Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Nam on Facebook: Connellsville Trick-Or-Treat

From Connellsville mayor Greg Lincoln's Facebook:

Yes, trick-or-treat has been moved from a Sunday afternoon to Halloween night from 6 to 8 p.m. Travesty!

Connellsville, your mayor's got a point--Connellsville doesn't turn into some lethal cesspool after dark, and I'm saying this as someone who occasionally drinks until very late at night at Lynn's. Yeah, things happen and they always will, but 6 to 8 on Halloween probably isn't going to put your kids or anyone else in any danger.

In fact, trick-or-treating on Halloween will probably just be more fun, and what kid wants to trick-or-treat and binge on their candy on a school night? Let's be real, here--weekend trick-or-treat will make your lives easier, parents.

But if you're that worried, you could always do what my parents did with my brother and I--drive us around to relatives' houses instead of neighborhood trick-or-treat. Which sounds like overprotective overkill now that I'm an adult, but we had fun and never missed out on a whole hell of a lot without the full door-to-door experience.

Or you can get in on the festivities in my parents' neighborhood, especially since I'm pretty sure all the parents there invite all their relatives and friends kids' up anyway. Which is a pretty good idea if you're concord about crime and safety in your own neighborhoods...

P.S.: If I help with trick-or-treat and I'm down to our last nice pre-made treat bags and am progressing to good-but-not-awesome treat bags because we ran out of most candy and your kid is dressed as a Wizard of Oz character or something else I like, I'll play favorites and give that kid one of the better bags. Unless maybe they're with siblings because we all know how that one will end.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Fayette County among hardest places to live in the country

Thanks to a reader for alerting me to this on Facebook! Remember, if you want me to write about something, send it my way. I make no promises, but my readers tend to send me really interesting stuff. And I am but one expat with a day job and other writing ventures.

According to a new study, Fayette County is one of the hardest places to live in the country. After measuring six data points--education (percentage of residents with at least a bachelor's degree), median household income, unemployment rate, disability rate, life expectancy, and obesity--things aren't looking so great for us.

The numbers are pretty interesting--median income of about $38,000, 14% are college educated, 9.3% are unemployed, 4.4% are on disability, and 42% are obese. The full study, as linked above, goes into more of the comparisons and such.

Interestingly, comparable counties are mostly in the south. Although for some local perspective, Westmoreland County--where my boyfriend lives--is closer to the best, and Washington County--where I live--is more in the middle. Now, I've always held the theory that people from the Nam who do get college educations or generally do pretty well for themselves ultimately leave for a better area, and so far, that's anecdotally true. My boyfriend and I both took our degrees and went to neighboring counties, while I know of others who left for different states entirely. And for a quick numbers comparison for how things go when you cross those county lines, Washington County has a median income of $53,000, 25% are college educated, 7.3% are unemployed, 1.7% are on disability, and 39% are obese. Westmoreland County has a median income of $49,000, 24.7% are college educated, 7.4% are unemployed, 1.6% are on disability, and 36% obese.

Fayettenam, maybe we can look to our neighbors for ideas on how to boost ourselves up a bit.