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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ross Rambles:Sorting through the junk

Monday, September 26, 2005

Deleting junk email is a daily task. Some sources send unwanted emails almost daily. Others can be expected to send emails at least once a week.

Senator Tom Harkin's office currently takes the lead in regular emails to my address. Occasionally one will contain information about a grant to a local government entity so they all need to be checked out before being deleted.

The Republican National Committee is a frequent source of emails. In a way, these are better than the Harkin ones because they can be deleted without reading. The same is true about emails from candidates for state or national office, with Jim Nussle, candidate for governor leading the pack, averaging about one email a day.

Other emails that can be deleted without reading include U.S. Boating News and the Black Aids Institute newsletter. Yes, that last one is a newsletter for black people with aids, a segment of the population in our coverage area that is often overlooked.

At least two or three times a week, I get an announcement about the "Official This Month" or the "Official That Week" or the "Official the Other Thing Day."

I suppose declaring an official period of time for some worthy subject matter provides a news hook in order to bring up the subject, but it's a weak news hook as far as I'm concerned. Anyone can declare any period of time to be an official anything period of time.

I'm sure it didn't take an act of Congress to declare Sept. 19 as "Talk Like a Pirate Day."

Most special days, weeks or months have a serious intent but I still ignore them except when I occasionally browse emails for column or editorial ideas. On one such browsing expedition, I read an email from the American Family Association regarding an annual observance called "See You at the Pole."

This event, which occurred on Wednesday, is a group prayer around the flagpole at high schools and middle schools before the start of the school day.

The AFA announced that it will defend the right of students at any school in the country to participate in this observance and to talk to other students about the event.

There may be some school administrators who mistakenly interpret a 1962 Supreme Court ruling, prohibiting school conducted prayer, as prohibiting any religious observance on school property.

However, most school administrators are more aware than other citizens about what is restricted on school property and what is not.

Students can pray on school property. They can even pray out loud if it is outside of the school day or when students are at a place, such as in the lunch room at lunch time, when it is allowed for students to talk out loud about any subject of the student's choosing.

Many people were surprised when the Cherokee School District allowed a congregation to use the middle school to conduct Sunday services, charging the congregation the standard fee charged to a non-profit organization using school property.

The district must treat all non-profit organizations the same regarding access to its buildings, neither discriminating against nor showing favoritism toward an organization because of its religious nature.

What a school cannot do is conduct a religious observance itself.

A day that I'm not too late to announce is the Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children which is on the fourth Monday in September, this year on Sept. 26.

This special day was created by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University. A CASA press released refers to a study showing that the more often children eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs.

This is consistent with what a professional child care provider told people at a series of lectures in Cherokee some time back. "The number one factor indicating whether a child gets into trouble is whether or not the family eats a meal every day together," he said.

The act of dining together is probably not a prevention of delinquency in itself but it shows that the family cares enough to make a point of spending time with each other every day.

OK, so now I've done my good deed by announcing a worthy special day and can get rid of that garbage from my computer.