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The Lehrer Report: Jan. 10, 2020


Saturday, January 11, 2020

Mary Carey of Amherst, a former Gazette reporter, sent the first postcard of the year.

She sent a photo of the Balance Rock, a Lanesborough landmark. This is what she wrote:

“It figures in Melville’s novel “Pierre.” It's a 165-ton boulder, 30 feet long, 15 feet wide that has been there since the last Ice Age.”

From the photo, the boulder is balanced on another rock. If you were strong enough you might be able to tip it, since one end is inches off the ground.

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Trivia fact learned at the Amherst 100 years ago talk by Marianne Curling at the Jones Library: The first federal income tax was collected in 1919. I don't recall any notice or ceremony last year to mark the 100th anniversary.

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That fact is a nice segue to my efforts this past week. The coming tax season made me go through bank statements, quarterly reports, insurance policies etc. I culled over six inches of paper — I measured. I found a sales receipt for a car I bought in 1994. I also found a letter requesting a refund for a prescription I never received in 2001. Now I can fill up the file cabinet with more paper ,or maybe not.

Can someone tell me, is it the 2011 or 2012 tax return that can be thrown away this year?

Also, the sticker says “Keep this cancelled passbook.” Do I have to keep it? Some are quite old.

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Save the date: the annual Martin Luther King Community Breakfast will be held at the Regional Middle School Jan. 18. Tickets are available at Hastings.

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Send items for the Lehrer Report to phyllehrer@gmail.com.