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Opinion

  • The Florida economy is changing from one centered on traditional tourism, construction and agriculture to one driven by science and engineering, global competition and a stronger sense of place, according to the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

    In a recent speech, Mark Wilson, CEO of the state chamber, said that with unemployment at 10.7 percent, 600,000 jobs lost since late 2007 and one in five homes in the state facing foreclosure, “the Florida we’ve known is in fact over.”

  • Tax breaks with some stimulus is correct way to go

  • The jobless rate in Marion County — our number of unemployed workers — has climbed to a mind numbing level.

    The latest government figures show the January unemployment rate at about 15.4 percent for Marion County, Citrus County is at 14.6 percent and Levy County 14.3.

    This means Marion County has the third highest unemployment of the 67 counties in Florida. And the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Dunnellon, is ranked second in unemployment among Florida’s centers of development.

  • Forecasters recently scaled back predictions for tropical storms and hurricanes this year.

    That’s no excuse to scale back preparation plans.

    With a tropical depression forming off the coast of Africa this week, it’s a great time to ask yourself: What regrets will I have if this turns into a tropical storm or hurricane that plunders the Dunnellon area?

    I should have shuttered my windows.

    I should have stocked up on gas, water and food that won’t spoil.

  • As time goes by Sept. 11 seems to pass with less impact each year. Unbelievably, in this community its public memory has been reduced to a few flags at half-mast. It’s a far cry from the days when people wondered if any other event could ever surpass it in the news.

  • There are some very real concerns about the impact of a new nuclear plant in neighboring southwest Levy County.

    Testimony from residents about their fears must be taken seriously by Progress Energy, state and Levy County officials, along with testimony from the environmental community. The community of Inglis, in particular, needs the commitment of influential parties to minimize the impact while facilitating the establishment of the power plant.

  • Five villages

    affected by fee hike

    I would like to emphasize a couple of points in the on-going discussion about the raising of the amenity fees by Mark and Kasia Kaprelian (Kasmark). The five villages in Rainbow Springs affected by this charge only comprise approximately 150 (by my count) of the 2,000+ homes in RS. Kasmark is raising the fees by over 400 percent this year, over 800 percent next year, with promises of more raises every year.

  • City needs police

    department

    As an avid reader of the Riverland News and an interested and concerned member of our beautiful community I am deeply saddened and extremely concerned with your recent opinion in your column, Our View dated Feb. 12.

  • Rainbow Springs resident wants change

    I am writing this letter to let the people of this town to know about the inconsistency’s of the Rainbow Springs Woodlands POA. And also the fact that they seem to target people with teen-aged children.

    I have lived in the Woodlands for almost eight years and for the last two years, me and my family and friends with teen-aged children have constantly been harassed by what a few of the family’s here call the rolling constable.

  • It’s time for residents to come out and support Dunnellon’s Green Market.

    It’s a popular concept that works in numerous other communities of all sizes — from the city of Orlando to the Top of the World develoopment — and provides a healthy enjoyable alternative way to shop, socialize and try out new products right here in our Historic District.

    Organizers of the Green Market has gotten the event off the ground and stuck with it, but need more public support and exposure.

  • Did we notice it? A half-cent sales tax approved by Marion County voters back in 2004 provided $109 million for new schools in one of Central Florida’s largest school districts.

    School Board members have yet to decide if they will ask voters to renew the tax, which ended Dec. 31, 2009, but it seems like a wise move. It’s an opportunity to direct some dollars toward education, in a rather painless fashion.

  • Back in 2005, then Marion County School Board members Kurt Kelly and Steve Hering expressed concerns about the effect of the Classroom Size Reduction Amendment and other areas of the district’s growing budget.

    “There may not be enough money to take care of the needs of this school system,” Herring was quoted as saying in the district newsletter. But that budget — with its $59 million increase —squeaked by on a 3-2 margin. And those were much better times. The point being that school district finances have been a concern for years.

  • Community support

    made event possible

    A giant thanks to the community of Dunnellon and all who attended and helped in making Boomtown Days a success this year. The weather provided a perfect weekend for fun, shopping and entertainment. So many local businesses and clubs contributed time and talent to make this year’s festival possible. The attendees appeared to be having plenty to do and see.

  • Muddled meeting

    solved nothing

    The Friday, March 19, meeting to “discuss” the aerobatic box over the Dunnellon/ Marion County Airport turned out to be nothing more than a lesson in primitive protocol! Held in an aircraft hanger at the airport, the 10 a.m. event rapidly degraded from rowdy to utterly chaotic as dissident attendees spontaneously shouted and waved their arms in the air at every reasonable statement presented by the leadership.

  • There was pride, contentment and more than one sigh of relief at the March 19 Dunnellon City Council meeting.

    It was a big turnout for a Friday evening and the second government meeting of the week for many in the audience.

    Most were not disappointed. The City Council cast a unanimous positive vote on a settlement agreement with Rainbow River Ranch and Conservation Land Group. The agreement details the term of development for the long disputed 257-acre site on the northeast of the Rainbow River along County Road 484.

  • Thank you

    from Kiwanis

    The Kiwanis Club of Dunnellon wishes to thank the many people who contributed to the Salvation Army Annual Christmas Drive and make it a success. The total amount collected and forwarded to the Ocala Salvation Army was over $6,300.00

    This campaign has been conducted in Dunnellon every year since 1984.

    Kiwanis appreciates that Winn-Dixie, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Woods Barber shop permitted Kiwanis to use their property to conduct the drive.

  • With winter’s chill finally in retreat, cabin fever overtakes many Floridians and visitors from Key West to Pensacola. Many are eager to get outside, and boaters are making plans to take their vessels out for a weekend adventure.

    It’s no different here in Dunnellon. Just check out the crowd at the city board ramp or traffic on either the Rainbow or the Withlacoochee rivers.

    Boaters of all kinds are out in force.

    And on the Rainbow River the annual flood of tubers, rental kayaks and canoes, and divers will soon join them.

  • While officials meant well by giving people a chance to voice their displeasure at aerobatics being practiced at the Dunnellon airport, there has to be a better place and method for such a meeting.

    The gathering last Friday was held at the airport itself, which is not designed for such meetings. Provided were fairly comfortable temporary chairs, but as one man who was fumbling through some papers trying to find something said afterward, there should never be a meeting of this type without a lectern.