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YOUR RESOURCE GUIDE FOR THE ALACHUA AND HIGH SPRINGS COMMUNITIES

Summer Splash! Florida Manatees The Endangered Species Perseveres

Babe Ruth Soball World Series comes to Alachua

Santa Fe River Year-round Family Fun

Summer 2010


Physicians, nurses and all staff in the ER at North Florida Regional Medical Center have focused on delivering quality care as quickly as possible. Their work has translated into ER wait times well below the national average and the shortest in Gainesville. Text ER to 23000 or log on for average wait times. Dr. Gary Gillette, Medical Director of the Emergency Department at North Florida Regional Medical Center, and Stephanie Sodi, RN.

Shortest ER wait times in town

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We are with you for life. 2 | Summer 2010


MAKE THE

Some retirement communities charge tens of thousands of dollars in “entrance” fees plus “maintenance” fees that cost thousands more every month. But not The Village. The Village is a rental retirement community, so we never charge large up-front entry fees or lock you into a lifetime commitment – and you still get world-class amenities, a variety of spacious floor plans and an outstanding calendar of activities.

Avoid Large “Entrance” Fees & Still Enjoy All the Amenities

Monthly rent includes... • utilities including cable TV • housekeeping • flexible dining plan for use in any of The Village’s three restaurants • transportation to medical appointments, shopping, performances and special interest destinations • on-campus transportation • 24-hour security guard • the privacy of a gated community • complete maintenance of common areas, buildings and grounds • participation in full calendar of planned activities • access to common areas including library, community and game rooms, chapel, swimming pools, convenience store, hair salon and more • access to our Wellness Center, a walk-in clinic staffed by a licensed nurse • resident-activated alert system • all the amenities and features of The Tower Club

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Call to schedule your visit today!

3 Brand New Buildings NOW OPEN

Gainesville, Florida 1-800-654-2996 www.TheVillageOnline.com ©2010 North Florida Retirement Village. All Rights Reserved. Assisted Living Facility #4855

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Summer 2010 | 3


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Summer 2010 | 5


You Have a Choice for your child’s education.

Alachua Learning Center Elementary and Middle School located just north of the town of Alachua on State road 235, serves students from all parts of Alachua and neighboring counties.

Charter Schools are part of the Florida Alternative System of Public School Choice and charge no tuition. While having the benefits of a “small-school” environment the Alachua Learning Center provides a challenging and fulfilling academic, cultural, and physical educational program for students from kindergarten to eighth grade.

6 | Summer 2010


The Alachua Learning Center has consistently been rated an “A” school by the State of Florida. We provide a comparatively low student class size and a high teacherto-student ratio. Although we do not “teach to the test”, we regularly score very high on State of Florida FCAT writing, reading, math and science testing.

Nick Jr. Magazine rated the N Alachua Learning Center breakfast and lunch program among the “Top Ten” School Cafeterias for healthy diet. Our varied physical education curriculum includes on-campus rock climbing and subscribes to the “President’s Fitness Program”.

The Alachua Learning Center offers inspiring classes on a variety of subjects: Science, Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, P.E. Sports, Rock Climbing, Drama, Music, Clay Sculpting, Computer Graphics, individual Student Book Publishing (writing, design, illustrating), Drawing, Painting, Crafts, Community Service Display Projects, and exciting Field Trips Many other features of our school can be experienced on our internet web-site, alachualearningcenter.com., or call us at 386-418-2080 for more information.

Alachua Learning Center 386-418-2080

www.VisitOurTowns.com Summer 2010 alachualearningcenter.com

| 7


ANNOUNCEMENTS >> CONGRATULATIONS

CONGRATULATIONS CLASS OF 2010! THE TOWER FAMILY WOULD LIKE TO CONGRATULATE RYAN WAITE AND ALBERT ISAAC, IV ON THEIR RECENT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘commencement exercises.’ Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” ~Orrin Hatch

Ryan A. Waite

- Eastside High School

Bert Isaac

- Santa Fe High School

CPF AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE Tower Publications’ Art and Editorial teams walked away with 26 Awards of Excellence at the recent Community Papers of Florida Conference held in Orlando. From left: Tom Reno, Dru Martin, Hank McAfee, Charlie Delatorre and Albert Isaac with the Awards Chairman.

8 | Summer 2010


When you visit Tioga Town Center, you’ll get the hottest new style, the perfect outfit,

…and Jason. Sure, the picturesque storefronts, coffee shop, boutiques, restaurants, postal center, wine bar, world-class fitness center and bakery, make Tioga Town Center a prime shopping destination. But it’s more than that here— It’s the people who make Tioga Town Center an experience like no other in Gainesville. People like Jason Moses and his staff at Vela Clothing Co., who will gladly hold that perfect dress for Friday night, that will make Tioga Town Center your favorite place to visit. So come on out! Take a stroll around and talk to the people who will make Tioga Town Center your favorite destination in town.

SW 128th Street & W. Newberry Rd. Tioga, Florida 32669

352.331.4000 www.VisitOurTowns.com www.TiogaTownCenter.com

Summer 2010 | 9


ON THE COVER Cadence and Linnea Sutphin take a morning break to play in the water at the Hal Brady Alachua Recreation Complex. In addition to the spray park, the recreation center offers year-round activities and facilities for a wide range of sports and fitness programs. PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

CONTENTS SUMMER 2010 • VOL. 08 ISSUE 02

>> FEATURES 20

24

The Detonators Dazzle

50

Cancer Survivor Learns Martial Arts Lessons

BY TATIANA QUIROGA

BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

Summer Fun!

54

Area’s Camps and Activities

Wildlife Animal Lovers to the Rescue

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

65

BY MARY KYPREOS

BY SARAH A. HENDERSON

Florida Manatees

70

BY ANNABELLE BROOKS

BY SARAH A. HENDERSON

Food for the Soul Soul Food Restaurant Opens in High Springs BY LARRY BEHNKE

10 | Summer 2010

Acting the Part Alachua Gets a Children’s Theater

Endangered Species Perseveres

46

The Mother of Father’s Day This Year Marks the 100th Anniversary of the Holiday

A Great Place To Be A Native Wild Animal In Need

43

If You Build It... Babe Ruth Softball World Series comes to Alachua

BY TATIANA QUIROGA

28

Fighting Back

Fireworks Fanatics Put On Shows for the City of Alachua

86

Fishing for Success Kids Catch Fish and Confidence — Hook, Line and Sinker BY KATE HELLER


>> CONSERVATION

98

By Jessica Chapman

Saving the Sea Turtle Sea Turtles have crossed the seas and nested on shore for thousands of years. In July, people can monitor some of these turtles when the Caribbean Conservation Corporation hosts its Tour de Turtles event.

Saving the Sea Turtle One of the Oldest Sea Turtle Conservation Groups Began in Gainesville PHOTO BY DAVID SCHRICHTE, COURTESY OF THE CCC

Green turtles are the second largest sea turtle and often nest in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, the largest nesting spot for these

BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

T

turtless in the western hemisphere. The CCCís Tortuguero

hey date back to the age of

90 percent of all loggerhead sea

organizations in the world, is work-

program was recently named one of the most successful marine

the dinosaur.

turtle nesting areas and primarily

ing to get the turtles off the list.

conservation programs in the world by the Smithsonian Institute.

all of green and leatherback nesting areas, according to the Caribbean

The CCC, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, sits right

A baby turlte making it’s way to the ocean for the first time.

Conservation Corporation. In

in the heart of Gainesville. Recently

Only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood

They are one of the longest living creatures on the earth. And they face extinction.

the last decade, more than 40

named by the Smithsonian as one

conservation groups will say, is due

percent of these nesting areas have

of the best marine conservation

to longline reef fish fisheries in the

The sea turtle’s decline, many

decreased.

success stories in the world, the

-- dating back to the dinosaur age

Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and other human causes, including

Six of the seven species of sea turtles are protected under the

CCC has programs across the state of Florida and in the Caribbean that

-- but they are also an important

over-developed beaches, beach

Endangered Species Act, and the

track and protect sea turtles.

activity and marine pollution.

CCC, one of the most notable and

In the U.S., Florida is home to

oldest sea turtle conservation

Sea turtles are not only one of the oldest species on the planet

said CCC Director David Godfrey.

Road” began the sea turtle move-

UF Professor Archie Carr, the

ment across the country. The

resource to the world. They are the only large sea animals that bring

leading authority on sea turtles, was the founding scientific director

Tortuguero Green Turtle Program, a Costa Rica sea turtle conservation

nutrients from the sea back to the

of the CCC, a role he filled until his

program that Carr began, single-

land through the nesting process,

death in 1987. His book, “Windward

handedly

www.VisitOurTowns.com

98 | Summer 2010

continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 99

>> TIOGA

138

Tunes, Flicks & Fun!

By Chris Wilson

BY CHRIS WILSON

Tunes, Flicks & Fun!

Tioga Town Square Becomes Music, Movie & Event Central This Summer

Movies, music and more can be found at the Tioga Town Square in Jonesville. Families can meet with friends and neighbors for a bite to eat and good times. For movie nights, families are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets and enjoy a film.

92

1

Tioga Town Square

3

4 PHOTOS 1-3 BY FOOTSTONE PHOTOGRAPHY

1. The train ride through the Town Center at the Tioga Town Fair has been a hit in past years. The event, which is in its third year, will raise money for the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation.

2 + 3. Activities at the annual Sebastian Ferrero Foundation fundraiser held at Tioga Town Center include rock climbing, bounce houses and a petting zoo. PHOTO 4 BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

4. Members of the band Tropix.

The Tioga Town Square was part of the original design of Tioga Town Center, according to Tioga Town Center director of marketing and leasing Grace Lambert-Horvath. “The Town Square will be a place for community events, live music, movies and other family-friendly activities,” Lambert-Horvath said. “From a marketing perspective, it will make the Town Center a destination and not just a shopping center. It will be a place where people can come for a good time, a bite to eat, to meet with friends or neighbors in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.” The Town Square already has hosted a couple of events, including the annual Winter Fine Arts Fair at Tioga and the Tioga Town Center Run for Haven Hospice. The Fine Arts Fair attracted more than 100

Getting Ready For Hurricane Season

artists from around the country and thousands of visitors from the area for a juried art show in February. Lambert-Horvath said about 500 people turned out for the 5K and 10K runs that raised money for Haven Hospice in March. “Not all of our events will have that many people in attendance,” she said. “The family-friendly concerts and movies will be smaller scale, low-key events that are attractive to people in the immediate area. Other organizations have a larger draw from their supporters who will travel for miles just to attend the events.” Other events being planned for the Town Square include the Tioga Town Fair, which benefits the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, the weekly Tioga Farmer’s Market, which is held on Monday

Family Concert Series June 27: Dotti South & The Slackers 4-piece Americana Country Blues band featuring Dotti South on vocals and bass, Bob Leichner on drums, Ted Patrick on keys & vocals and Bruce Miller on guitar and vocals. July 25: Klezmer Kats Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre consists largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. August 29: Tropix The band plays old and new Latin music and American dancing standards that have been reworked with a Latin rhythm.

Movie Nights on the Lawn June 11: Chicken Run (Rated G) July 9: Jumanji (Rated PG) Aug. 13: Monster House (Rated PG)

continued on next page

www.VisitOurTowns.com

138 | Summer 2010

Summer 2010 | 139

130 The Santa Fe River Year-round Family Fun

Be Prepared Before They Strike BY TATIANA QUIROGA

110 Up to the Challenge

116

T

here will be plenty to do in Jonesville throughout the summer, thanks to a number of weekly, monthly and special events being held at Tioga Town Center. The recently constructed Tioga Town Square, which sits in the center of the shopping and apartment complex, will host a wide range of community activities.

2

BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH

146 A Conversation about Conservation

Newberry High School Students Win National Competition

Saving Water and Protecting its Sources

BY CHRIS WILSON

BY LARRY BEHNKE

The Little Red Schoolhouse

150 Farm Fresh In Newberry

A Big Part of Newberry’s History BY CHRIS WILSON

Main Street Organization Begins Friday Fling, Saturday Market BY CHRIS WILSON

122 Cave Diving Some of the Most Popular Cave Diving Spots in the World BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

The articles printed in Our Town Magazine™ do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Tower Publications, Inc. or their editorial staff. Our Town Magazine endeavors to accept reliable advertising; however, we can not be held responsible by the public for advertising claims. Our Town Magazine reserves the right to refuse or discontinue any advertisement. All rights reserved. © 2010 Tower Publications, Inc.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 11


Published quarterly by Tower Publications, Inc. www.towerpublications.com

PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre charlie@towerpublications.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac editor@towerpublications.com fax: 1-800-967-7382 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre bonita@towerpublications.com ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee hank@towerpublications.com SENIOR DESIGNER Tom Reno tom@towerpublications.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Larry Behnke Annabelle Brooks Jessica Chapman Debbie M. DeLoach Kate Heller Sarah A. Henderson Janice Kaplan Mary Kypreos Chris Wilson Tatiana Quiroga

PHOTO BY GEORGE DELOACH

The Santa Fe River in O’Leno State Park.

COLUMNISTS

INFORMATION

34 Albert Isaac DIFFERENT NOTE 62 Crystal Henry NAKED SALSA 76 Diane E. Shepard MAMA MUSINGS 106 Kendra Siler-Marsiglio, Ph.D. HEALTHY EDGE 144 Debbie DeLoach, Ph.D. GARDEN WAY 154 Donna Bonnell EMBRACING LIFE

38 82 128 136 164

Tioga Dental Cuts & More SunState Federal Credit Union

12 | Summer 2010

ADVERTISING SALES Jenni Bennett 352-416-0210 jenni@towerpublications.com Amanda Chatt 352-416-0196 amanda@towerpublications.com Pam Slaven 352-416-0213 pam@towerpublications.com Helen Stalnaker 352-416-0209 helen@floridabuyersguide.com

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT 18 37 40

Kids Fun Page Community Calendar Worship Centers Library Happenings Advertiser Index

INTERNS Annabelle Brooks Jessica Chapman Carissa Sutphin

60 80 97

PAID ADVERTISING FEATURES

SunState Federal Credit Union Caretenders Dr. Storoe

Kayla Stump 352-416-0212 jenny@towerpublications.com Annie Waite 352-416-0204 annie@towerpublications.com

ADVERTISING OFFICE 4400 NW 36th Avenue Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax


We’ve Moved to Rolling Oaks Plaza in Alachua

Call or stop in today for a fast, free Good Hands® Coverage Checkup. If a friend totals your car, are you covered? DON’T HOPE SO. KNOW SO. We don’t blame you for feeling a little uneasy when you let a friend drive. We can help you review your current policy limits and point out where you may need more coverage. We can also help you find ways to save. In fact, drivers who switched to Allstate saved an average of $396* a year.

Cathy G. Cain 386-462-5858 Hugh Cain 386-462-7093 15202 NW 147th Drive, Alachua, FL 32615 cathycain@allstate.com

*AVERAGE SAVINGS BASED ON INFORMATION REPORTED NATIONALLY BY NEW ALLSTATE AUTO CUSTOMERS FOR POLICIES WRITTEN IN 2008. ACTUAL SAVINGS WILL VARY. ALLSTATE FIRE AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY: NORTHBROOK, IL. © 2009 ALLSTATE INSURANCE COMPANY

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 13


MESSAGE >> FROM THE EDITOR

PHOTO BY TREVOR ISAAC

toddler, he would eat the cherry tomatoes by the handful and spit out the seeds. We rarely had any strawberries because he would eat those green. Now I’m introducing a new generation to gardening and have even had some assistance from the kids. A couple of months ago my youngest went to work, weeding, raking and tilling the soil. I was impressed by his willingness to help (and later learned that our little capitalist expected payment). A few weeks later, my granddaughter joined us to help plant tomato and flower seeds. When she visits she insists on seeing the garden. I had her weeding last weekend. Soon — weather and pestilence permitting — we will all be enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. Now that summer is upon us, it’s time to get out and enjoy the fun things our area has to offer. In this edition, our writers have ventured out to learn about some of the many events that take place in the summertime, from Alachua’s “Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America” to movies and music at Tioga Town Square in Jonesville; from swimming and cave diving in High Springs to the Babe Ruth Softball World Series that is coming to Alachua in August. In this edition, you will also read about the Fishing For Success program. After learning about Family Fishing Days, I just had to take my youngest boy out to the ponds. He caught seven fish to my, well, none. But we both had fun and since this is a catch-and-release program I didn’t have to worry about cleaning any fish. We also bring you stories about sea turtles and manatees, summer activities for children, the new farmers market in Newberry, a children’s theater in Alachua and a story about a group of Newberry High School students who have won the Eco Challenge. I hope you all have a wonderful summer. s

Yes, that’s my garden. It’s not much, but it did require a lot of sweat equity (and still does). You wouldn’t know it, but a storm blew through and knocked over several rows of corn the night before my 8-year-old son snapped this photo. I set them straight, wondering how in the world farmers deal with the wrath of Mother Nature. They have acres and acres; by comparison, I have a postage stamp-sized garden. My mother was born and raised on a farm in South Dakota. She recently told me how her father would watch the skies, worrying about what kind of weather might be coming. Within a matter of minutes they could lose an entire season’s crop. I am so far removed from that kind of life that I can scarcely imagine it. I won’t go hungry if my garden fails. I’ve had gardens in the past and have the videos to prove it (exciting cinematography, let me tell you). My daughter (now grown) would narrate while harvesting the vegetables. When my oldest boy (now 18) was a

14 | Summer 2010

S J A


S eniors by TJM Studios Photography

352.332.1484

www.TJMstudios.com

SCHEDULE YOUR SESSION BY JULY 1ST FOR 25 “GRADUATION ANNOUNCEMENTS”.

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Summer 2010 | 15


STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Jessica Chapman

Janice Kaplan

is a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. When she’s not writing, she enjoys volunteering, playing the piano and reading.

is has been a freelance writer for five years. In her spare time Janice loves cooking, Gator sports, Jimmy Buffett anything and spending time with her husband and kids.

jessicalorriane@gmail.com

kaplan_janice@yahoo.com

Annabelle Brooks

Tatiana Quiroga

is a freelance writer and student in UF’s College of Journalism. She enjoys music and is a member of the UF Singer-Songwriter Society.

is a freelance writer and UF journalism junior. She is from Orlando and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with friends.

anna4716@ufl.edu

tatianajq@gmail.com

Chris Wilson

Diane Shepard

has been a professional editor and writer for community publications in Gainesville and Tampa for more than 10 years. He also has a passion for history and sports. Chris and his family live in Newberry.

is a writer and Mama to two young children. Her next work in progress is a memoir “Keeping Time with Turtles.” diane@towerpublications.com

cwilson5000@msn.com

Crystal Henry

Debbie M. DeLoach, Ph.D.

is a freelance writer and columnist born and raised in West Texas. She received her B.S. in Journalism in 2006 from the University of Florida. She is in love with the Florida landscape.

is a freelance writer and garden consultant living in Gainesville. She also enjoys volunteering as an Alachua County Master Gardener and as a member of the Florida Native Plant Society.

ces03k@gmail.com

drdebbied@gmail.com

Mary Kypreos

Sarah Henderson

is a freelance writer and editor fresh out of the University of Florida. She enjoys discovering tidbits of knowledge about Alachua County from those who know it best.

is a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time outdoors in her spare time. sahenderson88@gmail.com

kypreos.mary@gmail.com

Larry Behnke

Kate Heller

is an artist, writer, photographer and a graduate of the University of Michigan in cinematography and painting. He has used solar electricity since 1984 and lives in a dome home.

is a freelance writer and student in UF’s College of Journalism.

larry@towerpublications.com

16 | Summer 2010

editor@towerpublications.com


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Summer 2010 | 17 T H O R N E B R O O Kwww.VisitOurTowns.com VILL AGE • GAINESVILL E


352-333-1946 www.TiogaDental.com Dedicated To Bringing Smiles To Our Community

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Oral Health&Diabetes S P E C I A L

A D V E R T I S I N G

F E A T U R E

The Mouth is the Passageway to Your Body

The mouth is the passageway to the rest of the body, so it would only seem severely, and they lose more teeth than someone with good control of natural that when we track our overall health we start with the mouth. their diabetes. Unfortunately, not enough patients link the two. This connection between oral health and the body’s health is especially critical in managing diabetes. At Tioga Dental Associates, a periodontal specialist, Dr. Adriana Wells, is on hand to help with more difficult cases of periodontitis. “Veterinarians have always looked at teeth to determine the overall health of the animal,” said Dr. Cindy Brush of Tioga Dental Associates. “They knew In 2000, Dr. Adriana Wells participated in the International Exchange program at the Harvard Medical School of Dental Medicine, where she that way before we did.” discovered her passion for the field of Periodontology by working side by Why is it so important for diabetics to take care of their mouth? Well, there side with internationally known professors and researchers. In 2008, she are a multitude of reasons why, but simply, a person with an unhealthy graduated from the specialty of Periodontology at Nova Southeastern mouth is going to have a harder time controlling their diabetes. High University, where she underwent three years of extensive patient-oriented, glucose in saliva help bacteria thrive, and the more bacteria passing through clinical training. Dr. Wells is currently a member of the American Academy the body, the higher the risk of infection and other adverse health issues. of Periodontology. “Diabetes is one of the first systematic conditions that we link to the mouth,” Dr. Brush said. “If a patient has an untreated condition, their diabetes can become more difficult to control. In fact, patients with chronic infections, like periodontal disease, often see their glucose levels stabilize following successful dental treatment.”

Diabetes affects 23.6 million Americans, and those diagnosed should let their dentist know immediately.

“She gives amazing insight into challenging cases, and she’s on site so patients can consult her right away,” Dr. Brush commented. “Dr. Wells works to assist in controlling the disease in the most effective and efficient manner.” With the addition of Dr. Wells, Tioga Dental Associates is fully equipped to meet the needs of diabetic patients through regular cleanings and oral health maintenance and in more developed cases, through specialty care.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), diabetes affects 23.6 million Americans, and those diagnosed should let their dentist know immediately. Your dentist should know if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease and if it’s under control. Dr. Brush also recommends It is important for diabetic patients to keep their dental professionals regular visits to the hygienist for cleanings. Like most oral health problems, notified of their conditions. The more your dentist knows, the better they complications arise from negligence. The more you see your dentist, the can help you. better the chance of keeping harmful conditions at bay. “The mouth is a constant source of flow to the body. It ties the body Diabetics are prone to tooth decay, gum disease or periodontitis, salivary together,” Dr. Brush said. “Because of this, it is very important that you visit your dentist regularly to make sure that your mouth is in good shape.” gland dysfunctions, fungal infections, lichen planus or inflammatory skin disease, delayed healing and taste impairment. As with any disease, early intervention and appropriate monitoring will increase a patient’s success in managing their “Periodontitis in diabetics tends to be more prevalent and health, especially in the case of diabetes. very aggressive,” Dr. Brush mentioned. “It’s often linked directly to the control of a patient’s diabetes.” Because diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, the gum tissue is at the greatest risk. According to the ADA, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontitis more frequently and

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 19


20 | Summer 2010


The Detonators Dazzle! >> CELEBRATION

These Fireworks Fanatics Put On Shows for the City of Alachua BY TATIANA QUIROGA

I

t began as a birthday party. A celebration for two birthdays — one on July 2 and one on July 3 — combined into a fiesta complete with Fourth of July fireworks. In an Alachua neighborhood, about 60 friends and family gathered for an old-fashioned barbecue. Guests contributed meat, and the host took care of the grilling and the side dishes. In the evening, guests headed to the backyard to enjoy a fireworks show. The year was 1994 and the party became an annual tradition. The birthday boys were Fred Hilton and Chuck Gork, neighbors and friends who just wanted to have a small neighborhood celebration. They had no idea their party would turn into a huge fireworks display for thousands — or that city officials would attend one of their parties. Hilton and Gork, the founders of The Detonators, a group of men who coordinate the annual fourth of July fireworks for the city of Alachua, did not know at the

PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

Detonators members, Fred Hilton and Bill Gillick.

time just how successful the party would become. “The party kept getting bigger and bigger,” Hilton said. It turned into a small carnival, including bounce houses, cotton candy continued on next page

PHOTO BY SARAH HSU

What began as a birthday celebration for The Detonators has exploded to become the “Largest Small Town Fireworks Display in America.” Alachua’s Fourth of July event attracts more than 20,000 people to the city. In addition to the skate park and spray park, children can also enjoy bounce houses, water slides and a petting zoo. For the grownups there are dancing groups, bingo contests and live music.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 21


machines and horseshoes. Guests would invite their friends and people of all ages would get together for a celebration that became more about Independence Day and fireworks and less about birthdays. The show was more extravagant every year as more and more people attended. In its sixth year, Hilton said they knew the party had gotten out-of-hand when they could not recognize a third of the guests. One year, the mayor and a city commissioner attended the party and asked Hilton and Gork to put on a fireworks display for the city’s 1999 New Year’s Eve millennium celebration. The midnight fireworks display was a huge success and city officials asked them to put on shows each New Year and Fourth of July. Hilton and Gork decided to pull all their resources together to create one dazzling display on each Fourth of July. The city agreed. Following the millennium celebration, the first city-sponsored Fourth of July fireworks show was held at the Skinner Field ballpark. After two years, the audience grew so large the show was moved to the Hal Brady Recreation Center where it has been ever since. Hilton and Gork juggled the city’s celebration and the neighborhood party for a few years. Guests would go from the neighborhood party to the field to enjoy the fireworks display. Since Hilton and Gork had to leave the party early to set up the fireworks, they could no longer enjoy the party like they used to, Hilton said. In 2002, they canceled the annual neighborhood party. “We still miss that because it was a great party,” Hilton said. Hilton and Gork have a team of neighbors and friends who help them with the shows. Bill Gillick, Keith Sanders, Chad Turner, Jim Markle, Jim Sajczuk, Jeff Schutt, Scott Medcalf and Cory Brant all make up The Detonators. Gork said each year’s crew sometimes changes when people cannot make it, but five or six people usually show up to work. One day, a couple of them were brainstorming names together and someone threw out the name “detonators.” “We figured it was appropriate,” Gork said. “We’re blowing stuff up.” “I’ve always been intrigued by them,” said Hilton, who even as a little boy has always liked playing with explosives.

22 | Summer 2010

The Detonators love fireworks and enjoy putting on the shows. “We don’t get paid a lot to do this,” Hilton said. “We’re up at the crack of dawn setting up. It’s a long day.” The quality of the fireworks has increased since The Detonators first started. Now they use larger shells — 12 inches in diameter and forty pounds, Hilton said. The group considers safety their priority and holds the necessary licenses and certifications for pyrotechnics. “We strive to put on a very good show that’s safe and enjoyable for people,” Hilton said. “Its the kind of stuff you would see at Disneyworld,” Gork said. “As the years have gone by, we’ve got it down to a science. We’ve become more proficient.” The Alachua Fourth of July celebration has become a mammoth celebration that showcases local bands and vendors. Last year’s event drew over 30,000 people, Hilton said. The city of Alachua has about 7,000 residents so the turnout is particularly noteworthy. “Its gotten bigger every year and more elaborate and [the city has] been very pleased with the work that we’ve done,” Gork said. For Gork, who moved to Georgia in 2003, the best part about the event is the preparation. He travels to Alachua every year to help put on the show and he enjoys catching up with the rest of The Detonators. “Its a real nice experience for me because it’s like I never left,” Gork said. “Just to know that were making everybody — you know, the kids — happy and that everybody’s enjoying it, that’s the important thing.” Hilton said he always liked playing with explosives as a little boy. “I’ve always been intrigued by them.” He said the comment he hears most from viewers is “I don’t know how you guys get better every year.” “We could never have dreamed that a couple of fools that wanted to blow off fireworks would turn into this,” Hilton said. The reaction of the audience makes the shows worth the effort for Hilton. “It’s a great feeling to [know] that you have entertained thousands of people on the Fourth of July,” he said. “They get up at the end of the night and they cheer and they clap. Above anything else, that’s a great feeling.” s


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Summer 2010 | 23


>> YOUTH PROGRAMS

Summertime

Activities For Kids

Local Summer Programs Offer A Variety of Entertainment and Education Opportunities BY TATIANA QUIROGA

S

ummer is here and children are out of school, ready for a few months of fun. But oftentimes, excitement wanes and children start saying that infamous phrase: “We’re bored.” Alachua County has several summer camps and a variety of activities that can come to the rescue and beat the boredom blues.

CAMP KULAQUA 23400 NW 212 Ave. High Springs 386-454-1351 campkulaqua.com The Seventh-day Adventist Conference in Florida owns Camp Kulaqua Retreat and Conference Center. At this 600-acre camp, about 20 minutes from Gainesville, children can enjoy activities such as archery, canoeing and team sports. Children ages 7 to 9 can attend one, two or three weeks of Cub Camp, where

24 | Summer 2010

campers rotate daily activities. Junior Camp is for children ages 10 to 12, which provides them the opportunity to select two of their favorite activities for the weekday mornings and a rotation of activities for the afternoon. Teenagers from 13 to 16 can attend Teen Camp and participate in many of the same activities as the Junior Camp, but can also hear speakers and sing praise and worship in the evening. All of the camps run from June 6 to June 27. Camp Kulaqua also

has four horsemanship camps: Equine Week, Cowpoke Week, Florida Frontier Week and Cowboy Adventure Week, as well as Basketball Camp helps for 9 to 16 year olds.

SUN COUNTRY SPORTS CENTER 333 SW 140th Terr. Jonesville 352-331-8773 suncountrysports.com At Sun Country FunFest Summer Camp, children ages 3 to 15 can attend day camp full-time, part-time or hourly. Activities for

campers include gymnastics, cheerleading, rock climbing, fencing, dance, martial arts, swimming and more. Campers also take field trips on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Jonesville facility is located a 4-1/2 miles west of I-75 and includes six gyms, an indoor playground, two dance studios, four allpurpose rooms and a pool. Children can also attend one of the five specialty camps: Cheer Camp, Swim Camp, Rockwall Camp, Gymnastics Camp and Tramp and Tumble Camp.


PHOTO BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

Charlie Delatorre, Thomas Valeri, Cohen Bennett and Cam Reno strike a pose at the Camp Kulaqua water park.

O2B KIDS Supercenter 6680 West Newberry Rd. 352-332-5500 Midtown location, 1555 NW 23rd Ave. 352-374-2202 Gainesville o2bkids.com Children from age 6 to 13 can participate in a handful of specialty camps at two O2B Kids locations. From July 13 to 17, children can attend Ballet Boot Camp, according to the O2B Kids Web site. Cheer Camp will go from June 22 to 26 and

Competitive Dance Camp will run from August 17 to 20. All camps run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will take place at the midtown location on NW 23rd Avenue, except for Gymnastics Camp, which will be held at the Newberry Road Supercenter location, Aug. 3 - 7. O2B Kids is an “edutainment facility� for newborns to 13 years of age. It offers pre-school, playgroups, summer camps, homeschool programs and afterschool programs.

CHOI KWANG DO OF NORTH FLORIDA 20 North Main St. High Springs 386-454-8897 highspringsckd.com For children who want to learn a unique martial art, improve their self-defense skills and become more physically active, summer camp at the Choi Kwang Do of North Florida, located on North Main Street in High Springs, may be the ideal camp. The summer camp will run from 8 a.m. to noon for children ages 7 to

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14, said Julie Taylor, chief instructor and owner. The summer camp will include classes as well as fun activities. For more information, call James Taylor at 386-454-8897.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF ALACHUA COUNTY 2700 NW 51st St. Gainesville 352-373-6639 myboysandgirlsclub.com Children have the opportunity to immerse themselves in cultural knowledge by learning continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 25


about arts, languages, holidays, traditions, food and sports of varying cultures at the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County day camp, according to its Web site. Summer Camp Fun Sessions provides members with an educational and unique camp experience. Children also have the opportunity to go on weekly field trips.

CAMP CRYSTAL LAKE 6724 Camp Crystal Rd. Starke 352-475-1414 campcrystal.com Camp Crystal Lake is a camp located on 140 acres between Starke and Keystone Heights off State Road 100. Residential summer camp sessions, which last a week, run from June 20 to Aug. 13. Campers can choose up to five activities

they would like to attend each day throughout the week. Activities range from sailing to newspaper to dance. Children who have completed second grade up to ninth grade can attend camp and enjoy all the fun it has to offer. A typical day consists of

FLORIDA MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

UF campus off of Hull Rd. 352-846-2000 flmnh.ufl.edu For a dynamic and unique summer camp experience, children going into first through sixth grades can attend a half-day or full-day summer program at the Florida Museum of Natural History, according to its Web PHOTO COURTESY OF TONY OYENARTE site. The weeklong Students learn environmental science through hands-on activities at Camp Crystal Lake. sessions go from meals, activities chosen by June 14 to July 2 and July the campers, an evening 19 to Aug. 13. The morning program and swimming. sessions run from 8:30 to

noon while the afternoon sessions go from 1 to 4:30 pm. Children may also choose to stay at the camp all day from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Camp sessions include Flash Fire Forests, where campers learn about Florida ecology, Absolutely Aquatic, where kids discover sinkholes and learn how to measure water quality, and Insect Expeditions, which lets campers dive into the world of bugs.

HAL BRADY ALACHUA RECREATION COMPLEX 14300 NW 146th Terr. Alachua 386-462-1610 Summer day camp at the Alachua Recreation Center gives children a fun atmosphere with several activities to choose from. The 24-acre recreation

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center includes open space, a water spray park, a playground, a skate park and an air-conditioned gym, according to the City of Alachua’s Web site. With volleyball and basketball courts and baseball, soccer and football fields, children are bound to have an exciting time at summer camp.

NORTH CENTRAL FLORIDA YMCA SUMMER DAY CAMP 5201 NW 34th St. Gainesville 352-374-9622 ncfymca.org Children can always have fun by taking advantage of several summer camp options at North Central Florida YMCA locations. At the Northwood YMCA on N.W. 34th Street, kindergartners can experience

specialty activities, swimming, games, crafts and field trips at KinderCamp, according to the North Central Florida YMCA Web site. For children going into first through sixth grades, FunCamp gives them the option to choose different specialty programs each week. Specialty activities include soccer, flag football and painting. LeadersCamp and Gymnastics Camp are two more options. All camps go from June 14 to Aug. 20, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Summer camps are the ideal solution for chasing away kids’ summer boredom once the end-of-school excitement is over. With so many local programs to choose from, children are sure to have a blast no matter what their interests may be. s

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Summer 2010 | 27


>> WILDLIFE

Wildlife Lovers to the Rescue Alachua County is a great place to be a native wild animal in need BY SARAH A. HENDERSON

B

ambi Clemons has four cats, two dogs and yes, a domesticated raccoon. But she also has a soft spot for wild animals — squirrels, birds, possums and crayfish to name a few — that she volunteers to rehabilitate if found orphaned in Alachua County. “For some reason,” Clemons said, “animals come find me.”

28 | Summer 2010

When Clemons was young, she dreamed of being a veterinarian. Although she later became a biologist and not an animal doctor, she said she considers her role as a wildlife animal rescuer rewarding and necessary. “It’s part of the right thing to do,” she said, “contributing to the greater good.” Clemons is a member of a network of friends in Alachua County who offer their time, money and love to injured and abandoned Florida wildlife. As a rescuer, she said her work is not easy, but she knows she is “fulfilling [her] responsibility as a mere human,” one with the resources and the sensitivity to lend a helping hand to wildlife in need. “If it crosses my path, it’s up to me to do something for it,” Clemons said. But rescuers like Clemons are not completely on their own when it comes to taking care of these wildlife animals. Numerous animal rescue organizations offer guidance and assistance. In Gainesville, the Florida Wildlife Care Center not


PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

This recently orphaned baby possum (or joey) was taken to the home of a Florida Wildlife Care Center volunteer and rehabilitated. The possum, along with its six siblings, survived, and all were released back into the wild when they matured.

only provides rehabilitation services but also aims to educate the public about wildlife conservation and conduct studies to learn about diseases and the native Florida wildlife they could affect. The center, which is a non-profit organization founded in 1992, developed through the idea of three rescuers who realized the need for wildlife care in Alachua County went far beyond the capacity that could be handled by the local humane society. According to the center’s Web site, the organization’s mission is to dedicate itself to “the care and conservation of native wildlife and habitat in Florida through education, rehabilitation and study.” More specifically, the center hopes to “increase community awareness through education, assist injured and orphaned wildlife through rehabilitation and release, and work closely with government agencies, wildlife managers and researchers to improve wildlife conservation efforts.” Clemons said she does not take care of injured animals, only orphaned ones, which are usually newborns. But she said turning away an animal in need is simply not an option for her. “I can’t live with myself if I turn something away,” she said. She lets centers, such as the Florida Wildlife Care Center of Gainesville and other animal continued on page 32

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rehabilitation services in the county such as Second Chance Farms, take care of the injured animals that cross her path, she said. The Florida Wildlife Care Center has a 24-hour helpline that, according to the center’s Web site, receives more than 7,000 calls each year from people all across Florida in need of wildlife information and wildlife care assistance. The helpline can be reached at 352-371-4400. The center’s hospital and rehabilitation division, staffed by trained volunteers, receives animals every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Each animal admitted gets a complete medical exam and is stabilized and treated at the clinic before being released, according to the center’s Web site. The history of the particular animal is also recorded when admitted to the clinic, including information about the person who handled the animal and the animal’s species, age and condition. Rehabilitated wild animals are released back to their original habitats, or where they were first found, or they are released in a safer habitat in which they can better survive. Both Clemons and the center often prepare “soft releases” that usually involve setting out a supply of food for the released animal to come back to until it gets readjusted to its wild lifestyle, Clemons said. The process is tough, but Clemons said she is careful to encourage the wild behavior of the animals she rehabilitates so they have an easy transition when their release time comes. “If they start hissing and growling at me,” Clemons said of baby raccoons she rescued, “I know I’m doing my job right.” But along with a job done right comes a connection to the animals that is difficult to let go, whether the animals are wild or domestic, she said. Clemons fosters domestic animals along with the wild ones she rehabilitates. At one point, she fostered an entire litter of puppies. She currently fosters a husky puppy named Tate, which means “he who talks too much” in Native American languages, and a pit bull named Kermit the Dog. “The wild ones get no names,” Clemons said. “That would make it too hard.” However, rescuers like Clemons and organizations like the Florida Wildlife Care Center know their work toward saving orphaned and injured native Florida wildlife is worthwhile. The center’s education program focuses on teaching future generations in schools and through local library programs about the importance of wildlife conservation and care. Clemons has already seen the effect of her work on others. She simply puts herself out there as a person willing to help Alachua County’s need for wildlife rehabilitators, she said, and that makes getting up everyday worthwhile. “What I’ve done,” Clemons said, “has inspired people.” s


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COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC

Different Note It has been 15 years since Dad passed away. nd, as anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows, this kind of pain never completely subsides. However, my grief has mellowed as the years have passed, leaving me with melancholy memories of the wonderful man my dad truly was. I was lucky to have him as my father, although it didn’t always seem so while growing up, especially during my sullen teenage years. These were the days right after high school graduation when I wanted to be apart from my parents. It didn’t help that the recession hit and Dad was laid-off from work and therefore home all of the time. Of course, he wanted me to help him with work around the house. He had also landed a construction job, building an addition to our neighbor’s house. Begrudgingly, I helped him work. In retrospect, I’m glad I did. What little I know about carpentry I learned from him. Dad was very smart and a fine craftsman (I’ve come to find some things skip a generation). He took on all kinds of jobs after leaving his first career. Painting and carpentry were his specialties, but he was particularly talented at designing and building homes. In the last years of his life, he envisioned and created a house in Gainesville. My brother and cousin helped him build it. I took a day off from work to help pour the concrete foundation. When I went out to help that morning, I could tell Dad was proud of me, even though in the past I often had my doubts. I’m glad I had the opportunity to work with Dad

A

that day, because this was the last project he would complete before succumbing to the ravages of Hepatitis C. He’d always been as healthy as a horse, so it was devastating to see him turn into an old man seemingly before my very eyes. As sick as he was, however, he continued working until the house was finished. As a youngster, I enjoyed building tree houses and forts with my brother. But unlike my father, I had little interest in any kind of yard work. I would rather be riding my bike, or inside playing music, or reading and writing, or watching television — anything other than mowing the lawn and trimming hedges. But as I grew older, I discovered I had more in common with dear old Dad than I thought. Dad loved plants and gardening. When my wife and I moved to High Springs, Dad gave us plants: flowers, fruit trees, shrubs and grapevines. I well remember the morning Dad and I planted them in the backyard. It wasn’t long before I had a small vegetable garden of my own: corn, beans, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers. I found an unexpected satisfaction in seeing those plants grow, and now understood why Dad enjoyed farming. Of course, Dad’s garden was of gargantuan proportions. His corn towered over our heads. His squash grew so fast you could practically watch it expand. Gigantic colorful flowers lined the perimeter. My tiny patch paled in comparison, but nevertheless produced small, very tasty ears of corn, bountiful tomatoes and more eggplant than I could ever care to consume. I would like to think Dad’s success was because his soil was dark and rich while mine was sandy and desert-like, but, truth be told, he was simply a better gardener — not to mention a very hard worker with a

Of course, Dad’s garden was of gargantuan proportions. His corn towered over our heads. His squash grew so fast you could practically watch it expand. Gigantic colorful flowers lined the perimeter.

34 | Summer 2010


green thumb. Among the plants Dad had given me was a camellia cutting. It never did very well. We’d seen much success with his other gifts, especially the grapes (at least the ones the dog didn’t eat first). But this plant remained little more than a short, non-blooming stick with a couple of leaves tenuously attached to its spindly trunk. When Dad became ill, all of his gifts suddenly took on greater significance. So, I transplanted the camellia stalk in the front yard, thinking it needed a change of view. It didn’t fare much better, and sadly neither did Dad. In January 1995, Dad’s suffering came to an end. My brother called late in the night with the grim news. I went out to the farm to meet with my family, and with heavy hearts we made the funeral arrangements. I returned home that morning weighed down with a deep and profound sorrow. As I got out of my car I was compelled to check on that poor little camellia plant Dad had given me. As I approached, I noticed something peculiar. Through teary eyes I saw a beautiful and vibrant red flower, blooming for the very first time. For me, this was more than just a flower; it was validation of life and of love. This was a gift from God assuring me everything was going to be all right. It was Dad, smiling to me from beyond the grave. I miss you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day. s Albert Isaac is Editor-in-Chief at Tower Publications. He may be contacted at editor@towerpublications.com.

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7

Sonora Smart Dodd began _____ Day

Once a school, this building is now office space and a museum in Newberry (3 words)

12

Sharyn Pittman used _____ to help her recover from cancer (3 words)

4

The Santa Fe River is fed by dozens of _____.

14

Every family should have an _____ plan for hurricane season

5

The founding scientific director of the CCC (2 words)

15

Each year, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation holds the _____ de Turtles

8

June 1 to November 30 is _____ Season in the Atlantic

18

_____ runoff is a major water pollutant

9

19

Each month, Fishing for Success hosts _____ Fishing Days

The _____ Project’s goal is to study the West Indian manatee species

10

20

The _____ put on fireworks shows in the city of Alachua

The _____ Square in Tioga is a site for music, movies and community events

11

21

This city is world-renown for its cave diving (2 words)

People can buy produce at the Newberry Saturday Morning _____.

13

22

The Florida _____ is an endangered species.

In the United States, 90 percent of _____ nest in Florida. (2 words)

16

_____ Soul Food Kitchen recently opened in High Springs

17

This city will host the 2010 Babe Ruth Softball Word Series.

All these clues are references to information that can be found in the articles within this magazine

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Summer 2010 0 | 39


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>> WILDLIFE

42 | Summer 2010


Florida Manatees The Endangered Species Perseveres BY SARAH A. HENDERSON

P

iety, a more than 40-yearold manatee, must love to be photographed. Despite her life-threatening experiences that created scars on her broad back, Piety returns each winter to Crystal River where members of the United State Geological Survey’s manatee research project hope to see her again. “Every year, it’s just a huge relief to see that she’s still around,” said wildlife biologist Cathy Beck. Beck works on the Sirenia Project, the USGS manatee research project, at the Gainesville-based Southeast Ecological Science Center. “It’s just a wonderful feeling when she’s photographed again.” But Piety is not the only surviving Florida manatee — the species needs protection and endures under the Endangered Species Act, passed in 1973. “They are a shallow water,

coastal species,” Beck said. “They are doing the best they can.” About 5,000 manatees call Florida home. About 15 to 20 percent of these mammals spend the winter in the warm rivers and springs of northwest Florida, Beck said. But due to both natural and human-related deaths, many manatees do not make it through the winter. Beck said 400 carcasses were found by The Sirenia Project this past winter, most of which died because of the harsher-than-normal winter weather conditions. Though people cannot control the natural deaths of manatees, they can help protect manatees from injuries caused by humans, Beck said. One quarter of the recovered carcasses died from boatrelated injuries. “I’ve seen too many animals with propeller cuts on their heads and faces,” Beck said.

With a focus on population recovery, The Sirenia Project’s goal is to study the West Indian manatee species, a subspecies of the Florida manatee. The USGS hopes to learn more about manatee habitats and their way of life, which in the long run will help protect the species and facilitate its recovery. “I’ve kept going with it because the more we learn the more we realize what we don’t know,” said Beck, a manatee researcher for 32 years. “I have this hope that what we’re doing will benefit the species but will also add to the knowledge of biological systems. There’s so much we don’t understand.” Beck shared the story of a calf that had experienced a severe head trauma only to heal from that and then, as a young adult, get hit again. The second hit broke the manatee’s ribs, which worked their way through continued on next page

PHOTO BY WES SKILES, KARST PRODUCTIONS

A manatee eats 100 pounds of aquatic plants a day. Here A feeding manatee provides a photo opportunity.

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Summer 2010 | 43


PHOTOS BY WES SKILES, KARST PRODUCTIONS

A manatee fl oats lazily in the springs along with a human companion. Approximately 5,000 manatees call Florida home.

Mother and offspring in a local spring. Calves spend two years with their mothers learning the migration routes.

her side. They eventually healed, and that manatee, miraculously, was able to deliver calves. “We don’t understand how these animals with horrific injuries heal so quickly and are able to continue to reproduce,” Beck said. The Sirenia Project appropriately named that resilient manatee Success. “You can’t help but sit in awe of these animals,” Beck said. “But at the same time, it’s heartbreaking.” The project currently can identify about 2,200 manatees in Florida and tracks them over the years, she said. The method of tracking them, however, is disconcerting. “We identify animals based on scars,” Beck said. “It’s an unfortunate way of study.” The most common causes of manatee fatalities from human activities include blunt trauma from a being hit by boats, slicing injuries from propeller blades, crushing in floodgates, entanglements in fishing lines, and vandalism. Manatees also swallow fishing line and fishing hooks. “It’s pretty horrific,” Beck said.

