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City of Alachua welcomes Holiday Inn Express & Suites

City of Alachua welcomes Holiday Inn Express & Suites

The City of Alachua has waited a long time for a new hotel and were thrilled when Holiday Inn Express & Suites Alachua, recently had their grand opening. The hotel is located next to Publix More »

Local Celebrity Spotlight: Meet Kim Stinton: Business Woman, Wife and Mom!

Local Celebrity Spotlight: Meet Kim Stinton: Business Woman, Wife and Mom!

Kim and her husband Andy own The Floor Store of Newberry and have always been active with events in their area. They have advertised with Good Life Community Magazine for 12 years. More »

New Technology in Prostate Cancer

New Technology in Prostate Cancer

by Charles L. Perkins, M.D., Ph.D. North Florida Radiation Oncology (NFRO) is proven to be a leader in providing comprehensive, compassionate cancer care for men with prostate cancer. Because of this leadership More »

Finding the Perfect Place to Rent

Finding the Perfect Place to Rent

by Trish Utter A friend of mine, who is a nurse, was telling me how difficult it was to find a nice apartment in a great location in the Gainesville area. She More »

 

Red Carpet Pix

Gainesville Gone Austin was held at Santa Fe River Ranch. A benefit for the Child Advocacy Center. Guests enjoyed food by Chuy’s

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Stop Suffering and being Embarrassed by your Legs

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by Ruth Ward

In Florida we wear shorts all year long so our legs are out there. If you have unsightly veins it can be impossible to hide. Dr. Scott Koppel treats hundreds of patients annually for spider and varicose veins, painful swollen legs, chronic wounds and more.

Where are you from?

I’m from New York. I grew up in the suburbia of Long Island with three siblings. I went to the Temple School of Podiatric Medicine in Philadelphia, and graduated in
1993. After completing my residency at Beth Israel Hospital, I moved to Gainesville in 1995 which was just in time to see the Gators win the National Championship the next year.

Customer Service & Great Team Work

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by Trish Utter

It was a blazing hot day so I went inside for some cool relief but the house was hot inside too. My air conditioner had packed up and was not repairable. I called and got a few bids. Air Ducks Heating & Air, Inc., came in at a reasonable price. From the very beginning they were professional and kept me informed every step of the way. From the time of the first meeting to the time the work was completed was just a few days!

It wasn’t an easy installation as the new air handler had to be placed in the attic that is in a very inaccessible place but without hesitation these guys figured out how to do it. I was impressed at the way the guys worked as a team and how clean and tidy the team from Air Ducks was. Not only with their appearance but also they cleaned up after themselves and left my house clean! It was as if Christmas elves had done the work.

I met with Sam Roberts, owner of Air Ducks Heating & Air, Inc out at his warehouse located in Gainesville. It was good to see his team again. They are such a nice bunch of people.

Guide to Happy Gift Giving

gg1by Trish Utter

When you are thinking about getting someone a romantic gift put some thought and effort into it. It will pay off. Cut out the stress by thinking about it ahead of time, I don’t mean the day before! What have you noticed that they look at while shopping? Have you heard them mention something they have always wanted to do? What is their favorite candy or meal? So many simply feel taken for granted when they receive a gift that has no thought behind it. I can remember my father giving my mother a frying pan for her birthday. Even though she needed one this was one of the WORST gifts ever! Don’t buy someone what they need, buy them something that they would love to have as a treat. Take the time to notice what they look at in a shop windows or what cologne they try on and like.

Community Pix

Woofstock held at The Barn at Rembert Farms to benefit the Humane Society. This was the first event of its type and drew in a huge crowd for its psychedelic, groovy event.

Gail Owen and Victoria Jarman

Gail Owen and Victoria Jarman

From the Desktop

by Trish Utter, Publisher & Chief Bottle Washer

editor1It is a pleasure to have the Williams’ family on our front cover. What an inspirational couple they are. They have been on our cover about seven times. The couple are brilliant at building affordable, innovative homes. They pay attention to even the smallest detail. I was so happy for them when they had their first child, Jett, and now they are expecting their second. What a happy time. I hope you enjoy reading about their latest project in High Springs called Oakridge.

It is the time of year for parties and family gatherings. Many invitations are sent out and that brings me to one of my pet peeves…….not getting a reply! It is hard for the person hosting a party or event to know how much food to prepare. RSVP is short for the French phrase, R?pondez s’il vous plait and means, Please Respond. Even if you get a Facebook invite, it has a place where you can let the host know if you will attend. Many people feel that if they are not going to attend they can simply just ignore it, but the poor host still does not know if you will show up. Click on the Not Going button to put the host out of their misery…lol.

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a holiday that is relatively stress free. It is a bit like Christmas, but without the stress of gift giving. I have been thinking about gifts now as I don’t want it to be a week before the Holidays and then rush out to buy just about anything. Buying in haste is never a good idea. I usually find great bargains on jewelry and electronics at TBGoods in Alachua and Southern Charm Emporium that is full of antiques, china, knickknacks and unique items. The Healing House offers gift certificates for massages or the Salt Room…. talk about a unique gift! I also like to do day trips to shop at Mall of Millennia, in Orlando, International Mall, in Tampa, or St John’s Town Center in Jacksonville.

I hope you and your family have a fantastic Thanksgiving. All of us at Good Life Community Magazine are truly thankful for our advertisers and our readers. Thank YOU for making this ….the Good Life!

