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Archives for August 20, 2013

Ad agency Barrie, D’Rozario, Murphy pays workers to pursue passions

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MINNEAPOLIS (KARE) – Another summer racing by; so many plans, so little time, but this summer is different for Janie Waldron.

“My neighbor he goes, ‘What did you win the lottery or something?'” she says. “I sort of did. I won the time lottery.”

While her neighbors toil at their jobs, Waldron has been home most of the summer transforming her simple Linden Hills yard into a showplace, complete with rock wall, stepping path and a rain garden.

Now the clincher: She did it while earning her full salary and benefits from her employer.

“Oh, it’s a total gift,” she says. “It’s a huge gift.”

The gift giver seems delighted with the reaction of his employees.

“I think people were stunned more than anything else,” says Stuart D’Rozario, president and executive creative director at Minneapolis advertising agency Barrie, D’Rozario, Murphy.

Last spring, as the agency headed toward a cyclical lull in business, the agency partners gathered their employees and gave them something quite remarkable — time.

D’Rozario’s message to his workers: “You have 500 hours of your life back, figure out what you’re passionate about and go and do it.”

BDM’s workers were told the 500 paid hours were theirs to use. The one option they weren’t afforded was to do nothing. Instead, they were told to seek out something they’d always wanted to do, but hadn’t had the time.

D’Rozario smiles, “That’s like four years of vacation in one Minneapolis summer.”

BDM partner and executive creative director Bob Barrie admits to skepticism when D’Rozario first approached him with the idea.

“My initial reaction was, ‘You’re crazy, right? Are you seriously suggesting this?'”

D’Rozario reasoned the agency had built up a comfortable cash reserve in its first seven years. BDM’s existing clients would still be serviced, but the agency would delay efforts to attract new business until the 500-hour project was complete.

Barrie says it wasn’t Stuart, but his wife, who finally brought him around.

“I said, ‘Why do you think we should do it?’ And she said, ‘Because you can.’ And at that moment I realized that was the best reason of all.”

With Barrie fully on board, BDM employees were off to pursue their projects. One of them was Kim Schmitt, the agency’s finance controller, who grew up in the city always wishing she could be around horses.

With her 500 paid hours Schmitt spent her summer volunteering at Sundown, a shelter in Hugo for horses neglected and abused.

“So why now?” she asks rhetorically. “It’s because I had the opportunity. The opportunity was pushed on me.”

The opportunity was “pushed” on all 18 of BDM’s employees, who spent the summer doing unexpected traveling, making music and putting paint to canvas.

Barrie, the initially skeptical partner, picked up a brush for the first time in years and renewed his passion for painting.

BDM account director Andrew Langdell designed a hands-free dog leash he hopes to market.

Mary Pastika, an agency project manager, made pottery and furniture.

Art and creative director Steve Rudasics — who commutes to the agency from Seattle — instead stayed home for the summer recording on video moments with his three children.

“My project is basically replacing ‘I wish I had, with I did,” he said in video chat from his deck in Washington with a son and daughter by his side.

Rudasics still did some agency work from home. D’Rozario says the expected ratio was 25 percent agency work and 75 percent personal project. In fact, the agency was buzzing only on days when employees gathered to present ideas for their projects and share their progress, which happened every few weeks through the late spring and summer.

A couple of times BDM actually turned down opportunities to make pitches for new business, which Barrie says was difficult, “but we had made the deep dive into this.”

Even BDM’s freelancers were included in the project. Freelancers like digital designer Natalia Berglund were “hired” for 100 hours, only to be given that time back for their projects.

Berglund used her 100 hours to create her first sculpture, using her two daughters as models. Her emotions showed as she spoke of the opportunity given to her by the agency.

“It’s just the generosity,” she said, “trusting the people to do something good with this time.”

D’Rozario spent his 500 hours working on three projects: a squid cookbook, a musical album and a book he’s calling “3 Bits of Advice,” in which he solicits random secrets of success from high achievers in various fields.

“If the only thing that comes out of it is that everyone got time to do great things and have an amazing four months which are the best times of their lives then that would be well worth it,” D’Rozario says.

The 500 hours came to an end the first week in August. The BDM office is again buzzing; the race of commerce back on.

But scattered about are subtle reminders of the rarest of summers — a bandaged blister on a keyboard from landscaping, callused hands on a calculator from wrangling horses and videos of laughing children pulled up on a work computer.

D’Rozario believes the 500 hours will make the agency better, but that was never the explicit purpose.

“Honestly, my big hope for this is now that they’re back, people realize, the things you wanted to do, you could always be doing and find a place for it in your lives,” he says.

