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A Palm Coast couple have the October 2020 Garden of the Month.

Submitted by Nancy Iandoli, Special to the News-Tribune
 |  The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Mavilde and Manuel Gomes of Elliot Place have been recognized as October 2020 Garden Yard Selection of the Month by The Garden Club at Palm Coast.

The couple moved from Connecticut to Palm Coast in 2004 when they retired.

On both sides of their driveway they have a stone area with newly planted orange bird of paradise, a tractor seat plant (Ligularia reniformis), and several colorful crotons, where Mavilde likes to plant two varieties together to add color and texture. Their front door garden area is neatly planted with pink curcuma ginger lilies, amaryllis, ponytail palms, two poinsettias, a plumeria, orange and white bird of paradise, pink caladium, hanging baskets with succulent varieties and two spectacular single-stemmed pom-pom-shaped yucca plants beaked with a stunning spray of bluish-green thin blades that are 2 feet long. Centered in the middle is a tranquil egg-shaped green water fountain that complements this front yard.

There are several varieties of fruit trees throughout the landscape: oranges, tangerines, lemons, bananas, guava, papaya, nespera loquat, fig and olive trees.

The backyard faces a golf course and a fishing pond so they have planted a hedge of Queen palms, bottlebrush, Phoenix roebelenii, river birch tree, fan palms, oleanders, crape myrtles, Schefflera arboricola, several crotons and bird of paradise. On the left side yard are three large staghorn ferns and a starfish cactus (Stapelia gigantea).

Mavilde is known to have a green thumb as she has much success with anything she plants. Her friends and neighbors bring over their sad plants and she always brings them back to life.

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Interior Employees Raise Concerns After Department Celebrates ‘European Heritage Month’

The Interior Department celebrated European Heritage Month in August, an unusual move that has caused some employees to feel uneasy. 

Interior published an online monthly magazine as part of that celebration, which highlighted the history and accomplishments of various European cultures in the United States. While the same publication put out previous issues that focused on other groups such as LGBTQ and Asian Americans, the publication caused a stir among some employees who saw the celebration as insensitive and improperly promoting ideals related to white pride.

Employees at Interior said they could not recall Interior ever recognizing European Heritage Month previously, with one saying the department “made up their own commemorative month.” The publication was put together by the head of “special emphasis programs” at the Interior Business Center, though the magazine is labeled as a publication of Interior’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administrative Services. A division of Interior’s Office of Civil Rights, the department’s special emphasis programs website lists nearly a dozen events and groups as part of its observance policy and European heritage is not one of them. There does not appear to be any national recognition of August as European Heritage Month. 

Some Interior workers who were aware of the publication became annoyed and angry about it, one employee said. The message appeared to promote a “white lives matter” ideology, said the individual, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, and was especially troubling “during a time of civil awakening.” 

Steve Carlisle, the editor of the magazine, told Government Executive he had no intention of making a political statement and did not want to “insult anybody or hurt anybody.” He said he and his colleagues gave “a lot of consideration” to the potential blowback of publishing the issue, but ultimately decided it was