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WWII vets do memorial landscaping

GREENFIELD — As temperatures climbed into the 90s Thursday morning, two World War II veterans, who turn 90 in July, were busy with rakes and cutting tools, cleaning brush and trimming shrubbery surrounding a memorial marker in front of the Greenfield High School ballfields.

The marker was placed there by the Veterans of Foreign Wars/VFW Greenfield Post 417 on Nov. 11, 2003.

Working in the bright sun, Ron Powers and Bernie Schatz of Greenfield were trimming back the bushy rhododendron, which was on the verge of engulfing the stone, and restore the newly sandblasted “ruptured duck” WWII emblems that hold small American flags near the stone.

The nicknamed “ruptured duck” pins were awarded to honorably discharged veterans during World War II. The insignia is actually meant to depict an eagle bursting through a button, but the joke that it looked more like a “ruptured duck” took hold.

At one time, there would have been others helping out. The Greenfield VFW had 47 members, Schatz and Power recalled, but recently Post 417’s charter was taken away when its numbers had dwindled to four.

“We’re going to clean this stone and replace the white (gravel stone) around it,” explained Powers, an Army veteran. “We’re doing it for the guys,” he said.

Schatz, a Navy veteran, brought the two flag-holders back to see how they looked against the cleaner landscape.

An Eisenhower Green Ash Tree behind the marker is still too young to provide much shade, and the men said they’re looking for planting ideas, to brighten up the commemorative spot.

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‘Hitler Street’ and swastika landscaping: A New York enclave’s hidden Nazi past

Included in a lawsuit against the German-American Settlement League, this archival photo shows men in Italian Blackshirts uniforms marching under a Nazi flag in Long Island. (Court filing/U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York)

One of the first signs that something was wrong at the exclusive Siegfried Park enclave was the interview.

Philip Kneer and his then-fiancee, Patricia Flynn — both first-time homeowners — were told they had to be approved by the German-American Settlement League’s board of directors before they could close on the two-bedroom house in Long Island.

But board members took one look at them and said the interview wouldn’t be necessary, the couple said in a lawsuit. They had the board’s blessings.

They later learned the reason they received such a quick stamp of approval back in 1999: They’re white.

White with German roots, to be precise.

Philip Kneer has German on his mother’s side. Patricia Flynn-Kneer’s grandmother was German and lived in Berlin. And one of the German-American Settlement League’s primary purposes, according to its bylaws, was to “cultivate and propagate in every direction true Germanic culture and to cultivate the German language, customs and ideals.”

But Siegfried Park’s German connection went much deeper — and darker — than that.

The community was founded by Nazi sympathizers in the 1930s and had been an enclave for training Aryan youth, according to lawsuit filed by Kneer and Flynn. The German-American Settlement League’s goal: Raise the future leaders of America — and make sure they were steeped in Nazi ideals.

In an article about the community, Untapped Cities, a site that covers New York’s secrets and hidden history, called Siegfried Park “an indoctrination camp.”

Decades ago, German Americans marched in the community under a Nazi flag and delivered “Heil Hitler” salutes near where the Kneers’ home stood, according to the New York Daily News.

Since the fall of the Third Reich, the community has distanced itself from its Nazi past. The Nazi flag bush is gone. “Hitler” and “Goebbels” streets have been renamed.

But vestiges remained, including the housing bylaws designed to keep out blacks, Hispanics and other minorities, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office.

This week, state prosecutors announced that they had settled with the German-American Settlement League to fix nearly a century of racially discriminatory housing practices. Officials were alerted to the problem by a 2015 New York Times story about the Kneers’ lawsuit, which called the league’s housing policies and practices discriminatory and alleged that they were in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman felt similarly, saying in a statement that the league’s “discriminatory practices were a remnant of a disgraceful past that has no place in New York or anywhere. This agreement will once and for all put an end to the GASL’s discrimination, ensuring that all New Yorkers are afforded equal access to housing opportunities — regardless of their race or national origin.”

The league settled with the Kneers a year ago, agreeing to pay $175,000 for damages and attorney fees, according to Newsday, citing court records.

State prosecutors got involved because “there still wasn’t a significant turnover after the private settlement,” Assistant Attorney General Diane Lucas said. “We didn’t want it to just be changes in policies and procedures without an actual effect.”

