New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - January 4, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 10 — Herald-Zotung — Tuesday, January 4,2011
EXPERIMENT IN RED AT EASTERN WASHINGTON
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playing on green artificial turf that was overdue for replace-ment — one year past its eight-year warranty.
When the time came to talk ahout replacing the turf, Comal LSD had funds for the project from the 2008 hond issue: $400,000 to replace the artificial turf at Canyon High and another $400,000 to replace the field at Smithson Valley High School, also past its warranty period.
Dr. Marc Walker, superintendent of Comal ISO, who has been credited with having the idea of red turf, "had a hand in the process from the beginning," said Rodrigue.
After polling the high school community and speaking with coaches and administrators at Kastern Washington University in Cheney, Wash., which put down red turf last summer, Comal ISI) officials decided that a red field promoting the team’s colors could only be a plus.
Rut there were people who disagreed with the whole idea of red There were complaints about the difficulty of staring at the color for a long time, but Rodrigue countered: "The audience gets used to it.” Another concern was the "intensity" that the color red can effect, perhaps stoking
In 2009, Esstem Washington University in Cheney, Wash., installed red turf on its football field. On Jan, 7,2011, for the first time since 1987, the EWU Eagles will play In the title game of the NCAA Division 1 Football Champion Subdivision playoffs. The high-flying Eagles will face the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, near Dallas, for the FCS Championship.
Since 1987, EWU has played in the FCS playoffs eight times, but is the red turf part of the reason the Eagles made it all the way to the championship game? it's created a buzz," said Dave Meany, EWU director of media relations, of the red-turf field that was installed last summer and replaced the traditional grass field.
Since the red turf was installed, said Meany, "we haven't lost a game yet on it"
During the 2010 season, the Eagles brought home an overall 12-2 record, with 8-0 in home games, on "the turf," as EWU
aggression in an already violent sport.
“We try to deal with controlled aggression," said Rodrigue. “It’s a team’s pride that makes them aggressive.”
In the end, the red-turf project was given the green light.
"We had positive reaction from most,” said Rodrigue, "enough to warrant doing."
people cad ft
Whether it's color psychology or media attention, the red field certainly "has helped in terms of marketing and media," said Meany, adding that the new color has "energized" not only the EWU student body, but school's alumni.
Last summer, national media exposure of the red turf created a mini-tourist attaction" as people drove in from Spokane, about 20 minutes away, and other places to see the exotic color.
As for the Eagles, "the color is something to rally around," said Meany. "It’s a bit of an edge."
The whole thing started with Boise State University, which installed blue turf in its Bronco Stadium 24 years ago.
The sea-blue field still provokes both praise and criticism.
The University of New Haven followed BSU's lead and installed blue turf inside its stadium in 2009, according to the Associated Press, becoming the second college in the nation to have a non-green playing field.
How it’s done
Putting down new turf on a football field is much like laying a carpet in a house:
• Smooth surface: The old turf is stripped off and the field surface is laser-graded to even smoothness. That surface is neither dirt nor concrete, but a mixture that is used to form a sturdy base.
• Carpet rolls: The artificial
turf is rolled up like carpet and the yard lines are already painted on.
Every five yards, 15-foot sections are unrolled across the field. The turf is glued to the base.
• Trimming: The sidelines and the end zones are cut to size and shape, as are the mascots, with colored turf inlays. The hash marks are added.
Smithson Valley sticks with green
Hellas Construction Company of Austin was hired to replace the turf at Cougar Stadium and at Smithson Valley High School.
Smithson Valley, whose school colors are navy-blue and white, also is changing its football field. It will retain the traditional green artificial turf but add a navy-blue trim.
The green turf will be "two-tone” to imitate the patterns left by mowers.
For safety and other reasons, a totally navy field was out of the question, said Rodrigue. Since dark colors like navy and black retain heat, playing football on a navy-turf field might be hotter that playing in an asphalt-paved stadium.
Even hotter than red-hot. When it comes to reflecting heat or retaining heat, said Rodrigue, "red is not that far from green.”
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ing for them to be picked up. We re not selling anymore right now.”
Meanwhile, Tom Kelley, a spokesman for the Texas Attorney General's office, said Monday that the AG’s attorneys are busy working on the case.
"Our attorneys currently are trying to get some depositions dates, and they are still contacting ail of the complainants,” Kelley said.
The AG is seeking restitution for financially harmed customers and civil penalties of up to $20,000 per violation.
According to state investigators, Olson Powersports violated numerous provisions of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
The ATV dealer required up-front payment and, in exchange, guaranteed delivery of selected vehicles within five to seven days, often in time for children’s birthdays, the AG said. However, Olson either failed to ship any vehi cles or shipped them weeks or months after the agreed-upon dates, the state contends.
Many customers reported multiple delivery problems or had complaints about the dealer’s failure to honor vehicle warranties, according to the AG’s office.
The state also contends many customers received purportedly “new” vehicles with damaged parts or batteries, while others took delivery of vehicles such as ATVs, scooters, dirt bikes or go-karts that were neither the model nor color customers originally selected.
The company advertised a "free 3-year engine and powertrain warranty,” but many customers’ complaints indicated that their vehicles would not start, while others failed to operate after being driven for 100 miles or less, the state maintains.
Further, Olson Powersports
failed to satisfactorily resolve the malfunctions that were reported by their customers, the AG said.
Olson said only "a handful” of the complaints are valid — and that a small number of such problems can be expected because he’s been in business almost 10 years and has sold more than 3,000 units in just the past three years.
"We’ve done $1 millon worth of sales each year over the last three years,” he said. "Doing that kind of volume, there’s no way we could be just purposely not shipping to customers.”
He explained one of the complaints: “A guy ordered a fender. We submit the order to the manufacturer and we have it drop shipped. We never heard back from the drop shipper that it never left or from the customer that they never got it, so we assume that it’s done. So that’s one of the complaints. The guy just never told us he didn’t get it and went to the attorney general instead.”
Olson also said that when a customer files a complaint with the AG and then the business later learns of the problem and takes care of it, “The customer doesn’t go back and tell the attorney general it’s handled. So the AG piles up all these complaints.”
He also said the AG’s freezing of his ATV bank accounts in early December kept customers from getting their Christmas presents.
"These are all kids’ four-wheelers. People were expecting to get these for Christmas.
I was assuming the (AG’s office) was going to allow us to get these shipped, but they just absolutely didn’t do it.” Olson apologized to those customers. “ We re really sorry. We’ve sent e-mails to, as far as I can see, every one of them outlining what’s going on and trying to keep them up to date.”NEW YEARloin for only
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