It's a new year: With the same old problems

EDGEWATER -- Here we are at the beginning of another new year. It seems like just yesterday I started writing for this brand new online newspaper, but in actuality it has been five years now.

What changes have I seen over the past year? Not very much good, I’m sad to say.

Politics has deteriorated to a congealed mess of good ole boys managing to grab CRA funds for themselves and their friends. Things came to an ugly head with the Cinco de Mayo street party on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach where a 32-year-old Port Orange woman was partying before driving off and crashing on the South Causeway Bridge and killing herself in the process, the victim of her own DUI crash.

This tragedy followed repeated stories and videos by Headline Surfer® showing the lack of open container enforcement in New Smyrna Beach where city leaders spent upwards of $2 million in Community Redevelopment Agency taxpayer monies over the previous five years on bars and promoting these alcohol street parties.

There was a lot of under-handedness las year with the advertising authorities, especially the one in New Smyrna Beach where the chairman, Palmer wilson, was twice removed. Then there was the new director, Carl Watson, using his ad authority credit card to buy himself and others lunches until he got caught by the auditors and had to pay it back.

Politics as usual locally and in Washington

Even people we elected because they were new to the whole political thing seem to have gone over to the other side, which is not in favor of the citizens of Volusia County.

The education system here in Florida seems to be in constant contention including a protest of the 10th-grade World History textbook due to 32 pages about Islam and the Common Core issue that most people don’t agree with, but the schools plan to use anyway.

Taxes are killing those of us that are on fixed incomes and the foreclosures have been massive. So many more people with kids living in their cars or on the streets, all of which is so sad and makes me makes me sick to my stomach.

The other day I heard that there are actually veterans who risked their lives defending this country living in the woods with their families because they lost their homes and no one is helping them. We are not treating our returning veterans properly; not supplying them during active duty with what they need so families back home are mailing them supplies.

Then they come back only to be thrown out of their homes because they can’t find a job and the housing mess has caused their mortgages to be upside down, making it impossible to keep up with the payments. We don’t pay them enough while they serve and I know of many military families on food stamps because they cannot afford food.

Everyone seems to have an idea how to fix things but no actual plans are put into use unless it benefits a politician somewhere. The lack of cooperation between Republicans and Democrats actually unnecessarily shut our country down for 17 days this past year. In my opinion, they are not elected to put their feet in cement and not budge no matter what on policy. They are supposed to be there there to negotiate with each other and solve the country’s problems.

Sad state of affairs

More and more people seem to be not paying attention to where their kids are -- even tiny tots who end up walking down a highway or falling into ponds or pools. I know little ones are quick, but that’s why you have to keep tight reign on them.

Then there are the ones who just plain abuse the kids and the family services people trying to keep the family together give them back to the abusers who end up killing them. More and more mentally ill young people are taking guns in hand and killing people and then themselves.

Schools spend much of their time on lockdowns, something unheard of in my day. Sadly, it is becoming so frequent that kids don’t get upset or afraid as much. They just go about their day as usual. One day it could be a real gunman in their school and they will not be prepared. When I was in school it was duck and cover drills in the beginning of which we were all terrified it was real and the bomb was going to drop and kill us all. After a number of them, we laughed and talked as we ducked and covered or filed into the hallway not taking it seriously at all. Different circumstances now, but the same reaction.

Schools spend much of their time on lockdowns, something unheard of in my day. Sadly, it is becoming so frequent that kids don’t get upset or afraid as much. They just go about their day as usual. One day it could be a real gunman in their school and they will not be prepared. When I was in school it was duck and cover drills in the beginning of which we were all terrified it was real and the bomb was going to drop and kill us all. After a number of them, we laughed and talked as we ducked and covered or filed into the hallway not taking it seriously at all. Different circumstances now, but the same reaction.

I am hoping for better things in this New Year, but am not holding my breath that it comes true. All I can do is pray for us all and wish my readers a very happy, prosperous new year.

Darlene Vann Picture

Short Bio

Musings By Darlene Vann
Darlene Vann is a resident of Edgewater and has been with the 24/7 Internet newspaper from the onset. She likes to write about the lighter side of life, but sometimes feels compelled to tackle some of the tougher issues. The blog, "Musings" (and its contents), is the sole copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, and cannot be reproduced, copied or published in whole or in part elsewhere without the prior expressed written permission of the publisher. NSBNews.net, VolusiaNews.net and HeadlineSurfer.com are owned by NSB News LLC. All three domains fall under the umbrella of Headline Surfer, a registered trademark.