Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dalton Parks and Rec: Important to Life

Dalton Parks and Rec: Important to Life

Work and Play: Parks and Rec Important to Life in Dalton

In his March 9, 2012 column titled "They do a fine job at Parks and Rec" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the benefits of Dalton Parks and Recreation Department and some of its new additions.

Dalton Parks and Recreation Department (DPRD) has been going strong for 55 years.

It might interest you to know, as it did me, that the DPRD now provides 644 acres of leisure opportunities including 12 parks, six outdoor walking tracks, trails, 30 athletic fields, nine artificial turf fields, 24 tennis courts and 10 playgrounds.

Add to that list the disc golf course, the dog park, skate park, a large (Olympic-sized) swimming pool and opportunities to fish on park properties and you have a very well-rounded recreation department.

The DPRD does a really fine job of getting young people involved in sports. Most of us are aware of many of the year-round athletic opportunities provided for our young people by the DPRD. From preschoolers to senior high students, our area youth have opportunities to compete in soccer, basketball, baseball, softball, cheerleading, volleyball, swimming, tennis, golf and lacrosse, just to name a few. And what’s more, these competitive sports are free for the young people who participate in the drafted leagues.

One of the most exciting additions to the DPRD program is the new Mack Gaston Community Center, a 50,000-square-feet facility on the corner of Fredrick Street and MLK Boulevard which has something for athletes of all ages: two full-size basketball courts, an indoor walking track, a weight room, artificial turf fields and even a playground for the youngest among us.

Every thriving community needs a good parks and recreation program. We’re lucky to have one that’s “better than good.”"

Thank you, Werner.

~Bethany

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Prepare Yourself for Pollen Season!

CRI helps you prepare for Pollen Season!

March Madness? No, it’s Just Pollen Season in Georgia! Prepare Yourself for the Annual Onslaught

In Northwest Georgia where I live, it doesn’t take long for the weather to flip-flop from one season to the next. This week, we have transitioned from the gloominess of an extremely mild winter all the way to bright sunshine and steamy temperatures.  As pleasant as the mild weather has been, the coming of spring here brings with it a phenomenon as welcome as a plague of locusts: green pollen. Yes, it's pollen season!

It shows up first as a chartreuse blanket on car hoods, and then infiltrates every nook and cranny of our lives, both indoors and out. This weekend, without thinking what I was in for, I threw my windows open to let in the delightful spring breeze. By evening, the air in my house was so solid I felt like it was pushing me out of its way. Like descriptions of farm life during the 1930’s “Dustbowl”,  every surface I touched felt gritty. After a while, I could even taste it

Here is a video of Pine Pollen in Savannah, Ga, to make my point:

[Subscribers, click on the Pine Pollen link to watch the 0:21 video on YouTube.]


According to news reports, this year’s 8,000-plus pollen counts are breaking the record set in 1999. Meteorologists say the mild winter and extended run of 80˚- plus temperatures are to blame.

No matter where you live, green pollen or its equivalent is coming your way. To help you prepare (or fight back), read this interview with Dalton-area allergy physician John Antalis that outlines his step-by-step plan for easing allergy symptoms. And, because medical studies show,  that living in a clean house leads to reduced asthma and allergy symptoms, here is a list of vacuum cleaners from the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval/Green Label program that have been tested and certified to work effectively to remove soil and keep it inside the machine. 

Next month, when the pollen has died down and we are back to our usual weather pattern of hot and even hotter days in Georgia, I will make an appointment for another rite of spring –a professional carpet cleaning. I will look for a firm that is listed as a CRI Seal of Approval Service Provider and one that offers personnel who have been trained by organizations such as the IICRC.

Happy spring! And gesundheit!

Bethany

Image credit: Hand covered in pollen

Friday, March 23, 2012

Does Carpet Improve Learning in Schools?

I've Heard That Carpet in School Improves Learning. Is This True?

