• Española Teen Center receives grant

    Española teens received a boost for pursuing positive opportunities in December as The Frost Foundation, Ltd., located in Santa Fe, awarded a grant of $10,000 to the Española YMCA Teen Center.
    “We’re proud that The Frost Foundation recognizes the importance of investing in others, and that they consider our work in the Rio Grande Valley worthy of their support,” said Y Executive Director Linda Daly. “We served 700 kids there last year, mentoring anywhere from 41 to 80 on a daily basis.”
     “The Y’s work is making a tremendous difference. On a daily basis, we see changes in the kids. Parents and the community have taken notice, too,” Center Director Ben Sandoval said.
    Sandoval noted that in 2013 the Chamber of Commerce awarded the center its President’s Award, which named the Y as the Nonprofit of the Year. “The Frost grant will help this good work to continue,” Sandoval said.
     The funds will be used to support tutoring, life-skill education programs, mentoring, prevention, cultural arts programs and operating costs. The Teen Center collaborates with more than 40 partners in Española in support of teens.

    N.M. Restaurant Week begins Feb. 23

  • Watoto, a holistic care program, initiated to serve the dire needs of the people of Africa presents a brand new choir tour, “Beautiful Africa: A New Generation.”
    The production will be 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road in Los Alamos.
    The tour began in Dallas and will tour for six months visiting several cities throughout the U.S. including Albuquerque, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Mo., Milwaukee, Wis., Minneapolis, Minn., and Des Moines, Iowa, concluding the tour in Denver.
    With original African music; dance routines; life-transforming stories, the tour is indicative of the new generation of leaders emerging out of Watoto.
    “Through the choir’s Concert of Hope, we share a message of transformation by telling the story of Africa’s rescued orphans and women. We hope to reach out to audiences with the message of Christ’s healing power,” said Gary Skinner, Watoto Founder.
    With its appeal, accompanied by music and dance — a fusion of contemporary gospel and traditional African rhythm — the globally acclaimed Watoto Children’s Choir has traveled internationally since 1994 as ambassadors for the millions of children in Africa, orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, war and poverty.

  • The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) has announced that registration is now open for its summer programs: Nature Odyssey for kids entering grades 4-6, and Living Earth Adventure Program (LEAP) for kids entering grades 7-8. Both day camps will run June 9-13, and attendance is capped at 23 participants for each program.
    While campers for both programs will meet at PEEC each morning, the Nature Odyssey program will explore the Valles Caldera National Preserve, while LEAP will travel to various locations, including the Jemez Mountains and the Rio Grande.
    PEEC invites children entering grades 4-6, to become a nature detective this summer as part of “Nature Odyssey — Super Sleuths in the Valles Caldera.” Campers will hone all their senses as they delve into the mysteries of nature in the beautiful Valles Caldera National Preserve.
    Throughout the week, participants will be on the lookout for clues about how the natural world works and how they themselves fit into it. On the final day, campers will use their super sleuthing skills on a special adventure in the Valles Caldera.

  • This week, we look at planning and decision making skills, in the Asset category of social competencies.
    The role of adults needs to be to guide students and assist them with their planning and not just make all of their decisions for them.
    Now is the time when sixth through 11th grade students pull out the registration booklet and decide what they want or need to be doing academically, for the entire school year next year.
    Personally, I believe that small decisions related to electives need to left up to the youth. Students need something to float the boat and lift the spirits when in other areas of life; the pressure may be on overdrive.
    The hard decisions of which math class to be in can become a battleground for some and we need to realize the additional pressures each grade level brings and realize that it isn’t just one class from their perspective.
    On March 27, student Tessa Snyder will be doing a community showing of the movie, “A Race to No Where.” There will be a host of opportunities to provide details, but for now, I’m hoping you will save the date.

