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Archives for April 25, 2013

Home and Garden Festival this weekend

  •  – The stage is set for the Wayne County Builders Association Home and Garden Festival taking place this weekend. On Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., homeowners and builders will have a chance to tour booths dedicated to indoor and outdoor living.

    “We expanded the outdoor living section this year,” said Laurie Lourie, Chief Executive Officer of the Wayne County Builders Association. That newly expanded section includes outdoor lampposts and landscaping ideas.

    The festival is a chance for community members to learn from experts in various areas, including building, remodeling, landscaping, home decor and more.

    The event lets people “come and see the latest in building products” in one convenient location, Lourie said. “We have everything you need to remodel your home.”

    The show also offers two days of events for the whole family. On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., there will be an electronic recycling available. Accepted items are old electronics, like televisions and computers. There is no fee to recycle an item, but donations are accepted.

    Dessin Animal Shelter will be at the festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday hosting a pet adoption event for those looking for that perfect furry companion.

    Saturday also brings with it the highly anticipated LEGO Building Contest for children ages 5-8 and 9-12. Preregistration is required for this fun test of design and construction skill.

    Throughout the entire two-day festival, there will fresh herbs and hanging planters for sale and live wood carving demonstrations. Lourie said another exciting draw for the event is the addition of a builder tent sale.

    Available for sale in the tents will be items that are “surplus from local builders and contractors.” Items will be “priced to sell,” she said. The items are new or gently used and range from doors and tiles to appliances.

    If all of the walking around works up an appetite, there will be many menu items available from the Carousel Cafe. Breakfast at the cafe will be served from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with items like ham, egg and cheese sandwiches, danishes, yogurt, bagels and more. For lunch, which is served from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the menu boasts items like pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, chili, barbeque chicken and baked beans among the items.

    There will also be the unveiling of six children’s playhouses for a Playhouse Raffle to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The playhouses were built by six area builders: Cassel Building Contractors, Inc., The Duck Harbor Group, Forest Homes of Lake Wallenpaupack, Haviland Building and Remodeling, J.R. Bea Construction and Wallenpaupack High School Building Construction Students. All proceeds raised from the event will benefit local children in a Make-A-Wish program.

    The annual Home and Garden Festival runs on Saturday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the event is free.

    The festival is held at the Ladore Camp and Conference Center, 287 Owego Turnpike in Waymart.

    For more information, visit or call 1-570-226-4941.


  • Article source:

    Friends help create ‘garden of love’ at West Virginia home –

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The idea struck Sallye Clark when dropped her dear friend Kathy King off at her house and King lamented the landscaping chores she’d neglected during a serious, enervating illness.

    Although she enjoyed working in the yard, King didn’t have the stamina to landscape the house she and her husband, Jim, had purchased the previous year on a quiet South Hills street.

    “I suggested we get a team together. It’ll be like back in the day when we’re all young and poor and got together and worked on a project. Kathy didn’t want to put people out,” said Clark, who first met Kathy at church about 25 years ago.

    An upcoming vacation for the Kings provided the tenacious Clark with a narrow window of opportunity. She called friends, who called friends, including landscape architect Beth Loflin, and developed an ambitious action plan within a week.

    When the Kings left the following week, the heavy equipment arrived along with crews of volunteers wielding shovels and rakes. As preparation for the garden installation, they jackhammered and removed a sidewalk, dug out a water well and excavated a courtyard area in preparation for a flagstone patio. Trucks arrived with loads of trees, shrubs, plants and mulch — lots of mulch.

    Clark had consulted Jim King and the Kings’ daughter, Jane, about the project before they left for their trip, but Kathy had no idea about the transformation that was happening in her absence.

    “Once Sallye gets an idea, you better just get out of the way. I was just taking orders at this point,” said Jim, who made whatever surreptitious preparations he could before they left.

    The Kings had consulted with Loflin about a landscape plan in the past. She’d sketched some ideas, so she already had a good idea of what landscape concepts they liked. “We were going to go forward with the plan at some point, but it probably wouldn’t have done it all ourselves for three or four years. This came together in a couple of weeks,” said Jim King.

    When the Kings returned home April 8, the extent of grounds’ metamorphosis surprised Jim — but it stunned Kathy, who was initially speechless, then tearful as she walked the property and took in the makeover.

    “I was so totally overwhelmed as we drove up. It’s not so much the look, which was wonderful, but the idea that so many people came together and did this,” Kathy said.

    Martha Hannah, another longtime friend who helped Clark marshal volunteers, said many more people wanted to help but were out of town for spring break. She thought they might have made financial contributions.

    Kathy confirmed that people had contributed, but they don’t know who made donations. All they know is that when Jim went to Green’s Feed Seed to settle the bill for materials, he was told that the account had a balance of zero.

    At first, the unassuming Kathy felt uncomfortable that so many people, some of whom she didn’t even know, had given so much for the impressive project. Hannah helped her gain perspective.

    “I have a hard time accepting help. Then Martha told me that they had so much fun doing this. She told me that it was as much a blessing to them as it was to me,” Kathy said. “I learned that if I don’t accept help from others, it’s an ego issue.”

