Volume 34, Number 3, March 1999

 

ISSUE AT HAND

No Cure for the Winter-Time Blues

by Deb Levy

True confession time again. It’s been a bit difficult going from watching the whales on the shores of Oahu during Glass Expo Hawaii™ ’99 back to the snow, ice and slush of the Mid-Atlantic. I have made the transition, albeit grudgingly. The grass skirt has been retired, the last mai-tai sipped, the flowers on my lei are merely brown straw now. Winter has returned, or rather I have returned to winter and it is not a pretty plight.

Those of you who were able to join us know what a memorable event Glass Expo Hawaii was. As it was the first time we utilized a major resort location for a glass expo, it was somewhat of an experiment for us. We were overwhelmed with the response. Nearly 700 visitors from 41 states and six countries came for some industry education in a fairy-tale setting. Many thanks to all who participated. We had originally thought that the expo would be held in Hawaii every ten years, but almost everyone told us that was too long between trips, so we are going to try and go back sooner rather than later.

The seminars were especially helpful and candid but not without controversy, as you’ll see in our coverage of the event next month.

Anyway, a mid-winter malaise set in upon my return and I was hoping against hope that the "big" news story would break before we had to print. But it was not to be. As of March 16th no definitive announcement had yet been made on the sale by South African Breweries of its Plate Glass Shatterprufe Industries Ltd. PSGI has holdings in the glass industry world-wide, which include Belron, an enormous auto glass replacement company and a minority owner of Safelite Glass Corporation based in Columbus, OH.

European financial papers had made note on March 7 that such an announcement was imminent. PSGI subsequently issued a denial of such a sale as being forthcoming, but the watch for the changing of the guard has already begun. We will keep you informed as the situation develops on our website at http://www.usglassmag.com if something breaks before we next go to press.

With apologies for the Hawaiian analogy, there is quite a bit of uneasiness in the industry right now. It is akin, I think, to what it must feel like when you know a volcano is going to blow, but you’re not sure exactly what or who will be left standing when it’s over.

We were hoping, too, to have some additional news on the fate of the ANSI Z97.1 committee (see USGlass, February 1999, page 16). As of press time, the Glazing Industry Codes Committee (GICC) had petitioned ANSI to accept its application to serve as secretariat. While there are still a number of issues including funding to be settled, ANSI members are expected to vote within the next few weeks. Resolution of this matter should be definitive in time for our next issue.

Even without any big news story, I am starting to beat the blues. We here are gearing up for Glass Expo Calgary™ ’99 to be held in Calgary—Canada’s boom town—June 25 and 26. Calgary is just as beautiful as Hawaii in its own way . . . Lake Louise, Banff and a variety of other natural wonders are nearby. The malaise is starting to lift as I think of staying a few extra days for the world famous "Stampede."

In the meantime, if you get a chance to visit Atlanta next month, please visit the USGlass booth at 1057. Stop by for a visit and a few commemorative macadamia nuts . . . -Deb


USG

Copyright 1999 Key Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.