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February 20, 2013
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News for the outdoor power equipment industry |  Click here for GIE+EXPO information

  Top Story 
  • OPEI's TurfMutt holds contest to help out animal shelters
    TurfMutt, the science program from the OPEI Foundation and Discovery Education, is holding a contest to benefit animal shelters. Two winners of the raffle will have $250 donated to an animal shelter of their choice. The winners will also get an eco-friendly backpack full of school supplies. Entries are accepted until March 11, but you have to be 16 or older. Lawn & Landscape (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Industry Buzz 
  • How a Colo. irrigation firm succeeded
    Schaefer Lawn Sprinklers, an irrigation firm started by two brothers in Lakewood, Colo., has been in business for more than 30 years. Their success comes from knowing their strengths; finding help to overcome weaknesses; focusing on their client base; and not straying from what they know how to do well. Lawn & Landscape (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Spraying lawn chemicals on school grounds sparks debate in Iowa
    The use of chemicals to keep school grounds free from pests in Iowa City, Iowa, has sparked discussion among community members and potential companies bidding on a $300,000 groundskeeping contract. Some companies say chemicals, particularly glyphosate, are safe and cut down on manual labor hours. However, others question the chemical and say its use would cause complaints from parents and others, as well as threaten school vegetable gardens. Iowa City Press-Citizen (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Economic Indicators 
  • Business lending surges as banks seek growth
    U.S. businesses are inundated with so many inexpensive loans that banks' margins are coming under pressure. Commercial and industrial loans increased 16% in 2012, according to SNL Financial. A Federal Reserve survey found narrowing loan spreads and relaxed lending standards. The Wall Street Journal (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Index shows a slip in homebuilders' confidence
    U.S. homebuilders have become less optimistic this month, according to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. "This is partly due to ongoing uncertainties about job growth and consumer access to mortgage credit," NAHB Chairman Rick Judson said. "But it's also a reflection of the fact that builders are now confronting rising costs for building materials and, in some markets, limited availability of labor and lots as demand for new homes strengthens." Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model)/Money & Co. blog (2/19), (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Average price of gasoline has climbed 45 cents in the past month
    The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline rose 45 cents to $3.75 a gallon in the past month, AAA reported. The increase is the fastest spike since 2005. The price jump is attributed to refinery closures and maintenance; lower production from Saudi Arabia; unrest in Iraq and Iran; and prospects for economic recovery in Europe, China and the U.S. The Washington Post (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Inside & Out 
  • How to satisfy an unhappy customer
    The next time a disgruntled customer complains about your business, thank him or her for giving you information that you can use to improve your company, recommends Marilyn Suttle. Try to stay calm, and ask what you can do to rectify the situation. "When a customer puts pressure on you, see it as a good way for you to grow your abilities," she writes. Inc. online (free registration) (2/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • What George Washington can teach leaders
    George Washington led his troops to victory against the British redcoats at Trenton, N.J., in 1777 in part by adopting a more democratic approach to leadership, Signe Spencer writes. Rather than simply issuing commands and expecting obedience, Washington sought the advice of subordinates and thereby hatched a battle plan that was more innovative and effective than anything a single general could have devised alone, Spencer writes. Great Leadership (2/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Update 
  • Obama warns of harm to economy if sequester takes effect
    President Barack Obama said thousands of jobs and the U.S. economy will be put in danger if the budget sequester set takes effect March 1, imposing $85 billion of spending cuts. He appealed to Republican lawmakers to back a debt-reduction plan that relies on a combination of revenues from eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy and a spending reduction. Republicans said Obama was merely trying to shift the blame for the sequester. USA Today (2/19), NBC News/First Read blog (2/19), The Washington Post (2/19) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  OPEI News 
  • Outdoor Power Report -- A quarterly update for OPEI members
    OPEI's quarterly summary of issues and activities is now available. Read the report. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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We must travel in the direction of our fear."
--John Berryman,
American poet and scholar

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