Week Ahead

Living Green workshops in Mesa focus on water conservation

You can collect more than 400 gallons of free water off the rooftop of a typical home from just half an inch of rain.

You can learn valuable information like this at the Living Green Hydrate Mesa series taking place on Tuesdays, starting this week through May 29 at the Mesa Main Library, 64 E 1st Street.

“Watershed Management Group (does) an outstanding job teaching this series, and even though conditions are dry now, it will rain again, I promise,” said Donna DiFrancesco, conservation coordinator with the Mesa Environmental Management & Sustainability Department.

Tuesday’s session, “Hydrate Your Food,” will teach participants how to use rain tanks for rainwater harvesting to nourish vegetable and herb gardens throughout the year.

Remaining sessions are: May 22 – How to assess your yard’s soil type and use typical household wastes like compost and graywater to build soil health; May 29 – How to use laundry-to-landscape systems to recycle graywater to nourish plants and reduce water bills.

The program is presented by Watershed Management Group, a local nonprofit whose stated goal is to “create unity, peace and progress around water and watershed health" starting in the home.

Walk-ins are welcome, but advance registration is encouraged: watershedmg.org/learn/classes/hydrate

 “Living Green” is part of a larger effort by Mesa to “to address environmental issues and concerns.” Information:  mesaaz.gov/sustainability.

House of Refuge to open education center

The House of Refuge will open a new employment education center for its residents with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. Thursday, May 17, followed by an open house.

The center, 6859 E. Ursula Ave., Mesa, will offer on-site, online classes to assist residents with vocational certificates necessary in various jobs. Once residents have completed the classes, they should be able to significantly increase their earning potential upon leaving House of Refuge for permanent housing, the organization said.

The new facility will be equipped with a sophisticated kitchen to offer a healthy, nutritional brunch every day to the 150 children who call House of Refuge home at any given time.

House of Refuge Executive Director Nancy Marion thanked community sponsors for making the “vital expansion” possible. They include: Patrick Peterson, cornerback of the Arizona Cardinals; PayPal Gives, Consolidated Personnel Services, Academy Mortgage, TSI Tower Services, Staples, The Wells Bells, Desert Sandwedges and Association of Power Ranch Entrepreneurs.

House of Refuge is a faith-based, drug- and alcohol-free work program that provides case-management services, employment support and transitional housing.

Chandler Library explores Western legends

The true story of some of the Old West’s great figures will be explored in the Our Stories Speakers Series at Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road, when “Arizona’s Wild Myths and Legends” is presented at 10:30 a.m. May 19.

Arizona historian Jim Turner will look at people in popular myth, such as Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and John Wayne. A library spokesman said, “What do these famous characters have in common? They are not who we think they are because of the legends that have grown up around them.”

“From 1860s dime novels to books, movies and television shows, writers have altered, exaggerated and sometimes lied about these folk heroes,” thee spokesman added.

In “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” the newspaper editor says, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

Presented by Arizona Humanities, the program will examine how legends grew and how they impact people’s view of the past.

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