Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Hendry Emergency Personnel Gone

LABELLE, FL.(May 31, 2005) -- The Hendry county government and citizens of
the county have no one to manage the Emergency Management department as of
May 27. Brian Brunge was allegedly fired by the county administrator. Two
week ago, Stephanie Taylor from Emergency Management left, leaving only one
technician to run the department at the start of the 2005 Hurricane season.
In the last several weeks Hendry county also lost the County Engineer and
the Airport Manager who both quit. With the departure of all these key
personnel, the Hendry county two-person administrator's office would now be
officially in charge of the Engineer's office, Emergency management, and
both airports in Hendry county.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

LaBelle Airport Opens


The LaBelle Airport finally opens after many delays. Although not completely finished, about 4000 feet of runway is open with new pavement on the taxiways, runway, and parking ramp. One of the first aircraft to land at LaBelle Saturday morning was this 1955 Cessna 170B owned by Ken Diaz of LaBelle, Fl.

For more LaBelle airport info see LaBelle Airport

Greyhound Eliminates Stop In Florida

LABELLE, FL. -- Greyhound Lines will be discontinuing service to 33 Florida
cities and towns June 21. No longer receiving Greyhound bus service will
be: Alachua, Arcadia, Bartow, Belle Glade, Belleview, Blountstown, Bonita
Springs, Brandon, Chattahoochee, Chipley, Clewiston, Crestview, Cross City,
Dade City, Fort Meade, Haines City, Immokalee, Indiantown, La Belle, Live
Oak, Milton, Monticello, Navarre, Okeechobee, Palatka, Panama City Beach,
Quincy, St. Cloud, Starke, Venice, Waldo, Wauchula and Youngstown. The
company says it sees little demand in smaller towns.

LaBelle Land Price Report For May

LABELE, FL. -- From 5/3/2005 to 5/24/2005, there were 11 homes sold in the
LaBelle area for an average price of $99,545. The highest priced home sold
for $280,000 on Turtle Lane, while the lowest prices were for a lot on
Hercules Road in Port LaBelle for $34,000 and one on N. Obisbo for $27,000,
and another at S. Beechwood for $25,000. Builders and out of town real
estate brokers are sending letters to virtually all Port LaBelle and
Montura lot owners asking to buy their lots. The out of town owners are
selling at significant discounts compared to market values.

Friday, May 27, 2005


At the LaBelle Airport, a sod truck unloads acres of grass while other workers attempt to get lines painted on runways, taxiways, and aircraft parking ramps in the much delayed airport expansion project. Problems have arisen in notification to the FAA about the airport being closed, while other problems include aircraft ramp parking lines that appear to be incorrectly placed.

LaBelle Airport Construction Woes

County Administrator Losing Control of Construction Project?

LABELLE, FL. (May 27, 2005) -- The Hendry County Engineer and Airport
Manager have quit. The airport construction project is behind schedule, with
numerous deadlines missed. So what's new at LaBelle Municipal Airport's
major construction project?

The huge runway and taxiway expansion project scheduled to take only two
months under the contract between the county and Better Roads, Inc. has
dragged on for months longer. As the project was nearing a presumed
completion date at the end of the day Thursday May 26, both the county
engineer and the airport manager are gone. They quit two weeks ago after
being on the job for the county several years each. There is now no one with
any aviation experience working for the county on the airport project. What
more can go wrong?

On Thursday and Friday, a couple of dozen men were seen working at the
airport trying to complete the work needed to safely open western Hendry
county's only airport. Most of the workers were laying sod to cover the
acres of dirt plowed up for the lengthening of the runway from 3800 feet to
5000 feet and to expand the aircraft taxiway system. Although the complete
work calls for 5000 feet of runway, that won't be completed in this phase. A
few workers were seen installing electrical wires to the runway signage
lighting system and a couple of presumed supervisors were seen running up
and down the field in their trucks for hours just looking about. Painting
crews were preparing to put down safely markings on the runways, taxiways
and parking ramp.

