Commentary

COMMENTARY

Bookman: We could be witnessing the deciding battle of the culture wars

BY: - July 4, 2020

We are living through history, through a tumultuous time in which change accelerates, the once-solid becomes fluid and no one has any real idea of where this thing is headed. Living in chaos, trying to make daily sense of it, has been frightening, exhilarating, and confusing.  Someday our grandchildren, reading about this era in their […]

COMMENTARY

Collateral damage from the COVID-19 crisis is surfacing in the lives of people around us

BY: - July 3, 2020

We may never be able to assess the collateral damage from the COVID-19 virus, but some of it is surfacing in the lives of people around us. Take Joseph Fenton, a retired journalist who has worked as an editor for a number of Florida newspapers. He died of lung cancer at 67 on June 19, […]

COMMENTARY

Killing the Kirkpatrick Dam? The tale of Florida’s longest-running environmental wrangle

BY: - July 2, 2020

This happened 20 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was on a boat, floating along a muddy shoreline. A handful of ibises, egrets and wood storks foraged near a stand of gaunt cypress trees growing along a slope. Each tree bore a dark band about three feet up from its […]

COMMENTARY

This heritage isn’t worth preserving

BY: - June 29, 2020

NASCAR banned the Battle Flag. Quaker Oats fired Aunt Jemima. Jeff Davis has been run off Monument Avenue. There was a time America would have defended her heritage, from the racing that got its start in running loads of untaxed ‘shine down the mountain to the pancake mix that changed the world (or breakfast, anyway) […]

COMMENTARY

FL’s dumping ground for COVID-19: Just come on down and see how many people you can infect

BY: - June 25, 2020

Looks like Florida is becoming the dumping ground for the most contagious virus to hit the United States in years. Got COVID-19? Just come on down and see how many people you can infect. Especially if there’s a Republican thing going on with President Donald Trump in attendance. North Carolina wisely rejected the Republican National […]

COMMENTARY

A testing ground for genetically modified ‘friendly’ mosquitoes in the Florida Keys?

BY: - June 25, 2020

Is there any sound more annoying than the high-pitched whine of a mosquito in your ear? The only comfort is knowing that the whining ones are males that don’t bite. The females, the only ones that suck your blood, are silent. When I was a kid growing up in Florida, I was a mosquito magnet. […]

COMMENTARY

Terrence Martin: Lessons for my Black son

BY: - June 24, 2020

In some cultures, when a boy reaches the age of 13, his entire community comes together to acknowledge his coming of age in a ceremony that celebrates the beginning of manhood. I’ve had to teach my 13-year-old son that being perceived as a grown Black man can be dangerous. I am afraid for my son. […]

COMMENTARY

Gov. DeSantis: This is not how you should honor Juneteenth

BY: - June 19, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis is going back to court in yet another attempt to keep hundreds of thousands of Floridians from voting. In a request for expedited review, attorneys for DeSantis chose to file their initial brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit by June 19. They want that court to overturn […]

COMMENTARY

RE: Florida boaters. Shouldn’t we expect them to have learned how to avoid hitting each other?

BY: - June 18, 2020

Have you ever gone really fast on a boat? Your vessel leaps across the waves like a thoroughbred jumping a series of fences. The engines roar, spray flies in your face, the slipstream rushes past your ears. The experience is so exhilarating! Right up until the crash, that is. According to a report released last […]

COMMENTARY

Excuse us, Trump’s America — your white sheet is showing

BY: - June 15, 2020

Later this summer, on Aug. 27, Donald Trump will deliver a speech accepting the Republican Party nomination for re-election in Jacksonville — named for a genocidal slave-holder — on the 60th anniversary of the day the Ku Klux Klan and a mob of fellow-traveling white folks beat peaceful civil rights protesters with ax handles. Later […]

COMMENTARY

One great voting rights victory in a long, long battle

BY: - June 12, 2020

Many people take their right to vote for granted. But winning the right to vote for as many U.S. adult citizens as possible has been a never-ending battle since this country was founded. After the American Revolution, states generally granted voting rights only to land-owning or tax paying white males. Voting rights gradually expanded during […]

COMMENTARY

Unfortunately for FL’s environment, the word ‘preserve’ doesn’t really mean ‘preserved’

BY: - June 11, 2020

Florida can be such an odd place. In the 1980s our tourism slogan bragged that “the rules are different here,” and that’s still the case. It’s true for our clothing (casual) and our footwear (flip-flops go with everything!) and our driving (either aggressive or super slooooow). It’s even true of our language. Take the word […]