ALCC news center
Marijuana and your company: Will court case turn your HR upside down? Email
News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 11:45 AM

 judge gavelDid Dish Network act lawfully when it terminated employment of a quadriplegic who suffered from debilitating muscle spasms and possessed a valid medical marijuana prescription? That’s the case currently before the Colorado Supreme Court (CSC).  The court’s ruling is likely to impact your company – and businesses in all states.

Dish’s termination decision was based on the employee’s positive test for marijuana use even though he was never under the influence of the drug on company premises. Was this wrongful termination under Colorado’s “Lawful Activities” law which prohibits termination for off-the-clock legal behavior? Or was the termination lawful because marijuana use is illegal under federal law?

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Turf war: artificial turf is under fire Email
News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 11:34 AM

soccer picProfessional female soccer players are outraged that the 2015 Women’s World Cup hosted by Canada will be played on artificial turf while men will play on natural grass.

A group of players are, in fact, suing FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association, alleging that requiring women to play on artificial turf constitutes gender discrimination. 

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Fox News expose of Home Adviser could be your wake-up call Email
News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 11:24 AM

home repairRecently, Fox News did an expose of jobs by remodeling contractors gone terribly bad.  All of the homeowners had hired their contractors via the Home Adviser network. 

The company links companies across the US and Canada that provide home-related services with homeowners who need help.  Seeing national coverage of worst case scenarios had to have been a public relations nightmare for this company whose international headquarters is in Golden, CO.

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The latest on mulch and landscape fabric Email
News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 11:08 AM

soil_picSoil is science and what you put on top of soil matters.  If you need to get that point across to clients, you can lean on research by soil scientists at Virginia Tech. 

You don’t have to be a scientist to understand what they have learned about mulch and landscape fabric and their practical points are easy to share.

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Big Sky gets unexpected community service project Email
News
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 12:00 AM


Big Sky Renewal service projectBrian Dougherty with Big Sky Renewal got a call from Denver Police in October asking if he would help replace a stolen tree and he jumped at the community service project. 

From the moment he got the phone call, Dougherty was committed to make it right.  A pine tree had been removed from a 20-year-old park that had once been an abandoned gas station. 

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2015 HR alerts: changes in contribution limits Email
News
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 06:00 PM
HR_graphic

Changes are ahead that will require companies and their HR teams to be prepared before issuing the first payroll in 2015. Below is a summary of changes and other information that HR people need to know as they prepare for the new year.

Social Security & Medicare
The Social Security Wage Base for 2015 will increase from $117,000 in 2014 to $118,500 effective January 1, 2015. The maximum yearly Social Security tax withholding amount rises to $7,347 (6.2% of $118,500). The 6.2% contributed by the employee is matched by the employer.

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ALCC Volunteer Awards Email
News
Written by Christy Eull   
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:00 PM

Who do you know who fits this profile?

VolunteersDo you know someone who rolls up his or her sleeves to tackle project? Likes to make a difference? Won’t hedge when you ask for help and probably likes to have a good time?

This is the kind of person who believes in the good of a cause or a project enough to want to move it forward to make an impact.

That person you are thinking of (is it you?) is a volunteer.

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Sustainable Partner update: The Brickman Group helps area farmer Email
News
Written by Christy Eull   
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 12:00 PM

sustainable_partner_logo
In October, the ALCC office receives many calls from people who want help with leaf disposal.  They are told about cities, web sites and other recycling options.

One exceptional caller was the opposite of all the others.  He needed a lot leaves and hoped ALCC had the resources to help him find them.

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Who’s taking our labor: oil and gas or food? Email
News
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 11:00 AM
waiter

Some lament the oil and gas industry has pulled away much of the young workforce the landscape industry needs.

But what about the food industry? Their projected sales according to the Colorado Restaurant Association, will hit $9.8 billion this year. That’s about $7 billion MORE than Colorado’s entire green industry combined. 

Food service work still represents a first job among many teens and young adults – the same group that the landscape industry has traditionally sought after for seasonal and entry-level positions. It’s also the demographic any industry needs to attract if it expects to be sustainable over time. 

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Lifescape Colorado uses demonstration garden as a sales tool Email
News
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 10:00 AM
LifescapeGarden

“We used to take clients to nurseries and suppliers to select plants and hardscapes.  Now it’s mostly one stop,” says Troy Shimp, designer with Lifescape Colorado, Denver.  

He and the other designers bring most of their clients to view the demonstration gardens alongside the Lifescape office.  “It saves a lot of time and we get decisions made pretty quickly,” says Shimp. The Lifescape office located north of downtown Denver in an industrial area is not where you would expect to see a variety of plants and hardscape options showcased along a narrow strip between a high fence and the curb.  It’s an unexpected sight in a part of town almost devoid of any landscape whatsoever.

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What you told us about 2014 buying trends Email
News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 04:14 PM

Writing a checkLandscape firms recently weighed in about their customers’ current buying trends. Specifically, we asked, “Are customers willing to spend more money now?”

Here is what we learned about landscape buying trends in Colorado’s post-recession economy.

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It all comes down to condos Email
News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 04:00 PM

 

Condo constructionIt all comes down to condos.

For many in the construction and related industries, construction defects legislation is among the most impactful on their businesses. According to the Urban Land Institute (ULI) among others, we can expect to see more bills related to this issue in the next legislature. 

What has been termed a construction industry “smackdown,” is between developers/construction industry businesses and those who want to protect consumers from shoddy workmanship via defects litigation. In a somewhat over-simplified statement, it all comes down to condos.

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Are customers different post-recession? Email
News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 03:44 PM
Customer service

Are customers different post-recession?

Random anecdotal comments snagged in the wind, so to speak, have indicated that customers this year are more demanding. Is this really the case?

ALCC decided it would be worthwhile to find out and asked members whether their customers are becoming more demanding and more difficult to please. The poll revealed definitive data about changes among landscape consumers and their expectations.

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