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Just One Thing To Do This Week: Watch For Tracks

on January 4, 2018 - 8:50am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos
 
Happy New Year!
 
This greeting among friends is frequently followed by a discussion about New Year resolutions. This is the time when we reflect on the past year, and it’s a time when we contemplate what we can improve on in the coming year. And this year, like every year, I have resolutions and the best of intentions. I am not sure where this will get me.
 
I have been thinking a lot lately about getting back on track, and of course, this is the optimal week to do so.

Sheehey: Fiscally Responsible vs. ‘Fiscally Conservative’

on January 4, 2018 - 8:36am
By PETE SHEEHEY
Los Alamos County Councilor

The recent letter “Save for the Lean Years” (link) is full of inaccuracies that demand a response. Of course during years of plenty, we should keep some funds in reserve. That is why I have always supported our county policy to maintain over $10 million (15 to 20 percent of general fund revenues) in an uncommitted reserve, above and beyond the 8 percent (for us ~$4.5 million) required of all counties. In my five years on County Council, when more funds have been available, I have worked to invest those funds in growing our local economy.

New or

Amateur Naturalist: The Shape Of Acid Canyon

on January 3, 2018 - 11:02am
Cracks in cooling lava. Courtesy Photo
 
Amateur Naturalist: The Shape of Acid Canyon
By ROBERT DRYJA
 
Acid Canyon is approximately 0.8 of a mile in length. The north side of Acid Canyon is relatively steep for its entire length. It has a nearly vertical drop of twenty feet at its start. The drop increases to nearly 200 feet at its end where it merges with Pueblo Canyon.
 
The south side follows a different pattern. The slope leading to the canyon bottom is relatively gentle for the initial half mile. It is an easy hike down the south slope to the bottom.

Weekly Fishing Report: Jan. 3

on January 3, 2018 - 8:56am
By GEORGE MORSE
Sports and Outdoors
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
Despite the frigid temperatures that cover much of the United States and that have spilled into parts of Eastern New Mexico, there remains open-water fishing on many of our lakes.
 
That includes Eagle Nest Lake, which would normally be New Mexico’s prime ice-fishing destination.
 
Warm temperatures created areas of open water and the fishing was fair for rainbow trout. There are still areas of thin ice around the lake and those areas are closed to fishing.

Wiemann: Time For New Year’s Financial Resolutions

on January 3, 2018 - 8:28am
By SHELLY A. WIEMANN
Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
 
We’ve reached the end of another year – which means it’s just about time for some New Year’s resolutions. Would you like to study a new language, take up a musical instrument or visit the gym more often? All these are worthy goals, of course, but why not also add some financial resolutions? 
 
Here are some ideas to think about:
 
Increase contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan.
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What Is Orthodox Christianity?

on January 3, 2018 - 5:18am
By Fr. Theophan Mackey
Saint Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church

What is Orthodox Christianity?

As I am out and about in Los Alamos, wearing my long black robe (it’s called a cassock, by the way) and cross, I get this question quite often. “What are you?”

I am an Orthodox Priest. A trained and ordained pastor, chosen by a bishop to serve the people of, Job of Pochaiv Orthodox Church, my parish, and the people of Northern New Mexico.

Orthodox means “right worship” or “right belief.” In essence our beliefs have not deviated from those of the earliest Christian communities, and we have our roots

McQuiston: Dog Bite Statistics

on January 2, 2018 - 7:21am
By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
 
My agency recently had a customer whose dog nipped at a little neighbor boys hand while the boy was playing a little too rough with him. So I thought I would use that as this week's column. 
 
The boy suffered a minor injury and my customers homeowners policy paid the medical bill. But, as with a lot of things in life it could have been worse. And thankfully it wasn't one of the breeds you hear about that are vicious attack dogs. Did you know most insurance companies have a list of dogs breeds that would prevent you from obtaining insurance?

Shin: Save For The Lean Years...

on January 1, 2018 - 1:27pm
By LISA SHIN
Los Alamos

Recently, one of my patients told me, “They should have saved for the lean years” as we discussed the possible change in LANL management and GRT revenues. She was referring to the Biblical account of Joseph and his rise to power from slavery. Pharaoh dreamed of seven fat cows, devoured by seven starving cows. Then he dreamed of seven ripe, healthy sheaves of wheat, devoured by seven dead, dry ones. Joseph correctly predicted the meaning of the Pharaoh’s dreams.

