REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: Sorry we waited 7 years to bill you -- please pay now

Bruce Salisbury, an electrician who lives in Margaretta Township, dropped by the paper last week to show me the bill he got in the m
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Bruce Salisbury, an electrician who lives in Margaretta Township, dropped by the paper last week to show me the bill he got in the mail a couple of days ago from the juvenile division of Erie County Common Pleas Court.

The bill, dated Jan. 23 this year, asks him to pay $6 for fees he ran up using the court system in 2001.

"A review of your records indicates that you have not been billed in this case," the bill states. "We apologize for this tardy notification. Please pay within the next 30 days."

Salisbury says he'll pay the bill, but he isn't sure why Erie County waited more than seven years to charge him for legal fees he incurred in the first year of George W. Bush's first term.

"I thought about sending them a quarter a month," he said. "How do you run a business, and you bill somebody seven years later?"

The court has been auditing all past-due bills, preparing to turn them over to a collection agency, explained Judge Robert DeLamatre, who handles juvenile matters for the local courts.

But he added he does think it's odd to mail out a $6 bill that's nearly eight years old.

DeLamatre says his employees were doing their job by sending out the bill when they discovered it, but he wished they would have brought the bill to his attention before mailing it.

The judge said he's reviewing how old bills are handled.

Tom Jackson

It’s a small world

Several days ago, I sent a group e-mail seeking donations for the Special Olympics of Ohio. The correspondence was meant to let friends and family —including my nephew, Aaron Barrett, in Kentucky — know of my participation in the Polar Bear Plunge as part of the Funcoast Freeze team. And along with all the “Are you nuts?!” replies I received, I also secured a few pledges, which was great.

As for my nephew, the Aaron that responded was not “my” Aaron. It seems the address I copied — from another family member’s recent e-mail —belongs to an Aaron Barrett in Vancouver, Canada. Whoops!

The Canadian Aaron asked if I knew of any Barrett relation in Ireland and, after telling him I just didn’t know as much as I’d like about my dad’s side of the family, he assured me “we’re definitely cousins (probably a few generations apart though). Our family comes from County Offlay, County Mayo and County Limerick... My Dad moved to Canada in ‘63. We’re regular folks, probably the same as you.”

I also learned our surname means “rowdy or unruly” in Gaelic.

— Laura Barrett

And now, the rest of the phone call

Radio listeners are undoubtedly familiar with legendary broadcaster Paul Harvey’s daily reports and his reading of product advertisements.

But you may not know that Harvey is inadvertently giving the local tourism bureau a plug.

Apparently Allergy Control Products, a company advertised by Harvey, has an 800 number that differs from the Lake Erie Shores and Islands’ number by only one digit. Harvey listeners dialing for allergen-resistant pillows and air filters ring into Lake Erie Shores and Islands if they mistakenly call 1-800-ALLERGE instead of 1-800-ALLERGY.

Lake Erie Shores and Islands East director Joan Van Offeren said the bureau isn’t inundated with calls, but people do make the mistake.

Sarah Weber

How sweet ... thanks!

Make sure you pick up Tuesday’s copy of FIT! Magazine ... it’s all about eating healthy, living healthy, staying healthy. You can even go online to follow the adventures of local fitness bloggers Ken Gipe and Kristin Gleis as they go public with their efforts to shed pounds in a healthy way.

Anyway, FIT! Editor Brandi Barhite left a gift with the Register’s copy editors and design desk to thank them for their work.

A box of doughnuts.

Don Lee

Five-second delay

I am from Pittsburgh, Pa.

I went home last weekend to watch the big game.

The funny thing is I watched most of the game at a place with two television sets in separate rooms.

There was a five-second delay between the sets.

This meant we could hear from the other room cheers and hurrahs, or gasps and groans, seconds before a play was made or went bust.

It sounds like a horrible way to watch a game — knowing beforehand what would happen each down.

But a friend pointed out that we voluntarily watch many things knowing what will happen. For instance, we buy movie tickets to romantic comedies, knowing full well things will work out in the end.

Even so, we moved into the room with the television five seconds ahead.

The suspense is one of the best parts of watching sports.

Cory Frolik