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Features

  • Local residents Janet Harris and Jennifer Jordan tied for first place in the Los Alamos Small Business Saturday GooseChase Scavenger Hunt, and were each awarded $200 in Chamber Checks.

    This year, Los Alamos Small Business Saturday shoppers had the chance to join in some scavenger hunt fun through a smart phone app called GooseChase. 

    “GooseChase scavenger hunts combine the fun of a traditional scavenger hunt with smart phone technology,” said Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation Executive Director Patrick Sullivan. “It’s a great way to give shoppers a fun reason to get around to as many businesses as possible, accumulate points in real-time, and this year’s winners visited some local businesses they didn’t even know existed!”

    The Los Alamos Small Business Saturday Scavenger Hunt opened at 9 a.m. Nov. 25 and closed at 5 p.m. Dec 2. Scavenger hunt participants downloaded the GooseChase app on their smart phones, signed into the “SmallBizSaturday” game, then visited the listed businesses and took pictures of themselves at each location. 

    The photos are submitted through the app awarding points in real-time at each location. Scavenger hunt participants could be in teams or individuals.

  • The New Mexico History Museum and the Santa Fe Opera will each feature presentations exploring New Mexico’s Atomic Histories in 2018 and 2019.

    The History Museum’s Atomic Histories exhibition opens June 3, 2018 and will run through May 2019.

    The exhibition will highlight American artist Meridel Rubenstein’s artwork including two photo/video/glass/steel installations from the traveling exhibition Critical Mass (1993-97) and Oppenheimer’s Chair (1995) commissioned by the first SITE Santa Fe Biennial to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first atomic test.

    “To enhance understanding of the legacy of the Manhattan Project, the New Mexico History Museum is developing an interpretive exploration of our state’s atomic history,” said Andrew Wulf, executive director of the New Mexico History Museum.   

    “Through our extensive collaboration with the Los Alamos History Museum, the Atomic Heritage Foundation, the Santa Fe Opera, Los Alamos’ Bradbury Science Museum and the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History,  the New Mexico History Museum will exhibit a wide variety of resources to tell our state’s nuclear story,” said Melanie LaBorwit, Museum Educator.

  • Los Alamos High School dance students invite the public to a special Winter Dance Show Dec. 18.

    The show performance will showcase dance talents of many students who actively participate in the LAHS Dance Club.

    They will create their own dance pieces in a variety of dance styles, such as Hip Hop, ballroom, Latin, swing and Bollywood.
    Students from the local dance studios are also frequent guest-performers in the show, as well as LAHS dance program alumni.

    The free show starts promptly at 7 p.m. and is expected to end at 8:15 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

    The Smith Auditorium is still undergoing construction, so the performance will be held in the auxiliary gym.

  • TODAY
    Luminaria Walk and Buffet at Sombrillo Nursing Facility and Aspen Ridge Lodge, 1010 Sombrillo Court, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Community is invited. No RSVP required. Dinner and Dessert at our facilities. Contact Cynthia Goldblatt, liaison, at 695-8981.
    THURSDAY
    Poet Jon Davis will speak at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in the upstairs rotunda, 2400 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Davis is the author of six chapbooks and four books of poetry. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including a Lannan Literary Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. He occasionally performs as the peripatetic poet Chuck Calabreze.
    FRIDAY
    December 15 —
Gentle Walk
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

  • Chartwell’s Food Services has rolled into the holiday season with a little help from their friends and family members, as they kicked off their Thanksgiving service with about 400 pounds of turkey, 210 pumpkin pies, an obscene amount of mashed potatoes, gravy and green beans.

    “Service of all the schools during our Thanksgiving Extravaganza was nuts,” said Chef Mia Holsapple. “It was much better than last year when we tried to serve all the schools on the same day, but this year we spread it out over a one-week period.”

    Chamisa Elementary kicked off the first holiday meal with 240 served, followed by Aspen Elementary, which served 720, thanks to a generous donation of meals for the entire student body by Del Norte Credit Union. The middle and high school added the Thanksgiving offering in addition to their regular menu, but estimate about 300 turkey meals between the two schools. Pinon Elementary was on Thursday, with 320 meals and Barranca Mesa and Mountain elementary schools brought up the end of the week with Barranca having 400 meals and Mountain 515. 

