• TAOS (AP) — Voters across the country chose Taos Pueblo as the second “Best Native American Experience” in the United States based on USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice contest. Acoma Pueblo in Albuquerque was chosen as the No. 1 pick.
    In August, USA Today asked readers to choose their top 10 choices for Best Native American Experience out of 20 nominees across the U.S. Half of the top 10 winners are based in New Mexico.
    Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for more than 1,000 years and is the only living Native American community to be designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark.
    On Sept. 29 and 30, Taos Pueblo will celebrate the pueblo’s patron saint, St. Gerome (San Geronimo), with their “San Geronimo Eve Vespers” and “San Geronimo Day.”
    “San Geronimo Vespers” begins on Sept. 29 with mass at the Pueblo’s San Geronimo Chapel at 3 p.m. San Geronimo Chapel was built in 1850 to replace the original 16th century church, which was destroyed in 1847. Later that evening at 6 p.m., a “Sundown Dance” with a ceremonial drumming ceremony will take place.

  • Millions of men, women and children struggle with mental illness.
    The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 26.2 percent of Americans age 18 and over suffer from a mental disorder — one in five adults.
    In age group 13-18, one in five suffer a serious debilitating mental disorder.
    Overcoming the stigma associated with mental illness is an uphill battle.
    To increase the understanding of problems those with mental illness face, the week of Oct. 5-11 has been designated National Mental Illness Awareness Week. There will be a number of events throughout the week focusing on mental illness, including “Inside Out,” an art exhibition. The show will kick off with a preview fundraiser from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 10 at the James Kelly Contemporary Gallery in the Santa Fe Railyard.
    The following day, Oct. 11, the exhibition will be open to the public from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. with a reception for the artists from 4-6 p.m.
    The “Inside Out” event is being produced with assistance from SITE Santa Fe. The artwork in the exhibition is by artists in Santa Fe who are receiving support for mental illness.
    The show will provide a forum for these artists to share how they view their world. With the help of the sponsors, the artists’ receive 100 percent of the art sales.

  • Blunders happen in life, but when they occur in nature, those who witness them usually walk away with interesting stories.
    This will be the topic of the next installation of Nature on Tap, hosted by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, which is part of an informal discussion series started by the Los Alamos Creative District.
    The talk will begin 5:30 p.m. today at the Manhattan Project Restaurant. PEEC’s new Director of Interpretation Jonathan Creel, will facilitate the discussion.
    Has anyone ever witnessed unique animal behavior or been stuck on a camping trip where nothing could go right, despite all the best planning? Come to Nature On Tap and share your stories (and a few laughs) with others.
    Creel is in charge of design and interpretive programming for the new Nature Center and he joined the PEEC team in July.
    For more information call PEEC at 662-0460. 

  • The Los Alamos Little Theatre announces a play reading at 7 p.m. Wednesday at 1670 Nectar St. Refreshments will be provided.
    Two plays will be read:
    A cut version of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” by Sarah Ruhl. “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” explores the paradox of modern technology’s ability to both unite and isolate people in the digital age. This play was produced in its entirety at LALT in September 2012.
    “The Pillowman,” by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. It tells the tale of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a police state who is interrogated about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of bizarre child murders occurring in his town.
    Both plays have been proposed to the board of directors of LALT as entries into the 2015 TNM Play Festival, which will be held in Artesia. Gwen Lewis proposed “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” and Patrick MacDonald proposed “The Pillowman.”
    Those interested are asked to enter through the front door and proceed to the Green Room as there will be a rehearsal in progress in the auditorium.

  • It wasn’t all that long ago that the Pajarito Environmental Education Center operated as an all-volunteer organization. Last fall three new part-time staff members joined the team, more than doubling the staff, and last month a sixth part-time staff member came on board.
    Jonathan Creel moved from his home in Florida last month to join PEEC as the director of interpretation, a newly created role. 
    As the director of interpretation, Creel will be in charge of designing the rotating exhibits at the new Los Alamos County Nature Center. Creel will also be charged with lining up the regular programs for which PEEC is so well known.
    “I envision designing some of the programs around the rotating exhibits we’ll have at the nature center,” Creel said. “I would like to see PEEC kick off each new exhibit with a corresponding presentation by an expert in the field.”

  • This week, I wanted to encourage the community to support the United Way Youth in a Taste of the Sky.
    Dinner and entertainment starts at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Los Alamos Airport and are sure to please as local youth fundraise to benefit great community programs.
    I also write in support of the freshmen class as they lead the tip war, between the classes to add to the fundraiser.
    The fun challenge started with the Dinner over Diamond project and continues again this weekend.
    Our waiter was freshman Marciano, who was superb and I want to encourage those attending the airport affair to help the freshmen overcome this challenge and reign supreme.
    One of the many projects the team has aided from past and current fundraisers is the new Los Alamos High School Link Crew program.
    The welcoming transition program run by teachers Jonathan Lathrop and Robyn Collom is an awesome new program, supported by the hardworking efforts of the Youth United Way.
    The fundraising not only shows how the community supports the youth when they attempt to do good for their fellow man, but also shows that the community supports the fundraising of youth to benefit youth in a grand way.


