• Along the Pojoaque River Valley of Northern New Mexico in September, the cottonwood trees begin to reveal their brilliant changing colors and the local artists of the valley share their prolific creations with art lovers from near and far, offering a weekend of color, experience, inspiration, and an intimate glimpse into their creative environments.
    The Pojoaque River Art Tour will celebrate its 20th Anniversary beginning with a special reception, 5-8 p.m. Friday, at the Than Povi Gallery (next to Gabriel’s Restaurant in Cuyamungue).
    This event is free and open to the public and will feature a silent auction, hors d’oeuvres and Native American dances. The art tour will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 21-22 where art enthusiasts are welcomed into the artists’ homes, studios and galleries.

  • Taos will draw an estimated 1,000 bridge players from across the Southwestern United States as the town hosts the seven-day Regional Duplicate Bridge Tournament (District 17), Sept. 9–15 for the first time.

    “Bridge players from across the country have all been dealt a great hand by being able to visit Taos, New Mexico for the upcoming tournament,” Tourney Chair Winifred Stebbins said. “Bridge appeals to people of all ages because it requires strategy, memorization of rules, and promotes critical thinking. Plus, it bridges generations who can enjoy playing the game together.”

    Reports indicate that the game is growing in popularity among young people, with bridge clubs cropping up in schools across the country.
    In fact in 2011, the New York Times reported the results of a study which found that a group of bridge-playing fifth grade students in Illinois made larger gains on standardized tests than their classmates.
    District 17 of the American Contract Bridge League is composed of Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, along with parts of Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and Texas. District 17 holds six regional tournaments each year, each which are weeklong events. This is the first time the regional tournament will be in Taos.

  • Santa Fe
    Little Caesars, 3261 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: Aug. 7
    Violations: One low-risk violation. Cooks were not wearing hair restraints (corrected).
    Status of Establishment: Approved, following a complaint. No follow up required.

    Monte Del Sol Charter School, 4157 Walking Rain Road
    Date inspected: Aug. 8
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved for opening. No follow up required.

    Whole Foods Market, 753 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: Aug. 12
    Violations: Two moderate-risk violations. Thermometer was not working in the egg display, and the dishwasher hot water sanitizing gauge is not working. Two low-risk violations. Boxes of frozen food items were stored on the floor in the walk-in freezer (corrected), and the floors by the big kettles are not sealed.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Kikka @ Whole Foods, 753 Cerrillos Road
    Date inspected: Aug. 12
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Chilean Patagonian naturalists Gladys Garay and Oscar Guineo will present the findings from their wildlife studies on the Andean condor and huémul deer at Pajarito Environmental Education Center, 7 p.m. on Sept. 5.
    The huémul deer are an endangered species native to the mountains of Argentina and Chile in the Patagonia region.
    The Andean condor, a threatened species, is a large, black vulture.
    The Andean condor is a national symbol of several South American countries, and it has traditionally played an important role in the folklore and mythology of the region.
    The duo will entertain with findings and stories of these fascinating animals.
    The event is free to attend, and no advance registration is required.
    Garay and Guineo are well known and respected experts on the ecology and wildlife of the Magallanes Region of Chile.
    Together they have written and published various books and maps on the flora and fauna of Chilean Patagonia.
    Since the 1980s, they have worked on different wildlife projects with Iowa State University, University of Connecticut, private companies, and environmental and governmental organizations.
    Most recently, they headed a study of the endangered húemul deer.

  • The Los Alamos County Library presents the “Next Big Idea.” More than 175 framed prints, paintings and photographs are all free to borrow from the library.
    The library system has collections in many different formats: magazines, large print books, foreign language books and newspapers, DVDs, CDs, downloadable e books and audio books, all free for patrons to borrow or enjoy in the libraries. But art? Yes. The library has close to 200 framed prints, paintings, and photographs ready for hanging in a broad range of styles to freshen up your home or office environments.
    The public is welcome to come to the Mesa Public Library Art Gallery, Aug. 30 through Sept. 25, or until there is nothing left, to check out various works of art.
    The library not only has prints by the old masters, but many works by local artists too. Art available are a Van Gogh, art by Peter Hurd, Karol Mack, Fran Stovall, Doug Coombs, or a Santa Fe Opera poster.
    Normally, the collection is housed on racks near the magazines, but during the month of September, the library will showcase the entire collection by hanging all the art that is checked in at the time in the Upstairs Art Gallery.

