• Los Alamos High School and other schools across the district showed their appreciation for National Custodian Appreciation Day and heralded their staff members that work so hard throughout the year. From left, Alvaro Trujillo, Henry Trujillo, Tony Romero and Jesus Garcia install new hand sanitizer machines at Los Alamos High School.

  • Known for its vibrant culture and rich history, Taos and the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway have earned their positions among leaf peepers and national media alike as being one of the top locations in the United States to see an impressive fall landscape dotted with a palette of warm reds, oranges and gold foliage.
    In the past month alone, Taos and the Enchanted Circle have topped several “best fall trip” lists in the country including Huffington Post (“10 Best Fall Foliage Trips In The U.S.”), National Geographic (“10 Best Fall Trips in World”), Los Angeles Times (“New Mexico’s Enchanted Byway Brings Fall Foliage Viewing Full Circle”), and USA Today (“10 Best: Places to see fall colors”).
    According to Forest Service officials from the Carson National Forest which encompasses Taos County, elevations above 8,500 are beginning to peak and will reach their height by the first week of October. In the Carson National Forest, several hiking spots allow for prime leaf peeping while hiking. They include Middle Fork Trail 24 (25 miles south of Taos on N.M. 518 in Peñasco); Devisadero Trail, once used by the Taos Pueblo Indians standing guard against raiding Apaches (three miles east of Taos along U.S. 64); and Williams Lake Trail (near Taos Ski Valley).

  • Recently, the Jemez Mountain salamander was placed on the endangered species list. They are not the only ones facing severe challenges; amphibians around the world are experiencing declines, extirpations and extinctions.
    In a free talk Oct. 9, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center will feature fish and wildlife biologist Michelle Christman who will discuss the challenges faced by amphibians around the world and in our own backyard.
    The program will begin at 7 p.m. No advance registration is required to attend.
    In her presentation, Christman will briefly cover general amphibian biology, threats amphibians face, general amphibian declines, and scale it down to New Mexico and the Jemez Mountains. The biology of the Jemez Mountains salamander, and some of the factors that supported a recent decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list this salamander as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, as amended, will also be discussed.
    Christman is a Fish and Wildlife biologist with the New Mexico Ecological Services Field Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Albuquerque. Christman has worked with amphibian and reptile conservation in New Mexico since 2000, and in 2008, she became the species lead for several listed and sensitive species of amphibians and reptiles for FWS.

  • The New Mexico History Museum in Santa Fe has many events throughout the month of October for history buffs, music lovers, science efficianados and more.
    At 6 p.m. Friday, Dr. Jon Hunner, interim director of the museum, explores the complicated life of the atomic bomb’s father, J. Robert Oppenheimer — from his childhood through his scientific career to his involvement with governmental policies during the early Atomic Age. The talk “Broken by Secrets: Robert Oppenheimer and the Early Atomic Age” is the free first Friday talk. Museum admission is free from 5–8 p.m.
    The Albuquerque Baroque Players play 17th- and 18th-century chamber music from Italy, Germany and France by MaryAnn Shore (oboe and recorder), Mary Bruesch (viola da gamba) and Susan Patrick (harpsichord). The show starts 2 p.m. Sunday. The event, part of the exhibit “Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World,” is free with admission; Sundays free to New Mexico residents. Children 16 and under free daily.

  • Jemez Valley Yard Sale Oct. 18-19

    The 11th Annual Jemez Valley 26-Mile Trail Sale is 10 a.m. Oct. 18-19, along N.M. 4 from San Ysidro to La Cueva.
    The Jemez Valley at the peak of the fall colors is the backdrop for the sale, a yard sale shopper’s paradise.
    Sellers will be set up in cluster (multi-vendor) locations in business parking lots along N.M. 4, as well as in individual yard sales. The sale starts in San Ysidro at Mile Marker 0 on N.M. 4 and extends through the Jemez Valley to La Cueva at Mile Marker 26.
    This year, the Trail Sale has expanded beyond La Cueva to include Thompson Ridge to the north. Follow the signs.
    The two-day event is sponsored by the Jemez Valley Community Association and the Jemez Springs Lodger’s Tax Board. For seller/shopper information, visit JemezSprings.org and Facebook.com/The26MileTrailSale.