    Sept. 21-27, 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.

    September is National
    Senior Center Month

    Betty Ehart


    8:45 a.m. Cardio

    10:30 a.m. Feldenkreis class


    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 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 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.

  • The Pajarito Environmental Education Center is offering two Take Wing events that are offered to those who donate $150 or more to its capital campaign.
    PEEC is raising roughly $1.2 million through the capital campaign to fund indoor and outdoor exhibits and a professional planetarium projector for the new Los Alamos County Nature Center.
    On Saturday, there will be a chance to visit the numerous geothermal hot springs at the unusual Sulphur Springs. Husband and wife team Fraser and Cathy Goff will lead the tour and interpret the geology of the area, which they have studied extensively. The Goffs will lead another tour on Monday, this time through the Valles Caldera, including areas not visited on the regular Valles tours. The Sulphur tour will be from 9 a.m.-noon. For directions to the meeting location, call PEEC.

  • While the walls are going up and the roof is raised, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to bring together all the elements that will make the Los Alamos County Nature Center a new resource for the community.
    The Pajarito Environmental Education Center is working with professionals to design not only the exhibits, but also a new app that will be one of the highlights of the new center. The app will provide trail recommendations, and PEEC is calling on members of the community to submit photographs of local trails to be used for the app.
    The photographs should be of local trails and can be with or without people, though with people is preferred. Each photograph must be accompanied by the name of the trail and, if possible, when the photo was taken. By submitting the photograph, the photographer agrees to release it to PEEC and gives PEEC permission to use the likeness of the people included. Credit will be given to the photographer, so the photographer’s name should also be included.
    The new app, called Los Alamos Trails, will be available on every platform. It will allow people to enter criteria (such as “I want to go on a three mile hike that’s good for dogs and see wildflowers”) and get trail recommendations, guides, and views from user-submitted photos.  

  • Los Alamos
    Sombrillo Nursing and Rehab, 1101 Sombrillo Ct.
    Date inspected: July 23
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    China Moon, 121 Central Park Square
    Date inspected: July 23
    Violations: Two high-risk violations. Refrigerator and freezer are both not holding proper cold temperatures and need to be serviced. One moderate-risk violation. Thermometer inside one of the refrigerators not holding proper temperatures. Silverware needs to be inverted, which was corrected at time of inspection.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on July 31.

    China Moon, 121 Central Park Square
    Date inspected: July 28
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Refrigerator not at proper temperatures for butter and vegetables, which was corrected at time of inspection.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up from July 23. No further follow up required.

  • The Harvest Moon rises over North Mesa Sept. 11. 

  • For the first time in Taos, and for the 40th annual Taos Fall Arts Festival, 26 artists will present 20 outdoor art installations along a .7 mile stretch of historic Taos as part of “The Paseo,” on Sept. 26 — the first day of the festival. The Paseo will feature art installations, performance pieces, projected light and sound and temporary murals. There is no charge to attend.
    “We wanted to bring new energy to Taos, so The Paseo allows us to come together as a community and share these incredible installation pieces that might not have been seen,” said The Paseo Director J. Matt Thomas, in a recent interview. “Taos is known for its art and so much of it is inside on a gallery wall. So here’s an opportunity to engage the entire community where everyone has the ability to see the art and enjoy it.”
    The artists are among more than 30 who were invited by a group of multi-disciplinary advisors to propose art pieces for the one-day event. A voting process based on appropriateness, budget, and artist’s resume narrowed the slate to the 26 installations.

  • Teatro Paraguas announces its 11th season of Latino theater in Santa Fe, presenting six productions and two co-productions. The season includes four original productions by New Mexico playwrights.
    “When The Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco,” by New Mexico playwright Shebana Coelho, based on the oral histories collected by Nasario Garcia in the Rio Puerco Valley south of Cuba in the 1970s, will be presented Sept. 25-28 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.  
    The play was presented at Teatro Paraguas in April 2014 to enthusiastic audiences.  The play captures the joys and sorrows, trials and tribulations of rural life before World War II in New Mexico. Shebana Coehlo directs a cast including Rudy Fernandez, Anna Maria Gonzales, Amador Gonzales, Maria Cristina Lopez, Oscar Rodriguez and JoJo Sena de Tarnoff.
    “Confessions of a Mexpatriate,” a humorous and irreverent one-man show by Raul Garza, comes to Teatro Paraguas Oct. 17-19 after a successful run in Austin, Texas. Mical Trejo plays the modern-day, media-minded Mexican-American who wants to unplug from his American side and connect with his Mexican roots in the land of his ancestors.

