Sept TBA VRA Garden Club Meeting; Scales/Brown home

Looking to volunteer with the ZVRA? We are looking for 3 homes for our Annual Progressive Dinner in December and people to help with our Village Voice monthly newsletter. Email rsvp@zvra.com!

VRA’s Annual Old Fashioned Block Party Pitch-In Picnic

Be sure to join all your neighbors and village friends at this year’s VRA Annual Old Fashioned Block Party Pitch-In Picnic on Saturday September 22nd! Show up around 6pm with a dish to share (we’ll bring the burgers, dogs, and drinks!) for great company, plenty of savory and sweet selections, and activities for the kids- then stay late to enjoy live music and a bonfire on the bricks!


Fingers Crossed for Oak Street Crosswalk!

Zionsville residents will soon be able to safely cross Oak Street! A number of Village neighbors supported by the VRA have initiated a request for a crosswalk at the intersection of 5th and Oak Streets.

This crosswalk will benefit the neighborhood by allowing for safer and easier access for Village residents living north and south of Oak St. to community treasures such as Eagle Elementary, the Zionsville Public Library, the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center, the Farmers’ Market, the Nature Center, and the Rail Trail.

Discussion about the future crosswalk will be on the agenda at the upcoming Safety board meeting on September 24th at 9:00 a.m. at the Zionsville Town Hall Beverly Harves Meeting Room.

Letter From The President

We have a lot of changes coming to the VRA, the Website and the Village Voice in September.

As you know, our dear Editor, Caron Peper will be stepping down from her duties- in doing so we actually needed to find two people to fill her shoes. We have enlisted Jennifer Kershner and Jill Rezek to work with Beth Bugbee on editing comment. I told them that is what happens when you miss a meeting.

With that change underway, and the skills that Jill and Jen already possess, we are also going to be refreshing the website somewhat. The changes will be mostly cosmetic, but we should have better functionality from the behind the scenes part of the Village Voice. What that means to the average Village Resident is that it should be far easier to add content to the website. So we want to get everyone more involved in sending us things that you want the neighborhood to know about. Be it block parties, school or athletic achievements, ghost stories, thanks yous, whatever… we want the words and pictures that go along with the amazing life that we have by living here in the Village.

Now Caron isn’t going away, and since she missed the board meeting a few weeks ago (because I didn’t even tell her when it was), we are going to make sure that she continues to keep up the Happenings calendar. This is such a great source of Zionsville info that several other Zionsville entities want to use it.

One thing that we often hear, even amongst the board members, is—I don’t know if I have paid my dues. Well, we have heard you- especially our Treasurer Carol- we are restarting the clocks on everyone’s dues! So the new 2013 VRA Fiscal Year starts at the Picnic on Sept 22nd. That is the meeting that we have the most people attend, so pay at the picnic and you are good until the next picnic. Those that don’t pay at the picnic will receive an email reminder to pay at the end of December—and with that reminder will be the option to… drumroll please…pay your VRA dues ONLINE!!!!! We are still sorting everything out, but it should be up and running by the picnic.

The biggest VRA event of the year, the Old Fashioned Block Party Pitch-In Picnic will be the evening of September 22nd. Bring a dish to share and the VRA will have burgers and dogs and drinks for everyone (and some veggie burgers). The picnic will also have a few additions this year. We will be having some live music, so those that want to stay a little later can stick around and hang out and continue to enjoy the company of your neighbors until the wee hours of the night.

All Village Residents’ are invited, VRA member or not, so make sure you bring your neighbors along. It is such a great way to meet all those people who you see when you are out for a walk but never knew who they were.

See you at the picnic, if not before.

Hey Zionsville, what are you reading?

by Kathy Scales Brown

Kelly Masoncup loves to read and usually has a number of books that are in progress and a stack of books waiting to be read. She says: “So many books, so little time!” Her choices at the moment (with comments) are:

The Official Guide to America’s National Parks by Fodor’s

“Hoping to plan our next vacation!”

