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Today's News

  • DeVargas Center unveils new upgrades

    DeVargas Center in Santa Fe is nearing completion of a series of upgrades to support its growing roster of local merchants.
    The renovations add a more contemporary, regional flair that underscores its commitment to offering a main street experience for both shoppers and homegrown retailers.
    This month, the mall welcomes eight new tenants from Sanbusco, including Santa Fe Pens, Pandora’s, Dell Fox Jewelry and Bodhi Bazaar.
    DeVargas Center has also recently completed new spaces for some of its existing merchants, including Elegant Nails, the Bug Museum and Baskin Robbins.
    The new spaces and upgraded storefronts were designed by David Naylor Interiors and developed by JR Construction.
    Naylor said the goal was to create a more contemporary, yet distinctly Santa Fe feel for the mall, which is home to a variety of unique local merchants.
    “When you go to a corporate mall, what’s distinct is that each shop has got their brand so well designed,” he said. “I didn’t want this mall trying to look like that since we don’t have any corporate brands. These are all homegrown, neighborhood shops. So it looks friendly, local, regional.”

  • Adobe Theater to present ‘Dividing The Estate’

    The Adobe Theater will present American playwright Horton Foote’s play “Dividing The Estate” April 29 through May 22.
    First staged in 2007, “Dividing The Estate” was awarded the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play, and the 2008 Obie Award for Playwriting.
    Set in 1987 Texas, “Dividing The Estate” follows the fate and fortune of the “land rich and cash poor” Gordon family.
    The elderly matriarch of the family, Stella, is stubbornly intent on keeping the estate intact while she lives, but her children Mary Jo, Lewis, and Lucille are all strapped for cash and want to split things up immediately. Old wounds and resentments, always close to the surface, erupt anew as the Gordon siblings argue, accuse, wheedle and blame each other, their mother, and the economy for their own shortcomings and failures.
    Director Brian Hansen readily admits to a lingering case of “Horton Foote Disease.” He became infected four years ago when he directed a production of Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful at The Adobe Theater. The production was demanding and well-received, but most of all it introduced him to the world of a largely-ignored playwright, Horton Foote.

  • Santa Fe Symphony presents ‘Four Seasons’ Sunday

    Violinist Alexi Kenney will return to lead the Santa Fe Symphony chamber ensemble in one of the most exciting programs of the season Sunday at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.
    The orchestra will perform Vivaldi’s beloved “The Four Seasons,” and Bach’s “Double Concerto” for oboe and violin, featuring Kenney alongside the symphony’s principal oboist Elaine Heltman.
    A free pre-concert lecture will begin at 6 p.m. Sunday, sponsored by Dr. Penelope Penland, and The Pierce Group with Mort Morrison and Morgan Stanley. Kenney is underwritten by Sheryl and Michael DeGenring through the symphony’s Reach For The Stars Program.
    The program begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $80. Half-price tickets are available for children ages 6 to 14 with adult purchase (no children under six will be admitted). Call 983-1414 or 1-800-480.1319 for tickets, or the Lensic box office at 988-1234 for information. The Lensic Theater is located at 211 West San Francisco Street in Santa Fe.

  • ‘Something new’ in senior care

    Santa Fe’s Sierra Vista Retirement Community recently hosted Bill Thomas for a special  tour of the facility, as he stopped by to talk shop with the staff and see what the progressive retirement community was all about.
    Thomas is a nationally renowned specialist in geriatrics and aging. He was in Santa Fe to kick off his 30 city “Age of Disruption” tour, which featured a workshop on dementia during the afternoon and a “nonfiction” play in the evening called “Aging: Life’s Most Dangerous Game” at the St. Francis Auditorium, New Mexico Museum of Art.  
    According to Thomas, both events were meant to change the way people think about aging.
    “I hope what people take away from (the tour) is that aging is about growth, that it’s a process of growth,” he said. “In our society, we commonly think that aging is a matter of decline. I would argue that you’re growing toward something new. We think that old people are stuck and that they don’t grow and I think that’s wrong.”