  • Serena Birnbaum from Los Alamos has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest and most prestigious achievement in Girl Scouting.

    The Gold Award, which challenges Girl Scouts to make a difference in their communities, is presented to fewer than 6 percent of Girl Scouts each year.

    The award is recognized by colleges and employers.  

    Birnbaum’s project “Choir Risers” addressed the need to support the arts program at Los Alamos High School. 

    The current risers were decades old and rickety. Birnbaum said she “hopes future students benefit from a rehearsal space that is well equipped and conducive to an active learning environment.” 

    “I learned a lot from this project including how important it is to support what you enjoy in life,” she said. “I learned about leadership and what it means to be in charge of a large scale project. This knowledge contributed to my growth as a person and leader because it gave me valuable experience and knowledge that I will use throughout my life.”

    Other Los Alamos awardees include Kaya Loy, Emily McLaughlin, Jaida Connolly, Isabel Meana, Seanna Shedd and Katelyn Tapia. All Bronze awardees, the highest award a junior level team can achieve.

  • This is a such a great time of year for so many reasons, that I thought it might be nice to address some pitfalls, before they take place.

    “Happy Holidays” is a general term of greeting exchanged this time of year. There is no disrespect to anyone involved, it is just a holiday greeting akin to, “have a nice day.” There are so many things being celebrated this time of year and this is the opportunity to embrace them all.

    I enjoyed a commercial I heard recently from KOAT’s Doug Fernandez. He said that he loves the fact that they call it the holiday season because of how long we celebrate. I feel exactly the same way, it starts Oct. 1 with decorating for Halloween and goes for a solid five to six months.

    It really kicks in as Thanksgiving approaches and you can wish everyone happy holidays and cover all of the bases. You can’t tell by sight what someone celebrates, but happy holidays kind of says it all.

    This is the time of year that some people get ruffled that you may seem disrespectful by not saying, Merry Christmas and I say not at all. You are just being respectful of everyone. If you disagree or think you do, then I challenge you to Google, can a non-Jewish person wish someone a Happy Hanukkah? Go ahead, I dare you to do it anyway.

  • USDA Forest Service visitor maps will increase in price from $10 to $14 effective Jan. 1.

    Rising costs of production, printing, and distribution have driven the need for the price increase of the paper and plastic-coated visitor maps, the first such increase in almost a decade. The agency continually updates its maps, seeking to enhance them as well. The Forest Service also expects to shorten the revision cycle as its cartographers continue applying new digital technology to the map revision process. 

    The agency is also working to increase the availability of digital maps, which cost $4.99 per side. Digital maps for mobile applications can be downloaded at avenza.com/pdf-maps/store. 

    As always, forest visitor maps are available for sale at those Forest Service offices in Arizona and New Mexico that currently sell them. 

    Volume purchases are available from the National Forest Map Store and can be ordered at NationalForestStore.com or by phone at 406-329-3024.

    To help offset the price increase for volume sales, discount pricing will now be available to all customers starting Jan. 1.

    Discounted maps are only available when purchased through the NFMS.

  • BY BARBARA CALEF
    League of Women Voters of Los Alamos

    Because the existence of a chromium plume in the regional aquifer below Sandia and Mortendad Canyons has been a source of concern for citizens of northern New Mexico, Voices of Los Alamos asked experts to discuss the problem at a meeting on Nov. 27.

    Danny Katzman is the Technical Program Director for LANL’s chromium project and a hydrogeologist.  Katzman began by saying that he was working on a way to explain the complicated technical project, putting together FAQs (frequently asked questions) for the DOE website. This is now posted at the linkenergy.gov/sites/prod/files/2017/11/f46/Chromium-Project-Fact-Sheet-Fall-2017-FINAL.pdf.

    Katzman explained that chromium occurs in two forms: chromium-3 or trivalent, which is harmless, and chromium-6 or hexavalent, which is toxic to humans. The hexavalent form, which dissolves in water, is used for chrome plating. At the lab it was used to prevent corrosion in the power plant cooling towers from 1956 to 1972. During that time about 160,000 pounds of excessive concentrations were released into Sandia Canyon.

