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Opinion

  • Congratulations are in order for the men and women who make up the Levy County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force.

    In the past month the task force has been able to bring about the arrests of dozens of alleged drug dealers. Many of those arrests came on the heels of investigations that lasted months and required countless man hours and dedication.

    We also tip our hats to the Chiefland City Commission for having the foresight to set aside money in its budget that allows the city to be a member of the task force.

  • Take a look around you. Count three people. Stand back. Think. Statistically one of these three people will contract cancer. One of those three could be you.

    And scarier still is that some 1,500 people die from cancer each day.

    This Friday night at Chiefland High School, people dedicated to eliminating cancer and finding cures will come together to celebrate a year of fund-raising.

    But the work doesn't stop there.

  • Do you remember that poster from the 70s that said "A friend is someone who knows everything about you and still likes you anyway"?

    We're fortunate if we can find such a person in this life-someone who accepts you for who you are, doesn't try to change you and knows your deepest, darkest secrets and never passes judgment, loves you unconditionally and makes every moment you spend together an adventure.

    I've really been blessed to find a friend like that in Denise Matthews.

  • For years we have pointed fingers at the residents of cities and counties for not being more proactive in local government.

    Apathy is often blamed as the reason people don't get involved in what's happening in their communities.

    While that may be true in part, I think another reason may be it's just too darn confusing for the average person who has to sit and sift and then leave wondering, "What happened in there?"

    It's been a while since I covered a Chiefland Commission meeting. About 18 months, in fact.

  • Kay and Luther Drummond were more than surprised Tuesday night when the Greater Chiefland Chamber of Commerce named them its Citizens of the Year.

    They shouldn't have been.

    For decades the Drummond name has been synonymous with giving back.

    The couple has been on the frontline of helping build a better community through their civic leadership and generous financial giving.

    The Drummonds have been instrumental in raising money for Haven Hospice through their Fall at the Farm event, last year securing more than $30,000 in contributions for the agency.

  • I must be a real party animal. This past weekend I had about 60 beers, stayed up all night, caroused with total strangers, wore the same clothes for two days and crashed and burned immediately when I got home.

    How can this be?

    Well, I didn't drink 60 beers. Remember a few weeks ago when I said that missing one hour of sleep is equivalent to drinking two beers?

    This past weekend I had more than my share without ever popping a tab.

    It started innocently enough.

  • Even though qualifying for county and district political offices doesn't begin until June, already many candidates are out stumping for votes.

    The Chiefland Citizen wants to ensure that all candidates are treated equally during the months ahead.

    Following are a few notes worth mentioning as we launch into what promises to be a full depiction of the American electoral process.

  • I am ashamed. Eight girls, eight young girls who are three, four, even five times younger than I am have shown me just how incompetent I am in an area where women are, by tradition, supposed to excel.

    Of course it's sewing and when it comes to the fine art of stitchery, I am all thumbs. The gals of the Suwannee River Fair have accomplished more in their short lives than I have in four decades.

    My grandmothers were seamstresses, but of course, back in the day they had to be out of sheer necessity.

    I grew up with feedsack dresses trimmed in rickrack.

  • I'd like to first say "Thank you Chiefland" for your beautiful support shown before, during and after the death of Mrs. Julia Haile. I'd like to give a very special thanks to the Greater Chiefland Area Chamber of Commerce for giving her and Papi (Mr. Haile) their flowers while they were able to see them by honoring them as Chiefland's Citizen of the year 2007. We don't know what the future holds for any of us, but we do know Who holds the future of all of us and I thank God for sending me here 13 years ago and placing Mr. and Mrs. Haile into my life.

  • Anabolic steroids become a public issue of greater importance each year. Baseball, football, and most of our beloved professional sports have all fallen victim to some degree of illegal steroid activity.

    The continued rise of Internet advertising as well as the proliferation of dietary supplements has also given "performance enhancement" more prominence. This has created a relatively new market for steroid products. Not only athletes, but more average guys are now using or considering anabolic substances.