44 | Summer 2010

But manatees are smart animals if boaters give them time to react, she said. “They do know how to get out of your way,” she said. “They’ll stay out of your way if you give them time.” Beck requests boaters always travel at a slow speed. This will not only allow the occupants to

is there, she said. Manatees like to approach boats; the animals enjoy rubbing their backs on them. However, Beck said it is best boaters simply stay in the channels and out of the shallow areas. She also suggests wearing polarized sunglasses, which reduces glare and makes manatees easier to see.

“Manatees feed on both freshwater vegetation and coastal sea grasses, all found in shallow depths.” more easily see manatees in the water and steer clear of them, but if injury does occur to the animal, it might be less severe. Manatees feed on both coastal sea grasses and freshwater vegetation, all found in shallow depths. “Where they’re feeding, they have nowhere to go,” Beck said. Beck advises boaters in shallow water to drift or float as much as possible instead of using their engine’s propeller. Boaters should also take a few seconds to look over their stern in case a manatee

Also, look for “manatee footprints,” or unusual water movements or disbursements. Though manatees are tolerant of human presence, Beck discourages people from interacting with any they encounter — no feeding or petting. But, she said, watching them quietly can be fun. “It’s hard to be quiet because people scream and get so excited when they see one,” Beck said. “If you drift up to them, you might have an awesome experience watching them. They’re really fascinating animals.” s


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>> NEW BUSINESS

Food for the Soul New Soul Food Restaurant Opens in High Springs BY LARRY BEHNKE

“I

love to cook. I love to see people eat,” Annie Lee said with a smile. “I come from a cooking family; my mother was the same way.” Annie is the main cook and manager of Nana’s, but it is her niece Raynyoda Jackson who put the restaurant together. “When she asked for my help I couldn’t tell her no,” Annie said. “It’s a family thing.” It certainly is — Annie’s daughter Ameshia also

46 | Summer 2010

works there, along with Raynyoda’s four uncles: Danny, Robert, Delbert and Jimmy, plus cousins. Even the young children in the family help out, watering the colorful flowers planted in the front yard of the restaurant. “I like to cook too,” Raynyoda said, “But my Aunt Annie is the real cook in the family. She was a cook at Tacachale in Gainesville for 18 years and quit to come work here at Nana’s.” The restaurant gets its name from Raynyoda’s grandmother, Burnell Diston (Nana), who passed away in 2004. Nana was a fine cook and took pride in feeding her


PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE

Be CART

Staff at Nana’s Soul Food Kitchen. (from left) Delbert LeGree, Annie Lee, Ameshia Young, Danny Diston, Robert Diston, Lisa Hogg and James Thomas.

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many friends and family members, Annie said. Raynyoda is married to Terrence Jackson. She operates a group home, working with people with mental disabilities. Her idea for a restaurant was a way to get the whole family working together. “I’m praying we can make it,” she said. “We’re a close family, and even with the way the economy is, we’re trying to run this business well.” Nana’s Soul Food Kitchen is on South Main Street at the junction of Poe Springs Road in High Springs. Last year it was My Li’l Café. It has been other restaurants, too, but the economy has not been kind to such places when people go out to eat less to save money. But Nana’s has popular food and reasonable prices, and already the customers have been plentiful and appreciative. “Strangers have stopped by and asked if they could help,” Annie said. “People have been so supportive and nice. It’s great to see the customers so excited. Even downtown businesses have asked us for menus.” Perhaps the excitement is because there has been no other soul food, or black-owned restaurant in High Springs for, well, no one can remember if there ever has been one. The folks at Nana’s should know; they were all born and raised here. The family farm is east of the High Springs Community School and has seen its generations growing their own food. Now, many of the family members are serving food, too. “We cook the food we’ve always cooked,” Raynyoda said. “And what people like to eat, too.” Wings, chicken dishes and seafood are big on the menu, but they also serve hotdogs and burgers. Sides include hush puppies, greens, corn fritters, black-eyed peas, coleslaw, butter grits, lima beans and potatoes. Daily specials are listed on a board. Nana’s will deliver food not only to downtown businesses, but also to elderly people who cannot get out. Food can be ordered to go, but there is a cozy feeling to being in the restaurant or out front at a picnic table. Nana’s is easy to find. The brilliant purple paint on the trim on the building, the fences in front and on the sign stands out, especially with the contrasting yellow. Breakfast is served each morning from 6 until 11; then lunch and dinner until 8 weekdays and 11 Fridays and Saturdays. “This is truly God’s gift; it feels like it’s the right time,” Annie said, reflecting on the future of Nana’s. “We’re going to make it.” Raynyoda agreed. “It’s a blessing to have this restaurant.” s

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>> INSPIRATION

Fighting Back Cancer Survivor Fights Back Through Martial Arts Lessons

BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

I

t all happened so quickly. She did not know what it was at first — just that her stomach was swollen and something was not right. Before she knew it, Sharyn Pittman was fighting for her life. She soon found out she had ovarian cancer. In January 2008, after chemotherapy, radiation and a hysterectomy, 63-year-old Pittman was left angry, hurt and “passing out in her food,” she said. Her left leg suffered from paralysis, the effects of rigorous chemotherapy treatments that “leave you as weak as a kitten,” she said. It took all her strength to walk her dog. And as she did, she noticed a sign — Choi Kwang Do. After 10 months of living life as an invalid, Pittman was fed up. She hoped Choi Kwang Do, a healthfocused form of martial arts, would get her back to her old self. In October 2008, Pittman began taking Choi Kwang Do lessons in High Springs, where she lives with her

50 | Summer 2010

family. With the help of Master Instructor and owner James Taylor, Pittman slowly worked her way back to health. A little more than a year and half later, Pittman had lost 10 inches in her waist, chest and hips and regained the strength in her left leg.

“Cancer made me mean,” she said. “It made me want to fight anything that’s in my way. I had to get over being ashamed of my self-image.” She now holds a purple belt, which is about halfway to a black belt, she said. Pittman and Taylor both said she will have her black belt in about a year. “The black belt is fun,” Pittman said. “I can’t wait to get there.” Pittman attends Choi classes every night the school


PHOTO BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

TOP Sharyn Pittman works on punches with one of the Choi instructors during her class. ABOVE Stretching takes up about a third of the class, Master Instructor Taylor said. When she began Choi Kwang Do lessons, she suffered paralysis in her left leg. RIGHT Sharyn Pittman rests after fi nishing her martial arts class. The classes leave her “limp as a green bean,” she said.

is open — Monday through Thursday — and stays for about two hours. She is now an assistant instructor. It is a far cry from where she was in 2008, Pittman said. But her bout with ovarian cancer was not her first cancer experience. Pittman also had breast cancer 34 years ago when she was 46. Choi Kwang Do, an international martial arts program, is unlike other martial arts such as Tae Kwon Do in that it focuses on healing and health rather than fighting, Taylor said. The High Springs school is one of hundreds across the United States. Founder Grandmaster Kwang Jo Choi created Choi Kwang Do when he began to suffer joint pain from Tae Kwon Do. Choi was introduced to the world in 1997, Taylor said. The High Springs school has been open for five years. “It inspires people to get off the couch,” Taylor said. “It’s the right way to exercise.” Pittman said one of the advantages of taking Choi is its no-injury policy and a self-pace method. Choi believes in letting its students determine the

best speed for them and focuses on optimal health, personal development and self-defense. “I set my limitations,” Pittman said. “The first opponent you have is fear.” Pittman’s success, however, cannot be attributed to Choi alone. “Cancer made me mean,” she said. “It made me want to fight anything that’s in my way. I had to get over being ashamed of my self-image.” When Pittman was finishing her chemotherapy, she said she was ready to give up. The perseverance she gained through fighting cancer helped her push through her Choi classes. Even Master Instructor Taylor was leery of her lessons at first. “I’d never taught anyone like her,” Taylor said, referring to Pittman’s paralyzed left leg. “[She moved up] so quick. She punches like a mule kicks.” Taylor gave her private lessons when she first began, which allowed him to focus on working her up to regular martial arts moves. continued on next page

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52 | Summer 2010

When she began she could barely walk, he said. “She never gives up,” Taylor said, adding that the green senior belt she now has was a tough belt to earn. Pittman is one of many cases in Choi Kwang Do where someone in her condition was able to get back in shape. A while back, Pittman said, a woman brought her father to Choi classes. He had been in a nursing home and used a walker. But soon, he no longer needed a walker. “I want everyone to know what Choi has to offer,” she said. “A lot of people just don’t understand what it is.” Pittman said some people do not even believe her when she tells them she knows martial arts, and at first, her family was skeptical, too. Her 7-year-old grandson summed up his feelings about his MeMa taking martial arts lessons. “MeMa you’re too fat and too old to take martial arts,” Pittman recalled her grandson saying. A few weeks later, he saw her working out in a Choi class and told his MeMa “it was pretty cool.” The moves become pattern-like, and people quickly learn how to defend themselves, Pittman said, adding that the warm-up is basically yoga. Choi Kwang Do in High Springs has students ranging in age from 6 to 63. Although Pittman is the oldest, she said she has seen four-year-old children take classes. Taylor said his children all began taking Choi lessons at age 3. Lessons are $80 a month and students can come by whenever the school is open. Not only does Choi help students get fit and in shape, Taylor said it focuses a lot on personal development, as well. All children and teenage students must maintain a grade of a C or better in school, and teenage instructors must keep a grade of a B or better. All the students treat others respectfully, responding to them with “Yes sir” and “Yes ma’am,” and students only use what they learn in class as a last resort in case of self-defense, he said. A banner along the wall outlines the rules for Choi Kwang Do and a sign sums up the group’s motto: “Pil Sung.” “Pil Sung,” Taylor said, refers to “victory in everything.” “It’s like our ‘Go Gators,’” he said. Pittman said she believes taking Choi lessons is one of the best decisions she made. “That’s why I want older people to take this,” Pittman said. “I told myself, ‘self we’re going to get better and stronger.’” When Pittman began she could barely lift her feet off the ground. Now, her high kick comes to her chest and she manages to keep up with her classmates, many of whom hold black belts. “You work with what you’ve got to work with,” Pittman said. “You just work up to it.” s


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54 | Summer 2010


“If You Build It…

>> RECREATION

They will come” — FIELD OF DREAMS

Babe Ruth Softball World Series comes to Alachua BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

O

ne of the most well known lines in movie history, the quote easily applies to present-day Alachua. After planning and renovations that date back to 1992, the city will host the 2010 Babe Ruth Softball 12-Under World Series on Aug. 7-14 at the Hal Brady Alachua Recreation Complex. Alachua Recreation Director Hal Brady spearheaded the effort to secure the bid for the city. A longtime servant to the city and county, Brady has held this position since 1981. The recreation complex was renamed in his honor four years ago. When Brady received an e-mail stating that a site was needed for the 2010 softball event, he immediately went into action. Along with Earl Findley, president of Santa Fe Babe Ruth softball, he contacted then-city manager Clovis Watson and several initial sponsors to garner support. The response was fast and overwhelmingly positive. “Within a month we had people that committed to at least half of the $40,000 that we had to give to National Babe Ruth to even attempt to bid,” Brady said. The group put the proposal together over the next year or two and won the selection. On Oct. 20, 2009, the contract signing ceremony was held at the complex. On hand were Brady, Alachua Mayor Bonnie Burgess, High Springs Vice-Mayor Byran Williams, Gainesville Sports Commission President Ron Gromoll and Executive

The 2009 Under-12 champions at last year’s tournament in Wilson, South Carolina.

Director Jack Hughes. Despite being a smaller city up against larger venues like New York and Boston, Alachua is an area familiar to the national Babe Ruth organization. The local Santa Fe Babe Ruth organization is one of the original softball organizations in the country, and in 1992 the city hosted the Babe Ruth Baseball World Series and won a national award for their efforts. Since the boys’ event, the complex has seen a series of renovations. When Florida State University renovated Doak Campbell continued on next page

PHOTO BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

Banners throughout the city refl ect the city’s pride in hosting the 2010 Babe Ruth Softball World Series.

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Summer 2010 | 55


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Stadium in the early 1990s, the end zone stands were brought to Alachua and now serve as the bleachers for the main field. The front lobby of the building was remodeled and the two-story gymnasium was built. Once the bid for the 2010 series was secured, upgrade plans shifted into high gear. The parking lot was paved, new lights and poles were installed, skate and water parks were added and new picnic tables and benches were purchased for the covered eating area. More will still be done before the first pitch is thrown in August. Sidewalks are under construction to connect the many areas of the 24-acre facility, which will make the grounds safer and more comfortable. The dugouts are being completely redone in a sunken style and new restrooms have been built. New landscaping and trees are being planted, the power lines will be buried and the sprinkler system will be upgraded. The success of the event, including these improvements, would not be possible without the help of many area businesses and organizations — many of which, Brady said, have historically been supporters of athletics and recreation in Alachua County. The City of Alachua Chamber of Commerce has given $30,000 worth of donations to help with the bid fee and renovations, and the city itself added another $20,000. Organizations from nearby cities like Gainesville and High Springs also lent a hand. Cox Communications will televise the championship game and also facilitate the use of “Youth Sports Live”

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— an online service with which family members can watch and replay the games even if they cannot be at the complex. Santa Fe Ford is supplying cars and a van to help transport the teams, while LTD Motors is donating four mobile homes to be used as facilities for medical workers, umpires, workers’ meals and administrative functions. Coca Cola, the WalMart distribution center, local businessman Mickey Singer and many others also chipped in to help the efforts. Ten teams will participate in the 2010 series, including the host team, the Florida state champion and eight other regional champions from across the country. The series begins on Saturday, Aug. 7 with opening ceremonies at 1 p.m. and the first game starting at 2 p.m. The first day of competition will conclude with a 9:30 p.m. fireworks display by Fred Hilton and the Detonators (the same company behind Alachua’s annual Fourth of July celebration). The round robin-style series continues until Wednesday, when the top six teams begin double-elimination play. The two final teams play in the championship game on Saturday. The Babe Ruth Softball World Series promises to be a fun event for the whole family. In addition to the games there will be plenty of activities for all ages.

Concessions and souvenirs will be sold, the complex’s other facilities will be available and fans will find slides, bounce houses and other kids’ attractions throughout the complex. Family passes are $5 for single-day admission or $25 for the entire week and are available at all Alachua County Domino’s stores and the Alachua location of Beef O’Brady’s. Even with all of the community support, the organization is still accepting help to make the series the best it

Ten teams will participate in the 2010 series, including the host team, the Florida state champion and eight other regional champions from across the country. can be. The biggest need is for host families to house the athletes coming to play in the series. “It’s part of the Babe Ruth experience,” Brady said. “They really do believe it gets the community involved more. [Host families] pretty much adopt the kids — getting them where they need to go for practices, games and special events.” A host family will take in one or two athletes at a time and must guarantee that each has an individual bed and adequate food at the continued on next page

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house to feed them. Hitchcock’s Foodway is giving gift certificates to each host family to help with groceries. There are plenty of other opportunities to help. The organization is accepting food donations for special events, and also needs volunteers at the series to help with parking, concession/souvenir sales and other tasks. In the days leading up to the first game, the organization will also need help at Alachua Woman’s Club where the headquarters will be located. The 2010 series promises to be not only an economic boom, but an exercise in community bonding as well. “Babe Ruth loves to go in small communities because they love to see where the World Series is the thing for the week,” Brady said. “In a big city like Orlando or Houston it gets lost in the shuffle, because the whole community doesn’t get involved. [Here] when you go into the shops, gas station, wherever it is, they’ll be talking about that.” Brady added the efforts fit nicely with the North Central Florida culture of pure, simple all-American fun. “What Alachua has done is held on to things [people] can still enjoy despite hard times,” Brady said. “The Santa Fe softball board has elected to make this a family event. The entire family can come out for five dollars for a day and enjoy the World Series.” s For more information or to volunteer to help, e-mail Hal Brady at hbrady@cityofalachua.com or call 386-462-1610.


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MOMMY FOR HIRE >> CRYSTAL HENRY

Naked Salsa For some reason we define ourselves by our professions. And now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, it sometimes feels like I’ve lost part of my identity. h, in between feedings and diapers and dishes I’m still a writer. But because I don’t head into the office each morning, I feel a little out of the loop when people ask me what I do. I don’t plan to be a stay-at-home mom forever. It would be hard to retain that job once my 18-year-old child no longer stays at my home. And I plan to go back to full-time workin’ girl status even before she hits that legal kick-her-out-of-thehouse age. But I fear that my hiatus from the bringing-homea-paycheck working world will hurt me when I try to jump back in. I have my college degree and I have been in the workforce since I was 15. I have great work experience, wonderful references and a dang fine work ethic. I’ve never been fired, and my last employer tried everything he could to get me to come back to work after having the baby. Still, a future employer is going to ask about that glaring hole in my resume. Just what did I do with my time? What kind of job can I get after returning from Mommyland? Well, let’s see. Maybe I could become a nurse. I could technically put nursing experience on my resume. Lord knows I’ve been on call to nurse that baby for the first year of her life. I have provided ‘round-the-clock care for the little darling since she was born, and because

O

of her allergies I have taken more stool samples than I care to recall. I’ve been to the doctor’s office more times in the past year than anyone should have to, and I now know about health insurance inside and out. I could recite pages upon pages from WebMD, and I could probably diagnose just about any disorder a child could have within their first year. Not to mention my extensive experience with mastitis, milk allergies, diaper rash, eczema, RSV, acid reflux and H1N1. On second thought, maybe I’ll just go to med school and become a doctor. Eh, with all the healthcare nonsense going on, I’ll pass. Well, maybe I could go into public relations. I do have my background in journalism, so the press releases would be a breeze. I’ve juggled doctor’s visits, swimming lessons, photography sessions and playgroups. And her first birthday party is sure to be the social event of the season. Plus, since Sunny is the first grandchild on both sides of the family, I have been on tour with Miss Priss since she was born. I keep a pretty tight schedule of public appearances, and that girl can be such a diva when she doesn’t get her nap. I’ve schlepped her to Texas, Louisiana, Indiana, West Virginia, Florida, Illinois, Missouri and the Bahamas. She’s more well-traveled than many adults

Surely with the skills that I’ve mastered and the ones I have to gain, I can find someone willing to give me a shot. If not, I’ll just tickle them, give them an animal cookie and unsnap my nursing bra.

62 | Summer 2010


I know. I’ve never seen so many people excited to have a 17-pound sack of destruction blow through. I guess it’s that cheeky grin and those baby blues. And let’s not forget the photography and videography experience I’ve gained this year. For the sake of the grandmothers, I had Sunny’s picture taken each month for the first year, and we had to buy an external hard drive and a DVD burner just to handle all the photos and videos I’ve taken. My year went something like, “Oh look, it’s Sunny’s first spit bubble. I need to capture this moment.” Teaching might be a good option. Not only do I read to her and teach her colors, shapes and numbers, but I also taught her life skills like crawling, walking and eating with a spoon. I would like to have summers and holidays off, but I don’t know if I’d have anything left for my kiddo if I spent the entire day with everyone else’s. I know I’ll never get a job as a home organizer. Since my house gets hit by Hurricane Sunny multiple times a day, it’s all I can do to just clear paths from one room to the next. And I’ll never land a job as a chef, since my primary ingredients now are Cheerios and elbow macaroni. But surely with the skills that I’ve mastered and the ones I have to gain, I can find someone willing to give me a shot. If not, I’ll just tickle them, give them an animal cookie and unsnap my nursing bra. This works for my current employer anyway. s Serving: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner - Come see our full menu

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>> TRADITION

The Mother of Father’s Day This Year Marks the 100th Anniversary of the Holiday BY MARY KYPREOS

U

nlike Mother’s Day, which quickly garnered support and official standing — all in nine years time — Father’s Day has a more poignant history, as it faced delays and a lackluster reputation of fathers. In the end, it took 62 years for Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of today’s modern Father’s Day, to witness her concept become an officially recognized holiday. This

month marks 100 years since its first, unofficial, celebration. In 1909, while listening to a Mother’s Day Ceremony at Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, Wash., a young and pregnant Dodd was inspired by the celebration she witnessed but disappointed in its limitations. “I liked everything you said about motherhood,” Dodd told the minister, as quoted by the New York

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Times in a March 23, 1978 article. “However, don’t you think fathers deserve a place in the sun, too?”

Love for a Father Dodd insisted on a similar holiday for fathers because of the role her own father played in their family and also due to the reputation of fathers at the time. continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 65


PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE SPOKANE REGIONAL CONVENTION AND TOURISM BUREAU.

After her mother’s death in 1898, William Jackson Smart was the only provider for 16-year-old Dodd and her five younger brothers. In a time when many men in that situation might have given his children to an orphanage or another family member, Smart kept his family together, serving as both a father and mother. “His kindness and the sacrifices he made inspired me,” Dodd said in a June 17, 1939, New York Sun article. “Besides that, at that time the pendulum of disrespect for fathers had swung too far, I thought. People were singing such songs as ‘Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now’ and ‘Everybody Works But Father.’” A year after listening to the Mother’s Day sermon, Dodd shared her vision with the Spokane YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Alliance, said Pam Scott, communications manager at the Spokane Regional Convention and Tourism Bureau. Although she originally wanted Father’s Day to fall on her own father’s birthday, June 5, the organizers needed more time to prepare. They pushed the celebration back to June 19, 1910 — the third Sunday in the month. “She had an idea that father’s needed to be honored as mother’s were,” Scott said. “She felt like you should go out

66 | Summer 2010

PREVIOUS PAGE: Sonora Smart Dodd was far ahead of her time, said Pam Scott, communications manager at the Spokane Regional Convention and Tourism Bureau. She was a poet, an accomplished artist, was highly educated and was also the founder of Father’s Day. ABOVE: According to a Spokane Regional Convention and Tourism Bureau press release Sonora Smart Dodd, the founder of Father’s Day, was honored at the 1940 New York World’s Fair and the 1943 Billion Dollar Bond Drive, as well as received a plaque in 1968 from the Retail Trade Bureau and obtained other honors.

and buy your father a gift to show your appreciation.” In the early years of the holiday, Dodd took her own advice to heart and rode in a horse and carriage through the streets delivering cards and flowers and showing recognition to homebound fathers. “She wasn’t concerned with what specifically [you gave] but that you take the time to do it,” Scott said


Decades of Waiting Over the next six decades, Father’s Day would become a lasting, yet unofficial, holiday in American homes. Regardless of its status, it would receive recognition from four presidents along the way. In 1916, at the request of Senator Clarence Dill, President Woodrow Wilson was the first to acknowledge Father’s Day by opening celebrations from his office in Washington, D.C., according to a Spokane tourism bureau press release.

“She felt like you should go out and buy your father a gift to show your appreciation.” President Calvin Coolidge recognized the day in 1924 and urged all states to do the same. Still, Father’s Day remained federally unrecognized. Forty-two years after President Coolidge’s recommendation, Father’s Day took another step toward national recognition after President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation asking for all flags to be flown on government buildings on the third Sunday in June in recognition of Father’s Day.

