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Reflections On Hope And End-Of-Life Care

on July 25, 2014 - 10:25am
Medical Social Worker and Volunteer Coordinator

Hospice is actually about life and helping dying persons to live as fully as they wish until their last moment of life rather than curing the patient’s disease.

There are ways to ease pain and make life better for people who are dying and for their loved ones who are caring for them. It is called Palliative Care.


How the Hen House Turns: Time to Go Sleeping

on July 25, 2014 - 9:15am
How the Hen House Turns:
Time to Go Sleeping

In winter, at night, a flashlight beam is enough to guide the little ducks to the warm Hen House. Lucy goose doesn’t object when they dash through the door and between her legs—probably because she raised them. Lucy gives the chicken some trouble in summer, but Gwendolyn has learned to avoid Lucy, and the hen hops up onto the roost when the goose is being bossy.

Lucy and Bobbi, the geese, also follow the beam of light into the Hen House for the night.

More Power For New Mexico

on July 25, 2014 - 9:06am
CEO, Positive Energy Solar

New Mexico’s solar industry is ready to provide the state with clean power and jobs, while reducing the industrial pollution that is exacerbating droughts, causing health impacts and threatening the local economy. Now, our state’s abundant solar potential is becoming all the more important as the Obama Administration issues new public health protections limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

On July 29, hundreds of people will flock to Denver to attend a Western regional hearing on President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, our nation’s first

Cinema Cindy Reviews ‘Jersey Boys’

on July 24, 2014 - 8:06am
Los Alamos

“Jersey Boys” is Clint Eastwood’s effort to put the hugely successful Broadway musical of the same name on the big screen.

It is the story of Frankie Valli and the original N.J., through their trying to survive in the big time. The music of the Four Seasons plays throughout the film, making it more than worth the price of admission.

The story is told by each of the four band members, cutting away at times to talk straight to the camera.

Movie poster for 'Jersey Boys.' Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

Tommy DeVito’s (Vincent Piazza) version of the story comes

This Week at the Reel Deal

on July 23, 2014 - 11:04am
Column by JIM O'DONNELL  
Reel Deal Theater 

This week we are opening Lucy, with Scarlett Johansson. Begin Again, Planes: Fire and Rescue, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will run for another week. Jersey Boys will end this Thursday so don’t miss it.

Next week on Aug. 1, we will definitely open Guardians of the Galaxy, and the following week Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is certain. The film I’ve been working hard to open on Aug. 8 is The Hundred Foot Journey which is perfect for this town. Disney is saying we don’t make the cut again for opening weekend but we can get it by Aug.

Johnson: The Impossibility of Untangling Conservation and Development

on July 22, 2014 - 7:59am
Los Alamos
(Currently doing an internship in Mongolia)

This is the first of a series of (roughly) monthly columns I'll be writing for the Los Alamos Daily Post on international development, humanitarian aid, and related issues.

In the United States and much of the developed world, we primarily think of conservation in terms of protected areas such as national parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas. In these areas, human activity is usually limited to tourism and research.


Food on the Hill: Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburgers

on July 22, 2014 - 7:41am
This Week's Recipe: Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburgers
Photo by Sue York/
8 strips bacon, cooked - save fat
1 tablespoon bacon fat
1 1/2 slices white bread, crusts removed and torn into small pieces
1/4 cup milk1/4 cup of very finally chopped onion
1 1/3 pounds ground beef1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup chopped and very well drained roasted green chile
4 slices of sharp cheddar cheese
Mix milk, bread and onions, until you make a paste.
Photo by Sue York/

Cinema Cindy Reviews 'Begin Again'

on July 21, 2014 - 7:33am
Los Alamos

“Begin Again” is a simple movie, motivated by the power of music - but it works. The story is about the redemption of two down-on-their-luck strangers and what they get from teaming up together.

Dan Mulligan (a scruffy Mark Ruffalo), was just dumped as a music producer from the company he founded. In his drunken sorrow, he stumbles into an East Village bar and hears Greta (Keira Knightley), a young woman who writes songs in her spare time, singing.

Essay: On Being a Kid

on July 17, 2014 - 9:05am

'Chris.' Courtesy photo

On Being a Kid

When Chris was 5-years-old, he underwent surgery to address partial hearing loss from an ear infection and resultant scar-tissue tumors.   