  • The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos will close for winter break from Dec. 22 through Jan. 2.
    There will be no classes or activities, and buildings will be closed.

    Throughout the year, UNM-LA strives to keep the community notified about weather delays, cancellations, closures and emergencies, through the media, the UNM-LA website, and the UNM-Los Alamos Facebook page. Additionally, students, faculty, and staff can sign up for text message LoboAlerts at loboalerts.unm.edu

    The UNM-LA campus, at 4000 University Dr., will reopen on Jan. 3, with classes beginning Jan. 16.

    UNM–LA is an innovative, rigorous and affordable comprehensive branch community college that provides foundations for transfer, leading-edge career programs, and lifelong learning opportunities.

  • Last week, the Los Alamos Middle School Native Hawks celebrated a Feast Day, as Native American Heritage month came to an end.

    Throughout the month, students attended a special gathering at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, to spend time with Native poets and potters. The artisans shared their talents and backgrounds inspiring young students for the future.

    The Native Hawks “Rocked their Mocs,” and spent the early portion of the month fundraising for a school project.

    Students sold turquoise ribbons and scented pencils to raise $200 to share their culture with their fellow hawks. Several local residents were inspired by their efforts and made  donations to support their work.

    The fundraising was not to benefit their club directly, but to create awareness of local cultures for their fellow students.

    A Feast Day would give a real world learning opportunity to all hawks as they came together to sample cuisine.

    The Native Hawks raised the funds to hire Chef Norma Naranjo to bake Native American items to share. Narano of, The Feasting Place, baked Indian cookies, Horno Bread and Pies that arrived fresh in the morning, straight from the Okay Owingeh, also called the San Juan Pueblo. Her husband Hutch and master of the horno, is from the Santa Clara Puebo.

  • The Los Alamos Nature Center will be closed Dec. 24, Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 and open all other days in December and January.

    The nature center is free, and offers a great place to bring family to orient to the Pajarito Plateau before venturing outside or to the neighboring national parks and preserve.

    People of all ages enjoy exploring the nature center’s interactive exhibits, watching the local wildlife, discovering more about the geology of our area, and exploring the unique collection of nature-inspired items in their gift shop.

    The Los Alamos Nature Center, located at 2600 Canyon Road, is open from 10 AM to 4 PM on

    Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays as well as 1-4 p.m. on Sundays. The nature center is open late on Tuesdays, until 8 p.m., closed Thursdays for regular maintenance.

  • BY MARLEY JAY
    AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK — ‘Tis the season to keep that office holiday party from adding to the list of workplace sexual misconduct scandals.

    With the names of Weinstein, Spacey and Lauer likely getting more mentions this year than Dancer, Prancer and Blitzen, employers are making sure their year-end staff merrymaking doesn’t generate more inappropriate conduct.

    There will be less booze at many. An independent business organization has renewed its annual warning not to hang mistletoe. And some will have party monitors, keeping an eye out for inappropriate behavior.

    TV and movies often depict office parties as wildly inappropriate bacchanals or excruciatingly awkward fiascoes, if not, horrifyingly, both. But even a regular office party can be complicated because the rules people normally observe at work don’t quite apply, which makes it easier for people to accidentally cross a line – or try to get away with serious misbehavior. Especially when too much drinking is involved.

  • The holiday tree lighting ceremony at the County Municipal Building Saturday was one for the record books.

    This year’s key attraction was a 23-foot blue spruce from the Jemez Mountains, picked and decorated by employees from the Los Alamos County Public Works Department. The big buildup, leading up to the lighting, which included a concert from Schola Cantorum Choir and Mountain Elementary, did not disappoint.

    “This was the first time I’ve attended an actual lighting ceremony, and I thought the singing was beautiful too”, Los Alamos County Councilor Antonio Maggiore said. “It was very nice.”

    County Councilor Rick Reiss led the tree lighting, thanking residents “for coming out tonight to see the lighting of our tree, our community tree.”  He had the crowd do a backward countdown from 10 before flicking on the tree’s lights.

    There were plenty of “oohs” and “ahs” and applause at the critical moment, as the tree’s silver and blue ornaments caught the lights just right.

