On Dec. 8 the Freedom Planning Board met via Zoom. It was a short meeting, clocking in at less than 40 minutes, but it was productive. We were sad to hear from Planning Board member Palmer Pearson that he will be leaving Freedom and will no longer be able to serve on the Planning Board after January 2021. If you are interested in joining the Planning Board, there will be a vacancy soon. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. For information on joining the next meeting via Zoom, email board President Prentice Grassi at villagesidefarmfreedom@gmail.com.

I was not able to attend this month's meeting of the Freedom Community Historical Society, but I did receive a brochure regarding the restoration of Keen Hall for use as a community center. Seeing the progress that has been made this year toward restoration has been impressive. Major work done this year included the installation of a new retaining wall on the Main Street side of the property, and a huge number of new floor joists and subflooring. The society thanks all of those who have donated time and treasure toward its goals of preserving history while also working to develop a beautiful future for our town. You can visit freedomhistory.org for more information on projects, Freedom's history and how to volunteer or donate.

The Freedom Board of Selectmen met Dec. 7 via Zoom. There was a resumed discussion of trash stickers from a couple of weeks prior and the board decided that effective Jan. 7, 2021, 55-gallon or larger trash bags will require two trash stickers. Some residents who were present were not happy about this, but they were heard out. There were financial reasons given for the decision regarding replenishing the general fund as well as the possibility of unforeseen problems related to picking up trash from Montville. There will be a letter from the town regarding this new policy as well an announcement of the availability of nomination papers for several positions in Freedom to be voted on in March 2021.

Thank you to the Freedom Public Works Department for doing a dangerous and critical job every time we get slammed with snow. I am pretty sure Travis Price drove past my house at least 10 times during the storm we had Dec. 5/6. Thank you again!

Best wishes to Freedom Code Enforcement Officer and Tax Assessor Jacki Robbins. The Planning Board missed you this month; we all hope you feel better soon.

I don't have a quote this week, but I do have a thought about a news story reported Dec. 10. A monument to Anne Frank was defiled in Idaho with what is considered a symbol of hate by most of western civilization. It was a swastika, of course, and I was appalled not only at the disgusting actions of those who feel threats of violence and vandalism are productive means to accomplish whatever pitiful end they have, but also by the fact that the swastika was and remains an important symbol of many prominent and ancient religions all across the world, and is a literal map of the night sky throughout the year that is accurate from many points on earth. What disgusts me more than particular instances of racism or religious intolerance is when true beauty is corrupted and taken away by actions that are known to be corrupt.