When he was 9, he lost most of his hearing after another surgery. Chris had been a “cool” kid with lots of friends and involved in sports, but when he showed up at school wearing hearing aids that in the technology-of-the-day resembled large music headphones, he felt different and was treated differently.

Sports weren’t fun wearing a large headset with a speaker box, and he couldn’t hear

How the Hen House Turns: Listening and Body Language

on July 17, 2014 - 8:05am
How the Hen House Turns: Listening and Body Language

The bottom line lesson for conversing with birds--and dogs also, I suspect--is to repeat simple word phrases in context, add a simple motion with arms or hands, and note any response.

An example from the Hen House—at dusk, I enter the pen saying “Time to go sleeping,” then I say it again with an arm motion toward the Hen House or nest box, wherever those particular birds usually sleep.

In winter the phrase is, “It’s cold.


This Week at the Reel Deal

on July 16, 2014 - 8:57am
Column By JIM O'DONNELL    
Reel Deal Theater

This week we are opening Planes: Fire and Rescue, Begin Again, and Jersey Boys. We will hold Planet of the Apes, and Tammy. Transformers,and Earth to Echo will end this Thursday.

We had planned on opening Sex Tape with Cameron Diaz and Jason Segal this weekend but Sony gave us the run-around again and told us we didn't make the cut. Truthfully I don't know if it's a good film or not but now at least we have a chance to see how it opens and what the critics say. If it doesn't live up to the hoopla we won't show it.

We originally didn't make

Food on the Hill: Double Chocolate Brownies

on July 15, 2014 - 7:38am

"Food on the Hill" by Sue York

This Week's Recipe:

Double Chocolate Brownies

Photo by Sue York/


1 cup flour (*high altitude)
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups (12oz) chocolate
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup walnuts

You can get the high altitude flour at Walmart. It is higher in protein, and a finer grind. This was the first time I tried it, and I think it did well. I want to keep trying it in baked goods to see if it out performs bread flour.

Photo by Sue York/

Combine flour,

Healing Hands: Healing Touch

on July 11, 2014 - 10:19am
Healing Hands: Healing Touch
Los Alamos

Massage Therapy is effective because touch itself can be therapeutic. The literature from studies on touch repeatedly shows how important it is for us all to receive careful touch.

A most useful tool in the pursuit of healing touch is the ability for the therapist to be fully focused on the receiver; this is known as being present. The healing touch can be therapeutic because it gives the body a chance to heal itself.

The clinical results have shown that people experience less pain, reduced stress, and better quality sleep with


Solo Traveler: Chihuly

on July 10, 2014 - 8:35am
Installation by glass artist Dale Chihuly at the Denver Botanical Gardens. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Chihuly

Once in a while, a trip is all about the photography. I’m not talking a photo-workshop kind of trip, though if you ever want to be a better photographer, a single day workshop could launch a love affair that will last the rest of your life.

No, I’m talking about a trip taken just to see the most beautiful things and photograph them. I just returned from such a trip to Denver where the Denver Botanical Gardens is hosting a series of installations by

How the Hen House Turns: Talking to Birds

on July 10, 2014 - 7:20am
How the Hen House Turns:
Talking to Birds
Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

After 12 years with Lucy goose and the miniature mallards, Kiebler and Ms. Ritz (Joy Drake named them since they were quackers - I think I told you that some months ago), I’m convinced that talking to birds is a matter of listening to them.

When I turn on the water to fill their dishes every morning, Ms.


This Week at the Reel Deal

on July 9, 2014 - 9:31am
Reel Deal Theater   

This week we are opening Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. We will hold Earth to Echo, Tammy and Transformers. 22 Jump St. will end this Thursday.

Movie poster for 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.' Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is getting spectacular reviews. 95 percent of critics are loving this sequel to “Rise” by “Cloverfield” director Matt Reeves. It may the first real blockbuster of the summer. Hope to see you at the Reel Deal Theater! It opens Friday.

 A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar

Food on the Hill: Smoked Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo

on July 8, 2014 - 7:50am
This Week's Recipe: Smoked Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
Photo by Sue York/
1 pound dry fettuccine  pasta
5 oz butter
3/4 pint heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 ½ cups of al dente cooked asparagus, cut into ¾ inch pieces
4 cups of smoked cooked chicken pieces
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

'Vicky Cristina Barcelona' Explores Love, Committment and Desire

on July 8, 2014 - 7:35am

Movie poster for 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona.' Courtesy/


Vicky (Rebecca Hall) wants Doug (Chris Messina), her handsome fiancé. Cristina, fresh from a break-up, only knows what she doesn’t want. When the longtime friends happen upon the gruff-voiced Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem) during a trip to Spain, even Vicky cannot resist a sexual adventure of the highest, PG-13 calling.

