Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online newspaper

Letters to the editor & Op-Ed


Thanksgiving: Remember, Above All, Your Gratitude

First Thanksgiving: Who Vetted the Guest List?

They Pander the Repulsive to the Bigoted

The Grim Reaper: Not Obliged to Give a Heads-Up That Your Number's Up

They Don't Sell Bear Meat at Whole Foods

Rick Scott Should Stay Out of Hospital's Business

FL Has Never Ceased It's War On Nature: The Latest Front – Bears

Development Runs Rampant Without State Controls

Another FL Special Session: It's Just Like Xmas – Minus the Joy

FL's Black Bears in Hunters' Sights Starting Saturday

NRA Has Gone All the Way Down the Rabbit Hole

Kids Need More Than Pre-K to Overcome Poverty's Obstacles

Jack CoryFL's Greyhound Racing Industry Deserves Protection

¿Jeb? Bush Comes Up Numb & Dumb: Again

Jeb Bush, "Stuff Happens"


I'm Done: Finished With Leaders Desperate to Get Elected

The Season When Conservatives Ramp Up the Crazy

Cruel & Unusual Punishment for One Murder Victim's Family

Homeless on the Rise as Agencies Go Underfunded

Nat. Truck Driver Appreciation Week
"Your Tomorrow Is on a Truck Today"

Rick Scott Runs Up Scorecard of Shame: Flori-duh, indeed

Uncertainty Lives in the Cone of Death

1971: U.S. Supremes Rule In-Favor of Parklands
2015: Port St. Lucie Preserve Under Attack

Tom Brady: Saved By the Union, But Who's Standing Up for the Little Guy?

Lying Low & Collecting Money: Absence Makes the Guv Grow Fonder

Our Country's Shameful Legacy of Poverty

The Deep Dark Hole of Generational Poverty: Breaking the Cycle With Boys & Girls Clubs

FL Anti SLAPP Law: Victory for Free Speech

If Hillary's Got to Go, Go Now

Unguarded Remarks: Do They Reveal the Real Jeb Bush?

Jeb Bush Vilifies Unwed Mothers, Ignores Economic Reality

Democracy in Florida Remains Lost In Spite of New Maps

Fox News Says, "Who Needs Journalism?"

Winner-Take-All-Winner Could Be Trump

GOP Takes its Lady-Parts Jihad to Planned Parenthood

We All Grieve in Different Ways on Different Days

FL Organizations Show Support for Planned Parenthood

Pro-life, Pro-choice: Still a Lightening-rod Issue

Gov. Scott Reaps Harvest of Sham from Planned Parenthood Fakery: or did he?

FL Teacher Bonuses Tied to SAT Scores: Their Own

Big Sugar Has Conservatives Chasing Their Tails

Sheer Neglect Threatens Florida's National Parks

FL Supremes Take Command in Redistricting

Free Public Schools Can Help Break the Shackles of Poverty

July 23, 2015  07:05 am | Op-Ed

Looming Narrow Point of Law Could Clear Death Row

If You Are a Sex Criminal, It Pays to be Rich

Florida Should Be a Solar Power Haven

What Is Really "Fair Districting" in Florida?

Map-Drawing Mendacity Nearly Killed Democracy in Florida

Gov. Scott's Job Growth Puffery Masks Florida's Low-Wage Future

There Are Southerners Worth Knowing About Who Bring Pride to Our Region

Most Americans Are Not Virulently Racist – Words and Flags Aside

Supreme Court More Often Goes Astray

Top State Pols Defend Florida's Right to Filthy Water

The Confederate Flag Must Go

Time Is Now to Take It Down: Heritage of Hate

Harvest of Thorns: We Won't Be Rid of Racism Until Elected Leaders Stop Using It

Take It Down Already! It's Toxic

Republicans Fret Supremes May Boot Obamacare

Jeb Cherry-Picks Where to Enforce His Faith

Pols Get Hot As Pope Warms To Climate Change: What's Next?

Beware of Jeb's Education "Revolution"

'Frack You, Florida': Rick Scott's Public Service Commission

We Stand Alone: Universal Health Care Access Must Come To U.S.

FL Health Care Expansion Defeated By Politics of Personal Resentment

Jeb Bush's Apparent Indifference to Real Lives of Most Americans

Police Body Cameras Can Exonerate As Well As Implicate

Ten Reasons Why Students Benefit From Uniforms In School

Lauren's Kids Poll On Sexual Abuse:
Be Shocked – Be Educated

Marco Rubio's Obstruction of Justice: The Wrong Verdict for all Floridians

FL's Presidential Hopefuls Forget Deepwater Horizon, But First FL's 850,000 Uninsured

My Boobs II: The Missing Gene – I Need a Drink

Gov. Rick Scott's Economic Growth Summit: The Politics of Make-Believe – Anything Goes

Florida's Uninsured Health Insurance Mess:
Getting a Handle On It

We Forget the Connection Between Us and Home

If FL Is 'Conservative,' Let's Conserve Something Besides Freedom To Cash In

Proposed Florida Bear Hunt Not Scientific or Humane

Why Do Republicans Favor Death Penalty So Much More Than Democrats?

