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Today's Opinions

  • We need another 'miracle of the sun'

    Let me tell you about my non-adventure with last Monday’s eclipse, and about what I feel is the anniversary of an even bigger sun event.

    Monday is production day around here for the West Marion Messenger, the other paper we put out in this part of the county. That meant I was up at some ridiculous hour getting it done.

    I finished about noon, which is early for me, and stretched out on the couch, put on The Weather Channel to watch the event.

    I fell asleep.

  • Homework is how you get ready for high school

    At the risk of bragging, I was a pretty smart kid when I was in elementary school (insert sarcastic comment “what happened since?” here).

    I don’t recall ever being told what grade level I was reading, but I knew I was ahead of all my friends.

    When I entered kindergarten, I was given the honor of setting the clock, since I was one of the few who could tell time.

    Along the way I won spelling bee titles, did well in a geography bee, etc.

  • There goes the sun; don't look at it

    Go back in time about 500 years or so and pretend you’re one of Marion County’s native inhabitants.

    You get up one morning, and your biggest worry is about getting some food. You don’t worry about traffic or pollution or North Korean bombs.

    But suddenly your day changes. It’s getting dark very early, and you stare up at the sky and there is a black circle moving across the sun. You watch mesmerized as the son disappears and you think that this is some sort of omen from the gods.

  • Driving downtown? Check your shock absorbers

    For years, I’ve been questioning some of the moves made in downtown Ocala. I wondered whether some of them serve the majority of residents in this area.

    When I moved here almost 20 years ago (and my folks lived here long before that), the Square was the focal point of downtown. There were some great gatherings and festivals, crowds abounded and the area seemed to flourish.

    Gradually, things started to change, not necessarily for the better. Not necessarily in chronological order are:

  • Message to the graduates 2017

    This is a yearly column, updated with latest information.

    This week is big for many young people in Marion County, as they leave high school and move on to the next phase of their lives.

    Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for local public high schools, a landmark day for a few hundred young adults who are ready to venture out into the world.

  • Come fly with me? We don't think so

    Last week was a bad one for two major airlines, United and American. Both had incidents that make you realize how arrogant some of the personnel who work for these companies are, and why they need to be reined in. Both raised all sorts of questions.

    First, United. Take your favorite and biggest sports facility.Let’s say it seats thousands of people for baseball and basketball, more for the National Football League, or the University of Florida football for about 80,000.

  • Dunedin has baseball and we don't?

    Vacations are a good thing. They give you a break from the routine and let your mind and body get refreshed while you supposedly spend some time doing some activities that you don’t normally get to do.

    Vacations are also a bad thing. Why? Because they end.

    Last week I spent a few days in the Clearwater-Dunedin area. If you know me at all, you might guess that it had something to do with baseball. And you would be right.

  • Yoho town hall: People behaved well

    Sometimes you go to cover an event not knowing what to expect. That was me just a couple of weeks ago.

    One of our Congressmen, Republican Ted Yoho, was holding a town hall meeting at North Marion Middle School. Many GOP representatives have run into major protests across the country, so I was ready for a big afternoon.

    It didn’t happen.

    Except for a couple of people in the audience who felt they had to interject loud comments over other people, the crowd was a bit tame.