Carpet Question Corner - Carpet Q and A - 22nd in a series

"I've Heard That Carpet in School Improves Learning. Is This True?" is the twenty-second in a series of banner ads developed to run on the flooring news website Talkfloor.com. The banner ads contain great information for consumers, from choosing the right carpet, to safeguarding a home’s indoor air quality, to keeping carpet clean and beautiful as new. Today's is about whether carpet improves learning in schools or not.

Let’s go over the questions – and pay careful attention because there will be a quiz. ;-)

Carpet Question Corner #22: I've heard that carpet in schools improves learning. Is this true?

Research has shown that carpet is the only flooring that positively influences your children’s learning experience. It starts with the mood carpet creates, making schools more welcoming, friendly and less institutional for students, teachers and personnel.

Carpet also provides better air quality, insulation and reduced noise, all of which improve learning.

Finally, carpet reduces slip and fall accidents, and lessens injuries when falls occur, so it increases safety as well. In short, it passes with flying colors.

Visit carpet-rug.org and criblog.org to learn more.

How do you answer consumers when they ask you about the benefits of carpet? Do you get to talk about the benefits of carpet in schools for learning? What resources do you use to help them?

Let me know in the comments!

~ Bethany

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Special Olympics Athletes of Georgia Feel Thrill of Victory

Special Olympics Athletes of Georgia Feel Thrill of Victory: Werner Braun
In his February 17, 2012 column titled "Athletes who really feel the thrill" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the real thrill of victory and the Special Olympics of Georgia.

“Recently, I had the chance to work with one of those special athletes during the Special Olympics of Georgia (SOGA) Winter Games in Dalton. The event is co-sponsored by the Dalton Recreation and Parks Department and the Carpet City Rotary Club (CCRC), of which I am a member. I had the chance to coach a 6-year-old girl, and was by her side when she landed her first spare in the bowling event.

I’m really proud to be a part of a civic group that makes these moments of victory possible for so many. Since 1998, the CCRC has taken on Special Olympics as our major project, and we sponsor both Spring and Winter Games in our own hometown. The Winter Games are a bit scaled down in scope, but we’ve have had as many as 225 special athletes at one time come to Dalton to compete in any of the dozen or so sporting events offered here in the spring.
It might interest you to know that our state’s Special Olympics program serves more than 23,000 Georgia athletes each year and offers 23 different sports, including badminton, flag football, power lifting, cycling and alpine skiing. Impressive, yes, but the number of participants each year includes only about 23 percent of those special athletes who are eligible to compete. I hope over time that percentage will grow.
It takes more than 15,000 volunteers statewide who give of their time and expertise to make these games a success. Area directors, certified coaches, event staff, sports partners and fundraisers all play important roles.
I’m already looking forward to the Spring Games, which are scheduled for April 27. When the time does roll around, I hope you’ll join me in sharing in the thrill of victory for these special athletes and their families.”
Thank you, Werner!

~Bethany

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

CRI Lobbyist Educates Hill About Carpet Industry Issues

CRI's Jennifer Mendez
Jennifer Mendez

Jennifer Mendez Educates: Lobbyists Do More than Just Ask. CRI Group Tells Representatives Improved Economy Key to Carpet Industry Rebound

Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to Capitol Hill on behalf of the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). I've done it every year for the past ten years, and it's always exciting -  lots of work, grueling on my feet - but nonetheless exciting. I travel to "the Hill" throughout the year for meetings on a variety of issues that are important to CRI's members, but this organized effort, with my members in tow, is always an exciting experience. (Here is the link to CRI's Newsline from March 14.)

One new twist – for this year’s Washington, DC trip, CRI partnered with the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce. One bonus of the partnership was that we had enough people again this year to split into two separate groups – easier to “divide and conquer”. In just a day and a half, CRI members visited 25 Congressional offices and hosted a reception in the Capitol Visitor's Center for over 75 Congressional members and their staff.

In my opinion, the value of doing this sort of visit every year is immeasurable.  Nothing compares to the relationship-building and networking opportunity of face-to-face meetings with lawmakers.

