Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for January 18, 2014

Vision of University Heights Library renovations begins to take shape

-ef438b4e6ad9da17.jpgUniversity Heights Library Director Nancy Levin makes a point to residents who attended a visioning session to discuss ideas for the library’s upcoming renovation project.

Heights Library patrons met with library officials Thursday night to share
renovation ideas

Thirteen people attended the
event – dubbed as a visioning session by library officials – in which they talked
about what changes they would like to see in an upcoming renovation project.

Following are the top five
issues brought up at the meeting.

1. Residents want the building to have a back door
accessible from the parking lot.

Access to the library’s
parking lot is off Fenwick Drive and parking spaces are located at the rear of
the building. The library’s entrance is at the front of the
building off Cedar Road. Patrons who park their cars in the lot must walk
around the building to enter the library and do the same when returning to
their cars. Those at the meeting said they would like to have a second entrance
at the rear of the library, directly off the parking lot.

2. Residents want restrooms on the first floor.

The library has two levels. The only two restrooms – one for men and one for
women – are located on the lower level.

Patrons must go down a set of
stairs or use a lift to access the restrooms. There is no elevator.

3. Residents want a bigger parking lot.

The library lot has 37
parking spaces and on-street parking is available along Fenwick Road. When those
spaces are filled, patrons must park across the street from the library in a
shopping center lot on Cedar Road.

4. Residents want to see nicer landscaping.

One resident said the
library’s landscaping needs to be better maintained. Library Director Nancy
Levin said some of the flowerbeds will be replaced with grass that will be mowed and is easier to maintain.

5. Residents want the library to maintain its cozy,
intimate feel.

Some said the library is
small and intimate compared to libraries in other communities. While they welcome
renovations, they don’t want the library to become too large and cold.

“Our customers had great
ideas about how to improve the branch, and it was clear from their enthusiasm
how much they care about their library,” library spokeswoman Sheryl
Banks said.

The library was built in 1952. The last renovation project
was in 1997 and included updates to the heating system, the addition of air
conditioning on the lower level and display areas, as well as rewiring of the entire

Library officials say goals
for the next remodel include better access for library visitors of all ages,
more efficient and sustainable energy updates and a comfortable environment
with enduring aesthetics.

This was the first of five
visioning sessions set at various locations in University Heights. The
remaining sessions will be at:

• 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gearity
Professional Development School, 2323 Wrenford Road;

• 2 p.m. Jan. 29 at Whole
Foods Market at Cedar Center, 13998 Cedar Road;

• 7 p.m. Feb. 4 in Donahue
Auditorium at the Dolan Center for Science and Technology at John Carroll
University, 1 John Carroll Blvd.; and

• 2 p.m. Feb. 13 during
Senior Happenings at the University Heights library.

All sessions are open to the
public, and registration is not required. There also will be online and paper
surveys for those who cannot attend the sessions.

“We can’t wait to hear what other residents
and customers have to say at our next four sessions and hope we’ll get some big
turnouts,” Banks said.

Call the library at
216-932-3600 for more information.

Article source:

City and county commission to meet Tuesday

City Commission meets Tuesday

The Garden City Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the City Administrative Center, 301 N. Eighth St.

Items on the agenda include:

* Consideration and approval of distributing 2014 AFAC funds and 2014 Community Grant funds as recommended by the Alcohol Fund Advisory Committee.

* Resolutions authorizing the removal of nuisance conditions from property at 411 N. First St., and motor vehicle nuisances from property at 505 Bancroft and 711 N. First St.

* An ordinance regulating front yard setbacks in commercial and industrial districts. Current zoning regulations require a 30-foot setback. A proposed change would allow a 15-foot setback under certain conditions.

* Discussion of submitting a project request to the Kansas Department of Transportation using federal Transportation Alternative funds. Last November, the commission approved an application for landscaping on U.S. Highway 50/400 from the bypass east to Farmland Road.

County meeting delayed one day

Due to Monday’s Martin Luther King holiday, the Finney County Commission will meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at the county administrative center, 310 N. Ninth St.

Items on the agenda include monthly reports from the health department and Emergency Management and Emergency Medical Services; discussion of fees and policies for the fairgrounds; a review of an employee assistance program; recommendations for grant funding from the Alcohol Fund Advisory Committee; an annual board reorganization; an closed session with the county counselor; and a closed session concerning non-elected personnel.

