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Today's Features

  • Do you remember the joy you felt in learning to read, of escaping into favorite books, of exploring the world through books? Do you remember a favorite teacher who nurtured your thirst for knowledge? 

    Harriet Dodder was such a teacher. She began her career in Los Alamos in 1951 and taught here for 40 years. After retirement, she missed working with children so much that she volunteered as a reading tutor at Barranca Elementary School. Mrs. Dodder loved to read and fostered that love in the children she taught.

    Research shows that access to books builds literacy. One study of over 600 schools in Texas examined the effects on student achievement of several variables – and the quality of the school library outweighed the effects of other school variables, including computers per student, teacher experience, and even teacher turnover ratio. To inspire readers, school libraries must have a good supply of books; the greater the choice of books, the more children choose to read.

    However, the price of books goes up each year while library budgets do not. The average price of a book with a library binding is now $18.

  • I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — State health officials report a case of plague in a dog from Santa Fe County, making it the first diagnosed case of plague in New Mexico this year.

    The Department of Health says it's checking the home of the dog's owner for risks to others and sending personnel around the neighborhood to inform residents and provide information on reducing risks.

    Plague is a bacterial disease of wildlife and is generally transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas.

    Pet animals also can be exposed after eating an infected animal. Plague can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

    The department says New Mexico had four human cases of plague in 2017 and that those people all survived the illness.
     

  • “Look, I am from Nebraska and I bought this vacation place for the trees.  If it burns down, I will take my insurance money and buy another place in the trees.”

    This is what a homeowner in La Cueva said about the dog-haired tinderbox where his well-oiled, all-wood cabin rests. 

    Next to him live full-time residents, Ben, a recent retiree, his wife Sharon, and their dog. Their attitude is the exact opposite. They enthusiastically thin trees around their home, protect firewood in a shed, store fuels such as gasoline well away from the house, prepare evacuation plans, and sign up for the county’s Code Red alert system.  Everything they own is in their property and insurance money cannot replace it. One of their biggest worries is their part-time Nebraskan neighbor, who does nothing but let fuels accumulate.

    These people exemplify one of the intractable dichotomies facing those of us who work to mitigate wildfire danger: The wildfire-risk tolerance varies tremendously depending on whether a property is a vacation cabin or a full-time abode. Of course, not all property owners can be classified into these two extreme positions, but the correlations are evident to any observer.

  • I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • Would you like to see colorful rock specimens on a special geology hike? Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and geology enthusiast Patrick Rowe for a special half-day hike in the Rio Puerco near Los Lunas. This hike will take place on April 7 with the group meeting in Los Lunas at 9 a.m.

    Space is limited and registration is required.

    The Rio Puerco is a tributary of the Rio Grande and carries rocks and sediments from formations that range in age from Precambrian to Quaternary.

    Expect to see a wide array of very colorful rock specimens, including: red and yellow jasper, agate, petrified wood, striped quartzite, basalt, obsidian, gypsum, limestone with fossils and travertine.

    Patrick Rowe is the vice president for field trips for the Los Alamos Geological Society and is a project engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    His father was a geologist and he has been involved in rock collecting for more than 40 years and has been leading geologic field trips for PEEC for the last few years.

  • Look at that stoic, magnificent beast. His name is Daxx, and he’s an Australian cattle dog crossed with a shepherd.
    However, don’t be fooled by the majestic pose and breeding. As soon as Daxx sees a stranger, he becomes all tongues and wagging tails. He also likes to lean into people’s legs for a good scratching.

    Daxx is 9 months old, and has been vaccinated and neutered and micro chipped. He is also house trained. He loves baths and gets along well with other dogs.

    Cats are another matter, however. It’s not that he doesn’t like cats, it’s that he likes them a bit too much. He hasn’t figured out yet that they aren’t toys.

    For more information, call the shelter at 662-8179 or email at police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • Be sure to mark your calendars for March 28 at the Los Alamos Senior Center and March 29 at the White Rock Senior Center for free play performances.

    Both start at 12:30 p.m. “Gardening Hotline,” by Santa Fe playwright Mark Dunn will feature Jeanne Adkins, Dianna Duerre, Sally Cassil, Thomas Farish, Tami Martinson and Kate Ramsey, and is directed by Pat Beck.

    The engaging play centers on how help can be found and given in unexpected venues. Melvin Snodgrass is a radio talk show host and gardening expert. He is a solitary man, gentle and kind, but a complete nerd.

    His entire life is defined by his love of gardening and the opportunity the show gives him to help people through his vast horticultural knowledge.

    However, one day a caller throws him a real curve ball, and he must work far outside his comfort zone to handle the call.

    His callers include Irene, Alice, Ruth, Rhonique and Jane, his most important caller.

    The readings are part of an on-going partnership among the senior centers, Los Alamos Little Theatre and playwright Robert Benjamin to bring live theater in enjoyable snippets every few months to the senior community. 

  • TODAY
    Los Alamos Chapter Order of the Eastern Star meeting at 7 p.m. in the Mason Lodge, North Sage Street, (on the corner of 15th and Canyon). For more information, contact Worthy Matron Mary Ethel Plotner, 661-4233, or Past Matron Judy Goldie, 662-3797.

    Brent Vernon in concert with Sam at 6:30 p.m. at White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd., White Rock. Free with offering.
    THURSDAY
    Night with a Nerd at 6 p.m. at projectY Cowork, 150 Central Park Square. BSMA members are free, cost is $10 for others. Alan Carr, the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s historian, will talk about how the lab originated and how it evolved into the institution it is today. The talk will be followed by a reception and light refreshments. Register at Bradburyassociation.org.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walk
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.

    The Olions will present the musical: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. at Los Alamos High School, 1300 Diamond Drive. Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children under 6.

  • In addition to its regular 150 Chimayo Route bus, the North Central Regional Transit District (RTD “Blue Bus”) will have an additional bus along its Española-to-Chimayo route to accommodate the people making the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo on Good Friday, March 30.

    Two ADA accessible buses will run on a continuous loop throughout the day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The first bus begins at 8 a.m. and the second at 9 a.m.

    The buses will depart from the Española Transit Center on Paseo de Oñate across from Cook’s Hardware.

    The route then traverses NM Highway 76 with multiple designated RTD bus stops in each direction along the way.

    The route concludes at the Benny Chavez Center located at the County Road 98 (Juan Medina Road) turnoff from NM 76, as it will be prevented from making its normally scheduled stop in the Santuario parking lot.

    It then makes its way back to Española along the same route.

    Delays will be unavoidable due to the heavy pedestrian traffic along the route. Regular passengers of that route need to be aware that buses will not be at the designated scheduled stops at their normally posted time.
    It is also important to note that drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers along the route except at posted RTD bus stops.