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Archives for January 21, 2013

Blue Heron, Tillamook Meat, Farm Power and Ken Fallon honored with Chamber …

Tillamook Chamber awards

Hundreds gathered at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds for the 76th annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet Saturday night. Attendees were treated to an array of seafood and Cajun cuisine for this year’s theme, “A Night on Main Street: New Orleans,” during an evening of speeches, live auctions and awards.

The 2012 Business of the Year award went to The Blue Heron French Cheese Co., which operates a restaurant, retail shop and even a petting zoo in north Tillamook.

“Having just finished an addition to accommodate its growing retail and shipping needs, the Blue Heron French Cheese Co. is finalizing ideas for developing a small house located next door to the main building,” Chamber President Jennifer Purcell told the audience.

The Blue Heron, which opened in 1979, employs 15-25 people throughout the year. Purcell quoted owner Denny Pastega as saying his business is “an arm of the Chamber, promoting the entire county. We tell tourists which attractions to visit, which restaurants to eat in and about must-see locations. We try to talk them into staying for a few days to discover the beauty of Tillamook County. We have always had outstanding local support and try to give back everywhere we can.”

Other nominees were the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, which has increased ridership by nearly 40 percent since it launched in 2003; Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, purchased by the Nestucca Ridge Family of Companies last year; Near Space Corporation, which plans to move its 15 employees into a new, $6.9 million facility in the Port of Tillamook Bay in what will be the first commercial high-altitude balloon testing facility in the world.

The Chamber made some changes to the annual awards categories this year. The inaugural Small Business of the Year award, honoring a business with five or fewer employees, went to Tillamook Meat Inc.

Since owner Matt Freehill reopened the shuttered butcher shop two years ago, the store has undergone a remodel, he’s started selling pellet-fueled barbecue grills, and he’s supported local 4-H and FFA student efforts.

Freehill first thanked his wife, saying “I couldn’t do anything without her,” and then turned to his two sons, who help operate the family business.

“They are the future of Tillamook Meat, and we plan on being here for a while,” Freehill said. “… We thank you immensely. We’ll continue to do the best we can, the best we know how.”

Other nominees were The Local Dog House, which began selling its specialty hotdogs and other items at the 2nd Street Public Market in 2010; Averill Landscaping Materials, a 22-year business that “started as a hobby selling bark-dust in front of the house”; Diamond Art Jewelers, family-owned and -operated since 1977; and Rob Trost Real Estate, which has expanded from one real estate office to four in the last few years.

Development Project of the Year went to Farm Power Tillamook, a project of Washington-based Farm Power Northwest that operates manure digesters in Tillamook. The project converts cow manure from five local dairies into enough electricity to power 700 Tillamook residences.

The award was accepted by Steve Smith, who said “We look forward to a long history here.”

Other nominees were the newly renovated Upstairs Bar Grill in Netarts; the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s equipment upgrade and 25,000-square-foot expansion; the Port of Tillamook Bay’s massive project that includes road repaving, a digester facility upgrade, and the Airport Business Park; Tillamook County General Hospital’s new Manzanita clinic; the 4-H FFA Pavilion at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds; and Manzanita Fresh Food’s new, two-story, 18,000-square-foot grocery store.

Ken Fallon, owner of Ken Fallon Logging, received a standing ovation when announced as the 2012 Business Person of the Year.

Tillamook Mayor Suzanne Weber, who introduced the award, said others described Fallon as a man who “has his heart in Tillamook County,” and who is “kind, caring, giving… a very generous man.”

A Tillamook-based logger since 1968, Ken Fallon Logging was recently named the Oregon Department of Forestry´s Northwest Regional Operator of the Year. The company employs more than 100 people.

“The most important ingredient that we have in the whole company is the people,” Fallon said. “Without the employees we would have absolutely nothing.” He also thanked the community, saying “without the community, we wouldn’t be here.”

