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'Timely' reminder and 'scary' warnings ...

It is that time of year ... first there is the turning back all clocks and hour and then, time to watch out for little ghosts and goblins ....
Fall back
   It's that time of year again -- time to fall back. Personally I like going onto daylight saving time much better, because I can turn our clocks and watches forward much easier than I can move them back. At any rate don't forget to change your clocks.
   The perils of darkness
   We've all heard stories about the Prineville sidewalks being rolled up when it starts getting dark, but remember the return to standard time affects the time the city crews start to roll them up.
   The time period from about 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. now becomes especially dangerous because there are people walking home from work and children coming home from school activities. In addition, there are other enterprising youngsters delivering your newspapers.
   With all these people on the streets it's important that we slow down and drive more carefully especially watching for people stepping out onto the streets. It would also be helpful if you would turn your porch lights on early so it)s easier for the newspaper carriers to get your paper in the right spot.
   Halloween
   I'm always amazed how important Halloween appears to be in Prineville. Sometimes I think there are as many adults in costume as children. Being "an old stick in the mud" myself I've never understood the attraction, but I guess it's a fun diversion for those so inclined.
   I enjoy watching the children and their enthusiasm for the trick-or-treating. With only a few days to go until Halloween, perhaps this might be a good time to remind everyone how to keep the festivities safe. There will be a full moon on Halloween, but the long-range weather forecasts are calling for rain that day, so you might want to take that into consideration when planning your family activities. In addition to the following safety tips, I think it's important that everyone take extra care this year in light of all the terrorism.
   Halloween Safety Tips
   Trick-or-Treaters
   ú Carry a flashlight
   ú Walk, don't run.
   ú Stay on Sidewalks
   ú Obey traffic signals
   ú Stay in familiar neighborhoods
   ú Don't cut across yards or driveways.
   ú Wear a watch you can read in the dark.
   ú Make sure costumes don't drag on the ground.
   ú Shoes should fit (even if they don't go with your costume)
   ú Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house.
   ú Carry only flexible knives, swords or other props.
   ú (If no sidewalk) walk on the left side of the road facing traffic
   ú Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape.
   ú Approach only houses that are lit.
   ú Stay away from and don't pet animals you don't know.
   Parents
   ú Make your child eat dinner before setting out.
   ú Children should carry quarters (or cell phones) so they can call home.
   ú Ideally, young children of any age should be accompanied by an adult.
   ú If your children go on their own, be sure they wear a watch, preferably one that can be read in the dark.
   ú If you buy a costume, look for one made of flame-retardant material.
   ú Older children should know where to reach you and when to be home.
   ú You should know where they're going.
   ú Although tampering is rare, tell children to bring the candy home to be inspected before consuming anything.
   ú Look at the wrapping carefully and toss out anything that looks suspect.
   Homeowners
   ú Make sure your yard is clear of such things as ladders, hoses, dog leashes and flower pots that can trip the young ones.
   ú Pets get frightened on Halloween. Put them where they will be safe from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.
   ú Battery powered jack o'lantern candles are preferable to a real flame.
   ú If you do use candles, place the pumpkin well away from where trick-or-treaters will be walking or standing.
   ú Make sure paper or cloth yard decorations won't be blown into a flaming candle.
   ú Healthy food alternatives for trick-or-treaters include packages of low-fat crackers with cheese or peanut butter filling, single-serve boxes of cereal, packaged fruit rolls, mini boxes of raisins and single-serve packets of low-fat popcorn that can be microwaved later.
   ú Non-food treats: plastic rings, pencils, stickers, erasers, coins.
   Drivers
   ú Go slow, slow, slow all evening. (Adult Halloween partiers should have a designated driver.)
   Have fun, but be careful.