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    In Beetlejuice, Haunting Is Another Kind of Quarantine – - April 22, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Geffen/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock


    "I'm just so glad we're spending our vacation at home," newlywed Barbara Maitland (Geena Davis) declares at the beginning of Tim Burton's 1988 horror-comedy Beetlejuice. She means it, too. This isn't someone who's making the best of a bad situation: She likes the house she shares with Adam (Alec Baldwin); she's happy with the way they've decorated it; she seems to be really into cleaning; and there's a model of the town they live in sitting in the attic waiting to be tinkered with. The Maitlands have what so many of us wish for: the time and space to sit around the house, pursuing little side projects and hanging out with a significant other. Or, I should say, they have what so many of us wished for. But things look different on the other side.

    After dying in an accident, the Maitlands find themselves haunting their home. Though it takes a moment to get used to, it's not all that different from vacation mode. There are small issuesBarbara can't use the vacuum cleaner because it's in the garage, and any time they step out of the house they fall into a Dali-esque purgatorybut for the most part, it's fine. They adjust to the new normal. That is, until the house gets sold to the Deetzes, New Yorkers fleeing the city who have big plans for remodeling. The arrival of the home's new owners, coupled with the realization that they'll be haunting their home for 125 years, troubles the deceased couple's extended vacation. But Beetlejuice isn't a cautionary tale about being careful (or at least specific) about what you wish for. The real problem posed by the film comes down to process: To get the Deetzes out, the Maitlands have to learn new skills, follow a complex set of rules for the recently deceased, and navigate a labyrinthine afterlife casework system. Dying is no big deal; it's the bureaucracy that'll kill you.

    Beetlejuice consistently surprises with what it chooses to emphasize and what it treats as commonplace. The film repeatedly makes the point that death is the least strange aspect of the Maitlands' journey. For instance, Burton gives the film's idyllic set-up a foreboding gloss: In the opening moments, as the camera soars over the town, the streets are completely empty. It looks like Adam's modelor like Dustin Hoffman and the crew from Outbreak already came through. Seconds later, a spider climbs across buildings on the actual model, and Adam gently plucks it from the structure, coos at it amiablyand throws it out the window. I don't know anything about spiders that wasn't covered in Charlotte's Web, but this seems a bit intense.

    Delia Deetz (Catherine O'Hara), meanwhile, has very little trouble adjusting to the idea that there are ghosts in the house, but she simply cannot abide their taste. "They're in there?" she asks when her goth stepdaughter Lydia (Winona Rider) tells her the Maitlands are in the attic. "They must live like animals!" Minutes later she's reminding Lydia of a life lesson that seems to precede their extraordinary circumstances: "You have got to take the upper hand in all situations, or peoplewhether they're dead or alivewill walk all over you." The key to navigating the world in Beetlejuice, then, is to know the rulesor make up your own. And that's especially clear with the introduction of the titular character (Michael Keaton), who must be invoked three times to be released. He's not vanquished until Barbara decides she's can, in fact, go into the Dali desert and ride a sandsnake into the house. To best the bureaucratic strangeness of life and afterlife, you have to know when to follow the rules and when to rely on your own inventiveness.

    Geffen/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

    As is the case with many horror-comedies (including Death Becomes Her, which we revisited earlier this week), piercing the veil between life and death has an effect not unlike pulling back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz: it exposes the small but consequential untruths we've glommed onto because we think we need them to survive. In Beetlejuice, one untruth is that the living know how to live. When Adam asks Lydia how she's able to see dead people, she replies that she's read the whole Handbook for the Recently Deceased. "It says, 'Live people ignore the strange and unusual.'" The Deetzes are presented as the otherworldly intruders in the home, rather than the ghosts who walk the halls. In this world, it's the living who are haunting their own lives.

    The opportunity presented by the filmand by the Maitlands' staycation, to which they happily returnis the chance to pay attention to the strange and unusual, and to treat it like a part of the fabric of every day: to be present in the strangeness, even while absent from lifemetaphysically or otherwise.

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    In Beetlejuice, Haunting Is Another Kind of Quarantine -

    Pod People: San Antonio-based Podcasts That Can Help You While Away the Time in Quarantine – San Antonio Current - March 28, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Theres never been a better time to plug into free content. If cabin fever has you doing some impromptu remodeling or long-put-off yard work, podcasts make perfect companions. These local RSS feeds let us listen in on diverse San Antonians who at least sound like theyre all in the same room.

    All My Hexes

    All My Hexes is an actual-play tabletop gaming podcast that makes out-of-this-world horror feel very close to home even eerily quaint at times. Listeners can join four quirky investigators as they role-play their way through weird happenings in the fictional oil-boom town of Hext, Texas the kind of town where you can blink and miss it if youre driving down the highway. Game master and writer Bernetta McFergus has been professionally running RPGs in San Antonio for years, but the idea for Hext came from her experience ghost hunting throughout South Texas. By using the Monster of the Week ruleset which involves much fewer dice rolls than Dungeons & Dragons the show feels less like a game and more like an improvised radio play. Right now, the Hext gang is releasing bonus weekly episodes of a previously Patreon-exclusive storyline while they get a virtual table set-up for their next adventure. New episodes drop Wednesdays and are available at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and other podcatchers.

    Comedia A Go-GoPresents Public Axis

    You know those twisted conversations you have with only your closest friends that end up being really funny in a way that can never see the light of day? Comedia A Go-Go members Larry Garza, Jess Castro and Regan Arevalos have done something like that every third Friday of the month in front of a live audience at Blind Tiger Comedy Club and recorded it. The result is Public Axis, a roundtable discussion podcast featuring guest comedians, filmmakers and various artists spinning out unfiltered thoughts on nerdtastic subjects in pop culture, video games, science news and nostalgia. Naturally, new recordings arent happening right now, but CAGG has yet to release a handful of their latest shows. The casts are available at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and other major podcatchers, with new episodes exclusively at The Problem Attic

    It stands to reason that interesting people have interesting problems. Thats the premise of comedian Zach Dicksons recently launched The Problem Attic, which he calls the worst advice podcast ever. At some point in each episode, Dickson asks his guests mostly Texan comedians and other entertainment personalities whats wrong with them, which inevitably leads to copious tangents and first-hand accounts of bad decisions. Are lessons learned? Maybe. But as Dickson says: Its the problem attic, not an answer cellar. Dickson has been releasing two episodes a week since February 5 and shows no signs of slowing, so this pod should make for perfect binging. No set release schedule. Available at Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, Stitcher and other major podcatchers.

    Willful Ignorance Podcast

    If youve ever wanted insight into the world of stand-up, the Willful Ignorance Podcast lets you sink into a virtual couch and chill with some of the funniest people in Texas. Joshua Cabaza and George Anthonys wide range of guest comic offer insights into the funny biz, and the two have worked together to bring even more laughs to the Lone Star State. Their video sketch collabs led them to found a recurring film competition Battle of the Sketches, in which they pit entries against each other in a live Battle Royale tour of U.S. cities, including a final round sponsored by Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. Their YouTube channel FMCW Studios also showcases a plethora of sketch comedy, including animated web series Blair and the Bear. New episodes on Thursdays. Available at Apple Podcasts, YouTube, SoundCloud and other major podcatchers.

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    Pod People: San Antonio-based Podcasts That Can Help You While Away the Time in Quarantine - San Antonio Current

    Rosie on the House: Buying or selling? What to expect from home inspection – Green Valley News - March 5, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    You finally got an offer on your house and the buyer had a home inspection done. But the report says that several items may not be up to standards or are in need of repair or replacing.

    So, what do you do? You have been informed about items or issues in your home that you did not know about; or maybe you did know about them but havent had the time or know-how to fix them. And do you really have to replace your old water heater or dishwasher for the buyer?

    Most real estate agents representing buyers recommend having a home inspection before completing a sale. They do it, of course, to protect the buyer from unknown or undisclosed issues and to give them a better understanding of the home they are about to buy.

    Home inspection reports are based on a visual inspection of the property as observed at the time of the inspection. It should state what items are in need of immediate major repair and any recommendations to correct, monitor or evaluate by appropriate persons. A report might state the condition of the water heater tank or the roof and make a prediction that it is near the end of use. It may also advise that issues be further reviewed by a qualified and licensed contractor.

    If you dont agree with what a home inspector found, you can have your own inspector come in to give a second opinion. Remember to have a qualified licensed Arizona home inspector so that the report has validity.

    You also have to discern significant structural problems mentioned in the report from the aesthetic issues. The report may mention appliances or operating components in the home that may need replacing. But what is much more important is any significant findings, like cracks in the foundation. Little cracks in a wall mean there has been some settling, which is common, but when all the doors in the hallway stick or dont latch or the door frames are out of square, that could mean a more significant and troubling foundation problem.

    Another issue might be remodeling that may not measure up to the building code or workmanship standards. Thats why its always important before starting a big project in your house to get permits when the work involves structural modifications, electricity, gas lines or changes in water lines, as well as additions to the floor plan. And always use a licensed and qualified contractor. Sometimes a home inspector may question those types of situations and if you dont have the proper documentation on who did the work, you may be saying goodbye to this buyer.

    I always recommend checking with the appropriate building department and do a history check to verify all remodeling was done with a building permit, then get a list of the licensed contractors who completed the work.

    Reports can talk about whether some situations dont meet general building and safety standards, and it's usually best to upgrade those areas. That often becomes the buyers responsibility.

    Remember, as the seller, you must reveal everything you know about your home. However, you dont have to fix anything but the warrantied items in the homes and your Realtor knows what these are.

    Other common problems we see in home inspections:

    Not enough attic insulation

    Lack of GFIC outlets (ground fault interrupter circuits)

    Peeling exterior paint

    Roof repair or replacement

    Generally speaking, no house is perfect, and the home inspectors report is not a work list for the buyer. If the inspection turns up problems, most buyers and sellers end up getting them fixed before escrow or including money in the final settlement of the sale to pay for the new roof or rusty water heater.

    For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert for 35 years, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program, heard locally from 8 to 11 a.m. on KNST-AM (790) in Tucson and from 7 to 10 a.m. on KGVY-AM (1080) and -FM (100.7) in Green Valley. Call 888-767-4348.

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    Rosie on the House: Buying or selling? What to expect from home inspection - Green Valley News

    Home builder confidence high, but cost and availability of homes are issues | – Mississippi Business Journal - February 25, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder


    The current mood of home builders in Mississippi and across the country is better now than it has been since the Great Recession, said David Saulters, immediate past president of the Home Builders Association of Mississippi (HBAM) and owner of Sigma Companies and RE-MAX Real Estate Partners in Hattiesburg.

    It took a long time for the construction business to make it through the Great Recession, Saulters said.

    According to the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), builder confidence is at an all-time high. However, in both Mississippi and the rest of the country, there is a lack of inventory, particularly when it comes to affordable housing.

    I see that from the real estate side of my business, Saulters said. The question is, Can builders deliver homes that are affordable for the buyer and still profitable for the builders to be able to make a living? The cost of materials and labor has moved up and home prices have moved up, too, but not enough to have an adequate margin for builders.

    Risks builders take include constructing spec houses that either dont sell or sell slowly. Another factor can be homes failing to appraise for the sales price needed to allow builders an adequate profit margin.

    Custom homes have done pretty well, but I dont think consumers understand the risks builders take with spec houses, he said. Not only does the builder take risks from the selling standpoint, but the warranties require builders stand behind the homes structural items for six years.

    Saulters said Hattiesburg is a super market for homes. Petal in Forrest County, as well as Oak Grove in Lamar County, have traditionally done well, but now so are Sumrall and Purvis.

    Finding an adequate skilled labor force continues to be a challenge for homebuilders, said HBAM Executive Vice President Jimmie B. Reynolds.

    There is definitely a shortage of construction workers, Reynolds said. There are more jobs than people to fill those jobs. From comments Gov. Tate Reeves has made, he is focused on that. One of governors big things is workforce development and we want to be a big part of that. The leadership in the legislature also knows there is a shortage.

    One strategy for filling the need now and in the future is to introduce young people to careers in the building trades such as electrical, plumbing, masonry and carpentry. Reynolds said it is important to get past the mindset that everyone needs to attend a four-year college.

    There are incredible opportunities for lifetime careers for young people to go into the construction trades, and we want to make sure that public schools are providing educational opportunities to show students what good-paying jobs are out there for them, Reynolds said. There is great money to made without graduating from a four-year college or university with a large amount of student loan debt.

    Home builders want to protect the public by preventing unscrupulous people from taking advantages of consumers. Reynolds said one way to do this is to make sure home builders are licensed and meet minimum requirements set by the state.

    The Mississippi State Board of Contractors requirements set minimum standards, he said. We encourage the public to use licensed and insured contractors and builders.

    But it is important to prevent onerous legislation that raises costs for builders and buyers. Reynolds is at the Mississippi Legislature on a regular basis monitoring legislation that would impact the home building industry.

    Right now, the strong economy has created a good environment for home builders, Reynolds said. But it is important to keep track of regulatory changes.

    Our association has a lot to offer builders. There are many benefits to being a member of the association. A lot of times folks dont realize HBAM and NAHB are all about advocacy, working really hard every day to make sure to look out for the home building industry and the consumer.

    Nationally, there is an affordability issue which is partly related to government regulations, said Kenneth Estes, owner, Estes Building & Remodeling, Tupelo, president of the Homebuilders and Remodeling Association of Northeast Mississippi, a HBAM state representative, and immediate past chairman of the Area 8 region of NAHB.

    The president has tried to ease some of the regulatory burden, Estes said. He has gone back and reversed some of the laws President Obama put in effect. NAHB has estimated that out of the average cost of a new home, 25 to 30 percent is some form of local, state or national regulations.

    One example he gave is the standards dictating toilets use less water. Estes said there is a proposal to lower it once again from the current standard, which would drive up construction costs even more. Another proposal would require attic insulation in some climate zones go up from R-30 to R-49. While more energy efficient, it might take 15 years to recover the costs in energy saving. Estes said this would be a cost difficult to pass on to buyers.

    Other proposals he thinks would unnecessarily drive up costs are requiring mandatory electric car charging stations in all residential construction, and mandatory air testing for tightness in all duct work.

    There is no appraisal value for that, Estes said. It is just an expense the builders would have to incur and try to pass on to the consumer. NAHB is working to combat those changes.

    Estes agrees home building is healthy overall. The economy continues to grow in Mississippi and the nation, and people are still building new homes across the nation.

    There are some pockets doing better than others, Estes said. You always have that even in a down economy. The market in Tupelo is pretty good, although still not back to pre-Recession levels. Right now, in Tupelo there is still a lot of residential construction and commercial construction is very hot.

    Estes agrees with others in HBAM that there are major issues with workforce availability.

    In recent years locally, Ive probably averaged a phone call a month from someone wanting a job in construction, Estes said. I havent had a call in ten months from anyone asking for a job. The phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting jobs bid, but there is not enough labor force to get the jobs done. It takes longer to get onto jobs once you get them bid because of the lack of labor.


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    Home builder confidence high, but cost and availability of homes are issues | - Mississippi Business Journal

    Spring edition of In Wheeling magazine focuses on the renovation of older homes – WTRF - February 22, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    WHEELING, W. Va. (WTRF) Architect and designer Elena DAngelo, originally of Rome, has brought her old-world style to Wheeling, while creating spaces tailored to modern families.She says in Europe, they never tear down and build new.

    We just believe in preservation and restoration so we try to blend in the new with the old, she said.

    Shes currently working on a 1937 two-story frame home at 306 Jefferson Avenue, Wheeling, where she loves the woodwork and the clean square lines.

    She says Americans watch home renovation shows and believe we can do it ourselves, but thats often not accurate.

    Even the professionals get surprised, finding decades and layers of wall coverings and paint.

    Elenas company, Advanced Design, and Remodeling discovered one paint with a glassy surface that cant be painted over.

    It just dries and peels right back off, said Debbie Wilkinson, painter and creative advisor. So weve had to do some research and weve had to talk and weve had to figure out how to work with tha surface.

    Elena leaves one piece of her artwork in every house she rehabs, usually painted on a door.And she says an open floor plan doesnt work in every house.

    Like every European woman, I think that the house is the mirror of your personality, so if somebody steps in my house, I dont want that person to see the mess in the sink, she said. So that kitchen needs a door!

    She prefers hard floors to carpets all through the house, with one exception.

    I do carpet the bedrooms because I believe it brings warmth to the room because, you know, when you wake up in the morning, you dont want to put your feet on the icy floor, she explained.

    They say Elena is not a house flipper looking for a quick turnaround.

    She walks into a place and she enhances the design of the house, said Wilkinson.

    She sees the modern familys desire for extra spaces like a man cave or a home office.

    In the house on Jefferson Avenue, she created rooms in a charming unfinished attic.

    And we add rooms in the basement that can be used for a gym or a family room, Wilkinson noted.

    They believe a house should be hospitable to guests, all the way down to the floor.

    I always think its not very nice when people come to visit and the homeowner tells them to take their shoes off so they dont get the carpet dirty, Elena said.

    She said the house on Jefferson Avenue will be finished by early March.

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    Spring edition of In Wheeling magazine focuses on the renovation of older homes - WTRF

    Making it in the Magic Valley: 12 local organizations that found success and give back – Twin Falls Times-News - February 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center blossoms during its first year

    Volunteers work Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at the Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center in Rupert.

    RUPERT The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center is a non-profit volunteer-based organization that uses donations of supplies, time and labor to help people in need with school supplies, hygiene kits and supplies for newborns, along with handcrafted quilts, sleeping mats for those experiencing homelessness and learning games for youth or people who experienced a stroke.

    Leslie Garner, Ruperts special projects manager, nominated the nonprofit. Volunteers come together to give of their time, talents and resources to care for those in need, she wrote in her nomination.

    The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center President Becky Schow said the number of regular volunteers that come to lend their time and talents to the project has doubled since the center opened 10 months ago.

    Its easy to understand why people love to come into the center because they know the person who will receive the items really needs the help, she said.

    From left, Becky Schow, Sally * and Kathy Duncan have a photo taken Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at the Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center in Rupert.

    The center networks with about 35 organizations across the region, including schools, nursing homes, domestic violence and homeless shelters, among others to provide supplies.

    Basically, people want to help people, she said. People want to help their neighbors and they know they are making a difference.

    Rupert really benefits from having such a quality organization in the city, Rupert Mayor Mike Brown said.

    But, Rupert isnt the only place to benefit, he said. The benefits extend all over the Magic Valley and Idaho.

    The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center sits Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in Rupert.

    Along with all the products they are delivering to people in need, they are providing people with the opportunity to help others, Brown said.

    It makes you feel good when you are able to help someone else, he said. I really commend those folks for doing this.

    People are often hooked when they come into the center, which is clean and bright and nicely stocked with project materials, Schow said.

    People with all types of skill sets are able to help with the various steps of each project.

    People come into the center and they love how it makes them feel, Schow said. Its a win-win situation whether people are receiving the items or serving and volunteering. Its just an incredible happy space.

    About: The Magic Valley Area Humanitarian Center is a non-profit organization that helps people in need with handcrafted items and kits that are made by community volunteers.

    Years in the Magic Valley: The organization opened its doors in March 2019

    Number of regular volunteers: 70

    Interesting fact: The center logged 29,750 service hours by volunteers through Jan. 23, 2020.

    Community contributions: The center networks with about 35 organizations across the Magic Valley that help people in need and provides a variety of items and kits to make peoples lives a little easier. The center also provides an opportunity for volunteers to get involved and help others.

    Former owners, Kirt and Carol Martin, left, talk with new owners, Jennifer and Arthur Reece, on Jan. 23 at Snake River Grill in Hagerman. The Reeces say they will continue to use Chef Martin's menu and recipes.

    HAGERMAN Chef Kirt Martin says his dedication to local growers, fish farms and wineries has kept Snake River Grill customers happy for a quarter of a century.

    Now, the Cordon Bleu-educated chef is giving up his grill at the south end of Hagerman to teach culinary arts and food science at Hagerman High School.

    The Hagerman Valley, known as the banana belt of Idaho, grows a unique variety of food from melons and wine grapes to sturgeon and alligator.

    Its my Shangri-La, Martin said. I dont take any of this for granted.

    Former owners Kirt and Carol Martin, left, pose for a portrait with new owners Jennifer and Arthur Reece on Jan. 23 at Snake River Grill in Hagerman.

    He plans to inspire his students at the high school many of whom were raised on microwaved meals with the same appreciation for fresh food and community.

    These kids are a sponge, absorbing what hes teaching, Gooding County Commissioner Mark Bolduc said. Kirt is showing them how to get fresh ingredients and how to cook them. I think people are becoming more and more interested in knowing where their food comes from.

    Bolduc and Judy Osborne, treasurer of the Hagerman Valley Chamber of Commerce, say they are happy to have Martin and his wife, Carol, stay in Hagerman.

    Snake River Grill supports the whole economy of the valley, Bolduc, a business owner and real estate agent, said.

    Part of the dining area sits closed during morning hours Jan. 23 at Snake River Grill in Hagerman. Snake River Grill has been selected as one of the businesses featured for the Making it in the Magic Valley award.

    The Martins have been great supporters of everything in the valley, he said. They are very enthusiastic about life in general.

    Meanwhile, Arthur and Jennifer Reece, the new owners of the Snake River Grill, plan to continue Martins focus on buying local.

    Theyre keeping the same crew and the same recipes, Martin said.

    About: Snake River Grill is a family restaurant serving customers from Twin Falls to Boise.

    Years in the Magic Valley: 25 years

    Number of employees: 23

    Interesting fact: After a quarter-century at Snake River Grill, Chef Kirt Martin has sold his business to teach food science and culinary arts at Hagerman High School.

    Community contribution: Snake River Grill's menu includes as many locally grown products as possible. "Fresh is what we strive for," Chef Kirt Martin said.

    Vice President of Customer Experience Retha Nesmith poses for a portrait Jan. 24 at Plant Therapy. The company was founded nine years ago and now has 100 employees, most of whom work in Twin Falls.

    TWIN FALLS Plant Therapy is growing like a weed.

    The essential oils company opened in Twin Falls in 2011. Since then its been named Idahos fastest growing company and the 31st fastest growing business in the country.

    Essential oils are extracted from plants. Theyre basically a concentrated, bottled version of the aromatic chemicals within plants. Some say that using essential oils as a form of aromatherapy, or rubbing them on the skin, can help with a wide variety of ailments.

    They have a lot of different therapeutic benefits, said Plant Therapy Vice President of Customer Experience Retha Nesmith.

    Nesmith said essential oils can relieve anxiety, depression, insomnia and pain.

    Products sit for sale Jan. 20 at Plant Therapy inTwin Falls. Plant Therapy develops and manufactures its products here.

    Peppermint essential oils are typically said to increase energy. Lavender is thought of as a stress reliever. Sandalwood can help with focus. Plant Therapy sources some of its peppermint and lavender essential oils from Idaho.

    Our oils come from all over the world, Nesmith said.

    Plant Therapy isnt the first essential oils company. But Nesmith said part of the business success is due to finding a unique sales niche.

    Essential oils are often sold as part of multi-level marketing efforts. Plant Therapy sells its products directly to consumers.

    We were one of the first direct-to-consumer essential oils companies, Nesmith said.

    Plant Therapy continues to grow fast. The Twin Falls-based company has 100 employees, and four retail stores in Idaho.

    The company is planning a major launch of 30 broad-spectrum CBD products sometime in the next few months, as well as new lotions.

    LeeAnn Cline is the Times-News ambassador to the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce. She said Plant Therapy does a lot to give back to the Magic Valley.

    Their contributions to the community go above and beyond, Cline said. You will see a Plant Therapy team volunteering their time at all the local charitable and fundraising events. Theyre always smiling and always willing to help.

    Nesmith said that charitable streak comes from the top.

    Chris (Jones, the owner,) is just one of the most charitable people I know, she said. She noted that Plant Therapy has helped build wells and an orphanage in Africa, and that company employees participate in trash clean up days.

    About: Plant Therapy makes essential oils strongly scented liquids extracted from plants and used primarily for aromatherapy and sells them directly to consumers.

    Years in the Magic Valley: 9

    Number of employees: 100, mostly in Twin Falls, but also in Boise.

    Interesting fact: Plant Therapy uses lavender and peppermint grown in Idaho in some of its oils.

    Community contribution: Company employees often volunteer at local charitable and fundraising events, and help pick up trash.

    Children play outside Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley in Rupert.

    RUPERT The Boys & Girls Clubs of Magic Valley in Rupert opened in the summer of 2018. The programs continued growth allowed the program to expand to a third location at Heyburn Elementary School this year.

    Community partnerships with the Minidoka County School District and the city of Rupert allowed the program to easily expand, said Lindsey Westburg, the groups executive director.

    The response in the community to this program has been tremendous, Rupert Mayor Mike Brown said. We knew we needed something like this but we didnt know how much we needed it.

    Yeliah Juarez picks up her snack Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley in Rupert.

    The club offers after school and summer activities along with kindergarten. Activities include homework help, learning about healthy lifestyles, art, snacks and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) program, along with community service and leadership activities.

    They have provided much-needed youth programming, Leslie Garner, the citys special projects manager, wrote in nominating the group. The B&G Club provides a structured environment while offering a safe alternative to latch-key kids. They have assisted in educational excellence.

    The Rupert program serves students at Rupert, Heyburn, Paul and Acequia schools, with the school district providing busing for students to the locations. Parents pick their students up from the club.

    Brown commends the school districts commitment to the program because the busing allows the program to serve children in several communities.

    The club is a safety net for the community, Westburg said. The organization has been in southern Idaho for 25 years.

    Children hang outside Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at the Boys and Girls Club of the Magic Valley in Rupert.

    Brown said one of the best parts of the program is that it serves children regardless of their familys ability to pay.

    After school programs are offered free of charge and summer programs have a nominal fee. There is an annual $20 membership fee, and scholarships are available.

    The program serves children ages 5 to 18 years old and provides an opportunity for them to build relationships with caring mentors and learn the benefits of community service, Westburg said.

    We are always working hard to figure out how to serve more kids and serve them the best we can, she said.

    About: The Boys & Girls Clubs of Magic Valley in Rupert operates in three locations at Rupert Elementary School, 323 First St. and Heyburn Elementary School. The organization offers kindergarten classes along with after school programs for youth ages 5 to 18 years old.

    Years in the Magic Valley: Establish summer 2018, Boys & Girls Clubs of Magic Valley have been in the area for 25 years

    Number of employees: 25

    Interesting fact: The Rupert program was made possible through a community partnership with the city of Rupert and the Minidoka County School District.

    Community contributions: It provides a safe space for children during non-school hours where they can build relationships with caring mentors where they can feel empowered and build character through community service.

    TWIN FALLS When Koto Brewing Co. owner Shane Cook visited Twin Falls for a weekend from his native Salt Lake City 14 years ago, he fell in love with the community right away. The smaller city also gave him new opportunities in the restaurant business.

    I would never dare to open my own place in Salt Lake, Cook said. But the community support here its the reason I moved here.

    After just more than a year, Koto earned this years Making it in the Magic Valley award for a Twin Falls small employer.

    Cook opened Twin Falls Sandwich Co. in 2012. A few years later, he set his sights on another venture: A brewery and restaurant.

    Pierre Tusow, head brewer fills a keg Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, at Koto Brewing Company in downtown Twin Falls.

    The right spot was just down the street from Sandwich Co. downtown. But the building, which was nearly 100 years old, required quite a bit of restorative work before it could start brewing and hosting guests.

    It was a six-month project that turned into a year and a half, Cook said. Once we started tearing into it, we had to start replacing all of the plumbing, all of the electrical.

    Koto officially opened on Dec. 7, 2018. The revitalization came just after the rest of the downtown underwent its massive renovation.

    Nathan Murray, the director of economic development for the City of Twin Falls who nominated Koto for this honor, said Cooks efforts with both of his businesses have been key in the recent growth downtown.

    Shane was one of the early investors that helped begin the renaissance of downtown Twin Falls with the establishment of the Twin Falls Sandwich Co., Murray said in his nomination. His most recent venture, Koto Brewing Company, has also been a success and brought vibrancy to the local nightlife.

    Koto Brewing Company currently has 11 beers on tap Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020, in downtown Twin Falls.

    Cook has home-brewed for more than 20 years, but he put the chief brewing duties in the hands of his friend, Pierre Tusow. Koto uses almost exclusively ingredients from Idaho.

    He does it much better than I do, Cook said. But between the two of us, it was a no-brainer. Its definitely something the community needs, a place to hang out.

    On top of its food and drinks, Koto has acted as an all-purpose entertainment hub downtown. Once-a-month events include a trivia night in partnership with the Magic Valley Young Professionals and stand-up comedians. The comedians come from all across the country.

    When there isnt trivia or comedy going on, Koto hosts its share of live music.

    Cook said Twin Falls has taken good care of Koto so far in its short history, and he wants the company to be a positive in the community. Having a place where people can gather and share ideas is great for locals.

    Read more:
    Making it in the Magic Valley: 12 local organizations that found success and give back - Twin Falls Times-News

    Paul Davis offers tips to recognize and prevent ice dams on structures and damage mitigation – North Forty News - January 14, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Patrick McCarty


    With recent severe, freezing, and wet weather, plus fluctuating indoor and outdoor temperatures, Paul Davis Restoration of Fort Collins, a leading provider of fire and water damage clean up and restoration services is providing consumers with the following tips for recognizing and removing ice dams from homes and businesses, and damage mitigation.

    Ice dams can form when a roof that is warmer than the eaves causes snow on the roof to melt, the water to flow down to the colder eaves, and re-freeze. As this cycle repeats, ice can back up or dam under shingles, allowing water to accumulate behind it. The water can leak through the roof and cause serious damage to walls, insulation, ceilings, and painted surfaces inside the home or office that may only get worse over time. However, there are some relatively simple steps one can take to prevent ice dams:

    Ice dams are caused by the interaction of many factors:

    Ice and snowmelt at 35F. Liquid water freezes at 32F. Minor temperature differentials can lead to major problems.Layered roof systems such as shakes or shingles do not keep outstanding water. They require a continuous, uninterrupted slope to shed water.

    Attics are warmer than the outside air because heat leaks from the heated portion of the structure up into the attic. Heavy snow cover effectively insulates the attic from cold outside air, allowing the temperature to rise even higher.When an ice dam forms and as layer after layer of meltwater refreezes, the ice dam can grow with liquid water pooling behind it under the snow. Soon, this water is deep enough to seep between shingles and into the attic or wall cavities. Ice dams are sometimes one to two feet thick. Secondary ice dams often form around vents and skylights.

    One of the best methods of protection against ice dams is a properly designed cold roof. Minimizing heat gain in the attic while maximizing attic ventilation with outside air is one of the best ways to reach this goal. Attics can gain heat in two main ways with conduction due to inadequate insulation; and convection caused by warm air leaking through gaps, usually around plumbing, wiring, ducts, and vents. Try to reduce the conductive heat gain by increasing the insulation levels in the structure.

    Convective heat gain can be minimized by meticulously caulking and sealing even the smallest penetrations through the ceiling, as well as carefully installing gaskets around attic entrances. Although some heat gain is inevitable, when the attic ventilation is adequate, the temperature will not reach levels that cause extensive melting. A cold roof is easy to achieve with properly designed new construction. Reaching the same goal in older homes may be both difficult and expensive.

    Proper insulation is the key attic spaces need to be kept cool so that the roof stays cold. Ideally, attics should have 12 of insulation.Seal areas where heat can escape into the attic. Likely spots include areas around chimneys, around electrical components such as junction boxes and ceiling fans, plumbing vents, and any other passages through the attic floor.Ventilation Less important than insulation but still a factor in preventing ice dams, proper ventilation will allow any heat that does enter the attic to exit the space and be replaced by cold outside air.There are a few ways to mitigate ice dams. However, it is recommended that you call a professional. On serious ice dams that are presenting leaks, technicians will break up the ice first, so that the necessary repair work can be performed immediately. In an ice-dammed area that has been leaking, repairing any water damage would come first. Shoring up the area with added flashing and ice and water shield underlayment is recommended before reapplying the shingles. Also, a heat cable system can be installed into the gutter and also clipped onto the shingles over the soffit. If an ice dam has already caused damage to the home or commercial building, it is critical to have the entire structure inspected by a restoration professional who is certified from The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration Certification (IICRC).

    Unfortunately, obvious damage may be just the tip of the iceberg. The worst effects of ice dams are often hidden, caused by moisture trapped inside walls or floors. This damage is seldom discovered until months after all the snow has melted. The property owner may rarely make the connection between the damage found and their ice dam of the previous winter. Besides the cost of restoration, hidden damage can make future ice damming more severe, waste energy, and even create serious health risks for building occupants. Visit the local office website

    For more than 50 years, Paul Davis Restoration Inc. has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms, and disasters. The experts at Paul Davis understand the complex process of recovering from property damage and provide complete services; there is no need for the expense and confusion of hiring multiple contractors. Paul Davis is a one-stop-shop for disaster damage and restoration. Paul Davis Restoration has more than 300 independently owned franchises in the United States and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction, and remodeling. For more information, visit the website at

    The rest is here:
    Paul Davis offers tips to recognize and prevent ice dams on structures and damage mitigation - North Forty News

    This Luxe In-Law Suite Has an Elevator That Works Like a Bank-Deposit Tube – Washingtonian - December 4, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The suites pneumatic elevator brings its residents directly up from the houses front entrance.

    An attic apartment, up all those steps, might seem a poor choice for an elderly resident. But with the addition of a clever elevator, Jonas Carnemark, owner of Carnemark Design & Build in Bethesda, created what his clients dubbed the Peninsula Suite in their 1920s Tudor in Forest Hills.

    The homeowners asked me if they could do something with their attic, but the steep staircase was an issue, says Carnemark. The solution: a three-foot-diameter pneumatic elevator installed in a corner by the foyer, with a stop on the second-floor landing and another in the attic suite. The pneumatic system works just like a bank-deposit tube, riding on a cushion of air, Carnemark says. Though the style isnt big enough for a wheelchair, it can fit up to two people at a time.


    $30,000$60,000A small pneumatic elevator fits two people but cant accommodate a wheelchair.

    $100,000+Expect to pay six figures for a larger elevator that reaches four floors and requires remodeling on each level.

    The configuration works well for the family, not only because the elevator will come in handy if the in-laws develop mobility issues down the road but also because it gives them a direct route from the front door up to their suite. In other words, it allows them to avoid intruding on the rest of the house.

    Their suite includes a living area with a coffee bar, a bedroom, and a spa-like bathroom whose shower doesnt have a thresholdfor any future accessibility needs, explains Carnemark.


    Dont skip on soundproofingYour in-laws may love their grandchildren, but they probably dont love being woken up by them in the middle of the night.

    Do accessibility rightFuture buyersand current elderly parentsdont want a space that looks institutional or built for disabilities.

    Create enough private space Without a sitting area and at least a spot to make coffee, an in-law suite is just a guest room.

    Build an outdoor spaceEven better than a sitting area: a private deck or patio.

    Or go all out A private backyard guesthouse may someday also add value as a rental unit.

    This article appears in theNovember 2019issue ofWashingtonian.

    Join the conversation!

    Michele Lerner ([emailprotected]) covers real estate, interior design, and personal finance.

    Excerpt from:
    This Luxe In-Law Suite Has an Elevator That Works Like a Bank-Deposit Tube - Washingtonian

    Why was old newspaper used as insulation in this Fargo house? – INFORUM - November 25, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    That led Craig Folkedahl, Thief River Falls, Minn., to write of his experiences.

    In the past, I have torn down several houses when the owners were planning to build new, Craig wrote.

    In the walls, I have found many different types of material that was used as insulation.

    The house I grew up in had only a sheet of tar paper between the studs for insulation. My sisters house had chicken feathers and straw. My wifes uncles had cord wood stacked between the studs.

    I remodeled a house previously owned by a gentleman who owned a lumber mill. That house was built with full-dimension two-by-fours stacked flat from the foundation to the roof with an approximate 2-inch space, and then another wall stacked flat from foundation to roof. A very heavy house.

    We used a chainsaw to cut window and door openings.

    Another house I tore down, Craig wrote, had rolled-up newspapers in the walls. The first owner was a doctor in the town. He built the house, so there was no connection to the local newspaper. He had also put several rolls of newspaper in the eaves of the house. A small amount of straw was in the attic.

    ARCHIVE: Read more of Bob Lind's Neighbors columns

    Now lets go back to the original column about the old house in Fargo. A Neighbors reader said it was on 21st Street South, but no house number was given.

    Kathy Faeth, Fargo, would like to know the specific address. Shes curious because, she writes, My family lived on 21st Street and my dad (Bob Faeth) worked for The Forum until he died.

    Several of the guys from the composing room lived on that street.

    Since Neighbors doesnt have that address, its asking if you can help Kathy out.

    If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email

    Read more:
    Why was old newspaper used as insulation in this Fargo house? - INFORUM

    Attic Ventilation | HGTV - October 6, 2019 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The attic plays a key role in the durability of a house and the safety of the people living there. If you don't pay close attention to the attic's venting, moisture can propagate mold growth and cause the roof's wood to rot.

    What's the best way to ventilate an attic?

    The basic concept is to get the right amount of air circulating throughout, while preventing moist air from coming in. Proper ventilation creates an air current for the water vapor to ride on and exit the attic, which also helps to dry out any existing moisture.

    The best practice is to create a continuous ridge-and-soffit ventilation system, which creates a continuous flow of air upward from the eaves or soffits out through the ridge.

    Before you start, check with the local code official for any special requirements pertaining to attic venting in your area.

    Here's how to create a ventilating system:

    1. First, determine how large the vents need to be by calculating the "net free ventilating area" according to the following equation:

    2. Select the dimension and type of materials for the ridge and soffit vents according to your required net free ventilating area, as well as local codes.

    3. Keep in mind that at least 50 to 80 percent of this ventilating area must come from the ridge vent. For the example above, the ridge venting area would be 216 to 346 square inches.

    4. Framing a roof with this kind of ventilation is, for the most part, traditional with only a few differences.

    5. At the ridge, hold back the roof sheathing 1 1/2 inches on both sides, leaving a 3-inch gap running the length to cover the required net free area.

    6. To create the soffit vent, cut a notch into the roof rafters, called a "birds mouth," and allow them to over-hang the exterior wall far enough to create the space needed for the net free area.

    7. Cover the roof as usual and install the ridge vent last, as a cap, following the manufacturer's specifications.

    8. Finish off the soffit vent by attaching a J channel and sliding in a perforated vinyl or aluminum soffit material. This completes the construction.

    9. Seal any penetrations in the attic floor such as ceiling fans, recessed lights, plumbing vents, or HVAC ducts. Use a caulk or expanding foam to seal the openings.

    10. Insert baffles, which look like w-shaped polystyrene sheets, at the eaves by the soffit. These baffles keep insulation from blocking the venting area.

    11. Finally, insulate between the ceiling joists of the attic floor using insulation with an R value of 25 to 38.

    Many builders used to use gable vents or hood vents to create air flow, but these practices didn't circulate air around all surfaces of the roof assembly. Instead, they would localize air flow, leaving areas of the attic susceptible to mold growth.

    See the original post:
    Attic Ventilation | HGTV

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