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Archives for September 2013

Hometown Happenings

The Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is recruiting volunteers for National Public Lands Day today at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. Volunteers are needed for invasive plant removal, trail maintenance and general park cleanup. Trail maintenance volunteers need to bring a lopper or pruning saw. Suggested attire for the cleanup includes closed-toe shoes, gloves, a water bottle and sunscreen or insect repellent. For information call (352) 592-5656.

The Korean War Veterans Legion No. 5053 and Ladies Auxiliary will hold its annual Fall Festival today at VFW Post No. 10209, 14736 Edward R. Noll Drive, Spring Hill. The festival will feature a performance by Gypsy Star an American gypsy concert band. Door open at 1:30 p.m. There will be a social hour 2-3 p.m. A buffet-style dinner by John Mason Catering will be served 3-4:15 p.m. The concert will follow 4:30-6 p.m. The cost is $20 per person. There will be a cash bar and door prizes. There will be no tickets sold at the door. Call Rich at (352) 688-7196.

The Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program of the Hernando County Utilities Department will hold a rain barrel workshop from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Hernando County Extension office, 1653 Blaise Dr., Brooksville. The cost is $55 per person and customers of Hernando County Utilities Department will receive a $25 credit on their water bill. The workshop will be given by the program coordinator, Sylvia Durell and pre-registration is requested to ensure availability of a rain barrel. Contact Sylvia Durell at (352) 450-6230 or email to register or for more information.

The Hernando County Ostomy Association evening meeting is changing to the first Tuesday of the month starting Tuesday, from 7-9 p.m. at the Spring Hill Enrichment Center, 10441 Quality Dr., Medical Arts Building, Suite 105, Spring Hill. Family and friends are welcome. For questions call Bob Barnard (352) 442-9789 or Carol Krause (352) 683-5586.

The Sandhill Crane Chapter of the Embroiderers’ Guild of America upcoming meeting will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 200 Mt. Fair Ave., Brooksville. Groups of members will be taking classes, but open stitching for others will occur and membership is open to anyone who is interested, from the most experienced to those who would like to learn. Mentors are available! For more information please call (352) 666-8350.

The GFWC Brooksville Woman’s Club monthly luncheon and general meeting will begin at 12 p.m. Wednesday at 131 S. Main St., Brooksville. Luncheon donation is $6. Meeting will begin at 1 p.m. with Community Improvements by Marilyn Townsend. Guests welcome. Club Information: Cherry Stettin 799-3801 or Yvonne Malone 848-7988.

Jazzercise Spring Hill is celebrating its 2nd anniversary by holding an Anniversary Bash/Open House on Thursday at 7257 Forest Oaks Blvd. (Forest Oaks Plaza), Spring Hill. Admission is free to everyone and participants should dress to exercise. Festivities will include 6 classes at 8, 9 and 10 a.m., 4:30, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. There will be giveaways, prizes, and registration incentives for new or returning customers. For information on Jazzercise contact Becky Mooneyham at (352) 442-8595.

The African American Club membership meeting will start at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Regency Oaks Civic Center, 4445 Breakwater Blvd., Spring Hill.

The Historic Hernando Preservation Society cordially invites the public to our monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Brooksville City Hall Council Chamber. Our speaker this month will be Jerry Morris with the Seminole Wars Historic Foundation. For information contact Vickie Jimmerson (407) 401-1600, email or visit our website www.hernandopreservation.bravehost.

The New York State Club monthly meeting will start at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Knights of Columbus, 10470 Spring Hill Dr., Spring Hill. Our Nov. meeting will be our annual picnic; therefore this month will be a turkey dinner. Contact Carolyn at (352) 684-6979 for tickets. Bowl for fun every Monday morning at 11 a.m. at Spring Hill Lanes. Contact Marge for information (352) 686-8015.

The Hernando Audubon Society is having a Marine Biology field trip to Ft. Island Gulf Beach on Thursday. Birding of marsh and woods begins at 8 a.m. and at 9 a.m. Wear pants and footwear that can get wet to get a close look at whatever is caught in the seine. Contact Eileen Riccio at (352) 613-5289 or

The Hernando Fishing Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Friday at VFW Post 9236, 4345 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. For information, call Rich at (352) 796-7711 or visit

Mariner United Methodist Church Craft Group will hold its annual bazaar from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the church, 7079 mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. There will be many infant, children and kitchen handmade items, as well as a white elephant sale. A silent auction will be held for a handmade queen size quilt and a light lunch will be available. Call (352) 596-0080.

Hernando County Animal Services invites the public to an Open House and “Dollar Days” special from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday located at 19450 Oliver St., Brooksville. All pets will be available for a $1 adoption fee and the Animal Services staff would like to introduce their new cat adoption rooms and veterinary medical/surgical room. This is an opportunity for the staff to thank the individuals and organizations that have supported and partnered with Animal services. There will be educational and informational tables staffed by the Hillsborough Community College vet tech program, the County Health department and several volunteers and students. For more information contact Animal Services at (352) 796-5062.

The Brookridge Social Dance Group will host an Oktober Fest themed dance from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Club House, 8150 Hampton St., Brooksville. Cost is $5 per person and includes wieners, kraut, beer, coffee and ice (BYOB). Music provided by Retro Express (Diana Mitch). For information and/or reservations call Dot (352)597-0723.

