The Inside Scoop at

Archive for October 2012

Every once in a while I check out The New York Times; today’s website carries this story on its front page. Truly sitting here with my mouth agape, in astonishment, I pass it along to readers of The Inside Scoop at

Owners since JUNE, John Hoffman and Steve Sells had plans — not for the house but for the land. The twosome purchased the Frank Lloyd Wright property with an eye to “splitting the lot”. According to The New York Times, “their plan was to build two luxury homes and make a killing. ‘The dirt alone,’ in the heart of the Arcadia neighborhood and in the shadows of Phoenix’s picturesque Camelback Mountain, ‘would be worth $1.2 to 1.4 million,’ Mr. Sells said.”

Hoffman and Sells paid $1.8 million for the property – which, the paper stresses, was $1 million less than Wright’s granddaughter sold the property for (date of that previous sale is not mentioned).

“They {Hoffman and Sells} felt the approval to divide the lot implied permission to demolish the house, which Wright had built for his son and daughter-in-law, David and Gladys…” A red plaque, signed by Wright, can be found near the front door:

At one point, in August, Sells and Hoffman HAD their demolition permit! By the end of September the city invalidated it, after Preservationists moved to protect the house, asking that it be given landmark status. “Mr. Sells, 50, a technology entrepreneur, said he had no idea of its significance, or of the difference ‘between Frank Lloyd Wright and the Wright brothers’.”

Preservationists have a tough job ahead: Arizona’s landmark status only applies for three years. If the house – which is back on the market – doesn’t find a buyer, Sells is quoted as saying that he’ll wait the three years, “‘Then I’m going to knock it down to recoup my losses.'”

Here’s some brief descriptions of the house – which, unless Federal Historic Preservationists get involved, may not grace the landscape much longer:

Priced at $2,379,000 (heaven forbid there’s no profit in five-months of ownership and a little oil dabbed on the woodwork), the Wright house features four-bedrooms (and four baths); it’s made of galvanized steel and concrete. Built in 1952, there are wood cabinets, shelves, sofas – all designed by Wright:

Join the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation’s online campaign
to save and protect the David Wright House.

click on photo to go to the Foundation.

* * *

Read More:

Learn from another country’s past:

New York Times articles:

Watch these CBS News features:

The past few days the phones have been ringing off the hook with ONE THOUGHT in mind:

“Tell me more about the insulating value of Cellular Window Shades”.

Blinds are certainly a value where there is nothing covering your windows and skylights  <– what one customer called the “black hole” effect. But how does Cellular, specifically, measure up against other window types, mini blinds or window quilts, for instance.

Let’s start with proven savings on cooling AND heating costs:

Upwards of 25% of your costs can be lost through indoor air leaking back outside through your windows and skylights. If you pay $1300, you could be wasting up to $325 annually in heating/cooling! Dare I say it: That amount could buy you THREE 36-inch x 60-inch (width x height) Cellular Shades and still put change in your pocket — thanks to FREE shipping.

By providing window and skylight glass with a Cellular Shade covering, Energy Smart Cellular Shades control drafts – you feel the continuity in temperature. You hear the heating and cooling systems turn on less often.

Symphony Shades, Light Filtering or Black Out fabrics, insulate in 3 ways, as they fight:

  • convection
  • conduction
  • radiation

See our R-Value chart at the end of this post. But first, to answer the question of how Energy Efficient Cellular Shades stack up against other window treatments, check out the insulation “rating” of these popular window coverings, in conjunction with a Double Pane Window:

  • 1-inch mini blinds have an R-Value of 2.3
  • Vertical blinds have an R-Value of 2.3
  • CrystalPleat™ Facets, an R-Value of 3.3
  • Applause™ or Duette™ Classic, an R-Value of 3.5
  • Window Quilts, an R-Value of 3.6

(R-Value measures the thermal resistance –> the HIGHER the number, the more effective the insulating)

NOW compare these insulating values with the R-Values for the various Cellular Window Shades fabrics, without and with ComforTrack sidetracks:

