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Archives for July 6, 2016

Marco Maycotte designs pleasure garden to become "the Las Vegas of Scandinavia"

Graduate shows 2016: the town of Vejle in Denmark is transformed into a pleasure garden in the spirit of Peter Pan’s Neverland in this design by Aarhus School of Architecture graduate Marco Maycotte (+ slideshow).

According to Maycotte, the escape mentality that features in JM Barrie’s popular novel could be applied to real life. His proposal is to create a garden where people can escape their everyday stresses.

Maycotte has designed a garden where people can escape their everyday stresses, in the spirit of Peter Pan’s Neverland

He chose the fjord-side town of Vejle as the location because, he claimed, it is a place of “ever-present beauty” that many people drive through but never stop off at. He calls his design The Pleasure Garden.

Related story: Louise Bjørnskov Schmidt designs rainforest complex to promote eco awareness in Panama

“Much like the overlooked beauty and inspiration around us in our everyday lives, Vejle has the potential to reimagine and enlighten those of us who can no longer see the glitter through the fog of pressures we live amongst,” said Maycotte.

The Danish town of Vejle would, in essence, become “the Las Vegas of Scandinavia and Europe”

“Through the experience of The Pleasure Garden, we can relearn how to stop and smell the daffodils – a much-needed awakening amongst a disillusioned people.”

The town would, in essence, become “the Las Vegas of Scandinavia and Europe”, he added.

The Sloth section of the garden is a forest filled with places to lounge, smoke marijuana and blow soap bubbles

Maycotte developed the proposal for his final-year project in the Aarhus School of Architecture’s F16 unit, which looked at the relationship between architecture and resources.

Considering that Denmark is statistically one of the happiest countries on earth, he wanted to question what it is that makes people genuinely happy, and how much of that is dictated by social practices.

To do so, he has divided his Neverland garden into different sections, covering all of the seven deadly sins.

The Lust area is described by Maycotte as a place where “the social walls created in the outside world do not exist”

The Sloth section of the garden is a forest filled with places to lounge, from giant hammocks to floating rubber rings. Here, visitors can relax, smoke marijuana and blow soap bubbles for as long as they choose.

The Lust area is described by Maycotte as a place where “the social walls created in the outside world do not exist”. It features wine-filled canals and “naughty hedges”, where visitors are encouraged to get close to one other.

Wrath is an area where visitors can create colour landscapes or engage in paint wars

Wrath is an area dedicated to paint, where visitors can work through their emotions by creating colour landscapes, or simply by engaging in paint wars.

Unsurprisingly, the Gluttony area is filled with food, offering a rare opportunity to gorge without judgment.

The Gluttony area is filled with food, offering a rare opportunity to gorge without judgment

The final area brings together Pride, Envy and Vanity. Here, an endless supply of costumes allows visitors to proudly style themselves before walking down a catwalk.

“These cardinal vices are reinterpreted in a way to provide an avenue for discussion, as well as an experience of indulgence, which is frowned upon in western society,” explained Maycotte.

The final area brings together Pride, Envy and Vanity. Here, an endless supply of costumes allows visitors to style themselves for a catwalk

“To indulge is an important component of The Pleasure Garden,” he continued. “It creates a space to be fully aware of the now – the taste, the smells, the beauty – an outlet for one’s mind to run wild. This, in contrast, helps to raise discussion on how we are currently living our routine-like lives.”

“Cut the tether keeping you in the monotony of everyday drudgery and insanity and experience life in all its colour in the pleasure garden of Neverland.”

Maycotte wanted to question what it is that makes people genuinely happy, and how much of that is dictated by social practices

Maycotte was selected ahead of all his classmates as the recipient of the CEBRA Prize, awarded each year by architecture studio CEBRA to one standout student from the school.

Other architecture projects from this year’s graduates include designs for a “fantastical world” in London railway tunnels, an ecological education facility in a Panama rainforest and a structure based on the eggs of a rare butterfly species.

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Winning gardens announced at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show

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Lost garden design lectures of Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe published

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Growing Frederick’s future farmers and agriculturists

This is the final part in a series of stories written about graduates of the Career and Technology Center, Frederick County’s vocational and career-readiness school. The stories are written by Madison Lawson, a senior at Oakdale High School, and Eikaiva Boyer, a sophomore at Walkersville High School, who won a competition coordinated by the Career and Technology Education Advisory Council to qualify to work with Frederick News-Post staff.

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The rise of Sterling Ranch

Sterling Ranch’s eight villages and one town center will be built over the next 20 years.

Seven builders have signed on to construct the development: Brookfield Residential, CalAtlantic Homes, Lennar, Meritage Homes, Richmond American Homes, Parkwood Homes and Wonderland Homes.