Year after year we let the sun go down on dreams because we can’t take time. Maybe it’s time to start giving it.

Article source: http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/271430/158/Ad-agency-Barrie-DRozario-Murphy-pays-workers-to-pursue-passions

Marple Commissioners hear about plans for new Giant Supermarket

Sports

Delco Sports Net

Allows community sports teams and leagues to share information about league news, game results, tryout and registration information, etc.

Article source: http://www.delconewsnetwork.com/articles/2013/08/19/marple_newtown_county_press/news/doc5212982bf1950628570092.txt

UltraOutdoors.com Launches Largest Outdoor Living Site

PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — UltraOutdoors.com has launched their comprehensive site to bring everything in outdoor living under one roof. The site features over 100,000 pages and over 150,000 listings, making it the largest “outdoor living” site worldwide. Created to highlight the growing outdoor-living market, it offers ideas, inspiration, and quality sources for contracting work. Currently, the site covers 65 major metro areas within the U.S. and in Canada, with more being added.

“Increasingly people want to find ideas and quality contractors to transform their landscape or yard into a great outdoor living space,” explains Bob Dallas, the chief executive officer at UltraOutdoors.com. “That’s the idea behind the site. It helps people do exactly that. They can find everything they need in one place.”

Dubbed as “The World’s Source for Everything in Outdoor Living,” the site features thousands of backyard and landscaping ideas with full-color photos. Consumers can also find information and referrals to high-quality, experienced professionals and contractors to consider for their next outdoor living project.

The outdoor living industry has become increasingly popular. In fact, according to MarketLine, and other independent market research sources, the global outdoor living market has grown to $277 billion annually. Millions of people are opting to invest in creating great outdoor spaces that their family can use for multiple purposes, including playing, entertaining, and relaxing. Some estimates find that for every dollar a homeowner puts into their landscape and outdoor living space, they get $2 back when selling the home.

“We all want a great outdoor living space, but we don’t all know how to go about getting it, or what we want, until we see some pictures,” added Dallas. “UltraOutdoors.com takes care of all that. We have thousands of photos to give you ideas of what you want. But we don’t stop there. We hook you up with great designers and contractors that can help make that dream a reality.”

Created to answer the demand of the meteoric rise of the outdoor living industry, UltraOutdoors.com serves a unique role as a catalyst to bring together the entire industry … every professional, every retailer, every manufacturer and every trade association, under a single domain. No other home-design website has this much scope, content, or comprehensiveness covering the U.S., Canada, Dubai, China, Saudi Arabia, and Central America. Beyond the directory, UltraOutdoors.com will be a web 2.0 site that enables users to sign up, make a comment, ask a question, save a photo, and participate in design related conversations with top designers and builders. For more information, visit the site at www.UltraOutdoors.com.

About UltraOutdoors.com

Headquartered in Warminster, Pa., UltraOutdoors.com was created by the owners of Manor House Publishing. With 15 years experience in outdoor living and design, Manor House has published full color, coffee table type consumer magazines like Luxury Pools, Luxury Landscapes, and Pool Spa Outdoor, selling thousands on national newsstands and in exclusive airline lounges, worldwide. It also publishes magazine-like books called The Outdoor Inspiration Series with titles like, Outdoor Kitchens, Water Features, Conservatories, Pool House Plans book, Award Winning Pools, Tropical Pools, Desert Pools, Infinity Pools, and Indoor Pools. UltraOutdoors.com is an interactive website that features the outdoor living industry all under one roof. For more information, visit the site at www.UltraOutdoors.com.

CONTACT: Cher Murphy
         CherMurphyPR@Gmail.com
         (571) 263-2128

Article source: http://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2013/08/20/568019/10045581/en/UltraOutdoors-com-Launches-Largest-Outdoor-Living-Site.html

Hanover-Horton approves support staff, non-union raises; lauds MME scores – The Jackson Citizen Patriot

 The Hanover-Horton Board of Education approved raises for
both the district’s unionized support staff and its non-union employees at a Monday night meeting.

In two votes, the board approved a contract
with a 40-cent hourly wage increase for its unionized support staff and a 2
percent raise for the district’s non-union employees.

Vice President Gary Schuette
abstained from the support staff vote, which was 5-0. The non-union employee
vote passed 6-0, and secretary Joe Childs was absent.

“The school board is grateful for
all of the concessions made by our support staff over the years and was glad to
be able to give them something with this contract,” Superintendent John Denney
said. “As a group, they work tirelessly to keep our buildings running smoothly
and we appreciate all of their efforts.”

Denney said the district was able
to afford the raises because of the savings it plans to incur once the Jackson
County Education Health Plan Consortium kicks in.

