Gross Electric Inc., a family-owned electric distributor and retailer, has provided electric parts and lighting products for the industrial, commercial and retail markets in the Toledo area for nearly 100 years.
George Joseph Gross, known as Joe, came to Toledo from Chicago in 1910 to close a local operation for his employer at that time, Peerless Gas Mantle Company. Instead, Gross decided to buy the location and open his own store.
“He sold everything from light bulbs to appliances and was once the largest appliance store in Toledo,” said his granddaughter Laurie Gross, president of the family business.
Gross Electric was located Downtown for many years in what is now Fort Industry Square. Joe’s son and Laurie’s father, Richard, joined the business in 1950 and got involved in the electrical supply business.
The company opened a second location in Ann Arbor in 1967, which is still operating. In 1978, it moved its main operations from Downtown to Reynolds Road just south of Central Avenue, and opened a store on Woodville Road in 1978.
“Dad was in love with the electrical business and ran it for 50 years,” Laurie said. “He’s retired now, but still comes in and helps with special projects.”
Her brother, Joe Gross, runs the supply end of the business, and she concentrates on the retail business. About 30 percent of their business is commercial and 70 percent is residential.
However, 60 percent is sold to electrical contractors for installation in homes and businesses, Joe said.
“Our pricing is very competitive with the big-box retailers, but we have stayed in business because of the personal service we provide to our customers,” Laurie said.
Gross has more than 2,000 lighting products on sale in its 5,000-square-foot showroom, but nearly 30,000 individual items from 150 manufacturers in total inventory.
The company has 60 employees, many of whom have worked there for 30 to 40 years.
Laurie and Joe said dedicated and qualified employees make the difference with their customers.
The Lifestyle Center in the Toledo showroom features the latest in decorative and recessed lighting with electrical controls for homes and businesses.
Gross also offers repair and refurbishing services for lamps and light fixtures, starting at $40.
The company recently introduced a “Bulb Busters Program” for homeowners, which provides a free evaluation of the home with recommendations for more energy-efficient lighting products.
Archive for September, 2008
Gross Electric Inc., a family-owned electric distributor and retailer, has provided electric parts and lighting products for the industrial, commercial and retail markets in the Toledo area for nearly 100 years.
When customers call The Waterville Gas Company, they will actually talk to a real person.
That is becoming more uncommon in a business world dominated by technology and pressing “one” to talk to this person and “two” for this department, according to company president Robert Stitt Black, who won the Lifetime Member Award from the Ohio Gas Association Sept. 19.
“You have to run the business properly, and you have to take care of the customers,” Robert said, listing reasons for the company’s success.
Having a small family tree has also helped bring the oldest family-owned utility company into the 21st century, he said.
In 1888, during Northwest Ohio’s oil and gas boom, R.G. Stitt founded The Waterville Gas Company. The company has been located at 11 N. River Road in Waterville ever since.
Today, the company is owned and operated by R.G.’s great-grandsons, Robert, who serves as president, and James E. A. Black II, who serves as secretary. Todd Black is treasurer, as well as Robert’s son and fifth generation of the family.
“I would come to work on weekends and would come down in the evenings when my father came down to check the gas pressure,” Robert said of his boyhood memories of The Waterville Gas Company. “The simple most important practice I picked up is not being away from the business for too long of a time.”
The Waterville Gas Company serves 5,600 homes with customers in Waterville and portions of Middleton, Monclova, Perrysburg and Waterville townships.
Robert said natural gas is a premium fuel and releases few undesirable ingredients in the environment. It’s a fuel that is used at the source, going directly from raw form to a home for use in cooking and heating.
“Our prices have always been very competitive. Natural gas is a premium fuel from the beginning.”
Robert said natural gas was provided as long ago as 1888. At that time, it was mostly used for cooking and lighting.
Todd began working for the company when he was a teenager. He was a field technician, an experience that taught him how to run a business and gave him repertoire with co-workers.
The Waterville Gas Company has only nine full-time employees, although certain operations are outsourced to other local companies. The company prides itself on treating its workers well, and it shows. Quite a few started long before Todd.
Walt Churchill continues his family’s third-generation grocery business that began in Toledo more than 90 years ago with his grandfather Joseph.
“We have a long history in Toledo, and every family business has a history with stories to tell,” Walt said.
After growing up on the family farm, brothers Joseph and James Churchill opened their first grocery store at Detroit and Woodruff in 1917. The store was moved to Fernwood and Forest, and later to Upton near Monroe Street in 1933.
At one time, the family chain had as many as six stores in the Toledo area.
His father, Maj. Gen. Walter Churchill, joined the Marines at age 19 and served for 41 years. He became involved in the family’s grocery business during that period and died at age 95.
The family opened Churchill’s Market on Central Avenue in 1947, which is still in operation at that location. That store is owned by his father’s trust and operated separately from Walt Churchill’s Market in Maumee.
The Maumee store opened in 2003, but soon closed. Walt purchased the store from the family trust and reopened it in 2005 as Walt Churchill’s Market. Today, it employees about 50 people, he said.
“My father had a saying about needing to find a good melon patch in order to pick out a good melon,” Walt said. “We try to be the store that’s the good melon patch.
“We’re a complete grocery store that’s easy to shop for putting a good meal on the table at home. Our target customer is someone with a high priority for food.”
His market offers a wide selection of food products that includes homemade salads, soups, pizza and four different grades of meats from U.S. Choice to Niman Ranch’s naturally grown beef.
Chef Bill Kolhoff, who formerly operated Tiffinanny’s restaurant in the Colony, prepares gourmet meals to sell at the Maumee market.
Scott Reddish, manager of the Maumee store, has a history with the family business. He joined Churchill’s in 1967 and served for all but five years when he returned to manage the Maumee store in 2005 at Walt’s personal request.
“We want to build good customer relationships that create word of mouth advertising. That brings people in, but satisfaction in the store brings them back,” Walt said. “It’s why we focus on personal service for every customer.”
Walt is a native of Toledo who graduated from DeVilbiss High School and UT before serving in the Marines for 30 years.
He also operated Walt Churchill’s Adventure Shops in Toledo. His son, Walt Churchill III, was lost in an accident while exploring Peru in 1973. Today, Walt still enjoys boating and water and snow skiing when he’s not working at the Maumee market.
This virtual kitchen simulator features a chef (male or female) working up the professional ladder in the island setting of Port Abello. This Wii exclusive single player game has great sound and appealing graphics, plus four save slots for a medium length experience (experienced gamers could conquer the game in single digit hours). The story stuffs you with several animated characters including the predictable food critic and health inspector. The eclectic customers and available chef assistants for hire (just check the daily paper) spice up the proceedings, though they often talk over each other, so players might miss some funny one-liners or clues into a character’s personality.
Players begin at their training site, Burger Face, then quickly acquire a local diner called the Gravy Chug. Progression to El Fuego, Stuffolini’s and finally Chez Haute follows at a fairly steady pace. The fast paced kitchen area lets players run free as they choose preparation and cooking steps from the ordering tickets. Players also control which customers to serve and expedite food orders when finished.
Multitasking masters have a definite advantage here as players progress their coin tallies to purchase upgrades, menu items, ingredients, and other special items. Routine and creative variety supply the bulk of the gameplay. The daily newspaper (where you might get a good review from the food critic), daily time constraints, regular food deliveries and trips to the market all provide steady gameplay, Daily tips in the phone booth and at the basic marketplace give players helpful hints.
The quick play mode lets players work with four different meals (expanded options unlockable in the main single player game mode). Occasional event activities like quelling kitchen fire and sharpening knives keep things from getting too dull. Some story related mini games include batting away rats and a surprise visit from the health inspector where players must demonstrate their dishwashing ability.
Primary action stems from the remote, though players can navigate with the optional nunchuk, which works for navigation movement. The learning curve can be medium for younger players when using the motions controls, primarily the remote, but the remote motions incorporate actual cooking actions like stirring, flipping and cutting so well that most players won’t have many issues. Other actions include shaking the remote to grate cheese…and occasionally wake up sleeping assistants (a nice touch). Colorful visual cues also give players guidance to succeed at each action (e.g. keeping a steady hand with straight vertical up and down motions when cutting).
Individual successes are great, but players really see results when each action combines into a perfect score. The element of spice enhances the game with creative combinations that can provide satisfying bonuses and amusing negative reactions. Players can access the spice menu using the – button on the remote (Z button on the nunchuck) and check off an order ticket at the top right in certain instances. Be sure to cater to each customer and check for feedback in the ending tip tally. Developers further incorporate the characters into the game through this element.
