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Best Place to Hang Out with Treebeard

By the age of 5, most South Floridians would rather watch their television flicker than have a close encounter with nature. But perhaps because of the popularity of Lord of the Rings, it "Ent" impossible to get those kids interested in the gigantic Lofty Fig at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. How could they resist the opportunity to hang out with the shaggy monster that so resembles their beloved Treebeard? The 70- to 85-year-old giant -- like those pesky invasive Australian pines that got hacked away a few years ago -- is non-native, according to rangers at the park, but has historical value because it was likely planted by Mr. Birch, who donated his estate as a public park (opened in 1949). Since the tree is located next to a covered picnic spot ($80 to rent for a day) and a playground, you can admire its winding, cavernous trunk while you drink cold beer and play volleyball. Of course, there's always the option of sitting around the house watching Billy and Jenny's soft little arms maneuver Playstation controllers while you try to figure out how to pay for their ADD meds, but it might be nice to try natural light -- and we don't mean the beer -- for a change. The beachside park with winding trails and preserved natural habitats opens at 8 a.m. and closes at sundown. Entrance is $4 for a carload and $1 per person for walk-ins.
Article

Best Place to Hang Out with Treebeard

By the age of 5, most South Floridians would rather watch their television flicker than have a close encounter with nature. But perhaps because of the popularity of Lord of the Rings, it "Ent" impossible to get those kids interested in the gigantic Lofty Fig at Hugh Taylor Birch State...
Article

Letters for February 12, 2004

Dubya is still a deceitful chump: Regarding your January 5 cover story by Sam Eifling, "Liar, Liar...," a quick note to inform you that I find your antipatriotic, antimoralistic, and antisocietal message immature and obscene. I laugh at your attempt at "journalism" and suggest growing up. I will shun all...
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The Ludicrous 12 of 2004

There was Iraq, of course. The mess hall bombing in Mosul, the battle of Fallujah, the Rumsfeld unthinking rejoinder about driving through hostile terrain without armored vehicles. And the presidential election. Who could ever forget that? But news is also what happens in the swirls and eddies at the edges...
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Letters for January 15, 2004

Or maybe just send him out: Wyatt Olson's January 8 article ("Enviro-Hassles") hits the nail right on the head when it comes to describing the sad state of environmental affairs in Gov. Bush's Florida. There is only one question that remains for me: Why does Benji Brumberg continue to feel...
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