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Today's Features

  • VATICAN CITY (AP) — Saying nothing is beyond the reach of God’s mercy, Pope Francis told Catholics worldwide he is allowing all priests to absolve the faithful of abortion — women and health workers alike — even while stressing that it is a grave sin in the eyes of the church to “end an innocent life.”
    In an Apostolic Letter made public Monday, Francis said he was extending indefinitely the special permission he had granted to all rank-and-file priests during the just ended Holy Year of Mercy.
    “There is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled” with God, the pope wrote in the 10-page letter, signed Sunday, the day the Holy Year ended.
    But, he added: “I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life.”
    Because the Roman Catholic Church holds abortion to be such a serious sin, absolution had long been a matter for a bishop, who could either hear the woman’s confession himself or delegate it to a priest considered an expert in such situations, a potentially intimidating scenario for many of the faithful.

  • The time has come to look to the future and the holiday season. Head on over to kick start the joy of the holidays at the annual Festival of Trees at the Betty Ehart Senior Center from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.
    The trees are up and on display now through Thursday during normal business hours with a grand finale Saturday for final bidding.
    More than 70 items, including trees, wreaths, ornaments and decorations on display and available through silent auction and bidders need not be present to win. The Saturday showcase will feature a craft fair, free pictures with Santa and musical talents of local artists.
    While admission is free, donations of lunch and snack items or pre-packaged cookies are a suggested donation to benefit local school children.
    The funds raise money for two local non-profits, the Los Alamos Retired and Senior Organization (LARSO) and Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).
    “There is a bear tree with a sign that says ‘Don’t feed the bears – they are already stuffed,” says LARSO Executive Director Pauline Powell Schneider. “There are trees with birds, snowmen, angels, Sweet Christmas, it’s a Gingerbread World, wreaths that are rustic, some that sparkle, others with berries or holly, and centerpieces with snowmen and candy canes.”

  • The Los Alamos Historical Society announced its 2016-2017 lecture series, “Multiple Perspectives of the Atomic Bomb.”
    Visit losalamoshistory.org for a listing and schedule of lectures and events.
    The lectures are at Fuller Lodge on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., unless noted otherwise.
    The Los Alamos Historical Society’s November lecture will feature a panel on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, including the first Los Alamos appearance of new MPNHP Superintendent Kris Kirby.
    The lecture is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at Fuller Lodge
    The Manhattan Project National Historical Park was established in November 2015 to preserve portions of three World War II sites where the United States developed the first atomic weapons.
    Managed in partnership with the Department of Energy, the three sites that make up the park are located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos and Hanford, Washington.
    Kirby is a veteran National Park Service employee, most recently designated as permanent superintendent of the new park. She has extensive experience in NPS partnerships, including her most recent assignment at Yosemite National Park as chief of Business and Revenue Management. Before that, she served as chief of commercial services at Lake Mead National Recreation Area and previously worked in concessions management at Glacier National Park

  • The Santa Fe Symphony will ring in the holidays with “Carols and Choruses” in the majestic Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi Dec. 2.
    The audience will be able to sing along to some of the most beloved Christmas carols of all time as they enjoy the angelic voices of The Symphony Chorus, accompanied by the glorious sounds of The Symphony Brass and organ. This concert starts at 7 p.m. and is the symphony’s gift to the Santa Fe community during the holiday season.
    No tickets are required. Admission is free.
    The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is located at 131 Cathedral Place in Santa Fe.
    Executive Director Gregory Heltman notes “members of The Symphony Brass are passionate about their instruments and music.” Over the years, the group has performed at many community and donor events as well as their holiday appearances at the Cathedral Basilica.

  • Bandelier National Monument, Valles Caldera National Preserve and Manhattan Project National Historical Park have announced that the National Park Service and other federal agencies will offer one more Fee Free Day this year on Thursday, Veterans Day.
    On that day, federal areas nationwide, including Bandelier and the Valles Caldera, will offer free admission to everyone. Manhattan Project NHP has no entry fee.
    Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, celebrating the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. In 1954 it was officially renamed Veterans Day in the U.S. to expand it to honor all veterans, not just those who fought in World War I.  It still coincides with the Armistice Day holiday celebrated in many other countries. 
    As Bandelier Superintendent Jason Lott said, “Veterans Day is a very appropriate day for the parks to honor all our veterans, by inviting people all over the country to enjoy and celebrate the lands that these brave men and women have valiantly protected and defended.”  
    The Manhattan Project NHP is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    At Bandelier, the shuttle service has ended for this year, so visitors should just drive on down to the parking lot at the monument Visitor Center. 

