We are having great difficulty realizing that Labor Day has come and gone. Our calendar confirms that. But we seem to find ourselves thinking the calendar cannot possibly be right and we are really only just past the Fourth of July. Yet we cannot reconcile that thinking with the fact that the football season is once again in full swing.
Unfortunately, it is time that we make the switch from our summer projects, which this year has been working on a number of needlepoint projects, to our winter projects. Winter projects include things like finishing the quilt we started earlier this year so we can give it to the Widge for her fourth birthday; scanning the family photos so they can be put on CDs for other family members; blocking a number of needlepoint projects that our grandmother did years ago so we can dole them out to other family members; and continuing work on our ongoing book project. It looks to be a busy winter ahead.
Of course, even with our many projects, we will still be keeping track of various and sundry events in the community. For example, there is a concert tonight, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. at Woodside Hall which will feature the four part harmony group, Ah Coopella. The concert is free, but seating is limited so reservations should be made by calling Deborah Ziegler at 373-7817.
We also note that the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group will be held at 2:30 p.m.,Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Village of Cooperstown Library. The book for discussion will be “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. The discussion will be lead by Marie Rudloff. The meeting, as usual, is open to the public.
The group would also like to thank Woodside Hall for graciously hosting the Literary Discussion Group meetings for July and August. Not only was it very pleasant to meet at Woodside Hall, it was also very nice not to have to worry about parking.
As expected, our school tax bill has arrived and, for whatever reason, it was just a tad earlier than usual. To say that we found it less than pleasing is perhaps an understatement. The amount that we must pay this year in school taxes has gone up 4.5 percent from last year, due at least in part to the Enhanced STAR program. If we were not part of any STAR program, our taxes would have increased 4.1 percent. However, as a result of the property tax cap, the STAR reduction in taxes can now only go up as much as the overall school tax levy went up, which is 1.9 percent. Thus the people who are supposed to benefit the most from the Enhanced STAR exemption are, at least in the town of Otsego, seeing a greater increase in what they are paying than are the taxpayers without any STAR exemptions at all. Granted, without the STAR exemption, our school taxes would have gone up $176.47. With the STAR exemption we are saving $12, having to pay only an addition $164.47. So much for all the touting done by politicians about helping out our older taxpayers most of whom we are fairly confident are not receiving a 4.5 percent increase in their income.
And while we are focused on the change of seasons into fall and then winter, we must admit that our last hurrah for the summer was most pleasant. We had the opportunity to have as a house guest one of the he-we’s college buddies, Jon Battle. We manage to touch base with Jon about once a year. And this year he chose to visit Cooperstown. As we cast about for a place to partake of dinner, Jon suggested the Peppermill where we, both the she-we and the he-we, had often eaten with Jon in the past. We must admit that we do not think we had been to the Peppermill of late, but nonetheless we made the trip. And we are happy to report that we had a delightful dinner with both good food and good service. However, we were somewhat taken aback, no doubt due to the fact that we dined embarrassingly early, that we were the only people in the restaurant the entire time we were there.
Fortunately, they assured us they were expecting more of a crowd later. But we quite enjoyed our very quiet dinner.
Unfortunately, that was not the case when we had lunch with friends from Pennsylvania a few days later at another local eatery. There we encountered a large table of people who talked so loudly and laughed so hysterically that it was nearly impossible to carry on a conversation. We were appalled. Our friends pronounced the group to be boorish. We thought them to be just plain rude. In retrospect we should have probably asked to be moved. But we didn’t. As a result, although we had very good food and very good service, we found the ambiance to be less than pleasant.
Finally, it has been become obvious to us, not only from a marked increase in calls, but also from conversation with friends, that telemarketing calls are on the rise. And there seems to be much concern, as we move into the fall campaign season, that such unwanted calls will only increase. We have discovered over the years that being on the federal “Do Not Call List” has been very helpful. Even so, the number of unwanted calls that we are receiving of late has definitely increased. However, we hasten to point out that there are steps which can be taken that will reduce the number of calls received.
If not registered with the “Do Not Call List,” do so ASAP. Signing up online can be done by visiting the website: https://www.donotcall.gov. For those without internet access, it is also possible to register by calling 1-888-382-1222.
Also, it should be noted that if an unwanted telephone call is received, it is often possible to indicate to the caller that you wish to be removed from their list. We have discovered that some calls actually, at the very end, provide an opportunity to be removed. And, if that is not the case, anyone who has caller ID can call the number back. When we have done so, we have, in all the cases, been given an opportunity to be removed from the caller’s list. And although it seems to be an ongoing, and very annoying, battle, we do think using all of these options has help reduce the number of unwanted calls that we receive.
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