• Come out to visit the Los Alamos Monitor’s scarecrow “Scoops Byline” and all of the other creations taking part in the Scarecrow Contest on Central Avenue. 

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Los Alamos Mountaineers are partnering to offer a road ride from Jemez Springs to the Gilman Tunnels and back on Sunday.
    Join Ross Lemons on a paved ride to enjoy fall colors, great company, and colorful geology.
    This trip is a bicycle ride on paved roads from Jemez Springs to the Gilman Tunnels and back. The Gilman tunnels are located in the most scenic section of the Guadalupe River Box and were originally blasted out of the rock in the 1920’s for a logging railroad.
    The cottonwoods along the route should be near the peak of their fall colors, making it a most beautiful ride. The total distance is about 29 miles with around 700 feet of elevation gain on way out and about 600 feet on the way back. The rock is a Precambrian crystalline matrix that is pinkish in color making it a popular area for technical climbing. 
    This is an out-and-back ride along N.M. 4 to Highway 485 and Highway 376 to the tunnels, with an option for those who prefer a shorter ride. The group should be back in Jemez Springs by about 12:30 p.m. where those who would like can have lunch at a local restaurant.

  • The annual Los Alamos CROP Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot traditionally asks local children to design a logo for the event t-shirt. This year’s logo artist is Jasmine Tierney, a seventh-grader at Los Alamos Middle School. 
    Tierney created a fun image for a local Dog Jog t-shirt and was asked to design the hunger walk shirt, as well. Tierney lives in Los Alamos with her mother Heidi Morris. When asked about her interests, Tierney said she enjoys helping others, as well as drawing and playing piano and cello. 
    The t-shirt design Tierney submitted shows an energetic stalk of corn and a friendly tomato walking along the Hunger Walk path, with trees on either side and our mountains in view. The cornstalk is leading a happy dog, looking very much like Sabrina, Jasmine’s own beloved pet.
    In recognition of her artistic efforts, Tierney will receive a free t-shirt, a small gift, public recognition and, of course, the honor of having her logo design printed on scores of t-shirts. The shirts will be handed-out to participants in the annual Hunger Walk and Turkey Trot on Nov. 19.

  • The sixth-annual Conference of the Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico will focus on breakthroughs and incremental improvements in prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment.
    The all-day conference, hosted by the Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico (PCSANM, pcsanm.org), is a free event and will be from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 4 at Sandia Prep, 532 Osuna Road NE, in Albuquerque.
    This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Peter Lindberg, of Los Alamos, who for about 40 years treated numerous prostate cancer patients in New Mexico. He died in September 2016.
    “This is a good opportunity for men making up our target audience – those over 40, and especially over 50, along with their partners, family, and friends – to spend some time learning about what could be live-saving information,” says Steve Denning, board chair of PCSANM.
    About one in seven men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetimes. Between 1,300 men are diagnosed each year in New Mexico.
    National Cancer Society 2015 statistics also show that African-American men are more likely (about one in five vs. one in seven) to contract the disease than other ethnic groups.

  • Horses are beautiful and strong creatures, but they still depend on their owners to keep them healthy.
    One disease horse owners should be aware of is Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), a virus that can destroy red blood cells, causing weakness, anemia, and death.
    Michelle Coleman, assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, explained how the disease is spread.
    “EIA is an infectious viral disease,” Coleman said. “The most common mode of transmission of EIA is by the transfer of virus-infected blood-feeding insects, such as horse flies. It can also be transmitted through the use of blood-contaminated syringes, surgical equipment, or the transfusion of infected blood or blood products. Although uncommon, transmission can also occur through the placenta in infected mares.”
     There is no treatment, or safe and effective vaccine, available for this disease, so horses that are positive for EIA should be isolated from other horses.
    Most horses infected with EIA also do not show any signs of illness or disease, so it is important to constantly maintain good hygiene and disinfection principles, such as controlling insects in the horse’s environment. 

