March 1st edition of:

Community Update
A Report on the Activities of Alachua County Government

 

This Issues Features:

Black History Month
2013 ACCESS Spring Classes
NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Project Update
Levy Prairie Opening Ceremony Video
March Extension Programs
Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show
4-H Horse Show
City of Gainesville Upcoming Election
Blue Oven Kitchens on Alachua County Talks
February 26, 2013 Board Meeting
Commission Highlights

Black History Month

February was Black History Month, and Alachua County celebrated the occasion by showcasing documentaries about Black History of particular importance to our County.

We invite readers of Community Update to spend time learning about our local history, and listen to local activists and community leaders discuss the rich history of our community.

Click to view a selection of Black History videos produced by the County over the years.

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2013 ACCESS Spring Classes

The public is invited to participate in the annual Alachua County Civic Education SerieS (ACCESS) classes, which begin April 1, 2013. The free program runs for seven sessions (on Mondays), but space is limited. The registration deadline is March 27.

Participants receive detailed information about the operations of County departments, special districts, and Constitutional Officers. The sessions include presentations, handouts, tours, hands-on activities and question and answer periods. Each ACCESS graduating class produce a group of citizens equipped to engage in ways that help Alachua County become more representative of its citizenry’s needs.

County Manager Richard Drummond said of ACCESS, “We hope you will gain a greater understanding and appreciation for the complex nature of providing local government services to our wide array of stakeholder.”

To view a complete schedule of classes and to register online, visit the ACCESS website.

To register or get more information, call 352-374-5262.

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NW 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Project Update

Due to the deteriorating conditions on NW 16th Ave./NW 23rd Ave., County crews will be repairing potholes beginning the week of March 4, 2013. The repairs requiring lane closures are scheduled during the Alachua County School Board spring break (the week of March 25) to minimize the impacts to traffic flow. These repairs are not part of the future 16th Ave/NW 23rd Ave Mill and Resurfacing Project.

The transformational NW 16th Ave./NW 23rd Ave. Mill and Resurface Project is scheduled to begin in the late summer of 2013. The project, which runs from NW 57th Ter. to NW 13th St., includes the resurfacing and rehabilitation of the existing pavement, upgrading the existing pedestrian facilities to meet current ADA requirements, the addition of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, addressing safety and operational issues through intersection and median opening modifications, and stabilizing the retaining walls along NW 16th Ave. The project length is four miles.

Click to view a monthly updated PDF file detailing the NW 16th Avenue/NW 23rd Avenue Project.

For more information, contact Alachua County Project Manager Brian Singleton at 352-374-5245.



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Levy Prairie Opening Ceremony Video

Click here to watch a short video about the acquisition and public opening of the Levy Prairie portion of the Barr Hammock Preserve on February 2. The Preserve is now open for hiking and biking on 6½ miles of established paths with incredible views of over 1,000 acres of marsh and wet prairie.

Click to find out more about Alachua County Land Conservation.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Environmental Protection Department’s Land Conservation Program at 352-264-6848 or kmcpherson@alachuacounty.us.

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March Extension Programs

All of these programs are held at the Extension Office (2800 NE 39 Avenue, Gainesville).

Family and Consumer Sciences Programs

These programs are being offered by Brenda C. Williams, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent.

$mart Financial $tart Series – March 4, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (This financial series began February 4, with additional sessions on March 4, April 8, & May 13.)

Session Two: Making Credit Work for You. This series is designated for married couples to assist with budgeting, using credit wisely, determining what type and how much insurance they need and getting their important financial papers and records organized.

No cost to attend; pre-register at least one week prior to class by calling 352-955-2402.

Food Safety and Quality Program (ServSafe®) – March 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This program is dedicated to providing training which enables food managers and staff to offer Florida consumers food that is prepared in a clean and safe environment.

For further information and to register, visit http://fycs.ifas.ufl.edu/foodsafety/, or call toll-free at 1-888-232-8723.

Required Financial Management Class for those filing for bankruptcy – March 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Attendees will learn 4 basic concepts that will aid in handling financial resources responsibly and building a financially secure future.  This program has been approved to issue certificates evidencing completion of a personal financial management instructional course in compliance with the Bankruptcy Code. Attendees must bring a case number to class.

Topics include: Develop a Budget, Money Management Skills, Use Credit Responsibly, and Consumers Rights and Responsibilities.

Cost to attend this class is $10.00 (cash only) for course materials. Pre-register by March 15, by calling 352-955-2402.

Environmental Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Wendy Wilber, Environmental Horticulture Agent.

Culinary Herbs and Spices – March 6, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This class will cover growing the traditional herbs such as parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. In addition, the class will venture into a few more exotic types like lemon grass and kaffir lime.

Growing Blueberries in Your Landscape – March 13, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Alachua County is one of the top blueberry producing counties in the state. Rabbit eye blueberries can be grown easily in the home landscape. This class covers planting, fertilizing and pruning.

Turf Boot Camp: Grow a Florida-Friendly™ Lawn – March 20, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This class covers mowing, watering, fertilizing and pest management of lawns.

Groundcovers & Turf Alternatives – March 21, from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

This class covers groundcover plants that will grow in the shade, full sun and in tough places.

There is no cost to attend these classes, pre-register at least 3 days prior to class by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail).

Commercial Horticulture Programs

These programs are being offered by Aparna Gazula, Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Growing Blueberries – March 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

This class is designed to provide information to individuals interested in beginning or improving their blueberry production. This class has something to offer if you are growing blueberries on a small to medium scale or receiving income from your property.

