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Features

  • This month’s Lunch with a Leader, a community event put on by the League of Women Voters, will feature Dr. Kurt Steinhaus, Los Alamos Public Schools superintendent.

    The lunch is at 11:45 a.m. at Mesa Library on April 17.

    Steinhaus was born in Los Alamos and has dedicated his career to education. His prior appointment was at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he served as director of student programs, education, workforce development, scholarships and community giving. Steinhaus has also served as Deputy Secretary of Education and Education Policy Advisory for the Governor of New Mexico. He and his wife Jo Beth have two children. Valerie is a software engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Their son Kent is a hydrology engineer in Colorado, and his wife Katy is an Electrical Engineer. 

    Kurt is a lifetime member of Leadership New Mexico.

    He will discuss school funding and the effect it has on Los Alamos.

    The League’s annual meeting will follow, when various decisions on positions will be made and dues for next year will be collected. Non-members are welcome.

  • Do you remember the joy you felt in learning to read, of escaping into favorite books, of exploring the world through books? Do you remember a favorite teacher who nurtured your thirst for knowledge? 

    Harriet Dodder was such a teacher. She began her career in Los Alamos in 1951 and taught here for 40 years. After retirement, she missed working with children so much that she volunteered as a reading tutor at Barranca Elementary School. Mrs. Dodder loved to read and fostered that love in the children she taught.

    Research shows that access to books builds literacy. One study of over 600 schools in Texas examined the effects on student achievement of several variables – and the quality of the school library outweighed the effects of other school variables, including computers per student, teacher experience, and even teacher turnover ratio. To inspire readers, school libraries must have a good supply of books; the greater the choice of books, the more children choose to read.

    However, the price of books goes up each year while library budgets do not. The average price of a book with a library binding is now $18.

  • Hello, my name is Bennett Horne and I may or may not be an artist.

    My mother was a wonderful artist. She majored in art at the then-College of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, but ended up as a full-time elementary school teacher and mother of five children.

    So her artistic opportunities centered more around the delicious meals she created in a crock pot, the expert advice she gave her children when they needed to come up with an art project for school or even the handsome haircuts she created for me to help me not only look good, but also to help save money for our family.

    I have a sister who’s also a fantastic artist. It’s evident she inherited my mom’s art skills, but she doesn’t have a lot of time to take those skills out for a drive on canvas much anymore.

    These days most of her time is taken up creating safe, happy flights for her passengers as a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines.

    After Friday night though, I’m thinking a tiny art gene or two may have actually jumped over from my mom into my DNA strand.

  • I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • SANTA FE (AP) — State health officials report a case of plague in a dog from Santa Fe County, making it the first diagnosed case of plague in New Mexico this year.

    The Department of Health says it's checking the home of the dog's owner for risks to others and sending personnel around the neighborhood to inform residents and provide information on reducing risks.

    Plague is a bacterial disease of wildlife and is generally transmitted to humans and pets through the bites of infected fleas.

    Pet animals also can be exposed after eating an infected animal. Plague can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

    The department says New Mexico had four human cases of plague in 2017 and that those people all survived the illness.
     

  • Would you like to see colorful rock specimens on a special geology hike? Join the Pajarito Environmental Education Center and geology enthusiast Patrick Rowe for a special half-day hike in the Rio Puerco near Los Lunas. This hike will take place on April 7 with the group meeting in Los Lunas at 9 a.m.

    Space is limited and registration is required.

    The Rio Puerco is a tributary of the Rio Grande and carries rocks and sediments from formations that range in age from Precambrian to Quaternary.

    Expect to see a wide array of very colorful rock specimens, including: red and yellow jasper, agate, petrified wood, striped quartzite, basalt, obsidian, gypsum, limestone with fossils and travertine.

    Patrick Rowe is the vice president for field trips for the Los Alamos Geological Society and is a project engineer for Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    His father was a geologist and he has been involved in rock collecting for more than 40 years and has been leading geologic field trips for PEEC for the last few years.

  • I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

    We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

    As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

    When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

    You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

  • “Look, I am from Nebraska and I bought this vacation place for the trees.  If it burns down, I will take my insurance money and buy another place in the trees.”

    This is what a homeowner in La Cueva said about the dog-haired tinderbox where his well-oiled, all-wood cabin rests. 

    Next to him live full-time residents, Ben, a recent retiree, his wife Sharon, and their dog. Their attitude is the exact opposite. They enthusiastically thin trees around their home, protect firewood in a shed, store fuels such as gasoline well away from the house, prepare evacuation plans, and sign up for the county’s Code Red alert system.  Everything they own is in their property and insurance money cannot replace it. One of their biggest worries is their part-time Nebraskan neighbor, who does nothing but let fuels accumulate.

    These people exemplify one of the intractable dichotomies facing those of us who work to mitigate wildfire danger: The wildfire-risk tolerance varies tremendously depending on whether a property is a vacation cabin or a full-time abode. Of course, not all property owners can be classified into these two extreme positions, but the correlations are evident to any observer.

  • In addition to its regular 150 Chimayo Route bus, the North Central Regional Transit District (RTD “Blue Bus”) will have an additional bus along its Española-to-Chimayo route to accommodate the people making the annual pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo on Good Friday, March 30.

    Two ADA accessible buses will run on a continuous loop throughout the day from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The first bus begins at 8 a.m. and the second at 9 a.m.

    The buses will depart from the Española Transit Center on Paseo de Oñate across from Cook’s Hardware.

    The route then traverses NM Highway 76 with multiple designated RTD bus stops in each direction along the way.

    The route concludes at the Benny Chavez Center located at the County Road 98 (Juan Medina Road) turnoff from NM 76, as it will be prevented from making its normally scheduled stop in the Santuario parking lot.