The first village, Providence, is expected to break ground this August. The other villages do not yet have specific time dates to start construction.

Providence will consist of 800 single-family homes, 85 acres of open space, one school, a church, a civic center, a recreation center and a state-of-the-art fiber optic network.

There will be four architectural styles —ranch, farmhouse, Victorian and contemporary. Starting prices will range from the lower $400,000s to the mid-$600,000s.

Harold and Diane Smethills, both 68, were both born and raised in Colorado. Harold grew up in Wheat Ridge and Diane in Denver.

Diane has a degree in journalism and took her first job at ABC Studios in New York City. She then moved to Denver and worked for a Dallas-based real estate company called Trammel Crow Co.

Harold has an MBA and law degree from University of Denver. He’s held executive positions in several large corporations, including United Banks of Colorado, Adolph Coors Co. and American Business Products.

Harold and Diane met over a real estate deal in Denver about 30 years ago.

After they were married, Diane was a stay-at-home mother to their two sons, whom she calls “a great gift.” Harold continued to run companies.

“Why retire?” he said. “This is more fun — creating something.”

2004 — Coloradans Harold and Diane Smethills purchase Sterling Ranch from Frank and Joy Burns. They become the third family to own the land since the Civil War.

2009 — The Smethills file a planned-development application with Douglas County.

2010 — Sterling Ranch gets the state’s first rainwater harvesting pilot project, which collects rainwater from storm drainage systems and stores it underground in tanks or retention ponds. The water will be recycled as irrigation in the community.

2011 — Douglas County approves Sterling Ranch. Chatfield Community Homeowners Association files a lawsuit against Douglas County for the board of county commissioners’ decision to approve Sterling Ranch, saying the project did not have proof of an adequate water supply.

2012 — 18th Judicial District Judge Paul King overturns the county’s approval, stating that in accordance with state law, Sterling Ranch did not have sufficient water secured to move forward. The county appealed the district court ruling, saying King had misinterpreted the law and that all that was necessary was for the development to prove it had enough water to move ahead with the initial phase of the project.

2013 — Chatfield Community Association files another legal challenge against the county’s appeal.

2014 — Douglas County District Court Judge Richard Caschette rules in favor of Sterling Ranch, saying state law requires only that developers show they have enough water for each phase of a project.

June 2016 — Sterling Ranch begins building the water and electrical infrastructure.

August 2016 — Sterling Ranch expects to break ground on Providence, the first residential village with 800 homes.

David Paul and Caleb Hausman, undergraduates at Vanderbilt University, spent three weeks in Douglas County this summer interviewing some 120 community members about what education will look like in Sterling Ranch in 20 years.

“People are really passionate about education in this area,” said Hausman, a senior studying public policy with a focus on education policy. “We will ultimately make recommendations for Sterling Ranch.”

Their interviews, which included people from Douglas County School District, Douglas County Libraries, civic organizations and businesses will be transcribed by professionals and given to Eve Rifkin and Kristen Baese, doctoral students at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of Education, which was ranked the fifth-best education school in 2016 by U.S. News and World Report.

At the end of their capstone projects, a two-semester independent research project due in May 2017, the doctoral students will turn in dissertations and develop a set of proposals for Sterling Ranch, which has plans for five elementaries, one middle school and one high school. At buildout in 20 years, the development is projected to have 12,000 homes and 33,000 residents.

“It’s an opportunity to take what I’ve learned as a school person and use it in a more systematic way,” said Rifkin, director of College and Career Readiness at City High School in Tucson, Arizona. “We can really start from scratch. There are no limitations.”

Vanderbilt chose Sterling Ranch as one of 17 cross-disciplinary projects funded through a $50 million Trans-Institutional Programs initiative. The university’s chancellor, Nicholas S. Zeppos, introduced the program in 2014 to support collaboration between colleges and hands-on research.

Brock Smethills, chief operating officer for Sterling Ranch and a Vanderbilt graduate, suggested the partnership.

“Sterling Ranch is the beneficiary of innovative and comprehensive ideas about sustainability and education,” Smethills said. “And, in return, Vanderbilt’s students make a real impact on a real project in real time. That is a rare opportunity for any university.”

The university selected undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, Peabody College and the School of Engineering to focus on sustainability and education in Sterling Ranch.

“It’s a rare opportunity to bring students in, at every level, to help generations to come,” said Dr. Claire Smrekar, associate professor of Education Public Policy at Vanderbilt and director of the education initiative at Sterling Ranch. “It represents an incredible opportunity to make a difference.”

They joined hands and began to pray.

For the land.

For the well-being of neighboring communities — Roxborough, Littleton, Highlands Ranch.

