+ WHEELIE BINS - I recently read one of the most bizarre stories ever written, courtesy of the Oxford Mail, a daily newspaper published in the city that is home to the oldest English speaking university in the world.
The article reported the city council had confirmed that microchips had been installed in each of the city's garbage totes distributed last November.
The purpose was to locate lost or stolen totes, although the chips also have the capacity to record and store data about the weight of household waste in each tote.
There's only one catch.
In Oxford, they aren't called totes. They're known as "wheelie bins."
To its credit, the government will not charge homeowners for garbage collection by weight. Jean Fooks, the council's "executive member for a cleaner city" and the woman in charge of its "waste collection arrangements," said the plea for a cleaner environment should not be hampered by charging residents more if they participate.
"It's too much stick and not enough carrot," Fooks said.
Who edits that newspaper? Monty Python?
+ TWIN FAIR - Believe it or not, there are at least three former employees of the old Twin Fair retail chain now working within a three-block stretch of Main Street in Williamsville.
Each of us punched the time clock at the Elmwood Avenue store in Buffalo, just south of Kenmore Avenue. It later became a Gold Circle store.
It was a way to earn some money while going to Buffalo State. I worked in the automotive and paint departments and when things got busy, I was even called up front to bag.
Twin Fair was ahead of its time. It featured discounted clothing, sporting goods, records and tapes in addition to auto and hardware items. On the other side of the store was a complete supermarket. Up front was a lunch counter. There wasn't much it did not sell.
Federated Department Stores Inc. purchased all the outstanding stock of Twin Fair Distributors Corp. in 1982, according to the New York Times. The chain later closed, as did local competitors Two Guys and IDS.
Who are the other two former Twin Fair employees in the village?
One is in confectionery pursuits and the other is a celebrated mixologist. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent.
+ REPORTER UPDATE - Elizabeth Taufa has been handling lifestyle, village government and other assignments the past few weeks while Jill Schmelzer has been covering the East Aurora beat during the maternity leave of that paper's editor. In the interim, an opening developed for editor of The Ken-Ton Bee, and Schmelzer has been appointed to that position, effective this week. Taufa will remain as the Amherst reporter. She can be reached at etaufa@BeeNews.com or by telephone at 204-4929.
+ REUNION - The Williamsville High School class of 1957 will sponsor a 50th reunion from Friday through Sunday, July 27-29. Organizers are looking for information on six missing graduates. For more information, contact Donna (Wershoven) Welton at 689-0150 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.