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Features

  • Enjoy Bandelier - And Other Public Lands - With No Entrance Fee on National Public Lands Day
    Often just known as National Public Lands Day is generally billled as the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

    On this day, thousands of people do volunteer work such as trail maintenance and litter pickup, while others make a special point of taking the day to enjoy the public lands that belong to everyone. To celebrate this special day, many federal lands, and some state parks as well, offer free admission. 

    This year in New Mexico, volunteer opportunities are as diverse as trail work projects on the Santa Fe and Lincoln National Forests (U.S. Forest Service), tagging monarch butterflies at the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and work projects on the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (Bureau of Land Management) and at Cochiti Lake (Army Corps of Engineers).

    At Bandelier National Monument (National Park Service), no work projects are planned this year, and the emphasis is on exploring and enjoying this treasured part of the Jemez Mountains. No entrance fees will be collected that day. The bookstore will have everything on 15-percent discount.

  • WASHINGTON — In a quest to end cookie-cutter health care, U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact – and to finally customize ways to prevent and treat disease.

    Why does one sibling get sick but not another? Why does a drug cure one patient but only cause nasty side effects in the next?

    Finding out is a tall order. Today, diseases typically are treated based on what worked best in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients.

    “We depend on the average, the one-size-fits-all approach because it’s the best we’ve got,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

    That’s changing: The NIH’s massive “All Of Us” project will push what’s called precision medicine, using traits that make us unique in learning to forecast health and treat disease. Partly it’s genetics. What genes do you harbor that raise your risk of, say, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes or various cancers?

  • Love, romance, action and science fiction collide Saturday at Bandelier National Monument’s annual Opera on the Rocks event. Held at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater, this year’s presentation will be excerpts from Mozart’s “Abduction from the Seraglio,” done Star Trek style.

    “Though the opera’s trappings may be out of this world, Mozart’s memorable melodies remain intact. You really don’t have to be a Star Trek fan or an opera fan. As long as you enjoy a good laugh and some impressive singing, you’re going to have a really good time,” said the Pacific Opera Project, the original creator of the concept.

    Los Alamos’ own opera guild, Opera Alta, will be staging the event Saturday, with all the characters singing in German.

    Those looking to go can still purchase tickets at guildsofsfo.org. Those attending are encouraged to bring a jacket, warm clothing and dress as their favorite Star Trek character. Campers at the site are welcome to see the production too, ticket or no ticket. Food vendors include Sirphey, and beverages from Santa Fe Cider Works, Velarde and Gruet Winder and Black Mesa Winery.

    The opening act with by drumming by renowned musician Cochiti Pueblo resident Arnold Herrera.

  • The second of the monthly Brown Bag Performances, will be presented at Fuller Lodge from noon-1 p.m. Oct. 4, and will feature trumpet player, Jan McDonald, leading the locally acclaimed Black Mesa Brass Quintet.

    The program will present popular and classical tunes arranged for brass quintet and drum set. Favorites such as “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “Basin Street Blues,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” along with the music of Bach and Rossini will be featured in this toe-tapping, sassy and brassy performance.

    All Brown Bag Series performances are informal and are free to the public.

    The public is invited to attend and bring a lunch to munch on, while enjoying some gifted performers presenting uplifting and stress-relieving music.

    McDonald has been a mainstay of the Los Alamos and Santa Fe music scene for decades. He is recognized nationally as an accomplished trumpet player and educator. He performs with many professional groups in New Mexico, and is the recipient of the Outstanding Secondary Educator Award and the Outstanding New Mexico Jazz Educator Award.

    Black Mesa Brass Quintet was formed in 1990 and still has three of the original five members.

    Their repertoire is an eclectic mix of classical, modern, pop, and jazz tunes.

  • Halloweekend returns to haunt Los Alamos on Oct. 27 and 28.

    On Oct. 27, Los Alamos MainStreet hosts Trick-or-Treat on MainStreet in downtown Los Alamos from 4-6 p.m.

    Main Street and Central Avenue, from 15th to 20th Streets, are closed to auto traffic and become a safe pedestrian area where local businesses and organizations distribute candy to costumed families.

    While businesses in the downtown area open their doors to the public, this is also an opportunity for businesses and organizations that are not located in the downtown area to be involved.

    In 2016, an estimated 5,000 people took part in the weekend’s festivities.

  • TODAY
    Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild “Tomorrow’s Heirlooms” Quilt Show from 9 a.m.– 5 p.m. at the Crossroads Bible Church in Los Alamos. Tickets for the show are $2 for adults and $1 for children under 12. There will be vendors from all over New Mexico, a Silent Auction and numerous quilts and other hand-made items to view. Tickets will be available for the Donation Quilt “Spinning Stars.”

    Los Alamos Little Theatre will present Alan Ayckbourn’s “Communicating Doors,” a time-traveling murder mystery, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Alamos Little Theatre, 1670 Nectar St. Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Sept. 22-23. Visit lalt.org for more information.

    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 and Climate
at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. Explore the relationships between astronomy cycles and climate with Chick Keller. Cost is $6/adult, $4/child.
    SATURDAY

  • Members of the Environmental Sustainability Board and staff from the county Eco Station will walk through White Rock and Los Alamos neighborhoods today to survey recycle roll carts at the curb.

    The county staff will check the carts for the volume of recycling placed in them, in order to assist them in evaluating options for route pick up and frequency of pick up for the future brush roll carts that will be added to the system and distributed next year.

  • Production is underway on a local commercial promoting the businesses participating in Small Business Saturday in Los Alamos. Filming started Thursday at several of the retailers who have already signed up to be involved in the event.

    Jean Gindreau of PAC-8 and Kate O’Donnell of Real Deal Advertising started early Thursday with their camera at Rose Chocolatier, filming actresses, locals and shop owner Marguerite McClay. Filming was scheduled to take place during the day at Pet Pangaea, Boomerang, Bennett’s Fine Jewelry, and CB Fox. Metzger’s Do-it- Best Hardware is among the businesses on the production schedule for next week.

    The commercial will air at the Real Deal theater in late October and November when the holiday block buster movies are scheduled for release.

    Businesses can still sign up to be part of Small Business Saturday. It’s free to sign up to participate and gives the business substantial promotion.

    To sign up call Ufemia Bernal-Rios at 661-4816 or email Ufemia@losalamos.org.

  • “The West has passed – more’s the pity. In another 25 years the old-time westerner will have gone too – gone with the buffalo and the antelope. I’m going to hand down to posterity a bit of the unadulterated real thing, if it’s the last thing I do – and I’m going to do it muy pronto.”

     

    – W. Herbert “Buck” Dunton

     

    Enjoy a close look at the work of an artist whose art has embodied the Southwest for four decades. 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 on Saturday.

    An acknowledged master of Southwestern art, with more than four decades of exploring every aspect of the mountain desert landscapes of northern New Mexico, the painter Walt Gonske actually started out in life on the East Coast, and envisioned a career in illustration. He has defied expectations ever since, and flourished both in what he chose to do and where he chose to live. This exhibition is a celebration of those choices.

  • The Eastern New Mexico State Fair Queen Contest is open to young ladies, 16-24, from the 33 New Mexico counties. 

    Participants will compete in personal interview, speech, modeling, impromptu questions and horsemanship categories for various prizes.

    Scholarships, gifts and prizes are awarded to all contestants.  The 2017-2018 ENMSF Queen will receive a perpetual Crown, buckle, saddle and $1,000 Scholarship.

    This year, the contest is will be a one-day event on Oct. 1 in Roswell. Entry fees are $150 and entry packets are due no later than Sept. 27.

     

    More information is available online at enmsf.com

  •  A short drive from Santa Fe in the magnificent Galisteo Basin, the historic village of Galisteo will celebrate its 30th Annual Studio Tour from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14-15. 

    Over 25 artists and craftsmen will open their studios to share photography, painting, ceramic art, jewelry, handmade knives, traditional straw inlay, sculpture and weaving. 

    For more detailed information, directions, and artists’ pages, go to galisteostudiotour.org or call 505-466-3541.   

  • The Pajarito Environmental Education Center’s popular summer program for 5 to 8 year olds will return this fall. Forest Explorers, a hike-and-play club, will take children on hikes from 1-3 p.m. every other Wednesday from Oct. 4 through Dec. 13 and give kids ample time for child-directed play in nature.Forest Explorers is a drop-off program that will meet at the Los Alamos Nature Center every other Wednesday at 1 p.m. for a total of six outings this fall. The hikes will take kids into the nearby canyon where kids will be able to build forts, make seasonal observations, and learn to identify different plants and animals. The Forest Explorers class is taught by educator Denise Matthews and will allow children to have fun outside while working cooperatively, building gross motor skills, and learning more about the local ecology

    Matthews leads the Nature Playtimes program for PEEC and also serves as an instructor for the year-round Pebble Pups club, school field trips, and classroom visits. She has taught science in the classroom and as an environmental educator for the past 12 years. Matthews is passionate about providing kids the opportunity to connect with the local environment through child-directed outdoor exploration and inquiry.

  • BY DEBBIE STONE

     

    Special to the Monitor

    He seemed like such a nice guy. That was the group’s initial impression of our hiking guide, Paul – a mellow, wry humored Canuck. 

    Paul appeared calm and assuring as he gathered us around to talk about our first hike of the day. Moments before, the helicopter had gently set us down in front of Howser Towers, an impressive set of peaks in the Bugaboos, a range within the Columbia Mountains of British Columbia. 

    The name “Bugaboo” actually means a hoax in Old English. Story has it that when folks came up here looking for gold, they found only pyrite, or fool’s gold, so they aptly called the area the Bugaboos and the name stuck. 

  • Valles Caldera National Preserve will host two star parties this fall, one on Saturday from 7-10:30 p.m. and another on Oct. 14 from 6:30-10 p.m. To minimize light pollution, gates will close 1.5 hours after the event begins, so late arrivals risk not being able to participate.
    These star parties will take place near the Valle Grande Entrance Station. Park staff and educators from the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will provide short talks, telescopes for viewing, and youth activities. Visitors are encouraged to bring personal telescopes, blankets, and chairs for their stargazing pleasure. The Valle Grande Bookstore, operated by Los Amigos de Valles Caldera, will have hot drinks and snacks, as well as books and gifts, available for purchase.
    “We are excited to share these remarkable night skies with our visitors,” said Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos. “The preserve’s distance from nearby towns allows for almost unimpaired star gazing.”
    Although light-use should be limited as much as possible, visitors are encouraged to come prepared with a red-tinted light source. Visitors should also dress in layers, as nighttime temperatures regularly drop to 20-30 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • The Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation has announced that it will hold its popular fundraiser, Taste of Knowledge at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 14 at the old De Colores restaurant location. The theme this year is “Experience the Food and Wine of Spain.”

    Pig+Fig’s Chef Laura Crucet will create scrumptious Spanish tapas, which will be paired with unique boutique Spanish wines.

    Representatives from Favorite Brands and Jose Pastor Selections will talk about the different wine producing regions of Spain and what wines are produced there. During the tasting, local jazz band The Ryan Finn Quartet will entertain with live music. Ryan Finn is the Los Alamos Middle School Band instructor, whose classroom benefitted from a $25,000 makeover facilitated by the LAPS Foundation in the summer of 2016.

    As this is a fundraiser benefiting Los Alamos Public Schools’ teachers, staff, students and facilities, the LAPS Foundation is including elements from many talented Los Alamos students. LAHS Culinary Arts students will prepare the food under the supervision of Chef Laura Crucet, while LAHS Art Club members will dress as Spanish waiters and help out during the event. Several DALA and LAHS dancers will perform Spanish-themed dances, and Key Club and Hilltalkers members have volunteered to help with the event, as well.

  • TODAY
     Jemez Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood Blvd, in White Rock will have a Bag Day from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
    THURSDAY
    Summer Nature Drawing
from 10-2:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy botanical drawing and watercolor with Santa Fe artist Lisa Coddington. Cost is $56 for members, $70 for non-members.
    FRIDAY
    Jemez Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood Blvd, in White Rock will have a Bag Day from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Gentle Walks 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.

