Many thanks to those of you who were kind enough to respond to my last column in this space. My recap of the session was not as replete with accomplishments as we all would have preferred.
Our timely and, in my view, compassionate handling of the flag matter, despite significant technical obstacles, was unfortunately the thing for which the session will likely be remembered.
Your calls and emails, although not a large sample, give some confidence that our decision to place the flag in a more appropriate museum setting was the right thing to do.
That said, there is also strong consensus that we in the legislature should not embark on a campaign to purge the names of historic figures from monuments, buildings, bridges or highways. This is absolutely in line with recent remarks given by Speaker Jay Lucas.
Because the session and the aftermath ran so long, many of us are already deep into the preparations for the next part of the two-year session. As chairman of the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC), I have been asked by several members to use our investigative powers to look into the relationship of the state and Planned Parenthood, especially concerning their fetal organ-harvesting program.
This of course was prompted by the release of disquieting videos from a little-known organization called the Center for Medical Progress.
At this writing, I am putting together a meeting of the LOC to see whether the membership wishes to look into the relationship between the state and Planned Parenthood. Although the videos are a matter of deep concern for me and many others, we must be committed to a measured and prudent approach in any official response to such an emotional issue.
On the home front, it seemed as though the children’s summer vacation only lasted a week or two. Between camps and short visits with relatives, we found ourselves with only a week for an all-together family trip.
With both time and economic restraints to consider, Rose and I (with considerable other input) decided to make our first trip to the Florida Keys. To say we made the very most of it would be an understatement.
The ten hours on I-95 was something of a grind, but as we left the mainland for the clear blue-green water of the Keys and Islamorada, we were all pretty excited.
Our first ever deep-sea fishing trip was spectacular. The young’uns boated mahi-mahi that were as big as they are. Snorkeling among corals and reef fish and other critters in water with 100 plus feet of visibility was almost dreamlike.
Our guides explained to our budding environmentalists the importance of clean water and proper land management to the natural cycles of all the different life forms, including even those in masks and flippers. Needless to say, we were all enchanted.
Fortunately, enchantment comes in many degrees and varieties, one of which we all shared as we sleepily drove over the Myrtle Island causeway at the end of our family expedition.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.