HPH Hospice is offering a Pet Loss Workshop at no charge from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at The Partners Club located at Oak Hill Hospital, 11375 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. The interactive workshop will be facilitated by experienced HPH bereavement counselors to help one better understand and come to terms with the depth of their grief. Participants will receive a workbook and the opportunity to share their loss. Photos of one’s pet are encouraged. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required by calling Carla Hayes at (352) 597-1882.

The Brooksville/Spring Hill (CWC) Women’s Connection, affiliated with Stonecroft Ministries, is hosting their “Quarter Auction” luncheon from 12 to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Lane, Brooksville. The cost is $14.50, inclusive. The guest speaker will be Kelly Stigliano from Orange Park. All ladies are invited and bring your quarters for bidding on great items. For reservations call Jan by Oct. 1 at (352) 556-4658.

The GFWC Brooksville Woman’s Club is sponsoring the 11th Annual Victorian Tea from 12 to 3 p.m. Oct. 8-11 at 131 S. Main St., during the Brooksville Founders Week. The cost is $7 per person. Please call ahead if a large group. The menu will be assorted teas, finger sandwiches, jams tarts, sconces with jam, clotted cream and petit fours. For information call Cherry Stettin (352) 799-3801 or Yvonne Malone (352) 848-7988.

The Tarpon Coast Fly Fishers next monthly meeting will start at 6 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Boston Cooker, 5375 Spring Hill Dr., Spring Hill. A selection of plate dinners will be served at $18.99 each. The speaker will be Capt. Jimbo Keith from Cedar Key and all members, guests and visitors are welcome. For information call Bobbie Cox at (352) 228-7976 or email

A Historic Hernando County Courthouse Centennial Celebration will be held 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oct. 12. The reception on Friday for past and present elected officials is in the historic courtroom and the public is invited. Saturday’s events include entertainment, birthday cake, historical displays and “cracker” cattle demonstration. Come enjoy downtown Brooksville’s shops and eateries. Contact Hernando County Community Relations for information (352) 540-6780.

The Hernando Hills Hi-Lites Chorus, Hernando County’s only ladies barbershop chorus and members of Harmony, Inc. will present their 20th annual show “Doo-Wop More” at 2 p.m. on Oct. 12 at The First Baptist Church of Spring Hill, 7279 Pinehurst Dr. (corner of Cobblestone Dr.), Spring Hill. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7 for students (5-18 yrs.), children 4 and under are free and special rates for groups. Included in the price is a self-serve dessert and beverage table during intermission. The Hi-Lites new quartet, Southern Sass will be making their first appearance and vocal and guitarist Ray Soleau will entertain as guests are ushered in. There will be door prizes and a chance to win a basket full of goodies. There is a limited number of seating. For information and advance tickets call Norma at (352) 540-9192.

The Spring Hill Garden Club will host a waterfall fundraiser from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 12 in the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens, 1489 Parker Ave., Spring Hill. The Spring Hill Garden Club has been responsible for the maintenance of the waterfall since 2011. Businesses, clubs, organizations and individuals are invited to decorate a scarecrow to be displayed in the botanical gardens from Oct. 12 to Nov. 15, during which time visitors will be able to vote for their favorite. Entry forms and contest rules are on the club’s website, Residents are also invited to become “Supporters of the Waterfall” by making a donation in one of five categories: Patron ($250); Sponsor ($100); Donor ($50); Contributor ($25) or Scarecrow Sponsor ($10). Donations may be mailed to the Spring Hill Garden Club, P. O. Box 3504, Spring Hill, FL 34606. For information call (352) 683-9933.

St. Frances Cabrini Knights of Columbus Council 13209 will hold their 2nd Chinese Auction in Xavier Hall starting at 5 p.m., dinner served at 6 p.m., on Oct. 12. Tickets for the auction and sit down dinner are $15 per person and include 25 raffle tickets. There will only be 200 tickets sold for this event. Reservations are available for tables of 8 or more. Approximately 150 prizes valued from $20 to $80 will be raffled off. Additional raffle tickets available at $5 for 25 and special raffle tickets will be available for higher value prizes. The proceeds from this event will be used for many charities that St. Francis Cabrini Knights of Columbus supports. Tickets available from Jack Hauser (352) 686-9767, John Moonan (352) 596-4709, Billy Lueke (352) 666-9202, Chuck Bugge (352) 597-8878, Bud Quehl (352) 596-6111, Dan Coad (727) 856-4982, or Parish office (352) 683-9666.

Marine Corps League Detachment 708, 8405 Sunshine Grove Road, Brooksville, will hold a benefit breakfast from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 13 for the Breast Cancer Support Group of Hernando County. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the charity. The group assists the uninsured and under insured in obtaining mammograms through Spring Hill Regional Hospital. For information call (352) 597-7979.

The Arc Nature Coast will hold their Annual Membership Meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 15 at their Education Center and Regional Evacuation Shelter, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. We will recognize our enclaves and review the past fiscal year. Appetizers will be served. For additional information contact Nancy Stubbs at (352) 544-2322 ext. 109 or

The Hernando Audubon Society will have a walk starting at 8 a.m. on Oct. 15 at John Chesnut Park and Wall Springs Park, Palm Harbor. Walk the boardwalks and trails of these beautiful parks looking for fall migrants and early winter birds. For information contact Eileen Riccio at (352) 613-5289 or

The Arc Nature Coast Halloween Dance Party will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Oct. 18 at The Arc Nature Coast Education Center, 6495 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill. The cost is $5 per person with door prizes, refreshments and music by PJ the DJ. Wear your costumes and join us for a frighteningly fun night. For information call (352) 544-2322, ext. 109 or email

Joshua’s House for Golden Retriever Rescue will hold its annual Golden Retriever Rescue Reunion from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 19 at Rainbow Springs State Park. Registration will start at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and something sweet. Dr. Trish Kallenbach from The Healing Place will speak at 11 a.m. Admission to the event is a gift of canned or bagged pet food and admission to the park is $2 per person. The event will feature a “Duke Look alike” contest, raffle and silent auction. All dogs must be on a leash, they are not allowed in the water and poop scooping is required. For more information call (352) 527-0669.

The Sons of Italy Nature Coast Lodge No. 2502 will hold its annual Columbus Day Dinner Dance on Oct. 19 at the Elks Lodge, 14494 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. Doors will open for a 5 p.m. The dinner will be at 6 p.m. and the entertainment by All Shook Up will run from 7 to 10 p.m. There will be a cash bar, gift basket drawing and a 50/50 drawing. The cost is $20 per person. For information call (352) 688-9234.

The Nature Coast Modelers will have a show and tell Model Show from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Oct. 26 at 4042 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill. There is no admission fee and no charge for available tables, please bring your own chair. All ship, airplane, car, truck, military, plastic, wood models and dioramas are welcome. Parking and refreshments will be available. Call (352) 684-2484 for details.

The Hernando County Stormwater Engineering Department has scheduled a Coastal Clean-Up from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 26 starting at Linda Pedersen Park, 6300 Shoal Line Blvd., Hernando Beach. Volunteers will report to the park to receive trash bags and complete clearance forms. The Coastal Clean-Up is the first event of its kind in several years and we hope to attract youth groups, civic organizations and individuals. Help keep Hernando County beautiful. For information contact Mr. Black at (352) 754-4062.

The Marine Corps League Detachment 708 will hold a benefit breakfast for Toys for Tots of Hernando County on Nov. 3 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. with a full menu at 8405 Sunshine Grove Rd., Brooksville. Bring a $10 toy (minimum) and receive 50 percent off your breakfast. Come help us make Christmas 2013 a very special one for the needy children in our community. For more information call (352) 597-7979 or visit

The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties Inc. is seeking sponsors, exhibitors and presenters for its sixth annual Early Learning Conference on Nov. 2 at Bishop McLaughlin High School, 13651 Hays Road, Spring Hill. Last year’s conference attracted more than 800 attendees and presenters from across Florida as well as other states, including Georgia, Maryland and Texas. These early-childhood educators, caregivers, mental-health professionals, students, child advocates, owners/directors of preschools, parents and community members enjoyed a full-day conference, including a complimentary breakfast and lunch. For more information about how to become a presenter, sponsor or exhibitor, contact Bev Doucet, quality supervisor, at or (727) 233-8291. For information, visit or call (727) 233-8291.

The Marine Corps League 708 will celebrate the 238th year of the United States Marine Corps with a Birthday Ball on Nov. 8 at Silverthorn Country Club, 4550 Golf Club Ln., Spring Hill. The evening will start with cocktails at 4 p.m., ceremony at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. Tickets are $45.00 per person and are available to league members and the general public. The theme is “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans” with guest speaker Lt. General Stephen G. Olmstead, USMC retired. The evening’s entertainment will feature Norm Bernard Southern Exposure. Seating is limited and all tickets must be purchased by Oct. 30. Contact Sr. Vice Commandant Al Tamburrino at (352) 277-2732 or visit

American Legion Auxiliary, Charles E. Murray Post 186, will host its annual Fall Yard Sale from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the post, 12091 Cortex Blvd., Brooksville. Available spaces for the yard sale are $10.00. Homemade baked goods, coffee and donuts will be available. Proceeds will benefit the military, veterans, their families and the community. To reserve a space, donate articles or obtain more information call Lynda Anderson at (352) 596-4436 or Betty Corbin (352) 797-0099.

The Hernando County Crime Stoppers, Inc. presents “Red, White, Blues Country: A Veteran’s Day Celebration” from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery, 17810 Forge Dr., Spring Hill. Tickets are $15 by advance purchase only. Host-sponsor Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery will offer a wine tasting included with ticket purchase. The festivities will open with the Presentation of Colors and the entertainment will be Brooksville’s own “The Blues Pig” band, followed by local award winning country artist, Jenny Rimmer. Food, beer and wine will be sold and prizes will be raffled throughout the evening. Guests are asked to bring a chair and flashlight. All proceeds to benefit the Crime Stoppers organization. For credit card or cash purchases: Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery, (352) 799-7612 (Wed.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or Friendly Car Wash, 1108 Commercial Way, Spring Hill (Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). For cash or check purchases: Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) 18900 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville (Civil Unit) or 7499 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. For information call (352) 346-5914.

A “Stand Tall Together” USO-style evening of entertainment will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov.11 at the Brooksville Elks Lodge.

The event will honor all men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Services, especially those who served during World War II.

The Friends of Chinsegut Hill will host the inaugural Chinsegut Hill Celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 16 on the grounds of Chinsegut Hill Manor, 22495 Chinsegut Hill Road, Brooksville. The free community event will feature arts and crafts, educational activities, student art, music by the Hernando Youth Orchestra Quartets, and food and beverages compliments of Hernando High School’s Culinary Institute. A members’ only reception will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 15. Non-members can join at the door for $20. The reception will feature a silent auction to benefit Chinsegut Hill, music and refreshments, an update on current and future goals and plans by Friends of Chinsegut and special guest Gary Mormino, author and retired professor of Florida Studies at University of South Florida who has conducted educational events at Chinsegut. For information visit, email, or call (352) 799-5400.

