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Archives for November 10, 2015

Family, friends remember late Huntley volleyball coach Larry Kahl

Kahl’s teams were 432-150 in his 15 seasons, with 12 consecutive Class A regional championships. From 1994-97, Huntley finished fourth, second, third and fourth in the Class A State Tournament.

Heather followed Heidi to Clemson. Huntley graduates Jill Heavey and Jackie Dalleska also went to play for the Tigers. Larry Kahl had more than 20 girls move on to play volleyball on NCAA Division I scholarships.

One of those players was Jami Greve Murray, who played volleyball at Bradley University and now is married to Jacobs baseball coach Jamie Murray.

“The Kahls introduced me to volleyball,” Murray said. “I hung around with Heather in the sixth grade. [Larry] was knowledgeable about the game, more so than anyone in the Huntley area. He was passionate about the game. Compared to other junior high programs, we were doing more advanced things, similar to what the high schools teams were doing.”

Cindy recalled when Huntley wanted to start a volleyball program at the junior high school, around 1974 or 1975. When no one else would take it, Larry did.

“He got some books and read about it,” Cindy said. “Over the next 12 years or so, he went 164-4.”

Kahl was recruited to coach at Sports Performance, one of the nation’s elite clubs, and flourished there as well.

“Our kids played there and Rick Butler, the owner, asked if Larry would be interested in coaching,” Cindy said. “Rick’s an incredible coach and trains his coaches so well. Larry got a lot of coaching ideas from Rick.”

Former Huntley coach Jim Tichy’s teams had won four regionals in five seasons before Kahl took over. Kahl produced nine 30-win teams and six state qualifiers (eight went to the state tournaments at that time).

Kahl stepped down after the 2005 season. He, Cindy and Bryan moved to South Carolina to be closer to Heidi and Heather. Heidi had three children at that time, Heather was coaching at Wake Forest.

People around Pendleton didn’t take long to discover there was a volleyball guru in town, and Kahl began coaching lessons at a club and was hired as junior varsity coach at Wren High School in Piedmont. He didn’t want the head coaching responsibilities, so he worked as junior varsity coach, although the varsity coach was a young woman starting her career and she regarded him as a mentor.

On the side, Kahl got a job at Boscobel Golf and Country Club doing manual labor. At home, he took up landscaping. Heather visited her parents monthly the last two years, with her son Landon, who is 4. She could not believe it when she saw their yard.

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Green Energy Park hasn’t met early expectations, documents show

On Green Energy Park’s website, photos of blacksmiths and glassblowers in action are interspersed with text about making the world a cleaner place, turning “trash into treasure” through the conversion of waste – landfill gas – into energy.

Through GEP, Jackson County offers studio space and equipment to craftsmen at subsidy prices, hundreds of dollars a month below what they’d pay to equip and rent the vacant buildings lining the streets in nearby Dillsboro.

Last week, commissioners agreed to pay $35,000 for architectural plans of a future artisans’ center, extending local taxpayers’ bill in GEP’s nine years past the $2-million mark. Federal and state grant dollars have added another half-million.

Supporters counter that GEP’s cost to taxpayers is repaid by “putting Jackson County on the map,” as promotional literature for the project states. Craftsmen using the facility are enthusiastic about local government support. County leaders point to educational benefits. And environmentalists like the sound of alternative energy sources.

But GEP has struggled to turn promises into reality. Originally touted as a model of both economic and environmental sustainability, Jackson County government has fallen short on both counts, according to county documents reviewed by The Herald.

Touted as methane-fueled, in fact, electricity and other conventional sources — not landfill gas — provide much of GEP energy needs. And county leaders’ early assurances to taxpayers and grant agencies that they were “committed to the ultimate goal of financially independent business practices” have gone by the wayside. Last month, Chairman Brian McMahan said: “There’s no way (GEP) will ever break even.” He said he believes the educational benefits of GEP outweigh the costs.

This fiscal year, GEP is expected to recoup less than 6 percent of its expenses through rent and class fees, according to county estimates.

While in pursuit of grant dollars during the early 2000s, however, the county stated this: “The project has been designed to ultimately operate without the benefit of state funds.”

And this: “Jackson County recognizes that ongoing startup funding might be needed for the short term, but fully intends for the Dillsboro Center to be financially self-sustaining.”

And: “The county recognizes that the commercial space made available could impact the private real estate market in neighboring Dillsboro. It is intended that rental space will ultimately be offered at fair market value with the added benefit of free energy provided from the landfill gas.”