The game has an impressive amount of voice acting though they talk over each other often, so sometimes you miss some funny one-liners. Navigation is great except for the top center, which gets a bit crowded at times. Overall the clever dialogue, entertaining characters, high quality, variety, and unique design put this title at the top of the casual game heap. Maybe a multiplayer cooking contest, freestyle recipe creations (possibly incorporating customers as the judges), more social interactions, or a speed round might appear in the next installment. (***1/2, rated E for comic mischief)
Homecoming 2008, “Rock-it Back to UT: R.O.C.K. at the U of T,” will have many events for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Toledo community.
“Homecoming is very special to UT because it is our longest standing tradition, reaching its 85-year mark this year,” said Allison Lerro, Homecoming commissioner. “The week not only recognizes the nostalgia of the past, it brings the excitement of the present and the beauty of the future into one. It creates a sense of pride, tradition and family back to UT, and without it the school year would not be the same.”
The Homecoming Commission chose this year’s theme for many reasons, according to Lerro.
“We wanted to incorporate ‘Rocket’ as much as possible since we are the Toledo Rockets. The reason behind ‘Rock-it-ing’ back to UT was to have everyone come together as one, incorporating students, alumni and the Toledo community to make us feel like one,” she said. “We chose a ‘Rock’ music theme because it is something that everyone can relate to, and in many ways represents The University of Toledo. Music is ever-growing and always changing, but at the same time is familiar and comforting, much like UT.”
The week’s events on Main Campus will include:
Sunday, Sept. 28
Rocket-Palooza, 2 to 4 p.m., Centennial Mall. A community outreach event where area children are invited to campus for story time with the Rockets, chalk the walk, clothing/book drive and other fun events.
Monday, Sept. 29
Rock-Out Cook-Out, noon to 2 p.m., Centennial Mall. Have a free lunch right off the grill and listen to the sounds of smooth acoustic music on the steps of the Student Union.
Tuesday, Sept. 30
Twilight Carnival, 7 p.m., Ottawa/Crossings courtyard. Sample items from Toledo area restaurants and check out games and inflatables. There’ll be carnival food and prizes.
Wednesday, Oct. 1
Battle by the Fire, 8 p.m., the Flatlands. Check out the annual Homecoming bonfire and pep rally. Help get the Toledo Rockets fired up to beat Ball State Saturday night, and hear the announcement of the Top 20 Homecoming Court nominees. There also will be a battle of the bands competition, rock-a-thon community service event, car smashing and other bonfire goodies. The Student Alumni Association is providing food at this event.
Thursday, Oct. 2
Homecoming Talent Show, 7:30 p.m., Doermann Theater. Doors open at 7 p.m. for this event sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council and the Office of Multicultural Student Services.
Friday, Oct. 3
Homecoming Gala, Student Union Auditorium, 6 to 9 p.m. The UT Alumni Association dinner will include the presentation of this year’s Blue T, Gold T and Edward H. Schmidt Young Alum awards, as well as all college outstanding alumni awards. The cost is $30 per person. Members of the Student Alumni Association may use their free event benefit to attend. For more information call 419.530.ALUM (2586).
• Homecoming Concert, 8:30 p.m., Carter Field. See alternative band All Time Low and solo R&B artist Raheem DeVaughn at this concert sponsored by Campus Activities and Programming. The top 10 Homecoming Court nominees will be announced at the show, which will take place rain or shine. Gates will open at 8 p.m. Advance tickets cost $15 for UT students and $20 for the public. For more information, go to HYPERLINK “http://www.utcap.org” www.utcap.org or call 419.539.2256.
Saturday, Oct. 4
Homecoming Parade, 2 p.m., West Bancroft Street to Middlesex Drive to Kenwood Boulevard to Cheltenham Road and back to West Bancroft. A classic parade sponsored by Blue Key. The Homecoming parade grand marshal will be Chuck Sullivan, a 1959 graduate of the UT College of Business and retired chairman, CEO and president of Interstate Bakeries Corp. He and his wife, Jacqueline, are longtime supporters of Toledo athletics and benefactors of the University. Over the years, the couple has donated more than $12 million to the University.
• UT Alumni Association Tailgate Party, 4 p.m., tent near the Health Education Building. There’ll be free hot dogs, pop and chips, with music by Voodoo Libido.
• Homecoming Commission Tailgate Table, 5 p.m., Lot 10 north of the Glass Bowl. Stop by to pick up a free T-shirt, spirit beads, pompoms and other giveaways to show your UT pride at the game.
