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Features

  • LA Community Winds to host concert

    The Los Alamos Community Winds will present a commemorative Memorial Day Concert at 1 p.m. Monday on the lawn at Fuller Lodge.
    Patriotic selections, as well as fun tunes and medleys for the entire family, will performed. Bring a blanket and a picnic lunch and enjoy some great music.
    Please note that this is a change from the original posted time and place.

    Memorial Day Ceremony set for Monday

    The community is invited to the Memorial Day Celebration to be held at 11 a.m. Monday at the Guaje Pines Cemetery in Los Alamos.
    A lunch will follow the ceremony at the American Legion Post 90 at 1325 Trinity Drive.

  • The Los Alamos Choral Society’s 2018 Memorial Day concert, “Freedom!,” is scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at the United Church, 2525 Canyon Road, Los Alamos.

    Tickets will cost $15 per adult at CB Fox in Los Alamos or at the door. Student admission will be free.

    This will be the Choral Society’s first concert since Steve Paxton took over as conductor.
    Paxton, former chairman of the Contemporary Music Program at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and a veteran of 25 years teaching music composition at Texas Tech, said in a recent interview that he chose music for this concert that reflected the values for which Americans have been willing to fight and die.

    Those values, as expressed in the music, range from freedom of religion to civil rights for all; from appreciation of labor to love of the land; from support for creativity in the arts to dreams of justice expressed by our founders and refined and widened in today’s hopes for a better future.

    The concert will begin with Choral Society and the audience singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which is based on a poem written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, when, at dawn, he saw the U.S. flag still flying over Fort McHenry, which had withstood a bombardment by the Royal Navy.

  • An important part of the strategic plan of the Los Alamos Public Schools Foundation is to provide quality professional development opportunities for educators. Twice annually teachers can apply for professional development grants from the LAPS Foundation. Last fall, several art teachers applied for a grant to attend the 2018 National Art Education Association (NAEA) National Convention in Seattle through Thursday. The LAPS Foundation was able to fund 4 teachers to attend: Daisy Gorman-Nichols (Mountain), Libbi Lovejoy (LAHS), and Elizabeth Fisher and Laura Parkison (LAMS).

    Two additional teachers, Renee Mitsunaga (Chamisa) and Mary Grace (LAHS), were able to attend with separate funding.

    In the request to the LAPS Foundation, Mitsunaga, chair of the LAPS art department, stated “As we [art teachers] collaborate to research, share best practices, techniques, and projects with each other, we recognize the need to look nationally to be current with the new, exciting, and changing trends in art education.”

  • There’s a sign I read every time I start to drive across Omega Bridge heading toward the lab.

    It’s not the largest, most prolific sign in Los Alamos County, just a simple sign, triangular in shape, black letters on a white background. Even though the sign’s message is simple, consisting of only two words, it may be the most powerful bit of signage we can be reading.

    All it says is: “Drive Friendly.”

    I like it. In fact, I like it a lot.

    I think each of us can benefit from a “friendly” little reminder every now and then, some maybe on a daily basis.
    Shortly after I moved here in February I found myself covering a story in which a driver actually pulled a gun on another driver and shot him in an apparent case of road rage.

    How could someone get so angry with another person that they think shooting them – while operating a motor vehicle, no less – is a proper way to solve the issue?

    I guess that could be said in response to a lot of issues involving anger these days.

    To be honest, I have in the past been know to holler at another driver after they’ve cut me off in traffic or done something that almost caused us to end up in an accident. Maybe even given them a dirty glance or sarcastic thumbs up.

  • Those looking to start a garden, or perhaps improve what they already have, should mark June 2 on the calendar. That’s the date the Los Alamos Master Gardeners Association is opening up six member gardens to the public.

    Called the Master Gardeners Garden Tour, the free event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will feature six gardens, five maintained by residents, and one by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. Residents are welcome to stop by each of the gardens between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., where the garden’s owners will give a tour and offer tips.

    “There will be people stationed at various places who will be able to answer questions,” former Los Alamos Master Gardener’s Association President Denise George said.

    Some of the gardens will have lists of plants that have been successful growing in Los Alamos County.

    The event is to show what’s possible in a mountain desert climate, for beginner gardeners and the advanced alike.

  • The public is invited to a State of Education speech at Los Alamos Public Schools Monday.

    The presentation is hosted by the District Parent Council and will be from 5:30-7 p.m.

    The LAPS School Board and Superintendent Kurt Steinhaus will speak at the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater.

    This event is open to all parents, staff, students and interested community members. The evening will include special presentations by the High School Bel Canto Choir, a slide show of student artwork and a video of LAPS students.

    Light snacks prepared by parents and LAHS students will be available, along with water and tea.

  • By RYAN NAKASHIMA and MAE ANDERSON, AP Technology Writers

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google put the spotlight on its artificial intelligence smarts at its annual developers conference Tuesday, announcing new consumer features imbued with machine learning.

    Many of the updates have a practical bent, designed to ease tasks such as composing emails, making lists, navigating city streets and lessening the digital distractions that have increasingly addled people's lives as a result of previous tech industry innovations.

    One of the biggest crowd-pleasers for the thousands of software developers who gathered at the outdoor conference was an augmented reality feature on Google Maps that helps people get walking directions. Users will be able to follow arrows — or possibly a cartoon-like creature — that appear on a camera view showing the actual street in front of them.

    Some new features for Android phones also aim to improve people's digital well-being, including a new "shush" mode that automatically turns on the "Do Not Disturb" function if someone flips their phone face down on a table. And "Wind Down Mode" will fade the screen to greyscale at a designated bedtime to help users disconnect before bed.

  • If you meet Sid, a Bombay-American Shorthair cat at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter, you have to keep a secret from him. He thinks he’s a black panther.

    But in reality, Sid is like most cats at the animal shelter – very friendly and in desperate need of a forever home.
    He’s a bit of a big boy, too, for a 9-month old.

    Another thing people should know about him is that he’s never really had a forever home. Los Alamos County Shelter volunteers received him from the Animal Welfare Coalition of Northeastern New Mexico. Sid had been at the coalition shelter from the age of 7 weeks old.

    It’s a bit of a mystery too, since volunteers say he’s very friendly toward humans (including children), other cats and dogs.

    Sid likes to sleep in small spaces. Sid has been micro chipped, and has been vaccinated and is disease free.

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

  • The Los Alamos League of Women Voters invites the public to the final candidate forum to introduce candidates who have opposition in the June 5 primary election.

    The forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 9 at Fuller Lodge.

    Come to the forum on Wednesday, May 9, at Fuller Lodge. Refreshments and conversation with the candidates will begin at 6:30 p.m.

    Candidates expected to attend this forum will be:

    • First Judicial District Court Judge, Division 2: Gregory S. Shaffer, Donna M. Bevacqua-Young, Maria E. Sanchez-Gagne, and Jerry A. Archuleta (all Democrats);

    • First Judicial District Court Judge, Division 5:  Jason Lidyard and Matthew Jackson (both Democrats)

    • New Mexico House of Representatives, District 43: Pete Sheehey and Christine Chandler (both Democrats).
    All of the judicial candidates listed above are Democrats; there is no Republican opposition.  Hence, the winner in each division will become the only candidate for the November election.

    The Democrat who wins the primary election for House District 43 will face the Republican candidate Lisa Shin in November.

    Before the November 6 general election, the League will hold a round of forums for all of the candidates on the November ballot.  

  • Former long-time Los Alamos resident Jessica Kisiel will give a free presentation at 7 p.m. May 17 at Mesa Public Library.

    Her talk: “Healing Chronic Pain Through Alignment,” documents her journey from elite athletics to being a chronic pain patient and back to competitive sports.

    Kisiel’s story, and those of several clients she helped return to an active lifestyle, is documented in her recently published book, “Winning the Injury Game” (https://thepfathlete.com/book/).

    She is excited to share her insights about healing and message of hope for rising above chronic pain with the community that supported her during her recovery.

    Kisiel overcame severe hip osteoarthritis, three knee surgeries and debilitating back and neck pain through the alignment and training strategies she describes in her new book.

    The book is written for the active person living with chronic pain that wants to keep moving and playing sports. It is for someone who has tried the standard approaches to healing but still hurts and is open to an alternative approach.

    The book is organized into three sections. Section 1 addresses the mental and emotional side of injuries, section 2 describes the link between physical alignment and pain, and section 3 explores an approach to training that respects the body.

  • Cold War Patriots (CWP), a community resource organization that is the nation’s strongest and most sustained voice advocating for worker benefits, will host free town hall meetings for nuclear weapons and uranium workers in New Mexico Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 2 p.m. each day.

    With a new format this year, CWP is making it easier for workers to get the specific information they need about the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act.

    The morning sessions, starting at 10 a.m. will be customized for people who have already applied for EEOICPA benefits and have either been awarded a U.S. Department of Labor white medical benefits card or have a pending claim.

    The 2 p.m. afternoon sessions are for workers who haven’t yet applied for their benefits or those who have applied but whose claims have been denied. There is no new information for post 1971 uranium miners at this time. The afternoon session participants will learn:

    • If they qualify for up to $400,000 in monetary compensation and free healthcare

    • How to apply for benefits

    • What benefits are included

    • How to reopen denied claims

  • The “Voices of the Manhattan Project” oral history website, a joint project of the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society, now features 500 video and audio interviews with Manhattan Project veterans, family members, and experts.

    “The website contains 500 first-hand accounts, providing a kaleidoscope of perspectives on the Manhattan Project. Readily accessible online, the collection is a treasure trove for journalists, scholars, documentary producers, museums, educators, students and audiences worldwide,” said Cynthia C. Kelly, president of AHF.

    Launched in 2012, the “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website now reaches more than 10,000 people per month.

    Both organizations are continuing to record interviews around the country. AHF and LAHS hope to publish an additional 500 interviews on the website by 2020, and to expand the scope of the site to include interviews with Cold War nuclear workers, Japanese atomic bomb survivors, and nuclear experts today.

  • Members and friends of the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Universalist Church will host a church service dedicated to the work of the trip to Mexico Sunday.

    The spring break travelers will share their experiences of what took place on the life changing venture. The team of 75 built 3 homes for 3 families in four days. The Puerto Penasco venture is a year in the making, with a long history of service.

    One local first timer on the trip, was LAHS junior Jack Whitacre. Whitacre was invited by a friend who had been on a previous trip.

    The United Church of Los Alamos is located at 2525 Canyon Road. The Sunday service will begin at 9:30 and last for one hour. Additional information is available at 662-2971.
     

  • 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.

    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.

    Spirit Lines Exhibit at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Find beauty in the broken and imperfect in the tradition of Wabi Sabi. Over 40 artists from around the country have submitted their works in the Spirit Lines theme. Works will be on display until May 5. Art gallery open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

  • The Whiskey Classic, an immersive event experience designed for whiskey, bourbon and scotch aficionados, industry professionals, as well as those who want to discover the art behind these beverages, will be Oct. 13 at the Bonanza Creek Movie Ranch in Santa Fe.

    The venue is one of the most famous western movie sets in the film industry. Bonanza Creek Ranch offers a 24-building western movie town, which was first used for “The Man from Laramie” movie set in 1955.

    Later, the ranch was used for such blockbuster hits as “Lonesome Dove” and “Lightning Jack.”
    Most recently, the movies “Cowboys and Aliens,” “Appaloosa,” and “3:10 to Yuma,” among many others have filmed there.

    “Utilizing this iconic movie backdrop nods to the history of New Mexico, the state’s incredible film industry partners and celebrates the tradition of whiskey making,” said Micaela Brown, Producer of The Whiskey Classic.

    “We have some availability for brands to participate as a vendor or sponsor in either our tasting tent or western movie structures. This is the most uniquely immersive event experience New Mexico has to offer, and we anticipate a sell-out crowd!”

    Early bird tickets can be bought right on the event website.

  • BY DEBBIE STONE
    Special to the Monitor

    My typical vacation often involves being on the go from morning until night, as I engage in a frenzy of activities aimed at seeing all the notable sights of a particular destination. I feel the need to do everything since I don’t know if I’ll have the chance to make a return visit to the place. The pace is tiring and I sometimes find myself needing a vacation from my vacation when I get back home. This time, however, I vowed things to be different. After extensive research, I opted to do a barge cruise in Holland with European Waterways.

    The prospect of kicking back and slowing down, while savoring immersive experiences along the way, greatly appealed to me. And the idea of being part of a small group, as opposed to a cast of thousands, was also attractive.

    But, what sealed the deal for me was the boat itself. Hearing the word, “barge,” I initially imagined I’d be roughing it an old, sea-worn craft with cramped quarters. Au contraire! 

  • In a span of 30 minutes Saturday I was: startled by a rattlesnake’s rattle, was squawked at three times by a bald eagle and walked up on a golden eagle eating part of a rat.

    I had never experienced any of those three things in person before. It’s safe to say the sound of the rattlesnake shaking its rattles at me is a sound I will never forget. It was truly a “stop you in your tracks” moment.

    Thankfully the snake was in an aquarium at the New Mexico Wildlife Center in Española. The two eagles were in enclosures outside the main building. Each had been rehabilitated after being brought to the center, but none of the three, for one reason or another, would ever be released back into the wild.

    I enjoyed my visit to the center. It was too quick, though, because I got there about 30 minutes before closing time.

    As I was leaving I was invited to come back when the cacti in the cactus garden would be in bloom. I most definitely will.

    But my visit to the center made me think about Earth Day 2018, which is scheduled for Sunday with accompanying activities going on all weekend.

  • To welcome in spring right, the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra will feature works by Leonard Bernstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and Mozart in a concert at the Crossroads Bible Church Friday at 7 p.m.

    The concert is free, but donations will be accepted.

    The concert will feature tenor soloist Tjett Gerdom and soprano Jennifer Perez.

    Local concertgoers may also be familiar with Gerdom’s work. Gerdom soloed with the Los Alamos Choral Society; Santa Fe Music Works; Coro de Cámara; New Mexico Bach Society; Los Alamos Oratorio Society; and the Santa Fe Community Orchestra.

    Gerdom also conducted the Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, of which he is also the principal trumpet.

    Gerdom said this is the perfect concert to open the spring season with.

    “It’s the light classics, it’s a fun concert,” Gerdom said.

    Gerdom has also performed at Mardi Gras in New Orleans; at Carnival in Nice, France; Chicago’s Symphony Hall; St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy; Salisbury Cathedral; and the Pantheon in Rome.

    Perez is an accomplished opera singer who has sung for the University of New Mexico Concert Choir. Perez also performed in many children’s operas as part of the Santa Fe Opera’s Community Outreach Programs.

  • Visitors to Bandelier National Monument will enjoy a fee-free day and the opening of an art exhibit at the park’s Fire Tower on Saturday.

    “We invite everyone to come out and take advantage of a fee-free day this Saturday and enjoy Bandelier before the busy summer season sets in,” said Joanie Budzileni, who is the chief of interpretation and visitor services for the park.

    The fee-free day is in conjunction with Earth Day 2018.

    The art exhibit is entitled “The Edge Effect: re-Imagining the East Jemez Landscape.” It is being shown in collaboration with the East Jemez Landscape Futures Project.

    Installation of the exhibit is by Kathleen Brennan and Shawn Skabelund. It opens Saturday and closes May 6 and can be seen each day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

    Visitors will be able to record their stories of changes in the East Jemez for the oral history archives.

    Kimberly DeVall, who is the chief of interpretation and education at Valles Caldera National Preserve, said the preserve is currently fee free and will be open to the public, but there are no special Earth Day activities planned at the preserve.

  • One of the many reasons we try to promote the 40 Developmental Assets® is that as youth grow, they can gain the skills and traits that help them make good choices.

    April is underage drinking prevention month. Way back in October, many students planted bulbs in community gardens, which grow and bloom during this month. The nation-wide effort is part of a strategy to remind children to make good choices throughout their lives.

    My husband, along with Lonnie Mehlin, created a pledge garden at the direction of then Chamisa Principal, Kate Thomas that first bloomed in 2008. Every year, with the help of volunteers and Mother Nature, many students from the past, can see the current flowers bloom and are reminded to make good choices, respect their bodies and that it is their choice.

    I find one of the most important things we can do is talk to your children and talk to them often. You’ll see many opportunities, where a simple comment or question may lead to a good talk. If you have been talking about important things along the way, it makes hard conversations easier.

    On April 21, Power Talk 21 will take place online as a way to help parents with having the big talk. The MADD Facebook page is dedicated to it, for an easy way to remember to research the information.