November 19th, 2009
If half a company’s revenue came from five percent of its customer base, the CEO would begin each day with the same ritual: prayer.
That’s a narrow base upon which to build hope, let alone a sustainable business.
To an extent, that’s Vermont’s issue, not at the corporate level but with state government. We have a spending level that is disproportionately dependent on a progressive income tax structure and a paltry number of taxpayers.
In business, it’s not always possible to achieve your mission the first year out of the block. But there’s evidence that 51 Main Street in Middlebury has come pretty close.
Roll back the clock with me to a scene there last April. It’s a cold, blustery Thursday night and one would have expected Middlebury’s Main Street to be quiet at the 8 o’clock hour.
This night, however, was different.
In the past, we’ve generally started our Christmas shopping around Dec. 18.
There’s a powerful adrenalin surge that comes from the mob hysteria the week before the holiday. Similar to the running of the bulls in Pamplona every July, the shopping of the desperate in the mall every December is an annual rite that draws thousands, thrills the participants and poses a serious threat of trampling. Granted, the risk of being gored at the mall is comparatively small, but it’s still a pretty good time.
ADDISON COUNTY — No local high school girls’ soccer teams will be hanging championship banners in their gyms after this fall, when the four local squads combined for just 12 wins.
But each team had rays of hope for the future in the progress of younger players and in moments when practice paid off in progress and attractive soccer. And each saw fine individual performances recognized here in the 2009 Addison Independent Girls’ Soccer All-Star Team.
When a dark mood overtakes me, I force myself to feel grateful.
“Think of three things you’re thankful for,” a small, wise voice inside will say. “Just three little things.”
“OK. I’m grateful for the dinner I had last night. And for having friends. I’m usually grateful I’m alive.”
If that little recitation fails to turn the tide, I’ll try to name three more things for which I’m grateful. And three after that.
As I build a little mental pile of my personal blessings, it becomes easier to bear whatever fictitious burden I imagine myself to be carrying.
ADDISON COUNTY — Unfavorable hunting conditions led to low numbers for the opening weekend of deer rifle season, but didn’t prevent two hunters from bagging the two biggest bucks taken this decade in Addison County during rifle season.
One, a 236-pound, eight-point buck shot by Shoreham’s Tommy Davis in his home town, tipped the scales at 10 pounds more than the largest deer killed in all of Vermont during any season in 2008. According to the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife Web site, the largest 2008 deer taken weighed 226 pounds and was shot in Jay.
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On Monday night, I put on my gameface and set about the task of making mozzarella.
This longstanding goal of mine is something that many (most) have questioned. Why would I want to make mozzarella when: 1. It's easier to buy, and 2. It'll probably taste better from the store, anyway?
MIDDLEBURY — It was in November of 1959 that a handful of area citizens and health care professionals established a nonprofit “guidance clinic” in a small room in Middlebury’s municipal building, a service designed to offer personal and family counseling.
A half century later, that guidance clinic has grown into the Counseling Service of Addison County (CSAC), an organization featuring 255 employees delivering mental health services to around 2,000 clients annually out of 10 buildings throughout the county.