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Archives for November 13, 2017

Design Center, Marlon Blackwell Architects Short-Listed for World Architecture Festival

Photo by Timothy Hursley

Harvey Pediatric Clinic, designed by Marlon Blackwell Architects, is one of 10 short-listed projects in the Completed Buildings-Health category in the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Two University of Arkansas Community Design Center collaborations and a project designed by Marlon Blackwell Architects have been chosen for final consideration in the 2017 World Architecture Festival Awards, the world’s largest architecture design awards program serving the global community.

More than 400 projects from about 50 countries were short-listed across 35 individual award categories for the festival, to be held Nov. 15-17 in Berlin, Germany. Large and small firms will compete as equals this week when presenting their designs to international judging panels and festival delegates. The winner of each category will advance and give a presentation on Nov. 17 to the festival’s Super Jury for the overall festival awards, World Building of the Year and Future Project of the Year.

The Whitmore Community Food Hub Complex, one of 15 short-listed projects in the Future Projects-Masterplanning category, is a collaboration between the Community Design Center and the University of Arkansas Office for Sustainability. Both entities are part of the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Stephen Luoni, director of the Community Design Center, is a Distinguished Professor and the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies in the Fay Jones School. Marty Matlock, executive director of the Office for Sustainability, is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Engineering.

The proposed Whitmore Community Food Hub would help bring locally produced food to Hawaii, where 93 percent of food is imported. The Food Hub will serve Oahu communities while advancing a “missing middle” agricultural infrastructure template for community-based food production among Hawaii’s other islands. Besides providing logistics for an underserved agricultural community, the Whitmore complex serves additional community needs through micro-housing for the agricultural workforce, retail, business incubation and cultural tourism. Ideally, the Food Hub will service all stages of the local food supply chain.

Four principles guided the planning and design of the 34-acre Whitmore Food Hub Complex: logistics, placemaking, connectivity and anchoring. The complex provides a Food Hub that meets the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act. It integrates the logistical spaces of the Food Hub with surrounding neighborhoods through serial public spaces that sponsor multiple uses. It connects the Food Hub and Whitmore Village to downtown Wahiawa. And it uses mixed-use spaces and civic frontages to socialize the Food Hub’s big boxes and tilt wall concrete construction.

Greers Ferry Water Garden, also one of 15 short-listed projects in the Future Projects-Masterplanning category, is a collaboration between the UACDC, Marlon Blackwell Architects and Ecological Design Group. 

The Greers Ferry design revives the forgotten vision of Edward Durell Stone, the internationally renowned mid-century architect and native Arkansan, for a national water garden to accompany the Greers Ferry Dam in Heber Springs. The team renovated Stone’s 1966 plan, which — created in a much different era — did not account for ecological considerations or visitor-centered approaches to support park operations. His vision deployed late modernist tropes combining monumentality and glamour across the 269-acre site.

The revised design uses architectural structures, botanical displays and walkways to engage and educate the visitor about natural systems in non-traditional ways, and the plan showcases a more place-based expression of each of the garden’s four territories. Essentially a heritage preservation project despite not having been built, the 2016 plan shows that preservation can be an innovative platform for reframing and refreshing the contemporary.

“The World Architecture Festival’s selection of these three projects, led by Fay Jones School faculty, is an extraordinary honor for all involved, and by extension, for the community of the school,” said Dean Peter MacKeith. “The UA Community Design Center is the leading design center in the country, and Marlon Blackwell has been recognized as the No. 1 design architect in the nation. These projects promote their authors, the school and the university to an international audience. We’re very proud, but also very grateful to the university for its support of our creative practices.”

Harvey Pediatric Clinic, one of 10 short-listed projects in the Completed Buildings-Health category, was designed by Marlon Blackwell Architects. Blackwell is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. He is the E. Fay Jones Chair in Architecture and a Distinguished Professor in the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design. His professional firm is based in Fayetteville.

Harvey Pediatric Clinic, located in Rogers, echoes the strong form and reduced material palette of the agricultural buildings that once dominated the landscape. A cayenne panel — a custom color developed specifically for the project — wraps the south side of the second level. A mixture of natural and colored light creates spaces that convey reflection and healing.

The building uses shape, form and color to appeal to both children and adults. A ribbon window on the north side of the building reinforces the horizontal nature of the form. The darker, cool gray also used on the north side gives emphasis to the warm, saturated color used on the south. Custom break metal trims are incorporated throughout, allowing the detailing of the skin to reinforce the abstract quality of the building shape. 


