Love shines through mist
at 16th Annual CKWC Fall Market
Vicki Lowery Crumpley (left) is seen with her friend and colleague Jane Moore. Both of these women are very active members of the Cedar Key Woman’s Club, and like so many of the club’s members, they embody the essence of all that is good and right with humanity.
PLEASE SEE MORE PHOTOS AND THE STORY ON THE LEISURE PAGE.
Photo By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 26, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
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Commissioners take oat
h of office
(from left) Levy County Court Judge Tim Browning greets Levy County Commissioner-elect Rock Meeks and Levy County Commissioner-elect Tim Hodge as the two elected officials prepare to accept their duties. Sandra Hodge holds the bible used in the procedure Tuesday morning (Nov. 22).
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 22, 2022 at 4:12 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – One commissioner who was reelected without opposition and one commissioner who won the most votes both took their oath of office Tuesday morning in Bronson.
(from left) Levy County Court Judge Tim Browning administers the oath of office as Levy County Commissioner-elect Rock Meeks and Levy County Commissioner-elect Tim Hodge accept their duties. Sandra Hodge holds the bible used in the procedure.
After the two most recently sworn-in county commissioners are finished with the ceremonial taking of the oath of office, the whole Levy County Board of County Commissioners stand for a group photo. Seen here (from left) are commissioners John Meeks, Tim Hodge, Desiree Mills, Rock Meeks and Matt Brooks.
Levy County Commissioner Rock Meeks-elect (Dist. 2) and Levy County Commissioner-elect Tim Hodge (Dist. 4) accepted their duties when Levy County Court Judge J.T. “Tim” Browning swore them in.
Sandra Hodge held the bible while the two county commissioners-elect placed their right hands on it. The usual method is to place the left hand on the bible and to hold up the right hand.
Another interesting aspect of the process Tuesday morning was the judge commenting halfway through the administration of the oath of office that both men were the most soft-spoken men he had ever heard take the oath of office.
Both commissioners raised their voices after that.
The other members of the Levy County Board of County Commissioners are Commissioner John Meeks (Dist. 1), Commissioner Desiree Jerrels Mills (Dist. 3) and Commissioner Matt Brooks (Dist. 5).
Sally Douglas and Ellen Klee sell tickets to the duck race that helped the Friends of the Withlacoochee Gulf Preserve. For the full story (and more photos by Dorsey DeMaster), please visit the LEISURE PAGE.
Published Nov. 21, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
Photo By Peter Weiss
Farm Share helps
500 Tri-County Area families
(from left) Tri-County Community Resource Center Manager Beverly Goodman, Grace Ashby, community events coordinator with Farm Share, and Robert Wells, the executive director of the Gilchrist (County) Anti-Drug Coalition, are among the leaders of volunteers at the event on Saturday morning (Nov. 17) in Chiefland.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 19, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
CHIEFLAND – A combined effort by Farm Share and the Tr-County Community Resource Center resulted in the distribution of food to 500 families Saturday morning (Nov. 19).
Tables of pre-loaded bags of food and hundreds of dozens of eggs are seen as volunteers work just moments before the first vehicles pass by and are loaded with the 100 percent free food.
Volunteers put in the effort needed to help others.
Two volunteers from Chiefland Fire Rescue -- Assistant Chief A.D. Goodman (left) and Capt. Daniel Williams break down cardboard boxes for recycling.
About a dozen volunteers are seen working here. As recently as the day before, there was a call for more volunteers.
Volunteers are the heart and soul, and the essence of noble service in this mission where they help Farm Share meet its goal of bringing food to families in need.
Chiefland Police Lt. Matthew ‘Matt’ Poppell is among the law enforcement officers helping guide motorists at the event. Another group beyond the Chiefland Police Department that helped in this effort is the Citizens On Patrol volunteers who work through the Levy County Sheriff’s Office.
Held once again at Charles Strickland Recreational Park n Chiefland, this event succeeded because a squadron of volunteers donated their time, talent and other resources to help hundreds of their neighbors from the Tri-County Area of Levy County, Gilchrist County and Dixie County.
Tri-County Community Resource Center Manager Beverly Goodman again spearheaded the mission to give food to hundreds of families via a free drive-through the parking lot of the park.
