The Camden Spyglass, Jan. 4

Jan 04, 2018

Happy New Year! Better minds than ours have already meditated on this topic, so here are a few quotes we liked:

"Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right." -- Oprah Winfrey

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, 'It will be happier.'" -- Alfred Lord Tennyson

"Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better (person)." -- Benjamin Franklin

***

In 45 B.C., New Year’s Day was celebrated Jan. 1 for the first time in history as the Julian calendar went into effect, we learned from History.com.

Julius Caesar decided to have the calendar updated with the help of astronomers and changed from a lunar cycle system to following the solar year, as the Egyptians had. He also changed the name of the month Quintilis to Julius (July) after himself. Imagine celebrating the Fourth of Quintilis every year!

There were flaws in the system that created an 11-minute error that by the year 1000 added seven days to the year (so he would have been wrong if he was thinking, "In a 1,000 years, who will care?").

The Roman church stepped in to fix this with the help of Jesuit astronomer Christopher Clavius, which is somewhat amusing considering the famous feuds between the church and astronomers. "In 1582, the Gregorian calendar was implemented... Since then, people around the world have gathered en masse on January 1 to celebrate the precise arrival of the New Year," History.com reports.

***

Don Carrigan of WCSH 6 reported a story Dec. 26 under the headline: "Early cold and snow give a boost to Camden."

"This year’s December cold and snow is a blessing to Maine ski areas, and happiest of all may be the people at the Camden Snow Bowl."

"...As 2017 winds down, the cold weather means they’re able to be open for the Christmas vacation week, which often doesn’t happen at the Snow Bowl. That brought a large crowd of skiers and riders to the slopes Tuesday, and current General Manager Beth Ward said they hope that will bring in more revenue. She says they are trying to get beyond the problems of the redevelopment."

“I think its behind us,” said Ward. “As you can see we have a lot of support still. I think the trend is we’re letting the dust settle, have a wonderful season and let the rest go from there.”

He also reported that Town Manager Audra Caler-Bell said "town leaders would be keeping a close watch on the Snow Bowl budget and revenue through the season." Sounds like a good plan.

***

News that PopTech is moving out of Camden and up the road to Northport's Point Lookout next year has some in town worried. It raises questions too as the town considers the Opera House fees, which affect events including this one, CIFF, The Camden Conference and so on.

The news wasn't all bad. PopTech used to save money because prices were cheaper in the off season in October, but now we enjoy visitors to the area much later in the year. It used to have available vacant space for small group meetings, but those spaces around town have been developed. That's a good thing too.

Alison McKellar of the select board had taken to Facebook saying: "I would like input from people on how much the Opera House, which is town-owned and operated, should be discounting rates for groups like PopTech, CIFF, and the Camden Conference."

Seems like there are a lot of opinions around town, but if you have one on this topic, let us know via an online comment or a letter to the editor.

Seems to us those tech folks are going to get lonely up on their mountain and will need to come into town for some food and shopping at some point, and we wish the town success in luring them back for 2019.

***

We owe an apology to alert reader and frequent contributor Joan Cavanaugh who is the author of the "Hoboken School, 1935-1940" piece we ran in this column space Dec. 21. We forgot to give her credit for her fine work and great memory. We have enjoyed her two pieces remembering growing up in Rockport during that era. In some ways, we suspect those were better times, and we remind ourselves that the past always has a rosy glow of nostalgia that might not be entirely trustworthy.

In any case, thank you to Joan, please keep writing and we will try to remember not to take all the credit for ourselves in the future! And just as a P.S. she did not complain or ask us for this correction. She's been too nice!

Be one of our spies: Send in your Camden-area observations, humor, history, trivia, bits of New England poetry, photos, proverbs and wisdom. Handwritten notes and postcards are accepted and encouraged. Be sure to include your name, address, phone number and email. If your item is chosen to appear in The Camden Spyglass, we'll send you a token of our appreciation. Email spyglass@villagesoup.com or regular mail to 91 Camden St., Suite 403, Rockland, ME 04841. Follow on Twitter @CamdenSpyglass.

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