CRI and Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce
visit the "Hill".
As a lobbyist, I know that there is a widespread perception (justified or unjustified) that lobbyists only make the trek to the Hill because they have an "ask", but I assert that that is not always the case.  Lobbyists are educators. These visits offer the opportunity for our members to educate lawmakers about the issues that are facing our industry.

Topping the list (one again) this year was the economy. We shared that, although the commercial market has seen slight improvement, the downturn in the housing industry has really taken its toll on residential carpet sales.

Members also voiced concern about the uncertainty of the economy. Six month fixes to taxes are difficult for businesses. Legislators need to know that businesses need more certainty as they work on strategic plans.

Other issues that we discussed included the use of, and potential regulation of coal fly ash, activities proposed by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) and the regulatory landscape in general.

~ Jennifer Mendez

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shopping for New Carpet? 3 Steps To Consider

The Steps Towards New Carpet

In his February 10, 2012 column titled "Shopping for new carpet" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses three important steps to think about when purchasing new carpet.

“Carpet Color
While beige is always a popular choice and can make a room look spacious, bolder colors make a statement, and when chosen carefully, can provide the perfect complement for your furniture and draperies. Many homeowners today are choosing environmental colors, like blues, deep greens, rosy quart, and stony neutrals to set just the right tone for their home.

Carpet Texture

Cut pile is still one of the most popular types of carpet. It achieves its durability through the type of fiber used, the density of tufts and the amount of twist in the yarn. Highly twisted yarn holds its shape longer, making it a smart choice for high-traffic areas.

Carpet Style

Today’s carpet offers a wide variety of choices in style that we didn’t have in days gone by when most of what we had to choose from was conventional loop pile, consisting of yarn in uncut loops. New technology can produce multilevel loop and cut-loop patterns allowing diamond, bow, pin dot or fleur-de-lis designs that “pop out” in sculptured effects.

Go to the
CRI website to learn more.”

Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carpet Cleaning's Average Cost: Jeff Bishop Responds

Jeff Bishop on Carpet Cleaning's Average Cost

What’s the Average Cost of Carpet Cleaning?

I am grateful for the generous professionals who offer me their expert advice and information for this blog. Here’s a perfect example: I needed to find the average cost of carpet cleaning per square foot.

Here’s a response sent to me by Jeff Bishop, cleaning industry expert and consultant with Clean Care Seminars, Inc.

“The simple answer is: it depends! Here’s the longer and more complex answer:

Residential Carpet Cleaning Cost

  • Carpet cleaning pricing depends on whether we’re talking residential, mainstreet commercial or institutional.
  • Carpet cleaning pricing also depends on the geographical area and whether we’re talking rural or metropolitan. 
Specifically, residential carpet cleaning ranges from 25-35 cents per ft2, with variations based on the judgment of the estimator.

Commercial and Institutional Carpet Cleaning Cost:

Commercial and institutional carpet cleaning pricing is based on the residential price with discounts for:

Quantity – obviously, the more we can clean in one trip, the more economical, but the formula is broken down into 500 and 1000 ft2 increments.

Frequency – the more often we clean the carpet, the more familiar we become with it and typically the easier (more economical) it is to clean.

Furniture density – rather clean open carpet than carpet with wall-to-wall furniture.  Productivity is the issue here.

Soiling – is the carpet in an industrial work setting or a bank or office setting?

Other factors – what about daily building maintenance and cleaning?  Is the building well-kept or a pig sty? 

Specifically, considering what DuPont defines as an average commercial building (<10K ft2), pricing generally ranges from 15-20 cents per ft2.

Like I said, it depends.  For sure, however, considering IEQ issues and the replacement option (with ramifications), cleaning doesn’t cost; it pays.”

Well said, Jeff, and thanks for your help!

Bethany

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning Says Werner Braun

Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning Says Werner Braun

Professional Carpet Cleaning Makes Life Easier for You and Your Carpet, says Werner Braun

In his February 4, 2012 column titled "Professional carpet cleaning" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen  Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the gift of a professional carpet cleaning.

“While there are plenty of do-it-yourself cleaning methods on the market, hiring a professional is among the safest, fastest and easiest options. Cleaning professionals who utilize CRI-certified carpet cleaning products as part of their cleaning process are recognized as Seal of Approval service providers. Using these providers is an easy way to make sure that your carpets are being professionally cleaned with products that will help maintain your carpet’s life and beauty.
At CRI, we recommend that you have your carpet deep cleaned every 12 to 18 months. This should keep your carpet at its key peak performance.
When you do decide to hire a cleaning professional, you might want to bear in mind the following:

  • Be realistic about companies that advertise cleaning priced by the room. Charges should reflect the total area cleaned, and room sizes vary greatly.

  • Make sure you select a cleaning professional with certification from an organization that certifies professionals.
  • Ask the potential service provider good questions, such as “How long have you been in business?” “What formal training is required for the company’s management and technicians?” and “Do you vacuum before deep cleaning the carpet?”
  • Be sure to arrange for an in-home inspection and estimate before you commit.
Thank you, Werner

~ Bethany

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Carpet Recycling Challenges and Successes: Georgina Sikorski, CARE

CARE's Georgina Sikorski

Carpet Recycling Challenges and Successes: CARE’s Georgina Sikorski interviewed on Flooring Website

In an interview that aired January 19, 2012 on the flooring industry news site floordaily.net, Georgina Sikorski, Executive Director for the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), and Floor Focus magazine publisher Kemp Harr discussed the  recent CARE board meetings including key initiatives that CARE will focus on for the next 5 years. 

First, Ms. Sikorski noted that the non-profit carpet recycling group had elected Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun as the new chairman of the CARE board of directors.

Ms. Sikorski also explained that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that implemented the found of CARE in 2002 expires this year, providing the group an ideal opportunity to discuss CARE’s “mission, vision, and core values” and evaluate progress made during their first decade. In addition Ms. Sikorski said the group identified 4 key priorities; new products and market development, uses for reclaimed PET carpet fiber, marketing outreach and, last but not least, improving carpet fiber reclamation yields.

Other highlights:

Ms. Sikorski noted that the CARE network has grown to 100 carpet collectors and processors and has diverted over 2 billion pounds of carpet from landfills. She indicated that the biggest issue that CARE faces is the costs associated with converting waste carpet back into usable carpet fiber. CARE is continuing to look at ways to improve yield and develop new technologies in order to harvest more and meet performance requirements.

To listen to the 1/19/12 FloorDaily interview with Georgina Sikorski, click on this link.

Bethany

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Werner Braun: Wrestling, Churchill, Determination and 'Never Give Up'

Werner Braun: Wrestling, Churchill, Determination and 'Never Give Up'

Werner Braun on Wrestling, Winston Churchill, and Determination

In his January 27, 2012 column titled "Never give up, never surrender" for Dalton’s Daily-Citizen  Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses the importance of working hard and never giving up no matter how big the obstacles.

As an example, Mr. Braun referred to the upcoming National Collegiate Wrestling Association’s 2012 National Dual Championships that were held in Dalton, Georgia in January, 2012

“Many, many ages ago I wrestled in high school, and got involved again a few years ago when my son, Bay, started wrestling in middle school.

The thing that I like the most about wrestling is how it’s a metaphor for life and learning. In life you have to make preparations, and in wrestling you do the same: one’s body must be physically fit, mind emotionally balanced and heart spiritually equipped to excel, and it’s when you slack off that it’s hard to meet your potential.

 We all have days when we want to throw in the towel, but the advice I tell my kids (to paraphrase former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill ): “Never, never give up.”

As the story goes, on Oct. 29, 1941, Churchill visited Harrow School in the United Kingdom to hear the traditional songs he had sung there as a youth, and to speak to the students. When he was invited to give a speech, Churchill stood before the students and said, “Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, give up. Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.”

In the moment, it’s sometimes hard to see the good in a situation, such as getting pinned and losing to your opponent. Life is about more than the easy days, it’s about the hard ones, and learning from the days when we all get “pinned.” 

Thank you, Werner

~Bethany
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