    Opera SW hosts ‘Amleto’ seminar Oct. 11

  • Santa Fe
    Roadrunner Café, Hwy. 284, Pojoaque
    Date inspected: Aug. 12
    Violations: Three high-risk violations. Can opener had food build up. Salsa date label over seven day limit, no wash cloth in sanitizer bucket. All high-risk violations corrected at time of inspection. One moderate-risk violation. Dish washing machine below proper temperature. Two low-risk violations. Grease from ceiling fan dropping on floor. Hood has grease build up.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Gabriel’s, 4 Banana Lane, Tesuque
    Date inspected: Aug. 12
    Violations: Two high-risk violations. Salsa stored at improper temperature. No date labels on black bean container. Four moderate-risk violations. Dry storage bins not stored at dry storage area, which was corrected at time of inspection. Dish washer not at proper temperature. Back door of food prep area has 2-inch gap. Dirty can opener. Two low-risk violations. Floors have build up throughout food prep area. Hoods and vents have grease and dust build up.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on Aug. 22.

  • The Arts in Public Places Committee and members of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center recently met with artist Greg Reiche to formally kick off the design process for the sculpture to adorn the outside of the new Los Alamos County Nature Center. The group toured the construction site where the facility is under construction, giving the artist a chance to better understand PEEC, its mission and the role the center will play in the community.
    Reiche is a New Mexico sculptor with public art commissions on his résumé, such as a monumental 30-foot-tall steel and glass sculpture at the El Camino Real International Cultural Center in southern New Mexico, and as a member of Albuquerque’s “Big I” Landscape Design Team. Each of Reiche’s pieces is designed with the location and the client’s needs in mind.
    The next step in the process will be for Reiche to return with a set of conceptual drawings, from which the art board will choose one or more for further refinement, with input from PEEC. Subsequently the design will be finalized and construction of the piece will begin. The goal is to have the sculpture in place at the nature center for the building dedication next spring.

  • Los Alamos has a new nonprofit in town, Champions of Youth Ambitions also known as C’YA.
    The youth development program has worked for two years to get through the paperwork and red tape of officially becoming recognized 501(C)(3).
    The Board of Directors includes Valerie (Adams) Harris, a former Los Alamos Public School teacher now teaching in Andrews, Texas, with new husband Tim, Pauline Powell Schneider, Los Alamos retired and senior organization director, Debra Minyard, Pojoaque Valley High School music instructor and Link Crew leader, Karen Greenfield, Los Alamos Family Council and Megan Pfeffer, a Department of Health employee and former Mercy Award recipient.
    The C’YA executive director is Bernadette Lauritzen, who along with husband Chad, known by many elementary students as the “Sci Guy” have worked hard to volunteer for many programs locally, regionally and occasionally a little further.
    There were so many things we wanted to accomplish,” Bernadette said. “There were always small grants and opportunities available, but without being recognized as a nonprofit, the doors were closed to us.
    The duo put many hours into projects like the Festival of Trees and Chocolate as they envisioned future funds for programs from youth development to hands on science in the schools.

  • The Los Alamos Middle School football team descended on the school garden, as part of their practice last week.
    Its volunteer work assisted the “Hawks Landing,” project from a Keep New Mexico Beautiful grant. Aid from the LAMS Parent-Teacher Organization, Los Alamos Landscaping and More and community donations of soil and compost will help the school achieve phase two of their project.
    Donations can still be made to the prevention office by calling 663-3252.
    The football team will play at home Thursday and Oct. 9. 

  • As Los Alamos High School Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps heads into its 31st year, Senior Naval Science Instructor LCDR Wes Shumaker welcomed MSgt. Phil Carter to the program.
    Shumaker has been leading the unit since 2002 and Carter came to Los Alamos after spending five years at Rio Rancho High School and a year at Atrisco Heritage Academy High School in Albuquerque as a Marine JROTC instructor.
    Shumaker says the cadets are back in full swing following a busy summer full of activities ranging from precision air rifle shooting camps to participation in the Montrose Adventure Race in Montrose, Colorado.
    Cadets Victor Kim, Rigel Baron, Sam Wolfe, Mikyla Smith, JoAnna O’Neill and Felicity Kubic, along with Commander Shumaker, traveled to Montrose for the race, which was hosted by the Montrose High School NJROTC unit.
    The cadets competed in activities such as orienteering, canoe races, knot tying and extensive physical training.
    Another aquatic camp was the Sail Academy at Cochiti Reservoir, which was attended by Cadets Jared Rodriguez, Deja Sandoval and Zach Carson. Cadets learned about boating safety, knot-tying, how to sail a 14-foot laser sailboat. They also completed their initial sail qualification among other activities.