  • Diverse work representing three cultures distinguishes the outstanding art of the 21st Annual Pojoaque Art Tour. Bike or GPS the way in a day, from Pojoaque Pueblo, through Nambé and Pojoaque, to San Ildefonso Pueblo.
    An artists’ reception will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday, hosted by Than Povi Fine Art Gallery (Exit 176 in Cuyamungue), features food and refreshments, Native Dances, a silent auction and a chance to meet th artists themselves! 
    The Pojoaque River Art Tour, a Northern New Mexico tri-cultural art experience, includes 16 stops and 24 artists and artisans.
The journey through Pojoaque’s inspired ambience can still be navigated in a single day.
    As they follow the tour, art-watchers will be rewarded with a wide array of paint and print-syles and media, including contemporary and traditional oil and acrylic paintings, mixed media, assemblage, monotypes, Sumi-e, watercolor, egg tempera, gouache and pastel.

  • Los Alamos Youth Leadership wants the community to get together for the annual homecoming bonfire, 7:30 p.m. today in the Sullivan Field parking lot.
     Everyone is welcome to support the football team, and roast s’mores and enjoy an evening filled with music and ’Topper spirit. The event won’t go past 9:30 p.m. and the Los Alamos Fire Department and Chief Troy Hughes will be standing by to ensure everyone’s safety.
    The LAYL program for high school students eager to help out their community started in 2005, and is sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank (LANB), Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) and the Family YMCA.
    In attendance will be LAYL, the fall coaches and athletes, cheerleaders, marching band members and Los Alamos High School students at the thrilling bonfire event.

  • Coleen Meyer, an experienced and passionate geocacher, will teach the ins-and-outs of geocaching in a free program from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    Meyer will start the program by describing geocaching and explaining how to play the game. Then she will briefly talk about the history of the technology. Key points Meyer will cover include GroundSpeak’s geocaching.com website and setting up an account, what equipment is needed and what to look for (samples will be available).
    She will also describe Earthcaches, virtual caches, geocaching events and mega-events, as well as what to do once you find a cache, and safety issues that can come up while you play.
    Other topics include how to hide a cache, geocaching lingo, and trackables. After learning about the activity, the group will go outside and find a cache near PEEC.
    Those who have a GPS unit should bring it to the program and be familiar with how to use it. Meyer will go over different ways to enter cache information into a GPS device.
    Coleen Meyer has been geocaching since 2008, when she had to cajole a 4-year-old out of his GPS unit to get started. After hearing about the activity, her brother, niece and nephew took her out to give it a try.

  • The September meeting of the Los Alamos Mountaineers will feature a presentation by Carol Kotchek, a staff member at the American Alpine Club who has been climbing for more than 30 years, including a number of years working a number of classic climbs in the Yosemite Valley.
    Her presentation will focus on a trek up a 6,100-meter peak in the Khumu region of Nepal. Normally a climber who prefers T-shirt weather and steep rock, Kotchek says that on a whim she decided to get a taste of some Himalayan altitude. She will offer lessons in how an inexperienced and naïve mountaineering neophyte prevailed during her Himalayan trek, sharing both the joys and the pitfalls, the ignorance and the luck, that accompanied her to the summit.
    The LA Mountaineers meeting will start at 7 p.m. today in Fuller Lodge.
    Kotchek has been on staff at the AAC in Golden, Colorado, since 2002. She started climbing at the City of Rocks, Idaho, in the era of painter pants, rugby shirts, and clanging hexes. “Having climbed through the leopard skin Lycra phase I’m now back to placing trad gear with an occasional foray to sport climbing areas,” she said.

  • The Chamisa Staff support Assets In Action’s College/Military Day on Sept. 5. The day highlighted the variety of educational paths is one of several events during Assets Month.
    The County Council has issued a proclamation to local businesses as several locations collecting change throughout the month to support the program. To host a can, call 695-9139.
    From left, Tricia Javernick, Becky Sims, Kris Sandford, Michelle Wright and Becky Littleton. 

  • This is the week when we all are Hilltoppers by the time Friday arrives.
    The schools all celebrate with spirit week, my favorite is pajama day, but I don’t work anywhere holding one of those days.
    Wouldn’t it be fun to see all of the local businesses participating in pajama day one year? Oh what the tourists would think as they drove into town. Maybe it would bring a whole new meaning to, “sleepy little town.”
    Elementary schools make banners and flags to wave as the parade passes by and some will, “wait until the midnight hour,” to get those floats assembled in time.
    It feels good to all be united for a common goal, a common mission and as we head into homecoming, I hope you will wear the green and gold proudly and go one step further.
    Those who know me well must know that I am by no means technology clad. I randomly Facebook, very occasionally Twitter, but I do like to text.
    Well, Friday, there is an electronic social movement called, the It Can Wait movement!
    On Sept. 19, the third annual day of action will take place to teach people of all ages, not just youth, that you shouldn’t text and drive.