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Features

  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, it’s May!
    That’s right, anything between now and May 31 that comes across as ridiculous or awkward in the form of a question, an attitude, a lapse in goal accomplishment or general insanity, the answer is it’s May.
    I would like for everyone within eyeshot to try and enjoy the next two weeks and find positivity somewhere throughout the day.
    If I don’t address it again before the final school bell rings, reading over the summer is so important. Los Alamos Middle School Librarian Lisa LaPrairie-Whitacre taught me when she was still the Chamisa Elementary Librarian the equal importance of listening to books on tape too.
    So recently while spending way too much time in a car, I went to our public libraries and checked out several audiobooks to learn more about various people that might seem fun or inspirational.
    The first book on CD I checked out was, Dick Van Dyke’s “Keep Moving and other Tips and Truths about Aging.” It is read by the author and was quite a treat to enjoy. I think kids and adults need to hear stories of being knocked down, picking themselves up and going forward.
    Many of our national and local treasures for that matter have so much wisdom to share if we just take the time to listen.

  • Some dogs are born blind while others develop blindness over time from age and disease. No matter the situation, blind dogs are just as loveable and playful as dogs with excellent eyesight. Dr. Lucien Vallone, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, cleared up some confusion about caring for blind dogs.
    “Blind dogs are certainly adoptable,” Vallone said. “In fact, most blind dogs’ owners actually report that their dog’s quality of life is excellent. In addition, many owners find that blind dogs become more attached to either the owner or other pets within the household, which is often viewed positively. After adapting to a new environment, which can take several months, most blind dogs lead lives that are almost identical to sighted dogs.”

  • 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 your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    BUNNIES
    While the Los Alamos animal shelter does not typically take bunnies, a small bunny was dropped off a little while ago and went immediately into foster care. Little Bunny is a cute little black bunny that has been litter box trained and is allowed to roam free in the house. She gets along well with another male bunny in the house, but the female bunny is very jealous. Little Bunny is very friendly, especially when she’s hungry, and will sit in a lap for an hour or so at a time. She loves romaine lettuce, carrots, hay, and rabbit food!
    CATS

  • TODAY
    Green Hour Hike at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join other families for a kid-centered hike. Free.

    Members of the Laboratory Retiree Group (LRG) Annual Meeting from 4-7 p.m. at the Hot Rocks Java Cafe, 4200 West Jemez Road. Contact sgirard@losalamos.com for more information.

    Hiking 101 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Nature Center. Discover how to confidently and comfortably hike our trails with expert Craig Martin and Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for PEEC members.
    THURSDAY
    The Los Alamos Genealogical Association will meet at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos. Eowyn Langholf from Albuquerque will speak about “A Gentle Introduction to Social Media and Genealogy.” The traditional no-host dinner will be at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon before the meeting.

    Nature Yoga at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga at the nature center with Christa Tyson, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-member and $12 for PEEC members. More information at peecnature.org.
    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. More information at peecnature.org.

  • This week, a reminder to the parents of seniors, the next few weeks is about to travel at warp speed.
    Try to stop down during the next several weeks and take it all in slowly. Sure I know, there are a hundred things to do, last performances, awards ceremonies and senior activities, but slowly apply the brakes when you can do it without stopping down.
    OK, I even encourage stopping down. When practice and games and homework all step in and take over, reign in a day or two during the week the reconvene a meal at the dinner table.
    On a weekend morning, make some pancakes, bake some cinnamon rolls or swing by the store early for some fancy doughnuts. You can break out the chocolate milk, spring for some of those take and go Starbucks drinks or make some hot chocolate.
    Open the house to friends during this time, stock up on snacks, movies or games and then sit in an adjoining room and relish the chatter and commentary. We may even forgo the traditional graduation party for an all-out friend event with a new PlayStation game, some Redbox movies and final gathering of their friends.

  • Local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and Venture Scouts are prepared to help the Letter Carriers and LA Cares to collect, sort and store food donations and supplies during the 24th annual National Food Drive sponsored by the Letter Carriers on Saturday.
    It may be surprising to learn that even in Los Alamos, there are dozens of families, many with young children or elderly, who need help, in addition to those in neighboring communities.
    To help, the scouts ask residents to fill a grocery bag (double it for strength) or a box with non-perishable food and other necessities. Then, on Saturday morning, place it near their mailboxes and letter carrier, a Boy Scout or an adult leader will pick it up and take it to be sorted, stored and distributed by LA Cares.    
    Here are suggestions for donations:
     Macaroni and cheese, 100 percent juices in half-gallon plastic, canned fruits and vegetables, boxed  mashed potatoes, low-fat/salt canned meats. No glass containers.

