February 2011 Newsletter

News From Them Thar Hills!
Volume 2, Issue 2, February 2011 2010
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Union County is implementing an Emergency Notification System. Called “Union Alerts,” the system is designed to instantly reach cell phones, landlines, email, pagers and computer desktops when there is an urgent county alert that needs to be communicated.

You can register from a cell phone by texting UCALERT to 69310. You must remove all signatures and other text from the body of the message. They will then send you a confirmation text.

Union Alerts will originate from the following: Voice calls: 706-555-0911, Text messages: 69310, Emails: unionalert@uniongov.com.
Make sure and save the originating numbers and info under a heading you will recognize so you will know when the county is trying to communicate with you.

You will only receive emergency notifications from Union County unless you choose to receive additional alerts. You can choose to receive weather advisories, city activities, parks and recreations and Notla water alerts. Additional alerts will be available in the future and updated regularly here. There will be no ads or spam. There is no cost but your carrier may charge you for texts, depending upon your particular plan.
If you change your cell carrier you will still receive alerts if you retain the same number with which you signed on.

There are even multiple options for unsubscribing: Text STOP to 69310 from your cell or email remove@wensnetwork.com, or return to the location where you signed up and click on unsubscribe.

The thing to remember here is that this is a Beta system and as such will probably have some kinks to work out. I’m sure they will have it all figured out shortly and you will be receiving all the alerts in a timely manner. Here at Complete Home Services we will be signing up for all the alerts to make sure that security checks and other services are done in as expeditious manner as possible.
Here are the FAQ’s they have posted thus far:
How do I register?
Citizens of Union County can register by mailing your phone number, pager number and/or email address, name and address to 76 Hunt Martin St Suite D Blairsville Ga 30512 or call 706-439-6056.  You will receive a text confirming that you have opted into the alert system to receive emergency notifications.

Can I register via text?
Yes.  You can register from your cell phone by texting UCALERT to 69310.  You must remove all signatures and other texts in the body of your message.  You will receive a confirmation text message letting you know you have been signed up to receive Union Alerts.

How will I know when a message is from Union Alert?
Your Union Alerts will originate from the following:
Voice Calls:   706-555-0911
Text Messages:   69310
Emails:   unionalert@uniongov.com

The originating phone numbers should be saved in your phone book as “UC Alerts” to be sure you know when the county is trying to contact you.  The email address should be saved in your address book so it is not filtered as spam or junk mail.

What type of alerts will I receive?
You will only receive emergency notifications issued by Union County unless you choose to receive additional alerts. At this time, you can choose to receive weather advisories, city activities, parks and recreation.  Additional options will be available in the future so check back soon.

Will I receive ads or SPAM on my phone?
No. Inspiron Logistics, the company behind the Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS), does not tolerate spam text or email messages.

I don’t use text messages.  How else can I receive Union Alerts?
You can receive alerts on any landline number, email address or pager. All of these options are available on the sign-up page.

What if I change my mobile carrier and receive service through another company?
You will still receive alerts if your phone number has not changed. Union Alerts will automatically detect your new carrier.

How can I stop receiving the alerts?
There are a few ways to unsubscribe:
Text STOP to 69310 from your phone
Email: remove@wensnetwork.com
Return to the location where you signed up and click on “unsubscribe.”

Does Union Alert cost anything to use?
There is no cost for an individual who has registered for the alerts; however, your cell phone carrier may charge you to receive text messages, so please check your plan.

Will all cell phone carriers deliver Union Alert messages?
Yes. If for some reason you are unable to receive the text messages after you sign up, email support@inspironlogistics.com with your name, phone number, carrier and your comments.

Will Union County sell the information I enter tofor the Alerts system?
Your contact information will be used only for emergency notifications.Your information will never be sold to a third party nor will it be used for anything other than the Union Alerts system.

How do I add to, change, or update my registration information?
Follow the steps to unsubscribe your current information and sign up your new information on the entry point.

Alternatively you may go to our website, Complete Home Services , and look under the Blog section for the Union Alerts Service where you will find a sign-up form in the form of a doc and PDF file. You can fill it out and email it to me and we will print it out and drop it off the next time we are in town. Simple as that.

Attention Union County Homeowners!

The deadline is April 1, 2011 for filing homestead and other specialized exemptions in the Union County Tax Appraiser’s office. The following exemptions are available for qualified homeowners.
(applicant must be 62 years of age on or before January 1 and meet certain income requirements)
(applicant must be 65 years of age on or before January 1 )
Homeowners that are 65 years of age on or before January 1 may file for an additional exemption of the state portion of their property tax bill.
(applicant must have 100% service related disability & be 100% disabled with a letter from the veterans administration)
*All applicants must be residents of Union County, not claiming homestead on any other home in any location.
** You only have to file homestead exemption once, unless your address changes or the property is transferred.
Please be aware, if you do not apply by April 1st, you will not receive exemptions for the upcoming tax bill, no exceptions. If you are unsure if you have filed for the exemption(s) in the past or simply need more information, please contact Union County Appraiser’s Office at (706) 439-6011

