• 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.

    New Mexico History Museum and Santa Fe Opera to recognize “Atomic Histories” in 2018 and 2019. The History Museum’s exhibition will run through May 2019. The History Museum is located at 113 Lincoln Ave. in Santa Fe. Call 476-5200 for more information. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, May through October and closed Mondays November through April.

    Friday Art Walking Tours from 10-11 a.m. at the New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 W. Palace Ave., Santa Fe. Meet at the gift shop steps Fridays June through August. Call the front desk to confirm: 505-476-5063. Cost: $10 per adult. Call 505-476-5072 for more information.

  • For four years, the Albuquerque Ukekopelli Festival has brought some of the best-known ukulele instructor/performers to New Mexico to perform in a Friday evening concert and teach workshops for all levels of players, beginners to advanced.

    This year, with the theme of “Comic Books & Super Heroes,” the  festival features concert performers Jim and Liz Beloff, Fred and Lynn  Sokolow and Gerald Ross, plus instructors Craig McClelland, Sage Harrington, Jared Putnam, and Judy Muldawer.

    The festival kicks off Sept. 28, with a concert at 7 p.m. at the African American Performing Arts Center at Expo New Mexico. Then the fun continues the next day at the Albuquerque Marriott with workshops, vendors and a catered lunch, with final workshops Sunday.

    Workshop topics include Blues Ukulele with Fred Sokolow, the songs of Lyle Ritz with Jim Beloff, Intro to Swing Ukulele with Gerald Ross, Intro to Fingerpicking with Craig McClelland, Music Theory Demystified with Sage  Harrington, Jam in Any Key with Jared Putnam, plus many more.

  • The Museum Hill in Santa Fe offers local and visitors alike many events at the museums and botanical garden for free during Community Day Sept. 32.

    This event attracts 2,000 people to Museum Hill, where all museums offer a slew of activities for the entire family. 
    Community Day has become one of the capital city’s most popular annual events.

    This daylong event is hosted by Museum Hill Partners, which include the: Museum of International Folk Art; Museum of Indian Arts and Culture; International Folk Art Alliance; Museum of Spanish Colonial Art; the National Park Service; Santa Fe Botanical Garden; and the Wheelwright Museum of The American Indian.

    “Each year on this special day, we look forward to sharing the unique treasures of Museum Hill as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the dedicated community of museum lovers for supporting our museums and the beautiful Santa Fe Botanical Garden,” said Department of Cultural Affairs Cabinet Secretary Veronica Gonzales.

    Events include:

    • 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Museum of Indian Arts & Culture: Mural Painting on the Plaza and Indigenous Food Informational Booth.

    • 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Gerardo’s Andale Food Truck Wheelwright Museum.

  • CIMARRON – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is offering a special hunter education camp where youth can receive hands-on training and earn their hunter education certification for free.

    To hunt legally in New Mexico, youths under 18 years of age must first successfully complete a hunter education course or be registered in the department’s Mentored-Youth Hunting Program.

    The camp is open to youth ages 10 to 17 who are accompanied by a responsible adult, also registered for the camp. It will be conducted the weekend of Sept. 7-8, at the renowned Philmont Boy Scout Ranch near Cimarron. Meals and lodging in canvas tents are free.

    Registration for this camp opportunity is now open. Participants must complete and return the registration form available at wildlife.state.nm.us/education/hunter-education/ by noon, Aug. 19, to be eligible. Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    The department is hosting the camp in partnership with the Safari Club International Foundation.

  • Celebrate black bears with the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation at the second annual Bear Festival! The festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the nature center’s schedule is packed full of bear-themed programming all week long leading up to it.

    The week will kick off on Tuesday, Aug. 21 at a talk called “A Cub’s Life” from U.S. Forest Service wildlife biologist Daryl Ratajczak. Ratajczak will discuss the life of a black bear cub from the moment it’s born in a darkened den to its first steps as an independent yearling bear. The talk is free and will begin at 7 p.m. at the nature center.

    On Aug. 24, PEEC and LEWF will host the second-ever “Eat Like a Bear Buffet” from 6-8 p.m. Attendees will eat a dinner completely inspired by a black bear’s diet. The menu will feature smoked salmon catered by Pig + Fig, stuffed mushrooms off the grill, ants on a log, a big salad, rose hip tea, sub sandwiches served from a trash can, log cakes, chocolate acorns and more. The night will be fun, educational and delicious! Tickets for the dinner are on sale now at peecnature.org and are $50 for non-members and $40 for PEEC members.

  • During the most recent of my travels among the mesas and canyons of Northern New Mexico I discovered not one, but two, fabulous places to hunker down and ride out a storm.

    And both were on either side of the highway that takes travelers to and from Abiquiu.

    Since moving to Los Alamos, I’ve been trying to connect with locations in this part of the Land of Enchantment that played host to movie or television productions.

    I love watching movies and have gotten several suggestions on ones to watch that were filmed in the area.

    Our pressman here at the Los Alamos Monitor, Brian Dunwoody, told me he’s related to the owners of the rattlesnake that makes an appearance near the end of the movie “Hell or High Water” and how the movie was filmed in New Mexico.

    I’ve been close to where scenes for Only the Brave were filmed on the ski hill. And to Diablo Canyon in Sante Fe, which was mentioned in Hostiles and 3:10 to Yuma.

    There are so many more. Which is why I loaded up after church a couple of Sundays ago and headed for Abiquiu, a place rich in movie history.

  • In the waning days of The Black Hole in 2012, hundreds, if not thousands, of people stopped by to purchase what was left of the military surplus store’s inventory during a massive liquidation sale.

    The store’s founder, prominent anti-nuclear activist Ed Grothus, died in 2009, and his family no longer had the resources to keep the well-known store and institution to anti-nuclear activity in New Mexico open.

    As visitors came to purchase or take away the many pieces of castoff equipment from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, one visitor came to give something back to the store that served as a rallying point for those against nuclear warfare and those that weren’t afraid to put the activities going on at the Los Alamos National Laboratory under a microscope.

    Janire Najera, a photographer and visual artist who lives in the United Kingdom, dropped by at first because she was curious.

    “I was in New Mexico preparing for another project which entailed a month long road trip following the Old Spanish Trail from Santa Fe to Los Angeles when a friend shared with me a local newspaper article about the liquidation sale of The Black Hole,” Najera said.

  • Ed and Mary Little are celebrating their 75th anniversary today.  

    The Littles were married in Austin, Texas, where Ed was a pilot for the Army Air Corps at Bersgtrom Field during World War II.  Mary, then 20, took the long train ride from their home in Greensboro, North Carolina, to marry Ed.  

    There were only two attendants that attended their wedding and after the ceremony the four of them celebrated at The Chicken Shack. 

    After the war, they moved back to North Carolina where Ed got his degree in physics from UNC-Chapel Hill. Mary helped put him through school by working at the IRS and other jobs. 

    They moved to Los Alamos in 1950 and have lived in town ever since. They still make their home on Barranca Mesa in the house that they helped build in 1963. 

    Ed worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory for his entire career. They joined First Baptist Church in Los Alamos when they arrived and have been active in the church their entire lives. They are still faithful members and attenders.  

    Their two children, Robert and Susan, were born in Los Alamos. 

  • Registration for the New Mexico Master Gardeners’ State Conference will be closing soon. 

    The conference is open to the public and will be held in Albuquerque Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 at the Marriott Pyramid Hotel. Cost is $150 and registration is online at nmmgcon2018.org.  

    The theme is “sustainability,” or “Don’t fight Mother Nature – work with her.”

    Topics will include edible landscapes, waterwise growing for home gardeners, four-season gardening for pollinators, green roofs, sustainability lessons learned from ancient pueblos, composting and even learning how to develop your own vegetable, herb and flower varieties.

    Speakers include well-recognized experts such as author Judith Phillips, Landscape Architect Baker Morrow, sustainability consultant Jeff Goebel and others. 

