April/May 2010 TheEssence_Vol3_Iss3

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the Essence

Rebirth The Frolic

by Bernadette Lauritzen

Business Essence

The Recovery: Rebuilding Los Alamos, house by house by Lynn Strauss

Essential Persons

What they gave was more important than what they lost by Mandy Marksteiner

Los Alamos and White Rock Insight Trail of Memories by Craig Martin

Arts & Culture Touched by Fire by Katy Korkos

Community Matters by Claire Roybal

Edible Essence

Eat Local — Eat Better by Kelly Dolejsi

Calendar Of Events April/May 2010

of Los Alamos and White Rock April/May April/May 2010, 2010, Volume Volume 3, 3, Issue Issue 33


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Essence April/May 2010

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the

Essence

April / May

2010

6 The Frolic

by Bernadette Lauritzen

8 The Business Essence

The Recovery: Rebuilding Los Alamos, house by house

by Lynn Strauss

12 The Essential Persons

What they gave was more important than what they lost

by Mandy Marksteiner

14 Los Alamos and White Rock Insight

Trail of Memories

by Craig Martin

16 Arts & Culture Touched by Fire

by Katy Korkos

18 Community Matters by Claire Roybal

20 Edible Essence Eat Local — Eat Better by Kelly Dolejsi

22 Calendar Of Events April / May 2010

About the cover:

Photo by Markus Berndt markus.berndt@gmail.com

www.losalamoschamber.com

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Essence April/May 2010


Editor’s Note Participating CommUnitymatters Chamber Members

Welcome to the Essence! The Essence, a bi-monthly publication, was created to

Don Taylor’s Photography

inform and remind us of what’s special about living in Los Alamos and White Rock. The focus of this issue is the rebirth of our environment as we approach the 10th Anniversary of the Cerro Grande Fire. I moved here a year after the fire. I did not know the lush, green forest that used to exist. But, thanks to many, many people, our community is recovering and, in fact, flourishing. This issue is to put a positive spin on how far we have come. Its focus is on rebirth, spring, freshness, nourishment, and youth. The stories in The Essence are aimed at recognizing the people and businesses that helped our town give rise to rebirth. In giving their time, labor and talent they have reestablished and transformed our landscape into a vibrant, green environment. If we are living our best life, we must participate. We have played a part in its history, and, consequently, should play a central role in its future. A favorite poem comes to mind by an anonymous author, "to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success." The spirit of generosity that emerged from our community 10 years ago formed a bond that still continues today. Is there any doubt that there are silver linings?

Energy Savings Plus (ESP)

In this Issue…

Art Center at Fuller Lodge Assets in Action B & B Environmental Safety Inc. Bandelier Grill Bennett's Jewelry Bilingual Montessori School Brownell’s Hallmark CB FOX & CB FOX Kidz Cook'n in Style Critter Control

Family YMCA Hill Diner Juvenile Justice Advisory Board Karen Wray Fine Art LA Mesa Law Firm, P.C. Lorraine Hartway Los Alamos County Government Los Alamos Family Council Los Alamos Farmers Market Los Alamos Fitness Center Los Alamos Heart Council Los Alamos Historical Society

Photo: Jennifer Bartram

Atomic City Cleaning

The Frolic, Bernadette Lauritzen uncovers a myriad of events happening around town this spring for you and your families to enjoy. In The Business Essence, Lynn Strauss talks with local builders who share their stories and perspectives on the rebuilding of Los Alamos. Do you know an Essential Person(s)? Mandy Marksteiner focuses on a very special couple whose generous spirit continues to enrich our community. Los Alamos and White Rock Insight was created to better connect you with our history, future outlook and everything in between. For this issue, Craig Martin, Open Space Specialist of LA County Parks and Rec writes a ‘Recovery Update’ of our local trail network. In the Arts & Culture section, Katy Korkos reports on the creativity that emerged in different art forms taking inspiration from the fire. In Edible Essence, Kelly Dolejsi brings a young, fresh perspective on delicious, local foods from the Farmers Market. I hope you enjoy the ‘Rebirth’ issue and appreciate the roles played in rebuilding our community. May you be inspired to be a part of its continued growth.

Los Alamos Medical Center Los Alamos National Bank Los Alamos Properties North Road Inn Pajarito Mountain Ski Area Pet Pangaea Primak Builders

Suzette Fox, Editor Community Projects Coordinator Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation 505.661.4844, suzette@losalamos.org

Tea World UNM Graduate Program UPEX

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—We are always looking for new photos. We give residents like you the opportunity to submit pictures - be it landscapes, recreational activities, people about town, events, etc. that speak of our community. You do not have to be professional photographer to have your pictures featured. We like to feature pictures that capture the essence of Los Alamos & White Rock. Email photos to me at suzette@ losalamos.org.

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Essence April/May 2010


THE FROLIC by Bernadette Lauritzen

Now that the clocks have sprung forward, people throughout the community are ready to rid their cabin fever with outdoor activities. After the annual Clean-Up Los Alamos Day, May 1st, sponsored by Los Alamos County and Los Alamos National Bank, the family fun begins as we look ahead to high flying fun with the Kite Festival. Again, Los Alamos National Bank, in conjunction with

the Los Alamos Arts Council, will sponsor this event. The fun fest starts on Friday night, May 14th at 6pm. Saturday and Sunday (May 15th and 16th) will see the return of kite clinics and hospitals to remedy misfortune from noon until 2pm, while the fun lasts until 5pm. When the school bell rings to dismiss students, the doors of the community will be open to offer summer sessions with hands on activities for every age. The dog days of summer will be energized by community agencies who have worked together to engage residents in Agua Adventures. The Bradbury Science Museum, Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC), Mesa Public Library, the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB), the Los Alamos Historical Museum, the Chamber of Commerce and Assets in Action will host some wet and wild scavenger hunts in Los Alamos and White Rock. The Bradbury Science Museum and staff from Los Alamos National Laboratory has arranged with GITA (Geo spatial Information Technology Association) to work with their Education Location

program. GITA offers GPS or Global Positioning Systems at a low cost to allow those who don’t own the technology to participate in the fun. The treasure hunts, also called Geo caches, are currently located throughout the area, but have created new versions to tie into their water related projects. The maps will be available at the community kickoff of summer called Chamberfest held by the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. Chamberfest takes place on June12th with a downtown array of fun for the whole family. Agua Adventures continues through the summer with a final collection of forms at the Fair and Rodeo weekend also put on by the County. The plan was to offer opportunities that can be completed by foot in a brief period of time or over several days. White Rock isn’t left out of the fun. A special White Rock travel trek has been provided

so one never needs to leave their home base for long. All of the hunts will be available in a variety of locations including the Bradbury Science Museum, The Historical Museum, and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. The Bradbury staff will offer special sessions on Tuesdays starting June 1st with even more water related fun. Mesa Public Library joins the fun by offering water related reading for the community youth. Water Your Mind is the theme for their summer 2010 reading program and MPL staff will work with Carlos Valdez of the Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Agency to keep young brains engaged in learning throughout the summer. Adults can join in the mind expanding fun with their own reading program and The Secret Knowledge of Water by Craig Childs. The book will be available for checkout at Mesa Public Library

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—For more information, contact: Bradbury Science Museum 667-4444, Mesa Public Library (Youth Services) Angie Manfredi 662-8258, PEEC (Pajarito Education Environmental Center) 662-0460, Assets In Action 661-4846, Los Alamos Aquatic Center 662-8170.

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or you can purchase your own copy to dog ear the pages with a stop at the Historical Museum. PEEC will continue their Kinnikinnick Club for young adventurers. The program works to unite kids and nature to help them become better stewards of the Earth and make a difference through their efforts. PEEC is education central when it comes to water wise gardening. Their location at 3540 Orange Street features water wise animals and opportunities for adoption to further enhance knowledge about the care and resources needed and available in our community. The Aquatic Center will keep residents wet and wild with a variety of opportunities during the summer including Freaky Fridays and Warm Water Weekends. The Main Pool greets visitors with a temperature of 82.6 degrees, while the Therapy Pool is a toasty 95.5 degrees. Aquatic Center staff will have lots of fun on hand including the crocodile obstacle course, inflatable tubes, banana boats and PG rated movies in the snack area. Freaky Fridays run from 1pm-3pm. Warm Water Weekends are the next family friendly event with all of the same Freaky Friday attractions. The following weekends give families an opportunity to have some wild and crazy fun; June 19th and 20th, July 17th and 18th and August 7th and 8th. The Art Center at Fuller Lodge jumps on the band wagon June 18-July 24 with the art show titled, “Water, Water Everywhere.” Assets In Action (AIA) works with community organizations to provide opportunities for at the Youth Activity Centers (YAC), in Los Alamos and White Rock. The Family Council run organization, sponsored by Los Alamos County and the United Way, are open to students in third through eighth grade with free fun for kids. Once the bell rings to dismiss students for the year, those second graders become official third graders and are invited to fill out an application for fun during the summer. YAC staff will create an entire summer schedule including field trips to a variety of places. The low cost field trips are also fully supervised by YAC staff. Games are being planned based around the Agua Adventure theme and will be ready by the end of the school year. AIA plans to engage youth and seniors for a monthly activity called Cookies and Conversation. The staff is working to provide opportunities for youth and seniors to mingle and munch while discussing some fun topics. Currently water based questions are being prepared to engage all ages of the community. An additional activity for all ages will be a “Senior Prom” sponsored by URS. The collaboration will showcase music from the 1940’s up to right now for a community engaging prom with an Under the Sea theme. The evening fun will begin with music from the 1940’s and continue through the night until they reach the music favored by our youth today. Admission is a dollar. Canned goods and other non-perishables will also be collected for local and regional projects. The June 26th event will be held at the Betty Ehart Senior Center and baked goods of all shapes and sizes, as well as other snacks and beverages, will be available throughout the evening. If you have an event to promote throughout the summer, log on to the Chamber of Commerce website at www.losalamoschamberofcommerce.com or give them a call at 662-8105. h www.losalamoschamber.com

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The Business Essence The Recovery: Rebuilding Los Alamos, house by house by Lynn Strauss

The stories of the Cerro Grande Fire are many. The business community was affected in many ways. Those whose business was to rebuild have more stories than can be told. These four business owners share their stories and perspective on the rebuilding of Los Alamos. Before the Cerro Grande fire swept through Los Alamos in May of 2000, Les Templeton had a sucessful construction business. Templeton Design and Custom Homes, LLC, had been building custom and spec homes in Los Alamos for 10 years, staffing 10 employees. Templeton was in the middle of building a new spec home in Quemazon subdivision when the fire struck – the house, nearly complete, burned to the ground. The sense of loss was soon overcome with frustration; the insurance company said his spec house was not insured. Like Templeton, many friends and acquaintances lost their homes in the fire. “We got more calls for work than we could take,” Templeton says. “I had been doing 2-3 houses and a remodel per year, and I did not want to accept more work than I could accomplish." New restrictions and building requirements made building each home more expensive – like requiring fire retardant to be applied to wood siding, and more defensible space. New constructions had to meet the new building codes. As rebuilding process began, many outside companies came into Los Alamos offering products of questionable value and quality. Templeton and a core group of local builders did all they could to ensure that families planning to rebuild made

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good decisions. “We had companies coming in and taking advantage of people. That was hard to watch,” Templeton says. Ultimately, Templeton’s paperwork on his spec home was found and was reimbursed by his insurance company. He rebuilt the home and sold it in the spring of 2001. “It all balanced out, I guess,” Templeton says. “I continue to build in Los Alamos and do all I can to support our community." Born and raised in Los Alamos, Craig Wehner received several Youth Grants for his summer business, “Craig’s Rake & Pick” starting at the age of 13. By 1999, he expanded his company into a full-scale landscaping business and re-named it Los Alamos Landscaping & More. Werner was 23 when the fire struck Los Alamos. The business had three employees and did commercial, residential and maintenance work. “Business became extremely competitive as the

town was recovering,” he says. “There was a boom in new construction, but there was also lots of new competition from outside Los Alamos.” The homes that didn’t burn needed defensible space work. Wehner got some business landscaping part of the Quemazon development, but it was at least three years before any re-built homes needed landscaping. “There were some huge growth years directly related to the re-building efforts,” he said. Los Alamos Landscaping & More now employs eight employees and has a full customer list. Looking back, Craig says, “The town was devastated and in shock immediately after the fire. The clean-up was done primarily by out-of-state contractors. The Army Corps of Engineers was involved. I supported the decision to move quickly in order to speed up the healing process.”

(“The Recovery:” continued on page 10)

—The Chamber of Commerce is often asked to provide referrals for building contractors, and it is a pleasure to recommend local people who stand behind their work, return your phone calls, know who the good subcontractors are, and who source their supplies from reliable businesses. Check out the member directory on fyiLA.com to see a complete listing.

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The Rebuilders: Paul Parker Construction Paul Parker, 274 DP Road, Los Alamos, NM 87544, 505.662.7456

Templeton Design & Custom Homes LLC. Les Templeton 2252 47th Street, Los Alamos NM 87544 505.661.6514

Los Alamos Landscaping & More Craig Wehner 2126 B 34th Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544 505.662.6234

Primak Builders Stan Primak 1391-A 44th Street, Los Alamos, NM 87544 505.662.7708

SG Western Construction Sam Gardner 812 State Road #30, Espanola, NM 87532 505.747.9731

www.losalamoschamber.com

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(“The Recovery:” continued from page 8) Overall, Wehner agrees that there have been significant improvements to the town’s infrastructure since the fire and has had many new opportunities because of it. “It is important to recognize that step-by-step, the community has rebuilt,” he said. Stan Primak, of Primak Builders, had been in the construction business for 18 years at the time of the fire and was working on building five houses. “Three of the five homes burned down,” he says. “After the fire, our best friends’ house had burned down so we started re-building their house and one of the client homes right away. We ‘dozed two spec home lots and started over.” Prior to the fire, his company built about five homes a year and had four employees. He estimates that for the next five or six years he completed up to 20 homes a year, and had 20 employees. Currently he has 6 employees, not including sub-contractors. Now he mostly remodels and completes one or two homes per year. Primak says that even as a builder who has prospered after the fire, he’d still rather have the forest back than the business the fire brought. In 2000, Sam Gardner, owner of SG Western Construction (SGWC), had been in business for 15 years and was doing mostly commercial work for the Lab. After the fire, SGWC got involved with some of the emergency utility repair work, some repaving and utility retro-fitting projects, but most of their work was not fire-related. The lesson learned is one of prevention, according to Gardner. “Now everyone is a little more safe. We have a huge fire line now,” he says. Gardner adds that he is grateful that no lives were lost in the fire, and he sees the community spirit that rose from the crisis as the biggest gain from all the loss. “There was an enhanced sense of community spirit that I hadn’t seen before, that was really powerful,” says Gardner, who was born and raised in Los Alamos. “Neighbors came together, even after the event. That was the best thing that came out of it.” Z

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The Essential Persons What they gave was more important than what they lost by Mandy Marksteiner

Even though Dick and Judy Opsahl

club and every Sunday for the past eight years Richard has led a 6-hour hike with the mountaineers club up the Pipeline Road to the Ski Lodge parking lot.

