Communication Builds Our Community

Articles written by Editorial Board


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  • OPINION: Slaton Faces Choice That Will Affect Thousands

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jun 21, 2024

    Lake Wales City Manager James Slaton finds his relaxation, he recently told Lake Wales News, by fishing, typically on salt water far from the ring of a telephone. It's an understandable outlet. Slaton has demonstrated that he can play just as well on dry land, whatever the game. The job of city manager is undoubtedly one of the more interesting and challenging careers in the modern workforce. Charged with running a government as an appointed, rather than elected, official,...

  • Lake Wales Commissioners Challenged to Find Path to Employing Envisioned Plan Principles

    News Editorial Board|Updated Apr 18, 2024

    Lake Wales is bound to grow, and in the minds of many, it needs to grow. Increasing demand for city services can easily outstrip revenue. City commissioners have a tough job dealing with the pressures brought by development proposals, along with the vocal opposition some of those proposals have generated. The commission's decision Tuesday to deny a high-density development on a small parcel near Lake Alta pleased many residents of that neighborhood but drew complaints from...

  • The News Recommends: Carol Gillespie for Seat 4 on Lake Wales City Commission

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 26, 2024

    Lake Wales voters will have significant choices to make in two races for the Lake Wales City Commission on April 2, choosing from among candidates who offer sharp differences in their approaches to governing and attitudes toward the challenges confronting the city. All city voters are eligible to cast ballots in the non-partisan district 2 and 4 races. The district 4 race presents voters with the starkest choice in many years as incumbent Danny Krueger faces a challenge from...

  • The News Recommends: Brandon Alvarado for City Commission Seat 2

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 26, 2024
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    An April 2 day of decision is upon Lake Wales voters, who have significant choices among candidates who offer sharp differences in their approaches to governing and attitudes toward the challenges confronting the city. All city voters are eligible to cast ballots in the non-partisan district 2 and 4 races. In the District 2 race, Daniel Williams is facing two challengers in Brandon Alvarado and Crystal Higbee. On a city commission that has been criticized as failing to...

  • A Free Press Serves as a Watchdog on Government and Politicians

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 1, 2024

    Government is complicated. Elected officials, even those responsible for leading a city such as Lake Wales with its billion-dollar budget, face a multitude of questions and issues. It is certainly not within the capacity of any one individual to have total awareness of every matter that must be decided. The role of the press as a watchdog over government is a long-established principle, one that has for nearly 250 years of American history served to keep politicians on the str...

  • Facts, Not innuendo, Should Guide City Business, Citizen Behavior

    News Editorial Board|Updated Feb 22, 2024

    People often look to their perceived "leaders" for guidance on conduct. In an atmosphere of charged and heated politics on a national level, it is no wonder that people are too often quick to accuse or insinuate wrongdoing even in their hometowns. Lake Wales is not immune from such behavior. Such problems can be exacerbated when evidence arises, as it sometimes will, that political decisions have resulted in unexpected outcomes. When that happens, the solution is neither ignoring the problems nor making wild accusations of...

  • Will Lake Wales be Overrun by Growth? Envisioned Effort Offers an Alternative, But it Needs Your Input

    News Editorial Board|Updated Aug 2, 2023
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    Change is coming to Lake Wales. Are you worried? If so, your concerns are shared by thousands of your friends and neighbors. Ours is a growing community. This special place has been "discovered" by ever-larger numbers of people who would like to share in the unique qualities the city offers. As the agricultural basis of our economy is changing, so is the land use. Unproductive citrus groves decimated by disease are being offered for sale. Savvy developers are snapping up...

  • Enforcement Needed to End Carnage on Area Roads

    News Editorial Board|Updated May 18, 2023

    A bloody toll of fatalities and serious injuries during the month of May has left multiple area families mourning their losses. The rash of deadly crashes is a clear call for increased law enforcement presence on area streets and highways. So far in this month, at least five people have been killed in four fatal accidents in the Lake Wales area. Three of those occurred in two crashes at the single intersection of US 27 and Washington Avenue. Earlier this month two Haines City...

  • "Welcome Home" : Honoring Vietnam Veterans 50 Years Later Still the Right Thing to Do

    News Editorial Board|Updated Apr 12, 2023

    Honoring those who have served to defend is a longstanding tradition in nations around the world, no less so in the United States. The freedoms we enjoy, so easily eroded from within, were also defended from foreign enemies by those who have donned the uniforms of our five branches of service. March 31 marks the end of what is considered by many the saddest of America's military efforts. Tens of thousands died in the futile conflict, both military and civilian. Opposition to...

  • EDITORIAL: Limiting Speech at Commission Meetings Is a Bad Idea

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jan 4, 2023
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    Stifling Dissent is Not a Solution The essential freedoms that we often take for granted as Americans set us apart from much of the world, where speaking out against a government action or official can bring harsh responses. More than ever, speaking out is needed in Lake Wales. There is no better forum for sharing concerns and ideas about the course of our community than the meetings of the City Commission. Now, under a proposed resolution, Lake Wales citizens may be...

  • Polk Forever Provides a Way to Help Slow Runaway Development

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jul 29, 2022
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    The crush of development pressure that has been applied to Lake Wales by the owners of large tracts surrounding the city has raised alarm in many quarters. Ownership of land conveys many rights. Landowners are aware that resources are limited, and that commitments for water and sewer capacity are best reserved well in advance of their need. The deluge of annexations and platting doesn't mean all those new homes will be built anytime soon, but that's small comfort to area...

  • Why LakeWalesNews.Net Will Not Endorse in City Races

    News Editorial Board|Updated Apr 2, 2022

    As the campaigns that will shape the election of a mayor and city commissioner come to a close, some have asked whether our editorial board will endorse any of the five candidates. We believe a response is in order. The three candidates for mayor, Curtis Gibson, Jack Hilligoss, and Tammy James, agree on much, but offer clear distinctions in their leadership styles and priorities. The two candidates for city commission seat 4, Danny Krueger and James Loydd, differ not only in...

  • A Disservice to Students, Parents, Community

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 19, 2022

    Lake Wales has been blessed by the creation of the Lake Wales Charter Schools system nearly two decades ago. Now representing seven schools educating students in grades 1 through 12, the system has received nationwide attention for its innovative methods. Competition between schools for the attention of parents and students has been a positive. The mere existence of the quasi-independent district was likely motivation for improvements at Polk County School System's McLaughlin...

  • Solar Energy Takes Hit From Florida Legislature

    News Editorial Board|Updated Mar 18, 2022

    As Russian tanks roll into Ukraine and global energy supplies are pinched, rising prices are driving home the point that dispersed sources of renewable energy are critical to our future. While the price of oil, used to generate electricity as well as power vehicles, shoots through the roof, the cost of solar and wind energy continues to fall. Everyone seems to get that, except our Florida Legislature. In doing the bidding of energy giant Florida Power and Light, a regulated...

  • City Investment in Walesbilt Project Justified

    News Editorial Board|Updated Jan 19, 2022

    Symbols of Success and Failure Long recognized as the dominant symbol of downtown Lake Wales, the eleven-story Walesbilt Hotel is now among the dominant topics of conversation in the city. Opened with great fanfare in 1926, the hotel has seen good times and bad. It fell victim to the Great Depression in its infancy, hit its hey-day during World War II, and was last renovated in 1972. Vacant since 1995, it's been abused, stripped of its prestigious furnishings and trim, and...

  • Net Metering Bills Are An Affront To Florida Freedoms

    News Editorial Board, LakeWalesNews.Net|Updated Jan 18, 2022
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    The energy demands of the Sunshine State are rising apace of our booming population. New homes, schools, and businesses need electricity in plenty. The problem for Florida is that generating most of that electricity requires vast amounts of water to cool the generators. Water is in increasingly short supply. Enter a solution: solar electric energy. Power from solar panels is used in ever larger percentages across the state and requires no water for cooling. Rooftop solar has c...

  • Proposal for Partisan School Boards a Bad Idea

    Editorial Board, LakeWalesNews.Net|Updated Dec 13, 2021

    Democracy relies upon "the consent of the governed" to function. Consent implies an understanding of the questions of importance to the populace, which in turn requires an educated electorate. By these steps of logic, Public education is the bedrock upon which American freedoms are based. More than 20 years ago Florida voters overwhelmingly voted to remove partisan politics from Florida's public school boards, making them among the few Florida public offices, along with most...

  • EDITORIAL: How Will Lake Wales Stop "Urban Sprawl" and Maintain its Small-Town Feel?

    News Editorial Board, LakeWalesNews.Net|Updated Nov 30, 2021
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    Citing private property rights and the current broad wave of development interest around Lake Wales, the City Commission is faced with a tough balancing act: allowing rapid growth while seeking to protect the city's "small town feel." That desire has been voiced by at least three commissioners in recent meetings, none more vocal in their sentiments than Deputy Mayor Robin Gibson, who has delayed discussion in agenda 'workshop' meetings to repeat his opposition to "urban...