PEEC Offers Backyard Bird ID Class and Free Proenneke Film at Reel Deal

Courtesy/PEEC

PEEC will offer their popular class “What’s That Bird in my Backyard?” from 7-8:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15.

Individual registration is $10 or $9 for PEEC members and family registration is $20 or $18 for members.

Veteran birder Dave Yeamans will offer guidance on recognizing the most common winter birds in Los Alamos and White Rock.

Yeamans uses photos, books and websites to help participants get started with basic birding, or increase intermediate expertise. He will teach tips for recognizing birds by their colors, silhouette, behavior and feeding habits.

Bring a bird book, if you have one. Last year’s class received a 5 out of 5 on every evaluation, with people especially appreciating the emphasis on birds they were seeing in their yards.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Great Backyard Bird Count is held every year in mid-February. Citizen scientists from around the country join school kids and avid birders to count birds in their area and report their counts online.

The Great Backyard Bird Count website www.birdsource.org/gbbc/ offers data for anywhere in the US, enabling researchers to study trends and learn more about what birds are doing. Last year more than 11 million birds were submitted to the count.

Participants in PEEC’s class will be well equipped to join in the count this year. Yeamans is an expert on birding and creating habitats for birds. He’s an active participant in the PEEC Birders group online, where locals discuss birds, share bird sightings, and ask birding questions. People interested in joining PEEC Birders can learn more at groups.yahoo.com/group/PEECBirders.

For more information about the class, and to register, go to www.PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or e-mail Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

PEEC and Reel Deal to Offer Free Film:PEEC and the Reel Deal Theater are joining forces to offer a free film at 7 p.m., Feb. 16.

Dick Proenneke in the late 1960s, came to live in the remote wilderness of Alaska. Courtesy/PEEC

Alone in the Wilderness is a classic story of survival in the wilds of Alaska. Donations will be accepted and concessions in the theater lobby will be available for sale.

Alone in the Wilderness is the story of Dick Proenneke who, in the late 1960s, came to live in the remote wilderness of Alaska.

Proenneke chose a homesteading site, cut trees, constructed a log cabin and carved a living out of the land. All the while, he filmed himself on a stationary 16mm camera. Later, Bob Swerer edited this film to create Alone in the Wilderness.

Anyone interested in survival, Alaska, home construction, or nature will find something fascinating in this film. It’s described as a “modern day Walden” because of the beauty of the film and the insights that Proenneke shares on camera.

This film is offered for free thanks to the generosity of the Reel Deal’s Jim O’Donnell, who is a big fan of Proenneke’s. O’Donnell was lucky enough to make a trip to Alaska to visit Pronneke’s homesite and fish in the same lake Pronneke did.

For more information, visit www.PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or e-mail Programs@PajaritoEEC.org.

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One Roundabout Included in Council’s N.M. 502 Vote

Engineering Manager Kyle Zimmerman during a previous presentation. Photo by Carol A. Clark

More than one resident and councilor speaking during public comment at Tuesday night’s county council meeting praised County Engineering Manager Kyle Zimmerman for devising a “win-win” option on the emotionally charged N.M. 502 corridor project between DP Road and Airport Road.

County council voted 6-1 to approve Option 1 for the N.M. 502 design option project. Councilor Vincent Chiravalle cast the sole no vote.

“Kyle Zimmerman really saved the day with his Option 1 compromise solution,” County Councilor Fran Berting said.

Zimmerman brings more than 20 years experience to his work at the county and found the way to blend the best of the five possible options, which could have increased the roadway to five lanes and nine roundabouts.

Zimmerman’s option is comprised of one roundabout at 4th Street and Central Avenue and a single lane road in each direction with widened medians at the intersections of Airport Road and Tewa Loop that are designed for a travel speed of 35 miles per hour.

Option 1 also includes a center median for landscaping west of Tewa Loop with left turn bays and pedestrian refuge. Up to two hybrid pedestrian beacons will be installed between the Tewa Loop and Canyon Road intersections. The Canyon Road intersections will be reconfigured to increase deflection to reduce vehicle speeds.

Between Canyon Road and Central Avenue or where determined necessary by the New Mexico Department of Transportation, two east bound lanes from Central Avenue will merge to one east bound lane. The center medium will continue along with one west bound lane. The Central Avenue and 4th Street intersections with NM 502 will combine into one intersection controlled by a roundabout.

West of Central Avenue and 4th Street, NM 502 will have two east bound lanes, a center medium and one west bound lane.

The DP Road intersection will be reconfigured using existing right-of-way to be more of a 90-degree intersection with NM 502. West of the DP Road intersection, NM 502 will connect to the existing road section of two lanes east bound, a center medium and two lanes west bound.

Sidewalks will be included on both sides of N.M. 502 from Tewa Loop to DP Road.