My Boobs: Should they stay or go now?

Big Shug & Rick Scott's Minions Poison Land Deal & Amendment 1

Gov. Scott Puts KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) Principle to Work in Healthcare Debate

Tougher Ozone Standards Needed to Help Floridians Breathe Easier

Gov. & FL Republicans: Winning "War on the Poor"

FL Presidential Hopefuls: A Bumper Crop of Crazy

The Unavoidable Subject of Stupid

FL Rep. Matt Gaetz Tweet: Racist Content Impossible to Miss

Slackers in the FL House Leave 800,000 Exposed

Gov. Scott's Contempt of Court Must Be Stopped

Tainted FBI Evidence Puts FL Convictions in Doubt

Ignore Fracking Charge: Support Common Sense Oil & Gas Regs

Medical Marijuana Amendment Could Sway 2016 Presidential Election

Florida's Legislative Leaders Don't Trust Women

Rick Scott's FL: If the Flooding Doesn't Get You, Lack of Health Insurance Will

Rick Scott: Street-Walkin’ His Way to Washington

Rick Scott Has Lost His Conscience – If He Ever Had One

Politicians Respond to Racist Dog Whistles

Education Reform Bill: Dishonest and Politically Cowardly

Campus Sexual Assault Exposed: "The Hunting Ground"

FL Legislature Doesn't Care What You Think

FL Senate: Will It Realize Every Child Has the Right to be Loved?

Religious Freedom: Not a License to Discriminate

Amendment 1: At Session Midpoint, Disappointment Replaces Promise

Practical Ways Everyone Can Advocate for Children

Concealed Weapons On Campus – Tragedy In the Making

FL Guns on Campus Debate: Logic - Courage - Passion

FL Legislature Subverting Our Will on Amdt 1

To Rick Scott Open Gov't is a Closed Book

Legislators: Ignore the Death Mermaid At Your Own Peril

The State of the State Floridians Should Hear

Assisted Suicide: Death With Dignity

FL Leg in the Sticky Embrace of Big Shug

Gov. Scott: Give Kids a Break From Computer Plagued Tests

Gov Scott Owes George Orwell a Debt of Gratitude for Primer on  Doublespeak

Welcome to Tallahassee’s Festival of Bad Ideas

FL Men Can't Let Legislature Overpower Women

Everglades Supporters Break the Peace With the Sugar Industry

Ain't No Sunshine: Team Scott’s Business-As-Usual BS

What's Really Going On With Jobs

The Unrealistic Demands of Monogamy

Florida DCF's Orwellian Response to Child Thrown From Bridge

FL Capital Punishment: Death by Judicial Whim

Reject Bigotry and Evil Perpetrated In the Name of Religion

Fracking Reso's & Ordinances Don't Belong In Front of the County Commission

Posted February 6, 2015  04:30 am | Op-Ed

Our water resources must be protected and conserved. This includes protecting sources of water from degradation and contamination. A request has been made to the county to oppose fracking. This topic boils down to a question of appropriate priorities for the county to pursue. With other pressing issues needing the County Commission's time and the taxpayer's money, consideration of these blanket ordinances or resolutions is an inappropriate use of each.

Vaccines Can Stop the Deadly Effects of Meningitis

Anti-Immunization Insanity Endangers Kids

FL High Stakes Testing: The Nitty Gritty

FL School Superintendents: Appointed or Elected the Public Must Demand Better

Worthless? Florida's Cabinet: Bondi, Atwater, Putnam

Hey Parents, Let Your Kids Work It Out

FSU’s John Thrasher: Brave Enough to Thwart Campus Guns?

The 5: Making Laws, Spending Our Money , Towing a Line on Things We Know Nothing About

Marriage Equality Underscores Vital Role of Our Courts

Hitler's Dachau: Bearing Witness Even When It Seems Too Much To Bear

The Mandate is Clear: Don’t Slap Amendment 1 Voters in the Face

Lousy Education Policy Blurs Line Between Public – Private

Florida's Code of Judicial Conduct
Will the Supremes Listen?

10 Things You Can Do Besides Visit the Circus

Jeb & Hillary: Please Stay Home

Bondi's Pretending FL's Clerks of Court Exempt From US Constitution: That's Chutzpah

FL's Politician of the Year: Refurbished Rick Scott

SVTA Board Should Bring Back the Team That Brought it Back from the Brink of Bankruptcy

Florida's 2014 Top 10 Environmental Stories

Florida's Political Ditch Diggers of 2014

Torture & War: Sen. McCain Speaks With Authority

We're Back To Blaming the Victims for Rape

President Jeb Planning More Neocon Wars

It's Payback Time: What Will FL GOP Contributors Expect for Their Millions?

Professional Parliamentarian, C. Alan Jennings, Weighs in on The County 5's Bloodless Coup

Attorney/Author Jim Slaughter Informs About Robert's Rules After The 5's Bloodless Coup

Evolving Through the Stigma of Mental Illness: When Biology Backfires

Nowhere Are We More 'Separate and Unequal' Than in Florida

It’s Happened Again: A Sick Person Goes to a College Campus, Pulls Out a Gun, Starts Firing

Earthjustice Supports the President: Immigrants will have put the food on our Thanksgiving tables

Lake City's Blanche Hotel: Another Pruitt-Igoe?

