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Archives for July 2, 2013

Community weighs in on saving Solano’s resources

Taking a proactive approach, Solano County and the seven cities within its boarders, are meeting with community members to figure out ways to be more efficient with and protect natural resources.

In the form of a Climate Action Planning Communi-ty Workshop, the public was invited Thursday evening to weigh in on what’s important to them when it comes to saving energy and natural resources in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The majority of the people in attendance, nearly 15, decided that renewable energy development, non-residential energy efficiency retrofits and walking/biking infrastructure are high priorities.

Other ideas included prohibiting Styrofoam at restaurants and takeout, and to include in the presentation the environmental and health benefits of giving up meat.

Fairfield residents Brad and Anne Smith joined the open house to find out what their city is already doing and how they can help.

They’re already doing what they can to save water and when they’re not walking or riding a bike, they’re driving a Prius, they said.

“We use very little energy,” Anne Smith insisted.

“I take cold showers,” Brad Smith admitted because it saves energy and it cuts down on water use because he isn’t in there very long. He also works for Green Build Energy Group, which helps commercial businesses figure out how to reduce energy costs.

The couple also said they gave up meat because, they believe, it’s not only healthier for them, but

healthier for the environment.

Anne Smith explained that eliminating meat production would use less water, energy and it would decrease land destruction and pollution.

She added that there are no water limits in the city of Fairfield.

“It’s not very forward thinking,” she said. “We could do better.”

Dave Melilli, Rio Vista’s director of public works and community development, said people don’t realize how everything is connected. The less water that’s used, the less pumping is necessary and that’s less energy, he explained.

In Rio Vista, he said, something as simple as planting drought resistant landscaping, as the city did at its airport, can make a difference.

Constance Beutel from the city of Benicia serves on its Community Sustainability Commission, which is charged with educating people on the city’s Climate Action Plan. She has posted some of that educational material on YouTube.

She encouraged the group of government leaders Thursday evening to be bolder and act now instead of making incremental steps toward improvement because there isn’t enough time.

The city of Benicia was one of the first cities in California to create a plan and has led the way for others to follow. The Solano Transportation Authority, with consultants, have facilitated and funded the process of developing the plan which includes an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, establishing a reduction target, implementing measures and monitoring and tracking progress.

Robert Macaulay, planning director with STA, said its beneficial for the cities to be ahead of the regulations that will be handed down from the state and federal governments soon.

“It’s better to make those small changes now,” he said. “It’s not necessarily these huge lifestyle changes. It’s better to ease into that process and walk down that road on our own volition.”

Yanna Badet, senior environmental planner with AECOM, agreed and pointed to the fact that just this week President Barrack Obama released a Climate Action Plan.

“We’re so much ahead of them,” she said. “It’s great that the county and cities are already coming together to reduce (greenhouse gas emissions).”

Follow Staff Writer Melissa Murphy at

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Marilyn Whittaker: Water conservation and proper land stewardship

An interesting Guest Commentary (Dave Kuntz, June 19) prompted this letter.

I am constantly dismayed by our legislature when drought conditions persist and their myopic solution is to “get more water,” either by pipeline from some distant source or expansion of reservoirs. Rarely is a word uttered about conservation other than for the immediate problem, no long term ideals (100 years). Then, it snows, limits are rescinded: it is business as usual.

And does anyone realize what is happening to our underground aquifers? (High Country News). Why do we allow developments with new green lawns, needing water, fertilizer, weed killer, mowing? We are an arid state.

Look at the University of Colorado — green grass everywhere complimented by exotic, non-native trees. Ask why and it turns out CU has fabulous water rights, so no problem there. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if CU would adopt a xeriscape that could represent a model for our arid West.

Some leased lands are overgrazed, diminished grasses, increased weeds (Boulder Valley Farms).

Anthem, along Colo. 7, has watered grass down to the roadway and Boulder requires that grass be planted following construction along the curbside (P.C.’s Pantry on 30th Street).

Wouldn’t it be great if environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s ideas were embraced and we thought in terms of being stewards of our land? Then perhaps those who lease could be encouraged to cut down some of the Russian Olives on their own or eradicate some weeds.

Cities could adopt xeriscape landscaping, and power and road companies could trim trees using established pruning techniques to prolong the life of the tree, rather than chopping. The possibilities are endless for what land stewardship could become, and the increased costs would not be considered a detriment but a requirement for the long haul.



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Celebrities who have lost endorsement deals

Red, White and Black and Blue: 29 awesome Evel Knievel photos

What better time than America’s birthday to remember awesome stunt man Evel Knievel and his red, white and blue jump suit. Take a look at some of his more memorable moments.

