You may have already seen something a little different arrive in your mailbox this week; if not, it's on its way.

You may have already seen something a little different arrive in your mailbox this week; if not, it's on its way.

It looks a lot like the City Insight newsletter you are used to receiving quarterly from the city, but it's changed its name, doubled in size and now includes news from the Upper Arlington schools as well.

As a mark of a new era of partnering and seeking shared services opportunities, the city and the schools are pleased to launch a joint community newsletter, the UA Insight. Within the pages of the first edition and in future issues, you will find everything you are used to receiving from each entity via the City Insight newsletter and the district's Good as Gold publication.

Our two entities have enjoyed numerous ongoing or one-time partnerships over the years but we recognize that the opportunities for joining forces in other ways are plentiful. With this new venture, both entities will enjoy significant cost savings from shared print and postage costs -- about $9,000 in savings per year for the city and about $14,000 for the schools. Plus, by mailing this publication directly to UA households, more residents will have convenient, direct access to details of city services and special projects, district progress reports and calendar updates and much more.

We sincerely hope you enjoy receiving important and timely updates on your community's two most prominent public entities in one convenient format. Please let us know your thoughts by sending an email to the city's community affairs director, Emma Speight, at or the schools' director of communications, Karen Truett, at

UA's holiday celebrations

As if we needed more reasons to get excited about the coming of the holiday season, UA's Parks & Recreation Department has planned another great Winter Festival for the community. Mallway Park on Arlington Avenue will glow with holiday cheer from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. Don't miss the holiday tree-lighting or festive carols from area choirs. You also can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, visits with Santa Claus, ice-sculpting demonstrations and children's activities. Enjoy s'mores with a toasty bonfire to keep warm.

The next day, we keep the cheer going with our annual Brunch with Santa, held at the Amelita Mirolo Barn in Sunny 95 Park. Three times are available: 9, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $15.95 per adult, $8.95 per child and free for children younger than 2 years.

When my boys were younger, one of my favorite traditions was helping them write letters to Santa. They wrote some pretty funny things! If your child wants to receive a reply from Santa -- and who doesn't? -- you can drop the letter off at Santa's special Upper Arlington mailbox in the Kenny Road parking lot of the Municipal Services Center. Include your child's full name, complete address with ZIP code and a loose return stamp.

Visit for details of these three holiday activities. If you have questions, call Parks & Recreation at 614-583-5300.

Winter Activity Guide

Make your holiday gift-giving a breeze this year -- just pick up your copy of Parks & Recreation's Winter Activity Guide and sign your loved ones up for fun classes and activities. The winter 2014 edition of the activity guide is packed with unique classes for all ages and a smorgasbord of health and fitness options to kick start your New Year's resolutions.

Additional copies of the activity guide can be found at city buildings, local libraries and coffee shops, or you can visit and view the flipbook version of the guide, with direct access to online registration.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.