Essence Oct-Nov 2012

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of Los Alamos and White Rock October/November 2012, Volume 6 Issue 6

Being Green in Los Alamos

Los Alamos’ Smart House Field Scientist Teaches Kids to Be Green Trashion Show Glass Recycling Returns

the Essence Essence Interview with Tom Nagawiecki. .......... 5 Growing Green Adults.......................................................7 LA Smart House & Smart Grid. .................................9 Cortright Helps PEEC Grow................................................11

Suzette Fox Editor, Ads Coordinator Katy Korkos, Kevin Holsapple Content Editors

Your best local resource for news, events, business directory and more.

Online visitor guide to Los Alamos

Trashion Show ...................................................................... 13 Biotechnology in Our Backyard. ........................ 15 Horoning Those Who Enhance ........................... 17 Glass Recycling Returns to LA............................... 21 Calendar of Events Local Happenings in Your Town.........................................................



22-23 Online relocation guide Chamber of Commerce On the Cover: Trashion Show, Alexandra Hehlen models a homemade outfit created from recycled materials Above: A mountain of recyleables at the Los Alamos County Transfer Station

Essence October/November 2012

Editor’s Note

Participating CommunityMatters Chamber Members

Welcome to the Essence! The Essence, a bi-monthly publication, created to inform and remind the community of what’s special about living in Los Alamos and White Rock. The Theme of this issue is “Going Green.” We must change our lifestyle to benefit the environment. Going green involves sustainable living, using environmentally friendly products and reusing/recycling.

Assets in Action Bennett’s Jewelry Black Mesa Golf Club

Sustainable living is limiting the use of natural resources and increasing self sufficiency by altering modes of transportation, conserving energy, changing one’s diet and buying locally produced items. Shop local.

Blue Window Bistro Bob’s Bodacious BBQ CB FOX & CB FOX Kidz

Buying environmentally friendly products is so easy now. They are available at our local markets and retailers. Recycled paper products, nontoxic household cleaners and organic foods minimize the damage or harm to our air, water, soil and animal life.

Don Taylors Photography Family YMCA Hampton Inn & Suites Hill Diner High Mesa Institute – The Hive Juvenile Justice Board- LA Karen Wray Fine Art Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos Little Forest Play School Lorraine Hartway, CPA, LLC

Recycling has become second nature. We just have to go the extra mile to recycle the things, like glass, that can be dropped off to Sullivan field, Overlook and the EcoStation. Also, the Los Alamos Co Op Market is collecting chip bags, cereal box liners, bagged cereal, energy bar, candy wrappers and #5 plastics. Locally since 2006, the County recycling rate has increased from 15% to 24%. This increase has been driven by a 46% increase in the tons of materials recycled and a 17% decrease in the tons of solid waste generated. The County is still significantly below the national average recycling rate of 33%, but above the state recycling rate of 16%.*

Los Alamos Community Health Council

Information is knowledge. I hope you can take away important information from these articles.

Los Alamos Co-Op Market

Smart House

Glass Recycling


CommunityMatters interview with Tom Nagawiecki

Los Alamos Farmers’ Market

PEEC Activities

Los Alamos Fitness Center

Recycled Art Fashion Show

Los Alamos Heart Council

Essence Award for Best Use of Recycled Parts for the Scarecrow Contest

Los Alamos County Government Los Alamos County Library Los Alamos Family Council

Los Alamos Historical Museum Los Alamos Medical Center

The smallest steps can be taken towards living green. Just start. The more you learn, the more you will want to do for our planet earth.

Los Alamos National Bank

Please support our CommunityMatters participants (left).

Medical Assoc of Northern New Mexico

*Los Alamos Environmental Services Division statistics

North Road Inn Pajarito Environmental Education Center Pajarito Greenhouse Pajarito Mountain Ski Area Pet Pangaea

Suzette Fox, Editor Community Projects Coordinator/LA MainStreet Manager Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation 505.661.4844,

The Finishing Touch United Way of Northern New Mexico UNM Graduate Program UPEX Waddell & Reed


Essence October/November 2012


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Essence October/November 2012



Essence interview with Tom Nagawiecki Essence: Tell us a bit about your background and about your history with Los Alamos. Tom Nagawiecki: I moved here three years ago from Moscow, Idaho where I had been earning my masters in environmental science from the University of Idaho. My job as Environmental Services Specialist for Los Alamos County is what brought me here … it was a great opportunity to put my skills to work. Moscow is a lot like Los Alamos except it is more of a college town. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago. I’d say the main thing I miss about that is Chicago sports … the Cubs are my team. Essence: What do you remember about first impressions of Los Alamos? Tom Nagawiecki: I’m a hiker, so that aspect of Los Alamos made a big, positive first impression. The access we have to trails drew me right in here. Also, the people I met here were really welcoming.

Leadership Los Alamos was another good connect and was a great way to get to know more people in the community. With the Los Alamos Public Schools, I’ve had a chance to be involved with their “Green Teams”. Green Teams are groups of students at each of the schools who are interested in environmental and sustainability education and awareness. The Aspen School Green Team won a statewide award for their work last year. I’ve also had some good experience working with businesses in the community. One that comes immediately to mind is working on a collaboration with apartment complex owners Don Taylor, John & Geniece Courtright, and Bruce Norman of Plateau Property Management to set up a joint recycling approach at their adjacent properties along Central Avenue. In my view, this was a great example of a collaboration for mutual benefit.