Other nominees were Gary Albright, director of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum; Eugene Tish, owner of Garibaldi House Inn Suites; and Chris Stirk, plant manger at Stimson Lumber Company.

The banquet was also a chance for Purcell to introduce the rest of the Chamber’s 2013 Board of Directors: Vice President Whitey Forsman, Secretary Connie Green, Gordon Plotts, Dan Leuthold, Kelley Cook, Sam McRae and Courtney Crist.

“I would also like to recognize [Chamber Director] Justin [Aufdermauer]’s tireless efforts on behalf of the Tillamook Chamber,” Purcell said. “His creativity, coupled with a passion for the people and places of Tillamook County, have taken the Chamber into a new chapter.”

Purcell also shared a breakdown of some of the chamber’s accomplishments in 2012:

• Aufdermauer participated in the Western Association of Chamber Executives Conference, the WACE academy (a three-year program), Oregon Governors Conference, and the Oregon State Chamber Leadership Conference. He was also elected to the Oregon State Chamber Board of Directors.

• Rocky Intertidal Co-Creative and Tillamook Design were contracted by the Chamber for public relations and membership sales.

• The Chamber’s website,, and the Go Tillamook Facebook page are experiencing rapid growth.

• The Chamber helped organize several professional development courses.

• The monthly Tillamook Cash Mobs have become “probably the most visible thing the Chamber has done in the past five to ten years,” she said. The mobs meet at a designated place and then travel as a group to an unknown local business, where they each are asked to spend $20. “The cash mob is designed as an active shop local campaign and has raised an average of over $500 and 20 participants per cash mob.”

Purcell also thanked the City of Tillamook for increasing the amount of transient room tax dollars that are distributed to the Chamber for tourism promotion efforts.

“One of the biggest projects will be establishing a marketing team to brainstorm how to best utilize transient room tax dollars,” Purcell said. “These dollars are earmarked for tourism promotion specifically, and between the network of resources the Chamber has in place and the knowledge of marketing minds together, we look forward to maximizing the return on investment to our community.”

Find photos of the event on the Tillamook Headlight Herald Facebook page:

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Seafront plan wins support

– No 1: A large privately-run indoor and out-door play and recreation area to the west and overall site. – No 2: A water sports ‘centrepiece’ hub, stretching from the seafront to the east of the site. – No 3: Retail areas and amusements, plus a public square and park area. – No 4: Holiday or hotel accommodation to the north-west, accessed by the road via the life-boat station (separate to the proposed seafront Premier Inn development). – No 5: New two-storey café-restaurant, with safety tower, on the current Harbour View cafe site. -No 6: A new 200-plus space car park at the rear of the north-eastern part of the site. – No 7: Refurbishment of the old lifeboat sta-tion. – No 7: Public toilets adjacent to the old life-boat station will either remain or be refurbished, remaining open all year. – No 8: the alignment of the existing road is expected to move from its current seafront route, passing further back between the car park and new water sports hub and recreation area. Details of th

Dave Beasley
Monday, January 21, 2013
9:59 AM

A proposal to redevelop the seafront has the support of the town’s largest community group, the Exmouth Community Association.

A water sports hub, leisure area, retail units, public area and a hotel are some of the ideas proposed for the area between the old Lifeboat Station and The Maer – and the district council have asked for people’s views.

The deadline for consultations closed on Monday, January 15, and the ECA have submitted a 14-point report in response.

Many of the plan’s key aspects have been influenced by the ECA’s 2010 report, drawn up by the 14 members of ECA’s Seafront Working Party.

They back ‘realigning’ Queens Drive from the seafront to between a new car park and water sports hub, which would be next to the old lifeboat station, and they suggest a 20mph speed limit.

But they say that the area will have more retail units than what they consider is ‘needed’ while they say beach access for water users is too far west.

The report reads: “The majority of the water sports participants will need to enter the sea at the eastern end of the retail and amusement area, and not the western end.”

