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Welcome to our January 2009 newsletter!

Are you ready for what's next? Perhaps we can help!

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

I decided the best way to start this Editor's Perspective would be to go back and review what I had to say at this time last year. Here's how I started:
We're only a couple weeks in to the new year and already it's a doozy. It seems clear America is headed for what my father used to call "interesting times" in the months ahead.

In retrospect, that seems pretty prophetic, wouldn't you agree? The year 2008 was, indeed, a 'doozy.' Now that we're moving on to what most all would say, like it or not, is a new era in American government and politics, my prediction is we may have a double-doozy of a year in front of us for 2009.

In my 58 years, I have not seen so many clouds on the horizon. On the other hand, when it comes to sweeping, there are some real industry pluses to be thankful for. On the contractor side, even malls with lowering occupancy will be needing to keep a clean face forward to the public. Although there are definite stresses in the retail sector, for cosmetic, health and safety reasons commercial properties will be needing a modicum of cleaning done.

On the public sector side, there are reasons to think incidence of sweeping may actually be on the increase. Overall, if a stimulus package is put together for a host of public works projects, as seems likely at the moment, many will call for sweeping support.

Another bright spot involves the sweeping test that Elgin recently had done by independent researcher, Roger Sutherland and his company, Pacific Water Resources, Inc. This 'real-world' test showed that sweeping -- even by a broom sweeper using water for dust suppression -- can remove over 80% of the pollutant load on a street. And, it reenforces the long-held belief I've espoused that sweeping without water for knocking dust down will result in a more environmental sweep.

I'm in hopes this brave step forward by the Elgin organization will result in at least two positives for sweeping. For one, it should mark the beginning of an independent, industry-driven test to allow better comparison of sweeper makes and models. That, combined with a statistical basis showing pollutant removal, may provide a 'shot in the arm' for street sweeping in general. Also, armed with test results that show a higher environmental benefit of sweeping than is generally thought, EPA, DOT and other officials may start down the road of placing sweeping higher up the food chain of storm water runoff pollution solutions.

NAPSA has turned over its management to a New Jersey-based association management firm, Association Headquarters, Inc. Having been in the industry for a couple of decades, this is not the first time I've seen this phenomena. Prior to this, such a move has not been a positive. However, I know the Board of NAPSA must have been convinced this is the way to go to both grow membership and provide a better value for members. I know I'm one of many in the industry with their fingers crossed that this move will result in nothing but positives for the organization in all regards.

You'll find in this newsletter -- which we plan to be the last of our quarterly issues -- a host of other articles that will help you do a better job in your sweeping operation, no matter if you're a contractor or a municipal agency. So much information, in fact, that we'll be splitting our newsletter up into smaller 'bites' in the future. In this age of so much information, we understand that it's hard to assimmilate so much at one time. So, in the future you'll hear from us more often, but with less information each time.

We'll also keep increasing our emphasis on audio interviews. The feedback we've received is that you prefer this format to having something written that must be read on your computer screen. Our audio interviews allow you to keep working in the background as you listen to a professional tell you about the latest in their particular area of specialization.

At we're trying to bring you information you can actually put to use in your sweeping company or municipal sweeping operation. If there's something you'd like us to report about, please let us know. Our goal is to write about what you want to read.

The National Pavement Exposition is coming up in late February. I look forward to seeing a number of you contractors at that event. If you don't know already, at NPE this year I'll be giving a seminar on ways to save fuel expense in your sweeping operation.

As always, if you have a sweeping-related need please tell us about it. We'll try to assist in any way we can. I routinely reference articles and studies, provide information from my "Fundamentals of the Power Sweeping Business," manual and put contractors and city officials in touch with others who may have answers to their information needs. By the same token, if you have a story you can provide, additional information on any of the topics we've covered – or need more details – please let me know. I'll be glad to help if at all possible.

Good Sweeping!
Ranger's Signature
Ranger Kidwell-Ross, editor

Ranger Signature File Scan PS I almost forgot. To help you spiff up your email correspondence, I offer a new Sweeping Tip that has the instructions for embedding your signature in your Outlook email, kind of like mine is, there on the right. How cool is that?!

By the way, if you don't have a listing yet in our Contractor Locator section, you are missing out on what is arguably the best advertising value in sweeping. At the same time, you'll be helping to keep online and active. If you're a contractor who uses this website, please help support the site and, at the same time, increase the exposure for your company, by getting a Contractor Locator listing.

And, if you're not yet a NAPSA member, we are still offering you an incentive to do so. For a limited time, when you become a member you'll get a $50 discount on any Contractor Locator listing here at

If you like what you read in this newsletter or on the website, be sure to thank the advertisers who sponsored it. The only way for them to know you appreciate their support of is to tell them!

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