Columnists

Mon
05
Mar

Tanner Andrews: Government can drive you crazy

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

It was most unusual. I have never before heard of someone claiming that a resignation letter is covered by HIPAA.

Initially, I should point out that HIPAA is not related to a hippopotamus. It is the federal health care privacy act, mostly honored in the breach because the docs and insurance companies require you to waive all patient privacy when you walk in the door.

So, I was sure surprised when I saw that the resignation letter from Deltona community-center director Chris O’Donnell had been declared an official city secret. I would hate to be the lawyer who had to keep a straight face while defending that position. It does not pass the giggle test.

Mon
05
Mar

Beacon editorial: Making kids into criminals doesn’t help

Did leadership in the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office or Volusia County Schools stop to question why we seemed to spawn school-shooter wannabes in the week following the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School?

Or did officers just rush, guns holstered, into the classrooms and up the microphones to reassure us of their ability to wield power over 12- and 14-year-old boys?

At this writing, over a period of seven school days, 10 Volusia County public-
school students have been arrested and criminally charged in incidents ranging from confiding to a school resource deputy about thinking of bringing a gun to school after being bullied (13-year-old in Pierson), to blurting out in the middle of third period a threat about blowing up the school (14-year-old in Deltona).

Wed
28
Feb

Mike Fincher: A change of heart: We need serious gun reform

Letters to the Editor

By Mike Fincher

I used to be a card-carrying Republican and have voted for most, but not all, Republican presidential candidates since I started voting back when the Earth was cooling.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that we need serious gun reform. We can no longer hide behind “guns don’t kill people, people do!” 

For whatever reason, our world is not the same as it was when I was growing up. I blame a lot of it on our lack of responsibility as parents in how we raised our kids; with the decline of nuclear families, lack of spiritual upbringing, lack of discipline, unrealistic preparation for dealing with failure and so on and so on. 

I pray that we can revisit all of these things. As a believer, I want to see parents put God back in a prominent place in our families.

Wed
28
Feb

Al Everson: Guns in school? Not always troublesome

Al Everson

Al Everson

The shooting rampage that left 17 people dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida, is but the latest in a series of such massacres perpetrated by losers — or must we say alleged losers? — over the past several years.

In all the coverage about the Parkland school shooting and others, even as far back as Columbine High School in 1999, some of us who came of age in a different time recall when friends freely brought guns to school — and no one was alarmed or frightened, killed or wounded. 

True, it was eastern Tennessee in the mid-1960s, but I hear similar stories from others in the rural South, including Volusia County.

Wed
28
Feb

8th grade student: How are you going to protect me?

STUDENTS SPEAK OUT — Students in Washington, D.C., protest in favor of gun regulation at a Feb. 19 rally organized by Teens for Gun Reform, an organization created by young people in the nation’s capital in the wake of the massacre Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

STUDENTS SPEAK OUT — Students in Washington, D.C., protest in favor of gun regulation at a Feb. 19 rally organized by Teens for Gun Reform, an organization created by young people in the nation’s capital in the wake of the massacre Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

PHOTO BY LORIE SHAULL VIA FLICKR

BY Emma Lehman Holder

Hello, I am Emma. I am 14 and in eighth grade. I live in DeLand, a tucked-away, small and beautiful town.

Going to high school has always been a dream of mine. Since I am in eighth grade, that dream is coming quite soon.

As you know, a shooting just took place in Parkland. Slowly, I have come to realize that I am terrified to go to high school, and not because of first-day jitters, but because of all the shootings.

America is No. 1 in mass shootings because of easy access to automatic weapons. This fight to remove them from American citizens has been moving but not very fast.

A 19-year-old boy walked into a school with an automatic gun, and 17 people died. Other children at my high school could do a shooting.

I have a sister and a brother who are soon to follow my sister and me into high school. The fear of something happening to them at our high school is very scary.

Tue
20
Feb

David Rauschenberger: Taxpayers keeping more of their money

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

So far, this tax season has already been extremely fulfilling. I’ll work 64 more days in a row. And I’ve met with nearly 200 clients since mid-January. My contribution to making America great again is undeniable. And all I have to do is explain how things will be even better next year!

From line one, when I guide people down their Form 1040, I gently point out the changes they’ll enjoy in 2018. I ask them if they’ve received their first check including more of their own money. Most have. They’re ecstatic.

I point out to them that their tax returns to be filed in early 2019 will result similarly to their 2018 return, even though they are receiving $40 or $50 more per paycheck. It’s all so inconvenient for my Democrat friends.

Tue
20
Feb

Russ White: Has this president no decency?

Russ White

Russ White

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir?” With those words, Joseph N. Welch, chief counsel for the U.S. Army, destroyed Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s communist witch hunt, during the Army-McCarthy hearings in the U.S. Senate.

Prior to that famous phrase, Welch had stated, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness.”

Where is today’s Joseph Welch? Our country needs him as desperately today as it did in June 1954.

This week, it was disclosed that the bridge between the president and John Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, was White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter, an alleged wife-beater who could not get the security clearance required to do the job. Let that sink in for a second.

Tue
20
Feb

Letters to the Editor: On Marriott colors, the GOP, karma and plastics

Say goodbye to the GOP

Editor, The Beacon:

I implore Republicans and their congressional leaders to continue clawing at the dark secrets and dastardly methods of the “most corrupt” Federal Bureau of Investigation, with its “secret police” and “stench of a third-world country.” Only through this FBI “cleansing” can we preserve our Constitution.

FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page may together represent only 0.00013 percent of the agency’s team of formerly heroic intelligence analysts and special agents, but all unapproved political affiliations must be rooted from the organization. The FBI’s remaining leaders must be fired.

It would be great to add those objectives to the GOP’s growing list of accomplishments:

• Allowing more arsenic and mercury toxins to be dumped into waterways by coal companies (EPA, February, April);

Wed
14
Feb

Cameron's Chronicles: DeLand Dawgs help students grow

No turkeys here — Coach Raymond McCullough and Coach Chelvis Williams celebrate with the DeLand Dawgs freshman team after winning the 2017 Turkey Bowl.

No turkeys here — Coach Raymond McCullough and Coach Chelvis Williams celebrate with the DeLand Dawgs freshman team after winning the 2017 Turkey Bowl.

PHOTOS COURTESY R.J. SIMPSON

Good student, good football player —  Javon Ross, a 12-year-old student who attends Southwestern Middle School, earned an academic scholarship through the Stetson University HATS program. Javon has been a part of the DeLand Dawgs team for four years.

Good student, good football player —  Javon Ross, a 12-year-old student who attends Southwestern Middle School, earned an academic scholarship through the Stetson University HATS program. Javon has been a part of the DeLand Dawgs team for four years.

After many years of hard work and volunteer service, the DeLand Dawgs organization stands strong in helping students grow in the competitive world of sports and academics. 

Robert Simpson, known as R.J., has led this charge as president of DeLand Dawgs Youth Sports Inc. for the first season that the team operated independently of the Police Athletic League (PAL). 

“I wanted DeLand Dawgs to be a household name in DeLand and surrounding cities. I wanted to revamp the program and eliminate any negative comments that may have impacted the organization in the past and, within a year, I accomplished my goal with the help of my Vice President Derion Johnson, Treasurer and best friend Travis McKinney, my entire board, coaches and parents,” Simpson said. 

The team continues to leave a positive mark in the community and beyond by providing ongoing support to the students through mentoring and coaching.

Tue
13
Feb

David Rauschenberger: Nunes memo is powerful

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

So, some Democrat “servants” in our intelligence organizations are sneaky? They are dishonest? They would submit to the FISA Court fabricated intelligence to spy on American citizens?

That’s a surprise to you? You should get out more.

What’s problematic for them is the so-called Republican memo, a four-page impeachment of those who have perverted our system of justice. And they are flanked by their willful accomplices in the mainstream media.

Last week, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. It was just a day or two before the release of the infamous memo, when the left’s media soldiers hit the battlefield. Somehow, they already knew what was in the so-called Republican memo. And they dispatched that memo before it was born. Kind of what they do with unwanted babies, but I digress.

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