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Dome sweet home


Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Local man praises benefits of spherical livingBy Carol ThouinMonday, January 22, 2001

A walk back to the picturesque acreage owned by Spring Valley native Jerry Cleveland and you might think you were on another planet -- or at least another continent. Nestled among the tree-lined hillside sit two huge igloo-shaped concrete mounds. The solid gray huts both sport regular looking doors, but once inside, the structures are anything but regular. It's one solid, round piece. The unusual looking buildings are called EcoShells, part of the Monolithic Dome family. "EcoShells are just like Monolithic Domes, but without the insulation," explained Cleveland, who helped build the two structures as part of a special course he taught at Kingsland High School this year.

By day he works for the U.S. Postal Service, but in his spare time, this self-proclaimed dome fanatic evangelizes the gospel of Monolithic Domes. "I first became interested during the energy crunch of the early "70s," Cleveland said. "Back then I studied up on Earth Homes, Solar Homes and Geodesic homes," he said. Years later Cleveland ran across a story in Popular Mechanics that sparked his intense interest for Monolithic Domes. While Cleveland spends a fair amount of time putzing in his back acreage with the two EcoShell domes slated for a storage shed and a workshop, he also spends a fair amount of time promoting the benefits of domes.

"They're really a superstructure," Cleveland said. "They're super insulated and take half as much energy to heat or cool than a traditional stick-built home," he said. Some average sized homes in the warmest of climates, for example, use only a small R/V air-conditioning unit to cool their entire house. While expensive materials are used to construct the dome, the efficient manner in which materials are used helps keep the cost down. According to the Monolithic Dome Institute, a leader in the dome construction industry, a good rule of thumb in estimating the final cost of an average, finished Monolithic Dome home is $60 per square foot of floor area -- similar to that of a traditionally built home. But when it comes to institutional buildings, the cost is much less for two reasons. First, institutional buildings must meet tougher building codes and are built using more expensive materials. Monolithic Domes meet and exceed these building codes. Domes also cover more space than other shaped buildings, which creates a margin of .....
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Social Services costs rising

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2001

Last Tuesday, the County Board heard from Social Services Director Tom Boyd about the rising cost of out of home placements. Boyd presented the board with a brief verbal report highlighted by a bar graph showing that t ..... 
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Commission looks at zoning changes

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2001

The Fillmore County Planning Commission met in a work session on Friday, January 19th, to discuss several proposed amendments to the county Zoning Ordinance.

While some of the proposed amendments are of small ..... 
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Election 2000:

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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One for the history booksBy Al MathisonMonday, November 13, 2000

Fillmore County voters turned out in large numbers last Tuesday, November 7. The auditors department reported that as of 7 a.m. on Election Day there were1 ..... 
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Sam goes visiting

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 1, 2001

People have been telling me about how much the residents of nursing homes love to see pets such as dogs and cats, so I thought that it would be nice if Sam and I paid them a visit. It was a couple of days after Christma ..... 
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The Gift of Life

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, December 18, 2000

When the phone rang at three a.m. last Monday morning, my husband Joe sat straight up out of a deep sleep, "Baby time," he said.

With one foot on the floor, he then heard me saying, "Yes, you can dry ginger a ..... 
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Up In Smoke

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 15, 2001

Lately, there have been many commercials by teenagers on a crusade against smoking. They sight that Big Tobacco companies have targeted underaged smokers by using cartoon mascots, supporting high school sporting even ..... 
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Winter Birds

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 22, 2000

January 1, 2001: We hear birds singing and see activity in fir trees as we drive slowly past a farm bordering the Whitewater Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Dana Gardner and I are participating in the Whitewater Christ ..... 
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Whats In A Name?

Fri, Jan 19th, 2001
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Monday, January 8, 2001

While it may not have mattered much to Romeos Juliet, names are of paramount importance to those working in the biological sciences. Naturally, in the absence of names a discussion on virtually any topic would prove at ..... 
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