• Los Alamos Middle School has had a very awesome February. Earlier this month, the LAMS Science Bowl team won their final heart-stopping match against Albuquerque Academy.
    Science bowl is a high-speed, “Jeopardy”-like competition where kids work in teams to answer questions in life science, physical science, energy, earth and space science, general science, and math.
    LAMS teacher, Naomi Unger, and one of her two teams has qualified for an all-expense paid trip to the National Science Bowl tournament in Washington, D.C. in April.  
    “It has been seven years since we qualified for Nationals,” Unger said, “and I couldn’t be more proud of how these students have dedicated themselves to excellence. They were truly a team.”
    This has been Unger’s second year coaching the team and last year her two teams placed fourth and second.
    The last time the team won was 2008 and this is the first time both the middle and the high school team has qualified, in the same year.
    The team began weekly practices in September and moved to twice weekly sessions in January.
    The A team consisting of Captain David Gao, Presley Gao, Phillip Martin and Sonyia Williams, will enjoy time in D.C. touring the monuments and spending time on the mall.

  • Cancer Services of New Mexico’s Spring 2014 Family Cancer Retreat will be May 2-4, at the Marriott Pyramid North hotel in Albuquerque.
    This free, three-day educational program will provide New Mexico’s adult cancer patients/survivors and their loved ones with the tools and information they need to manage the treatment and recovery process.
    More than 300 people from more than 125 New Mexican families coping with cancer are expected to participate, making this the largest general cancer education program in New Mexico and the largest program of its type in the United States.
    The program will combine discussions and lectures by many of New Mexico’s leading cancer specialists with fun activities that provide a break from the day-to-day challenges of living with cancer.
    Participants will also have the opportunity to spend time with each other in informal sessions, speaking with and learning from others who are coping with similar issues. Supervised childcare and recreational activities will be provided for children and teens during the educational sessions.
    There is no charge to participate in the retreat — the entire program, including meals, lodging, and all educational activities is provided at no cost to participants.

  • This week, I’d like to step back and look at the way adults sometimes treat youth. This week it has grown too great to keep silent on the matter, in what amounts to adult bullying.
    I assume when adults are behaving badly, it may be just getting caught up in the moment and not paying attention to what is being said out loud.
    At a youth sporting event this past weekend, I heard a grown man scream for one kid to break another kid’s back. I realize the adult is just hoping his team scores the point or wins the match, but I was appalled at the comment.
    I am certain that you could just take a second to think about what you are yelling and to pick something a little more appropriate.
    Next, I want to move on to the basketball game at The Pit this weekend.
    After an altercation at the end of the game, during the handshake part, the coaches separated the teams to just go back to their locker rooms.
    Again, what we will refer to as an adult threw trash and even a drink at the opposing team, as they were leaving the court.
    These young gentlemen are just that, young men. I hazard to say they are young men ... and you may need to sit down for this part … just playing a game.


    The weather is warming up and spring is around the corner. Now’s the time to start thinking about a garden, and certified arborist Laural Hardin will help do just that. 

    Thinking about using compost to improve the garden, but not sure how to do it? Hardin will teach all the basics about composting and answer any questions in a presentation 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.  

    Homemade compost is packed with organic matter, microbes and plant available nutrients, but building a working pile takes a little know-how. 


    The Mesa Public Library presents Darynda Jones, award winning romance and mystery writer. The talk is part of the Quotes: The Authors Speak Series 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in the upstairs rotunda. 

    Jones, a New York Times best selling author, winner of multiple awards including a RITA and Golden Heart for her manuscript First Grave on the Right. 

    Romance Writers of America (RWA), the trade association for aspiring and published romance fiction authors, gives the RITA — the highest award of distinction in romance fiction — that recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas. 

    The Golden Heart recognizes excellence in unpublished romance manuscripts and New Mexico’s own Jones has won both prestigious awards. 

  •  Dr. Roger Wiens will discuss “Curiosity” rover on Mars and lasers in a talk Feb. 27 at Fuller Lodge, Pajarito Room. 

    Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and the lecture will begin at 6:40 p.m.

    The one-ton Curiosity rover has been exploring Mars for the last 18 months, having already found evidence for an ancient freshwater lake in 90-mile-wide Gale crater. 

    The rover holds 10 instruments including Los Alamos National Laboratory ChemCam laser instrument which vaporizes bits of rock up to 25 feet from the rover to determine their compositions. 


    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home! Dogs and cats are great at chasing away the blues on cold nights, so come adopt a new 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 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

    Thank you Los Alamos for visiting the shelter and giving all adoptable animals their forever homes!

    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 favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals, or cats and dogs currently in foster care.

    The shelter will be having a mobile adoption from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1 at Smith’s.

    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations.


  • The public is invited to celebrate the beauty of winter and the coming of spring at the annual Fire and Ice Restoration Festival.
    The event, hosted by Santa Fe National Forest’s Jemez Ranger District and the Village of Jemez Springs, will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Father Fitzgerald Park in Jemez Springs.
    The free community event will feature educational booths and presentations that highlight the 210,000 acre Southwest Jemez Mountains Landscape Restoration Project. Special Guests include Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl.
    Activities are scheduled throughout the day including a chainsaw carving competition and exhibition, cross-cut saw contest, chicken bingo, arts and crafts and the famous Jemez Duck Race.
    The Band of Enchantment and Austin Van Landingham will provide musical entertainment.
    Children can attend a jump house, get their face painted and much more.
    A variety of food and beverages will be offered by vendors. Participants also have the option of a rejuvenating soak in the hot springs.
    Free parking and shuttle service will be provided to and from the festival. This service will be available at Jemez Springs Community Park, next to Jemez Valley Credit Union. This is located an easy half-mile walk south of Father Fitzgerald Park. Limited accessible parking will be available onsite.

  • With spring break for most school districts just a few short weeks away, the Los Alamos Historical Society is gearing up for tourist season by offering free training about the community’s history and historic district.
    Training will be 11 a.m. Feb. 26 in the Nambè Room of Fuller Lodge. It will be led by professional tour guide Georgia Strickfaden. Registration for the training is not required.
    Tours of the Los Alamos Historic District allow visitors to step inside the homestead-era Romero Cabin, visit an Ancestral Pueblo site, hear about the giants of 20th century physics who walked the streets, and learn how Bathtub Row got its name.
    The Los Alamos Historical Museum offers guided tours Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 11 a.m. during spring break season and from Memorial Day weekend through the end of Balloon Fiesta in October. Tours are $10 per person for those 18 and over, $5 for children 13-17 (free with high school or mid-school ID), and free for children 12 and under with a ticketed adult.

  • The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos’ class, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, is enrolling students for spring semester. Students will enter a business incubator where they will receive hands-on training, practical assistance, be matched with a mentor, and experiment with crowdfunding and other ways of financing a business. The experience will culminate in a real business pitch.
    Instructor Nicholas Seet is an entrepreneur and business expert who created Auditude, an online video advertising platform that became the fourth largest video ad network in the world and was acquired by Adobe in November 2011.
    Seet is now focusing his creative energy on building an online virtual incubator for training and vetting up-and-coming entrepreneurs and matching them with the venture capitalists that fund new business ideas.
    His virtual incubator, sivi.com, gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed, like specific steps and resources to guide a startup,
    real-time challenges that measure your entrepreneurial attitude-awareness and aptitude, and rewards such as start-up tools, mentor connections and opportunities to connect with investors. Students in the UNM-LA class will have the first opportunity to test Seet’s new model.

  • Santa Fe
    Mission Viejo Christian Academy, 4601 Mission Bend
    Date inspected: Jan. 27
    Violations: Three high-risk violations. Improper storage of eggs, food shall be stored in the order of vegetable and fully cooked meat on top, then fish and pork, followed by whole cuts of beef with ground beef on the bottom, then chicken and eggs at the very bottom. Can opener has metal shavings. Dented cans are mixed in with good stock, shall put “Do Not Use Dented Cans” sign in storage area. Three moderate risk violations. No indicating thermometer, old glass type. Top of food equipment has food build up. No test kit/strips for sanitizer.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on Jan. 28.

