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Ordered to Remove a Menu Link

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I think I explained my position before in this thread. The what and definately the who will not be named as that is something between the "who", Groundspeak and the volunteer reviewers. The commercial guidelines are being followed as we were requested, if you want to boil it down to someone, then that would be me followed by my interpritation of the guidelines which may have lead to some inconsistencies here. Personally, I would just like to go caching without any commercial intent directed at me, intended or not, I would just like to program my GPS and go find a cache. As for the other caches named, well, I am not going to comb the listings for them and I am not going to look over the shoulders of other reviewers to point out they are wrong. I am going to deal with anything in my review area when needed.

 

I think this weekend, after tonight, that is what I am going to do, go caching and not worry about reviewing this weekend.

 

The reaction that you received by posting to this thread with logical, sound advice is probably a good indication of why TPTB have not done the same. Don't let these guys bring you down. Keep up the good work and keep doing what your doing.

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I think I explained my position before in this thread. The what and definately the who will not be named as that is something between the "who", Groundspeak and the volunteer reviewers. The commercial guidelines are being followed as we were requested, if you want to boil it down to someone, then that would be me followed by my interpritation of the guidelines which may have lead to some inconsistencies here. Personally, I would just like to go caching without any commercial intent directed at me, intended or not, I would just like to program my GPS and go find a cache. As for the other caches named, well, I am not going to comb the listings for them and I am not going to look over the shoulders of other reviewers to point out they are wrong. I am going to deal with anything in my review area when needed.

 

I think this weekend, after tonight, that is what I am going to do, go caching and not worry about reviewing this weekend.

 

The reaction that you received by posting to this thread with logical, sound advice is probably a good indication of why TPTB have not done the same. Don't let these guys bring you down. Keep up the good work and keep doing what your doing.

 

And don't forget: The customer comes first in everything we do at Compass!

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You may create a separate page that contains the menu or the link to the menu and from your cache page link to the new page with the wording "Click here for more information"

 

so you are not allowed to link to it directly, but you are allowed to link to a page that all it has on it is a link to the menu, i dont see what this intermediate page does that allows it to come under the rules now?

 

Keep in mind that GC.com is a private enterprise, and as such needs to distance itself from any liabilities that can be possible from recommending or promoting a business. In our litigious society, allowing the menu to be placed on it's servers can be construed as such by an enterprising ambulance chaser.

 

When you link, the information is made available, but not on the servers in question. If you link to the restaurant, it will most likely be their's or one they purchase use of. GC needs to walk a fine line on this type issue, and requiring the link is a safe but inexpensive method to do so. It isn't heavy handed policy, it is protection.

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Thought I would mention a couple of things:

 

- The event itself was fantastic as we had more people out than we expected and everyone had a great time

- The menu they gave us at the restaurant was actually a totally different menu than the one originally posted!! Apparently they have a different menu for the upstairs part of the same restaurant we were in. weird and funny!

 

Although I have seen people now calling me names, describing me as a person in a very negative way, none of them have actually met me. I find it disturbing that such implications have been made about me based on this thread alone. Please get to know me before you judge me. You can judge what I am saying and have your own opinion, but please don't call me names if you don't know who I am. I am not one post. I am not this thread and I certainly am not my interactions with Groundspeak on this topic. One discussion does not make me who I am.

 

Thanks.

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Greetings from the other side of the border!

 

as someone who has had to deal with these issues I understand how very frustrating it can be.

 

As a co-host of the SW Michigan Chili Cookoff we had to remove the links to some nearby lodging and our geocoin sale.

 

However by contacting GC we were able to come up with a solution that really does not inconvenience us that much. We simply put a link "click here for more event information" and we are able to put the hotel listing and our geocoin sale our own separate web page.....

 

I suspect I know who complained but GC did not tell us, As I do not expect them too... All I can say is I am confident that the person was out to get us vs. actually being offended by the commercial content.

