• I participated in a speech class in college and while I successfully learned all the terms and types of speeches, I was never very good at putting them into practice. I wouldn’t speak loudly or slowly enough and typically I stared at a blank, empty space rather than making eye contact with the audience.

    Maybe my failure at public speaking sparked from my prejudice that this particular art form isn’t really all that important. It’s not necessary to speak in front of others, I concluded.

    How wrong I was.

  • Think orange, but be green. Recycle Halloween jack-lanterns at the Pumpkin Glow. This year, the Seventh Annual Los Alamos Pumpkin Glow will take place from 6-9 p.m. Saturday on the Fuller Lodge lawn. The Pumpkin Glow is part of Halloweekend, a community event that also includes Trick or Treat on Mainstreet. The Los Alamos Arts Council thought it would be appropriate to have a recycling theme this year because the event occurs after Halloween, which is Friday.

  • There are numerous preschools in Los Alamos to begin a child’s education and to help narrow the choice the Moms Club of Los Alamos is hosting a Preschool Fair from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church.

    During the fair, eight local preschools will set up booths and pass information to parents. Quemazon and Caoncito will not be participating because their enrollment is filled. Organizations offering activities to preschoolers such as the Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center and the Family YMCA will also distribute information.

  • The Professional Music Teachers of New Mexico (PMTNM) State Conference will be arriving in Los Alamos Nov. 13-16, and to get a musical sampling of what will be heard during this event, attend the Los Alamos Arts Council’s Brown Bag show at noon Nov. 5 at Fuller Lodge.

    The Brown Bag concert will showcase 16 Los Alamos music students who won honors in the New Mexico District I Competition, and will compete in the state conference. They will perform one piece that they will also play in the state conference.

    Music for vocals, strings and piano will be featured.

  • The local Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) earned high rankings in several categories during the New Mexico Military Institute Invitational held Saturday in Roswell.

    Fourteen students from Los Alamos competed in the event against students from 25 other schools.

    The local team earned first place in overall female color guard, second place in female color guard inspection, second place in armed regulation drill and third place in armed inspection.

  • Boyd Moffett, manager of Smith’s Food and Drug in White Rock, has seen the benefits of education, as a former student himself and as parent who sends his children to local schools.

    “School has such an important part in our children’s future, our nature’s future, all our futures,” he said.

  • Saying goodbye to a loved one who has died is not an easy thing to do, but the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses offers some assistance.

    From 1-3 p.m. Nov. 2, the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses will host its annual Memorial Service at Fuller Lodge.

    During the service, the names of people who were cared for at the organization are read aloud. As the names are announced, a rose is placed in a vase. This year, 140 names will be read.

    Families are encouraged to bring a memento or a picture to the ceremony.

  • Think Halloween just lasts a day? Not this year; the ghoulish celebration spreads out the whole weekend. Halloweekend, begins with Trick or Treat on MainStreet from 5-7 p.m. Friday.

    Although this event has been held for more than eight years, Jeremy Varela, events and marketing coordinator for the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corp., said a few new elements are being introduced to the program this year.

    “We’re really excited about this,” he said.

    The event will have a whole new atmosphere and everyone is encouraged to come and check it out.

  • Every year people ask me what witches do on Halloween. It’s a natural curiosity born of the fact that witch decorations are plentiful and witches tend to gather on or around Oct. 31 to commune for some “secret” purpose. Although Wiccans enjoy the fun of Halloween, Halloween has nothing to do with the Wiccan feast of Samhain (pronounced SOW-in). Halloween is a secular holiday with links to folk practices. Samhain is a part of the Wiccan Wheel of the Year.

  • Get ready for some pre-season retail training with a shopping day at The Art Center at Fuller Lodge’s Fall Arts and Crafts Fair, held from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Los Alamos Middle School. The 31st Annual Fall Fair hosts numerous new vendors as well as long-time favorites, selling everything needed for holiday shopping or for adding a little flair to people’s home and wardrobe.

  • Why, when presented with a thing of beauty and significance, do some people feel the need to destroy it? The true tragedy seems to be that once the damage is done, there is no reversal. Even when the evidence of the crime is cleaned up, there is a stain that will never disappear. The work of art was changed, and it will never be the same.

  • When Evelyn Mullen’s son, Tyler, 12, was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes in December 2007, she said she was “scared to death.”

    The whole experience from her son becoming very sick to being transported by helicopter to a hospital to being admitted into the pediatric ward and the intensive care unit was very traumatic, Mullen said.

  • Ever wished when a waiter at a restaurant shows a desert tray that you could try one of each of the sweet confections in front of you? Consider your wish granted by the United Way of Northern New Mexico.

    From 6-9 p.m. Saturday at Central Ave. Grill, United Way will host Eat Dessert First. The all-dessert buffet is part of the 2008 fundraising campaign. Tickets for the event cost $25.

    Donna Schroeder, executive director of United Way, said this type of fundraiser has never been held in the past.

  • The Naval Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) has a busy schedule of drills, camps, air rifle competitions on top of the regular classes and the community’s support is needed to follow this agenda.

    As a result, the NJROTC is hosting an enchilada dinner from 5-8 p.m. Friday at the Los Alamos High School cafeteria.

    The menu includes red chile and green chile chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice, pinto beans, homemade carrot cake and brownies, and beverages.

    “The food is going to be great,” Gunnery Sgt. Brett Painter said.

  • In January of 2009, the Los Alamos Public Schools (LAPS) will hold a bond election. For the first time in a decade, the school district staff is asking voters to consider an increase in the mill rate. This increase in taxes to property owners will fund renovations to aging school facilities.

  • By going to the upcoming Family YMCA Kathak and Bharatanatyam dance recital, the audience will be able to do more than see types of Indian dance; they will have the chance to make a difference in another country across the world.

  • Jan McDonald has been a fixture in the Los Alamos music scene. Whether conducting the Los Alamos High School band or performing with the Los Alamos Big Band, McDonald has shared his music with the community for a long time.

    He will return to town, along with the Dalton Trio, at 7 p.m. Friday at Fuller Lodge for “An Evening of Jazz.”

    The concert will feature jazz selections such as “Georgia on My Mind,” “Body and the Soul,” “Alone Together” and “Black Orpheus.”

  • Writing started out as a money-making venture for Robert Arellano. When he was 6 years old, Arellano’s mother would pay him a $1 for every Shakespeare sonnet he rewrote.

    His interest in writing expanded when he was 8 or 9 years old. Arellano remembers writing stories about a little boy, named Jimmy Rocket, who could fly.

    What started out as a moneymaking opportunity grew into something Arellano needs to do to feel satisfied. Unless he writes a few hours a week, Arellano said, he doesn’t feel happy.

  • “(There’s a) desire inside each and every one of us to have a hero,” Dan Rosencrans, station manager of Family Line Radio, said Friday night during the Hope Pregnancy Center’s 13th annual banquet at the White Rock Baptist Church.

    The opportunity for each member of the community to fulfill this desire has arrived. Through the banquet, the Hope Pregnancy Center staff set out packets and pledge cards, asking the community to support the center in its efforts to help women and teens in the community.

  • Tom and Penny Wyant, of Enchanted Trek Travel, will not be hosting their cruise night presentation today. It was held Thursday. To learn more contact Enchanted Trek Travel at 672-1981.