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    FloWater Set To Replace Water Coolers In America’s Workplace With Fully ‘Touchless’, Self-Sanitizing Water Refill Stations – Club Industry - August 13, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Club Industry was not involved in the creation of this content.

    New CDC Guidelines Call for Changes as Business Reopens with Heightened Health and Safety Awareness

    Denver, COJuly 7, 2020--With the CDC recommending that office building employers, building owners and managers, and building operations specialistsreplace high-touch communal items, such as water coolers, in Americas workplaces, FloWater announces the addition of a foot pedal mechanism to its already self-sanitizing FloWater Refill Stations, making them fully touchless.

    FloWater CEO and Co-Founder, Rich Razgaitis, sees a workplace where new tech, fully touchless and self-sanitizing water refill stations replace traditional water coolers. There is no need for offices, hotels, gyms and retail outlets to return to the expense and plastic waste involved in bringing back the single-use plastic water bottle, says Razgaitis. There is a far better and less costly way to provide unlimited and continuous access to clean, purified, and hygienic drinking water for your employees, guests and customers.

    Already in place at the likes of Google, Microsoft and RedBull, the FloWater Refill Stations award-winning design and advanced technology include:

    The FloWater technology also alkalizes and oxygenates the water and adds electrolytes for better hydration. Surveys show a 2-5X increase in water consumption where FloWater Refill Stations are in use and a reduction of 50% for consumption of coffees and sugary drinks. According to the CDC, proper hydration is essential for a healthy immune system to optimize our bodies natural defenses for maximum protection against COVID-19. A carbon coconut filter finishes the chilled water for a great taste.

    FloWater Refill Stations are free-standing and easy to install, connecting to any potable water line within 10. The new FloWater Touchless foot pedal activation device will be available in July 2020 for both new FloWater Refill Stations and for the over 5,000 units already in place in offices, hotels, stores, gyms, and schools across the country.

    About FloWater

    Recognized by Inc. and the Financial Times as one of Americas fastest growing companies and honored by Fast Company as a World Changing Idea, FloWater is the worlds first company building a comprehensive platform of water purification products. The FloWater team is passionate about eliminating plastic waste and providing safe, great-tasting drinking water to everyone, wherever they are. Today, some of the worlds best brands hydrate with FloWater, including Hyatt, Google, Red Bull, Play Station, Specialized Bikes, Microsoft, Club Pilates, Hulu, Urban Remedy, and ONeill. FloWater delivers meaningful impacts for health and well-being, boosting hydration 200-500% while reducing the consumption of coffee and sugary beverages by 50%. Since the companys launch, FloWaters Refill Stations have saved over 300 million plastic water bottles from entering the environment and are on target to hit one billion by the end of 2022. For more information, and follow FloWater on Facebook and Instagram.

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    FloWater Set To Replace Water Coolers In America's Workplace With Fully 'Touchless', Self-Sanitizing Water Refill Stations - Club Industry

    Shopper News blog: Luke Akard hiked every trail in the Smokies, almost 900 miles. He’s 12. – Knoxville News Sentinel - August 13, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Knoxville artist Paris Woodhull is one of at least 10 women artists painting murals across Tennessee for the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Knoxville News Sentinel

    What's new in your community? Find out here at the Shopper-News blog. We'll have updates on people, places, businesses, schools and sports in your community. Check back throughout the week.


    John Shearer, Shopper News

    While many families have grown restless being stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Akards of West Knoxville have taken the opposite route.

    Kevin Akard and his 12-year-old son, Luke, have been outside,completing all of the roughly 800-900 miles of trails inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Luke Akard is shown on his very first hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2012 shortly after he turned 4.(Photo: Submitted)

    They have literally taken the term like father, like son to a new and inspiring level.

    Although the National Park Service does not keep records or tallies about such accomplishments, his father believes Luke might be about the youngest ever to complete the feat.

    For the youngster, though, the multi-year journey was just as rewarding as the destination. Just getting to spend time away from civilization and being able to get out and experience nature and have time with Dad was nice, said Luke.

