Once more, merrily
The news is mixed. Good and bad. It's warm, it's cold. It snows, it rains. Or, both at once. Even rain on Christmas day. It may happen.
Prices rise, incomes don't. There are elections - good. The outcome's unclear - oh. What's that click on the phone? Is someone listening.
It is characteristic of this season, as we stagger along the way to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, that we sum it all up. The wishes fulfilled and those dashed, the happy and the tragic, all are amplified by Christmas, all touch us somewhere, and the stunning tide of emotion carries us to the heart of Christmas, where peace, good will, and shining promise wait.
Death has claimed some of the best of us, some of the cheeriest and most inspirational. Illness has flattened some of the good ones on whom we depend and led us to consider the swirling, contrary currents against which we toil, and finally, to recognize the good fortune we enjoy.
This is the poignant moment of the year. Leave aside the glitter and the shopping and the worn imagery, Christmas still makes its ancient magic felt by softening us and exposing our lives to life itself.
Although this season especially brings existence to the boil, newspapers by nature are carried along daily in the full flood of human events: births, deaths, tragedies, triumphs, fires, floods, politics, arguments, crabbiness, euphoria. We are exposed to it all. It's the job, and thanks to you, a terrific job to have.
So right now, with Christmas in the offing, we remember our good fortune and wish all of you - readers, customers, newsmakers, neighbors, friends, critics, loved ones - the merriest of Christmases.
The right words
Saturday, a combination of good sense, neighborliness, and responsibility inspired the comments of Skipper Manter, chairman of the West Tisbury selectmen. Mr. Manter spoke about the tax battle between the town and William Graham. Mr. Manter reflected on the service of assessors Ray Houle, Stanton Richards, and Michael Colaneri, along with Jo-Ann Resendes, the principal assessor. These four have been the targets of Mr. Graham's public disparagement.
"I would also ask that our good townspeople stop passing judgment on this case from what you read in the newspapers, see on TV, or talk about in your kitchens. You only hear a small portion of the evidence," Mr. Manter said. "And I think it is out of line for people to be asking for the assessors to resign, or the principal assessor. There are lots of allegations, but no decisions have been made that they've done anything wrong ... I stand behind all our hardworking board and committee members and town employees. I commend them for their commitment and excellent work, even as this particular issue takes a toll on them."
Mr. Manter's sentiments, and the positions taken by him and selectman John Early in this long running conflict, bring each great credit.