Columnists

Fri
20
Oct

Tanner Andrews: Checking in with the junk mailers

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

Advertising is a touchy business. The potential vendor has to manage to attract my attention, and motivate me to pull out the wallet.

Both elements are important. Attention alone does little good. If they get me sore, instead of sending money, I go and pour gasoline into their beer, failing their mission.

Contrariwise, if they would have gotten to my wallet, but for being ignored, they have failed as to the other element.

With that in mind, I turn to the morning’s mail. It is not an encouraging day for advertisers.

Let’s start with this advertisement from Deluxe. Through a window envelope, on curiously patterned paper, we see “pay to the order of.”

Oh, boy! A check! Let’s open it and see how much! Well, actually, it is just an ad, formatted to mislead the recipient.

That is a great way to build trust — lie to me. The mailer tells me that a large number of business owners rely on Deluxe.

Fri
20
Oct

David Rauschenberger: Centralized control causes service to deteriorate

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Per usual, I enjoyed Tanner Andrews’ most recent column. 

He was pointing out that Hurricane Irma was the first real Duke outage that mattered to the peeps. I’m here to offer my perspective. But I need to tie one thing up first.

I’ve never denied the climate is changing. And that’s where my critics falter. They don’t enter the arena of ideas with me. They ignore my challenge for them to prove that man is predominantly causing obvious changes in the climate, that the historical data isn’t being manipulated, and that they can alter the future.

They tell you I don’t believe in climate change. Yes, I do. They’re just wrong about man’s contribution to the changes and man’s ability to control the climate. They require blind obedience. And I, for one, don’t think their projections are credible.

Fri
20
Oct

Russ White: Why would anyone trust our current White House?

Russ White

Russ White

It seems as if our president has no guiding agenda of his own, except to destroy everything the black guy who came before him did. Last week saw him throwing more grenades into Obama-era programs with apparent disregard for the devastating effects they will have on Americans and the standing of our country in the world.

On the Sunday shows, representatives of the administration attempted to rationalize the actions by saying the president is unconventional (no kidding), and that he is just trying to force actions by Congress and our allies and opponents around the world. That may actually be true, but the odds are quite high that any actions that result will not be for the good of this country.

Fri
20
Oct

Letters to the Editor: On history, moral authority, contractors and the VA

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Don’t erase history, but don’t deny it, either

Editor, The Beacon:

This is in reference to Mr. Preston Collum’s letter to the editor “Confederate monuments don’t extol slavery” in the Oct. 5-8 Beacon.

While I respect Mr. Collum’s right to expression, I want to voice some alternative views on Civil War history and Confederate monuments. I am not a history scholar, but that does not seem to deter my opinions, which follow.

I take particular issue with the statement that “Slavery was a thin thread tied to states’ rights, self-government, and economic liberty.” In fact, slavery, and its loyal companion, white supremacy, were underlying bases for events leading to the Civil War.

Fri
20
Oct

Linda Colvard Dorian: Men of color should speak, and we should hear them

Speaking by kneeling — Washington Redskins players kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Oakland Raiders Sept. 24 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

Speaking by kneeling — Washington Redskins players kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Oakland Raiders Sept. 24 at FedExField in Landover, Maryland.

PHOTO BY KEITH ALLISON

The current NFL controversy is an opportunity for men of color, and those who agree with them, to make a point, respectfully, that our society does not offer equal opportunity and a fair shot at achievement to everyone.

No white person can honestly say he or she would rather be black because they would have a better life.

The players who choose to kneel, respectfully, are showing deference and respect, as we often do in houses of worship. At the same time, they are making a powerful statement that we need to do more as Americans to offer fair opportunities in all aspects of life, including the administration of justice.

If the players wanted to show disrespect, there are many ways to do that with rude gestures.

Thu
12
Oct

Tanner Andrews: Keeping us in the dark

Line down — In a scene repeated in hundreds of locations around West Volusia after Hurricane Irma, this power line on DeLand’s north side lies on the ground, the tree branch that snatched it from its mooring still wrapped around it.

Line down — In a scene repeated in hundreds of locations around West Volusia after Hurricane Irma, this power line on DeLand’s north side lies on the ground, the tree branch that snatched it from its mooring still wrapped around it.

