Celebration Homeowners Beware Water Problems

November 15, 2014 by  
Filed under Central Florida Living

water problem story photo

If you live in Celebration, there may be a kind of “time bomb” ready to go off in your house at any moment. Thanks goes to a dozen or so residents who have called our attention to it, including Dennis Kennen (who started a thread on the Front Porch last month) and to Rick Amick (who posted a thorough explanation and warning). The problem is sudden and unexpected water leaks inside the house. The root cause: water pressure delivered to our homes that significantly exceeds County and Uniform Plumbing Codes, coupled with the omission by Celebration builders to install simple pressure relief valves.

Just ask residents such a Thomas Muery, Renato Texiara, and William Abendschein. All had expensive repairs totaling thousands of dollars.

The solution is relatively simple: a pressure relief valve installed in the water line just before it enters the home.

I just had one installed in my house in East Village, after I learned of the danger by reading the Front Porch thread started by Kennen. Suddenly, recent incidents nearby suddenly became clear. Earlier this year, my immediate neighbor suffered extensive water damage to the entire first floor of his house. Three months later, his neighbor had a water pipe burst, flooding half his house and ruining the carpet. A few blocks away, a friend had a burst water line just a week ago. The next day I had a mysterious trickle of water form under our washing machine.

Kevin the Plumber verified my fear. The pressure was about 120 psi, far exceeding the recommended maximum of about 80 psi. In a bit over an hour, Kevin installed a pressure relief valve, his second such installation that day. The water pressure time bomb has stopped ticking at my house.

But that raises an interesting issue. Should not some public organization (such as the County, CCDD, or CROA) be warning residents of this danger? Do the builders have an ethical responsibility to warn all the homeowners? What about real estate agents who sell houses to unsuspecting buyers?

Based on the talk around town, the attitude seems to be Caveat Emptor … Let the Buyer Beware. The Water Department, CCDD, The Celebration Company, builders, and real estate agents all seem to be pointing their fingers either at the others or at the home owners themselves.

Thus it falls to the Fourth Estate (a term coined by Edmund Burke, meaning “the Press”).

We urge you not to procrastinate. Test your water pressure with a simple pressure gauge available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, or a good hardware store. If it exceeds roughly 85 psi, buy and install a pressure relief valve. Or call a reliable plumber like Kevin (their repair costs reportedly vary between $150 and $250, depending on the size of house and other factors).

Even if the water lines in your house have held until now, the excessive pressure month after month may eventually produce a weak point, causing what could be inconvenience (at best) and catastrophic, expensive damage (at worst).

Just because our public servants haven’t waived a red flag, it doesn’t mean there isn’t danger. Just ask the residents with posts on the Front Porch, category “Place& Community.”

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Design A Mexican Style Garden in Central Florida

In the present times it’s a common sight to see to see each house with a garden. Not every house might necessarily have same kind of gardens. If you want to exhibit a totally different look for your garden, you can go in for the Mexican style for an analogous.When you talk about this style of gardening, there is plethora of options to choose from. Some of the most well known variations of the Mexican style gardens are the one with water elements or the one which emphasizes more on the yard style forms.

The obligatory theme of Mexican style gardens revolved around Mexican landscapes such as desert, coast and lush tropical forests. You may want to concentrate on one actual side of Mexico like the coasts. Alternatively,you also have the choice to put together different Mexican elements but it might be better if you’ve got a theme that revolves around one particular aspect only. When you have decided the urgent theme, you wish to work on,you can go ahead choosing props and selecting the layout.

As fast as you have fixed the basic theme of your Mexican garden, you should start hunting for stills of such gardens on the internet.Based on these photos, you will be in a position to decide which props will be required for the garden. More importantly, you will be ready to decide the plants for your garden so it is getting a pure Mexican feel.

What’s a garden without proper plants. In the majority of the garden images, you will find plants like cactus or other tropical flora. This is because of the fact that Mexico is part desert with very less water. Along with these, you should also plant some lemon, banana and orange trees. As an addition, you should also make some flower beds in your garden.

