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Archives for February 8, 2015

Locals help fund Cape park project

Rotary Park

Rotary Park

Vince Casale, who lives above his shoe store on the Washington Street Mall, was on the committee that worked on the changes to the park. The City of Cape May is planning major improvements to Rotary Park between the Washington Street Mall and Lafayette Street. Improvements will include a larger bandstand, gaslights, and sidewalks. Friday Feb 06, 2015. 

Rotary Park

Rotary Park

The City of Cape May, is planning major improvements to Rotary Park between the Washington Street Mall and Lafayette Street.

Rotary Park

Rotary Park

 A rendering shows the improvements to be made.

Rotary Park

Rotary Park

Improvements will include a larger bandstand, gaslights, and sidewalks. 

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2015 9:24 pm

Locals help fund Cape park project


The Press of Atlantic City

CAPE MAY — There will be no vinyl or powder-coated aluminum fencing at a newly refurbished Rotary Park. That’s because a group of citizens is raising funds to pay for the final amenities.

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      Saturday, February 7, 2015 9:24 pm.

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      Omaha Home and Garden Expo draws thousands

      The warmer weather might have you thinking about your garden or next home improvement project.

      Home experts are in Omaha this weekend hoping to help people with their plans.

      Planning for spring could mean building a new playground for the kids.

      “(I came to) just kind of see new stuff on the market. Usually for a while, we bring down the girls and let them get balloons and candy – kind of fun stuff,” said Cherie Kayser, who was browsing landscaping projects.

      Thousands of people packed the Century Link Center for the 49th annual Omaha Home and Garden Expo. Six hundred booths offered ideas and products for inside and outside homes. Vendors showcased their most eye-catching and unique products.

      Dwight and Karen Johnson were looking for ideas for a possible patio project.

      “We love the fountains and the fire pits that are in the rocks. I had never seen those. So I thought those were fascinating,” Karen Johnson said.

      James Tardy of Kehm Contractors said outdoor spaces are more popular than ever. He said customers in Omaha want to make sure their backyards don’t look like their neighbors’ yards.

      “That need and that desire and that growth has changed the things we put in the yard. The yard colors, sizes, strengths – it’s amazing what they’ve come up with,” Tardy said.

      Some people are willing to spend big bucks, he said.

      “There’s people that ranged from jobs from $5,000 to $10,000. Last year, we did some that was $425,000,” Tardy said.

      Other people said they are saving up for their next project.

      “For us, maybe a deck in our future. We do own a house. A deck or a hot tub. I don’t know. You can dream,” Kayser said.

      Fans of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover – Home Edition” can stop by to meet designer Paul DiMeo, who will be on hand with other celebrity designers.

      The expo runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $9 for adults, $4.50 for kids and free for anyone younger than 5.

      Coupons are available at Village Inn Restaurants and Fareway, and Cox Solutions Stores. For more information visit

      Article source:

      Home ideas abound at Home Show – Quad

      ROCK ISLAND — At every turn, there was something new to discover.

      Light fixtures from the blingy and elaborate to the simple and sleek dangled and adorned displays; beautiful stone patios and fire pits beckoned to you for a seat, and cascades of siding, flooring, windows, doors and more lined the walkways.

      There were sheds and saunas, whirlpools and gutter covers, counter tops and cabinets and builders and resurfacers. There were bathtubs and blinds, curtains and flooring, landscaping components and fences, all ready to be chosen or daydreamed about.

      It was the 37th annual Quad Cities Builders Remodelers Association Home Show at the QCCA Expo Center, and hundreds turned out to see what was new and fresh this year.

      Derek Miller and Becky McDonald plan to build a home sometime in the near future, and, Saturday, the couple hit the jackpot of ideas. The two wandered the aisles of more than 250 booths and noshed on some concessions.

      Mr. Miller, of Galesburg, said he had spotted windows with blinds inside of them, and Ms. McDonald, of Knoxville, said she was scoping out landscaping styles and options for fast-growing trees.

      “They have a lot of cool things here,” Mr. Miller said.