Tri-County Community Resource Center is one of the outreach centers of Partnership For Strong Families.
Grace Ashby, community events coordinator with Farm Share, was among the workers from that group. The big truck arrived long before the 8:30 a.m. time for distribution and the food was offloaded in the very dark morning hours.
Volunteers worked in temperatures ranging from the high 40s Fahrenheit to the high 60s, and there were some moments of light rain.
At Farm Share, its mission is to make sure that no Floridian goes hungry, and that no food goes to waste. Farm Share is proud to be Florida's food bank. It never will charge any organization or individual for food.
The valued donors and Florida farmers make it possible for Farm Share to distribute healthy and nutritious fruits, vegetables, proteins and other non-perishable food to Florida families, children, seniors and individuals in need.
Twenty Dixie County cats fixed
Andrew and Robert Mobsby
Story and Photos
By Lucille Rese
Published Nov. 19, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
* Updated Nov. 20, 2022 at 5:12 a.m.
DIXIE COUNTY -- On Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Old Town Hardware Store, the family of Lily Mobsby, Fix Them All, and AVS mobile surgery staff held Lily's Kitty Care surgery day for 20 Dixie County residents' cats.
Dr. Natalie Isaza of AVS Veterinary and her terrific staff, Mitzy and Robert Mobsby
K-9 Cuts and Grooming were among the vendors at the event.
Vodka the cat and Mel Gavette are ready to participate in the program.
Robert and Mitzy Mobsby, to honor their daughter Lily's love of cats, sponsored the surgeries and rabies vaccines for some fantastic felines. Lily died tragically in an automobile accident last November at the age of 14 years old.
The Mobsby family felt that spay and neuter procedures were essential to celebrating Lily's life and her belief that every pet deserves good health and quality of life.
The members of Fix Them All can never thank Mitzy and Robert enough for realizing Lily's dream through this event. Dr. Natalie Isaza of AVS Veterinary and her terrific staff were on site to perform the procedures.
Without AVS Veterinary, this day would not have been possible in Dixie County.
The members of Fix Them All wish to thank all of the great friends and partners in animal welfare for joining them in Lily's Kitty Care, a celebration of life. Among those friends and partners are Allen Henson and Old Town Hardware, Old Town; Tabitha of K-9 Cuts, Cross City; Shawn of Furever Friends, Chiefland; Lynn of Kourtney's Hope 4 The Animals, Trenton; Connie of Shepherd's Plants and Garden Decor, Trenton; Leslie of Paws Closet Thrift and Gift Shop, Chiefland; Tawnya and Jessie of Thunderbolt Concession, Old Town; Robert, Mitzy, Andrew Mobsby and Gabriel, Old Town; and Fix Them All - Low-Cost spay/neuter - serving more than 25 counties.
* For information on the non-profit organization’s affordable fee programs, call 352-348-1615 or visit https://www.fixthemall.org/.
Hall of Fame recipient shares insight
Don Quincey Jr. is seen at his desk during an interview Wednesday (Nov. 16). He is one of the two men named as the 2023 Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees
Story and Photo
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 17, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.
LEVY COUNTY – It’s no wonder to people who know him that Donald J. “Don” Quincey Jr. was one of the two men named as the 2023 Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame inductees.
As noted in a previously published story in HardisonInk.com, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation announced that Quincey and Dr. John T. Woeste were this year’s inductees.
The induction ceremony for the two men to be added to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame is set to be at the Florida State Fair’s Agricultural Hall of Fame Banquet in Tampa on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14, 2023).
Quincey is the first Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame honoree from Levy County.
This fifth-generation Florida cattleman founded the Quincey Cattle Co. in 1992, and it has blossomed as a diversified cattle-feeding operation in Levy County. The operation has grown in size and scope to meet fellow cattle producers’ needs and goals, providing services to improve marketability, and options for Florida cattle.
Many letters written to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation capture the essence of this 66-year-old man, who may be thought of as the Florida cattleman of cattlemen, as well as being a thoughtful businessman who cares about people.
Before reviewing the comments of several people who supported this nomination to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame, a brief conversation with Quincey in his office in Levy County offers still more insight about the down-to-earth, common sense, on Wednesday (Nov. 16) reflects that he is a reasonable gentleman who understands people.
