Banks County Opinions...

April 19, 2000


Editorial
The Banks County News
April 19, 2000

Qualifying means it's time for campaigning
Plenty of candidates have already thrown their hat in the ring for the positions up for grabs in the elections coming up this year. Plenty more will most likely join the lists next week as qualifying officially opens on Monday.
The arrival of qualifying means campaign season has arrived. A few rules for those seeking office include the following:
·Candidates' announcements - We have already run announcements from several candidates seeking various offices. These announcements are edited just like any other news copy. They are printed on page 2A or 3A, not on the front page.
·Advertising - We have a number of guidelines for political advertising. Those interested in running for office may pick up our four-page campaign ad pamphlet at our office in Homer.
·Endorsements - We have no plans to run political endorsements. In other words, we're not going to tell readers who they should vote for.
·Coverage of political forums - The Banks County Chamber of Commerce usually holds political forums for elections, though no dates have been set for this year. A political forum is one of the best ways for voters to learn about candidates and we will prominently publicize any such activity, while offering in-depth coverage of the events.
·Question-and-answer issues - We plan to offer all candidates a questionnaire concerning issues and the candidate's views prior to the election.


Letter
The Banks County News
April 19, 2000

Concerned about gun control bill
Dear Editor:
I feel your subscribers need to be made aware of a "gun control" modification.
On Feb. 24, Sen. Jack Reed from Rhode Island introduced a "Handgun Safety and Registration Act of 2000." The bill number is S2099 and has been referred to the Senate committee on finance. This bill would amend the IRS code of 1986 to require the registration of handguns. Within this bill, there is a requirement that ALL now unregistered handguns be registered immediately. These requirements will be incorporated into your tax forms so there will be no way to avoid them. Everyone who is concerned about this development should write their representatives and senators demanding their opposition to this amendment. Do it now if you are concerned about gun control in the United States. I have read this bill and I will be contacting my senators.
Sincerely,
Frances Waters
Homer

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Column
By Angie Gary
The Banks County News
April 19, 2000

A week in paradise
They call it paradise.
Palm trees blowing in the breeze as the bright sun shines overhead. The faint smell of the ocean as a ship passes by. The rest of the world cut off from this small island by a string of bridges. It's easy to see why they call Key West, Fla., paradise.
One of my favorite days at paradise came toward the end of the week when we headed to the beach. It's a small beach compared to Panama City and Daytona Beach, but it has everything you need-a stretch of sand with a wonderful view of the ocean and a string of concession stands offering everything from cool lemonade to a lounge chair to rent for the day. While some brave souls could be spotted parasailing, my biggest adventure was rolling over and reading another chapter in my book. It's a great way to relax and leave your troubles behind. The only problem is that the sun was so intense I was afraid my pale skin would burn, which led us to leave after only a few hours.
The Conchs, or native Key West residents, have dark sun-tanned skin. With warm weather year-round, it's easy to understand why. I went to Key West with my pale, white, winter skin and returned with a light brown tan. You can soak up the sun on the beach on the south end of the island or at one of the many pools found in the midst of tropical gardens of palm trees. I went to both and found the beach, with its gentle breeze and sounds of seagulls in the background, to be my favorite. It was even worth the sand which seems to stick all over my arms and legs and stay on until I take a shower and scrub it off.
We finished up our beach day by renting an electric-powered car or "beach buggy" and riding around the small island. I'm sure we went down every road at least one time as we enjoyed the pretty, intricate architecture of the homes and other island scenes. It's a windy ride but it's a great way to travel along the winding streets of Key West. The more adventurous can rent a scooter to speed around town on or a boat for an afternoon on the water. The powered car was enough of an adventure for me.
Another interesting part of the trip came during a brief stop at novelist Ernest Hemingway's home. As many people know, I love cats. I can't pass a cat without petting it. My love of cats, along with my interest in literature, made a stop at the home Hemingway lived in for some 10 years a must. Hemingway also apparently loved cats, as descendants of his six-toed cats still roam the home and grounds today. There are more than 50 cats of all colors and sizes and they have free rein at the house. They walk through the rooms, jumping on the furniture that people can't sit on, and lounging in sunny spots in the gardens and around the pool. I even got a picture of one of the cats, named Marilyn Monroe, curled up in one of the beds. She had just jumped off the shoulders of one of the tour guides where she was while he walked through the bedrooms telling us of Hemingway's life at Key West. I got another cute picture of another cat sunning in front of the swimming pool which was the first built in Key West. Hemingway's second wife, Pauline, had it installed for $20,000, which was a great deal more than the $8,000 purchase price of the house.
Hemingway wrote 70 percent of his novels at a small cottage across from his home in Key West. Visitors can also look inside it to get an idea of his environment at the time he wrote works such as "The Old Man and the Sea."
Wherever you go in Key West, you'll most likely end up back on Duval Street. It is the center of town and has most everything you are looking for, and some things you aren't looking for. Want your picture made with an iguana, snake and parrot? How about a henna tattoo which is put on with ink and lasts two to three weeks? How about a good meal-Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Thai or Japanese? You can find it all within walking distance on Duval Street.
Mallory Square is located just off of Duval Street and this is where a large crowd gathers each afternoon to see the magnificent Key West sunsets. These sunset celebrations have a fun, carnival atmosphere with street entertainers and vendors vying for attention.
My stay in paradise was entertaining and enlightening, but I was happy to return to my own paradise where my family and cat were waiting for me.
Angela Gary is associate editor of The Jackson Herald and editor of The Banks County News.


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