Publisher's Column

This blog is dedicated to Donna Marcotte, 42, and Gary Crane, 48, who are getting married June 21. Miss Marcotte and I entered into a discussion of how to tell when you have chosen a good partner. I presented some of the ideas contained in this blog for finding warning signals of a bad choice. After all, June weddings are very popular and, of course, half of all marriages end in divorce.

She was emphatic that her husband-to-be exhibits none of the warning signals we talked about.

Like millions of Americans across the country and here throughout Southeast Volusia, I am saddened by the passing of Tim Russert, the host of Meet the Press and the Washington bureau chief for NBC News. I liked Russert because he was down to earth. He was intelligent and tough on politicians, but always fair-minded. Put simply: He was a giant in the journalism industry.

Russert never made it to the top of the network anchor chair -- not because he wasn't talented or deserving, but because of image.

EDGEWATER, Fla. -- If you ever wonder why our economy is the way it is, it's because our government spends too much helping out the United Nations and all of the countries that dislike us.

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It was a sad day for many of us when The Observer closed its doors a week ago, but not unexpected with print newspapers all over the country slowly dying.
I for one have had some happy experiences with The Observer over the last few decades, but mostly when newspapers were in their heyday.

When political correctness overtook the papers in the area, it became very difficult for me to get much of my material published.

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It had been years since I sat in church for a Sunday service. But hearing the words roll off the lips of The Rev. Don Bremer at the United Methodist Church of New Smyrna Beach about the apostle Paul struck a chord deep in my soul as my mind raced in re-tracing the steps of my life at 46.
Bremer was emphatic that the world had never had a teacher like Paul.

As I watched the hype over Triple Crown theat Big Brown during the pre-race coverage Saturday of the Belmont Stakes, I could not stop thinking about Jim McKay, the iconic forefather of broadcast sports journalism as host of ABC's Wide World of Sports and anchor of the network's breaking-news coverage of the horrific terrorist attack during the 1972 Munich Games. He died earlier in the day at the age of 86.

McKay, who covered 12 Olympics in all, died of natural causes in a Maryland hospital, according to his family.

Talking to Harold Haycook, owner of Haycook Moving and Storage, and his assistants, Mike West, 31, and Joe Braunig, 38, it was quickly established that they were all in favor of national health care, but what they did not realize are some of the serious pitfalls.

However, talking to local hospital employees at Bert Fish Medical Center, it was discovered that they are quite leery of national health care.

Hospital employees seemed to be mostly against national health care, although they did not want to be quoted.

Talking to people around around Southeast Volusia like Claudia Torres about the economic slowdown reveals most are sure things are slow, but they are uncertain as to what is really causing it.

Torres, an agent at State Farm, said: “The slowdown is horrible here. There is less money and business. An acquaintance is having a hard time affording gas for his SUV to drive to his job in Orlando”

When asked about what is causing the slowdown, she blamed it on the war and said the president is not handling the money well.

Joyce Hanson also at State Farm said, “we are having hard times.”

I was not surprised the weekly Observer newspaper folded Monday. I was the final editor under the daily version of what was the New Smyrna Beach Observer and warned ownership that converting it into a weekly would be its death knell. That is why I am so pleased to have established NSB News under This is greater New Smyrna Beach's daily home-based newspaper. Period. So here we are, 11 months later and indeed The Observer is no more. I remember the day I put together that very first weekly edition. As soon as it hit the press, I was shown the door. Just like that.