Monday, August 26, 2013

Plenty of News to Go Around!

I hope that all of you had a great week. Except for one rain storm, the weather held out , the New York State Fair started, and the President visited!

The President in Syracuse: We brought our oldest son to college (University at Buffalo) while the President was speaking on campus. On the way up the thruway we saw all of the barricades, police cars, and yellow tape. Believe it or not we had no trouble at all getting there. We got him unpacked and tucked in and hit the road back to Syracuse only to be stopped dead near Geneva because the President's motorcade was headed to Syracuse for his speech at Henninger High School. We had kept track of his progress most of the day via Twitter to make sure the roads would be clear for us to get home, but we missed that he made a special stop in Seneca Falls. That was information we certainly could have used!  Our two hour trip home turned into a three hour and forty-five minute trip! No biggie. We needed the down time after an emotional day. 

I was able to listen to his speech from Henninger High School later that night, and regardless of political party, being in the same room with the Commander in Chief is pretty cool and I was envious of all who were able to enjoy their rime with him.  A couple of years ago I was afforded an opportunity to attend the White House Correspondents Dinner and was close to both the President and First Lady, and I can still remember that experience like it was yesterday. Kudos to Corcoran High School senior Emilio Ortiz for accepting the challenge to introduce the President; he did an admirable job.

Very Busy Work Week: We were busy at work last week with the following:
Getting our Annual Professional Performance Review approved by the New York State Education Department, getting state scores out to our teachers and administrators, finishing master schedules, finalizing transportation routes, and getting things ready for opening day.

 The Marching Band had their annual "preview" as well and they are nearly ready to take their show on the road. I had a chance to walk through their practice during the week and they are large, loud, and determined.

The same can be said for our football team. I thought I wanted to hop in on a practice and take a couple of hits but then smartly reconsidered and will just continue to hurt myself by running!

STAR Exemption: Finally, New York State is changing how they handle the STAR exemption process and taxpayers who own homes (with the exception of those who receive the STAR Enhanced exemption) will have to sign up each year to continue receiving STAR. Homeowners will be receiving a letter shortly from New York State with a BASIC STAR code and a website to go to in order to keep your exemption up to date.  DO NOT THROW YOUR LETTER AWAY.  We have gotten used to STAR as homeowners and in most cases we need to remember that the BASIC STAR exemption takes in the neighborhood of $30,000 off of the value of our home before taxes are calculated. That is significant so don't forget to take care of this when the letter comes.  Click here for more information about the program.

I am a New York State Fair fan and have only missed one year when I was a freshman in college, so if you are going you will probably see me there.  Have a great week!