      He encouraged anyone who is looking to do anything home-related, “big or small, whether it’s outdoor or indoor,” to check out the show today, when it continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the center, at 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island.

      “It doesn’t have to be expensive, either,” he said, noting the vast price range of available items and services on display this weekend.

      Ms. McDonald said she is a visual person, and it was nice to see what was available in person.

      And, “I haven’t felt sales pressure,” she said.

      Mr. Miller said it gave the couple a chance to see in person things they thought they wanted for their home while they had the chance to change their minds. They also were spotting things they thought they wouldn’t like, but found that they do.

      “(We’ll) come next year,” too, he said. 


      Quad Cities Builders Remodelers Association past president Pat Condon said this year’s show has drawn more people than any of the shows in the last 10 years. 

      “That’s an indication of the level of interest” in building and remodeling, he said, as well as the economy.

      Mr. Condon encouraged anyone who is thinking about building or remodeling to check out the show. Each of the companies at the show is licensed, bonded and insured, he said, and the community can have the assurance of their credibility.

      The show lends an opportunity for all of the members of the association to “present the newest and latest products (and services) that they are providing,” he said. 

      Dwayne and Joyce Lorenz and Tim and Brenda Thompson, all of Blue Grass, were surveying all of the above. 

      Ms. Thompson said she was in search of ideas to remodel two bathrooms, including the one Mr. Thompson promised to remodel about a decade ago. The couple did redo the kitchen seven years ago, they said. 

      Saturday, they were in search of free-standing tubs and tiles, Ms. Thompson said, adding that the show “gives you ideas.” 

      “(There’s) a lot of different vendors,” Ms. Lorenz added.

      Mr. Lorenz said they were looking at kitchen ideas, such as counter tops and possibly flooring.

      Plus, it was nice to “get out of the house.” 

      Without the Home Show, Mr. Lorenz said he wouldn’t have known the Quad-Cities area had such a wealth of businesses in the building and remodeling business. 

      Mr. Thompson added that any more, people are buying a lot of what they need online. It was nice to have the opportunity to “buy local stuff.”

      The Quad Cities Builders Remodelers Association Home Show continues from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island. Admission is $7, and free for kids and teens ages 16 and younger.

      For more information, visit

      Article source:



      Art show opens Feb. 18 at Fairmont

      The Kettering City School District’s art department will open its select art show, N2Art, from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, The exhibit will feature the work of Kettering’s artists in a wide variety of mediums, including oil paintings, ceramics, 3-D design, pen-and-ink drawings, sculptures and photography. The N2Art Exhibit will run through March 20, and the public is invited to stop by the Fairmont Art Gallery at any time during the run of the exhibit to view the works of Kettering students.

      The N2Art opening will feature entertainment by Southdale Elementary School’s Orff Ensemble, Fairmont’s International Baccalaureate Theater Department and the Kettering dance company, Funk Lab.

      More than 500 pieces of artwork, created by Kettering students in grades K-12, will be on display in the N2Art Exhibit. The Fairmont Art Gallery is open during regular school hours and any time the school is open for after-hours events. KATHERINE WRIGHT


      Aullwood Great Backyard Bird Count

      Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm is scheduled to participate in the 2015 Great Backyard Bird Count. Participants will have the opportunity to count birds and to learn how to identify the more common winter birds in the area.

      The count at Aullwood is from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13 and Saturday, Feb. 14.

      Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm, 1000 Aullwood Rd. Admission is free.

      For more information, call 937-890-7360 or go to STAFF REPORT


      Solid Waste District accepting grant applications

      The Montgomery County Solid Waste District is now accepting applications for the 2015 Beautification Grant program, offered through Keep Montgomery County Beautiful (KMCB), to promote volunteerism and community beautification in Montgomery County.

      Funding up to $1,000 is available per project, and projects may include landscaping, graffiti abatement and community gardens.

      The grant application rating criteria include the use of native and drought-tolerant plants, maintenance and sustainability, and community and volunteer involvement. Youth involvement is highly encouraged. Further rating criteria is outlined in the grant application.

