Today's Features

  • The term “gut microbiome” is often used to refer to all the organisms—including bacteria, viruses, and fungi—that live in an animal’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract. For people and pets, these organisms have a large impact on the health of both the GI tract and the entire body.

    Dr. Audrey Cook, an associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, discusses the importance of a dog’s gut microbiome and the consequences if it were to become altered or imbalanced.

    “The sheer number of organisms in a healthy gut is tremendous; any one of us has more organisms living in our GI tract than there are people on the face of the earth,” Cook said. “Although we used to think that those bacteria were just along for the ride, we now know that they play a key role in maintaining health.”

    Scientists have yet to discover the gut microbiome’s full impact, but they do know that it plays a large role in a dog’s overall health and well-being, impacting GI tract function, nutrient absorption, immune status, body condition, and many important hormonal responses.

    Cook compared a healthy microbiome to an ecosystem, such as a coral reef or rainforest, where organisms work both independently and in relationship with each other.

  • The Santa Fe National Forest has extended the scoping period for the Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency project until Wednesday, because of a technical issue with the comment submission inbox that may have made some comments undeliverable.

    The 30-day comment period was scheduled to end July 10.

    The SFMLR project is designed to restore forest and watershed health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire across approximately 50,000 acres of the SFNF in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The project is part of a larger multi-partner collaborative, the Greater Santa Fe Fireshed Coalition, that was created to proactively address the risk of high-severity wildfire and post-fire flooding and debris flow in and around Santa Fe.

    To submit a scoping comment by email, send an email to comments-southwestern-santafe@fs.fed.us with “Santa Fe Mountains Landscape Resiliency Project” in the subject line.  If attaching a document, please use .doc, .txt, .pdf, or .rtf formats only. Written comments can also be submitted by mail or in person at the SFNF headquarters in Santa Fe.

    Additional information on the project and instructions on submitting comments can be found on the project webpage. 

  • The Fuller Lodge Art Center will open its sixth exhibit of the year, and a very special one at that.

    The kids have been working hard all summer and will have their artwork on display for the week in the gallery space. The group has invited the community to help celebrate the seven weeks of Art Camp that have already passed, and the upcoming close of Art Camp for the summer.

    The Summer Art Camp Showcase will feature freestanding and wall work from hundreds of students ages 4 and up who have been attending Art Camp this summer.

    From July 22 through July 27, visitors to the gallery will be able to see a variety of media from local students. On July 27 from 1-3 p.m., the students and parents will gather at the Fuller Lodge Art Center.

    With the show opening, visitors will be able to meet the artists, help themselves to free refreshments, enjoy live music, and marvel at the phenomenal talent on display throughout the gallery. The Summer Art Camp Showcase opens on July 22 and will run through July 27.

    Be sure to check out upcoming exhibits by visiting fullerlodgeartcenter.com. Fuller Lodge Art Center is located at 2132 Central Ave., Los Alamos. Call 662-1635 for information.

    The opening reception for the Supper Art Camp Showcase is from 1-3 p.m. July 27.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — Shrinking populations in rural New Mexico villages are putting aging churches at risk since the buildings aren’t receiving the same upkeep as previous generations.

    The Santa Teresita Church in Mora County is one of several participating in a fundraising project to benefit some of the state’s “endangered” historic churches in an effort to save the structures, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

    Through cultural events starting this month, organizers of the Nuevo Mexico Profundo project hope to raise money to preserve the churches that sit in villages across the state.

    Nuevo Mexico Profundo is the brainchild of Frank Graziano, an author and former professor of Hispanic Studies who lives in Chamisal.

    His inspiration came from research and trips he made for his recently published book, “Historic Churches of New Mexico.”

    When he started working on the book, using a guide to churches in northern New Mexico created in the 1990s for reference, Graziano discovered that many of the listed adobe churches had come down. Churches in places like El Valle and Picuris Pueblo were among the casualties.


    Kendra Henning will do a lunch talk at noon at the White Rock Senior Center, on downsizing and de-cluttering. Henning is a realtor with 20 years of experience in helping people with organizing and preparing for a move. The talk will be in the Event Hall, located right next to the White Rock Senior Center. Call 672-2034 for more information.


    Summer Family Evening: Water Works with ¡Explora! at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join ¡Explora! for this Summer Family Evening and enjoy hands-on activities all about water! Thanks to Del Norte Credit Union for sponsoring Summer Family Evenings in 2019. 6:30 PM Admission: $0/member family, $5/non-member family. 