It adds: “The indoor areas (should) accommodate a café, an ice cream shop, an art shop, a shop for beach goods and a traditional amusement arcade. No further retail is needed, in our view.”

They say that a there should be access allowing people to take a small dinghy or kayak into the water.

“The only slipway is by the Harbour View café. There should therefore be facilities for cars with trailers to park in the area in front of the (water sports) building…

“This slipway should also be made available to the successful and growing rowing club, who should be housed in the old lifeboat station. “

They suggest that any buildings in the retail and amusement should be no higher than one storey, and that all buildings should be restricted in height.

And they add that the area earmarked for the watersports hub, to the east of the old lifeboat station, was ‘too small’.

They support plans for a toddlers’ play pool in the amusement area but suggest that the adjacent open public space should have seating, landscaping, art and play equipment.

They add: “An issue to be addressed for all the areas close to the beach is control of the sand, which is frequently blown over.”


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    Celebrity landscaper comes to town to share his story

    Ahmed Hassan says his presentations this weekend at the Greater Charlotte Home Landscape will be a big love fest.

    Hassan is a celebrity landscaper, green expert and television host of DIY Network’s “Yard Crashers.”

    He’s also the owner of Ahmed Hassan Landscaping Services. The 39-year-old said he will share all aspects of his inspiring life story – from his battle with addiction, to his rise to the top as one of the nation’s leading landscape experts.

    The hourlong program also will include a question-and-answer period with the audience, as well as tips from local experts.

    Since 2008, Hassan and his team have surprised families with customized residential landscapes on the weekend television show “Yard Crashers.” The network created the series to showcase Hassan’s high energy, motivational spirit and love for everything green.

    He also has served as a guest contributor for the “CBS Early Show” and NBC’s “Today.” And he’s been a guest columnist for several publications, including the new HGTV magazine.

    Hassan and his wife, Tiffanie, 36, live in California and have been married nearly 22 years. They have three kids. Their son, Julian, is 13. Faith is 10, and Camille is 7.

    Hassan got one of his first landscaping jobs when he was 15. He didn’t describe it as his worst job, but it was a lonely job. He performed landscape maintenance at a shopping center – where he’d scrape gum off the ground, sweep up litter and cigarette butts, and cultivate and maintain flower beds.

    “In life, at some point, you have to go in the kitchen and do the dishes,” Hassan said. “You’ve got to do that lonely job.”

    To move beyond just “doing the dishes,” Hassan tells people to figure out what they love – what inspires them – and try to turn that into a career.

    “Forget about money,” he said. “Take money out of the equation. Eventually the money will catch up with your passion.”

    Hassan said he comes from a long line of drug addicts and alcoholics.

    When he was 19, he had a run in with police for selling marijuana. During the days that followed, Hassan said he realized he was just “faking the funk.”

    “I was pretending to be someone I wasn’t – trying to be hip, slick and cool – and then I knew it was time for me to make that change,” he said.

    He’s been clean and sober ever since, and joked that if there’s a meeting that ends with the word “anonymous,” he’s probably attended it.

    “Once I got clean and sober and my brain worked really well… I had all this energy… and I made a decision to do what I loved for a career. And I made a decision, at that point, to become an entrepreneur and run a landscaping business.”

    At the time, he said it felt like a lofty, yet substantial dream. Now it’s a dream-come-true.

    Hassan said he’s still doing his homework to focus on Charlotte-area issues, but promises he’ll be ready to answer all sorts of questions ranging from pests and soil issues, to design questions and project ideas.

    He also plans to “razz” people, kiss babies, hug moms and teach people in an entertaining way.

    “People are going to learn a lot about me, they’ll learn something about landscaping – whether they like it or not – and they’re bound to have a good time,” Hassan said.

    Hassan answered five questions for Cabarrus News in a recent phone interview.

