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It Doesn’t Snow in Venice
What more could a frozen Yankee want?

As you may know already, or do not know and do not care to know, the Ficks are changing their permanent abode from Upstate New York to the West Coast of Florida – namely, to Venice.

For the geographically minded, Venice is on the Gulf of Mexico and Roberts Bay, about 18 miles south of Sarasota in Sarasota County. The city covers an area of seven square miles. Greater Venice covers 156 square miles, encompassing Osprey, Nokomis, Laurel, South Venice, North Port, and Warm Mineral Springs.

Normal population of the city is about 13,000, which balloons to 35,000 during the tourist season. The figures for Greater Venice are 65,000, tourist season 135,000. Sarasota County Area Transit (SCAT) buses run several times a day between North Port and Sarasota; out of town by Trailways and Greyhound.

What’s the big attraction down here?

Sea and sun.

Annual average temperature 70 degrees.

Average January temperature 64 degrees.

Average August temperature 83 degrees.

Annual average rainfall 55 inches.

That’s just the bare bones. You have to live here a while to understand why it is one of the fastest growing areas in Florida. The postal service last year split the city into three postal zones. Our northern home town of Amsterdam, N. Y., with nearly twice the “normal” population of Venice, has only a single zip.

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Good News for Chocoholics
Are you listening, Bill Groveman?

Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, funded mainly by the federal government, reveals that the fat in chocolate does not raise cholesterol levels.

“Over the years we’ve put a lot of effort into proving that something that tastes as good as chocolate is good for you,” says Richard O’Connell, president of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association of the U.S.A.

He adds, “When it comes to nutrient comparisons, milk chocolate compares favorably with many snacks including apples and other fruits that are generally accepted as healthy snacks.”

David Kritchevsky, associate director of Wistar Institute, commented, “From the standpoint of physiology it’s not bad for you. From the standpoint of psychology it’s great for you.”

This most recent finding follows the 1982 revelation by Food and Drug Administration researchers that chocolate does not cause acne. Kritchevsky’s findings agree with conclusions reached by two Texas researchers published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

See there, Bill – you were right all along.

Peace in Macon
Shall we gather now in Hershey?

The ever reliable grapevine reports that all was sweetness and light at the Macon convention. That fits in nicely with our chocolate story but flies in the face of what one might expect from any 4th of July observance: fireworks.

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Printed and published by Al Fick who presently hangs one hat at
Amsterdam, NY 12010, the other at Venice, FL 34285.

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