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Features

  • BY ANN MAUZY
    Special to the Monitor

    What a gamble! Because of all the promises that the Duane Smith Auditorium would be ready in time, Los Alamos Light Opera (LALO) bet on late February dates and lost. But Lady Luck was with them, and Crossroads Bible Church agreed to host the romantic comedy “Guys and Dolls” a month later.

    Now, here it is! LALO presents the Tony Award winner from the 1950s in four performances, March 22, 23 and 24.

    When polled by LALO a year ago, theater enthusiasts in Los Alamos chose “Guys and Dolls” as the best bet for an upbeat and family-friendly show with great songs, a large cast, a full orchestra, and dancing.

    Laurie Tomlinson directs the show with favorite music director Gretchen Amstutz and choreographer Brooke Davis.

    “Guys and Dolls” is from a Damon Runyon short story about a couple of New York City gamblers, their rowdy pals, and the girls they fall for. It’s a classic, Tony Award-winning Broadway show, with book by Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling and music and lyrics by Frank Loesser. The full sets built for the Duane Smith Auditorium have been adapted to the new venue to transport the audience to “The Big Apple,” with  its gamblers, street vendors, chorus girls and con artists tempting the many tourists.

  • BY KELLY DOLEJSI
    Special to the Monitor

    Three years ago, Los Alamos Little Theater treated audiences to Peter Gordon’s “Murdered to Death.” This month, thespians will present the eagerly anticipated sequel, “Secondary Cause of Death,” Fridays and Saturdays, beginning this weekend.

    It’s 1939, and Colonel Charles Craddock has inherited Bagshot House, the setting for “Murdered to Death,” which he has remodeled into a hotel. Craddock is less than charmed to welcome Inspector George Algernon Pratt, who arrives once again, this time delivering to the colonel unfortunate news about his mentally unhinged wife. Very soon after, Pratt becomes ensnared in a dangerous and labyrinthine whodunit.

    Questions ensue and almost nobody escapes suspicion.

    Who is the enigmatic Polish count? Is Henrietta really an Army captain? Where does the colorful thespian Cardew Longfellow fit into the picture? And since this is 1939, where does Hitler fit in?

    Joan Maple’s less famous sister Cynthia, the housekeeper, Intelligence agents, and double-agents keep the plot spinning out of control in the best possible way.

  • The Fuller Lodge Art Center will open its newest exhibit “Spirit Lines” from 5-7 p.m. March 23.

    Through a myriad of mixed media, over 40 artists have shown us the spirit within their artwork.

    Whether through totems or religion, Shringar or Wabi Sabi, or even just seeing beauty in the broken parts of the world, “Spirit Lines” captures the soul of each artist on display. The public is invited to by and celebrate life as it is…perfect in its imperfections.

    Compassionate Touch Network will also be opening their exhibit, “PhotoVoice – Untold Minds,” in the Portal Gallery at the same time. This show is a dynamic approach to sharing photos, telling stories, and changing communities. At the heart of “Untold Minds” is the belief in giving voice to the individual and collective experiences of individuals living with serious mental illness.

    Elizabeth Brosha will be playing the harp through the evening. Meet the artists, listen to the music and enjoy free refreshments.

    The exhibits will remain on display through May 5.

  • Art exhibits
    National Museum of Nuclear Science & History has opened a permanent exhibit by American sculptor Jim Sanborn called “Critical Assembly, the Secrets of Los Alamos 1944: An Installation by American Sculptor Jim Sanborn,” which recreates the Manhattan Project experiments that determined when plutonium goes “critical in an atomic bomb.” The museum is open seven days a week from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and is located at 601 Eubank Blvd. SE, in Albuquerque. Call 505-245-2137 for information, or visit nuclearmuseum.org.

    The Face of Time exhibit open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at Fuller Lodge Art Center, 2132 Central Ave., Los Alamos, in the Portal Gallery at the Fuller Lodge Art Center, we will be featuring the work of local artist Jocelyn Warner! Warner’s show, “The Face of Time” will showcase her hand-made clocks, ranging in a variety of media from wood to ceramics. Open through Saturday.

    House of Eternal Return, Meow Wolf. Located at 1352 Rufina Circle, Santa Fe. Call 395-6369 for information. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed every Tuesday. Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

  • Like most of Adam Baker’s paintings, it all started with a gunfight.

