• Treasury Extends Money Market Fund Guarantee:

    On March 31, 2009, the Department of Treasury extended its temporary guarantee program for money market mutual funds through Sept. 18, 2009.

  • Against the blackened sky, the exploding shells scintillate and blaze forth in myriad colors and patterns, awakening the summer night with echoing booms as the designs fade into wisps of sulfur vapor and evaporate into nothingness. The crowd cheers and claps for more and the act is repeated over and over until the pyrotechnical show ends and the people depart for home. But while this display captures the fascination and delight of the crowd, are the people thinking of the reason for the event and the concept it celebrates?

  • Now that summer is upon us, we can turn our back on those frosty days of winter. I like winter as long as it is in the past tense. Otherwise, all that cold just tenses me up something terrific. Now summer is upon us and we can sit back, relax, and enjoy those crazy lazy days of summer.

    My plans for the summer have already been established. I have a little notebook with all of the things I plan to do during the summer. If someone were to happen to open that little notebook they will find, much to their surprise, that there is not a thing written on any page.

  • With the warm summer season upon us, I’ve noticed more and more people enjoying bicycling just after the morning sunrise. I too enjoy riding five or six times a week at a relaxed 30- to 50-mile ride. On any given Saturday morning, it is just what my body needs to make up for the movie and pizza the evening before.

    If you are a bicycling enthusiast as I am, and you are not taking time to visit one of the few ‘paved’ central Florida trails, you are missing a wonderful experience.

    Let me introduce to you just a few of these trails.

  • The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows qualified motor vehicle taxes paid or accrued within the taxable year to be deducted as an itemized deduction, or as part of the standard deduction.

  • Once again the members of Joyful Hands at Joy Lutheran Church responded to Legacy House by creating and donating a number of quilts. Legacy House has shown such appre-ciation for these quilts, in the past, that the ladies of Joy are pleased to be able to provide their creative work. Unlike the traditional plain institutional bedding, these quilts provide a colorful, bright addition to the beds at Legacy House.

    Fortunately for the women at Joy they recently received a donation of quilt tops from a lady in the community.

  • June is the traditional month for weddings; there is no other more romantic month. Countless couples have finished their wedding preparations and have walked down the aisle or are close to it. Last year, Pun Alley took us down the path of courtship and weddings. This year, it’s time to go further down that path and look at married life awaiting the newlyweds a year or so later.

    The Honeymoon’s Over

  • In the 1930s, Will Rogers’ talents as a comedian, humorist, and social commentator gave a generation of people some laughs during the great depression.  Many of his comments still apply today, such as, “The banker, the lawyer, and the politican are still our best bets for a laugh.  Audiences haven’t changed at all – and neither have the three above professions.”

    Recent news about banks, bank bailouts, and bankers takes us to Pun Alley banks.

    Ah So!

  • The attraction that police have for donuts was mentioned in last week’s Pun Alley. Since then, I discovered that they don’t like this association and now fear they are watching my driving to catch me at something. So, I felt I should consult a lawyer for advice.

    I met someone who looked like an attorney, so I asked him, “Are you a lawyer?”

    He answered, “Yes, I am.”

    I then asked, “What do you charge?”

    The lawyer answered, “$450 for four questions.”

  • We are in the historically most active months of the Hurricane season. I thought it may be a good time to mention some tips to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane. This can be considered a refresher for you hurricane veterans and a chance for our newcomers to learn about how to prepare. For a more detailed list of preparations and further information please visit our Web site at Marionso.com

    At home you should have on hand:

    At least 1 gallon of water per day per person in the home for 2 weeks.

    Get non-perishable food and a can opener (not electric).

  • Down a dirt road in Dunnellon, lies a 40-acre farm once intended to be a private retreat – a retirement home. But now after numerous requests, Happy Acres Ranch has opened to the public.

    James Moore and his wife, Eileen, bought Happy Acres in 2005. After the construction industry began to slow in Port St. Lucie, the couple decided to move to Marion County. The father of seven is the president of Moore and Coates Construction and has been building houses since 1966.

  • This coming August, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly will celebrate 38 years of marital bliss. Personally, I have no idea what "marital bliss" is exactly, only that I have it. I know I have it, because my wife told me, and she would never lie to me. Unless of course ... but let’s not go into that.

  • Baby boomers are heading back to the classrooms in increasing numbers – at least they are in Marion County.

    With a growing senior population, Marion County is becoming the ideal location for baby boomers seeking to expand their educational horizons and Central Florida Community College (CFCC) is meeting the need.

    Recently, the college received a boost to enhance its educational programs for senior citizens. The college was selected to receive a $10,000 expansion grant in the Plus 50 Initiative that serves the community’s senior population.

  • How about a little 'picnic in the park' for your Fourth of July?

    Old fashioned games, music and a reading of the Declaration of Independence are all part of the holiday fun planned at Dade Park, just west of Bushnell on Saturday, July 4th.

  • “Shelter medicine with a heart.” That’s how Bruce Fishalow, executive director of the Humane Society of Marion County, described his philosophy to 14 SPCA members who recently took a field trip to the beautiful animal shelter in northwest Ocala.

    Since Bruce took over leadership in 2007, he and his 20 employees and numerous volunteers have turned this once shabby, sanctuary-like shelter into a viable, solvent organization that has seen adoptions soar to over 1,500 a year.

  • While most people have heard of Orthodox, Conservative or Reform Judaism, Reconstructionist Judaism draws a complete blank.

    It is not exactly a household word but its beliefs and practices have found their way into the other branches of Judaism with most Jews not realizing where these ideas have come from.

  • Is it not by grace that we even wake up each morning? When we acknowledge this daily miracle with gratitude, it sets the tone for the rest of the day. We are inspired — in spirit — life breathed into us. What a gift!

    I am grateful to my teachers, who have been equally inspired by that Great Source: Universal Mind, Pure Consciousness. The Tamil word for God is Kadavul, which means to go within. No coincidence there!

  • He is held in high regard by followers of three world religions, and his thoughts and actions continue to influence us today. Though he was born 3,500 years ago, in an entirely different world than we experience today, nevertheless, the events and conflicts in his life have contributed to the ongoing pathos that constitutes the whole stream of human existence.

  • Today and tomorrow are National Donut Days, according to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays. I was out early and got mine at the nearest donut shop. While there, I heard some donut tales and, of course, stories about what donuts always attract – police.

    No Dough

  • As circumstance would have it, and I like to give circumstances due credit, I was visiting my grandchildren without the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage.

    Normally, if there is such a status, my wife travels with me when we visit the grandchildren. However, when she is along I do not have a chance. I will not say that she hogs the grandchildren; she does, I just will not say so. As a husband, I know when to speak my mind and when to mind my speaking. The inexperienced husband does not know the difference and pays for it.