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I like talking with my wife. She’s interesting and has cool things to say. A treat for us in the evening is to have a glass of wine or a beer at a table on a sidewalk in Downtown DeLand, watch people stroll by, and chat. Or to stay longer for a nice dinner and ice cream.

The rural communities of Osteen and Enterprise are fairly quiet and laid-back. They do not create a lot of trouble. They have neither riots nor city managers committing felonies. Perhaps because they are not cities, they neither do wild annexations nor rezone for urban sprawl.

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West Volusia will forever be enhanced due to the vision and life of Irene Johnson and her legacy, and that of her late husband, the Rev. Maxwell Johnson. Their work to establish the African American Museum of the Arts in DeLand will never be forgotten.

Occasionally, the mail brings something useful, like a check. I like checks. They help to pay the bills. More often, however, it brings useless stuff. For instance, those bills I just mentioned. Also, various opportunities to impoverish myself, in case I seek a life of asceticism and eventua…

Editor’s note: Lake Helen and Deltona both recently swapped out their city administrators. Doing so can be a tumultuous process. Columnist Mark Barker explains some of the reasons why.

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Editor’s note: Romila Sitara Shankar-Brown of DeLand wrote this essay for The Beacon for Black History Month. Her brother, Valen Siddhartha Shankar-Brown, also wrote us a Black History Month commentary, which will be published in a future edition.

The Florida House Finance and Tax Committee wants to replace property taxes by increasing sales tax rates to as much as 13 percent. Presidential candidates Ben Carson, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Ted Cruz propose a flat tax to replace the current income-tax system; Mike Huckabee prefers a n…

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.