• Telling lies on the interstate of life

    The truth will set you free.

    Or not. 

    I attended the county commission this week and right before it started embattled board member Scott Adams came over and gave me a bear hug.

    He then told me all is good and that he was selling a lot of newspapers for the Chronicle.

    We laughed.

  • Disinterest is something we can’t afford

    Gertrude Bell has taught us a lot about foreign policy. Wait? You’ve never heard of Gertrude Bell?

    Surely someone as important as Bell, the British government official and spy, who, after World War I, drew up the borders that now constitute the country of Iraq, should be somewhere on our radar. After all, her pencil marks on a map literally created the country, forcing together fragmented and hostile tribes, that to this day are still just as fragmented and hostile. It’s amazing the mess the West can make.

  • New co-located schools law gets an F
  • Guardian ad litem: A voice for children

    As a family policy advocate, my priority is promoting policies and programs which make a difference in the lives of children who need protection and guidance to improve their chances for life success. 

     That’s why I’m a supporter of Florida’s Guardian ad Litem program (GAL), a valuable example of citizen involvement for vulnerable children. 

    I am honored to share I‘ve been a GAL advocate since the program’s inception 35 years ago.

  • A team approach to volunteering

    Citrus County is well known for volunteerism. Our county thrives on the positive outcomes of its nonprofit volunteers. Citrus SCORE has a prominent place among the high-performance nonprofits with a history of recognition from National SCORE in Washington, D.C. 

    Citrus SCORE easily stands out as the best of the best. So, if you’ve spent your working career in some aspect of the business world, why not join a winning team? Be a SCORE Certified Business Mentor.

  • Be vigilant about scam calls

    This week, I would like to start by addressing a couple of issues that have come to light in the past week or so. The IRS scam calls, as expected, are a big topic, as it is such a common occurrence these days. I, myself, receive the calls at least twice a week.

  • Jane's Garden 5/1/2016: Roadside attraction

    Wand Mullein, Verbascum vigatum Stokes, is a common roadside wildflower in central and north Florida. In April, a fast-growing flower stalk, three or more feet tall, bolts up from a basal rosette of hairy green leaves as soon as the soil warms up in March. There may be only one stalk per plant or as many as seven. The top half of the stalk has dozens of flower buds that open a few at a time over a four-week period from April to May.

  • Sikorski's Attic 5/1/2016: John looks at two cedar chests and a pair of paintings

    Dear John: I have visited you in the past regarding a couple of items I have, including an antique smoker chest. Now since my love of 37 years suddenly died, I have an antique chest that was either his mom’s or grandma’s.

    I have attached some pictures and am curious as to what the value might be. I was amazed to find a very old Zippo lighter that was his dad’s. — N.H.K., Internet

  • Gardener Gal 5/1/2016: Always educate yourself before using pesticides

    Dear Gardener Gal: Your Sunday articles are a joy to read. The varying topics are interesting and helpful. I am writing you in regards to neonicotinoids.

    While browsing through plants at a “big box store,” I noticed a tag that read: “This plant is protected from problematic aphids white flies, beetles, mealy bugs, and other unwanted pests by neonicotinoids.”

  • Grace Notes 4/30/2016: State of my marriage address

    Note: On May 3, my husband and I will be married 41 years. I’ve adapted this column from 2009.

    While out for our semi-regular Sunday drive, as I flipped through the radio stations I asked my husband what kind of music he liked.

    That’s the kind of questions you ask on a first date, not after 41 years of marriage!