Letter to the Editor of the Citrus County Chronicle

August 12, 2017.  My following letter to the editor was published in the Citrus County Chronicle on this date.

I love reading my morning newspaper.  The first thing I do each morning, after making my first pot of coffee, is settle into my comfy rocker-recliner to check out the breaking news.  Unlike what I see on cable TV, most of it seems to be real, not fake.
I’ve tried reading those newfangled online e-papers, but have the darndest time figuring out how to enlarge the print and turn the page.  So, I’ll continue stumbling out in the dark each morning searching my driveway for the real thing.
My job took me to Long Island, California’s redwood country and the nation’s capital, where my days began with the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and Washington Post.  Now, my morning ritual begins with the Citrus County Chronicle.
So, instead of learning if President Trump managed to drain the swamp overnight (or drown in it), I now find out which roads in uninhabited Citrus Springs neighborhoods got paved, and which county commissioner is on the hot seat.  And, instead of reading whether Obamacare or Trumpcare is gaining steam, I learn how much muck has been removed from Kings bay, how the folks in Ozello are doing in keeping a condominium complex from being built in their back yards and how disruptive swimmers have been to our cherished manatee.
The Chronicle does usually include a one-page Nation & World section which attempts to summarize the goings on around the globe, but I also subscribe to the Tampa Bay Times and USA Today, just in case it misses something.  I enjoy all three, but now look forward to the Chronicle’s coverage of the community and Nature Coast area that I’ve come to call home.
I especially enjoy the editorial section and Publisher Gerry Mulligan’s witty Sunday column, and occasionally submit a letter to the editor attempting to match his wit.
I bypass the Sound Off section, believing that transparency should prevail, and anyone feeling a need to convey their bits of wisdom should reveal their identity.  I do read the letter submittals, but wish those chosen would focus more on local and regional issues, and less on the all too frequent polarizing expressions of political partisanship.  Folks can tune into CNN, MSNBC or Fox News for that.
After all, it is a community newspaper, is it not, as Mr. Mulligan appeared to proclaim in recent recurring ads posing with arms crossed and peering out at his readership?  I do wonder, however, why this community paper includes a separate Community page.
Yes, I do miss my Washington Post, but not the daily bumper-to-bumper rush hour commutes to and from Washington, D.C.  Rush hour commuters I now encounter consist of a few of my neighbors traveling bumper to bumper in their carts on their way to the first hole of our nearby golf course.  I smile and wave as I pass them by with my kayak on board, failing to understand why anyone would choose to chase after a little white ball than spend a relaxful morning on the water with fishing pole in hand.
I do continue to encounter bumper-to-bumper traffic while passing by our boat ramps, most at a standstill waiting in long lines to launch their vessels.  I don’t smile and wave at them because, like Washington, D.C. commuters, they don’t look happy, and probably wouldn’t wave back.
Maybe some of these boaters will share their experiences in future Letters to the Editor.  No Sound Offs, please.