This option is to be modified to incorporate bicycle lanes or bicycle paths where physically viable and cost effectively feasible to do so in the opinion of NMDOT and Los Alamos County.

Los Alamos has a New Source for Local News Coverage!

Reaction from local Yorkshire Terrier Tyrone N. Clark and his close friend Max Verde was captured on camera this morning just moments after the pair discovered the Los Alamos Daily Post news site and its concentrated coverage of Los Alamos and White Rock. Courtesy photo

The Los Alamos Daily Post launches today and our number one goal is to bring you, our readers, the best in local news coverage through print, photographs and videos.

Our focus is the events occurring throughout Los Alamos and White Rock.

We are reporting from the neighborhoods, schools, businesses; the financial, cultural and faith-based communities and the science and engineering divisions at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

On this site you also will find the latest in Los Alamos County, Los Alamos Police Department and Los Alamos Fire Department news.

Check back often as we intend to add additional pages soon.

We seek to develop this news site into a collaborative effort with input from citizens across the community.

Send us your best stories, columns, letters, press releases, photos, videos and news tips and together we will create a rich and diverse source for local news: citizencontent@losalamosdailypost.com

Developer Sells Central Park Square

Central Park Square

The Los Alamos Daily Post has learned that Phillip H. Kunsberg of Los Alamos has purchased Central Park Square from Tom Netuschil, owner of Netuschil Development Corp in Los Alamos.

A mortgage dated Dec. 29, 2011 lists Kunsberg, along with John Vogel Jr. and Judith A. Music, as borrowers on a loan financed through Los Alamos National Bank that also purchased the two-story building at 464 Central Ave., across from the Hilltop House Hotel and property at 278 DP Road. Although it’s unclear how much the individual properties cost the partners, documents related to the sale state, “the total amount secured by this security instrument at any one time will not exceed $35 million.”

Kunsberg could not be reached for comment, but according to a Bloomberg Newsweek executive profile, the 61-year-old serves as managing director and general counsel of Hollinger Digital Inc., the venture capital subsidiary of Hollinger International Inc., since May 1997.

Since 1998, Kunsberg also has served as director on the board of American Interactive Media, Inc. and is a former director for SUMmedia.com Inc. Before joining Hollinger, Kunsberg spent five years at Los Alamos National Laboratory where his work focused on computer modeling of complex systems and system dynamics analysis. During that time, he founded the Technology Institute, a non-profit organization in Los Alamos dedicated to promoting international collaboration in science and technology, according to the Bloomberg Newsweek report.

Kunsberg received his Juris Doctor, Master of Arts in Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Yale University.

Water Canyon Trail Work Continues in Wake of Las Conchas Fire

By Craig Martin, Open Space Specialist, Los Alamos County

As a community we’ve been here before, anxiously waiting for the spring thaw so that we can begin work on repairing miles of trails damaged by fire and post-fire runoff.

Fortunately, this time we are much better prepared. In the aftermath of the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000, the trail community wasn’t sure if the trails in the burned area would ever be usable again. Over the next six years, volunteers acquired a cache of tools, learned trail building skills, and eventually brought back nearly every mile we once thought of as lost forever.

The Las Conchas Fire impacted about 25 miles of trail between Los Alamos and the ridgeline of the Sierra de los Valles. In Bandelier National Monument, post-fire floods slammed another 20 or more miles. Repairing the trails is a monumental task, but work has already begun and there are plans in motion to accomplish it all.

Close to town, the Los Alamos County Trail Network was untouched by fire or floods. Portions of the Perimeter and Quemazon trails were used as fire lines, but dozens of volunteers accomplished much of the rehabilitation work last fall. That effort helped get the Quemazon, Mitchell and lower Guaje Ridge trails reopened in October.

Volunteers with the Southwest Nordic Ski Club tackled the trails leading to Cañada Bonita, and a Forest Service contractor cleared hazard trees out to the head of Guaje Canyon. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Recreation Specialist Lynn Bjorklund, the Española Ranger District reopened those five miles of trail in December. The same contractor removed about 30 hazard trees from the Nail Trail, which is also open for trail users.

That’s the good news. The flood damage to the canyons along the road to the back gate is staggering. In Pajarito Canyon, the trail is washed out in many places. Forest Service Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) funds will be used to bring in a mini-dozer to re-cut the trail along the uppermost 1.5 miles as soon as the ground thaws. The remaining work is likely to be a volunteer project.

Cañon de Valle saw incredible flooding that far exceeded those that came in 2000. The lower mile of the trail is covered with boulders. The middle section has frequent washouts, but the upper mile is relatively untouched.

The Forest Service hopes to use the mini-dozer to clear the bottom stretch this spring. Above, the trail will likely be re-routed and constructed by either a Youth Conservation Corps crew or volunteers.

