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Today's Opinions

  • In 1967, we never thought we'd live to see the day

    About 50 years ago (1967), my 17 classmates and me who sat in Mrs. Weber’s English class were dumfounded when she suggested there were no reasons why we shouldn’t live to see the turn of the century!

    I think we all snickered a bit because it was so preposterous. There were so many reasons we shouldn’t live to see the 21st Century; first and foremost was the Vietnam War. Then there was the Mutual Assured Destruction, a military doctrine that emerged after the Union of Soviet Socialistic Republics (USSR) achieved nuclear parity with the United States. MAD reflected the idea that one country’s population could best be protected by leaving it vulnerable so long as the other side faced comparable vulnerabilities. In short: Whoever shoots first, dies second. Then, there were accidental deaths and diseases. We didn’t have a drug problem yet in my hometown, that came later after some of the boys started coming home from the war.

  • What’s in your future?

    What’s in your future? What do you have to say about it? I thought I had the rest of my life all planned out. I’d grow in my career of aerospace, defense, and satellites contract management, for the next ten years. I’d continue to accumulate wealth, then retire comfortably in the sleepy suburb of Manhattan Beach, California, and enjoy the rest of my life at the beach traveling and enjoying the warm California sun. But lo; it was not to be.

    Within one month, everything had been turned upside down and dumped out. I faced a divorce, lost my home, life savings, and most all my friends. I developed a repeating nightmare of everyone I knew crashing and dying in a giant 747 airplane. What a shock, when we find out our best laid plans can die overnight.

  • Florida’s dwindling water supply needs conservation, regulatory reform

    Florida is facing a water supply crisis. Large portions of the state are deemed “Water Resource Caution Areas” (WRCAs). The Legislature has directed the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and regional Water Management Districts to identify “alternative water supply” sources, including reclaimed and reused water and even expensive desalinized seawater.

    How did Florida arrive at this critical point? The answer lies partly in the fact that water has always been thought of as plentiful, and free for the taking. We have a culture – and a regulatory system – that encourages permitting groundwater withdrawals for virtually any use from golf course irrigation to cattle ranching to subdivision development.

    Public water supply and agriculture are by far the largest water users statewide, according to DEP’s 2016 annual water supply planning report. With over 1,000 people a day moving to Florida, DEP expects public water consumption to reach 3 billion gallons per day (bgd) by 2035, while agricultural use will increase to 2.8 bgd.

  • What makes good people do bad things?

    I knew this kid growing up. He was a good kid, quiet, friendly. I liked him. I liked his sister better. I never knew of Sonny doing anything truly bad, just kid stuff, teenager stuff, stuff that I hope he grew out of.

    He and his sister were raised by their father, Shorty, a single parent, who mowed yards and probably collected welfare for a living. I grew up in a very small, rural town. It was in an agricultural area and once a retail hub where farmers and their families shopped. Then came WWII and it seemed like most people moved to Dallas to go to work. The town was dying, but it never seemed to take its last breath. So, most of the people I knew were on government assistance in one form or another.

  • Love is all we need

    Too many tragedies, too recently. So many innocent victims. There is panic, but there is also courage, and heroism, and kindness that come out in tragic times and events.

    Maybe more than ever, this is the time to come together because of our humanity, empathy, concern for our fellow man, and to reach out in love, prayer, and good will for all. It’s what we’re made of.

    Let’s choose to believe that good always, and eventually, wins out over all the negativity in the world.

    Today, and every day, be kind to others. Reach out with a kind word and a smile.

    Resolve whatever may keep us separated from each other, and let’s be the wonderful people we are created to be.

    Help someone less fortunate than you.

    Be there for those who can use support and encouragement.

    Are you interested in a ground roots movement for bringing in a little more light and a little more love to your community, and to your world?

    Call or email me with your ideas, suggestions, or support for a meeting of minds.

  • Homeowners beware of bad contractors

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, people are scrambling to rebuild their lives and homes.

    Unfortunately, bad actors can take advantage of honest folks during these moments of stress, when everyone is eager to get their lives back in order. There are resources available that can help homeowners avoid being taken advantage of during this challenging time.

  • CMHS students say 'thanks'

    Dear Central Florida Electric Cooperative,

    I would like to thank you for all you’ve done in my hometown, Chiefland Florida while we’ve been going through hurricane Irma. You have been very generous and brave by putting our needs before your own and working nonstop to make sure we have electricity and are safe.

    During hurricane Irma, my family and I were settled down in my home safely. We had all our windows and doors boarded up and had plenty of food. Our power didn’t go out till late Sunday night, but by Monday afternoon we were back on track with electricity thanks to you.

    Once again, I would like to thank you for all you have done and are still doing.

    Sincerely,

    Aubreigh Brown

    ———

    Dear Central Florida Electric Cooperative,

    Thank you for your dedication to making sure everyone possible can have power including me. I told my mom that I have a bone to pick with the power men because we were without power for 2 days, but at that moment, she told how hard you guys are working to get electricity flowing. I’m sorry and thank you.

  • Taking a knee?

    By Bob Denny

    I played football with “Loopie” Favre, back in high school. Our coach would yell, “Take a knee!” when he wanted to offer us some “constructive criticism,” or more often, to “chew us out.” (You may be familiar with Loopie’s son, another pretty good quarterback.)

    To a football player, “taking a knee” means “Listen up! I need your attention for something important!” It was never a sign of disrespect, or a way to express anger. It was just a way of communicating to a bunch of us that there’s something important, that really needs to be said.