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Column: Knitwit

on August 4, 2012 - 12:07pm

Column by Bonnie J. Gordon

Knitwit...

I’m obsessed with knitting. I read piles of knitting books and magazines and have nifty knitting equipment, such as a tape measure shaped like a sheep.

This is not even mentioning my garage full of yarn. The thing is, that even though I’ve been knitting for a while now, I’m a lousy knitter.

I’m barely past knit and purl and only recently learned to make cables. I make endless mistakes that I have to take out or choose to ignore.

I’m probably the least detail-oriented person I know.

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Will Our Grandchildren Live as Well in Los Alamos?

on August 3, 2012 - 11:03am

Column by Robert Gibson

Los Alamos is an extraordinary community. Our quality of life is among the very best in the nation. 

A major component of that quality is our economic wealth, also at the top. Why are we so fortunate? Can future generations enjoy a similar, or better, life here?

Los Alamos is a unique combination of world-renowned science, small town atmosphere, and beautiful natural environment. 

That formula is not for everyone, but it works for most of us. 

The root of our good fortune is the concentration of challenging, important, rewarding work at the Laboratory. 

That

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Pathway to Pain Free Athletics: Core Training – Are You Doing Enough?

on July 31, 2012 - 6:51am

Column by Jessica Kisiel

You have probably heard that having a strong core is important and will help with back pain, athletic performance, injury prevention, posture and the various activities of daily living.

In your effort to gain strength in this area, you may have started a program of abdominal and lower back exercises, but is this enough?

Before we consider this question we need to discuss the anatomy of the core and why yours needs to be strong.

The core of your body extends from your shoulders to below your hips.

It encompasses muscles of the torso centering around the position

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Column: Bad Management Theories Lead to Bad Organizational Practices

on July 30, 2012 - 1:52pm
By ELENA YANG
Los Alamos

When I was in graduate school, I often had disquiet feelings about certain theories, especially the ones based in economics, with neat and elegant equations, or models constructed with impeccable rationality. 

But being a student, while we might be able to voice some of our criticism in private or in class discussions, one does not foolishly challenge these theories too publicly (certainly not without research evidence) as these theories or models are usually published by well established authority figures. 

This is as much about the state of the field of

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Day Journeys to the Middle of Nowhere: South Fork

on July 25, 2012 - 7:03am

Travel Column by Kirsten Laskey

Seeing a Whole New Side to South Fork

One of the great things about leaving your front door is that you can encounter anything. Anticipation for what you might stumble upon hums loudly as you move down the road.

I heard that hum of excitement as my parents and I recently drove to South Fork, Colo., despite the fact that I have visited this tiny “burg” several times in the past.

Photo: D&RGW water tower in South Fork. By Kirsten Laskey

My parents own a parcel of land in the area and were members the Rio Grande Club golf course.

I’ve spent many afternoons

Column: Tales From Italy's Unicycle World Championships

on July 23, 2012 - 7:19am
Maxwell Schulze of Los Alamos competing in the UNICON XVI world championships this week in the small mountain village of Lajen in northern Italy. Photo by Roland Schulze
 
Dear Los Alamos,

Some of you may know me as just a unicyclist around Los Alamos. My name is Maxwell Schulze and I grew up in Los Alamos and graduated high school in 2010.

I have been unicycling for around eight or nine years and in January 2010, I traveled to New Zealand for the 2010 15th annual Unicycle World Championships known as UNICON XV.

There I competed in an event known as observed trials, which involves the

Column: Area Ponderosa Pine Trees Appear to be Dying; Should You be Concerned?

on July 18, 2012 - 12:48pm
Column by Carlos Valdez
Los Alamos Extension Horticulture Agent

The sudden appearance of drying needles, dead branches, or even dead Ponderosa Pine trees can alarm anyone, especially homeowners. 

Damage occurs throughout New Mexico where Ponderosa Pine is found growing, but is most severe in the urban setting, on the fringe of forested areas, and on shallow, rocky, or droughty soil types.

That describes Los Alamos to a tee. Trees growing near roads or in areas of soil disturbance or abundant competing vegetation are most frequently affected.

According to Danny Norlander, New Mexico

Conscious Aging: Thinking About the Rest of Your Life

on July 9, 2012 - 2:24pm

Column By Ann Shafer

This column is the first in a monthly series featuring life after retirement or after 60. 

If you are at that stage in your life, perhaps you have wondered what you are going to do with the rest of your life. 

You may have 20 or 30 years left to live; plus, like many in this age bracket, chances are you are in good physical and mental health.

There is a movement called Conscious Aging, which advocates exploring one’s life with the ultimate goal of leading a productive, meaningful life. 

