MAPS 3 is an ongoing project in Oklahoma City that aims to provide improvements to the overall lifestyle of its citizens. Some of the project’s improvement plans have included sidewalk improvements, construction of new public buildings and amenities, and improvements to the streetcar route.
As part of the beautification plan for the downtown area, a new downtown park was approved this week by the MAPS 3 advisory panel. The park, which will be used to link the Oklahoma River and downtown areas will be called Core-to-Shore.
The new park will include beautiful gardens and a large grassy lawn facing a huge outdoor stage. Fountains will be added to various locations and a promenade and lake will be some of the main attractions.
Core-to-Shore Park will be connected to the SkyDance pedestrian bridge and will take up 40 acres north of Interstate-40 and 30 acres between the interstate and the river. It will be located south of the Myriad Gardens and will be between Hudson and Robinson avenues.
Construction of the project will require $80 million from the $132 million budget, and it is expected to be completed by 2021.
If you live in a two-story house, your stairs to the second floor take up a lot of space on the first floor and leave a wedge-shaped vacant area beneath them. This area under the stairs is oftentimes neglected or is used for shoes and hanging coats if there is enough room. The problem with this is that it can rapidly become a dumping ground for hiding random things.
There are many ways you can transform the area underneath your stairs, however, once you recognize its potential. With a little thought, you could turn it into an efficient area that serves multiple needs.
Here are few tips to make the space under your stairs more useful:
- Install shelves, cabinets, and drawers under the stairs. You can buy ready-made stackable units or add custom, built-ins if you have an usually sized area. This provides plenty of room to store off-season clothing, seasonal decorations, and keepsake items you do not display in the main part of your house.
- 2. If the space is close to the water supply or drain lines, you can install a small half-bath or powder room. You can use space-saving fixtures, like a wall-mounted sink and toilet, to maximize the space and add value to your home. You can also turn the space under your stairs into a mini-utility room, where you can hide your washing machine and dryer from the main part of the house.
- 3. If you have an open staircase, the space underneath is a great place to squeeze in a little home office or study nook. You can add bookshelves and a small desktop that is either shallow enough to fit under your stairs or has the ability to fold up into the wall. Use space-saving containers to keep desk accessories and stationery neat and tidy without causing clutter.
If you have piles of dried leaves on your property and want to get rid of them, consider donating them instead of just throwing them away. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is now accepting leaf donations to be used as mulch for its gardening program called Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest is a sustainable gardening program that was created to promote organic farming and more efficient gardening techniques. Through the production of organic fruits and vegetables from the program, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has been able to distributed healthier foods to their feeding programs.
Aside from organic production, Urban Harvest is also reaching out to the community through gardening trainings and education to assist gardeners and partnerships with other gardens.
Donated leaves will be converted into mulch and compost for use in the Urban Harvest gardens. Partner gardens of the organization in the city will also received some of the materials. Those who want to donate leaves can email Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their main office at 3355 S. Purdue Avenue, Oklahoma City. Donations will be accepted until December 18.
With the holidays just around the corner, many people are thinking of the get-togethers they will soon have with their families and friends. The joy of gathering together in one place offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and create memories year after year.
However, with all the fun and merriment that the holiday season brings, there is also a lot of stress during preparations. Because there are many to think about, such as holiday decorations, shopping for gifts, and making holiday meals, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
To help you avoid stress during holidays, here are a few tips:
- Plan ahead. It is never too early to start planning your holiday feast and how you plan to entertain and welcome guests. Create a list of what you need to do and what you want to have happen when guests are in your house. This will give you an idea of the things you need to shop for and to prepare for your home ahead of time.
- Clean and service your kitchen appliances. Your kitchen will be the busiest room in the house during the holidays, so in order to make everything run smoother and faster, make sure your kitchen appliances are functioning well.
- Start reducing clutter at home. Even if the holidays may be a few weeks away, reducing clutter in phases can significantly reduce your cleaning workload when the holidays are a few days away. For example, on one day, you can sort your refrigerator and throw out old items, so you have enough space to store new food. On another day, you can polish your wood furniture.
- Prepare your guest rooms. You may have guests who will stay at your house, so be sure your guestroom is always ready for them by already adding necessities such as clean towels and bathroom essentials.
- Delegate work. Do not take on all the responsibilities when it comes to holiday celebrations. Remember, even if you are the hosts everyone must take part for the celebration to be a success. You can organize a potluck where everyone can bring a food item to share at the meal. Also, have your spouse or children help you cooking and clean the house.
- Decorate ahead. Hang holiday decorations as early as possible, so you don’t have to worry about them at the last minute. Plus, it will allow you to enjoy a magical feeling in your home.
It is many homeowners’ goal to save energy in their homes and minimize their electric bills. Undoubtedly, electricity is the most basic service we need at home because we simply cannot function well without it. However, a lot of new appliances and gadgets are now operating without the use of electricity, which lowers our dependence on it. There are also things you can do around the house to help save energy and cut down on your electricity costs each month.
Here are a few effective home energy saving tips that will help you in increasing your savings:
- Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you leave a room. This is the simplest way to save energy. Also unplug all appliances when they are not in use because they still use a small amount of energy even when they are idle if they are plugged in.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are more expensive, but they use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs. Aside from that, they also last up to 10 times longer.
- Install outlet and light switch foam gaskets on your exterior walls. Electrical boxes that have switches and outlets extend into the wall cavity and can allow outside air infiltration. The foam gasket installed beneath the outlet and switch covers will minimize drafts.
- If your water heater is located in an area of the house that is unheated, insulate your hot water heater. Surrounding it with a water heater blanket can decrease stand-by heat loss by 25-40%.
- Be familiar with refrigerator cooling or condenser coils. The coils can be found by removing the cover panel located at the bottom of the front side of the refrigerator. The coils are more efficient when clean and dust-free. Use a vacuum nozzle to remove the dust once a year.
- Check your refrigerator temperature settings. Always inspect the door latch and seals of your fridge. To ensure an air tight fit and seal, replace old adhesive seals. Frost accumulation is inefficient, so defrost your freezer once in a while.
- During warmer weather, open all your windows to allow fresh air to come in rather than using your air-conditioning unit.
A new state executive order was signed last Wednesday by Governor Mary Fallin that localizes the standards of education among public schools in the state.
Gov. Fallin said she hopes the bill will address concerns of federal intrusion into schools, as well as create more rigorous and localized academic standards. The bill prevents Washington from being involved in creating the academic standards for math and English, which are known as the Common Core.
A total of 45 states have adopted the standards of the federal government called the Common Core State Standards. With the new state executive order, Oklahoma will create and follow its own rules and standards, eliminating federal involvement. Tests, assessments, and curriculum will all be decided by the state.
Governor Fallin emphasized that the new law will be used to enhance the education of K-12 students to help them prepare themselves for college and landing better jobs. The new executive order will be applied to all public schools in the state.