Fire, festivities, and flying deliveries

Shawn Magrath

• Last Friday, fire struck The Storage Center in the Town of Norwich, destroying 40 units and wiping out the belongings of hundreds of people. Among the lost items was nearly $8,000 worth of merchandise for the Chenango County Toys for Tots program. Ironically enough, the support given to Toys for Tots since then has put the organization on the fast track to having the best year its ever had. At the risk of sounding like a jerk (and please don’t misconstrue this as not being happy Toys for Tots has pulled through this challenge), maybe that fire is one of the best things that’s ever happened for the local Toys for Tots. It’s funny the way those kinds of things work out.

• Fantastic job to all the kiddos involved in the tree lighting ceremony in the parks in downtown Norwich on Thursday. It baffles me that there are so few events that mix school and community; so whenever the two come together, I’m there. Additional kudos to the volunteers that decorated the park. It’s not quite Rockefeller Center, but it could very well be the next best thing.

• This week, Amazon, the online retail giant, announced hopes of having packages delivered via drone within the next five years. According to the company, a customer could place and order and have it land in their front yard in as few as 30 minutes. For me, it’s concerning as no one knows exactly who will collect customers’ signatures (my solution is to have another drone fly out with a little clipboard, but we’ll see what Amazon comes up with). There are a lot of mixed feelings about use of drones, but if the technology exists, I say why not use it? As I read in one article, having my package shot out of the sky is a whole lot cooler than having it stolen from my front porch.

• The Christmas season is here which means gift shopping, that holly-jolly sense of the seasonal spirit and a barrage of inflatable stuff on peoples’ front yards. All over, homeowners are tapping into their inner Clark Griswold – some hanging enough lights to land a small aircraft. Personally, while I’m not a fan of any decoration that has be deflated when the wind blows too hard, I look forward to lights hanging from rooftops (even though some have been hanging year round and December just means it’s time to plug them in again). It’s the one thing I’ll miss when the holidays have come and gone.