventh grader, Talia Ben-Naim, “Rock on Climbathon” will give adults and kids alike a chance to try indoor rock climbing, while enjoying music, pizza, popcorn, drinks and a chance to win raffle items donated by local merchants. Half of all proceeds benefit the local YMCA chapter, while the other half will benefit Self Help Inc., which has provided consultation, advocacy, emergency financial assistance and seed money grants to area residents since 1969.
    The fundraiser is part of a “passion project” in LAMS seventh grade’s GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) class.
    “Passion projects” for GATE students have taken place in the class for the past 15 years, and are designed to showcase a student’s passion while challenging the student to produce a result or product at the end of the project.

  • SIERRA COUNTY — Hillsboro in Sierra County along with other “ghost towns” and cities there are bringing the spirit of the holidays to southern New Mexico with several celebrations including “Christmas in the Foothills,” “Old Fashioned Christmas” and a “Luminaria Beachwalk.”
    Hillsboro’s largest annual event — “Christmas in the Foothills” – will be celebrated on Saturday and includes a wide array of vendors selling specialty arts, handcrafted gifts and food items. An original, framed watercolor painting by Hillsboro artist Inga McCord will be raffled at the event. Shoppers can take advantage of the $49.99 Art Show and Sale, where each item in the art show is sold to a winning ticket holder for $49.99.
    “Christmas in the Foothills” will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Hillsboro Community Center, located at 316 Elenore St. The town of Hillsboro is located on Highway 152, 17 miles west of I-25 at exit 63. Call 575-895-5457 or email melody21@windstream.net for more information.
    Meanwhile, two hours north, the historic town of Monticello will be the best place to purchase local, handmade gift items such as wreaths, crafts, jewelry and the award-winning organic balsamic vinegar made by The Darland Company of Monticello.

  • The next guest on “Report from Santa Fe” is Valerie Plame Wilson, the former United States CIA Operations Officer and the author of “Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House,” a memoir detailing her career and the events leading up to her resignation from the CIA. 
    “Report from Santa Fe,” will air 8 a.m. Dec. 21 on KNME-PBS, channel 5.1.
    Currently, Plame is co-writing best-selling spy thrillers with the accomplished author Sarah Lovett. Plame discusses their second thriller, “Burned.” Their first novel, “Blowback,” received rave reviews. The books draw upon Plame’s knowledge of spycraft and experiences in the field, delivered in a fictional format, and revealing in a most thrilling way the heroism and the challenge that working undercover represents. Plame shares how her CIA career — including assignments in counterproliferation operations — enables her to recreate the faced-paced world of spy-versus-spy.
    Plame has put her hard-won intelligence experience expertly to work with her latest spy thriller “Burned.”  Vanessa Piersen, the hero of Plame’s thriller series, is a CIA Ops Officer that Plame describes as a “younger, smarter version of me.”

  • Eye on the Mountain gallery presents “Guadalupe” Group Art Show, a first Annual Art Exhibition for Santa Fe’s Guadalupe Arts District. Guadalupe is one of the sacred icons of Santa Fe.
    The public is welcome to experience the group art show, featuring 12 artists from the southwest. Those artists include Stevon Lucero, El Moises, Rachel Houseman, PAZ and Jane Cassidy. 
    The show kicks off from 5-8 p.m. Dec. 12 at the gallery for an opening night event where the public may meet with the artists. The exhibit is ongoing until Feb. 12.
    Art is based on the spirit of Guadalupe as a sacred icon and will challenge viewers to see the many aspects of this sacred image through the eyes of several visionary and sacred Santeros Artists.
    This show will kick off a new holiday tradition for Eye on the Mountain and for Santa Fe.
    For more information see the gallery website at eyeonthemountaingallery.com, or call 928-308-0319, the gallery is found at 614 Agua Fria Street in Santa Fe.

  • The annual Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, will be from 7-11 a.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The breakfast is free, although attendees are requested to donate either non-perishable food items or money. Food collected will be used by LA Cares to feed local families in need. Money donated will be used for the Kiwanis/CYFD Foster Children Christmas party. Any money left over from the Foster Children’s party will be used to make up food baskets, which will also be distributed to those in need. Visit with Santa and enjoy a good breakfast and a morning of good cheer in the true Christmas spirit.

  • The community is welcome to ring in the holidays with an open house at Fuller Lodge. Festivities are from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
    The Los Alamos Arts Council along with the Fuller Lodge Art Center and the Historical Society will kick off the annual holiday event at the lodge, Los Alamos’ best known historic building and its cultural and artistic center.
    Fuller Lodge is decorated for the holidays and there are plenty of festive events planned.
    This year, the festivities begin with the Chamisa SingSations at 10 a.m., then at 10:45 a.m. a Curious Chris will entertain children with the “Science of the Season.”
    Juanita Madland and friends will host a sing-a-long beginning at 11:45 a.m. At 1 p.m., there will be more holiday music with a saxophone quintet and a woodwind quintet, as well as punch and cookies served by the arts council. The Los Alamos Family Council will host a Holiday Cookie Walk at 10 a.m., which will continue all day. The public may make a donation and select a dozen holiday cookies.
    There will be several other nonprofit organizations taking part in the festivities.
    The Animal Shelter will sell calendars and Boy Scout Troop 71 will have holiday wreaths for sale.