Tuesday, GEP Director Timm Muth said landfill-captured methane fuels three blacksmith forges; a blacksmith foundry; and two “glory holes” used to reheat glass while a craftsman works.

The glassblowing furnace is electric powered. Muth said GEP’s electric bill averages about $850 a month. An outdoor kiln is fueled using wood scraps, with a boiler operating on waste vegetable oil. (Kilns in the future artisans’ complex, Muth said, will use landfill gas.)

Greenhouses at GEP are not fueled with methane, either. Nor, at this point, are they operated by GEP staff, though a $237,000 Golden Leaf Foundation grant was obtained based on GEP use and methane energy use. The greenhouses are now Public Works’ responsibility, according to Muth and Solid Waste Director Chad Parker.

Supporters of GEP blame an unfriendly political climate for any perceived shortcomings. From 2010-2014, a previous mix of commissioners demanded GEP become economically self sufficient. They cut funding and eliminated the vacant assistant director’s position.

With more fiscally liberal commissioners again in charge, including Chairman McMahan, who led the board when GEP opened, the project is enjoying a renaissance. This summer, the board added two part-time employees and increased county funding by an additional $44,000. And last week’s decision to hire an architect moves Jackson County a step closer to building the 16,000-square-foot GEP artisans’ complex.

Local government’s action came Nov. 5 after a small parade of people, largely those using GEP equipment and low-rent studio space, voiced their support for expansion. Commissioners still must vote to move forward after they review Sylva architect Odell Thompson’s findings.

Thompson will rework a section of the original GEP master plan that calls for a ceramics studio with four artist spaces and kiln area. The second phase would add 14 studios, public restrooms and an education center; the final phase includes gallery space, offices and a reception area. The master plan calls for using an on-site building – a metal frame and pad. Before the park opened, the county bought the structure from Webster Enterprises, in anticipation of constructing the artisans’ complex.

Supporters say completing the master plan will turn the tide at GEP. Muth assured the previous board of commissioners that the park would, at that point, become financially independent.

There’s no evidence of a market study to back Muth’s claim, and the county’s GEP track record indicates that flying on faith has its perils. Here are some of the failed ideas listed in county documents:

• A botanicals drying and storage facility. In 2008, county officials told a grant agency they’d abandoned that idea because of no local buy-in. But, they said, “the lesson learned is upfront interest and commitment is essential to guarantee a successful outcome.”

• The greenhouses, now operated by the county to grow landscaping plants, were intended for use by Christmas tree farmers, a “green roofing” grower and installer, an aquaponics developer and the local farmers market.

• Local farmers never grew oilseed for fuel as part of a planned GEP-led push into “alternative agriculture” and there are no anaerobic digesters to turn organic crops directly into methane gas and compost.

• A biodiesel refinery project ended with the business owner and Muth accusing each other of not fulfilling promises and the county terminating the lease.

• A briefly considered sawmill never materialized.

The “methane-fueled Green Energy Park” was conceived after landfill gas in 1999 reached “potentially explosive concentrations,” according to public documents. The county installed landfill gas measurement probes at the 9-acre site to ensure that buildings and workers in the area were safe. With county leaders in search “of a way to improve the environment while developing economically sustainable business practices that would benefit residents,” then county Manager Ken Westmoreland toured a Mitchell-Yancey landfill gas-to-energy project called Energy XChange.

“The strength of the idea was clear,” documents in the county manager’s office state. “(Westmoreland) sought and obtained agreement from commissioners that a similar concept would be implemented at the closed Jackson County landfill.”

There are 750,000 tons of trash buried in the former county landfill. The decomposing organic materials release methane, a gas more detrimental than carbon dioxide. The usual solution is to install gas collection systems to capture the methane, put it into a flare, and burn the gas; estimates hold that every ton of methane captured and burned avoids the equivalent of adding 104 tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

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School District Wants Ideas From Public About Roosevelt-CAPS Scheduling

Tom Morton, Townsquare Media

The Natrona County High School is preparing for the opening of the Roosevelt High School-Center for Advanced and Professional Studies (CAPS), and it wants the community’s help, the school board chairman said Monday.

“Tonight we discussed schedule options and really an outreach to students and parents over the next month to get their feedback on how to best organize the schedule at CAPS,” Dave Applegate said after the board’s bimonthly meeting.

The new school, which is under construction on Casper’s west side, will have about 500 students, as well as students from other high schools on a part-time basis.