    According to father Kevin, a mechanical engineering professor at Pellissippi State who developed an early interest in hikingin the Boy Scouts in Bristol, they started hiking together in the Smokies in 2012, not long after Luke turned 4.

    I thought it might be something he would be interested in and would give us time together, he said.

    However, he said they did not initially start with any goal in mind other than enjoyment. They actually were very sporadic the first few years and did not hike there in either 2014 or 2016.

    After they began setting a goal of hiking somewhere in the Smokies once a month in 2018, they were on their way to covering some distance and enjoying some accomplishments.


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    Through some multi-day hikes, they realized at the beginning of 2020 they were about two-thirds of the way to hiking all the trails. But they still did not think it was possible to achieve the goal this year.

    That was in part because they had a spring break cruise planned with wife and mother, Kathy, to enjoy their otherinterest of scuba diving.

    But then the pandemic began sweeping the country, and they realized they would have to traverse the countryside closer to home. However, even the outdoors was affected by the coronavirus, as the national park was closed for several weeks during the spring.

    That did not dampen their enthusiasm, though. When it reopened in May, we were there on the morning it reopened, said Kevin.

    They covered 161 miles in May through multiple day and overnight hikes, 70 in June and about 120 in July.

    They saved the 72 miles of the Appalachian Trail through the park for last, finishing the five-day route from Fontana Dam at the south end to the Davenport Gap area near where Interstate 40 crosses into North Carolina on July 29.

    For young Luke, reaching the completion point of an eight-year journey offered mixed emotions.

    It was happy but at the same time kind of sad, said the youngster, who is entering seventh grade at West Valley Middle School and was featured in the Shopper News in 2018 for a patch he designed that won a trip to the International Space Station. But when I got there, it was awesome.

    A representative of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 900 Miler Club for those who have completed all the trails told the family that they also dont keep detailed information, but that she knew of only two teenagers who have completed it.

    We dont know for certain, but we are pretty confident he is the youngest one to do it, said Kevin.

    Luke Akard stands atop a rock at Charlies Bunion along the Appalachian Trail a couple of days before he and his father, Kevin, completed all the trails inside the park.(Photo: Submitted)

    Also along the way, almost as many memories as miles were secured. Besides all the breathtaking views, they also had their breaths taken away once when they realized a black bear had been outside their tent after they cooked and ate inside due to rain. They also saw plenty of birds, chipmunks and squirrels, and an occasional snake.

    Luke said his favorite path was probably Old Settlers Trail between Gatlinburg and Cosby.

    It is pretty long but very flat for the Smokies, and before the park was made, there was a community there, he said, adding that ruins of old houses and cabins are still visible.

    As far as new goals, the father and son might look at going down into the water instead of up some mountains by scuba diving in all 50 states, even though the youngster has already set foot in all of them.

    For that adventure, Luke is game once again. I havent experienced a whole lot of scuba diving, so that would be fun, he said.


    Nancy Anderson, Shopper News

    Most places you can have it quick, cheap or done right. If you are lucky you get to pick two. At this place you pleasantly get all three. Punctuality, quality, and value, wrote Scott Toomey in a Google review about Asian Auto Specialists at 7130 Oak Ridge Highway.

    Owner Kenny Allison checks out an engine at Asian Auto Specialists at 7130 Oak Ridge Highway. Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.(Photo: Nancy Anderson/Shopper News)

    Many other reviews added a fourth pillar, honesty.

    Ive worked at five or six different shops over the years and Ive seen the way people are overcharged or oversold on parts, said owner Kenny Allison.

    We dont do that in this shop. Giving honest service is the only way I can sleep at night. We dont have a service writer who is paid commission. Its me and my word, which means a lot to me.

    I want customers to come back. If you maintain your client base, you dont have to spend a lot of money on advertising and you get to know people.

    I dont have people coming back to me saying they were overcharged or the repair wasnt done correctly. Thats the last thing I want.

    Allison opened the shop April 1, 2019, and specializes in Asian imports. He said he does work on American cars too, but prefers not to work on European models.

