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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Vow to vote in 2012 election

Apathy is the enemy of democracy.

It maligns progress, and the irony is, it’s probably so common in America because we have it so good; because we’ve come so far as a nation in our relatively short history.

I think too often our fellow citizens become disillusioned with the political process, and for good reason. There’s gridlock, partisanship, greed, corruption, cronyism, nepotism — the list is long and undistinguished, no doubt.

But that’s all the more reason to register and cast your vote for whoever you believe will represent you and your values the best. I know that’s not always easy. I’ve been guilty of staying home on election day like the millions of eligible voters that didn’t turn out two years ago.

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Forester: How to heal flooded trees

Florida has received an exceptional amount of rain this summer that has led to flooding on our rivers, creeks, swamps, and other low lying areas. Although trees require water to grow and stay healthy, too much of a good thing can stress our trees causing growth loss, disease, insect outbreaks and in some cases death.

A few tree species, such as bald cypress, is adapted to frequent flooding and will survive this excessively wet summer without harm. However, many of our trees will be stressed for several years even after the high waters recede. The first symptoms usually noticed are leaf yellowing, shoot growth, crown die-back and defoliation.

There are many factors that determine if a tree will survive flooding including species, age, vigor, flood duration, location, soil characteristics and the time of year. Once a tree becomes weakened, it is more prone to insect and disease damage. When the ground becomes saturated, conditions are ideal for fungal problems that lead to root rot diseases. Flooded soil conditions promote reproduction and dispersal of these fungi but also promote the susceptibility of roots to infection. Saturated soils also reduce soil oxygen levels that may cause some roots to die leaving the tree with a smaller root system to recover from the stress.

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‘Day of service, remembrance’ set for Saturday

Flags and a sign mark the anniversary of 9-11 at the highly-visible property of Bill and Kate Svagdis on SR 228 S. in Macclenny.Four days after the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency and community partners will honor first responders with a special day of activities focused on disaster preparedness and health.

The event on September 15 is one of eight that NFCAA is hosting this month to honor the anniversary through community service. While the event is intended to assist NFCAA’s customer base, low-income families, it’s also free and open to the public.

It all starts at 9 am at Macclenny Memorial Park on West Boulevard N. by the duck pond with tours of the sheriff’s office mobile communications center, fire safety demonstrations, and free glucose and blood pressure screenings.

Information about preparing for disasters and the health department’s stop smoking, first aid and parenting classes will also be available.

Participating organizations include the sheriff’s office, firefighters and emergency medical services, Fraser Hospital, American Red Cross, Macclenny Nursing and Rehab and the Sanderson Senior Center.

The event is scheduled to conclude at 1 pm.

“Research shows low-income persons often encounter barriers to accessing primary health care services. Routine screenings and tests prevent future emergency care visits — a costly burden to the healthcare system,” reads a press release from the agency. “Low-income families are also significantly less likely to prepare and evacuate during a natural disaster. With hurricane season underway, it is important that all residents prepare for any upcoming storms.”

For more information about the event, billed as a “Day of Service and Remembrance,” please call Judy Marek at (904) 588-4072.

NFCAA’s mission is to collaborate with community partners to empower families in Northeast Florida to achieve self-sufficiency through education, employment and advocacy.

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Mary Redd, 41, service Sept. 15

Mary Courtney Redd, 41, of Jacksonville died August 24, 2012 after a brief illness. She is survived by her father J.J. Swanson and step-mother Sylvia Swanson; mother Melanie Beckham of Mobile, AL; son Justin; many other aunts, uncles and cousins.

A brief memorial service will be held at Collins Chapel in Baldwin on Saturday, September 15 at 5:30 pm.

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