Community Spot LIGHT

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The Alachua Chamber Mixer was held at the Chamber office located on Main Street in Alachua. It was announced that there will be a Car Show on Saturday, Oct 22nd on Main Street.

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BATS:NOT What You Think AND WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE THEM!

by Brian Pope

Photo: Wade Kincaid

Photo: Wade Kincaid

Why are bats so important? Has Zika had an effect on bat population or bat awareness?

Bats are the primary predator of nocturnal insects, including many species that are agricultural pests. A study conducted in 2011 showed that bats save U.S. farmers between $37 to $53 billion annually on pesticides and crop losses. Fruit bats are important as pollinators and seed dispersers, and responsible for 90% of the regrowth of tropical rainforests in Central and South America, and SE Asia after clear cutting. Many agricultural crops depend on fruit bats, such as bananas, figs, cashews, and tequila, as bats are one of the only animals that pollinates agave.

Two species of mosquitoes are known to carry Zika virus – Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, both which are common throughout Florida. These species are active during the day and typically stay close to the ground. Because of this, the general consensus is that bats would not eat them. However, no one has ever conducted a comprehensive study on bat diets in Florida Lubee Bat Conservancy is currently writing a proposal for a Florida project to determine what insects bats are preying upon by collecting fecal samples at known roost sites over a 12 month period, and using molecular analysis to extract DNA for comparison to an insect ID database. Florida bats may play a crucial role in helping control mosquito populations that can harbor a variety of diseases such as Zika, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and West Nile virus, and insects that cause significant destruction to Florida crops.

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Photo: Trish Utter

The FWC recently issued a statement encouraging folks to put up bat houses. It’s nice to see bats getting positive attention for their role in the ecosystem.

Should people have a bat house?

Putting up a bat house is a great idea! In FL, bat houses provide safe, secure roosting areas for numerous species including Mexican Free-tailed bats, Southeastern myotis, Evening bats, Big Brown bats, and the Critically Endangered Florida Bonneted bat (only found in south Florida). An individual bat can eat hundreds of insects per night, including mosquitoes. Unfortunately, many bat populations are disappearing at alarming rates due to habitat loss. Most bats living in Florida prefer to roost in mature trees, dead trees (called snags), or caves. However, many bats take up residence in buildings or other manmade structures due to destruction of their habitats. Bat houses provide much needed alternative roost sites for Florida’s bats. A house on your property can offer the perfect place for our flying friends to live. They will also return the favor by helping to control insects in your area. Lubee Bat Conservancy builds and installs single, triple, and 4-chambered houses (preferred by maternity colonies) that have proven successful with Florida bats. For more information visit our website http://lubee.org/lubee-bat-houses-site-recommendations/.

Photo: Trish Utter

Photo: Trish Utter

Should people be afraid of bats?

People have no reason to fear bats. They are very clean animals and extremely social. Bats are beneficial and eat many insects around your house. Bats can carry rabies, but so can cats/dogs, and other native mammals. Less than 0.1% of bats have rabies. However, if you see a bat on the ground, do not touch it and call your local animal control officer. Bats like to be as high as possible, and if one is on the ground, there is a chance it may be sick.

If you find a bat in your house, what should you do?

Should you ever find a bat in your house, the best thing to do is close all doors to the room in which the bat is hanging, and open windows. They will leave on their own.

What is the biggest misconception on bats?

The biggest misconception about bats is that they are blind – all bats can see just like humans. Of the 1331 species, approximately 1100 use echolocation to navigate. The other 200+ species are fruit bats whose food isn’t trying to get away.

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Photo: Wade Kincaid

What do bats eat?

In 1996, there were 920 known species of bats; today there are 1331! Nearly 70% consume insects, 20% are frugivores (fruit, pollen, nectar, leaves), and the rest eat everything from fish to frogs, and even other bats. Bat species in the U.S. are primarily insectivorous, although a few species in the southwest feed on nectar, mostly from cacti.

How long has Lubee been in our area?

Lubee Bat Conservancy (LBC) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to saving fruit bats and their habitats through research, conservation and education, with a focus on children and community engagement. Founded in 1989, LBC places conservation and education as its two core institutional purposes. Local and global education programs connect children with nature, foster environmental stewardship, and inspire the next generation of conservation scientists to become leaders within their communities. Located on a 110-acre property in Gainesville, Florida, LBC houses the largest and most diverse collection of fruit bats in the world, and is recognized as a unique center dedicated to endangered species. LBC is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums certified related facility (recently awarded in 2015) that undergoes a rigorous inspection every 5 years to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising Association standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, finances and safety.

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Photo: Wade Kincaid

Can anyone come out to visit, or do you need an appointment?

Lubee is a private organization and is not open to the public. However, we have a very active educational program that offer tours to a variety of groups ranging from Pre-K to Professionals. Tours must be made in advance by emailing info@lubee.org.

When people visit Lubee, what can they expect to see?

Photo: Wade Kincaid

Photo: Wade Kincaid

Guests are first engaged with an age appropriate PowerPoint presentation discussing everything from basic bat facts to detailed conservation messages. Next, guests are given a tour of our primary bat viewing area which houses over 200 bats from 10 species, including the Malayan Flying Fox with a wingspan of six feet! Guests will have a full view of bats in their naturalistic enclosures where they will observe them feeding, playing, and interacting with numerous enrichment

To learn more about Lubee visit their website www.lubee.org where you can find out about their bats, conservation/education efforts, and how to donate or become a member.