Although it became official in 1972, actions in 1970 — after 60 years of dedication on Dodd’s part — would set the wheels of national recognition in motion. On Dec. 28, both houses of the United States Congress passed Joint Resolution 187, urging President Richard Nixon to declare the holiday. Two years later, President Nixon took their advice and signed the proclamation, officially recognizing Father’s Day as being held on the third Sunday in June of each year. Scott said that she has found no record indicating how Dodd reacted to the proclamation, but Scott was not concerned about Dodd feeling unappreciated for her efforts. “[Dodd] had tons of recognition all along the way, but nothing was permanent until 1972,” Scott said. Dodd passed away on March 22 1978, at age 96. In the end, both Dodd and her father would live to see important milestones in Father’s Day’s history. “Father lived to see Father’s Day observed throughout the nation,” Dodd said, according to a quote in an un-attributed newspaper clipping released by the Spokane tourism bureau. “He saw more than 1,000 boy singers and musicians on the Inland Empire participate in a sacred service on Father’s Day in 1916. That service was officially opened in Washington, DC by President Woodrow Wilson...” s

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>> COMMUNITY

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Acting the Part Alachua Gets A Children’s Theatre BY ANNABELLE BROOKS

T

he quaint, downtown historic Alachua is filled with small treasures. There are unique little boutiques, shops and eateries. There is also a place for children to create a world outside their own, through madeup characters and costumes. The Alachua Children’s Theater, located behind a bakery and a gift shop, has a working relationship with its neighbors who are very supportive. Founder Carol Velasques-Jackson brings the children to dress-up and rehearse for their productions — and have a snack. The theater is made up of a few classrooms where children get into character and rehearse dialogue, along with a room surrounded by mirrors, with chairs for parents to enjoy watching the children practice their plays. Alachua Children’s Theater is not the first place for Velasques-Jackson to relay the art of acting to youth. She has been working in theater for the last 20 years, directing various theater productions. At the age of 43, Velasques-Jackson has directed more than 80 professional and community plays with her earliest ones beginning in Gainesville. Velasques-Jackson began her theater career at the Acrosstown

PHOTO BY ANNABELLE BROOKS

Carol Velasques Jackson and some of her actors pose for a picture after rehearsing a scene in a play. Kyle Cook, Caleb Woods, Megan Irish, Zack Hoffert, Emily Bagget, Kaylee Herring, Skylar Hoffertt and Justin Berger.

Repertory Theater (ART) in the early 1990s. While at the ART, she created an ensemble theater group. Soon she moved to Douglas, Georgia and started her first children’s theater, the Douglas Children’s Theater, under the city’s Georgia Community Services Department. After marrying Thirlum E. Jackson Sr., a local building contractor from the Alachua and Newberry area, Mrs. Velasques-Jackson relocated to Alachua. About two and a half years ago she realized

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there was no theater program for the children there. “High Springs has a theater but for much older adults,” VelasquesJackson said. “I felt there was a need for a children’s theater.” She noticed that most children were very involved in typical extracurricular activities, such as sports, but she did not see an outlet for the arts. The search for the future Alachua Children’s Theater began. She started looking for a vacant venue. continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 71


“I ran upon this place and told the owner about what I was trying to do and he thought that it was such a great idea,” she said. “It was made affordable for us.” Time has passed and the theater is gaining popularity and increasing its number of children. The theater offers year-round art programming and a spring break camp. Carol attributes this program to the success of the theater, which carries about 25 little actors and actresses in training. “We start with children as young as six who are able to read, but we have taken younger,” she said. “Most times, the children just want to play a character and be involved.” From six to 18 is the age range of her program, but the diversity does not quite end with age. All children are encouraged to join and the productions vary with its genres. Touching all, from Broadway musicals to show tunes, spoof and more, she knows her kids can handle any form that they can have fun with. Velasques-Jackson feels there is a necessity for programs such as these to inspire children and teach them more than what they may otherwise be exposed to, and even add to skills such as reading and comprehension. Every six weeks, children of the theater put on a play at the Alachua Woman’s Club. Carol said no experience is needed for any student because she does not want to add pressure to children. “A lot of kids are involved in other activities after

school,” she said. Her main concern, however, is teaching children about the commitment and discipline that follows with acting. The children have no problem picking up the material, she said. “It is a lot of reading, literacy and work, on and off the stage, but the more they begin to like it, the more they put their heart into the play,” Velasques-Jackson said. The point behind the theater and the lessons taught is to give children a better view of history, educate them and inspire them creatively. “I believe that an education in the arts can take you further than plain academia,” she said. “The arts, educationally, have been found to lead students to success in many studies. Children tend to do better on their SATs, the FCAT and higher on any aptitude test. They excel in reading and language arts.” Carol believes the interaction children have with art changes their minds into a broader way of thinking, exploring and learning. “I have seen the difference that it has made in a child’s life,” she said. However, Velasques-Jackson is discouraged that there are many parents who gear their children solely toward academics in order to eventually secure the typical stable nine-to-five a job. She disagrees with this limited scope of what a career can be. “All of our historic icons had a love for language or

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music which has driven our culture, particularly in the African American culture,” she said. Friends and family gather in crowds of about 80 to 100 to sit in the audience and watch their favorite stars perform on the stage. “The parental support in Alachua is really great,” she said. “For such a new theater we have a wonderful turnout, thanks to our supportive families, and over some time we will get even better.” The Alachua Branch Library supports the theater as well by hosting a series of productions for the community with the children of the Alachua Children’s Theater. They produce a play every month. “The material is hard for the kids to grasp, it just takes hard work and the more they get into acting and they older they become, the kids take this seriously,” she said. The children are nothing short of energetic, but they are also bashful, silly and a myriad of other personality traits that make each individual a joy to work with and watch as they grow, she said. Older students guide the younger and newer ones and keep an eye on them. Games are played and laughs are always shared. Fun is the most important part of her program and VelasquesJackson is ecstatic to be involved with the theater and to share the children’s efforts with everyone she can. s

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Summer 2010 | 73


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Summer 2010 | 75


COLUMN >> DIANE E. SHEPARD

Mama Musings It was a gorgeous day. My daughter was the only girl at a classmate’s birthday party at the park. he birthday boy and two others brandished their light sabers and began sparring. My daughter, Elizabeth, having left her favorite pirate sword at home, improvised and quickly picked up a thin stick. A nice stick for a sword/light saber. I smiled at her quickthinking ingenuity and cheered her on. Then I heard a gasp from among the other parents. Their looks screamed: “Hey, aren’t you going to do something?!” Well, no, actually I wasn’t. It’s just a stick. Their reaction surprised me. (“You can poke someone’s eye out with that thing!”). Sure, nature can be dangerous (I’m thinking copperheads, alligators, poison ivy), but a simple stick? Not so much. At home, after a Google search, I felt somewhat redeemed. Turns out, it’s the other sticks we, as parents, have to worry more about: those of the carrot/ candy/hockey/diving/dynamite stick-variety! Why is it that for some, the manufactured light saber is less of a threat than the lowly stick? Because it’s sold on store shelves? Come on! Besides, it comes down to the one carrying the stick, doesn’t it? For my daughter, this was a perfectly natural thing to do. As soon as she could walk, she was outside picking up sticks and stones, shells and snails and other natural treasures. This collecting habit of hers is not so appreciated at school (if discovered, the items are confiscated). Yet everyday, her backpack is lined with

T

these baubles. My child is a Nature child. What could be better? My 2 1/2 year old son also naturally gravitates to sticks and stones. “He-ah, Mommy, Yoos,” he says, handing me his latest find — a small stick — as we shuffle through the thick blanket of fallen leaves at the park. But all this fuss about a simple stick makes me wonder: Are we raising kids who don’t appreciate the outdoors? Are we becoming an anti-nature society? My parents used to play with sticks when they were growing up (back when kids still played outside.) My Mom even used them as dolls. The simple stick was the most readily available, multi-use, imagination-boosting plaything around. So, why are we so afraid of sticks now? Remember the old adage: “Sticks and stones can break your bones...”? Well, it’s time to revamp it. Sticks and stones can actually build your brains — by cultivating the imagination! The stick is the quintessential item for “symbolic play.” Over the years, I’ve seen my daughter use sticks in countless ways. She’s fought off monsters only she can see, conducted concerts with flower symphonies, and dug moats for her toy boats. Sticks have been her makeshift paintbrushes, microphones and batons. She has wielded many sticks, casting many spells, emulating Harry and Hermione. It’s the ideal open-ended plaything, allowing the child to choose what the object will represent. And it’s free! In 2008, the Stick was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame. Nowadays, anything electronic commands their attention. Very little time is spent actually playing outside anymore (no, soccer games don’t count); I’m talking getting-back-to-nature, really exploring the outdoors. Remember skipping stones or tossing sticks into creeks, running in fields, discovering creepy crawly critters under rocks, hiking in the woods? I should just be happy the kids at the birthday party

Nowadays, anything electronic commands their attention. Very little time is spent actually playing outside anymore

76 | Summer 2010


are outside playing — key word: Outside. But wait! I spoke too soon. The boys suddenly abandoned their light sabers to play a hand-held video game. My heart sank. They’re at this beautiful park on a picture-perfect day and they have their faces stuck in a video game! And there, in a grove of pine trees, my bewildered daughter stood alone, left holding her stick/light saber, wondering what could be more important than this? Tiny characters on a tiny screen killing each other? It seems to me that a video game can be more detrimental to one’s health — than a stick a real brain-fryer! My kids are nature junkies. These days, they are in the minority. Getting back to nature allows their creativity to come alive. As an experiment, I placed a plain wooden stick on the ground. Next to it I placed a fancy, plastic wand. I asked my son, “Which one do you want?” I’m happy to report, he chose the stick. To quote Frost: “One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.” I would add: One could do worse than be a collector of sticks. s Diane Shepard is a writer and Mama to two young children. Her next work in progress is a memoir “Keeping Time with Turtles.” diane@towerpublications.com

Rubberstamps, Scrapbooking

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Summer 2010 | 77


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Summer 2010 | 79


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Summer 2010 | 81


CALENDAR If you would like to have an event considered for publication in this calendar, please submit information directly. post 4400 NW 36th Ave., Gainesville, FL 32606 | e-mail editor@towerpublications.com | fax 352-373-9178

High Springs Farmers Market Thursdays 2:00pm - 6:00pm James Paul Park. Variety of vendors - fresh & organic produce, shrimp, flowers, fresh baked goods, candles, oils, crafts and more. 352-672-5308 www.farmersmarket.highsprings.com

Newberry Friday Fling Fridays 12:00pm - 6:00pm Main Street, Newberry. Weekly event, weather permitting. www.newberrymainstreet.org

Fantastic Fridays First Friday of each month (6/4, 7/2, 8/6) 6:30pm - 8:30pm Historic Downtown High Springs. Carriage rides, merchants open late, Railroad Avenue Street Jam by Music Junction, street vendors, and family fun. 386-418-0075 www.highspringsmainstreet.com

Newberry Morning Market Saturdays 8:00am - 2:00pm Downtown Newberry, W Newberry Road by the railroad tracks. Weekly event, weather permitting. 352-494-5360 www.newberrymainstreet.org

82 | Summer 2010

Shear Madness Sun. 6/2 Sun. 6/27 Hippodrome State Theater. Don’t miss ‘America’s Favorite Comedy’ and the longest running play in the history of American theater. www.thehipp.org

Gator Football Women’s Clinic Sat. 6/5 8:00am - 1:00pm Stephen C O’Connell Center. Hang out with Gator football coaches and get an exclusive peek at what it takes to be a Gator! www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu

Yulee Railroad Days Sat. 6/5 - Sun. 6/6 9:00am - 10:00pm

Before You Tie the Knot Mon. 6/7 & Tues. 6/8 5:30pm - 7:30pm UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Office. An educational program offering constructive guidance to couples as they begin life as a married couple. 352-955-2402

Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem Thurs. 6/10 7:30pm Curtis M Phillips Center for the Performing Arts - Squitieri Studio Theatre. An unusually gleeful string band that celebrates both traditional and improvisation that stumps the categorizers. www.performingarts.ufl.edu

City of Archer. Yulee Railroad Days gives us all a chance to indulge in railroad nostalgia, to learn a bit more about our pioneer past, to have fun, and to share our fascinating Alachua County heritage and history. www.yuleerailroaddays.org

City-wide Yard Sale Summer 2010

Pofahl Studio Presents Aladdin

Kickoff to Summer Reading

Sun. 6/6 6:00pm

Sat. 6/12 11:00am

Curtis M Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. www.performingarts.ufl.edu

Borders Bookstore, W Newberry Rd. An interactive presentation

Sat. 6/12 8:00am - 12:00pm James Paul Park, High Springs www.highsprings.com

concerning how parents can make summer reading enjoyable. 352-371-6891

Taste of Home Sun. 6/13 5:00pm - 9:00pm University of Florida Hilton. Taste of Home is a charity fundraiser benefiting the Child Advocacy Center, Children’s Home Society, and other select charities. Come sample cuisine from some of North Florida’s finest restaurants. Tickets: $75. www.tasteofhomeevent.com

Summer Camps (Various Topics) Mon. 6/14 - Fri. 8/14 8:30am - 4:30pm Florida Museum of Natural History. Offering full day camps, morning sessions, afternoon sessions, and field camps. 352-273-2061 www.flmnh.ufl.edu

Summer Spectacular Theatre Camp Mon. 6/14 - Fri. 8/6 8:30am - 5:00pm Hippodrome State Theater. The goal of the Hippodrome Theatre Program is to provide a fun and exciting environment outside the demands of the regular school structure. www.thehipp.org continued on page 84


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Summer 2010 | 83


o continued from page 82

‘A Thousand Clowns’ by Herb Gardener Beginning Fri. 6/18 Fridays & Saturdays, 8:00pm Sundays, 2:00pm High Springs Community Theater www.highspringscommunitytheater.com

Family Day Sat. 6/19 1:00pm - 4:00pm Samuel P Harn Museum of Art. Put your nose to the grindstone to learn more about ‘America at Work: Art and Propaganda in the Early-20th Century’. After a tour of the exhibition, children will have the opportunity to create their own poster prints. www.harn.ufl.edu

Disney-themed Mad Hatters Tea Party Sun. 6/20 3:00pm - 5:00pm Haile Village Bistro. English Tea Party with a twist! Come dressed as your favorite Disney character (adults too). www.hailevillagebistro.com

Little Gator Basketball Camp

Summer Leadership Camp for Teens

Mon. 6/21 - Thurs. 6/24 9:00am - 5:00pm

Tues. 7/6 - Fri. 7/9 9:00am - 3:00pm

Stephen C O’Connell Center. For boys 8-9 only. www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu

Santa Fe College, Northwest Campus. Teens will learn what it means to be a leader, both personally and in their local & global community. 352-395-5819 www.sfcollege.edu

Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band - Part of UFPA’s Chords of Color for a Cause Wed. 6/23, 7:30pm Curtis M Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. An 18-piece jazz ensemble that celebrates and personifies the best of the big band tradition with a very contemporary and original sound.

Sun. 7/4 Hal Brady Recreation Center, City of Alachua. www.cityofalachua.com

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84 | Summer 2010

Fri. 7/30 7:30pm University of Florida Auditorium. Named Nashville NAMMY’s 1999 Songwriter of the

Ray Johnson Band - Part of UFPA’s Chords of Color for a Cause

Year. www.performingarts.ufl.edu

Fri. 7/9, 7:30pm Curtis M Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Squitieri Studio Theatre. Ray Johnson and his group of talented musicians recorded their first album, ‘Sweet Tooth’, released in 2009. www.performingarts.ufl.edu

www.performingarts.ufl.edu

2010 July 4th Celebration

Beth Nielsen Chapman Part of UFPA’s Chords of Color for a Cause

Volleyball Youth Day Camp Mon. 7/12 - Fri. 7/16 9:00am - 4:00pm Stephen C O’Connell Center. For boys and girls ages 10-12. www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu

Santa Fe Babe Ruth 12-Under Softball 2010 World Series Thurs. 8/5 - Sat. 8/14 Recreation Center, Alachua. www.cityofalachua.com


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Summer 2010 | 85


>> COMMUNITY

Fishing for Success BY KATE HELLER

D

own a tree-lined road on the swampy outskirts of Gainesville, a cluster of seven small ponds ripple in the breeze outside of the Florida Lakewatch facilities. The area awaits its next gathering of guests who come to experience fishing, nature and life lessons. The University of Florida’s Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Services regularly opens its ponds to families and field trips for a unique outdoor confidence boost. Bait and fishing poles are available for anyone who needs them, and children are virtually guaranteed to catch a fish in the fully stocked ponds. Smiles and self-assurance are ushered in with every hooked fish, said Dan Canfield,

co-director of Fishing for Success and UF professor. Canfield operates Family Fishing Days held once a month at the ponds. The area is open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. for anyone who brings a child. Participants grab their hooks and bait and

that would give children the feeling of success. Kirkpatrick pointed out that all successful people have a moment in their life when they can say, “I am somebody.” From this brainstorm, the program emerged with the idea that

Kids catch fish & confidence hook, line and sinker migrate to an open pond. Volunteers, usually students from UF or Santa Fe, are available to help with unhooking and general problems. Fishing for Success grew from then Senator George Kirkpatrick’s request that Canfield start a program

every fish could provide that very moment. In preparation for children’s limited attention spans, the ponds are stocked to the brim with catfish, bluegill and bass. The experience proves to be rewarding as many children continued on page 88

PHOTO BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

Garrett, 4, shows off his catch at the monthly Family Fishing Day in May. For the George G. Kirkpatrick Jr. Kids’ Fishing Derby, t-shirts and fishing rods were given to the fi rst 100 children.

86 | Summer 2010


www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 87


PHOTOS BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

TOP Visitors pick out a fishing rod during the May Fish for Success Family Fishing Days event. The FFS gave away fishing poles and T-shirts to the first 100 children. BOTTOM A pair of young men patiently wait for a fish to bite. There is no cost to attend Family Fishing Days, although donations are welcome. Fishing rods and bait are available at no cost and refreshments can be purchased.

o continued from page 86 continue to return, and some even become volunteers, Canfield said. Although the program caters to the younger audience, everyone is invited to attend. Some older folk who just love fishing join the festivities and hand off their catch to nearby youngsters. The fish reproduce by themselves because of the catch and release nature of the program. When ospreys and eagles diminish the population, however, the staff has access to retention ponds around town to restock. Family Fishing Days is riddled with entertaining occurrences. Once, an elderly woman hooked a large fish and fell off the bank. She broke her leg but refused to let the paramedics tend to her until she reeled in her prize, Canfield said. Fishing for Success quickly became an awarded program, winning both statewide and national awards. Recently, however, the program has experienced crippling budget cuts that threatened its survival. Even with some money donated by the Alachua Sheriff’s office, program changes had to be made. But the cuts were not enough to turn away the children or the volunteers. “When the budget was cut, I refused to end it,” Canfield said. “This is a front porch for the community. Everyone comes out to just have a good time.” The program used to provide hotdogs for lunch and raffles for children’s fishing items, but now the day is strictly fishing. But fishing is the reason continued on page 90

88 | Summer 2010


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Summer 2010 | 89


PHOTOS BY TJM PHOTOGRAPHY

ABOVE: Madison (11) and Michelle look on as and Justin (6) and Tony (12) fi sh off the dock during Family Fishing Days. LEFT: Fishing for Success volunteers take a break to pose for a photo during the May Family Fishing Days event. Back Row (L. to R.): Griffin Balducci, Ian Bigelow, Louise RiotteLambert, Art Forgey. Middle Row: Nicole Rente-Solis, Towns Oliver Burgess, Sharon Power, Jiexuan Luo, Stacy Hutton. Front Row: Erika Thompson (UF graduate student, FFS Temporary Event Coordinator) and Dr. Daniel E. Canield, Jr., full UF professor, FFS Co-coordinator and founder.

o continued from page 88 they come. Fishing allows children to bond with their parents in a fun, interactive environment, Canfield said. “It is a developmental program that works across all age brackets,” he said. Advertisement of the program is spread strictly by word of mouth. Many discover the program through school field trips. These field trips, which accommodate up to 60 kids, are a favorite for many school children, said Sharon Fitz-Coy, a senior biological scientist and educational program coordinator for Fishing for Success. The focus on individual programs depends on the age group, and some teachers choose what they want emphasized. Most groups chose “Fish Talk,” where FitzCoy teaches fun facts about the fish that are available to view in the pond. Students then dip pans in the pond to

90 | Summer 2010

catch invertebrates. High school students might experiment with the water quality for chemistry lessons. For better efficiency, students are separated into two groups, and activities take place simultaneously before switching. The ponds are host to field trips almost every weekday. After the teaching portion and a break for lunch, children are rewarded with an afternoon of fishing. Younger children are encouraged to conquer their fears and at least touch the fish if they seem squeamish. The program hopefully strikes some interest in the students, Fitz-Coy said. “Everything is initiated by a phone call from the teacher,” she said, “and once they come, they want to come back.” The field trip is becoming quite popular. Waldo Community School brought the entire school over a


“When the budget was cut, I refused to end it. This is a front porch for the community.”

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course of two days. Fitz-Coy used to visit schools and host talks, but now the demand for field trips at the ponds is so high that she finds it hard to get away. The fight to keep Fishing for Success a thriving program has proven to be no easy task. But the ponds will remain stocked as long as families and children continue to participate in this unique, educational opportunity to explore the wonder of nature. s

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IF YOU GO For Family Fishing Days, just head out to the ponds located on N.W. 71st Street. More thorough directions can be found at their Web site, lakewatch.ifas.ufl.edu/ FishSUCCESS/index.htm. Only groups with more than 10 people should RSVP to FishingForSuccess@yahoo. com. A schedule of upcoming events can also be found at the Web site. To schedule an on-site tour for a group, contact Sharon Fitz-Coy at 352-273-3622.

Contact AAA now for a quote. AAA GAINESVILLE 1201 Northwest 13th St. Gainesville, FL 32601 (352) 373-7801 *Discount applies to select auto coverages only.

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Summer 2010 | 91


Be Prepared Before They Strike

Hurricane

Season 5

3

Gainesville

4

2

1

Recent Hurricane Impacts 2004

2005

7

1

Charley

Aug. 3th, 4th

5

Dennis

July 10th, 11th

2

Frances

Sep. 5th, 6th, 7th

6

Katrina

Aug. 26th

3

Ivan

Sep. 16th

7

Wilma

Oct. 24th

4

Jeanne

Sep. 26th, 27th

6

BY TATIANA QUIROGA

I

t is that time of year again. Afternoons on the front porch sipping lemonade, fourth of July barbeques, summer camps, and of course, hurricanes. Hurricane season lasts from June 1 to November 30 in the Atlantic and May 15 to November

92 | Summer 2010

30 in the Eastern Pacific, according to the National Weather Service National Hurricane Center Web site. An average of 11 tropical storms evolve over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico ever year. Six become hurricanes every year and over a three-year

period, according to the site, about five hurricanes hit the Unites States coast, killing 50 to 100 people. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale categorizes hurricanes based on how strong the winds are. Category 5 hurricanes produce the highest wind speeds and Category 1


PHOTO BY SARAH HSU

During hurricane season, everyone should have an escape route planned and be aware of evacuation routes. In this photo a road near Three Rivers Estates is underwater.

