• Shoaf: College isn’t for everybody


    For decades, government has been working to improve high school curriculum so our kids are college-ready.
    What about the kids who aren’t going to college? What have we done to help them be successful in life?
    College is not for everyone. In House District 7, roughly 75 percent of residents didn’t choose to go to college or didn’t finish college[i]. Too many of our kids are left behind with just a high school degree and a ticket to a minimum wage job.

  • BEREAVEMENT COLUMN: A pastoral rebuke


    Recently I worked with a beautiful family who had lost their matriarch.
    The children and grandchildren were, of course, distraught over their significant loss and were at times emotional during the services.

  • Impressed with commissioners


    I haven’t covered county commission in a while.
    When reporter Erin Hill, who usually covers most local government, said she was sick on Monday, that meant I had to go to the county commission meeting.
    I had heard over the last couple of years how well the past board got along.
    You could argue that they got along because there weren’t any great controversies that they had to take a stand on.

  • Saving money in the new year


    Ican’t believe it’s the end of the year already. I feel like the past eight months or so kind of just flew by.
    Now it’s time to take down my Christmas decorations, and make New Year’s resolutions again.
    I said I was done with New Year’s resolutions. One year - 2010, I think - I broke all three of my resolutions within the first five minutes of the ball dropping.
    I remember two of them. One was to stop eating pork, and the other was to not lose things like my phone, or my keys, or my I.D.

  • Stop for the babies!


    Despite the fact that I have one of those faces that make me seem angry even when I’m not, for which I thank genetics and my father, I tend to be a passive person.
    Not much upsets me really, and when I do get annoyed it is short lived.
    However, as a mother, one thing that does infuriate me is when people are inconsiderate regarding the safety of my children and/or the children of others.

  • Still waiting for my Polaris submarine


    It was, I suppose, my first experience with a rip-off.
    This ad for Polaris nuclear submarines ran in the back of comic books when I was a kid, and I just had to have one. Just had to have it.
    “It’s a rip off,” my father warned. “It’s just a cardboard box.”
    Obviously, the man could not see the incredible picture! Obviously, he could not read the incredible ad copy!
    I pointed to the picture – I read from the copy.

  • Volunteer for Big Bend Hospice

    of Big Bend Hospice

    Big Bend Hospice has excellent volunteer opportunities that will enable you to engage in meaningful and tangible results for the new year. When most people are asked if they’d like to become a hospice volunteer, they immediately think of sitting by a person’s beside who is actively dying. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • What Christmas is about


    My son Scott has always wanted to serve his community and his country, but he didn’t see the military as an option for himself.
    So when he learned that the local sheriff’s department was looking for some reserve deputies to help when needed, he decided that might be his opportunity.
    After weeks of intensive training, the day of graduation finally came. It wasn’t long before he was going on patrols with the regular deputies and helping where he could.

  • Getting into the Christmas spirit


    If I could move anywhere in Florida-whithout having to worry about things like having to find and to buy or rent a home that I could afford - I’m pretty sure I would chose to live in St. Marks.
    For some reason St. Marks reminds me of a fictional town in a Hallmark movie, especially during the holidays.
    Last Friday evening I had the pleasure of going to the St. Marks golf cart Christmas parade for the first time.

  • ‘Elf the Musical Jr. ’ was a great time


    The holiday season is my favorite time of year.
    I love all the sparkles and glitter, all the lights and cheer, and especially the hot cocoa!
    This past weekend my daughters and I went on a Christmas adventure, trying to drink as much cocoa and fit in as many Christmas activities as we could.
    One thing we attended was the Wakulla High School’s performance of “Elf Jr., The Musical.”