  • Local artist, Melissa Bartlett, has been juried into the Pastel Society of America as an Associate Member. The award from the national society was based on an appraisal of her work by a panel of experts. Her nomination was official in October. Her winning entry was composed of paintings of African animals, which she had observed and photographed while on a safari to Kenya and Tanzania.
    “I had applied in the past and this year I stuck to one theme,” Bartlett said.
    “Being a member been a goal of mine for years now. Pastel Society of America is the first and most prestigious art society for the pastel medium in America and it’s very difficult to be accepted,” Bartlett said. “It’s a real honor to know that my work has the quality and artistic merit to be acknowledged by the PSA.”
    Her pastel paintings of zebras, elephants, hippos, impalas and cape buffalo showed intimate views of creatures at rest and at play, all in their natural setting. “I was amazed by the diversity of wildlife that I saw in East Africa, and also how unfazed they were by people observing them from Landcrusiers,” she said. “I really wanted to capture the feeling that I had seeing them in their native habitat. It’s nothing like animals in zoos.”


    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home! Dogs and cats are great at chasing away the blues on cold nights, so adopt a new friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:


    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m., Monday — Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

    Also, be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, to get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating, as well as read up on some of the favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals or cats and dogs currently in foster care.

    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations.


  • “What does the Bible say about ‘self-esteem’?”—Chris

  • Thanks to a generous grant of $1,500 by the LANL Foundation in late 2013, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center has been able to build on the success of its hands-on field science program in Los Alamos elementary schools.
    The Pajarito Plateau Field Science (PPFS) curriculum is designed to get students outside doing hands-on field science in their schoolyards or on local trails. It also focuses on giving teachers the tools and training they need to enhance STEM curriculum.
    Elementary science is increasingly being taught using only textbooks. To become scientific thinkers, students need to do science, rather than just read about it. Hands-on, outdoor field science has been shown to improve motivation, attention and test scores.
    PEEC’s goal with this program is to bring kids outside to learn science while exploring their schoolyards, and increasing their love of science and nature. In addition, the program strives to educate teachers about the benefits of outdoor education, as well as some of the methods and tools of field science.

  • Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU), northern New Mexico’s hometown financial cooperative, kicked off a nine-week drive on Wednesday to switch members from monthly paper statements to eStatements, accessible through mobile and online banking. Via its “Have a Heart” campaign, DNCU pledges to donate $1 per switch to the American Heart Association (up to $2,500).
    “Not only are eStatements convenient, but they also reduce our carbon footprint — saving trees and energy,” said Chuck Valenti, DNCU President/CEO. “By linking the campaign to a donation to the American Heart Association, we make this even more of a good thing — and we think members will be proud of DNCU’s commitment to helping an important nonprofit that aims to build healthier lives.”
    “The American Heart Association is excited to partner with Del Norte Credit Union on this campaign,” said Suzanne Lawson, Senior Director for the American Heart Association in New Mexico.  “It’s wonderful to have corporate partners like DNCU who are dedicated to building healthier communities here in New Mexico, and who are helping the AHA save lives here every day!”

  • In “On the Front Lines of the Cold War: Los Alamos 1970-1992,” Alan Carr will explore the political landscape of the later Cold War years from the Los Alamos perspective by introducing the Laboratory leaders and technologies that helped win history’s most dangerous conflict.
    The lecture will be 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Fuller Lodge in the Pajarito Room.
    Carr currently serves as the historian for Los Alamos National Laboratory.  During his tenure as Laboratory Historian, Carr has produced several publications pertaining to the Manhattan Project, early nuclear weapons design, and nuclear testing history. 
    He has also lectured for numerous professional organizations and has been featured as a guest on many local, national and international radio and television programs, ranging from the local papers to the Albuquerque television stations to the Travel Channel.  He is the co-author of “Harold Melvin Agnew,” which appeared this year in Physics Today. Before coming to Los Alamos, Carr completed his graduate studies at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. 
    His thesis, “The Long Road to Kursk: The Development, Abandonment, and Relearning of Soviet Military Strategy,” traces Soviet operational art from its roots in the early 1920s through its employment in the first half of World War II.

  • “One Billion Rising for Justice” is an international movement that in 2013 involved a billion people in 207 countries who used music and dance in a wide variety of observances that demanded an end to violence against women and girls.
    On Feb. 14, the international observance involves Española, a community that for the first time has scheduled morning and evening events. Other New Mexico towns and cities, including Santa Fe and Taos, also have programs planned.
    Internationally-known Native American women such as Winona LaDuke, of Honor the Earth in Callaway, Minn., and Corrine Sanchez, executive director of Tewa Women United in Española, will be the speakers for the Española event.
    They will highlight the international, as well as local, state and national efforts to address gender violence. Individuals and organizations in Española have been working behind the scenes for decades.
    “It’s time that this important work receives the public acknowledgement it deserves,” said Corrine Sanchez who predicts that 2014’s high-profile events in Española will be the first of other future events of this type.

