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Features

  • For Brad and Rose Nyenhuis, the journey to opening Los Alamos County’s go-to spot for runners, cyclists, climbers and skiers began with a Craigslist ad.

    Before moving to New Mexico, the two of them lived in Chicago. Brad Nyenhuis owned a machine shop, and Rose Nyenhuis worked at a running store. But for years, they had sought an escape to the mountains, and thought opening a business would be the perfect opportunity.

    They looked for any kind of store for sale in Colorado, Utah and surrounding states, and one day stumbled across an ad on Craigslist for a man selling a bike shop in Los Alamos.

    Though the ad didn’t lead to a viable opportunity, the town grabbed onto them and didn’t let go. 

    “We loved the town, and we especially loved the people,” Brad Nyenhuis said.

    They decided they could find success in the area by starting a business aimed at the athletic community, specifically runners and bikers, a community they found to be well-represented.

    On Nov. 21, 2013, the business became a reality when they opened Fusion Multisport.

  • For those looking for a unique gift to give this holiday season, they might want to make a virtual stop at Caffeination Station. Caffeination Station is where one can order hand roasted coffee right here in Los Alamos.

    Caffeination Station owner Conner Maxwell sells three different flavors of beans, Tanzanian, Colombian (medium and dark roast) and Ethiopian Harar. The Station doesn’t yet have a physical address, but can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/caffeinationstationNM) where customers can contact her for orders. She’s also available by email at caffeinationstationNM@gmail.com.

    One-pound bags are $13 and half-pound bags are $8.

    She also has an instagram page at caffeinationstationnm where customers can follow her progress in her new business venture.

    While Maxwell would like to open a coffee shop in Los Alamos someday, she decided to start things off as a roaster and see where that takes her. After all, she said, “the heart of the coffee business in the bean.” She also discovered that state regulations are much kinder to coffee roasters.

  • If Los Alamos Post Office customers looking to ship holiday gifts are lucky, they may get post office clerk Ted Romero to help them out. For the past 20 years, Romero has been using his smile and his wits to help customers through one of the most stressful times of the year.

    Not only is Romero good at solving problems, he can also tell a great joke.

    Romero said he likes to joke with the customers because it helps take their minds off their worries, especially if the wait may be a little longer than expected.

    “Life is tense enough as it is,” Romero said.

    It also makes good economic sense.

    “If people get the service they want, they will keep coming back. There is more than one shipping option,” Romero said. “We like people to be happy.”

    Romero also is a resident of Los Alamos County, which sometimes leads to some strange interactions outside of work.

    “Some of my older customers sometime say ‘I know you from somewhere,’ and I’ll go, ‘Oh yeah, I met you at your niece’s bar mitzvah…” Romero joked.

    It’s then, though, they catch on to where they really met him, and everyone’s in on the joke.

  • The holidays are all about family, and no two businesses in Los Alamos County speaks to family more than Warm Hearts Yarn and Atomic City Quilts.

    With its walls and floor space stacked with crafting, heirloom, scrap booking and quilt supplies, it’s easy to see why. The two businesses have everything one needs to make that special gift or create the next quality family keepsake.

    The stores also sell bead jewelry and regular jewelry. The store also sells soaps, candles and lotion from local vendor Heather Quinn, with many of the items making perfect stocking stuffers.

    Atomic Quilts and Warm Hearts also has gift certificates available.

    About two years ago, Atomic Quilts move in and the two businesses set up shop together in the same space at 1247 Central Avenue, Suite C.

    On Small Business Saturday, the stores will be open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., but since the day is a special one for Los Alamos, Atomic Quilts owner Shelly Kuropatwinski said they may keep the doors open later for those last-minute shoppers.

    Warm Hearts Yarn first moved into the shop from their White Rock location in September 2015 and Atomic City Quilts started fresh at the new location.

    Kuropatwinski got into quilting 17 years ago simply because her baby needed a quilt.

  • This month’s meeting of the Military of World Wars Chapter 229 will be on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the second floor conference room in the Los Alamos Research Park located west of the South Mesa Fire Station.
    The speaker will be Commander Brian Gauck, the new commander of the Los Alamos High School NJROTC unit. He will provide an overview of his research on friendships formed by USAFA graduates.
    The meeting will begin with a social period at 6 p.m., followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m. The presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m. The Military Order of the World Wars dinner meetings are open to interested citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program only at no cost. The Hot Rocks Java Café staff will be catering the dinner: Pot Roast and appropriate side dishes. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person. A dinner reservation made is a commitment to the chapter to pay for the reserved dinner(s). RSVP (yes or no) for the dinner is needed by today.
    Call LTC Gregg Giesler, USA Retired, chapter commander, at 662-5574, or email him at g.gieslercomputer.org), or Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750, or email her at depinyan@cybermesa.com).

