• While weight-loss surgery can help eliminate health problems, some friendly support can do wonders, too.As a result, the Los Alamos Weight-Loss Surgery Support Group is getting re-organized for residents who are either planning to have weight-loss surgery or have already had a procedure.The next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 16 at Los Alamos National Bank. There is no fee to attend meetings.Although the group has been around since 2002, most of the members have dropped out, member Teri Daly said.

  • Plans are ramping up for a celebration of Los Alamos’ 60th Anniversary in 2009.Los Alamos County was created on June 10, 1949, by action of the state legislature.The first order of business for the committee formed to plan the celebration is to create a design to identify all of the anniversary events throughout the year’s celebration. Anticipated uses for the logo include miscellaneous printed material, including letterhead, use on an anniversary event website and replication on T-shirts, hats and tiles.

  • Poetry sometimes seems to be surrounded in mystique, local poet David Mutschlecner said; it does not receive much attention from the public and is often viewed as inaccessible.To help bring this art form into the public eye, and to clear up people’s understanding about poetry, a special reading will be held at 7 p.m. March 20 in the upstairs rotunda at Mesa Public Library.The reading is in recognition of National Poetry Month, which is in April.

  • Calendars show the official first day of spring as the vernal equinox, which this year occurs on Thursday. Somehow the equinoxes never get as much attention as the solstices; they’re not the longest or shortest day of the year. But that’s actually the key to their luster. Equinoxes are the only two days of the year when day and night are the same length everywhere on Earth. Then the next day it shifts, with day lengths varying worldwide until the autumnal equinox in September brings it all together again.

  • A spaghetti dinner and silent auction will be held from 6-8 p.m. March 22 at the First Baptist Church to help fund overseas mission trips for four local teenagers. The teens, Daniel Dyer, Daniel Hill, Rachel Hill and Luke Westfall are planning to spend part of the summer participating in trips organized by Global Expeditions, a division of Teen Mania ministries.

  • Being a bookworm is about to payoff; Mesa Public Library is hosting the Battle of the Books March 21.Young people in grades four through eight can register at 5:30 p.m. for the book battle that follows from 6-8 p.m. Participants will receive a T-shirt and dinner.The biggest prize, however, is the chance to compete in the state Battle of the Books, which will be held April 19 in Las Cruces, N.M.To advance to the state level, young people first test their literary skills locally.

  • Don’t put away the skis and snowboards just yet; the opportunity to squeeze a few more runs down Pajarito Mountain will be offered during Skiesta Saturday at the ski area.Registration will be held from 8:30 -10 a.m. in the main lodge. Admission is free.The activities include Skin up, Ski Down at 9 a.m. Also, Slopestyle Snowboard and Ski Competition will be at 11 a.m. Following this competition will be the Ski and Snowboard Giant Slalom racing at 11:30 a.m. for Skiesta participants and at 10:30 a.m. for the ski race team.

  • Life is just too short not to see Morrie Pongratz dressed as Elvis Presley and this Saturday, you have the chance. Slide on your saddle shoes and tie up trainers because the third annual Fabulous Fifties Family Sock Hop is from 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Fuller Lodge.The fundraiser will benefit the Youth Activity Centers in Los Alamos and White Rock as well as the Los Alamos Family Council’s Counseling Center, both United Way agencies.

  • Love, like a lot of things in life, comes without any rules or guidelines so it’s up to you to determine what choices will cause good and bad effects. While loads of complicated advice about love exists, local playwright Robert Benjamin’s play, “Time Enough” offers some simple guidance: Just be brave.The audience gets this lesson from Ken (Eric Bjorklund) and Annie (Fran Martone), two people in their golden years who are attending a Shakespeare festival.

  • Although Gregory Martin, a 10-year-old pianist from Farmington, N.M., won the Jackie McGehee Young Artists’ Competition, several young musicians from Los Alamos were runners-up in the competition.First runner-up in the competition was Kathy Lin, a sophomore at Los Alamos High School, who received a $550 cash award. She played Beethoven’s “Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Opus 15.” Second runner-up was Catherine Chen, a junior at LAHS, who received a $450 cash award. She played Ravel’s “Concerto in G Major, I.

  • American String Teachers Association “ASTA was a wonderful experience,” wrote one student when asked to reflect on the festival, which was held Feb. 27 in Albuquerque. “To think that a public middle school orchestra was able to compete in such a prestigious competition and receive an excellent rating is extraordinary,” the student continued.

  • It is always better to be safe than to be sorry. So to prepare for the worst, the American Red Cross in Rio Arriba and Los Alamos counties are kicking off a grass roots campaign, called Heroes from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

  • Kai Davis admits he began climbing in the early 1980s with friends “who seemed to be safe and others who were obviously not so safe.” Since then, however, safety has become his mantra.And now, those who want to learn to rock climb but have been too scared in the past should rejoice: The self-proclaimed safety fanatic will lead the Los Alamos Mountaineers annual climbing school this year.The course requires a commitment of six weekday evenings, five Saturday mornings and one full Saturday for the graduation climbs.

  • Dreams will only die if you allow them to; Ashley Pond’s life and accomplishments are proof of this. Sharon Snyder, a retired teacher and historian, explained Pond envisioned a ranch school for boys. He had arrived in New Mexico to recuperate from typhoid fever, which he contracted while serving in Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in Tampa, Fla.

  • The United Church of Los Alamos looks ahead to spring break this weekend as it holds its Mexico Mission Auction, starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. The annual event puts funds into church coffers to help build homes for the needy during what is normally a chance to take a break.At press time, 64 builders have signed up to attend the weeklong construction project in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • Los Alamos Little Theatre presents “Time Enough” as its March offering for the 2007/2008 season. The play centers on romance, honesty and vulnerability in the lives of a man and woman in their 60s. It takes place in the sitting room of an inn, where both are staying to attend a Shakespeare festival. The festival’s presentation of “Taming of the Shrew” serves to frame the couple’s prickly developing relationship.

  • Los Alamos students have scientifically tested the world around them, and their experiments will be evaluated when they head to the regional science fair Saturday in Las Vegas, NM.Out of 164 entrants from the county event, 47 will take the two-hour trek to compete in the next level.“We have a committee of very excited, experienced and devoted parents, teachers, site coordinators and community members,” said Los Alamos Public Schools curriculum specialist Dawn Brown. “This enthusiasm definitely filtered to down the students.

  • 4.5 kernelsCollege English majors could write endless theses about how the term “limbo” applies to director John Sayles’ 1999 independent film.The aptly titled “Limbo” centers on the story of a beaten-down singer, her sorrowful boyfriend and her miserable daughter, but the camera sneaks into the mired lives of other residents of their small Alaskan fishing town as well.There’s no money, no cannery, no fishing boat, no father.

  • The chair chewed on both sides of my spine, starting from my neck and munching its way down to my tailbone, biting beneath my ribs and chomping the undersides of my shoulder blades. Do beans enjoy mastication this much? Does bread have an aching back? Beef jerky, I understand you better now: I, too, have been gnawed and mashed repeatedly until finally my muscles were fit for digestion.All the while, my feet rested in a small tub of bubbling water. Eventually, an incredibly wonderful woman asked me to remove one foot from the whirlpool and lay it on a towel.