Typically,all Mexican gardens have one central socializing area. It is important that you focus on the socializing area too. Ideally, the socializing area should have an external cooking facility together with some place to relax and eat. After you have put together all the basic must haves of the socializing area, finish it by utilizing suitable tiles. For a Mexican style look, go in for tiles in earthy tones such as reds, browns, terracotta and the like.

Correct garden furniture is a really important aspect of a garden and more so when you’re working on a Mexican garden. The finest choice here is rustic furniture that has charm of its own. Tables made from wrought iron, chairs and benches etc are particularly endorsed.They bring the image of true, wild Mexico to your garden. For more effect, place some wrought-iron candelabras in the garden.

Planning a Mexican style garden isn’t so complicated.Just keep Mexico in your grey matter and you will be able to come up with garden that you desire.

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Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida

Palace Italian Restaurant in Lakeland, Florida is the best Italian dinner you will find in Central Florida.  With six locations throughout Central Florida, there is no reason that anyone who calls Central Florida home should ever have an Italian meal that is anything less than divine.

I have been enjoying the cuisine at Palace Italian in Lakeland for years. Shame on me for not shedding light on this remarkable Italian restaurant sooner.  My friend and I most recently visited the North Lakeland Palace Italian Restaurant location.

Food:  Is “divine” a word that you can use to describe food?  Have you ever had a meal at a restaurant and while eating it you seriously contemplated if God created the chef, his/her imparted knowledge of the culinary arts, and the components of your meal especially for you?  As vain as that may sound, those are the thoughts that cross my mind each time I eat at a Palace Italian Restaurant. To describe all of my favorite dishes and why I love them would simply be the beginnings of a book.  But, I will tell you that the flavors are fresh and authentic, the dishes are artfully crafted, the portions are very generous, and every bite is as perfectly delightful as the one before. Not to mention, the desserts are made in-house; daily. Light and blissful tiramisu, the absolute best cannoli you will ever have in your life, a tiramisu-like strawberry shortcake to die for, and much more. Disappointment is inconceivable.

Atmosphere:  Palace Italian Restaurant not only has a beautiful décor, but a comfortable ambiance that resembles the feel of a home.  Not the kind of home where 50 relatives are crammed into a dining room made for ten, but the kind of home that is made for 100 but you feel like the dinner was made just for you.  Personalized trinkets are found throughout these family owned and operated Italian restaurants and this family welcomes you to their dinner table.

Customer Service: From Pizzerias to fine Italian dining, no matter the location, it is clear that Palace Italian Restaurant is dedicated to the entire dining experience and not only the food. You will always be greeted and served with a smile. Furthermore, due to the pride they take in their traditional family recipes and the quality of their dishes, they will ensure that you are completely satisfied with your meal. During my most recent visit to Palace Italian Restaurant in North Lakeland, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sal, who, along with his wife, owns the North Lakeland location.  I was very interested to learn that all Palace Italian Restaurants throughout Central Florida are family owned and operated.  The first one, Palace Pizza, opened in downtown Lakeland in 1997 and is still going strong today.  Since then, this family from Naples, Italy has groomed sons, brothers, aunts, and cousins of the family to open locations throughout Central Florida. Lucky for us!

Palace Italian Restaurant - 6 locations throughout Central Florida

Downtown Lakeland
114 S. Dentucky Ave
Lakeland, FL 33801
863-688-0045

Highlands City
5235 Highway 98 South
Lakeland, FL 33812
863-709-8683

South Lakeland
5720 South Florida Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33813
863-619-5919

North Lakeland
6120 North Highway 98
Lakeland, FL 33810
863-853-1316

Shepherd Rd, Mulberry
2054 Shepherd Road
Lakeland, FL 33860

Downtown Bartow
105 Main St. East
Bartow, FL 33830

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Corpus Christi Opens New Church in Celebration

Children gathered around the altar of the new Corpus Christi Catholic Church compete to answer Father Gregory's questions about Christmas at the traditional Christmas Eve Mass.

Children gathered around the altar of the new Corpus Christi Catholic Church compete to answer Father Gregory's questions about Christmas at the traditional Christmas Eve Mass.

