• A commentator on a TV news show recently talked about new developments involving the ride company Uber. The commentator remarked that Uber has made sure to set up its procedures so drivers are independent contractors, not employees.
    The dilemma over independent contractors versus employees is nothing new. It’s just expanding and affecting more of us with changes in the way Americans do business.
    This was cited as a major trend at a national conference of workers’ compensation professionals. The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), meeting in April in Santa Fe, noted how new businesses like Uber are blurring the lines between employment and self-employment. This could lead, some participants said, to significant changes in how workers are protected, if they are protected at all.
    Workers’ compensation is provided by almost all employers to employees. Employees injured at work are entitled to medical care with no deductibles or co-pays and, if unable to work due to the injury, cash benefits as a partial wage replacement.  

    Los Alamos Police Department

  • April 28 — A boy.  Elijah Dexter Sutherland. Born to Liese-Mrie and Landon Sutherland.
    May 2 — A girl. Michaela Carolyn Lopez. Born to Christina McCormick and Robert Lopez.
    May 5 — A boy. Locas Yucheng Wang. Born to Juan and Peng Wang.
    May 6 — A girl.  Brinley Paige Hofer. Born to Melanie and Dacotah Hofer.
    May 13 — A girl. Corinne Annelise Bakosi. Born to Lisa and Jozsef Bakosi.

  • Sometimes you don’t know what your true calling is until you weather the storm.
    Abe Gordon, a resident here in his youth, has returned to the place where the game of life would deal him some hard lessons but create a vision to allow him to help others overcome the obstacles set before them.
    Gordon moved to Los Alamos at the age of 13, from Chimayo, but didn’t have his first experience with drugs until he arrived on the hill.
    He began smoking pot and drinking, was introduced to psychedelics then, in his teens, to meth, cocaine and heroin. He remained an addict until the age of 31, when he fought felony charges that might have caused him to spend the rest of his life in prison.
    He found the Delancey Street Foundation or perhaps they found him. It was where he would begin the fight for his life for four and a half years. The initial fight is just one of many for someone battling to stay clean from drug use and Gordon has been clean for more than nine years.
    Someone overcoming addiction can’t always acclimate back into a society surrounded by the same problems, the same people and the same drug use, but Inside Out Recovery has come to help by opening a Los Alamos office on Mondays and Tuesdays.

  • One of the largest kite festivals in New Mexico will take flight once again in White Rock this weekend, with a string of family friendly activities to keep everyone happy.
    The 19th annual Kite Festival begins at 6 p.m. today, with live music by Eric McFadden Band, the first in a series of summer concerts presented by Gordon’s Summer Concerts series, as well as a nighttime kite flying demonstration and glow.
    On Saturday and Sunday, children will be able to tap into their creativity with kite building workshops from noon to 2 p.m., where they can color and design kites, attach line and watch them fly.
    The festival also attracts adult kite enthusiasts from across the Southwest when intricately shaped and hand made kites add color to the skies.
    Along with stunt kite flying, the event includes food, crafts, hands on activities and kites for sale. A “kite hospital” will even be available, staffed with kite medics to mend the inevitable broken and injured kites using sticks, duct tape, and ingenuity.
    The Kite Festival takes place at Overlook Park in White Rock, just eight miles southwest of Los Alamos. Festival hours are from 7–10 p.m. today and from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

    Plaque dedication ceremony honoring the recent addition of the U.S. Post Office in downtown Los Alamos to the National and State Register of Historic Places at 3:30 p.m. near the entrance to the post office. After brief remarks by those involved in obtaining the designation, the plaques will be unveiled and refreshments will be served.

    Los Alamos Kite Festival at the soccer fields in Overlook Park in White Rock. Children of all ages are welcome to come and join the festivities. The Kite Festival weekend kicks off today at 7 p.m. with the Summer Concert Series. Kite artists will be on the field with their kites on display and a night kite fly demonstration. The main festival is held from noon-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The day includes music, food, kite-building workshops for kids, and kite flying.
    Mason Lodge waffle breakfast from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at the Pajarito Masonic Lodge  on 15th Street and Canyon. Tickets are $7 for adults and $3.50 for children 6 and under.

