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Jewelry artist Kate Rieppel grew up in Kent where her mother, Janet, still lives. However, Kate has been living and working in London for years. That would be London, England, not London, Ohio. She was back home for a successful show in Cleveland, where she sold most of the work she brought with her from across the pond. But no worries, Kate's beautiful enamel and metal pieces are available year-round on her website.

Tina Boyes of Kenmore Better Block talked about next weekend's event that will re-imagine Kenmore Boulevard as a vibrant business district. Featuring street buskers, all kinds of other music, food trucks, a beer garden and vendors including a pop-up vinyl store, the event takes place Friday, Sept. 1, from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 2, from noon to 10. For more information, visit the website.  

Bobby Wesner is the artistic director of Neos Dance Theatre, the premier ballet and contemporary dance company serving Northeast Ohio. He talked about the company, which has performances in both nontraditional and traditional venues. The dancers are hitting the road next week to begin a series of guest performances around the region. Their next local performance is Creole Cinderella, set in1920s New Orleans with Dixieland music. It will be at the Civic Theatre in Akron in October; dates to follow. For more information, visit the website.

Paula Rabinowitz, Alyssa Karant and Rick Harig talked about the Akron Recovery Walk, which is starting at noon on Sept. 9 in the rear parking lot of Oriana House on 750 W. Market St. in Highland Square. The free event, which is child and pet friendly, takes participants by historically significant recovery locations like the famous house of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. The atmosphere for the annual walk is convivial, showing that "you can have fun in sobriety," Rick says. Be sure to arrive before noon, because the walk starts on time. For more information, call Paula, who founded the Akron Recovery Walk, at 330.524.5495.

 

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Heather Jalbert and Liz Lenke are the co-chairs of this year's Holiday Tree Festival benefiting Akron Children's Hospital. The 36th annual event takes place Saturday, Nov. 18, through Sunday, Nov. 26, at the John S. Knight Center in downtown Akron. Admission is free to the festival, which is a grand holiday tradition for about 400,000 people every year. Also, attendees have a chance to buy beautifully decorated trees and other holiday decorations. Liz and Heather say that there's a great need for volunteers, especially for doing set-up before the start of the festival and coordinating the delivery of the trees afterward. If you're interested, call the volunteer office at 330.543.8424. Speaking of holiday decor, individuals and companies still have time to sign up to donate a decorated tree, wreath, or mantel or table display. There's no cost to participate, but the deadline is Sept. 30. Visit the website for more information about donating a tree, or about attending the invitation-only gala or the festival in general. Finally, anyone who wants to be an underwriter for the festival can call the foundation office at 330.543.0325. It's a great opportunity for companies, for instance, to reach loads of people while helping the young patients at Akron Children's.

Glass PumpkinsJack Baker, owner of Akron Glass Works and Architectural Greenery, has been a judge for the Holiday Tree Festival and is planning to donate a tree this year that will be decorated with glass ornaments made at his studio. His place is located at 421 Spicer St. in the former Presbyterian church near the Don Drumm Studios & Gallery. Akron Glass Works holds workshops throughout the year for people who want to make their own glass-blown art. Novices are more than welcome. Coming up soon: glass pumpkin workshops that start Sept. 9 and continue to the second week of November. Each participant will come away from each two-hour workshop with a beautiful glass pumpkin suitable for display on a shelf or tabletop. For more information, call 330.253.5888 Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturday from 10 to 5 or visit Jack's website.  

Speaking of Jack's friend, Don Drumm, the first shipment of Don's aluminum dog and cat ornaments has arrived at One of A Kind Pets. All proceeds from the sale of these popular ornaments go toward helping the furry wards of One of A Kind, 1929 W. Market St.

Carli Molinelli, events and marketing coordinator for the Akron Zoo, talked about the zoo's first-ever Wild for Wine event happening next Saturday, Aug. 26, from 6 to 9 p.m. There are only 90 tickets left. They cost $50 per wine drinker or $30 for each designated driver; if you're a member of the zoo, the tickets cost $45 and $25. They include beverages, appetizers, live entertainment and -- here's something you don't see every day -- animals that paint! Attendees will have the chance to see Pickpocket the giant snake, Perry the opossum, Pandora the box turtle and Daisy the armadillo express themselves artistically. There will be four raffle winners who will be able to choose the paint colors for Pickpocket, Perry, Pandora and Daisy to use, and take the paintings home. For tickets or more information, visit the website.  

Quick reminders: Casino Royale, benefiting the Autism Society of Greater Akron's Swimming with Autism scholarship program, will be Aug. 26 from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Rosemont Country Club in Fairlawn. Swimming lessons are important because drowning is the leading cause of death for children and adults with autism. For tickets to the event, visit the organization's website.  Also, Green the Scene, the major fundraising event for Keep Akron Beautiful, takes place Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Akron Art Museum. Keep Akron Beautiful creates all the flowerscapes throughout Akron and does many other things to beautify the city. Buy tickets online by Aug. 29 by visiting the Keep Akron Beautiful website.

 

 

 

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We did a remote this week at the MAPS (Military Aviation Preservation Society) Air Museum, which is located on the west side of the Akron Canton Airport. What a great place this is! Besides all the exhibits and restored aircraft that are there year-round, the museum also hosted The Wings of Freedom Tour over the weekend of Aug. 11-13. To plan your own trip to the MAPS museum, and we highly recommend doing so, visit the website for hours, address and other information.

