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Features

  • Los Alamos Little Theater will hold auditions for the January 2018 production, “God of Carnage” at the Performing Arts Center, 1670 Nectar St., at 2 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday.
    “God of Carnage “ by Yasmina Reza won the 2009 Tony Award for Best Play.
    In this dark comedy a playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter.
    At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters.  Characters will be two men and two women.
    The play will be directed by Paul Lewis and produced by John Gustafson.
    Actors should prepare a short two- to three-minute monologue of their choosing, or select one of the suggested monologues at lalt.org.  
    Memorization is not necessary, but the actor must be sufficiently familiar with the monologue to present a dramatic interpretation.
    Copies of the script and suggested monologues are available for two day checkout at the Mesa Public Library (reference desk). 

  • ALAMOGORDO (AP) — A new craze has hit Alamogordo, one that involves residents of all ages painting and hiding rocks throughout the community.
    “My sister lives in Illinois and they do the rock thing there, she was telling me about it. I thought it would be neat for kids here because there’s not a lot for kids to do around here,” said Patricia Glore, founder of the Alamo Rocks Facebook page. “So we painted rocks for two weeks, hid about 50 of them and then I started the page.”
    As residents found the hidden rocks, they also found instructions painted to the back of the rocks directing them to the Alamo Rocks page. Currently, the group has over 2,300 members.
    “This is something I do with my great grandkids,” Glore said. “(My great grandson) found his first rock by himself yesterday and he was so excited. This gives them something to do outside of the house, so they’re not stuck indoors playing on tablets and watching TV.”
    Organizations such as the Alamogordo Public Library and Alamo Jump have jumped onboard with the craze, hosting rock painting parties for the community.

  • The Los Alamos Big Band will host a Fall Concert and Dance from 7-9 p.m. Oct. 27 at Fuller Lodge.
    The Los Alamos Big Band is a 16-instrument, 1940s, Glenn Miller-style swing band that plays for public events, weddings, conventions, fund raisers, and more. The band will be playing favorites such as “In The Mood,” “String of Pearls,” “Sing, Sing, Sing,” “New York, New York,” and even “Clarinet Polka.”
    The band also features two well-known vocalists, Elisa Enriquez and Rene LeClaire, who will perform famous tunes such as “Chicago,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” “Lady is a Tramp,” and “Moonglow.”
    The band has been playing at dances throughout Northern New Mexico since 1984 under the direction of Jan McDonald, who was for many years the band director at Los Alamos High School. Admission is free; donations are welcome.
    For more information, contact Dean Decker at deandecker4@aol.com. 

  • This is the second in a two-part series on Austria. Part one appeared in the Oct. 11 edition of Diversion and can now be found at lamonitor.com.

  • Some people can tell fall is coming when the leaves begin to turn and the temperature drops. But if they’re into fiber arts, fall is when the Taos Wool Festival comes to town.
    The 34th annual festival, which celebrates all things wool, from shearing sheep to making yarn and clothing, happened in Taos Oct. 7 and 8 at Kit Carson Park. Sponsored and organized by the Mountain and Valley Wool Association, over 63 vendors came from New Mexico, Colorado and Texas to show people what they got and to demonstrate their skills.
    Besides vendors, the festival also featured contests and demonstrations throughout the weekend. Saturday morning featured a yarn show competition, a garment and home accessories and fleece competition.
    The festival also featured a wool and fleece sale. Sunday featured a spinning, knitting and crochet contest, a hand-dye competition and a silent auction. The silent auction was a fundraiser for the Mountain Valley Wool Association that will help cover the costs of this year’s festival.
    The first festival was held in 1984 at the park, and featured just 15 vendors. It’s become much bigger since then.

  • Los Alamos community members are invited to partner up with the Carson National Forest and Taos County Saturday for cleanup of Miranda Canyon.
    The cleanup will take place from 9 a.m.-noon at the canyon, which is located on the Camino Real Ranger District.
    According to a news release, the area has often been used as a dumping ground in the past and is now inundated with household trash, construction debris and discarded furniture.
    Those wishing to volunteer with county and National Forest personnel are asked to meet at the Llano Quemado Community Center at 9 a.m. for a safety talk.
    Following that, the group will start making its way up the canyon for trash removal. The group plans to return to the community center at 12:15 p.m., where lunch will be provided for all participants.
    Those wanting to volunteer are asked to wear long sleeves, pants and sturdy shoes, and bring gloves and water. 
    The Carson National Forest purchased the 5,000 acres of land in Miranda Canyon from the Trust for Public Land using land and water conservation funds in order to protect the watershed from private land development.
    The area is south of Taos, just west of Picuris Peak.
     

