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Shop.org Announces New V.P. of Member Services Team
E-commerce veteran Josh Greene has joined the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org, an online community for e-commerce and multichannel retailers, to head up its member services team.  
Spectrum Brands to Shut Down its 'Growing Products' Business
Despite efforts to restore profitability, Spectrum Brands confirmed today plans to shutdown the growing products portion of its Home & Garden Business segment, which includes fertilizers, enriched soils, mulch and grass seed.  
Aquatic Eco-Systems Founder Dies
Robert “Bob” Heideman, founder and former president of Apopka, Fla.-based Aquatic Eco-Systems Inc., died Oct. 19, after a year-long battle with lung cancer.  
Exotic Aquatics Plans Double Hybrid Pond Build
Exotic Aquatics of Redlands, Calif., is hosting a pond build and seminar designed to combine traditional water garden and koi pond building techniques, as well as allow the general public to attend the pond-build portion of the event.   
Zeigler Bros. to Add Immune Boost to Aquatic Feeds
Zeigler Brothers of Gardners, Pa., plans to add its trademarked Vpak (Vitality Pak) feed additive to its aquatic feed line beginning in 2009.  
Woodstream Launches Multi-brand Birding Site
Woodstream Corp. of Lititz, Pa., recently launched www .birdfeeders.com, an enthusiast site to support four of its birding brands.  
PIJAC Selects New President
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council's board of directors selected Pamela Stegeman, formerly vice president of Grocery Manufacturers Association, as its president.  
Maryland Enacts Snapping Turtle Rules
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Fisheries Service, issued an emergency rule establishing restrictions on collecting and importing snapping turtles.   
Trade Group to Survey Water Garden Market
National Association of Pond Professionals plans to conduct a comprehensive market survey for the water garden industry this fall and then every other year after.   
Kentucky Proposes Live Fish Transportation Permit
To prevent introducing viral hemorrhagic septicemia into state waters, Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources proposed a permit system for transporting live fish, fish eggs, live bait and other aquatic organizations into, within or through the state, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council reported.   
Released Pets Blamed for Frog Diseases
A senior scientist at London Zoo blamed released pets as the probable cause of two diseases — chytrid fungus and Ranavirus — that are killing frogs and other amphibians in Kent and elsewhere in the United Kingdom, Ashford News reported.  
Lenders Squash United Pet Deal
Spectrum Brands Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., and Salton Inc. of Miami, Fla., terminated their definitive agreement to have Salton acquire Spectrum’s United Pet Group business after Spectrum was unable to obtain approval from its senior lenders.  
Irrigation Association Joins Energy Coalition
Citing the need for urgent action regarding increased fuel costs, Irrigation Association of Falls Church, Va., joined Coalition for Affordable American Energy.  
Firestone Standardizes Liner Branding
Firestone Specialty Products Co. LLC of Indianapolis and its European counterpart, both units of Firestone Building Products, are standardizing their branding of their rubber liner and geo-membrane offerings.   
Contech Buys Pheromone Company
Contech Electronics of Victoria, British Columbia, completed its merger with Phero Tech International of Vancouver, B.C.   
Extreme Pond Build Complete
World’s Most Extreme Pond Build took place at Aquascape Inc. in St. Charles, Ill., July 12-16.  
EasyPro Acquires Pond Eco
EasyPro Pond Products of Grant, Mich., acquired Pond Eco of Tulsa, Okla., in September, providing EasyPro with the widest selection in the industry, according to Dave Ouwinga, owner.  
Study Finds Online Retailers Optimistic
Despite an economy arguably in recession, most online retailers remain cautiously optimistic about how their businesses will perform during the next 12 months, according to a Shop.org study conducted by Forrester Research Inc.   
WWPIA Matching Program Benefits PIJAC
During the first quarter, World Wide Pet Industry Association contributed $12,000 in matching donations to Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council as part of its “Membership Match” program.   
Staying Up During Down Times
“When there is no wind, row.” Such was the advice of sales and leadership author and trainer Dave Anderson, during his keynote speech to Petland franchises attending the chain’s 2008 trade show, held in July in Shaumburg, Ill.   
Retail Group Predicts ‘Meager’ Holiday Gains
National Retail Federation today forecast sales would increase 2.2 percent for the 2008 holiday season.  
Overseers Widen World Wide Web
Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, the Marina del Rey, Calif.-based nonprofit company charged with coordinating the Internet’s system of unique identifiers, like domain names, in late June approved plans to infinitely expand the number of available addresses.   
Retail Group Asks California to Address Organized Retail Crime
National Retail Federation (www.nrf.com) urged California to adopt legislation addressing organized retail crime as a senate hearing in June.   
Feds Slap Duty on Chinese Sacks
U.S. Department of Commerce issued a countervailing duty order on Chinese-exported laminated woven sacks, typically used for retail packaging of consumer goods such as pet foods, bird seed, grass seed and fertilizer.  
