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“Have a happy, happy!”
The emphasis was always on the second “happy” and it was said, back in the mid-’70s, by my climbing buddy’s dad. He loved saying it, as if it were his own contribution to the nation’s lexicon — “Have a happy, happy!”
It was a New Year’s Day greeting, of course, although Lou said it throughout the year whenever the mood struck him, which wasn’t, by the way, that often.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MIDDLEBURY — Ask Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin what’s on his mind as he prepares to take over the reins of state government on Jan. 6, and he’ll tell you about tackling the biggest battles: getting broadband to every last mile in Vermont; getting health care costs under control; figuring out how to pay for the early education and corrections initiatives he proposed during the campaign; and reducing a projected $150 million deficit so he can balance the next state budget.
He’ll also tell you that none of it will be easy.