Today's Features

    Special to the Monitor

    Most people are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, even residents of the Midwest. I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled.

    Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the state and are a prime vacation destination for those in the region. There are over two dozen islands, a few of which are Canadian, but only five are inhabited and only three have ferry service.

    I began my adventure with an exhilarating trip on the Jet Express, heading from Sandusky to South Bass Island. The boat is a high-speed passenger ferry that makes additional stops at Kelleys Island and Cedar Point. The latter is a famous amusement park, rated tops in the U.S., boasting over 150 rides, shows and attractions, including eighteen adrenaline pumping roller coasters.

  • The Santa Fe Symphony will mix it up in October with a Latin jazz concert featuring Nestor Torres, Mariano Morales and Pikante.

    The performance is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the St. Francis Auditorium in Santa Fe.

    Latin Grammy Award-winning flutist Torres will team up with composer, violinist and pianist Morales, and the soulful Pikante, for a confluence of Latin jazz and rhythm than is sure to have the audience dancing in their seats.

    The six-piece ensemble will fuse symphony works for orchestra with arrangements for Salsa and Latin jazz fangs.

    Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Torres moved to New York City, where he pursued classical flute studies at Mannes School of Music, Jazz at Berklee College of Music and Classical and Jazz at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During that time, he also learned to improvise in the “Charanga” Cuban Dance Music style, which helped shape and develop Nestor’s melodic and danceable sound.

  • Art exhibits

    National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has opened a permanent exhibit by American sculptor Jim Sanborn called “Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” which recreates the Manhattan Project experiments that determined when plutonium goes “critical in an atomic bomb.” The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 601 Eubank Blvd. SE, in Albuquerque. Call 505-245-2137 for information, or visit nuclearmuseum.org.

    New Mexico History Museum and Santa Fe Opera to recognize “Atomic Histories” in 2018 and 2019. The History Museum’s exhibition will run through May 2019. The History Museum is located at 113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe. Call 476-5200 for more information. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, May through October and closed Mondays November through April.

    Friday Art Walking Tours from 10-11 a.m. at the New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe. Meet at the gift shop steps Fridays June through August. Call the front desk to confirm: 505-476-5063. Cost: $10 per adult. Call 505-476-5072 for more information.


  • September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month! So, how you doin?

    Sometimes we just need to stop down, order pizza for dinner and talk around the table for a few minutes. It is pretty amazing how the week can fly by and we haven’t really checked in with each other.

    The same holds true for the work place. Have you ever felt, we work in the same building, but never see each other? If you are worried about someone and don’t feel comfortable enough to talk to them, what would you do?

    If you are a leader in an organization, have you taken the time to tell employees they are welcome to talk to you? Do they know they can tell you if they’re worried about someone? Wouldn’t it be better to put your thoughts on the table then to look back and say, I wish I had said something?

    In a perfect world, you’d be able to ask anyone if they are OK or how you can help. Yes, even to those people we may want nothing to do with ever. Why? It may be those people that come to school or work with some unresolved issues that evolve into some hefty anger issues.

  • Summer may be drawing to a close, but the summer fun at the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area is a far cry from being over.

    The next big event at the ski area is a celebration of Equinox Day on Sept. 20 from 4-7 p.m.

    On that day lift-served mountain biking and hiking will be available as well as live music and beer from Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op.

    Participants can purchase discounted lift tickets and rentals at the ticket office for the Equinox celebration at a rate of $15 for uplift tickets and $50 for rentals.

    The ski area will hosting the Party at Paja Enduro on Saturday, an event featuring lift accessed Enduro mountain bike race hosted by Team Trail Party. Gravity riders will enjoy this completely lift-accessed Enduro race with four to five stages.

    “We’re happy to host these two events,” said Tom Long, general manager of the Parajito Mountain Ski Area. “It’s just another way we can have something fun for the people of Los Alamos to come up and enjoy.”

    In addition to these events, Pajarito is open for bike and hike uplifts every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28.

    The restaurant at the ski area is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and rentals from Rocky Mountain are available at the retail shop and include helmets and armor.

