Castle Valley Comments
January 31, 2013
by By Ron Drake
Jan 31, 2013 | 972 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Income tax time has come around again and Bob and Kathy Russell of Castle Valley are again serving as Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) workers. VITA volunteers are sponsored and certified by the Internal Revenue Service to prepare and file taxes free of charge for low-income taxpayers. Bob and Kathy have helped a number of Castle Valley residents in the past and they asked me to let people know that their service is available again this year.

This free service is available to most households with incomes of $51,000 or less. It is offered through the Utah State University Extension. Call Mike Johnson at 259-7558 for an appointment. You will need to bring either your social security cards for anyone listed on your return, or your SSA-1099 Social Security Benefit Statement if you are retired. All the tax discussions are held in Moab at the Utah State University Extension.

Some people are not required to file taxes, but may find that an income tax return will be required for future assistance.

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The Castle Valley Planning and Land Use Commission would like to invite residents to their next meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7 p.m. to discuss auto repair shops in Castle Valley.

Last September, the town council formally initiated amendments to our land use ordinance to prohibit auto repair shops as home/premises occupations. This allowed the town a six-month period for consideration and community discussion. More formal public hearings will be held in March, but commission members hope to get as much community feedback as possible on this topic. All town residents are invited to come and voice their opinions and concerns. If you are unable to attend meetings, letters can always be submitted to the town clerk. 

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I have been reflecting lately about the printing industry and my role in it. Few people probably know, but this week is International Printing Week. Obviously, it is not one of our major events in the nation; the banks and post office won’t even observe it and there will be no parade down Main Street or rally at the courthouse. Maybe a few old printers will remember, but otherwise, why bother?

It has caused me to reflect a few minutes about the significance of the industry in my life, having been employed by publishing and printing companies off and on since the age of 12 when I was a newspaper boy for a small daily newspaper in California. I have owned and worked at other businesses and occupations over the years (all more lucrative) but have always been proud to consider myself a printer

I’m not sure if printing ink gets into the veins like they say, but all I know is that when we moved to Castle Valley nearly 35 years ago and I was away from the industry for a while and I missed that smell. On the way to the old First Security Bank across the alley from The Times-Independent, I would open the back door and take in a big whiff of the unique odor found only in a print shop, and let the memories come flooding back.

A little while later, after I began working at the Times, I would occasionally run one of the old seldom-used printing presses and Sam related how the distinctive sound of the machine brought back memories of his youth when he worked for his dad on that same press.

I remember working as a young man at a small daily newspaper after school and watching with awe as the Teletype rattled off news from around the world non-stop. I was even more amazed as pictures slowly, one line at a time, appeared on paper from a machine connected to the telephone lines, and I marveled at the large, noisy Goss Flat Bed press stacking freshly printed newspapers for delivery. The ladies at the drugstore next door to the newspaper office said the bottles on the shelves would rattle during the daily press run. Back in those days, the town leaders would congregate at the newspaper office to get the first news from the national election returns as it came in over the Teletype.

Today, the presses look different, typesetting equipment bears no resemblance to the old “hot type” method, and the whole printing process has changed for the better. But I also think some of the magic is gone from the profession.

Today, many of the large dailies are struggling financially and some of the old institutions are closing due to the increased competition from the electronic media and the instant news coverage available. The smaller weekly newspapers, however, are still an important part of the community. They contain local news of our children, grandchildren, neighbors and friends – something you won’t usually find in the larger dailies or the electronic media.

Since retirement, I no longer experience the frustration of working with ornery presses that I swear have minds of heir own, but I’m still proud of the time I spent as a printer.

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