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Relay for Life Fundraising, Remembering and Celebrating
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Spring 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 | Spring 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
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When you visit Tioga Town Center, you’ll get the perfect running shoes, the right ﬁt,
…and Mike. 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 Mike Carrillo— owner of Gainesville Running & Walking— who takes the time to ﬁnd the perfect running shoes for you with just the right ﬁt, 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
Spring 2010 | 9
CONTENTS SPRING 2010 â€˘ VOL. 08 ISSUE 01
>> FEATURES 20
Gatorback Cycle Park High-flying, Fast Moving Action in Alachua BY CHRIS WILSON
BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN
BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH
The Joy of Painting April 30 Art Show Celebrates a Decade of Student Work BY LARRY BEHNKE
Tools for Schools A resource for teachers rolls into town BY CRYSTAL HENRY
Day Trip to Cedar Key
Oak Hall student begins biodiesel program at school
Old Florida celebration of the arts
BY CHRIS WILSON
BY SANDRA BUCKINGHAM
To Market, To Market To Buy Fresh Food Visit area farmers markets
History of April Fools By Crystal Henry
Eating Local Good for you, good for your community
In Praise of Moms
Colored Eggs, A Bunny, and Religion?
Several writers have taken pen to paper to honor their Moms
Hunting for answers about Easter Celebrations
BY OUR TOWN WRITERS
BY ALLYSEN KERR
10 | Spring 2010
>> LOCAL ACTIVITIES
By Larry Bahnke
Spring Festivals From Watermelon Festivals to Pioneer Days to the Spring Festivals, this is the time of year to enjoy a variety of seasonal events in North Central Florida.
Spring Festivals Three Festivals of Fun in April and May
Previous Page PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
Dinah Strode of Newberry enjoys her slice of watermelon.
anything that makes people
will be on Main Street that Sunday.
happy,” she said. “This is always
It truly is a festival of friends.
an all-around great family Sunday
For more info, go to
Free music on two separate stages
BY LARRY BEHNKE
is of a good variety to please all.
Top Left PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
An acrobat is just one of many kinds of entertainment at the
Charitable organizations set up tables, too. The food choices range from carnival style to healthy fare.
High Springs Pioneer Days
Alachua Spring Fest.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24 AND SUNDAY, APRIL 25
PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
Scores of vendor booths line
Alachua Spring Festival
booths that sold plants or helped
APRIL 18 • 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.
with home improvements. Such booths are still featured, but more
the whole family: plenty of food
This festival has steadily grown and
than a hundred new vendors of
and live music plus dance troupes
evolved since it began in 2003. The
great variety have been added since
and lots of children’s activities.
Something else happens magi-
Alachua Business League originally created the event as a home and
those early days. They stretch all the way from Bev’s Burgers south to
Organizer Joan Sroka lists more. “Art, crafts, jewelry, clowns,
cally at Spring Fest. People have
stock and displayed it on tables in
Actors stage a shoot-out twice a
commented that it seems like most
Alachua Farm and Lumber, most of
boats, toys, pony rides, games,
of the local folks a person knows
front of their stores. Anyone could bring items to set up and sell.
day, at noon and 2 p.m.
garden show. Local businesses had
the length of historic Main Street. Now there is much to entertain
Bands in the past have included
both sides of Alachua’s Main
Velveeta Underground, County
In the early 1980s, folks gathered
Road and Alley Cats, music from rock to country to light jazz.
took up most of downtown High
Springs. Merchants cleaned out
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
42 | Spring 2010
Street in view of historic houses.
in springtime for a “yard sale” that
Spring 2010 | 43
Spring 2010 | 99
>> ANIMAL CONTROL
By Jessica Chapman
No More Homeless Pets This Alachua-County based organization works to stop the death of healthy, but unwanted animals by offering spaying and neutering services.
No More Homeless Pets
An Alachua County animal shelter works to save animals
BY JESSICA CHAPMAN
hundred caged cats lined the hallway. Many looked
identical and most were either terriﬁed or potentially violent. Three cats sat at the check-in table. They looked identical, and a caregiver said they were probably from the same colony.
ease the growing population and
60 cats in a colony behind her house. The one she brought to the December Operation Catnip was found in an abandoned house.
zation that is part of a countywide partnership to eliminate euthanasia. Many caregivers at the December Operation Catnip said sterilizing the sick, weak and unloved animals
die, she said. “It’s just too much sometimes,”
around their home is the most
she said. “You just do as much as
These cats, all stray or feral, were waiting to be spayed and neutered.
humane thing they can do. “I love cats,” said Debbie
you can.” The founders of No More
Every month, caregivers bring cats they have trapped to Operation Catnip to be sterilized to help
Nichtberger, who brought a cat to
Homeless Pets had similar feelings
Operation Catnip. “There are just so many.”
when they began the Alachua Countycontinued on page 101
98 | Spring 2010
A Garden of Biblical Proportion
122 For the Love of Art A new business plan revives an old art gallery BY NICOLE LYNN GREINER
Civic Minded High Springs Rotary club gives back to the community
130 Roadside Produce and Highway Delicacies
BY KATE HELLER
Fresh Finds In Our Towns
BY CHRIS WILSON
Newberry Main Street Organization’s New Manager BY CHRIS WILSON
Although it has become a burden, she does not want to stop feeding the cats and then see them
A lot of cats come in from colonies, she said. But then again, a lot of cats come from everywhere.
By Jessica Chapman
Nichtberger feeds more than
indirectly stop euthanasia. Operation Catnip is one of the two main programs under No More Homeless Pets, an umbrella organi-
Race the Tortoise, Contra Dance and Chili Cook-off
Relay for Life Fundraising, Remembering and Celebrating Life BY LARRY BEHNKE
O’Leno State Park offers something for everyone BY TATIANA QUIROGA
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.
Spring 2010 | 11
Published quarterly by Tower Publications, Inc. www.towerpublications.com
PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre email@example.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac firstname.lastname@example.org fax: 1-800-967-7382 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre email@example.com ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR DESIGNER Tom Reno email@example.com
By Debbie DeLoach
Color Your Garden with Success Now is the time to spruce up the landscape with these helpful hints to help guarantee a bright and colorful yard for months to come.
34 Crystal Henry NAKED SALSA 110 Diane E. Shepard MAMA MUSINGS 119 Debbie DeLoach, Ph.D. GARDEN WAY 138 Donna Bonnell EMBRACING LIFE 145 Albert Isaac DIFFERENT NOTE
38 90 86 124 128 134 156
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BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT 37
Kids Fun Page Sports Schedules Community Calendar News Around Town Worship Centers Library Happenings Advertiser Index
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Larry Behnke Elizabeth Behrman Sandra Buckingham Jessica Chapman Debbie DeLoach Nicole Greiner Sarah Henderson Kate Heller Crystal Henry Allysen Kerr Tatiana Quiroga Chris Wilson
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MESSAGE >> FROM THE EDITOR
As we put the finishing touches on this edition of Our Town Magazine, I’m looking out the window of my office at a blue sky and a bright sunny day. Finally! This morning, before leaving home, I did not have to wear several layers of clothing just to open the front gate, and for once I did not have to defrost the car’s windshields for five minutes. Could it be that spring is finally here? It could be a trick. After all, I’ve been fooled before. Just last week I thought spring was here only to be hit with another surprising freeze followed by a torrential downpour followed by a warm sunny day followed by another freeze followed by - well, you get the idea. It may not yet be time to pull out those pots of delicate plants. Personally, I’ve given up with the concept of trying to grow things that do not survive through the winter naturally. It is just not worth the effort, dragging pots in and out of the house only to have them freeze on the one
14 | Spring 2010
last cold night of the year because I forgot to look at the weather forecast (or they got it wrong). I’ve seen a lot of wet, cold days this winter. In fact, it seems like we received our April showers early this year. Now I am looking forward to the May flowers. Some camellias are trying to bloom and I’ve spotted the telltale signs of spring in the redbud trees. Of course I know it is too early to celebrate; I’ve seen way too many late freezes wipe out our azaleas. I’m beginning to forget what they actually look like in full bloom. Nevertheless, the spring edition of Our Town celebrates the coming of this beautiful time of the year with stories about botanical gardens and spring festivals, chili cook offs, tortoise and duck races (neither involving real tortoises or ducks), and a wide variety of other articles to keep you reading until our next edition comes out. We also bring you several stories about fruit and vegetables; from a couple of roadside produce stands, to the benefits of eating locally grown food, to the farmers markets in our area. Writer Allysen Kerr offers us
some background on how Easter became not only a religious celebration but also a time for bunny rabbits to hide colored eggs. Our very own Larry Behnke, longtime contributor, is also an artist. For the past 20 years he has imagined an art co-op opening in High Springs. Now his vision has come to pass, as he and other artists have gotten together to help create the High Springs Art Co-op. Writer Nicole Greiner visited the studio, located in the High Springs Art Gallery, and talked with the owner and some of the artists that helped make this happen. And speaking of art, Larry also tells us about Elayne Dubin’s 10th anniversary teaching students in her Green Heron Art Studio. This is but a small example of what you can find in our magazine this spring. So now that the weather is warming, I hope to see you out and about, enjoying the wonderful things our communities have to offer. s
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STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Nicole Greiner
is a freelance writer and sophomore at UF’s College of Journalism. She loves hanging out with friends, watching football and reading. She hopes to work for the National Football League one day.
is a freelance writer and UF journalism junior. She is from Orlando and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with friends. firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie M. DeLoach, Ph.D.
is a fourth-year student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. Besides writing, she’s also a musician and enjoys photography, the arts and technology.
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.
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 retired Canadian snowbird who began writing how-to books at home in the 1980s while raising two sons. She and her husband divide their time between Vancouver, BC and Cedar Key, Florida.
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 student in UF’s College of Journalism. She is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity. She loves to read, write, watch movies and spend time with friends. email@example.com
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 a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She enjoys reading, watching movies and spending time outdoors in her spare time.
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.
16 | Spring 2010
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2010 | 19 T H O R N E B R O O Kwww.VisitOurTowns.com VILL AGE • G A I N E S V I L L Spring E
Gatorback Cycle Park High-flying, Fast Moving Action in Alachua BY CHRIS WILSON he drone of motorcycle engines is almost constant during any race weekend at Gatorback Cycle Park in Alachua. But once those engines are fired up, spectators can rest assured that there will be non-stop action, high-flying races and mud-splattered athletes pushing the limits of their machines. This is the world of motocross in Alachua County. Motocross is the most popular form of amateur
20 | Spring 2010
motorcycle racing, according to the sportâ€™s sanctioning body â€” the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). The races are held on natural terrain, self-contained tracks that have steep hills, jumps, tight turns and lots of dirt. Male and female competitors range from age 4 to over 50. The races are further broken down by classes according to the types of engines in the bikes, from 50 cubic centimeters (cc) to 450 cc. Cubic
centimeters refers to the capacity of the fuel cylinders in the motorcycle, with the larger capacity engines being more powerful. Gatorback Cycle Park, which sits on 95 acres on Northwest 46th Street just off County Road 235, is a long-standing tradition in Alachua County, according to the track’s director Wyn Kern. “Gatorback has been around for 41 years,” Kern said. “I’ve been running it for nine years. I believe [that before it was a motocross track] it was a quarry that was mined for limerock.” The track at Gatorback is about 1.5 miles in length and is a combination of hardpack soil and sand. There also is a course for hare racing, which requires riders to
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
The high-ﬂying action at Gatorback Cycle Park happens fast. Riders have to deal with steep hills, muddy terrain, jumps and sharp turns throughout the race.
travel through woods and other natural terrain areas. There are grandstand areas at several different points on the track, so that spectators can get a view of some of the varying terrain and turns the riders must take during the race. Kern said it takes the professional riders about two minutes per lap, while the athletes on the smaller bikes generally take another 30 seconds to a minute per lap. Each race, continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 21
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
Gatorback Cycle Park in Alachua has been around for 41 years. The track runs through a former limerock quarry.
which varies in the number of laps riders have to take around the track, takes about ten minutes. The events draw both professional riders and amateur athletes. Both groups have sponsors and the opportunity to win a “purse.” Younger age groups (ages 4-6 and 7-8) race on 50 cc bikes, which are similar to mopeds in power. Athletes in the age 10-15 group generally race on 65 cc and 85 cc motorcycles. The racers who ride on the 250 cc and 450 cc bikes are ages 16-24 and are further broken down into classes A, B and C. There are also “Vet” classes for ages 25-plus, 30-plus, 35-plus, 40-plus, 45-plus and 50-plus. Kern said that Gatorback typically hosts seven motocross events each year. Each event takes an entire weekend, features a number of different races and typically draws more
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than 300 racers and their dirt bikes. The biggest event hosted at the track each year is the Winter National Olympics, which are held in November. “In the fall, we start our season,” Kern explained. “We have events in mid-September and mid-October and the week of Thanksgiving in November. Then, the Winter Series starts and we have an event the first of January and the first of February. In March, we have another event, which is a vintage motocross race where all of the old motorcycles from the 1960s and 1970s come to Gatorback to race.” One of the most striking things for spectators who
have never been to one of these events is the sheer number of RVs and trailers that set up for the weekend in the “pit parking” area of Gatorback. There are vendors for everything from food to motor oil to T-shirts. “The parking area is large and flat, but our track has a lot of terrain variations,” Kern said. Between races, riders, continued on page 25
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o continued from page 23 coaches and parents can be seen pressure-washing mud from the bikes. They try to get the mud out of the engines, wheels and chains on the motorcycles to have them running without hindrance to their performance. Of course, safety is a huge concern in a sport such as motocross. With motorcycles and riders going as fast as they can in close proximity, Kern said that Gatorback has standby advanced life support units on-site throughout race weekends. There are also medics on the track to help riders if they are injured. “We are known for having the best caution flaggers and on-track medics in the country,” Kern said. Barry Carsten, who travels from New Jersey each year to enjoy the competition at Gatorback, said the track is excellent. He was at Gatorback for the January Winter AM series event. “This weekend, it’s really muddy,” said Carsten, who was the 2008 New Jersey Motocross Rider of the Year. “But, it’s a fun track and it’s challenging.” But, Kern said that Carsten is not the only athlete racking up frequent flyer miles with trips to Gatorback. “We get lots of international riders, including from Europe, South America, Australia, Canada and Central America racing at our events,” Kern said. s
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
Gatorback becomes a bustling community of RVs on race weekends. All ages get around on bicycles, motorcycles or
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Eating Local Good for you, good for your community BY ELIZABETH BEHRMAN ating organically can get expensive, especially in today’s economy. These days, more and more emphasis is put upon eating healthily, but people may not have to look too far away to get the nutrients they need. According to experts, eating locally grown food is more than just nutritional, it also helps build and shape a community. Dr. Robert Kluson, an agent with the UF/IFAS extension in Sarasota, said there are many
26 | Spring 2010
positive reasons why eating locally grown food is better than having it shipped from somewhere else. Locally grown food and produce taste better, is more nutritious and is better for the environment. It also helps support local families and businesses, keeps taxes down and builds community. “I try to broaden people’s concept of what ‘local’ food can mean,” Kluson said. It is all about community building, he said. “Local” food is grown by local
farmers and growers who sell in local markets. They practice sustainable agricultural techniques, and buying produce from local growers helps boost local economies and reduce the carbon footprint. “It’s not just anybody,” he said. “It has to be family and it has to be sustainable.” Tina Prizament, High Springs Farmers Market manager, said the three main benefits of eating locally are ecological, financial and nutritional.
She said the market is not limited to only fresh fruit and vegetables, but also offers bread and pastries, seafood, candy, herbs and organic poultry among other things. “It has to homemade and it has to be home-grown,” Prizament said. “We don’t sell any manufactured products.” She said local foods are more likely to be cleaner and less likely to be exposed to harmful chemicals than the foods in the large chain stores. “It’s more pesticide free than anything you’re going to get at a grocery store,” Prizament said. Kluson said the consumption of local foods is not immediately beneficial if the growers do not practice safe agricultural techniques and have community goals in mind. For example, after the record low temperatures in February, growers in Tampa sprayed water over their plants instead of covering them. Kluson said the aquifer was degraded by 60 percent, which created sinkholes throughout the area. Kluson said small farmers have the means of covering their crops — the more sustainable and environmentally-sound practice — which would make eating the local food all the more worthwhile. “We’re not getting all the benefits,” Kluson said. For those health- and environmentally-conscious consumers, Kluson cited an analysis from two years ago that said 80 percent of the nutritional value of food
depends on how it is grown. Factors such as fertilizers, pesticides, water quality and transportation have a real impact on how nutritious food is, whether it is organic or not. “Some of these things can surprise you when you study some of the analyses,” Kluson said. Prizament said the foods at the High Springs market may not necessarily be organic, but they are definitely local and exposed to fewer chemicals than foods from other stores. “People come religiously every week,” Prizament said. Kluson said there is no guarantee eating organic food is any more healthful than eating locally grown food. Transporting organic food from far away can result in loss of nutrients in the time it takes to get it to Florida. “Even organic food from California can be two weeks old before you get it,” he said. Kluson said fruits and vegetables have more vitamins and antioxidants when they are fresh. The older they get, the more they lose their color and their nutritious value. “Those things are so susceptible to time,” Kluson said. “Their levels can drop so quickly.” The color of the fruit or vegetable indicates how fresh it is, how old it is, and, therefore, how local it is. Because of these factors, it is difficult to say whether it is healthier to eat organic produce instead of locally and sustainably grown produce, Kluson said.
“Right now, it’s easier to say the local versus imported is more nutritious,” he said. Prizament said eating locallymade food is also better for the environment. “It’s not impacting the carbon footprint by virtue of transportation,” she said. Either way, buying locally grown food is safer, healthier, tastier and better for the environment and the local economy. Kluson said he tries to promote this concept to producers and consumers in his own community. “It gets very hard to get all these factors and tease them apart sometimes,” Kluson said. He said saying organic food is healthier than local food is like posting something on the Internet. Once it is up there, it can never be taken back. Part of his job is to encourage consumers to buy from their local markets, not just because of the obvious health and economic benefits but for the benefits to the community as well. “It’s amazing how something as simple as a farmers market is helping people re-connect with one another,” Kluson said. He said he can just sit in his local market and watch people develop new relationships, all centered around health food. “I just like to sit there and watch the interpersonal relationships that are going on,” Kluson said. “Everybody’s got to eat.” s
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To Market, To Market,
To Buy Fresh Food A visit to our area farmers markets BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH un, family, friends and fresh food abound at area farmers markets. They provide marketplaces for small-scale farmers and local food providers, as well as for crafters and entertainers. At farmers markets the community comes together in a relaxed atmosphere that fosters a slow pace and time to reconnect with the out of doors. Mickie Swisher has been an avid patron of Gainesville’s farmers markets since 1986. “They were brief, sporadic and semi-organized back then, more like farmers market predecessors,” she said while shopping at a local market. She has watched the markets grow, mature and multiply through the years. “We [Gainesville] really are lucky.” Each of the four Gainesville farmers markets sports their own unique atmosphere and style.
Farmers Market at Green Market FRIDAYS • 3 P.M. TO 7 P.M. SUNDAYS • 12 P.M. TO 5 P.M. 5408 NW 8TH AVENUE (FORMERLY GREENERY SQUARE) Set behind a white picket fence facing Newberry Road the Farmers Market at Green Market celebrated its grand opening on Friday, February 12. The Farmers Market at Green Market has plenty of parking and handicap-accessible restrooms. It is open twice a week, This newest farmers market in Alachua County features locally grown produce and live plants as well as crafts, jewelry and baked goods from local artisans.
