• The “Making Home Affordable Plan” is made up of two parts:

    The Home Affordable Refinance Plan provides access to low-cost refinancing for responsible homeowners suffering from falling home prices and The Home Affordable Modification plan will assist homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.

    The Home Affordable

    Refinance Plan

  • If your mind’s eye visualizes Marion County museums as being repositories of the old, the sacred and the elegant stuff, this next candidate will probably need some flexing of your preconceived notions.

    This Marion County museum candidate has literally been a moving target, too. Since we moved to Ocala in 1997, The Discovery Science Center has jumped from downtown Ocala on “down south” to Brick City Park and “up north” last fall into the old Armory building at Tuscawilla Park.

  • Recently, I have received and have been told about various messages on cell phones in the form of a text message supposedly from Alarion Bank and an e-mail request supposedly from Community Bank and Trust asking people to verify their personal information.

  • Every year, at the conclusion of the Passover holiday, Moroccan Jews celebrate a unique holiday called Mimouna. The festival has interesting origins and customs which give it a quality all its own.

  • It is free for the visually impaired.

    The Florida Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired offers its students skills to help them in their daily lives. The provide instruction in cooking, independent living and offer mobility classes. So, with a variety of services offered at the center, why aren’t more people taking advantage of it?

    It might be because they are not aware of it.

  • The country abounds with signs that we don’t want to see: closed, for sale, bankrupt, laid off, and others. We are all looking for signs of recovery. Pun Alley doesn’t have that, but does offer some signs to keep you amused.

    Beware of the Dog

    The little country store had a sign warning, “Danger! Beware of dog!” Inside, there was a harmless old hound dog asleep on the floor beside the cash register.

    “Is that the dog folks are supposed to beware of?” one customer asked the owner.

  • Today, it’s raining. I mean reigning – cats. Here’s your chance to be part of a very British royal family that includes Lady Lucinda and Sirs Thomas and Gerald. All three have been micro-chipped and spayed or neutered.

  • Whoever said, "Some things are not to be," said a mouthful. I have found that, although I may want to do something, it is not for me. Of course, the opposite is also true. Some things I do not want, yet somehow they find residence upon my person, and usually do not pay rent. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just choose everything you like in life?

  • Marion County

    Senior Services

    Imagine what it is like for an elderly person who lives alone and either cannot drive or does not have access to transportation?

    Often, the simple act of receiving a healthy, nutritious meal can have a huge, positive impact both emotionally and physically for these individuals.

  • In looking forward to Mother’s Day, I could not help but think about the mess our country is in right now. Not that messes remind me of mothers in particular, but honesty compels me to admit they are good at cleaning up messes. And, the messes they clean up are not their doing. That is what makes it so terrific.

    Somebody needs to clean up the mess we are in.

  • The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, referred to by some as the”bailout bill”, or, as others prefer to call it, the “rescue plan”, was recently enacted in an attempt to stabilize the turmoil in the U.S. economy. The act allows the Treasury to buy “bad paper”- mortgage-backed securities- from banks and financial institutions. According to Treasury secretary Henry V. Paulson, Jr., the federal government believes this “bad paper” is part of the root cause of the chaos both on Wall St. and on Main St.

  • Animals are in the news this week as we celebrate both National Pet Week and Be Kind To Animals Week.  These weeks end tomorrow, so be sure to give your pets a hug before then.  But be careful with your goldfish.

    Some of Pun Alley’s pet stories follow:


    “ Mary! How’s your new pet fish doing?  You told me he was something special.”

    “ I’m disappointed in him.  The guy who sold him to me said I could teach him to talk like a parrot.”

  • Parker’s Spenser in a skirt is divorced, thirtyish Sunny Randall, a former cop turned PI and daughter of the much venerated Phil Randall, recently called out of retirement to help with a resurfaced serial killer tagged Spare Change because he always leaves coins on or near his victims after shooting them once in the head. It’s been twenty years since Phil, leading the old task force, exhausted all his leads.

  • Unlike the singer, Willie Nelson, I can wait to get on the road again. In fact, if I never get on the road again, I will be one happy camper, and I don’t even like camping.

  • The 135th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place tomorrow. Known as “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” for its approximate duration, and also called “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner, it is the most famous horserace in the United States.

    Pun Alley celebrates this prestigious event by going to the track for some racy stories.


  • A local magazine used to have a feature at the end of its publication entitled “Ten reasons why I love Ocala.”

    It featured local notables who gave their opinions on the matter.

    In honor of the 61st year of the independence of the State of Israel, I would like to offer my version of this feature by naming ten reasons (not in any particular order of importance) on why I love the State of Israel.

    l. Israel is the land of the Bible and the spiritual home of the

    Jewish people.

  • When the motorcade carrying Democratic Presidential candidate Josh Hamilton and his Vice-President is ambushed, terrorists are the assumed culprits even though Hamilton had been trailing the Republicans badly and was not expected to win.

    On the day of the incident, Secret Service agent Maria Rivera is on the job and scanning the crowds for anyone suspicious.

  • Adrienne Schneeweiss of Spruce Creek Preserve has read over 7000 books including popular fiction, mysteries, autobiographies, and historicals. When Adrienne attended the Friends spring book sale to replenish her supply, she brought along the list of books she has read and discussed it with library supervisor, Heather Ogilvie. The list is alphabetical both by title and by author. It’s now so large that she keeps a printed copy in a notebook that she carries with her. The master list is on her computer database for easy updating.

  •  Robert Redford made talking to horses an acceptable practice in the Oscar-nominated film, “The Horse Whisperer.” In fact, bona fide horse whisperers have been around for eons, taming even the wildest stallions.

    Today, TV’s popular dog whisperer, Cesar Millan, of the “Animal Planet” channel, helps families learn to correct bad pet behavior by proper communication. Using his advice, Hospice massage therapist Paige Cushman has picked up numerous tips on how to work with pets.

  • Otto Zimmerman, 57, of Southeast Marion County died – but then lived to tell a tale of survival. About 8 p.m. on March 16, crushing pain radiated across Zimmerman’s chest and up his left arm. He became cold, clammy and short of breath. While most people would dismiss these symptoms as heartburn, Zimmerman’s wife, Barbara took her husband’s condition seriously and immediately called 9-1-1. Her call for help and the events that followed changed the Zimmerman family forever.