 

I strongly suggest that if you have questions or problems with the the comercial policy DO NOT BEAT UP YOUR REVIEWERS... THEY DO NOT MAKE THE RULES..... Contact GC (politely) and do not get frustrated when you do not get the response you are expecting.

 

Reference the link to the menu:

I see no harm in posting link to a menu.... just like the hotel listings on our page, it was for the convenience of the event attendees... But I do think that the OP's response to the problem was out of line.

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In case anyone missed the "FIRST" email sent to Groundspeak. I'll highlight the parts that impressed me most. After reading this, doesn't it make you want to jump up and "Provide great customer service"

 

Hi,

 

That is just about the most ridiculous thing I have heard regarding cache pages in a while. While I indeed understand the non commercial aspect of caches and event caches, it puzzles me that allowing the menu of the restaurant we are holding the event at would not be allowed to be shown to the participants. What's next? We won't be allowed to actually say the name of the place we are having the event for fear of advertising it? That should then lead to not publishing the coordinates of the venue for fear people might actually show up and purchase something! Heavens, that would be a shame.

 

I won't be removing the link to the menu as I feel it provides our guests and potential guests with an idea of what they might find at the restaurant. Sort of like, oh.. I dunno, a cache description page that tells the cache hunter what to expect when they arrive? Or should we not put any hints or descriptions of the area of caches now either for fear of it being considered promoting an adjacent building or famous tree? If one of our potential guests at the event feels the menu isn't to their liking, they can pre-plan to get a different meal or eat ahead of time. Sort of like pre-planning to bring rubber boots to a cache or to wear sandals. Unless of course letting a cacher know that there is a large pond they have to wade into to get the cache is now unacceptable?

 

Unless I can get a better explanation than "Recently there were some concerns raised about commercial content within event caches. Some updates are required on published events that have commercial aspects, whether intentional or unintentional." I won't be removing the link.

 

I expect a better explanation than that to blindly follow. What are the recent concerns? Who brought them forward and who is deciding to force event cache owners to make blind changes to their events? Is there a discussion panel that is taking place or has taken place? Are there published minutes which allow cachers time to respond in a public forum type manner?

 

I find it hard to believe that events held at commercial campgrounds will not be allowed to publish the campground name, fee rates or any other distinguishing features.

 

Please give us a better explanation before you force me to remove a valued service from my event cache page.

 

Sincerely,

 

Brendan of eelow and beelow

 

cc'd to cachedrone and appeals@geocaching.com

 

The reply from Cachedrone

 

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In case anyone missed the "FIRST" email sent to Groundspeak. I'll highlight the parts that impressed me most. After reading this, doesn't it make you want to jump up and "Provide great customer service"...

 

It's clear that the owner takes his job as owner very seriously. Since he assumes all responsiblity (from the guidelines) that is exactly how he's suppossed to treat his cache.

 

When this site via it's volunteers starts dictating how the listing will be they are stepping on toes. Reverse it and see how snippy folks get when we ask for site changes. Keep in mind that suggetions in the forums have far less power behind them than suggestions from this site on a cache.

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The biggest thing that has YET to be ANSWERED is,

WHY THE HECK DID THIS ALL START?

WHO THE HECK STARTED THIS?

My understanding is the poster made an event and had a link that could be considered commercial in nature. Someone (impossible to know who) complained to GC about it, resulting in the reviewer asking the link be removed. The poster was taken aback and complained (using poor communication skills) and so here we are.

 

I find GC doesn't mind in general if you post links or use certain names for a title however if someone complains...

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In case anyone missed the "FIRST" email sent to Groundspeak. I'll highlight the parts that impressed me most. After reading this, doesn't it make you want to jump up and "Provide great customer service"

<snip>

 

Wow, I am so much better off now for having you highlight what your trollish views see as the important facts in this case. It is the content that most people are discussing here in case you missed that. Judging me and how I went about this can be done at your own pleasure, but please don't make it your only point on the matter.

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In case anyone missed the "FIRST" email sent to Groundspeak. I'll highlight the parts that impressed me most. After reading this, doesn't it make you want to jump up and "Provide great customer service"

<snip>

 

Wow, I am so much better off now for having you highlight what your trollish views see as the important facts in this case. It is the content that most people are discussing here in case you missed that. Judging me and how I went about this can be done at your own pleasure, but please don't make it your only point on the matter.

 

That's funny.. I always tell my kids, "It's not what you ask, but how you ask that determines whether I say yes or no" (most of the time of course, excluding ridiculous requests such as hugs and food)

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That's funny.. I always tell my kids, "It's not what you ask, but how you ask that determines whether I say yes or no" (most of the time of course, excluding ridiculous requests such as hugs and food)

 

This is not a parent-child relationship. It is a customer-client relationship.

 

Lets say you order a sandwich with bacon lettuce and tomato, Groundspeak gives you the sandwich. You begin to chow down on it, then they tell you that you can't have bacon.

 

You sit there like "whaa? I'm enjoying my sandwich! bugg*r off!" then they come in, open your sandwich and rip the bacon out. Then tell you that any complaints can be addressed to their bulletin board.

 

This could have been dealt with at the reviewer-owner level, but they took it to the extreme and changed the page for the owner. I am sure the OP would have changed the page themselves if they had recieved:

1. a valid reason that made sense

2. a request to change it before it was published.

 

There are so many caches that are obvious worse-offenders of this policy then placing a menu for an event, I fail to see why they went after a grey-area like this. Some of which are complained about in this very thread, but still active.

Edited by Juicepig

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That's funny.. I always tell my kids, "It's not what you ask, but how you ask that determines whether I say yes or no" (most of the time of course, excluding ridiculous requests such as hugs and food)

 

This is not a parent-child relationship. It is a customer-client relationship.

common courtesy applies to both parent-child and customer-client relationships

 

Lets say you order a sandwich with bacon lettuce and tomato, Groundspeak gives you the sandwich. You begin to chow down on it, then they tell you that you can't have bacon.

What you've failed to recognize is that Groundspeak already made it clear that sandwiches don't come with bacon.. Groundspeak didn't put the bacon on your sandwich, you did... So the idea that you chomped down and were surprised to find bacon doesn't make any sense, being that you put the bacon there in the first place. You're just upset that Groundspeak enforced the "Bacon" rule that was already established. You would have a point if the rule hadn't already been established 18 months ago.

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MMmmmm Bacon!! :D

 

You threatening me? :D:D

 

What you've failed to recognize is that Groundspeak already made it clear that sandwiches don't come with bacon..

 

I asked for bacon, they said ok.

 

This issue would have died by now (since the event has passed) if they just made sure no NEW events were published with menus (which they have been doing lately, without issue). Past events still have links to the menus on their pages.

 

again, still plenty of worse offenders of the "law" then this are still out there, and mentioned in this thread.

Edited by Juicepig

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An email was sent to the owner of this listing through their profile page requesting that the commercial content contained in the title and descriptions fields be removed and replaced with content that meets the listing guidelines. The option to contact appeals@geocaching.com was also provided.

This request was send just over two days ago. As of the time of this posting no such changes have been made and no email from the owner has been received. Unfortunately this lack of action has resulted in this listing being disabled.

 

While this listing was published erroneously with commercial content, it has been brought to my attention that it is my responsibility to have this matter resolved. The steps being taken here were provided by a staff member of Groundspeak to ensure this was handled properly.

 

Please have this listing edited by noon on February 10th or unfortunately it will have to be archived. Please email me directly at cachedrone@gmail.com when the editing has been done and I will ENABLE this listing.

 

Thank you for your prompt attention to this item.

 

Why should I have to respond to a gmail account isn't that in itself promoting Google mail?

Why can I not respond to the cachers link on the page.

I love the threatening tone, by noon or else, who made the original mistake in the posting of the listing?

 

I have found this cache, in Niagara, I know the series it was from, but have no idea which cache it is now, there were probably 10 or so caches with similar names.