Much of the trail in Water Canyon is a deep, water-scoured trench. Trail repair there is expected to take several years.

Hazard trees along the upper two miles of the Guaje Ridge Trail are slated to be removed this spring. Some ground work by volunteers will be needed to bring back that stretch of trail. Damage assessments for trails in and north of Guaje Canyon are complete, but there is no timetable for their repair.

To stay informed about volunteer trail rehabilitation activities, check the Southwest Nordic Ski Club site at http://swnordicski.org/ or join the Los Alamos Trails Facebook group.

Some of my Best Friends are 19

By Bonnie Gordon

I’ve discovered one of the secrets to a happy middle age and I’m sharing it with you. Make friends with young people.

This isn’t possible until they get to be 15 or so. Before that, you can enjoy them, but they can’t really be friends. The experience and ideas gap is just too wide. But once they reach mid teens, guess what? If you talk to them like they’re real people, they will talk back, and what they have to say is really interesting.

You can learn lots of cool stuff about music composed in this century, how to do social networking, and what’s the buzz on the Internet. But that’s not all. Young people will remind you of things you might have forgotten.

Teens and young adults are trying to figure out what’s really important in life. They are steering their boat into the fog of the future with no real idea where they want to go — they have to think seriously about a lot of topics. The meaning of life, what makes them happy, and what is the deal with love (and sex) are issues at the very top of their agenda. When was the last time they were at the top of yours?

By the time we hit our 40s and 50s, many of us are pretty much set up for the long haul. We have a career, a mate, friends and some interests we pursue. When was the last time we really thought about whether these things are still making us happy? When did we last take a risk to find out if something else might light up our life? Have a serious talk with someone just starting out and you might make some real discoveries about yourself.

What’s in it for them? Plenty. Having negotiated the murky waters of careers, love and serious risk taking, those of us at mid-life have picked up some tips worth passing on. How you survived that horrible breakup is useful information to someone who’s 19. Your mistakes are one of the most valuable things you have to share.

You do have to be honest, however. If you truly didn’t inhale, fine, but don’t lie about taboo subjects such as drug use. (Keeping quiet about some things is okay.) Kids are really tired of being lied to and frankly, lies are not very useful to them.

You could be the reason someone young doesn’t make a really bad mistake, but only if they believe what you tell them. If they catch you in lies, it blows your credibility, and as with anyone of any age, it will ruin your friendship.

Other people’s kids make great friends. Your own kids are trickier. You can have fun with them, but the need to be a role model and disciplinarian makes it hard to have an equal relationship. It’s also hard to listen to them and not be a know-it-all.

The best reason to be friends with young people is that it is fun. When no one your age will go to the 30-year reunion of your favorite punk band, your young friends will. They’ll dance all night at an outdoor concert when your spouse has given up and gone home. They will order pizza happily if you don’t want to cook. My young friends even threw me a surprise birthday party and that was really, really fun.

So I’m telling you, my middle-aged readers, get out there and make some young friends.

You’ll be glad you did — and so will they.

“Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima” Coming to Mesa Public Library

Iwo Jima/Wikipedia

Sixty Seven Years Ago: The Battle of Iwo Jima with Veteran Bill Hudson is a special event set for 7 p.m. Feb. 14 in the  Mesa Public Library Upstairs Rotunda.

A video, including an interview with a local Iwo Jima Marine Corp veteran will be shown. Battle veteran Bill Hudson of Los Alamos will present the video “Uncommon Valor: The Battle of Iwo Jima,” produced by the Canadian History Channel.

On this Valentine’s Day, this showing will commemorate the 67th anniversary of that historic battle and all the loved ones who fought and those who were lost.

This video has not been aired  publicly on television in the United States. Hudson went back to Iwo Jima for a military reunion and was interviewed by the producers of the video.

Hudson earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his actions during the infamous battle. He will comment about his personal experience between scenes from that operation where 6,841 Marines were killed and another 20,000 were wounded.

Following the video, Hudson will give a brief talk about the military significance of that bloody battle and answer questions from the audience.

Hudson is a longtime resident, retired educator and former Los Alamos High School swimming and cross country coach.

For more information, contact Bill Hudson at 661-6901.

A Day Trip Excursion by Rail

By Greg Kendall
My wife and I decided to take an excursion down to Albuquerque for the afternoon on the Rail Runner a while back. We parked in downtown Santa Fe at the Rail Yard in the new underground parking lot. It cost a buck to park all day.

We took the short walk to the train depot and jumped on board at 11:20 a.m. Upstairs in the train there are groupings of four seats that face each other with a narrow table in between.

A ticket taker shows up after a while and you pay with cash or by credit card. The round trip to Albuquerque cost 8 bucks for adults, 6 for seniors and kids under 10 free. The trip is very scenic. In Santa Fe, the tracks parallels a nice bicycle/walking trail. You get a very different perspective of Santa Fe than you normally would when you drive through town.The trip to Albuquerque passes through several Pueblos that are off the beaten path.