The 10th Annual Festival of Trees and Craft Show, sponsored by GFWC Brooksville Woman’s Club and St Anthony Catholic Church, 20428 Cortez Blvd., will take place Dec. 6-7. There will be bake goods, plants, towels, wood craft, jewelry, jams, and much more. Vendor spaces $35 donation for two days. For information or application please contact Yvonne Malone (352) 796-6026 or or Christy Stafford (352) 796-2096, ext. 22.

The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Hernando County have an opportunity to assist the Brooksville based Florida Army National Guard aviation unit, the 1st Battalion, 244th Aviation Regiment. RSVP of Hernando County, sponsored by Mid Florida Community Services, Inc., has identified the need and interest in providing services to this unit. RSVP needs your help to collect care package items for “Holiday Care Packages” to be shipped in late Oct. Please contact Abby Evert, RSVP project coordinator at (352) 796-8117 or for a list of items and drop off sites.

South Brooksville Neighborhood Watch is seeking volunteers. Meetings are held 6-7 p.m. the second Monday of the month at 601 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. For more information, call Cecile Davis at (352) 397-1423.

Gifts from Home, a nonprofit organization that sends packages to the troops in Afghanistan, is in need of food items for our soldiers. Items needed are crackers, granola/power/cereal bars, peanuts, Slim Jims, beef jerky, drink mixes, trail mix, hard candy (please, no candy bars at this time), tuna, VanCamp’s Beanee Weenees and Fruit Roll-Ups. Items should be in individual packages. Monetary donations accepted. Donations can be dropped off at the following locations: Up 4 Breakfast, 14359 Spring Hill Drive in Spring Hill; Magnolia Tea Room, 5598 Commercial Way in Weeki Wachee; and the Marine Corps League Detachment 708, 8405 Sunshine Grove Road in Brooksville. To donate money or for more information, call Linda Kidwell at (352) 684-4185 or email giftsfromhome

Hernando County Public Library welcomes parents to bring their 18- to 35-month-old children to Toddler Time at 10:15 a.m. and 3- to 5-year-old children to Storytime at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Main Library, Wednesdays at East Hernando Library, Thursdays at Spring Hill Library and Fridays at West Hernando Library. Call (352) 754-4043 or visit http://hernando for more information.

The Hernando County Recreation Department offers “Tribal Belly Dancing” 6-7 p.m. Tuesdays at Springstead High School, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, and Thursdays at Kennedy Park, 895 Kennedy Blvd., Brooksville. Tribal belly dancing is unique because of the dance steps and the ability to be improvisational. This form of dance is a melting pot of movements and attitudes taken from various dance cultures throughout the world. The instructor is Jayne Arrington. Dance experience is not necessary. The cost is $10 per class paid monthly, $9 per month for six weeks or $15 for drop-ins. Advance registration is not required, and all ages are welcome. Call (352) 540-1568 or (352) 754-4031, or visit

Live Oak Theatre Company’s first production of the 2013 season will be “Fiddler On the Roof,” which will be performed Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26 theatre. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening for dessert at 7 p.m. Sunday performance begins at 3 p.m. with doors opening for dessert at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call the box office at (352) 593-0027, email LiveOakTheatre or go to www.LiveOakTheatre and 27. All performances will be held at Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 200 Mount Fair Ave., Brooksville. All performances are dessert .org.

Sons of Italy Nature Coast Lodge 2502 holds its monthly dinner/business meeting at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month at The Lake House, 1202 Ken Lake Ave., Spring Hill. Social Night is on the first Wednesday. The lodge functions supports local charities sponsors bowling, bocce, Italian culture yearly trips. Membership is open to all. Call Richard (352) 263-7829 or Rose (352) 796-7711 for more information.

Brooksville Elks Lodge No. 2582, 14494 Cortez Blvd., has karaoke 2-5 p.m. every Tuesday with a lunch from noon to 3 p.m. Every Thursday evening dancing is available in the main hall with entertainment by Bill Castner. A pub menu is served and there is a $3 cover charge. There is also karaoke starting at 7 p.m. on Fridays. For information, call (352) 596-2582.

News releases to be published in Hometown Happenings should be received 10 days in advance and will not be published without complete information, such as the time, date and physical address of the location of the meeting or event. Also, an information telephone number for the public and the name and telephone number of a contact person must be included. Email news releases to Michael Terry at, fax to (813) 579-9246 or mail to Hernando Today, 12973 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville, FL 34613.

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Portola tour lets residents show off gardens

Until recently, Phil and Pamela Clevenger didn’t use their backyard and didn’t know their neighbors well.

Things are changing for the San Francisco couple. On Saturday, they hosted dozens of neighbors to show off their welcoming outside space, which underwent a much-needed makeover this year and is now home to raised garden beds, beautiful landscaping and a sunny sitting area.

The Clevengers were one of 20 households in the Portola district, a middle-class area sandwiched between the Bayview and Excelsior districts, to host the neighborhood’s seventh garden tour.

What started as a fundraiser for the now-built neighborhood branch library has blossomed into an annual money maker for horticulture and floristry scholarships at City College of San Francisco, and become a must-see event that last year attracted 300 people and raised more than $7,000. For the Clevengers, it was a chance to show off phase one of their two-step garden project – next up is a gazebo and hot tub – and get to know some of their neighbors.

“These houses are like fortresses and the streets are wide, so you never see anyone,” Phil Clevenger said, adding that their garden was put on the tour after organizer Ruth Wallace peeked over their neighbor’s fence and insisted they join.

