• The Pajarito Environmental Education Center and the Reel Deal Theater are teaming up again this year to bring the popular Backcountry Film Festival back to Los Alamos.

    This year, Century Bank has signed on as the headline sponsor for this festival.

    Produced by the Boise-based nonprofit Winter Wildlands Alliance, the touring Backcountry Film Festival will make its way to more than 100 locations around the world. The screening at the Reel Deal is at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 will be the only one in New Mexico.

    Tickets are available now.

    Pajarito Brewpub and Grill will be selling beer and wine before the show and at intermission. Also at intermission, PEEC will raffle off prizes donated by local businesses and other sponsors.

    Prizes include lift tickets from Pajarito Mountain, skis and a snowboard from Pajarito Brewpub, lift tickets from Taos Ski Valley, gift card to Ruby K’s and Pig and Fig, PEEC t-shirts, a Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op sweatshirt and more. Raffle tickets will be sold in the lobby before the show.

  • The Los Alamos County Council is seeking letters of interest from residents interested in filling the unexpired term of Councilor Christine Chandler, who ended her term with council upon election as the House District 43 representative.

    Her term will expire Dec. 31, 2020.

    Applicants must be a registered voter and resident of Los Alamos County, and cannot be employed by the county.

    They should submit a letter of interest explaining their background, experience and why they are interested in the position.

    Letters of interest must be received no later than at 5 p.m. Jan. 24.

    The letter should be submitted to Harry Burgess, County Manager, 1000 Central Ave, Suite 350, Los Alamos, NM 87544. It can also be e-mailed by the deadline to lacmanager@lacnm.us.

    Any individual submitting a letter of interest must attend the council meeting at 6 p.m. Jan. 29 in Council Chambers, and be prepared to respond to questions from councilors. The council expects to interview applicants and then make their selection that evening.

  • Well Happy New Year!

    This is a time of New Year’s Resolutions and they often get a bad rap. Maybe we should just approach the topic as, what do you want to do differently this year? All of us can do something better or differently and we shouldn’t be so concerned about it that we swear it off.

    Last year, I had a few different ones, but none that made me feel like they were not able to accomplish or that I would be a loser if they weren’t perfect. They were often fun to do, but then again, my kids think I have an odd definition of fun.

    The first was a thankful jar, where once a month, family members were asked to write down one thing they were thankful for, to place in the jar.

    As the moment for reminders came, there was often a deep sigh or gnashing of teeth…just kidding. If you didn’t mention the reaction, you could occasionally see joy when they knew they had a good one.

    Did I tell you my kids are now 18, 20 and 22? My hope was two-fold, you realize that even when life can be crappy, there’s got to be something positive. We haven’t read them yet, so I may need to report back on that one. Ideally, there are 5 of us, so there should be 60 slips in the jar.

  • Los Alamos Little Theatre has added a matinee performance of “Murder at the Lone Elm” for 2 p.m. Sunday.
    LALT cancelled the planned matinee performance on Jan. 13 because of the weather and bad driving conditions.

    People who purchased tickets for the Jan. 13 show can use them at any of the remaining performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

    “Murder at the Lone Elm” is an interactive mystery in which the audience gets to question the suspects and try to identify the killer. Those who correctly guess the murderer’s identity are entered into a drawing for prizes at the end of the show.

    Ice cream with toppings are served prior to the play’s beginning — so be sure to come early to get your seat and a bowl of ice cream.

    Seating is capped at 114 persons —be aware that a sellout is possible. Tickets may be purchased in advance at CB Fox or online at Brown Paper Tickets.

    For more information, visit lalt.org” for 2 p.m. Sunday.

    LALT cancelled the planned matinee performance on Jan. 13 because of the weather and bad driving conditions.
    Those who purchased tickets for the Jan. 13 show are welcome to use them at any of the remaining performances: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

  • This month’s meeting will be on Tuesday. The speaker this month is Companion Robert Hull. He will be talking about the Russian attempts and success to kill its  ”traitors.”

    The public is invited to join the group for the interesting and informative presentation.     

    The meeting will begin with a social period at 6 p.m. followed by a brief business meeting and dinner at 6:25 p.m. The presentation will begin at about 7:15 p.m.

    The meeting will be held in Los Alamos Research Park in the second-floor conference room. The Los Alamos Research building is located west of the South Mesa Fire Station. Parking is available east of the fire station {accessible from southbound lane of the Los Alamos Canyon Bridge} or east of the Research Park building {access is through the LANL control stations to West Jemez road.} Entrance to the Research Park main conference room is from the ground level elevator on the east side of the building to the second level.

    The Military Order of World Wars dinner meetings are open to interested citizens for the dinner and program with RSVP, or the program only at no cost.  The Hot Rocks Java Café staff will be catering the dinner: Spiral cut ham and appropriate side dishes.

  • Drax, a Rottweiller mixed breed, was sent to the shelter on New Year’s Eve. Drax is a stray who is 1 year and 7 months old.

