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THE ORIGINAL RIO VISTA COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER

APRIL / MAY 2011

HURRICANES AND FLOODING The most feared weather phenomenon throughout Florida during the summer and early fall is the tropical cyclone. Close to the tropics and surrounded on three sides by warm water, Florida is particularly vulnerable to these systems as they develop and move generally westward across the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean Sea.

DID YOU KNOW??? Hurricane Andrew remains one of only three hurricanes to make landfall at Category 5 intensity in the United States (in addition to the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane which crossed the Florida Keys and Hurricane Camille which struck Mississippi in 1969).

Only a small percentage of the numerous low pressure systems that move across the warm Atlantic waters during the summer are able to take advantage of favorable conditions to become more organized. A tropical storm will have sustained winds of 39-73 mph. When a storm’s maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph, it is considered a hurricane, and when sustained wind speeds reach 111 DID YOU KNOW??? No other state in the country has more hurrimph, it is considered a major hurricane. Meteorologists use the Safcane landfalls per year on average than Florida does. Nearly 40% fir-Simpson Scale to rate the strength of a hurricane based on wind of all hurricanes that strike the United States make landfall in Florspeed. When a tropical system approaches the state, The National ida. Hurricane Center will issue watches and warnings. Do you know the The unique location of Florida in the sub-tropics makes it vulnerable difference between a watch and warning? Watches are issued 48 to tropical storms and hurricanes and the relatively flat terrain can hours in advance of the time dangerous winds are possible within also make it susceptible to flooding. Florida is surrounded by very the specified area. Warnings are issued 36 hours prior to the time warm waters, which breed and support hurricanes: the Atlantic when damaging winds are expected. A watch should trigger your Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Caribbean family’s disaster plan, and protective measures should be initiated. Sea well to the south. Once a warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location The North Atlantic Ocean hurricane season officially begins on to be during the storm. June 1st and continues through November 30th. However, tropical systems can still from outside of hurricane season as early as May DID YOU KNOW??? In the last 150 years, all of Florida’s coastal and as late as December. Although the number of tropical storms counties have been impacted by at least one hurricane. and hurricanes typically peaks during August and September, it is Your main protection against hurricanes is to be prepared and have important to remember that Florida can be impacted by tropical a plan. Hurricane force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed weather systems any time during the six-month-long season. Residents and visitors need to plan ahead and remain ready for possible buildings and mobile homes. A hurricane plan doesn’t have to be anything extremely complicated, but should at least consist of the hurricane impacts. following two things. First, determine whether you live in an evacuaThe 2010 hurricane season was record-breaking in several ways. tion zone. This information can be obtained from your local emer2010 recorded 19 named storms, putting it in third place for most gency management office. If you live in an evacuation zone, know named storms in a season, right behind 1933 and 2005. Luckily, when and where you will be going to pass the storm. Have a list of only one out of the 19 named storms to form in 2010 made landfall emergency telephone numbers handy. Second, stock up on nonin the United States. For the fifth year in a row, Florida escaped ma- perishable supplies, batteries for electronic devices such as your jor impacts from hurricanes. Nevertheless, Florida was the only NOAA Alert Radio, and have a disaster supply kit ready with enough state to receive a direct landfall from a named storm last year when provisions to last 3 to 5 days. To minimize wind damage, asses your Tropical Storm Bonnie moved inland in South Florida on July 23, property to ensure that landscaping and tress do not become a wind 2010. hazard. While hurricanes are known and feared for their ferocious winds, historically it is the water that causes most of the deaths in Despite the inactivity in the state over the past few years, we know hurricanes. About 90% of all hurricane fatalities occur from drowning that it only takes one storm to affect our state for long lasting impacts to be felt. The 1992 Hurricane Season serves as a reminder of in either storm surge or freshwater flooding. this fact, as six tropical cyclones formed (a normal year has eleven), The widespread flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 but one storm intensified into a major hurricane (Andrew) and proserves as a reminder that tropical storms can cause as much or duced widespread devastation as it made landfall near Miami and greater devastation than hurricanes with freshwater flooding. travelled across the South Florida Peninsula. This is why residents and visitors need to always be prepared for hurricanes, even if becontinued on page 4………………. low normal hurricane activity is forecast. Florida has a long history of hurricanes. Records indicate that approximately 110 hurricanes and almost 200 tropical storms have impacted the state since 1851 with many more cited in history books before records were kept.