In the rush to complete the project, it seems some important issues were
botched. The Federal Aviation Adminstration's Flight Service Station say the
airport is open today (Friday). Obviously, that's not true, as heavy
equipment and men are still working on the runway and taxiways, as well as
the aircraft parking ramp. Seems someone goofed and didn't tell the FAA that
the airport is not open. The FAA thought the airport was to be open by
midnight Thursday evening as that's the word they heard from the Hendry
county engineering office. Now Hendry counthy government is in a dangerous
situation if any pilot try to land thinking all the work is completed.

While an airport's primary function is to allow aircraft to land and take
off safely, another required feature is parking for aircraft and safely
securing them on the parking ramp. Another goof up was spotted Thursday as
we drove into the airport. Seems some planner figured wrong on how far
apart tie down ropes should be placed for securing aircraft at the ramp. The
current set up will not allow any pilot to tie down their aircraft on the
ramp because the ropes are set apart too far, about twice as far as they
should be. Someone put metal rings in concrete in the wrong locations
meaning there's no way to tie down the aircraft securely on the ramp. The
Sunday Morning News editor notified the county engineering department
Thursday morning at 11 a.m. about the apparent goof-up but no action was
taken to correct it. The contractor says that's what on the plans and he's
not changing it.

In the absence of the former county engineer, the engineering department
says Lester Baird, Hendry County's county administrator is in charge of the
airport and its construction project.

When pilots call the FAA to file flight plans or get airport and weather
informations here's what the FAA Flight Service Stations told pilots Friday
in published "NOTAMS" which are Notices to Airmen, about the LaBelle
Airport which is designated as X14 by the FAA.

"Current NOTAMs, (as of 27 MAY 15:54 GMT), The following is a list of NOTAMs
within a 5NM radius of X14. X14 LA BELLE MUNI. No active NOTAMs for this
location." If an airport is closed, the NOTAM would be issued saying so to
warn pilots not to land there. Meanwhile, we hope no pilot tries to land
while the trucks and men are stilling working all over the runways.

Glades County Taking Lykes To Court

MOORE HAVEN, FL. (May 23, 2005) -- Before making the motion to file suit
against Lykes Brothers, District 2 Commissioner Alvin Ward, at the Glades
County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night, reported on a recent
meeting the Board had requested with Lykes Bros concerning removing the
deed restriction clause placed by Lykes when Glades County obtained the
40-acre site for the county landfill in Ortona.

That restriction allows the deposit of only in-county waste in the county's
class II landfill.Ý With less than 25-30Ý tons of solid waste per day
generated within Glades County, the operation is such the small volume
cannot generate enough revenue to keep a black bottom-line, much less
provide the approximately $2 million needed to close the first cell within
the next two years and open the second of four cells.

Ward announced that Lykes had agreed to negotiate the removal of the
restriction, which would then allow solid waste stream of the same class
from other counties, providing Glades County would: 1) agree to take firm
action in opposition to the permitting of Omniís regional landfill in
Charlotte County near the Glades County line northwest of Muse 2) team up
with Charlotte County for a joint venture of waste disposal services, and
3) adamantly oppose the regional landfill sought by Republic with the City
of Moore Haven annexation project or anywhere in Glades County.

Ward expressed his view that this was unreasonable and he moved to go
forward with litigation and sue Lykes Bros to get court authority to remove
the restriction. Ward stated funds could be borrowed to finance the
litigation.<P>
Lykes Bros. is the largest property owner with the largest tax bill in
Glades County. Should the conglomerate company decide to forego the
discount incentive, it could pay its ad valorem and tangible property taxes
in March instead of November, as many Glades tax legally payers do.Ý If
this occurs, Glades County very probably would have to secure a $1 million
loan to pay day-to-day General Fund budgeted operating expenses between
mid-November and March 30. The Glades County Sheriff's budget comprises
about 60% of the general fund expenditures. Ward's viewpoint was the end
justifies the means, in that opening the landfill for out-of-county waste
could generate income for Glades County.

