August 4, 1999

___ Kids view growing up favorably. While parents worry about youth problems like guns, violence and drugs, their children have a brighter view of being a kid in the '90s, according to a recent survey. Time Magazine and the children's TV network Nickelodeon sponsored the survey of children and their parents. Conducting the survey the last two weeks of May, just weeks following the high school shootings in Littleton, Colo., New York pollsters Penn, Schoen and Berland Associates interviewed 1,172 kids, ages 6 to 14, at shopping malls in 25 U.S. cities. They also interviewed 397 parents, according to a report in the July 5 issue of Time. Overall, children reported they were happy to be kids and don't perceive their world to be as dangerous or negative as their parents do, the magazine reported.

___ Gore called hypocrite. Vice President Al Gore is practicing hypocrisy by speaking about the significance of his relationship with God while at the same time raising money from homosexual contributors with promises of support for their cause, a new campaign watchdog group has charged. The Anti-hypocrisy Project made the charge after Gore's wife, Tipper, raised more than $150,000 at a July 15 Washington fund-raiser for his 2000 election campaign. The event was billed as the city's first presidential fund-raiser aimed at homosexuals. The Anti-hypocrisy Project has declared its purpose to expose "rank hypocrisy in the 2000 elections."

___ Video poker dealt setbacks. Video poker, a controversial yet common form of gambling in some states, suffered setbacks on two fronts recently. Nearly 5,000 of Louisiana's 15,000 video poker machines were shut down as a result of a 1996 referendum taking effect, and the South Carolina legislature approved a proposal that would provide voters an opportunity in November to ban the state's 34,000 machines.

___ Suspect indicted in 29 church burnings. Accused arsonist Jay Scott Ballinger was indicted by federal authorities July 27 for burning 29 churches in eight states since 1994. Ballinger, 36, of Yorktown, Ind., faces this most recent in a series of indictments since he was arrested in February following an Ohio church fire that left him badly burned.
___ City seeks profits from banned symbol. Officials in a southern Missouri city hope the Christian fish symbol that landed them in controversy will now snag some much-needed funds. A federal judge declared the fish symbol on the city seal unconstitutional in July, giving city officials in Republic 30 days to replace signs, flags and even stationery bearing the fish image. The town's Board of Aldermen met July 26 to discuss a sale, hoping the abundance of lapel pins, buttons, patches, business cards, clocks and T-shirts might defray the $15,000 to $20,000 the effort is expected to cost.
___ Texas newspapers honored. The Religion Newswriters Association has recognized four Texas newspapers for their coverage of religion. For the fourth time in five years, the Dallas Morning News won first place in the Schachern Contest for best religion sections or pages. The Houston Chronicle received an honorable mention in the sections contest. Also, the first-place winner of the Cassels Award for writing in newspapers with circulations less than 50,000 was Robin Galiano of the Longview News-Journal. Loretta Fulton of the Reporter-News in Abilene came in second.

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