Today's Opinions

  • The wonderment of technological advances

    I used to think how wonderful it must have been for someone born in the 1890s, like my grandpa and lived through the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, two world wars, the Ford assembly line, airplanes, space travel, the telegraph, telephone, radio, television — everything we use all the time and don’t give a second thought — my grandpa saw in its very beginning.

  • I love spring, pollen

    I love spring.

    The other seasons are OK, but spring is — as Muhammad Ali described himself — the greatest.

    I like the boiling heat of summer. We always joked in Oklahoma and Texas that it was so hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk, but I’ll bet in Florida that you could boil an egg in the Gulf. I wish the Watermelon Festival was in a cooler month. I guess it would be if melons were a winter crop.

    I couldn’t tell much difference between summer and fall during my one full year here in the Sunshine State. I didn’t like winter too much. It was much colder than I thought it would be, but it wasn’t as rainy as I imagined. Also, deer come out during the wintertime and stand alongside roads; staring, daring. At night, they’re hard to see with flat dull coats; they give me the creeps; ghosts with big eyes glowing red in my lights. Deer along the roadside instill fear in me until I pass it by. Then, dread starts to build again and I pray I’ll see the next one in my headlights.

  • A few tips for driving under the influence

    I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now, but never seemed to get around to writing anything about it. But, while going through the police reports, I was reminded again that it takes someone unlike me to be a police officer.

    Police officers see good people at their absolute worst and — they also see bad people at their absolute worst. Fortunately, most bad people who commit criminal acts are either really dumb or careless and get caught sooner than later.

    To help those who have a propensity to break the law, I have come up with a few tips that might help you stay out of trouble.

    First tip: Anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs should always perform a complete vehicle inspection before driving through Chiefland.

    Second: Highway 19 is wide and there is absolutely no reason to cross a yellow line into oncoming traffic unless you’re high.

    Third: You’re still high if you think you can speed through Chiefland.

  • Citizen Viewpoint: Kudos to Levy County Animal Control

    Levy County Animal Services takes a small step forward in Levy County.

    We want to recognize the efforts of Levy County Animal Control for the new efforts to curb the number of unwanted animals in Levy County. The county recently launched a feral cat sterilization program. In this new plan, the county will provide traps to be used by residents to trap feral cats, so they can be brought to the animal control offices to be spayed or neutered.

    While the problem of unwanted pets is a challenge for many communities, we must take a more responsible approach. We as a community should recognize this first step of many needed improvements in how we treat our pets.

    The Levy County Animal Services always receives criticism for whatever they do. We know and understand the role they have. It is easy to be a critic. While we don’t know or are in a position to criticize or compliment their work, we all need to recognize the importance of their work.

  • Let students march

    This isn’t about taking away guns or repealing the Second Amendment to the Constitution, but there are far too many mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, extended family members, neighbors, friends, co-workers, fishing buddies, church members and teammates who are hurting from the loss of those people.

    People question whether or not the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland should be granting interviews and marching in Tallahassee or later this month in Washington, D.C.

    Verbalizing trauma is cathartic for them and maybe, just maybe, they will force an open, honest and painful debate the nation needs to have. I would feel better about them protesting if the George Clooney, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg families and Oprah Winfrey hadn’t donated $500,000 to the March for Life movement.

  • Lynching in Memphis: Part I

    The first paragraph of a story in the March 10, 1892, edition of the Memphis Appeal-Avalanche stated that not since the race riot of 1866 has the community been in such a fever of excitement as it was yesterday.

    The story described the lynching of three black men: Tom Moss, the owner of People’s Grocery and two clerks, Calvin McDowell and Will Stewart. The store was located in a mixed-race neighborhood known as the Curve. A white grocer named William Barrett was apparently losing business to the nearby People’s Grocery. One narrative tells of rumors and trumped up charges sending a large group of armed white men into the store. Gunshots were traded and several white men were injured. An accounting of events by Damon Mitchell stated a racially charged mob grew out of a fight between a black and a white youth near People’s Grocery.

    A story dated March 10, 1892, in the New York Times stated, “today showed a decided reaction from the excitement into which the city was thrown yesterday by the lynching of the three negro rioters Tom Moss, Will Stewart and Calvin McDowell …”

  • Ask yourself every day: Am I a friend?

    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt felt that the future peace of the world would depend upon relations between the United States and Russia and devoted much thought to the planning of a United Nations, in which, he hoped, international difficulties could be settled, according to White House.gov

    As the war drew to a close, Roosevelt’s health deteriorated, he died April 12, 1945, while at Warm Springs, Georgia, he died of a cerebral hemorrhage.

    When President Roosevelt delivered his historic fourth and final state of the union address Jan. 20, 1945, in a United States that was much more homogeneous than it is now. The 1940 census showed the U.S. population was 132.2 million; 89.8 percent were white and 9.8 percent were minorities. So, when he delivered his final address, he was speaking almost exclusively to white people.

    He said, “Mr. Chief Justice, Mr. Vice president, my friends, you will understand and, I believe, agree with my wish that the form of this inauguration be simple and its words brief.

  • Springs science and advocacy

    By Bob Knight

    The Florida Springs Institute commends the efforts of the dozens of University of Florida research faculty and students who just completed a three-year study of Silver Springs and the Silver River. Tens of thousands of hours were spent on and under the cold spring water collecting information, and on computers analyzing the data and writing the 1,085-page final study report. After three years and roughly $3 million in state funding, UF has once again concluded that Silver Springs is experiencing excessive flow reductions and nitrate pollution.