State Calendars Missing Dates

CLEVELAND (AP) - Weekends always go by too quickly. They'll be even shorter next month, according to 120,000 calendars being distributed by the state.

The calendars omit all four Sundays in July. They also have winter showing up a day early on Dec. 21. And there's a Dec. 25, but no Christmas.

The error-filled calendars cost $43,116 and were scheduled to be sent out in April, the month designated for the state's annual campaign to prevent child abuse.

Jon Allen, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, said the agency tried to get the calendars out on time for Child Abuse Prevention Month. He was embarrassed about the sloppy work.

"There were simply too many human errors," he said. "Things got through the proofing process. We had multiple sets of eyeballs trying to catch them, and I guess we didn't get them all."

Leaving out Christmas, however, wasn't a mistake.

Allen said the department decided it wouldn't be proper to mention religious holidays on a government-funded calendar. He added that he couldn't explain why the calendar lists March 17 as St. Patrick's Day, which honors a Roman Catholic saint.

The calendars include a year's worth of daily tips for family fun, such as drawing chalk pictures on the sidewalk with the kids and making frozen treats.

The nation will celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 20 next year. But Ohio's calendar suggests families attend a community event in King's honor on Jan. 13.

Despite their flaws, the calendars are popular, Allen said.

"Who could argue with having a family watermelon seed-spitting contest or laying on a blanket and staring up at the stars?" he said.

Money to print the calendars came from federal grants and the Ohio Children's Trust Fund, which receives $2 fees from birth and death certificates and $10 from divorces. Legislators created the trust fund in 1984 to finance child-abuse prevention programs in Ohio's 88 counties.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)