In a separate vote earlier in the
meeting, the board voted 6-0 to participate in the consortium, which Denney
said he has calculated should save the district and its employees a significant
amount of money on health care.

High School Principal Dan Draper
presented the results of this year’s Michigan Merit Exam to the board, noting
Hanover-Horton students’ improved performance over previous years and success compared
to the other school districts in Jackson County.

Draper said the MME results validated
the high ACT scores that the district’s juniors received earlier in the spring
and he noted that he thinks the district’s reading and writing initiatives,
which were implemented last year, helped the students reach a high 62 percent
proficiency in reading and 61 percent proficiency in writing.

In three of the five MME
categories, Hanover-Horton came in first place among all the districts in Jackson
County, and second in the other two categories, according to Draper’s data
reporting.

“It feels good to be where we’re
at,” he said. “We’re doing something right.”

Also Monday, the board accepted
bids from Prairie Farms and Aunt Millie’s for milk and bread supply for the
2013-2014 school year, and voted unanimously to hire a new part-time English
teacher.

The board also recognized student
Katey Anderson for her development of the Blooming Comets Club, which maintains
and improves gardens and landscaping around the district’s school buildings.

Article source: http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2013/08/hanover-horton_approves_suppor.html

At Home: Sustainable Overlook Garden Tour Aug 19, 2013, 9:03am


Spurred by new evidence illustrating the problems associated with pesticide use in gardens, Portland’s Overlook Neighborhood is working to become Portland’s first pesticide-free neighborhood.

Incorrect use of pesticides has been in the news lately, starting with the mass bee death in Wilsonville in June. Adding to the drama, some wholesale nurseries have been scrutinized this past week, with the release of a study by Friends of the Earth (FOE) in which it was discovered that many plants marketed as “bee-friendly” in some retail nurseries may contain neonicotinoid pesticides which are actually lethal to bees and other pollinators.

Being green isn’t so easy when toxic chemicals are being used at so many levels in the nursery and landscaping industries. So how to begin addressing the problem?

One option is to start at home – by purchasing organically-grown plants whenever possible. Since organically-grown ornamentals can be hard to find, just ask your retailers if they can verify what, if anything, plants were sprayed with before they showed up on the nursery benches. Most very large stores’ staff probably cannot answer that question. Small nurseries, on the other hand, probably can, as they are either growing the plants themselves or obtaining them from growers whom they know on a first-name basis. This means they can find out directly from their trusted, established growers what sprays if any are used.

Another option is to commit to gardening in future without using toxic chemicals. Overlook neighborhood already has some 275 households committed to landscaping without using toxic chemicals since June 2013, thanks in part to Sustainable Overlook – a program which aims to raise awareness about the importance of protecting health, water and habitat for pollinators, wildlife and human inhabitants.

Sustainable Overlook was co-founded by a group of Overlook neighbors including Alice Busch, Leslee Lewis and Mulysa Melco. Growing out of Overlook’s neighborhood association, the three started a sustainability group. A few years later, they partnered with Metro’s Pesticide-Free Gardening program to promote pesticide-free gardening on an even more local level. (Another neighborhood – Sabin, in inner NE Portland – created the popular Bee-Friendly Garden Tour a few years ago, which also promotes pesticide-free gardening.)

Through the neighborhood association, Overlook residents can attend classes with local gardening experts and pledge to maintain a pesticide-free garden. If you’re an Overlook neighborhood resident, check out the Sustainable Overlook webpage for more information and to sign the pledge. If you are a member of any one of Portland’s other 94 officially recognized neighborhoods, sign up for Metro’s Healthy Lawn and Garden Pledge. Either way, you’ll get a free Pesticide-Free Zone ladybug yard sign and coupons for discounts on native plants and other benefits.

To promote the idea to neighbors and the city at large, Sustainable Overlook will hold the neighborhood’s second annual garden tour on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The tour’s eight featured gardens represent a wide variety of landscaping styles but are all pesticide-free. A map and garden descriptions can be found on the Sustainable Overlook garden tour page starting Tuesday August 20, 2013.

Interested in more information about pesticide-free gardening, or want to start your own pesticide-free neighborhood? Visit the Metro contact page or call Carl Grimm, Natural Gardening Toxics Reduction Planner, at 503-234-3000.

Article source: http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/home-and-garden/at-home/articles/sustainable-overlook-garden-tour-august-2013

Neapolis U. landscapes gardens of Patriarchate’s Theological school of Halki

The School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Science of the Neapolis University of Paphos, part of the Leptos Group Neapolis Smart EcoCity Project, has undertaken the task to landscape the Gardens of the Theological School of Halki in Constantinople, in view of its forthcoming reopening.

