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Features

  • 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.

  • 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.