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The PHCC Gazette

Volume 3, Issue 22 Plumbing � Heating � Cooling � Contractors of Northern Virginia, Inc. Sept. 1998

Way To Go Laurie Crigler!

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At This Meeting

Sponsor will be J & H Aitcheson

Special guest speakers will be Neal White & Frank Davis with CATS Citizens for an Alternative Tax System. They will be talking about abolishing the IRS and converting to a national sales tax system (no more income taxes)

At The Last Meeting

The sponsors of the awards dinner meeting are listed on page five.

Congratulations! To the TOP apprentices


First Year: Scott A. Isaacs

Second Year: Michael R. Jackson

Third Year: - Tie William J. Allen & Michael J. Hoert

Fourth Year: Steve W. Stewardson


First Year: Russell Pitts

Second Year: Danny Yu

Third Year: Lynn Bosmajian

Fourth Year: Apollos Thomasian

Our condolences to Gary Peed on the passing of his mother


Maryland to Host National Apprenticeship Contest

The 1998 PHCC National Apprenticeship Contest will be held Sept. 23, 1998, at the Howard County Fairgrounds in Sykesville, Md. The contest will be hosted by the Maryland PHCC, in cooperation with the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, Contractors, National Association.

Contestants will compete in the plumbing and HVAC categories. They will be judged on skills demonstrated during several hours of real-life situations, such as preparing rough plumbing for, and installing bathroom fixtures and HVAC units.

Do you know what the OSHA inspector’s looking for when he stops by for a visit? Haven’t a clue? You’re not alone. But, helpful information is at your fingertips. If you’re on-line, that is! Visit OSHA’s webpage at http://www.osha.gov for the latest information and statistics.

For example, did you know that plumbing-heating-cooling contractors were assessed $1.4 million in penalties during Fiscal Year 1997? More than 800 inspections resulted in 2,000 citations. The top five troublemakers for p-h-c contractors are falls, excavations, electrical and wiring, hazard communication, and stairways and ladders.

What you pay for: Your dues cover about 41 percent of the cost of running PHCC National Association. The rest is raised through other means, including sales and donations.

What you get:

Action to Fight Utilities


Business tips

Vital publications

Industry discounts

Professional Product Line


Coupon book

Nationwide marketing program


Enhanced Service Groups



Laurie Crigler

PHCC–National Association last week got a foot in the door and a seat at the table of a U.S. House of Representatives’ hearing.

During a House hearing on utility restructuring, PHCC member Laurie Crigler, of L & D Associates, Aroda, Va., testified on how unfair utility competition is hurting contractors. She urged lawmakers to level the playing field across the country to ensure fair competition. Otherwise, she said, "more and more small businesses will disappear, and consumers will have fewer choices for their needs."

The hearing, held before a subcommittee of the House Small Business Committee, was called to examine the potential impacts utility restructuring will have on small businesses. Crigler was one of four contractors who testified on how important fair competition is.


Crigler spoke not only as an individual business owner, but also as a representative of the PHCC-National Association and on behalf of the National Alliance for Fair Competition (NAFC), a coalition of national contracting groups who are fighting for fair competition. During her testimony, she drew upon her experiences as president of PHCC of Virginia and her work with the coalition of small businesses in Virginia working to promote fair competition.

"The electric consumers of Virginia did not finance my good name and reputation. I earned it myself. And so should every other company. If they want to compete, they need to train their people, equip their people, and market their people all by themselves without the aid of someone else’s money," Crigler told the subcommittee. She emphasized that she is not against utility restructuring, she just wants to see it done right the first time.

Congress can ensure fair competition will exist by prohibiting utilities and their affiliates from using any assets paid for by ratepayers. Crigler concluded her testimony by urging Congress to make sure fair competition provisions are included in any federal restructuring legislation.


Oct. 13-18, you’ll be on your way to the shores of Lake Ontario, to the city of culture, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, for the 116th Annual PHCC–National Association Convention.


The time to register is NOW. Early-bird registration only lasts until Aug. 11 (that’s postmarked by). After Aug. 11, rates increase about $100 per couple. That’s one-night’s hotel stay at the beautiful Westin Harbour Castle. So sign up today!

The PHCC annual convention will feature many educational and enjoyable events. Many sponsors have returned, allowing us to keep convention affordable for you, our members. The NEX tradeshow is back and bigger than ever. Fact is, it’s sold out. Allow yourself two days at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for this really big show.

The theme for this year’s convention is "Teamwork: Today, Tomorrow, Toronto." President Garvelink and others invite you to participate in the dialogue at the annual meeting. Discussions will focus on what we’ve done in the past and how we plan to change, working together. The long-range goals are about to take shape. As a contractor-member, come to Toronto; let your voice be heard. We’ll even leave the light on, eh?

