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Today's Opinions

  • Easter morning in Cedar Key feels serene

    Serenity surrounds me.

    It is Easter Sunday in Cedar Key.

    I gaze across the Gulf.

    It is pre-dawn.

    It is those minutes between the dark of night and sunrise.

    The moments are precious.

    Fleeting.

    Like life itself — finite.

    The soul enters the body.

    The soul leaves the body.

    Everything beyond — eternal.

    The sun rises in the East

    On Easter morning in Cedar Key.

    I gaze across the Gulf.

    My eyes look on.

    There is nothing to see except in my mind’s own eye.

    A small fishing vessel.

    Like life itself.

    The boat leaves shore.

    The boat returns.

    Everything beyond — eternal.

    The Bible is filled with references to water beginning with Gen. 1:2 (KJV), “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

  • 2018 legislative session: some wins, some losses for the environment

    By Save the Manatee Club

    As in years past, the Florida Legislature considered but failed to pass a ban on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

    The bipartisan Senate bill, SB 462, had unanimous support in the Senate Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation and the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources before stalling in its final committee. The House version of the bill was never scheduled for hearing.

    Fracking is of particular concern in Florida because of the state’s karst geology and the enhanced risk that contaminants from the extraction process could migrate into ground and surface water, threatening both natural ecosystems and public drinking water supplies.

    Two bills that did pass pose potentially significant risks to Florida’s springs and wetlands.

    The first, HB 7043, authorizes DEP to assume responsibility for the federal Clean Water Act “dredge and fill” permitting program. On its face, this proposal sounds sensible, with the laudable goal of reducing duplicative application requirements.

  • Compromise now or lose later

    We don’t use datelines at the Citizen because we are a hyperlocal newspaper because, as a general rule, we do not publish anything that is not related to Levy County. If we did, then the rule is that a dateline should tell the reader the basic information for the story was obtained in the datelined city. There are 30 American cities that stand alone without state names. All of those cities have a global identity for one reason or another. I could argue that Columbine, Newtown and Parkland could be added to the list because those three cities have a global identity.

    I am not advocating for the government to come and take someone’s gun and neither am I advocating for someone with a gun to take away someone’s child.

  • 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.