Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Move Your Money

I've been contemplating moving all my banking to the credit union. Watching this is very convincing.

Winter settles in

Hamlet against the snow looks like a pastel drawing in cream, black, blue and sable. He would stay out in the snow all day if I let him, protecting our small croft from squirrels and birds.

I've left up a few of the jumps, so he can stay in shape agility-wise over the break. Classes resume in January. Meanwhile, Hamlet has worn a path in the snow around the sleeping vegetable garden. No matter how cold, he is up for a game of chase the ball, return it by jumping over a hurdle and dropping it at my feet.

After a warming game or three of chase the ball and retrieve, dog and human head back in to savor the joys of winter break. Snow muffles the city sounds and promotes hibernation behaviors like wrapping oneself in a comfy blanket to hunker down with a good book, a furry dog and a cup of java at hand.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How to deal with the rising sewer rates in Akron

The EPA finally backed Akron into a corner and made it impossible for the city to continue avoiding cleaning up our antiquated sewer overflow system.

If the city had faced up to its responsibility, oh say 15 years ago, rates could have gone up at a very reasonable increase per year to pay for the huge fix-it project. One local pundit said on TV that sewer system improvements are not beloved of politicians because you can't see what the money bought after it is built. I would say this reveals an utter lack of imagination upon the part of politicians, because I have no problem imagining what is happening without this massive sewer project. Any time of increased water flow, from storms or flooding from snow melt off and the current system can't handle it, the overflow goes straight into the Cuyahoga River. Imagine anything that can be flushed down a toilet or washed down a storm drain and then think about those substances making their way into the Cuyahoga River's ecosystems.

So because the politicians balked for so many years at spending money to fix the problem, the EPA took legal steps to make the city clean up its sewage system. And we citizens are stuck with big increases all at once.

My solution was to give up the land phone line. Sorry AT&T, but your service is superfluous and your corporate ideals non compatible with mine anyway, and costs me almost exactly the same amount as the projected sewer rate increase will per month.

So now we are totally cellular here on the Village Green. My current carrier of choice is T Mobile. They have a cool cell phone made out of recycled plastic bottles, the Renew. And the service plan is half of what I was paying before.

So bring on the sewer bills -- I'm ready!

Senator Brown update on health care reform

Sherrod Brown has this to say about the current state of health care reform: