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OVER 4 MILLION Readers Weekly Nationwide!

June 25, 2013 Published by PTK Corp.

of the River Region

The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read® To place an Ad, call: (334) 202-7285 TIDBITS® CONSIDERS

PIRATES by Janet Spencer After Spanish explorers established regular trade routes with the Americas, a new industry was born: Pirating. Come along with Tidbits as we sail the high seas! • Pirating reached its height in the years between 1650 and 1730. Pirate ships didn’t roam around hoping to chance upon a victim; they patrolled known shipping routes. During this time, many governments (particularly England) supported piracy, encouraging it as a cheap way to get expensive goods into their country. Piracy became so prevalent that sea-faring trade nearly ground to a complete halt. At this point governments began working against the plunder, tracking down pirates and hanging them in public. The last pirate of this era ever hanged in England was strung up in 1840, and in 1862 the last one was hung in America. • In the mid-1600s, there were about 50,000 British sailors making an honest living on the sea, and probably somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 British pirates making a dishonest living at the same time. During this period, about 80 pirates served on each pirate ship. The career of a pirate generally lasted only a few years or so before they were drowned or killed or jailed. Although some made a fortune and retired, it was more common for the ones who made money to squander it in short order, necessitating another trip. MYTHS & LEGENDS • The image of the typical pirate that’s been passed down through history is partly true and partly false. Pirates often wore a scarf tied around their head to keep their hair out of their face and to prevent sweat from running into their eyes. They frequently went barefoot which gave them better traction on slippery decks. Pirates wore earrings because they thought it would improve their vision. (Acupuncturists say this isn’t far from the truth.) Burying their treasure is not something that happened often, although there are a few cases on record. Leaving a treasure behind left it vulnerable. Most often plunder was carried to the nearest port and sold. Likewise, walking the plank was a rare occurrence. In fact, there are only two pirates known to have used that method. One was Major Stede Bonnet, who is credited with inventing it, and the other was a Dane called Captain Derdrake. More commonly, men were simply thrown overboard. • Contrary to popular belief, a pirate ship tended to be a fairly democratic workplace. A charter establishing ship rules would be drawn up at the start of each voyage with turn the page for more

Vol 2 Issue 26

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Keep Your Cool This Summer

Now that we’re fast approaching the hottest part of summer, it’s even more important to take steps to guard against becoming overheated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a special report on seniors and the heat. It has suggestions that make sense -- especially since we seniors are slower to sense changes in temperature. That means we can become overheated before we realize it. Here are some suggestions: --Drink more water than usual, and don’t wait until you’re actually thirsty before having a drink. By then you’re actually overdue for water. Call your doctor’s nurse to ask how much water you should be drinking, and make a chart to be sure you get as much as you should. --Don’t cook with the stove or oven. It makes the house hotter. --Wear light-colored, lightweight, loose clothing. --Cool down with cool showers or baths. --Avoid alcohol or drinks with lots of sugar. --Check the news for heat alerts. In some cases, cooling stations might be opened in your area, such as in schools. Or call the health department and ask if there are air-conditioned shelters near you. Libraries, movies and malls are good places to go during the heat of the day. --Keep an eye on friends and family, and ask that they do the same for you. --While fans are helpful at lower temperatures, they won’t help in extremely hot weather, and only blow the hot air around. --Watch for heat-related symptoms, such as nausea or vomiting, headaches or muscle cramps. Look for heavy sweating, clammy skin, weakness or fainting, which is heat exhaustion. Those are medical emergencies. For more information, go online to and warning.html. Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

