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  • Stephen D'Agostino

Winter Concert Series Kicks Off on January 11

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I don’t. Instead, I resolve to be better, be different, or try something new every day of the year. The good news is it takes the pressure off of me at the beginning of the year. The bad news is it gives me multiple opportunities to break my resolutions.

I do have one resolution I know I will keep. It is to write more. That, for me, is like saying work more. However, if you love what you do, is it really work? Whatever you resolve to do in the early days of January or in 2020, I hope you reach your goals.

Like 2019, 2020 is going to be a year chock-full of events around town. Speaking for the Reading Recreation Commission, I can tell you with certainty that we will be hosting indoor volleyball through February, the Reading Bunny Hop in April, and outdoor game nights at Bartley Field, starting in May. We'll also have Puddledock Park Parties beginning in August. They'll feature favorite past themes like the ice cream social, live music, art in the park, and a hopefully not rained out movie night. There will be Fright Night. There will be the annual tree lighting next December. Yes, it does seem weird talking about the 2020 tree lighting while the 2019 tree is still up.

And yes, I purposefully did not mention the Winter Concert Series. It kicks off very soon, so I wanted to give it more space.

The first concert happens on January 11 at Reading Town Hall. Doors open at 6:30pm, and the show starts at 7pm. The first show features the Old Boys. Band members include Niles Franc, who lives in Reading, brother and sister Kevin and Julia Wright from nearby Cavendish, Justin Park from Barnard, and Eric Wright, who will be joining his bandmates (and siblings) from Toronto, Ontario. The Old Boys' music is influenced by old-time/traditional folk music and punk rock.

I love the fact that so many of these players are local. I love the fact that Eric is coming from Canada to play. But perhaps most exciting to me—and probably the band, too—is that they will be taking a break from recording their first album to perform. I imagine that playing in front of an audience will be a nice change of pace for the band.

The Winter Concert Series is a benefit. This year’s beneficiaries are the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf, the Reading Green Spaces Committee, the Reading Recreation Commission, and the Ottauquechee Health Foundation.

Admission to each concert is $10 for adults and free for children 15 and under. With that donation, you will get a great night of music and dinner, which is being prepared in January by the Ottauquechee Health Foundation. Also, please bring non-perishable food items that are not passed their expiration date. These will be donated to the Reading-West Windsor Food Shelf immediately.

I took a detour from the overview of events happening in town this year, but I'm back to talk about The Reading Historical Society's roster. The society's annual meeting/dinner happens on Saturday, February 15. We will have a talk from Deborah Lee Luskin titled “Getting from Here to There: A History of Roads and Settlements in Vermont." Keeping with the road theme, the dinner theme is roadkill. No, we won't be serving dead squirrels harvested from the roadside. Instead, we'll have delicious, creative facsimiles.

In the summer, as in past summers, we will also have talks at the Reading Historical Society Museum. This year, we are shooting for three but could have four. The summer is far into the future (very far into the future), so there will be more detail coming on this.

I've spoken with Wade Mullins and Barbara Lord, and they assure me the PTO will be hosting many events this year as well, including Mama Mia Bistro. More detail to come for that and other PTO events, and other events happening around town as they draw near!

One thing that 2020 brings that hasn't happened for a decade is the US census. The results of the census dictate how federal dollars will be allocated for things like special education funding, school lunch programs, meals on wheels, fuel assistance, Medicare, housing rehabilitation, community economic development and revitalization block grants, early childhood education, cooperative extension offices, and more. You can see why it's vital that everyone is counted.

Mailings from the Census Bureau to homes begin in mid-March. For the first time in history, you'll be able to fill out your census forms on-line. If you prefer more traditional methods, you can complete the census via telephone or by returning the form, which will come in a later mailing. In mid-April, those who haven't responded will receive a knock on their door from their friendly neighborhood census-taker—and that could be you!

Recruitment for census-takers has begun. The pay rate is $17.50 per hour, and the hours are flexible. It’s the perfect job for students over 18, retirees, or anyone seeking full or part-time work. The Census Bureau will even pay you during training, and all successful applicants will work in their home community and immediately surrounding towns. To apply, applicants can go to

Happy 2020! To quote John and Yoko, “let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear.”

That’s the news from Reading! See you next week!

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