Connecting the Dots
Power Outage on the NYSRF Work Weekend

Firemen's Parade

The Pleasantville Firemen's Parade was last night. This is a NYRSF work weekend and several staff members needed to be met at the train. The parade route loops around the train station, so from 7 pm until the parade was over, one could not drive to the train station. So I set up our chairs next to the gazebo by the train station and met Christine Quiones coming off the train. She was not expecting to attend a parade, but accepted the situation with good grace and viewed the proceedings with anthopological detachment.

Peter enjoyed the parade, but was disappointed by the abscence of Silly String. Elizabeth, attending her first Firemen's Parade, did a marvelous job of flag waving (and only a little flag chewing). I had been worried that she might be frightened by all the noise and sirens, but she was delighted.

The Katonah Firemen's parade, next Wednesday, is a much wilder affair. Last year at the Katonah parade, the entire lawn in our vicinity was covered with Silly String before the parade even started.

As the parade ended, Tavis Allison came off the next train, and then I drove us all up to the house.

Caitlin and Scott Blasdell also attended the parade, but watched it from the neighborhood party at the end of their street. I would have tried to meet up with them, but I needed to be available to meet the train.

Weather permitting, I'll take the kids to the Mt. Pleasant pool this afternoon. Peter loved going there when he was an infant, and I expect Elizabeth will be very pleased. I was planning to take Peter yesterday, but it rained just as he was coming off the bus, so we didn't go.

IN OTHER LOCAL NEWS: All the local school districts have their budget votes on June 3rd. Let's all go out and vote for tax increases to preserve the quality of education in our schools. We already pay amazingly high property taxes, but because of cuts at the state level, passing these school budgets is vital. And I think they will pass, because these communities really care about the quality of their schools. Our household cost of the tax increase? Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what portion of our tax bill is for schools, but I'm guessing that I'm voting to raise our annual tax bill by about $500/year. While the social equity of the NY state system is dubious, allowing wealthier communities to vote themselves better school systems, when poorer communities can't, I'm voting yes, and I believe that even in this relatively Republican place, this tax increase will pass. In some published reports, the high school in our district is one of the top ten public high schools in the country.

For futher discussion of why we need to raise school taxes, see Bill Keller's NTY editorial Spurious George:

Mr. Pataki came into office in 1994 as a liberal on social issues (except the death penalty), but an ardent tax-cutter. For the first couple of years he cut taxes and controlled spending, as promised. Then the Wall Street bonanza arrived. At that point, he became not a tax-and-spend liberal but something arguably worse, a don't-tax-and-spend-anyway conservative.

MEANWHILE: We've gone to the Episcopal Church sale and have bought Peter a bigger bike. Looks like we're not going to get to the pool, as rain is moving in.

Checking my email, I see that Patrick O'Leary directs our attention to Charlie Reese's Economic Worries.