  • There are so many things I would like to discuss today, but the one that rises to the top is something fun.
    Did you know that Oct. 2 is National School Custodian Day?
    Custodians are such an important part of the school day. I don’t mean just in the area of their job duties, but the relationships they build with students every day.
    On a job duty note, much to a recent letter to the editor about schools and potential illnesses, these find men and women work each day to keep our buildings clean.
    While I have not witnessed middle school-aged students climbing all over each other drooling and dripping snot, I have noticed within a one week period of time two high school-aged students eat something off a public floor.
    It is my belief that a portion of the reason we don’t see major outbreaks of illness once the germ pools come together in August is due to the attention to detail these fine folks bring to their work every day.
    Let’s salute Piñon Elementary and Patsy Sanchez, Isidro and Neil Gallegos. Then we head over to Aspen with Jesus, Leonard and Bruce.
    Hello to Barranca and Santiago, Daniel and Maria. Those Mountain Lions are joined by Randy, Eileen and Bruce. Chamisa is graced by the fine work of Jorge, Carol and Neal.

  •  The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home.
    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.
    Abby and Maddie — Older, declawed cats who were surrendered when their owner’s health prevented her from keeping them. Abby is almost all black. Maddie is part Abysinnian. Abby and Maddie would love to be adopted together for $35.
    Dantez — A young, gray and white cat who had to have his left eye removed. He has been recovering well at the shelter, but is still a bit leery of most visitors. Stay tuned for more information about this guy.
    Hazel — A white and gray tabby. He (yes, he) is 4-5 months old and a bit shy.
    Jay — A very cute, long-haired gray and white kitten who was a little leery of humans at first, but he is quickly warming up to human attention, and he loves attention from other cats!
    Kittens — The shelter has many that will be available for adoption as soon as they are old enough to spay or neuter.
    Naftali — An all-black young female cat who was left at the front door. She will be spayed soon.


    The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home, so come adopt a new best friend today! Be sure to check out the Petfinder website for pictures of all adorable adoptable animals:


    SHELTER HOURS: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday – Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekends.

    Also, be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, to get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating, as well as read up on some of your favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals or cats and dogs currently in foster care. 

    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations.


    The 25th Annual Rocky Mountain Shapenote Convention will be from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday and from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Fuller Lodge.

    All are welcome for two full days of shapenote singing from the

    1991 edition of “The Sacred Harp.” Loaner books will be available.

    Dinner will be available on the grounds both days. Singing school will be 7 p.m. today at Kelly Hall in Trinity on the Hill Episcopalian Church, 3900 Trinity Dr.

    It’s old.  It’s spirited.  It’s hauntingly beautiful… and it’s 

    loud! Come sing for yourself!

    For more information call Claire Singleton 661-2666. 

  • The Los Alamos Piecemakers are having the Quilt Market from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Crossroads Bible Church. The Jemez Mountain Bear Paw quilters are joining in hosting the Quilt Market.
    The Quilt Market alternates each September with the Quilt Show. Libby Carlsten and Micky Taylor are co-chairs for this year’s market.
    Quilt Guild members have made quilted items that will be for sale. 
    Bed quilts, table runners, placemats, wall hangings and wearable items are just a few of the items that will be for sale. There will be a selection of holiday items.
    The Donation Quilt this year is titled, “North by Northwest” and was pieced and quilted by members of the Quilt Guild. The quilt will be raffled off at 3:30 p.m. on the day of the market. Tickets for a chance to win the quilt will be on sale at the market. Winners will be the same day.
    There will be a section of second-hand and gently used quilt-related items for sale as well. Some offerings will include fabric, books, tools, patterns, unfinished projects and other quilt related items.
    The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild is active in the community by doing service projects.
    The LA Piecemakers meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Visitors and guests are welcome. For more information visit vla.com/lap.  

