FCC Columnists Express Viewpoints

By Ray, Rich | The Florida Times Union, October 6, 2001 | Go to article overview

FCC Columnists Express Viewpoints


Ray, Rich, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Rich Ray, Times-Union staff writer

COMMUNITY COLUMNISTS

Several First Coast Community residents share their insights, views, opinions, thoughts and experiences through our First Coast Community Columnists Program. Here are a few of the contributions you can read this week at www.firstcoastcommunity.com.

HURBEAN'S ISLAND

This week marks John Hurbean's 20th contribution as a First Coast Community Columnist. Along the way, the Amelia Island resident admits to learning quite a bit about the experience, and himself.

"With a full-time job and a wife, it's not all that easy finding the time to write, or the topics to write about, each week," he says. It's not uncommon for John and other columnists to send me rather frustrated e-mail messages and columns in the middle of the night. Frustrated or not, with a clear topic or not, John and the other columnists keep plugging away, with a desire to express their point of view, hone their writing skills and assemble of body of work online for others to enjoy.

A few days ago, I asked John what his column for this week was about. Here's his response: "I don't really know what the column is about. There is a deep-seated sadness that I can't seem to forget and don't want to forget. It's the face of evil and the fear of innocent people in airplanes and office buildings going about their daily business. The impact ripples across the planet. They might have blown up buildings in New York and Washington, but I feel it here on my little island. Maybe John Donne was right. As much as I've tried, "No man is an Island, entire of it self."

OUTDOOR DESTINATIONS

First Coast resident Paula Snellgrove has a passion for the great outdoors. Each week, she shares insights, tips and views to inform others about the many outdoor recreational spots on the First Coast. Typically, each of the native Floridian's columns features a different park, forest or wildlife management area. Paula often includes information such as the type of amenities available at each location, whether or not pets are permitted, the types of trails offered, if bicycles are allowed on trails and directions to the outdoor recreational area.

This week, Paula reviews the Westside Regional Park. This park is maintained by the city of Jacksonville and, according to Paula, it's a place offering "a wonderful day in the country close to your own front door."

REALITY CHECK

What can you expect from Abel Harding each week? Typically Abel presents rather sarcastic observations about what he experiences in everyday life, both here in Jacksonville as he travels throughout the Sunshine State. Occasionally, Abel "lapses into somewhat serious prose" over important issues facing all of us. Such is the case in his most recent column. In the weeks following the tragic events of Sept. 11, we have all lost our footing to varying degrees. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and others have offered rather off-the-wall moralistic reasons for the attacks, Americans have been urged to bomb Afghan civilians, talk show hosts find their views banished from the airwaves, and misguided and uninformed U.S. citizens are even inflicting hate and violence upon one another. In "Preserving Justice," Abel takes a deep breath, steps back a bit, and offers a refreshing view of alternatives and level-headedness during these topsy-turvy times. …

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