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Archives for January 20, 2014


Linda Black Horoscopes

4:30 a.m. CST, January 20, 2014

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Parklet proposed for Eighth, Penn avenues in Downtown Pittsburgh – Tribune

Downtown Pittsburgh may get another parklet to augment its mixture of parks, pocket parks and plazas that dot the Golden Triangle.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust intends to brief the city Planning Commission about the idea on Tuesday.

The trust wants to turn a grassy corner it owns at Eighth and Penn avenues into a parklet by paving it and installing metal benches, a water fountain, a bottle filler for water and carbonated water, and landscaping along Penn that would end at a parking garage.

The estimated $250,000 project would include a section for parking bicycles. Bike lanes are among the ideas Mayor Bill Peduto has suggested for remaking the city’s transportation network.

People seem to like the idea.

“It would be nice to have something like that. It does not look attractive now,� said Sarah Patridge of Uniontown, who was Downtown on Sunday to see the musical “Wicked� at the Benedum Center.

Ali Chain, a sophomore at Point Park University, says she’s always happy to see a park.

“I’m always for parks. There’s really nothing better than seeing a green space in the middle of a city, even if it’s small,â€� she said.

Downtown has three large parks — Point State Park, Mellon Square Park and the park built by PNC Bank opposite its operations center along First Avenue.

Other green spaces and plazas exist. PNC had a hand in making Triangle Park at Fifth and Liberty avenues, opposite its PNC Plaza 2, home of the Fairmont Hotel.

One early plaza is located at Sixth Street and Liberty Avenue, next to Heinz Hall. Another is at the EQT Tower on Liberty Avenue.

On Penn Avenue, next to the O’Reilly Theater, is Agnes R. Katz Plaza, which features sculptures.

Across Seventh Street, a small corner park contains sculptures that look like magnolia trees in bloom.

Recently, Point Park University, as part of its Academic Village, established a small plaza at Wood Street and Boulevard of the Allies.

Sam Spatter is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7843 or Staff writer Rick Wills contributed to this report.

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Draper closes in on school’s final details: San Mateo to get progress report …

San Mateo city officials are assessing the status of the entrepreneurial Draper University of Heroes project and working with its officials to complete agreed upon aesthetic property improvements required to finalize permits for the downtown campus centered in the former Benjamin Franklin Hotel.

The university needs to complete the pedestrian walkway adjacent to the Third Avenue entrance, finalize the pop-up retail spaces and make landscape enhancements among other things, said Rory Walsh, director of the Community Development Department. Once the university completes these outstanding improvements, it will be issued finalized permits and the project will be considered complete, Walsh said.

“A lot of it probably had to do with them getting things going for the school. But these items had just probably not become their top priority,” Walsh said.

Launching the unique business incubator amidst restoring three downtown properties has been an exhausting process; but the school is keeping up the momentum and excited to finalize its properties, said Draper’s Director of Development Ken Jillson.

“We’re locked and loaded. We’re really just dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. … It was an enormous project and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Jillson said.

The university is opening its doors to a fourth batch of business hungry boarding students and launching another online program today, Jillson said.

To allow the university to welcome in its first class of entrepreneurial students last year, the city issued temporary certificates of occupancy, which are typically acceptable for 90 days, according to a staff report. The permits were issued in April and August. As the year came to a close, city staff began to receive complaints about the university’s exterior so they decided to approach the council for direction. Since the matter was agendized, Draper has become responsive and cooperative, Walsh said.

“The had received temporary certificates of occupancy for a variety of their building permits, but some things were taking a little bit of time and we wanted to get some direction from [the City Council] on how to proceed. … Since we’ve agendized it, they’re working diligently,” Walsh said.

When well-known venture capitalist Tim Draper acquired the Benjamin Franklin Hotel, Collective building and a former bank building in downtown San Mateo in 2011, the city was thrilled to welcome the innovative university for young entrepreneurs into its midst, Walsh said.

“I think it’s been very positive for the community. I think it’s brought more activity to the downtown and it’s brought the young age group of folks that are going to the school. So I think it’s been absolutely positive for San Mateo,” Walsh said.

As the notable and progressive short-term boarding school chose to make San Mateo its home, the city recognized considerable community benefits and issued the temporary permits in good faith, according to the report.

Permit in hand, Draper was able to begin redeveloping the previously underutilized property to welcome a fresh batch of eager students and celebrate its grand opening in October, according to the report.

