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It's been a hectic year for us all. So there's a good chance you're in need of some relaxation to clear away the negativities and obstacles of the past. You can do this with the Tibetan Buddhists as they mark the end of 2016 and look to 2017 as an auspicious beginning. This weekend, Urgyen Samten Ling hosts the annual New Years Eve Puja, which includes a Tsok food offering as well as a fire Puja. The fire Puja takes place outside, so make sure that you bring some warm clothing. Where it really gets good is when you can write down all those barriers and pitfalls from the past year and release them into the fire. This is no Burning Man; in fact, it's much better because of the deep spiritual cleansing that will leave you refreshed and prepared to take on 2017. Urgyen Samten Ling, 740 S. 300 West, 801-328-4629, Saturday, Dec. 31, 10 p.m.-1 a.m., free,

Don't like to stay out late when all the drunks are out driving? You're certainly not alone here. Instead, take the whole family to the Utah Museum of Natural History's Noon Year's Eve Party. Families can explore the Museum galleries and the mysterious Power of Poison special exhibit, and enjoy hands-on activities, rockin' music, a DJ-led countdown and an explosion of confetti to welcome 2017—at 12 p.m. rather than a.m. The first 1,000 kids receive free party packs that include a noisemaker, hat and a variety of celebratory toys. Hot chocolate and decorative cookies are available for $3 each. Utah Museum of Natural History, 301 Wakara Way, 801-581-6927, Saturday, Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $7.95-$12.95,

Are you interested in learning the inner-workings of the Utah Legislature? Are you interested in advocating for public policies to address sexual violence, but don't know how to get involved? Attend this upcoming event to get the answers to these questions and many others. Attendees of the Sexual Violence Citizen Advocacy Training can stay up-to-date with current legislation related to sexual violence, and listen to presenters as they share tips on contacting elected officials and ensuring that citizens' voices are heard throughout the legislative session. It's easier than you think. Utah State Capitol, 350 N. State, Monday, Jan. 30, 8-11 a.m., free, RSVP,

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More by Katharine Biele

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    While it's not exactly the Downwinders issue, outdoor testing surely affects the air you breathe. But let's give it a try. The public has a chance to hear all about the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground plans to conduct outdoor testing of small quantities of pharmaceuticals, "which pose an emerging threat to U.S. citizens and the Armed Forces," the public notice says.
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  • Schooled, Dirty Water, and Metcalf’s Mishaps

    A group called Our Schools Now is stumping on the legislative preview circuit for an income tax increase to help fund education. But Senate President Wayne Niederhauser and maybe the Legislature in general seem to think this will open the gateway to hell.
    • Jan 18, 2017
  • Hearing Protection, Sex Ed, Public Lands

    We certainly don't want our hunters hassled, especially in the rain, and that is good reason to loosen Utah's already liberal gun laws.
    • Jan 11, 2017
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