Columnists

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.

Thu
05
Oct

West Volusia Humane Society is back in business

The queen — The furry residents of the West Volusia Humane Society include Stripes, a large brown tabby who is the undisputed queen of the shelter.

The queen — The furry residents of the West Volusia Humane Society include Stripes, a large brown tabby who is the undisputed queen of the shelter.

PHOTOS COURTESY ANNA SCHWAB

Another feline regular is Gingerbread, an orange tabby who resembles a gruff mountain man, but is actually a gentle old man. 

Mountain man? — Another feline regular is Gingerbread, an orange tabby who resembles a gruff mountain man, but is actually a gentle old man. 

Among the dogs is an energetic, sweet shepherd mix named Mia

Among the dogs is an energetic, sweet shepherd mix named Mia

... and Enzo, a beagle mix with a gentle temperament; both have lived at the shelter several years.

... and Enzo, a beagle mix with a gentle temperament; both have lived at the shelter several years.

A pig named Petunia lives at the West Volusia Humane Society

A pig named Petunia lives at the West Volusia Humane Society

By Anna Schwab

Opened in 1958 as a sanctuary for homeless pets, and designated a no-kill facility in 1999, the West Volusia Humane Society is a bit hidden away in its location at 800 Humane Society Road, between DeLand and Glenwood on the northern edge of the Old Plymouth Landfill.

Ask people about the establishment, and you might hear stories of a run-down facility, an unfriendly environment, and the last place some people would take a stray or unwanted animal. 

I want to tell you about a major comeback.

Today, this animal shelter is cleaner and brighter, with a welcoming staff headed by Director Gary Thomas. The team of four may seem small, but they work tirelessly to make certain each animal is given attention to both its physical and social needs, including trips to a local vet when needed. 

As for the pets themselves, including cats, dogs, and one pig named Petunia, it’s obvious they are happy. 

Fri
29
Sep

Vietnam vet Max Cleland shows us all the way home

Mutual admiration — Political-science professor Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, left, greets Max Cleland at an event at Stetson University in 2008, when a collection of Cleland’s Vietnam War memorabilia was donated to the university.  BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

Mutual admiration — Political-science professor Dr. T. Wayne Bailey, left, greets Max Cleland at an event at Stetson University in 2008, when a collection of Cleland’s Vietnam War memorabilia was donated to the university. BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

By Dr. T. Wayne Bailey and Larry Arrington

 

Many people watched Ken Burns’ new documentary, The Vietnam War. This work of art and history is contributing to much-needed soul-searching about our national ideals, and how far we have strayed from them.

Our friend, Stetson University alumnus and former U.S. Sen. Max Cleland (D-Georgia), is featured in the documentary. Max suffered a catastrophic injury in Vietnam that cost him two legs and most of one arm when a hand grenade decimated him.

Max went on to serve in the Georgia Senate (1971-75). He was appointed administrator of Veterans Affairs (1977-81) by President Jimmy Carter. He served as the elected Georgia secretary of state (1983-96), and was elected to the U.S. Senate from Georgia in 1997. He served on Stetson’s board of trustees.

Thu
28
Sep

Letters to the Editor: On cults of personality, science vs dogma, and the need to be informed

LETTERS WELCOME

The Beacon’s Opinions page is an open forum for the community. Your letters on any topic are welcome. Include your name, your telephone number, and your town of residence; only your name and town will be printed. Send letters to:

110 W. New York Ave.,

DeLand, FL 32720. 

OR

info@beacononlinenews.com

OR

Click here.

Thank you!

Cult of personality?

Editor, The Beacon:

In response to Mr. Rauschenberger’s column on climate control, as an accountant I am sure he can do simple math. There are 7.4 billion people on the planet. Collectively, we cut down 41 million trees — every day.

Globally, we raise 1.5 million head of cattle. All those cows produce the equivalent of 16 million tons of CO2 — every day. We send more than 100,000 planes into the sky — every day. We drive our 1.2 billion vehicles — every day.

Our cities and towns burn through 10.5 million tons of coal, 9.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, and 95 million barrels of oil — every day. That releases 95 million metric tons of CO2 into the air — every single day. Source: www.yearsoflivingdangerously.com.

Thu
28
Sep

David Rauschenberger: Malcontents taking a knee don’t respect this country

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

I’ve been thinking about this whole “taking a knee” phenomenon. And Colin Kaepernick is not guilty of original thought.

The folks on the left have been throwing tantrums nearly all my life. I was born in 1962.

And the current crop of malcontents were spawned by the folks who spat upon the Vietnam War veterans who only did what they were ordered to do.

They were on the wrong side of the equal-rights movement. Democrats like J. William Fulbright and Al Gore’s daddy, along with George Wallace, were blocking the doorways for African-Americans. Fake history has obscured the facts about which party found people of color inferior.

But that’s old news. The ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and early part of this century are littered with the left’s demonstrations. They stomp, curse, spit, punch, burn, and throw things.

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