It’s only scary if you think about it

I woke up feeling very anxious this morning. I really need to quit reading the national and international news before I go to bed. I do this so that when I come into the office in the morning and somebody makes a reference to something “in the news,” I’ll be able to join in all the camaraderie and knowing chuckles and bonding. Just like a real human being. It’s swell, isn’t it?

But I worry. Did you know that there is not a host for the Oscars? What’s with that? There has to be somebody out there who will make us all laugh and feel good about people who pretend for a living, patting themselves on the back. Otherwise, it’s just show featuring a lot of people wearing a lot of make up.

“Wow, the Oscars don’t have a host,” a co-worker says.

“I know, I know,” I jump right in.

There’s some serious bonding going on in our office.

Did you know that the Milky Way, our home galaxy, is being pushed across the cosmos at something like a jillion miles a minute? Something like that. I get lost when I read all that space stuff. Also, there is “probably” going to be a collision of some sort with the Milky Way and some super space cloud?

I’m surprised I don’t have nightmares after reading things like this. Of course we can’t really feel the Milky Way moving because we’re all pretty much insignificant little mites in the grand scheme of things, plus it’ll be about six billion years before the Milky Way runs out of room — maybe. And that collision with the super space cloud will happen, probably, in about two billion years, but tickets go on sale next week.

“I’m going to buy a ticket for the big collision,” a co-worker says.

“I think I’ll just watch six-year-olds play soccer. Same concept,” I offer.

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What do you think about ...

It’s been more than a year since the Vision for Downtown Clinton was first proposed. The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce initiative created a lot of talk, and a lot of “amendments” and suggestions to the original plan conceived by Gianni Longo. Pictured above is a change presented to Clinton City Council by the Clinton Historical Society to the original “vision.” With work proceeding on replacing Lewallen Bridge and less than 45 days before the City of Clinton learns the fate of the Magnet Mills site, what should be the first step in making a new vision for Downtown Clinton a reality? And more importantly, what measures can be taken to pay for it? E-mail your thoughtsto editor@mycouriernews.com

Don’t be a victim of tax preparer fraud

As tax season steadily approaches, many taxpayers will decide that they need to seek out professional tax advice.

The tax-preparation industry is mostly made up of honest individuals and companies that have the knowledge to assist you. You may have already seen commercials for them on TV or received advertisements in the mail.

However, the industry also includes some unscrupulous figures who make their money by taking advantage of unsuspecting taxpayers. I know because I’ve seen the effects firsthand. At Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands, where I’m an attorney, about 30 percent of our clients seek our help with issues related to bad tax preparation, tax preparer fraud or identity theft. These situations are more widespread than you might think, and can have a devastating effect on individuals and families.

You don’t have to be a financial expert to be able to spot when your tax adviser isn’t on the level. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when seeking tax advice.

Look closely at what you’re paying for.

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