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Features

  • Patrick Sweany will be playing at 7 p.m. Friday in the Los Alamos National Bank parking lot as part of the Gordons’ Productions and Los Alamos County’s Summer Concert Series.

    I caught Sweany on the phone just as he was cruising down I-80 in the middle of Nebraska. Since his gig in Omaha, he’d been pulled over a couple of times by the cops. He figured they saw a long haired guy driving a beat up van and wanted to check things out. The cops didn’t find any drugs. No sex either. Just three guys listening to rock and roll.

  • VaLynn Purvis always had a knack for fun. From an early age she had an interest in games and activities with children and families.

    This interest in fun led her to establish her own business, Party to Go! in Los Alamos. The business was formed two years ago. In the past, she has participated in Fourth of July Carnival at the Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church and offered balloon animals and games at activities at Chamisa and Pion elementary schools. Party To Go! offers its services at family and high school reunions, and kids’ birthday parties.

  • A woman with long silver hair – silver like unicorns, not bracelets – jumped to feet, shouting and clapping her hands above her head. She might have been crazy, I really don’t know. She was enthusiastic. The rest of us remained seated. But while she jumped and screamed compliments toward the podium, we clapped.

    A lot.

    Like you would after a great bit of stand-up comedy.

    Like you would after a particularly rousing line at a political rally.

    This was unlike any other poetry reading I’ve ever attended.

  • Two men sit together beside their horses, the West Texas sun smoldering in their cowboy hats. One asks the other to make sure his body, if he dies, finds its way home to Mexico, to his wife and children. “I’ll die first. I’m older than you,” his friend responds, but nevertheless, a promise is made.

    Much too soon, it is also kept.

  • What is green, orange, blue, and white and has wheels? Its the Atomic City Transit.

    For a week now, my friend and I have been riding the local bus system. As a summer project, we have asked many people about their opinion about the bus system. We decided that we should figure out the customers opinion about the bus by riding on the bus.

  • While students prepare to be sent out into the workforce, Los Alamos Rotary Club members are hoping their time isn’t all work and no play. Therefore, the organization works to ensure a little music is included in students’ lives.

    To encourage students to participate in music, Rotary hosts the Deborah Beene Memorial Music Scholarship.

  • What does it mean to be a genius? Is it a genetic gift a person’s born with, or is it a fortunate collection of post-birth circumstances?

    Social psychologists talk about something they call the “actor-observer effect:” people’s tendency to attribute their own behavior to external causes – a traffic jam on the way to work precedes a bad mood, for instance – but other people’s behavior to something innate – something to do with their personalities or the kind of people they are.

  • So this is Father’s Day. How about Hallmark Card Day, or Sears, or Wal Mart Day? That’s where the money goes ee if we even remember Father’s Day. And by Monday, it’s all over; we have done our duty to Dad for this year, now back to real life. I’ve seen children begrudgingly put on a fake happy face for Father’s Day, then on Monday go back to the usual routine of disdaining and belittling their father. That is discouraging.

  • Kay Anders, along with her husband, Peter, came to Los Alamos in 1987. Enders worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory until she retired. But her work wasn’t finished yet. In fact, Anders felt she was being called to take an entirely new path.

    Anders achieved a major milestone on this new journey when she was ordained a priest Tuesday at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. Assisting Bishop William Frey presided during the ordination.

  • Some people dream about appearing on the silver screen, but William Lebeda made this dream come true. The former Los Alamos resident has had his work projected onto movie screens for the last 15 years.

    Moviegoers can see the former Los Alamos resident’s work again in M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, “The Happening.”

    In this movie, Lebeda was the second unit director. As the second unit director, Lebeda shot scenes that didn’t involve principal actors. Some of these scenes included stunt work and driving scenes.

  • A town is only as strong as its businesses, said Janine Detter, Los Alamos National Bank marketing director. During ChamberFest, the local entrepreneurs are recognized for their role in Los Alamos and the community is invited to help applaud their efforts.

    This year, the festival for businesses will begin with an appreciation banquet for chamber members from 5-7 p.m. at Central Avenue Grill. Later that evening, the Continental Kids, a band that performs doo-op and 50s’ music, will take the stage at 7 p.m. at the corner of Main Street and Central Avenue.

  • Po, a rather lazy, oversized panda, is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps as the next in a bloodline of noodle makers in China.

    Little does his father know that Po’s true passion lies not in the hot bowls of “secret ingredient soup,” but in the ancient art of Kung Fu.

  • This year, the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation provided scholarships to six Los Alamos High School graduates who are either pursuing college or vocational training.

    Each recipient chose an Educator of Distinction, a teacher or education professional who had the greatest impact on them while attending Los Alamos Public School.

    The recipients included Rebecca Boerigter, Elyse Dinehart, Noopur Goyal, Jeremy Kasik, Allen Pittman and Kelsey Souza.

  • Since March, since China, my trips have taken me into the past, no Delorean required. A couple of weeks ago, I revisited the Adirondacks I knew when I was 7, accompanied by the best music, the best adventures, the best family dog.

    Then last week, I mentioned high school. I touched lightly, like a ballerina landing a huge jump so quietly because she has the light bones of a great hawk. I didn’t go into any serious detail, because most of my readers have been to high school and already know how the details add up.

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society offered June 1 a most unusual concert at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, featuring the chorus of 50 and the Los Alamos Brass of three trumpets, three trombones, timpani and a tuba in the sprightly opening number. The latter was a “Fanfare for Brass” (2007) by the director Dr. M.L. Place Badarack.

    This was a heavy program, with unusual works throughout. Attendance was lower than usual, but the music was very well received by those attending.

  • The animal kingdom is in trouble. Species are vanishing because of habitat loss, food chains are becoming unbalance and ecosystems are chaotic. To help restore the order, artist Geraldine Kerr is hosting an art show at Mesa Public Library.

    Twenty-six paintings each feature an animal that is endangered in alphabetical order. “The ABC’s of Endangered Animals” exhibit will open Thursday at the gallery. There will be an opening reception from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday.

  • Shavu’ot is a harvest festival. It is a two-day holiday that falls seven weeks after the second night of Passover. In ancient Israel, it started with harvesting barley at Passover and before moving on to wheat at Shavu’ot. People would bring the first fruit of their fields to the Temple of Jerusalem.

  • Think reading is just for kids? Now that is just silly. Back by popular demand, the Los Alamos County Libraries will have a summer reading program not only for kids and teens, but for adults, too.

    Every year, the New Mexico State Library has a different theme for the Summer Reading program and children are invited to keep track of how long they read or listen to books to enjoy and win prizes.

    This year, the theme is “Catch the Reading Bug!” for younger kids and “Metamorphosis” for teens.

  • The work currently hanging on the walls of the Portal Gallery at the Art Center at Fuller Lodge is not typical artwork. It is neither paintings, or weavings but a combination of both.

    Producing art that strays outside any conventional definition is right up Maria Jonsson’s alley.

    “I just want to be different ... be more specialized,” she said.

  • The learning doesn’t have to stop just because the school year is completed. For instance, throughout this week, the schoolyard at Mountain Elementary School has been bustling with learning activity.

    About 120 girls from Girl Scout service units 22 and 23 have been exploring water Monday through today during the Twilight Camp with the help of about 50 volunteers.