Article source:

Eighth annual Katy Home and Garden Show set Jan. 25-26

If you’ve looked at your old bathroom or tired and worn out carpet and fixtures for too long, get inspired to modernize your home by attending the 8th Annual Katy Home and Garden Show slated for Jan.25-26 at the Merrell Center Robinson Pavilion in Katy. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

For those eager to get a head start on any home and garden expansion no matter the size, make plans to visit more than 250 exhibits.  

“Consumer interest and spending in home remodeling and DIY projects continue to rise for many reasons,”said  Robyn Cade, President of RJC Productions and organizer of the Katy Home and Garden Show. “Baby boomers may now find themselves as empty nesters with disposal incomes to refurbish, redecorate and reinvest in their homes, creating beautiful living spaces which reflect their individual personalities and an emphasis on entertaining at home.”  

Additionally, low interest rates make remodeling affordable.  Some of the other reasons to consider remodeling a home include modernizing it. 

“Research shows that investing in your home pays for itself in the long haul, particularly with kitchen and bathroom remodels,” said Cade. 

In fact, an American Housing Survey found that adding a half bath can increase home value 10.5 percent and a full bath contributes 20 percent to home value. Lower heating and cooling bills by replacing outdated windows and doors with energy efficient ones. 

“We’re especially excited about the range of exhibitors, demonstrations and experts who’ll be part of this year’s show,” said Cade.

Fall in love with your home all over again.  Get inspired to kick start or finalize renovation plans with the help of design and renovation experts and two buildings of one-stop shopping including: decorating, gardening, remodeling, window treatments, home theater, landscaping, kitchens baths, do-it-yourself, flooring, windows doors, siding, heating/cooling, pools, outdoor entertainment and a myriad of other home related products and services. Whether planning a major renovation or smaller home updates, you’ll be right at home at the Katy Home Garden Show with the ability to comparison shop in one convenient area.  Find out how to make “green” improvements which can reduce electrical and heating bills or creative ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal.  

For those interested in a new garden, landscaping tips or other home improvement how-to’s the Katy Home and Garden Show is brimming with ideas; experts and workshops. Foodies can get in on the fun with more than 20 food sampling booths.  

On Saturday, attendees will meet celebrity DIY TV Host, Jason Cameron, who helps bring life to dreary landscapes and or specialized man caves.

Watch him work and it quickly becomes apparent this licensed contractor really knows his stuff, especially when it comes to his own personal passions: home improvement and landscaping. Jason says he recently even gutted his own home and completely revamped the backyard. Now he’s putting his extensive hands-on expertise to work for DIY Network building, landscaping, hardscaping and more. 

Tickets are $9 for adults; $8 for seniors and $5 for military.  Kids under 12 are free. The facility charges $1 per ticket added at the time of purchase.  For ticket information, directions, parking and more visit

Article source:

Cameron doles out $800000 for city library, Halifax redevelopment

PETERSBURG – Two major grants will help the city become a better place to live and learn, the Cameron Foundation announced Friday. The Better Housing Coalition will receive $500,000 for a redevelopment project in the Halifax Street area, while the Petersburg Library Foundation will accept $300,000 toward their fundraising campaign for the city’s new library.

It is not the first time the foundation has lent a helping hand to the redevelopment project.

“We were pleased with the success that resulted from that collaborative effort,” Board Chair Larry C. Tucker said in a statement. “The Better Housing Coalition’s stewardship of those resources supported our decision to invest in Phase II,” he added. The foundation gave BHC $100,000 in the October 2012 grant cycle, $200,000 in March 2011, and $220,000 in October 2009.

The BHC first teamed up with the Restoration of Petersburg Community Development Corp., started by the Rev. Dr. Robert Diggs of Tabernacle Baptist Church, to construct the Claiborne Square senior apartment complex. The 47-unit, $6.6 million project opened in 2012 to provide quality housing for local, low-income seniors. Phase II is even more ambitious – replacing 21 largely dilapidated properties on Porterville, Gresset and Hartley streets with 40 modern one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with off-street parking.

The project received a nod in December 2013, when Petersburg City Council approved rezoning 23 properties for Phase II.

