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Archives for February 21, 2015

Flamingo Road construction will impede traffic through ’16 – Las Vegas Review

Brace yourselves, motorists who use Flamingo Road.

A $40.3 million overhaul of 14 miles of Flamingo begins next month and people driving one of the city’s primary east-west routes will see the number of traffic lanes reduced and work zones in place through October 2016.

But don’t fret. Crews won’t be working the entire length of Flamingo from Grand Canyon Drive to Jimmy Durante Boulevard for the duration of the project.

The project coordinated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, Clark County and the Nevada Transportation Department will be staggered so that there will be two 3½-4 mile sections under construction at a time, one east of Interstate 15 and one west. The first phase of construction will last until December, then a second phase will run from December through the next fall.

Details of the Flamingo Corridor Improvement project were outlined in a pair of public meetings this week.

“This is the last hurrah before we start construction,” said Brij Gulati, the Transportation Department senior engineer managing the project.

Ground is scheduled to be broken at a March 10 ceremony, and the project begins in earnest in April.

Gulati said two lanes of traffic of the three in each direction of the arterial would remain open during construction.

But there will be disruptions.

The project includes:

■ Resurfacing and restriping about seven of the 14 miles of the project.

■ Installation of more than 100 new transit shelters along Regional Transportation Commission bus routes.

■ Traffic signal upgrades and installation of flashing-light crosswalk signals at several locations along the road.

■ Installation of Intelligent Transportation System sensors and technology to improve traffic flow.

■ Addition of improved pedestrian crosswalks.

■ Installation of channeled left-turn lanes that will restrict left turns from driveways and cross streets that don’t have signals.

■ Striping of dedicated bus transit and bicycle lanes. Dedicated bus lanes are planned on Flamingo between Rainbow Boulevard and Arville Street and between Koval Lane and Boulder Highway. Concrete bus pads — the bus stopping areas that best support a bus’s weight — also will be installed.

■ Medians with nonirrigated decorative landscaping will be added.

Gulati said designs and preconstruction work have been underway since July 2013. The agencies conducted public meetings last year to alert homeowners and business operators along the route of the planned construction. After those meetings, engineers incorporated some of the ideas into the design plan. Gulati said most of the people who turned out for this week’s meetings were happy with the final plan.

Since last year’s meetings the department also applied for and received federal grant money to help pay for the project.

Federal officials approved a $13.3 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant for the project last year.

The rest of the breakdown of funding sources for the project is $18 million from the Transportation Department, $8 million in fuel revenue indexing taxes, $800,000 in Federal Transit Administration funds and a $200,000 local match from the Transportation Commission.

As one of the busiest arterials in the valley, Flamingo is also an important piece of the RTC’s bus system. Flamingo connects to 15 routes, including 11 residential, three express and the Strip’s Deuce routes.

RTC officials say there are 12,000 passenger boardings along the corridor making it the most used residential route in the valley’s transit system.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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West County: Severn man treated to Army Field Band musicians as he turns 100

When Antonio Salatti went to his daughter’s home on Feb. 7, he knew he would be attending his 100th birthday celebration. He was expecting to see his family and friends.

What he wasn’t expecting was a visit from several members of the Army Field Band, who came to pay tribute to this special centenarian and fellow musician.

Three members of the band from Fort George G. Meade, Master Sgt. Reis McCullogh, Staff Sgt. Joel Klenke and Master Sgt. David Bullman were the highlight of this memorable birthday celebration. McCullogh and Klenke played a moving clarinet duet by Mozart in Antonio’s honor and provided background music during the party. Bullman was on hand to photograph the auspicious occasion.

Antonio was born in the small Italian town of Ferrandina, Italy on Feb. 5, 1915. He was just a young boy when his father enlisted in the service during World War I and was subsequently captured and held prisoner for four years in a German prisoner of war camp.

Once released from prison, Antonio’s father was determined to make a better way of life for his family. He came to the America alone and it wasn’t until seven years later that his family joined him. By this time, Antonio was 12 years old.

“My father couldn’t speak a word of English when he came here,” Antonio’s daughter, Maria Salatti, said. “The family entered this country through Ellis Island and settled in New York.”

At a USO dance prior to World War II, Antonio met Marjorie Angevine, who is now 95. They married on Jan. 14, 1944 and recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary.