• Homecoming Football Game, UT vs. Ball State, 7 p.m., Glass Bowl. The Homecoming King and Queen, along with the parade float winners and decorating contest champions, will be announced. Tickets are $24 for reserved seating; $19 for general admission; $12 for children 12 and younger; half off for UT faculty and staff; and free for UT students with student ID.
For more information, contact the Alumni Relations Office at 419.530.2586 or the Student Activities Office at 419.530.7221.
In her Toledo Free Press guest column “Free Speech Battle Never Ends” – which accompanied the September 19, 2008 TFP cover story on the University of Toledo’s observance of the American Library Association’s “Banned Books Week” – UT Professor of Communications and campus BBW event coordinator, Paulette Kilmer, shamelessly politicized the American Library Association’s non-partisan First Amendment rights celebration by libeling Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin with false accusations of “Nazi” censorship.
Professor Kilmer’s false accusations (widely circulated by Palin’s political opponents) are contradicted by the September 8, 2008 Web article “Sliming Palin: False Internet Claims and Rumors Fly About McCain’s Running Mate – (Palin) Not a Book Burner” at www.factcheck.org – the website of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Annenberg Political Fact Check project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania – as well as by the September 2, 2008 TIME magazine article cited by Kilmer herself.
Fact Check says, “[Palin] did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla [Alaska] library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time.”
One such false Internet list of “books banned by Sarah Palin” claims to be taken “from the official minutes of the Wasilla Library Board.”
But Fact Check says, “In fact, the list is a simple cut-and-paste job, snatched (complete with typos and the occasional incorrect title) from the Florida Institute of Technology library Web page, which presents the list as ‘Books banned at one time or another in the United States’.”
Lou Dobbs CNN independently re-confirmed Fact-Check’s findings in a September 23, 2008 report.
The September 2 TIME article says “Palin [did not make conservative] social issues the cornerstone of her [Alaskan] governorship.”
The TIME article also cites Chas St. George, a prominent Wasilla citizen and former supporter of one of Palin’s political opponents as saying, “Wearing her faith quietly fits more with [Sarah’s] personality. In all the years I’ve known Sarah and her parents, we never talked about right-to-life or any of that. She doesn’t let those issues get in the way of getting things done for the community.”
None if this was enough to stop Professor Kilmer from dutifully parroting the liberal party line against Palin.
Kilmer says, “Apparently no books were removed. …[But Palin’s] decisions place her in the ranks of book banners, including U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy from Wisconsin. He launched the witchhunt to expose communists in the 1950s that resulted in many innocent people losing their livelihood and in a few instances their lives. The Nazis burned books. Although Palin is not a fascist… her efforts … suggests (sic) some extreme far-right leanings. … [and attempts to] control people’s thoughts…”
Even if accepted at face value, Kilmer’s convoluted ramblings run into the brick wall of a howling logical fallacy, e.g., given that “no books were removed” and “Palin is not a fascist” — we can therefore conclude that Palin’s “decisions place her in the ranks of [McCarthyist book banners and Nazi book burners].”
Never mind that the pervasive liberal abuse of the term “Nazi” as a mindless blanket pejorative trivializes the all too real horrors of the Holocaust.
Following Professor Kilmer’s own bizarre “logic” we can safely surmise that, although Professor Kilmer is not a Bolshevik commissar, her guest column does place her in the ranks of Soviet secret police operatives and murderous tyrants like Joseph Stalin and NKVD (KGB) director Lavrenty Beria.
They launched systematic political witch hunts and purges using the ruthless tactics of a Soviet state-run media propaganda machine, a vast network of spies and informants and smear tactics like Professor Kilmer’s – to falsely label people as reactionary right-wing counter-revolutionaries and enemies of the State. This led to the forced confessions, “re-programming,” imprisonment, torture and murder of millions of innocent Russian citizens.
Professor Kilmer, Ph.D. blathers on:
“Politicians like Palin reflect an alarming swing toward conformity, bigotry and self-righteousness… the rigid thinkers among Palin’s supporters find channels on the Internet for suppressing public access to information. If the facts contradict pet notions, believers often refuse to accept the truth that reporters and other hard-working journalists [like Professor Kilmer] reveal. …The quest for justice… is the “American way” — a phrase I hesitate to use because frequently fanatics have invoked it to suggest a smug assumption of superiority based on false claims of patriotism. The battle for the First Amendment is never won.”