Commissioner Jones sided with Ward, stating Glades Countyís financial
situation keeps going downhill and in his 13 years on the Board, they are
now facing the worst year yet, viewing a regional landfill as the monetary
savior of the revenue-strapped 10-mil tax rate county.

Commissioner Beck remained in strong opposition to a regional landfill in
Glades County, especially one near Moore Haven. He cautioned that this
process will not solve Glades County's immediate woes because the process
could take five or more years in permitting, and with the likelihood of
lawsuits starting when the City strikes its deal, it would no doubt take
even longer before any significant funding started flowing to the City, or
City/County/School Board or whatever landfill revenue-sharing team was
formed.

Beck's apparent concern was neither Republic nor the City of Moore Haven
have officially disclosed the proposed regional landfill site, and varying
versions of legal opinions are surfacing concerning using the railroad
right of way as basis for the "contiguous to the city" requirement to annex
out-of-town property for a regional landfill site. He suggested a 5-year
moratorium while other solutions are sought. He mentioned that the County's
Land Development Regulations are still being revised, and he quoted quite a
bit of terminology on the legality and defensibility of using this avenue
to prevent the Republic/City regional landfill.

Echols lamented the terms of the original process when the landfill Request
For Proposals was published (in the summer of 2003) using the Consultants
Competitive Negotiation Act, which requires ranking vendors and negotiating
exclusively with them in order of ranking until impasse. He proposed the
Board choose the optionÝ Glades Countyís Attorney Richard Pringle outlined
in his last memo to the Board and declare impasse (at this meeting) with
both Republic and BFI and go back to "square one" , put out another RFP and
see what's out there now. Echols supported the consideration of the County
working with the City of Moore Haven on its annexation issue with plans for
a regional landfill with Republic

Chairman Jones, reluctant to foil the process, had the Board's Clerk get
Pringle on the phone; Pringle stated they could do that, but the ìsafestî
way would be to allow Republic to come back to the Board and start
negotiations. His position was based on the presumption that communication
between the County and Republic had not been clear enough when he notified
them of the impasse reached in negotiations with Waste Management, and
Republic failed to appear at the last commission meeting to further discuss
negotiation options.Ý Should an impasse be reached with Republic, then the
Board would go ahead and negotiate with third ranked BFI.

In other action, the Board approved setting in place additional millage
assessments not to exceed approximately 6 mils to fund operating costs for
county provided fire protection and emergency medical services. The exact
millage, which will be in addition to existing 10 mil ad valorem taxes,
will be determined during the upcoming budget workshops beginning in July
to fund the fiscal year 2005-2006.

In The Service

Army Pfc. Junior Mercedes has graduated from the Power-Generation Equipment
Repairer Advanced Individual Training (AIT) course at Aberdeen Proving
Ground, Aberdeen, Md.
During AIT, the soldier was trained to perform unit, direct support or
general support maintenance functions on power-generation equipment. This
included repair and overhauling internal combustion engines, tactical
utility, precise power generation sets, and other associated equipment.
He is the son of Lorenza Rodriguez of Indiantown, Fla.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Free Credit Reports

Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson
is urging consumers to take advantage of a law that requires major credit
reporting services to provide free credit reports. The amendment to the
Fair Credit Reporting Act was designed to provide consumers who cannot or
will not pay a fee for the reports to access them for free once a year.
The law has been phased-in across the United States, and Florida residents
will be eligible for the documents on June 1.


"Reviewing your credit history is one of the most important steps people
can take to avoid identity theft," Bronson said. "If consumers find out
that someone is using their identity or credit cards without their
knowledge, the credit reports may be the first hint they have that there is
a problem."

A credit report contains information about a consumer's credit history,
including a listing of all credit cards, whether bills have been paid on
time, and whether the consumer has been sued, arrested or filed for
bankruptcy. National consumer reporting agencies sell the information to
credit card companies and other creditors, insurers, employers and other
businesses that use it to determine whether to approve an application for
credit, insurance, loans, and employment. A poor credit history can result
in rejection of credit or higher interest rates on a loan.


