The DROPCLOTH Covers Everything

Volume 60, Number 2
Spring, 2005

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Bill Rancic Portrait

Mark your calendar now, and plan to attend the next Chicago PDCA/FCA and NiPDi/FCAI Joint Membership Meeting, scheduled to be held on September 14th at Maggiano's Little Italy in Oak Brook. Our Guest Speaker will be Bill Rancic, the young man who gained fame a year ago by winning Donald Trump's competition to become his new business "Apprentice."

Bill grew up in Chicago, attending Carl Sandburg High School and Loyola University, from which he was graduated in 1992. Working his way through college by running a boat washing business for his tuition money, he earned a BA degree...graduating with cum laude honors.

Then his instincts as an entrepreneur kicked into high gear. Founding an internet business called "cigarsaroundtheworld" as a "dot com" enterprise in his studio apartment, he built it into a multi-million-dollar business.

Today, he still manages the day-to-day operations of his cigar business, but has also launched a new career with the Trump organization in the real estate development industry through his assignment on the Trump Tower project now beginning to grace the Chicago skyline.

Bill is a highly-sought speaker at major corporations as well as universities, where he speaks about achieving success through hard work and "thinking out-of- the-box." He delivers the same messages to residents of Mercy Home For Boys, where he often volunteers as a tutor for the underprivileged children.

Bill enjoys skydiving and scuba diving, and has run in two Chicago marathons. Now he has also become a published author with Harper Collins producing his book, You're Hired, How To Succeed in Business and Life.

Don't miss his lively discussion!


Paint Spots Miscellany Paintbrush Image

Want to avoid telemarketing calls to your cell phone number? Just call the "National Do Not Call Number" from your cell phone (888/382-1222). It will only take a minute of your time, and it will block your number for five years! You can also register on-line with the Federal Trade Commission at their web site (

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Now you can turn off annoying TV sets with the press of a button on a small key fob device called TV-B-Gone which scans 200 infrared codes that control the power on about 1000 TV models. The device was invented by a San Francisco resident annoyed by the proliferation of blaring TV's in public places, such as airports. His next work will no doubt by the Cellphone-B-Gone.

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Write down September 30, 2005, if you would like to attend the Illinois State PDCA Golf Tournament at the beautiful Weaver Ridge Golf Course in Peoria. Call Illinois Council Secretary Bob Ireland at 815/741-4331 if you wish to receive the invitation mailing. Bob is a Past President of National PDCA, and the proprietor for many years of his own paint contracting company in Joliet, Ireland Decorating. These days, Bob remains involved with volunteer work for the Illinois Council of PDCA and stripes the occasion parking lot for his old company just to keep in shape.

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Persons abiding in a domicile built of silica combined with metallic salts should not carelessly project geologic specimens. In other words, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw rocks.

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The trouble with bucket seats is that no everyone has the same size bucket.

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Observations on these changing times: have you realized that, in 40 years, we will have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos?

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Reading about drywall may be as interesting as watching paint dry, but installing it is more difficult. Help is on the way from USG, the world's largest manufacturer of gypsum panels. Cruise the internet to their drwall web site at to learn everything you ever wanted to know about drywall but were afraid to ask. Be'll have to wade through seemingly endless advertisinginformation on their monumental list of products to find the gold.

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While we're talking web site usage for useful information, here's one that veterans may wish to visit for help on available benefits. Listing about 500 federal and state benefits available to qualified veterans, it is sponsored by the government: A recent search for a World War II vet produced 21 benefit programs that he was still eligible for.

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A new employee at a large company was standing by the machine, looking confused, when a co-worker offered to help. "How does this thing work," she inquired. "It's simple," the other lady noted, taking the thick report from her colleague's handings and feeding it into the shredder. "I see," said the novice. "But how many copies will it make?"

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The reporter was asking an elderly lady who had reached 104 years of age what she thought was the best part of growing so old. "No peer pressure," she observed quickly.

