Columnists

Mon
24
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On sustainability, flooding and saying thanks

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

That’s entertainment

Editor, The Beacon:

Whether you are amused or offended by the many tweets emanating from the president’s account, you should bear in mind that it may be a smoke screen that diverts attention from what is going on in the executive branch.

As when we watch a magician saw his apprentice in half, we are distracted from watching what is really happening. In our case, managers are steadily reversing a history of annoying but effective national standards for safety, the air we breathe, the water we drink or use for crops, food for people who have none, and free public education for everyone. The list goes on.

The riveting, breathtaking entertainment is papering over losses we hardly know are going on.

Joan Carter

DeLand


Take needed steps now for a sustainable world

Editor, The Beacon:

Fri
21
Jul

Diversity and inclusion are among our greatest assets

Humanist perspective — Athena Jeanne Hale of DeLand, a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community, delivers an invocation to open the DeLand City Commission meeting July 5. The City of DeLand invites a broad diversity of spiritual leaders and others to open its meetings, which occur generally on the first and third Mondays of each month at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave., and are open to the public.

Humanist perspective — Athena Jeanne Hale of DeLand, a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community, delivers an invocation to open the DeLand City Commission meeting July 5. The City of DeLand invites a broad diversity of spiritual leaders and others to open its meetings, which occur generally on the first and third Mondays of each month at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave., and are open to the public.

PHOTO COURTESY CFFC

Editor’s note: As part of a rotation of spiritual leaders, the City of DeLand occasionally invites a member of the Central Florida Freethought Community to give an invocation to open the City Commission meeting.

The most recent speaker, Athena Jeanne Hale, agreed to share with Beacon readers the invocation that opened the July 5 meeting.

Thank you, Mayor Apgar, commission members, staff, and members of the community for inviting me to give a Humanist invocation this evening.

My name is Athena Jeanne Hale, and this is a special honor for me, as an alumna of Stetson University, and as someone who happened to move to DeLand four years ago today with my wife so I could attend Stetson.

Fri
14
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On climate change, legalizing drugs and protesting

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Facts prove climate change is a serious threat

An open letter to David Rauschenberger, Gov. Rick Scott and all other climate deniers:

So yesterday April 29 was 1 degree short of a record temperature in Central Florida. And 2016 was the hottest year in the history of climate records. And the past 10 years have all broken temperature records, each exceeding the previous year’s record temperatures.

These are facts, not subject to debate. Confirmed by other facts — i.e., the ice caps are melting. (Please look up the definition of facts; there are no alternative facts.)

Fri
14
Jul

David Rauschenberger: High-school grads should be ready for college

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

A recent editorial in The Daytona Beach News-Journal reads, “Shortchanging state colleges.” I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Those responsible for their editorials never have the guts to sign their names, but I always post a direct line to my inbox. I digress.

In a nutshell, the News-Journal editorial laments a reapportionment of funds for college education. Twenty-five million dollars was shaved from the state budget, and Daytona State College lost a little more than $2 million of it. Those cuts are to remedial programs, my comrades. And that’s all you need to know.

The remainder of the scathing editorial sets up the straw man that these are the most deserving among us and they need nearly unlimited remedial help. I have a differing opinion.

Fri
14
Jul

Russ White: GOP may be forced to work with Dems on health care

Russ White

Russ White

Today, I read the best description I have yet seen of the six years of Republican obstruction on Obamacare: Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, the GOP (Government of Putin, today) has been throwing nails and tacks in the path of Obamacare, and then complaining about, and refusing to fix, all the flat tires. I’m paraphrasing, but the metaphor is spot on.

And now, like the dog that caught the car, Republicans control the Congress and the White House, and that disloyal opposition has come back to bite them in the backside. Big-time.

For six years, Democrats virtually begged Republicans to come to the table to work with them to make what was an imperfect law better. Had the GOP done so, instead of wasting more than 60 useless votes to repeal it, the flaws in the law might have been fixed by now.

Fri
07
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On license plate privacy, driverless cars and gun violence

You’re welcome to write a letter   Want to write a letter to the editor? Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. You can also email your letter to info@beacononlinenews.com. Letter-writers must include their name, their city of residence, and a phone number or email address.

You’re welcome to write a letter

Want to write a letter to the editor? Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720. You can also email your letter to info@beacononlinenews.com. Letter-writers must include their name, their city of residence, and a phone number or email address.

Why would we want driverless cars?

Editor, The Beacon:

I don’t get it! What is all the excitement about driverless cars?

In 2014, there were 32,675 people killed in 29,989 crashes (Wikipedia); the estimated cost of these crashes — including medical expenses, wage and productivity losses, and property damage — was roughly $150 billion (Newsweek). Since June 2009, when GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, more than 500,000 jobs have been created in the auto industry.

Why in the world would we want to reduce or eliminate all these jobs: hospitals, health care, ambulance drivers, police, firefighters, lawyers, insurance companies, not to mention auto-industry workers and associated fossil-fuel-industry workers, and road-building workers, and toll-takers, and mapmakers, and road-sign companies, etc., etc., etc. by building fewer, more-energy-efficient, safer driverless vehicles?

Sun
02
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On climate, atheists and the state of the republic

Letters to the Editor

Write a letter

Want to write a letter to the editor? Use our online form. Click "Send Letter to Editor" at www.beacononlinenews.com. Or, mail your letter, marked "for publication," to 110 W. New York Ave., DeLand, FL 32720.

Summer program needs a van

Editor, The Beacon:

In the heart of Spring Hill, at Temple Learning Center, there is a woman, Voloria Manning, who for the past eight years has offered a summer program for children of the area.

Her goal is to provide the 20 or so children who show up every day with a moral compass as well as a happy, active summer experience.

She succeeds at this because of her prodigious musical and athletic talents, with props so limited that most of us would not even think to try.

The children experience singing training and performances, and all the summer activities you might have had yourself: movies, swimming, bowling, as well as receiving breakfast and lunch.

Fri
30
Jun

David Rauschenberger: Democrats make the mistake of believing hype and dishonest polling

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Approximately $28 million is now down the drain. A self-produced filmmaker and political aide who portrayed himself as a centrist and didn’t even live in the district of contention has been defeated for Newt Gingrich’s congressional seat, the 6th District of Georgia. Gingrich is one of the most famous congressmen in my lifetime, and he won the 6th in Georgia the year before I graduated from high school.

The 6th District is the more affluent part of Atlanta. My uncle, a World War II war hero, lived there for most of my teen years and my early adulthood. Redistricting (the Democrats’ answer to the repudiation of their ideology) has narrowed the Republican margin of victory there in recent years.

When Tom Price left the 6th seat open to become Health and Human Services secretary, the Democrats saw their opening. A jewel from the crown of their enemies was ripe for the taking. Uh, no.

Fri
30
Jun

Russ White: A target-rich environment of topics to choose from

Russ White

Russ White

It’s really hard trying to decide on a topic for an opinions column these days. There is so much going on, little of it positive in any regard, so picking one particular issue is like trying to find a single termite in a swarm.

Do you write about the new twists and turns in the Russia story? And if so, what part of the story do you write about? Potential collusion between the Drumpf campaign and Russian operatives? Financial dealings and money-laundering for the Russian oligarchs/mafia by Drumpf and his surrogates?

The new information on the degree of the attacks on our election and how the Obama administration fumbled their response? The House Oversight Committee walking away from their investigation into the matter?

Or would the newly revealed Senate repeal-and-replace health care legislation be a more appropriate topic? But, even there, one is faced with a multitude of angles from which to approach the subject.

Thu
22
Jun

Letters to the Editor: Another take on Victoria Oaks, and a goodbye to DeLand

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Another take on Victoria Oaks

Editor, The Beacon:

I feel I need to respond to the letter-writers concerned about Victoria Oaks in the June 15-18 edition of The Beacon, to let them know about my, and the other neighbors in DeLand, earlier concerns about Victoria Park at its inception. I direct my main comments to Mr. Freeburg’s letter, as he seems to show concern about his property.

First, while I do sympathize with Jon’s concerns, and while I do see where he is coming from regarding increased traffic, overcrowding, destruction of the habitat of endangered species and other animals, along with the use of water from our dwindling supply, I am referring to our concerns about Victoria Park at the time of its conception.

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