      For more information or to get an application, please contact Brian Fowls at 937-781-3063 or visit

      The deadline for applications is March 20. STAFF REPORT


      Families of Addicts group to meet

      The Families of Addicts support group is scheduled to meet from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Alco-Aides Club, 2206 E. Third Street.

      There will be open discussion, focusing on the second myth about drug abuse and addiction.

      FOA offers support, friendship and education to those whose lives have been affected by the life-altering illness of addiction. All are welcome to attend with an attitude of willingness, open-mindedness and honesty.

      For more information, visit or, or call Lori at 937-307-5479. STEVEN MATTHEWS


      UD features musician at Black History Month program

      The University of Dayton College of Arts is sponsoring a performance featuring Joe Driscoll; rapper, beatboxer and singer-songwriter, and Sekou Kouyate, a Guinean kora player who blends hip-hop, funk and soul with Afrobeat, reggae and African music. They will address poverty, immigration and inequality in their music.

      The performance will be at 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 12 in the Kennedy Union Boll Theatre. Tickets are $16; $12 for UD faculty and staff, and seniors; and $8 for UD students and youth. Tickets are available at the Kennedy Union box office or by calling 937-229-2545.

      For more information, call the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 937-229-3634 or visit STAFF REPORT

      Article source:

      Here’s a peek at the first day of the Great Big Home and Garden Show (photos …

      CLEVELAND, Ohio — Women with flowering plants growing out of their hats, holding the leashes of small dogs covered in greenery, were all the rage at the opening day of the Great Big Home and Garden Show at the Cleveland I-X Center on Friday.

      The women, each wearing a different hue of brightly colored dress, were actually mannequins in the Pettiti Garden Centers display, but they attracted as much attention as real women with plants on their heads would have. After all, the Great Big Home and Garden Show is a celebration of everything having to do with spring — the season for warm weather and beautifying our homes and backyards.

      The Great Big Home and Garden Show, which includes celebrity appearances, The Idea Home and the Garden Showcase, runs through Sunday, Feb. 15. DIY Network’s “Bath Crashers” host Matt Muenster, “This Old House” general contractor Tom Silva, food author Todd Wilbur and design/build contractor and Canadian television personality Ramsin Khachi are among the celebrities who will give presentations.

      On the show’s kick-off day, gardens planted with tulips, forsythia, roses, hostas begonias, daffodils, evergreens and flowering trees were welcome sights for winter-weary eyes. The aroma of mulch mixed with the smell of hot pretzels and the sound of cookware salesmen’s patter.

      Upon closer inspection, the mannequin’s unusual dogs proved to be topiares made from wire forms stuffed with moss and soil, with houseplants, perennials and herbs inserted into the soil, explained Petitti general manager Ken Zawicki. They come in the shape of cats, ducks and 10 breeds of dogs.

      Right now, the wire forms are growing in the Petitti greenhouse in Columbia Station. By the time they are ready to be sold, plants such as ajuga, lamium and baby’s tears will cover most of the forms for a topiary-like effect, Zawicki said. “You can trim and shape them as you go,” he said. They will cost between $85 and $180.

      Plants are on the minds of most show visitors, and the Garden Showcase is always a highlight. This year, the gardens were inspired by the things that make Northeast Ohio great, including Little Italy, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland’s sports teams and Lake Erie Living.

      Among the most inventive gardens was the Ohio Valley Group Inc.’s ode to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Visitors walked underneath triangles of plexiglass that were reminiscent of the rock hall’s façade. The rest of the garden featured bejeweled guitars used as garden art, piano keyboards incorporated into an outdoor bar and a water fountain made of trombones and trumpets. Another water feature had jets of water making music as they hit a set of drums.

      The idea came from a staff brainstorming session, said Jay Schwartz of the Ohio Valley Group, a landscaping firm based in Broadview Heights. Many of the garden’s music-themed ideas were inspired by online photos, Schwartz said. His favorite elements were a graffiti wall and pianos turned into shelves and hung on the walls.