  • One of my favorite photographs of my parents was snapped on an early summer afternoon. They had no idea that I had come out of my room only to return for my camera and capture them for all eternity in a rather endearing picture.

    They were curled up at opposite ends of the sofa napping.

    You see, both my parents always denied they napped.

    "Just resting my eyes," my father would say.

    "Oh, I wasn't asleep," my mother protested. "I just closed my eyes for a minute."

  • February may have come and gone, but the facts remain: every month should be Heart Month-especially if you're a woman.

    Television commercials, print ads and even soap operas got in on the month-long message that women need to be more aware of their hearts.

    And that's not the figurative heart that we give away on Valentine's Day.

    Heart disease is now the leading cause of death among women in this country.

    The reason? It's unclear.

  • When I sent out the call for celebrity sightings, someone asked what I was looking for.

    My response: I'm not sure, but we'll see what defines celebrity to people.

    I was right.

    Most of the names you submitted I was aware of. Some were a little more obscure and I had to do my own Internet research to educate myself on names like Brenda Fraizer and Anthony Green.

  • It wasn't until the nurse practioner pointed it out last week that it dawned on me.

    I've become Phyllis Vining.

    I worked with Phyllis a very brief time around 1995. She was hired to sell ads at the paper I worked for and from the time she walked in the door, I knew she was different.

    I thought she was elderly back then-now I realize she was probably mid-50s but in her mind Phyllis was no more than 25-only the lines around her eyes gave away her secret.

  • My name is Jeff and I am a television addict." I can picture my first visit to the televisionaholics anonymous meeting. Well, I am not quite so bad that I must join TA. Of course, all of us "aholics" say we are not so addicted to those things to which we are addicted.

    We can all give up "x," or "y" or "z" any time we want.

    For instance, I might say, "Just let me watch The Simpsons, Family Guy and King of the Hill and I'll let American Dad go by the wayside this week, just to prove how I can handle this habit."

  • My car suffers from a bad case of dutch elm disease. Or oak blight.

    I guess whatever ailment it has comes from parking under the trees at my house.

    Being vertically challenged, I don't see the roof of the car.

    Perhaps that's why I didn't know the car was ailing from some alien rash.

    Sunday afternoon brought it all home.

    I washed-yes, hand-washed-my car. That in itself is an accomplishment.

    I am not a car washer.

    It's a bone of contention between Tom and me.

  • No Fair

    Life is not fair.

    Saturday at about 7:30 a.m., my wife Sharon and I left to go to the Florida State Fair in Tampa.

    I had plans to take photos of award-winning cattle and to have lots of fun.

    I drove our Jeep on Alt. 27 to catch I-75 at Ocala, but it was very foggy.

    I decided to go down U.S. Highway 19 instead, because the traffic would be slower and lighter than on the Interstate.

    Shortly after going through Chiefland on 19, we smelled smoke.

  • Saturday night the people of Levy County showed how seriously they take the mission of granting a proper education to the children of our communities.

    Despite a waning economy, folks who believe that a successful society is based on a well-educated population donated more than $22,000 to the Levy County Schools Foundation.

    Saturday night the fruits of their labors were celebrated with the Eighth Annual Superintendent's Gala.

  • Teams that win a lot – a whole lot – usually draw animosity.

    Seems folks just plain get sick and tired of watching the same teams win time and again.

    Look at the New York Yankees. Many like to point at George Steinbrenner with disgust as he tries to buy another World Series.

    People even got fed up with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls– dynasty in the '90s. Jordan shuffled off to play baseball before coming back to the NBA with the Bullets.

    Which brings us to the New England Patriots.

  • I keep my politics to myself. I've been voting since I was 18 and have missed only one election during that time. In the course of all those elections, city, state and federal, I have not discussed my vote with anyone.

    Years ago when the state of Georgia was pondering a lottery with proceeds aimed at education, my then-husband and I were at odds on how to vote. We discussed the pros and cons right up until the Tuesday we voted.