Rotary Club
of East Hartford
   High Gear

Volume 2 | Issue 31, January 31, 2018

Twas another fine Winter’s day -  crisp, cool and sunny!  It was also the date of a true “ Super  Blood Blue Moon” with an eclipse thrown in for added interest.  This has not happened since 1866.  Blue Moons are rare and are, astrologically, speaking the second full moon in a given calendar month.  We will have two this year, but this will not happen for another 19 years! The Super Blood Blue Moon occurs when the moon is closest to the earth and the light refraction gives it a reddish tint – hence the name!  As you can probably note, it was a slow day!
Randi Saboski Incoming ADG 
As per usual President Dave sauntered up to the podium, rang the bell and started us in song, pledge, and then introduced Bob Wood to again give the invocation!  It seems as if I should be looking at an online Divinity School to brush up on “Invocationship”!  Either that or do some arm twisting and get some more signups!!!!! 
The rush to the Buffet table for all 23 Rotarians in attendance has slowed down a bit.  After last week’s disaster one wondered what might await us.  Lunch committee chair Jack Sayre complained to the caterer who then offered an apology for the poor offering last week.  Note – we did not pay the full price for the meal!  This week’s fare was much improved – mashed potato and gravy, ample (and good) fried chicken, green beans, warm rolls, a more generous tossed salad, and a nice assortment of dessert squares.
Upon reconvening, President Dave called  for the introduction of guests -Bob Bentley from Glastonbury, and Randi Saboski from Rockville.  Randi will be taking over Mark’s job as ADG starting in July.  Several people asked if she could start now!!!  George and Art provided a good note and we did a fairly good job singing the Welcome Song.
Glass v. Jacoby in Big Game Sunday
Again, Anwar approached the podium with many accolades and Mr. Nice guy comments relating to the fine job he has done in his first stint at Sgt. at Arms. I don’t know how he does it, but he gently extorts people into generously digging into their pockets and adding to the Club’s bottom line. 
Anwar was the first to contribute for having survived the job without being fired.  Wes Willett generously gave in recognition of the great job the Empress does, Happy Jack donated for his great new home, Bob Buettner for the great job Anwar was doing, Art Bradbury just for being happily alive, Mark Glass for a pre-victory donation on behalf of his Eagles, his green tablecloth in their honor, and for his Son’s leaving for South Korea to work the Olympics for NBC.  Finally, Steve Jacoby for being late AND for the Patriots, to counter Mark’s Eagles.  Question – Who won the last time they met in the Super Bowl?  This week’s raffle winner was Peter Klock, freshly back from vacation,
President Dave spoke about the Social Committee’s highly successful game night.  Upon arriving at the Ridge last Friday night they found the place dark and locked.  Dave went home, got the key and opened up.  The gamers all pitched in and set up the Ridge, arranged the tables, put out the food, and started the coffee.  The beginning of a fun and inexpensive night out with friends, beer, wine, and pizza.  What more could one ask for????
Dave also said he received a call from Ted Mosbach asking if anyone would like to volunteer about four hours a week to act as treasurer of the Interfaith Ministry Committee in East Hartford.  Call Dave if Interested.
Dan's Brave New World of Taxes
Our Speaker, Dan Firestone, gave us an update on the tax situation as it relates to this past year and to 2018.  The good news is that there are few changes for our 2017 tax filing.  Most of us are now in the process of putting together our current return.
One good note is that the medical deduction will be based on a 7.5 % number rather than the planned 10%.  The new Tax Act kicks in for 2018 and there are still many questions as to what it all means.  What is known is that only a total of $10,000 of state and local taxes will be allowed as a deduction.  For most of us in Connecticut this is not a good number!
There will be 7 tax brackets ranging from 10% to 37% with most lower than before. A larger standard deduction will be in place starting at $12,000 and going to $24,000 for a married couple.  Mortgage deductions will be allowed with some changes.  Medical deductions will still be allowed.  Children’s income will be treated differently.  Alimony and alimony recipients will be treated differently as well. Good news is that there will probably be fewer alternate minimum tax penalties.
On the corporate side some major changes – rates dropping from 35% to 21%.   Lower taxes on money brought back from overseas will probably allow companies to retrieve overseas’ profits and invest more domestically.
Dan mentioned that only 14% of CEOs thought they would use it to enhance the business – not good! There are other changes to help the corporate world – best to read the code and consult your tax professional or Mr. Turbo Tax (Sorry, Dan)!!!  Still a lot to be ironed out on the “Greatest Tax Reduction” in history! 
Rely on the above at your own risk!!!
Next week’s program – AARP on Fraud.
It’s been fun, ‘til next time – far off in the future -  Bob Wood
Enjoy the Game!
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