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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Industrial Arts: A disappearing necessity

    By Ed Emrich 

    I became a teacher very late in my working career. After 25 years in corporate management I found myself with an “opportunity” to redirect and re-evaluate my career. So I decided to become a teacher and give something back to society. I was by decades the oldest person in all of my graduate classes at Western Michigan University (Go Broncos). Most teachers graduate from college, go into teaching in their early 20s, and really, what life lessons can they teach? As a 57 year-old Marine Corps veteran and “new teacher,” I have had a lot of life experience that came in real handy because today’s students seriously need mentors as well as lessons about specific core content.

  • What kind of nation is the United States of America?

    What kind of nation is the United States of America? Are we hateful or grateful? Did the United States become the most powerful nation on earth through “Manifest Destiny” or greed? Are we a religious or secular nation?

    Ponca Indian Chief Standing Bear was a Christian man and farmer, but I’ll bet if he were asked what he thought about the US, he would say it is all those things. Standing Bear lost his daughter and then his son because of his tribe’s forced relocation from Nebraska to Indian Territory (Oklahoma). Some Christian women prayed with him and his family in Kansas when his daughter died. Still, he continued the journey to Indian Territory. The last straw for Standing Bear came at the death of his 16 year-old son. After that, he disobeyed the federal government and returned to his homeland in Nebraska to bury his son.

    Instead of looking at one's actions, ask what someone is trying to say when they take a knee at a football game.

    What was Standing Bear trying to say?