For the residents of Sterling Ranch, the community that would rise from the land around them.

“We prayed that it would be a wonderful place to live,” Diane said, “filled with wonderful families.”

Sterling Ranch has been the Smethillses’ dream for 12 years: A $4.4 billion multi-generational, eco-conscious development of 12,000 homes on 3,400 acres with schools, churches, shopping, recreation and the latest in technology to make life easier and keep pace with the demands of a rapidly changing world.

Said Harold: “We are building a community for people who aren’t born yet.”

A modern community

On a morning earlier this summer, the Smethills sat in their Highlands Ranch office, on the second floor of the sandstone building near Lucent Bouleveard and C-470. Graphics, maps and floor plans of Sterling Ranch covered the walls around them.

Next month, after years of planning and dreaming, the first homes are scheduled to break ground. The journey has been invigorating, exciting, challenging, but overall, an ever-changing creation.

“Our initial vision hasn’t changed,” Diane said. “It’s expanded to include so many areas we didn’t dream of 12 years ago.”

The development sits west of Santa Fe Drive and south of Chatfield Reservoir, just east of the Roxborough community and next to Roxborough State Park. Pastures, dirt roads and a small enclave ofhomes and horse corrals surround the vast open space. It is seven miles southwest of Highlands Ranch, 15 miles northwest of Castle Rock and about 20 miles south of Denver.

Construction of the development’s backbone — its water and electrical infrastructures — started about a year ago. The first model homes are expected to break ground this August in one of eight villages, which along with a focus on water and energy conservation is a core concept in the Smethills’ emphasis on creating an environmentally aware and neighborly community.

The first village, called Providence, will have nearly 800 single-family homes, 85 acres of open space, one school, a church, a civic center, a recreation center and a fiber optic network that can transfer more data at faster speeds.

The plan is to minimize impact on the land, Diane said, with dense neighborhoods surrounded by open space. Woven among the villages are 30 miles of walking, biking and horseback riding trails “fueled by Harold’s love of the equestrian life.”

After a 20-year buildout, Sterling Ranch is expected to have about 12,000 homes with 33,000 people, five elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, 2 million square feet of commercial space and three neighborhood parks.

This type of mixed-use development isn’t uncommon in Colorado, economic development experts say.

The Denver metro area has several similar master developments, including the 125-acre Bradburn Village in Westminster; Reunion, a Shea Homes development with nearly 1,600 acres of residential development and more than 900 acres of commercial development in Commerce City; Stapleton, a 4,100-acre mixed-use community redeveloped from an international airport; and Candelas, a 1,500-acre community in Arvada.

The mix of housing, commercial and retail space essentially creates a mini-community within a larger community, said Tom Clark, CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

But the difference with Sterling Ranch, Clark said, is its magnitude — one of the largest in near history — and the people behind it.

“The thing that makes Sterling Ranch interesting to me,” he said, “is this incredible focus on energy and water management done by a couple from Colorado.”

A boon for business

Although a small group of homeowners concerned about adequate water supply and the impact on their rural, tranquil life tried unsuccessfully to stop Sterling Ranch, business leaders are excited about its potential economic boon to the area.

The Northwest Douglas County Economic Development Corp., a nonprofit organization that works to attract and retain area businesses, projects Sterling Ranch will create a 9,000 jobs of all varieties, including commercial, construction, retail and primary employers. Building of the development itself will generate several thousands of construction-related jobs per year. Its projected economic impact to the region is $411 million.

“As a resident of the region,” said Amy Sherman, the corporation’s president, “I am excited for the new amenities — everything from boutiques to swimming pools, to restaurants and shops. It’s going to bring a lot of new jobs to the area.”

The development also will provide quality housing for the diversity of companies in the south metro area — such as Lockheed Martin and Charles Schwab — and the growth that Dish and Comcast are experiencing, said Jeff Wasden, president of the Colorado Business Roundtable, a branch of the business policy advocacy organization based out of Washington, D.C.

“As we continue to attract great businesses to Colorado,” he said, “the type of housing that a development like Sterling Ranch affords is critical to companies’ growth and ability to innovate and stay competitive.”

Bumps in the road

The vision for Sterling Ranch took root in 2004 when the Smethills purchased the development from Joy and Frank Burns.

They are only the third family to own the land since the Civil War.

Over the past 12 years, the Sterling Ranch development team has held more than 450 neighborhood meetings, collaborated with dozens of organizations on environmental and living standards — and fought an ongoing legal challenge against a neighboring community association.

In 2011, the development drew opposition from residents of Chatfield, a small community of 65 people that sits near the development’s northwest border. The Chatfield Community Association filed a lawsuit against Douglas County’s approval of Sterling Ranch, arguing the project did not have proof of a sufficient water supply for the entire project.

Homeowners also worried about a detrimental impact on their rural way of life.

Although Douglas County District Court ruled in their favor in 2012, that decision was reversed in 2014. Judge Richard Caschette said state law did not require developers to show water adequacy for an entire development up front. Instead, it could demonstrate it in phases throughout the process.

Still, Chatfield Community Association vice president Dennis Larratt said he feels let down, in particular by the county, which has approved Sterling Ranch’s proposals throughout the process.

Despite the Smethills’ assertions to build an innovative community that reflects Colorado’s heritage, Larratt worries about funding, water, traffic and compatibility with surrounding communities.

“It’s going to change things,” said Larratt, who enjoys the rural, friendly life of his Sunshine Acres community bordered by Chatfield State Park and the High Line Canal. “The amount of offsite improvements is virtually non-existent.”

The Smethills, however, say they have always kept issues of water, energy and quality of life at the forefront of their planning.

“Our water conservation will be leading in the state,” Harold said.

In 2010, the Colorado Water Conservation Board selected Sterling Ranch for the state’s first rainwater harvesting project. A storm management system will collect rainwater from commercial buildings and street gutters. The water will be stored in tanks and retention ponds.

About 40 percent will be used for outdoor irrigation, Harold said.

Striving to be a good neighbor

The Smethills also have worked closely with One Roxborough, an organization that includes residents and representatives from businesses and county and state agencies in Roxborough, an unincorporated Douglas County community just west of Sterling Ranch. It has about 9,100 people, a small shopping center and two schools.

Through their discussions, One Roxborough and Sterling Ranch agreed to share outdoor trails and recreation centers, meaning any community member can access the trails on the once-private Sterling Ranch land.

“Finally,” Diane said, “the fences will come down.”

Ed Yeats, co-chair of One Roxborough, is expecting Sterling Ranch to help business in Roxborough thrive.

His only concern has been traffic and road safety.

One of two main routes in and out of Roxborough is the two-lane West Titan Road coming from Santa Fe Drive, which turns into Rampart Range and runs along the Sterling Ranch development.

“There are going to be some challenges with traffic,” Yeats said. “The county has to keep an eye on those challenges on our behalf out here.”

Although Douglas County works diligently to provide safe routes through construction zones, county officials said some delays will be unavoidable.

To limit impact, the majority of construction traffic for Sterling Ranch will use an internal construction road off Roxborough Park Road, south of Titan Road, the county said.

“Construction traffic turning off and onto Titan Road at Roxborough Park Road will continue to be monitored throughout,” said Wendy Holmes, director of public affairs for Douglas County, “and when warranted, improvements at that intersection will be required to be constructed by Sterling Ranch.”

Quality of life

For the Smethills, the vision for Sterling Ranch was greatly influenced by family — their two millennial sons, who inspired them to focus on building an eco-friendly community with state-of-the-art technology embraced by today’s generation.

Theirsons, Brock, 25, and Ross, 28, studied at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. Brock is now chief operating officer of Sterling Ranch and works closely with his parents.

“There’re two components to Sterling Ranch,” Brock said. “The nature of your day and the nature of your surroundings.”

That means incorporating what the family has determined to be key components to quality living — education, health, lifestyle, safety, energy, technology and water. Much of what makes up the last three, the Smethills believe, sets their development apart.

Among their requirements:

Builders will offer LED lighting, wildlife-friendly landscaping and solar system packages for homes. Painters must use low-chemical paints, carpets and adhesives. Water usage in toilets, faucets, showerheads and washing machines will be regulated.

Homes and businesses will be interconnected at the ease of a virtual touch-screen that controls technology and energy usage.

Streets will have LED lighting with advanced security functionality for individual residences and the community as a whole.

In the evening, the Smethills said, streetlights will dim so residents can see the stars. 

But everything comes back to what they prayed for on that hilltop two years ago, the couple said, a community where people know each other and care about each other and where they live.

So, homes will be close together with no cul-de-sacs. Front porches will face side streets. A civic center will provide a gathering place. And a variety of housing styles will attract residents of all ages and backgrounds, from single parents to millennial families to grandparents.

“For a high quality of life,” Harold said, “knowing your neighbors is important.”

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Clifton Square changes hands for the first time

In June, Have You Heard? reported that Clifton Square could sell by the end of the month, and that’s what has happened.

Jo Zakas, who started the shopping and dining center at 3700 E. Douglas 45 years ago, has sold the center for $1.4 million to a group of real estate investors.

“They seem very enthusiastic,” she says of Mike Corley, Adam Steiner, James Lyon and Jason Clark.

Steiner’s father, Kent, also is an investor in it.

Zakas says almost all of the tenants over Clifton Square’s 27,000 square feet and almost 20 buildings are millennials now, as are the new owners, except for the elder Steiner.

“I’ve given them millennium management so they all ought to get along well together,” she says.

The investors are partners in other deals together as well, such as Woodlawn Park Apartments and the property at 11th and Bitting where R Coffeehouse, the Farm Shop and Songbird Juice Co. are.

“We all kind of grew up together in the same neighborhood,” Lyon says of the greater College Hill area.

They say they watched the area, including Clifton Square, change through the years.

“I think Douglas has gotten a lot better,” Adam Steiner says.

He points to the Douglas Design District and restaurants such as the Hill and the Wine Dive that are helping the area grow and prosper.

“I think it’s come a long ways,” Steiner says.

“I remember coming here when I was a child going over to a little candy store that used to be over there on the way to school,” Clark says.

He says Zakas has “done a great job” with the center.

“She had the dream to bring all these buildings into this area,” Clark says of the older homes that house Clifton Square businesses.

Most were there when Zakas opened the center, but she moved a few in as well.

“Most of them were built back in the ’20s,” Clark says.

With older buildings comes the need for renovations, the investors say.

“You buy a house in College Hill, you’re going to have a little bit to do,” Lyon says.

“No wholesale changes,” Corley says. “Maybe some modernization.”

That likely will include an updated sign, new lighting and landscaping.

“There’s a lot of landscaping that could be done,” Corley says.

“We just want to try to do what we can to improve the property over time,” Steiner says.

The idea is to “just have more of a presence, I would say,” Lyon says.

“Fortunately for us, there’s five of us, and that’s obviously more hands on deck,” Lyon says. “So I think that from that perspective we just work away like some little ants every day and just, you know, take the ball and run with it and … just kind of speed up the process as far as improvement.”

There are only two empty spaces at the center, which is home to Ziggy’s Pizza, Dempsey’s Burger Pub and College Hill Creamery among other businesses.

“We’re really focused on the tenants that are here,” Corley says. “We’re wanting to hear from them and see what their ideas and thoughts are.”

Lyon says there’s a lot to do, but the partners aren’t daunted.

“It’s going to need some love,” he says.

“It’s going to take a little while, but we’re young and we’re hungry, so I think it’s going to work out.”

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‘Bloom’ judges en route to Gallia

GALLIPOLIS — Professional volunteer judges from the America in Bloom national awards program will visit Gallipolis on July 11-12.

This is Gallipolis’ 11th year as an America in Bloom participant, and is one of many communities across America working on local revitalization programs with an eye to receiving an America in Bloom national award.

As a veteran participant, Gallipolis has earned numerous America in Bloom awards in the past. Gallipolis was the winner of the population award in 2011 and 2014. It also earned the outstanding achievement award for floral displays in 2006 and 2013 and the outstanding achievement award for overall impression in 2014. Gallipolis join Echo, Ore., Estes Park, Colo., and Greendale, Ind., in the small-sized Circle of Champions category for populations under 10,000.

In addition to a receiving detailed written evaluation from the judges citing strengths and opportunities for improvement, participants receive a bloom rating and special mention for what the judges deem to be an extraordinary project or program. Additional awards that can be earned such as the population category award, outstanding achievement award (a “best of the best” overall evaluation in six categories), special awards, community champion and YouTube video award.

Judges will be evaluating the community’s efforts in the areas of overall impression, environmental efforts, heritage, landscaped areas, urban forestry, floral displays, and community involvement in the municipal, commercial and residential sectors.

This year’s Gallipolis judging team consists of Stephen Pategas and Susie Stratton.

Pategas is an award-winning landscape architect, garden writer, garden photographer and plant geek in Winter Park, Fla. He and his wife, Kristin, are owners of Hortus Oasis, a boutique landscape architecture company and authors of the book “Southern Coastal Home Landscaping” and gardening columns for local magazines. Their 1925 home and garden have been featured on numerous garden tours, in magazines and on television, including “Growing a Greener World” hosted by Joe Lamp’l.

Pategas currently serves on the City of Winter Park’s Keep Winter Park Beautiful and Sustainable board and with it founded Winter Park Blooms. Winter Park successfully competed in AIB in 2013. Previously, he served on the Tree Preservation Board and the Parks and Recreation Board. After designing the gardens for Casa Feliz, a 1933 historic brick house that was saved from demolition and moved in 2000, Stephen joined the Friends of Casa Feliz board. His travels have taken him to hundreds of gardens in North America, Europe and southeast Asia. Pategas’ favorite gardens to design are those that touch people’s lives.

Stratton and her husband, Steve, are owners and operators of Stratton Greenhouses, founded by Steve’s father. Today, it is a retail garden center, landscape and design operation and nursery serving the northwest Ohio region. Susie is the retail manager of the business as well as the landscape and design professional. She has a degree in art from Albion College as well as a master’s degree in college student personnel. Both of her skills are used when working with communities in the formation of design ideas. She also works with community leaders in trying to take their downtown districts to a higher level of beautification.

Stratton has been instrumental in the beautification of the University of Findlay campus since 2007. She was also chairman of their America in Bloom entry for 2013. They won the top environmental award as well as special mention and a four bloom rating.

To date, nearly 250 communities from 41 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Awards will be announced Oct. 6-8 at AIB’s National Symposium and Awards in Arroyo Grande, Calif.

Staff Report

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Biggest prop yet comes to Holding Court

The Holding Court crew was greeted by the largest prop ever Tuesday when a World War II amphibious vehicle pulled up outside of the Court Street Dairy Lunch restaurant.

The ginormous khaki-colored vehicle, known officially as a DUKW boat and more commonly seen in the tourist trade as a Duck Boat, was piloted by Matt Richards of Independence with passengers from the Willamette Heritage Center, Kathleen Schulte, the center’s education and outreach coordinator and Jenna Wyatt, its communications and events specialist, along for the land ride.

Richards owns the 1944 vehicle, which he says was commissioned just after D Day, a term used to describe the first day of landings during the Invasion of Normandy in France on June 6, 1944. Richards, said his DUKW boat was part of a fleet of DUKW boats that ferried more than 40 percent of 800,000 pounds of military supplies across the five beaches at Normandy.

And this weekend it will be on display with Richards’ three other military vehicles at the Willamette Heritage Center’s History Was Here celebration. The event, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday only, July 9, is not all about WWII military operations.

“This is more about the home front here in the states during World War II,” Schulte said. “We’ll be telling the stories about things like victory gardens, civil defense, and plane spotting.”

There will be many kids’ activities to expose them to the rich history of the time as well as an appearance by the easily recognized cultural icon,  Rosie the Riveter. Rosie represented the 19 million women who worked in factories and shipyards producing munitions and war supplies while male workers served in the military.

There will also be lectures including one on the W.A.S.P. program, which was an aviation organization of Women Airforce Service Pilots.

Richards’ amphibious boat, which just turned over the 5,000-mile mark during Independence’s Fourth of July parade, is licensed by the state as both a truck and boat, and he delights in telling passengers that the state has an actual category for amphibious vehicles, a fact he learned after buying the vehicle three years ago from a 78-year-old Portland man who had housed it in his barn and decided it was “time to pass it on.”

Admission charge for the History Was Here celebration is $7, $6 for seniors 65 and older, and $4 for children ages 7-12. Children younger than 6 are free as are all retired and active-duty military members with military ID.

For more information, go to The Willamette Heritage Center is at 1313 Mill St. SE.

The writing is on the wall

Jennifer Chamberlain and Ron Mohr stopped by to invite the community to come write on a wall of a Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley house.

The event, known officially as a Wall Blessing for the home under construction, is an opportunity to take a felt pen and write blessings and well wishes to the family on the house structure. It will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 9. The public is welcome to attend, Chamberlain said.

The home, at 916 Fuller Lane SE, is being built for the Najar-Cisneros Family, and was made possible by a grant from the local branch of Thrivent Financial. This is the third home that has received grant monies from Thrivent, which is the fifth largest life insurance/annuity company in the country. Ron, who has been with Thrivent for 30 years, said Habitat for Humanity is a perfect partner fit for the company, which gave $93,000 toward the Najar-Cisneros home in Salem, and more than $30 million to the nonprofit worldwide since 2010.

Chamberlain said the local Habitat chapter builds one to two homes per year that carry a zero-percent annual percentage rate mortgage (the homeowner pays principle). The homeowners pay their monthly mortgage directly to Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley, and must invest some sweat-equity (building, painting or landscaping) in the home as well.

An opening prayer will be offered Saturday by Guillermo and Jose Rodriquez of the Iglesias de Jesus Cristo (Church of Jesus Christ) after short remarks by Jerry Ambris, executive director of the local Habitat chapter. Light snacks will be served after the wall signing.

For more information, go to

A contrite correction

The Dairy Lunch din during Holding Court can make hearing every word of a conversation a challenge at times.

That may be the reason the guy who writes half of this column misheard a crucial fact last week in interviewing Zohra Campbell and Meg Britton, two charming representatives from Indigo Wellness Center.

While reporting about a new course meant for yoga teachers, the confused guy scribbled down “200 dollars” instead of “200 hours,” resulting in some distress for the poor soul who answers the phone at Indigo.

“At least I didn’t write down 200 flowers,” he said, “given the lotus position and all.”

If you are interested in taking the teacher-training course, operators are standing by at Indigo (503-370-9090). Or you can email

Or you can mosey on down to Indigo at 320 Liberty St. SE.

Meanwhile, what did the yogi say to the hotdog vendor?

Make me one with everything.

Travel different paths

John Francis and Caye Poe have come down with wanderlust – and it’s contagious.

The married pair of intrepid travelers are inviting the public to join them in Dayton from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday for a series of short talks on alternatives to standard travel.

Every 15 minutes a speaker will share information about such topics as bicycle and motorcycling touring, service-club missions, motorhome travelling, teaching English abroad and helping Africans to manufacture clean-water filter systems.

Dayton Community Development is helping to coordinate the travel expo at the Dayton Community Center, 604 4th St.

John, a former journalist, and Caye, a professional mediator, are passionate about helping others enjoy travel.

“We’re just trying to make the world a better place,” John said.

He can be reached by email at More information is available at

Rock on

If you still have ya-yas, you’ll need to get them on this weekend at Salem’s Riverfront Park Amphitheater.

Aspiring rockers will be performing there live Sunday afternoon, starting at 4 p.m.

Students from the River City Rock Star Academy will cover more than 40 songs, from soul classics (Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”) to 1970s arena rock (Boston’s “More than a Feeling”) to guitar-driven anthems that loosened fillings and drove parents to distraction (Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”).

Students Sean-Michael Riesterer and Danielle Green came by to pump interest in the free concert by members of the distinct age groups studying at the school. There are the Pop Rocks and Young Rockers (ages 6-14), the Young Rockers (12-18) and the Renegade Rockers (adults).

The concert is free.

Nature store needs volunteers

Patti Lindquist and Jim Thomas are friends.

And they are both members of Friends of Silver Falls State Park.

And they both are interested in acquiring even more friends, in the form of new volunteers for the South Falls Nature Store at the park.

The Pacific Northwest-centric gift store supports an array of needs for the park, under the auspices of the Friends. The shop is located within the historic log cabin on the grounds, which was completed in 1936.

“We are desperate for volunteers,” said Jim, who has worked in the store for seven years. “We can use volunteers for as little as four hours a day. You get to meet people from all over the world, and each volunteers gets a day pass. Once your service is done, you are free to enjoy the park.”

Patti indicated that “being dependable” is a top attribute needed for volunteers.

Artists and suppliers whose work is sold on consignment receive 60 percent of each sale. But the consignment deal jumps to 70 percent if the provider works at the park.

For further information on volunteering call Alison at 503-873-8735.; 503-399-6746 or follow on Twitter at @CATMCurrie or; 503-399-6712 or follow on Twitter at @MDavisSJ

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Ridding your garden of those pesky critters


Posted: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 4:40 pm

Ridding your garden of those pesky critters


When it comes to determining what critter is munching on your spring garden, homeowners may feel like their partnership with Mother Nature is as contentious as any that ever graced the big, or small screen. According to an article at, how are you supposed to fight the “crime” of a decimated garden if you can’t identify the suspect who’s been devouring your daylilies?

 Hungry critters of all sizes can destroy your garden and landscaping quickly.

 Once you’ve identified the critters that are eating your flowers, bulbs and decorative grasses, you can choose animal repellents that will persuade pests to leave your garden alone.

 Here are some facts to get your detective work under way, according to

• Deer — Ragged bites, typically a foot or more above the ground indicate deer damage. Deer are known for devouring gardens and landscapes. You’ll see them, and their offspring, every year, making dinner of your daisies, daylilies and other ornamental plants.

• Rabbits — If plant damage is low to the ground — a few inches above the soil and includes stems clipped cleanly at an angle, you’re probably dealing with rabbits. Rabbits will eat just about any kind of vegetation, including your flowers, bushes and other woody plants. Remove all brush and other debris that could provide them with shelter.

• Voles — When flower bulbs disappear from the ground or plant roots go missing, chances are you have voles — mouse-like creatures that burrow underground and that are highly destructive to gardens. Exit holes are further indications that voles are tunneling under your garden. Teeth marks around the base of trees, droppings or trails in the grass can also indicate the presence of voles.

• Groundhogs — Mounds of dirt beside burrow entrances are a sure sign of groundhogs, a garden pest that eats just about every type of green plant. Groundhogs can destroy a garden. These solitary herbivores live in burrows underground.

• Chipmunks — The presence of chipmunks in your garden is nothing but bad news. Damage to flower bulbs, plant shoots and leaves, uprooted plants and dug-up roots are all signs you have chipmunks. Their underground burrows may be a challenge to spot since the entrances are usually only about 2 inches in diameter and not surrounded by noticeable dirt mounds. You can curtail their activity by removing yard debris where chipmunks hide.

• Squirrels — Squirrels live in colonies, digging underground tunnels and mounds in grassy areas and around trees that can lay waste to gardens and landscapes.

 Once you’ve identified the critters eating your garden, you’ll need the right tools to take care of them. Most traditional pest-control measures — row covers, netting, noise deterrents, predator urine or even human hair strewn around the yard — might not be enough. Fences can do the job, but they can be expensive and you may live in a community that restricts the type and height of fences you can erect.

 Some small animal repellents, however, do work. Bobbex-R is all-natural, environmentally friendly and proven effective at protecting ornamental plantings from small, four-legged garden critters. In testing by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the product, which works through smell and taste aversion, received a 100-percent efficacy rating at repelling rabbits. Usable in any weather, it won’t burn plants or wash off. Use it as a bulb dip to deter underground damage, or spray it at the mouth of burrows to prevent animals from re-entering. Safe for humans, pets, birds and aquatic life, Bobbex-R contains no petro chemicals.

 To thwart deer damage, try Bobbex Deer, an all-natural repellent made from a combination of ingredients, including putrescent eggs, garlic, fish, clove oil and vinegar. By mimicking predator scents, this fear repellent also tastes unpleasant to deer. The product is more effective than nine other commercial repellents (including coyote urine), according to independent testing by the Connecticut AG Station. Testers gave it a 93-percent protection index, second only to a fence at 100-percent.

 These products are available at The Home Depot and Walmart.

  • Discuss


Tuesday, July 5, 2016 4:40 pm.

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Gardening Tips: The ups and downs of gardening

As I was driving across town on the way to my granddaughter’s soccer game, I was thinking that the lawns and gardens looked like August rather than the end of June.

The rain that had been predicted last week turned out to be a spit rather than a good soak. The ground is so dry that lawns are parched and the leaves on some trees were hanging limply in the hot sun.

On June 30, there was once again a forecast for a significant amount of rain. I sure hope that by the time you are reading this article, that weather system materializes and gives us a thorough, all night soak.

On the positive side, my flowering shrubs are just loaded with blooms as they are enjoying this sunny weather. I have shrub roses, Red Prince Weigela, Diablo Ninebark and Golden Mockorange all in full bloom right now.

Last week my late variety of lilac was in its glory! Tiger lilies, irises, poppies and peonies are heavily loaded with blossoms as well.

Unfortunately this early summer weather has also brought out the bugs in full force! As I was watering my planters the other day I noticed that the new growth on my Rose Glow Barberry was being eaten away. I looked carefully and found a Barberry Looper munching on the leaves.

It’s often impossible to find this pest as their habit is to hide in the soil at the base of the shrub during the day and come out to feed at night. The best way to control looper and other types of chewing caterpillars is to spray the foliage with Btk.

The active ingredient in this insecticide is a naturally occurring bacteria that when ingested, reproduces in the caterpillars’ gut. They immediately stop feeding and will die within several days.

Once you are sure that you have the problem solved, prune off the dead tips of the barberry. There is still plenty of time left for new growth to fill the shrub back out.

However, keep a close eye on the plants as Barberry Looper can have several hatchings per season!

Btk is safe to use on edible plants right up to the day of harvest so is very effective control for tomato hornworm and the larvae of the cabbage moth too. That is the little green caterpillar that eats away at cabbage,  broccoli, kale and other members of this family.

Since the bacteria in Btk is specifically harmful to caterpillars, loopers, Spruce budworm and leaf rollers, it is also safe to use around your children, pets, birds, bees and other beneficial insects.

Just be sure not to spray milkweed plants. You don’t want to harm the caterpillar that becomes a monarch butterfly!

Keep a close eye out for infestations or aphids, ants, and earwigs too. They thrive in hot weather. At least slug damage tends to be less of a problem when the soil is so dry! They love damp areas.

Be sure to watch for plant diseases too. Powdery mildew can thrive in both hot dry as well as cool damp weather. Black knot may show up soon in plums and cherry trees. Apply the appropriate fungicide now to protect susceptible plants from disease.

My last article mention fertilizing the lawns and gardens. Be sure to water thoroughly after applying granular fertilizer if we don’t get rain.  

The nutrients from fertilizer can only be absorbed by plant roots when it is dissolved in water. During dry spells, water soluble fertilizer dissolved in watering can or applied with a hose-end sprayer is the best choice.

If you do have to water lawns and gardens, a deep thorough soaking once a week is much more beneficial than a light sprinkle every day. A deep soak encourages plant roots to grow down deep into the soil.

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