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Features

  • 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.

  • Shaunessy Nadeau, Dr. Dan Dessauer and Dr. Jacque Kottenstette have all at one point traveled down to the Bahamas, but these trips were not to sit back, relax and enjoy the tropical sun.

    Nadeau, a veterinarian technician, and veterinarians Dessauer and Kottenstette at the Los Alamos Animal Clinic, were on a mission to help out man’s best friends.

    They participated in the Helping Paws Across Borders, which is a group of animal professionals dedicated to reversing the horrific conditions some companion animals endure across the U.S. borders.

  • America has encountered tough times and surely more challenges are around the corner. However, there have also been successes, triumphs and achievements. With this mixed bag of situations, perhaps a celebration is needed. A chance to recognize achievements and the opportunity to build optimism for whatever lies ahead.   

    So what perfect timing that Independence Day is approaching and Los Alamos is ready to deck itself out in red, white and blue to embrace July 4.

  • The Honduran soccer team bested Team USA in early June.

    Fortunately, this was not preparation for the World Cup, but a friendly game between a group of teens from Los Alamos and youth from the orphanage in Honduras where they were visiting.  

    Ten high school students and their four adult chaperones from Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish spent the first week of their summer vacation at Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos or Our Little Brothers and Sisters Orphanage in Honduras.

  • American music has its roots in the blues and Los Alamos County Summer Concert Series is offering a chance to hear the music that has sprouted so many other genres. John Németh will be featured in the concert, which start at 7 p.m. Friday at the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area.

    Németh describes his concerts as “high energy, lots of improvisation in the show and they’re going to hear great songs.”

  • The absence of snow on Pajarito Mountain does not mean that the ski area is closed for business.

    The chairlifts are still open and the slopes are not empty as they wait for the winter months.

    No, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is keeping busy. Take this weekend, for instance, one of the ski lifts will be in operation for two days of hiking and biking.

    The lift will be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The fee for bikers is $20 and for hikers, the price is $10. The fee covers the whole day.

  • My college English professor once said that when you are traveling, it is not actually the destination that matters but what occurs along the way.

    I’ve always had the travel bug in me – I’ve boarded trains, planes, ships and traveled in automobiles to destinations throughout the world and I’ve concluded that my professor was right.

    My favorite part of any trip is that stretch of time spent getting to a particular place.

  • Pianist Anna Fedorova has played music all over the globe and  is now sharing her music with Los Alamos. Fedorova will perform a concert, which is a first in a series of Masterpianist recitals, at 6 p.m. Sunday at Fuller Lodge.

    She will perform works by Chopin, Brahms and Mussorgsky. As a special treat, the final performance will be a piano duet between Fedorova and Los Alamos High School graduate Rodion Efremov. They will perform Brahms’ “Two Hungarian Dances.”  

    Efremov describes the program as solo piano romantic works.

  • If you haven’t seen aj Melnick’s exhibit, “New Mexico Women Making a Difference,” at the Los Alamos Historical Museum, there is no need to panic that the opportunity has slipped through your fingers.

    The museum is extending the exhibit through the end of July, with  a possibility that it will remain at the historical building through the end of August.

    “I think it’s a very attractive show that appeals to a wide spectrum of people,” Hedy Dunn, director of the museum, said.

  • A pageant can be a dirty business. Sometimes contestants sabotage each other in a war for a glittery crown. But the Mrs. New Mexico competition was different. How is that known locally? Because Los Alamos had one of its own in the pageant.

    Bernadette Lauritzen put on the sash, the pretty evening dress and even braved wearing a swimsuit to help promote the townsite’s 60th anniversary, which was held Saturday at the Roy E. Disney Center in Albuquerque.

    “It was a really good experience,” Lauritzen said.

  • Ricko Donovan has lived in Madrid, Spain and traveled throughout Ireland but despite these faraway destinations, it is a local venue that he is looking forward to performing in.

    Donovan will complete this year’s Los Alamos Arts Council’s Guitars and Gateaux series, which will start at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fuller Lodge.

    Donovan concluded the series last year as well and he said he is eager to return to Fuller Lodge.

    “I really love the lodge,” he said.

  • For the 2009-2010 concert season, the Los Alamos Concert Association presents a Musical Stimulus package, consisting of a season of acclaimed artists, and including reduced prices on pairs of tickets and an extended early-purchase deadline.  

    The Musical Stimulus package is designed to encourage everyone who loves music to come, relax and enjoy the concerts.

    The 2009-2010 season opens on Sept. 26, with a performance by TAGI, the clarinet, violin, cello and piano quartet.  

  • Dr. Gordy Klatt had seen many cancer patients when he decided to assist them in other ways besides as a physician. Klatt resolved to run on a track for 24 hours and for a donation, his friends could join him. With this decision, the Relay for Life was born. In its first year, the relay generated $25,000 for the American Cancer Society. In its second year, teams were formed and $33,000 was raised.

    Now, 25 years later, the event has grown to practically every state in the U.S. and raised around $3 billion for the Cancer Society.

  • James Doss had a vision for his book but the story quickly assumed control.

    Doss said he wanted the story to be set in Colorado but did not intend for it to be focused on Native Americans. The book, however, had other ideas.

    Thirteen books later, the fictional Colorado town still exists but Charlie Moon and his aunt Daisy have taken things over.

    The Moon mysteries are set on a Ute Indian reservation and features Moon, a police detective, his aunt Daisy Perika, a Native American shaman and Scott Paris, another detective on the force.

  • This week we take a look at Asset #15, High Expectations. According to the Search Institute, youth are more likely to grow up healthy when their parents have high expectations.

    This Asset scares me a bit because sometimes we can become so data driven that we can’t see a good result as a result of being too focused on the number.

    There are so many things that create a successful life that we need to be mindful of all the potential held by each and every child.

  • The House of Hope (HOH) Women, the all-women construction team from many of the local Los Alamos/White Rock churches, will again spend their Columbus Day weekend committing their time and talents building another house in Juárez, Mexico.  

    In order to support the 2009 project, the group is making preparations to serve a Frito pie dinner at the annual Vacation Bible School evening family dinner to be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday in Kelly Hall, the new parish hall at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church on Trinity Drive.