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Archives for September 28, 2014

Joshua David Luiz Whitchurch, 36

On Sept. 23, 2014, Joshua left this world to be with God and family.

Josh was born on Feb. 22, 1978, in Gridley, Calif., to John and Teresa Whitchurch. He grew up in Gridley until eighth grade. Then his family moved to Chico, Calif. Josh graduated from Pleasant Valley High School. After high school Josh worked in landscaping until he moved to Deer Lodge in 2009 and went to work at Sun Mountain Lumber. Shortly after moving here, Josh fell in love with Karol Briceno. On Aug. 3, 2013, they were married. Joshua loved his family and friends. His family and friends loved him so much. His second love was making many things out of wood. Joshua will be missed; his laugh and stories were so wonderful.

Josh is survived by his wife, Karol, and four-legged son Blue; parents, John and Teresa Whitchurch; brothers, Christopher Whitchurch of Wyoming and Spencer and Amber Whitchurch of Montana; grandparents, Tony and Joan Luiz of Gridley, Calif; also many aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded by death his brother, Shaun; grandparents, John and Wilma Whitchurch; and great-grandparents Joe and Fernanda Cardoza Luiz

Services well be at 11 a.m. Wednesday Oct. 1, 2014, at 115 Riverfront Lane in Garrison (Bernie Schillo) with pot luck to follow.

In lieu of flowers we are asking for donations to help with cost. Donations can be made at People’s Bank on Main Street in Deer Lodge under Whitchurch Memorial Fund.

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Innovators challenged over Arizona water scarcity

Water scarcity is one of Arizona’s most serious, ever-present problems.

Which is why students, researchers, professionals and creative thinkers are ­being challenged to raise awareness for an issue that the experts believe needs to be addressed now.

A $100,000 prize awaits the group that comes up with the most innovative ­campaign to push water scarcity into the forefront of public ­conversation.

The Water Consciousness Challenge is the first phase of the New Arizona Prize offered by the Arizona Community Foundation in collaboration with The Arizona Republic and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy. Underwriting for the program comes from the Tashman Fund and the Lodestar Foundation.

The next phase of the competition will challenge entrepreneurs to create business-based solutions and products to reduce water use.

“The Valley has enjoyed water affluence for a long time because we had really great planning,” said Megan Brownell, chief business development and brand officer at the Arizona Community Foundation, a Phoenix-based philanthropic organization. “It’s now time to act so there won’t be a conflict in 20 to 30 years.”

$100,000 prize on water shortage

The competition wants to create a public-service campaign that raises awareness about the challenges facing Arizona’s long-term water supply so residents will feel an urgency to start working on them now.

If Arizonans don’t change how they consume water and start brainstorming new solutions for dwindling supplies, shortages won’t be a choice, they will be an unavoidable reality. Planning for the future of water now will help ensure there is enough water for future generations, Brownell said.

The message isn’t new; it has been taught with puppets, posters, television spots, brochures and landscape-design classes for years.

But experts, researchers and industry workers agree that as long as taps gush clear,drinkable water, it’s hard to keep water scarcity part of public conversation.

“One challenge is getting people to take ownership of their decisions and how they contribute to the demand side of the equation,” said Dave White, co-director of Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City, which studies water use and sustainability.

Arizona won’t run out of water this yearor next.But dropping reservoir levels, continuing drought in the Southwest and the depletion of non-renewable groundwater will require the state to change how it ensures a supply of waterfor the future.

Residents recognize drought as a contributor to water scarcity but are less willing to acknowledge their own use as a significant influence, according to an ASU study in 2009.

In part, that’s because municipal water users have been able to count on a reliable water supply for more than 100 years.

“In some ways, as you might hear, we are a victim of our own success,” said White, one of the study’s authors. “Our water-resource management and institutions that govern our water have provided a very robust and generally resilient system.”

The water Arizonans use flows from rivers like the Salt and Verde, is channeled from the Colorado River through the Central Arizona Project and is pumped from aquifers. Surface water sources like the streams are labeled renewable because rain falls and snow melts, refilling the rivers and reservoirs.

But Arizona has measured lower-than-average rainfall for the majority of the last 15 years; critical reservoirs such as Lake Mead are at record lows.

Lake Mead is only 39 percent full, and its water level is the lowest since 1937, when the lake was still filling after Hoover Dam’s completion. If levels continue to drop, it would trigger reductions in how much water Arizona receives from the reservoir.

The state’s other main source of water, which fills nearly 40 percent of demand, is pulled from underground aquifers. Once extracted, it can’t be recharged easily.

AZ drought awareness

“It’s not a big bathtub under thecentral Arizona region,” ASU’s White said. “Not every area of the Valley has equal access to groundwater resources.”