    Reiss also thanked Public Works for making the trek out into the Jemez to bring the tree back.

    “It’s just as beautiful this year as it was last year, we are lucky to have it,” he said.

  • Join the crowd this Friday, for a dive-in movie at the Walkup Aquatic Center. 

    Float in the warm water while watching “Despicable Me 3” on the big screen.

    The movie ticket, snacks, popcorn, drinks and glow necklaces will be provided for the low cost of $5. 

    Tickets are now on sale at the Aquatic Center or can be purchased on-line or at the door the night of the event. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the movie will starts at 7 p.m. 

    For any questions, contact the Walkup Aquatic Center at 662-8170.

  • This week, I am writing about a community asset that is an asset in a very different way, but like a person that is an asset, may go unnoticed by many. The Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and staff.

    You might need to sit down for the next bit of information I am about to share with you. Ready? You can join the Los Alamos Senior Center at the age of 50. Sure, the older you are the better the benefits and resources, but yes, just 50 years old.

    I want to highlight one program today, their wonderful home-delivered meal program. Los Alamos and White Rock have a fabulous staff and some pretty great volunteers, too.

    As winter approaches, maybe you would prefer that mom or dad doesn’t head out on those snow-covered roads during the next few months. While hot lunches are served at both senior centers during the week, maybe you didn’t know that those meals could come to the door.

    If you, a family member or friend are not able to cook for themselves sometimes due to a life situation, long or short term, good nutrition is imperative in healthy outcomes. Their meals not only have the ability to arrive compliments of a friendly driver, but also include milk, juice, an entrée, sides and dessert. 

  • The public is invited to an afternoon of holiday songs by Shashi Light Charles at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mesa Public Library in the Upstairs Rotunda.

    Her program will include holiday songs and some original work, all presented in her unique jazz-folk fusion style.

    Light fell in love with music at an early age, which beckoned her into singing (badly but passionately) and plinking on the piano and plucking on the guitar.

    She spent several years traveling around the country playing music and ended up in Nashville, where she played at places like The Nashville Palace, The Commodore, The Bluebird Cafe, Douglas Corner, The Broken Spoke, etc. She loves to share her music with others, so join her for an afternoon of some Christmas favorites, other fun tunes, and an original or two.

    Performing with her will be Bill Waganaar on acoustic guitar and Joy Charles on cello.

    Seating is limited in the Upstairs Rotunda, and people will be turned away when the room capacity is reached, so come early and enjoy the show! For more information about events at the library, visit losalamoslibrary.org

  • Next up in the Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series is a film Chicago Tribune critic Michael Wilmington called “the greatest rock concert movie ever made – and maybe the best rock movie, period.”

    Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Waltz” (1978, rated PG) will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the library’s upstairs meeting room.

    It’s Thanksgiving, 1976. An ice rink and music hall in San Francisco called the Winterland Ballroom hosts a crowd of 5,000 for what concert promoter Bill Graham dubs “rock ‘n’ roll’s last supper” as The Band plays its farewell concert, also known as “The Last Waltz.”

    “The Last Waltz,” both the concert and the film, features some of the biggest names in ’70s rock. Those joining The Band onstage for its legendary grand finale (though it regrouped, without guitarist Robbie Robertson, and began another tour in 1983) include Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

  • This month’s League of Women Voters’ community event, Lunch with a Leader on Dec. 12, will feature three women from Voices of Los Alamos.

    The speakers will be Becky Oertel, Cristina Olds, and Anagha Dandekar.

    The lunch begins at 11:45 a.m. upstairs at Mesa Library. The speakers will discuss how and why they formed Voices of Los Alamos, the activities they have accomplished and their plans for the future.

    Oertel grew up in Los Alamos and is the daughter of Jay and Carol Wechsler, who were active volunteers and founding members of the Los Alamos Community. After obtaining a degree in Biochemistry from University of Wyoming, Oertel enjoyed 30 years of working with people from all walks of life - from remote valleys and mountains of eastern Kentucky to the white sterile halls of biomedical research facilities. Oertel has been a Volunteer Fire Department officer and a PEEC board member. She is a board member for Living Treasures of Los Alamos and a founding member of Voices of Los Alamos.