Shop.org to Hold eCommerce Summit in Vegas
Shop.org, National Retail Federation’s e-commerce division, held its Annual Summit educational conference in Las Vegas, Sept. 15-17, just days after World Wide Pet Industry Association’s SuperZoo event (Sept. 9-11).  
Zeigler Bros. to Add Immune Boost to Aquatic Feeds
Zeigler Brothers of Gardners, Pa., plans to add its trademarked VPak (Vitality Pak) feed additive to its aquatic feed line beginning in 2009.  
Trade Group to Survey Water Garden Market
National Association of Pond Professionals plans to conduct a comprehensive market survey for the water garden industry this fall and then every other year hereafter.  
Central Forecasts Slight Rise in Q3 Profits
Central Garden & Pet Co. of Walnut Creek, Calif., expects to earn $15.6 million on sales of $493 million for its third quarter ended June 28, compared to income of $15.5 million on sales of $467 million in the year-ago, the company reported in preliminary results released Aug. 6.  
Groups Work to Counter EPA’s Anti-pond Stance
Representatives from several industry groups met on a conference call earlier this week to discuss the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed WaterSense certification program for new home construction.  
Bradley Caldwell Buys Loveland Pet
In a deal closed yesterday, Bradley Caldwell Inc. of Hazelton, Pa., bolstered its pet product distribution business and expanded its geographic reach into the Midwest by acquiring Loveland Pet Products of Mason, Ohio.  
Lenders Squash United Pet Deal
Spectrum Brands Inc. of Atlanta, Ga., and Salton Inc. of Miami, Fla., have terminated their definitive agreement to have Salton acquire Spectrum’s United Pet Group business after Spectrum was unable to obtain approval from its senior lenders.  
Lenders Balk at Spectrum-Salton Pet Deal
Senior lenders have not approved Spectrum Brand Inc.’s proposed sale of United Pet Group to Salton Inc., Sprectrum reported this morning.  
PIDA Webinar to Promote Pet Store Pro Program
Pet Industry Distributors Association will hold a free webinar for its members about its online training program for retailers.  
Obituary: Dr. Robert “Kirk” Strawn, 86
Dr. Robert “Kirk” Strawn died Monday, June 9, at the West Volusia Hospice Care Center in Deland, Fla. He was 86.  
PIJAC Searches for Next Leader
Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council commenced a search for its next leader and reorganized its management structure as part of a four-year plan to bolster its independence and continuity.  
WWPIA Matching Program Benefits PIJAC
During the first quarter, World Wide Pet Industry Association contributed $12,000 in matching donations to Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council as part of its “Membership Match” program.  
EPA Issues New Safety Measures for Rodent-control Products
In an effort to reduce the risk of accidental poisonings in pets, wildlife and children, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new safety measures for rodent-control products.  
Spectrum Brands to Sell United Pet Group
Spectrum Brands Inc. decided to sell its global pet supply business, United Pet Group, to Salton Inc. of Miramar, Fla., for $692.5 million in cash.  
Stronger Pet Sales Help Spectrum Pare Loss
Spectrum Brands today reported a net loss of $111.7 million on sales of $647.1 million for its second quarter ended March 30, compared to a net loss of $237.5 million on sales of $634.5 million in the year-ago period, during which Spectrum took a goodwill impairment charge of $214 million.  
Spectrum Pulls Garden Biz Off Market
Though the company remains open to the sale of assets to pare its debt and boost shareholder value, Spectrum Brands curtailed efforts to sell its home and garden business, according to documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
Flower Show Features Indoor Waterfall-Building Contest
A team from MetroWest Water Gardens of Hopedale, Mass., and Picture Perfect Ponds of Westfield, Mass., claimed victory in the inaugural indoor waterfall-building contest at the Central Massachusetts Flower and Patio Show on Feb. 29 in Worcester, Mass.   
Investment Group Eyes Spectrum
Investment group Harbert Management Corp. and affiliated funds, notably Harbinger Capital Partners, entered a confidentiality agreement with Spectrum Brands in late February.  
Hydro-Scape Plans Southern California Open Houses
Landscape and irrigation product distributor Hydro-Scape Products Inc. (www.hydro-scape.com) of San Diego scheduled a pair of Southern California open houses and customer appreciation days.   
CRH of Ireland to Buy Pavestone for $540 Million
International building materials company CRH of Ireland agreed to buy Pavestone Group LP for $540 million, including assumed debt.  
European Government, Industry to Discuss Pet Import Rules
European Pet Organization, a trade group representing European pet trade associations, and International Pet Advisory Council, a coalition of national trade associations, organized a conference about European pet import legislation.  
IPPCA to Require Continuing Education for Certification
In response to requests from its certified members, International Professional Pond Contractors Association plans to roll out a continuing education requirement for its certified members.  
Baldwin to Lead Glee Tour Again
Garden center consultant Ian Baldwin will lead a group of North American retailers on his 15th consecutive tour of U.K. garden centers and the Glee garden and pet industry trade show.  
