Columnists

Thu
19
Jul

Letters to the Editor: On endorsements, the Fourth of July, moral courage

Endorses John Upchurch for Congress

Editor, The Beacon:

I’m voting for John Upchurch, and here’s why.

I, like many, have been disheartened by the partisan politics that exist in Washington. Many voters in 2016 may have had the right idea, that we needed something new.

Even before the last election, I have been disappointed by the representation we have had in the 6th Congressional District of Florida. This district encompasses parts south of St. Augustine, west to Hastings, south to Umatilla and Eustis, east to DeLand, Deltona, New Smyrna Beach and Daytona Beach.

Despite this, it has been nearly 30 years since we have had a representative that wasn’t a Jacksonville transplant, who likely sees the 6th District as an easy path to a safe seat in Congress for a party partisan.

Thu
19
Jul

David Rauschenberger: We like a president with guts

I’m not hyperventilating about the NATO summit in Brussels or the press conference with Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. 

And don’t tell me about Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker or RINO (Republican in name only) Sen. John McCain bloviating about our president, whom they despise.

Members of NATO who are being called out because they aren’t happy with President Trump had better get used to it. They are getting it over on us. And they have been for a long time.

Presidents Obama and “W” before him complained, but did nothing. It’s Trump’s style to call people out in public. Just ask Angela Merkel.

Make no mistake: The European Union was created to gain an economic advantage for member countries. That means they are in competition with us. So, I’m not sure NATO is as crucial as it once was.

Thu
19
Jul

Russ White: GOP discomfort unmasked

Things are getting real. They are getting real, real fast. It is becoming ever clearer why the Republican Party has its hair on fire in its ever-more frantic efforts to derail and/or discredit the Bob Mueller investigation.

There are some Republicans — we will find out how many really soon — who put country ahead of party. Two weeks ago, the Senate Intelligence Committee issued a report confirming the work of America’s intelligence agencies and stating, unequivocally, that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to the benefit of Republican campaigns.

Thu
19
Jul

Cameron's Chronicles: Counselor ACTS to help youth

Going buggy — Members of the ACTS mentoring program for young people attend Bugfest at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Current mentors are Allison Bonilla, Dawn Schwartz and Joy Baugh, and current mentees are Zariah and Iyana Baugh, Naomi Graham, Ella Moody and Danijah Bright.

Going buggy — Members of the ACTS mentoring program for young people attend Bugfest at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Current mentors are Allison Bonilla, Dawn Schwartz and Joy Baugh, and current mentees are Zariah and Iyana Baugh, Naomi Graham, Ella Moody and Danijah Bright.

PHOTO COURTESY ALLISON BONILLA

As summer slips away, West Volusia community advocates are actively planning for the upcoming school year.

Allison Bonilla, a psychotherapist and life coach, has a mentoring program in place that focuses on the social and emotional learning of our youth. 

Bonilla has had a private practice in West Volusia for more than 20 years, and can be found at Awareness Counseling Center in Orange City, working with clients to strengthen their homes and help them live productive and healthy lives.

Bonilla is very community-involved and family-oriented. She started a speech club at University High School in Orange City, which is still an active club.

She found her passion for helping youth as a foster parent more than 30 years ago, and has maintained her interest in working with adolescents and preteens.

“We hold them accountable as adults, but their brain does not fully develop until age 25, which is unfair to them,” Bonilla said.

Fri
13
Jul

David Rauschenberger: Kavanaugh will protect Constitution from activist judges

David Rauschenberger

David Rauschenberger

Judicial activism is dead and dying. The left’s decades-old plan to pack the courts with liberal activists who ignore the law and the Constitution to forward an agenda that could never be approved via the ballot box is on life-support.

Progressives had their day. President Barack Obama tilted the courts more in his eight-year tenure than Republicans would like to admit. But now, Obama’s been trumped.

The Supreme Court ultimately resolves disputes from the hierarchy of courts below them. So, an originalist majority on the Supreme Court protects our liberty, our freedom, our Constitution and our republic from the web of activist judges already in place.

And it’s for life.

I’d point out that one or two more “Supremes” might now choose to retire during Donald Trump’s presidency, but that would be me insensitively piling on.

Fri
13
Jul

Russ White: America is going down the fascist path

Russ White

Russ White

There is a meme: “I never understood how the German people allowed fascism to take over their country. As I watch America today, I understand.”

As we celebrated the 242nd birthday of our constitutional republic last week, no rational person watching infants and toddlers ripped from their mothers’ hands and sent to camps, and the daily attacks on our institutions by this president, could help but wonder if we will celebrate many more.

