Thursday, January 31, 2013

Economic Outlook for Dalton, Georgia, Carpet Capital of the World

If you read the papers, you have seen how the cards seem to have been pretty well stacked against Dalton, Georgia recently.

The state ranks among the top three in terms of having the highest poverty rates in the United States while ranking in the bottom three states in terms of high school graduation rates. Dalton was recently cited as having the country’s largest percentage of job losses of anymetropolitan area.

In his January 11, 2013 column titled A bright future ahead in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun discusses Dalton, Georgia’s  economic future and how the Carpet Capital will rise again. Dalton has had its share of setbacks since the recession of the past decade, and must climb its way out of a deep economic hole.

Yet, according to Dalton mayor David Pennington, Dalton is making headway. 
“Five years ago, he explained, Dalton had the second highest property tax rate in Georgia. But over the past five years, by cutting property taxes by a third and Downtown Dalton Development Authority taxes by about two-thirds, our tax rate is probably the lowest of any city our size.

 This has made Dalton a more competitive place for new industries and businesses to locate, he said.
 Being sought out as an economically desirable location to establish new business ventures has been one of the mayor’s three major goals. And we can see through the recent construction of several major retail stores — such as Kohl’s, Petco, and Academy Sports and Outdoors — that we are well on our way to meeting that goal.”

The mayor said other goals for Dalton include improving the attractiveness of Dalton for young professionals and promoting the growth of Dalton State College.
Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Carpet and Rug Institute Publishes Ebook for Retailers

The Carpet and Rug Institute has a new communications tool in the form of an ebook titled, The Carpet Chronicles: Highlights from the CRI Blog for Retailers and their Customers.

The ebook contains selections from the first three years of the CRI blog, which first started publishing in March of 2009.

The ebook is divided into three sections:
  • Benefits of Carpet;
  • Indoor Air Quality (which includes information on carpet and allergies and asthma); and
  • Shopping for Carpet.

The Benefits of Carpet section addresses the reasons why carpet is America’s number one flooring choice: comfort, safety (fewer slip and fall accidents), warmth, sound reduction, relative value, and easy care.

The Indoor Air Quality Section addresses the strengths and benefits of CRI’s Green Label Plus Indoor Air Quality standard, as well as current research debunking the myth that carpet causes or exacerbates asthma and allergy symptoms.

The Shopping for Carpet section offers tips on choosing a carpet style and a carpet cushion, suggestions for carpets in basements, as well as a handy guide on what to do before and after new carpet installation.

Of course, no CRI publication would be complete without great advice on cleaning and maintaining carpet ,including how to find and use products and equipment certified by the CRI’s Seal of Approval testing and certification program for carpet cleaning.

The ebook is interactive, with frequent hyperlinks to take readers to relevant pages from all over the web as well as to in-depth articles on the CRI Blog

As all of you CRI blog readers know, the CRI Blog has hundreds of articles, addressing multiple audiences, such as facility managers, professional carpet cleaners, consumers and retailers and more. The idea behind CRI’s new ebook is to compile articles for one particular audience – in this case, retailers, and offer an easy-to use training resource and a handy “fact book” where they can find a quick answer or a talking point or two.

I invite retailers (or anyone, for that matter) to download The Carpet Chronicles, and use it to help grow your businesses. Let me know what you think of it, and what other topics you would like to see covered. Your input will help me fill the shelves of CRI’s digital library.

Happy reading!


Friday, January 25, 2013

OSHA Hazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin From CRI

OSHA Hazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin From CRI
New! Updated Technical Bulletins from the Carpet and Rug Institute: OSHA Hazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin

Did you know that the Carpet and Rug Institute has a wholelibrary of technical bulletins on its website? That’s right - CRI has an entire section oftechnical bulletins, white papers and scientific research relating to carpet available for anyone with the time (and patience) to access.

Eleven of these important technical documents have been updated in 2012. (See Carpet and Rug Institute Updates 11 Technical Bulletins.) Additional bulletins are scheduled for review and updating in 2013.

This week, we feature excerpts from the OSHAHazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin.

OSHA Hazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin
The Hazard Communication Act does not require manufacturers to supply a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) on finished carpet.

Finished carpet exhibits performance parameters which meet all of the requirements as specified in the definition of an “Article”; therefore, carpet is classified as an “Article” and exempt from the Hazard Communication Act.
See the full version of the OSHA Hazard Communication Act Technical Bulletin.

