Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Archives for November 11, 2015

Faena District To Debut In November 2015 With The Opening Of Faena Hotel Miami …

The opening of Faena Hotel Miami Beach will be the inauguration of a cultural district, where art permeates every aspect.

Alan Faena will debut Faena Hotel Miami Beach in November 2015, marking the first opening in the Faena District Miami Beach, a new neighborhood with art and culture at its core. Situated on a majestic strip of beach in the heart of Miami Beach, Faena District stretches north from 32nd Street to 36th Street—between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Creek—and will open in phases over the next three years. It will feature one-of-a-kind cultural, residential, hotel, retail, restaurant, and public environments that have been conceived as dynamic expressions of art, design, nature, technology and service.

Located on 32nd Street and Collins Avenue, Faena Hotel Miami Beach typifies South American hospitality and is destined to achieve a new benchmark for service. Formerly the historic Saxony Hotel, the hotel will feature 169 rooms and suites and 13 penthouse residences spanning the top two floors of the property, all designed by award-winning film director/producer Baz Luhrmann and four-time Academy Award® winning production and costume designer Catherine Martin in collaboration with Alan Faena. The Saxony was one of Miami Beach’s first luxury hotels and was considered the epitome of modern glamour, where Hollywood icons Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin entertained the crowds. Alan Faena enlisted Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin to bring to life his vision for this rebirth and create a hotel that will carry on this legacy.

Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin will work with Alan to impart their distinctive aesthetic on the design of all the hotel’s interiors and public spaces. Inspired by the great opera houses of the world, the 3,000 square foot Theater at Faena Hotel Miami Beach will present live cabaret shows for guests and the public alike. The property’s 22,000 square foot Tierra Santa Spa will bring to Miami the first South American-inspired spa, while the hotel’s fire kitchen, Los Fuegos by Francis Mallmann, will be the celebrated chef’s only restaurant in the United States, offering an authentic South American dining experience, complete with asados (outdoor barbecues). The fire-inspired cuisine by Mallmann will be one of the hotel’s collection of unique restaurants and bars utilizing locally grown produce while featuring menus that celebrate Latin and South American culture. Faena has additionally collaborated with Chef Paul Qui, who will debut Pao, his first restaurant outside of Texas, and Chef. Gabriel Ask, who will serve as Executive Chef for Faena Hotel Miami Beach, overseeing all Food Beverage as well as room service.


Faena District will include Faena Forum, a groundbreaking new institution dedicated to the development of cultural programming that transcends disciplines and encourages collaborations across artistic, intellectual, and geographic boundaries. Designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA, the 50,000 square-foot building will debut in April 2016, and features a series of large flexible spaces for site-specific projects, installations, performances, and events. Overseen by Ximena Caminos, Executive Director of Faena Forum and Chair of Faena Art, Faena Forum will serve as a public venue for the exploration of ideas and issues by professionals, practitioners and thinkers from a range of fields, including the arts, sciences, technology, politics and urbanism, to foster transdisciplinary research and discovery.

Faena District will also include Faena House, an extraordinary, 18-story luxury condominium designed by Foster + Partners and situated on the widest stretch of white sand in all of Miami Beach. Faena House is sold out and closings began September 2015.

Faena Versailles Classic comprises 22 exclusive residences in the historic, and deco Versailles tower (formerly Hotel Versailles), designed by William Sofield. A newly constructed tower, Faena Versailles Contemporary designed by Brandon Haw is located immediately adjacent. Faena House and Faena Versailles residents will enjoy privileged access to all hotel services provided by Faena Hotel Miami Beach, as well as all cultural offerings of the district.

Faena District, spanning between 32nd Street and 36th Street, will change the landscape of Miami and spark an artistic and cultural renaissance in the heart of Miami Beach. In addition to Faena Hotel and Faena Forum, the district will feature exquisite residences designed by Foster + Partners, Brandon Haw and William Sofield, as well as a marina, state-of-the-art parking area and retail complex designed by Rem Koolhaas/OMA. The district will be framed by the lush landscaping of Raymond Jungles.

With the debut of Faena District Miami Beach, Faena remains true to the mission of creating inspiring cultural communities of world-class hotels, residences, exhibition spaces, retail, restaurants and entertainment. Faena balances art, architecture, nature and technology—all elements uniting to generate neighborhoods that redefine how we live.

Article source:

AVEW HOLDINGS INC. Pool Service Division Continues to Exceed Growth and …

AVEW HOLDINGS INC. (OTC PINK: AVEW) today announced the ongoing successful implementation and outstanding management of Fantastic Pool Services’ (FPS) business plan has led to an unparalleled 188% growth in revenues and 87.5% increase in customers for pool maintenance and services. This has been achieved in a short 12-month period since FPS was acquired by AVEW in November 2014.

Fantastic Pool Services is a full pool maintenance and repair company that serves Central Texas including Austin and the surrounding Hill Country areas. In addition to pool service monthly accounts, FPS is a certified repair center for multiple nation-wide equipment vendors: Pentair Aquatic Systems, Zodiac Pool Systems (Jandy), Paramount Pool Spa Systems, and Delta Ultraviolet Corporation. Each of these companies are top-tier vendors in the pool industry spanning all aspects of the pool building, maintenance, repair and remodel sectors.

FPS has grown from 80 to 150 service accounts over the past 12 months and has increased its annual revenue run rate from $150,000.00 to $432,000.00 and is expected to continue on a 150% per year growth path.