28 | Spring 2010
Katie Kelly manages the market as part of her duties as an employee of Gardener’s Edge, a local gardening supply store that hosts the market. In a recent interview, Kelley said all vendors at the farmers market are required to produce their goods within 100 miles of the market location. Initially, each farm that wishes to participate in this market is inspected to assure they are producing what they will be bringing to market. “We will also inspect twice a year to make sure the farmer is selling [what] they’re actually growing, and to make sure they have the acreage to grow the amount of produce they’re bringing in,” Kelly said. The market is open year round, rain or shine, except on Christmas day.
Union Street Farmers’ Market EVERY WEDNESDAY 4 TO 7 P.M. BO DIDDLEY COMMUNITY PLAZA 111 E. UNIVERSITY AVE. Downtown Gainesville comes alive every Wednesday as vendors and local farmers set up shop in the Bo Diddley Community Plaza. They provide shoppers with everything from handmade jewelry to handmade bread. Of course, produce takes center stage. Shoppers can find a large assortment of fruit and vegetables, as well as dairy products and potted plants. Charlie Lybrand is manager of both the Union Street and Tioga Monday markets. He started the Union Street Market
PHOTOS BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH
RIGHT: Ramon Angeles discusses his hydroponically grown produce with interested customers. ABOVE: Rain or shine, the Haile Plantation Farmers Market is open for business. TOP: Joe Durando, owner of Possum Hollow Farm, sells his locally grown produce at the Union Street Farmers Market.
almost 14 years ago with eight vendors, including his own enterprise selling honey and blueberries. Now, about 50 vendors participate. Lybrand’s original goal was to “have a place to sell my product locally and a way to involve my family.” As his children grew they helped with the family business as he had planned. Now his youngest is due to graduate law school this spring. The Union Street Farmers Market atmosphere is festive as parents watch their children dance to music performed by local artists. Many people stop to visit, laugh and reconnect with friends and neighbors as they shop. Marvin Graham of Graham Farms in Brooker believes that farmers markets are “better for the customer” than they were when he started selling his produce and preserves 15 years ago at local farmers markets. He is looking forward to another year selling at the Union Street Farmers Market, as is Elbert Ellison. Ellison has a core of regular customers who relish his “sweet,” flash frozen Mayport shrimp. Of selling at the farmers’ market, the retired Ellison said, “I like it. It’s some extra income, and I enjoy talking to people.”
Alachua County Farmer’s Market EVERY SATURDAY 8:30 A.M. TO 1 P.M. 5920 N.W. 13TH ST. Founded in the 1970s, the Alachua County Farmers Market features covered shopping as well as handicap accessible restrooms. Only local growers, those farming within 50 miles of the market, may sell their crops and goods here. In addition, all wares and crafts must be made from locally produced materials. This marketing structure appeals to “locavores,” people who are dedicated to eating locally grown food. The old-fashioned style of shopping for food based on seasonal availability and being personally acquainted with farmers and other producers contributes to the charm and allure of this market. Jared Sweat, a graduate student at UF, manages the Alachua County Farmers Market. He stays busy with the market, school and two other jobs. Sweat represents the third generation of his family who are active in Gainesville farmers markets. Both his mother and grandmother sell produce at the Alachua County Farmers Market. continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 29
The number of vendors that sell at this market varies depending on season. During the off-season, between eight and 15 vendors are present, but the busy season usually nets 35 to 50 vendors. Shoppers can find hydroponically grown tomatoes in winter, as well as mushroom logs, worm castings, cut flowers and goat milk products year round. The Alachua County Farmers Market is located near the Highway Patrol Station. Alachua County owns the property while the Alachua County Farmers Market, a not-for-profit organization, leases the facilities from the county.
Haile Plantation Farmers Market EVERY SATURDAY 8:30 A.M. TO 12 P.M. HAILE VILLAGE CENTER Every Saturday, a section of S.W. 91st Terrace in the Haile Village Center is blocked to vehicle traffic for the Haile Plantation Farmers Market. Between 20 to 40 vendors line the street while shoppers, many with children in strollers and dogs on leash, amble the dormant roadway. Local stores that occupy the quaint small town style buildings also benefit from the market activity. The atmosphere is slow paced and friendly as shoppers take time to visit with neighbors and friends while shopping for handmade soap, salsas and pastries. Fresh produce and seafood are popular, also. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, manager of the Haile Plantation Farmers Market, said that local farmers established this market about 12 years ago as a venue to distribute their produce through a local community green markets initiative. Since then things have changed. The scope of the market expanded to include arts, crafts, other foodstuffs and local services.
Tioga Monday Market EVERY MONDAY 4 TO 7 P.M. TOWN OF TIOGA TOWN CENTER The Tioga Monday Market provides fresh produce, preserves, live plants and handcrafts to the growing populace of west Gainesville and Jonesville. It is located just off Newberry Road at the Town of Tioga Town Center and is open every Monday, except Labor and Memorial days, from 4 to 7 p.m., rain or shine. The hours and easy access appeal to local citizens as they take a break on their drive home from work to shop and visit. Veteran market manager, Charlie Lybrand, said the developers of the Town of Tioga had planned a farmers market as part of their concept for this community. About two years ago, the developers tapped Lybrand to start the Tioga Monday Market. He said that he now has a dedicated core of regular vendors and expects more as shopper interest in the market grows.
30 | Spring 2010
High Springs Farmers Market EVERY THURSDAY 2 P.M. TO 6 P.M. JAMES PAUL PARK Come on down to the sinkhole for a fun and fruitful shopping experience in High Springs. Yes, the vendors of High Springs Farmers Market are perched on the rim of a huge sinkhole located near city hall in James Paul Park. Every Thursday up to 31 vendors, many under protective canopies, sell produce, shrimp, cut flowers, baked goods, candles, oils, crafts and live plants. The High Springs Main Street Program, under contract to the City of High Springs, manages the High Springs Farmers Market. Tina Prizament, market manager since last September, enjoys her new position because “It’s challenging and I like people and there’s a need, a com-
PHOTO BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH
Alachua County Farmers Market underway during a rainy and wintry Saturday morning.
munity need, for locally produced products, services and goods,” she said. Two special booths, one covered by a yellow canopy and the other by a red one, provide patrons with useful services. The yellow canopy provides information about local events and not-for-profit organizations. “The whole purpose of the booth was to give the non-profits in the community a venue to dispense materials about their organizations and their organization’s fund raisers and fund-raising events without having to physically be here themselves every week,” said Dot Harvey, one of the High Springs Farmers Market’s longtime volunteers. The red booth provides a valuable service, also. “We have a portable ATM system from which we issue tokens to people with a debit, credit or EBT food stamp card and they are issued tokens at face value for whatever their card will sustain,” Prizament said. “All the vendors accept them continued on page 32
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o continued from page 30 [tokens] dollar for dollar, no cost to the vendor, no cost to the consumer.” Volunteers man both these booths and may be members of local clubs and organizations, but any responsible individual may volunteer. “We’ll take high schoolers with community service hours to complete,” Prizament said. “We need volunteers.”
Prizament hopes to reprise last year’s Art at the Market program that is slated to occur on the third Thursday of each month. Prizament hopes to reprise last year’s Art at the Market program that is slated to occur on the third Thursday of each month from January through May. On those days, two to four artists share a booth to display and sell their work while also sharing the cost of the booth. Coming up on Saturday, March 27, is the fourth annual Mutts and Pups event. It will be held in James Paul Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free. “Mutts and Pups is an annual event that we put on as a
fundraiser for the farmers market,” said Harvey, chairwoman of Mutts and Pups. “The Mutts and Pups show highlights mixed breeds and mutts rather than pedigreed dogs, to show everyone that mutts make wonderful pets. We are supported, also, by the Alachua County Humane Society. They come out and have a tent here and bring adoptable dogs.” The event includes dog contests as well as demonstrations and vendors. Winners of the 12 dog contests receive prizes, and one lucky dog will be awarded Best in Show at the end of the event. Contests include best dog and owner look-a-like pair, the dog with the best smile, the dog who sings the best song and more. Demonstrations by police dogs, canine search and rescue teams, guide dogs and therapy dogs highlight the event. Food and craft vendors will be present as well as vendors specializing in pet products and services. The usual farmers market vendors will be open for business, also. Dog owners interested in participating in a contest must register. Registration forms are available at the farmers market information booth and online. Registration the day of the show is permitted but the dog and owner must be present and registered by 11 a.m. The registration fee is $10 per contest category for each dog entered. Anyone interested in the Art at the Market program, Mutts and Pups show, and market volunteer opportunities should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. s
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COLUMN >> CRYSTAL HENRY
Naked Salsa When we were kids, my little brother and I loved going to the carnival. wanted to ride all the fast and scary roller coasters, and he wanted to play the carnival games to win the prizes. I would stand on my tiptoes, so that I was tall enough to ride the Super Loop. And he would shoot basketballs and toss coins to win a blow up hammer or a goldfish. We might have been spawned from the same two parents, but we were radically different souls. As babies go, I was a slow eater and ran one feeding into another. As a toddler I would stay wired until 10:30 or 11 at night when I would just pass out, and I was almost impossible to wake in the morning. Lights would be flipped on, covers ripped off, alarms wailing, but I would just squeeze my eyes shut, grumble to myself and fight the power. My mother actually had a collection of spray bottles that she had to use to get me out of bed. I would hide them when I found them, so she had to keep several tucked away throughout the house. If this sounds like child abuse, just ask my sweet Nana, who was skeptical as well until she had to baby-sit one week. Tyler on the other hand was on a strict schedule and exceeding expectations from day one. He was born almost three months early, and yet he rolled over by himself at only 2 days old. As a toddler he would promptly remind my mother at 8:31 p.m. that it was past his bedtime, and he would climb into bed like a good little lamb and go to sleep. He was a darling angel in the morning, just perky as peas when he awoke. Needless to say, our morning personalities clashed on more than one occasion. In junior high and high school I was a band geek who coasted by and really didn’t fit into any one social group. My teachers never liked me, my grades were enough to get by, and I was just known as the laid-back cutup in my close-knit crew. My baby bro on the other hand was Mister Popularity. His teachers loved him — even after they found out
34 | Spring 2010
who his big sis was — and he was always at the top of his class academically. He played football and won a slew of awards in everything from math to choir to life in general. He was a star. I was such a horrid and mouthy teenager that I know my mom had to breathe a huge sigh of relief when I graduated high school and moved out. I got my own apartment and attended the local community college while I figured out what was next. Tyler, on the other hand, knew in his junior year of high school he was going to be a University of Texas Longhorn and study chemical engineering. How could two chips from the same block be so radically different? At 18 years old I was a waitress at a local steakhouse plodding along through community college with no real idea what I was going to do with my life, while he was 13 and reeking of excellence. I have to admit I was a little resentful. I had so much to live up to with such a superstar sibling. But the world changed when we went to college. I worked hard that first year at Odessa College and at the Barn Door. I realized that I needed to buckle down if I didn’t want to handle chewed up cow carcass for the rest of my life. Knowing I wanted to do something creative somewhere far away, I applied to Florida State University. Without knowing a soul in that part of the country, I traded in my Texas plates for Florida ones and headed east for my education. I met my husband, found my passion for writing, got married, enrolled in the journalism program at the University of Florida and graduated with honors. All of a sudden everything clicked, and life just smacked me in the face with success. Finally I felt like an example for my little brother rather than the poster child for what not to do. Four years after I left home, Tyler graduated high school. He headed to UT, a little over five hours south of our hometown. He moved into a nice dorm with his friend from high school, and was ready and raring to start his college quest. But just a month or so into his first semester he called me in a panic. He failed his first chemistry test and was completely freaked out. It wasn’t that he didn’t study hard enough. His homework and quiz grades were top notch. But he had uncontrollable anxiety
attacks that would physically paralyze him to the point that he could not see straight during his tests. He was calling me to calm him down, but I had never gone through anything like that. I listened helplessly on the phone as my baby brother lost his mind. He called a few months later to tell me he failed the class, and as I listened to him tearfully admit his failure I started to realize that my perfect little brother didn’t have it so easy after all. He was so used to things going smoothly and being on track that he never gained the coping skills he needed for life’s little speed bumps. I, on the other hand, had experienced mediocrity and failure at almost every turn early on. So when life handed me lemons, I just re-gifted them at Christmas and moved on. I just couldn’t relate because there are so few things in my life that are worth freaking out about. No matter what happens, I can almost always name a time when things were worse, so I know that even though things get crappy, they always get better. It’s the rollercoaster we call life. There’s no sense in being scared of the next turn or freaked out by that last loop-to-loop. We should go with it and ride the ups and downs. Because when it ends and the ride comes to a complete stop, you grab your sunglasses and exit the ride. You can’t get back in line to do it over. You get one shot at it, so you might as well just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. s
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The Garden You’ve Been Waiting For!
reat your family to great homegrown vegetables without a garden. Vegetables, fruits, herbs and flowers grow bigger, tastier and faster in The EarthBox. It’s the garden you’ve been waiting for! Developed in Ellenton, FL by a commercial tomato grower, The EarthBox is a garden in a box. And it’s not just an ordinary box, it has been proven to double the yield of a conventional garden - with half of the fertilizer, 20 percent of the water and virtually no effort. But don’t take our word for it, just ask an EarthBox owner or visit Bennett’s True Value in
downtown High Springs, FL and see for yourself. Since The EarthBox uses potting mix , poor soil conditions in your area mean nothing. In fact most of our customers have tremendous EarthBox gardens just outside their back door.... on their patios and decks. Additionally, the potting mix in The EarthBox is covered, eliminating pesty weeds and water loss due to evaporation. Speaking of water, you can’t overwater! The EarthBox is self-watering,
as it comes with a 3 gallon reservoir which waters plants automatically, making it impossible to over-water. Available in UV protected recycled plastic, you’re sure to enjoy years of gardening pleasure with an EarthBox. Stop in at Bennett’s True Value soon and allow one of our knowlegdeable staff members to show you the benefits of owning an EarthBox. New organic and traditional products are arriving daily to give us a more complete line of gardening products.
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Spring 2010 | 37
Kidâ€™s Fun Page Have fun solving these puzzles. The answers can be found on page 155.
Word Search Sudoku Puzzle Oleno State Park April Fools Spring Festivals Art Show Biblical Gardens Botanical
Schools Rotary Club Homeless Pets Mentor Farmers Market Produce Relay
Operation Petsnip Color Gatorback Track Program Mother Roadside Oak Hall
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CROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS
Original name for O’Leno
School with biodiesel project
Celebrates 10 years of art instruction
Yearly event featuring melons
Resource to aid teachers
10 Colorful items hidden by a rabbit
High Springs Farmers Market Manager
12 Places to buy local produce
High Springs Biblical Garden
13 Program to sterilize cats
Event hosted on Santa Fe River by Rotary Club
15 Celebration for cancer survivors
New venue for High Springs Artists
16 Celebration held April 18 in Alachua
11 Future Newberry museum
17 Day for practical jokes
14 Shootouts take place during this
All these clues are references to information that can be found in the articles within this magazine
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Spring 2010 | 41
>> LOCAL ACTIVITIES
Spring Festivals Three Festivals of Fun in April and May BY LARRY BEHNKE
Alachua Spring Festival APRIL 18 • 11 A.M. - 5 P.M. This festival has steadily grown and evolved since it began in 2003. The Alachua Business League originally created the event as a home and garden show. Local businesses had
42 | Spring 2010
booths that sold plants or helped with home improvements. Such booths are still featured, but more than a hundred new vendors of great variety have been added since those early days. They stretch all the way from Bev’s Burgers south to Alachua Farm and Lumber, most of
the length of historic Main Street. Now there is much to entertain the whole family: plenty of food and live music plus dance troupes and lots of children’s activities. Organizer Joan Sroka lists more. “Art, crafts, jewelry, clowns, boats, toys, pony rides, games,
Previous Page PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
Dinah Strode of Newberry enjoys her slice of watermelon.
anything that makes people happy,” she said. “This is always an all-around great family Sunday afternoon.” Charitable organizations set up tables, too. The food choices range from carnival style to healthy fare. Free music on two separate stages is of a good variety to please all. Bands in the past have included Velveeta Underground, County Road and Alley Cats, music from rock to country to light jazz. Something else happens magically at Spring Fest. People have commented that it seems like most of the local folks a person knows
will be on Main Street that Sunday. It truly is a festival of friends. For more info, go to www.alachuabusiness.com.
Top Left PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
An acrobat is just one of many kinds of entertainment at the
High Springs Pioneer Days
Alachua Spring Fest.
SATURDAY, APRIL 24 AND SUNDAY, APRIL 25
PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
Scores of vendor booths line both sides of Alachua’s Main
In the early 1980s, folks gathered in springtime for a “yard sale” that took up most of downtown High Springs. Merchants cleaned out stock and displayed it on tables in front of their stores. Anyone could bring items to set up and sell.
Street in view of historic houses. Bottom PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
Actors stage a shoot-out twice a day, at noon and 2 p.m.
Spring 2010 | 43
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
Children scale the rock climbing feature during last year’s Pioneer Days held in High Springs.
One year, a couple of locals dressed as gunslingers and pretended to have a gunfight. The town was ripe for such shenanigans, having recently done away with the annual tobacco festival. The next year, events were planned and the first Pioneer Day happened. Women put on old-time dresses; men looked like Wild West hombres. Cow patty bingo and lawnmower races delighted observers. Churches sold baked goods and barbecue. The Woman’s Club featured the Grimy Gulch Saloon and men dressed up as dance hall girls to put on a hilarious review. Over the years the event grew to two days. Craft booths were added and a professional shoot-out was staged twice each day. High Springs is holding Pioneer Days on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. It is the largest annual event sponsored by the High Springs Chamber of Commerce. This year’s theme remembers High Springs’ railroad heritage. During the glory days of steam railroading the town was a major repair center for the massive engines. What amounted to
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Alachua County Ofﬁce of Waste Alternatives 44 | Spring 2010
a second town one mile west of downtown held an engine roundtable, railroad hospital, shops and boarding houses aimed at the many railroad workers who lived and worked there. Shoot-outs are at high noon and 2 p.m. There are plenty of rides for the kids and a variety of food is offered. A heritage village area shows craftspeople making such things as kettle corn, dolls, carvings and blacksmith items. Many booths sell crafts and some even have art. A local pioneering family is honored before the first shoot-out. Each year holds something new. Pioneer Days is still a time for the locals to come downtown and socialize, but now it is also a destination for those from surrounding communities. For more info, go to www.highsprings.com.
Newberry Watermelon Festival SATURDAY, MAY 15 In Newberryâ€™s early years, tobacco was a major crop, but after World War II, watermelons became the important cash crop. The American Legion honored returning World War II veterans with a huge festival to celebrate. It happened to occur in the middle of the watermelon harvest. That was the birth of the Watermelon Festival, an annual tradition that has lasted more than six decades.