“Immediately ahead are seven years of great abundance in all the land of Egypt.

Communication 4: When Does Security Override Privacy?

on January 1, 2018 - 1:10pm
SONYIA WILLIAMS
Los Alamos World Futures Institute
Student Intern

In today’s age communication has gone from postcards and letters to posts on a virtual wall and letters on a keyboard. Texting and email have become primary forms of communication among Americans and are the two most common forms of non-personal communication. According to a 2014 survey done by Gallup News, 73 percent of Americans say they send or receive texts on a daily basis.

This 73 percent was then broken down into two categories, those who send or receive texts “a lot” on a daily basis and those who only send or receive

Fr. Glenn: Ringing In The New Year

on December 31, 2017 - 8:32am
By Rev. Glenn Jones
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Los Alamos

And so we come once again to a new year … and with the new year comes the anticipation of newness, improvement … and renewed hopes and dreams to be realized. (Personally, just “realizing” a few pounds of Christmas biscochitos off the midsection would make me pretty darn happy.)

We’ve ended the year here at IHM on a couple of really good notes.

Pastor Raul: The Light Of The World―Part 1

on December 31, 2017 - 8:00am
By PASTOR RAUL GRANILLO
La Vista Church of the Nazarene
White Rock
 
There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast. – Charles Dickens
 
Christmas lights are a beautiful part of the advent season. I know they bring joy to me, and my kids are still at the age where they are absolutely enamored by them. Of course, Christmas is over, and the lights will begin coming down. This may be a perfect metaphor for far too may people.

An Open Book: Not In Our Stars, But In Ourselves

on December 29, 2017 - 10:36am
By DAVID IZRAELEVITZ
Los Alamos
 
“Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” William Shakespeare
 
Walking home on a star-lit night recently, we stopped so I could dig out my handy iPhone app that would let us chart the constellations above us.

This Week At The Reel Deal

on December 28, 2017 - 2:05pm

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Make List Check It Twice

on December 28, 2017 - 8:43am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

It is an annual mental event. Christmas is not yet over when I start compiling my list of things to do differently next year. The purpose of the list is to make the holiday more manageable and more organized and yes, hopefully more fun and more memorable. But mostly I want to make the holiday easier on everyone, myself included.

Our family is growing by leaps and bounds. Thanks to the magic of blended families we are up to 14 grandchildren. Fourteen grandchildren that with few exceptions, do not need more stuff.

Cinema Cindy Reviews ‘The Greatest Showman’

on December 28, 2017 - 8:34am
By CYNTHIA BIDDLECOMB
Los Alamos
 
“The Greatest Showman” is a modern musical about Phineas Taylor Barnum, portrayed here as a poverty-stricken tailor’s son whose imagination brought joy to millions of people. Barnum’s schemes eventually fall into the right combination, providing fascination and entertainment. This success leads to the establishment of his circus troupe in the mid to late 1800s. 
 
The film is an uplifting musical, replete with costuming and sets from a colorful period in our history.

Even With Good Bike Plan, A Lot Is Up To The Cyclist

on December 26, 2017 - 2:03pm
By KHAL SPENCER
Los Alamos

With the Laboratory beginning work on a site-wide bike plan, the County having just received Bronze level bicycle-friendly community status, and a plethora of good road and trail riding in Los Alamos and surrounding areas, there is a lot for local bicyclists to cheer about. That said, whether one is riding for fun, utility, or both, a lot still depends on the engagement and awareness of the rider in order to get out and back with the rubber side consistently down.

A road bike in battle dress for the ride up the ski hill with appropriate gears for an old guy and a

Weekly Fishing Report: Dec. 26

on December 26, 2017 - 1:17pm
By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post
Sports and Outdoors

As recommended in earlier fishing reports, it’s time to fish the Chama River below Abiquiu Dam now that the streamflow has been lowered. Anglers are having great success using a variety of baits and flies. There were a lot of trout stocked in this section of the Chama just prior to the lowering of the streamflow (564 rainbow trout stocked Dec. 20) and these trout are much more concentrated now that the streamflow is low (less than 100 cubic feet-per-second).

One complaint other anglers make about the fishing in this area is that

Home Country: Adequate This Coming Year

on December 26, 2017 - 8:56am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
There’s nothing like New Year’s Resolution to make a guy feel completely inadequate, thought Doc as he sat and sipped coffee at the philosophy counter of the Mule Barn truck stop’s coffee shop.
 
In other words, thinking central. He happened to mention this to Steve, sitting on his left. Steve shoved his hat back and looked at his dear friend.
 
“Now Doc,” he said, “I don’t think you should talk that way. You see, the guys and I think you’re about the most adequate fella we know. Why, some of us are still here because of your adequacy. I know I am.”
 
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McQuiston: Five Tips For Safe Winter Driving

on December 24, 2017 - 7:23am
By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
 
The winter holiday season brings great things like Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, delicious food, and time with family. It also can bring not-so-great things like adding pounds to the waistline, juggling a hectic schedule, and feeling more tired when you return to work after the first of the year.
 
In a child’s eyes, and for some adults, the winter holiday season means snow – which is a great thing. Building snowmen and igloos, riding a sled down a hill, having a snow ball fight, and on those great days – no school! 
 
From a driver’s
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Tales Of Our Times: For This Holiday Season

on December 24, 2017 - 7:21am
Tales of Our Times
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water

Tales of Our Times For This Holiday Season

The years roll on. From the past, I bring local sketches from distinguished writers who passed this way before:

Peggy Pond, the fledgling poet and author, wrote in 1914:
There was the enormous and unbelievably vivid blueness of the sky; the wide horizon that stretched in every direction as we drove down to the Pueblo from our steep plateau; the arid landscape, all sun-baked gullied hill, the pinkish earth dotted with juniper and pinion like cloves stuck into a roasting ham;

Fr. Glenn: Blessed Are The Meek

on December 24, 2017 - 7:20am
By Rev. Glenn Jones
Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church
Los Alamos

Ah, ‘tis the Christmas season—a time of joy for the billions of Christians throughout the world as we celebrate the birth of Jesus over two millennia ago. The nativity of Jesus (obviously) necessarily precedes in time and gets more press, but many non-Christians may not realize that Christmas is NOT the biggest Christian celebration of the year.

Nebel: LANL Bidders Please Respond To Questions

on December 23, 2017 - 9:24am
By RICHARD NEBEL
Los Alamos

The last time the lab management contract was put out on bid I remember thinking: “Oh great. Now we are going to have a whole new level of worthless managers sidling up to the trough to skim money out of the lab. Where am I going to find the money to cover the inevitable increase in the overhead?”

The money I was bringing in wasn’t weapons program money and there was no way that my customers were going to cover that increase.

So, what happened? My understanding is that right now a Phd Full Time Equivalent (FTE) costs about $600,000/year at LANL.

Communication 3: Possibility Of Miscommunication

on December 22, 2017 - 6:38am
By SONYIA WILLIAMS
Los Alamos World
Futures Institute
Student Intern

In the last column we explored the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical translation. One of the major disadvantages is that a mechanical translator does not account for the connotation of words, but rather the denotation.

This leaves a lot of room for error. As stated in the last article, it makes it difficult for mechanical translators to keep up with the perpetually evolving nature of languages.

Along with this, not accounting for the connotation of words can lead to misinterpretation and thus ineffective

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Give

on December 22, 2017 - 5:44am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

My neighbor Al Miller is a world-class shopper.

His eye for style and design, whether it is fine art, textiles, or every day home goods, is remarkable. His shopping prowess is so impressive that he and his partner, Richard LaBelle, opened an antique and home décor store in their hometown in Wisconsin to repurpose and resell Al’s purchases. It was hugely successful.

Al and Richard, both retired art teachers, eventually sold their store and now live comfortably in El Rancho. Al continues to shop and shop. He never shops online.

Pongratz: A Bit Of Nit Picking

on December 21, 2017 - 1:54pm
By MORRIS PONGRATZ
Former Los Alamos County Councilor
 
I think that the term “windfall” is not appropriate to describe the gross receipts taxes paid by LANL contractors. Merriam-Webster defines “windfall” as:
1: something (such as a tree or fruit) blown down by the wind;
2: an unexpected, unearned, or sudden gain or advantage.
 
The term is not correct for two reasons: first, the term refers to a “one-time” event. Once all the apples are off the tree you can expect no more apples to fall.

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