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Features

  • It might be hard to believe November is upon us, but that means it is time once again for the annual festivals for the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization and Champions of Youth Ambitions.
    The weeklong event kicks off with a feast for the eyes and taste buds with the festival of Chocolate on Saturday.
    “The FOC is an event for the senses,” said Pauline Powell Schneider, event co-coordinator. “Visually, the array of holiday trees and decor is delightful. One hears the sounds of My Blue Heaven as you enter the building and it just puts you in a festive mood … and then you start sampling the tables of confections or sipping the richest hot chocolate you’ve ever had.”
    Trader Joe’s, Sam’s Club and Papa Murphy’s are just a few of the businesses that add their donations to the buffet including; cakes, cookies, candies, cupcakes and s’mores pizza.
    Locally, the chefs from Aspen Ridge Lodge and BESC chefs Fred Ortiz, Michael Mason are great supporters of the Festival of Chocolate. The event allows them to showcase their culinary skills not seen on a day to day basis.
    “They don’t get to do too many chocolate desserts for senior lunches, so they will go all out for the festival,” said Powell Schneider.

  • I confess I’ve never been a fan of chickens. They always seem like nervous and high strung birds, and their pecking and quick movements are unsettling to me. I would have never imagined that these creatures could be used in the realm of animal-assisted therapy. Dogs, yes. Horses, sure. But, chickens? They couldn’t possibly bring a sense of calm and comfort to people. Then I was introduced to Blanco and his gang and something special happened.
    At newly opened Sunrise Springs Integrated Wellness Resort in Santa Fe, sister property to the venerable Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs and Spa, animal interaction sessions are just one of the many experiential activities offered aimed at fostering optimal health and well-being.
    Currently, these interactions involve canines and chickens, both which reside on-site. Canine sessions are with adult service dogs and puppies-in-training from Assistance Dogs of the West, an agency the resort has partnered with to help guests learn canine handling techniques and practice specific training activities to prepare the animals for being future assistance dogs, take walks with the dogs or simply enjoy an opportunity to cuddle with them.

  • BY IRENE ZAUGG
    izaugg@lamonitor.com

  • “Just existing became what was important.”
    So said Frank Kravetz, World War II veteran and former captive of Nuremberg Prison Camp, or what Frank called the Nazi “hell-hole.”
    “Yet even as I struggled with the day-to-day sadness and despair,” Frank said, “I never once had any regrets that I signed up to serve.”
    An extended tour of Nazi camps as a wounded POW scratching for survival wasn’t what Frank had in mind when he signed up to serve his country in World War II. The kid from the smoky steel mills of East Pittsburgh enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He became a tail-gunner.
    Frank’s life took a dramatic turn Nov. 2, 1944, in a bomb run over Germany. He crammed into the tail of a B-17, wedged inside a flak jacket. The target was Merseberg, a major industrial area. He flew amid an air armada of 500 heavy bombers – each carrying 18 250-pound “general purpose” bombs – escorted by 900 fighter planes.
    While the Americans were ready for business, so was the Luftwaffe. Frank’s plane came under hot pursuit by German fighters. Frank took them on with a twin .50 caliber machine gun. It was a dogfight, and Frank was badly wounded. His B-17 was filled with holes. The crew had to bail quickly.

  • In an effort to identify community needs for higher-level degree options at the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos, the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management is working with UNM-LA and staff from the Provost office at UNM-Albuquerque to conduct an online survey which is asking for public input.
    As a branch campus in New Mexico, UNM-LA offers associate degree and certificate-level programs. Students who want to pursue upper-division or graduate-level classes typically transfer to UNM, transfer to another institution or stay on the UNM-LA campus and work with the bachelor and graduate program center.
    The survey being conducted by UNM students is designed to assess the needs for various degree programs.
    UNM students have been working with residents in Los Alamos and Albuquerque as they developed the survey.
    Ongoing discussions have suggested a strong interest in a variety of upper division and masters programs in the Los Alamos area. These programs could serve UNM-LA graduates who want to go beyond their associate degree or certificate program, individuals who live in the community and want to pursue more education or new career opportunities, as well as those who relocate here with family members or friends for jobs with LANL or other local businesses.

