Current Issue

Current Issue

Click Here to see the Current Issue Online!     More »

Farm Credit of Florida

Farm Credit of Florida

Financing for Your Lifestyle By Ruth Ward Zak Seymour and John Hall are experts in financing agricultural operations and rural property. They both work for Farm Credit of Florida at the Alachua More »

Acupuncture, Meditation, and Healthy Food

Acupuncture, Meditation, and Healthy Food

by Joseph Williams A.P.D.O.M In 2014, a breakthrough Canadian study conducted by researchers at the University of Calgary, (Alberta) and Alberta Health services concluded that meditation may be a powerful complement to More »

Rev Your Engine at Local Car Clubs

Rev Your Engine at Local Car Clubs

Gainesville Car Friends & Other Local Car Clubs This group of car enthusiasts meets every Friday night from 7-9pm on the roof top of the parking garage at the Phillips Center. There More »

From Desperation to Celebrating 25 Years at Her Dream Job

From Desperation to Celebrating 25 Years at Her Dream Job

by Trish Utter The person that greets you at any business is the face of the company. They can make or break a business. For the past 25 years, Sharon Ruthie Hale-Ferguson More »

Perfect Way to Spend an Afternoon

Perfect Way to Spend an Afternoon

Saint Johns Town Center in Jacksonville by Trish Utter I love little road trips, and often go over to St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville. The drive takes about an hour and More »


Do You Need a Will?

by Marvin Bingham and Susan Mikolaitis

You might think that a will is only for the elderly to think about, or that it is just for someone who has property or money, but that is not necessarily the case. If you want to protect your family and loved ones, you need a will at any age. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, so get things in order so you know that everyone will be looked after. After all, you don’t want your siblings fighting over who takes your dog nor do you want them burying you next to a relative that you hated.

Why should I have a will?

It will make it easier for those you leave behind in the event you leave any property, valuables or other assets which are titled or held in your name alone.

A will indicates who will be in control of your assets during the probate process, who will have control of your remains, and how your remains are to be handled.

A will creates special instructions to provide for minor children or incapacitated persons who may survive you and need controlled support.

It also includes persons who would not otherwise be entitled to inherit from you, such as step-children, “significant others”, and other friends, charities, schools, or religious organizations.

Through this, you can indicate your choices as to who will inherit your personal belongings, particularly “one of a kind” items such as the family bible, portraits, jewelry, pets, or other tangible personal property.

Lastly, to nominate guardians for any minor children who may survive you, or to disqualify certain individuals from serving in such role.

Does someone with just a little bit of money need a will? Or is this just for those that have millions?

As you can see, a will is about much more than inheriting money, so just about everyone needs a will, and those with significant assets may require more extensive estate planning.

Understanding and Compassion

Have you ever had something bad happen and wondered if you should call an attorney? Some things just…happen! It is times such as this when you should pick up your phone and call the law office of Robert A. Rush. A phone call is free and you will get some sound advice on whether or not you have a case.

I want you all to know that I have personally known Robert Rush for years. His compassion for those wrongly accused and for kids that have found themselves in a tangled legal mess is immeasurable. Rush and his staff work long hours and take their cases personally.

Now you are probably asking the obvious question? What is a horse doing in an attorney’s office?

A few months ago my friends Jorge and Debbie Garcia-Bengochea, from Gentle Carousel told me about their miniature therapy horses being brutally attacked by their neighbors Pitbull’s. They were understandably upset. Their non-profit 501(c) (3), named, Gentle Carousel is an award-winning all volunteer charity that has spent over 20 years training their horses. The Garcia-Bengochea’s spent thousands on vet bills but sadly both of these highly trained horses passed away. Of course this is heart-breaking but also a huge loss to the sick children in hospitals across the country that have got to know the horses from the many hospital visits that they do. The Garcia-Bengochea’s got in touch with Rush who took the case. Rush has a great of understanding of animals as he owns two beautiful German Shepherds and horses. Because of Rush’s extensive legal knowledge, he was able to gain a considerable settlement for the Garcia-Bengochea’s, and they are now back to doing what they love and providing loving support to the sick.

A Change of Heart

By Anya Mayr

Since the Gainesville-based hospital implemented the minimally-invasive surgery into the Heart & Vascular Program, the cardiothoracic team at North Florida Regional Medical Center, along with its team of highly-skilled cardiac professionals, has been helping patients have a drastic “change of heart.”

33480, the Richest Zip Code in the US!

By Trish Utter

The doorman whisked the car away. We walked through a small, tropical courtyard and ushered to a desk in the lobby that was filled with roses. A glass of sherry was put in my hand along with a… key! Yes, the Chesterfield gives you a brass key. The glass of sherry made me laugh as it brought back memories of my Scottish aunt who always offered sherry to her guests upon their arrival… a good old British tradition for arriving guests.

My daughter and I had arrived at the Chesterfield Hotel Palm Beach, located in a residential neighborhood of multimillion-dollar estates and three blocks from the beach. It’s around the corner from the famous Worth Avenue. The property is part of the British-owned Red Carnation Hotel Collection and Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The hotel was built in 1926 and is part of the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation and a historic landmark.