Indeed. Given that liberal Obama supporters dominate the Wild West of unchecked Internet rumor mongering and Kilmer’s own column is a perfect example of the true colors of fanatic, sophomoric, groupthink liberal bigotry – we need only replace the name Palin with Kilmer in the above paragraph to get a fair sense of the truth.
Kilmer blunders inexorably from false assumptions and allegations through false premises, non-sequiturs, ludicrous false labels and finally insupportable conclusions – all conveniently swaddled in truisms and calls for the unending righteous revolution against “Nazi” conservatives
According to Professor Kilmer’s UT website bio, she specializes in “journalistic history, ethics and reporting, advises the UT chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, serves as mentor of UT’s student-run newspaper, The Independent Collegian and is also active in the Association of Educators in Mass Communication and Journalism.”
Liberal media? What liberal media? Biased liberal college professors? What biased liberal college professors? See www.studentsforacademicfreedom.org for more on these issues.
Professor Kilmer’s poor judgment and irresponsible conduct in launching such an extreme, unfounded and libelous partisan attack against Sarah Palin in particular and conservatives in general (all deceptively cloaked in the First Amendment ideals of the ALA’s “Banned Books Week”) cannot possibly be seen as upholding even the most fundamental standards of the Society of Professional Journalists codes of ethics and protocols of journalistic responsibility.
Nor does Professor Kilmer’s column conform to the meanest standards of academic and intellectual integrity or the University of Toledo’s own stated values of “diversity, integrity and teamwork” – as outlined by UT President Lloyd Jacobs in his May 2, 2008 TFP guest column, shortly before then UT human resources associate vice president Crystal Dixon was fired (banned) for writing a conservative and “politically incorrect” TFP guest column.
On a personal note, I have myself been subjected to similar printed ad hominem attacks and name calling by “open-minded” and “tolerant” UT college professors behaving badly, namely UT Professor of Philosophy Benjamin Pryor and former UT Law Professor David Harris (see The Toledo Free Press archives).
It is most especially disheartening to witness such sophistry, bad faith, intellectual dishonesty and childish incivility coming from the ranks of those who have dedicated their lives to the high-minded pursuit of knowledge and the sacred trust of educating the young. Of all people, those who inhabit the hallowed precincts of the Academy should know better.
Reid Ahlbeck is a UT alum and recovering liberal (ten-plus years of political sobriety and counting) as well as an award-winning former editor, contributing editor, critic and columnist for various publications including Toledo City Paper, The Weekly, the arts and culture journal Dialogue and the Toledo Free Press. Among other things, Ahlbeck credits the reality check of several years working as a merchant mariner and long-distance big-rig truck driver for having helped him in his personal struggle to overcome the pernicious and highly addictive political influences of academic liberalism.
When it comes to Fantasy Football, there’s only thing one I love more than draft day: TRADING. The fine art of negotiation, the thrill of the swap. It’s the sort of thing I live for.
Every September, I put myself on a strict diet of “Wall Street” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” — both of which I watch at least 37 times a piece. I also watch the original “Die Hard” religiously — but not for my usual reasons (jumping off an exploding building with a fire-hose tied around my waste is a life-long dream of mine). No, I watch it for Ellis: the coked-out, well-groomed, slickster yuppie who “negotiates million dollar deals for breakfast, babe.” You can learn a lot from a guy like that … like not to do mass-amounts of coke before an important business deal. A valuable lesson indeed.
And while the other guys are sleeping? I’m putting in the time and doing my homework. You’re out partying? I’m out on Rotoworld.com. Because the trick is to see the writing on the wall, see it before anyone else does. I play it like the stock market, watching for trends, reading between the lines. I pick up complete unknowns on waivers while everyone is still saying “who?” like a bunch of owls — and then I trade them sons-of-bees when their stock is sky-high. And come December, I reap it.
They don’t call me “2-for-1 Barry” for nothin’. Well, maybe they call me that because I used to have the hottest deals on ‘red tops’ since Marlo Stanfield took over the Barksdale corners on “The Wire” … but that was weeks … I mean years ago. I’m out of “the game” now, and I’ve since moved on to a new venture. One that I can utilize my skills and my shrewdness, my savvy and my cunning — to the point where I look like the Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein of Fantasy sports. That’s how I get down.
