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Today's Opinions

  • Jalen Hurts showed us his true character

    Today, Jalen Hurts will not get the ESPN coverage. His image will not be plastered over Sports Center and other news programming. People will not be inundated with his heroic performance of throwing a perfect back-shoulder pass or some long beast mode type run to win the game.

    No. Those accolades will go to someone else- and deservingly so. However, in an age of “me, me” and “I have to get mine,” Jalen Hurt’s response to being pulled at the half of the national championship game will go highly unnoticed.

    Only a year removed from nearly pulling off one of the greatest plays in history for a true freshman quarterback until another great player and Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback upstaged him in defeat; he was devastated once again by being benched.

    While he clearly wanted to be in the game on that final drive evidenced by him visibly shaking on the sideline as adrenaline flowed; he stood there, cheered for his teammate, and once hugged the guy who had taken his place.

    After the game, he was all smiles and displayed genuine happiness for he and his teammates.

  • I don't know what to call this one: sports?

    If you look to the left, you’ll notice a column by Dr. Kendrick Scott. I’ve been pestering him off and on to write a regular column for the Citizen since last February when I heard him speak at the annual Levy County Black History Program.

    There are reasons I wanted him. First, he’s smart and well spoken. Second, I really want the paper to represent all of Chiefland and not a bunch of old white men like myself. I don’t know yet how often he will contribute, but I hope it’s often because he’s already made me think about how I view sports on television.

    I never played sports too much. Oh, I rode in the annual donkey basketball game and sometimes followed behind the donkeys with a shovel. And, I was a four-year substitute on the high school basketball team. I never got to play many regular minutes and when I did, I only further solidified my role as the 10th Man. The last time I looked, I could still see the imprint of my butt on the far end of the bench where I sat from 1965 to 1969.

  • Donald Trump sounds like Andrew Jackson

    It's no secret that President Donald Trump admires President Andrew Jackson and recently, when the president invited the Navajo code talkers to the White House, a portrait of Jackson was hanging prominently on the wall in the background.

    I know it doesn't count for much, but in my opinion, that was a calculated staging by the president, someone on his staff or both.

    So, it wasn't much of a surprise to me when I read Jackson's 1830 address to Congress and found that it was quite similar to Trump's speech on Dec. 4.

    On Dec. 6, 1830, in a message to Congress, President Andrew Jackson called for the relocation of eastern Native American tribes to land west of the Mississippi River in order to open new land for settlement by citizens of the United States, according to archives.gov.

    The article stated, “With the onset of westward expansion and increased contact with Indian tribes, President Jackson set the tone for his position on Indian affairs in his message to Congress. Jackson’s message justified the removal policy already established by the Indian Removal Act of May 28, 1830.

  • Pearl Harbor Day, does anyone care?

    Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. Does anyone care?

    There are tons of written information, movies and historical information on the sneak attack perpetrated against the U.S. 7th Fleet and other military installations on the island of Oahu, Territory of Hawaii, on Dec. 7, 1941, by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

    It was a Sunday morning, much like this Sunday morning Dec. 3 at 7:50 a.m. as I try to put into words why remembering Pearl Harbor is so important these 76 years later. It is important for many reasons pertaining to national security, public policy, foreign affairs and many, many other governmental decisions. On that sleepy Sunday morning, the Japanese bombers from the “land of the rising sun” laid waste to the U.S. 7th Fleet and killed 2,403 Americans. That was the dawning of the era in which the United States became the dominant world power.

  • Still much work to be done to protect manatees

    Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service downgraded the West Indian manatee’s Endangered Species Act status from endangered to threatened.

    Although Save the Manatee Club believes that the species is endangered throughout a significant portion of its range, we are most concerned that downlisting will give the public and policymakers the impression that their work to protect the manatee is complete. Such an attitude risks undoing decades of effort and hard-won gains to conserve Florida’s treasured marine mammal and leaves us far from what is still needed to ensure the species’ recovery and long-term survival.

    Recent years have seen record manatee deaths from new and increasing threats, including extreme cold events, red tide outbreaks, and a still-unexplained unusual mortality event on the Indian River Lagoon. Last year, an unprecedented 104 manatees died from impacts with watercraft, and 2017 is closing in on yet another manatee watercraft mortality and injury record.

  • Happy Thanksgiving

    I suppose I should write a Thanksgiving column about all the things for which I am thankful. I’m probably not going to do that. First, there is not enough space for such a list. Second, I take for granted most of the things that should be on the list and I can’t think of a single one of them right now.

    There is the obvious; my wife. I’m deeply in love my wife and am very thankful for her. She recently returned from a weeklong trip from visiting her sister in South Carolina. I’m glad she’s back. I don’t do well when she’s gone. I’m barely functional.

    My wife is very supportive of me regardless of how stupid she thinks I’m being or how stupid that thing is that I’m doing. I'm not admitting to stupidity, mind you, but I am a man and based on recent revelations and allegations of sexual misconduct, men do seem to be generally stupid.

    Have you seen any of those guys? I believe the women because those men ain’t handsome.

  • Our own hidden treasure

    Henry David Thoreau said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

    We are so lucky and I am so grateful to have in our midst the Nature Coast State Trail. It is truly a part of the preservation of Florida’s Nature Coast.

    Like the springs throughout this area, the trail is one of the best kept secrets for easy and close contact with nature. It is a valuable asset for recreation and eco-friendly transportation, and I along with my better half and our two dogs use it every day as part of our exercise routine.

    The trail is a long skinny extension of the state park system that connects Trenton, Chiefland and Cross City. It offers a peaceful break from the hectic pace of life where you can walk, skate, ride your bicycle, horse or skateboard without the danger of highway traffic as motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited along the well maintained and paved reclaimed railway bed.

  • Thank vets, thank their families too

    Last week, I used the Opinion page to reprint a story I wrote in 2005 for the Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner. The story was about William “Bill” Norwood, a former POW held captive by the North Koreans during the Korean War. This story is about his wife, Liz, that I wrote five years later in 2010.

    I want you to read this story because spouses do not get the recognition they deserve.

    --

    Liz did not know Bill before he joined the Army. She didn’t know how captivity in a North Korean prisoner of war camp affected him, but she did see how the war and being held captive by the enemy changed her neighbor and she knew being married to a former prisoner of war wouldn’t be easy.

    Her neighbor was in the same prison camp as William “Bill” Norwood. “I knew the neighbor next door and he’d been back. I didn’t have a clue I’d ever marry someone that far away, me in Kentucky and him in Tennessee. It just worked out. It was the way it was meant to be,” she said.