CHP Captain Ed Krusey, left, Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary General Manager Curtis Woods and Stay Green CEO Chris Angelo stand behind the newly completed memorial to four CHP officers.
Photo courtesy of Stay Green

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Four California Highway Patrol officers have been honored in a newly donated, freshly landscaped memorial designed and constructed by local landscape company, Stay Green, as part of a project initiated by Eternal Valley Memorial Park. The officers were killed in the line of duty during a 1970 shootout that became known as The Newhall Incident.

The previous memorial, erected on a brick wall, had become obscured as the CHP’s Newhall Station had grown to accommodate needs for additional community services.

“These four young men made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of this valley, so when we heard the memorial was in need of renovation, we knew right away that we wanted to be involved,” said Chris Angelo, Stay Green CEO. “Our professional landscape team embraced this project from the start, carefully designing and building a landscaped memorial that will respect and honor the memories of these four officers.”

The new memorial garden, located at the main entrance to the CHP station on The Old Road, centers around a large boulder where the original memorial plaque pays tribute to Officers George Alleyn, Walt Frago, Roger Gore and James Pence.

Stay Green became involved after being approached by Curtis Woods, general manager of Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary, and chairman of the SCV Chamber of Commerce board. As Woods took stock of Chamber of Commerce members who could be potential partners for the project, Stay Green was at the top of the list. As part of the project, the landscape company also covered the cost, which was roughly $6,500.

The boulder and plaque are framed by four juniper trees representing the fallen CHP officers.
Photo courtesy of Stay Green

“Chris Angelo and Stay Green really stepped up to the plate,” Woods said. “I was really impressed. Chris didn’t bat an eye.”

The project took a three-man crew a week to complete. The boulder and plaque are framed by four juniper trees representing the officers. A crushed granite pathway leads to the boulder, surrounded by plantings of amber “flower carpet” roses and blue chalksticks, a succulent ground cover.

The project also features a star, which German Garcia, enhancement production manager with Stay Green, said was a challenge, because they wanted it to be as identical to the CHP star as possible, to give the project connectivity to the CHP.

Captain Ed Krusey of the CHP’s Newhall Area office expressed appreciation for the efforts of Stay Green, Eternal Valley and all of the volunteers who helped with the project.

“The CHP Newhall Area Senior Volunteers have been an instrumental part in revitalizing the CHP Newhall Area memorial for the four fallen CHP officers. They have spearheaded the project with Stay Green and Dignity Memorial (Eternal Valley) along with the assistance from Advanced Innovations Construction Inc. and Caltrans,” Krusey said. “The Newhall CHP Area office truly appreciates these entities and what they have done to give our office a beautiful remembrance to the four officers who paid the ultimate price the night of April 5, 1970.”

New products and partnership

Ariens/Gravely has partnered with Yamaha to develop an EFI engine for the zero-turn market. By Katie Tuttle

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – For the first time, Yamaha will develop engines in the green industry through a partnership with Ariens Company.

In a project that has spanned four years, Yamaha and Ariens developed the MXV V-Twin EFI engine specific for the zero-turn market. With a muffler made in-house by Yamaha, production has already begun and the engines are ready for purchase.

For 2017, the engines will be available on the Gravely Pro-Turn 260 (29 hp engine), Gravely Pro-Turn 452 (29 hp engine), Gravely Pro-Turn 252 (29 hp engine), Gravely Pro-Turn 460 (33 hp engine) and Gravely Pro-Turn 472 (33 hp engine). Because the partnership is not exclusive, Yamaha plans to expand the line to other manufacturers in the future.

During the Ariens/Gravely annual Dealer Summit, as well as the media event the following day, the new engine was presented to attendees by Derek Schoeberle, business planning manager, and DJ Murdock, sales engineer for Yamaha.

While pointing out the features of the new engine, Schoeberle said the MXV V-Twin was built specifically for commercial landscape equipment and grass cutting applications.

Matt Medden, vice president of marketing for Ariens, said they expected people to be excited about the new engine, but they weren’t expecting the response they got from the dealers at the event.

“Yamaha has been a trusted name in countless industries for years, and we’re happy to officially welcome them to the outdoor power equipment industry,” Medden said.

“We’ve more than doubled our expectations (on initial orders).” As a result of this response, the company brought more models with the new engine to GIE+EXPO in Louisville from Oct. 20-21 so more people are able to test drive the engines.

Upgraded models.

“This is probably a record year for Ariens Company,” Medden said about the products the company unveiled.

The Gravely brand is currently celebrating 100 years in 2016, something it kicked off at GIE+EXPO last year. “It’s really a big platform for us to launch forward into the next century,” he said.

Gravely also introduced its upgraded Pro-Walk, which is expected to hit dealers in early spring of 2017. It will come with the options of 48-, 52- and 60-inch deck sizes.