lost their home and all of their possessions in the Cerro Grande fire, they learned that reaching out by volunteering for the Red Cross was the best way to cope with their loss. As newcomers to Los Alamos, their work was an example of what generous community members they are. By June 2nd Red Cross volunteers had raised $1.2 million dollars, sheltered 458 people, provided 57,554 meals and assisted 1,442 families. The retired couple received Red Cross training while living in New York. Dick said, “We were anxious to have an opportunity to volunteer.” Dick served meals at the various shelters, gave information and worked in public relations. He was also one of the people in charge of accepting donations. Because local people provided so much food, water, and supplies, he eventually found himself in the awkward position of turning down donations. “People tried hard to collect the stuff,” he said, “and we didn’t even want it!” Judy provided counseling for people who needed to talk. She said, “It took my mind off of me. And I could say ‘yes I understand’ because they knew I lost my home too.” While explaining what they went through, they had a way of shrugging off the things that they had lost, and instead, focused on the experiences they had volunteering. Like the time Dick agreed to be the night manager at one of the shelters in Santa Fe. There had been a broken pipe, a flood, and a lady got locked in the bathroom and she needed to be rescued. The next day the people in charge told them to go home and get some rest. They were tired, and their clothes were dirty and slept-in. But rather than go back

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to their hotel, they decided to go out for dinner. They settled into their table at El Nido and looked around…. Everyone else in the restaurant was dressed in formal gowns and tuxes. It was prom night! More amused than embarrassed, they took the opportunity sit in on the teenagers’ big night while enjoying the free appetizers and dessert that the waiter offered. After the long list of addresses of homes that had been destroyed was posted in the shelters, a reporter wanted to interview someone who had lost his or her house. Judy found a woman who was really depressed. “The next day she showed up for the interview with lipstick and combed hair,” Judy said. “It was therapy by press!” Dick and Judy had only lived in Los Alamos for nine months before the fire. Since then they have continued to enrich the community in many ways.

They are literally “always on the move”. They love to run, hike and travel. They have been married for 43 years and met while skiing in Vermont. Dick has run the New York City Marathon 26 times, and Judy has run it twice. One of the things that they lost in the fire was an eagle shaped trophy that Dick earned in 1998 when he, at age 66, completed the Grand Slam of Ultra Running – four 100-mile trail races completed over the course of four months. Luckily, the organizers were able to give him a replacement trophy. They share their interests with other people. Since moving to Los Alamos, they founded an orienteering

They welcome other people to come with them when they travel the world. During the first two weeks of April, 2010, they will walk a portion of the Santiago Pilgrimage Route in Spain, from Seville to Mérida, and afterwards Dick will run the Madrid Marathon. Like most of their trips abroad, they organized their plans for a large group and publicly invited anyone to join them. This won’t be the first time they’ve walked the Pilgrimage Route. The first time they did it they started at the French border, which is a 500-mile walk to Santiago that took 33 days. They’ve since gone back and done shorter sections.

When they believe in something they act on it. When the Opsahls lost their home they used the opportunity to become more energy efficient. Their original plan was to build a completely passive solar house on their lot, but the county’s building regulations were too strict so instead they bought a house and reconfigured it to be as solar as possible. They installed a solar domestic hot water system, a solar porch for heat, and they reinsulated the roof and added solar hot air heaters. After being strong for others, it finally hit her. All the Red Cross volunteers were allowed to come up individually to find out what happened to their houses. The press was there to take photos and interview people. “I didn’t have a strong attachment to the house and I thought I was handling everything very nicely,” said Judy. “But when I left, the apricot tree was full of apricots and hummingbirds. That’s when I choked up, and that’s what went on national T.V.!” Judy was embarrassed to be seen crying on T.V. But, she didn’t realize that showing her emotions gave someone the chance to reach out and care for her. The next day a man from White Rock approached her at the shelter. He had seen her on the news and presented her with two jars of apricot jam made from his own tree. m

—What better way to get to know your community than by volunteering? The Opsahls were new to the area when the fire came through, but by devoting their time and energy to supporting others during the evacuation and then rebuilding, they were able to create a great circle of support.

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Essence April/May 2010

13


Los Alamos and White Rock Insight Trail of Memories by Craig Martin

To most hikers, mountain bikers and runners, trails are pathways into the landscape where they can soak up the natural environment and ease a little stress. For me, since the Cerro Grande fire, every trail around Los Alamos is like a photo album that brings on a flood of memories. So many people have contributed to the restoration of the local trail network that I cannot walk 20 yards without thinking of them. My best guess is that over the past ten years, more than 2,000 volunteers have broken a sweat with a Pulaski on one trail or another (a Pulaski is a firefighter tool that is a combination adz and ax that is used in trail building). Some volunteers showed up once, found the work very difficult, and never returned, and more than a few have logged 500 hours or more. Either way, I always appreciate their willingness to show up and their lasting contributions to our extensive trail network. Virtually every mile of trail has a story to tell. The Rendija portion of the Perimeter Trail was built by 11-year-old Brownie Scouts. The switchback on the Perimeter Trail was one of the multitudes of contributions by the Tuff Riders mountain bike club.

At the end of the day, Glenn and I did the sweep for stray tools as the crew dragged back to the truck on the upper reach of the trail. A line of yellow hats was strung out ahead of us. Glenn looked up, stopped in his tracks, and said, “It’s the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen. These folks are covered with soot, dead tired, and ain’t gonna get paid on Friday. But, they just put in a hell-u-va day’s worth of work.”