If your residence is in another county in North Georgia you should contact that county’s tax office to see if any of the preceding information is applicable to you.
Local Eatin’

Looking for some good home cooked food that is not buffet style?You need to give the Comfort Café a try!Located in Blairsville, off the square in the shopping center with Papa’s Pizza.They serve Breakfast and Lunch Monday thru Saturday.The food is always fresh and the servings are generous.The menu selection is wide, for breakfast you can have all the normal breakfast fare to breakfast burritos to Breakfast casseroles.For Lunch there are Burgers, Homemade soups, specialty sandwiches and fantastic salads.Even items for the vegetarian.If you want to see where the “Locals” go give Comfort Café a try, you will not be disappointed.The hours are Mon – Fri, Breakfast 7 AM to 10:30 AM, Lunch 10:30 AM to 3:00PM; Saturdays: Breakfast 7 AM to 11:30 AM, Lunch 11:30 AM to 2:00PM.

Statement from their menu:
Comfort Foods and Dessert may cause extreme feelings of pleasure and euphoria. Happiness may become elevated.

**PLUS** They are opening a new restaurant called the Armadillo Café.We do not know the exact opening date but they are working diligently to get the facility completed.They will be featuring Southwestern Cuisine serving Lunch and Dinner. Located on Hwy 129 just north of town.We are very excited and anticipate the food will be as good as the Comfort Cafés. But before you get too excited, we have been informed that armadillo will not be part of the menu.
Nuthin’ Much!

That’s about what we have for this month’s “Vittles for Every Season” column. Stuck deep in the doldrums of the bleak winter we just couldn’t muster a recipe worth a darn. It’s not that I’m lazy but ya don’t want me fakin’ it, do ya? DO YOU!?!

Even though it’s still pretty cold, the latest forecast of snow kind of fizzled out right before my eyes. It’s a Miracle!!! These days I rarely get what I want so I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not that I’m that demanding but sometimes we believe ourselves to be deserving. My wife says I’m strict but benevolent. I like the way she says that. She has had 18 years to work on my perfectionist attitude… to ease it up a bit that is. I just believe that things should be done a certain way, my way if possible but if not, the correct way will suffice. Is that too much to expect? That may be the reason it has been so difficult to keep workers, whether it’s on the farm or here at my other job. I don’t ask people to necessarily work for me but rather to work with me. Young folks today don’t seem to know how to work hard or well. I got tired of hearing that when I was a kid but… I guess things do come around full circle. I guess as long as the cell phones and internet keeps working and they can derive some sort of income from it perhaps they will be ok?

We are actually getting a break from the cold weather at the moment. We hope to catch up on gutter cleaning and some other projects that have been on hold with the cold. It’s kinda hard to clean a gutter when everything inside of it is frozen solid, or covered with snow. We will be out dancing in between the rain and snow to “git ‘er done!” (Forgive me for that. I’m actually quite tired of hearing that little ditty.)

On another note, I am getting a piece of farm equipment that I have been salivating over for about 6 years. It’s called a spader and they are only made in Italy. And only priced in Euros. It appears as though I am about to place my order so I can grow a real market garden this year. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs once it gets here. DHS and others have their hand out for a variety of fees. At least there are no duties. The upside is I will be able to grow out some of my heirloom strains especial. We have been saving seeds for years. I have tomato strains like you’ve never tasted before. So good your tongue will beat your brains out trying to get to them! My Orange Sunshine tomato is the sweetest you’ve ever tasted. My Costoluto Genovese and Rose strains are fat and juicy with a complex flavor you won’t soon forget. I plan to set up at both the Blairsville and Blue Ridge Farmer’s Markets this year. I’ll let you know when my season starts so you can prime up your taste buds. We’ll have some other things besides tomatoes and perhaps some things on a limited basis. Since I like you so much perhaps I will accept some email orders once the season gets in full swing so you can be sure and get what you want without having to be there at 6 am. We usually sell out early! We’ll see.
…a note from Cindy

January is finally behind us.I don’t want to wish my life away but it has been a rough January.Very cold, wet and white!The days are getting a little longer and the squirrels are busy starting to build their nests.Which is the topic of my note – Squirrels in the Attic.I like to think I have a nice house, it definitely is very well constructed, yet at 8:00PM last night what do we hear?The little patter of squirrel feet (I am assuming Flying Squirrel) in my wall.So now begins the task of attempting to get and keep them out of my house.Especially as he or she is probably building a nest and in several months I may have the patter of many little squirrel feet.Many of you have had or will have flying squirrels get in your attic. They are nocturnal so you will only hear them at night, they are awfully cute but if you are like me you may not want to have these little squatters in your house.I will keep you posted on our squirrel adventure and as soon as I figure out how to get them out I will let you know!

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Questions or comments? E-mail us at donald@gamtnhome.com or call 678-439-9125
All content contained herein written and produced by Donald Caraway with submissions from Cindy Cohen.