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Features

  • Rick Estrin didn’t have a whole lot of interests as a child. School bored him, too. Music, however, snared his attention. “There was just something about it that spoke to me inside,” Estrin said.

    Even though he didn’t know exactly what he was doing when he first started out as a musician and did a lot of guessing, Estrin said his music has evolved throughout the years.

    Plus, Estrin said his distinctive personality has carried him through the years. “(I’m) sort of a peculiar person,” he said.

  • Along Longview Drive in White Rock, there are rows of empty buildings and a sidewalk outlined with weeds. It has the atmosphere of a ghost town – there does not seem to be a soul around. But further up the road, things dramatically change.

    The weeds along the sidewalk are replaced by orange colored flower boxes and the building, located at 115 Longview Drive, is being renovated, making it look sharp and new.

    This will be the new home of the Bilingual Montessori School.

  • In one of my all-time favorite books, “A Patchwork Planet,” by Anne Tyler, the main character reminisces about his days as a juvenile delinquent. Barnaby describes the times when he and his friends would break into people’s houses and steal things.

    But what was unusual, Barnaby says, was while his friends went straight to the liquor cabinet or snatched up valuable possessions, he picked up the unique knick-knacks, pored over photos and read through the mail.

    He may have thought that was odd but I did not. I pretty much love to do the same thing.

  • Have you been thinking about sprucing up your living room with a new painting? Saturday, a dozen painters will offer their work to fill up the blank spaces on your walls during the 32nd Annual Summer Arts and Crafts Fair on the lawn at Fuller Lodge.

  • An old saying goes, “The opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings,” and last Saturday night we found out again how true old sayings are and how worth waiting for this great lady is.  

    In the final opening of the Santa Fe Opera season, Christine Brewer was luminous in the title role of Queen Alceste, an opera by Bohemian Christoph Willibald Gluck, first produced in Paris the year our Declaration of Independence was signed.

  • Tom and Marlene Kelley’s dancing shoes are well worn. The couple has strapped them on since 1977.

    That was the year they joined the Mountain Mixers, the local square dancing club.

    Tom is originally from Los Alamos but they lived for some time in Florida. The Kelleys returned to Los Alamos in 1976.

    For an anniversary present, Tom’s parents gave them square dancing lessons.

    Thirty-two years later, they are still cutting loose on the dance floor.

  • William Repass, violist, will perform a senior recital at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Family, friends and the public are invited.

    Repass began playing viola in the fourth grade under the guidance of Cheryl Smith-Ecke. Shortly thereafter, he began private lessons with Marion Pack, which continues to this date. He has also studied under Michael Gyurik in the Summer Strings Program and in the High School Symphonic Orchestra.

  • Zetha Warren turned 100 years old Friday and her birthday was marked with numerous celebrations. Warren, who is a resident of Sombrillo Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, had a birthday party with family and friends at the nursing center and later celebrated with about 40 family members at White Rock Methodist Church.

  • This week we look at the next 20 steps on the path, the External Assets. These are the Assets that as adults on the sidelines, we can directly impact.

    These are the easy assets, the ones we don’t have to make too much of an effort to demonstrate. Think about it, honesty, integrity, responsibility, you may occasionally have to intentionally think about them, but it doesn’t take much to do the right thing.

  • History does not remain in the past, stuck on some dusty, ignored library shelf. Recently, students all over the country proved just how important and relevant the subject is during the National History Day competition held June 13-18 at the University of Maryland.

    Several Los Alamos students participated in the competition. Hannah Denever and Ellen Rabin competed in the senior group exhibit category and Lizzie Wasileska and Shannon Burns each entered in the senior individual documentary category.

  • For a while the two church buildings stood side by side – the 50-year-old building and the young one growing up beside it. Then suddenly the old building laid crumbled in piles and the young church continued to develop.

    The old may have been done away for the new, but whatever form it is in, Crossroads Bible Church is striving to follow the same objectives as it has in the past.

  • Pop!

    That’s the opening note of “The Letter” the Santa Fe Opera’s newly commissioned production that opened this week. A flimsy pistol shot repeated five more times demands immediate attention.

    Then, over a dead body and around a woman in a nightgown, a non-stop bullet train rolled through.

    There was never any question about who did it. Leslie Crosbie, the wife of a plantation-owner in British Malaya, pursues her victim in from the veranda and shoots him again and again.

  • The first time Texan Americana musician Ray Wylie Hubbard came to Los Alamos, there was a cloud hanging over the town, literally.

    The Cerro Grande Fire had just finished rampaging through the area and people were anxious to see what  had happened to their houses, family and friends.

    Despite the dour situation, Hubbard’s memories of the place are pleasant.

    He described the crowd as being “warm and generous.”

    “We had a great time,” Hubbard said.

  • TV can be a real hazard – a roadblock on the path toward accomplishing any item on a to-do list. I’ve known people who avoid the contraption altogether because it makes them drift away from productivity. As a child, I took an art class at the local recreation center and I remember the teacher proudly commented her TV was stowed away in a closet and was only brought out in times of dire need – to watch landmark events in action or the newest big disaster.

  • “Impressionism in New Mexico,” the current exhibit at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge, truly embodies ACFL’s underlying philosophy: To enrich the human imagination through nurturing and supporting visual arts.

  • You’ve seen “Contact,” right? Jodie Foster, the Very Large Array, a very attractive wormhole?

    Robert Zemeckis’ 1997 adaptation of the Carl Sagan novel of the same time blew my dad away. Until I recently watched the film again, that was kind of all I remembered about it: My dad, going on and on about the awesomeness.

    It would be a pitiful understatement to say that when anyone mentions “Contact,” he gets starry-eyed. He gets Jodie-Foster-eyed. But mostly, he just believes.

  •   Safety is a lesson that can never be ignored, but to capture students’ attention, the presentation needs to be interesting. As one of the winners of Honeywell’s Got 2B Safe! Awards, Mountain Elementary School fifth grade teacher Sue Souza received a $500 Staples gift certificate to assist her in grabbing students’ attention about safety.

    What is her mechanism to accomplish this objective? Puppets.

    Souza said she wants to incorporate puppets in her lesson and wants students to create scripts.

    Why puppets?

  • Alex Kendrick’s “The Underground Radio II” was determined to be one of the top science projects in the world. Recently, he discovered what other scientific innovations the world has to offer.

    Kendrick visited the European Organization for Nuclear Research’s CERN from June 28-July 2. CERN is located near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Kendrick traveled with 13 other students, two of whom were from Albuquerque.

    CERN, according to its website, is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

  • The Los Alamos High School Hilltalkers are smooth talkers. Their speech abilities allowed them to compete six rounds of the National Forensic League’s National Tournament, held June 12-18 in Birmingham, Ala. The seven Hilltalkers needed eight ballots to break into the elimination round and earned seven.

    The policy debaters and the duo interpretation team were close to being placed in the top 60 teams but achieved a spot in the top 100.

    More than 300 high schools brought a total of 3,500 students to the competition.

  • When Kay Newnam played violin in the first Los Alamos Coffeehouse, she was pregnant. Now, her baby boy is 30 years old.

    And she is renewing the Coffeehouse for a special one-time event.

    After 112 concerts, the extremely popular Coffeehouse series came to an end in early 2008. However, in honor of the 60th anniversary of Los Alamos, Newnam, one the original founders of the Coffeehouse and a frequent performer, is teaming up with the Los Alamos Arts Council (LAAC) to bring fine chamber music and desserts to Fuller Lodge one more time.