    The Los Alamos Community Winds will present its Season Finale Concert at 7 p.m. at White Rock Baptist Church, 80 State Road 4, White Rock. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. A $10 donation per guest is suggested. A reception will follow the concert to which the audience is cordially invited.

  • The Rotary Club of Los Alamos recently held auditions for the annual Deborah Beene Music Award competition. The award was established in the memory of Deborah Beene, daughter of Donald and Sara Beene, a violin and piano student who died while enrolled in school here in December 1973.  
    The award is intended to assist ninth through 12th-grade Los Alamos High School students in their musical growth. The students receiving the award are asked to use the money, a single award of up to $1,500, for fees to attend a music camp, for college or university music expenses, for the purchase of a better instrument, or for tuition for private music instruction.
    This year’s winners are:
    • First place ($1,200): violinist Jamie Philps, performing “Concerto in C Major, allegro molto e con brio” by Kabalevsky; piano accompaniment, Cindy Little; teacher, Kay Newnam.
    • Second place ($600): violinist Grace Kim, performing “Romance in F Major” by Beethoven; piano accompaniment, Katherine Wang; teacher, Kay Newnam
    • Third-Place Tie:
    ($300): Brian Johnson, CDJ2000s synthesizer, original compositions; teacher Rami Pearlman.
    ($300): cellist Irene Kwon, “Prelude from Cello Suite No. 3” by Bach; teacher, Sally Guenther.

    Juvenile Justice Advisory Board meeting 6 p.m. in building 1, Camino Entrada Road, Pajarito Cliffs Site. Carie Fanning will speak about Family Strength Networks and the Parenting with Love and Logic classes. The public is welcome to attend.

    Chamber Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in room 230, building 2 at UNM-LA, 4000 University Drive. Speaker New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for Aging and Long Term Services Myles Copeland will talk about employees who are distracted by the demands of also being a caregiver for an aging family member. 

    Los Alamos Faith & Science Forum winter series at 6:30 p.m. at Hall at Kelly Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church. Topic will be “What Makes Us Human?” A video/presentation begins at 6 p.m. followed by a large group discussion at 6:30 p.m., then an optional, informal small group discussion. Attendees can bring dinner. All are welcome. Follow the blog at lafsf.org.
    Plaque dedication ceremony honoring the recent addition of the U.S. Post Office in downtown Los Alamos to the National and State Register of Historic Places at 3:30 p.m. near the entrance to the post office. After remarks, the plaques will be unveiled and refreshments will be served.

  • Twelve college-bound high school students from Northern New Mexico have been selected for scholarships administered by the J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee.
    The students are from Los Alamos, Pojoaque Valley and Santa Fe high schools.
    The JROMC has awarded over 200 scholarships and other awards totaling more than $420,000 since the program was begun in 1984. The philanthropic organization’s scholarship program is supported by several limited-term endowments, numerous small, individual donations, and major contributions from the Los Alamos National Bank.
    The J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Committee is dedicated to preserving the legacy of Robert Oppenheimer, the first director of Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century.
    This year’s selected students from Los Alamos High School are:
    Jovan Zhang: J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Scholarship supported by the committee, awarded to a student for outstanding promise in science and mathematics.
    Katherine Wang: J. Robert Oppenheimer Scholarship in Memory of Mary and Harold Argo, awarded to a young woman for outstanding promise in the arts or sciences.

  • Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Climate and Ecosystem Science Team director Cathy Wilson will speak Thursday at Science On Tap, at 5:30 p.m. at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square.
    Wilson is working to better understand what happens when warming climate causes Arctic permafrost to thaw. As the ground warms up, previously frozen soil carbon is decomposed and released as green house gases – adding to global warming. But, in turn, warmer temperatures drive more plant growth and carbon uptake from the atmosphere. This might offset permafrost carbon emissions, but by how much?
    Come and learn about the complex interactions that take place in these normally frozen reaches of our planet.
    Science On Tap is sponsored by the Los Alamos Creative District and hosted by the Bradbury Science Museum. The On Tap series begins each evening with an informal 10-15 minute lecture followed by a lively group discussion. All ages are welcome. The “On Tap” series happens twice a month. The discussions are supported by Bradbury Science Museum, Fuller Lodge Art Center, Los Alamos Historical Society and PEEC at The Nature Center.

  • 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.
    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!

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.