Compare R-value by Fabric Type Shade Only Single Pane                 (+1) Double Pane                 (+1.8) Triple Pane                 (+3.5)
Double Cell Light Filtering 2.8 3.8 4.6 6.3
Double Cell Light Filtering with Tracks 3.3 4.3 5.1 6.8
Double Cell Black Out 4.0 5.0 5.8 7.5
Double Cell Black Out with Tracks 4.7 5.7 6.5 8.2
Single Cell Light Filtering 1.6 2.6 3.4 5.1
Single Cell Black Out 2.5 3.5 4.3 6
Note: Single Cell shades are not available with side tracks

As the nation readies for Boca Raton, and the last presidential debate, I take this opportunity to mention the Debate on Foreign goods. builds the skylights and window blinds in our facility in Williston, Vermont – from US-made parts and fabrics. No spun-lace cellular shade fabric – Symphony Shades are made with high quality bonded polyester. Plastic parts and brackets? Not for our shades!

As the country moves towards the upcoming election, as the weather segues into winter for much of the nation, as the holiday season approaches – think of buying American goods.

Our current sale gives a FREE UPGRADE to Cordless shades, a child-safety feature. You can obtain immediate price quotes — or request FREE color samples.

Yesterday, a customer had a LOT of “green” questions – so I ultimately ended up at the “Sins of Greenwashing” website. The thrilling news is their claim of 73% more green products on the market today than in 2009.

The downside: their last report is dated 2010!

However, I was still drawn to their Seven Sins of Greenwashing (as illustrated at left).

So, for a little fun and enlightenment, here are their SEVEN DEADLY SINS:

  • Sin of Hidden Trade-Off: claiming a product is green without attention to other important environmental issues
  • Sin of No Proof: claims that cannot be substantiated.
  • Sin of Vagueness: a poorly-defined claim. “All natural” is an example.
  • Sin of Worshipping False Labels: when, through words or images, a third-party endorsement is suggested where none exists.
  • Sin of Irrelevance: when an environmental claim is truthful – but unimportant, or unhelpful.
  • Sin of Lesser of Two Evils: “Organic” cigarettes is an example of this sin, or a “fuel-efficient” SUV.
  • Sin of Fibbing: Environmental claims that are simply false.

One of the forerunners of the “green” movement must surely be Mother Earth News – which includes in its franchise the magazine Mother Earth Living. Look for our ad!

Readers of this blog will suspect that I am an ardent fan of the Vermont publication 7 Days; today, perusing upcoming events while at lunch,

I spotted this extra-special spooktacular taking place in Proctor, Vermont on Saturday night, October 13th at:


Guests participate in a Murder Mystery! Calling all Sherlocks! Channel your inner Sir Peter Wimsey! Where’s Agatha Christie when you need her?

Wilson Castle’s Murder Mystery Live! nights
follow this basic premise:

  • Combination Dinner Theater, Scavenger Hunt, & Reality Game
  • Be yourself, or assume an identity – it’s up to you
  • You will not be asked to pretend it is another time period or setting
  • Each mystery is different, so you can come back again and again

Enjoy Cocktail hour (BYOB) between 6 and 7 PM, and take the time to “do a little exploring…. Remember, anything could be a clue, anyone in the castle could be a suspect.”

At 7 PM, Rusty Trombley, your host, will give a tour / history of the Castle – and the basics of the game. “Solving the night’s Mystery will take some keen detective work, imagination, memory, and maybe even some deception to throw off your competition. GREED and DISHONESTY is fair game.”

Food on offer to suit any diet — it’s a small buffet of hot and cold entrées, salads, cheese & crackers, fruits and sweets; complimentary water, ice tea, glasses & ice for your BYOB beverages. “Be social, get names, and be alert”!

“After intermission, you will be given exclusive rights to search this mysterious mansion and the secrets that it houses. Pay attention and watch other’s reactions. You are permitted to ‘gently Search’ in unlocked closets, drawers and rooms… At some point you will be asked for your first impressions and deductions. If you are getting close, we will step the game up a notch or send you back hunting for clues.”