Thus begins writer/director Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), a mighty interesting look at how conventions and desires overlap and drift apart.


Herbal Wisdom: Herbs for the Summer Season

on July 6, 2014 - 12:34pm
Los Alamos

Summer is a season of growth, heat, sun, beauty and maturation. The warmth and sun bring out the abundance of leaves, flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Because of the long days and warm nights, there is much to appreciate during the summer months—dinner on the patio, swimming, exploring the trails, and sleeping under the stars. There is also the unpleasant side--the excess heat of summer can cause lethargy, irritability, and discomfort.

There are many ways to keep our cool during summer through foods, herbs, and beverages.

Column: Eyesight is Precious ... Don’t Risk Losing It!

on July 6, 2014 - 8:04am

By LISA SHIN, Optometrist
Los Alamos Family Eyecare, P.C.

Online shopping has truly revolutionized the way we purchase things. Indeed, many of us prefer online shopping to in-store shopping. Now, coming to a theater near you, the first online eye exam that gives you a prescription! This is where the lure of “cheap and convenient” is a disaster waiting to happen.

Recently, I had a patient come in for an eye examination with no vision changes or complaints. I dilated the eyes for a full view of the retina and found retinal holes with underlying fluid.


Classical Music World: Why People Don’t Go to Classical Music Concerts

on July 5, 2014 - 8:42am

Classical music has somehow acquired a reputation for being “snooty.” As artistic director of the Los Alamos Concert Association I think about this a lot and am always looking for ways to let folks know that it ain’t necessarily so!

Here is a list of three reasons why (I think) people don’t come to classical concerts and my stab at enticing them through the door anyway.   

Reason #1: I don’t know anything about classical music.

Who says you need to know anything? We’re talking about music, the universal language!

Several years ago, LACA presented the New Mexico Symphony

How the Hen House Turns: Chatting with Ducks

on July 3, 2014 - 8:15am
How the Hen House Turns:
Chatting with Ducks
Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

The ducks’ vocabulary is limited, but so is my human ability to distinguish the nuances in their conversation. I can distinguish their abrupt protest when Bobbi Goose insists with a silent beak that they leave off swimming in “her” stock tank. When Bobbi loses sight of her adopted mother Lucy, her honk can be heard three blocks away. Lucy’s greeting as I pass her by in the yard and say “hello” is a quiet “bak bak.”

In contrast, when Ms.


Beguin: Medicine Plants on the Pajarito Plateau

on July 1, 2014 - 7:22am
Medicine Plants of the Pajarito Plateau
Los Alamos

My last column talked about five common medicinal plants found in most gardens and landscapes in the Mountain West. 

Now we will move out into our local canyons and take a look at easy-to-identify medicine plants found there.

Despite wildfire and flooding, the canyons of the Pajarito Plateau remain a verdant realm of greenery.


Food on the Hill: Chewy Butterscotch Bars

on July 1, 2014 - 7:11am

Food on the Hill by Sue York

This week's recipe: Chewy Butterscotch Bars

Photo by Sue York/



  • 7 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 10 oz butterscotch chips
  • 3 cups flour ( I use bread flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Photo by Sue York/

In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar, butter. Add eggs and mix well. Add dry ingredients and morsels and mix well.

Photo by Sue York/

Spread and pat with greased hands into a well-greased pan (15"x10"x1"). Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Chewy Butterscotch Bars


Yang: A Humorous Poke ... Into Some Serious Issues

on June 30, 2014 - 7:37am
Los Alamos

Today’s example helps illustrate “how to break the mold,” carefully selected to follow the “Weird Ideas” innovation series.

By now, you might have come across the story about how a group of four Canadian professors at the University of Alberta satirized the high salary of their outgoing university president, (read it here and here). And the group of four rapidly grew into new groups comprising 56 professors. (Quick, how many groups are there?)

In responding to the job opening for the president of the University of Alberta, Kathy Cawsey and three other professors