Russell Watergardens Ready to Sell Franchises
After four years and a steep learning curve in the making, Redmond, Wash.-based...  
PIDA Elects Officers at Annual Meeting
Pet Industry Distributors Association elected its 2008 officers and directors during its...  
California Warns Pet Sellers to Pay Taxes
The California Board of Equalization today began notifying pet associations...  
Study: Winter Feeding Leads to Healthier Chicks in Spring
Outdoor birds rear more chicks in the spring when humans offer food handouts in the winter, according to U.K. researchers.  
Agency Seeks Fee Increase
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to increase the fee it collects for inspections of commercial and noncommercial wildlife imports and exports.  
Wild Birds Unlimited Sponsors Bird Count
Wild Birds Unlimited, headquartered in Carmel, Ind., sponsored the 2008 Great Backyard Bird Count, which encourages the public to get outdoors and count the number and species of birds they see during a long weekend in February each year.  
Back to Nature or Back to the Television?
A growing shift from outdoor activities to sedentary, indoor entertainment — such as surfing the Internet and watching television — continues to affect human health and nature, according to a new study from University of Illinois at Chicago.  
Holmes Farm Hosts 2008 Buying Show
Pond supply distributor Holmes Farm Inc. of Barto, Pa., will host its second annual Pond and Pet Show Oct. 1-2 at the Bear Creek Mountain Resort and Conference Center in Macungie, Pa.  
5-D Tropical Expands Plant, Koi Offerings
Tropical fish breeder and importer 5-D Tropical Inc. of Plant City, Fla., in September began constructing five greenhouses for the production of pond and aquarium plants, with the first nearing completion in late February, according to Joan Roberts, the new project coordinator for 5-D’s aquatic plant nursery.  
Pond Products Honored at Global Pet Expo
At Global Pet Expo, hosted by American Pet Products Manufacturers Association and Pet Industry Distributors Association from Feb. 14-16 in San Diego, four pond-related products and one backyard bird item received awards in the new product showcase exhibit.  
Michigan Backyard Show Opens Next Weekend
The 13th annual Novi Backyard, Pool & Spa Show will open next weekend, from March 28 to 30 at the Rock Financial Showplace in Novi, Mich.   
Epcot Team Plans Eco-friendly Features
For the sixth consecutive year, a team of Aquascape Inc. employees and Certified Aquascape Contractors will travel to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., to build water feature displays for the Epcot International Flower and Garden Show, March 19-June 1.   
Pentair Sells National Pool Tile Division
Pentair Water Pool and Spa Inc. will sell its National Pool Tile Group Inc. division to Pool Corp, a distributor of swimming pool and related backyard products. Pool Corp owns the 63-outlet irrigation supply house Horizon.  
Pondliner Kicks Off Spring Season
Pondliner.com, a division of Shawnee, Okla.-based Unit Liner Co., hosted its third annual spring kick-off event Feb. 6-8 in Shawnee.   
Sera Continues Expansion in Several Markets
Sera recently expanded its German headquarters in Heinsberg by 107,000 square feet with the addition of a building.  
Texas Honors Landscaping Excellence
Texas Nursery & Landscape Association presented its annual Texas Excellence in Landscaping Awards at its January awards dinner in Austin, Texas.  
Petland Opens Second Aquarium-Pet Store with Aquatics
A new 12,000-square-foot Petland-Aquarium Adventure store opened Dec. 15, 2007, in Bolingbrook, Ill. It is the second “combo” store opened by the company, both of which are owned and operated by Dan and Janet Star in the Chicago area.  
Exhibitors Win Honors at Birdwatch America (GA)
Three companies at the Birdwatch America trade show Jan. 12-13 in Atlanta, Ga., received awards during the show’s reception Saturday night at the Georgia International Convention Center.  
Armstrong to Buy, Operate Pike Nursery
Armstrong Garden Centers Inc. of California will acquire most of bankrupt Pike Nursery Holding LLC, including the name Pike Nursery and 15 Atlanta-area garden centers, for $5.2 million, in a deal approved by federal bankruptcy judge Mary Grace Diehl.   
MANTS Posts Strong Performance
Attendance at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, which took place January in Baltimore, is expected to be on par with 2007’s numbers of 12,000 registered attendees, according to Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of the trade show since 2005.  
Fight Continues for Internet Sales Tax Legislation
A representative of National Retail Federation told members of a House subcommittee that allowing online retailers to ignore state taxes gives those companies an unfair advantage and urged Congress to pass H.R. 3396, the Sales Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2007.  
Retail Sales in ’08 Might See Smallest Increase in Five Years
National Retail Federation expects 2008 retail industry sales to increase 3.5 percent over 2007, making it the smallest increase since 2002, when sales grew 3 percent.  
Aquascape to Hold ‘Exteme Pond Build’ in Lieu of Pondemonium
Aquascape Inc. replaced its Pondemonium 2008 event with an invitation-only “World’s Most Extreme Pond Build” from July 14 to 18, with plans to resume the open registration Pondemonium educational conference in 2009.   
