Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Figuring Out

22=number of free shots made, out of 25, on a regular-sized court, in an Elks Club-sponsored State-wide competition last week in Lake George, by GreeneLand schoolboy Justyn Lacy. That score eliminated all contestants but one. Then came the best-of-five test. Justyn hit all five. His opponent missed on his first try. So on Saturday, in Wilkes-Barre, Justyn will learn whether he’s the best junior-sized free throw shooter in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as in New York. For the tri-State test and even the nation-wide final, says proud papa Jim Lacy (the car dealer and long drive hitter), “Justyn’s got a real chance, because he’s cool. Doesn’t get rattled. Ignores the pressure.” Will Tar Heel, Blue Devil and other scouts be there?

9=Justyn’s years of age, as of February 22nd.

684=square miles in Greene County, where about 49,000 people are full-time residents and 7000 are part-timers.

6000=square miles in the Catskill Park & Forest Preserve. So says Rep. Maurice Hinchey, who also says that the land mass of New York State’s Adirondack Park, at 6,100,000 acres, is greater than the Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon national parks combined.

12,736=GreeneLanders who are registered to vote and who say they are Republicans Party adherents. Those prospective voters make up 44 per cent of all registrants. On the Democratic Party side, registrants number 6,694, or 23 per cent of all. They are out-numbered by the 6889 registrants who are affiliated with minor parties (Independence, 1250; Conservative, 780…) or with no party.

52=percentage of those registered voters who are female.

48=total of registered Catskill voters who went to the Central Avenue firehouse for Tuesday’s Village election. There they were greeted by four elections clerks—the legal minimum—who were on duty all day. Their votes were counted along with 19 valid absentee ballots. This minimal participation could well be due to the absence of contests: Joseph Kosloski sought re-election as a Village trustee and was unchallenged; Charles Adsit sought re-election as a Village Justice and he too was unchallenged. Some of the voters, however, declined to vote for both candidates; they voted only on the Democratic line (Kosloski) or the Republican line (Adsit). Iinstead of getting all 67 votes that were cast, Mr Adsit received 59 and Mr Kosloski received 58.

336=cents per gallon cost of regular gasoline in lower-end GreeneLand stations. This price is higher than the nation-wide average ($3.26), the East Coast and Central Atlantic averages ($3.24), Hudson prices (about $3.30), Vermont (ranging upward from $3.03) and the lowest-in-nation figure for this week ($2.63 in Finley TN).

4655=GreeneLand residents who are U.S. armed forces veterans. That figure, says Veterans Service Agency director John Van Loan, represents a gain over the 2006 population of 178 vets. It reverses the pattern of past years, in which the vet population dwindled. The upward trend is bound to continue, what with more returnees from Iraq and Afghanistan; and our Leeds-based National Guard unit being headed for a second overseas deployment. With increase in the veteran population comes increase in Federal benefit payments to vets and their families, along with payments to veterans’ medical care-givers. The yearly infusion currently comes to $16 million.

600,000=approximate annual co$t to GreeneLanders, says Sheriff Greg Seeley, of “boarding out” jail inmates. When the number of persons consigned to jail exceeds the supply of beds in local cells, inmates must be taken to vacant cells in other counties. Fees must be paid. Medical and transportation costs must be met. Overtime wages for escorting deputies must be paid. Sheriff Seeley hopes to reduce the costs a bit, by boarding out the inmates who are serving long terms and who are not involved in court trials, for which they must be fetched by deputies and then returned. But the possible savings are small. The boarding-out costs serve to underscore the utility of moving promptly to the construction of a new jail (a project which in any case is obligatory under State law).

104,451 = buck deers killed by hunters in New York State last season, according to Outdoors columnist Dick Nelson (Daily Mail, 2/24) citing Dept of Environmental Conservation figures. That’s an 8% increase over previous season. Even more antlerless deer were killed. GreeneLand’s tally was 1244 antlered bucks (plus 679 other deer), less than the Columbia and Ulster county figures.

1117=black bears killed in New York State by licensed hunters in 2007, up from 796 in 2006, according to DEC. Twelve of them were killed in Hunter.

36,000=dollars granted to the Village of Catskill, by State Government, from the Brownfield Opportunity Area fund, for cleaning up waterfront pollution. As reported in The Daily Freeman (3/12) the City of Hudson’s BOA grant was $37,800, Kingston’s was $401,300, and the State-wide total was $7.25 million.

14,500=number of square feet in the coming Walgreen store, with drive-through facility, off West Bridge Street (and Central Avenue) and Grandview Avenue in Catskill.

6,995,559=dollars (plus 13 cents) that the Town of Catskill’s Receiver of Taxes is officially “authorized and directed” by the State of New York “to collect, not later than April 1, 2008,” from “the several persons and Corporations” whose names appear on the Tax Roll. The Receiver is further “directed” to remit from those receipts, “not later than one week from the day of the expiration of this warrant,” to the Town Supervisor, the sum of $2,828,624.49, with the balance going to the County Treasurer.

Not gonna happen. As Receiver Michael de Benedictus explains, the Collector's Warrant” is the total levies on the tax roll—the sum that would come in if every cent that was due got paid. Actual receipts in recent years have fallen short by about 15 per cent. Thus, for 2007 the “warrant” was $6,669,000 and actual collection fell short by $1,127,000. Going on past form, payments from Town taxpayers this year will fall short of the “warrant” by about $1.3 million. But the Town’s share is not shaved proportionally. The shortfall befalls the county. And although the Receiver is “authorized and directed” to collect, he is not empowered to pester delinquents. That power belongs to the County Treasurer, Willis Vermilyea, who in recent years has steadfastly improved his score on getting delinquents to pay up.

Meanwhile, a local statute gives laggard taxpayers a grace period. If they do not pay up by April 1, a second letter goes out from the Receiver on May 1st, reminding recipients of their tardiness and boosting their tax bills by $4. After that, foreclosure looms.

6500 = approximate number of property parcels that are registered/on books in the Town of Catskill.

5000= approximate number of those parcels that (unlike governmental units, churches, and other exempt enterprises) are subject to property tax.

66=number of days that elapsed between the posting of a letter from Catskill’s Receiver of Taxes to an eligible addressee (Jan. 4th) and return of that letter (Feb. 29th), marked Undeliverable, by the Post Office. “It’s that kind of experience,” says Mr de Benedictus, “that makes me appreciate the phrase ‘going postal’.”

132=days that have passed since the proprietors of Catskill’s Doubles II tavern applied, with a $2000 payment, for a State license to sell hard liquor as well as beer and wine.

400=Daily Mail’s top-of-page-one version of number of U.S. deaths in Iraq. (The actual story, on page 6 of Tuesday’s paper, gives the fatality figure as 4000).

1793=days that have passed since the Presidential declaration, regarding Iraq, of “Mission Accomplished.”

1 comment:

KDONNAS said...

Have you ever been to the Dept of Motor Vehicles? They are the second rudest county department next to the county clerks office. I get treated better by the teenagers at Burger King on a bad day. With any luck maybe they're all be laid off or retire and the new hires will like their jobs better then the current employees. So sorry Mr. Flynn if you want me to use your offices you better teach your employees what customer service means because until you do I'm sending my paperwork to Albany and that goes for the 3 passport I need for my children next month.