Archive - Dec 2009 - Editorial
If we consider human nature, making New Year’s resolutions a singular endeavor is akin to pulling your fortune out of a cookie: it might just happen, but the odds are against it.
But involve your friends and neighbors in the effort, and the success rate jumps dramatically.
Taking that as a cue, let’s set a few resolutions for the New Year as collective communities and mark our progress as the year evolves.
In Middlebury, let’s resolve to:
After Monday morning’s demolition, the Champlain Bridge is history. It’s time for a few more hours of romanticized reflection, then a redoubling of efforts to build a new bridge in record time that will make the trip over the lake better in every way.
That, at least, should be the goal.
Just how could the new bridge serve the public better? Here are a few key ways, some of which have been previously suggested by readers, and are being tentatively considered by state officials:
On Saturday, when my cousins and I got back from skiing, we plugged my new camera into the computer and watched the videos we’d shot. On the screen, I licked the chairlift to see if my tongue would stick. My cousin Danny rolled his eyes.
“Maybe we should just record everything we do for half of our lives, then spend the other half watching it,” he said.
His comment got me thinking.
Despite my love of sleep, once the lights go off I often find myself doing the other thing people typically do in bed. And I don’t mean counting sheep.
I mean worrying, of course.
There is no trouble so overpowering that it can’t get infinitely worse in a dark room with eight hours of quiet for it to fester in.
It’s easy and fashionable to name the ways that things are getting worse. From global warming and overpopulation, to America’s two endless wars and the billions of people who go to sleep hungry every night, the list is always growing longer.
But what about all the things that are getting better? There are plenty of them, if you just take a little closer look
When it comes to moving, most folks have any number of conflicting opinions on the topic. My college roommate was methodical about the process, packing boxes for what seemed like weeks in advance of any move, all while meticulously sorting her sweaters into color-coded heaps. An old boyfriend, on the other hand, was a firm believer in the efficiency of last-minute preparations; more than once he pulled all-nighters before moving, frantically throwing his belongings, willy-nilly, into any box within reach.
Federal Reserve Board Chair Ben Bernanke has been on a publicity offensive for the last several months. He wants to mobilize support for his own renomination for another term and to oppose several bills making their way through Congress that would strip the Fed of some of its powers or subject its decisions to more review on Capitol Hill. Bernanke has appeared on 60 Minutes, written op-ed columns for major newspapers, and held a town hall meeting in Kansas City that was broadcast on PBS.
Tax Commissioner Rich Westman has been touring the state for the past couple of months warning that current school spending was not sustainable without significant tax increases. He followed those warnings by becoming the first tax commissioner to recommend raising the statewide property tax. The first warnings barely made headlines back in October; the proposed statewide tax increase got most people’s attention; and now that local stories are reporting local taxes could go up 6 percent and budgets are still having to be cut substantially, most everyone is paying attention.