The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything


Volume 60, Number 4
Fall, 2005

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Marty Tew Photo Montage

Marty Retires,
Miles is Next!

He entertained us, he informed us, and he gave us food for thought . . . but what Marty Tew did best of all was pull us together as an Association.

Marty made us feel good about our organization. He made us get more involved . . . which helps explain why event attendance has been so good during the past two years, his term as President of Chicago PDCA. Like all good things, however, Marty's term concludes as of the January 20th Presidents Night dinner, when we will welcome a new President, Miles Beatty, along with new Officers and Directors.

Actual readership of the bi-monthly Monitor newsletter reached all-time highs due to his witty columns, the last of which was recently mailed. "I really enjoyed writing them," he says, "and using them as a pulpit to express my thoughts, ideas, and opinions."

And who could forget the jokes . . . which always launched our meetings in the right direction. Sometimes they were real knee-slappers; sometimes they were real groaners. But they always came with that big Irish grin.

Finally, after two years, he even got in the one about the painter and the psychiatrist at the December meeting. Talk about a President fulfilled . . .

Ladies Night Returns For '06,
Associates Night Moves Downtown!

Both Events Will Become Part of
7-State "Heart of America" Convention

Following an absence of several years, PDCA Ladies Night will return on Saturday evening, March 18th, with a Lakefront Dinner Cruise aboard the luxurious "Odyssey" cruise ship.

Meanwhile, the annual Associates Night Tradeshow is migrating downtown on March 16th to the Embassy Suites Hotel, where we expect to host 40 to 50 booths and 400 to 500 visitors on the day of the event.

The changes (for this year only) are because Chicago PDCA is helping host the "Heart of America" regional PDCA Convention as it returns to Illinois.

Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

Well, here comes another new year and -- surprise, surprise -- postal rates are going up again. What makes it even more painful, if you mail much more than the occasional letter, even the Post Office doesn't seem to know what all the new rates are. Wait in line over there, and chances are, you will be told that the new charts are not in yet. Save yourself the aggravation by going on-line to visit Pitney Bowes at and look in the middle of the homepage for their "2006 Postal Rate Charts." You can download two optional PDF's and print out your own 8.5x11 chart or a wallet-size card. The Pitney Bowes chart is easier to understand than the Post Office model, too...if it ever shows up.

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Did you know that Africa is 28% wilderness, while North America is 38% wilderness?

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Next time you're putting leftovers away, remember that honey is the only food that doesn't spoil.

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Did you know that entertainer Danny Kaye (1913-1987) was a painter at heart? He once said, "Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can!"

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People may react better to your ideas if you tell them Ben Franklin said it first.

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CISCO, the Illinois Prevailing Wage Council, and the Foundation for Fair Contracting are co-hosting a Midwest Prevailing Wage Conference planned to be held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O'Hare in Rosemont on February 22-24, 2006. Registration costs $225.00 but is free to architects and public sector representatives (such as municipal employees). Workshops will cover responsible bidder ordinances in local municipalities and using web sites to track prevailing wage projects. You may register on-line at or call 630/472-9411 and speak to John Freitag for more information.

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Disaster news made up a great deal of all we heard last year...enough to make you jittery, just wondering when it would be our turn. Rather than just sitting tight, wondering and worrying, you can spring into action for 2006 by calling 800/878-3256 (M-F, 7 to 7) to request an excellent little publication entitled "Preparing Makes Sense...Get Ready Now!" from the Department of Homeland Security. The booklet will explain the best way to (a) assemble an emergency supply kit, and (b) develop a family plan for emergencies. Or, you could

visit to order the publication on-line. While there, browse for other interesting free government publications!

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"I once had a rose named after me, and I was very flattered, said Eleanor Roosevelt. "But I was not pleased to read it described in the catalogue as no good in a bed, but fine against a wall."

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Mark Twain was known for a quick wit and strongly-held views. Once he was asked what men would be without women, to which he acidly responded, "Scarce, sir...mighty scarce."

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On the philosophical side, Socrates once counciled, "By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher."

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If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be a prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. If it has no space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, remaining a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top. Similarly, the ordinary bat can fly around at night easily. A remarkably nimble creature in the air, it cannot take off from a level place. Placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly, and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash. Finally, a bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself. Sometime, aren't people like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee? Struggling with all their problems and frustrations, never taking time to relax, look around, or realize that the answer might be right there "above" them....

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We'll wind up with the thoughts of Will Rogers, sage of Oklahoma, who died in a plane crash with his pilot, Wylie Post, back in 1935. 1. Never slap a man who is chewing tobacco. 2. If you find yourself in a hole, then stop digging. 3. Do not kick cow chips on hot days. 4. Never miss a good chance to shut up. 5. Always drink upstream from the herd. 6. Good judgment comes from experience...and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.



Jay Weaver Photo

By Jay Weaver, Executive Director Of Industry Services,Finishing Contractors Association

Blue Bullet Senate Bill #S.1925, better known as the "Rebuild with Respect Act"(sponsored by Senator Kennedy [D-MA]) would ensure that federal contracts go to local Gulf Coast businesses during relief and rebuilding efforts in the Gulf States. Small and disadvantaged businesses will receive a share of hurricane-related contracts, thereby reinstating affirmative action requirements. Meanwhile, FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) announced its plan to award 15 five-year contracts, worth up to $100 million each. The Bill has been referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Blue Bullet House Bill H.R.4337, which is called the "Gulf Opportunity Zone Public Finance Relief Act of 2005" (sponsored by Representative Jefferson [D-LA]) would provide authority for Gulf tax credit bonds and advance refunding of certain tax-exempt bonds, as well as provide a federal guarantee of certain state bonds. It has been approved by the House and received in the Senate.

Blue Bullet Prevailing Wages have been reinstated on Gulf Coast hurricane projects. Effective 11/8/05, Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements will apply on all recovery contracts, either awarded or open for bids. Weekly payroll reporting requirements for Federal contractors, required under the Copeland Act, will also be enforced.

Blue Bullet Under House Bill #H.R.4329, the "Davis-Bacon Enforcement Act of 2005" (sponsored by Representative Andrews [D-NJ]) would amend the Davis-Bacon Act to provide that a contractor under that Act who has repeated violations shall have contracts with the Government cancelled and become ineligible for other government contracts for 10 years. The Bill has been referred to the Government Reform and Education and the Workforce Committees.

Blue Bullet Under new "Multiemployer Pension Relief Legislation" (#S.1783 in the Senate, #H.R.2830 in the House) it appears that Congress will resolve its pension bill differences through a joint House-Senate Conference Committee...once both of the measures clear their respective chambers. The Coalition, which includes the FCA, is seeking three core changes to improve the bills.
Blue Bullet Senate Bill #S.1932 and House Bill #H.R.4241 are known as the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (sponsored by Senator Gregg [R-NH] and Representative Nussle [R-IA]). It includes provisions to increase employers premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, and has passed in the Senate and the House. Differences are being resolved by a House and Senate Conference Committee.

Blue Bullet Senate Bill #S.1955, the "Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act of 2005" (sponsored by Senator Enzi [R-WY]) alters Title I of the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 as well as the Public Health Service Act to expand health care access and reduce costs by creating Small Business Health Plans and modernizing the health insurance marketplace with state oversight (unlike bills #S.406 and #H.R.525, which preempt state regulation.)

Blue Bullet Congressman Miller's H.R. Resolution #69 sets a parliamentary precedent for the National Emergencies Act's 30-year history by allowing Members of Congress to demand a fast track vote over the objection of the Senate or House leadership and to challenge the President on any unjustified, unilateral emergency action that could undermine labor, health and safety, and environmental protections.

Blue Bullet A new Center to Protect Workers' Rights study shows an increase in construction deaths from injuries. The CPWR study revealed that, from 1992-2003, the number of construction work-related deaths from injuries has increased 22% . . . from 963 to 1,171. According to data revealed in a separate study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 401,000 nonfatal injuries/illnesses occurred at job sites in 2004.

Blue Bullet The EPA has announced a lead rule due by the end of 2005, reconfirming its commitment to protect workers and the public from lead-based paint. The paint industry has argued this rule is long overdue, since the EPA was required under the Toxic Substances Control Act to have issued regulations back in 1996.



Benjamin Moore Photo

Benjamin Moore Photo

On Wednesday November 9th 2005, Benjamin Moore Paints hosted its third annual Commercial Proshow for professional painting and decorating contractors at Chicago's historic Soldier Field. Titled the "Pro Players" Event, it was held in the Cadillac Club.

1985 World Champion Bears players Gary Fencik, Tom Thayer, and William "The Refrigerator" Perry highlighted the event with their guest appearances, signing autographs and socializing with guests. Over 400 people attended the event, representing some 120 companies.

The evening began with an educational seminar presented by Larry Steinmetz, PhD, on "How To Sell At Higher Prices Than Your Competitors." Following the autograph sessions, and hearty servings of food and refreshments, a "post-game" program of vintage rock 'n roll music was provided by "American English, The Complete Beatles Experience."

Benjamin Moore Photo   Benjamin Moore Photo   Benjamin Moore Logo


Bill Rancic Photo

Bill Rancic, famed for his success as Donald Trump's first-season "Apprentice" TV program winner -- and a continuing employee of the Trump Organization -- has found yet another career on the "keynote speaker" circuit. In that capacity, he visited the Chicago PDCA/FCA & NiPDi/FCAI Joint Membership Meeting at Maggiano's in Oak Brook on September 14th to tell us about his adventures and lessons learned in life.

Bill grew up in Chicago, attended Carl Sandburg High School and Loyola University, and graduated in 1992. He worked his way through college by running a boat washing business for tuition money and earned a BA degree with cum laude honors. Then his instincts as an entrepreneur kicked into high gear. Founding a new internet business called "cigarsaroundtheworld" as a "dot com" enterprise in his studio apartment, he built it into a hugely successful, multi-million-dollar business.

Today, he remains involved in the cigar business, but also enjoys a new career with the Trump organization in real estate development. His assignment is the stunning new Trump Tower project in Chicago. In spare moments Bill also appears at speaking engagements for major corporations, colleges, and industry groups, to address achieving success through hard work and "thinking out-of- the-box." He delivers those messages to residents of Mercy Home For Boys as a volunteer tutor for underprivileged kids. Bill enjoys skydiving and scuba diving, and has run in two Chicago marathons. His new book is, published by Harper Collins, is titled, "You're Hired, How To Succeed in Business and Life."


"Within all of us lies a creative side trying to escape the monotony of everyday life."

If that phrase describes how you're feeling lately, then this story may be a good read for you. If we agree that "variety is the spice of life," then we must relish variations in the paint we apply day in and day out...and we should know where to look as we seek them out.

For those unfamiliar with Atova International, it is a specialized paint vendor located in Elmwood Park which has established itself within the Chicago painting industry community during the past 4 years.

Atova began by starting slowly and gradually building relationships to establish itself in the painting community. What sets the company apart is not just paint, but a full spectrum of specialized decorative paint products, custom training for contractors, and experienced, well-informed consulting services.

In terms of cutting edge products, Atova is the exclusive distributor for Baldini and Max Meyer decorative paints and plasters from Italy. To promote the distributorship, Atova has reached out to local painting contractors in Chicago to inform and educate them about specialized decorative painting products for their industry. It has thus established fine relationships with Chicago decorating companies and is striving to build many more.

Atova specializes in such decorative products, as Venetian plasters, lime plasters and paints, textured stuccos and plasters, and decorative exterior products. Most PDCA member painting contractors are familiar with these types of products and their applications, but may generally offer other types of services to their customers.

What we are learning these days is that such specialty products and the unique decorative finishes they produce are becoming increasingly popular in both residential and commercial projects locally and premium prices. Speaking with architects and general contractors on a daily basis has kept Atova abreast of current building and decorating trends in cities across the land, from New York to California.

Words like "all natural" and "environmentally friendly" and "low voc's" keep popping up in those conversations. For centuries, lime-based/mineral products were made to embody all of those well as inherent anti-mold, anti-fungal, and fire retardant qualities. In point of fact, such products have traditionally been the basis of European architecture. They have stood the test of time and proven to be resistant to whatever the prevailing conditions or climate might be. Today, Atova markets this rediscovered past as a profitable path for the professional painting contractor's future.

Atova International proves its commitment to Chicago painting contractors by helping them use these traditional products practically in the field...taking the fear out of using them, and enabling company employees to use them routinely. The firm offers simplified courses to train both painters and faux finishers in their specialty finishes. For both interior and exterior installation, they prepare staff

Parillo Residence Before and After Photo

painters to work with their products and sell their finishes to current customers and fresh prospects. Atova offers fefresher courses and advanced training to compliment its basic training, with all sessions customized to suit the painting contractor's individual needs and objectives.

Training in the use of traditional products is only the beginning of Atova's efforts to develop each contractor's potential to enhance its portfolio and broaden its client base. The volume of decorative wall finishes now being specified and contracted nationally within residential, commercial, and hospitality construction is truly at an all-time high, thus magnifying the potential for riding the crest of that trend.

Atova believes that knowing the right color or effect for a particular room, lobby, or entrance way can make the difference between a contractor getting the job or not. Knowing proper primers, the correct sealer for a substrate, and which products can be applied where is the beginning of the Atova training process.

Of course, it addresses pricing jobs and calculating square footage rates based on application in the business end of its course. From residential to commercial, interior to exterior, this unique Chicago PDCA Associate vendor believes there is a finish for everyone...properly marketed and expertly installed...using quality products at pricing that returns the desired profit. Finally, color selection and custom color matching services complete Atova's ability to meet project requirements for its contractor customers.

Offering classes to Union apprentices and journeymen through the two area training schools has been provided Atova with another avenue for reaching local painters. Participating in IUPAT Union "Train the Trainer Program" has provided Atova personnel with opportunities to meet with top Union officials and acquaint them with the firm's decorating alternatives while, at the same time, focussed attention on the potential for considerable decorative painting work available to Union painting contractors.

Establishing its reputation has been Atova's principal goal since joining Chicago PDCA as an Associate Member, as its foundation for succeeding in our marketplace.

Spanning residential and commercial markets, Atova seeks to provide a speciality finish for virtually every need. That may seem like an ambitious goal, but the company has a secret never loses sight of the creative side trying to escape the monotony of everyday life.

For more information on the Atova International line of decorative paint products and its innovative training and management programs, call 708-452-9982 or visit us on the web at The firm offers group rates on training and discounts for fellow PDCA members.