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The Best Gifts from Schoharie County


Written By The Mountain Eagle on 3/28/24 | 3/28/24

The SUNY Cobleskill softball team opened the season by winning 2-of-8 contests at the 2024 Space Coast Invitational in Auburndale, Fla to open the season at 2-6 overall. On Monday the Fighting Tigers dropped a pair of contests losing to the Thoroughbreds Hastings College 7-5 then falling to Lady Crusaders of Dallas Christian College 12-4. On Tuesday Cobleskill lost to the Lions of Florida Memorial University 9-4 to open the day then defeated the Flames College of Saint Mary of Nebraska 5-1. On Thursday the Fighting Tiger defeated the Eagles of the University of Fort Lauderdale 5-4 in eight innings before losing to Hastings College 3-0. Cobleskill closed the event on Friday by dropping a doubleheader to Dallas Christian College by scores of 8-6 and 2-1. Junior pitcher Jaydaci Chamberlain, Northborough, Mass., Norfolk County Agricultural High School, went 1-1 overall during the week with a 2.55 ERA in three appearances.

The Fighting Tiger baseball team fell to 3-14 overall losing six games at the 2024 RussMatt Central Florida Invitational in Auburndale, Fla at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex. On Monday Cobleskill opened the day by losing a doubleheader to the Road Runners of Ramapo College falling in the opener 6-5 then dropping the nightcap 9-1. On Tuesday the Fighting Tigers dropped a doubleheader to the Golden Eagles of SUNY Brockport 12-0 and 4-0 before losing to the nation’s number one ranked team the Gulls of Endicott College on Thursday 5-3. Cobleskill closed out the event on Friday by losing a 6-2 decision to the Presidents of Washington and Jefferson College. Senior shortstop David Flora, Windsor, N.Y. Windsor High School, batted .368 for the week with a pair of stolen bases, an RBI and a run scored during the week.


Baseball vs. SUNY Canton 4/5 & 4/6, SUNY Oneonta 4/10, Eastern Nazarene 4/12

Softball vs. VTSU-Castleton 4/2, MCLA 4/9, SUNY Poly 4/16 & 4/17

Lacrosse vs. SUNY Poly 4/2, SUNY Canton 4/13, Husson University 4/20

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Summit Plans 250th Independence Program

By Karen Cuccinello

SUMMIT – Summit’s monthly town board meeting opened with approval of the February minutes and Supervisors report.

Highway Superintendent Jim Dibble did not have any new activity to report on.

Board member Georgia Shafer asked bookkeeper Charley Spickerman if the historian and code enforcement officer were getting the supervisor's report previous to board meetings. The historian is and Spickerman will get the code enforcement officer's email to send him the report from now on.

Assessor Dave Jones reported everything is pretty quiet and he will be getting out on the road to check properties.

Historian Karen Cuccinello reported she will be mentoring a college student intern through the Gardiner Foundation Semiquincentennial Summer Fellowship Program, starting in May, to create a project connected to the 250th Anniversary of American Independence. He coordinated an APHNYS conference to take place May 4th at the Charlotteville Schoolhouse, had a few conversations with a man looking into his Charlotteville property, and wrote articles about two past Summit residents to go along with old scanned photos. Asked Supervisor Vroman if the town and or county have any ideas for the 250th Anniversary of the USA celebration. Attorney Mike West answered that he felt the Old Stone Fort County Historian, and or a new 250th group that is forming would be involved in this.

Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Wilcox reported that he is following up on permits and STR applications, sending out two new building permits, and doing fire inspections.

Board member Shafer reported that the Revitalization Committee met on March 6th and formed four subcommittees. Committee # 1, Unified place for posting for municipalities, organizations, and groups.

Committee 2, amending local law 2-2012 compelling the repair or removal of any building or structure that from any cause endangers the health, safety or welfare of the public. Committee 3, Farmers Market and Committee 4, Complete Streets. Next Revitalization meeting April 3rd at 7pm town hall.

Dog Control Office Jillian Smith sent in a report that mentioned two dogs that need to be licensed. Clerk VanValkenburg was asked if the dogs have been licensed and they have not so a notice will be sent out to comply.

Supervisor Vroman mentioned that information for the June-December town newsletter needs to be submitted by May 1st. Contact the town clerk for information on submission requirements at or 518-287-1430.

Vroman handed out a Fulton newsletter for review.

The meeting opened to the public.

Discussion about possible new microphones to help make the meetings easier to hear on Zoom. Jen Stinson, who connects the meeting to Zoom, stated that she was using a microphone tonight that she borrowed from another organization costing $150.00. Stinson asked Deputy Clerk Allison to check the clarity of the Zoom after it is posted to the Summit website.

Krista Feezel asked for a list of the distribution of the ARP monies and Charley Spickerman gave her a report of the distribution.

Christina Gausas offered a flyer about the solar eclipse to those interested.

Clerk VanValkenburg mentioned that the Wilson Lawbook Program should be installed next week. The gentleman who will be installing the program suggested that the town get new dog license tags so that they can start with #1 in the new program. The board approved getting 1000 tags for $290.00.

Vroman mentioned that Karen Cuccinello should connect with Jim Dibble about getting the American flags for placing by veterans' gravestones in May. A connection was made before the meeting started.

The board approved the bookkeeper helping the clerk to reconcile accounts.

After the bills were approved the board went into executive session, with Attorney West, pertaining to a personnel issue.

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Exploding star nova expected to appear in night sky

By Jennifer Patterson

From total eclipses to blue moons and a “new” star, 2024 promises to be a great year for stargazers, especially with a rare cosmic eruption on the horizon.

For the first time in 80 years, astronomers are predicting a once-in-a-lifetime nova outburst, which could decorate the night sky in the Northern Hemisphere between now and September. The outburst will be so bright that a “new” star will seemingly appear for a short time in the Milky Way’s night sky.

According to NASA, the event is so rare because the types of star systems where such explosions occur are not common in our galaxy. It’s not to be confused with a supernova explosion, which occurs when a massive star collapses and dies.

The stellar eruption will take place in a system called T Coronae Borealis, which is 3,000 light years away from Earth. It contains two stars: a dead star, also known as a white dwarf, closely orbited by a red giant – a dying star that is running out of hydrogen fuel in its core. 

The two stars in the T Coronae Borealis system are so near to each other that matter from the red giant is constantly spilling onto the surface of the white dwarf. This builds up pressure and heat over time, which eventually triggers an eruption. 

NASA scientists liken the nova explosion to a hydrogen bomb detonating in space, with the resulting fireball becoming visible from Earth. At its peak, the eruption should be visible with the naked eye.

Scientists predict that the nova outburst could happen anytime through the early fall. The last time this particular star system erupted was in 1946, and another such event will likely not occur for another 80 years or more.

Astronomers around the world are monitoring activity, and once an eruption is detected, the best and brightest views will likely come within 24 hours. The outburst (which will reach roughly the same brightness as the North Star at its peak) may remain visible to the naked eye for a few days before it begins to fade.

Even after it dims, stargazers will likely still be able to spot the eruption for about a week using binoculars or a telescope, according to NASA.

For information, go to

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Star Parties at Landis in 2024!

ESPERANCE — Mark your calendar to come view the stars and planets in Landis' dark skies with members of the Albany Area Amateur Astronomers.

A variety of telescopes will be set up for viewing the heavens, revealing nebulae, star clusters, galaxies, double stars, planets, and other celestial objects. Star parties are cancelled if the skies will be mostly cloudy.

Visit our website to learn more about enjoying AAAA Star Parties, and to register for these free events so you can be contacted in case it is necessary to cancel in the event of cloudy skies or rain. Scroll down on the webpage to access the registration form.

