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Vyto Starinskas photo

Originally published in the Rutland County Express on 9/8/11.

What a difference a week makes.

As I stood in line at the Rutland Food Co-op last Sunday morning waiting to buy my iced coffee, like I do every week on my way in to work, I paused for a moment to reflect. A week ago (almost to the hour) I was standing in the exact same place.

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Originally published in the Rutland County Express on 9/1/11.

It seems Mother Nature has us on edge lately. First there was the earthquake on Aug. 23. And now, as I write this column, Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the East Coast and looking to head our way. Naturally, this development has put our easily panicked population into full-on disaster mode.

Locally, memories of recent floods in Rutland (and even more recently in Barre) and the not-soon-to-be-forgotten Nor’icane of ’07 hang heavy, giving people good reason to take the forecast seriously.

I’ll save my Irene coverage for next week (if it doesn’t blow out to sea, that is). This week, it’s all about earthquakes.

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Recently, Herald editor and occasional food critic Randal Smathers penned a none-too-flattering piece about the zucchini — a Dylanesque jeremiad that nearly reached “Positively 4th Street” levels of contempt.

In his opinion, the veggie is overabundant, flavorless and ultimately unwanted — a scourge of summer gardens that growers are only too eager to pawn off to friends and enemies alike.

While the piece gave me a chuckle, I had to take exception to his assertion that only “one-in-10,000” people actually like zucchini. I personally know many zucchini lovers out there who openly celebrate their love for the great, green gourd. (Some town even go as far as to hold festivals for it.)

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