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From the Editor

While I'd love to be able to say that Masonry magazine is your "one stop shop" for masonry business news, that's really, theoretically, an impossible task. I have to admit, no matter how much I try to fulfill this goal, there's no possible way for one monthly magazine to cover all the current news that mason contractors and the masonry industry need to know.

I've found the masonry industry to be a very interesting group to provide news for on a monthly basis. The readers of publications that I've edited in the past — teachers and window tinters — are fairly cohesive groups. There are a few differences here and there, but for the most part teachers and window tinters pretty much go about their days in the same fashion as other members in their line of business. The masonry industry, however, is quite the opposite and has been a much trickier group to effectively serve.

As you know, the masonry industry is made up of businesses from individual contractors to companies with hundreds of employees; union, open and merit shops; brick, block and stone masons, tuckpointers, restoration, waterproofing, cleaning, retaining walls, paving and other specialized experts; and companies that mix in other types of business, including general contracting, design-build, manufacturing, consulting, concrete, tile, stucco and more. With all of the various options that abound in the masonry industry, it's a wonder that we're able to touch on something for everyone.

I will continue to try to meet all of the industry's needs for news, but a wise business owner will supplement the information they receive from our magazine with other sources. Whether you prefer newspapers, newsletters, other magazines, radio, television or the Internet, it's important to stay on top of the news that's important to your particular business.

Just the other day, I opened up the local newspaper and read several articles that were of interest to mason contractors. One article focused on Arlen Specter (R-PA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, pushing forward on two immigration proposals — one bi-partisan bill created by Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and the other by Sens. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ).

In the Business section, another article focused on the increased amount of thefts at construction sites. From hammers to heavy equipment, construction tools and machinery are becoming the apple of thieves' eyes. Experts have found that universal keys that turn on multiple pieces of machinery are simplifying operations, but are also simplifying theft.

Another great source of information is the Mason Contractors Association of America's (MCAA) website, located at www.masoncontractors.org, where Tim O'Toole, MCAA's manager of information technology, has provided vital industry information. Visit the website's main page for a quick update of "Masonry Headlines" or check out the "Event Calendar." The "Masonry Message Board" is another great resource, where you can read posts and discuss with other members of the industry about everything from legislation and standards to safety and workforce development.

I encourage all of you to keep up with your local, state and national news, and I will certainly try to do the same. Between Masonry magazine, MCAA's website and other forms of media, your business will be more informed and better able react to the world around you.

In the "Face-to-Face" photo caption on page 14 of the August 2005 issue, we mistakenly identified Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) as Congressman Eric Cantor (R-VA). We apologize for the error.



    ©2005 by the Mason Contractors Association of America
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