Page 1

The parks and recreational areas that make this a great place to live, Page 18

Sunday, October 20, 2013

So much to do when the sun goes down in Marion County, Page 15

A turning point for the economy? Signs are positive, Page 7

A calendar full of familyfriendly events for the coming year, Page 16

2| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Welcome to Marion


It’s the people and places that make the area so special, Page 3 CITIES with personality

Florida Living, Marion County Style




Plenty of options in Marion and surrounding counties, Page 8

All the events to look forward to for the coming months, Page 16

The many beaches, lakes and springs here and just a drive away, Page 20




Parks and recreational areas to enjoy natural Florida, Page 18

What nearby cities have to offer, Page 21

What makes the How to contact the municipalities so diverse, county’s elected officials, Page 5 Page 11 WILD WEATHER



Employers have moved here, and forecasts show promise, Page 7


The animals and insects The year-round opportunities available in you may encounter here, Marion County, Page 19 and what to do, Page 22

Marion County’s location EXPERIENCE can mean extremes in the Tasty options for everyone, Page 14 climate, Page 6 ECONOMIC REBOUND?




After the sun goes down, there’s plenty of entertainment, Page 15

Professional and college teams nearby, Page 20


The equine industry, produces jobs and racewinning horses, Page 23

On the cover: Rachel Geidel, left, and Susan Badgio, both of Melbourne, paddle their kayak on the Rainbow River in Dunnellon. Editor: Tom McNiff, 352867-4013; tom.mcniff@ Copy editors: Paul Runnestrand and Michael Veronie Cover design and layout: Rob Mack Cover photo: Bruce Ackerman/ Staff photographer

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Florida Living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |3

People, location make Marion County an amazing place to live

M Staff report

Jacqui Janetzko/CORRESPONDENT/2012 FILE

Girls dance during Symphony Under the Stars at the Ocala Golf Club.

The geography

101 MI.

Closest major cities Tampa Orlando Jacksonville Miami Atlanta

97 miles 83 miles 101 miles 303 miles 364 miles

Ocala 97 M I.

and Gulf coasts — roughly an hour’s drive each direction, which makes it an ideal launch pad for day ATLANTIC trips to the beach. OCEAN If you head west, you’ll run into Cedar Key and other trendy fishing 95 villages along the Gulf DAYTONA BEACH Coast. The seafood is out of this world, and those communities are ablaze 4 with colorful arts and crafts fashioned by the ORLANDO hands of area artisans. If you head east, you run into Daytona Beach or 4 some of the other touristy Situated in North beach communities. TAMPA Central Florida, Marion And if you stay at home, County is about equal you’ll findgraphic a very diverse distance from the Atlantic ROB MACK/Staff

nta Atla MI. 303

arion County is an extraordinary place. It is vast (its 1,652 square miles make it larger than Rhode Island), and it is diverse geographically, economically, ethnically and culturally. The county is a melting pot — a place that blends political, cultural and economic differences. It is a place where the super wealthy maintain majestic horse-farm estates across the street from blue-collar subdivisions; where colorful Caribbean festivals coexist with country-western concerts; where tea partyers share the downtown square with occupiers; where culinary offerings run from Asian to Italian to Mexican to Brazilian to Cajun. Marion County is a surprise, a delightful departure from the iconic Florida most people know. Instead of miles of JACKSONVILLE white-sand beaches, we have miles of rivers, 10 hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes and 301 a 75 number of crystal-clear springs. InsteadGAINESVILLE of palm trees, we have majestic 301 oaks. Instead of endless strip malls, we haveOCALA quaint downtown areas. CEDAR Take a stroll with us now KEY as we explore Marion 441 County and its hidden GULF OF gems. 75 MEXICO



M I.




place. The eastern third of the county is blanketed by the Ocala National Forest, which attracts hunters, anglers, campers and hikers from throughout the Southeast. Ocala stands in the center of the county. It is the cultural and business center of the county, so it is natural that its population of 58,000 or so swells to triple that size each workday as people make the daily commute to work, shop, eat and enjoy a host of recreational opportunities. In and around Ocala, primarily west and north

Marion County at a glance Founded: March 14, 1844, as the 24th county in Florida. It was named for Francis Marion, the famous “Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War Notable natural features: Ocala National Forest; Rainbow River, Withlachoochee River; Ocklawaha River; Silver Springs; Juniper Springs Area: 1,652 square miles Population per sq. mile: 350.6 County seat: Ocala Major industries: Construction, tourism, horse breeding and training, agriculture of the city, are some of the most breathtaking views in Florida. Drive out State Road 40 west, or U.S. 27 west, and you will pass miles of rolling horse pastures rimmed with white, brown or black fences. Head southwest to Dunnellon, and you will run into the Withlacoochee and Rainbow rivers, two of the most unspoiled and crystalclear bodies of water in the state.

The people

The people of Marion County are an eclectic mix. They are Southerners with deep drawls, Northerners with Brooklyn and Boston accents, Midwesterners, homegrown Ocalans, and newcomers from South Florida with Caribbean and Spanish accents. Walk down most busy streets and you are likely to see cowboy hats, business suits, hijabs, high heels and riding boots. And while the area is a

PEOPLE on Page 4



4| Sunday, October 20, 2013 k ––––––––––––

Florida Living, Marion County Style




PEOPLE: Culture and proximity to larger cities attract many Percent of population by race: MARION COUNTY 2012 Asian 1.5%


ercent of population by race: MARION COUNTY 2012 Asian 1.5%

ack 3%

Black 13%

Percent of population by race: MARION COUNTY 2012 Asian 1.5%

Hispanic 11.4%


Percent of population by race: MARION COUNTY 2012

Hispanic 11.4%

Asian 1.5%

White 83.2

Black 13%

Hispanic 11.4%


White 83.2


sian 2.7%

Black 16.6%

Hispanic 23.2%

Hispanic 11.4%


White 83.2


Hispanic 23.2%

Asian 2.7%

Black 13%

White 83.2


Asian 2.7%

White 78.3%

Hispanic 23.2%

Asian 2.7%

Black 16.6%

Hispanic 23.2%

White 78.3% Bruce Ackerman/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/2013 FILE

Black 16.6%

SOURCE: U.S. Census ROB MACK/Staff graphic

Black 16.6%

White 78.3%

White 78.3%

Educational attainment

OURCE: U.S. Census ROB MACK/Staff graphic

Percentage of population by highest educationSOURCE: level earned: U.S. Census Less than 9th grade

4.5% 5.7%

ROB MACK/Staff graphic


grade, 10.7% Educational attainment 9th to 12th no diploma 8.8%


ercentage of population by highest education level earned:

Performers look around High before they take to the 37.4% school 4.5% ofCOUNTY Ocala at the MARION 2012 30.1% graduate ess than 9thstage grade at the Fine Arts Festival 5.7% McPherson Complex. FLORIDA 2012 Some college, 22.1% 9th to 12th grade, 10.7% no degree 20.9% no diploma 8.8% 8.4% Marion Florida Associate’s degree 37.4% High school 8.6% 30.1% graduate 2012 estimate 335,125 19,317,568 10.8% 2010 22.1% 331,298 18,802,690 Bachelor’s degree Some college, 16.8% 20.9% no degree Percent change 1.2% 2.7% 6.1% Graduate degree Male 8.4% 48% 48.9% 9.2 % Associate’s degree 8.6% Female 52% 51.1% SOURCE: U.S. Census


10.8% 65 years and over Under16.8% 18 years

Bachelor’s degree

26.8% 18.9%

18.2% 20.7%

SOURCE: U.S. Census 6.1%

Graduate degree

9.2 %

OURCE: U.S. Census

Continued from 3 tapestry of integrated neighborhoods, each community that makes up Marion County has a slightly different ethnic or cultural feel. Marion Oaks, on the county’s southern border, has a distinctive Hispanic influence. Silver Springs Shores is home to a sizable Caribbean population.

West Ocala is a historically African American community. And if you head west on State Road 200, past Interstate 75, you come upon some of Florida’s oldest and best senior communities, home to tends of thousands of people who migrated here because of the low cost of living, the favorable climate and the natural beauty.

A statue, part of the permanent collection, is shown U.S. Census inSOURCE: a gallery at the Appleton Museum of Art on East ROB MACK/Staff graphic Silver Springs Boulevard in Ocala.

Educational attainment

Percentage of population by highest education level earned: Less than 9th grade

grade, 10.7% The cultureattainment 9th to 12th Educational no diploma 8.8%

4.5% 5.7%

No matter taste by in highest education level earned: Percentage ofyour population music, art and entertainHigh school 37.4% 4.5% MARION COUNTY 30.1%2012 ment, it’s9th here. graduate Less than gradeThe 5.7% community’s social FLORIDA 2012 Some college, 22.1% calendar has an array 9th to 12th grade, 10.7%of no degree 20.9% no diploma offerings that reflect 8.8%the area’s ethnic and cultural 8.4% Associate’s degree HighThere school is37.4% 8.6% diversity. a graduate 30.1% Caribbean Festival, 10.8% African-American Arts Bachelor’s degree Some college, 22.1% 16.8% Festival,no and festivals 20.9%— degree like Boomtown Days and 6.1% Graduate degree 8.4% 9.2 % the McIntosh 1890s Associate’s degree 8.6% SOURCE: U.S. Census festival — that celebrate the area’s rich history. 10.8% Bachelor’s degree 16.8% There is a terrific conveniently located on symphony orchestra, the one of the city’s busiest 6.1% Appleton GraduateMuseum degree of Art thoroughfares, College 9.2 % and a celebrated commuRoad (State Road 200), SOURCE: U.S. Census nity theater — Ocala Civic and features national Theater — that presents a chains like Belk, Sears, full slate of live perforJ.C. Penney and Macy’s, mances each season. and fashion retailers like Hollister, Aeropostale, Gap and American Eagle While Ocala maintains a Outfitters. The other mall, a small-town feel, the city relatively recent addition and surrounding commuto the landscape, is nities boast some pretty situated just 3 miles west good shopping options. Ocala is home to not one, on State Road 200. Market but two malls. The older of Street at Heath Brook is an open-air mall that boasts the two, Paddock Mall, is

The shopping


Pop. Pct. American 22,561 6.8% Arab 461 0.1% Czech 1,215 0.4% Danish 1,115 0.3% Dutch 5,732 1.7% English 37,394 11.3% French 12,168 3.7% French Canadian 2,917 0.9% German 52,793 16.0% Greek 794 0.2% Hungarian 1,649 0.5% Irish 41,504 12.6% Italian 21,714 6.6% Lithuanian 422 0.1% Norwegian 2,455 0.7% Polish 9,330 2.8% Portuguese 1,712 0.5% Russian 1,522 0.5% Scotch-Irish 5,950 1.8% Scottish 7,474 2.3% Slovak 468 0.1% Subsaharan African 7,133 2.2% Swedish 3,697 1.1% Swiss 842 0.3% Ukrainian 727 0.2% Welsh 2,473 0.7% West Indian 4,679 1.4%

SOURCE: U.S. Census

such names as Dillards, Barnes & Noble, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Joseph A. Bank men’s fashions.