    Baker, a painter who commonly depicts Western themes and is active in the reenactment scene in New Mexico, dreamed he was racing across the desert with a friend. They were reenacting a gunfight scene on horseback, giving chase across a dusty landscape. Guns were blazing and it was a chase reminiscent of any cowboy movie.

    There was just one problem: Their horses were metal.

    They were also coin-operated.

    “I woke up laughing.” Baker explains. “I thought, ‘I have to paint that.’”

    Today, the “Quarter” Horse series contains six paintings and will be a prominent part of Adam Baker’s upcoming exhibit at the Karen Wray Gallery. The artist is considering expanding the series out and developing a calendar (the sale of which hopefully won’t require patrons to pay in quarters).

    Humor is nothing new to Baker. He’s perhaps best known for his emotional portrayals of Old West cowboys and gunfighters. But he’ll add light touches and humor whenever it feels appropriate. And if a funny Jack Russell Terrier catches his eye, he’s just as likely to make it a subject of his art. His inspiration is strictly “whatever inspires me lately.”

  • The virtual library meets the actual library in Los Alamos Tuesday, when the Digital Bookmobile pulls into the parking lot to set up shop.

    The Digital Bookmobile is on a coast-to-coast tour, stopping at libraries and schools to tout the benefits of digital reading and listening. The innovative mobile exhibit provides an interactive experience for readers of all ages to explore eBooks and audiobooks available at local public and school libraries.

    Visitors can sample a variety of devices, talk with eReading experts and ask questions of Los Alamos staff about the specifics of the library’s OverDrive program. Tours are free and open to the community, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. March 20, in the upper parking lot at Mesa Public Library.

    A high-tech update to the traditional bookmobile, OverDrive created this vehicle for libraries and schools to promote their digital book collection. Aboard the truck, readers can learn how to borrow digital books – including J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, James Patterson’s Black Book and a million other popular and educational titles.

  • The community is invited to a student-led community forum from 6-7:30 p.m. March 20 at the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater.

    The purpose of this meeting is to give students the chance to be heard and for the community to be involved in the discussion about school safety.

    All interested students, parents and community members are invited to join the round table discussions to engage in dialogue about what the district is currently doing and what can be done moving forward to make a difference in the safety of schools.

  • This month’s meeting of the Military Order of World Wars Chapter 229 will be at 6 p.m. March 20 on the second floor of the Los Alamos Research Building.

    This month’s speaker will be state Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard. She will be talking about what happened at this year’s legislative session.

    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 Military Order of the 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 of meatloaf and appropriate side dishes. Cost of the dinner is $25 per person. To make a reservation, a for the dinner is needed by Sunday. Call Eleanor Pinyan, 672-3750, or email her at depinyan@cybermesa.com.

  • This week, I wanted to catch you up on a few things that I have been working on lately.

    I started out the year on a health kick, as one of 12 evolving New Year’s resolutions. I have been doing pretty good and sometimes it isn’t that hard at all, so perhaps that is creating habits.

    Then we rolled into February, and I used that time as thank-you note writing time. I selected random people or businesses that may never get thanked for the work they do every day. I really enjoyed that and will try and be more liberal with adding to the list.

    March has more of a personal, as well as health focus again, and I’m trying to keep up with some personal goals. We will see how it goes, but this year, I really see that setting goals doesn’t have to be painful or ridiculously monumental.

    A while back, I asked for your help on gathering good news about former Los Alamos High School teacher Joy Handsberry and trying to accumulate 50 stories, memories or pictures prior to her 50th birthday on April the 5. I still could use some help there, so head on over to Facebook if you would like to assist or call 695-139.

  • The Los Alamos Mountaineers will host a talk by local adventurer Ron Morgan at their next meeting at 7:15 p.m. March 27 at the Nature Center.

    In 2017, Morgan set out with his climbing partners to climb mountains around the world. He began in June with Mount Rainier in Washington state and Tocllaraju in Peru and ended his journey in Mexico in December by climbing Pico de Orizaba and Iztaccíhuatl.

    “My climbing partners and I summited a number of the world’s most beautiful mountains and were turned back only once. ... Lady Luck smiled from high places, and it was an awesome year,” Morgan said.

    Morgan has been a member of the Los Alamos Mountaineers since 2005 and his lifelong addiction to adventure and the outdoors has been enhanced by the “LAM Characters Club.” He took the Climbing School in 2009 with Bill Geist.

    This event will be at the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road. It is free. For more information about this event, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.