Tidbits® of the River Region each sailor contributing to the list and expected to stick to it. Disability pensions were awarded for pirates wounded in battle. Usually, the captain was elected by secret ballot and could be voted out of office. Likewise, ships’ officers were often elected democratically. Many pirate captains preferred to win their battles with a show of force rather than bloodthirsty slaughter. Booty was generally divided fairly, with the captain receiving a share and a half; officers receiving a share and a quarter; and crew getting one share each. Nobody on the pirate ship got paid anything at all unless they captured something of value. Most ships carried musicians on board to provide entertainment. PIRATE WAYS • In the late 1600s, when most of humanity was still illiterate, ships flew flags with pictures on them indicating their identity and intention. Flags might depict an hourglass (indicating time running out for surrender), or a sword (indicating willingness to fight), or a skull and crossbones, which was by far the most popular design. The color of a flag also sent messages: A black flag meant the pirates would give quarter, and would spare the lives of the captured crew if the treasure was handed over without a fight. If the victims refused to lay down their weapons, a red flag (preferably dipped in blood) would be run up. If a red flag was flying, it meant no quarter would be given and the crew could expect to die. Seeing the sight of a red flag with skull and crossbones was often all it took to convince the victims to give up and hand all their goods over. After all, the cargo on board usually didn’t even belong to them. A white flag indicated surrender. • The French phrase ‘joli rouge’ means ‘pretty red’ which is thought to be the reason the pirate flag is called the Jolly Roger. • Cannon shot was carefully aimed to destroy the sails and masts of the ships being captured without damaging the ship itself. Pirates needed to immobilize the ship but did not want to destroy it. Treasure didn’t do much good if it was sitting on the bottom of the ocean, and the boat itself was a prize worth keeping. Cannonballs were often made imperfectly on purpose because they would make more noise in flight if they were not perfectly round, and noisy cannonballs were more intimidating than silent cannonballs. • The fierce Gujarati pirates made captured

merchants swallow an emetic called tamarindi mixed with salt sea water which would cause them to vomit, throwing up any gemstones they may have swallowed prior to being caught. TALK LIKE A PIRATE • The word ‘pirate’ comes from the Greek ‘peiran’ meaning ‘to attack.’ • The word ‘careen’ comes from the French word ‘carene’ meaning the keel of a ship. Boats that collected barnacles and seaweed moved sluggishly in the water so they needed to be cleaned regularly, especially if they were pirate ships that needed to outmaneuver their victims. The boat would be tilted on its side to be scraped, repaired, and re-caulked. ‘Careening’ has now come to mean lurching or swerving while in motion. • Coins could once be cut into pieces to make change. A dollar coin could be broken into eight bits. Two bits equaled a quarter of a dollar. That’s how pirates got pieces of eight and England got the halfpenny and the farthing, which was originally a ‘fourthings’ or a fourth of a penny. • After the discovery that vitamin C in lemons, oranges, and limes cures scurvy, sailors were supplied with citrus fruits during voyages, leading to their nickname of ‘limeys.’ • Booty comes from the German root ‘bute’ meaning ‘exchange.’ NANCY’S PAPERS • In the 1700s, an American ship called the Nancy was suspected of pirating and of running Britain’s blockade of France. Cornered in the Caribbean, the captain of the Nancy tossed incriminating logbooks and papers into the sea just before being captured. The captain and crew of the Nancy were taken to Britain to stand trial. However, without the ship’s papers, there was no evidence. Just then a second British ship sailed into port, bringing the Nancy’s papers. They had found the ship’s papers in the belly of a shark they caught off Haiti. The captain of the Nancy was convicted and hung. The papers were placed in a museum.

“Be known before you’re needed” Advertise with Tidbits (334) 202-7285 picnics and the playing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and marches by John Philip Sousa. Invite this delicious Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake to your Independence Day holiday as we celebrate the wonderful history of this great country! (Additional information courtesy of PBS Online.) RED, WHITE AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Red, White and Blueberries! Americans celebrate July 4th, also known as Independence Day, often without knowing the fascinating history about how this celebration came into being. “Taxation without representation!” That was the battle cry of the 13 colonies in America that were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III with no representation in Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell any signs of rebellion, and repeated attempts by the colonists to resolve the crisis without war proved fruitless. On June 11, 1776, the colonies’ Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, formed a committee to draft a document that would formally sever ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, crafted the document. (Nevertheless, a total of 86 changes were made to his draft.) The Continental Congress officially adopted the final version on July 4. The following day, copies of the Declaration of Independence were distributed, and on July 6, “The Pennsylvania Evening Post” became the first newspaper to print the extraordinary document. The Declaration of Independence has since become our nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty. On July 8, 1776, the first public readings of the Declaration were held in Philadelphia’s Independence Square to the ringing of bells and band music. One year later, on July 4, 1777, Philadelphia marked Independence Day by adjourning Congress and celebrating with bonfires, bells and fireworks. The custom eventually spread to other cities and towns, where the day was marked with processions, oratory, picnics, contests, games, military displays and fireworks. Observations throughout the nation became even more common at the end of the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Congress established Independence Day as a holiday in 1870, and in 1938 Congress reaffirmed it as a holiday, but with full pay for federal employees. Today, communities across the nation mark this major midsummer holiday with parades, firework displays,