Essence: What do you do when you’re not being green? Tom Nagawiecki: Something I’ve been doing just for fun is refereeing roller derby. My girlfriend was participating in the roller derby Essence: Your job involves a lot of community outreach. What has that been team here in Los Alamos and like? the main qualification for ref’ing Tom Nagawiecki: I’ve had the opportunity to be involved with a number of groups was the ability to skate. I’ve had … both in a professional capacity as well as in personal, volunteering mode. I love a lot of fun with that. Going to working with PEEC (Pajarito Environmental Education Center). I find it to be such a a roller derby match is not as fordedicated and passionate group of people in what they do. Working with the Earth eign as it might seem. Each event Day Planning Committee, participating in the Nature Center process, and volunteering is opened by a rules briefing so as a teacher for the Kinnikinic after school program have been things I’ve done with that spectators get a good, basic PEEC and all have been very rewarding. grounding in the rules and “ask me The Co-op Market has been another great group to work with. They have taken a girls” … they tend to be daughters very progressive approach on recycling and waste reduction. For instance, they’ve of the players … circulate in the made it possible to recycle #5 plastics … something that our County program isn’t in a crowd to answer questions during position to do. Sandra West at the Co-op has been great to work with. the matches. It’s mostly just good The Trashion Show at the Next Big Idea Festival was another rewarding project. fun ref’ing, although I did have to Dozens of people participated and the MainStreet folks who organize Next Big Idea make an ejection of a player at a and Keely Garrity and Eden Weinbrecht from LANB who were our judges were great bout up in Taos. That was intense. to work with and really helped to connect the dots in the community. Essence: Have a favorite trail? Tom Nagawiecki: The first place I lived here was near Urban Park, so Quemazon Trail became and still is my favorite. There is a place that you get to that is a big, expansive overview of the town that I particularly like. The truth is that I haven’t hiked a trail here that I didn’t really like. Craig Martin does a great job with the trail system.


Essence October/November 2012


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Essence October/November 2012

The Frolic Through Field Science, Angelique Harshman Helps Grows Green Adults If you drop by your child’s school and see kids outside examining their playground with magnifying glasses, don’t be surprised. And don’t be surprised if you see school kids out on the trails looking for birds, or staking out a transect. And if you’re lucky enough to visit Fenton Lake during a school day, you might see Los Alamos students standing in the streams using nets to catch macroinvertebrates. It’s all part of a new curriculum that the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) has written for Los Alamos Public Schools kindergarten through sixth graders called the Pajarito Plateau Field Science Curriculum (PPFS.) Angelique Harshman is the Education Programs director overseeing all of PEEC’s school-related programs. “I’ve been in the environmental education field for more than15 years and I think the best thing is introducing to the kids what’s unique about the Pajarito Plateau,” Harshman said. She lived in Los Alamos for five years between fifth and 10th grade and recalled how unique she found New Mexico and how “Los Alamos in particular was so special.” “We’re getting kids outside and sharing what’s cool about the Pajarito Plateau,” she said. Harshman was born in Missouri, moved at the age of four to California, later to Ohio and finally Illinois before moving back to Los Alamos. “Camping all over as a child and getting a chance to see so many things I have fond memories of sitting on a redwood stump in California, eating blueberries on a hill in Maine and hiking here,” she said. “I recently went back to visit Chaco Canyon and of course the Caldera is incredible.” In college Harshman studied ecology, ethology and evolution at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. She interned in her junior year as a naturalist and really enjoyed working with children. For the first time she had a chance to apply her science background and it was then that she realized she wanted to work as a naturalist. Harshman started her career working as an educator with the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. She also worked for two forest preserve districts in Illinois, as a naturalist and

volunteer coordinator. Before moving to Los Alamos, she was in charge of children and youth programs along with a Summer Science Camp at the Morton Arboretum. Harshman started working as a volunteer for PEEC in the fall of 2011 and began developing curriculum for Los Alamos school children last January.

“We’re getting kids outside and sharing what’s cool about the Pajarito Plateau,” – Harshman

The curriculum for the PPFS was written with a grant from the LANL Foundation. It was piloted at Mountain Elementary School in the 2011-2012 school year, and heavily revised over the summer of 2012 to meet the new Common Core standards. This revision was funded by the Albert I. Pierce Foundation. The Pierce Foundation also funded printing a copy of the curriculum for every LAPS teacher in grades K-6, and training them on how to teach it. PPFS gets Los Alamos kids outside six times in the school year to do hands-on field science. And because the curriculum was written by a Los Alamos organization for Los Alamos school kids, it features exactly the insects, animals, birds, trees and plants that live on the Pajarito Plateau. Younger kids study their schoolyards, discovering all the the