  • Del Norte Credit Union (DNCU), northern New Mexico’s hometown financial cooperative finishes strong during an annual Grateful Gram campaign between employees.

    The initiative aims to raise funds for one of the leading organizations that feed underprivileged families across northern New Mexico, The Food Depot.

    “The goal is to remind each other of the great work that we do for our members and the communities we serve”, says Talent Development Specialist, Kathy Ritschel. “Together we can show appreciation while being kind to one another.”

    Employees are able to purchase grateful grams for a small donation, write a thoughtful note to the receiving employee about a time when she or he helped or inspired them during the year. The recipient is also given a Del Norte Credit Union star sticker, entitling them to a casual dress any day of the week. In total, $787 was raised from $1 donations – all from DNCU employees.

    “The success of this campaign is meaningful as it shows that our employees are willing to get involved for a good cause, but it also speaks of great team-work throughout the year – and the celebration of those accomplishments”, says Del Norte Credit Union CEO and President Chuck Valenti.

  • Los Alamos High School students will be selling March For Our Lives shirts during lunch today and Thursday.

    Students at the high school and middle school will participate today in an observance of 17 minutes of silence in honor of the victims of the Parkland, Florida from 10-10:17 a.m.

    Instruction will be paused during the student event.

  • This month’s League of Women Voters’ Lunch with a Leader will be on March 20 at Mesa Library at 11:45 a.m.

    This month’s speaker will be analyst Robert Gibson. He will briefly recap the most recent legislative session, but will focus on what he has learned about the legislative process beyond Civics 101 in an innovative manner as you might surmise from the title: Making Sausage:  Observations of a Fly on the Wall at the Merry Roundhouse.

    Gibson has served on the Los Alamos County Council, Board of Public Utilities, Transportation Board, the first Charter Review Committee, and most recently the Future Energy Resources Committee. For the past four sessions of the New Mexico State Legislature, he has been a bill analyst, researching proposed legislation for three different House committees and the Senate minority caucus.

    When not engaged in developing public policy, Gibson is a physicist and engineer, retired from LANL but pursuing other projects. He also continues to fly part-time as a professional pilot and pursues several hobbies. He and his wife Lori Heimdahl Gibson, an educator and artist, reside on North Mesa.

  • TODAY
    Los Alamos Chapter Order of the Eastern Star meeting at 7 p.m. in the Mason Lodge, North Sage Street, (on the corner of 15th and Canyon). For more information, contact Worthy Matron Mary Ethel Plotner, 661-4233, or Past Matron Judy Goldie, 662-3797.

    Brent Vernon in concert with Sam at 6:30 p.m. at White Rock Presbyterian Church, 310 Rover Blvd., White Rock. Free with offering.
    THURSDAY
    Night with a Nerd at 6 p.m. at projectY Cowork, 150 Central Park Square. BSMA members are free, cost is $10 for others. Alan Carr, the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s historian, will talk about how the lab originated and how it evolved into the institution it is today. The talk will be followed by a reception and light refreshments. Register at Bradburyassociation.org.
    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walk
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    The Olions will present the musical: “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” at 7 p.m. at Los Alamos High School, 1300 Diamond Drive. Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students and $5 for children under 6.

  • March is the perfect time to learn the tricks to extend the growing season for your garden. Natali Steinberg will teach everything you need to know to start and care for your veggies and annuals before the last frost from 1:30-3:30 p.m. March 18 at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

    This class will teach gardeners how to start seeds indoors, transplant successfully into the garden, and start some veggies directly in the garden.

    There will be handouts and demonstrations, but no seed planting during class.

    Steinberg has taught this class for 20 years at a nursery/greenhouse in Boulder. She had a large vegetable garden on her farm, and she sold produce at the Boulder Farmers Market. Steinberg also raised and sold bedding plants.

    The cost is $25, and Pajarito Environmental Education Center members save $5. Advance registration is required. To register or learn more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit peecnature.org, email programs@peecnature.org or call 662-0460.

  • The Venice Baroque Orchestra, one of the world’s great period instrument ensembles, will appear in Los Alamos at 7 p.m. Friday in the Crossroads Bible Church, 97 East Road.

    Presented by the Los Alamos Concert Association, the ensemble will bring with them recorder virtuoso Anna Fusek.

    LACA’s usual venue, the Duane Smith Auditorium is undergoing renovation and will not be available for this performance.  Concert attendees are encouraged to carpool and arrive early as parking in the Crossroads Bible Church parking lot and surrounding vicinity is limited. 

