• A single-tree, lightning-caused fire in upper Frijoles Canyon was reported Monday evening in Bandelier National Monument.

    The fire, the Frijoles Fire, is about 5 miles southwest of Los Alamos, creeping low and smoldering with flame lengths of less than 1 foot.

    The area received some rain the same evening it was reported and weather forecasts predict thundershowers by early next week.

    Low intensity, naturally caused wildfires burned the forested areas of the Jemez Mountains every seven to 15 years historically.

    The area around the Frijoles Fire last burned in the 2011 Las Conchas Fire. Fire Managers at Bandelier are seeing this low intensity fire as an opportunity to reduce the fine fuel and debris on the forest floor by allowing it to burn. Doing so helps restore natural conditions in this fire-dependent ecosystem.

    Firefighters are monitoring the Frijoles Fire and are ready take actions as necessary for public safety.

    Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4 west of Los Alamos. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health

  • Outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis (VS) occur in Texas every several years, but until this June, there were no reported cases since 2014. Because horses near Austin were recently diagnosed with this disease, horse and livestock owners in nearby areas should take precautions to keep their animals safe.

    VS is a highly-contagious zoonotic disease that causes blisters in the mouth, tongue, teat, or hooves; crusty sores around the muzzle or hooves; and excessive salivation in horses and livestock, according to Dr. Michelle Coleman, assistant professor of large animal internal medicine at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences.

    While this viral disease can affect horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock, on rare occasions, the disease can spread to people and cause flu-like symptoms, though VS is not highly contagious to humans.

    “The virus can be spread through direct contact with infected animals, through saliva that can contaminate the environment, or by blood-feeding insects,” Coleman said. “People handling sick animals should wear gloves.”

    Luckily, most animals are able to recover from VS with proper treatment, which mainly involves supportive care as blisters and sores heal by ensuring that animals continue to eat, drink, and behave normally.

  • Fredrick is an old cat, but he’s a cool cat.

    He’s a10-year-old gray tabby who apparently loves to sit on people’s laps and be in the sun all day. He’s been around the block a few times, and was a stray for awhile.

    Frederick has some battle scars, which puzzle the staff at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, because he really is a gentle cat with a great disposition.

    As far as they can tell, Fredrick is just looking for one last forever home to spend the rest of his days in peace and quiet.

    His adoption fee is just $35.

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

  • A new food truck has rolled into White Rock and brought with it some old, hometown flavors that are sure to please many appetites.

    J.R.’s BB has opened for business between Metzger’s and the gas station, in front of the Los Alamos Training Center.
    “BB stands for breakfast burritos,” explains owner and cook Larry Roybal.

    Locals might recognize Roybal from Los Alamos’s Chile Works. He spent 20 years at the hometown favorite located on Trinity Drive. His father started Chile Works 30 years ago.

    “I finally went out on my own,” Roybal said.

    Roybal opened for business three days last week and has already managed to snag a few regular customers with his specialties of soft tacos and burritos.

    J.R.’s BB serves breakfast bagels, shredded beef tacos, chicken tacos, Frito pies, enchiladas, hamburgers, jumbo hotdogs and ice cold drinks. The truck is open Monday through Fridays from 6:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. If he runs out if food, he might close early some days, he said.

    “I was open last week for three days and I thought I did pretty good for nobody knowing,” he said.

  • 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.


    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.


  • 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.

  • Learn about Tom Jungst’s experiences as an extreme skier and climber at the Los Alamos Mountaineers meeting Tuesday.

    This talk will start at about 7:15 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

    The Mountaineers’ meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and cover information about upcoming outings. The event is free to attend and is open to the public.

    Jungst took extreme skiing to another level in the early 1980s by combining his skills as a ski racer with ice and rock climbing. He created complex routes from Europe to Alaska to the Northern Rockies.

    The remote peaks of Montana became a testing ground for a new style of extreme skiing that led features in every major ski magazine and even “Rolling Stone.”