    He’s looking for his forever home, with a family that likes an active puppy.

    Drax has not visited the vet yet, but shelter staff said it’s OK for those who might want to adopt him to come by the shelter and check him out to see if he’s a good fit.

    Drax has been vaccinated and sterilized. He has also been microchipped.  

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

  • Happy New Year, let’s get to work.

    One goal for 2019 should be having conversations with our young people that might be difficult. One of the things that can help guide is the release of the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey. The high school and middle school data have been posted to the website. 

    The youthrisk.org site is great for middle and high school data that reaches back for more than a decade. The questions are interesting and have a continuity that captures good data year after year. You can compare the results for other counties in New Mexico and dive deep into data. 

    You can analyze populations, sample sizes, compare male and female response and more. You can take the side of people that say it is a momentary capture of data on a given day but I like to say, so is your blood work, but you lend that some credibility, right? 

    Take it with a grain of salt or ask your students a few questions that may enlighten your day, or lead to some conversation about what is out there.

    There are simple things that be tackled like wearing a helmet while cycling, eating breakfast or rarely or never wearing a seatbelt.

  • Cantus, “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” will perform in Los Alamos at 4 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Duane Smith Auditorium.  

    Presented by the Los Alamos Concert Association, the ensemble will explore in song what it means to connect in our modern world with a program titled “Alone Together.”

    The program will be anchored by three works written for Cantus. 

    “We two” is a multi-movement setting by Steven Sametz of a Walt Whitman poem. David Lang’s “Manifesto” is a modern exploration of yearning.  A new work by Libby Larson introduced by Cantus this season, is set to poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay and Emily Dickinson. 

    Filling out the program will be songs by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Jennifer Higdon, Simon and Garfunkel, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

  • Join Steve Becker in the Los Alamos Nature Center’s planetarium today to explore the night skies this month.

    Becker will give audience members an interactive tour of the heavens that will highlight the planets, star patterns and constellations that may be readily observed throughout the month.

    This talk begins at 7 p.m. on Friday and is perfect for stargazers who want to learn more.

    In addition to this talk, the nature center will play the full-dome film “Mysteries of the Unseen World” in the planetarium on Saturday at 2 p.m.

    This vibrant film reveals the many wonders of the world that can only be seen with the help of technology and special filming techniques. It explores the mysteries of things that are too fast, too slow and too small to be seen with the naked eye.

    Due to the winter storm Los Alamos has received, parking is limited at the nature center.

    The public is encouraged to arrive in advance for these events and use caution when walking in the parking lots and sidewalks.

    Seating is limited for both the talk and movie, so please call the nature center at 662-0460 or stop by to reserve tickets.

    Admission for both events is $6 for adults and $4 for kids. Events in the planetarium are not recommended for children under age 4.

    Blood Drive from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church hall, 2200 Diamond Drive. Contact Vitalant, 877-258-4825, for information.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre will present “Murder at the Lone Elm,” by Miles Ledoux at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St. An interactive murder mystery: when a guest at the Lone Elm Inn falls down the stairs to his death, the head of hotel security suspects foul play. She rounds up the most likely suspects and tries to determine “whodunit” before the killer claims more victims. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and children. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at CB Fox. Visit lalt.org for information.
    Los Alamos Little Theatre will present “Murder at the Lone Elm,” by Miles Ledoux at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and children. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at CB Fox. Visit lalt.org for information.
    Free Cha Cha dance lessons from 7-9 p.m. at the Betty Ehart Senior Center ballroom.

  • Century Bank recently signed on to be the headline sponsor of the upcoming Backcountry Film Festival, which is brought to Los Alamos by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and the Reel Deal Theater. This popular event is coming to town on Thursday, Jan. 24 and features a variety of short films about the backcountry snow sports world.

    “We are so excited to have Century Bank as a sponsor for this festival. Their support makes this event possible for the community to enjoy,” PEEC’s Marketing Manager Rachel Landman said. Tickets will be available at the Reel Deal Theater the first week on January. A variety of raffle prizes will be available at the festival, along with beer and wine for purchase from Pajarito Brewpub.

  • The Holsapple family grew by two on Dec. 21 as moms Lauri and Mia added two sons to their home.

    The adoption, in the courtroom of Judge Jason Lidyard was surrounded by family and friends, with not a dry eye in the house.

    “Our adoption day means hope, love and an answer to a deep longing to be a mother,” said Lauri Holsapple. “It means wholeness and in awe of the importance given to us to raise these sweet boys to be all they are meant to be. It means unconditional love and a deep security that they are HOME with us.”

    The event was an incredible opportunity to see the hard working staff of CYFD and additional state  offices reflected in such a positive light just before the holidays.

    Lauri Holsapple is a proud staff member of the Mountain Lions and Mia Holsapple is the Food Services Director Holsapple for Los Alamos Public Schools.

    The ladies have fostered the children for almost a year before their adoption became official.

