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Opinion

  • Editor:

    On New Year’s Day someone took a plastic Santa Claus and a candy cane out of my yard. I would like to say thank you for allowing it to stay in my yard over the Christmas Holidays. The children in the neighborhood really enjoyed walking through the yard and looking at the different items.

  • Regardless of whether you are a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, black, white or Hispanic, you have to admit that the inauguration on Tuesday is a historic day for the United States.

    When Sen. Barack Obama takes the oath as president of the United States, it will mark a major diversity breakthrough for our country.

    And hopefully, after he’s in office for a little while, his race will be forgotten and his policies will be the thing that gets scrutinized the most.

  • his week we’re concluding the “holidays,” as Christmas and New Year’s have slipped by and we are entering into 2009. The Christmas decorations are being taken down and schools and clubs are resuming their normal schedules.

    But this is a different year. We’ve heard nothing but gloom and doom predictions.

    There are ways, though, for people to cope, mainly by helping others. Read on:

    ‘Twas the week after Christmas

    And all through the town

    Decorations and trees

    Were all coming down.

  • Last Friday I was home, getting psyched up for covering a basketball game that night, and ESPN, my usual TV station, was babbling about putting the O.J. Simpson sentencing on live at noon.

    So I made sure I was paying attention, and there was a lot of talk as the court procedure was getting under way in the background.

    I went to Headline News and found more talk.

  • Random thoughts while driving through the fog (not in a fog):

    NEW PRINCIPAL: John Lott will take over the administration of Williston High School when Mike DeLucas leaves after this week.

    Our dealings here at the paper with DeLucas have always been good, and we wish him well in his new endeavor at the Florida Virtual School.

    I confess I didn’t know much about the Virtual School until I talked with DeLucas last week. I started checking up on it and it’s amazing how many students across Florida are taking part in this service.

  • Editor:

    It has been my pleasure to serve as Principal at Williston High School and Assistant Principal at Joyce Bullock Elementary School for the past seven years. I have always appreciated the support of this community for all four Williston schools.

    Since announcing my resignation last week, I have received numerous congratulatory phone calls, emails, cards and personal visits. I have been overwhelmed by the warm wishes and sincere gratitude. Thank you.

  • Editor:

    I simply cannot resist the desire to express my feelings about the recent Light Up Williston parade and ceremony. I have never been as proud to be a Willistonian as I was on Friday evening. I could not help but think about all of the little things that had to come together to make that all happen and for a parade that almost didn’t happen, what I saw was fantastic.

    It is a real tribute to a community that knows a good thing; gets into it; and goes out of its say to participate, if only to watch the parade. Way to go, Williston.

  • Last weekend while dial-doodling around by TV, I came across a fascinating story called "The Search for John Wilkes Booth," about the manhunt for Lincoln's assassin. There's been a lot of Civil War stuff on for some reason, and this one was pretty good.

    But what I was looking for was some material on an assassination anniversary that's coming up, and I couldn't find a whole lot on the channels.

    Saturday is the 45th anniversary of the killing of President John F. Kennedy.

    This weekend is another big 45th anniversary for me, but more on that later.

  • Each generation or group of people has its catch phrases, something that just sort of pops into the languages.

    One of the statements making the rounds now is "Wow! Didn't see that comin'."

    That's the way I felt Tuesday night gathering the local election returns.

    I didn't foresee the defeat of incumbent Francis Akins as property appraiser, especially given the county's history of constant re-election of incumbents.

  • Editor:

    Amendment 2 does one thing and one thing alone. It defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman, but it does not prohibit the government or private companies from extending benefits to whoever they wish. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that Amendment 2 concerns the "single subject" of marriage and simply takes the existing state marriage law and places it into the constitution having similar effect (Opinion to the Attorney General, 926 SO. 2d. 1229.2996).

  • First, it must be noted that Billy Morrison has not been convicted of anything. All we have are charges filed of lewdness and exposing himself at a rest room at Santa Fe College.