    Owner Kenny Allison, lead mechanic Tony Smith and shop assistant Trevor Allison all say they are proud of their work at Asian Auto Specialists at 7130 Oak Ridge Highway. Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.(Photo: Nancy Anderson/Shopper News)

    Ive been working on all the imports for more than 33 years. European cars have gotten a lot more technical and require specialized tools. Imports are more straightforward.

    Allison said he tries to repair a car quickly.

    Scheduling is really hard, because you never know if the problem is as simple as a belt or as complicated as replacing an engine. It could take a couple of hours or three days, but we work hard to get the cars back out the door as soon as possible. Its still got to be done right, so you do have to take your time and make sure of that.

    He said he doesnt hold up small jobs in favor of the big expensive ones.

    If someone needs a belt or something simple, I dont let that sit on my lot for days, I get that done quickly.

    He said it didnt take long for the shop to see a fair amount of customers. He and his customers posted on social media, which seemed to do the trick.

    Lead mechanic Tony Smith said its satisfying to repair a vehicle and get it running just right at Asian Auto Specialists at 7130 Oak Ridge Hwy. Monday, Aug. 3, 2020.(Photo: Nancy Anderson/Shopper News)

    When I first opened, I did a lot of advertising, which did nothing. It really is all about reputation and word of mouth.

    The shop has two full-time mechanics, including Allison, and a shop assistant. While the sign on the door says the shop closes at 5:30 p.m., Allison finds himself staying late often.

    He has big plans.

    Id like to have five or six bays with mechanics for each. Someday Id like to just work the office or maybe even not have to be here at all, just stop by and make sure things are going smoothly.

    Info: Contact Asian Auto Specialists at 865-240-3004.


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    Carol Z. Shane, Shopper News

    Fred Mister Rogers famously extended his mothers advice, during times of crisis and fear, to his young viewers. He said, Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.

    Ben Maney is a helper.

    June Hopper and Ben Maney, married since 2008, now both work at home because of the coronavirus pandemic. Its nice! says Maney. I feel like I have an office mate as well as a life mate. Feb. 20, 2017.(Photo: Carol Z. Shane/Shopper News)

    The Lincoln Park resident, who teaches piano at the Community School of the Arts, Green Magnet Academy and in his private studio, is well known in Knoxville as one of the citys finest jazz pianists and composers.

    He says he generally feels extremely lucky during this time of financial uncertainty. His wife, June Hopper, who investigates credit card fraud for TVA Credit Union, is able to work at home, and Maney has continued with almost all of his students in virtual lessons. Though hes lost income from evening gigs hes a regular at The Bistro at the Bijou he says he and Hopper are pretty secure.

    But from the start of the coronavirus pandemic, hes been acutely aware that not all of his colleagues have fared so well.

    I noticed that there were professional musicians that I knew who were out in the cold, as well as other gig workers restaurant and bar workers. And I was also starting to worry about some of my students especially some that I had been working with at Green Magnet. I wanted to do something.

    Community School of the Arts teacher Ben Maney helps student Joshua Washington become fluent in the musical language of jazz. October 3, 2017.(Photo: Photo courtesy Community School of the Arts)

    So he did a virtual benefit concert. Then he did another. Maney donated the proceeds to his friends in need and to Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC).

    Hes also released an album with local musician, composer and producer Matt Honkonen, who runs Pitchwire, a music production company. Available on Bandcamp, its called A Space for Us. All proceeds will benefit the Community School of the Arts, which provides after-school music and art lessons to underserved children and teens.

    Now, six months after the start of the pandemic, Maney is concerned about the mood of the nation. Something has changed, he says.

    In the initial stage, I thought maybe people will galvanize over this. Maybe well all work together. Its a virus; its not political; it affects everyone. But that hasnt happened.

    So Maney whose humanitarian instinct is every bit as big as his talent has decided to do another virtual concert. This time, its just for the joy of playing and lifting peoples spirits. Unlike the fundraisers, its free, though Maney wont turn away tips. So everyone, near and far, can hear one of Knoxvilles jazz luminaries from the comfort of home.

