.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Opinion

  • Henry David Thoreau said, “In wilderness is the preservation of the world.”

    We are so lucky and I am so grateful to have in our midst the Nature Coast State Trail. It is truly a part of the preservation of Florida’s Nature Coast.

    Like the springs throughout this area, the trail is one of the best kept secrets for easy and close contact with nature. It is a valuable asset for recreation and eco-friendly transportation, and I along with my better half and our two dogs use it every day as part of our exercise routine.

    The trail is a long skinny extension of the state park system that connects Trenton, Chiefland and Cross City. It offers a peaceful break from the hectic pace of life where you can walk, skate, ride your bicycle, horse or skateboard without the danger of highway traffic as motorized vehicles are strictly prohibited along the well maintained and paved reclaimed railway bed.

  • I suppose I should write a Thanksgiving column about all the things for which I am thankful. I’m probably not going to do that. First, there is not enough space for such a list. Second, I take for granted most of the things that should be on the list and I can’t think of a single one of them right now.

    There is the obvious; my wife. I’m deeply in love my wife and am very thankful for her. She recently returned from a weeklong trip from visiting her sister in South Carolina. I’m glad she’s back. I don’t do well when she’s gone. I’m barely functional.

    My wife is very supportive of me regardless of how stupid she thinks I’m being or how stupid that thing is that I’m doing. I'm not admitting to stupidity, mind you, but I am a man and based on recent revelations and allegations of sexual misconduct, men do seem to be generally stupid.

    Have you seen any of those guys? I believe the women because those men ain’t handsome.

  • By Ed Emrich

    I hate trash. l know that’s a bold statement in these days of political correctness when you are not allowed to hate anything. But, really I do! I’m just being honest with you.

    My father instilled the notion in me that trash discarded by thoughtless people is wrong at a basic level and it chews up so many of our local resources to clean it up, money that could be better used to fix bridges or pave roads.

    I hate trash, but I love this area so I am willing to do something about it by safely picking trash along my road in my community in my state. It’s a monthly effort to give something back and to help keep the Nature Coast natural. But, picking trash is not for the faint of heart. It is truly disgusting what some people throw out of the windows of their vehicles or stop and dump along the road. When you pick trash, you see the seedy underbelly of society in full bloom. You see the chaotic and wasteful way that some people live ... by desensitizing or self-medicating with alcohol, tobacco, sugar, fast food and the broken dreams of a winning lottery ticket.

  • Last week, I used the Opinion page to reprint a story I wrote in 2005 for the Cleveland (Tennessee) Daily Banner. The story was about William “Bill” Norwood, a former POW held captive by the North Koreans during the Korean War. This story is about his wife, Liz, that I wrote five years later in 2010.

    I want you to read this story because spouses do not get the recognition they deserve.

    --

    Liz did not know Bill before he joined the Army. She didn’t know how captivity in a North Korean prisoner of war camp affected him, but she did see how the war and being held captive by the enemy changed her neighbor and she knew being married to a former prisoner of war wouldn’t be easy.

    Her neighbor was in the same prison camp as William “Bill” Norwood. “I knew the neighbor next door and he’d been back. I didn’t have a clue I’d ever marry someone that far away, me in Kentucky and him in Tennessee. It just worked out. It was the way it was meant to be,” she said.

  • I originally planned on writing something silly as I often do until I went to the Veterans Day luncheon Friday in the Haven Community Center. There are many things wrong with the United States of America, but there are many more things that are good and those good things far outweigh the bad.

    When the Pledge of Allegiance was spoken and the National Anthem was sung Friday, veterans with crooked backs, stood. Veterans in wheelchairs sat more erect and regardless of their condition, saluted, recited the pledge and then sung the anthem.

    The contrast between the men and women who sacrificed their health for their country and able-bodied professional football players was striking.

    I understand why they took a knee. Issues being ignored need to be addressed and talked about. However, we’re not talking about racism, police shootings, church shooting, school shootings, workplace shootings, black on black violence, white on white violence, black on white or white on black — we are only talking about the protest.

  • Veterans Day is on the 11th and as anyone who reads my columns knows, I am a retired Navy veteran with 20 years of service.

    Just because I served in the military, that doesn’t make me a hero and I do not deserve much “thanks” for my service. I enjoyed it. I had a lot more good times than bad. I was in an at-sea intensive job and I loved being underway.

  • I am writing this article the evening before Mr. Richard Spencer is scheduled to address an audience at the Phillips Center on the U of F Campus in Gainesville. He is billed as a white nationalist according to virtually all local mass media sources. 

    Personally, I do not support any organization where race is a prerequisite to membership. Therefore, I do not support Mr. Spencer’s National Policy Institute. Wait a minute, where is the race element in the title NPI? According to Wikipedia, ‘’the National Policy Institute is a white supremacist think tank based in Alexandria Virginia.” If Mr. Spencer is a white supremacist I will have nothing to do with him as I don’t and will not have anything to do with any race based groups, but I am uncomfortable with the double standard that is becoming very common in today’s society. Can you imagine if someone organized a Gainesville White Professionals organization? 

  • Have your parents, or has someone important to you, advised you “Don’t talk politics!?” It’s one of those heated topics where most everyone has his or her own opinion, and may see talking politics as a threat, or fuel for a likely argument. But what’s the downside of keeping quiet about your own political opinions? We’re already headed towards being a more and more divided country, with today’s problems and challenges, and with all the diversity this “melting-pot” nation presents us with. So it may feel natural to hold back on your ideas or opinions, to avoid controversy, or to avoid taking sides and further dividing the nation. And we’re supposed to be a nation “by the people, and for all the people.” If we avoid discussing opposing ideas, we are likely to become less tolerant of other points of view. To be a true democracy, shouldn’t we listen to all points of view, consider them thoughtfully, and make intelligent, informed decisions? When we stop communicating well, we can’t make truly informed or wise decisions.

  • Between 1952 and 1969, the U.S. Air Force conducted a study of UFO sightings known as “Project Blue Book.”

    Project Blue Book goals were to scientifically analyze UFO data and to determine if UFOs were a national security threat. In those 17 years, more than 12,000 reported UFO sightings were analyzed. Most of the “UFOs” were explained away as known aircraft or naturally occurring phenomenon.

    The project ended in 1969, when it was concluded there was nothing anomalous or dangerous about the reported UFOs and that there was no evidence that any of the UFOs were in fact extraterrestrial, according to the history website Fold3.com.

    One sighting was reported on a late Sunday night at about 10 p.m. Oct. 30, 1955, in Williston by a police officer whose name was redacted from the report. The officer was 40 years old and had attained a fifth-grade education.

    The report noted the “Source gave much thought to each question and asked and seems fairly sure of his answers. In the opinion of the investigator, source was fairly reliable.”

  • 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.