The campus will provide an expanded home for current Roosevelt students, and it will provide a home for students that want to take a career-driven, practical education pathway.

CAPS will offer interdisciplinary courses to combine academic and vocational learning in communication, design, agriculture, architecture, manufacturing, health sciences, and human services.

This strategy offers multiple benefits, Applegate said.

“For example, you might take a construction class and math class that would be combined so you would doing woodworking and maybe learning how to build a house and you’d also understand the mathematics associated with that type of project,” he said.

“So you’d be able to get a credit both in your career in technical education and you’d also get a math credit,” Applegate said.

Groathouse Construction received the $23 million contract from the school district to build Roosevelt High School-CAPS. Construction began in April 2014.

The school originally was expected to open in early 2016, but the company’s president Fred Bronnenberg told the school board in March that weather and changes to the project would delay that deadline by two months.

Monday, the district’s director for business services Dennis Bay told the board

Dennis Bay, NCSD’s Executive Director for Business Services said the Roosevelt High School-CAPS building now is scheduled to be completed in May and the landscaping will be completed in late June or early July.

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Stormwater management: Counties are using outdated standards

The recent Seattle Times guest column “Puget Sound recovery hinges on blocking polluted runoff” [Opinion, Nov. 6] by Chris Wilke should be read to every regulator, developer and politician in Western Washington.

As a professional civil engineer specializing in stormwater design, I have designed and reviewed hundreds of stormwater projects. Not only do Low Impact Development (LID) methods do a better job of protecting our lakes and streams than the traditional, “end of pipe” stormwater treatment, such as underground vaults or large detention ponds, LID is less expensive to build. Let me spell that out, LID is C-H-E-A-P-E-R.

For instance, with pervious pavements there are no catch basins, underground stormwater pipes, manholes or huge ponds that take up valuable land space or expensive underground concrete vaults. Rain gardens treat stormwater and recharge groundwater while providing aesthetic landscaping.

Yet many developers and counties, such as Snohomish and King counties, are fighting to keep in place outdated standards by appealing a ruling against them by the Pollution Control Hearings Board that would eliminate grandfathering under obsolete and discredited stormwater design standards.

Chris Wilke is correct: If we want a healthier Puget Sound and recovering salmon and orca populations, we must adopt and implement LID stormwater practices now.

William Lider, principal engineer Lider Engineering

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Salad days for Sonnenberg: Gardens, features keep Sonnenberg in the black

Posted Nov. 9, 2015 at 10:59 PM
Updated at 11:00 PM

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Have a patch? Landscape it

If you think the world of landscaping starts and ends with a carpet of Korean grass, think again. The wide assortment, diversity and scope of today’s landscaping will be showcased at the Lalbagh Botanical Gardens in a first-of-its-kind National Landscape Fest or the ‘Rashtriya Bhoo Drishya Mela’ from November 11 to 15.

Nearly 100 varieties of the horizontal green-spread will be showcased in stylised ways that can be used on any size of land, including balcony spaces or terraces. “In between our two flower shows, we wanted to take across an educative and informative display of green. Since Bengaluru is increasingly seeing an upsurge of concrete jungle, we thought it was time to look at landscaping for greening concrete spaces,” said M. Jagadeesh, Joint Director Horticulture, Parks Gardens, Lalbagh, who has designed the show.

German concept

For example, ‘Allotment Gardening’, a concept brought over from Hannover in Germany by S.P. Sumangala, scientist, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, addresses aspects related to environmental security, targeted towards smart-city planners, builders and the BDA, for meticulous inclusion of green.

Leading landscapers, landscape architects, technology and inputs related to landscape trade will be part of the fest.

“Professionals from Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, apart from Karnataka, will participate. While the Glass House will exhibit 16 landscaping models, such as the Royal, Japanese, Italian, Persian, French, Temperate and the Bali styles, more will be categorised as beauty, ornamental, nutritional, medicinal, eco, organic urban and spiritual gardening,” said Mr. Jagadeesh.

The Glass House will exhibit 16 landscaping models such as Royal, Japanese, Italian, Persian, French and Bali styles

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Gardening tips: Taking care of the garden during the winter

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Fall gardening tips from Nevada County Master Gardeners

With late summer gardening winding down, there are still a number of activities to keep gardeners busy during the fall.

There is still time to plant cool season edibles, cover crops, bulbs and ornamentals.

And, there are a number of other tasks that can be done to help keep gardens in good shape for next spring and summer.