The Holy Theological School of Halki is located on the islet of the same name, in the Pringiponissia (Prince’s Islands) group of islands in Marmaras Bay, off the coast of Constantinople, and was established on October 1st, 1844. Following its forced closure by the Turks in 1971, it has lay silent ever since.

After a worldwide campaign to reinstate it, it was essential to undertake the works required to allow it to be ready to once again achieve its aim when it re-opens.

Amongst these works is the landscaping of its surrounding Gardens, a project undertaken by the School of Architecture, Land and Environmental Science of the Neapolis University of Paphos, part of the Leptos Group Neapolis Smart EcoCity Project, led by Dr. Julia Georgi, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of European and Research Projects.

The landscaping project has been envisaged in such manner as to provide a spiritual link between the contemporary landscaping of the Gardens and their Byzantine heritage. This required in-depth and exhaustive research by the team, as the available information on landscaping techniques in the Byzantine era is fairly limited.

Plantation which has survived the forty years of disuse, such as cedars, cypresses, pine trees and oleanders, will be enhanced by landscaping which will include planting several other species of plants and trees found in abundance in the Mediterranean.

The new plants and trees to be used in the landscaping project have not been randomly chosen; instead each of the species has a symbolic meaning in the scriptures: fig trees symbolise gentleness, vines symbolise calmness, pomegranate trees symbolise courage and vigour, date palms trees symbolise justice, and peach trees symbolise modesty. All these will be amongst the species of flora to be included in the project.

As part of the project, the team from Neapolis University visited the site in early June, at the attendance of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the Bishop of Proussa and Prior of the Holy Monastery of Saint Trinity of Halki, Elpidoforos, who leads the attempts to re-instate the operation of the Holy Theological School of Halki

The team’s plans are due to be unveiled in a ceremony in the Holy Theological School of Halki in Constantinople, on September 1, 2013, at the presence of Patriarch Bartholomew.

Seen in the photograph (from left) taken in Halki, are the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Patriarch of Antioch John X and the Bishop of Proussa, Elpidoforos, and Dr. Julia Georgi.

Article source: http://www.financialmirror.com/news-details.php?nid=30769

Doctor Who thing: Olive Garden waiter quotes the Doctor, gets bigger tips

Mon Aug 19 2013, 12:49pm | 2 comments

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That episode where the Doctor got a job in a shop has come in handy for Taylor S., who works at an Olive Garden and wrote about a little experiment of his on his tumblr The Stranger:

As a server, I did an experiment tonight, I was saying basically only Doctor Who quotes to my tables, some understood, others did not. These are a few of the phrases and people’s reactions:

[When greeting tables] “Oh hello! I’m The Doctor! I am here to help! Look, they gave me a badge with my name on it in case I forget who I am! Very thoughtful as that does happen.”

[Offering desserts (to the kids)] “You could have a slice of Triple Chocolate Strada for only $6.99 which I personally think is a bit steep. But then again, it’s your parent’s cash and they’ll only waste it on boring stuff like lamps and vegetables. Yawn!”

I actually sold every table the dessert I offered when I offered it this way. Few got the reference, the ones who understood “Hi I’m The Doctor” were completely losing their shit at this point in the meal, as I’d been dropping references all dinner.

There’s more. Check it out. Probably do not try this where you work.

Via Tor.com.

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)

Article source: http://www.flickfilosopher.com/2013/08/doctor-who-thing-olive-garden-waiter-quotes-the-doctor-gets-bigger-tips.html

To make a garden in a day, try a Permablitz

Much like the Amish tradition of barn raising, a Permablitz is a way of bringing the community together.

By

De Chantal HillisShareable /
August 20, 2013

Boys water plants as people work at a community vegetable garden in Valencia, Spain. Permablitz is a concept started in Australia in which a homeowner invites the community to help create a garden in a single day.

Heino Kalis/Reuters/File



Enlarge

Ever wanted to transform your yard into a garden but didn’t know how? Well, much like the Amish tradition of barn raising, a Permablitz is a way of bringing the community together and turning a suburban house into an urban homestead … in a single day. 

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The original Permablitz network was established by Adam Grub and Dan Palmer, and more than 100 Permablitzes have been held in Melbourne, Australia, so far. The concept has since spread across Australia and begun to move overseas — with countries such as the UK and the U.S. joining in the fun. 

Here are some tips on running your own Permablitz:

First, get a really great design.

Never, ever create a food garden from scratch without first developing a really good design.

