Nonito Donaire vs Naoya Inoue is BWAA 2019 Fight of the Year Mila’s Lechon are 0-4 in its run with an average losing margin of 26.3 points, including a 47-point mauling, 55-102, at the hands of Zark’s Burger-Lyceum last Thursday.Incidentally, that defeat raised questions regarding the team’s purpose in the league after its players seemingly showed no desire to play the game as they made head-scratching plays and miscues that turned a closely contested game into a humiliating blowout.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkObservers saw the Mighty Roasters commit unforced turnovers and forcefully botched their shot attempts in the second half.Making matters worse were testaments from the Jawbreakers relating that the players from Mila’s Lechon were urging them to run the score up in an apparent desire to stretch the lead to as high as 50 points. Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award PBA IMAGESAmid controversies surrounding the team, Mila’s Lechon has decided to withdraw from the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup.Team owner Aika Salanguit made the announcement on Monday, citing “internal problems” in fielding a competitive crew which led to their decision to disband the Mighty Roasters’ campaign in their maiden conference.ADVERTISEMENT With Mila’s Lechon’s withdrawal from the league, wins of JRU, Perpetual, Gamboa Coffee Mix-St. Clare, and Zark’s-Lyceum over the squad will all be nullified as the conference proceeds with just 12 teams.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next This pathetic showing led the PBA’s technical committee to launch an inquiry, with the league summoning head coach Jesse Ricardo and lead assistant Edward Deveza on Friday. The league also called for the players’ presence on Monday afternoon to air their side of the story.This isn’t the first time the league newcomer found themselves embroiled in an issue this conference.The Mighty Roasters severed ties from then-leading scorers Leo Gabo and Andoy Estrella after just one game when the two decided to miss their game against Perpetual on January 30.Both Gabo and Estrella didn’t give any notice to the Mila’s Lechon brass as they opted to prioritize their commitments with the Quezon City Capitols in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), which had a game later in that day.Despite the pullout, the management hopes to make a comeback and field in a better team for the 2018 Foundation Cup later this year.ADVERTISEMENT Almazan vows to comeback stronger after finals heartbreak Newsome sets focus on helping Bolts open new PBA season on right track OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson View comments Clutch Ravena named PBA Player of the Week for 2nd time Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ’a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina LATEST STORIES Michael Porter Jr. stays patient as playing time increases
LeBronzed? James honored by drive to build statue of him Serena Williams, of the United States, applauds her opponent Marion Bartoli during the first round of the Tie Break Tens tennis tournament at Madison Square Garden, Monday, March 5, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)PARIS — Serena Williams’ return to Grand Slam tennis from maternity leave just got even tougher.French Open organizers announced on Monday they will not give Williams a seeding.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Without a seeding, the 23-time Grand Slam champion risks facing highly ranked players in the early rounds.The WTA is considering a rule change to add protected seeding for highly ranked players returning from maternity leave but the earliest that could take effect is next year.Several of Williams’ biggest rivals believe she deserves a seeding.“I would like to see that (rule) change,” Maria Sharapova said at the Italian Open last week.“It’s such an incredible effort for a woman to come back from physically, emotionally. … There’s just another whole dimension to the travel, to the experiences, to the emotions to the physicality of every single day.ADVERTISEMENT “This year again, tournament officials will establish the list and ranking of the women’s seeds based on the WTA ranking,” the French Tennis Federation said in a statement to The Associated Press. “Consequently, (the seeds) will reflect this week’s world ranking.”Williams, a three-time French Open champion, is expected to play in her first major since giving birth to her daughter in September.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownWhile Williams can enter Roland Garros under the WTA’s protected or “special” ranking rule, it’s up to Grand Slam organizers to give her a seed.While she was No. 1 when she left the tour to give birth, Williams is currently ranked No. 453. View comments “Tennis is such a selfish sport but I think when there’s a child in your life you lose a little bit of that, because there’s something that’s so much more important,” added Sharapova, who has lost three Grand Slam finals to Williams. “So, yeah, I definitely think that would be a nice change.”The French Open draw will be made on Thursday, with the tournament starting on Sunday.“It’s normal to give birth. It’s normal to have protected ranking. … It’s more than tennis,” top-ranked Simona Halep said. “So the people will decide what seed she will get. But in my opinion it’s good to protect the ranking when someone is giving birth.”Williams returned to the tour briefly in March after a 14-month absence. She was not seeded at tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami, and compiled two wins and two losses.Williams has recounted the difficulties she faced in childbirth, and a pulmonary embolism made it hard for her to breathe shortly after her daughter was born. But after a period of training, coach Patrick Mouratoglou last week told the WTA tour website, “Serena will play the French Open to win it.”Current rules covering maternity leave and injuries allow a protected or “special” ranking to be utilized for entry into tournaments but not for seeding purposes regardless of the reason for a player’s absence.However, this past year the WTA adjusted the rule so that absences for maternity leave are treated the same as those for injury and illness by providing all players a two-year window to begin using a special ranking, plus an additional year from the date of return to utilize the special ranking.