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Archives for December 5, 2014

Gardening column: Here are some tips to care for poinsettias This column is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of The News-Sentinel.

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8 top water saving tips for your garden

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Garden Tips: What is in the pesticide bottle?

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Wish List: Jericho Road Ministries seeks volunteers, items for Christmas distribution

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Safdie Architects Design Glass “Air Hub” for Singapore Changi Airport

© Safdie Architects

Today, Safdie Architects revealed plans for an all-glass, spherical “air hub” that will be built at the center of the ’s Changi , the world’s sixth busiest . The “jeweled” biodome was presented as a “new paradigm” for international airports that will boost ’s stopover appeal and become a “lifestyle destination” for both travelers and local residents.

Learn more about the design and a word from Moshe Safdie, after the break. 

“This project redefines and reinvents what airports are all about,” said architect Moshe Safdie. “Our goal was to bring together the duality of a vibrant marketplace and a great urban park side-by-side in a singular and immersive experience. The component of the traditional mall is combined with the experience of nature, culture, education, and recreation, aiming to provide an uplifting experience. By drawing both visitors and local residents alike, we aim to create a place where the people of Singapore interact with the people of the world.”

Section through retail and Forest Valley. Image © Safdie Architects
Forest Valley. Image © Safdie Architects

Named the “Jewel Changi Airport,” or “Jewel,” the glass dome will include 1.4 million square feet of retail, hotel, restaurant and entertainment space, all connected by multi-level gardens and lush walking trails known as the “Forest Valley.” The centerpiece, “Rain Vortex” will be a 40-meter-tall waterfall fed by recycled rainwater that cascades from the dome’s oculus.

Support for the dome will be provided by tree-like structural columns that ring the inside edge of the “Canopy Park” roof garden, designed in conjunction with PWP Landscape Architecture, and gathering space at the dome’s upper level.

© Safdie Architects

Construction is expected to begin by the end of 2014, and completion is scheduled for the end of 2018. The Jewel hopes to become a landmark for Singapore, much like Safdie’s nearby Marina Bay Sands Resort.

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport  Safdie Architects

© Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport  Safdie Architects

© Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport Forest Valley. Image  Safdie Architects

Forest Valley. Image © Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport Forest Valley. Image  Safdie Architects

Forest Valley. Image © Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport Jewel Gardens. Image  Safdie Architects

Jewel Gardens. Image © Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport Canopy Park plan. Image  Safdie Architects

Canopy Park plan. Image © Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects Design Glass Air Hub for Singapore Changi Airport Section through retail and Forest Valley. Image  Safdie Architects

Section through retail and Forest Valley. Image © Safdie Architects

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Best new gardening books of 2014: George Weigel

Whether there’s a gardener on your holiday gift list or you’re looking to bone up on your own dirty knowledge, 2014 produced a variety of interesting new garden books.

Following are five favorite titles I encountered, plus another five well worth checking out:

The Living Landscape 

By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy

(Timber Press, $39.95 hardcover)

What it’s about: Native-plant advocates can make gardeners feel guilty for planting an “exotic” rose or daylily. “Yardeners” often say they don’t want any “wildflowers” because they’ll make the yard messy.

This book brings peace to the two extremes, pointing out the practical benefits of native plants (to humans and wildlife) while granting permission for non-natives to be part of an ecologically sound yard.

Darke is former curator of plants at Longwood Gardens and author of eight previous books. Tallamy is chair of the University of Delaware’s entomology and wildlife ecology department and author of 2007’s “Bringing Nature Home,” often considered the native plant bible.

The two team up to show how native plants can be worked into any yard – yes, even alongside a Japanese hydrangea – to create a habitat/garden that’s as pleasing to a pollinator as it is to a suburbanite.

A good choice for: Neatnik gardeners who pooh-pooh native plants, native-plant fanatics who condemn rose-growers, and really anyone who’s concerned about the plight of bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

NIV God’s Word for Gardeners Bible

By Shelley Cramm

(Zondervan, $34.95 hardcover)

View full size“God’s Word for Gardeners” is a new book that will especially appeal to Christian gardeners. 