Eye Shadow and Nail Polish on Pajarito Trail: At first I was flabbergasted by how easily

And, Miles Standish, of the Santa Fe National Forest, taught us about Pulaski’s on the Cañada Bonita Trail. Of all my trail-work memories, here are three of my favorites:

Cowboy-Up on the Quemazon Trail:

In August, 2000, about 30 of us gladly hitched a ride in the back of a National Guard troop carrier the Forest Service brought in. It was to bring us up Pipeline Road to work on the Quemazon Trail. Although we normally hated the yellow hard hats we were forced to wear, this time they were cinched tight on our heads. We wanted to avoid getting knocked out by every roll and pitch as the truck lurched up the washed-out road. Glenn Ryan, from Bandelier National Monument, had been there for all the work parties that summer to instruct us on trail-building techniques. Glenn had been a wrangler and wilderness ranger for a dozen years. He loved good trails and always passed his knowledge to us with an irreverent sense of humor. The man was never serious.

middle school students took to trail work. We put sharp tools in their hands, gave them sweaty tasks to accomplish and they jumped in with enthusiasm, displayed initiative, and worked with playful smiles. Well…not all of them. In the fall of 2003, one group of girls sat on their yellow hard hats with palpable contempt, inspected each others’ make-up application, and sassed me for trying to get them to work for no pay. Since I had done just that for about two years, I lost my cool and told them just what I thought about their lack of community spirit. When the eighth grade classes returned the next spring to finish the project, I expressed my pleasure to a group of girls over their fine construction of a rock wall. They stopped work, all lit up with huge smiles. I must have looked puzzled. “Don’t you remember us?” Now, I was really puzzled. “You yelled at us last time because we wouldn’t do the work.” Ah, I remembered. “We’re more mature now, we like to work.” Indeed, their outlook had come a long way in six months, and their rock wall still holds up a 12-foot section of trail.

Life-Changing Moment on the Pajarito Canyon Trail: Three weeks after the fire changed

the mesa above Pajarito Canyon from color mode to grayscale, I walked the Nail Trail Loop assessing trail conditions for the Forest Service. My clothes were black after two miles on foot, so I blended in well with my surroundings. My mood, too, was as dark as

fyi

—Craig Martin is the Los Alamos County Open Space Specialist and the author of 21 books on outdoor recreation and local history including his latest, the third edition of 100 Hikes in New Mexico published by The Mountaineers Books. He also serves as the project coordinator for the Volunteer Task Force.

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CERRO GRANDE FIRE WATERSHED RECOVERY SUMMARY 2000 – 2010

the charcoal that a month before had been bark on a Douglas fir tree. I looked toward where the ash-covered trail dropped to the canyon bottom. In the middle of all the monochrome was a splash shimmering green that was increasingly luminescent as I descended the slope. An aspen shoot with a dozen tiny leaves poked through the ash like water from a fountain. It hit me then and there, so hard that I nearly passed out – the forest wouldn’t be black and gray forever. It was still alive and couldn’t be stopped from a relentless recovery. For the first time since the flames jumped Los Alamos Canyon on May 10, I felt hope for the future. Sprung from a six-inch aspen sprout and fed by the optimistic spirit of thousands of volunteers who have pitched in on more than 400 projects since that day, I’ve never lost the ideal that as long as there is hope, working toward a better future is worth any amount of effort. [

Tree Planting 110,000 ponderosa pine and Douglas fir seedlings planted in 2001 and 2002; 28,000 planted by volunteers Volunteers used firefighter pump packs to hand water seedlings during the drought of 2002¹ In 2004, survival rate of seedlings along the Mitchell Trail was 54 percent² From 2002 to 2009 an estimated 62 seedlings per acre had survived, for a total of about 60,000 seedlings in the burned area²

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Seeding and Ground Cover 1,500 acres seeded and mulched; 30,000 acres aerial seeded or hydromulched¹ Total ground cover increased from 28 percent in 2002 to 70 percent in 2009³ In 2009, shrubs like New Mexico locust and aspen provided the majority of the total cover³ In 2009, grass from seeding operations provided 15 percent of the total cover; nonseeded native grasses provide about onequarter of the grass cover³

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Post-Fire Runoff Delivery In 2009, 100 percent of 25 sample locations throughout the burned area had exceeded 60 percent cover, the threshold for eliminating sheet flow runoff³

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Volunteer Efforts Since May 2000, volunteers have contributed more than 81,000 hours to watershed and trail restoration projects¹

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Location A – 2002

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Location A – regrowth 2009

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Sources ¹ Volunteer Task Force Records, Cerro Grande Recovery Archives. ² Seedling Survival Reports, Aspen and Mountain Elementary Schools, YMCA YES Corps, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009. ³ Post-fire Vegetative Recovery of the Upper Pueblo Canyon Watershed. Martin, Craig, June T. FabrykaMartin, and Gregory A. Kuyumjian, 2009, unpublished.

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Arts & Culture Touched by Fire by Katy Korkos

T

en years ago this May, the Cerro Grande Fire burned a significant chunk of Los Alamos and Northern New Mexico. To cope with the loss of homes, neighborhoods, and the forest, thousands of people rallied together to plant trees, rebuild homes, repair trails, and simply to try to help others rebuild their lives. Since then, a decade has passed and many significant events in our lives have made the fire take its relative place in our memories- it is no longer the one event that defines us as a community, but has provided us with reminders of what it means to pull together in the art and artifacts that were created. The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) also celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2010. Celebrations will be held around the world for the fortieth time this year. International Earth Day celebrations will have global days of service as their theme, and the local festivities will look at “what a difference a decade makes.” To roll up these anniversaries and showcase them in one gallery, PEEC has reserved the upstairs gallery in Mesa Public Library for the month of April. It will present the show “Touched by Fire: Hands that help, Hands that create.”

