Readers Respond: Remedies for a recovery
In a far-reaching plan that covered everything from foreclosures to new mortgage agreements, President Obama unveiled a “Homeowner Bill of Rights.” Here’s the White House’s fact sheet. And below are readers’ comments.
“Frankly this is not a good faith effort. Obama and his minions know that these efforts will not pass the ‘smell test’ in the House. There is no chance that the House of Representatives will embrace the concept of indemnifying people who made risky investments and lost. It won’t happen. What Obama’s re-election committee hopes is that they will not embrace the plan, and it then will become a talking point for his campaign. He then will have carte blanche to say that his plan would have worked, but the evil Republicans shot the plan down because they don’t care about those poor people in distress.
— George McCullough
Quaker Chemical Corporation
“If the housing stimulus funds are anything like the federal stimulus money spent on roadways in California over the last three years, then the money will only go to union contractors and then on a time and material basis. No bidding and no non-union contractors allowed.”
— Augie Venezia
Fairfax Lumber & Hardware
“Another government program that will cost taxpayers more money. When will the spending stop? Just let the housing market recover through the free enterprise system. It has worked in the past and will work now if the administration stays out of the housing market. Also, I question the timing of this grand plan since we are in an election year.”
"This is about banking reform, which we should all want to stabilize our business and the economy. Home-ownership is something that contributes greatly to our industry. We should welcome legislation that makes it possible for responsible people to get mortgages without red tape and unethical practices. Politics should not be part of this discussion."
Kitchen Compost Collector takes green award
The Full Circle Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Collector took home the Green House Design Award as part of the Housewares Design Awards contest.
The Fresh Air Odor-Free Kitchen Compost Collector turns kitchen scraps into organic matter to enrich the soil. Its design features a sealed container that allows oxygen to easily flow through kitchen waste. As the air passes through the organic kitchen waste, allowing for aerobic breakdown, food decomposes more slowly, and stays drier during the composting process. The result is less mess, less odor, and no fruit flies.
Four other green products were also recognized as category finalists: Ekobrew from Eko Brands LLC, JetMaxx from Electrolux Home Care Products Inc., Personal Cooler from PackIt LLC and Fizz Home Soda Maker from SodaStream USA Inc.
The product submission and judging process for the Housewares Design Awards program is managed by the International Housewares Association. The awards program was presented Jan. 31 in New York City by HomeWorld Business, with sponsorship by The Gourmet Housewares Show at NYIGF, Gourmet Insider magazine and Whitford Corp.
Sales increase at Simpson Manufacturing
Fastener maker Simpson Manufacturing Co. reported net sales of $130.7 million for its fourth fiscal quarter of 2011, a 9.3% increase over sales of $119.6 million for the same quarter of 2010. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company had income, net of tax, of $4.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to a loss, net of tax, of $4.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2010.
In the fourth quarter of 2011, sales increased throughout North America and most of Europe. Sales increased in all regions of the United States, with above-average increases in California and the western regions, as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales in Asia and Australia, although relatively small, increased as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales to contractor distributors, dealer distributors, lumber dealers and home centers increased. The sales increase was broad-based across most of the company’s major product lines as compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, although sales of shearwalls decreased.
For 2011, net sales increased 8.6% to $603.4 million compared to net sales of $555.5 million for 2010. The company reported income, net of tax, of $50.9 million for 2011 compared to income, net of tax, of $44.8 million for 2010.
In December 2011, Simpson purchased certain assets and liabilities of Fox Industries, Inc., for $8.7 million. Fox Industries is a manufacturer of construction products and systems to repair, protect and strengthen concrete. The acquisition will help the company to expand its product offerings in the commercial, industrial and infrastructure construction markets. Also in December 2011, the company purchased the assets of Automatic Stamping, LLC for $42.5 million. Automatic Stamping is a manufacturer of a line of truss plates. In January 2012, the Company purchased 100% of the equity of S&P Clever Reinforcement Company AG and S&P Reinforcement International AG for $56.5 million. S&P Clever manufactures and sells engineered materials for repair, strengthening and restoration of concrete, asphalt and masonry construction and has operations throughout Europe.