The weeks seem to be flying by this winter. Is that because Im enjoying warm weather in the south rather than the snow of my North Country? It must be nearly over, folks; it is the middle of February. Once again, if the snow could only stay on the mountains and off the driveways, sidewalks and roads, I think we would call that utopia. We were fortunate enough to travel to Titusville on Thursday to witness the latest shuttle launch first-hand! There are many once in a lifetime experiences and this is one. We were positioned approximately seven miles across the Indian River from the launch pad, with a direct view and the sight was amazing. We saw the smoke as the engines started up and the huge burst of flame as the rocket left the launch pad. The rumble and noise from liftoff didnt reach us until about 30 seconds after liftoff, but it stayed in the air for nearly a minute. I have photos as the shuttle rose into the sky. We were in a little park, with around a thousand other people all screaming and shouting and praying for a safe flight. Our son was on the cell phone with us, giving us the blow by blow from CNN, which was also kind of cool. Our 9-year-old granddaughter Amber was with him and I tried to explain to her that what she was seeing on television, we were watching live, but the concept was a bit more than she could grasp. If we never get another opportunity like this one, Im grateful we had the experience. As the youth of today say, It was awesome! Ive been reading about the Economic Development Corporations plan to turn the old Clinton County airport into a mixture of light industrial, commercial and residential properties. It sounds like a wonderful plan from where I sit; in fact, Id like to look at some of the townhouses! The one thing I didnt notice was any kind of a recreational area. It will be interesting to watch this and see how and of course, if, it ever goes beyond this stage. It appears the Northway cell coverage is gone for the winter; hopefully this dangerous issue will finally be resolved by the end of 2008 with no more major mishaps. Thanks to our local politicians for their continuing efforts on this tough issue. Plattsburgh International Airport and local officials went way beyond the norm when they made sure Allegiant Air passengers with cancelled flights (due to weather) were all taken care of. That type of caring is not only good public relations but shows we are truly a caring region. The Clinton County Firefighters Association banquet was held at the Rainbow Wedding and Banquet Hall in Altona and awards were presented. Barb Stone of Beekmantown was named Firefighter of the Year and was the first woman in county history to receive the award. A second Firefighter of the Year award went to Lenny Martin of Keesevilles department. Bill LaMarche received the EMT of the Year award. Richard Rick Klages of Keeseville received the fire police of the year award and Jim McConnell Jr. of Peru received the Lifetime Service Award. These people deserve our ongoing thanks and appreciation on a daily basis. Without them and without their compatriots our rural area would not be nearly as safe for us all medically as it is. Good job! CVPH has nearly completed its Vision of CVPH campaign which will bring high quality facilities to our region to accompany our already high quality healthcare. How lucky we are to have this facility near us all. The United Way has surpassed its goal for this year. This is wonderful news to Bob Donlan and his team. Next years chairman, our own Dan Alexander, will be setting the next annual goal in a few weeks. Valentines Day has passed by for another year. I hope everyone had a wonderfully romantic day with no additional snow to add to the piles already accumulated! Our daughter arrives on the 16th, so this week is filled with preparation and anticipation. While I love it here in the sunny south in the winter, I do miss family and I am so excited when they can find a way to visit. Think of me at the Magic Kingdom Monday. Of course you will all get a full report. Until then, you know the drill. Have a wonderful week.