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Pat Farrah tapped for Hall of Fame

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Pat Farrah will enter the Home Channel Hall of Fame during the Golden Hammer Awards ceremony in Las Vegas during the National Hardware Show.

Farrah has more than 45 years of experience in the hardware and home improvement industry, during which time he established himself as a merchandising wizard and a key player in the founding and early success of Home Depot.

“My favorite accomplishments have been the opportunity to serve the DIY and professional customer, creating career paths and success stories with thousands of associates, and successfully partnering with quality and progressive vendors,” Farrah said.

At National Lumber in California, Farrah worked his way up from stock boy to executive VP. He then went on to start Homeco, an early warehouse style home improvement concept that later caught the eye of Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank.

After a stint with Scotts Miracle-Gro’s Smith & Hawken division, Farrah is now managing partner of Re:Retail, a retail consulting firm.

The Home Channel Hall of Fame induction will take place May 4 at the Home Channel News Golden Hammer Awards ceremony in Las Vegas during the National Hardware Show. The Hall of Fame was launched in 2004 and includes:

2009: Lyle Heidemann, True Value 2008: Howard Elsberry, Westlake Ace Hardware 2007: Robert Strickland, chairman emeritus, Lowe’s 2006: Mike McClelland, president emeritus, Do it Best Corp. 2005: Dave Hodnik, former Ace Hardware president and CEO 2004: Bernie Marcus, co-founder, Home Depot 2004: Arthur Blank, co-founder, Home Depot 2004: Joe Hardy, founder, 84 Lumber  2004: Joe Orgill, chairman, Orgill

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West Coast growers sue South Carolina

BY HBSDEALER Staff

A South Carolina regulation blocking plants from commercial nurseries in Oregon and California is being challenged in federal court by the California Association of Nurseries and Garden Centers (CANGC) and the Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN). The two trade groups filed a federal lawsuit on March 8 in the U.S. District Court in Columbia, S.C., seeking to overturn new regulations passed last year by the South Carolina Assembly in response to phytophthora ramorum, sometimes known as the Sudden Oak Death fungus.

Phytophthora ramorum can be carried by “hosts” like camellias, azaleas, honeysuckle, lilac and a number of ornamental plants. The fungus has killed thousands of oak trees in Oregon and California over the past decade, and an outbreak in 2004 created a brouhaha when several states began turning back  shipments from California growers.

The CANCG sued the state of Kentucky that year, arguing that the state had overstepped its bounds with a stringent ban because federal government had jurisdiction over interstate commerce. Several weeks after the lawsuit was filed, California declared victory when the Kentucky agriculture commissioner agreed to accept shipments from California growing facilities. The U.S. Department of Agriculture put in place an inspection and quarantine program aimed at controlling phytophthora ramorum.

California and Oregon growers say they are fully compliant with federal regulations, and any additional state restrictions — like the ones passed in South Carolina, which is requiring additional inspections and documentation — are unnecessary and unconstitutional. The March 8 lawsuit names the State of South Carolina and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture as defendents and seeks injunctive relief, citing legal precedent.

“We had no other option but to defend our nurseries from being cut off from their customers in South Carolina,” said Robert Dolezai, executive VP at the CANGC, in a prepared statement.

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Sears launches Energy Star Rebate site

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based Sears has launched a new online tool to help its customers identify appliance rebates offered by their state through the Energy Star Appliance Rebate Program.

The program, which is federally funded, is operated by individual states, each with its own regulations on what qualifies for a rebate and how much.

Customers can log onto sears.com/energystar to learn what Energy Star appliances qualify for rebates in their state, how much of a rebate they qualify for and access the proper paperwork to apply for that rebate.

“At Sears, we’re always looking for ways to make it easier and more affordable for Americans to swap out their old, inefficient appliances for new Energy Star models,” said Doug Moore, president of home appliances for Sears.

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