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The festival is held Saturday, May 15. On the preceding Friday night is a Watermelon Queen pageant and the winners are announced the next afternoon. On Saturday morning the watermelon parade cruises through downtown Newberry. Around 10 a.m. the main festivities begin at Canterbury Showplace located a mile east of downtown on Newberry Road. Carnival rides are set up next to a variety of food vendors. Nearby are rows of booths featuring crafts, unique sale items and business owners getting to know the public. The Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the festival, has tables with information about the town, plus T-shirts and free promotional items. One of the favorite places to visit is the free watermelon table. Hundreds of fresh local watermelons are sliced and given away to eager eaters. By the end of the day the rinds nearly fill a nearby truck. Throughout the day people enjoy live music and events such as the seed-spitting contest or the watermelon-rolling contest for children. This yearâ€™s watermelon festival is being held in conjunction with the Haven Hospice Rodeo the same weekend, also at Canterbury Showplace. According to Tia Bonnell, Festival President, there will be some new events happening this year with details to be announced. s
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Spring 2010 | 45
Day Trip to Cedar Key Old Florida celebration of the arts BY SANDRA BUCKINGHAM
f plain old curiosity hasn’t yet inspired you to visit the town selected by the USDA as Florida’s Rural Community of the Year for 2009, then mark April 24th and 25th on your calendar for an
46 | Spring 2010
excursion to the western terminus of State Route 24. That’s when you’ll have the added incentive of enjoying Cedar Key’s annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts. Unlike many art festivals and
most craft fairs, this one is juried to ensure original artistry and fine craftsmanship. More than a hundred artists chosen to participate this year will compete for $10,000 in prize money and another $10,000
Wildlife Refuges in the country, providing habitat to vast numbers Artist Sam Kates with wife during a previous Cedar Key Spring Arts Festival. of migratory and shore birds. There are daily boat tours to the in purchase awards. The charming historic architecture, rent a kayak, island of Atsena Otie, site of the and Historic Second Street will charter a fishing trip, cast a line original settlement and home to become a pedestrian-only mall from the town dock, go birding, an Eberhard Faber pencil factory for this weekend event, both sides watch incredible sunsets, or stay that was devastated by a hurricane lined with booths displaying art up late stargazing. During the week at the end of the 19th century and and fine crafts in many different you can join one of eight free yoga never rebuilt. media — oils, acrylics, prints, classes. Wander through the local The coastal waters and tidal jewelry, ceramics, photography, art galleries or visit the Cedar Key marshes of the Cedar Keys are a stained glass, woodwork, sculpture, Pottery Studio and see where their fisherman’s paradise and support fiber and textiles. an important clam A few steps beyond farming industry. the booths is City Park, Depending on the seawhere children will son and the weather, have sidewalk chalk your catch of the day art, face painting, on inshore waters may a playground and include red drum, black beach. You can listen drum or trout. to music in the park The Old Florida while lunching on Celebration of the Arts seafood and desserts is easy to find. Take prepared and sold by State Route 24 (Archer local school, civic and Road) out of Gainesville PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OFCA church organizations. and drive southwest Historic Second Street becomes a pedestrian-only mall for You won’t soon forget to the end of the road, the Cedar Key Spring Arts Festival. “We expect 25,000 in the Garden Club’s about 60 miles. You attendance this year,” said Coordinator Mandy Cassiano. homemade-fromcan also pick up SR 24 scratch lemonade or at Archer, Bronson or Tony’s World Champion signature flat blue glaze originates. Otter Creek if you are coming from clam chowder. Or bring an easel and meet up with other directions. Aviation buffs can If you have time for a leisurely a group of plein air artists. even fly here (www.airnav.com/ visit, consider arriving a few days Cedar Key is made up of a chain airport/KCDK), as long as they can early or leaving a few days later. It of small barrier islands extending land and take off with about 2000 will give you the chance to enjoy three miles out into the Gulf of feet of runway. s the quiet charm of Cedar Key, its Mexico. The currently inhabited For more information about this annual waterways, its bird life, its musekeys are joined by short bridges, fine arts show, please contact event coordinator Mandy Cassiano 352-543-5400 ums, shops and restaurants. You which also make popular fishing or the Chamber of Commerce at 352-543can walk or cycle the entire town, spots. Thirteen other islands make 5600. www.cedarkeyartsfestival.com photograph magnificent oaks and up one of the oldest National PHOTO COURTESY OF CASEY SMITH
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P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H I S R E P O R T PA I D F O R BY S U N S TAT E F E D E R A L C R E D I T U N I O N
Built for Times Like These.
Built for You. BY JIM WOODWARD, SunState Federal Credit Union President/CEO
On behalf of the Board and staff, thank you for the continued trust and support you as members have bestowed upon us over the past year. 2009 was extremely challenging for all, and we seriously doubt there are many wishing for a repeat. In late 2008, despite dim economic forecasts, we chose as our rallying cry, “SunState Federal Credit Union will shine in 2009!”
The pace of activity and the issues we confronted; operational, financial, and regulatory, were very demanding. Despite the harsh economics of 2009, as you read this report, we more so than so many other institutions, did rise to the occasion and did in fact “shine” for our members. The common theme you heard from the press last year was tight credit and financial institutions unwilling, or unable, to lend money. That simply was not the case at SunState; our net loan growth for the year was more than twenty five million dollars. These loans were for real estate, automobiles, and small businesses right here in North Central Florida - exactly what our members and the local economy needed. We continue to maintain conservative loan underwriting practices, utilizing policies designed to help members whenever possible without putting them, or the credit union, in an unfavorable risk position. As a result of these mostly conservative, always responsible, lending policies, our delinquency ratios remained stable
at roughly one third of the national average for financial institutions of all sizes. For our deposit members, we offered a special 19 month CD in the fourth quarter. Throughout the year, our Money Market rates were in the top tier for this area. Last year, our net shares grew by nearly thirty five million dollars. We remain strongly capitalized and well prepared to handle any adverse situations. We continue to manage our portfolios with an eye toward earning a conservative return for the membership while incurring manageable risk. During 2009, federal share insurance covering your shares on deposit with SunState increased from $100,000, to $250,000. We continue to implement our core values for the member by providing world class service, competitive rates, convenience, and affordable products and services. SunState was recognized nationally as being a credit union in the top 20% in member service. Our mystery shopping placed us as the runner up among our peers in the referral
48 | Spring 2010
Simply stated, SunState will deposit, in bulk, a nickel for every signature transaction. Just think of it. Are you planning on buying a new song on iTunes for 99 cents? Get a nickel back! Your “must have” morning latte? How about lunch, gas for the car, a run to Publix, or your afternoon soda? All would earn you a nickel-back.Other banks play games with your money, by transferring
Jordan Hagan digs in as SunState Federal Credit Union recently broke ground on their newest branch on NW 43rd Street. In addition to being a branch this will be the operations center for their Commercial Services Division.
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rating with members saying they would recommend SunState to others as their financial institution of choice. In September, we opened the Jonesville branch. This state-ofthe-art two story building doubles as a full service branch and training facility. The open-lobby concept provides a relaxed, personable atmosphere in which members can conduct their business feeling more like friends, family, and members, than customers Due to the positive response from members, management has decided to use this lobby design for our future branches. SunState worked diligently throughout the year to streamline operations and improve internal efficiencies. With a new suite of software programs, anyone can apply for membership online as well as complete a consumer loan application. A person’s data is integrated into the computer system for greater security and accuracy. We made great forward strides with our phone system; the result of which has been a greatly reduced abandoned call rate. This has made our Call Center one of the most popular
departments with our members. We added a new product for budget and investment advice. This no-cost, no-obligation service is something everyone, no matter what their age, needs to take advantage of. There is no question the events of the past year have changed the way we will conduct business going forward. We are living in a time of change, but also a time of great opportunity for those who are agile and responsive. Top business economists believe the recession has reached its bottom, but that recovery is likely to be slower than that typically experienced following steep declines. Your credit union will continue to take advantage of every means to assist you through the challenging times still ahead. As you read the following reports, it will become obvious that compared to our peers, SunState certainly did shine in 2009. Thank you for choosing SunState Federal Credit Union as your one trusted financial partner through these trying economic times – your trust has not gone, and will not go, unrewarded.
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your own money from one account to another, while SunState FCU oﬀsets the expense of everyday living, one nickel at a time. If you’re already a member of SunState Federal Credit Union, there’s no need to sign up. All members with a SunState checking account and a Visa Check card are automatically enrolled. If you’re not a member, why not become one?
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Spring 2010 | 49
50 | Spring 2010
In Praise of Moms Mother’s Day lands on May 9 this year, and in celebration of this event, several writers have taken pen to paper to honor their Moms.
By Chris Wilson My mother, Sally Wilson, inherited two important traits from her parents. The first is a love for food, which grows specifically from her Italian heritage. The second trait is poor hearing. Both are important to her personality and our family life. I can still hear my grandmother telling all of us to “mangia” in her garlic-seasoned kitchen. Growing up under the care of Italian women — my grandmother, mother and two aunts — was always a delicious endeavor. It translated to my home, where my mother constantly offered food to my friends. It was no wonder that I had plenty of friends who loved coming to our house. When I was in college, my roommates would await my return after vacation to see what I had brought with me back to school. Now that I have kids of my own, I understand that my children might want to skip dinner after visiting their Mimi’s house. Spaghetti, meatballs, soup or pie — I can literally see it on their faces and smell it on their clothing. It has been said that Italian mothers are never more happy than when they’re taking care of their babies. That’s true about my mother and you can see that in her smile. Our arrival is always greeted by excitement, kisses and, of course, food. Italian mothers equate food with love. It took me a while to learn to forgo moderation and to just let mom serve meals, regardless of whether I was hungry. My wife is still learning to give in to my mother’s demands that we eat... more.
Don’t try to turn down a meal from my mother. Remember, she can’t hear well at times. She specifically has trouble hearing people who turn down food and drink. And, in case she doesn’t hear me when I tell her in person, at least she can read it here: I love you, Mom. And, while you’re up, can you please pass the pepper?
By Albert Isaac What can I say about my dear mother that hasn’t already been written by the most eloquent of poets describing their own moms? She gave me life and she kept me safe from harm; she soothed my fears and wiped my tears; she guided me without undue pressure and helped me to become the man I am to this day. My only fear is in not living up to my own expectations — because Mom has never made me feel as if I haven’t lived up to hers. Sure, we had our spats — as is the norm for families everywhere — usually because I was being unreasonable. I would be more concerned growing up in a family that never argued or yelled. But maybe that’s just me. I grew up in a loud but loving family that never failed to celebrate bountiful Christmases; a family that had summer vacations to the mountains regardless of our financial situation. Mom was born of strong Norwegian stock on a South Dakota farm during a December blizzard. I love hearing her stories of life growing up on a farm, something I can only imagine since continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 51
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I grew up in the big city. It sounds like a hard life, but she doesn’t describe it as such. They seemed to have everything they needed: a loving family, a roof over their heads, food in their cabinets (or root cellar) and a one room-school house down the road. Her education took her away from the farm life. She went to nursing school as a teenager, and after graduation she moved about as far away from South Dakota as possible, landing in Miami where she met and married a blue-eyed Norwegian. (Later Dad bought a farm and she found herself back in the country!) Mom was, and still is, the Rock of Gibraltar; the glue that holds our family together; the cool head to turn to when in need. She has supported me in all my endeavors, and when I was unemployed she was there, with her positive outlook — and some financial assistance. I only wish words could do justice to this incredible woman — my Mom.
By Larry Behnke Mom could be difficult, but I loved her dearly. She did not always cope well after Dad died when I was five. My sister was two months old. The dealership took back our car, but Mom was determined to keep that house. She opened the Home Style Beauty Shop in one bedroom. She would style a neighbor’s hair, hand me the money and I’d bike to the store for food. She told me if I wanted my own stuff or money I’d have to find a way to get it. I did, from age eight on. I collected deposit soda bottles, sold Kool-Aid, raked leaves, washed windows and mowed lawns. Mom told me, “All things come to those who wait.” I interpreted that to mean I could have whatever I wanted if I believed it would happen and was patient. I found out this really works. Mom always made my sister and me feel unconditionally loved, even when her frustrations of being a single mother caused her to yell at us. We knew she was doing her best and that we were the most important parts of her life. We never lacked for food or clothing. And thanks to Mom, I have no debts. Each month she would sit at the kitchen table with stacks of bills and decide which ones Dad’s veteran’s pension check could pay. Some bills were urgent, some could be partially paid, and others would get a letter asking for more time. Many months she would cry over her burden of debt. Watching her made me resolve to pay as I go. I don’t even have a credit card. Mom had a peculiar fear. Her mother had died at age 70 and Mom was sure she would die then, too. Some months before her 70th birthday, Mom’s doctor gave her a clean bill of health. But on her 70th birthday, she went to the hospital and died two days later. The cancer that had been in remission for years had suddenly spread throughout her body. This was one final lesson for me from Mom: what you think is what you get. s
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April Fools BY CRYSTAL HENRY
Why did the tradition begin?
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The history of April Fools Day is one that is shrouded in mystery. And historians have contradicting accounts of where the origins of this impish holiday began. Some say the holiday originated during the French calendar reform of the sixteenth century. In 1564, France changed its calendar in order to move the first day of the year from the end of March to January 1. News of the change was slow to reach some parts of the country, and some rural residents neglected to follow the new calendar. Those steadfast yokels were dubbed as fools when they celebrated the new year in April, hence the term April Fools. Still, historical references and actual timelines of the calendar reform all serve to prove this theory wrong. Literary mention of a holiday for foolishness date back before the calendar reform as well. Another explanation of the holiday is the story of Constantine and Kugel. Joseph Boskin, a professor at Boston University, said the Roman emperor, Constantine, allowed a court jester named Kugel to rule the kingdom for a day after being told by a group of court jesters that he could do a better job at running the kingdom. As ruler, Kugel passed an edict calling for absurdity on that same day, and so the tradition began. The only problem with this story is that Boskin made it up. The article ran in several newspapers in 1983 before the Associated Press found it was untrue. They were just a victim of Boskin’s April Fools’ joke. Even though those two theories have their roots in Europe, the true story of this holiday’s history has its origins in North America. And the man who brought this mischievous holiday to the world was actually out looking for trade routes to India. References to the first April Fools’ Day actually cropped up about three years after Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. It was Queen Isabella of Spain who first wrote of the holiday in her letters to Columbus. She said since he severely underestimated the circumference of the earth, and in turn landed in the Americas rather than India, his trade route search was not considered a success. Furthermore, the idea that he discovered new and undiscovered territory was also crushed when news that Leif Ericson, a Norseman, had discovered civilization in the New World in March, 500 years prior to Columbus landing there. She called Columbus an April Fool because he was too late in his arrival to claim this accidental discovery as his own. And although Columbus, was in fact appointed the governor and viceroy of Hispaniola, his reign was shortlived. Because of his “unsuccessful” mission in 1492, he had become a laughingstock among his subordinates. His flaring temper only added fuel to the fire, and the crew began to play pranks on him regularly. Many called him the April Fool, and references to the “pesce d’aprile” are yet to be attributed to anyone except Columbus during that time. And since he was not the first to discover the New World, as he initially thought, the first day of April was chosen ironically as a day for everyone to “fool” people as they said Columbus did. Reports that this version of the story is untrue have circled as well. But if you read the first letter of each line of this story you will know the truth.
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>> THE ARTS
The Joy of Painting Art show celebrates a decade of student work BY LARRY BEHNKE
layne Dubin has always had a love of art. For the past decade she has shared that love by teaching others how to paint. Her students range in age from five into their 70s. Their work will be featured at an art show on Friday, April 30 from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. at the High Springs Civic Center. “I feel like I was born a painter,” Dubin said with a laugh. “I’ve always done some kind of art.” Other than her ongoing painting, she has also done drawing, sculpture and dance. She opened her first art studio, the Green Heron Gallery, behind what was recently Hugs and Kisses Consignment off Alachua’s Main Street. Then Dubin moved across the street to the corner and was there for years. Her studio is now located in the building above Valerie’s Loft further south on Main Street. Dubin also recently opened a home studio for weekend workshops. She and her husband Russ Augspurg live on the Santa Fe River, which is handy for Dubin who likes
56 | Spring 2010
to canoe and take river photos to be used as reference for paintings. She recently completed a 30-inch by 40-inch painting of Blue Springs. Dubin has paintings on display at the High Springs Community Theater. And from March 20 until May 9 she will have works displayed at Gainesville’s Thomas Center, in collaboration with Shands Hospital, a show called “Mind, Body and Soul.” It is a part of the Art and Healing series. Two of Dubin’s students will have work there, too. The student art show on April 30 will have approximately 70 paintings done by 25 students of Dubin’s classes. Dubin has the ability to draw out her students’ hidden talents. Many who had considered themselves too young or too old to learn painting surprise themselves during her classes. She strolls around the room of painters giving advice or helping students get over roadblocks to finish their vision. She is the nurturing mother figure who believes in her students’ abilities. At the art shows, beaming students
are photographed by their parents (or by their children), as they stand proudly by their works. Another enjoyable part of the annual art show is a table full of refreshments, and live music by the band, String Kings, old friends of Dubin and her husband.
For the past decade Elayne Dubin has shared her love of art by teaching others how to paint. Dubin has enjoyed her decade of teaching in Alachua and is happy to have moved here from Washington D.C. She plans to continue with her classes. “I’m not going anywhere; these are my roots now,” she said. “I’ve been happy since the day I arrived here. It’s paradise.” s
PHOTOS BY LARRY BEHNKE
Below: Elayne Dubin, left, stands next to one of her former students, Lydia Simmons, who started art classes at age 11 and went on to study so she too, could teach art. Left: A painting by Elayne Dubin Bottom: One of Dubinâ€™s past student art shows featuring music by the String Kings.
Spring 2010 | 57
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Tools for Schools A resource for teachers rolls into town BY CRYSTAL HENRY
ach year, teachers in Alachua County spend hundreds of dollars out of their own pockets to buy basic supplies they need to teach their students. Pens, pencils, paper and crayons are just a few of the items they often need because many of their own students cannot afford them or just do not bring them to class.
Although teachers are provided with some supplies, the burden of fully stocking the classrooms often falls on their shoulders. And with the economy in a slump, many schools have had to cut back on what they can provide. “The classroom is the last place you want to cut,” said Jim Brandenburg, principal at Alachua
Elementary School. To alleviate some of that burden, a program called Tools for Schools allows teachers to shop at a free “store” to stock their classrooms. The store carries everything from pens and pencils to fabric remnants and hole punchers. “It’s such a variety,” said Jenny Seitz, continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 59
public education coordinator for Alachua County. Seitz said the school board purchased an old convenience store next to Williams Elementary in Gainesville. And with a little paint, some garden boxes in the front and plenty of donations from the community, that convenience store was transformed into a renewable
Additional shopping days can be earned if teachers are willing to volunteer at the center for a certain number of hours. resource center for teachers in Alachua County. The store was originally created to help teachers at schools with the free and reduced lunch program provide supplies to their students. Seitz said the school district provides her with a list of schools in which 50 percent or more of the students are in the free and reduced lunch program. Teachers from those schools are scheduled a day to visit the store once per month. Schools with less than 50 percent of students in the free and reduced lunch program are allowed to choose one representative from each grade level to
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shop once per month. Seitz said additional shopping days can be earned if teachers are willing to volunteer at the center for a certain number of hours. That number fluctuates, but Seitz said teachers can come in on early release days or whenever they are available to work the store. They also have a door prize game in which teachers can win extra shopping days or highly sought items. Seitz said all the teachers are very appreciative of the supplies they receive, and they get very excited when new supplies arrive. “They’re like a little kid in a candy store,” Seitz said. Teachers are given a shopping form or shopping list when they sign in at the store. They are allowed to get up to 15 different items per visit. One item may be a pack of two glue sticks or a 24 pack of crayons. They can also specially request items such as dice for counting games. Seitz said the program has applied for local grants, and uses monetary donations to obtain those specially requested items. She said local businesses donate old stationary or supplies with out-dated contact information. Or they hold supply drives at their business for traditional classroom supplies such as notebook paper, crayons and pens. And places like the Florida Museum of Natural History have donated educational tools as well. She said the teachers are very creative and can find a use for almost any item continued on page 65
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o continued from page 60 that is donated. “We usually don’t say no to items if we have room for it,” she said. But although the store is an invaluable resource to teachers who desperately need supplies, many teachers outside of Gainesville cannot make it to the store before it closes. Brandenburg said he thinks the program is a great example of how the community takes care of the schools. But it is difficult for teachers in his school to make the drive to Gainesville. He said he is often shooing teachers out of school at 5 p.m., and, since the center closes at 5:30, it is difficult for them to make it on time. Seitz said she is aware of the situation, so in order to help teachers in those outlying communities she is in the process of launching a mobile Tools for Schools unit that will visit Alachua, Newberry, Hawthorne, Waldo, High Springs and Micanopy. Each week, the mobile unit would visit a different location, and it would be open for a few hours so that teachers from those communities would have time to shop for their supplies. The locations have not yet been determined, but Seitz said they are taking into consideration safety and parking and ensuring that the mobile unit will be centrally located. Right now, Seitz said they are working to fill the
trailer with supplies. And they hope to launch an event to gather donations from the community. Brandenburg said although many of his teachers do not have the time to utilize the Tools for Schools location in Gainesville, the businesses in Alachua have been more than generous by donating supplies directly to the school. Seitz said businesses all over Alachua County have been a great help in stocking the shelves
“Businesses all over Alachua County have been a great help in stocking the shelves at the store.” at the store, so she hopes that generosity will help fill the trailer for the mobile unit. “The community is very generous,” she said. Brandenburg said the schools in Alachua County thrive because of the generosity of business owners and residents. And he said he is thrilled to hear that his teachers will have convenient access to the Tools for Schools program. “I think it’s great if they’re going to have a mobile unit,” Brandenburg said. “I think that’s pretty exciting.” s For more information about Tools for Schools or to donate supplies, contact Jenny Seitz at 352-374-5213 or JSeitz@ alachuacounty.us.