    Volunteers poured in from the ranks of people who knew the Kings through Christ Church United Methodist, tennis and WVU tailgating parties. Colleagues joined in. She is a nurse anesthetist at Cabell Huntington Hospital, and he is an architect with the Higher Education Policy Commission.

    Neither Hannah nor Clark was surprised at the enthusiastic response.

    “To me, it’s a testament to the type of people Jim and Kathy are,” Hannah said.

    In addition to friends who provided labor, George Washington High School instructor Col. Monty Warner brought several JROTC students to lend a hand. The students toiled in cold, rainy weather to break up the sidewalk and cut down existing trees and undergrowth. Clark, who previously taught English at GW, recruited Warner’s assistance for the project.

    The students and volunteers tossed discarded materials into a bin loaned to the site by a friend who owns a waste management company.

    In all, about 40 people worked on the project. Hannah, Loflin and Clark said they enjoyed the project so much, many people told them they didn’t want it to end.

    “Everyone was smiling and laughing. It brought people together who had no other common thread,” said Loflin. Hannah added that she had the chance to meet Kathy’s friends she’d never met, but often heard her friend speak about.

    Freely given labor and donated materials, equipment and services brought the cost of the renovation to about a fifth of its actual value, Loflin said.

    Hannah offered some bricks leftover from an addition to her home for the project, and Loflin worked them into seating areas along the circular courtyard. Gardening friends added another personal touch.

    “Some people divided plants from their own yards. This is really a garden of love,” Hannah said.

    Star magnolia, dwarf nectarine and espaliered crabapple trees join low-care perennials and planters of brightly colored annuals to rim the patio’s peaceful seating area. Potted herbs are within easy reach to clip for culinary use. The area is softly lighted for evening relaxation.

    “The patio is my favorite part of the project,” Kathy said. The Kings also enjoy sitting on their front porch. Their former neighbor Jane Hammett sorted through her extensive collection of fabrics and picked colorful fabrics she used to re-cover the cushions.

    Newly planted and mulched beds hug the house’s foundation, while a stand-alone vegetable and fruit garden stands in the backyard, already planted with blueberry bushes and a peach tree. This garden will provide physical sustenance to bolster the sensory pleasure offered in the front yard.

    “I think all of us hope that Kathy finds comfort, joy and relaxation as she undergoes further treatment,” Clark said. “Kathy is so giving and kind. I think this says that there are many more good people than bad in the world when they come together for something like this.”

    Article source:

    Landscape Design Ideas Using Hardscaping

    Were you lucky enough to get a tax refund this year? Perhaps you’ve considered spending it on home improvements, especially those outside your house. I mean, it’s always a good idea to work on your home’s curb appeal, just in case you have to sell your house.

    As you consider different landscape design ideas, keep in mind hardscaping—that is landscaping using brick pavers, stones, and other outdoor patio designs. Hardscaping can really change the look of your home, for the better.

    My husband and I discovered how great hardscaping can be last year when we invested in a major overhaul of our pool surround, backyard, and side yard. The latter required landscape walls that acted as a retaining wall as the side of our house is built into a hill. The real eye opener for us was how great our inground pool looked, just by replacing the concrete that once surrounded it and instead having a paver patio installed. (That’s our pool and patio pictured with this story.)

    If you’ve looked into pavers, then you’re probably familiar with the company EP Henry. It is one of the leading manufacturers of concrete products. EP Henry recently identify trends for outdoor living spaces this year. Here are four landscape design ideas that seem to be topping the list for 2013.

    1. Outdoor living rooms. A recent survey by the American Society of Landscape Architects indicated outdoor living spaces earned almost a 95 percent rating in popularity from respondents.
    2. Multifunctional “kits.” Using a kit can help you transform an existing outdoor space into something else entirely. For example, you can using something called a “Solitaire Kit” to temporarily convert a fire pit into a fish pond or an aquatic garden. That way you can use the fire pit as a heating source in the cool early spring and fall months, and then it becomes a refreshing water feature in the summer months.
    3. Outdoor kitchens. Adding to outdoor living spaces, certain amenities such as built-in grills, refrigerators, countertops, and concrete seating walls make for a versatile outdoor space that can be enjoyed day or night. While my home is not big enough to justify or allow for an outdoor kitchen, have that paver patio installed by the pool allowed us to create a new and easy-to-use grilling space that never existed before.
    4. Sustainable products. Environmental concerns continue to be a strong driver with outdoor projects. Products such as permeable pavers help the environment by allowing rainwater to recharge the ground, reducing stormwater runoff. They can also be used to harvest rainwater for multiple purposes, such as watering gardens or replenishing ponds and fountains. I know that when we eventually have our driveway redone, I want to seriously consider having permeable pavers installed. Not only will they increase our home’s curb appeal, but also they will be good for the environment.

    Article source:

    Boots seek volunteers to maintain city garden

  • About 10 years ago, Rex and Ellie Boots faced a problem.

    “We owned a building downtown, and there was a vacant lot there,” said Rex this week.

    “There was just a big hole in the ground, filled with cats and rabbits,” said Ellie.

    “The basement of our building would freeze in the winter, so I approached the city and said, ‘If you fill it in, I’ll make it into a garden,” said Rex.

    That was big talk from Rex, who didn’t know much about gardens before that. However, the long-time Redwood area farmer was willing to learn.

    Once the city filled in the hole with dirt, Rex and Ellie went to work.

    “When word got out what I was doing, I’d go out every morning and find buckets of plants people had just donated. Five gallon buckets of plants! Then I had to figure out what to do with the stuff. It just kind of evolved,” Rex said.

    Rex hit the books and learned as much as he could about gardening and landscaping.

    He admits much of the garden was put together on the cheap.

    “The rocks were donated by a friend in the country. We brought in load after load in the trunk of our car,” Rex laughed. “I hope he doesn’t want them back after this.”

    The wood chips on the walking path was actually found on the city compost pile.

    “Someone did a great job of chipping a tree, so we just took it for the garden,” Rex said.

    For at least the past six years, Rex has nurtured the garden into a public space the city could be proud of, setting up chairs and walking paths between the buildings.

    However, in June, life-long Redwood area residents Rex and Ellie plan to move to West Branch, Michigan. It wasn’t an easy decision.

    “We lost our apartment at Lakeside Manor, and Ellie’s cancer came back,” Rex said. “Most of our family lives on the eastern side of the Mississippi River now, so this just seemed like the time to be closer to our children and grandchildren.”

    In addition to all the normal hassles of moving to a new town, Rex and Ellie have had to deal with letting go of the garden.

    “I saw Keith (Muetzel, Redwood Falls City Administrator) and said I was concerned about what would happen to the garden since it’s been a tremendous amount of work.

    “I told Keith that on the day we leave Redwood, to just bring in a payloader and cover it up,” said Rex. “It would be too painful to see the garden grown up in weeds.”

    At this point, the Boots and the city are putting the word out to any interested gardeners or garden clubs who might be interested in maintaining the garden on Mill Street.

    “Sometime soon, a lot of perennials will start popping out,” said Rex. “It would be ideal if someone were to take it over right as the plants grow up so they can be familiar with it.”

    For more information, contact Keith Muetzel at the city at 507-637-5755.

  • Article source:

    FREMONT CALENDAR for the week of April 26, 2013

    Cartooning program for tweens today

    Illustrator Brian Kolm will offer a cartooning program for tweens, ages 10-14, at 4-5:30 p.m. today (April 26) at Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. He will teach attendees to draw fun and interesting characters such as magical mythological warriors. This class is limited to 20 tweens. To reserve a spot and for more information, call 745-1421.

    “Southern Comfort”

    Dancers will journey through memories of visiting Alabama, Georgia, Texas and Louisiana through an array of dance styles including jazz, tap, contemporary, hip-hop and ballet during Ohlone College Dance Department Production’s “Southern Comfort: A Sentimental Journey” at 8 p.m. April 27 at the Smith Center at Ohlone College, located at 43600 Mission Blvd. in Fremont. Tickets are $12-$15 each. Parking is $2 per vehicle. For more information or to buy tickets, call the box office at 659-6031 or visitÊ

    “Street Eats”

    Fremont Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Food Truck Mafia, will be hosting the first “Fremont Street Eats” of the season 4:30-9 p.m. today (April 26) in the parking lot of Mission Valley ROP, 5019 Stevenson Blvd. Fremont Street Eats will be repeated every Friday night through Oct. 25.ÊEvery Friday night at Fremont Street Eats, the event will feature two chamber members who want to wow the crowds with their products and services.Ê

    Participating members will be allowed a 10-foot by 10-foot

    exhibit space where they can sell, demonstrate, educate and entertain Fremont Street Eats guests, for free. For more information, contact KK Kaneshiro at 795-2244 or e-mail to book your space now. Members will be booked on a first come, first served basis.Ê

    “Five Palettes”

    “Five Palettes,” an exhibit featuring the watercolors of five Bay Area artists, runs through April 27 at the Olive Hyde Art Gallery, 123 Washington Blvd. The artists are all members of the California Watercolor Association and have been accepted into numerous CWA member art shows, gathering weekly for six years to paint, critique, share techniques and experience the joy of working together.

    Summer enrichment

    Every year Ohlone for Kids offers a blend of academic and special interest classes to enrich children’s summer, keeping them active, learning and enjoying their experience. The courses, designed for students entering fourth through 11th grades, will include four sessions of classes June 24-Aug. 8. Classes will include LEGO robotics, video game design, PSAT and SAT prep, cooking, computer programming, movie making and more. Classes will be held at the Ohlone College Fremont and Newark campuses and at Newark Memorial High School. For more information, call 742-2304 or visit

    Discover New Zealand

    Experience the land of the hobbits at a New Zealand Culture Event 1:30-4:30 p.m. April 27 in Cole Hall at the First United Methodist Church, 2950 Washington Blvd. in Fremont. The Maori Mo Ake Tonu group will sing and dance and their leader will describe and explain the still thriving and colorful Maori traditions. This will include the fiercely compelling haka performed before every rugby match. The public is invited to share this experience with members of the Friendship Force of the San Francisco Bay Area and even join in the dancing. Members are preparing their homes for the visit of club members from Horowhenua, New Zealand in May and want to learn more about their culture in advance. Find out about the Bay Area club’s history of hosting members from more than 60 countries and also traveling as a group to develop lasting friendships around the world. For more information, call 793-0857.