2 cups halved, pitted, sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed, drained; see Note below) 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen 3/4 cups granulated sugar or sugar substitute, divided 1/4 cup water, plus 4 teaspoons 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1/2 box (14-ounce) graham crackers 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted 1/3 cup canola oil or melted butter 2 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchetel), softened 2 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1. Set aside 6 or 8 cherries and 6 or 8 blueberries for garnish. Combine remaining cherries and blueberries, 1/2 cup sugar or sugar substitute, 1/4 cup water and the lemon juice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch with 4 teaspoons water, then stir into the berry mixture; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens and looks syrupy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. 2. Process graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1/4 cup sugar or sugar substitute. Drizzle with oil or butter and stir to combine. Press into bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Place cherries and blueberries that were set aside for garnish on top of the graham cracker crust. 3. Beat cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread over the berries and crust. Spoon the cooked berry mixture over top. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours. NOTES: To pit fresh cherries: A hand-held cherry pitter is the right tool for the job, and it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler. To toast walnuts: Cook in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. *** Angela Shelf Medearis is an award-winning children’s author, culinary historian and author of seven cookbooks. Her new cookbook is “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” Her website is www.divapro. com. To see how-to videos, recipes and much, much more, Like Angela Shelf Medearis, The Kitchen Diva!, on Facebook and go to Recipes may not be reprinted without permission from Angela Shelf Medearis. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc., and Angela Shelf Medearis

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Tidbits® of the River Region

* On July 14, 1789, Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops storm and dismantle the Bastille, a royal fortress built in 1370 that had come to symbolize the tyranny of the Bourbon monarchs. This dramatic action signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, a decade of terror in which King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette were executed. * On July 12, 1861, special commissioner Albert Pike completes treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Many of these tribes had been expelled from the Southern states in the 1830s and 1840s, but still chose to ally themselves with those states during the Civil War. * On July 8, 1918, author Ernest Hemingway is severely wounded while carrying a companion to safety on the Austro-Italian front during World War I. Hemingway, working as a Red Cross ambulance driver, was decorated for his heroism. * On July 13, 1930, France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay. The World Cup has since become the world’s mostwatched sporting event. * On July 9, 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the Enigma secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front. Various keys would continue to be broken by the Brits over the next year, each conveying information of even higher secrecy and priority. * On July 11, 1979, parts of Skylab, America’s first space station, come crashing down on Australia and into the Indian Ocean five years after the last manned Skylab mission ended. The cylindrical space station was 118 feet tall and weighed 77 tons. * On July 10, 1985, in Auckland harbor in New Zealand, Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior sinks after French agents in diving gear plant a bomb on the hull of the vessel. A British newspaper uncovered evidence of French President Francois Mitterrand’s authorization of the bombing plan. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tommy Count ______ This week’s winner receives a $25 Gift Certificate from Sundown East


Register to win at and click on “Tommy Tidbits” or click the QRCode above. Fill out the registration information and tell us how many times Tommy appears in ads in the paper for this week. From the correct entries, a winner will be selected. You must be 18 years of age to qualify. The gift certificates will range in value from $25 to $50 each week. Entries must be received at the website by midnight each Saturday evening or at PTK Corp, PO Box 264, Wetumpka, AL 36092.

