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For most of us, the shelter-in-place precautions we’ve taken during the coronavirus pandemic have been more irritating than life-threatening.

Like so many people, I have a tendency, whenever I have a dull moment or two, to pull out my smartphone and tap on that Facebook or Twitter icon.

With school out for the summer and our local children doing their very best to avoid even the appearance of academic engagement of any sort, you’d think things would be a bit quiet on my end, given my frequent focus on educational matters.

There has been a lot of grumbling from some in cinematic circles that modern filmmaking is too tied up in the dubious business of fueling the fires of franchise obligations.

I remember the halcyon days of my youth, when responsibilities were fleeting and easy to put off and schoolwork was mostly an afterthought.

I was in high school when the shootings at Columbine High School occurred, finishing up my freshman year at Monroe Area High School.

For all the perennial complaints of schools teaching to the test, of students boxed into one size fits all educational approaches and our national educational apparatus seemingly on the brink of collapse at all times, I think a lot of people should take the time to actually drop by the schoo…

I make you one promise that will hold true for the next 18 months and beyond, as we suffer together through the terrible national tragedy that is presidential campaign season: I will not announce my candidacy for president of the United States.

As is always the case with technologic trends, I am always a latecomer to the pary.

The arrival of a new year brings many changes, from the simple — like trying to remember to write a new last digit on the year when drafting a check — to the profound — new meetings, new family members, new opportunities, any or all of which can occur when we least expect it.

The role and position of a newspaperman is one of maintaining a perennial balance between confidant and interrogator, between insider and outsider.

Of late, we hear a lot of bad news, no matter where we’re getting our news.

They say — that shadowy cabal of anonymous proverb quoters which goes by the name “they” — that after a certain age, you no longer feel older on your birthday, but on the birthdays of your children.

On Tuesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nominations for their annual award show, that minor show biz event we colloquially dub the Oscars.

Living this deep in the Bible Belt, I’ve never been terribly surprised that almost every public meeting I attend in Walton County starts off with prayer.

One of the advantages of my job is it gives me a lot of excuses to go places most people won’t, or can’t, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of various aspects of Walton County.

As we fast approach All Hallows Eve, when we take a day to celebrate the darker, spookier side of life, it seems this year that things are already a bit scarier than average.

We tell children of the importance of reading, but how many of us mean it?

One of the big movie releases this weekend is “First Man,” the new film from Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle, depicting the astronaut career of Neil Armstrong.

Seasons are less times of year than actual places, landscapes that overlay familiar environs we inhabit, transforming them into new vistas.

As I’ve emphasized more than once, the aspect I often enjoy most at Friday night football games in the county has nothing to do with the teams on the field, but the marching bands who take over that field at halftime.

As an inveterate film buff, I have a probably unhealthy interest in the annual pageant of nonsense and flim-flammery we officially designate the Academy Awards.

College football has a strong gravitational field as a topic of discussion and, yes, often obsession.

Compared to most sub-cultures online, book readers are relatively sedate compared to other, flashier forms of media and culture.

Many of you in my regular coterie of readers may have wondered in recent months where my trenchant insights into politics have gone.

On Wednesday, my brother called up from his benighted home in Florida — seriously, I think that place is probably cursed, especially in his parts around Gainesville — to give us the good news: the baby he and his wife are expecting will be a little girl.

We recently celebrated a national day of recognition for what makes this nation the great place it is, celebrating the freedom and joy that we all feel as Americans with a commemoration of our greatest achievements.

I’ve said many times before one of the constant joys of my line of work is the opportunity to experience new things, meet new people, try new activities and explore new avenues of possibilities.

Last Friday, as I waltzed into work ready to conquer another deadline and put out our usual quality, award-winning newspaper, I found myself stymied a bit in that goal by one simple problem.

Let’s clear this up right now, up front and at the beginning — libraries are an absolute good.

This weekend marks the end of the school year across Walton County, as the remaining schools still in session held graduation ceremonies to mark the transition to the next stage of the lives of hundreds of local seniors.

On Thursday, our downtown Monroe office here at The Walton Tribune suffered an invasion.

High school graduation is fast approaching for all our local schools, with even the most distant commencement happening in less than two weeks now.

Last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — you know, those old fogies who give out the Oscars every year and lead to those “I’d like to thank the Academy” speeches... yeah, those guys — revoked the membership of two long-time members for reasons of sexual misconduct.

This weekend marks the release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” the latest installment in the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has now been going for 10 years and, with the newest release, 19 films.

I was proud to highlight three of our local students in today’s Education section on Page D1, as we put the spotlight on a trio of local whiz kids who have earned a ticket to attend this summer’s Governor’s Honors Program.