No one answered the phone at a listed number for the German-American Settlement League. But in 2015, the group’s president, Robert Kessler, told the New York Times that the community had moved on from its racist past. “Most people don’t even know any of this happened here; it hardly comes up,” he told the Times.

Of the Kneers, Kessler said then: “They’re just bitter they couldn’t get the price they wanted for their home.”

According to the couple’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in 2015, people who live in the community don’t own the land their homes sit on — they lease plots from the league.

And the league dictated who could live in Siegfried Park — and who couldn’t.

Under the settlement with the attorney general, the league is now prohibited from discriminating against people because of race or national origin. It was also required to revise its membership policies and to ensure that its housing codes are in line with fair housing laws.

The attorney general’s office got involved after the Kneers filed a lawsuit with the help of Long Island Housing Services.

The couple’s family had outgrown their two-bedroom house in Siegfried Park, and they wanted to sell — but it was hard to find buyers.

The bylaws prevented them from advertising in any real estate publications.

They said they told the league’s board president it was difficult to find buyers, but were told “these rules were not going to be changed because the members wanted to keep it the way it is.”

At a membership meeting shortly afterward, a motion to let the Kneers put a “for sale” sign in their yard was rejected.

So they filed a lawsuit, which detailed a nearly century-old connection to the Nazis and modern-day discrimination.

The 50-home community in Yaphank, Long Island, started out as Camp Siegfried, just a train ride away from New York City for German expatriates.

A group of Nazi sympathizers snapped up 40 acres of land next to a lake and opened what was then called the Friends of New Germany Picnic grounds in the late 1930s, according to the Daily News. It was named after a pro-Nazi group that later became known as the German American Bund.

To outsiders, it looked like a place for German Americans to congregate with people who had a similar heritage. There was a pool and archery competitions. Women in German peasant costumes greeted people at the gates.

But photos showed that the club also flew Hitler Youth flags. One photo, which was included in the lawsuit, shows men in Italian Blackshirts uniforms marching at Camp Siegfried beneath a Nazi flag. The Blackshirts were the paramilitary wing of the National Fascist Party in Italy, one of Germany’s allies during World War II, and were distinguished by their black uniforms.

Other photos from the New York Department of Records showed people sitting at picnic tables wearing Nazi military uniforms.

The lawsuit also included a newspaper interview with Henry Hauck, the manager at what was then called Camp Siegfried.

The reporter asked if camp members and visitors supported Nazi ideas.

“Generally speaking, yes,” Hauck replied, “but only as they concern Germany, not the United States.”

Read more: 

‘No one escaped’: Poland accuses 98-year-old Minnesota man of ordering a Nazi massacre

Was Anne Frank’s family betrayed? After 72 years, historians have a new theory.

A military historian’s find could unlock the mystery of 136 sailors missing since World War II

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On Gardening: Design resilient plant communities

In a recent column, I referred to a book by Thomas Rainer and Claudia West: “Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes.” Rainer and West present landscape design ideas that are worth applying in home gardens, and indeed in all kinds of gardens. Their ideas are intended to result in gardens that are “more robust, more diverse, and more visually harmonious, with less maintenance.”

The ideas presented in this book ring true to nature and good sense, and require planning and knowledge of specific plants to put into practice.

This column cannot replace reading the authors’ thoughtful review of familiar landscaping practices, and groundbreaking recommendations, but we can consider their essential messages.

Rainer and West indicate that good planting design results from harmonious relationships of plants to place, plants to people, and plants to other plants.

The first of these relationships recalls the “right plant in the right place” axiom, which often refers to locating the plant where it will have the soil, exposure, and moisture that it needs to thrive. To these aspects of place, the authors recommend locating plants in the grassland, woodland/shrubland, or forest environment that is their natural home. A garden, as a built environment, should look and function like a “distilled version” of one of those archetypical landscapes.

Consideration of the relationship of plants to people addresses the visual appeal of the landscape. The authors state that plant communities need not be limited to a naturalistic style and can exist within any other style. There are too many garden styles to list, but the basic idea is that the gardener can develop any preferred style and still maintain the plant’s relationships to place and other plants.

Rainer and West feature the relationship of plants to other plants, and write about the “levels of sociability” of plants. In nature, some plants grow as individuals, or in groups of various sizes, or in large areas. For example, plants that tend to grow separately from other plants would be candidates for containers, and some plants propagate cross vast numbers in large fields (see photographs of this year’s “superbloom” of wildflowers).

