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Re "In the Company of Honorable Men: Profile: Burton S. Sperber, FASLA, Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, ValleyCrest Landscape Companies," Aug. issue, Ernest Wertheim writes:

Burton and Richard Sperber

I thought the comments and photographs of Burton and Richard Sperber and the work they are doing is terrific. I think we need to include their experience in the curriculum of landscape architecture. What they do is so important to our profession. I happen to have known Burton Sperber almost from the very beginning. A great human being. There are not many persons left that can say that they knew Burton Sperber for that many years.

Ernest Wertheim
Wertheim Van Der Ploeg & Klemeyer
San Francisco, Calif.

Re "The Courage of His Convictions: Profile: Carl Kelemen, FASLA, KMS Design Group LLC," July issue:

Carl Kelemen, FASLA

Carl Kelemen "Gets it"! It was so refreshing to read Mr. Kelemen's quote about the importance of designing to a maintenance budget. "If you're lucky enough to have a Bill Gates wallet, you can go crazy and create a beautiful picture ... and end up creating a maintenance night-mare that costs a for-tune to maintain ... If you can find someone who knows how. The real key, in my opinion, is to be able to come up with a design solution that's not only buildable, but maintainable by people who are also faced with limited budgets." Far too often, landscape architects don't even have a clue about what it takes to maintain the things they design. We use industry standard benchmarking, based on a rolling, 10-year study of time and motion requirements for routine maintenance tasks. These are coupled with labor cost data to calculate the maintenance costs associated with managing the site's "living assets." In these challenging economic times, people are looking for ways to save money, without sacrificing the aesthetic character of their landscapes. We think it's an important consideration for landscape architects.

Brad Smith, ASLA, AICP
President; Brad Smith Associates, Inc.
Melbourne, Fla., and Cashiers, N.C.


I was reading your magazine online today and just wanted to comment that it’s really impressive. Easy to navigate, good read and great content.

Your magazines are truly noteworthy, and you all do a great job getting the message out to your readers.

Lynne Whelan
Garden Media Group
Chadds Ford, Pa.

This is one of the most user-friendly digest sites I’ve seen. Thank you.

Harriet Grimm
Saratoga Associates
New York, N.Y.

Re "The Benefits of Synthetic Grass for Playgrounds" on LOL, Wayne Thorson writes:

While synthetic turf may help with injuries from falls on a playground there are an abundance of negatives. These include skin scrapes from falling on the turf that can lead to staff infections, and severe burns from the extreme high temperatures created by synthetic turf, which, according to a BYU study can approach 200 degrees during the summer. Burns can take place at 120 degrees. There are places for synthetic turf, but they are limited.

Wayne Thorson
Grassroots Program
Mead, Neb.

Also Re: "The Benefits of Synthetic Grass for Playgrounds," Ralph Charles writes:

(Don't) forget the most important fact about synthetic grass: It is not grass, it is carpet. And the most important issue you forgot was the health issues. Why don’t you address those issues in your article? I see, I guess it's not that important. Oh well, have your kids play on this surface and deal with all the health problems that we all know. I am sure you will just sweep it under the carpet.

What does the landscape architect do with the LEED credits when it is time to remove the carpet and he can’t find a dumpsite that will take the toxic waste? In our area you have to truck the toxic waste out of town. Oh yes, forgot to add when you remove the carpet what the cost will be to try to get rid of it. Call the head grounds keeper at Gillette Stadium and ask why he still has the carpet that he removed years back still piled in the parking lot.

RC Landscape
Northridge, Calif.

Re Moment of Silence: "Landscape Architect Jeffrey Siegel, 52:" Barbara Kohles wrote:

Please send my condolences to Sara. I met Jeffery probably 20 years ago in Florida when they hosted the president’s meeting for ASLA. He was a very dedicated person.

Barbara Kohles
Park Planner
City of Omaha

Re Moment of Silence: Bill Goddard on LOL, Barbara Tompkins writes:

I am Bill’s first cousin. This article was a fitting tribute for a gifted man. I’m sure you must know by now that Bill had more family than a wife, brother and two children. His sister, Sue, sent me an email with the link to your article. She was very appreciative of your kind words. She resides in Rancho Santa Marguerita, Calif., as do their parents. Bill has another sister in Calif.

Barbara Tompkins
Whispering Pines, N.C.

Re "Rocky Awards" on LOL, Jim Somers writes:

"I would gather these are awards for 'Most Imposing Structures' and not for aesthetics. These are more in the category of beastly engineering marvels or fortified structures for home and business. The lower example looks as though they are prepared to be invaded by the Huns. 'Prepare to raise the bridges and man your posts, oh noble knights!'"

Jim Somers
Landscape Architect
Jackson, Miss.

Re "Green Waste: The New Trend in Mulch" on LOL, Mark Martin writes:

Depending on your location, "mulch sites" can be regulated by state and federal environmental agencies. If a site does not meet proper site locations and have proper permitting then "doing the right thing" could get you into trouble.

Mark Martin
Landscape Manager
City of Salisbury, N.C.

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December 7, 2019, 4:25 am PDT

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