"Consumers should regularly review these reports for any mistakes," Bronson
said. "Identity theft is not the only concern. False information that
hurts someone's credit rating can mean the difference of whether they can
buy a home or not. It is important to ensure the information is accurate
and up to date, especially before making a major purchase."


Consumers can challenge and change incorrect information on the reports.
The three major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and
TransUnion. To obtain a free copy of reports from these agencies, log onto
http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com. People should be wary of any other
sites which claim to offer free reports but steer consumers to sites that
offer services by subscription for a fee. Consumers can also order their
reports by calling toll-free
1-877-322-8228.

In The Service

Army National Guard Sgt. Edward Lotak has graduated from the Army Basic
Noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC) at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo.
The soldier received leadership and job specialty training during the
common leader training which focused on leadership assessment and
development. Leaders learned the theories and principles of warfighting
skills required to lead small units in combat; received the skills needed
to supervise, communicate and motivate subordinates, and assist, operate
and install strategic and tactical communications systems.
The technical training prepares the soldier to act and perform duties
and responsibilities in the noncommissioned officer's particular job
specialty while serving as a squad leader, team or section chief. The
sergeant received hands-on, performance-oriented field training in his or
her career management field.
Lotak a team leader is assigned to the 635th Armor Battalion. He has
nine years of military service.
He is the son of Rosemarie Doherty of Clewiston, Fla., and Edward
Lotak of Tamarac, Fla.
His wife, Cristen, is the daughter of Kathy Zimmerman of Manhattan, Kan.
The Sergeant is a 1995 graduate of Clewiston High School.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Man Found Dead In Local Motel

LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriff Ronnie Lee reports that the HCSP is
investigating
the death of Peter Allen Hentnik. Mr. Hentnik age 25 listed a Sebring
address when he checked into a local motel in LaBelle. His body was
discovered in his room when deputies responded to a call shortly after
noon Monday May 23rd. Sheriff Lee stated that Mr. Hentnik's family has
been notified and that the investigation is continuing.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

National Trails Day

Celebrate National Trails Day on June 4 with with the Loxahatchee Chapter of
the American Hiking Association in Palm Beach and Hendry County. Celebrate
National Trails Day with an aerobic walk at John Prince Park, Lake Worth at
7 AM, or at Clewiston on the Lake Okeechobee Trail at 3 PM. For details,
call Paul Cummings (561) 963-9906 cummingssh@juno.com

Enjoy a leisurely 2.5 mile walk through pinewoods, fiddler crabs, salt marsh
flats, and scrub flatwoods in the Estero Scrub Preserve, in Lee County. For
details, contact JoAnn Luce (239) 495-7644 jlhikealong@worldnet.att.net

Or hikw the Big Cypress Preserve North, in Broward & Hendry Counties. We'll
depart at 7:30 from the rest area located at MM 63 on I-75. Bring at least 2
quarts of water, snack, sunscreen, hat and lunch. The hike will be 6 miles
round trip. David Denham 305-284-9861, co-leader Larry Alesi 561-479-3731

Fordson Park Scene of Shots Fired

LABELLE, FL. (May 21, 2005) -- While, details have yet to be released by
the Hendry Sheriff's office, Hendry county deputies chased a dark colored
Oldsmobile to Lee county's Charleston Park subdivision near Alva at about
7:45 Saturday night looking for a shooting suspect. Deputies were called to
the Fordson Park in LaBelle where a reported shooting took place and a
large crowd had gathered. On arrival the suspects were reportedly seen
traveling at high speed toward Alva on SR80 and a Hendry deputy took chase.
The shooting victim had fled from the area.
The car sought was later identified as belonging to Lorenzo Douglas of
23071 Avenue D in the Charleston Park subdivision in Lee county. As the
deputy waited for backup from Lee county and the arrival of another Hendry
deputy, he spotted suspects waiting outside an apartment building at 23220
Avenue A. While the Hendry deputy waited on backup, the suspects apparently
went into an apartment. Lee deputies arrived and presumably grabbed the
suspects but the Sheriff's department has not released any information .
Noted during the incident by a Hendry Sheriff's supervisor was the
efficient work done by the Hendry Sheriff's office dispatcher who was able
to coordinate the Lee Sheriff's office and Hendry deputies on scene to
quickly lead officers to the suspects.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Orange Now Official Fruit