 

Celebration’s Corpus Christi Catholic Church, which had previously held its services at Celebration High School Cafeteria, recently competed its new church building on Celebration Avenue and Waterside Drive, just in time for Christmas.  The result is a stunning, classical-style building inside and out that not only fits well with the architectural pattern established by The Celebration Company, but also becomes an attractive, prominent landmark of the community. 

Groundbreaking for the church was held in November 2008, though construction did not begin in earnest until the following January.  “It seems remarkable that they could finish such a large and complex building in such a relatively short time,” said Celebration resident Dan Tomsick, who during his daily walks past the site kept track of progress.  Brasfield & Gorrie, the general contractor for the project and a Fortune 500 company, kept up a steady pace, especially in the last three weeks when the seating, altar art, and stained glass windows were installed. 

As a consequence, pastor Father Gregory Parkes, was able to celebrate the first Mass in the new building on December 24 morning to a nearly full house of excited parishioners from not only Celebration, but also Orlando, Kissimmee, and the entire Four Corners area. In a ceremony beforehand outside the front doors, Tim Dwyer of Brasfield & Gorrie handed the keys over to Building Committee Chairman Jack Blitch, who in turn presented them to Father Gregory.   After humbly thanking the Committee, Father Gregory acknowledged the hard work and support of the trades people, the Parish, and the Town. 

“We received the certificate of occupancy only a few days before,” later confided Father Gregory, “and the parishioners scrambled to move our liturgical materials from the High School and to set up the church, complete with the Nativity scene and various Christmas flowers and decorations.”  Parishioners were particularly touched by the members of the Celebration Presbyterian Church down the street; they brought two lighted Christmas trees that were placed alongside the exterior front doors of the church, as well as some beautiful Christmas wreathes that were hung on the front facade. 

Fortunately, everything worked relatively smoothly at that first mass.  Seven hours later, the Church hosted an overflow crowd for its 5 pm Christmas Eve Mass that featured the Children’s Choir. Father Gregory opened the liturgy with a greeting and then the rhetorical exclamation, “Can we give glory and praise to God for this beautiful church?” — to which the congregation responded with enthusiastic and prolonged applause. 

Even without any advertising or notices in the neighboring hotels, the turnout for the four Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses was remarkable.  Observed Bert Fitzgibbons, “We had about 3200 people attend those four Masses, nearly double the number at the same number of Masses held last year in the High School cafeteria.” 

The Church will be formally dedicated at 5 pm on Saturday January 16, with Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Orlando Diocese presiding. 

Details about Corpus Christi Catholic Church can be found at www.celebrationcatholic.org

Other Celebration Church News:
•  
Ridge Assembly of God Church opens at AMC Theatre  ’Ridge at Celebration‘  


  

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Finding Stylish Garden Furniture Online

Many people choose their Central Florida homes to include space for a garden in front, behind or around their house, and with good reason. If you have a good outside space it would enhance any home. Whether you look after the garden yourself or need help, it is often difficult to find the time to enjoy it. And a beautiful garden is definitely a terrible thing to waste.

If you are looking for quality Orlando furniture online, have a look at Homebase Garden Seating

To enjoy your garden you do not need to be having a party every weekend. The absolute best way to enjoy your garden is to enjoy sitting in it and admiring your hard work.

Finding the right patio and garden seating can make all the difference. Do you ever notice the park benches around Lake Eola in Orlando, or on Lake Morton in Lakeland? They are there for anyone that wants to enjoy the park and take time to relax. You could get an entire garden set, composed of four to six chairs and a center table, which usually accommodates a parasol for shade in hot summer months. However, sitting at a table in your garden or patio just doesn’t work as well as sitting on a bench, a recliner or a similar garden seat.

Seating comes in all different style and I am sure you will find something to suit your garden. If you don’t like to share your seat, but would still appreciate some company, there are the Jack-and-Jill benches, which are two seats held together by a small center table that has a hole for a parasol.

