March 28, 2010

RECORD-REVIEW "Talk of the Town" - March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

By Bonni Brodnick

You know we can put winter behind us when “Talk of the Town” puts out the words that the town pool will open on Saturday, May 29, followed by the 12th Annual 5K Road Race on Saturday, July 3, followed by Independence Day fireworks in the Town Park that evening. To learn more about upcoming seasonal activities, Pound Ridge Recreation Department has posted the 2010 Spring/Summer brochure on the home page of the town’s web site: In a continued effort to go green, there will not be a brochure-mailing so be sure to tell your friends to check out the website. Any ?s, call the Rec. Dept. at 764-0947or 764-3987. Oh-man-oh-man, spring is finally here!

Carrie Sears, Pound Ridge Garden Club master gardener, offers a few seasonal tips: “If you haven't already cut some forsythia branches for forcing, now is a great time to do so. I brought some into the warm house a few days ago and put them into a vase with water. Already the flower buds are swelling and soon will burst into yellow.” In regard to pulling out your hair to get out of the house after this incredible winter, Carrie also mentioned how following the urge to garden can cause destruction of the soil. “Leave wet soil undisturbed. Walking on it, turning it, digging into it can destroy its tilth, which refers to the natural aggregates (clusters) of soil particles that create porous spaces. Plant roots need the porous spaces for oxygen and to be able to reach out into the soil. Most gardeners work hard to improve the tilth by adding compost.” To test the soil for readiness, take a handful, close your hand and open it. If it crumbles like chocolate cake, it is ready to work. Or shape a handful of soil into a ball and bounce it up and down a few inches. If it breaks within a few bounces, it is ready to work. So, what can we do in the meantime? Our Master Gardener Advisor advises us to cut back any ornamental grasses. “Soon they will begin to grow and be almost impossible to cut. And when the soil is ready, plant peas.”

Sometimes the less-traveled roads can be the bumpiest. For potholes, that is. We checked in with Dick Lyman, Town Councilman/Highway Department Administrator. “To paraphrase Forrest Gump, ‘Potholes are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” When asked about these torturous roadway fractures that appear abundantly, especially after a winter as arduous as our last, Dick said, “We know what causes them, just not where they want to pop up or crater in.” The Pound Ridge Highway Department has a cold patch asphalt material that they use in the winter, but it typically doesn't make for a permanent repair. “Come early April, the asphalt plant will be open and the guys will be filling and patching in earnest once the hot mix is available.” You’ll also see them sweeping and cleaning roads from all the sand they put out during storms, along with whatever accumulates in the way of leaves, etc. in the gutters. Hand in hand with that, catch basins will be cleaned; there are a number of drainage projects in the hopper for over the summer and fall, and on-going road resurfacing. “While all of that is going on, you will see our mower about Town keeping the brush and weeds along the roadsides under control. We
also have topsoil — made from road sweepings and mulch from storm damaged and dead trees — for sale to residents. We are constantly dealing with fallen branches along the roads as well,” Dick continued. The Pound Ridge Highway crew is under the auspice of Vinnie Duffield, the foreman who makes the unit run like a Swiss watch. They all do an amazing job, day in, day out, in all kinds of weather. (I know, I know. We weren’t going to bring up the word “snow” again, but didn’t the guys do a great job of clearing our roads after the last storm? Which one, you may ask? Not the one two weeks ago; the one three weeks ago.)

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