Essence October/November 2012

interesting life there, while older kids explore the trail nearest their school. In sixth grade, the lessons culminate with a study of the wetlands Harshman at Fenton Lake. The LAPS Foundation funded the purchase of complete supply trunks for each grade at Aspen Elementary School and Chamisa Elementary School, as well as transportation to Fenton for Aspen and Chamisa 6th graders. Kids ‘n Parks, a program of the New Mexico State Parks (and a check off option on your state taxes) provided the rest of the funding for buses to Fenton. Teachers and students have enthusiastically embraced the curriculum. Ninety percent of teachers in the pilot year rated themselves as “very satisfied” with the curriculum, and 82 percent thought it was “very successful” in teaching New Mexico state content standards. “Kids love nature and being outdoors exploring. The lessons gave them both,” participating teachers said. “It gave them ideas about exploring on their own.” One teacher commented that the best thing about the curriculum for students was “the real experience.” What does this have to do with growing green adults? Research shows that the best way to grow children into adults who become responsible stewards for the environment is to allow them plenty of positive, fun experiences in nature when they are children. Furthermore, one-time experiences have been shown to be much less effective in connecting kids to nature than repeated exposure. The PPFS curriculum does both—allows kids to have fun in nature, and provides them repeated opportunities to do so. So, don’t be surprised if your kindergartener comes home knowing more about the bugs and plants of the Pajarito Plateau than you do—just be ready to go outside and continue the exploration.


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Essence October/November 2012 505-662-6272

Local People Behind the Smart Grid and Smart House By Carol A. Clark A $53 million state-of-the-art, international smart grid and smart house project powered up Sept. 17 in Los Alamos at the 2,418-square-foot “Smart House” built behind the Century Link Building at 1925 Trinity Dr. The US-Japan Demonstration Smart Grid project is a collaboration between Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Los Alamos County, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory. John Arrowsmith New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez together with NEDO Chairman Mr. Kazuo Furukawa, U.S. Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, Los Alamos County Council Chair Sharon Stover, Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Dr. Charles McMillan, Toshiba CEO Mr. Norio Sasaki and other key executives from major participating companies such as Kyocera, Hitachi, Sharp, Itochu and NGK Insulators joined in the event to power up the Los Alamos Smart Grid. “I am proud that New Mexico is one of only two states, along with Hawaii, where NEDO has chosen to make such an investment,” said Gov. Susana Martinez. “Together, we are able to showcase our smart grid technology and take pride in knowing that our efforts are helping to shape international energy standards and therefore future energy solutions.” Local people involved in the project included Department of Public Utilities Man-


ager John Arrowsmith, Deputy Utilities Manager Rafael De La Torres, Deputy Utility Managers Janet Bettinger, Steve Cummins, James Alarid, Project Leads Victor Martinez, Gaylyn Meyers, Anne Laurent, Gerald Martinez, Darryl Tabor, Matt Casados, and research partner Los Alamos National Laboratory. Arrowsmith who headed up the entire project had to miss the grand opening ceremony because he was in Italy at the time.

Smart House

The smart house was built by Los Alamos County, equipped by NEDO and is tied to the demonstration smart grid. Los Alamos County’s Capital Project Department Director Anne Laurent oversaw the design of the smart home. County Project Manager Victor Martinez oversaw the County’s contract with the Albuquerque-based company Affordable Solar to build it. “Unfortunately some unforeseen delays prevented the county from awarding a contract during the 2011 construction season,” Martinez said. “So the County had to wait until the 2012 construction season. With an aggressive schedule and a lot of team work, the house was built in a very short timeframe.” The smart house is designed to demonstrate how a smart house of the future might function and what it could look like. It includes smart grid technology including a Home Energy Management System, a 3.4 kilowatt photovoltaic system, a 24 kilowatt hour lithium ion battery system, smart appliances including HVAC and thermal storage and load banks to simulate typical house‐hold usage patterns. To make the house more energy efficient while preserving comfort, the installed systems will demonstrate the ability to stabilize PV output by reducing or shaving peak system demand by using the battery systems and demand response. Demand

Essence October/November 2012


HOUSE, page 19


Visit Los Alamos and Enjoy a Luxurious Stay at the Hampton

RESOURCES FOR PEOPLE IN NEED The economic downturn has affected people in our community. If you are looking for help, some of the following resources may be useful. If you would like to donate to or volunteer with a nonprofit, please contact one of the starred agencies.

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Essence October/November 2012