If you want to relax around your Central Florida patio or in your garden you could take it a step further by using a sunlounger, recliner or hammock. Some recliners are solid loungers, others may be adjusted into different seating positions to accommodate your desired mode of relaxation. These recliners and benches are usually outfitted with cushions to make your seating experience even more comfortable, just make sure not to leave the cushions out in the rainy season.

Getting the right choice of garden seating can make all the difference to how your patio and garden looks.

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Update Your Skills with Adult Education Classes

back to school adult education2

Update Your Skills with Adult Education Classes in Central Florida

In this uncertain economic climate, it’s a good idea to consider ways that you can increase your value as an employee. You want to give your bosses lots of reasons to keep you around for a long, long time. You may have cause for concern if you don’t have the same qualifications as your colleagues. Having a degree that is directly related to your field is becoming more and more important. Practical experience definitely helps, but that’s not always enough. That’s why it’s a good idea to start checking into adult education classes in Central Florida right now.

Adult education classes are a great way to update your skills without completely disrupting your busy life. There are many options for taking courses for both personal enrichment and college credit, giving you even greater flexibility in terms of how you can proceed and expand your options not only at your current job, but in building your resume for the future.

One option is to take adult education classes at a nearby campus or even online. Central Florida has some of the best colleges in the nation.  Universities such as University of Central Florida, University of South Florida, Southeastern University, Florida Southern, and countless others offer college courses and even entire Bachelor’s degree programs designed for the working adult.  Take classes online, at night, or even on weekends at any of the local Central Florida universities or community colleges in Orlando, Lakeland, or even Tampa. 

Don’t get overwhelmed yet!  You don’t have to jump into thousands of dollars of dept and a four-year commitment.  Consider some local Celebration or online Associate degree programs.  Many Associate Degree programs are offered at local Central Florida community colleges for a fraction of the cost of the larger universities like University of Central Florida in Orlando.  Not to mention, as a Florida resident, it is a breeze to take you’re A.A. degree to an accredited Florida college or university and finish out your Bachelor’s degree at a later date.  The state of Florida encourages continuing education for its residents and there are many, many opportunities for scholarships and financial aid.

Maybe you’re not interested in obtaining a bachelor’s degree.  Perhaps you would just like to go back for a while and learn more about your field or hone your skills with more recent pertinent information. Many Florida residents that go back to school attend adult education classes with this intent.  Enroll in a Florida college or Central Florida University adult education classes without pursuing a degree. For many, this route is far more economical than committing to a four-year degree program. By taking specific adult education classes that would help you on the job, you could earn a professional certificate instead of a degree. A certificate could still work to solidify your value to your company, as it would show that you are dedicated to professional development and continually striving to keep up on advancements in strategy and technology in your field.

Living in Central Florida, you will not have any trouble finding quality, affordable adult education classes that will help you in your career pursuits.  Thanks to the Internet and your relative proximity to many different college campuses and unlimited online degree programs, you shouldn’t have any trouble adding to your worth as an employee.

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Vegetable Gardening in Central Florida

veggie garden

 Central Florida’s unique climate makes for much creativity from those with a green thumb.  Some may think that flower and vegetable gardening are somewhat the same. While the basics of watering and weeding are similar, they are vastly different in many ways. Save yourself from learning this the hard way and do you a little research before you “dig in.”

What you may neglect to consider, it that vegetable gardening tends to attract a lot of animal attention. The severity of this, obviously, depends on where you live.  Consider that whether you live in the country or the city, a fence against rabbits and other small animals may not be sufficient.  Most don’t tend to think of large packs of deer as being city dwellers, but anything is possible.

Depending on what types of vegetables you grow, your garden may be left alone, or bombarded with wildlife. Timing, location, and crop choices are key to having a fruitful garden. You may also find some tips online, or you consult with your local Central Florida gardening center when buying your plants or seeds.

The difference in flower and vegetable gardening might also be in the type of attention they need. You have to pay more attention to spacing of the vegetable plants. Some need a lot of room to be productive, and that is not always a consideration when planting flowers. You also have to keep the weeds under strict control, and you have to pay close attention to growing seasons as Central Florida’s climate is unlike anywhere else in the country. You could be fixing a homegrown fresh salad and slicing fresh strawberries in February whilst your cousin in New York is heating up canned soup. Consult your local Central Florida garden center for tips and information about what crops fare the best at what times.

