Saturday, August 27, 2016

Money, Crickets, Heat

I got a big hug from someone whose name was on the list of unclaimed property that I wrote about last Saturday. She started the process to make a claim at and I hope to hear the outcome someday soon. Another person saw her friend's father on the list and alerted him to make a claim. The list was published again in the Aug. 26 Courier News, I put all the Plainfield names on my Aug. 20 blog post. The situation made me recall another instance of money owed to city residents. In 2006, the tax collector at the time wanted to move more than $800,000 in tax overpayments into surplus to balance the books. Taxpayers protested when they found out, one being Councilman Cory Storch, who was owed $3,000. Former Councilman John Campbell claimed he was owed $8,000 and campaigned to get refunds for all the affected property owners. Despite his efforts, only $29,919 came back to taxpayers and the balance went into city coffers in 2007.

I heard my first cricket on Aug. 18, as i walked home from a Planning Board meeting. It's a harbinger of Fall, but since then the temperature has remained quite high. Crickets "sing" at different rates according to the temperature, slower when it's cold and faster when it's warm (see article here). The sound is caused by stridulation, rubbing wing parts together.

Snowy Tree Cricket - Oecanthus fultoni - male
Snowy Tree Cricket -

I ordered another tower fan from Amazon to help us get through the ongoing 90-degree weather, but it dawned on me that climate change is a real threat to older people and public health policy must reflect that fact ASAP. Turns out it is already on the radar as noted in this Environmental Health Perspectives publication. Here's more from the U.S. Global Change Research Program.
Kind of scary!


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