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Spring 2010 | 65
Once For Cooking French Fries, Now...
New Fuel Oak Hall student begins biodiesel program at school
BY CHRIS WILSON
aybe those fast food french fries are not so bad for people after all. One Oak Hall School student found that even if those fries do not benefit one’s health, the oil in which the potatoes are fried could fuel equipment and vehicles. Oak Hall senior Erich Christian helped the school create a new biodiesel shed, where a group of students and science teachers manufacture the fuel. The school held an official ribbon cutting to mark the opening of the Oak Hall Biodiesel Project on Dec. 1, 2009.
66 | Spring 2010
Christian said he was inspired to begin a recycling program after visiting The Island School on Eleuthera, Bahamas, which is an energy-efficient facility. “They had a biodiesel plant at The Island School, and I asked the islander who spearheaded that project about how it got started,” Christian said. “I thought it was definitely something we could do here.” Christian had to go through some governmental red tape to get the project off the ground. He credits Alachua County Environmental
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
Oak Hall School senior Erich Christian said he was inspired to create a biodiesel program after visiting The Island School, an energy-efﬁcient school in the Bahamas.
Protection Director Chris Bird with guiding him through the process. Christian said it required a lot of one-on-one meetings and telephone conversations, but he did not have to make presentations at government meetings. “We had to deal with the zoning office and the fire marshal and a number of other issues,” Christian said. “But, we finally got everything passed, and we were good to go.” Christian also took the idea to the biodiesel project’s faculty adviser and Oak Hall science teacher Mike Winslow. He said Winslow loved his plan. “The person at The Island School taught me about the whole process and how to analyze things,” Christian said. “I researched more about it online. And we’ve worked as a group to learn the process. It’s actually really simple.” The school has been getting donations of used vegetable oil from area restaurants. The process of turning vegetable oil into biodiesel varies in terms of how long it takes, Winslow said. “The dirtier the oil, the longer it takes,” he said. “When the beginning process is finished, it separates into two layers. The top layer is crude biodiesel and the bottom is glycerin, which we drain right off. Now, we have to deal with the raw biodiesel, and what we do is wash it with water. Spray water on it, and the water goes right through it. We test it as we go to make sure it turns out clean.” continued on next page
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The end result is much better for use in vehicles than traditional diesel fuel or gasoline. Winslow said it can also lead to a healthier environment. “The CO2 that’s given off is at least 50 percent less than other fuel,” Winslow said. “It’s better for the engine. The engine will run quieter and smoother.” Winslow said the only byproduct produced from biodiesel is glycerin, and Oak Hall will be turning all of that substance over to the University of Florida for research. Florida Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection Mike Sole said biodiesel is better for the environment in other ways as well. “Other diesel and petroleum products often have sulfur and other pollutants,” Sole said. “You don’t have some of those hydrocarbon pollutants associated with the biodiesel.” Bird said biodiesel also has positive effects on the local environment. “One issue with waste grease at restaurants is that it’s one of the leading causes of sewage spills if it’s not managed properly,” Bird said. “Gainesville Regional Utilities has done work to show that cooking grease, and people pouring grease down the drain, has been a leading cause of sewage spills. There’s a lot of other environmental benefits, aside from reducing carbon footprints and dependency on foreign oil.”
What’s Next For Oak Hall Biodiesel? Currently, the fuel produced by the Oak Hall
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
Oak Hall School headmaster Richard Gehman addresses students, parents and guests at the ribbon cutting on the school’s biodiesel shed.
Biodiesel project is used in the school’s lawn mowers, tractors and landscaping equipment. However, the dream of Oak Hall students and staff is to take the fuel to another level. “We’d like to use it to run our school buses,” Winslow said. “But, getting this fuel out on the road is a whole different process. There’s still a lot of things we must do to take it out on the taxpayers’ roads.” Winslow said there will also be a class offered at Oak Hall pertaining to the biodiesel project and that many of the students are enthused. “It takes time to teach this,” he said. “You teach them at the bench level in the laboratory. Then, you
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take them out here [to the Biodiesel shed], because this gets involved. I have to supervise one step of the process that has to be under very controlled conditions.” Bird said he is pleased with the direction Oak Hall students are headed. “This is not business as usual, in terms of the way we consume energy,” Bird said. “I think it’s exciting. This is a part of becoming more energy independent
Currently, the fuel produced by the Oak Hall Biodiesel project is used in the school’s lawn mowers, tractors and landscaping equipment.
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and every time there is a project like this, it’s a step toward being successful. It’s especially encouraging to see young people take the lead, because they are the future, and they’ll be dealing with more [environmental issues] in their lifetime.” Bird said he is pleased that Oak Hall showed the leadership to produce biodiesel. He said it should help show other businesses or organizations that they can also use these ideas. s
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Colored Eggs, A Bunny, and Religion? Hunting for answers about Easter Celebrations and where exactly that bunny came from
BY ALLYSEN KERR
magine going to church or Mass on Easter Sunday only to find out the communion bread had been switched with egg-shaped Jelly Beans, and the minister was wearing a bunny suit. Better yet, imagine going to an Easter egg hunt and having a fully robed choir singing while children frolic through fields looking for the treasured egg. Sounds crazy, but in a way, that is what Easter has become in the United States. With more than 300 million people living in America, it is easy to see how traditions could merge. From various religions to ethnic backgrounds, there are rarely two families that celebrate Easter exactly the same. But every year, consumers spend an average of $116.59 on Easter candy, food and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation. As a whole, Americans are predicted to spend about $12.37 billion this season. Easter will arrive with millions of colored eggs,
70 | Spring 2010
candy and Easter egg hunts. But in many parts of the world Easter will be celebrated by Christians seeking to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Both traditions have been celebrated for years, but over time, Easter with the bunny and Easter with Jesus have become a combined tradition.
Consumers spend an average of $116 on Easter candy, food and decorations, according to the National Retail Federation. To discover when this transition occurred scholars have tried to go back to the very origin of the Easter tradition. continued on page 72
Spring 2010 | 71
did make its way to America by the 1800s. Historians Easter: Where It All Began also credit German immigrants with bringing this According to St. Bede, â€œThe Father of English history,â€? tradition to the U.S. Easter derives its name from a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertilEaster, Christianity ity called Eastre And Rome (Eostre). Festivities The decision honoring the to make Easter Germanic goddess a holiday that were held during Christians would the vernal equinox, celebrate came at a or the beginning time when being a of spring, accordChristian was rare ing to the History and even dangerChannel. Many of ous. The Roman the celebrations Empire was quick included symbols to adapt new tradiof fertility such as tions, technologies the Easter rabbit and religions from PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE and the colorful conquered lands. hard-boiled eggs. But early on, Children enjoying the festivities at the annual Milam egg hunt in Newberry. In German Christianity was accounts of the rejected because Easter story, bunnies were believed to lay the eggs of the religious stance on worshipping God, not in colorful baskets for children at night. Years later, the emperor like all of the other religions. For this the tradition continued to grow to include chocolate reason, early Christians found themselves persecuted and candies. Scholars are not sure of the exact date and the victims of Gladiator games during the time Easter egg hunts began to appear in Europe, but it of Emperor Nero. continued on page 74 o continued from page 70
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EASTER EGG HUNTS 2010 Hal Brady Alachua Recreation Complex 14300 N.W. 146th Terrace 386-462-1610 *Call for date and times
HIGH SPRINGS Friday, April 2 Easter Egg Hunt Fantastic Friday Downtown, throughout the day at participating merchants; live music and entertainment from 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. 386-454-2889 Saturday, April 3 10 a.m. First United Methodist Church 17405 NW US Highway 441 Free to the public for children 2nd - 6th grade Contact: Holly Erskine, 386-454-1776 Sunday, April 4 Ginnie Springs On Land Easter Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. Meet at the Camp Store Ages 1-11 *Children must be accompanied by an adult In Water Easter Egg Hunt, 8 a.m. Meet at the Ginnie Springs Deck Snorkelers age 12 and older will have the opportunity to compete for more than 180 underwater eggs. The grand prize is valued at more than $1,000.
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NEWBERRY/ JONESVILLE Newberry Easter Egg Hunt March 27, 10 a.m. - Noon Milam Funeral Home 22405 West Newberry Road The Annual Newberry Easter Egg Hunt will include more than just 3,000 eggs. Parents and children can enjoy a bounce house, train, petting zoo and food. This free event includes Tae Kwan Do demonstration and fingerprinting for the kids. The children will also find out what it is like be a hero when they sit in a sheriff’s or climb the high steps of a fire truck. 352-472-5361
GAINESVILLE Saturday, April 3 Celebration United Methodist Church 9501 S.W. Archer Rd. 352-367-8005 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Trinity United Methodist Church 4000 N.W. 53rd Ave. 352-416-3045 Contact: Monique McBride email@example.com
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o continued from page 72 But all of that changed once Constantine became the leader of the Roman Empire. He legalized the practice of Christianity around 312 A.D., according to most accounts. Constantine was also the reason Easter celebrating the Resurrection and Easter honoring the Teutonic goddess coexist today. To the Jewish community at that time, Easter was really the celebration of Passover. This was the time when Jews met to remember the passage of the Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land, according to instructions recorded in Exodus 12 of the Bible. Christians brought up in Hebrew traditions began to regard the pagan version of Easter as a new feature of Passover. This caused a lot of tension among Christians struggling to solidify their religious identity. Once again Constantine would step in to vouch for the Christian faith. The Council In 325 A.D., the Council of Nicaea was called together by the Emperor. New Christian leaders found themselves divided over more than just Easter. Some groups disputed the validity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God. While they did come to an agreement on that issue, the council also chose Sunday as the official day to celebrate Easter. Some church leaders wanted to stick to the Jewish calendar, while others wanted
to leave the choice in the hands of the bishops to determine yearly. But the decision to follow the start of the vernal equinox seemed more accurate to the leaders since the beginning of spring changes every year. This is why the date for the holiday floats between March and April today.
In German accounts, bunnies were believed to lay the eggs in colorful baskets for children at night. In essence, this shift in Easter’s intended focus cannot be solely blamed on a ruling almost 1,700 years ago. At least in America, we have to look a little closer to home. In 2008, the Gallup Poll reported that between 62 and 64 percent of Americans planned to attend church for Easter. But by 2009, the same polls reported a drop in the number of people professing to be Christians. What happened? It seems that there has been a change in values more than anything. History and data have shown that when times are good, people seem to be less reliant on religion to lift their spirits. But in 2010 when the economy is down, job loss is rampant and uncertainty is in the air, maybe more people will look to Christ instead of the rabbit. s
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ALOE VERA FLOWER
76 | Spring 2010
A Garden of Biblical Proportion The High Springs Biblical Botanical Gardens BY JESSICA CHAPMAN
few thousand years ago, along the expanse of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Samaria and other biblical-era cities, plants and flowers flourished. Today, about 85 percent of them continue to thrive — in High Springs. Set back off Poe Springs Road, on a 26-acre stretch, lies The Oasis at High Springs, a biblical botanical garden. The Oasis consists of five acres of plants and flowers that are mentioned in the Bible. From the thorns used in Jesus Christ’s crown at His crucifixion to the soup Jacob from the Old Testament gave his brother Esau in exchange for his birthright, the High Springs Biblical Botanical Gardens Society offers a way to learn more about biblical history and add a biblical component to gardening. “After you know these things,
you can’t turn a page in the Bible without considering them,” said society founder Ed Bez. The High Springs Biblical Gardens Society, which began its garden in September, is one of many throughout the world. More than 120 flowers and plants in Alachua County are included in the Biblical Botanical Gardens Society, Bez said. The climate and Bible belt area make High Springs the perfect location for a Biblical Garden. The Oasis, which officially opens this spring, will offer guided tours and will recount the stories behind many of the flora and fauna that flourished throughout Old and New Testament times. However, Bez said he is not limiting himself to local plants and skimping on other Biblical era plants that do not flourish in Florida. continued on next page
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ED BEZ
The Pink Oleander is a common ﬂ ower in gardens and nurseries and can also be found at the Biblical Botanical Gardens Society in High Springs. Although the botanical gardens focus on biblical plants, common ﬂ owers and plants like the Oleander are also incorporated into the gardens. The Pussy Willow ﬂower can be found in the Biblical Botanical Gardens Society as early as midFebruary. The Willow is one of more than 120 plants and ﬂowers found in the botanical gardens, some which come from overseas to include a variety of biblical-era herbs, ﬂ owers and plants in the gardens.
Aloe Vera One of the more common household plants, the Aloe Vera, can also be found at the Biblical Botanical Gardens. There are a variety of different Aloe Vera plants, originating from Africa, and they ﬂ ourish in dry climates.
Spring 2010 | 77
PHOTO COURTESY OF JENNIFER WALKER
Dr. Ed Bez, creator of The Biblical Botanical Gardens in High Springs, shows off some of his plants and ﬂ owers in his garden. The garden, known as The Oasis at High Springs, features biblical-era plants as well as ﬂ ora and fauna found around High Springs. The gardens are located near Poe Springs.
He will be bringing in many plants from overseas to create an emphasis on herbs used in the Bible, and will also re-create mountain-like temperatures by keeping mountain plants in chilled rooms around the garden, he said. Biblical gardens not only act as a place for mediation but also function as an educational tool for learning more about the Bible, Bez said, explaining that plants are a common theme throughout many famous biblical stories. For instance, Mary, the mother of Jesus, was given frankincense and myrrh
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after Jesus’ birth, which, Bez said, could have been used as a way to help Mary relax after the stress of caring for a newborn. In addition to stories, the book of Isaiah has more references to plant life than any other book in the Bible, and the book Song of Solomon specifically mentions the most species by name — more than two-dozen, Bez said. He said all Biblical gardens focus specifically on the seven species mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:7-9, including wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and
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date honey or dates. According to the Biblical Botanical Garden Society’s Web site, the seven species were provided by God for the ancient Israelites. All the species can be found in The Oasis at High Springs. Along with the Botanical gardens, the society also hosts “Dining
The society visits local churches and schools to help them begin a biblical garden and also offers free lectures to inform the public about the plants and flowers, Bez said. A biblical garden can be useful for churches as a visual aide or a site for prayer and meditation. The garden can also be used as a
The garden society needs gardeners to help cultivate the plants and flowers, photographers to take pictures of wildlife, and writers to write stories about Biblical plants. with the Ancients,” a seven-course replica of a Passover meal. The dinner lasts about two and a half hours, and explanations and prayers about the Passover are given throughout the meal. Bez said the next “Dining with the Ancients” takes place around Easter. The price was still being determined.
permanent memorial after someone’s death, he said. However, Bez said they still need a lot of help to reach their goals. The garden society needs gardeners to help cultivate the plants and flowers, photographers to take pictures of wildlife, and writers to write stories about Biblical plants. “We need help at every level,”
Bez said. “We need everybody.” Although the society cultivates more than a hundred plants, Bez said the botanical garden is an ongoing process, and it will take five or six years before they reach their goals. Bez would eventually like to start a petting zoo of biblical animals. For now, however, the Biblical Botanical Gardens Society will focus on The Oasis at High Springs. From creating desert-like areas and mountain-like temperatures, to cultivating plants that do not thrive in Florida weather, to slowly expanding beyond its current five acres of growing plants, Bez said he hopes The Oasis at High Springs will be a cultural aspect to the community. “North Central Florida still has a strong community [that is interested] in the Bible,” Bez said. “We want to enrich the community.” s For more information visit bbgsusa. synthasite.com/, or call 352-301-1445 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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>> ROTARY CLUB
Civic Minded High Springs Rotary serves the community with service projects and sponsorships BY KATE HELLER
he Rotary plans to eradicate polio globally. This goal is one of many humanitarian services provided by an organization with 33,000 clubs across the globe. High Springs may be a modest town, but it is also home to one of the subsections of this international service organization that has been
82 | Spring 2010
in operation for over 100 years. A group originally composed of business owners and merchants, the High Springs Rotary Club has grown to include any civic-minded and concerned resident, said Heather Clarich, the vice president of the High Springs Rotary Club. The club focuses on serving the local market
with community service projects and sponsorships. The Rotary sponsors Boy Scout Troop 69 and Interact Club at Santa Fe High School, a junior version of the organization. Membership stems from an invitation to a meeting. When Clarich was invited in 2003, she was hooked.
PHOTOS BY ALBERT ISAAC
Top & Above: Members of the Interact Club and Boy Scout Troop 69 retrieve hundreds of yellow rubber duckies drifting down the Santa Fe River after last year’s inaugural Rubber Duck Race. Right: High Springs Boy Scout Troop 69 provide food and drink to visitors to the annual fundraiser.
“After attending the meeting, I joined out of the desire to do more [for the community],” she said. Members are presented with a plethora of service options in which to participate. The club runs a Junior Achievement program where participating members teach a class at High Springs Community School once a week. The classes prepare students for real-life situations
such as balancing a checkbook and having a job, Clarich said. Teachers in schools like this need help in the classroom in these economic times. The High Springs club is also turning its sites overseas. The organization plans to partner with a Jacksonville club to send help to citizens of the Dominican Republic. Members will be able to personally continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 83
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
A group of boys enjoy a spring afternoon on the Santa Fe River during the High Springs Rotary Rubber Duck Race.