    World Tai Chi Day

    Join world class Martial Arts Champion Sifu Yan Fei,Ê35th generation Shaolin Warrior Monk Sifu Yuan LongÊalong with more than 40 of his studentsÊandÊ2010 Tai Chi Master of the Year Sifu May ChenÊfor World Tai Chi and Qigong Day 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 27 at the Ohlone College Newark Center, 39399 Cherry St. in Newark. During that time, attendees will be able to enjoy demonstrations along with a variety of 30-minute sessions in celebration of this global event. It is free and open to the public, but parking is $2 per vehicle, which will be enforced after 11 a.m. For a schedule of performances and sessions, visit

    “Depression The Musical”

    Brian Wetzel, an award-winning professional speaker and comedian, will perform his musical comedy “Depression The Musical” 7:30 p.m. April 27 at Fremont Congregational Church, located at 38255 Blacow Road in Fremont. Following Wetzel’s light-hearted but poignant and deeply personal look at a very important issue, the Rev. Barbara Meyer (community minister of Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Church whose ministry focuses on issues of mental health) will respond. Light refreshments afterwards will provide an opportunity to continue the conversation and talk with either Wetzel or Meyer. There is a suggested donation of $10-$15 each, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. For more information, call 793-3970 or visit or

    Estate planning

    Amir Atashi Rang of Atashi Rang Law Firm will present a series of free, estate planning seminars in the Fukaya Room of Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. Topics include:

    -“Estate Planning Mistakes”: 2-4 p.m. April 27. Learn about the seven biggest mistakes in estate planning and how to successfully detect and avoid them. This will be a discussion of basic estate planning principles, including probate and common estate planning pitfalls most often encountered and how to maneuver around them. Atashi Rang Law Firm is a Bay Area estate and tax planning law firm.

    The firm’s objective is comprehensive planning and specialized legal services in estate planning tax planning, probate and trust administration. This program is free and sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, The American Library Association, the Fremont Chamber of Commerce and the Alameda County Library System. No reservations are required. For more information, call 745-1421.

    Garden tours

    The Alameda County Water District is partnering with the Bay-Friendly Landscaping and Gardening Coalition as well as Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour to promote their garden tours this spring in Alameda County. Gardens featured during the tours contain California native plants that require less water, reduce the need for pesticides and attract a variety of wildlife.

    Events coming up include:

    -10th Annual Bay-Friendly Garden Tour, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 28: This self-guided tour of residential properties features a variety of gardens, created using similar gardening techniques. Registration is required as well as the purchase of a guidebook ($10) with garden descriptions and directions. Entrance tickets can be shared. Electronic guidebooks are available for $5.

    For more information, visit or call 859-8026, extension 2.

    -Ninth Annual Bringing Back the Natives Tour, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, May 5: An award-winning self-guided tour, Bringing Back the Natives will provide plenty of inspiration whether you are planning a garden or looking for new ideas to incorporate into your outdoor space. This tour features 40 Alameda and Contra Costa county gardens. Native plant sales and talks are offered at select gardens. There is no fee for the tour but space is limited and registration is required. Register early to ensure your space. For more information, visit or call 236-9558 (between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.).

    For those customers ready to make a change, the district has a Water Efficient Landscape Program that offers a rebate for the removal of water-thirsty lawns.

    For more information about the programs or to learn about rebates and incentives, visit or call 668.6534.

    Plant sale

    Fremont Senior Center’s Garden Club will hold a plant sale 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, May 3 on site at 40086 Paseo Padre Parkway. For more information, contact Fran Masuda at 656-7417 or e-mail

    Water-efficient landscaping

    The Alameda County Water District is partnering with the Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency to host its final free one-day class in May that will outline the basics of creating low-water use landscapes.

    -“Water-Efficient Landscape Irrigation” 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, May 4 at LEAF Center Garden, 36501 Niles Blvd. Prepare your garden and irrigation system for the summer months by learning about water-conserving irrigation strategies. The class includes basic drip irrigation design and installation, how to choose the right irrigation components, watering techniques, and proper system maintenance for your landscaping.

    Bilingual magician

    Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with bilingual magician Chiquy Boom 4 p.m. Friday, May 3 at Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. Attendees to the free program will learn a little Spanish and have a lot of fun. The event is sponsored by the Fremont Friends of the Library. For more information, call 745-1421.