Quincey served on the Governing Board of the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD). He was appointed in April of 2008 to represent the Lower Suwannee River Basin. Quincey was reappointed on Aug. 2, 2016, and his final term expired in March of 2020. One comment that carries through many of the endorsements for this business owner is that he is a leader.
That held true at the SRWMD, where he served as chairman for some years.
Letters show he started as a leader at Chiefland High School in the FFA and carried through his adult life in many industry-oriented associations.
On Wednesday, when he was asked for a message he wanted to share with people, he spoke about the need for people to understand the balance required for sustaining life.
While on the SRWMD Governing Board, Quincey saw the full spectrum of people from all walks of life come to the Board with requests. Some people understood agriculture, some did not, he said.
“Most people today know very little about how their food is produced,” Quincey said, “and what it takes to produce it. And then, if you didn’t have it, what that would mean to our society and our country.”
There must be a balance, Quincey said, for people to have water to drink and food to eat, while maintaining an environment in which to live as well.
He saw that people must straddle the fence between environmental concerns and the needs of the farmers who grow crops and the ranchers who raise livestock that become the food for people to eat so that they can continue to live.
“When people came there with an agenda, either way, it was difficult,” Quincey said.
Therefore, as he sat there among the decisionmakers for the water management district, he knew he must take both sets of interests into consideration before making a motion, seconding a motion or voting one way or another on those requests.
When asked if he saw a person who was on one side or another who came not awareness enough of the other side to change their stance.
Quincey provided a cattle story to show it is possible to bring people into awareness of facts, even if they may have presumed or prejudged a situation.
A person had noticed a calf had died on the ranch, he said. And since she passed the area often, she noticed another calf had passed away.
She became concerned and called him to let him know there must be something terribly wrong on the ranch. She called a couple of times.
“It became obvious that she didn’t really understand what we were doing,” Quincey said. “She thought that we were probably mistreating the animals.”
Quincey had an employee call the woman and invite her to the ranch to see everything that happens on the ranch. She spent 90 minutes to two hours learning about the process there.
She found out that the cattle ate every day, all they could eat.
She learned there were veterinarians on staff to help the sick calves. She saw there were riders who went out on the pastures once or twice a day to assure the animals were all OK.
“And when she left,” Quincey said, “she had a whole different concept of what happens at Quincey Cattle Company than she did when we first talked to her on the phone.”
Helping people see what really exists rather than what they believe exists is a kind act by anyone. This is just one of many fine human qualities of this award-winning cattleman.
The man set to be honored at the upcoming ceremony at the Florida State Fair in Tampa said he was surprised and humbled when he learned of the honor to be bestowed upon him.
“When they called me, I was flabbergasted,” Quincey said. “I had no idea I could ever fill the shoes of the people who have gone before me in this thing (the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame).”
Quincey said he feels like he is not of the same stature as other agriculturists who have been placed in this hall of fame.
“I am humbled to get it,” he said. “I’m happy that somebody thought I deserved that honor. I will accept it. But I will tell you this – I’ll accept it on the backs of people that have worked for me; people that have taught me through the years; and the people who have gone before me in this hall of fame.”
Quincey said that his success in his profession is not just from his work, but from the effort of all of the people who sought the same goals.
“We were just trying to do the right thing,” Quincey said as he downplayed his honorable and successful accomplishments. “We were just trying to me a living.”
Quincey earned the distinction of being inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame from a lifetime of service to the admirable profession of ranching.
He served on a wide variety of committees of the Florida Farm Bureau and Florida Cattlemen’s Association. As for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, he served in all state level officer positions, including as president in 2011-2012.
On the national level, Quincey served on the board of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association representing Florida, as well as in the role there of Region II Vice President Policy Division.
Don Quincey was noted as being “… a passionate, but humble agriculturalist with a drive to leave a legacy of empowered forward-thinking and innovative solutions to the challenges faced in our community and our industry.”
Quincy is a lifelong learner who demonstrates grace under pressure.
Letter writers noted that when he is faced with opposition Quincey finds a way to make the seemingly impossible, a sustainable plan of action. That’s what he did when creating Quincey Cattle Co., a diversified cattle-feeding operation in Chiefland.