Researchers have found that climate change is likely to have implications for future drought. As the Southwest becomes more arid, there is a higher risk for severe drought, researchers found.

A recent study of Southwest climate models by Cornell University, the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Arizona found the risk for mega-drought — one that lasts multiple decades — in the Southwest is 80 percent in the next century, greater than previously expected.

“It doesn’t happen or unfold as quickly as a tornado or a hurricane, but it’s a source of risk and hazard that is out there,” said Toby Ault, one of the study’s authors and an assistant professor in Cornell’s department of earth and atmospheric sciences.

Long-range strategies have ensured that a future water shortage in Arizona will be delayed, even in a prolonged drought, by saving water below ground.

In all, there’s nearly 4 million acre-feet of water banked underground throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. That’s enough to sustain most of the Valley’s water needs for four years if no other water supply were available, but it’s unlikely the situation would ever beso dire, said Christa McJunkin, a Salt River Project water-strategy analyst.

“It’s all stored, waiting for that not-so-rainy day,” McJunkin said.

One-acre foot is 325,851 gallons of water, about enough to flood a football field without end zones to a depth of one foot.McJunkin estimates it would serve two to threeArizona families a year.

The Salt River bed’s expanse of dry sand and scrubby plants obscures the second-largest artificially recharged aquifer in Arizona.

About 700,000 acre-feet of water is stored in the SRP’s Granite Reef Underground Storage Project. Water from the Central Arizona Project, the Salt and Verde rivers and a Mesa wastewater-treatment facility is channeled to basins in the riverbed. From there, water soaks into the ground and replenishes the aquifer.

“The best way to think of it is if you had a cup of sand and poured water into it,” McJunkin said. “The water fills up the pore space in between.”

Other agencies, such as the Arizona Water Banking Authority, also buy and bank water for future use.

The groundwater reserves are similar to the state’s rainy-day monetary fund, but once those aquifers are depleted, it takes years to replenish them.

Arizona can’t depend on groundwater forever, White said.

“The solutions of the last 100 years are not the solutions of the next 100 years.”

Even those who have built their career studying water, like Arizona Municipal Water Users Association Executive Director Kathleen Ferris, understand how people tire of hearing about a distant water crisis.

“In water, you don’t plan for the future by saying, ‘OK we’ve got to do this tomorrow,’ ” Ferris said. “You plan for the future by saying, ‘OK, in 20 years, you’ve got to have done x, y and z’. … It’s hard to keep people’s interest in that period of time.”

Possible solutions to meeting Arizona’s future water needs include:

• Desalination of sea water, which requires large financial investment and collaboration between government agencies and possibly Mexico.

• Rebates for water-efficient systems. Tucson offers up to $1,000 for households that install gray-water recycling systems to reuse water from sinks, showers and washing machinesfor irrigation.

• Increasing the use of recycled or reclaimed water. Arizona already uses this water to irrigate landscaping and recharge aquifers, but not as drinking water.

• Cloud seeding. The Central Arizona Project has spent nearly $800,000 to blast silver iodide into clouds to try to increase snowfall in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, where the snowpack feeds the Colorado River.

Studies suggest part of the problem is that environmental issues don’t inspire emotional reactions like fear and worry, which tend to spur people to change their actions. Marketing executive Park Howell hasfound this to be true as a general rule.

“You have to make it personal,” Howell said. “You have to make it immediate to get urgency to change behavior. What about water is personal and immediate?”

His agency, ParkCo, helped create the campaign “Water — Use it Wisely,” which has been spreading water awareness since 1999. One of the most identifiable facets of the campaign is its suggestions of “water-saving devices.” Like a push broom — instead of a water-costly hose — for cleaning a driveway.

What started as a campaign in a few Arizona municipalities spread to more than 400 groups, Howell said. The message has appeared on everything from home-improvement products to airport signs and water bills. Still, water conservation is not a silver-bullet solution. Alone, it will not guarantee a secure water future for Arizona.

“It’s really important not to get too fixated, I think, on (the idea) one sector’s water use can solve our imbalances,” Ferris said. “Conservation is just a small part of the overall strategy.”

Arizona doesn’t have long to secure water for the next generation. The New Arizona Prize seeks to reward those with the best ideas to educate Arizonans about the challenges.

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Author Cheryl Najafi highlights Colorado Springs Fall Home Show weekend lineup

Knowing that many of those special comfort foods have “been parked” by modern cooks who are foregoing the butter, cream and sugar, Najafi added her own fresh alternatives and modern techniques in the cookbook “Mother Daughter Dishes.”