Star Parties in 2024 are scheduled for:

Saturday, May 4, 9:00 PM;

Friday, June 7, 10:00 PM;

Saturday, July 6, 10:00 PM;

Saturday, August 3, 9:30 PM;

Thursday, August 15, 7:30 PM (AAAA Annual Meeting with Star Party to follow); and

Saturday, September 28, 8:00 PM

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Spring Awakening This Saturday

By Alexis Pencar

SHARON SPRINGS — On Saturday March 30th from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM, check out the shops in The Village of Sharon Springs for “Spring Awakening!” Come out to celebrate Spring and the reopening of shops in the Village with lots of shopping, flowers, and activities! Each shop will have something special and unique for Spring!

Have fun visiting the shops to hunt eggs filled with unique prizes inside, sample edible flower shortbreads, craft paper flowers, see what spring holds for you with Tarot Card readings, blend your own spring fragrance, create a bouquet or vase with a Dried Flower Bloom Bar, enjoy spring shopping for decor, gifts and more. 

Make sure to plan for brunch at Brimstone Bakery (reservations recommended) to savor their seasonal delights. Joining us for Spring Awakening is Hulse Hill Farm ‘s Christine who will help feel your own Cashmere Posey pin with Cashmere combed from her own loving cashmere goats. Christine will also have available new spring shades of her clean Cashmere yarn and fibers for purchase. 

Spirit Trading Company’s Farm will have their truck full of Fresh Spring Flowers just in time for your Easter weekend and it wouldn’t be spring without a Beekman Baby Goat tour (tickets required).

Shop “Spring Awakening” this weekend at some of the lovely Sharon Springs businesses including Austintacious (197 Main Street), Beekman 1802 (187 Main Street), Brimstone Bakery (922 Chestnut Street), Black Cat Cafe (195 Main Street), Cobbler & Company (189 Main Street), McGillycuddy’s Naturals (197 Main Street), Rural Provisions (197 Main Street), Sharon Springs Fine Dried Florals (200 Main Street), and more!

As the trees get their leaves and the flowers begin to bloom, come out to the Village of Sharon Springs for activities and excitement for all! Visit “Spring Awakening Sharon Springs” on Facebook for more information.

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“Sharon Things - Local Happenings for Sharon Springs”

By Alexis Pencar

Hey Neighbors!

With all the heavy snow this past week, it looks like we have moved past possible “Third Winter” with “Mud Season” then actual Spring coming soon. The snow was more than expected and heavy making for difficult removal. The transition of the season is always a little rough around here. Look out for highs in the 40s and 50s with rain expected mid-week. 

There is a free Easter Event this Saturday, March 30th from 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM at the Fancy Farmer (529 State Highway 20 Sharon Springs, NY 13439). There will be a petting zoo, donkey rides, and “a journey to Jerusalem”. There will be breakfast and gifts for youth (K-12 grade). This event is sponsored by A.C.T. (All Christians Together).

Brimstone Bakery is offering monthly afternoon tea starting in April! Monthly Afternoon Tea Service is on the second Wednesday of each month starting in April, from 2 PM to 4 PM. Please call the bakery at 518-284-6093. Space is limited! Visit social media @brimstonebakery or call (518) 284-6093 for more information.

Mark your calendars for the big Easter Egg Hunt at SSCS sponsored by KNK Landscaping scheduled for Saturday, April 20th at 12 PM.

The Sharon Springs Rescue Squad is a cornerstone of the community! With many active members, they are always looking for new volunteers for Drivers, First Responders, Social Members, and EMT’s. SSRS will fund any training that is needed. SSRS meets the first Monday of the month at 7 PM and would be happy to answer any questions on how to support your community.  

The American Legion Post 1269 of Sharon Springs is looking for new members! If you are interested in becoming an American Legion member, volunteering, or even donating to the many wonderful causes the Legion supports, please contact Commander Paul Todd at (518) 649-0024 for more information.

The Sharon Springs Food Pantry is an excellent local resource for all! They are located in the United Methodist Church on Route 20, across from the school (511 US Route 20, Sharon’s Springs, NY 13459).

They are always accepting donations! If you or someone you know is in need of the Pantry, the hours are Thursday 9:00 am -10:30 am and 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm. For more information please contact (518) 284-2687 or follow them on Facebook.