  • Visit a slot canyon so secret that most townies know nothing of it, or get off the beaten path at Tsankawi to explore little known caves, petroglyphs and visits.
    In both cases, explorers will be guided by experts County Open Space Specialist Craig Martin to the slot canyon, and Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott through Tsankawi.
    These are two of the Take Wing events that the Pajarito Environmental Education Center is offering to those who donate $150 or more to its capital campaign.
    The Tsankawi tour will be 10 a.m. Monday and the slot canyon adventure is 9 a.m. Oct. 4. In both cases, space is limited for donors only.
    PEEC’s goal is to raise about $1.2 million through the capital campaign to fund indoor and outdoor exhibits and a professional planetarium projector for the new Los Alamos County Nature Center.
    Monday, Lott will lead a special off-trail tour through Tsankawi ruins. The small group will be scrambling up some rocks and climbing north mesa. Then they will head to Duchess Castle, the remains of a home and school built by Madame Vera von Blumenthal, who was not actually a duchess, but a baroness, and her friend Rose Dougan in 1918. Next, the tour will lead the group to the Doll House, to explore cavates and to see some petroglyphs and vistas.

  • Tune into the mystery and excitement of a masquerade. The next juried/curated show has artwork from artists who were intrigued by the theme and applied, as well as artwork from artists invited to share their work. There are literal masks and there are metaphorical masks, there are figures and faces and totems.
    Cultivate the flavor of fall by attending the opening reception from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge Art Center.
    Santa Fe artist Max Lehman juried and curated the show creating a bewitching experience. Lehman is both a full time artist and webmaster at the New Mexico Tourism Department which provides the perspective of daily moving between a virtual sphere to the tactile realm of clay. He occasionally teaches both disciplines at the Santa Fe Community College. “My pieces are often a conglomeration of unrelated ideas that somehow just seem to work together,” he said. “Exercising unrestrained disregard for tradition or convention gives me the ability to process new ideas rapidly. I have an idiosyncratic perspective for approaching my art and subject matter. I also observe how graphic designers apply their designs to various objects. This gives me additional insight for approaching a 3-D form.”
    More of Lehman’s art can be found at maxdna.com.

  • Los Alamos
    TA-55, Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Date inspected: July 28
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Java City Coffee Booth, TA-55 Building LANL
    Date inspected: July 28
    Violations: One low-risk violation. Dry storage boxes must be six inches off the floor.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Santa Fe
    Whole Foods Market, 1090 St. Francis Dr.
    Date inspected: Aug. 4
    Violations: Hummus container had two labels with different expiration date, which was corrected at time of inspection.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Kikka @WFCER, 753 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: July 28
    Violations: One moderate-risk violation. Some of the cutting boards are stained with food debris.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Counter Culture, 603 Baca St.
    Date inspected: Aug. 1
    Violations: All high-risk violations have been corrected.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up from July 27. No further follow up required.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — Governor Susana Martinez and Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica N. Gonzales recently honored seven artists and art supporters as the recipients of the 2014 Annual Governor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts at the St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe.
    “These seven artists and supporters bring acclaim to New Mexico through their creativity and accomplishments,” Governor Martinez said. “These talented artists and dedicated contributors help define who we are as New Mexicans and inspire our children to act on their dreams.”
    The 2014 Governor’s Arts Awards recipients are Robert Mirabal of Taos — artist, music; Jean Anaya Moya of Galisteo — artist, straw applique; Donald Redman of Santa Fe —artist, sculpture; Robert “Shoofly” Shufelt of Hillsboro — artist, graphite/cowboy art; Dr. Kent Jacobs and Sallie Ritter of Las Cruces, major contributors to the arts; George R.R. Martin of Santa Fe, major contributor to the arts; and Dr. Dave Warren of Santa Clara Pueblo, major contributor to the arts.

  • When the Stars Trembled in Río Puerco, an oral history play, which premiered earlier this year to sold-out audiences in Santa Fe, will kick off the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s first-ever Latino Theatre Festival, Siembra this month.
    From now through May 2015 in partnership with 10 New Mexico theatre companies,The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will stage a wide variety of works by acclaimed Latino and Latina playwrights.
    Santa Fe-based Teatro Paraguas begins the festival with its presentation of “When the Stars Trembled in Rio Puerco.” Presented in English, this oral history play is based on stories of viejitos of the Río Puerco valley, collected and edited by celebrated New Mexico folk historian, Nasario García, adapted and directed by Santa Fe playwright Shebana Coelho.