~ Bethany

Thursday, January 24, 2013

CRI’s Mendez Attends Second Obama Inauguration

CRI’s Mendez Attends Second Obama Inauguration
Living in Washington, DC offers opportunities that no other city allows. I live inside the Capitol Beltway, so I can be on Capitol Hill in less than 15 minutes, traffic permitting. I believe in taking advantage of every unique opportunity that living in the DC metropolitan area offers.

When my daughter was young, we attended several White House Easter Egg Rolls and when President Reagan died, we waited in line for 5 hours to pay our respects as he lay in state at the US Capitol.
This past inaugural weekend was no exception. It was full of festivities and I engaged wholeheartedly! Sunday evening I attended the Virginia Inaugural Ball.  Held a mere four miles from my house, the ball was a fun opportunity to dress up and celebrate with a little champagne and a lot of dancing. 

But the balls are nothing compared to the pageantry of the swearing-in ceremony! 

A friend shared his tickets to the seated viewing area on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The cold didn’t chill the spirit of the nearly 1,000,000 who ventured into the city and onto the National Mall to witness history being made.  My seat was approximately 70 yards from the Inaugural Platform where President Obama and Vice President Biden were sworn in… that was close, considering the crowd stretched for literally blocks down the National Mall. 

President and Mrs. ObamaPerformers included children’s choirs from Staten Island, New York and a choral group from Cleveland, Tennessee, big names like Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson, but the crowd wasn’t there to see them. They were there to see President Obama take the oath of office. 

I’ve witnessed several swearing-in ceremonies in person, and I feel strongly that, no matter your political affiliation, it is a wonderful ceremony to witness.  To be surrounded by so many people who want to share and be a part of the experience is humbling.  Having lived outside of the United States, I am aware that we have so much to be proud of here at home, and much for which to be thankful – our political process among the first.
After the president was sworn in, I (and a million of my closest friends) headed from the Capitol toward the White House (I skipped the gym, knowing I’d be hoofing all over DC). 

I was invited to view the parade from inside an office close to the White House -- a lovely treat, since the temperatures were in the 30s. The office, located on the 2nd floor of the Evening Star Building had bay windows which offered a great view of the parade.  I was lucky enough to be sitting in the window, with a bird’s eye view, when President and Mrs. Obama chose to get out of their car and walk down the parade route.  Very exciting!

Vice President and Dr. Biden did the same. The parade ran past dark; I stayed until the last band played and the only people in the streets were the thousands of police offers from DC and around the country who had stood in the cold protecting everyone.

It was a busy, exhausting and fun weekend and I’ll look forward to doing it all over again in four years!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What is the Carpet and Rug Institute? Find Out at Surfaces 2013

CRI. Setting carpet standards, and then raising them. Find Out What the Carpet and Rug Institute is all about at the upcoming Surfaces 2013 flooring trade show ~ But only if you look really hard...

Next week, I go to Las Vegas for the annual Surfaces flooring industry trade show. I will be located in booth S6403, which, although I have not looked it up on the massive Surfaces map, is likely to be in the nose-bleed section of the Surfaces trade show floor.

But, although I may be posted to the “outback”, or “north forty”, or whatever you may call it, I almost always wind up located next to nice people in booths next to me, and I talk to old and new friends who come by.

3 Reasons to Visit CRI's Booth at Surfaces 2013!

If you are going to Surfaces, here are three reasons why you should go out of your way to find booth S6403.

1. There will be double-thick padding under the carpet. Come rest you tired feet.

2. Booth S6403 will be the only place at Surfaces you can get a Carpet Cleaning Tips for Dummies book for free

3. For anyone else who drops by and is unfamiliar with the CRI and what we do, I will have a new hand-out available that will put all questions to rest. It’s just an 81/2” x 11” sheet of card stock front and back that tells about CRI signature programs such as Green Label Plus and Seal of Approval, NSF 140 carpet sustainability standard, the CRI Blog, Carpet America Recovery Effort, Downloadable Fact Sheets and more…

Here's a preview...

CRI. Setting standards, and then raising them.

The Carpet and Rug Institute has worked with the industry to establish standards intended to improve carpet. Based on science and testing, CRI arms consumers and manufacturers alike with knowledge.

CRI's Seal of Approval

The Seal of Approval program is the only one in the industry that scientifically measures cleaning efficacy of vacuums, extractors, cleaning systems and cleaning products.