Aquascape Cuts Jobs, Mags to Fund Growth Plans
Aquascape Inc. of St. Charles, Ill., in December eliminated 17 positions and its publications unit in a bid to free resources for initiatives elsewhere in the company.  
Wildlife Inspection Fees Could Jump Nearly 70 Percent
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said without increases to the fees it collects for inspections of wildlife imports and exports, it will have to cut down on inspections.  
Mosquito Fight Gets Molecular
In what it said could become a blueprint for a new generation of pest-control products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service developed a molecular pesticide that might be able to target specific mosquito species without risking the health of people, pets or wildlife.   
Russell, Kodama Koi Plan Expo in May
Pamela Russell, vice president of Russell Watergardens, announced that well-known koi authority Mamoru Kodama and his son, Taro Kodama, will present two seminars May 3 and 4 at Russell Watergardens’ flagship retail store in Redmond, Wash.  
Ecological Labs Eyes Lake Management Collaborations
Irrigation distributors are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities in lake management and other large projects, Ecological Laboratories told its distributors during its annual distributor breakfast at the 28th Annual International Irrigation Association show December in San Diego.  
ILA Streamlines Leadership in Reorganization
With fewer than half of its eight original founding stakeholders, International Landscape Association, under new majority owner and Chief Executive Officer Kenny Floyd, is charting its future within the water garden industry and beyond.  
Industry Struggles with Nationwide, Historic Drought
Water woes turn into business blues for some pond retailers.  
New York Gift Fair Opens this Weekend
Several divisions of the massive, semiannual New York International Gift Fair open this Friday, Feb. 1, while the main hall at the Jacob Javits Convention on Manhattan’s West Side opens at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 and runs through next Wednesday, Feb. 6.  
Turtle Sales Under Scrutiny in South Carolina
South Carolina is considering legislation that would ban residents from buying and selling eight turtle species.  
All Retail Segments to Feel Financial Pressure in ’08, Group Said
The National Retail Federation expects 2008 retail industry sales to increase just 3.5 percent over last year.   
Strong Business Model Keeps MANTS Successful, Organizers Said
Attendance at this year’s Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show, which took place in Baltimore last week, is expected to be on par with last year’s numbers of around 12,000 registered attendees, according to Vanessa Finney, executive vice president of the trade show since 2005.  
Feds Seek Comments on Killing Skeeters
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reopened until Feb. 19 the public comment period regarding its draft mosquito and mosquito-borne disease management policy.   
Fight Continues for Internet Sales Taxes
A representative of the National Retail Federation told members of a House subcommittee that allowing online retailers to ignore state taxes gives those companies an unfair advantage.   
Spectrum Sales Up, but $597 Million Loss for the Year
Spectrum Brands Inc. reported that its home and garden segment, held for sale since Oct. 1 2006, “generated a loss from discontinued operations of $178.8 million” during the fourth quarter ended Sept. 30, 2007, compared to a $17.3 million loss in the prior year, but its sales grew 2 percent.   
House Passes Bill to Control Invasive Species
The U.S. House of Representatives expedited approval for a bill that would provide federal grants to groups trying to control nonnative species on lands adjacent to National Refuges.  
Garden Center to Host Koi Health Academy
Rail City Garden Center of Sparks, Nev., is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Greater Nevada Aquatic Ecology & Koi Health Academy.  
Management Courses Target Landscape Businesses
American Nursery & Landscape Association’s landscape division will launch its “Masters in Landscape Business Management” program Feb. 7-8 in Louisville, Ky.  
Big Apple Herp Enters Pond Market
Big Apple of Hauppauge, N.Y., expects to carry pond supplies by January 2008.  
Central Reports Loss in Fourth Quarter
Central Garden & Pet reported a net loss of $1.7 million on sales of $401 million for its fourth quarter ended Sept. 29, 2007. This compared to earnings of $6 million on sales of $420 million in the same period last year.  
BowTie Launches ReptileChannel.com
BowTie Inc., a publisher of pet and animal publications, including Water Garden News, Pet Product News International and Reptiles magazine, launched ReptileChannel.com. on Wednesday, its latest Internet site.  
Hardscape Awards Accepting Applications
The inaugural Hardscape North America’s Hardscape Project Awards is accepting nominees until Jan. 11, 2008.   
Hagen Offers California Retailers Fire Relief Program
To help independent California retailers affected by the wildfires, Rolf C. Hagen (USA) Corp. rolled out two billing initiatives that freeze existing balances until mid-December and offer special dating for orders placed in the next month.  
Central’s CEO Resigns
Chairman William Brown appointed by the board as new CEO of Central Garden & Pet Company.  
Spectrum Postpones Sale
Spectrum Brands’ chief executive officer Kent Hussey said the company is postponing the sale of a “strategic asset,” largely rumored to be its pet division, because of the country’s shaky investor climate.  