    Fusek, a native of Prague, has a distinguished career throughout Europe as both recorder soloist and in Baroque opera production. The Venice Baroque Orchestra is a much-admired exponent of the Italian Baroque and is notable for its rediscovery of many 17th and 18th century masterpieces several of which will be included in its Los Alamos program.

    Anna Fusek will perform one of those discoveries, a sonata for recorder and basso continuo by the all-but-forgotten Giovanni Antonio Pandolfi Mealli.  She will also be featured in two concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, one a double concerto in partnership with concert master Gianpiero Zanocco.

  • The Fuller Lodge Art Center has a long list of classes for students of all ages this spring.

    Many of the instructors have become a household name within the art community. This year, the center would like to introduce another fantastic artist and teacher, award-winning artist Roberta Remy, whose work can be found in corporate and private collections throughout the U.S., Brazil and Europe.

    Remy, who will be teaching an upcoming pastel course designed for adults and teens, attended Parsons School of Design, School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League of New York.

    There, she studied painting with master painters Frank Mason, George Passantino, David Leffel, and Sherrie McGraw, and drawing and anatomy with Robert Beverly Hale.

    Formerly a New York-based illustrator whose clients included Macmillan Publishing, Playskool, Cabbage Patch Kids and McDonalds, she now makes Santa Fe her home base, where she’s been expanding her teaching activities since 1995.

  • The Village of Jemez Springs is gearing up for a second attempt at its 2018 Cabin Fever Festival.

    A forecast of inclement weather forced postponement of the original date of Feb. 24. Now that a new date has been set organizers are anticipating better weather as they finalize preparations for the annual celebration.

    “Most weather reports were forecasting highs in the low 30s and gusty winds on the day of the event, so to be prudent and fair to our visitors and vendors, we postponed the event,” said Mayor Bob Wilson. “We apologize to those who had planned to attend our Cabin Fever Festival but we hope they will still attend (later this month).”

    The new date for Cabin Fever Festival is March 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

    The annual event includes a variety of fun activities, including chain saw carving demonstrations by Sandia Bear Company, a dog costume contest, pie-baking competition, live music and arts and crafts.

    “What we shoot for is a fun community event,” said Wilson. “We bring in some bands and have mostly local vendors. Some of the non-profit groups from the area participate and the forest service always shows up with some of their demonstrations. It’s just meant to be a fun community event.”

  • President Emeritus of Los Alamos National Laboratory and Stanford University Research Professor Dr. Sig Hecker will be the guest speaker at an elegant dinner and talk set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. March 19 at Las Campanas Clubhouse, 132 Clubhouse Dr., Santa Fe.

    Seating is limited at this event and reservations are required by March 16.

    Hecker will offer his thoughts and opinions on the exclusive “nuclear club,” focusing on North Korea, Russia, and the Iran deal among many other urgent issues in a presentation entitled, “A Tour of the Nuclear World.”



    Hecker is an internationally recognized expert in plutonium science, global threat reduction and nuclear security.

    As discussed recently on 60 Minutes, Hecker has made some extraordinary visits to North Korea to assess its plutonium programs and advances in nuclear weapons – a development that now directly threatens the United States.

    Hecker is a professor in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). He was co-director of Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) from 2007-2012. From 1986 to 1997, Dr. Hecker served as the fifth Director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

  • Richard Cahal Thompson, Santa Fe parks division director will give a free talk during the Santa Fe Chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico meeting at Christ Lutheran Church at 6:30 p.m. March 21.

    The talk is entitled “The Face of Change.” It concerns the possibility of planting more native plants in Santa Fe.
    Cahal earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from TAMU Kingsville. Upon graduation, he moved into municipal forestry with the City of San Antonio.

    He was then promoted to River Walk horticulturist, River Operations supervisor, horticulturist II, and then senior horticulturist.  Since leaving San Antonio, he worked as a contract Forester, Urban Forester, parks superintendent, project manager, and is now parks division director in Santa Fe.

     The meeting will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, at 1701 Arroyo Chamiso, located in the triangle of Old Pecos Trail, St. Michael’s Drive and Arroyo Chamiso. It is directly across the street from Fire Station No. 4. Meetings and talks are free and open to all. For more information, email Dr. Tom Antonio: tom@thomasantonio.org or call 690-5105.