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Missy Layfield - Editor
09/29/2011 at 4:15pm Delete

Pssst…Have You Heard?

"The new library won’t have any books in it.”

If that sounds as absurd to you as it did to me, read on, as we decided to get to the truth of this island rumor this week.

The Beach Library approached Town Hall recently to inquire about permit requirements for some mobile buildings to temporarily house some of the library’s collection. When the expansion is complete, the books that will be housed in the new area will be moved into place. The existing building requires some work, necessitating that the book collections that will be housed in that part of the library be moved temporarily so the work can be done. This part of the project is expected to take 3-5 months.

The floor plans have been readily available for a long time in the library or online at Let’s take a walk through the new building.

The first floor of the expanded library, will have an under building parking area and the main entrance. The children’s and audio collections will be housed in the existing building area.

The second floor will house the large print, reference, teen, magazine & newspaper collections in the new building and fiction, non-fiction and Florida collections in the existing building areas. See page 13 for the floor plan of the 2nd floor.
09/22/2011 at 5:10pm Delete

It’s tax season. Not the April 15th IRS season, but the ad valorem tax season. That time of year when local taxing entities are required to hold Budget Hearings presenting their annual budget and millage rate for the fiscal year beginning October 1.

All property owners received a TRIM notice last month revealing the projected millage rates as well as their homes taxable value and the dates of Budget Hearings.

Yet there is plenty of confusion going around. Ad valorem taxes are about as confusing as Federal Income Tax. There’s the valuation of your property, then factor in whether you have any exemptions and Save Our Homes limitations. Once you have a taxable value, the individual millage rates then determine how much tax you’ll pay.

The taxing districts have no control over the valuation of your property. Nor do the local taxing districts have any say in how other districts or the county or state tax you.

The biggest chunk of your taxes go to the county and schools, adding up to about 11.5 mils or $11.50 per $1000 of taxable value. Our 3 local taxing districts, the ones that get the most heat during tax season add up to less than 4 mils total.

The largest chunk of local district tax money goes to the FMB Fire District. Last year they had a 2.5800 mil rate, this year they are looking at a slightly higher rate of 2.5820 when they hold their final Budget Hearing on Sept 29 at 5:05pm.
09/15/2011 at 3:35pm Delete

One month of the year is dedicated to a group of people who are very special to me-kids with cancer. The littlest ones, the twenty year old ones, the ones who are sitting in a waiting room right now waiting for their turn in the chemo room and the ones that are long finished with treatment and are trying to get on with their lives. The ones I know personally, and there are a lot of them. And the ones whose names I don’t know. The ones whose parents sit at their side 24/7 and the ones whose parents couldn’t handle it and have walked away. The ones who lost their battle with the beast that is childhood cancer and the ones who were victorious, but will carry their battle scars, often invisible, for the rest of their lives. The ones who have access to our country’s excellent medical care and those who will die before ever seeing a doctor in a corner of the world that knows nothing of cancer treatment.

There is much that is really ugly and hard to hear about childhood cancer, but the children-the children are all absolutely beautiful!

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Each type of cancer has its month and its ribbon. Each advocacy group is fighting for a bigger piece of the shrinking research pie in Washington, DC. Anyone who has fought the cancer beast knows better than to classify one cancer as better or worse than another. They’re all hell, period. Put a pretty ribbon on it, wrap a scarf around your shiny bald head, and try to hold onto "normal.” Underneath it all, the cold, bare, ugly fact is that cancer is hell and it takes your normal life with it, no matter what type you have or how much you strive to not let it control you.
09/08/2011 at 4:51pm Delete

Last week we had a brush with Murphy’s Law. At the office, one person was on a well-deserved vacation (yea!), another was scheduled for jury duty, yet another was sick, a couple of our regular writers were unable to write for us, the power was blinking on and off and we were waiting for the plague of frogs, locusts and hail to arrive.

Outside the office, our new home had the roof removed just as the torrential rains began. The temporary "waterproof” covering-not so waterproof. The mover who has been storing the bulk of our personal belongings for 2 years while we lived a pared down life in temporary quarters-well, they seemed reluctant to talk to us or release our stuff, most of which we’re sure we don’t really need now. The irony is we have to pay to move it here before we can sort it.

By Tuesday, it was clear that it was going to be a special week, and not in a fun kind of way.

We know well that these were not earth-shattering problems. We acknowledge that we are lucky to be able to call these problems. Many people deal with much worse on a daily basis, so our self-pity is short-lived and tempered by the knowledge that complaining is a luxury provided by the good life that we are fortunate enough to enjoy.

Actually it’s a reminder of our shared humanity for who among us does not sometimes feel like shaking your fist at the heavens and asking, "Why me?”