Last Week’s Ads where Tommy was hiding: 1. Shaw’s Garden Center, p. 3 2. Montgomery Zoo, p. 10

ANNE BONNY & MARY READ • Anne Bonny was born in Ireland in the late 1600s as a result of her father’s affair with a chambermaid. Her parents fled to America where her father became a wealthy merchant and plantation owner in South Carolina. • Anne married James Bonny, and they moved to a pirate’s hold-out in the Bahamas where Anne became involved in the lives of the pirates. When the Governor of the Bahamas offered money in exchange for information about the pirates, James Bonny spilled the beans, much to the wrath of Anne, who subsequently divorced him. Not long afterwards, she fell in love with a dashing young pirate named Captain Jack Rackham. • Anne wanted to travel with Captain Rackham as he plundered the seas, but having a woman on board a ship was problematical. She started to disguise herself as a man, serving alongside the other sailors on board Rackham’s sloop called the Vanity. • In the meantime, Mary Read was born

in England around 1690. When she was still an infant, her father left on a sea voyage never to return, leaving her mother destitute. Her mother decided to travel to London to beg for financial support from her mother-in-law. Knowing that the woman disliked little girls, she dressed Mary like a boy. The ploy worked, and Mary spent the rest of her childhood pretending to be a boy, even after her grandmother died. • Mary Read found that life was easier for a man than it was for a woman, so she continued to masquerade as a man even as an adult. She became a professional soldier, and fell in love with another soldier. When she revealed her secret to him, they were married and settled down to a normal husband-and-wife existence as innkeepers. • When her husband died, Mary found herself destitute. She disguised herself as a man, and got a job as a sailor aboard a ship headed to the Caribbean. When the ship was overtaken by Captain Jack Rackham, she joined Rackham’s crew aboard the Vanity. • It wasn’t long before Mary Read and Anne Bonny— both serving on the same ship, both disguised as men— discovered each other’s secret. They became best of friends and served side-by-side for the next several years. • In 1720, the Vanity was anchored off Jamaica. The men were all quite drunk. Suddenly a British navy sloop hove into view, and the

Vanity was under attack. The drunken soldiers cowered below, leaving Mary and Anne to fight the invaders on their own. The women yelled at their mates to “come up, you cowards, and fight like men,” to no avail. They were overtaken, and the entire crew was taken to Jamaica for trial. • Captain Jack and his crew were tried on November 16, 1720, and sentenced to hang. Anne was allowed to visit him before his execution, and her scathing rebuke lives on in history: “Had you fought like a man, you need not have been hanged like a dog!” • Anne and Mary were tried and found guilty. But at their sentencing, when the judge asked if they had anything to say, they both revealed themselves to be pregnant. Since British law forbade killing an unborn child, their sentences were stayed temporarily. • Mary is said to have died of a fever in prison in 1721, before the birth of her child. Other reports say she feigned death and was sneaked out of the prison under a shroud. • No record of Anne’s execution has ever been found. Some say that her wealthy father bought her release after the birth of her child and she settled down to a quiet family life on a small Caribbean island.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

Polynesian Drumsticks A quick marinade adds a sweet and tangy glaze to grilled skinless drumsticks -- a favorite with everyone in the family. 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple in unsweetened pineapple juice 1/4 cup (packed) brown sugar 3 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon (grated) fresh ginger, peeled 1 clove garlic, crushed with press 12 (about 4 pounds) chicken drumsticks, skin removed 1. In blender, puree pineapple with its juice and remaining ingredients except drumsticks. Spoon 1/2 cup pineapple mixture into large self-sealing plastic bag; reserve remaining pineapple mixture for grilling. Add drumsticks to bag, turning to coat. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. 2. Remove drumsticks from bag; discard bag with marinade. Place drumsticks on grill over medium heat and cook 15 minutes, turning over once. Cook drumsticks 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until drumsticks are golden and juices run clear when thickest part is pierced with tip of knife, brushing twice with reserved pineapple mixture and turning occasionally. Serves 4. * Each serving: About 260 calories, 8g total fat (2g saturated), 123mg cholesterol, 385mg sodium, 8g total carbs, 0g dietary fiber, 38g protein. For thousands of triple-tested recipes, visit our website at (c) 2013 Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