FPS is the exclusive startup company allowing a direct line to new pool customers for New Generation Pools as well as 6 other leading pool builders in Central Texas. FPS has hired and trained a group of knowledgeable and dedicated service and maintenance technicians who have provided exceptional service to their customers. This includes a full time senior technician to handle all repair and replacement needs. FPS has also equipped its fleet of service vehicles with the most up to date maintenance equipment and service supplies.

Mr. Mike Sharp, AVEW Senior VP of Operations and founder of FPS, stated, “FPS’ success continues to be a concrete example of AVEW’s growth business model. It allows AVEW companies to leverage each other horizontally and vertically across the company. The multiple specialty construction divisions continue to provide additional customers and business opportunities. FPS has a current goal of 300 pool maintenance customers for 2016 and we look forward to achieving and/or surpassing this milestone.”

About AVEW Holdings Inc.

AVEW Holdings Inc. is a collection of companies in different disciplines operating under a public held AVEW Holdings Inc. This gives strength and integrity to each division to weather our recessions, downturns, etc. in the economy. The companies of AVEW combined have a wealth of knowledge and experience along with the opportunity to consult with one another to share ideas and get input from other divisions.

AVEW includes a full service pool, spa, landscape design and construction company. New Generation Pools is a custom pool design and construction company that has won national and regional pool construction and design awards. Fantastic Pool Services is a maintenance and pool repair company doing business in Central Texas. Pegasus Construction Company is a residential remodel and new construction company servicing Central Texas. Pegasus also designs and installs landscaping, outdoor living kitchens, fireplaces, cabanas, and decks. Kustom Fence and Construction Company is a custom fence designer and builder serving the Hill Country. Tarragon Homes and Milagro Homes are full custom and production home building and development companies. AVEW Real Estate Development Company will be involved in commercial mixed-use development.

Safe Harbor Statement:

AVEW cautions that statements made in press releases constitute forward-looking statements, and makes no guarantees of future performances and actual results/developments may differ materially from projections in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and opinions of management at the time statements are made.

 Top of page

Article source:

10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Drought


By Jenny Miller | November 11, 2015
By Jenny Miller  |  November 11, 2015

The current California drought is one of the longest and hottest in the state’s recorded history. It turns out a shortage of water is a much more far-reaching issue than it might seem; it’s not just produce farmers who are affected. As Zagat explores in this four-episode documentary series, livestock ranchers, vintners, restaurateurs and others are also feeling the pinch as the drought drags on. But there’s an upside, in the form of innovation and creative thinking about how to use water resources going forward — so that whether or not El Niño brings rains this year, we’ll be better able to cope in the future. Smaller farms located in or near urban centers, hydroponics and aeroponics and creative policies in restaurant kitchens are just a few of the out-of-the box ideas we examine in episode four. If you’d like to get caught up on the facts about the drought before diving into the videos, below are 10 things to know.

1. Drought is normal. It’s part of the climate cycle. California has a long history of droughts, some lasting 10 years or more. However, this drought, which has been going on for four years, is reportedly the worst one the state has had in 500 years. This drought is hotter and drier than most others. As wildfires blazed yet again in Southern California last week, in the foothills above Santa Barbara, that was particularly apparent.

2. We should question what we think we know. During this drought, creative thinkers are faring better than those wedded to conventional methods. For instance, tilling soil, breaking it up to mix in organic matter and prepare for planting, is thought of as a normal part of farming. But not for Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser of Singing Frogs Farm in Sebastopol, CA. They point out that tilling causes the two things we need in our soil — nitrogen and carbon — to leave the soil and bind with oxygen, creating greenhouse gases. Tilling also increases moisture evaporation. During five or six years of not tilling, they’ve increased their soil’s organic matter by three- or four-fold. They also rely on infrequent drip irrigation, rather than sprinklers. Javier Zamora of JSM Organics in Royal Oaks points out that conventional sprinklers are extremely wasteful. He’s switched to smaller, lower-pressure sprinklers, which get the job done with much less water, as his lowered water bills prove.

3. Livestock farmers are feeling the effects of the drought too. Lack of rain is not just a problem for produce farmers. Livestock ranchers, especially those producing grass-fed meats, suffer in a big way during a drought, as their fields grow dry and bare. Many have taken to buying alfalfa from elsewhere, at great expense. A few, like David Bice at Redwood Hill Farm in Sebastopol, CA, who’s feeding his goats a drought-resistant Australian shrub known as tagasaste, are thinking outside the box.

4. With wine, there are flavor advantages when you don’t irrigate a vineyard. This is a main guiding principle for Phillip Hart and Mary Morwood-Hart of AmByth Estate in Paso Robles (the subjects of episode 3), who produce biodynamic wines. Says Hart, “If you irrigate grapevines, the roots systems become lazy and stay near the top of the soil.” He continues, “But if you don’t irrigate, the root systems go down very, very deep. This allows the wines to gather flavor from many parts of the soil, and gives the grape and the wine more flavor, or terroir.” It’s definitely something to think about as large wineries near AmByth Estate continue to plant and water their vineyards like it’s business as usual.

5. California’s breweries are affected too. It can take seven gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. Even the not-exactly-tree-huggers at Anheuser-Busch brewery in Los Angeles have made efforts to cut their water use; they’re using reclaimed water for cleaning and have replaced landscaping with more drought-friendly plants, according to CNBC. That leaves more water for the beer (insert joke about watery brews here).

6. Small urban and suburban farms may be the future. A report two years ago by the U.N. warned us that a focus on small-scale organic farming is the only way to feed our planet’s growing population. Small farms are more nimble, able to adapt and innovate during extreme conditions like drought. They also tend to be located closer to where people live, cutting down on the transit time between harvest and table. Since produce loses nutrients as the days tick by after it’s harvested, this gets food to eaters while it’s at its most nutritious. Willy Blackmore, food editor at TakePart, suggests that a good plan could be to “grow the perishable things that require a lot of water close to the people that consume them. And then save the farmland for commodity crops like wheat or corn.”