CRI's Green Label Plus

Green Label Plus is a voluntary industry testing program for carpet and adhesive products that establishes the highest standard for indoor air quality (IAQ) ever set by the carpet industry.

CRI's NSF/ANSI Standard 140

This is the first standard to measure and certify carpet sustainability. It addresses sustainability throughout the manufacturing process from production to recycling to reclamation.

CRI. So much information about carpet. One resource.

CRI. So much information. One resource.

The Carpet and Rug Institute is the go-to place on the Web for everything carpet. From choosing the right carpet, to installation, cleaning and more, the information is there for you - anytime you need it.

The CRI Blog

Want the latest and greatest on happenings in the carpet industry?

You’ll find timely commentary, as well as links to articles, interviews and information that you can use.

Asthma and Allergy

Get a host of information - research, fact sheets and journal articles - that dispels myths about carpet and proves it is the best flooring option to reduce asthma and allergy symptoms.


Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) spearheads the industry’s efforts to increase the amount of post-consumer recycled and reused carpet, and reduce the amount going into landfills.

Downloadable Fact Sheets

We have 18 different fact sheets customized for audiences like schools, consumers, healthcare and builders. Topics range from affordability to indoor air quality to sustainability and more.

Don’t miss your chance to have all this! It’s all waiting at Booth S6403.

See you in Vegas,

~ Bethany

Friday, January 18, 2013

Formaldehyde Statement Technical Bulletin From CRI

New! Updated Technical Bulletins from the Carpet and Rug Institute: Formaldehyde Statement Technical Bulletin
Did you know that the Carpet and Rug Institute has a wholelibrary of technical bulletins on its website? That’s right - CRI has an entire section of technical bulletins, white papers and scientific research relating to carpet available for anyone with the time (and patience) to access.

Eleven of these important technical documents have been updated in 2012. (See Carpet and Rug Institute Updates 11 Technical Bulletins.) Additional bulletins are scheduled for review and updating in 2013.

This week, we feature excerpts from the Formaldehyde Technical bulletin.

Formaldehyde Statement Technical Bulletin
The Carpet and Rug Institute has conducted surveys of the carpet industry to determine if formaldehyde is used in the carpet manufacturing process. The survey results confirmed that no raw materials with formaldehyde additives were being used.

As an additional confirmation of the absence of formaldehyde in carpet, the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Indoor Air Quality Testing Program (Green Label/Green Label Plus) specifically monitors this chemical. Carpet may absorb formaldehyde from the air; therefore, tests of carpet from the marketplace may indicate a presence of formaldehyde.
See the complete version of the Formaldehyde Statement Technical Bulletin

~ Bethany

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Conasauga River Clean-Up 2012

Conasauga River Clean-Up 2012
Ongoing commitment from the carpet industry and one dedicated CRI employee to conserving one of Northwest Georgia’s most valuable natural resources is the topic of Carpet and Rug Institute President WernerBraun’s column titled Valuing our natural resources that appeared December 14, 2012 in the Dalton Daily-Citizen.
“The carpet industry has always been very supportive of preserving and protecting the Conasauga Watershed, and many of our CRI members, including Shaw Industries, J&J Industries and Mohawk Industries, are also sponsors of the Conasauga Watershed Cleanup. All of our manufacturing members are represented on the river by their employees who dedicate a Saturday morning to help make our community a better place.

In addition to his work with the Conasauga River Cleanup, For the past three years, CRI’s Director of Regulatory Issues Jeff Carrier has had the chance to become a student again, as a chaperone for middle school students, taking field trips on a yellow school bus to learn more about this amazing natural resource and pass on a little bit of his knowledge to the kids.
The Conasauga River is unique in many ways. One of the six most biologically diverse rivers in the country, it is home to 24 endangered species and about a dozen or more imperiled species. The river is home to the Conasauga log perch, a fish found nowhere else in the world. More than 90 species of fish and 25 fresh water mussels live in the Conasauga, making it more diverse than even much larger rivers, including the Colorado.

One thing that makes me certain that the widespread interest in sustainability is a long-term sign of things to come is that it’s being taught in schools,” he reflects. “It’s amazing to me the extent to which sustainability is integrated into the science curriculum of this middle school and many others like it.
"Seventh-graders are now learning about life cycle analysis and closed-loop manufacturing. My generation was not presented with that information in science education until much later, if at all.”

