The Bellevue Community News December 2018 • Volume 41, Number 9
For Information call 331-7977 • Online @ www.bellevuecommunitynews.com
Final Message From Mayor Riehl
Hello to all! 2019 is quickly approaching as the final month of 2018 is already upon us. It seems hard to believe - time flies by these days. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving gathering last month with friends and family and will have a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year. Please be safe in your travels. I have had the great pleasure of writing these “Messages from the Mayor”. Today I sit down to write my last one. I have had the honor of serving the citizens of Bellevue as Mayor for the past 8 years, serving 17 years as your City Council member, and 11 years as a volunteer firefighter. 36 years of serv-
ing this wonderful city and its great residents. Like I said, time really does fly. It seems like yesterday I was a young rookie fire department recruit. I still can remember my first run for City Council with some hand painted signs and going door to door. All those nervous election nights spent watching the vote totals come in for both my council and mayoral races. I wouldn’t change one moment of all those years of service. I first wish to thank the great City employees who come to work each and every day, not for me but for all the citizens and serve with pride. They seem to make the city run seamless day after day, even though
after 8 years I know it takes a tremendous effort from all. I have been blessed with having the same core group, Keith Spoelker, Jody Robinson, Mary Scott, Terry Baute, Lois Mcbee, and Christi Schehr. They all make this city click. A big “Thank You” goes out to our Police and Firemen and women. These honorable City Servants come to work every day to keep our streets and homes safe and answer the calls in your time of need. They are all truly top notch people, represent the city in a professional manner, and make us all feel safe. I wish Chief Estepp and Chief Atkins good luck moving forward in their leadership rolls, and to the best Public Services Department around. They are always spot on. The
Meet Beth Saunders
business: “There is a sense by Frannie Bennett Owning a restaurant of pride owning our own was not a part of Beth Saun- business. We really like the der’s life plan, but after re- quaintness of Bellevue, and ceiving a business degree at of course, the customers.” University of Kentucky, she The Pretzel Place is famoushopped right into the service ly known by customers for ee industry as a hostess at a their pretzels. Beyond the Cont’d on page 2 downtown hotel. Since that pretzels, Beth and her team initial experience, Saunders make soups, sandwiches, was the dvent before hristmas has always seemed to come pasta salads, and potato salDear Bellevue, (Gram’s) to help clean up to my doing the winter and back to the food industry. ads for dine in, carryout, It is funny the things the basement for Christ- spring basement cleaning. She even married a chef, and even catering! Their that bring you back home. mas!” She lived on Harrison She’d stack on a collection Brad Saunders. In 2013, food is made in house, and My grandchildren, David and we lived on Lincoln. of Christmas 33’s for a little Beth began working at the their pretzel dough is baked and Annabelle celebrate Gram and I gave the house mood music. Her work was formerly titled Twisted Sis- daily. You can also find their their birthdays on the first one of her famous “Lick upstairs; mine in the base- ters restaurant. At the time, pretzels at Darkness Brewweekend of December. and a Promise” cleaning ment. the owners would joke ery, served with The PretOur holiday season begins. jobs. We put up the decoraThe last holiday at about Beth eventually buy- zel Place’s homemade beer Mom typically makes this tions. Upstairs was the alu- Grams sticks with me, My ing the place, and as time cheese. Beth’s journey to visit her “Little Christmas” minum tree, downstairs we family and with mom and went on, it became a reality. The Pretzel Place was unexto give her little bags and put up the artificial tree. Af- dad were still at Gram’s. In September of 2016, Beth pected, but it led her to the gifts to her Louisville fam- ter cleaning and decorating, Everyone else had come and Brad purchased the right place at the right time. ily. I took the occasion to we’d have her famous beef and gone to other family ob- restaurant and renamed it Stop by during lunch or a look and learn some valu- stew, watch a bit of TV and ligations. I decided to start The Pretzel Place. Beth has First Friday to meet Beth able lessons about Advent then I’d trek back down the cleaning up. After a couple truly enjoyed taking on the and try a delicious pretzel! and Christmas both Bel- hill to home. This became of invitations by Gram to FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF BELLEVUE levue past and Louisville my ritual for Thanksgiving, come back, sit and relax, 332 Prospect St. • Bellevue Ky. 41073 present Christmas and Easter for she joined all of us in the Sunday School 9:30 AM My grandfather died many years. That time was clean up process. Everyone Sunday Service 10:40 AM young (55). I recall my special. ee Wed. Prayer service 7:00 PM mom telling me to, “Run up In time, Gram’s lick Christmas Eve Program 5:00 PM Christmas Eve. Cont’d on page 3 the hill to your Grandma’s and a promise gave way
PAGE 2 For Info & Rates Call Mike @ 331-7977 DECEMBER, 2018 limit for a trash can is 75 Code Enforcement Corner pounds. If for some reason 2019’ s F irst F riday