Because it’s not about luck. It’s not about chance. It’s about studying up, doing the math, and schmoozing a guy at a fancy dinner. It’s about picking up free agents and knowing the value of a rookie wide receiver. It’s about hoarding all the running backs, even when you’re already carrying 7 of them. Because, as they say, “Greed is good.” And I’m a glutton for RBs.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some offers to make. Hold my calls…
Read Ray Barry’s blog, True Stories at Stanleyavenue.blogspot.com. Ray Barry can be reached at email@example.com.
Homeowners may find themselves in a tight financial position this winter as rising prices continue to adversely affect their budgets for maintenance and upkeep of their households.
Yet following a few tips from professionals in the housing industry can reduce costs and prevent damage that could otherwise set them back hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
Two such experts, Dave Belknap, construction manager for Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity, and construction assistant manager Tim Sterns, shared their insights with Toledo Free Press to help prepare for the upcoming winter. The two hold an annual meeting with their clients to explain the ins and outs of winterizing their homes through inexpensive and simple methods.
Maumee Valley Habitat specifically addresses the needs of newer homeowners, and Belknap and Sterns have discovered techniques within the past eight years they’ve incorporated into new home construction.
“They’re not costly techniques, but they’re techniques that we look at as we build the house from the ground up each step of the way as we do it: where we caulk and where we put adhesive and where we put sealant to make sure that they are tighter,” Sterns said.
Often, however, many of the same winterization procedures can be applied to older houses as well with money-saving results, such as clearing gutters and sealing outside faucets.
“Part of that procedure is checking their furnace filters, making sure that they’re clean regularly,” Sterns said, emphasizing it is especially important for recent models. “New furnaces have a circuit that senses a drop in pressure and will actually shut off on a dirty filter.”
“We talk about their gas and how the air circulates in the house,” Belknap said. “If you have a crawl space, you need to make sure that the vents are closed. A lot of cool air gets in there and you can have moisture issues.”
In well-sealed homes, especially, where moisture buildup is most likely, Sterns and Belknap recommend installing a Broan LoSone fan in the bathrooms, which is designed to run continuously and quietly. At the first telltale sign of moisture in the air – typically sweat forming on the inside of windows and a musty odor – Sterns said he has clients use the fans as a “huge preventative” measure.
“If there is a moisture buildup inside the house, it’s going to be when it’s shut up and heated,” he said. “They can turn those bath fans on and pull air out of the house, which lets other air infiltrate into the house that’s drier and will actually pull that moisture out.”
Don’t forget the garage
Winterizing the garage generally takes less time and effort, but it should not be ignored completely, according to Lee Huss, CEO of Overhead Door. A 38-year veteran in the industry, he compared an overhead door to a car: “If it’s running and it’s working good, you probably only need to have it serviced maybe once every five years.”
But homeowners may still look for trouble spots, such as bad seals around the doorframes of overhead and entry doors, which usually last about 10 years. Also, lift springs and tracks may need attention to maintain peak operating performance.
“A technician can come out and check the adjustment balance on the springs and tighten up nuts and bolts that may be loose and do any lubrication that may be required. But it doesn’t require annual maintenance. Is it a good idea? Some people would probably say yes, but it’s really not needed [annually],” he said.
Pre-painted steel doors have become the most popular style, according to Huss, offering “the best bang for the buck.” The doors are hot-dipped galvanized, then primed and painted with a polyester topcoat. Homeowners also may choose wood doors at the upper end of the price range or steel doors with a wood-simulated exterior; however, steel provides the highest insulation value.
He emphasized the best way to maintain the door itself is to grab a paint brush.
“Most people never paint their doors, but we always recommend people give it at least one coat of paint sometime over the next five years with a good latex paint,” Huss said. “Like anything else that’s steel, if you take good care of it, it can last an awful long time.”
When no one’s home
For homeowners planning to head south for the winter and those trying to sell or rent a vacant house, additional precautions should be considered, according to Chad Boyers, a real estate agent with Danberry Realtors. He said maintaining a minimum temperature between 55 and 60 degrees tops the winterizing to-do list.
Electric and gas furnaces draw from utility companies for fuel, but furnaces using oil or propane need adequate supplies to last the entire time the home will sit vacant, if not longer. And a professional should service the furnace beforehand to ensure it functions properly.
“That being said, even if you have it set [at the right temperature], you can still run into issues where the furnace stops working,” Boyers said. “And then also have some sort of arrangements set up, whether it’s with a neighbor or family member, to stop by the house at regular intervals and check it to make sure that in fact everything is working properly.