Sharon Springs Free Library

Remember that your library is available online, visit for more information.

Mrs. Fralick offers storytime for children on Thursday's at 10:00 am every week and includes a story or two, a craft, and a snack.

Winter Hours are: Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays from 1:00 - 6:00 PM, Mondays & Thursdays from 10:00 - 6:00 PM, Saturdays 10:00 -1:00 PM, and Sundays - Closed. 

For more Library information please contact (518) 284-3126.

Worship Services

The Sharon Reformed Church (6858 State Route 10, Sharon Springs, NY 13459) offers weekly service at 10:30 am. Contact at (518) 234-2387 for more details.

The Sharon Springs United Methodist Church (511 State Route 20, Sharon Springs, NY, 13459) offers weekly service at 10:30 am. Contact at (518) 284-2200 for more details.

The St. Thomas The Apostle Catholic Church (24 Maple Avenue, Cherry Valley, NY 13320) offers weekly mass at 10:00 am. Reminder: confession is available 30 minutes before every mass. Contact at (607) 264-3779 for more details.

The Zion St. John’s Lutheran Church Seward (114 Mesick Ave, Cobleskill, NY 12043) offers weekly service on Sundays at 9:00 am. Contact at (518) 234-3222 for more details.

Cornerstone Baptist Church (7274 Route 10, Ames, NY 13317). Sunday Service is at 10:00 am. All are welcome. Contact (518) 673 3405 for more details.

Sharon Sr. Congregate Meal Site

Local residents are invited to enjoy good company and a noon-time meal year round (except holidays) at the Schoharie County OFA’s “Spa Ritz” Sr. Congregate Meal Site at the Firehouse at 137 Beechwood Rd. M-W-F. 8 oz of 1% milk is served with each meal. Orders for meals must be called into the OFA office at (518) 295-2001 before 2 p.m. for the following day. Effective January 1st the suggested donation for those 60 years old and older is $5.00 per meal. Under age 60? You’re welcome to participate for a fee of $7.50 per meal.

To share community news, upcoming events, business specials, adjusted hours, birthdays, anniversaries, or even an outstanding resident, please contact me directly at (772) 971-1410 or Have a great week! Thanks!

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Sharon Springs School Update

By Tori Edwards 

SHARON SPRINGS – Sharon Springs students are getting ready for spring break, but they have a short week to go before they can rest. The student focus for the week is perspective and character strength to have a better view of the world around them, as well as have a sense of compassion for others. 

The school will be closed on the day of the solar eclipse for the children's safety from distracted drivers as they leave school. The eclipse is expected to begin around 2:10pm in Sharon Springs and peak at 3:20 pm. 

The FBLA State Leadership Conference will be held on April 9th and 12th. Good luck to the members participating in the event. 

Do you have a child who will be turning 5 on or before December 1st, 2024? If so, kindergarten sign-ups are starting at Sharon Spring Central School! Get your little one into one of the most student-motivated schools in the area! The teachers are compassionate and determined to get your child well-rounded in their academics to have guaranteed success in their future! 

SSCS Alumni of 2011, Jyline Varin has just released her 1st book “The Little Blue Lion,” a story that has inspired the community and the school about her sweet boy Chase. The book details the struggles they faced with Chase’s health as the Little Blue Lion and the courageous strength he represents. Her book is on sale on Amazon and will be in stores soon! Keep up the fantastic achievement students!

Let’s go Spartans!  

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Opening of the New Nicholas J. Juried Education Room at the Iroquois Museum

HOWES CAVE — The Iroquois Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the new Nicholas J. Juried Education Room on April 4, the day the Museum opens for its 43rd season. This is the first expansion at the museum building since its opening in 1992. Philanthropist Nick Juried awarded the Iroquois Museum the monies to enclose its rear porch to create this new 560-square-foot space. & quote; “Mr. Juried has been very generous to us and I really cannot find the words to thank him sufficiently.” said Museum Director Stephanie Shultes. We will have a ribbon cutting at the reception of the opening of the Museum’s featured exhibition “Outside the Box” on May 4, 2024.