  • ARTfeast begins Friday and runs throught Sunday in downtown Santa Fe. The following list is the schedule of events.
    • Edible Art Tour (EAT): 5-8 p.m. Friday, downtown and Canyon Road
$35 per person, $70 with Fashion Feast
Underwriter: Santa Fean magazine.
Thirty-six members of the respected Santa Fe Gallery Association pair up with the city’s finest restaurants and caterers in Santa Fe’s two world-renowned art districts of Canyon Road and the Plaza. Ticket holders have three hours to sample food, art, and exhibitions. Circulating buses shuttle attendees throughout and between the galleries and districts, including the Scottish Rite Center for Fashion Feast.
    • Fashion Feast, Friday,
    8 p.m. to midnight, Scottish Rite Center, 463 Paseo de Peralta
$40 per person, $70 with EAT
Underwriters: Collector’s Guide and Goler Fine Imported Shoes. Media by American Art Collector and Western Art Collector. This is for a over-21 crowd. A cash bar is open throughout the evening. A live auction includes lunch for six with Mondo on Saturday.

  • Los Alamos has been selected as the “chosen” location for the Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival’s first “satellite screening” outside of the City Different, announced Festival Director, Marcia Torobin.
    “There is a vibrant and active cultural community on the Hill. It’s an ideal environment for expanding the reach and enjoyment of the eclectic mix of documentaries and first run features the Festival presents,” Torobin said.
    The local kickoff begins with the screening of award-winning Israeli documentary film, “Precious Life,” 4 p.m. March 9 at the Reel Deal Theater.
    “Precious Life” follows the real-life story of a Palestinian baby with a rare immune deficiency disorder and the Israeli doctor who hopes to save the baby’s life.
    It is an up-close and personal story set against the larger backdrop of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The film was featured at the Telluride, Toronto and Mill Valley Film Festivals and won the Ophir Award (the Israeli Academy Award) for Best Documentary.
    It has garnered accolades from The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Chicago Tribune, and was described by film critic Thomas Friedman as “a story of compassion among enemies and cruelty among neighbors.”

  • Submissions are now being accepted for The Los Alamos Photo Club’s 19th Annual Open show on March 1.
    Photos will be displayed at the Mesa Public Library upstairs art gallery. The show is sponsored by the Los Alamos Photography Club.
    Co-chairs of the LA Photo Club and coordinators for the event are Ken Hanson and Doug Coombs.
    To promote appreciation of photography and to encourage Los Alamos photographers of all skill levels, high school age and older are eligible to exhibit their work. All participants must live in Los Alamos County. All pieces must have wires for hanging on the back. The subject of the photos should be appropriate for display at a public facility.
    For the first several years, the leadership of Bob Brewer, T.K. Thompson, and Jim Gautier forged the show into an important community event.
    Since 2004, the show has been sponsored by the Los Alamos Photography Club (LAPC) and is the club’s largest effort of the year. For the last several years, Doug Coombs has coordinated the show with the efforts of many other volunteers. 
    Interested participants can begin dropping off their work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 1 at the library. There will be representatives from the LAPC during this time for anyone who would like more information or feedback.

  • Janali Gustafson, a 2013 Los Alamos High School graduate, is one of nine students to be published in the next issue of Scientific American Mind.
    Gustafson is attending Quest University in Canada, located in Squamish, British Columbia, north of Vancouver.
    Gustafson said the publication opportunity came while taking a rhetoric class during the fall semester. Karen Simring’s taught the class for first-year students and instructed them to write news articles about recent scientific studies. Nine students in the class were chosen based on the quality of the articles and on the magazine’s needs. Gustafson’s topic was how scientists erase drug-associated memory in mice.
    “Janali really came into her own her last year of high school and entered Quest University ready to embrace the opportunities there, one of which was the chance to turn a class assignment into an article submission to Scientific American Mind,” father John Gustafson said.
    Simring is one of the editors of the magazine. “It’s very exciting to know that at 19, I have already been published,” Gustafson said. “I am extremely grateful to Karen for giving me the opportunity.” She humbly said that she did not expect to get published.

