Much needed in today’s world

I just picked up the latest Arcadian in my driveway this morning. I wanted to let you know that this edition is a great example of what a local newspaper should be. Every article is a positive look at things happening in our community, a much needed perspective in today’s world.

With our political system so divided, with lack of respect and insults towards others the new normal, we need more of what the Arcadian has to offer. This edition was particularly pertinent, with each article showing how good folks make a difference each day and not seeking any recognition.

The Aug. 22 Arcadian featured articles that not only make you feel good but teach us how to improve our community by doing positive things, bringing us closer together instead of dividing us. Editor Craig Garrett’s story about a homeless man and his dog and especially the story about the Clark brothers’ park, proving that good things can come out of bad, are clear examples of how to make a difference in someone’s life. Craig had no less than five local stories this week, each one positive in nature!

I would like to take time to mention a few regular c . First, Luke Wilson, who has done his feature column every week “forever” as well as his editorial page cartoon that captures events of the week with a quality comparable to any national publication, never insults anyone but makes us think about daily things in a strange way, for sure, and always puts a smile on your face. To this day I can not figure out how he keeps coming up with this stuff. We are truly lucky to have him.

Second is a fairly new regular column done by Alibaba Lumumba. Each week he gives us positive pointers on how to live life and not push our views or opinions onto others. This gentleman teaches kindness not hate, and how to look for the goodness in others instead of what divides us. If you have overlooked his column because of his name and perceived religious point of view, please consider taking another look.

And there are others, like Carol Mahler’s weekly history articles where we learn about how our community came to be over the years, and Karen Smoke who is bringing us some fun stories on biking and enticing us to get off the couch and move our old muscles, help round out each edition.

Thank you, DeSoto County!


DeSoto County recently installed solar-powered flashers on the stop sign at Peace River Street and Kings Highway. This is a much needed improvement because the highway is busy and the intersection gets a lot of traffic from folks who are unfamiliar with the area.

Bob Ray was the main advocate for this. He reached out to DeSoto County and they got it done. We should all give Bob and DeSoto County a pat on the back and a vote of thanks for making our neighborhood a little safer.

Help wanted: workshop volunteers

The Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida is seeking volunteers to lead workshops to help seniors in Charlotte, Sarasota and DeSoto counties manage their chronic conditions. Free training is provided to volunteers who wish to be trained to lead the Stanford-designed Chronic Disease Self-Management Program, or CDSMP.

Living with a chronic condition such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, pain or anxiety can be a daily challenge. The CDSMP is an evidence-based wellness program designed to help older adults and adults with disabilities to make a step-by-step plan to improve their health and their lives. AAASWFL has received grant funding to offer these workshops in six Southwest Florida counties, including Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota. 866-413-5337, www.aaaswfl.org

Kirsten O’Donnell

Director of Communications

Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida, Fort Myers

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