    Q. What did it take for you to consider yourself a success?

    “What it took for me was two very tenacious and headstrong parents. As a matter of fact, there actually were three parents, because at some point along the way I had a stepmom – and she was just as tenacious. And it took a lot of self-pride.

    “Growing up as a kid, my dad was a black Muslim. And, if you know anything about the Black Power Movement, it was about pride, integrity, respect and transformation in your life. So I grew up exposed to that kind of energy. And I grew up seeing and hearing about stories of transformation, where people would do complete 180s in their lives. I already knew that would be my story, I just didn’t know how bad it was going to be and at what point I would switch my life around.”

    Q. As a family man, you must be away a lot. What are some things you’ve sacrificed to become one of the nation’s top landscape experts?

    “I do sacrifice quite a bit with my family, but I always seek to balance it out. And I don’t really look at what I sacrifice. The bottom line is that most dads in America have to go to work. … So what I do is take advantage of the opportune times that I get … and I wake up with (my children) in the morning, I make them smoothies and we cook together. Last night, I was helping them all with homework. … Or I take them out on one-on-one excursions. … I make up extraordinary moments when there’s just ordinary stuff going on, and that’s how I balance it out.”

    Q. Describe your own yard, your favorite place in it and what you like to do when you have down time?

    “My yard… is a very small focus because when I get home, as much time as I spend in other peoples’ yards – as much time as I spend out doing things related to landscaping and my profession, and as much as I love it – I need to connect with my three kids and my wife. Right now, I’m looking at my yard, and it’s kind of a mess. My yard could use a crashing, but it’s not the biggest priority right now.”

    Q. What can visitors expect from you at the Greater Charlotte Home Landscape Show?

    “It’s going to be a love fest. I tend to do these events, and people come out and shower me with love – and all I do is mirror that love and give it right back. We’ll have a good time, people will get up close and personal, and there will be a lot of engagement. … They get to connect with that guy who is on the box, and how often do you get to connect with folks who are on TV?”

    Q. Talk a little bit about how you fell in love with landscape design and why you keep striving for greater heights?

    “That’s the crux of what I share in my personal appearance. It’s a wonderful story, and I’ll take (audiences) on a historical journey of my upbringing: how I became the person I am; how that person parlayed into a landscaper; how the landscaper became a TV host; and how this TV host –and this character who I am – is looking at life and moving forward. I share it all. I’m open about all of it.”

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    Finding Inspiration for Your Next Home Improvement Project

    The 38th annual Nebraska Home and Builders show showcased the latest in home improvement, design and landscaping. Taking place Jan. 18 through 20, many took the opportunity to find inspiration in an exhibit filled with home experts.  

    “The house we live in now, we built ourselves,” homeowner Alice Stevens said, “but now we’ve lived there for 18 years, so it’s time to upgrade and fix things up again.”

    Many shoppers came to the home show with a clear plan for what they need, but many said  they leave with new ideas.

    “We also saw hot tubes and I’d like to have one of those,” Stevens said.

    Slogans like “entertain, exercise or relax in any weather,” drew shoppers to outdoor renovations.

    William R. Jackson, of the Jackson Group, produced the three-day event. Jackson said the biggest trends of the year are outdoor renovations like patios, gardens and sunrooms.

    “A sunroom is an addition to your home that you can get your family in without bugs bothering you,” Ron Bures, of ABC Seamless, who builds sunrooms, said. “And you put a hot tub in them and you could do all kinds of things in a sunroom.”

    Grand Island realtor Amber Gerdes, of Woods Bros Realty, said people are afraid to put their homes on sale because they may not find another home to buy. “124 homes were available at the beginning of the year,” she said. 

    She said many renters want to become buyers but they’re having a hard time finding the best home in the best area with the floor plan of their needs.