  • Pajarito Environmental Education Center will host artist Lisa Coddington, who will teach a two-day workshop on drawing and watercolor using botanical and natural subjects. The class will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Los Alamos Nature Center.
    Coddington’s class is open to all, from beginners to advanced artists.
    Participants will explore pencil and watercolor techniques that portray plants and animals in this hands-on workshop. With easy to understand demonstrations and Master artist examples, Lisa will work to reinforce confidence in creating dimensional Autumn-themed subjects.
    A minimum of eight students is required for the class, so those interested in the workshop are encouraged to register on the PEEC website by Thursday. Otherwise, the class will be canceled if there is not enough interest.
    Artist/instructor Coddington earned her master of art degree at Syracuse in Illustration. She has illustrated a children’s book and has received commissions by regional and national firms for her artwork and art instruction.

  • A Los Alamos punk rock musician hopes to shake up the classical music world with three compositions he has produced into YouTube videos.
    K.L. Fortson hopes his creations will make people think differently about orchestral music.
    The videos of “Untitled for Guitar and String Quartet,” “Arecibo Calling Kafka” and “Whales Floating Belly Up” can be found at klfortson.com.
    Classical music is a bit of a departure for Fortson, who has toured extensively for punk rock bands before embarking on the project.
    “I wanted to do more complex music, and I also wanted to more non-lyrical music,” he said. “I was also drawn to the fact that it doesn’t have any concrete meeting.”
    Fortson is a 2006 graduate of the University of New Mexico. He majored in criminology and has always been interested in the arts, especially music and painting.
    “I took a class called ‘Deviance’ based on the name. It sounded really fascinating. I just liked how psychology, sociology and business were really studying the same facets of humanity but through a different lens,” he said. “I’ve always liked propaganda and media, and that’s what drew me to those.” Those interested can find more of his art on the website.

  • Even without television in my home, I have not been able to escape the shroud of evil that we have cast over the current election. Sadly, it seems that we could not have come up with two more unqualified candidates for POTUS if we had sat down and plotted a course with that as our end goal.
    It appears that the candidates reflect reasonably well the character and nature of the voters. We have selected candidates in our own image. We have no one to blame but ourselves. God has given us a rare privilege.
    Few in the history of mankind have had, to the extent that we have, the right to select our own rulers. In times past this was a blessing, but at this moment, because of our pettiness, our immorality, our covetousness, our idolatry, etc. it appears to be something less than a blessing. It seems that God has given us over to our own desires.

  • The Pajarito Astronomers will host the last county-sponsored dark night at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 5 at Spirio Soccer Field at Overlook Park in White Rock, weather permitting.
    The public is invited to come out, wander among the telescopes, and star gaze. Five planets will potentially be visible during the evening: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There will be a tour of the late-summer and fall and early-winter constellations, and there will be telescope views of double stars, star clusters, nebulae and galaxies.  
    The public is invited and encouraged to attend. Viewing will end before midnight. Call Steve at 662-3252 for information.

  • Performers will present  exerpts from “The 1940s Radio Hour” performed by members of the cast of the Little Theatre at the noontime Brown Bag Lunch Nov. 2 at Fuller Lodge.
    Attendees will hear eight big band-era songs and will get a peek from a scene in the show.
    Laurie Tomlinson is the director and Gretchen Amstutz is the musical director for this musical comedy. Tomlinson and Amstutz have co-directed many musicals together, including “Annie Get your Gun” in 2007, “The Sound of Music” in 2009, and “Into the Woods” in 2011 for the Los Alamos Light Opera. “The Spitfire Grill” was their first musical collaboration at the Little Theatre. They have also collaborated together as a director-producer combo, bringing “The Woman in Black” and, most recently, “Steel Magnolias” to the Little Theatre’s stage.
    “The 1940s Radio Hour” is a musical play written by Walton Jones that is full of music of the era, dancing and old-time sound effects. The play portrays the final holiday broadcast of the Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade on the New York radio station WOV in December 1942.
    The audience may recognize many well-known songs of the 1940s, such as “The Lady is a Tramp,” “Blue Moon” and many more.