I encourage everyone to contact a teacher at a local school — any grade or discipline — and offer your support. You’ll be amazed how much benefit you will receive in return!”
Thank you, Werner.

~ Bethany

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Installing Carpet Takes Commitment to Customer and Technique

In the carpet industry, we recognize that we’re all part of a big system. It takes a broad range of people and groups to make our homes, schools, and offices the most pleasing, functional, and satisfying spaces possible. This past week I had a chance to go into great detail with one of the most important participants in this system- the installer community.

I was invited to participate in the curriculum review for the various flooring types including carpet conducted at the United Brotherhood of Carpenters’ Las Vegas training center.
The Carpenters International Training Center is a massive complex with the most up-to-date facilities and equipment for training carpenters and skilled craftsmen. The training center is home of the Carpenters International Training Fund and INSTALL which is responsible for developing the curriculum for the 200 UBC training centers around the US and Canada. INSTALL stands for International Standards and Training Alliance.

John McGrath is the Executive Director of INSTALL and was responsible for organizing and conducting the week long curriculum review.

We began with a review of the techniques and procedures used for the installation of resilient floorcoverings. Not being as familiar with this category of flooring, I found this full day of review to be very instructional. Finally, we did get to the part of the course I was most looking forward to- Carpet! I confess that I was surprised how much more there is to installing these floorcoverings than I had expected- preparation of the flooring, materials, and especially subfloor preparation were all critical aspects of the curriculum.
However, I was most surprised (though I should not have been) at the focus placed upon precision and customer satisfaction.

In our role as the manufacturers of the (carpet) products, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the homeowner is a mutual customer of the installer AND manufacturer. The technical portion of the curriculum was very important and essential for ensuring that we achieve what we want- satisfied customers- but the most refreshing portion was the reminder that we all work to serve the same customer.

I left Las Vegas with a profound appreciation of the training and work conducted by INSTALL and look forward to continuing our partnership with INSTALL in the future.

With the new IICRC/ANSI S600 Installation Standard progressing rapidly, I expect our relationship to continue to grow as this new standard is introduced and accepted around the country. The future of our industry is strong but we can’t do it alone. The professionalism and expertise of the installer community is a key to our success and we are most appreciative of them!

~ Jeff Carrier

Friday, January 11, 2013

Flammability of Marine Carpet Technical Bulletin

Flammability of Marine Carpet Technical Bulletin
Updated Technical Bulletins from the Carpet and Rug Institute - Flammability of Marine Carpet
Did you know that the Carpet and Rug Institute has a wholelibrary of technical bulletins on its website?

That’s right - CRI has an entire section oftechnical bulletins, white papers and scientific research available for anyone with the time (and patience) to access. 

Eleven of these important technical documents have been updated in 2012. (See Carpet and Rug Institute Updates 11 Technical Bulletins.) Additional bulletins are scheduled for review and updating in 2013.
This week, we feature excerpts from the Flammability of Marine Carpet Technical Bulletin.
Flammability of Marine Carpet Technical Bulletin (09/12)
The regulations and rules for carpet aboard vessels for domestic and international waters are enforced by the U. S. Coast Guard. The rules for domestic waters for vessels such as casinos and houseboats are contained in Title 46, Subchapter Q, Part 164, of the Code of Federal Regulations.   Regulations for carpet aboard U.S Flagged Ships such as cruise ships, navy vessels, cargo ships and tankers are contained in the International Code for the Application of Fire Procedures (FTP Code)

Ships going into international waters must comply with the provisions of the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Treaty. The U.S Coast Guard is an approved signatory for the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) for the SOLAS Convention.

~ Bethany

Thursday, January 10, 2013

“Cliff” Diving with Carpet Industry Lobbyist Jenn Mendez

Jennifer Mendez, CRI VP for Government Relations
Jennifer Mendez
Happy New Year! I wasn't (and am still not) completely sure how happy it will be.  As a resident of the Washington, DC area, all the news lately has revolved (and still revolves) around the fiscal cliff and whether or not we will stand on the edge or fall into the abyss. This is an issue of importance, not just to the folks "inside the beltway", but to people around the globe.

During the past several days, listening to news about the fiscal cliff was much like following a sporting event; one minute the tide was heading one direction and the next it was heading in a completely different direction. Following is a snippet of the news I received during the recent negotiations. Let’s see if you have as much trouble keeping up with it as I did.

Cliff Diving: December 31, 2012 - 10:57 a.m.

After overnight negotiations, Senate Minority Leader McConnell and Vice President Biden are said to have made some progress towards a year-end tax deal. Clearly the talks, on the brink of collapse yesterday afternoon, have renewed momentum. The tentative agreement is said to raise tax rates for families who earn more than $450,000, and individuals who make more than $400,000. Clearly, serious obstacles remain, not the least of which is how Speaker Boehner and House Republicans will react to any agreement McConnell can make.

If McConnell and Biden fail, the economy will go over the cliff at midnight tonight, resulting in hefty tax hikes and spending cuts. If there’s an agreement, it will first be voted on by the Senate and, if passed, go to the House. Speaker John Boehner has said the House will take up whatever bill the Senate passes and either pass it or amend it and send it back to the upper chamber.

Even at best a Biden/McConnell deal is not expected to address the sequester. The sequester will cut billions of dollars for defense and domestic programs over the next nine months. Members of Congress will work to limit the impact of the sequester over the coming days and the new Congress will take the issue up after it is sworn in on January 3.

If there is no agreement Senate Democrats will attempt to force through an emergency measure that will extend current tax rates for families making less than $250,000, as well as an extension of unemployment benefits. Republicans have not said whether they will threaten a filibuster, requiting 60 votes for Senate passage. Even if the measure can pass with 51 votes, or if enough Republicans join to get the measure over 60 votes, passage by the Republican-controlled House remains unlikely.”

Cliff Diving: December 31, 2012 - 1:25 p.m.

“The contours of the "tentative’ fiscal cliff deal are beginning to emerge. The deal under consideration is said to include a tax hike on individual filers making more than $400,000 a year, and joint filers making more than $450,000 a year. The big new is that there will apparently be a delay in the sequestration spending cuts, a permanent alternative minimum tax fix and the extension of emergency unemployment benefits. President Obama to speak at 1:30 EST.”

Cliff Dive For Sure: December 31, 2012 - 4:39 p.m. (My personal favorite!)

“Grab onto something. The House has gone home for the evening. The economy goes over the cliff at midnight. Senate still working on an agreement.”

Cliff Diving: January 1, 2013 - 1:26 p.m.

"The Senate bill to avert the fiscal cliff passed last night 89/8. The House is in session, but Republican Leadership has not yet decided whether it will allow a vote on the Senate bill today. Tax rates reverted to the higher Clinton-era levels for everyone at midnight last night. Among many other provisions, the Senate bill would reduce tax rates back to Bush era-levels for individuals making under $400,000 and married couples filing jointly making under $450,000. It also delays the sequestration for two months.”

Cliff Diving: January 1, 2013 - 8:00 p.m.

“An overwhelming number of the House Republican caucus will oppose the bipartisan Senate bill to avoid the fiscal cliff. As a result the House will likely amend the bill and send it back to the Senate. All bets are off for reaching a quick resolution to the crisis. All eyes will be on the stock market tomorrow for investor reaction. The Pentagon has said that it will begin civilian layoffs as early as next week. Taxes have already risen significantly for all US taxpayers. Experts fear another recession. Should be another interesting week.”

Cliff Diving: January 1, 2013 - 8:18 PM

“In a surprise move during a closed republican caucus the GOP rejected efforts to amend the Senate bill. An up or down vote on the Senate-passed bill will apparently be taken later tonight.”

Cliff Diving Halt: January 1, 2013 - 8:44 p.m.

“Finally looks as if it will pass with democratic votes.”

Cliff Dive Averted: January 1, 2013 - 11:13 p.m.

“The House just passed the Senate bill 257 to 167 avoiding the fiscal cliff for now. Sequestration is postponed for a short two months. A majority of republicans and a handful of democrats opposed the measure.”

…And I thought the Redskins v. Cowboys game was a nail biter......

Best to you, 

Jenn Mendez

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Carpet Industry and Fiscal Cliff Decision Analysis

Once again, I have received an excellent analysis of a complex political issue from Andy Wright, the Carpet and Rug Industry’s ally in Washington, and a principal with the government relations firm of Polsinelli and Shugart.
Andy’s observations about what was decided and what still hangs in the balance, particularly concerning implications to the carpet industry, were too good not to share with Dalton readers.
“After months of intense negotiation between the White House and Congress, on Tuesday the House of Representatives accepted a bipartisan Senate-passed bill that averts a combination of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes that could have plunged the U.S into another recession.
The legislation prevents tax rates from rising on households making under $450,000 and delays for two months scheduled across-the-board spending cuts that could cost millions of jobs and deep cuts to the military budget.  In addition, the Alternative Minimum Tax is permanently indexed for inflation and the estate tax rises to 40 percent from its current 35 percent level, with the first $5 million in assets exempted.