This dream of Quincey’s grew to become “… an operation curates and adapts to meet fellow cattle producers’ needs and goals, providing services to improve marketability and options for Florida cattle.”
Among the many other noteworthy actions Quincey has shown in the ranching profession is the support for local commodity growers and ranchers across the nation.
He pushes to keep products grown in our great state viable, local and beneficial to the communities.
This action serves as fuel for the local economic engine, and this practice extends into helping programs for youths as well as for all agricultural industries.
Florida Cattlemen’s Association Executive Vice President Jim Handley is among the people who wrote letters in support of Quincey to be recognized in the hall of fame.
“He has given countless hours of service and financial support to the industry,” Handley noted. “Mr. Quincey has been involved and a vocal leader in North Central Florida Agriculture for over 40 years.”
Handley noted that regardless of the job or position assigned to him, Quincey’s commitment is guaranteed, and his service is unwavering.
“His bulldogged determination and outspoken demeanor” have proven to be quite effective in helping Florida agriculture with the respect of elected officials and a multitude of agencies that interact with agriculture.
The president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association wrote much more, including “His record of service and leadership is tremendous and well documented. He is an outstanding leader with a focus of advancing the industry and helping fellow citizens.
In addition to Handley, there were many other people who supported the Quincey’ nomination to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame. Some of them are noted below.
DeAnne Maples, the director of marketing and promotion of the Florida Beef Council, said on behalf of the Council, she is delighted to support the nomination of Quincey to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
Advocacy is among his best qualities, Maples noted.
Quincey Cattle Co. is a favorite tour stop, Maples noted, when the Florida Beef Council conducts tours several times annually. The Quincey Cattle Co. hosted the Florida Beef Council’s 2021 Farm-To-Fork Tour, she noted as an example.
“From highlighting the animal nutrition and wellness programs at Quincey Cattle Company to showcasing the fresh beef sales operation,” Maples said, “the tour guests enjoyed a favorable behind-the-scenes look at Florida’s beef industry and its sustainable role in food production, and environmental conservation.”
Hugh Thomas, the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, noted that for nine of Quincey’s 12 years on the SRWMD Board of Governors, the cattleman served as chairman of the board.
As chairman, Quincey led the District in efforts to address water supply issues, Thomas said.
Quincey was instrumental in the development of a water use monitoring program to assist agricultural water consumers in reporting actual use rather than estimated use, Thomas said.
“Another major District program that was initiated by Mr. Quincey is the District’s Cost Share program to assist stakeholders across North Central Florida to increase the efficiency of water use and reduce water quality impacts to groundwater and surface water resources,” Thomas said.
Thomas listed a number of other positive impacts that are a direct result of Quincey’s participation on the SRWMD Board of Governors.
Randy Blach, the chief executive officer of CattleFax of Centennial, Colorado, noted that he has known Quincey for almost 30 years now.
CattleFax is an economic analysis and market forecasting industry organization.
“Don’s passion, drive and leadership,” Blach noted, “have allowed him to overcome obstacles and create new opportunities that ultimately the rest of the industry benefited from.”
Blach noted that Quincey was among 13 founding members of the Florida Cattle Ranchers, which is a group focused on providing customers with high-quality beef that was born, raised and fed in Florida.
This is among the agricultural products marketed under the Fresh From Florida label, “… and is a farm-to-fork program that is a sustainable solution for producers and consumers alike,” Blach noted.
Beyond his leadership roles in the cattle industry and his service in the SRWMD, serving as chairman for several years, Quincey has been involved with FFA since Chiefland High School, from which he graduated in 1974.
Blach noted that Quincey is a lifetime supporter of FFA, as well as having been heavily involved with the University of Florida’s agricultural and athletics programs.
“During my 40-year career with CattleFax,” Blach noted, “I have had the opportunity to work with many of the greatest leaders in the history of the cattle and beef industry. Done clearly is one of those leaders,” Blach wrote.
Blach went on to note that Quincey constantly gives back to local, state and national communities by sharing his time, his wisdom and his treasures.
“He is an all-around great human being that is a joy to be around and work with,” Blach wrote. “His energy is contagious!”
