Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Rattin' out your neighbors

If you're going to put down some weed & feed on your front yard in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, you better do it in the dead of the night. Make it a moonless night. You better be quiet, too. Otherwise, somebody (a neighbor perhaps?) might turn you in to the dreaded pesticide police and you'll get a stern warning to cease and desist. If you're caught again and are identified as a flagrant weed & feeder you will likely end up $150 lighter in the wallet.

Yes, there are pesticide snitches aplenty in Waterloo. An article in the Waterloo Record newspaper (access by clicking on the headline) recently reported that that city fielded 83 complaints in 2007 from citizens squealing on their fellow citizens.

What's next, dna samples from the best looking lawns in Waterloo to make sure they not being treated with banned substances? — Ron Hall

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Don't get stuck holding the bag for work done

Things aren't so hot for property developers right now. In fact, they look pretty scary. It seems a big developer in Indianapolis has run into some tough times, which is probably an understatement seeing as how it reportedly owes contractors a lot of money for the work they've done.

One of those contractors is The Brickman Group, headquartered in Gathersburg, MD, one of the top three landscape management companies in the nation. The Indianapolis Business Journal reported Satuday, Jan. 26, that Indy-based Premier Properties USA Inc., owes Brickman $54,000 for snow removal at its Woodfield Crossing property in suburban Indianapolis.

As a small business owner myself 30 years ago (partner in a photographic studio) I got stiffed on more than a few jobs, and I didn't like it . . . but never to the tune of $54,000.

Click on the headline for the article ("Financial troubles mount for local developer") on the Indianapolis Business Journal article. — Ron Hall

Sunday, January 13, 2008

We bring you good tidings

Here’s some nice things I ran across over the holidays. I hope they make you smile.

Christopher and Crystal Childers got a nice present but it was a little late for Christmas. Their 9-lb. baby boy, David Matthew, who was supposed to have arrived a week or so earlier, showed up Jan. 2 instead, making him the first child born in Monroe, MI, in 2008. The father, Christoper, an ex-Marine, is a salesman for TruGreen-ChemLawn in Taylor, MI.

News 8 in Austin, TX, recently aired a segment about a new lawn care operation there named “Mow Kids.” Robert Fleming, 13, runs the business, aided by his 10-year-old twin brothers Sean and Travis. Robert takes care of the trimming while the twins do the mowing. The twins took some of their profits and bought a Nintendo Wii gaming system. Robert is saving for a car. The brothers netted $2,400 for their summer’s work, reported News 8.

CBS 4 in Hollywood, FL, in a piece airing just before Christmas, told how the community came together to put a longtime landscaper back on his feet. While J.W. Smith, 58, was working on a client’s property in late November somebody stole his truck, trailer and tools. A longtime client alerted the television station’s Neighbors 4 Neighbors segment and the anonymous donations started pouring in, including a new mower and other grounds equipment. People also donated abouot $700 in cash. Smith was described in the report as being a humble, hard-working man that’s greatly admired. Who says landscapers don't get any respect.

A couple of day ago I read a report in a Florida newspaper (I think it was the St. Petersburg paper) about a man named Eric Wills, a letter carrier, who began helping folks on his route when he saw that they couldn’t take care of their properties. In addition to delivering mail to about 500 homes, he now drives his homemade trailer sporting a “Lawns for the Lord” sign on it to about 15 properties, which he mows in addition to doing other small chores for people who are either elderly or having other difficulties.

Finally, preacher Patrick McCary, when he isn't tending to the spiritual needs of his flock as pastor of the Church of Christ in Craig, CO, is tending to customers' lawns. The Craig Daily Press newspaper featured McCary in nice article recently. The pastor, it said, brought 12 years experience tending fine turf to his post when he came to Craig about a year ago. Praise be to those who keep us neat and green. . .and Amen. — Ron Hall

— Ron Hall