Thanking those who make DeLand so special

Editor, The Beacon:

On Nov. 1, six new members were inducted into the High Schools of DeLand Sports Hall of Fame, called that because it covers the three high schools that have been in DeLand — DeLand, Euclid and Southwestern high schools.

Those inducted were Dennis Anderson, Wayne Anderson, Storm Walker Kazmierczak, Rodney Langston, Mitch Moyer and Kathleen “Mrs. Q” Quackenbush.

The purpose of this letter is to thank the people who helped make this possible, year in and year out. There are five groups to recognize: the Kiwanis Club of DeLand, which sponsors the event; Simoneau Photography, who produces the pictures for the plaques; Trophy Factory +, which produces the plaques; the DeLand High staff and athletic department, who give the time at the game for the ceremony; and The West Volusia Beacon, which provides coverage about the athletes and the event.

There are also some individuals who make this event run smoothly. This list includes Kerry and Larry Nordman, Jim Lowenstein, Shirley Little, Kathy Quackenbush, Wayne Struble, Terry Byrnes, DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar, DeLand High School Principal Dr. Melissa Carr and Lance Jenkins.

The Hall of Fame Committee would like to thank all these groups and individuals for making this event take place and helping to make DeLand that unique place — Thank you!

If you know of someone who should be nominated, email me at flacoach43@hotmail.com.

Tony Tussing

DeLand


Thank you is not enough; to really appreciate our troops, we need to put an end to senseless wars

Editor, The Beacon:

“Freedom isn’t Free” means more than sending American troops off to war — it requires the participatory citizenship of Americans here at home.

As it was with Vietnam, the War on Terror was a war of choice advocated for long before a political justification was introduced.

Vietnam had its Gulf of Tonkin incident, and the attacks of 9/11/01 brought us the 9/11 Wars.

Investigative journalist Pepe Escobar’s “This war brought to you by” from March 20, 2003, described how the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) had been lobbying since 1997 for wars in the Middle East and Asia.

Retired Gen. Wesley Clark was told by colleagues in the Pentagon just nine days after the attacks of 9/11/01 that the upcoming War on Terror planned for the overthrow and regime change of seven countries in five years (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran), as per the PNAC paper of September 2000. So far, five of the seven countries have been overthrown or destabilized, and Iran and Lebanon remain in the crosshairs of the current administration.

The government’s official story concerning the Gulf of Tonkin incident proved to be a deliberate misleading of the American people. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution, passed just three days after the supposed attack on U.S. destroyers off the coast of North Vietnam, allowed the White House to wage war in Vietnam for the next eight years until the American people had had enough of it.

The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) — which passed overwhelmingly by Congress three days after the attacks of 9/11/01, with no investigation and very little debate — gave the White House a blank check to wage war on “terrorism” … a behavior, not a nation state … anywhere and on anyone on the planet it saw fit. The AUMF of 9/14/01 continues to this day to be the sole justification used for the ongoing 9/11 Wars.

The “Masters of War,” as Bob Dylan’s song of that name described them, learned from Vietnam; next time do not impose a military draft, buy up and consolidate the media to control the messaging and reporting, and then get the entertainers and talking heads to celebrate anyone who wears a uniform as a “hero” for keeping us safe and protecting our “freedoms.”

Let’s also remember Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring’s statement at Nuremberg, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

So any questioning or protest of our wars abroad risks being viewed by one’s fellows as not supporting our troops sent into harm’s way on what history has shown most often to be a lie.

Until we the American people perform our own due diligence regarding the government’s “justification” for putting our troops into harm’s way, to include holding accountable to the fullest extent of the law those who have misled us into war, “Thank you for your service” is not enough.

Philip C. Restino Jr.

Port Orange

— Restino is spokesman for the Central Florida chapter of the national peace, truth and justice organization We Are Change. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/WeAreChangeCFL or call 386-788-2918.


Remember pedestrians

Editor, The Beacon:

I just got back from Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. The city is old and built on hills, so the streets may be vertical and twisty. There’s no apparent grid pattern.

The street where our Airbnb was located was about 15 feet wide. It was on a slope, paved with granite cobblestones, two-way with casual parking on one side (or the other).

Cars moved at less than 15 mph just because it was prudent. Pedestrians walked wherever they chose, often in groups of two or three. Cats and dogs roamed without constraint … though most bore a plastic tag on one ear.

