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Opinion

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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? 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?

  • The sudden and tragic death of Teal Pomeroy has left this community stunned.

    The loss is deeply felt because he was in the prime of his life. He was only 42 and had accomplished so much.

    But what adds to the pain is that he epitomized the phrase “local boy.'

    Pomeroy grew up in Chiefland, attended school here and had lifelong friends made in those 12 years of going to class. He loved the woods and waters that are so plentiful in Levy County. And he took full enjoyment in them.

  • I miss spending lazy Fridays chatting with Winnelle Horne on the porch of the Levy County Quilt Museum.

    She certainly tolerated my foolishness while educating me on Levy County culture.

    One thing the late founder often said to me, ”You're certainly opinionated.”

    “Um huh. You want me to leave now?”

    “No.”

    But right about now, she might want to come back and snatch me up by the ear because I am going to give out an opinion that will rile feathers – something she warned against.

  • To the editor:

    Aug. 10 was a wonderful start to another great school year in Levy County. The sun was shining, students were excited and teachers were prepared to open the school house doors to 5,500 students.

  • By Ray Sparrow

    Guest Columist

    I looked up the definition of "PARADOX" and it was something that is seemingly senseless, illogical and self contradictory. A picture on the internet shows two girls, side by side. One is dressed in full camouflage, holding a Christian bible in one hand, an AR-15 in the other hand. The other girl is decked out in typical Muslim garb holding a Quran in one hand, an AK-47 in the other, indicating that they are ready to engage in violent acts with guns in defense of their religious ideology. Now that screams paradox.

  • To the editor:

    A political race is gaining momentum that is very close to my heart. Running for Superintendent of Levy County Schools are Assistant Superintendent of Administration Jeff Edison, who has served under Superintendent Robert O. Hastings and the previous superintendent, and Jerry Lawrence – a veteran educator of 26 years and school administrator who understands the heartbeat of our teachers, students, and parents. 

  • We want to express our sincere appreciation for the outpouring of love and support given us during the loss of our mother and grandmother, Helen Hiers Usher. We have wonderful memories and even better friends to sustain us during this time. Thank you for sharing so many of your memories and stories of and about her with us. They truly warm our hearts.

    Lovingly,

    Ken, Lynetta & John Korey Griner

    Karen & Luke White

    Chiefland 

  • Last week Levy County lost a remarkable lady, Helen Usher.

    I was honored and privileged to have her in my life as a teacher, mentor, family friend and lifetime acquaintance.

    Mrs. Usher was a Bronson High alumni, in class with my Uncle Jr. Jerrels, my eighth grade math teacher who prepared me in later life, when starting my studies in engineering. Her extra help and attention, were largely responsible for me being able to obtain many of my goals.

  • Midmorning Feb. 5, a dark veil slipped over a large portion of my heart, permanently blocking the light that has shone so brightly in my life for 20 years.

    When Denise escaped this world after a brief second go-around with cancer, a part of me died too – perhaps one of the best parts of me.

  • Saving babies saves Social Security

    It is reported that in 2033 Social Security will be bankrupt. It takes 16 working people to keep one person’s checks coming. Guess where 300,000 a year of that workforce goes? Aborted by Planned Parenthood so the parts can be sold. That is viewing the carnage from the financial point.

  • Every year the Women of the Moose Chapter 494 put together 12 dinner boxes for both Thanksgiving and Christmas, for delivery, via the Sheriff’s Office, to families in need in the Tri County area.

    The turkeys were donated by the men of Suwannee River Moose 325. The canned goods were donated by members Kenny and Jane Grawcock and the Women of the Moose Chapter 494 donated the fresh produce.

    The boxes were filled on the 24th of November by members Art and Ginny Perricone, Recorder Kathy Anderson and Senior Regent Jane Duehring.