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Today's Features

  • No matter what political party is in power, the inauguration of a new president never ceases to move me. The inauguration of Barack Obama was no exception. As I watched the historic moment I couldn’t help but feel proud that as a country we have come so far, and yes, I felt inspired by the pervasive mood of hope and optimism. We do not have to agree with one another ideologically to be united in our desire for a better future.

  • In Chapter 1 of The Last Lecture, author Randy Pausch tells us that for years at Carnegie Mellon, where he was a professor, faculty were asked to consider their demise and “to ruminate on what matters most to them.” These became what were called a “Last Lecture Series.”

    Pausch was given a 2007 September slot for his own last lecture at a time when he had already been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. But he was optimistic. Perhaps he would be one of the lucky survivors. He was not. 

  • Driving home from Apalachicola we passed through Sopchoppy. Now there’s a funny name for a town. And on our way to and from Jacksonville we go right by the Scrambletown general store on C.R. 314. That’s an even funnier name, eh?

  • Birding is sometimes a matter of luck and mood. I found both in a Days Inn parking lot in Ocala while driving from New York to Longboat Key. This was the fourth year my wife and I were staying at the motel. The date was the same at least three of those times, Dec. 30. We were going to have dinner at a small family-owned Italian restaurant called Lorenzo’s, for the third time.

  • In north central Florida, our winters are mild but we can have weeks of killing frosts. The fierce, relentless wind can wreck even the stoutest misplaced shrub.

    January can be a crazy quilt of weather: warm, cold, windy, rainy. Usually it’s cold in the morning and warms up nicely during the day. Some days it doesn’t warm up at all.

    All the tender green has virtually disappeared and the garden is all sticks. Other plants, especially the tropicals, have perhaps “burned” with the frost and wind. Succulents and cacti have turned to mush.

  • The Hospice fashion show at the Friends of Freedom Public Library meeting Jan. 17, featured attractive casual wear selected from the Thrift Store in Jasmine Plaza.

    Jan Hathaway, Hospice of Marion County marketing manager, gave a brief talk and Margarethe Nachbar did some modeling as well as introducing the models: Jeannie Dooley, Linda Glick, Marie Ostrov, and Margarethe’s husband, Milton Nachbar, all of whom sported their “wears” as well as any pro.

  • Hollywood Squares was a television comedy and game show in which two contestants played tic-tac-toe to win prizes. The board for the game was a 3- by 3-ft. vertical stack of open-faced cubes, each occupied by an entertainer seated at a desk and facing the contestants. The stars were asked questions and the contestants judged the authenticity of their answers in order to win the game.

  • Yield is a flexible term. One of the most important things to know when you’re considering a bond investment is its yield. However, there are several ways to measure a bond’s yield, and some are more useful than others for understanding a bond’s true value.

    When someone tells you a bond yields, say 5 percent, you should make sure you know exactly what they’re referring to.

  • Some people might call me a skeptic. Maybe I am but I am in agreement with good old Benjamin Franklin, who reputedly said, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.” This philosophy was probably a result of inventing bifocals.

    My personal history has shown that every time I get my hopes up they are soundly dashed to the ground in disappointment. I often refer to myself as an optimistic-pessimist; I know for sure things are going to go wrong. And, I am rarely disappointed.

  • Most people know that hospitals, universities, and schools are accredited. In fact accredited organizations are usually sought out for enrollment and services. But did you know that law enforcement agencies are also accredited?

    I reported and some of you were involved in our recent journey to achieve the Sterling Award. We are the first stand-alone police agency to achieve this award in the state of Florida and we are very proud.