Shawnya Lee Meyers, digital media specialist

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


Michelle Parks, director of communications

Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design


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Mass Hort to host symposium on ecological garden design – News …

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Massachusetts Horticultural Society will host a symposium on ecological gardening design and techniques at their home, the Gardens at Elm Bank.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, Massachusetts Horticultural Society will host a symposium on ecological gardening design and techniques at their home, the Gardens at Elm Bank.

The symposium will empower home gardeners to become the stewards of their landscape. Presenters will introduce you to the basic principles and benefits of ecological gardening. Attendees will discover ways to welcome birds and other wildlife, improve your soil, techniques to select the ideal native plants for your growing conditions, how to monitor and manage invasive plants, and so much more.

The symposium will run from 1-5 p.m. For more details and to register please visit Registration is $40 for Mass Hort members, $60 for general audience.

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Awarding-winning design opens a Foothills patio to a must-see view

Contact Tucson freelance writer Elena Acoba at

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Gillette College Veterans Advisor remembers fallen soldiers

Loren Groves reads names of the 6,925 United States veterans who have died since Sept. 11, 2001, outside Gillette College on Friday.

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How an exterior makeover can add value to your house

Home exterior is one of the most important aspects to consider when evaluating your home. It is the way your house and yard look that enables the potential buyers to have a positive or negative first impression, and it is what makes them fall in love with the property. The beautifully painted facade, freshly cut grass and stunning landscaping ideas are just some of the things that will make buyers opt for your property.

There are many different ways you can increase the value of your property by focusing on improving your home’s exterior features.

The driveway

Creating a visually stunning driveway is a great way of adding value to your property. It gives the house a finished look, and you avoid having cars parked on the front lawn. There are a lot of options for creating an eye catching driveway. You can opt for either softscaping or hardscaping. The hardscape will consist of mostly the fences and walls around the driveway and here you can include different materials and textures to enhance various features of your driveway. On the other hand the softscape options provide a gentler visual appeal, which involves flower beds, ornamental trees, groundcovers, and shrubs. Generally softscaping is more colorful.

Give your facade a facelift

To interested parties your home’s facade represents the state that the house is in. Sometimes prospective buyers won’t even go through the front door if they don’t like what they see on the outside. In order to present you house in the best possible light, a fresh coat of paint is a must. First you have to prepare the base, fix up all the cracks, replace panels where necessary and check for any more serious damage to the exterior of the house. The next step is to opt for aluminium scaffolding so as to make all areas of your facade accessible for painting and any major repairs. When it comes to choosing façade paint color, first check if there are strict regulations regarding paint options in your neighborhood. If not, opt for lighter tones with a few darker accents on doors and windows to help bring out your home’s charm.

Don’t forget about landscaping

Having the perfectly decorated front and backyard can significantly increase the value of your home. Now in order to avoid constantly investing in new plants, you should opt for drought or cold resistant ones that can last for years to come. Apart from planting a tree or two, choose flower beds that can withstand harsh weather, and most importantly don’t forget to incorporate mulch.

Mulch is the lazy landscaper’s best friend, it will help keep the weeds away, add color to your yard and just make everything look more luxurious. This might seem as an unnecessary investment, but it will definitely pay off when you see the increased numbers on your home’s evaluation.

Fence up

Building a fence can significantly increase the overall value of your home. Buyers with children or pets will appreciate the privacy and security of an enclosed backyard. In addition if your neighborhood is full of homes with fences, you not having one will directly influence your home’s value. When it comes to fences there are different options to consider. The three main reasons to put up a fence are security, privacy and appearance, and the fence you choose depends on which of these three is most important to you. In addition, when choosing a material you should make sure it matches both the style of your home and of your neighborhood, so as not to stand out for the wrong reasons.

These are just some of the ways you can improve on the value of your home by changing up its exterior. Throughout the entire process it is important to stay consistent to the original design ideas, and to have all the different pieces match in order to create the perfect picturesque appearance of your home. The colors and styles should be complementary, and you need to keep in mind that your home’s exterior design should not stray far away from the neighboring houses as to ensure a certain level of architectural uniformity.

Have you undertaken any work to the outside of your house in preparation for a sale? Share your stories with us.

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Western Massachusetts is officially past peak for the fall season

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – You might have noticed that there aren’t as many leaves on the trees anymore!

According to Foliage Network all of western Massachusetts is officially past peak. Most trees are now bare or have lost their pop of color they once briefly had due to the delay in the changing of colors from the lack of rain and warm temperatures in the beginning of the season.

Which means more leaves are in our yards.

Foliage Network has most of western Massachusetts in the “high leaf drop” category and parts of northern Berkshire county in a “nearly complete leaf drop” category.

