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Features

  • Felipe Rodriguez says he thought he was hallucinating when an eagle snatched his sister’s little white dog from her yard, flapped its massive wings and disappeared over the trees.

    Did he really just see that?

    He had. Zoey the 8-pound bichon frise was gone, taken by a hungry raptor Tuesday afternoon not 50 feet from his sister’s house on the banks of the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania, Rodriguez said.

    “It seemed like something from the ‘Wizard of Oz,’” he told The Associated Press on Wednesday. “I’m a city boy. This doesn’t happen in my world.”

    Even more astonishing: Zoey would live to bark the tale.

    More on that later. But first, let it be said that eagles are quite capable of taking a small dog or a cat.

    “It has been documented before, but not that often,” said Laurie Goodrich, a biologist at nearby Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, a ridgetop preserve that annually records tens of thousands of migrating hawks, eagles and falcons.

    With food scarce and waterways freezing up, raptors are “looking a little more widely and taking advantage of whatever might be out there,” she said.

  • The Los Alamos County Animal Shelter employees just want to put this up front: Rando, an eight month old Manchester Terrier that’s up for adoption, loves to chew.

    Anything, including shoes and stuffed animals. Unfortunately, it was the reason he was given up.

    But, Rando is just a puppy, and according to employees at the animal shelter, he’s a fast learner. 

    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter is hoping someone can train him out of his chewing habit with the right kind of attention.

    He just needs a forever home with some adults around to mind him.

    Rando loves children and other dogs. He has also been vaccinated and microchipped.

    Rando also walks well on a leash and is housetrained. Rando is all about playing, and is good at fetching – just make sure the toy isn’t a stuffed animal.

    For more information, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • The public is invited to attend the fall prevention workshop “Stay on Your Feet:  Keeping your Balance and Preventing Falls,” a presentation at Aspen Ridge Lodge, located at 1010 Sombrillo Court.

    The presentation will be January 23, given by Robert Lee, PT, DPT, MA and director of LAMC Rehabilitation Services.

    No RSVP is needed to attend. Refreshments will be served on third floor of Aspen Ridge.

    For information, contact Cynthia Goldblatt, program manager and liaison, at 695-8981.

  • THURSDAY
    Nature on Tap: Recent Discoveries in Astronomy at 5:30 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Join local astronomers to discuss the latest findings in astronomy including gravitational waves and neutron star collisions. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    LA Community Blood Drive from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Hall, 2200 Diamond Drive, by United Blood Services. Free.
    FRIDAY
    January Night Sky Show at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Discover and identify constellations and planets visible in our night sky this month, and enjoy their beauty on our planetarium dome. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children.

    LA Community Blood Drive from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the First Baptist Church Hall, 2200 Diamond Drive, by United Blood Services. Free.
    SATURDAY
    Bird Walk: Los Luceros Historic Site at 6:30 a.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy this rare and scenic birding opportunity with local expert Joe Fitzgibbon. Cost is $20 for members, $24 for non-members. A portion of your registration fee will be donated to Los Luceros.

    Feature Film: Incoming!
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover what impacts from above can teach us about the history of our planet, the Solar System, and the Universe! Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Start the New Year with a Cowboy Pancake Breakfast.  The first breakfast of the year will be from 7-11 a.m.  Sunday at the Posse Lodge on North Mesa Road.

    The all-you-can-eat breakfast features a variety of pancakes plus eggs, sausage, bacon, coffee and juice. Adult breakfasts will cost $7, children 10 and under can eat for $4.

    This month, the proceeds from breakfast will benefit the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.

    The Rotary Club, which has been serving the Los Alamos community for over 50 years, plans to use the funds for improvements to the Quemazon Trailhead.

    Other projects supported by the club and the community’s generosity include providing pre-paid exam vouchers for UNM-LA students in the high school equivalency program; the LAHS Memorial Garden; vocational training for Delancey Street residents; transportation to swimming lessons for fourth-graders in the elementary schools; an active inbound and outbound Youth Exchange Student Exchange program and leadership camp for high school students; the Deborah Beene Music Awards; the LAHS Memorial Garden; picnic tables for PEEC; funding support for the Posse Lodge, FIRST Robotics, the Hilltalkers Speech and Debate; LA Makers, Boy Scouts, LA Cares, Family Strengths Network, the Senior Center, and PAC-8 after-school programs for middle-schoolers.