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center will give a special presentation this weekend of “Sea Monsters”  and will then begin showing the film through the end of December.
    The film brings 82 million-year-old animals to life in the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium. Local paleontologist Ralph Chapman will give a special presentation to set the stage for the film “Sea Monsters, A Prehistoric Adventure.” The film allows viewers to take a journey back in time to see some of the most bizarre, ferocious and fascinating creatures ever to inhabit the sea.
    Unexpected discoveries gave paleontologists vital information for creating this film about a time when the middle of North America was an inland sea, home to strange, yet oddly familiar, creatures. “Sea Monsters” follows the life cycle of a female Dolichorhynchops and introduces a variety of aquatic reptiles including the “T-rex of the Ocean,” the 40-foot super-predator Tylosaurus.
    The Bilingual Montessori School generously provided funding to bring “Sea Monsters” to Los Alamos. Sea Monsters opens Friday and also will be shown at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Afterward, Sea Monsters will have regular weekend showings through the end of December.

  • THURSDAY
    The Los Alamos Genealogical Association will meet at 7 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos. Speaker Ron Smith will present: “Sometimes one source makes all the difference: Two case studies.” The public is invited. The traditional no-host social dinner at 5:30 p.m. at China Moon.
    FRIDAY
    Fruitcake sale from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. the Order of Eastern Star will sell Collin Street Bakery holiday fruitcakes at Los Alamos National Bank lobby. The chapter continues a 50-year tradition of selling fruitcakes as well as apricot pecan and pineapple pecan cakes. The sale will continue on Nov. 20, Dec. 4, Dec. 11, and 18 (or until sold out). We will not sell fruitcakes the Friday after Thanksgiving.

    Gentle Walks with PEEC at 9 a.m. Free. A gentle trail walk with an emphasis on discovery, not mileage gained. Adults. Meet at the Nature Center and carpool to the trailhead. More information at peecnature.org.
     “Sea Monsters” Planetarium film premier and presentation at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center — Meet local paleontologist Ralph Chapman who will set the stage and introduce the different types of animals that are featured in this new full-dome film. Suitable for ages 6 and up. $6 for adults, $4 for children.

  • This week, I’d like to focus on adults as role models and what our kids might see daily, as it relates to our people in the service industries.
    The other day, I took our youngest son to the Motor Vehicles Division for his learner’s permit. In the hour I sat there, I witnessed two people be extremely rude to the ladies and a trainee that were working.
    Ironically, I could overhear the conversation, and what the employees were doing was what their job entails. They were doing things that would make things safer, especially identity-wise for everyone.
    The only thing I could do was wait our turn and then tell them I “apologize” for when people act so rude. Then, I asked how often it happened and they said every day.
    So when you go into the MVD and your experience is good, push the little button that says you had a decent experience and thank them for their time.
    Young children not only watch how we as adults act, but when we see something that isn’t right, have a conversation in the car about that it was wrong to treat people wrong when they are doing the right thing. If an employee is doing something inappropriate, then tell a superior.

  • Nov. 8-14, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.

    Betty Ehart

    MONDAY
    8:45 a.m.        Cardio
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Green Chile Chicken
            Enchilada
    1 p.m.        Pinochle
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Salisbury Steak
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    WEDNESDAY
    BESC         Closed Veterans Day
    THURSDAY
    8:30 a.m.        Walk-In-The-Woods
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training

  • 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 micro-chipped, 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 our 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
    Lucy — A 5-year-old calico who just loves cuddling! This sweet girl also enjoys being brushed, and her short-haired coat will certainly need lots of that. She is still young enough to be friendly and playful, and if she loses a few pounds, she’ll be even more fun and interactive! Lucy is reported to do well with adults, but she can be a bit shy around children.
    Nero—A 5-year-old orange tabby who was surrendered with his sister Lucy. His two loves are catnip toys and sitting on laps! He is reported to do well with both adults and children.