Governor Jeb Bush this week signed legislation (SB 574) designating the
orange as Florida's official state fruit. Bill sponsor Representative
Donna Clarke, Sarasota County Farm Bureau President Rory Martin, Southside
Elementary School Principal Sharon Marks, Teacher Janet Shapiro and
students joined Governor Bush for the bill signing.
"The orange plays a vital role in our state's economy, with more than
90,000 people employed by the citrus industry and more than 1.2 billion
gallons of orange juice produced each year in the state," said Governor
Bush.
"I'm extremely pleased that citizens took the initiative to make this
happen," said Commissioner Bronson. "Oranges have been in this state since
being brought here by the Spanish in the 1500's and since Florida is known
around the world for its fresh citrus, it is only natural that the orange
be adopted as the official state fruit."
Florida is the largest producer of oranges in the United States. The fruit
has been grown in the state for nearly 500 years, with the Spanish planting
the first orange tree in St. Augustine in the early 1500's. Since then,
the citrus industry has grown to nearly 100 million trees in groves
covering more than 750,000 acres. Florida's orange groves produce more
than 200 million boxes of oranges annually, pouring $9 billion into the
state's economy. Hendry county has been at the top three Florida Counties
in number of citrus trees for a decade.
With the signing of this legislation, the orange joins the orange blossom
(official state flower) and orange juice (official state beverage) to
become Florida's 29th official emblem.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In The Service

Air Force Airman 1st Class Robert E. Miller III has arrived for duty at
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, N.C. Miller an assistant crew
chief is assigned to the 333rd Aircraft Maintenance Unit. He is the son of
Robert E. Miller, Jr. of E. Main St., Pahokee, Fla., and Tanya D. Hammil of
Redish Circle, Clewiston, Fla. His wife, Joguanda, is the daughter of
Gloria M. Sosa of S.W., 12th St., Belle Glade, Fla. The airman is a 2002
graduate of Pahokee High School.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sheriff's Sergeant Completed Training

Sheriff Ronnie Lee has announced that HCSO Sergeant James Wright has
completed 210 hours of training conducted by the Department of Homeland
Security. The advanced training will benefit Hendry County Citizens
during times of natural or human caused disasters. Through this training
Sgt. Wright will be able to share these skills with other members of the
HCSO enabling them to be better prepared to assist the citizens of
Hendry County during different types disasters or emergencies.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Local Businesses Cited - No Worker's Comp

LABELLE, FL. (May 15, 2005) -- The Florida Division of Worker's Compensation
has cited local businesses for failure to obtain worker's compensation
insurance coverage. The Division has ordered a stop work order for the
businesses of Juan F. Vaszquez, Jerry's Bobcat Inc., both in LaBelle and
Chickee Builders, of Clewiston. The Division says nine Hendry companies have
failed to provide coverage to their workers since Octomber, and were issued
stop work orders, but those companies have since made restitution to the
State and the orders were revoked. Those cited but have come into compliance
include: Saucedo Construction, Inc., Russ Henderson, Morrison Sod, Manual
Vega, Gil Drywall and Finishing, Inc., and Jose Cuellar Sod Service, all of
LaBelle.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Hendry Students Again Show Poorly

LABELLE, FL. -- The Florida Department of Education again released its
statewide standardized test results showing Hendry county students among the
worst performing in the state. Those twelfth graders re-taking the Florida
Comprehensive Assessment Test this year are uniformally not ready to
graduate according to the results. Only 14% of seniors re-taking the test
this year passed the FCAT test in Math and 14% passed in Reading.
The tests have been given in Florida since 1998 with the 10th grade FCAT
being the high school graduation test. No passing grade means the student is
not entitled to a Florida high school diploma.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Summer Camp Free To Clewiston Kids

The Hope Hospice Rainbow Trails Camp for bereaved children helps to heal
young hearts and change lives forever.

