April Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover and identify objects visible in our night sky this month, and enjoy their beauty from our planetarium. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.
    Parkinson’s Disease discussion from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on the lower level of the Betty Ehart Senior Center. Lori Erickson, Physical Therapist at Los Alamos Medical Center, and Dr. Miles Nelson, president of A Nurse in the Family, will lead the discussion. People facing this disease as well as caregivers and family members are invited. Refreshments will be provided. Call 662-8920 by March 31 to attend.  

    Feature Film: “From Earth to the Universe” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy 180 degrees of entertainment. Join us on a colorful and inspiring journey through our universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.  

    Young at Heart Hike at 2:30 p.m. offered by PEEC. A hike that brings together people of all ages to connect, learn, play, and explore. Free.
    Cowboy breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. Pain, blueberry, banana, chocolate chip and a seasonal surprise pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, juice and coffee. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under.

  • One of the signs of spring in the Jemez Mountains is male elk and deer shedding their antlers.  People like to collect these ”sheds,” which is OK on private land or areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service.
    This practice is illegal on the Valles Caldera National Preserve or Bandelier National Monument, or other National Park Service areas.
    Federal regulations forbid the removal of any park property, which not only includes antlers, but also bones, skulls, rocks, flowers and artifacts like arrowheads, pot sherds and old bottles and cans.  Anyone who collects antlers or other items protected by law in Bandelier or the Valles Caldera Preserve can be fined or barred from the area for life.
    Most national parks are considered living museums, where everything in the park is important to the story that is told there or to the natural functioning of the park’s ecosystem.

  • Director Laurie Tomlinson and producer Gretchen Amstutz have announced the cast for the Los Alamos Little Theater’s May production of “Steel Magnolias.”   
    The six women cast are Dianne Wilburn, Holly Robinson, Carolyn Conner, Jacinta Lestone, Trisha Werner and Andi Bishofberger.
    The play will have six evening performances, May 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21, and two matinees on May 8 and 9.

  • Well I made it! The interesting or stupid thought, as the case may be, is all based on a memory.
    I never thought I would live to be more than 47. It was just a thought in the back of my mind based on a conversation from when I was about 13.
    I had a foot race with my mom, she ran way faster than me.
    When I was done, I said, “Did you ever think you’d live to be this old?” I recall she was almost offended by the question, but I was wondering aloud, if she ever saw herself at this age. After all, when we were 13, did we?
    The funny thing is at the time, she really would have been 37, not 47, but all these years, I always thought I could never imagine living to be 47. Truth be told, 37 would have been a lot easier to believe.
    It makes me wonder, for better and for worse, what memories do we create for our children?
    I have always been cognizant of what the earliest memory would be for our children based on my own, but the retention age for everyone can vary quite a bit.
    I wonder from time to time what the good lasting memories might be for them.
    Our goal as parents is to allow each child a puppy of their own, that they buy with their own money, pick the name themselves, etc.

  • ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — Some University of New Mexico students will have to pay more per semester now that regents have approved a 2.5 tuition hike and a 10 percent increase in student fees.
    The regents voted on the increases during their budget summit Tuesday.
    The university’s administration had proposed a 3 percent tuition increase, but regents moved to lessen the amount after hearing from faculty and student representatives.
    Regents did approve tuition increases for the university’s branch campuses, but agreed to a 1.1 percent tuition decrease for medical school students.

  • Gail Rubin is the featured speaker in Mesa Public Library’s ongoing Authors Speak series at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Library’s upstairs rotunda.
    Her award-winning book “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die,” brings light to a dark subject.
    The book was awarded Best of Show in the 2011 New Mexico Book Awards and was a finalist in the Family and Relationships category of the 2010 Book of the Year Award from ForeWord Reviews. She uses humor to talk about one of the touchiest subjects there is: Death.
    The talks are free and begin at 7 p.m., on the fourth Thursday of each month, followed by the opportunity to meet the authors and enjoy refreshments.

  • Did you know that last weekend, there was no Saturday School at LAHS? Last Saturday, it was, “Matter Day School.”
    Kudos to LAHS teacher Lynn Ovaska and her Natural Helpers crew. As usual Ovaska took a student idea, raised it to a factor of three and blew the doors off the barn once again.
    OK, so I made up the word Matter Day, but we spent time celebrating all that kids love and taking their ideas to the next level.
    Friday there was dancing, henna painting and karaoke in the cafeteria, a freshmen duct tape fundraiser with Scott Reynolds hanging high, followed by some pep rally fun reminiscent of the original ’Topper Man when none other than Gary Houfek entered the building wielding cheese like the arrival of royalty.
    While naturally the Class of 2016 brought that ’Topper Spirit to earn the love of Houfek, the baton was passed to the future of ’Topper Spirit, teacher Stephanie Abney. Who knows what the future holds.
    As is pure ’Topper fashion we don’t go lightly without raising some funds for our fellow man. Freshmen Derek Kober raised well over the $750 mark to ensure that not only he, but also Principal Brad Parker and Assistant Principal Carter Payne signed on for the shave off as well. Bald is beautiful and it will roam the halls well into late spring.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — The television series Longmire will return to northern New Mexico for a fifth season.