The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

“This book has been on my list of books to read for a long time, and I am finally getting around to reading it.”

Frida A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

“Frida’s work has always intrigued me and I wanted to learn more about her life.”

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Sartrapi

“This was a required read for my eldest son, so I was curious and had never read a graphic novel before.”

So Zionsville, what are you reading? Email your list to me, Kathy Scales Brown,  at vp@zvra.com.

Village People, Meet Your Business Neighbor: 1st Street Alterations

66 N. First Street 873-9511

If the sound of the door slamming downstairs constantly is any indication, 1st Street Alterations is the busiest merchant in Zionsville! To find it, look for the brown building with blue trim, potted flowers surrounding the door and a Japanese lady outside with watering can in hand. Call out “Good morning, Reiko!” and she’ll spin around with the sweetest smile ever on her face. She doesn’t just water her plants between 8:30 – 9:00 am, all day long she nurtures them in between stitches. Walk inside her shop and the life-sized Japanese dolls that greet you were made by Reiko, too. Her Japanese friend and assistant sits quietly around the corner. They arrive together every morning.

Reiko Levy was born in Japan into a family of two brothers and three sisters. Her sisters became dressmakers so she did too and eventually Reiko earned a “Masters of Dressmaking”. Their reputation in Japan was an honorable one.

Eventually Reiko met the love of her life and began the long journey that would lead her to Zionsville. His Air Force career took them from Japan to North Dakota in 1964. In Philadelphia she waited on him to return from Vietnam. Upon his safe return, the remainder of his career took them back to Japan, to Greece and Germany and eventually to Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis. Throughout this entire time, no matter where they were, Reiko continued her dressmaking and raising their family of three boys.

Reiko grows quiet and I could tell her heart was breaking again as she told of her husband’s passing while they were at Ft. Harrison. Although she had worked in an alterations shop and a men’s clothing store while in Indy, she bravely decided to venture out on her own in December 1991 to Zionsville “because no one was here”. She lovingly speaks of Ralph and Jan Stacy who gave her their seamstress/alterations/tailoring business from their former ladies clothing shop, Stacy LaBolts, and recommended her to customer after customer. That’s how I found Reiko, too. There is nothing she hasn’t been able to do for me, and her prices are ridiculously reasonable. At prom time she was so busy, she had to post a sign on her door announcing “No more prom dresses!”

Reiko’s face lights up when she speaks of her Japanese friends she meets regularly at the Minyo Club of Indianapolis. She immediately reaches for an envelope under her work counter where she shows me photographs of their many activities, and I learn she has a wicked sense of humor and the cutest giggle. She is proud to be a U.S. citizen and a mentor to other Japanese transitioning to our country. She’s also proud of her three sons and seven grandchildren.

Reiko Levy – thank you for becoming a Village merchant almost 21 years ago. You are seriously beloved by your many, many customers.

(Interviewed by Kathy Scales Brown who is desperately hoping she understood Reiko’s English correctly.)

Zionsville Farmers’ Market: Got T-Shirts?

By Patricia Scott

On any given Saturday, you can stop by the Farmer’s Market trailer and admire the wit and whimsy of the Market’s very own custom T-shirts. There is sure to be something for everyone in your house (and on your list) with the range of sayings and sizes available. From infant to adult, the Market will have you covered. At $15 for an adult T-shirt, it is a deal that is not to be missed!

New for this season are: “the Age of Asparagus”; “The Beet Goes On”; “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Bean There, Done That”, the last of which is the market’s first long sleeve T. Of course, returning favorites include “Give Peas a Chance”; “We’re All Ears”; and “Summer Thyme and the Living is Easy”. All of the Farmer’s Market T-Shirts are pre-shrunk and feature unisex sizing. “Don’t Cry Over Me”, displaying a picture of an onion, however, comes in a women’s tailored cut. The Market also offers T-shirts in children’s sizes: “Locally Grown” is a favorite as well as “Sprout” (a onesie, sized 18-24 months).

