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Features

  • Dean of Instruction Kate Massengale was recently granted tenure at UNM-Los Alamos. She is the first ever tenured faculty member at UNM-LA. In addition, Massengale was promoted from assistant to associate professor.

    “We are looking to build a more substantial group of tenured faculty at UNM-LA,” Massengale said. “The UNM administration in Albuquerque has made a commitment to this endeavor, which shows their ongoing support for UNM-LA.”

  • The dogs trotted around as if they were  warming up for the task ahead of them. Clancey, a coon hound and Osita, a Bouvier des Flandres, seemed excited as they sniffed the ground and the air. Somewhere in the forest surrounding the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area, people were lost and last Saturday morning, the two dogs, along with three volunteers from Mountain Canine Corps, a nonprofit search and rescue organization, prepared to find them.

  • Los Alamos changed a lot since Kathleen “Kay” Manley first arrived in 1943. She watched the town evolve from a secret place that was hidden from the map to an official county of New Mexico. She saw muddy roads become paved streets and neighborhoods appear.

    But Kay did not passively watch these changes from the sidelines; she helped to nurture the local community in several areas including music.

  • Los Alamos First United Methodist Church’s Vacation Bible School will not be a run-of-the-mill classroom lecture.

    Rather than sitting at desks, the Bible school is turning learning about Christianity into a game.

    In fact, the theme for the Vacation Bible School is Studio Go Theme Show.

    Camille Westcott, organizer for the Vacation Bible School, explained each day the program will start and end with a game-show and students will have the opportunity to compete in the game and win prizes.

  • His humor has been called impish, his songwriting skills have been referred to as creative and his performances are honored as being fearless. Steve Poltz’s music summons a barrage of descriptions and his life reflects his work.

    According to his website, Poltz was born in Nova Scotia; he was raised in Palm Springs and went to college in San Diego.

    He performed with the band, Rugburns, spending the majority of the year touring in a beat-up van and the song he co-wrote with Jewel, “You Were Meant for Me,” landed on the Billboard Top 10.

  • More than 250 local Harry Potter fans turned out at the Reel Deal Theater for a midnight showing of “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince” Tuesday night.

    The mass of Harry Potter devotees – the majority of whom were around the same age as the film’s hero, 16-year-old Harry Potter (played by 20-year-old Daniel Radcliffe)– was enough to fill two screens at the Reel Deal Theatre.

    The enthusiastic crowd – including some who waited in line over five hours - applauded as the lights dimmed in the theater at the start of the show.

  • Writer’s block – a dull name for a horribly dull feeling. I picture my parietal cortex lying on a well-used wooden cutting board, an Alaskan ulu knife beside it, eager, the way all knives are.

    I don’t mean to overdramatize. That is how it feels: Like part of my brain is utterly inaccessible. It might still be inside my skull. It might be in the kitchen with the dirty ice cream bowl. Either way, all I get is a headache.

  • Rows of pristine, shiny cars can be spotted Saturday at the Elks Lodge #2083.

    Viewers will be treated to a wide range of automobiles including vintage, muscle, Euro and just plain unique cars. Additionally, motorcycles and antique tractors will be presented.

    This show is more than just automobile eye candy; proceeds from car registrations, which is $25 per vehicle, will go toward several charity organizations. Valerie Wilson of the Elks Lodge said the Elks’ main charity is the National Cerebral Palsy Foundation.

  • White Rock Presbyterian Church’s mission partner on the Navajo reservation is House of Fellowship, a small church 11 miles south of Gallup that serves several Navajo communities. Many in the community still live without running water or electricity.  Rev. Fred Thomas and his wife Lorraine, both Navajo Indians from that area, reach out to the community in many ways, including doing housing repairs, hauling wood and visiting and praying with the elderly and shut-ins.

  • Friends of the Shelter (FOS) is a small but dedicated animal rescue group that has saved the lives of homeless pets for more than 10 years.

    Besides working to find loving homes for lost and abandoned cats and dogs, FOS provides funds to pay for neutering rescued animals and pets of low-income owners.  Annually, it provides a grant to the Española Valley Humane Society for their special spay/neuter weeks, when they perform dozens of surgeries at no cost to the owner.  

  • The faculty and staff of UNM-Los Alamos are reaching out to the community to help students get started in college.

    The Bridge to Success Scholarship bridges the gap between high school or GED acquisition and the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship.

    The Lottery Scholarship begins at the start of a student’s second semester in college.

    The first semester is the qualifying semester. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 12 credit hours, with a 2.5 or higher GPA.

  • 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.