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travel to the Dominican to lend a hand. “Our next big push globally is to be able to provide fresh, healthy water to everyone,” Clarich said. The High Springs Rotary hosts a few local fundraising events like its annual car show held every fall. The seventeenth annual show was a recent success. Participants are invited to show their car at the event for an entry fee. The fundraiser begins on a Friday with a cruise-in of cars ranging from new to used, from antique to street rod. Awards are given for the best-in-show, best paint, best interior, etc. At last fall’s event, the club added a new feature. The fundraiser started with a movie on the lawn. During the movie, “Herby Fully Loaded,” a Volkswagen Beetle and its owner, dressed as the characters from the film, were
available for a photo shoot with the kids, Clarich said. The group also participates in Pioneer Days, a festival that takes place in downtown High Springs. Members serve as food vendors, where they sell their famous sausage and pepper hoagies. On May 22, guests looking for a little competition in their fundraisers can attend the annual duck race. At this function, tickets are sold with numbers matching those on a load of rubber ducks. The ducks are thrown into the river at the Santa Fe Outpost, and the “race” begins. In the past, the club used 500 ducks, but it plans to take it to the next level this year with 1,000 ducks in the race, said Mickey Milam, a club member who heads up the duck race fundraiser. The fundraiser begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m., if the river is flowing quickly. Milam is also working on scheduling a country band to provide live entertainment for onlookers.
At noon, the rubber ducks begin their race down the river from the launch area — with the help of Interact members in canoes. Guests are treated to hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by the Boy Scouts. Cash prizes are awarded for the top three finishers, but emphasis is on the social aspect of the event. “We just have a good time just standing on the bank of the Santa Fe River,” Milam said. All of the money from the fundraiser is given directly to the community, such as the Boy Scouts, the community library or Stop Children’s Cancer Inc. It is precisely this principle that originally attracted Milam to the group — helping people help people. Last Christmas, the club helped a family that would otherwise have had nothing. The family was provided with gifts and Christmas dinner, a service made worthwhile simply by the children’s smiles, Milam said. The club currently boasts 20 members, which is a slight decline
from the past. Members attribute the decline to the current economic state because there are dues involved. “Membership may be lower than we would like, but you don’t need a lot of people to do quality things,” Milam said. The club assembles weekly at 7:25 on Monday mornings at Mad Hatter’s Café, and members take turns providing a program. When Milam joined, the group met in the evenings, which was better for his schedule. Recently, a vote was raised to return to that time to possibly boost membership. Those involved feel strongly about membership camaraderie, and Rotary songs are incorporated into the meetings to foster connection and friendships. Non-profit organizations looking for help are presented at the weekly gathering. It is a perfect time for members to learn about the abundance of service opportunities around the community. s
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Spring 2010 | 85
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 email@example.com | fax 352-373-9178
Living History Days
Every Saturday 9:00am. - 4:30pm
First Friday of each month 2:00pm
Morningside Nature Center. The Living History Farm comes to life with staff interpreting day-to-day life on a rural Florida farm. Sample biscuits, fresh butter and a slice of life from 1870! Animals are fed twice daily around 9:00 am and 3:00 pm. FREE.
Morningside Nature Center. Join the fun, get the facts! Youngsters, with an adult, can join a Morningside Nature Center animal caretaker for amphibian and reptile feeding during FeedA-Frog Friday. This FREE program lasts about 45 minutes to an hour.
Barnyard Buddies Every Wed. and Sun. 3:00pm Morningside Nature Center. On this farm, youngsters and their parents can meet and greet animals by helping staff with the afternoon feeding. This FREE program begins at 3:00 pm and lasts about 45 minutes to an hour.
Farmers Market Every Thursday 2:00pm - 6:00pm High Springs. James Paul Park. Variety of Vendors, fresh produce, shrimp, flowers, fresh baked bread, candles, oils, organic produce, craft vendors and more. 352-672-5308
Fantastic Friday Every 1st Friday of the month 6:30pm - 8:30pm High Springs. Historic Downtown High Springs. Carriage rides, merchants open late, Rail Road Avenue Street Jam by Music Junction, street vendors and family fun. 386-418-0075 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fair Housing Workshop Mon. 3/8 5:15pm Newberry. City of Newberry City Hall Commission Chambers 25440 West Newberry Road. This workshop is for real estate and lending professionals. It will be conducted in a handicapped accessible location. Any person requiring special accommodations should contact City Clerk, Gayle Pons. 352-472-2161 ext. 101
The 2010 NHRA Gatornationals Thurs. 3/11 - Sun. 3/14 Gainesville Raceway www.gainesvilleraceway.com
Race the Tortoise 5K Sat. 3/13 8:00am High Springs. O’Leno State Park 410 SE O’Leno Park Road. This is an out-andback race along the Park’s scenic, paved main road. You must arrive at the Park’s entrance by 7:30 a.m. Profits from the race will help the Park buy an audio/visual system for training/education and finish establishing its nature center. Ages 12 & under $10. All Others $20 through 2/15/2010; $25 2/16/2010 through race day. Awards to first 3 finishers in each age group.
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20th Annual Spring Garden Festival Sat. 3/20 - Sunday 3/21 Sat. 9:00am - 6:00pm Sun. 10:00am - 5:00pm Gainesville. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens 4700 S.W. 58th Drive. Every spring, Kanapaha hosts its Annual Spring Garden Festival, the region’s premier horticultural event. The weekend affair features more than 200 booths offering plants, landscape displays, educational materials, arts and crafts, and food. Educational seminars and entertainment are offered throughout and both live and silent auctions offer many bargains on arts, crafts, plants, and gardening supplies. 352-372-4981
Run for Haven Sat. 3/20 4:30pm Jonesville. Tioga Town Center. Run for Haven will feature a 5K and 10K run, along with great music, food, drinks, vendor booths and more. This will be the first of this kind for the town of Tioga area! Registration begins at 2 p.m. The fee will be $35 through March 19th and $45 the day of the race. Registration includes admission to the post party, including food. www.active.com
Mutts & Pups Dog Show Sat. 3/27 10:00am - 3:00pm High Springs, James Paul Park. This event is a fundraiser for
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the Humane Society and the local Farmers Market. 352-672-5308
O’Leno Ole’ Sat. 3/27 8:30am - 9:30am High Springs. O’Leno State Park 410 SE O’Leno Park Road. The Friends of O’Leno will be hosting the third annual O’Leno Ole’ Chili Cook-Off on March 27, 2010, at O’Leno State Park. This year there will be two categories for the cook-off. A Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc. (CASI) sanctioned chili cook-off, open to all members of CASI and anyone wishing to enter under CASI rules. Contestants must be 18 years old or older.
Newberry Park and Recreation 2010 Spring Break Fun Camp Mon. 4/5 - 4/9 and Mon. 4/12 7:30am - 5:45pm Newberry. Sign up for full time or part-time. Call for availability and pricing. Contact Ashley: 352-472-2388
ViVA! 2010 Sat. 4/10 5:30pm Alachua. Rembert Farm. ViVA! 2010 Goes Polynesian will feature delectable Polynesianinspired food from Executive Chef Michael Pappas with Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, along with live music, a gaming tent, a cigar roller and much more. Reservations and continued on next page
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tickets are required. The cost is $150 per guest. Contact Stephanie Brod 352-271-4665
Farm and Forest Festival Sat. 4/10 10:00am - 4:00pm Gainesville. Morningside Nature Center located at 3540 E. University Ave. Guests will experience north and central Florida during the mid to late 1800s at Morningside Nature Center’s Living History Farm. Admission to the festival is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages three to 12 and free for children under three. 352-334-3326
2010 Spring Native Plant Sale
Alachua Spring Festival
Relay for Life
Sat. 4/17 8:30am - 12:30pm
Sun. 4/18 11:00am - 5:00pm
Gainesville. Morningside Nature Center located at 3540 E. University Ave. Share in our passion for gardening and native plants by joining us for the largest offering of native plants in north Florida. The sale is hosted cooperatively by the Payned Prairie chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. Proceeds from the sale benefit environmental and cultural history programs offered by the City of Gainesville’s Nature Operations Division. 352-334-3326 email@example.com
The Newberry/ Jonesville Relay at Newberry High School
Moonlight Walk Sat. 4/22 7:00pm - 11:00pm Gainesville. Kanapaha
track. Ariel Sasso, 888-295-6787 www.RelayForLife.org/newberryfl.
4700 S.W. 58th Drive.
Large sections of Kanapaha’s extensive
7:00pm - 11:00pm
walkway system will
be lighted by 1500
luminaries, as well as
4700 S.W. 58th Drive.
paper lanterns and
This show celebrates
other light sources.
the splendor and
will be provided at our
of roses. There will
stage pavilion. Pets are
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not allowed at these
award winning rose.
88 | Spring 2010
Fri. 4/23 - Sat. 4/24
High Springs Pioneer Days
High Springs Car Show
Sat. 4/24, Sun. 4/25
Fri. 5/7 Downtown High Springs
Cedar Key Spring Arts Festival Sat. 4/24, Sun. 4/25 Old Florida Celebration of the Arts at Cedar Key
Green Heron Student Art Show Fri. 4/30
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65th Annual Newberry Watermelon Festival
High Springs Civic Center, 10-Year
Newberry. Canterbury Showplace.
Relay for Life
Sat. 5/15 10:00am
6:00pm - 10pm
Relax, we’ll do the Re
“where rationality is optional.” Great Food - Cool Stuff - Fun Times Dine In - Carry Out - Box Lunches Catering - Private Parties - Art - Gifts Cool Stuff - Antiques - Collectibles Art Classes - Creative Space
25 NE 1st Ave., High Springs, FL
Spring 2010 | 89
HIGH SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS INFORMATION COMPILED BY CHRIS WILSON. ALL DATES AND TIMES SHOWN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Santa Fe High School varsity baseball
Raider Invitational Tournament
Bartow Invitational Tournament
District Tournament at Santa Fe
Fernandina Beach Tournament
District Tournament at Santa Fe
junior varsity baseball DATE
Newberry High School varsity baseball TIME
District Tournament at Santa Fe
junior varsity baseball
4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.
varsity softball DATE
90 | Spring 2010
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varsity softball DATE
District Tournament at Santa Fe
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Spring 2010 | 91
MIDDLE SCHOOL SPRING SPORTS INFORMATION COMPILED BY CHRIS WILSON. ALL DATES AND TIMES SHOWN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
soccer (Girls Play First) DATE 3/22 3/24 3/29 3/31 4/14 4/19 4/21 4/26 4/28 5/3 5/5 5/10
OPPONENT SITE High Springs A Bishop A Kanapaha H Oak View A Lincoln H Westwood A Fort Clarke H High Springs H Kanapaha A Oak View H Semifinals TBA Finals TBA
soccer (Girls Play First) TIME 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
DATE 3/22 3/24 3/29 3/31 4/14 4/19 4/21 4/26 4/28 5/3 5/5 5/10
OPPONENT Mebane Westwood Oak View Kanapaha Fort Clarke Bishop Lincoln Mebane Oak View Kanapaha Semifinals Finals
SITE H A H A H A H A A H TBA TBA
Oak View soccer (Girls Play First)
TIME 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
DATE 3/22 3/24 3/29 3/31 4/14 4/19 4/21 4/26 4/28 5/3 5/5 5/10
OPPONENT SITE Kanapaha A Lincoln A High Springs A Mebane H Bishop H Fort Clarke A Westwood H Kanapaha H High Springs H Mebane A Semifinals TBA Finals TBA
TIME 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
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Barbara Hendrix Newberry Main Street Organization’s New Manager BY CHRIS WILSON
arbara Hendrix is constantly singing the praises of living in, doing business with and enjoying the friendship of her neighbors in the city of Newberry. The longtime Newberry advocate and business owner is now leading the Newberry Main Street Organization. “Everybody helps,” Hendrix said. “We may be in a recession right now, but the people of Newberry always step up. Everybody’s going to see what we can do.” Hendrix, who co-owns the Newberry-based business daba designworks with business partner Dana Patton, was named the manager of the organization in October 2009. She has been a volunteer with the Main Street organization since Newberry was selected for the program in 2006. “Barbara has always been the force behind the organization from the beginning,” said Newberry city planning director Lowell Garrett. “She has a unique quality of being able to work with people and to
94 | Spring 2010
PHOTO COURTESY OF BARBARA HENDRIX
From left: Jamie Slysofski, Michelle Pickett and Barbara Hendrix selling wooden Christmas ornaments during the Festival of Lights. The Newberry Main Street Organization sold the ornaments to raise funds for the Kincaid Building.
educate them about what Main Street is trying to do. She’s a tireless worker and she’s always out in the community.” Garrett, who works on design standards for Newberry Main Street, said the organization’s board members affectionately refer to Hendrix as “Miss Main Street,” because she is always thinking
about the group and what it does. Prior to arriving in Newberry, Hendrix spent more than 30 years working as a medical technologist in the blood bank at Shands and at a hospital in Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama and she is a huge fan of the Crimson Tide. “I try to tell these folks here about my Crimson Tide,” Hendrix joked.
The Newberry Main Street Organization is focused on revitalizing business in downtown Newberry through design standards and business recruitment. The organization manages issues such as parking along downtown streets. Garrett said the standards are necessary in preserving Newberry’s rural historic charm, while promoting business and careful development. The Newberry Main Street Organization has adopted the goal to embrace the city’s past, while promoting its future. Hendrix said she will run the day-to-day duties of the Main Street program and she will be revising its policies and procedures. She will work out of a donated office space next to Newberry’s Backyard Bar-B-Q, which used to serve as the “take-out” area of the restaurant. “I promote all of the businesses throughout Newberry, not just the ones in the Main Street district,” she said. “I go see the businesses and work with them. I work with the business owners’ properties. There are some property owners who don’t run businesses in Newberry, so I try to help them with their property. I work with the city and the Easton-Newberry Sports Complex.” Hendrix also has been encouraging business and building owners in Newberry to take good care of their storefronts. “I would like to try to help business owners upgrade some of the buildings, through grants or by helping find a funding source,” Hendrix said. “I’d also like to start using the second stories of the buildings. Rocky [Voglio, who owns Newberry Backyard Bar-B-Q] has a second story. The building across the street has a second story and the [Ameris Bank] has a second story. There’s a lot of room for potential growth if we can get other businesses up there. None of them are being used currently.” One way the Main Street program wants to help attract businesses is through incubators.
By offering start-up businesses a discounted rent for a limited time, Hendrix believes the Newberry business community can grow. “It’s done in other Main Street cities, like Kissimmee and St. Cloud,” Hendrix said. “Instead of a building sitting vacant and the owners not getting anything for those buildings, they can be rented for less money.
holes that need to be repaired. “We are going to make it into another museum, like the Little Red Schoolhouse,” Hendrix said. “It would be a museum with historical things about Newberry and the history of the building itself.” To accomplish those goals, Hendrix said, the building must be structurally stabilized. Once stabi-
The Newberry Main Street Organization is focused on revitalizing business in downtown Newberry through design standards and business recruitment. Then you don’t have an ugly, vacant building sitting there.” Hendrix said she also spends a lot of time getting the word out about the organization and working with business owners. “I have a really great board and they run the committees,” Hendrix said. “We have several grants we’re working on to get money for the Kincaid Building and to help with the program.” To help raise money for its various projects, the Newberry Main Street Organization holds a fall festival and a Unity Day event in the spring. The program also hosts the Festival of Lights, a downtown event for families held in December. The Main Street organization has just started holding its “Friday Fling.” The event features a number of food and craft vendors and is held in the downtown pocket park.
The Kincaid Building The Newberry Main Street Organization is also working on renovating the Kincaid Building, the only remaining wooden commercial building in Newberry. The two-story Kincaid Building was built in 1880 in Jonesville and was later moved to Newberry on logs. There are holes in some of the exterior walls that allow sunlight through, and the floor also has
lized, work can be done on the walls and the interior of the building. The Newberry Main Street Organization is seeking grants to help defray the costs. The group has also dedicated money raised by hosting local festivals and events for the Kincaid restoration.
Farmers Market Coming Soon The Newberry Main Street Organization is leading the way toward getting the city its own farmers market. Hendrix said she expects the first one to happen around March 1. “I see great potential for Newberry,” Hendrix said. “We have a lot of businesses coming here — clean businesses. And Newberry is going to be the archery capital of the world, I bet you.” Hendrix said the plan right now is to hold the farmers market on Friday from noon until dark near the pocket park and around the Kincaid Building. “I have some interest in doing it on Saturday, too,” Hendrix said. “We’re starting out with the Friday Fling and farmers market on Friday. But, if we have the demand, we’ll also have it on Saturday.” s For more information about Newberry Main Street Organization, visit www.newberrymainstreet.org
Spring 2010 | 95
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>> ANIMAL CONTROL
No More Homeless Pets
An Alachua County animal shelter works to save animals
BY JESSICA CHAPMAN
hundred caged cats lined the hallway. Many looked identical and most were either terrified or potentially violent. Three cats sat at the check-in table. They looked identical, and a caregiver said they were probably from the same colony. A lot of cats come in from colonies, she said. But then again, a lot of cats come from everywhere. These cats, all stray or feral, were waiting to be spayed and neutered. Every month, caregivers bring cats they have trapped to Operation Catnip to be sterilized to help
98 | Spring 2010
ease the growing population and indirectly stop euthanasia. Operation Catnip is one of the two main programs under No More Homeless Pets, an umbrella organization that is part of a countywide partnership to eliminate euthanasia. Many caregivers at the December Operation Catnip said sterilizing the sick, weak and unloved animals around their home is the most humane thing they can do. “I love cats,” said Debbie Nichtberger, who brought a cat to Operation Catnip. “There are just so many.”
Nichtberger feeds more than 60 cats in a colony behind her house. The one she brought to the December Operation Catnip was found in an abandoned house. Although it has become a burden, she does not want to stop feeding the cats and then see them die, she said. “It’s just too much sometimes,” she said. “You just do as much as you can.” The founders of No More Homeless Pets had similar feelings when they began the Alachua Countycontinued on page 101
Spring 2010 | 99
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o continued from page 99 based organization that works to stop the death of savable animals. No More Homeless Pets, a start-up organization that began in 2000, acts as an umbrella organization for the animal shelters in the county, including the Alachua County Humane Society, Helping Hands, Hail’s Angels, the Alachua County Animal Shelter and others throughout the county, said Interim Director Jeanette Peters. No More Homeless Pets has two focuses, said Vice President Sandi Richmond. They work alongside partner shelters to adopt pets from animal services that are about to be euthanized, as well as sterilize as many pets as possible. “It’s almost surreal that we view this [euthanasia] as humane,” said Richmond, who is also the president for the Alachua County Humane Society. “We are all working together to save lives.” After years of efforts through the countywide coalition, which was headed by No More Homeless Pets, the number of animals euthanized has been cut by 60 percent, to just over 3,000 animals being euthanized, as of June 2009, Peters said. “But that’s still 3,000 too many,” she said. “It’s going to be a long process.” Peters said 11,000 animals were euthanized in 2000. Although in 2009 No More Homeless Pets focused on its new clinic, opening in 2010 and located on
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Northwest Sixth Street, it has continued to put priorities on its two main programs, Operation Catnip and Operation Petsnip. Its goal is to sterilize 8,000 pets in 2010, in addition to the ones already being sterilized at veterinarian offices, Peters said. Operation Petsnip is a low-cost, high volume clinic, offering spaying and neutering services. These services cost $40 for cats and $60 for dogs. Richmond said the goal of the project is to get caregivers to find regular veterinarians, as well as help control the population. Unlike Operation Petsnip, Operation Catnip is designed to sterilize as many cats as possible to help control the cat population and indirectly stop the number of cats being taken to animal services and other shelters. Operation Catnip operates by stations, with each cat moving from an anesthesia station, to being prepped for surgery, then to the operating station and finally to recovery, said Shaye Olmstead, Operation Catnip manager. Operation Catnip provides cages for caregivers to trap cats and bring them to the facility. After the procedure, caregivers pick up the cats in their cages at the assigned time. A minimum $10 fee is also required. Many caregivers who make Operation Catnip drop-offs on a regular basis have learned the secret to stopping continued on next page breeding among cats.