by Samantha Weaver * It was French Enlightenment writer Voltaire who made the following sage observation: “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” * If Niagara Falls emptied into the Grand Canyon, the giant chasm would be filled within 6 months. * Next time you’re rolling the dice, pick up a die and take a closer look. The opposite sides of each gaming cube always add up to 7. * You might think of Uncle Sam as a fictional character, but he’s actually based in fact. The original Uncle Sam was one Samuel Wilson, born in Massachusetts in 1766. When he was 14 years old, he joined the army to fight in the American Revolution. Once the war was over, he moved to Troy, N.Y., started working in the meat-packing industry, and became known locally as “Uncle Sam” due to his jovial manner and ethical business practices. During the War of 1812, Sam won a contract to provide meat to troops stationed nearby. To keep track of which crates of meat were destined for the troops, he stamped “U.S.” on them, even though that abbreviation for United States was not yet in common use. When his packing plant was inspected in October of 1812, a government inspector asked a nearby worker what “U.S.” stood for. Unsure of the abbreviation himself, the worker replied that it must stand for the name of the owner, Uncle Sam. Though the answer was in error, it took hold, and soldiers soon began calling military rations “bounty of Uncle Sam.” * If you remember the early-1960s TV series “Route 66,” you might be surprised to learn that the show was actually shot in Florida and Oregon, nowhere near the fabled highway. *** Thought for the Day: “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” -- H.G. Wells (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

To Your Good Health By Paul G. Donohue, M.D.

Dull Chest Pain Disturbs Sleep DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I’m in my 60s and never had a major illness. I take no medicines. During the past three months, I have been wakened from sleep with a dull pain in the center of my chest. My husband told me to take Mylanta. I did, and got instant relief. What do you think of this pain? -- V.P. ANSWER: Pain that wakens a person from sleep must be taken seriously and ought to be reported to the family doctor. However, the response you got from taking Mylanta (an antacid) makes me think of GERD -gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly known as heartburn. Stomach acid and digestive juices spurt into the esophagus, a structure not equipped to deal with them like the stomach can. If this nighttime pain of yours keeps coming back, put 6-inch blocks under the bedposts at the head of your bed to keep stomach juices in the stomach when you lie down. My first statement about nighttime pain has to be observed. You need to see the family doctor to be certain this is heartburn and not one of the many other serious possibilities. The booklet on coronary artery disease, another cause of chest pain, details its signs and symptoms. To obtain a copy, write: Dr. Donohue -- No. 101, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I had two cousins, sisters

Summer Compost Heap By Samantha Mazzotta

Q: I recently moved into my first house and am eagerly starting a garden along with a compost pile. A few friends said I’d be better off just prepping the soil for now and waiting to start the compost until fall. But I want to start as soon as possible. What do you think? -- Sarah in Upstate New York A: The great thing about having your own house is you can do pretty much whatever you like with your garden, compost pile, yard and so on -- as long as it doesn’t violate local ordinances. If you want to plant a garden now, choose plants that will produce vegetables or flowers within 90 days so that you’ll have something to harvest before the first frost. If you want to start a compost pile in midsummer, go for it. Honestly, when to start a compost pile isn’t absolutely cut and dried. Starting in fall is recommended so that a good amount of compost is ready by the next planting season. Letting

