Aug 20

Controversy Update

OK … Last week, I promised to investigate the big Minnesota glass controversy that had been reported and, because I always … well, at least most of the time … keep my promises, I did so. As you may recall, a reader contacted me and told me there was controversy over the glass being used for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium and asked me what I knew. At the time, like most times, I did not know much, but I did, as promised, look into it. Here is what I found.

Reportedly, the Minnesota branch of the National Audubon Society has asked its supporters to sign a petition asking that the glass that was specified to be used in the new stadium be switched to a more bird-friendly product (ceramic fritted patterns) to reduce the number of bird deaths that will otherwise most likely occur if the original, non-fritted glass product, is used. Tens of thousands of people have already signed the petition, but the problem is, as almost always is the case – money. The glass change will reportedly cost about $1.1 million more than originally budgeted.

Allegedly, as many as a billion birds a year are killed when they slam into a glass clad building. The new stadium is smack dab in the middle of a traditional bird migratory route, which makes this situation even more problematic. The matter is bouncing back and forth between the owners (who claim they can’t afford the extra costs) and the Auduboners, who point out that for a project of this size, the upcharge does not represent a large percentage of the overall cost. If I find out how this turns out, I will report in accordingly. (Update: See USGlass’ story on the matter here.)

So there you have it, and now you know. One other interesting item I came across while looking into this: Did you know that buildings are apparently not the number one cause of death for birds in this country? Cats are! Of all the things I found out while doing my research, this was the one thing that surprised me the most. Cats are killing more than 1.1 billion birds a year. I found that to be quite incredible. Shame on you cats.

Now This Is Incredibly Good News

I got a copy of a memo received by a glazing contractor who I am doing a little consulting work with, and while it was a little surprising, it was also actually encouraging … at least to me. The memorandum was from the glazing contractor’s Viracon sales rep, announcing that they would not be able to process any new orders until April 15 of NEXT YEAR. They were booked solid. Sold out. Many of you most likely know about this already or perhaps saw the reports last week in USGNN.com about the situation. No doubt, some are a little disappointed, or perhaps even bothered, by this—but if you are, I think you need to see the positive side of it. Here we have one of the most reliable, professional and quality oriented glass manufacturers in the world saying they are sold out for at least the next nine months. What great news for the architectural glass industry! Be happy … whether you are a manufacturer, fabricator or installer, you should see the positive side of this news.

They Might Need A Lawyer

India’s national public radio broadcaster recently announced that all of its employees over the age of 35 are being let go. Talk about age discrimination! However, they will allow employees over the age of 35 to take a test, and if they don’t “sound too old on the phone”, they might be allowed to keep their job. Anybody know a good lawyer?

What A Wonderful Summer-Continued

I really hate to see it winding down, summer that is, but as they say, “all good things must end.” Four of my grandkids started school today and the rest will be back next. I think they hate to see it end as much as I do. Maybe more.

One Last Lick of Summer.

One Last Lick of Summer.

The Sports Thing

How about those little leaguers from Jackie Robinson West (Chicago)? I have watched every game of theirs in the Little League World Series tournament, and they might just go all the way. They won last night and play again tomorrow. Love watching the little leaguers. Lots of emotion, lots of enthusiasm and lots of healthy competition and just think … none of them are getting paid to play the game they love!

The Quotable Thing

This week’s quote suggestion comes from none other than Roy “Stumpy” Darby, who has amassed an incredible collection of quotations and sayings. In fact, his collection is even bigger than mine. You can find out more about “Stumpy” and his collection on page #72 of this month’s (August) issue of USGlass Magazine. This particular quote is attributed to Scot Adams.

“Informed decision making comes from a long tradition of guessing and then blaming others for inadequate results.” 

“Have a Wonderful Week Everyone”

1 comment

  1. Marc Deschamps

    Hi Lyle,

    The Vikings project controversy has been going on for quite some time now and is a really serious issue. In your update you link a more bird friendly product to ceramic fritted patterns. FYI, there are other glazing alternatives offering an ideal balance between viewing areas and visual markers for birds, such as acid-etched patterns on the outside surface of the glass. More information can be found here: http://walkerglass.com/products/bird-friendly-glass



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