A family disaster plan should include these steps hurricanes produce the lowest. Because hurricanes are a serious matter, hurricane season should not be treated lightly. Everyone should have emergency plans put into place and well-stocked hurricane preparedness kits (see recommendations on next page). It is also important to know the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch indicates that hurricane conditions may develop in the indicated area within the next 48 hours, according to the site. A family’s disaster plan should be initiated. A hurricane warning means sustained winds of at least 74 mph should occur with 36 hours in the specified area. People should decide on the safest place to ride out the storm and the disaster plan should be completed.

According to the National Hurricane Center Web site 1. Know the hazards that are specific to your family. Be aware of the possibility of storm surging, flooding and wind in your area. 2. Decide on the safest room in your house for riding out a hurricane. Sometimes, the safest area may be somewhere in your community. 3. Plan escape routes from your house and places to meet. 4. Choose a friend who lives outside of the state to be the contact person for the whole family. 5. Decide how you will take care of your pet if you need to evacuate.

6. Place emergency numbers by the telephones and instruct children on when to call 911. 7. Check if flooding is covered by your insurance. It is usually not covered by homeowners insurance. 8. Make a disaster supply kit and gather emergency supplies. 9. Buy a NOAA weather radio. Replace the battery every six months, just like with smoke detectors. 10. Take classes such as First Aid and CPR that could help in an emergency situation.

continued on next page

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 93


Another precaution to consider is securing the areas of the house where wind can cause damage. Strengthening and reinforcing the roof, putting in straps which are installed where the roof meets the

wall, placing shutters, securing doors and garage doors are all ways to protect the property from possible harm, according to the site. People should also become familiar with the top hurricane hazards:

storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding. A storm surge is a surge of water pushed toward the coast caused by hurricane winds, which results in a hurricane storm tide. Intense wind speeds can cause

A well-stocked hurricane preparedness kit should contain According to the National Hurricane Center Web site Water at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

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>> CONSERVATION

Saving the Sea Turtle One of the Oldest Sea Turtle Conservation Groups Began in Gainesville BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

T

hey date back to the age of the dinosaur. They are one of the longest living creatures on the earth. And they face extinction. The sea turtle’s decline, many conservation groups will say, is due to longline reef fish fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, and other human causes, including over-developed beaches, beach activity and marine pollution. In the U.S., Florida is home to

98 | Summer 2010

90 percent of all loggerhead sea turtle nesting areas and primarily all of green and leatherback nesting areas, according to the Caribbean Conservation Corporation. In the last decade, more than 40 percent of these nesting areas have decreased. Six of the seven species of sea turtles are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and the CCC, one of the most notable and oldest sea turtle conservation

organizations in the world, is working to get the turtles off the list. The CCC, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, sits right in the heart of Gainesville. Recently named by the Smithsonian as one of the best marine conservation success stories in the world, the CCC has programs across the state of Florida and in the Caribbean that track and protect sea turtles. Sea turtles are not only one of the oldest species on the planet


PHOTO BY DAVID SCHRICHTE, COURTESY OF THE CCC

Green turtles are the second largest sea turtle and often nest in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, the largest nesting spot for these turtless in the western hemisphere. The CCC’s Tortuguero program was recently named one of the most successful marine conservation programs in the world by the Smithsonian Institute.

A baby turtle making its way to the ocean for the first time. Only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood

— dating back to the dinosaur age — but they are also an important resource to the world. They are the only large sea animals that bring nutrients from the sea back to the land through the nesting process,

said CCC Director David Godfrey. UF Professor Archie Carr, the leading authority on sea turtles, was the founding scientific director of the CCC, a role he filled until his death in 1987. His book, “Windward

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Road” began the sea turtle movement across the country. The Tortuguero Green Turtle Program, a Costa Rica sea turtle conservation program that Carr began, singlehandedly continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 99


B

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CCC

People line up to watch the Launch of the 2008 Tour de Turtles in Melbourne Beach, Fl.

started the Costa Rica National Park movement, said Rocio Johnson, CCC communications and marketing coordinator. But although Carr made huge accomplishments in sea turtle conservation, and the CCC has recently had success with legal action against many of the fisheries charged with illegally killing sea turtles, the danger to sea turtles is far from over, Johnson said. According to the CCC, sea turtle nesting areas have been altered by overdevelopment on Florida’s beaches. Things such as seawalls, sandbags, artificial lighting, driving on the beach and beach furniture (cabanas, umbrellas, boats, beach cycles, etc.), harm the nesting process. One of the biggest setbacks to sea turtles is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that began April 20. At one point, more than 200,000 gallons of oil a day leaked from the exploded oilrig. At press time, the oil spill was suspected to travel

100 | Summer 2010

around Florida’s coast. The oil spill is not limited to harming just the nesting process, though. The spill can negatively affect every aspect of a sea turtle’s life. According to the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, sea turtles are very sensitive to chemicals. Exposure to oil increases egg mortality and developmental defects, in addition to direct mortality due to oiling in hatchlings, juveniles and adults. Unfortunately, sea turtles began nesting on May 1, in the aftermath of the oil spill, Johnson said. One of the biggest concerns is that the oil will get caught in the Gulf Current and travel up Florida’s Gulf Coast and back up the Atlantic, all prime nesting spots and habitats for sea turtles. While male sea turtles rarely return to the land after hatching on the beach, each spring and summer female sea turtles come ashore to nest. Most return to nest on the beach where they hatched and continue to come back to that spot each year,

This online educational event follows the migration of ten sea turtles as they race to be the first to complete the distance from their nesting beaches to unknown feeding grounds. People can watch the turtle’s migration online at www.tourdeturtles.org or in person from various locations. The 2010 Tour de Turtles will take place July 31 to Aug. 1.

sometimes within a hundred yards of their last nesting spot. Sea turtles usually nest twice in a season and lay 80 to 120 eggs each time. Nesting typically occurs at night, making it important for beach-goers in common nesting spots to leave their lights off (car, hotel or condo) in the evening. According to the CCC, when the turtle finds a nesting site, she constructs a “body pit.” Digging with her flippers, she lays her eggs within the pit and then pushes the sand continued on page 102

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o continued from page 100 back over the top. Turtles often throw sand in all directions to keep predators, such as raccoons, away from the eggs. The eggs hatch in about 60 days, but many of the baby sea turtles do not make it to the sea quickly enough. Many die of dehydration or are caught by birds or crabs. Only about one in 1,000 baby turtles survive to adulthood, according to information from the CCC. Because sea turtles spend most of their life in the sea and only return to lay eggs, the nesting process is one of the few ways scientist can gain information about them, Godfrey said. The most common way to learn about sea turtles is by monitoring them. In 1950, Carr began a tagging and monitoring system. Each summer, he returned to Tortuguero, Costa Rica to check on the turtles he marked. Carr’s monitoring program has evolved over the years, and the CCC

now has equipment to keep better track of the turtles. New technology, such as satellite telemetry, allows the CCC to monitor turtles in a more efficient way. Although the monitoring program has helped answer many questions about a sea turtle’s life, it has also revealed the importance of protecting them from natural and human threats. The CCC also takes research volunteers to its Tortuguero field station each year to help biologists at the Black Sand Beach collect data on the nesting turtles. The program is another way the CCC learns about sea turtles. Volunteers stay at the field station in Costa Rica for one to two weeks. The CCC usually takes 110 to 120 a year, Godfrey said. “[Sea turtles] move us,” Godfrey said. “We save what moves us.” The CCC’s Tour de Turtles also helps educate the public about nesting sea turtles. Each year, this online educational event occurs across a 26.2-mile stretch in Florida. Sea turtles are outfitted

with transmitters that signal each time the turtle surfaces for the air. People can visit www.tourdeturtles. org to follow the migrations of the turtles from their nesting beach to unknown feeding grounds. The 2010 Tour de Turtles takes place July 31 through Aug. 1, Johnson said. In 1993, the CCC launched the Sea Turtle Survival League program, designed to more effectively address threats facing sea turtles in the U.S. One of the STSL’s accomplishments is the establishment of the sea turtle license plates in Florida that fund the state’s sea turtle management program. However, since the license renewal fee has doubled, Johnson said sales have decreased by about 70 percent. The economy and recent oil spill are not the only things hurting the turtles this year, though. The climate caused the sea turtles to take quite a hit compared to other years. The especially cold

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PHOTO BY DAVID GODFREY, COURTESY OF CCC

Six out of seven of the sea turtle species are endangered, including the Green Sea Turtle (above, located at ChiriquÌ Beach, Panama). Sea Turtles are one of the oldest creatures on the earth but are facing extinction because of overdeveloped beaches, beach activity, commercial fishing, illegal sea turtle trade, harvest for consumption, climate change and marine pollution. More information on sea turtles can be found www.cccturtle.org.

weather that swept through Florida throughout the early months of the year caused sea turtles to become “cold-stunned,” forcing them to the shore in mid-January, about two months earlier than usual. According to the “Velador,” the CCC’s newsletter, the turtles have been subjected to sub-freezing temperatures. Because turtles are

cold-blooded and cannot regulate their body temperature, the cold waters leave them almost lifeless. According to the “Velador,” 4,592 sea turtles — mostly juvenile green turtles — were harmed by the drop in temperatures. The CCC, along with other rescue and sea turtle conservation groups, worked to keep the turtles warm. The

turtles filled any extra space in the facilities. Turtles were wrapped in blankets and others placed in small pools. About 948 turtles died from the cold. The CCC helped provide funding for the facilities most in need of financial support for treating the cold-stunned turtles. Part of the funding continued on next page

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came from turtle license plate funds, according to the “Velador.” All sea turtles, except for the leatherback sea turtle, have the characteristic hard shell. Sea turtles

The leatherback is the largest sea turtle, dives the deepest and travels the farthest. do not have teeth or visible ears. Instead, the jaw is a modified beak, and the eardrums are covered by skin. Not surprisingly, their underwater vision is excellent but they are nearsighted out of water, according to the CCC Sea Turtle Survival Guide booklet. The loggerhead sea turtle is

seen most often in the U.S. and is the only species not listed as endangered, however, it is classified as threatened. The majority of loggerhead nesting takes place within the Archie Carr Wildlife Refuge along Florida’s Atlantic Coast from Melbourne Beach to Wabasso Beach. The hawksbill sea turtle is endangered primarily because of its beautiful shell. People kill the turtle and use the shell to make jewelry and other products. This species of sea turtle is no longer found in large numbers anywhere, unlike the green turtle, which nests primarily in Tortuguero, Costa Rica — the largest nesting site in the western hemisphere. The leatherback sea turtle is the king of sea turtles, according to the CCC. The leatherback is the largest sea turtle, dives the deepest and travels the farthest. The turtles feed almost exclusively on jellyfish. The most endangered sea turtle is the Kemp’s Ridley. The only

major breeding site is Rancho Nuevo, Mexico. Each species is unique and found in particular areas around the world. But throughout the CCC’s 51 years of sea turtle conservation, it has found at least one common bond in all seven species — they are all facing extinction. To help protect the turtles, people can reduce the amount of plastic garbage they produce, reduce the amount of chemicals they use, buy a sea turtle license plate, or adopt a turtle through the Sea Turtle Survival League. Becoming more informed abut sea turtles and being aware of the problems they face are good ways to protect them. “We can be a part of the cycle, [too],” Johnson said. “We just have to preserve it. Every citizen in Florida has the opportunity.” s For more information about helping sea turtles, the CCC or the Sea Turtle Survival League, visit www.cccturtle.org.

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A 2005 study by Robin Kowalski, Ph.D. and others shows that girls are twice as likely to be cyberbullied as boys. On the flip side, girls are also twice as likely to be perpetrators of cyberbullying as boys. Almost half of kids who are cyberbullied experience it at the hands of their friends. Much like conventional bullying, cyberbullying manifests in many forms. Nancy Willard with the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet (www.cyberbully.org) has developed the following cyberbullying categories. Flaming is when two or more individuals are involved in a brief, heated exchange via any communication technology, usually in an electronic setting where others can see. Cyber Harassment occurs when repetitive, offensive messages are sent to a bully’s target. Most often the messages are in private communications such as email. Denigration is the spread of derogatory or untrue information. Example: posting or sending digitally altered photos, especially to portray the target in a sexualized or harmful manner. Impersonation occurs when a perpetrator poses as the target — often by using the victim’s account passwords — and then communicates negative, cruel or inappropriate information with others to hurt the target. Outing is when sensitive, often embarrassing information about a target is shared with others. With this form of cyberbullying, the target’s messages that

contain private information or images are forwarded. Trickery goes hand-in-hand with outing. It involves tricking the target into revealing personal information and then sharing it with others. Exclusion or Ostracism refers to barring a target from the “in-group.” This can occur in any passwordprotected setting. Alternatively, the target may just be removed from a buddy lists or a bully may simply refuse to accept the target’s friend request on a social networking site.

It can happen day or night, and home is not a refuge. Cyberstalking is like cyber harassment, but the target receives more threatening communications.

As a parent, what can you do to prevent cyberbullying? • Keep your home computer where you can see it. Try the kitchen or the living room. • Talk regularly with your kids about their online activities. Have discussions about cyberbullying and encourage your child to tell you immediately if he or she is a victim. Discuss bystander behavior. Encourage your child to speak out against cyberbullying continued on page 109

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o continued from page 107 if they witness it and to report cyberbullying to you. Let your child know that cyberbullying is unacceptable and be clear about the consequences they’ll face should you catch them cyberbullying. Tell your child that you’ll review his or her online communications if you find a reason for concern. • Install parental control filtering software or tracking programs where you can. Remember that these tools are helpful, but they aren’t fail-proof!

• Contact your school. The cyberbullying may be occurring through your school district’s Internet system. • If you decide to contact a cyberbully’s parents, proceed cautiously and communicate with them in writing. Face-to-face communication is not recommended. In your written communication, provide proof of the cyberbullying (e.g., copies of offensive e-mail messages) and ask them to ensure that the cyberbullying stops and all posted materials are removed. • If your child is experiencing deep emotional distress, get help immediately.

What if my child is experiencing cyberbullying? Your response should depend on the nature and severity of the cyberbullying. Robin Kwowalski, Ph.D. and Patricia Walton Agatston, Ph.D., co-authors of “Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age,” suggest the following tips: • Save the evidence. Print copies of the messages. Take screen shots. Use the save feature on IM. • If it’s a first offense and it’s minor — ignore, delete or block the sender. • If an offensive or fake link of your child is on a social networking Web site, report it. You can look under the Web site’s help section for reporting instructions or go to www.cyberbullyhelp.com/Help Tips for Reporting Offensive Profiles.pdf. • Check out your kids’ online presence. Search your child’s name occasionally in search engines.

Contact the police if cyberbullying involves: • • • • •

Violent threats Extortion Obscene or harassing phone calls or text messages Harassment, stalking, or hate crimes Child pornography. If the school becomes involved, make sure that school staff doesn’t hold a joint meeting with your child and the bully. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, bullying is a form of victimization, not a conflict. It should not be mediated. For more information about cyberbullying, please go to www. cyberbullying.org or www.cyberbullyhelp.com/Cyber%20 Bullying%20Guide%20for%20Parents.pdf. Kendra Siler-Marsiglio, Ph.D. is the Director of the Rural Health Partnership at WellFlorida Council.

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>> EXCELLENCE

Up to the Challenge Newberry High School Students Win National Competition BY CHRIS WILSON

N

ewberry High School students are affecting environmental change locally, while winning competitions across the country. Ten Newberry students recently placed first in three nationwide competitions that are part of the 2009-2010 Lexus Environmental Challenge Contest, sponsored by Toyota and Scholastic. NHS is the only school in the nation to earn a sweep of first place finishes in all three Eco Challenge contests

110 | Summer 2010

in the 2009-10 year. For the past three years, NHS teams have finished first place beating out more than 400 high schools in the country. This year, the Eco Challenge team called itself PANTHER (Providing a New Way To Help Environmental Restoration). Led by NHS science teacher Cynthia Holland, the team consisted of seniors Alex Black, Naomi Daniels, Shelby Deen, Kristi Duncan, Madison Karelas, Tiffany O’Connell, Katie Pabst, Courtney Ray,


PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON

The Newberry High School PANTHER Team pose for a photo on campus. Front row (l. to r.): Courtney Ray, Katie Pabst, Madison Karelas, Kristi Duncan. Back row: Dr. Cynthia Holland, Tiffany O’Connell, Shelby Deen, Brian Skipper, Naomi Daniels and Alexander Black. Not pictured, Cody Thomas.

Cody Thomas and Brian Skipper. “The format of the challenge is to find environmental problems in the community, research background information, develop an action plan of how they’ll solve the problem, and get help from the community,” Holland said. “They also have to educate and evaluate the effectiveness of their program.” Each challenge lasted five weeks. The Newberry team created Web sites to document their work and to submit its entry to the Lexus Eco Challenge. Each team also had to submit a PowerPoint presentation documenting the challenge.

Challenge 1: Deforestation and Reforestation The PANTHERS gave away 1,500 longleaf pine seedlings to help reforest the urban area around Newberry and planted more than 500 seedlings at the Watermelon Pond environmental area and the Marlowe Organic Farm.

“They did a presentation to the Newberry City Commission to make Newberry a member of Tree City USA,” Holland said. “The city voted to accept the proposal, so now Newberry will become a Tree City.” Holland said the city tree board will plant more trees and will look carefully at which trees are going to be cut down. “We got to make an impact on our city by making Newberry a Tree City,” Katie Pabst said. “It’s something that will last.” For the education component of the first challenge, the NSH team visited Newberry Elementary School to teach the students about tree identification. For their first place finish, the team won $10,000, including $7,000 in scholarship money for the students to split, $2,000 for NSH and $1,000 for Holland.

Challenge 2: Air and Climate For the second challenge, NHS focused on helping Newberry ‘go green’ for the holidays. “There’s tons and tons of waste at Christmas, whether it’s electricity or paper products,” Holland said. The team did a number of public service announcements to educate the students. It entered the school’s talent contest with an eco-green Christmas song, sung to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” with lyrics about being ‘green,’ continued on next page

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The three-hour walk-athon, which drew more than 60 participants, raised money for to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program through Proctor and Gamble. which took third place. The Lexus Challenge students created an eco-friendly Christmas tree in the school’s front office, with all-natural ornaments and LED lights. The team also went to Oak View Middle School, where they taught students about carbon footprints. “All of this ties in action, education and helping the community,” Holland said. Again, the team took first place and received the same monetary prize as in the first challenge. Because the team won the second challenge of the year, members were invited to enter the invitation-only final challenge.

The Final Challenge For the final contest, teams were allowed to either expand upon one of the challenges they had already completed or to create an entirely new project. “The students decided that since they hadn’t done anything about water, they wanted to do something about aquatic habitats and vanishing wetlands,” Holland said. The NHS team again visited the students at Newberry Elementary School to teach them about the importance of invertebrates found in wetlands. The team created activity books with mazes and puzzles for the younger students. The PANTHERS also went to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park to spend a morning educating the public about invasive species of plants and invertebrate species and created a clean water campaign about preventing pollution into the Florida aquifer. “The water challenge was my favorite,” said senior Brian Skipper. “I liked going to Paynes Prairie and helping to educate people.” The biggest part of the challenge was the team’s “Gallons of Love Walk For Haiti.” The three-hour walk-a-thon, which drew more than 60 participants, raised money for to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water program through Proctor and Gamble. “We wanted them to buy water purification packets,” Holland said. “Each packet costs ten cents and will purify 11 liters of water. We sent $950 to the company,

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which is enough to provide 33 families for an entire year with clean water. They did a phenomenal job.” The PANTHERS won first place again. The team won $15,000 for winning the final challenge, including $10,000 for the students to split, $3,000 for NHS and $2,000 for Holland. The team’s grand total: $35,000 for the school year. Senior Alex Black said he enjoyed being able to help educate younger children in Newberry. “Learning about the environment with your friends was great,” Black said. “But, teaching little kids about water, waste and the Florida aquifer was a lot of fun for me.” Holland said it was all well-deserved, as the team often worked seven days per week on the project. “They worked hard every day after school. [For] events on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons we got together at my house,” Holland said. “In the final challenge, we spent more than 400 hours.” The team also helps the NHS teachers decide where the money for the school will be spent. The money has been used for projectors, televisions, cameras, calculators, textbooks and a range of other supplies and materials, Holland said. “They thought the money was great, but what was better was that they had adults listening to them,” Holland said. “They learned that they have a voice and that their voices carry weight. It was very powerful for them.” s

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>> HISTORIC SITE

The Little Red Schoolhouse A Big Part of Newberry’s History BY CHRIS WILSON

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he footprints of yesteryear can be seen in the floorboards. Some of the creaky stairs are bent from the pounding feet of schoolchildren as they plodded down toward the front door of the school towards freedom in the Florida sunshine. The Little Red Schoolhouse was built in 1909 when Newberry was a boomtown, thanks in large part to its phosphate mines. The school housed grades

116 | Summer 2010

Kindergarten through 12 under one roof and on two stories until the first Newberry High School (now torn down) was built. The Little Red Schoolhouse was then used for elementary school students only and was in operation until the late 1960s. In June 2002, the Little Red Schoolhouse was reopened and named to the National Register of Historic Places. Currently, the Little Red Schoolhouse


and Dudley Farm are the only museums dedicated to the history of Newberry, although local history buffs can find historic photos inside Newberry’s City Hall. “When [the Little Red Schoolhouse] was done being used as a school, it was just sitting here,” said longtime Newberry resident Linda Woodcock. Woodstock was on the committee that helped get the building renovated and named to the National Register of Historic Places. “The county had been demolishing old buildings and getting rid of them. People in the city of Newberry wanted to keep [the Little Red Schoolhouse]. They made a deal with the county. They swapped some land the city had close to the high school and the county gave the city this building.” Woodcock said that after the property was transferred to the city, the building remained vacant for a long time. One of the many things for which Newberry is known is its annual Watermelon Festival. The funds raised at the festival, which totaled about $20,000 over a number of years, were donated to the restoration of the building. “That was very slow going,” Woodcock said. “We only raised but a few thousand dollars each year. We would get something done [to the building] and somebody would vandalize it. It was very frustrating.” In 1999, the city of Newberry was awarded a grant from the state of Florida for $275,000 to renovate and restore the Little Red Schoolhouse. An oversized version of that check is on display inside the building. “We had to meet guidelines for [disabilities] by putting in an elevator,” Woodcock said. “We had to build a separate unit [onto the school] just for the elevator.” Central heat and air was installed. Some of the wood flooring in the building had to be replaced. “Jim Sewell was so wonderful, he searched out flooring that really matched,” Woodcock said. “Where he had to patch it, you can’t really tell. He practically saved this building. I can’t express how much gratitude we owe him for his work on this building.” Sewell, who worked in the city’s planning department and had a contractor’s license, oversaw the renovation. Prior to the renovation, the northeast corner of the roof had leaked. The project began by putting a new roof on the building. When the restoration was complete, the Little Red

Schoolhouse became a museum and government offices. The second story is mostly offices for the city of Newberry’s planning department. Having government offices in the same facility allows the building to remain open, but secure, on weekdays, which affords people the opportunity to stop in for a visit. The museum is on the first floor of the building,

PHOTOS BY CHRIS WILSON

ABOVE: Built in 1909, Newberry’s Little Red Schoolhouse remained in operation until the late 1960s.

