• By Bill Koch

    Ah, may we now breathe a collective sigh of relief? With the passing Monday of tax day 2019, can we rest easy?

    Alas, we are no longer compelled to fret over making tax preparations. It’s done – for most of us.

    Many of us may have filed our taxes long before the April 15 deadline. Nearly a quarter of taxpayers wait until the last two weeks to file their taxes, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

    What would motivate those late, high-adventure filers? Two words maybe: procrastination or loathing (of the IRS).

  • By Bill Koch

    How do you write a column as a newspaper editor about a sacred holiday that is uniquely Christian?

    With profundity and boldness, some of you may declare.

    But the real world of secular journalism sternly averts our gaze to other priorities, to matters of civility and respect for other views. We must consider and honor other perspectives, conventional wisdom asserts. We must not offend.

  • Florida lawmakers are onto something.

    It’s called the “taxation transparency” bill. And it’s something English teachers, wordsmiths and political junkies may love.

    House Bill 7053 would, essentially, call a tax a tax, no more playing with words.

    Here’s how it works: Lawmakers want to boost revenue by raising taxes. But “taxes” is a bad word among the electorate who would prefer to keep as much of its money as possible.

  • Ask your hospital to provide you with a detailed price list of services so that you can do some shopping before you decide to get treatment. After all, you may want to know how much those midnight aspirin pills are going to cost.

    Your question may elicit some strange looks from hospital officials who may signal for security to have you removed from the premises.

    A bill moving through the state House may allow Florida health insurance policy holders to do some comparison shopping for medical treatments and procedures.

  • By Bill Koch

    You can thank your legs for today.

    With each step you take, you’re falling, over and over and over again. And with each step, your other leg catches you, lifts you up an inch or so, and repeats the action.

    Simply put, walking is repetitive falling. As bipedal creatures, we’ve grown accustomed to the unconscious demands of gravity in its brutal attempts to pull us ever down.

    Even our very own government sanctions this outrage.

  • By Bill Koch

    Did you never notice how the favorite subject of many columnists is themselves?

    After all, what better subject for the forlorn writer than to delve into the archives of personal experience and observation and opine on the meaning – or meaningless – of life?

     What makes better fodder to fill the white spaces of news print and web sites than the lonely meanderings of introspective scribes?

  • By Delphine Herbert

  • By Bill Koch


    Blame it on Ben.  

    That would be Benjamin Franklin. 

    He first proposed the bright idea in a 1784 essay in Journal de Paris. 

    Looking back to Sunday, clocks were turned ahead an hour; that means the sleepy heads among us are still lamenting their lost hour of bedtime slumber. 

  • By John Schaefer

    President, Marion County Audubon Society

     Marion County Comprehensive Plan No. 2045 proposed removal of the portion of Marion County extending south and west from the Farmland Preservation Area to the Marion County boundary

  • My wife posted something on Facebook the other day that I thought was sweet. I wish I’d thought of it, but she is more spiritual than me. I try to be sympathetic but often stumble and stutter. My wife really is compassionate and relieves the suffering of others through an empathetic ear. She instinctually knows what to do and say or give to others. I believe all of us have a gift from God and I believe compassion is her gift.

  • Walking is good for a person’s health. Friday, I walked on a treadmill, and I felt great afterward. My cardiologist said I should feel even better after my bypass surgery.

    Sigh. (I think I’m only teasing).

    I could be a hypochondriac just like my maternal grandfather with just a little more effort, I could be good at it. It wouldn’t take much.

  • TIME ran a story about my hometown! Woohoo! Achille, a small farm town tucked away off the beaten path in Southeastern Oklahoma, made national news!

    The news wasn’t the type I hoped it would be. It was about a small school trying to accommodate a 12-year-old transgender student in the seventh grade.


    I was glued to the television Thursday – scheduling the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and the Honorable Brett Kavanaugh was the only thing the Republican senators did right because that’s the one day I have to myself. Moreover, of course, it’s all about me.

    Neither party is blameless in getting us to this point because both parties want to win the midterm elections and more than a few on the Senate Judiciary Committee aspire to run for president in 2020 – including Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.

  • Generally, when I have writer's block as I professed to last week, it's because there is something else on my mind of which I do not want to write.

    This week, I caved and am writing about the nomination process of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh — not about the judge — but the process.

  • One thing about being in the military is that when there is nothing else to write about, there is always the Navy.

  • What’s this world coming to?

    BLU3, a Pompano Beach Company has developed a line of ultra-portable tankless diving systems using surface-supplied air. The system supports a diver at its maximum depth of 10 feet for about an hour and it is compact enough to carry in a backpack.

    The first in the line is NEMO, which is in the Kickstarter phase. NOMAD and NEPTUNE are scheduled for launch in the summer and winter of 2019. Those two, which are still in development will allow divers to go deeper depths. NEPTUNE will enable multiple divers on a single system.

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: I wrote this before Sen. John McCain died. It took a while to get it the way I wanted and rather than take a chance on fouling it up, I left it in present tense.

    I want to write about Sen. John McCain and how brave he is, but I can’t.

    I don’t know the Arizona senator.

  • It was unimaginable that Facebook founder and CEO Mark E. Zuckerburg would send me an email. Oh, it’s no surprise that he knows my email address. He probably knows the email address of everyone on earth. Still, the idea that he would ever send me an email instead of sending me an instant message on Facebook was unfathomable, yet there his name was in my inbox in bold, capitalized letters “MARK E. ZUCKERBERG.”

  • I wrote you all last week about the people in my boot camp company who teased me because I talked funny.

    After some needed rest, my mental attitude is improved, so this week’s column is about the people who have helped me succeed.

    Most of my benefactors were teachers. There was: Mrs. Hoak, first grade; Mrs. Aldrich, second grade; Mrs. Johnson, third grade; Mrs. Richardson in the fourth grade until we moved. I finished the fourth grade with Mrs. Wells.

  • Recently I received an email with actual pictures of newspaper bloopers.

    For a long time I believed that comedy writers wrote all the bloopers. So, I found a number of real bloopers and puns from newspapers, road signs, radio and TV, along with some others I could not resist.


    headline gems

    From Sacramento: State population to double by 2040; babies to blame

    A 1999 title: Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25

    Homicide victims rarely talk to police.