As part of its commercial walk behind lineup, the Pro-Walk is made specifically for properties that may have tighter spaces that need mowing, as well as a lot of sidewalks and roadways.

“With the large tires, it’s easy to get up and over all the curbs,” said Trae Humphreys, senior commercial product manager with Ariens Company.

Humphreys said the mower would be good for landscapers who work a lot of residential or business properties.

Gravely has also expanded its Pro-Turn line, with the redesign of the Pro-Turn and Pro-Turn 100 zero-turn mowers.

The redesigned mowers have a new deck level system that requires only four points to adjust deck level, and features 17 cutting positions with quarter-inch increments.

“With the redesign of our Pro-Turn and Pro-Turn 100, we’ve rounded out the Pro-Turn line under our new VBL (visual brand language) and feature set, which is something that we’re really excited about,” Humphreys said.

The Pro-Turn and Pro-Turn 100 series mowers also feature Gravely’s new X-Factor II Deck, a seven-gauge, all-steel welded deck that comes backed with a lifetime warranty.

Also new to the lineup for 2017 are three attachments for Gravely’s Pro-QXT two-wheel tractor. Gravely unveiled the tractor at last year’s GIE+EXPO, and this year attendees saw the new 32-inch snow blower, 32-inch brush mower and 36- and 48-inch finishing mower.

Select attachments will be available at dealerships starting in November, with all attachments for the Pro-QXT available by January of 2017.

Ask the experts

Cones and safety data sheets

Q: I work with a lawn care and landscape company and an issue came up recently about traffic cone requirements. Our customer base is 90 percent residential and we want each truck to carry traffic cones with them. My question is, are there any law requirements stating the number of cones we need to have per vehicle placed in the road and where those cones need to be placed?

A: I would suggest that you Google MUTCD Regulations for Traffic Cones. The size of the cone is very important as it relates to the posted speed limit on the roadways where your vehicles will be temporarily parked. The recommended color is obviously orange, however where the posted speed limit is less than 40 miles per hour, the regulations state that the cone should be 18 inches or taller.

At speeds exceeding 45 miles per hour, the MUTCD regulations state that 28-36 inch cones should be used. My instincts suggest that I would stick with three cones, especially if your vehicles are towing utility trailers. The more orange cones, the more noticeable your vehicle and crew members will be to passing motorists. If your crew members will be mowing or maintaining property in close proximity to vehicular traffic, you may also want to consider reflective vests. This would be especially important if your workers are maintaining islands.

Q: We are a landscaping company and our jobsites consist of multiple locations daily. To comply with OSHA, can you tell me if we need to carry an SDS folder at each jobsite for each work vehicle?

A: Here are some suggestions and guidelines. Safety Data Sheets are an important component of OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard (Haz-Com). In their new 16-segment format, they provide critical information about hazardous chemicals. Obviously, in our industry, landscape and lawn care companies store and handle these products for pest control. Each has an SDS and according to an OSHA brief (bit.ly/hazcomll) these documents must be readily accessible to employees for all hazardous chemicals used in their workplace.

Depending on the work that you perform, if pesticides are applied at various worksites away from your office or shop area, then the SDSs for those products need to be kept in a folder accessible to workers at the worksite. The most important information to the workers appears in the first eight sections of the SDS.

Information on personal protective equipment, first aid, etc., is located in these first eight sections.

Sam Steel, NALP safety adviser & consultant, National Association of Landscape Professionals

Ask the Experts is brought to you in partnership with NALP, the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Questions are fielded through NALP’s Trailblazers, the industry’s leading company mentoring program. For more questions visit Landscapeprofessionals.org.

Felony charges filed against Mainscape owner/CEO

INDIANAPOLIS – The owner of a Fishers-based landscaping company faces federal wire, mail and health care fraud charges alleging he participated for years in a scheme to defraud the federal health care system of millions of dollars.

According to ABC affiliate RTV6 Indianapolis, Dave Mazanowski, owner and CEO of Mainscape Inc., was charged Oct. 12 with one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and health care fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Prosecutors allege Mazanowski was involved in a scheme with former American Senior Communities CEO James Burkhart to falsify and inflate invoices to pay approximately $1.5 million in kickbacks to themselves and Burkhart's alleged co-conspirators between 2009 and July 2015.

Burkhart, along with alleged co-conspirators Daniel Benson (ASC's former COO), Steven Ganote and his brother, Joshua Burkhart, was indicted last week on 32 federal counts, including conspiracy to commit wire, mail and health care fraud, money laundering and conspiring to violate anti-kickback statutes.

Propane mower incentive program is back

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Propane Education & Research Council reopened online applications for the Propane Mower Incentive Program. Since it began in 2012, the program has helped commercial propane mower operators save up to $1,000 on the purchase of a new unit without factoring in the long-term benefits of using propane.

