No to annexation
The city of Avon Park has been pushing hard to annex adjacent unincorporated areas. City manager, Julian Deleon, even admitted it was being done to expand the tax base of the city. To put this succinctly, the city leaders in Avon Park want to get into your wallets.
The largest and most populated unincorporated area near the city is Avon Park Lakes. I feel certain that Mr. Deleon and the Avon Park City Council are hungrily eyeing the potential tax revenue the Lakes area would bring if it were annexed.
Let me assure these money-hungry politicians that most of the people who make Avon Park Lakes home are quite happy not having Avon Park raiding our wallets. Further, it is nice not to be involved in the regular soap opera that is politics in the city.
The Highlands County government serves the people in the unincorporated parts of the county very well and in a cost-effective manner. It is time for people outside the city limits to tell Mr. Deleon and the city council no thanks. It is also time for Mr. Deleon and the council to stop looking at people outside the city as nothing more than extra taxpayers to add cash to city coffers.
If annexation heads your way, hold your wallet and run.
Dana B. Orr
Adjusting to cold weather
In her Jan. 9 column, Dorothy L. Harris explains the chaos of living up north. Her friend transitions from living always in Florida to now living in Maine and finds it nearly impossible to live there. I understand her friend's feeling. I have been living in Florida for 13 years and have completely enjoyed every moment of it. As far as I have been here, the coldest temperature has been 19 degrees (on one occasion a couple of years back.) Even so, the sun is out most of the time so the cold really isn't that cold.
We can bundle up and have no snow to shovel so we are all good!
However, something that I think differently about is that the cold really might not be that hard to accommodate to. As a child in Indiana, I realized that even though the weather was not always nice and warm, there always were resources and methods for our staying nice and toasty. We would always have our chimney on and bundle ourselves very tightly. As we tried and made the best of our situation, the happier we were.
Other than the heater and the fireplace there are homemade things you can make and use. Yes, it may sound cheesy or corny, but you can use candles, steams and many other things to keep yourself as warm as you possibly can! I suggest that someone in the cold try to do as many fun things in the home (whenever their free time may be.)
Of course, the Midwest and Indiana aren't the coldest places, however, that shouldn't stop anyone from going and having some fun with unique ideas. Sure, it is frustrating to shovel out snow from your driveway and it is depressing when everything freezes up like icicles. Hypothermia is not fun, neither is frostbite. I know.
Accommodating to someplace new can be hard but not impossible. With a positive attitude, life in the "arctic" weather will be much easier!