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Florala , Alabama
December 30, 2009     The Florala News
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December 30, 2009

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PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS - WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2009 Comments Letter to the Editor The Florala News' editorial section, is intended to provide our readers and citizens as complete an opportunity to express themselves with as few re- strictions as possible. Profanity, direct or implied, and attacks on one's per- son rather than on actions or deeds are not acceptable. Publication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSEMENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER go by Joann Cotton e-mail: 'Birds' ...You might call me a 'birdwatcher'...although I'm not a professional...but I DO love observing the birds! We think of 'Springtime' when the Robins appear... ...but there are some NOW...(in the FaLf)...migrating to south Florida...for the winter! Reminds me of the 'Snow Birds'...humans...(affectionately called)...who journey south for the winter. They say it's 'cheaper' to live 'down here' for a few months than to heat their homes all winter! Makes sense! Around our house are many birds...and I can name most! I think that's a trait of older people...the younger people don't seem to have time! There's the Mocking Bird...who doesn't sing at all during the 'Dog Days of Summer'...'40 days and 40 nights' (they say)...beginning about the first week of July and ending about the first of September. Like other birds...they are all molting...(shedding some of their feathers)...during this time Boy! They are a 'ragged bunch'! cially)! (the Red Cardinal, espe- Bluebirds are around, also...IF humans would put up hous- es for them...about 'fence post high'! They are a shy..'.'soft spoken' blue bird...who will not desert their nests...if you play With their babies! The Blue Jays, on the other hand are a loud-mouthed rau- cous bunch...who like to rob nests of eggs...or the Young ones!! My favorite is the little House Wren...who likes to build a sock-like nest in a gourd or other suitable place near the house! When their young (usually four) fly away...they ALL fly out of the nest at intervals...the same day...and can cling to walls, etc .... on their journey into the world! They look like marbles...with wings!! On the other hand...I have seen the larger Mocking Bird youngster atop its nest...trying to 'get up the nerve' to fly... flapping its wings, etc. Sometimes they fall to the ground! 'They say' that birds select their mates in February...(lots of singing going on)... ...and build their nests in March. Even the different birds's nests are interesting to exam- ine...the construction of them! Amazing!! They start out with coarser twigs and weave them into a round nest... ( that they shape with their bodies)...followed by softer material. 'They say' you should put out pieces of yarn for them. I have...and it's interesting...they will use any color. The bird's beaks are the only tools used... ...fromthe gathering of the material to the 'weaving' of their nests! Amazing! S CROSSWORD The end of this week marks the beginning of a new year and the start of a brand new decade. Many people have different celebrations for New Year's Eve, with many being celebrated around the world. The following is a list from "In Brazil, celebrations are held around the nation. Most famous is the celebration in Rio de Janeiro which occurs in Copacabana Beach, drawing 1~5 to 2.5 million people. In Australia, celebrations are held around the nation, especially in Sydney, where one of the world's largest fire- works displays draws 1 to 1.5 million people to the harbour. Australia is one of the first countries in the world to cel- ebrate the new year. In New York City, the ll,875-pound, 12-foot-diameter Times Square Ball located high above Times Square is lowered starting at 11:59:00 p.m., or the last minute of the year, and reaches the bottom of its tower at the stroke of midnight with fireworks. It is sometimes referred to as 'the big apple' like the city itself; the custom derives from the time signal that used to be given at noon in harbors. Other ball drops occur in Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro and Sydney Harbour. In European countries, the New Year is greeted with massive private fireworks. This day is also the occasion to make bonfires of discarded Christmas trees in some coun- tries. In Scotland, there are many special customs associated with the New Year. These are a part of the Scottish cel- ebration Hogmanay, the Scots name for the New Year. The world famotm street party in Princes Street in Edinburgh is one of the examples of Hogmanay events. In Russia, the New Year is greeted by fireworks and drinking champagne. The New Year is considered a family celebration, with lavish dinner tables and gifts. The presi- dent of Russia normally counts down the final seconds of the 'old year,' as it is called in Russia. A giant clock tower chimes in the new year, and it is customary to make a wish with each chime. In South Korea, the most popular way of celebrating New Year's Day is to travel to Jung Dong Jin, the place on the peninsula where the sun can first be seen each day. Editor, I would like to clarify a statement made in the December 16, 2009 issue of The Florala News under title City of Flora- la seeks revenue sharing from Utilities Board. The article stated that "The board should be treated as a corporation that is not controlled by the city, like Alabama Power Com- pany (APC) who pays a 3% franchise fee to the city". That is not exactly right. Both APC and Florala Utilities Board supply utilities and that is