Antonio had attended the Manhattan School of Music. He was a gifted classical guitarist, as well as a renowned composer and conductor, working in New York.

“My father always loved music and spent his life as a musician,” Maria said.

Antonio moved his family to Maryland in 1949 having joined the Army Field Band and became First Clarinetist and Concert Master. He was stationed on Fort Meade, where he eventually retired as a sergeant major in 1975.

Since retiring, Antonio has acquired another love, gardening. He spends much of his time, in good weather of course, outside in his yard in the Timber Ridge community of Severn, enjoying his flowers.

“About three years ago, he asked me to get a truckload of big rocks weighing 5 pounds each. I said ‘Dad, you’re 97 years old. Why do you want these rocks?’ He told me he had some landscaping ideas. So I had them delivered and I figured they would just stay in the driveway,” Maria said. “Do you know he moved every one of those rocks, stone by stone, in his wheel barrow?”

Maria said Antonio attributes his longevity to staying active. “He does all the things that we all know we should do to stay healthy, but don’t. He eats his fruits and vegetables, doesn’t snack, and he still exercises,” she said. “His mind is fine, better than mine, but he’s a little hard of hearing.”

Antonio has always preached to his family “eat your fruits and vegetables” and “everything in moderation.”

With three children, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and a 95-year-old bride, it seems to be working just fine.

‘Book Blast’ at the mall

The Simon Kidgits Club’s annual Book Blast event will be held at Arundel Mills mall in Hanover from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday.

Parents and children can bring books to life through special read-aloud sessions, giveaways and story-inspired activities in the food court.

Simon is also teaming up with Better World Books to provide each child who attends the event with a used book and bookmark to take home, while supplies last.

Children also are invited to take a new or gently used book to the event to be donated to the Anne Arundel County Public Library, helping families give back to their own communities.

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Home and Garden Show kicks off in Boardman

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – It may not seem like it, but spring is just around the corner.

In fact, it is only 27 days away. The first day of spring is March 20.

And helping people get ready for warm-weather projects is the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of the Valley. On Friday, the group kicked off its 64th annual Home and Garden Show at Mr. Anthony’s in Boardman.

With about 80 vendors at the show, people more than likely will find answers to their home improvement questions.

“From concrete to landscaping, from painting to kitchen and bath, to windows and garage doors. You name it. And really fabulous ideas for landscaping as well,” Jennie Brewer of the Home Builders Association said. “You know, our HBA Home and Garden Show has always been the kickoff for spring. So people wait for it. They love to come in, see the new colors, check out the new ideas and the new trends.”

And what are some of the new trends for homeowners?

“A lot more outdoor living, people wanting to set up a whole kitchen in the backyard. Being able to just send the kids in the backyard, be able to cook, have a pool back there and just spend their whole time in the backyard,” Bill Trainor of the HBA said.

Snow and freezing temperatures make it too early to start working on any of those outdoor projects, but not too early to get some ideas and inspiration.

“There are a lot of people that have cabin fever, looking to get out and get something started, look forward to spring and hopefully some of these home and garden projects that they need to take care of,” Trainor said.

Brewer said she loves the outdoor projects.

“I love the possibilities with the landscaping, the different things you can do with your gardens. So there are a lot of different ideas out here with the gardens,” Brewer said.

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

“One way or another, it is nice and warm in here. It is definitely spring, so stop out,” Brewer said.

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Tiny houses, big attention: Portland Home and Garden Show through Sunday …

Would you spend as much on your landscaping as your house? A tiny house fan might.

Just check out one of the display gardens at the Portland Home and Garden Show at the Expo through Sunday. In this display, the budget was split between indoor and outdoor living.

The tiny house on wheels, built by Portland-based Shelter Wise, is a compact 96 square feet but it has everything a homeowner would need: queen-size bed, bookshelves, bath and kitchen. Look up at the little living roof over the porch. The price: $22,500.

The cost to duplicate the landscape? About the same.

Dana Dokken was eying the pop-up tiny house Thursday morning from underneath reclaimed wood forming the top of a swanky bar pavilion, which is also part of the garden display. Separating the tiny house from the bar were a glass-enclosed fire pit and plenty of lookyloos.

Dokken’s thinking the tiny house could solve a cat problem. Some of her friends won’t stay at her house because of the whiskered inhabitants. A separate tiny house may mean everyone has a place.

