The Spring 2014 Valley Ranch Newsletter is now available!!
Calling All Kids! Are you creative? Do you like to work with your hands? Do you have a flair for repurposing discarded objects? Then you will want to enter our first Recycle Art Contest for kids. All kids 14 and under are eligible to enter. Try your hand at recycled art, by forming your own trash sculptures or artistry drawings. These art works will be on display in the Valley Ranch office during April 2014. Winners will be announced during Earth Day week at the Valley Ranch Recycle Day on April 19th. One grand winner and two runners-up will be awarded prizes.
Each entry must include the artist’s name as well as the name of the school he/she attends. Entries must be submitted to the Valley Ranch office no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 11, 2014. Parents are discouraged from helping. The goal is to call attention to the child’s creativity. If you are a resident child under the age of 14, living in either a residence or apartment complex, you are allowed to enter. Contest is open from March 31, 2014 through April 11, 2014. Winners will be announced on April 19, 2014.
• This contest will have two levels:
1. Kids under age 7
2. Kids ages 7-14
• Children under the age of 7 will have 2 options:
1. Join the dots and color or
2. Draw self portrait of his or her self recycling
Art forms will be provided and each child can submit only one.
• Parents can print “Join the dots and color” or “Self Portrait recycling” copies online, or obtain either from the Valley Ranch office.
• Kids 7-14 may enter the trash sculpture project. Creations must be made from clean trash.
• Applicants/Parents in both categories may drop off their entries at the HOA Office from March 31st – April 11th.
• The drawings/sculptures will be returned to the parents after the winner is declared. The Valley Ranch office will not be storing these entries.
• The winners will have an opportunity to have their photo taken which will then be published in future newsletters.
The City of Irving is offering an additional round of grant funding opportunities through the Community Gardens Grant Program. Applications are being accepted through March 14. The application and a list of required documents, along with information regarding the city’s Community Gardens Policy and Grant Program Guidelines can be found at cityofirving.org/begreen. Attend a free informational meeting scheduled for the following:
• 6 to 7 p.m., Feb. 6 at West Irving Library, 4444 W. Rochelle Road
•6 to 7 p.m., Feb. 10 at Irving City Hall, First Floor Council Conference Room, 825 W. Irving Blvd.
•10 to 11 a.m., Feb. 13 at Irving City Hall, First Floor Council Conference Room, 825 W. Irving Blvd.
On the Money: Kroger looks to invest in store expansion, new markets.
US retailer Kroger has said it will invest in expansion and look at new market opportunities in 2013 after delivering an “outstanding” year of sales and earnings.
Speaking on the firm’s earnings call yesterday (7 March), Kroger CFO Michael Schlotman told analysts the retailer will look to open more stores and undertake new relocations and expansions in 2013 compared to last year.
COO Rodney McMullen added: “We are implementing our long-term growth strategy, which includes targeting capital to grow our business in new and existing markets.”
The store investment, Kroger said, would be funded with a 2013 capex of US$2.1 to $2.4bn. This, the retailer said in a filing yesterday, will include around 45-50 “major” projects covering new stores, expansions and relocations, 130 to 160 remodels, and other investments including technology and infrastructure to support its business strategy…
For more information regarding your local Kroger, click here.
Protect Pipes and Hoses
There are several steps you can take to protect the pipes and hoses in your home and landscape from cold weather:
Reduce the risk of damage to your pool due to freezing conditions by following these tips:
Just like you, pets need water, food and warmth to get through cold days and freezing nights. When possible, make sure your pets are indoors. If your pets are outside, make sure they have access to blankets in a draft-free shelter that is elevated off the ground.
The late months of winter are a great time to begin preparing your landscape for warmer spring temperatures.
During the winter months, water in the midmorning to avoid the afternoon winds that keep your sprinklers from hitting their grass target. You also will reduce the risk of icing that can occur if you water during early morning or evening.
February is usually mild enough to allow you to plant petunias, pansies, snapdragons and other cool-season annuals in a well-drained, highly-enriched soil. Adding a protective mulch on the soil around your plants will conserve water so you don’t have to water as often. Remember to stake new plants and water them deeply to prevent damage from winds and burning young leaves.
The ideal time to prune trees and shrubs is in late winter, when plants are mostly dormant. Finish heavy pruning by mid-February, before buds show evidence of swelling. Don’t prune more than one-quarter of the living tissue during the year.
Peak blooming season is in the spring, and the best time to fertilize fruit trees and grapes is the six weeks before and after they bloom. Fertilize in late winter for the finest fruit.
Irving’s Valley Ranch library has grown so much that sometimes you can’t even get a seat.
“There are times when you walk in there and there is just no place to sit down,” library services director Chris Dobson said. “At children’s programs, we’ve regularly turned kids away because the room just doesn’t have the capacity.”
To solve the problem, city officials will shut down the library for two months in early 2014 to open up an additional 5,000 square feet of space in the 26,000-square-foot building. The $1.5 million to renovate the building is part of a 2012 bond.
The Valley Ranch extension is one of several changes to Irving’s library system, which includes the Valley Ranch Library, the East Branch Library, the Central Library and the West Irving Library. Across the street from the Central Library, construction crews have been working on the new $9.7 million South Irving Library. That 52,570-square-foot facility, approved as part of a 2006 bond, will eventually replace the aging Central Library, except for administrative offices.
A master plan for the system calls for a new East Library to be constructed in the future, although the city has not yet identified a location or construction start time.
The changes are coming at a time when Dobson says the city’s libraries are seeing more and more people. It’s also at a time when many bookstores and video rental stores are closing, but Dobson said there’s not really a correlation because they were never competitors in the first place.
Statistics show that throughout the past year, more than 959,700 people visited a library in person and more than 768,000 have visited the library system’s website. Patrons have checked out more than 1,399,700 materials. The library has more than 6,800,000 catalogued items and more than 1,400 programs.
“I’m hoping it’s because we’re doing a better job to get the word out about our programs or we’re doing better programs,” Dobson said.
It also comes as Irving’s libraries are trying to keep up with technology.
“This has been a wonderful building, but it was built in ’86,” Dobson said of the Central Library. “When this library opened, we didn’t have public computers, and now we do. We’ve got cords running everywhere. If you come in, you’ll see people leaned up against the walls in the stacks between the shelves with their laptops because all the outlets are against the walls.”
Click here to read full article.