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Great Britain's Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is the rare friend one finds among foreign government officials. When he was interviewed recently and asked why he believed so strongly in America and President Bush, he responsed, "A simple way to take the measure of a country is to look at how many want in ...and how many want out."

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The next time you're shaking your head about the Federal Tax Code, just remember that Albert Einstein once noted "The hardest thing in the world to understand is income tax!"

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Of course, Benjamin Franklin's famous take was, "Nothing in this world is certain but death and taxes."

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Pity the hapless airline pilot who miscalculated his land approach and hammered his ship really hard onto the runway. Finding it difficult to look his passengers in the eye as they filed out, and expecting sarcastic comments, he was relieved when the only person left was an old lady walking unsteadily out the door and leaning on her cane. Just when he thought he was out of the woods, she turned and inquired, "Son, do you mind if I ask a question?" He responded courteously, "Why not at all, ma'am, what is it? Without batting an eyelash, she asked, "Tell me...did we land, or were we shot down?"



Jay Weaver Photo

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

Blue Bullet The Transportation Equity Act (H.R.3) has headed for conference, while the Senate version, approved on 5/17/05 for $295B by a vote of 89-11, must be reconciled with the earlier House bill, (passed 4/2/05 for $284B by a vote of 417-9) to reconcile the difference of $11B. So far, the Bush Administration has threatened a veto if the $11B difference is not worked out in conference. Congress is still working to name conferees.

Blue Bullet The House Judiciary Committee has approved the OSHA Small Employer Access to Justice Act (H.R.742). The proposed bill allows owners to be awarded attorneys' fees and court costs when they prevail in court against OSHA citations. On 5/20/05, the measure was placed on the Union Calendar (No. 46).

Blue Bullet Corporate e-mail messages are often used in litigation cases because e-mail is now a major part of corporate communications, enabling one to respond instantaneously and easy to save. If litigation strikes your business, however, e-mail files must be turned over to opposing counsel.

Blue Bullet The new Workplace Wrongful Death Accountability Act (S.947/Corzine [D-NJ] and H.R.2005/Owens [D-NY]) would amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 to modify provisions relating to citations and penalties. Senate bill S.947 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and H.R.2005 has been referred to the House Judiciary and Education and the Workforce Committees.

Blue Bullet The Protecting America's Workers Act (S.944) introduced by Senator Kennedy [D-MA] and H.R.2004, introduced by Representative Owens [D-NY] would amend the OSHA Act of 1970 to expand coverage to increase protections for
whistleblowers and to increase penalties for certain violators. The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House bill has been referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

Blue Bullet The Safe and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005. S.1033, introduced by Senator McCain [R-AZ] and Senator Kennedy [D-MA] and H.R.2330, introduced by Representative Kolbe [R-AZ] would allow undocumented workers to earn green cards and require visa applicants to undergo background checks. The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

Blue Bullet The Truth in Employment Act of 2005 (S.983) introduced by Senator DeMint [R-SC] and H.R.1816, introduced by Representative King [R-IA] would amend the National Labor Relations Act to relieve employers of legal obligations to hire paid union organizers, called "salts." The Senate bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the House bill has been referred to the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Blue Bullet The AFL-CIO has downsized operations to cut costs. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney announced that the labor federation would be eliminating 167 jobs at its Washington, D.C., headquarters and in the field. The planned reorganization will merge offices that oversee legislation, public policy, safety, and health into one unit. Another merger will combine the field mobilization and political departments.

Blue Bullet AFL-CIO's Unions are on a collision course to decide what reorganization will restore the American dream for working families. If this trend continues, we could be headed for a storm at the July, 2005, AFL-CIO Convention as labor organizations form political alliances.



President Night Photo Chicago PDCA/FCA hosted its festive annual Associates Night Trade Show at the Rosewood Restaurant again this year, with over 200 Contractors and Associates enjoying a hearty meal following three hours of bustling booth activity. Norb Soltysiak (The Leopardo Companies) won the big $500.00 cash drawing (see Page 1), while Ken Ober (Elite Painting) won the $100.00 Rosewood Gift Certificate. With a little cajoling from their friends, Ken and his partner, Mark Fehr used up the entire certificate later in the evening, buying refreshments for the house. In a new twist, the Contractors donated five $200.00 Gift Certificates -- redeemable at any Associate Member store -- for additional drawings. Winners of the $200.00 merchandise certificates included John Crotty (Ascher Brothers), who redeemed his with Super Brush & Supply Company; Millie Wozniak (M. Ecker & Company), who redeemed hers with ICI Paints; Virgil McIntosh (Virmac Services), who redeemed his with ICI Paints; Al Vogt (Moritz Decorating), who redeemed his with Sherwin-Williams; and Fred Broberg (Fred Broberg Corporation), who redeemed his with Super Brush & Supply Company.

Associates Night Photos
Pipp Award Group Photo


Chicago PDCA/FCA issued the latest of its series of attractive poster calendars for 2005, featuring a period painting of Chicago's historic Michigan Avenue looking north in the year 1934, when the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower were still practically brand new. The original of the painting hangs in the Clifford Law Offices.

R-Gang Band Photo


Chicago again won a PIPP Award at the PDCA National Convention, held in Las Vegas in January. Shown with the Picture It Painted Professionally Award are, left to right, Mike LeGood (Painters Collaborative), Ralph Stewart (PPG), Tom Tyrakowski (Am-Coat Painting), and Marty Tew (J.M. Brennan & Company). Twin Charitable Painting Projects (at the Deicke Home and the Clearbrook Home) took top honors.

Marty Tew & calendar photo


Featured entertainment at this year's President's Night celebration, held on February 11th at the Rosewood Restaurant in Rosemont, was the great "city" band, R-Gang."

Bill and Mary Photo


Since retirement, our friend Bill Wright has amassed a good many miles on his motor coach home along with his wife, Mary. The couple has criss-crossed the country several times, wintered three years in Florida, and recently relocated to a new home in Mountain Home, Arkansas. They just sold their Illinois homes in McHenry and on Fish Lake, but do plan to return to the Chicago area this Summer to visit with their family. If you want to learn the whole story, try sending Bill an e-mail to

Talented Painters District Council #14 Apprentices Showcase Their Painting And Decorating Skills At Council Office
A Report By Mike Krawiec
Training Instructor
Painters' District Council #14
JATC Apprentice School
Berkeley, Illinois

Apprentices from our school recently completed a stunning decorating effort at the PDC #14 offices on Adams Street to not only showcase their emerging skills, but also to lend a professional look to the Union Hall. I am, of course, proud of their efforts -- and perhaps biased -- but you will not find more handsome decor in any Union office in all of Chicago.


Our students took responsibility for all aspects of the job...from surface repairs and preparation, application of primers and base coats, and right on through the application of fine finishes. It was a great opportunity for our students to put into practice what they have learned in theory during their classes at the school.

On a weekly basis, Monday would start off with first-year students doing repairs and surface preparation. As each week progressed, the Tuesday through Thursday classes would progressively apply the primers and base coats. Then, on Fridays, our advanced students, numbering six very talented young men, applied the fine finishes and prepared for the next week.


young men, applied the fine finishes and prepared for the next week.

Altogether, over 50 students have worked on the project. We used 15 gallons of venetian plaster and 10 gallons of Lusterstone and Aquawax Verdigris finish. As you tour the completed walls, view the ceilings, and notice all the details, you will find virtually every fine finishing technique utilized in one way or the other.

The story would be incomplete without expressing special thanks to Business Manager and Secretary-Treasurer Terry Fitzmaurice for giving our students the chance to showcase what they can do... thanks to the training provided by our oustanding Apprenticeship Training Program. We also very much appreciated the assistance of the PDC14 Office Manager, Tracy L. Kuntzman, for all her help in selecting finishes and colors; for helping with scheduling; and for being so patient in trying to run the office while the work progressed.