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Fast Break - November 2006

Heavy Metal; Stumped

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November 2006
Fast News
Heavy Metal The Oshkosh (Wis.) Recreation Department is ready to get the lead out - literally.

For three weeks now, the city's recreation center has been closed while a remediation contractor removes all traces of lead-contaminated dust created during a recent renovation project.

Officials became concerned when tests showed that dust and paint chips sent airborne by a floor refinishing project in the building's lower level had spread to other parts of the facility.

The cleanup's painstaking process has left recreation officials hesitant to say when the 79-year-old center will reopen. "Because it's such a meticulous project, it will get done when it gets done," recreation director Al Wenig told The Oshkosh Northwestern on Nov. 10. "They have to go through every nook and cranny. It takes a lot of time."

To their credit, recreation officials didn't spend their idle time pointing fingers. Wenig declined to name the company hired to refinish the rec center's basement floor - at least not until he knows the remediation's total cost, which will include the bill for lead poisoning screenings for rec center patrons who might have been unintentionally exposed. At that point, Wenig said the department's insurance carrier will be anxious to identify - and bill - the responsible party.

Stumped It was the perfect spot for the perfect tree.

In early November, atop a knoll outside Arlington, Va.'s Walter Reed Recreation Center, officials planted a lace leaf Japanese maple that had been meticulously raised for 25 years and donated by Arlington County resident and lifelong arborist Peter Jones.

One week later, though, where this beautiful tree had briefly stood only a two-foot-deep hole remained. Yet, a second look turned up several clues - including a trail of rust-colored leaves and mulch leading to the parking lot - indicating that the tree had been stolen.

Standing on the grassy knoll-turned-crime scene, Jones expressed his dismay to The Washington Post reporter Jamie Stockwell. "This is such a shame," he said. "I mean, who would want to do something like that?"

As of Nov. 10, Arlington police assigned to the case had no leads, but surmised that the heist couldn't have been a solo job. Using landscaping equipment, it took four men to plant the five-foot-tall tree, which was worth about $1,000. That said, if the thieves are caught, they can be charged with grand larceny, a felony offense.

Jones, who raised the lace leaf maple in his backyard, had long planned to give the tree to the six-month-old Walter Reed center, to help beautify its landscaped area and adjacent playground.

"My intention was that people would become educated about all the trees and plants," he said. "But how can you teach kids to respect (them) when grown-ups come and steal (them)?"

In the Field
Company News
  • Life Fitness (Schiller Park, Ill.) has been recognized by the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA) as the 2006 Industry Equipment Innovator for the company's Circuit Series line of strength-training machines.
  • The National Center for Catholic Youth Sports (NCCYS) has partnered with the American Sport Education Program (ASEP) to provide online training and certification for NCCYS coaches beginning January 2007.
  • GamePlan Technologies (Omaha, Neb.) has announced new partnerships with CoachComm and CyberSports. CoachComm LLC (Auburn, Ala.) has been provided exclusive rights to market, sell and service GamePlans' sports editing software system to the high school and NCAA Divisions II and III markets. Recruiting industry specialist CyberSports (New Hartford, N.Y.) has selected GamePlan to provide a solution to integrate digital video into its extensive recruiting database.
  • Kevin Blank, founder and president of Under Armour Inc. (Baltimore, Md.), was named the 2006 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Retail and Consumer Products category.
  • New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. (Boston, Mass.) has announced a licensing agreement with Highgear USA (Asheville, N.C.) to design, develop and deliver New Balance Sports Monitors throughout the United States.

Want to see your name in lights? Send press releases and news to our Web Editor for consideration: webeditor@athleticbusiness.com

It's Show Time
2006 ABC a Hit with Attendees and Exhibitors From beginning to end, the 2006 Athletic Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas sizzled with thought-provoking seminars, entertaining keynotes by Kevin Carroll and Terry Bradshaw, and a product-packed trade show with more than 300 manufacturers of sports, fitness, older-adult and recreation products and services. ABC attendees could also attend 46 seminars sponsored by the International Council on Active Aging and 35 seminars sponsored by the Medical Fitness Association, both of which held their conferences in conjunction with ABC.

The 2007 conference will be held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Request a brochure (mailed in July) - please include your mailing address.

Fast Job
The City of Phoenix has an opening for a Park Manager to be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the 100-acre Reach 11 Sports Complex.
Don't Miss This
In our next issue: Eating disorders afflict at least 11 million people in the United States - some of them high school student-athletes who are suffering in silence.

Subscribe to Athletic Business magazine.

Did You Miss This?
In our current issue: The November issue featured the winners of the 26th annual Facilities of Merit Awards.

Facilities of MeritFacilities of MeritSee the 2006 Winners.

A Slideshow of the Very Best
Athletic Business brings you a slideshow of the top companies supplying our industry. Whether you need products for athletic, fitness or recreation facilities, you'll find them all.
  • Browse the best companies in the industry.
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And the Survey Said
In response to last month's Quick Question, most of you agree that the replacement of the DIN standard will have an effect in North America, but probably will not drive down prices.

Complete Results: What effect will the European Union's recent replacement of the DIN standard - the decades-old, German-born sports flooring guideline - with one being touted as more versatile have in North America?

  • Encourage North American manufacturers to design and market products better tailored to specific sports: 31%
  • Allow facility operators to be more discerning when selecting flooring: 24%
  • Help drive down prices: 0%
  • All of the above: 28%
  • Nothing: 17%
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