    By the mid 1980s, Jungst was skiing for Warren Miller and the wild crew put together by Greg Stump. Join Jungst at the Mountaineers meeting to hear more about his career and the ups and downs of his mountain adventures.

    For more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • Grammy nominated, singer and songwriter Kim Richey will make a stop at Fuller Lodge June 27 in support of her critically acclaimed release Edgeland. (2018).  

    The Nashville-based, progressive country artist has recorded eight albums of her own and written for many of the industry’s biggest names.  

    Her songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood (“Believe Me Baby (I Lied)”), Radney Foster (“Nobody Wins”), and Brooks & Dunn (“Every River”).  

    Richey has also contributed vocals on albums with Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, Reba McEntire and Mary Chapin Carpenter.


    Los Alamos faith and Science Forum at 6:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, 1738 N. Sage Loop. Nels Hoffman speaking on “Neuroplasticity: How the Mind Changes the Brain.”

    Summer Family Evening: New Mexico Bats at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Enjoy a presentation from Justin Stevenson of Fightwns on the biology and behavior of New Mexico bats, as well as the opportunity to meet native bats. Thanks to Del Norte Credit Union for sponsoring these events. Free for member families and $5 for non-member families. More information at peecnature.org.


    “Liberty on the Rocks” meets at 6 p.m. at Cottonwood on the Greens, 4244 Diamond. Join the fun, have a drink! (Dinner entree can be purchased). LOTR is a place to discuss the ideas of liberty, not for electoral politics. Contact Chris Luchini at cbluchini@gmail.com for information.


  • Visitors to the Los Alamos Animal Shelter’s cattery won’t have to walk far for Amelie, an American short hair cat.

    In fact, Amelie will probably hop down off her perch, meet her potential forever home person with her tail up and plenty of purrs. It is what she does whenever anyone enters the cattery.

    Amelie is an owner turn-in and she’s due for a re-evaluation June 27.

    She does not have a collar and or a microchip. But, she does have plenty of love for people who are ready for a very friendly cat.  

    Amelie has had all her shots and is healthy.

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


  • On June 1, a new trail sign was planted at the intersection of Mitchell and Perimeter trails. The Los Alamos Tuff Riders Mountain Bike Club coordinated the Perimeter Trail adoption with the Santa Fe National Forest.

    As trail adopters, the Tuff Riders will maintain the trail by trimming bushes and clearing downed trees, building water bars, and otherwise committing to trail work on this section in coordination with the Forest Service.

    Currently, the Tuff Riders lead monthly trail work crews, and will continue working on other trails beyond their adopted section of Perimeter Trail.

    “Other trails that still need TLC include Guaje Ridge, Pajarito Trail, and Los Alamos Canyon Trail,” USFS District Volunteer Coordinator Jennifer Sublett said.

    To volunteer for trail work, the USFS trains and leads trail work sessions. A volunteer agreement is required for adopting trails or for any trail work on the Santa Fe National Forest. Contact jasublett@fs.fed.us for more information.

    Summer Family Evening: Cowboys and Horses of Northern New Mexico at 6:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join Gene McCracken at this Summer Family Evening to learn about cowboys and horses in northern New Mexico. This is free for member families and costs $5 for non-member families.

    Newport News Nuclear BWXT Los Alamos (N3B) will host a community forum from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fuller Lodge to discuss making $400,000 available to support northern New Mexico nonprofit organizations for calendar year 2019. The purpose of the meeting is to present the Community Contribution Program guidelines, discuss how to submit a funding request and answer questions. Program guidelines are available on the N3B website at http://n3b-la.com.


    Suds & Shows: Raiders of the Lost Ark at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center. See Raiders of the Lost Ark in the planetarium for the first Suds & Shows event of the summer. Enjoy beer and wine from Pajarito Brewpub and bring a picnic before the show. Cost is $5; cash bar.