by Terry Baute Code Enforcement Officer The holidays are upon us as is the beginning of cold rainy winter weather. It seems we went from warm to cold overnight. I hope you all got home projects complete. If not it is a great time to concentrate on the inside projects. Although I do not like the cold it is all part of our array of seasons. This is a special time when we all need to practice patience and understanding. During the rush with holiday shopping and heavier traffic, it is often hard not to get in a hurry and remem-
ber to be the kind person we should all strive to be. Sometimes I find it hard to be understanding and patient. I know in my job you must be understanding as to why someone doesn’t think the way we do. Even with our grandchildren we can become a little impatient or overbearing. They all must grow and become wiser with our example. Once again all furniture, couches, beds clothing MUST be wrapped in plastic. We have large plastic bags that we offer at our city building at a price of $3.00 dollars per bag. They come
with twist ties and are heavy duty and very durable. The fine for not placing this stuff in plastic can and does result in a fine of $100.00 per incident. One other point is that not having lids on cans causes problems with animals and with rain. A can with an inch of water is extremely heavy and CSI probably won’t pick it up. The weight
your garbage is missed it could be due to several reasons such as too heavy for them to handle, too much put out at a time or it was put out too late and they were already there. Please call our office if there is a problem 859-431-8888. Building permits always seem to slow down this time of the year. Remember when in doubt about a permit please call us and we will be more than happy to assist you with your project. I even offer to come to your projects for any questions or concerns. I can’t do your design for you but I can let you know what will work. Finally, please check references of contractors. Also remember they are required by our city to have an occupational license before they begin the work. If you live in our historic district you will need to check with historic preservation to see what is required or if a certificate of appropriateness is needed.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.! Have a safe winter!
TODAY AND TOMORROW:
I’m focused on what’s important.
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Start a 2019 tradition with a win-win-win! Head to historic Fairfield Avenue for First Friday and each First Friday! Your favorite restaurants and shops will appreciate seeing you and have a warm thank you for your business. By shopping local you keep your dollars reinvesting in our community. That’s far better
than your money going to a corporate headquarters in some faraway place. Make the short days of winter a bit longer and warmer on Friday, January 5th with First Friday on historic Fairfield Avenue! Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook. com/shopbellevueky.
“ask it and the job is done” attitude these gentleman have is truly refreshing and their love for this city is just amazing. I have had the great pleasure to serve with some wonderful council members over the years. From the early days working side by side with the likes of Frank Benke, Jim Lape, and Jerry Schnelle, all great council members to have learned from. And to have served under both Mayor Tom Wiethorn, and Mayor Jack Meyer, both true professionals. The fruits of their hard work is what we enjoy today in Bellevue. And to my current council members, a big heart felt thank you for all your support over the past 8 years. It is with your support Bellevue is headed for a bright future. One of the great silent wonders of this community are the great citizens who volunteer their time to serve our incredible town. All the people with great minds who serve on our city boards and commissions and keep the cities vision moving forward, great job! Hats off to all who step up and make Bellevue beautiful throughout the year and to those who make our great city events run smoothly! Your truly great ambassadors and stewards to Bellevue and make it a great place to live! With this past November election, Bellevue is poised for an exciting future. The citizens have spoken and elected a new Mayor and 4 new council members and returned 2 veterans to serve council men as your voice. I would like to wish Mayor Elect Charlie Cleves the best of luck over the next 4 years
and to our new board of council. We have a lot of new blood and energy and it will be exciting to watch Bellevue evolve over the next few years. Thank you to our new mayor and council for stepping up to run and serve our community. All eyes are on you now for greatness! In closing I want to thank all the citizens who supported me over the past 25 years of elected service and the people I served alongside of in the Fire Department. It’s been a pleasure to serve you and alongside you over the years. But most of all thanks to my family for always supporting my endeavors into the political arena. Sometimes I missed a soccer game, a track meet or a family gathering due to city business, but you always understood. It has truly been an honor and pleasure to serve this one-square mile we all call home. This amazing city called Bellevue. Thank you all Ed Riehl
Bellevue Community News The Bellevue Community News is published once a month by Community Shopper LLC, 464 Kuhrs Lane, Covington, KY 41015-1034. Rate & advertising information may be obtained by calling Mike Pendery publisher/owner @ 859-331-7977, or by E-mail to communityshopper@twc. com. Publisher is not liable for contents of any ads or any claims made by advertisers.
