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Moving Towards May

As I awoke early and watched the news, it was just more of the same. Please don’t let as-seen-on-TV affect your mental health; turn it off, pray, and go about your day. There are a few topics I’ve been meaning to hit, as well as some words from you on black bear break-ins, so away we go.

First up are identity theft, fraud, and scams. There just seem to be more and more criminals attempting to contact individuals and con them out of what they’ve worked so hard for. They will stop at no end and will use any angle possible.

I have watched warnings during the tax season of how these scumbags are using the fear of tax collection, past-due taxes owed, and even refunds to get information and money out of people. Please hang up or discard however they attempt to reach you. Then, if you want peace of mind, call whoever they claimed they were representing. The list of offices you deal with as far as taxes is a pretty short list, and they almost always use the United States Postal Service to reach you.

No matter the scam, these individuals prey upon older folks, particularly women. If somebody reaches out to you and you are a winner of anything, please beware. If it were legitimate, you would have registered or entered the contest. They will already have your information. If it’s too good to be true, it’s a scam. I’m sure many of you reading this are thinking about the different ways you have been contacted that have been flat-out shady, so you didn’t answer the call or immediately disregarded the message.

I’ll finish this topic with this — please notify the proper authorities immediately, if you believe it’s a scam. Doing nothing will just allow another innocent person to be victimized. Trust your instincts and keep a hold of your personal information and wallet.

Next up on my list; please use common sense when it comes to any kind of outdoor burning this time of year. As I’m penning this, although we got a little rain, things are dry. I’m hoping before you read this, mother nature takes care of this problem.

Late April and May are always dangerous for brush and forest fires. The direct sunlight is very strong,
and all of last year’s dead vegetation provides a perfect fire source. Wildfires can spread incredibly fast, especially on a windy day.

Moving right along, May Primary time is just around the corner; please educate yourself about the candidates. The governmental decisions that affect you most begin right here at home. Please take the time to know who wants your vote, and what they are about before Tuesday, May 16th, to vote.

Lycoming County has some very important seats to fill. All three county commissioner spots are on the line, two court of common plea gavels are up for grabs, as well as many other positions. Now is the time to prepare to have your voice heard through the power of your vote.

There are also many city, municipality, and school board positions on your local ballots. Again, these folks have a great effect on your everyday life; they are responsible for making your town a place to call home. Your May vote counts!

That gets me to a couple of bear comments about my article from last week. Thank you to the folks that
reached out with concerns about me putting my garbage in the garage; if you remember, I was going to do so to eliminate an outside food source.

Well, it seems the Pennsylvania black bear has been the perpetrator of a few smash-and-grabs in our area. As in smashing their way into garages and grabbing whatever they want. This includes that garage can idea I had as well as other food sources. A couple of bears have even helped themselves into those refrigerators so many of us have in the garage. Maybe that’s a way for me to get rid of that case of Bud Light.

Seriously though, bears can do a lot of monetary damage. Not to mention who wants to head out to the garage and be greeted by a black bear? A frightened bear in a confined space could be a really dangerous situation.

As I ended my article last week, it’s up to you to determine if that bear has crossed the line and has become a nuisance; if so, it’s time to contact the local Game Commission office. I’m glad and safe to say I was too lazy to put my garbage toter in the garage and now have a reason not to. I always love hearing from you; remember, my contact information is always on page 4.

Let’s all be safe out there, focusing on the world around us, not the electronic device in front of us.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb