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Today's Features

  • As we have just spent some glorious time celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope that is just the start of your thankfulness.
    As we approach a new calendar year, more than in year’s past, we need to celebrate the little and big things that make life great.
    We need to talk about the good and not let the bad creep into daily life. There are many obstacles as we navigate each day, but we must set the tone for positivity.
    We need to highlight something each day that should be elevated into conversation. It is easy to let someone bring you down, but flip the story and bring someone up instead of down.
    If you can’t think of one, find a few simple phrases that may put someone on the spot to come up with a good story.
    Tell me about your favorite book? Tell me something fun about your grandson? What did you do over the holiday break? What are you looking forward to for the next holiday break?
    Have you thought of any good presents to give or receive this year? What’s the best handmade gift you ever received? What is a good movie you have rented lately? What’s a good idea for dinner tonight?
    It is easy if you think about it, you take something you really want to know, put a positive question around it and there you go.

  • 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.

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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

  • JERUSALEM (AP) — In the innermost chamber of the site said to be the tomb of Jesus, a restoration team has peeled away a marble layer for the first time in centuries in an effort to reach what it believes is the original rock surface where Jesus’ body was laid.
    Many historians have long believed that the original cave, identified a few centuries after Jesus’ death as his tomb, was obliterated ages ago.
    But an archaeologist accompanying the restoration team said ground penetrating radar tests determined that cave walls are in fact standing — at a height of six feet and connected to bedrock — behind the marbled panels of the chamber at the center of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
    “What was found,” said National Geographic archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert, “is astonishing.”
    The work is part of a historic renovation project to reinforce and preserve the Edicule, the chamber housing the cave where Jesus was entombed and resurrected. It is the centerpiece of one of Christianity’s oldest churches and one of its most important shrines.
    “I usually spend my time in Tut’s tomb,” said Hiebert about the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun’s burial site, “but this is more important.”

  • Tax Help New Mexico and the IRS are seeking community volunteers across New Mexico and especially in the greater Albuquerque metropolitan area to provide free tax assistance to those who need help filing their taxes.
    Tax Help New Mexico volunteers serve in a variety of roles. Volunteers are needed to electronically file tax returns, greet taxpayers and help organize their paperwork, set up and keep running computer equipment used to electronically file tax returns, manage the tax site and do quality control.
    “Tax Help New Mexico needs fellow New Mexicans all across the state and at this time, from Albuquerque and near-by communities. We are looking for area volunteers who are interested in taking a little time to learn about taxes and then helping others by preparing federal and state income tax returns for free,” said IRS spokesperson, Liz Perea. “Volunteers are certified to prepare simple, non-business tax returns for people with low to moderate incomes. People of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to volunteer. There is a role for anyone who is interested, anyone who wants to help and give back to their community.”

  • Los Alamos Little Theatre will hold an open play reading of Tom Stoppard’s classic comedy “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Performing Arts Center.
    Acclaimed as a modern masterpiece, the play is the tale of Hamlet, as told from the worm’s-eye view of two minor characters in Shakespeare’s play.
    In Stoppard’s best-known work, the Shakespearean Laurel and Hardy finally get a chance to take the lead role, but do so in a world where reality and illusion intermix, and where fate leads the two characters to a tragic but inevitable end.
    Brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet, who enact fragments of the original play’s scenes, add to the bewilderment of the two protagonists, who voice their confusion at the progress of events occurring onstage without them in Hamlet.
    LALT will produce the play in the spring. The reading is an opportunity to gain familiarity with the script prior to auditions in February.
    Men and women of a wide age range are needed for the cast. John Cullinan will direct. John Gustafson is the producer.
    The Performing Arts Center is located at 1670 Nectar St. More information is available at LALT.org.