    The New Mexico Film Office announced Tuesday that the Netflix series' production will begin at the end of March and run through the end of June.

    The office said filming locations will include Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Los Alamos, Espanola, Glorieta and Pecos.

    Set in Wyoming, Longmire is a contemporary crime drama based on the "Walt Longmire" mystery novels authored by Craig Johnson.

    The series stars Robert Taylor, Lou Diamond Phillips and Katee Sackhoff and is produced by The Shepherd/Robin Co. in association with Warner Horizon Television.

  • Fire managers on the Santa Fe National Forest are working with communities in the Jemez Ranger District to conduct the bi-annual Thompson Ridge slash-pit prescribed burn.
    The slash pit, 10 miles north of Jemez Springs, is a joint effort between the Jemez Ranger District and the surrounding area to promote fire-adapted communities in the wildland-urban interface.
    WUI refers to the transition zone between natural areas and developed areas. As more homes are built in the areas adjacent to public lands that are naturally prone to wildfire, the risk to property is high. The slash-pit gives local residents a centralized location to throw away fuels, such as leaves, pine needles, grass and other yard trimmings they remove from their properties.
    Fire managers are hoping  to complete the slash-pit burn between March 21 and 31, but that window is dependent on favorable conditions, including fuel moisture levels, air quality, weather forecasts and available resources. The burn is expected to last one day.
    Prescribed fires are one of the most effective tools available to resource managers for restoring fire-adapted ecosystems. These fires mimic natural fires by reducing forest fuels, recycling nutrients and increasing habitat diversity. 

    March 20—Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film reveals the global collaboration, technology, and dedication required to answer the unresolved questions of the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.
    March 21—Nature Playtimes at the Nature Center from 10-11 a.m. Join local families for fun in nature. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Garden Club meeting from 9:30-10 a.m. at the Crossroads Bible Church on East Road. Refreshments are served followed by a business meeting. Carlos Valdez, director of the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Office in Los Alamos, will present the program "Garden Pests and Insects.” Visitors are welcome to attend.
    Bandelier Takes Over the Nature Center from 6-8 p.m. Here's you chance to talk with Bandelier staff in an informal event design to answer your questions. Free. More information at peecnature.org

     Kiwanis meeting from noon-1 p.m. in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 3900 Trinity Drive. Committee day.

  • March 13-19, 2016
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.
    Betty Ehart
    8:30 a.m.        Tax Preparation
    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    9:45 a.m.        Matter of Balance Class
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion Group
    11:30 a.m.        Green Chile Chicken Enchilada
    6 a.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 a.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    10 a.m.        Low Vision/Hearing, Speaker             from Atomic City Transit
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Italian Lasagna    
    1 p.m.        Party Bridge
    1:30 p.m.        “Friends” Meeting
    7 p.m.        Bridge

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home, so come adopt your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out our website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    Juan—A big tomcat who was trapped earlier this week. He was a bit traumatized from being neutered earlier in the week, but hopefully shelter staff can start interacting with this big boy soon. Check back for more information.
    Peekaboo—An older gal who is very mellow. Her favorite things are gazing out the window, helping her humans make coffee, and cuddling with her people. She has had both dog and cat companions in the past, so she might be OK with an older, mellow dog or cat. She loves being petted, and when she’s super happy, she sticks her little pink tongue out! She has an incredibly sweet personality, and she would be overjoyed to share her love with you.

    Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film reveals the global collaboration, technology, and dedication required to answer the unresolved questions of the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film reveals the global collaboration, technology, and dedication required to answer the unresolved questions of the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    Feature Film: “We are Astronomers” at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. This exciting, family-friendly film reveals the global collaboration, technology, and dedication required to answer the unresolved questions of the Universe. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.
    Nature Playtimes at the Nature Center from 10-11 a.m. Join local families for fun in nature. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • The Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum is looking for new volunteers for a variety of positions. A free annual volunteer training series about the community’s history and historic district will be offered from 3–4 p.m. every Thursday in April and May starting April 7 in the museum classroom in Fuller Lodge.
    The training includes lectures on Los Alamos history with a different theme each week, with an emphasis on visitor engagement and customer service. Training is open to the public, registration is not required and anyone high school age and up is encouraged to attend.
    The training sessions are part of the Historical Society’s volunteer certification program, where volunteers are trained to serve in the Museum Shop, as tour guides, or as guides to the homestead-era Romero Cabin and the historic Hans Bethe House. More information on how to become a fully certified volunteer will be available at the April 7 meeting.