    “We have designed this conference in the hopes of providing our attendees with new tools for their gardening toolkit, information on the latest sustainability trends and issues and some hands-on workshops to sharpen skills,” said conference co-chair Sam Thompson. “If you have a serious interest in southwest gardening, this is the place to be.” 

  • The LANL Foundation and invited guests celebrated the recipients of three scholarship categories Wednesday.

    Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarships support Native students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business-related fields. Regional College/Returning Student (RCRS) Scholarships are awarded to nontraditional students seeking a two-year degree or certification after a significant gap in formal education.

    The first Abiquiú Land Grant – Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Scholarship winner was also honored during the reception. This new award is specifically designated for descendants of an Abiquiú Land Grant family pursuing a bachelor’s degree, two-year degree or professional certificate in any field of study.

    A complete list of winners may be found at lanlfoundation.org/scholarship-recipients.

  • Summer fun continues at Pajarito Mountain with more events, a downhill Enduro race, live music, and hiking!

    On Aug. 23, Pajarito is hosting Dog Days of Summer from 4 p.m. to dusk. 

    Pajarito Mountain will offer lift-served mountain biking and hiking from 4-7 p.m., beer from Bathtub Row Brewing from 5-8 p.m., and live music from Eddie and the Nomads from 6-8 p.m.  

    Celebrate Equinox Day from 4-7 p.m. Sept. 20 with more lift-served mountain biking and hiking, beer from Bathtub Row Brewing, and live music. 

    Receive discounted lift tickets and rentals for both of these events, including $15 uplift tickets and $50 rentals that are available for purchase in the ticket office. 

    Pajarito will host the Party at Paja Enduro Sept. 8, with a lift-accessed Enduro mountain bike race hosted by Team Trail Party.  Gravity riders will enjoy this 100-percent lift-accessed Enduro race with four to five stages. 

    In addition to these events, Pajarito is open for bike and hike uplifts every Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 28.

  • The League of Women Voters’ community event, Lunch with a Leader, will be at 11:45 a.m. Aug 21 at the United Church of Los Alamos, located between Canyon and Rose across from the Aquatic Center. 

    The location was changed from the usual location at Mesa Library. There is parking all around the church. The event is in Graves Hall. 

    Additionally, the Atomic City Transit Bus no. 3 stops right outside the Church on Rose Street.

    This month’s speaker is Robert Rhatigan, who is currently at the University of New Mexico, in the Geospatial and Population Studies group.  

    Rhatigan is  originally from New York City, but  moved to New Mexico with his wife, Allyson, from Austin, Texas, so that she could study Ayurvedic Medicine. 

    They have a 3-year-old daughter.

    Rhatigan previously served as an environmental specialist for Texas’s largest rural development grant administration firm. 

  • Bonnie is a 5-year-old girl from Rio Rancho who needs a home. The German Shepherd and Australian Cattle Dog mix was transferred to Los Alamos County Animal Shelter about a week ago. She is very sweet and loves all kinds of people.

    Bonnie is spayed but she is a little overweight and would fit perfectly in a home that loves exercise.

    House training, leash training and obedience commands have all been taught to Bonnie already. She loves car rides and hikes as long as she can go her own pace.

    If you are interested in adopting this sweet dog or would like more information, the shelter can be reached at 505-662-8179.

  • This week, I would like to suggest that you practice getting up a little earlier, if you have kids attending school next week. It is always a harsh reality to all involved in the process.

    If you back up the going to bed time and make the time to rise earlier too, it will make the first few days much less harsh. It is the reason that I am always happy that school starts on a Thursday.

    Those two days of intensity really help to assist in the getting back in a routine.

    I think as parents and caregivers, we forget that it is a mad dash from the alarm going off to heading out the door. It helps if we plan ahead and help our children to plan ahead, too. Think about easy things to pre-package the night before and leave items in a row and easily accessible to make it easier on everybody, especially of you require kids to make their own lunch.

    This will be my last, first day back to school and I still want to make sure it is a positive start. Life is too short to be grumbling about anything on such a great day. You would feel the EXACT same way as the kids if you have 10 weeks off and had to go back to work.