We had the opportunity to interview three veterans who were there for the festivities. The Vietnam-era veterans were Jim Boyea and Bob Zeh. Then, a little later in the show, we talked to Frank Mekina, who was a Navy Seabee during World War II. Frank is turning 100 on Sept. 6, and he's sharp, active and looks terrific.

We also interviewed our scheduled guests: Emily Mueller from Mueller Honey Bees (be kind to honey bees because without them we wouldn't have food); Joyce Pelz, who owns the NaturaLawn of America franchise in Stow (her company specializes in chemical-free lawn care that's safe for humans, pets and, of course, bees); and Carol Haines, who was representing the Autism Society of Greater Akron. Carol talked about the upcoming Casino Royale event that will raise money to start a program to teach swimming to kids with autism. For more information about the Aug. 26 event at Rosemont Country Club in Fairlawn, visit the Autism Society's website. To reach Emily and Joyce, visit their Facebook pages. 

 

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Mary Beth Breckenridge, who was the home writer for many years for the Akron Beacon Journal, is now a real estate agent for Howard Hanna. She knows her subject well, whether she's writing about it or discussing it with home buyers or sellers. On today's show, she talked about the state of the home market in Akron. It's strong, she says, with property values up for the first time since 2005. And there are a lot of incentives for people to move into the city, as well as a great deal of interest on the part of buyers. You can meet Mary Beth in person at an open house she's hosting on Sunday, Aug. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Morewood Rd. in Fairlawn. For more information, call the Howard Hanna office at 330.836.9300. You also can visit Mary Beth's Facebook page or her website.

Architect Hallie Bowie, owner of New Leaf Home Design, noted that Akron is doing a fantastic job of making home ownership more affordable for people who want to buy or improve a home in the city. She expounded on the city's residential tax abatement, which is one of the incentives that Mary Beth mentioned. Hallie also talked about the Sustainable Homes Network of Northeast Ohio, which has grown to 120 members. She says that you can go to Meetup to join them for meetings and tours of local energy-efficient homes. Speaking of energy efficiency, one of Hallie's recent projects was building an eco village for Hiram College. It serves as residential quarters for students who are interested in environmental matters. You can see Hallie in her other persona as a singer when she performs on Aug. 19 with her husband, Scott, during Highland Square's Porch Rokr. They'll be playing at 11 a.m.; to find out on which porch, visit Scott & Hallie Music on Facebook. To reach Hallie at New Leaf, visit her website.

Dane Leisure, founder and artistic director of Rubber City Theatre, gave away two tickets to Pippin, his company's next production. The musical, which essentially is about finding one's purpose in life, usually is staged in a circus-like setting. Rubber City, which takes a fresh approach to all its productions, is staging Pippin as a vaudeville show instead. It runs Aug. 11 (opening night  is free or by donation) and continues through Aug. 27 at the former First Presbyterian Church, 647 East Market St. in Akron. Then in October, Rubber City returns to Shakespeare, where it started in the first place, with a production of Hamlet set in contemporary times. For more information about the company or to buy tickets, call 234.252.0272 or visit the website.

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Michael Roizen, MD, of Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute talked about the health benefits of coffee. Numerous studies have shown that daily coffee drinking among people who have fast metabolisms may actually help boost longevity by decreasing cancer and cardiovascular disease rates, lessening the risk of developing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and improving control of type 2 diabetes, among other benefits. How do you know whether you have a fast metabolism? It's easy to figure out, Dr. Roizen says: If you can drink a regular cup of coffee and not develop ill effects like heart palpitations or a stomach ache within the hour, you are a fast metabolizer. Two other points to keep in mind: Filter your coffee through paper and drink it black. Dr. Roizen is a wellness expert and the co-author of many books, his latest of which is Age Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip. It's available wherever books are sold. For information about the Wellness Institute, visit the website.

Don Drumm is Akron's best-known artist whose metal sculptures can be found not only all over town but in other cities around the country. One of his recent commissions was for the Highland Square library on Akron's west side. A big fish, fabricated in corten steel, the outdoor sculpture is about 8 feet long and 3 feet high and is designed to be an interactive piece. Children can whack the scales with sticks to create metallic sounds. This is definitely one of Don's most fun pieces but not necessarily his favorite. "My favorite commission is always the next one," he says. Among his many other projects, Don designed a 5-foot stainless steel cross for the Visitation of Mary Church in Akron. He's also ruminating over the design of his next Christmas ornament for One of a Kind Pets; creating aluminum wall sculptures in the shapes of leaves for residential and commercial settings; and making tiles for cremation boxes commissioned by Billows Funeral Homes and Crematory. And he's  contemplating whether to accept an invitation to do a show in China. More on that another time. You can see some of Don's work along with that of many other North American artists at Don Drumm Studios & Gallery, 437 Crouse St. in Akron. For more information, call 330.253.6268 or visit the website.  

Author and speaker Christine Zust talked about the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. She says that there are six primary lessons that were learned from that hippie summer in San Francisco. They are: 1. Find and share your voice -- basically, stand up for what you believe  2. Remain civil  3. Show compassion  4. Encourage others  5. Invite diversity in -- engaging with people who are different from you provides a fresh perspective and helps you grow  6. Persist peacefully -- be patient because change isn't easy and can take time. Christine suggests that we embrace these lessons because they remind us about the changes that love can spark in our society. Christine is the author of the career guide Everything I Do Positions Me: The Simple Path to Professional Success. To learn more about Christine's work and the business she owns with her husband, Mark, visit their website.

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