Archive - Dec 2010
For couples with conflicting spending habits, the end of the Christmas shopping season always comes as a relief.
With these couples, one partner dislikes shopping and hates to waste money on overpriced gifts. This person declares solemnly, “Christmas isn’t about presents; it’s about family spending time together.”
That’s a lie, of course. But for people like me, who get chest pains at the thought of paying $119.95 for a set of Legos that will fit in a shoebox, it’s all we have.
As America greets the New Year, we wonder if this nation has the collective resolve to true our wayward ship, to shake off the doldrums, renew our spirit of individual responsibility and regain our status as the inspirational leader in the world of new ideas.
To do that, we would first need to pay less heed to the naysayers, to honor those who seek to improve their communities and the common good — not those who benefit at the expense of others to the detriment of the national character and strength.
Of snow, snowshoes,
beginnings and endings
It was Christmas Eve. The end of the year was approaching determinedly, unavoidably, quickly. But the day was lovely. The sun was up, and the temperature rose to the mid-20s — comfortable weather for snowshoes. Fresh powdery snow blanketed the woods.
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury’s local option tax has generated $1,335,614 in its first two full years of collection — an average of $667,807 annually, which town officials said puts the community comfortably on pace to retire the 30-year-bond for the Cross Street Bridge.
Figures provided by the town of Middlebury show the 1-percent tax on rooms, meals, sales and alcohol generated $202,515 during the third quarter of 2010. That’s the strongest quarter ever, and well ahead of the $186,917 in taxes generated during the same quarter of 2009.
I had hoped that by this time in December, I would be sharing new ski touring adventures. While there is some cross country skiing to be enjoyed, the cover is a little too thin to get out of well-groomed fields and into the more uneven terrain of the woods. That said, I have no objection to trail running in the snow, at least shallow snow, and on this gorgeous sunny day, it seemed a great day for a run on paved road, dirt road, and trail.
VERGENNES — Christmas will be an even warmer occasion than usual in the Genau household in Vergennes, and indeed throughout Addison County this year.
Vermont National Guard Staff Sgt. Eric Genau and around 40 of his colleagues from the Vergennes armory are finally back, safe and sound, from an almost year-long deployment to Afghanistan.
ADDISON COUNTY — Addison County residents who waited until the week before Christmas to buy a tree found it a hard task this year.
Most area vendors reached the end of their Christmas tree supply last weekend, and by Sunday many had closed their doors for the season.
“It was a very early, very fast season,” said Cheryl Werner, who with her family runs Werner Tree Farm in Middlebury.
Editor’s note: A year ago this week, a New Jersey family was traveling through Addison County when car problems forced an unexpected stopover. It may be unsurprising to locals how the “flatlanders” were treated here, but it is interesting and enlightening to see ourselves in the eyes of our visitors. This is their story in the words of the New Jersey man who found himself stranded on Christmas Eve.