I didn’t see any pedestrian in danger, though I think some conditions were unfavorable for people who were mobility-constrained. Sidewalks are rare.

Aside from streets with construction, I did not see a single street that was closed — both cars and pedestrians managed to navigate safely.

My point is that roads set their own speeds and “friendliness.” I’ve been concerned from the beginning that Georgia Avenue in DeLand is overly nanny’d, what with setting speeds and closing conditions. There’s no evidence that regulation does anything but inconvenience people who would like to use the street. In fact, regulations seem to work toward making the street overly special rather than an example of co-use treatments that should be deployed elsewhere.

One would hope that some of the lessons learned would translate to better designs elsewhere … Voorhis, or East Georgia, or Church or Minnesota … any one of which could benefit from thoughtful reconstruction.

My old Latin teacher used to say: He who rests on his laurels puts them in the wrong place. It’s time DeLand picked some more street-improvement opportunities that make pedestrians part of the picture.

Joan Carter

DeLand


Rules at Stetson baseball games are fan-unfriendly

Editor, The Beacon:

After 44 years of faithful attendance as a season ticket holder at Stetson baseball games, I will not be attending this year or in the future until some changes are made.

The baseball park has become fan-unfriendly; not because of the staff at the ballpark, they are great. Unfortunately, they are compelled by the Stetson Athletic Department to enforce rules (that even they can’t explain) that make the park a less-than-enjoyable experience.

Rule No. 1 is the gate “search.” An attendant goes through every purse and bag and makes men remove their hats, searching for who knows what.

There are no metal detectors, so the search can’t be for guns, which could easily be carried inside the belt under the shirt. The search must be to enforce Rule No. 2.

Rule No. 2 is no umbrellas. Now I could support a rule that prohibits the use of an umbrella that interferes with the view of another patron; but no, the Stetson rule is no umbrellas.

If someone carries an umbrella to the gate, they are denied entry and told to go back to their car.

Visiting parents who follow their son’s team to DeLand from other parts of the country try to violate this rule every game. If it rains during the game and you must walk to the car, then you must do so in the rain.

If the sun is hot on a summer day, you must stay in the sun and are not allowed to seek shelter from the sun under an umbrella, even if you are not blocking anyone’s view.

Rule No. 3 is no personal chairs. I have been using a fold-up rocker that is much more comfortable than the chairs or benches in the ballpark, but after many years, personal chairs are now prohibited.

When I asked the Athletic Department to explain the rules, I was told, “We are just doing what everyone else is doing.”

Since the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida and Florida State University have no such rules, I guessed they were talking about the A-Sun Conference teams, so I called every school in the conference, and none of them had these three rules.

So, Stetson has lost a fan, and I expect they will lose more.

David Thomas

DeLand


Traffic and kids not a good mix

Editor, The Beacon:

So, on Halloween, I took my two children, ages 10 and 4, down to Minnesota Avenue to trick or treat.

It’s always fun, and the kids enjoy all of the people dressed up and the houses decked out to the max.

The little one usually gets scared walking up to some of the houses, but he quickly conquers his fears when he sees candy.

The one gripe I have with trick-or-treating on Minnesota is that traffic should be redirected for at least a couple of hours during peak trick-or-treating time.

Tons of cars were driving up and down the road, and, I get it, it’s a public street so they have the right, but all it will take is for one small child to get hit and Halloween on that stretch will be forever ruined.

Maybe the city can throw a couple of roadblocks on Adelle, or whatever other major roads that people tend to stick between, and detour traffic for a while. Most of the people who live in that area know that there will be tons of trick-or-treaters, so I can’t imagine there would be much pushback from local residents.

Coleman West

DeLand


Movies and life

Editor, The Beacon:

David Rauschenberger wrote about the movie The Untouchables as a way to explain the impeachment process of his hero. Well, I suggest everyone watch A Face in the Crowd, a movie that scarily predicts, 62 years ago, our current political fiasco.

In 1957, the talented Andy Griffith plays Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes, who rises from the bowels of society to endorse a presidential candidate by winning people’s admiration and support with tactics and rhetoric similar to what our current president espouses today.

Watching the black-and-white movie is unnerving, as it eerily depicts the current political times and all the craziness it entails.

None of the movie’s directors, writers, editors or actors are alive today, but if they were, I can only imagine their reactions in their uncanny abilities to forecast the future.

Sieglinde Simon

Orange City