  • United Way chapters from across New Mexico gathered at Los Alamos National Bank as United Way of Northern New Mexico hosted the annual statewide meeting March 10-11. The get-together was a way for the chapter members to discuss the 2-1-1 Program, Community Impact work, roles and responsibilities of boards and staff, and other business.
    United Way chapters in attendance included United Way of Carlsbad and South Eddy County, United Way of Otero County, United Way of Central New Mexico, United Way of Eastern New Mexico, United Way of Lea County, United Way of Northern New Mexico and United Way of Southwest New Mexico.
    “On behalf of the United Way of Central New Mexico, I would like to extend my appreciation to Kristy Ortega and the United Way of Northern New Mexico for hosting our statewide meeting of local United Ways,” said Ed Rivera, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Central New Mexico.
    “Our member organizations are of various sizes and interests, but we always learn from each as we address the challenges that exist in each one of our New Mexico communities.” We had a very fulfilling, enjoyable and productive learning experience for the last several days in the beautiful community of Los Alamos.”

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s new planetarium film, “We are Astronomers,” shows how astronomers seek an answer to the origin of the universe. This family-friendly film will premiere in the Los Alamos Nature Center planetarium at 7 p.m. Friday. Astronomer Dr. Richard Wallace will give a talk and be available to answer questions.
    “We are Astronomers,” a full-dome film, reveals how technologies, such as the Large Hadron Collider, the observatories of Chile, and the Hubble Space Telescope, work.
    Rick Wallace has a Ph.D. in Astronomy and Astrophysics from U.C. Santa Cruz, where he focused on numerical calculations of stellar explosions and nuclear fusion. He has a successful career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he spent the last 30 years. His work included physics simulations, security of Russian nuclear material after the fall of the USSR, technical management, and international safeguards (including 3 years at the IAEA in Vienna, Austria, looking for states that might not be complying with arms control treaty agreements.
    The movie will also play at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
    Tickets can be purchased by phone or at the Nature Center and are only $6 for adults and $4 for children. This movie is not recommended for children under 4 years old. The movie starts promptly at 2 p.m.

  • With beautiful weather and schools in nearby areas on spring break, Bandelier is experiencing record visitation. The count at the visitor center on Tuesday was over 820, a number more like a busy day in mid-July. 
    Without shuttle buses to allow visitors to park their cars in White Rock, and the parking areas across the creek still under construction, parking spaces are at a premium in Frijoles Canyon. On some days people may have to wait in line and park about a quarter mile away from the visitor center. Then, for awhile around mid-day, people may sometimes be asked to come back later.
    “Once they get parked and out onto the trails, everyone has a great day,” said Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott. “Unfortunately the shuttle service can’t start up until mid-May, so parking will be strained for the next few weeks. In the meantime we encourage visitors to try to come before about 10 a.m. or after about 2:30 p.m. to miss the busiest times of day.”
    The visitor center, bookstore, gift shop, and snack bar are open from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., seven days a week, and the trails to the archeological sites are open dawn to dusk, about 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at this time of year.

  •  Los Alamos Public Schools is asking the public to attend a meeting at 5 p.m. March 22 in the Barranca Mesa Gym to discuss and share ideas about how to design a modern facility that meets the needs of students and staff.
    Barranca Mesa Elementary is located at 57 Loma Del Escolar St.
    This is the second community meeting to gather input from community members. The next pubic meeting will be March 24 during the school board meeting, where the education specialist presentation will be presented and discussed.

  • This week, I want to tell you how much I hate the words mental health.
    It isn’t painful to talk about heart health, kidney health, lung health, even colon health, for goodness sake.
    However say the words mental health you almost get the same response as if I said something unacceptable. The truth is perhaps we should say brain health?
    There were many years where I worked and we purposefully said the words behavioral health because the stigma associated with mental health was so off putting for so many. The word was a game changer, it was a non-starter, and it slammed the door on the conversation.
    So here I am a dozen years later and we still have the same issues. Perhaps if we started to say brain health and talked about it as commonly as we spoke about cancer, things might change?
    If I tell you a family member has a brain tumor, it is often met with compassion and kindness, someone that wants to bring a meal, send a card or run an errand.
    When we talk about anxiety, depression or severe stress, the words I have heard recently are, “Suck it up.”
    I’d have to check with several coaches I know first, but suck it up may possibly be only appropriate in mid-match on the wrestling mat.

  • With new outbreaks of illness around the globe like the zika virus, forecasting the potential spread of infection has become even more important.
    Come by UnQuarked Wine Room at 5:30 p.m. Thursday for Science on Tap with speaker Nick Generous with Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Information Systems and Modeling group for a brief introduction to the subject of disease forecasting and how new social media tools are helping make predictions even more accurate. The short presentation will be followed by a lively discussion. UnQuarked is located at 145 Central Park Square.
    Science On Tap is sponsored by the Los Alamos Creative District and hosted by the Bradbury Science Museum. The On Tap series begins each evening with an informal 10-15 minute lecture followed by a lively group discussion. All ages are welcome.