There are no shortcuts, although I am not local to those areas. What I have found is that dealing early, and often, with the HD, and being straight forward is the best way to avoid snafus. Almost nobody wants to be a grinch, and to be honest, if you are straight forward, most government types will try and help you.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"I'm Armenian...perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."