PREVIOUS PAGE: The classroom and museum at the Little Red Schoolhouse is set up the way it looked in 1909. While the furnishings in the room are not original to the schoolhouse, the chalkboard at the front of the class is the original board.

where a room has been recreated to look like a 1909 classroom. The original chalkboard is intact, but the furnishings are not original Little Red Schoolhouse desks and chairs. There are cases with old report cards and newspaper articles. There are old yearbook pages on display. Past Newberry sports teams have some recognition in the room. Photos of the former Little Red Schoolhouse teachers and students line the walls. “The rooms used to have multiple grades of students in the same class,” said Woodcock, a forner Little Red Schoolhouse student. “The teachers would have some of the older students help teach the younger ones. That would reinforce what the older students had learned and it would give the teacher a few minutes to work with another level of students.” One thing that the continued on page 119

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Summer 2010 | 117


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o continued from page 117 classrooms did not have was air conditioning. But, at the time the schoolhouse was serving the community, most homes in Newberry did not have air conditioning either. “The teacher used to check to make sure we had our gnat sticks,” Woodcock said. “It was like a ChapStick and you rubbed it on your cheeks and on your forehead to keep bugs off when the windows were open.” There is also an old case full of items found when workers dug into the ground during the restoration process. Old glass bottles, a dated cigarette package, used pencils, worn-out magazines and other memorabilia are now on display in the classroom. The second story has one room that is more of a work in progress, dedicated mainly to Newberry’s agricultural history. Storyboards about the Newberry tobacco farmers show how the crop was farmed and sent to market. There is a case of souvenirs from the Newberry Watermelon Festival. Still, perhaps the most fascinating aspects of visiting the old Little Red Schoolhouse can be found in its floors, walls and wooden archways. This is where visitors can see the footprints, imagine the shouts of students and the echoing voices of teachers from years past who helped shape Newberry’s future. s The Little Red Schoolhouse is open to the public Monday through Friday. There is no admission fee.

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>> LOCAL TREASURE

Cave Diving High Springs: Home to Some of the Most Popular Cave Diving Spots in the World BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

I

t is like swimming through the Grand Canyon. It is the like flying. It is swimming through the veins of the earth. That is how divers describe cave diving. Although many may not know it, the High Springs area has more concentrated springs than any other place in the world.

122 | Summer 2010

The High Springs area is home to many freshwater springs that brings divers from all around the world to cave dive, including one of the world’s best divers, Jill Heinerth. Heinerth moved to High Springs from Canada simply to be closer to the springs. Named a living legend by “Sports Diving” magazine, Heinerth has been cave

diving around the world, including Antarctica, where she was the first person to dive inside an iceberg. “High Springs is the mecca for cave divers,” Heinerth said. “Nowhere in the world can you find so many springs. Local folks don’t generally understand how rare our springs are.” Out of the 600 known springs


PHOTOS BY GUE/DAVID RHEA

PREVIOUS PAGE: The Ginnie Spring basin is a large, bowl-shaped depression measuring over 100 feet across and 15 feet deep, according to the Ginnie Springs Web Site. A 150-foot long run connects the basin to the nearby Santa Fe River.

ABOVE: Wakulla Springs is another popular diving spot in Florida. Located near Tallahassee, Wakulla Springs is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. Professional divers have explored the spring cavern to a depth exceeding 300 feet and a distance of 12,000 feet.

in Florida, 200 are close to High Springs’ geographic region. The more popular springs for cave diving tend to be Ginnie Springs, Little River, Peacock Springs, Manatee and Hart Springs. Other local springs, including Ichetucknee, Rum Island, Blue, Poe, Royal, Fanning, Otter and a myriad of others, are also accessible for cave diving, Heinerth said. The High Springs caves include thousands of feet of underwater passages and are about 100 feet deep. Although Heinerth said the

best part about the local springs is that each one is unique, Ginnie Springs is her favorite. “It’s why I moved here,” she said. Lloyd Bailey, who owns Lloyd Bailey Scuba and Watersports in Gainesville and has been giving scuba and cave diving lessons for 30 years, also said Ginnie was one of the best in the area. “Ginnie Springs is the jewel,” Bailey said. “Ginnie is the best.” At Ginnie Springs, the red water from the Santa Fe River and the blue water from the springs mix to create

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a rainbow of colors as you look up from the bottom, Heinerth said. “It’s out of this world,” she said. Both Bailey and Heinerth have trouble describing their underwater experience. They each said they have been diving so long it becomes a part of them — almost effortless. Heinerth said she equates cave diving to swimming through the veins of Mother Earth. When she cave dives, she is immersed in the lifeblood of the planet. Cave diving, however, takes years to develop. Without training, Bailey said, it is a dangerous sport. Heinerth dives about five days a week, often around High Springs, and before each dive she said she puts a lot of preparation into the dive. First, she plans the dive, including preparing the gear, picking a site and getting a diving buddy. Then she preps the gear, including assembling and checking all the equipment and filling the tanks with gas. After the gear is ready, she checks the site, inspects the entrance, the conditions and making a risk assessment with her diving buddy. Then she gets the gear on and tests all of the equipment in the water, including practicing sharing air with her buddy. Only after those steps does she dive. “It takes quite a bit of training and preparation for a cave dive,” Heinerth. “Some people train and practice for years before embarking on a cave diving class.” For safety, Heinerth takes three of everything when she is diving. Divers use less than a third of their air supply to enter a cave, saving the other two thirds to get out, in case they need to bring a buddy out safely because of equipment failure. “Redundancy is important for safety,” she said. “Your gear needs to be top notch and must be properly maintained. Mistakes cost lives.” There are important differences between cave diving and scuba diving. Unlike the difficult reputation scuba diving gets in movies, Bailey said continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 123


scuba is actually easy. As with cave diving, the most important part of scuba diving is the instruction. Bailey said scuba courses take about two weeks and begin in a swimming pool before moving to the springs. “”We’ve got a wonderful opportunity [in High Springs],” Bailey said of scuba diving. “People don’t know what they’re missing.” Cave diving is a much more developed skill than scuba diving. Cave diving is an academic sport, Bailey said. A cave diver must be aware of their surroundings, the approach they will take in a cave, decompression, the amount of gas they have, and a number of other things. Cave diving should also feel effortless. If cave divers are exerting physical effort, they are doing something wrong, Bailey said. “With training there is no sense of danger,” he said. “Without it, you’ll make the newspapers.” Many diving and scuba shops began in High Springs as a result of the area’s reputation as one of the best

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While the High Springs area is one of the most popular areas to cave dive, cave diving can be a very dangerous sport if divers are not prepared, said local cave diver Jill Heinerth. Divers take three of everything when diving.

diving spots in the world. Global Underwater Explorers is one such diving shop. The non-profit diving organization trains divers and explores caves, as well as emphasizes the importance of safety and conservation. “High Springs is one of the most sought after cave diving areas,” said Jarrod Jablonski, president of Global Underwater Explorers. “It’s a great area to learn how to dive.” Global Underwater Explorers trains about 1,000 people a year in scuba and cave diving, Jablonski said. Many of the people they train are internationals who come to High Springs specifically for the area’s springs. Global Underwater Explorers’ annual diving-oriented

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conference illustrates the wide variety of people who come to the area, Jablonski said. Last year, 43 countries were represented at the conference. However, the large number people traveling to Florida’s springs to learn to dive will have to step up to a challenge to be successful. The training involved in cave diving is rigorous and can be hard to keep up. Bailey said less than 50 percent of people continue diving after lessons. It is important that people who begin diving are interested in it enough to make a full commitment, he said. Bailey also said fully trained cave divers spend at least $5,000 on equipment, and those serious about scuba diving spend about $1,850 in training equipment and gear. “In 30 years, I’ve never seen someone become a diver without investing in the equipment,” Bailey said. Not everyone is meant to dive, however. People who get claustrophobic would not do well cave diving, Heinerth said. But that is not to say everyone who is scared of diving should not dive. There is a healthy amount of fear involved in cave diving, Heinerth said. Although it should not overcome you, it is a dangerous sport if you are not properly trained and prepared. The freshwaters springs, Bailey and Heinerth said, is another realm. As more scientists are exploring underwater caves, more is being about the life and environment inside them. Like the earth, each underwater cave varies. Some caves are smooth and sinuous while others are hard and iron-like, Heinerth said. “Some spaces are small — even coffin like,” she said. “Yet others spaces are large enough to put a house inside. The variety is endless.” Heinerth also said in order to protect the caves people must respect the environment. As pollution continues to become a bigger issue, it is manifesting itself more often in the springs. The green algae appearing more frequently at springs are a result of chemicals that have entered the water system through the ground. Chemicals and fertilizers used on lawns, Heinerth said, eventually seep into the ground and into the water system, causing algae in the springs. “We live in this incredible place, but it’s in danger,” Heinerth said. “[Springs] are precious gems that need to be protected from pollution and overdevelopment.” Although most people will never swim inside a cave and share a cave diver’s experiences, Heinerth said people should respect the world around them as well as the springs. The life inside the underwater caves in High Springs, as Heinerth and Bailey expressed, is out of this world. “Where else can you escape gravity?” Bailey said. “It’s beautiful. People have no idea what they’re missing.” s For more information visit: www.gue.com, www.jillheinerth.com, www.lloydbaileysscuba.com.

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352.333.8912 Summer 2010 | 127


WORSHIP CENTERS If we have left out a church or have incomplete / incorrect information, please let us know! Send your corrections by faxing 352-373-9178 or emailing editor@towerpublications.com. We welcome your contributions and suggestions.

HIGH SPRINGS ALLEN CHAPEL A.M.E. CHURCH 386-454-3574 10 S.E. MLK Drive Rev. Ocelia Wallace, Pastor ANDERSON MEMORIAL CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST 386-454-3433 935 SE Lincoln Ave. BETHLEHEM UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 386-454-1996 County Road 778 Pastor Clarence Desue CHRIST ANGLICAN FELLOWSHIP 386-454-1845 323 SW CR 778 Pastor Michael LaCagnina CHRISTIAN FAMILY WORSHIP CENTER 386-454-2367 220 NE 1ST Ave. Dr. Lloyd S. Williams CHURCH OF CHRIST 386-454-2930 520 NE Santa Fe Blvd. CHURCH OF GOD BY FAITH 386-454-1015 US Hwy 27 THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS 386-454-4282 24455 NW 174th Ave. Pres. Keith Brown HIGH SPRINGS CHURCH OF GOD 386-454-1757 210 NW 182 Ave. Pastor Terry W. Hull

128 | Summer 2010

FELLOWSHIP CHURCH 386-454-1700 16916 NW U.S. Hwy. 441 Pastor Jeff Powell FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH 386-454-1505 20112 North US Hwy. 441 Pastor J. Eddie Grandy FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 386-454-1037 205 North Main Street Pastor Glen A. Busby

MT CARMEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 386-454-4568 1230 NW 1st Ave. Pastor Byran Williams

ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 386-454-9812 1st Ave., next to city hall Rev. David Kidd

MT PLEASANT BAPTIST CHURCH 386-454-2161 29603 NW 142 AVE Pastor Steve Brooks

SPRING HILL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Located at High Springs exit 79 off I-75 North of Gainesville (on Old Bellamy Rd.) Pastor James Richardson

MOUNT OLIVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-454-3447 948 SE Railroad Ave.

ALACHUA

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH of HIGH SPRINGS 386-454-1255 17405 NW US Hwy 441 Pastor Richard Stauffer

THE NORTH EAST CHURCH OF CHRIST 4330 NE County Road 340 nechurchofchrist.net

ALACHUA CHURCH OF CHRIST 386-462-3326 14505 NW 145th Avenue Minister Doug Frazier

GRACE CHURCH OF HTE NAZARENE 386-454-9709 Santa Fe Blvd.

SAINT MADELEINE CATHOLIC CHURCH 386-454-2358 17155 NW Highway 441

ANTIOCH BAPTIST CHURCH 386-497-3121 Jordan Road (Ft. White)

HOLY TEMPLE CHURCH WITH GOD 386-454-0313 615 SE ML King Drive

SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH 352-497-2221 230 NW 1st Ave. Pastor Anthony Crawford

CHURCH OF GOD BY FAITH 386-462-2549 13220 NW 150th Ave.

IMPACT FAMILY CHURCH 386-454-1563 16710 NW US 441 Pastors Edwin & Angela Anderson JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES 386-454-3509 330 SE 7th Ave. MIRACLE TEMPLE CHURCH 386-454-4298 605 SE 1st Place THE MISSION CHURCH OF HIGH SPRINGS Meeting at the Seventh Day Adventist Building 230 NW 1st Ave. 352-870-0247 Pastor Keith Helsel

SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH 386-454-4978 Shiloh Church Rd. Pastor Earl Tuten SHILOH MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH 386-454-3126 1505 NW Main St. SPRING RIDGE FIRST CHURCH OF GOD 386-454-3600 5529 NE 52nd Place Pastor Todd L Wymer SPRINGRIDGE FIRST CHURCH OF GOD 386-454-4400 420 Spring Ave.

CRUSADERS FOR CHRIST, INC. 386-462-4811 NW 158th Ave. FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF ALACHUA 386-462-1337 14005 NW 146th Avenue Pastor Doug Felton FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF ALACHUA 386-462-2443 14805 NW 140th St. Pastor Dr. Adam Zele FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF ALACHUA 386-462-1549 14623 NW 140th St. Rev. Virginia McDaniel


FOREST GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-3921 22575 NW 94 Avenue GREATER NEW HOPE MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-4617 15205 NW 278th Ave. (Bland) HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE 386-462-2017 17306 NW 112th Blvd. HOPE COMMUNITY BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-2188 13719 NW 146th Avenue Pastor Eugene Polk LEGACY BAPTIST CHURCH 352-538-5595 255 S. Main St. Pastor John Jernigan LIVING COVENANT CHURCH 386-462-7375 Pastor Brian J. Coleman NEW OAK GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-3390 County Road 1491 Pastor Terry Elixson, Jr. NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF GOD AND CHRIST 386-462-4891 1310 NW 155 Place Pastor R. L. Cooper NORTH PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-3317 25330 NW CR 239 Pastor Edwin A. Gardner NEW SAINT MARY BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-7129 13800 NW 158th Ave.

PARADISE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF ALACHUA 386-462-0162 14889 Martin Luther King Boulevard & 135 Northwest Terrace Pastor Rev. James D. Johnson, Sr. SANTA FE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-7541 7505 NW CR 236 Pastor William Pruitt MT NEBO UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 386-418-1038 9975 NW 143rd St. Pastor Ricardo George Jr. NEW SHILOH BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-2095 18610 NW CR 237 NEW ST MARY BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-7129 13800 NW 158th Ave. OLD SHILOH MISSIONARY BAPTIST 386-462-4894 16810 NW CR 239 RIVER OF LIFE ASSEMBLY OF GOD 352-870-7288 14200 NW 148th Place Alachua, Fl 32615 Pastor Greg Evans ST LUKE AME CHURCH 386-462-2732 US Highway 441 South ST MATHEWS BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-2205 15712 NW140 Street Pastor Isaac Miles TEMPLE OF THE UNIVERSE 386-462-7279 15808 NW 90 Street www.tou.org WESTSIDE CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST 386-418-0649 15535 NW 141st St.

NEWBERRY ABIDING SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH 352-331-4409 9700 West Newberry Road BETHEL AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH 352-474-6215 23530 NW 3rd Ave. Pastor Theodora Black CHRISTIAN LIFE FELLOWSHIP 352-472-5433 Pastor Terry Fulton CHURCH OF GOD BY FAITH 352-472-2739 610 NW 2nd St. Pastor: Jesse Hampton THE CHURCH AT STEEPLECHASE 352-472-6232 Meeting at Sun Country Sports Center 333 SW 140th Terrace (Jonesville) Pastor Buddy Hurlston CORINTH BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-7770 5577 NW 290th St. Pastor Henry M. Rodgers FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF NEWBERRY 352-472-2351 25520 West Newberry Road Rev. Jack Andrews

JONESVILLE BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-3835 17722 SW 15th Ave. Pastor Corey Cheramie JOURNEY CHURCH 352-281-0701 22405 W. Newberry Road Milam Funeral Home Chapel Pastor Dr. Michael O’Carroll MT ZURA FULL GOSPEL BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-4056 225 NW 2nd Ave. Pastor Natron Curtis NEW ST PAUL BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-3836 215 NW 8TH Ave. Pastor Edward Welch NEWBERRY CHURCH OF CHRIST 352-472-4961 24045 West Newberry Road Minister Batsell Spivy DESTINY COMMUNITY CHURCH 352-472-3284 420 SW 250th Street Pastor Rocky McKinley OAK DALE BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-2992 Highway 26 and 241 South PLEASANT PLAIN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 352-472-1863 1910 NW 166TH St. Pastor Theo Jackson

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 352-472-4005 24845 West Newberry Road Pastor Kenneth Kleckner

ST JOSEPH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 352-472-2951 16921 West Newberry Road Pastor John DiLeo

GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH 352-472-9200 22405 W. Newberry Road Pastor Ty Keys

UNION BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-3845 6259 SE 75TH Ave Pastor Travis Moody

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 129


>> YEAR-ROUND FAMILY FUN

The Santa Fe River BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH

I

t is midday in mid-July in North Florida and she is outdoors. But, she is not complaining about the heat. She is nestled in her inner tube and slowly floating from one of Ginnie Springs’ protected grottos into the tea-colored waters of the Santa Fe River. The sun on her face actually feels good as it perfectly complements the cool river water. Thousands of visitors to the Santa Fe River and its springs share her experience every summer. The Santa Fe River actually begins in northeast Alachua County as outflow from Lake Santa Fe. From there it sluggishly winds through swamps and lowlands, gradually forming into a small slow-moving stream. By then it has entered O’Leno State Park, where summer campers and visitors can swim in its cool, crystal brown waters. A little farther downstream, it suddenly ends in a whirlpool. Swallowed by a sinkhole, direct

130 | Summer 2010

access into a large aquifer, it continues its sinuous flow underground. Above ground, it is occasionally spotted as some water percolates to the surface. But it maintains its underground flow for three miles until it surfaces at River Rise Preserve State Park. Now much larger, it resumes its journey

Olustee Creek contribute their flows to the Santa Fe, also. But, in the end, the Santa Fe is but a tributary of the renowned Suwanee River. The Santa Fe River flows for 75 miles before it joins the Suwanee. But, it is the last 30 miles that is most used for recreation. Most swimmers enjoy the river in the

The Santa Fe River flows for 75 miles before it joins the Suwanee. But, it is the last 30 miles that is most used for recreation. beneath overhanging trees and sunlight rather than under earth and lime rock. Dozens of springs feed the river. They range in size from small streamside seeps to the large, impressive springs we know by name. Poe, Ginnie, Hornsby, Lily, Rum Island and Gilchrist Blue springs all contribute cool crystal water. The Itchetucknee and New rivers and

summer when they can escape the oppressive heat and tolerate the cool water. However, the river offers year round recreation for boaters, anglers and divers. The parks offer riverside and spring access trails for hikers and both state parks welcome equestrians, too. The river is great for inexperienced canoeists and kayakers because of its slow current, lack of


PHOTO BY GEORGE DELOACH

Florida wildlife law protects these cooters and their eggs from collection and harvest. PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

A father and son fish at the High Springs Boat Ramp.

rapids and easy curves. Author and river guide Lars Andersen, coowner of Adventure Outpost in High Springs, leads and outfits groups on rivers throughout north Florida. “There are more turtles on this river than any other in the area... and fewer gators,” Anderson said. More turtles, calm waters and few gators should be very attractive to families with smaller children. Turtles are, after all, favorite objects

of amazement for young children. Andersen leads groups of all kinds on paddles down the Santa Fe River. Groups that are more curious may enjoy exploring the lesser channels that branch off the river. Local senior groups, including ones from Haile Plantation and Oak Hammock, employ Andersen for river excursions, also. But, his trips down the Santa Fe with people with physical

www.VisitOurTowns.com

challenges have been especially rewarding. He has helped amputees discover how to paddle despite missing limbs. Blind children explore the sounds, smells and touches of the river environment. Some people use Andersen’s service for drop off and pick up on the river as well as for renting gear. These independent paddlers frequently return with questions for him about continued on next page

Summer 2010 | 131


the animals and plants they saw on their journey. “There are lots of red-shouldered hawks and occasional osprey and swallow-tailed kites,” Andersen said. Paddlers frequently see woodpeckers, prothonotary warblers and great-horned owls. Campers enjoy nights of frog choruses and, perhaps, turkeys flying through the underbrush. Otters are occasionally spotted, and manatees, though rare, may sometimes be found at the lowest part of the river. Anglers find abundant redbreast sunfish and spotted sunfish (stumpknockers) in the middle to upper reaches of the Santa Fe River. Fallen trees and lots of submerged vegetation create great habitat for these tasty panfish. The river is more sluggish and shallow there than in the section below the rise. Most but not all individuals who fish these waters need to have freshwater fishing licenses, issued by the Florida Fish

and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The health of the Santa Fe’s springs and of the river itself is in peril. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Springs Initiative Web site the main problems are pollution, trash, water consumption and recreational impacts. These detriments conspire to degrade, ruin and eliminate spring flows that feed the river as well as degrading the river itself. Luckily, concerned individuals have opportunities to contribute positively to the health of the Santa Fe River and its springs. Everyone can aid in cleaning and conserving the water that they and the rivers and springs share. Both the Suwanee River and St. Johns River Water Management Districts provide information and educational materials about water conservation. Everyone should strive to be good land and water stewards when visiting the continued on page 134

Santa Fe River Parks & Boat Ramps

Ginnie Springs

O’Leno and River Rise Preserve State Parks

Blue Springs

410 S.E. O’Leno Park Road - High Springs, FL 32643 Phone: 386-454-1853

7450 NE 60th Street - High Springs, FL 32643 Phone: 386-454-1369

Itchetucknee River State Park

Ellie Ray’s River Landing

12087 S.W. U.S. 27 - Fort White, FL 32038 Phone: 386-497-4690

3349 NW 110th St. - Branford, FL 32008 Phone: 386-935-9518

Santa Fe Canoe Outpost

River Rise Boat Ramp

2025 NW Santa Fe Blvd. - High Springs, FL 32643 Phone: 386-454-2050

U.S. Hwy. 27 between Ft. White and High Springs Phone: 386-758-1019

Adventure Outpost

High Springs Boat Ramp

18238 NW U.S. Hwy. 441 - High Springs, FL 32643 Phone: 386-454-0611

At the end of NW 210th Lane Phone: 352-374-5245

Poe Springs Park and NatureQuest

Rum Island Boat Ramp

28800 NW 182nd Ave. - High Springs, FL 32643 Phone: 386-454-1992

Off county road 138 south of Ft. White Phone: 386-758-1019

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river and its springs. Try not to damage stream banks and vegetation. Do not disturb the wildlife, if possible. For instance, in the springtime, female turtles need to warm up in the sun before they can lay their eggs. This is difficult for them if people keep scaring them off their logs and into the cool water. Pick up after yourself. Let local authorities know if a public access facility such as a boat ramp or park has no trash bin. Clean aquatic weeds from boat propellers. Properly dispose of fishing line by first cutting it into short pieces and investigate monofilament recycling.