Dokken has had time to think this through. As the owner of Bridge City Arbors, she’s part of the team — led by Patrick Hughes of Wheel Barrow Landscapes with Stacey Bower of Eden’s Gate Design — that designed and installed the outdoor living environment to represent the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers. The name of the display? Hot Summer Night.

It is one of 14 elaborate entries in the show’s Excellence in Landscaping competition.

The show is dotted with tiny dwellings. In addition to Shelter Wise’s Salsa Box, which is move-in ready, there are displays of bijou houses that can be custom built by Eagle Log Cabins and cozy ocean containers that can be cut in half, with window frames and doors added.

The tiny houses are here to poke around in until 6 p.m. Sunday.

The Portland Home Garden Show at the Expo, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22.

Admission: $10 (kids age 12 and under free; $2 off discount coupon

For more information: 503-246-8291,

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Suburban Home and Garden Show underway in Oaks

Liberated Dissonance

News editor Joe Barron has been writing about Montgomery County’s vibrant classical music scene for Ticket since 2001, and he was listening to, studying and arguing about music long before that. Here he shares his personal observations on performance, recordings and composers in the region and around the world, with occasional digressions.

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Planting the seeds of sustainable urban gardens in Syracuse

A dash of herbs, cuts of fresh grown greens and taut skinned berries; an urban gardening group in Syracuse has started a mission that encourages affordable healthy eating for locals.

Frank Cetera, co-founder of the nonprofit Alchemical Nursery, started landscaping community gardens in the city in 2008. He and his business partner Elizabeth Slate wanted to build up the food, arts, education, and health culture.

They rooted their mutual vision in an urban gardening idea: permaculture.

“I want to live an environment that has vegetation to calm the traffic noise of the city and the heat island effect,” Cetera said. “And, provide food that doesn’t have to be shipped from major distances away.”

Frank Cetera, co-founder of the Alchemical Nursery, plans to expand his community gardens to support local and publicly available produce in the Syracuse city neighborhoods.  

The Alchemical Nursery embodies two ideas in sustainable development: Alchemy, the transformation of one substance into another, and nursery, a place for nurturing.

Permaculture adds food production and the ethics of people care, earth care and fair share, Cetera said. The projects go beyond landscaping.

“A lot of people that don’t have a high income can’t afford produce,” he said. “We can help reduce the overall load to tax payers and social services agencies by providing a resource for people to grow their own food.”

With two master’s degrees, one in sustainable systems and one in forestry, Cetera has embedded his life in Syracuse. He has taught workshops and courses on permaculture at Alchemical’s four sites:

  1. Rahma Clinic Edible Forest Snack Garden on South Salina Street
  2. Syracuse Real Food Cooperative Garden on Kensington Street
  3. Latin American-inspired curbside garden by Oswego Street and West Fayette Street
  4. Cetera’s private backyard kitchen garden on Belmount Street

Magda Bayoumi, a founder of the Rahma Free Health Clinic, has worked with Cetera to develop their half-acre permaculture forest garden at their South Salina Street location. Free and open to the public since 2012, the clinic employees encourage locals to pick and eat the fresh produce in the garden.

Bayoumi helps run the clinic with the goal of helping anyone who walks through its doors.

“What we are really thinking about in making people healthier is eating healthy,” Bayoumi said. “It’s health problem prevention for the neighborhood. We had the idea of eat healthy, be healthy.”

Visitors in the summer can relax on the benches, peruse the plants and dig in the dirt to help maintain the garden, Bayoumi said. The clinic treats people with diabetes and high blood pressure, but taking advantage of the fresh produce can alleviate these conditions.

She even picks and places fruit at the front desk for patients to grab.

“It may be our hope that instead of the kids spending their money on soda or chips, they can just stop by the garden and pick up and apple, pear or peach,” Bayoumi said. “The children get educated about why this garden is there and what they need to do to keep it up.”

Cetera said he plans to open a summer camp for children who want to learn about where their food comes from. Members of the Syracuse Food Cooperative bring children to their garden to teach them about plants like kale.

In 2013, a family called about arnoia berries they had picked at the South Salina garden. They didn’t know how to eat them, so Cetera said he shared recipes.

It’s proof, he said. People have started to use the gardens.

Slate, co-founder of the Alchemical Nursery, pitched the idea of starting an eco village to Cetera in 2007. She wanted to raise her daughter, Moebius, in a community dedicated to intentional living.