  • Coming up this weekend, the Jemez Mountain Trail Sale will draw more than 150 vendors and leaf peepers to the Jemez Valley to sell and buy new and used items.
    Along with the sale, that will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, shoppers and onlookers can enjoy priceless views of the changing fall colors along the Jemez Mountain Trail Scenic Byway.
    The 14th annual Jemez Mountain Trail Sale – the longest yard sale in New Mexico – begins at San Ysidro near the intersection of N.M. 550 and N.M. 4 and continues 12 miles past Jemez Springs to La Cueva.
    The Longest Yard Sale covers more than 30 miles.
    Off N.M. 4, the sale continues along the highway near Gilman Tunnels and the highway near Ponderosa.
    A map of all “cluster” locations is available on Facebook at JemezMountainTrailSale.
    There is no charge to set up a table at a cluster location.
    Sellers are asked to register in advance with cluster contacts. For contact information and details, email joybandy@gmail.com.
    Items for sale range from pueblo pottery and jewelry to books, appliances and much more.
    The Trail Sale is also a great fundraising opportunity for nonprofit organizations.
    Drivers must obey speed limits and watch for sightseers and pedestrians along N.M. 4.

  • The Karen Wray Gallery is delighted to invite you to “Phillip Noll, The Four Corners: A Photographic Exhibition,” October 20 through November 19, 2017, with an Opening Reception Friday, October 20 from 5-7pm.

    What does “The Four Corners” mean to you? Is it the common point of four intersecting territories? Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring? North, East, South, and West? Earth, Water, Air, and Fire? Morning, Evening, Day, and Night? Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah?

    For award-winning photographer Phillip Noll, it means all these things. For the past two decades Phillip has been building a portfolio of images representing “The Four Corners.” Predominantly from the Colorado Plateau, these images will take you on a visual journey from deserts to forests, from mountains to canyons, from red rocks to waterfalls, and from the grand landscape to tiny details. “The photographs in this exhibition represent the amazing beauty of this region of the United States. The Four Corners area is absolutely filled with breathtaking scenery. All you have to do is look for it,” says Phillip.

  • Los Alamos County Library System announced winners Thursday for the Design a Bookmark competition for students that was revived in May.
    “We were so excited to bring this program back after a few year hiatus,” said Angie Manfredi, Head of Youth Services. “It’s a fun activity for the kids and the library gets some cool new bookmarks to hand out!”
    The library received hundreds of entries thanks to the participation of local schools. Library staff judged each anonymous entry and the votes were tabulated to establish winners by grade.
    In some cases, the results ended in ties. The entries were based around the library’s summer programming theme of “Build a Better World.”
    All winners and those who earned honorable mentions received gift certificates to the Friends of the Library bookstore and their designs were turned into bookmarks that are now available to the public at both the Mesa Public Library and the White Rock Branch Library.
    “We’re excited to have the bookmarks ready now that school is back in session,” Manfredi said. “We think it’s a great way to kick off this school year and we’re grateful that the program was so successful due to the cooperation and participation of the schools.”

  • Calling all volunteers! Pajarito Environmental Education Center and Los Alamos County Open Space and Trails need help to remove the last bits of fence from Acid Canyon and restore this great, little canyon to a more natural state on Oct. 28.
    The goal is to clean up the old chain-link fence that mars the steep slope below the nature center in Acid Canyon.
    The group is looking for people who can hike the short distance down into the canyon, then bring pieces of fencing back up to the rim to be disposed of. Other teams will work to load larger pieces of trash into a county truck to be hauled out of the canyon.
    The group also needs help moving piles of invasive, non-native elm cuttings and collecting litter that has been washed into the smaller side canyons, so there will be lots of jobs for all willing helpers.
    This is a community project that will help beautify a popular area that many people see when hiking near the nature center.
    Registration is not required, but it is encouraged so that we bring enough supplies and snacks. To register and for more information about this and other PEEC programs, visit www.peecnature.org, email adventure@peecnature.org, or call 662-0460.
     

  • Compañía Mina Fajardo and Chuscales will return to Teatro Paraguas this November.

    They have given sold-out performances the past six years. Audiences still remember their shows: Flamenco x3 (2015); Una Nota de Lorca (2016); and Choreography and Calligraphy (2017).

    The show set for three performances, Nov. 3, 4 and 5, is based on a bedtime story from the Brunn family, remembering events from 400 years ago in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico and how its ancient inhabitants were confronted with New Spain.

    With utmost respect Teatro Paraguas presents: legendary flamenco singer Roberto Zamora; renowned flamenco guitarist/composer Chuscales; and choreographer/dancer Mina Fajardo.

    As with all treasure hunts, the true purpose is to reveal the magic of the human spirit and its will to survive, discovering the wealth of faith, family & community.

    The performances are at 7 p.m. Nov. 3, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 4 and 2 p.m. Nov. 5. All three performances will be at Teatro Paraguas in Santa Fe.

    Tickets are available at brownpapertickets.com.

  • The Santa Fe Symphony will present two programs featuring virtuoso violinist Alexi Kenney this year, the first which is Sunday with the full Symphony Orchestra, follow by concert recital one week later.

    Both performances are at 7 p.m. at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.

    On Oct. 22, Kenney will be joined by prize-winning pianist, Renana Gutman, praised by The New York Sun for playing “with great vigor and aplomb.”

    Kenney, recipient of a prestigious 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, will be performing recital selections that range from the long-beloved E Major Partita by Bach – a technical showstopper for solo violin – to rarer works like Crumb’s Four Nocturnes, a delicate and birdlike meditation, featuring the subtle integration of many of Crumb’s inspired extended techniques, like having the soloist tap the violin as a percussive element.

    Tickets are $22-$80. Half-price tickets available for children ages 6-14 with adult purchase and no children under 6 will be admitted. Call 983-1414 or 1-800-480-1319 for tickets through the symphony box office, or dial the Lensic box office at 988-1234.

  • Travel back to the sights and sounds of immortal musical groups, brought to life in laser light. Laser and planetarium projectors will fill the dome the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Oct. 21-Nov. 3 with choreographed light, allowing the music and images to envelope the audience.

    Laser concerts light up. More than a million laser-generated hues and colors poetically express each timeless track.
    “We are only able to bring laser concerts to the planetarium once a year, and this time we’re especially excited to have the shows during Halloween and be able to present laser images with a live band,” said Jim Greenhouse, the Museum’s Space Science Director.

    For a few select evenings only, songs from the Beatles, U2, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica will be featured in dedicated shows along with compilation productions with tracks from classic rock, pop, and alternative bands.

    Two albums of Pink Floyd will be presented in recorded shows, but on one very special night, Dark Side of the Moon will be performed live with the laser by the band Pink Freud, presented in partnership with AMP Concerts as part of the New Mexico Culture Squared initiative.

  • BY DEBBIE STONE
    Special to the Monitor

    This is the first in a two-part series on Austria. Part two will appear in the Oct. 18 edition of Diversions.

    The act of toasting in Austria is a custom with its own set of rules. As a visitor to this land of sophistication and unassuming elegance, it’s important to know the correct protocol.

    First, make eye contact with each and every person at the table, loosely hold the wine glass by the stem and solidly clink on a slight diagonal plane to achieve the ideal ring. And, remember to never cross paths with someone else’s toast, as this would be considered rude.

    Following these guidelines is trickier than one might imagine – particularly the aspect of eye contact. Austrians believe it’s essential to acknowledge everyone individually, as it gives special meaning to the toast. It’s all about making a personal connection. Know that you’ll get plenty of practice, as it’s common to toast multiple times during the course of a social gathering.

  • Local geologist Patrick Rowe will lead an outing Oct. 14 to the Cabezon Peak area in search of geological treasures at two sites.

    Participants can expect to find minerals and marine fossils at the windmill site, and Shark’s Tooth Ridge is aptly named for the fossilized teeth from five species of Cretaceous Period sharks that the group will find.

    This program is organized by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. Space is limited.

    The windmill site lies roughly between Cabezon peak and the Ojito Wilderness, where the group will be collecting nodules containing calcite crystals and fossil gastropods and ammonites.

    The nodules in this area often contain open pockets with beautiful calcite and every now and then barite crystals. The calcite crystals are found within some very large, partially buried and highly weathered concretions.

    To collect them, participants should be ready to do some digging in loose sand to expose the concretions. Once exposed, use prying tools and hammers to take apart the concretions while keeping an eye out for calcite.

  • SANTA FE — Would-be archaeologists can be part of a mock excavation at the Oct. 14 New Mexico Archaeology Fair held this year in Taos at the Millicent Rogers Museum.