Please: Semi-Formal to Formal, or period costume preferred. No shorts (brrrr!) or sandals (we’ve just spotted snow here in Williston). You may want to bring a flashlight.

* * *

PERFECT Time to Remind Readers –>



Order your shades in Night Sky 3499-our Double Cell Black Out; or Licorice 4499-our Single Cell Black Out, and takes off an extra 10% from the base shade price.

I’ve been looking forward to today’s date for days: October 11, 2012 — or, 10/11/12. It just rolls off the tongue!

I couldn’t wait to point out the date to our Soft-Treatment Guru, a very lucky fellow who too-frequently wins with scratch tickets. Surely today would add to his luck! His reaction was very dull indeed…. Ah, balloon faded a bit…

…but balloon did not completely burst.

A look online and there I found others like me, intrigued by the sequence of numbers. Konstantin Kakaes even felt “in a slightly better mood than I usual am.”

Numbers are important to a company like — why? because without numbers, and accurate ones to boot, we couldn’t build our shades. EVERYthing is calculated beforehand so that all the parts fit together like a finely-crafted glove. In this instance, a glove against cold drafts and heating sun-rays.

So, while many couples will be hearing wedding bells on 12/12/12 – maybe more bridal homes would like a nuptials facelift along the lines of Dan in Maine. I still think his new skylight shades “rescued” the wedding!

Blog by Michelle, one of the customer care duo at

Many Vermonters would agree that Fall is a beautiful time in our state (even with the impending winter, which some of us do not gleefully look forward to).  Occasionally I will be driving along on my way to work or some errand and catch a glimpse of a stunning view.

I’ve made it a habit to have a camera in the cup holder when I’m driving around, just in case. I’m going to share a few photos with you from this year in this post.  They may not be high autumn color, but I think you may appreciate them. Click the photo for a larger view. (No lives were endangered in the taking of these photos.)

Geese flying southwest over South Burlington, VT 10/7/12

Geese flying southwest en masse on October 7

View of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

View of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

View of Lake Champlain from Spear St in Shelburne

Another view of Lake Champlain and Shelburne Bay

Allen Road in October

A photo of a Vermont Road on an Autumn morning

Check out Michelle’s other Guest Blogs!

Made in the Shade

Holiday Shopping

OCTOBER is “National Window Covering Safety Month”. This nationwide campaign, by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Window Covering Safety Council, alerts consumers to the potential hazards of window cords. The push is on to use only CORDLESS window treatments for child-friendly homes.

The Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) has the following tips to ensure that your child’s room is a SAFE room:

  • NEVER place a crib, playpen, bed, or low-standing furniture near a window. Young Children can fall through an open window or window screen.
  • CRIBS should be in compliance with the latest safety standards, with snug-fitting mattress and head- and footboards without decorative cut-outs or corners post extensions.
  • Once your child is able to push up on hands or knees, REMOVE crib toys strung across the crib or playpen to avoid strangulation hazards.
  • Fluffy comforters or pillows are a suffocation hazard. Keep them OUT of the crib.
  • Cover ALL electrical outlets.
  • Consider spring-loaded lid supports for toy chests: PREVENT a child playing inside from being trapped.
  • All child products, like powder and diaper ointment, should be kept OUT OF REACH.
  • Choose your window treatments with children in mind — the Cellular Shades pictured above feature the CORDLESS lift option.

To *Celebrate* Child Safety, is offering FREE Cordless Upgrades on Window Shades: that’s a savings of  up to $78 on each shade!

If you prefer the versatility of the Cordless Top Down Bottom Up lift option, our sale will save you $30 per shade.

For more on the subject of SAFETY see,

  • Child Safety: When CORDLESS is not possible for your application

Visit the Window Covering Safety Council website for the full story on safety.

Your Source for Insulating Cellular Shades

CWS offers custom-made cellular shades in both double and single cell light-filtering or blackout fabrics.

CLICK to Visit Our Online Store!

CellularWindowShades are

FREE Color Samples


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