  • In the cat world, this week’s pet is known as a team player.
    Mando, a year-old Siamese with crème and seal point highlights, will be there when you start your next project or putting the finishing touches on your last one. He loves to know what is going on around him.
    According to the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, where he currently resides, he also has some tricks up his furry sleeve. Apparently he rolls over on command – or he often does, because he’s still a cat.
    He checks all the positive boxes: good with kids, housebroken, and he’s indoor only. He doesn’t seem to mind dogs – perhaps he appreciates them for their entertainment value – and he likes other cats.
    His blue eyes are hypnotic and usually upon you. He’s adorable and attentive. Available for recruitment, so sign him up.
    Please contact the County Animal Shelter 662-8179 or email at Police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • Los Alamos Little Theater will hold auditions for the January 2018 production, “God of Carnage” at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., at 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday.
    “God of Carnage “ by Yasmina Reza won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play.
    In this dark comedy a playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter.
    At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.  Characters will be two men and two women.
    The play will be directed by Paul Lewis and produced by John Gustafson.
    Actors should prepare a short two- to three-minute monologue of their choosing, or select one of the suggested monologues at lalt.org.  
    Memorization is not necessary, but the actor must be sufficiently familiar with the monologue to present a dramatic interpretation.
    Copies of the script and suggested monologues are available for two day checkout at the Mesa Public Library (reference desk). 

  • ALAMOGORDO (AP) — A new craze has hit Alamogordo, one that involves residents of all ages painting and hiding rocks throughout the community.
    “My sister lives in Illinois and they do the rock thing there, she was telling me about it. I thought it would be neat for kids here because there’s not a lot for kids to do around here,” said Patricia Glore, founder of the Alamo Rocks Facebook page. “So we painted rocks for two weeks, hid about 50 of them and then I started the page.”
    As residents found the hidden rocks, they also found instructions painted to the back of the rocks directing them to the Alamo Rocks page. Currently, the group has over 2,300 members.
    “This is something I do with my great grandkids,” Glore said. “(My great grandson) found his first rock by himself yesterday and he was so excited. This gives them something to do outside of the house, so they’re not stuck indoors playing on tablets and watching TV.”
    Organizations such as the Alamogordo Public Library and Alamo Jump have jumped onboard with the craze, hosting rock painting parties for the community.

  • The Los Alamos Big Band will host a Fall Concert and Dance from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 27 at Fuller Lodge.
    The Los Alamos Big Band is a 16-instrument, 1940s, Glenn Miller-style swing band that plays for public events, weddings, conventions, fund raisers, and more. The band will be playing favorites such as “In The Mood,” “String of Pearls,” “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “New York, New York,” and even “Clarinet Polka.”
    The band also features two well-known vocalists, Elisa Enriquez and Rene LeClaire, who will perform famous tunes such as “Chicago,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Lady is a Tramp,” and “Moonglow.”
    The band has been playing at dances throughout Northern New Mexico since 1984 under the direction of Jan McDonald, who was for many years the band director at Los Alamos High School. Admission is free; donations are welcome.
    For more information, contact Dean Decker at deandecker4@aol.com. 

  • This is the second in a two-part series on Austria. Part one appeared in the Oct. 11 edition of Diversion and can now be found at lamonitor.com.

  • Some people can tell fall is coming when the leaves begin to turn and the temperature drops. But if they’re into fiber arts, fall is when the Taos Wool Festival comes to town.
    The 34th annual festival, which celebrates all things wool, from shearing sheep to making yarn and clothing, happened in Taos Oct. 7 and 8 at Kit Carson Park. Sponsored and organized by the Mountain and Valley Wool Association, over 63 vendors came from New Mexico, Colorado and Texas to show people what they got and to demonstrate their skills.
    Besides vendors, the festival also featured contests and demonstrations throughout the weekend. Saturday morning featured a yarn show competition, a garment and home accessories and fleece competition.
    The festival also featured a wool and fleece sale. Sunday featured a spinning, knitting and crochet contest, a hand-dye competition and a silent auction. The silent auction was a fundraiser for the Mountain Valley Wool Association that will help cover the costs of this year’s festival.
    The first festival was held in 1984 at the park, and featured just 15 vendors. It’s become much bigger since then.