Don Bennick of North Florida Holsteins of Bell was another contributor to a very large stack of correspondence sent to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame Foundation.
Bennick noted in his letter of Aug. 28, 2021, that his first contact with Quincey was 41 years ago when he moved a dairy farm from New York to Florida. Bennick noted that Don Quincey Sr. and Don Quincey Jr. became leaders in the dairy industry by providing support to new and established dairy farmers.
Bennick said the father-son team would send dairy farmers to other places on planes to learn best methods in their industry.
Like others, Bennick noted the pioneering spirit of Quincey who has now started marketing beef directly to consumers.
Quincey’s lifelong support of Florida agriculture and Florida products is a success story, Bennick noted.
“As is Don’s way,” Bennick wrote, “he is not doing this just for his ranch; he is helping other ranchers in the state do the same. Many have thrived that might not have been able to in recent times.”
In another letter that included notes of Quincey’s lifelong service to agriculture, Gene Lollis, the ranch manager of Archbold Biological Station Buck Island Ranch in Lake Placid (Highlands County), Lollis also details of the diversified cattle operation at Quincey Cattle Co.
Lollis, too, addressed the benefit to the people in communities going outward from this Levy County business.
“Today, through is innovative spirit,” Lollis wrote about Quincey, “he obtains approximately 80 percent of his commodity needs from within 20 miles of Quincey Cattle Company by partnering with his local farmers and using corn as part of the other farmers’ crop rotation – a win-win for farmers and making feeding cattle in Florida sustainable and feasible.”
Dr. John D. Arthington, professor and department chair of the University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ Department of Animal Sciences is a veteran beef cattle scientist serving research, extension, and administrative responsibilities with UF since 1998.
Dr. Arthington, in his Aug. 21, 2021, letter of endorsement for Quincey to be in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame noted that Quincey “is a supporter of our education, innovation and leadership in our agricultural community.”
The UF/IFAS Department of Animal Services chair noted that Quincey supports all of the mission areas of teaching, research and extension.
The cattleman has been highly supportive of UF students by offering internship opportunities as well as the resources of the Quincey ranch and feedlot to expand their learning.
“Don has an undeniable passion and dedication to the cattle industry and environment,” Arthington noted.
And as other writers noted, Quincey is not shy about pushing the boundaries and taking chances to improve the quality of life for everyone in a community.
Another of the many people endorsing this prestigious honor to be awarded to Quincey was Jim Strickland, owner of Strickland Ranch in Myakka City (an unincorporated community in southeastern Manatee County. Strickland noted Quincey’s leadership skills and his ability are what leads him to be a well-respected person of great integrity.
On Aug. 30, 2021, when he was president of the Florida Senate, Wilton Simpson also wrote a letter to endorse Quincey’s indoctrination into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
On Nov. 8, Simpson was elected to be the next Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services – as he takes the place of Commissioner of Agriculture Fried.
“It is a special privilege for me to extend my highest personal and professional recommendation for Mr. Don Quincey’s nomination to the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame,” Florida Senate President Simpson noted.
Like others, Simpson noted innovations by Quincey that contributed to the sustainability of the cattle industry.
“As a lifelong farmer, entrepreneur and business owner,” Simpson wrote, “I am acutely aware of the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in the agriculture business. I can personally attest to Don’s career-long commitment and many significant contributions to our industry.”
One of the best known bankers in the area wrote his endorsement for Quincey to be in the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
On Aug. 25, 2021, Drummond Community Bank Chairman of the Board Luther Drummond penned his nomination for Quincey to be in the hall of fame.
“I can think of no one more deserving of being honored for promoting the advancement of agriculture,” Drummond wrote.
The bank chairman told the nominating committee about Don Quincey Sr.’s lifelong history of promoting agriculture as being the beginning of Don Quincey Jr.’s story.
Drummond wrote about a New York dairyman discovering many daunting obstacles to establishing a dairy near Chiefland, including rezoning, community opposition to dairies, and people quickly spreading misinformation.
The father and son team stepped up and volunteered to help the dairy owner, including with the establishment of one large tract of land. Don Sr. and Don Jr. became the unpaid spokesman for this dairy farmer, Drummond said.
