We all love this time of year, the parades, the concerts, the parties … and of course the shopping.
First, I hope you will continue to support your local stores, and spend your money locally. When you shop online or from a catalog, you are taking money away from your local stores, many of which are owned or operated by your friends and neighbors. Many of our local citizens’ jobs depend on those local profits.
If you’re like me you have received more catalogs this year than ever before. One big problem is they only wish me a, “happy non-specified December holiday”. I’ve kept the last 20 catalogs I have received and could not help but notice: they feel it is no longer acceptable to use word Christmas.
From Pottery Barn, I got their “holiday” catalog. From Brookstone, the “holiday” catalog, with guaranteed holiday delivery! From Crate & Barrel, the Gift Guide 2010. William-Sonoma has free shipping for gift giving, holiday baking, holiday decorating and holiday entertaining. It’s crazy … who suddenly decided, you can’t say Christmas anymore?
Do these large companies realize that by trying so hard not to offend anyone, they are offending the more than 90 percent of us who celebrate Christmas? Who do they think are more likely to buy their Christmas presents, than those of us who celebrate Christmas? So we say, throw these so-called politically correct catalogs away, use “Merry Christmas” at every opportunity, and of course, and only shop locally.
Headway fighting gang violence
What a relief to see police stats that show gang violence is decreasing in Albany. While we’re far from gang-free, it’s comforting to know that crime-fighting efforts are working.
Much of the credit goes to you, the people who live and work in Albany. Fed up with crime, many of you have formed or joined neighborhood watch groups. You’ve committed yourselves to watching out for each other and reporting crime. And more of you are fighting back against the criminals.
You’re sending the message that law-abiding citizens aren’t going to stand for this violence. Albany police also get credit for recognizing a growing gang problem and taking steps to address it.
Prosecution is helping, as well. In the past three years, there have been 57 convictions for gang crimes, resulting in 1,000 years in prison time,
Hopefully, this team work will continue. It’s the only chance we have to put the gangsters behind bars and take back our neighborhoods.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.