The fall is a great time to amend soil by adding well-aged manure, compost, well-balanced fertilizer and leaves.

These rich additions will add beneficial micronutrients necessary for maximizing soil health to enhance healthy growth in plants next season.

— Mulch around existing root crops such as beets, carrots, turnips to help preserve moisture and protect the roots.

Winter squash should be harvested before heavy frost.

— Garlic cloves are plentiful and easy to grow; plant garlic and onions now for a nice harvest next summer.

Mulch well for protection over the winter.

—` Look at your landscape and determine if you want to add more fall color.

Consider Chinese pistaches (Pistacia spp.), maples (Acer spp.), crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia spp.), persimmons (Diospyros spp.) or native trees or shrubs such as redbud (Cercis spp.).

—Now is the time to invest some energy in a good garden cleanup.

Annual flowers should be pulled up and composted; cut back perennials and mulch with straw, pine needles or leaves.

The canes of berries that bore fruit should be pruned to ground level and mulched heavily around the base of the plants.

Cut out the dead canes. Strawberries can be thinned and mulched now as well.

— It’s important to clean up fallen fruit.

Do not compost diseased fruit as some pests can over winter and return to garden plants next season.

Any trimmings from fire blight-infestation and codling moth-infested apples should be bagged and removed to the trash.

Remove any diseased vegetable matter; compost only that which is not infested or showing evidence of pests.

— Prune deciduous trees and shrubs such as stone fruit, apple, pear spirea, and roses.

Make proper cuts to encourage good form and structure.

— Drain irrigation lines and store timers and hoses. Sharpen, oil and tune up garden tools for storage over the winter.

Take an inventory of irrigation supplies that may be required next spring.

— Add leaves, manure and other browns and greens to compost piles; cover during heavy rain to prevent over saturation.

Prevent water from ponding around tree trunks by aerating and adding organic matter to the root area, avoiding mulch up to the trunk.

Help is available

Although the workshops for 2015 are now complete, the Master Gardeners are looking ahead to next season with more great workshops and activities to help educate home gardeners.

We appreciate all who attended our workshops and other events.

As always, if you have any garden-related questions, contact the Hotline at 530-273-0919.

Our Hotline office is in the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 255 S. Auburn St. in Grass Valley.

It is staffed Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

During this time, you are welcome to call in or come into the office and bring us a sample of the problem.

If the office is closed, you can leave a message and a Master Gardener will return your call on the following Tuesday or Thursday.

We also have a link on our website at .

Look for the “Got Questions?” link to access the electronic form.

You may also attach up to three digital photos pertaining to the question.

Ann Wright is a Nevada County Master Gardener

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Brian shares his gardening tips

GYMPIE’S Brian Herron knows a thing or too about successful vegetable gardening.

After listening to experts and being prepared to try different ideas, Brian is constantly learning what works and what doesn’t.

Gympie Municipal Horticultural Society member interested in gardening – especially vegetables and fruit, as Brian is – can find out how to plan a vegetable garden at the society’s next meeting on Saturday, November 21.

The annual general meeting will be held on the same day with Mayor Mick Curran chairing the meeting, which will be held Brian Herron and Gladys Gear’s garden.

Behind Brian and Gladys’s residence there is a massive garden that covers an area of 15m x 56m with one half being flowers for Gladys, and the other half Brian’s vegetables.

You may wonder why they thought that this was the perfect spot for their gardens?

Surprisingly Brian and Gladys wanted an area that is reasonably flat with them thinking, “Will we have trouble getting around in the garden when we get older?”

They are very lucky as this site still manages to get up six to eight hours of direct sunlight which is definitely a great place to have your vegetable patch.

If this was not the case there would be less produce, and are more susceptible to attack from insects and diseases.

Gardeners may think the vegetable patch is simply too far away from the kitchen and therefore could easily be neglected by letting the vegetables go to seed. But this is simply not the case and would never happen with Brian taking care of the vegetable garden.

Considering shade is very important too.

These beds would be useless if shaded by trees, fences or buildings on the north side, and where possible try and leave the same height of any tree, fence or building in distance from the vegetable patch.

There’s one golden rule that gardeners need to remember: Vegetable plants are definitely not drought tolerant.

Watering is a major issue if you are unable to keep them happy during the dry spell. And that is the reason Brian does not have many vegetables growing at present and will start again in February next year.

