Letters to the Editor submitted by local residents of Ocala and surrounding areas. Submissions from users of Ocala-News.com to express their opinions on topical issues and events in Ocala, Marion County, and surrounding areas.
"I’m encouraged by the new rail service from Orlando to Miami and hope that it could be expanded from Ocala to Orlando. That would be great not only for airports but for the attractions and shopping. It would probably be 99% easier to get someone to bring in a larger bus shuttle to Orlando and Tampa than convincing an airline to come here," says Ocala resident Betty Thomas in a Letter to the Editor.
"I recently asked a Marion County representative about commercial flights out of Ocala, and this was her comment to me: It's not up to the county - the airline must request to come here. So folks, write to Avelo, Allegiant, Southwest, etc., and request service," says Ocala resident Leona Roach in a Letter to the Editor.
"The airlines do not want to fly to Ocala. I suspect there are a couple of reasons: this area of Florida, from The Villages to the north, is not wealthy, and Ocala's economy in a nutshell is horses, distribution centers, and transient old folks in Ocala," says Marion County resident Jerry Perdue in a Letter to the Editor.
"With all the private jet flights and large horse transport flights and a few military Coast Guard flights in and out of Ocala Airport, two or three flights a week in and out of here would hardly be noticed. With the increased traffic on I-75 and the turnpike, it is more than ever increasingly dangerous to drive to Orlando, let alone Gainesville," says Ocala resident Timothy Strobert, Sr. in a Letter to the Editor.
"A large airport here would just mean more traffic from surrounding communities coming into already overcrowded roads. The noise of the bigger planes would mean we lose our peacefulness that we came here for. I say let it be a commuter flight from here to Orlando or Tampa with smaller 16 to 20 passenger planes," says Ocala resident Faye Ward in a Letter to the Editor.
"Could someone please explain to the people wanting commercial airlines how it works? We used to live in Naples and commercial was tried there. There just weren’t enough people flying commercial to justify the expense to the airlines. I’m amazed people moved here and only now realize there’s no commercial air," says Weirsdale resident Debi Jaynes in a Letter to the Editor.
"The need for airlines out of Ocala is paramount, and why was the train service scrapped? I am a 70-year-old woman, and still very active. However, driving too far is not an option, and going to Orlando to take the plane is getting harder. We, as older folks, would like to go out of town sometimes, but driving becomes difficult," says Ocala resident Viressa Grant in a Letter to the Editor.
"Those folks that oppose commercial flights here are doing more harm than good. With the Equestrian Center and O.B.S., we already have heavy aircraft traffic that flies horses into and out of Ocala. They mostly come in during daylight hours and hardly anyone notices them at all. Commercial flights can be limited to daylight hours only," says Ocala resident Martin Marszalek in a Letter to the Editor.
"I was appalled when I read the letter from Jessica Beam in regards to her son being told in class to write about what kind of hell they would create and 9 people they would judge to send there and exactly what their punishment would be. Our children are being brainwashed in these schools where apparently there are little to no guidelines on how or what to teach," says Fort McCoy resident Susan Smith in a Letter to the Editor.
"I read about the people that have moved here to Ocala, and complaining about traveling to find a commercial airport is absurd and probably not going to happen anytime soon. In my opinion, we would save billions of dollars and a mountain of headaches if they would just relocate themselves near an existing airport," says Ocala resident Tom Pajevic in a Letter to the Editor.
"There are so many activities available for children and young people, you just have to look for them. Ocala has many youth sports groups, libraries, clubs, museums, churches, the drive-in, the forest, natural springs, walk areas, splash park, school activities, and places to volunteer (so you can learn how lucky you are), to name a few options," says Ocala resident Pam Moran in a Letter to the Editor.
"Let's talk about how they continue to build car washes and gas stations. This is insane, every corner there's a gas station and car wash being built. Why not more parks, more restaurants, or community centers for children and teens who are not given options for more things to get involved in and to be distracted from the wrongs things," says Lee Rey in a Letter to the Editor.
"I look at the assignment as a “do to others as you would have them do to you” issue or an “eye for an eye” (punishment fits the crime). The students come away from the assignment with the experience that actions have consequences." An Orange Lake resident responds to a reader who voiced concerns on a high school assignment that asked students to condemn nine people to hell.
"It would be nice to have a Trader Joe’s in Ocala. Currently, we have to travel 45 minutes to Gainesville to shop at Trader Joe’s. They have a different selection of foods at good prices. I have seen a couple of abandoned store buildings that would work nicely," says Ocala resident Richard Bolinder in a Letter to the Editor.
"Recently, my son came home feeling uncomfortable about an assignment that he knew didn't feel morally just. After reading Dante's Inferno, the students were then given the task to come up with their own version of hell, and then to assign nine people (famous, politicians, or even someone in your own life) to be condemned to their created hell," says Ocklawaha resident Jessica Beam in a Letter to the Editor.
"I am a native Floridian, but have lived in several states. Each one has its own beauty and way of doing things. Don't complain. Take action. Maybe learn to appreciate what's here and if you can't, go back where they have things you want. Please don't try to turn here into there," says Ocala resident Kayron Rakes in a Letter to the Editor.
"I am very curious as to what requirements are needed to put forth a request or petition to have at least local flights from Ocala? We are in between two airports, and the commute from where I live is 1.5 hours to either Orlando or Tampa. Ocala has been rapidly growing and is not all farms anymore," says Marion County resident Yexenia Cepeda in a Letter to the Editor.
"Ocala is a small town that has indeed evolved into a small city (and continues to evolve, some may say unfortunately). But since retiring here two years ago from Jacksonville, we continue to find the easygoing, small town lifestyle still prevalent here to be very nurturing," says Ocala resident Charles McGill in a Letter to the Editor.
"I question those who have moved here and bemoan the loss of what they had in their previous cities. Did you not visit Ocala before deciding to reside here? Did you not check for facilities, shopping, restaurants, etc.? If you were unhappy where you were living prior, why did you choose Ocala?" says Ocala resident Carol Shalaew in a Letter to the Editor.
"When so many of us were growing up here, we had "Kats Korner" to hang out in. It had a jukebox, dance floor, pool tables, game room, TV room, snack bar, and on lots of weekends we had live local bands playing. It was also run by teens with adult supervision. There was Silver Springs, where you could swim at the beach (which no longer exists)," says Ocala resident Kay Voge in a Letter to the Editor.
"The grocery stores in Ocala need to start carrying groceries from other areas of the country. We have a huge influx of people from all over the United States, and none of the grocery stores carry foods that are traditional to certain areas of the country. It is extremely frustrating," says Ocala resident Bette Haught in a Letter to the Editor.
"Ocala may be a beautiful city, but it lacks the kind of entertainment options that appeal to young adults and teenagers. There are few places to hang out with friends, no exciting events to attend, and no fun activities to engage in. It seems that the city has been designed for an older demographic, leaving us younger folks with little to do," says Ocala resident Ricky Pordo in a Letter to the Editor.
"Many people write to ask for services, or restaurants closer to where they live. They desire a drug store or restaurant closer to their residence. That's all well and good, but "wanting" something and "getting" something are two different things. This is a free market capitalistic society," says Ocala resident Dewey Kowalski in a Letter to the Editor.
"In the school system, we are required to get permission from the parents and administration on what books and movies can be shown to the students. Some of the books are awarded the Newberry award of excellence and I still censor some of the words in the book when I read to the class," says Ocala resident Barbara Lulenski in a Letter to the Editor.