An alarming resurgence of anti-Semitism is taking root in places people wouldn’t expect. Take, for instance, the country of France. A recent attack in Marseille on a teacher at a Jewish School, Benjamin Amsellem, by young Turkish Kurd wielding a machete has once again caused great within the Jewish communities throughout the country.
Holly Nichols Named Golden Coconut Award Winner
By Trent Townsend
This past week, the Fort Myers Beach Elementary School and the Beach Kids Foundation presented the Golden Coconut award to Holly Nichols, the Elementary school’s art teacher. Born in Fort Myers, she is a graduate of Cypress Lake High School and Florida State University, where she got an Art Education degree.
“She teaches art two days a week for us, due to the size of our school,” Beach Elementary Principal Larry Wood said. “She’s an amazing talent, and she even stays after school on one of the days to run our art club for the kids. That’s just above and beyond the call of duty.”
“She does a lot of artwork for the school, painting things inside and outside,” Wood continued. “She even paints the scenery for our school plays, and never expects us to pay her for it.”
“She’s even better as a teacher,” Wood said. “From kindergarten up, the kids produce work that’s good enough to put in a frame. She’s an amazing person, and the kids and everyone else just love her.”
The school and Foundation even arranged for a surprise for Nichols on the day of the awards ceremony. Since Nichols didn’t know she would be receiving the award before the ceremony, her parents, her husband Jeff (with whom she has two children), uncle and sister were brought in for the award presentation.
“It was a testament to how much everyone appreciates her, that her whole family came in,” Wood said.
The Golden Coconut Award was brought back by the Beach Kids Foundation last year in order to recognize teachers’ creativity in helping the students going to school on Fort Myers Beach.
“The Foundation is not just about the Spirit of the Holidays and providing gifts for families in need,” Foundation member Judy Haataja said. “It goes far beyond that.”
Haataja stated that it was clear how much the kids appreciated the work Nichols put in when the teacher walked into the room that evening. “She’s well deserving of that award.”
In addition to the award, the Foundation also awarded the Beach Elementary with a check for $7000, which will go towards the purchase of 20 Chromebooks that will help aid in the children’s education.
“We’re going to use those for our 2nd grade Study Buddies afterschool program,” Wood said. “We’re also going to use them for our Book Battle program, which is also after school.”
“In addition to this, we will be using them during class times,” Wood said. “Once we get them, we’ll be able to determine in more detail where we can use them. We’re really excited about this.”
It’s our goal to get enough Chromebooks into that school so that every kid leaves the Elementary at grade level,” Haataja said. “When any child has a need in that school, we want to be there for them.”
A lot of attention has fallen on the water crisis taking place up north in Flint, Michigan. Back in 2014, the state government, headed by Governor Rick Snyder, switched the municipality’s water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River, putting economic ideology over pressing environmental concerns over whether the new sources water was fit for human consumption. Less than two years later, the concerns of environmentalists proved well founded, with Virginia Tech researchers finding that water to be highly corrosive, which in turn polluted the water with lead from the city’s water pipes. Now facing a class-action lawsuit, Snyder is on the defensive.
According to Dutch media and official statements, over 1,000 people clashed with their own government late Monday in a Dutch small town during violent protests against the plans to open a center for asylum seekers, most of whom are Muslims from the Middle East and Africa.
This was just the latest in a series of countrywide protests that has occurred in numerous Dutch towns and villages since late last year over growing tensions about the record numbers of migrants being allowed to settle in the Netherlands. At this most recent demonstration, police had to intervene and disperse the large crowd of approximately 1,000 people who rallied in central Heesch.
The signs of human trafficking could be all around Defense Department personnel: A subcontractor withholds passports and delays payment to its employees, or a company forces potential workers to pay a large fee to obtain a contract job on a DoD installation.
Another major election year is upon us and already we are hearing from the Republicans and Democrats who are shouting their ideologies to the undecided voting public. Both entities feel they have to negatively attack the opposition’s political agendas to sway voters to their way of thinking. Let’s look at this bell ringing - media fed firestorm in a practical way. The two dominating parties are divided on most all the issues that are plaguing our country today. They are in no certain order the economy, global warming, naturalization and foreign policy. What do you think would happen if both parties looked at one another’s solutions in a nonbiased view? The possibilities could be endless.
