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Today's News

  • Friends of Folklore: Myths of werewolves roam through the ages

    BY MATT WARD

    Columnist

    Throughout history and through many regions all over the world, people have spread rumors about magicians and witch doctors turning into beasts.

    Whether it be a curse, an article of clothing, or just the will of the gods, “were” creatures have roamed our deepest fears. The most commonly known creature that fits this description is the werewolf of European folklore.

    A werewolf, a derivative of the old English word for manwolf, is a human with the ability to shape shift into a wolf, whether it be by a curse or on purpose. The earliest recordings of this type of shape shifter legend are said to come from the Norse, Celtic, and other tribes that called England and France their home. A father and son were out hunting one day when they came across two wolf pelts.

    They put the wolf pelts on and discovered they had magic powers, turning them both into wolves. They agreed on a deal, while in there wolf forms, if one should spot a human hunting party, they would howl for the other and take part in the massacre together.

    The son came across such a party and killed them all and when he returned to his father he was killed himself out of rage. Odin, the Allfather of Norse mythology, took pity on the pair and resurrected the son. The duo then burned the pelts.

  • Art tour highlights Native American, Hispanic artists of Pojoaque Valley

    This year’s Pojoaque River Art Tour is packed with an eclectic mix of art, events and hands-on activities for all ages.

    The free two-day circuit Sept. 14-15 encompasses a wealth of quality Native American, Hispanic and Anglo artists, children’s art workshops, an art festival and a marathon. 

    Everything is within about a five-mile radius, so getting around to see each artist and studio should be doable for those who want to take in all that Pojoaque River Valley artists have to offer.

    “We’re a little bit different and a really big, diverse community,” said one of the original founders of the tour, Marianne Hornbuckle. 

    Hornbuckle first started the art tour with her husband William Preston in 1992 as a way to feature the artwork of the independent artists in the Pojoaque Valley and to create a community among the artists and artisans there. 

    “We are mostly people that retired and came to New Mexico,” she said.

  • ‘Three Unique Artists’ to open at Mesa Library

    The Mesa Public Library will open its newest art exhibit “Three Unique Talents” in the Upper Level Art Gallery Sept. 7 to showcase inspirational pieces for the public.

    An opening free public reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. and the exhibit will run through the end of September.

    The artists include popular Los Alamos artist Gloria Sharp, an artist who uses a fiber art method called batik, Mary F. Miller, of Taos, and Karen Trythall, a former Los Alamos teacher who now lives in Alcalde. 

    “It’s a pleasure to be part of the show. I expect the show to be really powerfully colorful,” Sharp said. “It might be fun to see what we make of it.”

    The multi-talented Sharp, who moved to Los Alamos with her husband about 45 years ago, first developed her love for art when she was a teacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She would spend her summers in her home, dyeing material and experimenting with the batik method of dying materials.

    Sharp’s art is a process of using dyes on fabric, then covering each step before dyeing the next step and eventually ending up with a final design. The process is much like the process used in dyeing Ukrainian eggs, she said.

  • Hillstrummers to play farewell concert for conductor Friday

     The Hillstrummers ukulele group will strum a final farewell to their conductor Dan Gerth on Friday with a festive sendoff during a lunchtime performance at the Betty Ehart Senior Center.

    The special event will start at 11:30 a.m. and include party tunes that will include playing the Happy Birthday song to celebrate August birthdays for all those who marked their special days this month.

    Gerth will conduct his final performance Friday before he moves away from the area, Ruth Lier said. He will be missed, she said.

    “We have had so much fun,” Lier said. 

    He has directed the group of more than 20 players for the past three years.

    The strummers will play a variety of tunes for the performance, including some Beatles tunes, “Love Potion Number 9,” “Cool Water” and two Hawaiian songs. The group will end with “Happy Trails.”

    “It is just a conglomeration of things we like to play,” Lier said.

    And, without giving away too much of the surprise, there will be a hula dance performed by one member of the group who will be wearing an authentic dress, Lier said.

  • Plame: What did she really do for the CIA?

    I have been following Democratic candidate and former CIA operative Valerie Plame recently as she tours the rural areas in her bid for the open congressional seat in New Mexico’s Third District.

    Plame, who now lives in Santa Fe, is the only national figure running for the seat. Of course this is all very exciting, as she has written books and is a national speaker who has been on the national news at various times as an expert on different topics.

    In a recent interview with the Las Vegas Optic, she described her job as a CIA operative and I became curious.

    Plame told the reporter, “I worked really hard and ran around the world chasing terrorists or black marketeers or rogue nation states to make sure they did not acquire nuclear weapons.”