These are the adapted family favorites she will pass along to her daughters and the techniques she’ll share during this weekend’s Fall Home Show at the Colorado Springs Event Center. The woman behind, an everyday-
lifestyle media company, will give three cooking demonstrations Saturday and two Sunday.

In a telephone interview, Najafi said she hopes those attending the demonstrations “will walk away with very simple tricks to make everyday food special. The goal is to not add anything to your busy schedule. It’s dependable recipes to make you look like a rock star at the end of the day.”

The Missouri native said that because families have such busy lives, she looks for quick, healthy fixes. When a recipe calls for a can of tomato paste, she opts for fresh salsa. For her mother’s savory, mouth-watering au gratin potatoes, she replaces the traditional Velveeta with fresh cheese such as sharp cheddar and adds a dollop of sour cream.

Najafi’s three teenagers serve as at-home food tasters and “prize bowl lickers.” Sometimes, that backfires a bit.

“When I’m developing recipes, I might get into a groove and do it three nights in a row until I get them perfected,” she said. That’s when she hears, “Mommy, I like your food but not three nights in a row!”

“My outlook on life,” Najafi said, “is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s all about good food.”

However, she’s a big fan of the “attagirl” when the family appreciates her food. After all, Najafi said, “no one gives pats on the back for folding the laundry perfectly, but food’s a different story.”


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How the drought has changed water use in Southern California

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Home for sale: Vacaville property includes palatial home … and former anti …

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Sun shines on MoPride rainbows at Modesto’s Graceada Park

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Gardening seminars planned at SSCC

For the past several years the OSUE Brown County Master Gardener Volunteers have partnered with Southern State Community College to present a series of gardening seminars. These seminars are free and open to the public and are usually held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. We are excited to announce that we will be holding the seminars at the new SSCC facility in Mt. Orab.

Each season as we put our gardens to bed for a nice winter’s rest, we can take the opportunity to stretch our knowledge about gardening techniques, landscaping, waging the war on weeds, and other horticulture subjects. The schedule for 2014-15 includes: Oct. 16 – Steve Boehme (GoodSeed Nursery) – Low Maintenance Landscaping, Nov. 13 – Dr. Mike McHenry/Gary Keuffer – Beekeeping and Gardening for Pollinators, Jan. 15 – Eugene Braig – Ponds, Feb. 19 – Susan Barber – Starting Seeds, March 19 – Faye Mahaffey – Invasives in the landscape, April 16 – Julie Kline – Going Organic, May 21 – Danielle Thompson – Pests in the Garden. Mark your calendar and join us for these informative gardening seminars. I always look forward to meeting new friends who love to dig in the dirt.

Have you noticed many Monarch butterflies in your flower beds? They are getting ready for that long flight to Mexico. What an amazing feat. My milkweed plants have literally been stripped of all their leaves.

I have started cleaning up the garden. The beans are finished, but the tomatoes are hanging in there. It will be a sad day at our house when I pick the last tomato.

The weeds are working hard to get established before winter comes. After the fair I hope to strike back with a vengeance. I know the labor I put in this fall will pay off in the spring.

Are you going to plant bulbs this fall? I hope to increase the daffodil population this year, but first I need to remember where they are all planted now. Time to get out the garden journal.

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Gardening Tips: Lots to do at Harvest Days Oct. 3-4

Matthew Stevens

Matthew Stevens

Posted: Friday, September 26, 2014 11:22 am

Gardening Tips: Lots to do at Harvest Days Oct. 3-4

By Matthew Stevens

The Daily Herald, Roanoke Rapids, NC


On Oct. 3-4, the 23rd annual Halifax County Harvest Days will be held at the 4-H Rural Life Center in Halifax. This event, highlighting our area’s agricultural heritage, is sponsored by Halifax County Cooperative Extension and numerous other local groups and organizations. On Oct. 3, school children will attend and have an opportunity to learn about the importance of agriculture. On Oct. 4, the event will be open to the public for a day of family fun. This year there will be many exciting events, exhibits and demonstrations.

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Friday, September 26, 2014 11:22 am.