The Market closes at the end of September, so be sure to come by this week and stock up for the Winter!

VRA Garden Club News

By Delma Mindel

One is amused in walking through the great Covent Garden Market, London, to find toads…for sale…commanding a shilling apiece…Toad, a superior destroyer of noxious insects ( slugs) and as he possesses no bad habits…every owner of a garden should treat him with the utmost hospitality.
~~Celia Thaxter, An Island Garden 1988

Seventeen members of the ZVRA Garden Club gathered at the lovely home of Beth Bugbee. Lively discussion centered around gardening in general and especially how to garden during the extremely dry weather we endured these past two months. Various ideas were thrown out about plants that grow well in full sun as well as gracious offers to share seeds. No mention was made of toads.

Our next ZVRA Garden Club gathering will be in September at the home of Kathy Scales and David Brown, 15 S. Elm St. Details will soon follow. It’s possible we will spend some time relaxing around a warm fire gazing out at the “back 40” vista overlooking Eagle Creek.

The severe and debilitating effects of this summer’s drought and debilitating high temperatures is evident in our gardens. In the Mindel household, we’re thinking about plants to replace the ones that are obviously not going to survive. It’s difficult for me to begin to imagine losing beloved hostas. Hosta—agave-hosta—agave, which shall it be? I received Lee Valley Veritas’ latest gardening newsletter which contained an excellent article on xeric gardening by award-winning horticulturist Frank Kershaw. (He teaches garden design at George Brown College in Toronto and at Toronto Botanical Garden. Road trip, anyone?) Xeric comes from the Greek word meaning, would you believe, dry.

Xeriscape gardening refers to water-wise, drought-tolerant gardening. Do we need to even consider changing over? The weather experts seem to be saying,“Yes”. To read the article, go to www.leevalley.comand click on the left panel “email sign up”. On that page, scroll down to Newsletter Archive and click on “Current, Gardening Vol. 7, Issue 5. If you want more information about plants, consider two sources (out of many). www.HighCountryGardens.com has many beautiful plants that I’ve ordered and successfully grown. http://www.xeriscapedesign.com with pictures and descriptions of wonderful xeric perennials, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Indiana Nature Conservancy’s headquarters on East Ohio Street in downtown Indy is a model of sustainability. Surrounding the building is an excellent example of xeriscape gardening. To find out what grows well during times of drought, take a tour of their gardens. One plant that stood out, still growing well my garden is fragile-appearing columbine. No toads are evident in my garden. Too dry for poor toad.

Government Updates

Meeting: Zionsville Redevelopment Commission
Date: Monday, June 25, 2012

Agenda Highlights:

  • Engineering Contract for 106th Street Utilities. A contract was approved with Beam, Longest and Neff, LLC. (“BLN”) for the engineering, design and construction management of the future water and sewer extensions into the 106th Street/Dow Property.
    • BLN will engineer and design the improvements as well as provide preliminary cost estimates. Assuming the estimates fall in line with expectations, bids will be solicited for the construction in 1 or 2 phases, depending on cost.
    • The proposed Strategic Plan calls for the development and sale of the property for office, research and technology uses. These uses will increase property tax revenues after the TIF district expires in 2029. Having utilities available on site should make the DOW property more competitive and attractive to prospective buyers.
  • Micro Loan Program. $200,000 has been set aside to lend to qualified local businesses that are not able to obtain business loans from traditional lenders. The loans are limited to no more than $25,000. The first application was in the process.
    • Update: The application was recently approved by the Micro Loan Committee and should be finalized soon. I am very pleased with the applicant and proposed use. I look forward to reporting more to you after the July RDC meeting.

Meeting: Zionsville Plan Commission
Date: Monday, August 20, 2012

Docket Number 2012-07-CPA – Comprehensive Plan Amendment – Town of Zionsville – Petition to consider amendments to the Town of Zionsville Comprehensive Plan in order to revise and update the text of the Plan and consider incorporation of the 2012 Economic Development Strategic Plan (August 1, 2012 draft) into the Comprehensive Plan.

