• Never trust Map Quest, or I should say never trust Map Quest if your name is Audrey and you’re riding in a car with your daughter, Alicia. She’s the driver, of course, and I’m the navigator, who can’t read a map.
    We seem to get lost every single time we go anywhere, and it’s been happening more frequently lately. Of course, it doesn’t help that our GPS is broken and we have the only two phones in the United States that you cannot get onto the Internet with. So we depend on Map Quest.

  • I always enjoyed my conversations with Vice Mayor Stark; and with respect and dignity, I always called him Mr. Stark.
    Perhaps it was his decades of service as a firefighter that piqued my interest, especially since I enjoyed the stories he shared of his long career with the NYFD as well as a bureau chief with the Florida State Fire College in nearby Ocala.
    Considering my own father was a career firefighter, I always felt a connection with Mr. Stark. He was like the grandfather I’d never met, always polite, kind and courteous.

  • What course of action should the city of Dunnellon embark on to solve its financial and political problems?
    I believe, due to the dire financial shape of Dunnellon coupled with the poorly planned Greenlight venture, that the future of Dunnellon is bleak.
    Rather than being the savior that increases revenue, Greenlight Dunnellon Communications will be a financial drain on the city until it is done away with. Greenlight alone will bankrupt the city. It is obvious that the city cannot raise sufficient revenue due to a declining tax base then it must cut cost.

  • I love that show “Who Do You Think You Are” on Friday nights. It takes a famous person on a journey to discover their roots and where they came from. And whether their ancestors were kings or paupers, it is mind blowing.
    Emmitt Smith found out he came from slavery while Reba McEntire found out her fifth grandfather was an indentured servant who then became the owner of a large plantation. Good stuff.

  • Today we bid farewell to the Class of 2012 at Dunnellon High School, and we welcome the next generation of future doctors, teachers, businessmen and women, and the like into the realm of adulthood.
    Now, I realize the trepidation and fear as well as the wide-eyed excitement about moving out and moving forward in life.
    Life is tough. You’re going to run into hurdles and obstacles. The road will be hard, you’ll hit a breaking point at which time you’re going to want to quit, give up and pack it in.

  • “Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.” — Abraham Lincoln

  • As the continuing bad blood spills over in the fight about tiered water rates and unscrupulous surcharges, we wonder who is really right and who is really wrong.
    First, the city has mishandled this whole takeover in poor fashion; poor communication is the key.
    Springing this on residents during the holidays was ill-conceived; more so, not properly planning for upset residents to be able to attend the meeting to be heard was erroneous.

  • The Annie W. Johnson Family & Senior Center has been providing services to those in need in Marion and Citrus counties for a long time.
    No one can deny the value of this longtime nonprofit agency; its mission has never changed since Ms. Johnson herself first started providing meals back in the 1970s.
    Sure, times have changed as has America throughout the past several decades. However, no one can deny the importance of those people in need of food or a warm meal.

  • There are a few things in life that we have to do, like follow the law and pay taxes. If you’re a kid, you have to attend school and if you’re an adult, well, you have to earn an income. Because let’s face it, you cannot live without money.
    So it’s time for me to go back to work. This mini-retirement of mine has been nice while it lasted. Sleeping until 8 o’clock, taking the grandkids to school, making myself a nice lunch and then settling down by the pool to read a good book sure has been easy to get used to.

  • As a resident of Rainbow Springs, I would like to address some items brought up in the past several weeks in guest columns in the Riverland News. There are many issues to address, but here are some critical issues for a start.
    The Dunnellon city government has been poorly managed for years. The taxpayer base is too small for all the city services rendered even if the city was run efficiently.

  • I wasn’t going to write this, then I started it 10 times, but never finished.
    How do you write about someone you loved who died so young? How do you put those emotions on paper? How do you do it justice?
    With so many divorces and re-marriages, I’m sure many people are adjusting to a step-family, step-mothers, -fathers, -sons or –daughters. Each family finds a way to incorporate the changes into their lives, and it’s not always an easy transition.  

  • “We are also told that our newspapers are irreverent, coarse, vulgar, and ribald. I hope that this irreverence will last for ever; that we shall always show irreverence for royalties and titled creatures born into privilege, and all that class which take their title from anything but merit.” – Mark Twain

  • Ten years ago, my brother Bob and I took a week’s vacation to New York City. I like to think of that trip as the country mice in the big city.
    We’d been to New York as kids many times. We lived less than 30 minutes away growing up in New Jersey, but we’d never done it as adults and that was something I’d always wanted to do. Being that it was only one year after Sept. 11, it was also a very brave thing for us to do.

  • As the rift between Dunnellon city officials and Rainbow Springs residents continues to widen, we wonder if an amicable solution between the two about a water surcharge will ever be reached.
    Frankly, we are concerned by the City Council’s silence.
    Here’s how we see it.
    The Council believes the problem will quietly subside, which we simply don’t see happening until city officials realize the lingering affects of the problem that it could have on Greenlight Dunnellon Communications as well as numerous businesses.

  • Recently the City Council made the decision to amend the city ordinance, allowing for non-resident property and business owners with three year or more vested years to be eligible to serve on the Planning Board.
    Mayor Fred Ward, in championing the change, called business owners stakeholders in city’s current and future plans and should have a voice in how the city moves forward in its plans.

  • A woman in Texas was accused of pre-meditated murder and sentenced to life in prison. It really wasn’t fair. She didn’t mean to hold that pillow over her husband’s face for that long. Obviously, none of the jurors live with a snorer.
    How many women can sympathize with her?
    Do you live with a spouse who snores? I do. Let me tell you, it is not fun.

  • My article about my grandson that I had planned for this week will have to wait. There’s something more urgent right now; something I feel very strongly about.
    Even my own mother said I had to do it – my first controversial column.
    Some will love it, some will hate it, and I promise you will read all about my precious grandson next week.
    OK, here goes.
    Why do people love to hate Tim Tebow?

  • In 2004, the citizens of Dunnellon developed a strategic vision with specific goals. One is attracting industry to the airport to generate good paying jobs and increase the city’s tax base. A key element in attracting business and industry is a strong infrastructure.
    It is important for the city to engage in economic development rather than hope that something will happen.

  • As I am reading all the opinion letters from the good people of Rainbow Springs regarding their recent water issues with the city of Dunnellon, I can feel the anger and frustration; however, it saddens me that part of the retribution for some, would be to boycott shopping in Dunnellon.
    In this economy, to punish the businesses of Dunnellon for a decision that was out of their control, put simply, is just wrong.
    The small business owners in Dunnellon work hard to make Dunnellon a wonderful place to live and shop.

  • To say the turnout at the final 2011 City Council meeting was a surprise might be an understatement; however, the same cannot be said about the vote.
    Knowing full well about the Dec. 31 deadline to complete the transaction and sign off on $6.5 million in financing, the pending vote to approve the deal was a no-brainer.
    That the City Council ruffled the feathers of 1,500-plus folks to the north of the city line is no surprise either.
    However, this isn’t a decision that affects the folks in Rainbow Springs.