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Archives for February 2, 2015

Special to the Courier


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More road changes coming to Hartsville – WBTW

HARTSVILLE, S.C. (WBTW)-The new month brings new upgrades to the city of Hartsville. Three major road projects are planned to begin shortly with one project improving the looks of downtown while the other two are aimed to help the flow of traffic.

“Oh my god, I hope that person doesn’t get hit,” said Tremaine Frazier, a cashier at Foxes Corner.

Those are Tremaine Frazier’s thoughts every time someone tries to go left out of the Foxes Corner gas station where she works.

 “It is kind of like frogger, they be  running, stopping, running, stopping, it is crazy.”

The new light would be installed here on south Fifth Street at the Hartsville crossing intersection.

Frazier said she witnessed two accidents happen here just last week and says it’s a pretty common occurrence.

And while her main concern is safety, she hopes the new light will help business.

“People tell me the reason they don’t come to our store like that is because of the congestion and the traffic like they cannot get out when they’re trying to go somewhere else.”

But that isn’t the only place in town that will get a new light.

East Carolina Avenue and South Second is one of the intersections that will be getting a red light and drivers and college students say it is desperately needed.

 “It’s definitely a safety hazard, just the fact that cars come flying by and kids walking across the street all the time,” said Bryson Conner a Coker College student.

And one driver told us it’s not just the pedestrians that need a signal.

 “Definitely a light needs to be there, they’ve had so many wrecks through the years, a lot of injuries,” said Patricia Hall.

The project also includes pedestrian crossings and landscaping that surrounds Coker College.

South Fourth Street will also see some improvements with new brick pavers for the sidewalks, tree grates and street lights on either side.  For those who frequent downtown, ten new parking spaces will be added.

The projects will begin by mid-February and should be completed by mid-May. Drivers can expect partial lane closures.

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How do I get children involved in protecting environment?

Being involved

Being involved

Teen activists in Newton, Mass., show their true environmental colors at a presentation for the non-profit Green Decade/Newton.

Posted: Monday, February 2, 2015 6:00 am

How do I get children involved in protecting environment?

Dear EarthTalk: Do you have any tips for helping me get my kids involved in environmental protection advocacy? — Jeanine Black, Charlotte, N.C.

There’s no time like the present to teach kids to respect their environment and be willing to stand up to protect it. Of course, any good environmental education starts at home: Parents should always keep in mind that they are role models for their kids, and should act responsibly. And most schools today incorporate issues of sustainability into their curricula. But kids who want to do more can sync up with one of any number of nonprofits focused on getting young people involved with volunteering and advocacy on behalf of the environment.

One of the best places to start is Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!), a nonprofit that runs a national speakers’ and workshop tour around the U.S. and beyond as well as summer camps devoted to teaching kids how to take action on behalf of the environment. The group also runs JAMs, bringing together “young changemakers” from local communities to brainstorm ideas for solutions to local, national and international environmental problems. The YES! website features information on a wide range of environmental topics as well as videos focusing on organizing and coalition building around shared environmental goals.

Another great resource is the Center for Biological Diversity’s Generation Wild program, designed to help kids learn about and help protect local wildlife. The program’s website offers kids tips on things like how to write an effective and compelling “letter to the editor” for publication in a local newspaper, creating a backyard wildlife sanctuary, encouraging teachers and schools to undertake projects that help local wildlife, and spreading the word via social media.

Meanwhile, Earthforce, Inc. helps kids ages 10-14 develop citizenship skills and address both local and national environmental problems. Participants get hands-on, real-world opportunities to learn about the issues and develop skills that can help them become lifelong leaders in addressing them. Another leading youth environmental group is Tree Musketeers, which empowers kids to use innovative approaches in launching their own environmental campaigns where they live. Through its Young Executive program, the group provides resources to help kids learn the practical, logistical and personal skills to lead environmental actions and spread the word about the need to live more sustainable lifestyles.

Yet another nonprofit vehicle that helps kids get active is SustainUS, which focuses on sustainable development. Its Agents of Change program sends youth delegations to United Nations conferences on climate change, sustainable development, women’s issues and biological diversity — and its Lead Now Fellowship trains and supports young people in becoming leaders in advancing sustainable development.

Last but not least, TakingItGlobal is an international network of young people working to tackle global environmental challenges. Its Digital Youth Engagement, Global Education and Social Innovation programs focus on creating the next generation of environmental leaders around the world.

Young people can also get involved in environmental protection efforts right in their own backyards even without the support of a non-profit. Examples include organizing a local e-waste recycling drive, asking schools and businesses in the area to refrain from using noxious chemicals for landscaping, and coordinating carpools to reduce traffic-related greenhouse gas emissions. Likewise, kids can learn a lot by finding a local green group and volunteering to help canvass for funds, clean-up a beach or waterway, or lobby local officials to take sustainability into account. Indeed, our common future may well depend on it.



Generation Wild,


Tree Musketeers,



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Monday, February 2, 2015 6:00 am.

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IN THE HIGH DESERT GARDEN: Water dreams in the high desert

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Dreams of water in the desert

Nothing is more enjoyable than the sound of water in the desert. Creating a pond or any water feature in the garden is still the rage in landscaping. Our college is offering a class on just that and attending is a good way to start.

People stay closer to home and like to enjoy their backyards, entertaining and creating their own little refuge and wildlife habitat. A water feature seems to be a wonderful way to give the feel of nature, with the calming effect of running water, beautiful fish and birds that visit to take a drink.

Homeowners enjoy butterfly and hummingbird gardens and anything else that invites wildlife. It doesn’t always need to be big game. Insects, like dragonflies and damselflies, are visitors as well.

Not everybody can incorporate a big pond into their landscape, whether because of a lack of space, the expense or the time necessary for maintenance. Because we live in a xeric environment, maybe putting in a pond is not such a good idea, unless we compensate by other means, to save water.

There is always the possibility of installing a small tub garden. These little gardens are fun and beautiful and attract all kinds of critters. Because we live in the desert, water is a great magnet. For ponds, large or small, the basic rule of good water gardening remains the same: constructing, planting and stocking the pond to achieve a natural ecological balance that results in clear water.

A wonderful first choice for a miniature pond is a half whiskey barrel lined with a rubber or plastic insert. An oversized plastic flower pot that has no hole will do as well. This size pond is perfect for a miniature water lily, a water grass like umbrella palm, miniature cat tails, or a rush for height. A bushy plant like moneywort or a variegated water celery, and some emerged aquarium plants or a floating plant or two like water lettuce also work well.

This kind of environment can sustain a few Mosquito fish, even three little goldfish, but they need a bigger home when they grow up.

Of course, this kind of pond also needs a small pump and a little device that spits out the water to create movement and the sound of running water. Weekly, between 10 and 20 percent of water exchange is important to keep everything going well. That water can be used to irrigate some plants, as it is rich in nutrients. Always keep in mind, heated water evaporates, but the impurities stay. That is why it is important to take some of the water out and replace it.

Here in Sierra Vista we are lucky to have an outfit that caters to all the needs of pond and water gardening, Mountain View Koi and Nursery. Take the time and tour their facility and get inspired.


Angel Rutherfordis a Cochise County Master Gardener and a member of the Sierra Vista Area Gardeners Club. Her artwork can be seen at the Huachuca Art Gallery at the Mall at Sierra Vista, at the Tombstone Art Gallery on Allen Street next to the Visitors Center, at the Benson Hospital and at the Wildflower Jewelry Art Store in Bisbee. Angel was awarded the Mayor’s Arts Award in 2012. Visit her website: www. and become her friend on Facebook.

If you find a correction for this story, please contact our editorial department

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Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets gets new name, updates look

New directional signs on incoming highways, fresh colors on logos and eye-catching landscaping are just a few of the outward improvements made in recent months at the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets designed to give an updated look to the retail outlet.

The spruced-up external look coincides with a new brand and marketing campaign. New York-based Garrison Investment Group, owners of the property since March 2013, switched the name late last year from the Outlets at the Louisiana Boardwalk to Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets to showcase the outlet store emphasis.

“Our team is targeting that market,” Marketing Manager Ashley Davis said.

Announcements are anticipated this year on a new riverfront restaurant and additional national retailers that are “unique to the market,” said Davis, who cannot disclose details until the deals are complete.

Until then, shoppers still will find some new faces among the more than 70 retailers. Charming Charlie opens today and Under Armour Factory is scheduled to open in mid-March.

“That will be huge,” Davis said of the popular athletic apparel line.

They join recent retailers J.Crew, Torrid and Levi’s that opened in recent months.

Davis compliments the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets owners with spending money on the property to make it appealing to the more nationally known brands such as J. Crew.

“We needed that big name and the owners invested to make it happen. That’s the first J. Crew in North Louisiana,” Davis said. “Levi’s opened last year, too, and is doing well.”

On the flip side, though, the shopping center has lost some tenants, such as Wet Seal, which closed hundreds of its stores earlier this month because of a bankruptcy filing, and Anna’s Linens. And a Coach pop-up store ended its temporary run.

Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets continues to aggressively market itself to tourists, which Davis estimates makes up 40 percent of the shoppers. A partnership with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau and other hot spots in the area, including the renovated Municipal Auditorium, Sci-Port and the Gardens at the American Rose Center, aims to provide an “experience tour” for the group tour segment.

The first tour last week allowed the visitors to pair chocolates from the Chocolate Crocodile with wine at Margaritaville Resort Casino. It’s capped off with a visit to Destiny Day Spa.

“Instead of just dropping them off the bus … we’re creating these experiences for them,” Davis said.

It all goes hand-in-hand with the new advertising campaign, conceived and designed by Strategy+Style Marketing Group, a New York City-area marketing consulting firm, features the headline: “Shop. Save. Dine,” which communicates the complete lifestyle experience the property offers.

“Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets’ new marketing programming is not only visually-compelling as it effectively communicates its store roster and savings equation, but allows shoppers to easily connect with the property as a robust destination complete with outlet shopping, an array of dining options and recreation locations,” Strategy+Style Marketing Group Partner Karen E. Fluharty said.

But the Boardwalk owners have not forgotten about the local shoppers. Davis encourages those who have not been in a while to check out what’s been taking place in their absence.

The wayfinding signage that’s been erected throughout includes updates to the pylon and monuments to assist in pointing shoppers to different locations throughout site. Even motorists entering the property and parking garage will find new directional signs geared to helping with traffic flow.

“We wanted the wayfinding to be fresh and easy to read with a little bit of playfulness,” said Scott Bond, owner of Workshop Design in Kansas City. “We combined several elements from the new logo into the design — mainly colors and shapes — as a means to reinforce the development’s identity as a retail destination for the community.”

Newcomers or return shoppers also will find that the open-air trolley once confined to tracks inside the property has been replaced with one on wheels that is enclosed with air conditioning and heating. It also now has a parking lot route.

Davis makes a point of scheduling assorted special events and weekend entertainers that not only gives shoppers a little something extra but allows local groups to showcase themselves.

She encourages people to view the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets as the “downtown mecca” of Bossier City and put it on their list to spend a few hours during their off time to see a movie, eat out and shop, or find a spot to visit with friends.

“A lot of locals have not seen our changes. There is a new feeling around the Boardwalk,” Davis said.

Twitter: @vawelborn

About Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets

The 550,000 square foot outlet center that features outlet stores, dining establishments and entertainment venues. Overlooking the Red River, the Louisiana Boardwalk Outlets’ tenant roster includes Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Banana Republic Factory Store, J.Crew Factory, Gap Outlet, Levi’s, Haggar Clothing Co., Carter’s, The Children’s Place, Fossil, Wilson’s Leather Outlet and Nike Factory Store, Buffalo Wild Wings, Joe’s Crab Shack, Saltgrass Steakhouse and Regal Cinema.

Visit for more information including a complete store directory, driving directions, store sale updates and special event information.

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Tips for tackling garden pests

The effects of spider mite damage.

The war against pests in my garden seems more furious in summer as I battle rats, crusader beetles and spider mite.

I’ve written about my rat encounters before and despite reducing the population using wax rat baits they continue to feast on my tomatoes and only abandon them when the figs start to ripen.

The tomatoes are so prolific that I have made three batches of chutney, so losing a fruit or two to the rats is tolerable. However, eating fruit fresh from my potted and espaliered fig is a pleasure I do not want to forgo, so I called in the “big gun” – my husband Bill, who made wire baskets to enclose the fruit. Unfortunately, the wire used for the baskets was too big and the rats are using the baskets as jungle gyms, hanging from the wire while snacking. I hope that more secure fruit cages will be made before all the bounty is eaten!

Crusader bugs have been eating the new shoots on my citrus trees and wisteria. The shoots wilt, go brown and can die back to the old wood. I don’t like using poisons, especially on edible crops, so I’m reducing their numbers by knocking the bugs off into a bucket of soapy water where they’ll drown.

Spider mite is infesting one of my rosebushes (L.D. Braithwaite – this rose seems to be especially susceptible to pests and diseases) but I know it will spread if I don’t take control measures.

Spider mite is easily recognised as the mites produce a fine webbing on the undersides of the leaves which then become rusty brown or silver. These sap-suckers feed on the chlorophyll in the leaves and are usually seen when the weather is hot and dry.

Unfortunately, horticultural oil, powdered or wettable sulphur or horticultural soap controls can burn the foliage if applied when the temperature is over 30C. Unless we get a cold snap I’m relying on the only other alternative – spraying beneath the foliage with water for three days in a row. I have heard that you can also use your vacuum cleaner to suck up the pests (pop the mites in the freezer to anaesthetise them) but some solutions just sound like more trouble than the original problem!

The West Australian

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Society of Garden Designers winners announced

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Course in Garden Design in Louth

The Louth branch of the Workers’ Education Association has an interesting course on garden design coming up soon.

Whether you wish to redesign all or part of your garden, the course will take a step by step approach to help you achieve your objectives, with a focus on garden design principles, materials and plants and how to use them for the best effect.

The tutor will be Stephen Lovell, a popular local speaker who established his own garden design and landscaping company in 1993.

The fee for the six week course is £50.05 (or discounted at £45.05), or free for those in receipt of benefits.

The course begins on Tuesday February 10, with six meetings running from 10am-12.10pm at the Salvation Army Hall in Louth.

To enrol, contact Sylvia Trickett on 01507 601072 or email her at

For more information on the Louth WEA, visit the website at

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