At the November 21 meetings,everyone will be very surprised to see so many raised garden beds – 63 in total – all varying in sizes with majority of them being 60cms wide and 2m in length lined with sleepers. Every second being rotated and the rest planted with vegetables.

Many gardeners can get a little carried away in designing garden beds and not thinking clearly about, “Can I comfortably reach to the other side?” Brian has no problems as there are plenty of room on either side of the garden bed to bend down and pick the produce.

There are several requirements starting with testing and fixing the soil, digging up the garden beds, applying and mixing compost into the loose soil, smoothing the surface with a rake then water thoroughly.

The beds must be allowed to rest for four weeks before planting seeds or seedlings.

The next stage will always be satisfying and rewarding in that you’ve spent time preparing, growing, harvesting and savouring delicious home-grown produce rather than taking the easy option and buying them from the grocery shop.

Don’t forget the society’s Christmas lunch at Gunabul Homestead on Saturday, December 5 at 11.30am for noon.

Members are encouraged to dress up for the occasion and there will be prizes to be won for best dressed outfits for both men and ladies.

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Growing vegetables and test scores: Local schools dig learning gardens

WASHINGTON — There is no carpet, no ceiling and no desks inside Beacon Heights Elementary School’s newest classroom.

Instead, there are mulched plots, raised vegetable beds and tree stumps that serve as seats.

The Prince George’s County school is the first D.C.-area school to partner with the nonprofit organization REAL School Gardens to design and build an outdoor “learning garden.”

“School gardens are rising in popularity across the United States, which is just fantastic, but often times the gardens are underutilized,” says REAL School Gardens CEO Jeanne McCarty.

A school garden doesn’t have to end with a collection of vegetable plants. Similar to a computer lab or school library, McCarty says outdoor spaces can be an additional resource for teachers: “Something teachers can use to get kids more engaged in math lessons, more engaged in science and more inspired in language arts.”

Over the past 10 years, REAL School Gardens has built 100 learning gardens in low-income areas across the nation, and the organization has plans to work with nine additional schools in the D.C. area in the upcoming year.

On Saturday, more than 100 people from Beacon Heights and the surrounding community came out for the school’s “big dig.” Volunteers erected the garden’s arbor entryway, set up a music learning center and laid plans for a weather station and an ivy-covered bird habitat.

Beacon Heights Principal Lynne Stuewe says the new garden is the perfect place for students and teachers to connect cross-curricular content, such as a social studies chapter on how Native Americans grew their own food with a science lesson on soil composition and photosynthesis.

“Students always do better when they have real tangibles to look at and see how things connect with one another,” she says. “With the garden, they get to have a bigger picture of what everything entails.”

Outdoor classrooms offer a change of scenery and a break from long days spent cooped up in small desks, but they’re helping to improve test scores.

According to data collected by REAL School Gardens, schools with learning gardens saw a 12 to 15 percent increase in standardized test score pass rates, and 94 percent of teachers reported increased student engagement.

McCarty says she’s also seen “amazing results” among teachers. Morale and job satisfaction nearly doubled with the gardens, and 90 percent of teachers who use the gardens reported feeling prepared to help their students succeed academically.

Stuewe believes Beacon Heights’ new garden will benefit everyone in her school, but she is most excited to see how her English language learners, or ELL students, utilize the classroom’s interactive features. More than 260 students out of 500 at the Riverdale, Maryland elementary school are ELL.

“This is really going to be helpful for them,” she says. “There are so many connections that are going to be made; I just think my kids are going to be better for it.”

The garden may have gone up in a day, but Stuewe says the process took about a year. After applying for a partnership with REAL School Gardens, the nonprofit connected Beacon Heights with two corporate sponsors to help fund a large portion of the project.

Last May, the school’s students had an opportunity to get their hands dirty in the planning process with a garden design contest, which helped to decide all of the learning elements included in the space.

“It is a full design that feels like a classroom space,” McCarty says about the learning garden, adding that there are even operational elements, such as a white board, to make it easier for teachers to hold lessons outside.

After a garden is built, REAL School Gardens sticks around for three years to continue professional and curriculum development with the teachers in its partner schools. And McCarty says the learning starts right away.

“We don’t want any pause. We get so much enthusiasm around the build, we want teachers to go straight into utilizing that learning garden and we help make that happen.”

Stuewe says her school has always been active in gardening and teachers have been receptive to holding class outside, but the new learning garden is an opportunity to take that interest to the next level.

“Now I’m really excited that they’ll have a place to go,” she says.

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