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than March 20.

Green Industries Best Management Practices – March 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This workshop is designed to provide training in Best Management Practices for anyone working in the lawn, landscape, pest control, or municipal grounds areas. This is a required training class for all commercial and institutional fertilizer applicators in Alachua County according to the Alachua County Fertilizer Standards and Management Practices Code.

Cost $25.00 includes materials and lunch.

Pre-register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) at least three working days prior to program.

Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs

These programs are offered by Barton Wilder, Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent.

General Standards (CORE) Pesticide Workshop – March 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This training session will cover pesticide safety, pesticide regulations environmental protection, and the principles of pest control. Applicators that apply pesticides in either the agricultural or landscaping industry are encouraged to attend.

Registration fee is $5.00 (includes light refreshments).

Register by calling 352-337-6209 (voicemail) no later than March 18.

Right of Way & Natural Areas Weed Control Workshop – March 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This workshop will cover exotic weed identification, herbicides for natural areas and right of ways, principles of vegetation management and herbicide calculations.

Registration fee is $5.00 (includes light refreshments).

For more information about these programs call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office.

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Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show

The Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show Association is pleased to announce the upcoming Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show from March 8, to March 12, 2013, at the Alachua County Fairgrounds (3100 NE 39th Ave, Gainesville).

The Alachua County Youth Fair & Livestock Show Association is a non-profit organization that conducts and operates public fairs and expositions pertaining to agricultural matters and more particularly to the exhibitions of livestock, poultry, crafts, youth projects and farm products. The fair is an educational platform for the youth in Alachua County who are interested in agriculture. Youth will exhibit both livestock and non-livestock 4-H & FFA projects.

A complete schedule of events can be found at the Alachua County Extension website.

Alachua County 4-H and FFA youth ranging in age from 8 to 18 can participate in the Alachua County Youth Fair and Livestock Show.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Cooperative Extension Office at 352-955-2402.

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4-H Horse Show

The Alachua County Extension Office is pleased to announce the following 4-H event for March, 2013. This event is being offered by Matt Benge, 4-H Youth Development Agent.

The Alachua County Open & 4-H Horse Show – March 2, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Horse Show is open to all riders, ages 8 and up. There is no cost to attend.

The Horse Show is held at the Canterbury Equestrian Showplace Outdoor Arena located 9 miles west of I-75 on Newberry Road. Open to the public.

See attached Showbill for divisions and entry form.

For more information about this event call 352-955-2402. Visit the Extension Office calendar for additional programs offered by the Extension Office..

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City of Gainesville Upcoming Election

Gainesville City voters are reminded of the upcoming March 19, City of Gainesville Election. The ballot includes the Gainesville Mayor and District 4 races and a City of Gainesville Charter Amendment question relating to City election dates and terms of office.

Early Voting for this election will be available starting March 11th through March 17th at one early voting location at the Supervisor of Elections Office, County Administration Building, 12 S.E. 1st Street. Early voting will be held weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday, 9 am to 2 pm and Sunday, 11 am to 2 pm. Polls will be open on March 19, from 7 am to 7 pm. Voters should bring their current and valid picture and signature identification to the early vote location and to the polls on Election Day or vote a provisional ballot.

To update your address, view your sample ballot, and locate your precinct, go to www.VoteAlachua.com and click on “My Voter Information Page”.

For more information, view our website at www.VoteAlachua.com or call the Supervisor of Elections Office at (352) 374-5252.

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Blue Oven Kitchens on Alachua County Talks

A new edition of Alachua County Talks featuring an interview with Blue Oven Kitchens President Val Leitner is available. Leitner discusses the creation of the nonprofit Blue Oven Kitchens commercial kitchen rental service as well as future plans for the establishment.
The latest editions of Alachua County Talks air at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. every night except Thursday, and at 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. and 12 a.m. every day. Special or regular County Commission and Gainesville City Commission meetings may preempt any showing.

View Alachua County Talks: Blue Oven Kitchens.

Click to subscribe to the County’s YouTube channel (and receive updates when new videos are published).

View the complete Channel 12 Schedule.

For more information, contact the Alachua County Communications Office at 352-374-5204.


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February 26, 2013 Board Meeting

Click to watch the February 26, 2013 Board of County Commissioners Regular Meeting.

To view specific agenda items, scroll down through the menu and click the item that you would like to view.

The agenda for the meeting is to the right, and back-up items can be viewed by clicking on the highlighted parts of the document.

Board Appointments from the meeting include:

Mr. Choppy Hodes was appointed to the Land Conservation Board as a Citizen-at-Large to a term ending January, 2017.
Ms. Marjorie Abrams was appointed to the Land Conservation Board as a Natural Resources Professional to a term ending December, 2015.
Mr. Christopher Kinslow was appointed to the Land Conservation Board as a Natural Resources Professional to a term ending January, 2017.
Mr. Jason Teisinger was appointed to the Land Conservation Board as a Natural Resources Professional to a term ending December, 2014.

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Alachua County Advisory Boards

The Alachua County Commission is committed to citizen involvement on its advisory boards and is soliciting applications for the following vacancies:

Get Involved - Click here for an application: http://www.alachuacounty.us/government/bocc/advisoryboard.aspx

Applications are also available at the County Manager’s Office on the Second Floor of the County Administration Building, 12 SE 1st St., Gainesville. For more information, call (352) 264-6904.

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Thank you for your continued interest in County Government!

Community Update is produced by the County Manager's Communications Office.