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PHOTOS BY JESSICA CHAPMAN
Above: Operation Catnip moves cats from station to station, starting at the anesthesia station (right) and ending at the recovery station (left). The entire process takes about 45 minutes per cat.
Left: A majority of the cats who come to Operation Catnip to be sterilized have not had any human contact and many are scared, explaining the ﬁ erce reactions from some, said Operation Catnip manager Shaye Olmstead. The caregivers have to trap the cats in metal cages in order to bring them into be sterilized.
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“I got the breeder this time,” America Gordon said, as she waited in line to check-in the male cat. “That’s the key.” Gordon has been bringing cats to Operation Catnip for the last year. She said the problem started when two stray cats appeared in her backyard. About six months later, the two cats had turned into a colony of 25 cats. “They just breed and breed and breed,” Gordon said. “Alachua County would be overrun with feral cats
“It’s just so obvious [that there is a problem],” Levy said. “But we can stop breeding, so they can live out their lives.” Peters also said the public needs to see the problem before it can be stopped. “It’s hard to see animals die,” she said. “It’s a generational kind of change that has to happen.” Despite No More Homeless Pets’ belief that the public needs to be involved in eliminating euthanasia in savable pets, Peters said she is still proud of how far Alachua County has come. She said the southern climate is forgivable to animals. Stray animals in the north are often killed by the cold weather. However, the warm Florida climate allows stray animals to continue living, she said. “[Alachua County] is setting an example for southern areas,” Peters said. Richmond also said she wants to see people take more of an interest in their pets, adding that Operation Petsnip and Operation Catnip are available to the community on a regular basis. “We’re all working to save lives,” Richmond said. “Let’s get them into forever homes.” s
“While they have seen success in the number of animals they save, taming the quickly-breeding population is difficult.” [without Operation Catnip].” Many people from No More Homeless Pets feel the problem can only stop when people realize that savable animals are dying. “The bottom line is animals can reproduce exponentially,” Richmond said. “We need to be responsible. We want to stop killing.” No More Homeless Pets President and Operation Catnip creator Julie Levy said while they have seen success in the number of animals they save, taming the quickly-breeding population is difficult.
For more information on No More Homeless Pets, call 352-376-NMHP.
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Color Your Garden with Success Tips for Enlivening Your Landscape BY DEBBIE DELOACH
pring is here and the drab colors of winter are giving way to the greens and the multi-colors of new leaves and flowers. Homeowners with yards to maintain may or may not be looking forward to this vegetation rebirth. Successful gardeners look forward to new and delightful additions to their landscapes. Spring is for awakening the landscape, learning proper land care skills and discovering new delights. “A lot of us are going to be recovering from this severe winter by going in and plugging in some color to cover up the dead stuff,” said Wendy Wilber, Extension Horticulturist for the UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Service. She recommends improving curb appeal by adding color and brightness to front door areas.
106 | Spring 2010
However, she encourages people to “not be tempted to buy some of the transitional colors.” Buyers should learn which plants do not last for more than just the few mild months of spring before succumbing to summer heat. These plants include geraniums, snapdragons, pansies and some of the petunia varieties. These flowers are best planted in the fall and enjoyed through the cooler months. However, to ensure success, gardeners should do some planning before planting. “Know your circumstances,” said Scott Simpson, Horticulturist for the Florida Museum of Natural History Butterfly Rainforest. “Know your soil situation and exposures.” Homeowners should observe the light patterns around their yard
and note how they change through the year. Also note which areas are coldest in the winter and hottest in the summer. Finally, note soil type and soil moisture levels. Now, use these observations to choose plants suited to those types of areas. Successful gardeners also look ahead to the mature size and behavior of their plants and then plan for their growth and care accordingly. Information about both the preferred growing conditions and the mature sizes of plants is available at your county extension office and at your water management district office. Many books and Web sites that target North Florida gardening are also useful. Before purchasing plants, be sure the garden bed is ready for occupancy. Most North Florida soils are impoverished. Add compost,
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composted manures or enriched garden soil to boost the structure and fertility of poor soils. Never use peat moss alone as a soil additive in the landscape. Improve soil moisture availability by installing low-volume drip irrigation. Most do-it-yourself stores sell systems and kits with instructions written for homeowners. Simpson believes that everyone should investigate low-volume irrigation because it is “very inexpensive, very easy to do, especially for the homeowner.” Once the beds are ready, the fun part begins — buying plants. When choosing plants, Wilber advises homeowners to avoid extra work and frustration by avoiding plants prone to disease and pest problems. “If you’ve had problems with
gardenias in the past, with scale and nutritional issues, don’t plant gardenias again,” Wilbur said. “Find something that is a good substitute, maybe tea olive or banana shrub.” Wilber also cautions shoppers to avoid invasive plants. The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council keeps a list of non-native invasive plants on its Web site. These plants easily spread from the landscape to natural areas. Because they have few natural controls, they quickly overwhelm the native vegetation. The consequence is loss of habitat for native plants and animals. Some of Wilber’s favorites for perennial color include the angelonias, Kim’s Knee-hi purple coneflower, pentas and bulbine. She is continued on next page
Top: PHOTO BY GDELOACH PHOTOGRAPHY
From rich soil sprouts the promise of rich harvest. Soon this young tropical sage with be attracting butterﬂies with its bright red ﬂ owers.
Bottom: PHOTO BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH
Beach sunﬂ ower cascades from its planter.
Spring 2010 | 107
PHOTO BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH
Wild dotted horsemint growing in dappled shade. In full sun it is more upright and bushy. Behind it is Fakahatchee grass, a large, native clump grass that prefers moisture.
also very impressed with Double Knockout roses and thryallis and recommends bulbine, purple coneflower, daylily and society garlic as a few easy-to-find perennial flowers that are drought-resistant. Several Web sites, such as solutionsforyourlife.com and floridayards.org, as well as the county extension service, can
pine straw for mulch. Mulch can be used to help plants that prefer moisture, but don’t overmulch wildflowers,” Larsen warned. As with other landscape plants, gardeners should choose wildflowers that will thrive in the garden area where they will be planted. For instance, Larsen said, “Many
Generally, wildflowers grow easily from their own seeds. Savvy gardeners allow some or all of their wildflowers to set seeds so new plants sprout naturally in the garden. help with further plant suggestions. Interest in native plants and resource conservation has many people looking for information about using native plants in their landscapes. Claudia Larsen, owner of Micanopy Wildflowers, offered the following pointers for creating wildflower gardens. First, choose an area that gets at least three to five hours of sun per day. “Full sun or part shade is fine for most wildflowers,” she said. Then, kill the grass and remove any weeds to remove competition for resources. Scalp the dead vegetation and lightly rake it away. Do not disturb the soil by tilling or hoeing. Space plants about 12 to 15 inches apart. Spread a light covering of composted leaves or
108 | Spring 2010
wildflowers are drought resistant, but some whose origins are wetland or wet flatwoods may need planting areas that retain water.” Generally, wildflowers grow easily from their own seeds. Savvy gardeners allow some or all of their wildflowers to set seeds so new plants sprout naturally in the garden. Also, the seeds can be collected and used to start wildflowers in other areas of the yard. However, some gardeners like to remove flowers when they begin to fade. This maintains a neat look and stimulates more blooming. As for plant choice, Larsen likes “plants in the Coreopsis family because there are many varieties that work in different environments of soil moisture and light
regime and they’re long blooming and many of them reseed.” More of her favorite native wildflowers include elephant’s foot, blanket flower, beach sunflower, the lovegrasses, Muhly grass, coral honeysuckle, dotted horsemint, penstemons, rudbeckias, goldenrods, ironweeds and sages. The Florida Native Plant Society Web site has lists of plants native to each county in Florida. However, not all of the plants on this list are available for sale. Larsen recommended using, “spring-blooming and fall-blooming plants for longer bloom time and to attract more species of butterflies. Most wildflowers native to northcentral Florida are either host plants or nectar plants for Florida butterflies.” To create attractive butterfly and hummingbird gardens, Simpson suggests beginning gardeners try tropical and autumn sages, blue passionflower, pentas, anise hyssop, dianthus, Red Dragon persicaria and blanket flower. He also recommends these shrubs: Chinese Abelia, sweet almond bush and orange cestrum. The Butterfly Rainforest Web site lists many butterfly and hummingbird plants and includes information about each plant. For a little extra effort in the planning phase of a project, happy gardeners will reap the benefits of less work, money saved and healthy plants. s
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COLUMN >> DIANE E. SHEPARD
Mama Musings As I clean the breakfast dishes, I am being “serenaded” with a cacophony of “drumbeats,” courtesy of my toddler Nicholas. prawled out on the floor, wearing a diaper, his favorite Ming-Ming shirt complete with cape, a plastic Marion-Conquistador helmet, and one rain boot (only he could pull off this look!), he is beating on an old pot with a potato masher and my hairbrush. Great. I watch with a mixture of pride and a bit of dread as my daughter, Elizabeth, proudly marches into the kitchen, sporting her red, pink and blue cherry rain boots with a pink sundress on a perfectly sunny day. “Mommy, do you like my outfit I picked out all by myself?!” she says triumphantly, as she caps her entrance with her latest ballet-inspired curtsey. I bite my lip. Instinctively, I know this is one of those pivotal parenting moments when one little misstep - the wrong thing said - and her world could be shaken... Proceed with caution. Commence with internal tug-of-war. Play-it-safe, protective-Mama-side screams: “Don’t even think about letting her wear rain boots on a sunny day! Kids will tease her and make fun of her; she will be
crushed!” While the “Marching-to-the-beat-of-adifferent-drummer,” rebel-Mama-side screams: “Don’t you dare tell her to put sandals on instead! You will stifle her creativity, her sense of uniqueness, and you will shatter her self-confidence!” If I shoot this down, will she always remember this moment? Will she forever second-guess her choices? I suppose in the grand scheme of things, this may not seem like a big deal, but for a 5 year old, it can be pivotal. Case in point, I still remember being teased about some of my clothing choices growing up. Elizabeth is very sensitive. Kids (and even some adults) can be cruel. I don’t want her to be hurt, but I also don’t want to undermine her choices, rattle her confidence or stifle her creative spirit. There was a time when I was both brave and confident enough to wear my black cowboy boots strapped with silver studs, chains, and heart charms. They were a gift for modeling in a commercial spot for a western shop years ago. It seems like a lifetime ago. I wore them when I rode a Harley in a bike shop commercial. I still remember the jingle-jangle sound of the metal hitting the leather. Man, those boots were fun... So, who cares if someone says something? This is about cultivating Elizabeth’s confidence, self-expression and creativity. It’s about honoring her burgeoning sense of style, but most importantly it’s about honoring her choices, which includes allowing her to wear her rain boots even if it’s not raining. Besides, they’re fantastic boots — why save them for a rainy day?! “Honey, you look fabulous!” I tell her. And I mean it. As we push through the door at Vacation Bible
“If a man loses pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured, or far away.” - Henry David Thoreau
110 | Spring 2010
School, we’re met with a sea of girls in sundresses with sandals. Yet, Elizabeth is striding in, pulling me along with her, radiating an aura of confidence and joy. She is completely unaffected. Within a few minutes, the grandmother of one Elizabeth’s friends comes over to me. “Why does Elizabeth have rain boots on today?” “Because she wanted to,” I reply. And that’s good enough for her and for me. She marches to the beat of her own drummer. And she’s lucky. Most little girls would never dream of wearing rain boots on a day with no rain. Just think what they’re missing. I look at Elizabeth. She flashes her high-beam smile at me. Her eyes say, “You go, Mama!” There’s nothing really to be gained by always making the safe, expected, conventional choices, for going with the crowd. Where’s the adventure in that? What’s the fun in that? My hands fumble through the forgotten shoeboxes in the top of my closet. In the back corner, I find them. I dust them off. I’m a little nervous as I slip them on. It’s been a while: Two kids and several pounds ago. But what have I got to lose? As I push open the front door and step out into the bright sunshine, I hear the charms and chains hitting the boots as I step. I can’t help but smile. Now, that sound is music to my ears. s
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PHOTO BY TATIANA QUIROGA A mist sets on the surface of the Santa Fe River at O’Leno State Park.
Race the Tortoise, Contra Dance and Chili Cook-off O’Leno State Park offers something for everyone BY TATIANA QUIROGA
’ Leno State Park in High Springs offers visitors a unique natural park with gorgeous forestry, miles of trails and several opportunities for fun on any given day. Park Manager Morgan Tyrone said the plan was to create a forestry park for teenagers and young Floridians to learn about
112 | Spring 2010
forestry. Tyrone is park manager for O’Leno State Park, River Rise Preserve State Park and Dudley Farm Historic State Park. The land for the park was purchased in the mid-1930s under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a federal program led by President Roosevelt. After about
a year, Tryone said, the project became a part of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The park was a state forest in the late 1930s, and then joined what became the state park system. The Florida Division of Forestry and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) have run a forestry camp at
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
The Civilian Conservation Corps. built the suspension bridge at the park in 1938.
PHOTO BY TATIANA QUIROGA
The bridge stretches over the Santa Fe River, offering visitors a scenic view of the river and the forestry surrounding it.
the state park every summer since. High school students interested in forestry from throughout the state are invited to stay for a week at the camp to learn from the FFA and Division of Forestry instructors. The name “O’Leno” has a fascinating and rich history of its own. Long before the state park
was created, Keno was the name of the town that occupied the land. In the 1840s, most people had to transport produce, and the town’s proximity to the Santa Fe River and roads made it an important frontier town, Tyrone said. In the 1870s, the town grew large enough to necessitate a post office. Since the name
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of the town was also the name of a gambling game, the post office required it be changed. It became the town of Leno. In 1894, railroads bypassed the town of about 6,700, and a large citrus freeze occurred, crippling the town and causing residents to move to continued on next page
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surrounding areas, including High Springs, Alachua and Fort White. From then until 1935, Leno was referred to as Old Leno, a ghost town in which several structures had disappeared, Tyrone said. “By common parlance, Old Leno became O’Leno and O’Leno became the name of the park,” Tyrone said. Today, O’Leno State Park offers visitors a plethora of activities, from biking, walking and equestrian trails to camping, swimming and canoeing opportunities. The park offers full-service, primitive and youth area cabins for rent. Most of the cabins are historic and primitive since they were designed to function for a youth camp, Tyrone said. Three have bathrooms and kitchens, and most are made for large groups. These cabins are rented out to individuals and families. There are 61 sites in the two family camping areas, which are supplied with electricity and water, a picnic table, fire ring and
restroom areas, according to the state park’s brochure. Areas for tent camping are reserved for non-profit youth groups, and primitive camping is available at Sweetwater Lake. The group camp area is equipped with 17 cabins that can house 60 people, an open-air pavilion, meeting center and cafeteria.
States and the world. River Rise State Park brings in about 5,000 to 10,000 people a year. Anyone from northerners seeking a respite from the winter months to High Springs locals to college students on spring break make their way to O’Leno State Park, Tyrone said. Along with camping, the trails
There are 61 sites in the two family camping areas, which are supplied with electricity and water, a picnic table, fire ring and restroom areas O’Leno State Park and River Rise State Park, which were created at different times but are contiguous, provide 35 miles of multiple-use trails, such as equestrian and walking trails, and five miles of hiking and biking trails. O’Leno attracts 65,000 visitors a year from across the United
and other activities offered at the park, there are also annual events that draw crowds of visitors. Race The Tortoise, O’Leno’s second annual 5k run will take place at 8 a.m. on March 13. Last year there were about 120 runners and walkers at the family-friendly event, Tyrone said.
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â€œIt was a pretty impressive first-time event, especially in rural North Florida,â€? he said. This year, he said they are hoping for 150 to 200 participants. Race the Tortoise is named after an animal prevalent in the park, which also provides an inviting caricature for T-shirts and fliers. Since the tortoise is not the fastest animal, it also represents the less competitive and fun nature of the race, he said. There will also be contra dancing on April 18 and May 16. A string band will be playing the music at the event and anyone interested in learning the traditional American dance is invited to attend. On March 27, the park will sponsor its third annual Oâ€™Leno OlĂŠ Chili Cook-off. Members of the Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc. (CASI) are invited to take part in a cook-off held at the state park. Anyone can become a member and enter the cook-off, said Harriet Walsh, the acting secretary and event coordinator for Friends of Oâ€™Leno, a citizen support organization. Entrants in the CASI cook-off compete for trophy prizes and membership points, and must follow CASI guidelines for cooking the chili. Participants pay a $20 entry fee, and all funds go to the Friends of Oâ€™Leno, which plans to build a nature education center for students in the park. In the past two years, there have been 15 entrants in continued on page 117 the cook-off from around the
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o continued from page 115 Southeast, including South Florida, Alabama and Georgia, Walsh said. This year, Friends of O’Leno is adding an open cook-off to the event, where anyone can participate without having to follow CASI rules on chili recipes. “There was a large call to have an open one,” Walsh said. “We decided to try it and see how many entries we get.” Food will be sold at the cook-off, including hotdogs, corndogs and chilidogs, as well as small cups for people to sample the chili. Last year’s event was a success with about 500 people visiting the cook-off. Tyrone hopes this year’s event draws even more people. Tyrone said these events represent the different interests of the public and he hopes to continue to implement more recreational, historical, cultural and environmental programs to the park. Today, O’Leno State Park fulfills its original intention as a forestry
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
camp, but also plays a multitude of other roles. This Florida park, with its rich and interesting history and opportunities for camping, hiking and sightseeing, is a prime destination. s
Visitors can rent canoes to enjoy the Santa Fe River’s natural charm and abundant plant life up close.
For more information on O’Leno state park events, visit www.friendsofoleno. com/activities/index.htm.
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COLUMN >> DEBBIE DELOACH, PH.D.
It’s soil, not dirt.
ou want to have healthy, happy landscape plants, right? Then you must realize which part of the plant is the most important — the roots. Yes, the part you don’t see and that you think of the least is the part you should be obsessing over the most. That’s why matching the right plant for the soil conditions you have or maintaining healthy soil is very important. Therefore, dirt is something you clean up and dispose of whereas soil is valuable. In general, soils consist of mineral components such as clay, silt and sand; organic components such as decaying and living plant and animal materials and naturally occurring chemicals; air and water. Soil types vary based on the amounts and qualities of each of these component groups. Most gardeners in north Florida have impoverished sandy soils with much air space and little water. A few of you may have clay in your soil or have poorly drained soils that may or may not be blackish with rotting organic materials. Whatever the composition of your soil, you don’t need to be a soil scientist to discover soil type, pH and the need for amendments, if any. First, consult the USDA Soil Conservation Service soil survey for your county to discover your soil environment. Soil surveys are available to the public online and in book form but can be difficult to access and use. Your best bet is to contact your county extension office for help. The most important points you’ll learn from the soil survey are your soil profile, nutrient storage capacity, water table depth and plants that grow in your soil naturally. However, if your native soil has
been altered by construction, filling, leveling and other such manipulations, the information about your soil profile is less pertinent but still helpful. All of this information will tell you what your roots are experiencing. How far do tree roots have to grow to access water? Is there adequate air space to diminish root rot or is moisture always present? Is the soil impoverished or is there a nutritious layer within root’s reach? The list of plants that grow in your soil naturally is especially helpful if you want to plant trees or native plants. Another very important way in which soils vary is in their pH. Don’t worry about the chemistry, just know that if a plant is trying to grow in a soil with the wrong pH the poor plant can’t absorb nutrients, no matter how fertile the soil. Luckily, a pH test is easy and very inexpensive, only $3. You’ll need a separate test for each separate garden and lawn area, especially if you notice differences between areas. Just follow these steps: 1. Remove plant material, thatch, mulch and then the top inch of soil. 2. Remove a six-inch deep core of soil and place it in a bucket. 3. Repeat steps 1. and 2. 10 to 12 times over the garden or lawn area you’re testing. 4. Thoroughly mix all of the samples and remove plant and animal materials. 5. Lay some newspaper on the garage floor then spread the soil sample over it in a thin layer. After a few days, the sample should be thoroughly dry. 6. Take the sample to your county extension office. 7. Results usually arrive continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 119
within a week although you should allow two. Your extension service can help you interpret the results. Good soil is subjective. Many plants can thrive in non-ideal soils but many more cannot. Now that you have a complete picture of your planting environment (soil, light, water, climate) you may proceed to choose the right plants for that area. If the plants you wish to grow, or have already planted, require nutritious, loamy soil, you may have to amend your soil. You can improve both sand and clay soils by adding compost. Use several annual applications of two inches of compost in already planted beds and lawns. You may add up to six inches in new planting areas that have no vegetation. Just lay the compost on top of your sandy soil and let nature and your planting activities pull it in. For clay soils, work the compost in with a hoe, cultivator or small tiller. According to the 2009 Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook (available at your county extension office or online), compost improves soil fertility, structure, texture and water-holding capacity. It helps create a healthy environment for important fungi, soil microorganisms and beneficial soil creatures as well as for plant roots. s
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Spring 2010 | 121
>> CREATIVE SPACE
For the Love of Art A new business plan revives an old art gallery BY NICOLE LYNN GREINER
anging among the paintings and other artwork of Larry Behnke is a small biography in which the first line says a lot about him — he has been an artist since the age of 5. Behnke is a longtime resident of High Springs, and now his art is displayed in the new High Springs Art Co-op, located within the High Springs Art Gallery. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and for extended hours on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The idea to create the co-op began in January, when several local artists got together over breakfast to discuss their artwork. Little did they know that Chuck Sapp, the owner of Paddiwhack in Gainesville, was looking for a new business plan for his 18-year-old High Springs Art Gallery. At the time, because of the economy, the gallery was only open Saturdays and Sundays each week. “The traffic had slowed, and for [the gallery] to be profitable it had gone down to being open two days a week,” Sapp said. Sapp had received several offers to buy the property. One proposal was to make the business into a pawnshop. Sapp said he hated to see the gallery used for something other than art; he did not want that for the building or the town. So he decided turning the gallery into a co-op was the best alternative, and contacted
122 | Spring 2010
some of the local artists. With all of the details ironed out, eight artists moved into the gallery at 115 N. Main Street, bringing with them some of their finest works. In the co-op, the artists give a percentage of their sales to Sapp instead of paying to rent the space. “If artists got together to rent space we’d never make enough,” Behnke said. The space the artists share has plenty of room
As a part of the co-op, artists also receive 10-feet of wall space to display their artwork in exchange for working shifts at the co-op. to display their work with nearly every shelf or spot on the wall taken. In the front corner of the room a small sign reads, “Artist working area, wet paint.” The artists use the area as a workstation to create their art while also working their shifts. The station also allows customers to see the artists at work. As a part of the co-op, artists also receive 10-feet of wall space to display their artwork in exchange for working shifts at the co-op.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years,” Behnke said of his art. “I always thought [a co-op] would be perfect.” For Tina Prizament, art was a hobby that turned into a job. Prizament used to be a general contractor and designer, but she had trouble finding work because of the ailing economy. She sold the last home she designed in May 2008, and about six months later she began to take photography seriously. The co-op is not only an economic stimulator but also one of the many additions to the art community in High Springs. Karen LeMonnier, an oil painter in the co-op, said the whole town is pulling together to make it a place to come to for art, explaining that even City Hall has gotten onboard by creating an event called Art in City Hall, which displays local art. “When I moved here, every person I met was an artist,” LeMonnier said. “We have a lot of talent here.” The grand opening was held on one of the town’s Fantastic Friday events, appropriately named, “SweetArts.” “Art has seen a resurgence in High Springs in the last year,” Behnke said. “I think we’re [local artists] attracted to the town, and as long as we’re here we might as well start showing our art.” Inside the co-op lies a treasure trove of hundreds of
PHOTO BY NICOLE GREINER
Artist Larry Behnke works on his latest piece of art, “3-D Doodle,” during his shift at the High Springs Art Co-op, which opened in February.
pieces of artwork including, pottery, hand-blown glass, jewelry, paintings and sculptures. Prices range from $3 to $3,000. Some of the artists have also created greeting cards to display their work. The greeting cards are one of the most popular items in the store, given as gifts or framed as a smaller replica of an artists’ larger work. “It’s a way for them [customers] to own a piece of art at a very affordable price,” Prizament said. “They’re plausible and you can frame the card.” The artists who founded the co-op said they hope the co-op is a better business plan and will stimulate sales in the area, as well as promote local art so they can continue to do what they love. For Behnke, art has been part of his life for as long as he can remember. He said the co-op has provided the perfect place for him to express and create the art he loves. Just as the first line of Behnke’s biography says a lot about him, so does the last: “Will be here the rest of his life.” s
Spring 2010 | 123
>> NEWS AROUND TOWN
High Springs Community School Oﬀers Mentoring Program SPECIAL TO OUR TOWN
n December, High Springs Community School kicked off an exciting new volunteer program, the HAWKS Mentoring Program. This is an opportunity for adult
PHOTO PROVIDED BY HAWKS MENTORING PROGRAM
volunteers to make a positive difference in the lives of
Cathy Clark, a HAWK Mentor, working with Allie Whitﬁ eld,
students in their community.
a HSCS 3rd grader in the program
Teachers identify students that could benefit from extra one-on-one, adult-focused attention and recommend them
from second to seventh grade in the program that began
to the program. With the parents’ permission, students are
meeting with their mentors during December. There are
matched with an adult volunteer who commits to meeting
other students on a waiting list that will be matched with
with their assigned student on school campus at a regularly
mentors as more volunteers join the program.
scheduled time each week for approximately 30 minutes. If students need help in a certain academic area, men-
To join, contact Danette Drageset, HAWKS Mentoring Program Coordinator. Eemail@example.com or call
tors meet with them during their school day specifically to
the school (386-454-1958) and ask for Ms. Drageset. She will
help them in that academic area. If students need social
be happy to answer any questions about the program and
or emotional encouragement, mentors meet with them
let you know how you can begin to participate. You do not
during their lunch break once a week to develop friendly
have to be a teacher or a retired teacher to be a mentor in
relationships that will help direct the students to good life
this program. Great efforts are being made to make this
choices that can result in success at school behaviorally, as
very purposeful program easy for volunteers to participate!
well as academically. To date, there are 41 students ranging
Mentors make a difference — all you need is a caring heart!
They Do it for the Kids SPECIAL TO OUR TOWN
ach year, employees of Dollar General have the opportunity to nominate their peers for the Serving Others Award, presented to those who donate their time and energy to children in the local community. This year, the Alachua Dollar General Resource Team received the honor, and a check for $2,500 to be given to a non-profit organization. The group chose Friends of Lake Swan Camp, in Melrose. Winners Donna Myers, Antonette Hazel and Crystal Rimes
PHOTO PROVIDED BY DONNA MYERS
From left: Bob Barnes, DC Manager; Antonette Hazel, DC Receptionist; Donna Myers, Senior Human Resources
have been active in their community for years, from coaching
Manager; Crystal Rimes, HR Administrative Assistant; and
volleyball teams to helping at local churches and community
Alain Arrendell, Operational Manager.
events. For the past several years, they have participated in Trick or Treat on Main Street, giving candy to over 3,000
“When we serve others outside of the company it is
children. They have decorated floats, distributed candy at
recognized by the corporation,” said Senior Human Resources
Christmas parades, and Easter Baskets to more than 300
Manager Donna Myers.
children. They have also raised money for the March of Dimes by walking for the cause for the past five years.
124 | Spring 2010
This past year they shopped for more than 50 children and distributed Christmas toys to their schools. s
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Spring 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 | Spring 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.
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 Rob Atchley 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
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.
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.
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 FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 352-472-4005 24845 West Newberry Road Pastor Kenneth Kleckner GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH 352-472-9200 22405 W. Newberry Road Pastor Ty Keys
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 ST JOSEPH’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH 352-472-2951 16921 West Newberry Road Pastor John DiLeo UNION BAPTIST CHURCH 352-472-3845 6259 SE 75TH Ave Pastor Travis Moody
Spring 2010 | 129
>> FRESH FINDS
Roadside Produce and
Highway Delicacies BY CHRIS WILSON
ne of the many advantages to living in Our Towns is the availability of fresh produce. From farmers markets to roadside stands, delicious vegetables and fresh fruits are sometimes right around the corner. Two local roadside stands in particular offer customers farm-fresh produce, fish, meats and other specialty items. C & R Produce in Alachua can be found by looking for a big mannequin waving a flag on Hwy. 441. Walter Lee also sets up his stand three days a week in Newberry.
Alachua’s C & R Produce Alachua native Ira Cruce and his brother-in-law A.J. Rawlins have been operating C & R Produce on Hwy. 441 in Alachua since 1984. Cruce’s son Mark Cruce also is now part of the family business. “We try to get most of our stuff locally,” Cruce said. “What we can’t find [locally], we get elsewhere on the East Coast. We don’t like to import stuff. When you get stuff from Mexico, it’s been picked already since two or three weeks ago. Plus, you don’t know what kind of chemicals they use.” Cruce and Rawlins, who grow some of what they sell, also travel to Georgia, the Carolinas and Virginia when they ca not get what they want in the Sunshine State. But, Cruce said, because he was raised on the farm his parents bought in Alachua in 1951, he knows most of the local farmers. “I was raised with most of them,” Cruce said. “If it
130 | Spring 2010
can be bought local, we get it. We’ve been trying to keep a good selection of things.” Cruce said that fresh markets offer customers better products that are usually cheaper than supermarkets. “When we go to an open market, we are both the buyers and the sellers,” Cruce said. “Grocery stores get their stuff delivered on a truck from a distributor and they don’t pick it out. Our stuff doesn’t have wax on it and all that stuff.” The result, Cruce said, is being able to offer his customers truly farm-fresh produce, some of which may have been picked that very morning. “The advantage is that it’s local produce and it’s fresher,” Cruce said. “Open-air markets have to be fresher than produce at the store. This stuff is not on refrigeration, and you’re getting better produce overall.” Aside from carrying local produce, C & R Produce carries farm-fresh brown eggs, and sausage and bacon made in Live Oak from natural pork only. The stand also carries honey produced in High Springs, and a variety of jams, jellies, syrups, pickles and relishes made by small outfits. C & R has roasted and boiled peanuts and pecans. The stand also has Amish butter, which is made purely from cream and salt with no additives, and hoop cheese, which is made from milk alone. “We only sell things that we would eat ourselves,” Cruce said. For information, call 386-462-6158.
Newberry’s Roadside Stand Walter Lee sets up shop three days each week in the city of Newberry. He does not have a fancy name for his business. But, Lee knows a lot of his regular customers by name and even knows their produce purchasing habits. Lee, who lives between Newberry and Trenton, sets up shop on Newberry Rd., just west of Hwy. 27/41, near the parking lot of the Badcock Furniture store. He can be found in that spot every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. “I carry almost anything that’s in-season,” Lee continued on next page said. “Tomatoes, peppers,
PHOTOS BY CHRIS WILSON
Top Left: It is hard to miss the mannequin waving a ﬂag in front of C & R Produce in Alachua. The roadside stand owned by brothers-in-law Ira Cruce and A.J. Rawlins on Hwy. 441 has been there since 1984.
Bottom Left: Walter Lee, whose produce stand is set up near the Hwy. 27/41 and Newberry Rd. intersection three days a week, measures out some fresh Mayport shrimp.
Right: Walter Lee (left) discusses produce, shrimp and the day’s events with Sassy Nannah, one of his regular customers.
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cucumbers we almost always have. Fruits and other vegetables we have when they’re in season.”
PHOTO BY CHRIS WILSON
The colorful fruits and vegetables line the displays inside C & R Produce in Alachua. Despite having a roof and doors, the produce stand is open air and has a natural ﬂ oor.
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Those seasonal fruits can include strawberries, oranges, grapefruits and peaches. By March, Lee was expecting to have watermelons, cantaloupe and almost any vegetable, including cabbage and corn. “The weather can have a lot to do with it,” Lee said. Lee also carries Mayport shrimp, which are caught east of Jacksonville. He sells them intact, with the head and shell, for about $6 per pound, but he offers deeper discounts to customers who purchase five or more pounds. “These are the sweetest shrimp,” said Sassy Nannah, a local comedian who lives in Newberry and visits Lee more than once a week. “I don’t like boiled peanuts and I never have. But, I like [Lee’s] boiled peanuts. I guess it depends on how you cook them, and his are so good.” Lee offers two varieties of boiled peanuts, including regular and Cajun. “We’re usually cheaper [than a supermarket], but always fresher,” said Lee. “Nothing is carried over a week. It makes a big difference. Things are a lot riper when they are not wrapped up for a week.” s Note: Both of the roadside stands featured in this article accept cash and checks only.
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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
PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS
PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES
Computer Class Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m. Learn basic computer skills. Seating is limited; first come first served.
Rabbit Rescue: Bunny Love Thursday, April 8, 11:00 a.m. Learn how to foster, adopt, and care for these furry companions. Rabbit Rescue is a volunteer organization founded to provide foster homes to hundreds of abandoned domestic rabbits yearly.
PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN Preschool Story Time Thursdays, 11:00 a.m.
PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Wii-Day at THE SPOT Tuesdays, 2:00 p.m. Bring your friends for Wii gaming Netsmartz for Teens Wednesday, March 3, 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, 3:00 p.m. Learn how to be safe from online bullies, predators, and your reputation PS3 at THE SPOT Thursdays, 2:00 p.m. Bring your friends for PS3 gaming Rap, Step & Jam Every other Wednesday beginning March 10, 3:00 p.m. Demonstrate your moves, rap, and tunes
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The Bridge Party (Women’s History Month) Saturday, March 20, 2:30 p.m. The play recreates the speech and atmosphere of southern black middle-class life in 1942 with the Saturday Afternoon Bridgettes, an African-American Women’s club Ichetucknee: Sacred Waters with author Steven Earl Saturday, April 3, 2:00 p.m. Mr. Earl’s unique presentation will include speaking about his experiences, showing art & photo images, performing music and taking questions. Books will be available for sale and signing. AARP Tax Help Saturday, April 10, 1:30 p.m. IRS certified volunteers from AARP will provide tax counseling & tax return preparation services free of charge. By appointment only: call 352-339-2063 weekdays, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Be sure to bring all your tax documents
HIGH SPRINGS BRANCH PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES Crafter’s Circle Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. Mar. 3 through May 5 Any non-messy craft may join this group The Compost Kid Tuesday, March 9, 2:30 p.m. Learn about the process of composting both in nature and in a compost bin Rusty the Clown Tuesday, April 13, 2:30 p.m. Get ready for music, magic, and more as Rusty the Clown takes his show on the road to entertain the kids - big & little alike Snakes, Lizards, & Toads Tuesday, May 11, 2:30 p.m. Find out about those creepy crawling creatures that are all around
PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN Preschool Story Time Tuesdays, 11:00 a.m.
PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS Mystery Reading Group Monthly on third Thursday, 6:30 p.m. Growing Fruit Trees for a More Bountiful Backyard Friday, April 16, 2:00 p.m. Wendy Wilber, Alachua
County Environmental Horticulture Agent, will teach you how to grow fruit trees in your backyard
NEWBERRY BRANCH PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES Clases de ingles/English Classes for Spanish Speakers Mondays, 6:30 p.m. Mar. 1 through Apr. 26 Crafty Clique Wednesdays, 5:00 p.m. Come crochet, knit, quilt or scrapbook with fellow crafting enthusiasts Knitting Know-How Wednesday, March 17, 4:30 p.m. Learn how to knit with local expert Carol Johnson Knitting Workshop Wednesday, April 14, 4:30 p.m. Bring knitting projects and receive one-on-one guidance from local expert Carol Johnson Knitting Workshop II Wednesday, May 12, 4:30 p.m. Bring knitting projects and receive one-on-one guidance from local expert Carol Johnson Natural Yarn Spinning 101 Wednesday, March 10, 5:00 p.m. Join us for an exciting
“sheep to shawl” workshop that will introduce you to the art of hand-spinning fleece with local artisan, Ellen Hogan of Dove’s Roost hand spun yarn
PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN Preschool Story Time Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.
PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Panther Den Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. After school activities
PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS Researching Your Family Tree Thursday, March 4, 6:00 p.m. An introduction to genealogy with experienced genealogist Katherine Yates Tax Assistance with the AARP Saturday, March 6,
1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 3, 1:00 p.m. Women-Friendly Car Repair 101 Thursday, March 11, 6:30 p.m. Empower yourself & save money by acquiring basic automotive and preventative maintenance skills Computer Lab: Intro to PCs Tuesday, March 16, 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 18, 1:00 p.m. First installment of a 3-part series Clases de computadoras en español: los fundamentos Computer Classes in Spanish: The Fundamentals Thursday, March 18, 6:00 p.m.
Computer Lab: Intro to the Internet Tuesday, April 13, 6:00 p.m. Thursday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. Second installment of a 3-part series Clases de computadoras en español: el internet Computer Classes in Spanish: The Internet Thursday, April 22, 6:00 p.m.
Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening Tues., March 23, 6:00 p.m. Fri., April 9, 12:00 p.m. Learn about an innovative way to grow vegetables Tempting Reads Monthly on the fourth Wednesday, 6:00 p.m. Book club discussions with refreshments Small Livestock for the
Computer Lab: Intro to E-mail Tuesday, May 11, 6:00 p.m. Third installment of a 3-part series Clases de computadoras en español: Correo electrñnico Computer Classes in Spanish: E-mail/ Electronic Mail Thursday, May 20, 6:00 p.m.
Homestead Sat., March 27, 2:00 p.m. Creating sustainability for the gardener; food production integrating worms, chickens, goats and rabbits for a small homestead Canning Seminar Tues., March 30, 6:00 p.m. USDA approved home canning methods and procedures
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COLUMN >> DONNA BONNELL
Embracing Life Angels in the Ocala National
inger Tracy Chapman said, “I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.” I concur with Chapman. Guardian angels wear completely uncharacteristic garb, arrive when I need them the most and when I expect salvation the least. Cherubs who saved me most recently were dressed in camouflage clothing, rather than graceful gowns. They toted loaded rifles on their shoulders, instead of whimsical wings. Yet, their biblical actions would have met the noble standards of any Archangel. My mission on this picturesque brisk morning was to meet Adam, my son-in-law, and his family at their retired hunting cottage, lovingly called The Scrub House. OnStar navigation had the street number and zip code programmed and my route planned. Numbers of numerous individuals already at the cabin were safely stored in my cell phone. Since I survived a lifetime of escapades without assistance from any form of electronic apparatus, I felt ridiculously over-prepared. After tuning into satellite radio, I became virtually unaware of my location and simply followed the directives from the elusive tour guide. Map-like diagrams occasionally appeared on the car radio’s faceplate, interrupting the mesmerizing music. Instructions would briefly suspend my emotional bliss, however I would immediately return to an oblivious stupor. Without even the slightest hint of being off course, I was deep in the woods and lost. The monotone voice muttered to bear right at the next curve. Obediently, almost robotically, I hit my turn
signal. Reality slightly returned when the rock road turned into a sandy trail. I was still not alarmed. All I needed to do was to summon assistance by selecting the sophisticated help button. A live individual answered and assured me that I was on the correct path and the location requested was just ahead. I dutifully proceeded until all four tires sunk in the sand. My car was stuck and I had absolutely no idea where. Again, I called my trusted mapping service. Another nice person attempted to help. She surveyed her resources and, unfortunately, found several thoroughfares with the same number in the immediate area. When I questioned my exact location, she said that I was east of Fort McCoy, but not on a charted route. At this point, I was a bit concerned, but I still had my telephone. Cell service was very sporadic, almost nil, but I finally reached Adam. Obviously, I had little information to offer regarding my whereabouts. He began searching for me, but finding my location was like looking for a needle in a haystack. My excited eight-week old black Labrador, wearing her shiny new collar, was my traveling companion. As Roxy ran, jumped and barked I remembered an article in the Orlando Sentinel. Anthony Colarossi reported, “Just as Central Florida’s human population grew dramatically during the past 30 years, so did the Ocala bear population ... About a third of Florida’s 3,000 black bears live in ... Ocala National Forest. That population is considered the densest in the state.”