  • Gordon McDonough, well known artist and educator at the Bradbury Science Museum, offered to create a donation box for the new Los Alamos County Nature Center, and it has now arrived, ready to enchant all donors.
    When visitors slide your dollar bill into the slot, a light flashes to check that it’s a bill, not a piece of paper. Then the fun begins. An acorn woodpecker may tap on a tree, an Abert’s squirrel may swish his tail, a bobcat may stick his head up, or a pika may pop out.  
    Even more intriguing, people can look at the mechanisms that trigger the action; they’re visible below the money box, with hand-made wooden gears turning as they produce the action above.  
    In discussing ideas for the donation box with McDonough, PEEC mentioned these four iconic creatures of the Pajarito Plateau and hoped he’d figure out a way to use one. When he came through with all four, the staff was amazed. 

  • The North Mesa Dog Park will be closed for the installation of a new irrigation system and new fencing to extend the park and also to include a small dog area. The park will be closed through Friday.  
    The county expects to open the park for the weekend.  For information call the parks superintendent, Jeff Humpton, at 662-8159.

  • Business After Hours is a monthly after-work-hours social that promotes interaction, friendship,  and identification of business opportunities.
    The Business After Hours will at 5:30–7 p.m. Wednesday at Los Alamos Medical Center, 3917 West Road, under the canopy on the canyon side of LAMC.
    This will be a community collaboration celebration catered by Blue Window Bistro.
    Come help LAMC celebrate National Hospital Week, 64 years in Los Alamos and meet and greet local non profits.
    There will be prizes and give-aways. Attendees can also visit with LAMC physicians.
    Register online at losalamoschamber.chambermaster.com/events/details/business-after-hours-may-2016-145.

  • 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 your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    CATS
    Elizabeth—A 4-year-old Russian Blue mix who prefers the company of people rather than the company of other felines. She doesn’t mind the company of mellow cats, especially if they let her be the “queen” and don’t pick on her too much! She still enjoys a bit of playtime, and she loves chasing catnip mice around the cat room! This sweet girl will meow softly at you when she’s ready for some petting.

  • Investment Group at BESC. This is an informal group that meets weekly at the Betty Ehart Senior Center at 10 a.m. Thursdays.  The purpose of this group is primarily to share knowledge and information.
    Investment strategies, stock and mutual fund tips may be discussed, as well as general discussions about the economy, except politics are usually avoided. This group does not invest any shared funds as a group and is not an investment club in that sense. A new group that restricts it’s subject matter to options trading also meets at BESC, but meets at 10 a.m. on the first and third Wednesdays twice a month. Anyone interested in attending can contact Harry Watanabe at 662-6284, Don Blossom at 984-9995, or just show up at the meetings.

  • Volunteers are needed to help with events for the community-sponsored, all-night senior graduation celebration known as SAN (Senior Appreciation Night), for shifts that begin at 6 p.m. May 28.
    SAN was created as a fun, safe alternative to dangerous celebrations for graduates. The event is in its 32nd year and typically serves 350 students.  
    Volunteers are needed to work a two-to three-hour shift at an early evening barbecue, to hand out games at the Los Alamos YMCA Teen Center, to help at United Skates, Wild West Photos, a late-night carnival and to chaperone movies beginning at 12:30 a.m.
    Volunteers may email Diana Martinez at dmartinez@laymca.org, or call at 662-3100.
    SAN was created in 1984 by several community volunteers and organizations.

  • The Los Alamos High School Naval Junior ROTC Unit celebrated many accomplishments during the month of April.
    The program held their annual awards ceremony, senior recognition, unit birthday and received the results of their annual inspection of the entire unit.
    Lieutenant Commander, Wes Shumaker, is celebrating another successful year with the LAHS unit and one might believe he has the “Midas touch,” but there’s a lot of wisdom and dedication behind his continued success.
    “Keep the bar high, reward and acknowledge those that put out the effort and also be flexible with changes that occur,” said Shumaker. “We continually look for those that have the desire and drive to lead in the future and provide them with the opportunities to develop themselves.”
    One such highlight of their success this year was when the unit traveled to Albuquerque to compete in the New Mexico State Drill and Air Rifle Championships. They returned home with class 5A state championship banners for both precision air rifle and fitness and placed second over in the competition sweepstakes.
    That meet wasn’t a one-time success as the unit again recently received acknowledgement of being a, “Distinguished Unit with Academic Honors.”

  • Student Priyanka Velappan was recognized with the April Community Youth Award from Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).
    Velappan was noted for being of an exemplary standard of behavior, extremely intelligent and respectful of her peers and adults.
    She also was complimented on high standards at the Science Fair, outstanding honesty, playing in the Honors Orchestra, being part of a leadership group, playing on the junior varsity tennis team and participating in the Super-computing Challenge.
    Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) can be contacted at cya.org@att.net for nomination forms and donations.

  • The Los Alamos Garden Club invites anyone who is interested to come to a special rose pruning workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Memorial Rose Garden, to learn all about the care and pruning of roses.  
    Carlos Valdez from the Los Alamos County Cooperative Extension Services Department will conduct a workshop demonstrating techniques and answering questions about growing roses here in our environment.  Be sure to wear long sleeves and bring pruning shears and gloves. Attendees will get hands-on experience helping the Los Alamos Garden Club prune the roses in the Memorial Rose Garden.  
    The workshop is free and sponsored by the Los Alamos Garden Club. For information, contact Judy Handy a JudyHandy@msn.com or 672-9414.