It’s all happening at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, Toronto. To make reservations, call the hotel directly at 1-416-869-1600 or toll-free at 1-800-228-3000. Mention the PHCC Annual Convention or NEX to get the best rate. Make your hotel reservation early.

Never been to Toronto? Need some questions answered? Call the national office for facts, findings, assurances, whatever. We’re here to help motivate you there. We promise, you won’t want to leave. See you across the border in October!

The Business Management Reference Manual

Want to learn tips on how to make your business more profitable? PHCC offers a "Business Management Reference Manual" that covers a wide range of everyday business topics. They include: organizational structure, insurance, credit and collection, equipment and tools, employee relations, advertising, material controls, taxes, financial statements and estimating.

Item No. 3001
Member: $25 sale $20
Non-Member: $35 sale $30

Customer Service Means Business

This videotaped program focuses on better communications for contractors who want to attract and retain customers. The 20-minute videotape, workbook and leader guide are based on three different situations. Videotape features "Roger the Plumber" Peugeot.

Item No. 9308
Member: $75 sale $65
Non-Member: $99 sale $89

Heating and Cooling Technical Manual

This manual teaches you how to sell and install heating, A/C and refrigeration systems. Covers topics such as heat loss calculations, boiler sizing, service hints, cooling system design, and installations of snow melting systems.

Item No.1302
Member: $40 sale $34
Non-Member: $55 sale $44

Warner Update

Dear William,

The legal system moves very slow. July 21st we had the hearing for the Maryland Attorney General. On August 19th that hearing will be completed.

Then a decision will be decided in about 6 months that recommends proceeding to court or case thrown out.

Montgomery County v. Warner: We have been investigated for over three years and as yet do not have a court date.

Last October we asked to have several charges thrown out. A hearing for those motions is scheduled for September 23rd.

I have my 8th day of deposition on August 18. There are several other depositions scheduled between now and the hearing on Sept. 23.

Thank you for your interest and great support.

Sincerely, Tom Warner



My Plumber has installed two web cams in their office. These cameras allow anyone on the Internet to point their web browser to www.MyPlumber.com and see the inside of the office LIVE!

Good comes from the Internet & Plumbers

An e-mail message was posted on the PDL list server (www.plumbers.org) about a paralyzed woman in a wheelchair that could not afford a new toilet so plumbers from across the country sent in money to get a new toilet. She said, "wow, you don't mean it! I've never gotten anything free before!"

Members of the PDL know what it means to "Give Back" to the community, or to a consumer in need. Recently when a question was asked about what type of toilet to choose for a handicapped person with certain special needs, several suggested that a pressure assisted type of handicapped toilet. This was not in the customer's budget. Pressure assist toilets are very expensive.

Then several members suggested we all pitch in and buy her what she really needs. In a matter of a weekend, donations had been sent in the form of credit card charges via email, to pay for a top-of-the-line Kohler "Highline Pressure Lite" toilet and it's installation.

A total of 7 Charges for $50.00 each, via email and 1 check for $75.00 in the postal mail were received. Contributors were from all around the country. Those contributors were; (in alphabetical order):

William Baumbach

Thomas J. Biondi Jr

Dusty Cook

Clay Dugan

Michael D Fournier

Ferrell Johnson

Tom Quatroni

Jack Stevens

The contractor of this customer was Robert C. Allen and he also contributed a portion of the labor.

More Info & pictures see:



President's Report by John Fulton, E. McLauchlan & Sons, Inc

e-mail: ems2000@ibm.net 

What are the three most important aspects of an association that wants to grow, thrive, and offer more to its membership and the public at large? The answers: membership, membership, and membership.

For the last few years, your association leadership has concentrated its efforts on what I'll call the association infrastructure. This has been a time of introspect, reconstruction and rejuvenation. In this period, our strong core membership has stood fast in this rebuilding. Times have changed and we've changed with the times. As your illustrious past president put it, "build it and they will come."

It has been built and the time has come! It's a time to discover what PHCC all about.

With reduced price membership categories from both the National and State Associations, the time to discover has never been better. This doesn't mean you have to stop at the discovery level though.

Honestly, your best bet is to become a full-fledged, fully involved, full Member and begin to reap all of the benefits membership has to offer.

Just in case you didn't catch it the first time…It has been built and the time has come! It 's a time to discover what PHCC is all about!

The state Board Meeting will be a 10:00 am on Friday September 25 at the Ramada Plaza Resort Oceanfront, Virginia Beach, VA. Call 757-428-7025 before August 24 for reservations. The Executive Committee will meet at 8:00 am. Southeastern is also planning a reception Thursday night the 24th in conjunction with the Board Meeting.

Newsletter Changes:

The PHCC Gazette has gone from a four-page newsletter to eight. The extra pages will be used for advertising sponsorship.

It cost the PHCC over $8,000.00 a year and we need to recover some of this cost.

Ad space will be offered full-page, half-page, quarter-page and business card sizes.

Full Page $200.00 - Half Page $125.00

Quarter Page $80.00 - Eighth Page $50.00

PLEASE show your support for the PHCC & the PHCC Gazette and call today, contact William J. Baumbach II at 703-367-7900.

Better Business Bureau

Let me share with you some letters that have been sent back & forth between the BBB & myself about Baumbach Enterprises Ltd. web page.

On my web page at www.Baumbach.com it reads:

"Baumbach is a member of the (BBB) Better Business Bureau, (NFIB) National Federation of Independent Businesses, TOP RATED by Washingtonian Magazine. "

Below, read the letter I received from the BBB.

You learn something new every day! PLEASE DO NOT ADVERTISE THAT YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE BBB!

Better Business Bureau
1012 14th Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20005-3406

July 22,1998

Dear Mr. Baumbach

Your firm’s Internet advertising recently came to our attention. That advertising included a reference to membership in the Better Business Bureau. Please be advised that such used violates the policy of the BBB. The Bureau name and torch logo are federally registered trademarks held by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The commercial use of our name, including reference to it for sale or promotional purposes, is prohibited.

We are certain that you were unaware of this policy, and trust you will take immediate steps to correct this infraction.

Please provide written assurances that you have ceased use of BBB symbols or references to membership in your advertising within two weeks of receipt of this letter. You may want to review the membership packet material that was sent to you previously for further information about this issue; or feel free to contact me to discuss the matter further.

Yours truly, Judy Tankersley
Trade Practice Consultant
1012 14th St. NW. Washington, D.C.
Phone: 202-393-8015 Fax: 202-393-1198
sales@dc.bbb.org  http://www.dc.bbb.org

Below is my letter to the BBB.

To: Better Business Bureau

I dispute your definition of Internet advertising. My web page www.Baumbach.com is not advertising, it is my place of doing business on the Internet. It is also called my showroom, Internet office.

It is not advertising like the yellow pages, business card’s, newspapers or radio ads etc. It differs in the fact that my web page does not come to you like the other’s, but instead you dial it up like a phone number or you come to it like an address on a office building.

I am doing my business on the Internet as a member of the BBB just like others that have an office building.

Customers are coming to me, I am not advertising to them. They come to my web site just as they would my office building.

They can place service calls and get detailed information about my business from my web page unlike ads such as the yellow pages etc.

I must reiterate that my web page is NOT an ad, but an extension of my office building and a place of doing business. And by your own definition as a member of the BBB I am allowed to put in "one's place of business" the fact I am a member!

Here is another thought, when I post pictures of the inside or outside my office building on the Internet in my virtual office web page, and that picture reveals the BBB plaque or stickers showing that I am a member, is that also considered "prohibited?"

As of 07-24-98 3:30PM I have put the fact I am a member of the BBB back on my web page / Internet office, until the definition of "Internet Advertising" is resolved.

Please respond with the legal definition of the Internet!

I did get a response

BBB update

I will sum up a letter I got from the Better Business Bureau on 07-31-98

Re: Internet use of BBB name at: www.Baumbach.com

"Failure to abide… lead to suspension of membership, and ultimately, to litigation."


So what they are telling me is, if I do not remove this from my web page "Baumbach is member of the (BBB) � Better Business Bureau," they will kick me out and then sue me!

Now I will wait and see what they do next.

I will let you know.

Sponsors of the apprenticeship graduation banquet

We gratefully acknowledge the following companies who have contributed to this event:


J & H Aitcheson, Inc.

Brock Tool

Calvert-Jones Co., Inc.

Noland Company

John Nugent & Sons, Inc.

Pro-Health Water Damage Services

R & B, Inc.

Shapiro & Duncan, Inc.

Simpson Heating & Air Conditioning

Warner Corporation


ACCA A & A Plumbing

Hajoca Corporation The Joyce Agency, Inc.

Leapley Company M. E. Flow, Inc.

M & M Mechanical, Inc. M & R Heating & Air

Thos. Somerville Co., Inc.


Aireco Supply, Inc. Boland Trane

Cummins-Wagner Diamond Tool Company

DMR Associates, Inc. G.F. Morin Company

H & B Products, Inc. Havtech Corporation

King Riston Associates York International Corp., UPG


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