  • Many of us know someone whose life has been impacted by cancer. Unfortunately, cancer can also occur in our pets. As part of Pet Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Heather Wilson-Robles, associate professor, and Dr. Brandan Wustefeld-Janssens, a fellowship-trained surgical oncologist at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discussed everything owners need to know about cancer in pets.

    One of the most common types of cancer in pets is skin cancer, Wustefeld-Janssens said. Primary care veterinarians can usually treat cancerous skin tumors without referring the pet to specialty care. However, more serious types of cancer—including tumors that appear in the bone, mouth, glands (such as anal sacs), or lymph nodes—may require surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.

    In some situations, Wilson-Robles said a combination of treatments may be necessary to prevent the cancer from relapsing. For example, an animal may undergo surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, but that doesn’t mean the animal is free of cancer cells. The animal may still need chemotherapy to remove remaining cancer cells from the body, which can help prevent the cancer from developing again.

  • Wilbur can teach humans a thing or two about optimism and having an indomitable spirit. Wilbur, a 6-year-old Boston Terrier mix, was a stray living on the streets of Albuquerque was hit by a car Oct. 12.

    Wilbur lost an eye in the accident and his tail is forever crooked, but thanks to eye surgery funded by the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Allies, Wilbur is back to his old self.

    He’s 23 pounds, and has a tan-and-black coat. He arrived at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter Nov. 7, and loves to greet every person that comes through the door with a wagging tail and a leash-tugging enthusiasm that makes everyone want to pet him and call him a good boy.

    Though he’s been through a lot, Wilbur now has a clean bill of health and needs no further medication. Volunteers say he loves all types of people, including kids. Though he loves to be the center of attention, Wilbur also does well with other dogs and cats and doesn’t mind sharing the spotlight.

    He also has a thing for squeaky toys, walks and hikes. Wilbur is also crate-trained and sterilized. He has also been vaccinated and has a microchip.

  • Santa arrives Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Betty Ehart Senior Center. The Festival of Trees from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. is a fund raiser for youth and senior programs.

    The trees will be on display throughout the week during regular senior center hours. Admission Saturday is free, but hard candy, snacks and lunch items for students are gratefully requested.

    Call 662-8920 for information and check back next week for photos of the 2017 trees.

  • Navajo poet Sherwin Bitsui will read his poetry at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 in the UNM-LA Library as part of the celebration of National Native American Heritage Month on campus.

    A Diné (Navajo), Bitsui studied at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and now teaches for the MFA in Creative Writing for the IAIA. His honors include the 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award.

    Bitsui, also a painter, described how he tries to capture images in words. “My poems come first from a sense of image, texture, color. In Navajo, we process thoughts and speak from a language that has different sensibilities. It includes a view of the land, plant life, animal life as part of the everyday perspective. To navigate in English is like moving through a different consciousness.”

    At his readings, Bitsui asks the audience to close their eyes and watch the poem happen, to inhabit the place of the poem, as a way to journey in real time.

    The community is invited to attend the reading. Visit losalamos.unm.edu/sherwin-bitsui-poet.html for more information.

  • The United Church of Los Alamos celebrated their life of service last weekend as they marked their 70th anniversary.

    On Friday, many church members sliced, diced and chopped their way to a celebratory dinner. Volunteers worked to prepare an old recipe from the Women’s Christian Service Society for a chicken enchilada dinner.

    So many congregation members brought home-made pies that even after hundreds of pieces of pie were served and a blessing given to take some home, a bevy were served after the Sunday service, alongside cake.

    The dinner was very well attended by those seniors that were a part of the church as young children and the young families of today. The elder members seemed pleased with the fact that even though many familiar faces were present, there were equally a number of new ones.

  • Every dog has its day, it’s said.

    Ellie’s day hasn’t happened yet – and that’s a golden opportunity for you.

    She’s shy and sweet and just beginning to know that there’s more out there.

    Like a trail and a leash and a person who is confident and wise – someone who’s willing to show her that she’s got a lot to give, too.

    She’s available for adoption at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter. There’s an adoption fee of $75.

    At less than 18 months old, Ellie is a mixed breed, and medium-sized, with Australian cattle dog strongly indicated.

    She’s spayed, vaccinated and micro-chipped.

    Around other dogs, it would be best they are near her size, and if children are present, it’s best they are at least 8 years old.

    She needs a secure yard and someone who understands what a dog needs – kindness, patience and a bit of training.

    The shelter is at 226 East Road. More information is available by calling (505) 662-8179.

  • Permits to cut your own Christmas tree on the Santa Fe National Forest go on sale Monday at forest headquarters at all ranger district offices and select third-party vendors.

    As part of the “Every Kid in a Park” initiative, every fourth-grader is eligible for a free holiday tree permit.  In order to redeem the free permit, the student must present a valid fourth-grade pass, downloadable at everykidinapark.gov.

    Once the pass is printed out, the fourth-graders must bring a parent or guardian over the age of 18 with them to the nearest SFNF office to pick up the permit. The free permits can only be fulfilled at a Santa Fe National Forest office.

    The nonrefundable Christmas tree permits are for personal use only and may be purchased for $10 by check, credit/debit card or cash through Dec. 23. Permit purchasers will receive a tree tag, map and guidelines for harvesting a tree.

    One tag is valid for a tree up to 5-inches in diameter and 10-feet in height. Trees taller than 10 feet and/or wider than 5-inches require an additional tag. For example, a 15-foot tree requires two tags.

    The Santa Fe National Forest has a three-tag limit per person.

  • Sipapu Ski Resort’s ski area’s opening day has been postponed ski area is delaying its opening a week due to unseasonably warm temperatures, resort officials announced Tuesday.

    The resort was originally scheduled to open on Saturday, one of the earliest openings in resort history.

    Temperatures will drop again this week, which is ideal for snowmaking, and snow was in the forecast for Tuesday. Cold temperatures have allowed Sipapu’s crews to make snow already on beginner and intermediate trails: Thumper, Lower Bambi and Butterfly. They will continue snowmaking efforts as temperatures allow.

    “Our mountain crews continue to monitor temperatures and we’ve made snow whenever we could,” said John Paul Bradley, mountain manager of Sipapu.

    The team was continuing to prepare the mountain for opening day, which was targeted as Nov. 18, as conditions allow, Bradley said in a release.

    “We feel confident with the progress we’ve already made that we’ll be able to open on the 18th,” he said.
    Sipapu Ski Resort is known for being the first resort to open and the last to close in New Mexico. Last year, Sipapu opened on Nov. 19, 2016, continuing the 14-year trend as being the first to open in the state.

  • The Los Alamos History Museum will present a lecture by Sharon Snyder at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Fuller Lodge, called “How Los Alamos Became a Ranch School:  A Homesteader’s Farmhouse, a Few Sheds, and a Muddy Puddle of Water.”

    The lecture is part of the Los Alamos Historical Society’s 2017-2018 lecture series “100 Years on the Pajarito Plateau.” This lecture series is sponsored by Raffi Andonian and Nicole Kiebert.

    The ranch school that existed here between 1917 and 1943 was special, and developed into one of the best schools of its kind throughout the West, earning a national reputation among all prep schools. Sharon Snyder will be presenting a talk on topics ranging from how Ashley Pond Jr. ended up in New Mexico and became the partner of Harold Brook, the homesteader whose land eventually held the school, to who financed the expansion of the school as it grew, and why did the boys wear shorts in the winter and sleep on screened porches year round? Learn the answers to these questions and more at the third lecture in the 2017-2018 Historical Society’s lecture series this Tuesday.

    Snyder is the award-winning biographer, author and poet of Peggy Pond Church, as well as the Publications Director of Bathtub Row Press, the publishing house of the Los Alamos Historical Society.

  • Registration is now open for the annual WinterFest Holiday Lights Parade. This year’s “Woodland” themed parade will march up Central Avenue beginning at 6 p.m. Dec 2.

    The official tree lighting ceremony will follow the parade at 7 p.m. around Ashley Pond.

    To participate in the parade, visit eventbrite.com/e/los-alamos-winterfest-holiday-lights-parade-2017-registration-37288847948.

    Los Alamos celebrates winter with many events scheduled around town, and The Holiday Lights Parade is the highlight of the WinterFest weekend. For more information and a full schedule of WinterFest events, visit losalamosmainstreet.com/events/winterfest/.

    Los Alamos MainStreet, and the LACDC, would like to extend a sincere thanks to the WinterFest sponsors: Los Alamos National Bank and Los Alamos County. 