In the past, presentations, receptions, demonstrations, and workshops were presented in the exhibit areas, disrupting the traffic flow through the Museum and impacting the experience of both program participants and general visitors.  The new room features seven large windows encouraging visitors to appreciate the importance of the natural world in Haudenosaunee culture.  The room will be suitable for a cross-section of programs and activities, including classes, lectures, workshops, storytelling, and receptions. Architect Vincent LaGanga designed the room and construction was done by Larry Gribben of Gribben Enterprises. Windows were purchased from Tom Brooks of Harbrook Fine Windows, Doors, and Hardware. The Museum’s Board President, Christina Johannsen Hanks noted “Each brought their expertise to create a handsome space for Haudenosaunee to share their culture with audiences who marvel at the breadth and diversity of contemporary Haudenosaunee accomplishments and artistic creativity.”


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Esperance Egg Hunt Set for Saturday

ESPERANCE - Due to the weekend's snow and ice storm organizers have re-scheduled the Esperance Easter Egg Hunt to this Saturday.

Line up begins at 1:15pm and the hunt begins at 1:30pm in the Village Park for children up to 10 years old. The prize groups will be for children up to three and four to 10. 

Please bring your own basket. The event is sponsored by the Esperance Volunteer Fire Department.

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Vandalism in Cherry Valley

Kicked over bench in Cherry Valley park from incident on Tuesday, March 19th.

By Alexis Pencar

CHERRY VALLEY — Vandalism took place in Cherry Valley on the evening of Tuesday March 19th at Alden Field Park. The suspects were identified and the Sheriff was involved in punishment.

According to the Village of Cherry Valley, “It took place Tuesday evening about 7:48 PM. 4 youths tried kicking in the doors of the restrooms at Alden Field Park in the Village of Cherry Valley. Unsuccessful, they tipped over two granite benches that were donated by a walking club.” The door in question was damaged.

The Village posted photos of the video on social media and according to a Village official, “in 25 minutes a parent called the Village office and claimed responsibility for two of the four boys. It wasn't long before the other two were identified.”

The Sheriff's Office was called and involved. Restitution for the 4 identified will be in the “form of work days at the park”.

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Clearing a Path to a Bright Future at BOCES

SCHOHARIE -- Capital Region BOCES seniors Katelyn Burtt and Jayden Abeling take a break recently from clearing land on the Career and Technical Education Center – Schoharie Campus.

The pair are among 39 students enrolled in the Heavy Equipment Operation, Maintenance & Repair program and two of just a handful of women students who are challenging society’s gender norms while operating heavy equipment. The two-year program teaches students how to operate and maintain large construction-related equipment, such as backhoes, dozers, front-end loaders, and excavators. Students also learn how to diagnose and repair common issues with diesel engines and heavy machines.

Abeling and Burtt both plan to take their new-found skills right into the workforce.

“I want to be an equipment operator at the union at Callanan,” said Burtt.

Abeling is already considering job offers that would allow her to use the skills.

“Going to BOCES helps you to learn things and gain experience you would not otherwise learn and gives you opportunities few get when they graduate high school,” she said.

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Cherry Valley Easter Egg Hunt Set for Saturday

CHERRY VALLEY - Back for its fourth year, the Cherry Valley Easter Egg Hunt will be held the day before Easter, on Saturday, from noon - 2pm.

Pick up your map at The Telegraph School, 83 Alden Street, find all the egg signs around downtown, and come back to collect your prize. There will also be a drawing for some beautiful Easter baskets.

There will be a Girl Scout Cookie Booth as well.

The event is sponsored by The Telegraph School and The Historic Cherry Valley Businesses.

