Page 1

FRIENDS OF O’LENO | POLICE EXPLORERS | LEON BARROWS

Winter 2010-11

FREE F FR REE EE E TA TAKE KE O ONE NE E

Happy Trails Bike Florida’s 18th Annual Florida tour will pedal through the heart of our communities

Anna Moo Embrace your inner child (and sing)

Mr. and Mrs. Claus Bill and Kathy Bare take Christmas to another level

Firehouse Gallery Historic building repurposed to serve the community


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To learn more, visit www.NFRMC.com or call 1-800-611-6913.

2 | Winter 2010


MAKE THE

Most ofYour

Retirement

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

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

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

Call to schedule your visit today!

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Gainesville, Florida 1-800-654-2996

3 Brand New Buildings NOW OPEN

www.TheVillageOnline.com ©2010 North Florida Retirement Village. All Rights Reserved. Assisted Living Facility #4855

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 3


E V E N I N G H O U R S AVA I L A B L E • W W W.T I O G A D E N TA L.CO M

Tioga Dental is a comprehensive dental practice providing family and cosmetic dentistry: Cosmetic Dentistry • Smile Makeovers • Implants • Root Canal Therapy • Extractions Same Day Dentistry/E4D Porcelain Crowns • Dentures • Lumineers • Nitrous Oxide Sedation • Periodontal Surgery • Full Mouth Reconstruction and More!

Dedicated To Bringing Smiles To Our Community Dr. Brush • Dr. Orris • And Our Team of Specialists

Call About Our New Patient Specials

352-333-1946 13005 SW 1st Road, Ste 233 • Jonesville, FL 32669

4 | Winter 2010

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Serving Gainesville for 40 Years!

GREAT PEOPLE OUR #1 INGREDIENT For over 40 years, Gator Domino’s has been serving Gainesville’s best pizza to hungry families, friends and businesses. And although we pride ourselves on using the freshest ingredients, our most important ingredient is our team members. Gator Domino’s is locally owned and operated, and our over 180 employees are the real reason we’ve been voted the best pizza in Gainesville. With 8 locations to better serve you, there’s a Domino’s in your neighborhood!

OPEN FOR

LUNCH

Alachua & High Springs

Newberry & Jonesville

386-462-2000 352-333-3333 From Your Laptop or Webphone right to Your Door!

www.gatordominos.com

HAILE HOTLINE

37-HAILE Serving Haile Plantation

www.VisitOurTowns.com Winter 2010 | 5 PARA ORDENAR EN ESPAÑOL 1-888-DOMINOS (1-888-366-4667)


Affordable Services of Florida Formerly known as Mr. Goodtree of Florida, Inc.

Complete Tree Service

Including:

Safe Removal

Tree Trimming & Removal Stump & Debris Removal

Sabal Palms Professionalism at it’s best

Palms (Buy & Sell)

Florida’s State Tree

We Specialize In All Aspects of Tree Service — Serving Gainesville and the surrounding communities since 1974 —

352-262-PALM (7256) www.mrgoodtree.com • www.palmtreecharlie.com • www.tikis4u.com — INSURED BY LLOYDS OF LONDON —

6 | Winter 2010


TURBOCHARGE YOUR TECH TOYS!

COX Bundle

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Cox TV Essential – only $25/mo. for a year! The best in home entertainment made easy! No equipment needed to enjoy local news and sports, plus broadcast channels in HD.

Cox High Speed Internet Essential – only $25/ mo. for a year! Support all Internet-connected devices in your home at the same time with lightning-fast speeds! Even access your email on your cell phone.

Cox Digital Telephone Essential – only $25/ mo. for a year! Ultimate way to connect with family

75 /mo.

Only $

for a year

when you bundle all three!* Plus a FREE Fast Connect Installation!†

and friends. Use online Phone Tools** to view call history from anywhere – even on your cell phone!

Call 866-503-0326 or visit cox.com/bundledeal *Expires 12/31/10; available to new residential customers in Cox areas and who have not disconnected such service(s) within the past 30 days. $75 bundle offer for Essential tier of services only and includes monthly recurring service charge for Cox High Speed Internet Essential service, Cox Digital Telephone Essential service including primary line, call waiting, and caller ID; and Cox TV Essential but excludes monthly and one-time charges for DVR service and equipment, pay-per-view, international calling, directory assistance, operator-assisted calls, per use or à la carte features, long distance and toll charges not included in the calling plan, taxes, fees and other surcharges. Cox TV Essential not available at advertised rate outside of the Cox Bundle. Cox Advanced TV receiver rental not required to view broadcast channels. To receive broadcast signals in digital quality, paid subscription to a minimum of Cox TV Starter and a Cox Advanced TV receiver rental required. After promotional period, regular rates will apply. Other conditions apply. Cable modem required for Cox High Speed Internet services. For best performance, use of Cox approved cable modem is recommended. Uninterrupted or error-free Internet service, or the speed of your service, is not guaranteed. Actual speeds vary. Telephone modem equipment may be required for Cox Digital Telephone service and will be provided by Cox at no additional cost. Telephone modem uses household electrical power to operate and has backup battery power provided by Cox if electricity is interrupted. Telephone service, including access to e911 service, will not be available during an extended power outage or if the modem is moved or inoperable. Installation, inside wiring fees, additional jacks, taxes and surcharges are additional. **Phone Tools requires subscription to Cox Digital Telephone and Cox High Speed Internet service. Access to some functions may require subscription to additional phone features. †Free Fast Connect Installation available only in homes previously wired for applicable Cox services and requires customer self-installation. Customers must pick up the equipment from a Cox service center and install equipment themselves. Other restrictions may apply. Telephone service provided by Cox Florida Telcom, L.P. and Cox Georgia Telcom, L.L.C. ©2010 Cox Florida/Georgia. All rights reserved.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 7


WE TREAT WHAT DIETS CAN’T. Start by losing 10 lbs. in 2 weeks.* Our non-surgical, one-on-one, physician-directed programs offer strategies unavailable at commercial weight loss programs. Only a medical doctor can customize a plan based on your unique metabolism, hormonal disorders, medication and other physical weight loss issues. Find out why thousands are turning to The Center for Medical Weight Loss for fast, safe, affordable, lasting weight loss. Call, or go online, to be connected with the doctor near you.

INITIAL CONSULTATION FROM $19 INITIAL CONSULTATION FROM $19 Karen Laauwe, MD 352-224-6470

Karen MD - 128 NW 137th Drive, Greens) Jonesville 128 NWLaauwe, 137th Drive, Jonesville (at Arbor

www.mdbethin.com

*Based on a stratified random sample of 223 women and 99 men on a medically prescribed diet.

INJURIES • ILLNESSES • X-RAYS • OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE • WELLNESS

Quality Health Care…Close to Home NOW OPEN in Arbor Greens

128 NW 137th Drive Jonesville, FL 32669

8 | Winter 2010

352-332-1890 Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm • Sat-Sun 9am to 5pm

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When you visit Tioga Town Center, you’ll get tastes of Peru, Japan, Italy

...and Chef Willy. Sure, the picturesque storefronts, coffee shop, boutiques, restaurants, bike shop, 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 Chef Willy Hernandez and his staff at Saboré, who will exhilarate your taste buds with flavors and cooking techniques from around the world, 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.

Tioga Town Center welcomes Saboré, Down to Earth and Bike Works as the three latest additions to the center!

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

352.331.4000 www.TiogaTownCenter.com www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 9


page

50

CONTENTS WINTER 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ VOL. 08 ISSUE 04

>> FEATURES 20

Pretty as a Picture

68

Newberry Brings Beautiful Artwork and More to the Town's Historic District BY JANICE C. KAPLAN

24

A Chance to Experience What it is Like to be Part of the Police Force BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

74

Thinking Green

27

Following a Dream Bakery in a Secret Garden

40

BY MARY KYPREOS

92

Charlie and the Honeybees

BY ALBERT ISAAC

A Visit to the Tioga Monday Market

Mr. and Mrs. Claus

BY KAYLA ROBINS

Bill and Kathy Bare take Christmas to another level BY LINDSAY WADELTON

50

Operation Santa Delivery Lifesouth's Modern Twist on a Classic Figure

Local Shop Offers Affordable, Recycled Products BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH

Police 101

Happy Trails Bike Florida's Annual Tour BY ALBERT ISAAC

10 | Winter 2010

100 Teaching Zoo Students Get Hands-on Experience BY MARY KYPREOS

106 Musician Anna Moo It's All About the Moosic BY TARA MASSAGEE-STANLEY


ON THE COVER

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY / LOTUS STUDIOS

Bike Florida's Executive Director Hope Howland-Cook (left) and Ride Director Rachel Weissler take a moment from their busy schedules to pose for our cover shot. These two have been working diligently to put together the 18th Annual Bike Florida tour, "Florida's Eden." In March, a thousand bicyclists from throughout the state will be pedaling into High Springs and Newberry to enjoy all that our communities have to offer.

>> OH, OH, IT'S MAGIC

32

The Kid Who Never Grew Up

By Molly Larmie BY MOLLY LARMIE

H

The Kid Who Never Grew Up Michael Stillwell attended the University of Florida and studied to become an electrical engineer, but all along there was something else he wanted to be: a magician.

e carries a Coca-Cola bottle to the table, one of those old-fashioned glass containers that evokes summertime and giggles and youth. He turns his attention to the little girl waiting in the booth-would she help him with a trick? He places a normal bottle cap on the table next to a cap that has been folded in half. Which top should go inside the bottle? The girl picks up the folded cap and drops it in. Good choice, he says, but what happens if I do this? He shakes out the folded cap and twists on the full cap. He covers the top of the bottle with one hand and takes the folded cap into the other. He bangs the folded cap against the bottom of the bottle. And then, there it is, clanging around on the inside. Dinner arrives and breaks the brief silence at the table. I’ll let you eat, the magician says. The little girl looks disappointed. He promises her a puzzle and a balloon and moves on to the next table. And so, Michael Stillwell begins his Monday night at Sonny’s Real Pit Bar-B-Q on Southwest Archer Road in Gainesville, where he goes table to table with his traveling magic show. Waitresses call him Magic Mike and maneuver their trays around his tall frame and the occasional flying ace. Mike wears rubber-soled shoes, black pants and a black vest over a blue collared shirt. His soft voice is indistinguishable from any in the restaurant, except he has a black pack hooked around his waist, filled with balloons and giant quarters to pull from behind ears. Some parents exchange furtive looks when he spins

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

Magic Mike Stillwell

32 | Winter 2010

>> THE BEATEN PATH

PHOTO BY ROB WILT — COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF SAN FELASCO CSO

The Tour de Felasco features a completely closed, 50-mile course, said Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO. Riders never cross or end up on public streets or highways.

58

Off-Road Challenge

By Mary Kypreos

full page pic(s)

The Friends of San Felasco CSO Hosts a 50-mile Bicycle Course

Friends of San Felasco Each year, the Friends of San Felasco Citizen Support Organization hosts its Tour de Felasco, a 50-mile offroad bicycle course through the San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park in Alachua.

BY MARY KYPREOS

E

very January, hidden in the hammocks, pines and undergrowth just east of I-75, 400 bicyclists weave their way through all four corners at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, testing their endurance and raising funds for the Friends of San Felasco. Taking its cue from the Tour de France, the Friends of San Felasco Citizen Support Organization organizes the aptly named Tour de Felasco, a dynamic 50-mile, off-road bicycle course. “I’ve been told it is one of the best cross-country, off-road events in the state,” said Tony Ross, a member of the Friends of San Felasco CSO. The proof of the tour’s popularity lies in the numbers: from the time

registration for the ninth Tour de Felasco opened at 6 a.m., it took only three hours for all 400 spots to fill, leaving late risers on a waiting list. “The variety [of terrain] and distance give almost any athlete a challenge, yet it’s an event where intermediate [riders] can finish and enjoy a good time,” Ross said. Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, said beginners should not attempt the tour without a “little time in the seat.” However, there is always the option to leave the course after the lunch break. Ross added that the formidable course requires constant patience and endurance. But for advanced riders, the Friends of San Felasco added an extra, optional challenge:

THIS YEAR’S TOUR DE FELASCO Will be held on Jan. 8, 2011. Spectators are welcome. Sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m. while the race starts at 8:30 a.m. The tour includes a hot lunch, rest stops with drinks and snacks along the course, and a T-shirt. The tour finishes at 5 p.m., at which point all riders must be off the trails. In addition, Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, recommends bringing plenty of water, snacks for in between rest stops, a first-aid kit and a tire-changing kit.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

58 | Winter 2010

“Many homeowners use varieties of grass requiring large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, our source of drinking water,”

Winter 2010 | 59

The fi rst thing to realize is that you cannot help if you do not know what is happening. Try attending a SFRSBWG meeting to understand what stakeholders are doing and to know exactly what the problem is. “As they continue to come, they will get a deeper understanding,” said Stacie Greco, senior

152

environmental specialist at the Alachua County Environmental

By Mary Kypreos

Healthy Springs Created by people concerned by the dangers facing local water bodies, the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Work Group monitors the springs and holds meetings to share information and discuss issues that affect the springs' health.

Monitoring the Health of the Area’s Water

Healthy Springs for Healthy Life BY MARY KYPREOS

W

aste has become a familiar word in today’s vocabulary, almost a chant: Do not waste water; Do not waste food; Do not waste resources. Everyone knows they should not do these things, yet some do. Resource conservation is important everywhere, but residents in North Central Florida should be especially

conscientious of consumption. “Something that people don’t think about is that all the water we use comes out of our aquifers, which may have otherwise gone into the springs,” said Stacie Greco, senior environmental specialist at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. Because water in Alachua and

152 | Winter 2010

neighboring counties comes from the aquifers, when residents over consume, it means less water for Ginnie, Blue, Poe and other springs. Lower water quantity in those springs decreases water quality, wreaking havoc on counties’ recreation outlets and economy. Three to four times a year, the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Work

Group (SFRSBWG) discusses these issues and others that affect the springs’ health and water in the area. Since the Lower Santa Fe Springshed, which is the focus of the SFRSBWG, includes Hornsby, Poe, Ginnie and Gilchrist Blue springs, members hail not just from Alachua, but also from surrounding counties such as Columbia and Gilchrist. “The water that contributes to these springs does not have political boundaries,” Greco said. Long before the Springs Initiative at the Department of Environmental Protection was started, professionals, government entities, academics and citizens created the SFRSBWG, based on concerns about the springs, said Connie Bersok, environmental administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Now, the Springs Initiative organizes “state-wide springs protection and outreach.” During a SFRSBWG meeting, academics present research on the springs, local government officials give updates on sources that affect water quality and quantity, and others give presentations to the like-minded audience, Greco said. “The purpose is providing a forum where people can come together and focus on the springs,” Greco said. Greco stressed that the SFRSBWG is not an advocacy group. Its

meetings and activities serve only as a venue for sharing information and a diversity of viewpoints. On average, there are three to five presentations per meeting with topics ranging from updates on turtle populations to the appearance of algae. One issue they may discuss is an excess of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which can be harmful in the water in large concentrations. “Many homeowners use varieties of grass requiring large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, our source of drinking water,” states the Florida Springs website by Florida Department of Environmental Protection. After entering the water, nitrates enable algae growth; when there is too much algae, it can force out native plants that are healthy for the springs, Greco said. Another by-product of algae and unhealthy plant growth can be decreased levels of dissolved oxygen. When plants die, the next natural process is decomposition — a process that uses oxygen. “When oxygen levels get too low, it can affect the fish and other critters,” Greco said. Due to the complicated web of cause and effect, some presentations are scientifically based. Past subjects have included mercury testing of fish and hydrology.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Protection Department. If you cannot make the meeting, hit the Internet. Websites such as www.santaferiversprings.com and www.fl oridasprings.org will keep you informed and give you tips.

Meanwhile, take actions that increase the springs’ health: 1. Eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides in yards and reduce water consumption in both the yard and the house. To go a step further, make a commitment to use native plants and grasses that do not require fertilization and irrigation. 2. Floridians use over 50 percent of their water on landscapes. Collecting rainwater for use in the yard is an easy way to reduce this percentage. 3. Inspect septic systems every three to five years, and have it pumped and/or maintained as needed. Do not use harmful substances like ammonia and pesticides that will end up harming the septic system and leaking into groundwater. 4. ”Fixing leaks and replacing old plumbing fixtures indoors with water saving ones can save a family of four up to 30,000 gallons of water each year,” states the SFRSBWG website.

Information courtesy of www.santaferiversprings.com

Winter 2010 | 153

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

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 11


>> FEATURES 110 A New Kind of Predator The Fight Against Nematodes BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH

114

More Than a Music Store Local Gathering Spot for Musicians BY LARRY BEHNKE

120 Not Your Typical Farm New Farming Trends for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Means Higher Quality Products BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH

130 Thrift & Gift

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

PUBLISHER Charlie Delatorre charlie@towerpublications.com EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Albert Isaac editor@towerpublications.com fax: 1-800-967-7382 OFFICE MANAGER Bonita Delatorre bonita@towerpublications.com

Great Store With A Great Cause BY MICHELLE ASHWORTH

136 Outstanding Business Great Outdoors Restaurant and Opera House Wins Outstanding Business of the Year BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

140 Almanac Winter in North Florida BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH

146 Friends of O'Leno Local Citizens Help State Park BY JESSICA CHAPMAN

152 Healthy Springs for Healthy Life Monitoring the Health of the Area's Water BY MARY KYPREOS

ART DIRECTOR Hank McAfee hank@towerpublications.com SENIOR DESIGNER Tom Reno tom@towerpublications.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Michelle Ashworth Larry Behnke Jessica Chapman Debbie M. DeLoach Janice Kaplan Mary Kypreos Mollie Larmie Tara Massagee-Stanley Ashley McDonough Kayla Robins Lindsay Wadelton Amanda Williamson INTERN Amanda Williamson

COLUMNISTS 38 66 79 116 124 150

Crystal Henry ............................................................ NAKED SALSA Donna Bonnell ......................................................... EMBRACING LIFE Kendra Siler-Marsiglio ..................................... HEALTHY EDGE Debbie DeLoach .................................................... GARDEN WAY Albert Isaac ................................................................ DIFFERENT NOTE Diane E. Shepard .................................................. MAMA MUSINGS

ADVERTISING SALES Jenni Bennett 352-416-0210 jenni@towerpublications.com Amanda Skadhauge 352-416-0196 amanda@towerpublications.com Pam Slaven 352-416-0213 pam@towerpublications.com Helen Stalnaker 352-416-0209 helen@towerpublications.com Larkin Kieffer 352-416-0212 larkin@towerpublications.com

INFORMATION 86 Community Calendar 102 Restaurant Guide 128 Worship Centers

12 | Winter 2010

Annie Waite 352-416-0204 annie@towerpublications.com

134 Library Happenings 164 Advertiser Index

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

A E

loc Ro an

C

Al ch

W of me Ce ing cu tio fro eig


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 through eighth grade.

The Alachua Learning Center has consistently been rated an “A” school by the State of Florida. 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.

Alachua Learning Center 386-418-2080

alachualearningcenter.com Winter 2010

www.VisitOurTowns.com

| 13


MESSAGE >> FROM THE EDITOR

Ah, yes, a family vacation in the snowy mountains. Here I am with a portion of my brood, enjoying a winter vacation in Tennessee a couple of years back. Not pictured are our other kids: daughter, son-in-law and our two granddaughters (when and how did I get so old, anyway?). Sadly for us, they have moved out of state, which means this Christmas will be considerably different for us all. But such is the nature of life, change is ever constant, and we should all count our blessings. Since we are now living in the 21st Century, maybe I can get my Internet working long enough to videoconference with the rest of our "kids" who have moved away. This holiday season, we plan to spend precious time with our loved ones who are still here with us, and those who have passed will certainly be with us in spirit. This year I will be more careful setting up the Christmas tree so

14 | Winter 2010

that it doesn't fall over as soon as I leave the house. And I will try to shop earlier in the year... wait, who am I kidding? It's already too late for that. And now that a New Year is upon us, perhaps I should make some resolutions. For 2011: I shall go shopping with the missus without complaint. I shall strive to put my clothes in the hamper and keep my stuff on my side of the dresser. I shall not whistle in the bathroom at work any more (everyone thinks I'm crazy for this). I shall not sing "Animal Crackers in my Soup" at work any more (because it makes everyone else crazy when that song gets stuck in their heads). I shall not blame my intern for typos. I shall not post embarrassing pictures of my boss on the Internet. I shall not do these things any more (or any less).

Perhaps I can think of more as we get closer to the big day. So... what do biking, music, magic and nematodes have in common? All of these things (and more) can be found in this edition of Our Town Magazine. So please sit back and take the next several months to peruse our publication and tell us what you think. Reader input is greatly appreciated, and while we may not be able to write back to everyone, you can rest assured we are listening. Have a safe and joyous holiday season! s


CALENDAR >> SPOTLIGHT

GREAT PEOPLE GREAT DEALS Patty Larkin

FOR OUR COMPLETE MENU & MORE GREAT DEALS, VISIT

www.gatordominos.com

Sun. 1/14

known for imaginative lyrics, from impressionistic

poetry to witty wordplay.

2-4-10 DEAL TWO MEDIUM PIZZAS w/ ONE TOPPING EACH

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NO COUPON REQUIRED! JUST MENTION COUPON CODE 2410 WHEN ORDERING.

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Patty is part of the folk/urban/pop music phenomenon that produced so many singer-songwriters in the 70s. A self-described “guitar-driven songwriter,” Patty is

2 MEDIUM SPECIALTY PIZZAS INCLUDING OUR NEW WISCONSIN 6-CHEESE

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NO COUPON REQUIRED! JUST MENTION COUPON CODE 8390 WHEN ORDERING.

Golden Dragon Acrobats Sat. 1/15 They made their Broadway debut to a sold out audience at the New Victory Theater in November 2005 and have been thrilling audiences and critics ever since. OUR COMPLETE UPCOMING AREA EVENT LISTINGS CAN BE FOUND ON PAGE 94.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

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FAMILY DOUBLES SPECIAL TWO LARGE UNLIMITED TOPPINGS PIZZAS

NO COUPON REQUIRED! JUST MENTION COUPON CODE LS1 WHEN ORDERING.

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TWO CHOCOLATE LAVA CRUNCH CAKES No coupon required! Just mention this offer when placing your order.

Winter 2010 | 15


STAFF >> CONTRIBUTORS Lindsay Wadelton

Kayla Robins

is a 2010 graduate of the UF Photojournalism program. She seeks out visual beauty in our every day reality and lives for a compelling story. For her, travel is not only a hobby — but a priority.

is a junior at the University of Florida and wants to specialize in environmental journalism. If she had the choice, she would always be outside or traveling. She is also a huge Harry Potter freak.

lawadelton@gmail.com

krobins@ufl.edu

Mary Kypreos

Janice Kaplan

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

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

kypreos.mary@gmail.com

Ashley McDonough

Amanda Williamson

is a student of life who enjoys writing and being active in the community. An avid traveler, Ashley has a Masters degree in Public Administration and enjoys interacting with the many unique people who call Alachua County home.

is a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has been writing for as long as she can remember. She enjoys spending time with her friends, family and animals.

Mcdonough.ashley@gmail.com

awilliamson@ufl.edu

Molly Larmie

Michelle Ashworth

was born and raised just north of Daytona Beach. She misses the sand and the sound of the waves but has fallen in love with the Gainesville community. There are always at least three books resting on her nightstand.

is a student in UF’s College of Journalism and Communications. She enjoys going to the beach, traveling, trying new things, snorkeling and spending time with her friends and family. chelle11286@hotmail.com

molarmie@gmail.com

16 | Winter 2010

Jessica Chapman

Tara Massagee Stanley

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 freelance writer and journalism senior with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends.

jessicalorriane@gmail.com

t.massagee.stanley@gmail.com

Larry Behnke

Debbie M. DeLoach, Ph.D.

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 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.

larry@towerpublications.com

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>> ARTS & CULTURE

Pretty as a Picture Newberry Brings Beautiful Artwork and More to the Town's Historic District

BY JANICE C. KAPLAN estled on a quaint stretch of Main Street in Newberry is an old brick firehouse. Built in 1913 and located next to Newberry Backyard BBQ, it is a perfect place for pedestrians to stroll past and gaze into the windows at whatever is inside. And as of this winter, it is home to the Firehouse Gallery and Studio. The latest endeavor by the Main Street Newberry organization, the Firehouse Gallery and Studio is a labor of love for Program Executive Director Barbara Hendrix and Promotions Director Dana Patton. The two women have ties of their own to the area as owners of Daba Design Works, located not far from the historic building, and Patton has been an artist in Newberry for 14 years. Now they have teamed up to create a haven for local artists that will also help draw pedestrian

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20 | Winter 2010

traffic to the main street area. "It's an artists' incubator," Patton said. "We want to bring people into downtown to buy art or just look, come into the tourist center, then visit and eat and maybe open more businesses here. That's our purpose." The building was initially going to be a tourism development center with some local artwork on the walls. But the idea of an artistic haven struck a chord with the women, and they decided to convert much of the space into an actual gallery and a studio. While the front room will still be a tourism information area, two large adjacent rooms will serve as the main gallery. There will be a glass pane behind the tourism area so that visitors can immediately see into one part of the gallery, and wall space in these rooms will be rented to artists who live within a 100-mile radius of the town.