    Silent comedy

    The Smith Center will present “College” the 1927 classic silent comedy starring Buster Keaton, famous for his deadpan expression as well as his amazing stunts and pratfalls 8:30 p.m. Friday, May 3 at the Smith Center at Ohlone College, located at 43600 Mission Blvd. in Fremont. It will be made all the more hilarious with live accompaniment by Jerry Nagano, house organist at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, playing the center’s own theater organ with all the bells and whistles (literally). Tickets are $15-$20 each. Parking is $2 per vehicle. For more information or to buy tickets, call 659-6031 or visitÊ


    Wind orchestra

    The Ohlone Wind Orchestra, directed by Tony Clements, will feature renowned French horn soloist Lydia Busler-Blais performing “Rhapsody for Horn, Winds and Percussion” by Jan Van der Roost 2 p.m. Sunday, May 5 at the Smith Center at Ohlone College, located at 43600 Mission Blvd. in Fremont. Other works will include Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy,” Roumanis’ “Super Big-Band Blues for Trombone and Fluegelhorm,” Schuman’s band classic “George Washington Bridge” and more.

    Tickets are $10 each for seniors, students and youth (under 12) and $12 general admission before the performance. Tickets at the door will be $15, and parking is $2 per vehicle. For more information or to buy tickets, call 659-6031 or visitÊ

    Links to jobs

    Link up with the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., for free job help and training in the Fukaya Room 7-8:30 p.m. Monday, May 6. This class will teach attendees library and online resources you can use to effectively target your job search.ÊYou can attend individual classes or all of the sessions. Knowledge of the Internet will be helpful. Topics include:

    -May 6: Salary search/support groups.

    For more information, call 745-1440 or e-mailÊÊ

    Job search workshops

    The Tri-Cities One-Stop Career Center in Newark will present job search workshops with different focuses at three libraries, including Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., on the following days and times:

    -“Successful Interviews Learn and practice interview skills” 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 8

    -“Job search strategies Learn about the hidden job market and job search techniques” 3:30-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. For more information, call 745-1440.

    Healthy kids

    Get up, get active and get healthy. The Newark Joint Task Force on Youth Issues invites the community at large to attend the Healthy Kids Fitness Expo 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at Silliman Sportsfield Park, 6800 Mowry Ave. in Newark. Attendees will be able to enjoy free interactive games, activities, demonstrations, a rock climbing wall, slack lines and inflatables. Booths by local organizations will be offering activities and products that promote active, healthy lifestyles for kids.

    Meet the lenders

    An interactive business seminar and resource fair is being held 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 in the Fukaya Meeting Room at Fremont Main Library, located at 2400 Stevenson Blvd. This event is a must for any business owner interested in securing debt or equity financing.ÊÊBe ready to participate in a panel discussion with lenders offering advice in today’s tough lending environment.ÊAttendees will learn how a wide range of banks and other lending organizations evaluate your loan application and the types of funding they can provide. They will also be given an overview of how to get “capital-ready” before you approach a lender to ensure a greater chance of success.Ê

    Participants will learn:

    -What the five Cs of credit are and how they apply to the participant

    -How a wide range of lending organizations evaluate your loan application

    -The types of funding different lending organizations can provide

    -What types of information the lenders are looking for and why.

    This seminar is free to all attendees, but advance reservations are required. Register online at node/13414. Refreshments will be served at the event.

    Opera San Jose

    Spend an afternoon with Opera San Jose at the Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd., from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Attendees will join the resident artists from Opera San Jose as they perform arias and duets from the 2012-13 season, including Verdi’s powerful drama, Il Trovatore and Puccini’s two contrasting pieces, Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. Tickets will be handed out in Fukaya A Room starting at 1:30 p.m.

    “School-Age Storytime”

    The Kiwanis Club of Fremont will present “School-Age Storytime” 11-11:30 a.m. May 18, June 15 and July 20 at Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. At this time volunteer story readers from the local Kiwanis Club will read to kindergarten through fourth grade children. This is a free program and no registration is necessary. For more information, call 745-1421.

    “Fibers and Flowers”

    Fremont Art Association will present the art show “Fibers and Flowers” in conjunction with the Niles Wildflowers Exhibit May 18-26 at the gallery, 37697 Niles Blvd. All association members are welcome to exhibit following the theme of fiber arts and flowers. Those who work with yarn, fabric, paint, paper and ceramics are welcome to bring their work to the art gallery in Niles on May 16. The charge for entry to the show is a contribution to the cookies and punch reception which will kick off the exhibit 1:30-4 p.m. Sunday, May 19 on site. Gallery hours will be 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Admission is free, but a contribution is suggested. For more information, call the gallery at 792-0905 or visit

    Dancing Earth, moon

    Join Dr. Joyce Blueford and learn how the moon revolves around the Earth as the Math Science Nucleus will present “The Dancing Earth and Moon” 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 21 at Fremont Main Library, 2400 Stevenson Blvd. The program will include the story “Mugambi’s Moving Moon,” a short talk and participation in several hand-on activities. This free, one-hour program is intended for school age children and their families. For more information, call 745-1421.


    Volunteers from the Ohlone Humane Society will bring trained assisted therapy dogs to Fremont Main Library for children to read to the fourth Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Dates are May 28, June 25, July 23, Aug. 27, Sept. 24 and Oct. 22. Children may get a free ticket for the sessions at 6:30 p.m. They can bring their own books or use one from the library. The library is at 2400 Stevenson Blvd. For more information, call 745-1401.

    “Denim and Diamonds”

    Get out your boots and put on the bling. Alameda County Blue Star Moms will dance up a storm and show support for our troops during “Denim and Diamonds” 1-7 p.m. June 22 at Swiss Park, 5911 Mowry Ave. in Newark. This patriotic event will feature live music, line dancing lessons, an ice cream and candy bar, barbecue dinner, refreshments, swag bag and photo booth. The event is free to all military and veterans and one guest, but they must register in advance. Other tickets are $40 each for those 12 and older or $5 for those ages 2-11. No ticket purchases can be made at the door. You must be on the list to enter. Proceeds from the event will bring awareness to our community and assist to further the organization’s “liberty canteen” program that assists local veterans who are low and fixed income or homeless with food, personal care items, clothing and more, and will also assist in other essential programs. Corporate sponsorships for the event are available, which will allow companies to not only give of themselves but also allow employees the opportunity to enjoy an evening out. Sponsorship opportunities are also available for this event. For more information or to reserve tickets, call 938-5695, e-mail or visit


    Palma Ceia Baptist Church will present a Juneteenth festival 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 15 on site at 28605 Ruus Road in Hayward. There will be food, children’s activities and local vendor booths to display and sell products. Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States, according to From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19 as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Today it commemorates African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement.

    “Artists in the Garden”

    The highly anticipated “Artists in the Garden” will return for another year 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30 at Regan Nursery, 4268 Decoto Road. This event, presented by the Fremont Art Association, is the perfect venue to showcase and sell your art. Artists must supply the tent if they are interested in the standard booth. Booth fees are $45 for association members and $60 for non-members. In addition, a 10 percent commission will apply to all sales. This fee is paid to the Fremont Art Association to support their “Art in the Community” efforts. This event is a juried show of fine art and crafts. Once the available space has been assigned, on a first-come, first-served basis, a wait list will be generated for requests above the spare limit. Art not accepted will be returned after the jury date. Send the following information as soon as possible, as space has sold out every year:

    -Check for booth space, made payable to the Fremont Art Association

    -Two legal size envelopes, with postage and your address written or stamped on them

    -Three photos of your artwork (if you did not exhibit at Regan’s last year) or e-mail jpgs, at 300dpi, with your name and art medium to

    -Include all of the following information within the envelope or e-mail: artist name, e-mail, phone number, medium for sale, price range and tent selection, and send to Simone Archer at or 36541 Cherry St., Newark, Calif. 94560. The Fremont Art Association was established in 1959 to foster, promote and encourage the production, cultivation and appreciation of art in the community.Ê Meetings are held at the gallery, 37697 Niles Blvd., which is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visitÊ

    For more breaking news and up-to-date information, follow us on our social media sites at and

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    Organic vegetable gardens for 100 schools

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    Two such gardens have already been created at Yeri schools, which were officially inaugurated yesterday by Education Minister Kyriacos Kenevezos (front right) (PIO)

    ORGANIC vegetable gardens are to be grown in 100 schools islandwide to get students involved in the process of nurturing crops and to teach them to be more environmentally friendly. 

    Premier Shukuroglou Cyprus Ltd, a company that offers products and services in the fields of crop protection, animal health, public health and industrial chemicals, will donate the compost and instructions on how the organic plants should be grown. Solomou Nurseries Ltd, a garden centre and landscaping service, will donate the plants. 

    Two vegetable gardens have already been created in the elementary and secondary schools in Yeri. Lettuce, onions, parsley and other vegetables were planted about two months ago. Other vegetable gardens will be planted in schools that want to take part in the programme. Once the crops are ready, the students can take some vegetables home.

    “Students will soon have the ability to come into daily contact with nature and learn how to grow their own organic vegetables,” said a statement.

    During an event to officially inaugurate the programme yesterday in Geri, Education Minister Kyriacos Kenevezos said: “The vegetable gardens can help children learn key concepts and help them strengthen their connection with nature. Students can also become familiar with a scientific way of thinking through monitoring, investigating and interpreting various biological phenomena.”

    Kenevezos complimented the school on its good work and said the efforts that had gone into creating the garden provided a very good example to other schools.

    “The vegetable gardens do not only teach the children how to grow crops but it also teaches them to add vegetables to their diet and therefore to lead a healthier lifestyle,” said Ioanna Panayiotou, Environment Commissioner and Green Party head.

    At the end of the event students gave Kenevezos and many people who were present some vegetables from their garden. 

    The elementary and high schools in Yeri regularly take part in the Eco-Schools programme. “We asked which students were interested in taking part in these events and small teams of eight to ten pupils  were created. In this way all students have the chance to take part in the Eco-Schools programme,” headmaster of the secondary school, George Antoniou said.

    “Whenever the students have a free period or when they have free time they can go to water and attend to the garden. Their time is used in a creative manner and there are always teachers with them to help and supervise their work,” Antoniou said.

    This programme was initiated by Premier Shukuroglou Cyprus Ltd. The company approached the education ministry and the planting of organic vegetable gardens became a part of the Eco-Schools European programme. 