    MainStreet welcomes more WinterFest sponsors, and those interested in sponsoring should contact Suzette Fox, MainStreet executive director at suzette@losalamos.org, or KayLinda Crawford, MainStreet event coordinator at kaylinda@losalamos.org.

  • TODAY
    Pueblo Canyon Geology Walk at 12:30 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Hear about the geology of Pueblo Canyon from Elaine Jacobs while hiking the gentle Pueblo Canyon Rim Trail. Free.
    THURSDAY
    Fall prevention presentation
from 2-3 p.m. at Aspen Ridge Assisted Living, 1010 Sombrillo Court in the Recreation Room. Presenters will be Donna McHenry, EMS, Pauline Schneider, the senior center director, and Cynthia Goldblatt, Los Alamos Retirement Community community liaison. Community is invited.  Refreshments will be served. No RSVP required. Contact Goldblatt at 695-8981 for information.

    Los Alamos Genealogical Association meeting at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library. The program will be presented by Irma Holtkamp. The subject will be “Using Clues in Census Records to Find Your Family in Other Sources.” The traditional no-host social dinner will convene earlier that evening at 5:30 p.m. at the China Moon restaurant.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.

    Astronomy Show: Inside the Sun at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Explore our local star with Dr. Joyce Ann Guzik. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.
    SATURDAY

  • El Centro Family Health Clinic and the Santa Fe National Forest are sponsoring a hike along Window Rock Trail on Nov. 18 as part of an initiative for “Forest Your Health.” The biannual hike to scenic Window Rock is an 8-mile round-trip trek to one of the most state’s largest rock spans, a “window” worn out of igneous rock.

    The hike is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the trailhead north of Española on the road to Abiquiu – with the hike ending at 5 p.m., after sharing hot dogs and s’mores over a campfire. Dress accordingly with long pants, hiking boots and leather gloves – participants will be picking up trash along the hike.

    For more information, contact Jennifer Sublett, at jsabulett@fs.fed.us or 753-7331.

  • All Santa Fe National Forest offices will be closed Friday, in observance of Veterans Day, which honors the service of all who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Forest offices will resume regular business hours on Monday.
    Anyone who plans to visit the Santa Fe National Forest over the weekend should know before they go. 
    Check the weather forecast, and be prepared for seasonal fluctuations. Use good judgment and basic safety precautions when hiking, fishing or camping on the SFNF.  Although fire danger has decreased across the SFNF, campfire safety and prevention is always a priority.  Never leave a campfire unattended, and make sure it is out cold before leaving the area.
    For more information, contact the local ranger district or forest headquarters at 438-5300. Follow the SFNF on Twitter (@SantafeNF) and Facebook.

  • November is Native American Heritage month. An additional focus takes place the day after Thanksgiving, called Native American Heritage Day.

    Jessica “Jaylyn” Atsye of the Laguna Pueblo began an event in 2010 called Rock Your Mocs Week. This year the week takes place Nov. 12-18. It will be the third year Los Alamos supports the effort by Rockin our Mocs.

    It is a chance for Native Americans, both youth and adults, from all backgrounds, to wear their moccasins for a day or the week and share their pride and culture. The traditional moccasins are as different as the people who will wear them.

    A friend of mine, Deb Minyard from Pojoaque High School, received a pair as a gift when she was the 2015 New Mexico Teacher of the Year. Her student, Nessa, asked if she could give her a handmade pair as a gift. When Minyard accepted, the student measured her feet in the traditional way, by tracing them.

    The handmade moccasins were crafted by Bernard Mora of the Tesuque Pueblo. The beautiful gift brought Minyard to tears, making her feel like a part of the student’s family. Minyard considers the gift one of her most treasured possessions.

  • Fees at many recreation sites and amenities at the Santa Fe National Forest will be waived over Veterans Day weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

    Fees at all national forests and grasslands will be waived at many day-use sites, such as picnic grounds and developed trailheads, in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act.

    Other agencies also participating in the fee-free days including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Managements and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    The fee-free availability includes sites in the Santa Fe National Forest which normally charge day-use fees and campgrounds. Site on the National Reservation System are not fee-free, according to a press release from the Santa Fe National Forest.

    If you plan to visit, “know before you go,” by checking the weather forecast and being prepared for seasonal fluctuations.

    Follow basic safety precautions for hiking, fishing and camping in the national forest.

    Although fire danger is somewhat lower, campfire safety and prevention is always a priority while outdoors, according to the press release.

    Never leave a campfire unattended and make sure it is out and cold before leaving your campsite.