The big winners from Tuesday night’s vote are the American economy and middle and lower-income taxpayers.  The deal has already resulted in a significant jump in the stock market, and is expected to extend, at least for now, the housing recovery that is so critical to the carpet and rug industry and our local economy. 
Unfortunately, the gridlock leading up to the deal makes it obvious, both here and abroad, that America is having a serious problem governing itself effectively.  The failure of Congress and President Obama to come to terms on a “Grand Bargain” that could have reduced the deficit and put the nation on the course to fiscal sanity is a severe disappointment. 

The best that can be said of this smaller agreement is that an economic crisis has been averted --- for now.  The agreement does little more than set the stage for another debt-ceiling showdown.  The nation reached its borrowing limit on Monday, and the Treasury Department has warned that it can hold off default for only a couple of months.  At that point Congress will once again have to decide whether it will raise the so-called debt ceiling to allow the nation to pay its debts. 

The Republicans in Congress intend to use this next crisis as an opportunity to seek steep budget cuts.  The last time this occurred the negotiations resulted in a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and a steep dip in the stock market.  The stakes will be just as high over the coming weeks. 

In addition, most working Americans will still face smaller paychecks this year. A temporary, 2% cut to the payroll tax was not renewed.  For taxpayers making $50,000, that’s an extra $1,000 in Social Security contributions.  However, it could have been far worse.

Other important provisions include:

        Taxes on capital gains and dividends will be held at their current levels of 15 percent for households with income of less than $450,000. They will rise to 20 percent for individual taxpayers and for households above that threshold.
        One-year extension of emergency unemployment insurance benefits.

        A delay in cuts to physician payments under Medicare.
        Personal exemptions will be phased out and itemized deductions will be limited for taxpayers making over $250,000 and families earning more than $300,000.

        The deal includes five-year extensions of the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which can be claimed for college-related expenses; the Child Tax Credit; and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is a refundable income-tax credit for low- to moderate income working Americans.
        Business tax breaks. The bill also extends popular business incentives like the research and development credit, production tax credit for wind and tax credits for homeowners who add additional insulation to new or existing homes.”  

Thank you, Andy. Your insights are always valuable to us here in North Georgia.
~ Werner Braun

Image credit: Mashable

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dalton GA's Favorite Storyteller: Jane Harrell

Dalton GA's Favorite Storyteller: Jane Harrell
Southern towns love their stories and their storytellers. What would Dalton, Georgia be without stories of how this small southern town became the Carpet Capital of the World? And before that, the bedspread capital, or an important center of the Cherokee nation? Stories about our collective history are as much a part of life to Southerners as grits and gravy.
In his December 7, 2012 column titled "Telling Stories with Jane Harrell" for Dalton’s Daily Citizen newspaper, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun talks about one of the Dalton community’s favorite storytellers, local magazine author and radio personality Jane Harrell. A Florida native, Jane and her family moved to Dalton in 1971. Soon after, Jane started doing brief segments on a local radio station, and has been on the air with her “Southern Scenes” ever since.

“Jane and I are both history buffs, so naturally, I love the little-known historical tidbits I pick up listening to “Southern Scenes,” like how the federal reserve banking system was formed on Jekyll Island, or how the CSS Hunley, the first-ever successful submarine, was built and operated, and ultimately lost just outside of Charleston Harbor by the Confederates in 1864. 
 But what I like most of all is the way every “Southern Scenes” segment offers something more than just history. Somehow, Jane always manages to work a little life lesson in with the dates and details, giving us not only an interesting story, but also a reminder about how much we all have to be grateful for, and how lucky we are to live in this great area and this country.

‘It doesn’t have to be a big event — I like the small stories better, actually,” Jane told me once. Things like how to eat a ‘sink sandwich.’ That’s a sandwich you make when the tomatoes are so ripe in the summertime you have to stand over the sink and let the juice run down your arms when you eat it. If you listen to what people talk about you can always hear something interesting.’

Thank you, Jane, for making us all feel a little bit more at home, and for spotlighting the people and stories that make up the “Southern Scenes” of life in our community.”

Thank you, Werner.
~ Bethany
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