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Friday, April 13, 2012

MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

HOMETOWN NEWS

1

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MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

HOMETOWN NEWS

Friday, April 13,. 2012

New gardening season brings new tips, styles dkrebs@hometownnewsol.com

MARTIN COUNTY — With the warmer weather indicating that spring is right around the corner, the Martin County’s University of Florida’s extension office has some tips to make this season easier for both the new gardener and the established green thumb. For the person who is wandering

out into their backyard for the first time this year, Fred Burkey, the multicounty agent for Florida Yards and Neighborhoods, has some suggestions. “Decide how much time you want to spend on it,” he said. “How much time you want to spend in your yard will dictate the type of plants, and the maintenance needs for them.” He said the drier conditions this year make the gardening needs a little

different. “Things have changed,” Mr. Burkey said. “This year we’re going to be drier than normal, so a homeowner might opt for a more drought-resistant plant. We live in South Florida, so we have to be more aware of what we plant.”

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When reporting tips to crime stoppers you remain UNKNOWN, OUT OF SIGHT, and UNTOUCHABLE.

APRIL – NATURE’S COLORS THROUGH ART Artists in Action Day - April 14th * 10am-4pm * FREE 10am-1:30pm Plein Air Painters along the trails 1:30pm-4:00pm Demo’s inside Center

We are available 24 - hours! Report your tip by phone, OR our Website and OR You can text your message!

(mosaics, tiki carving, mixed media jellyfish, painting)

“Soap and Wood Carving” Class - April 21st * $28 * (includes carving glove) Adult class (ages 16 & up) 10 am –12 pm Kid class (ages 8 –15) 1:30 pm– 3:30pm Painting in Oils Workshop and Demo with Charles Walker April 28th * $20 * 1:00 – 3:00 pm * RSVP

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NATURE & ART SUMMER CAMPS Going Wild Camp June 11-15 * 9am-1pm * Ages 8-12 * $85 Surviving the Wild Camp June 25-29 * 9am-1pm * Ages 12-16 * $90 Spirit of Nature Art Camp July 10-13 * 8:30am-12:30pm * Ages 7-10 * $75 Spirit of Nature Art Camp July 23-27 * 8:30am-2:30pm * Ages 11-16 * $120 Junior Naturalist Day Camps August 7-10 * 9:30am-12:30pm * Ages 4-8 * $10/day The Oxbow Eco-Center is Open Tues.-Fri. 12 to 5 and Sat. 10-5 Trails are Open Everyday, Dawn to Dusk

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EITHER WAY YOU REMAIN UNKNOWN, OUT OF SIGHT AND SAFE

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His program on Florida Yards and Neighborhoods is an outreach program that involves working closely with area residents on their gardening questions and needs. One new thing this year that county

(772) 785-5833 • www.oxboweco.com 5400 N.E. St. James Dr., Port St. Lucie, Fl 34983

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By Dawn Krebs


MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

Friday, April 13, 2012

Gardening tips for everyone

Season

H

residents might not yet be aware about is a new fertilizer law. “Residents will not be allowed to fertilize their yards between the months of June and October,” he said. “While it will become state law by 2014, some counties have begun implementing it now. This is to protect the water table and the waterways during the rainy season.” One tip for more experienced gar-

JOE ZELENAK

for plants such as tropicals and some annuals such as impatiens. The east and west exposure areas are usually a mix of sun and shade, depending on trees and other landscaping items you may have placed there. The eastern exposure will be great for plants and shrubs that only need a partial day’s sun. Since this area is affected by the morning sun, it is a good location for some flowering annuals such as vinca and marigold and also for many hedge plants such as ixoria and hibiscus. Some of the hardier varieties, such as ixoria and boxwood, will also do well on the western exposure, which gets the heat of the late

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GARDEN NOOK

From page 2

deners is to take advantage of the warmer weather. “Because it’s warmer than normal now, we can take early advantage of any vegetable planting,” he said. But the biggest tip, according to Mr. Burkey, is to take better care of where we live. “We should be more aware of our environment,” he said. “We have to start being careful of how we treat it.” The county extension office is located next to the fairgrounds in Stuart. For more information, call (772) 288-5654.