And if that’s not enough …

One of Marion County’s greatest features is its proximity to large cities and other great Florida destinations. Our residents love being able to live in a small town but also being able to escape to a variety of places

within an hour’s drive. Tampa and St. Petersburg, about an hour and a half southwest of here, have great concert venues, professional sports franchises and unique cultural offerings such as the Cuban-influenced Ybor City. Orlando is, of course, home to Disney World and a number of other great theme parks like Universal Studios, SeaWorld and Wet ’n Wild water park. North of here is Gainesville, which boasts the University of Florida and its great concert venues, not to mention one of the best college athletic programs in the nation.

42 301

ROB MACK/Staff graphic

Florida Living, Marion County Style | OCALA STAR-BANNER



441 316

316 75

441 301



27 40




41 441 301 200




Square miles: 7.4 Population: About 1,800 Key feature: Two beautiful rivers cross Dunnellon, the Withlacoochee and the Rainbow. Both provide ample opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming. The Rainbow draws thousands of visitors every summer for tubing and kayaking. Mayor: Nathan Whitt Council: Dennis Evans; Penny Fleeger; Lynn McAndrew; Erik Collop


Lake Weir 42


ROB MACK/Staff graphic

Staff Report


cala is the bestknown of Marion County’s cities, but it’s not the only one. There are five, each with a distinctive personality.



Reddick was one of the stops, which provided a vital means History: Ulric and Sarah Mills for the area to get citrus and Reddick moved their family other agricultural products From South Carolina to Marion out of the area. The city was County sometime around 1850. incorporated in 1905. Their son, John, purchased an Square miles: 1.8 80-acre parcel which became Population: About 500 the town of Reddick. John Mayor: James Stroup Reddick deeded a right-of-way to the Florida Southern Railway Council: Steven Rogers; William Pulliam; Thomas Joyner; Co., and in 1881 the railroad connected Gainesville to Ocala. William Willis; Michael Salter



George Antonopoulos performs with the “Night in Athens” Trio at the annual Greek Festival at St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church in Belleview.

Mayor: Kent Guinn Council: Daniel Owen; Mary Sue Rich; Jay Musleh; John McLeod; Suzy Heinbockel

Belleview History: The city was founded in 1884 around Nine Mile Pond, so named because it was nine miles from the area’s major population center in Ocala. Today, the pond is called Lake Lillian. The name Belleview mean’s beautiful view. Square miles: 1.8 Population: About 4,500 Key feature: Lake Lillian,

the site of many of the town’s festivals and events Mayor: Christine Dobkowski Commission: Michael Goldman; Gary Ernst; Ronald Livsey; Robert “Bo” Smith

Dunnellon History: Dunnellon was founded in 1887, the year before phosphate was discovered in the area. This discovery led to a mining boom that swelled the population of the town and instantly transformed it into one of the most prosperous Florida communities in the late 1800s.

History: McIntosh takes its name from Col. John Houstoun McIntosh, who owned a plantation in the area from the early 1820’s until it was destroyed by Indians during the Second Seminole War between 1835 and 1842. The town itself was first built by Nehemiah Brush, a Baltimore merchant who bought 4,000 acres encompassing modernday McIntosh, at a government auction in nearby Micanopy. His son, Col. Charles Brush developed the area. Square miles: .75 Population: About 450 Key feature: The McIntosh Train depot and the large Victorian homes that dot the landscape Mayor: Cary McCollum Council: Frank Ciotti; Eva Jo Callahan; Marshall Roddy; Thurman Kingsley; Willie Hamilton

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History: Ocala was the site of the original Fort King, established in the early 1800s to keep peace between the Indians and white settlers. The city itself was established in 1846 as the county seat of Marion, which was named in honor of Revolutionary War hero General Francis Marion. The city itself was incorporated in 1868 and approved by the state in 1869. Square miles: 44 Population: About 58,000 Key feature: The downtown area, which is bristling with shops and entertainment and which boasts two open-air concert venues, one on the square and one outside City Hall at Citizen’s Circle. Downtown Ocala also is emerging as a center for technology and entrepreneurship, with the addition of the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition and the Power Plant business incubator.



Sunday, October 20, 2013 |5

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6| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


Weather extremes mark county’s climate By Joe Callahan Staff writer


Groom Fernando Ramirez walks in the rain with a gray colt during the second day of the Ocala Breeders’ Sale August Open Sale of Yearlings in Ocala.

hen it gets cold in Marion County, it gets really cold. And when it gets hot, it gets really hot. Many newcomers and visitors to this part of Florida don’t realize that there can be some large temperature swings from the summer to winter. In fact, the difference between Ocala’s all-time record low and record high is nearly 100 degrees. Ocala’s all-time record low of 11 degrees was set on Jan. 13, 1981, while the all-time record high of 105 degrees was reached twice: June 8, 1933 and June 4, 1985.


National Weather Service records for Ocala, which date back more than 120 years, show that on 22 different occasions a record daily low temperature dropped below 20 degrees — three times below 15 degrees. Temperature extremes are part of the wacky weather — from hurricanes, tornadoes and thunderstorms to heat waves, droughts and forest fires — that keeps residents on guard. During the last 10 years, Marion County has experienced all of these phenomenons, not to mention lightning, floods, freezes and torrential rainfall. Here is a look at some of the area’s extreme weather:

Equal opportunity employer/programs. Auxiliary aids/services available upon request. Member: Employ Florida.

Marion County has more thunderstorms each year than almost any place in the United States. In fact, there are 90 thunderstorm days between June and October annually. Most of the storms form along a line near Interstate 75, a place where the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean breezes often collided, prompting many thunderstorms.





Soon becoming CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion


ALL-TIME RECORDS Highest temperature: 105, June 8, 1933 and June 4, 1985. Lowest temperature: 11, Jan. 13, 1981 Coldest month ever: Jan. 1938, 47 degrees* Most rainfall-day: 11.72 inches, Apr. 8, 1982. Most rainfall-month: 20.70, Sept. 2004

30-YEAR AVERAGES Month High Low Rain Jan. 71.3 44.8 3.20” Feb. 74.5 47.5 3.26” March 78.9 51.7 4.56” April 84.0 56.2 2.40” May 89.8 63.2 2.92” Marion County is also in June 92.2 69.7 7.42” an area that gets more July 93.2 71.4 6.92” lightning strikes than Aug. 92.6 71.6 6.32” most any other places in the country. Researchers Sept. 90.5 69.2 6.08” Marion County had say between 35,000 and Oct. 85.3 61.8 3.03” dodged these storms for 40,000 bolts of lightning Nov. 78.6 53.5 2.12” about a century. strike Marion County each Dec. 72.6 47.0 2.57” That was until 2004, year. when two hurricanes, Southern Marion County Hottest month: Aug., 92.6 Frances and Jeanne, is part of an area called Coldest month: Jan., 44.8 slammed the area just Lightning Alley, a zone Wettest month: June, 7.42. weeks apart. that runs from Tampa to Driest month: Nov., 2.12 Although it had weakCocoa Beach and northAnnual thunderstorm ened by the time it reached ward into the south end of days: 90 us, Frances damaged the county. Annual 90-degree days: 2,000 homes and caused 136 about $20 million in damages. Jeanne, which came two weeks later, didn’t damage as many homes or cause as much damage.

Call 352.873.7939 | 800.434.5627 Visit

majority of the twisters locally are very weak compared to the monsters associated with the Midwest.

Weather by the numbers

Tornadoes are a Midwest occurrence, right? Wrong. Year after year, Florida is in the Top 5 states for producing twisters. National Weather Service records show that since 1950, Florida has the third most tornadoes of any state in the country, behind Texas and Kansas. However, the vast


Marion County has averaged 50.70 inches of rain annually over the 30 years, ranging from the highest monthly average of 7.42 inches in June to lowest amounts of 2.12 inches in November. The record rainfall for any year on record was 74.71 inches in 1982. The wettest day on record was April 8, 1982, where 11.72 inches fell, and wettest month ever was in September 2004, when 20.70 inches fell thanks to two hurricanes.

WEATHER on Page 9

2012 AVErAGES Month High Low Rain Jan. 73.4 42.7 0.77” Feb. 76.4 53.0 4.80” March 83.1 56.7 1.99” April 86.7 57.6 1.88” May 89.2 65.3 5.27” June 88.6 69.9 13.80” July 92.4 71.9 5.90” Aug. 90.6 72.3 9.51” Sept. 89.7 69.9 3.61” Oct. 83.3 62.7 2.60” Nov. 74.3 48.6 0.07” Dec. 73.6 48.9 3.38” SOURCE: National Weather Service | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Florida Living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |7

Marion’s economy shows positive signs By Richard Anguiano Business editor

Marion County’s top employers

fter several trying years, events so far in 2013 have brought glimmers of new hope for Marion County’s economy. Several employers have moved operations and much-needed jobs here. Meanwhile, business publications have forecast the Ocala/Marion County area to have a promising future in at least two economic categories. For these and other reasons, Kevin T. Sheilley, president and CEO of the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, describes himself as “very optimistic” about the county’s prospects. “In 2014, I think we’re going to see a lot of things pop in Marion County,” he said. Here is a quick look at recent developments in Marion County’s economic picture:

Private Company Employees Category 1. Munroe Regional Medical Center 2,648 Health Care. 2. Walmart 2,370 Retail Sales 3. Ocala Regional Health System 1,725 Health Care 4. Publix Supermarkets 1,488 Retail Sales 5. AT&T 1,000 Call Center 6. Lockheed Martin 929 Manufacturing 7. E-One Inc. 850 Manufacturing 8. Cheney Brothers Inc. 570 Distribution 9. The Centers 568 Health Care 10. Swift Transportation 508 Transportation



A worker welds a medical chair at Winco Medical Furnishings in Ocala.

Most recent U.S. Department of Labor data indicate 124,975 were employed in Marion County in August, with a total labor force of 135,680. The unemployment rate for the month stood at 7.9 percent, an improvement from 10.1 percent in August 2012. The median wage in Marion County in the first quarter of 2013 was $28,403, according to Florida Department of Economic Opportunity statistics.