    Still, since Morrison is a member of the Levy County School Board, the matter must be addressed, and in this vein the School Board failed miserably at its meeting on Tuesday.

  • Editor:

    We are in a mess. All we hear are people saying we are in a mess. The bunch on Wall Street, the congressmen and senators admit we are in a mess.

    So what do they do? They have the power. They vote in a plan to bail out the money people, the people making multibillion dollars in perks. The heck with the ordinary, working families who manage to save a dollar or two after household expenses. Let the taxpayers foot the bill.

  • Beware the 809 area code.

    Every once in a while we have to warn you about scams that come across your e-mail.

    One which resurfaced recently was the 809 area code scam.

    To put it simply, don't call anyone in the area code 809, unless it's someone you know, even if you've been told via e-mail that you've won something, or some other good news.

    You'll be charged some fantastic rate per minute on your phone bill, and of course the people who have that number, which is in the islands, reap the profits.

    So be smart. Don't call people you don't know.

  • Editor:

    On behalf of the Williston Area Chamber of Commerce I would like to take this opportunity to thank the City of Williston and the many people who helped to make the 20th Annual Central Florida Peanut Festival an overwhelming success.

    A sincere thank you to the Williston Pioneer and its staff for their wonderful support and coverage once again.

  • Editor:

    What is more important? The definition of a marriage or the realities of real families? The second part of Amendment 2: " NO OTHER LEGAL UNION that is treated as marriage or the SUBSTANTIAL EQUIVALIENT thereof shall be valid or recognized" will be very detrimental to families, many with children, involving unmarried straight couples.

    Many senior citizens cannot remarry without losing their deceased spouse's pension and social security benefits. But they do want a partner to share expenses, relieve the loneliness or be a companion.

  • The Peanut Festival held last weekend is in the books, and if the crowds are any indication, it was well received and well liked.

    People were everywhere.

    For one thing, the weather was a lot cooler than last year, and people could walk up and down with feeling like they were getting heat stroke.

    I was amazed that the previous week in our paper, under our poll question, a majority of people said they would not attend. I'm not sure why. There are a lot of things to see and do, and plenty, plenty of food.

    Unfortunately, there isn't plenty of parking.

  • Editor:

    The members of Ornan Lodge No. 117, Free and Accepted Masons of Williston, would like to thank the Williston Police Dept., Williston Explorers, Williston Fire Dept. and the Levy County Sheriff's Office for making "Child Safety Day" on Sept. 27 a complete success. Their commitment to our youth is commendable and paramount to our future.

    Ornan Lodge is also grateful to the AARP, Williston Junior Woman's Club, North Central Florida Child Care and Frito-Lay Corp. who provided services to the young and not so young alike.

  • Editor:

    I have been a long time proponent and corporate pilot based at Williston Municipal Airport. I recently noted that a new terminal expansion is about to commence. This should be a huge improvement for the airport, the citizens of Williston and the airports' customers, congratulations to the Airport Supervisor, Airport Board and Chairwoman Debra Jones for this improvement.

  • Do you know who Bryan Dossantos-Gomes is?

    Do you know who Caylee Anthony is?

    I'll bet the answer to the second question is "yes." I'm pretty sure the answer to the first one is "no."

    We'll come back to that later.

    Last Saturday I was wandering through the exhibits at the Child Safety Day at the local Masonic Lodge. Parents were coming in, getting a card to provide information about their children, getting the youngsters fingerprinted, getting their pictures taken, and then they got some of the goodies like a firefighter's hat or a bicycle helmet.

  • Being a Mets fan, it's awfully hard to make friends with a Phillies fan. After all, that's the team that knocked the Mets out of the playoffs last year, and they're about to do it again.

    However, there was one man in Levy County that I could call and joke with about baseball, and sports in general. As late as a week ago Tuesday, we were on the phone to each other talking about the pennant race, among other things in local sports. He was my favorite Phillies fan.

    His name was Claude Lewis, and he was a writer and sports editor for our sister paper, the Chiefland Citizen.