Pipes vs. Parks: Did Voters Envision Sewage Plants When They Voted For Amendment 1?

The Environment Got 1.4 Million More Voters Than Scott: Now Is the Time for Vigilance

FL Is Number 1 in the Election Cycle – Surprised? More Money Spent Than Any Other State

Painting Rick Scott Green: We aren’t that stupid – I hope

FL Const. Amendment 3: "partisan political power grab of Florida's judiciary at the highest level"

Crony Capitalists Have Control Over the Government, Stock Market, Mass Media

Epidemic Freaking Me Out: But What If Stupidity Is Airborne?

Commonality of Ferguson, Sanford, Tallahassee
Those Paid To Control Crime: The Police

A Tenured Professorship For FSU's New President: The Height of Hypocrisy

Crist's Electric Fan: Did it short circuit Scott's reelection plans?

FSU’s Presidential ‘Choice’: Florida Cronyism Really Works

Florida's New Normals?:
Ray Rice, Jameis Winston, Rick Scott

FSU Presidential Search: a Farce

Needed: Higher Education, Not Higher Student Debt

I Had The Displeasure of Having To Ride SVTA

Former Suwannee Valley TA Operations Director: Team SVTA Accomplished Its Mission

For The Dogs: It's Time to Separate Greyhound Racing From Other Gambling

Greyhound Racetracks: A Plan To Turn Them Into Casinos In The Name of "Dog Saftey"

Florida: A Man-Made Disaster - Monument to Greed - Lust for Power - Bad Taste - Stupidity

Protect Florida's Future: Ban Fracking

Rick Scott: "Don't Be Askin' Me!"

A Gift To Have a Declaration Of Independence
An Ingratitude Not To Live By It

SCOTUS: Good For The Goose, Not Good For The Gander

Obama Not Born in US, Trump Has Proof

Uncontested Elections Are Un-American and Unacceptable

In FL: Poor People Whose Woes Are of a Civil Nature Are On Their Own

Bondi's Bogus Same-Sex Couple Rationale

Government in the shadows, not the sunshine

Remembering Maya Angelou: Fiery Poet of Peace


Scott and His Senior Staff Have Operated in Secrecy For Too Long

Enterprise Florida's Wasteful Spending Needs to be Investigated

Rick Scott “Chomps” The Youth Vote With UF Decision

Alveda King Remembers President Mandela's Courage and His Smile


Olustee: "I'm disappointed in "tit for tat". Enough is enough"

Olustee Descendant: Let their spirits rest. No new monuments

Shocked to find your publication

We Love Our Bugs: Microbes eat oil

Girl Scout graphicGirl Scouts: Build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place

Fairy Tales in Columbia County? A land give away? Nope, just business as usual.

Suwannee River Water Management District Promotes Water Conservation

Greenville, SC:  Dedicated public servants stuck to their plan.

Boondoggle in the Boondocks: Stop the Columbia County Events Center Madness Now

Boondoggle in the Boondocks: County Resident Gives Proposed Events Center the thumbs down

Columbia County Charter Amendments: Just Vote No

You Can't Ever Stop Being Vigilant: The Role of Alternative Media In Protecting Democracy

Agenda 21: Where is the tin foil hat? I may need it.

Lifeguard Ambulance, A Good Deal For Columbia County? Former union president weighs in

Columbia County EMS:
Time to stop reinventing the wheel

Time to Cut Federal Spending: ATF, An Antiquated Agency

Don’t Let Big Government Choose Your News

Raised to respect the law - A crowd about to riot?

Waste Pro, Columbia County's Carter Speaks: "Our word was our bond."

US Rep Dennis Kucinich: Am Wealth Stolen - Political Theater Diverts Attention

Scott's Medicaid Plan - No good for Florida

New York weighs in on Commissioner DuPree's pool

Florida Judge Ruled Correctly - Islamic Law Must Be Used

Sebring weighs in on
Commissioner DuPree's death trap

Economic reality, the next disaster

Growth and Prosperity
Public policy often based on unsupported assumptions

RV parking in Lake City
Time is of the essence to improve the image

Corruption in Columbia County
Remain quiet - nothing will happen

Cap and Trade coming to Florida

Gangster Government

Sounds like Lake City has fishy deal

We adhere to the highest ethical standards

Terry RauchJust use your "Common Sense"

Pastor moving in the right direction

Government Out of Control

Who’s Buried in the History Books?

Energize with Nuclear Power

Florida Crown Workforce Board -- To good to leave

Skinner_2_2008George Skinner, former Columbia Cnty Com., weighs in on the Florida Crown controversy.

Lake Shore Hospital Authority

Special to the Observer

The Whistleblower's Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing What's Right and Protecting Yourself

An Unreasonable Woman:
A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the
Fight for Seadrift, Texas

Bogus Allegations:
The Injustice of Guilty until Proven Innocent

Is Going to College Worth the Investment?

Even for Cashiers, College Pays Off