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Essential Person

Beth Cortright is Helping PEEC Grow By Mandy Marksteiner

Beth Cortright is the new Nature Center coordinator at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, 3540 Orange St, and said that she couldn’t be happier. “As soon as I moved here I started volunteering at PEEC,” she said. “The Los Alamos County Council was voting on a potential new Nature Center for this community and I was ready to help in whatever way possible. Even though I was new to the area, everyone was so welcoming and I was able to learn so much right away.” Cortright, 25, was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio in a family for which “absolutely everything was volunteer based from church activities to our work with the Western Wildlife Corridor,” she said. The organization would buy up land to ensure it remained a wildlife sanctuary or worked with land owners to write up conservation easements ... everything for my sister and me to have access to wildlands and parks where we could learn about nature.” Cortright’s father worked in maintenance for the City of Cincinnati and involved his daughters in environmentally conscious activities in the community. “Cincinnati had a nature center but it was on the other side of the city 50 minutes away so I practically lived at the Cincinnati Natural History Museum,” she said. “Having the nature center here in Los Alamos so accessible is just wonderful.” Cortright’s mother worked in the healthcare field. She was very environmentally conscious and concentrated on involving her daughter in sustainability issues around the house. “There was always the garden in the backyard and always low-flow everything at our house,” Cortright said. My dad always joked about not having any sons but my sister now works for GE Aviation as an engineer in Santa Ana, Calif., and I’m a biologist,” she said laughing. Cortright came to know Los Alamos through her boyfriend who works at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The couple met two years ago when she went caving in Carlsbad. “I visited Los Alamos while finishing college and really liked it here,” she said. After earning her Master’s Degree in Biology from the University of Cincinnati in March, Cortright moved to Los Alamos and started looking for a job at places like Bandelier National Monument. Wherever she went, people recommended PEEC and it has turned out to be a perfect fit, she said. It also turned out that she was able to apply what she learned in grad school right away. Most of her biology training is in entomology and PEEC recently received several sets of empty insect drawers. “I want to get a grant to fill them up with insects from the Pajarito Plateau. I’ve already started my own insect box at home,” Cortright said. She also found an opportunity to play a larger role at PEEC through applying for a position as a Public Allies of New Mexico, which is a division of AmeriCorps. In her role as a Public Ally, Cortright’s job is to build the capacity of PEEC. For example, she will spend time focusing on fundraising and volunteer recruitment. “It’s a learning experience for me and for the organization. The Public Allies program teaches us to build a better non-profit,” she said. “What more could I want being a biologist? I’m excited to work with kids, families and people who want to help out. I immediately saw PEEC’s potential with their new Nature Center, and with the waiting lists they had for their programs, and with the call they have for more of what they offer. It’s environmental education at its finest.”


Essence October/November 2012


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Essence October/November 2012

Trashy Fashions Make Sustainable Statements By Kirsten Laskey Coke cans, old newspapers, CDs and plastic grocery bags – not exactly the materials one would think could complete an outfit – but the participants at the Trash Fashion Contest pulled off some stylish looks using these very items. The Trash Fashion show was held Sept. 15 during Los Alamos MainStreet’s Next Big Idea Festival. The purpose of the show wasn’t exactly to forge a new fashion statement but to make a sustainable statement. “The workshops and fashion show are an innovative and fun way to raise participants’ and observers’ awareness of the myriad of materials we are currently ‘wasting’ by throwing them into the trash,” Los Alamos County Environmental Services Specialist Tom Nagawiecki said. “By shining the spotlight on this wasteful behavior and showing one creative and slightly wacky way to value our trash, we can raise awareness and hopefully begin to change some of our wasteful behaviors.” The idea for the fashion show was inspired by the work of Nancy Judd, a Santa Fe artist who creates clothes out of trash. Whether it is junk mail catalogues or car parts, Judd designs to spread messages about the environmental consequences suffered by our decisions as well as how our actions can help protect the Earth. “My choice to use waste materials to create couture garments is multi-faceted,” she said in a news release. “From an artistic stand point, the challenge of transforming trash into elegant fashions is very exciting. I love watching people discover that what they thought was a glamorous dress, is made from garbage, and recycling classic styles from the 1900s-1950s works to enhance that juxtaposition.” Judd held her first recycled fashion show in 1998 while working as the recycling coordinator for the City of Santa Fe. Judd said she realized that art and fashion could be used to raise the consciousness of the public about recycling in a fun and positive way. As a result, she started an event called Recycle Santa Fe Art Market. She is invited by recycling coordinators around the country to give fashion shows in their communities. “As an environmental educator I can use the garments to initiate a deeper ‘conversation’ with my audience about environmental stewardship in a creative context. On a personal level, working with garbage has been an often unconscious way of working through emotional challenges,” Judd said. Her creations are not really meant to be worn nor are they machine washable or extremely durable. Rather, these clothes are meant to educate. It was at a trash fashion show in Santa Fe that Nagawiecki first considered bringing a similar event to Los Alamos. “Our local trash fashion contest has developed as the result of a multitude of different experiences


Essence October/November 2012

and collaborations,” Nagawiecki said. “I was first exposed to the idea a couple years back when I attended a similar trash fashion contest hosted in Santa Fe. That is what planted the seed and then as I got to know some of the individuals involved in that fashion show and attended a couple of local recycled fashion shows put on at Pinon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary and the idea started to blossom.” He said the idea was brought up at a department planning meeting for the Next Big Idea Festival so he worked with staff from the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation to submit a grant application to New Mexico Clean and Beautiful. The grant application was accepted, and they were able to start organizing the workshops and trash fashion contest. Nagawiecki was encouraged to collaborate with Judd on the project after seeing her work. “I saw some of her work at the Recycle Santa Art Festival and I was very impressed. I also learned more about her work through colleagues in the recycling field and by subscribing to her Recycle Runway email updates,” he said. “When we started to draft the grant for the trash fashion contest, I knew that having Nancy host some local workshops would be a huge asset to the community due to her abilities as an artist and an educator.” Before designers strutted down the catwalk, they had to learn how to create “trashy” clothes. Judd held two workshops at Fuller Lodge Art Center. The scene looked more like a landfill than an artist studio, according to a county press release, but with a little guidance and a lot of creativity, a wide array of awe-inspiring outfits were created. More than 30 participants packed the two recycled fashion workshops held over a weekend at Fuller Lodge Art Center. Judd also shared some insights and safety precautions about working with trashy materials such as plastic bottles, aluminum cans and cassette tapes. “The garments Nancy showed in her presentation were amazing works of art and definitely inspired the participants,” Nagawiecki said. “By the end of her talk, the room was buzzing with excitement and participants were practically jumping out of their chairs to get to work on their own pieces of recycled fashion.” Judd praised the participants saying, “I was so impressed by the creativity of everyone who attended the workshops—the kids and adults had equal enthusiasm and unique ideas.” She explained that change starts with small steps, many people already recycle and she wants to build on this. “What else can you do, would you compost? Would you be willing to drive less and walk, bus or carpool more?”