April / May 2011

Going Green ORGANIC PEST CONTROL Organic pest control is the future. Our long history of blitzing property with chemical pesticides has resulted in races of super-bugs immune to most chemical controls. These same chemicals used incorrectly show up in our drinking water and in our food chain. South Florida is extremely vulnerable to this contamination as our drinking water source, the Biscayne Aquifer, runs only 5 -20 feet below ground depending on elevation. Fertilizer dumped on plants, chemical controls overapplied or sprayed when the temperature is over 85 degrees, and herbicides applied during hot weather or excessively lead to dead trees, shrubs, lawns, etc. In some cases with herbicides, the soil is made sterile and nothing can be planted in that location again. Professionals should apply these products, particularly herbicides, to avoid permanent environmental damage and plant loss.

Fortunately, research is being conducted on more organic controls for these problems. Predatory insects and beneficial bacteria can offer excellent control for certain problems. Encouraging birds to the garden is another organic approach. Plant diversity is very helpful. Planting large masses of the same plant encourages pests. Avoid known pest-prone plants in the landscape.

One good overall organic concoction that works well with vegetables and ornamentals is a soap, garlic powder and cayenne pepper mixture that can be prepared at home. Add 2 teaspoons of liquid Ivory soap to a gallon jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a cheesecloth or coffee filter. On top of the filter add 1 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and garlic powder. Add water to the container through the filter. The essence of the garlic powder and cayenne pepper will go into the jar. This prevents clogging of the sprayer. Remove the filter from the jar's mouth. Shake up the mixAnother factor entering the chemical pest control arena is the Federal Government. Some of the more hazardous chemicals are ture and attach to your sprayer and you are ready to go. The soap removed by government regulation. Proper pesticide storage and smothers sucking insects and the garlic-cayenne mix repels chewing pests. disposal are also major concerns.

‘Friday

Night Fish Fry’

The St. Anthony’s Knights of Columbus is again hosting their ‘Friday Night Fish Fry’ during the Lenten Season. Dinners will be served in the School’s Cafeteria on April 8th and 15th from 5:00-8:00. Cost is $10.00 for Adults and $6.00 for Children. All are welcome - please come join us. Proceeds from the event will go to support the their community, parish, school, and church projects. St. Anthony’s is located at 901 Northeast 2nd Street in Fort Lauderdale.

RiverView Publishing “Your hometown newsletter publisher” www.riverviewpublishing.com Advertising Clay Wieland 954.240.8909 info@riverviewpublishing.com Copyright 2011, RiverView Publishing, 513 SE 9th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express written consent from publisher. The publisher reserves the right to reject any advertising or copy they regard as harmful to the public good or deemed to be libelous. The publisher is not responsible for typographical errors, omissions, copy or photo misrepresentation by advertiser. Liability shall not exceed the cost of the portion of the space occupied by such error or advertising items of information. Under no circumstances shall the publisher be held liable for incidental or consequential damages, inconvenience, loss of business or services, or any other liabilities from failure to publish on a timely manner, except as limited to the liabilities as stated above.

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It’s the LAW! RAISING DUNCAN


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The Rio Vista NEWS 3


April / May 2011

Zoonotic Disease: Controlling Sand Monsters As weather warms and families head outdoors, remember that sandboxes, gardens and lawn areas may be home to potentially dangerous parasites. The tiny organisms are introduced to areas where pets go to the bathroom. These parasites are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people and can penetrate the skin if someone walks barefoot through sand or soil that contains parasites. Protect yourself and your family from these parasites, which can cause serious health problems, such as blindness in children. Talk with your veterinary professional today to learn how. An easy way to protect family members from parasites is to clean-up pet waste from outside areas, including your lawn. Before bringing a new pet home, schedule a thorough exam so that your veterinarian can recommend the right vaccines and provide a de-worming service. The following parasites pose risks to pets and people: roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, ringworm, whipworm, Toxoplasmosis, Giardia, and mange infections. To learn more, visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council online. “Roundworm (Toxocara) infection is the sixth most common reported disease in people in the United States,” said Elizabeth S. Maimon, DVM, MPH, of Hills and Dales Veterinary Clinic, an AAHA-accredited practice in Dayton, Ohio. “Hookworm infections represent a reported 4,000 or more cases annually. We know that hookworms and roundworms may live for years in soil,” she added, referring to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trust the Experts Maimon warns pet owners that the best medicine comes from veterinarians. “The de-worming process can take at least three weeks or more to be effective,” she said. “Clients are mistaken when they believe over-the-counter de-worming medication is efficacious. Without a proper fecal [poop] evaluation, one is hard pressed to know what specific intestinal parasites the pet has and [prescribe] the right de -worming agent. Sadly, many intestinal parasite infections go undetected, because they are not visible to the naked eye.” Jeff Bender, DVM, MS, DACVPM, suggests de-worming for puppies and kittens as early as three weeks of age. “Pets should get routine checks for internal and external parasites,” said Bender, a professor of veterinary public health at the University of

Minnesota. “[Exams are] one of the most important public health measures,” Bender explained. “Early evaluation is essential.” In addition to vaccinations and check-ups, Bender stressed the importance of limiting contact between pets and wildlife, including raccoons and coyotes, to prevent the spread of disease to domestic pets. Prevention of infection is the best way to keep family members safe, Maimon said. “Raccoons can leave behind Baylisascarids, a dangerous member of the roundworm family that people can inhale, causing dermal [skin] infection and neurological disease.” Tips to Prevent the Spread of Parasites between Pets & People

•Take pets to your veterinarian regularly to check for internal and external parasites

•Over-the-counter de-wormers may not work. Veterinarians should do de-worming

•Avoid interaction between pets and wildlife •Do not leave pet food outside; it may attract wildlife •Pick up after pets; obey “No Pet” signs for beaches, Playgrounds and neighborhoods

•Cover your child’s sandbox when not in use, and avoid public playground sandboxes

•Do not let children touch pet litter boxes •When changing litter, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward

•Pregnant women should wear gloves and masks when gardening and avoid litter boxes

•Use disposable liners, and change litter daily •Remove pet droppings from your yard daily •Do not feed pets undercooked or raw meat •Control fleas, lice, flies and other insects in your pet’s environment

•When traveling, bring water for your pet, and do not let him/her drink from puddles or standing water

•Wear shoes and socks indoors and outdoors

Hurricanes and Flooding continued from front page………………………….. Even outside of tropical systems, flooding is a serious concern in Florida since it can happen anywhere and at any time. Effects from flooding can be localized, impacting just a few streets in a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting multiple cities, counties and even whole states. Flooding is caused by the amount of rainfall (meteorology) and what happens to the rain after it hits the ground (hydrology). As our state’s population increases, buildings and pavement replace the natural land. This creates more water runoff and can increase flood problems. Most deaths due to flooding in the United States are due to people driving their cars into flooded areas. Once a vehicle begins to float, the situation for the driver and passengers becomes dangerous and often deadly. DID YOU KNOW??? Just 6 inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock you off your feet and 2 feet of water can sweep an SUV off a road. Residents should be aware of their location with respect to flood-prone areas and know evacuation routes. People are also urged to be extremely cautious when driving in heavy rains, especially when water covers the road. Because it is difficult to determine the depth of water or the condition of the road under the water, if you come to a flooded road, remember the phrase “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”. Meteorologists at the Southeast River Forecast Center and local National Weather Service offices all watch the weather and use satellite pictures, Doppler radar and computer models to try to warn people well in advance of the flooding, so they can save lives and property. Flood Watches and Warnings, along with Flash Flood Watches and warning are issued for a specific area when flooding conditions are likely or are already occurring.

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HARBORDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAPPENNINGS Greetings everyone and Happy Spring. As I mentioned last month, our construction is complete and we now have a brand new campus. You may have also noticed the traffic is moving much smoother in the mornings and afternoons. We are very excited with our completed look and additional parking. There will be a dedication of the new buildings and a 50 year celebration of Harbordale Elementary on May 18th at 8:00 am.

testing. While the kids are excited that the year is coming to an end, they are not so excited about the FCAT Testing. However, we will be having many fun fundraisers for the kids to participate in, one being the Penny Challenge which they totally love. We also have field day coming up which will allow them to release some of that energy while participating in fun games and relays.

We just held our Style Your Tile Night on the March 31st. We have invited anyone who went to Harbordale, had a child/grandchild that went to Harbordale or had/ has any relationship with the school to design a tile for our new tile wall. If you would still like to do one you may do so at Joe Picasso’s up on Federal Highway as they have partnered with us for this project. We are hoping to have the tile wall up by the May 18th dedication ceremony.

We are still trying to raise funds for a new playground which we are hoping will come to fruition before the end of this school year. Hope you all enjoy the great Spring weather and remember if you would like to donate or volunteer at Harbordale please contact me.

Cici Kelly Harbordale School Association April brings the end of the school year closer and FCAT President

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April / May 2011

Garden Tips

This Month's Forecast: Dry and Buggy

Like March, April in Florida tends to be a rather dry and windy month. On average, the daily high temperature rises to about 82º while the daily low does not usually fall below 68º. Wildfires often persist in flaring up during April and will do so until the rainy season begins in May. Strong, steady winds and lack of rain-fall make most of Florida highly susceptible to wildfires. If your vegetable and annual plants have survived March, keep an eye on them! Aphids, leafhoppers, grasshoppers and all other sorts of nasties are on the munch and looking for some tasty tid-bits to fill their bellies with. Continue to watch for water distress in your garden. The rains still will not not be enough to sustain your plants. Mulching them is still highly recommended.

mously hot and humid summer. As in March, if you insist on starting a traditional "Northern Garden" in April the following plants are recommended for planting this month:

Vegetables : Calabaza, Cantaloupe, Cassava, Chayote, Cherry Tomato, Collard Greens, Cow Peas, Cucumbers, Dasheen, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jicama, Lima Beans, Malabar Spinach, Malanga, MusBE SURE TO MULCH! tard, New Zealand SpinDuring this terribly dry weather it cannot be ach, Okra, Papayas, stressed enough how valuable mulch is. Peanuts, Pumpkins, Six things that mulch does are: Snap Beans, Squash, • Preserves moisture in the soil. Sweet Potatoes, • Protects the soil from the intense heat of the sun. Turnips, Watermelons • Provides a constant supply of organic material. and Yams. • Prevents the quick drying of the soil during windy • •

and dry periods. Gives some protection to plants against root knot causing nematodes. Improves soil texture.

Herbs: Anise, Basil, Borage, Chives, Dill, Sweet Marjoram, Mint, Oregano, Rosemary,

Sage, Savory and Thyme. April in the Florida Garden is also the time for Frangipanni (Plumeria) to begin blooming and Gardenias to begin budding and possibly blooming. You may have noticed that some of your trees have been dropping leaves. This is quite normal for Oak, Mahogany, Black Olive, Poinciana and a few other species of trees. Many are now or will be covered soon with bright green foliage and some (such as the blue Jacaranda), with an explosion of blooms. Enjoy April, it is the last month of Florida's coolseason. May's rains begin to usher in Florida's fa-

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Flowers: Ageratum, Aster, Begonia, Balsam (Impatiens), Blue Daze, Celosia, Coleus, Cosmos, Cockscomb, Gaillardias, Globe Amaranth, Marigolds, Morning Glory, Pentas, Periwinkles, Petunias, Portulacas, Salvia, Strawflowers, Torenia, Vincas and Zinnias. Bulbs: Achimenes, Agapanthus, Amaryllis, Asiatic Lilies, Begonias, Blood Lily, Caladiums, Canna, Crinum, Dahlia, Gladioli, Gloriosa Lily and Zephyranthes.


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April / May 2011

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