“We weren’t really ready, but it’s been fun,” he said. “And last weekend we went and saw all the other gardens.”

Wallace, who moved to Portola from South of Market 12 years ago, said the tour has created a sense of community and allowed the neighborhood to reclaim its history as the city’s Garden District. It was once home to floral greenhouses, and is still a great place to grow fruits, flowers and vegetables because of its relatively warm climate and lack of fog.

One of the last remaining greenhouses was owned by the Restani family, whose rose and carnation business lasted through the 1970s. They closed the greenhouses in 1979, but the family held on to some of the land and over the past five years has built four homes on adjoining lots across the street from McLaren Park. Their gardens are reminiscent of Italy, with stone pathways, grapevines and overflowing vegetable gardens.

On Saturday, neighbors wandered through gardens and peeked into a stone-covered shed that Dominic Restani and his family built. Restani, whose grandparents were the last generation to work in the greenhouses, and his wife, Holly, shook hands with neighbors as he explained the family’s neighborhood history.

Wallace said those sorts of interactions are the best part of the tour.

“It really has let people get to know each other. Like most of San Francisco, the gardens and yards are closed off, so we don’t meet in our yards,” she said. “This has given people a reason to look over the fence and reach out and meet more. That’s the big thing – to meet people you normally wouldn’t.”

It’s also good inspiration for gardeners. Linda Chen and her husband, Willie, have lived in the home next door to the Clevengers for 32 years, and just redid their backyard this spring. Now dotted with drought-resistant succulents and bushes, Chen says the backyard is more environmentally sustainable – and a labor of love.

“I’m out here practically every day,” she said.

Marisa Lagos is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. E-mail:

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Gardening course offering lots of tips

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    Garden Book Editor Frances Tenenbaum, 94

    By Carol Stocker

    Frances Mendelson Tenenbaum, for many year’s the nation’s leading garden book editor, died Sept. 24 at age 94, in Cambridge after a series of illnesses.

    When the Garden Writers Association cited the 25 most significant garden books of the last 25 years, they included four edited by Frances Tenenbaum at Houghton Mifflin. “Before Frances, the only garden writers known in America were British,” said Sara Hobel, director of the New York Horticultural Society which honored her in 2011. Our library is full of her books.”

    As both an author and editor she was prescient and anticipated several trends, including the interest in the history of American garden landscapes with her popular reprinting of antique American garden books. The first and best in the series was “An Island Garden,” illustrated by famed American impressionist Childe Hassum’s delicate watercolors and written in 1894 by forgotten poet Celia Thaxton, who lived and gardened on the Appledore Island off the New Hampshire coast and was a friend of Hassum. Tenenbaum also helped rediscover Vermont children’s book author and gardener Tasha Tudor late in her life with the picture book “Tasha Tudor’s Garden,” which became an industry phehnomenon.

    In 1973, Tenenbaum wrote, and her daughter Jane illustrated, “Gardening with Wild Flowers,” just before the importance of native plants and prairie gardens was about to be recognized. In 1980, she co-wrote “Diet Against Disease,” with Alice Martin, discussing the link between diet and health. In 1979, her book “Over 55 Is Not Illegal” was about staying active as the years advanced.

    Her own life began its most influential chapter at age 55 when she she spotted the growing interest in gardening and became a garden book editor at Houghton Mifflin Company in Boston. She resurrected “Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Garden Plants” and turned it into a long series of authoritative, illustrated garden books for American gardeners which set a standard in the industry. In 1995, she edited “Noah’s Garden,” about plants that could heal the environment. Late in her life, she edited “The Secret Gardens of Cambridge,” designed by her daughter, Jane, and “Taylor’s Encyclopedia of Garden Plants,” under her own imprint at Houghton Mifflin.

    Stubborn, witty, charming, curious, acerbic and generous to a fault, she had many friends, including many of her authors, some of which, including the great garden writer and Washington Post columnist Henry Mitchell, would camp out on her Cambridge sofa when in town.

    Tenenbaum was also a dedicated island gardener herself at her summer home on Martha’s Vineyard, as well as a bridge player and bird-watcher. Her sense of humor extended to her titles: “Nothing Grows for Me: A Brown-thumb’s Guide to House Plants.”

    Frances Judith Mendelson was born in New York City in 1919, to Regina Muskatenblut Mendelson and Emanuel Mendelson, who made his living in clothing manufacturing. Frances grew up on the South Shore of Long Island, and received a B.A. from the University of Michigan circa 1939 and later a masters in journalism from Columbia University. During World War II, she wrote for the New York Herald Tribune. In 1943, she married Frank Tenenbaum, a fellow native of Long Island, who spent the war in the Signal Corps in the South Pacific.

    Living in Great Neck, NY (1950-1973), Frances wrote and edited for a variety of magazines, newspapers, and book publishers. In 1963, the Tenenbaums began vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard. After Frank died suddenly in 1972, Frances moved to Cambridge, Mass., where she lived the rest of her life.

    She invented her dream job as acquisition editor for non-fiction, at Houghton Mifflin, and soon acquired the books, “Escape from Sobibor” and “The Killing of Karen Silkwood.” The daughter of a gifted gardener, she began to specialize in garden books with a personal voice, including Mitchell’s crotchety charmer “One Man’s Garden.”

    Building on her own experience in the garden at Martha’s Vineyard, she wrote her last book, “Gardening at the Shore,” in 2006.

