Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Your local handywoman explains what she did with her new tools.
After winning HGTV's "All American Handyman fan favorite", I was finally able to purchase some tools I have always wanted — tools I could never really let myself actually spend the cash to get. Growing up in the Adirondacks of New York, I realize how much Adirondack-style furniture has shaped my life. The timber look always reminds me of a warm, cozy cabin. Actually, I have always wanted to get into making Adirondack furniture, but I could never get myself to pay for the tenon bits to make this possible. These bits range from $150 to $350 each. With my fan favorite Sears gift card, I bought three of them. My first project was to make a dog bed out of raw timber. I built the bed out of hickory. The tenon bits need some power behind them; …
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Joe Curro becomes the first candidate for Board of Selectmen, police stop a drug deal near Arlington High School and Post Office closures to be pushed back.
Authorities this week identified the man whose body was found in Spy Pond on Tuesday. The deceased is Cameron Raudonis-Blicker, 23, of Derry, N.H. A cause of death has not been determined. School Committee member Joe Curro became the first candidate to take out papers to run for the Board of Selectmen. In an interview, Curro said he wants to be the voice of Arlington Public Schools parents, following the expected 2012 departure of Selectman Annie LaCourt. And Superintendent Kathleen Bodie has been asked to review the school district’s protocols on student confidentiality, after an official mistakenly distributed a redistricting map showing approximate addresses of special education homes. Here are more of this week's essential news from …
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
It’s that time of year to extend our hearts out to others.
It’s that time of year again. You know, that time when most people extend their hearts out in some shape or form to others. Whether it is through gifts or acts of kindness, this time of year seems to open people’s hearts. And the awesome thing about the holidays is the way everyone feels: It doesn’t matter if you do the giving or receiving, caring always feels good. This year I have a challenge for you. If you are fairly handy or have ambitions to be handy, I challenge you to make gifts rather than buy them. I think we can all agree that there is something indescribable about putting your own sweat (and sometimes blood) into a gift for someone. I have been making gifts for family and friends since I can remember. And my parents still have …
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Nonprofit Paint it Forward vows to help transforming technology education classrooms into optimal learning environments for Arlington's middle school students.
Have you ever seen the movie “Pay It Forward?” If you haven't, you should check it out. And if you have seen the movie, I think you know where this is going. Ottoson Middle School is teaming up with nonprofit Paint it Forward to make the Technology Education classrooms optimal learning environments for Arlington's students. Paint it Forward takes classrooms and transforms them from white-walled cluttered spaces to warm, inviting, organized environments where kids love to go and learn. I thought we did a pretty decent job with what we had done with our generous donations. But after meeting with Paint it Forward founder PJ Davey, I was blown away with this nonprofit’s focus on networking and getting so many people to dedicate their time and …
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it is full of store-bought items. Allison Oropallo is on a mission to change this, by teaching parents and kids how to make their own decorations.
This weekend, I’m making Face-Cut-Out-Board Halloween lawn ornaments with kids. Anyone can buy or make one, but to build one is a different, more meaningful experience. Too often, young people are taught to go to a store for whatever they want and need. Kids are young and inexperienced, but come on, they aren’t stupid—they learn how to get things done easily. And if they see how easy it is to get anything they want without ever trying to figure it out, they’ll never appreciate anything. Frequently, kids don’t know what it took to make the money to buy the toy, and they don’t know what—or who—it took to make, assemble and ship it. All they have been taught is that, if they want something, they pick it off a shelf. When I was a teenager, I …
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Allison Oropallo received 25 percent of votes and will take home a $1,500 gift card to Sears.
The fans have spoken: Allison Oropallo was their favorite contestant on HGTV's "All American Handyman," winning 25 percent of votes and topping the second-best candidate by a 6-percent margin. Oropallo, a teacher at Arlington's Ottoson Middle School, made it to the show's season finale, eventually placing as one of the two runners-up to contestant Jared Pollston, who won $10,000 and a development deal with HGTV. As fan favorite, she takes home a $1,500 gift certificate to Sears. After the show aired on Sunday, Oropallo said she is proud of her accomplishments. “The best part of the experience was definitely making it to the end,” she told Patch after the show. “I did this competition because I knew I could win. No matter whether I did win…
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The search for a bright bulb.
On Monday morning, I needed to take a trip to the hardware store. I will not expose the name of the particular store, but let’s say it was big. So, the light bulb in my refrigerator died Sunday night after "All American Handyman" aired. How convenient, right? (Not as inconvenient as the time I was driving to fax time-sensitive paperwork to HGTV and got a flat tire. I swear, anytime it has something to do with HGTV, something around me decides to break as if to test my skills.) Anyway, back to the store. I'm in this big hardware store to get a light bulb. I was anticipating that this should be one of those trips where I say, “I wish every trip to the store was this easy!” The light bulbs were located right near the door so I was thinking …
Monday, October 10, 2011
Check out the photos of Oropallo's projects on the season finale of HGTV's reality show.
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Monday, October 10, 2011
Allison Oropallo didn't win the show, but she is proud of having made it to the last round of contestants on the reality show.
Ottoson Middle School teacher Allison Oropallo didn’t take the title of Sunday’s finale of the HGTV reality show All American Handyman. But she sure enjoyed the season. “The best part of the experience was definitely making it to the end,” Oropallo told Patch after the show. “I did this competition because I knew I could win. No matter whether I did win, I made it to the end.” The first challenge of the evening was building a shed in five hours. Oropallo cleared that stage and was one of the remaining three contestants, after one of the four was eliminated. On the second challenge, the contestants had to build a kitchen in five hours. The judges said all three did well, with Oropallo making the fewest mistakes and doing the most out of her…
Sunday, October 9, 2011
A look at the week that was in Arlington news.
Lower quality of service and decreased access for disabled and elderly residents are some of the causes for concern among local U.S. Postal Service customers, dozens of whom spoke Monday against the possible closure of the East Arlington and Arlington Heights post offices. Ottoson Middle School teacher Allison Oropallo is the last woman standing on HGTV’s All American Handyman, and she battles against three other contestants on the show's finale tonight at 9 p.m. This week the world learned the news of the passing of Steve Jobs, the man behind Apple who is praised for his genius inventions and entrepreneurship. Here are more of this week's essential news from Arlington Patch's coverage: GOVERNMENT Arlington officials are seeking public …