Brief asides


POSTED: Wednesday, August 19, 2009

We're not just happy, we're healthy, too

The same polling team that ranked Hawaii the happiest state last week now rates the islands as second healthiest. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being poll had Hawaii edging out Utah for the top spot, while the Gallup Healthways Healthy Behavior survey gave the honor to Vermont.

The Western states generally have healthy behavior and lower health costs, based on 2004 figures. Vermont spent $6,690 per person on health care, the nation's ninth-highest level, while Hawaii spent $4,941.

Time marches on

You know you're getting old when you hear about “;kids”; not knowing how to use dial telephones, or never having to use a card catalog (Dewey Who?).

Beloit College in Wisconsin releases an annual Mindset List which offers insight into the experiences of incoming college freshmen.

Perhaps it really offers insight into how fast the years really tick by for the rest of us.

Tax program pulls in the dough

Amnesty is good. It brings scofflaws in from out of the cold and creates a safe haven in which to move forward.

OK, so we're not talking spies and Cold War here—but for tax delinquents, the state's Tax Fresh Start Program was no doubt a relief. How else to explain $14.4 million in tax collections, more than double what officials thought the program would yield?

The collection, from May 27 to June 26, offered amnesty to taxpayers who had undisclosed or underreported state taxes owed before Dec. 31, 2007. Pay back taxes, they were told, and avoid penalties and the risk of prosecution. A reduced rate of interest for late taxes also enticed.

This was the first time the program was offered here—and shouldn't be the last.