See NOOK, 4

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i, everybody. I am going to guide you through some basic tips on planning the perfect landscape environment. This guide is general and will help you decide where to place your plants, watering techniques and more. The first tip will describe the best exposure for the right plant. Let’s say you are at your favorite garden store and you see this killerlooking flowering annual. It is something new that you have never seen or dealt with before. You impulsively buy the plant and take it home, but you have no real idea where to plant it so it will thrive at its best. Placing plants in the right location in your yard will have a huge impact on how well the plant will survive. In general, the southern exposure of your house will have the sunniest conditions. This exposure is great for full-sun plants such as bougainville or roses. The northern exposure of your house will generally have the least amount of direct sun. This is great

3

HOMETOWN NEWS

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4

MARTIN COUNTY HOMETOWN NEWS

HOME & GARDEN

Hiring a lawn care professional For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

Many homeowners hire a lawn care professional to tend to their lawns and gardens. To hire a quality service or individual, homeowners need to do a little homework. • Compare prices. Professional landscapers offer an array of services and, as a result, those services vary in cost. Ask neighbors and friends what they pay for routine maintenance and any other special services. Get recommendations for companies that do work you admire. • Interview prospective companies.

Nook From page 3

day and evening sun. In general, almost 50 percent of the water we use is for watering purposes outside. One of the most efficient ways to save water and yet be able to water efficiently is to install a drip irrigation system in your flower and landscape beds. When setting up such a bed, it is important to try and keep like plants together so they will all receive the correct amount of water. Since drip irrigation focuses the water where it is needed, there is very little in the way of wasted water. It is also important to be sure your system has a rain sensor so your system does not come on in the event of stormy weather. Be sure to check your watering cycles with a rain gauge. You should apply no more then 3/4 of an inch of water to your lawn at any given time. This is all that is needed to keep your lawn and plants happy. Another important factor to consider when taking care of your landscape is to fertilize appropriately. Fertilizer can encourage plants to grow faster and greener if applied at the correct rate. Only use enough fertilizer to properly

Set up appointments or price quotes from three different lawn care services. Compare the offerings and the prices. Ask questions about whether pricing is “per week” or “per cut.” Determine if services such as edging, blowing away debris, trimming and clean up are included. • Find out about extras. Some services will offer packages for spring and fall clean up, and homeowners should inquire about any special offers during the initial comparison stage. • Who does the work? A company may farm out work to other landscapers. Figure out who will be arriving each week and base decisions accordingly. maintain the plants. Over-fertilization cannot only waste money, but it can actually do harm to your plants. The use of water-soluble fertilizer is great for convenience, but will not help very much when using it on your lawn. Lawns will do best with a high-grade granular fertilizer that is applied with a drop spreader. Save the water-soluble for your flowers and bushes. Garden pests are a common problem and need to be controlled for the health of your garden. It is always best to use natural methods first in order to help save the environment by not overusing pesticides. Pick off or remove damaged or infested branches of plants. In many cases, this is all that will be needed to maintain the pests. In place of treating entire lawns, try spot-spraying infected areas instead. You can also try some natural sprays that are made from garlic as an alternative to commercial poisons. I hope you enjoyed the kaleidoscope of tips and information in this article. Joe Zelenak has 29 years experience in gardening and landscape. Send e-mails to hometowngarden@gmail.com or visit www.hometowngarden.com.

Visit us @ www.HometownNewsOL.com

Friday, April 13,. 2012

Is a tankless heater for you? For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

Thirty percent of a home’s energy budget goes to heating water for cleaning and bathing. Some homeowners are looking to new and efficient tankless water heaters as an option on saving money on water heating costs and saving space around the house, as tankless heaters are much smaller than traditional water heaters. “Consumer Reports” found that while tankless heaters that use highpowered burners to heat water as it flows through the unit to provide hot water on demand are 22 percent more efficient than gas-fired hot water tanks, there are some pitfalls, as well.

