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Columns

  • Grace Notes 1/21/2017: This is our dad

    Have you seen “This is Us?”

    It’s an NBC drama on Tuesday nights that follows the Pearson family: three siblings — Kevin, Kate and Randall — and their parents, Jack and Rebecca.

    Actually, Kevin and Kate are two-thirds of a set of triplets. The third triplet, Kyle, died at birth.

  • Seniors vs. Crime 1/15/2017: Never reveal checking info over phone

    As we enter the last holiday weekend for some time, I wanted to share some information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on scam trends we are seeing around the country — a few of which we have seen right here in Citrus County.

  • Bird deaths fan wind turbine issue

    As a member of our local Audubon Chapter, I wanted to respond to Dorane Strouse’s letter on “Wind Turbines Threat to Birds.” 

    In his letter, he asserts two claims: one, wind turbines could potentially lead to the death of thousands of birds annually; and two, that Audubon and other conservation organizations are doing nothing about this. 

    Mr. Strouse is wrong. However, let us first get some facts straight, so we all have the same understanding.

  • The ego is easily kept in check

    I am not sure how people grow huge egos.

    I would love to have a huge ego, but life just keeps poking me in the eye with a hot stick whenever I think I’m on top of the world.

    We had our 5-year-old granddaughter from Rhode Island staying with us recently. Norah is as smart as her mother and I can see lots of similarities in her behavior. 

  • For our teachers, it’s past time we re-evaluate

    As a kid, I remember the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” being asked of me by just about every grown up I came across. It’s the ultimate conversation starter with children. You just never know what kind of answer you are going to get.

  • Change needed: Unintended consequences of impact fees

    As a policy maker, I’m frequently questioned on what we as a community can, should, and shouldn’t do, and the effects of each choice. Oftentimes, there are “unintended consequences” of our choice, and in the end, we regret the outcome of our decision. A case in point is impact fees. As we acquiesce and assume the return of impact fees, and with it government prepares for the potential glut of money for dream projects, I’m nonetheless concerned about these unintended consequences that come with it.

  • New United Way program to help vets

    Capt. George Hyde, Sgt. Leroy Banks, Airman First Class James Mitchell and  Pvt. First Class Mardon “Bo” West — these outstanding veterans are very special to me because they are my four grandfathers. (One of the benefits of having awesome step-

    parents is that you inherit extra grandparents!) 

  • Jane's Garden 1/22/2017: Winter garden pruning chores

    Some plants can benefit from winter pruning. Roses can be pruned back hard just above a leaf node in mid to late winter. Within weeks rose shrubs will grow new leaves and stems from the nodes below the cuts. These tender new leaves could be prone to freezing should there be an exceptionally long, hard freeze of more than a few hours on an early winter morning.

  • Gardener Gal 1/22/2017: It takes time to make 'black gold'

    Dear Gardener Gal: Our neighbor has a small hobby farm. They have horses, cows and some other farm type animals and have offered us manure for our vegetable garden. Can we use this safely, and which kind of animal’s manure would be best? I’d like to start prepping my garden now, so let me know as soon as possible. — Randy in Floral City

  • Sikorski's Attic 1/22/2017: Dishes look to be commercial-grade 20th century items

    Dear John: I follow your column every week, and now I have a few dishes that perhaps you can help me find information and value on. The plates are of a heavier composition than most plates. I have three of the one in the photo. I also have a platter and a serving bowl, however it is more of an oblong shape and not round. — L.D., internet