Oil paintings from England are scattered throughout the property. A painting of Sir Winston Churchill hangs in the beautiful conference room and a photograph of Margaret Thatcher, who stayed here, is in the library. Guests have included Cyndi Lauper, Tommy Hilfiger, Mike Wallace and an endless list of others.

Along with vast displays of flowers are dishes of candy and freshly baked cookies, all for guests to nibble on…free of charge. We took the small elevator to the third floor, which is the top floor of this small, boutique property with just fifty-three exquisite rooms. Our room was filled with beautiful, white Florida-style furniture and plantation shutters filtered the afternoon sun onto patterned carpet. We both immediately got on the free Wi-Fi that was super easy to access, so that we could post our photos of this jewel box of a hotel. A real, red carnation was in our room which is a symbol of the hotel chain. As we unpacked, I noticed that there was a fridge with free bottles of water and lots and lots of room to hang clothes and put everything we had brought away. And believe me, two girls in a hotel room for a week bring a lot of stuff!

Local Celebrity Spotlight: Donna Cohen

Donna Cohen is a very talented interior designer that lives in Gainesville and works in our local area. You will find her at many charitable events either volunteering or as a guest.

Where are you from, when did you move to Gainesville, and why?

I was born in the small town of Granville in upstate New York. I went to school in Boston, and was home for a summer after working in Boston between jobs.

I met David, my husband, and that was it! It’s funny because the women in the family knew of him as we had been shopping in his family stores since I was a teenager! We were getting tired of the cold and a business opportunity came up in Ocala. When he came home one day and asked, “Do you want to move to Florida?” I jumped at the chance. David had a condo in Boca Raton on the ocean so I thought, “great”! Can you imagine the night we arrived in Ocala 30 years ago…CULTURE SHOCK! We stopped to get gas and I couldn’t get over all the trucks with guns on them! A friend that we knew said, “You cannot live in Ocala…Gainesville is a university town”, so we took his advice and here we are…. love it now!

How do you relax?

I relax by lighting a candle, pouring a glass of wine, and then cooking!
Where do you like to go for a weekend getaway and why? I like to go to St. Augustine to relax, or NYC for my city fix!

What do you listen to in your car?

I listen to Sports Talk Radio… every day! I love Brady, Shane, Steve, Pat, Jeff, and Zach – the local guys on there.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

Well, this isn’t what I was expecting to write about in this issue, but it is something we all have to face at some point. I recently had a friend who was like a second mother to me pass away. Her daughter is my age and we have grown up together, almost as though we were sisters.

No one teaches you how to handle death. Unlike a wedding, no one talks about what to expect, and most of the time there is no planning.

I have had lots of experience in this arena, as my parents passed away when I was younger, so I had to handle everything. Being financially taken advantage of with funeral arrangements was something that I had experienced. It’s such an emotional time that you will sign just about anything to get it over with. I’m glad that I could help my friend. No one should go through this alone.

Is a Hamburger Healthier than your Salad?

You want to get in shape and lose pounds and you have been ordering salads when you go out for a meal, but don’t see results. You might as well have ordered a huge hamburger and fries if you chose the Quesadilla Explosion Salad at Chili’s that packs 1,360 calories and 88 grams of fat. A Big Mac from McDonalds has 540 calories and 28 grams of fat…hmmm, hamburger please!

Do you know that what you put on your salad at a salad bar can change your salad from being a healthy meal to being junk food?

Dried cranberries seem like a healthy and tasty choice to top your salad with, but surprisingly, just a third of a cup of them contains 123 calories. That’s a lot of sugar without much of a health benefit.

One cup of fresh grapes has 104 calories, but one cup of raisins packs 434 calories!

Fresh fruit is a better choice. It has more volume and water, which will keep you feeling full and keep you from reaching for a candy bar.

SLIDE into Fashion

by Ruth Ward

When you think of slides, you probably think of Nike or Adidas with their rubber slides that athletes wear, or European tourists that shuffle around theme parks in them. However, this trend in fashion is steaming hot.

I love my flip-flops, but they give your feet no support, and after a while your feet ache. Not to mention that flip flops are never dressy or stylish. If only you could blend flip flops with the comfort of sneakers and the look of a sexy stiletto pump. Well, welcome the…SLIDE!

Music legend Rihanna started the craze with her fur, Fenty Puma collection of slides that sell for around $90. In fact, her brand is so hot that many of her slides are sold out. Kylie Jenner has her own line of slides that come in pink or black with the Kylie Cosmetics logo on them.

Slides have become chic and trendy. They can be worn with anything, for any occasion. Designers have caught onto the fashion craze. Now, luxury brands such as Channel, Gucci, Givenchy, Prada, Versace, Steve Madden, and many others, offer slides. For about $800 you can slide into a pair of Louis Vuitton Mules – yes they don’t call them slides. When they cost that much, they become…Mules!