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Thanks, DeLand, for your support

Editor, The Beacon:

To the citizens of DeLand on behalf of Stetson University athletics, thank you for supporting our first-ever NCAA Baseball Regional Tournament. 

As a former Stetson baseball player and longtime administrator, it was my dream to bring an NCAA tournament to our community.

This dream came true a few weeks ago, as DeLand was awarded an NCAA Baseball Regional. The announcement was made as a crowd of Stetson supporters overflowed Persimmon Hollow onto Georgia Avenue during the announcement party.

Even though hosting an NCAA Regional was a motivating factor when the City of DeLand, Stetson and the community collaborated to build Melching Field at Conrad Park, none of us could have imagined the palpable excitement that filled the stadium during Stetson’s games.

The NCAA and ESPN officials who worked the tournament were highly complimentary of our town’s charm, character and team spirit.

When the national ESPN television audience looked at the stands at Conrad Park, they saw a sea of green in a stadium filled with our community, and a city supporting their hometown team.

The DeLand tournament was highlighted by John Meola making a diving catch into the Oklahoma State dugout — the ESPN No. 1 play of the day — while first-round draft pick Logan Gilbert and the entire Stetson pitching staff dominated all opponents.

In the end, Stetson walked away with an NCAA Regional championship, which would not have been possible without the support of this wonderful DeLand community.

To the city of DeLand, thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jeff Altier


— Altier is director of athletics at Stetson University.

Is the president tricking the voters?

Editor, The Beacon:

The recent ’rump rally that elicited cries of “Nobel!” reminded me of the accolades “Tricky Dick” Nixon received in the early ’70s. During this period, no college professor, no noted scholar could go to Russia, China or Cuba. If they did, they were immediately arrested upon return.

Only Armand Hammer, of Occidental Petroleum, could go with impunity. Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton, recently released from jail, got a passport and went to China (where he was greeted as visiting royalty), and then to Cuba. He was neither arrested nor had his passport taken when he returned.

Nixon was lauded and given credit for “opening China.” During his campaign, ’rump lauded the dictators of the world, including Kim Jong-un.

When elected, he immediately began raising money for 2020’s election. He sent that noted embodiment of self-hatred Dennis Rodman of NBA fame to North Korea to visit Kim, who was a noted basketball junkie. Shortly thereafter, he began trading insults with Kim, which raised the national blood pressure immensely.

Kim’s apparent success with his nuclear program, coupled with ’rump’s blustering, had the nation on almost a war footing.

Now comes ’rump to the rescue! Without any prelude, ’rump announces he’ll meet with Kim, that Kim’s not such a bad fellow after all, and that other presidents (Barack Obama) should have done this. This sure sounds like the game that “Tricky Dick” played on the nation.

Now, his sycophants, who generally don’t have a clue, shout “Nobel! Nobel!” Can you imagine a black parolee getting a passport, going to forbidden lands (where did he get the money?), not being arrested on his return, and dying shortly thereafter?

Now, will America’s voters reward this charlatan ’rump for peace in our time?

Julius C. Bennett


Thanks for the reminder of how racist we are

Editor, The Beacon:

Ms. Dorian, thanks for reminding us how racist everybody is. Your commentary gets the award for never-ending reminders of racism.

Reading your narrative, it’s almost as if this country never fought the Civil War. It’s almost like we never had the civil-rights movement.

It’s almost like people of color have never held some of the most prestigious positions in government and society. But, thanks to President Trump and his policies, it’s almost like we never had President Obama and his.

Ryan Gorman


Appreciated Joe Romano’s generosity and thoughtfulness

Editor, The Beacon:

Amen to all the good words about Mano's Restaurant in a recent issue of The Beacon. 

My husband, a faculty member of Stetson University's School of Music, called it the Music School's coffee shop; you could leave Presser Hall, walk through the Business School's parking lot, and be at Mano's in five minutes.

For years, our family either ate there or did takeout at least once a week.

But Mano did me a particular favor for about 20 years. At Christmas, my class of 3-year-olds at First Presbyterian Church Day School made wreaths for a gift for their families using a circular base, which they decorated and then painted. It needed a strong paper base, and every year, Joe Romano gave me about 18 of his papier-mâché circles that the takeout pizzas were placed on so each child would have one for a wreath.

No charge. Just a neighborly thing to do.

We missed Mano's when it moved several miles south of its old location. What a great restaurant and restaurateur.

Patricia M. Fort


Salutes the Woman’s Club

Editor, The Beacon:

The West Volusia Historical Society wishes to express its thanks to the Woman’s Club of DeLand for more than a century of service and generosity to the city of DeLand.

The Woman’s Club of DeLand was founded in March 1906, when 30 women met on the Stetson University campus. Over the years, their contributions to the city were many and varied, but always geared toward improvements.

After well more than a century of service, the club recently disbanded.

At their final luncheon, they made donations to several local not-for-profit organizations, including the West Volusia Historical Society. We were also the beneficiaries of several historical items owned by the club.

We salute the Woman’s Club of DeLand for their century of service, for their generosity, and for making the Woman’s Club of DeLand a permanent part of the history of DeLand.

Frank Johnson


— Johnson is executive director of the West Volusia Historical Society.

We can all help save our springs

Editor, The Beacon:

I would like to thank Al Everson for his excellently balanced and informative article on the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s implementation of measures to protect and restore springshed areas, including Gemini Springs and DeLeon Springs. 

While there is much blame to go around regarding the decline of water flow in Gemini Springs and the subsequent damage to the water quality there, the article touched on some very important changes that we, who live in these areas, must be aware of.

These BMAPs (Basin Management Action Plans) being implemented July 1 for the Gemini Springs and DeLeon Springs springshed basins require that nitrogen-reducing systems be added to septic systems over time, and have specific requirements for new-home construction.

The FDEP addresses the need for help in funding, or perhaps grants, for low-income homeowners faced with upgrading their septic systems. 

It also includes recommendations for educating people about excessive lawn fertilization, something all too common in subdivisions where homeowners are required to maintain pristine landscapes at the cost of the environment.

Citizens, in particular in the Gemini Springs and DeLeon Springs areas, need to familiarize themselves with the requirements coming their way. Information can be found on the FDEP website.

Whether we agree or not with the statistics about where this overload of nitrogen comes from, or even if it’s the true culprit in the decline of our springs, it’s important to be aware of what the FDEP and Department of Health will now require of those of us who choose to build, live and work in these beautiful aquatic areas, and what part we can play in maintaining and restoring these pristine natural treasures we hold so dear.

Amy K. Munizzi

DeLeon Springs