2008-04-10 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

The number one dog on the island is a beautiful yellow Lab named Rose.

She has the number one dog tag that is valid from May 1, 2008 to April 30, 2009. Now is the time to renew. So, leash up your canine and head off to the Town Clerk's office before the 30th, when your dog's current license expires.

We asked if the town would supply us with the names of the top 10 renewals. The lovable descriptions in the following list are those of Deputy Town Clerk Kimberly A. Turcone.

Number 2 tag belongs to another beautiful yellow Lab named Lilly; number 3 is worn by a very handsome yellow Lab named Jack; Ronnie, a very attractive and robust white and grey pit bull, carries number 4; number 5 belongs to a buff and proud soft-coated Wheaton Terror (oops, I mean terrier) by the name of Bailey; Shylo is a "bugling" beagle with tag number 6; number 7 is worn by a beautiful black and white Alaskan malamute howling to the name of Kodiak; number 8 is on the graceful neck of a white and brown American bull dog named Mz. Mandy; a bodacious black and white pit bull mix named Bo has number 9; and number 10 went to a cute miniature schnauzer by the name of Ozzi, who wears his salt and pepper colors with much love and pride!

Thanks, Kim! WOOF!

***

Congratulations to islander Maureen Lipinski, who won the contest at BankNewport matching up baby pictures with members of the bank staff. She was awarded a $25 gasoline gift certificate.

An honorable mention went to Bucky Caswell, who although not an employee, pinned up his 1928 baby picture along with the others. He just wanted everyone to know he was one cute kid.

***

It's time to oil up the gloves and see if your cleats still fit. It's almost "Play Ball" time.

Tony Rafanelli reports that new Jamestown Baseball President Steve Cirella is busy planning for a new and exciting season.

Saturday, May 3, is opening day. All players, except instructional TBallers, will gather at the Community Center that morning at 9:45 for the step off of the annual baseball parade promptly at 10. Instructional T-Ballers get to ride the firetrucks so they'll meet at the fire station at 9:45 a.m.

The parade will proceed up Narragansett Avenue to Lawn Avenue and then to the major league baseball field for the traditional opening ceremonies. Current plans call for a round robin major league scrimmage.

Stay tuned!

***

Gracie Sisson was clearing out her late father's house and came upon early issues of the Jamestown Gazette from 1937 and tax lists from 1890 and 1892.

She passed them on to us for our perusal and then, at her request, we'll hand them over to the Jamestown Historical Society.

They make fascinating reading. The oldest document is the Tax List of the Town of Jamestown, together with the Town Treasurer's report for the year 1890. Charles E. Weeden was the Town Clerk and T.A.H. Tefft the Tax Collector. There was a tax of .45 cents on each $100 assessed on ratable property.

"A discount of 2 percent will be allowed on all taxes paid before the 20th day of September, and 12 percent per annum changed on all taxes not paid by December 1st, 1890."

The tax list had the names of some 560 persons and businesses. The highest payers included: James A. Brown, $45; George C. Carr, homestead, $92.25; John F. Carr, estate of, $66.60; William H. and John H. Caswell, $112.50; Arthur B. Emmons, $63; Henry L. Eustes, estate of, 3 houses, $56.25; Greene Farm, trustees of, $80; William H. Knowles, $54; Henry Lippitt, $166.50; Wister Morris, estate, $112.50; William T. Richards, $63; Lydia E. Sears, $56.25; Pardon Tucker, $243; Thomas Carr Watson, homestead, $117; and Mary L. Wharton, $135.

Then there were those like Darius and Irvin Wood and Walter Nichols who paid only 45 cents. Many paid 90 cents. The Jamestown & Newport Ferry Co. owed $22.50.

The total amount of taxes was $8,234.94 as assessed by Thomas G. Carr, Thomas Carr Watson, and Elijah Anthony.

The report of Thos. H. Clarke, the Town Treasurer, listed receipts and payouts by day and month. A pool table license was $10. You could rent the Town Hall for $3 and it cost $2 to bury a horse. An auction fee was $1.76. Edward Gladding was paid .75 cents for three crows' eggs, but Rollo Bevins got only .35 cents for seven crows' eggs. It cost $10 to use the road machine.

The fire department paid $200 to the Newport Fire Department for a fire engine.

The tax list may have been owned by the tax collector or another town official. Names were checked off as if indicating payment and after some names there are notations such as 1/2 paid or $6.60 paid. The letters "rem" are used after many names.

And, they didn't call them dog licenses in 1890, they called them dog taxes and they brought in $90 to the town.

But even in those days they had a problem balancing the budget. The Town Treasurer reported that he had expended $16,346.83 and received $15,670.90 - overdrawn by $675.93.

***

Check out the beautiful quilts hanging in the lobby of the library.

*** It's time to feed the 'Hogs!

***

It's time for the cats to get some ink. Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic obliges with his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Some people feel that making a cat "indoors only" is unfair to the pet, but we know that indoor cats, on average, will live twice as long as outdoor cats due to decreased diseases, be safe from being hit by cars, and have no chance of being attacked by other animals.

"Some cats are more difficult to make into indoor only pets,but most behavior problems from indoor cats come from boredom and finding ways to keep your cat active and happy will reduce those unwanted behaviors.

"First off, make sure that your indoor cat has plenty of space and gets regular exercise. On average, two 10-minute playtimes each day will keep your cat in better shape and temperament. Making sure your cat has a tall scratching post and an elevated perch like a window or dresser that they can get up to also helps them be more comfortable in their indoor environment. With a little persistence you should be able to have a safer, happier indoor pet."

MEOW!

***

Bill Sprague called Thursday to say the "funniest headline I've ever seen" was in that day's Press. It was on page 22 and read "Pet Refuge holds flea market."

"I hope they sell a lot of fleas," he quipped.

*** No takers on last week's poser.

Can't you hear me calling Caroline,

It's my heart a calling thine.

Lordy how I miss you gal of mine,

Wish that I could kiss you Caroline.......

It's an old timer, there have been a lot of Carolines since then.

***

If you're a Joe Pike fan, Robert Crais has his newest mystery novel, "The Watchman" out in paperback. It's the usual Crais excellence.

***

When I go to sleep, I never count sheep, I count............

***

Kudos to the 99 Restaurant in Newport. It's giving 10-percent discounts to all members of the military.

*** Be true!

***

Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760. You can e-mail us at jtnwalrus@hotmail. com or drop your items off at the Jamestown Press office

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