      Over at the Hoffman’s Water X Scapes theme garden, visitors took photos of a multi-level twig fairy garden with a frog house and tiny playground, with the cascading vines of a pearl plant. “I just wanted it to look enchanted,” said Jennifer Miletti, a salesperson who specializes in miniature gardens.

      The Hoffman’s Water X Scapes garden was dedicated to the Schneider Healing Gardens at the University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center. Hoffman’s display also included a traditional water feature with a small pond and waterfall, and a contemporary pondless waterfall with colored LED lights that changed colors. The sheet of water from the pondless water feature fell onto a pad of Porous Pave, a surface made from recycled tires that allows water to pass through it.

      Other themed garden standouts included The Little Italy garden, created by Down to Earth of Garfield Heights, with its three-tiered fountain, bocce court and outdoor kitchen with a long granite bar and fireplace. Stone mushrooms, sandstone bar countertop, red-cushioned outdoor furniture and a hammered copper sink in a barrel made the Tremont garden special, as designed by Landscape Design Associates Inc. of Copley.

      After seeing all of the themed gardens, you could grab a snack, wander the aisles of booths offering everything from decks and hot tubs to baby chicks and jewelry, to reach the Idea Home built by Blossom Homes of Valley City. The 2,400-square-foot ranch features 10-foot ceilings, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

      The home includes wheelchair-accessible doorways, a shower large enough for a wheelchair and other features that aging homeowners will appreciate.

      DesAnn Collins of Design by DesAnn based in Elyria, decorated the Idea Home. Collins tapped into her playful side to decorate the children’s bedrooms. One bedroom, outfitted for a teen boy, has ombre walls that shift from dark blue near the bottom to lighter blue near the ceiling; the curtains and patchwork bedspread are made from faded denim.

      Any little girl would love a bedroom where ballet slippers hang from the horn of a leather riding saddle, painted trees spread their branches across the walls and tulle drapes over the windows.

      The kitchen is dominated by a huge 10 foot by 3 foot island with space for seating, a double sink and granite top. The kitchen flows well into the living room because Collins made sure that colors and textures from one room were pulled into the other room.

      Her mantra is “no white ceilings,” so be sure to look up. The denim-themed bedroom ceiling is a faux hammered copper achieved with paint. The master bedroom ceiling is stenciled vines on hammered copper, repeating the vines pattern on the carpet.

      Why is the ceiling important? “It’s the least interrupted wall. Everyone overlooks it,” Collins said. “It puts a lid on your room.”

      If You Go

      The 2015 Great Big Home and Garden Show

      More than 1,000 home industry experts, more than 600 exhibits, The Loretta Paganini Cooking Stage, Idea Home, Garden Showcase and more.

      Show Dates and Times:

      10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7

      10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8

      11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mon – Fri, Feb. 9-13

      10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14

      10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15

      Admission: $15 adult

      $12 adult tickets available online at, AAA or Discount Drug Mart locations.

      $10 Seniors 65+ with ID (Monday-Thursday only, tickets must be purchased at show box office)

      $5 Children ages 6-12 years

      Article source:

      Blame it on the guys: Too many male plants have led to huge amounts of pollen …


      Photo by
      By Thomas Leo Ogren

      Does pollen cause you to wheeze and sneeze and make your life miserable?

      Well, it’s all the guys’ fault— guy trees, shrubs and plants, that is.

      IF YOU BUY

      “The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping,” written by Thomas Leo Ogren and published by Ten Speed Press, goes on sale Tuesday, Feb. 17. $16.43 Amazon and Barnes Noble, $22.99 Books a Million; $14.99 Kindle. 256 pages.

      According to Thomas Leo Ogren, a horticulturist and allergy researcher in San Luis Obispo, Calif., it’s the male variety of plants that release pollen into the air. Conducting research in the U.S., Europe, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and other countries, Ogren discovered that the areas with the highest pollen counts are in communities where male plants dominate.

