Cathy Walton-Smith: Worried about the economy? Turn off the TV |

Cathy Walton-Smith: Worried about the economy? Turn off the TV

Cathy Walton-SmithView from the LakeGrand Lake, Colorado

Hard times are ahead. No, I didnt need to check my crystal ball for that one. I read it in the paper, heard it on the radio, and watch the announcements in one form or another every day on the TV. Consumer confidence is at an all time low. Dont know about you, but Im getting tired of it. Im also convinced that we can choose to be paralyzed by our daily dose of bad news, or we can join together and help each other keep the wolves away from our doors. We just have to follow a few simple guidelines.Just because they say something on the news doesnt mean its true for us. You can get a mortgage loan, and there are lenders right here who can make it happen for locals who were priced out of the housing market just two years ago.Hire local contractors and professionals. You dont need to go to Denver for an attorney, a dentist, or even a specialist. And local contractors can fix or build anything you need. Our car dealers and service companies are very competitive. Just compare the price of new tires.Shop at home. There are great deals to be had in all the local shops, sales every week at the grocery stores and ALCO, and dinner specials at all our restaurants. There is really no reason to drive for hours to shop for gifts and household necessities.By keeping local consumer confidence high, we will keep the money flowing in our own backyard, thereby keeping our friends and neighbors employed and in business. Its a win-win for us all. Just turn off the TV.Scam alert: Please be aware that someone, possibly from Illinois, is calling businesses in Grand County representing themselves as the Grand County Relocation Guide, and asking you to buy or pay for an ad.They always ask for credit cards. Susie Masterson, publisher of the Grand County Relocation Guide and Guest Guide, does not ask for a credit card unless you choose to pay that way.If you are not sure it is Susie’s company, hang up andcall Susie at (970) 887-0776 to confirm. If you have already given someone your credit card number and know it was this fraud, contact your credit card company immediately and the follow up with theGranby Police Department at (970) 887-9282.The Brown Bag Book Group will meet at the Grand Lake Juniper Library today, at 12:30 p.m. for a discussion of A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. This is one of those unforgettable stories that stays with you for years. All the great themes of literature and life are the fabric of this extraordinary novel: love, honor, guilt , fear, redemption. I hope youve read it.The Terrace Inn has invited us all to stop by tonight for a pre-holiday gathering from 4 to 6 p.m. Acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with business friends and local patrons while enjoying a sampling of house prepared stew and soup with a complimentary glass of house wine. A cash bar will also be available. Everyone is welcome.The Grand Lake Art Gallery will be hosting a two-day event in support of the new Artist CoalitiononSaturday, Nov. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 30, from noon to 4 p.m.Meet the Artists and see their beautiful handcrafted, original artwork. Jewelry, pottery, fiber arts, paintings and more all will be available for sale to benefit the Art Out of Thin Air group.Cabin Quilts & Stitches is sponsoring two days to help fill the food bank at Trinity Church of the Pines. Please drop of your donations at Cabins Quilts & Stitches on Nov.21 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and receive a 5 percent discount on your entire purchase for that day. Bring and give at least five non-perishable food items or a cash donation for the Food Bank.Brad Taylor, Executive Director of our Grand Lake Area Chambe of Commerce, has announced that with the closing of Trail Ridge Road, the hours at the Grand Lake Visitors Center have changed. The center will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and open Thursday through Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. With the exception of Christmas Day, the Visitors Center will be open daily during the holidays.Our friend Moe, of Moes Maps, is making the rounds to all businesses for his two-year update of the Grand Lake town map. This popular caricature map is a great business locator tool and well used give-away piece. If you are not presently on the map, contact Moe at (970) 731-5010. Wouldnt it be great if we had all local businesses on that map?The committee for organizing the Grand Lake Winter Carnival coming up in February, will be holding its first meeting soon. If you can help out or have ideas for a cool theme for this years event, call Suzi Maki at (970) 531-1914.Grand Lake’s Olde-Fashioned Crafts Bazaar is Friday, Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grand Lake Elementary Gym. A limited number of booth spaces are still available.Give Barbara Ahrens (970) 627-3097 or Linda Carlson a call at (970) 627-3895.Just seven weeks to 2009.

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