  • This month’s Nature on Tap, set for Thursday, will focus on the latest findings in astronomy, including gravitational waves and neutron star collisions.

    Local astronomers and astrophysicists Dr. Galen Gisler, Dr. Steve Becker and Dr. Paul Arendt, will provide an engaging discussion about gravitational waves, the creation of precious metals, black holes, neutron stars, the night sky and upcoming planetarium shows.

    Nature on Tap is part of a series of conversations about art, history, nature and science. Thursday’s discussion will be at 5:30 p.m. at UnQuarked Wine Room.

    Gisler was born under the dark and starry skies of eastern New Mexico and eventually found his way back to his home state. With a bachelor’s degree in astronomy from Yale University, and a Ph.D in astrophysics from the University of Cambridge (England), Gisler went on to postdoctoral positions at the Leiden University Observatory (Netherlands) and Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona).

    Arendt has a Ph.D in physics from Ohio State University. His working career was spent in Applied Research and Development of materials at LANL and also in commercial manufacturing.

  • As an actual Certified Prevention Specialist in the State of New Mexico, I would never tell anyone what to think or how to vote. I would, however, say that you shouldn’t be allowed to vote on something drug related unless you do your homework.

    If you are in a position to have an intern, a student, or a volunteer have them research the history of the drug. If other state’s have legalized it, someone should spend a considerable amount of time seeing how decisions have affected their community, and in what ways.

    Recently, I have seen how the news is calling the legalization of marijuana in California as, “California is going green.”

    As a speech communication major, the media literacy aspect is astounding to me. “Going Green,” has an all-natural, healthy connotation to it. I am curious, however, if the going green is all about the financial aspect of legalization?

    Remember we elect officials to be our voice, but it may soon be imperative to let your voice be heard on this issue. If New Mexico decides to legalize marijuana, we won’t have a say after the vote.

  • As I sat and listened to a holiday message on Sunday afternoon, the speaker mentioned the Hebrew word Shalom. He spoke of one of the meanings being, “wholeness.”

    I naturally looked up what the internet had to say and found therefinersfire.org for the definition. It is used in many ways, as a welcome, a goodbye and most commonly related to peace.

    I could remember as a child, my mother having the words put on a cake for a friend.

    As we approach 2018, I wish you all Shalom. So many are seeking wholeness in so many ways, like waves of the ocean all throughout our lives.

    I believe in the depths of my soul that it all begins and ends with the Assets. I am certain that constantly talking about Assets, might get annoying from time to time. The truth is like eating healthy, sleep, exercise and taking care of ourselves, it just needs to become a lifestyle, a permanent habit.

    As a nation, we are constantly seeking ways to build kindness, end bullying, put an end to crime or terrorism. If we try to build the skills and traits in our young people, within our communities and let that ripple throughout our region and state, everyone’s lives will be better.

  • TODAY
     Los Alamos Big Band “A Christmas Dance” performance at 7:30 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church Parish Hall, 3700 Canyon Road. Cost is $15 per adult, $10 per student and $5 for children under 12. Event benefits Immaculate Heart of Mary youth.

    The public is invited to a book talk about “The Decadence of Delphi” by author and Los Alamos High School graduate Kristin Heineman at 7 p.m. in the Upstairs Rotunda at Mesa Public Library, 2400 Central Ave. The talk is part of the monthly Authors Speak series put on by the Los Alamos County Library System.
    SATURDAY
    Feature Film: Incoming!
at 2 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover what impacts from above can teach us about the history of our planet, the Solar System, and the Universe! Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.
    SUNDAY
    Nature Yoga and Trail Run
at 11:45 a.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga with Christa Tyson at the nature center, where you have a great view of nature. Optional: Arrive at 10:30 a.m. to join Christa for a pre-yoga run. Admission: yoga or run for $7/$5 for members; yoga and run for $12/$8 for members. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) is successfully implementing Saturday School, a completely voluntary program in which students get extra help from teachers and catch up on school work.

    The goal is to finish assignments and make sure they are not falling behind. Last year was the first year for 7th and 8th grade Saturday School and this year’s improved version comes with extra assistance and better communications from teachers.

    At Saturday School, students tend to work on makeup homework, makeup tests, or even to get ahead on assignments before a busy week. There is a mix of students who attend: some are simply asking for more help from a teacher while others are specifically recommended by a teacher.

    According to Johnson, some students like to attend because it is a quiet place to get work done, free of distractions.

    Students stay for the entire three-hour period and are also instructed to keep a log of the work they accomplish.

    Saturday School is not meant for one type of student, but rather students of any level who might need help, including special education students.

    And students really see the results from attending Saturday school; “Kids are amazed with how much they get done,” said Johnson.  In one case, a teacher was working with a particular student that was behind.

  • The Mountain Elementary School Robotics Team, Project VeX, traveled to Arizona Dec. 1-3 to compete in the Northern Arizona VeX IQ Challenge. Out of 40 teams, they finished 3rd in the skills portion of the competition, an impressive feat for a brand new team.

    Not only was this the first competition for the young team, they were also the only team from New Mexico.
    Mountain’s PE teacher, Tony Hinojosa, lead the budding team of nine 6th grade students (including his son) who met after school every Monday for two hours to work on designing, building, and programming a competition robot. Project VeX, named after the building platform they use, had about seven weeks to prepare before traveling to Arizona to compete against 40 other teams.

    This year, the challenge game was “Ringmaster” and the object of the game was to attain the highest score by successfully placing colored rings on a 4’x8’ rectangular field with posts.

    There were two main categories in the competition: the Teamwork Challenge and the Robot Skills Challenge. Project VeX placed 3rd in the Skills Challenge, which consisted of a driver controlled round and an autonomous round.

  •  “And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside”-Lin-Manuel Miranda.
    Mr. Miranda said these words at the 2016 Tony Awards and I feel it was really a much, needed anthem for the year.

    I see this love shown in many ways and for a variety of people throughout the year. The ladies of Alpha Zeta showed it once again as they saw fit to find volunteers to adopt 80 families with kids in our local schools, for the holidays.

    Kate Stoddard, one of those people you love to be around and her band of merry makers, some husbands and a few children dragged along for fun pulled off the annually impossible last weekend. They transformed the Christian Church into, “Love Central,” preparing for many to feel the love this holiday season. They weren’t even miffed if you showed up a bit late or with something not wrapped yet.

    Ironically for 2016, the ladies with their “sweetness of spirit,” received a Community Asset Award for the work that they do in our community. It was just a small opportunity to let them feel some of that love in return.

    So now, here is my final plea, a chance for you to do a kindness for someone that otherwise we may never know about.

  • United Way of Northern New Mexico would like to thank Metzger’s Do It Best for their generous gift of just over $700 from their successful Small Business Saturday.

    United Way of Northern New Mexico and Metzger’s have been partners since Small Business Saturday began encouraging businesses to donate to nonprofits in 2012. 

    Together, UWNNM and Metzger’s have raised thousands of dollars to support the mission of UWNNM and the people of Northern New Mexico.

  • With the holidays and 2018 approaching, Bandelier National Monument is offering news on upcoming events, both this year and next.  

    First on the list is Winter Solstice, Dec. 21, shortest day of the year and the point on the calendar when the days begin to lengthen again.  Many peoples all over the world recognized the solstices and built markers into structures or found them in the surrounding landscape.