  • Los Alamos community members are invited to partner up with the Carson National Forest and Taos County Saturday for cleanup of Miranda Canyon.
    The cleanup will take place from 9 a.m.-noon at the canyon, which is located on the Camino Real Ranger District.
    According to a news release, the area has often been used as a dumping ground in the past and is now inundated with household trash, construction debris and discarded furniture.
    Those wishing to volunteer with county and National Forest personnel are asked to meet at the Llano Quemado Community Center at 9 a.m. for a safety talk.
    Following that, the group will start making its way up the canyon for trash removal. The group plans to return to the community center at 12:15 p.m., where lunch will be provided for all participants.
    Those wanting to volunteer are asked to wear long sleeves, pants and sturdy shoes, and bring gloves and water. 
    The Carson National Forest purchased the 5,000 acres of land in Miranda Canyon from the Trust for Public Land using land and water conservation funds in order to protect the watershed from private land development.
    The area is south of Taos, just west of Picuris Peak.

  • Coming up this weekend, the Jemez Mountain Trail Sale will draw more than 150 vendors and leaf peepers to the Jemez Valley to sell and buy new and used items.
    Along with the sale, that will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, shoppers and onlookers can enjoy priceless views of the changing fall colors along the Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway.
    The 14th annual Jemez Mountain Trail Sale – the longest yard sale in New Mexico – begins at San Ysidro near the intersection of N.M. 550 and N.M. 4 and continues 12 miles past Jemez Springs to La Cueva.
    The Longest Yard Sale covers more than 30 miles.
    Off N.M. 4, the sale continues along the highway near Gilman Tunnels and the highway near Ponderosa.
    A map of all “cluster” locations is available on Facebook at JemezMountainTrailSale.
    There is no charge to set up a table at a cluster location.
    Sellers are asked to register in advance with cluster contacts. For contact information and details, email joybandy@gmail.com.
    Items for sale range from pueblo pottery and jewelry to books, appliances and much more.
    The Trail Sale is also a great fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations.
    Drivers must obey speed limits and watch for sightseers and pedestrians along N.M. 4.

  • The Karen Wray Gallery is delighted to invite you to “Phillip Noll, The Four Corners: A Photographic Exhibition,” October 20 through November 19, 2017, with an Opening Reception Friday, October 20 from 5-7pm.

    What does “The Four Corners” mean to you? Is it the common point of four intersecting territories? Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring? North, East, South, and West? Earth, Water, Air, and Fire? Morning, Evening, Day, and Night? Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah?

    For award-winning photographer Phillip Noll, it means all these things. For the past two decades Phillip has been building a portfolio of images representing “The Four Corners.” Predominantly from the Colorado Plateau, these images will take you on a visual journey from deserts to forests, from mountains to canyons, from red rocks to waterfalls, and from the grand landscape to tiny details. “The photographs in this exhibition represent the amazing beauty of this region of the United States. The Four Corners area is absolutely filled with breathtaking scenery. All you have to do is look for it,” says Phillip.

  • Los Alamos County Library System announced winners Thursday for the Design a Bookmark competition for students that was revived in May.
    “We were so excited to bring this program back after a few year hiatus,” said Angie Manfredi, Head of Youth Services. “It’s a fun activity for the kids and the library gets some cool new bookmarks to hand out!”
    The library received hundreds of entries thanks to the participation of local schools. Library staff judged each anonymous entry and the votes were tabulated to establish winners by grade.
    In some cases, the results ended in ties. The entries were based around the library’s summer programming theme of “Build a Better World.”
    All winners and those who earned honorable mentions received gift certificates to the Friends of the Library bookstore and their designs were turned into bookmarks that are now available to the public at both the Mesa Public Library and the White Rock Branch Library.
    “We’re excited to have the bookmarks ready now that school is back in session,” Manfredi said. “We think it’s a great way to kick off this school year and we’re grateful that the program was so successful due to the cooperation and participation of the schools.”