7. Hydroponics and aeroponics are where it’s at. Hydroponics uses 90-95% less water than conventional farming, it doesn’t attract pests, and it’s one of the most space-efficient and fastest ways to grow nutrient-dense food. Aeroponics is a form of hydroponics in which plants are grown without soil, with mist used to deliver nutrients to their long root systems. Because hydroponic and aeroponic gardens are small and easy to install, they’re generally located at or near the place where the food is served, getting more nutritious food to eaters faster.

8. Fish are part of the drought equation too. Some proponents of hydroponics also incorporate aquaponics into their growing systems. As Blackmore explains, “A lot of people are really excited about aquaponics next to hydroponics, because by having the fish, you have fertilizer, and then the plants filter the water the fish live in.” The drought is affecting fish and seafood in rivers and oceans as well. Lack of rain and heat waves are bad news for fish and seafood, which have seen reduced supplies in California waterways and higher prices.

9. Even if El Niño is really wet this year, it may not be enough. Says Blackmore, “I think there’s a lot of hope being placed in the winter rains. The problem is they’re not necessarily going to hit where they need to hit.” Scientists are predicting that El Niño warming current on the Pacific Coast will lead to a wet winter for California. The state already saw some rainstorms this month, which caused mudslides just north of LA. What’s more, even one very wet winter may not be enough to replenish water supplies, since farmers have been tapping into ancient underground aquifers for water. “We’re built around this infrastructure that’s dependent on snowmelt” to fill reservoirs, Blackmore says. “But as we get warmer, wetter winters, that infrastructure isn’t going to work anymore.”

10. There is a silver lining. The drought is driving innovation. John Cox, the executive chef of Sierra Mar restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, has gotten a lot of attention for his innovative way of cleaning dishes. He’s swapped out his water-intensive pre-rinse unit, a staple in restaurant kitchens since the 1950s, for an air-blower that cleans plates without using water — and reportedly he’s inspiring other restaurants to do the same. Others are focusing on rooftop and patio gardens, and some farmers are re-examining irrigation methods to cut back on water use, and save on water bills. But it’s too soon to tell how long-term these effects will be. Say Blackmore, “The answer to if there’s an upside will be determined when the drought goes away.”

Article source:

EDDIE SEAGLE: Mulches come in many different forms

Eddie Seagle

“In November, some birds move away and some birds stay. The air is full of good-byes and well-wishes. The birds who are leaving look very serious. No silly spring chirping now. They have long journeys and must watch where they are going. The staying birds are serious, too, for cold times lie ahead. Hard times. All berries will be treasures.”

Cynthia Rylant

The weather is unusually warm for this time of year. It appears that our first killing frost will be delayed until later in the season. Our lawns are still green but growth has slowed down significantly. Plans are being made for our Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. And our landscape beds await as refreshing mulches are on their way.

Mulches are the final touch in curb appeal and give the landscape a look of unity and completeness. However, landscapes should look great throughout the year, not just when they have been recently mulched. Mulching choices help determine the overall effect in aesthetic appearance. Mulches come in many different forms. Organic mulches are effective, but mineral and synthetic (inorganic) mulches can also make good mulching choices.

Advantages of the mineral mulches (stone, pea gravel, etc.) over the organic materials (bark, pine straw, etc.) include their ability to withstand wind conditions and remain intact, their significance in not harboring weed seeds or diseases, and their neutral impact on soil chemistry (do not rob the soil of nitrogen).

Mineral mulches (fine textured and coarse textured) are used in shrub beds, driveways, walkways, foundation beds and in steps. Crushed stone and gravel are appropriate mulches for rock gardens and select beds. Some mineral mulches can be custom colored to blend in with features of the home or landscape.

The disadvantages of mineral mulch particles include being thrown by rotary lawn mowers during mowing (potentially causing injury or damage to people and property) and their tendency to migrate downward into the soil profile over time. The latter can be corrected by using a synthetic fabric placed between the mulch and the soil surface. Also, mineral mulches do not contribute any beneficial organic matter to the soil.

Geotextiles (or landscape fabrics) have been significant in mulches over the last several years. These woven and nonwoven fabrics of polypropylene or polyester are an improvement over the traditional black plastics. They will block weed growth, reduce surface evaporation and allow water, fertilizer and oxygen to penetrate easily into the soil.

However, if they are used alone as mulches, geotextiles can be degraded and weakened by the effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. These geotextiles are used more frequently as liners between the mulch and the soil, thus enhancing the weed-suppressing ability of the mulch while separating the mulch and soil.

Since several geotextiles are on the market, it is critical to choose the proper fabric. Factors to consider in the selection process include the ease of applying the material to the landscape, the ease with which water penetrates through it, the effectiveness of the material in suppressing weed growth and the relative cost.

Before any geotextile is placed on the ground, the subject area must be cleaned of all weeds and the surface shaped for effective surface drainage. Most manufacturers suggest that the installer lay the fabric into position and carefully cut small slits where plants are to be installed.

However, most landscapers who have worked with these geotextiles have found that the application is more accommodating when the shrubs are planted in weed-free soil. The fabric is laid onto the ground and cuts are made to allow the fabric to be worked around the base of each plant. The final step is to apply a 1- to 3-inch layer of mulch on top of the geotextile to improve appearance (curb appeal), reduce wear and decrease deterioration caused by the sun’s rays.

