By Christy Barritt
Census May Change Some Questions
After pushback from the public, the U.S. Census Bureau is considering dropping some questions from its household survey of Americans.
The questions were on the topics of plumbing, commuting, income, and disability. Some examples of the questions are: Does your house have a flush toilet? What time did you usually leave home to go to work last week? What was your total income during the past 12 months? Do you have trouble concentrating, remembering or making decisions because of a physical, mental, and emotional condition?
Each year three million households are asked these questions for the annual government survey. The data collected helps to guide the distribution of more than $416 billion in federal funds. Some Americans complained to members of Congress, saying they’d refuse to answer, even though responses are mandatory.
Census Bureau officials said that all of the information they collect is protected and private.
Changes in the Modern American Family
Pew Research Center recently released several statistics they’ve collected about the changing face of modern American family.
One of the biggest changes they noted was that in 1960, 37 percent of households included a married couple raising their own children. Today, only 16 percent of households look like that.
Other changes included the fact that Americans are putting off big milestones. Men don’t marry until the median age of 29 and women until 27. Women are also waiting later to have children.
Speaking of children, the average American woman today is expected to have 1.9 children. In 1960, that percentage was 3.7.
Another change was in intermarriage. In 1980, only 7 percent of marriages were between two people of different ethnicities. In 2010, that number doubled to 15 percent.
College Student Helps Elderly Woman in Elevator
A college student helped, in a somewhat unusual way, an elderly woman who was stuck on an elevator for an extended period of time.
Cesar Larios, a Florida college student who works part-time at a moving company, was in the middle of a job at an assisted living facility when the elevator got stuck. An elderly woman on the elevator expressed concerned that she wouldn’t be able to stand for long. Without hesitation, Larios got down on all fours and served as a bench for the woman to sit on.
The woman accepted his offer and rested for 30 minutes until the elevator began working again.
Several news outlets reporting this story quoted many people as saying this act restored their faith in the younger generation.
Court Rules in Favor of Sidewalk Preacher
A district court in Maryland ruled in favor of a preacher who was charged with criminal trespass on a public sidewalk.
In 2012, Michael Corral read from the Bible and distributed Christian literature in front of a movie theater in Maryland. A security guard informed him that the sidewalk was private property belonging to the theater and that he needed to leave.
A policeman suggested that Corral relocate across the street, but Corral refused. The officer ticketed him with criminal trespass, and Corral was banned from the area for one year.
The Center for Religious Expression represented Corral in court, where a judge decided that Corral’s right to religious expression had been violated. It was also found that the sidewalk did not belong to the movie theater.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.