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Essence October/November 2012

Business One of the World’s Hottest Technology Fields: Biotechnology By Rep. Jim Hall, R-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Sandoval counties On Sept. 5, the New Mexico Interim Committee “Radioactive and Hazardous Waste” met in Hobbs. Mr. Paul Laur, CEO of Eldorado Biofuels in Santa Fe made one of the most interesting presentations. As most readers know, biotechnology is one of the hottest technology areas in the world. Eldorado Biofuels, aided by Los Alamos National Laboratory, is an early-stage startup that demonstrates this technology’s potential. Very briefly, the company recycles several “waste” products using specialized salt water algae, trademarked Jalgae. Feedstock to Jalgae includes “produced water.” This is brackish water extracted along with oil and gas that usually contains oil, grease, and various inorganic and organic compounds. Currently this water is usually disposed of by re-injecting it into Salt Water Disposals (SWDs.) Eldorado Biofuels preprocesses the water to remove unwanted constituents and uses the water in the shallow algae ponds. Other feedstock material includes carbon dioxide and dairy waste. The specialized algae then recycle these materials into products such as biodiesel, animal feed, and specialized chemicals. As might be expected, the company encountered many technical challenges. Somewhat unexpected were the regulatory challenges—an example of regulatory policy uncomfortably encountering new technology. According to Mr. Laur, the New Mexico Oil and Gas Division decided his facility was to be regulated as an oil and gas producer, while the New Mexico Environment Department decided he should be regulated as a dairy. The resulting confusion about who regulated what and what regulations applied


nearly destroyed his business. Eldorado Biofuels was founded by Paul Laur and Charles Bensinger in March 2008 with an investment from Myco Industries, Inc., a New Mexico oil & gas exploration and production company. The R&D phase focused its mission on treating produced water for beneficial use such as algae cultivation. Eldorado Biofuels also helped to establish the Biofuels Training Program at Santa Fe Community College that Bensinger left Eldorado Biofuels to head up as program director.

Essence October/November 2012


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Essence October/November 2012

Community Awards Honor People Who Enhance Community By Mandy Marksteiner

Jin Park: Stepping into the Spotlight to Make a Difference

Park graduated high school in June and now attends Stanford University. “Jin is a role model who other people would want to follow. There’s no sense of ‘I’m important,’ but rather ‘I’ve been blessed and I’m going to give back,’” Schmidt said.

Stephanie Kranz: Her Infectious Enthusiasm Excites Others

Essence Award 2012 Scarecrow Contest Park

As families were returning after evacuating from the Los Conchas Fire in July 2011, Los Alamos High School student Jin Park had already hit the ground running with a plan to make the burned area green again. He organized an army of volunteers to assemble hundreds of thousands of seed balls that could be thrown into the burned woods. Park’s efforts on this project caught the attention of Los Alamos Public Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt, who nominated him for an Assets In Action Community Award last year. “My interest in Jin Park sprang from his visibility and his engagement in the seed ball project,” Schmidt said. “I thought, ‘here is a person who is very unselfish and willing to contribute a lot of time, and has a strong ethic of philanthropy.’” Park made other contributions to the community as an individual and as a member of a group. For example, he was part of a group of high school students who visited local elementary schools to read books to kids and get them interested in having library cards. “He’s the kind of person who every parent would be proud of,” said Schmidt, who pointed out that Park’s parents, Min and Monica Park, frequently held fundraisers at their former restaurant, Central Avenue Grill. Park is a talented violinist who performed in the Topper Revue and played recitals with local music groups including the Community Winds; he was a member of the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and wrote an essay that helped make it possible for Los Alamos to be named one of the “100 Best Communities” for young people by America’s Promise Alliance.

Kranz Los Alamos Middle School Principal Rex Kilburn got to know Stephanie Kranz in 2009 when they began their new jobs at LAMS – Kilburn as principal and Kranz as a teacher. He nominated her for an Assets in Action Community Award. “When Stephanie came she got involved in things that she was passionate about right away, and the kids got excited with her,” Kilburn said. “She immediately looked for ways to give back and was the driving force behind the Los Alamos Youth Food Project, a community garden that will also serve as an opportunity to teach kids about science … seeing that happen, I felt that she was someone who needed to be recognized.”

Do you know someone who should be nominated?