“There are more turtles on this river than any other in the area...and fewer gators,” Volunteer for clean-ups, community outreach and research projects that focus on the Santa Fe River and its springs. Current Problems, Inc. is a non-profit organization that has been cleaning up the Santa Fe River since 1993. Fritzi Olson, Executive Director of Current Problems, said in a telephone interview that the river “was pretty awful back then.” That was when a determined group of friends decided to spend a day picking up trash along the river. They did not stop there. Now, Olson said that the river is much cleaner because of the efforts of volunteers who take time to pick up trash along and in the river. Most volunteers include adults as well as high school and college students. Cave divers perform a vital function, too. They retrieve trash from deep in the water beyond the reach of snorkelers and swimmers. s For notices of upcoming clean-ups, field trips and other notable events, visit the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Working Group at sfspringswg.blogspot.com

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LIBRARY LISTINGS Alachua Branch 14913 NW 140 St. ............................................................................................................ 386-462-2592 High Springs Branch 135 NW First Ave..................................................................................................386-454-2515 Newberry Branch 110 South Seaboard Dr...............................................................................................352-472-1135 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON SCHEDULED EVENTS GO TO WWW.ACLD.LIB.FL.US

ALACHUA BRANCH PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES American Sign Language Basics Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. Beginners class to learn the manual, alphabet, basic word signs, ASL sentence structure and a brief history of Deaf culture. Class size is limited; pre-registration is required. Giving Tree Drum Circle Tues. 7/13, 3:30 p.m. Join in for a unique experience that can be shared by the whole family. Summer Reading Blast Thurs. 8/19, 2:30 p.m. Celebrate the end of the summer reading program with cake, magicians, and prizes.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN Preschool Story Time Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.

demonstrate butterflies through many stages of growth. Dragonfly Pond Thurs. 7/1, 2:30 p.m. Explore the web of life, getting to know the many critters living in a pond, based on the book “The Web at Dragonfly Pond” The Little Mermaid and The Prince Thurs. 7/8, 2:30 p.m. The classic tale of The Little Mermaid is re-enacted by young local actors in Carol Jackson’s Theater. Wave: Water in Action Thurs. 7/15, 2:30 p.m. See firsthand how objects travel along our waterways. Fire and Water Thurs. 7/22, 2:30 p.m. Visit with local firefighters as they demonstrate the importance of water in their work.

Jongluer Jugglers Thurs. 6/17, 2:30 p.m. The amazing Jongluer Jugglers will leave you breathless with their dazzling feats!

B-Magic! Thurs. 7/29, 2:30 p.m. Marvel at unbelievable tricks as B-Magic combines his masterful sleight-of-hand with words of wisdom for children.

Butterfly Flutterby Thurs. 6/24, 2:30 p.m. Molly the Monarch demonstrates how we can provide water to butterflies and will

Water is My Home: Amphibians Thurs. 8/5, 2:30 p.m. Come see and learn about frogs, toads, newts, and

136 | Summer 2010

salamanders, presented by John Anderson with the Florida Museum of Natural History. Water and Art in the Library Thurs. 8/12, 2:30 p.m. Come prepared to experiment with watercolors - use water to color your world.

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS PS3 Game Day Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. Check out a controller and join the fun at THE SPOT Wii-Day at THE SPOT Wednesdays, 2:00 p.m. Check out a controller and join the fun Battle of the Books! Meeting Wednesdays, 4:00 p.m. Teen book talk - Battle of the Books!

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS Hatha Yoga Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Come join us for one hour of Hatha Yoga taught with an emphasis on mindfulness, individuality and proper alignment all in a non-competitive atmosphere. Be sure to bring your own mat.

Computer Class Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. Learn basic computer skills. Seating is limited; first come first served. Pilates Classes by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Pilates focuses on building strength without bulk, improving flexibility and agility and helping to prevent injuries. Zumba Classes by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. Researching Your Family Tree: An Introduction to Genealogy Sun. 6/27, 2:30 p.m. Discover your unique place in history by tracing your family tree with experienced genealogist, Katherine Yates.

HIGH SPRINGS BRANCH PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES Crafter’s Circle Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. Any non-messy craft may join this group


Gentle Carousel Therapy Horses Tues. 6/15, 2:30 p.m. Join Jorge for an afternoon of fun with miniature therapy horses.

sleight-of-hand with words of wisdom for children.

PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES An Ocean of Fun

filled with stories,

Crafty Clique Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. Come crochet, knit, quilt or scrapbook with fellow crafting enthusiasts

songs and games.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN

Jongluer Jugglers

Make a Reading Splash! Tuesdays, 2:30 p.m. We will entertain and delight you with selections from the summer reading program list.

Tues. 7/27, 2:30 p.m. Learn How to Crochet a Rag Rug Wed. 6/16, 2:30 p.m. Recycle your old fabric and learn how to turn it into a traditional rag rug.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN

Explore an ocean full of fun with Miss Mary during an afternoon

Tues. 8/10, 2:30 p.m. The amazing Jongluer

Preschool Story Time Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m. Ronald’s Reading Ranger Tues. 6/8, 2:30 p.m. Ronald McDonald performs magic tricks, tells jokes, and reads to kids.

Jugglers will leave you breathless with their dazzling feats!

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Battle of the Books!

Held June 17 through August 12 in preparation for the “Big Battle”

The Great Jodini Tues. 7/6, 2:30 p.m. Jodini enchants the children with her puppets and magic. High Seas Adventure Tues. 7/13, 2:30 p.m. Join Mary for adventure on the high seas with songs, stories, and lots of fun. B-Magic! Tues. 7/20, 2:30 p.m. Marvel at unbelievable tricks as B-Magic combines his masterful

Splish Splash Water Crafts Wednesdays, 2:30 p.m. Water in the library! Find out what’s so cool about that.

Afternoon at the Movies Thursdays, 3:00 p.m.

Clifford the Big Red Dog Wed. 6/30, 2:30 p.m. Join Pam Shamel from WUFT-TV for an afternoon of Summer fun.

Preschool Story Time Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Thursdays, 5:30 p.m.

Magic Mike Tues. 6/22, 2:30 p.m. Kids of all ages will be astonished by the fantastical tricks for this magician extraordinaire.

NEWBERRY BRANCH

(6/24 - 8/12) Escape the heat and chill out watching favorite movies and

DIDG Revolution Sat. 6/12, 3:00 p.m. One of a kind, Australian-themed presentation to kick off Summer Reading Program.

new releases on the big screen.

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS

Go Fishing Day! Fridays, 2:30 p.m. Help fill up our “fish tank” with brightlycolored fish crafts.

Mystery Reading Group Monthly on third Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Cheesemaking Workshop Thurs. 6/16, 6:30 p.m. Learn how to make simple cheeses at home. Register online or by calling 386-454-2515.

Science Mike Sat. 7/17, 3:00 p.m. Seeing-is-believing in this magical science show that explores toys, puzzles and optical illusions. Jongluer Jugglers Sat. 8/14, 3:00 p.m. The amazing Jongluer Jugglers will leave you breathless with their dazzling feats.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Monday Summer Movie Blast Mondays, 2:30 p.m. Get your chill on at the library with a popular movie. Battle of the Books! Team Meeting Tuesdays, 4:00 p.m. Become a member of our first ever Battle of the Books! Newberry Team and compete against other branches in a final tournament for prizes. Panther Den Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. Beginning June 23. Water Your Imagination Thursdays, 2:30 p.m. Make waves ‘n’ Rock the boat ‘n’ Get some ocean commotion going on! Battle of the Books! Bowl Sat. 8/14, All Day Represent Newberry at the final Battle of the Books Bowl and compete for prizes.

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS History Buffs Monthly on second Sunday, 3:00 p.m. Join this informal gathering to talk about the history of Newberry. Tempting Reads Wed. 6/23, 6:00 p.m. Book club discussions featuring popular and recently published books.

ALACHUA COUNTY LIBRARY DISTRICT LIBRARY BRANCHES WILL BE CLOSED: SUNDAY, JULY 4 & MONDAY, JULY 5 (INDEPENDENCE DAY) Summer 2010 | 137


1 2

3

4 PHOTOS 1-3 BY FOOTSTONE PHOTOGRAPHY

1. The train ride through the Town Center at the Tioga Town Fair has been a hit in past years. The event, which is in its third year, will raise money for the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation.

2 + 3. Activities at the annual Sebastian Ferrero Foundation fundraiser held at Tioga Town Center include rock climbing, bounce houses and a petting zoo. PHOTO 4 BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

4. Members of the band Tropix.

138 | Summer 2010


>> TIOGA

Tunes, Flicks & Fun! BY CHRIS WILSON

Tioga Town Square Becomes Music, Movie & Event Central This Summer

T

here will be plenty to do in Jonesville throughout the summer, thanks to a number of weekly, monthly and special events being held at Tioga Town Center. The recently constructed Tioga Town Square, which sits in the center of the shopping and apartment complex, will host a wide range of community activities.

Tioga Town Square The Tioga Town Square was part of the original design of Tioga Town Center, according to Tioga Town Center director of marketing and leasing Grace Lambert-Horvath. “The Town Square will be a place for community events, live music, movies and other family-friendly activities,” Lambert-Horvath said. “From a marketing perspective, it will make the Town Center a destination and not just a shopping center. It will be a place where people can come for a good time, a bite to eat, to meet with friends or neighbors in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.” The Town Square already has hosted a couple of events, including the annual Winter Fine Arts Fair at Tioga and the Tioga Town Center Run for Haven Hospice. The Fine Arts Fair attracted more than 100

artists from around the country and thousands of visitors from the area for a juried art show in February. Lambert-Horvath said about 500 people turned out for the 5K and 10K runs that raised money for Haven Hospice in March. “Not all of our events will have that many people in attendance,” she said. “The family-friendly concerts and movies will be smaller scale, low-key events that are attractive to people in the immediate area. Other organizations have a larger draw from their supporters who will travel for miles just to attend the events.” Other events being planned for the Town Square include the Tioga Town Fair, which benefits the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, the weekly Tioga Farmer’s Market, which is held on Monday

Family Concert Series June 27: Dotti South & The Slackers 4-piece Americana Country Blues band featuring Dotti South on vocals and bass, Bob Leichner on drums, Ted Patrick on keys & vocals and Bruce Miller on guitar and vocals. July 25: Klezmer Kats Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre consists largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations. August 29: Tropix The band plays old and new Latin music and American dancing standards that have been reworked with a Latin rhythm.

Movie Nights on the Lawn June 11: Chicken Run (Rated G) July 9: Jumanji (Rated PG) Aug. 13: Monster House (Rated PG)

continued on next page

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Summer 2010 | 139


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Music On The Square Music on the Square is being planned as a monthly event at the Tioga Town Square. The premier concert was held on May 30, when Gruv Therapy jammed for the Memorial Day weekend audience. The event will be held from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month, at least through August. “The Music on the Square will be likely to continue annually,” Lambert-Horvath said. “We started the day before Memorial Day, when there was no work the next day.” The remaining concerts will be held on June 27, July 25 and August 29.

Tropix To Play August 29 Concert Alachua County often feels like a tropical place by the end of August. Tropix, a local Latin fusion band, is sure to heat up the stage when it plays the August 29 Music on the Square concert at the Tioga Town Square. The six-piece band already has played at the venue for the Parade of Homes Kickoff Party held in the spring. “That was a different show than we usually put on,” continued on next page said bandleader Gilberto

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de Paz, who plays guitar, keyboard and sings in the band. “It was all instrumental music. But, the acoustics were really good. I brought a very simple [amplifier] set-up and it sounded really good.” But, a seemingly different band will take the stage in August. “We are most definitely a high-energy band and we play dance music,” de Paz said. “We can slow it down and do some slow songs, which we do at weddings. But, usually for an event like the one at Tioga, we will keep it full of energy.” Each player in Tropix plays two to three different instruments, sometimes throughout the course of one song. The band plays old and new Latin music and American dancing standards, such as “Celebration,” “I Will Survive,” and Marc Anthony’s “I Need To Know,” that have been reworked with a Latin rhythm. De Paz has been playing in bands in Gainesville since he went to the University of Florida in the early 1980s. His first band Sit Tiempo, which played a lot of 1960s music, had played at most venues in downtown Gainesville, such as Lillian’s Music Store.

Proceeds from the Fair will benefit the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation After the band mates went their separate ways, de Paz wanted to begin a more family-oriented group. His daughter Laura and wife Brunilda are also singers in Tropix. The other members of the band are Jose Rivera Cepeda (congas, timbal and trumpet), Waldemar Cabrera (vocals and percussion) and Ross Henderson (bongos and percussion). “For so many years, I was hardly home on weekends because we were playing gigs,” de Paz said. “It’s great to have them with me now. It’s especially rewarding to have my daughter up on stage, singing with me. I’m very proud of her.” Tropix will play at the Tioga Music on the Square on Sunday, August 29, 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Family Movie Night The Tioga Town Square also will play host to a family movie night each month during the summer months. The movies will be shown on a big screen in the Square on the second Friday of each month, beginning at dark. The dates for the films are June 11, July 9 and August 13. While the titles had yet to be announced, Lambert-Horvath said that all movies will be appropriate for family viewing. Food and drink will be available for purchase at each of the shows. Families are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.

Tioga Town Fair The third annual Tioga Town Fair will be held on Saturday, August 28, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. The event, which benefits the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, will have activities for the entire family. Lambert-Horvath said this event has become a very anticipated children’s carnival attracting over a 1,000 children and their families from Alachua County. Admission is free for adults and children 2 and under, and wristbands are available for $15. Children can receive $3 off of admission with coupons that will be distributed to all elementary schools. Food & drinks can be purchased separately for cash. The fair will include bounce houses, a giant slip and slide, obstacle courses, a rock climbing wall, petting zoo, face painting and nail art. There will also be carnival games, including a dunking booth, ring tosses, a pastry eating contest and relay races. Favorite fair foods, such as corndogs, burgers, snow cones and boiled peanuts, will also be available. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation’s mission to bring a full-service children’s hospital to Gainesville. The Foundation was started by Horst and Luisa Ferrero following the death of their three-year-old son Sebastian in 2007. Sebastian died as a result of medical errors. s For more information, visit www.sebastianferrero.org or www.tiogatowncenter.com.

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COLUMN >> DEBBIE DELOACH, PH.D.

Garden Way The wreckage from our frigid winter has sorted itself out. t seems that homeowners are out to replace their frozen dead plants with more cold tolerant plants. While that is certainly a good strategy, we must not forget to consider our prolonged and brutally hot and humid summers, too. Luckily, we have several plant rating systems we can use to find plants that work in our climate. Be aware that these rating systems are not the only thing you need to choose plants that will thrive in your yard; they help determine climate compatibility only.

I

However, these climate-based categories should be your primary consideration when beginning a list of possible plant candidatess for your yard or garden. The United States Department off Agriculture, USDA; Arbor Day Foundation, ADF; and American Horticultural Society, AHS all have useful climate zone maps you can use to help choose plants that work. Last updated in 1990, the current USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map is based on thousands of winter temperatures collected at sites throughout North America roughly from 1971 to 1986. It assigns zones throughout our continent and Hawaii based on average

144 | Summer 2010

annual winter low temperatures. According to this map, Alachua County is in zone 8b. The average winter low temperature in zone 8b ranges between 15º and 20º F. The Arbor Day Foundation decided that the USDA map was out of date and created a map of its own. Its map, based on data collected since 1990, reflects the general warming trend our continent has experienced of late. According to the ADF map, Alachua County is now in zone 9. This means our average winter low temperature is between 20º and 30º F. All of this means we should use plants whose ratings include 8b, or perhaps 9a. For instance, mountain magnolia and rosebay rhododendron are rated for use in zones 5 to 6 whereas royal palm and wild tamarind are rated for zones 10 to 11. None of them are appropriate for our area. Consider that our modern climate trend has been similar to the recent decades of stock market performance — small ups and downs but with a gradual climbing clim trend. Then there are those years when w the bottom falls out. Perhaps we should consider c last winter a climate recession. It was a reality check. We live in a temperate zone, not the tropics. So which map should you follow? Well, the average winter low temperature is below freezing in both zones 8 and 9. Whichever cold c hardiness map you choose you are looking in at freezing weather every winter. Some So gardeners live in areas that are warmer or colder in the winter due to mitigating circumstances. Examples E include homes in the inner city where the inherent heat of the city — urban heat — keeps winter temperatures from dropping as low as the temperatures in the surrounding suburban and rural areas. Sometimes the south sides of structures or other windbreaks keep the cold air and winds from damaging tender plants. Also, proximity to bodies of water such as lakes, rivers and even swimming pools can keep their surroundings warmer. These areas have warm microclimates, small zones that stay warmer


than the average. Microclimates work the other way, too. Extra cold areas can develop on the north side of structures and in depressions where cold air pools. But regardless of microclimates, we get freezing weather. Therefore, please stop planting freezeintolerant plants unless you want to replace them every spring or aggressively protect them throughout the winter. The American Horticultural Society map is different and especially valuable for southerners like us because it deals with heat tolerance. Zones are based on the average number of days per year when the temperature reaches 86 F or higher. We are in zone 10 and so should consider growing plants assigned to zone number 10 or higher. I push it a bit and include zone 9 plants if I can provide them a little extra shade or water when needed. (See the AHS Web site, www.ahs.org/publications/heat_zone_map.htm, for more information.) There are also other factors to consider when choosing plants. Some of these include amount of sun and shade, soil type and pH, wind resistance and tolerance, water and soil fertility needs, and mature size and shape. Remember to follow right plant right place principles. s

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>> OUR PLANET

A Conversation about

Conservation Saving Water and Protecting Its Sources BY LARRY BEHNKE

N

orth Florida is home to the largest concentration of fresh water springs in the world. They are a major attraction for locals and tourists. And they are in peril. John Moran, noted nature photographer, recently spoke on the steps of the State Capitol. “We are poisoning our springs, and they are dying a slow death,” he said, urging people to “become better stewards of our unique and irreplaceable springs.” The springs flow out of the Floridan Aquifer, a massive underground network that also provides drinking water. Communities from Tampa to Atlanta have talked

146 | Summer 2010

of piping local water to their thirsting masses, but they already use it when they pump water from the aquifer, a natural underground pipeline. “Despite receiving more than 54 inches of rain a year and having 7,700 lakes, 50,000 miles of rivers and streams and more than 700 springs, Florida will have problems supplying enough water to satisfy the needs of its 18 million residents, a Senate committee reported,” according to correspondent Ron Word. “The overwhelming consensus from the report is that the state needs to increase water conversation measures and curtail wasteful uses.” What can people do to use less of this underground treasure; what can people do to protect it? Start by looking at everyday habits, things people may not even be aware of. Some people have stopped letting the water run while brushing their teeth. This one small change by the masses saves millions of gallons of water each year. A springs celebration at O’Leno State Park in April had several displays and children’s activities to educate about water use. Florida’s water management


“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children.” — Ancient American Indian Proverb

districts and Department of Environmental Protection (ProtectingOurWater.org) passed out booklets showing ways to save water.

Ways to Save The Department advised using flow-restricting showerheads or taking showers of less than five minutes, running only full dishwasher loads and not letting water run when hand-rinsing dishes. Doing these things could save thousands of gallons of water each month. To conserve water outdoors, the St. Johns Water Management District recommends setting mower blades higher. A taller lawn shades roots, holds moisture better and requires less watering. A District restriction advises no watering between 10 am and 4 pm. Watering midday loses as much as 65 percent of water to evaporation. Use drip irrigation, install rain shut-off devices on automatic sprinklers, mulch around trees and plants, and use drought tolerant plants. Using a broom instead of hosing off sidewalks and driveways saves up to 80 gallons of water each time. Fixing a leaky toilet can save 500 gallons a month. The District suggested using rain barrels as a free source of clean water that plants prefer because it does not contain hard minerals. Alachua County sells such barrels for $45. Old cider barrels can also be used with the addition of a screened top and the installation of a faucet near the bottom. Raising the barrel on concrete blocks lets the water flow by gravity through an attached hose. A secure screen prevents the barrel from becoming a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Lawns Fertilizer runoff is a major water pollutant. People tend to overuse fertilizer, which affects the aquifer. Use a no-phosphorus fertilizer; Florida soil is naturally high in phosphorus. Florida-friendly lawns such as centipede grass do not need to be fertilized or watered. The grass grows sideways so it rarely needs mowing. The average Florida resident uses 150 gallons of water a day, with half of that used for grass watering. A bill signed by Governor Crist allows for landscaping with alternatives to fence-to-fence lawns. Plantings other than grass can use less water and chemicals. Karina Veaudry of the Florida Native Plant Society hopes the bill will cause changes in landscaping among Florida homeowners worried about water shortages. “We’ve been waiting for years for this kind of law to give people the freedom to plant landscapes that aren’t so thirsty,” she said. Some people have replaced parts of their lawns with big rocks or gravel, or even let sections go natural with plantings of wild flowers.

Water Footprint People may cut personal water use, but what about the “water footprint,” the water used to produce the food people consume? A report by Jen Phillips found that to make a bottle of beer it takes 19 gallons of water, but a can of soda needs 33 gallons to produce. Orange juice is more nutritious, but requires 45 gallons per glass. Producing a pound of chicken requires 467 gallons of water, while a pound of beef averages 1,800 gallons. One hamburger deluxe uses continued on next page

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Summer 2010 | 147


over 600 gallons, while it takes only 18 gallons of water to produce one apple.