  • It’s time to rock out! Registration is open for the 2014 Climbing School presented by the Los Alamos Mountaineers.
    Students in the class will learn all the particulars of climbing equipment, essential knots, rope handling, anchor building and belaying to be able to safely and confidently explore the multitude of quality rock-climbing crags — or cliffs in Northern New Mexico.
    The Climbing School includes classroom instruction and outdoors, hands-on opportunities to put into practice what has been taught. Instructors include many of the area’s best climbers.
    The Mountaineers Club was created in the late 1950s. The first climbing school was developed by the Mountaineers in 1957.
    The class consists of 12 sessions — six in a classroom learning the fundamentals and six in the mountains of New Mexico to practice on crags.
    “The school will take the students to White Rock Canyon, or some places in the Sandias,” Climbing School Director Ron Morgan said. “We won’t go to places like Diablo Canyon in this class because it takes a bit more skill to go there.”
    The school keeps track of the graduates who will continue climbing at a more advanced level. Morgan himself took the class several years ago and has continued climbing with the Mountaineers.

  • Thanks to a roomful of pianists, jazzists, a foot-stomping blue grass group, colorful folk dancers, violinists, a violist, a piccolo trumpet master, and some great guitarists, for your outstanding performances last month in the fourth annual Music Marathon for UNM-LA Scholarships.
    And thank you, the citizens of Los Alamos, for supporting this good cause.
    More than 100 of you came to listen and donated some $900 to the fund.
    And we’ll thank you in advance on behalf of that happy scholar who will receive the funds.
    Thanks, also, to the Los Alamos Music Teachers Association for paying to have the piano tuned by James Beinke; to Robin Gurule for her eight gallons of wonderful green chile stew; and to Drs. Tom Csanadi and Marvel Harrison for bringing the delicious chocolate mint brownies.
    Performers were:
    Robin Gurule, piano with Peter McLachlan, piccolo trumpet.
    Piano students Karin Ebey (NM composition representative), Sonja Ebey, Natalie Crawford, Megan Crawford, Lucas Yeager, William Dale and Joseph Dale.
    Claudia Hilko, piano duo with Juanita Madland. Claudia and Bob Hilko then danced a Mazurka (a Polish folk dance) to Juanita’s Madland’s accompaniment of a Chopin Mazurka.

  • Welcome to February and the Asset category of Social Competencies.
    This category includes Assets 32 through 36 and is defined as follows;
    32. Planning and decision making — Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
    33. Interpersonal competence — Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
    34. Cultural competence — Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
    35. Resistance skills — Young person can resist negative peer pressure and dangerous situations.
    36. Peaceful conflict resolution — Young person seeks to resolve conflict nonviolently.
    If you don’t mind, I’ll put No. 32 on hold for this week, lack of planning on my part, and jump to No. 33, Interpersonal competence.
    For our focus this week, I’d like to highlight having empathy and sensitivity.
    During the course of the last week, I learned that one of our Los Alamos High School custodians lost his home in a fire on Jan. 15.
    While Tony Romero and his son were asleep, their house caught on fire and they escaped with just the clothes on their backs.
    Hopefully you know my fondness for custodians, the keepers of the house. The hard workers that don’t get celebrated as often as they should.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home!
    Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:
    SHELTER HOURS: From noon to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.
    Also, be sure to check out the website at lafos.org.
    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed, or neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.
    Aleah — A 5-year-old, spayed, female with the most beautiful coat! She is a long-haired calico. Aleah also sticks out the very tip of her tongue when she’s happy — it’s very cute!
    Antwon Cloud — Antwon Cloud is a 9-year-old, all-white Oriental Shorthair surrendered due to his owner’s health issues.
    Bubbles — This 3-year-old, neutered, white and tabby, male tricked volunteers into thinking “he” was a “she” due to his long hair and cute pink nose.
    DQ — An 8-year-old, neutered, male Manx who lost his home due to a divorce.
    Ella — This very pretty, 4-year-old, spayed, female, Siamese mix is looking for a quiet home where she can be the only pet. To meet Ella in foster care, call 412-0700.


