The celebration of the new year is a major happening among most folks living on our planet. From here to far over there, people inhabiting our globe rejoice at the arrival of the changeover from the old year into the new one.

Although the earth's population doesn't agree on exactly when this rejuvenation actually occurs, most of the residents of our place in space consider their own customary date and time for a new year to begin as the ringleader for unusual behavior.

In Flagstaff, thousands stand shivering in the cold on their New Year's Eve to watch a Bunyanesque sized pine cone descent slowly from the top of the Weatherford Hotel toward Aspen Avenue. And many repeat this performance just two hours later.

While that's going on, others are hiking in Buffalo Park with a very knowledgeable local astronomer who is recounting the entertaining, but still very unscientific myths associated with the stars hanging out overhead in the night sky.

And in the early morning hours of New Year's Day when some folks have barely started their own recuperation from the previous night's jolly good time, other less encumbered residents join city employees in downtown Flagstaff to help "delitter" the streets buried by paper bric-a-brac that has been manufactured solely for the purpose of littering the streets.

By midday when many of us are bubbling forth a cornucopia of brave resolutions, an enthused group of hardy outdoor folks are welcoming the new year by plunging headfirst into the shocking cold of Upper Lake Mary. Lucky somebody thought chainsawing a hole in the ice would be a good idea.

As written in a previous paragraph, we humans seem to have found ways to celebrate our first day of the new year with a wide variety of playful but certainly off-the-wall activities. But now all that lighthearted joviality of two weeks ago is behind us and it's time to turn our attentions to more important issues like the Flagstaff Trails Initiative.

If you're interested in the improvement of the trail systems in and around our town, then hopefully you will attend the FTI Open House at Flagstaff High School this coming Wednesday, Jan. 15, starting at 4:30 p.m. and lasting until 6:30 p.m.

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This will be our opportunity to see and hear what's been accomplished and to read the draft of the Regional Trail Strategy as proposed by the hard-working FTI group. If we hope to take our trails from the current good situation to a much preferred "extraordinary" definition, then the Flagstaff outdoor community should actively participate in the efforts to achieve that highly valued goal.

So please tell your friends and neighbors about this important public meeting and dial up the Flagstafftrailsinitiative.org website for additional details.

And the folks out at the Wupatki National Monument are inviting the public to attend their Open House concerning the Wupatki Back Country

Management Plan at the Flagstaff High School on Thursday, Jan. 16, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. The monument needs our input. For more information, look to the https://parkplanning.nps.gov/wupa website or call 928-679-2365. And again, Happy New Year everybody!

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