Gold Crest Launches Species-Specific Initiative
Gold Crest Distributing of Mexico, Mo., unveiled its Specific Bird Selling initiative at the Independent Garden Center Show in Chicago in August.  
Emperor Challenges Flow Rates in Contest
Emperor Aquatics Inc. of Pottstown, Pa., plans to give someone $1,000 if they can provide Emperor with the UV Water Flow Rate Calculation Formula from one of four competitors.  
Great Pond Supply Giveaway Winners
To bolster vendor and buyer attendance at Garden Pond Promotions Pondapalooza, the International Landscape Alliance organized the Great Pond Supply Giveaway, in which several vendors donated product lots (retail value of at least $1,000) to raffle to buyers.  
Danner’s ProLine to Sponsor ILA Pondbuild
Danner Manufacturing’s ProLine by Pondmaster brand will be the first primary sponsor of the International Landscape Alliance’s “Earn While You Learn” event, a pond-build scheduled for Nov. 3 at Moonridge Animal Park in Big Bear, Calif.  
NAPP Poised for Merger-Fueled Rebound
Reenergized following its merger with the fledgling Water Garden Manufacturers and Distributors Association, the National Association of Pond Professionals unveiled new goals during Pondapalooza in Savannah.  
Firestone Certification Courses Offered for Liner Installers
Firestone certification courses will be offered in Shawnee, Okla., on Oct. 18 and 19 for residential and commercial decorative water-feature installers.  
England Reports Nine Koi Herpes Virus Outbreaks
English authorities discovered the highly fatal koi herpes virus in nine of the country’s fisheries this year.  
Installation Benefit to Raise Funds for Fallen Water Contractor
A 2-day Advanced RISE Method seminar will be held (Dec. 7 to 8) to raise funds for Richard Gattone.  
Firestone Offers Liner-Installation Seminar
Ewing Irrigation will hold an International Landscape Alliance-sponsored Firestone certification seminar that will cover liner installation in Torrance, Calif., on Oct. 31.  
Aquascape Launches New Financing Programs
Aquascape, Inc. of St. Charles, Ill., launched two financing programs to make purchasing easier for its customers.   
Aquascape Names Decker President
Aquascape announces new president.  
Beckett Seeks Creative Fountain Ideas
Beckett Corp. of Dallas will hold a contest next year for do-it-yourself fountain designers that could land the winner’s design in Beckett’s 2008 Beckett Garden Accents collection.  
Feds Extend Minor Species Drug Index Comment Period
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended its deadline for comments on its proposed regulations for implementing the “Index of Legally Marketed Unapproved New Animal Drugs for Minor Species” from Nov. 30 until Dec. 20.   
Government Delays Koi, Goldfish Import Restrictions
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced a 30-day extension before new regulations affecting the importation of koi and goldfish go into effect.   
Philadelphia Gift Show, Birdwatch America Held in Reading
It was a show of firsts. A year ago the convention hall was an abandoned semiconductor factory.  
PANTS Exhibitors Donate to Atlantic City’s Beautification
The Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Foundation donated about $180,000 worth of plants, trees and shrubs to the city of Atlantic City, N.J., to be used in parks and in city beautification projects.   
U.S. Tightens Koi Import Rules to Battle Fish Disease
In efforts to stop a contagious fish disease from coming to the United States, the government has for the first time slapped restrictions on imported koi and goldfish.  
Dawning of Aquaria 2006 Approaches
The second Aquaria, an international exhibition for China’s ornamental aquatic industry, takes place in Guangzhou, China, Sept. 7-10.   
PIJAC Urges Action Against ‘Worsened’ Pet Shop Bill
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council is urging pet store operators in California to “quickly convey their continued opposition” this week to AB 2862, a bill that would further regulate Californian pet stores.  
Two Asian Pet Shows Approaching
Two important pet product trade shows are scheduled this fall in China.  
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Waste Transfer Station Threatens Bennetts Water Gardens in England
The owners of Bennetts Water Gardens in Weymouth, England say the local government has proposed building a waste transfer station near the gardens, endangering them from potential groundwater pollution  
“Hand” From Python Products Takes Best in Show at Expo
For the second year in a row Python Products Inc. has won Best in Show for a new pond product at the Global Pet Expo.  
Feds Want To Change Wetland Restoration Rules
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have proposed to change how developers can mitigate for wetland impact.  
U.S. Ornamental Fish Exports Fall 33 Percent
After increasing for four consecutive years, the value of U.S. exports of ornamental fish fell to $5.7 million in 2005, down 33 percent from 2004 sales of $8.7 million, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported yesterday.  
Pentair Earnings Jump, Dividend Raised
Pump maker Pentair Inc. of Golden Valley, Minn reprted fourth quarter earnings jumped 15 percent on sales of $732.1 million. Sales were up 12 percent for the quarter, ended Dec. 31.  
Aquascape Designs Buys PondSweep Manufacturing
Water garden supplies company Aquascape Designs Inc. has bought PondSweep Manufacturing, a maker of water filtration systems, both companies announced Feb. 3  
Annual Art Contest for Water Gardeners – Of All Ages
The International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society is sponsoring an aquatic art contest, which includes entry categories ranging from photography to graphic design; from mixed media to black and white illustration.  
FDA Reopens Comment Period for Minor Species Drug Regulations
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday reopened the public comment period for its proposal on regulating the process of designating new animal drugs to be eligible for incentives provided by the Minor Uses and Minor Species Act of 2004.   
Call Out For Pondapalooza Presenters
The 9th Annual Pondapalooza National Pond Expo and Conference is calling for speakers and session topics.  
Central Names Garden Group Prez
Central Garden & Pet Co. appointed Brad Johnson as president of its garden group, the company announced this morning.   
LGMDA Summit Focuses on Channel Interdependence
The Lawn & Garden Marketing and Distribution Association’s 2nd Annual Summit will celebrate the lawn & garden products channel’s interdependence, the association reported today.  
Spectrum Brands Acquires Jungle Labs
Spectrum Brands Inc., Atlanta-based parent company of United Pet Group, has acquired San Antonio, Texas-based Jungle Labs in a $29 million deal.  
Small Business Admn. Ready to Assist Hurricane Katrina Victims
The U.S. Small Business Administration pledged to have loan officers in every federal and state disaster recovery center that has opened in areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and surrounding states affected by Hurricane Katrina.  
Strategic Business Units Key to Central’s Continued Growth
Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Central Garden & Pet reported that acquisitions and improved operating efficiencies drove its third quarter performance.  
Landscape Associations Plan To Merge
The American Nursery and Landscape Association of Washington, D.C., and the Professional Landcare Network of Herndon, Va., have signed a letter of intent to merge, the two groups announced today.  
Acquisitions Help Spectrum Reach 7 Percent Revenue Growth in Third Quarter
Spectrum Brands Inc. of Atlanta, parent company of United Industries and Tetra Holding GmbH, reported income of $23.7 million on sales of $730.4 million for its third quarter ending July 3, 2005, compared to an income of $12.8 million on sales of $308.3 million for the year-ago period.  
Jungle Labs Launches Water Gardening Website
Jungle Labs of Cibolo, Texas, has launched a website, www.junglepond.com for water gardening enthusiasts.  
Roy Underwood Joins Little Giant Pump Co.
Little Giant Pump Co. of Oklahoma City, Okla., hired Roy Underwood as its water gardening business development manager.  
Central Garden & Pet Appoints Division Presidents
Central Garden & Pet Co. appointed presidents to both its newly formed aquatics division and to its pet distribution operations.  
Morning News Show to Install Pond
ABC’s "Good Morning America" plans to air a live segment on backyard ponds on Tuesday, June 28, Savio Engineering of Santa Fe, N.M., reported today.  
Ewing Offers Ecological Kit
Ewing Irrigation will now be offering a water garden maintenance kit, produced exclusively for the company by Ecological Laboratories.   
Spectrum Completes First Stage of United Industries Integration
Spectrum Brands Inc. of Atlanta, formerly Rayovac Corp., has completed the first stage of integrating St. Louis-based United Industries and Germany-based Tetra Holding GmbH into its fold.  
Glee World Network Free to International Attendees
International visitors can join the Glee World Network, a service for attendees of the September 18-20 Glee garden and leisure trade show in Birmingham England, for free.  
ANLA, PLANET Looking to Merge
The American Nursery and Landscape Association and the Professional Landcare Network are considering a merger that, if undertaken, would mark the second major unification of green industry associations in recent years.  
ANLA Retail Tour Almost Sold Out
The American Nursery & Landscape Association’s Retail Roadshow 2005 tour to Minnesota is almost sold out, the ANLA reported today.  
WWPSA Changes Name
In an effort to better reflect its mission, the World Wide Pet Supply Assn. changed its name to the World Wide Pet Industry Assn., effective yesterday.  
Central Garden & Pet Posts Record Second Quarter Earnings
Central Garden & Pet’s garden product segment posted net sales of $220.4 million for the second quarter ended March 26, 2005, an increase of 3 percent compared to last year.  
Little Giant Pump Hires National Sales Manager
Little Giant Pump Co. in Oklahoma City, Okla., appointed Sean Murray as its national sales manager of consumer products.  
Laguna Launches Kits, Table Top Pumps
Testing the premise that great treasures can come in small packages, Rolf C. Hagen Corp.’s Laguna today unveiled a series of new water gardening items targeting space-challenged consumers.  
Jungle Labs Brings on New Northeast Distributor
Jungle Laboratories Corp. of Cibolo, Texas, has contracted with J.A. Hammond Associates, in Stroudsburg, Pa., to distribute Jungle’s lawn and garden products in the Northeast, Jungle reported today.  
Invasive Plant Lab to Research Aquatic Weeds
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today formally dedicated a quarantine research facility in Davie, Fla., dedicated to investigating solutions for south Florida's invasive weed and insect problems, including water hyacinth and giant salvinia.  
Tax Refunds Earmarked for Debt Payoff
One-half of the nearly 150 million people expecting tax refunds this year plan to use their refunds to pay down their debt, the National Retail Federation announced today.  
Glee Travel Program Offers $100 Roundtrip Fares
Trade Promotion Services is offering 100 roundtrip tickets for $100 for North Americans attending the 2005 Glee exhibition in Birmingham, England.  
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Founders Retire
Joel Goldstein and Al Abrevaya, founders and owners for nearly four decades of Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc., are retiring, the company announced yesterday.  
Python, Wellmark Capture Product Honors
Thirty companies, including Python Products and Central Garden & Pet Co. unit Wellmark, captured new product and point-of-purchase display awards last night at the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.  
Rayovac Buys Tetra
Rayovac is expanding its presence in the global pet and pond market with its announcement today that it will acquire Tetra Holding GmbH for 415 million euros—about $550 million.  
BowTie Inc. Acquires Aquarium Publication
BowTie Inc. of Los Angeles, formerly Fancy Publications, today announced it has completed the acquisition of Freshwater And Marine Aquarium (FAMA) magazine from R/C Modeler Corp. of Sierra Madre, Calif.  
Central, A's Enter Marketing Pact
Central Garden & Pet Co. has entered a strategic marketing and promotions agreement with the Oakland Athletics, a major league baseball team, the company reported today.  
Pontz To Speak at Hardware Show
Rick Pontz, president of Lawn & Garden Performance Group LLC, will be delivering two seminars at the National Hardware Show, May 17-19, in Las Vegas.  
PIJAC Urges Action on 'Animal Caretaker' Bill
Proposed legislation in Illinois that would deem owners of stores selling animals to be "animal caretakers" has significant implications for shop owners and breeders, reports the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council, which is urging industry members to contact state legislators to voice their opinions before a Feb. 16 hearing on the bill.   
Aquarium Pharm Names Bowen Sales Director
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Chalfont-Pa.-based division of Mars Inc., promoted national sales manager David Bowen to North American sales director.  
Central Reports Record First Quarter Earnings
Central Garden & Pet Co. of Walnut Creek, Calif., reported record results for its first quarter ended Dec. 25.   
Aquarium Pharm Promotes Cummins
Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Inc., a division of Mars Inc., promoted Chris Cummins from North American Operations manager to general manager of the Chalfont, Pa.-based maker of aquarium and pond products.  
Waterlilies Sought for 2005 Competition
The International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society is seeking hybridizers to participate in its 2005 waterlily competition.  
APPMA Revamps Web Site
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Assn. this week launched both its redesigned Web site (www.appma.org) and a new Web site for the Global Pet Expo (www.globalpetexpo.org).  
University of Georgia Plots Koi Course
The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and the Georgia Center for Continuing Education are presenting Koi Health Management, a program for retailers, producers and others involved with the maintenance of ornamental fish, Feb. 11-13 in Athens, Ga.  
United Industries Acquired by Rayovac Corp.
In an estimated $1.2 billion deal, Rayovac Corp. of Atlanta today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire St. Louis-based United Industries Corp., a lawn-and-garden product manufacturer better known as Spectrum Brands.   
Global Pet Expo Sponsors Marketing Teleconference
The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association and the Pet Industry Distributors Association are sponsoring a joint trade show marketing teleconference for their respective memberships.  
Aquascape Introduces New Combination Seminar
Aquascape Designs will be offering a new traveling seminar, Succeeding and Prospering with Water Features, from January through March.  
Ace Head to Step Down in April
Ace Hardware president and chief executive officer David Hodnik will retire from the hardware cooperative on April 1 and will be replaced by current executive vice president and chief operating officer Ray Griffith.  
EPA To Fund Hawaii Wetlands Plant Guide
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave $93,750 to the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources for the state to produce a wetland plant field guide, the EPA reported in December.  
Americans To Spend Nearly $8 Billion on Holiday Decor
Americans will spend $7,966,000 on indoor and outdoor Christmas and Hanukkah decorations this season, about $115 per household, according to research firm Unity Marketing. Two-thirds of American households plan to buy new decorations this year.  
Kmart, Sears Agree To Merge
Kmart Holding Corp. of Troy, Mich., and Sears, Roebuck and Co.of Hoffman Estates, Ill., have signed a definitive merger agreement to form Sears Holdings Corp.  
U.S. Agricultural Secretary Resigns
Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman announced her resignation from President Bush’s Cabinet today, along with several other members, including Secretary of State Colin Powell.  
Acquisitions Fuel United Sales Growth
Driven by contributions from acquisitions, United Industries of St. Louis reported sales for its third quarter ended Sept. 30 grew 64.4 percent to $171 million and for the nine-month period grew 21.4 percent to $593.6 million, compared to the year-ago periods.  
Jungle Labs Launch Medicated Fish Food
Jungle Laboratories Corp., of Cibolo, Texas, today announced what it believes are the industry's first medicated fish foods.  
TetraPond Adds Mixed Pond Food to Pond Food Mix
TetraPond of Blacksburg, Va., will begin shipping its new Multi-Mix Gold Premium fish food Jan. 31, 2005, the company announced today.  
Second International Aquatics Conference Slated This Month
The international Ornamental Aquatic Trade Assn. will be hosting its second conference in the United Kingdom on Nov. 15-16.  
AHMA Plans Technology Forum for New Orleans
The American Hardware Manufacturers Association is holding its 14th annual Hardlines Technology Forum May 1-4 in New Orleans.  
Kmart Names New Head
K-mart Holding Corp. of Troy, Mich., appointed Aylwin Lewis as its president and chief executive officer, effectively immediately.  
APPMA Hires Trade Show Coordinator
The American Pet Product Manufactuers Association hired Jamie Cavanaugh as its trade show coordinator.  
Forecast: Best Holiday Retail Season Since 1999
Despite high fuel prices and other economic worries, market research and consulting firm Retail Forward Inc. is predicting the end of 2004 will be the best holiday season since 1999 for most retail sectors.  
AHMA Cancels Startup Hardware Show
After a disappointing debut last April, the American Hardware Manfuacturers Association decided to its AHMA Hardware Show.  
Newly Named Earth's Balance Launches Web Sites
Earth’s Balance, formerly Millennium Lawns, of New York, N.Y., launched two new Web sites for trade and consumer visitors respectively.  
Habitattitude Launches at SuperZoo
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and various government and academic entities, notably the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Minnesota Sea Grant, launched the Habitattitude public awareness campaign to the pet and nursery trades during the co-located SuperZoo pet industry and Western Expo nursery industry trade shows in Las Vegas last September.  
Ocean State Job Lot Opens New Chain
Ocean State Job Lot, a 70-store, $300 million chain of closeout stores, is opening an outlet in Walpole, N.H., at a former Ames Department Store location.  
Central Hires New Pet Product President, VP of Corporate Development
Central Garden & Pet Co. of Lafayette, Calif., has appointed Jim Heim as the new president of its pet products division. In addition, Andrew Beaurline has been appointed vice president of corporate development.  
BowTie Promotes Kruder To President of Distribution Business
BowTie Inc., publisher of Water Garden News, appointed Chuck Kruder president of Global Distribution Services LLC.  
Beckett Acquired by General Foam Plastics
General Foam Plastics Corp. reports it has acquired Texas-based Beckett Corp. from Sun Beckett LLC, an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners Inc.  
Central Acquires Energy Savers Unlimited
Central Garden & Pet Co. of Lafayette, Calif., has acquired lighting supplier Energy Savers Unlimited (ESU) of Carson, Calif., for about $34 million in cash.  
Koi Herpes Virus Benefit Auction Nears
The North American Water Garden Society's online auction fundraiser to benefit Koi Herpes Virus research begins Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 10.  
Florikan Spearheads Hurricane Assistance to Nurseries
Florikan, ESA, a Sarasota, Fla.-based manufacturer of aquatic and standard pots and distributor of nursery products, is spearheading a program to assist about 600 nursery workers and their families that were left homeless by Huricane Charley.  
Irrigation Web Site Launched
The Irrigation Association Education Foundation has launched a new Web site, www.iaef.com, to promote awareness of the irrigation industry and further the knowledge of those who study irrigation, according to the organization.   
National Marketing Acquires Standard Merchandising
Merchandising service company National Marketing Services of Edison, N.J., has launched an installation division following its acquisition of Standard Merchandising Solutions Ltd. of Newark, Ohio.  
Tetra Plans Pond Support Program For 2005
Tetra, based in Blacksburg, Va., plans to launch a Web-based support program for pond owners in 2005, reports a company official.  
Best Management Practices Detailed By Irrigation Association
The Irrigation Association released a document in June designed to help irrigation professionals and property owners manage water more effectively.   
ALCA Offers Education Workshops Prior to Green Industry Conference
The Associated Landscape Contractors of America will be offering four optional workshops prior to its annual Green Industry Conference, being held Nov. 3-6 in Charlotte, N.C. The conference is held each year in conjunction with the Green Industry Expo.  
Savio Appoints Steele As President
Savio Engineering, a water gardening supply manufacturer based in Santa Fe, N.M., has named Valerie Steele as its new president.  
FDA Hosts MUMS Workshop
The Food and Drug Administration is hosting a public workshop in October to discuss the global pursuit of drug approvals for minor uses and minor species.  
Nevada Judge Urges New Designation for Water Garden Builders
A judge in Nevada has recommended that the state contractors’ board establish a special licensing designation specifically for those who want to build water garden features.  
Spectrum Brands acquires United Pet Group; Sumitomo buys Hartz
Two of the largest U.S. pet product makers, including Wardley parent Hartz Mountain Corp., were sold in June.  
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