Ed Griesel, being one to say very little until he has given what he is about to say a great deal of thought, had a few words to say regarding the Downtown Merchants Association at Tuesday's meeting. To be historically correct, let me say that I wasn't there but I did talk to him on Wednesday. From our conversation, and "Ed's Notes" that he distributes after each meeting, it is evident that he is ready to step aside and let someone else take over the organization.
"I have been attending merchants meetings for nine and a half years and heading them up for eight and a half years," he said. "The group was formed to promote downtown businesses and raise funds for projects such as the 'Visit Historic Downtown Elkins' signs at the north and south approaches to the city. Since its start, the organization has grown from a few attendees to many from in the city and without. At the last meeting, some attendees said the group needs a more formal structure and a name change. Maybe it is time for both. The Inter-Mountain is putting together a questionnaire for business owners in order to obtain their thoughts. As all of this is going on, I think it's a great time for someone else to step forward to assume leadership of the group."
With the U.S. Census process getting under way, the Better Business Bureau is advising people to be cooperative, but cautious, so as not to become a victim of fraud or identity theft.
The first phase of the 2010 U.S. Census is under way as workers have begun verifying the addresses of households across the country. Eventually, more than 140,000 U.S. Census workers will count every person in the United States and will gather information about every person living at each address including name, age, gender, race and other relevant data.
The big question is how do you tell the difference between a U.S. Census worker and a con artist? The BBB offers the following advice: First, if a U.S. Census worker knocks on your door, they will have a badge, a handheld device, a Census Bureau canvas bag and a confidentiality notice. Ask to see their identification and their badge before answering their questions. However, you should never invite anyone you don't know into your home. Secondly, Census workers are currently only knocking on doors to verify address information. Do not give your Social Security number, credit card or banking information to anyone, even if they claim they need it for the U.S. Census.
Remember, no matter what they ask, you need only tell them how many people live at your address.
While the Census Bureau might ask for basic financial information such as a salary range, you don't have to answer anything at all about your financial situation. The Census Bureau will not ask for your Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers, nor will employees solicit donations. Anyone asking for this information is not with the Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau has decided not to work with ACORN on gathering this information. No ACORN worker should approach you saying he or she is with the Census Bureau.
Eventually, Census workers may contact you by telephone, mail or in person at home. However, the Census Bureau will not contact you by e-mail, so be on the lookout for e-mail scams impersonating the census.
Never click on a link or open any attachments in an e-mail that are supposedly from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For more advice on avoiding identity theft and fraud, visit www.bbb.org.
A great many of the statistics we have to read are dry if not outright boring. The following data from 100 years ago might have been boring back then but makes for some interesting reading a century later. Take a few minutes and enjoy a little insight into what it was like in America "back in the good ole' days."
The average life expectancy was 47 years.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 miles per hour.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
The average wage in 1909 was 22 cents per hour.
The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year, a dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at home.
Ninety percent of all doctors had no college education. Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press.
Sugar cost 4 cents a pound.
Eggs were 14 cents a dozen.
Coffee was 15 cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.
The five leading causes of death were pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke
The American flag had 45 stars.
The population of Las Vegas, Nev., was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer and iced tea had not been invented yet.
There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults could not read or write.
Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."
Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant of domestic help.
There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.A.
There will be a ceremony honoring our veterans at 11 a.m. at the All Veterans Memorial on Nov. 11. This is the once-a-year opportunity for us to publicly show our respect for and support those that have served and are serving to protect our cherished way of life. Many paid the ultimate price that we may live as we do.
Keep in mind that the Christmas parade will take place on Dec. 4 in downtown Elkins. Beverly will celebrate its "Old Fashion Christmas" on Dec. 5. Both are fun for children and adults alike.
Thought for the weekend: Seek what is right as opposed to what fits a theory. (Author unknown).