Special public budget hearing | Westport Column

Well, with the holidays over it must be time for the annual reality check that comes as we settle in for the winter. Who knows, the lake may even be frozen by the time you read this, just like in the old days. Back to real life!

One sign of the post-holiday return to reality is always the gathering momentum of the yearly school budget discussion as we build up to voting day in May. The school board and the staff of WCS invite you to a special public budget hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the school library, followed by the regular school board meeting. This is a good early opportunity to learn what the major spending issues are this year for the school, to hear what others have to say, and to voice your own concerns.

In addition to receiving your input on the budget, Dr. Gallagher, the school superintendent, is also accepting nominations for the WCS Wall of Distinction until Jan. 24. Nominees must have attended WCS and have been out of school at least ten years. Do you know someone who has made an outstanding contribution to the community? Nomination forms are available at the school website (westportcs.org) or you can call the school at 962-8244.

Finally, for you Wednesdays in Wadhams fans, the season’s lecture series at the Wadhams Free Library will wind up on at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 8 when I’ll give an illustrated talk entitled “The Memory of Song: The Short Life, Mysterious Death, and Revolutionary Genius of Milman Parry.” This obscure Harvard Greek and Latin scholar turned the world of classics on its head in the 1930s when he figured out that the epic poems of Homer—the foundation of Western literature—were actually the products of a culture without writing. Parry died at the age of only 33 before he had a chance to write his book about oral culture, which was to the called “The Singer of Tales.” He published only a handful of academic papers. It has taken almost a century, but his ideas have led to a radical new understanding of human culture, embracing disciplines from folklore, literature, and the arts to anthropology and science. Hope to see you there.

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