Terry Foxx is in a unique position to tell the stories of the Cerro Grande fire. As an environmental scientist, her professional life gave her the chance to study the ecology of fire. As a storyteller, she has explained the cycle of fire to children and adults, with her books “The Forest and the Fire” and “Out of the Ashes: a Story of Natural Recovery”. As an artist and illustrator, she has illustrated the children’s book and created freestanding work as well. As a PEEC board member and chair of this year’s Earth Day Celebration, she has committed countless hours to organizing the celebration - from booking the Clan Tynker, to entertain the crowds, to arranging shuttle service to PEEC on April 24. Shortly after the fire, Terry put together a book of stories told to the White Rock Methodist Church by members of her church, and she entitled that book “Lest We Forget.” To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the fire, she has re-interviewed many of those same people and added several more interviews, compiling them all into a new book called “Touched by Fire.”

She is careful to say that these are not her own words in the book. She has transcribed her conversations with people of all ages and from all walks of life in the new book, and she has let people guide the stories themselves. Some of the original drawings from her earlier books will be seen in the gallery in April, along with side-by-side photographs that show the forest’s recovery from 2000 to 2009. Another artist who incorporates a scientific knowledge of forest ecology into her work is Fairley Barnes. She has responded to the loss of forest, both from the fire and from the bark beetle infestation, through many different media in the intervening years, from photography to sculpture to artist books and handmade paper. Fairley continues to create work about the fragility, strength and beauty of trees. Many local artists felt compelled to create work as a response to the overwhelming emotions they felt as the fire burned, as well as a way to comfort people in their loss. More than 400 quilts, which embody that notion of comfort, were given to families who lost their homes. The Los Alamos Piecemakers Quilt Guild distributed the quilts, which were made not only by local quilters, but also by people from all over the country. One of the most moving pieces in the show is a quilt made by a group of schoolchildren from Mountain Elementary School, a district where many of the kids’ homes had burned. Teacher Liz Martineau coordinated the quilt-making, and helped to create the piece that incorporates the kids’ own words about the fire on the quilt top. Weaver Johanna Feliz Boudreau, whose mother’s home was burned, created a rug called “Despues del Fuego” to offer hope to her family. The rug has flecks of green on a drab background to symbolize new growth. Another artist, John Haines, was inspired to create his miraculous pots, despite the fact that he had never done any kind of art work up to that time. The show will also include artifacts that were retrieved from the ashes of people’s homes, as well as some pieces that were crafted from those burnt objects. The Cerro Grande Fire can be remembered for the destruction it left in its wake, and for the beauty

fyi—The upstairs art gallery at Mesa Public Library plays host to art shows, poetry readings and traveling exhibits throughout the year, in a beautiful, open airy space designed by internationally-known architect Antoine Predock. It is open during regular library hours.

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that was created by artists who have given tangible form to the emotions they felt. It can be remembered as the time the community came together to reclaim its mountains and support its friends. The spirit of generosity that pervaded our thinking and the faith that our connection with nature could not be extinguishedthose are the forces that drove people to help in whatever way they could. Ă&#x;

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CommunityMatters Thanks for shopping. . .

Locally Here’s what you just did! 1. You kept dollars in our economy- For every $100 you spend at one of our locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. What happens when you spend that same $100 out of town? There is zero community benefit. 2. You nurtured community- We know you, and you know us. Local businesses are big supporters of local

arts, youth, social service, and other community activities.

3. You conserved your tax dollars- Spending locally instead of out of town or online ensures that your

sales taxes are reinvested where they belong-- right here in your community.

4. You created more choice- We pick the items we sell based on what we know you like and want. Local

businesses carry a wider array of unique products because we buy for our own individual market.

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You took advantage of our expertise- You are our friends and neighbors, and we have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. We’re passionate about what we do. Why not take advantage of it?

6. You made us a destination- The more interesting and unique we are as a community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!

So Thanks! Take the 3/50 Challenge and register to win 3-$50’s at fyiLA.com Find it Locally at 18

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Edible Essence Eat Local — Eat Better by Kelly Dolejsi

I love an over-medium yolk. There's nothing else like it. It's the perfect yellow. It's the ideal squishiness — almost like a

All of us, not just my husband and I, approach food differently. For instance, which matters more to you: that your meal is full of taste or full of nutrients? Better for your budget or better for the Earth? Is dinner just something you plow through on the way to dessert? Or do you like side dishes with good stories, dark winter greens picked by hand by someone whose name you know, then brought to your town from only an hour or two away? Maybe there's a way we can all be satisfied. Barb Mann, owner of a farm near Stanley, NM, has been selling lamb, chicken, eggs, herbs and produce at the Los Alamos Farmers Market since 1999. She prefers eating food that's grown close to where it's eventually eaten because, like me, she's a bit of a sensualist. "Anything that doesn't have to travel thousands of miles in a truck will taste better," she said.

memory foam mattress. It towers (slightly, but majestically) over the egg white, a rich, round castle lording over its awkwardly fried counterpart.

