This will be a first for Florida!

State Democratic Chair urges club members to unite

This will be a first for Florida!

Democrat’s Uniting!

Florida Democratic Party Chair Stephen Bittel

Chats with audience members after a speech in Sumter County on Saturday that was co-hosted by The Villages Democratic Club.



May 13, 2017


Wanting help in turning the Sunshine State back blue, the recently elected state Democratic Party Chair spoke to Florida’s largest Democratic club in Florida on Saturday.

The event was held at the Colony Cottage in Sumter County,

where Stephen Bittel urged the 2,000 members of The Villages Democratic Club to knock on doors


get people registered as well as unite behind the Democrat selected to run against Gov. Rick Scott next year

as well as the Democrat running in the 2020 presidential race.

Bittel added that President Donald Trump is pushing an agenda

that will leave 24 million people without health insurance


acknowledged Trump’s recent and controversial firing of FBI director James Comey.

“This is not the America that I dream of, that I grew up in, this it is not the America that you want to leave your kids and grandchildren,”

said Bittel,

standing at the podium in a packed meeting room.

“So we have work to do, together.”

CEO of Terranova Corporation and a major Democratic fundraiser,

Bittel was elected in January to lead the Florida party

after its humiliating presidential defeat by about 113,000 votes.

Happy Mother’s Day Girls

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Follower Women

Florida’s Live Oak

Nature’s Reflections – Florida’s Live Oak

March 31, 2017


Nature’s Reflections, SECO News

One of the most majestic trees of the South

The huge old Florida live oaks

(Quercus virginiana)

draped in Spanish moss,

are among the most magnificently beautiful trees.

Standing forty to fifty feet in height, they grow in a variety of soils.

These long-lived, pest-free trees are among our most valuable and historic shade trees.

The Spanish moss and resurrection ferns grow on live oak branches but are not harmful to the trees. Loved by some and disliked by others, these three plants have historically grown together in harmony.

Many of the largest live oaks are actually registered and thought to be more than two hundred years old.

As a native hardwood, the live oak ranks the heaviest – weighing 55 pounds per cubic foot when air dry (75 pounds per cubic foot, fresh weight).

These trees are known for their resistance to disease and incredible density. Periodic pruning helps to decrease the tremendous weight of the branches and keeps the tree from splitting under its own weight.

Today, the live oak is a prized shade tree. In past centuries, the trees were used to build naval ships. In 1828, the United States set aside 1,300 acres of land in the Florida Panhandle known as the Naval Live Oaks, which is now part of the National Park Service. Among the ships constructed from live oaks were the revolutionary privateer the Hancock, “Old Ironsides” herself – USS Constitution, and the USS Constellation, built in the 1790s. The wood was also used for: cart hubs, axles, screws and cogs of mill wheels, waterwheels and pilings. The wood is attractive for use as furniture or flooring, but proves to be too hard to work and finish easily.

When planting, leave a lot of room for growth. The key is not to plant them too close together, or in areas likely to suffer road, building or power line construction.

In January–February, live oaks shed their leaves when the old leaves are actually pushed off by the new growth. Acorns mature in September through October, average 390 per pound and germinate soon after falling. Acorns are favored by all kinds of wildlife and are of great nutritional value to many birds and mammals.

Column & photos by Sandi Staton