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October 10, 2013

Dirt roads idea taken seriously

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — The next meeting of the Literary Discussion Group, sponsored by the Women’s Club of Cooperstown, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Village of Cooperstown Library. The book for discussion will be Out Stealing Horses by Per Pettersen. Jane Anne Russell will lead the discussion of the book. The meeting is open to the public.

We recently received a notice of an upcoming Friends of the Library meeting which we were asked to share with the Literary Discussion Group members. And we also thought we might share it here as well. The meeting will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. at the Village Library. Author Ginnah Howard will present a reading, followed by a discussion, of her book Doing Time Outside. The information we received included this description of the book: “Compelling, gritty and funny, Doing Time Outside, travels the back roads of family life to better understand what it means to be tied by blood and love to the world of mental illness, addiction and incarceration.” This meeting is also open to the public.

Given the concerns over the years about the condition of streets in the village, we have long made the case that the solution would be to simply let the streets revert back to dirt. Doing so would be very historic, not to mention the fact that it would undoubtedly be cheaper. Of course, we never imagined the village would even consider such a thing...until now.

Given what we have encountered during our trips around and about the highways and byways of the village these past couple of weeks, it almost seems that the condition of some of the streets came really close to our “return to dirt streets” idea. At least it seemed that way from the huge clouds of dust, not to mention the bone jarring washboard effect, which we found very much in evidence on several different streets.

Our immediate reaction, which turned out to be correct, was that the village was adding a coat of tar and crushed stones to act as a sealer for the street. As we understand it, such a sealing process is designed to lengthen the life of the road. And we will admit we have seen the process in action over the years on roads outside the village. In fact, we think on those roads it is quite common. But we must say we have never seen it done in the village before, although it has been reported to us that it has been done before in Lakeland Shores. And, we think it is rather safe to say, that the process has not received high grades from a number of village residents.

However, we have been assured by the powers that be, that the excess crushed stone, of which there seems to be a lot, are being removed which will eliminate both the dust and the washboard effect. And in our test drive following the removal of the stones, we did find a marked improvement of the streets. However, we found driving on them still felt like we were driving on a gravel road. Plus we tend to think that the streets will still present problems for those people trying to cross them with walkers or wheelchairs.

Also we suspect removing the excess stones will do little to mitigate the anger being expressed about the entire project. And only time will tell if this sealing of the streets project does indeed lengthen the life of the paving. We tend to be of the opinion that Mother Nature is already planning her annual winter attack on the streets, sealed or not.

Yet, we are somewhat pleased that the village came this close to adopting our “return to dirt roads” suggestion. We never dreamed the idea would make it this far. Of course, given the comments we have received, we are quite certain there are a number of residents who had always hoped our suggestion would not make it this far. And we must admit, after these sealing projects, that they were probably right. In fact, we might even be inclined to join the grassroots effort against such sealing streets. We understand, from conversations we have had, this effort is to be is called, most appropriately, the “No Stone Zone.”

After last week’s column, we were told by a friend that the humor was good because everyone needed a good laugh these days. Thus we will try each week to include a joke which will hopefully increase the laughter locally. Thus we offer the following:

While going online to check recent banking transactions, I was told I had to reset my password. The ensuing conversation with the bank computer about re-setting my password went as follows:

Bank: Sorry, your password has expired. You must register a new one.

Me: Did anyone discover that password and hack my computer?

Bank: No, but your password has expired. You must get a new one.

Me: Why then do I need a new one as the one I have seems to be working

pretty good?

Bank: Sorry, you must get a new one as they automatically expire every 30 days.

Me: Can I use the old one and just re-register it?

Bank: No, you must get a new one.

Me: I don’t want a new one as that is one more thing for me to remember.

Bank: Sorry, you must get a new one.

Me: roses.

Bank: Sorry, you must use more letters.

Me: pretty roses.

Bank: Sorry, you must use at least one number.

Me: 1 pretty rose.

Bank: Sorry, you cannot use blank spaces.

Me: 1prettyrose.

Bank: Sorry, your password must be longer.

Me: 1friggingprettyrose

Bank: Sorry, you must use at least one capital letter.

Me: 1FRIGGINGprettyrose.

Bank: Sorry, you cannot use more than one capital letter in a row.

Me: 1Friggingprettyrose

Bank: Sorry, you cannot use that password as you must use additional letters.

Me: 1Friggingprettyroseshovedwherethesundoesnotshineifyoudonotgiveme

accessRightFriggingnow.

Bank: Sorry, you cannot use that password as it is already being used.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments regarding this column may be made by mail at 105 Pioneer Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, by telephone at 607-547-8124 or by e-mail at cellsworth1@stny.rr.com