On Oct. 8 I opened to the Forum pages of the Glendale News-Press to find Burt Ring's cartoon depicting applicants to the city manager's position trying to fill the big shoes of Jim Starbird. My jaw dropped.
The applicant, while referring to his shoe-fitting experience, exclaims, “It fits! It fits! I know it fits.”
Ring's level of awareness of the efficacy of the current city manager fits the perception of the general public that the record of the city manager and City Council in the past 12 years as being worthy of praise and a leadership position that will be difficult to fill.
But a careful reading of the city's expenditures and nearly run-away payroll and benefits as depicted in the financial reports paint a very different picture. There is a huge difference between the portrayal given every Tuesday at the City Council meetings and the mounting obligations that the city's financial reports indicate.
When it comes to the lack of awareness by the general public of the city's true financial condition, Ring's cartoon really, really, fits.
The pros of artificial turf
Recent articles and letters in the Glendale News-Press (“The cons of artificial turf,” Sept. 14) cast confusing and contradictory shadows on the product and industry of synthetic grass. As America’s largest distributors of synthetic grass, we hope you’ll consider these genuine facts about today’s faux lawns:
This is not your father’s Astroturf. Some municipalities and homeowners associations still think of synthetic grass as that ¼-inch bright green Nylon carpet.
Modern turf is engineered to look and feel like the real thing. The grass blades are long, supple strands of non-abrasive polyethylene, the plastic used in milk cartons, to replicate an immaculate natural lawn. Pigments are embedded in the fiber and blend beautifully with existing landscape.
Compared to sod, synthetic grass is maintenance-free. Synthetic grass requires no watering, no mowing, no fertilizing, no reseeding. Properly installed, it will stand up to most foot traffic and resist matting better than a natural lawn.
Though an artificial lawn costs more than sod initially, it’s a one-time purchase and maintenance-related savings are significant — synthetic grass usually pays for itself in three to four years and costs less in the long term.
Turf is consistently green and stays green. Synthetic turf also is environmentally friendly and Earth-smart. No maintenance means no mowing, and no clippings going to landfills or gas-powered engines polluting the air; no fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides or any chemicals to contaminate groundwater.
Landscaping is also the largest consumer of water, and natural grass is a heavy drinker.
Dogs take to turf like ants to a picnic. Hundreds of humane societies, veterinarians and doggy day-cares have converted to synthetic grass because it’s superior to grass for their clients. Turf is gentle enough for pets (soft on paws, sanitary, hypo-allergenic, insect-resistant), but durable, stain-resistant and easy to clean with water or household detergents.
Admittedly, synthetic grass is no magic carpet. For example, surface temperatures are several degrees warmer than natural grass; Mother Nature knows how to release heat in a way that plastic cannot.
Some manufacturers may skimp on quality, so do your homework and compare. Also, turf is only as good as its installer. If the person installing doesn’t prepare the base to specifications, or attach or seam or infill synthetic grass correctly, the results may be disappointing.
Turf isn’t for everyone. But for anyone who wants a beautiful yard, with all the aesthetics of natural grass but none of the upkeep, synthetic grass is available as a landscaping option.
Unless, of course, it’s not allowed in your neighborhood. Why? Or, why not?
Victor Lanfranco and Joe Ayoub
Synthetic Grass Warehouse