    In pre-pandemic days: Ben Maney helps his student Makaia Gray get in a festive mood to practice her piece for the 2016 Community School of the Arts Holiday Concert. Sept. 26, 2016.(Photo: Carol Z. Shane/Shopper News)

    Our government is in shambles and its failing people, says Maney. Its hard to live in this pressure chamber and find places to decompress. He hopes his concert will provide that. Were all trying to navigate through this.

    You can hear A Solo Performance by Ben Maney on Facebook Live at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14. Go to for more info. Buy the album A Space for Us at


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    Al Lesar, Shopper News

    After more than a dozen tries, Carolyn Duffey knew it was right. She had found the connection she sought.

    Carolyn Duffey and Ayah, her PTSD support dog, are ready to share their training secrets with other support dogs.(Photo: Submitted)

    Duffey, who moved to Powell from south Texas more than three years ago, suffers from Post-traumatic stress disorder that stemmed from an abusive relationship. She was in search of a service dog that would help her deal with the tough times. Two years ago, she was scouring area animal rescues until she found Ayah.

    The day I met her, I knew she was the right one, Duffey said. We just had an instant connection.

    At the time, Ayah was a 6-month-old Mountain Cur pup, looking a lot like a bulldog.

    I was looking for an older dog, but when its right, its right, she said.

    Duffey and Ayah went through a year of training. The results have been impressive.

    We can go to a restaurant now and shell quietly sit under the table, Duffey said. That wasnt always the case. Its nice to have people who knew her before come up to me and say how well behaved she is.

    Duffey has turned the experience she had with Ayah into a business of her own. In June she started Duffeys Dog Training, which is available for any dog but can specialize in PTSD service dogs.

    Rosie and her handler Terry are one of Carolyn Duffey's training clients in July 2020.(Photo: Submitted)

    Not long ago, Duffey said she was cooking dinner when she felt a panic attack coming on. She turned off the stove and went to her room to lie down. As always, Ayah followed.

    She saw me lie down and she knew something was wrong, Duffey said. She went to me, then she went to my husband (in another room) and barked, went back to me, then went to my husband and barked. He finally came.

    Duffey said the bond between her and Ayah is strong.

    Shes like a toddler. Wherever I go, she goes. If I put my hands over my face, shell come up to me and put her face in mine. She understands when Im having a tough time.

    While in a shoe store recently, Duffey said there were several young boys doing what young boys do. Ayah completely ignored the commotion and stayed right by Duffeys side, which is a quantum leap from the limited focus she had had just months earlier.

    Ayah is a sensitive dog, Duffey said. You can tell the progress shes made.

    One of the important parts of training for a support dog is to stay calm amid chaos.(Photo: Submitted)

    If theres one noise that dogs dont like to hear, its coins rattling around in a tin can.

    See the rest here:
    Shopper News blog: Luke Akard hiked every trail in the Smokies, almost 900 miles. He's 12. - Knoxville News Sentinel

    These bargain outdoor accessories will make your garden the ultimate summer hangout spot – News Post Leader - May 24, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Summer is fast approaching and temperatures have started to rocket, resulting in the UK recently seeing the hottest day of the year.

    Many of us have been on a DIY kick with so much time spent at home. But, now that fences have been painted, lawns have been trimmed and patios have been immaculately pressure-washed, it's time to go one step further and turn your garden into an unbeatable summer paradise.

    Here are the best value garden features that will really put the cherry on top of the cake.

    Fairy lights

    For only 9.99, Lidls Melinera LED Fairy Lights create the ideal relaxing atmosphere in your garden and will make your space perfect for al fresco dining this summer.

    The pretty lanterns come in white or multi-coloured versions.


    Argos Home Metal Hammock is the perfect addition to lazy summer evenings in your garden.

    Made with soft fabric for your utmost comfort, as well as a super-sturdy steel frame which allows it to be kept outdoors, this 60 hammock will bring added style to any garden.

    The cloth can be removed for washing, and allows you to keep it safe in the winter months, while the frame can be easily disassembled in minutes.

    Swing seat

    If you are sun-shy, and burn quicker than a broken toaster, then perhaps an open hammock isn't the best choice for you. However, online gardening shop Wayfair has the solution.

    Its Swing seat is the ideal for those who want to rock back and forth in bliss, while protected from the summer rays.

    Large enough for three people to get comfortable, it offers a soft padded seat, along with the very handy tilting sunshade.

    Fire pit

    Aldis fire pit is a favourite summer buy among shoppers, and it made a return to shelves last month after proving popular the previous year.

    Part of the reason for its popularity is the price. The much-loved fire pit only costs 49.99.

    It comes in dark grey and features a geometric design as well as a cooking grate, which lets it double up as a barbecue.

    Bird Bath

    While mother nature is enjoying a holiday from pollution, busy streets and noise, as the country remains under lockdown, many people have noticed more birds appearing in the clear skies above.

    So why not make the most of this time, and see more bird life up close in your very own garden with a bird bath?

    Water feature

    What is more relaxing than the sound of flowing water?

    Wayfair has made several customers happy with it's easy to install Gahn Fiberglass Fountain with Light.

    The water feature has been designed to look identical to natural rock, and with use of its built in white LED lights that can illuminate the feature, it can be enjoyed come day or night.

    The feature is currently on sale for the price of 107.99 from 129.99, and has received five star reviews.

    Originally posted here:
    These bargain outdoor accessories will make your garden the ultimate summer hangout spot - News Post Leader

    Inspiring Kabi Kabi street art to tell Noosa creation story – Noosa News - May 5, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    TIMES might be extra tough in tourism, but a stream of funds will see some colourful inspiration flow on to Hastings St to brighten up the local outlook.

    As the COVID-19 lockdowns play havoc with local visitations, Tourism Noosa has been backed by the State Government to install artwork at the Noosa Inspiration Centre to celebrate Noosa's indigenous history.

    In shades of Expo 88 when technology wowed the crowds in Brisbane, the artwork features will feature a 6.5 x 3.5 metre wall mural that will become 'alive' with the help of augmented reality technology and visitors using a custom created app.

    This will l showcase the dreamtime story of Noosa, the creation of Noosa and Kabi Kabi country.

    "In the year of indigenous tourism, we are thrilled to receive this funding which was made possible by the Gambling Fund Grant through State Government," said Tourism Noosa CEO Melanie Anderson.

    "The Noosa Inspiration Centre was refurbished in late 2019 and features the free water station from the 'O Initiative Water Fountain' which was painted by local indigenous artist Bianca Beetson, designed to celebrate Noosa's indigenous heritage via a Noosa essence water them. The new artwork which will be featured inside the centre will be designed by a young emerging Kabi Kabi artist to help build their profile while showcasing the history of the traditional owners of the Noosa region".

    MP for Noosa Sandy Bolton said the grant will provide Noosa a wonderful opportunity to continue showcasing our traditional heritage.

    "This time in such a high profile location. I look forward to meeting both the artist, and the works," Ms Bolton sid.

    An announcement on the artist will be shortly announced.

    The Noosa Inspiration Centre is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but is looking to bounce back with the help of its dedicated band of staff and volunteers.

    Excerpt from:
    Inspiring Kabi Kabi street art to tell Noosa creation story - Noosa News

    Kara Walker’s Tate Modern fountain will be recycled. – Artsy - April 14, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Kara Walkers commission for Tate Moderns Turbine Hall, the massive fountain Fons Americanus (2019), will be taken apart, destroyed, and recycled for later use. The monumental sculpture was set to be exhibited through April 5th, but its display ended early when the Tate museums group closed its four branches mid-March due to COVID-19. The institutions latest Hyundai commission, Walkers fountain was critically acclaimed and seen by thousands of visitors.

    Fons Americanus was constructed with mostly recyclable materialslike reusable cork and woodin accordance with the Tates dedication to environmental sustainability. Last year, Walker told The Art Newspaper: I would hope some aspect of it would have another life. It has all the possibilities for living beyond its present [form]. Walkers previous monumental public artwork, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby (2014), at Brooklyns Domino Sugar refinery, also ended in demolition.

    Walkers 42-foot-tall structure spiraled up from two circular pools of crystalline water. Unveiled in October during Frieze Week, the fountain pulled inspiration from the monumental Victoria Memorial fountain in front of Buckingham Palace. Though the exhibition ended prematurely, video documentation of Walkers work can be viewed on Tates website.

    More here:
    Kara Walker's Tate Modern fountain will be recycled. - Artsy

    City of Whitehorse offered new, fully-accessible playground – Yukon News - March 5, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A 9,500-square-foot, fully-accessible playground could open in Shipyards Park in 2021.

    Whitehorse city council has been asked to accept the gift of the playground from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charity.

    In a presentation March 2, Jumpstart ambassador Stephanie Dixon told council members about Jumpstarts initiative that started in 2017 to build a fully, accessible and inclusive playground in each province and territory in the country.

    Since then Jumpstart Playgrounds have been built in Charlottetown; Winnipeg; Calgary; Toronto; Prince Albert, Sask.; Surrey, B.C.; and Saint John, N.B.

    Dixon first visited the Jumpstart playground in Surrey last year.

    Everything is double wide, she said as she recalled the space available for those in wheelchairs to maneuver where they want to go.

    For those with hearing devices who cant normally use a metal slide due to issues with static electricity theres roller slides that eliminate static.

    For those who on the autism spectrum or with sensory processing issues or who may just simply get overwhelmed in larger crowds a dome was in place as a quiet place.

    Its a place where every child can participate and ensuring that happens at an early age is important, Dixon said.

    On the playground is where we develop our sense of self, she said.

    As the city works to make the community more accessible, why not start at the beginning with a playground, Dixon said, adding she hopes council members see the magnitude of what the playground would bring to Whitehorse.

    The Whitehorse playground would be located inside the skating loop at Shipyards Park. At 9,500 square feet, it would be close to the same size as the 9,859 square foot playground at Rotary Park.

    Jumpstart would design, supply and install the playground, including the rubberized surface, with the city then responsible for the ongoing maintenance. The contract between Jumpstart and the city states the city would be required to keep up maintenance for the parks 15-year life span.

    Shipyards Park was selected as it has accessible parking, an asphalt surface, washroom facilities and a water fountain. As such it is the only spot in Whitehorse that meets all the criteria for a Jumpstart playground.

    As Landon Kulych, the citys parks and community development manager, said there is also staff on hand at Shipyards Park each day, which means there will be more eyes on the playground. He also said the parks location inside the skating loop means it will not hinder events set to happen at the park.

    While council members were clear in their gratitude for the $1 million playground, Coun. Laura Cabott also raised questions about the maintenance costs stating her desire to ensure the city is ready to take it on.

    City manager Linda Rapp said the costs would be absorbed into the overall operating budget for parks while Jumpstart associate vice president Marco Di Buono said most of the equipment installed into the playground come with a 15-to-20-year warranty. The equipment is also not overly engineered, he said, making it fairly simple to fix when there are issues.

    Whitehorse city council will vote March 9 on whether to sign off on the agreement for the playground.

    If the agreement is signed, construction of the new playground would begin this year with the finishing touches being put in place in the spring of 2021. It would then be open to the public.

    Contact Stephanie Waddell at


    Excerpt from:
    City of Whitehorse offered new, fully-accessible playground - Yukon News

    Install Indoor Wall Water Fountains in Six Easy Steps … - March 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Save Money by Installing a Wall Fountain Yourself

    Today, we see an increasing number of home and business owners looking for ways of creating a serene environment. Some people choose plants, others fish tanks, and yet others, art. However, an exceptional way to produce a calm setting while improving the decorum of the room is with indoor wall mounted fountains. In addition to being beautiful, these fountains are also affordable and cost little to operate. As you will discover, installing indoor wall water fountains is something anyone can do. Of course, these instructions are general so you always want to read the instructions that come with the fountain but this will give you a good idea of the time and tools required for the job.

    Hanging wall fountains can typically be installed within an hour. Keep in mind that in some cases, you may need to have an electrical outlet installed or help lifting the fountain due to weight.

    Tools Needed:


    As you can see, hanging wall fountains is not a difficult task. With a little time and effort, you will transform the appearance of any room. The benefits that you will enjoy from the sound of trickling water and design of the fountain are tremendous.

    See the article here:
    Install Indoor Wall Water Fountains in Six Easy Steps ...

    How to Install a Fountain | HowStuffWorks - March 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Is there anything more relaxing than the quiet, steady burble of flowing water? Large or small, indoors or out, a fountain adds grace, beauty and serenity to almost any setting. It can also be a surprisingly low-cost home improvement.

    Installing a fountain can involve as much or as little work as you want. You can work from a kit that assembles all the components for you (although you'll lose some flexibility in terms of design). Or, once you understand how the different components fit together, you can construct your own fountain from available materials -- including the earth in your backyard.

    But first things first: you should know what you're getting into. Different fountains work best in different places -- tables, walls, floors, patios, gardens. No amount of tinkering will make your table strong enough to support a floor fountain, or keep the end result from looking awkward as well as unstable. And no table fountain will look anything but diminutive if you install it on a floor. Look around to find a fountain in the appropriate scale for your setting. Think about materials -- stone, slate, bamboo, granite -- that will coordinate with the rest of your decor.

    As you choose the location for your fountain, keep in mind that a fountain needs a power source. Some outdoor fountains have solar panels, but the rest will need to be within reach of electricity. Outdoor fountains also need seasonal maintenance, so make sure you choose a relatively accessible spot.

    This article explores the different types of fountains in more detail. We'll also look at the plans and tools you should have on hand before you delve into the installation process.

    How to Install a Fountain | HowStuffWorks

    Why a Proposal to Require Schools to Test Their Drinking Water for Lead Crumbled in Olympia – Centralia Chronicle - March 1, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Not long ago, Washington lawmakers seemed ready to require public and private schools to test their drinking water for lead.

    Since then, a lot has changed. The bill asked for less. A key advocacy group dropped its support. As of Friday, the measure appeared dead in the Senate.

    What happened? Schools, both public and private, came out in opposition of the measure, lawmakers weakened the proposal and it failed to clear a key legislative deadline.

    To Heidi Speight, who works in transportation policy, it was disappointing to watch. The initial bill, she said, would have been a fitting tribute to her late husband.

    Bruce Speight, former executive director of the advocacy group Environment Washington, spent years lobbying state lawmakers to pass such a mandate. But he died in September, before state Rep. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, refiled legislation this year to require water quality tests in schools.

    "Bruce's name has been on this from the beginning, and (it's) a really beautiful way to honor him," Speight said of House Bill 1860, known as the Bruce Speight Act.

    Although the measure never got a hearing last year, it appeared to have momentum this year: HB 1860 won unanimous votes in the House education and budget committees. And all 98 state representatives voted in support of the bill last month.

    But after public and private schools came out against the measure -- partly because they viewed it as an unfunded mandate -- lawmakers removed much of the teeth in the original proposal. The threshold for when schools had to act on elevated levels of lead got looser, and schools would be exempt from making any fixes unless and until they received money from the state to pay for remediation.

    Those changes prompted the Environment Washington Research & Policy Center to withdraw its support of the bill.

    "Safe drinking water shouldn't be optional," said Pam Clough, interim director of the advocacy group, which initially supported HB 1860 but reversed course after lawmakers weakened the proposal.

    "We don't make fire codes or building safety codes optional" for schools, Clough added. "We do advocate for more state and federal funding, but if we wait for that first, we may be waiting too long to fix this critical issue."

    The changes disappointed Heidi Speight.

    "It's really sad to see legislators wringing their hands over the opportunity to protect children in their (legislative) district," she said, "and then try to weaken standards below what medical professionals recommend."

    Commonly found in old paint and plumbing, lead is poisonous to everyone, but poses a greater risk to children, whose bodies more readily absorb the heavy metal. Exposure to lead can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems, and in elevated cases, lead can damage the kidneys, blood and nervous system.

    Currently, Washington doesn't require schools to test their drinking water for lead or any other contaminant. But two years of voluntary testing at 199 elementary schools across the state revealed that 97% of schools had at least one water source with levels of lead above one part per billion.

    About 61% of the total fixtures tested at or above one part per billion, a threshold recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    HB 1860 would have required all public and private schools to test every outlet used for drinking water or cooking at facilities built before 2000. Schools would have to close access to any outlet with lead levels at or above five parts per billion and notify the state about the test results within 24 hours.

    Schools then would have 30 days to either permanently shut off the water source, provide an alternative source of safe water or install a certified filter.

    While the state would have reimbursed schools for the costs of the water quality tests, it would not have provided funding for any remediation of water sources that exceeded the new threshold.

    Lance Goodpaster, superintendent of Franklin Pierce Schools south of Tacoma, testified against HB 1860.

    "We certainly care about the water our children are drinking at school," Goodpaster said in an email, adding that his school district conducts its own testing. He suggested schools should be held to a looser standard -- 15 parts per billion -- set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    The bill, he added, "imposed new costs that the Legislature did not fund."

    Suzie Hanson, executive director of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools, said her group opposed the measure because legislators developed it without the input of private schools.

    "It seems that private schools were put into the bill as an afterthought," Hanson said. "Assumptions are being made that there is a problem with lead in private school facilities. This is speculative."

    She also suggested the proposal did not clarify which state agency would be responsible for oversight of private schools.

    Following that opposition, lawmakers changed HB 1860 to exempt schools from remediation if they don't receive a state or federal grant to pay for it. The revised legislation also specifically said schools "may not" conduct remediation for any remediation costing above $2,000 per building.

    Lawmakers also decided to loosen the threshold for when schools needed to take action -- from five parts per billion to nine parts per billion. And the Washington State Department of Health would not be able to revisit that standard until 2030.

    Now, none of that appears likely to happen. The Senate Education Committee needed to vote on HB 1860 by Friday to keep it alive during this year's short legislative session, but it didn't.

    And although any policy idea can reemerge before lawmakers adjourn, it's unclear whether the Bruce Speight Act will survive as an amendment to another bill or the state budget.

    Follow this link:
    Why a Proposal to Require Schools to Test Their Drinking Water for Lead Crumbled in Olympia - Centralia Chronicle

    The ‘crown jewel’ of Wilder would be a secret no longer with these ambitious plans – Soapbox Cincinnati - March 1, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Fredericks Landing in Wilder has a long history, going back to its construction by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1965. Back then, it was designed as a flood zone to hold back the waters of the Licking and Ohio rivers.

    Its been a park for decades with a playground,boat launch, picnic tables, and a shelter. The federal government transferred ownership of the land to Wilder, a city of 3,000 people, in 2004.

    City officials now have ambitious plans for Fredericks Landing envisioning it as a focal point of the citys redevelopment. High on the priority list is a $1.4 million amphitheaterthat would be the scene of concerts and other events to bring people to the park.

    Fredericks Landing is really the crown jewel of Wilder, sayscity administrator Terry Vance. Its a hidden secret for most people unless you boat.

    The project received a big boost recently with the award of a $250,000 state grant. The Land and Water Conservation Fund grant provides money to help construct the new community amphitheater as well as the surrounding improvements that need to be made, such as enhancementsto parking, sidewalks, lighting, landscaping, and underground utilities to support the new structure.

    In 2018, Wilder officials surveyed residents and had a comprehensive plan drafted that was called Growing Wilder: Envisioning Tomorrow. City leaders saw a need to attract new residents and businesses to the city and encourage those already there to stay.

    The plan prioritizes land use that encourages outdoor recreation and community gatherings over theproliferation of businesses such as convenience stores and bank branches.

    Included in the plan is a dining establishment that would overlook Fredericks Landing and the Licking River and a splash park.

    The state grant will provide the impetus to move forward on the project because the money must be used by the end of 2022, according to Vance.

    Wilders grant was the largest of four made in Northern Kentucky from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The others were:

    Go here to read the rest:
    The 'crown jewel' of Wilder would be a secret no longer with these ambitious plans - Soapbox Cincinnati

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