Filing the paperwork for Alchemical’s nonprofit status, she watched her vision grow.

“[Permaculture] is about survival,” Slate said. “But it’s also about working together.”

Slate stopped working with Alchemical a few years ago to focus on raising Moebius, now 10. Without the funds to hire employees who can manage each site, Slate and Cetera couldn’t delegate the workload.

In the future, Slate said she hopes Cetera can build funds to expand the projects. People collaborating together can support the life of neighborhoods.

Cetera has received offers of seven to eight acres of land to work on, but he doesn’t have enough people to run the sites. Working on about $700 in administrative costs, he said the idea of the program is to inspire locals to maintain the gardens.

“Permaculture is participatory and is meant to grow skill sets in people, sets that have been forgotten,” he said. “We really need people to come out to spread the work around.”

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Tips: 4 projects for a make-at-home DIY night of fun

It is reported that more than 20 million Americans experience varying levels of winter depression. With shorter daylight hours, stress from post-holiday bills and a desire to hibernate until spring, you may be looking for a few ways to break out of your seasonal depression. Why not grab a cup of hot chocolate and make a plan to build something with someone you love this winter? Here are four easy home projects to consider for your DIY night.

Jewelry organizer

lRelated Wall jewelry organizer
Home GardenWall jewelry organizerSee all related

Did you receive new jewelry for Valentine’s Day and need an organization system to keep them tidy and untangled? Create a beautiful and functional hanging jewelry organizer for your bedroom. Simply build a wooden box from MDF (medium-density fibreboard) and glue an inexpensive floor length mirror to the front. This project was designed by KariAnne Wood of

What you’ll need: MDF, Dowel rod, full-length mirror with plastic backing, 12 two-pronged hooks, long piano hinge, cabinet knob, door fastener, Elmer’s ProBond Advanced.


1. Start with a piece of 1/2″ MDF.

2. Cut the large board into sections. You will need to have them cut: (A) 16″ wide x 52″ long (cut one for front piece); (B) 15″ wide x 51″ long (cut one for back piece); (C) 2 1/4″ wide x 51″ long (cut two for side pieces); (D) 2 1/4″ wide x 16″ long (cut two for top pieces)

3. Nail pieces (C) and (D) to piece (B). The side pieces will be slightly shorter than the top pieces.

4. Attach the mirror to piece (A) with Elmer’s ProBond Advanced. Follow application directions on the label and let the glue set for 24 hours for maximum hold.

5. Attach the piano hinge.

6. Attach dowel rods. Drill holes in the side of the organizer slightly larger than your dowel rods. Cut two small dowel rods to 15″ long. Bend dowel slightly, attach in holes and secure in place with Elmer’s ProBond Advanced Glue.

7. Attach hooks. Hang 12 multi-pronged hooks to organize the necklaces.

8. Add door knob and door fastener.

9. Organize and accessorize.

For step-by-step instructions on the three remaining projects, go to

Hanging herb garden

Get a jump start on your fresh herbs by constructing a hanging herb garden. Find an open window in your home. Install three curtain rods slightly wider than the window, and with enough room to hang S hooks and aluminum buckets. Fill with dirt and rocks for drainage, and plant your herbs. You can even apply vinyl letters to keep track of the herbs you are growing.

What you’ll need: 3 curtain rods, 18 S hooks, 9 aluminum buckets with handle, dirt and rocks for drainage, herbs, vinyl letters.

Floating shelves

Do you want to add a little industrial flair to your home but tired of pipe shelving? Creating a set of floating shelves with faux rivets will add character, even to a small space. After sanding and staining the boards, glue the metal strip to the 4″ board. Predrill holes, and install hex screws and washers. Cut the wood boards to size and construct the remaining shell of the floating shelf, attaching to the wall using the 1″x2″s.

What you’ll need: 2 1″x10″x6′ wood boards, 1 1″x2″x6′ wood board, 11″x4″x6′ wood board, 1 1″x1/8″x6′ metal strip, 8 5/16″ hex screws and washers, Elmer’s ProBond Advanced, Elmer’s Carpenter’s Wood Glue, Elmer’s Clamp Tape

Vase fillers

Do you have a few empty vases or large bowls laying around? Instead of trying to find a place to store them, turn them into home décor pieces. Easy-to-create vase fillers are an inexpensive way to bring color into your room while repurposing extra vases. Simply glue glass gems to various sized Styrofoam balls. Let dry and enjoy

What you’ll need: Styrofoam balls, glass gems, craft glue.

