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Today's Features

  • First, a big thank you to all the citizens of Los Alamos County who gave generously to the recent Letter Carrier-Boy Scout Fall Food Drive Nov. 17.
    An estimated 18,000 lbs. of food and supplies were collected with about 1,000 pounds sent to the San Martin de Porres Soup Kitchen in Española.
    The remainder was donated to LA Cares, for local monthly distribution to those in need within our community.  
    The Atomic City Letter Carriers (NALC-4112) and their volunteers worked long and hard, performing the triple duties of delivering flyers, picking-up food and all while performing their regular duties of delivering your mail.
    Many volunteers from LA Cares and other organizations and individuals worked hard preparing, sorting, transporting and storing all the donations.
    LA Cares distributes food boxes monthly throughout the year, so please call 661-8015 if you can help with these distributions or are in need of food assistance.
    In addition, every Los Alamos and White Rock BSA unit in the Northern New Mexico District participated for two- to three-hour shifts (some scouts worked much longer), including Cub Scout Packs 20, 22, 27, 222, 229, 326, 422; Boy Scout Troops 22, 71, 122, 129, 222, and 422; and co-ed Venture Scout Post 20.

  • The annual Community Asset Awards search is underway and the Los Alamos Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and Chamber of Commerce want to know who you think stands out for 2012.
    The Community Assets Awards strives to recognize the things people do — in and around Los Alamos — to make the community or the world a better place.
    “I love that the Community Asset Awards honor those unsung heroes, those people who are not looking for praise or attention, but just do good things for the community because they enjoy doing them,” said Katy Korkos, Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Member Services Director. “ I love it that people who have a good idea and follow through with it are honored.”
    Each year, people of every age and background are nominated to receive recognition, with a youth and an adult recognized to receive the Director’s Choice Award and someone who will receive the Spirit of the West Award.
    The Spirit of the West Award was created to honor former Los Alamos County Councilor and Leadership Los Alamos alumni Jim West. Before his passing away, West knew the award was created, in his honor.

  • The Thrift Shop at the United Church moved to the lower level of Craig Hall and had a grand opening Nov. 14

  • Happy holidays!
    This week, we are still in the asset category of empowerment with a look at the asset of safety (#10).
    I will stretch on this area, but bear with me for a minute.
    This Saturday, the Trinity on the Hill will offer the best event of the season, the Children’s Bazaar.
    The event allows families, with children in kindergarten through sixth grade, an opportunity to shop for holiday gifts on their own.
    Children arrive at the church between 9 a.m. and noon, with a list of 10 names or less. Youth workers escort them to a special room, where they can purchase gifts to surprise family members on upcoming holidays.
    The items are varied and the prices are more than reasonable, but the increase in the asset category of empowerment is huge.
    It doesn’t matter what holiday you celebrate. Yes, I realize it is a Christian church, but think of all of the upcoming holidays, including birthdays, during which your children would love the opportunity to surprise the adults in their lives.
    While the pint-sized shoppers go on their merry way, parents and caregivers are treated to baked goods, newspapers and the excitement yet to come.
    Trinity on the Hill has thought of everything, as they even wrap the gifts and include gift cards for each item.

  • Today
    Ward L. Hawkins, LANL program manager for Nuclear Testing Limitations, will speak on “CTBT On-Site Inspection: The Final Verification Measure.” The talk will be given at an open meeting of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security at 7 p.m. in Room 311 in the Education Building at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road.
    Wednesday
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion 6:30-8 p.m. in Meeting Room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s discussion will focus on the New Age movement and its role in society. For more information, contact them at losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com. All are welcome.
    Thursday
    Idea Factory: Contribute your ideas about the Pajarito Plateau. Join PEEC as they discuss key messages and stories about the Pajarito Plateau. Your ideas will help them create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world. 6:30 p.m. Free. For more information or to register, visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Willis Whitfield, an award-winning physicist known for inventing the modern-day cleanroom, has died. He was 92.

