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President Barack Obama carries on the Thanksgiving tradition of saving a turkey from the dinner table with a "presidential pardon" of 'Cheese' the turkey in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Obama on safe legal ground with turkey pardon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has issued an executive action that some of his Republican opponents may be hard-pressed to disagree with — sparing Thanksgiving turkeys from the dinner table. In the spirit of the holiday, Obama on Wednesday took “action fully within my legal authority, the same kind of action taken by Democrats and Republican presidents before me,” to pardon the National Thanksgiving Turkey, a 49-pound bird named Cheese. He also spared an alternate turkey, a 47-pounder named Mac. Both came from Cooper Farms in Oakwood, Ohio. “If you’re a turkey, and you’re named after a side dish, your chances of escaping Thanksgiving dinner …

When son knows best A Belchertown couple turns to their eldest to design their modern home

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Architect Uwe Brandes has designed everything from a military museum in Buffalo, New York, to an elementary school in Berlin, Germany. Currently the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Urban Planning in Urban Planning in Washington. D.C., Brandes, 50, has another design on his resume that hits closer …

Your Place: Anti-slip tape may save full additive solution

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Q: We have a common California style balcony in front of our condo building, with a coat of epoxy that was put on by the contractor last year. The finish is very slippery. Is there anything we can apply on top of the epoxy coating that will make the finish less slippery? A: Some contractors use a sand-like additive to make epoxy finishes …

Get Growing: Thomas Jefferson’s love for gardening helps define him

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Thomas Jefferson was an avid gardener but he was more interested in scientific experiments than in spectacular successes. That was one of the facts about our third president that Peter Hatch, head gardener at Monticello for 35 years, …

Your Place: To prepare for winter, put pipes first

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Someone suggested that I write the annual getting-ready-for-winter column early this year because the last time I did, we had a mild one. There’s so much to say about winter preparation that it will likely take more than one column, so we’ll start with something that brings nightmares …

Get Growing, tips from Master Gardener Cheryl B. Wilson: Forcing bulbs

Friday, October 24, 2014

In the bleak midwinter when snow blankets the ground nothing is more cheerful than a pot of bright daffodils or tulips. They seem to promise that spring is just around the corner. You can certainly go to the …

Right at Home: Fall decor gets cozy

Friday, October 24, 2014

Cozying up in a favorite sweater is one of the distinct pleasures of autumn. This fall, designers and retailers are stitching up sweater motifs on an array of home décor. So while you’re wrapping yourself in a big, …

Living Smart: Help your small space live large

Friday, October 24, 2014

Feeling cramped but don’t want to move? There many ways to make small seem spacious. Embracing a “less is more” mindset is even trendy, with micro homes attracting macro interest on social media and on TV. Granted, your home is likely larger than a true “tiny house,” which …

Living Smart: Lead paint is still a threat, but it shouldn’t be

Friday, October 17, 2014

If you or someone you know is planning work on a pre-1978 home, please make time to take precautions against the possibility of lead poisoning. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that about 500,000 U.S children ages 1 to 5 have elevated lead levels in their …

Art Deco 1920s house ‘Like something out of a Hollywood movie’

Friday, October 17, 2014

Richard Silvers grew up admiring the palatial white mansion at 1830 Beechwood Blvd. in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill, never imagining he might live there. But fate intervened, and when the home came up for sale in 2002, he and …

Get Growing: Voles, mice and rabbits

Friday, October 17, 2014

Winter is just around the corner and little rodents as well as rabbits and squirrels are preparing for cold weather. Rabbits don’t hibernate and you can see their tracks in the snow all winter. They do need to …

Built-in or portable? Choosing the right generator

Friday, October 17, 2014

As storms have become more severe in many parts of the country and power outages more frequent, home generators have gone from luxury items to mainstream ones. Prices have come down, thanks to growing demand and cheaper technology. …

Unlocking the secret to hiding a spare key

Friday, October 17, 2014

Want to safely hide a spare house key? Here are a few tips. Burglars, don’t read this story. It’s a horrible feeling: You arrive home and discover that you lost your key. If only you had a spare …