Your elder years can be the richest stage of your life—a stage in which you

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Using Renewable Energy Sources

on July 2, 2012 - 6:32pm

Utilities Manager John Arrowsmith and Deputy Utility Manager Rafael De La Torre in the new DPU-NEDO Photovoltaic Array. Photo by Greg Kendall/ladailypost.com

By Greg Kendall

This morning while purusing twitter news feeds, I noticed the following snippet of news from the Albuquerque Journal:

"PNM was widely criticized last year when it told the PRC it could not comply with the state’s renewable portfolio standard for 2012, which requires public utilities to derive at least 10 percent of their electricity this year from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.

Canyon Rim Trail: June 5, 2012

on June 7, 2012 - 7:53am

PAJARITO RAMBLER...

Column by Nina Thayer

Bone dry. Los Alamos is bone dry and there are only a few wildflowers to be found. 

But I will gladly share a “secret trail” and the wildflowers I found there this morning.

 A friend and I are both recovering from recent knee replacement surgery, so we strolled at a leisurely pace the lovely new Canyon Rim Trail that parallels N.M. 502 entering town. 

We parked at the eastern trailhead immediately across the road from the Coop. There is no sign but one turns right (south) into the paved parking lot between two yellow and black striped poles. 

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Hearing Forces NM Secretary of State to Obey Law

on June 1, 2012 - 12:06am

By Cynthia B. Hall, Candidate for PRC

Chief Judge Barbara Vigil of the First Judicial District Court of New Mexico will hear arguments at 4 p.m. today (May 31) from publicly-funded PRC Candidate Cynthia B. Hall and others concerning whether New Mexico Secretary of State Dianna J. Duran should release matching funds as required by state law. 

Hall hopes for a decision today on the Temporary Restraining Order and Amended Petition for Writ of Mandamus she filed over the last week. 

This hearing has the potential to remedy the damage the Secretary of State has done to Hall and other

War on Women

on April 29, 2012 - 8:27am

My wife and I joined the "War on Women" rally and march on Saturday in Santa Fe.  With the Republican party shifting far to the right on women's issues, we felt that it is high time to join the fight against this growing trend.

We have watched with disbelief as top GOP candidates advocated for outlawing contraception on moral and religious grounds. We always believed that America had a clear seperation between church and state.

Death & Destruction on Main Hill Road

on April 23, 2012 - 11:10am

How long will it be before something is done about the dangerous conditions on the Main Hill Road at the Anderson Memorial Lookout S-curve? How many times have you heard about a crash shutting down the Main Hill Road? How many more crosses will be erected on the S-curve? How many people will we carted off in ambulances from the S-curve?

Just yesterday, four members of the Dominguez family of Los Alamos where driving up New Mexico State Route 502 on a wonderful warm spring day. At the S-Curve a motorcycle driven by Peter M.

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'Common Sense Still Applies'

on April 2, 2012 - 10:21pm

It's presidential election season and the rhetoric is ratcheting up. And because of that, it's important to get the facts and know exactly what the record is.

 

Far less important is what's being said ... especially on the campaign trail.

 

Our president was out on the campaign trail last week on a so called "energy tou.r."

 

He even stopped in New Mexico, where he traveled to the tiny oil town of Maljamar to tout his accomplishments ... a slick political move because no one would expect a big crowd.

 

Had he gone elsewhere, the reception would've likely been rougher because the

Ethical Behavior: The Baldrige Director’s Lesson

on March 31, 2012 - 5:46pm

Christine Schaefer

As any (self-certified) Baldrige geek knows, the Criteria for Performance Excellence consider legal and ethical behavior among the key requirements for high-performing leaders of any organization. In the first section, known as category 1, the 2011-2012 Criteria ask, “How does your organization promote and ensure ethical behavior in all interactions?”

Anyone who’s familiar with Baldrige Program Director Harry Hertz knows well that his personal leadership of the program since 1996 has provided many inspiring examples of ethical behavior.

 (Disclosure: He was my past but

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Dispatch from the Field: District 43

on March 18, 2012 - 1:46pm

Rep. Jim Hall

The diversity and community that exists in House District 43 is unique and rewarding for all. As your State Representative for District 43 I received many positive comments about my legislative updates from the 2012 Session and I believe constituents will want to know of my continuing work in the District. In this brief periodic column, I will continue to discuss state government concerns and issues that arise while I work with constituents and communities in District 43. If you live in District 43 and have an issue or a concern, I welcome your comments and questions.

After

Life on the Border

on March 17, 2012 - 2:27pm

Column by Bonnie Gordon

All my adult life, I’ve been a border crosser, moving from one place, social milieu, or state of mind to a new one often.