    Sandia National Laboratories, where Whitfield worked for three decades, announced Monday that Whitfield died in Albuquerque on Nov. 12.

    Lab President Paul Hommert says Whitfield's concept for a new kind of cleanroom came at the right time during the early 1960s to usher in a new era of electronics, health care and scientific research.

    Dubbed Mr. Clean, Whitfield was born in Rosedale, Okla. He was the son of a cotton farmer.

    Whitfield had his initial drawings for the new cleanroom by the end of 1960. His solution for dealing with the turbulent airflow and particles found in cleanrooms of the day was to constantly flush out the room with highly filtered air.

    Sandia says within a couple of years, $50 billion worth of cleanrooms had been built worldwide.

  • Cobalt, a relatively common mineral, may hold promise as an industrial catalyst with potential applications in such energy-related technologies as the production of biofuels and the reduction of carbon dioxide.

    That is, provided the cobalt is captured in a complex molecule so it mimics the precious metals that normally serve this industrial role.

    In work published Nov. 26 in the international edition of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists report the possibility of replacing the normally used noble metal catalysts with cobalt.

    Catalysts are the parallel of the Philosopher’s Stone for chemistry. They cannot change lead to gold, but they do transform one chemical substance into another while remaining unchanged themselves. Perhaps the most familiar example of catalysis comes from automobile exhaust systems that change toxic fumes into more benign gases, but catalysts are also integral to thousands of industrial, synthetic, and renewable energy processes where they accelerate or optimize a mind-boggling array of chemical reactions.

    It’s not an exaggeration to say that without catalysts, there would be no modern industry.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of onsite adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.
    DOGS
    Axle — Don’t let those sad-looking eyes fool you. Axle is a playful and affectionate neutered male. The shelter temperament testers describe this Pit-mix as a “total sweetheart.” He would love a family that appreciates big, sloppy dog kisses.  
    Ciera — Spayed female Shepherd-cross who likes to get to know her human associates before she shares her story with them.
    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.
    ThreeBorder Collie puppies (Reggie, Fly and Romper) — Border Collie puppy siblings, six-months-old. Neutered/spayed and up-to-date on shots. Responding very well to soclialization by shelter volunteers and guidance from other shelter dogs.

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center invites students in grades K-4 to come to their annual Holiday Eco Crafts event from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 5.
    There, kids can hand-make gifts out of natural and recycled materials for everyone on their list.
    Gifts to make will include pinecone fire-starters, recycled notebooks, cornhusk dolls, tree cookie ornaments, rock carvings and more.
    Plenty of materials will be available to make gifts for parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters.
     There will also be recycled wrapping paper and cards on hand, so kids can wrap their gifts and address them to the recipients before they head home.  
    Parents are welcome to stay during the class, or to leave kids at PEEC and enjoy a few hours of kid-free shopping.
    PEEC’s own shop also has some holiday gift ideas, including stocking stuffers and animal adoptions.  
    The class costs $15 or $12 for PEEC members. Register in advance at PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460 or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

  • Visit Pajarito Environmental Education Center from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday or from 1-3 p.m. Dec. 1, to contribute ideas about the natural qualities of the Pajarito Plateau.
    PEEC would like to know what aspects of local nature they should showcase, and public input is desired.
    PEEC volunteers, board and staff are working to create an interpretive plan.
    When completed, the interpretive plan will answer questions like: What should a nature center in Los Alamos say and show? What are the key messages should it send to visitors and residents? What activities will best address those key messages?  What will it mean to the community it represents?
    PEEC wants to hear stories about the natural area and learn from the people of Los Alamos, exactly what they think of when asked to describe the Pajarito Plateau.
    This input will help PEEC’s interpretive planning committee write a plan that reflects what is important to the community.
    The events will start with a presentation on PEEC’s mission and vision.
    Then, participants will join in an interactive idea-generation activity and have a chance to vote on the natural qualities they like to see addressed by PEEC.  
    Those ideas will, in turn, help PEEC create a plan to strengthen people’s connection with the natural world around them.