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How to Save Water and Have a Beautiful Garden in California

SACRAMENTO, CA, Jul 01, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) —
Can you have a beautiful garden and save water too? The answer is
yes — if the right plants are planted.

Sunset Western Garden Collection, the first live plant collection to
focus exclusively on top performing plants for the Western gardener,
and Save Our Water, California’s statewide water conservation public
education program, have joined forces to make it easier for
California gardeners to pick plants that will both thrive and save
water. Twenty out of 29 of the plants in Sunset’s new line of plants
bear the Save Our Water logo to help Californians identify the right
plants for the state’s Mediterranean climate.

“Californians can definitely have lush, colorful gardens that don’t
use a lot of water,” says Janet Sluis, a program developer with Plant
Development Services’ Sunset Western Garden Collection. “Amistad
Salvia, Hot Pink Riding Hood Pestemon and Little Miss Sunshine Cistus
are just a few of the water-wise plants that will give homeowners the
pop of color they want in their landscape without using a lot of

The Save Our Water program was created by the California Department
of Water Resources (DWR) and the Association of California Water
Agencies to educate consumers on ways to reduce their household water
use. Because more than half of residential water use goes to lawns
and outdoor landscaping in many areas of the state, Save Our Water
has a heavy focus on outdoor water conservation.

“Picking the right plants, fixing sprinklers, using drip irrigation,
shrinking or eliminating lawn and investing in a smart controller are
all ways the people can have beautiful landscapes and substantially
reduce their water use at home,” said Julie Saare-Edmonds, a
California master gardener and water efficiency expert at DWR.
“Californians have so many beautiful choices of plants that will do
well without a lot of water. The Sunset Plant Finder is a great tool
to help people learn what plants to buy.”

Sunset Western Garden Collection plants, which were developed in
partnership with trusted experts at Sunset magazine, are currently
sold at select independent garden centers and Orchard Supply and
Lowe’s locations throughout the state. Consumers can easily locate
the nearest retailer of the collection by visiting

Learn more about Water-Wise Gardening
For Californians who would
like to learn more about water-wise gardening, they can start by
visiting the websites of Save Our Water, Sunset and Sunset Western
Garden Collection.

Save Our Water unveiled a new online web resource this spring,
Sprinklers 101, which offers homeowners a host of online resources to
help improve their landscape health and reduce their outside water
use. For those looking for landscaping inspiration, the program’s
Real People, Real Savings campaign features photos and videos of more
than 40 California homes which have water-wise landscaping. Another
dozen will be added this summer.

Sunset’s Plant Finder is the online companion to popular gardening
Bible — the Sunset Western Garden Book. California’s gardeners can
search its database for lists and descriptions of plants that fit
their particular climate zone, yard size, sun and shade, favorite
types of plants, and special needs. The Plant Finder allows gardeners

        --  Search plants by color, size, type, and growing needs
        --  Browse our A-Z plant list by common and botanical names
        --  Find their Sunset Climate Zone -- the key to knowing what plants will
        --  Use the Advance Search page to find plants for:
            --  birds and butterflies
            --  rock gardens
            --  slopes
            --  dry areas
            --  shady areas
            --  and more special situations
        --  Filter your selections by your climate zone, color, size, and more.
            Then choose your plants and save them to a favorites list to print and
            take to the nursery.

In addition, the gardening sections of and Sunset Magazine
are filled with information on water-wise gardening, irrigation
how-to’s, hardscape ideas and more. For more information about
Sunset’s recent garden titles, including The 20-Minute Gardener, and
to download the interactive edition of The New Sunset Western Garden
Book, go to

The Sunset Western Garden Collection’s website gives gardeners
detailed information on how to successful use their plants in
residential landscapes and gardens, as well as additional information

        --  Six Simple Steps to a Water-Wise Garden
        --  Combatting Weeds without Chemicals
        --  How to Prepare the Soil
        --  Great Plants for Container Gardens
        --  How to Attract Birds and Butterflies
        --  Firescaping
        --  And more!

About Save Our Water
The Save Our Water program, which was created by
the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of
California Water Agencies in 2009, educates consumers on ways to
reduce their household water use. To learn more about the Save Our
Water program, visit or follow us on Facebook or

About Sunset Magazine
Sunset ( is the leading
lifestyle brand in the West. Through magazines and books, events and
experiences, and digital and social media, Sunset covers the West’s
best flavors, destinations, design trends, and innovations. Sunset
engages and inspires an audience of over five million educated,
active and affluent consumers every month through its five regional
print editions — Pacific Northwest, Northern California, Southern
California, Southwest and Mountain — as well as via all tablet
devices and its website. In addition to its print and digital
publication, Sunset showcases the region’s unique lifestyle and
noteworthy destinations through its flagship events, established home
programs, licensing partnerships, books and International Wine
Competition. Sunset is part of the Time Inc. Lifestyle Group.

About Plant Development Services
Plant Development Services works
with the world’s top growers and breeders to bring to market plants
that impact landscapes with recognizable, marketable improvements.
Plant Development Services also introduced the number one
multi-season blooming azalea, Encore(R) Azalea, and the Southern
Living(R) Plant Collection, featuring innovative new plants selected
for superior performance in Southern gardens. For more information,

        Media Contacts:
        Jennifer Persike
        Association of California Water Agencies
        916-441-4545 or 916-296-3981 (cell)
        Email Contact
        Nancy Vogel
        Dept. of Water Resources
        916-651-7512 or 916-796-3048 (cell)
        Email Contact
        Tara Henley
        Plant Development Services
        Email Contact
        Dana Smith
        Email Contact

SOURCE: Association of California Water Agencies        

(C) 2013 Marketwire L.P. All rights reserved.

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HGTV host on outdoor lights for gardens and home landscapes

Lambton joined with two Los Angeles-based designers to come up with what they feel are the newest, most attractive and safest lighting options, but lets compare their choices to what Wakefield and Dargan have been doing for years.

First, Lambton, Jeff Andrews and Brian Patrick Flynn say that companies are now offering home owners the ability to duplicate their interior lighting fixtures for use outdoors, like chandeliers.

Atlanta’s Wakefield and Dargan Landscape Architects move more towards creating an ambiance outdoors that mimics nature, and which does not create undue stress on the habitats of wildlife, pets and plants in and around the home landscape. So don’t look for them to hang a chandelier.

What Chris Wakefield of The Outdoor has done, however, is create his own design in a patio table umbrella, which can provide a unique and soft lighting option at the press of a button. The umbrella lights, which project enough small pinpoints of light to provide guests with needed illumination, are also subtle enough not to distract from conversation. And the lights in them are flattering, rather than garish.

And whereas a chandelier might prove a cumbersome and awkward lighting object to quickly remove during threats of inclement weather, the lights wired and created by Wakefield can be left outdoors, even in winter. However, dismantling the umbrella mentioned is as easy as unhooking one small connection.

Where Flynn and Dargan and Wakefield agree is in the move toward creating ones own lighting fixture for hanging outdoors. Dargan seeks to use items that either have a personal sentimental value to her clients or which fit into the overall theme of the landscape being created. She’s fond of rustic and natural-looking lighting fixtures that blend in unobtrusively with the landscape.

LA designer Jeff Andrews says he favors vintage lights and likes to put them in trees, hiding the wiring in the tree. Chris Wakefield is a pro when it comes to hiring wiring. One recent guest at a home garden tour in Cashiers actually thought Wakefield’s lighting fixture in that landscape had to be solar powered, as it was impossible to tell where the wires were, according to Hugh Dargan of Dargan Landscape Architects.

Lambton uses faux stone blocks which contain LED lights when he wants to illuminate a garden or landscape area without flood lights or porch lights. Wakefield has gone with glass sphere lights, instead, which provide his customers with two perks instead of just one.

The spheres are made of sturdy glass and decorated in colorful designs and available in different sizes. In the daytime they appear as decorative lawn, garden and landscape accessories, which then double at nighttime as a unique and soft lighting source. And they conveniently plug into outdoor electrical outlets, and are weather-proof. Some can even be submerged into ponds and pools.

Year-round lighting is the ultimate goal, which Chris Wakefield and his employees at The Outdoor seem to have mastered. And that’s why Mary Palmer and Hugh Dargan choose only Wakefield’s company when they are designing landscapes for their high-end clients. They need the assurance that everything will be done right and to perfection.

The Dargans insist on making sure that their clients’ lights always work, that wiring is never seen, and that when it comes to lighting up an outdoor landscape spring, summer, winter or fall, that their clients aren’t having to try and take lights in or out of their landscape in time for guests. And Wakefield’s service plan makes sure that clients never even have to change their own outdoor light bulbs too.

Flynn, on the other hand, says that “The only type of lighting I’m worry-free about for the outdoors is festival-style string lights.” And isn’t that a shame, when he could have The Outdoor Lights company ensure a totally worry-free lighting experience?