“The incentive helps landscape contractors save on the upfront cost of a new propane mower, but the long-term savings contractors benefit from when operating a propane fleet can be tremendous, too,” said Jeremy Wishart, deputy director of business development at PERC.

With the Propane Mower Incentive Program, landscape contractors, facilities managers, municipal fleet directors and even homeowners can apply for incentives of $1,000 for the purchase of a new propane mower, or $500 to convert an existing machine with a qualified conversion kit.

Throughout the life of the program, more than 4,000 gasoline mowers have been swapped out of fleets in favor of propane across 43 states. Applications for more than 600 mower purchases and conversions were received during the last iteration of the program, which ran from October 2015 to April 2016.

Contractors who have switched their fleets to propane reported, on average, a 30 percent savings on the annual cost of fuel alone, on top of savings from the incentives, according to PERC.

Visit bit.ly/percmower to apply for the program. Contractors wanting to research the financial savings they might incur when switching to propane equipment can use PERC’s free Propane Mower Calculator at propanecostcalculator.com.

Ruppert Landscape adds two, promotes one

LAYTONSVILLE, Md. – Ruppert Landscape has announced the addition of Bernard Botchway and Blake Turner and the promotion of Sean Sullivan in its Forestville, Maryland, landscape management branch.

Botchway, a resident of Beltsville, Maryland, has been hired as an area manager. He brings more than two years of industry experience, having interned with the company’s Alexandria landscape management branch in 2014 and having held a position as account manager at another industry organization.

He is CDL certified and holds a bachelor’s degree in plant sciences with a concentration in landscape management from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Turner, a resident of Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, has been hired as an area manager. He brings more than 11 years of industry experience, having held positions including operations manager with other industry organizations in the Texas market.

As area managers, Botchway and Turner will respectively be responsible for the sale, renewal and production of the branch’s landscape management work; the training and development of personnel; and ensuring quality, customer service and retention.

Sullivan, a resident of Sandy Spring, Maryland, has been promoted to enhancement manager. He joined the company with several years of landscape experience under his belt in early as a field manager in the Laytonsville landscape management branch.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape management from the University of Maryland, College Park. As enhancement manager, he will be responsible for planning and executing all upgrades to help rejuvenate existing landscape management contracts.

Jensen expands into Sacramento, adds regional leader

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Matt Trenary, a Sacramento area landscape construction leader with more than 13 years of industry experience, has joined San Jose-based Jensen Landscape. Trenary will lead the Sacramento region as branch manager of its construction division.

The new construction branch has yielded more than $2 million in new bookings.

“We are so excited to add Matt to the Jensen team in Sacramento. Jensen is committed to the region and adding someone of Matt’s caliber immediately strengthens our landscape construction presence in the market,” said Brian Helgoe, CEO of Monarch, Jensen’s holding company.

Prior to joining Jensen, Trenary served as senior project manager at ValleyCrest Companies in Northern California.

He was based in the Sacramento region for 11 years where he worked with owners, general contractors and landscape architects on a wide range of construction projects including healthcare facilities, educational campuses, parks and government offices.

Trenary began his landscape construction career at ValleyCrest after earning a degree in landscape architecture from Cal Poly San Louis Obispo in 2003.

“Joining Jensen is the next chapter for me and my family, as well as my continued landscape career growth,” said Trenary who elected to stay in Sacramento because he sees it as a great place for his family. “I’ve established roots in the community since relocating to the region 11 years ago, and see a wide range of landscape construction needs to be met in the Sacramento region,” Trenary said.

Dow Chemical-DuPont merger may be delayed to next year

The $59-billion merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont may be delayed as European antitrust officials take more time to consider potential competition issues in pesticides and crop seeds.

Dow’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris told Bloomberg News that the European farm lobby is one of the strongest in the world and that the merger may be delayed until February.

The plan was originally planned to close late this year.

Meanwhile, DuPont is planning to sell a business making herbicides to help reduce potential antitrust sticking points. DuPont CEO Edward Breen said he expects the deal to close by the end of March.

Upon sealing their deal, DuPont and Dow now expect to be able to split the combined entity into three separate companies within 18 months, versus the 18 to 24-month range projected when the deal was announced, Breen told the Wall Street Journal.

A host of competitors from BASF to FMC Corp. are monitoring opportunities to pick up assets as the biggest-ever wave of consolidation in the agrochemical and seeds business spurs antitrust reviews and forced sales, according to USAgNet.

DuPont boosted its 2016 earnings outlook amid global cost cutting and increased sales volumes, according to Bloomberg. Dow will report financial results Oct. 27.

Breen is eliminating 10 percent of DuPont’s workforce as part of a plan to reduce annual expenses by $700 million.

The merger, agreed on in December, would create a company with a combined market cap of about $122 billion before splitting it up into three separate entities focused on plastics and chemicals, agricultural seeds and pesticides, and specialty products like food ingredients and safety equipment.