The Cameron Foundation’s cash will go toward onsite improvements such as lighting, grading, curb cuts for handicapped ramps, a playground, rain gardens and landscaping, according to a statement. The cash injection will help BHC and ROPCDC compete for critical low income housing tax credits early this year, J. Todd Graham, Cameron Foundation president, said. Both projects presented an urgency to act outside of their usual grant cycle.

The new Petersburg Public Library, nearing completion at West Washington and Market streets downtown, has also received ample support from the grantmaker. The library project has received $2.7 million from the foundation, second only to the city’s $5 million investment.

“The community has really rallied around this project with its financial support, underscoring just how important it is,” Graham said. “We hope this additional grant helps the Petersburg Library Foundation quickly wrap up the campaign, open the doors to the new library and begin providing the many valued services to the community that it has planned.”

A groundbreaking for the 45,000-square-foot library – which is several times larger and vastly more modern than the present building on South Sycamore Street – was held in April 2012.

“This gift is going to help us leverage the remaining $200,000 that we need to close out the campaign,” said Spokeswoman Cheryl Collins. Between their community campaign and New Market Tax Credits, the final tally will be close to $14.5 million, she said.

A grand opening is now expected in April, delayed by weather factors.

“We want to make sure we do the project right,” Collins said.

Article source:

Trowel & Glove: Marin gardening calendar for the week of Jan. 18, 2014

Click photo to enlarge


• West Marin Commons offers a weekly harvest exchange at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays at the Livery Stable gardens on the commons in Point Reyes Station. Go to www.westmarin

• The Novato Independent Elders Program seeks volunteers to help Novato seniors with their overgrown yards on Tuesday mornings or Thursday afternoons. Call 899-8296.

• Volunteers are sought to help in Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy nurseries from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays at Tennessee Valley, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Muir Woods or 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays or 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays in the Marin Headlands. Call 561-3077 or go to

• The SPAWN (Salmon Protection and Watershed Network) native plant nursery days are from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fridays and weekends. Call 663-8590, ext. 114, or email to register and for directions.

• Marin Master Gardeners and the Marin Municipal Water District offer free residential Bay-Friendly Garden Walks to MMWD customers. The year-round service helps homeowners identify water-saving opportunities and soil conservation techniques for their landscaping. Call 473-4204 to request a visit to your garden.

• Marin Open Garden Project (MOGP) volunteers are available to help Marin residents glean excess fruit from their trees for donations to local organizations serving people in need and to build raised beds to start vegetable gardens through the MicroGardens program. MGOP also offers a garden tool lending library. Go to or email contact@opengarden

• The Marin Organic Glean Team seeks volunteers to harvest extras from the fields at various farms for the organic school lunch and gleaning program. Call 663-9667 or go to

San Francisco

• The Conservatory of Flowers, at 100 John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park, displays permanent galleries of tropical plant species as well as changing special exhibits from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $2 to $7. Call 831-2090 or go to www.conservatory

• The San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, at Ninth Avenue and Lincoln Way in Golden Gate Park, offers several ongoing events. $7; free to San Francisco residents, members and school groups. Call 661-1316 or go to www.sf Free docent tours leave from the Strybing Bookstore near the main gate at 1:30 p.m. weekdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. weekends; and from the north entrance at 2 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Groups of 10 or more can call ahead for special-focus tours.

Around the Bay

• An olive curing workshop with Don Landis is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 19 at B.R. Cohn Winery at 15000 Highway 12 in Glen Ellen. $15 to $20. Call 800-330-4064, ext. 124, for reservations.

• Cornerstone Gardens is a permanent, gallery-style garden featuring walk-through installations by international landscape designers on nine acres at 23570 Highway 121 in Sonoma. Free. Call 707-933-3010 or go to www.cornerstone

• Garden Valley Ranch rose garden is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays at 498 Pepper Road in Petaluma. Self-guided and group tours are available. $2 to $10. Call 707-795-0919 or go to

• The Luther Burbank Home at Santa Rosa and Sonoma avenues in Santa Rosa has docent-led tours of the greenhouse and a portion of the gardens every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. $7. Call 707-524-5445.

