NEW MILFORD, Conn. – YardApes, in partnership with Project EverGreen, will again participate in “GreenCare for Troops” in the greater New Milford area. Project EverGreen is a nationwide outreach program initiated to connect local area lawn and landscape firms with families of the men and women serving their country in the armed forces.
“Lawn and landscape maintenance becomes a definite hardship when a family’s primary source of income is on active duty and away from home,” says YardApes founder Shayne Newman. “By maintaining a healthy lawn and property, we hope to contribute to the families’ overall well being during a very stressful time in their lives. It’s a sincere gesture of support.”
Military families interested in applying for supportive lawn care services can contact GreenCare for Troops directly toll free at 877-758-4835, or apply online to Project EverGreen at www.projectevergreen.com.
Based in Minnesota, Project EverGreen is a national non-profit organization that represents green industry service providers, associations, suppliers, distributors, media companies, and other organizations and individuals.
University of Northern Colorado Associate Professor of Audiology Deanna Meinke recently shared research results involving noise exposure measurements of tree service workers to raise awareness of the risks of noise-induced hearing loss, demonstrated need for hearing protection and employer responsibilities.
Meinke presented the results on behalf of audiology graduate student Thea LaBere, who spent last summer taking noise measurements of 20 urban tree service workers in Colorado. The study results, with implications for anyone who uses such equipment, showed that ear protection should be used when operating chainsaws, chippers, stump grinders, leaf blowers, water trucks, rotochoppers, tractors, and brush and weed trimmers. It was evident that hearing conservation efforts, including hearing testing and hearing loss prevention training, are needed for these workers, according to the study.
Highlights of the research include:
- The research concluded that urban tree service workers are exposed to noise levels that exceed OSHA standards and NIOSH criteria and workers are at risk for occupational noise induced hearing loss (recommend protection at 85 dBA).
- 20 men ages 21-57 from seven employers participated in the study last summer. Their length of service ranged from one month to 28 years.
- Research found that 95 percent of workers (19) worked in conditions that exceed either OSHA and/or NIOSH limits for on-the-job noise exposure.
- Using a noise dosimeter to measure exposure in working conditions, research showed that ear protection should be used when operating chainsaws, chippers, stump grinders, leaf blowers, water trucks, rotochoppers, tractors, brush/weed trimmers.
- Workers ranked chippers (measured at 112-119 dBA) as emitting the loudest noise. Noise exposures above 115 dBA are not permitted by OSHA.
- Eighty percent routinely wore hearing protection of earplugs, earmuffs or combination earplug/earmuff. The researchers recommended users wear both earplugs and earmuffs when dBA is 100 or greater (operating leaf blowers, chippers, chainsaws.)
- Three of the seven employers had components of hearing loss prevention programs, but only one had a comprehensive hearing conservation program as required by OSHA. It appears that many employers and employees may not be fully aware of the risk of noise-induced hearing loss in this industry and the best ways to prevent it.
Meinke, who recently earned a service award for outstanding service in the field from the National Hearing Conservation Association, has also collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in establishing an online resource to help prevent noise-induced hearing loss in children, and a national program, called “Dangerous Decibels,” that provides educator training workshops, classroom presentations and educational materials on the topic.
CARY, N.C. – Arborist Enterprises has joined HMI’s authorized member network to support HMI's programs in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
HMI provides property owners, insurers and others with inspections, replacement costs and a full suite of claims support services for trees and shrubs. HMI has established a national network of arborists and professional tree care companies to support these products and services.
"Arborist Enterprises is a wonderful addition to our network," said Doug Malawsky, executive vice president and COO of HMI. "They are a TCIA (Tree Care Industry Association) accredited company and the president, Ben Tresselt, has been appointed to the TCIA's board of directors. Arborist Enterprises also has two ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) board certified master arborists and five ISA certified arborists on staff as well as a TCIA-certified treecare safety professional. Credentials such as these are achieved only by the top tree care companies in the nation. Resources like Arborist Enterprises are an asset for our insurance company clientele and have helped us to recruit more than 35 insurers as customers."
"Our company has become an industry leader as a result of our dedication to customer satisfaction, professionalism and quality work," said Ben Tresselt. "It is our hope that by supporting HMI's efforts we will not only grow our own business but contribute to the education process that HMI is so diligently pursuing. If HMI is successful in convincing insurers that quality tree care will save their policy holders a significant amount of time and money that will bode very well for our industry as a whole. Too much emphasis is being put on price and not what is in the best interests of the property owner or their trees."
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Backed with STIHL low-emission engine technology, the MS 311 and MS 391 improve fuel efficiency by up to 20 percent and reduce emissions by up to 50 percent as compared to previous models, meaning longer run times between refueling and lower fuel costs, the company says.
Both models offer a pre-separation air filtration system that requires fewer filter changes, allowing for longer run times between filter maintenance, and an advanced anti-vibration system that reduces vibration, resulting in operator comfort, the company says.
The STIHL MS 311 and MS 391 also feature a toolless fuel and oil cap with retainers, translucent fuel tank, and side access chain tensioner. The platform design concept allows for streamlined parts and maintenance.
YPSILANTI, Mich.—Thomas Harrison, chief executive of Michigan Ladder Co., has a plan that would contribute to the U.S. economic recovery: Expand the 108-year-old company, adding at least 20 jobs in the process. His chances of getting the loan of $300,000 or more he needs to do so, though, depend in part on what happens to folks like home builder James Haeussler.
Both are customers of the same community bank, the Bank of Ann Arbor. Mr. Haeussler is struggling to repay $8.3 million he and a partner borrowed to build a residential community in nearby Saline, Mich. In this economic environment, the bank doesn't want to take a chance on what it sees as a risky new loan to Mr. Harrison.
"In a world where Jim Haeussler makes it, Tom Harrison will make it," says Timothy Marshall, the bank's president. "But it's not prudent to do both loans at this point in time. We're in a more risk-averse mode."
Mr. Marshall's reluctance sheds light on a problem looming over the economy. A year and a half after the financial crisis hit, the U.S. credit machine is still malfunctioning. During the boom, credit was too abundant. Now the pendulum has swung. With an eye toward limiting such swings, Sen. Christopher Dodd is expected to unveil a bill Monday that would be especially tough on big banks while preserving the Fed's regulatory role, but the bill's prospects remain uncertain.
Tom Harrison wants to create jobs at his ladder company. But his chances of getting the loan he needs to do so depend in part on what happens to folks like home builder Jim Haeussler. See how their stories connect.
For a recovery to take hold, hundreds of thousands of small businesses must find the confidence to expand and create jobs. But when they get to that point, the local banks they depend on—worried about borrowers' financial strength, scrutinized by regulators and slammed by souring real-estate loans—might not be willing or able to provide the credit they need.
While big companies have been able to borrow in bond markets, smaller companies rely mainly on bank credit, which has been shrinking. In 2009, total lending by U.S. banks fell 7.4%, the steepest drop since 1942. In all, the credit pulled out of the economy by banks since the downfall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 amounts to about $700 billion, more than double the amount so far distributed under President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus program.
"It's a dismal situation," says Diane Swonk, chief economist at Chicago-based financial-services firm Mesirow Financial. "Banks won't lend to businesses because they're afraid they'll go bad, but that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy."
The dearth of credit for small businesses could have a big effect on prospects for restoring the 8.4 million jobs lost since the recession began. From 1992 through the beginning of the latest recession, companies with fewer than 100 employees accounted for about 45% of net job growth, according to Labor Department data.
Policy makers have been looking for ways to reopen the spigot. President Obama has proposed creating a $30 billion fund to support small-business lending. Last month, in an unusual show of solidarity, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other state and federal regulators issued a joint statement urging banks to continue lending to credit-worthy small enterprises.
Making sure small firms get access to credit "is crucial to avoiding a Japan-type scenario of persistent stagnation," says Mark Gertler, a New York University economist who has done seminal research with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, then a Princeton University professor, on how troubles with bank lending can aggravate economic downturns.
Getting banks to lend more won't be easy, given the rising tide of defaults on loans made to finance housing developments, office buildings, shopping malls and other commercial real estate. Deutsche Bank expects banks to suffer at least $250 billion in losses on such loans, with about half coming in the next few years. Together with an estimated $250 billion in further charge-offs on home mortgages, that's more than double banks' current reserves against losses on all types of loans.
The stakes are particularly high for community banks, which tend to be much more active in commercial real estate than their larger counterparts. As of December 2009, such loans comprised about 42% of all loans held by the 7,344 banks with less than $1 billion in assets, compared to about 17% for the hundred or so banks with more than $10 billion in assets.
Some bankers say policy makers' desire to encourage lending isn't always reflected on the ground, where they say bank inspectors are getting tougher about lending standards. "For the first time in my 37 years in banking, we're having to say to our clients that we're not sure this will pass muster with the regulators," says Larry Barbour, president and chief executive of North State Bank in Raleigh, N.C. "That's not healthy."
Read the full story here.