  • With a murderer on the loose and the body count rising, Dana Hunt has to throw out her police training and turn to a new source for leads — the audience.

    Los Alamos Little Theatre’s January production, “Murder at the Lone Elm,” is an interactive murder mystery in which the audience gets to help the head of hotel security try to figure out who is murdering people at the Lone Elm Inn.

    Questions from the audience help elicit information from the multiple suspects, and at intermission audience members are asked to write down who they think the murderer is. Correct guesses will go into a drawing for prizes at the end of the show.

    The show, written and directed by Miles Ledoux, opened with a special New Year’s Eve presentation, and its regular run continues from Jan. 4-19 with shows at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.  A 2 p.m. matinee will be performed on Sunday, Jan. 13.

    Ice cream and toppings will be served at all performances, so audience members should arrive early so they can get their dessert and seats before the mystery — and murder — begins. Doors open at 7 pm.

    The cast features an eclectic mix of LALT veterans and newcomers. To a person, they are excited about the prospects of engaging with the audience as they bring their characters and the play to life.

  • This week, I really want to talk about role models and remind everyone, how often little eyes are watching you.

    As you read this column, my credentials for being a prevention specialist come to an end. They truth is the certification is just too expensive to keep up if there isn’t specific use for them. I have the knowledge and can still impart the wisdom, just no fancy title.

    The good news is now that the role has changed, I can speak my mind. As a Certified Prevention Specialist, I couldn’t tell you how you should vote. Don’t worry, I am not here to tell you how to vote because that is not the heart of the issue. The heart of the issue for me, is your role in the situation.

    Soon, you will hear the issue of marijuana becoming a legal, recreational drug. I will tell you that I hate the idea. We can’t stop texting and driving or drinking and driving, so let’s add another straw on the camel’s back. So, what I will say is that just because something is legal, doesn’t mean you need to do it.

    I understand that money-wise, this could be huge for our state, but don’t we try to teach our kids, that money isn’t everything?

  • The Los Alamos County Traffic and Streets Division will be turning off the power to various streetlights Monday through Wednesday to enhance the viewing of holiday farolitos.

    For safety purposes, the county requests that all vehicles and trailers be moved to off street parking during the full period that lights will be off.

    If this is not possible, it is recommended that the vehicles and trailers be silhouetted by farolitos. Due to the limited sight visibility during the viewing, drivers are requested to travel the viewing areas at 15 miles per hour.

    The streets that will be affected will be Barranca Mesa, North Mesa, White Rock, Barranca Road, Camino Redondo, Canada Way, Los Pueblos (including side streets), Camino Medio, Canada Circle, San Juan, Cumbres Patio, Balboa Drive, Totavi, Alhambra Drive, Navajo Road, Barcelona Avenue, Brighton Drive and Briston Place.

    Contact the Public Works Department at 662-8150 or send an email to lacpw@lacnm.us for information.

  • The Northern New Mexico College’s Board of Regents approved a new tuition discount program for students age 55 and older.

    Starting with the Spring 2019 semester at the college located in Española, the “55+ Tuition Discount Program” allows students who are age 55 and older to take one three- or four-credit non-art course per semester for $150, all fees included.

    The $150 tuition rate will apply to the first non-art course that a 55+ student enrolls in each semester.

    This amounts to a 75 percent discount from regular in-state tuition and fees, which for three- or four-credit classes are $624.91 and $832.46 respectively.

    Even the state-mandated $5 per credit hour tuition for students age 65 and older amounts to over $200 when student fees are included.

    The 55+ Tuition Discount Program is designed to encourage elder community members, including parents or other relatives of existing college students, to explore and enjoy college classes at Northern for themselves, and to help remove financial barriers to doing so.

  • Nominations for this year’s Community Asset Awards will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday.

    Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA) will host the recognition event on Jan. 26 and tickets are just $10.

    Nominations can be made for individuals, clubs or businesses that make a difference in our community or in the world.

    Nominations can be made through their website at cya-nm.org or by calling 695-9139.

  • The Los Alamos Creative District announced last week that the New Mexico Arts Commission recently approved its request to expand the district to include the Los Alamos Nature Center and Reel Deal Theater.

    Both sites, which will now be considered Arts & Cultural Institutions of the Los Alamos Creative District, are within walking distance of the district.

    “I am delighted with the expansion of the Creative District and for future planning and projects for both Reel Deal Theater and the Nature Center,” said Jennifer Loveless, Los Alamos Creative District Curator and Events Manager. “The district represents an area where cultural, social, and economic activity takes place. It only makes sense to include these two establishments, where creative community activities happen on a daily basis.”

    The Arts & Cultural Districts program creates economic impact on districts that identify arts, history, artists, arts entrepreneurs, creative industries and cultural facilities as key assets of the community revitalization efforts.

    “The Arts & Cultural Districts Program helps our network communities identify strategies to improve the creative economy in our downtowns,” said Economic Development Secretary Matthew Geisel.