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"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious."
– Stephen Hawking  
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  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 1 January 2020  

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Michelle Barrette

  
  By Michelle Barrette
  Publisher

   Snow, snow, snow. It seems a bit early in the season to have this much snow. However, weather aside, Colorado is still in demand as one of the most attractive places to live in the U.S. Just read Lindsey Harrison’s building and real estate column.
   
   And with the “demand” are many challenges. Water sufficiency is one. So, we’ve decided to address water issues next year, starting in January. We will present a series of articles in 2020 on how Colorado local and state officials and politicians are dealing with the water issues. This subject is turbulent — and every resident needs to be aware of the future of water in Colorado.
   
   Of course, January is also our health care issue, and water issues go hand in hand with the health of the community.
   
   We’ll also continue our series on charter schools in January.
   
   Robin Widmar has been our liaison with the Falcon Fire Protection District and has written a column and reported on the board meetings. (Robin is a former firefighter; however, once you are a firefighter, you are always a firefighter). Anyway, Robin has a new job so she won’t be a regular contributor to our FFPD news page. Pete Gawda has taken over the FFPD meeting wrap-up. The good news is that Robin will continue to write book reviews for us every other month.
   
   Robin has always been a wealth of information about the community and a wonderful asset for us and Black Forest, where she lives. Thank you, Robin, and I am grateful you will still be a part of the NFH.
   
   Christmas is around the corner, and I found some interesting statistics.
  • Men in the U.S. tend to spend more during the holidays, with an average of over $725; women spend an average of $609.
  • Gen Xers account for the highest spending with an average of $782 (per person) in the U.S.
  • Millennials will spend the second most on the holiday with the U.S. average of $609.
  • Baby boomers used to be the target of advertisers because of their excess spending capability and large boomer numbers. No longer: The lowest spending amount is with baby boomers, who will spend an average of $576 each in the U.S.
  • $2.2 billion will be used to purchase over 400 million Christmas trees for the season.
  • The EPA reports an increase of waste by 25 percent throughout the Christmas season.

   Those last two bullet points surprised me. Waste during the holidays is something that could be avoided. Not to put a damper on the season, but when you think of all the people who have been affected by fires, hurricanes, wars and poverty, waste is a stain on the fabric of humanity.
   
   Forty-million Americans are what they refer to as food insecure. I got that statistic from CBS This Morning, where they showed regular working Americans who live paycheck to paycheck and often skip meals toward the end of that pay period. In some cities, people have set up small food pantries in some neighborhoods where people can just go and get what they need. Other people can drop off extra food — packaged of course. The pantries are similar to the book kiosks that have become popular.
   
   So, let’s recycle those trees and freeze those leftovers and just remember how lucky we are this season.
   
   Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and happy winter solstice!
   
   See you in January.
   
   - Michelle
  
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