Ocala over the summer with $700,000 in incentives from the city and county. In exchange, the company has vowed to create 250 jobs within four years and says the jobs will pay on average $47,700 per year. Further boosting local morale, R+L moved into palatial office space originally built for Taylor Bean & Whitaker that had sat vacant since the mortgage giant’s 2009 collapse in a criminal scandal. R+L joined other newcomers bringing jobs to Marion County, including Sitel (some 350 so far this year), and Ansafone (about 150 so far). Meanwhile, Ocala 489 LLC sold 150 acres at Ocala/Marion County Commerce Park to FedEx for a ground hub off Interstate 75, with 165 jobs projected.




Major employers making moves to Ocala in 2013 included R+L Carriers Inc., which opened a technology center in

Forbes magazine and Moody Analytics ranked Ocala fifth among the best American cities for job growth. Also this year,

Money magazine ranked the Ocala area as a top 15 market for real estate in the future.


The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce and the Ocala Economic Development Corp. merged to form the Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership one year ago. The group, known as the CEP, was formed as a centralized local effort to attract and retain businesses. Sheilley, of Louisville, Ky., was hired as president and CEO in December 2012.


According to the most recent CEP data, Marion County Public Schools is the largest local employer with 6,071 workers. In the private sector, Munroe Regional Medical Center is tops with 2,648 employees.


Walmart is the top retail sales sector employer in Marion County with 2,370

workers and recently opened a store in Silver Springs Shores. Publix Supermarkets is also in the top 10 of private Marion employers with 1,488 workers and has announced plans for its newest location across from Trinity Catholic High School. A new arrival is

Public Agency 1. Marion County Public Schools 2. State of Florida 3. Marion County Government 4. City of Ocala 5. U.S. Government 6. Marion County Sheriff’s Office 7. College of Central Florida

Employees 6,071 2,600 1,462 994 700 658 456

SOURCE: Ocala/Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership

Burlington Coat Factory, which recently opened in 65,000 square feet vacated by Kmart in the Shady Oaks Shopping Plaza at the intersection of State

Road 200 and Southwest 27th Avenue. The clothing retailer is estimated to bring 75 jobs to that location.

ECONOMY on Page 10


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8| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


Higher education options plentiful in and around county By Joe Callahan Staff writer


or about 3,000 students who graduate high school in Marion County each year, there are many local options for higher education. Whether it’s attending a large school like the University of Florida just 30 miles away or the smaller ones in Marion County (Webster University, Rasmussen College and Taylor College), an education is there for the taking. One of the most popular options in Marion County is the College of Central Florida and its “University Center.” Offering $10,000 bachelor’s degrees, CF was ranked one of the nation’s Top 10 most affordable colleges. CF’s annual tuition for a full-time student in 2011-12 was $2,365, 66.9 percent below the national average of $7,135, a U.S. Department of Education report stated over the summer. If quality is a concern, don’t worry. CF won its second consecutive Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence — one of only 120 colleges in the country to win the award. The Aspen Prize goes to the top 10 percent of the nation’s best colleges in terms of quality of education. CF won it in


A graduate takes photos with her family after the graduation ceremony for the Community Technical & Adult Education, held at Marion Technical Institute in Ocala. 2010 and 2012. Located on College Road in Ocala, CF also has campuses in Citrus and Levy counties. CF offers bachelor’s degrees of applied science in business and organizational management for only $10,000 — $2,500 annually. In addition to the general business degree, students can earn specializations in agribusiness management, management information systems, health care management and public safety administration. At the University Center, CF partners with six other

universities, which offer various bachelor’s, graduate and doctoratelevel programs. Each of the college or university partners has its own criteria for admission, as well as requirements for graduation. The six partners are: Capella University, Florida State University, Saint Leo University, University of Central Florida, University of Florida and Webster University. For more information about CF: Address: 3001 SW College Rd., Ocala, FL 34474 Phone: 352-237-2111 The other area colleges and universities are:

University of Florida

The state’s oldest, UF “traces its beginnings to the takeover of the private Kingsbury Academy in Ocala by the state-funded East Florida Seminary in 1853,” according to its website. The seminary moved to Gainesville following the Civil War and consolidated with Florida Agricultural College, which was located in Lake City, to become the University of Florida in 1905. Classes began in September 1906. There were 102 men enrolled on campus, which consisted of only a storage facility


Students drive outside the Ewers Century Center at the College of Central Florida in Ocala. and two dormitories, Buckman Hall and Thomas Hall. Thomas Hall was not only a lecture hall, it held offices, cafeteria and library. UF was for men only until 1947. Back then, there were only three state universities: UF, Florida A&M and Florida State College for Women, which became FSU. In 1947, the UF student body numbered 8,177 men and 601 women. Today, UF is one of the five largest universities in the nation, with approximately 50,000 students. For more information about UF, call 352-3923261 or go to

Webster University

Webster University was founded in 1915 and now has more than 100 campuses around the world. Webster offers more than 100 undergraduate programs and also offers graduate, post-graduate, doctoral and certificate programs at locations

around the world. Those programs are for either full-time students or working professionals. For more information about Webster: Address: 4414 SW College Road, Suite #942 Ocala, FL 34474 Phone: 352-861-9330

Rasmussen College

Located in front of West Marion Hospital, Rasmussen College was founded as a business school in 1900 and now has 22 campuses in five states. Once known as Webster College, Rasmussen offers degrees in several areas. Those include health sciences, business, criminal justice, nursing and technology design. For more information about Rasmussen: Address: 4755 SW 46th Court, Ocala, FL 34474 Phone:352-629-1941

Taylor College

Founded in 1999, Taylor

College is located in Belleview in a 11,000-square-foot building at 5190 SE 125th St., just off County Road 484. The college offers associate degrees in professional nursing, LPN to ADN nurse bridge, and physical therapist assistant. The college also offers a practical nursing diploma program and a paramedic-to-registered nurse program. Taylor offers career preparation courses to become a nursing assistant, phlebotomist and EK technician. For more information about Taylor: Address: 5190 SE 125th St, Belleview, FL 34420 Phone: 352-245-4119

Not far away Major universities that are not far from Ocala: University of Central Florida in Orlando; University of South Florida in Tampa; Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Florida Living, Marion County Style | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |9

WEATHER: Three years of drought followed last major flood Continued from 6


The Withlacoochee River sometimes reaches flood stage and especially impacts an area called Arrowhead subdivision, which is just on the other side of the river just off State Road 200 in Citrus County. The last major flood was in March 1998 after the area experienced record winter rainfall, 20 inches more than normal in the four months before the flood. Once it subsided, a record drought then began.


Marion County has seen its share of droughts in the last decade, but none worse than a three-year period that began in April 1998. During those three years, rainfall deficits ranged from 22 inches to more than three feet. But in June 2001, regular rain began falling. In fact, from June 1, 2001 to December 2002, 79 inches of rain fell.


After the March 1998 floods, the rain stopped falling and by Memorial Day, wildfires were burning all across the state. During the next six weeks, Florida had its worst outbreak in history. By July 4 that year, when firefighters from all around the country finally got a hold on the blazes, more than 500,000 acres had burned and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.


Marion County is also not immune to freezing temperatures, even though January’s average low temperature is 46 degrees. The area was slammed with three major freezes in 1983, 1985 and 1989. In all three of those freezes, temperatures dipped into the mid-teens. In fact, most of the citrus north of State Road 50 was killed after the first freezes and completely finished off in 1989.


U.S. Forest Service firefighters set back fires to control a wildfire that continues to burn on Halfmoon Lake prairie in Ocala National Forest in April.

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For every precious moment!

Moms in Ocala, connecting on family life, home, office, kids, health, and exercise.

A place for Moms to Connect

10| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


ECONOMY: Sales of residential homes have been on the rise Continued from 7


Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors data show residential existing home sales having a year-over-year increase for every month so far in 2013, peaking in July with 518 closed sales, a 40 percent increase from the same month last year. On the commercial side, a partnership of Dallas-based MGHerring Group, Tricom Real Estate Group, and Greenwich, Conn.-based Contrarian Capital Management LLC recently bought the Market Street at Heath Brook shopping center. Meanwhile, Konover South LLC of Deerfield Beach is developing for Benjamin Leon the 90,000-square-foot shopping center across from Trinity Catholic High School to

be anchored by the new Publix. Bartow McDonald IV, of Sperry Van Ness in Ocala, recently leased 50,000 square feet to Krausz Industries for the Israeli manufacturer’s Ocala-based North American headquarters, Krausz USA.


Manufacturing firms among Marion County’s top 10 private employers include defense contractor Lockheed Martin with 929 workers and emergency vehicle-maker E-One Inc. with 850.


A number of tech companies have located downtown near the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, including LSeven Solutions and DS Media Labs, which was nurtured at the Ocala Power Plant business incubator.

EQUINE No discussion of the Marion County economy would be complete without mention of its signature horse industry, which has been on a pretty heady run for much of 2013. This year’s Triple Crown races were loaded with thoroughbreds having ties to the Ocala area, including the winner of each: Orb in the Kentucky Derby, Oxbow in the Preakness and Palace Malice in the Belmont. The Ocala Breeders Sales Co.’s August yearling sale posted more than $16.1 million in sales for 604 horses, an increase of some 60 percent from 2012’s $10.1 million for 437 yearlings. Meanwhile, the Thoroughbred and Breeders Association this year named Ocala Stud its National Breeder of the Year for 2012.


Trauma Center doctors confer with a physican extender as they do their rounds at the the Level II Trauma Center on the fourth floor of Ocala Regional Medical Center.



LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free 12-week small group program for cancer survivors who have become de-conditioned or chronically fatigued. Our goal is to help patients build muscle mass, increase flexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. Call the YMCA for more information.

FOR YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: FALL FESTIVAL Friday, October 25 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Additional Information: Community event to celebrate fall with games, treats and non-scary costumes

FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: PRAYER BREAKFAST Thursday, November 7 at 7 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Charlie Duke, former NASA astronaut, will share his testimony about becoming a Christian after his journey to the moon. Tickets: $15 each, $150 table of 8 FRANK DELUCA YMCA FAMILY CENTER 3200 SE 17th St. Ocala, FL 34471 352.368.9622

The Frank DeLuca YMCA was a place where my family found refuge and love as we battled cancer. It's where my boys have grown up learning respect, responsibility and teamwork through team sports. The Y continues to provide a place of strength and encouragement for each of us. —Angela Mitchell

Florida Living, Marion County Style | OCALA STAR-BANNER


U.S. Senate Bill Nelson, D Closest Office: Orlando Landmark Two 225 East Robinson St., Suite 410 Orlando, FL 32801 407-872-7161 Toll Free in Florida: 888-671-4091 Fax: 407-872-7165 Committees: ■■Aging Committee, chairman ■■Budget Committee ■■Commerce Committee ■■Armed Services Committee ■■Finance Committee Marco Rubio, R Closest Office: 201 South Orange Ave. Suite 350 Orlando, FL 32801 407-254-2573 Toll Free in Florida: 866-630-7106 Committees: ■■Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation ■■Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet ■■Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard ■■Subcommittee on Science and Space ■■Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security Committee on Foreign Relations U.S. House Corrine Brown, D District 5 Closest Office: 455 North Garland Ave.,

Suite 414 Orlando, FL 32801 407-872-2208 Committees: ■■Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure ■■Committee on Veterans’ Affairs ■■Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials ■■Subcommittee on Aviation ■■Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation ■■Subcommittee on Health

Ted Yoho, R District 3 Closest Office: 5000 NW 27th Court Suite E Gainesville, FL 32606 352-505-0838 Committees: ■■House Committee on Agriculture ■■Subcommittee on Horticulture, Research, Biotechnology and Foreign Agriculture ■■Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development and Credit ■■House Committee on Foreign Affairs ■■Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa ■■Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Rich Nugent, R District 11 Closest Office: 115 SE 25th Ave.