The opening went off with a bang and overall the university has done a good job preserving the Benjamin Franklin Hotel, Walsh said. But part of the holdup was its grand ideas of landscaping and installing a “living wall” turned out to not be compatible with the historic building, Jillson said. Having the opportunity tomorrow to collaborate with the city and receive guidance from the council will help the university progress through the trials, Jillson said.

The university will continue to partner with the city and work with city’s arborist to resolve any outstanding obligations. Once the gritty details have been smoothed over, Draper University of Heroes will be ready for a final walkthrough, Jillson said.

“We love San Mateo, we really do,” Jillson said. “From our standpoint, being able to build this campus and just the opportunity to build that kind of ecosphere has just been awesome.”

Tomorrow’s study session begins 5:45 p.m. at City Hall, 330 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo.

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106

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Your View: Guest Column – What are you doing for others today?


Today more than 500 High Point University students, faculty, staff, and their families are volunteering in the High Point community in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We are creating sustainable community gardens, repainting schools, building shelves for the Macedonia Family Resource Center, repainting and landscaping at West End Ministries, cleaning and serving meals at Open Door Ministries, packaging some 50,000 Stop Hunger Now meals, reading with children, hosting a sports camp at the Hartley YMCA, and much more. While every year the university community volunteers over 100,000 hours in our community, the service we perform today is special. It is special because we do it in honor of Dr. King and his legacy.
In 1994, Congress designated this federal holiday as a national day of service: “a day on, not a day off.” So instead of sitting at home, we are out building partnerships and working on sustainable solutions to our community’s challenges. Service to one’s community is essential to building up the “beloved community” about which Dr. King spoke. But service alone is not enough. Dr. King demanded not charity, but justice.
So today before we go out and serve, we are going to worship. We are going to lift up our hearts and voices to God in prayer and praise because for Dr. King — and many of us — our motivation to serve arises out of our faith in God. Though MLK Day is a secular holiday, we must never forget that Dr. King was both an activist and a preacher. His activism was rooted in faith – not a narrow, exclusive faith – but a faith that embraced people from all walks of life. And as we serve, we are going to meet people we’ve never met before.
We are going to make connections and friendships. Service is in some ways only the pre-text for building the kind of relationships on which the beloved community depends. Service is important, but Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, not merely help them out. And when our service is over, we will break bread together and reflect on what we did, what we left undone, and what more must be done.
No amount of service can heal the wounds that scar our city. No gardening or landscaping, cleaning or meal preparation will bring us all the way to the mountaintop of which Dr. King spoke. But it’s not a bad place to start. I hope you will join us today or someday soon. I hope you will take time to serve.
But do more than that. I hope you will connect your service with your faith – whatever faith that may be. And I hope that you will realize that the friendships you make while serving bring you closer to the mountaintop than even the service itself. Service alone will not bring about justice, but it can alleviate suffering and it can forge the partnerships we’ll need to climb the mountain together.

The Rev. Dr. Joe Blosser is Robert G. Culp Jr. director of service learning and an assistant professor of religion and philosophy at High Point University.


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Strolling Through the Garden

Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden 300x223 Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo“Conceived” in the 1930s, Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden was initially part of a larger property owned by Charles and Ellamae Storrier Stearns. The garden was inspired by their travels in Japan and was designed by Kinzuchi Fujii. The entire construction took seven years to complete.

In 1949, the estate was sold to Gamelia Haddad Poulsen who had come to the Storrier Stearns estate auction in the hope of purchasing two Louis XV chairs. Over the years she sold various parcels of property and by the time Poulsen died in 1985, the teahouse had burned down (under mysterious circumstances) and the garden had been neglected. In 1990, Poulsen’s grandson and his wife, Jim and Connie Haddad began to restore the garden in honor of Gamelia.

history img4 Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

Gamelia Hadda Poulsen


history img5 Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

Jim and Connie Haddad


Now the garden has been restored, is a registered historic landmark, and is available for special events, and on Sunday, January 26th, the public is welcome to their Open Day.