  • Revisions show rural areas doing better

    Our rural counties did better last year than we first thought.
    The news is due to the annual revisions called “benchmarking” to the initially reported job numbers.
    Statistics get revised; it’s a rule. Frustration results and becomes anguish in our current situation. We get reports of one number, but no mention that it really is “the number,” plus or minus, depending on the mechanics of the survey. When more and better information becomes available, the number is revised. So it is with job numbers.
    The complication is that the numbers and associated expectations drive policy and business decisions. Change disrupts the decisions.
    The newest revisions, published in mid-March, take our monthly average employment for 2015 down by 3,000 to 825,600. The state’s job performance started decently and eroded during the year. Nine of 2015’s 12 months were revised downward. The numbers come from the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state Department of Workforce Solutions.

  • With job creation on a wing and a prayer, we inch out of the recession

    Two recent headlines say it’s time to talk about our economy. One is, “NM second in fed dependency,” written like that’s a bad thing. The other: “We must reduce NM reliance on oil revenues.”
    New Mexico has a lot of pieces to its economy, and we’re getting a little smarter about promoting them. It’s late, slow and done on a wing and a prayer, but it’s movement.
    One of those segments is federal spending, and last week the website Wallethub said New Mexico is the second-most federally dependent state after Mississippi. Last year we were first. This is because of federal installations, agencies and labs, but also because we’re poor (Medicaid) and have an aging population (Social Security, Medicare).
    Looked at another way, federal dollars create jobs (28,000-plus in 2015), and we could do better.
    Terry Brunner, state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, recently wrote that every year his agency returns unused federal funds to Washington for lack of projects, and so do other federal agencies.

  • League of Women Voters to host Gene Grant

    The League of Women Voters will have its monthly Lunch with a Leader at Mesa Library at 11:30 a.m. April 19.
    Gene Grant will speak at the lunch. Grant is now in his 10th year as host of “The Line” on New Mexico in Focus. His show airs on PBS at 7 p.m. every Friday. In addition to hosting, he has also reported for the PBS NewsHour on six occasions. Gene was a columnist for the Albuquerque Tribune before doing the same for the Albuquerque Journal and Weekly Alibi.
    To order a $10 lunch from the Co-op, call Karyl Ann Armbruster at 231-8286 or email at kaskacayman@gmail.com for the choices. Food needs to ordered by April 15.

  • Aviation Weather presentation April 17

    David Bruggeman, a LANL meteorologist, will present a summary of the Los Alamos National Laboratory weather monitoring system and components at 3 p.m. April 17 at the Mesa Public Library. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. Sponsored by Pajarito Flying Club. Contact Scott Miller at scott@pajaritoflyingclub.com, or 453-3327, for more information.

  • Mesa Library to screen ‘The Class’ Thursday

    “The Class” (2008, rated PG-13), perhaps the only film I’ve seen starring a real-life middle-school language teacher, will screen at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library.
    Laurent Cantet’s award-winning drama cinematizes François Bégaudeau’s semi-autobiographical novel “Entre les murs” (“Between the walls”), which is also the film’s original title in France. Onscreen, Bégaudeau, who based his book in part on his own experiences teaching French and literature to 13-year-olds in Paris, plays François Marin, a dedicated instructor amongst a group of well-meaning professionals trying, with mixed results, to teach.
    “The Class” gives audiences a lot to like, and has been duly recognized around the world, including at the Independent Spirit Awards (winner – Best Foreign Language Film) and the Academy Awards (nominated – Best Foreign Language Film).
    Unlike many other how-do-we-reach-these-kids?-style movies, this is ambiguous, unsentimental, and detail-oriented. It captures the Zen-like quality of teaching, wherein one never knows when a perfunctory lesson might evolve into something profound or something dangerous.

  • Assets in Action: Public school rules raise questions

    Wool Hay! During spring break, our family took a few days to visit friends in Andrews, Texas.
    First of all, I prefer to say Texsuz, where almost everybody drives a pick-up truck. There may be a rule that they have to be white, I’m still unsure on that part.
    The motto for Andrews County from their website is, “Between the Land of Enchantment and a whole other country.”
    Ironically, the population for each based on 2014 or 2015 statistics is about 17,000, but there were some incredible differences I found while visiting there.
    My friend is a teacher at Devonian Elementary. The approximate size of the school is about that of Chamisa Elementary. The school is only for second- and third-grade students.
    The school had locker rooms and separate gymnasiums, for boys and girls.
    We discussed the local high school where there were so many differences, I found myself asking if it was a public school.
    Here are just a few to ponder. Students are allowed no colored hair, no jeans with holes, shorts and skirts no shorter than four inches above the knee, no flip flops, no facial tattoos, no spaghetti straps, top and bottom garments should not expose skin while bending or stretching.