  • The community’s Great Books discussion group has changed its focus from the classics to more modern readings. The group will now be known as the Mesa Readers. The group meets from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at Mesa Public Library.
    The group chooses selections that interest its members and selects books and short stories that meet participants’ choices.
    The fall session will commence on Sept. 10 in Meeting Room 3 at Mesa Public Library. “The Awakening,” by Kate Chopin will dictate that meeting’s discussion. Participants are asked to read the book before coming to the meeting. Futher readings will be chosen at the meeting.
    All are welcome. For more information, call Mary Cernicek at 662-7100.  

  • The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for The Power of Code, a new public art installation on campus.
    The event was today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., outside of Jeannette O. Wallace Hall.
    The commissioned work, by Santa Fe artist Nicolas Gadbois, is a bas-relief set in a floating wall, surrounded by windows, on the east exterior wall of Jeannette O. Wallace Hall.
    Gadbois and his piece were selected based on his proposal to capture a science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (STEMH) theme that reflects the focus of academics found at UNM-LA.
    The ceremony included a brief presentation where Gadbois described the inspiration behind his latest public work.

  • Dr. Greg Schneider, or Mr. Greg, as he is known to his “groupies,” is set to begin a new year of Music Together with a meet and greet Monday evening.
    While Schneider has degrees in Music Education and Composition, working as a professional musician for more than 30 years, including several positions with the Santa Fe Opera, his current claim to fame, just may be his work with children under five.
    “I was impressed enough with Music Together that I did a rather abrupt about face with my career in order become involved with the program,” Schneider said. “ I had always planned on being a full time university faculty member in a music department. “
    This summer Schneider continued his Music Together training, even after eight years of being involved with the program.
    Music Together is a music education program that highly involves parents and caregivers in the process, for children under five.
    “I’ve had students as young as three weeks old that are able to participate with age appropriate behaviors such as cooing on specific notes within a musical scale,” Schneider said.
    Schneider will have a
    Q and A on Monday, with a Wine and Cheese Party at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church, where the Music Together of Los Alamos classes are from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

  • The outdoor life is hopping throughout the year. Hikers are out and about in the fall on the various trails that Los Alamos has to offer, and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center is hosting Hiking 102. The first Hiking 101 was presented in June.

    Classroom instruction begins with Craig Martin on Tuesday. Martin is the Open Space and Trails Specialist for Los Alamos County and author of the book “Los Alamos Trails.”

    “I have either built or rebuilt many of the trails in the area,” Martin said. “I hike about 1,500 miles a year, ride a mountain bike and cross-country ski.”

    Martin continues to maintain and/or build trails on county open space. He is also a coordinate volunteer for projects in Santa Fe National Forest.

    Martin taught the introduction session of Hiking 101 in June. “My purpose is to convince people to take advantage of trail opportunities that living in Los Alamos provides. Hiking is such a simple, easy pleasure,” he said. “I also try to find ways to eliminate the fears that people have that keep them from getting outdoors. This class, I will include several ways to figure out which way is north.”

  • The Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of adoptable pets just waiting for their forever home!
    New shelter hours: The shelter is open Noon to 6 p.m., Monday thru Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the weekends.
    Be sure to check out the website at lafos.org, for more information about volunteering, adopting and donating, as well as read up on some of your favorite animals and learn more about special needs animals or cats and dogs that are currently in foster care. Also check out the Petfinder page for pictures and to learn more about all of adoptable pets.
    All adoptable pets are microchipped, spayed, or neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.
    Bella — How can you resist such a cute face? Bella is active and friendly — in fact, when she sees someone she likes, she loves to bounce up and down and show off her big floppy ears. She is a little shy initially with strangers, but quickly warms up to friendly human interaction. Bella is good with other dogs and loves going to the dog park. For a personalized introduction to this friendly dog, call her sponsor at 412-3998.
    Bitzy — Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix, who prefers the company of less energetic dogs, perhaps those not too much bigger than her.

