Our weekly roundup of Toasts & Roasts:
A toast to the several different organizations that prepared Thanksgiving meals to share with members of our community. As they have for the last several years, members of the Masonic Genesis Lodge No. 2 and the Eastern Star Guiding Light Chapter 7 gathered at Brandon Park to celebrate together and feed those in need. The congregation at First United Methodist Church not only served meals on Thanksgiving Day, but took on the job of delivering more than 450 meals to people in the community. June Gentry, executive director of Godtel Ministries in Lufkin, Nacogdoches and Livingston, led a devotional based on 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 before the meal began at Godtel in Lufkin. ‘‘God doesn’t ask us to feel thankful,’’ Gentry said. ‘‘He asks us to be thankful.” And at Lufkin’s Kiwanis Park, Greg Sims for a third year hosted a Thanksgiving Day feast for all. He said that while it is for people who don’t have the means or a home for Thanksgiving, it’s also for anyone who needs a place to be or people to be around during the holidays. “I want this to be a place where people can come together and not just have a Thanksgiving meal but meet with other people, talk and celebrate the holiday without being home by themselves,’’ Sims said. “My goal is to make this a community event where it’s not just about one person, one agency, it’s about the community coming together to help solve a problem that’s rampant in Lufkin.’’ Members of community enjoying the meals and the volunteers preparing food were both grateful for the experience. “I feel like the way we celebrate is not just good for ourselves but good for other people,” 14-year-old Christopher Wells said. We couldn’t have said it any better.
The internet is a marvelous resource. Access to information is almost always instant, just a few keystrokes away. While that’s great for any number of reasons, it’s bad for the same number of reasons. Any action we take online — upload a photo, tweet, blog, react to or comment on a photo, post or status update — is like shouting into an abyss. But that abyss takes notes, even when you think it’s not paying attention. County IT director Gary Jordan got a painful reminder of that recently when a screenshot of a temporary job posting on the Angelina County website began floating around Facebook. “We were having a running feud, in fun, with another department,” he told The Lufkin Daily News. “I created that page and put it up with a different address just to show someone. As soon as I showed it to her, I took it down.” The post wasn’t connected to any page on the county website, and a person couldn’t navigate to it by clicking anywhere on the website. But Google remembered and, depending on the wording, would retrieve the page. The screenshot was an advertisement for a temporary bus driver to shuttle employees back and forth to the annual employee appreciation dinner. It included comments like “This position pays nothing, but you will be provided a burger of sorts and just the good feeling of helping out your fellow man” and requiring applicants to be “relatively drug free.” Jordan said he didn’t think anything about the joke until he saw that screenshot. “I checked my phone, and I checked our website, and it was all correct. I thought, how is this even happening, it’s not possible — it’s not there.” Except it was. It’s a computer variation of Murphy’s Law — anything posted online is there forever ... but if you delete something, you can’t retrieve it. Google indexed the page and put it in the search result because the page still existed even though there were no links to it, Jordan said. He deleted the page and submitted a request to Google to take the impression off its search engine. We’ll see, but even if you delete things on the internet, there are still ways to find them. And some websites are dedicated to keeping records of deleted posts, pages and message boards. The internet is forever. And we all need a solid, steady reminder.
Editor’s note: Is there a person or organization you’d like to nominate for either a Toast or a Roast due to a recent accomplishment, event or incident? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 631-2618. You can also contact us anonymously through our online news tip page at lufkindailynews.com/tips.