• Let’s look at a proposal of a rock quarry by Counts Construction in Irvine, Marion County. Two hundred to 300 people from the area came out to protest this. The commissioner for this district excluded himself from the final vote. Was this so he did not have to listen to citizens’ interest or was it for petroleum interests with the construction company? The proposal was passed and went to Tallahassee.

  • Modern technology is wonderful, except when it scares the heck out of you.

    This week I was filling in at our Williston newspaper, my former home paper, in between getting the South Marion Citizen material put together.

    That meant extra traveling. My car is only nine months old, so I wasn't worried about driving between the two offices, providing I could avoid the West Port High and Williston Elementary school zones.

  • The tragedy of breast cancer goes far beyond the thousands of lives it affects and ends every year.

    What makes the diagnosis of the disease especially heartbreaking is the fact that breast cancer is treatable.

    With that in mind, a lot of people are turning to pink to remind everyone that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

  • To All informed citizens: Vote “no” on Constitutional Amendment # 4. This amendment is better known as ‘Hometown Democracy’. The name sounds warm and cozy, like something you’d probably be quite comfortable with in your town, right? Well it’s neither! The reading of this amendment is misleading to say the least. The plan has been tried in St. Pete and has been a complete disaster. It has resulted in lawsuits, mounting legal bills for taxpayers and a complete a standstill on development! Why? You ask.

  • Talk about a double standard.

    Citizens and churches are not permitted to criticize the follies of government, but the president can insist that citizens and churches exhort and laud the follies of bad government legislation? Are we to be our own executioners?

    Yesterday the president told churches to talk it up for his notorious health care bill, a bill despised by the overwhelming majority of Americans. What gives with this guy? Does he not “get” anything?

  • This column is being written Tuesday evening, with little time to digest the news that came from the county a couple of hours earlier, that Sheriff Ed Dean was proposing putting Marion County Fire Rescue under the Sheriff’s Office, instead of having the fire chief report to the county administrator.

    Little definitive reaction was available from county officials, and that’s good. This is something that needs to be studied for a long time before thoughts of implementation ever take hold.

  • United Way of Marion County has officially kicked off its 2010-11 campaign with fanfare and kickoff party at the downtown square and inside area stores with “flash mobs.”

    Coming with the kickoff is a gulp of realism as this year’s campaign continues to face an unsteady local economy; the loss of some pretty big contributing businesses from past campaigns.

    Yet there is a contagious spirit of optimism that always seems to revitalize that determination that caring for one another is never an impossible goal.

  • Most of us, despite our political differences, have some sense of responsibility when it comes to government programs that make a mockery of money management by approving projects that are a total waste of our tax dollars. We expect our tax dollars to be spent on worthwhile programs. These politicians, regardless of party, who have no regard to their duty to make the most of our tax dollars, need to be exposed and voted out of office.

  • The News Media has already determined who will win the next national and state elections this November. Polls are being taken on every issue facing America today and it looks very bad for the incumbent Democrats.

  • Freshmen Congresmen can’t make a difference, except …

    I worked for the 92nd Congress as Communications Director for Congressman Delbert Latta, (R) Ohio. When I went to him he had already served 22 years in the House and was one of the most respected men in the House. He made a difference. He was on the House Judiciary Committee when Nixon was in office. Strangely, it was felt Nixon had his re-election locked up.

  • Perhaps our most precious resource in our lifetime is our children and grandchildren. Many of you undoubtedly transport younger children from place to place, and nationally, officials worry that not all grandparents are up to speed on what’s required for child safety.

    This week is National Child Passenger Safety Week, and you should learn all you can do to keep your most precious cargo safe.

  • We wonder whether Tea Partiers have seen this one: According to the 2011 Federal Career Guide “The Federal Government was established by the Constitution to provide services to the public… to improve the lives of the United States population, as well as people around the world.”

    The founding fathers would be surprised to learn they created a limited government whose mission is to make all our dreams come true and save the world at the same time.

  • Sometimes emotions run very high when we consider the people who run our favorite sports teams. One sudden change of fortune can result in a turnaround about how people feel about a certain individual.

    It applies to all sports. As a Mets fan, I’m embroiled in discussions about how to fix the problem of losing, with a new GM, a new manager, some new players, etc. It gets pretty heated at times in the online chat rooms.

  • September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. There are about 70,000 Americans who have this condition, which occurs in one of every 500 African American births making it one of the most common genetic diseases in the U.S. It affects the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and may trigger painful and life-threatening situations, including crisis. The most common treatment for patients, both during crisis and as a preventive step, is blood transfusion. For some patients, blood transfusions are needed every month.

  • Several years ago, shortly after I went to New Smyrna Beach to become the editor of the newspaper there, a call came back from the front that there was a man to see me.

    This man had a full beard and shaggy hair, and some of the front office people were a little bit apprehensive. But I welcomed him back to my office, and I was glad I did.

  • The federal government lost more than 1 trillion dollars of income over the last 10 years because of the tax cuts for the top 2 percent of taxpaying Americans. The Republicans are saying that these are the people that fuel the economy of our country by creating jobs for the rest of us.

  • When a candidate says they will cut waste in government do they believe in the same waste you do?

    The candidate may personally believe Social Security and Medicare and schools and aid to children and health care for those who cannot afford it, are wasteful government spending as many of them do. If a candidate doesn’t list what they believe is wasteful government spending, how do you know whether he sees your personal need as waste in government?

  • The primaries Tuesday night showed that, despite the protests of establishment Republicans, the Tea Party is a growing force in America.

    Wins by candidates in the Delaware U.S. Senate race and the governor’s race in New York gave the Tea Party renewed optimism heading into the November elections.

    The Democrats were openly celebrating in Delaware, where they feel their candidate would easily succeed in the race to replace Vice President Joe Biden.

  • The New York morning was bright and beautiful. Visibility was clear for miles. On this Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, people hustled and bustled to get to work. Those at home were relaxing to the early morning news shows, or getting ready to perform other routine activities.

  • I annually give my pet peeves about the start of school. This year, the death of Bobby Thomson postponed my column as I replaced it with one about him, but here, a couple of weeks late, it is.