Sacha Samotin, 16, remembers as a young child that his grandfather bought him a book called "Ghosts of the White House." He was reading about the Presidents of the United States while other kids were exchanging Pokémon cards. He remembers at the age of nine watching the 2000 elections with his mom as the nation learned about hanging chads and the ballots were counted and recounted. All eyes were on Florida as the battle for the presidency was fought. It was an impressionable age, and Samotin found the whole ordeal fascinating. Two years ago Samotin began volunteering with the local Democratic Party in Naples and Sunday he will begin a semester as a page with the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C. He doesn't know which side of politics he wants to be on, in the spotlight or behind the scenes, but he knows he wants to a part of it.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
The Supervisor of Elections office in Collier County needed a little help with their web updates last night. They reported that 100 per cent of the votes were in. But, they failed to say it was 100 per cent of the absentee ballets that were counted. Anyway, this photo was taken after the woman running for school board (fourth from the left at top) was told (unfortunately by a Naples Daily News reporter) that the count was wrong, that the race was not yet over, and she had not, in fact, won. This photo was made as the news was announced to her supporters. She did eventually still end up winning the majority of the votes. But, the premature announcement was a bit annoying for some.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Looks like Fay might become more of a storm for the northern part of the state. She blew through Southwest Florida with some wind and rain, but no real damage. I was in Everglades City during the night of the storm and hung out at Leebo's Rock Bottom Bar, where the locals didn't seem too concerned, and then ventured out the next morning.... If nothing else, we'll be prepared if a stronger storm comes our way.
Friday, August 15, 2008
I spent some time following women who belong to the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist that teach at Ave Maria Grammar and Preparatory School. I was struck by how "normal" they were. They were about my age, all 30-ish, give or take a few years. They said words like awesome (and not only in the correct way of saying that God is Awesome.) They were kind and funny and were great with their students. Read the story here.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Born in Copeland Fla, in 1961, the ninth of twelve children. He grew up in Copeland and Naples, living in a world of poverty, abuse and drugs. At 17, he went to prison for the first time. He ended up in prison seven times, serving for a total of 22 years. Now in his late 40s, Nick Chandler has turned his life around, though he’s the first to admit that it’s been a struggle. He’s living in Sarasota, working and writing a book about his life, “Determined to Change.”