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2020 ended with the launch of a really exciting new initiative to bring added focus and attention to the needs in DeLand’s Spring Hill community. It’s called Strive to Thrive, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the weeks and months to come.

This fall, the School Board surprised the superintendent with a raise of more than $4,100 per month, equal to nearly $50,000 per year. I say surprise, because it was not on the agenda. You can guess why. 

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher.

On Nov. 1, I woke up in a house not my own. I walked to the front door and looked out. I see beautiful old homes and trees with hanging moss, and I know I am no longer in Coconut Grove. I am now living in DeLand, a quaint little town in Central Florida. I pinch myself and say out loud, “This…

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For many, if not most, Americans, the fourth Thursday of November is just a worn-out, antiquated and obsolete holiday that we “go through” just to get to the materialistic mania known as the Christmas shopping season.

Gambling is generally not profitable for the individual investor. The rules are generally set up to favor the house, and when they are otherwise fair, there is a rake-off. Las Vegas has prospered on this principle for years because some people will gamble anyway.

As we near the end of a fierce and brutal campaign for elective offices from the White House down to the courthouse, it is worth considering what — or who — controls the governments of this world. 

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In recent editions of The Beacon, I have read letters with views on the Friday-night displays of citizenship and political involvement on the corners of Downtown DeLand. 

I admit that I am not fond of traffic circles. Even rebranded as roundabouts, they tend to slow traffic. They also increase excitement as large trucks wobble around them.

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Envisioning a bronze bust of Steve Blais placed somewhere in Downtown DeLand forges a chuckle through the sadness.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg entered law school to seek an education and pursue justice, but faced discrimination instead. At a formal dinner, the dean of Harvard Law School asked the handful of women who had been accepted how they could justify taking up a seat that could have gone to a man. 

While a timetable for the makeover hasn’t been established yet, we know that the intersection of State Road 44 and Kepler Road in DeLand is going to look a whole lot different. It not only will look different — the state is planning to build a roundabout — but hopefully the changes will make…

Did you know that a microchip is one of the most effective ways to ensure that a lost pet is successfully returned to its owner? 

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Sometimes government intrusion gets on my nerves. I know they occasionally tap my phone lines, mainly because I get the after-the-fact notices that they had suspicions about customers. Attorney-client privilege does not much slow them down.

Looks like they will need fresh loads of money and manure. The last time the County tried to sell a sales-tax increase, the mail-in referendum went down in flames. I commend the paving companies for their generous campaign contributions, however.

“We cannot miss the moment and cannot look a system in the face and simply call for a tranquilizing drug of gradualism. America was and is a bold experiment. But she will not be OK on her own,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

My coming of age was guided rather delightfully by the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. I learned a lot from their thoughtful lyrics that I would not have learned from my parents, and I honed my political and pacifistic tendencies in their harmonies.