  • Pets are considered a part of the family for many pet owners. The unique personalities and characteristics our pets possess are irreplaceable, and it can be heart-breaking to lose their company. Stray dogs are a growing problem in the United States, and a majority of these strays are forced to wander the dangerous streets or begin a new life in an animal shelter. Learning how to properly bring a stray dog to safety is vital for your safety, as well as the stray’s safety.
    When trying to care for a stray, safety is always first. It is easy to become swept up in emotions when you see a stray dog hurt or in a dangerous situation—like running in traffic.  Even if you have good intentions, it is important to consider all options before taking action to keep the situation from becoming even more hazardous.

  • TODAY

     November Night Sky Show at the Nature Center. Explore the expansive universe and enjoy its beauty from our planetarium. Suitable for ages 4 and up. $6 for adults, $4 for children. 7 p.m. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre's latest performance of the 8x10s,  eight  10-minute plays creating an evening of theatre. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, through Nov. 21, with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 15. Tickets at CB Fox, Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

    Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will present its Fall Concert at 7 p.m. in the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 E Road. Concert is free to the public and donations will be gratefully accepted.

    SATURDAY
    Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Tour. Visit the largest petroglyph site in New Mexico, where you can see more animal flute player petroglyphs than any place in North America. Advance registration required. $38 for non-members, $30 for members. 8:15 a.m. More information at peecnature.org.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre's latest performance of the 8x10s,  eight  10-minute plays creating an evening of theatre. Performance starts at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Runs every Friday and Saturday through Nov. 21, with a 2 p.m. matinee Nov. 15. Tickets at CB Fox, Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

  • Bandelier National Monument and other federal fee areas nationwide, including the Valles Caldera National Preserve, will offer free entry Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.  
    So far, weather forecasters are expecting a sunny day to explore Bandelier’s Ancestral Pueblo sites, trails, museum and widescreen movie.  
    The park bookstore will offer 15 percent off everything in stock, and the Bandelier Trading Gift Shop will have specials on selected items. The shuttle buses are no longer running, so visitors should just drive down to the Visitors Center parking area. The visitors center, bookstore, museum, gift shop, and snack bar are open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. every day, and the park trails are open dawn to dusk.
    This is the last fee-free day for 2015, but there will likely be seven or eight in 2016. For more information, call the park at 672-3861 x 517.  
     

  • Just for Grins Pediatric Dentistry invites everyone to a Grand Opening and Candy Buy-Back Event from 10  a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, featuring music, face painting, giveaways and a strolling magician.
    This is an opportunity for the kids of our community to make a few dollars, spare their teeth the added sugar and to support our troops. Just for Grins is teaming up with First National Santa Fe bank and giving kids $1 per pound for their Halloween candy. This candy will be donated to Blue Star Mothers, who will include it in care packages for our soldiers.  
    Just for Grins Pediatric Dentistry is a board certified pediatric dentistry office. Since 2013, these pediatric specialists have been piggybacking space in the Mary Deal Building. Now, you can meet Dr. Elizabeth Prishkulnik and Dr. Jeffrey Humberson in their NEW space in Los Alamos.
    They are at 2101 Trinity Drive, Ste P. You will find them across from Ashley Pond, down the hill and next to the Los Alamos Public Schools Building.

  • TODAY
    Brown Bag lunch recital at noon in the Pajarito Room at Fuller Lodge Art Center.  Local student performers will play a selection from their state competition. Free.

    LAPS Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus invites the community to enjoy and participate in the Chamisa Elementary Recycle Art Show from 5:30-7 p.m. The finalé will be a fashion show of student and family made creations.  

    At 7 p.m. in the UNM-LA, Building 2, Room 203, Robert Gibson, chair of the Los Alamos Future Energy Resources Committee, will present “Future Energy Resources for Los Alamos County.” Los Alamos County’s  Board of Public Utilities adopted a goal in 2013 to “become a carbon-neutral electric provider by 2040.”
    THURSDAY
    On Tap Series presents discussion on “Film and Television in New Mexico” from 5:30-7 p.m. in the UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square. Joining the discussion will be the production company, Creative Juices Productions. For information, email Kate Ramsey at kate.a.ramsey@gmail.com.

    Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series, screening at 6:30 p.m. in the upstairs meeting-room theater. Today’s movie is “Wadjda.”
    FRIDAY

  • THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER:

    Los Alamos Creative District On Tap Series will host a discussion on “Film and Television in New Mexico” from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday at UnQuarked Wine Room, 145 Central Park Square.
    The film industry in New Mexico is booming with projects like “Independence Day 2,” “Longmire,” “Manhattan,” and “Better Call Saul.” This discussion about film will be with the production company, Creative Juices Productions. Carole and John Altendorf are the company owners in Albuquerque and producers, directors, editors, writers, casting directors, set designers and mentors for video, filmmaking and photography.
    In California, John Altendorf directed celebrities including Steve Martin, Dustin Hoffman and Donald Sutherland. Carole Altendorf is a professional photographer, actor, film producer and casting director.  She has appeared in “Better Call Saul,” “Night Shift,” “The Messengers,” “Invisible Man,” “Captain Fantastic” and “Tinfoil Shadows.”
    Learn what it takes to be a film actor, writer, director, and much more. For information, email Kate Ramsey, kate.a.ramsey@gmail.com.

  • It’s no surprise that current-day Saudi Arabia looks oppressive when seen through a young girl’s eyes. More startling are the small ways that sweeping political change can begin.
    An award-winner at film festivals around the world, “Wadjda” (2012, rated PG, subtitled), is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a wonderful choice for this month’s installment of Mesa Public Library’s Free Film Series, screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs meeting-room theater.
    The title character, played by Waad Mohammed, doesn’t want to change the world. Like most 10-year-olds, she’s concerned with more selfish desires. She wants to listen to the music she likes. She wants her own money. She wants her father to love her. Most of all, she wants to beat her friend Abdullah (Abdullrahman Al Gohani) in a bicycle race.
    But of course, in her conservative country, this is impossible. Girls cannot ride bikes. She’s already pushing the limits by being friends with Abdullah, a boy.

  • This week, we look at our social competencies category in November as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month.
    To learn more, you may decide to visit the wealth of information on websites that tell the stories of local pueblos.
    Take the time to learn about customs, traditions, feast days, the importance of their native language, traditions and most important – etiquette. If you are ever unsure about something, feel free to ask the question in a respectful way, but also understand that a question asked may not be one that can be answered in the moment.
    You can start with indianpueblo.org for the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.
    Its website is the representative of the 19 northern pueblos with a mission statement that reads: “To preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico.”
    The 19 Pueblos include; Acoma, Cochiti, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna, Nambe, Ohkay Owingeh, Picuris, Pojoaque, Sandia, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Santo Domingo, Taos, Tesuque, Zia and Zuni.
    A variety of the pueblos are represented at Los Alamos Public Schools and this year, Los Alamos Middle School and Los Alamos High School both have their first Native American Clubs.

  • Nov. 1-Nov. 7, 2015
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 672-2034 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for lunches.
    Betty Ehart

    MONDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    10 a.m.        Senior Civic Discussion Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Beef Tips over Rice
    1 p.m.        Pinochle
    6 p.m.        Argentine Tango Dancing
    7 p.m.         Ballroom Dancing
    TUESDAY
    8:45 a.m.        Variety Training
    10 a.m.        Computer Users Group
    11:30 a.m.        Lunch: Chicken Fried Chicken
    1:30 p.m.        Party Bridge
    1:30–3 p.m.    LANL Open Enrollment
    7 p.m.        Bridge
    7:30 p.m.        Table Tennis
    WEDNESDAY
    8:30 a.m.        LAVA Quilters

  • 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 micro-chipped, 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 our 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
    Hyacinth—This mom and her kitten were left at the front door of Ridgeview Vet a few weeks ago. Hyacinth’s kitten has already been adopted, and Hyacinth is ready for a home of her own! Hyacinth is mostly white, with a few tabby markings. She is still learning how to get along with other cats in the cat room, but for right now, she prefers her own little area of the cat room where she isn’t disturbed.