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April 2017

Culligan Water - Coralville

CulliganYour Iowa City Water Treatment Experts

We are Culligan of Coralville, your water technology experts proudly serving southeastern Iowa. Our dealership specializes in providing water softeners, reverse osmosis systems, water coolers, bottled water, water filtering and softener salt delivery service to area homes and businesses. The Coralville area has a variety of water problems - hardness, sulfur, iron and pockets of  arsenic and nitrates. Well water contamination and boil advisories are common in the area.

CULLIGAN OF CORALVILLE HISTORY & COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Culligan of Coralville has been a part of the Corridor community for over 70 years, proudly serving Williamsburg, Iowa City, North Liberty, Tiffin, Oxford, University Heights and the surrounding areas.

Keith Vetter, a former Iowa State Representative, started the business in a Washington, Iowa garage in 1946. With the help of family and employees, Vetter’s Culligan has been ranked one of the top 10 water treatment companies in the United States. Keith received much recognition for his success with Culligan including being president of the Water Conditioning Association International, president of the State Water Quality Association, member of the Dealer Advisory Council, and recipient of the WQA Regent’s awards in 1977.  Today, Vetter’s Culligan is owned and operated by 2nd and 3rd generations and prides itself on delivering high-quality water and water treatment products to families and businesses, so that each consumer has the highest quality water to maintain a healthy life. We're proud members of Water Quality Association, Iowa Water Quality Association and International Bottled Water Association and the National Sanitation Foundation.

via www.vettersculliganwater.com


Tesla Gives First Peek at Its Electric Semi Truck - The Drive

We knew that Tesla had an all-electric semi truck in the works. A few weeks ago, we also learned that the truck was due for official reveal in September, per Tesla CEO Elon Musk's tweet on the topic. He also gave great praise to his team, saying that they did an "amazing job" on the "next level" truck. But details have been scarce throughout the project.

via www.thedrive.com


Kyle Schwarber single punctuates Cubs' 7-4 comeback victory over Red Sox

Kyle Schwarber broke out from survival mode Saturday to sheer satisfaction with one protective swing.

Schwarber poked a low and outside 0-2 pitch from left-hander Robby Scott into shallow center field for a single to score the go-ahead run in the seventh inning. It was a highlight of the three-run rally that enabled the Cubs to treasure a 7-4 comeback triumph over the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

via www.chicagotribune.com


Cleaning up Iowa's beaches

You’ve packed a cooler, donned swim gear and slathered on sunscreen in preparation to hit an Iowa beach on a beautiful summer day.

But wait. What’s this?

It’s a notice saying swimming isn’t recommended because of high levels of disease-causing toxins produced by blue-green algae, whose blooms can be fed by fertilizer washing into lakes from nearby farms.

Iowa had a record 37 such advisories last summer at state park beaches, with some beaches, such as the one at Green Valley State Park in southwest Iowa, spending nearly as many weeks under a swim warning as weeks without.

via www.thegazette.com


EPA Administrator Pledges EPA Will Help Protect American Jobs « CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it comes to the nexus of a clean environment and jobs in industries once known for pollution, Pittsburgh is ground zero.

At the White House this week, KDKA political editor Jon Delano met Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Delano: “What’s more important, the environment or jobs?”
Pruitt: “Both, and that’s a great question, Jon, because as a country throughout our entire existence since the 70’s when the EPA was created and the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act were adopted and all the updates to that piece of legislation, we’ve had a commitment to growing our economy and also protecting our environment.”

Pruitt, President Trump’s choice for EPA administrator, now heads an agency he sued many times as Oklahoma Attorney General.

“The days of an agency in Washington DC picking winners and losers, the days of a regulatory assault on an industry such as coal, are over,” says Pruitt.

Pruitt says he’ will restore balance to the EPA to help keep coal jobs, shale jobs, and steel jobs in western Pennsylvania.

via pittsburgh.cbslocal.com


Commercial truck dealership employment highest in 5 years

TYSONS, Va. — Employment at commercial truck dealerships in the United States has reached its highest point in five years, according to a new report from the American Truck Dealers (ATD), a division of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

The nation’s 2,261 franchised heavy- and medium-duty truck dealerships employed 129,392 workers in 2016, up 5.6 percent from the previous year, according to ATD Data 2016, the annual financial profile of America’s new-truck dealerships.

The report showed that the average selling price of a Class 8 new truck was $119,574, down 0.6 percent from 2015, and the selling price of a Class 8 used truck was $47,217, down 11.6 percent from 2015.

via www.thetrucker.com


Pizza Hut ups its game in ongoing 'Pizza War'

Mike Thayer 2016 (2)By Mike Thayer

They are constantly battling for a greater market share, the industry's top 3 pizza chains:  Pizza Hut vs. Papa John's vs. Domino's. 

From a financial perspective, Domino's is winning the war, largely due to the company being savvy when it comes to digital marketing.  Same store sales at Domino's jumped over 12% in the fourth quarter last year, with 60% of its total sales generated from mobile devices.  Upping their digital marketing game, Papa John's comes in at number two, with fourth quarter same-store sales rising 3.8%.   Pizza Hut comes in third in the financials, with the pizza giant experiencing a 2% decline in same-store sales during the fourth quarter.  They've been playing 'catch up' when it comes to digital marketing.  Compared to how well Domino's does it, Pizza Hut brought a knife to a gun fight.

Moving forward though, look for the Domino's financials to falter a bit , once the people who bought into Domino's 'rebranding' and 'new menu' hype and give the company another shot, realize their pizza still sucks.  Papa John's will continue to gain some ground here and Pizza Hut is finally locking and loading for the digital marketing battle.

And there's the segue, Domino's may be the current 'Pizza King' financially, but how do they rank where it really matters, in taste?

Here's the baseline battle measurement, the most commonly ordered item from a pizza joint, carry-out or delivery:  A large pizza.

  • Domino's offers a 3-topping large for $7.99
  • Papa John's offers a 2-topping large for $9.99
  • Pizza Hut is currently running a deal for a 2-topping large for $7.99

Pizza hutI'll tell you right now, my first pick is Pizza Hut and when it comes to a plan 'B' I'll buy a Papa John's 2-topping large for $9.99 over a Domino's 3-topping large for $7.99 everyday of the week.   Taste is what wins the Pizza War in my book, not digital marketing.  DOMINO'S PIZZA SUCKS!

I haven't had pizza in awhile so last night I ordered from Pizza Hut.  I ordered using my desktop computer, easily navigating the Pizza Hut site for a meat lover's thin crust pizza (doused with garlic butter) with mushroom and extra cheese.  It was easier and faster to do than an old-fashioned landline phone call.   I could have done the ordering using my smartphone since Pizza Hut has decided to get in the game in that sense over the last six months, but I'm a bit attached to my desktop.  

The pizza was delivered in about 30 minutes and it was delicious!  The crust had that perfect garlic butter kissed crispyness to it and the toppings were generous.   Perhaps the best thing about Pizza Hut is their consistency in product, it's always good.  You can count on Pizza Hut to deliver (pun intended) good flavor.

I don't see Pizza Hut staying at #3 in the financials for much longer.  They've upped their game in digital marketing, by increasing their online presence and accessibility, improving their website navigation, kicking up the commercials another notch and most importantly they're NOT trying to fix something that's not broken when it comes to the pizza itself.  They're NOT using gimmicks like Domino's has done, with their new 'Zesty' sauce, 'new' menu items and even 'new' stores to distract you from how bad their pizza really is.......

When it comes to the Pizza War in taste, Pizza Hut wins.

Pizza Hut Deal

 

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Fracking isn't contaminating groundwater, study finds

A major anti-fracking argument by environmentalists may not have the facts to back it up, a new study conducted by Duke University found.

Fracking has not contaminated groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, according to the peer-reviewed study published this month in a European journal.

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via www.foxnews.com

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Fracking Bans Hurt Distressed Communities, Inflate Power Costs

This year, oil production in America is expected to reach an all-time high, close to 9.5 million barrels a day. Similarly, natural gas output is projected to reach a record 75 billion cubic feet per day by the end of 2017.

What a difference a decade makes. Ten years ago, when we thought we were running out of oil and gas, imports were nearly two-thirds of consumption. Today, imports are down to 45 percent of oil use with less than a third coming from OPEC countries. What’s more, the U.S. is now exporting more than one million barrels of oil per day and is on track to become a net exporter of natural gas this year. Indeed, America has now achieved de facto “energy independence,” a goal espoused by every president since Richard Nixon.

This reversal of fortune can be attributed to American entrepreneurial ingenuity, in particular the application of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to tease hydrocarbons out of shale and other hard rock minerals. In the process, thousands of new jobs have been created while state and local government tax coffers in producing regions have grown in tandem.

How ironic, then, that Vermont, New York and Maryland have imposed statewide bans on hydraulic fracturing. (By contrast, the Florida Legislature just killed an anti-fracking bill.) Though Vermont has no hydrocarbon resources, substantial reserves have been identified in shale formations along the southern tier of New York and in western Maryland, both economically distressed regions that have been losing people and jobs for decades. The fracking bans serve only to limit opportunities for job growth and economic diversification while depriving local governments and public schools of much needed revenues.

via blog.heartland.org