by Beth Stauffer
If the letter you wrote to Santa this year included a request for a fully loaded golf cart to cruise around town in celebrating the newly-enacted-by-the-City-of-New-Haven golf cart ordinance, you’re out of luck. At the Tuesday night City Council meeting, the council voted unanimously to shut down the proposal that would regulate golf carts on city streets.
Since the council voted unanimously not to pass the ordinance to regulate golf carts, it continues to be illegal to drive a golf cart on New Haven city streets. The official word from the New Haven Police Department was released in the following press release earlier today:
“Indiana Code 9-21-8-57 golf carts and other off road vehicles
A golf cart or off road vehicle may not be operated on a highway except in accordance with:
- 1. An ordinance adopted under 1.C. 9-21-1-3(a) authorizing the operation of a golf cart or an off road vehicle on the highway; or
- 2. I.C. 14-16-1-20 authorizing an off road vehicle to operate on a highway
People who operate a golf cart inside the City of New Haven can be cited under Indiana Code 9-21-8-57 and the golf cart towed away at the owner’s expense.”
So, the moral of this story is…keep your golf carts for the golf course, folks. If you really need something smaller and more fuel friendly to tool around town in, perhaps you should ask Santa for a Prius.
by Beth Stauffer
The wind and snow on Wednesday morning blew in a very special visitor from the North to the Martini Lutheran Church’s Kids Club: Santa Claus! The big man in red took time away from his busy arctic workshop to meet with the young children to pass out candy canes, take pictures, and collect handwritten Christmas letters from the adorable tots at the childcare ministry.
The youngsters in attendance, who ranged in age from 1 and walking to 4, were all verifiable Santa Claus experts. I took advantage of my time with them to ask them a few questions about the jolly old elf.
First, however, I would be remiss if I didn’t share young Aden Bertoncini’s delightfully astute observation of Santa upon his arrival on Wednesday morning. “Wow,” exclaimed 3 year old Aden, his brown eyes wide as he watched Santa pass by. “He smells like marshmallows!”
The first question I asked the children on Wednesday is, “Where does Santa live?” The group of children responded unanimously, “The North Pole!” Three year old Isaiah Kohl narrowed it down a little further, clarifying that “Santa lives in a workshop! I saw a movie!”
Also living at the North Pole? According to 4 ½ year old Victoria, “100,000 elves.”
Lest we not forget the four-legged inhabitants of the North Pole, four year old Shelby Andrews counts them in number: “1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Yep, 7.”
I ask the children if anyone knows how fast the reindeer can go. “So fast!” said three year old Rokke Wermund.
“Do you know how many miles per hour that is?” I ask. He shakes his head, puzzled.
“Hey!” said 3 year old Sophie. “The reindeer run fast like this!” She proceeds to demonstrate by running very fast in a large circle around the room until collapsing, breathless, back at my feet.
While the children all agree that Santa’s favorite Christmas treat, hands down, is cookies and milk, there is some dissension about what the reindeer like to eat.
“Reindeer like to eat hamburgers,” said Rokke.
“Where do they get the hamburgers from?” I ask.
“The McDonald’s drive-thru,” he replies.
“I think the reindeer like chicken mcnuggets,” said four year old Macy shyly.
“No, they like to eat candy canes!” said Isaiah.
Another point of contention among the children was just exactly how many children are on the naughty list in New Haven this year.
Shelby estimates that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 16 kids on the naughty list, while Rokke puts the figure slightly hirer, somewhere in the 1 billion kids range. Aden’s best guess is there are approximately 7 kids in danger of getting a lump of coal in the old stocking this Christmas, while Victoria suspects there are about 110,000 names on the naughty list. 3 year old Brody Oberlin thinks there are probably 2 kids on the naughty list (and even offers to give me some names, but I decline. There are some things only Santa needs to know.)
The estimates for how many children are on the nice list are a little more cohesive. Isaiah is betting there will be 94 happy kids in New Haven this Christmas morn, while the rest of the group placed the number considerably higher, at 100,000.
Speaking of the nice and naughty list, I asked two of the children whether they are on the nice list or the naughty list. Mackenzie said breezily, “It’s easy to be on the nice list. You just have to listen to your moms and dads.”
Brody’s answer was a bit more painfully honest. “I’m on the nice list, but it’s hard. Really hard.”
“Why does Santa wear a red suit?” I asked brown haired cutie, Macy.
Without even stopping to think, she replied, “So he’ll look like Santa, silly!”
“What’s your favorite thing about Santa?” I asked two year old Mark.
“He brings me presents!” Mark replied, his little face lighting up like the lights on a Christmas tree.
“What would you like Santa to bring you for Christmas?” I asked.
“I want him to bring me a birthday cake!” said Mark.
“Why do you think Santa Claus is so nice?” I asked. Several children responded “Because he brings presents!” Of all the questions I asked on Wednesday, my favorite response came from 3 year old Brody to this question.
“Santa was born to do it,” said Brody, meaning be nice. “Just like Jesus.”
