• The Dunnellon City Council wants to name a new full-time city manager.
    The problem, though, among elected officials about who to name to the top post and how best to go about it is at the center of debate.
    Mayor Nathan Whitt believes it’s a waste of time and money to post advertisements statewide seeking potential applicants who could come into right the sinking ship. He and other members of the Council have praised Eddie Esch, who’s served as interim city manager since Lisa Algiere’s abrupt departure more than eight months ago.

  • On Feb 2, more than a half century ago, in the town of Little Falls, N.J., a tiny groundhog namedAudrey was born.
    Now this groundhog was premature, so she had no eyebrows or eyelashes, or so I’m told anyway. My mother’s doctor asked if she’d like to wait until the following day to deliver me, but my mother said having her baby daughter born on Groundhog Day would not bother her at all.

  • For the pat three-and-a-half years, I’ve had a front row to the circus, as John Sharkey summed it up a month or two ago. We were both sitting through a Dunnellon City Council meeting at City Hall.
    Several folks have been watching the circus for much longer than I have, but as I’ve been observing it appears even though personnel changes, the performance remains the same.
    It’s time for a change.

  • An old adage states: “Don’t shoot the messenger.”
    There are a few folks unhappy with John Pierpont, but more precisely they are unhappy with how he delivered the news Florida Cable has yet to fund the
    $1.3 million purchase of the city’s financially defunct telecommunications system.

  • Happy New Year Dunnellon, our friends and our neighbors! I hope you have all had a great holiday season and like me are looking forward to a happy and prosperous new year. This year holds so much promise for our city and surrounding area.

  • “This ol’ highway’s getting longer.
    “Seems there ain’t no end in sight.
    “To sleep would be best, but I just can’t afford to rest.”
    — Garth Brooks, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)”

  • Birthdays and anniversaries have a way of sneaking up on us. Granted you know that special day is going to roll around again, whether you want it to or not, but still all of sudden that date shows up as today’s date.
    It was with surprise that I read a couple of weeks ago that the county was planning a celebration for the 60 years the KP Hole had been managed by them last Saturday. Sixty years seemed such a long time.
    Then reality hit. I, too, was having another birthday, although not my 60th, the KP Hole had been a special place during my growing up years in

  • Happy anniversary to me as I celebrate 100 columns in the Riverland News. Actually, this is my 101st column.
    Believe it or not some of you have now read 100-plus stories about my life and my family. This is quite a milestone. Most people celebrate the big 100 with a huge cake, so I think I’ll bake one tonight, gluten-free, of course.

  • The Doomsday clock is moving closer to Nov. 1 and the window to sell Greenlight Communications is closing by the minute. In 22 days, city officials will be required to cut a check for
    $1.6 million to Regions Bank in Orlando.
    If officials cannot sell the financially beleaguered telecommunications within the next 21 days, the alarms going off throughout the city will have a ripple effect felt for years to come.

  • I’ve always considered my love for reading a blessing, especially the fact I can read. There are plenty of folks worldwide who cannot experience that joy, and for those who love to read, you know the joy I am talking about.
    There’s the joy, when you crack open a book and it sucks you in and you find it difficult to put it down and walk away from it. There you’ll sit for hours, a single lamp on as you lick a finger to assist you in turning from page to page and hoping to avoid a dreaded paper cut.

  • For almost two years now, Rainbow Springs residents have been clamoring about the “excessive, unjust” surcharge levied by the Dunnellon City Council since city officials purchased the Rainbow Springs Utility system.
    At the time, we agreed wholeheartedly. Certainly, the then-City Council and former management botched the handling of the purchase, the implementation of the surcharge and the tiered-rate structure for their new utility system users.
    It was a public relations nightmare on an epic scale.

  • We have a new addition to our family. No, not the third grandchild I’ve been praying for. This “child” has four paws, fur and weighs 67 pounds. My husband said she’s a dog, but I think she may be a tiny pony.
    The problem is we already have Roxanne, who is a Maltese and very territorial. I told my husband she would never allow another dog into her space.

  • Hello everyone in greater Dunnellon. It’s been about nine months since I took office and I think we all knew the many challenges that were before the new “Kid Mayor, the “Puppet Mayor,” etc., as well as the City Council.
    We had a red-light problem, we had a Greenlight problem and we had a listening problem. I have worked diligently to end two of those so far. No more pesky red-light cameras, and I continue to work very hard at listening. Listening is not always so easy, is it?

  • Come October, the Riverland News, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, will honor the millions of women and men who have bravely fought the disease, or are fighting the disease.
    And with that being said, we want to know about it.
    We want to hear from you. We want you to share your fears, your hopes and dreams, your struggles and your road to recovery from a disease that claims more than 40,000 annually in the U.S. alone.

  • Hospital life. Anyone who’s had recent
    experience with it knows what I mean.
    The feeling that once inside those four walls the whole world is going on without you. Is it raining outside? Is the sun shining? Your world consists of the confinement of the hospital.
    I recently stayed at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa watching over a friend for a week. The story is theirs to tell, so I will only relate my side of the experience.

  • “What’s the city going to do?” We’ve asked it, and so have dozens of others, from residents to business owners.
    Right now, it’s the $1-million question about the $12 plus-million in debt regarding Greenlight Communications and the overall future of the city.
    The truth is many people have been asking it for years. Not since the days of the Mainstreet program has Dunnellon made an attempt at responsible future planning. After the program was scrapped, the plan seemed to be not to plan, or rather to plan not to plan.

  • No, this column is not about a bed and breakfast. This is the “tail” of Beezus and Barnicle; my brother’s family was adopted by a stray dog.
    I told you about McGee, she is part German shepherd and part goofball, a hound of some sort. Years ago, I was bossed around by a dog named Musky. He was supposed to be my pet, but somehow he became the pack leader. I am a sucker when it comes to dogs. 

  • Wednesday morning was certainly bittersweet, as I watched Jackson, now 6, trot down the hallway at Forest Ridge Elementary School, while his brother, and best friend, Jayden, now 5, zipped off in the other direction toward his kindergarten classroom.
    Perhaps it is shock, or more denial on my part, but it still seems like yesterday I was changing Jackson’s diaper the first night he was at home. His mother was in the bathroom as I asked for assistance.
    So with little light, I lifted his legs and unhinged his diaper waiting for midnight surprise. There was none.

  • So all the months spent griping about my weight, about not feeling good and feeling bloated are finally making sense. According to my new doctor, I have intolerance to gluten.
    If you’re not sure what gluten is, and believe me I wasn’t until several weeks ago, it’s a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grains. Actually anything with wheat or wheat flour is considered gluten.