    The Ancestral Pueblo people in Frijoles Canyon may have built parts of Tyuonyi, the large pueblo on the canyon bottom, in alignment with the sunrise and sunset on the Winter Solstice.  Ranger walks will be offered that day to greet the sunrise and sunset and see the possible alignments.  The Sunrise Walk meets at 7:15 a.m. in front of the Visitor Center, and the Sunset Walk meets there at 1:30 p.m.  The times are a reminder that sunrise and sunset happen at different times in the bottom of the 400-foot-deep canyon than they do in the wide-open landscapes on the mesa tops.  No signups are required for these walks, but participants should be sure to dress warmly.  If the sky is overcast, the walks will be held the following day.

    The Visitor Center, book store, and administrative offices in Frijoles Canyon will be closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, and the snack bar is closed until March.

  • When a veterinarian uses a stethoscope to listen to your dog’s heart, chances are that the heart will sound normal. However, in some cases, a veterinarian may hear an abnormality such as a heart murmur.

    Sonya Wesselowski, a clinical assistant professor of cardiology at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, said heart murmurs are abnormal heart sounds caused by turbulent or rapid blood flow within the heart. In dogs, heart murmurs are usually the result of a leaky or narrowed heart valve.

    Heart murmurs are not always a cause for concern. Wesselowski said that some soft heart murmurs could be normal in growing puppies less than 6 months of age. However, most heart murmurs in dogs do indicate that there is an underlying abnormality of the heart. In some cases, the heart murmur could be caused by a congenital heart defect the dog was born with, or due to a heart disease that develops later in life.

    How can you know if your dog has a heart murmur? Wesselowski said that regular examinations with your veterinarian are crucial for detection of heart murmurs, as a heart murmur itself does not cause any signs or symptoms. Instead, a heart murmur is a finding that suggests a cardiac problem may be present.

  • Paxton is all tail-wagging, toy-squeaking, puppy dog, a kind-hearted American Staffordshire terrier who enjoys a friendly visit with other dogs.

    Rated RTP or “ready to play,” Paxton seems perfectly happy and has plenty of energy, say the folks at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter.

    He is 13 weeks olds and will be equipped with a microchip very soon. He’s been neutered. He was a transfer from another shelter. Due to his youth, his outlook on cats and other issues are unknown.

    This boy will get big, however, and his exercise schedule should be fully booked.

    Adoption fee is $100. Please contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at (505) 662-8179 or communicate police-psa@lacnm.us.
     

  • Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released 62 newly declassified videos Thursday of atmospheric nuclear tests films.

    The videos are the second batch of scientific test films to be published on the LLNL YouTube channel this year. The team plans to publish the remaining videos of tests conducted by LLNL as they are scanned and approved for public release.

    LLNL nuclear weapon physicist Gregg Spriggs is leading a team of film experts, code developers and interns on a mission to hunt down, scan and reanalyze what they estimate to be 10,000 films of the 210 atmospheric tests conducted by the U.S. between 1945 and 1962.

    With many of the films suffering from physical decay, their goal is to preserve this priceless record before it’s lost forever, and to provide more accurate scientific data to colleagues who are responsible for certifying the stockpile every year.

    “We’ve received a lot of demand for these videos and the public has a right to see this footage,” said Spriggs. “Not only are we preserving history, but we’re getting much more consistent answers with our calculations.

  • Art exhibits
    House of Eternal Return, Meow Wolf. A unique art experience featuring a wild new form of non-linear storytelling, which includes exploration, discovery and 21st century interactivity. Located at 1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe. Call 395-6369 for information. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed every Tuesday. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

    New Mexico History Museum and Santa Fe Opera to recognize “Atomic Histories” in 2018 and 2019. The History Museum’s exhibition opens June 3 and will run through May 2019. The History Museum is located at 113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe. Call 476-5200 for information. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, May through October and closed Mondays November through April.

    Taos Art Museum at Fechin House will present a retrospective exhibition of the artwork of painter Walt Gonske, to open at the beginning of the Taos Fall Arts Festival. The exhibition runs through Jan. 7, 2018. Winter hours (through April 30) are Tuesday through Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Summer hours (starting May 1) are Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Cooking
    Gluten-Free Holiday baking class from 1:30-5:30 p.m. Friday at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road in Los Alamos. Cost is $10. Contact the LA Cooperative Extension Service, 662-2656.
    Dance