 

I am sure that cache placer would enjoy coming back from a vacation to find out all this has transpired while he/she was away.

 

This was the original text

 

This is possibly my all time favourite breakfast cereal.

I loved it when I was a kid, although I might have only had it a dozen times....my parents were strict on nutrition.

Now that I'm all grown up, I have it whenever I want....I even eat it with chocolate milk....talk about a rush!

 

So, keeping with the cereal cache theme....here is my contribution to mal-nutrition for all to enjoy.

 

This cache is along a lesser used trail but it is off limits between the hours of 11pm and 6am, so please respect that.

 

Note: Upon further research, I have noticed that this cache lies on the previous NS&T railway line from St. Catharines.

If you follow this trail to the east you will go by my "Back Forty" and CW Palmer Park Caches. If you go to the west across the highway, you will go by "This One is For WildWilly", "First Cub's Island Cache", and "Century Cache".

Just thought that was an interesting factoid.

That sure sounded commercial to me, he liked a cereal as a kid

 

This is the new text

 

Following with Scratch N Win's lead, I've decided to put out some caches in honour of my furry companions.

 

This cache is for Elmo, another one of my girlfriend's cats. Elmo is the friendliest of the bunch, as long as you have ice cream or some other high calorie food with you.

He's a loveable oaf who weighs in at about 17 pounds, so needless to say, he has to come to me...I dare not pick this cat up for fear of a hernia.

In Elmo's spare time he likes to race Gizmo around the carpet dragging his bum and seeing who can leave the longest skidmark. Usually Elmo wins, but Gizmo is starting to gain ground on him.

 

But once again, my girlfriend loves him, so must I.

 

Now go and find him too....but don't try to lift him!

 

The poor guy had to redo the text of least 4 caches.

He set up a series had it approved, it has been out for a couple of months.

Now someone say listing a breakfast cereal's name, is BAD.

So he has to relist his series, with a strict time line.

He cannot reference other caches, because all the names are changing.

He complied with 24 hrs of a note being posted on the cache page.

 

His caches are still disabled!

 

I have to commend Rockharder and the other cachers affected, for going more than that extra mile, it would have been much easier to just say "heck with it" and hit the archive button.

 

 

I hope GC is not planning on redoing the whole website, Jabba listed just a few tradmark names and I am sure if you do a search you will find a few more, that fit trademarked or percieved commercial.

 

Here is a quick 500 or so

 

mickey mouse 15

sesame street 18

state park 232

kermit 31

harry potter 102

monopoly 102

 

I think the perception factor here is now to the point of ridiculous.

 

I like this tactic as well, stop it or we will hold caches in the queue.

If that is how everyone wants the Reviewers to spend the time they are willing to volunteer then you can expect lengthy delays in reviewing new caches and further angst being created.

 

Funny how I only see the one reviewers name show up on the pages, and cachetech trying to take the heat for the situation.

 

Can't you let sleeping dogs lie?

Enough already.

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The poor guy had to redo the text of least 4 caches.

He set up a series had it approved, it has been out for a couple of months.

Now someone say listing a breakfast cereal's name, is BAD.

So he has to relist his series, with a strict time line.

He cannot reference other caches, because all the names are changing.

He complied with 24 hrs of a note being posted on the cache page.

 

His caches are still disabled!

 

I have to commend Rockharder and the other cachers affected, for going more than that extra mile, it would have been much easier to just say "heck with it" and hit the archive button.

 

 

I hope GC is not planning on redoing the whole website, Jabba listed just a few tradmark names and I am sure if you do a search you will find a few more, that fit trademarked or percieved commercial.

 

Here is a quick 500 or so

 

mickey mouse 15

sesame street 18

state park 232

kermit 31

harry potter 102

monopoly 102

 

I think the perception factor here is now to the point of ridiculous.

 

I like this tactic as well, stop it or we will hold caches in the queue.

If that is how everyone wants the Reviewers to spend the time they are willing to volunteer then you can expect lengthy delays in reviewing new caches and further angst being created.