Next Issue January 17th Deadline January 11th
Online at www.bellevuecommunitynews.com PAGE 3 may be the last. Embrace ADVENT Drawing Contest just a little longer when we shake hands or give hugs to Winners from page 1 leave. Look each in the eye
pitched in. At 9 PM that holiday it was all cleaned up. Gram promised: “That will be the last d@^^n time I go to all this trouble!” It would be the last holiday we would celebrate at her house. She later contracted cancer and died at the age of 84. The joint birthday party for the two little ones began to wind down and I found myself just stepping back and watching. Not through my eyes, Instead I looked on as someone from my family, past might. What would they see here? At that moment I learned lessons I’d like to share. The lessons are easy: 1. Each of us has that moment; we can step back out of the action and look on at these precious moments. We must ourselves, look at each person and find what
you can. 2. Realize that things will be different next year when we each look again. There may be new people here. Some may have divorced, others may have died. You literally will “… never pass this way again!” Embrace that! Take a mental photo to post in our mental Giggle Cloud. Someday, these memories will be even more precious. 3. During the course of that day, take the time to really talk to the people in the room. Not the usual, “How’s it going”-“Fine, Fine, you?”; “Great” script, actually ask a question that would not get a script answer? “ 4. Engage. As each departs look around; be sure to bid farewell to ALL, as this
and mean it. I promise, this will shock them all. Our world is one of clicks and bites and bits of time. Taking that extra minute will mean more than you will ever know. Putting things away, today and pulling out my own Christmas decoration, I found myself thinking, “I would give anything to work Grams’ “Lick and a Promise” for just one more Christmas gathering” … then to celebrate that holiday will all those I miss… Finally, “People are finite, Life is eternal. Don’t find yourself later in life wishing, eternally for another chance to say how you care.” Let’s not take any of First and second graders them for granted! at Grandview Elementary Merry Christmas, recently participated in a Jeff Merman drawing contest sponsored by the Bluegrass Eagles Aerie 964. The theme of the contest was “My Favorite In Vue will provide a con- Thing”. First place winning tainer so you can go from $75 was Emily Goodwin. shop to shop shopping and Second place winning $50 collecting the sweet treats, was Alexis Fey. Third place all to take home as a special winning $25 was Jesus holiday gift To You from IN VUE! Please try to save at least one for Santa to enjoy on Christmas Eve with his glass of milk! Visit our Facebook page at www.facebook. com/shopbellevueky.
Marcelo. Congratulations to all the winners and a great job to all students who participated in the contest!