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    Garden club talks about conservation – Bryan

    Garden club talks about conservation

    Garden club talks about conservation

    Posted: Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:00 am

    Garden club talks about conservation


    Carolyn Guillotte, a member of the AM Garden Club, Grimes County Master Gardeners and Daughters of the American Revolution, discussed conservation and the value of trees in the landscaping at the January meeting of the AM Garden Club. Members who have rainwater collection systems gave tips on collecting rainwater for use their gardens and for container plant. It was additionally announced at the meeting that Texas Garden Clubs Inc. would be giving a scholarship to a horticulture student from Texas AM University.


    Sunday, January 20, 2013 12:00 am.

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    Coir goes global, finds new usages in European homes

    Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 21 (IANS): The humble coir, used in many Indian houses as doormats and carpets, has found new usages in Europe as a material for building sound barriers, stylish compound walls and garden landscaping, says a Kerala official.

    In Europe, coir is being used for building modular acoustic walls and landscaping gardens, says K.R. Anil, director of the National Coir Research and Management Institute (NCRMI), the nodal agency for Coir Kerala that leads RD efforts in the state.

    “Dubbed as greenscreen acoustic barriers, these lightweight modular walls are claimed to offer sound insulation of up to 35 decibels. Panels of the barrier are made of two rows of poles made of 100 percent recyclable material and with durable, natural coconut fibre filled inside,” Nair said.

    In Germany, coir yarn walls are increasingly being used for landscaping as well as for sound proofing, he added.

    Garden plants are trailed along the walls made of sturdy coir yarn, providing excellent support for creepers and vines.

    Coir also retains moisture for long periods which means the plants trailing on a yarn wall need less watering than on other surfaces.

    “In The Netherlands, coconut husk, from which the fibrous coir is extracted, is being used as a noise prevention solution in homes located along highways and other high-traffic roads, in offices and around sporting arenas,” Nair said.

    Innovative applications of coir will be on display at the Coir Kerala-2013 exhibition, which is to be held at Alappuzha, about 150 km from here, in the first week of next month.

    Besides, delegates from around 60 countries participating in the event would also get to hear discussions on some interesting new developments in the industry, Nair said.

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    Growing tips for beginning gardeners

    Having planted seeds and growing things for as long as I can remember, I am often surprised when someone asks me how they can get their own garden started. Whether it’s a container garden or a backyard plot, I suppose I just assume everyone knows how to put a seed into the soil, give it a bit of water and light and just wait.

    But if you’ve never done it before, I suppose just getting started can be a little overwhelming. So I decided to devote this week’s column to explaining the basics. Those of you who are seasoned gardeners might enjoy the refresher course as well.

    Most of the questions I get come from young people who live in apartments and don’t have a lot of space to plant a garden. Their first question is, ”Can I grow vegetables in containers?” When I tell them, of course you can, the second question is, ”How do I do it?” My first question to them is, ”What do you want to grow?”

    With a little questioning, I often find that it isn’t the idea of putting a seed in soil that is overwhelming. It’s everything else, including location, light, watering habits, fertilizer and where to find the best seeds or plants. Here are a few tips for new gardeners.

    First, decide what you want to grow. Do you want containers of flowers all over the place or are you really serious about growing vegetables that you want to eat? If so, which vegetables? Many do quite well in containers while others are best left to backyard gardens with lots of space, such as melons, squash and corn.

    If you are planning to harvest enough for winter storage, and you don’t have a backyard garden, don’t expect to grow enough in containers to get you through the winter months. Your best bet would be to visit local farmers markets and buy as much produce as possible and preserve that. Container vegetable gardening, although fulfilling and fun, will probably only net enough to eat fresh while it’s growing, unless you have lots and lots of containers. If you have enough space for that many containers, you probably have enough space to plant a backyard garden.

    Or you can consider joining a community garden. Many communities and some neighborhoods have sections of land plotted specifically for public gardens. You register with the person in charge, get a space assigned and it is your responsibility to plant and maintain your space. That includes cleaning it up at the end of the season so you, or someone else, has a fresh plot to begin with the next season.

