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February 14, 2013

Keeping up with the world around us

Cooperstown Crier

---- — Although we were basically in recovery mode for the entire month of January, we were not completely out of touch with the comings and goings of the world around us. And fortunately some of those comings and goings provided us with our laugh of the day. 

For example, we enjoyed the post on Facebook which said “My New Year’s resolution is to simply remember to write 2013 instead of 2012.” Now that is a New Year’s resolution we are more than willing to adopt.

We were also amused by a reported conversation between the Ohio faction of the family. As we understand it after seven plus hours in the car together while returning to Ohio from a trip to Washington D.C., the not-yet-3-year-old Widge got whinny. The resulting conversation evidently went like this:

Chris: It’s a good thing you are cute.

Widge: I’m not cute! I’m pretty!

Annie: Did she just say that?

Widge: Yep!

We also got a real chuckle out of the care instructions for some socks we purchased during our recovery. The instructions read: “Machine wash in warm water with similar colors. Tumble dry low, use only non-chlorine bleach when needed. Do not iron.”

 Do not iron? Perhaps we are missing something, but it would never have occurred to us to iron our socks. In fact we are of the opinion that the less we iron, the better we like it.

We also find it somewhat amusing that boxes of candy are required to include “Nutrition Facts” as we tend to think that there is little, if anything, nutritional about most candy. Thus when we plowed into a small box of dark chocolate longhorns, dark chocolate, pecans and carmel, from Lammes Candies Since 1885, Inc. of Austin, Texas, we ignored the “Nutrition Facts” as we did not want them to get in the way of our enjoyment of some very delicious candy which we received for Christmas. It is possible, we think, to have too much information for one’s own good.

Of course, not everything that we encountered was on the funny side. As usual, we came across a number of things which we immediately put in the food-for-thought classification. For example we are puzzled about an item in “Village Voices,” the village of Cooperstown newsletter that is sent out with the quarterly water bills.

In an article titled “Changes Threaten Economic Stability” it is noted that the population of the village has fallen 15 percent from 2,180 in 1990 to 1,852 in 2010. It is also pointed out that the population in 1950 was 2,650, a fact which surprises us not at all as in 1950 there were four people living at 105 Pioneer St. while now there is but one. Therefore, the suggestions are being made by the Village’s Economic Sustainability Committee for ways in which to return the year-round population to “... about 2,500 people, thus broadening our tax base and reversing a trend that threatens our future.”

We find this to be confusing. Even if we could increase the size of our family to four, we do not think it would result in an increase in the amount of taxes we would pay the village. As far as we know, property taxes are based on the property and buildings thereon, not the population actually living on the property.

Mention is also made that there are many properties in the village, as shown by the number of residences that shut their water off in the winter that are seasonal. Yet we suspect all those people pay property taxes for the entire year, not just for the part they might actually be in residence. Thus we do not understand how having more residences transition from part time to full time use would increase the amount of property tax revenue received by the village. We find it all to be rather bemusing.

And, although we have not been out and about much of late, we did not miss the latest undertaking to change the CCS nickname of “Redskins” to something else. We think, although we must admit we have probably actually lost count, that this is the third go around with this issue during our time in Cooperstown. And as far as we can tell, the debate has been much the same each time, although we do tend to think that with this go around the name change might actually happen. And while that will no doubt be difficult for many people, it nonetheless would seem that the time has come to put this issue behind us.

Of course, doing so does tend to make us wonder about the logistics of making such a change. Will the new name work with the current logo of the Indian Hunter? And for that matter does it even make sense to eliminate the Redskins, but keep the Indian Hunter? How much will it cost to make the change? Will sports uniforms currently sporting the Redskins name be replaced? Will there need to be changes made to the school’s stationery?

Will the student who just bought a varsity jacket need to buy a new one? How will the new name work in the old school cheers? What will the time frame for the change be? Will the 2013 Yearbook be affected? And perhaps the most interesting question of all, if school mergers become a financial neccsity in the next five years of so, will all of this have to be done once again? There would seem to be many questions for which we hope there are many answers.

And finally, we note that even as we remain in a recovery mode, commitments still need to be met. Thus the next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. And, since we are the discussion leader for the meeting while at the same time still claiming invalid status, the meeting will be held at our home located at 105 Pioneer St. here in Cooperstown. The book for discussion will be “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder. And for those who may we concerned, we will turn the heat up, although refreshments seem, under the circumstances, unlikely.

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