The Rail Runner pulls into the station. Photo by Greg Kendall/For ladailypost.com

At one point, the train comes pretty close to the Rio Grande River near the San Felipe Pueblo. The trip takes just a bit over an hour and a half. Arriving at the Downtown Albuquerque station, we decided to have lunch at the Tucanos Brazilian Grill, which is located directly across the street from the train station.

I had been to a Tucanos Grill in Salt Lake City and it was just ok. The one in Albuquerque is fantastic! They have super variety in a salad bar (they call it a salad festival) and then while you’re enjoying that, there are waiters who come around with skewers of delicious meats that they serve to you at your table.

The meats are fantastic. There were different cuts of beef and chicken. They also come around with pineapple and vegetable skewers. My fellow travelers and I were highly pleased with our meals. The quality and service was excellent. The place was noisy and obviously very popular. We will definitely return to Tucanos Brazilian Grill (110 Central Ave. Southwest).

The Rail Runner is comfortable, convenient and a fun way to take a trip to Albuquerque for a Saturday or Sunday outing.

Enloe and Cowan Share Unique History

Bill Enloe, left, with Dr. George Cowan at the Santa Fe Institute in December. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com

Santa Fe Institute founder Dr. George A. Cowan and SFI board member Bill Enloe discussed their unique history in an interview on the Behind the White Coat science program in December.

Cowan is a founding director of Los Alamos National Bank and was its chairman for 30 years. Enloe has spent his professional career with LANB and serves as chairman and chief executive officer.

Cowan is a research scientist, academician, businessman and philanthropist. He is a Lifetime Trustee Emeritus and Distinguished Fellow of the Santa Fe Institute, which he founded in 1984 and served as president to 1991.

SFI is a private institution that fosters interdisciplinary research among scientists from the physical, biological, computational and social sciences. From 1949 to 1988, Cowan worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, serving as director of chemistry, associate laboratory director of research and senior laboratory fellow. He was appointed to the White House Science Council during the Reagan administration.

In 1990, Cowan received the Enrico Fermi Award for “a lifetime of exceptional achievement in the development and use of energy.”

In 1997, Cowan was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2001, Carnegie-Mellon University awarded Cowan an honorary doctorate of science and technology, recognizing his tireless work on behalf of scientific research, ranging from the fields of nuclear chemistry to the study of the physiology of the human brain.

Cowan and Enloe have known each other for more than 40 years. Enloe first went to work at LANB in 1971 as a loan officer. He became the bank’s cashier in 1973, vice president in 1975 and president, chief executive officer in 1978 and chairman and chief executive officer 1994.

Since 1979, Enloe has served as president and chief executive officer of Trinity Capital Corporation, of which LANB is a subsidiary.

In addition to his work on the SFI board, Enloe participates on many other boards and organizations that serve the communities in which LANB operates. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Delle Foundation, Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc. and is a managing member of KKSE, LLC.

Enloe chairs the Los Alamos Economic Development Land Use Committee and is a member on the board of the LANS Venture Acceleration Fund Review Panel and the Los Alamos Economic Development Corporation. He also served as a director for the Federal Reserve Board in Denver from 2008 to January 2010.

The Dec. 12, 2011 interview on Behind the White Coat with Enloe and Cowan is broadcast on PAC 8. Visit http://www.pac8.org for times and dates.

The Hill Stompers Light Up Durango Parade

Band member Jeff Favorite blows his whistle as the Hill Stompers entertain the crowd last weekend in Durango. Photo by Jean Gindreau/For ladailypost.com.

The Hill Stompers, an award winning jazzy street band that formed in 2000, spent last weekend playing music and dancing in the Snowdown Light Parade in Durango, Colo.

It’s Durango’s only nighttime parade where light-bedecked floats create a dazzling delight in Durango’s most spectacular and entertaining procession along the banks of Main Avenue.

The Hill Stompers will next play at the Mardi Gras Pub Crawl Tuesday, Feb. 21, where they will boogie their way through Santa Fe Fat.

The Hill Stompers welcome musicians of any level to join their group. Whether you’re just learning a new instrument or you haven’t played in 20 years – there are no auditions and no experience is necessary.

The band rehearses 7-9 p.m. Monday evenings at the United Church.

To schedule the Hill Stompers to play at your next event, call Jeff Favorite at 661-7646 or email fave@cybermesa.com.

Kandice Dimacchia Favorite of the Hillstompers leads the parade at Snowdown in Durango. Photo by Jean Gindreau/For ladailypost.com

Claire Singleton takes part in the fun. Photo by Jean Gindreau/For ladailypost.com