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Features

  • After World War II, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s future seemed up in the air.

    “After World War II, no one knew what to do with Los Alamos,” LANL Historian Alan Carr said. “Some thought it would go away all together.”

    So it seems Norris Bradbury (1909-1997), the director of the laboratory from 1945-1970, inherited a tough situation.

    “Bradbury inherited a laboratory without a future,” Carr said.

    Luckily, the new director came up with a plan.

  • Less than 50 days until classes start. Less than 50 days until I officially start college. Up until May 23, my life goal was to graduate high school and get into college, a college far away from Los Alamos and New Mexico. That’s happened.

    Now I’m going to college at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. Ever since sometime in elementary school, I’ve wanted to leave Los Alamos and see the world.

  • Santa Fe Opera’s “The Elixir of Love,” opened Saturday with a musical comedy that immediately put everything in perspective.

    Let it rain. Let it hail. Let the bottom fall out. Somewhere the clouds have parted and the sun is slanting across a field of flowers. There is a road to a better future. Love has won again.

  • “Isn’t that special?” Saturday Night Live-The Church Lady

    This week, we take a look at Asset #19, religious community. According to the Search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they spend one or more hours per week in activities in a religious institution.”

    Did you know that in one of a variety of phone books this community has, there are no less than 22 churches and religious organizations listed as resources in our community?

  • First Baptist Church of Los Alamos has found a way to connect with the county and offer some tangible relief and assistance in these less than favorable economic times.  

    For the past two summers, they have encouraged church members and fellow neighbors to collect their gently used clothing and household items in order to offer a free garage sale to the city of Los Alamos.  

  • Soprano Natalie Dessay’s highly anticipated first outing as Violetta (the title character in “La Traviata,”) opened the season at the Santa Fe Opera Friday night. Verdi’s consumptive Camille is required to progress from stratospheric fioritura in the first act, to lyrico spinto fullness by the middle of the second; two extremes difficult to encompass in one voice. Nevertheless, “Traviata” is finally and utterly a prima donna vehicle and even admittedly mediocre vocalists have made a success on sheer strength of personality.

  • Mali musician Balla Kouyate’s family holds a major responsibility. As djeli, they are tasked with reminding the community of its traditional greatness and accomplishments.

    This can be done through being a historian, dancer or performer. Kouyate chose music to promote his culture.

    And he is bringing his music and culture to Los Alamos.

    Kouyate and his band, World Vision, will perform at 7 p.m. Friday at Ashley Pond. The concert is part of the Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series. So what can locals learn from a steward of the music of Mali?

  • Ukrainian pianist Boris Fedorov is making his New Mexico debut right here in Los Alamos.

    He is eager to share his music with the community. “I have never been to Los Alamos, but I am told the public is very appreciative and has a sincere interest in music,” Fedorov said.

    The concert will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday in Fuller Lodge. Fedorov will perform several works by Haydn, Chopin, Schumann and Strauss. For an encore performance a piece of music, which requires three pianists, will be performed.

  • On July 4, I read an Associated Press story about Marines in Afghanistan. They were hauling weight-buckling packs, the reporter wrote, and walking a many miles in sweltering 100-degree heat.

    Since it was Independence Day, the Marines mentioned that people back at home were celebrating the holiday.   

  • Art is never static. The last word can be typed on the page or the curtain can fall after the final scene, but the work still goes on. For instance, local playwright Robert Benjamin wrote “Parted Waters” and had it performed in Phoenix. Since then, the play has been through some revisions and Benjamin is ready to unveil “Parted Waters,” in its newest form to Los Alamos.

  • Los Alamos County  residents and visitors will have one more opportunity to visit a mobile museum right in their own back yard when the Van of Enchantment returns with a brand new exhibit on the history of the railroads in New Mexico.  A museum on wheels, the Van of Enchantment is a converted RV that tours New Mexico carrying artifacts and materials from New Mexico’s state  museums and monuments. The Van of Enchantment, also known as ‘Vanna,’ brings its contents to life with dynamic activities inside and outside in the adjacent tented activity area.

  • There’s no need to wait for your 18th birthday to attend college. Kids entering the first through 12th grades can learn new skills and have a great time on the UNM-LA campus this summer.

    As usual, UNM-LA will hold Children’s College, now in its 25th year. This year UNM-LA will partner with Pajarito Environmental Education Center and incorporate a nature hike. Children’s College will be held from Aug. 3-7. Children’s College focuses on a fun science-oriented curriculum.

  • On Wednesday, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will offer a butterfly identification class taught by butterfly expert Steve Cary.  

    Attendees at the PEEC Annual Dinner in 2007 will remember Cary’s talk and slides of butterflies of New Mexico.  In the class, participants will learn to identify local butterflies.

  • First the Los Alamos Summer Concert Series brought music from Africa to the county; now, it is moving south of the U.S.A.

    Texas troubadour Danny Santos will bring in his mix of Tejano music, which is a mix of Texan and Mexican music, along with some Americano style music.

    “He’s going to bring something for a different audience,” concert organizer Russ Gordon said. “The audience who likes folk. We (the concert series) play a lot of Americano and folk music.”

  • My nephew loves Transformers. He has the toys, the stickers, the pajamas, and adores Autobot heroes Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.

    He also went to see the new Transformers movie and loved it. I’m sure he loved it for all the cool robots and the great transformations that they performed.

  • Compared to other counties, Los Alamos’ history seems relatively short, but certainly not uneventful.

    The same can be said about its art. Local art is multifaceted, abstract, realistic, nostalgic and poignant. It can be spotted anywhere from the side of the road to a museum wall.

    Besides its abundance, art has also had a long presence in Los Alamos. It’s always been here, right down to the petroglyphs etched in canyon walls.

  • Before Los Alamos’ Day at the Isotopes stadium, the last baseball game I attended was in Havana, Cuba.

    It felt a little surreal watching America’s favorite pastime in a foreign country. None of the sights I had grown accustomed to at a ball field were visible. There were no spectators sipping beer or munching on hot dogs and the stadium was completely bare of a glitzy scoreboard with dancing lights and electronic sounds.

  • Perhaps its producers thought billing it as a comedy would be a bigger draw – believing, maybe, that people prefer to laugh than to think, or to identify, or to care. But “The Milagro Beanfield War,” directed by Robert Redford, is most of all a sweet movie, full of adorable characters happy to shoot old pistols when they have to.

  • When my daughter Heather Burke and I joined the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, we created a geocache with environmental flavor at PEEC to celebrate the nature center. It was named “Hide and Go Peek.” The hope was for searchers to experience PEEC, with its native plant and water conservation areas.  

    Avid geocachers ourselves, we chose to make a two-stage cache that would be just a little bit puzzling to find.

    During the year, the results and comments from geocachers have been a pleasure and an education.

  • This week we take a look at Asset #17, Creative Activities. According to the Search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they spend three or more hours a week engaged in music, theater or other arts.”

    I should have turned the column this week over to someone who is a more knowledgeable source. I’m about as creative as a turnip, with no disrespect to turnips.