© Radell Smith

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Gardening jobs this month: July

From Country Living gardening editor Stephanie Donaldson:

In the greenhouse
● Begin removing the lower leaves on tomato vines to aid ripening and encourage the plants to put their energy into fruit production. Most other plants can be moved outdoors for the summer
● Keep greenhouse air moist to prevent red spider mites

Garden care
● Keep picking sweet peas and remove any seed pods so that plants remain productive
● Liquid feed all container plants regularly and, where possible, place saucers under pots to conserve water
● Cut wild flower meadows to 8cm after they have seeded; remove clippings to keep fertility low.
● Divide crowded groups of bearded iris once they have finished flowering.
● If water-lily leaves are crowding the surface of the pond, cut off half of them well below the surface of the water and remove them.
● Pinch out the tips of runner beans when they reach the tops of their poles.
Take semi-ripe cuttings of shrubs such as hydrangeas, lavatera, viburnium and cistus.
● Trim conifer hedges but resist cutting into old brown wood as regeneration comes from newer growth.
● Cut back on long laterals that have grown on wisteria since flowering. This allows sunlight to ripen the wood and encourages bud formation for the next year.
● Tie in blackberry canes.
● Net fruit and brassicas to protect them from birds and/or cabbage butterflies.
● Sow green manure in empty beds in your vegetable garden.
● In hot weather, remove your mower’s grass-collecting box and allow the cut grass to act as a mulch on the lawn.
Water the garden in the evening, preferably using a hand-held hose rather than a sprinkler, which is much more wasteful of water.
● Pick cutting-garden flowers regularly.
● Spread perennial weeds out to dry on paths – once they are shrivelled and thoroughly dry they can safely be added to the compost heap

Fruit and veg
● As strawberries finish producing, cut back the old foliage along with straw mulch and put on the compost heap, remove runners, then give a top dressing of compost or fish, blood and bone and a fresh mulch
● Sow late cabbages, cauliflower and broccoli.
● Lift autumn-sown garlic and onions and dry in the sun before storing.
● Lift and dry shallots.
● Harvest and prune blackcurrants.
● Thin apple and pear crops. Leave them unthinned if you prefer a large crop of smaller fruit.
● Support heavy branches on plum trees.
● For big pumpkins, allow two or three to grow on each plant. Pick off others as they form.
● Water runner beans regularly at the roots. A handful of lime added to the water aids flower set and pod formation
● Dig a trial early potato plant – if tubers are large enough, commence harvesting, otherwise soak once a week to encourage further growth

Planting and sowing
● Collect ripe seed from forget-me-nots and foxgloves and sow in pots or scatter in shady areas.
Sow parsley for cropping in winter.
● There is still time to sow beetroot, lettuce, peas, radishes, radicchio and turnips.

● Prune plums, apricots, peaches and sweet cherries
● Prune side shoots back to four leaves on gooseberry and redcurrant bushes to help the formation of next year’s buds
● Trim holly and yew hedges

From Prima gardening expert Ann-Marie Powell:

● Prune wisteria back to six buds from the main stem to encourage flower buds to form
● Deadhead annuals, perennials and roses to encourage new bloom
● Pick sweet peas regularly to encourage more flowers
● Sow biennials (foxgloves, sweet rocket, sweet Williams and wallflowers) to flower next year
● Ensure tall perennials are supported with bamboo canes or pea sticks.
● Prune back faded lupin flower stems to their side shoots.
● Cut back long whippy growths on wisteria towards the end of the month.
● Plant autumn-flowering bulbs as they become available.
● Check plants for signs of pest and disease.
● Feed plants in pots or containers.
● Deadhead annuals, perennials and roses.
● Ask a neighbour to water your plants if you’re away.
● Deadhead any faded, dead blooms on herbaceous perennials to encourage more blooms.
● Start saving seed from annuals and perennials that have finished flowering, storing them in labelled envelopes.
● Take cuttings from pelargoniums (annual geraniums) and from shrubs such as hydrangea.
● Prune early-flowering shrubs (forsythia, lilac, philadelphus, deutzia, exochorda and weigela) to encourage new flowering growth for next year.
● Water hanging baskets and patio pots every day.
● Sow salad, spring cabbage and winter spinach in the veg garden
● Peg down runners of strawberry plants into pots for easy, free plants
● Prune summer fruiting raspberries as soon as they’ve finished fruiting
● Regularly remove side shoots from tomatoes to encourage plentiful fruit
● Sow or plant out marrows and courgettes.
● Tie in tomatoes, pinching out any side shoots as you go.
● Sow a late crop of French beans.
● Net your soft fruit to keep the birds off.
● Lift and divide overgrown clumps of iris.
● Earth up potatoes as they grow.
● Sow beetroot, endive, kohlrabi, lettuces, radish, salad, turnip, winter spinach, dwarf French peas and beans, carrots and cabbages.
● Keep tomatoes, aubergines and peppers well fed and watered. 
● Pick ripe and swollen plums from your trees to keep a good succession of fruit.

You might also like…

Help your garden survive the heat 

Grow your own fruit, veg and herbs: A-Z guide

Get all of our gardening advice

See our gardening calendar for a month-by-month guide to what to sow and plant

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Lawsuit Alleges That Olive Garden And Other Restaurants Illegally Added Tips

Olive Garden

Wiki Commons

See Also

Professional tennis player Ted Dimond filed a lawsuit claiming New York restaurants are adding tips to bills, the New York Post reported.

Dimond says Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, Marriott Marquis Hotel, and Applebee’s have all unlawfully added gratuities to his bill.

His attorney told the Post that those chains were the worst offenders.

The article points out it is illegal in New York to add a surcharge to a listed menu price unless the party is eight or larger.

Half the chains did not immediately respond to the New York Post to comment. One hotel said it was unaware of the law.

Marriott spokeswoman Cathleen Duffy told the Post that the Times Square hotel’s Crossroads American Kitchen and Bar charges 18 percent gratuity on parties of six or more and that the policy is clearly stated on the menu. She said she wasn’t aware that the law only applied to groups of eight or larger.

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Garden Tips for July

Ryan Sproul

Ryan Sproul

Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:00 am

Garden Tips for July

Ryan Sproul

Grove Sun – Delaware County Journal

Vegetable Garden

Make fall vegetable garden plantings in late July. Fact Sheet HLA-6009 gives planting recommendations.


Brown patch disease of cool-season grasses can be a problem.

Meet water requirements of turfgrasses.

Fertilization of warm-season grasses can continue if water is present for growth.

Vegetative establishment of warm-season grasses should be completed by the end of July to ensure the least risk of winter kill.

Mowing heights for cool-season turf grasses should be at 3 inches during hot, dry summer months. Gradually raise mowing height of bermudagrass lawns from 1½ to 2 inches.

Sharpen or replace mower blades as needed. Shredded leaf blades are an invitation to disease and allow more stress on the grass.

Tree and Shrub

Control bermudagrass around trees and shrubs with Poast, Fusilade or Glyphosate herbicides. Follow directions closely to avoid harming desirable plants.


Continue insect combat and control in the orchard, garden and landscape.

Check pesticide labels for “stop” spraying recommendations prior to harvest.

Harvest fruit from the orchard early in the morning and refrigerate as soon as possible.


Divide and replant crowded Hybrid iris (Bearded Iris) after flowering until August.

General Landscape

Water plants deeply and early in the morning. Most plants need approximately 1 to 2 and 1/2 inches of water per week.

Providing birdbaths, shelter and food will help turn your landscape into a backyard wildlife habitat.

Insect identification is important so you don’t get rid of the “Good Guys.”

The hotter and drier it gets, the larger the spider mite populations!

Expect some leaf fall, a normal reaction to drought. Water young plantings well.

Well hopefully we can continue to get a shower or two and keep our gardens, pastures and crops growing. Even though it is officially summer, the temperatures seem cooler than what we normally have. Let me know if there is anything I can help you with. Have a good week!!

Ryan Sproul is the extension educator, for ag and 4-H youth development, with the OSU Extension Services in Delaware County. For more information, or to contact Sproul, persons interested may call 918-253-4332 or email

More about Ryan Sproul

  • ARTICLE: Rain Damaged Hay?
  • ARTICLE: Water and Politics
  • ARTICLE: Horticulture Tips For June
  • ARTICLE: DelCo residents report seeing army worms

More about Grove

  • ARTICLE: GRDA Police encourages safe, smart and sober boating during July 4 holiday season
  • ARTICLE: Grove Sun’s Sunspots For 07.02.13
  • ARTICLE: Celebrating Independence Day in Grove
  • ARTICLE: Walker ready to perform for hometown crowd

More about Grove Sun

  • ARTICLE: Grove Sun’s Sunspots For 07.02.13
  • ARTICLE: Ministries abound at Triple Cross Ranch
  • ARTICLE: Walker ready to perform for hometown crowd
  • ARTICLE: Rankin Brothers bring music, humor to celebration


Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:00 am.

| Tags:

Ryan Sproul,


Grove Sun,

Osu Extension Office,

Delaware County,

Extension Educator

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English Gardening School launches new design courses

By Matthew Appleby
01 July 2013

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