  • As the weather is getting ready to start cooling down, the programs for late summer are just heating up at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center.
    “Not including our regular programs, like Nature Playtime and Green Hour Hikes, we have a dozen programs scheduled throughout August,” PEEC Executive Director Katie Watson said. “From day trips, to local hikes, to presentations and art classes, there is something for everyone at PEEC this month.”
    On Friday, Dorothy Hoard will lead the “Plein Air” (outdoor) art session. Hoard will give instructions on how to draw flowers, or anything else found in the landscape. Participants will choose the medium for this class, whether it’s drawing or painting. Hoard will bring some basic supplies so participants can try their hands at using different types of media, if they wish.
    Participants should meet at 9:30 a.m. at PEEC to carpool, or at 10 a.m. at the Cerro Grande Trailhead on State Road 4. The cost for the four-hour class is $30, or $24 for PEEC members. Space is limited, and advance registration is required.
    Community members are invited to join Paul Arendt on Saturday, as he leads a pleasant, intermediate level hike up Pajarito Canyon. The 2.5-hour, 3-mile hike is family friendly, so all ages are encouraged to join. Friendly dogs are welcome as well.

  • Los Alamos
    China Palace, 759 Central Avenue
    Date inspected: Aug. 6
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved, following a complaint of a cockroach seen in drapes. No follow up required.

    Daniel’s Cafe, 800 Trinity
    Date inspected: Aug. 6
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved, following a complaint that raw chicken was handled without gloves. The staff has been trained about sanitary issues. No follow up required.

    Giant, 11 Rover Blvd.
    Date inspected: Aug. 7
    Violations: None.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

    Knapp’s Wraps Mobile Unit, 128 State Road 4
    Date inspected: Aug. 7
    Violations: One high-risk violation. Hand wash not working.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. Follow up required on Aug. 21.

    Giant, 3701 Arkansas Avenue
    Date inspected: Aug. 7
    Violations: One high-risk violation. The cold holding temperature is incorrect.
    Status of Establishment: Approved. No follow up required.

  • Los Alamos is a haven for wild birds and many residents enjoy viewing them in their yards throughout the season. But what is the best way to attract birds to your yard? What are the considerations when feeding wild birds? What should you feed them, and how does this vary for the different seasons? Experts will answer these questions and more at a bird-feeding panel at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center 7 p.m. on Aug. 27.
    Panelists include Kurt Miller, Dave Yeamans, Bob Walker, Carolyn Mangeng and Terry Hodapp. Becky Shankland will moderate the discussion. Kurt Miller is a skilled birder and owner of Feathered Friends in Santa Fe, specializing in preparation of seed mixtures for specific local areas. All the other panelists, as well as the moderator are experienced bird-watchers who have successfully created attractive backyard habitats in both Los Alamos and White Rock.
    Yeamans will start the presentation with a slideshow of some wild birds that can be found around Los Alamos and White Rock. Then the panel discussion will begin, with plenty of time for Q and A from the audience. Topics to be covered include:
    • Why feed birds? What are the benefits? The harm? What else are we feeding? Is it OK?
    • What types of feeders are recommended and where should you place them for different habitats?

  • Bandelier National Monument announces the second annual Opera on the Rocks event.

    Opera Alta will perform Amahl and the Night Visitors 6:15 p.m., Sept. 21 at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater.

    The opera was originally created by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti for NBC making it the first opera written entirely for television. The event is an opportunity for those not familiar with opera, as well as for opera enthusiasts to enjoy listening in a special venue.  

    Hosts of the event include the Los Alamos Opera Guild, Guilds of the Santa Fe Opera, Opera Alta, Bandelier National Monument, and the Los Alamos Commerce Development Corporation.  Transportation is provided to and from the venue by Los Alamos Atomic City Transit.

    Don Quixote Distillery and Winery and Black Mesa Winery will feature local wines prior to the performance. “The National Park Service’s mission involves cooperating with partners to extend the benefits of cultural resource conservation and outdoor recreation for this and future generations. We are proud to partner with the opera guilds to promote this form of music to monument visitors and members of the community,” Superintendent Jason Lott said.

  • It is a grand tradition in Santa Fe this time of year to attend the fiestas. There is more to it than the Burning of Zozobra. Here are some highlights of what to expect this year.

  • Jessica Chipera may currently live in San Diego, but Los Alamos is where she calls home. She comes home to show her latest photographic artwork, 2-6 p.m. Saturday at the Morning Glory Bakery, 1377 Diamond Drive.
    At the age of 25, Chipera is already an internationally recognized and award-winning artist. She graduated from Los Alamos High School and is currently attending San Diego State, studying business.
    Her photography stems from science and astronomy influences brought on by growing up in Los Alamos. Her father, a geologist, gave Chipera her first camera when she was a teen. She has been shooting professionally since 2008. “I love the lore of the planet,” Chipera said, “everyone and everything on it and around it.”
    When she photographs people, Chipera said she is against using any software, like Photoshop, that will alter the way someone looks.
    She considers her photography a hobby, used to pay living expenses. “It is a very competitive business,” Chipera said.
    She has also gained recognition in other countries. Her art is has been seen in a gallery in London and museum in Cairo. In the United States, she has had shows in San Diego and in Los Alamos.