 

Funny how I only see the one reviewers name show up on the pages, and cachetech trying to take the heat for the situation.

 

Can't you let sleeping dogs lie?

Enough already.

 

As it has been stated before Groundspeak has instructed me to have these problems cleaned up because the guidelines were not followed and they have set the instructions to follow.

 

The reason that only one reviewer's name comes up is that Cache-Tech has not been handling as much of Ontario because they are doing another area and only covers Ontario when it gets too busy. Reviewers have lives too outside of this volunteer work and having to chase down listings that I am being told to get fixed takes time away from reviewing new caches. What you fail to see is that what the reviewers must do is that same as when cachers have to fix problems with their own caches.

 

Looking at your profile you own a huge multi-cache. A cacher reports a problem with stage 10. You fix it. A cacher reports a problem with stage 3. You fix it. A cacher reports a problem with stage 17, and again you fix it. That is exactly the same as what is happening here.

 

Don't pin this one on me. I am not going around looking for caches with commercial problems, others are. They are being reported and when they are then they are being addressed because that is what I've been told must happen. Commercial guidelines are not open to interpretation anymore than stealing is against the law. It has happened, people reported it, it gets investigated and dealt with accordingly.

 

If you want sleeping dogs to lie, then speak to the dog. That is not me.

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This thread is about people wanting to be able to include a link to a menu or other helpful information that is hosted on another site. That site happens to be for a restaurant whether it is a web page or a PDF on their site.

 

Please keep the discussion to that point and that point alone. This is not about a witch hunt or making judgments about how other people are acting or speaking to each other.

 

There is certainly a benefit to being able to directly link to a menu and in the past I have published events that had that in them because I know it is helpful. While I know it is helpful, it still isn't allowed under the guidelines as they are written currently. That is what needs to be addressed here. That has been demonstrated several times in this thread. The alternative of letting people know that they can find the menu online does meet the guidelines. Using a search engine to find such information is reasonable and is one option of what you would do if you were not caching and wanted to know about the food.

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This thread is about people wanting to be able to include a link to a menu or other helpful information that is hosted on another site. That site happens to be for a restaurant whether it is a web page or a PDF on their site.

 

Please keep the discussion to that point and that point alone. This is not about a witch hunt or making judgments about how other people are acting or speaking to each other.

 

There is certainly a benefit to being able to directly link to a menu and in the past I have published events that had that in them because I know it is helpful. While I know it is helpful, it still isn't allowed under the guidelines as they are written currently. That is what needs to be addressed here. That has been demonstrated several times in this thread. The alternative of letting people know that they can find the menu online does meet the guidelines. Using a search engine to find such information is reasonable and is one option of what you would do if you were not caching and wanted to know about the food.

Well this is how the post started and through lack of clarity from GC.com become quite a bit more. The issue really is about equity in the enforcement of the guidelines (and clear guidelines as well) including the provision about commercial postings. The pervasive use of "Wal-Mart" was cited as an example and yet the only "Wal-Mart" caches acted upon were those in the proximity of the menu kerfuffle.

 

You can't squash a helpful menu link in the name of anti-commercialism then standby with hundreds of Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart sound alikes still out there. Shame on you GC.com for being small minded on a harmless menu link while allowing the blatant commerialism to continue.

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What you've failed to recognize is that Groundspeak already made it clear that sandwiches don't come with bacon.

 

I think one of the problems being discussed is that Groundspeak has not made it clear they don't include bacon. Just looked at the guidelines, and there is nothing there about links.

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What you've failed to recognize is that Groundspeak already made it clear that sandwiches don't come with bacon.

 

I think one of the problems being discussed is that Groundspeak has not made it clear they don't include bacon. Just looked at the guidelines, and there is nothing there about links.

 

That is a useful statement and one that can be responded to. Guidelines by nature of the word are open to interpretation and flexibility. Otherwise they would be called rules. Saturation is one of the guidelines that shows flexibility because it is not held at exactly 0.1 miles (528 feet or 162 meters). This allows for unusual exceptions for terrain like rivers, cliffs and others.