    Tenenbaum received many awards and honors, including the 1999 Horticultural Communication Award, from the American Horticultural Society, the 2000 Gold medal, from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. In 2004 she entered into the Garden Writers Association Hall of Fame.

    She will be buried at Abel’s Hill Cemetery, on Martha’s Vineyard. Frances Tenenbaum is survived by her daughter, Jane, a book designer in Cambridge, Mass., her son, David, a science writer in Madison, Wis., daughter-in-law Meg Wise, and grandsons Alexander and Joshua Tenenbaum.

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    Garden Club offers fall lawn care tips

    Garden Club offers fall lawn care tips

    Written by Margaret Moore

    Saturday, September 28, 2013 03:00 pm

    Garden Club

    The Brigantine Garden Club’s Appreciation Gathering was beautiful. Fifty volunteers had a wonderful time catching up with friends and enjoyed a delicious meal at the Links. Thanks to Fran Streeper, who made all the arrangements and thank-you gifts.

    The winner of the Club Cup for this year was Phylis Glomb, who has done an outstanding job with the North End bed tenders and was instrumental in getting us much-needed funding from the Elks.

    Special commendations were given to Judy Harding for her hard work as memorial tree chair, hospitality chair and recording secretary and to Debi Ples for her perseverance as liaison to the city. The club also acknowledged the retiring of Treasurer Joyce Hall, who has kept the club in the green and seen that everyone got their checks on time.

    The club is still taking orders for new leaves on the memorial tree and now that the library is reopened arrangements are being made to have the tree reinstalled. It is a unique and lasting way to remember a special person, date or occasion such as an anniversary, wedding or to memorialize a lost loved one. Leaves are $50.

    Garden Tip: Fall is the time for overseeding lawns, but you must remember to use the proper seed followed by a late fall slow-release fertilizer for seeded areas. Many people also put down lime, but if you aren’t sure it is needed, always ask a professional. 

    Our resident master gardener recommends calling the Rutgers Help line at (609) 625-0056 for any information or questions you may have pertaining to your lawns and gardens. It is available 9a.m.-noon Monday through Friday online at

    Don’t forget to keep up on club activities on the Facebook site set up by Linda Mantello. It is known as Brigantine Garden Club. Go online to see pictures of the gathering and gardens and get information.

    Linda is also looking for volunteers to help with the planting of dune grass in October. She will have more info for us at our last meeting on Oct. 7.

    Anyone interested in gardening, whether active or passive, can become a member of the club. It is very easy and all are welcome in making Brigantine a beautiful place to live and visit. To start, just come to a meeting. There are no dues, meet once a month, March through October and the only requirement is that you attend four meetings a year. Since our last meeting is coming up, you have the winter to think about joining. 

    The informational answering machine number is (609) 266-3685. The club exists on the generosity of others and all donations are appreciated. They may be sent to the Brigantine Garden Club, P.O. Box 53, Brigantine, N.J. 08203.

    The club would like to thank all those who have supported us with donations this year. It has been greatly appreciated and put to good use. 

    Article source:

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    Antiques at The Gardens show: Flowers, antiques and fine design for your inner … – The Birmingham News

    Renowned architect Bobby McAlpine will make an appearance at
    next week’s Antiques at The Gardens show, but tickets for his lecture have
    already sold out. Birmingham Botanical Gardens director Fred Spicer isn’t
    surprised: He said the four-day celebration of refined artistry is shaping up
    to be the biggest since the Gardens took over the event in 2005.

    “The whole first floor and part of the second floor of the
    Garden Center, our main building, is totally transformed,” Spicer said. “We’ve
    created booths for antiques dealers we’ve selected from eight years. We have a
    lot of returning fan favorites.”

    In addition to the heirlooms and artifacts, this year’s show, which raises money for the Gardens’ educational programs, will the event will feature walk-in displays that show off the talents of
    interior designers and architects around the state. Themes for the tastemakers (as the event calls them) include “Jewelry Box” and “Weeks to Africa.”

    Birmingham interior designer Dana Wolter and architect Jeff
    will spend early next week furnishing a 9’X5′ box with a cozy living
    room feel – and several for-sale antiques – for a theme titled “Fireside Chats.”
    Wolter said the show serves as a kind of convention for Birmingham’s artists,
    designers and dealers.

    “Everyone’s space will be a little bit different, but it
    will be a reflection of who they are and what they like,” she explained. “I’m
    excited to see everyone else’s creativity, forget my own. Just to see what
    everyone else is going to do with their little auditorium space.”

    The things you can actually take home include jewelry, furniture,
    paintings, silver, prints, maps and books. Artifacts range from a bureau from
    Victorian England to more affordable items, such as a tea set that costs, say,
    a few hundred dollars instead of a few thousand. Not exactly a steal, but then
    again, the show isn’t What’s on Second.

     “These are fine
    dealers; it’s certainly not a yard sale,” Spicer said. “You’re talking about
    people who know the things that they have, who have selected them very, very
    carefully, who know about the provenance of the pieces that they’re selling.”

    And for those of us who sometimes go a whole day without
    using the word “provenance?” Admission is just $10, and Spicer said anyone is
    more than welcome to just browse, speak with dealers and designers and learn
    about how the other half lived.

    “It’s a quality antique show and sale and something that
    Birmingham really doesn’t have except for this. There are wonderful antiques
    dealers in Birmingham, but the kind of show and sale that we’re doing is unique
    to Birmingham.”