For more information about Martini’s Kids Club Ministry, including before and after school care, contact Director Lisa Andrews at 260-749-0014.
After several contentious meetings and several close votes regarding the issue, all council members voted no on the final reading Tuesday. Twice before, preliminary votes split the council 4-3 in favor of regulating golf carts.
Werling had discussed the golf cart proposal with many elderly residents who like to use the carts in their neighborhoods and to attend events, he said.
After the vote, Councilman Ron Steinman, R-at large, read a letter in support of Werling, saying the “golf cart fiasco caught me off guard.”
There will still be golf carts on the streets, he said, only now they will be unlicensed, with no age limits, and no lights or safety standards.
“That’s just sad,” he said.
Steinman also apologized to Werling on behalf of the public.
by Beth Stauffer
I’ve come to shocking revelation in the last few days that my Mom and Grandma were way ahead of their time back in the ’80’s.
This stark truth came into glaring focus for me when I realized, rather unexpectedly, that while my Christmases were both delightful and magical as a child, I’m not sure you can describe my own son’s first holidays in the same manner. My Mom and Grandma were more Buddy the Elf and his motto of “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear” during my childhood while I’m more “Pucker-up-and-kiss-it-Whoville”-Grinchy in present day.
My 7 year old son, Alex, has been kind enough to point out just how grouchy-Grinchy I’ve been lately, and when you combine this with the fact that I burst out crying while shopping for a box of chalk last night (more on that later), I knew I needed to figure out what my Mom and Grandma knew so many years ago that I haven’t quite figured out yet.
I mean, my Mom was a stay-at-home mom with three times as many kids as me, and Grandma lived off Social Security and had exponentially more people to shop for than I do.
How did they do it?
Today in between being sneezed on by an ill salesclerk, getting kicked by an unruly toddler in a stroller, and nearly run over by a senior citizen in a Hoveround at Glenbrook, it hit me (NOT the Hoverhound, thankfully): Mom and Grandma never left the house to do any Christmas shopping.
Back in the day in my old stomping grounds of Columbia City, we didn’t even have so much as a Wal-Mart until I was in high school (I know, what an atrocity, right?) We did have a drug store, two grocery stores, a furniture store, and a hardware store. I think there may have been a Dollar General, but I can’t recall for certain, but by far my Mom’s one-stop shop was the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog store.
Once or twice a year, we would get a huge colorful catalog in the mail bigger than the phone book that you could order anything in the world out of. The catalog you really wanted to get your hands on, of course, was the one that came in the fall with Santa Claus on it; my brother, sister and I would fight like cats and dogs over that bad boy when it would come in the mail, only to spend hours if not weeks pouring over the high-gloss pages deciding what to ask Santa for.
The Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog from back in my day makes the modern day Toys R Us Christmas catalog look like a joke.
By far, the best part of the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog at Christmas time circa 1985, at least I’m guessing, was the fact that my Mom could call in her order during the middle of the night while in her pajamas, have it shipped to the store in Columbia City, and then make my Dad pick it up on his way home from work.
This means she barely had to do a thing! No driving around aimlessly looking for a parking spot. No listening to children scream like poltergeists in nearby shopping aisles. No salesclerks coughing and sneezing in your face while simultaneously covering your credit cards with germs.
No wonder Mom was blissfully happy at Christmastime.
My Grandma, on the other hand, was a true Christmas shopping pioneer. Grandma was legally blind, so she couldn’t drive, making the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog a good option for her. Grandma loved her TV, though, and to this day, I am convinced that she is sole reason why QVC has lasted well beyond its launch in 1986. Once she realized all she had to do was call the number on the screen and QVC would know who she was, what she wanted and where to send it (and the bill!), she bought EVERYTHING from the cable TV peddler.
Of course, it didn’t hurt matters that she had a totally inappropriate thing for the UPS man that delivered her QVC packages. Just so you know, this was back before the Clarence Thomas/ Anita Hill scandal that happened in the early 1990’s, back when it was still somewhat acceptable for old ladies to sexually harass men in uniforms.
I’ll say it once again: as was the case with my Mother, no wonder Grandma was blissfully happy at Christmastime.
As for me, is it any wonder I’m feeling like the Grinch who stole Christmas? (Did I mention while at the mall earlier, I stood in line next to a robust man that, ironically enough, looked like a jalapeno pepper pajama pants wearing Santa; he was also wearing a shirt emblazoned with a stick figure that proclaimed in block letters, “I Pooped Today!” Really, buddy? I’m happy for you. Thanks for sharing.)
I don’t have the slightest idea if the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog still exists, but I do I know the store is no more in Columbia City. What I wouldn’t pay to bring it back after today’s visit to the mall.
I also know for a fact I don’t get the QVC channel , which is probably a good thing as I don’t want to end up like Grandma, indebted to QVC and in an unrequited love affair with the UPS man (technically, I think my UPS man is a woman, so never mind.)