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Seward offers survey to gain federal funds

The Town of Seward needs to upgrade its municipal sewer system, due to new NYSDEC discharge limits on the wastewater treatment system. The current system needs to be upgraded to meet these new discharge limitations. To keep the rates as low as possible, they are investigating several sources of grants and low- interest loans. 
The Town of Seward is asking for all residents who use the municipal sewer system to help by filling out a confidential survey that the Supervisor and Town Board hope will give them an advantage on federal funding for a very costly sewer upgrade. 
The surveys will be mailed out with assistance from RCAP Solutions, a private non-profit that helps municipalities with technical assistance and leveraging for projects like these. A 90 percent return rate for the income survey is critical in the town's efforts to get additional funding for the project. Residents, both renters and homeowners, but not businesses will receive a letter, the survey and a postage paid return envelope mailed back to RCAP Solutions. In addition to returning by mail, surveys can be returned by scanning the QR Code on the letter and submitting it online or by visiting directly. The QR Code is reproduced here. 
The survey asks six questions, including number of occupants and the estimated household income; answers will be separated from the signature page and no names or addresses will be shared locally, RCAP will use the data captured for the grant application. 
The Town of Seward has already received approximately $187,000 in ARPA funds awarded through Schoharie County and the Town Board voted to apply all of those funds towards the upgrade. 
It is extremely important for those in the sewer district to complete these surveys and return them as quickly as possible. Time is of the essence and the application date is fast approaching. We need everyone's help to get the funding we need to complete this upgrade. 

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Local Business Focus - Grapevine Farms

By Tori Edwards 

COBLESKILL – For over 21 years Grapevine Farms has been in business at 2378 State Route 7 Cobleskill. 

The cozy farmhouse was built in the 1850s, the owners and operators of this amiable country-style boutique are Tim and Tracey Purcell. 

Their business began after the airline industry had a major shift, so they decided to open a country-style shop that would fit the community perfectly! 

The duo promotes tasteful products at affordable prices. The products they sell are soaps, fragrances, candles, jewelry, baked goods, maple items, pottery, wines and so much more! The wines they sell are made in-house as well as being sellers for NY State Wineries and Grape Growers, they do complimentary taste testing every day! They are proud members of the Schoharie County Beverage Trail! In their wine cellar, they also have a selection of different ciders from alcoholic to non-alcoholic. 

When it comes to cherished comfort food this place flourishes on their lunch menu. It is a home-cooked meal that is heartwarming and peaceful from the atmosphere the luncheonette brings. Their cookies are incredible, many of us in the community have loved them over the years. Especially their famous Chocolate Jumbos.  Some of the name brands they sell are Beekman 1802, Luca and Danni, Colonial Candles, Simply Noelle, Michel Designs, Stonewall Kitchen, Vera Bradley, and the list goes on! It is a completely unique experience from your ordinary shopping trip, that has a hands-on experience that you will not get with online ordering. There are 3 floors to explore! 

Enjoy the vibrant environment that Grapevine Farms continues to represent. They are proud sponsors of the Marathon for a Better Life and the local animal shelter. They have several promotions going on so keep a lookout for their Reels on Facebook at Grapevine Farms. As of right now, they will be having Boozy Bingo Events throughout the month of April! Check on Facebook for more details!

There is so much for you to see at this place you will love the atmosphere as soon as you walk through the doors! They host Baby showers, celebrations, weddings, and more! They can be contacted at (518)234-9148 or emailed at The Purcells will continue to improve quality with great merchandise at a reasonable price. 

This family-friendly establishment is open year-round 10 am-6 pm. They say, “Stop for a bit or stay all day." Enjoy a country-style experience from a heartwarming farmhouse shop that will make you feel right at home. 

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Whittling Away with Dick Brooks - Wrappings

I am convinced that somewhere on our planet lives an evil genius.  He probably lurks in an underground lair deep in the bowels of an active volcano (evil geniuses seem to prefer those kinds of places), where he and his cronies do nothing all day but design wrappings for products found all over the world.  

I bought a tie out cable for Telly, our trusty canine companion, the other day.  A relatively simple device, 20 feet of cable covered with a red plastic casting with a metal clip on each end.  I put the package containing the cable on the kitchen table until Telly and I were ready to go out for our daily yard adventures.  I puttered around the kitchen until Telly reminded me that it was unwatering time and bushes to be visited outside.  I got my hat, Telly’s leash and the package with the cable in it and out we went.  We made our traditional cruise around the yard until Telly ran dry, then we went over to the picnic table where I had left the package.  It was bubble wrapped, Thick plastic on both sides with the cable trapped inside.  I tried to rip it open, no luck, it was hermetically sealed around all sides.  I tried to break through the bubble with my finger nail, the bubble didn’t break, but the finger nail did. 