    When choosing containers for your garden, it can’t be stressed enough that your containers have drainage holes. Plants that sit in water-logged soil will rot and develop fungal diseases. Once a plant has been attacked by one predator, other insects or diseases will sense this weakness and will attack as well. Sick plants can be suffering from more than one problem at the same time.

    Seeds versus plants is another question I often hear. Seeds need only three things: soil, water and light. While soil and water are easy to come by any time of the year, light is a little more difficult until they can be moved outdoors in direct sun. If there is enough space inside, however, seeds can be successfully started under fluorescent lights. The light shouldn’t be more than two inches from the top of the container or, after germination, the top of the seedling. Seeds also shouldn’t be started too soon. Six to eight weeks before they are moved outdoors is adequate time for a young seedling to grow strong enough, so be sure to check the seed packet for the proper length of time to plant seeds before moving outdoors.

    Not all plants have to wait until the last frost before they can go outdoors. Cool weather crops, such as lettuce, spinach, peas and spring greens, are among several.

    A fun thing to do with container plants is to mix and match, and this includes vegetables. For example, a large container with vining peas in the center surrounded by a mixture of spring greens is a good way to save space.

    I’ve been discussing gardening in containers quite a lot lately and plan to continue in future columns with topics on fertilizing, weeding and how a beginning gardener can easily plant a backyard garden.

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    Gardening a great way to get fit

    Gardens can be great training grounds for fitness buffs.

    Add trails for jogging. Build benches for workouts. Use trees and fence posts for stretching. Lose even more calories by squatting or lifting while weeding, planting, hauling and digging.

    You can personalize your garden to fit your energy level. Equipment such as exercise beams and conditioning ladders are inexpensive and simple to make, while portable gear like weighted rollers, jump ropes, dumbbells and Swiss balls can be eased into the routines.

    “If you have children’s play equipment, it is easy to add a pull-up bar or climbing frame for adults to a tree house,” said Bunny Guinness, a landscape architect who runs a garden design business near Peterborough in central England.

    Gardening in and of itself can be a formidable calorie burner, said Guinness, who with physiotherapist Jacqueline Knox wrote “Garden Your Way to Health and Fitness” (Timber Press. 2008).

    Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many illnesses, and gardening can provide it, said Margaret Hagen, an educator with University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.

    “Raking is like using a rowing machine,” Hagen said. “Turning a compost pile is similar to lifting weights. Carry a gallon sprinkling can of water in each hand and you’ve got 8-pound dumbbells. Pushing a lawnmower is like walking on a treadmill, only much more interesting.”

    Even more calories are burned when calisthenics are included in the mix. Add push-ups, chin-ups, bridging, power lunges and dips to the workouts.

    Warm up before you begin to avoid cramping and joint pain. Pace yourself. Hydrate, especially if you’re gardening out in the sun. Avoid bending by using telescoping pruners, edgers and weeders. Opt for lightweight and easy-to-grip hand tools.

    Work ergonomically. Stress good posture and balance.

    “As someone who has had a back issue, I do try to follow my physical therapist’s advice and be careful to kneel instead of stooping while gardening, and to lift with bent knees and a straight back,” Hagen said. “One of the things I like most about gardening is that because you stretch and move in so many directions, it works all your muscle groups, releasing tension everywhere in your body.”

    Don’t forget to include mental health in your landscape design. Add tranquil herb gardens, soothing fountains and small sitting areas for meditation, relaxing and cooling off.

    “Any gardener can tell you that there is nothing like spending time outdoors gardening to refresh the soul,” Hagen said. “Psychologically, I’m sure it provides the same benefits to gardeners that recent research says recess provides to schoolchildren.”

    Good nutrition also is an important part of any fitness package, and few things taste better than food served fresh from the garden.

    “If you can boost your health and avoid stresses and strains in the process, it becomes all the more satisfying,” Guinness said.

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