    The 5th Annual DisrupTECH is from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Los Alamos Golf Course Events Center. Cost is $35 per person and includes lunch.


    Farmer’s Market from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Mesa Parking Lot.


  • “Young people need a place where they can practice their faith, question it, and grow in it,” said Jared Shipley, new youth minister at the Los Alamos Church of Christ.

    “Church can’t be a social club. Christians have to go deeper than that,” Shipley continues.

    Shipley plans learning and service projects, in addition to teen social events.

    Shipley, 25, and his wife Sydnee moved to Los Alamos in late May to begin work with the church’s youth group. He had recently graduated from Ohio Valley University in Parkersburg, West Virginia, with a degree in Biblical studies and an emphasis on preaching.

    He is currently focusing on getting to know the teens and their needs, getting acquainted with all the church members, and learning about Los Alamos.

    “We are thrilled to be here and loving the community,” Shipley says. “It was the smoothest transition that has ever happened to me in my life. The church is really taking care of us. It’s such a beautiful thing when God’s people act like God’s people.”

    He is also preaching once a month and doing some song leading for the church.

  • New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and UNM-Los Alamos present “T.I.M.E. – Temporary Installations Made for the Environment” on the Los Alamos campus from July 1 to Aug. 31. 


    New Mexico artists were invited to create temporary artworks inspired by the natural landscape, artistic and cultural heritage, and history of innovation in the community of Los Alamos. 

    A committee of Los Alamos community members selected the theme of Aha! and five artworks based on this theme. Installations will be on display at various locations on the UNM Los Alamos campus. 

    At the end of the exhibition artworks will be disassembled and removed, leaving no trace of ever having existed. This year’s participating T.I.M.E. artists include Kirsten Angerbauer, Gordon McDonough, Betsie Miller-Kusz, Ben Utigard and Joshua Willis.

    Each year, New Mexico Arts partners with a local community to commission up to five temporary and conceptually rich environmental artworks to be displayed for a short term exhibition in that community. 

  • Max is a puppy who is currently staying at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter. He is about 5 months old, and is a Labrador retriever mix.

    Max enjoys playing with other puppies and adults he trusts, but he is a little shy at first. But that is nothing a little bit of sweet-talking and snuggles can’t get around.

    Once Max warms up to you, he can be quite outgoing.

    He loves to bounce around and play, and boy does he love his toys! Max is good with kids, cats, and other dogs.

    He would be great in a home that can help him work on his socialization, basic puppy skills, and obedience. He arrived June 21 and is anxiously awaiting adoption into his forever home.

    For more information on Max, contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at 662-8179 or police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • Last week, my column mentioned a visit to NMSU. It spoke of the term, “helicopter parents,” and how it had been taken to levels I have not seen before.

    This week, my goal is to demonstrate what that might mean for you, well before the start of a new school year.

    If you have a child in sixth grade or above, it begins for you and now. You as the parent have to look for ways you can step back and allow your children to step up. It will empower them for a lifetime, not just for one good assignment or one good grade. You have to envision that the bird will one day leave the nest and work now, will allow them to fly.

    Do we do everything perfect as parents? No. Will they do everything perfect? No. Will they mess up? Probably so.  I believe that as parents, you may knowingly have to allow them to mess up or even fail, but not cause them to fail.

    When parents have the need for everything to be great, you just might be setting them up to be unsuccessful without you.

    When you are at open house night and I don’t care if this is your 18th child, attend back to school night. I have heard many times that parents have done it before. That might be true, but you haven’t done it for this child, with this set of teachers, and in this school year.

  • Cupcake, a long-hair cat staying at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, certainly lives up to her name. She is a sweetie.

    Anyone who enters her domain at the shelter’s cattery better look out, because she will be nuzzling shins and demanding pets from everyone who happens to come visit her.

    Shelter staff says she also gets along with almost all the other animals and cats in the shelter.

    The ones she doesn’t get along with she avoids. So far, no cat fights.

    She’s a stray, but seems to be very tame and loving. Cupcake is 3 years old. She has no microchip. Cupcake has had all of her shots though and according to the staff, Cupcake is in perfect health.

    Cupcake arrived on May 19, and is now anxiously waiting for someone to treat themselves to a Cupcake who needs a forever home.

    For more information, call the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at 662-8179 or email the shelter at psa-officer@lacm.us.