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October 10, 1996
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Following on the heels of the debate between the Democratic and
Republican presidential candidates Sunday, their running mates took to
the podiums Wednesday to give their support to their particular platform.
Depending on who you listen to, each vice presidential candidate did a
good job and from all indications from the public's perspective, there
was no clear "winner" of the debate.
All of that will ultimately be decided on election day.
From our vantage point, Democratic incumbent vice president Al Gore and
challenger from the Republican party for vice president, Jack Kemp, did
a good job espousing their particular views on the role of government in
society. It was obvious they have different ideas.
Judging from polls, Bill Clinton and Al Gore have a wide lead and
nothing Bob Dole and Jack Kemp have done in the debates have helped them
close the gap.
Some advisors are saying Dole and Kemp will have to get down and dirty,
questioning Clinton's character in order to make this a close contest as
discussion of the issues doesn't seem to be making a difference.
We hope the election doesn't come down to airing dirty linen. It was
tried in the 1992 election and voters didn't seem to care about
questions concerning Clinton's character.
Hopefully, this election can be decided on issues alone. We like the
professional tone of the debates and hopefully, the candidates will
continue to take the high road and restore some faith in our system with
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Programs to educate young people about the dangers of drugs have
encountered funding and support problems in the last few years.
Many of those programs got started through start-up grants through
various governmental agencies. Those programs were to be phased out over
a period of time with local entities to pick up the funding as time went
However, the problem is that local entities don't have the funds and
support for the programs is also a problem as there are questions about
the effectiveness of the educational programs.
There are some who believe the programs are started at too young an age
for students to grasp. By starting at a very young age, for instance for
five to eight year-olds, it is believed that the curiousity factor is
detrimental to the education of the harm of drugs. However, interdiction
is considered important by those involved in keeping people off drugs.
It is obvious that the only way to get a handle on the drug problem in
our country is to stop the demand for it. Current government efforts to
keep it out of the country simply haven't worked and it doesn't appear
they will work. If there is a demand for anything there will be a supply
The demand has got to be stopped and the only way to do that is to get
people informed of the danger of drugs. How to do that is the question
We don't know the answer but children need to be educated on this
subject. Ideally, the process should begin at home. However, when drugs
are used at home, it's difficult for children to realize how dangerous
it is, especially when the people they idolize, parents and other
relatives, are involved.
It is imperative that drug use be stopped as it is causing a vast
number of problems in our country. Police and other local authorities
need our help through ideas and funding.
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Halloween is just around the corner, for some it's just another holiday
while others take their trick-or-treating and party giving seriously.
Halloween has been termed by some to be an "evil" holiday, a time for
evil spirits and the devil's work to be done. But to most children the
holiday is just a fun-loving time to go out and ask for treats.
Really, at what other time can individuals dress up in gaudy outfits,
looking strange and still enjoy themselves, without getting into major
Halloween wasn't meant to be a form of evil or a way to bring out the
worst in people, it was meant as a time to have fun, enjoy themselves
and indulge in a lot of sweets.
It's also a time to be cautious, with so many strange things happening
in the world, there is a lot of evil, but it doesn't stem from this one
holiday, it stems from wicked individuals who are already warped and are
out to harm children and adults alike.
Trick-or-treating is always a little bit mystical and intriguing with
ghosts, goblins and witches coming out from all directions.
As a youngster trick-or-treating also provided a certain amount of
risks. Usually teenage boys doing mischief such as throwing eggs at us,
chasing us and pretending they were wicked monsters (at the time we
truly believed it!) and of course the ever-popular water balloon
Coming home dripping wet on Halloween night became a ritual in our
neighborhood. We were lucky if we didn't show up with egg goo all over
our clothes and hair!
We would eventually get back at those boys the following year, usually
in the same manner.
Still, it's a night to be cautious, especially for the younger,
pint-sized ghots and goblins. If you expect a gaggle of cowboys and
princesses to haunt your neighborhood on Halloween night, making sure
the yard is free of hazards can enable them to have a better time,
Removing obstacles from the yard, such as hoses, sprinklers, lawn
furniture and potted plants will help the little ones avoid accidents.
Turn on your porch light to let the children know they are welcome.
Keep lighted jack-o-lanterns or candles away from the steps of the front
door. A child's costume could possibly brush against the open flame and
Pets, especially dogs, may become agitated with so many visitors. Keep
your pets indoors or out of harm's way for a few hours.
Treats don't have to be full of sugar and fat. Consider giving healthy
treats such as boxes of raisins, prepackaged granola bars and sugar-free
Some families give away pencils and colorful erasers for school. (This
is a super idea, if the family can afford this special treat!)
Emphasis should also be emphasized to the little goblins, to stay
together and travel in groups. Less danger can erupt when there is more
than one little trick-or-treater around.
Start trick-or-treating early while it's still light. Give each child a
flashlight to carry no matter what the lighting.
Use seat belts and child safety belts while driving.
Parents should accompany children on their haunting journeys or enlist
the aid of a responsible older sibling who can serve as an escort,
And most importantly, instruct children to go to only lighted homes and
to avoid houses where lights are turned off. (For example, if you
already know a "witch" lives there, by all means avoid that home!)
Rosie Flores is an Enterprise writer and editor of Lifestyles and Golden
Years. Her column appears each Thursday.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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