Assets In Action would like to highlight good deeds performed throughout the community, the state or the world at its 4th annual Assets In Action Community Awards ceremony in January. Several categories are available and based on Community Assets including: • Positive Identity Empowerment; • Commitment to Learning; and • Constructive Use of Time. One special community member will receive the “Spirit of the West Award.” Mail nominations by Dec. 17 to Assets In Action, 77 Isleta Dr., Los Alamos, NM 87544


Essence October/November 2012

· It’s that time of year again, when the Los Alamos Arts Council brings a bit of fun to downtown Los Alamos by sponsoring the annual Scarecrow Contest. · Since 2001, scarecrows made by local businesses, clubs, organizations, schools, families, and individuals have graced the streetlights along Central Avenue during the week before Halloween. · The registration fee is $10, and the Los Alamos Arts Council awards prizes to the scarecrows for their creativity and seasonal spirit. · This year the Chamber of Commerce has created an “Essence Award” to the most creative scarecrow made from recycled materials. A special prize of $50 in chamber checks will be awarded. · Bring assembled scarecrows to the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce office, 109 Central Park Square from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20. · Scarecrows will be on display downtown through Monday Oct. 28.


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Essence October/November 2012

The Smart House Monitoring System

challenges due to their variable or “intermittent” nature. When the sun goes down, there is no solar power; when the wind stops blowing there is no wind energy. Controlling electric demand in response to intermittent availability of wind and solar presents one possible way to integrate more renewable energy into the grid while maintaining reliability, as does the smart use of battery storage technologies. The NEDO project is a collaborative endeavor to test out smart grid technologies and standards, and to capture the data that describes the most successful configurations and approaches. NEDO and the State of New Mexico joined in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in August 2009 to explore collaborative projects in this area. A series of MOUs between NEDO and project partners (Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory, PNM, Mesa del Sol, County of Los Alamos through the Department of Public Utilities, and University of New Mexico) were signed in 2010 and 2011 as the Mesa Del Sol and Los Alamos Smart Grid projects took shape.

Project Objective

SMART HOUSE, from page 9 response allows for electric demand in the home to be responsive to signals from the utility, which could minimize potential costs and preserve the comfort of normal residential usage patterns.

Smart Grid

In addition to the smart house, the project partners built a smart microgrid, specifically, to show how to provide a high proportion of renewable energy on the electric grid to meet a community’s residential needs, while making the grid more efficient and stable. A 2 megawatt photovoltaic (PV) system on a capped landfill, 8.2 megawatt hour battery storage system, a micro energy management system, and smart meters comprise the smart grid. Together they will be used to smooth the output of the PV, maintain voltage requirements under the feeder, and/or to control the power costs faced by Los Alamos County by controlling peak usage. Electricity from the 2 megawatts of photovoltaics will provide power to a specific Los Alamos neighborhood of about 2,000 homes on a single circuit in Los Alamos at high penetration levels of 25-75 percent. Prior to even installing the PV, the County needed to cap the landfill. This endeavor was undertaken by Los Alamos’ Department of Public Utilities Project Manager Gaylyn Meyers. Deputy Utilities Manager Rafael De La Torre headed up coordination efforts with NEDO and its contractors for the installation of the PV array and the battery storage system. Deputy Utilities Manager Janet Bettinger coordinated efforts with Japan and LANL on smart meters and data.

With the objective of increasing renewables and enhancing energy efficiency, the Los Alamos Smart Grid project plans to demonstrate: · Control of a distribution feeder with high solar penetration using batteries and demand response (considering PV forecast, demand forecast and condition of electric grid) · A smart house as a constituting element of a smart community (solar generation forecast and demand response using demand response signals) Demand response using smart meters will also be demonstrated and the details are currently under development. In the DPU’s Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition Room, located just east of Los Alamos County Airport, an Energy Management System (MicroEMS) has been installed by NEDO. The project will run for three years, flowing green energy into the Los Alamos County Grid after which time the system will be transferred to the County. The smart house will open to the public and educational tours.


With the global population to exceed nine billion in 2050, of which 70 percent are estimated to live in urban environments, the building of smart communities with reduced energy and water needs is essential for a sustainable society. Energy use is growing. We need to find a way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and increase reliance on more sustainable sources of energy such as renewables while maximizing energy efficiency to make the most of the energy that we do use. Integration of renewable energy sources – like solar and wind – into today’s power grid poses


Essence October/November 2012


Wesley Sofa



Essence October/November 2012


Glass Recycling Returns to Los Alamos County By Tom Nagawiecki

An exciting new glass recycling program launched in Los Alamos County Saturday, Sept. 29. This new program was developed, in large part, as a response to the overwhelming public desire to keep glass out of the waste stream. “In my three years working with the County, glass recycling has been the hot button topic. Without fail, at every public presentation or appearance I would get asked the question of why we do not recycle glass,” County Environmental Services Specialist Tom Nagawiecki said. In response to this public desire, the Environmental Sustainability Board and Los Alamos County staff made it a priority to find an economically feasible glass recycling option for the Los Alamos and White Rock community. The development of the County’s new glass drop-off recycling program that processes glass locally resulted from a visit to Angel Fire. “Angel Fire has a wonderful glass recycling program where they crush the material themselves and use it locally. Seeing how well this program was doing, it convinced staff that a similar system could be developed here,” Nagawiecki said. Now Los Alamos County residents can recycle their glass bottles and jars by depositing them in the yellow glass recycling dumpsters located at the Sullivan Field and Overlook Park Convenience Centers, or by bringing them over to the Eco Station on East Jemez Road. In order to ensure a successful program, residents are asked to adhere to these glass recycling requirements:

• The program is limited to glass bottles and jars of any color; please rinse, and remove and discard lids/corks; • No glass drink ware, glass plates, window glass, picture frame glass, or any other type of glass is accepted; • Do not toss bagged glass into the yellow collection dumpsters (if you line your yellow bin with plastic bags, please just empty the bag into the yellow collection dumpsters); • Do not place glass in your blue curb-side recycling bin; • Do not place your yellow bin curb-side as it will not be collected; • Please note that any item besides glass that gets in the yellow dumpsters is contamination and will negatively affect the effectiveness of the program. The glass collected through the drop-off program will be pulverized at the Eco Station to create 3/8- inch glass pebbles (cullet) with round edges that will be available free of charge to residents for use in their landscaping or other projects. If you are interested in utilizing the glass pebbles, please contact the Environmental Services Division at 662-8163 to check on availability. The County also will utilize the product for landfill cap maintenance and other projects. By utilizing the finished product locally, the County is able to eliminate the high transportation costs associated with glass recycling. To find out more information about this new recycling program and how to get a free in-home glass collection bin, visit or contact Tom Nagawiecki at 505-662-8163.

Did You Know?

As part of its sustainability mission, the Los Alamos Cooperative Market has joined with Terracycle and Preserve Gimme 5 collection programs to help the local community and the planet collect, ship and repurpose. The Co-op accepts all chip bags, cereal box liners, cereal bags, all packaging from Bear Naked and all energy bars and candy wrappers for recycling and repurposing. Preserve Gimme 5 handles #5 plastics collection. Terracycle is a national recycling system that augments the Co-op’s recycling efforts through its goal to “eliminate the idea of waste.” Conscious Shopping Made Easy: Look for the TerraCycle symbol next to the price tags when you shop at the Co-op to help you identify items that can be repurposed - all or in part – and help extend the life of items that used to go straight to the landfill. How Does it Work? • Drop off items at the Co-op; • Co-op volunteers help sort and package the items; • Co-op ships items to TerraCycle; • TerraCycle repurposes the items by using them to create other products; • When you’re done using the TerraCycle products drop them off again. They can continue to be repurposed/recycled and you’ll help keep the cycle going and keep TerraCycle products out of landfills; and • TerraCycle helps support our community by donating money to local nonprofits. To learn more about the Los Alamos Cooperative Market’s sustainability efforts, email


Essence October/November 2012



October 2012

13 Annual Fall work Party and Pit BBQ at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area 9 am to 8 pm Work party to get the ski hill ready for the winter

3 Brave New Brass Los Alamos Art Council Brown Bag Series season ending with a BBQ. 12 pm to 1:00 pm Fuller Lodge. Brave New Brass will present a variety of music written or arranged for brass instruments ranging from the Baroque music 13 Sunset Hayrides 4 pm to 6 pm Posse Lodge. Enjoy an oldof the 17th century to contemporary composers of brass music with some jazz and tangos thrown in for variety.

fashioned hayride into the sunset on North Mesa.

14 Annual PEECnic 2 pm to 4pm Join the fun at PEEC’s annual PEECnic, 4 Los Alamos Farmers Market at Mesa Public Library parking beginning with illustrated talks by our Park Flight interns about the birds of their home lot 7 am to 12:30 pm Produce, meats, cheeses, plants, prepared food items, countries, followed by a special PEEC slide show to say thank you to the community crafts, and more from Northern New Mexico. An inviting and colorful community tradition!

for their support for a new Nature Center. Afterwards, PEEC will elect its new officers and board. Enjoy refreshments and kids’ activities.

4 Free Film Series at Mesa Public Library 6:30 pm to 8:30 18 Los Alamos Farmers Market at Mesa Public Library parking lot 7 am to 12:30 pm. Produce, meats, cheeses, plants, prepared food items, crafts, pm – Hugo and more from Northern New Mexico. An inviting and colorful community tradition!

4 The Big Year: Film at the Reel Deal Theater to benefit Pajarito Environmental Education Center 6 pm to 7 pm The Big Year is a film 18 Pasion de Tango at Los Alamos Little Theatre 7:30 pm to about the cutthroat world of...birding. Starring Steve Martin, Jack Black, and Owen 10 pm Los Alamos Little Theater. Touring the Southwest for the first time,

Cuarteto Alejandro Ziegler will present an overview of the history of tango and the instruments used, giving the audience a chronology in the evolution of tango.


5 - 11/10 Needles and Pins at Art Exhibit at Fuller Lodge Art Center 10 am to 4 pm. Stitch it, bind it, patch it, knit it, or piece it. Anything 20 Fuller Lodge Arts & Crafts Fair 9 am to 3 pm Crossroads held together by the work of pins and needles has been collected into this cornuco- Bible Church. The 35th Annual Fall Arts & Crafts Fair features artists from all over northern New Mexico.

pia of fabrics, notions and more.