    Feb. 1 — Pajarito Masonic Lodge No. 66 invites the community to join them on from 7:30 a.m to 10:30 a.m. for a Waffle Breakfast to benefit Los Alamos Boy Scout Troop No. 222. The cost is $7 for adults and $3 for children (6 and under). To purchase tickets contact Travis Moulton at tkmoult@gmail.com.

    Feb. 1 — Bradbury Science Museum Cinema. 10 a.m. Short science films ranging in topics from microbes to aquifers to addiction. The education level of these videos can range from elementary age to adults, depending on the video chosen. Visit lanl.gov/museum/events/calendar.shtml for topics of interest.

    Feb. 1 — “Eclectic is Us: Assemblage Works by Dirk Wales.” Exhibit runs daily through Feb. 27 at the Mesa Public Library Art Gallery.

    Feb. 2 — Cowboy Pancake Breakfast. 7-11 a.m. at Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse Lodge, 650 North Mesa Road. Menu includes plain, blueberry, banana, chocolate chip, plus a seasonal surprise pancake, plus sausage, bacon, eggs, juice and coffee
. $7/adults $4/children under 10 years. Proceeds to benefit the Los Alamos Pony Club.


    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home! Dogs and cats are great at chasing away the blues on cold nights, so come adopt a new friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals:


    SHELTER HOURS: From noon to 6 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

    Also, be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, to get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating, as well as read up on some of the favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals, or cats and dogs currently in foster care.

    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed, or neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.


  • The Los Alamos High School Olions will kick off their 2014 Topper Revue 7 p.m.  tonight at Duane Smith Auditorium.
    This year's emcees are Daniel Ahrens, Ali Berl, Ethan Clements, Katie Downing, Haley Henson and Richard Jia.
    "As someone still relatively new to Los Alamos, it always amazes me how engrained Topper Revue is in the history of the town," said Olions sponsor and show producer Rachel Saxton. "From my husband talking to me about watching Topper Revue when he was a student, to the owner of a local eatery telling me about the time he and his guy friends all got up onstage in dresses, everyone seems to have a story, or wistful memory about the show".
    Saxton added that it feels wonderful to now be a part of that history. The show is written, directed, and performed by the students themselves.
    Tickets for the show are $12 for adults, $10 for students/seniors, and $8 for the Sunday matinee.

  • Felt coats and mittens are soft and warm. Many shaped hats are felt, and nowadays colorful hats that are more freeform are all the rage. Artist Jo Thompson is indroducing felt-making in a one-day workshop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
    Felt has been used for producing headwear for many centuries and is perhaps the oldest textile material. Archaeological evidence shows that from very early on, people had discovered the tendency for fibers to mat together when warm and damp, many years before they learned how to spin and weave yarn. Felt is made by a process called “wet felting” where natural wool fibers, stimulated by friction and lubricated by moisture (usually soapy water) build into cloth. Felting leads to a fabric with no set grains, so it can be molded into forms, or sewn without concern for edges raveling.
    Thompson’s enthusiasm for making felt “magic” essentially began when she learned that felt is believed to be the earliest form of textile making. She headed for Konya, Turkey to study the traditional wet felt method with Master Mehmet Girgic in 2008, and subsequently studied with American Master Horst who influenced the development of her free form.

  • Lauren TenCate, a senior at Los Alamos High School, was recently honored as Rotary Student of the Month. TenCate is the daughter of Deb Summa and Jim TenCate, and sister of Emily TenCate.
    The Rotary Club of Los Alamos selects one student each month of the school year to honor as a Student of the Month. This year’s recipients reflect a combination of both LAHS seniors and juniors; next year, only juniors will be recognized in hopes of inspiring their interest in Rotary programs that fall during the summer following junior year.
    Students are nominated by their teachers and chosen on the basis of their academic achievement, extra-curricular activities and, in particular, their service to the community.
    Community service has been an important part of TenCate’s high school years. With particular interests in science and technology, TenCate serves on the Youth Leadership Team for Café Scientifique, a program for high school students interested in current news related to science. She is also a member of the LAHS NJROTC Cadet Corps and has been awarded ribbons for service to her unit and to the community, as well as for academic success and physical fitness.