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PAGE 4 For Info & Rates Call Mike @ 331-7977 DECEMBER, 2018 Dogs left outside, obvious- My point is, if your dog is Animals need Humans through Christmas and New Year ly have smells, sights and crated safely in the house, by Terri Baker ACO Whether you are a pet owner or not, you can help animals in your community. Call dispatch 859-2923622 for all the reasons below: 1. Whenever you see a dog running loose: The dog may have escaped its owner. It could get hit by a car or cause a traffic accident. It could have been abandoned. It is getting too cold to leave any dog outside, running the streets and unsupervised. Community cats are exempt from this. 2. If you suspect neglect or abuse: Animals can not seek out help on their own. They rely on good Samaritans to make the call. Many cruelty investigations, just turn out to be educating the owner. That’s
OK. Many people don’t know proper and legal animal care requirements. We can give the owner information, resources and advice needed to bring the problem under control. If the owner is financially unable or unwilling to better the situation, then citations and other penalties for the violations will occur. With that said, remember that State Law requires owners to provide adequate space, food/ water and medical care. If you can not afford medical care, you need to surrender the pet or try to find it a new home. It is hard to make that decision, but it is in the animals’ best interest. 3. If your neighboring dogs are becoming a nuisance: dogs that are left outside to bark, dig, get
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loose, use your yard for a bathroom, tear up your garbage and pursue pedestrians are not to blame. They are only being animals. The owners are the ones responsible. A dog left out in the yard all day barking while the owner is at work, is not a happy dog. He is lonely, cold, bored and has never been taught the boundaries of self control. Perhaps the owner does not know how to teach this? Many people tell me “I can’t leave him in the house he tears it up”. It amazes me that they choose to own a pet, but feel that the neighbors should have to suffer from their choice to have a dog. Many people cannot believe that their dog barks and is a nuisance. “He never barks”. Studies show dogs bark 2 times at much when left unattended and 3 times as much if left unattended outside. The reason is, dogs left inside can only hear and see stimulus happening close to the home.
sounds all over the place. I was born into a dog owning home, have had dogs since becoming an adult, OK I cheated and took many dog behavior classes during my time as a Veterinary Technician. I use to think my dogs wanted to be outside while I was at work and I felt guilty keeping them crated. However, one was either stolen from my yard or got loose and the people that found him decided he was going to be theirs. I had to take a microchip scanner and police to retrieve my dog (property). We began crating them after that and they became more obedient dogs and better members of our family (pack). I have crated every dog since. I am no Cesar Milan, but I think he would be pleased with my dog family. I also use this technique with all my foster dogs. We have been able to curb many behavior problems through crate training and make dogs adoptable.
The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs is now accepting applications for the Summer 2019 program, running from June 23rd through July 13th, at Northern Kentucky University. Students currently in 9th, 10th and 11th grade can apply, and they can receive high school class credits and scholarships to Kentucky colleges and universities through their participation. Most of all, if they have that creative spark and drive, it can prepare them to succeed in life as entrepreneurs! In February 2011, I read an article about Warren Buffet that included this passage - “Buffett remembers reading a study that sought to correlate business success with all sorts of variables, ranging from I.Q. to which school one attended. The only thing that mattered, it turned out, was the
age at which people started their first businesses.” That observation stuck with me, and I think there’s still validity to it today. In the neighborhood I grew up in, I don’t remember a single person who started their own business. An opportunity in high school to experience a program like The Governor’s School for Entrepreneurs would have been invaluable. Hopefully, we’ll find a lot of young people here in the Commonwealth who dream of starting something new, and interested in getting a head start on doing so.
your house will not get torn up, the neighbors cannot complain that your dog is a neighborhood problem and you set up great pack leader abilities and your dog will respect you more for it. 4. If you need to reach me, Terri Baker, for any other reason, question or concern, please call Dispatch. 859-292-3622 As a side note, please do not forget to donate, volunteer, or adopt a homeless animal. Families are struggling during this economy and holiday season and are forced to surrender their pets. Check out your local shelters, such as Campbell County animal shelter 859-635-2819. Keep your pets home and safe, they are lucky to have you.