      “Almost 100 percent of every willow and poplar tree, for example, that have been planted in the last 25 years are male,” Ogren says. “Almost 100 percent of every ash, mulberry, silver and red maples planted in recent decades are male.”

      In nature, you’d have a 50/50 ratio of male and female; in planted landscapes today, it’s 99 percent or higher male, he says.

      Why so male-centric?

      “They’re promoted as cleaner, nicer, neater, litter-free and low maintenance,” he says. “But what they don’t tell you is that they produce huge amounts of pollen.” Female plants don’t produce pollen because it’s their job to trap the male’s pollen, he says.

      And that’s a problem.

      “It’s the female’s job to pull pollen out of the air and turn it into more trees, shrubs and plants. And, when we don’t have them (females), we’re setting up a recipe for ecological disaster,” he says.

      Ogren outlines his research and offers advice on how to help reverse the growing problem in his book, “The Allergy-Fighting Garden: Stop Asthma and Allergies with Smart Landscaping,” which goes on sale Feb. 17.

      Worst plants for allergy sufferers


      * Chamomile

      * Chrysanthemums

      * Daisies

      * Goldenrod

      * Sunflowers

      * Jasmine vine

      * Juniper

      * Wisteria


      * Ryegrass

      * Bermuda grass

      * Kentucky bluegrass

      * Johnson grass


      * Pecan

      * Oak

      * Maple

      * Elm

      * Cypress


      * Dandelion

      * Ragweed

      Source: WebMD

      Ogren, 67, says he had good reason to research pollen. His wife has severe allergies and, over the course of their 47-year marriage, she has nearly died several times from asthma attacks triggered by allergies. His research led him to design and construct an allergy-free garden.

      “People laughed when I told them what I was doing,” he says, but the laughing stopped when her allergies were drastically diminished. He then started designing similar gardens for clients.

      Having traveled to different countries to take photos and identify the sex of trees, he says he found that 90 percent of total tree canopy in almost any given area — other than in the wild — is male.

      “I was invited to speak in New Zealand several years ago because their allergies were out of control,” he says. “I found the majority of plants there were male. It took me three weeks to find a female.

      “The more modern the landscape, the more male plants. The bigger the city, the more male plants. The older the landscape, a mix of male and female,” Ogren says.

      Allergy fighting garden

      Photo by
      Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

      Gene Hyde, city forester for Chattanooga, is skeptical of Ogren’s findings and the idea that most trees being planted are pollen-producing, allergy-spiking males, although he acknowledges he’s heard that speculation from others. Since the fall of 2013, 367 trees of about 30 different species have been planted in Chattanooga, Hyde says, and of those, there were only five male trees, all gingkos.

      “Have you ever stepped on the fruit of a female gingko? It’s nasty-smelling stuff and is worse than the pollen,” he says.

      Dr. John Antalis, an allergist at the Dalton Allergy Clinic in Dalton, Ga., says Ogren’s study is interesting but more data is needed.

      “Theoretically, it’s based on a certain amount of pollen released by plants, grasses, trees and the different allergens out there,” Antalis says. “Obviously, if there’s a big change in the amount of pollen, there could be some degree of improvement.”

      Wendy Cronon, a Master Gardener in Hamilton County, says she has a few questions about Ogren’s methodology. She’s not disputing it, but she wants more details.

      “I am wondering if any testing has been done to show that a healthy, allergy-free garden can be obtained by eliminating the male flowers which produce the pollen,” she says. “If testing has been done, how effective was the testing for allergy sufferers, not only here in our high-pollen area of Chattanooga, but elsewhere in the nation?

      “I would support this type of garden, if the garden remained healthy for both the flower and person,” Cronon says .”Azaleas are also non-heavy pollen bushes and non-heavy pollen trees would include apple, cherry, dogwood, Bradford pear and crepe myrtle.

      “Landscapers could design public gardens with the non-heavy pollen plants and trees, which would be just as lovely as the heavy pollinators, if testing appears successful.”

      Ogren says the move to less males, more females and less pollen must start as a yard-by-yard task.

