In The News: March 10, 2011

Industry Leader Dies

Photo Of Frank Geremia JrFrank Geremia Jr., former president of industry watchdog SPEC, died Feb. 27. He was 74.

"Frank was a fabled true giant in the swimming pool industry," said Don Burns, himself a former SPEC leader. "Few have ever made such a vital impact on our industry as did Frank. He was not just a SPEC president for a dozen years, he was a SPEC founder and governor for some 34 years. He led the industry through its most difficult governmental relations challenges at every level. There was not an issue that he did not resolve to the betterment of the industry and to California's swimming pool consumers. To have served with Frank as a colleague and friend has been a deeply rewarding experience. There is no one I will miss more. We have lost a great leader and I have lost a great mentor and friend."

Geremia was also involved in his family's pool-building business, where he began his career in 1959 after a nagging leg injury stalled his football career with the San Francisco 49ers, who had drafted him out of Notre Dame that year.

Cal Flame Wins Award

photo of Cal Spas' Rays of Light FirepitCal Spas recently announced that its new Rays of Light Firepit won a Vesta Award from Hearth & Home, a trade magazine for the hearth, barbecue and casual furniture industries.

"Cal Flame is thrilled to be honored as the recipient of The Art of Fire Vesta Award," said Casey Loyd, president of Cal Spas. "This prominent award is a result of our hard work and dedication to our new 2011 Home Resort product line and symbols the beginning of a successful selling year for our Cal Flame brand."

The Vesta Awards program was created by Hearth & Home to recognize exceptional design and technology. Cal Spas accepted the award at the 2011 HPB Expo in Salt Lake City.

Cutting Edge Controls Signal New Level Of Sophistication

photo of reflection pond with automated rainfall-style sheetingImagine a world where you can touch a screen in one room of a palatial home and change the color of the lights or the look and sound of any of five different water features on the property. On the same screen, you can view a car approaching in the circular drive, and then switch the view to see whether or not anyone is in the pool or spa at the moment. Touch the screen a few more times to bring up current temperatures in the pool and spa and adjust them if necessary.

Visit one particular home in Florida and see all of that and more happening for real, right now.

Read the rest of "Switching Things Up."

U.K. Crematorium To Heat Local Swimming Pool

A town near London will soon warm its new sports center and public pool with heat from a nearby crematorium. It could save the town more than $22,000 a year, and will also reduce the town's carbon footprint by four percent per year.

Said the town council leader, Carole Gandy, on the council's Website: "The use of waste heat energy in this way is good practice and very innovative. It would genuinely be a first in the U.K. and demonstrates Redditch Borough Council's seriousness about addressing climate change issues. The 'waste of heat' has long been considered nonsensical." Gandy calls it a good way to save energy "while remaining respectful of the bereavement process."

Eighty to 90 percent of people who contacted the council have backed the plan, says Gandy.

"We have been careful to explain how the technology would work, that it is tried and trusted, and that the practice is quite common in parts of Europe and especially in Sweden," adds Gandy.

The plan will save the town $100,000 in upfront costs, as well. It'll cost about $60,000 for a system transferring heat from the crematorium's incinerator, versus $160,000 for a conventional heating system. The town council will also use solar thermal hot water heating for the sports center, which is set to open in about a year.

Local funeral director Simon Thomas voiced his squeamishness to The Guardian: "I don't know how comfortable people would feel about the swimming pool being heated due to the death of a loved one. I think it's a bit strange and eerie."

Local trade union officials were also less-than-impressed with the plan, saying it was a reflection of the massive public spending cuts being implemented by the government.

"These proposals are sick and an insult to local residents," said Roger McKenzie, regional secretary for Unison, Britain's biggest public sector labor union.

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