The authors recommend combining plants in interlocking layers, as they occur in natural plant communities. This approach allows plants to support each other, form a diverse and lush garden (as distinct from swaths of a single variety), and provide natural mulch that retains moisture and blocks entry of weeds and invasive plants. They categorize plants in four layers:

• Structural/framework plants — trees, shrubs, upright grasses and large-leafed perennials that form the visual structure of the planting (10-15 percent of the total)

• Seasonal theme plants — mid-height plants that dominant the scene when in bloom, and provide supporting companions to the structural plants when not in bloom (25-40 percent)

• Ground cover plants — low, shade-tolerant plants that cover the soil, control erosion and provide nectar (50 percent)

• Filler plants — short-lived species, e.g., annuals, that fill gaps and add short seasonal displays (5-10 percent)

The authors describe this plant community approach collectively as resilient gardening. The benefits include growing healthy plants, minimizing maintenance (always a popular objective), and providing a systematic approach to developing an attractive, full grouping of plants.

I have been vaguely dissatisfied with a garden that separates plants from other plants by mulch. Developing layered plant communities will require reviewing plants already in place, searching for new plants for the needed layers, and allowing time for growth. The authors have not provided tidy “recipes” for plant communities because there are too many possible variations, including personal preferences, to put in a book. Instead, they have left the design process to each interested gardener.

Enjoy your garden, and consider learning about—and developing—resilient plant communities for your garden.

Tom Karwin is past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, president of the Monterey Bay Area Cactus Succulent Society, and a Lifetime UC Master Gardener (Certified 1999–2009). Visit for links to information on this subject, and send comments or questions to

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Officials flesh out ideas for Mentor retail development at Route 2, 615 – News

This rendering shows the layout of a proposed retail redevelopment project southwest of routes 2 and 615 in Mentor. However, elements may change following feedback from the Planning Commission at a May 17 work session.

This rendering shows the layout of a proposed retail redevelopment project southwest of routes 2 and 615 in Mentor. However, elements may change following feedback from the Planning Commission at a May 17 work session.

Mentor Planning Commission held a rare work session this week to address aspects of a major retail redevelopment project.

The first phase of the proposal from Pepper Pike-based Visconsi Companies, Ltd.,will transform about 20 acres southwest of routes 2 and 615.

“This is a project of significant size, scope and complexity, coupled with the fact that the preliminary plan was met with many questions,” said Ronald M. Traub, Mentor’s Economic and Community Development director, noting that the Newell Creek development required multiple work sessions.

Comments at the May 17 meeting mainly centered on how to make the multipronged plan cohesive.

Commission Chairman William Snow reiterated the desire for a “campus-type feel” so that “when this all gets developed, it looks like an integrated project (with) integrated architecture, integrated landscaping.”

He mentioned the development off of Interstate 271 in Macedonia as an example.

The preliminary site plan shows a 55,000-square-foot grocery store with a drive-thru pharmacy at the north end of the development and a large parking lot just south of it, with six outlots and an area designated as Phase II. Other proposed uses include a 16-pump gas station/convenience store, 48,000 square feet of retail space, a 7,000-square-foot auto parts store, a 3,000-square-foot fast food restaurant with drive-thru, another 6,000 square feet of retail space and — eventually — a 35,000-square-foot fitness center.

Some members suggested orienting the buildings so they face each other and adding a walking path connecting the buildings.

“I can’t see myself walking through the parking lot,” Commission member Katherine Cimperman said. “I don’t see this as being walkable.”

She also asked project representatives to consider adding a central feature such as a fountain and a public area — potentially for events — amid the parking lot.

Visconsi Vice President of Development Bradley Goldberg said the first priority is getting the anchor tenant through the Planning Commission review process. He noted that the project has changed to reflect changes in the retail industry since the conceptual design was approved — along with a rezoning — by voters in 2015.

“(Retailers are) a little spooked in regard to things that are happening with retail sales,” Goldberg said. “They’re reducing the size of their stores, growing at a slower rate … being more methodical … It’s a lot harder to get deals done. That’s what it really comes down to.”

The original concept plan for the development had included an 87,000-square-foot grocery store, a 45,000-square-foot fitness club and an 8,400-square-foot multitenant retail center.

The surge in online retail transactions has contributed to a number of national chains filing for bankruptcy and closing buildings.

“There have been more closures so far this year than there had been in all of 2016, so I think the traditional retail environment has been shaken to its roots,” Traub said.

“I think, in the foreseeable future, we will continue to shop for groceries in the traditional manner.”

A Giant Eagle Market District is said to be interested in the Visconsi development. This has yet to be confirmed by the developer.

Four existing businesses will remain on Route 615: El Rodeo Mexican restaurant, which will lose 50 parking spaces; Mentor Family Restaurant; Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Jim’s Discount Car Truck.

Goldberg has said he hopes to begin construction this summer.

The overall development will require a road vacation of Kelly Drive right-of-way to be reviewed and approved by both the Planning Commission and City Council. The road vacation will need to be recorded prior to any subdivision plat.

In addition, the drive-thru window will require a conditional-use permit as part of final site plan approval.

Don’t Miss

Part of retail project at Mentor interchange ready to roll

Mentor gives early OK to redevelopment project

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What you should consider before hiring an architect – Fairbanks Daily News

FAIRBANKS — The “Ask a Builder” series is dedicated to answering some of the many questions Fairbanks residents have about building, energy and the many other parts of home life.

Q: I’m building a house. Do I need an architect? 

A: So you’re planning to build a house. Congratulations! There are so many decisions to make from the time you find land and the day you finally move in to your new home. One is whether to hire an architect.

Whether or not you need an architect depends on your vision for the house, your builder and your personal experience with design and construction.

Architect provide overall vision and building plans for a unique home project. They have the education and training to help maximize your budget and ease the design and construction process. They understand all aspects of building as well as the local zoning laws and building codes. They can draw from a variety of building techniques and styles to create a house that suits your needs (many general contractors and custom homebuilders also have plan sets you can choose from or modify). 

Some architects have a particular niche, such as energy efficiency, landscaping or historic preservation. Hiring an architect when building a home gives you access to these skills and experience.

Here are a few questions to consider that may help you decide.

• What do you need from the architect? Keep in mind you sometimes can hire an architect (or a design firm) to participate at different levels of your building project — everything including producing a schematic design, drawing construction documents and selecting contractors to doing construction administration for the entire building process. 

If you’re considering an architectural firm, ask about its practices — will you always work with the same team or will different people contribute to the project?

• How certain are your plans and ideas? If you know what you want, and know your plans can be built to local code, you may only need a draftsperson to put together construction documents. 

However, if you’re looking for some direction with your design or need help with local building codes, then consider hiring an architect. Your architect will work with you to adapt your ideas into a few possible design options and then finalize plans for you.

 In any case, be sure to discuss the level of independence the architect will have ahead of time, what type of communication and input you will have and how often you will meet.

• What is your budget? It’s good to establish your budget for the project at the beginning. An architect doesn’t necessarily have to be an extra expense — while you pay a fee for their services, they sometimes can pay for themselves by proposing ways to reduce costs, such as developing creative design solutions, streamlining your building process, creating a timeline for design and construction that fits Alaska’s short building season and designing a home that meets both your current and future needs. Also, sharing your budget with an architect allows them to use their knowledge of the local building community and cost environment to design a home that fits your budget.

• Can you see photos of their work or call references? While some architects are famous for a particular type of design, the majority of architects are skilled at taking a client’s vision and turning it into reality. 

Were past clients happy with how the architect interpreted their ideas? Do the designs fit into the local landscape? Are the buildings different or do they all look similar; if they look similar, is it a look you want for your home?

Lastly, look at homes that were built with, and without, an architect to see what fits you best.

Ask a Builder articles promote home awareness for the Cold Climate Housing Research Center (CCHRC). If you have a question, contact us at or 457-3454.

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50 Small Business Ideas for Rural America

50 Small Business Ideas for Rural Areas

50 Small Business Ideas for Rural Areas

If you think you need to live in a big city to start a successful business, you’re mistaken. There are actually some business opportunities that are better suited for rural communities. So if you’re looking to start a rural business, take a look at the list of ideas below.

Small Business Ideas for Rural Areas


Of course, living in a rural area opens up the possibility of you making a living by farming plants or animals. There are plenty of different agriculture business ideas out there for you to consider.

Antique Seller

Rural areas often have unique history and the antiques to go with it. So you could make a business scouring your local area for unique finds and then selling those goods online or at events.

Antique Mall Owner

Or you could even open up your own antique mall to give other people in your area a venue to sell their goods.


Living in a rural area means you’re likely to have access to enough space to set up a woodshed or workspace where you can create your own unique products by carving wood or using similar methods.

Furniture Upcycler

You could even specialize just in working with old furniture pieces and giving them some new life with a few quick changes.

Nature-Inspired Crafter

If you have enough natural items like flowers, leaves and sticks to work with, you could make wreaths and similar products to sell.

Farm Equipment Maintenance Provider

You could also start a business that mainly provides maintenance services to farmers and people with farm equipment in your area.

Roadside Produce Stand Owner

If you have enough space to grow your own produce at home, you could potentially start a roadside produce stand to sell your items to passers-by.

Online Seed Seller

You could even sell seeds and seedlings to help others start their own gardens. This is something you could even do online.

Plant Nursery Owner

Or you could open up a full greenhouse or nursery that customers can visit to purchase a variety of different plant products.

Rural WiFi Cafe Owner

Since wifi is sometimes hard to come by in rural areas, you could start a cafe that offers free wifi to customers to set your business apart.

Rural Coworking Space Operator

You could even start a coworking space aimed at freelancers and professionals who need a place to work but don’t want to set up shop in big cities.

Alternative Energy Installer

Since some rural residents prefer to stay “off the grid,” you could provide alternative energy installation services to help them make their homes or businesses self-sufficient and sustainable.

Landscape Photographer

Rural areas often provide beautiful backdrops that look great in photos. You can start your own photography business by taking photos of those landscape scenes and then selling them as prints.

Photo Products Seller

Or you could even turn those photos into other products like t-shirts, mugs and postcards. Then you can sell them online or in local souvenir shops.

Stock Videographer

Likewise, you could shoot video of the landscape around your area and then offer it for use in people’s online videos.

YouTube Channel Creator

You could also start your own YouTube channel where you can share a bit about rural life.

Rural Blogger

Or you could start a blog where you write about your area and life in a rural community.


You could also focus on writing longer works like books or ebooks by setting up a writing space.

Drone Operator

Rural areas also potentially offer enough space for you to use drones for photography or videography, allowing you to get some impressive landscape shots.

Drone Instructor

You could even use your drone operating skills to teach others how to use drones.

Rural Resort Operator

If you have enough space at your home or on your property, you could potentially set up a hotel or bed and breakfast where you can welcome visitors to book overnight stays.

Barn Renter

For those who have large barn spaces, you could even rent out your barn for weddings and other events.

Camping Site Operator

Or you could set up a campsite with enough space and offer outdoor areas for rent.

RV Park Operator

Similarly, you could offer outdoor space to customers who have campers or recreational vehicles they need to park during off times.

Hauling Business Owner

For those with a CDL, you could provide hauling and transportation services for people who need critical goods shipped or delivered in rural areas.

Landscape Maintenance Service Provider

People who live in rural areas may sometimes require specialized landscaping services beyond simple lawn mowing and gardening. So you can provide specialty services for those outdoor spaces.

Animal Trainer

If you’re skilled with animals, you could provide training services for pet owners or farmers with other types of animals.

Pet Boarder

You could also provide pet boarding services on your property or even provide pet care services at clients’ homes.

Cleaning Company Owner

Big name cleaning companies don’t always reach rural customers. So you could provide a much needed service by offering regular home or office cleaning services.

Grocery Delivery Service Owner

You could also provide a service for those who don’t want to drive to the grocery store regularly or don’t have the ability to carry their own items.

Restaurant Delivery Service Owner

Similarly, you could provide a delivery service from local restaurants for those customers who don’t want to travel to pick up their own food.

Microbrewery Owner

If you’re interested in brewing your own beer, you could start your own microbrewery where you invite customers or just supply beer to local restaurants.

Winery Owner

Likewise, you could make your own wine and sell it on-site or to restaurants or stores.

Local Gift Shop Owner

If your area has enough visitors to support it, you could open up a gift shop where you sell various goods that are handcrafted or unique to your area.

Tour Guide

You could also provide tour guide or informational services to visitors.

Laundry Service Provider

For those who want to provide essential services to local residents who don’t have access to some of the same amenities that are available in big cities, you could open up a laundromat or start a pick-up laundry service.

Gym Owner

If you have the space, you could also open up a gym or personal training studio on your property.

Firewood Delivery Service Owner

For those who have access to a large supply of firewood, you could sell it to local customers and even provide delivery services.


Rural homeowners might not always have access to as many home service professionals either. So you could become a professional handyman or provide more specialized services to homeowners in your area.

Restoration Business Owner

If your area has unique old buildings or artifacts, you could specialize in providing restoration services to renew those homes or items to their former glory.

Junkyard Operator

You could also collect scrap metal and other junk as part of a rural junkyard business.

Appraisal Service Operator

If you have the right expertise, you could even offer appraisal services to people with old or unique items.

Daycare Owner

People in rural communities are just as likely as others to need child care services from time to time. So you could provide in-home or onsite care to fill that need.

Elderly Care Provider

You could also provide in-home elderly care to those who want to remain in their own homes but just need help with some daily tasks.

Transportation Service Provider

Since rural areas aren’t usually full of taxis or public transit, you could fill a need by providing transportation to people in rural communities, especially for things like non-emergency medical appointments where patients are unable to drive.

Auto Repair Garage Owner

If you’re skilled with automotive repairs, you could start your own rural auto repair garage.

Rural Tech Expert

Rural communities often present some unique challenges when it comes to technology. So you could provide specialized tech support, including internet setup, smartphone repair and fixing connectivity issues.

Home Security Service Provider

You could also provide home security services that are specific to people in rural communities.

Rural Museum Owner

If your area has a unique history or any interesting attributes that people might be interested in learning about, you could open up a museum that’s specific to the rural community.

Route 66 Photo via Shutterstock

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Lodi Farmers Market makes its return – Lodi News

Lodi Farmers Market makes its return

Lodi Farmers Market makes its return

A shopper buys grapes during the last farmers market of the year in downtown Lodi Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.

If you go

When: 5 to 8:30 p.m. each Thursday until Aug. 31

Where: School Street from Elm to Oak streets (and to Lodi Avenue this week) in Downtown Lodi

More information:

Want to participate?

It’s not too late to sign up as a vendor or an entertainer.

Contact Chet Somera through the Chamber by calling 209-367-7840 ext. 110 or email

Posted: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:00 am

Lodi Farmers Market makes its return

By Kyla Cathey/Lodi Living Editor

Lodi News-Sentinel

The Downtown Lodi Farmers Market is back, with fresh fruits and vegetables, scrumptious treats, live music and entertainment, clothing and crafts vendors, and more.

“We’re really looking forward to having a great time down here,” said Chet Somera, special events manager for the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce and the market’s manager.

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      Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:00 am.

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      America in Bloom president offers gardening tips during Tulip Time

      Greenery and fragrant plants should be the focus of local gardeners.

      At tables adorned with the bells of the ball, Tulip Time visitors dined at Haworth Inn and soaked up gardening tips from America in Bloom President Katy Moss Warner.

      Nearly 100 participants listened in to the Tuesday, May 9, keynote speaker, who spent 24 years and the Walt Disney World director of horticultural and environmental initiatives.

      Throughout Moss Warner’s career, she has been fighting what she calls “plant blindness,” an inability people have to actively recognize the landscape around them.

      “We are not only plant blind, but also nature beauty blind,” Moss Warner said at the luncheon. “We just don’t see the landscape around us. That’s a pretty scary thought.”

      Now, Moss Warner focuses on proving the power plants have to improve communities.

      “Really well-maintained parks in a community can reduce the crime rate and a canopy of trees overhead slows down traffic,” she said. Familiar to Holland residents, Moss Warner also said quality landscaping and focus on plants can bring significant tourism to communities.

      “There’s no question that quality of landscapes contribute to quality of life,” she said.

      While parks and community gardens are a great start to community beautification, there is a responsibility for homeowners to take part, too. Moss Warner said no matter what kind of home someone lives in, residents can help improve their community.

      For those living in apartments, Moss Warner said to utilize window boxes and planters on balconies.

      Residents with yards have a wider variety of options, and Moss Warner encouraged homeowners to experiment with their gardens.

      “Get away from lawns,” Moss Warner said. “They’re boring and they’re only good for walk-on ground cover. Plus, then you don’t have to mow.”

      Moss Warner said people should first focus on trees, shrubs and ground cover in front yard gardens.

      “The most important thing is to deliver green,” Moss Warner said. “We can create beauty for others to enjoy as they walk, bike and drive by. We can do it all by ourselves.”

      Then, gardeners should focus on seasonal flowers, including how to get creative during winter.

      “You’re lucky, here, that you have something that celebrates spring,” Moss Warner said. “There’s such wonderful surprises in specialty tulips.”

      While most people focus on color and height when planting new additions to their gardens, Moss Warner said people should also take note of fragrance levels. Flowering bushes like lilacs and roses are best to plant near front sidewalks, encouraging neighbors and visitors to stop and appreciate the aromatic flowers.

      Moss Warner said backyard gardens are most suitable to lawns, overhead trees, natural shrub fences and low maintenance perennial flowers. Backyards are also the best spot for herbs and produce gardens.

      As an America in Bloom community, Moss Warner said she was impressed with the gardening and landscaping ideas she sees in Holland.

      “Would I want to live here? After I leave Holland, I always answer yes to that question,” Moss Warner said. “It’s a great community to live in.”

      — Follow this reporter on Twitter @SentinelAudra.

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      13 Urban Garden Ideas for Small Spaces

      A little greenery can go a long way when it comes to sprucing up your home in a urban environment. Not only do plants and flowers clean the air, boost your mood, smell wonderful, and brighten your space, but they are key to crafting a home in a big city. We love how actress Julianne Moore transformed her New York City backyard with trees, plants, and herbs, creating a playful, romantic sanctuary. If you aren’t blessed with a green thumb, you can follow a Manhattan townhouse’s lead with artificial sod. Read on for these and other small-space garden ideas.

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      Eastern Idaho news in brief

      Master Gardners Program fundraiser Saturday

      This year’s Master Gardners Plant Promotion is from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Jack R. Hamilton 4-H and Community Resource Building, 2925 Rollandet St.

      Bonneville County’s master gardeners hold the Plant Promotion fundraiser to benefit its programs. The fundraiser includes indoor and outdoor plants, gift cards, potting soil, gardening equipment and landscape items. Cash donations are accepted for all items. Master gardeners will also be on hand to answer questions, help with planting ideas and offer landscaping and gardening tips.

      Anyone wishing to donate plants, seeds, tree starts, shrubs, gardening materials, etc., can drop them off at the Jack R. Hamilton building Friday.

      For information, contact the Bonneville County Extension Office at 208-529-1390 or email

      One of Star Valley’s oldest resident turns 106

      Lloyd Baker turns 106 Wednesday. The public is invited to celebrate his birthday Saturday.

      The party begins at 6 p.m. at the LDS church, U.S. Highway 89 in Etna, Wyo. The all-ages celebration will include refreshments and a program. A dance will begin at 7 p.m. with the Rockin’ A Team.

      Veterans outreach May 24

      A Bonneville County Veterans Services outreach will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. May 24 in Building Five, Room 515 and 516, of Eastern Idaho Technical College, 1600 S. 25th E.

      Rick Poisel, Idaho State Service Officer, will be conducting the outreach. All veterans, family members and widows or widowers of veterans are encouraged to attend. He will be working with veterans one-on-one, answering questions on pension and compensation and assisting with the filing of all claims with the VA Regional Office in Boise.

      In addition, he will be covering VA health care eligibility and will assist with the application process. He will also provide information on both of the local facilities which provide medical services to eligible veterans: George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the VA Community Based Outpatient Clinics in Pocatello, Ammon and Salmon. His services are free of charge.

      Contact the county veterans representative in your area or call Poisel at 208-235-7890 for information.

      Shauna Berg retirement open house

      An open house to celebrate Shuana Berg’s retirement will be held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 25 at Longfellow Elementary, 2500 S. Higbee Ave.

      Berg has been teaching multiple-age groups locally for 34 years and is currently employed as a third-grade teacher at Longfellow Elementary.

      All former students and colleagues are invited. Call 208-525-7648 for information.

      Film on the effects of children’s trauma Wednesday

      A free public screening of James Redford’s documentary, “RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope,” a partnership between Optum Idaho, the Idaho Children’s Trust Fund, The Speedy Foundation and the Idaho Federation of Families, is being screened at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Events Center, 777 Bannock Trail in Fort Hall. There also will be a panel discussion, featuring local community health experts.

      Redford’s film focuses on the fact that a child may not remember what happened in their early life, but their brain never forgets. It shows how researchers are exploring a biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood — called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The film demonstrates how the stress of these early experiences can trigger hormones that affect children’s’ brains and bodies, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time and early death.

      For information, and to get a free ticket, visit

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