who died of pancreatic cancer less than a year apart. One was two years older than the other. They grew up and lived in the same Midwestern town. I am concerned about their other sister. Could the disease run in the family? Their mother died of cancer at the age of 40, but we don’t know what type of cancer. -- Anon. ANSWER: Two sisters dying of pancreatic cancer makes you sit up and take notice. If a brother, sister or parent had pancreatic cancer, the risk of another family member coming down with it increases by 18 times the risk for a person without such a family history. Pancreatic cancer most often appears between the ages of 65 and 84. Aging, smoking and chronic inflammation of the gland are other factors involved in its genesis. *** DEAR DR. DONOHUE: I am a very active 45-yearold female dance teacher with a surprising white blood count of 2,500. My weight and diet are excellent. I stay away from sugar. I do not feel sick. What can I take to raise my white blood count? -- S. ANSWER: You’re the second person in the past three weeks who is concerned about a low white blood count. The normal count is 4,500 to 10,000. The chief role of white blood cells is to battle attacking viruses and bacteria. You have no symptoms from your lower-than-normal count. Your body defenses are in fine shape. Your count might be normal for you. It bears watching. Nothing you take can raise the count. In your case, it doesn’t need to be raised. *** Dr. Donohue regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but he will incorporate them in his column whenever possible. Readers may write him or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. (c) 2013 North America Synd., Inc. All Rights Reserved

the compost work over the winter can reduce unpleasant odors wafting off the pile. However, a well-constructed and well-maintained compost pile shouldn’t give off much odor. Balancing out the pile’s ingredients and turning it regularly keeps the composting action going. It takes about three months to get a significant amount of spreadable compost. So, if you want to start composting now, keep in mind that you likely won’t be able to use your own compost until next spring. On the plus side, you’ll have a good amount to work with. It sounds like you’ve already staked out your garden and composting areas. But for the benefit of my readers, it’s advisable to locate your compost pile at least 20 feet away from the house to prevent pests that burrow into the pile from burrowing into your house. HOME TIP: Many municipal landfills offer sifted compost to residents at little or no cost. Check with your city or town’s waste management department to see if they have this program available. Send your questions or home tips to ask@ My new e-book, “101 Best Home Tips,” is available to download on Amazon Kindle! Pick it up it today for just 99 cents. (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Hiring a Contractor for Home Remodel

If a home repair or remodeling project is beyond your abilities and you need to hire a contractor, be cautious. Remodeling and home repair are areas that are ripe for cons and scams, so take appropriate steps to ensure that your project comes out the way you hoped. Before you start, know what you want and what your budget will be.

To start the hunt for a contractor, get referrals from friends and family. Conduct phone interviews of each potential contractor and ask if he has worked on projects the size of yours, and whether he will give you a list of current and previous clients. Gather written estimates from three or four of your potential contractors. Know what you want in your project but be willing to listen to ideas. Estimates should include full materials lists (as well as the location where the items will be purchased) and the cost of labor. Have the potential contractor include a proposed payment schedule, and read it carefully. Any contractor who wants half the money up front might have financial problems or will abscond with the money without doing any work. Aim for no more than 10 percent up front, with other payments made at points of completion through the project, with approximately 20 percent held until the project is finished and approved. Toss out any estimates that are extremely low. Contact the local Better Business Bureau to ask about any complaints on the contractors on your list. Also call the consumer protection agency for your state. Contact the clients on the lists you were provided and ask if they were happy with the work. Ask if you can

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see the projects. Drive by current projects and see how they look. Once you’ve chosen a contractor, put your deal in writing, including drawings you’ve made, which the contractor should sign; a copy of the workman’s compensation policy and liability insurance; a schedule and a lien statement. The last is important, because you could be stuck with the bill if the contractor doesn’t pay off subcontractors and materials suppliers. If you think that all these steps aren’t necessary, the Better Business Bureau has issued a report listing the top 10 categories of consumer issues it was called about in 2012. Roofing contractors, general contractors, plumbers, heating and air conditioning, and construction and remodeling services are all in the top 10. David Uffington regrets that he cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Send email to (c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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Tidbits® of the River Region

1. Where does Evan Longoria rank on the all-time career home-run list for the Tampa Bay Rays? 2. The Atlanta Braves set a major-league record in 2012 by winning 23 consecutive games started by Kris Medlen. Who had held the record? 3. Only two NFL players have rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of their first 10 seasons. Name them. 4. Name the coach of Oregon’s men’s basketball team when it ended UCLA’s 98-game home winning streak in 1976. 5. Next season, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche plan to retire the number of Adam Foote. Name three of the other four players whose numbers the team has retired. 6. What is the best finish the U.S. women’s national volleyball team has had in an Olympics? 7. Who held the record for the youngest golfer to make the cut at a PGA event before Guan Tianlang (14 years, five months) did it in 2013?