    Presented by the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division, Department of Cultural Affairs, the fair is a chance for children and adults to experience activities associated with cultures that trace their origins back thousands of years. At the same time, they can learn techniques developed over the last 150 years that have helped people better understand the lives of some of New Mexico’s earliest inhabitants.

    “The mock dig is new to the fair this year,” said State Archaeologist Michelle Ensey, who also is the deputy State Historic Preservation Officer at HPD. “We’re conducting the excavations using some of the same tools archaeologists use to excavate prehistoric and historic sites.”

    The fair runs from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and admission is free. The museum is hosting the event and will be open during the fair, which also features the Taos Archaeological Society, state Office of Archaeological Studies, Archaeological Society of New Mexico and the New Mexico Archaeological Council. Several HPD archaeologists and cultural resource professionals will be on hand.

  • The Los Alamos debut of concert pianist Natasha Stojanovska will be at 7 p.m. Friday in the Sanctuary of the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, 1738 North Sage St.

    The performance is free to the public.

    Stojanovska, a Macedonian native, is a true world-class artist and has just moved to Los Alamos.

    She has performed solo and chamber music recitals in France, Portugal, Macedonia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Romania, South Korea, Haiti, and the United States.

    Her performances have been broadcast on radio and television.

    Those who love piano repertoire will not want to miss her solo performance.

    On the program are pieces from Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, and one of Stojanovska’s.

  • Jemez Village is gearing up for its annual Jemez Mountain Trail Sale, which will happen at the same time people start coming from all over to see the fall foliage on the 132-mile Jemez Mountain Scenic Byway.

    This year, the sale will take place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 21-22.

    The village tries to hold the sale when the leaves are turning and the fall colors are at their peak. 

    The massive yard sale is more than 26 miles long. It starts at San Ysidro and continues past La Cueva.

    The Jemez Mountain Scenic Byway is more than 163 miles long and starts in Bernalillo and ends at Bandelier National Monument. 

    The Jemez Mountain Trail Sale is an annual event where food vendors, artists, craftsmen and yard sale sellers can set their wares out on the side of NM 4 for shoppers and sightseers.

    Items for sale range from handcrafted items, jewelry and artwork to used cars, furniture, books, appliances and knick-knacks. Pottery, art and handcrafted items from Jemez Pueblo along with fundraiser tables set up by churches, schools, and other organizations may also be available.

    In addition to the sales and bargains along the way, the view will be great everywhere one looks.

  • TODAY
    Today-Dec. 13 —
Forest Explorers Hike and Play from 1-3 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Get outside this fall by exploring with PEEC! This six-week class is for youth ages 5 to 8. Cost is $135 for non-members, $110 for PEEC members.

    Nature Loom Installation from 2-4 p.m. at the Nature Center. Discover Earth Art and use natural objects in artistic expression during this hands-on group art installation with Liz Martineau. Cost is $5 for members, $7 for non-members.

    Jemez House Thrift Shop at 13 Sherwood Blvd. in White Rock will have a bag day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  
    THURSDAY
     Nature on Tap: Bandelier Bird Banding at 5:30 p.m. at the Nature Center. Join in a discussion about the 2017 Bandelier bird banding experience with Bandelier biologist Sarah Milligan and bird banding interns Daniel Dorantes and Kim Geissler. Free. More information at peecnature.org.

    FRIDAY
    Gentle Walks
at 9 a.m. at the Nature Center. A gentle walk for which the emphasis is on discovery, not mileage gained. Free.

    Astronomy Show: Asteroid Threats at 7 p.m. at the Nature Center.
Join us to learn about asteroids: the close calls, current risk, and how we know what to expect. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children. More information at peecnature.org.

  • A Better Way for LA invites the public to attend a fall meeting on Monday, Oct. 16, at the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce at 15th Street and Central Avenue. A light supper will be provided.
    The program begins at 7 p.m. with a talk by William Mead on the “History of Roundabout Decisions for N.M. 502 in Los Alamos County.”
    The planned roundabout at the intersection of Trinity Drive and Central Avenue will force drivers to travel in conflicting “circular” paths, negatively impacting both pedestrians and vehicles.
    Next, Heather Ortega will present a talk on “Neighborhood Associations: Helpful or Hurtful to Community Relations”. The Los Alamos County Council is proposing the use of public funds to form “voluntary” neighborhood associations.
    While they are intended to be an advocate for residents, there is the potential for fraud, abuse, harassment and onerous fines.
    Brady Burke will give concluding remarks. He recently announced his candidacy for the Los Alamos County Council.