Kendall Brown, Professor of Asian Art History at Cal State Long Beach and Curator at Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, described the garden in his 2003 letter of Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places: 
“In its design and construction, the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden represents one of the best pre-war examples of a Japanese hill and pond style stroll garden outside of Japan. In its grand size, at almost two acres and with a 25-foot-high hill with waterfall, the garden was constructed on an unmatched scale. The design, with two large ponds, one spanned by a granite devil’s bridge more than 15 feet long, was unparalleled at the time.”

gate Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

According to the Garden’s website, Charles Storrier Stearns had an interesting, well-traveled life:

Charles was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1868. His father was a distinguished physician of some renown, with a number of published works on the treatment of the insane. His portrait hangs at Yale University. In 1917 Charles took up residence in France, with homes in both Nice and Paris. When he renewed his passport in 1922 he described himself as a retired capitalist. In 1928 he was knighted by the French government in recognition of his humanitarian work helping refugees of the Russian Revolution. A few years later, in June 1931, articles in major newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times reported that he was decorated with the Order of Legion of Honor at a ceremony conducted at the Louvre in recognition of gifts of art works to French museums.

Lesser is known about about Ellamae Goodale except that she was born in 1872 in San Francisco, was described by her nephew as “ravishingly beautiful,” lived in Hawaii during her first marriage, was married for the second time in London, had  dual passports (U.S. and France, as did Charles), and traveled extensively.

storrier stearns Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

Designer Kinzuchi Fujii was born in Japan in 1875, emigrated to America in 1903, and “although an enterprising and capable person with a background in carpentry and landscaping, he faced the barriers and discrimination that were the lot of immigrants from the Orient at that time.”

Entwined with the history of Japanese-style gardens is the social and labor history of these immigrants. A paradox of Japanese-style garden making is that it flourished in the early twentieth century at a time when Japanese immigrants were faced with racial prejudice and legal discrimination, barred from becoming citizens and, in California, owning land. Garden making became one of the few occupations open to them.

Though Fujii designed and built several small gardens in Ojai and Santa Barbara, the Storrier Stearns garden was considered his masterpiece. He wrote:  ”I am possessed of an ambition to leave a real, uncompromising Japanese garden in the United States.”

Kinzuchi Fujii Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor and America’s entry into World War II, Fujii was one of approximately 110, 000 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were interned until “Ex parte Endo unanimously declared that loyal citizens of the United States, regardless of cultural descent, could not be detained without cause.”¹

Kinzuchi considered the Storrier Stearns garden his masterpiece and carried the photographs and plans documenting the creation of the garden with him, in the single suitcase allowed by the government, into internment. Kinzuchi never saw his beloved creation again.²

slide31 Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo

Open Day at Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden
Sunday, Jan. 26th 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
270 Arlington Dr., Pasadena 91105
Cost:  $7.50, general; free, 12 years and under (click here to reserve)
For complete info, call 626.399.1721
Or visit

slide1 Strolling Through the Garden storrier stearns japanese garden storrier stearns garden storrier stearns Pasadena history local history local gardens jim and connie haddad Japanese gardens japanese garden History Buff gamelia haddad poulsen charles storrier stearns  photo



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Happy 200th birthday to a legendary hotel garden


At Endsleigh, where the garden relates so strongly to the house, Olga is in
her element: she has designed the interior and implemented various tweaks to
the exterior. The inside and out work in harmony and reinforce the
picturesque style of the architecture as designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville.

The absence of change to the gardens from the original design is emphasised by
leafing through Repton’s Red Book for Endsleigh. You can see his
watercolours of the original landscape with the overlays of his proposals
which look remarkably true to today’s views.

Repton did much work for the Duke of Bedford, especially at Woburn, and
Endsleigh (a glorified holiday cottage) was maintained, but the design was
left pretty much untouched. It stayed with the family until 1955 when it was
taken over by relatives of the late duke’s, including sons and grandsons.
They together formed the Fishing Friends and shared the property.

The garden became rather neglected, but the hurricane of 1987 brought massive
tree loss. This event, coupled with a realisation of the importance of the
landscape, galvanised the fishing club into action. Members’ wives joined
their husbands and instead of fishing, they were out weeding and restoring.

Olga Polizzi and her daughters bought Endsleigh eight years ago. The head
gardener, Simon Wood, had been working there for 14 years and is now in
day-to-day charge of the restoration. About half of the 60-acres of woodland
has become walkable and are full of stunning specimens – acers, cherries,
cedars and more – including fine champion trees. His programme includes
restoring paths and removing much of the self-sown ash and sycamore that has
taken over.