  • Los Alamos Little Theatre will hold auditions for Neil Simon’s “Rumors” at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Aug. 17 and 2 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., Los Alamos.

    Scripts are available at Mesa Public Library.

    This over-the-top farce is a non-stop romp of confusion, miscommunication and  
    hilarity as an anniversary party goes awry when the host shoots himself, his wife goes missing, and the help is nowhere to be found.

    Directed by Patrick Webb. Performances will be Nov. 2-17.

    Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script and improvisational exercises. Characters needed are 10 characters, including four men, four women and two gender-neutral characters.

  • Once again, The Los Alamos Opera Guild of The Guilds of The Santa Fe Opera, Inc. is joining Bandelier National Monument to present Opera on the Rocks Sept. 15.

    The performance returns this year with a concert staging of scenes from several popular operas.

    The New Mexico Performing Arts Society will present selections from Gounod’s “Faust,” Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” Johann Strauss, Jr.’s “The Gypsy Baron” and Offenbach’s “Barcarolle,” all selections from their sold-out performances in Santa Fe.

    The New Mexico Performing Arts Society was founded to promote the work of New Mexico-based professional musicians and features several singers who have already delighted audiences at past Opera on the Rocks performances; Andre

    Garcia-Nuthmann and Jennifer Perez will be welcomed back. Artistic Director Franz Vote brings to Santa Fe many years of international experience, including conducting at Bayreuth and the Metropolitan Opera. Artist information may be found at NMPAS.org.

    Opera on the Rocks is an informal, family-oriented introduction to the world of opera, set in the beautiful, rustic amphitheater at Bandelier’s Juniper Campground.

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society (LACS) has selected the time, place and music for its first concert in 2019.

    The concert will be at the recently renovated Duane Smith Auditorium in Los Alamos at 4 p.m. Feb. 17, 2019.

    Beethoven’s “Mass in C” will be featured. The concert will also include Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus,” Copland’s “The Promise of Living,” and Charles Ives’ “Psalm 90.”

    Members of the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will join Choral Society in the performance.

    Choral Society is a large, non-audition choir that is open to all interested singers. It has existed since the Manhattan Project. Its rehearsals are normally held on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. at the United Church of Los Alamos. The first rehearsal for the Feb. 17 concert will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 11.

    Steven Paxton, the director of the choir, noted that new members will be welcomed in all sections.

  • I like the word “penultimate.” It’s actually one of my favorite words because it’s not too big and is a fun word to say.

    And it has a meaning that makes perfect sense, not one you have to go fishing for a reason to understand it with wrinkled brow after you’ve heard it used in a sentence.

    It simply means next to the last.

    It’s a good word, kind of a blue-collar type, one that can be used to “dress up” a sentence without making it look too pretentious.

    Like I said, just a fun word to use.

    Still, there are some sad connotations in which the word “penultimate” can be used. Saturday was one of them.

    Saturday I attended the penultimate date of the first-Saturday-of-the-month arts and crafts festival at the White Rock Visitors Center. The final date is Sept. 1.

    It’s sad because of all the fun I had at the next-to-the-last event in White Rock.

    Even though there were less than 10 tents set up with artisans showing and selling their wares on the grass at the Visitors Center, the ones in attendance were very friendly and enjoyed talking about their crafts to potential customers whether they walked away with a purchase or not.

    Special to the Monitor

    When I told friends I was going to Detroit, I received a lot of puzzled looks and raised eyebrows, followed by the question, “Why?” They were skeptical when I explained that my reason for visiting the town was curiosity-based, as rumor had it that “The D” was a reinvigorated destination and worthy of a look-see.

    Most people that I spoke to all had the same negative impressions of the city, as a gritty, seedy place with boarded up buildings, major unemployment and a high crime rate. Their views were likely shaped several years ago, based on photos and stories detailing some of the toughest and most challenging times in Detroit’s history.

    Filing for bankruptcy back in 2013 was a devastating blow to the image of this once storied town, the heart of the country’s auto industry and home to the Detroit Tigers, Eminem, the White Stripes, Motown and (maybe) Jimmy Hoffa’s body.