PHOTOS BY JANICE KAPLAN

The Whimsical Chair-ity auction was expected to raise more than $2000 for the renovations. Each chair is a one-ofa-kind work of art, teeming with detail and color.

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Winter 2010 | 21


PHOTO BY JANICE KAPLAN

The fi rehouse, built in 1913, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The slope of the where the trucks pulled in can still be seen in front of the building.

The organization also plans to have an artist working in the front room by the window, providing a colorful active tableau to catch the attention of passers-by. Additionally, there will be a studio in the back of the building where art classes can be held. "I've got an art teacher from the local schools involved," Hendrix said. "We're going to teach kids, adults, seniors, anybody who wants to do art. And we have other artists who are so interested in this, who have experience teaching and who are so excited."

The firehouse is also home to the Main Street Newberry program, and will contain a Chamber of Commerce office and the Panther Press — a collaboration between Newberry High School students and the town to publish a quarterly newsletter about the community. All of these aspirations require a lot of renovation to the old firehouse. The organization was turned down for a $25,000 grant from the county tourism board, so they contacted area artists and businesses for help. MACS Construction is donating their labor and knowledge to help renovate the building, while several artists painted more than two dozen chairs that were to be auctioned in December to raise money for the project. The fundraiser, dubbed the Whimsical Chair-ity, was inspired by a chair that Patton painted more than a

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decade ago. "When Barbara didn't get the grant I said, 'I've got an idea for a fundraiser! I want to paint chairs for auction, and I want to place them in the businesses that sponsor them to bring in traffic.' In about two days, I put the whole thing together and presented it to the Main Street directors, and they said, 'Sure, sounds like fun!'" Patton's original chair was included in the auction, as were others painted by area artists like Diana Fava, Douglas Morris, Anda Chance and Tina Corbett. Many local businesses, including RPM Auto Mechanics, First Choice Immediate Care Center of Jonesville and massage therapist Ann Knapp, sponsored the chairs and displayed them in their offices and stores to drum up interest in the auction.

The organization was turned down for a grant from the tourism board, so they contacted area artists and businesses for help. Hendrix and Patton were thrilled but not surprised by the show of support. "What I like about Newberry is when we do things like this, the community works together," Hendrix said. "The city works with me, the chamber works with me — the chamber works with everybody. Whenever we're doing something like this, and we need help to get more materials or anything, people just say 'yes, we'll help — we've got it.'" Main Street Newberry was designated as such by the Florida Main Street program in 2006. The state program provides technical assistance to local governments to revitalize their downtown areas, and the gallery is the newest piece of the puzzle to help Newberry grow while still keeping its small town feel. The city has already added the Easton-Newberry Sports Complex, a world-class archery facility with training schedules and equipment availability. And the Nations Ballpark, a proposed 16-field baseball complex currently in development, is expected to attract tourists from all over the country as teams come to compete in tournaments at the facility. The possibility of more visitors coming to the area provided an even bigger impetus to move forward with the gallery and studio. "These people are going to come in, enjoy our town and the county, go back home, and then another group will come in," Hendrix said. "[Newberry] is an agricultural small town, but it's growing in a way that we want to keep the small town effect but have things like the sports complexes and culture. We'll still have that hometown charm, but we'll grow in a good way." s

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>> THUMBS UP

Thinking Green Local Shop Offers Affordable, Recycled Products

BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH he term "green" can, at times, come with the negative connotation of being an expensive lifestyle that only pertains to trendy celebrities and their new hybrid cars. However, this is just the stereotype Bob Watson, owner of Global Green Vision in High Springs, wants to educate people about in his store. "People think that they have to spend a lot of money when they see the word 'green,' but when they come into Global Green Vision, we try to teach people that going green doesn't mean that it has to be expensive," Watson said. "When you are creative in the way that you reuse and recycle materials, going green can actually end up saving a lot of money."

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24 | Winter 2010

Global Green Vision sells all recycled, reused and repurposed products, which are either donated or made from recycled materials by Watson himself. The most popular items are cabinets, which many customers use for bathroom and kitchen remodels. However, Watson also sells a wide variety of products, including recycled wood, doors, tile, countertops, windows, furniture, flooring, as well as handmade cutting boards and bird houses. When he is not running his shop, Watson also teaches a course at Santa Fe College entitled "Your Role in a Green Environment." This course is sponsored by the National Center for Construction Education and Research and hosts students

"When you are creative in the way that you reuse materials, going green ends up saving a lot of money." from both the Alachua County and Gainesville Housing Authority. At his store, Watson focuses his teaching efforts on Saturday education workshops for adults as well as children. During each workshop, participants learn how to make


PHOTOS BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH

TOP: A greenhouse demo on the property serves as a teaching tool for classes every Saturday at the store. ABOVE: Everything from light ďŹ xtures to antique travel trunks can be found inside the Global Green Vision store. RIGHT: Owner Bob Watson demonstrates how to make natural, affordable cleaning and household products from everyday items.

everything from rain barrels to straw bale houses to all-natural, affordable cleaning supplies. The adult workshop takes place from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Saturday mornings while the workshop for children takes place every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Education Center in the Global Green Vision store. Watson also stresses teaching children about "Mr. Four R's" in his kid's workshop. The four "R's" stand for reject (such as rejecting a plastic bag at the supermarket), reduce, reuse and recycle. "People come to our store from all over Florida," Watson said. "We have people who visit the springs nearby and stop into our shop as well." With more popularity being

seen across the country for green trends, Watson makes it his goal to demonstrate and teach a variety of green techniques to his patrons. In the back of the store there are demonstration sites to show how to make raised vegetable garden beds, greenhouses and compost piles from scratch. Watson is passionate about what he does and is always willing to share a tip or suggestion about how to get the best results for a given project. His newest project is a small pond demonstration to be stationed inside an atrium on the side of the Global Green Vision building along Northwest First Avenue. The atrium features exposed brick walls and an open roof, as well as a grassy, green area inside with windows for

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onlookers to see in as the progress on the small pond continues. Like so many other products and teaching tools that Watson uses at his store, the small pond demonstration is meant to be an opportunity for community members to learn and to take away valuable information and knowledge to their own backyards. Along with teaching people green techniques, Watson also stresses that donations of unwanted materials are always welcome at Global Green Vision. "This store is not like any other in the area," Watson said. "Instead of throwing things in a landfill, we are taking those items and making them accessible for others to reuse and recycle into a new life. s

Winter 2010 | 25


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>> NEW IN TOWN

Following a Dream Bakery in a Secret Garden BY ALBERT ISAAC haron Tugman has always had a passion for baking. For the past eight years she has owned and operated Wisteria Cottage, offering country décor with country furniture and accessories. Owning Wisteria is a dream come true for Tugman, but she did not stop there. In July she opened the Secret Garden Bakery, behind her shop. "I always wanted to eventually expand and put this bakery in. So I thought I'd do it now, in an uncertain economy," Tugman said with an easy laugh. "The timing was finally right." Tugman, who is from St. Petersburg, said she fell immediately in love with the High Springs area after a visit in 1995. "We canoed down the river, camped at O'Leno State Park, and I said, 'I'm moving here.' Been here ever since." Tugman already had the building out back, and after pulling permits and fixing it up, the bakery was ready to go. "And the city was wonderful," Tugman said. "I had a wonderful experience with them."

S

PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

First time visitors to the Secret Garden, Alyson Gargano and Natalie Kitlen stand on the front porch of the recently opened bakery, located behind Wisteria Cottage in High Springs.

Over the summer Tugman's children help out, both in the shop and in the bakery, where she offers a variety of cookies, cakes and brownies, all baked on site.

"This is where I belong," Tugman was quick to admit, pointing to the sign hanging on the wall behind her, bearing those very words. s

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Five Ways You Can Help Homeless Animals for little or no money Why not share a little of your time this holiday season to make life better for our homeless critters? Here’s five things you can do that will make tails wag!

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1. Provide a foster home for an animal until it gets adopted. Rescue groups have limited space, and every foster home is valuable. There is generally little or no financial responsibility to you. The animal just needs a place to stay and some TLC in between Adopt-A-Thons. You can foster for as little as a couple of weeks or as long as a few months. 2. Start volunteering a couple of hours a week with a rescue group. They always need help cleaning, feeding, walking dogs, and doing laundry. It’s a great way to be exposed to and learn about different species and breeds of animals. Rescues always appreciate someone who is dependable and will show up on time.

A FEW OF OUR LOCAL GROUPS: Animal Rescue Friends: 352-538-7470 stacey@AFRNorthFla.org Phoenix Animal Rescue: 352-226-0228 admin@phoenixanimalrescue.org Helping Hands Rescue: 352-281-4358 helpinghandspetrescue@gmail.com Operation CatNip: 352-380-0940 operationcatnip@nmhp.net And finally, be sure your pet never becomes homeless— microchip your pet for permanent identification.

3. Transport animals to Adopt-A-Thons. Many rescue groups need an extra vehicle to carry animals from foster homes or from their rescue facilities to Adopt-A-Thons at PetSmart, PetCo, the Oaks Mall or other venues. 4. Trap and spay a feral cat. Feral (i.e. wild) cats contribute to feline overpopulation. Operation CatNip spays and neuters these cats for free. You do not need to handle them in any way, because you borrow a live trap from Operation CatNip and bring it in for surgery still in the trap. 5. Collect coupons for pet food, treats and toys and donate them to rescue groups. Better yet, use the coupons to buy pet food, treats or toys and donate them.

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>> OH, OH, IT'S MAGIC

32 | Winter 2010


The Kid Who Never Grew Up

BY MOLLY LARMIE e carries a Coca-Cola bottle to the table, one of those old-fashioned glass containers that evokes summertime and giggles and youth. He turns his attention to the little girl waiting in the booth-would she help him with a trick? He places a normal bottle cap on the table next to a cap that has been folded in half. Which top should go inside the bottle? The girl picks up the folded cap and drops it in. Good choice, he says, but what happens if I do this? He shakes out the folded cap and twists on the full cap. He covers the top of the bottle with one hand and takes the folded cap into the other. He bangs the folded cap against the bottom of the bottle. And then, there it is, clanging around on the inside. Dinner arrives and breaks the brief silence at the table. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll let you eat, the magician says. The little girl looks disappointed. He promises her a puzzle and a balloon and moves on to the next table. And so, Michael Stillwell begins his Monday night at Sonnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Real Pit Bar-B-Q on Southwest Archer Road in Gainesville, where he goes table to table with his traveling magic show. Waitresses call him Magic Mike and maneuver their trays around his tall frame and the occasional flying ace. Mike wears rubber-soled shoes, black pants and a black vest over a blue collared shirt. His soft voice is indistinguishable from any in the restaurant, except he has a black pack hooked around his waist, filled with balloons and giant quarters to pull from behind ears. Some parents exchange furtive looks when he spins

H

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

Magic Mike Stillwell


PHOTOS BY TJ MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

Magic Mike performs a magic trick for Riley Bessinger at Moe's Southwest Grill in Alachua. In addition to performing at local restaurants, this magician also entertains private parties.

a card trick for their children, but Magic Mike is one of those remote few-actors, professional athletes, and yes, magicians-who were lucky enough to never grow up. Mike liked games as a teenager. A few times he covered for his sister when she could not babysit. He brought along games and toy robots, and the kids started to request him instead. He worked through college as a waiter. Occasionally he performed tricks and forgot to deliver food. When other servers had to start covering his tables, the manager asked him to quit serving and perform magic five nights a week. Mike earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Florida in eight years. He kept taking time off, he says, because he knew, deep down, he did not want to be an engineer. He wanted to be a

34 | Winter 2010

professional magician. This is how Mike, now 49, came to star in weekend birthday parties, how he ended up at Moe’s Southwest Grill or Beef ‘O’ Brady’s or Sonny’s three nights a week, standing in front of hungry families, telling riddles. One night, a king and a queen got into a boat and sailed across a river. On the other side of the river, three people got out. Who were they? A small girl starts counting on her fingers: king, queen...”You know you can help, too!” she says to her mom. “The king, the queen-oh, the knight.” Mom gets it on the second try. Sonny’s is not Disney World, where magicians get a new audience every day and use the same tricks. Mike’s


revolving schedule at restaurants is filled with regulars, people who bring their kids just to see him, so he has to constantly update his repertoire. He gets his jokes from books or from his mentor in Orlando, a truck driver who moonlights as a featured magician. Before approaching a table, Mike checks to see if everyone has finished eating. But it is hard to concentrate on macaroni and cheese when a magician is around. Some children wait patiently in their seats, others kneel on the booth to peek across the restaurant, marking his progress. One boy with dark hair and high, expressive eyebrows bounds over, interrupting a card trick. “Did you get a haircut?” Christopher Preston asks. Christopher and his family come to Sonny’s every Monday. He rarely leaves without a balloon. Mike jokes that he needs a menu to keep track of his selection of balloon creations. He can make teddy bears, lovebirds and all sorts of animals that mostly turn out like dogs. He fashions flower hats, peace signs, magic wands, pirate swords, motorcycles, ninja turtles, gators and a super mouse, for which he leaves the tail section of the balloon limp. When kids pull on it, it shoots upward. Christopher picks “orange, orange, all orange” for his custom weapon and tries to touch the balloons as they inflate. Mike, unfazed, blows up a balloon, tucks it under his arm, blows up another, twists and weaves them together, hands turning like he is screwing in bolts or squeezing a stress ball, reaching for a limp balloon to wrap around his fingers before blowing it up, forming a spiral. The magician’s hands move with the practiced motion of a thousand repetitions. In more than an hour, he pops only two balloons-staccato bursts that bring a mild blush to his cheeks. In his time away from birthday parties and restaurant gigs, Mike listens to The Beatles and watches sci-fi shows. He collects unusual clocks and takes care of his dog, Sparkles. He took Sparkles from his niece when she could not care for her anymore. He tried to rename her Sparky, but the name did not stick. Mike wants to market continued on page 37

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o continued from page 35 himself efficiently and work more for corporate clients. He plans to expand his birthday party circuit. “Some magicians aspire to big shows with dancing girls and big money,” Mike says. “I’m not really into that.” He is a kid at heart, he says, content to carve out his own niche in the business of magic. At a table near the entrance, a child dares Mike to shoot a balloon across the restaurant. The magician

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Winter 2010 | 37


COLUMN >> CRYSTAL HENRY

Naked Salsa It's that time of year again when the cold weather and indoor confinement team up with lower immune systems to spread holiday crud. nd there seems to be a serious fever spreading through so many women near and dear to my heart. Yes, I'm afraid that baby fever has taken hold of those poor souls, and thoughts of procreation are creeping into their heads. Fortunately, the runny noses and headaches that accompany this condition have been reason enough for me to avoid this nonsense like the plague. But my friends have not been so lucky. Several of them have already fallen pregnant, and even more are talking about getting some buns in those ovens. Now the last time I had this fever I got it bad. I caught it from a little rascal named Cohen who was only one day old. I knew I should have worn some sort of gloves or something the first time I held him, but we were in a very sanitary hospital and he looked clean enough, so I thought 'what the heck?' Well, shame on me because that little booger gave me the worst case of baby fever I've ever known. Oh, it was horrible. Every time I passed a stroller I would get a stomachache. I suppose it was more like butterflies, but oh, I would moan and groan. Yes, it sounded more like oohs and aahs, but I definitely felt

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a strange chest pain. It was an aching in my heart for a tiny piece that was missing. And once you catch the fever you are very susceptible to pregnancy. I think the statistics are something like 3 out of 4 women who catch baby fever end up pregnant within the next year. There should be some kind of awareness campaign. Maybe we should wear little ribbons to let people know how serious this is. Naturally, just a few months later I turned up preggers with twins. Now unfortunately that first pregnancy just didn't take, and it left me completely heartbroken. But oddly enough, it is a medical fact that a failed pregnancy was no match for the strain of baby fever I'd caught. So it was back to work. This fever of mine had me spending a lot of time in bed, but the only cure was to create a tiny human. Then, on what would have been my due date with the twins, I found out I was pregnant again. Now this one stuck like glue. And there has never been a more wanted or planned-for child in the history of the world. Despite the morning sickness, backaches, mysterious rashes and other delights that came with the manufacturing

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“I think the statistics are something like 3 out of 4 women who catch baby fever end up pregnant within the next year. There should be some kind of awareness campaign.” of a baby, I absolutely adored being pregnant. I instantly bonded with my precious daughter in utero. I talked to her and read to her, and once she was born it was all I could do to put her down long enough to catch a quick shower. I am completely and absolutely smitten with the child. However, when she was 16 months old I had some blood drawn and a few labs run, and it turns out my baby fever has gone into remission. I, unlike these crazies surrounding me, have absolutely no desire to have another baby anytime soon. As much as I love this darling angel of mine, how can I put this delicately? She ain't exactly the type that has ya itchin' fer more. She is so fun and inquisitive and brilliant and beautiful and funny, but good Lord help me if I had another just like her. I just lack the stamina. And these lunatic women who are either purposefully pregnant or looking to get that way are not first-timers. They are veteran moms who already have at least one child. How is it possible that they are considering having another when it's all I can do to keep up with the one I've got? I sometimes think maybe there's something wrong with me. Maybe I'm just not woman enough for two kids. I mean, the notion of more than one child is not a new one. I would say more often than not people opt for round two and sometimes round three and four. But by golly, some days I'm in the corner begging for mercy as it is. I am just not ready to say "Please sir may I have another?" But I don't think that's it. I doubt I'm lacking any magic mothering skills that prevent me from having two kids. In all actuality I think I'm a little afraid to have another one because I'm having such a blast with this one. Right now it's just crazy fun, but if I added another one it would be complete chaos. I'll never get this one-on-one time back, and I really cherish it. Round two can wait. As for those currently suffering from the fever who have perfect little first drafts, tee hee and good luck. If you get one like mine your second time out of the gate, I have a feeling you'll get your immunizations next year. s Crystal Henry 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. ces03k@gmail.com

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>> GENUINE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Mr. and Mrs. Claus PHOTOS AND STORY BY LINDSAY WADELTON

Bill & Kathy Bare take Christmas to Another Level ake a right off FL-47 in High Springs and where two dirt roads meet, just past the three big potholes, lies a little piece of the North Pole. It is Bill and Kathy Bare’s home, but if it is past November, they prefer to go by Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus. Bill has been making appearances as the iconic Christmas figure for the past ten years and Kathy has joined him as Santa’s better half for the last four. During winter on the Bare property, the golf cart becomes a sleigh — complete with reindeer — and the front yard transforms into a homemade “Forest of Lights.” “As soon as I put on the red and white she says that she can see the twinkle in the eyes,” Bill said. He is a man who takes pride in his wife’s ability to identify the Christmas spirit. “And that’s even sitting out here when nobody comes to see us for two hours. It doesn’t matter.”

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Bill Bare, 60, and his wife Kathy, 57, prepare to meet with visitors at Hitchcock’s Newberry Market, December 2008. Bare said he does not do the mall Santa. “There is a big difference,” he said. “Time is money. Their expectation for Santa spending any time with the kids is a maximum of 30 seconds per child. To me, it’s too much like a cattle call. I personally enjoy being able to talk to the kids.”

40 | Winter 2010

They start earlier than most, so sometimes they find themselves without visitors. It is only November when the couple opens their yard to the public for hot chocolate, apple cider and visits with Santa. (Booked appearances keep them from offering their Forest of Lights in December.) Opening night this season drew three visitors, their neighbors, but the Bares are jolly and optimistic people. “They don’t always come, but they’ll be here,” Bill said. “It’s like that movie.” Laughing, Kathy reminds him of the title: “Field of Dreams.” “If you build it they will come,” Bill said. Even when he is not in costume, Bill says “Ho, Ho, Ho!” when he laughs. Bare has been the Santa Claus in the High Springs Parade for eight out of the past ten years. Scheduling conflicts will not allow


ABOVE: Santa and Mrs. Clause meet with visitors at Hitchcock’s Newberry Market. In addition to Santa duties, the Bares Spend 2-6 hours a day from October onward working on their Forest Of Lights front yard holiday display. “That ten months that I wait I’m always thinking about what else can I do, how can I make it better, how can I make it bigger,” Bill said. Sometimes, being Santa is not all candy canes and cookies. Tough requests from children often weigh heavy on Bill’s heart. Children have asked for divorced parents to get back together and grandparents to come home from heaven. Bill always says that Santa will do what he can, but as soon as the child walks away he knows his role ends.

42 | Winter 2010

him to wave from Main Street this year, but he plans on making multiple appearances, including the Newberry Pocket Park, the Coffee Clutch in High Springs, the Waldo Flea Market and the A. Quinn Jones Center in Gainesville. Bill first noticed a Santa suit while working in customer service at a department store in Syracuse, NY. It was hanging on the wall in his manager’s office, and after inquiring innocently about the opportunity, Bill signed up as the employee to wear it. “But his hair was still brown then,” Kathy said. “He had to wear a fake beard and pillows.” Back then it was just a way to put extra hours on the clock, but after relocating to Florida, Kathy was inspired by the High Springs Tree Lighting to get her husband back into costume. “She had gone out on a shopping trip by herself and when she came

home she threw this package on the bed — and it was a red and white,” Bill said. Kathy’s transformation came later. For years, her self-proclaimed status as a “Santa groupie” was a title used while applying the white clown makeup to Bill’s eyebrows. However, Bill did not enjoy having his wife sit in the car while he made appearances. “So I made a dress and got started,” Kathy said. The Claus identity has since taken over the couple’s free time. He no longer stuffs his belly or wears a wig; the 60-year-old is proud to announce his status as a real bearded Santa, and is a card-carrying member of the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas, as well as Palm Tree Santas, Florida’s Sandie Clauses. “I’m to the point now — and I really don’t want to admit it — I actually do, honest to goodness,


have to use the old lady bluing shampoo,” Bill said. The shampoo helps take the yellow out and makes his hair a glistening white. Bill now has a collection of five costumes, including a redand-white striped pair of overalls complete with cowboy hat and sneakers. Their calendar is booked with both community events and private parties. The Bares have also donated their time to organizations including the Boy Scouts of America, Thelma Boltin Senior Center and Ronald McDonald House. “I’m doing it for the love of the kids, for the spirit — whatever you wanna call it. That’s what I do it for,” Bill said. An encounter with one child in particular always makes Bill and Kathy smile. While on vacation in Long Boat Key, the couple had gone out to a restaurant to relax with wings and beer. As soon as they sat down, they could not help but

Bill has been making appearances as the iconic Christmas figure for the past ten years and Kathy has joined him as Santa’s better half for the last four. notice a bouncing little boy staring at them from across the room. “Well if you want to know, go ask him,” Bill and Kathy heard the boy’s mother say. The boy bolted across the restaurant like a racing horse out the gate and straight up to Bill. “I’m four years old-Are you Santa?” he said. Even when Bill is in flip-flops and a tank top, he can’t shake the Christmas spirit. “We can’t ever say that we’re the real Santa, but you can kind of nod,” Kathy said. Pictures were taken and Bill found a napkin to scribble down a note for Rhett, the four-year-old boy the couple says they will never forget.

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“It’s always touching. It’s the little things like that, that open their eyes. That’s what I do it for,” Bill said. However, it costs money to keep the suits clean so Bill and Kathy work full-time year round at completely different occupations. Kathy is a senior accountant for the Division of Multimedia Properties at the University of Florida (formerly WUFT). Bill trades his beloved red-and-white for a dark green shirt and cleaning supplies as a senior custodial worker on the UF campus. He spends his days ensuring the upkeep of the Murphree dormitory area, but the Santa Claus does not just wipe off.