Ocala, FL 34471 352-351-1670 Fax 352-689-4621 Committees: ■■House Committee on Rules ■■Chairman, Subcommittee on Rules and Organization of the House ■■Subcommittee on Legislative

and Budget Process ■■House Committee on Armed Services ■■ Member, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities ■■ Member, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces ■■ House Committee on House Administration ■■Joint Committee on Printing Florida Senate Charles S. Dean, R District 5 District Office: 315 SE 25th Ave. Ocala, FL 34471-2689 352-873-6513 Committees: ■■Environmental Preservation and Conservation, Chair ■■Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice ■■Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government ■■Children, Families, and Elder Affairs ■■Criminal Justice ■■Gaming ■■Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security ■■Select Committee on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin, Vice Chair Alan Hays, R District 11 District Office: 871 South Central Ave. Umatilla, FL 32784-9290 352-742-6441 Committees: ■■Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government, Chair ■■Children, Families, and Elder Affairs, Vice Chair


Oversight and Accountability, Vice Chair ■■Appropriations ■■Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice ■■Banking and Insurance ■■Commerce and Tourism ■■Select Committee on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin ■■Joint Legislative Auditing Committee ■■Joint Legislative Budget Commission Dorothy Hukill, R District 8 District Office: Ocala City Hall 110 SE Watula Ave. Third floor Ocala, FL 34471 352-694-0160 Committees: ■■ Appropriations Subcommittee on Finance and Tax, Chair ■■Appropriations ■■Appropriations Subcommittee on Education ■■Commerce and Tourism ■■Communications, Energy and Public Utilities ■■Community Affairs ■■Governmental Oversight and Accountability ■■Joint Committee on Public Counsel Oversight

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |11 Rep. H. Marlene O’Toole, R District 33 District Office: 916 Avenida

Central The Villages, FL 32159-5704 352-315-4445 Committees: ■■Education Committee, Chair ■■Appropriations Committee ■■Education Appropriations Subcommittee ■■Government Operations Subcommittee Charlie Stone, R District 22 District Office: Suite 104 3001 Southwest College Road Ocala, FL 34474-4415 352-291-4436 Committees: ■■Judiciary Committee, Vice Chair ■■Choice & Innovation Subcommittee ■■Civil Justice Subcommittee ■■Education Appropriations Subcommittee ■■Local & Federal Affairs Committee

Clovis Watson, Jr., D District 20 Florida House District Office: Rep. Dennis Suite 202 Baxley, R 2815 NW 13th Street District 23 Gainesville, FL 32609-2865 District 352-264-4001 Office: 315 Southeast Committees: ■■Agriculture & Natural 25th Ave. Resources Appropriations Ocala, FL 34471-2689 Subcommittee 352-732-1313 ■■Agriculture & Natural Committees: Resources Subcommittee ■■Judiciary Committee, Chair ■■Economic Development & ■■Appropriations Committee Tourism Subcommittee ■■Ethics & Elections ■■Health Quality Subcommittee Subcommittee ■■K-12 Subcommittee ■■State Affairs Committee

Marion County Commission The County Commission is the primary policy-making body for Marion County. Commissioners are elected by all county voters but serve individual districts. Their terms are four years each. The commission meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each in the Commission Auditorium, 601 SE 25th Ave. in Ocala. District 1 David Moore District 2 Kathy Bryant District 3 Stan McClain District 4 Carl Zalak III District 5 Earl Arnett





Zalak III

12| florida living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013

florida living, Marion County Style | 13

There is just no substitute for compassion.



Munroe Regional is proud to have won the prestigious Consumer Choice Award as Marion County’s Most Preferred Hospital for Overall Quality and Image and Best Doctors and Nurses for the tenth consecutive year.

Where you get your care really does matter. It’s easy for us to talk about quality. About the national recognitions we’ve earned. Or about how our doctors and nurses make a real difference in the lives of our patients. But it’s far more rewarding when we hear those things from our patients. It’s a fact: there is a real quality difference in the care at Munroe Regional. And it matters. See some of our patient testimonials at

12| florida living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013

florida living, Marion County Style | 13

There is just no substitute for compassion.



Munroe Regional is proud to have won the prestigious Consumer Choice Award as Marion County’s Most Preferred Hospital for Overall Quality and Image and Best Doctors and Nurses for the tenth consecutive year.

Where you get your care really does matter. It’s easy for us to talk about quality. About the national recognitions we’ve earned. Or about how our doctors and nurses make a real difference in the lives of our patients. But it’s far more rewarding when we hear those things from our patients. It’s a fact: there is a real quality difference in the care at Munroe Regional. And it matters. See some of our patient testimonials at

14| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


Marion County has a restaurant for every taste By Rick Allen Staff writer


ith more than 500 restaurants in Marion County, ranging from roadside barbecue and taco food trucks to the fanciest of white linen, there’s bound to be one to meet every taste. Of course, a question always is, “where?” A frustrated father once wished for a restaurant named “I Don’t Care,” thinking that it would at least be a place picked by his kids. But the truth is, we do care. And for that reason, here is a practical guide to what is available.


Lunch is served at La Cuisine on Southwest First Avenue in Ocala. meats and organic veggies in fresh-cooked Mexican and Tex-Mex fare to the corner of Southwest College Road and 27th Avenue.

On the move

Top ’o the heap

Among our top rated restaurants are two repeat Golden Spoon honorees: La Cuisine French Restaurant at 48 SW First Ave. and SKY Asian Fusion atop the Holiday Inn off Southwest College Road and I-75. Ranked right up there by some are Mark’s Prime, a high-end steakhouse on Ocala’s downtown square; Cuvee, on Southwest 19th Avenue Road, with its eclectic menu and its extensive wine inventory; the dignified Arthur’s at the Hilton off Southwest College Road; the proteinheavy churrascaria-style Ipanema Brazilian Steak House on South Pine Avenue; Mesa de Notte, arguably our top Italian ristorante, at 2436 E. Silver Springs Blvd.; and the Braised Onion, a kicky take on “comfort food,” at 754 NE 25th Ave.

New to town

■■ Blue Highway was one

■■ Mojo’s Grill and Cater-


Sam Betty pours a McAuslan Brewery St. Ambroise pumpkin beer, one of the featured craft beers at Pi on Broadway. of the most anticipated pizzerias to come to town, opening at 2130 E. Silver Springs Blvd. across from Ker’s WingHouse. Originally just in Micanopy, Blue Highway is renowned for its designer pizzas. ■■ A Taste of Everywhere was the headline on a StarBanner story about Joe Cangelosi and Katalin Cox’s bakery a decade ago. They returned to Ocala this year to open at 128 SW Broadway St. featuring baked goods and other fresh-prepared flavors from the world over. ■■ True Grits is the spot to connect with your inner cowboy. Under the

direction of chef B.J. Jacobs, this hitchin’ post at 331 NW 20th St. features grits done a dozen different ways, with stuff like steak, eggs and chicken on the side. Truly, grits are king here. ■■ The Empanada Factory is where Roberto Maquilon and his family make empanadas — a LOT of them. At 1516 SW Third Ave. across from Munroe Regional Medical Center, this unassuming spot is fast becoming the place for the Latin-inspired hand-held meal. And here they’re baked, not fried. ■■ Chipotle Mexican Grill is Ocala’s newest chain; it brings naturally raised

ing in three years has moved from a small spot in downtown Ocala to a larger spot on Pine Avenue, to the spacious digs that started as a popular chain steakhouse on Southwest 17th Street near Target. ■■ Brooklyn’s Original Pizzeria is in the process of moving from its hole in the wall on Northeast 14th Street into larger quarters in the Ocala Shopping Center on East Silver Springs Boulevard. It’s also expanding its menu to a full board. ■■ The Great American Coffee Roasters closed its doors on the South Magnolia Avenue “S” curve to move into more workable space on the ground floor of the Sovereign Building on North Magnolia a block off the downtown square.

Fun and quirky

■■ Feta Mediterranean at


Executive chef B.J. Jacobs shows off his signature dish, shrimp and grits, at True Grits. 306 SW Broadway St. entered its second year adding fun dimension to its ambiance and menu; it’s more than just Greek here. ■■ Pi on Broadway at 110 SW Broadway St. has been around for a handful of years, offering seasonal, eclectic dishes complementing its designer pizzas. Pi also stocks one of the largest selections of craft beers hereabouts. ■■ The Filling Station at 15990 E. State Road 40

east of the Ocklawaha River offers traditional American fare — burgers, hot dogs, chicken — but what’s special is that it is a culinary school created by the Help Agency in the Ocala National Forest; the idea is to teach teens and young adults the value of disciplined work. Oh, and that Cops and Doughnuts shop on a billboard on U.S. 27/441 … don’t look for it around here; It’s advertising a bakery owned and run by police — in Clare, Mich.! | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Florida Living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |15

Nightlife in Ocala: It’s anything but slow By Rick Allen Staff writer


locala! Really? Have you not looked that closely? Maybe this isn’t New York or L.A. or Miami, or even Orlando! But lights DO come on when the sun sinks into the Gulf over yonder. And the newest and brightest spot is Ocala City Hall itself; or, rather, its back porch — also known as Citizen’s Circle. This performance arena opened earlier in 2013 and since has seen a number of fairly substantial acts drop in; NEEDTOBREATHE, for instance, recently drew a crowd numbering in the thousands. The concert was one in a series arranged by the city, Feel Downtown Live; among acts scheduled to play in November is the Little River Band. Best of all, these concerts are free. Also downtown, and packing them in regularly, is the Coyote Cantina at 18 SW Broadway St. By day a restaurant, when the sun goes down it gets to howling with bartenders who dance on the bar and patrons who dance on the floor. It’s gearing up for its first anniversary in November. Coyote’s also boasts periodic visits by Howling Pianos, a musical comedy duel to the death by a pair of pianist-comedians. It’s popular in larger cities; and the folks at Coyote’s have found we here like to laugh, too.

2012 FILE

Ocala Downtown Square at dusk.

Dave Schlenker/STAFF/2013 FILE

Pop-rock singer Edwin McCain performs at Citizen’s Circle in downtown Ocala. Next door to Coyote’s is the slightly more sedate Corkscrew at 16 SW Broadway. This is a winery downtown where you can create and bottle your own personal label — or just sit back with a friend or two and sip some of the house wines available. And around the corner, at 36 SW First Ave., is another wine-related nightspot marking its 15th year downtown: the Ocala Wine Experience. Its cozy, intimate upstairs lounge offers live music from the 1960s and ’70s. On weekends, the

Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale, at the interchange of County Road 25 and State Road 42, presents a diverse slate of musical acts in the old Weirsdale High School gymnasium. Performers run the gamut of bluegrass and country to doo wop, a cappella and Motown, from Mel Tillis to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. And sometimes they just jam. Most acts sell out ahead of time, so checking with the opry’s website — www. — is a good idea. Improv, meanwhile, is

just like jamming only without the instruments. On weekends when the Insomniac Theatre is not producing a show, the theater group turns its historic downtown building at 1 E. Silver Springs Blvd. over to a couple of improv groups, the Brick City Players and the Second Thought Improv, usually for one weekend a month. And when the improv groups — think “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” — are silent, karaoke on “the big screen” takes over. “Insomniac was founded in a spirit of originality and creative thinking, and I love that our SecondStage productions allow us to stick to our roots,” said Chad Taylor, one of Insomniac’s founders, in a release about the group’s schedule. Then there are the bars and nightclubs. Possibly chief among them has been the Ocala Entertainment Complex on Southwest 17th Avenue at Martin Luther King Avenue. It features two indoor saloons — Urban Cowboy and the redone Bombay Beach — and a covered “amphitheater” for larger acts such as Styx and a bubble party with Dennis Rodman.

Other lounges typically offering live music include: ■■ O’Malley’s Allen & Oyster Bar, 24 S. Magnolia Ave. ■■ Charlie Horse, 2426 E. Silver Springs Blvd. ■■ Ghost Riders Saloon,

9360 S. U.S. 27/441. ■■ Our Place Saloon, 7651 SW State Road 200. ■■ Kool Kats Saloon, 9980 E. Country Road 25, Belleview. ■■ El Azteca Mexican Restaurant, 4011 E. Silver Springs Blvd.

16| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


What’s happening in the coming year


f you have an interest — whether it’s food, culture, art or something else — there’s a festival for that in Marion County. Here is a look at some of the more interesting and popular festivals and events. For a complete guide, please pick up the GO entertainment section in Thursday’s Ocala StarBanner or visit

OCTOBER CORN MAZE: Corn Maze, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Coon Hollo Farm, 22480 N U.S. 441, Micanopy. $8, under 4 are free. Runs weekends through Nov. 3. ( SYMPHONY AFTER DARK: Ocala Symphony Orchestra perform alongside the silent film, Nosferatu, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24, at the Marion theatre, 50 NE Magnolia Ave., Ocala. $15 general admission, $25 VIP. (351-1606 or ocalasymphony. com) BLESSED TRINITY CARNIVAL:

Annual carnival featuring midway rides, prizes, games, food at Oct. 24-27 Blessed Trinity Catholic Church, 5 SE 17th St., Ocala. (www. PUMPKIN RUN: Ocala Pumpkin Run car show, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25-27, Castro Farms, 7700 State Road 27, Ocala. Car show,

Volkswagen rally, children’s area and more. $12 per day, children 11 and under are free. (620-9998 or JEEPTOBERFEST: The annual jeep event benefiting local charities, runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Market of Marion, 12888 SE U.S. 441, Belleview. Registration: $30. $5 for spectators. (624-1933 or FINE ARTS: The 47th annual Ocala Arts Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26-27, downtown Ocala. (www. HARVEST FESTIVAL: Micanopy Fall Harvest Festival, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 27, along Cholokka Blvd., Micanopy. (466-7026 or

NOVEMBER ART EXHIBIT: Ocala Art Group’s A Salute to the Arts: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow runs Nov. 2-Jan.5 at the Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Bvd., Ocala. ( or ORANGE-A-FAIR: Orange-a-Fair, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 2, 2306 E. County Road 318, Citra. Live music, citrus cook-off, antique cars and more. (595-3377 or STEEL HORSE STAMPEDE: The annual motorcycle ride and poker run for Hospice of Marion County, 10 a.m. Nov. 2, Hospice of Marion


Children look at the thousands of Christmas lights during Light Up Ocala at the Ocala downtown square. County headquarters, 3231 SW 34th Ave., Ocala. $18 per person. (873-7400) CHILI COOK OFF: The Marion County Chili Cook-off, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9, at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. $1- $5 Benefits the Cornerstone School. (237-6323 or


Country Days from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 9-10, at Silver Springs State Park, 1425 NE 58th Ave., Ocala. $5 per person. (236-7148 or www. VETERAN’S CONCERT: “Veteran’s Light the Stars” by the Kingdom of the Sun Concert Band, 6:30 p.m. Nov. 10, Ocala/Marion County Veteran’s Memorial Park, 2601 E. Fort King St., Ocala. Free. (624-9291) CONCERT: Marion Civic Chorale, Veteran’s Day Concert Choir, 3 p.m. Nov. 10, at First United Methodist Church, 1126 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Free. (622-3244 ext. 35) VETERAN’S DAY: Annual Veteran’s Day celebration, 11 a.m. Nov. 11 Ocala Marion County Veterans Memorial Park, 2601 E. Fort King St., Ocala. (671-6847) KISS THE HORSE: The Fifth Annual Kiss the Horse for Literacy finale, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 16, at Mikosz Show Horses, 11800 S. County Road 475, Ocala. Advance

Jacqui Janetzko/CORRESPONDENT/2013 FILE

Children skate during Boomtown Days in Dunnellon. ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for ages 11-18, free for ages 10 and under. Kiss the Horse is a campaign for literacy. (690-7323) LIGHT UP OCALA: Event kicks-off the holiday season with holidays crafts, food, children’s activities and lighting ceremony from 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 23, downtown Ocala.



Cross Creek festival, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 23, at Marjorie Rawlings Park, 19109 S. County Road 325, Cross Creek. Free. Arts and crafts, story telling, entertainment and more. (466-3353 or | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Florida Living, Marion County Style

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |17 the downtown Ocala square. (629-8444) LIVE OAK INTERNATIONAL: The Combined Driving Event will be held March 19-23, at Live Oak Farm. 2215 SW 110th St., Ocala. ( THE ODD COUPLE: The Odd Couple runs through March 20-April 13 at the Ocala Civic Theatre, 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Evening shows start at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. weekend matinees. $10-$22. (236-2274 or ocalacivictheatre. com) FISHING DERBY: Young and seniors fisherman can spend the morning fishing in Tuscawilla Park, held in late March-early April (629-8444)

HANDEL’S MESSIAH: Ocala Symphony Orchestra presents Handel’s Messiah, 3 p.m. Nov. 24, Queen of Peace Catholic Church, $15. (351-1606 ocalasymphony. com) POWWOW: Chambers Farm Fall Family Powwow, Nov. 28-Dec. 1, Chambers Farm, 22400 NW County Road 315, Fort McCoy. Free. (513-464-1746 or www. LIGHT UP LAKE LILLIAN: Annual event showcases the holiday lights around Lake Lillian, Belleview. Event features, vendors, Santa, entertainment and arts in crafts. Held end of November, early December. (



CONCERT: Central Florida Master

Choir, Christmas Concert 3 p.m. Dec. 1, at First United Methodist Church, 1126 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Free. (622-3244 ext. 35) SANTA ON THE SQUARE: Visit Santa from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Dec. 3-Dec. 19, on the downtown square, Ocala. (401-3916) LIGHT UP TUSCAWILLA: Annual Lighting of the tree on the lake, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Tuscawilla Park, 899 NE Sanchez Ave., Ocala. Free. (629-8444) CHRISTMAS SHOW: Opry Cast Christmas Show, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, Orange Blossom Opry, 13939 SE County Road 42, Weirsdale. (821-1201 or http://www.obopry. com) HORSE EXPO: Horse and Happiness Show & Expo, Dec. 7-8, Florida Horse Park, 11008 S. County Road 475, Ocala. ( events/107024882801105/) CRUISE-IN: 16th annual Twilight Cruisers Toys for Kids cruise-in, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 7, Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, 13700 SW 16th Ave., Ocala. (347-3696 or


An Ocala tradition, the all-youcan-eat breakfast usually held the morning of the Ocala Christmas Parade, from early morning until early afternoon at Eighth Street Elementary School, Ocala. CHRISTMAS PARADE: The Ocala/ Marion County Christmas Parade,


Brian Courson, of Plant City, rides a bull during the The annual Ocala Shriner Rodeo at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Ocala.


weekend matinees. $10-$22. (236-2274 or ocalacivictheatre. com) CARMINA BURANA: Ocala Symphony Orchestra along with West Port High School singers present Carmina Burana, CARNIVAL: Annual Trinity Catholic Carnival, Feb. 20-23, at Trinity Catholic High School, 2600 SW 42nd St., Ocala. ( CRACKER DAYS: Cracker Day and Native plant sale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22-23, Rainbow Springs State Park 19158 SW 81st Place Road, Dunnellon. $2. (465-8555) KNAP-IN: Silver River Knap-in and stone age arts festival, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 22-23, at Silver Springs State Park, 1425 NE 58th Ave., Ocala. $5 per person. (236-7148 or Silverriver)

DINNER THEATRE: “There’s a Burglar in My Bed”, 5:35 p.m. Feb. 5-9 and 12:15 p.m. Feb. 8-9, Webber Center, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. $55 to $60 (854-2322, ext. 1416) PATENT LEATHER: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up runs Feb. 6 through March 2, at the Ocala Civic Theatre, 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. Evening shows start at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m.

The fair will be held from Feb. 23-March 2 at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. Area youth demonstrate their skills with raising and showing farm animals. Each day features different presentations, complete with a rodeo on Feb. 21-22. (629-1255 or www. KING OF THE WING: The annual


Faces made out of gourds hang from fishing string as hundreds of people shop at the annual 1890s McIntosh Festival. 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14, on Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala between 25th Ave. and Eighth Ave. ( ocalachristmasparade) CHRISTMAS PARADE: Belleview Christmas Parade, Dec. 15, Belleview. (245-7021 or www. CHRISTMAS PARADE: Dunnellon Christmas Parade, to be determined (489-2320 or NUTCRACKER: Marion Ballet Theatre’s annual production of “The Nutcracker,” Dec. 13-Dec 22, at the Ocala Civic Theatre, 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. (236-2274 or ocalacivictheatre. com/)

JANUARY OPENING RECEPTION: Reception for the exhibit A Permanent Mark: Highlights of CF’s Art collection, 4-6 p.m. Jan. 9, 16 Webber Center, 3001 SW College Road, Ocala. Free. Exhibit runs Jan. 9-Feb. 14. (873-5809) MLK CELEBRATION: Martin Luther King Jr. March and celebration: Annual walk begins of the

downtown Ocala square and continues to the MLK Complex on Jan. 20. Activities held all day. H.I.T.S.: Horse Show in the Sun in an annual equine event held at HITS Post Time Farm, Ocala. Event is held late January through mid-March. (www.HitsShows. com) TRACTOR PULL: The fifth annual Ocala Truck and tractor pull will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 31- Feb. 1, at the Livestock Pavilion, 2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. $10 in advance or $12 at the gate. (843-0146 or

King of the Wing food event is held in late February, at ARC Marion, 2800 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala. (694-4133


gardening expo, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 8 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 9 at the Marion County Extension Service, 2322 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. $1. (671-8400)

O’CALA’S ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Family friendly celebration of everything Irish, March 17, on

PAAS EGGSTRAVAGANZA: Fun family egg hunt tradition presented by Signature Brands, held around Easter at Tuscawilla Park, Ocala. (629-8444) HOGS FOR HOPE: A motorcycle ride and poke run for ARC Marion held mid-April. ( SPRINGS FESTIVAL: Marion County Springs Festival, April 26, Silver Springs State Park, 5656 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Silver Springs. (236-7148) BOOMTOWN DAYS: Event celebrates Dunnellon’s past with arts, crafts, pageants, and more, and is set for a weekend in mid-tolate April. (489-2320)

CALENDAR on Page 24





(352) 732-8655

4260 S.E. 53rd Avenue Ocala, Florida 34480 Email:

18| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


Marion County’s great outdoors By Marian Rizzo Correspondent


xcept for rainy days, there’s no reason to sit inside watching TV, playing video games or tapping away at a computer keyboard. In Marion County, the great outdoors beckons year-round with numerous opportunities for biking, hiking, camping and outdoor games. What’s more, Marion County’s parks and nature trails are home to a variety of native Florida wildlife and many colorful species of birds. Tuscawilla Park: In the mood for a little serenity? This park on Northeast Sanchez Avenue, is a peaceful setting just right for meditation or nature walks around the lake. Tennis courts, basketball courts, a baseball field, an ADA-compliant playground, a new fishing dock and several pavilions allow for a full day of activities for the family. 368-5517. Scott Springs Park: 2825 SW 24th Ave., off Easy Street, has a new playground in a tree house design, plus exercise equipment, grills, picnic tables and shelters. A walking trail runs over a deck that overlooks a picturesque pond. 3685517. Sholom Park: 7110 SW 80th Ave., is an independently operated park with a labyrinth of trails that meander over wooden bridges through a tranquil, garden setting. Pavilions and benches provide a spot for relaxation. 854-9488. Silver Springs State Park: Enter at 5656 East Silver

Jacqui Janetzko/CORRESPONDENT/2013 FILE

A boat passes tubers at KP Hole County Park as it heads to Rainbow Springs State Park in Dunnellon. RVs and tents, as well as a primitive tenting area. Day visitors can swim or snorkel at the springs. There’s a boat ramp and Lisa Crigar/CORRESPONDENT/2013 FILE fishing canal. Bear Rob Fox of Jacksonville rides down the qualifying ramp and through a puddle at Swamp Trail provides a the the Vortex at Santos Trails in Ocala. 30-minute nature walk. For longer hikes and is $2. For the park, call 236-7148. For the museum, backpacking, take one of the longer forest trails off call 236-5401. of SR 19. 685-2048. Feel like staying overnight? Silver Springs State Cohadjoe Park: 4225 NE 35th Street, in northeast Park has overnight camping sites for RVs and Ocala, is accessible from Northeast 36th Avenue, tents, complete with fire and offers more intense rings, picnic tables and activities, like hiking, grills. For the more games of volleyball, modest outdoorsy types, horseshoes, tennis or fully-furnished cabins can racquetball. 671-8560. be rented. Jervey Gantt Park: 2200 SE Rainbow Springs State Park: 36th Ave., has a 2-mile 19158 SW 81st Place Road walking/jogging trail with in Dunnellon, has campexercise stations, plus sites available just 1½ facilities for football, miles downstream from baseball, soccer, volleyball Alan Youngblood/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/2013 FILE the head spring. Activities and basketball. There are A glass-bottom boat waits for passengers at Silver include swimming, tennis and racquetball Springs State Park. snorkeling, canoeing and courts, an Aquatic FUN kayaking. $2 per person; the main spring. MeanSprings Blvd. or at 1425 Center, a children’s $5 per vehicle; 465-8555. while, the Baseline Road NE 58th Ave. (Baseline playground and a meditaSalt Springs Campground: entrance leads to an Road). Entry is $8 a tive walking trail through 13851 State Road 19 carload or $5 per individu- authentic Cracker village M.O.M.’s Park, past North, is the largest and a museum with a al. The state’s opening on gardens, waterfalls, a fish campground in the Ocala Oct. 1 promised glass-bot- display of treasures from pond and park benches National Forest. It has Central Florida’s history. tom boats and a food with memorial plaques honoring deceased loved Admission to the museum full-service hookups for concession/restaurant at

ones. Also, Millennium Dog Park provides a play yard for man’s best friend. 368-5517. Santos Trailhead: 3070 SE 80th Street, provides easy access to more than 80 miles of Cross-Florida Greenway bike trails, including some off-road challenges that are popular with mountain bicyclists. The Vortex section has jumps and ramps for the more experienced. Bikes can be rented from local vendors, such as the Santos Bike Shop, and guided equine trail rides can be arranged through Cactus Jack by the Landbridge Trailhead. 236-7143. The Baseline Road Trailhead: 4255 SE 58th Ave., leads to a 5-mile maze of paved Greenway trails, with some passing memorials and trees planted in honor of loved ones. Pets on a leash, bicycles and skateboards are allowed on the paved trail. The trailhead also has a picnic area with an ADAequipped playground. 671-8560. | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Florida Living, Marion County Style

Youth sports available year-round in the county

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |19

By John Patton Correspondent


here are year-round opportunities for local youth athletes to participate in sports in Marion County. Here is a look at the leagues available, listed alphabetically by sport.

Baseball/ Softball/T-ball

There are two local baseball leagues for players ages 7-12. Highlands Baseball ( HIGHLANDSBASEBALLBOOSTERS) has registration for its spring league in late January/early February. And Scott Carrigan Baseball ( has mid-August registration for a fall league. For more information, visit the websites or call Rotary Sportsplex at 352-427-6927. Ocala has Babe Ruth leagues (ages 13-15) running in the spring (late-January registration) and fall (mid-August registration). For more information, visit www. ocalabr.baberuthonline. com or call Dennis Ragosta at 352-280-6422. There are youth softball leagues for girls ages 8-16 running from February to May (early-January registration) and May to November (late-April registration). For more information, call Donald Swearingen at 352-2665793. Mighty Mites T-ball for children ages 5-7 runs from March to May. Registration takes place in late January/early February, and players who turn 5 after April 1 are eligible

2012 FILE

Ocala Shockers teammates cool off during the 2012 Florida State Championships in Ocala. to participate. For more information, call Carla Chindamo at 352-4013918.

January. The Marion County Pop Warner Raiders are a Fall league for players ages 7-15. Registration takes place from early-February For information on Ocala to mid-March, in mid-May, Youth Basketball, call Kel- July and August. For more vin Richardson at 352information, call Anton 629-8389. Hixon at 352-497-7144. To learn about i9 Sports youth basketball, visit, There are fall training clinics for players in grades 4-12. Registration takes place from September-November. For more Youth flag football information, call Greg leagues take place in the Kelly at 352-427-1530. fall, with an August registration. There are four divisions (ages 6-8, Big Sun Youth Soccer 8-10, 13-14 and 15-16). For has various leagues for more information, call players ages 4-18 that run Carla Chindamo at from September-Decem352-401-3918. ber. Registration takes The Marion County place in May and June. For Youth Football League more information, visit (MCYFL) and or call ing runs from August to Robert at 352-266-0291. November for participants in the fourth through eighth grades. For more There is year-round information visit www. youth tennis for players or call Kenny ages 5-18. For more Jones at 352-821-4192 or information, call 352-629352-694-1400. Registration dates will be posted in 8453.



Flag Football/ Football




Adapted by Patrick Barlow From the novel by John Buchan

20| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


Plenty of pro and college sports nearby By John Patton Correspondent


re you a fan of bigtime professional and college sports? If so, there are plenty of options in and within a couple of hours of Ocala. Two NFL franchises are nearby. Led by arguably the game’s top cornerback in Darrelle Revis and one of its best young tailbacks in Doug Martin, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play eight regular season and two preseason home games each year in Raymond James Stadium. Super Bowl champions in 2002, Bucs’ tickets can be found at www.ticketnetwork. com/tickets/tampa-baybuccaneers-tickets. Led by three-time Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL’s rushing leader in 2011, the Jacksonville Jaguars play eight regular season and two preseason home games each year at EverBank Field. Tickets for Jags’ games can be purchased at www. tickets/jacksonville-jaguars-tickets. An NBA team is close. A franchise looking to blend veterans (forward Glen Davis, point guard Jameer Nelson) with promising youngsters (shooting guard Victor Oladipo, center Nikola Vucevic), the Orlando Magic will play 41 regular season games at home. Tickets can be purchased at Orlando-Magic-tickets/ artist/ 805995?camefrom=cfc_


Scott Smith of Summerfield, launches his son Cohen Smith on a foam boogie board in Little Lake Weir at Carney Island Park in Ocklawaha.

Get wet at these area parks By Marian Rizzo Correspondent

nbamagic_mp_onsale. A Major League Baseball playoff team is located in St. Petersburg. The Tampa Bay Rays play 81 home games each year at Tropicana Field. Featuring one of the sport’s top managers in Joe Maddon and young pitchers in Vanderbilt product David Price, the Rays have reached the postseason in three-ofthe-last-four years. For ticket information, visit There is also an NHL franchise in the Tampa/St. Pete area. The Tampa Bay Lightning plays 41 home games each year in the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The winners of the 2003-04 Stanley Cup, the Bolts last reached the Eastern Conference finals in the 2010-11 season. For tickets, visit www. Three Division I college programs are within a two-hour drive. One of the most successful all-around sports

programs in the country is just 30 minutes away. The University of Florida has captured three football national championships and two NCAA titles in men’s basketball. In addition, the volleyball, softball, baseball and track & field teams usually finish among the country’s 10 best. For ticket information, visit florida-gators-tickets. Based in Tampa, the University of South Florida has an up-andcoming athletic program. The Bulls’ football team plays in the ACC and is led by one of the nation’s most highly respected young coaches in Willie Taggart. The men’s basketball team will welcome traditional power Connecticut, 2013 Sweet 16 team Florida Gulf Coast and defending national champion Louisville to the SunDome this season. For tickets, visit www.

SPORTS on Page 23


arion County’s central location allows residents and visitors a quick jaunt to either coast for a day, a weekend, or longer at one of Florida’s popular beaches. In just over an hour’s drive to the east, there’s a wide choice of ocean playgrounds, including Flagler, Ormond and Daytona. In less than two hours in the opposite direction the Gulf’s beaches offer soft pebbled sand for daytime play on the beach, and at dusk, a panorama with a spectacular sunset. Both coasts have hotels for overnight stays and a wide choice of restaurants. But, you don’t have travel far from Ocala for a day of water fun. Marion County is replete with lakes, rivers and man-made water parks. Launch your own watercraft or take advantage of reasonable rental rates. Carney Island Beach, 13275 SE 115th Ave., is just off County Road 25 in Ocklawaha. The beach sits on more than 750 acres of wetlands, sand hills and beaches bordering Lake Weir and Little Lake Weir. For day visitors, there are picnic tables and restroom/changing rooms. A half-mile walking trail winds between the two lakes, with three separate loops of varying lengths on the Lake Weir side. One trail goes 3.4 miles through a natural setting to Lemon Point. $5 per vehicle, 671-8560. Horseshoe Lake Park and Retreat, 10780 E. County Road 318 in Orange Springs, offers canoeing, fishing and hiking. For overnight stays, furnished cabins border Orange Lake. Rise to a day of swimming or horseshoes, or hit the playground with your kids. A dirt

trail circles the lake, which gets its name from its horseshoe shape. $5 per vehicle, 671-8560. Silver Springs State Park offers an up-close view of the Silver River’s seven-mile crystal clear waterway. Go by glass-bottom boat at the main spring. Or take your own kayak or canoe from one of three launch areas: Ray Wayside Boat Basin near the Ocklawaha Bridge on East State Road 40; from the main spring by entering the park at 5656 East Silver Springs Blvd.; or at 1425 NE 58th Ave. (Baseline Road). Canoe rentals will be available at the two Silver Springs locations. Admission, $8 per carload; $5 per individual; 236-7148. Rainbow Springs State Park entices nature lovers to enjoy one of the state’s most beautiful natural resources with a trip down the Rainbow River by canoe or kayak. Located at 19158 SW 81st Place Road in Dunnellon, Rainbow Springs has a walking path through formal gardens with manmade waterfalls. Transport your own canoe along an 1,800-foot path from the parking lot to the launch site, or rent a canoe from the park. Also, a two-hour tubing ride can be launched from the campground at SW 180th Avenue Road. $5 per vehicle, 465-8555. Dunnellon’s KP Hole, at 9435 SW 190th Avenue Road, is more than just a recreational park and swim site. Its waterways are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. And, the main park has a launch area for canoes and kayaks. The KP Hole has been a longtime favorite of tubing enthusiasts. Bring your own or rent a tube, from May through September, for $10, which includes return

WET on Page 20

Florida Living, Marion County Style | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Great getaways are close at hand SLUG: OcalaNearby.pdf SIZE: 2COL CLR&BW LOCATION: Graphics>> News


beaches in the state. You EDITS: can drive right onto the eeling aReporter little restsand, rent a Jet Ski or boat, less? Want to get –––––––––––––– or sample some of the out of town the Editorfor–––––––––––––– eateries and entertainday? You’re in luck ment along Daytona’s because Marion News Desk –––––––––––– famous A1A strip. County is near some of the best cities and areas This quaint fishing that Florida has to offer. village on Florida’s west Here’s a look. coast is located 3 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a tiny place, occupyYou don’t need to leave ing only three square the area to get wet. Carney miles and having fewer Island beach on Lake Weir than 900 full-time resiis a terrific swimming dents. But Cedar Key is a hole. And the Rainbow must-see destination for River in Dunnellon has anyone who enjoys some great tubing and seafood and rustic, snorkeling opportunities. turn-of-the-century But sometimes you just ambiance. want to play in the surf The tiny town’s heartand salt water. The stopping sunsets and N Daytona area — including laid-back feel have drawn Ormond and New Smyrna some of the state’s best — has some of the best artists and craftsmen, who Staff report


Cedar Key



Sunday, October 20, 2013 |21 JACKSONVILLE



ATLANTIC game. The area also has draw inspiration from301the OCEAN area’s nautical 75 charm and some great shopping, with abundant wildlife.GAINESVILLEseveral conventional malls and a95 number of outlet DAYTONA 301 malls offering the world’s BEACH brand OCALAmost popular For pure family enternames. tainment, it’s pretty hard CEDAR 4 to beat KEYOrlando. Pick a theme and they have a 441 park for it: Movies? ORLANDO There’s Universal Studios. GULF OF Tampa is rich with Water? SeaWorld. 75Culture MEXICO culture and arts. The area and food? How about 4 Epcot, which is part of the is dotted with museums, galleries and historic granddaddy of allTAMPA theme landmarks. For entertainparks, Disney World. ROB MACK/Staff graphic there’s the incompaJust be sure to bring your ment, rable Ybor City, which is wallet. Typical admission infused with Cuban to a theme park is now culture. about $100, and that Perhaps Tampa’s doesn’t include food. But that isn’t all Orlando signature offering is its many colorful festivals, has to offer. For nightlife, however. There’s Carnival there’s Church Street JACKSONVILLE Festival and Festa Italiana, Station in the downtown Krewe of Sant’ Yago area. And if you’re 10 a sports Knight Parade, the India fan, you can take in an 301 ATLANTIC Orlando Magic75basketball Festival, and of course OCEAN GAINESVILLE





Tampa/ Clearwater



95 301


4 441



TAMPA ROB MACK/Staff graphic


Gasparilla, which draws tens of thousands of Just north of Ocala is, of people for music, food and course, Gainesville. Home a parade. Think Mardi to the University of Gras in Tampa. Florida, this small city has Just south of Tampa is JACKSONVILLE all the arts, culture and Clearwater, with some of N the most pristine, white- 10 entertainment you would expect in a city that hosts sand beaches and crystal 301 ATLANTIC clear water you’ll ever see. the state’s flagship school. 75 OCEAN GAINESVILLE


















TAMPA ROB MACK/Staff graphic

ROB MACK/Staff graphic

22| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Our pesky pests & predators Staff report


lorida’s tropical climate is well-suited to a variety of wildlife, some of which doesn’t mix that well with humans. It has been said that every body of water larger than a swimming pool has an alligator in it, and that’s not much of an exaggeration. There are also snakes aplenty — a few of them poisonous — as well as bears, coyotes, panthers and hundreds of varieties of creepy crawly things. It could be worse. South Florida has all those things, but it also has a swelling population of pythons. Here’s a look at a few of the critters you might be forced to contend with.


Florida is one of the few places on earth where you can see a modern-day dinosaur in your own backyard. The American alligator is a fearsomelooking creature, to be

sure. They can grow to well over 600 pounds in the wild and their massive jaws are stacked with dozens of sharp teeth. But their stealthy manner is almost as frightening as their appearance. They glide alone unseen underwater, or just below the surface, or they blend in with tall grass and logs along the banks of the state’s many rivers and lakes. Yet, for its ferocious countenance, the alligator is a surprisingly shy animal. Few people are ever attacked by alligators in Florida, and those who are unfortunate enough to tangle with these prehistoric monsters generally can blame bad luck more than bad intentions. Pets can’t say the same. Many a lake-front resident can tell stories about alligators bolting suddenly onto the banks and snatching a beloved Chihuahua or Yorkie that had the misfortune to wander too closely to the


A small alligator soaks up the sun on the Silver River.

Florida Living, Marion County Style


How to avoid them: Don’t walk pets between dusk and dawn

Black bears


A Florida black bear rests in an oak tree at the back of Sullivan Cadillac off State Road 200 in Ocala. water. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission receives about 16,000 calls about nuisance alligators every year. And although it is illegal to harass or kill an alligator in the wild, the FWC holds annual hunts to keep the alligator population in check.

Likelihood of coming in contact: Medium Likely harm if you do: Low How to avoid them: Stay out of marshy areas


Coyote? Did you say coyote? Surely, that can’t be right. Coyotes are associated with the western United States, after all. Right? Wrong. While they are not native to Florida, the coyote population is sizable and growing here in the Sunshine State. In fact, in 2013, a man reported that a pack of coyotes snatched one of his small dogs right outside his front door in a heavily populated neighborhood. Other Marion County residents blame coyotes for the disappearance of their cats and dogs, and wildlife officials say it’s probably true. Wildlife officials say the


A curious coyote watches traffic at Silver River State Park. best offense is a good defense. They say people who live in areas where coyotes are active would do well to keep their trash can lids closed and avoid walking pets between dusk and dawn, when coyotes hunt. You can shoot a nuisance coyote by law, but it probably won’t help. Communities in the western United States that have tried controlling coyote populations with hunts have found that this hearty species resists attempts to thin its numbers by breeding more aggressively.

Likelihood of coming in contact: Low Likely harm if you do: Medium

Seeing a black bear in the wild is a thrilling experience, but this lumbering beast’s ravenous appetite often draws it into campgrounds, neighborhoods and even business districts in search of a meal. Then, the thrill is gone. Bears are notorious trash-pickers, and people are notorious trash-makers. That combination often brings man and bear into uncomfortable proximity. Compounding the problem, some people leave food for bears in hopes of keeping them around. The only way to get rid of them is to cut off their food supply so they move on, or destroy them. Relocating them doesn’t help because they find their way back to their original stomping grounds. That’s why wildlife officials have a saying: A fed bear is a dead bear. The best advice is to observe and appreciate these marvelous creatures from a distance.

Likelihood of coming in contact: Low Likely harm if you do: Low How to avoid them: Keep trash secured

Fire ants

One of the smallest pests is also one of the nastiest. The fire ant, so named because its venomous bite causes an intense burning sensation, occupies every patch of dirt in Florida. Fire ants build massive mounds in lawns and other grassy areas, and, when disturbed, pour forth by the hundreds or thousands to protect their domain. Their bites produce small red, itchy bumps but in extreme

cases can cause allergic reactions. If you’re bitten, wipe the ants off immediately, remove clothing where others might be hiding and wash the area with cool water and soap. You can also dab the area with ammonia, which breaks down the venom, or diluted bleach, but not both at the same time. Benadryl or some other antihistamine might be needed if you begin to have a reaction.

Likelihood of coming in contact: High Likely harm if you do: Medium How to avoid them: Watch where you step

Love bugs

Love bugs derive their name from their interesting mating habits. In fact, their sole purpose seems to be to mate, which is why you mostly see males and females coupled together, whether they’re wafting across highways or resting on low-slung plants. But there is little love between these small, black flies and motorists. Love bugs are harmless to people but are a genuine pain in the bumper to motorists. They generally appear twice a year and gravitate to highways, where their acidic guts end up splattered on the grilles and fenders of annoyed motorists. There are a lot of theories about protecting your car’s paint against the corrosive effects of love bug innards, but the best advice is to keep a good coat of car wax on your car. Some suggest using cooking oil, too. Bad advice, unless you hope to bake them into your paint.

Likelihood of coming in contact: High Likely harm if you do: Low to people, high to cars How to avoid them: You can’t | OCALA STAR-BANNER

Business of horses big in county

Florida Living, Marion County Style

SPORTS: Ocala has a PDL

soccer team as well Continued from 20

tickets. The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando and features a rapidly improving football team that lost just once — 28-25 to SEC power South Carolina — in its first five games of the 2013 season. The Knights have six men’s and 10 women’s NCAA-sanctioned teams, and UCF’s cheerleading squad won national championships in 2003 and 2007. For ticket information, visit www.stubhub. com/central-florida-golden-knights-football-tickets. Ocala has a PDL soccer team. The Ocala Stampede has been in existence just two years, but each season has produced a Southeast Division championship. Playing in the summer, the Stampede also hosted playoff games in 2012. For ticket information, visit

By Carlos E. Medina Correspondent


or more than 75 years, the business of horses has captivated Marion County. It’s become one of the biggest industries in the county with nearly 50 breeds and disciplines represented in one form or another. Despite the diversity, the thoroughbred remains king, pumping an estimated $1.3 billion into the local economy every year. Carl Rose is credited with starting it all when he established Rosemere Farm along State Road 200 in the 1930s. While that farm eventually fell victim to development, hundreds of other farms followed and are currently active in the county. Today, more than 75 percent of the state’s thoroughbred industry is centered in Ocala. That concentration has drawn support services like feed and hay companies, top-notch veterinary hospitals, farriers, horse transportation companies, horse auction houses and even manure removal companies. Since those are the same services all breeds of horses need, the influx of other breeds and disciplines soon followed. The local thoroughbred industry has produced several Kentucky Derby winners, a myriad of top-level runners and countless million-dollar earners. But nearly 30 years ago, HITS put on its first hunter/jumper horse show in Ocala. The show now attracts thousands to Marion County from across the country. Amateurs and world-class riders and horses compete for 10 weeks, from January to March. The success of the show spurred several to open riding schools, including several U.S. Olympians.

Sunday, October 20, 2013 |23


Carol Harris with Rugged Lark at Bo-Bett Farm in 1999. Lark was multiple world champion quarter horse and quarter horse hall of fame inductee. The county is also home to the annual Live Oak International Combined Driving Event every March. For nearly 20 years the event features some of the best carriage drivers in the country competing in what has become a premier event in North America. The event features carriages drawn by one, two and four horses in three different disciplines which highlight the skills of both horse and driver. Again, the event is credited with attracting entry-level and intermediate drivers to the area, especially at events held at the Florida Horse Park. The horse park has hosted a wide variety of equestrian events since it was created in 1996 by an act of the Florida Legislature. This year, the park was awarded $2 million by the state, which is slated to pay for a covered arena, which it is hoped will attract even more disciplines. The county is also home to hundreds of miles of trails, including in the Ocala National Forest, the Cross Florida Greenway and the Goethe State Forest. There are also numerous private trail riding business which provide horses. In 2007, the USDA’s Census of Agriculture counted more than 31,000 head of horses on more than 2,000 farms in the county. Overall, one out of every four horses counted by the USDA in Florida lives in Marion County.

Notable people and horses

Carl Rose: Founder of Rosemere Farm, Marion County’s first commercial thoroughbred operation. Rosemere Rose: The first thoroughbred born in Marion County in 1939. Needles: First Marion County bred thoroughbred to win the Kentucky Derby (1956). Affirmed: Bred in Marion County, he is the last Triple Crown winner. He won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes in 1978. Joe O’Farrell: Founder of Ocala Stud O’Farrell was instrumental in the establishment of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company, which gave area breeders a place to sell their horses. Rugged Lark: Multiple world champion quarter horse and quarter horse hall of fame inductee. He was among the most popular horses in the country. He was bred in Marion County by Carol Harris. David and Karen O’Connor: David, an Olympic gold medalist in eventing, and Karen, an Olympic silver medalist in eventing, own and operate an equestrian training facility in Ocala.

WET: Plenty of man-made

swim areas in town Continued from 20

shuttle service. The four-hour tubing trip goes down the picturesque Rainbow River to the County Road 484 bridge. Kayak and canoe rentals are also available. Rates vary according to direction taken. 4893055. Pools: Back in civilization, it’s easy to make time for a couple of hours of water play at one of Ocala’s man-made swim areas, Hampton Aquatic Fun Center at 255 SW Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., or Jervey Gantt Aquatic FUN Center, at 2390 SE 36th Ave. At either park, kids can enjoy the water slide and swimming pool that has a gradual walk-in area. Both FUN centers are open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Saturday, from May to September. A two-hour swim costs $2 per child; $3 per adult. They also offer swim lessons and other family activities. Call Hampton at 622-6803; or Jervey Gantt at 624-2410. Citizen’s Circle Splash Pad: in downtown Ocala provides a refreshing break on a hot summer day. Kids can activate the fountain by stepping on a foot button, then enjoy the spray of water that lasts for several minutes. Benches and picnic tables are nearby, so parents can keep an eye on the little ones. During the summer, the city puts on a concert series, including summer jams that feature young musicians. Check it out during the summer, from dawn to dusk, at Ocala City Hall, 151 SE Osceola Ave. Admission is free; 629-2489.

24| Sunday, October 20, 2013

Florida Living, Marion County Style


CALENDAR: A year of Marion County events Continued from 17 MARCH FOR BABIES: March of Dimes walking fundraiser is held in late April, Baseline Trailhead, 4255 SE 58 Ave., Ocala. (378-9522)

MAY KIDS, COPS AND FIREFIGHTERS FAMILY FUN FEST: Day in the park with those in uniform, local law enforcement and rescue staff held in early May, Martin Luther King Recreation Complex, Ocala. (629-8444)

SYMPHONY UNDER THE STARS: Bring a picnic basket and blanket and enjoy the sounds of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra on Mother’s Day, at the Ocala Golf Club, 3130 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala. (351-1606 or

CAMELOT: Camelot runs through May 15- June 8, at the Ocala Civic Theatre, 4337 E. Silver Springs

Blvd., Ocala. Evening shows start at 8 p.m., with 2 p.m. weekend matinees. $10-$22. (236-2274 or



HOGS FOR HOPE BLUES AND BBQ: Evening of food, live music benefiting ARC Marion in early June, 2800 SE Maricamp Road, Ocala. $25. Evening ends with a cash raffle to win a new bike. (351-2479 or www.

JULY RED, WHITE AND BLUES: Patriotic Festival with music and food from 6 to 9 p.m. July 3, the downtown Ocala square. (629-8444)

GOD AND COUNTRY DAY: The annual July 4 celebration includes arts, crafts, live entertainment, food and fireworks. All day event held Highway 27 and Highway 225. (843-9494) SUMMER JAMS: Local artist

perform select Fridays during the summer, downtown Ocala. (629-8444)

Back to School Bash held in August at the Ed Croskey Recreation Center, 1510 NW Fourth St., Ocala. (368-5517 or recpark)

SEPTEMBER OCALA SHRINE RODEO: The annual rodeo will be held Labor Day weekend at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, 2322 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala. A special rodeo for Shrine Hospital patients held Thursday. (694-1515)

OCTOBER SPORTSABILITY: Sportability, two-day sporting events for those with disabilitys held the first weekend in Oct. at the E.D Croskey Center, MLK Complex, 1510 NW

Forth St., Ocala and Carney Island, 13275 SE 115 Ave., Ocklawaha. (401-3916 or recreationandparks.


A celebration of diversity in our community with fun, food, music and dance from 6 to 8 p.m. held in early October, downtown Ocala. (629-8444) MCINTOSH 1890s FESTIVAL: A day of arts and crafts in McIntosh. Event held mid-October. (591-4038 or JAZZ UP DUNNELLON: An evening of live jazz music, vendors, food and more held in mid-October, along Pennsylvania Ave., Dunnellon. Held in mid-October. (489-2320 or


sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Event held in mid to late October. (629-4727 ext. 5822)


A child plays with a sparkler while watching fireworks at the annual God and Country Day hosted by the Ocala Jaycees in Ocala.

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For 29 years Beneficial Hearing has been giving hope and help to those who suffer with hearing loss.

You can place your trust and confidence in our hearing professionals. Family-owned with a reputation for caring, personal concern and technical skill, our specialists are sensitive to your needs and will help you choose the right aid to suit your lifestyle and budget.

FREE Hearing Consultation & Demonstration ( 125 Value) $

352.629.4418 • Affordable Quality Hearing Aids • Diagnostic Hearing Exams • Hearing Aid Evaluations • Cerumen (wax) Removal • Every Technology, Size & Style • National Network of Providers

• 60 Day Trial Period • Satisfaction Guaranteed • TV & Phone Amplifiers • 0% Financing - EZ Pay • On-Site Repair Lab • Loaner Aids Available • Walk-Ins Welcome

Most Insurances, Medicare, and HMO Discount Plans Accepted and Filed

Doctor of Audiology Leigh Ann Watts

Hearing Aid Specialist Linda Haase

Hearing Aid Specialist Alene Lightfoot

Siemens | Starkey | Phonak | Widex | ReSound | Oticon | Unitron | Bernafon | Sonic Innovations

2013 Florida Living, Marion County Style  

Official Ocala StarBanner Special Tab Section Florida Living, Marion County Style

2013 Florida Living, Marion County Style  

Official Ocala StarBanner Special Tab Section Florida Living, Marion County Style