BEACON PHOTO/TOM STEVENS 

First off, let me say that I am glad those guys from Missouri, and surely several other states, made it down here. Irma was a bad storm, and there were a lot of outages in West Volusia.

The problem is not the guys on the trucks. They were great. They worked long hours, staying on the road for weeks. Their jobs are only getting worse.

Puerto Rico is reportedly “an island, surrounded by water. Big water. Ocean water.” The PR power company may have to rent an aircraft carrier to get those guys and their trucks over there.

Our problem, fortunately, is closer and easier to reach. Duke Energy, formerly Progress, formerly Florida Power Corp., is up in Charlotte, North Carolina. Up there, they cannot even spell “Volusia,” much less find it on a map.

Thu
12
Oct

Astrid de Parry: A tale of two gas stations

These photos by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle, taken on different days during rush hour, illustrate the extreme congestion at Kepler Road and State Road 44. The photos were part of Engle’s presentation to the Volusia County planning commission.

These photos by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle, taken on different days during rush hour, illustrate the extreme congestion at Kepler Road and State Road 44. The photos were part of Engle’s presentation to the Volusia County planning commission.

Photo by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle

Photo by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle

Photo by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle

Photo by East New York Avenue resident Johnny Engle

Once upon a time, there was a beautiful community nestled on the shores of Lake Winnemissett, halfway between the City of DeLand and Lake Helen. State Road 44 followed an old wagon trail around the lake in a lazy curve toward the intersection with Kepler Road.

Kepler Road came to a dead end just a quarter-mile south of S.R. 44 until the West Volusia Beltway was built in 1996.

Ten years before Kepler Road became a major arterial, Circle K built a 12-pump gas station on 1.45 acres zoned B-2 (Neighborhood Commercial) at the northwest corner of S.R. 44 and Kepler Road to serve the surrounding rural residential community. Life was good!

Shortly after Circle K was built, Volusia County decided to build the county-administration building and a new courthouse in Downtown DeLand, and traffic on U.S. Highway 17-92 skyrocketed to 34,500 cars per day.

Thu
12
Oct

Letter to the Editor: Climate change not a left or right issue

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Climate change not a left or right issue

Editor, The Beacon:

After reading David Rauschenberger’s latest column on climate change, I was truly enlightened. Now I can put all of my concerns to rest now that I know that Democrats can’t control the climate.

Before reading this column, I was thinking that man-made climate change was a serious issue. 2016 was the warmest year on record in thousands of years of record-keeping, followed by 2015 and then 2014, with this year being hot on their heels.

Anyone see a pattern here?

I also remember reading in The Daytona Beach News-Journal that 29 of the past 30 months in Daytona Beach have seen above-normal temperatures.

My thermometer (and sweat glands) support this fact.

But of course this is all manipulated historical data as Mr. Rauschenberger states.

Thu
12
Oct

David Rauschenberger: Constitution 101 - just do it

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

This week, I want to offer a heartfelt invitation to all of you. The invitation was offered to me by multimedia conservative champion Mark Levin. And I’m grateful to him for it.

That invitation is to Hillsdale College. They offer free online courses that are invaluable. The website online-course introduction is prefaced with Thomas Jefferson’s statement “Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.” That piqued my interest.

Hillsdale’s core curriculum is offered to you for free. You can attend a highly respected institution of higher learning at your own pace. And, frankly, Jefferson hit it right on the head.

Most voters aren’t savvy when it comes to our system of governance or our Constitution. Hillsdale’s most popular class is “Constitution 101.”

Fri
06
Oct

Letters to the Editor: On the Putnam, mental health, taxes

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Please share your stories, ideas for Putnam

Editor, The Beacon:

Let me introduce my grandson Tom Stevens. (I call him Thomas.)

Tom is interning at The West Volusia Beacon under the wonderful eye and guidance of Barb Shepherd, owner, publisher and CEO of The Beacon.

Tom was born in Germany, but grew up in the Boston area. He just graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, with an English degree. He loves words and music. He was welcomed to Florida by Hurricane Irma — who taught him to respect and love Florida.

Tom will be calling on you for a story — we all have one to tell. He will be looking forward to your calls at The Beacon to help you put your stories and pictures into print, too.

Tom is also a talented musician, and my living room has turned into a music studio for new tunes. His guitar is ready for your stage, too.

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