“Unfortunately it does happen where, even for a couple-week vacation sometime in the winter, people can go away and day two of their vacation, the furnace stopped working, and they come back to a horrific scenario.”
Other measures homeowners may overlook include snow removal and interior lighting controlled by a timer to preserve the appearance the house is occupied, which deters break-ins. Also, he added, whether staying home for the winter or leaving the house vacant, owners should turn off the main valve to in-ground sprinkler systems to prevent pipes from freezing.
“I know that I didn’t do that one year; I had major issues the next year,” he said.
As I sit at my computer and search the Internet, there are times when the name of a blog catches my attention and that alone draws me in out of curiosity to see what that blog can be about. There are also times when a name of a blog gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect, but still has a creative name.
When I saw the title, “Hey , There is a Dead Guy in my Living Room,” I wondered, a blog about murders or a blog about mysteries. It’s a blog about how to write mystery books from an idea to publication. One of the writers is embarking to one of my favorite places, Roswell…
“I eat Snowman Poop,” well I don’t of course, I don’t know how to explain how that even happens but…That is the name of a personal blog that got my attention. I have to say it’s one of the more creative names I’ve come across so far.
This next one both the name and the url of the blog got my attention, the name of the blog is “Your Pharmacist May Hate You,” the url of the blog is “drugmonkey” which was hard to type, for some reason I kept wanting to type “drunkmonkey”. Beside the point but it made me laugh. The blog is the undercover stories of how every day working in a drug store can warp your mind. There are also some interesting articles there on politics and the pharmaceutical industry.
Sometimes a blog name asks a question, such as “How Green is?” which you are left to wonder what the next part is unless you visit. Then you’ll discover just what is green and how green it is. No, I’m not giving hints…
The name of the blog is “123 I love you,” which promises it will be more entertaining than the movie Deliverance. After visions of the movie were driven from my head, I noticed the url “iamgettingfat” hopefully not as some type of a precluder to the movie Deliverance. I do now however thanks to this blog know how I can get into trouble the next time I am on the elevators at One Government Center…
We are way over due for a reader’s contest, so what I want to know is, if you had to pick only one blog that you were able to read, what would it be? It can be local or national and on any topic. You can start sending in your submissions now until October 11th. Then depending on how many entries are received? Starting the issue of the Toledo Free Press of October 17, I’ll share what you think.
The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org – please put “The One Blog” or something similar in your subject line to make it easy on me. For more of Lisa Renee you can also visit Glass City Jungle.
The Collingwood Arts Center will soon bring harmony to Toledo’s Old West End. On Sept. 28, it will host Women Blessing Women’s presentation of the award winning play “The Ladies of Harmony.”
The play, which was written by local playwright Ron Hill, will feature Anne Cross, Gloria Moulopoulos, Carol Ann Erford, Barbara Barkan, Pat Rudes and Shirley Williams. The director is John DuVall.
“The play was brought in by Women Blessing Women as a benefit for their organization. Having them here really fits in with the community outreach aspect of our programming goals, which include helping to bring the arts to members of our local community that might not otherwise get to experience them. To that end, we reserve a number of complimentary tickets for community organizations such as Focus and Chance for Change for every show that we host here,” said Program Director Brian Felster.
Women Blessing Women is a non-profit organization for women age 18 and over dedicated to empowering women living in poverty to achieve success, gain confidence and obtain living wage jobs. It provides a comprehensive, holistic program for women/mothers who live in poverty. The program addresses the root causes of poverty: education, employment and cultural behavior change. They offer teaching and tutoring of GED, coaching, training and facilitating job readiness skills and spirituality. Honorary board members of the organization include congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. More information can be found at www.womenblessingwomen.org
“We’re proud to be able to offer affordable space to an organization like Women Blessing Women, which allows us to give back to our community, without breaking the bank at the same time,” Felster said.
The play, which is Hill’s second, received a First Place Award from the Community Theatre Association of Michigan in 2007 and an Honorable Mention from the 75th Annual Readers Digest Writing Competition in the Stage Play Script Category. Hill, who a Tiffin native, attended the famed Pasadena Playhouse and holds a degree in English Education from Cal State, San Bernardino.
The show will begin at 4 p.m. in the Arts Center’s historic Lois M. Nelson Theatre. Tickets are $25 and $20 when purchased in groups of 15 or more. The Collingwood Arts Center is located at 2413 Collingwood Blvd.
For more information, call (419) 244-ARTS or to order tickets visit www.brownpapertickets.com