    Schools that are interested in becoming part of the programme can contact Premier Shukuroglou Cyprus Ltd on 22815353 or send an email to

    More information about organic vegetables gardens can be found at 

    An event to launch the creation of an organic herb garden by around 20 students from the Athienou secondary school will be held today at 10.30am at the Kleanthiou community home. The planting of organic herb gardens is a collaboration between the Recycling and Environmental Organisation, the Kleanthiou community home, the Athienou high school and the adult centre.

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    Gardening tips for beginners – Chilliwack Times

    Gardening is a rewarding hobby that many enthusiasts credit with helping to peacefully escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Though gardening can be both relaxing and rewarding, it’s not as easy as it may seem, and the more time and effort a person devotes to his or her garden the more likely it is to be successful.

    Gardening can be a little daunting for beginners who have little or no experience planting flowers or vegetables. But gardening need not be so intimidating, especially for those beginners who adhere to the following tips aimed at helping novice gardeners start their gardens off on the right foot.

    ? Determine what you should plant. Where you live will go a long way toward determining what you should plant. While you can plant anything you can get your hands on, Agri-Food Canada has determined specific plant hardiness zones that indicate which plants are most likely to thrive in given locations. Maps of these zones can be found at By adhering to the maps, gardeners can significantly increase their chances of growing successful gardens.

    ? Think location when beginning your garden. Beginners with large yards have the luxury of choosing the right location on their properties to start planting. When choosing a spot, consider how much sunlight a location gets on a daily basis and the spot’s proximity to a water supply. If planting flowers, try to avoid planting in areas with heavy foot traffic so the flowers are less likely to be stomped.

    ? Get started before you plant. Preparing the soil a few weeks before you start planting can help the plants thrive down the road. Add some organic material, such as compost or fertilizer, to the soil roughly three weeks before planting. This helps the soil retain water and nutrients, which will help your garden thrive.

    ? Time your planting. When you plant is sometimes as important as what you plant. Some climates allow for year-round planting, but many do not. When buying seeds, the packaging might suggest what time of year to plant the seeds. Adhere to these suggestions or your garden might not grow much at all.

    In addition, keep in mind that many seedlings need significant light throughout the day in order to grow, so choose a time of year with ample daylight.

    ? Don’t forget to mulch. Mulch can be as aesthetically appealing as it is effective.

    Mulch retains soil, helping roots to grow stronger, while deterring bugs and preventing weed growth. And many gardeners find mulch adds visual appeal their garden, and does so in a very inexpensive way.

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    37TH ANNUAL ART IN BLOOM at MFA this weekend

    Carol Stocker
    Globe Correspondent

    Highlights Including Family Day, Guided Gallery Tours, Lectures, and Floral Demonstrations when the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), all are part of this weekend’s Art in Bloom, a festival of floral arrangements inspired by masterpieces on view in the Museum’s galleries. These displays are created by New England garden club members and professional designers.

    The event, now marking its 37th anniversary, kicks-off Saturday, April 27, and runs through Monday, April 29. Some 50 works of art from across the Museum’s encyclopedic collection will be interpreted in flowers, including John Singer Sargent’s iconic painting The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit, the recently conserved sculpture of the Roman goddess Juno, and contemporary artist El Anatsui’s sculptural work Black River.

    Drop-in Ikebana floral demonstrations and gallery tours will be offered during Art in Bloom on Saturday, April 27, followed by a Member’s Night from 6–9 p.m. that evening. On Sunday, April 28, the MFA will host a Family Day featuring family-friendly programming, art-making activities, storytelling, and live entertainment. Additionally, local artist Robert Guillemin (“Sidewalk Sam”) will be at the MFA collaborating with visitors to leave their mark on the Museum’s steps using sidewalk chalk. This year’s featured speaker will be Shane Connolly, who received worldwide acclaim for the elegant and inspired floral décor he created for the 2011 royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Connolly will conduct two master classes with hands-on floral instruction on Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28. He will also present a lecture and demonstration on Monday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a book signing. All presentations by Connolly are ticketed events. Daily events include continuous demonstrations of floral arranging for the home, outdoor walking tours exploring the architecture and neighboring gardens of the MFA, and free gallery tours highlighting the floral arrangements throughout the Museum.

    Also included is a ticketed “Elegant Tea” available Saturday through Monday in the newly renovated William I. Koch Gallery, one of the Museum’s grandest spaces. Guests at the afternoon tea, hosted by Cunard Line—operator of the famous ocean liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. The full schedule of events is listed below.


    Ticketed Events

    · Shane Connolly Master Class I

    Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

    Hands-on floral arranging with one of Britain’s renowned floral designers. Tickets are $200.

    · Shane Connolly Master Class II (advanced)

    Sunday, April 28, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

    Hands-on floral arranging for advanced students. Tickets are $200.

    · Shane Connolly: A Year in Flowers

    Monday, April 29, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

    Connolly presents a floral demonstration and lecture, followed by a book signing. Tickets are $55.

    · “Elegant Tea” in the William I. Koch Gallery

    12:30 and 2:30 p.m. daily

    Reservations required

    Adult tickets: $30; children 12 and under: $10

    Famed for its legendary white-gloved afternoon tea services, the renowned Cunard Line will host “Elegant Tea.” Guests will enjoy the finest teas and canapés during a traditional British-style afternoon.

    Special Events

    Free with Museum admission, no reservations required. Museum admission is free for MFA members.

    · Ikebana Floral Demonstrations

    Saturday, April 27, 3–4 p.m.

    Each of the three Ikebana design schools will present one floral creation.

    · Members’ Night

    Saturday, April 27, 6–9 p.m.

    Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

    A members-only viewing with tours, shopping, and dining.

    · Family Day

    Sunday, April 28, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

    Art-making activities and performances for children of all ages.

    · Gardens of New York

    Sunday, April 28, 3–4 p.m.

    A presentation by Maureen Bovet, who lectures on world gardens.

    · Designing a Garden for All Seasons

    Monday, April 29, 3–4 p.m.

    A presentation by Suzanne Mahler, a recognized garden writer and lecturer.

    Daily Events

    Free with Museum admission, no reservations required. Museum admission is free for MFA members.

    · Art in Bloom Gallery Tours

    10 a.m.–3 p.m.

    A tour of the collections and floral arrangements throughout the galleries.

    · Designing with Flowers

    Noon–3 p.m.

    Continuous demonstrations of flower arranging for the home.

    · Outdoor Walking Tours

    1–2 p.m.

    The MFA’s architecture and neighboring gardens are among the highlights of this tour.

    · Enter-to-Win a Cunard Line Tour

    Cunard will offer Art in Bloom attendees an enter-to-win opportunity for a private tour and luncheon for one winner and three guests aboard Queen Mary 2 during one of the ocean liner’s future Boston visits.


    Art in Bloom is free with Museum admission. Advance ticket purchase is required for the Shane Connolly lecture and master classes and “Elegant Tea.” Tickets may be purchased at, by calling 1-800-440-6975, or in person at the MFA ticket desks. For the full event schedule, visit

    Join the conversation about the about the MFA on Twitter: and Facebook:, and watch MFA-related videos on YouTube:

    Art in Bloom originated at the MFA in 1976 and since then has been replicated at museums throughout the country. The three-day event attracts more than 15,000 visitors, and is one of the most highly attended events at the Museum. It is organized by the Museum’s volunteer group, the MFA Associates, an organization of 75 members formed in 1956, who contribute more than 40,000 volunteer hours to the Museum annually. In addition to presenting this annual event, their activities include funding MFA grants and School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) scholarships from Art in Bloom proceeds, providing assistance at the Sharf Visitor Center Desk, leading daily gallery tours, creating regional membership outreach programs, organizing events, and arranging flowers in the MFA’s public space.

    Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 9:45 p.m. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and youths age 17 and younger on weekdays after 3 p.m., weekends, and Boston Public Schools holidays; otherwise $10. Wednesday nights after 4 p.m. admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The MFA’s multi-media guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

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    Six Gardening Tips That Won’t Hurt Mother Nature

    Spring is finally here and many people are heading outside to tend to their neglected gardens and yards.

    Using pesticides and conventional fertilizers may make your backyard look like an oasis on the surface, but they’re the real pests: using these chemicals could be affecting the health of your family and the greater environment without you noticing it.

    You don’t need to use a cocktail of toxic chemicals to keep weeds and bugs out of your garden. There are many ways that you can have a pristine backyard, while protecting the environment and your health at the same time.

    Here are a few tips to help you green your green thumb this year:

    1. Keep it natural – You know the saying “Mama knows best?” Well, in this case Mother Nature knows best. Use all-natural compost and keep pests at bay by using essential oils (lemongrass, cedar and eucalyptus can provide protection from an array of insects including mosquitoes, ants and fleas) and finding ways to invite beneficial insects (they help ward off the bad bugs) to your garden.

    2. Choose native plants – consider adding plants which are indigenous to the area to your garden. They are already adapted to the local environment, are easy to grow and maintain, and require less fertilizer and water.

    3. Vinegar, the natural weed killer – nothing can drive a perfectionist green thumber crazier than a weed in their garden. Instead of pulling out the toxic weed killer, take out a bottle of white vinegar from your cupboard. It can repel any plant (especially if it’s in a sunny spot) and is non-toxic and cheaper than conventional weed products. Note: be careful which plants you spray with it, because it doesn’t discriminate.
    4. Or just give weeds a yank – if you catch weeds early enough, you can simply pull them out of the ground. It’s best to do it early in the morning. Morning dew makes the ground moist, which in turn, makes it easier for the weeds to be pulled out.

    5. Compost your kitchen scraps – why buy compost for your garden when you can just make your own from scraps from your kitchen? You can help speed the process up with the help of earthworms.

    6. Help out the bees – in case you haven’t heard, bee populations around the world have been diminishing in recent years. There’s no time like the present to “bee” nice to these bugs, even in your own backyard, by providing a pesticide-free spot.

    Want more tips to help keep your garden and home toxic free? Sign up for our toxic nation newsletter to receive tips and information all year long.

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    Fertilizing: Tips to maximize your gardens potential

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