Psst. Want to know the real reason you're not getting mail today? It's not Presidents Day. There is no such federal holiday. Back during the Nixon administration, public servants in Washington decided celebrating George Washington's birthday (Feb. 22) and Abraham Lincoln's birthday (Feb. 12) was just too much celebrating. So they split the difference and moved the combined holiday to the third Monday in February and called it … Washington's Birthday. Despite that, car salespeople, mattress stores and a lot of other people call it Presidents Day. But you never see Millard Fillmore (president No. 13) in sofa commercials. Chester A. Arthur (No. 21) pitching a new cell phone plan? Not likely. It's always stovepipe hats and white wigs, Lincoln and Washington, Washington and Lincoln. It hardly seems fair that the other 42 presidents don't get face time. So on this, what many people consider their day, here are some tidbits about some of our other presidents:...
02/05/10 Home and Garden
The recent cold snap has left many royal palms looking less than regal. • The Tampa Bay area pushes the northern boundary for many palms like coconuts and adonidias, but that doesn't mean a backyard tropical oasis is something only our more southern neighbors can enjoy. • A lot of factors play into how well a palm handles the cold, including age, soil type, canopy cover and proximity to buildings. But nothing beats genetics, and some palms can naturally take the cold better than others. • Queen and Washingtonia palms both take the cold well, but are also pretty commonplace. What follows are plants that are readily available at nurseries and should fare well in a Tampa Bay-style cold snap. Greg Joyce, Times staff writer ...
06/19/09 Home and Garden
Cleaning up your yard can muck up the atmosphere.
While the Environmental Protection Agency has been busy for decades mandating cleaner-running cars, lawn equipment for the most part has been allowed to pump out pollutants with abandon.
But there's something new in the garden department.
Lehr, a company in California, is marketing Eco Trimmers, string trimmers powered by the small propane canisters more often associated with camp stoves or lanterns. ...
03/01/09 Public Safety
More of your neighbors are packing heat. Whether it's fear of crime, fallout from a bad economy or concerns about the new administration, the number of people applying for a concealed weapons permit has jumped. For the year ending June 30, 2008, about 84,000 people applied for new permits in Florida. In 2005, that number was about 42,000 people. Here's a look at what obtaining a concealed weapons permit entails and who is getting them: ...