• McEvoy Ranch at 5935 Red Hill Road in Petaluma offers tips on planting olive trees and has olive trees for sale by appointment. Call 707-769-4123 or go to www.mcevoy

• Wednesdays are volunteer days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center at 15290 Coleman Valley Road in Occidental. Call 707-874-1557, ext. 201, or go to

• Quarryhill Botanical Garden at 12841 Sonoma Highway in Glen Ellen covers 61 acres and showcases a large selection of scientifically documented wild source temperate Asian plants. The garden is open for self-guided tours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. $5 to $10. Call 707-996-3166 or go to

• The California Rare Fruit Growers’ scion exchange is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Veterans Memorial Building at 1351 Maple Ave. in Santa Rosa. $5. Call 707-766-7102 or go to

• “Tree Shaping” workshops are offered at 1 p.m. Jan. 25 and 26 at Wildwood Farm at 10300 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. $25. Call 707-833-1161 or go to www.wildwood for reservations.

The Trowel Glove Calendar appears Saturdays. Send high-resolution jpg photo attachments and details about your event to or mail to Home and Garden Calendar/Lifestyles, Marin Independent Journal, 4000 Civic Center Drive, Suite 301, San Rafael, CA 94903. Items should be sent two weeks in advance. Photos should be a minimum of 1 megabyte and include caption information. Include a daytime phone number on your release.

Article source:

Learn ‘Landscaping Ideas that Work’ at Mass Hort on Jan. 23

New England Landscape Design and History Association and Massachusetts Horticultural Society will sponsor a lecture by award-winning landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy at Elm Bank in Wellesley on Thursday, Jan. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Messervy will talk about her new book “Landscaping Ideas That Work,” which has just been released. A wine and cheese reception precedes the lecture at 5:30 p.m. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Messervy is the designer of the award-winning Toronto Music Garden, Weezie’s Garden at Mass Hort, Hidden Hollow at Heritage Museums Gardens, as well as many other residential and institutional landscapes. She is the author of seven books on landscape design, including “Home Outside: Creating the Landscape You Love” and “Outside the Not So Big House with Sarah Susanka.”

Tickets will be $25 or $20 for NELDHA/Mass Hort members. Tickets can be purchased online at or by mail. If purchasing by mail, send your check payable to “Massachusetts Horticultural Society” with your email address and your membership affiliation (if applicable) and mail to Massachusetts Horticultural Society, Attn: Maureen Horn, 900 Washington Street, Wellesley, MA 02482.

For more information, email or; call 617-933-4912 or 781-407-0065; or visit or


Article source:

Gardening Tips: Pruning grapevines

Posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 1:52 pm

Gardening Tips: Pruning grapevines

By Matt Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


My phone certainly rings a lot less this time of the year than it does in April and May, but one topic I can count on people asking me about is grapevines. There are many grapevines to be found in Halifax County and the Roanoke Valley, but since many of them have been growing since well before the person now caring for them was born, many people just aren’t sure exactly what to do with them.

Subscription Required

An online service is needed to view this article in its entirety.

You need an online service to view this article in its entirety.

Have an online subscription?

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Or, use your
linked account:

Current print subscribers

Login Now

Need an online subscription?



Or, use your
linked account:

Current print subscribers


Friday, January 17, 2014 1:52 pm.

Article source:

Gardening tips: Protecting plants from Arctic blasts

By Maryanne Sparks
Fauquier County Master Gardener

Gardeners in the area felt an added chill to their bones during the recent plunge in temperatures. Ice and snow can take a toll on the garden, but so can freezing temperatures.

The good news is that most plants can survive the latest Arctic blast if they are acceptable for planting in USDA Cold Hardiness Zone 6A (-10 to -5 degrees F). Only time will tell us whether less cold-tolerant plants survive the winter.

However, ice and snow are sure to come our way, and preemptive measures can help minimize damage to your landscape. Plants covered in ice and snow may yield or even break under the stress of additional weight. This is especially true of evergreens.

Should multi-stemmed plants need additional support, consider temporarily using twine to wrap the plant before snow or ice accumulates. Brushing fresh snow off the limbs using a broom and working in an upward manner will clear plants of additional weight.

Strong winter winds may break limbs that are rigid and brittle. Plants may be uprooted by heavy winds when the ground is wet, but not frozen. Avoid problems by maintaining properly pruned trees and shrubs and providing appropriate staking and guying for new plantings. Remember to remove stakes and guy-lines before one year passes to allow the trees or shrubs to naturally develop resistance to wind.

Below-freezing temperatures affect lawns as well. Don’t walk on your lawns when temperatures dip, as this may cause damage to the crown of the plants.

And as for de-icing agents, many well-intentioned people often misuse products that can damage the landscape. Check the product label for its ingredients. Ethylene glycol is poisonous and should not be used near humans, pets, wildlife or plants. De-icing agents may contain calcium chloride or sodium chloride, salts which will kill plants.

Finally, resolve to be OK with some winter damage to your landscape, as it is bound to happen.

For more information, contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension Horticulture Help Desk at 24 Pelham St., Warrenton, Va. 20186 by telephone at 540-341-7950, ext. 1, by email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on the web at

Article source:

Cockroaches require multipronged battle plan

Would you send me the free garden and pest information mentioned at the end of your Sun columns?

We have hundreds of publications and articles on topics ranging from termites and deer to vegetables, fruits, trees and shrubs. You can browse through the subject areas or in the Information Library on our website. Or call and we’ll help you get the ones that address your interests or problems. If we do not have your topic already written up, we will send a specific answer (click “Ask MD’s Gardening Experts” on our website) or answer it over the phone. If you’re looking for a general reference on every aspect of gardening, however, we also offer the 600-page “UME Master Gardener Handbook” for $69.

University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information. Call 800-342-2507 or send a question to the website at

Plant of the week


Taxodium distichum

If you have a sunny, damp area, lots of space and want a strong focal point, baldcypress could be the plant for you. This unusual native looks like a lofty needled evergreen in summer but drops its foliage in the fall, giving it the name “bald”. Foliage is soft and flowing — yellow-green in spring, sage in summer, changing to russet in fall. In winter, its stately trunk has coppery peeling bark. An adaptable tree, it withstands dry and city conditions and can be used as a street tree. Planted in water, knobby “knees” grow from the ground around the trunk to provide more oxygen. Growing about 21/2 feet a year to a mature height of 50 to 75 feet, not only is it long-lived, but it is a low-maintenance native. —Ginny Williams

Article source:

A garden can go easy on the water and still be easy on the eyes

It seems that I can’t talk about gardening with our friends without their eyes glazing over. I guess that with restricted water, there is not much to be discussed.

As we wait for Mother Nature to nourish the earth, trees, and shrubs, the hillsides remain parched and gardeners are forced to “wait and wonder.”

But most gardeners do not enjoy being idle in body and mind.

So while we are in a “holding pattern,” we can revisit a garden design appropriate for thirsty regions.

While we ordinarily are planning our spring planting at this time of year, perhaps our time would be better spent reviewing principals of gardening in an arid region. Gardening of this type is called “xeriscaping.”

In the early 1980s, Colorado’s Denver Water coined the term “xeriscaping” to describe a low-water-use landscaping design.

Xeriscape is a combination of the word “xeros,” the Greek word meaning dry, and “scape,” meaning a “kind of view or scene.”

Many water districts across the country have adopted the term and used it to help customers become familiar with drought-tolerant landscaping.

It continues to become more and more popular in the West as rainfall figures drop and gardeners search for efficient ways to use resources.

Essentially, there are seven principals of xeriscaping:

1. Plan and design your xeriscape. Consider soil, sun, shade, and slope.

2. Soil improvement. You can have your soil analyzed but we all know that most of our soil is deficient in humus, limiting absorption of water and holding capacity. Soils should be enriched with organic matter before planting.

3. Planting in “the right place,” in terms of sun and soil conditions, will greatly effect your success in creating a beautiful xeriscape around your

4. Turf substitutes should be incorporated. Traditional turf can be replaced with low-matting ground-covers and grasses. Astro-turf? Well, I’m not there yet.

5. Make your irrigation system efficient. Trees, shrubs, perennials and groundcovers can be watered efficiently with low-volume drip systems or low sprinklers that emit large droplets.

6. Apply mulch to all bare ground. Mulch minimizes evaporation and reduces weed growth and soil erosion. Organic mulches are typically bark and wood chips, pine needles, or rocks. Hardscape such as paths and patios reduce bare exposed earth in gardens.

7. Maintenance. If you’ve followed the first six principals, the maintenance of a water-wise
landscape is relatively easy. Chores such pruning, weeding and pest control are lessened in a healthy xeriscape.

There’s much to learn while we are in our “holding pattern”. With a little effort, we can consider giving our gardens a “xeriscape face lift.”

Lee Oliphant’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at; read her blog at

Article source: