Alternative fuel could be answer to ethanol problems | Early treatment is key in preventing crabgrass | Debunking turf management myths
July 31, 2015
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OPEI SmartBrief
News for the outdoor power equipment industry

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Alternative fuel could be answer to ethanol problems
An alternative blend of fuel that uses isobutanol instead of ethanol could help prevent damage to carburetors and other components in small engines. Isobutanol fuel is more expensive, and its availability is currently limited to a few Texas locations, but it may be the solution for lower emissions without ethanol usage. "One huge thing is it's not hygroscopic like ethanol, so you don't have the problems with moisture and phase separation," said Jess Hewitt of Gulf Racing Fuels. Houston Chronicle (tiered subscription model) (7/25)
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Industry Buzz
Early treatment is key in preventing crabgrass
Good turf maintenance, including mowing high and watering weekly, is the best way to prevent crabgrass. Granular pre-emergence herbicides that contain bensulide, dithiopyr, oxadiazon or trifluralin are also effective at blocking the weed. (7/17)
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Other News
Economic Indicators
U.S. Fed policy statement mostly optimistic
While acknowledging overseas turmoil and a tougher energy market, the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday described a moderately expanding economy that suggests a somewhat greater likelihood of an interest-rate increase in September. Notably, the policy statement indicated improving conditions in one of its key areas of concern, the U.S. labor market, but said it would like to see further gains. Reuters (7/29)
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U.S. is closing in on debt limit, Lew warns
Economic uncertainty underscores a need to raise the U.S. debt limit, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says in a letter to Congress. The government can probably meet financial obligations until Oct. 30 by continuing "extraordinary measures" implemented in March, Lew says. USA Today (7/29)
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Inside & Out
How to end your presentations on a high note
Great presentations and speeches can be undone with a weak or dull ending, writes Michelle Mazur. "When you nail your speech, your audience becomes your advocates and wants to spread and talk about your message. The last words you utter on that stage should enable them to do that with ease," she writes. Communication Rebel blog (7/28)
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Fight stress with 5 relaxation tricks you can do at your desk
Progressive muscle-relaxation techniques and positive visualization are great ways to combat stress without leaving your desk, writes Amy Morin. Other useful techniques include laughing, breathing deeply and engaging your senses with tastes and smells you enjoy. Forbes (7/29)
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Policy Update
Senate OKs 3-year highway bill
The Senate passed a three-year highway funding bill yesterday, as well as a three-month extension to match one that the House approved Wednesday night. The House plans to work on its own multiyear highway bill when it returns from recess in September. The Huffington Post (7/30), The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (7/30)
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Trump's strong polling doesn't make him popular
Donald Trump makes announcement at Trump Tower
Trump (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)
Donald Trump has posted strong performances in recent polling, but that doesn't mean he's a popular candidate, writes Nate Silver. Trump has the highest unfavorability rating of any GOP candidate besides Chris Christie, and ranks 13th on net favorability. "Most Republicans who don’t plan to vote for Trump are skeptical of him instead," Silver notes. FiveThirtyEight (7/29)
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How does a car thief stay alive? Guile and a case of mistaken identity
Dan Ott is one of northeastern Ohio's most notorious car thieves, with multiple prison stints during decades of criminal activity. His stories include stealing a cow on a whim and claiming to have stolen Elizabeth Taylor's car -- and her dog. But Ott is able to brag about his crimes, in part, because a hit man in 2006 killed an innocent man with the same name who also lived in Ohio. Cleveland Scene (7/29)
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Industry information services to change
The OPEI SmartBrief will terminate July 31. A new industry subscription service will begin Aug. 3.
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Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."
-- Helen Keller,
author and political activist
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