Winter 2010 | 43


“I get a thrill out of surprising the college students,” he said. “There are a lot of the college students that do the same thing as the little guys. They’ll look, but they’re afraid to say. And then I tell them — I am Santa. As I give them a card, especially the girls, they just start freaking out.” Handing out business cards and relying on word of mouth are the primary methods the Bares use to book appearances. They are committed to the quality of their Mr. and Mrs. Claus portrayals and have been active in multiple Santa organizations. “The Santa Claus oath is very important,” Bill said. They have a framed copy hanging in their living room. The Bares attend workshops in the off-season where they learn about etiquette standards, proper dress and history of the suit. Cardinal rules for an appearance are to be freshly showered, not smoke and never eat garlic. Bill’s current goal is to learn more sign

language, for communicating with children who are hearing-impaired. The couple may be professional performers and carry masters degrees in Santa Clausology, but they bicker like ordinary folks about where to put the nativity or why that one string of twinkle lights will not light up. “We’ve only blown four fuses so far this year,” Kathy said, but that was early in the season and two more have since blown. Bill is proud to have all the lights running off one generator and he is working on getting the wooden nativity painted. The two met 38 years ago while they were both serving in the Navy. A mutual friend introduced Bill “Yogi” Bare to Kathy “Smokey” Bair and they were married eight months later. “She keeps my cheeks rosy red,” Bill said. He might be referring to the rouge she applies to his face before appearances. Like many High Springs residents, the Bares enjoy their

community for the country atmosphere away from bustling city life. When the North Pole is not beckoning, Bill likes to woodwork and raises chickens. “It’s more of a gentleman’s farm life out here,” Bill said. “There are things that you have to put up with out here. We live on dirt roads. Dirt roads make your sleighs stay dirty all the time. But it’s no worse than driving in the snow up north.” In recent years, the couple has started attending Destiny Community Church in Newberry. Their two children, who they refer to as elves, are grown and now have children of their own. This season, Bill and Kathy had the proud opportunity to perform alongside their two grandsons in the Trenton Veteran’s Day Parade; Trever, 14 plays in the Bell Marching Band, and Micheal, 13, is a member of the Junior ROTC. s For more information or to contact Bill and Kathy Bare, visit www.palmtreesantas.com/gainesville.html.

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The real taste of New York here in Gainesville L Located just 4.5 miles west of the Oaks Mall on Newberry Road in Jonesville, Dave’s New York Deli is quickly establishing itself as a “The Real Deal” when it comes to NY Deli food. Owner David Ande Anders could not be more pleased with the feedback he receives from customers every day. “It’s been a fantastic experience, I opened just over one year ago, and from the very first day, my customers have been thanking me for opening a real NY Deli here.”

We sat down with Dave for a quick Q&A about his Deli… What makes it a real NY Deli? Dave: “It’s the right mix of high quality ingredients, a clean, bright atmosphere, good people and reasonable prices. If you are going to call yourself a NY Deli, you better back it up with authentic, quality ingredients. I knew from the start that I wanted to serve only the best so I have all of my Pastrami, Corned Beef and Cheesecake shipped in from New York’s Carnegie Deli. My bagels are real NY kettle boiled bagels, my Knishes and Cannolies are from Brooklyn and I have just become licensed to sell Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. Many of my NY customers have told me that my Pastrami and Corned Beef is the best they have had since leaving NY and the cheesecake already has a cult following, I’ve sold over 1700 slices since October!

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What other types of food u serve? do you W I opened the Deli Dave: When w I also wanted to do I knew nttic Philly Steaks. I grew authentic th h real Philly Steaks and up with w how hard it is to get I know d one in FL so I made a a good o getting good quality point of dieents delivered to me ingredients hiladelphia. I use only from Ph Philadelphia. SDA inspected real USDA need beef and seasoned nttic Amoroso authentic O of my rolls. One customers m from mers s it Philly summed ently, up recently, after hee

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We serve a hot pressed Cuban featuring Mojo marinated Spanish Pork from Miami. My customers love them and many have said it’s one of the best they have had. We have a great $2.79 kids menu and we also do hot and cold subs, 100% Angus Burgers, Hot Italian Grinders including Meatball Parm, Veal Parm, Chicken Parm, Eggplant Parm and many others. Do you serve Breakfast? Dave: Yes, we serve breakfast 7 days a week, all day long. We serve a traditional deli breakfast including Bagels with Nova & Cream Cheese, Nova Platters and Egg sandwiches with Pastrami, Sausage, Bacon or Ham. We

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feature Barnie’s Coffee along with some more traditional breakfast items like Sausage and Hash Browns. Our Breakfast sandwiches are served on Bagels, Toast, Kaiser Rolls or Sub Rolls. Do you offer catering? Dave: Yes we do, we offer private and corporate catering platters and packages for all types of events. We have a full catering menu online at DavesNYDeli.com Earlier, you said it’s about the people. What did you mean? Dave: You can have the best food around but if you don’t have a good staff it’s not going to work. My team takes pride in the deli and they understand how to

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50 | Winter 2010


>> PEDAL POWER

Happy

Trails Bike Florida’s Annual Weeklong Bicycle Tour BY ALBERT ISAAC hey will arrive by the hundreds. Young and old alike. Traveling the highways and byways of our towns, bicyclists will soon be seen riding from Gainesville through Alachua to High Springs, Newberry and on to Micanopy. Each spring, Bike Florida, a Gainesville-based organization, hosts a bike trek through a region of Florida. Formed in 1994, this non-profit organization has hosted weeklong bike tours ever since, often for greater than 1,000 cyclists. Beginning March 26 until April 1 (no fooling!) Bike Florida will offer

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its 2011 Tour, “Florida’s Eden.” This weeklong bicycle and camping event offers bicyclists of all skill levels a chance to experience all that is offered by the host cities. The tour is fully supported, offering medical, mechanical and gear support. All registrations include maps, cue sheets, rest stops, nightly entertainment and meal options. “This will be the 18th annual bicycle tour,” said Executive Director Hope Howland-Cook. “This is a state organization, and the route changes every year. Last year, one of our host cities was Deland.” Howland-Cook said Bike Florida

PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

Bike Florida’s Executive Director Hope Howland-Cook (left) and Ride Director Rachel Weissler pose for a shot in front of the Newberry City Hall. These two are the driving force behind the 18th Annual Bike Florida tour through our communities.

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Winter 2010 | 51


has been to Deland on more than one occasion, and the city is always very welcoming. “They are a community that really understands what we do and appreciates it,” she said. “They have rolled out the red carpet and have taken advantage of the resources.

Howland-Cook said. “So, depending on the communities we visit, we cap it.” Alachua County is the home county for Bike Florida, which is headquartered in Gainesville. Howland-Cook and Ride Director Rachel Weissler oversee operations

The number of riders that participate in the bike tours depends upon the size of the host communities, and can range from 600 to 1,200. So we continue to go back to the cities that benefit from it the most.” The number of riders that participate in the bike tours depends upon the size of the host communities, and can range from 600 to 1,200. “We are careful with the impact that we do have because we want it to be a positive experience for the communities as well,”

with the help of interns. In fact, Weissler began her career as a full-time intern in the UF College of Health and Human Performance in the Department of Tourism, Recreation and Sport Management. “Rachel and I, we have our finger in every pie,” Howland-Cook said. “We are perfectionists, and we want to make sure that every aspect of the events that we host

and sponsor are taken care of.” And while the group arranges tours throughout Florida, the two are very excited to be putting together a ride in Alachua County. “We really want to make sure that our county knows about the resources that they host,” HowlandCook said. In 2008, Bike Florida began offering weeklong luxury tours along the 260-mile St. Johns Riverto-Sea Loop. “The spring tour is annual; the luxury tours typically monthly in fall and winter,” states the website. “Although the spring tour varies its route from year to year, the luxury tours follow the River-to-Sea Loop, a virtually trademarked Bike Florida route. All routes link small towns with natural and historic landmarks along mostly scenic country roads.” The upcoming “Florida’s Eden” tour will take riders to “turquoise springs and rivers, rich forests, rolling pastures covered with

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In October, the Bike Florida team attended Newberry Elementary School to pass out safety materials for International Walk to School Day. From left: Melissa Rigas (intern), Steven Sgro (intern), Hope HowlandCook (executive director), Rachel Weissler (ride director) and Mathew Pack (field experience intern).

wildflowers and through the hidden treasures of Florida’s quaint towns and historic hamlets,” states the website. The tour will also expose the host communities to cycling and provide awareness in understanding transportation issues, and relationship issues with motorists and non-motorists.

Bike Florida offers more than just bike tours. Its mission is to support bicycle-safety education throughout the State of Florida. “We partner with organizations that do curriculums and trainings and actual education and implementation; organizations that do community awareness; bike-friendly communities and businesses.

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And then, of course, our touring program has the biggest impact,” Howland-Cook said. “That’s our community awareness.” Bike Florida starts far ahead of time preparing the communities for their visit, emphasizing education and awareness. “We also make sure our cyclists follow the rules,” she said. “It’s

Winter 2010 | 53


Cyclists will typically ride 40 to 60 miles each day, averaging about 300 miles for the entire week. important that everyone understands that we are not just cycling advocates, we’re safe-roadwayexperience advocates. And that’s motor vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.” In addition to the bike tours, Bike Florida stays active in the community. For International Bicycle Day, they visited Newberry Elementary

54 | Winter 2010

School to help Safe Kids with their event. They volunteered their time distributing educational and safety materials to the children. “We’ve done this over the years,” Howland-Cook said. “This grass roots exposure is what makes the most impact.” For the upcoming “Florida’s Eden” tour cyclists will typically

ride 40 to 60 miles each day, averaging about 300 miles for the entire week. The shortest day will be a 35-mile ride. “We’re going to be in Gainesville Saturday,” said Ride Director Rachel Weissler. “Monday morning, we’ll ride to High Springs. We’ll be in High Springs Monday and Tuesday night, and then Wednesday morning we’ll head to Newberry, spend the night there and on Thursday morning we’ll head to Micanopy, spend our last night and then we’ll ride back to Gainesville on Friday morning.”


PHOTO BY TJ MORRISSEY for LOTUS STUDIOS

Bike Florida’s annual bike and camping tour kicks off in Gainesville on March 26. From left: Jamie DaFrota (editor in chief), Steven Sgro (intern), Hope Howland-Cook (executive director), Mathew Pack (fi eld experience intern), Rachel Weissler (ride director), Michael Gunshanan (fi eld experience intern) and Melissa Rigas (intern).

“Of course, on beautiful back roads,” Howland-Cook added. Both Howland-Cook and Weissler work hard prior to these events, meeting with city officials and planning far in advance. “They’re all pretty much very happy to have us,” Weissler said. They contract with the host site in each city and make arrangements for staying the night. “The major thing to know is that there are all types of accommodations you can choose from,” Howland-Cook said. “At the host facilities, we offer indoor and outdoor camping,” Weissler said. “About 20 percent of our riders stay in hotels, so we contact with local hotels to get them a group rate, and then they can make the reservations independently.” The indoor camping is described as a big slumber party, and both indoor and outdoor camping are included in the registration fee. “And we even have a vendor that comes to do luxury camping,” Howland-Cook said. “Which means if you still want the camping experience but don’t want to deal with pitching and breaking down your own tent, they do it for you.” Bubba’s Pampered Peddlers is from Florida and travels all over the country. Howland-Cook said he comes to Bike Florida every year. “He will blow up the air mattress for you and put a chocolate on your pillow,” she said. “We have cyclists that come on our tour because Bubba’s there. He’s part of our team, but he does his own tours, too.” Both women emphasized that this is an event in which people of all skill levels can participate. “We want to encourage families, young professionals and college students,” Howland-Cook said. “It’s all inclusive. This is a friendly event for all skill levels, all ages, all shapes and sizes and all different types of bicycles.”

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Riders range in age from toddlers to seasoned cyclists in their 80s. In fact, Bike Florida’s Ride Marshal, Ken Magyar, is an 89-year-old World War II veteran who starts the ride every year. Howland-Cook said the average age for a Bike Florida participant is mid-50s, and in many cases retirees. “People who can take an entire week off in the middle of a school semester are usually retired,” Howland-Cook said. Support for the riders includes SAG and other support vehicles. All a rider needs to do is tap his or her head to get their attention. Support personnel are aware of the bicyclists at all times. “We have between three to five SAG vehicles constantly patrolling the route,” Howland-Cook said. “And riders can always contact headquarters via their cell phones or via the volunteers at the rest stops.” Whether they are organizing rides or visiting schools to volunteer their time handing out bicycle helmets and educating young riders, Bike Florida stays active spreading bicycle safety and awareness. “We’re trying really hard to meet our mission as much as possible without funding,” Howland-Cook said. “So everything that we can possibly do on our own — with our hands, with our heads, with our hearts — that’s how we meet our mission these days.” s

Bike Florida 2011 “Florida’s Eden” Gainesville, High Springs, Newberry, Micanopy March 26 through April 1 To register: Phone: 352-224-8602 E-mail: info@bikeflorida.org Visit: www.bikeflorida.org

Winter 2010 | 55


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>> THE BEATEN PATH

PHOTO BY ROB WILT — COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF SAN FELASCO CSO

The Tour de Felasco features a completely closed, 50-mile course, said Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO. Riders never cross or end up on public streets or highways.

Off-Road Challenge The Friends of San Felasco CSO Hosts a 50-mile Bicycle Course BY MARY KYPREOS very January, hidden in the hammocks, pines and undergrowth just east of I-75, 400 bicyclists weave their way through all four corners at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park, testing their endurance and raising funds for the Friends of San Felasco. Taking its cue from the Tour de France, the Friends of San Felasco Citizen Support Organization organizes the aptly named Tour de Felasco, a dynamic 50-mile, off-road bicycle course. “I’ve been told it is one of the best cross-country, off-road events in the state,” said Tony Ross, a member of the Friends of San Felasco CSO. The proof of the tour’s popularity lies in the numbers: from the time

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registration for the ninth Tour de Felasco opened at 6 a.m., it took only three hours for all 400 spots to fill, leaving late risers on a waiting list. “The variety [of terrain] and distance give almost any athlete a challenge, yet it’s an event where intermediate [riders] can finish and enjoy a good time,” Ross said. Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, said beginners should not attempt the tour without a “little time in the seat.” However, there is always the option to leave the course after the lunch break. Ross added that the formidable course requires constant patience and endurance. But for advanced riders, the Friends of San Felasco added an extra, optional challenge:

THIS YEAR’S TOUR DE FELASCO Will be held on Jan. 8, 2011. Spectators are welcome. Sign-in begins at 7:30 a.m. while the race starts at 8:30 a.m. The tour includes a hot lunch, rest stops with drinks and snacks along the course, and a T-shirt. The tour fi nishes at 5 p.m., at which point all riders must be off the trails. In addition, Michael Kelley, the president of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, recommends bringing plenty of water, snacks for in between rest stops, a fi rst-aid kit and a tire-changing kit.


full page pic(s)

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Winter 2010 | 59


PHOTO BY ROB WILT COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF SAN FELASCO CSO

Tony Ross, a member of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, said that “as far as the tour is concerned, it is a unique way to see this park.” The tour regularly includes hiking and horse-riding trails, which are closed to bicyclists at any other time.

“It is almost entirely a single track; it goes through a variety of terrains, and a significant amount of elevation change.” additional mileage, allowing for a metric century. A metric century is a 100 kilometer (62-mile) bicycle ride. “It is almost entirely a single track; it goes through a variety of terrains, and there is a significant amount of elevation change,” he said. Just as the course is taxing for the riders, it is also a challenge in itself to plan and implement every year. Dave Baggaley, a board member of the Friends of San Felasco CSO, helped plan the course for the past three years, and he said it can be a daunting task. “We have to make it interesting,” Baggaley said. “We have to make it different, so it is not the same old trail each year.” Immediately following the end of one tour, Baggaley is already thinking about improvements to the course. When developing the next course, he considers three things each year: the condition of existing trails, any new trails and the previous tour’s route. They also pay attention to safety and do not add any particularly dangerous trails or areas that could potentially become waterlogged if it rains. “We try and really pay attention to the fact that a 50-mile ride is really

60 | Winter 2010

an endurance ride,” Baggaley said. Still, riders will encounter steep hills, creek crossings, log bridges, etc. during those 50 miles. Nevertheless, Baggaley said he hopes that “at the end of the day [the riders] will be extremely tired but will have a great feeling of accomplishment.” The Tour de Felasco serves as the Friends of San Felasco CSO’s major fundraising event during the year, and the proceeds from the event help this completely-volunteer group with its missions: to help maintain the park and its trails. The organization provides the volunteers and funds necessary to supplement the park’s budget and aid in its preservation, said Randy Brown, park manager of the San Felasco Hammock Preserve. “[San Felasco] is one of the largest examples of hardwood hammock in the state park system,” Brown said. Because of the limestone typography, a feature throughout Florida, ravines and sinkholes appear throughout the park, he said. “Bobcats, white-tailed deer, gray foxes, turkeys, and many species of songbirds make their homes in the 18 natural communities found

VOLUNTEERING AT THE TOUR The Tour de Felasco requires tremendous support, and although registration is full, the Friends of San Felasco still needs a number of volunteers to help the day of the race. Each year, it takes around 60 to 80 volunteers on the day of the event to keep it running, said Dave Baggaley, a board member of the Friends of San Felasco CSO. Volunteers help with food preparation and SAG stop operations (SAG stops are the rest stops located throughout the course); they mark the entire 50-mile course and aid with parking, registration, etc. “Their help is greatly appreciated by everyone involved,” Baggaley said Volunteering with the Friends of San Felasco can also secure a spot in next year’s tour. According to the website, “anyone who assists in at least eight volunteer workdays this year is ensured of a rider slot in the next Tour de Felasco.”


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Winter 2010 | 61


The organization provides the volunteers and funds necessary to supplement the park’s budget and aid in its preservation

SAN FELASCO CONSERVATION CORRIDOR, ALACHUA PHASE In November, the City of Alachua unveiled the first set of improvements to the San Felasco Conservation Corridor, Alachua Phase, which is a wildlife greenway and recreation corridor located on 24 acres of land from the San

in the preserve,” according to the Florida State Parks website. Ross added that since the park is located at a junction of weather systems coupled with extreme elevation change, the area has great diversity. “It is an area that you can go and find the plant life you’ve got in just about any area of the state,” Ross said. The park also features challenging and family-friendly trails for hiking, horse riding and bicycling; trails that require a number of man-hours to maintain. It has so many miles of trails that last year volunteers struggled just to maintain them. However, using their funds, the organization was able to purchase a new lawn mower that works for eight hours without refilling, allowing volunteers to make it farther into the park before turning around. Many of the organization’s volunteers joined the group because of the park itself, Kelley said.

“Most of all of us who volunteer out there also play out there,” Kelley said. “It is a place you can go to enjoy nature.” Ross joined the group two years ago because he lives near the park and is a nature-oriented person. “We wanted to give back to the park, so we started volunteering,” Ross said. “It is a very nice group of people who I hope to get to know more in the future.” Ross also hopes that in the future, the Friends of San Felasco CSO will “continue to do the dual function as successfully as we have,” Ross said. In the meantime, the organization will continue aiding in the preservation of the park for the benefit of the community. “It’s just a beautiful park,” Ross said. “It’s neat to be able to get out there and see the animals and interact with them.” s For more information on the Friends of San Felasco, the Tour de Felasco or volunteering, visit www.sanfelasco.net.

Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park to near Progress Corporate Park in Alachua. The newest improvements to the corridor include hiking trails (for pedestrian use only), restrooms, a concession stand and a scenic-pond overlook, Judd said. There is also a baseball field on-site. From 2011 to 2012, the last phase of improvements will be under way and will feature a playground, pavilions, a trailhead kiosk and signs, as well as native restoration and landscaping. “We hope that our citizens and neighbors find the enhancements to be a great addition to our wonderful recreation opportunities throughout Alachua,” said City Manager Traci Cain in a press release. Support from Florida Communities Trust, FRDAP, Alachua County Recreation Surtax and the City of Alachua made the acquisition and development of the land possible.

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COLUMN >> DONNA BONNELL

Embracing Life Farmer Betty was ecstatic after she purchased a high-powered tractor. very morning she feeds the pigs, ponies and poultry before arriving at her real job at 7:00 am. Betty schedules weekend and evening activities around gardening, gathering eggs and grooming her horses. In reality, Betty lives in a rural farming community. Yet, her agricultural activities are all of the cyberspace variety, known as FarmVille. Virtually farming is the latest fad in the gaming world. The website, www.farmville.com listed 24 million fans in early October 2010. FarmVille is a real-time farm simulation game developed by Zynga in 2009, available on Facebook. Members manage a virtual farm by planting crops and raising livestock. The player begins with a simple farm and a few farm coins — the game’s virtual funds. FarmVille also gives its users virtual cash for responding to actual business advertising. (Negative publicity has resulted from this practice.) In addition, an overzealous pretend entrepreneur can use a real credit card to purchase fake farm funds. Earning Experience Points, for activities such as plowing, increases the player’s level. As their level progresses, more opportunities are available to purchase items and enlist neighbors to complete specialized tasks. The goal is to continue acquiring additional acreage and animals. While participants have online friends, the individual plays alone at their computer. The only reward is an intangible one, moving up another level. Nonetheless, people of all ages are mesmerized. I wanted to understand why. Playing cards and board games have been a tradition

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in my family for decades. We embrace every reunion with some sort of friendly competition. It temporarily takes our minds off everyday challenges, as we spend undistracted quality time together. This interaction, however, seems entirely different from competing alone on an electronic device. However, people play games for many reasons. Corporations use cooperative games to teach problem solving and leadership skills. Managers want to promote trust and teambuilding in their organizations. When people think as a team and everyone shares ideas, subordinates feel ownership. Typically, with ownership comes success. These games are not child’s play. Teachers have found that children are more eager to learn when their curriculum includes a game. Students seem to feel included in the process and have a purpose for studying. After work or school, games are a great way to relieve stress. When used properly, games are very powerful tools. They can break down barriers and build camaraderie, inspire discovery and are simply fun. Unfortunately, adults can become as addicted to their games as babies are to pacifiers. Game addictions can begin at an early age and is a growing problem in America. According to the May 2009 edition of Psychological Science, “about 8.5 percent of youth between ages 8 and 18 years old show symptoms of video game addition.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines addiction as, “The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something.”

Dr. Phil told her “Close your accounts. Get out of FarmVille... Reintroduce yourself to your family. Do something. Actually, maybe start a garden for real.”

66 | Winter 2010


Cravings are not limited to chemical dependency. However, there seems to be some parallels. An excerpt from “Top 5 Reasons Why Video Games Can Be Bad For You,” written by Jon Henshaw, M.A., states, “Avid gamers are similar to people who smoke a lot of marijuana — in that they don’t get much done. Reading a good book, taking care of bills ... mowing the lawn, etc. is simply not a priority when it comes to getting to the next level or finishing a game.” Dr. Phil recently confronted a guest about her FarmVille addiction who was in denial. He reminded this mother of the times she needed a FarmVille fix so badly, she would sabotage the computer’s internet capabilities. Other users would leave the computer; she would reconnect the router and begin tending to her crops. She took her obsession too far and neglected her parental responsibilities. Dr. Phil told her “Close your accounts. Get out of FarmVille ... Reintroduce yourself to your family. Do something. Actually, maybe start a garden for real.” While I have never played the ever-so-popular FarmVille game, I can now comprehend why Farmer Betty and many others enjoy building imaginary farms and fortunes. It is a virtual escape from reality. Unless it interferes with real life experiences, it is harmless. s Donna Bonnell is a freelance writer who moved to Newberry in 1983. She enjoys living and working in the town she now calls home. donna@towerpublications.com

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>> POLICE EXPLORER PROGRAM

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BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON arah Warren wants to be a police officer. Since she was 10, the Newberry High School senior has dreamed of joining the police force. Around 9th grade, she wanted to save animals from cruelty and neglect — such as ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement Division — but now, she wants to work for the K-9 unit. So about four years ago, Warren joined the City of Alachua’s Police Explorer Program. The program is designed to provide young adults interested in joining law enforcement the opportunity to experience what it is like to be part of the police force. A division of the Boy Scouts, Alachua’s program trains the children in the codes and basic techniques employed by police officers, such as how to use fingerprinting powder and handcuffs. “They ride along and observe the officers,” said police officer Jesse

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68 | Winter 2010

Sandusky, one of the Explorer advisors. “A lot of the time, the officers will explain what they do. It will give them frontline experience.” The program is for children ages 14 through 18, or until 21 if the Explorer goes to college. Sandusky feels the program is really the only way the children can learn if they want to be police officers. “They learn respect, gain discipline and knowledge of the job,” he said. “They realize the importance of working with the community. They gain experience that will help them in real-world issues.” The Alachua Explorers help out with community events. Fall is their busiest season, full of festivals and Halloween activities. These events increase awareness of the program and provide the Explorers with community service hours. Last fiscal year, the Alachua Police Explorers accumulated 1,220

hours of community service, said Detective Carrie Lund. When Lund calculated the numbers by minimum wage, those hours saved the city about $8,845. The Explorers are also invited to do safety events by companies. Recently, Sysco asked the Explorers to host a bicycle safety rodeo for the employee’s children. The company donated bikes that were given away to the children. The Explorers also gave away free helmets. After the event, Sysco donated money to the Explorers. “And that’s how we get donations,” Lund said. Businesses tend to make donations, either in money or items. CVS recently donated a large amount of Easter supplies, which the Explorers will use or give away come April. During Alachua’s Shop, Dine and Stroll, a seasonal event that takes place Dec. 10 and 17, the Explorers


PHOTOS COURTESY OF LEARNING FOR LIFE

Sarah Warren and Cody Barcia practice the use of fi ngerprinting powder. Cody Barcia, son of a City of Alachua police lieutenant, takes photos of a mock crime scene. Police Exploring builds self-confidence in a fi eld of choice and provides real-life contacts that the student could use later when searching for a job position.

A division of the Boy Scouts, Alachua’s Police Explorer Program trains the children in the codes and basic techniques employed by police officers give the police department an extra set of eyes. Last year, a lady tripped, and an Explorer was able to get on his walkie-talkie and communicate, in code, to the police department. In addition to the service work, the Explorers are treated to a little bit of fun. The program provides each member a year’s pass to a theme park - from Islands of Adventure to Universal. Sometimes,

they go as a group. When this happens, everything is paid for, except for the food. The Explorers also go on camping trips, or to places related to police work, such as the Jacksonville DNA processing lab. “We take them on the fun events to make up for all the hard work they do,” Sandusky said. Every year, there is a national

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competition in Gatlinburg, Tenn., where Police Explorers from all over the country compete. The Explorers compete in such categories as archery, search and rescue, handcuffing techniques and building searches. Last year, Sarah Warren and Explorer post 538 won first place in the table-top display category, which they did on the effects of prescription drugs. But the competition was not all work; the group stayed in cabins and enjoyed the mountain experience. “We are always looking for new kids,” Sandusky said. They recruit at the schools, and the various special events they attend throughout the year. Right continued on page 71

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o continued from page 69 now, the Alachua Explorers have about 11 members. The members not only learn the importance of hard work in the field, but also in the classroom. Students must maintain a certain GPA and turn in their report cards to their police advisors. To join the program, students are required to have a background check and write an essay explaining why they want to join. “We always get positive feedback on the program,” Sandusky said. “Not every child will go into law enforcement. They might go into something completely different, but they will go into it with discipline.” Sandusky said the Alachua program tends to have a pretty high success rate of Explorers continuing on to college. Scholarship opportunities are available to students who stay in the program until their high school graduation. For example, Warren will be continuing on to the University of Tennessee after she graduates this summer. She will be majoring in Criminal Justice. “They care about me,” she said, referring to her grades and the clothes she wears. Lund had previously reprimanded her for wearing a skirt that Lund thought might have been just a little too short. To defend herself, Warren said that the skirt was in her school dress code. However, Warren’s favorite part of the program is having that connection with the officers and knowing them by name. “I like to say, when I see them around town, ‘oh hey, officers,’” she said. Once she lost her dog, and she reported it to Detective Lund. The word spread to the other police officers. Warren found her dog, but not through the police department. She felt it was good, however, that she had that option. “It’s funny to see how much they’ve grown,” Lund said. “We take them through a lot of stuff - stuff that maybe they can’t talk about with their parents.” Some of the children join before they turn 14, as long as their parents come to every meeting. “Little Cody started when he was 12,” Lund said. “He’s now starting to change into a teenager. When he finishes the program, he will be a man.” Donald Parks, an Explorer in the ‘90s, is now a full-time police officer in the City of Alachua. “It was a good learning experience,” he said. “It was what got me actually involved in working here.” Parks learned about being a police officer from the men and women he worked with as an Explorer. He saw first-hand, like the Explorers can today, what a police officer does, from the ride-alongs to simply talking to them. “It takes a special kind of person to be a police officer,” Parks said. From the shift-work to dealing with the grittier aspects of life, Explorers can talk to the officers about all the different parts of the job. Parks said he had a blast as an Explore — especially chasing after the random speeder during his ride-alongs. s

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Pace Custom Jewelers and Time Works

There’s nothing we cannot do! Over the years, Keith Pace has worn many hats. He has served in the Navy, built sets at the Hippodrome State Theater, and even been a wine consultant. But the passion that has stuck with him over two decades is jewelry, and he puts that passion to good use at Pace Custom Jewelers and Time Works.

“We are Gainesville’s best source for custom jewelry and jewelry repair and watch/clock repair,” said Pace, who opened his store in 2002. Pace Custom Jewelers and Time Works features a range of products and services as wide as Pace’s history, and is the only certified Bulova clock dealer in north central Florida. Whether you’re looking for a unique work of wearable art, repurposing an existing piece of jewelry, have a clock or watch in need of repair or

want to purchase a new one, all of your needs can be served right at the store. “We do all the things that a jeweler does, as well as most things other jewelers have given up on,” said Pace. “What others ship out to be done, we do it here.” Pace and his staff take great pride in all of their work, but it is some of the more unusual requests that set them apart from other stores. Pace has been known to make clocks out of unusual objects such as lamps, keeping its original parts intact so the new clock can still function as it always did. He will also repair any jewelry brought to his store, regardless of the value – something that not every jeweler will do. “I’ll be honest about the cost of the repair versus the value of the piece,” he said. “But if it’s important enough for you to fix, we’ll fix it. What I’m here for is more about the sentimental connection to your piece.” Pace’s talents span countless styles and functions of jewelry making. Have a ring or pendant that you don’t wear anymore but can’t bear to sell or give away? He can turn it into a new, one-of-a-

kind piece that reflects your style. Pace is also an expert stone cutter, which is of particular help when he works with Native American jewelry; Pace Custom Jewelers and Time Works also has the area’s best selection of hand-crafted pieces from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi tribes. “We specialize in repairs that others consider impossible,” said Pace. “We can fix anything but a broken heart.”

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Winter 2010 | 73


PHOTO COURTESY OF LIFESOUTH

The moment Santa Claus gets past the safety area (roped off because of the helicopter), he is inundated with excited children trying to give him their christmas lists, said Clay Gibbons, district community development coordinator for LifeSouth.

74 7 4 | W Winter iin nter ter 2010 te 2010 20 10


>> A MODERN TWIST ON A CLASSIC FIGURE

Operation Santa Delivery BY MARY KYPREOS ere comes Santa Claus! Here comes Santa Claus! Right down Santa Clause Lane! Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer are pulling the reins... Wait, what happened to the reindeers? This year, as in previous years, LifeSouth helps Santa ditch his traditional mode of transport for a modern twist, adding excitement to meeting Santa for the children, and even adults, who attend Operation Santa Delivery. No longer does Santa arrive on a sled with reindeers. Instead, the ShandsCair helicopter flies him directly to the event located at the north fields of Santa Fe College. “The kids are jumping up and down, and they are screaming and pointing,” said Clay Gibbons, district community development coordinator at LifeSouth. “The moment Santa gets past the safety area, it is mayhem.” Although havoc routinely erupts when children see Santa, the fact that the helicopter purposely takes its time landing to build suspense adds to the excitement. Furthermore, the door of the helicopter even opens before it lands, ensuring that everybody sees Santa flying in on that helicopter. “I’m like a kid when he comes,” Gibbons said. When the event initially started, it solely featured Santa, however, this changed after one year when Santa arrived late, Gibbons said. The children and parents became anxious the longer they waited because there was nothing else for

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Winter 2010 | 75


PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIFESOUTH

Less than 40 percent of Americans are able to donate blood for a variety of reasons: they are either too young or have recently had tattoo work or have traveled, etc. LifeSouth asks so much of the community, that they want to give back too. Operation Santa Delivery is one of the ways they say thank you to the community.

them to do, Gibbons said. Now the event, which started out with about 200-400 participants in 2003 and boasted 2,500 participants in 2008, looks like a miniature carnival at first sight. It features a bounce house, hay rides, face painting, Santa’s workshop, crafts, games and of course, photos with Santa. “All vendors who participate provide a child’s activity,” Gibbons said. For example, last year Home Depot came to the event with birdhouse kits, allowing any child to build a birdhouse while at the event and take it home ready to go. “I want the families to come out and have a good time and let their children come out and experience Santa in a way they haven’t,” he said. Since 2003, the free event has definitely grown and evolved, but one aspect of it has remained unchanged: LifeSouth’s reason for organizing Operation Santa Delivery. “It is one way we can give back to the community that is unique and different,” he said, adding that it is also an opportunity to raise awareness for LifeSouth.

The History Behind LifeSouth The Civitan Club, in Gainesville, originally started LifeSouth as the Civitan Regional Blood Center in a remodeled doctor’s office on Aug. 28, 1974. At that time in Gainesville’s history, the three major hospitals — Alachua General, Shands and the VA — had separate blood banks with different donors, said Gary Kirkland, a writer and editor from LifeSouth. It was the doctors who originally approached the Civitans with the idea of a community blood bank. “The Civitans took that on as a project and even started using their own money,” Kirkland said, adding

76 | Winter 2010

that the original project started with 20 people and a remodeled RV to serve as a blood mobile. Although it was never believed that the idea would outgrow Gainesville, or even succeed, the Civitan Regional Blood Bank grew little by little, eventually changing its name to LifeSouth, an organization which now has over 800 employees that operates in three states — Alabama, Georgia and Florida — and has collected over a quarter of a million blood donations in its last fiscal year. LifeSouth also upgraded from a remodeled doctor’s office and converted RV. Now, it boasts four blood centers in the area — two in Gainesville, one in Alachua and one in Chiefland — and four blood mobiles, Gibbons said.

The “New” Alachua Branch Although LifeSouth’s Alachua branch opened two years ago, it is still considered the baby of the organization as it is the newest branch in the district. J.D. Pettyjohn, district director for LifeSouth, said when they started thinking about a new branch, Alachua was the obvious choice because it has seen a rise in growth and always had a large donor base. “The Alachua/High Springs area has always been a great place as far as a report with donors,” he said. The Alachua branch, located at 15652 N.W. US Highway 441, Suite #F, offers all of the typical services as the other branches but with the convenience of location. Pettyjohn said he is pleased with the success at the Alachua branch. “We’ve seen an increase in collections the longer we’ve been there,” he said. “The community has opened their arms and embraced us.”


SIX FACTS ABOUT BLOOD 1. Someone needs blood every two seconds 2. One pint of blood can save up to three lives 3. Ninety-four percent of blood donors are registered voters 4. One unit of blood can be separated into several components: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate 5. Thirteen tests (11 for infectious diseases) are performed on each unit of donated blood 6. If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future Courtesy of the Department of Health & Human Services

Community Matters Since its beginning in 1974, community has always been at the heart of LifeSouth and its mission; regardless of its growth, LifeSouth’s goals within Alachua County remain unchanged. LifeSouth is the only supplier to North Florida Regional Medical Center, UF Shands, and the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center, “so the blood that is collected in our community stays here,” Gibbons said. “That is why we stress community blood center.” Because they focus on community hospitals, J.D. Pettyjohn, district director for LifeSouth, said they need the support of the entire community. “Each week, we need to see about 1,000 blood donors to meet our hospital needs,” Pettyjohn said. When they do not collect enough blood, or encounter a shortage, it is the patients at the local hospitals who suffer, he said. Out of every 100 people, only five people donate, Kirkland said, adding that this ratio is higher in Gainesville. If even one more person out of hundred donated, the chances of a shortage would significantly decrease. “The main reason people don’t donate is because nobody has asked them,” he said. There are five ways to donate at LifeSouth, which are collectively known as the Five Points of Life: blood, platelets, marrow, living organ and cord blood, Kirkland said. Donating a complete unit of blood is very straightforward. Whether at a blood center or mobile, one must provide picture identification and be 16 years old or older, as well as go through a miniature physical and interview, Gibbons said. After that process, drawing the donor’s blood takes between five to 10 minutes or just long enough to draw around “one pint” of blood, although it is actually measured by weight and not volume, he said. A donor may also give platelets through a process

called apheresis, which is only available at blood centers, Gibbons said. Apheresis is a process in which plasma and platelets are removed from the blood stream, with everything else returned to the body. The entire process takes between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours; however, the blood donor sits in a comfortable chair and can watch a movie during that time. “We always need more platelets. You can’t store those platelets for the future,” Gibbons said, clarifying that platelets last for only five days as compared to whole blood that lasts for 42 days. Apheresis is important at LifeSouth because although those platelets are in the whole units of blood donated, a regular blood donor would need to donate eight times to match the platelet count in a single apheresis donation, and an apheresis donor can give up to three units of platelets. LifeSouth also operates “LifeCord,” a public umbilical cord bank in Florida and Alabama, wherein with the parents permission, babies donate a portion of their umbilical cord, which is filled with blood stem cells that can be used for bone marrow transplants, Kirkland said. “We have some of the youngest blood donors in the world thanks to LifeCord,” he said. s Operation Santa Delivery — LifeSouth’s 8th annual Operation Santa Delivery will take place Dec. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the North fields of Santa Fe College.

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COLUMN >> BY KENDRA SILER-MARSIGLIO

Healthy Edge As your family finishes dinner, your child sticks his hand in his mouth. ou ask him to stop (perhaps with “the look”), and he responds that his tongue feels like it has hair growing on it. Matter of fact, his voice sounds a little squeaky. Unfortunately, your child’s probably not just pushing your buttons, he likely has a food allergy. Food allergies are among the most common chronic pediatric conditions in the US, and they can be life threatening. According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), one in 17 kids under age 3 has a food allergy. Children, males and African Americans have the highest food allergy rates. When looking at allergies to four foods (dairy, eggs, peanuts, and shellfish) — a multicenter study published last month in the Journal of Allergy Clinical Immunology shows that three out of 100 Americans are affected. A study coming out this month in Pediatrics shows that emergency room visits due to kids’ food allergies have tripled since the ‘90s.

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What’s a food allergy? Food allergy describes what happens when the body reacts to a harmless food protein as if it were an infectious germ. Once the food is ingested, the immune system floods the affected area with chemicals, such as histamine. This causes the allergic reaction.

food allergy symptoms into two categories: skin symptoms and digestive symptoms.

Kids don’t necessarily inherit the parents’ particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies. SKIN SYMPTOMS • Hives • Itchy skin rashes (eczema) • Swelling • Breathing problems • Sneezing • Wheezing • Throat tightness STOMACH SYMPTOMS • Nausea • Vomiting • Diarrhea • Circulation symptoms • Pale skin • Light-headedness • Loss of consciousness

What are the symptoms? Symptoms range from mild to life threatening. A once mild reaction to a food can become more severe — sometimes unexpectedly. FAAN’s review of food allergy fatalities showed that most people had not experienced a severe allergic reaction until the one that caused their death. To protect your little ones, let your pediatrician know if you suspect that your child has a food allergy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) breaks

Symptoms typically appear within minutes to 2-4 hours after the offending food is ingested.

How are food allergies diagnosed? According to FAAN, your child’s provider will probably refer you to a Pediatric Allergist/Immunologist (an allergy specialist). That provider will probably recommend an elimination diet, especially if you are unsure which

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Winter 2010 | 79


If infants have one food allergy, their risk to develop another is increased. A recent study shows that infants with egg or milk allergies are at an increased risk to develop a peanut allergy. food (or preservative) your child is allergic to. For this diet, foods that are likely suspects are removed and then systematically added back to your child’s diet until the reaction reappears. The two main challenges with this diagnostic diet are the potential hidden ingredients in processed foods (you’ll have to cut processed food out) and dealing with picky eaters (as most kids are). Common tests for allergies are skin prick tests or blood tests looking for IgE antibodies. Skin prick tests are usually less expensive than blood tests and can be done in the doctor’s office. This involves scratching/pricking the skin and then placing a standardized amount of the suspected allergen in the

exposed area. Know that if a child is highly sensitive to the allergen, there’s a potential for a life-threatening anaphylactic (severe allergic) response. Your health care provider will be prepared to react swiftly to this situation. In order for a doctor to diagnose your child with a food allergy, the child’s history of symptoms, the result of the elimination diet/food challenge, and the prick test or blood test results are taken into consideration.

Why do kids develop food allergies? Some of it’s in the genes. If both parents have allergies, their biological child has about a 75 percent chance of having allergies. If one parent has allergies, then the child has about a 50 percent chance of developing allergies. The catch: kids don’t necessarily inherit the parents’ particular allergy, just the likelihood of having allergies. Exposure to smoke and other pollutants can also play a role. The deluge of processed food is yet another allergy development theory, adds Robert A. Wood, MD, Chief of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology at Johns Hopkins University (and writer of Food Allergies for Dummies). A study published last month in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests a fourth possibility: a child’s risk of food allergies may be also dependent on what season the mother was in her

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first trimester. Babies begin to produce antibodies to allergens at 11 weeks. The Finnish researchers discovered that babies born in June/July had the lowest risk of developing food allergies (5 percent chance). Their mothers spent their first trimester in the early winter months. Things that make you say, “Hmmmm.”

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Can food allergies be prevented? The AAP takes the following stand on food allergy prevention: • Avoiding certain foods in pregnancy doesn’t appear to prevent kids’ food allergies. • It’s uncertain whether breastfeeding can prevent or delay food allergies. For infants who have a parent, brother or sister with a food allergy, drinking only breastmilk for at least four months may reduce the risk of allergy to cow’s milk. • Soy-based infant formula doesn’t appear to prevent food allergy. • Current medical research doesn’t support the idea that food allergies might be prevented if parents delayed giving their babies certain solid foods (e.g., fish, eggs, peanut butter).

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o continued from page 81 According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAI), early life exposure to outdoor animals protects against allergic disease development! AAAI says: Take your kids out to a farm!

Do kids outgrow food allergies? FAAN asserts that the vast majority of kids outgrow their allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat-oftentimes before age 5. Yet, allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish are generally life-long. Kids with peanut allergies do have a 20 percent of outgrowing it, and about 10 percent of kids outgrow their tree nut allergies.

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How do I help my child manage food allergies? The only way to avoid a reaction is to avoid the food that causes it. According to FAAN, even trace amounts can cause a reaction in someone who’s allergic. “Skin contact or inhalation (e.g., steam from cooking) an allergen can sometimes trigger it,” FAAN spokesperson Jennifer Love says. Dr. Rita Malhotra-Kuczabski — also known as “Doctor Mom” — suggests the following to those who have kids with food allergies: • Become a vigilant label reader. • Become familiar with label law “loopholes.” • Contact manufacturers to inquire about shared food production lines and facilities. • Set clear rules about accepting any food without approval. • Have an emergency plan. • Carry medications, wipes, soap and snacks at all times. FAAN adds that parents of young children must verbalize the importance of others recognizing and helping to manage the child’s food allergy. Parents should work with school, camp, and childcare staff, and any of your child’s caretakers. Discuss managing your child’s food allergy, recognizing an allergic response and dealing with a reaction should it occur. With or without food allergies, one thing that we all should do to be more healthful is feed our families fewer processed foods. According to the AAP, epinephrine is the medication of choice for controlling a severe reaction. Children who are old enough can be taught how to give themselves epinephrine, if ever needed. Epinephrine is available by prescription as an auto-injectable device (EpiPen® or Twinject®). s Need more information? Check out the FAAN website at www.foodallergy.org.

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Palliative Care T

he transition to end of life care can be an emotional and taxing time for patients and families. But the palliative care program offered by Caretenders of Gainesville helps patients to find the beauty in every stage of life. “In-home palliative care is a decisive, compassionate and practical method that allows people to remain well cared for despite worsening health,” said Dr. Alan Goldblatt, Medical Director at Caretenders. Patients receive inhome evaluations by Dr. Goldblatt, a board certified palliative care geriatrician who provides feedback to the primary care physician. Caretenders assembles a team of nurses, physical/ occupational/speech therapists, behavioral specialists and social workers that work together to best assess the patient’s needs. Services focus on symptom management, advanced care planning, psychosocial and

spiritual support, and coordination of care. “Palliative care puts the patient at the center,” said Quetina Jones, RN and the Palliative Care Champion at Caretenders. “The goals that are created by the team reflect where the patient is, where we want to see the patient go and how we as a team are going to make those goals happen.” “Our program is for patients with active, progressive diseases for whom the focus of care is quality of life,” said Linda Murphy, Executive Director at Caretenders. “We begin the conversation with the patient by determining just how much health care they desire and fashion a program suited to the patient’s goals. Palliative care can improve the life of so many of our patients. Care in the home allows our patients to experience less suffering while avoiding unnecessary tests, emergency room visits and

unwanted (though often well-meaning) medical attention. Providing a seamless transition to hospice allows our patients to experience the continuum of care feeling more involved and satisfied.” The staff at Caretenders undergoes

“Our program is for patients with active, progressive diseases for whom the focus of care is quality of life,” extensive training to provide this unique kind of care to clients. “These patients require more care and understanding than the typical home care patient,” said Murphy, “and it takes a special type of staff to provide palliative care. It’s a more holistic approach to taking care of your patients.”

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

High Springs Farmers Market

Feed-A-FrogFriday

Shop, Dine and Stroll

Christmas Parade

Every Thursdays 2:00pm - 6:00pm

1st Friday of Every Month 2:00pm - 2:45pm

Fri. 12/10 & 12/17 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Sat. 12/18 5:00pm

Morningside Nature Center, Education Building. Join the fun, get the facts! Youngsters, with an adult, can join a Morningside Nature Center animal caretaker for amphibian and reptile feeding. Free. 352-334-5000

Main Street Alachua. Caroling, Carriage Rides, Music and Santa - a very magical time. 386-462-3333

Downtown Newberry. This parade features our Watermelon Queen, local school floats, and local businesses, as well as many local organizations. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quite the sight to see!

James Paul Park. Variety of vendors - fresh & organic produce, shrimp, flowers, fresh baked goods, candles, oils, crafts and more. 352-672-5308 www.farmersmarket.highsprings.com

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

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

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

86 | Winter 2010

Barnyard Buddies

Christmas Parade Sat. 12/11 2:00pm - 3:00pm Main Street Alachua. Free 386-462-3333 Cityofalachua.com

Tour of Homes and Churches Sat. 12/18 1:00pm - 5:00pm Downtown Alachua,

Every Wednesday 3:00pm Morningside Nature Center at the Living History Farm. On this farm, youngsters with an adult can meet and greet animals by helping staff with afternoon feeding. Learning about heritage breeds is fun! Free. 352-334-5000

A Christmas Carol 11/26 - 12/19 The Hippodrome, 25 SE 2 Place. Gainesville holiday tradition for the entire family! 352-375-4477

Hoggetowne Medieval Faire Beginning Sat. 1/29 10:00am - 6:00pm Alachua County Fairgrounds, Gainesville. Step back in time to the 25th Annual Hoggetowne Medieval Faire at the Alachua County Fairgrounds Jan. 29-30 and Feb. 4-6. Witness compelling jousts on horseback, visit the human chess match where knights battle for victory, enjoy eight stages of entertainment where the forgotten skills of full ďŹ&#x201A;ight falconry, gripping aerial acrobatics and astonishing magic acts are brought back to life.


contact Vada Horner 386-462-1760 vadasophie@aol.com

4th Annual Festival of Lights Sat. 12/18 3:00pm - 9:00pm Newberry. An annual event culminating the decorating season in Downtown Newberry!

Historic Home Tour Sun. 12/19 5:00pm - 9:00pm Downtown High Springs. It’s that time of year again when we get ready for what the next year may hold for us, but before we look forward, we can look back at some of the history that got us here. 386-454-2889

Bits & Spurs 4-H Club of Alachua County Tues. 1/11 6:00pm Hipp Construction in Alachua. Join the equine 4-H club! Lots of fun! Horse related speakers, games and activities each month. We meet the second Tuesday of each month at Hipp Construction in Alachua. 352-955-2402

Friends of the Library Potluck Thur. 1/13 7:00pm Micanopy Branch Library, Micanopy. Join the Friends of the Micanopy Library for a Potluck dinner, a short program and business meeting.

12th Annual Air Potato Roundup Sat. 1/29 Morningside Nature Center. Last year, during the 11th Annual Great Air Potato Roundup, nearly 1,200 eager participants braved the rain to remove 13,270 pounds of air potatoes, 1,740 pounds of other invasive plants, and 1-full 20-yard construction dumpster of trash from sites throughout Gainesville! 352-334-5000

The 24th Annual Gainesville Children’s Choral Festival Sun. 1/30 4:00pm Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Gainesville. Children from Gainesville area churches and schools sing music learned in their Saturday workshop in this closing service, with guest conductor Vincent Oakes (The Chattanooga Boys Choir) and John Lowe at the Visser-Rowland organ. 352-372-4721.

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Fri. 2/4 - Sat. 2/5 10:00am - 2:00pm Dudley Farm, Gainesville. Mule teams, oxen, and draft horses demonstrate old-time farming before the days of tractors. Park Admission $5/ vehicle up to 8 occupants. 352-472-1142

Farm Equipment Parts • Complete Feed Store • Farm Supplies Southern States • Triple Crown • Legends • Reliance • Animal Health Products • Holistic Dog Food (Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Deli Fresh, Artemis, Innova, Evo, Chicken Soup and Professional)

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386-454-3518 Winter 2010 | 87


Palms Medical Group Bell 352-463-1100 Palms Pharmacy Palms Medical Group Branford 386-935-3090 Palms Medical Group Starke 904-364-2900

At Palms Medical Group, we make it easy for you to get the healthcare you need: Convenient locations A wide range of servicesâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; from well-baby exams to senior care Same day appointments through Open Access Scheduling Private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid accepted; sliding fee scale for those who qualify

Palms Medical Group Trenton 352-463-2374 Palms Pharmacy Palms Behavioral HealthCare Palms Chiropractic Palms Massage Therapy Palms Medical Group Williston 352-528-0587 Palms Medical Group facilities dedicated exclusively to Pediatric care: Gainesville 352-376-8211 Chiefland 352-493-7274 Trenton 352-463-6292 Formerly Trenton Medical Center, Inc.

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88 | Winter 2010


Spring Hill Village BE AUTIFULLY MAINTAINED APARTMENTS

Chocolate and Champagne Holiday Gala Sat. 12/18 8:00pm Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “The Ultimate holiday party!” With the Nutcracker Winter Wonderland as your background, you’ll dance on the stage of the Phillips Center to the fabulous sounds of Gosia and Ali. Delectable buffet catered by Blue Water Bay and exclusive shopping at our silent auction. Complimentary chocolate, wine and champagne. $75 per person, $600 for a table of 8 Minimum age 18 yrs. 352-371-2986. www.dancealive.org

Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Hollywood

Gainesville Heart Ball

Fri. 2/4 7:30pm

Hilton UF - An elegant evening of live and silent auctions, dinner and dancing benefiting the life-saving research of the American Heart Association. 800-2576941 ext. 8024

Curtis M. Phillips Center - A musical revue of some of the greatest songs from Hollywood’s

Sat. 2/12 6:30pm

greatest movie musicals and classic films. 352392-2787 performingarts.ufl.edu

Tchaikovsky! Fri. 2/11 7:30pm University Auditorium Music for a Passionate Valentine by Gainesville Chamber Orchestra. 352-392-2787 performingarts.ufl.edu

Tommy Tune in Steps In Time Thurs. 2/24 7:30pm Curtis M. Phillips Center - Tommy Tune’s film credits include, Hello Dolly, The Boyfriend, Mimi Bluette, Fiore Del Mio Giardino and Hollywood Blvd. Featuring the Manhattan Rhythm Kings.

1, 2, & 3 Bedroom Floor Plans — Some with garages — Located on N. Main Street (CR236), in High Springs, Next to Spring Hill Professional Center or visit: www.SPRINGHILLVILLAGE.net or call:

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>> HOW SWEET IT IS

Charlie and the Honeybees A Visit to the Tioga Monday Market BY KAYLA ROBINS walk through a strip of twoand three-story suburban buildings with small-town boutiques and a large-scale gym. Quaint shops sell coffee, pizza and fresh seafood on ground level with offices and apartments above. As I wander toward the town square, a cool breeze blows, giving the feel of long-awaited fall with a twinge of summer under the cloudless, bright blue sky. People sit outside shops and enjoy the break from

I

92 | Winter 2010

Florida’s seemingly incessant sweltering heat. It is about 4:45 p.m. on a Monday. For 50 weeks a year, the town square of Tioga Town Center plays host for the Tioga Monday Market, where people can buy organic foods and handmade crafts from local farmers and artists. The smell of fresh herbs wafts through the air as I meander around the circle of tents where vendors sell handcrafted juice,

Gator jewelry and fresh bread. Walking up to a tent where three ladies sit behind three tables lined with vegetables, I ask to talk to the person in charge of the market. The lady closest to me stands and points to the tent to the right. “That’s your man right there. Charlie,” she says. Charlie Lybrand, a beekeeper, has sold his honey at the Tioga Monday Market since it opened three years ago this October, as


PHOTOS BY KAYLA ROBINS

Charlie Lybrand demonstrates how he harvests honey at his home in Alachua. He burns hay as he opens the top to the hive. Smoking the bees keeps them calm and allows Charlie to get near them without being stung.

well as at the Union Street Farmers Market every Wednesday since 1996. He manages both markets. He has a full head of gray hair and an equally-as-full mustache, and is clad in a casual olive-green T-shirt, jeans and boots. His tent has one table displaying varioussized glass jars of honey. Plastic squeeze bottles shaped like bears are interspersed through the rows of jars, some for sale and others used as testers for the different flavors of honey. A mother and her daughter examine the variety of orange- and yellow-hued honey. The girl, not more than 5 years old, leans against the table and causes a glass filled with water to shatter on the pavement. Charlie’s reaction mirrors his casual attire. “It’s just water. No problem.” He answers the mother’s questions about what makes each flavor of honey different and sells her a jar as if broken glass was not scattered around his feet. Although he has only honey at his tent today, he does grow and sell other organic products, such as salad vegetables and blueberries. However, bees and their sweet

“They are Zen. I can focus on them and the rest of the day goes out the window. Every year they do something that you’ve never seen before.” handiwork remain his priority. Charlie has been a beekeeper since 1977, but he says he has always loved eating honey. He traces his beekeeping beginnings to a man he used to buy honey from in Archer. The bees fascinated him, and one day he asked about getting a couple of hives. As he delves into his memories, he talks as though this is a simple cause-and-effect situation; this is his fate. He went for two hives and came home with eight. “It’s been a couple years, and now I have almost 50,” Charlie recounts. Having so many bees allows him to produce a variety of flavors. He says gallberry, without a second thought, is his favorite flavor. He also sells orange blossom, tupelo, wildflower and palmetto honey. However, we always end up talking about the bees more than

www.VisitOurTowns.com

their product. “They are Zen,” he affirms. “I can focus on them and the rest of the day goes out the window. Every year they do something that you’ve never seen before.” He recalls times when they have gotten out of hand. He has been stung too many times to count. He has seen a tornado slam a tree onto five of his hives. He has stared aghast as 10 million angry bees blacked-out the sky when a truck carrying them rolled over. All of these experiences show him how much he has learned. And how much the bees still have to teach him. “It’s definitely a school of hard knocks,” he says. Today, he doesn’t have any stings to show me. Last week, he went through his 50 hives a few times and was stung only once. “But continued on page 95

Winter 2010 | 93


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o continued from page 93 that was because I didn’t see her and just grabbed a hold of her,” he acknowledges. He appreciates the bees’ behavior. He has found a niche in beekeeping and likes that they are harder to manage than growing produce. His bees offer more than just honey. When we talk about the uses of raw honey, and bee-venom therapy, and apitherapy his eyes radiate excitement. His voice reveals more inflection and he uses his hands as he talks. These treatments apply the medicinal use of products from honeybees to cure illnesses and diseases such as arthritis and anti-resistant bacteria. We are interrupted by a sound check coming from the nearby stage. Marc Hennessee, an electric fiddler, is setting up to play. “Sorry about the loop, but it’s how I do sound checks,” Marc apologizes. As we listen to the sound check, we begin to talk more about the market. “Farmers markets like this keep production local and help keep small producers in their niche,” Charlie explains. “Being one of those small producers, I obviously prefer spending money in my own community.” A difficult part of managing the market is always trying to find ways to keep regular customers coming back, while simultaneously attracting new buyers to become loyal. “The real work is being the cheerleader to customers and prove to them there’s a reason to be here,” he says. Charlie explains that both markets started with eight vendors and five or six families as loyal customers. Tioga is still a growing market, but it is proportionally ahead of what the downtown market was in its first three years. While he gives vending priority to farmers, he has expanded the number of crafting tents and prepared food so people can snack while they visit, which is something he has learned since the beginnings of the downtown market. “I never knew there were as many jewelry-makers as there are until we started looking for them,” he said with a chuckle. As I look around at the tents, I suspect the customers are mostly middle-class families that live in or close to Tioga. I point out my observation to Charlie, who agrees, saying the downtown market has a more diverse range of customers. “But I’ve always envisioned a farmers market like this one,” he says. “It takes a more community and family approach.” The looping sound of the electric fiddle is now reverberating through the tents and off trees and cars as a couple sits down to listen, and children play in the grass in front of the stage. A woman walks up to the tent, gray hair pulled back in a bun. “Do you have tupelo, Charlie?” she asks in a Scottish accent. continued on page 97

Environmental Protection

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o continued from page 95 “Some,” Charlie responds. “This was the worst year we’ve ever had for tupelo. But the orange is exceptionally good this year.” I look around as the woman continues her conversation with Charlie. She is a previous vendor interested in coming back. An Asian girl distances herself from her mother at a nearby tent. She crawls under one of the tables to inspect a crate of tomatoes in little baskets. She looks about 6 years old, with long black hair and glasses, which she puts inches away from the crate. “Are these tomatoes washed?” she squeaks. Charlie hears her and we both chuckle. This reminds him of his own family, and how managing multiple markets sometimes interferes with time they have together. “I did the Haile market every Saturday until just around three years ago,” he reminisces. His first market was the old county market in 1984, which was located in what is now the parking lot of the Oaks Mall. Looking at the families going from tent to tent or sitting in the grass, he says he finally decided he wanted weekends for himself and his kids. “Our youngest daughter was 6 months old when we started doing weekend markets,” he says. “And she just graduated from law school.” Charlie looks at his watch and realizes it is getting late. With no customers at his tent, he tends to his managing duties. He takes a clipboard and a list to each tent, collecting money from some and checking in on others. He then takes up a guitar and gets on stage to play with Marc and a harmonica player named Toby, who is a baker at the market. Charlie is the lead singer. While Charlie is on stage, I look around to find someone else to talk to. A woman just under six feet tall with shoulder-length, light-brown hair wearing a long dress and round glasses walks into the tent. She is Charlie’s wife, Andi. She is a teacher, and she talks about bees with as much certainty as her husband. An older woman asks what makes different flavors. Andi answers swiftly and clearly, explaining the nectar from different flowers the bees pollinate determine flavor. Charlie, Marc and Toby finish a song that sounds electric and folksy. “Charlie and the Honeybees!” a man bellows after the applause dies down. Andi chuckles and notes that their band name is actually the Zen Asylum, but Charlie and the Honeybees is a good suggestion. As I begin to ask her if she helps Charlie tend to the bees, she interjects before I can even finish my sentence. “No,” she assures me. “I’m terrified of bees.” She does, however, like the aspect of natural food and healthy eating — and continued on page 99

Rubberstamps, Scrapbooking

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Winter 2010 | 97


Teaching the World to Grow Their Own

We offer a variety of classes on indoor and outdoor gardening and specialty orchid classes For class info contact katie@877gehydro.com

• Square Foot Gardening • Earth Box Planting • Beginners Orchids • Beginners Hydroponics • Advanced Orchid Growing

We’ve kicked off our Fall Farmers Market! Visit our Plaza every Saturday and Sunday for fresh produce from 1-5pm 5408 NW 8th Ave. Gainesville

352-375-2769

Gardener’s Edge

Haven’t Been Here Yet? Formerly Greenery Square, The Green Market Plaza is located on the corner of Newberry Rd. and NW 55th St.

98 | Winter 2010


PHOTO BY KAYLA ROBINS

Andi Lybrand, Charlie’s wife, rolls the wax candles they sell with the honey. Orange Blossom, pictured here, is the sweetest fl avor.

o continued from page 97 honey. While she still does not go in the hives, she admits that the more she learns about them, the less she is scared of them. “And he wasn’t a beekeeper when we met,” she asserts. We talk for a while and by the time I look up, I realize the sun is beginning to fade. It is just past 7 p.m. and the market is over. People finish last-minute exchanges, collect their children from the grass, and leave. Vendors pack up their products and break down tables and tents. The tomatoes, whether washed or unwashed, are packed away. The sound of the electric fiddle and the smell of fresh herbs vanish.

Charlie estimates each hive holds about 80,000 bees; he thinks he has about 4 million. Charlie is one of the last to pack up. He lingers and chats with vendors about this week’s turnout. As I pack up to leave, I think of Charlie and his stories. His handlebar mustache that is missing the bars. The plastic squeeze bears. The gallberry and tupelo honey. The two or three hives that turned into 50. And I am glad when I drive away and look in the rearview mirror that I see the orange and red of the sunset as it seizes the sky instead of the black of 10 million angry bees. s

Some fun facts about bees: • Cold makes the bees irritable, so it is best to work with them at the hottest part of the day. • Try to keep the hive around 91 degrees Fahrenheit. • “Smoking” the bees by burning hay or pine straw calms them down. • Flower type determines honey flavor, so Charlie travels with his bees around Florida to get variety. His main destinations are the Panhandle and Pasco County. • Charlie leaves the bees to collect pollen between three weeks and one month, depending upon the availability and number of flowers. • The bees are given a mixture of half water and half sugar to imitate the nectar they would normally find. • Each frame in a hive is spaced 3/8 of an inch apart from each other. This replicates the space the bees would make each comb form each other in a natural hive. • Raw honey and bee venom have many medicinal purposes. Tupelo honey has some of the most antioxidants. Raw honey has been used to cure antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, and bee venom has been used to help cure arthritis.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 99


>> EDUCATION

Teaching Zoo

Students Get Hands-on Experience

BY MARY KYPREOS he Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo may not have lions, tigers or bears, but it strives to give visitors one of the most unique experiences in the U.S., all while imparting information and hope. “We enhance the lives of our students, enrich our community and improve the future of wildlife,” said Jack Brown, director of the Zoo Animal Technology program at Santa Fe College. Since its beginning in 1970 in an old high school, the zoo’s purpose has been to teach its students, and indirectly, its community. “[The students] are the only keepers we have, and they do absolutely everything keepers do in zoos across the country,” Brown said. This includes all aspects of animal care: handling, preparing food and feeding, maintaining the zoo, updating records and other tasks. According to the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo website, the students care for over 75 different species and 200 individuals, ranging from mammals, birds, amphibians,

T

100 | Winter 2010

reptiles, fish and invertebrates. It showcases deer, otters, kangaroos, monkeys, owls, bald eagles, various frogs, turtles, lizards and more. What visitors will not see and students will not handle are lions, tigers or zebras because of safety and financial issues. “Many of these zoo animals are also dangerous,” states the website. “Since we are introducing students to zookeeping we must balance the training with the relative danger.” Meg Robichuad, who is in her fifth and final semester in the program said, “With the hands-on experience, I think it gives a face to what we are learning in class. Working at the zoo is our lab time.” The zoo technology program takes education one step further, enabling students to interact with the community on a day-to-day basis. “What makes a visit to our zoo so unique to our guests is that [the students] do guided tours, giving our visitors the opportunity to get to know each of our animals a little bit better,” Robichaud said.

She said the tours are a chance to talk to and educate the community about the animals living at the zoo. “I like to give my audience my full attention and be able to provide the best experience, as well as leave the guest with a little knowledge gained,” she said. Heather Russell, of Alachua, has visited the zoo twice and enjoyed her experience with the tour guides. “The girl who took us through explained all kinds of things and told very funny stories,” she said. “They tell you things you are not going to know on your own.” Russell said the tour guides were good for children, who are sometimes more interested in the animals than reading information plaques. Russell’s 10-year-old son, Eric, who last visited the zoo two years ago, said he liked talking with his tour guide. “If we did not know what type of animal it was he would say or tell a fact,” Eric said. Although the Russell’s first trip to the zoo was a little overwhelming


PHOTOS ABOVE BY ALBERT ISAAC

TOP: A pair of injured bald eagles are among the variety of wildlife visitors can see at the zoo. ABOVE: A tortoise eyes visitors at the Santa Fe Teaching Zoo. RIGHT: A white throated capuchin monkey. (iStockphoto)

in their large group, on their second try, Russell and her family had a good time at this local attraction. Russell said they still remember a large, poisonous snake that had a double cage system to protect the handler from being bitten during feeding. “My kids still talk about that crazy snake that sat there and stared at the top of the cage,” she said. Eric said his favorite part of the zoo was being able to get an up-close and personal look at an ocelot, one of the zoo’s cats. “You got to go into a cube and get a closer look at this cat,” he said, referring to a plastic cube that poked into the cat’s cage. During the year, the zoo hosts family friendly events, such as Boo

at the Zoo in October, and Party for the Planet for Earth Day. In preparation for Boo at the Zoo, the students and staff spend a month transforming the zoo’s three-quarter miles of trails into a Halloween haven, Brown said. Over 6,000 people attend the holiday and charity event. “It is a trick or treat adventure,” Brown said. “We get families who have been coming for ages.” During the event, the students also collect food items to donate to local charities. In 2009, the zoo was able to donate 5,671 food items, the largest amount collected in Boo at the Zoo’s 15 years, according to the website. Almost as a reward for such charitable giving, the students gave

www.VisitOurTowns.com

out their largest amount of candy ever: 106,510 pieces. For children interested in bugs, the zoo also hosts a bug club and for those older, there is a Zookeeper for a Day Program, which allows children to shadow the zoo’s keepers. Whether entertaining children, imparting wisdom, introducing the community to animals or encouraging families to embrace the wild, all of these goals and events lead to one conclusion for Brown. “Once we win the hearts [of our visitors] then we can start dealing with the issues out there,” Brown said. s For more information, contact the Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo at 352-395-5601 or visit www.sfcollege.edu/zoo.

Winter 2010 | 101


Visit thes e fantastic restauran ts!

R E S T A U R A N T

A D V E R T I S I N G

Going Out to Eat

CALL 352-372-5468 TODAY FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HIGHLIGHTING YOUR RESTAURANT IN OUR TOWN MAGAZINE

Brown’s Country Buffet 14423 NW US Hwy 441, Alachua, FL 32616 Monday-Friday: 7am - 8pm Saturday: 7am - 2pm Sunday: 8am - 2:30pm

386-462-3000

Brown’s Country Buffet is country-style cooking at its finest, just like Grandma’s house! A buffet style restaurant, Brown’s Country Buffet is open seven days a week! Foods like fried chicken, grilled pork chops, real mashed potatoes, steamed cabbage, banana pudding and coconut pie, just to name a few, are served in a laid back, relaxing environment. In addition to their buffet, Brown’s also offers a full menu to choose from. You are sure to find something to satisfy any craving at Brown’s. Located in beautiful Alachua, Brown’s is open 7 days per week. Serving lunch and dinner daily and a breakfast buffet Friday-Sunday until 10:30am, you’re sure to leave satisfied, no matter when you go. So, when you’re in the mood for some good home cooking, Grandma’s style, visit Brown’s Country Buffet.

Conestogas Restaurant On Main Street in Downtown Beautiful Alachua Open Monday – Saturday at 11:00 am

386-462-1294 www.conestogasrestaurant.com 102 | Winter 2010

It began as a dream. We envisioned a place where families could sit back and relax after a long day’s work. A place where you could talk, crack a few peanuts and soak up some old-time atmosphere. A place that reflected the warmth and friendliness of downtown beautiful Alachua, Florida. That dream became Conestogas Restaurant. Now, over 22 years later, Conestogas has become an area tradition. We take pride in giving customers exactly what they want. Delicious hand-cut steaks grilled to perfection, fresh seafood, mouth-watering desserts, plus courteous service and a friendly smile — it’s what you can expect at Conestogas. Reservations are never required, so y’all come on in, relax a spell, enjoy some true Southern Hospitality… and help yourself to the peanuts! Y’all come Rick and Donna.


Franco’s Pizza & Pasta 14029 W. Newberry Rd., Suite 60, Jonesville, FL 32669 Sun-Thurs: 11am - 10pm Fri-Sat: 11am - 11pm

ITALIAN – What’s their secret? New owner, Frank says, “Fresh ingredients, Italian tomatoes, and Grande cheese!” Reopened as Franco’s Pizza & Pasta, the former Mamma Mia Pizzeria, offers great service, delivery, and fresh and delicious menu items.... all at affordable prices! Bring the family in and enjoy a Chicago Style Deep Dish or create your own Stromboli. Finish your meal off with one of their delicious and affordable desserts… or order online and save 5%!! Pizzas start at $6.99 and desserts are all under $3!! Daily Specials for the entire family! With over 25 years of experience, Frank knows what it takes to make a good pizza! Come see for yourself today! We’re right across the street from Campus USA and Walgreens in Jonesville.

352-333-7774 www.eatatfrancos.com

Fuji Sushi 14218 W. Newberry Road, Jonesville, FL 32669 Tues-Fri: 11:30am - 2:30pm + 4pm - 10pm Sat-Sun: Noon-10pm

JAPANESE – “A work of art,” is how most diners would describe the sushi at Fuji Sushi, quaintly located in the Steeplechase Plaza in Jonesville. Offering a fresh and unique menu, the chefs at Fuji Sushi pride themselves on presentation. Begin your experience with their Shumai, fried shrimp dumplings, and then enjoy more traditional menu items like their onion soup or ginger salad. Whether you’re in the mood for something traditional, like their Spicy Tuna Roll, or out of the ordinary, like their Mount Fuji Roll, they have something for every palate. Lunch varies between $710 and dinner plates range from $10-$15. Come see what makes this hidden gem so unique!

352-332-9888 www.FujiSushiNewberry.com

Gator Q 222 NE First Avenue, High Springs, FL 32643 Monday — Saturday: 11:30am - 8:00pm

BARBECUE – Gator Q is a neighborhood BBQ joint using local black jack oak soaked in apple cider for smoking pork, turkey, St. Louis ribs, split chickens, and chicken wings, with the occasional beef brisket thrown in for good measure. Brette and Bob ‘Yogi’ Liebler serve made from scratch collards with attitude, bold BBQ beans, gourmet Mac-n-cheese, and a dill and ranch potato salad that will get in your craw and leave you craving more. They’re open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Check them out online at www.gatorq.com or follow them on Facebook. Ask your friends — the food really is that good!

386-454-9823 Find out more on Facebook!

www.gatorq.com www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 103


Radhika’s Vegetarian Café 15281 NW Hwy 441, Suite 20 • Alachua, FL Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am - 3:00pm (Extended hours coming soon)

386-462-9996 www.radhikascafe.com

VEGETARIAN – Delight your senses at Radhika’s Vegetarian Cafe, an eco conscious Vegetarian and Vegan dining experience. Serving gourmet sandwiches, soups, salads, Vegan selections, desserts, beverages, and many international vegetarian specials. With a new, streamlined menu and fresh products, Radhika’s Café offers meals that are both healthy and affordable – what to speak of fast! Some new selections include our Golok Cheese steak, pan-seared seitan with cabbage and bell peppers served in a 6 inch hoagie with fries and a pickle, our Veggie Fish Fillet, breaded mock-fish with homemade tartar sauce on whole wheat bread with fries and a pickle, homemade veggie burgers and many more new and flavorful choices! Stop in today for eat-in or take-out! Find out more on Facebook!

Great Outdoors 65 North Main Street, High Springs, FL 32643 Open at 11:00am Monday through Sunday

CUISINE DESCRIPTION -A 2010 Golden Spoon recipient, the Great Outdoors uses only the freshest ingredients and offers a menu that you won’t soon forget. Enjoy award-winning Boston clam chowder served in a crusty bread bowl or try the famous Fried Green Tomatoes. Entrées range from hand-cut prime aged steaks, fresh seafood prepared with your favorite spices, to fabulous burgers. Sit by the fireplace while enjoying live music as you dine under the stars on the outdoor patio. Happy hour is famous throughout the area with delicious appetizer specials and drink specials every Monday - Friday from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

386-454-1288 www.greatoutdoorsdining.com

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Main Street Pie Company 14933 Main Street, Alachua, Florida 32615 Tue - Thu: 11am to 2pm & 4:30pm to 8:30pm • Fri: 11am to 9:30pm • Sat: 11:30am to 8:30pm

LOOKING FOR THE BEST PIZZA IN ALACHUA? Then look no further than Main Street Pie Company. Family owned and operated since 2007 by the Lange family, Main Street Pie specializes in hand tossed, stone oven pizzas loaded with your favorite toppings and whole milk mozzarella. Also featuring calzones, strombolis, and amazing salads, you’re sure to find something to love. Everything is made to order and Main Street Pie is open TuesdaySaturday. Located on Main Street in Historic downtown Alachua, check out “Mom’s” weekend pasta specials.

386-462-0661 www.MainStreetPie.com 104 | Winter 2010

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>> CHILDREN’S SONGS

Musician Anna Moo It’s All About the Moosic

BY TARA MASSAGEE-STANLEY ost musicians get a thrill out of performing for thousands of yelling and screaming fans in sold-out stadiums. But for this particular singer, her thrill comes from seeing wide-eyed adolescents singing along to her songs and moving with the beat. “I am blessed to do it,” Anna Moo said during a recent interview in her home. Moo, who lives in Jonesville with husband Terry, has been a singer and songwriter for children for more than 20 years, and believes this is what she was truly meant to do. Moo said her two children, Mandy and Chris, are the reason she started singing. Both her children attended a preschool where two of

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their teachers would incorporate music into the students’ daily routines. Instead of their teacher telling the children to stand up and get in line to wash their hands, they would sing about it. “I saw how influential music was with kids and thought I should try this,” she said. The preschool became the testing ground for her music. Moo said she knew she was onto something when some of the other students’ parents would tell her their child has been singing her songs and ask if she would record her music on tape for them. “I intuitively knew my songs were as good as anything out there at the time,” she said. In the early 1990s, there were

not many kids’ music record labels, she said. But Moo did pick a label, Music for Little People, and signed for one year before moving on to form her own production company, Good Moo’s Productions. By 1993, Moo took children’s music by storm and won all the top awards in the children’s category with her album “Making Moosic,” she said. Since then, Moo has created six other albums and is constantly coming up with ideas for other albums, she said. Right now, she is working on an album that includes all of her past songs translated into Spanish. She would also like to record an album of songs she has written about Newberry and the people who live there.


PHOTO BY BY TARA MASSAGEE-STANLEY

ABOVE: Moo’s collection of instruments ranges from thumb pianos to finger flutes, guitars and a full size piano. She is self taught with all the instruments she plays and said she can play almost anything with strings. “I like to play with these things, she said, “and I know kids like to hear them and see them.”

RIGHT: Ann Moo sits at her piano in her living room where she does most of her writing. She said the piano or couch is where she likes to write because she is able to look out the windows.

“There are great characters who live in Newberry,” she said. Not only is she working with those ideas, but she said she would also love to create a “very percussive” album with all sorts of different rhythms and styles that incorporate African and Spanish cultures. She hopes to have an album finished by the end of the year. When Moo is not thinking of ideas for another album, she is usually writing songs or gigging (performing). She said she sets aside blocks of time to write when she is not gigging or otherwise trying to “make ends meet.” “I don’t lose the spark to write, she said.” “[I am] always collecting ideas.” Moo classifies her writing style

as extremely eclectic. She has songs that range from rock to bluegrass to African pop. Moo’s daughter, Mandy, said in a telephone interview that her mom tries to encompass everything and include everyone in her music. She would write a song and be up all night playing the guitar with it, and then she would ask everyone what they think about it. “Ultimately it’s her decision though,” Mandy said. Balance is one aspect of her music that she tries hard to achieve; her music is “musically parent friendly and lyrically children friendly.” Moo said that if she is going to put a CD in the car and listen to it with her children, then she wants

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to be able to enjoy it too. “I’m a kid at heart,” she said.” “I want to hear good music, too.” Mandy has favorite songs by her mom and also likes the fact that both parents and children can listen to it together. “After 23 years, I still don’t get sick of it,” Mandy said about her mom’s music. Through the years, Moo has traveled to England, all over Florida and throughout the United States keynoting conferences, performing and helping teachers incorporate music into the classroom. When asked of her favorite or most memorable performance, at first she could not think of just one. But after thinking for a moment she said there was a performance

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in England that she always remembers fondly. She was singing to a group of English students who were all sitting nice and proper in their uniforms with their teachers eyeing them closely. But when she asked the students to get up and dance, they got up and really started moving. “They created total, wonderful mayhem,” she said. They were up dancing, singing and just being kids with their teachers looking aghast in the background, she said. But, Moo said after being a musician for children for so many years she has also learned how to bring them back to a normal state where they can settle down and go back to the classroom. She does this by singing a song at the end of a performance that the children can sit down and sing along to. “Kids are kids, wherever you go in the world,” she said. Moo also performs library tours on a regular basis. This past July, Moo went on a weeklong library

tour of the Broward County libraries in South Florida. She said with all the budget cuts it is hard for libraries to pick and choose how and where they are going to spend their money, so she tries to fit the bill. She sometimes calls and books herself instead of being asked to come, she said. Having won numerous American Library Association awards does not hurt. “It kinda gets me in,” she said. One of Moo’s favorite gigs is when she travels to South Carolina to spend a week at different schools teaching them about the arts. “I love doing that,” she said. “We do music, art and tie it all together. It’s just a very innovative arts experience.” When Moo’s children were growing up, they were able to travel with her and watch her perform. They also sang backup for a few of her songs on her albums. Mandy said she always wanted to go on stage with her mom, but she had to stick to the sidelines. When she

They were up dancing, singing and just being kids with their teachers looking aghast in the background sang with her mom for the album, she said she was scared at some points because she was young. But now that she is older, she is proud that she did it. “As a kid everyone knew her and knew me as her daughter,” Mandy said. To this day, she said people ask her if she is Anna Moo’s daughter or related to her. “I was very proud to call her my mom growing up,” she said. “I like to show her off.” s

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>> WEIRD SCIENCE

A New Kind of

Predator The Fight Against Nematodes

BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH oger Williams has farmed the land at Whistling Pines Ranch for years. However, in recent years he has been struggling. A rather unusual predator has been feasting on his crops, decimating 100 acres last year alone. The damage was so bad that Whistling Pines Ranch could not put the affected land into production. The culprit behind the large-scale destruction of these crops is actually microscopic in size and is known as a nematode. Nematodes are worms that feed on the tip of plant roots, causing the plant to stop growing. Just a handful of soil can contain several thousand nematodes. Many nematodes are not just deadly to crops, but can also be parasites of animals and insects as well. Corn stalks that should rise several feet from the ground never make it past 6 inches as a result of nematode damage to plant roots. Williams bought his first large track of land in 1970 to raise chickens. Purchasing what was then 500 acres of what many considered â&#x20AC;&#x153;wastelandâ&#x20AC;? off of Archer Road, Williams quickly found a way to make the land usable for both crops as well as cattle. Throughout the last several decades, Williams has created an effective technique for keeping his once sandy acres of land well fertilized. His solution was to incorporate chicken manure into the ground, which made the soil perfect for raising other animals, as well

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This diagram illustrates the life cycle of a Pasteuria bacteria on a Sting Nematode. (Image provided by Pasteuria Bioscience)


PHOTO BY ALBERT ISAAC

ABOVE: Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc. founders Tom Hewlett, Kelly Smith and Susan Griswold stand before one of the fermentors in the lab. Based in the University of Floridaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator. Pasteuria Bioscience was founded in 2003 to commercialize its revolutionary technology for production of nematode control products. PHOTO BY LM SCHMIDT, PH.D.

LEFT: A corn root that us been stubbed because of sting nematode damage.

as for growing crops on the land. In 1970, Williams contracted with the City of Gainesville to secure waste material from the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tertiary treatment plant to use as fertilizer on his crops. The waste that is used at Whistling Pines is made up of 96 percent water and 4 percent biosolids, which consists of organic materials including paper, dirt, as well as aerobic and anaerobic bacteria. This natural fertilizer is used to add substance and nutrients to the soil. With the help of biosolids that would otherwise be considered worthless, Williams has been able to successfully fertilize his land. Over the course of the last 40 years, Williams has

phased out raising chickens and now raises cattle and grows crops on his nearly 1,300 acres of farm land. Using treated wastewater has helped Williams grow acres upon acres of healthy, nutrient-rich crops, and is a testament to the environmentally savvy philosophy that has characterized Whistling Pines Ranch. However, in recent years, the nematodes have been wreaking havoc. Williams is not alone in his battle against nematodes. For years, scientists around the world have attempted to find solutions for the fight against these deadly worms. New technology in the battle against nematodes uses seed-coating science, which allows

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Winter 2010 | 111


farmers to plant pesticide-coated seeds. These types of nematode pesticides are known as nematocides. This technique uses chemicals to coat a seed, keeping nematodes away with a lab-created nematocide, which affectively kills the nematodes in the soil around the growing crops. However, the chemical coating of seeds is a farfrom-natural way of fighting nematodes. With farmers and consumers alike looking for more environmentally friendly ways to grow crops, scientists all over the world have attempted to create a chemical-free, natural solution to this growing problem. In 2004, after 20 years working at the University of Florida, Thomas Hewlett, along with Susan Griswald and Kelly Smith, created a company that would work to find a solution to the struggle many farmers have had for years, fighting high populations of the microscopic worm. Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc., headquartered in the city of Alachua, is currently creating and testing natural defenses in the fight against nematodes at Whistling Pines Ranch. The techniques being tested at the ranch utilize natural bacteria, which act as a pesticide with hard spores that only react to certain types of nematodes. Once in contact, the parasitic bacteria lock onto the microscopic worm, drill a hole, burrow through and kill it, essentially eating the nematode from the inside out. Upon killing the nematode, this natural pesticide

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releases spores into the soil, finding more of the tiny worms to latch onto and, in so doing, affectively killing large populations. “It’s all very sci-fi,” said Tom Hewlett, Co-Founder of Pasteuria Bioscience. “What is really unique is that this is a natural defense against nematodes. It’s not chemical-based.” During the first trial test produced at Whistling Pines, two different types of nematodes were found. High levels of sting nematodes were found to be present in the soil, mixed in with medium levels of lance nematodes. Pasteuria Bioscience used natural nematocide seed-coating on Whistling Pines Ranch’s corn crops, which sharply reduced the levels of sting nematodes, but caused lance nematode populations to spike as the nematocide used was specifically geared toward fighting the higher density sting nematodes. A second round of testing is currently being completed at the ranch and includes two separate, natural pesticides that should affectively latch on to both the lance and sting nematodes, killing them from the inside out, without the use of any chemical pesticides. Consequently, Pasteuria Bioscience, Inc. is also testing seeds coated with two different levels of nematocides at Whistling Pines Ranch. The first type of nematocide has been coated with 10 million parasites per seed while the second has been coated with 100 million parasites per seed. Testing the different levels of the concentrated nematocides’ affect on corn crops will better prepare scientists to determine what the next step should be for finding the most appropriate, and natural, means for killing nematodes. Warren Thomas, farm manager at Whistling Pines Ranch, said using parasitic seed coating to fight against high nematode populations is a natural way to grow healthy crops without using chemical pesticides or chemical seed-coating techniques in the ground soil. With research conducted at places like Pasteuria Bioscience, the hope is that many farmers all over the world will soon be equipped with a more natural means for battling the nematode nemesis. s

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>> COMMUNITY

More Than a Music Store Local Gathering Spot for Musicians BY LARRY BEHNKE oanne and Leon Barrows sit on the plush couch and talk with their guitar-playing guest sitting across from them in a lounge chair. The coffee table between them holds steaming cups of coffee and ... music supply catalogs? Yes, this living room setting is a part of the Music Junction in downtown High Springs. The store opened in 2007 and offers new and used instruments, supplies, lessons, repairs — and concerts. “We thought we were retiring,” said Joanne about their move from upstate New York. “But Leon got bored after a few months. There was no music store in the area, so we said, ‘Let’s open one.’” Music runs in Leon’s family. His father Albert is in the Music Hall of Fame in Courtland, N.Y. Leon’s sister has sung with Ricky Scaggs and Mickey Gilley in Texas. “I’ve been in music all my life,” Leon said. “I’ve always wanted a music store.” The Barrows said it was hard leaving their friends up north. “The best thing about opening our store was all the nice people we’ve met,” Joanne said. “We started on a shoestring and had to slowly buy stock,” Leon said. Now after three years, the Music

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Junction has a large selection of new and used instruments and related supplies. “We keep branching out with stuff you can’t find in the big box stores,” Leon said. “Besides guitars, we have mandolins, dulcimers, banjos, even harps.” Leon also repairs stringed instruments, and he has built a banjo and guitar from scratch. “Someone brought in a bag with a banjo in pieces, and Leon resurrected it,” Joanne said. A schoolgirl walks in the door looking for a reed for her oboe; it is in stock. Earlier a guy had come in looking for a pitch pipe and found what he needed. “I looked all over Gainesville for that,” he said. “We try to stock what local musicians ask for,” Leon said. “And the only CDs we have for sale are by local musicians.” The Barrows are also instrumental in bringing live music to the area. Leon has a portable stage with P.A. system that he often sets up on the other side of the railroad tracks across from the store. The city has set up bleachers and several Friday night concerts were held over the past year with more to come. In October, music was played during the High Springs River Festival.

“I was grateful to all the groups who donated their time for the festival,” Leon said about the Main Street Program fundraiser. Five different bands played all day as their music echoed down Main Street. Leon also takes his setup on the road, wherever music or a sound system is needed, from out in a field at a bio-fuel demonstration to the Veteran’s Day event at the Civic Center. The second and fourth Thursday of each month, Leon hosts Open Mic Night at Beef O’Brady’s in Alachua from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. “I just upgraded to a more professional sound system,” Leon said. He signs up the locals who play a variety of music. Leon also helps the local school with fundraisers, working with students’ parents on a concert. The Music Junction offers music lessons too. “We really enjoy the students,” Joanne said. “Parents will go shopping while their child is learning, or they sit here and read. We always have coffee on.” There is also a microwave, snacks and an antique Pepsi cooler full of water and cold drinks. “We have a 5-year-old girl learning violin,” Joanne said. “After her lesson she comes out here and


PHOTO BY LARRY BEHNKE

ABOVE: Barbara Johnson, Suzie Clark, Leon Barrows, Gene Menet and Sharron Wallace play during a Monday night jam session. RIGHT: Leon and Joanne Barrows in their store, Music Junction.

performs for us.” Barbie Beckford teaches piano and Dobro. Jack Powers and Leon teach guitar. Gene Menet teaches banjo and mandolin. Michael Lagasse teaches violin, guitar and mandolin. And Michael Peyton holds banjo workshops for players who want to learn new licks or take a refresher course. Geoff Perry is the substitute music teacher. A mother and daughter come in looking for a beginner’s piano book; Joanne finds what they need. A man comes in asking Leon to adjust his guitar, and they end up in a long discussion about string gauges and the history of Martin guitars while trying out some of the store’s guitars. Every mid-December, the Music Junction hosts a recital at the High Springs Woman’s Club for that year’s students. It is mainly the younger

students who show up to play. The store’s two lesson rooms have wall murals by local artist Jim Wegman, who is also a guitar and bass player with Velveeta Underground. The ceiling of the store is filled with 8 x 10 color photos that Joanne has taken of the music students and the many musicians who come in to buy something and end up sitting in the “living room” for an impromptu bit of picking. The store is closed on Mondays, but from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. a jam session happens each week. People sit around and play bluegrass, country and gospel music. “It’s a way for local musicians to get to know each other,” Leon said. On a recent Monday, Barbara Johnson hauled in her upright bass from her home in McIntosh. She joined Leon and Gene Menet on

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guitar, Sharron Wallace on Dobro and Suzie Clark on dulcimer. The store’s living room was the perfect gathering spot for old time pickin’ tunes, including an obscure Hank Williams number. The store really is a junction for music. The Barrows are happy being in High Springs. “It’s a nice little town,” Leon said. “We need to let more people know about it.” Promoting the universal language of music is helping. “It doesn’t matter what your orientation is; we’re all family, and we need to work together,” Leon added. “Sometimes it’s a lot of work, but I love music and it gives people something to do.” “Music is important,” Joanne said, “but the community is important as well, and we care about both.” s

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COLUMN >> DEBBIE DELOACH

Garden Way Endangered species of tigers, zebras, even musk oxen, are subjects of captive breeding programs and entertaining documentaries. any of us are both grateful and in awe of these programs as they save imperiled species from obliteration. Now you can contribute to helping save Florida endangered plant species. The following species of plants that I profile here are native to Alachua, Marion and the surrounding north Florida counties. Most of them are commercially available so you can purchase plants or seeds and start your own captive breeding program. First up is woodland poppy mallow (Callirhoe papaver). This beautiful wildflower can be picky about its location, but once you find a spot it likes it will form a mound of claret-colored flowers from late spring and into summer. It looks great with a white-flowered plant such as rain lily. Poppy mallow likes well-drained soil in full sun to part shade with moderate water. It is drought tolerant once established but only with protection from the brutal midday sun. Eastern sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) provides structure and fragrance to your landscape. It’s a deciduous shrub that grows six - nine feet tall and

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wide. Its big green leaves, as well as its spidery, maroon, springtime flowers, smell of allspice. Grow sweetshrub in part to full shade. Avoid placing it in a midday sun area. Also, provide regular water if Mother Nature doesn’t do that for you. Next up are two of our native verbenas. Coastal mock vervain (Glandularia maritima) and Tampa mock vervain (G. tampensis) are tender so you must pile mulch or fallen, dead leaves on the roots and crowns of the plants to help them through the winter. They will reward you with beautiful rose to lavender clusters of flowers that butterflies can’t resist. These verbenas prefer moist but well-drained soil in full sun. Avoid excessive overhead irrigation. Both of these verbenas bloom late spring through fall and Tampa mock vervain is great for rock gardens. Lakeside sunflower (Helianthus carnosus) may be difficult to find but don’t give up. Each plant starts as a clump of long, narrow leaves. Then in late summer, thin stalks shoot up about two feet and soon produce yellow, daisy-like flowers with long narrow petals. Lakeside sunflower prefers a moist site with regular

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water and full sun. Moist usually means either you have a naturally moist site or you irrigate your landscape as local watering guidelines suggest. Ocala or yellow anise (Illicium parviflorum) is an upright shrub that can stay dense even in shade. It grows about 15 feet high but only gets about six feet wide. Keep it trimmed narrower at the top and wider at the bottom to keep it from getting “leggy.” The lime green leaves of this shrub smell of anise and it sports small, spidery, yellow flowers in the spring. Ocala anise prefers moist, well-drained soil with regular water so use mulch and don’t let the soil dry out. Britton’s beargrass (Nolina brittoniana) is native to Marion County and throughout the drier areas of central Florida. It starts as a short, six-foot wide grass-like clump. In late spring, a six-foot bloom stalk shoots up and is soon covered with tiny white and yellow flowers — a pollinator paradise. Plant beargrass in full sun to light shade in sandy, well-drained soil. Keep it away from walkways because its leaves are sharply pointed. Beargrass is drought tolerant so don’t irrigate after the plant is established. You can kill this one with kindness.

Grow sweetshrub in part to full shade. Avoid placing it in a midday sun area and provide regular water. Etonia rosemary (Conradina etonia) is related to culinary rosemary, and it has the same aromatic leaves and cute lavender flowers that pollinators love. This woody shrub grows up to five feet tall and has arching branches. Be prepared to replace it every few years because it’s short-lived. Native to Putnam county, Etonia rosemary prefers dry, well-drained, sandy soil with no extra water. The plants develop their best form in full sun but they like light shade. The best sources for these and other native plants are at native plant sales, local farmers markets and master gardener plant sales. However, retail nurseries are offering more and more native plants, too. Check online at www.afnn.org for sources of native plants statewide. For the hardest-to-find plants, check with your local chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. You can find your chapter at www.fnps.org. Finally, visit the plant and seed trading community in the Dave’s Garden website, www.davesgarden.com. You may be able to find someone in north Florida with plants or seeds to sell or trade. s Debbie M. DeLoach, Ph.D. 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. drdebbied@gmail.com

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Winter 2010 | 119


>> BACK TO BASICS

Not Your Typical Farm New farming trends for the ethical treatment of animals means higher quality products BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH ith documentaries like “Food, Inc.” paving the way in recent years, there has been a wave of popularity in communities across the country for making food production more accountable. People want to eat meat that is humanely raised and processed. In fact, a recent article in “Food and Wine” magazine goes so far as to chronicle the new trend for vegetarians — who once shunned all meat products — to start eating humanely-raised animal meat. Since the USDA first passed the Federal Meat Inspection Act in June 1906, there have been many advances in food inspection practices by the U.S. government. However, many of these food inspection laws overlook small farmers that are not producing on a large scale. This means that the USDA cannot certify meat produced in small numbers (farms producing less than 20,000 animals per year). This is a trend that many local farmers believe will be changing soon as local meat consumption becomes more popular. “Organizations like the USDA are going to have to rethink their policies on meat certification on a large

W

120 | Winter 2010

scale,” said Bill Popp, owner of Laughing Chicken Farms in Trenton. “We have to label our meat products as ‘not for human consumption’ since the USDA can’t legally certify our small farm consumption. The products are just as good, and in many ways so much better than large manufacturing plants, but because of government regulation, we have limitations on USDA inspection.” Now, with more information than ever being circulated about the inhumane way in which many animals are being mass-produced for consumption, people are educating themselves on the treatment of animals raised on large commercial farms; some are looking for healthier, more humanely raised sources of meat for their diet. As a result, the focus on buying from smaller, local farms is growing in popularity as consumers look for ways to have more control over what they are eating. At the High Springs Farmers Market, this trend can be visibly seen. Of the more than 25 vendors who regularly sell at the market, a growing number sell locally raised meat products. Meats ranging from


PHOTOS BY ASHLEY MCDONOUGH

TOP: Paloma Sanchez, along with her parents, Mandy and Armando Sanchez, pet one of the week-old chicks at the brooder pens at Laughing Chicken Farm. ABOVE: Owners Bill and Robin Popp stand in front of their barred rock chickens on Laughing Chicken Farm. RIGHT: Two-week-old chickens and turkeys in the brooders at Laughing Chicken Farm.

alligator, chicken, turkey, rabbit and even flash frozen shrimp straight from the gulf have become staples for the market and are very popular among local residents. High Springs Farmers Market Manager Valerie Thomas said that one of the local Seafood vendors at the market has amassed a very loyal group of followers. Fish and seafood, naturally high in omega 3-fatty acids, have become especially popular at the market. “Every week, there are people who shop at the market, looking for particular seafood products from particular vendors because they know the quality and like that the meat is fresh and from a local source,” Thomas said. This popularity for local, fresh meat products among educated consumers is where producers like Laughing Chicken Farm come in. Located outside of Trenton, the Laughing Chicken Farm began just one year ago in July 2009, born from the passion Bill and Robin Popp have for raising happy livestock. The Laughing Chicken Farm website truly encompasses the Popp family philosophy on raising animals: “We give our animals the best so

they can give us the best. On Laughing Chicken Farm, the chickens really do laugh.” But chickens are not the only animals being raised at Laughing Chicken Farms. Turkeys, sheep and rabbit can also be found roaming the land and basking in the sun. It is with care and dedication to their farm and animals that led to the rapid growth of Laughing Chicken Farm. In just one year, the farm now processes 50-75 animals a week and, on average, 300 animals a month. The Popp’s go through 1 ton of grain every two weeks in order to keep up with their growing chickens alone. And the science behind the feel-good philosophy for the farm is just as heart-warming. Laughing Chicken Farm does not use any hormones, medications or chemicals in the grain they feed their animals. Research shows that grass-fed animals, like many on the Popp’s farmland, are naturally higher sources of Vitamin E among many other nutrients. To visit Laughing Chicken farm is truly a unique experience. One continued on page 123

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o continued from page 121 clear difference visitors notice is the lack of that stereotypical farm smell. Unlike many large-scale manufacturing facilities which house animals in confined spaces, often forcing the animals to lie in their own feces for the duration of their short lives, Bill and Robin Popp make sure that all of their animals are raised in a clean environment, in the sunshine and on open grass for more mobility. Additionally, the farm uses the most humane processing techniques possible for their animals, ensuring that there is relatively no pain in the process. Laughing Chicken Farm products are sold at the High Springs, Newberry, and Tioga Farmer’s Markets. The Popp’s, however, are not alone in their endeavors. Several other area farms are also getting in on the action. Farms like Cypress Creek Farms in Starke, not only raise alligator meat for consumption but they also incorporate sustainable-use management programs for production as a kind of conservation strategy in which they help to prevent the killing of alligators in nature by harvesting alligators in a farm environment. Permits are issued from wildlife officials to allow farmers to collect wild alligator eggs — many of which have a high possibility of being eaten by predators in the wild — in order to be hatched and raised on the farm. In this way, the farm is helping to keep alligators off of the endangered species lists and simultaneously produce alligator meat for consumption. Meat from Cypress Creak Farms can be found at several local markets including the Gainesville and High Springs Farmers Markets.

Bill and Robin Popp make sure that all of their animals are raised in a clean environment. Almost every part of the alligator can be consumed, from the tail, leg, neck and jaw. When compared to other meats, alligator meat is high in protein and low in cholesterol as well as fat. And like other sources of locally raised meat in Farmers Markets and on kitchen tables across Alachua County, the fresh quality and ethical treatment of these animals is what keeps people coming back for more. As the trend continues for local consumers to demand better quality, fresh meat products, Farmers Market Managers like Valerie Thomas look forward to seeing the popularity of buying local products also grow as a result. Consumers are more educated and aware than ever about what they are putting into their bodies. Higher quality meat products as a result of the ethical treatment of animals? It could be the best of both worlds. s

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COLUMN >> ALBERT ISAAC

Different Note Holy Happy Holidays Batman, where did the year go? s I pen these words, the holiday season looms before me, a frenetic time of last-minute gift buying, maxing out credit cards, and — more importantly — family gatherings. With the holidays upon me, I can’t help but reflect upon the years of Christmas Past and the innumerable blessings in my life. Christmas was always an exciting time for the Isaac brood. As the special day approached, my folks would pile us into the car and drive through town to admire the more expensive homes with their lavish lighting displays. We had our own display, and although it was not as lavish I never felt deprived. Mom had painted a Santa Claus, cut out of a piece of wood, and each year Dad would put it on the roof. A string of lights hung from our eaves — year-round. (I like my Dad’s thinking. In fact, for years I have had a strand of lights hanging on the front fence.) On Christmas Eve, we could open one small gift. And at bedtime, we could hardly contain our excitement, lying awake for what seemed like an eternity. Christmas morning was the only day of the year when we awoke before the break of dawn. From our room we’d gaze down the dark hallway, illuminated only by the glow of the Christmas tree, and imagine what wonders awaited in the living room. “Can we get up now?” we would shout. A minute later, “What about now?” Once given the go-ahead, we would descend upon our gifts, wild little maniacs tearing into carefully

A

wrapped packages. Then we would load up the car and head to our grandparent’s home, continuing our celebration with the whole family — aunts, uncles, cousins — all sharing the joys of the season. Us kids were relegated to the back porch, far from the adults. After we had returned home and the mayhem had died down, Dad would often surprise us with one final big gift. One year it was a color television — a novelty at the time (Herman Munster is green!). Another year it was a stereo, complete with turntable, AM/FM radio and 8-track tape — the first time we had ever heard stereo. One year it was a dishwasher — not so exciting. Taking Dad’s cue, one year I had a gift for my parents stashed away in the garage to be brought out after the celebration had died down. I went out there to retrieve it with a buddy. “Cool!” he exclaimed as I reached for the present. “Whose bike is this?” Bike? Sure enough, we had stumbled upon one of the surprises Dad was planning to spring on me later in the day — a brand new, shiny 10-speed bicycle with ram handlebars. Yes! I thought I could contain my excitement and pretend that I hadn’t discovered the gift. I thought I could wait for him to “surprise” me, and perhaps even act surprised. But I soon realized that such an act was out of the question. I had to admit to our discovery. I had to ride the new bike. And I did. For many years we had “live” Christmas trees, but I was born at the dawn of the Space Age, and so it stood to reason that we would eventually get a Space Age Christmas tree. These aluminum trees came in a box, each ‘branch’ stored in a paper sleeve. It also came complete with a color wheel. Assembling the tree became a family tradition. We really liked it. So

Once given the go-ahead, we would descend upon our gifts, wild little maniacs tearing into carefully wrapped packages.

124 | Winter 2010


did our cat, who would periodically leap into the shiny branches and topple it. Time marched on and we all grew up. My grandparents and many of my aunts and uncles — and Dad — have since passed away. My wife and I are now the grandparents, opening our home during the holidays to our growing family — children, grandchildren, cousins and great-grandmothers. We strive to continue the traditions we’ve enjoyed over the course of our lives, usually because of my wife. For New Year’s Eve, she tosses change out the front door (not sure of the origin). For Easter, she makes sure the Easter Bunny hides the baskets in the house; the kids have to find them before they can hunt for eggs. For St. Patrick’s Day, it’s corn beef and cabbage for dinner. And for Christmas, she trims the tree. One year she got carried away and snipped off the top branch where the star is supposed to go. Not to worry; she repaired it — with duct tape. And while I procrastinate, my wife is diligent. She shops throughout the year; I shop on Christmas Eve. She prepares delicious meals; I eat. And on Christmas morning, with camera in hand, I watch our family open presents, and count my blessings. s Albert Isaac is an editor, writer and novelist living in High Springs. He is putting the final touches on his second novel. editor@towerpublications.com

Alachua County, Florida

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Fold, flatten and store gift boxes and gift bags to reuse for other gift-giving occasions.

–

Give a non-material gift such as a phone card or a gift Certificate.

–

Use reusable shopping bags - Now and throughout the year.

–

Use edible or compostable items such as popcorn and cranberry strings to decorate trees.

–

Recycle your packing peanuts and bubble wrap at the nearest Mailbox-type store.

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Make a homemade gift such as baked cookies, photographs, etc.

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After the holidays, recycle your holiday tree (place on the curb) ³Don’t forget to remove tinsel, ornaments, etc.

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

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

128 | Winter 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

ALACHUA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CHRIST CENTRAL ALACHUA 386-418-8185 14906 Main St. www.ccalachua.com

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.

CHURCH OF GOD BY FAITH 386-462-2549 13220 NW 150th 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 386-454-2981 13719 NW 146th Avenue Pastor Arnold Osteen LEGACY BAPTIST CHURCH 352-538-5595 255 S. Main St. Pastor John Jernigan LIVING COVENANT CHURCH 386-462-7375 Pastor Brian J. Coleman NEW OAK GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-3390 County Road 1491 Pastor Terry Elixson, Jr. NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH OF GOD AND CHRIST 386-462-4891 1310 NW 155 Place Pastor R. L. Cooper NORTH PLEASANT GROVE BAPTIST CHURCH 386-462-3317 25330 NW CR 239 Pastor Edwin A. Gardner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 129


>> HOSPICE

Thrift & Gift A Great Store with a Great Cause BY MICHELLE ASHWORTH ospice of the Nature Coast Thrift and Gift Shoppe is not a typical thrift store. Not only does the store have plenty to choose from — clothes, shoes, movies, books, furniture, art, jewelry, decorations, glassware — but all of the store’s proceeds go to benefiting Hospice programs. Hospice of the Nature Coast, a program of Hospice of Citrus County, Inc., is a not-for-profit charitable organization that specializes in end-of-life care for adults and children at no cost to the patient or their family. It focuses on physical, emotional, spiritual and social comfort. A team consisting of the patient, family members, physicians, Hospice staff, volunteers and other community resources provide most Hospice care in the home. If a patient is unable to remain at

H

130 | Winter 2010

home, Hospice care can be provided in any institutional setting, such as a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility, group home or Hospice House, according to the website. As part of its mission, Hospice of the Nature Coast is dedicated to preserving the dignity of individuals, supporting those dealing with the challenges of death and bereavement, and fostering acceptance and respect for all phases and transitions in life. The Thrift and Gift Shoppe is just one component of the bigger picture, said Bonnie Presnell, the thrift store’s coordinator and service manager for the last three years. “It’s rewarding to talk to people who come in,” Presnell said. “A lot of people just come in to visit.” Although the High Springs

location has been open since December 2007, it relocated to Main Street in May 2009. Even with 2,900 sq. ft. of shopping space, Presnell said they could still use more room. “We have a pretty good traffic flow,” she said. Donations can be brought to the store during office hours. The shoppe accepts donations, including but not limited to clothing, house-ware items, antiques, collectibles, books, furniture, jewelry, electronics and medical supplies. The store will even pick up donations,


PHOTO BY MICHELLE ASHWORTH

ABOVE: Savanna Trice, 25, buys vintage earrings from team assistant Forrest Stove at the Hospice of the Nature Coast Thrift and Gift Shoppe. She and family member Lynn Trice, of Tampa, came to shop in downtown High Springs and are supporters of Hospice.

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 131


“We can always use more volunteers. The work here is never finished.” and Presnell is willing to make arrangements on Sundays if needed. Large purchased items can also be delivered. “We have very nice merchandise here,” Presnell said, “and at a fair price.” While the store does have a couple employees, most of the people involved are volunteers. About 30 people volunteer their time at the High Springs location, putting in anywhere from two to 40 hours a week. “It’s a lot of work, but the volunteers work very hard to get everything ready,” Presnell said. “We try to stand out.”

Volunteers are given a wide range of responsibilities, from working the front counter to pricing the items. Presnell said she tries her best to let the volunteers pick the area they want to work. “We can always use more volunteers,” she said. “The work here is never finished.” The Thrift and Gift Shoppe has volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. One of its most valued volunteers is Belinda Hollingsworth, of High Springs. At 76 years of age, she works up to 35 hours a week, and she helps out with everything from pricing to decorating. “I’m a workaholic,” Hollingsworth said. “I get up in the morning and think, ‘What am I going to do today?’” Hollingsworth came into the Hospice of the Nature Coast Thrift and Gift Shoppe two years ago when she retired after 42 years at Ammalees, a dress shop in High Springs. She has not stopped

volunteering since. “I love the people,” she said. “I’m just a people person.” Hollingsworth also volunteers at Still Waters, an assisted living facility in Lake City. High Springs is one of six thrift stores that Hospice of the Nature Coast runs. While the shoppe relocated last year, expansion is not finished yet. The clinical offices, currently located next to the thrift store, will be relocating into a larger area one building away. The present clinical offices will become a center for Wings Community Education, a Hospice program that provides education and support to anyone who has experienced a loss. Right now, Wings conducts sessions at various locations where space is available. These sessions will still continue, but the program will have a more stable meeting place as of mid-November. s To find out more, please visit www. hospiceofthenaturecoast.org or call 386-454-1338.

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Winter 2010 | 133


LIBRARY SCHEDULE Alachua Branch Library .....................14913 NW 140th St. .............................. 386-462-2592 High Springs Branch Library ...........135 NW 1st Ave........................................ 386-454-2512 Newberry Branch Library .................110 South Seaboard Dr. ..........................352-472-1135 For further information on scheduled events visit www.acld.lib.fl.us

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

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Gaming @ Your Library Wednesdays & Thursdays, 12/1-1/5, 2:00 p.m. Come out to the library to play video games. Zumba Class Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. Zumba mixes bodysculpting movement with dance steps, derived mainly from Latin music. Class provided by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs. Pilates Class Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Pilates focuses on building strength without bulk,

improving flexibility and agility, and helping to prevent injuries. Class provided by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs.

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS Computer Class Wednesdays, 1/5 2/23, 11:00 a.m. Learn basic computer skills. Classes are first come first served and seating is limited. Hatha Yoga Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. Come join us for one hour of Hatha Yoga taught with an emphasis on mindfulness, individuality and proper alignment, all in a non-competitive atmosphere. Be sure to bring your own mat. Zumba Class Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. Zumba mixes body-

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sculpting movement with dance steps, derived mainly from Latin music. Class provided by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs. Pilates Class Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. Pilates focuses on building strength without bulk, improving flexibility and agility, and helping to prevent injuries. Class provided by Choices Health Education and Wellness Programs.

Crochet a rag rug with a group of fellow enthusiasts. Beginners welcome. Holiday Music Sing-a-long Tues., 12/14, 2:30 p.m. Celebrate the holidays with music by Mary O’Banyan-Abdullah and Amir Abdullah as we sing songs of the season.

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

HIGH SPRINGS PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES Crafter’s Circle Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. Any non-messy craft may join this group. The Rug Bunch Monthly on First and Third Wednesdays, 3:00 p.m.

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS Afternoon at the Movies Thursdays, 12/2-12/30, 3:00 p.m. Escape the heat and chill out watching favorite movies and new releases on the big screen.

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PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS

PROGRAMS FOR TEENS

Mystery Reading Group Monthly on third Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Panther Den Wed., 12/1-12/15, 3:30 p.m. Go wild after school. Adventures and gaming awaits. Play sports and dance with Wii games, tune your groove with karaoke, create a wacky craft. Turn your meow into a roaring good time.

Lady Gamers Monthly on first Friday, 2:00 p.m. Join other senior women for a fun afternoon of gaming. Hand-dipped Candle Making Sun., 2/6, 2:00 p.m. Warm up your winter with homemade candles. Learn how to make hand dipped candles. Register online or by calling 386-454-2515.

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PROGRAMS FOR ALL AGES Tempting Reads Wed., 12/15, 6:00 p.m. Join us for lively book club discussions featuring popular & recently published, yet readily available, books chosen from participants’ suggestions. Snacks and refreshments welcome.

PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN Panther Den Wed., 12/1-12/15, 3:30 p.m. Go wild after school. Adventures and gaming awaits. Play sports and dance with Wii games, tune your groove with karaoke, create a wacky craft. Turn your meow into a roaring good time.

PROGRAMS FOR ADULTS Crafty Clique Wed., 12/8, 5:00 p.m. Come crochet, knit, quilt, sew or scrapbook with fellow crafting enthusiasts. Inspire or be inspired! Learn or teach! *Now featuring workshops by experienced crafters. Tempting Reads Wed., 12/15, 6:00 p.m. Join us for lively book club discussions featuring popular & recently published, yet readily available, books chosen from participants’ suggestions. Snacks and refreshments welcome! December selection is Angelology by Danielle Trussoni.

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>> SUCCESS

Outstanding Business Great Outdoors Restaurant and Opera House Wins Outstanding Business of the Year BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON uilt in 1895 while High Springs was a booming railroad town, the old Opera House on Main Street has undergone remarkable changes. Today, the bottom floor of the old Opera House has been remodeled into the award-winning restaurant The Great Outdoors. In September, The Great Outdoors placed first for the Florida Main Street Outstanding Business of the Year. Though the food is fresh and the atmosphere is friendly, The Great Outdoors gained the Honor Award because of the life it brought back to the once-sleepy High Springs downtown. When The Great Outdoors Trading Co. & Café closed its doors, downtown High Springs fell into a bit of an economic slumber. Businesses closed, and people stopped having a major reason to visit on a Friday night. Karen Bentz, and her husband, Bob, bought the empty building in 2006. They spent two years remodeling, and opened The Great Outdoors in 2008. “When we took on this project,

B

136 | Winter 2010

we didn’t come from a restaurant background. We’re architects,” Karen Bentz said. “We knew the type of setting that people would like to eat in.” They gave the new restaurant a cozy feel, filling the place with amber lighting and dark wood. Bentz wanted to use rich colors that would reflect the woods and rivers of the area. They also included lantern-style lights, hanging canoes and various carved animals. Outside, on the newly enhanced patio, a fireplace flickers while guests dine. A stage and outdoor “boathouse” have been added. This structure allows guests to eat under cover, beneath lanterns and two hanging canoes. Bentz said they were trying to evoke the feeling of camping when they designed the patio — a blazing fire, a good band and a collection of friends. “The other thing that we wanted to do is showcase the artwork by people in the area,” Bentz said. Photography by John Moran, Wes Skiles and even Bob Bentz decorates the walls of The Great Outdoors.

Bentz did not want to lose the historical value of the building. The Opera House was originally a gathering point for merchants and entertainment, such as plays, bands and festivals, she said. “We wanted to take our time to restore it to a level beyond what it was originally used for,” Bentz said. The upstairs Opera House has hand-painted ceilings, heart pine floors, a honey onyx bar and lighting designed and ordered from California — in the operetta style. The owners put a lot of attention into making the updated Opera House into a state-of-the-art conference facility, including a drop-down screen and surround sound. “It has anchored the entire High Springs community,” said Carol Doherty, the Great Outdoors’ manager. Doherty suspects that a good 4,000 people a week are inspired to visit High Springs for the awardwinning restaurant. From The New York Times to The Tampa Tribune, various articles about the town and the restaurant bring people from all over to sample the cuisine.


PHOTO BY AMANDA WILLIAMSON

The Old Opera House building was always used as a venue for entertainment and social gatherings. According to the Great Outdoors website, the fi rst silent movie – The Great Train Robbery – was shown here. The bottom fl oor has generally been a commercial business, such as a jewelry store, café, or a furniture store.

“Downtown” was historically the bustling city-center, full of commerce, according to the Florida Main Street Program website. Over the years, downtown has come to be connotative of deteriorating buildings, large empty plots and cracked street-front business facades. But, the Florida Main Street Program wants to turn that around. Improving the appearance and economic stability of historic

downtown business districts helps build a positive image for the community, creates jobs and helps save tax dollars. Ashley McDonough, former High Springs Main Street Manager, nominated The Great Outdoors for the Outstand Business of the Year Award. She feels the win really means a lot to High Springs in showing Florida, and the community, what High Springs has really

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been up to in terms of improving its local treasures. “The idea is that the businesses kind of help each other,” McDonough said. “When people go downtown, they have a variety of things to enjoy.” Though visitors may go to High Springs for The Great Outdoors, they can spend their evening strolling around the bakeries, art galleries and antique shops.

Winter 2010 | 137


“Business promotes business,” Doherty said. And so The Great Outdoors brought High Springs back from the dead, she said. Prior to The Great Outdoors reopening, Downtown lacked a major restaurant. Aside from some cafés and small restaurants, there was nothing of the scale achieved by The Great Outdoors. “The Great Outdoors gives all of us a place to hold a business lunch, meet for a glass of wine, or to get together socially with our friends for lunch or dinner,” said Lucie Regensdorf, current president of the Board of Directors for the High Springs Main Street Program. Regensdorf owns The Grady House, a High Springs Bed & Breakfast, and she said she always trusts that she can send her guests to The Great Outdoors for a fabulous time and a wonderful meal. The Florida Main Street Program presented the Outstanding Business of the Year to The Great Outdoors because of the “focus on

preservation and contributions to the Main Street Programs” that Karen and Bob Bentz held during their refurbishing of the historic building, said Dawn Roberts, Interim Secretary of State at the Florida Main Street 2010 Annual Conference in Punta Gorda. This focus is vital to the revitalization of Florida’s traditional commercial districts, she said. “The Bureau of Historic Preservation for the Department of State conducts statewide programs at identifying, evaluating, and preserving Florida’s historic resources,” states a recent press release. “It was a wonderful experience to see what other cities are doing to develop,” Bentz said, referring to the seminars held at the 2010 Annual Conference. She was thrilled and shocked to win an award of this stature. The award goes beyond food, McDonough said. A committee of five people - the president of Florida Main Street, the staff

architect, and various members of the program committee - make the decision of who is given the award. The committee examines how the business has rehabilitated the building, helped the community and how the new business relates to the Main Street, said Joan Jefferson, president of Florida Main Street. Bob and Karen Bentz came into an empty building, a building left to ruin right in the middle of downtown High Springs. They completely remodeled the restaurant and changed the atmosphere of that entire area. They are also generous donors to various fundraising events in High Springs, as well as to Main Street. In addition to this recent honor, Florida Monthly Magazine also named the establishment “Best New Restaurant in Florida” in 2008. The Great Outdoors always has a crowd of people, McDonough said. “They’ve really put us on the map.” s

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Almanac Winter in North Florida BY DEBBIE M. DELOACH s 2010 winds down, holidays and cold fronts are imminent and North Florida braces for both. With help for the coming months, the Old Farmer’s Almanac provides useful and amusing information to make the winter season even more interesting. For 219 years, this almanac, first published by Robert B. Thomas, has been entertaining and helping United States citizenry. Its motto, “Useful, with a pleasant degree of humor,” certainly holds true now as it has in years past. For instance, in the 2010 Almanac, Anastasia Kusterbeck presented a few interesting factoids

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140 | Winter 2010

about homes and households. Two such tidbits state that, “35 percent of Amercans’ garbage is now recycled” yet “670,000 American homes lack indoor plumbing.” It seems that Americans are doing their bit to conserve resources, one way or the other.

ASTRONOMY All eyes on the moon on December 21 as a total eclipse will begin just after midnight at 12:28 a.m. and end at 6:06 a.m. For the less devoted moon gazers, the best part of the eclipse occurs between 2:40 a.m. and 3:54 a.m. The Geminid meteor shower will be performing all night long on

both December 13 and 14. Head to the country, look to the northeast and expect about 75 meteors per hour. Best viewing is in a cloudless and moonless sky that is free of exterior illumination. Luckily, the December full moon occurs later, on the 21st. Full moons also occur on January 19 and February 18.

DECEMBER The first day of winter, marked by the winter solstice, occurs this year on the 21st. Holidays and other special days abound in this month. The first day of Hanukkah is December 6 and the Islamic New Year continued on page 142


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o continued from page 140 begins on December 8. People who wish to extend the Christmas giving season may consider celebrating Canadian Boxing Day on December 26. Dads who just cannot wait until June for Father’s Day may consider moving to Thailand. Father’s Day there is December 5, the birthday of their reigning king. One notable occurrence from a December past was the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. Originally signed by 12 countries including the U.S., this treaty sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve, establishes freedom of scientific investigation and bans military activity on that continent. On December 14, 1903, Wilbur Wright lost a coin toss, which would later lead him to become the first human to fly an airplane successfully. But a Florida judge tops that. In 2006, Federal Judge Gregory Presnell settled a long, wearisome legal argument by

142 | Winter 2010

ordering a rock, paper, scissors showdown on the courthouse steps. It worked. Finally, the infamous Boston Tea Party occurred on December 16, 1773. Perhaps this will become an official holiday for a certain group of Republicans.

women were expected to return to work sooner than were men. On January 7, 1894, the blockbuster movie, “Edison Kinetoscopic Record of a Sneeze,” was made. Finally, be aware that raccoons mate on January 26. No kidding, it is in the Almanac.

JANUARY

FEBRUARY

The Almanac frequently lists some special days that have little bearing on modern life. These holidays are now long forgotten. Two such days, occurring in January, warrant some notice. For 2011, Distaff day is January 7 while Plough Monday is January 10. Distaff Day, the first day after Epiphany, marked the end of the Christmas holidays. Women were expected to return to their spinning, or work, on this day. Plough Monday was the day that men were expected to return to their ploughs, or work, and it falls on the first Monday after Epiphany. So, unless Epiphany falls on a Sunday,

Most people remember February 2, Groundhog Day. But who knows the beginnings of such a strange ritual? Thank the Celts for this one. They recognized this day as marking the halfway point between the first days of winter and spring and believed that the weather on this day could predict the next six weeks of weather. They called the day Brigantia, after their goddess of light. Two notable February births include Ronald Reagan on February 6, 1911 and Susan B. Anthony on February 15, 1820. The first quintuplets born in the U.S. made their debut in Watertown,


Wisconsin on February 13, 1875. Finally, the largest lobster on record, weighing in at 44 lbs. 6 oz., was caught near Nova Scotia on February 11, 1977. Perhaps that weight equals the combined weights of the quints — surely not.

• Begin a diet to gain weight and wean animals or children on December 18, 22, or 23; January 22 or 31; or February 1, 22, or 23. • To encourage slower hair growth cut it on December or January 20 or 21 or on February 27 or 28.

BEST DATES

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Celeste Longacre, the Old Farmer’s Almanac’s astrologer, suggests the following dates for successful functions:

There is still time to plant cool-season crops and other plants in North Florida. Check with your county extension agency before planting during the winter months. Those who follow the tenets of planting according to the phases of the moon will be planting according to this schedule this winter. Plants that bear flowers from roots or produce crops above ground should be planted December 5 through 21, January 4 through 19 and February 2 through 18. Plants that produce crops below ground or flower from bulbs or rhizomes should be planted during the following: December 1 - 4; December 22 - 31. January 1 - 3; January 20 - 31;

February 1 and 19 - 28. Suitable below ground crops may include beets, carrots, leeks, onions, potatoes, and turnips. Suitable above ground crops may include parsley, cole crops and leafy greens.

WEATHER

• The best days for fishing are December 5 through the 21, January 4 through 19, and February 2 through18. • Fertilize vegetable crops as follows: radishes, before planting; beets, at time of planting; head-forming cole crops and head lettuce, three weeks after transplanting; onions, when bulbs begin to swell and when plants are one-foot tall; and leafy greens, when the plants are one-third grown.

The Almanac predicts a slightly cooler than usual winter. Also, rainfall should be slightly greater than usual with a chance of snow in mid to late January! However, since the believable prediction of hurricanes in September did not materialize, the unbelievable prediction of snowfall does not hold much promise. Finally, from “The Top 15 Things We Can Learn From the Movies,” submitted by R. S. H. of Glen Ridge, New Jersey: “One man shooting at 20 men has a better chance of killing them than 20 men firing at one man.” Happy holidays and snowball fights. s For more info visit: www.almanac.com.

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146 | Winter 2010


>> OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF O’LENO CSO

Each year, Friends of O’Leno host a variety events ranging from chili cook-offs to horse races to the bicycle races through the woods.

own the long, seemingly never-ending road on Highway 441, just outside of High Springs, one can find O’Leno State Park. On any given day, this old park is bustling with activity. Traveling deep into the woods, along the narrow and winding park road, past the gopher crossing sign and through the rows of tall pine trees, visitors are sure to find family reunions, birthday parties, campers and other passersby throughout the park. From eating chili and promoting literacy to horse racing and 5Ks, O’Leno’s growing crowds are thanks to the Friends of O’Leno, a non-profit citizen support organization that provides the additional funds the state park needs to reach the public. In addition to helping O’Leno, Friends of O’Leno also support the River Rise Preserve State Park, a horse park featuring 20 miles of horse trails right next to O’Leno. Although O’Leno and River Rise are known and popular for their natural and peaceful settings, Park Manager Morgan Tyrone said it is Friends of O’Leno that helps create a family atmosphere. The group holds many annual spring events and a handful of fall and winter events. The Endurance Ride, a 25-mile and 50-mile equestrian race, is the group’s most popular winter event and runs through the River Rise Preserve. In the spring, the park holds the Race

D

the Tortoise 5K Run, the O’Leno Olé Chili Cook-off, the River Rise Rally horse race and the Pangea Missing River Adventure Race. While Friends of O’Leno is one of the primary supporters, such citizen support organizations can be found among almost every state park throughout the country and often provide the additional events and activities. Despite being one of the last southeastern states to officially begin a state park system, Florida’s park service is one of the best in the country, according to the Florida State Park website. Florida is the only two-time winner of the National Gold Medal for state parks, awarded in 2000 and 2005 by the National Recreation and Park Association. O’Leno’s history, however, is much older than most other Florida state parks, opening in the 1930s. Friends of O’Leno was also one of the first citizen support organizations to begin helping their local state park, founded in December 1988. The group is responsible for many

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of the park’s features, including the nature center, interpretative signs, old gristmill and pavilion, and the horse barns at River Rise Preserve. Friends of O’Leno President E.J. Bisch said that getting near nature, away from the city, is nice. “We help provide something extra,” Bisch said. “We make it a little more human-friendly.” O’Leno State Park is one of the top 100 camping spots in the country — coming in at No. 41 — and has about 60,000 people visit a year, Bisch said. Friends of O’Leno’s Tortoise 5K brings in people from around the country and is one of the group’s biggest events to plan, he and Tyrone said. The run is a certified course that usually brings in about 125 runners from around the world. Bisch said the 5K run, Chili Cook-off, Endurance Ride and other events are very popular and bring in about $2 million for the city and county in tourism money. The Chili Cook-off is a unique way the group incorporates events aside from the usual nature-based

Winter 2010 | 147


PHOTO COURTESY OF FRIENDS OF O’LENO CSO

With the blast from a musket, runners hit the road in the Race the Tortoise 5K, and event that attracts more than 100 participants.

activities, Bisch said. The cook-off has two categories. In one category, participants can enter their chili in the CASI (Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc.) contest, where they cook the official CASI recipe (without beans). Another category is freestyle, where cooks can compete with their own recipes. Despite how well High Springs now supports O’Leno’s annual events, the city was not always the best thing for this area. In the nineteenth century, what locals know today as a state park was a thriving city called Leno. But by the late 1800s, Leno began to disappear as a brand-new city with a brand-new railroad — High Springs — emerged. In 1896, the last residents moved out of Leno, probably to the thriving High Springs, and Leno became a ghost town. Forty-three years later O’Leno became a state park. The transformation into a state park is the result of the Civilian

Conservation Corps Boys, commonly known as the CCC Boys. In an effort to stimulate the economy during the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent 2.8 million young American boys to different parts of the country to build many state parks, including one at the old town of Leno. The CCC Boys built and planted everything in O’Leno, such as the Suspension Bridge that spans across the Santa Fe River. The Santa Fe flows through the park before going underground, emerging briefly at River Rise Preserve, and then flowing into the Suwannee River. Tyrone said O’Leno State Park is special because of the homey, comfortable feeling the park offers. If visitors catch the park at just the right time, before the afternoon crowds arrive, they can find O’Leno at its quietest on the River Trail, a mile-and-a-half trail that follows

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part of the Santa Fe River. Along the trail is the river sink, where the Santa Fe River goes underground. The sound of the river disappears, and the only noise to be heard is the plopping sound of turtles, who sit on logs near the bank, slipping back into the water, making ripples as they go. While it is the river, the nature and the history that makes O’Leno State Park and the River Rise Preserve State Park uniquely special, Tyrone said it is the Friends of O’Leno that help others realize this. Tyrone said without Friends of O’Leno, the park would not be able to hold its popular spring events or reach out to the public. Many of the families who visit O’Leno and attend its activities each year have been coming for three or four generations, he said. “They all have stories,” Tyrone said. “It’s very family-oriented. [Friends of O’Leno] is a wonderful example of a citizen support organization.” s For more information about Friends of O’Leno, e-mail friendsofoleno@windstream.net. For information about O’Leno or park events, call the O’Leno State Park Ranger Station, 386-454-1853.

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COLUMN >> DIANE E. SHEPARD

Mama Musings Even over the sound of the washer and dryer, hear a lively discussion between my 6 1/2-year-old daughter and a neighbor child. “But he is real!” “Come on, nobody can fly around the whole world with so many toys and visit all the kids in the world in just one night!” “He can!” “It’s not possible!” “Yes, it is!” “How do you know?!” “Because I feel it in my heart!” I can’t help but smile. I recall a favorite quote from Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” My young daughter already “gets it.” She has never been a doubter. Always open to Wonder and Magic. Even for all the negativity and skepticism today, her faith in things unseen remains unshaken. Her faith in people remains unwavering. Perhaps this is not unusual for a sensitive, empathetic young girl, but in today’s troubled world where kids are becoming “adults” way too fast, it seems rare to me. I applaud it. It’s not just the old standbys (Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy) whose existence she defends, but also an even larger motley crew, including the St. Nicholas who rides a white horse and brings gifts on St. Nicholas Eve, December 5, “The Great Pumpkin,” Peter Pan, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell, mermaids, faeries, ghosts and even a few monsters. She champions them all. She imagines faeries in the forest and believes they are responsible for those random rings of mushrooms

I

that pop up in the yard overnight. She says she can sense how trees feel. Elizabeth is currently constructing a “friendly” trap for a leprechaun. She just wants to see one up close, then, she assures me, she will let him go. She also believes (in true “Toy Story” style) that her dolls and stuffed animals are alive and do throw great parties — when no one is around to see it, that is... I think of a quote from “The Velveteen Rabbit:” “Real isn’t how you are made, it’s something that happens to you...” I love this about her. I’m the one who has always encouraged it. But there’s a part of me that wonders, is it wrong of me to allow her to keep believing? Should I continue to perpetuate the myth and risk her feeling betrayed by me? One thing I do know is childhood is not nearly as fun when a child reaches what the song from the movie “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” calls the “age of not-believing, when all the make-believe is through.” I recently read that 66 percent of adults and children polled still believe in Santa Claus. And why shouldn’t we believe? In a time when there seems to be little to believe in — in a time when hope seems a thin, frayed thread — this is refreshing. I celebrate Elizabeth’s imagination. I celebrate her heart. She has the ability to open her heart wide — for those she knows and for those she does not. She possesses a great capacity to love and a real sense of wonderment. Why take this from her? Doesn’t believing in Santa strengthen this sense of wonderment? I still remember when my Mom told me. “What do you mean the Easter Bunny isn’t real?!” Suddenly my beautiful, innocent world of childhood and magic and wonder came crashing down around me. My shock turned to horror.

I don’t want to shatter the spell. I don’t want to awaken her from this blissful magic of childhood. I want her to hold onto it as long as she can.

150 | Winter 2010


“Wait, does that mean Santa isn’t real either?!!!” For me, the heart of childhood seemed to stop that day. My mother-in-law’s approach left the door open: Neither confirm nor deny the existence of Santa Claus... Neither confirm nor deny and shatter a child’s best dream. My husband and his sister still remember when they were growing up that whenever they asked their mom if Santa was real, she always had the same response: “If you don’t believe in Santa, he won’t bring you any presents.” I don’t want to shatter the spell. I don’t want to awaken her from this blissful magic of childhood. I want her to hold onto it as long as she can. I want to hold onto it as long as I can... Like Santa’s bell in the “Polar Express” movie: Initially, all the children could hear the bell ring because they believed in Santa. Then, one by one, as Christmases passed and they grew older, they were no longer able to hear the bell ring anymore, but for one. I am confident that Elizabeth will be one of those rare children, who — when they grow up — will still hear that bell ring. So, am I perpetuating a myth? No, I am perpetuating enchantment. And who, in this crazy, unsettled, “nothing but the facts, Ma’am” time that we live in, couldn’t stand for a little more enchantment in their lives? s Diane Shepard is a writer and Mama to two young children. Her next work in progress is a memoir “Keeping Time with Turtles.” diane@towerpublications.com

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Winter 2010 | 151


>> ENVIRONMENT

Monitoring the Health of the Area’s Water

Healthy Springs for Healthy Life BY MARY KYPREOS aste has become a familiar word in today’s vocabulary, almost a chant: Do not waste water; Do not waste food; Do not waste resources. Everyone knows they should not do these things, yet some do. Resource conservation is important everywhere, but residents in North Central Florida should be especially

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152 | Winter 2010

conscientious of consumption. “Something that people don’t think about is that all the water we use comes out of our aquifers, which may have otherwise gone into the springs,” said Stacie Greco, senior environmental specialist at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. Because water in Alachua and

neighboring counties comes from the aquifers, when residents over consume, it means less water for Ginnie, Blue, Poe and other springs. Lower water quantity in those springs decreases water quality, wreaking havoc on counties’ recreation outlets and economy. Three to four times a year, the Santa Fe River Springs Basin Work


“Many homeowners use varieties of grass requiring large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, our source of drinking water.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP The fi rst thing to realize is that you cannot help if you do not know what is happening. Try attending a SFRSBWG meeting to understand what stakeholders are doing and to know exactly what the problem is. “As they continue to come, they will get a deeper understanding,” said Stacie Greco, senior environmental specialist at the Alachua County Environmental

Group (SFRSBWG) discusses these issues and others that affect the springs’ health and water in the area. Since the Lower Santa Fe Springshed, which is the focus of the SFRSBWG, includes Hornsby, Poe, Ginnie and Gilchrist Blue springs, members hail not just from Alachua, but also from surrounding counties such as Columbia and Gilchrist. “The water that contributes to these springs does not have political boundaries,” Greco said. Long before the Springs Initiative at the Department of Environmental Protection was started, professionals, government entities, academics and citizens created the SFRSBWG, based on concerns about the springs, said Connie Bersok, environmental administrator at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Now, the Springs Initiative organizes “state-wide springs protection and outreach.” During a SFRSBWG meeting, academics present research on the springs, local government officials give updates on sources that affect water quality and quantity, and others give presentations to the like-minded audience, Greco said. “The purpose is providing a forum where people can come together and focus on the springs,” Greco said. Greco stressed that the SFRSBWG is not an advocacy group. Its

meetings and activities serve only as a venue for sharing information and a diversity of viewpoints. On average, there are three to five presentations per meeting with topics ranging from updates on turtle populations to the appearance of algae. One issue they may discuss is an excess of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which can be harmful in the water in large concentrations. “Many homeowners use varieties of grass requiring large amounts of fertilizer that contribute to high levels of nitrates in the aquifer, our source of drinking water,” states the Florida Springs website by Florida Department of Environmental Protection. After entering the water, nitrates enable algae growth; when there is too much algae, it can force out native plants that are healthy for the springs, Greco said. Another by-product of algae and unhealthy plant growth can be decreased levels of dissolved oxygen. When plants die, the next natural process is decomposition — a process that uses oxygen. “When oxygen levels get too low, it can affect the fish and other critters,” Greco said. Due to the complicated web of cause and effect, some presentations are scientifically based. Past subjects have included mercury testing of fish and hydrology.

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Protection Department. If you cannot make the meeting, hit the Internet. Websites such as www.santaferiversprings.com and www.fl oridasprings.org will keep you informed and give you tips.

Meanwhile, take actions that increase the springs’ health: 1. Eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides in yards and reduce water consumption in both the yard and the house. To go a step further, make a commitment to use native plants and grasses that do not require fertilization and irrigation. 2. Floridians use over 50 percent of their water on landscapes. Collecting rainwater for use in the yard is an easy way to reduce this percentage. 3. Inspect septic systems every three to five years, and have it pumped and/or maintained as needed. Do not use harmful substances like ammonia and pesticides that will end up harming the septic system and leaking into groundwater. 4. ”Fixing leaks and replacing old plumbing fixtures indoors with water saving ones can save a family of four up to 30,000 gallons of water each year,” states the SFRSBWG website.

Information courtesy of www.santaferiversprings.com

Winter 2010 | 153


PHOTO COURTESY OF STACIE GRECO

The University of Florida IFAS provided a booth at the Springs Celebration at Poe Springs in 2008. By conserving water and practicing environmentally friendly actions, many hope to protect Florida’s Springs.

But after the State Legislature cut the DEP’s budget by 75 percent, they could no longer afford six groups, she said. Before this year’s cut, the DEP received around $1.9 to 2.4 million per year. Of the six groups, the DEP now funds four, but for those groups, it will also provide funds to develop a restoration plan for their springs, she said. Unfortunately, the SFRSBWG was one of the two groups cut. Although Bersok is unsure where the group will go from here, she is “encouraged that [the group] is being picked up by Alachua County.”

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“Some issues are really complex, so when people first get involved, they may not come to the meeting with a full understanding of the issues,” she said, adding that it gets easier the more a person attends. Since 2002 until mid-year 2010, the Department of Environmental Protection Springs Initiative supported the SFRSBWG by hiring a facilitator for the group who coordinated all the meetings, updated the website, etc. During that time, the DEP funded six springs working groups in Florida, and hoped to draw up new contracts for all the groups this year, Bersok said.

After losing the funding, Greco and the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department started coordinating the SFRSBWG meetings, allowing a county employee to take care of the details instead of a volunteer. “We definitely see the value in the springs, and spring protection is part of our goal,” Greco said. Greco now organizes the group meetings and hopes to help people gain a deeper understanding by discussing topics post-presentation. “I’m going to try to limit the speakers to 20 minutes and then facilitate a 20-minute discussion,” she said. Information is the key to the SFRSBWG’s mission — information about what affects the springs; what is happening; why the springs and aquifers are necessary; and what people can do to help. As part of community education, the group is creating posters to hang in businesses near the springs. The posters will include facts on the basin, photos and tips on continued on page 157

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o continued from page 154 conservation. “Nothing bad will happen if we start practicing those behaviors,” Greco said. “It might not be instant, but everything we can do will help.”

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Continuing Education Outside of SFRSBWG meetings, the group sometimes goes on field trips. “Having a visual always helps people’s understanding,” said Stacie Greco, senior environmental specialist at the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department. For example, when going to a local diary farm, the group was able to learn first-hand about the best

“…all the water we use comes out of our aquifers, which may have otherwise gone into the springs.” management practices. “Seeing these things implemented gives you a more lasting impression,” Greco said. When visiting a sinkhole, its importance as a direct path to aquifers and springs was reinforced. “Dangerous refuse such as lead-acid batteries, oil filters, household chemicals and construction materials are introduced directly into the aquifer, our water supply and springs,” states the Florida Springs website by Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Every year, springs celebrations are held to raise awareness for environmental issues. “In a celebratory atmosphere, we try to get the general public interested,” Greco said. s This year’s spring celebration took place at River Fest in downtown High Springs on October 2nd.

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this difficult economic environment. An example of a company that has decided to adapt and persevere is Whitfield Window and Door, Inc. of High Springs. The story of this company is the story of a small business, in a small town, in America, where anything is possible. Chris Whitfield and his wife moved to High Springs in 1997 after spending most of their childhood in the Tampa and Panhandle areas of Florida. After visiting some friends in the area and spending a day on the river, Chris and his wife fell in love with the area and with small town life. Not long after that visit, they purchased land near Oleno State park and started a family. Chris has been in the window and door business for 17 years. Almost 7 years ago, he decided to go out on his own and live the American Dream of owning his own business. Chris believes as long as he can stand by his word, treat people right and do an outstanding job for his customers, there will always be work. He has made a point to offer only

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Stop by and visit the showroom anytime. Always leading busy lives, occasionally you may drop in and wonder if you are at the right place. Once a month, Amy Whitfield will host her daughters and 12 other gals, for their once a month club meeting of Grace Girls. Grace Girls is a group of young girls raising money for Friends of Children of NCFL. The building of a home for children in Alachua is planned and the girls of Grace are helping them meet that goal. So far, Grace Girls has raised over $1,300 dollars, and this Fall is working on a book called “Between,” and collecting monthly for the charity. If you are thinking about replacing your windows and doors or getting ready to build please come by and visit. Whitfield Window and Door also supplies door hardware, trim, screen doors and shutters.

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ADVERTISER INDEX 4400 NW 36th Avenue • Gainesville, FL 32606 352-372-5468 352-373-9178 fax REAL ESTATE Coldwell Banker MM Parrish ............... 168 (HS) Forrester Realty ................................................ 62 Lamplighter............................................................... 125 Prestige Home Center N. Ocala ..................90 PRO Realty .............................................160 (HS) Showcase Homes Direct...............................163 Springhill Village Apartments ........................... 89 Village Retirement Community .....................3

AUTOMOTIVE Auto Swap Meet ..................................................... 133 Bush Auto Repair .....................................................37 City Boy’s ...........................................................145 Gainesville Harley Davidson ......................... 56 Jim Douglas Sales & Service .......................156 Maaco Body Shop ............................................ 96 Newberry Auto Repair Inc ............................46 Quality Collision Repair ............................... 105 Sun City Auto .................................................. 144

FINANCIAL / INSURANCE Allstate Insurance.................................................... 119 Campus USA Credit Union ........................... 63 Easy Tax & Accounting........................................ 133 Sunshine State Insurance ............................. 157 SunState Federal Credit Union ...................30 Three Rivers Insurance ................................... 95

MEDICAL / HEALTH Affordable Dentures .............................................. 70 Alachua Dental .................................................. 26 Alachua Family Medical Center .................133 Accent Audiology ................................................... 118 Accent on Eyes ....................................................... 155 Caretenders ........................................................84 Center for Medical Weight Loss ......................... 8 Community Cancer Center ..........................127 Douglas M Adel DDS.......................................112 Dr. Angel Reyes ........................................................ 64 First Choice Immediate Care Center ................ 8 NFRMC ....................................................................2 164 | Winter 2010

North Florida Orthotics ........................................27 Palms Medical Group ............................................ 88 Samant Dental Group ............................................78 Dr. Storoe, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery. 149 Tioga Dental Associates ........................4 (NB)

FITNESS and BEAUTY All Creations Salon ................................................160 Cuts & More ........................................................ 83 Excel Tanning and Hair Design........................ 157 Marshall & Co. Salon .............................................105 Nails N Spa ....................................................... 148 Sarah Vierra Salon .......................................... 57 1 Nails and Spa .................................................. 82

PETS and VETS A Paradise for Pets..................................................47 Bed ‘n Biscuit Inn ............................................135 Earth Pets Organic Feed & Garden ..........142 Flying Fish Pets and Aquatics .......................... 161 High Springs Animal Hospital .......................... 133 House Call Vet ..................................................134 Pampered Paws ....................................................... 161 Pamper Your Pet ..................................................... 116 Spring Hill Equine Vet Clinic .......................133 Susie’s Pet Sitting ........................................... 157 Vacation Station Pet Resort ......................139 West End Animal Hospital ............................ 29

CHILD CARE / LEARNING Alachua Learning Center ............................... 13 American Academy ........................................134 Building Blocks Learning Center................. 81 Gainesville Country Day School .......................52 Spencer House Montessori ........................... 88 The Studio of Alachua ............................................81

RETAIL / RECREATION Alachua Pawn & Jewelry ..............................162 Bennett’s True Value .......................................141 Blue Springs ......................................................138 City of Gainesville ................................................... 151


Coin & Jewelry Gallery ..........................................39 Colleen’s Kloset.........................................................28 Cootie Coo Creations ..................................... 97 Decks, Docks and Barns ..................................... 122 Diana Originals Art & Teaching Gallery ..135 Fletcher Center ........................................................ 117 The Flower Exchange ..........................................160 Garden Gallery ..................................................112 Gatorland Kubota .......................................... 105 General Ship It & More Store ..............160, 161 High Springs Pawn & Jewelry ...................4 (HS) High Springs Farmer’s Market .........................160 Hugs & Kisses Consignment Boutique ..........67 Jewelry Designs by Donna................................160 Klaus Fine Jewelry ............................................ 17 Lentz House of Time .......................................116 Lifestyle Cruise & Travel ................................117 The Lighting Gallery........................................94 Liquor and Wine Shop, The..............167 (NB) Old Irishman’s Pawn Shop ...........................143 Oliver & Dahlman .....................................................87 Pace Custom Jewelers & Time Works ...... 73 Paddywhack.......................................................94 Painted Lady ..............................................................35 Prissy Pals ........................................................... 35 Radio Shack ....................................................... 96 Rum Island Retreat .......................................... 77 Sapp’s Pawn , Gun and Archery ................. 70 Silverwind Jewelry & Gifts ...................................47 Simply Gorgeous......................................................23 Skate Station Funworks................................34, 35 Smitty’s Western Store..........................................67 Stitch In Time Embroidery ............................46 The Studio of Alachua ............................................81 TB Goods ...................................................................109 Tioga Town Center..............................................9 Valerie’s Loft ...................................................... 45 West End Golf Course ...................................154

SERVICE A Classic Moment Limousine ...................... 87 ACT Computer Solutions ............................ 160 Affordable Services of Florida............................. 6 Alachua Printing ............................................... 87 AllState Mechanical, Inc................................. 47 Amira Builders ...........................................................28 Artful Upholstery & More .............................. 35 Big Blue................................................................ 78 Blooming House Nursery .............................122 COX................................................................................... 7 Creekside Outdoor .......................................... 36 Grower’s Fertilizer Corporation .................. 72

Lotus Studios Photography .................................18 Ms. Debbie’s Cakes & Sugar Art .......................38 Outreach Center for Children .......................... 132 Phones & More ..................................................113 Quality Cleaners ............................................... 82 R & M Construction ...............................................139 Ronald Clark Construction ................................ 127 3-Way Electrical Service Inc. ..................... 148

HOME IMPROVEMENT Al Mincey Site Prep .........................................117 Clint S. Davis LLC ............................................145 Cook Portable Buildings ...............................156 Floor Store .................................................. 80, 113 Gardener’s Edge...................................................... 98 Gonzales Site Prep .......................................... 87 Innovative Home Builders ........ 167, 168 (NB) Jack’s Small Engine Repair........................... 72 Overhead Door Company ............................126 Red Barn Home Center .................. 44, 97, 138 Sherer Studio Glass & Stone ........................ 22 Waste Watchers.........................................71, 125 Whitfield Window and Door .......................159

RESTAURANT Brown’s Country Buffet ......................................102 Conestogas Restaurant................................ 102 David’s BBQ ......................................................123 Dave’s NY Deli .......................................................... 48 Franco’s Pizza & Pasta.........................................103 Fuji Sushi ....................................................................103 Gator Q BBQ, Wings and Things ...........44, 103 Gator Domino’s ..............................................5, 15 Great Outdoors ...................................................... 104 El Toro Mexican Food & Salsa ..................... 82 Mad Hatter’s Café ...................................44, 160 Main Street Pizzaria....................................... 104 NY Pizza Plus ..................................................... 82 Pepperoni’s ................................................................ 161 PizzaVito..............................................................151 Radhika’s Vegetarian Café................................ 104 Villaggio’s Pizzeria ...........................................46

EMPLOYMENT American Diversified Publications ................108

MISCELLANEOUS Alachua County EPD ...................................... 95

www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 165


page

20 >> HAVE A SEAT

Dana Patton and Barbara Hendrix of the Newberry Main Street program stand with some of the more than two dozen chairs to be auctioned at a December fundraiser for the Firehouse Gallery and Renovations. photo by Janice Kaplan

166 | Winter 2010


the Liquor & Wine Shoppe at Jonesville Huge Selection of Wines, Beers, Champagnes and more!

14451 Newberry road CVS

CR 241

ER N EW B

The or Liqu Wine & ppe Sho

. RY R D

Kangaroo

Turn at CVS in Jonesville and come straght to us.

352-332-3308 theliquorshoppe@bellsouth.net 9-9 Mon-Thurs, 9-10 Fri-Sat www.VisitOurTowns.com

Winter 2010 | 167


Welcome to

Ashton Ridge

NEW HOMES STARTING AT:

$

112,900

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

206 NE 1st Street High Springs, Fl 32643

Damon Watson 352.215.6986

Leslie Morgan 352.339.5095

Home Builders of North Florida, Inc

CBC #1256897

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

http://www.visitourtowns.com/issues/nbjv/OTNB-Winter2010  

http://www.visitourtowns.com/issues/nbjv/OTNB-Winter2010.pdf