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Today's Opinions

  • Ruling on judicial campaigns underscores need for fair, impartial courts

    By Mark Ferrulo

    Special to the Citizen

    Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered a decision in Williams-Yulee v. The Florida Bar that will impact future judicial campaigns across the country. The court upheld a Florida rule that helps keep courts fair and impartial by prohibiting judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions.

  • May is Juror Appreciation Month

    On behalf of the judges and staff of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, I’d like to express my appreciation to those who have answered the call for jury duty.  I understand it’s not always a convenient or welcome duty, but it is a critical part of our court system. Since the birth of our great nation, the right of an individual to be heard by a jury of their peers, has been considered an essential element of our democracy.

  • A little sunshine, please

    By Jerry Lawrence

    Guest Columnist

    To the Superintendent and Board Members:

    I would like to bring to your attention a series of recurring discrepancies between board meetings and board meeting minutes, which are supposed to be an unbiased, official account of board meetings.

    Example 1 – Reporting only half the details

  • Counting on strangers to help get out of a bind

    Folks who know me well know I like to shop. Clothes are kind of my thing and I enjoy a good thrift store or Goodwill. You just never know what you might find. And while I’ve been trying to curb the habit a bit here lately, I tend to get a little spring fever and want something fresh and new - new to me anyway.

    Well, the other day, I got off of work early and decided to check out a thrift store that’s been here in town for a few years, somehow one I had yet to shop.

  • Adventures with chickens, Part II

    I arrived home late Friday afternoon and started my usual routine of making sure everyone on my small farm had plenty of food and water. And by small and farm, I mean one acre in the middle of farm country – one wild acre I share with a few cats, a dog and a coop full of hens.

  • Our View: Jim Crow of another form

    It was just a short time ago that an appeals court in Florida ruled that the Sunshine clause in the state Constitution did not require councils and commissions of counties and municipalities to take public comment during meetings that were required to be open to the public.

    The Legislature stepped in and in 2013 told local governing bodies they had to take public comment and to formulate a policy to address the issue.

  • "Man Fear" riles the roost

    I admit it. I can stir up trouble. The particular variety I have been engaging in is “Man Fear.”

    It begins when I say things like:

    “We need a weed trimmer.”

    “We need a riding lawn mower and I want one with a Z-turn.”

    “I need a hedge trimmer so the azalea bushes can be cut by July.”

    “I would like to have one of those small handheld cordless drill/screwdrivers to hang things around the house.”

  • Letters to the Editor for January 29

    Let's outsmart the state

    In a report by the University of Florida, the white-tailed deer is identified as the most economically important big game mammal in North America and Florida.

    In 2011, over $50 billion was spent on deer hunting in the United States. That is a lot of money.

    In an effort to keep increasing the one spent on hunting, the state of Florida continues to increase the number of days doe deer can be killed.