    She also said her world was turned upside down when her identity was revealed in a column in the Washington Post, effectively ending her career in the CIA.

  • Kit Carson Co-op got it right

    RIO GRANDE SUN

    ESPANOLA — It’s infuriating to get those press releases from Kit Carson Electric Cooperative. They’re so informative, so uplifting, enlightening. They give you hope for a better future.

    Then the reality check: oh yeah, we’re stuck in Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative’s coverage area, led by a bunch backwards thinking, clandestine, criminally-minded, self-helping zealots.

    Grit your teeth. Here’s what’s going on just up the road at Kit Carson:

    The co-op serving Taos and small villages in Taos County is working toward using 100 percent renewable daytime energy by 2022. They’re achieving this by breaking ground on three new solar arrays. Combined, they’ll add six megawatts of electricity for Kit Carson electricity users.

    The press release states they did this by teaming with Guzman Energy. It will give Kit Carson the lowest wholesale rates in the region. They expect to save up to $70 million in energy costs.

    They’ve done this by working with local governments and villages. Completed projects include solar arrays in Eagle Nest, Picuris Pueblo and Tres Piedras.

  • School board candidates file for office

    Longtime community volunteer and retiree Morris “Morrie” Pongratz declared himself a candidate for District 3 on the Los Alamos School Board, and was the first one to register with the Los Alamos County Clerk’s Office Tuesday morning.

    In a written statement, Pongratz declared why he was running.

    “Education has taken me from a one-room schoolhouse to a job at the greatest scientific laboratory in the world,” Pongratz said. “…I am here to stay. I have had a lifelong commitment to giving back to our community, and a number of educators including my wife Cheryl (a former principal at Aspen, the middle school and the high school) and several former school board members have urged me to run and represent the Aspen district on the school board.”

    Christine Bernstein, a high school Spanish teacher for the Pojoaque Valley School District, is hoping to use her experience to be a voice for both teachers and students in the Los Alamos Public Schools.

    “I’m an advocate for innovative education and bringing our students into the future of our world,” Bernstein said. “I also feel strongly that our middle school students need someone to advocate for them.”

  • N.M. Supreme Court blocks changes to election law

    SANTA FE (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has determined parts of a new election law that would have altered the terms of certain elected officials are unconstitutional.

    The court ruling Monday blocks some of the election changes enacted by state lawmakers earlier this year from taking effect.

    Lawmakers had aimed for the changes to shift the election timing of some judges and county officials, so not all the elections would fall in the same year.

    Groups of judges, district attorneys and county officials had challenged parts of the laws in three separate lawsuits.

    State Administrative Office of the Courts spokesman Barry Massey announced Monday that the state Supreme Court has directed officials not to go forward with the changes. The court also vacated its plan to hear arguments in the cases next month.

    “The challenged sections of law would have temporarily extended the terms of some elected officials as part of an effort to revise which offices appear on the ballot in gubernatorial or presidential election years,” Massey said in a statement.

    “The new law would have staggered terms of district and metropolitan court judges. In the staggering transition, some judges would have temporarily served longer terms than provided for in the New Mexico Constitution.”

  • CIP projects discussed at Fuller Lodge today

    The public will have a chance today to see designs on three capital improvement projects that were approved in 2017 by attending a meeting from 5-9 p.m. at Fuller Lodge.

    The projects include a multi-generational pool, a splash pad in Piñon Park and irrigation improvements for the Los Alamos County Golf Course.

    Officials will hold a 45 minute-long discussion on each of the projects, followed by a question and answer period.
    Residents can provide comments during the meeting and submit comments in writing at the end.

    One of the main designs will feature the multi-generational pool. That project will use up to $6.5 million in capital improvement funds.

    At the time, the proposal called for a heated pool that had a slide and a lazy river. The planned dimensions were 80 feet by 25 feet.  Estimates for the splash pad called for spending no more than $720,000 for the splash pad and no more than $4.5 million for the improvements to the golf course.

  • AG Balderas files lawsuit opposing Trump Administration’s migrant detention rule

    New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas announced Monday he was joining 19 states and the District of Columbia to file a lawsuit opposing the Trump Administration’s new rule circumventing the Flores Settlement Agreement, which has governed the treatment of children in immigration custody since 1997.

    New Mexico is apparently following the lead state of California by filing the suit.

    The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California.

    The group of states is arguing that the rule eliminates several critical protections guaranteed by the Flores Settlement Agreement.

    The group argues that the prolonged detention risked by the rule would cause irreparable harm to children, their families and the California communities that accept them upon their release from federal custody.

    “The Trump administration continues to harm children and families with un-American policies that risk these children’s health and safety,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I will continue to fight to protect the safety of these children.”