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Bellevue HS Students Plan Week by Beth Griffith-Niemann, Children, Inc. Bellevue high school students are organizing a week of service that will help local non-profits, community projects and the city’s elderly residents. The students are calling the week “Bellevue Service in Action.” They set the date for April 15-19, 2019. Juniors and seniors will join faculty and staff in cleaning up The Bellevue Beach Park and they’ll be working with the Bellevue Neighborhood Association to identify other projects. Students will also be helping elderly residents with needs around their homes and yards. Applications will be available at the end of January. “It could be anything from planting flowers to painting a fence,” said Sarah Kunnen, an instructional coach at the high school who is working with student organizers. “We have some dedicated seniors
who are motivated to give back to our community and to be positive role models for underclassmen.” Service in Action has already won the support of the Bellevue Education Foundation receiving a $1,000 grant to help pay for T-shirts, marketing and materials. “Education takes many forms, including service learning projects like the one happening this Spring.” Said Ryan Salzman, foundation treasurer and city council member. “Experiential learning and service learning are best practices for developing well-educated members of the Bellevue community. For that reason, we are excited to be a sponsor,” Salzman said. The students are also working with the Service Learning Team of Children, Inc., a non-profit based in Covington. Coordinator Steve Oldfield is meeting twice a month with students. Oldfield is a Bellevue
Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock
You don’t have to go far for last minute Christmas shopping! We’ll provide a nofretting, hassle-free zone to finish off your Christmas shopping list. Take a deep breath and step into the night brightened by the twinkle of Christmas decorations and the festive atmosphere of Fairfield Avenue shops brimming with an eclectic selection of gifts. You’re in good hands so there’s no need to fret over not being sure what the perfect gift is. Our shop owners and their staff are experts at finding
the perfect present for those hard to buy for people on your list. If they don’t have it, they’ll know who on The Avenue will. Worried about the finding the right size or a gift that won’t be exchanged? Purchase Bellevue Bucks (gift certificate for Fairfield Avenue) at The Cozy Cottage or Splendid Things!
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Sarah Kunnen, Instructional Coach is working with a team of seniors organizing the Bellevue Service in Action: Harper McEwen, Chris Jones, Collin Duty, Daniel Hill, Will Ryan and Autumn Ryan. native. “It’s very cool to see how committed these students are to making a difference in our community,” Oldfield said. “It fits right in with our mission of providing innovative programs to grow knowledge, skills, and strengths that allow families, children, and communities to flourish.”
A team of seniors is organizing everything from creating a website and poster to planning service projects that will run throughout the week. “We come from a small community with a lot of heart; we want to give back to it,” said senior Hailey Walls, one of the project or-
ganizers While Bellevue Service in Action is still months away, students are already talking about it becoming an annual tradition for the high school’s upperclassmen, said senior Will Ryan. “I want to create something positive that will be remembered forever.”
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For Info & Rates Call Mike @ 331-7977
8 th Annual N.KY. Restoration Weekend - Sat. March 8th It’s rare, but it’s real. your house from the founOur schedule is being tion and collaboration of and property owners. The
Free educational sessions and lunch for owners of historic homes! The cities of Bellevue, Covington, and Newport along with some preservation experts and vendors are planning free educational sessions at Newport Intermediate School located at 95th W. 9th Street on topics ranging from tax credits to maintenance and repair of
dation to the roof and everything in between. It’s an opportunity to learn about topics that will help you understand, maintain, and improve your property. A “Taste and Talk” at lunchtime in the Vendors Fair area provides a sampling of food from river city restaurants and an opportunity to talk with vendors, speakers, and other home owners.
Drop Your Drawers Campaign
As the Campbell County Public Library’s fourth annual Drop Your Drawers campaign nears its halfway point, we’re almost halfway -- 42 percent -- to our goal of collecting 7,000 packages of children’s underwear. The Library collects new packages of boys and girls underwear, sizes 4-16, to distribute to 14 public elementary schools in Campbell County to help children stay in the classroom. Nearly 3,000 packages of underwear have been collected through Wednesday, Nov. 28. The need is great. Some schools give out 30-100 pair of emergency underwear every month. Family Resource Centers at public schools
have limited budgets to help children minimize noncognitive factors that keep them from learning. Soiled underwear is a problem that frequently causes children to leave the classroom. Children need underwear for a variety of reasons, including accidents, illness, underwear not available at home, inability to wash clothes regularly, homelessness, children who dress themselves inappropriately, family issues, etc. “We are very proud of this effort and the difference it makes,” said JC Morgan,
finalized so registration will not open until January. For the latest information on NKY Restoration Weekend and helpful hints about and other preservation related information, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NKY.Restoration. We’ll let you know on Facebook when the registration is open or at our website at www.nkyrestoration.com. NKY Restoration is an unincorporated associa-
individuals who represent businesses, artisans and craftsman, non-profit organizations, the Kentucky Heritage Council, cities and the local historic preservation offices in Northern Kentucky whose main goal and purpose is to provide educational opportunities in and to advocate for historic preservation though organizing the NKY Restoration Weekend and related programming for architects, planners, business owners,
weekend celebrates NKY’s historic architecture while promoting historic preservation, rehabilitation, and sustainability to participants throughout the region. This event is made possible through sponsorships and is partially funded with a generous Certified Local Government grant given to the Cities of Bellevue and Covington from the National Park Service and administered by the Kentucky Heritage Council.
