On behalf of Williston AARP Chapter 912 and Citizens for an Engaged Electorate (CEE), I wish to thank and congratulate the people of all ages and party preference who attended our jointly sponsored Candidate Forum on Saturday, July 23.
We appreciate the city’s willingness to allow the event to take place in the community center, and we thank Mayor Heathcoat for allowing us to use the flag from City Hall. We also thank Pam Vamosi and the Lion’s Club for graciously lending us their podium.
We are grateful for the presence of our Supervisor of Elections, Tammy Jones, who spoke and then maintained a voter registration and information table throughout the event.
We also thank the candidates for coming before the people to tell who they are, why they are running and what they plan to accomplish if they are chosen.
Jerry Lawrence and Jeff Edison for Superintendent of Schools and those running for positions on the County Commission—Berlon Weeks, John Meeks, Chetley Breeden, Mike Joyner, Matt Brooks and Danny Stevens—presented their contrasting views to enable voters to make informed choices.
Three of the six candidates running for our newly drawn U.S. Congress District 2—Steve Crapps, Rob Lapham and Ken Sukhia—drove many miles to be there, as did Florida Congressman Charlie Stone, who represents Levy County, as part of Florida House District 22. His opponent was not present.
It’s 9:30 in the morning. I’m in the cabin of a once submerged, rather odd-looking houseboat. I’m listening to a pianist play one of his own compositions. Eyes closed, his head bobs slowly with the tempo.
Just another Monday morning in Cedar Key.
It began the night before. Captain Bobby tugged on my sleeve for the second time. “You’ve got to hear this young man play,” Bobby said. “He’s phenomenal.” I did and he was. For the next hour or more, Galen Huckins coaxes notes from the baby grand in the lobby of the Island Hotel. A bit of New Orleans jazz, mixed with just a touch of classical. Even a dash of salsa, combined with a ballad or two. He changes tempo, then changes key. He reaches into the piano and plucks a string. The music flows. One after another, each piece more captivating then the last. After the last song Galen Huckins grins, shares a bit of his story and I'm hooked. We make arrangements to meet in the morning……
Cedar Key, it is déjà vu all over again. On Saturday of small boat weekend our 17 foot Oday day sailor capsized not too far from Atsena Otie in a failed jibe attempt because of what will remain an unspecified operator error. (Déjà vu all over again because this is our second knockdown for the same reason).
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to thank all of the anonymous small boat weekend participants who took part in our rescue. Our mishap occurred in water shallow enough that we could stand and we wound up walking, sheepishly, up to the beach on Seta Otie. In the meantime our boat was drifting away with the tide and wind and, honestly, we thought it might be best to just let it go. However, that was not to be.
Several people went about rescuing our boat. One group caught up to the drifting boat, stood on the center board which miraculously righted it, and then towed it to the beach. Another group retrieved almost all of our equipment (including the rudder). I think all we lost was one hat and one short piece of line. We were then ferried to town, hitched a ride home with Andy Bair, and brought our motor boat back to tow our sailboat home. Thanks to the efforts of many small boat weekend participants the sailboat is safely at home sitting on its lift looking no worse for its exciting Saturday.
The issue of signage is a critical one. Proper signage informs the public what it may do, where it might go, what is legal and illegal, and so on. In effect, signage ensures safety and promulgates adherence to expectations. Signs are not a convenience; they are a must. Lack of signage compromises public knowledge and consequently its safety.
Destruction of signs is not an option; however, their obliteration continues to occur on Lukens.
On May 4, at 6 pm the signs and the posts were still in place.
On May 5, at 7:20 am, less than 24 hours later, the signs and the posts were gone, nowhere to be found in the area.
LUKENS UPDATE MAY 2, 2016
As some focus upon the Suwannee River Water Management Distract’s management regarding the Lukens Tract, others focus upon Levy County’s issuance of building permits to Topping for his property at Lukens.
Below you will find Dr. Marguerite VanLandingham’s challenge to Levy County for issuing a permit to Topping to build a home on the Lukens Tract.
Following those cogent arguments is Levy County Development Department Director William Hammond’s response to VanLandingham.
Some registered voters in Levy County won’t be allowed to vote in the presidential preference primary next month, March 2016. It has nothing to do with picture I.D. or precinct designation.
Florida is a closed primary state, and if you are not registered as a member of the party of the person for whom you wish to vote—either Democrat or Republican—you will not be allowed to vote for that person. Citizens registered as Independent, NPA, Green, Libertarian or other party affiliations may as well stay home. They won’t be given a ballot.
It is not too late to register if you have moved or changed your name or you wish to vote for the first time. Neither is it too late to change your party affiliation if you wish to vote for your chosen candidate, but the deadline is looming. To vote in the presidential preference primary, you must declare your party ahead of time by registering for that party by February 16.
To be clear, if you wish to vote for Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, or any other Republican candidate, you must be registered as a Republican in order to get a Republican ballot in the primary on March 15 or during the early voting the week prior to that date.
If you wish to vote for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, you must be registered as a Democrat in order to get a Democratic ballot in the primary period in March.
It costs nothing to switch, and you can change right back after the vote. On the other hand, if you wish to vote in the August primary for other major party candidates, the same rules apply. You must be registered as a member of the party of the candidates for whom you wish to vote. That deadline is August 1.
Registration forms can be downloaded from the Internet at www.votelevy.com/Register-to-Vote. Completed forms can be mailed, but they must be postmarked by February 16, 2016. Forms can also be picked up at the office of the county’s Supervisor of Elections, any DMV office or public library.
I can’t imagine why anyone in America would skip the opportunity to vote. If you don’t think the person in the White House has an impact on your life, you are not paying attention.
People have died for the right to vote, and others have died so that you can have this privilege. Please exercise your privilege, your duty, your honor to vote.