1. Is the book of 1 Kings in the Old or New Testament or neither? 2. According to Paul in 1 Corinthians 7:9, it is better to marry than to do “what” with passion? Lust, Serve, Burn, Speak 3. Which Old Testament book foretold the giving of vinegar to Jesus on the cross? Exodus, Ruth, Job, Psalms 4. What was called bread from heaven that fed the Israelites in the wilderness? Hanna, Sourdough, Manna, Pasta 5. Who killed about a thousand people when he burned down the tower of Shechem? Benjamin, Abimelech, Dan, Ittai 6. In Exodus 8, what creature came up from the waters in droves? Frogs, Locusts, Fishes, Whales

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How do you lose weight and keep it off? Do you know how to create weight loss habits? How do you stop stress and emotional eating? Do you know how to stop sabotaging your weight loss? There are dozens of questions that chronic dieters cannot answer and never considered being related to being overweight. However, in recent years those who struggle with their weight have come to realize that this is a mind thing. We are creatures of habit and weight gaining habits are permanent until they are replaced. We are mind and body and therefore the absence of psychological support and life changing techniques will lead to more diet merry-go-round.

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Summer of Food, Fun and Family


Make this casual summer season easy on yourself and your family with these eight helpful tips and tricks: Time Savers 1. Use a pizza cutter to quickly cut pancakes, waffles, toast and other soft foods for your preschooler. 2. Cut corn off the cob in seconds by securing one end of the ear of corn in the hole of an angel food cake pan. Slice down with a sharp knife to remove the kernels -- they will fall directly in the pan. This works great for kids who have loose or missing front teeth and can’t eat the corn off the cob. 3. When company comes, save clean-up time and protect upholstered dining room chairs from sticky fingers with an attractive slipcover. Sew or pin a 10-inch long piece of ribbon to each corner of a large cloth napkin. Place the napkin on the seat of the chair and tie the ribbons around the chair legs. When the meal is over, remove the napkin, launder and save for the next occasion. To protect the backs of chairs, slip a plain pillowcase over the top. Fun and Games 4. Make picking up small toys easier and faster by scooping up building blocks and small figures with a clean dustpan. 5. To help kids hold playing cards without dropping them, make a cardholder from two plastic deli or margarine tub lids and a brass paper fastener. Put the lids together, smooth sides facing each other, poke a hole through the center and connect in the middle with the paper fastener. Or staple the lids together at the center, but cover the staple with stickers or tape so it won’t catch on fingers. Insert the playing cards between the two lids. 6. Use empty, plastic two-liter beverage bottles and sponge balls for an impromptu bat and ball for preschoolers. 7. Affix bathtub non-skid decals on the bottom of your child’s plastic wading pool to help prevent slipping when your child stands up in the water. 8. For the next minor injury that requires an ice pack, keep plastic bags of frozen peas or corn in your freezer. They are dripless and mold nicely to the surface of the “owie.” *** Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” (c) 2013 Donna Erickson Distributed by King Features Synd.


1) Old; 2) Burn; 3) Psalms; 4) Manna; 5) Abimelech; 6) Frogs

1. With 130 entering the 2013 season, he is second, behind Carlos Pena’s 163. 2. The New York Giants (Carl Hubbell, 193637) and the New York Yankees (Whitey Ford, 1950-53) each had 22game streaks. 3. Barry Sanders and Curtis Martin. 4. Dick Harter. 5. Ray Bourque, Peter Forsberg, Patrick Roy and Joe Sakic. 6. The silver medal (1984, 2008, 2012). 7. Bob Panasik was 15 years, 8 months old when he qualified for an event in 1957.

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Tidbits速 of the River Region

Ptk tidbits 2013 06 25 vol 2 26i  
Ptk tidbits 2013 06 25 vol 2 26i