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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - G. Jeff Olsen
The Capitol Christmas Tree arrived in Washington on Monday after a cross-country trek from Washington state and, in keeping with the austerity that's constraining federal spending, the trek didn't cost taxpayers a penny.
A 40-year-old San Diego man faces up to 13 years in jail after scrawling anti-big bank messages in washable chalk outside Bank of America branches last year, and a judge said the First Amendment is no defense.
It was one of the best places in the western United States to watch the annular solar eclipse, and people drove for days just to get to this dusty stretch west of Albuquerque.
At the tree's stops across the country, many people asked what the tree was costing them or which branch of the government was covering the costs, said Jeff Olson, president of the organization that promotes outdoor recreation and active lifestyles.
"It's great when you hear that and you're able to respond that this is paid for by the private sector," he said.