    And besides, he continued, plants and antiques just go

    “Buying an antique is kind of like the ultimate in
    recycling. If it’s  a beautiful wooden
    desk, that tree was turned into a desk a hundred years ago, it’s not a new tree
    that had to be cut down.”

    Antiques at The Gardens will run October 3-6. Tickets are
    $10 and parking is free. If you missed out on lecture tickets, you can still attend
    a black-tie gala on Friday night for live music, refreshments and private
    browsing of the sale.

    Article source:

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    Energy future could rest on ‘green’ building

    One of Austin Trautman’s heroes is Joseph Eichler, a midcentury California developer who brought beautiful architecture to the masses.

    Eichler, however, didn’t bear the burden of knowing how energyinefficient all those expansive glass walls, skylights and atriums could be.

    Trautman, an environmentalist with a degree in kinesiology from Arizona State University, does.

    He has spent the past three years researching the best way to build a net-zero energy home, east of downtown Phoenix, that produces all the power it consumes.

    Trautman tagged Valley architect Matthew Salenger of CoLAB Studio and builder James Trahan of 180 Degrees, known for building some mammoth modern luxury homes, to create a prototype that celebrates both modern design and green building.

    “I like big puzzles,” Trautman, owner of Vali Homes, said from the finished house, where he talked in detail about its airtight building envelope, lack of waste during construction and its efficient wall system with “half the wood and three times the insulation of a typical home.” Because the home is relatively small, with airtight walls and well-placed windows, a 3.6-kilowatt photovoltaic solar-energy system will power it.

    Although the Valley has plenty of inefficient older houses, Trautman’s project is one of many that is challenging standard homebuilding practices and pushing energy-efficient technologies.

    Another was just completed in north Phoenix, where a team of architecture, engineering and construction students from ASU and the University of New Mexico collaborated to create a net-zero energy home — one that is also transportable.

    On Thursday, the ASU/UNM team will compete against 19 other entries at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in Irvine, Calif. The event is a Super Bowl of sorts for solar-powered homes aimed at creating a new generation of builders who think green.

    The event is held every two years, because it takes that long to dream up, engineer and construct these sustainable homes, which are judged on performance, affordability and livability.

    One of the biggest innovations in ASU/UNM’s 850-square-foot SHADE home (an acronym for Solar Homes Adapting for Desert Equilibrium) is a radiant heating and cooling system that uses water-filled capillaries above a plaster ceiling as a way to cool or heat the home. The capillary system is made by Beka USA in Goodyear.

    “It’s an effective system,” said Alia Taqi, an ASU graduate student on the decathlon team. “It works really well in dry climates, and it’s a little more costly than a traditional HVAC cooling system. But, in the long run, it uses almost 40 percent less energy.”

    SHADE cost about $285,000 to build and will produce all its own energy, saving an estimated $150 per month compared with a conventionally built home of the same size. Net-zero homes tied to the grid pay only the minimum monthly fee to their utility company — about $10 to $17 per month for billing and meter reading.

    The team is also testing material in the floors that absorbs energy when a room is warm and releases it when the temperature drops, evening out a room’s thermal profile.

    SHADE also is testing a thermal battery (used in some commercial buildings) that freezes water at night and uses ice during the day for a glycol and water solution carried to the cooling systems.

    Interior walls coated in clay plaster help regulate humidity in SHADE, and a tilted solar array serves as a roof over a 200-square-foot porch that extends the living space. An exterior screen of 2-by-4s, meant to mimic the look of cactus needles, helps shade the exterior walls.

    Next year, a SHADE home will be installed at Steele Indian School Park as an example of sustainable living as part of the city’s Phoenix Renews development plan.

    C.R. Herro, vice president for environmental affairs at Meritage Homes in Scottsdale and an industry leader in green-building technology, said he believes heating and cooling systems that use liquid rather than forced air may be the future. They’re considered more efficient and more comfortable. But, he said, it will take time for the systems to become affordable.

    Herro, who will speak at the Department of Energy’s net-zero energy summit during the Solar Decathlon, said he remembers when the event’s net-zero energy homes seemed like spaceships.

    Today, he said, net-zero is a no-brainer. Since 2011, Meritage sells only Energy Star-certified homes that, with optional Echo photovoltaic solar-power systems, can achieve net-zero status.

    Meritage’s net-zero homes start affordable — in the $200,000 range, depending on location. And several local homebuilders offer solar packages. Herro admitted it’s not the average customer who understands and opts to invest about $30,000 in solar panels to create a net-zero Meritage home.

    Local utilities and Arizona SmartPower, a non-profit that helps educate homeowners about solar choices, say it’s hard to find many true net-zero homes in the Valley that create all their own power, because air-conditioning uses so much energy in the summer months.

    Ed Fedoruk, a custom homebuilder who used to sell photovoltaic systems, is a net-zero homeowner. Fedoruk said he pays Arizona Public Service Co. $10.54 per month — the utility’s minimum monthly charge for meter reading, billing and having an account — to power his 3,000-square-foot Carefree home.

    “It’s not science fiction,” Fedoruk said of living in his net-zero home, which is well-insulated and powered with a 6-kilowatt Sanyo solar-power system. “It’s like living in any home, really. … You don’t have to worry about scrimping on the air-conditioner. When you don’t have big electricity bills, it helps with the budget.”

    Herro said the challenge going forward is educating consumers and adopting technologies that continue to make homes increasingly energy-efficient and extremely durable — even stormproof.

    For that, many companies are testing new wall systems that are superior to standard wood framing with fiberglass-batt insulation.