      “Take care of your yard first, and then get involved with your community, your city council and then your county,” he says.

      Contact Karen Nazor Hill at or 423-757-6396.

      Article source:

      Garden Q&A: Tips for growing indoors – Tribune

      Question: I read your column about using a fluorescent shop light to grow basil and herbs a few weeks ago.

      I tried using a 2-foot fluorescent light last spring to grow tomato plants. They turned out to be very spindly and did not do well.

      Do you think a 4-foot light would make a difference, or is there another way to grow inside that produces better plants?

      Answer: Growing tomato and other vegetable seedlings under lights indoors is great fun. It allows you to access more unusual varieties and saves lots of money, especially if you’re growing lots of plants. A 2-foot-long fixture will provide enough light for one nursery tray of seedlings. A 4-foot light will cover two trays.

      Here are a handful of tips to assist you in growing healthy seedlings under fluorescent shop lights. If you struggle to grow dark green, stocky seedlings and end up with pale, leggy ones instead, give these techniques a try.

      • Purchase new fluorescent tubes every two years. The bulbs can lose quite a bit of intensity as they age, and they can easily get covered in light-blocking dust. There is no need to purchase special “grow lights� for seed starting; they are necessary only if you want the plant to come into flower.

      • The bulbs should be positioned 2 to 3 inches above the plant tops. Any higher, and the plants will grow leggy as they reach for the light. Put the lights on chains and raise them by small increments as the plants grow.

      • Do not start your seedlings too early. In Western Pennsylvania, tomato seeds should not be sown until early April (four to six weeks before transplanting them outside). Peppers, eggplants and many flowering annuals should be started in mid to late March. Onions and cole crops such as cabbage and broccoli should be started in late February. Sowing seeds too early often results in spindly growth.

      • Fertilize seedlings as soon as they develop their first true leaves. Use a liquid organic fertilizer — diluted to half the recommended rate — every one to two weeks. My favorite liquid fertilizer for seedlings is liquid kelp or seaweed because it’s rich in micronutrients, trace nutrients and plant hormones.

      • Set-up a fan to blow over the plant tops for a few hours two times a day. I set an oscillating fan on a timer for two hours in the morning and two hours in the late afternoon. As the air blows over the plants and causes them to vibrate, their stems are strengthened. It keeps the seedlings stockier and cuts down on fungal issues by increasing the air circulation around the plants.

      • Give each seedling plenty of room. Once the seedlings develop their first set of true leaves, transplant them into larger containers (I use empty yogurt cups with holes poked in the bottom). Crowded plants often compete for light and end up being spindly.

      • To really maximize the light, set up an angled frame of aluminum foil around every flat to reflect more light onto the plants.

      Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners� at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control.� Her website is

      Send your gardening or landscaping questions to or The Good Earth, 503 Martindale St., 3rd Floor, D.L. Clark Building, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

      Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

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      Brenham native’s ‘beer garden’ design a pleasant surprise

      Robert Schultz

      Robert Schultz

      Brenham native Robert Schultz stands next to the beer garden he claims was designed by him back in 1939. Schultz was never officially notified by the city that his design was used, but crafted a blueprint bearing an octagonal design when asked to redesign the city’s beer stand.

      Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2015 12:00 pm

      Brenham native’s ‘beer garden’ design a pleasant surprise

      Patrick Crank
      Staff Reporter


      Nearing the age of 94, Robert Schultz recalls his youth growing up in Brenham, where he worked at the town’s first grocery store which was owned by his father AC Schultz. “Bobby” spent his early days delivering groceries either by riding up and down the streets on his bike or by driving the family’s Model A Ford, barely able to poke his head above the steering wheel.

      In high school, Schultz took a job working for the city engineer in the summer of 1939, who at the time was a man by the name of Louis Beasley. Schultz’s job was mostly to keep the town looking clean and free of trash and other debris. However, on a rainy day with no work laying around, Beasley sent Schultz down to look at the city’s beer stand which was in need of repair.

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