The other thing I know for a fact is, shopping at big chain stores this time of year is a nightmare AND the store most likely will not have what you want. Take for instance last night, when I headed out for an engagement photo shoot. I needed a box of chalk. Sounds simple enough, right?
That pretty much summed it up.
So, I ended up driving 10 miles out of my way to United Art and Education to buy an 89 cent box of chalk after going to every store in a 15 mile radius of New Haven that had a ‘Mart’, ‘Dollar’, ‘Wal’, or ‘Lots’ in the name. Apparently, teachers don’t use chalk anymore because they all have whiteboards.
I literally broke down in tears over how sad it is that chalk is now an endangered species, which in turn caused the salesman at United to prepare to dial 9-1-1 for a likely 1096 in-store.
I bet they never ran out of chalk in the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog. (So what if you had to wait two weeks to get it?! You’d still get it eventually!)
So, the moral of this story and my subsequent advice to you is, if you want to be more Buddy the Elf-like and less Beth the Grinch-like, try shopping locally in New Haven this year. May I especially recommend some of our amazing New Haven Bulletin.com advertisers for your Christmas shopping needs? The support of these fantastic and fine folks give me a place to share my musings and photos all year long, and there’s a gift idea for every price range, from a brand new house to an ice cold bottle of beer.
Trinity Home Design Center
Don Hall’s Tap Haus
Rack & Helen’s
Martin’s Flag Shop
Lee Kinstle GM
New Haven Adams Township Parks Department Jury Pool Membership
Northeast Chiropractic Center
Niswonger Performing Arts Center
Imagine Real Estate
New Haven Family Dentistry (why not have a pretty smile)
The Grinch: Any calls?
Grinch’s Answering Machine: You have no new messages.
The Grinch: Odd. Better check the outgoing.
Grinch’s Answering Machine: (Grinch’s Voice) If you so much as utter one syllable, I’LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH!!! If you’d like to fax me, press the star key.
New Haven Middle School chose to do a week-long fundraiser for families in need in the New Haven area. The school raised $1126.00 to purchase Thanksgiving meals for local New Haven families. Mrs. Popplewell’s enrichment class organized a Penny War competition throughout the school. Each class had a bucket. Students and staff members could put pennies and bills in their own bucket, or they could put silver coins, which counted against a class, in other classroom’s buckets. Each day Mrs. Popplewell’s class updated the leader board. Mrs. Popplewell’s class also wrote letters to over 25 businesses in the New Haven area asking for donations. At-least two businesses, Koester’s and Continental Diamond Tool Corporation both contributed to the cause. It was a fun, week-long endeavor that gave students the opportunity to exhibit generosity and caring within the New Haven Community!
Recently, Ms. Erin White’s Biology class at New Haven High School started a chick project in which students learned many science topics such as animal behavior and development, The Scientific Method, etc. They also learned basic skills such as animal care taking and data record keeping.
For the first 21 days of the project, the students had to monitor 12 chicken eggs in an incubator. The temperature inside the incubator had to be exactly 99 degrees and there had to be water inside. At the beginning of each period, a student checked to make sure everything was as it should be and that the eggs were doing fine. The student then reported his/her finding to the class, who in turn recorded the information in their notebooks. Students read the chicks’ development for that particular day from a development poster near the incubator and a countdown calendar. It became a regular routine. Through this process they also gained team-building skills.
A total of two chicks out of twelve eggs hatched (which students got to watch). They used critical thinking skills to determine why they had such a low hatch rate by looking back at their observations.
by Beth Stauffer
Santa arrived in style on Friday night in downtown New Haven as is the custom on Fire Engine Number 42. For the 2nd year in a row, Santa greeted the city’s youngest residents inside the historic train depot while more mature residents were free to tour the facility and sip a hot beverage while enjoying the sights and sounds of Christmas.
Over on Broadway, the New Haven Chamber of Commerce hosted a ‘Meet Me at 5’ event for the community at Peter Franklin Jewelers from 4 – 8 pm. Inside the warm and toasty jewelry staple in the heart of New Haven, shoppers could be seen admiring all things shiny and bright in the festively decorated cases while outside the store families lined the sidewalk waiting for a turn to go for a free carriage ride.
At Ruhl Furniture, children could register to win a 26” bicycle all evening during the downtown Christmas Open House festivities. Children in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade could also drop off their entries in a Snowman Scavenger Hunt at Ruhl Furniture throughout the evening to win a Family Prize Package. Santa himself arrived late in the evening to hand select winners for both prizes from all the entries; at press time, the name of the winners was not available.
On Main Street, the friendly youth of the Power House helped to celebrate the season of Christmas by providing a place for children to paint a ceramic keepsake ornament and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and cookie while warming up from the frosty evening.
Sponsors of Friday’s festivities included Bad Dad, Inc., Bulldog Pub, Dominos, Chamber of Commerce, City of New Haven, New Haven Depot, New Haven-Adams Township Fire Department, New Haven High School, New Haven Parks Department, Peter Franklin Jewelers, Power House, Rockaway Carriage, Ruhl Furniture, TJ Ceramics, and Target.