    This past spring, in time for Earth Day, Meritage unveiled a new prototype green home in Goodyear using a poured-on-site wall system of insulated concrete panels by the Arizona company HercuWall. The 7-inch- thick walls are quiet, watertight and resistant to mold and termites.

    Nathan Day, a luxury-home developer at Sterling at Silverleaf in north Scottsdale, is testing energy-efficient wall panels by i-Frame Building Solutions in Scottsdale (used mostly for commercial buildings) that employ steel studs and embedded interlocking insulation.

    In Phoenix, Trautman’s spec home has another feature that Herro has mentioned as a homebuilding technology of note: vented siding.

    From the outside, the Vali home looks like a modern, steel-wrapped rectangle. The envelope of perforated steel panels keeps radiant heat off the insulated exterior walls and vents heat. Under the steel siding, the walls boast foil-wrapped rigid-foam insulation, blown-in cellulose insulation and wooden studs placed 24 inches apart rather than the typical 16 inches.

    Trautman said they took great pains during construction to seal any air gaps using flashing tape, rubber gaskets and polyurethane foam. He also installed a fresh-air system that helps eliminate dust and contaminants and recirculates the air in the home every three hours.

    “The airtight construction, less wood (because wood is a poor insulator), more insulation and a fresh-air system are currently somewhat specific to green building, but I’m certain (they) will be standard in the next 10-20 years,” Trautman said. “Minimum codes are moving steadily in this direction, and many of the ideas we have used are already standard in places like Canada.”

    A lot has been cleared for construction on another Vali home. Trautman has listed the first 1,500-square-foot home for $400,000 — $266 per square foot, or more than 2.5 times the median Valley home price.

    Ultimately, Trautman hopes to continue building, making the modern green houses more affordable. A good portion of the initial cost is research and development, but Trahan, Trautman and Salenger say that after months of running the plans through modeling programs that estimate cost and energy efficiency, they were able to get the initial building cost down to about $140 per square foot — or about $210,000, not including the landscaping and steel cladding around the courtyard.

    “It did become a big balancing act,” Trahan said. “We went through hundreds of line items of cost.”

    Trautman would like to find a city lot large enough to build several at once, further lowering the cost to customers.

    Overall, he said, his goal is to create houses that are so peaceful, comfortable, durable and well-designed that the green features don’t call attention to themselves — they simply work.

    “Apple and Tesla are probably my favorite companies as examples,” he said. “It’s not so much about all the features (the iPhone) has — it’s extremely simple, it’s got one button, somehow it intuitively works well, and I use it because it’s not a pain. … Hopefully, that improves your life rather than adds complication to it.”

    That, he said, is how we should build a house.

    Article source:

    Council to hear landscaping plan for MacCorkle Avenue – Daily Mail

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A median with trees and green space, improved pedestrian crossings and parallel parking could all one day become reality on MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City, under a local consulting firm’s plan.

    In addition, 50th Street could resemble more of a park setting with the addition of a “green spine” consisting of trees and landscaped space.

    The plan, dubbed the “Kanawha City Corridor Study,” was commissioned by the city of Charleston and was first publicly presented at the annual Kanawha City Community Association meeting Thursday night.

    Charleston-based GAI Consultants created the plan based on a year’s work of research, said David Gilmore, a land development services manager with GAI. GAI is the same consulting firm that developed a recently released plan to put bicycle lanes along Kanawha Boulevard West and assisted with Imagine Charleston.

    For now, the plan is just that – a plan.

    None of the ideas proposed are funded, Charleston Planning Director Dan Vriendt said. But, the plan will go before city council for approval, and if it passes, it can be used to apply for federal and state grants for the next decade or two.

    “We can’t make an application unless we have a plan,” he said.

    The MacCorkle Avenue and 50th Street improvements are all possible without the city obtaining any additional land.

    Gilmore said the city-owned rights-of-way in Kanawha City are huge – 80 feet for Mac-Corkle Avenue and 100 feet for 50th Street. That means the city has great flexibility when considering improvements.

    “It really frees us up to do a lot of interesting things,” Gilmore said.

    Historically, he said, Kanawha City was planned around pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles – not modern automobiles.

    Once use of the automobile became mainstream, the consultants said, MacCorkle Avenue became one of the main thoroughfares into Charleston from the south before the interstate system. That traffic load caused the neighborhood to lose some of the walkability it had originally.

    “Those ideals are still there, they just need to be resurfaced,” Gilmore said.

    The plan also divides Kanawha City into districts, beginning with the Medical District around CAMC General Hospital on the northern end of the neighborhood. The districts then transition into the “Village District,” the “Professional District,” “Main Street” (50th Street) and the “Retail District,” which includes much of the large retail stores at the southern end of the neighborhood.

    Gilmore said each district could have its own vibe and unique decor, if that’s what the city decides. There could also be different changes to MacCorkle Avenue depending on the district.

    For example, parallel parking and formal parking lots – all in areas the city already owns – could be added along parts of MacCorkle with a higher density of shops or restaurants. In other areas, MacCorkle Avenue could remain the same as it is now.

    Residents present at the meeting were largely supportive of the plan, but wanted to make sure other problems – like parking – would be created by the plan.

    “We’re not trying – and we don’t want to – push traffic into those neighborhoods,” Gilmore said of areas east and west of MacCorkle.

    Gilmore said the plan will soon be available online at the city’s website for public review. In order to become an official development plan for the city, the plan will have to be introduced in city council, pass one or more city council committees and then be brought back to council for final approval.

    Article source: