October 27 2011
30 Jeff Spoelma, Gene VanPutton, David Zapf 31 Fred Bartlett, Evelyn Brink, Matt Conran, Audery Heintz, Judy Johnson,Eric Karloski, Gene VanPutten NOVEMBER 1 Pat DeGlopper-Mull, Amanda (Welch) Phipps, Nancy C. Simonis, Craig Williams 2 Dennis Bandemer, Bob Clawson, Julia Laage 3 Royce Newman, Kate Sickrey 4 Nicole Huber, Jorge Rodriguez, Karen TerKeurst
Tax news, good and bad We received some good news/bad news from the federal government last week. The Consumer Price Index for this year showed an increase of 3.6%. The good news is the 55 million people who receive Social Security benefits are entitled to a 3.6% increase in those benefits beginning in January 2012. Another 8 million people who receive Supplemental Social Security benefits will also receive the 3.6% increase. In total, that means almost one-fifth of all residents will get a pay raise. The bad news is the 3.6% increase means that our cost of living has officially increased over the past year. It takes more to pay the basic bills this year than it took a year ago. That means we have some inflation going on whether the economists and the Federal Reserve people want to admit it or not. If it costs more to live this year than it did last year, shouldn’t that increase be called inflation? In my mind it is. Have you ever wondered how they came up the 3.6%? There are many different Consumer Price Indexes. Each of these Indexes measures a specific time frame and a specific basket of goods. For the purposes of Social Security, the federal government uses a Consumer Price Index called the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. The time frame measured is July, August and September. Washington looks at what it costs to buy the basket of goods in this particular CPI in July, August and September of 2011 versus those same products’ cost in July, August and September of 2010. They are comparing apples to apples and the total cost to buy all of the apples was 3.6% higher in 2011. For the previous two years, the total cost had been flat. That does not mean that all of the costs were flat. It simply means that the total cost of all of the products in the CPI basket did not increase in the time frame of July, August and September from one year to the next. This is truly a catch-22 situation. To a large percentage of recipients, Social Security is their main support. Regardless of what the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers calculated out […]
Credit the Irish The Irish tend to seize any excuse for a celebration. What we call Halloween goes back to an ancient Celtic festival that observed a supposed overlapping of the worlds of the living and the dead. The name of the festival, Samhain, derives from Old Irish and means, roughly, “summer’s end.” Carve those veg The folks in old Ireland and Scotland must have had a surplus of turnips in the fall. They carved them into lanterns as a way of remembering souls held in purgatory. Immigrants to North America started using the native pumpkin instead. That’s good. They’re easier to carve and, in my opinion, a whole lot cuter. It was only in America (in about 1837) that carved vegetables became associated with Halloween. Black and Orange Trick-or-treating? Costumes? These are later additions that have made the holiday such a hit with kids. Such a deal—dressing up and walking around the neighborhood scoring free candy. The imagery of Halloween includes harvest themes combined with elements from the original festival featuring death. Aha! Black for death (scary) and orange for fall colors (pretty). It has evolved into a memorable holiday. Happy Halloween, everybody! Too old? You know you’re too old for trick or treating when… • you have to carefully choose a costume that doesn’t dislodge your hairpiece. • you’re the only superhero in the neighborhood using a walker. • the door opens and you yell, “Trick or…” and can’t remember the rest. Just for laughs A couple was walking home after a Halloween party and decided to take a shortcut through the cemetery just for laughs. Right in the middle of the cemetery they heard a tap-tap-tapping noise coming from the misty shadows. Clutching each other and trembling, they approached. An old man with a hammer and chisel was chipping away at the one of the headstones. “Holy cow, Mister,” said the man after catching his breath. “You scared us half to death. We thought you were a ghost! What are you doing working out here so late?” “Those fools!” grumbled the old man. “They misspelled my name!” Dirty trick Outside a drug store on a busy street, a man clutched a pole for dear life, hardly breathing, not moving, not even twitching […]
The City of Rockford is pleased to announce the promotion of Mr. Andy Bilski and Mr. Dave Ducat to fulltime positions with the Department of Public Services. Dave and andy will fill the position of two longtime Public Services workers, Chris Dempsey and Bill Lafollette, who have recently announced their retirement. We wish Chris and Bill the best in their future endeavors and thank them for their dedicated service to the City, which left an indelible mark on our great community. Andy and Dave began their fulltime employment with the City on October 1, 2011, with Andy’s emphasis being the Water Department and Dave working a variety of functions within the Department. We congratulate Dave and Andy on their promotion and please take a moment to welcome them to our Rockford team when you see them on the street. For additional information regaring these promotions, please cotact City Manager Michael Young at 866-1537.