    Homeschool Bird Banding Field Trip from 9-11:30 a.m. at the Nature Center.
Homeschoolers: Meet the birds of the Jemez Mountains and observe an active field science investigation in Bandelier’s backcountry! Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    Total Solar Eclipse Show
is SOLD OUT at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. More information at peecnature.org.

  •  Pajarito Environmental Education Center is working with the Los Alamos Mountaineers to offer a 10-mile hike with Evan Rose from town to the Pajarito Mountain ski area on Sept. 23 starting at 7:45 a.m.

    Since space is limited, registration is required for this free hike.

    The 10-mile trek with Evan Rose offers spectacular views of Los Alamos and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the option to enjoy Ullr Fest after the hike, and a ride back to your vehicle via Atomic City Transit.

    Hikers should expect is expected to take about six hours with more time for the bus and festival (optional). Along the way, hikers will have spectacular views of Los Alamos and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the option to enjoy Ullr Fest after the hike, and a ride back to your vehicle via Atomic City Transit.

    The hike is considered strenuous due to the steep and rocky terrain, long distance, and lack of bail-out points.

    The route will follow Quemazon Trail, connect with Pipeline Trail and finish by way of the Canada Bonita Trail in the parking lot of Pajarito Mountain ski hill.

    Participants must be capable of the full hike distance (10 miles), high elevation (from 7,300-9,800 feet), and altitude gain (2,500 feet).

  • BY KELLY DOLEJSI
    Special to the Monitor

    Billed as a “nervous romance,” “Annie Hall” (1977, rated PG) is one of the funniest, most bittersweet, most intimate, and most memorable films of all time. Los Alamos audiences will have an opportunity to see it for the first time – or the 20th time – at 6:30 p.m. Thursday upstairs at Mesa Public Library.

    Director/Writer Woody Allen plays twice-divorced stand-up comedian Alvy Singer, who feels an instant attraction to Annie (Diane Keaton), despite her blundering conversation, adventurous driving, and possible anti-semitism. The relationship moves through the la-dee-dah stage to therapist envy to arguments about community college to a desperate marriage proposal to sincerely wishing each other well.

    It’s beautiful, with lots of endearing/annoying personality traits and a few lobsters.

    In Alvy’s quest for self-understanding, the narrative looks beyond Alvy’s current relationship to his marriages to Alison (Carol Kane), who finds Alvy physically desirable, thereby causing Alvy to lose interest, and Robin (Janet Margolin), who coldly denies Alvy “intimacy” because there are people from The New Yorker downstairs.

  • I love this time of year as we begin to dive into the heart of the Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets©.
    I feel like D. Peter Benson, who so loved New Mexico, is smiling down knowing that his legacy still continues.

    September marks the annual proclamation for the Los Alamos County Council to recognize the month as the beginning of building the Assets in our community. The work is so important that I have volunteered to write a weekly column for many years because I believe in the work so very much.

    The Assets are 40 traits and characteristics that we, as a community, can focus on for youth. If we dedicate some time each month throughout the school year, we can help our children to grow into healthy young adults.

    “Healthy Community, Healthy Youth,” is the motto and it is needed in our community, the state and the nation. You don’t have to do anything monumental, but pay attention and build meaningful relationships whenever you have the opportunity.

  • Want to learn more about the Hubble Telescope and the Universe? Come to the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium for a presentation on one of NASA’s most ambitious experiments at 7 p.m. Sept. 15 . The full-dome planetarium film Exploding Universe will play at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17.

    On Sept. 15, the show will begin with a screening of NOVA: Invisible Universe Revealed, which will be followed by a talk by Dr. Rick Wallace. The film and presentation will share the astronomical significance of the Hubble Space Telescope findings, including cosmic expansion and supermassive black holes.

    Exploding Universe, showing at 2 p.m. Sept. 16 and 17, uncovers cosmic events that shaped the Universe. This full-dome film explores a world where supernovas erupt, massive materials collide, and protons give birth to life as we know it. For more information about these and future planetarium shows, visit peecnature.org/planetarium. For tickets, call 662-0460.