I am an independent but registered as a republican - I guess I am a conservative more than a liberal, sees good and bad points to each party’s way of thinking. With the Silent Generation – mid 1920’s to early 1940’s almost nonexistent and being part of a slowly dying baby boomers era, the popular vote now swings in favor towards the “Generation X” and “Millennials” forum. All our ranting and raving is nothing but a feeble attempt to change the minds of a growing population’s thoughts on the future of our nation. If we persist to battle our political rivals, we will push future generations closer to a “New World Order”. Believe me fellow boomers, it’s leaning that way. Enough said about that topic.
This leads me to the initial reason why I am writing this “Letter to the Editor”. Instead of spending our leisure time boasting our political views on deaf ears, we should be cultivating ideas to our future leaders who will inherit the mess that both parties have created. I have learned from my past years in corporate America to listen, understand why and approach the issues with an open mind. This immediately does two things. First, it defuses the opposition from closing their mind to your ideas. Second, it opens conversational dialogue that can lead to negotiations. Now is this so hard? This proven method can also be used in negotiating the proposed redevelopment of downtown Ft Myers Beach. But that’s all together another letter.
Politics is politics. Everyone has their theories how the world should be run. Liberals will always be socialist minded, and republicans will always be ultraconservative. None of us will most likely ever change our deep embedded political beliefs. However, we can help our up and coming prodigies make better decisions by discussing past experiences that might or might not correct any potential future miss-directives. Try to remember this as we get further into the year’s political propaganda of hate, negative campaigns and slander. Let the future read, “Baby Boomers leave a mark on history by listening, understanding and offering advice”! Wouldn’t that be something!
It was sunning itself on a rock like a "master of all it surveyed" when Jim Sweeney pinned it down with a snake hook and wrapped his hands around the middle part of its’ body.
No new coal leases will be issued on public lands while the Obama Administration conducts a comprehensive review of the federal coal program to identify and evaluate potential reforms, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced today.
Dean and Friends Delivers in Comedy, Song
The past weekend, the Junkanoo celebrated an era of entertainment with Dean and Friends, featuring a tribute to the Rat Pack and numerous other stars of days gone by with, including Marilyn Monroe, Jerry Lewis and Abbott and Costello. Selling out four whole shows taking place over two days (Friday and Saturday), guests were treated to a variety of entertainment, from stand-up comedy to singing.
The packed house was electrified with Bill Riley and Joe Ziegler gamely performing favorite Abbott & Costello bits (yes, that included the ‘Who’s On First’ routine, flawlessly played out in its entirety) as well as a pitch-perfect Don Rickles performed by Michael Walter, who brought an unexpected bawdiness with that left the crowd cracking up. Dawnn Stone teased the crowd with her turn as Marilyn Monroe, which included some audience participation that certainly left a few men with an evening they wouldn’t forget. Geno Munroe as Sammy Davis Jr. also brought his ‘A’ material, with Candy Man and Mr. Bojangles. The glue that held the evening together, though, was a dead-on Dean Martin, brought to life by Robert Cabella. Interjecting himself through the evenings events, he expertly moved the crowd from one performer to the next, never allowing a pause in the evening’s fun. He serenaded with Frank Sinatra (Frank Frizalone), and teamed with Jerry Lewis (Angelo Capone) for comedy skits.
The evening was also a bit of an end of an era for the Island, as this would be the last time this incredibly popular event will be taking place at the Junkanoo. The popular beachfront eating and entertainment destination is set to come down soon, and if this was the swansong for its major events, it was a worthy kickoff.
Dean and Friends is sure to return to the beach judging how well it received each year, and we’ll have to wait and see which of Junkanoo’s owner Alfredo Russo’s venues it lands in. However, one will need to get their tickets early. This year’s event sold out each of its shows months ahead of time.
By Trent Townsend