Columnists

Fri
12
Jan

Tanner Andrews: Passing gas taxes and the County Council

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

We all do things we’re not proud of. Sometimes it is by accident; no one means to spill grape juice all over the studio on live radio. True, it will be impossible to clean, but it was an accident.

Other times, people do things because they do not expect to be found out. County Manager Jim Dinneen is on top of that one.

Recently, Dinneen had the County Council set to pay $1.9 million to buy land for a new public-works mansion out in the swamps of Samsula. He never expected that anyone would find out that the land was appraised for less than half the price. When that came out, he had to flee from the odor.

Of course, it was not Dinneen’s fault. It was approved by five different bureaucrats, but it came out on the agenda by accident. They did not mean to throw away an extra million over the value of the land; it was an accident.

Fri
12
Jan

David Rauschenberger: Democrats won’t oust President Trump

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

My friends on the left have found their platform. There’s just one promise they’re making: They will, if elected in the majority, impeach President Donald Trump.

I told you about Trump Derangement Syndrome. It’s real, my comrades. And hiding it doesn’t appear to be a concern for my Democrat friends. They resist. They ignore the rules. And I’m here to tell you that they have no chance to erase the November 2016 results.

I’d point out that Democrats have to secure a two-thirds majority in part of our Congress to make it happen. And that’s a pipe dream.

I’ve read in numerous columns that Democrats will roll over Republicans and take the majority in the House of Representatives in November 2018. I’d point out that the same polls that Democrats believed in 2016 are the same ones they believe predict the future of Trump’s first midterm election.

Fri
12
Jan

Russ White: Nothing new in Fire and Fury

Russ White

Russ White

Last week, a new exposé on the Drumpf White House by writer Michael Wolff titled Fire and Fury hit the news. Excerpts I have seen, and the reviews I have read, lead me to believe the book is probably poorly written and edited.

There’s nothing new in Fire and Fury. A few details may be wrong, but the overall picture it paints doesn’t add anything that hasn’t been flagrantly obvious to anyone who is paying attention and isn’t intellectually compromised.

Wolff was granted surprising access to the West Wing of the White House for extended periods over the course of many months. He claims to have done more than 200 interviews of staff and White House principals, including the president himself. The quotes making the most waves came from the president’s ex-chief strategist Steve Bannon.

But, everything Bannon is reported to have said is already public knowledge. And, while clarifying his statements somewhat, he has not denied any of them.

Fri
12
Jan

Letters to the Editor: On royal fatigue, the kindness of strangers, bike lanes and the hero of the hour

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Royal fatigue?

Editor, The Beacon:

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has grown weary of news coverage of the royal family of Great Britain. The fascination seems to be shared mostly by women — I guess it’s that old Camelot thing.

The fact is: The royals have little or no actual political power, are not especially good-looking, do not seem to possess any particular talents, are not extremely wealthy by billionaire standards, and do not seem to have any penetrating insights or solutions to the world’s problems.

So what’s the fuss? I thought we rid ourselves of monarchies when we fought the Revolutionary War and, with them, brutal penal colonies, serfdom, imperialism, despots and slavery.

Jesse Peebles

DeBary


Grateful for mystery woman’s honesty and kindness

Editor, The Beacon:

Fri
12
Jan

Guest commentary: College applications through the years

 PAJAMA DIARIES COMICS BY TERRI LIBENSON PUBLISHED IN OUR JAN. 8-10 EDITION

 PAJAMA DIARIES COMICS BY TERRI LIBENSON PUBLISHED IN OUR JAN. 8-10 EDITION

I was inspired to write after seeing the comic strip about “Reviewing Amy’s College Application,” by Terri Libenson, in your Jan. 8-10 edition. This strip is representative of many of today’s brightest and youngest students, including my grandson Matthew and, in his shadow, his brother David.

In perspective, looking at three generations . . .

GEN 1

In a family of eight living in the foothills of Appalachia in a 700-square-foot house with no bookshelves (no books except for the Word and an off-brand encyclopedia that I bought), studying at the dining table under a single 40-watt bare light bulb at the ceiling (very harsh light), the means to keep any sort of résumé or any records was basically nonexistent, except for a shoebox for 4-H awards won at the county fair and some Boy Scout mementos. All of my school report cards survived somehow thanks to my mother.

Mon
08
Jan

David Rauschenberger: State of the union is strong

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, distinguished members of Congress, honored guests and fellow citizens: The state of the union is strong.

For the first time in eight years, our foreign friends and foes once again respect us and, in some cases, fear us. Past mistakes facilitating nuclear proliferation among our enemies are being curtailed. Our military strength is being restored, and our military leadership has never been so talented.

An increased investment of $700 billion is planned. But spending for defense cannot just be increased by the United States. Our allies in NATO and around the globe must spend more for their own defense.

We now lead by example, but cannot be expected to foot the bill for the safety and security of our allies.

The state of the union is strong, comrades.

Mon
08
Jan

Russ White: GOP officials give glimpses of truth

Russ White

Russ White

I mentioned an example of unvarnished truth from an elected Republican in a recent column. There have recently been a few more examples.

I have two specific instances in mind, both regarding the abomination that is the “Job Cuts and Tax (Giveaway) Act.” The first is from our own U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

In an interview with the News-Press, “LittleMarco” said, “We probably went a little too far on (helping) corporations.” Gee, ya think?

He goes on, “By and large, you’re going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price. Some of them will be forced, because they are sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders.”

“That isn’t going to create dramatic economic growth.” No kidding. It never has, and it never will.

Mon
08
Jan

Tanner Andrews: Good news and bad news from the county

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

First the good news: Your share of the county manager and county attorney salaries is only about a dollar. Same for your wife and each child. That means you can afford their raises this year, less than $15,000.

The bad news is that these guys, between them, will cost us almost a half-million dollars next year, if you do not count benefits. And when you are that efficient in spending money, you naturally need more. Think of this as the frosting on top of your tax bill. County Manager Dinneen had some other surprises for us in 2017. Remember back in April, when he wanted to close another 2 miles of beach? He forgot to give the County Council their instructions before the meeting, however.

That meant good news: He did not get to give away more beach this time.

Tue
02
Jan

Letters to the Editor: On the Automall, sprawl, sexual harassment

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Automall is unwanted and unneeded

Editor, The Beacon:

Being basically a conservative, I rarely agree with Russ White’s views. However, his assessment of the proposed DeLand automall is right on the mark.

The promoter of the mall is Brendan Hurley, who owns the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep store on South Woodland Boulevard. Hurley says he needs the additional space the new mall will provide because his current location is too small.

I totally agree the space that his store is in is too small to support all of his business lines.

Tue
02
Jan

Tanner Andrews: All wet in Palatka

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to wash something, you just cannot get the stink off of it. No matter how much you soak a stale fish, for instance, it is going to smell bad as soon as you pull it out.

We see the same thing in Palatka with the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD). No matter how much water remains in the river, and how much money we send to the headquarters palace on State Road 100, it just keeps on stinking.

A large part of that is leadership. It seems that one company, Bio-Tech Consulting, has a real “in” when it comes to getting permits and approvals up there.

I am not sure if it has anything to do with the fact that the owner, John Miklos, is the chairman of the SJRWMD.

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