Kudos to Dan
There is only one thing wrong with the Hometown News -- we don't get it every day, so we can read the columns by Dan Smith. He is absolutely wonderful. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't read your paper.
In response to gun owners letters in the May 10th edition
First of all, yes the Newtown shooter or anyone else can get a gun or assault rifle without a background check. Too bad recent gun safety legislation did not pass the Senate.
As for leaving unsecured guns around children, numerous reports show that children as young as 4 and 6 are getting a loaded gun and killing or injuring himself or herself or a playmate. Recently a 5-year-old boy in Kentucky shot and killed his 2-year-old sister with a cricket rifle, which was marketed for children. Leaving unsecured guns around children is criminally negligent.
I, too, can list my family's history of military service. My dad served as a Marine in World War II and was a New York City detective. In 1980, he hated the National Rifle Association because they refused to ban armor piercing bullets. Our police should not be out gunned by easily accessible assault weapons and high capacity clips. Ninety percent of Americans want common sense gun safety regulation, so don't tread on our rights.
No good deed . . .
It doesn't pay to be a good landlord. I rented a house. Let the guy in, with just his first month's rent because he is a retired military man, and after a few months, he was six days late. I went over to see what was going on. He was gone, but he did take the 52-inch TV and the lounge chair I let him use. So much for trying to help him.
Seedy South Daytona
Just some few years ago, the city of South Daytona was a grand place to live as it was small (and still is) and the majority of the citizens were friendly and it would have been strange for someone to pass without saying "Howdy" or "Hello."
Our streets were kept clean and most residents took a little pride in their surroundings and the neighborhood in which they lived. But now, some of those same streets and homes are in need of some tender loving care.
Without saying, most kept their grass cut, edged the sidewalks and driveways and then used a broom or blower to remove the clippings. But today the grass is not properly cut, the clippings are blown out into the street and this causes blockage of the drains and gutters. Just recently there were several areas that were flooded during our heavy rainfall.
How about you? Have you seen the change for the worse in our city? Speak up and let our city leaders hear the truth. Where has the respect for one another gone? Even the younger kids today use foul language towards you when you ride by them. Back then, the question was, "Do you know where your kids are?" But today, it's "Do you know where your parents are?"
This is addressed to those young people that linger around our city park located on Kenilworth, Oriole and Elizabeth streets, across from First Baptist Church.
You have continually tried to destroy something that belongs to all the people and not just for you to damage and leave behind all of your trash. The new bench was just repaired a couple of days ago and already someone named "Dylan" has carved his name into the back rest. Literally hundreds of paper candy wrappers are left behind each evening along with plastic bottles, etc.
Great men and women went to war to give you the liberty to express yourselves but somewhere along the way you have misinterpreted the meaning of your Constitutional rights. Take some pride in your park and your community, and clean up after you have enjoyed the parks offered by our little city of South Daytona.
We have in the city three avenues for controlling the flagrant use of our streets and parks, and it amazes me that the police, community service officers and citizens patrol can't take some action and rid the parks of these hooligans.
It's a shame we citizens can't ride by without being called names and before something really bad happens, some attention should be given to this problem. The persons living near or across the street need to speak up as they must see what is happening.
Merge with New Smyrna
When I first arrived in this area I wondered why there was a group of citizens of Edgewater that wanted to merge and be included in the city of New Smyrna Beach.
Now, I think I understand it better. In New Smyrna Beach, the local government seeks to keep the city growing while also trying to walk the fine line of "Saving the Charm."
Where is the growth in Edgewater?
All I ever read about is attempts to build more homes. I see businesses moving out of Edgewater, but when do they move in? Why is it so hard to have a business in Edgewater? In 10 years, I have seen one hotel get built in this area. Why don't the residents of this city want growth? If I could sell my home for what I paid for it, I would leave immediately. So, Edgewater if you don't want to grow why not become part of New Smyrna Beach and let this city grow?
Reduce event size
This is for the powers that be in New Smyrna Beach. You will always be looking for parking space as long as you keep promoting events to larger and larger audiences, for more and more visitors, bigger and bigger themes. This isn't rocket science.
Beware mail handling
If you intend to move to a senior living or an assisted living residence and want to receive your personal mail promptly after U.S. Postal Service delivery, ask questions about how the mail is handled internally.
If the front desk receptionist is solely responsible for sorting the mail, in addition to her many other duties, you will be disappointed most of the time because residents' mail gets the lowest priority.
It's handled if, and when, she gets around to it. The result is an unsecured, cumbersome, very late process, with pieces frequently misplaced and not found until the next day, or the day after that, or never.
Complaining about the system to top officials brings vague promises of improvement, which evaporate as soon as you leave the office.
In the 1950s, the superintendent of public instruction office was in the old Mainland High School on Bay Street. It consisted of one office and one secretary. Today, the old DeLand High School is needed to hold all of employees of the superintendent's staff.
Since teaching is the job of our schools, why not eliminate all non-teaching jobs like this huge staff first, and eliminate all vehicle besides school buses and repair vehicles, eliminate all out of county trips and if travel is needed in county, pay per diem? These changes should balance the school budget without firing teachers, who are needed to do the job of teaching students.
In response to Dan Smith's May 10 Land Lines concerning dogs
Dan notes he no longer has a dog. He chooses to fish a lot. We choose to have a dog. We have yet to hear that a fish provides wonderful companionship especially for older folk, abiding love and devotion and joy, as well as serving as an early warning system for strangers and a deterrent to potential intruders. Many know that a dog is an excellent part of a home security plan. We'll keep our beloved dog and continue to eat fish.
Keep shuffleboard on Flagler Avenue
My wife and I learned how to shuffleboard on the courts in New Smyrna Beach on the Mainland Courts by the museum off of Canal Street. Three weeks later they closed the courts and we started shuffling on the Coronado Courts on Flagler Avenue. After thousands of dollars in renovation, there is talk they want to move us again. The main reason is some people want to turn it into a parking lot. Well, wouldn't that look nice on our charming Flagler Avenue? The shuffleboard courts established in the '30s, add charm and character to the corner of Flagler and Pine avenues.
The other issue on parking is they say we take up a lot of parking spaces. We do take up some, but the Community Center next door is occupied with receptions, card games and other activities. We can't even park near our courts when it is occupied. If they could cut the trees down in the church parking lot and organize the parking, they could park more cars in an organized manner.
Do you remember the song by Joni Mitchell in the '70s: "Big Yellow Taxi?" The chorus says "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot." Please don't let this happen.