Houzzers on Houzz.com Say

Houzzers on Houzz.com Say: Dream Kitchen Must-Haves

 

by Becky Harris

Houzzers on Houzz.com Say

 

The kitchen above one among many must have for kitchens. This kitchen features a Pot filler. This handy faucet means no more having to schlep a heavy pasta pot full of water from the sink to the stove-top.

Bianco Antico: Granite

Bianco Antico: Granite used in kitchen above

The Granite counter top featured in this display is called Bianco Antico and isoffered in our Jackson Stoneworks Stoneyard, located on 1111 SW 22nd Ave, Gainesville, FL.

 

 

Hidden knife storageThe Kitchen below features a Hidden knife storage. These boxes pop up from the counter. Similar systems exist for storing other items, like herbs and even iPod devices.

Big cabinet drawers. Houzzers want to make the most of every square inch of storage space. Big drawers, especially those with dish racks and other inserts, maximize bottom cabinets’ storage potential.

Kitchen and Bath

Kitchen Remodel Costs: The Mid- to-Upper-Range Kitchen Remodel

by Bud Dietrich, Houzz.com contributor 

Kitchen and BathSeems that whenever I meet a potential new client, the first question is, “How much will this project cost?” I then try to explain that this is like asking, “How long is a piece of string?”
 

You see, there are just too many things that will influence a project’s cost. From basic construction issues, such as repairing what may need repairs, to client selections for cabinets, appliances and everything else, to whether or not we plan on moving things around or adding space, there are so many variables that come into play.

What if the existing kitchen layout doesn’t work? Maybe you want more space because you really love to bake and want a place to roll and cut out all those holiday cookies. Or a kitchen island is something you’ve always wanted so that friends and family can sit nearby as you display your culinary skills.

A $40,000 to $75,000 kitchen remodel might include:

 1. A total rework of the space. Everything, including the kitchen sink, may need to be moved, which means new plumbing, electrical, air ducts and so on. 

2. Professional-style appliances. From the 48-inch built-in stainless steel refrigerator to the 48-inch cooktop with grille and griddle to the 30-inch double convection ovens, this kitchen is all about creating wonderful meals.

3. Custom island. And if you want an island, why not make it like some large piece of furniture with legs and beadboard? It’s a perfect place for the kids to sit and do homework while the evening meal is being prepared.

 

4. Custom cabinetry. Beaded, inset doors of clear alder with a custom stain and glaze in nonstandard sizes with all the accessories make for a beautiful and functional kitchen at a cost.

5. Designer hardware. Forget about using big-box knobs and handles. Take the time to find the pieces that are special. After all, you will be using these things constantly.

6. Wood flooring. Wood or porcelain tile or a stone floor will be more costly than a vinyl tile or sheet.

 

7. Stone counters and a glass tile backsplash. A quartz or natural stone material such as granite will certainly be more costly than a laminate top. For some, the look and feel of these materials is worth the extra cost. And while laminate may start to look used and nicked up in a few years, stone will be fresh and new looking for years, even decades, after first being installed.

 

8. Custom storage. With custom cabinets, you don’t have to settle for what’s stocked. So if you want a cabinet designed to handle small appliances with drop-down doors that become extra counter space, custom is the only way to go. 

Smoking: Do you really know the risks?

smokeYou probably know about  the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, but did you know smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases?  Smoking can also increase your risk for cancer of the bladder, throat and mouth, kidneys, cervix and pancreas.  Thinking about quitting? Look at the facts!

Why you should quit?

  • Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States.
  • Smoking causes more than one in five deaths in America.
  • 90 percent of lung cancer in men is directly related to smoking and 80 percent of lung cancer in women is caused by cigarettes.
  • About 23 percent of adult men and about 18 percent of adult women smoke.
  • The highest percentage of people who smoke are between the ages of 25 and 44.
  • According to the American Heart Association, most adult smokers started smoking when they were preteens or teenagers. Unfortunately, many young people don’t fully understand the dangers of smoking.
  • About 60 percent of American children ages 4-11 are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
  • On average, smokers die 13 to 14 years earlier than nonsmokers.
  • Since 1965, more than 45 percent of adults who have ever smoked have quit.
  • You can be one of the millions of people who successfully quit every year.

What makes cigarettes so toxic and dangerous?

There are 4,000 chemical components found in cigarettes and at least 250 of them are harmful to human health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here are a few examples:

  • 1,3-Butadine is a chemical used to manufacture rubber.  According to the CDC, smoke2“it may increase risk of cancer in the stomach, blood and lymphatic system.”
  • Acrolein is a gas linked to lung cancer. It inhibits DNA repair and can destroy the lining in the lungs that protects you from lung disease.
  • Arsenic is used to preserve wood.  In humans, it can cause heart disease and cancer.
  • Benzene is used to manufacture other chemicals. It can cause cancer, particularly leukemia, in humans.
  • Cadmium is a metal used to make batteries.  Cadmium can interfere with the repair of damaged DNA, as well as damage the kidneys and the lining of the arteries.
  • Chromium VI is used to make alloy metals, paint and dyes.  It has been proven to be linked to lung cancer.
  • Formaldehyde is a chemical used to kill bacteria and preserve human and animal remains.  It’s a known cause of cancer, one of the main substances linked to chronic lung disease and a very toxic ingredient in secondhand smoke.
  • Polonium-210 is a radioactive element inhaled directly into the airway.  Some studies show that people who smoke a pack-and-a-half of cigarettes a day are receiving the same radiation they’d get from 300-plus X-rays per year!
  • Tar is solid, inhaled chemicals linked with an increased risk for cancer.  It also leaves a sticky, brown residue on your lungs, teeth and fingernails.

Carbon monoxide & nicotine: A dangerous duo

Carbon monoxide is a harmful gas you inhale when you smoke.  Once in your lungs, it’s transferred to your bloodstream.  Carbon monoxide decreases the amount of oxygen that is carried in the red blood cells.  It also increases the amount of cholesterol that is deposited into the inner lining of the arteries which, over time, can cause the arteries to harden.  This leads to heart disease, artery disease and possibly heart attack.
Nicotine is a dangerous and highly addictive chemical. It can cause an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, flow of blood to the heart and a narrowing of the arteries (vessels that carry blood). Nicotine may also contribute to the hardening of the arterial walls, which in turn, may lead to a heart attack. This chemical can stay in your body for six to eight hours depending on how often you smoke.  Also, as with most addictive substances, there are some side effects of withdrawal.

Second-Hand Smoke

Smokers aren’t the only ones affected by tobacco smoke. Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for nonsmokers, especially children. Nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart diseases when they’re exposed to secondhand smoke.

Environmental tobacco smoke causes about 46,000 heart disease deaths and 3,400 lung cancer deaths. Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25-30 percent higher among people exposed to environmental tobacco smoke at home or work. Secondhand smoke promotes illness, too. Children of smokers have many more respiratory infections than do children of nonsmokers. Nonsmoking women exposed to tobacco smoke are also more likely to have low-birthweight babies. Excerpted and adapted from “When Risk Factors Unite,” appearing in the Stroke Connection Magazine January/February 2005 (Science update May 2008)

These are just a few of the dangerous chemicals found in cigarettes; there are many more.  But you do not have to spend the rest of your life giving in to your addiction! Thousands of people kick the habit every year, and you can be one of them.  It may not be easy, but you can do it!

BEST COLLEGE TOWNS FOR BUYING RENTALS, FLIPPING IN 2014

RealtyTrac has ranked the top 10 college towns for buying rental properties, and the top 10 college towns for flipping in 2014.  For these rankings, RealtyTrac looked at public four-year universities with a total 2012 enrollment of 20,000 or more based on data from the National Center for Education Statistics and located in counties with an unemployment rate below the national average of 6.2 percent in June 2014.

Top 10 for buying rentals
The top 10 college towns for buying rental properties were ranked based on annual gross rental yield, which is the annualized rental income — using average fair market rents for the town from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development —divided by the average of the median sales prices in the city during the first eight months of 2014. With an average rental yield of nearly 14 percent, the city of Akron Ohio, home of the University of Akron, tops the list of top college towns for buying rental properties. Following closely is Trenton, N.J., home of Thomas Edison State College, with an average gross rental yield of 13.20 percent, Gainesville, Fla., home to the University of Florida, with an average gross rental yield of 11.34 percent.

Top 10 for flipping
The top 10 college towns for flipping were ranked based on the average gross return on investment (ROI) percentage for single family homes flipped in the town during the first eight months of 2014. Not all college towns had sufficient sales, rental or flipping data to rank. Topping the list of the best college towns for flipping is Minneapolis, Minn., home of the University of Minnesota, with an ROI for flipping of 65.59 percent. Close behind is Seattle, Wash., home of the University of Washington, with an ROI on flipping of 61.88 percent and Lincoln, Neb., home of the University of Nebraska, with an ROI on flipping of 55.01 percent.

“Boulder shows strong rental rates with rents of $800 to $1,000 per bedroom close to campus and a vacancy rate of 1 percent,” said Greg Smith, broker/owner of RE/MAX Alliance in Boulder, Colo.“Boulder investment properties are selling at an all-time high with many properties selling for cap rates of less than five percent.”

Investment opportunity in 95 college towns
RealtyTrac also created an interactive visual showing the investment opportunities — both for renting and flipping when data is available — for 95 college towns that are home to some of the nation’s largest public universities. We limited this list to public four-year universities with a total student enrollment of 20,000 or more.

3 Things To Do Now If You Want To Stay In Your Home As You Age

Most of us want to remain independent in our homes as long as we can. Making some simple changes as you remodel through the years can help you continue to live comfortably in your home as you age.

The same changes can also make your home more marketable if you decide to sell because your home will appeal to buyers who need accessible homes as well as those who don’t.

What The Data Says

recent study from AARP and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies found much of the nation’s housing inventory lacks basic accessibility features that help older people, especially those with disabilities, live safely and comfortably in their homes.

While you may not currently have a disability, chances are pretty good you eventually will. The Centers for Disease Control says that 56.5 percent of women and 45.3 percent of men age 65 and older have a disability.

3 Things You Can Do

Here are three things you can do as you remodel your home over the years:

1. When you replace door knobs and faucets, opt for lever-stylehandles. Arthritis and rheumatism are the most common causes of disability and lever-style handles are easier to use than round knobs.

2. Considering knocking down walls to open up your kitchen or remodeling your bathroom or owner’s suite?

Ask your architect or home improvement contractor to widen doorways and hallways to make them more wheelchair friendly.

If you remodel the master bath, replace that giant jetted tub you never use with a luxurious roll-in shower you can use now and years from now.

Then, add a Moen grab bar disguised as a towel rack. Or a toilet paper holder strong enough to use to lever yourself up.

3. As you make exterior improvements, look for ways to remove steps. A no-step entry can be beautiful as well as practical if it flows naturally with your landscaping.

Want More Ideas?

Want to know more about universal design and aging in place? Try these resources:

You can always contact me if you need help making home improvement decisions. I know what home features buyers in our market are seeking and can also help you find a reliable contractor.

 

Radiant Fires of Fresno

Radiant Fires Offers Fire Table Components to Granite Fabricators

by Joel Davis

Radiant Fires of Fresno, California, is giving fabricators a new option to convert leftover stone into a new source of income.

The company manufactures high quality, mobile, gas fire pit tables with granite tops. “Basically, the end user is all of us, anybody who lives in an apartment, condo, or house that has an outdoor space can potentiality use one of our fire tables,” said Jeff Hanning, Radiant Fires President and CEO.

Radiant Fires of Fresno

Radiant Fires of Fresno

Radiant Fires offers eight different models ranging from coffee table height to 30-inch seating height to pub table height, ideal for standing or using with barstools. All have hidden casters underneath so they can easily be rolled from one spot on the patio to another.

“All the units are mobile,” Hanning said. “But we want each unit to look like it’s sitting on the ground.”

The units are designed to be fully self-contained and can hold a standard 20-pound propane tank, hidden behind a hinged door. They also can be directly connected to a natural gas or propane source.

Radiant Fires of Fresno

Now, to give stone shops new options for products, Radiant Fires is offering fire table kits that only need a granite top to be installed to be ready to sell. “We thought that was pretty innovative,” Hanning said. “We could sell the units to granite fabricators who have a lot of remnants in the yard. As far as we know, we are the only ones who sell a compete kit. The only thing a fabricator has to do is cut out a piece of granite.”

The base units are manufactured completely in California. All the laser cutting of the metal framework, granite fabrication, powder coating, and final assembly is done in Fresno.

“We believe most fabricators will appreciate the quality — we’re using 14 gauge metal, heavy-duty casters and fittings, all created right here in central California,” Hanning said. “The only thing left to do is make the top out of a scrap, and you’re in business.”

Selling Radiant Fires products can give stone shops the ability to convert ubiquitous leftover granite pieces into profit. “The idea was looking at some commonality among all fabricators,” Hanning said. “We all think, ‘I wish I had a purpose for all that remnant material,’ but it starts to pile high, and we can’t figure out what to do with it.

“We all have really small pieces of stones we can’t do a whole lot with. Most of us really don’t want to throw that stuff away. Most of us save them forever. We’ve all got these huge remnant yards. We try to sell them for bedroom and bathroom vanities, but the pile never seems to go down. Our concept is: put one of these fire tables in the showroom and you’ll find a way to go through the remnants real quick.”

In Hanning’s case, manufacturing the complete units gives him a consistent use for the remnants. “I didn’t want to build a lot of round countertops that would be the wrong size and wrong color if you built them in advance,” he said.

The idea to begin selling the kits to fabrication shops came from a customer request. “We were at a show in Las Vegas and a lady from Washington said (the unit was) going to be too much to ship,” he said.

The customer asked if she could just buy the base unit and get a local stone shop to install the top. “Suddenly, the light bulb comes on – granite guys have granite,” Hanning said. “It occurred to us there would be a ready market. Fabricators have a lot of leftover materials. It saves on shipping cost.”

The design of the units gives fabricators room for flexibility in the size of remnants needed to complete the tables. “We will sell bases to granite fabricators, and they provide the granite top,” Hanning said. “Usually, it is going to take a 4-foot by 4-foot piece of remnant to do probably four out of the eight models. Others would take a 3-by-6. A 4-by-6 would be for the biggest one.”

Radiant Fires of Fresno

Even the biggest table that has room for 10 chairs around it doesn’t require the use of all that much granite, Hanning said. “If you have half a slab left over, it will take care of any of the units we sell. The basic units are fairly narrow. It doesn’t have to have a large overhang. It is all completely customizable. We give them the specs and they can do as much overhang past the base as they want.”

Radiant Fires began developing new models as customers requested other sizes to suit their living conditions.  “It migrated over the last few years, and we have a pretty decent stock of all the models we build in our two standard colors and are ready to take on the world,” Hanning said.

What’s next? Radiant Fires will continue to develop new models in response to the wishes of customers and experiment with the use of different types of stone.

The company continues to develop smaller models for use in limited spaces, Hanning said. “Every time we go to a show or interact with people, they will say, ‘Even your smallest one is too big for me.’”

One thing will stay constant: the quality, Hanning said. “We’re not going to ever do tile tops. We want everything to be made right here in Fresno and central California, so I’m not going to be running off to China to have these bases made to save $50 bucks.

“Probably the designs will change. Three months ago we didn’t have the concept of selling the bases to fabricators. That came to us one day. It’s hard to say what we’ll think of next.”

Hanning’s other business, Paragon Granite Inc., has been fabricating and installing granite, quartz and marble from slab for over 13 years and currently installs approximately 10 kitchens and various other projects per week under the name.

“My personal background is in architecture and construction as I built custom homes since 1984 before I started the granite fab business,” Hanning said. “I saw an opportunity to still be creative and work in the construction industry.”

Founded in 2001, Paragon currently has 20 full-time employees, some of whom it shares with Radiant Fires. “Out of the back 3,000 square feet of that building, we now manufacturer the Radiant Fire tops,” Hanning said. “We use Paragon to build all our granite tops right there in the same shop. It works really well.”

The origins of the Radiant Fires product came from the Hanning household itself. “Approximately seven years ago my wife Penny and I wanted to build a fire pit on our back patio but wanted it to be made out of something other than masonry, and we wanted it to be portable,” he said. “We hired a metal fabricator to build the first one out of angle iron and flat metal stock.

RadiantFires4

“We enjoyed this one for many years, still do, and had numerous people tell us that they believed if we were to build these commercially it would create a great addition to our granite business, and, voilà, RadiantFires.com was born. And as a nice side bonus, we now have very little remnant material cluttering up our yard.”

Visit www.radiantfires.com for more information on these innovative products.

Gainesville Chamber, United Way and YMCA Partner To Host State Legislative Post-Session Briefing October 8

October 1, 2014
topic
Contact: Kamal I. Latham, VP of Public Policy
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 352.378.2498
Email: Kamal@gainesvillechamber.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gainesville Chamber, United Way and YMCA Partner To Host State Legislative Post-Session Briefing October 8

Featuring State Senator Bradley, Rep. Perry, Rep. Porter and Rep. Watson
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of North Central Florida and the North Central Florida YMCA are partnering to host a State Legislative Post-Session Briefing featuring State Senator Rob Bradley, State Representative W. Keith Perry, State Representative Elizabeth Porter and State Representative Clovis Watson, Jr.

The state legislators will update the citizens of Alachua County on the outcomes of the 2014 Legislative Session and their impact. The briefing will be held on Wednesday, October 8th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at the YMCA located at 5201 NW 34th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32605. A question and answer session will follow the update from the state legislators. This event is free and open to the public.

“The Gainesville Chamber is delighted to collaborate with the United Way and YMCA to host our state legislators for this public briefing,” said Mike Giampietro, Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Chamber Board of Directors. “We look forward to hearing about legislative developments in 2014 impacting businesses, their employees, and the people they serve in this region,” added Giampietro.

“United Way of North Central Florida is pleased to be partnering with the Chamber and the YMCA on such an important event,” said Dana P. Clayton, Interim President and CEO of the United Way of North Central Florida. “United Way believes that by working together, we all can make a greater impact on the future of our community. Our primary areas of focus are health, education and income. With so many important matters on the legislative agenda, we need to know what choices are being made that will directly impact these areas. We are thankful for this opportunity to hear directly from our elected officials,” added Clayton.

“This event is a great opportunity for some of the leading organizations serving the Gainesville region to offer a platform for our state political leaders to share with the people we serve the progress achieved to better our community,” said John A. Bonacci III, CEO of the North Central Florida YMCA.

Representative Perry, Chair, 2014 Alachua County Legislative Delegation believes that “more and more businesses are choosing to open their doors in Florida because of the environment for job creation the Florida Legislature has helped foster. Less regulation, lower taxes and more economic opportunities are what makes Florida such a great place to do business,” as quoted by Florida House Speaker Designate Crisafulli.

About the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Formed in 1924, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the Gainesville area. Representing pver 1,200 members that employ more than 70,000 employees, the Chamber is leading the effort to make the Gainesville region a global hub for talent, innovation, and opportunity. The Chamber is 5-star accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, putting it in the top 1% of all Chambers nationwide. Learn more at www.GainesvilleChamber.com or call us at 352.334.7100.

 

Gainesville Chamber, United Way and YMCA Partner To Host State Legislative Post-Session Briefing October 8

October 1, 2014
topic
Contact: Kamal I. Latham, VP of Public Policy
Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Phone: 352.378.2498
Email: Kamal@gainesvillechamber.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Gainesville Chamber, United Way and YMCA Partner To Host State Legislative Post-Session Briefing October 8

Featuring State Senator Bradley, Rep. Perry, Rep. Porter and Rep. Watson
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of North Central Florida and the North Central Florida YMCA are partnering to host a State Legislative Post-Session Briefing featuring State Senator Rob Bradley, State Representative W. Keith Perry, State Representative Elizabeth Porter and State Representative Clovis Watson, Jr.

The state legislators will update the citizens of Alachua County on the outcomes of the 2014 Legislative Session and their impact. The briefing will be held on Wednesday, October 8th from 5:30pm – 7:00pm at the YMCA located at 5201 NW 34th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32605. A question and answer session will follow the update from the state legislators. This event is free and open to the public.

“The Gainesville Chamber is delighted to collaborate with the United Way and YMCA to host our state legislators for this public briefing,” said Mike Giampietro, Chair of the Public Policy Committee of the Chamber Board of Directors. “We look forward to hearing about legislative developments in 2014 impacting businesses, their employees, and the people they serve in this region,” added Giampietro.

“United Way of North Central Florida is pleased to be partnering with the Chamber and the YMCA on such an important event,” said Dana P. Clayton, Interim President and CEO of the United Way of North Central Florida. “United Way believes that by working together, we all can make a greater impact on the future of our community. Our primary areas of focus are health, education and income. With so many important matters on the legislative agenda, we need to know what choices are being made that will directly impact these areas. We are thankful for this opportunity to hear directly from our elected officials,” added Clayton.

“This event is a great opportunity for some of the leading organizations serving the Gainesville region to offer a platform for our state political leaders to share with the people we serve the progress achieved to better our community,” said John A. Bonacci III, CEO of the North Central Florida YMCA.

Representative Perry, Chair, 2014 Alachua County Legislative Delegation believes that “more and more businesses are choosing to open their doors in Florida because of the environment for job creation the Florida Legislature has helped foster. Less regulation, lower taxes and more economic opportunities are what makes Florida such a great place to do business,” as quoted by Florida House Speaker Designate Crisafulli.

About the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Formed in 1924, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in the Gainesville area. Representing pver 1,200 members that employ more than 70,000 employees, the Chamber is leading the effort to make the Gainesville region a global hub for talent, innovation, and opportunity. The Chamber is 5-star accredited by the United States Chamber of Commerce, putting it in the top 1% of all Chambers nationwide. Learn more at www.GainesvilleChamber.com or call us at 352.334.7100.

 

Longleaf Partnership Restoration Project Walkthrough

The Kincaid Loop Longleaf Pine Restoration Partnership (Longleaf Partnership) will be hosting a walk on Saturday, September 27, 2014, to show the areas for a restoration project of the longleaf pine and sandhill ecology in the Sweetwater Preserve and Boulware Springs Nature Park. Those wishing to participate can meet up at 9:00 a.m. at Boulware Springs Nature Park, located at 33000 S.E. 15th Street, in the parking area near the Gainesville/Hawthorne State Trail. Staff from both the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department and the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department will show participants areas in various stages of restoration and talk about the upcoming project.

The Kincaid Loop Longleaf Pine Restoration Partnership (Longleaf Partnership) was formed to facilitate restoration of longleaf pine forests in Southeast Gainesville. Partners include Alachua County, the City of Gainesville, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, private conservation land owners, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Nature Conservancy. Partners cooperate on restoration activities, longleaf pine education projects, obtaining restoration funding, and sharing knowledge of restoration practices.

This fall through the Longleaf Partnership, the County and the City of Gainesville are implementing a project to remove invasive hardwoods from the sandhill at Sweetwater Preserve and Boulware Springs. The lack of regular fire in these areas has allowed hardwoods, such as laurel oaks, to invade the sandhill and form dense thickets that crowd out longleaf pines and inhibit growth of groundcover plants, thus reducing the fine fuels necessary for low-intensity fires that are vital to a healthy sandhill natural community.

Participants are advised to wear closed toe shoes and bring sunscreen and drinking water. The walk is anticipated to last until 12:00 p.m.

For more information or for persons with disabilities who require assistance, please call Sandra Vardaman, land conservation biologist, at 352-264-6803.

Dixie Desperados

The Dixie Desperados Play at the “Free Fridays” Concert Series Oct. 17

CITY OF GAINESVILLE

                       Parks, Recreation and                   Cultural Affairs Department

              RELEASE DATE:  Oct. 1, 2014                                        CONTACT: David Ballard, Event Coordinator
Email: ballarddg@cityofgainesville.org
Telephone: 352-393-8746

Gainesville, Fla. The southern rock band Dixie Desperados will play for the first time at the “Free Fridays” Concert series Friday, Oct. 17.

Dixie Desperados

Formed in Gainesville in 1976, the Dixie Desperados include cousins Allan Lowe (guitar/vocals), Mike Chasteen (guitar/vocals), and Gregg McMillan (bass guitar/vocals), along with Jeff Sims (guitar) and Jim Milsaps (drums). Signed by Fantasma Productions, the Dixie Desperados toured the southeastern U.S. roadhouse circuit playing their brand of original southern country rock songs and opening shows for such notables as the Allman Brothers, Axe, Molly Hatchet, Charlie Daniels Band, Henry Paul Band, Johnny Winter, Three Dog Night, Grinderswitch, Louisiana Leroux, Doc Holliday, the Winters Brothers, Johnny Van Zant Band, Pat Travers and New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Despite their success, the band broke up in 1983 as members went in different directions in their lives. They kept in touch, reformed the band in Gainesville in 2012 and started playing a few shows a year, as well as recording a new CD.  They have gone on to play to standing room only crowds at local clubs and, in April 2013, released the CD titled Dixie Desperados.

The Dixie Desperados concert is one of the select “Free Fridays” classic rock concerts that are sponsored by classic rock radio station WIND-FM (92.5, 95.5, 107.9).

The 2014 “Free Fridays” concert series is produced by the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.  This activity has been funded in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council,

a grant from the Florida Department of State,  Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and a sponsorship from the Downtown Hampton Inn & Suites. The concerts will play each Friday night this year from Friday, May 2 through Friday, Oct. 24 from 8-10 p.m. at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, which is located at 111 E. University Ave. To view the complete “Free Fridays” 2014 schedule, please visit the Cultural Affairs Division website at www.gvlculturalaffairs.org. For more information on “Free Fridays,” or to schedule an interview, please contact David Ballard at 352-393-8746.

Staying Hydrated – Staying Healthy

When the temperatures rise, getting enough to drink is important whether you’re playing sports, traveling or just sitting in the sun.imiage

And it’s critical for your heart health.
Keeping the body hydrated helps the heart more easily pump blood through the blood vessels to the muscles. And, it helps the muscles remove waste so that they can work efficiently.

“If you’re well hydrated, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard,” said John Batson, M.D, a sports medicine physician with Lowcountry Spine & Sport in Hilton Head Island, S.C., and an American Heart Association volunteer.

 

Dehydration can be a serious condition that can lead to problems ranging from swollen feet or a headache to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

How much water do you need?
What does being well hydrated mean? The amount of water a person needs depends on climatic conditions, clothing worn and exercise intensity and duration, Batson said.

A person who perspires heavily will need to drink more than someone who doesn’t. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, may also mean you need to drink more to avoid over-taxing the heart or other organs.  People with cystic fibrosis have high concentrations of sodium in their sweat and also need to use caution to avoid dehydration. And some medications can act as diuretics, causing the body to lose more fluid.

Thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink. “If you get thirsty, you’re already dehydrated,” Batson said.

Batson said the easiest thing to do is pay attention to the color of your urine. Pale and clear means you’re well hydrated. If it’s dark, drink more fluids.

If you want to know exactly how much fluid you need, Batson recommends weighing yourself before and after exercise, to see how much you’ve lost through perspiration. It’s a particular good guide for athletes training in the hot summer months.

“For every pound of sweat you lose, that’s a pint of water you’ll need to replenish,” Batson said, adding that it’s not unusual for a high school football player, wearing pads and running through drills, to lose 5 pounds or more of sweat during a summer practice.

People who are in good shape tend to sweat more, and need to drink more even if they aren’t feeling fatigued, Batson said.

Not sweating during vigorous physical activity can be a red flag that you’re dehydrated to the point of developing heat exhaustion.

Water is best.
For most people, water is the best thing to drink to stay hydrated. Sources of water also include foods, such fruits and vegetables which contain a high percentage of water. Sports drinks with electrolytes, may be useful for people doing high intensity, vigorous exercise in very hot weather, though they tend to be high in calories.

“It’s healthier to drink water while you’re exercising, and then when you’re done, eat a healthy snack like orange slices, bananas or a small handful of unsalted nuts ,” Batson said.

He cautioned against fruit juices or sugary drinks, such as soda. “They can be hard on your stomach if you’re dehydrated,” he said.

It’s also best to avoid drinks containing caffeine, which acts as a diuretic and causes you to lose more fluids.

Batson says drinking before you exercise or go out into the sun is an important first step.

“Drinking water before is much more important,” he said. “Otherwise, you’re playing catch-up and your heart is straining.”

Not just for athletes or exercise.
Hydration isn’t just important during physical activity. Sitting in the sun on a hot or humid day, even if you aren’t exercising, can also cause your body to need more fluids.

People who have a heart condition, are older than 50 or overweight may also have to take extra precautions.

It’s also a good thing to keep tabs on if you’re traveling.

“You might sweat differently if you’re in a different climate,” Batson said.

Have Your Open Kitchen and Close It Off Too

Get the best of both worlds with a kitchen that can hide or be in plain sight, thanks to doors, curtains and savvy design

by Jennifer Ott
Houzz contributor
Let mestate up front that in the great debate on open versus closed kitchens, I am firmly on the open-plan team. I have helped dozens of design clients tear down walls and open up kitchens to adjoining spaces, and demo day always brings big smiles as the homeowners get their first glimpse of what the newly opened-up kitchen is going to look and feel like.But after years of living with open kitchens, I realize there are many detractors among us. There are those who cook and entertain often and don’t particularly like to have their kitchen mess in open view of their guests.Some would rather not smell their dinner through the house long after it’s been prepared and eaten. I propose that you can have your open-plan kitchen but employ some tricks to close it off to hide a mess, or to keep your guests out from underfoot while you prepare their feast.

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Give Yourself OptionsConsider installing a large sliding barn door or two, to allow you the flexibility of having an open orclosed kitchen. You can keep it open for everyday use — to enjoy the open, expansive feel and circulation of light — while having the option to shut those doors if you want to keep kids, pets or visitors out, or to hide the prep mess while entertaining.

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Close off the part of the kitchen that sees the most action — such as the area near the main sink or range. You can keep the rest of the kitchen, which perhaps doesn’t get as messy, open and accessible to all.
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If you want to be able to close off the kitchen but still want an open feeling and light, install a door made of a translucent material. You can shut it to block out cooking smells or sounds without feeling completely closed off from the rest of the house.
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These folding doors above the island are a brilliant way to create a hybrid open-closed kitchen.
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Visually Close It OffThis is a cool option for a contemporary loft space. Metal mesh curtains installed on a track allow the kitchen to easily go from open to closed. The kitchen still has an open feel, but the curtain can disguise any kitchen messes. It certainly discourages visitors from getting in the way while someone is elbow deep in meal prep, too.

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Raise Your IslandIf it’s not so much kids or guests circulating into your kitchen space that bothers you, but more a need to disguise meal-prep messes, try raising the far end of your island. It will give visitors a nice place to perch at while you work at the sink or cooktop, too.

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Half Wall
Add a Half WallThis kitchen opens up to the adjacent dining space, but a half wall provides some separation. It also hides most of the work surfaces in the kitchen from view. This setup means someone can easily mingle with and serve guests without having the remains of the meal prep on full display.

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Vent the SmellsIf you have an open-plan kitchen and cook often, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to install a high-quality, properly powered ventilation hood that vents to the outside. A recirculating blower just won’t cut it; you need to get the cooking smells up and out of your home.

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Invest in Quieter AppliancesYou want your vent hood to efficiently eliminate kitchen odors in an open kitchen, and you also want it to be quiet. Some vent hoods and dishwashers are so loud when they are running, it’s like you’re hanging out on an aircraft carrier when you’re near them. Good sound-dampened appliances are going to cost you more, but they’re worth it if you are committed to an open-plan concept and don’t want to hear excessive appliance noise.