The State Library of Ohio recently provided a list of some mobile state and federal government apps in their online publication “Government Information You Can Use”.
For example, the Ohio Department of Transportation provides an app with real time road conditions, including accidents, for interstate traffic. These apps are directed at consumers and are by no means a complete list. For federal apps, you can use their website to get a full list of mobile apps by agencies and topics. The number of available apps is growing monthly as federal agencies recognize the value to their citizens. The U.S. Census Bureau has a cool app called dwellr which provides key statistics, from education to commuting, for the top 25 cities that fit your lifestyle. One of the newer apps is the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Speed Test. This app measures your mobile broadband performance by anonymously gathering data from your smartphone. Eventually, the accumulated data from thousands of volunteers will yield a map of mobile broadband performance throughout the country.
And don’t forget the library’s new mobile app, where you can search the catalog, access e-books and e-magazines, check our calendar of events and find library locations and hours.
This current time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur seems like an appropriate time to consider the large body of literature on the subject of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, this ancient city which is also claimed as the capital city of present day Palestinians. A subject search for Jerusalem in the Akron-Summit County Library’s catalog reveals 257 titles on this topic in our collection. There are cookbooks, travel books, spiritual titles, documentary DVD’s, and, of course, many history books. Business and Government houses the history titles, so those will be highlighted here.
Currently on my reading shelf is Simon Sebag Montefiore’s Jerusalem: the Biography. A weighty historical compendium, it chronologically spans Jerusalem’s history from the time of Biblical King David to the Six Days War in 1967. As written here, Jerusalem’s history is an ongoing tale of blood and brutality between the ruling faction of the day and their enemies and challengers. Israelites, Philistines, and Canaanites; a long list of Herods, and a longer list of Caesars; Greeks and Romans; Jewish High Priests, Muslim Caliphs, and Crusading Christian Knights—–and on and on and on. As with many topics, knowing a bit about history provides perspective. Undoubtedly, the recent bloodshed and unrest between Israel is frightening and unnerving. But it is certainly nothing new in Jerusalem. For centuries there has been strife and bloodshed between Jews, Muslims, and Christians in this spiritually revered and politically valued city, not to mention the violence between different factions of the same religions. Focus has often been on the Temple Mount area, location of the Second Jewish Temple until destruction by the Romans in 70 CE. It has been home to the Dome of the Rock since 691 CE, one of Islam’s holiest sites. The intensity of the struggle over this area is tied to the ancient belief that Jerusalem and especially this area is the center of the world.
Jerusalem : the Biography has been very enlightening and rather titillating in its inclusion of every bloody and debauched act in a long history. Other notable titles include Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths by prolific writer and scholar of comparative religion, Karen Armstrong. Jerusalem; City of Longing by Professor of Greek Literature and Culture, Simon Goldhill; and Jerusalem, Jerusalem: How the Ancient City Ignited Our Modern World written by James Carroll, historian, journalist, and Roman Catholic reformer. The long and rich history and current state of the city of Jerusalem provides ample material for viewing through each writer’s lens.
If you are needing help with the Probate Court they now have a help desk. A description of how they can help you and the services they offer are listed on their website:
“The Help Desk offers guidance in the following areas: name changes, assist with simple estate transfers, clarify issues related to guardianships, distribute and review probate forms, provide notary services, and answer questions regarding probate court procedures. Help Desk attorneys cannot assist with the making of a will, complicated estates, adoption proceedings, or contested matters. If a specific situation is not within the scope of the Help Desk, individuals will be referred to the Akron Bar Association for a list of probate attorneys who specialize in probate law.
Probate form packets for all court matters are available in the Probate Court Clerk’s Office, 209 S. High Street, Akron, Ohio, 44308, or can be downloaded at www.summitohioprobate.com/Forms. Help Desk hours are every Wednesday and Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Prior appointments preferred yet walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment or for more information, call the Probate Court at 330.643.2323. Court filing fees remain applicable; there is no charge for Help Desk services.”
In addition, check out the Probate Court website to see valuable information concerning Advanced Directives, the importance of wills and guardianship volunteer opportunities.
The IRS continues to warn the public to be alert for telephone scams and offers five tell-tale warning signs to tip you off if you get such a call. These callers claim to be with the IRS. The scammers often demand money to pay taxes. Some may try to con you by saying that you’re due a refund. The refund is a fake lure so you’ll give them your banking or other private financial information.
These con artists can sound convincing whenever they call. They may even know a lot about you. They may alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling. They use fake names and bogus IRS badge numbers. If you don’t answer, they often leave an “urgent” callback request.
