Friday, November 24, 2006

GreenCare for Troops a huge success

Reporter Tarron Lively wrote an excellent piece about Project Evergreen's GreenCare for Troops program. The article appeared on Thanksgiving day in the Washington Times newspaper.

The GreenCare for Troops program solicits landscape and lawn care companies to provide basic lawn care services to families that have loved ones in the military serving in the Middle East. Several hundred Green Industry companies have signed up and are providing free services to these families.

The article in the Times quotes Brickman spokesperson Debra Holder, the former leader of the Professional Landcare Network, and Den Gardner, who directs Project Evergreen.

Click on the headline and see the complete article. — Ron Hall

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mowers on highways — a very bad idea

The Tampa Tribune newspaper on Friday, Nov. 17, reported that a man operating a tractor mowing unit on I-75 about 9 p.m. was the cause of a horrific accident. The paper resports he was driving the unit in the left lane of the 4-lane highway at about 25 mph (the minimum speed limit is 50 mph) causing a couple of vehicles, traveling at highway speed, to slam on their brakes to avoid striking him.

In the mayhem, a pickup truck rear-ended a car and apparently sent it careening into the path of a fuel tanker carrying about 8,000 gallons of fuel.

The tanker exploded, killing the driver of the car. The truck driver escaped his cab before his truck blew up. The explosion, fire and cleanup closed busy I-75 for four hours, reported the newspaper.

The operator of the mowing unit, apparently unhurt, was identified as an employee of a local lawn care company that had a contract to mow the grass in the median strip. He said he was looking for a turn-around so that he could continue mowing the grass in the median. At 9 p.m. in the dark?

An official for the highway department said mowing is typically done between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Click on the headline above for the article in the Tampa Tribune newspaper. — Ron Hall

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Equity hawks circling ServiceMaster?

Interesting piece in "Heard on the Street" column in the Wall Street Journal. There's speculation that investor groups are looking at the parent company of the TruGreen Companies and Terminix as a plum just ready for picking.

If you haven't heard, ServiceMaster said a couple of weeks ago that it's moving its corporate headquarters from Downers Grove, IL, (just outside of Chicago) to Memphis were all of its consumer services businesses are headquartered.

There's been a lot going on at this company that has always made a point of emphasizing its strong Christian values. That said, not even The Higher Power Above has seen fit to move its stock price to the satisfaction of investors, so there's talk of big-money snapping it up.

Hey, that reminds me of a joke (hee, hee) about the guy that month after month, year after year, whined to God about why he never wins the lottery . . . . and, of course, the answer in a thunderous voice from on high — "You gotta buy a ticket first, moron!"

Ok, so it wasn't such a hot joke.

Click on the headline for the Wall Street Journal article. Actually, I accessed it through the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. — Ron Hall

Friday, November 10, 2006

The more you stir the xxx, the worse it stinks

I can't recall my dad, Cliff, ever saying a bad word about anybody — ever. He wasn't the most ambitious guy, that's for sure. He was content to go to work everyday and work on his little farm when he could. He passed in 1997 but he's still alive in my mind, and one of his favorite sayings came to mind as I read (for the umpteenth time) the saga of the Houston landscape couple that refused to do work for a gay man.

Yes, weeks after they informed the gay man they wouldn't do work for him because it was against their Christian principles, the story gets revived by some overly ambitious Associated Press reporter. And off it goes again, being printed and reprinted in newspapers across the country. And the phone calls and hate mail start pouring in again.

Folks, get over it. It's old news. Actually, it's hardly news at all. So, the gay guy was offended; that's regretable. But there must be thousands of landscape companies in Houston eager to take his money.

Isn't it about time we quit stirring this little pile of doggie doo? It's starting to stink real bad. — Ron Hall

Organics win by a hair — recount certain

A vote can't get much closer than the one in Brunswick, ME, mandating the use of organic practices on all city-owned properties. The initial tally after Tuesday's election had the measure failing by two votes, The count was later amended with the ordinance passing by five votes - 3,906 to 3,901.
Opponents of the measure say they will seek a recount.
The ordinance is modeled after one passed by Marblehead, MA, several years ago that prohibits synthetic pesticides and biosolids processed from treated sewer sludge from being used on city parks, sports fields and gardens.
Brunswick, pop. 14,800, is home to a naval air station and Bowdoin College and is located about 25 miles northeast of Portland, Maine's largest city. — Ron Hall

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sod for the lawnless

A big attaboy to Kurt Steinke, a professor of turfgrass ecology at Texas A&M University. When it came time to dispose of a large section of Bermudagrass sod he got an "ah-haa" moment — why not donate it to Habitat for Humanity to use at some of the homes that volunteers were helping to build in the Bryan-College Station region.

As a result, 11 homes in the newly developed Angel's Gate "Habitat" development have new lawns, saving homeowners there $800 to $1,000 per lawn.

A tip of our hat to William Gravanovic of Horizon Turf for helping out too.

Click on the headline if you want to read more in the Bryan-College Station newspaper. — Ron Hall

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vicious kangeroo or cuddly wallaby, who's right?

OK, what's the real story here?

A landscaper in Davie, FL, says while he was working in a client's back yard a big, nasty kangeroo grabbed him in a bear hug, clawed him and gave him a bite for good measure.

The "pet owner" says, hogwash! That wasn't a kangeroo at all; it was a wallaby; it's half as big as the landscaper claims it is and it had never attacked anybody before.

Click on the headline to the link to South Florida's NBC6 and read about yet another landscaping hazard — bad-tempered marsupials. — Ron Hall