  • Five teams from Los Alamos competed at the New Mexico state FIRST LEGO League (FLL) Championship Feb. 1 in Albuquerque. Competing among 44 teams, the Los Alamos teams did well.
    Two Girl Scout teams won top prizes and have been asked to attend the North American Open Championship in Legoland, Calif., May 16-18.
    The Atomic Flying Pickles, competing in their fourth year, won the second place Champion’s Award. The Bloonatics won the third Place Champion’s Award. A rookie team, The Atomic Phoenixes won the Presentation Award.
    FLL is one of the robotics programs in FIRST, a program that encourages kids to get excited about science and technology. Teams compete in three areas: robotics using LEGO Mindstorms; a project presentation based on the year’s theme; and Core Values.
    In the robot games, the robots which the teams have designed and built have two and a half minutes to score points on “missions” on a table of LEGO models.
    All five teams from Los Alamos scored in the top 15 in the robot games, with the Bloonatics finishing sixth, the Exploding Crazy Orange Sodas finishing eighth, the Radioactive Fireflies finishing ninth, the Atomic Phoenixes finishing tenth and the Atomic Flying Pickles finishing 15th.

  • This week, we look at resistance skills and when a young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
    Our local 2013 data shows only 48 percent, have this asset, which is better than the 2009 data capture which showed only 43 percent.
    I believe that along with resistance skills must come resiliency and how we assist our kids in developing the skill of bouncing back.
    You are better able to turn away from the ills of society when you get blind sided and still come out on the other side, when you actually get a chance to try and deal with some misfortune.
    Our kids have to suffer some pain, in order for the success to taste sweet.
    We must make sure everything isn’t perfect in their lives, or the moment they leave our side they won’t be able to cope on their own.
    I learn best from people with a child a year ahead of mine. It allows you to see what they experience, for what will be a year from any given moment.
    I try and take in the special moments because they are so fleeting and sometimes we get too busy to take a step back and watch the show.

  • Through the rest of February, the Betty Ehart Senior Center will be showcasing artwork from Nels Krakowski. An artist reception is 2-4 p.m. Feb. 21 at the senior center.
    Krakowski, 40 was born in Santa Fe with a form a Down Syndrome. Krakowski has attended Special Education classes in Santa Fe (Agua Fria Elementary School), Albuquerque (Madison Middle School and Manzano High School) and Los Alamos High School, from where he graduated.
    Krakowski has resided at the Peach Street Group Home for the past 20 years. “They (Peach Street staff) let him keep an easel in his room,” said father Robert Krakowski.
    Although Nels doesn’t talk much, Robert Krakowski said it benefits his son to express himself in such a manner. He has taken many different art lessons over a 20 year span.
    He has studied under the guidance of many artists in Los Alamos and Santa Fe, including painter Shelley Horton-Trippe. According to his resume, he has also studied with Roger Sweet, Ellen Koment, and Patrick Harris at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos.


    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home! Dogs and cats are great at chasing away the blues on cold nights, so adopt a new 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 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 some of the favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals or cats and dogs currently in foster care. 


    “The battle of Iwo Island has been won. The United States Marines by their individual and collective courage have conquered a base which is as necessary to us in our continuing forward movement toward final victory as it was vital to the enemy in staving off ultimate defeat.” 

    “By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the American who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue.” — Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

    The theme of the talk “Sixty Nine Years Ago: The Battle of Iwo Jima,” with local Iwo Jima Marine Corp veteran, Bill Hudson will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Mesa Public Library, upstairs meeting rooms.