• The Halloween carnival at the Southwest District Sheriff’s Office property Monday provided some happy moments for a lot of children, but in my eyes there was one incident I had that left me feeling a little bit sad and angry at the same time.

  • This is Halloween weekend, the time for Trick or Treating all across the land. Children of all ages, sizes and shapes will dress up and look for goodies.
    The problem is that the caution that children are taught the other 364 days of the year usually goes out the window, as they approach strangers’ houses and unfamiliar neighborhoods looking for rewards.
    In this day and age, that’s not a good idea.

  • It was hardly more than a footnote on last week’s County Commission agenda, but the county accepted a letter from the city of Ocala pulling out of the negotiated agreement to combine emergency dispatch services. The county had little choice.

  • Three score and six years ago the Public Health Service brought forth upon this nation a dental discovery dedicated to the proposition that all teeth should be treated equally.
    Medical investigators had observed there was less tooth decay where water contained natural deposits of fluoride. The announced purpose of a national campaign to fluoridate drinking water was to make healthy teeth available to every citizen, especially young people.

  • On a sunny fall afternoon in the 1960s we were at the business offices of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at a gathering of suits for the purpose of finalizing a major building project. We had entered the building through a back door to avoid a gaggle of students and street-people exercising their first amendment right to demonstrate against the oppression of the day.

  • It was a deadly weekend in Marion County. First four people died in a crash in the overnight hours as a vehicle crammed with seven people headed from Tucker, Ga., to Miami rolled over in a single-car accident.
    Then another accident claimed the life of a man and injured a couple of small children.
    Of those 10 people, it isn’t known if three in the second wreck were wearing seat belts. It is known that only one person in the four-fatality accident was wearing a belt, and that person was not facing life-threatening injuries.

  • At one time or another, I realize all of you probably moved. I doubt if there are too many of you who have spent a lifetime out here on the Corridor … for one thing, much of this Corridor wasn’t here when a lot of us were born.
    You all know what a pain moving can be. There’s figuring out what to take, what to sell, what to give away, what to keep and what to pack.

  • Washington bureaucrats and politicians turn on their innocence and righteousness when facts get fuzzy. A recent example was the go-round between the House and Senate over additional funding for FEMA - the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    Democrats in the Senate viewed more money for FEMA as an opportunity to affirm their righteous commitment to unlimited spending and vote gathering. They suggested an additional $7 billion for FEMA.

  • It seems that it’s becoming a regular occurrence to have something happen that makes me feel old. Of course, maybe that’s because I am old. But that’s another story.
    This past Sunday, 60 Minutes, the long-running series, said goodbye to one of its most identifiable personalities, as Andy Rooney signed off for the last time as a regular contributor. Of course, the world “regular” is vital here. He’ll probably be back from time to time.

  • Congratulations. Even though you may not realize it, you’re helping us celebrate a big week throughout our industry. How? By reading a newspaper.
    This is National Newspaper Week, a yearly event noted by the nation’s publications as a time to remind people that the best source for local news remains a newspaper.

  • Every White House administration likes to have its First Lady dedicated to a significant domestic cause. Mrs. Obama began gradually in 2009 by turning over some expensive grass and planting a victory garden in the White House back yard. At the time it was unclear whether her cause would be nutrition or farming.
    A concern arose when it was discovered that the first crop from Obama Acres might not be wholesome.

  • Last week, while on vacation, I had given thought to going to my high school’s 50th class reunion for the Class of 1961.
    Where most schools have the ceremony in the fall of what would have been your senior year, Bergen Catholic does it three months after the 50th anniversary of the actual graduation day in June 1961.
    I don’t travel as well as I used to, so I dutifully filled out the questionnaire but didn’t make the trip.

  • To recapture the White House in 2012, Republicans will have to defeat the most clever U.S. politician since Bill Clinton, who managed to get re-elected in 1996 despite scandals, investigations, and persistent political sniping. Like movies, political campaigns attract fans with hoopla and charisma.
    Last week, in his seventh call for an attack on unemployment since entering the White House in 2008, President Obama made an invigorating re-election campaign speech about jobs and economic recovery to a national audience.

  • One of the most moving ceremonies this past weekend remembering the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was the pregame event at Citi Field in New York before the Major League Baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. ESPN did a great job covering all aspects of the remembrance.
    A group called Tuesday’s Children, made up of youngsters who lost a parent on 9/11, took part, with each player taking the hand of a child as they came out on the field, and other children displaying a huge American flag in the outfield.

  • When I was a young sportswriter, I used to cover high school football games, and barely noticed the band. They were just something to listen to during halftime while I added up my first-half statistics.
    Then something funny happened. I became a band parent … for 12 straight years.
    No, it wasn’t one child who had trouble getting out of high school. I had three sons, four years apart, who were all band members, so when one graduated, there was another to take his place.

  • We’ve beaten a hole in our drum writing so often about political pork earmarks. Another category of frivolous federal spending is earmarks for eggheads.
    We’ve neglected examples of federal funding for goofy grants and silly studies – an annual ritual of granting money for research about which no one seems to ask: “Is that important? Is it necessary?”

  • Back quite a few years ago, there was a movie called “Home Alone.” At the end, the bratty little kid who captured a couple of burglars had a part in the subplot. He got his scary next door neighbor reunited with his son, enabling the older man to finally spend some time with his granddaughter.
    It was a great message about family love conquering other problems.
    Lost in all the memorials and remembrances that Sept. 11 brings, on the 10-year anniversary of the terrible attacks, is a celebration that occurs every year on the second Sunday in September.

  • This coming weekend is a time for solemn remembering of an event that everyone who was older than a toddler will recall forever … the attack on America by Osama bin Laden’s troops, including two planes crashing into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon and another into a field in Pennsylvania.
    In that one, we all remember, the passengers revolted against the hijackers and gave their lives to stop a further attack on Washington, D.C.
    It was Sept. 11, 2001, and we all recall what we were doing that day.

  • The difficulty among the House, Senate, and president in reaching a debt and deficit agreement for the coming fiscal year was that they were discussing fictional numbers as if they were real.
    For decades federal budgeting and spending has been designed to obscure the ambitions and intentions of Washington politicians and bureaucrats. It’s called baseline budgeting. The object is to give the impression that legislators are providing more services without voting for more spending.

  • Many years ago, Labor Day was established to honor the working people of our land, and that is still the purpose of the holiday.
    Up north, it marks the end of summer, but down here it has little effect on the people because of the weather.
    For now, Labor Day is a bittersweet reminder of the hard times that we are going through economically in the United States.