Perhaps, my guardian angel sent the huntsmen on a special search and rescue assignment. On the other hand, just maybe, they were the ordinary people Chapman referred to in her quote.
138 | Spring 2010
It suddenly seemed like we were bear bait. Just as fear started to settle in, along came my angels — hunters on four-wheelers. One stopped and asked if I had help on the way. When I explained my stupidity, he chuckled and smirked, but felt sorry for my pathetic situation. His network of off-road friends came to my aid. They dug, pushed and eventually turned my automobile around and pointed me towards the main highway. Several angels followed to ensure my safe departure out of the thick underbrush. This simple excursion turned into an unexpected educational adventure. After reviewing the obvious lessons learned that day, I realized my most important message was to recognize the authenticity of angels. Who knows? Archangel Michael may have sent the men wearing bright orange vests riding their all-terrain vehicles. According to www.angelfocus.com/archangels, “Michael is the leader of all the Archangels and is in charge of protection, courage, strength, truth and integrity. Michael protects us physically, emotionally and psychically.” Perhaps, my guardian angel sent the huntsmen on a special search and rescue assignment. On the other hand, just maybe, they were the ordinary people Chapman referred to in her quote. I believe we are one another’s Earth angels. s
Donna Bonnell is a freelance writer from Newberry. email@example.com.
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PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE The survivors lap kicks off a past Relay for Life in Newberry.
Relay for Life
Fundraising, Remembering & Celebrating Life
BY LARRY BEHNKE
early everyone’s life has been touched by cancer in some way. The annual Relay for Life celebrates those who have survived cancer and remembers those who did not. It is also a major fundraising event in nearly 5,000 U.S. communities and 19 other countries. Locally, Relays are happening at Newberry High School in April and Santa Fe High School in May. The American Cancer Society says the mission of Relay for Life “represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.” Money raised at Relays supports cancer information (1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org) and research on which the society has spent $3.2 billion since 1946. It also encourages lifesaving laws to increase funding, reduce tobacco use, detect cancer, support patients and improve care. Each Relay is an opportunity to educate the community and support survivors.
The Event A Relay for Life begins with a group of cancer survivors walking around the event track, usually after a Survivors Dinner. Teams are formed by groups of friends or by a local business or service organization. As darkness falls, representatives of each group begin walking around the track. Laps are sponsored, with some member of the group always on the track. It is an overnight event because, as the society states, “cancer never sleeps.” The Luninaria Ceremony is an emotional time. Paper bags are filled with sand and a candle and placed around the track. Each luminary is placed in memory of a life lost in battling cancer. There are happy times at the Relays too, and participants try to focus on the positive. The carnival atmosphere, with games, tents and a variety of contests, represents hopes of reducing or eliminating cancer in the future. Participants report continued on next page
Spring 2010 | 141
the energy level up. At the end of 2009, organizers met at the Alarion Bank community room. Music from the ‘80s played while a trivia contest was held about the movie “Sixteen Candles.” Teams are still being formed. For more information, contact Katie Jackson at KatieJackson@cancer.org or visit www.RelayForLife.org/AlachuaFL. Katie reminds people that Disney World has offered a day at the theme park in exchange for a day of volunteering. Go to Disneyparks.com. Cancer is a reality, but is not inevitable. When cancer victims feel hopeless, it is good to know there is a support team available. Relay for Life events are a great way to connect with others and raise needed funds, a way to do something positive about cancer.
PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE
One of many teams at a past Relay, the High Springs Coca-Cola team, winner of the cheer contest.
coming away from the event with feelings of compassion and camaraderie. Sometimes just knowing they are not alone and there is an organization to help is satisfying to people, despite underlying tragedies.
The Newberry/Jonesville Relay Newberry High School track is the site for Relay for Life on April 23 and 24. Cancer survivors kick-off the event at 6 p.m. and the event continues until noon the next day. Teams are still being formed as of press time. To participate or for more information, contact Ariel Sasso at 888-295-6787 or visit www.RelayForLife.org/ newberryfl. There is now ongoing help in town for those affected by cancer. Deborah Waller, owner of Silverwind Jewelry & Gifts in Newberry, set aside a small part of her store as a cancer resource center. It is a place where cancer patients can get information about financial assistance and support groups, as well as wigs, hats and scarves. Waller was trained to help and educate patients in this first center to be located in a retail store. Most services are free. Waller decided to do this when she discovered a friend in Alaska had cancer and she could not be with her to help. Now patients do not have to drive all the way to Gainesville for support.
Alachua/High Springs For years the two cities have joined to form one Relay for Life. They hold the event at Santa Fe High School, which is also shared by students from both cities. This year’s Relay is May 14 and 15 on the athletic track, and like the Newberry/Jonesville relay begins at 6 p.m. An ‘80s movie-related theme coursed through activities leading up to the actual Relay. For several months, people have been having regular meetings to organize the event. Each team meeting seeks to keep
142 | Spring 2010
Treatment Chemotherapy is most often used to eradicate cancer because certain chemicals attack the fastest growing cells, which are the cancer cells. But damage is also done to normal cells resulting in stomach problems, loss of hair and damage to organs. According to the journal Cancer, more than 70 percent of cancer patients now use complementary and alternative medical therapies. These include acupuncture, hypnosis, homeopathy and prayer. Once ignored by the medical mainstream, such mind-body therapies as exercise, meditation, biofeedback, yoga and tai chi are often useful tools for those seeking to rid their bodies of cancer.
Prevention Although some people may be genetically predisposed to cancer, there is much that can be done to prevent it. A diet rich in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower) has been shown by scientists to prevent cancer. “Broccoli has a chemical in it called indole, which helps the liver detoxify itself,” said Dr. Mehmet Oz, heart surgeon. The Johns Hopkins Hospital recommends reducing intake of sugar, red meats and milk for the cancer patient. Instead, they advise a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish and fruits. Dr. Edward Fujimoto, of Castle Hospital, warns against using plastic containers or plastic wrap in microwave ovens or freezing plastic water bottles. In both cases, cancer-causing dioxin chemicals are released into the food or liquid. It is safer to use tempered glass (Corning Ware or Pyrex) covered with paper towels in the microwave. Most doctors agree that keeping the body active with regular exercise is good, and that quitting smoking is wise. In these ways, preventing cancer is easier than curing it. But as long as cancer exists, Relay for Life events and volunteers will do what they can to help. s
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The Southâ€™s Largest Country Music Festival
Zac Brown Band John Fogerty Travis Tritt
April 21-24, 2010
Live Oak, Florida Colt Ford
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Josh Thompson Justin Moore
Tickets available at Jason Michael Carrol
Contact the park for more information at 386-364-1683 Order your tickets online
Artists subject to change without notice. Show goes on rain or shine. Taxes and processing are included in the ticket prices. Camping available.
144 | Spring 2010
COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC
Different Note When it comes to style, I’m a bit slow on the take. I was slow to wear bell-bottoms and slow to stop wearing them. esides, I thought if I wore them long enough they would come back in style. They say, “If you can remember the ‘60s, you weren’t there.” I was there but too young to fully appreciate the era. I do remember the hippies hanging out in the park in Coconut Grove. The cats (guys) were shaggy and bearded and wore raggedy shirts and bell-bottom jeans; the chicks (girls) were longhaired and wore hip-huggers. They threw Frisbees and sat in the grass playing bongos, the smell of incense thick in the air. I’m thinking it wasn’t incense, however. By the time I was in junior high these styles had trickled into my world. My mother bought me a pair of bell-bottom slacks with stripes. I was almost embarrassed to wear them to school. But soon it seemed perfectly normal. Hairstyles had followed suit - namely long, bushy, untamed manes. Take a look at any yearbook from the mid ‘70s and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Hippies. All of us. Those with short hair were definitely uncool. (Just for the record, we did not use the term “groovy.” Saying “groovy” just wasn’t cool, man.) When I left home for college, I grew a mustache. It was the early ‘80s, which in many ways were still like the ‘60s. Long hair. Beards. And super short shorts — even on the guys — along with tube socks pulled up to the knees. Now that’s a look I’m glad to see gone.
When I became an adult, I had to wear a tie to work. For a while ties were real fat. In the ‘80s, for a short period of time, very thin was in. I wore the skinny ones, longer than I probably should have, including one that had belonged to my grandfather (they were the fashion in the ‘50s). A friend made fun of me. But I didn’t care — he wasn’t buying my ties. And I knew they would come back in style one day. I still have them somewhere. We’ll see who has the last laugh. Ha! When I observe the youth of today, I see a stunning array of styles, from skin-headed punks, to well-dressed preppies, from hippies to grungies and everything in-between. But I don’t see many mustaches. Beards, yes. Van Dykes, yes. Mustaches, not so much — except amongst us old fogies. I’ve had this ‘stache for over 20 years. On innumerable occasions I’ve been tempted to shave it off, but my wife says she will laugh at me. And she will. She is a woman of her word and the self-proclaimed Voice of Reason. Besides, sooner or later mustaches are going to come back, like elephant bells and crew cuts and skinny ties. And I’ll be ahead of the curve. I never thought about this very much until recently. First, there was that show, “My Name is Earl,” and the hype about Earl’s mustache and how they’re coming back into style. And then there was the young man I met at a recent party. He stood out in the crowd because he had a thick, black mustache. He saw me and gave me the thumbs-up. “I’m bringing them back, man!” he exclaimed with great exuberance. At first I thought he was mocking me, but the fact remained he had cultivated a rather impressive ‘stache. He went on to talk about starting a line of grooming products for mustaches: combs, clippers, brushes, etc. He was serious. continued on page 147
I don’t see many mustaches. Beards, yes. Van Dykes, yes. Mustaches, not so much — except amongst us old fogies.
Spring 2010 | 145
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o continued from page 145 Since this encounter I have become more aware of mustaches, and the fact that, for the most part, only men (and some women) of my age group have the chutzpah (or fear of change) to brandish them. Sure, I must sometimes endure the veiled insults (“He looks like a ‘70s porn star”) but one day, one day soon, they’ll be back, and I’ll be ready. As it turns out, there is a long and rich history behind the mustache; you need look no further than the American Mustache Institute, an organization dedicated to “protecting the rights of, and fighting discrimination against, mustached Americans by promoting the growth, care and culture of the mustache.” I never knew I was so cool until I learned about this organization. For instance, according to the AMI, “It’s a biblical truth that people of Mustached American descent are powerful, good looking, and have an odor that is 27 percent more pleasant — based on Nielsen data — than the average American.” That’s as good a reason as any to keep my lip sweater. And, just this past weekend, my son came home wearing a mustache. And he’s in third grade. He bought it from the grocery store. It was gray and he wore it over his eyebrow. He, too, is ahead of his time. So I guess I’ll keep mine. After all, they’ll be back. Groovy, man. s
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Spring 2010 | 153
PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC
82 >> RUBBER DUCKY, YOUâ€™RE THE ONE
Children and adults alike enjoyed the festivities at the Inaugural Duck Race, a fundraiser hosted by the High Springs Rotary Club. People gathered at the High Springs Boat Ramp and socialized while children played in the river, all waiting for the arrival of 500 rubber duckies that drifted down the Santa Fe River.
154 | Spring 2010
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ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax REAL ESTATE C&G of Chieﬂand .............................................125 C&G of Lake City ............................................ 140 Coldwell Banker MM Parrish ...............160 (HS) Dale Herring ....................................................... 36 Forrester Realty ................................................ 86 Horizon Realty, Judy Leonard ..................... 62 Horizon Realty, Robin Schwartz ................. 63 Prestwick Properties ........................................111 Prestige Home Center N. Ocala .................153 Prestige Homes of Lake City ..................... 109 PRO Realty ............................................. 159 (HS) Royals Homes ..................................................... 41 Village Retirement Community .....................3
AUTOMOTIVE Barber’s NAPA Auto ......................................133 Byron’s Auto Detailing ..................................158 City Boy’s ............................................................. 91 Jim Douglas Sales & Service ........................116 Just Customize..................................................117 Maaco Body Shop ............................................ 85 Newberry Auto Repair Inc ............................ 38 Pure Pressure Audio & Detailing ............... 101 Quality Collision Repair ................................137 RPM Auto ...........................................................127 Sun City Auto ....................................................64 Wade Raulerson Honda ................................. 45
Dr. Storoe, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery... 97 Southeastern Primary Care .......................... 87 Tioga Dental Associates ........................4 (NB)
FITNESS and BEAUTY Big Ron’s Yoga College .................................135 Curves for Women ........................................... 68 Cuts & More ........................................................ 74 Jodie’s Beauty and Barber Shop...............139 Kelly’s Kreations Gift Baskets ...................... 62 Mary Kay .............................................................. 73 Nails N Spa ......................................................... 73 Salon Eye Candy ................................................ 4 Sarah Vierra Salon .......................................... 33 TAN USA ............................................................ 150 Tips 2 Toes Nails & Tanning .........................126 1 Nails and Spa ................................................... 61
PETS and VETS Bed ‘n Biscuit Inn ............................................. 87 Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden ............111 House Call Vet ...................................................115 Newberry Animal Hospital ............................ 18 Paradise for Pets Grooming ........................127 Spring Hill Equine Vet Clinic ......................100 Susie’s Pet Sitting .......................................... 120 Vacation Station Pet Resort ....................... 32 West End Animal Hospital ...........................152
FINANCIAL / INSURANCE
CHILD CARE / LEARNING
Campus USA Credit Union ...........................151 H&R Block ........................................................... 67 M&S Bank ...........................................................143 Pat Gleason, CPRS® ..................................... 103 Sunshine State Insurance .............................133 SunState Federal Credit Union ...................48 Three Rivers Insurance ................................... 93
Alachua Learning Center .................................6 American Academy .........................................131 Spencer House Montessori ........................... 22 The Whole Child ............................................... 78
MEDICAL / HEALTH Alachua Dental .................................................. 24 Alachua Family Medical Center .................143 Caretenders ........................................................80 Dr. Tyrone Plastic Surgery ........................... 101 Douglas M Adel DDS.......................................115 NFRMC ....................................................................2 156 | Spring 2010
RETAIL / RECREATION A Newberry Florist & Gifts ..........................127 Alachua Children’s Theatre .......................... 63 Alachua Pawn & Jewelry ............................... 96 All Star Tattoos & Body Piercing ................ 27 Bennett’s True Value ....................................... 37 Best Drugs ..........................................................115 Blue Springs ....................................................... 73 Camp Kulaqua ...................................................60 Cootie Coo Creations ..................................... 67
Daba Design Works................................ 63, 126 Easton/Newberry Sports .............................. 58 Four Wishes Bridal .......................................... 75 The Garden Gallery.......................................... 53 Gatorland Kubota ............................................ 23 General Ship It & More Store .................... , 101 Harry Beckwith Pistol Range ..................... 149 Hippodrome ..........................................................8 Hugs & Kisses Consignment ........................115 The Jackson Store ...........................................84 Klaus Fine Jewelry ............................................ 19 Lentz House of Time ....................................... 27 Lifestyle Cruise & Travel .............................. 120 Liquor and Wine Shop, The..............159 (NB) The Oasis at High Springs ............................ 75 Paddywhack....................................................... 69 Painted Lady Boutique .................................143 Panda Moni Yum Arcade ............................... 89 Prissy Pals ........................................................... 55 Radio Shack ....................................................... 93 Rum Island Retreat .........................................137 Sapp’s Pawn , Gun and Archery .................114 Silverwind Jewelry & Gifts ...........................126 Stitch In Time Embroidery ...........................126 Suwannee River Music Park ....................... 144 Tioga Town Center..............................................9 Tronix Country...................................................118 Valerie’s Loft ...............................................35, 63 West End Golf Course .................................... 39
SERVICE A Classic Moment Limousine ...................... 36 Alachua Printing ..............................................143 AllState Mechanical, Inc................................127 All Season Outdoor .......................................... 31 Artful Upholstery & More .............................. 67 Authorized Carpet Cleaning ........................ 88 Big Blue................................................................44 Blake’s Lawn Care, LLC .................................147 Blooming House Nursery ............................ 146 Creekside Outdoor ........................................... 15 D.W. Ashton Catery .........................................60 Grower’s Fertilizer Corporation .................. 92 Landscapes Unlimited .................................. 104 Open Show Photography.............................. 55 Phones & More .................................................143 Quality Cleaners ................................................ 61 Ronald Clark Construction ..........................137 Pickett Weaponry Service .......................... 149 Thurston Garden Design ............................... 62 3-Way Electrical Service Inc. ....................... 62
HOME IMPROVEMENT Al Mincey Site Prep .........................................113 The Buck Stove ................................................. 75 Clint S. Davis LLC .............................................121 Cook Portable Buildings ................................116 Fences & Gates by IMI .................................... 52 Floor Store ................................................... 53, 72 Flooring Solutions............................................ 35 Gonzales Site Prep .......................................... 75 Great Lakes Carpet & Tile ............................. 25 Grifﬁs Lumber.................................................... 36 Gulf Coast Metal Rooﬁng .............................139 Home Improvements by Andy ...................133 Innovative Home Builders ................ 160 (NB) Jack’s Small Engine Repair........................... 78 Kim Mamuzich Cleaning ................................ 89 Overhead Door Company .............................. 17 Red Barn Home Center .................. 36, 65, 132 S.E. Williams Electric, Inc. ............................. 67 Southland Rock & Stone ............................... 23 Waste Watchers................................. 44, 47, 121 Watson Construction .....................................136 Whitﬁeld Window and Door ......................... 13
RESTAURANT Conestogas Restaurant................................ 120 D’Lites Emporium ...........................................132 David’s BBQ ....................................................... 93 Gator Domino’s ....................................................5 El Toro Mexican Food & Salsa ...................... 61 Juice Plus ............................................................ 62 Los Aviña Mexican Restaurant .................. 102 Mad Hatter’s Café ............................................ 89 Main Street Pizzaria......................................... 62 Mamma Mia NY Style Pizza..........................40 Newberry Deli & Grille ..................................... 91 NY Pizza Plus ...................................................... 61 Panda Moni Yum Arcade ............................... 89 Papa G’s BBQ ....................................................113 PizzaVito.............................................................152 Ristorante Deneno ........................................... 62 Villaggio’s Pizzeria ..........................................126
EMPLOYMENT CD Case Assembly .........................................155 Dollar General .................................................. 148 Most Affordable Business ............................. 52
Alachua County EPD ...................................... 69 triRX Online Pharmacy........................ 148, 150 www.VisitOurTowns.com Spring 2010 | 157
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