O

f course, I feel just as rhapsodic about really soft cheese bread, well-baked potatoes, ripe avocados, certain heirloom tomatoes and, sometimes, spoonfuls of peanut butter. What I love is not so much the individual consumable, but food. Eating. Taste. Flavor. For me, every meal is an opportunity to surpass ordinary existence. When I eat lunch, I understand Keats; I sing like a cello, I paint like Renoir. My husband, on the other hand, does not turn into a cello every time we eat muffins. For him, eating is more of a game: How can he get the most food for the smallest Discover-card bill? He loves not egg yolks, but coupons. He enters the sublime every time he combines a coupon with a sale, thus reaching advanced levels of savings that would, if grocery shopping were a Nintendo game, earn him a platinum medal and unlock several new worlds.

Take her eggs as an example. None of them are more than five days old. This leads to an "immensely improved taste. They even look different when you crack them open," she said. In fact, they even look different before you crack them open. Sitting in their carton, they are a pretty egg-shell rainbow of white, peach, light green, and suntan. However, it's not just about taste. A March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy asserts that the miles food often travels to our plate, even organic food, create environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic. Local, ultimately, is more important than organic. And it's only when you buy local that you, the consumer, can visit local farms and see the animals and crops for yourself. Take your kids to see the

rooster chasing the chickens around the coop, the freshly-watered lettuce sparkling in the morning light. “You will also see firsthand that animals on small, local farms are treated humanely,” Barb said. "My turkeys only have one bad day," she said, "and it's a short one." Fresher, stronger flavors and less guilt over enjoying them are two of many benefits for the consumer of local foods. Ken Baltz, of Medanales, who has been selling at the local Farmers Market for three years, said quality is another benefit. When you buy eggs from him, for example, he said you are assured that the eggs haven't been sitting around, that they've been refrigerated and that they're clean. If you have a complaint, you can bring it directly to him and get a refund or exchange. "The big places don't always care," he said, but for him, his work is his passion. "I enjoy this," Ken said, "and I think I raise a pretty good egg." Ken and his wife, Judy, also sell at La Montanita Co-op in Santa Fe and have been invited to sell at the Los Alamos Co-op when it opens. "I'm really excited about the co-op up here," Ken said. "I think it will be great for Los Alamos." Shopping at food co-ops and farmers markets, in addition to helping local growers, helps keep money right where you spend it. Exact figures vary, but according to the 3/50 Project, 68% of each dollar spent at locally owned businesses, such as co-ops, returns to the community, compared to 43% of each dollar spent at a chain store or 0% of an online transaction. A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that a dollar spent locally can generate up to twice as much income for the local economy.

fyi—CheckForthemore Los Alamos Monitor for up-to-date information on upcoming Los Alamos Farmers Markets. information on the Los Alamos Co-op, visit www.lacooperative.com. 20

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KAREN WRAY FINE ART Art Gallery and Studio

And even better, especially if you're at all like my financially-motivated husband, eating local food means the consumer doesn't have to pay for preservatives or long-distance shipping costs. You get to buy your food right after it's harvested -- when it's most abundant and at its least expensive. David Vargo of Fun Bun Bakery in Taos, new to the Los Alamos Winter Market this year, does his best to buy local ingredients and pass the savings onto his customers. His flour comes from wheat grown in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, his honey from southern Colorado and his onions, for his wild-riceand-onion bread, are grown locally in northern New Mexico. He said using fresh ingredients improves the taste and overall quality of his pizzas, breads, muffins and cinnamon buns. This summer, he plans to offer sprouted grain breads which offer increased nutritional advantages as well. Local foods, sprouted or not, might also be safer for your family. The Center for a New American Dream (CNAD), a national group that helps individuals and businesses conserve natural resources and promote positive changes in the way goods are produced and consumed (www.newdream.org), said in a statement that “even when it’s not organic, small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals.” The organization further states that small farms are more likely to grow different varieties that larger supermarkets will not carry — great for biodiversity and your discerning palate. In other words, buying local food is great for the planet and great for you — no matter how you approach your dinner. •

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“Purple Iris”

Karen Wray

Oil on Canvas

20”x20”

2101 Trinity Drive, Suite B-2 • Los Alamos, NM 87544 Open Monday through Saturday • 12–3 PM 505.660.6382 • www.karenwrayfineart.com

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

fyi

April 2010

LA.com

Community calendar, searchable business directory, full event details, more events, and for times and contact information, go to by the fyila.com

3 Art Exhibit – Touched by Fire: Hands that Help, Hands that Create Mesa Pubic Library Art Gallery Rotunda Art Exhibit commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) and the tenth anniversary of the Cerro Grande Fire 4 Annual County Easter Egg Hunt Los Alamos Golf Course Hunt for ages 3 – 12

7 Los Alamos Arts Council Brown Bag Series Fuller Lodge Winds and strings performance featuring the music of Bruch and Mozart. 8 Opening Reception for Art Exhibit – Touched by Fire: Hand that Help, Hands that Create Mesa Pubic Library Art Gallery Rotunda Meet the artists.

8 Winter Farmers Market Fuller Lodge Enjoy northern New Mexico’s bounty from local farmers and ranchers. 8 Poetry Gathering Mesa Public Library Read your own, read your favorite author’s poems, or just listen . . . for all ages! 10 An Evening with P.D.Q. Bach UNM-LA Student Center Los Alamos Pick-Up Ensemble. Free Admission.

17 Los Alamos Animal Obedience Club’s Annual Dog Jog Chamisa Elementary School Running/walking event that is a fund raiser for the Friends of the Shelter. 17 Los Alamos County Recreation Adventure Edge Trip - Pueblo Canyon Rappel Meet at Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center All climbing and caving gear provided.

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19 LAHS Invite Golf Tournament Los Alamos Golf Course Los Alamos High School Golf Invite. 9am shotgun start 120 players. Golf Course Closed until 3pm.

22 Authors Speak Series: Poetry Potluck! Mesa Public Library A Poetry Potluck open mike with local poets and special guest poet to celebrate National Poetry Month. 22 Los Alamos Arts Council, Guitars and Gateaux Fuller Lodge Performers to be announced. Tickets are $15, or $10 for LAAC members.

23-24 Spring Art Stroll Karen Wray Fine Art Gallery; Mesa Public Library and Bennett’s Art and Fine Jewelry 24 PEEC 10th Annual Earth Day Festival 2010 Pajarito Environmental Education Center It will feature displays by community groups of their earth-friendly products and practices and their information about our environment on the Pajarito Plateau. 24 County Hershey Youth Track and Field Meet Los Alamos High School Sullivan Field Open to boys and girls ages nine through 14, the Hershey Track and Field Games hope to attract 500,000 participants to compete in local, district and state meets. 25 Los Alamos Concert Association presents Simone Dinnerstein Duane Smith Auditorium American pianist Simone Dinnerstein has fast been gaining international attention since making a triumphant New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005.

25 Triatomics Annual Atomic Man Duathlon Pinon Elementary School Run/Bike/Run - Triathlon without the swim! 25 10th Anniversary Party for PEECNativo Meal and Auction Pajarito Environmental Education Center Join us for traditional and contemporary dishes made with ancient foods, including corn, squash, beans, chile, bison, turkey, trout, nuts, seeds, berries and cocoa. the

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May 2010 1 Los Alamos Arts Council Annual Spring Arts and Crafts Fair Fuller Lodge Lawn This outdoor fair is one of the first fairs of the season and will feature over 130 artists.

Adventure Edge Trips - LAFD Fire Tower Rappel LAFD Fire Tower Station 2 All climbing and caving gear provided. Meet at the Larry R Walkup Aquatic Center

7 Opening Art Reception – Fiber Arts Extravaganza Art Center at Fuller Lodge All kinds of works in fabric will come together for a show beyond imagination.

21 – 22 Theater Performance - Spitfire Grill Los Alamos Little Theater Percy, upon being released from prison, goes to find a place where she can start over again.

6 Outdoor Farmers Market Mesa Public Library parking lot Enjoy northern New Mexico’s local bounty from farmers and ranchers.

7 – 8 NM Dance Theater Spring Dance Recital - A Garden Festival Duane Smith Auditorium Directed by Susan Baker-Dillingham. This is its sixth annual spring recital. 7 – 8 Theater Performance - Spitfire Grill Los Alamos Little Theater Percy, upon being released from prison, goes to find a place where she can start over again. 11 Historical Lecture Series Los Alamos LDS Church Mike Stevenson, Museum of New Mexico Regent, “History of the Palace of the Governors.”

13 Poetry Gathering Mesa Public Library Read your own, read your favorite author’s poems, or just listen . . . for all ages! 13 Outdoor Farmers Market Fuller Lodge Enjoy northern New Mexico’s local bounty from farmers and ranchers.

14 – 16 Theater Performance - Spitfire Grill Los Alamos Little Theater Percy, upon being released from prison, goes to find a place where she can start over again.

20 Outdoor Farmers Market Fuller Lodge Enjoy northern New Mexico’s local bounty from farmers and ranchers.

22 High Altitude Athletics Club, Jemez Mountain Trail Runs Sheriff’s Posse Shack, North Mesa Single track trails and dirt roads in and around Los Alamos in the scenic Jemez Mountains.

22 Los Alamos Community Winds White Rock Baptist Church Performance – Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana

27 Authors Speak Series: Judith Phillips Mesa Public Library Master southwestern gardening expert Judith Phillips, author of many books on gardening in NM. 27 Los Alamos Arts Council, Guitars and Gateaux Fuller Lodge Performers to be announced. Tickets are $15, or $10 for LAAC members.

27 Outdoor Farmers Market Mesa Public Library parking lot Enjoy Northern New Mexico’s bounty from local farmers and ranchers. 30 – 31 Memorial Day Best Ball Golf Tournament Los Alamos Golf Course Annual Tournament to start off the golf season

19 Los Alamos County Recreation

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Now Is The Time For A Home Energy Audit Energy Lost = Money Lost Energy Saved = Money Saved

The Equation Really Is That Simple!!

Infrared Inspections In Los Alamos & White Rock ➤ Infrared scanning of a building is a non-invasive method of revealing and displaying areas in a building that are lacking insulation behind walls and ceilings. It can also show small cracks and crevices through-out the building.

➤ Thermographic scans are performed using an infrared camera that shows temperature variations in different parts of a room. If cold or hot air is leaking into your home from the outside, the temperature difference near the source of the leak appears on the infrared camera—hot areas appear red and cold areas appear blue. Once they are located, these air leaks can be plugged with weather stripping, caulking, or insulation to help your home’s heating and air conditioning systems work more efficiently and use less energy.

➤ For more information call 505.412.8274 ➤ Scans as low as $150 with no report