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Opinion

  • This is a big weekend for many young people in Levy County, as they leave high school and move on to the next phase of their lives.

    Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for most Levy County schools this weekend, a landmark day for a few hundred young adults who are ready to venture out into the world.

  • Editor's Note: This is a column published annually, with some minor changes, by the editor.

    ---

    I never knew my Uncle Joe.

    Somewhere there's a slide or a picture of him holding me on his lap shortly after I was born, but soon after that photo in early 1944, the sergeant shipped out.

    He was not only my uncle, he was my Godfather.

    He died in Normandy just one month after D-Day. I found his name on the Web, complete with the plot number in the cemetery in which he is buried.

  • Editor:

    I have to comment on these two stories of animal abuse that were in your paper. It's good that people get to read these stories, so they will be aware of just how bad the animal neglect and abuse situation is.

    It's about time the legal system takes animal cruelty seriously. It's a crime and the law needs to step up their penalties for it.

    They need to enforce stiff penalties for people who abuse animals. What was done to those horses at Beauty's Haven Farm is horrible.

  • There were some items in the news from this area recently that deserve comment.

    BOY DIES ON HIGHWAY: In neighboring Ocala, a 7-year-old boy was killed when he was struck by a vehicle while he was crossing Interstate 75 on foot.

    Take the time to digest a couple of things from that sentence: 7-year-old, and crossing the highway on foot.

    There are a number of blogs going on about this incident, and they are divided into two camps. First, they feel sorry for the parents and want to help them, and second, where were the parents when this was happening.

  • When I was a young boy, about 7 or so, my grandmother died. She was my mother's mother, and also my aunt's mother. My aunt lived across the street, so our families were quite close.

    About that time, there was a popular song on the radio called My Heart Cries for You. I believe the singer was Guy Mitchell, who a few years later would have the big hit, Singing the Blues.

  • When I was asked, a few years ago, to show my driver's license or other photo ID before I could vote, I was annoyed. I had been voting at the same place, with the same address, with the same signature on the books, for some time.

    It was explained to me that this was a new law to prevent voter fraud.

    Gradually, and grudgingly, I came to accept it. After all, who doesn't have a photo ID? It's very easy to get, even if you don't drive.

  • There is obviously more than meets the eye when it comes to the dismissal of Jim Coleman as the city manager of Williston.

    There were references to unhappy city employees, projects not followed through and the treatment of the city clerk during Tuesday's meeting when Coleman was fired.

    For my part, I can only say that all the dealings I had with Coleman were positive. He was always accessible for information. I am sorry to see him go.

    Now comes the interesting part, figuring out how to go about hiring someone new.

  • There is one law in Florida that I have been fighting for years. Maybe something is finally going to happen.

    Under current law, a law enforcement officer is not allowed to stop someone just because they don't have a seatbelt on. They can only be cited if they are stopped for some other reason.

    There reportedly is a bill in the Legislature that would change that. Hopefully, it will go through.

    Normally I'm not in favor of more government intervention. However, sometimes you just have to legislate something to overcome people's lack of judgment.

  • Editor:

  • Editor:

    For incoming City Council member Shoemaker to call the Airport Committee members self-serving is both an insult to this dedicated group of citizen volunteers, but also unjust and unfair. They are a diverse group (pilots, a mortgage broker, local business owners, a clergyman, council representatives, and the City Manager/Airport Manager) who spend many hours not only working toward improvement of the Williston Municipal Airport and Industrial Park, but also for economic development and job creation on behalf of Williston area residents.

  • So many things to write about, so little space. So let's go back to the headline format and cover a few topics:

    STOP SMOKING: There was a presentation at the high school last week by a group that organizes Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT). You can find photos elsewhere in today's paper.

    I went to the assembly to take pictures and, in all honesty, I was disappointed. There was a lot of loud music and a lot of yelling, most of which couldn't be understood.

  • Editor:

    We are writing this in response to the letter of March 27.

    Parents, players and coaches, we at Ark Print Wear are proud to say that we are the company that does the printing for the WYAA uniforms and have been doing them for the past three years. As well as doing the printing for them, we are also a proud sponsor of the WYAA.

  • Sometimes your week just doesn't go as planned.

    Mine was thrown for a loop on Tuesday when I learned that the day before a journalism colleague who I both liked and respected had died.

    Vince Murray, 56, was a former sports editor of the Ocala Star-Banner, and I had the pleasure of working with him for a few years.

    But I had met him long before that, when he was working in St. Petersburg, and we had talked a lot of sports.

  • Editor:

    I did not grow up in Williston, but have been fortunate enough to have lived here for almost 20 years. Not long after moving to Williston, I realized that it was not just a town, but a group or community of people that worked together for the betterment of "the community."

  • One of the strange stories of the past week comes out of Texas, and it really can raise some ethical questions.

    A 31-year-old man was injured four months ago in an ATV accident. He was declared brain-dead, but kept alive artificially so his organs could be harvested.

    But recently, when officials were ready to work on him ... he moved.

    Turns out he had been alive all the time, and even heard the doctor pronounce him dead.

    Now he's recovering and says he feels pretty good, according to an Associated Press story.

  • Like many Floridians, I play the lottery, usually Lotto. I don't go overboard with the amount I spend, and occasionally I win a few bucks.

    When you see a report such as the one the Florida Lottery put out last weekend, though, it makes you think.

    In an insert in many Sunday newspapers throughout the state, lottery officials published an eight-page, full-color report of how much money has been spent on education from lottery proceeds.

  • Editor:

    My husband and I are private pilots and we frequently visit the Williston Airport. We enjoy visiting the airport because of its friendly atmosphere and have been involved in the annual activities.

  • Sunshine Week has arrived once again.

    No, that's not a weather report. It's the annual week where we make all people aware of their rights under open government. It started in Florida but has spread nationwide.

    This year the observance starts on March 16.

    Our state has two main "Sunshine Laws," one requiring open meetings and the other requiring open public records.

    Through the years, exemptions to these laws, especially public records, have climbed, and it's time for legislators to go back to the original intent, which was to make everything open.

  • Just when I was used to getting up at a certain hour, I'm going to have to start waking up during what seems like the middle of the night.

    It's time to turn the clocks ahead for daylight-saving time.

    That means that when the alarm goes off at 5:30 or 6 a.m. next Monday, my body is immediately going to say, "No, it's only 4:30." Too bad, body. It's time to rise and shine.

  • Somewhere in the past, someone in Florida decided not to hold city elections on Election Day. So here we are, just a few weeks after the presidential primary election, ready to hold a city election next Tuesday.

    There are a couple of issues on the ballot. One has to do with economic growth, which would allow tax exemptions to entice businesses to move here.

    It's a necessary evil, given the competitive climate throughout the state of communities that want the jobs that go with new industry and/or business.