Tankless heaters tend to be more expensive than traditional water heaters, so it could take several years for the average homeowner to recoup his costs in terms of energy savings. Also, inconsistent water temperature is a frequent complaint among testers of tankless products. The hot water does not come instantaneously, and much like standard water heaters, if there is residual cold water in the pipes, this will have to be forced through first before the hot water arrives. Because many tankless water heaters work with electric controls, in the event of a power outage, hot water could be lost for the duration of the outage.

Get healthier, cleaner home this spring For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

Springtime is the best time to get your home and outdoor equipment ready for the approaching warm weather, and the sooner you start the sooner you will be ready to enjoy the spring and summer months. Here are some suggestions to make your home as healthy and as clean as possible. Get rid of mold and mildew When the house is closed up tight for the winter, it’s easy for mold and mildew to take hold and grow, and such growth can adversely affect your respiratory system, while potentially causing sinus congestion and eye irritation. Mold and mildew growth also creates unsightly stains, damaging paint and wall finishes as a result. Spray Nine(R) cleaner/disinfectant is very effective at controlling mold and mildew, addressing not only existing mold and mildew around the house, but also preventing any future problems. Further prevent mildew by venting bathrooms or opening a window to dry out the room after showering. Also check for and remedy any leaks that can contribute to mold and mildew growth. In attics, basements and utility rooms, consider the use of a desiccant, which will remove moisture from the

air. Protect against allergens, viruses and bacteria Effectively cleaning a home can involve several preventive measures to keep everyone free from viruses and bacteria. Spray Nine(R) takes just 45 seconds to disinfect a surface of harmful bacteria, including those associated with food poisoning, whooping cough and even infections such as MRSA. Registered as a hospital- grade disinfectant by the Environmental Protection Agency, the spray takes even less time to disinfect a surface against viruses, doing so in just 30 seconds, while protecting a home’s inhabitants from viruses including influenza A2, poliovirus type I, a type of polio and others that can cause the common cold and respiratory illnesses. Another way to reduce the spread of illness is to make sure everyone in the household washes their hands when coming in from school, work or from shopping. Say au revoir to odor Readying a home for fresh, spring days also entails ridding its interior of odor. Spray Nine(R) brand odor eliminator neutralizes offensive odors on contact by “caging” their molecules so they are no longer detectable to the nose. See HOME, 6


Friday, April 13, 2012

MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

HOMETOWN NEWS

5

Tips on easy renovations for rental properties

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impression, true or false, that a landlord won’t allow the building to grow dated or fall into disrepair. When shopping for appliances, choose ones that are more basic so any eventual repairs won’t be too complicated or costly. Newer appliances enable landlords to charge more rent for a given property, See PROPERTIES, 6

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padding makes the carpet feel softer and of higher quality. • Upgrade the appliances. Perhaps nothing evokes a stronger response from prospective renters than a property’s appliances. Outdated appliances make renters speculate as to what else might be outdated and if the building is well taken care of. On the other hand, newer appliances, particularly stainless-steel items, create a contemporary feel and give the

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When the economy struggles to the point of recession, few people benefit. However, there are some businesses that thrive during a recession, using the circumstances to their advantage and actually growing business in spite of a sagging economy. One such business is rental agencies or property management companies. Even landlords with a single investment property tend to do better during a recession, when individuals might be fearful of buying a home or simply unable to afford it. Such individuals still need a place to live, however, and landlords benefit as a result. One of the best things a landlord can do during a recession is to pay more attention to their rental properties, ensuring the properties are in tip-top shape so they can get the most out of each unit at a time when the rental market is most competitive. This might require some renovations, which landlords should be making periodically anyway, regardless of how strong or tenuous the economy might be.

