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Features

  • NEW YORK (AP) — Was it only a decade ago that a blackberry was a mere warm season fruit? That green was, well, a color, and reality TV was that one show sandwiched between music videos on MTV?

  • The New Year offers everyone the opportunity to wipe the slate clean. Whatever negativity existed during the previous year is no longer present; the brand new year offers a fresh new start. The First United Methodist Church of Los Alamos and City-Wide Worship and Prayer are giving the community the chance to begin 2010 on the right footing.

    The churches are hosting Watchnight Worship from 11:30-midnight Dec. 31 at the First United Methodist Church of Los Alamos.

  • Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church invites the public to its Christmas Eve Family Communion service. The service will include a musical celebration, titled, "Bethlehem," performed by youth at 5 p.m. Thursday in the sanctuary of Trinity on the Hill, 3900 Trinity Drive. At 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the public is also invited to a traditional Mass of the Eve of the Nativity, with carols sung by the congregation and the choir of Trinity on the Hill, directed by Joe Cox and accompanied on the organ by Valerie Silks.  At 10 a.m.

  • Sometimes, particularly at Christmas time, people ask me what I’d like for Christmas. I ask my friends what they’d like for Christmas. I ask my mom. I ask my husband. We all ask each other what we want for Christmas. But nobody ever knows.

    The question always comes as a surprise.

    “What is this ‘Christmas’?” my friends might as well respond. “Why are you springing this on me now?”

  • Health care is going through some major changes nation-wide and the effort to create a positive impact on health care services travels all the way to the local level. Several Los Alamos nonprofit organizations recently received a helping hand from the Con Alma Health Foundation to continue their health care related efforts.

  • Around the holidays sometimes the only thing you really want is escape the rush of the season by sitting in a dark movie theater and watching a film that is so packed with action and drama that it transports you to another world. “Avatar” certainly does the trick.

  • Welcoming in the New Year calls for a little fiery sparkle, feel-good music and decadent food. Los Alamos is indulging in the festive atmosphere by hosting several New Year’s Eve events.

    From 6 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 31, the Valles Caldera National Preserve will host its first annual “Fire and Ice New Year’s Eve Celebration.”

  • There may be a wintry chill in the air, but things are heating up at the Valles Caldera National Preserve as its winter activities begin.

    Winter activities on the National Preserve start on Saturday, weather permitting, and if the snow stays, will end on March 21.  

    The Preserve will be open daily during the holiday season from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday  through Jan. 3. After Jan. 3, the Preserve will only be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

  • Dog shows may not currently be as widely popular as other sports, but with younger generations involved in the game, things could be changing.

    Jennifer Necker, a fifth-grader at Piñon Elementary School, is one of the youngsters jumping into the ring.

    Necker participated in the Junior Showmanship at the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in Long Beach, Calif., Dec. 12-13.

  • There is no need to wait until Friday for receive a Christmas gift.

    The Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center is giving people an opportunity to register to win an 8-foot long stocking. The drawing will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at the aquatic center. The winner does not need to be present to win.

    To enter in  the contest, participants simply need to swipe their pass card or pay the admission fee.

    Additionally, purchasing goggles, gift certificates or passes will give them an opportunity to win the big stocking.

  • Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church invites the public to its Christmas Eve Family Communion service. The service will include a musical celebration of Christmas, performed by youth at 5 p.m. Thursday in the sanctuary of Trinity on the Hill, 3900 Trinity Drive.

    Approximately 25 young people, ages 3 through 15, will take part in a musical titled, “Bethlehem!” The presentation is a light-hearted dramatization of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and includes many different styles of music.

  • It’s never too early to sign up for the Jemez Mountain Trail Runs. Runners may dash off from the starting line on May 22, but registration is open right now for the event.

    Aaron Goldman, who has directed four of the runs, said entries for the 50-mile and 50K run were available Dec. 1 and already 85 runners from seven states have signed up to participate. Registration for the half-marathon race (13.1 miles) will open Feb. 1 and Goldman encourages people to sign up early. The half marathon is limited to 250 people.

  • So what can you do in Los Alamos once Christmas is over? Why not bring a friend to a Big Band dance?

    On Dec. 28, the Los Alamos Big Band will entertain the community during its annual Big Band after Christmas Dance in Los Alamos.

    The dance is open to the public and will    begin from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m. at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Hall.

    Proceeds will help fund the IHM youth group.

    Music will feature the Los Alamos Big Band and vocalist Elisa Enriquez.

  • Ahh, it is almost New Year’s resolution time. My hope this year is that those who haven’t will get on board with the Assets program as just one way to make life a little better in our part of the world.

    Our focus this week is on adult role models and caring neighborhoods. Tomorrow is the last day to nominate community asset builders for our first annual awards ceremony and we’re seeing these role models being nominated for the things that they do and do well.  

  • “Be a good neighbor” is one of those fundamental virtues that we learn from our families and teachers at an early age. Unfortunately as life takes its toll on all of us we frequently forget to practice being a good neighbor. Business owners in small communities often perform the task of reminding us of this virtue by promoting a fundamental rule of commerce, “the customer is always right.”

  • During their quest for global awareness, the Barranca Mesa School sixth grade GATE students not only learned more about the Kampong Speu Province in Cambodia, but they significantly impacted many of the province’s villages.

    Under the direction of GATE teacher Andrea Spence and student coordinator Alex Csanadi, students teamed up with the local charity, Cambodia’s Hope, to have a fundraiser.

    The fundraiser, Spence said, was held for two days during lunch and recesses during which children sold small, handcrafted items from Cambodia.

  • My sister once commented that if her acquaintances ever connected the dots between her family and this column, they would know all about  her life.

    Perhaps it is a little odd to have strangers know you before you ever open your mouth, but I can’t help sharing. As this year concludes, I think more and more that 2009 has been one of the best and my sister’s family has played a major role in that fact. Everything they have been involved in is more rich and luminescent.

  • Skating on a circle of ice set in a wintry background is a popular holiday image. The Los Alamos Recreation Department, however, is adding more seasonal spirit to the picture.

    Skate with Santa will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday at the Los Alamos County Ice Rink. Santa and his posse will continue to mingle with the public from 3-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission will be $6.50 for adults and $2.50 for children age 5 and younger both days.

    Not only can skaters take their picture with Santa and socialize with his elves, but they will also get a candy cane.

  • Northern New Mexico possesses a medley of cultures and histories. The Los Alamos Middle School Night Hawk Team was able to experience several facets of the area during the third annual New Mexico Culture Day on Nov. 24.

  • The public is invited to the “Stewards Fair” from 9-10:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Sunday at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church’s Kelly Hall. At the fair, shoppers will find special gifts that honor God’s creation.

    The merchandise for sale includes gift certificates for classes, memberships, a child's club and animal adoption from Pajarito Environmental Education Center.

    Additionally, Los Poblanos Organics, which provides farm- fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat, will sell gift memberships.