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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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July 8, 2015     Hays Free Press
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July 8, 2015
 

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+ HOT DOG! Patriotic purchases by the numbers - Page 1D HaysFreePress.com vee ress July 8, 2015 * Page 1C PHOTOS BY MOSES LEOS IIII PHOTO BY KIM HILSENBECK The Stars and Stripes took center stage Saturday as Buda, Kyle and many other Central Texas communi- ties held Independence Day celebra- tions heralding America's birthday. Several events took place in Kyle, including the second annual Pop- sicle Run, along with the neighbor- hood Fourth of July parade in Plum Creek. The city ended the day with its fireworks extravaganza at the Plum Creek Golf Course. Performances at the Hays CISD from the Blue Water Highway Band and the Starlight Sym- phony Orchestra took place prior to the fireworks finale. Meanwhile, Buda showed its Fourth of July spirit by holding the Red, White and Buda cel- ebration along Main Street. Participat- ing revelers decked out their bicycles, wagons and strollers in red, white and blue as they marched their way down the parade route. The evening culmi- nated with Buda's fireworks display in City Park. (Browse and buy photos at the photos link at haysfreepress.com) BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com bow lights, soft music, mas- ge and bubbles. These e just some of the fea- tures of the new Sensory Room at Marbridge Villa, a long-term care facility, at Marbridge in Manchaca. Alicia Taylor, a licensed Clini- cal SocialWorker, is the social services director at Marbridge Villa. She along with Life Services Specialists Teresa Nutt and lameson Miller provided a tour of the room, also called a sensorium, which is part of the facility's Life Enrichrn" ent Cen- ter. Built in February with funds from a private anonymous donation, the sensorium is part of the occupational and speech therapy for many patients at the Villa. "It was designed for stimula- tion for people with more severe disabilities," Taylor said. She said MarbridgeVilla specializes in individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, organic brain damage. "It is for people who need more care than assisted living can provide," Taylor said. The Villa currently is home to about PHOTO BY KIM HILSENBECK Theresa Nutt, a Life Services Specialist at Marbridge Villa, sits with resi- dent Anne Marie "Annie" Mills in the new Sensory Room. The sounds, lights, smells and tactile experiences in the room are used in physical and occupational therapy for many residents. 90 residents. Walking into the room from the brightly lit hallway is like stepping into another world. Twinkling lights, bubbles inside liquid filled columns and imag- es projected onto the wall create a serene, calming space. Soft music piped in invites visitors to experience a quiet moment. A massage pad on an oversized chair sits in one comer, a zero gravity chair in another. On a table, various items including a fur stole, a box with drawers and a board with vari- ous knobs and switches provide a tactile workshop. Strands of LED lights hanging near the door offer a visual and tactile experience. "They can touch them and braid them," Taylor said. She said one resident who is legally blind and very severely disabled saw and reached out for the lights. "I've never seen her reach out for anything and I've been here six years," Taylor said. Several bubble columns throughout the room offer different experiences. One provides visual calming or stimulation, depending on the speed of bubbles rising, which is adjustable. "Bubbles floating up slowly is calming, but we can speed them up to stimulate or wake up a patient," Taylor said. Another bubble column changes colors when buttons are pushed. A third uses voice activation to change colors. "You can mm down the sensitivity so they have to speak louder to get the bubble col- umn to change colors," Taylor explained. Resident Anne Marie Mills, or ' mnie" as most staff call her, has lived at Marbridge Villa for about seven years. Diagnosed at a young age with cerebral palsy and epileps she is considered severely disabled, with limited mobility. Annie, 27, is also non- verbal for the most part. MARBRIDGE, 3C A flood of new books to read at Kyle Library Check It Out by Liz Ray In the wake of the devastating Memorial weekend floods that ravaged parts of our community, we were reminded in the worst of ways the devastat- ing destruction floodwaters can bring. Floods can permanently change both landscape and society, and the excellent book "Rising Tide: The Great Missis- sippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America" by ]ohn M. Berry illustrates this theme on a national scale. The river flood was the most destructive in American history. Damage was the result of unusu- ally heavy rains and the collapse of virtually the entire levee sys- tem along the Mississippi river over a series of weeks. The flood began on April 15, 1927 when a 1,200-foot length of levee col- lapsed in Cairo, Illinois. Levees eventually broke in multiple states, submerging 23,000 square miles of land beneath up to 30 feet of water. It took at least two months before the floodwaters completely subsided. But the natural disaster was only part of the story; this is also important social history, as the flood impacted race relations, politics, and society as a whole throughout the region. Authori- ties favored white populations during rescue and relief opera- tions while African-Americans were forced, often at gunpoint, CHECK IT OUT, 2C Fall 2015 may be perfect for Chris by Chris Winslow Early July gets me in the mood to plant fall toma- toes. With our cooler-than- average summer, this might be the best year yet for pulling off a bountifui fall crop. Texas A&M's Vegetable Garden Planting Guide advises gardeners to get their fall tomato trans- plants in the ground between ]uly 7 and August 7. (Larger transplants in 1 gal. pots or larger can be planted as late as Sept. 1.) I prefer to plant determinate, heat set tomatoes for fall. Variet- ies such as Bob Cat, Celebri and BHN 444 can crop in under 80 days, making them perfect for fall planting. Celebrity, an all-time backyard favorite, acts as a semi-indeterminate, producing longer if frosts come later than average. July is also the perfect tune to plant cherry type tomatoes - which have no problem setting fruit in the heat. My favorites are Sweet 100, Juliet and Sun Gold. Rarely do they make it to the kitchen! For your fall tomato garden choose a sunny location with good drainage, and be sure to shovel in lots of compost and slow release organic fertUizer. At Urban Farm they mix up a fertilizer of bat guano, mycorrhi- zae, humic acid, crab shell, worm castings, kelp, soy meal, and composted poultry litter, making it a great choice for gardeners. Adding dolomite lime (calcium and magnesium) also helps to prevent blossom end rot, a com- mon tomato fruit malady. Keeping your newly trans- planted seedlings watered is a must. Moist but not soggy is the ideal. I like planting in trenches or craters. This helps to direct water down to the root zone instead of running off and away from the plant. Providing the newly trans- IT'S ABOUT THYME, 2C + t-