My mother taught me how to read and write when I was 3 years old. She raised seven of us while my father worked two jobs. She gave me the foundation for what would be a career in journalism. I lost my mother nearly five years ago, but what she instilled in me endures. For those of you who have a mother, be thankful.
I know I am, even though she's gone.
When you look at our Home page today, no doubt you will see that we have added nine pages and dozens of elements to bring NSBNews.net to 21 pages and nearly 100 click-able items on the Home page alone. This is a tremendous undertaking considering we launched the site April 11. NSBNEWS.net is the leading news provider for Southeast Volusia where local news is emphasized 24/7 in a multi-media format (word, video and audio). News of the world is brought home to you, making this a one-stop media shop.
Rural Pennsylvanians may be bitter as portrayed by Barack Obama, but we in Southeast Volusia are clearly bitten. At least not snake bitten. Instead, try shark bitten. For the fifth time in the past several weeks, a human being has been bitten by a shark. And if man and beast can co-exist, perhaps we can learn to put our petty not-in-my-backyard squabbles aside such as with the NSB airport. They say you're more likely to get struck by lightning than by a shark. After all, some 10 million of us hit the beaches here in Volusia County.
When I returned to live in New Smyrna Beach in 1968, the state of the football program had fallen on hard times. Even the heroics of superstar Harvin Clark could not produce a winning season. The won lost record of the Barracudas was abysmal. This state of affairs caught the eyes of some real doers in who decided that something had to be done.
This group, led by Dick Weaver, decided that the best way do develop a winning team was to start a little league program that was tailored to develop players to feed into the local school system.
We are four days shy of one month since our April 11 launch and with 12,000 hits, NSBNEWS.net is becoming a hit. Seemingly overnight the Web site seems to take on a life of its own. Well, that is literally what is happening with still more added features. New to the list is the atomic clock in the scrolling text; our NSB News Webcast; Everyday People, Word on the Street and an Inspiring Thought. Many of these elements are added during the overnight hours because of the intense labor and tedious detail that goes into the process.
Some of the greatest drama can be found not only network TV or the movies, but in real-life courtrooms. And there are few better at delivering that drama than New Smyrna Beach criminal attorney Bill Hathaway, who I have witnessed presenting several child molestations and one knife murder to juries with great skill and presence when he was a prosecutor.
I have been told that the State Attorney's Office often saved the big cases for him until he went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney several years back.
Individuals and Businesses in Southeast Volusia are starting to use Health Savings Accounts as a cost effective way to cover health care. This growth of HSA's was brought to my attention by Tod Perry an associate at Buddy Davenport’s State Farm Office who said that they had many such plans in place with individuals and businesses around New Smyrna Beach.
He said that the appearance of HAS's was led by individuals who were looking for the best way to take advantage of the new tax regulations that now allow individuals as well as companies to deduct health expenses.
The country is in a recession. People are struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure. Job layofs are a daily threat. Should it then really come as a surprise that the most fractured among us are children? The Columbine-type threats at New Smyrna Beach High School and a talked-about murder-suicide plot at DeLand Middle School really hit home.
Perhaps the two boys punished for making Columbine-type threats with scrawled messages on the bathroom walls were just looking for an easy way to scare school officials into canceling classes for a few days.
These days, it seems everyone is an environmentalist. No one wants to breath bad air, drink polluted water or kill off all of the wildlife and plant life and despoil the planet. Where the argument comes in is how to protect the environment in the most sensible, cost effective way. Certainly here in Southeast Volusia, we have some of nature's greatest wonders -- from manatees to Mosquito Lagoon.
I believe that the principles of free market capitalism form the soundest basis for protecting the environment.
By controlling which drugs are allowed on the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extorted a large toll in drug costs, drug availability and human life throughout our nation -- greater New Smyrna Beach no exception.
The FDA has greatly delayed the introduction of some useful drugs and totally eliminated the introduction of others.
It is estimated that 85 percent of the cost of drugs is caused by the FDA procedures.