Simon’s favourite part is the Dairy Dell, a steep-sided valley of more than 40
acres, exposed bedrock and many fine trees. There is a stream running
through it. The tiny model dairy was built for Georgiana – a down-to-earth
duchess who married the sixth duke in 1803 – who liked to milk the cows. In
1910, more exotic trees were planted here, especially maples and cherries,
as a result of the Duke of Bedford funding plant expeditions to Japan.

The garden has other striking areas, such as the hexagonal Shell House and
Grotto , which was designed as a summer house for the display of geological
specimens. The rockery and grotto have a central pool and a fountain, many
beautiful pebbled paths and are connected to the dell by a serpentine flight
of stone steps. Another extraordinary feature is a small terrace constructed
from sheep’s knuckles. These are intricately laid to form hard
paving.Presumably, the duke had a thrifty side and lots of sheep. Now, using
like-for-like replacements is illegal, so Olga has to substitute special
plastic alternatives.

Elsewhere, a few minor alterations have been made to enhance the gardens for
guests. Another adjacent terrace was all grass, but to cope with garden
furniture it has been surfaced with crushed slate – Olga’s daughter Alex’s
idea, which fits in well.

Lawns have been reseeded and the 100m-long herbaceous border (perhaps the
longest uninterrupted herbaceous border in the country ) that Repton
designed has been renovated. When it was a holiday cottage for the Bedfords,
a border full of summer flowering show-offs, such as delphiniums, aconitums
and poppies, was perfect, but now other plants, such as hellebores and
euphorbias, have been added to increase the year-round appeal. Historic
watercolours of their former incarnation have been studied to retain the
original feel, though.

The children’s garden, with its rills, central fountain and geometrically
arranged beds, has been restored, and all the water features and cascades
are entirely gravity-fed. Repton loved the sight and sound of water and it
plays a large part in the landscape, embellished by fine bridges, gunnera
and riverside walks.

The creation of this landscape, two centuries ago, involved a vast team of
workmen shifting tons of earth, building the structures, digging borders and
planting trees under the watchful direction of an experienced master. If
Repton dropped in today I think he would be immensely pleased with himself
and relieved that Endsleigh was in the custodianship of a team that shared
his passion.

Four special weekends are being held at Endsleigh to celebrate Repton’s
work: March 21-23; March 28-30; April 4-6, and April 11-13. (

Read more: Hotel Endsleigh provides inspiration to
create a large garden in a small space

Read more: What to do in the garden this week:
protect your bulbs

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Design with beauty and build with truth

The aesthetics of imperfection within a Japanese healing garden simply means that nothing is perfect, especially in nature. It is in identifying that which is imperfect, where the perfect characteristic is found. In a moss covered lantern, by the edge of a pond where stones rest as if nature gently tossed them along the water’s edge. Design with beauty and build with truth is the essence of a Japanese garden.  This approach to garden design, especially Healing and Memorial Gardens respects the imperfection of nature. Leaves fall, moss grows on stones and water takes on a path of its very own.


We honor this. As a Japanese garden designer, it is a responsibility to respect nature and create plans and designs that embody the aesthetics of this imperfection that we so admire.Working with Shakei, also called borrowed view… one of the first elements of interest that reflects the imperfection of nature. True nature is asymmetrical, not symmetrical. It is imperfect. It is a crooked branch, it is in a hidden path, it is our life and a moment that can only be experienced because we connect within a Japanese garden. We can identify with this perfect imperfection.

With this understanding of imperfection we begin to see the unity within all of nature and the connection we have with it.  Japanese Healing Gardens are designed to create new memories, as well as bring back fond memories from the past. The garden touches all senses, and with those recovering from a loss, or honoring someone they love, they can simply sit and enjoy the Koi swimming in the water and the surrounding gardens. It is their now. Life continues forward in every Koi that swims across the water and every bud that blooms. A healing garden has not only a profound affect on individuals healing, but inspires and enlighten those searching for a connection to that which exists far beyond the ordinary. It is an extraordinary experience and a privilege to be amongst those that have traveled to this place of discovery within a healing garden.  It is a personal sanctuary and one that tells a unique story with each and every pebble that is placed.

Love and Light…


Photo copyright 2013 by  MaryEllen Malinowski, Zen Living by design | Infrared Light Int’l   Zen Living by design Magazine | Spring 2014


Filed under:
Healing, Inspiration, Nature, Uncategorized, zen design

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