• Update the paint. Apartments are typically empty when shown to prospective renters, and any issues with the paint job are very noticeable during such viewings. If the paint is outdated or there is any fading, update the walls with a fresh coat of paint. It’s ideal to do so whenever a tenant moves out, but landlords whose buildings have a high turnover rate likely won’t need to repaint every time a tenant moves out. When adding a new coat of paint, choose a light, neutral color to give the property a fresh, inviting look. • Replace the carpeting. Carpeting is another area prospective renters are instantly drawn to when viewing an apartment. New carpeting is always attractive to potential tenants, and landlords won’t have to break the bank to replace the carpets when an existing tenant moves out. Instead of expensive carpeting, choose a medium-grade carpet with a neutral color, ideally beige or light brown, which can hide spills or stains should the next tenant prove messy and move out after the original lease terms are up. Before laying carpet, don’t forget to lay down quality padding underneath. Such

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MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

HOMETOWN NEWS

Friday, April 13,. 2012

Greet guests with touch of glass For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

The trend of using decorative glass to create dramatic entryways continues to grow, as homeowners choose to stay in their homes longer and

Home From page 4

Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection

020331

Decorative Avonlea glass in an energy-efficient fiberglass entryway.

Homeowners can eliminate odors in their kitchens, carpets and even their musty basements, ensuring the home is odor-free for the long winter months ahead. In lieu of smoke and pet odors, Odor Eliminator provides a fresh floral scent and can even be added to compatible cleaning solutions to freshen the home as you clean. Think about adding houseplants, as well. Plants are natural air filters and can go a long way toward cleaning the air of contaminants and odors. Outdoor equipment The warm-weather season is also barbecue season. Spray Nine(R) BBQ grill cleaner does double duty as a heavy-duty cleaner and a hard-surface disinfectant. It easily dissolves grease, fat and burned-on food for quick cleanup with less effort. The cleaner also kills food-borne germs that contaminate food preparation surfaces, including salmonella and E.coli in just 45 seconds. It can also be used on propane tanks, countertops, stainless steel, painted surfaces, bar-

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beque covers, and ceramic and tempered glass. Remember, when cooking food on the grill, do not reuse marinade after it has touched raw meat or poultry. Promptly scrape down the grill surface while the barbecue is still warm to remove most of the drippings and scraps of food for easier clean up. Patio furniture The warm weather enables people to venture outdoors and commune with nature. Prepping the patio furniture for a new season of use often involved a lot of elbow grease and time. But Spray Nine(R) patio furniture cleaner cleans, kills germs, helps control mold and mildew and destroys bacterial odors in a matter of minutes while digging out grease, grime, fingerprints, bird droppings, suntan lotion and other tough stains from outdoor and poolside furniture. The key benefit is its ability to kill harmful germs such as salmonella enterica, E. coli and athlete’s foot fung u s . Tackle spring cleaning projects with ease. More information is available at www.spraynine.com.

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MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

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HOMETOWN NEWS

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8

MARTIN COUNTY

HOME & GARDEN

HOMETOWN NEWS

Friday, April 13,. 2012

Gardening is possible in any size space For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

Believe you need an acre of property to start gardening? Think again. Individuals can grow their own patch of greenery in just about any space they have on hand. When it comes time to getting your hands dirty, it doesn’t matter if there are rolling hills or a single container

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filled with soil on which to plant. Although many gardening professionals present plans for larger-scale gardens, it’s possible to create smallerscale options that require a great deal less maintenance and upkeep. To get started, homeowners or apartment dwellers need to first look at the space they have. Perhaps this is a few flower pots or a small square of exposed dirt in an otherwise concrete

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jungle. Others may have an expansive backyard in which to toil in the soil. Either way, knowing what you have to work with can help home gardeners map out a more successful plan of action. Next, it’s important to consider climate and the soil conditions. Soil can be amended to a point, but plants that require a lot of water may not do well in an area plagued by drought. Color is another thing to consider. Gardeners with smaller spaces may want to think about keeping gardens mainly monochromatic, which will look more cohesive. Cool-colored flowers and plants will help make a garden look larger. Warm-colored flowers will add impact and could create a cozier feel. Hanging baskets and raised containers can add height and free up more floor space for gardens. They’re particularly helpful when space is at a premium. Keep in mind that baskets and containers tend to dry out easily, so using peat moss, vermiculite and other products that tend to hold onto water

will help keep the soil moist. These containers also may need to be watered more frequently. Containers also can be used to plant small trees or shrubs. Use them for vegetable plants, as well. The advantage to containers is they can be moved elsewhere if a plant is not thriving in a particular area. People who have an extremely space with which to work may be limited to a few flower pots in the window, but they can easily grow herbs or annual flowers. Those who have large spaces may want to consider breaking the landscape down into smaller quadrants; otherwise, the garden can seem unruly. Use hardscape materials, such as mulch, rocks, boulders and slate to break up the greenery (and also cut down on items that need pruning and watering). Individuals who don’t know where to start can page through gardening magazines for ideas. Alternatively, they can consult with an area landscaper to find out which plants will do well.

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HOME & GARDEN

Friday, April 13, 2012

NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

As you tear apart the wallpaper, replace the cupboards and strip the floorboards, experts caution not to reach for that bucket of paint before investigating the innards of your walls. Insulation and infrastructure are significant to the foundation and value of your property, so bringing in a home inspector or appraiser allows you to make corrections early, before you’ve finalized the renovation plans. Common problems center on air leakage and poor insulation issues, experts say. The latest research, for example, indicates that traditional fiberglass and cellulose insulation are less reliable than contemporary spray foam insulation. Foams are known to decrease the presence of common airborne irritants, reduce air and water penetration and reduce energy costs. When you sell your home, spray foam insulation stands to give a better return on investment than dated insulation. More information on this topic is available online at icynene.com.

9

For Hometown News NewsFP@hometownnewsol.com

Every living thing on the planet requires water to survive. Without water, life as we know it would quickly perish. Despite the importance of water, many do not think ahead to what would happen if water supplies dwindled. To avoid such a fate, it’s best to begin conserving water whenever possible. Though estimates vary, most people use between 80 to 100 gallons of water each day. So many daily necessities require water use. By making a few changes here and there, it’s possible to considerably reduce the amount of water we waste each day. 1. When hand-washing dishes, don’t let the tap run. Fill up the sink and wash them that way then rinse afterward. 2. Wash clothing only when the entire machine is full. 3. Adjust sprinklers so that only the lawn and shrubbery are watered, not the driveway or sidewalks. Or invest in a drip hose that waters the roots only and saves water. 4. Invest in rain barrels that can collect water from downspouts on the home. 5. Water in early morning and early evening to avoid evaporation from the hot sun. 6. Spread a layer of mulch in planting beds and around trees to keep roots moist. 7. Check the home indoors and outdoors for any leaks. 8. Shorten showers by a minute or two. This can save up to 150 gallons of water per person, per month. 9. A taller lawn shades roots and reduces the need to water the grass more See WATER, 11

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For Hometown News

HOMETOWN NEWS

20 easy ways to conserve water

019083

Plan renovation smartly

MARTIN COUNTY


COUNTY 10 MARTIN HOMETOWN NEWS

HOME & GARDEN

Friday, April 13,. 2012

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen Gives New Homeowner Picture Perfect Bathroom When Samara and Ian McNair moved into their new home in Tequesta, they felt the design of their bathroom fell a bit short – literally. “The home was custom built for a very short woman,” said Mrs. McNair. “So we decided to gut the entire bathroom and start from scratch.” They turned to DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen, a full-service remodeling company that works on kitchens and bathrooms. Mrs. McNair said she had been looking at companies based out of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami, but wanted to give a local company their business. “I also liked that the owner was a custom homebuilder for more than 25 years,” said Mrs. McNair. Ed Gribben, president and owner of the Stuart branch of the national franchise, visited the McNair’s home to get an idea of what they wanted their bathroom to look like. After hearing their ideas for transforming their all-white bathroom, he created a threedimensional computer-gener-

ated view of what it could look like. The next step in the process was for the McNairs to visit the DreamMaker design center and pick out the fixtures for their bathroom, from their showers and sinks, down to the knobs on their cabinets. “We are locally-owned but we have national buying power on cabinetry, plumbing fixtures, ceramic tiles – basically anything to do with a bath or kitchen,” said Mr. Gribben. For example, one of the cabinet lines has more than 64,000 choices. The McNairs had a lot to choose but DreamMaker’s design center made it easy. They replaced everything from the flooring and shower fixtures, to lights, vanities and fixtures. Although it was a total overhaul, the project only took three weeks, something Ms. McNair said she appreciated the most. “They didn’t start demolishing the bathroom until they had everything they needed, so we didn’t have to live without cabinets or a toilet for months,” she said.

When the project was completed, the white Formica and white tiled bathroom had been transformed into an “old-world” style room. Slightly distressed dark cherry cabinets, a sandy-colored travertine stone floor, oil rubbed bronze fixtures, a double shower, heated Jacuzzi tub and vessel sinks created a warm feeling in the room, said Mr. Gribben. As well as being thrilled with her new bathroom, Mrs. McNair said she was shocked that she had absolutely no clean-up. Mr. Gribben said that’s just part of their full service. “We clean up the whole house if that needs to be done. We try to leave the job like it’s never been touched. We want it to be sparkling brand new and clean.” The McNairs said they are enjoying their new bathroom and couldn’t be happier with the service they got. “(DreamMaker) is extremely professional. They know what they are doing and are very efficient,” said Mrs. McNair. Mr. Gribben, whose father was a general contractor and grandfather was a carpenter,

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Samara and Ian McNair knew their dated bathroom (top) would have to be remodeled. DreamMaker helped them design and remodel it into a dream bathroom. said he’s been in this business for the past 34 years because of the satisfaction he gets from a job welldone. “When you’re doing a remodel you can see a nonfunctional or outdated bath or kitchen get completely transformed in as little as

two to three weeks. Seeing something that really revolutionizes a client’s house is rewarding.” For more information on DreamMaker, visit www.dreammakerstuart.com or call (772) 288-6255.

772-288-6255 www.dreammaker-Stuart.com

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By Jenet Krol For Hometown News


Glass From page 6

ways to enhance a home’s curb appeal. Beyond aesthetics, a new entry with decorative glass can add value to the home. According to a national home valuation study conducted by Therma-Tru and TNS, an independent research organization, simply installing a new entryway door has been shown to increase the perceived value of a home by more than $24,000 on average. Manufacturers offer a wide array of choices for entryways incorporating decorative glass doorlites, sidelites and transoms. These choices allow homeowners to create a custom look for the home while making a statement about the homeowner’s personal sense of style. The recently introduced Avonlea(TM) and Maple Park(TM) decorative glass options from Therma-Tru (available at www.thermatru.com) are perfect examples of the beauty decorative

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HOME & GARDEN

Friday, April 13, 2012

glass can add to the home. With its fluid lines and free-flowing leaf pattern, the Avonlea glass package is inspired by nature and features bronze water and clear baroque glass with black nickel caming. The Maple Park decorative glass option creates a peaceful, comforting design element for the home. With its water and granite glass married with clear bevels and a soft arc, the Maple Park glass creates a Craftsmaninspired look, well suited for all types of homes. Entryway systems that incorporate decorative glass also offer the added benefit of allowing more sunlight into the home without energy loss, making for a more attractive, more energyefficient interior. Some of the most stunning designs are available in impact-rated versions that provide added home security and protection from severe weather conditions, such as high winds and heavy rain. Other decorative glass options include vented sidelites to allow both air and natural ventilation into the home.

HOMETOWN NEWS

Water From page 9

frequently. 10. Use one glass or bowl all day for food and drink to reduce the number of items that need to be washed. 11. Use a water-efficient showerhead to reduce water consumption by 75 percent. 12. If you haven’t already done so, switch all toilets to low-flow toilets. 13. Don’t wash the car in the driveway. Visit a commercial car wash that uses recycled water.

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14. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. 15. Put water-saving aerators on all faucets in the home. 16. Avoid water recreation toys that require a constant flow of water. 17. Use the water conservation cycle on a dishwasher. 18. Bathe young children together. Bathe a small child in the kitchen sink to avoid having to fill up an entire bath tub. 19. Report broken pipes or hydrants quickly. 20. Use leftover water from pet bowls to water plants instead of tossing it down the drain.

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