They began by organizing community support, Drummond said. They introduced the dairyman to “the right people” politically, and they bought the property they needed, and it was rezoned as required.
“Their support didn’t stop there,” Drummond said.
Don Quincey Sr. was a member of the Drummond Community Bank Board of Directors, and he arranged financing for the dairyman, Drummond said.
“This dairy still exists today,” Drummond wrote, “and it is an agricultural showcase for everyone in the way they have balanced agriculture with a strong strategic plan to protect the environment, and the way they give back to the community.”
The template for dairy development established by the Quinceys, Drummond said, helped bring other dairies to the Tri-County Area of Levy County, Gilchrist County and Dixie County.
The banker noted the importance of peripheral industries from the dairies, including farmers who grow corn, agricultural supply stores, and hundreds of other jobs that were created from the dairy industry in the area.
The sudden and unexpected death of Don Quincey Sr. in 1992, Drummond said, ended that father-son partnership, but Don Quincey Jr. did not stop. He continued the family legacy of promoting agriculture whenever he could do so.
Drummond said it is without any hesitation whatsoever that he nominates Quincey to be inducted into the Florida Agricultural Hall of Fame.
To read the first story announcing the two inductees, click HERE.
brothers and sisters in arms
on Veterans Day 2022 in Cedar Key
(from left) Patt Taylor, Kenny Martin, Ralph Alfonso IV, Jennifer Alfonso, Ralph Alfonso III, Jonathan Brooks, and John Caddigan stand on the porch of Liam & Maddie’s Beer, Wine and Spirits on Dock Street.
Story and Photos
By Charlene Calvillo, HardisonInk.com Correspondent
© Nov. 13, 2022 at 9:12 a.m.
CEDAR KEY -- On Veterans Day 2022 (Friday, Nov. 11), a group of local United States military veterans assembled on the deck of Liam & Maddie’s Beer, Wine and Spirits, 360 Dock Street (formerly the Black Dog), for the Annual Cedar Key Veterans Day Ceremony.
United States Army veteran Jonathan Brooks is seen during the Retiring of the Colors followed by Taps.
The ceremony began with an introduction by United States Navy veteran John Caddigan.
“This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died on our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day,” Caddigan said. “It fell on November 11th because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to ‘Veterans Day’ in order to account for all veterans in all wars.”
Veterans Day in the United States is a day to honor and celebrate all American veterans from the past and in the present. All gave some during their tours of duty. Some gave all, as they died during their active duty.
Some were drafted. Some enlisted voluntarily. Some remained in service long enough to retire from military service.
In the United States of America, Memorial Day's purpose is to honor military members who have died, while Veterans Day recognizes the service of all of America's veterans.
In Cedar Key on Dock Street for Veterans Day 2022, the Presentation of Colors by United States Army Veteran Jonathan Brooks was followed with the Star-Spangled Banner sang by Patt Taylor and Ralph Alfonso IV. Pastor Billy Dalton of First Baptist Church of Cedar Key provided the Invocation.
A Moment of Silence was observed by all in attendance and was led by United States Army veteran Jennifer Alfonso.
“With respect to the Veteran’s Day Moment of Silence Act of 2016,” she said, “calling on the people of the United States to observe two minutes of silence to honor the service and sacrifice of Veterans throughout the history of our nation, we will now take two minutes of silence in reflection of today’s events.”
United States Navy Veteran Kenny Martin read “Old Glory/I am the Flag” by Howard Schnauber.
In 1941 Schnauber signed up to be a member of the United States Marine Corps at the age of 19. However, he didn’t write the poem until 1994 offering a lifetime of thought in composure. Veterans Day, which heralds its 68th anniversary this year, comes just one day after the Marine Corps birthday on Nov. 10.
The historic signing of the peace treaty that ended World War I (July 28, 1914 – Nov 11, 1918) more than 100 years ago now, and the declaration of Armistice Day that led to the eventual creation of Veterans Day, was preceded by another historic day in November, as the United States of America was coming into existence. That is when today’s United States Marine Corps was created.
On Nov. 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marked the birth date of the United States Marine Corps.
An even more recent action than the events on Nov. 10, 1775, and Nov. 11, 1918, now helps carry forward a method to remember and honor veterans today.
A dozen years old now, the “Stars for Our Troops” campaign takes old, tattered and faded American flags that have been retired from service, and passes on the legacy of the embroidered Stars to those individuals who defended them. The campaign was explained by United States Army veteran Jennifer Alfonso. Attendees were offered a single flag star with a short description. To see more about this program please go to http://www.starsforourtroops.org/.
United States Army veteran Ralph Alfonso III read part of “A Debt That Cannot Be Repaid” By Andy Stumpf, which is published on Stumpf’s blog that is titled “Confessions of an Idiot.”
The part of “A Debt That Cannot Be Repaid” that was read is noted below.
“I’m sorry that you have never smelled the breath of a man who wants to kill you. I am sorry that you have never felt the alarm bells ringing in your body, the combination of fear and adrenaline, as you move towards the fight, instead of running from it. I am sorry you have never heard someone cry out for help, or cried out for help yourself, relying on the courage of others to bring you home. I am sorry you have never tasted the salt from your own tears, as you stand at flag draped coffins, burying men you were humbled to call your friends. I don’t wish those experiences on you, but I wish you had them. It would change the way you act, it would change the way you value, it would change the way you appreciate. You become quick to open your eyes, and slow to open your mouth.”
This year’s program by CK Vets was first planned to be held near Cedar Key City Hall in downtown Cedar Key. It was moved to Liam & Maddie’s Beer, Wine and Spirits. Last year, this ceremony by this group of veterans on Cedar Key was at Cemetery Point Park in Cedar Key.
Dixie County Commissioner Mills
urges county to continue fight
The four Dixie County Commission members now, after Commissioner James Valentine needed to resign due to health issues, are (from left) Commissioner Mark Hatch, Commission Chairman Jamie Storey, Vice Chairman W.C. Mills and Commissioner Jody Stephenson.
Story and Photos
By Jeff M. Hardison © Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:12 p.m.
CROSS CITY – Dixie County Commissioner W.C. Mills on Thursday morning (Nov. 3) let listeners know he thinks crab traps being stored in an area are in violation of Dixie County codes, and he wants the government to continue its efforts to help people stop that storage there. Vice Chairman Mills started speaking about this matter after the four men approved accepting $50,000 rather than the $63,000 due to the county in a code violation case. Mills said the County Commission had pretty much “boiled it (all) off the bone” in that code violation case.
Dixie County Attorney Chana Watson received a 4-0 vote of approval for her to issue a statement of satisfaction of meeting code enforcement payment obligations after the county accepts that $50,000.
Mills reminded people that Code Enforcement Officer Steve Fremen has worked very hard to enforce the ordinances of the county and the statutes of the state.
Mills said he has one more meeting before the voters participating in the Nov. 8 election decide his replacement.
He asked the County Commission to not allow the crab trap storage issue in Jena to simply fade away. The county has fought in court for three years so far, and it has invested thousands of dollars on legal fees in this effort to stop the storage of bad smelling crab traps near residences in Jena.
Mills said there are interests with a lot of money who are essentially telling the people of Dixie County that they have enough money to do what they want, and they don’t care about what the people of Dixie County think.
“That is one of the most egregious issues I have seen in this county,” Vice Chairman Mills said. “Money and power – to say to the little guys, ‘We don’t are what y’all think.’ Smell that mess!”
Mills said that from his perspective, this dilemma is not about who is doing it, or why they are doing it.
Instead, he continued “It’s about obstruction of everything that’s holy.”
Mills said that after he leaves office, he will still fight for Dixie County, and this is not something he intends to let go. That crab trap issue, Mills said, cannot be let go.
If the county rolls over and surrenders, Mills intimated, then that sends a message to other people that all they need is a big suitcase filled with money to do whatever they want, regardless of building and zoning codes, or even regardless of state laws.
“Don’t let it go,” Mills said. “Don’t let it go. The people that live there don’t deserve that. The administration (staff members) of this county don’t deserve it. And all the other citizens of this county don’t deserve it.”
Mills reminds everyone in Dixie County this could happen in their neighborhood next time.
Dixie County Manager Duane Cannon and Dixie County Attorney Chana Watson are among the staff members providing the County Commission with insight, guidance and suggestions during the regular twice-monthly meeting.
Seen here are Dixie County Commissioner Mark Hatch, Commission Chairman Jamie Storey, Vice Chairman W.C. Mills, Commissioner Jody Stephenson, County Manager Duane Cannon and Dixie County Attorney Chana Watson.
Deanna Sheppard of Haven Hospice speaks to the Dixie County Commission on Nov. 3.
Among the other actions was the approval of the proclamation noting November as National Hospice and Palliative Care Month in Dixie County. The County Commission approved the proclamation by a 4-0 vote.
Deanna Sheppard of Haven had previously received a similar vote of approval from the Levy County Commission and the Gilchrist County Commission.
During her presentation to the Dixie County Commission, Sheppard provided more information that was hands-on related to the 18 counties served by Haven Hospice.
Sheppard covers Levy, Gilchrist and Dixie counties, as well as part of Suwannee County and Lafayette County.
Haven provides help for patients and families regarding all aspects of end-of-life care and other matters.
This includes advance care planning, through in-home end-of-life facilities. They are involved with this at Cross City Rehabilitation and other institutions in the area, as well as at the Chiefland Care Center of Haven Hospice.
Beyond that, Sheppard said, Haven can help people with services for bereavement for up to 13 months after a patient dies.
Sheppard said people in the 18-county area can contact Haven for more information to help them with services.
For more information about Haven, visit https://beyourhaven.org/.
Greg Bailey of North Florida Professional Services speaks to the County Commission about projects NFPS is involved in, including seeking appropriations from the Florida Legislature for a seawall.
Dixie County Emergency Services Director Darian Brown tells the County Commission about firefighters and EMS personnel feeding veterans and their families on Thanksgiving. The four county commissioners each donated $100 ($400 total) to this effort this year. DCES crews come in on their days off at Thanksgiving to cook and deliver meals to veterans. That $400 is taken from a fund the County Commission creates by deductions from commissioners’ pay. Chief Brown also spoke about the Dec. 16 Christmas In Dixie event put on from 6 to 9 p.m. at Dixie County High School.
During his part of the meeting, among the events Dixie County Emergency Services Director Darian Brown announced was the Annual Christmas In Dixie event.
This will be the second year for the event. It is scheduled for Dec. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Dixie County High School.
Once known as The Fire Expo, the new name started last year.
It took on a new look last year, too, as it wove Christmas into the event. There is free admission. Once again, free hotdogs are anticipated as being available.
There are going to be free games, vendors and booths, as well as gifts for kids – thanks to donations of local business owners. Youths will be invited to touch a firetruck.
Among the celebrities planned for this event, Chief Brown said, are Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, The Grinch, members of Paw Patrol, adding that a “few more” similar characters may be there too.
A live fire demonstration is scheduled to show what happens when a dry Christmas tree ignites from bad wires being used to light it, as happens accidentally on occasion.
“It’s usually a pretty good night,” Chief Brown said.” It is a lot of fun, and hopefully a lot of people will turn out.”
Seen here are (from left) a vacant chair where Commissioner James Valentine had sat before he needed to resign due to health issues, and Commissioner Mark Hatch, Commission Chairman Jamie Storey, Vice Chairman W.C. Mills and Commissioner Jody Stephenson, and County Manager Duane Cannon.
County Manager Duane Cannon found 4-0 votes of approval for setting road construction priorities.
Commissioners also approved County Manager Cannon’s requests for the following:
● Appraisal to find the value of 39 acres of land at 6516 N.E. Highway 351. If this property is appraised and the county and seller agree, then the county would buy it at the appraised value to improve drainage.
● A safety luncheon to be held Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the School Board Meeting Room in Old Town.
● Payment of $7,700 for NaturChem to spray vegetation in the Airport Canal System to improve drainage.
● Execute a contract with DDD Construction and Site Work LLC for the Cross City Flood Management Improvements at a cost of $199,915.12.
● Add Suwannee Water-Sewer District to be part of the County Commission’s insurance group plan.
● Advertise for bids to mulch and clean out the Old Town Residential Canal System Project, based on recommendations from the Storm Water Task Force.
All County Offices will be closed Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.
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