  • Early childhood education will be discussed at a public forum at 7 p.m. Thursday, when Searchlight New Mexico joins with the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women to address the needs of young children.

    The forum features Charles Sallee, deputy director of the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee and an expert in evaluating state agencies and education in New Mexico and Texas.

    Sallee will speak about what he thinks is the need for better implementation and oversight of early childhood programs as pre-k and first born.

    The event will be moderated by Searchlight, a non-partisan, nonprofit online informational site funded by corporations and individual donors that has devoted the last year to writing exclusively about child well being in New Mexico.

    The free event is from 7-9 p.m. at Graves Hall, United Church, 2525 Canyon Road, in Los Alamos. Refreshments will be offered starting at 6.30 p.m.

  • The Divine Duo of Katherine Fry and Elizabeth Hargreaves will head to Haiti, Saturday, Sept. 8, through Sept. 21, on a mission of hope and healing, once again.

    The trip is the sixth for Fry, a neighborhood pharmacist at the Smith’s Market Place in Los Alamos, and the third for Hargreaves. Fry, who will play the role of pharmacist throughout her time, helping families daily to receive the medications they need for good health.

    Recently, Fry had knee surgery and sees the trip from the perspective of the patient and as a member of the medical team. She knows her good fortune for appointments, medication and physical therapy and does her best to fill the needs of those less fortunate. While in Haiti, she meets with women daily who are as happy for the company and a bar of soap, as they are for receiving their medication.

    Elizabeth last traveled to Haiti in 2016, and described the time as too brief, the work as rewarding, even though she felt that so much more could be done.

    “The kids are so beautiful and so happy without them knowing how bad their circumstances are,” said Hargreaves. “Give them a matchbox car or blow bubbles at them and they rejoice.”


    Like humans, pets experience a complex array of emotions. The loss of a beloved human or a housemate can be devastating to animals in a household, leading to a period of grief and mourning.

    It may be difficult for owners to tell if their pet is in mourning, but Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, suggests that when a loss in the family occurs, owners can help their pets cope first by keeping an eye out for physical signs and changes in normal day-to-day activities.

    “Pets mourn in different ways, but some of the signs to look for are changes in eating and sleeping habits; lethargy or lack of interested in daily activities; insecurity; or vocalization,” Darling said. “They may not want to eat or play, and they may not want to participate in activities that they normally enjoy or even sleep in the same place.”

    Not all signs of mourning are obvious, and Darling advises owners to watch for subtle changes in their pet’s behavior. 

    Cowboy Breakfast from 7-11 a.m. at the Sheriff’s Posse Lodge, 650 N. Mesa Road, near the stables. Cost is $7 for adults and $4 for children 10 and under. The menu includes plain, blueberry, banana, chocolate chip and a seasonal surprise pancake, sausage, bacon, eggs, juice and coffee. Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity.
    Kiwanis meets from noon to 1 p.m. the first three Tuesdays of each month in Kelly Hall at Trinity-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church, 1300 Trinity Drive, Los Alamos. Los Alamos Kiwanis member (and former president and lieutenant governor) Don Casperson will speak on the Kiwanis International Convention in Las Vegas, Nev., which he attended during the first week in July. He will also share information from the recent Southwest District Convention in El Paso, Texas, which he also attended.

    Rotary Club of Los Alamos will meet from noon-1 p.m. at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Two Teslas! Tesla owners Jim Tencate and Lynn McDonald will show and explain their Tesla 3s.

  • There’s nothing not to love about Roman, an Australian cattle dog crossbred with a boxer. He’s 2 years old, loves small, well-behaved children and big, well-behaved adults.

    Roman is pretty optimistic that his stay at the Los Alamos Animal Shelter will be a short one. Roman was recently transferred to Los Alamos County Animal Shelter from the Torrance Animal Shelter.

    According to shelter staff, he enjoys playing with humans, and there isn’t a squeaky toy he doesn’t love. Roman’s adoption fee is $75.  He has had all his shots and is microchipped.

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