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A good design is the difference between you doing the clearing, digging, fertilizing, and pest control for your new veggie patch — or your rotationally fenced chooks (that’s an Australian chicken) doing the work for you. Isn’t it smarter to let the chickens gorge themselves on grass, weeds, and bugs; dig through soil; poo in it; and hand over eggs into the bargain? In short, you need an ultra-smart, well-integrated garden design.

Get a good Permaculture designer on board, and take the design process seriously. Work with your designer to create a plan that you are willing to commit to over the long haul. It is more important to get a great, long-term design established during your Permablitz than it is to complete all the work in one day. Use your Blitz day to break the back of that design, then keep adding to and refining your project slowly, over the years.

Then, advertise and maintain engagement.

In Australia, households use the Permablitz website to advertise upcoming events and find volunteers.

If you live in the U.S., you will need to work a bit harder. First port of call? Friends, family, and gullible (make that visionary!) associates. Second port of call? Progressive websites, any volunteer website, and every single local sustainability/urban farming groups in your area. As you craft your call outs, remember to ask yourself “Why would anyone choose to attend a thing like this?”

In Australia, many people attend Blitzes because they are a great way of learning new skills. Australian Permablitzes always feature between one and two workshops. So, if you are building a henhouse and a chicken run, advertise this fact, and also plan for a workshop or two during the day covering topics like poultry keeping.

After you have advertised, make sure that you respond to any inquiries straight away. Ensure that you make it an RSVP event so that people must email you to get the address. (This maintains privacy and gives you an air of exclusivity!) Put your respondees on an email list and send them regular, wildly enthusiastic email blasts: “Our plans for the henhouse are coming along; check out these amazing pics!” etc, etc.

It’s important to maintain engagement with your participants all the way through the process. Encouraging people to arrive at different times in the day is also pretty wise — this means that as one group of people begin to fade, new energetic sorts can kick in and start things all over again.

Remember that food can also be a drawcard for potential volunteers. My husband is a Californian of Mexican descent. Luckily, our Blitz was held in Melbourne during a visit from my mother-in-law. Our gimmick was actual Mexican food. My friends and family (not to mention nearly every urban gardener in Melbourne) had never seen a tortilla up close before. It was a riotous success with everyone except my grim, pearls-before-swine elderly carpenter, who declared that the refried beans “looked like they had already been eaten and digested once before.”

Yeah, mate, whatever. We advertised Mexican food. It worked.

Finally, get organized but be prepared to improvise.

Because most Australian Blitzes attract between 20 and 70 participants, preparation for these one day events is vital. If you haven’t prepared well, expect total chaos! If you have prepared well, expect total chaos! (But hopefully a much more constructive form of chaos.)

Site plans and designs posted around the Blitz area are a good place to start.

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Hosts need to make sure they have enough materials on hand — enough timber, mulch, shovels, and screwdrivers to finish the job. It is a good idea to get one person to coordinate food for the day, and at least one person to greet and settle newly arrived volunteers. Make sure your designer will be there to provide practical direction and support, and try to find out who among your volunteer crew has the specialist skills that you will need (like bricklaying or carpentry) in advance, if possible.

The best blitzes are the result of adequate preparation in the lead up to the event, and crazy, desperate improvisation on the day.

It’s fun. You’ll like it.

• This article was originally published by Shareable, a nonprofit online magazine that tells the story of how sharing can promote the common good.

Article source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Making-a-difference/Change-Agent/2013/0820/To-make-a-garden-in-a-day-try-a-Permablitz

ExtraVert Gardens

21°C

Article source: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/gardening/extravert-gardens/business-19079859-detail/business.html

Antler Homes Scoops Two Garden Design Awards


LONDON, ENGLAND, Aug 20, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) —
Antler Homes won two more awards at the recent New Homes Garden
Awards.

They were awarded Silver Gilt, the top award, for the Best Show Home
Garden for Sovereign Mews in Ascot and Gold, (also the top award) in
the Best Garden Family Home category for Roebuck Grange, Maidens
Green.

House builders, garden designers and landscape architects are shaping
our future environment. The New Homes Garden Awards, sponsored by
Express Newspapers, recognised and rewarded their achievements.

Antler Homes prides itself on their carefully planned and planted
landscapes, which complement and complete their luxury homes so this
award is richly deserved recognition for the team that has created
these impressive gardens and the beautiful properties that stand in
them.

To find out more about Antler Homes, please see the website
www.antlerhomes.co.uk







        
        Contacts:
        Antler Homes
www.antlerhomes.co.uk        
        
        


SOURCE: Antler Homes

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

Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/antler-homes-scoops-two-garden-design-awards-2013-08-20