New program pushes efficient appliances

Published 12:42 pm Wednesday, March 31, 2010

By By Lowell McGill
A new “Cash for Appliances” program officially begins on April 19 and runs “until rebate money runs out”.
Based on information in a story carried by WSFA TV in Montgomery on March 27, Alabamians will be able to join countless other states to participate in this unique program.
The idea is similar to “Cash for Clunkers.” Customers will be eligible for a rebate when they purchase a new Energy Star Appliance,” the report said. “And, the program will not require customers to trade in their old appliances.”
Managers at home stores hope it brings a boost in business, but urge customers to shop early. Now, if this is anything like the “Cash for Clunkers” (Automobiles) you could run into some problems.
Things did not work out so well in that program. In fact, some dealerships ran out of cars and were unable to fill all their orders.
I am not sure of costs for appliances in Alabama, but a report out of Boston this week indicated rebates as follows: dishwashers-$250; refrigerators (Please notice I did not use term fridge) $200; Clothes washers $175 and Freezers- $50.
Exactly what is an Energy Star Appliance? Well, according to Wikipedia, it is energy efficient appliance that saves 20-30 percent energy when in use.
It was introduced during the Clinton Administration in 1992. These appliances are easily recognized by a unique Star logo.
Most all appliance dealers can fill you in on all details about this new program. But, don’t forget. The Star logo must be displayed.
Can you imagine such a program like this back in the 1950s? Or, can you imagine buying an “ice box refrigerator (again I did not say fridge) back in the 1940s. Wise merchants would be smart to include two to three large hunks of ice as incentives to get you to buy.
Rebate programs will certainly be welcome to many states today as unemployment continues to ascend.
In other news, did you realize the great state of Florida has more unemployment than Alabama? A leading Florida Newspaper reported this week that “The Sunshine State” has hit a record unemployment of 12.2 percent in February.
All these transplants from colder climates are flocking mostly to south Florida. And, many of them are making Florida their permanent homes.
Also, speaking of rebates, I have not heard or read anything lately about our $250 stimulus check earmarked for social security recipients.
It was big news just before Christmas when I mentioned it in one of my columns. The reason for the stimulus, of course, is due to the fact social security recipients are not receiving a cost of living increase this year.
Perhaps, we will hear something on it in the near future.
Boy, did I ever get blasted by one reader last week. I wrote about my dislike for contemporary music, particularly in the church.
Now my good coffee drinking buddies will have to rise up and help me. What that reader didn’t realize is the fact those coffee drinking friends planted that seed and I just merely wrote about it in my column.
All these old guys are just like me, getting older each day, telling tall tales and moreover, expressing their dislike for most anything of a contemporary nature.
One of my friends asked “aren’t you supposed to write about ‘old things’ in your columns?” I said “yes I write about all of you, don’t I?”
So, from now on any more emails I receive from disgruntled readers I am going to let these old men offer a response.
I surely don’t want to irritate my readers.
Here, now, is a dab of news and events from 1970.
Dutch Dietz, a former Atmore resident landed a prestigious job as a glamour model in New York. She was the great niece of Mrs. E. D. Fore of Atmore.
W. C. Barrineau of Barrineau Park was named Florida’s “Farmer of the Year.” He was known to many businessmen here as he did much of his business in Atmore.
The 1970 Escambia County Singing Convention hosted a five state “sing” in Brewton. This is better known as “Shape Note Singing” performed in acappella style (that is singing without instrumental accompaniment). D.V. Johnson, president of the county chapter was master of ceremonies.
Beginning in a few weeks, I will begin a series of columns on “music that I grew up with.”
These columns will be somewhat lengthy, but I hope some of you find them interesting.
These writing will be based on Internet research, personal experiences in high school, UOA college radio, WATM and personal contact with several musicians and professionals that I was fortunate to meet.
They will include diversified fields of music, Western Swing (Bob Wills, Spade Cooley Sons of the Pioneers etc) Big Bands (Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Gray, Woody Herman, Benny Goodman, and Louie Prima); Full orchestra and chorus (David Rose, Andre Kostelanetz, Hugo Winterhalter, etc.); the great bands of the Golden Days of Radio (John Scott Trotter, Paul La Valle, Les Brown, etc); traditional Gospel quartets (The Sunshine Boys, The Blue Ridge Quartet, etc.); Classic Country; (Ray Price, Sonny James, Marty Robbins, etc.) and many more.
I began writing these columns a few weeks ago. I am not sure how long it will take me to complete them, probably a couple of months.
But you will understand my reasons as you read these columns. You will be surprised how much you will learn about these famous artists. You will be in awe at some of the photos that will accompany these stories.
I am also preparing a column of some former Atmore musicians, including Glenn Kemp, Paul Crawford and Bay Minette’s George “Bootsie Noonan.”
My mentioning these names will inspire you to want to learn more about their musical accomplishments.
More next time.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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