“Historically, WTA players have not been supportive of the use of special rankings for seeding purposes,” the WTA said in a statement to The AP. “The rule is currently under further review as part of our 2019 rules process. We remain committed to evolving with the needs of our players and are very supportive of those players returning from maternity leave to the tour.”Fourth-ranked Elina Svitolina, who retained her Italian Open title on Sunday, was also supportive of seeding Williams.“If you’re like finished or you stopped because you’re going to have a child and you will be in top eight, I think you should have this kind of thing, to have protected seeding,” Svitolina said. “She was No. 1 so she deserves seeding.” Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina William has won the French Open more than any current player, and last year’s champion, Jelena Ostapenko, is looking forward to her return.“She’s someone who the tour was missing, because she’s a great champion,” Ostapenko said. “She was my idol since I was growing up.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls MOST READ Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’
The Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CICO) has told the Daily Observer in a statement that the on-going Redlight-Gbarnga Road project is on schedule.The company also stated that it is using some of the latest road-building technologies in the construction of the 180-kilometer highway, which is a major route, leading to neighboring La Côte d’Ivoire and the Republic of Guinea.CICO is presently undertaking the reconstruction of the highway leading from Redlight Market in Paynesville City to Gbarnga City in Bong County in a 10-year deal signed between its management and the Government of Liberia. The project, valued at US$168M, is being financed by the World Bank.Included in the 10 years, according to CICO, are three years for rehabilitation and another five for maintenance before it would be finally turned over to the Government of Liberia.The company responded to the Observer after reports emerged that the present Rainy Season had “exposed their bad works” and that it does not also display road safety signs for vehicles’ operators to know that construction works are taking place.The road building company told the Observer that it was strictly following the specifications spelled out in the contract agreement that the Ministry of Public Works handed it.Touching on another report of “many motor accidents,” owning to not placing the right road signs or posting men to alert on-coming vehicles, CICO’s statement stated: “Flagmen are currently posted along the highway and they are using the required red and green flags for traffic control along with damaged ones regularly replaced while the replacement of damaged personnel protective equipment at Weala and Gbartala continued up till now.”CICO further said that “isolated incidents of motor accidents” should not be attributed to the company, “while neglecting the fact that vehicles moving at high speed are currently running into safety drums painted white and black which are used along the highway serving as barricades at culvert construction sites for traffic control during road works.”“With the designed, rehabilitation and maintenance of the Red Light-Gbarnga highway and that of the Konola bridge by CICO, trade and commerce is expected to boom within a short period when the road is officially dedicated, thus allowing the free flow of traffic in that part of the country. This thoroughfare happens to be a major international route,” the CICO spokesman said.They called on the public not to create what they termed as an “ugly effigy of a company that has contributed and continues to contribute to the reconstruction drive of post-war Liberia.”CICO assured the public of their preparedness and willingness to successfully complete and turn over the Redlight-Gbarnga road project according to schedule.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
This, it has been established has been occasioned by the slow disbursement of funds.The National Assembly Committee on Sports visited both Nyayo and Kasarani Stadia on Thursday afternoon but was not very pleased with the progress of work made at Nyayo, Kenya’s second biggest stadium.The contractors had calculated the progress at a high 85pc, but Committee Chair Victor Munyaka was not sold, saying at most the progress was at 35pc.“We have seen better progress in Kasarani. We as a committee really feel unhappy because the government did not honor the funding to be able to complete this stadium in time”Lexis International Chief Contractor Chandresh Babariya (far left) with the chair of The National Assembly Committee on Sports accompanied by Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Karimi Kaberia during the inspection of the Nyayo National Stadium on June 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“We are requesting that whatever money is available for this stadium should be released immediately,” Munyaka said after completing the tour of the two facilities.He added; “We have received information from the contractor that there are many pending bills. If the contractor is working under pressure he can’t be able to do a decent work.”Babariya told Capital Sport that they have received close to 43pc of the entire budgetary allocation with Sh300mn having been set for the builder’s work while a further Sh26mn had been set aside for the constructor’s work.Construction work going on at the Nyayo National Stadium as at June 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluWhile Kasarani’s work mostly revolves around the playing surface, Nyayo has been undergoing an almost entire overhaul.The VIP dias and changing rooms are being constructed afresh with a new office block while the pitch is also being completely overhauled.Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia said they are in negotiations with treasury to speed up the availability of the Sh120mn deficit. The ministry received Sh525mn in the budget of which Sh150mn was dedicated to the ongoing works at Nyayo.Chair of The National Assembly Committee on Sports accompanied by Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Karimi Kaberia during the inspection of the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on June 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu“As a committee the reason we are here is because we have been concerned with the slow progress. We will come up with a report which will also help the government increase the budgetary allocation for the work,” Munyaka noted.He added; “This financial year the ministry has been given Sh525mn against a pending bill of Sh1.119bn which means this committee may require to intervene during the supplementary budget. This committee is very unhappy because of the level of funding to the sports department.”“The minimum allocation required is around Sh2.8bn for all the stadia and they got a paltry Sh525mn. This is a new committee and part of our duty now is to ensure that the ministry is no longer underfunded,”Kaberia added that the ministry takes responsibility for the delay in completion of works but has promised they will push to ensure the funds are released for the completion of works.-What is being done at Nyayo?Construction work going on at the Nyayo National Stadium as at June 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluThe VIP dias is being remodeled to mirror the one at the Kasarani Stadium. Behind it, a new office block with VIP hospitality rooms being constructed as well.The contractors say they will put up a shed around the entire stadium as opposed to before when it was only the VIP area covered.The changing rooms have also been shifted from below the VIP dias and moved to the left side of the stadium.The pitch has been entirely redone. Gregori International who laid the pitch at Kasarani is doing the same job at Nyayo. Currently, they have done the entire drainage system and laid the first layer of sand before the grass is laid.The Swimming pool area is also being re-worked. For the lovers of beer and a bit of nyama choma pre and post match, your favorite restaurants KucheKuche and Poolside have been demolished and they will not be existent when the refurbished stadium is opened up.0Shares0000(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Members of The National Assembly Committee on Sports accompanied by Sports Principle Secretary Ambassador Karimi Kaberia inspecting the Nyayo National Stadium on June 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluNAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 28- Lexis International Chief Contractor Chandresh Babariya has promised the Nyayo National Stadium constructor and builder’s works will be completed in six weeks; but, only if the Sports Ministry meets the end of their bargain by availing the cash needed.The Stadium which has been closed for renovation from last year had initially been set to be opened by the end of April, but two months down the line, work at the stadium is nowhere near complete.
A MILFORD man who consumed ’somewhere north of 20 shots of vodka’ has been fined for a public order incident.Lee McLaughlin (24) of 4 Moyle Road, Milford, was before Letterkenny District Court over an incident at Port Road, Letterkenny on September 15 last. Sergeant Jim Collins told the Court that Gardaí observed McLaughlin stepping into a fight between two females and pushing one of them.McLaughlin became abusive shouting ‘f*** off’ to members of the public and was arrested by Gardaí.Solicitor for McLaughlin, Mr Rory O’Brien, said his client had no recollection of the night in question due to his ‘high level of inebriation’.“He had a complete and utter black out,” Mr O’Brien said. “He drank a ridiculous amount, somewhere north of 20 shots of vodka. It was remarkable that he was standing.”Mr O’Brien said that McLaughlin, accompanied in Court by family members, wanted to apologise for his behaviour.Judge Paul Kelly warned McLaughlin that he was in a downward spiral and needed to ‘get a grip’.McLaughlin was fined €150 and given four months to pay.Man fined over incident after drinking ‘north of 20 shots of vodka’ was last modified: November 10th, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Judge Paul KellyLee McLaughlinLetterkenny District CourtMilford
Jermain Defoe fears he could be forced to quit Tottenham if he is facing another season on the bench, the Daily Mirror report.QPR have been linked with the England striker, with Sunderland and Reading also said to be interested.“Everyone knows how much I love Tottenham. Everybody knows that they are the club I want to play for,” he said.“But last season was heartbreaking for me in terms of putting my body on the line, being prepared to give everything for the club and not getting a game.”The Sun claim Arsenal are ahead of QPR and Fulham in a race to sign South Korean star Ki Sung-Yueng from Celtic.Once again it is suggested – this time by the Daily Mail – that QPR want to loan Joey Barton to a League club in order to run down his 12-match ban but the Football League will not sanction a deal. Clint Dempsey thinks Liverpool will now finally table a firm bid for him, according to the Mirror.Anfield boss Brendan Rodgers is interested in signing Dempsey from Fulham, where the American has reportedly fallen out with manager Martin Jol.And it is claimed that Liverpool shelling out £15m to capture midfielder Joe Allen from Swansea has left Dempsey believing Rodgers will now look to complete a deal to sign him too.Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton are considering making a move for Dempsey, the Mail report.Meanwhile, the Mirror say Chelsea have entered fresh talks with Marseille in an attempt to push through the £6m signing of Spain full-back Cesar Azpilicueta before the new season starts.They will apparently turn to alternatives, including Juventus’ Switzerland right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner, if their pursuit of Azpilicueta does not work out.This page is regularly updated. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
CLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceIt’s been looking like Jennifer Lopez has finally found the man of her dreams in Alex Rodriguez. The entertainment diva and former MLB player announced over the weekend that they had become engaged by sharing Instagram photos of the very big diamond ring he had given her while on a recent tropical vacation.Maybe the fifth time, engagement-ring-wise, is going to be the charm for Lopez, who has previously been engaged …
An innovative, low-cost housing solution that could help to alleviate South Africa’s housing shortage has been long-listed for the Royal Institute of British Architects International Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious design awards.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)CD AndersonCalled Empower Shack, the project was launched in 2013 by a team of South African and international architects and designers under the name Urban-Think Tank (U-TT).The result of the group’s main Empower Shack project, which takes a fresh approach to using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, is a modern and affordable double-storey structure, complete with balcony, living area, kitchen and bedrooms. The structure is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal.More than 20 prototype units have been built in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.“Although alternative schemes have emerged since the official shift in housing provision in 2004, the challenge still lies in developing a scalable, transparent and replicable model that addresses real demand, market dynamics and municipal planning objectives,” say the designers on their website.The Empower Shack design attempts to address these challenges. The housing units occupy a smaller portion of the usual slum dwelling footprint, leaving fire break spaces that give emergency services easy access.The houses are arranged around a sanitation core, providing water and toilets on site. A second level or even a third can be added if needed, to accommodate different family sizes.The denser accommodation means land is used more efficiently and guarantees residents can remain at the same site, keeping community ties intact. Community members who live in the units also become long-term stakeholders in the project.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)In addition, the project hopes to widen residents’ economic and social possibilities. Integrated livelihood programmes include community workshops and renewable energy and water management training.Micro-financing schemes are built into the planning tools, allowing residents to take out small, ethical loans when building an Empower Shack or adding another storey.“The building units are priced to meet meaningful financial contributions from recipients by designing generous but robust living spaces and service cores that meet building code obligations through fit-for-purpose bridge contracts,” say the designers.Using affordable materials such as iron sheeting, plywood and hollow-core bricks, the Empower Shack is a modern and affordable multi-storey structure that is minimalist and focused on function, safety and affordability without losing its aesthetic appeal. (Image: Urban-Think Tank)In the long term, Urban-Think Tank hopes to influence government housing policy and provide access to diverse housing for South Africa’s gap market.The Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) International Prize is awarded to a building that best exemplifies design excellence and architectural ambition.“Most importantly, this significant selection of the 62 [global] projects illustrates the meaningful impact and transformative quality that well-designed buildings can have on communities, wherever they are in the world,” said Riba president Ben Derbyshire during the announcement of the nominees.The winner of the prize will be announced later in the year.For more information about Urban-Think Tank and the Empower Shack, visit the website here.Source: Huffington Post, Dezeen Architecture website, Urban-Think TankWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mike Ryan, OCJ field reporterOhio has been home to the Amish since 1808, when the first settlers moved west from Pennsylvania to settle the scenic, rolling eastern Ohio. Today, roughly 60,000 Amish reside in Ohio across more than 50 individual settlements and over 400 church districts.The Amish culture is known for its agrarian nature, but as farm technology has changed, food safety practices have evolved and farmland availability has become an issue for some Amish communities in recent decades, the Amish have looked to new areas of enterprise to make a living, including making furniture. The now booming Amish furniture industry started simply with just a handful of barns and shops. As more English discovered the value and craftsmanship of Amish-made furniture the niche business took off and now there are more than 80 regional locations that bridge the logistical, transportation and technology gaps between Amish craftsmen and modern shoppers. One such business is Oak Creations of Millersport that is celebrating 25 years of working with the Amish and the English. This Buckeye Lake region storefront is a testament to the owners’ passion for high-quality Amish furniture — for which they have a sharp eye — and their loyal customer base who appreciates the individualized attention offered by owners and operators Mike Finlaw and Rosann Franks, and their daughter, Emily Finlaw.They sell beautiful Amish handcrafted solid wood furniture in oak, cherry, maple, and other hardwoods, specializing in high-quality home furnishings at affordable prices in a wide variety of styles, wood types, finishes, and custom designs. Oak Creations attributes some of their longevity to the strong business and personal relationships they have with their Amish builders, with whom they deal directly.“We are passionate about our relationships with both our customers and our builders, and we need builders who are passionate about what they do. Our craftsmen have the same values as we do; and their passion for and pride in their product shows,” Rosann said. “Their respect for family values and strong work ethic goes hand-in-hand with what we are doing with our business.” Mike has been around wood his entire life, working in his family lumber business, Finlaw Lumber of Zanesville, and managing building supply companies in Columbus prior to getting into the furniture business. And this skill and expertise from a life of woodworking gives him discerning vision for well-wrought pieces. The direct relationships with the talented builders are important.“We have very solid, long-term relationships with our builders. I try not to deal with a middleman and I deal directly with over 150 Amish builders. We have worked with some of them for over 20 years, and they are like extended family,” Mike said. “We always help them out and we are very loyal to our builders. We try to stick with Ohio builders, and most of our products come from Stark, Holmes, Tuscarawas, and northern Coshocton counties.” At least two trips a week are made into Ohio’s Amish country to touch base with craftsmen and to pick up product.“I make 10 to 20 stops throughout Amish country every Monday. I place orders, transport furniture to finish shops, pick up hardware, and freight small finished products back to the store. These weekly business stops are also good for business relations, as lack of access to telephones for some in the Amish community can make communication a challenge,” Mike said. “The box truck goes up to Amish country on Wednesday and we then do deliveries Wednesday afternoon and Thursday.”The heirloom Amish furniture industry and Oak Creations itself have changed greatly over the past twenty-five years.“In the beginning, the demand was for only oak furniture with designs coming from a very limited catalogue. But the industry has exploded over the last 25 years and there has been great change in what is wanted and offered,” Mike said. “When we first opened, our products were coming from suppliers in Michigan that my cousin Roger, who had a furniture store in Kalamazoo, used. We quickly outgrew this, began dealing directly with our builders, and started doing more custom jobs and working with other wood types and design styles.”Once quality products are secured, Oak Creations then relies on quality customer service to match the right places with the right furniture. Rosann and Emily, who has a background in Interior Design, work with customers on a sense of proportion and creative insight that helps customers conceptualize what is needed and what would look best to really pull a room together.“Mike has an eye for how furniture should be built and good design work. For custom work, which consists of over half of our business, he can envision what a customer needs and what the finished product will look like. Our vision for what is needed and what may look best is a gift we give the customer. Our job is to educate the customer about quality and design, let them know what they should be looking for in a product, and then let them decide,” Rosann said.Long-standing customer loyalty is a boon to Oak Creations, which strives to provide personalized attention to patrons of the furniture shop.“With our furniture, we are creating a look that is both current and timeless. Certain people want to go more contemporary and others want to be more traditional, and we can accommodate either taste,” Emily said. “We design a lot of our own furniture, as well, and we strive to create a beautiful piece that is solid and well-constructed, but also at a reasonable price. Our furniture is not the most expensive and not the least expensive, but it is the best value. We are selling great quality, hardwood furniture for less than imports can be bought.”The business connects the niche production of Amish craftsmen and the consumers who appreciate and value those products.“There is a niche of people who appreciate and enjoy quality furniture and may want to pass it down. We cater to people who embrace the home as a place for family and friends. Our tables bring a lot of families together at the start of the day and at the end of the day,” Roseann said. “If it was just about money, I would have gotten out of the business a long time ago.”Today, Oak Creations’ sole location in Millersport is a 6,400 square-foot showroom adorned with beautiful furniture and filled with an array of unique country decor that is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. A visit to Oak Creations shows the Finlaws’ expertise in both furniture and hospitality and this year’s Holiday Open House will be held Nov. 1-10. Located at 2474 Blacklick-Eastern Road, Oak Creations is a study in Amish craftsmanship and down-to-earth country values. They can be reached at 740-467-2600 or at www.oakcreationsofmillersport.com.
When people say that it costs more to build green, they are only half right. To build another generic house full of features that everyone is supposed to want but nobody really needs, using designer “green” products purchased at retail prices, would indeed cost more than building the same thing with conventional products. One of the keys to building green, though, is to think critically about every aspect of your home and to determine what is and is not necessary.My wife and I are doing that with our house. We are also doing it with our landscaping. Our lot is 68’x110’ and was surrounded on three sides by large trees. Both the front and back yards were full of weeds and not much else. For a couple of years, we mowed the weeds, bagged leaves for municipal pick-up, and talked about what we should do about landscaping.At the same time we were getting more into local food (slow food) and agriculture (permaculture). We started shopping more at farmers’ markets and Whole Foods, but we were careful about which items had “organically grown” labels because we were trying to stretch our food budget. We talked about growing a few things ourselves—vegetables that were expensive to buy and that tasted best right off the vine. Last summer we built three raised beds and enjoyed the bounty. In fact, we enjoyed it so much that we began planning out our landscaping to see just how much food we could grow ourselves. Our neighbors’ manicured lawns held little appeal, and we realized that small, well-planned gardens can be an attractive way to enjoy the outdoors.The first thing we decided to plant were things that would take a few years to mature. We chose a variety of fruiting trees, vines and shrubs that are disease resistant, hardy for our location, and have a variety of uses. In our front and side yards, we planted plum and cherry trees, which can stand up to our northwest winter winds, as well as a variety of shrubs and a birch tree that will attract wildlife. We planted hops vines and rhubarb for perennial food and flavoring. We didn’t want the chemicals our neighbor uses to be near anything we’ll eat, so we created an allée (a stand of lilacs in traditional French gardening; we’ve also planted dogwoods in ours) between our houses.In the backyard, we cut down some big trees on the southeast border and replaced them with a row of peach and cherry trees; the sensitive peach trees are in the most protected location we have. Several grapevines and highbush blueberries wrap around our deck, and two Precocious Hazelberts (a nut-producing shrub) are tucked under a tall oak tree. Native choke berries and winter berries will grow into a hedge along our shaded northwest boundary and provide winter food for birds.For the main vegetable garden, we wanted to expand on the success we had with our first three raised beds. The French have a tradition of laying out their potagers, or kitchen gardens, in attractive yet practical patterns. Following the advice of generations of organic farmers, including Eliot Coleman, we will rotate plant families through the beds to maintain soil fertility and foil disease organisms. At 3’x 8’, the beds are easy to reach across; 12-in.-deep soil drains well and warms up quickly in spring. The beds are arranged along a center aisle that’s wide enough to accommodate a garden cart, and there’s room enough between beds for a lawnmower.Trellises for tomatoes and cucumbers are easy to attach and reuse each year; growing vertically maximizes the sunlight and airflow these vigorous crops receive. Two “trench beds” complete the main garden; one for perennial flowers, which will attract beneficial insects; and one for potatoes this year, to be converted to more flowers next year. Instead of rototilling the beds each year, bringing weed seeds to the surface and destroying the soil’s texture, only the surface of the beds will be cultivated, followed with a topping of compost. The worms, fungi, and other organisms that live in the soil will toil for us relatively undisturbed, ferrying nutrients around and creating water-storing tunnels in the process.Behind the raised beds are perennial raspberry beds, and along the back and side fences are linear beds for peas, beans, and summer and winter squash vines. A planter next to our garden shed contains various mint plants, which would take over the yard if planted directly in the ground.We remind ourselves not to take all this too seriously, though. It is relaxing to wander among the plants in the evening to see what has changed and to ponder what we might do differently next year. Over time, our fruit trees will grow in, our gardening skills will improve, and our priorities will change. So far, it has been easy and fun to turn our backs on the conventional food system and do the most we can with what we have.