This past week I have been away from our Island City, traveling up north to the Garden State to visit with family. Along with the joy of being with my dad on his 89th birthday, was the great news that my brother’s battle with cancer is going remarkably well. 

So, as I celebrate life this week with family along the unseasonably cold Jersey Shore, the goings-on back home in Wilton Manors seem a world away. 

My deadline for getting this article submitted, along with my fast approaching departure date have snapped me out of a state of disconnect. Soon it will be time to go home and get back into the daily routine of work, home, and community. Luckily for me, home is an amazing place we know as the Island City. 

Someone once said, “Maybe you have to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point really is.” Well, that saying certainly rings true for me, because Wilton Manors is my beloved starting point, a very special place where many have made home.

Being here in New Jersey is always a harsh reminder of why we have the current leaders in Washington. New Jersey must be a hot spot of Trump supporters, seniors who spend their days glued to Fox News, being brainwashed like cult members of some Sci-Fi flicks of earlier days. Then after getting their needed fix from the Fake News Network, it’s off to Atlantic City where it seems they are equally possessed to throw their savings into penny slot machines. 

The ‘’Make America Great Again” mantra of these Trumpites is heard throughout the day, touting the wonders in foreign relations, the kept campaign promises, the skillful military action in Syria, and of great negotiating skills with world leaders. 

There is universal condemnation of the horrible liberal newspapers that keep attacking Trump and those damn Democrats who want to impeach and take down the Donald at all costs while ruining our country.  The mantra goes on and on and is an unnerving reality of life beyond our enlightened borders. 

Perhaps next year’s tax bill will shock many Jerseyites out of their Fox News induced hypnotic trance. Many will no longer be able to write off their high state tax bill as a deduction thanks to Trump’s tax break for the wealthy 1 percent and for corporations. Pocketbook issues have a way of snapping people back to reality. Seniors here in New Jersey only have so many old coins and gold jewelry to sell off to subsidize their gambling addiction. 

Snapping myself back to reality, there are many topics of importance that were left behind on my journey up north, topics many are still talking about in our Island City. 

Happenings at the Pride Center, upheaval in our local elections, public safety, development proposals, and much more continue to be discussed and debated in our city. I will hold off throwing myself back in the fray until after I return, fall back into the rhythm of paradise and catch up with all that was missed over my weeklong absence. 

The month of May is jammed with activities in our Island City, culminating with the annual Island City Canoe Race and our city’s anniversary celebrations at Richardson Park. Then, Memorial Day will mark the beginning of summer and serve as a harsh reminder that half the year will almost be gone. 

One event regrettably missed this past week was the city’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. This event hosted by the city recognizes the many committed and wonderful volunteers who serve on city boards and advisory committees. 

Many donate their time and their expertise, offer professional opinions and recommendations, and are a large part of what makes our Island City the best it can be. City staff and our elected officials also recognize the latest winners of the Community Spirit Award voted on by our Community Affairs Advisory Board to recognize the outstanding contributions made by community volunteers. 

It recognizes a local individual and a local business/non-profit organization for their service to Wilton Manors residents and promotes a sense of community. This year’s winners are Westside resident Jon O’Connor and Hunter’s Nightclub. Their commitment, along with all other community volunteers, makes our city the best it can be, lends a helping hand to others, promotes our city, and builds a community that brings us all together and is what continues to make life here just better and better and better.

Looking forward to coming home!