More Saving AmericanWater.com suggests further ways to save water: Fix dripping faucets. One drop leaking per second equals 2,700 gallons wasted each year. Store drinking water in the fridge instead of running a faucet to get it cold. Compost food scraps instead of using a sink disposal that uses much water and adds solids to septic tanks. An on-demand water heater under a kitchen sink saves water by giving instant heat. With a tank heater, lower the temperature instead of adding cold water for comfort. Insulate the tank and pipes. Replace old toilets with more water-efficient models since they are the major home water user. Know where the master water shut-off valve is in your house — useful in case of a major leak or pipe rupture. Front-loading clothes washers use less water; read the Energy Star label before purchase. Teach children to shut off faucets tightly. Wash cars and pets on the lawn to water it. Shut off the nozzle during washing. Some people keep buckets in their shower to collect the warm-up water for use on plants. A modern rain barrel used for water conservation

Urge Protection When John Moran spoke in Tallahassee he got tearyeyed thinking of the damage to our springs. Of his talk he said, “It was a cathartic experience, as it forced me to crawl out of a fog of denial of the reality of our springs in decline.” He urges people to watch a video of his speech with photos of springs at JohnMoranPhoto. com. He hopes his video “will inspire you to contact your legislators to consider ways in which we can all become better stewards of our unique and irreplaceable springs.” President Obama’s budget includes record funding for water protection and infrastructure. The St. Johns Water Management District policy is no longer about mining surface waters; instead, it is about preserving

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the groundwater supply. Everyone must also do his or her part. Each small step taken to protect or save water may not seem like much. But when millions take those steps, they add up to make a major impact on the water supply. “Water, our most important resource, can no longer be taken for granted,” said Lys Burden, community organizer. “Our river ecosystems and aquifers show the damage of pollution, people and politics. Every one of us has an impact on our water resources. Every one of us must heed the call to keep our water paramount, plentiful and pristine.” s

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>> NEWBERRY

Farm Fresh Main Street Organization Begins Friday Fling, Saturday Market BY CHRIS WILSON

L

ike the slow growth of watermelons from seed to fruit, the Newberry Main Street Organization is slowly growing the city’s new Saturday Morning Market. From fresh vegetables to colorful plants, the market has plenty to offer. The Main Street program began hosting the Newberry Saturday Morning Market on March 1. It is now held weekly, near the railroad tracks through downtown. “We’re starting very slowly,” said Newberry Main Street Manager Barbara Hendrix. “Some days we’ve only had two people show up. Other days we’ve had a lot more. We started the market when the weather was

150 | Summer 2010

rainy and cold. Now with the nice weather, things are beginning to pick up.” Hendrix believes that once the word gets out, more customers and vendors will help the market grow. “People are more used to going to the more established farmers markets, like the one in High Springs,” she said. “On Saturdays, people have been going to the market on [Hwy.] 441, or the one in Haile Plantation. We don’t have a lot of money for media advertising, so we’re just trying to get the word out with flyers and signs.” More farmers are becoming interested in selling their vegetables in Newberry. Hendrix said she fields calls all the time from potential new vendors, who have


PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON

Junior (left) and Frances Willis sell their vegetables and hot boiled peanuts at the Newberry Saturday Morning Market. Willis said he will have lots of watermelons, okra, peas and other veggies in the coming months.

to pay $15 per day to set up shop. The cost of a booth goes down to $10 for people who become members of the Newberry Main Street Organization, which is striving to revitalize downtown Newberry. “We have a lot of farmers in Newberry,” Hendrix said. “A lot of them travel to the other markets, but they’re interested in coming to ours because it’s right here. It will grow. It’s all about staying local, both buying and selling things that are produced locally.” The only farmer participating at press time was Junior Willis, who also participates in the High Springs market on Thursday afternoon. Willis lives near Newberry, off C.R. 235. “I’ve been here since 1971 and I’ve farmed all my life, just about,” he said. Willis said his farm will produce peas, corn, okra, tomatoes, squash and a variety of vegetables for the months ahead. “I stagger plant them,” said Willis. “I planted peas yesterday. I’ll wait a month and I’ll plant some more. Some will be going out, while the others are going in.” Customers can find Willis near his 1956 Chevrolet pickup truck, which has been impressively restored. Willis said the Newberry farmers market will grow, it is just a matter of time. “Most people speak highly of farm-grown, local produce,” Willis said. “The winter weather took a toll on all this produce.” Hendrix and her daba designworks business partner Dana Patton sell plants and flowers at the market. Plants as ordinary as azaleas or as interesting as a creeping Jenny can be found near their tent. Patton said she has been an avid gardener for years and she is in the process of constructing a greenhouse. All of the Saturday Morning Market vendors

must have proper licenses or permits and must abide by all health codes. The Newberry Main Street Organization also recommends that all of its vendors carry liability insurance. “I’ve looked at rules from farmers markets around the country and we’ve adopted a lot of those,” Hendrix said. “This is not a flea market. If you sell some of these things, you have to have a license. If you’re selling honey or your own pickles or bottles of barbecue sauce, you have to use a kitchen that has been inspected.” Hendrix said the market will stick to handmade and farm grown products. She said there are likely to be vendors who will sell produce, cheese, goats milk and even firewood. She said the market will welcome booths for non-profit organizations and also some crafters, who sell baskets or pottery. “One of the things we’re looking to add are demonstrations,” Hendrix said. “We might have a demonstration on how to cook squash one week. The next month maybe we’ll have something about how to steam shrimp.” Hendrix said there might also be live music incorporated into future Saturday Morning Markets. Another event the Newberry Main Street Organization started recently is the Newberry Friday Fling. The event features all types of vendors, who set up booths along the railroad tracks in downtown Newberry. The event happens monthly and Hendrix said it will probably be held only on the first Friday of the month. “Friday Fling is more like a yard sale or flea market, but we do have craft and produce vendors there,” Hendrix said. “There is a lull in downtown Newberry from about 2 p.m. until about 5 or 5:30 in the evening. This event is really just to bring more people downtown during that time.” The Friday Fling starts around noon or a little after and exhibitors man their booths until dusk. The cost for vendors is the same as the cost for the Saturday Morning Market. s For more information, visit www.newberrymainstreet.org.

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COLUMN >> DONNA BONNELL

Embracing Life Valerie and I have a reputation — one that has evolved over several decades. f you knew either of us in our personal or professional realms, you would never guess that we have developed this uncharacteristic talent. Until now, only our immediate families were aware of our silly skill. We are the queens of hosting yard sales and have repeat customers. Sometimes it is just the two of us selling our gently used treasures. Over the years, however, we have invited other proprietors to participate. To be welcomed

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back they must share our enthusiasm and learn our method of selling merchandise. Our current apprentice is Bob. Bob has been a challenge to teach, but is a sweet man and worthy of our continued support. As any good professor will acknowledge, you must get to know your student in order to offer optimal assistance. We learned that Bob is a bargain shopper. He can tell you where to find the best buy for almost any item. His negotiating expertise lies in acquiring good deals, rather than peddling unwanted wares. Bob’s saga began four years ago when he ordered a set of Dodge Caravan hubcaps. As a conscientious consumer, Bob executed an extensive search prior to his purchase. He paid $100.00 for the set, which was a phenomenal find at that time. Unfortunately, he traded his van for a truck before having the hubcaps installed and they remain stored in their original carton. When he learned that we were planning a yard sale, he asked if he could sell his hubcaps. We agreed. However, Bob’s first endeavor as a rummage sale vendor was stressful. He wanted a minimum of $60.00 for the set. Bob was upset when a potential purchaser perused the box and made a reasonable offer (in terms of yard

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Middle School Camp (Grades 6-8) July 25 - July 28 For More Information & Brochure Please visit: www.GatorZone.com/camps Or call our camp line at: 375-4683 ext. 4457

Corbett’s Mobile Home Supply Professional People With Professional Results

10,000 SQ.FT. SUPPLY WAREHOUSE •Mobile Home Supplies •Metal Roofing •Plumbing •Electrical

Hwy 90 W

Lake City

154 | Summer 2010

Harvey wy.

I-75

Corbett’s Dep. J. Davis

•Aluminum Patios •Doors / Windows •Power Poles •Screen Rooms •Awnings

•Steps •RV Supplies •Skirting •Vinyl Siding •AND MORE!

230 SW DEPT. J.DAVIS LN. • LAKE CITY

386-752-6221 386-752-0500 Family Owned & Operated For Over 40 Years & U.S. Chamber of Commerce


sale etiquette). He left the scene and stated we were not to sell his precious car parts. Valerie and I promised to abide by his wishes. We chuckled and knew he had a lot to learn about the art of selling second hand stuff. Bob reduced his price to $50.00, posted them on Craigslist, but nobody made an offer. Valerie and I had two more yard sales and dutifully put the hubcaps out with the rest of our goods. Each time he lowered his rate, but no one was interested. On a recent Saturday, Bob took part in his fourth yard sale. He gave us permission to sell his shiny silver hubcaps for whatever price we could. Bob also reluctantly allowed Valerie to sell some of his shoes, sweaters and fishing equipment. Even though the asking price on his clothing was still too high, he is making adequate learning gains and we will allow him to continue as our student. As we boxed up our unsold items at the end of the day, a customer offered to buy us out for $15.00. Without stopping for one second to confer, we both immediately agreed, with one exception — the hubcaps were not a part of the deal. Bob would not have minded, but those hubcaps have been with us through several yard sale sellouts. Perhaps they are our good luck charms. Whatever the case may be, Valerie and I knew we needed to keep them.

Those hubcaps have been with us through several yard sale sellouts. Perhaps they are our good luck charms. That weekend Bob graduated from a novice to an intermediate entrepreneur. He learned how to embrace the ambiance of a yard sale. Garage sales are good family fun and great for the environment. There is, however, a knack to hosting a successful sale. You cannot take anything seriously. Valerie and I concur with these excerpts from Tom Zart’s poem, “Garage Sale:” “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure As one woman’s junk gives others pleasure. Cash and carry, no checks or credit cards With bargains in the driveways and signs in the yards. Some will arrive before the garage sale starts Using their vehicles as shopping carts. Half of all purchases are sold again At the buyer’s own sale or to a friend. The money you make you can spend again Shopping for yourself, loved ones or friend.”

Nails-N-Spa — WALK-INS WELCOME! —

Complete Nail Care for Ladies -N- Gentlemen

Eyebrow tinting MANAGEMENT Gift certificates available Family Owned & Operated business

SET OF ACRYLIC WITH WHITE TIPS

$

Located in the Winn-Dixie Plaza, High Springs, FL

386-454-1434 Mani & Pedi

25

$

33

MUST PRESENT THIS COUPON UPON PURCHASE

Brand

Bar-BQ Sauce ORIGINAL BOLD & SWEET COUNTRY HEAT

—Family Recipe—

handed down generation to generation

Available at these fine stores:

Bennett’s True Value • Hitchcock’s • Ward’s B&B • Spires Supermarket • Biellings Tire

www.PPGBBQ.com • 386-288-6822 (James Jones - Owner)

THE SHACK LOVES TO DEAL... $

50

UNLIMI T ED

Month

Text, Talk and Web

Choose from several phones including:

Motorola i465

Sanyo Incognito

UNLIMITED $ BLACKBERRY

We are already planning our next big sale. In the meantime, if you need of a good set of hubcaps... s Donna Bonnell is a freelance writer who moved to Newberry in 1983. She enjoys living and working in the town she now calls home. Donna@towerpublications.com.

NEW

DEALER

14557 NW 441, Alachua

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Motorola i335

60

Month

386-462-2522 Summer 2010 | 155


START NOW! DISTRIBUTION CENTER General Warehouse Openings ABILITY TO LIFT UP TO 65 POUNDS

FULL / PART TIME AVAILABLE We are looking for Individuals with integrity, a positive sense of humor, who want to work in a team respected environment.

Must be 18 Years of age *Drug Free Workplace* Criminal Background Check *EOE Responsible for the expedient & accurate handling of merchandise into and/or out of the warehouse facility. General warehouse duties support all areas of the warehouse as needed. Continuous lifting up to 65 pounds on regular basis, & occasional team lifting, continuous walking, standing, bending, stooping, squatting, kneeling, reaching, and pushing and pulling. Communication skills, understand & provide directions, knowledge of basic math concepts & reading comprehension.

Dollar General offers:

Health, Dental & Vision Insurance, 401K Plan, Paid Holiday/Vacation Pay & Competitive Wages, plus evening shift differential.

APPLY IN PERSON 17815 Peggy Road – Alachua, FL Monday–Friday 8 am – 5pm (*Evening Interviews Available) 156 | Summer 2010

Earn Extra Income assembling CD cases at home. Call our live operators now! START IMMEDIATELY! NO EXP. NECESSARY

1-800-405-7619

ext. 950

www.easywork-greatpay.com


Buy 3, get the 4th Tire FREE Fusion HZI or Firestone HT Tires

24

$

*Most Cars, Disposal Extra Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

A/C System Inspection & Freon Recharge SPECIAL PRICE!!

19

$

95 + Tax & Freon

Expires 08/15/10. Not valid with other promotions or offers. Redeem only at City Boys Tire & Brake. Our Town Magazine

10% Off All Tires In Stock! Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

4-Tire Balance & Rotation

Oil & Filter Change

12

$

95

95 • Most Vehicles • Plus Env. Fees

includes up to 5 quarts 10W30 Kendall semi-synthetic oil

• Most Vehicles • Plus Env. Fees

Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

City Boys

Coolant Drain & Fill

Tire & Brake

29

$

• HIGH SPRINGS •

(386)-454-2193

95 • Most Vehicles • Plus Env. Fees

Dex Coolant Extra

www.cityboys.com

Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

Front-End Alignment

FREE Brake Inspection

95

39

$

• Most Vehicles • Plus Env. Fees

with 20% Discount work done - All Vehicles

Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

*Most Cars, Disposal Extra Expires 08/15/10. Our Town Magazine

CITY BOYS APPRECIATES YOUR BUSINESS

West End Animal Hospital 15318 West Newberry Road • Newberry, FL 32669 www.westendanimal.com office 352.472.7626 SERVING ALACHUA COUNTY FOR 20 YEARS

Deborah Cottrell, DVM ~ Fred Schirmer, DVM ~ Allison Hiers, DVM COMPANION ANIMAL & EXOTICS • LARGE PHARMACY COMPLETE IN-HOUSE LABORATORY • DIGITAL RADIOLOGY VIDEO OTOSCOPY • SURGERY SUITE • DROP-OFF SERVICE BOARDING • DOCTOR ON CALL 24-HOURS

OPE RATION PIT- N I P FREE SPAY OR NEUTER FOR PITBULLS AND PIT MIXES All dogs must be Alachua County residents and have valid Alachua County Rabies tag. If your pet is not current, a vaccine and tag can be acquired the day of surgery for $25.00 www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 157


For All Your Retail Needs... TV’s DVD Players, DVD’s, Guns, Gun Safes, Home Entertainment, Electric Guitars, Tools Galore!

Huge, Huge, Huge Jewelry Selection

We Buy Scrap Gold! Alachua Pawn & Jewelry Sales and Loans 16130 NW US HWY 441 P.O. Box 2049, Alachua, FL 32615

M-F: 9am-6pm - Sat: 9am-1pm 158 | Summer 2010

Now Online! www.AlachuaPawn.com

386.462.5429


08-30-2010

08-30-2010

The Choice For

PINE BARK // CYPRESS MULCH // POTTING SOIL

QUALITY PLANTS & SERVICE WE SPECIALIZE IN:

PALMS & LANDSCAPE PLANTS

FRUIT TREES AN IMPRESSIVE VARIETY OF FRUIT TREES ARE AVAILABLE NOW!

DELIVERY AVAILABLE! BLOOMINGHOUSE NURSERY 15220 W NEWBERRY RD. NEWBERRY, FL. 32669

SEASONAL PLANTS & FLOWERS COME IN TODAY:

FOR ALL YOUR LANDSCAPE NEEDS!

352.472.3111

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 159


C&D LANDFILL OPEN TO THE PUBLIC • Roll-off can service for everyone • 10,15,20,30 & 40 cu. yd. containers • Flat Rates • Mulch Available • Landfill Open to the Public Call dispatch

Landfill Location: 20103 SW ARCHER RD. ARCHER, FL

352-472-3414 www.wastonsitework.com

The Best in the Business! • Site Clearing & Grading • Earth Work / Fill Dirt • Underground Utilities • Paving, Grading, and Drainage • Construction of Driveways e s andd Cu Culverts

“EXCEEDING CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS DAILY.”

We recycle!

160 | Summer 2010

352-472-9157


Donate Your Car and HELP children like these. At the Outreach Center for Children... ...we are reaching out to you, the donor as a voice for underprivileged children. The Outreach Center supports many services that help these children to es develop into healthy adults. Some of these services include providing hot meal programs, funding educational scholarships, replenishing school bookk inventories, and sending kids to summer camp.

Call Toll Free Today.

1-800-597-9411

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 161


page PHOTO BY TJM STUDIOS PHOTOGRAPHY

>> CAST AWAY

86

Family Fishing Days are held once a month at area ponds. The fishinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; holes are stocked with catfish, bluegill and bass. Advertisement for the program is spread primarily by word of mouth. Many discover the program through school field trips which can accommodate up to 60 children. For more information, read the whole article on page 86 of this issue.

162 | Summer 2010


Fun Page Puzzles on page 38 & 39

Puzzle Answers

Don’t

toss it! Post it on Alachua Exchange.com! Wondering what to do with furniture and household items that you no longer need or want? Give your old stuff a new home through AlachuaExchange.com. It’s free and easy to use!

Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives

352.374.5213 www.AlachuaExchange.com www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 163


ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax REAL ESTATE Coldwell Banker MM Parrish ............... 168 (HS) Forrester Realty ................................................ 57 Lamplighter................................................................141 Prestwick Properties ....................................... 68 Prestige Home Center N. Ocala .................126 PRO Realty ......................................48, 167 (HS) Showcase Homes Direct................................ 74 Springhill Village Apartments ............................52 Village Retirement Community .....................3 13th Street Home Sales ........................................ 89

AUTOMOTIVE Bush Auto Repair .....................................................53 City Boy’s ........................................................... 157 Clyde’s Tire and Brake .........................................134 Jim Douglas Sales & Service ........................ 83 Just Customize................................................ 120 Maaco Body Shop ............................................ 85 Newberry Auto Repair Inc ...........................132 Quality Collision Repair ................................143 RPM Auto ............................................................ 69 Sun City Auto .................................................. 108

FINANCIAL / INSURANCE AAA Insurance ...........................................................91 Allstate - Cathy Cain, Hugh Cain .......................13 Allstate - Paula Washington ............................. 127 Campus USA Credit Union .......................... 101 Pat Gleason, CPRS® ..................................... 103 Sunshine State Insurance .............................134 SunState Federal Credit Union ...........40, 60 Three Rivers Insurance ...................................118

MEDICAL / HEALTH Affordable Dentures .............................................106 Alachua Dental .................................................. 78 Alachua Family Medical Center ..................151 Accent Audiology ................................................... 121 Accent on Eyes .......................................................149 Caretenders ........................................................80 Dr. Tyrone Plastic Surgery ...........................145 Douglas M Adel DDS..................................... 140 NFRMC ....................................................................2 Palms Medical Group ...........................................145 164 | Summer 2010

Samant Dental Group ..........................................109 Dr. Storoe, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery... 97 Southeastern Primary Care ..........................118 Tioga Dental Associates ................................. 18

FITNESS and BEAUTY Champoux Hair Salon ............................................32 Cuts & More ........................................................ 37 Jonesville Traditional Barber Shop................ 127 Kelly’s Creations Salon ......................................... 48 Nails N Spa ........................................................155 Salon Eye Candy ................................................ 4 Sarah Vierra Salon ..........................................30 TAN USA ...............................................................111 1 Nails and Spa ................................................ 105

PETS and VETS Bed ‘n Biscuit Inn ............................................. 56 Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden ...........115 Flying Fish Pets and Aquatics .......................... 49 House Call Vet ................................................... 95 Newberry Animal Hospital ........................... 96 Pampered Paws ....................................................... 49 Pamper Your Pet ..................................................... 84 Paradise for Pets Grooming ......................... 69 Spring Hill Equine Vet Clinic ........................161 Susie’s Pet Sitting ............................................ 85 Vacation Station Pet Resort ..................... 104 West End Animal Hospital ........................... 157

CHILD CARE / LEARNING Alachua County Head Start ............................... 112 Alachua Learning Center .................................6 American Academy ........................................142 Spencer House Montessori ........................... 72 The Studio of Alachua ..........................................141 The Whole Child ............................................... 56

RETAIL / RECREATION Alachua Pawn & Jewelry ..............................158 Bennett’s True Value ....................................... 59 Blue Springs .......................................................119 Colleen’s Kloset.........................................................26 Colortyme ....................................................................32


Cootie Coo Creations ..................................... 77 Easton/Newberry Sports ..............................113 Family Jewels & Purse Strings......................... 127 Farmer’s Market of High Springs .................... 48 The Flower Exchange ........................................... 48 Garden Gallery ..................................................118 Gatorland Kubota ...........................................143 General Ship It & More Store ................48, 49 Hugs & Kisses Consignment ........................ 85 The Jackson Store ..........................................107 Jewelry Designs by Donna................................. 48 Just Between Friends ............................................95 Klaus Fine Jewelry ............................................ 17 Lentz House of Time ......................................134 Lifestyle Cruise & Travel ................................141 Liquor and Wine Shop, The..............167 (NB) Music Junction ......................................................... 48 The Oasis at High Springs ............................113 Oliver & Dahlman .................................................... 151 Paddywhack....................................................... 45 Prissy Pals ........................................................... 79 Pro Taekwondo ................................................. 35, 73 Radio Shack ......................................................155 Rum Island Retreat .......................................... 23 Santa Fe College Basketball ...............................85 Sapp’s Pawn , Gun and Archery ............... 102 Stitch In Time Embroidery ............................ 68 Suwannee River Music Park ....................... 166 Tioga Town Center..............................................9 UF Gator Baseball..................................................154 Valerie’s Loft ....................................................... 31 West End Golf Course .................................... 29 Wild Waters/Silver Springs ............................... 153

SERVICE A Classic Moment Limousine ...................... 57 Alachua Printing ..............................................124 AllState Mechanical, Inc................................. 69 All Season Outdoor .................................4 (NB) Amira Builders ...........................................................27 Artful Upholstery & More .............................. 58 Authorized Carpet Cleaning ......................... 91 Big Blue................................................................ 47 Blake’s Lawn Care, LLC ..................................119 Blooming House Nursery .............................159 Creekside Outdoor .......................................... 36 Duffield Home Improvements .........................145 D.W. Ashton Catery ......................................... 27 Grower’s Fertilizer Corporation .................143 Open Show Photography.............................. 79 Penzai Solutions .......................................................63 Phones & More ..................................................94 Quality Cleaners ............................................. 105 TJM Studios Photography ....................................15 3-Way Electrical Service Inc. ....................... 95

HOME IMPROVEMENT Al Mincey Site Prep ....................................... 148 Clint S. Davis LLC ........................................... 120 Cook Portable Buildings ................................ 83 Corbetts Supply......................................................154 Floor Store ...................................................35, 68 Gonzales Site Prep .......................................... 58 Great Lakes Carpet & Tile .............................115 Griffis Lumber....................................................84 Gulf Coast Metal Roofing .............................125 Home Improvements by Andy ...................133 Innovative Home Builders .................168 (NB) Jack’s Small Engine Repair..........................133 Lift Master ................................................................... 45 Kim Mamuzich Cleaning ................................ 57 Overhead Door Company ............................152 Red Barn Home Center ........................... 23, 67 S.E. Williams Electric, Inc. ............................. 38 Southland Rock & Stone ............................... 77 Waste Watchers...................................... 133, 163 Watson Construction .................................... 160 Whitfield Window and Door .......................135

RESTAURANT Conestogas Restaurant..................................64 D’Lites Emporium ...........................................125 David’s BBQ .......................................................114 Gator Domino’s ....................................................5 El Toro Mexican Food & Salsa ................... 105 Los Aviña Mexican Restaurant .................... 23 Mad Hatter’s Café .....................................38, 48 Main Street Pizzaria........................................124 Mamma Mia NY Style Pizza..................73, 127 Nana’s Soul Food Kitchen....................................33 Newberry Deli & Grille .................................... 63 NY Pizza Plus ................................................... 105 Panda Moni Yum Arcade ..............................159 Papa G’s BBQ ...................................................155 Pepperoni’s ................................................................ 49 PizzaVito.............................................................. 58 Villaggio’s Pizzeria ........................................... 69

EMPLOYMENT CD Case Assembly .........................................156 Dollar General ...................................................156

MISCELLANEOUS Alachua County EPD ......................................141 Hollie’s Cougar Den ..............................................148

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 165


The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park is conveniently located near Live Oak, Florida, between Interstates 75 and 10. From I-10, take exit 238 and go North on US 129 4.5 miles. From I-75, take exit 451 and proceed south 4.5 miles. Keep an eye out for our sign! Centrally located to over 500 Florida Tourist Attractions within 2.5 hours driving time.

386-364-1683 â&#x20AC;˘ MusicLivesHere.com 166 | Summer 2010


Welcome to

Ashton Ridge

NEW HOMES STARTING AT:

$

119,900

Douglasville 1556sq. ft. Heated/Cooled 3 BED/2 BATH 2 Car Garage. $149,900

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

206 NE 1st Street High Springs, Fl 32643

Damon Watson 352.215.6986

Leslie Morgan 352.339.5095

Home Builders of North Florida, Inc

CBC #1256897

For House Plans & Home Features: www.IHBHOMES.com www.VisitOurTowns.com

Summer 2010 | 167


168 | Summer 2010

http://www.visitourtowns.com/issues/hsala/HSALA-Summer2010  

http://www.visitourtowns.com/issues/hsala/HSALA-Summer2010.pdf

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