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Opinion

  • “Naïve righteousness is a real turn off. Bible bigots give Western scripture a bad name.”

    Last week Florida celebrated Literacy Week. For those of you who missed the statewide promotion to remember to read, fear not. I, Warren Parkin a literate, am declaring February Florida Literacy Month. I know that February also marks national Black History Month. The two celebrations are not incompatible. In fact, they compliment each other. Thus, it is a good time to recommend some good books. 

  • When it comes to Social Security benefits, you may be wondering who must pay taxes on them and who does not. Let’s look at the numbers.

  • Denise Arlene Kurth, 54, died after a brave battle with cancer Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at the West Marion Community Hospital.

    She was born in Waukesha, Wis. to Arthur and Geraldine Maass. She lived in Greenfield, Wic. until moving to Williston in 1978.

    She was a member of the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church. She worked as a homemaker as well as being her husband’s right hand in the family business, Kurth Electric.

  • Corporations and foreign interests now have more to say in our elections than you or I, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court. Two weeks ago, the Court broadened the status of corporate personhood with its 5 to 4 ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Corporate personhood is the doctrine that corporations are considered to be individual persons in the eyes of the law. Any corporation, thanks to this incredibly obtuse interpretation of the intent of the U.S.

  • Floridians served by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy can breathe a sigh of relief. Regulators clearly understood the tough realities of balancing a family budget, during this time of severe economic distress for many Floridians and rejected increase proposals by the state’s two largest utility providers.

  • To the editor:

    I have waited and again have not read any comments from the citizens of Williston on the latest actions of the city council. 

    Maybe I am missing something, or the council is not explaining themselves very well.  I read where the council was laying off six or seven employees (at Christimas time?) and in another breath, they are giving all full-time city employees a Christmas bonus (totaling over $6000)? 

  • We find ourselves today at the the start of a new year and, as it would happen, at the beginning of a new decade. Many of us (myself included) find ourselves compelled to make promises regarding behavioral changes in our lifestyles and habits. So often, though, these so-called resolutions are half-heartedly attempted or completely neglected.

    The actuality of resolutions is that they are generally created as a way to get someone else to simply shut up. They don't hold a personal motivation and, therefore, are easily discarded.

  • To the editor:

  • As I sit down to write this, Martin Luther King Day is just a day off, and there are a number of things happening in our country—and just outside it—that give me pause to reflect on just how far we as a country need to go yet in the name of race relations.

  • My father had a saying for when he drove extensively.

    “I’ve been all over hell and half of Georgia,” he’d lament to my mother.

    We thought it was funny considering we were in Kentucky and he really hadn’t been to Georgia.

    However it stuck and over the years it has become my mantra too.

    Thanksgiving weekend it became true.

    Best friend Denise and her family rent a cabin in the North Georgia mountains every Thanksgiving.

  • My hair has been some sort of blonde 99 percent of my life. A towhead as a child, the color has varied over the years, but there’s always been some shade of blonde to it.

    I came by the color naturally, since both my parents were blonde as youngsters.

    My father’s hair eventually took on a reddish hue, before it thinned to the point that he was just grateful to have any hair at all.

    My mother’s hair became a rich brown with auburn highlights, and when she died at 70, it was still a stunning color with minimal gray.

  • Every day that we are given the chance to wake up from our slumber and put our feet on the floor is another opportunity to start with a clean slate and start life anew.

    Unfortunately most of us tend to carry the burdens and travails of yesterday into our todays and that clouds our tomorrows.

    As 2010 sits on the horizon, it also marks the chance for new beginnings, new attitudes.

    What will you do with it?

    The first thing I challenge each of you to do is look back at 2009 and reflect on what was right with your life.

  • To the editor:

    While you are enjoying your busy Christmas holidays, I hope you will take a moment to say a prayer for Sammy Yearty and the Yearty family.

    If you look back at the many good things Sammy has done for Levy County, you will come to understand that he is one of those rare human beings who has deep compassion and understanding for those around him.

    When the inmates of Lancaster Correctional Institution were building the Levy County Quilt Museum, Sammy was always ready to lend support and contribute whatever was needed.

  • To the editor:

    I am writing to show my support for my good friend, Sammy Yearty. I have known Sammy, his father and mother and his family for more than 60 years.

    I watched him grow up and was pleased 30 years ago when he turned to serving Levy County government just as his father had. More and more, public service is not an easy path for one to choose.

  • If you’re planning on retiring sometime early in the new year, now is the time to apply for retirement benefits. The most convenient way to apply for Social Security benefits is online — from the comfort of your home or office. Just go to www.socialsecurity.gov/applyonline.

    Our website will walk you through the online retirement application process. We will tell you what information you will need to answer the questions on the application. Further, we will describe the documents you may need to present once you have submitted your application.

  • As Levy County combats the worst rececession since the Great Depression and the holiday season is here, it makes sense that we all do our part to keep as many of our shopping dollars at home.

    With budgets tightened and wallets depleted, we encourage people to be imaginative with their gift-giving.

    Meander downtown Williston on a crisp day, poke your head in all the shops along the way, dine at one of our eateries and think about what you are giving to your friends and family.

  • How do you tell a child that there are no fairies?

    I’ve given this matter a lot of thought, lately, and not because I mull profoundly in my spare time, but because my son has asked some specific questions and I know it’s a matter of time before he figures out some of the answers.

  • To the editor:

    I have known Sammy Yearty for about 18 years. I attend most of the commission meetings in Levy County and volunteer with the Levy County Emergency Management. During this time I have observed Sammy in meetings and during storms. I worked in the EOC under his leadership and I have never known Sammy to do anything that was not in the best interest of the citizens of Levy County.

  • Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

    "DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

    "Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

    "Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'

  • The cooking and baking of Christmas all invokes poignant memories of holidays past, but none more so than stirring the fudge.

    To ensure perfect fudge, you have to stir constantly, work rapidly and keep an eye on the timer if you don’t have a candy thermometer.

    Sunday, as I stirred and stirred and stirred, I was taken back to my mother standing over a coal burning stove making Christmas treats. It became more difficult for her to do as the years rolled on due to a upper spine problem that caused her hands to go numb, but she did it anyway.