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Today's Opinions

  • Be prepared for your end-of-days

    No one is prepared when the doctor walks into the room and explains that you or a loved one has an illness that cannot be cured. Both family and patient often receive this news at a time when they are already at wit's end - emotionally, spiritually and physically. But what if the illness is there yet the conversation about end-of-life options never happens?

  • One of these days

    One of these days, I'm going to write something nice about football officials.

    Sorry, this isn't that day.

    Watching the NFL game between the Jaguars and Titans on Sunday, I clearly saw Maurice Jones-Drew scamper into the end zone on a run.

    Incredibly, the refs on the field wanted to spot the ball on the 1.

    The replay clearly showed the score, so Jags coach Jack DelRio challenged.

    Even more incredibly, the call on the field was upheld.

    Which brings me to another point.

    Why does the NFL employ replay officials in every stadium, anyway?

  • Small things make it all worthwhile

    I enjoy my job about 80 percent of the time. For the most part, coming into the office is not work. It's about the challenges I will face as I watch the puzzle you call a newspaper come together from all over the building into one tight little package.

    The last week of June I received a call from Francis Akins to tell me one of his staff was retiring. It was too close to deadline to do anything for that week's paper, but I pledged I'd be in Bronson Friday afternoon.

    "He doesn't say much," Akins warned before hanging up.

  • What kind of employee do you want working for you?

    As voters across Levy County mark absentee ballots, drive to Bronson for early voting or prepare to go to the polls Tuesday, one of the biggest questions they should ask is "Who will do the best job for me?"

    Elected officials are often called public servants because their chief role is to serve the people who elect them into office.

    And because your tax dollars pay the salaries of these men and women, you should make your voting decision just as if you were the owner of a business hiring a new employee.

  • Residents missed two opportunities

    Serving 53 consumers from its location in Otter Creek, the Levy Association for Retarded Citizens (LARC) provides much needed training for people who are searching for a way to adapt in a world that is not always kind to them.

    Since July 2003, adult daycare funding has been cut 24 percent in the state of Florida and on July 1, 2008 the most recent cuts went into effect. Already LARC's executive director Betty Walker has cut staff hours and rearranged other staff members to serve the needs of their clients.

  • Missing the neighbors

    Fred and Ethel are dead. And so are the Clampetts. The entire clan.

    For two days I have mourned the loss of my neighbors-not the sitcom stars of 50 years ago but an entire convocation of spiders, presumably banana spiders, that have resided at my back door all summer and most recently decided to expand their lodging to the front door.

    For the last three summers, I have watched their homes develop over days, weeks and months- lacework webs that bear intricate patterns and designs.

    Visitors often dodged them and admonished me to tear them down.

  • Thanks for saving us money

    Banks are failing. Homeowners are being foreclosed upon. People are sacrificing simply to fill their gas tanks. In short, things are tough all over.

    With dollars in demand and expenses on the rise, government agencies across the land have been asked to cut their budgets, trim the fat and work with what they have.

    In Chiefland, two of those government offshoots have found cost-reducing ways to save the city, and ultimately the taxpayer, money.

  • How good is your imagination?

    I have a friend who keeps her watches and clocks set an hour ahead at all times. By doing so, this perpetually late creature of habit has convinced herself that she is always tardy, and when she does show up for appointments, she's on time or early.

    Now of course, somewhere deep within her psyche she knows that her clocks and watches are wrong and that could give her incentive to dally more and being really, really late.

    But she's used her imagination enough over the years that the con works, thereby saving her from embarrassment and reprimand from family and employer alike.