  • The Mountaineers meeting for August features a recent adventure to the canyons of Zion National Park in Utah.
    Canyoneering is the art and science of descending deep, narrow clefts by any means possible.  Sometimes walking will do, but more technical canyons require rappelling (descending a rope), stemming (pushing on both walls to stay above the bottom), or swimming. Fortunately for us, the Colorado Plateau has one of the greatest concentrations of narrow “slot” canyons in the road, most of them less than a day’s drive away.
    The Los Alamos Mountaineers traveled to Zion National Park in Springdale, Utah, for a canyoneering adventure this July, led and organized by Dan Creveling.  More than two dozen people participated, choosing from canyons with a variety of exotic names (Pine Creek, Birch Hollow, Subway, Echo, Keyhole and Behunin).  
    The Subway, for example, is named for a section that is almost a tunnel, with only a narrow slot giving an opening to daylight. The days were long and tiring, the rappels up to 160 feet deep, but the shared sense of adventure made the effort worthwhile.
    The Mountaineers will hear about the Zion adventure, 7:30 p.m., Wednesday at Crossroads Bible Church because of the construction at Fuller Lodge.

  • The American Tapestry Alliance announced that Evelyn Campbell from Los Alamos, has been given the ATA Award for Excellence in Tapestry for her piece, “Sandhill Cranes over Pajarito Acres.”
    The art was displayed at the “Celebration of Fiber” sponsored by Intermountain Weavers Conference last month at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo. Campbell’s tapestry measures 28 inches in height by 22 inches wide and is made from hand-dyed wool weft and cotton warp.  
    “Sandhill Cranes over Pajarito Acres” was inspired by a photograph taken by T.K. Thompson of cranes flying over my home in the Fall toward their wintering ground at the Bosque near Socorro,” Campbell said. “Our Las Tejedoras tapestry group challenged each of us to weave a tapestry illustrating ‘passages.’ Watching the sandhill cranes flying over Pajarito Acres and listening to them every Spring and Fall has been a passage that has been part of my life for 47 years.”
    “The decision to learn to be a weaver in my retirement years was because the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center in Española, made it easy to take all sorts of classes over the last 18 years,” she said.

  • This week, I wanted my column to focus on the Asset building ways and pending retirement of Chief Wayne Torpy.
    Chief Torpy is one of those people that the terms, “true gentleman,” and “a man’s man,” comes from.
    Since I moved to Los Alamos, every time a chief retired, or moved on, it has always seemed like big shoes to fill. I believe this time the shoes are pretty gigantic.
    There are some people that only need one name for you to know exactly who you are talking about, like Oprah, you only need “Chief.”
    The Chief is an Asset builder in a variety of ways.
    He was instrumental in getting the skate park here and was rather savvy in the placement location and actually involving teens in the entire process, not just in the lip service.
    He pushes his officers to be their best, in placing on boards and committees, allowing us to get to know more of his people.
    My favorite Torpy story is when we both sat on a local committee. At one point, we were both nominated for the vice chair position by other members on the committee. I almost swallowed my tongue at the thought that there was even a small chance that I would be selected over the Chief.

  • We would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people who planned and contributed to Corporal Alfred Roybal’s funeral.
    To work with people as dedicated as police officers has always been counted a blessing; one that most in the public never realize until they directly receive the benefit of protection or comfort that comes from their presence.
    On Thursday, we publicly witnessed the manifestation of honor, sacrifice, esteem, and dedication that a unique, and often underappreciated, group of men and women bestow on one of their own and to their family. The demonstration was in the way of full police honors for Alfred who died during the early morning of Aug.9.
    The fellowship that is shared throughout law enforcement, brought police officers from Española, Santa Fe, New Mexico State Police, Taos, Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, and Bernalillo County to pay their last respects with an Honor Guard providing a 21-gun salute, Taps, the Last Call and bagpipes playing Amazing Grace.
    In the spirit of the camaraderie of first responders, the Los Alamos Fire Department was also joined by Española Fire Department to also pay tribute to Alfred and his family with the suspension of a huge American flag between two ladder trucks at the entrance to the cemetery.