    It then makes its way back to Española along the same route.

    Delays will be unavoidable due to the heavy pedestrian traffic along the route. Regular passengers of that route need to be aware that buses will not be at the designated scheduled stops at their normally posted time.
    It is also important to note that drivers are not allowed to pick up passengers along the route except at posted RTD bus stops.

  • Be sure to mark your calendars for March 28 at the Los Alamos Senior Center and March 29 at the White Rock Senior Center for free play performances.

    Both start at 12:30 p.m. “Gardening Hotline,” by Santa Fe playwright Mark Dunn will feature Jeanne Adkins, Dianna Duerre, Sally Cassil, Thomas Farish, Tami Martinson and Kate Ramsey, and is directed by Pat Beck.

    The engaging play centers on how help can be found and given in unexpected venues. Melvin Snodgrass is a radio talk show host and gardening expert. He is a solitary man, gentle and kind, but a complete nerd.

    His entire life is defined by his love of gardening and the opportunity the show gives him to help people through his vast horticultural knowledge.

    However, one day a caller throws him a real curve ball, and he must work far outside his comfort zone to handle the call.

    His callers include Irene, Alice, Ruth, Rhonique and Jane, his most important caller.

    The readings are part of an on-going partnership among the senior centers, Los Alamos Little Theatre and playwright Robert Benjamin to bring live theater in enjoyable snippets every few months to the senior community. 

  • Look at that stoic, magnificent beast. His name is Daxx, and he’s an Australian cattle dog crossed with a shepherd.
    However, don’t be fooled by the majestic pose and breeding. As soon as Daxx sees a stranger, he becomes all tongues and wagging tails. He also likes to lean into people’s legs for a good scratching.

    Daxx is 9 months old, and has been vaccinated and neutered and micro chipped. He is also house trained. He loves baths and gets along well with other dogs.

    Cats are another matter, however. It’s not that he doesn’t like cats, it’s that he likes them a bit too much. He hasn’t figured out yet that they aren’t toys.

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

  • ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A pilot for a reboot of a late-1990s TV series will be filmed in Albuquerque.

    The "Untitled Roswell Project" TV show aired for three seasons and 61 episodes and was based on the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz.

    The upcoming pilot will tell the story of a daughter of immigrants who returns to her hometown of Roswell and learns that her teenage crush is an alien who has kept his identity hidden his entire life.

    Together, the two will attempt uncover his origins.

    The pilot will star Jeanine Mason, Nathan Parsons, Michael Vlamis, Lily Cowles, Michael Trevino, Tyler Blackburn and Heather Hemmens.

    Warner Bros. Television/Palladin Productions will begin principal photography this month.

    According to the state Film Office, the pilot will employ 90 crew members and approximately 800 background talent from the state.

  • There is still time to make reservations for a spot on the Buzz Bus for Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

    Call 661-RIDE (7433) to request a ride from 8-9 a.m. Friday.

    A reservation is not required for rides on Saturday.

    For information, call 661-RIDE.

    Funding for this year’s Buzz Bus is provided by the Los Alamos County DWI Planning Council.

  • Los Alamos Living Treasure and author Stephanie Sydoriak will presents her book “An Ocean Between: 100% American-100% Ukrainian,” at 2 p.m. March 31 at the Jemez Springs Library.

    Sydoriak was born in 1926 of Ukrainian immigrant parents in Boston, Massachusetts. Her undergraduate degree was in physics from Northeastern University. She continued graduate studies at Yale, but left before obtaining her master’s degree when her husband finished his Ph.D.

    The couple moved to Los Alamos in 1948, where they brought up six children.

    In recognition of her service to Los Alamos, she was named a Los Alamos Living Treasure of 2011.

    She will have copies of her book available for purchase and signing.

  • The Los Alamos Nature Center has two planetarium programs the weekend of March 31: a screening of the full-dome film “Incoming!” at 2 p.m. March 31 and a “Flat Earth Debate” at 2 p.m. April 1.

    The Los Alamos Nature Center, operated by Pajarito Environmental Education Center, will be open from 1-4 p.m. on April 1.

    “Incoming!” traces the paths of comets and asteroids and takes a close-up look at interstellar collisions that have impacted Earth – as well as those still pending.

    What evidence is there for a flat Earth? What evidence is there to establish the true shape of the Earth? Local astronomers will hold a discussion of the Flat Earth theories to answer these questions at 2 p.m. April 1.

    Since most Flat-Earthers claim that space flight has been faked and discount photographs as being too easily manipulated, the discussion will be limited to measurements that can be made from the ground and without photographs.

    For more information about this and future planetarium shows, visit peecnature.org/planetarium. Tickets cost $6 for adults and $4 for children. To reserve tickets, call 662-0460.

  • Usually if someone tells someone else to “take a hike” it’s not a good thing. And they’re certainly not going to give a prize to the other person for following their suggestion.

    But when the Pajarito Environmental Education Center invites someone to take a hike it’s definitely meant in a good way, and there are even prizes given out to encourage people to hit the trails.

    PEEC, located at the Los Alamos Nature Center, loves to get people out on the many area trails so much, it developed its Passport to the Pajarito Plateau Program. The program launched on Earth Day 2016.

    Since then, over 10,000 hikes have been reported back to PEEC through the program, which is free to participants, with over 200 hikers finishing the hikes covered in the passports, of which there are now two.

    “The first passport came out two Earth Days ago and then the newer one came out last year on Earth Day,” said PEEC Executive Director Katy Bruell. “We won’t be rolling out a third one this year on Earth Day. We may at some point, but right now we’re still exploring funding for that.”

    Bruell said the passports – and prizes given for reaching various numbers of hikes completed – cost approximately $20,000, the majority of which covers the prizes.

  • 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.