I began to realize that this was some kind of Lexan or a similar bulletproof material.  I pulled out my trusty Swiss army knife and cut around the edge inside the hermetically 

sealed edge.  It still didn’t come apart because it had been stapled in two places.  I pulled the staples and lifted out the coil of cable.  I wasn’t done yet, there were three heavy duty cable ties that had to be unwound before the cable was finally ready for use, all this for a cable that would spend its life lying in the grass and dirt of the lawn.

I got to thinking about all the unnecessary packages we use and the layers of protection we have that maybe aren’t really necessary.  In the market the other day I saw a package of six oranges on a foam tray sealed in plastic wrap.  Don’t they come with their own wraps- like bananas?

Driving home in and still having a nice little ponder about the way we layer protection, I thought back to my cars' far distant ancestors.  They looked like buggies with open wheels.  Folks got tired of having mud thrown all over them and we invented fenders to protect us from flying debris.  We then painted the fenders to protect them from the elements.  We undercoated them to protect them from mud and salt.  We then clear coated the fenders to protect the paint and then we waxed them to protect the clear coat we put on to protect the paint we put on to protect the metal in the fenders we put on to protect us from flying goop.    

I wonder how many layers of protection that evil genius has because someday I’m going to find that lair and bubble wrap him.  Life will be simpler and the world will be a better place.

Thought for the week—“It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper.”  --Jerry Seinfeld

Until next week, may you and yours be happy and well.

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A Conversation About: Climate change

By Jean Thomas

This past month has been one for the record books. Of course, that’s not saying much. After all, every month is one for the record books or there wouldn’t be any record books. But I digress. We all know what I mean. This past month has been outstandingly unique, even around here. We’ve had record warm days. I raked a big section of my yard in my shirtsleeves a week before the snow, then rain, then snow drifted down… in one day. This assorted precipitation exceeded the total for the entire winter so far, at least at my house.  I had items pushed around in my gardens that I had thought were impervious to wind. Well, it seems there’s a new bad guy in our meteorological “town”. Until the last decade or so I can’t recall wind warnings being part of a weather report. Now we just factor them into our outdoor plans. I only had my driveway plowed four times this year, so I saved money. But parts of my lawn have become swampy and hold standing water for a long time. So I will have to revise my mowing patterns and take longer to do that chore.

So what’s going on? We just shrug and say, “Oh, that Climate Change!”  Mostly we just go about our day and expect “someone” to fix it.  The scientists seem to have it figured out. Geologists consider the last fifty million years the recent past, so forty to fifty million years ago, when the temperature of the planet was scorching, seems recent to them, but not us.  What’s the problem, then, if it takes millions of years to change the climate? The problem is that we have entered an unofficial geological phase called the Anthropocene . This began around either the mid 18oo’s or maybe 1950 (it’s still a new idea) and is directly attributed to the influence of humanity. Here is where it gets scary. This is the beginning of the “Great Acceleration” of human influence and alteration of the climate of the entire planet. As I understand it, industrialization has altered the pace of production of greenhouse gases. These are the vapors and chemicals that prevent heat from leaving the surface of the planet. What in the past took millions of years now takes hundreds. The result is what we are starting to see, mainly an alteration in all the conditions we have come to rely on. If the seasons change their timing too quickly, and the precipitation patterns change too abruptly, the plants and animals that rely on a natural “schedule” for their reproduction and survival will face extinction.  That can include us, since whether we like it or not, we’re part of the cycle. I checked, and state and federal governments are addressing climate change on a lot of fronts. It’s a start. But it’s kind of scary, so I’m definitely going to learn more about what I can do as an individual. I kind of like it here and would like my grandchildren to enjoy it the same way I do.

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