Clewiston area children ages 6 through 16 who have had someone
significant in their life die in the past year are eligible to attend
the camp at no cost, on Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12.

Registration is now open. For more information, call (239) 489-9149 or
800-835-1673

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Port LaBelle Tries To Stem Deterioration Of Village


Port LaBelle's Unit 4 "Eucalyptus Village" board of directors, in an attempt to stem years of community complaints about four-wheelers and other off-road vehicles driving through greenbelt areas, recently added a warning to it's two entrance signs.


Although a deed restricted community, the community's governing board has been lax in enforcing many rules and regulations for years. One original building restriction was that all homes in the community must have either a garage or carport. After a large percentage of homeowner's closed them off and turned those into bedrooms, the board was forced to amend the rule. Other restrictions, little enforced, prohibit residents driving on greenbelts to park trucks and cars in back yards, although a community drive-through will show evidence of many old vehicles stored at the rear of homes.


More Port LaBelle information at Port LaBelle Community

Buker Steps Up At US Sugar

CLEWISTON, FL (May 9, 2005) -- United States Sugar Corporation Chairman
of the Board William S. White announced that Robert H. Buker, Jr., will
become President and CEO upon the retirement of Robert A. Dolson. Last
month, Dolson announced his intention to retire at the end of his
five-year commitment to the Board. Buker is currently Executive Vice
President, responsible for all sugar operations.

In making this decision, White said it is very important for the Company
to stay focused on effectively executing the plans put in place to
radically redesign and modernize the Company's sugar processing
operations.
White hopes that this promotion sends a message that there is
opportunity for advancement for those who apply their talent, drive and
initiative to achieving the Company's objectives in a change-oriented
environment.

Bill White and the Board of Directors have made it clear that their
goal is to maintain the current leadership team intact in order to
effectively complete these important projects over the next several
years. In other words, to stay on course, on time and on budget as well
as looking for future opportunities," Buker said.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

LaBelle Airport Construction Delayed


Aerial Photo of LaBelle Municipal Airport - Now under construction to extend and widen the runway, the project at last announced projection, was expected to be completed by May 13. The contractor, Better Roads Inc., a Highlands county company, has announced numerous delays since the beginning of the multi-million dollar project. Now with excavation and grading still underway on the mile long runway and adjoining parking ramp areas, there appears to be no end in sight, although the construction manager has unofficially guessed a couple of more weeks to complete enough of the runway to allow aircraft to land at LaBelle.


This aerial photo looks west over the city of LaBelle.

Aerial Photos by Don Browne


More LaBelle Airport information at LaBelle Municipal Airport

Summer Rains Are Coming

May Home Gardening Advice
By Gene McAvoy


As the month of May progresses, we can expect to see a buildup of white
fluffy clouds each afternoon signaling the onset on our rainy season. While
the summer rainy season pattern of afternoon showers usually begins this
month, May can also be a dry month, be prepared for anything. Daytime
temperatures should reach average highs in the mid to upper 80s and stay
there until September. The combination of rain plus long days and warm
temperatures should really get your lawn growing initiating the start of the
weekly summer mowing ritual. Be certain that your mower and other gas powered equipment has been serviced and blades sharpened in preparation for the long grass cutting season ahead.


Once the rains begin in earnest and the ground has been thoroughly wetted,
it is a good time to plant those trees and shrubs that you have been
planning to include in your landscape. By planting now, it will allow the
new plants to take advantage of the rainy season to become well established.
Remember to be prepared to irrigate if the early rains should be sporadic.
If you have an automatic irrigation system, which is not equipped with a
rainfall monitor, remember to reset it after the rains have begun to fall
regularly to avoid over watering. The return of the rainy season is prime
time for seeding bahia lawns and laying sod for new St. Augustine lawns.
This is also the time to seed bare patches in existing bahia turf or adding
sod or plugs to St. Augustine lawns. Warm weather will favor chinch bug and
mole cricket activity, monitor turf areas and treat as needed. Mole crickets
are best treated with insecticidal baits applied just before sunset.


Since the hurricane season is not far off, May is a good time to survey your
domain for weak limbs and dangerous overhanging branches that may become a problem in a storm. Removing such potential problems now may save you major grief if high winds should strike. When attempting to remove large branches, use the following pruning technique to avoid splitting the branch and tearing strips of bark off the main trunk. First, make a cut about six inches from the trunk on the underside of the branch until the saw begins to bind, next remove the saw and finish cutting from the top of the branch at a point a few inches past the first cut. The branch should break off between the two cuts. After the branch has been removed in this manner, you can then trim the stub back taking care to avoid the branch collar where the
branch joins the trunk. Injury to the branch collar can result in a wound that may infect the trunk.


Bougainvillea are best pruned soon after the blooms have fallen in May or
June. Pruning later in the season will reduce the amount of next years
flowers. Prune to keep the vines under control and maintain desired size
and form. Azaleas and camellias can also be pruned now after flowering is
finished.


Lawns should be fertilized in May in preparation for the summer rainy
season. For St. Augustine and high maintenance bahia lawns, apply a slow
release nitrogen fertilizer at the rate of 1 lb. N per 1000 square feet.
Ornamental trees and shrubs should receive a second feeding this month with
a complete fertilizer for top performance. Choose a fertilizer supplemented
with minor elements for best results. May-June is the time to give your
citrus trees a second application of fertilizer for the year. If you do not
get rain soon after applying fertilizer, remember to water in the
fertilizer to avoid damage to your plants.


If you haven't yet done so, remove spent cool season flowering annuals and
replace with warm season flowers. Continue to root cuttings from your
favorite shrubs and perennials. Use of a rooting compound will increase
your success rate with all but the most easily rooted cuttings. Be sure to
select cuttings from healthy disease free plants only. Sharp builders' sand
or well drained potting mix will produce better cuttings than attempts to
root cuttings in water.


Warm season vegetables that can be planted in May include: black-eyed peas,
calabaza, cherry tomato, collards, dasheen, lima beans, New Zealand spinach,
okra, summer squash, sweet potatoes, yams, and yard long beans.


Flowers that can withstand summer temperatures are: begonias, blue daze,
celosia, coleus, four-o'clocks, gaillardia, marigolds, morning glories,
periwinkle, portulaca, purslane, salvia, torenia, and zinnias. Bulbs to plant in May include: achimenes, blood lilies, cannas, crinums, day
lilies, gladiolus, gloriosa lilies, spider lilies and rain lilies.


Insect will become more active with the onset of summer temperatures.
Remember, that not all insects are harmful. In fact, the vast majority are
harmless or actually beneficial. These include pollinators and predaceous
insects that feed on other insects. Be sure to correctly identify insects
and spray selectively only when absolutely necessary. Good luck and good
gardening.


Gene McAvoy is the horticulture agent with the Hendry County Extension
Service.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Glades Community Group Organizing

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A grass-roots alliance of community leaders in Glades
County has organized a coalition of Community Associations (of Glades
County), with the dedicated purpose of sharing ideas and solutions to
problems encountered among growing rural communities. This group will
serve the County by presenting the consensus of its communities to the
Board of County Commissioners addressing issues of county-wide importance,
as well as seeking to resolve those issues with direction from that Board.


Glades County has recognized and supported several Community Associations
including those in Buckhead Ridge, Indian Hills, Lakeport, Muse, Ortona,
Palmdale, Port LaBelle Ranchettes, River Oaks and Washington Park. In the
past, some received funding from the one-percent discretionary sales tax
collected in Glades County, which was approved by referendum vote for
capital improvements and recreation endeavors.


Interested Glades County community leaders are urged to attend the next
meeting May 3, at 7 p.m., at 3345 Coffee Mill Hammock Road in Ortona.
For more information, call Ellen Hawk Geake at 983.2922 or Donna Storter
at 675.8850. Those unable to attend are invited to submit issues, ideas,
suggestions for helping Glades County communities.