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Gardening tips for moles and suckers

Can anything be done to stop suckers from growing up around the base of my prune tree? I have cut them off, put landscape paper around the base of the tree and even sprayed some weatherproofing tar on them, but they keep coming back. The roots under the lawn are also sending up shoots.
Jean Lloyd, by email
The only cure for most suckers is pulling them off when they are very young and tiny. It has to be pulling (not cutting) because that’s the only way you can remove the growth shoot that gives rise to the suckers.
Pruning too much tends to cause excess suckering. But even a little pruning can stimulate suckers on some trees. Prune plums are especially notorious for this.
I wonder if your tree is grafted or on its own roots? This is very significant because if it’s on its own roots, each one of those suckers, if severed with a piece of the root attached and replanted, would in time give you an identical tree. Think of your own root suckers as clones. Then you could make a fresh start with the only expenditure being time.
Often grafted trees tend to sucker more because the rootstock is an especially vigorous species chosen to get the top-growth tree off to a good, fast start.
If you have a grafted tree, any planted sucker would produce something fast-growing but inferior quality. In this case, the only cure for suckers is discarding the tree you have, digging all its suckers and planting a new tree.
More suckers would reappear for a while but then vanish when the energy of the remaining mother-tree roots is used up.
I had a similar problem with a grafted contorted hazel. Finally I layered and three years later had a new little tree which I planted.
I felt so guilty hauling the original off to the transfer station, but the suckers on the new tree stay close in to the trunk – and every one is contorted.
For the original pulling of tiny suckers, you really need to use pliers or some other grasping tool. It is very hard work and needs strong hands.

What is the most effective way to deter moles?
Raquel Barria, Coquitlam
Deterring moles is difficult and frequently disappointing work. It’s probably little comfort to reflect that moles always pick gardens with rich, nutritious soil. In fact molehills make excellent, sometimes weed-free, potting soil.
First of all, none of the home methods for mole removal (flooding, weird noises, putting noxious plants in tunnels) are reliable. Most don’t work at all. Floods drain away and it’s no problem for a mole to simply tunnel around repellents.
There are people who specialize in mole-catching. The Fraser Valley has a number of them listed on the Internet. They usually use traps. But once moles are eradicated, the next challenge is keeping new moles away.
That’s because once a good set of mole tunnels goes vacant, they become very attractive to other moles.
So after a pause (usually a few months, sometimes longer) more moles arrive.
When gardens are on small lots, the moles may be afflicting your neighbours too and can seek refuge there before returning to you.
Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via It helps if you give the name of your city or region.

© Burnaby Now

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With the new trend for vertical planting, whole buildings are going green …

Aiming high 

If you have limited space, vertical gardening is a good way to make the best use of it. Grow climbers on trellis structures, train “pillar roses” to spiral round posts in the back of a border, or create a patchwork of vines over your pergola. 

Plant borders in tiers and plant bulbs under low ground cover plants and under shrubs and trees, with climbers growing up through their branches. This packs in maximum colour, besides doubling or trebling your usable gardening space. 

Plant your walls, too. Use fan-trained, espalier or cordon fruit trees to cover them, or grow wall shrubs (wall space is especially valuable for semi-tender shrubs that may not survive out in the open, since walls store warmth).  

Also plan showy vertical features. Plant a dry-stone wall with rosette-shaped alpines growing on their sides in the gaps between stones, as they would grow naturally in the wild. Alternatively, source the sort of hi-tech containers that interlock to form a honeycomb-style wall for your patio, or simply pack soil between a stack of logs to make a natural garden divider packed with plants. Create a trellis structure and grow climbers over it – a fast way to screen off unsightly views.

Planting tips

Plant climbers up through trees. Dig a large planting hole some distance from the trunk, at the “drip line” round the edge of the leaf-canopy. Plant your climber there, and lead the stems up into the tree via ropes or a sloping pole, so the tree roots won’t compete with the new plant for food and water. 

You can also plant climbers or wall-trained trees and shrubs against walls. Dig out existing soil along the base of the wall, then replace it with good topsoil mixed with well-rotted compost. Put in an irrigation system if you want to grow fruit or exotic plants against a south-facing wall (this will combat dryness caused by the foundations soaking up moisture and the “rain shadow” of the wall).

In confined spaces, use half baskets fixed to bare walls in narrow alleyways or on outbuildings, to create planting pockets in wasted spaces. 

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Garden tip for Sept. 27, 2014

Click photo to enlarge

Be careful what you put in your compost

Composting is good for the garden and good for the environment. Here are some tips for what not to put in your compost.

Compost no-nos: Do not add dirt or soil; ashes from a stove, fireplace, or barbecue; animal products: meat, bones, grease or fat; dairy products, (e.g., milk or cheese); sawdust from plywood/treated wood diseased plants; weeds, (e.g., Bermuda grass, ivy, oxalis bulbs, bur clover.) Adding manure to compost piles from any animal should be avoided because there is a risk of bacterial contamination that may be harmful to humans. Commercial composting operations can control pathogens with large volumes at high heat. Backyard piles may not, because they are smaller and may not maintain sufficient heat.

For other questions, call UC Marin Master Gardeners at 473-4204.

— Katie Martin, UC Marin Master Gardener

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