There is a quote attributed to Sinclair Lewis (I don’t think it’s his): “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”

This president’s attack on respectful protests by black athletes and the joy of evangelicals supporting this corrupt man tell the truth of the quote, whoever said it.

Fri
13
Jul

Tanner Andrews: Prohibition did not work, either

Tanner Andrews

Tanner Andrews

The City of Daytona Beach has the usual things expected in a tourist economy. There are lots of jobs cleaning hotel rooms, setting up chairs for conventions, and flipping burgers. There are also a half-dozen prime parking-attendant jobs associated with the Ocean Center.

And, there are two really good marketing jobs, about $75,000 each, plus twice that in spending money. But the seven primest jobs are in administration, more than $98,000 each, plus all the money they can handle.

Unfortunately, those cushy jobs at the White Elephant are rare. Most people in the tourist economy set up, clean, flip or wait tables. A seedy, run-down beach resort needs these services.

Also, evidently, tourists need “professional ladies.” That, in turn, requires police for quality assurance. Daytona’s finest are occasionally up to the task.

Wed
11
Jul

Cameron's Chronicles: Songwriter comes home for inspiration

Home for inspiration — Cassius Clay sits in front of a mixing board at The Palace Recording Studio in Orange City. After being gone 10 years, Clay is visiting his childhood home and his sister, Starr Woods, for some musical inspiration.

Home for inspiration — Cassius Clay sits in front of a mixing board at The Palace Recording Studio in Orange City. After being gone 10 years, Clay is visiting his childhood home and his sister, Starr Woods, for some musical inspiration.

PHOTO COURTESY STARR WOODS

West Volusia continues to unveil its artistic and talented community-builders. Cassius Clay, of Cassius Clay Productions, a former resident of West Volusia, returned to his humble beginnings this past week for musical inspiration. 

He spent much of his time producing and writing new music for fellow artists.

A national music producer, songwriter and artist developer, Clay, who visited his sister Starr Woods in Orange City this past week, has worked with artists such as French Montana and Lil Wayne. 

Clay chose his producer name, he said, because of his admiration for the famous boxer.

 "Not only was he strong in his sport in the ring, but he also showed amazing strength for what he stood for,” Clay said. “He donated millions to charity organizations and helped to feed the hungry. He stood for greatness. He is a hero in my eyes.”

Thu
05
Jul

Erika Webb: We can’t let this voice be silenced

Religion  Speech  The Press  Assembly  ​​​​​​​Redress of Grievances    Rights in action — West Volusians exercise their First Amendment rights in recent days — here, assembled in Downtown DeLand June 30 for a protest of the government’s immigration policies.

Religion

Speech

The Press

Assembly

Redress of Grievances

 

Rights in action — West Volusians exercise their First Amendment rights in recent days — here, assembled in Downtown DeLand June 30 for a protest of the government’s immigration policies.

BEACON PHOTO/MARSHA MCLAUGHLIN

On the day of The Capital Gazette shootings, my husband and I discussed the current deadly algae bloom on Florida’s west coast. 

The origin of the bloom is in the dastardly deeds of the greedy, the kind of people Miami Herald columnist and prolific novelist Carl Hiaasen fictionally maims, dismembers and kills in his novels; and those he drags by the throat into shame’s spotlight in the newspaper, inking them immortally immoral. 

“How does Carl Hiaasen do it?” I asked. It has to be tormenting where he sits, in the crow’s nest above inevitable environmental extinction.

About an hour after my comment, I read that Hiaasen’s brother, Rob, was among the dead in the latest massacre.

Rob Hiaasen was an editor for The Capital Gazette, and a columnist. 

Thu
05
Jul

Al Everson: Freedom and responsibility in the USA today

Al Everson

Al Everson

What can I say about the mass murder at The Capital Gazette that has not already been said?

Like others, I was shocked, outraged and saddened, but on second thought — or third, or fourth or 50th thought — I was not surprised. 

We live, after all, in a violent age, in which no one and no place is really safe.

The Annapolis tragedy seems special, inasmuch as the victims are fellow news professionals. To be sure, sudden, violent death for journalists is not new. Ernie Pyle was covering World War II in the Pacific, when he was killed by enemy fire in a battle on Iejima in 1945.

Several correspondents died or disappeared while gathering news about the wars in Indochina, notably Vietnam and Cambodia.

And who can forget Daniel Pearl, beheaded in Pakistan while trying to get a story about al-Qaeda?

Annapolis, however, is on American soil, and we are supposed to be safe from war zones.

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