It all started when a working class kid from Boise, Idaho decided she wanted to grow up to be an intellectual.

Where this hunger to explore big ideas and hang out with other people who wanted to the same came from, I couldn’t tell you.

It propelled me to get a full scholarship to Reed College where I was suddenly surrounded by preppies and other members of the upper middle class. It was quite a shock.

Being a border crosser means you never

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Los Alamos needs YOU

on March 13, 2012 - 8:12am

You undoubtedly have ideas for the future of our community and on how the county government should serve its citizens today. You have the opportunity to put those ideas into ACTION. 

Three county councilors and a county clerk will be elected next November. You could be one of them; the process starts now.

Roughly 14,000 adults call Los Alamos home and care about it. All are affected by county government. In this community of extraordinary people, there are hundreds with the knowledge and skills to help lead it. 

Are you one of the handful with the desire and courage?

The only legitimate

Signs of the Times

on March 8, 2012 - 4:05pm

Bad Signage Examples?

In mid-March, the Community Development Department (CDD) held an initial public kickoff meeting for a renewed effort aimed at revising the existing Los Alamos County sign code.  Past efforts to revise our much maligned sign code have met with failure over the last half-decade plus. The last sign code update was attempted by then CDD director Rick Bohn in 2009. That attempt was derailed, in large part because of a dispute over how to handle temporary signs placed in truck beds and elsewhere. The proposed revisions would have prohibited such signage.

Ice, Mud, and Spring Fever

on March 7, 2012 - 5:00pm

Column by Craig Martin

Even though north-facing slopes are snow-packed, south slopes and ridgelines dry out                                                                                                                                                 quickly. Photo by Craig Martin
 

April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire…” T. S. Eliot, The Wasteland.

For a Los Alamos resident who lives to be outside, March is the cruelest month. Once or twice a week, the weather hints of the end of winter and I get a touch of spring fever.

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I Reveal Myself as a Fan Girl

on February 24, 2012 - 5:00pm

By Bonnie J. Gordon

I’m coming out as a fan girl. I love graphic novels, horror and science fiction, but my real passion is for fantasy, especially epic fantasy.

I think there are a lot of us out there, but maybe we’re afraid we won’t be taken seriously if people find out we spent our vacation at a sci-fi and fantasy convention.

When you look at the numbers, it’s clear that a lot of people are reading fantasy. Why is it so popular? Maybe because it tackles some really big issues that sometimes get ignored by realistic literature.

One of them is that perennial biggie, the meaning of life.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Facebook

on February 17, 2012 - 12:00am

For someone who’s been using the internet since 1981, I sure keep underestimating its power. When Facebook first emerged, I thought of it as a gimmick for kids to share embarrassing pictures and annoy each other. Eventually, I realized that it was an emerging social medium that had been embraced by the under 30-crowd, and now I am convinced that it is a force for good that will spread democracy across the world. Well maybe not, but it is pretty neat.

I set up my first Facebook account some time ago, but it was for Louie, our cat.

A Place for Idea People

on February 17, 2012 - 12:00am

Imagine a place in our downtown designed to address housing and other needs of our early career “idea people” … scientists, technologists, artists and innovators of all type … and entrepreneurs. What would it look like? Where might be a good location? What related amenities would benefit both the residents and the larger community? The Los Alamos Creative District Steering Committee facilitated by Los Alamos MainStreet has been putting thought and effort into these and other questions.

Trinity Drive: Not a Hard Decision

on February 9, 2012 - 5:00pm

It was a momentous couple of weeks for Los Alamos and our county council. Not only did the council pass a lease agreement that will allow North American Development Group (NADG) to move forward on the Trinity Place Shopping Center, but our council also approved a new road design for eastern Trinity Drive. Trinity Place will bring a new and expanded Smith’s Marketplace “big box” store to Los Alamos at long last.

At Tuesday’s tumultuous county council meeting, County Engineering Division Manager Kyle Zimmerman presented his traffic plan for the eastern section of Trinity (and a small portion

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Go Past the Golf Course and Bear Right at the Circle of Life

on February 8, 2012 - 5:00pm

Column by David Izraelevitz

Editor’s Note: As the community gears up for a roundabout at 4th Street and Central Avenue, this column written by Izraelevitz in 1999 is a reminder of the local climate before construction of the roundabout at Diamond Drive and San Ildefonso Road.

As a resident of North Mesa, the new roundabout is our connection to the rest of the world. Maybe for this reason it has become much more than a traffic landmark for me; rather, as you’ll see if you bear with me for a few paragraphs, it’s become an important philosophical reference point.

I have to admit, however,

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