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Columns

  • National Flip-Flop Day is coming, get prepared

    I know the staff around here will mock me, but I'm excited to report that National Flip-Flop Day is Friday, June 17.
    And nooooooo, this is not a day to celebrate politicians who change their minds.
    Mind you, I don't wear flips on the job, but come June 17, I will parade around the office in a brand new pedicure and my special fuzzy, fluffy flips. (I crochet 'em myself.)

  • Levy gets presidential candidate visit

    It's not even 2012 and Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Mitch Daniels have dropped out of the Republican presidential nomination race.
    The wannabes are lining up to take their place.
    Florida has a presidential primary next year and most analysts say the state is in play. Look for the big population areas to get the candidates' attention.
    They won't stop in Levy County to ask for votes.
    But that is changing.

  • It's time for a column of dibs and dabs.....

     Ever so often I come across a lot of items that don't merit a story or a column, but they do merit publication. And then there are observations that are not worth the time for a column.

  • Budgets bring out the worst in us...

    I love summer. Summer is glorious in Florida.
    It's hot, humid, sticky. Beer pool season.
    It's also budget time.
    I don't know who in their evil mind set government's fiscal year to begin on Oct. 1, but they ruin summer for everyone with it. There must be a special place in hell reserved for the person who came up with this idea.
    The timetable has government body is struggling with balancing revenues and expenses into a budget during the hottest, most uncomfortable part of the year.

  • Lessons I've learned from the dead

    My father and I were constantly at odds. I can't remember how or when it started, but I do remember thinking that he was the meanest, most unfair man alive.

    That changed right after I left high school as I started learning more about him as a man, and not just my daddy.

    By the time I moved to Georgia, we had a solid relationship-an unspoken one of mutual respect and trust.

    He wasn't into sentiment, and I wasn't about to broach my feelings of admiration for him. I thought I had years to tell him how much he meant to me, and how I finally understood the man he was.

  • You deserve to have all the news

    Let's see, it was late July and I was still new on the job.

    I asked a Sheriff's Office spokesperson about air conditioner burglaries in the county and I also noted my street alone had an AC stolen that was almost turned into a home burglary. And the same road also had a home invasion that resulted in the suspect's death and an armed robbery.

    Like a mantra he said crime was down and pointed to 2007 figures showing crime went down in Levy County.

  • Destroyer is out of service

    Being a Mets fan, it's awfully hard to make friends with a Phillies fan. After all, that's the team that knocked the Mets out of the playoffs last year, and they're about to do it again.

    However, there was one man in Levy County that I could call and joke with about baseball, and sports in general. As late as a week ago Tuesday, we were on the phone to each other talking about the pennant race, among other things in local sports. He was my favorite Phillies fan.

    His name was Claude Lewis, and he was a writer and sports editor for our sister paper, the Chiefland Citizen.

  • Thank you, Claude

    I came looking for a job and I found a friend and serendipity.

    Serendipity is something every journalist needs.

    The tough, but garrulous journalism scholar John Bremner of the University of Kansas told journalists in his seminars they needed to find serendipity.

    Serendipity occurs when you are on your way to one thing and you discover another thing. It brings magic and the joy of the unexpected.

    You could have canned and sold serendipity.

    You lived it very day.

    You shared it every day.

  • Be prepared for your end-of-days

    No one is prepared when the doctor walks into the room and explains that you or a loved one has an illness that cannot be cured. Both family and patient often receive this news at a time when they are already at wit's end - emotionally, spiritually and physically. But what if the illness is there yet the conversation about end-of-life options never happens?

  • Missing the neighbors

    Fred and Ethel are dead. And so are the Clampetts. The entire clan.

    For two days I have mourned the loss of my neighbors-not the sitcom stars of 50 years ago but an entire convocation of spiders, presumably banana spiders, that have resided at my back door all summer and most recently decided to expand their lodging to the front door.

    For the last three summers, I have watched their homes develop over days, weeks and months- lacework webs that bear intricate patterns and designs.

    Visitors often dodged them and admonished me to tear them down.