The IRS respects taxpayer rights when working out payment of your taxes. So, it’s pretty easy to tell when a supposed IRS caller is a fake. Here are five things the scammers often do but the IRS will not do. Any one of these five things is a sign of a scam. The IRS will never:
1. Call you about taxes you owe without first mailing you an official notice.
2. Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the chance to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.
3. Require you to use a certain payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.
4. Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
5. Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement to have you arrested for not paying.
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and asking for money, here’s what to do:
- If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to TIGTA at 1.800.366.4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
- If phone scammers target you, also contact the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov. Use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” to report the scam. Please add “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.
- If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 to talk about payment options. You also may be able to set up a payment plan online at IRS.gov.
Remember, the IRS currently does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issues. For more information on reporting tax scams, go to www.irs.gov and type “scam” in the search box.
Addiction damages individuals, families, communities. Akron-Summit County’s Business & Government Division has compiled a guide to Summit County resources entitled Looking for a Way Out: Addiction Treatment and Education Resources in Summit County. Copies are free and available at Main Library and our branches. Contact Business & Government at (330)643-9020 for more information.
Use your library card to access the Morningstar Investment Research Center database through the Akron-Summit County Public Library, in house or from home. Not only only will you find in ratings and in-depth information on mutual funds, which Morningstar is famous for, but also individual stocks, exchange traded funds and markets. The database also contains various features and tools that compare and screen funds, as well as a “portfolio x-ray” feature in which you can input your own holdings and the website will analyze your entire portfolio. Plus access PDFs of their mutual fund, stock and ETF newsletters. The site also boasts access to articles and videos, as well as, an educational portal which offers guides and courses on a wide range of subjects on the database and investment topics.
The author of international bestseller GI Brides, Nuala Calvi, will return to Akron in September to mark the American publication of her book 70 years after her grandmother arrived in the city.
Calvi’s grandmother Margaret Boyle was one of the first GI brides to come to America following the ‘friendly invasion’ of more than 2 million American soldiers to Britain during World War Two. Some 70,000 British women lost their hearts to American men stationed in the country in the run-up to D-Day, giving up everything and everyone they knew to start a new life in the US.
Margaret’s husband, Lawrence Rambo, left the struggling South for a job at the Goodyear Tire Company in Akron, which was booming in the war years producing synthetic rubber for the war effort and building parts for B29 bombers and blimps for the US navy.
Staff at Akron City Hospital saved Margaret’s life with a new miracle drug – Penicillin – when she gave birth to her daughter and contracted puerperal fever. The drug had been developed for the troops and was extremely rare at the time.
Calvi and her writing partner Duncan Barrett came to Akron in 2012 for their research. Staff at Akron-Summit County Public Library helped them track down a 1945 edition of the Akron Beacon Journal in which her aunt’s birth at Akron City Hospital was announced. They also helped identify where Calvi’s grandparents were living at the time, in a rural area with no street address. Using old maps of 1940s postal routes they were able to locate the right area. Calvi also visited Akron City Hospital and was shown by an older nurse the ward where her aunt was born almost 70 years ago.
For more information, call the Business & Government Department at (330)643-9020. Copies of GI Brides will be available for purchase and there will be a book signing after the talk.
The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refund checks totaling more than $16 million to 18,571 consumers who paid money to American Tax Relief, which bilked financially distressed consumers by falsely claiming it could reduce their tax debts. Under a settlement, the defendants turned over millions of dollars in assets the court had frozen, including bank accounts, jewelry, and a Ferrari. The relief defendants, who were the parents of one of the defendants, also turned over bank accounts, jewelry, a Beverly Hills residence, and a Los Angeles condominium.
Affected consumers will receive, on average, 16 percent of the amount they lost. Those who receive checks from the FTC’s refund administrator should cash them within 60 days of the mailing date. The FTC never requires consumers to pay money or to provide information before refund checks can be cashed. Those with questions should call the refund administrator, Gilardi & Co., LLC, at 1-877-430-3699, or visit www.FTC.gov/refunds for more general information.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
That is a common fear that we often hear when encouraging people to come into Akron. There are a variety of parking spots downtown, including the deck that is attached by indoor walkway to the library. If you go to http://www.downtownakron.com/getting-around/parking you can get a list of all of the parking areas along with a map that you can download. This resource from the Akron Downtown Partnership should take some of the stress out of wondering where you will go once you are in the city.
While you are here, stop in your Main Library at 55 S. High St. and then pop up to the third floor which is where the Business & Government Division is now located. We still have the same great resources and also some added subjects along with a much better view. We welcome your visit.