where the similarity ends. APC is a subsidiary of Southern Company which owns all of the outstanding shares of APC. APC is controlled by Southern Company. Southern Company is a publically traded com- pany and is owned by its shareholders. APC does business in the City of Florala and according to regulations govern- ing such utilities, ~PC pays a 3% franchise fee. The City of Junkanoo Parade, in Nassau, Bahamas. Some mayors in North America hold New Year levees. In Wales, Calennig is celebrated, with celebrations at- tracting thousands of people in the capital, Cardiff. Japanese New Year in Japan. The Peach Drop in Undergroufid Atlanta, GA. In Davos, Switzerland, the final match of the Spengler Cup ice hockey Tournament is usually held on this day by tradition. In the Philippines, people light fireworks, loud firecrack- ers, booming sound system, bamboo canons as well as make a lot of noise with the belief that the noises would scare evil spirits away and prevent them from bringing bad luck to the coming newyear. Coins are also jumbled in tin cans to make noise with the belief that this will bring more money to the revelers. Children are encouraged to jump about as there was an old belief that this was supposed to make you taller. People wear clothing with polka-dots, the round fi.g- ures symbolizing fertility and abundance (as in round fruits and coins); some would wear other colorfdl clothing just to show their enthusiasm for the coming new year. The tables are laden with food for the Media Noche or midnight meal, and there is a basket of 12 different round fruits to symbol- ize prosperity in each of the coming year's 12 months. Most Filipinos would light their own fireworks, but public new year parties like those in New York and Sydney, are also available to the people and are often very well attended. Israel is one country that uses the Gregorian calendar but does not formally celebrate the New Year's holiday. Mainly due to objections by religious parties on the holi- day's Christian origins. However, many. secular Israelis do partake in some sort of informal celebration, especially if they have European, North American, or former USSR ori- gins, who celebrate the Russian version of the holiday, Novl God." Whatever your traditions, it is my hope that .you each have a day of joy and optimism for the coming year, May 2010 be filled with happiness, love and abundance for you and yours. And may your list of New Year's Resolutions be short and easy to complete. Florala does not own APC, but the Fl~)rala Utilities Board is owned by the City of Florala which, according to documents we've sign, is its sole shareholder. The Utilities Board is a legal corporation separate from the City. However, it is a subsidiary of the City of Florala. As a legal corporation, the Utilities Board is not governed by the rules of the City. However, like many parent corporations in the business world, the City exercises it control over its subsidiary, the Utilities Board, by its power tO appoint the board of direc- tors. I beheve that we have a good board that understands its relationship to the City and will do the right thing. Please note that I did not request 3% of gross revenues. I requested a minimum of 3% of gross revenues. This should never be confused with a "franchise fee". Hazel M. Lee 1 I m m 2 3 m 26 27 58 59 m m m m m =,,,,,,. m ~ m m 6 7 8 -- =~=,= m 14 w m m 17 m 29 PRESENTED BY ~ m w 10 11 12 .. n~... 32 33 34 62 63 64 ,,m Where volunteering begins. (. 2009, StatePoint Media, Inc. THEME: HOLIDAY TRADI- TIONS ACROSS 1. Treeless plain in Latin America 6. R&R destination 9. Half a ticket 13. Gold, Latin 14. Nada or nothing 15. *When the kids wake up to open presents 16. Climate 17. Mentally quick, e.g. 18. Tony the Tiger's exclama- tion: "They're '" 19. *Unlike dinner,'this can be burned 21. Personal cleanliness 23. Beak or snout 24. In the near future 25. Inquire about 28. Technical school 30. A person of no influence 35. Ball on a string 37. Let something sit, as in wa- ter 39. Robin Williams in ~'Alad- din" 40. Automatic Radar Plotting Aid 41. Famous island for receiving immigrants 43. On the sea 44. Meat of coconut 46. In addition 47. Popular at college parties 48. *It celebrates African- American culture 50. Capital of Norway 52. *U.S. Marine Corps gift re- cipient 53. Transform ice into water 55. Part of a play 57. *It's greeted in Times Square 61. *Hanukkah's spinning top 65. Derived from gold 66. Street in France 68. One of Florida Keys 69. To be avoided on golf course 70. *Many tree ornaments come in this shape 71. Black and white treats 72. It acknowledges a mistake 73. Clever humor 74. Old time strap for punish- ing children 6. It quickly puts a stop to fish- ing 7. Spade on a playing card, e.g. 8. In.spite of the fact, arch. 9. Hindu women's dress 10. *Popular decoration target 11. _ Bator, Mongolia 12.8 bits 15. *Often spiked during holi- days 20. "The Biggest Loser" contes- tant 22. In a distant place 24, Superficial 25. 'taken " 26. Asian goat antelope 27. Fraternity K 29. A drink flavored with kola nut 31. Used for pecking 32. *Thanksgiving is this time in the holiday season 33. Dora's animal-loving cous- in 34. Used for raising 36. Less offensive D in PDQ 38. Avoid mistletoe ify0u don t want this 42. Daytime energy 45. Mesoamerican empire peo- ple 49. American Heart Associa- tion 51. Central American wildcat 54. Cupid's ammo 56. Elizabeth II s headdress 57. International treaty orgam- zation 58. EU money 59. *What you do to a present 60. A golfer's putting night- mare 61. Mortgage, e.g. 62. Actress Barrymore 63. Between ids and super- egos " 64. Fail to win 67. Upper respiratory infection last week's solution DOWN 1. Having lace 2. Comics character Little 3. Seed cover 4. Disembodied spirit 5. Western or Denver