  • Calling all volunteers! Pajarito Environmental Education Center and Los Alamos County Open Space and Trails need help to remove the last bits of fence from Acid Canyon and restore this great, little canyon to a more natural state on Oct. 28.
    The goal is to clean up the old chain-link fence that mars the steep slope below the nature center in Acid Canyon.
    The group is looking for people who can hike the short distance down into the canyon, then bring pieces of fencing back up to the rim to be disposed of. Other teams will work to load larger pieces of trash into a county truck to be hauled out of the canyon.
    The group also needs help moving piles of invasive, non-native elm cuttings and collecting litter that has been washed into the smaller side canyons, so there will be lots of jobs for all willing helpers.
    This is a community project that will help beautify a popular area that many people see when hiking near the nature center.
    Registration is not required, but it is encouraged so that we bring enough supplies and snacks. To register and for more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email adventure@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Compañía Mina Fajardo and Chuscales will return to Teatro Paraguas this November.

    They have given sold-out performances the past six years. Audiences still remember their shows: Flamenco x3 (2015); Una Nota de Lorca (2016); and Choreography and Calligraphy (2017).

    The show set for three performances, Nov. 3, 4 and 5, is based on a bedtime story from the Brunn family, remembering events from 400 years ago in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico and how its ancient inhabitants were confronted with New Spain.

    With utmost respect Teatro Paraguas presents: legendary flamenco singer Roberto Zamora; renowned flamenco guitarist/composer Chuscales; and choreographer/dancer Mina Fajardo.

    As with all treasure hunts, the true purpose is to reveal the magic of the human spirit and its will to survive, discovering the wealth of faith, family & community.

    The performances are at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and 2 p.m. Nov. 5. All three performances will be at Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe.

    Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com.

  • The Santa Fe Symphony will present two programs featuring virtuoso violinist Alexi Kenney this year, the first which is Sunday with the full Symphony Orchestra, follow by concert recital one week later.

    Both performances are at 7 p.m. at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.

    On Oct. 22, Kenney will be joined by prize-winning pianist, Renana Gutman, praised by The New York Sun for playing “with great vigor and aplomb.”

    Kenney, recipient of a prestigious 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, will be performing recital selections that range from the long-beloved E Major Partita by Bach – a technical showstopper for solo violin – to rarer works like Crumb’s Four Nocturnes, a delicate and birdlike meditation, featuring the subtle integration of many of Crumb’s inspired extended techniques, like having the soloist tap the violin as a percussive element.

    Tickets are $22-$80. Half-price tickets available for children ages 6-14 with adult purchase and no children under 6 will be admitted. Call 983-1414 or 1-800-480-1319 for tickets through the symphony box office, or dial the Lensic box office at 988-1234.

  • Travel back to the sights and sounds of immortal musical groups, brought to life in laser light. Laser and planetarium projectors will fill the dome the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Oct. 21-Nov. 3 with choreographed light, allowing the music and images to envelope the audience.

    Laser concerts light up. More than a million laser-generated hues and colors poetically express each timeless track.
    “We are only able to bring laser concerts to the planetarium once a year, and this time we’re especially excited to have the shows during Halloween and be able to present laser images with a live band,” said Jim Greenhouse, the Museum’s Space Science Director.

    For a few select evenings only, songs from the Beatles, U2, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica will be featured in dedicated shows along with compilation productions with tracks from classic rock, pop, and alternative bands.

    Two albums of Pink Floyd will be presented in recorded shows, but on one very special night, Dark Side of the Moon will be performed live with the laser by the band Pink Freud, presented in partnership with AMP Concerts as part of the New Mexico Culture Squared initiative.

    Special to the Monitor

    This is the first in a two-part series on Austria. Part two will appear in the Oct. 18 edition of Diversions.

    The act of toasting in Austria is a custom with its own set of rules. As a visitor to this land of sophistication and unassuming elegance, it’s important to know the correct protocol.

    First, make eye contact with each and every person at the table, loosely hold the wine glass by the stem and solidly clink on a slight diagonal plane to achieve the ideal ring. And, remember to never cross paths with someone else’s toast, as this would be considered rude.

    Following these guidelines is trickier than one might imagine – particularly the aspect of eye contact. Austrians believe it’s essential to acknowledge everyone individually, as it gives special meaning to the toast. It’s all about making a personal connection. Know that you’ll get plenty of practice, as it’s common to toast multiple times during the course of a social gathering.