Chris Hamm, Senior, Consultant for American Structure Point presented the Plan for approx. 45 minutes. Plan Commission Attorney, Carol Drake Sparks, objected to language in two places stating it was more appropriate in zoning documents and since this plan is portrayed as non-zoning document those passages should be removed. The Plan Commission agreed.

There were questions from Commission members regarding the use of roundabouts, missing a commission member’s name on the document, spelling and errors in grammar. Bill Ferree, former Zionsville Plan Commission, BZA member and Boone County Area Plan Commission member sent a letter that was read into the record. It was eloquent, professional, thought provoking and captured many concerns still unanswered. At one point, Commission member, Kevin Schiferl declared that the Chair was not following Roberts Rules of Order about whether and when the public would be allowed to speak. The Chair proceeded with Commission discussion and then asked for comments from the public. Ed Mitro spoke, Dax Norton spoke and a village resident spoke in favor of the Ferree letter and asked the Commission members to take it to heart. A resident from Zionsville Road provided some context of activities during the last 18 months during the development of the plan pointing out that the public, in general had no input until Oct. of 2011.

Hey Zionsville, what are you listening to?

by Kathy Scales Brown

When I walk by Jamie Brown’s desk at Brown’s on Main and Lumasis, something awesome is always playing.

Jamie Brown — soon-to-be father of 5 sons and 1 daughter, web guru, member of the band Rock Island — what are you listening to these days????????

 “Edie Brickell – Once in a Blue Moon. Her soothing soulful voice takes me to a comfortable relaxed place every single time!”

Jane Forbes — mother of college freshman Caroline, social worker extraordinaire, yoga instructor, the most amazing hostess — what are you listening to????????

“I am listening to artists: Andrew Bird and Alabama Shakes!”

Thanks, guys!

I’d love to know what the rest of the Village is listening to so please share by emailing me, Kathy Scales Brown, at vp@zvra.com.

Farmers’ Market Vendor Spotlight: Le Dolce Vita Patisserie

By Patricia Scott

Kelly Evans comes from a long family line of entrepreneurs; that foundation, combined with a fearless resolve as well as a passion for baking prompted her to open an absolute jewel in the Village: Le Dolce Vita Patisserie. Located in an inviting renovated storefront at 55 East Oak, Le Dolce Vita has been serving up specialty coffee drinks and delectable desserts since January 2011. Le Dolce Vita can also be found weekly at the Zionsville Farmer’s Market under the signature purple umbrella-covered glossy white pastry cart. I visited Kelly at her shop last week to learn more about what makes Le Dolce Vita truly unique.

So how did all of this start, the business, that is?

It has been a lifelong dream of mine to own a bakery. I have always loved to bake. As a corporate flight attendant, I have traveled all over the world and sampled some amazing pastries and specialty desserts. I so enjoy bringing the taste of all the best I have experienced home to share with all of my loyal customers. The best part is that I am slowly adding and trying new things as we move forward; there is definitely more to come!

Why did you choose to open your shop in Zionsville?

I absolutely love the Village of Zionsville. It is truly one of the few places left that represents “Americana”. Although it is small in population, my customers here are well traveled, well informed and truly appreciate the uniqueness of the delicacies I offer. I estimate that 85% of my customers live right here in the Village.

Your house specialty is the French macaroon, is it not?

Yes. I started Le Dolce Vita because I fell in love with the macaroon when I first tasted one at a patisserie called Luxembourgli, located in Zurich. I was so inspired by the taste that I spent two years perfecting the recipe and baking technique until I felt I was ready to open my own patisserie.

Can you describe the perfect French Macaroon?

The macaroon—not to be confused with a macaroon- is a French cookie that is made with almond flour, egg whites and powdered sugar. It is similar to a meringue with a slight crunch and a soft center. It has a wonderful concentrated sweetness that is complemented by coffee and tea. Most of the flavor comes from the filling. At the shop, we have traditional French flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel, raspberry, café, lemon, lavender, and pistachio.

When did you introduce doughnuts?

Actually, I was at the Fall Festival the year before the shop opened, handing out samples to the attendees and almost without fail I was asked if I was going to offer doughnuts. I had never made a doughnut in my life, but I immediately recognized the demand and sought to meet it. I set about the process of learning how to perfect our doughnut offerings and now they are our biggest sellers. Customer favorites include old fashioned sour cream and Boston cream.

What else do you offer, in addition to macaroons and doughnuts?

We offer a variety of completely from scratch house made desserts and baked goods including scones, cookies and croissants. Customer favorites include cinnamon chip scones, ham and cheese croissants, as well as both toffee coconut and iced sugar cookies. In addition, we bake and design custom cakes and cupcakes. We also offer a variety of specialty coffee beverages and brewed teas.

What items do you feature weekly at the Farmer’s Market?

This summer we made beignets to order, which has been immensely popular. We also always have doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, croissants, and coffees.

What do you enjoy about the Market?

I love the Market experience: talking to and interacting with all of the people- and of course watching all of the dogs!

With your busy career and thriving business, how do you do it all?

We have a great team. My manager and cake designer, Chandra Eason, helps to make all of this possible. Truly, there is no way I could do this without her. We also have a full time person who is making all the doughnuts. I, however, am the only one who makes the macaroons.

Do you have any new offerings we can look forward to this fall?

I will begin serving Darrin’s Coffee (my fellow Market vendor). I will also be serving a variety of Autumn-inspired sweets and beverages such as pumpkin scones, muffins and cupcakes as well as caramel apple cider, and pumpkin spice lattes.

It is good to know that we will not have to wait until next year’s Farmer’s Market to enjoy all of your special goodies. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing your passion and the fruits of your travels with all of us in the Village!

Water Ban for Zionsville

Zionsville Town Council President Tim Haak has signed an Emergency Executive Order on Water Conservation Declaration. The order will take effect at 9:00 a.m. Friday, July 20.

Major Provision of the order are:

  1. During the pendency of this water conservation order, it shall be unlawful for a water user, defined as any customer or other individual, firm, corporation, government, agency, or other entity using water within the Town of Zionsville from the Citizens Water system, to cause, permit, allow, do, or engage in any of the following actions:
    1. Sprinkling, watering, or irrigating of grass;
    2. Washing cars, trucks, trailers, mobile homes, railroad cars or any other type of mobile equipment, except as required by applicable local, state, or federal law for health or safety reasons;
    3. Using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, paved areas, structures, buildings, or other outdoor surfaces;
    4. Filling empty swimming pools;
    5. Installing new landscaping or new lawn by using sod until a return to normal conditions is declared by a subsequent Executive Order;
    6. Using hydrants except for fire suppression or as otherwise directed by Citizens Energy Group; and
    7. Operating water fountains that are non-recycling.
  2. The following water users and uses are hereby exempted from these mandatory conservation measures during the pendency of this water conservation order:
    1. Nurseries;
    2. Automatic commercial car washes;
    3. Manual commercial car washes;
    4. Golf courses;
    5. Any watering of property owned or controlled by the Zionsville Department of Parks and Recreation as determined by my designee, the Department Superintendent; and
    6. Users with their own wells.
  3. Watering vegetable gardens and flowers by container or hand-held hose equipped with a shutoff nozzle and watering trees less than five (5) years old are exceptions to these mandatory conservation measures during the pendency of this water conservation order.
  4. Personnel of the Town of Zionsville designated by me and/or the Town Manager are hereby directed to use vigilance in enforcing the provisions of this Executive Order until such time as it is rescinded upon termination of this water conservation order.
  5. Any violators of this Executive Order for water conservation will be penalized as follows:
    1. First violation: Warning
    2. Second violation within a year of first violation: $250
    3. Third violation within a year of the second violation: $500
    4. Fourth violation (and subsequent violations), within a year of the third violation: up to $2,500.

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