A few matters occupying some of my time and attention ......
RAIN – we got lots of soaking-the-ground rain with four successive storms over almost a week to combat the drought where I live – Hooray! No one in our neck-of-the-woods was subjected to flooding, mud or rock slides, but we usually aren’t -- unlike other areas of Southern California in the Hollywood hills, coastal Malibu area near scenic Pacific Coast Hwy, or wild-fire damaged areas.
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LOCAL CHANGES -- possible in future for other cities ......
CLEAN ENERGY OPTION FROM POWER COMPANY
Our city has entered into a program with our electric power company that is providing options transitioning residents power source to clean energy. Our local newspaper, The Claremont Courier, has offered a two minute plus video link HERE succinctly explaining our choices and what appears to be nominal cost differences. I will be making a selection.
I wonder if any of you have encountered similar clean energy programs being offered by your community electric power companies? If not, be aware this may be the future in more communities across the U.S. – or in the rest of the world, too(?). Your comments and observations about such programs are welcome.
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LIVING COSTS -- going up .....
After all these years, in the past two we've started receiving notices from utilities, also the city regarding sewer lines, gas lines, disclaiming any responsibility for the integrity of that portion of pipes/lines beginning at our property line to our house should they develop leaks, breakage. We’re then informed of Insurance for these lines we can purchase and have the cost automatically added to our monthly bill – five dollars more here, and five more dollars there as this contributes to increasing the cost of living. We’d already had an increase in general sewage and other fees.
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CITY REDISTRICTING .....
Our city is also changing our City Council composition from electing five city-wide Council members to establishing five defined districts with a representative from each. Seems there is a purported risk legal action could be taken by others (though presently none immediately threatened) that would cost the city considerable money in attorney fees even if we didn’t need to change.
One of the issues will be to guard against gerrymandering. We do have some ethnic /minority groups making up the majority of residents in various parts of our cities. For example, the report noted a predominance of Mexicans in one area and Asians in another area. I wonder if this redistricting will bring to the forefront more meaningful representation or accentuate, even invite, more dissension based on what can be politically dividing factors?
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CURSIVE SIGNATURE OBSOLETE – LETTERS A NOVELTY?
I received a letter from my elementary age grandson this week. We began exchanging occasional letters when he was younger. His first letters were pictures he drew, then he progressed to printing words, later sentences. I’m told that he really enjoys receiving letters. I continue to use block print alphabet letters though he’s of an age now when schools used to teach cursive hand writing. Then, I recalled, they don’t teach cursive in most schools any more. That’s a change to which I have not yet completely adapted in my mind.
We can tell a lot about a person by their handwriting that I don’t think hand printed block letters reveal. This has been one area of assessment in my professional work which reveals vital fine motor, language, cognitive and other functional skills.
On a personal level a family member or friend’s handwriting gave even a lay person some indication of a loved one’s physical health and mental status in ways that won’t be as readily revealed with other writing. But I guess that’s what happens with most change – we lose some features that are useful and hope those losses are offset by more but different benefits than those lost.
I suddenly found myself thinking – my grandson will have no signature – or at least the traditional signature as I think of it. Of course, I know credit card companies no longer require signatures on charges. But a person having no signature – that seems really strange to me as I think of a signature as highly unique and personal that everyone would prize as part of their identity.
He could develop his signature at any age though, if he wanted one. Also, there are free web sites that aid in creating a signature in any desired font to use on the Internet with keyboarding which I suppose someone could even practice developing to write in cursive if they desired. But where would he use a signature? We no longer are required to sign items – checks are becoming obsolete for financial transactions.
Seems really strange to me that eventually, actually soon, even now, many people will no longer be able to read cursive writing. I recently heard an anecdotal news tale of a grandmother writing her teenage granddaughter an actual paper and pen letter, but the girl couldn’t read it – thought it was a foreign language.
Meanwhile, I’m going to continue periodically writing letters to my grandson -- hand printing in block letters as I don’t want to run them on Word and off the printer. His parents say he really looks forward to receiving my letters in the mail. I wonder if they are so rare as to qualify for “Show and Tell” at school as a novelty, or would they just be out-of favor -- considered ancient, old-fashioned and of no interest? Will they be valuable antiques some day?