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Features

  • I must veer once more just a moment to Micanopy. For some reason, the name honors Mikanope, the chief of chiefs who led his Seminole warriors in what is called the Dade Massacre of 1835.

  • It was a turbulent year for many of Americans, but we must be resilient and carry on. One of our chores is to gather our tax information to prepare for the 2008 tax filing season.

    As most taxpayers in the Corridor are aware, the Internal Revenue Service revises its tax codes annually and it’s difficult to keep up with the changes. Here are some new and revisited items that will affect your 2008 tax return.

    Additional standard deduction for real estate property tax: (New)

  • Astronaut Alan B. Shepard was a dedicated golfer. As commander of Apollo 14, America’s third lunar landing, he was the fifth person to do a moon walk.

    On this day in 1971, Shepard did some golfing on the moon with a 6-iron head attached to a lunar sample scoop handle. Despite thick gloves and a stiff spacesuit which forced him to swing the club with only one hand, he struck two golf balls, driving the second, as he put it, “miles and miles and miles.”

  • On Feb. 9, Jews all over the world will celebrate Tu Bishvat. This minor holiday, Jewish Arbor Day, celebrates the beginning of spring in Israel with the blossoming of the almond trees. Because of their importance to a dry land such as Israel, trees have played an important part in the ecology of the Jewish State.

  • The only thing you can believe when a politician speaks is that you can’t believe what a politician says. How else can they be elected to office? Every one of them promises the moon, and then once elected they moon the public. I guess we always get what we ask for.

    This latest is simply an addition to those famous last words that have gone on before. Let me list several of them.

    “I’m not a crook.”

    “I did not have sex with that woman.”

    And now the latest: “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

  • How long has it been since you’ve attended a tea? Or have you ever? Well then, here’s your chance.

    On Saturday, Feb. 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. you are invited to the Friends Valentine Tea Membership Drive in the community meeting room. Members, patrons, and the just curious are all welcome.

    Come enjoy some goodies and refreshments, and find out what The Friends are all about. Have some goodies and refreshments, and find out what The Friends are all about. Kermit and Cindy Clark will provide live music on keyboard and guitar.

  • African violet or Saintpaulia is a well-known and popular houseplant. They can be easily grown indoors under artificial light conditions or near a filtered bright window.

    In Florida, I have had success leaving them outdoors under filtered light from trees. I only recommend this practice during the warm months, of course, as this plant will freeze in temperatures under 32 degrees.

  • United Way of Marion County announced that it has reached 88 percent or $2.2 million dollars of the goal set in August 2008. The goal set by the United Way board of directors was $2.5 million, a milestone set in 2006 and raised again in 2007.

  • Today is the day for those still working to have some fun. According to the Internet site, Bizarre, Crazy, Silly Unknown Holidays, today is National Fun at Work Day.

    I have fond memories of fun at work as my coworkers fed straight lines to me and I found ways to hurl puns back at them. In retrospect I suspect they weren’t having as much fun as I was aiming – as there was a lot of groaning, head-slapping and maybe those grins were grimaces.

  • Is your yard brand new? Or perhaps it is old and overgrown? Are you tired of maintaining a lawn? Any of the above can give you the incentive to get going with back yard improvements.

    Unless your kids spend a lot of time in the back yard playing, you might be thinking, “What can I do to get some enjoyment out of this yard?” You might be thinking a few citrus trees would be nice. Sitting under a shade tree would be relaxing, perhaps a meandering path, a bench, or a little pond.

  • All are welcome: Democrats, Republicans, all church denominations and garden variety citizens to get involved in the recently-formed Marion Mavericks Community Victory Garden to feed the unfortunate in Marion County. Support us anyway you can. We are all non-paid volunteers to help feed the unfortunate for a better America.

  • “This was worth getting up for,” Cheryl Gier said to her friends as they headed back to their vehicles. She was referring to the ultra-light-led cranes fly-over of the Dunnellon Airport.

    Thursday morning, Gier was one in a crowd of about 200 people who flocked to the Dunnellon Airport in hopes to catch a glimpse of the seven whooping cranes as they moved closer to their final destination. Earlier in the week, Jan. 17, the other seven cranes were left at St. Mark’s Wildlife Refuge.

  • Normally, I’m a rather calm, cool and collected person. Actually, my creditors trying to collect things from me, mostly money, are responsible for this and I have been officially collected. If I could only just collect my thoughts – but the pieces are too small and too few.

    Anybody who knows me knows I am not easily rattled by anything. I let the chips fall where they may because I know from whence they came. I am not susceptible to the various rumors that make their way around on a regular basis.

  • 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.