Gutschmidt is an account manager for Falls Communications which represents Elmer’s Glue and other brands. Find more DIY projects at

Copyright © 2015, Daily Press

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Bashful beauty: Alan Titchmarsh on how to grow Lenten hellebores in your garden

The leaves can be cut off completely now, if you have not done so already. This will help reduce the likelihood of them becoming infected with that nasty black spot disease. Lightly prick over the earth around the plants with a fork, and give them a mulch of chipped bark. Come the summer, a rash of seedlings will be pushing up, and this time next year you can ease them out of the ground and transplant them to grow on. 

Select plants in garden centres now, while they are in flower, and plant them in leafmould-enriched soil in shade among trees and shrubs.

Alas, the flowers themselves do not last very well in water when cut with a length of stem. But there is a way around this. Snip off individual flowers and float them in a bowl of water in the centre of your dining table. They’ll look like a pool of miniature water lilies and you’ll have a perfect view of their intricate markings. 

Give up chocolate for Lent if you must, but don’t give up your hellebores!

Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column today and every day in the Daily Express. For more information on his range of gardening products, visit

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Garden tools and gadgets: Alan Titchmarsh’s top tips to taming weeds

Weeding is the job most gardeners loathe but trust me, a really good hoe can turn it into a pleasure.

Try as many different models as you can before buying. It’s also worth visiting the stalls of specialist suppliers at garden shows to try out the more obscure brands.

Keep a selection so you can choose the best for each situation. Some people swear by the “O” hoe with a circular cutting head that pushes in easily between plants without chopping the ones you want to keep. In a vegetable bed, where hoeing is done in straight rows, a push-pull Dutch hoe is the most efficient.

One shaped like a golf putter that’s sharp on both sides is doubly so, as it cuts on both inward and outward strokes. For fiddly hand hoeing, an old-fashioned onion hoe or ridging tool might do the trick. Look in junk shops too.

Some will sell old gardening tools that are still sound and have been “run in” by years of use. A little spot of oil and sandpapering might be all that’s needed to get them back on top form.

A garden line is well worth having when you grow veg, salads or Victorian-style carpet bedding, as they need to be planted in dead straight rows. Parallel lines of plants look better and you can run a hoe quickly and efficiently between them, which turns out to be far faster than weeding by hand.

So get yourself a decent line with a proper Victorian-style wooden or cast iron peg at each end and proper string that winds tidily around its spindle, instead of making do with bits of cane or guesstimating by eye and ending up with a set of wavy rows.

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Cargo container tiny houses adrift at the Portland Home & Garden Show (photos)

Colby Weathers of Native Landscape Design has a different take on affordable living. He had ocean containers cut in half and placed in the middle of his landscape design, one of 14 elaborate entries in the Portland Home Garden Show‘s Excellence in Landscaping competition.

In the front of the display, called Independence Garden, a tower with a feather-shaped sculpture made of old licenses plates twirled above thick walkways made from wood reclaimed from old buildings.

Weathers oversaw the project with New Beginnings Landscape, a social enterprise that trains homeless and formerly homeless people for work. The program provides participants with marketable skills, a recent job history, current references and support for the interview process so they can take their experience and find full-time employment.

At the show, the team will compete against the top Northwest garden designers and artists. Last year, they were awarded a bronze medal.

Contributing to the expansive landscape were curving permaculture gardens as used by Growing Gardens, which helps low-income Portland residents grow their food to reduce hunger.

Also participating in the landscape were All About Stone, LBD Landscaping, Manzanita Lumber and Voodoo Doughnuts.

Jakub Jerzy Kucharczyk of Glaziery custom stained glass and restoration installed several artistic glass windows to the outside of the cargo containers.

The show is dotted with tiny dwellings. Shelter Wise’s Salsa Box is move-in ready and bijou cabins can be custom built by Eagle Log Cabins.

Cargo containers found an audience, too.

Weathers says he has plans to work with Beam Development of Portland to “change the face of low-income housing with these units.”

The Portland Home Garden Show at the Expo, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22.

Admission: $10 (kids age 12 and under free; $2 off discount coupon

For more information: 503-246-8291,

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