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Opinion

  • On Nov. 16 Kathy Garner took office as Gadsden County judge, having been appointed by the governor to replace the honorable Stewart Parsons, who is retiring.

  • I got some great news last week. My cousin’s son won his local Patriot’s Pen contest, sponsored by the Thomson, Ga. Veterans of Foreign Wars post and its Ladies Auxiliary. He placed third at the state level.

    At first glance, you might think, so what? A lot of kids enter essay contests and many of them win some nice prizes. Happens every day, right?

    But this is an extra-special case, considering Tyler Shelton is an extra-special boy.

  • In my line of work I meet a lot of people. Some good, some bad but most are in between and it depends on the circumstances under which I met and interacted with them.

  • If you read this column regularly, you know I’m a Facebook fanatic. I check it throughout the day, and enjoy keeping up with friends and family through its use tremendously.

    Last week, some of my FB friends posted that they were already putting up their Christmas decorations. I was horrified. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and you’re moving on to Christmas? How dare you?

  • I trust that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I did. I was able to travel to my parents’ house in North Georgia and spend the holiday with my family.

    I enjoyed the drive, once I got a little further north. The leaves were beautiful.

    I enjoyed the hug from my 4-year-old niece, Amanda, before I could even get out of the car when I arrived.

    I enjoyed coloring with Amanda. She told me it’s OK to color outside the lines. She also said, “Gigi, I’m a conceptual artist.”

  • There was a time, not so long ago, that I could remember everything trivial. Remember Trivia Pursuit, the game that was so popular back in the 80s? I was good at it. My friends and I would play into the early morning hours. Two weeks ago I was in Orlando and met up with one of my old college roommates and we started talking about the many hours we spent having fun.

  • We recently  had to “fall back”...and we all rejoiced at the thought of an extra hour of sleep. Or maybe that was just me.

    Daylight savings time...who the heck thought that one up? According to the history books, it was a dude with some tiny glasses and a bad haircut – Benjamin Franklin. He thought it up, but it wasn’t implemented until 1907. It was made law in the U.S. in 1918.

  • This Friday night is another opportunity for people to get out and do something. There's a lot going on and it's all family-friendly. Whether you like to get out early or stay late you can have your choice. Hopefully Tropical Storm Ida will have fizzled out or at least left this part of the country.

  • It was a pleasant experience last week learning that Gadsden County now has a county administrator who is both accessible and responsive.  Maybe better things are in store for us at the county courthouse after all, if he will just stay with us.

     

    Howard Young

    Quincy

  • It concerns me that West Gadsden High School's band was unable to perform in the annual fall festival and parade at Florida State Hospital. It is my understanding that this is due to concerns regarding their dance routines and outfits at FAMU's homecoming parade.

    Being that dance is a style that blacks perform so well has drawn the attention of others, even as great as praise and worshipping.

    So there seems to be no serious concerns about removing prayer more so than standard outfits and a dance routine created by some individual.

    Gwen Smith

  • My son Trey goes to Havana Elementary School and is in the second grade. This is the second year for him at this school. He has been picked on by other students. A few weeks ago, he came to me in tears saying the kids were calling him "Oscar."

    Trey said his physical education teacher had been calling him this and the kids followed her lead.

  • Transparency is the new black. At least, that appears to be the case as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Florida’s public records law.

    We  at the Times vigorously support your right as our readers and the public’s right in general to know what our elected and appointed leaders are doing. We believe strongly that you should be able to check and see if your child’s teacher is qualified to teach. It is your right to know if your kid’s soccer coach has a domestic violence or drug abuse record.

  • Just when I think I've heard it all, I come across an official report that makes me wonder what some people are thinking.

    Picture this: You're driving down the street and come upon a car accident. There are no other cars around and it looks like a pretty bad one-car accident. For most people, even the faint of heart, the first instinct would be to check to see if anyone is in the car, if the person is injured and get help.

  • I am always amused at what some people think passes for journalism. When you read some newspapers, it’s quite clear who’s in the back pocket of the reporter or the publisher...or both.

    That’s not the case at the Times. And we’re proud of that. Nobody tells us what we can and can’t write about, and no one tells us what flavor our news should be.

  • Sandi, a friend of mine who lives in Miami, and I don't talk very often, about once a month. But Sandi invariably tells me things that make me look at life's little things a little differently.

    She was complaining to me about her sister. She swears that the girl is one of the laziest people ever put on earth. But she said what bothers her most is that her sister always wants something in a hurry.

  • I don't like talking about the weather very much because there's nothing anyone can do about it. Here it is mid-October, almost time for Halloween and the World Series, and it still feels like early August.

    The past weekend was sheer misery for me. I don't like hot weather because it  takes me a long time to cool down. I can always put on enough clothes in winter but getting cool after exposure to extreme heat is a different thing.

  • During the few years that I have lived in Gadsden County, I have definitely had my share of ups and mostly downs when it comes to working with teachers and administrative staff in our school system. But this school term, I am proud to say that Gadsden County has finally produced a principal that truly cares about our children. His name is William R. Blitch.

  • Every now and again, I stare at the computer screen while it mocks me. And believe it or not, I don’t have a thing to say. But it’s OK...sooner or later, something comes to me and I have no trouble hammering out a column.

    As I thought about what to write for this week, I realized that the holiday season is here...October is almost gone, and with the passing of Halloween, the holidays will officially begin. And it’s all downhill from there.

  • President Obama says: "No federal dollars (in his health care proposal) will be used to fund abortions." That is untrue. Obama's proposal explicitly allows payment for all elective abortions under his "public option." Any person enrolled in that plan would be required to pay an additional premium (an abortion "surcharge") to cover the cost. Abortionists would send bills for abortions to the federal government and receive payment checks drawn on a federal Treasury account.  The funds in this account are government (i.e. public) funds.

  • According to a recent national Marist Poll, many Americans can’t stand the word “whatever.”

    Forty-seven percent of those polled found the word to be the most, like, annoying. “You know” is second, at 25 percent, and “it is what it is” comes in third at 11 percent. Other words or phrases that are like, whatever, include, “anyway” and “at the end of the day.”