5 White Rock Fall Out Slam Skateboard Competition 12 pm 20 Los Alamos Community Winds presents Fall Concert – A to 3 pm White Rock Skate Park. A ghoulish skateboard slam with a World of Music 7 pm to 9 pm White Rock Baptist Church Halloween Theme. 6 – 14 Valles Caldera National Preserve presents Jemez 25 Los Alamos Farmers Market at Mesa Public Library parking Mountain Elk Festival 9 am to 5 pm Valles Caldera National Preserve. lot 7 am to 12:30 pm Produce, meats, cheeses, plants, prepared food items, Daily festival activities will include elk viewing, elk education booths and various demonstration booths.

crafts, and more from Northern New Mexico. An inviting and colorful community tradition!

7 Los Alamos Arts Council Benefit Concert “Schubertiad”-A 25 Authors Speak Series - Margaret Wood: O’Keeffe Stories 7 pm to 8:30 pm Mesa Public Library Schubert Party! 4 pm to 6 pm Fuller Lodge 9 Geology of the Rio Grande 7:30 pm to 9 pm Fuller Lodge. 26 – 28 Knight of Columbus Haunted House 6 pm – 9 pm

Geologist Paul Bauer will speak about the geology of the Rio Grande in northern New Mexico and sign his book about the same topic.

10 Mom/Son October Dessert & Dance 6 pm to 8:30 pm Fuller Lodge

Donations will go to help the families in need for the holiday season.

26 Trick or Treat on MainStreet – 4 pm to 6:30 pm Downtown Los Alamos will play host to trick-or-treaters!

26 YMCA Costume Climb 5:30 pm to 8 pm Los Alamos Family 11 Los Alamos Farmers Market at Mesa Public Library parking YMCA. Wear a costume and climb the rock wall for free! lot 7 am to 12:30 pm. Produce, meats, cheeses, plants, prepared food items, crafts, and more from Northern New Mexico. An inviting and colorful community 26 – 28 Halloweekend in Los Alamos. Various times and tradition! places Friday through Sunday. Activities to include Trick or Treat

on MainStreet, YMCA costume climb, High-tech Halloween at the Bradbury Science

11 Daddy / Daughter October Dessert & Dance 6 pm to 8:30 Museum, Arts Council Scarecrow contest, Pumpkin Glow, haunted houses, and Ruby K’s Fun Run (why not wear a costume!), and more. pm Fuller Lodge 12 Family October Dessert & Dance 6 pm to 8:30 pm Fuller 27 Annual Health Fair presented by the Los Alamos Heart Lodge. Please join us and share an evening of dancing, light refreshments, a photo Council 8 am to 12 pm No admission charge, free flu shots, free health

keepsake, and making a handmade Halloween themed craft



screenings, educational exhibits, Free bicycle helmets to the first 180 children accompanied by a parent.

Essence October/November 2012

27 Pumpkin Splash & Halloween Carnival 10 am to 1 pm Walkup Aquatic Center. A fun family event that includes catching a

bobbing pumpkin in the Main Pool, decorating it in the Training Room, and playing fun Halloween carnival games on the patio.

27 Pumpkin Glow 6 pm to 9 pm Hundreds of glowing jack

0’ lanterns artfully carved fill the lawn of Fuller Lodge as a haunting 3-D animation projects onto the building.

27 The Nomads 6pm - 9pm Fuller Lodge

November 2012

1 Mesa Public Library’s FREE Film Series – Midnight in Paris 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Mesa Public Library 7 LA Arts Council Brown Bag Performance Series 12 pm to 1 pm Musical performance of students of Music Teachers of NM competition winners. Fuller Lodge

10 Betty Ehart Senior Center Festival of Chocolate 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm Come delight in delectable desserts while listening to live music. 13 A Brief History of Wendover Airfield Los Alamos Historical Lecture Series 7:30 to 9 pm. Fuller Lodge. James

Petersen will share his experiences at the historic airfield where the B-29 bomber pilots who dropped the atomic bombs trained.

17 LA Arts Council Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair 9 am to 3 pm Crossroads Bible Church. Creative original art by nearly 90 top

New Mexico artists. Join us for a holiday shopping spree the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

17 Betty Ehart Center Festival of Trees 10 am to 2 pm The Festival of Trees will showcase a variety of holiday trees, pictures with Santa and a craft fair. 23 – January 5 Fuller Lodge Art Center Affordable Arts Sale 10 am to 3 pm. With wall art (paintings, photos, carvings), pottery,

jewelry, hand-made pens and cards and more there is something for everyone.

Community Calendar, searchable business directory, full event details, more events, and contact information at


Essence October/November 2012


HALLOWEEKEND Friday, October 26th 4:00 - 6:30pm | Trick or Treat on MainStreet 3:00 - 5:00pm | Trick or Treat at the Medical Center 4:00 - 7:00pm | High Tech Halloween at the Bradbury 5:00 - 8:00pm | YMCA Costume Climb

Scarecrow Contest

October 20th - 28th

Presented by the Los Alamos Arts Council Registration deadline: October 17th Contact Marlane for more info 663.0477

Saturday, October 27th 7:00 - 11:00am| Ruby K’s Yum Run 10:00 - 12:00noon| Pumpkin Carving at Fuller Lodge 6:00 - 9:00pm | Pumpkin Glow at Fuller Lodge 6:00 - 9:00pm | Performance by The Nomads




Essence October/November 2012