What it’s about: This is a full New International Version of the Bible with devotionals and essays planted throughout that offer insights that gardeners will readily understand.

Written incredibly insightfully by a Texas housewife, the essays relate Bible teachings to the garden (i.e. “God prepares leaders like a gardener prepares the soil”). But the writings also add life, perspective and growing factoids to Bible verses (i.e. the tree Zaccheus climbed was likely a sycamore fig, not the sycamore we know).

The Bible/gardener connection is a natural one. After all, Cramm points out, one of the first things God did on Earth was design a garden, while Jesus often talked about mustard seeds, pruning grapevines and the like.

A good choice for: Christian gardeners or Bible students looking for down-to-Earth ways to understand the verses.

The Urban Gardener

By Matt James

(Mitchell Beazley/Royal Horticultural Society, $24.99 hardcover)

View full size“The Urban Gardener” was written by a former British gardening TV host who specializes in designing small-space gardens. 

What it’s about: You might recognize Matt James as the host of the British “City Gardener” TV series that once ran on HGTV (back when the network actually had gardening shows).

This book is a sort of hand-held version of the show – filled with creative ideas, examples, tips and instructive photos, whether it’s adding a focal point to a city patio or building a rooftop meadow.

Even if you’re not locked into a postage-stamp lot, you’ll no doubt find design inspiration (and maybe even a direct full-scale “borrow”) in these pages.

A good choice for: Small-space gardeners or anyone looking for ideas on how to creatively plant garden rooms.

Five-Plant Gardens

By Nancy J. Ondra

(Storey Publishing, $18.95 paperback)

What it’s about: This takes the guesswork out of trying to mix and match the right plants so everything looks good together – and survives.

View full size“Five-Plant Gardens” was written by a Bucks County author and former grower. 

Bucks County author and former grower Nancy Ondra came up with 52 detailed garden plans, each using only five perennials and/or grasses.

Each entry includes photos of the five plants, names specific varieties to buy (including alternates), shows how to arrange them, and gives a season-by-season rundown on how the garden will perform.

My favorite part is the “Digging Deeper” boxes in each design that help you think along with the why’s and how’s behind the projects.

A good choice for: Any beginning gardener but also homeowners who’d like to add some flower color but are pretty sure they’ll mess it up without help.

Coffee for Roses

By C.L. Fornari

(St. Lynn’s Press, $17.95 hardcover)

What it’s about: Gardening is loaded with all sorts of myths and half-truths – line the bottom of pots with rocks, paint tree wounds with tar, peony flowers need ants to open, and the inspiration for this book’s title, roses benefit from coffee grounds.

Massachusetts garden writer C.L. Fornari sets the record straight on 71 tales. You’ll no doubt be surprised about how many things you think are true that really aren’t.

The biggest benefit is that you’ll likely end up saving money on products that don’t do much of anything.

A good choice for: Any gardener who leans toward research-based advice and especially those who get most of their gardening tips from neighbors, online forums or Jerry Baker books.

Five more worthy new 2014 titles to consider:

Landscaping Ideas That Work” by Julie Moir Messervy (Taunton, $21.95 paperback). A book of photos and examples of eye-grabbing garden designs and plant combinations, but more importantly, accompanied by discussions of exactly what makes them outstanding.

Attack of the Killer Asparagus” by Mike Nowak (Around the Block Press, $15 paperback). Need a laugh? You’ll get a ton of them in this fun read from a Chicago radio host who writes a garden-humor column (i.e. “Mike’s 29-Step Lawn-Care Program”) for Chicagoland Gardening magazine.

View full size“The 20-30 Something Garden Guide” is aimed at budding gardeners. 

 “The Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening” by Amy Ziffer (University Press of New England, $27.95 paperback). A rundown on some of the best cool-climate plants for the shade along with how to design, plant and care for them.

The 20-30 Something Garden Guide” by Dee Nash (St. Lynn’s Press, $17.95 hardcover). A look at what’s attracting younger folks to gardening along with basic, hands-on tips to get these fledglings off to a successful start.

 “The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden” by Roy Diblik (Timber Press, $24.95 paperback). The nuts and bolts of success with perennial flowers along with 62 sample garden designs and 74 high-performing, low-care perennial plants.

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Decked out for the holidays – Loomis Basin Education Foundation Holiday Home …

When Jonelle and Richard Tannahill moved into their Loomis residence, it marked a new beginning in more ways than one. They were also celebrating their wedding day.
“It was the classic story of architect meets decorator, falls in love and builds dream home,” Jonelle Tannahill said.
Their “Villa Fortuna” is one of the five sites featured on this year’s Loomis Basin Education Foundation Holiday Home Tour Saturday, Dec. 13.
It took the couple about two years to find the perfect property
“We love Loomis because it has that rural charm and wide open space, and is close to our work,” she said. “It’s close to Roseville but it feels like you’re out in the country.”
The 4,000-square-foot home has Italian influences, with tall arches and 15-foot ceilings in the living room.
“We wanted something just a bit different, so we went for a taller look,” Tannahill said. “We really tried to have it blend into the environment. The color of the building blends in. There are wooden shutters. The landscaping is very natural — all drought-tolerant plants. We have just a postage stamp of grass for the grandkids to do Easter egg hunts.”
The home also makes the most of the views, with a 1,000-square-foot veranda that looks out onto a pond and wildlife.
The entry is a huge bronze door.
“We got married in front of that entry,” Tannahill said.
Once inside, the first thing that will catch visitors’ eyes on the tour is a 14-foot-tall Christmas tree.
“It’s very California eclectic,” Tannahill said. “You’ll certainly find something on the tree you’ll love. There’s everything from glass-blown ornaments to family-made ornaments.”
The tree is decorated in   bronze and orange with some other color touches.
The large living room is where the family — the Tannahills, their children and grandchildren — gather to celebrate Christmas and other special times.
“It’s also where the grandkids leave cookies for Santa on the fireplace mantel,” she said.
In the dining room, the table will be set.
“I collect dishes. I love to entertain,” she said. “The day after the tour, we’re having people over and we’ll be eating at those tables. …Every holiday we celebrate and have people and enjoy the house. We built it so we can enjoy it in the spirit of hospitality.”
Tannahill’s “international” tree is located in the family room.
“It’s the most unusual tree we have,” she said. “It’s 7 or 8 feet (tall). It has dolls from around the world that have been gathered through travels. I used to travel internationally all the time through my old job in travel and tourism. On our travels, my mom and I and my kids would bring back small dolls clad in their traditional clothing.”
Tannahill wires the dolls on to the tree. Then she adds other ornaments and international flags. Decorating the tree with the dolls each year brings back fond memories.
“I remember when I was in Israel or Mexico when I picked up that particular doll,” she said. “I even have dolls that were my grandmother’s that she picked up in her travels, too. Those are probably more than 50 years old.”
There are five more trees throughout the house, each one with its own  theme.
“I don’t like to repeat them,” she said. “Each year I think of ideas of what I’ll do with the trees. Because of the special tour this year, I’m not holding back. I’m getting everything out.”
One of the special things about the house is the view provided by eight sets of French doors that look out onto wildland.
“(They look out to) what we find is the most beautiful thing about our house — the nature. It’s the beauty of the wildlife around us,” Tannahill said. “We see everything — there are typical owls, deer and turkeys. We have a raccoon family that frequents us often. We hear the coyotes and have seen them. We saw a mountain lion with a small cub (a few years ago). We see her prints every winter because she must drink at the pond. … We see red-tailed hawks, possums and squirrels.  A lot of times the grandkids and I will sit on the back porch and try to count the wildlife we see.”
While Jonelle, who owns Impressions Redesign, has focused her decorating skills on the inside of the house, Richard Tannahill, who is an architect of hospitals, enjoys working in the yard.
“He has planted fruit trees and 40 grape vines in a small vineyard,” Jonelle Tannahill said. “It’s almost four acres of land. It is a lot of take care of, even though it is rural.”
During the eight years the Tannahills have lived in the home, they have immersed themselves in the community. Opening their doors to the tour gave them an opportunity to help local schools.
“We want to be part of the fabric of the community we love,” Tannahill said. “We support the football games, recycling events and (other activities). … Money (raised from the holiday home tour) goes to visual arts, performing arts, technology and all the things that make a well-rounded person.”
The event benefits the Loomis Basin Education Foundation and the seven elementary schools in the Loomis Union School District.
The other stops on the tour are French Country Charmer — a 3,000-square-foot custom home on 2.5 acres; Christmas at the Castle, a Gaudi-style Spanish castle with a 50-foot vaulted ceiling in the entry; St. Francis Woods Manse, an expansive traditional-style home in gated St. Francis Woods; and Vintage Americana, three  vintage trailers that have been refurbished in a rustic barn, tour spokeswoman Joyia Emard said.
“We also will have free Casque Wines tasting for tour attendees at one of our homes,” she said.
For Tannahill, her home is a place to celebrate family.
“It’s the house everyone comes home to,” she said.

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Nancy Britz: 1930-2014; Pianist known for duos with mother, work with day lilies



Nancy Gould Britz, who performed as a duo pianist with her mother — an acclaimed local piano teacher and composer — and who taught calculus at the University of Toledo, died Monday in her Cape Elizabeth, Maine, home. She was 83.

She was a resident of Maine, where her son, David, lives, for nearly a decade. She’d been in declining health since breaking a hip 15 months ago, her daughter Jenifer Duryea said.

Ms. Britz taught herself to hybridize day lilies and in recent decades, as a resident of New York and Massachusetts, produced thousands of hybrids, some as gifts for family and friends.

“She never did anything half measures,” said daughter Jenifer, whose namesake day lily “is definitely a pink one. … She built a greenhouse and immersed herself completely. It was amazing some of the colors she was able to develop.”

Ms. Britz also became adept at landscaping and wrote an article on dwarf conifers for Fine Gardening magazine.

She was born Dec. 7, 1930, in Toledo to Elizabeth Davies Gould and George Gould, a prominent Toledo lawyer, and grew up on Putnam Street. She learned to play the piano from her mother, and by her late teens, she and her mother performed publicly as duo pianists.

Ms. Britz was a graduate of Maumee Valley Country Day School and attended Smith College. She later received a degree in mathematics from UT where she taught in the 1960s and early 1970s. She brought fairness and a logic to her teaching, said a UT student of hers — daughter Jenifer — and she “had an understanding of how to get the ideas across.”

She also played host to social gatherings after Toledo Symphony rehearsals in honor of that week’s guest artist, her daughter said.

She later taught at the Milton Academy in Massachusetts and the Chapin School in Manhattan. She was a world traveler and a champion of Democratic candidates and progressive causes.

“She was very independent and not shy about speaking her mind and not particularly wrapped up in conventional expectations,” her daughter Jenifer said.

She was formerly married to the late Edwin Duryea, the late John Turin, and Harland Britz and formerly was the companion of concert pianist Andre Watts.

Surviving are her daughters, Jenifer and Beth Duryea; son, David Turin; sister, Elizabeth Herrera; four grandchildren, and four stepgrandchildren.

Services are pending. Arrangements are by Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland, Maine.

The family suggests tributes to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: or 419-724-6182.

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Kid-ding around: Jonesborough residents debate degree of children’s …

Max Hrenda

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December 4th, 2014 9:49 pm by Max Hrenda

CDAC lead designer Jen Jessup, left, standing, asks a focus group for their input on a design for a park that will be built behind the new Jonesborough Senior Center at 307 E. Main St. (Max Hrenda/Johnson City Press)

After the community was invited to offer their input toward the construction of a new public park inside the town of Jonesborough, the discussion turned to who should — and should not — be encouraged to use it.

On Thursday night during a community brainstorming session held at the Jonesborough Visitors Center, community members expressed mixed feelings on whether or not to encourage children to use the park, and whether or not it should be oriented toward senior citizens.

The meeting was conducted as part of the joint venture between town government and Virginia Tech University’s Community Design Assistance Center, which creates and customizes designs for landscaping projects for communities and organizations. During a meeting of the town’s board of mayor and aldermen on Nov. 10, Town Administrator Bob Browning said CDAC had provided more than $18,000 worth of grants to pay for the project, while the town was responsible for more than $12,000 in matching funds, which included labor and implementation costs.

The proposed park would be built in the area behind the town’s new senior center, located at 307 E. Main St., in the area that is occupied by the town garage. According to Browning, who opened Thursday’s meeting, although the town is in the process of acquiring property on which to house the garage, it hoped to leave more than an empty space.

“We also want to plan for what happens when we leave that space,” Browning said. “We feel like we owe it to the neighborhood and to the new senior center to develop a really nice park area, or something that would be an asset to that community out there. This is an opportunity for people to give us their ideas.”

Around 20 people attended Thursday night’s meeting and, after an introduction from CDAC staff, the assemblage split into two smaller groups to engage in a brainstorming session. Before those groups were formed, however, some at the meeting expressed concern over whether or not the park would be geared toward senior citizens.

“The way I read the paper, and the way I’ve been led to understand it, this wouldn’t be for children; it would be seniors only,” said Stacy Rash.

CDAC lead designer Jen Jessup addressed Rash’s concern during the presentation, saying the purpose of Thursday’s meeting was to hear multiple points-of-view.

“It can be geared toward seniors,” Jessup said. “If this is a concern, this is a concern we’d like to hear today. We want to leave it open for everything, and then we can reel ourselves in … based on your feedback.”

Once the smaller focus groups had formed, however, the discussion over the level of children’s involvement in the park continued. The group facilitated by Jessup appeared to be more open to including children in the park’s plan by offering suggestions such as hands-on gardening with children or focusing on grandparents spending time with grandchildren. Members of the second group, which was moderated by CDAC Director Elizabeth Gilboy, expressed more vocal opposition to the inclusion of children in the park’s plans.

“Our group was more oriented toward it being a senior park,” Gilboy said.

The discussion was strong enough that, at one point during the brainstorming session, one member of the Gilboy’s group collected their belongings and left. Although there were several strong feelings and opinions expressed during Thursday’s meeting, Gilboy said she and her staff would consider all of those opinions in creating their design.

“We’ll bring everything back and look at it,” Gilboy said. “What we usually try to do is come up with two options that are pretty different, then get feedback from people on the final concept.”

Jessup added she was confident she would be able to use the input gathered from the meeting to create a park everyone could enjoy, regardless of their opinions on the degree of children’s involvement.

“Personally, as a designer, I see it as an opportunity to do something great that they both will love,” Jessup said. “We’ll take this information and start brainstorming as a team as far as how it can work. There’s an opportunity for us to make it work.”

At the meeting’s conclusion, Jessup said the CDAC team would return to Jonesborough in January to submit their designs to the public.

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Drought tolerant landscaping installed at 5900 Wilshire building

DROUGHT-RESISTANT landscaping will save 350,00 gallons of water annually.

DROUGHT-RESISTANT landscaping will save 350,00 gallons of water annually.

The Ratkovich Company, which recently announced a 90 percent leased rate at its building at 5900 Wilshire Blvd., has completed installation of drought resistant landscaping in front of the property.

Formerly known as the Variety Building, hospitality, lifestyle and real estate development company SBE assumed naming rights to the property after relocating its corporate headquarters to the top two floors of the 31-story, 490,000 square foot tower.

Among other recent tenant signings are Premiere Digital Services and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, making 5900 Wilshire home to 40 companies with 1,300 employees, including Los Angeles magazine and the executive offices of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The company has completed several capital improvements to 5900 Wilshire. A landscaping transformation features 8,000 square feet of drought-resistant landscaping that will save an estimated 350,000 gallons of water annually. In addition, four electric vehicle-charging stations were installed for tenant use.

Besides using less water and needing less maintenance, “the new landscape connects the building to the boulevard,” said Clare DeBriere, chief operating officer of the Ratkovich Company.

“The prior landscape caused the buildings to stand aloof and disconnected from the street. The new gardens were designed as a way to engage Wilshire and the neighborhood,” said DeBriere. “We’re changing the nature of the spaces around the building to say ‘come on in and stay awhile… you are welcome here.’”

They are also meant as a refuge for the tenants for recreation, dining and get-togethers.

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Category: Real Estate

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NH Club Briefs: Danbury Grange offers craft fair, farmers market Saturday

Grange offers craft fair, farmers market Saturday

DANBURY — Blazing Star Grange 71 will host its 24nd annual Danbury Holiday Craft Fair and Winter Farmers Market, featuring more than 20 vendors, at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Grange Hall, 15 North Road.

All of the products for sale are locally produced. A bistro will offer breakfast sandwiches and serve lunch from 10:30 a.m to closing.Danbury children’s book author Mary Lyn Ray will be on hand to sell and sign her books, including her latest, “Go to Sleep, Little Farm.”

Farm and local specialty food vendors will include Autumn Harvest, Nannie’s Canning Pantry, Nancy’s Chocolates, Cutting Farm, Huntoon Farm, Huckins Farm, Haunting Whisper Vineyards and La Tarte Café Bakery.

The Purple Ant, Rocky Meadow Designs, Andrea’s Quilted Kitchen Necessities, Steven’s Homemade and Rosemary Mcguirk’s prints will be among the vendors selling handcrafted items.

The winter markets will continue the first Saturday of the month through May from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Grange Hall. For more information, go to

The Grange’s next meeting will be after the Jan. 3 market, at 2 p.m. in the hall. Anyone interested may contact Donna at 768-5579 or

Candia Homemakers plan Christmas party Monday

CANDIA — The Candia Homemakers will have its annual Christmas party and potluck luncheon at its next meeting at 11:15 a.m. Monday at the home of the club’s chairman. For more information and directions, call 483-2704.

Concord-area DAR honors Good Citizens, sets meeting

CONCORD — The Buntin Rumford Webster Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution will honor veterans during its next meeting at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at the City Side Grille, 25 Manchester St.

Members are asked to bring articles for the residents at the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton. To RSVP, call Marilyn at 485-8143 or Sheila at 228-8029. Meetings are open to the public.During its November meeting, the chapter recognized six of the seven students chosen as the chapter’s DAR Good Citizens and their families.

The students — Avery Van De Water of Bow High School, Lyla Boyajian of Pembroke Academy, Katherine Muzzey of Concord High School, Sadie Kaplan of Franklin High School, Kristen Andrewski of Bishop Brady High School and Christopher Fall of Merrimack Valley High School — were introduced and each was presented a Good Citizen pin, certificate and a monetary gift. The members also asked the students questions about their school, community and church involvement. For the seventh Good Citizen, Ryan Marquis of Pittsfield High School, a presentation by Janet Anderson was held at his school.

DAR membership is open to women 18 and older who can trace an ancestor to a service in the Revolutionary War.

Bedford club to give awards at tree-lighting ceremony

BEDFORD — The Bedford Women’s Club plans to give its three FIR awards — for friendship, inspiration and recognition — during a tree-lighting ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11, in front of the Town Memorial Tree, on Bedford Center Road near the corner of Church Road.

The Friendship Award will go to Madonna Lovett Repeta to thank her for her friendship in the community. She is a 20-year member of the club and a past president who has served on several committees, including as a current Scholarship Committee member. She also has served on the Bedford Highway Safety Committee. A professional photographer, she takes photos for both the police and fire departments and also helps with fundraising for the fire department.

Landscaper Scott Lapointe, owner of Great Scott Landscaping, will receive the Inspiration Award for his “generous community service beautifying Bedford.” He has supported the club’s work by donating services and materials, including helping with the landscaping and refurbishment of a number of town gardens.

Anthony DiNardo will receive the Recognition Award for his service in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and for “showing his love for America” in his recent memoir, “Across the Tracks: An Immigrant’s Journey.”

The community is invited to attend. The Bedford High School Chorus will close the ceremony with song.

For more details, call Nancy Herper at 471-0892.

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