School students of the month honored for their Work Ethic at the November 19, 2018 Board of Education Meeting.
See DRAWERS Cont’d
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Pictured left to right: GES (Retiree) Teacher - Ms. Patty Grever, Amanda Gibson, McKenna Johnson, RJ Harris, Mea Castrucci, Eliot Reynolds, BMS/BHS Principal – Mr. John Darnell Not pictured: Hayden Tallon and Brayden Baker
School students of the month honored for their Work Ethic at the November 19, 2018 Board of Education Meeting.
Pictured left to right: GES (Retired) Teacher – Ms. Patty Grever, Payton Kern, Zekiel Fullman, Leah Roberts, Aidyn Fortner, Chloe Eggleston, GES Principal – Ms. Angela Young Not pictured: Clementine Fitzpatrick and Peytan Hering
DECEMBER, 2018 Online at www.bellevuecommunitynews.com PAGE 7 Christmas Tree Basics The Night Before December’s wintry breath Is already clouding the Christmas pond,
Clement Clarke Moore Born July 15, 1779, died July 10, 1863 “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there; The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And Mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I spring from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow, Gave a luster of mid-day to objects below; When, what to my wandering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I know in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet!, on, Cupid! On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall! Now, dash away, dash away, dash away, all!” As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So, up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys—and St. Nicholas, too. And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. He was dressed all in fur from his head to his toot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry; His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly That shook, when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly. He was chubby and plump—a right jolly old elf; And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself. A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had mothering to dread. He spoke not a work, but went straight to is work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose. He spring to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle: But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!” Contributed by Carol J. Rich
Frosting the pane, Obscuring summer’s memory. --John Geddes
by Jo Anne Warren, Master Gardener, Tree Hugger The most famous tree in the world is the Christmas tree! Maybe your Mom and Dad had a live tree when you were growing up, and planted it after Christmas. Of course the ground may be frozen and the tree would have to rest in the garage until the ground could be dug into, unless you dug the hole in late fall before the freeze, but you would have a hole in the yard for a couple of months. Few realize that decorated live Christmas trees are a relatively recent American tradition. The first ones appeared in the U.S. in the mid-1800s. Dug or cut from
natural stands of timber surrounding the population centers, the use of decorated Christmas trees evolved over the 150 years until today. (Remember my article in December 2014 about the Christmas Tree Ship bringing trees cut in upper Michigan to Chicago?) About 85% of artificial trees come from overseas sweatshops, where under atrocious conditions workers work with plastics perhaps containing PVC or lead, which end up in our landfills. Live trees are
director. “It’s practically become a holiday tradition for patrons and organizations to pick up packages of boys and girls underwear when Christmas shopping and drop them off at the library.” This is the fourth year the Library has conducted its Drop Your Drawers cam-
NKY PR Meeting If you are a state, county, local government, or State Police retiree receiving a pension from CERS, KERS, and STATE POLICE, this is an organization for you. We meet monthly on the 2nd Monday of the month at Golden Coral 388 Orphanage Rd Ft. Wright, KY. The NKY Chapter has their own Facebook page “The NKY Chapter of Kentucky Public Retirees’. Any questions can be addressed to NKY Chapter President Milton Mains email MHLM38 @twc.com or NKY membership chair Ralph Wolf 859 431-0031. Submitted by: Melissa Artopoeus
a sustainable, renewable source. Tree farms in rural areas support families. And of course, live trees benefit our environment, supplying oxygen, CO² uptake, erosion control, and wildlife habitat. After Christmas, set up the tree outside and decorate it with peanut butter balls, strung popcorn and cranberries, and leftover Christmas cookies grown too hard to chew so the little birds and mammals can enjoy Christmas!
paign. School Family Resource Centers (FRC) face decreasing budgets while student needs increase. The collected underwear helps schools just as the FRC budgets wane after the first of the year. Drop Your Drawers began Nov. 1 and runs through Dec. 31. Packages can be dropped off at these branch locations: Cold Spring, 3920 Alexandria Pike; Car-
rico/Fort Thomas, 1000 Highland Avenue; Newport, 901 East Sixth Street; and Alexandria, 8333 Alexandria Pike. The underwear is divided equally and distributed to Campbell Ridge, Cline, Crossroads, Grandview, Grant’s Lick, Johnson, Lincoln, Moyer, Newport Intermediate, Newport Primary, Riley, Silver Grove, Southgate and Woodfill schools.
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Christmas Costs All Year
by Alvena Stanfield I love Christmas, the music, the lights, not so the shopping. Before Thanksgiving, Christmas songs and decorations appeared in stores. No one can ignore the happy, happy, happy equals shop, shop, shop messages. The question is, why do we believe it? Macy began the parade in 1924. Santa Claus, with a sign “King of the Kiddies” was mounted over Macy’s entrance. In spite of 1924’s slight depression the marketing genius of Macy’s was guaranteeing their store made a profit. Every year we repeat the pattern of spending, spending whether we’ve saved for it or not.
Years ago I struggled to put things under the tree. After my children received pathetic Christmas gifts one asked me, “Mom, was I bad? Is that why Santa didn’t bring what I asked for?” At the time I knew there had to be an alternative. Today, I ask why do we put so much on our credit cards that it takes us many months to pay them off? When we slide the plastic we are getting a loan. It is the most expensive type of loan. For example, mine will take fifty (50) months unless I pay extra, even longer if I use it again. If this sounds ridiculous, review your last statement. Subtract this month’s
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balance from last month’s. Then divide that amount into what you still owe. The answer is the number of months it will take to pay it off. Fifty months are shocking and convinced me to pay extra each month, shop less. I’ve added one other thing too. I look for fun activities that are inexpensive. Riding around searching for homes lit for the season doesn’t cost much. A few CDs fill the house with song. Craft stores put their Christmas crafts on sale as December appears. That may not be the PS-4 ($300-400) they asked for but spending time with them around the table, then displaying their finished craft, makes them happy. Do they get gifts? Sure. They love craft kits and I spend a lot of $$$ on at least one gift, each. But will I pay for their treasures for the next 50 months? No.
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“Preparing the Way Reclaiming Advent”
When I was a kid I remember people saying “Happy Holidays” to one another. I have antique Christmas ornaments that have Happy Holidays hand painted on them; some more than 100 years old. Saying Happy Holidays is not new, and it is not a war on Christmas or being politically correct. It’s like a blessing, sharing God’s favor and protection during the holy days (holidays). Our culture (including the church) has done a number on the seasons around the birth of Jesus. We have turned the four weeks prior to Christmas Day – Advent: a time of preparation for Christmas - into a Black Friday push and shove materialistic madness mania. By the time we make it to Christmas Day we are zoned out, wiped out, pooped out and sick of hearing Silent Night on the radio or in Church. When did the Church forget to prepare for Christmas? I’m not talking about putting up trees and greenery, I’m talking about the birth of the world’s Messiah. When did we forget that Christmastide has twelve whole days of enjoying, rejoicing, delighting, and valuing time of celebrating the Light of the World with us? We’ve turned Advent into a frenzied time of anxiety and Christmas into its end instead of a beginning of a new dawn of hope. When materialism spikes during Advent and Christmas Day bottoms out before the sun goes down
we can’t grumble about saying “Merry Christmas” or not with any sense of integrity. It’s up to us what we do and say and how the holidays are practiced. Do we allow popular culture to dictate how the Church celebrates or do we dig deep into the spiritual substance of the Messiah’s message and renew our minds, reactions, focus, and motivations toward our neighbors near and far. Let’s not sacrifice Advent for a marketdriven rage and whirl and miss Christmas all together. Let’s savor the time of this season through meditation and serious thought about one’s character, actions, and motives and prepare for Christmas time. Have a Blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
From the Corner is written by the Rev. Keith M. Haithcock, Pastor & Teacher of St. John United Church of Christ on the corner of Fairfield and Ward Avenues in Bellevue, Kentucky. Pastor@StJohnChurch.net www.StJohnChurch.net
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