Rubber mulches are environmentally-friendly and money-saving alternatives to the traditional bark and wood mulches for landscaping projects. Rubber mulches are more durable, cost-effective and lower maintenance than wood mulches, stone and other traditional landscaping materials. Also, they do not harbor harmful pests like termites, rodents or spiders, and they are resistant to mold and fungus. Available in fade-resistant colors, rubber landscape mulches are a superior landscape solution for your residential or commercial projects.

Rubber mulches are available in several colors including black, gray, redwood, brown, green and blue. They keep their fade-resistant color for several years, will not crack, splinter, blow or wash away, will not compress or decompose, will not harbor insects or diseases and will not absorb water or freeze. They save trees and provide an opportunity to recycle, thus reducing the scrap tire count at landfills. They are non-allergenic and harmless to plants, pets and children without depleting our natural resources and are excellent choices for landscape beds and playgrounds.

Synthetic pine straw is an excellent alternative to natural pine straw, which is in high demand and varies in age, color, quality, price, etc. and decomposes readily (about two months of quality curb appeal from initial placement). Synthetic pine straw is made from recycled polypropylene which does not absorb water or chemicals. It is recycled easily from bottle scrap, carpet backing, fiber and yarn.

Synthetic pine straw is an excellent choice for commercial and industrial properties wanting quality curb appeal. Also, it is an excellent choice for homeowners who want an attractive appearance in the landscape and a favorable environment for their plants and flowers.

The downside of using these mulches in landscape beds under existing trees and large shrubs is the contamination from falling leaves and needles onto the existing mulch surface. If you have selected a mulch different from these falling leaves or needles then clean-up can be problematic, but do-able.

May the results of your immediate efforts be long-lasting so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor for seasons to come. Think sustainability and native plants. Keep your hanging baskets and potted plants refreshed with water and food. Select awesome seasonal plants for the upcoming holidays. Plan a road trip to enjoy Christmas lights with all that splendor and beauty of the season. Remember to feed and water the songbirds, and give your pets the care they need (do not leave them unattended in a hot car or tied to a tree all day long). Also, be on lookout for children playing along the streets and roadways throughout our communities. Don’t drive distracted or impaired, and don’t text while driving. Let’s keep everyone safe. It’s an awesome season!

“For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:10.

Eddie Seagle is a sustainability associate, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland); agronomist and horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International); professor emeritus and honorary alumnus, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and associate editor of The Golf Course, International Journal of Golf Science. Direct inquiries to

Article source:

Morris County news calendar


Students at Morris Hills High School will perform their annual fall play on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, November 19-21, at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

This year’s production is “A Christmas Carol,” adapted by Renee and James Lavin from the novel by Charles Dickens.

Tickets are $8 for everyone on Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. Tickets are $10 for everyone for Friday and Saturday evenings. For more information, please contact Mrs. Lavin at or contact the General Office at 973-664-2309.


The Township Committee is scheduled to meet Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 1000 Route 10. Among the items on the agenda are the presentation of awards to veterans groups.


Furnishing Solutions, the Homeless Solutions upscale resale store, will honor U.S. veterans by inviting them to shop for all clothing absolutely free through Friday of this week.

All veterans and active military personnel will be given their choice of clothing items at no charge from Tuesday through Friday with valid military ID. Items include men’s and women’s suits, dresses, and casual wear.

Furnishing Solutions is located at 2960 Route 10W, Powder Mill Plaza West, Morris Plains, NJ and is open every day except Monday with the following hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.


“A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet,” the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement in the past 50 years, is to be screened 7:30 p.m. today at the Visiting Nurse Association of Northern New Jersey.

The film, sponsored by the Morris Township Democratic Committee, is the first event in its 2015-2016 environmental series. Ken Collins, a member of the Green Party and a Sussex County environmental activist, will introduce and moderate the local screening.

Cost is $10. To reserve a seat, contact The Visiting Nurse Association is located at 175 South St. Free parking is available in the rear.


The Parsippany Main Library will host “Groundhogs, Almanacs, Weatherpersons: Who Do You Trust to Predict the Weather?” from 7-8:30 p.m. today at the library, located at 449 Halsey Road.

Find out how weather prediction techniques have evolved over time, the most accurate resources for predictions, and a Q A session. The lecturer, Professor Alan Robock, Department of Environmental Services, Rutgers University will be presenting this program. Registration is a must by visiting or calling 973-887-5150, ext. 209.


Steve Chapin Band – A Tribute to Brother Harry and More will play at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 24 at the RoxPAC at Investors Bank Theater, located at 72 Eyland Ave.

Songs will include “Let Time Go Lightly”, “Cat’s In the Cradle”, “Taxi”, “Mr. Tanner”, “Better Place To Be”, and “W.O.L.D.”.

Tickets are $30, if purchased before Nov. 11, $35 after Nov. 11 and at the door.

Purchase tickets at


As part of the Morristown Morris Twp. Library’s “Moving Image of Rock Series,” The 2014 film “Riot on the Dance Floor: The Story of Randy Now and City Gardens” will be screened at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the library, located at 1 Miller Place in Morristown.

The film’s director, Steve Tozzi, will also be on hand for a QA about the film. The documentary features the stark and iconic photography of Thrasher Magazine’s Ken Salerno. It is told through an oral history format of in-depth interviews and archival footage, bringing to life the gritty story of one of New Jersey’s most infamous clubs and its larger than life promoter.

For more information, call 973-538-6161 or visit


The Morris Museum will host “The Artistry and Social Fanfare of Fans” at 2 p.m. today at the museum, located at 6 Normandy Heights Road.

Assistant Curator Alexandra Willis will lead a behind-the-scenes look at the new fall exhibition, “The Language of Fans.” Tickets are $10 per person.

For more information, call 973-971-3700, or visit


The Montville Recreation Department is sponsoring academic strategies classes for students in grades 6-8 from 4:30-5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays, Nov. 11, 18 and 25 and Dec. 2, 9 and 16 at the Academic Excellence Center, located at 115 Horseneck Road in Montville. All times are 6:30-7:15 p.m.

In this class, students will be taught: time management skills, good studying habits, organizational skills, test-taking strategies, note-taking strategies, homework strategies, memorization techniques, communication skills, reading comprehension strategies, learning style strategies, listening activities, stress management and much more.

The cost is $120 per person for the six-week program. For directions or more information including specific dates and times, call 973-454-1587.


Happiness Coach Adria Firestone will host “Three Keys For Happier Holidays” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Wharton Public Library, located at 15 South Main St.

For ages 18 and up. Call 973-361-1333 or stop by to sign up.


The Mendham Twp. Library will host “The NJ Militiamen and Their Families at War: A People Harassed and Exhausted” from 7-8 p.m. on Thursday at the library, located at 2 W. Main St..

During the Colonial period and then the American Revolution, by law, every man between the ages of 16 and 50 in New Jersey was required to enroll in his local militia company. These companies were expected to be a local, emergency defense force, but the nature of the Revolution in New Jersey radically expanded the scope of their duties. As a result, every man and his family, faced a “disproportionate burden” while trying to support their families and defend their country.

Registration is a must by calling 973-543-4018 or emailing to


Short Stories in Madison will host a “Give Back” event from 2-8 p.m. on Thursday at the store, located at 32 Main Street in Madison.

Short Stories will donate 10 percent of the day’s sales to the Madison Rotary. Club members and Friends of Rotary will be on hand from 2-8 showcasing the benefits Rotary provides in our community.

For more information about the event, call Short Stories at 973-845-6086.


The 2014-15 edition of “The Promethean,” the County College of Morris (CCM) student literary magazine, was presented with a gold award in the 2015 American Graphic Design Awards in the Publications category.

This is the 11th consecutive year the publication has been so honored, ac cording to a press release from the school, which said that the awards are sponsored by Graphic Design USA, a monthly trade publication for graphic designers that has sponsored national design competitions for 50 years.

More than 10,000 submissions were received in this year’s contest, and only 15 percent of those were selected for recognition, the release said.

The 2014-2015 student staff was made up of graphic design students Paula Bevacqua, of Cedar Knolls; Perry Capalakos, of West Caldwell; Kylie Eckert, of Succasunna; Bobbi-Lynn Herda, of Dover; and Wassana Techadilok, of Long Valley.


The Morris Plains Community Band rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Morris Plains Borough School Band Room. All wind and percussion musicians are welcome.

The music is easy (middle school level) and there is no cost or commitment, according to a press release from the band, which said they traditional American band music – patriotic songs, marches, show tunes, holiday music, etc.

For more information, contact Larry Ripley at or 973-984-2505.


Opera at Florham will present its next musicale on Nov. 22, at 3 p.m. at Fairleigh Dickinson University featuring a variety of famous opera arias and Broadway songs.

The Musicale will feature soprano, Amber Daniel, who recently made her debut role as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly at Maestro Lorin Maazel’s 2014 Castleton Festival; André Courville, base baritone, portrayed Mephistopheles in Faust at the Academy of Vocal Arts Philadelphia, where he is a resident artist; Alasdair Kent, tenor, first prize winner of OAF’s 2015 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition.

People are encouraged to bring children to Opera at Florham events. There is no charge for children under 12 years old when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets are $35 for regular admission, $30 for seniors, and $10 for students. Special rates are available for Groups of 10 or more at $25 per ticket. Tickets can be ordered by calling 973-443-8620 or on the website Checks can be mailed to Opera at Florham, P. O. Box 343, Convent Station, NJ 07961.

For more information, visit


The Landscaping and Horticultural Technology (LHT) program at County College of Morris (CCM) will be holding its annual Holiday Poinsettia Sale starting at the end of November.

Deep red, pink, white and assorted variegated forms of poinsettia, both large and small, will be available. The sale takes place Nov. 30, through Dec. 2, from noon to 5 p.m. in the LHT greenhouses, located near Parking Lot 1, on CCM’s Randolph campus, 214 Center Grove Road.

More than 500 plants will be available ranging in price from $5 to $30. Students in the Plant Science and Plant Pest Management classes have worked with faculty and staff to produce the crop. Proceeds from the plant sale benefit the educational activities of the CCM Landscape Club.

To learn more about the LHT degree and certificate programs offered at CCM, visit


Stanley Congregational Church will host “Stanley ACTS: Hunger” on Saturday and Sunday.

The event is taking place within National Hunger Homelessness Awareness Week to promote education, action and awareness about hunger and homelessness in the community and nation, according to a press release from the church.

Activities will include young poeple setting up a “tent city” on the premises to demonstrate the experience of being homeless in Morris County; church members will make bag lunches for the non-profit Bridges, prepare backpacks for homeless families, and put together non-perishable food bags.

There will also be educational activities and a food drive throughout the weekend.

Food donations will be sent to the Interfaith Food Pantry of New Jersey and personal hygiene products to Family Promise. Donations of non-perishable foods and personal hygiene products can be dropped off at Stanley starting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday through Sunday 4 p.m.

For a full schedule of events, please visit or call the church office at (973) 635-7723.


King of Kings Lutheran Church will present its 3rd Annual Outdoor Live Nativity on Dec. 5, at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The living re-creation of the birth of Jesus will include a humble stable, a rustic manger, a brilliant star and live animals, actors and music. The event is free to the public. Refreshments will be offered following the presentations and all children that attend will receive a free gift. Complimentary Bibles will be available upon request and Christmas devotional books will be given to adults.

King of Kings is located at 145 Rt. 46 West, Mountain Lakes, NJ, 07046.


The YMCA has a teen night planned for Nov. 21.

The night will include swimming, a kids zone, gym games, music, dancing, and snacks, according to a press release from the Y, which said that the event runs from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. and is free for members while non-members are welcome for $5.

People can register now at the Y or online at


Randolph Township Health Department is offering flu vaccines on:

Nov. 19 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Randolph Township Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Ave.

Dec. 3 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Randolph Township Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Ave.

Dec. 17 from 6 to 7 p.m. at Randolph Township Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Ave.

The Clinic is open to all ages. No registration required. The cost is $20. Only Medicare, Part B as Primary is accepted.


The Morris Plains Community Band will perform at the Morris View Nursing Home’s Annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony from 7:30-8:30 p.m. on, Dec. 9.

The public is welcome to attend.

Article source:

Drought Has Triggered A New Normal For The California Landscape

Natural grass areas at Armstrong Garden Centers’ Pasadena and Torrance store locations have been replaced with inspirational demonstration gardens, which are open to customers and the general public to view a variety of water-saving options, for both experienced and novice gardeners.

California is now entering its fifth year of the worst drought in 500 years, with no end in sight. Weather experts predict the current drought will continue into 2016, despite optimistic projections of increased rain patterns this winter caused by a strong El Niño ocean current.

Residents have fully bought in to the emergency, and embraced Governor Jerry Brown’s April 1 mandate to reduce water usage by 25 percent. Even after an above-average hot summer, the state has exceeded its goal, with a per-month average of 28 percent water reduction. Some of the ways homeowners are being encouraged to reduce their outdoor water use are concerning, but the good news is, drought-tolerant landscaping and awareness of water-wise gardening is on the rise.

Cash For Grass Rebates Have Landowners Trading In Their Lawns

When Governor Brown’s water reduction mandate was announced in April, consumer reaction was reflected in the sales at retail, says Jim Hessler, Altman Plants’ director of West Coast operations.

“I think a lot of it was because consumers didn’t know what the regulations meant,” Hessler says. “As we got past the first few months, there was an impact, but not as dramatic as April and May.”

When you lose sales in the peak spring season, it’s hard to make up that difference in July, Hessler says. The biggest area impacted was annuals, followed by perennials. But Altman’s water-efficient plant categories were fine.

For a number of years, Altman has carried a program of water-wise flowering plants, including California natives, Australia natives and a number of Mediterranean plants. The plants are well-adapted to the dry California climate, and consumers are starting to take notice of the efficiency and beauty of drought-tolerant landscapes, with water restrictions and mandates in place.

Some areas in California are paying homeowners up to $3.75 per square foot to rip out their traditional lawns, and replace them with drought-tolerant landscapes. And for the unmotivated consumer, there are even some services offering to do it for them, for free, in exchange for rights to the rebates.

Meanwhile, the California Water Commission approved sharp new limits on the amount of water that can be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings, from houses to businesses and schools. The revised ordinance will limit grass to about 25 percent of a home’s combined front, back and side yards in all new construction. Drought-tolerant plants can be used on the remaining landscape space.

California’s Investment In Diversifying Water Paying Off

Over the past 15 years, lawmakers and authorities at California’s water districts have been working to diversify the water resources available to residents.

In San Diego County, a water desalination plant is set to open this fall. While it’s an expensive source of water, the plant will make a difference in water availability in an area where there is minimal groundwater supply. The cost of the water is estimated at $2,200 per acre foot, compared to the roughly $1,500 costing growers now.

“In Southern California, there continues to be a lot of investment to improve water availability and conservation measures,” Hessler says.

“This not the first drought we’ve been through. When you open the tap, water still comes out — it’s not quite as much of a panic mode as the media makes it out to be. It was serious, but the work and investment that’s been done has made a difference. It’s important that we learn from it and continue to produce plants with less water and find ways to conserve.”

Growers Are Doing Their Part

Water conservation is not new to growers in the Western states. Across the U.S., water retention ponds and water treatment systems that allow growers to catch rain water and recycle and reuse it are quickly becoming mainstream at grower operations. Innovations within the industry continue to improve growers’ water use, and growers are finding that by reducing the amount of water they use, and watering plants when needed instead of on a set schedule, plants are healthier.

Altman Plants captures and recycles water at all of its facilities, yet it also relies on an allocation of municipal surface water. Its Salinas property is the only one that uses groundwater.

Olive Hill Greenhouses has added reclaimed water systems at its Olive Hill location and is working on developing a water retention system, soon to come online, at its Green Canyon location.

Further up the Coast, Rocket Farms in Half Moon Bay captures and reuses water, and its purchase of municipal water for irrigation purposes has decreased dramatically, according to Head Grower Corwin Graves.

“Because of the decisions that were made several years ago to capture and reuse rainwater, the drought has impacted our operation much less than it would have otherwise,” Graves says. “That said, the current water situation has challenged us to look at ways to further minimize our impact, since groundwater sources are a finite resource.”

This includes training employees who are responsible for irrigation decisions to water efficiently, Graves says.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time reviewing irrigation timing and frequency, recognizing that each crop has a specific need and that there really is such a thing as too much water for most crops,” he says.

Hessler agrees, saying giving adequate training and responsibility to employees is of utmost importance.

Smith Gardens, with four locations in three water-restricted states — California, Oregon and Washington — has a water retention and recycling system at its Pacific Plug Liner location in Watsonville, Calif. The operation is working to bring all of its locations online with water retention and recycling systems, focusing first on its Aurora, Ore., location, where it’s expanding, says Lars Nilsen, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Village Nurseries Wholesale, a specialty grower for landscape contractors, architects and designers, is spearheading efforts to keep California green and colorful with its Save Water-Stay Green campaign for the fall planting season. The company recommends a wide variety of low-water-use, low-maintenance shrubs, grasses, groundcovers and trees that consumers and landscape professionals can use.

“Currently, about 70 percent of what we grow performs well with less water, once established,” says Village Nurseries’ CEO David House.

Most of the California cities participating in rebate programs to rip out lawns have included requirements for landowners to install approved drought-tolerant landscapes, rather than leaving bare lots, and some cities have banned the use of artificial turf.

Retailers Take Action To Save Water And Set A Good Example

Armstrong Garden Centers, the retail arm of Armstrong Growers, is setting an example for consumers by converting the large, traditional lawn areas at 11 stores to a more water-wise landscape.

“We have a responsibility to show how simple it can be for Californians to have a beautiful lawn and garden while still being reasonable with limited resources,” says Armstrong Garden Centers President Monte Enright. “As a responsible horticulturist and California native, I know that less water doesn’t mean we have to settle for less beauty in our neighborhoods and communities.”

Armstrong Garden Centers demonstrates how to have a healthier garden and landscape by watering less, but more effectively, and still staying in compliance with current water regulations. It provides services including water wise and garden consultation services, and home visits from an expert to help identify ways to reduce outdoor water usage, such as sprinkler audits, soil moisture retention tests, plant reviews and other water-saving opportunities.

Big box retailers are hosting water-wise educational sessions, and working in cooperation with the water districts to instill best practices for water savings, which growers support, Hessler says.

Walmart has installed WaterPulse capillary mats in its 3,700 stores nationwide after the mats were proven to reduce daily water usage by 90 percent, from 4,000 gallons to 400 gallons.

WaterPulse CEO Jim Heffernan says the company is working rapidly to trial the mats at The Home Depot and subsidiaries of Lowe’s stores. Starting with the big boxes, word spreads quickly about the savings, he says, but WaterPulse is working to get the mats in independent garden centers, as well.

WaterPulse is also trialing its capillary mats at a half dozen major grower operations on the West Coast and in the South. The technology is the same as the mats used at retail, he says, but can be manufactured in larger sizes to cover a larger amount of bench space at wholesale.

Consumers And Growers Face A New Normal In The West

In the Pacific Northwest, the governors of Oregon and Washington have declared drought emergencies within the past year.

Nilsen says while Smith Gardens hasn’t experienced any restrictions, and the drought hasn’t seemed to impact sales thus far, the anticlimactic heat has. Starting off a banner year for sales, the operation was on track for 4 percent growth, but by the end of the growing season, that number looks more like 1 percent.

While conditions in the Pacific Northwest haven’t yet reached the dire proportions of California’s climate, climatologists have said warmer, drier conditions in these typically rainy states are the new normal, and lawmakers are suggesting landowners need to adjust to the reality of using less water for the long term. For now, that means water restrictions on agriculture, municipalities leasing water from farmers and homeowners under strict mandates to reduce water use.

It’s Time To Take A Holistic Approach To Water

Ze’ev Barylka, director of marketing for Netafim, an irrigation company serving a number of industries including agriculture, says it’s time for the U.S. to take on a holistic approach to water. The company, headquartered in Israel, has been meeting with lawmakers like Governor Brown in California, as well as media sources like the Los Angeles Times and NBC, to communicate that the approach to water management doesn’t need to be all or nothing. As a company, its message is one of growing more with less.

Barylka says the conversation currently in drought-stricken areas regarding which activities are more important for water use creates negativity, and the industry needs to be more active to control the conversation around watering for outdoor uses.

“What we’re seeing here is a battle of users,” he says. “There is talk in the media about prioritization of water. What is more important: take a shower, wash your car or grow 5 acres of almonds? This creates a very unhealthy dialog. When you look at the Israeli approach to water management, the need to save water is the obligation of everyone who uses water. We need to come up with a similar, holistic approach to water management in the U.S.”

Article source:

Gardening with Evelyn: Tips for longer-lasting poinsettia, pansy plants

Potted poinsettia plants

Potted poinsettia plants should be kept in moist soil.


Cool weather and a sunny spot are ideal for growing pansies.

Pansies 2

Pansies can be picked twice a week for use in bouquets.

Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 1:43 pm

Gardening with Evelyn: Tips for longer-lasting poinsettia, pansy plants

By Evelyn Weidner, Columnist

The two Ps, poinsettias and pansies, both belong in November.

Poinsettias are the Christmas flower, and November marks the beginning of this special season. For more than 75 years, Encinitas was home to the Ecke family and its poinsettia ranch. This is where the poinsettia became the world’s best-selling holiday plant. This makes the poinsettia extra special for local folks — it’s our home flower.

With the right care, poinsettias will stay looking beautiful well past the holidays. Here are some tips for successful long-lasting poinsettias.

1. Buy a fresh poinsettia that has not been sitting in a packing box in a dark warehouse.

2. Letting your poinsettia dry out is the No. 1 cause of falling leaves and ugly poinsettias. Make a watering schedule and stick with it. Using ice cubes to water your plants makes it easy. Four to five ice cubes equals about half a cup of water. The smaller the pot, the more frequently it will need water. For small, 3-inch pots, try a turkey baster of water, three times a week. For the most popular 4-inch or 6-inch pot, try four to six ice cubes three times a week. For big plants, feel a pinch of soil and it will tell you if your plant needs a drink. If the soil is cool and moist, your plant is fine. If it’s warm and a little dry, it’s time for a drink. Outside plants dry out much more quickly than indoor plants. Turn up the heat, and your plant wants a drink more often. Wet roots sitting in water are the other extreme. Roots need air. Water-soaked soil drives out the air and the roots begin to rot, leading to premature poinsettia death.

3. Cut off those blooms around St. Patrick’s Day. Your plant cannot begin its journey to blooming again next year unless you cut off the old blooms. Next month, I will tell you everything you need to know to make your poinsettia bloom again the next season.

Pansies are the No. 1 easiest winter bloomer. Pansies love cool weather. Planted now, they will bloom all fall, all winter, all spring and well into summer. Here are some hints to help you get the most from your pansies.

1. All pansies love the sun but will be OK in part sun.

2. Pansies love to eat, just like you! They need a drink of water when they get a little dry, just like you!

3. Pansies love attention, just like you! (This means picking the nice fresh flowers and picking off the dead ones, too.)

4. Rabbits love pansies too, just like you! If Rabbits feast in your garden, plant your pansies in raised pots or baskets.

5. Pansies or violas? That is not important. Usually the smaller pansies are called violas and the larger-faced ones go by pansy. Don’t worry about unimportant details.

6. You cannot over-pick a pansy, so go ahead, pick two bouquets a week. Since pansies have short stems, look for small, low vases. Start with a filler foliage, such as the mirror plant or ferns. Use five to seven short pieces of that to fill the spaces between your cut pansies. If your pansies get too tall or ragged-looking, cut them back, feed and wait. They will soon be back into bloom.

More about Poinsettia

  • ARTICLE: Poinsettia-growing family donates papers to Cal State San Marcos

More about Evelyn Weidner

  • ARTICLE: Gardening with Evelyn: Yes, you can … create fall in San Diego
  • ARTICLE: Annual event recalls region rich in lima beans
  • ARTICLE: Gardening with Evelyn: G is for geranium
  • ARTICLE: Gardening with Evelyn: Butterflies, moths and caterpillars: It’s a love-hate relationship


Tuesday, November 10, 2015 1:43 pm.

| Tags:



Evelyn Weidner,

Gardening With Evelyn,

Home And Garden,

November Gardening,

Seaside Courier

Article source:

Your garden in November: Sean Murray’s sculpture tips for North East gardeners

Creating your own garden sculpture from upcycled materials is a thrifty way to personalise your outdoor space and combined with some thoughtful planting it can elevate your garden to another level.

I have always been fascinated with making art from thrown-away items such as plastic bottles, biscuit tins and old car tyres. That experience served me well when I found myself creating sculpture on a tight budget to wow the judges on the Great Chelsea Garden Challenge 2015. One piece made from wire hanging basket frames, dogwood stems and Echeveria did the trick and secured my place in the final.

Tin cans featured heavily in my Chelsea 2015 garden, a circle of them being used to frame a view of Euphorbia Palustris, its lime green flowers worked well in sharp contrast to the rusty surfaces. In the North East this plant does very well on heavy wet clay soils and can reach 1.5m.

It’s great to come across sculpture unexpectedly, perhaps hidden between formal avenues of hedging or placed imaginatively to punctuate an area of planting. Boom! It makes you stop and take in the whole picture.

Take inspiration from the professionals and visit the Yorkshire Sculpture park or visit public spaces displaying sculpture. Newcastle University grounds are a good starting point and have some thought-provoking examples.

Sculpture made by Sean Murray for The Great Chelsea Garden Challenge

In Germany earlier this year I visited Henry Moore’s Vertebrae 1968, and I am currently making my own interpretation of it using used car parts. You can create the same buzz on a much smaller scale for very little outlay.

Befriending a local welder who can help you construct your vision is also helpful.

Try planting drifts of evergreen Harts Tongue fern Asplenium Scolopendrium planted with orange tulips. Ballerina or Princess Irene both look stunning against rusty surfaces. November is an ideal time to plant tulips.

Keeping your sculpture portable means you can move it seasonally to highlight areas of spring planting, summer scents or a plant with amazing autumn leaf colour.

If you have space, sculpture looks great in a meadow or, on a smaller scale, try enclosing it in an arc of tall planting. Create an element of surprise – tall grasses such as Miscanthus Sinensis variegatus (2m tall) or yellow stripped Miscanthus strictus (2.5m) would work well. A planting duo of bronze fennel Foeniculum Vulgare and Cynara Cardunculus with its architectural silver foliage look great too.

It’s true garden sculpture can cost thousands but try harnessing your creativity this winter and have a go at making your own.

You may also be surprised how affordable it is to commission a local artist to make something for you and with Christmas just round the corner, what a great gift!

Avoiding the mass-produced garden centre pieces will give your garden its very own narrative.

Sean Murray runs a garden design company based in Ashington, Northumberland,

Sean Murray at the Henry Moore Vertebrae sculpture in Munster

Article source:

Jo Thompson to design "re-imagined" rose garden for Chelsea Barracks exhibit

Having trouble signing in?

Contact Customer Support at
or call 020 8267 8121, or refer to our answers to frequently asked questions.

Article source: