Columnists

Mon
25
Jun

Al Everson: Butterflies are free — are we?

DeLand is celebrating its status as a Monarch City, in honor of the monarch butterfly.

There is a cautionary tale about aesthetics and what can happen.

Once upon a recent time, in a place called Dystopia, Citizen George decided to make a butterfly garden — on his own property. He was thrilled with the idea of having a place of beauty. He soon regretted his decision.

After investing in flowers, shrubs, fertilizer and lawn ornaments, Citizen George, with the sweat of his brow, created a labor of love. George was delighted to see swarms of butterflies flitting from flower to flower and narrowly avoiding midair collisions with one another. It was lovely — but not to everyone.

The next day, two men in jackboots strode up Citizen George’s sidewalk and demanded to know the meaning of the man-made butterfly habitat.

“This should not be here,” Code Officer A declared. “Our records show you did not get a permit.”

Thu
14
Jun

Empowerment, engagement, entertainment: Largest-ever NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet has it all

Guests in the sellout crowd pack The Center at Deltona.

Guests in the sellout crowd pack The Center at Deltona.

West Volusia Branch NAACP President Mike Williams congratulates banquet grand-prize winner Laqwonna Glaster

West Volusia Branch NAACP President Mike Williams congratulates banquet grand-prize winner Laqwonna Glaster

Television news anchor Vanessa Echols, left, and 11-year-old Nevaeh Hylton greet guests at the Freedom Fund Banquet

Television news anchor Vanessa Echols, left, and 11-year-old Nevaeh Hylton greet guests at the Freedom Fund Banquet

The West Volusia Branch of the NAACP celebrated its 28th annual Freedom Fund Banquet June 9.

“With over 500 attendees, it truly marked the most well-attended banquet yet,” said Sean King, West Volusia Branch vice president.

This year, the banquet took place at the newly opened The Center at Deltona, and was supported by individuals from across the county and beyond, under the leadership of Mike Williams, West Volusia Branch president.

During this election cycle, “The Power of the Vote and Every Vote Matters” was the theme, highlighting the fact that many people eligible to vote don’t.

Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Lisa Lewis laid the groundwork for the audience by reviewing the importance of one vote, and the many races that were won with fewer than 10 votes.

In 2016, the Orange City mayor won by five votes and, in 2015, the Lake Helen mayor won by one vote.

Thu
14
Jun

Letters to the Editor: On the Mueller investigation, saving Earth, youth opinions and more

Public unaware of Mueller investigation facts

Editor, The Beacon:

This afternoon, I heard stunning information from a recent poll: 59 percent of Americans believe that Bob Mueller’s investigation has run for too long, and that thus far he has obtained zero indictments and zero convictions to show for his work.

The truth? Mueller has obtained indictments of four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer whose wife is Russian.

Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty, and one has already gone to jail.

Thu
14
Jun

Kindhearted neighbors save the day

I want to start this story by telling you Bella is home, safe and sound!

Thank you to all the unknown people who helped me catch my German shepherd puppy Bella, who got loose from me in May at Lowe’s in DeLand.

We adopted this 8-month-old puppy from a rescue facility that told us the dog had been caught in an animal trap in Georgia. She had been traumatized, and we knew it would take some work to let her know she has a safe and loving home, with a full-grown shepherd to teach her the tricks.

She is not very trusting of men, and has bonded to my fiancee.

For the past three months, I have tried to win her confidence, with little success, except when she is on the leash and is the perfect dog.

One of the important things we wanted to do is to socialize Bella so she would be comfortable around a lot of people.

This went all wrong on a Saturday afternoon at Lowe’s.

Thu
07
Jun

Good Samaritan helps ‘Twinkle Toes’ and her babies

A HAPPY FOUR-LEGGED FAMILY — Here are three of Twinkle Toes’ five young kittens. So far, four have been adopted, since Twinkle Toes, barely past kittenhood herself, cleverly provided for her offspring by befriending Margaret Scribner of DeLand.  

A HAPPY FOUR-LEGGED FAMILY — Here are three of Twinkle Toes’ five young kittens. So far, four have been adopted, since Twinkle Toes, barely past kittenhood herself, cleverly provided for her offspring by befriending Margaret Scribner of DeLand.  

PHOTOS COURTESY MARGARET SCRIBNER

Found a home in his heart — DeLandite Jonathan Medford holds one of Twinkle Toes’ kittens. The young black-and-white cat recently made herself — and her five kittens — welcome at the home of Margaret Scribner in DeLand. Medford, one of Scribner’s tenants, chose to adopt this kitten and will take it home once it is ready to be weaned from its mother.

Found a home in his heart — DeLandite Jonathan Medford holds one of Twinkle Toes’ kittens. The young black-and-white cat recently made herself — and her five kittens — welcome at the home of Margaret Scribner in DeLand. Medford, one of Scribner’s tenants, chose to adopt this kitten and will take it home once it is ready to be weaned from its mother.

PHOTO COURTESY MARGARET SCRIBNER

Editor, The Beacon:

I've a tale to tell.

Several days ago, a very sweet young black cat meowed at my back door. I let her in, and she immediately cuddled up in my lap and began to purr.

Soon, she availed herself of the litter box. (I've adopted my daughter Bess' cat, so, while he's becoming used to this home, he has a litter box.) 

This made me think that the new cat was — or had been — someone's pet and had been an indoor cat.

I named her "Twinkle Toes," as she has four white feet and the name just sort of fits her.

I asked around the neighborhood, and it seems that a recent resident had abandoned her when they moved out. 

I began to offer her food and water, and once she had her fill she would leave, but while she was in my house, she investigated every nook and cranny.

Thu
07
Jun

Russ White: Democrats running in midterms on education, other vital issues

Russ White

Russ White

Impeachment!

It’s a word being bandied about more and more frequently these days. Oddly, it is an issue most frequently being mentioned by Republicans.

There are a few Democrats pushing for impeachment, but they do not represent the thinking and direction being taken by the mainstream and the leadership of the party.

Republicans are hoping to push the Dems into making that word a central theme of their midterm-election platform. They remember what happened to them when they made the impeachment of President Bill Clinton the focus of their campaigns in 1998. They got their backsides handed to them.

The impeachment of Clinton truly was a witch hunt. At the time, Clinton’s approval rating was 25 points higher than that of the present occupant of the Oval Office, and the American public was well aware the charges were “trumped” up.

Thu
07
Jun

David Rauschenberger: Trump’s use of Twitter redefines political history

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

We could talk about wedding cakes, leading lady Stormy Daniels, Russians stealing Hillary’s future, or Bill Clinton’s new book, or we could discuss Robert Mueller and his team of Democrats, all while ignoring the phenomenon of the century.

President Donald Trump is the most important figure of this millennium. Give him a few years, and he might be one of the most important figures in recent history.

Nearly all in our media and those who consider themselves experts in the political arena have to admit that Trump is rewriting history and blazing a trail that eclipses his predecessor, and might subordinate the accomplishments of many great leaders who preceded him in America’s history.

Simply, Trump has Twitter. And the course of political history has been redefined.

Thu
07
Jun

Tanner Andrews: Consultant says ‘Hire me’; County does it

County Council — Members of the Volusia County Council deliberate at a recent meeting. From left are County Chair Ed Kelley, District 5 representative Fred Lowry, District 4 representative Heather Post, and District 1 representative Pat Patterson. Not shown are At-Large Member Joyce Cusack, District 2 representative Billie Wheeler, and District 3 representative Deb Denys. Patterson, Denys and Lowry are up for re-election this fall, and Cusack’s seat will be open, as she has served the maximum allowed consec

County Council — Members of the Volusia County Council deliberate at a recent meeting. From left are County Chair Ed Kelley, District 5 representative Fred Lowry, District 4 representative Heather Post, and District 1 representative Pat Patterson. Not shown are At-Large Member Joyce Cusack, District 2 representative Billie Wheeler, and District 3 representative Deb Denys. Patterson, Denys and Lowry are up for re-election this fall, and Cusack’s seat will be open, as she has served the maximum allowed consecutive terms.

BEACON PHOTO/AL EVERSON

For many years, we have at least suspected that there was something rotten at the morgue. Either bodies were not properly refrigerated, or maybe we had an unreliable medical examiner. At any rate, things have stunk out on Indian Lake Road.

Naturally, County Manager Jim Dinneen has been busy denying that anything is wrong. He did not even giggle when the medical examiner concluded that Marlon Brown was crushed by a police car gently floating down from the clouds.

If only things would stay as quiet as the former medical examiner when it is time for trial testimony. True, after the Marlon Brown report, no one would believe Dr. Marie Herrmann’s testimony anyway. At least she finally had the good grace to slink away and be forgotten.

Not so much with the successor medical examiner. She came up and said that the facility was critically understaffed, with half the people needed for a facility this busy.

Thu
31
May

David Rauschenberger: Somebody might get Tea Partied in November

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Some of you may have heard of Doug Schoen. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Doug’s been a lobbyist, political consultant, author and political commentator. He frequents Fox News. And he’s on my Democratic comrades’ side.

Doug worked for Bill “Slick Willy” Clinton. Dick Morris was his boss. Years later, Schoen was a registered lobbyist who brought in millions to the Clinton “Crime Family” Foundation. Anyone ignoring Doug’s thoughts about the coming midterm election does so at his or her own peril.

In the interest of full disclosure, Schoen’s Ukrainian client who donated those millions to the Clinton Foundation also donated a lesser amount to the Trump Foundation. I’d point out that the latter actually performs charitable work and the former launders money, but I digress.

Thu
31
May

Russ White: Giuliani wants us to believe truth is relative

Russ White

Russ White

“Truth is relative.”

Truth (noun): That which is true, in accordance with fact or reality.

Is (verb): Third-person singular present indicative of “be.”

Relative (adj.): Existing or having its specific nature only in relation to something else; not absolute or independent.

Based on those definitions, the above statement “Truth is relative” would appear to be utter nonsense. Yet, that is the current position of the president’s defense team in the Russia probe, as posited by Rudy Giuliani, the public, clownish face of the team.

There is a saying in the legal profession: If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If both the facts and the law are against you, pound your fist on the table and yell a lot.

That is pretty much what the Drumpf team is doing, only it is substituting lying a lot for the yelling.

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