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Universal CityWalk Orlando

Universal CityWalk in Orlando is the hottest spot for dining, shopping, and entertainment.  This 30-acre complex offers Central Florida’s best in live music, dining, dancing, shopping, and entertainment.  Come and experience Blue Man Group, go dancing at The Groove, or just chill out at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.  There is always something happening at CityWalk!

Universal City Walk
6000 Universal Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32819
407-363-8000

Night Clubs at Universal CityWalk

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Active Adult Retirement Communities in Central Florida

Picking out active adult retirement communities can be difficult. After all, the active adult community you choose is probably where you’re going to spend the rest of your life. Gone are the days when options for retirement are to live on your own with hired help, live with family members, or stay in a nursing home. Although those are still viable options and practical for many, there are many active adult communities, retirement communities and senior living facilities to choose from in Central Florida.

Currently, active adult community resources in are better than they have ever been before! There are more options for retirement in Central Florida than anywhere in the country. The key is to figure out what your needs are and what kind of community you are looking for.

Some active adult communities model themselves on a vacation resorts. These retirement communities are good for people who want to enjoy a lot of privacy and live basically the way they’ve always been living except with more luxury. They have groundskeepers, pools, private apartments, and a minimum of shared resources. Many of them have recreation rooms and organized events where people can get together.  However, the emphasis is on individual living as they are geared toward those who value their independence most highly.

There are other active adult communities, however, that take a much more communal approach. In these retirement communities, the goal is to help each other and work together. Many of these have communal dining areas as well as small personal kitchens, so that people can take most of their meals in the company of others but have the luxury of cooking at home when it suits them. They tend to be managed in a much more hands-on sort of way. Retirees themselves make most of the decisions about how these communities are run. As a result, residents of these retirement communities get to experience true democracy as part of their retirement.

When it comes to retirement it’s all about location, location, location. What better location for retirement than Central Florida? People come form all over the world to retire in Central Florida where the average year-round temperature is 70 degrees and there are endless opportunities for leisure activity, and entertainment.

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House Organizing Tips

orgainized roomYou can take time to organize your closet or see what you can do with the mess in your garage, but what happens when it seems that your entire house is out of control. Those with smaller places often have this problem because they have too much stuff for the limited place that they occupy. Those with large houses, however, can run into the same problem. Most of the time it is because we don’t have enough time to keep up, and in Florida we don’t have basements! Look for some good house organizing tips to get things straightened up.

Some house organizing tips tell you that you have to get rid of some of the stuff that you really don’t need. This can be a difficult process, especially if you do not know how to do that. You wouldn’t have the things you have if you didn’t think you needed them. You have to get it into our mind that there are some things that you just have to part with and you are going to do it. Here are a few suggestions…

One of the best house organizing tips for this would be to come up with three boxes. Take each one with you into any room with which you want to start. One box is for what you know you have to keep and there is no question. The second is for things that you know you can be rid of without worrying about it. The third one can be for those things that you are just not sure you can part with, but you know that you should. Start putting these things into the boxes and watch your clutter slowly dwindle.

Once you have a good grip on filling these boxes, you should have more space in your room. You can then look around to see where you want to put what you know you want to keep. If you think about some common house organizing tips, you know you should keep each thing in a useful place. Books go on shelves, clothes into dressers, important papers into filing cabinets, etc. If you are still dealing with clutter and just seemingly do not have enough space, there are several contractors in Central Florida that can help you implement custom-made shelves and storage units to rooms in your house or your garage that will make your storage space as neat and tidy as possible. 

You can then decide what you want to do with the box that you know you can be without. You can have a sale if you wish, donate the items to charity, or you can simply throw them out. The toughest of the house organizing tips would be what to do with the other box. You can set it aside and go through it later, or you can be determined about it and do it right then and there. Really think about what you need and get rid of everything else. Once you do this in each room of your home, you are going to find much more space and a better feeling of peace once you are free of most of your clutter.

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