 

Commercial guidelines are not very flexible in comparison. Because of that reviewers are required to direct everything that seems commercial to Groundspeak. The exception granted to events is that a player can name the location and address of the venue. If there are prize sponsors then they can be named as well. But the limit on this exception ends there. How this is determined requires me to post the commercial guidelines again with emphasis on the words that are used.

 

Commercial Caches

 

Commercial caches attempt to use the Geocaching.com web site cache reporting tool directly or indirectly (intentionally or non-intentionally) to solicit customers through a Geocaching.com listing. These are NOT permitted. Examples include for-profit locations that require an entrance fee, or locations that sell products or services. If the finder is required to go inside the business, interact with employees, and/or purchase a product or service, then the cache is presumed to be commercial.

 

Some exceptions can be made. In these situations, permission can be given by Groundspeak. However, permission should be asked first before posting. If you are in doubt, ask first. If you do not have advance permission, your reviewer will refer you to Groundspeak.

 

Because a restaurant is a commercial location but there are expectations at the location, some exceptions exist. Going to a restaurant means you will interact with employees, likely purchase a product or service or even just go inside the business. Those have to happen in order to attend the event if it is inside a restaurant. That is allowed.

 

What we are talking about is what is allowed in the listing itself. A menu on the table at a restaurant is there to sell items to clients inside the restaurant. A menu link on a listing is selling the idea of going to the restaurant because it is an ad for their products and services. If the link went to a page to buy Groundspeak items like travel bugs and shirts, that would be an ad for their products and services. It is the same thing, both are links to ads for products and services that are offered by the host of the link destination. Both of these would get referred to appeals@geocaching.com because that is also what the guidelines state.

 

If you do not have advance permission, your reviewer will refer you to Groundspeak.

 

It comes down to context. Having the link to a menu, although helpful, is a direct connection to an advertisement. That makes it commercial enough that it means Groundspeak has to give permission to allow it on the listing page. It would be the same as a link on a mystery cache that goes to a page of calculators for sale that might help with the math involved.

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The above post is just about the most useful post I could have hoped for in this thread. Although I don't necessarily agree with the interpretation of the guidelines (at least in my case), I have to say thank you for your post and information CacheDrone. The last few posts have given me and others what I believe to be a solid answer to many of the questions I originally had.

 

Thank you again and at this point I think we should close this thread as the event in question has already happened and we have enough of an answer now to continue on. If you wish to continue on the other trains of thought, please visit some of the threads in the website forum.

 

Oh, and thankfully those people I know who believe in Jesus don't go around trolling their useless opinions...

What'cha gonna do bub?

 

Please close this thread. Thanks,

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Because a restaurant is a commercial location but there are expectations at the location, some exceptions exist. Going to a restaurant means you will interact with employees, likely purchase a product or service or even just go inside the business. Those have to happen in order to attend the event if it is inside a restaurant. That is allowed.

 

What we are talking about is what is allowed in the listing itself. A menu on the table at a restaurant is there to sell items to clients inside the restaurant. A menu link on a listing is selling the idea of going to the restaurant because it is an ad for their products and services. If the link went to a page to buy Groundspeak items like travel bugs and shirts, that would be an ad for their products and services. It is the same thing, both are links to ads for products and services that are offered by the host of the link destination. Both of these would get referred to appeals@geocaching.com because that is also what the guidelines state.

 

Thank you, that was most illuminating. It does clarify (at least for me) where some of the percieved inconsistency is coming from (and is thus fairly consistent).

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Thank you again and at this point I think we should close this thread as the event in question has already happened and we have enough of an answer now to continue on.

 

This thread has opened some eyes, on both sides of the question. I believe that it has served as an enlightenment to all of us. I do know that when I list my next event, it will be with a closer scrutiny of things that should or should not be mentioned.

 

Thank you for an interesting day of reading.

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