  • Calling all topiary and Avon aficionados: Tim Burton’s classic “Edward Scissorhands” (1990, PG-13) will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library.
    In this timeless story, earnest Avon lady Peg Bogg (Dianne Wiest), unable to sell to her friends, decides to try her luck at the scary castle at the end of the street. In it, she finds Edward (Johnny Depp), an artificial man created by a brilliant inventor (Vincent Price) who died before completing Edward’s hands. Therefore, his temporary appendages – several pairs of giant, old-fashioned scissors – remain.
    Peg brings poor Edward home with her, and he promptly transforms her boring, pastel neighborhood into a fantastical land of well-pruned dinosaurs and courageously-groomed dogs. The women, all bored housewives straight out of stereotypes of the 1950s, adore him. The men, who exit and re-enter their driveways simultaneously each day, accept him as one of the boys, despite all evidence to the contrary.
    Everything is wonderful until Edward proves himself slightly more human than they allow.

  • TODAY
    Brown Bag Performance Series at noon to present “Trio de los Alamos” at the United Church of Los Alamos. Violinist Brian Newnam, pianist Cindy Little and cellist Shanalyn Kemme will perform in the Sanctuary of the United Church.

    Green Hour Hike at 10 a.m. at the Nature Center. Join other families for a kid-centered hike. Free. More information at peecnature.org.
    THURSDAY
    Nature Yoga at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Practice yoga at the nature center with Christa Tyson, where you have a great view of nature. Cost is $15 for non-members and $12 for PEEC members.

    Los Alamos National Day of Prayer at praise music 11:30-11:50 a.m. by Centerpeace (Filer family) and prayer time at 11:50 a.m.-12:50 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 715 Diamond Drive. Everyone is welcome. For more information call 672-3863 (Bonner family).

    Investment group meeting at 10 a.m. at Betty Ehart Senior Center. This is an informal group that meets weekly at senior center. Investment strategies, stock and mutual fund tips may be discussed, as well as general discussions about the economy, except that politics is usually avoided. Anyone interested in attending can contact Harry Watanabe at 662-6284, Don Blossom at 984-9995, or just show up at the meetings.    
    FRIDAY

  • This week, I would like to discuss the hot debate of bathroom facilities, which has ignited a fire storm in North Carolina and by default the nation.
    I think it is a fine time to dedicate facilities for what I will call general use or multi-use, whatever term you like best.
    You see there are a great many people that could or would never enter a transgender marked bathroom. There are many people going through major strife related to gender fluidity that aren’t able to discuss it or show it and may not ever or may not for quite some time feel safe enough to do it.
    How about we don’t set the school-age student up for endless torment by needing to make a judgement call on the spot that could create a firestorm or future judgement.
    Do you think someone of the opposite gender isn’t going to try and go into a restroom with the crass comment that they were questioning at the moment, just to do it on a dare? If so, how could we say they are or are not questioning based on our assumption?
    How about we don’t try to put labels on groups of people and just try to help people that may be in need some extra privacy for whatever reason is clearly none of our business.

  • 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 your new best friend today! All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed or neutered, and up-to-date on vaccinations. Shelter hours are noon – 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Saturday, and noon–3 p.m. Sunday.
    Be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting, and donating. You can also check out our Petfinder website for pictures of our adorable adoptable animals: petfinder.com/shelters/friendsoftheshelter.html.
    CATS
    Juan—A big tomcat that was trapped a few weeks ago. He’s still adjusting to life at the shelter, but two very dedicated Friends of the Shelter volunteers have been working with Juan to help him relax. He’s finally learning that people can be nice and gentle, particularly when they have treats! Check back in a few weeks for more information about Juan!

  • Our son Spencer turns 18 today, a big deal in our house. You see I hate politics, but we have raised our children to know that voting is one of the most important rights you have as an American.
    Every year my husband and I waited until he got home from work and then would walk as a family down to the polling location, so they could watch us vote.
    Since it is a small town, we often knew the poll workers and they always got a sticker, but we hoped they were noticing it was important to us.
    So I have told him to avoid the sweet League of Women Voters table at the high school. Why you ask? It was equally important for me to take each young man to register as well. We even wait for our favorite worker to be there to do the official registering. Yes I take a photo and yes, I take a photo the first time they get to vote too.
    I remember being 18, I remember going to register to vote and casting my ballot. Ah, but it was, “the good old days.” It was a time when you kept your mouth shut because voting was personal, like how much you paid for your house or how much money you made. Oh how we long for the old days sometimes.
    When I was growing up, the only thing I remember about the whole process was my parents always saying, “You vote for the lesser of two evils.”