As your cleaning up your yard you can use some of these leaves for mulching in your perennial gardens. And also your rose gardens!

GH Landscaping advises to not leave any leaves in shrub beds because it can provide a perfect environment for insects that live in that kind of debris to populate. Now is the time to make sure your lawn is cleared from leaves before the first major snowfall.

Gary Courchesne, GH Landscaping, told 22News, “Clean up the bulk of the leaves as soon as you can and than if there are a couple leaves left there on the lawn that’s not usually a problem, but if there is a heavy accumulation of snow and big piles of leaves than the lawn will probably suffer damage.”

Heavy snow accumulation on top of leaves can result in a dead lawn in some areas come spring from the leaves smoothering the turf.

Average snowfall for November is 2.5 inches.

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How to decorate your home like an uber-chic French girl

Think rustic furniture and ‘The Secret Garden’ landscaping. Here’s how to get it.

Decor inspired by the charm of the French countryside is an often sought-after aesthetic. And it’s easy to see why. Who hasn’t dreamt up images of rustic furniture, lush landscaping reminiscent of “The Secret Garden” and natural wood accents (exposed beam ceilings, anyone?)? However, as Betsy Kasha, founding partner of the Parisian real estate agency A+B Kasha informs us, “French country is not a deliberate or studied decor. It is more the result of a lifestyle.” It’s a whimsical life some of us want to lead. Ornate items and unique antiques are often found at Sunday foire a tout (a village yard sale) and then incorporated with more chic pieces at home. “The result is relaxed, interesting, a bit whimsical, and extremely personal,” Kasha says.

Thinking of bringing elements of the French lifestyle into your own home? Inviting gardens, charismatic bedrooms and irresistibly elegant yet cozy living spaces await. Find out how to introduce these design elements to your own abode, whether you live in the country or in the city.


According to Kasha, French country decor blends comfort, simplicity and beauty — all things that will never go out of style. “[It] endures because it is not trendy,” she says. Give your room the feeling and attitude of the French country lifestyle with found objects that complement your traditional pieces.


Layered rugs and leaning art give a room a casual nonchalance to accompany exposed wooden features and bright open windows. When decorating the bedroom, Kasha focuses on the fabrics. “The iconic colorful striped fabrics from Basque look great in country interiors and are authentically French. I also like the colorful prints of Provence for the table and bedding,” she says. Turn to any of these classic looks for a room with an air of French ease.


There’s nothing more relaxing than spending an afternoon lounging outside in the grass. With the perfect outdoor space and patio furniture, you can host friends for a garden party or plan dinner for the family outside on a warm night. A slow evening outside with a good bottle of wine and even better company exudes a classic French country feeling. All you need are a few seats with decorative cushions and a table for your small bites and drinks.


You’ll be hard-pressed to find a home in the South of France without flowers and greenery growing on the property. Let ivy roam up the walls of your home’s exterior, and plant fragrant roses and, of course, lavender. Allow the breeze to waft the fresh scents into your home through wide-open windows. It will look and smell just like the countryside.


“Arranging a beautiful vase or pitcher with fragrant, freshly cut flowers from the garden is one of the great luxuries of French country living,” Kasha says. This is another design element borne of the countryside lifestyle. Pick your fresh flowers, and proudly display them inside for a decoration that’s effortlessly beautiful and fresh. Plus it’s quite easy to do in any home. Tie the space together with an ornate rug and a colorful, rustic cabinet.


According to Kasha, “Both natural and painted wood beams work beautifully and add to the informality of a rustic interior. The same is true with old wood floorboards: They provide incredible warmth and give a lovely patina to the room.” Allow the architecture of a space to stand alone by opting for simple pieces of furniture.


“Natural fabrics, such as cotton, linen and wool, work well in country interiors,” Kasha says. It’s also important to think about the maintenance of these fabrics. She recommends choosing durable materials that don’t require dry cleaning. Less time spent taking care of delicate items will leave you with ample time to enjoy all that country living has to offer. When it comes time to pick a color scheme, Kasha says any colors can work in a country home, but she tends to choose muted reds, blues and greens. Complement the colors and fabrics with a modern chair for the perfect mix of traditional and whimsical.

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30 Best Heirloom Vegetable Varieties to Grow Over Winter

Carson City, NV – November 12, 2017 – Now that winter is fast approaching, most gardeners are already putting their vegetable patches to sleep. But for the eager gardener, the cold season is only the start of something magical. With some planning, a winter vegetable garden can produce a bountiful harvest in time for spring.

Winter gardening offers so many possibilities. There’s almost no shortage of delicious, cool-weather crops that can be grown throughout this period. Hardy vegetables that thrive in cold climate are the rightful star of the season. From brassicas to turnips, gardeners will be thrilled to see their backyard come to life despite the snowy months ahead.

Heirloom versions of cool-loving crops are also particularly popular. “Heirlooms are well loved by organic gardeners because of their impressive colors, exceptional flavors and high nutritional value. They are quite fascinating to grow especially during the gloomy winter months,” said an official from Home and Garden America.

For gardeners looking to grow heirlooms, the company recommends these 30 heirloom varieties that are perfect for overwintering:

• Broccoli, Green Sprouting
• Cabbage, Pak Choi
• Carrot, Danvers
• Carrot, Red Cored Chantenay
• Carrot, Royal Chantenay
• Carrot, Scarlet Nantes
• Cauliflower, Snowball
• Collards, Georgia Southern
• Collards, Vates
• Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Vates
• Kale, Dwarf Siberian
• Kale, Red Russian
• Mustard, Florida Broadleaf
• Mustard, Old Fashioned
• Mustard, Southern Giant Curled
• Parsnip, Harris Model
• Parsnip, Hollow Crown
• Pea, Sugar Snap
• Pea, Wando
• Radish, French Breakfast
• Radish, White Icicle
• Rutabaga, American Purple Top
• Salsify, Mammoth Sandwich Island
• Scallion, Evergreen Bunching Nebuka
• Spinach, Bloomsdale Long Standing
• Spinach, Noble Giant
• Thyme, Winter
• Turnip, Purple Top White Globe
• Turnip, Shogoin
• Turnip, White Egg

Home gardeners are advised to choose heirlooms that are well adapted to their zones so they can withstand the tough weather conditions. It’s also wise to plant varieties that grow to maturity in a short time to allow a quicker harvest.

Once the preferred heirloom vegetables have been selected, planting the winter garden can be started right away. Effective winter gardening tips should also be applied. Covering the ground with mulch, protecting the plants with cold frames or even opting to grow food indoors can help the garden thrive.

“What’s really great about overwintering heirloom favorites is that you can expect a glorious harvest come spring. Some of the crops can even be harvested in winter, so you can enjoy the best winter meals as you wait for the change in seasons. Winter gardening truly makes it possible for gardeners to grow food all year round,” the Home and Garden America official further remarked.

With the right heirloom varieties and gardening tips, growing a winter garden becomes not only fun but productive as well. Avid gardeners who long to grow the tastiest heirloom vegetables in their winter garden can learn more at

About Home and Garden America

Home and Garden America is the gardening division of the Charles C Harmon Co LLC. The small family-owned business the best heirloom survival seeds for winter vegetable gardening.

Media Contact
Company Name: Home and Garden America
Contact Person: Chuck Harmon
Phone: 888-582-6650
City: Carson City
State: Nevada
Country: United States

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This week’s gardening tips: herbs to plant now

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Garden City woman fatally shoots girlfriend near Ann Arbor

UPDATE: Police ID woman fatally shot by girlfriend near Ann Arbor

PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, MI – A 27-year-old woman is dead after being fatally shot by her girlfriend in a Pittsfield Township apartment complex parking lot.

The suspect – a 27-year-old Garden City woman – called police at 11:47 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 to report the shooting in the 3800 block of Sparrow Wood Drive in the Sparrow Wood Apartments complex, according to the Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety. Police had also received a report of shots fired.

The two women, who were in a dating relationship, were in an altercation prior to the shooting, Pittsfield Township Director of Public Safety Matt Harshberger said in an email. The shooting happened in or near a vehicle. 

The shooting victim, a 27-year-old Pittsfield Township woman who lived at the apartments, was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, where she died, police said.

The Garden City woman was taken into police custody and police expect to forward charges Sunday or Monday for review by the Washtenaw County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, Harshberger said.

The incident remains under investigation.

A few residents to the complex, including Doug Montgomery, 62, said they heard a gunshot between 11:30 p.m. and midnight Saturday. Then they heard someone cry out. 

“I heard somebody screaming for a second, and that’s it,” Montgomery said.

Sonya Williams, 44, came home to the complex shortly before police arrived, but initially assumed police were on their regular patrol route when she spotted them, she said. Then the police lights turned on. 

Williams went into her apartment, but later came out to speak to ask her neighbors what happened, she said. 

“Next thing I know, the police officer says, ‘I need you to go back inside. Where’s your apartment?'” she said. 

Several residents noted that police regularly patrol the area, but were unaware of previous reports of any shots fired. 

Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to call Pittsfield Township police at 734-822-4911. Anonymous tips can also be given at 734-822-4958.

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