Maine governor issues green edict
Maine Governor Paul LePage has decreed that equal recognition be given to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard (SFI), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), American Tree Farm System, and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification systems when incorporating green building standards into any new or expanded state buildings.
In a news release announcing the executive order, Gov. LePage said he hoped to protect and expand forestry jobs in the state of Maine. “By requiring state building projects to use ‘green’ materials under more certification programs, we are increasing the amount of Maine-produced wood available for public construction projects. This will have positive benefits for Maine wood products producers and our forest industry workers,” LePage said.
Commissioner Bill Beardsley of the Maine Department of Conservation noted: “[This order] will create an even playing field among the diverse forest certification groups both nationally and internationally. It means that the local community college will be able to build using the certified-wood products from the local sawmill.”
More than 7 million acres are certified to the SFI standard in Maine, according to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
“Old-school” Crown Ace wins business award
The Orange County Business Journal honored Crown Ace Hardware as the winner of the 2011 Family Owned Business award in the large business category.
Crown Ace, described in the retailer’s press release as "a throwback to the old-school community hardware store that won over its customers with friendliness and customer service," has been operating since 1949 and has grown to 17 stores. Crown took the name of its hometown, Corona del Mar, which translates to “crown of the sea.”
Crown has come a long way since 1974, when Jeff Schulein purchased the store and laid out a detailed expansion plan to serve communities needing local hardware stores. Crown Ace operates in 15 stores in Southern California, and two in Arizona.
“Our model is about service, convenience and a helpful, knowledgeable staff,” said Mark Schulein, president and son of Jeff.
Crown Ace Hardware was presented with the award at the 12th annual Family Owned Business awards luncheon hosted by the Business Journal and California State University, Fullerton’s Family Business Council at the Hyatt Regency Irvine. A crowd of more than 500 attended.
Among the other honorees was Anaheim Patio & Fireside in the small business category.
Occupy protestors move to foreclosed homes
The Occupy Wall Street movement, once focused on financial institutions and the unequal distribution of wealth, has broadened to include the collapse of the housing market and its effect on the American family, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.
Demonstrations were staged at foreclosed homes in at least two dozen states, and protestors have moved from downtown civic plazas to suburban subdivisions.
In California, a coalition of labor organizers, minority activists and housing supporters gathered in four different cities to help families move back into their foreclosed homes and defend them against eviction, according to the article.