Archive for the News Category

HPBA Board Meeting June 18 2014

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Rett Rasmussen reports from the HPBA Board of Directors meeting he attended in Nashville on June 18, 2014:

This was the summer meeting that is traditionally held in the city of the next HPBExpo. We were given a tour of the new Music City Center. As you may recall, the Expo was supposed to be held here in 2013, but they were not yet completed with the construction, so Expo went back to Orlando. It was worth the wait! This is a beautiful venue in a hoppin’ town. Check out my photos above.

The Omni is the headquarters hotel and HPBA has blocked out the entire 700 rooms. You can’t ask for a more convenient location, as the Music City Center is right across the street, is next door to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and is two blocks from Broadway, which is lined with honky tonk bars and clubs, western clothing and cowboy hat stores, and lots of live music. The burn area is between the Omni and the Music City Center.

Please make plans to be in Nashville next March 5-7. In my many travels around the country this year, most everyone is excited for going to Nashville, and for good reason.

The rest of the meeting was fairly routine, with departmental reports and administrative matters. All is well with HPBA.

HPBA Board Meeting

Rett Rasmussen attended the Board Meeting for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association on July 19 in Salt Lake City, UT. The Board traditionally has its summer meeting at the site of the next Expo, which will be in Salt Lake City March 5-8, 2014 in Salt Lake City. In an effort to improve both exhibitor and attendee participation in the Expo, the Board voted to flatten the exhibitor rates to just Member and Non-Member pricing (from six different rates), and to reduce the Non-Member Attendee cost to $75 from $150. The Expo accounts for 70% of the revenue of HPBA, and with all of the fights HPBA has been leading against government regulation of various facets of our industry, we need as much revenue as possible. The Expo and Membership committees were tasked with resolving competing interests in further reducing the cost for attendees for future shows while not losing out on Affiliate memberships, who are primarily Retailers.

Because of a changes made by EPA, the Board voted to increase the cap on funds dedicated to addressing the NSPS (New Source Performance Standards governing wood burning emissions) to $685,000 from $235,000.

The Board voted to investigate naming Operation BBQ Relief as a “signature charity” of the HPBA. Learn about the good works they have done at http://operationbbqrelief.org

As you may know, the DC Court of Appeals ruled in favor of HPBA in our case against the US Department of Energy over gas fireplaces, standing pilots, etc. The court victory significantly limited the regulatory options available to DOE. Given their loss in court, their decision not to appeal and the effects of sequestration on the department, it is difficult to determine DOE’s next steps. HPBA is moving forward proactively, however, with legislation to provide clarity in the definitions of “Vented Hearth Heaters” and “decorative hearth products”, and statutory clarification that DOE may not regulate decorative hearth products. Representative Mike Pompeo, 4th District from Kansas, has stepped up to sponsor the legislation. Stay tuned for what you can do to help push this through Congress.

The Board toured the Salt Palace Convention Center. The Outdoor Burn Area for next year’s Expo will be in an adjacent parking lot, the same location as at the 2006 Expo. The headquarters hotel will be the Marriott at Salt Creek. Opened in 2012 directly across the street from the Salt Place, Salt Creek is two-block shopping center of upscale retailers, restaurants and a food court. Staff is determining whether the industry party will be held in the Salt Palace or in an off-site location. They are also working with the convention bureau on skiing and other packages that could be tacked on to the beginning or end of the Expo dates.

The strength of any organization is in its members, and HPBA needs to grow its membership in order to continue the leadership role it has taken in fighting the threats to our industry that continue to pop up. If you sell gas or wood hearth products, you are benefiting from HPBA’s advocacy, and can show your support through your membership (see http://bit.ly/join-hpba to join or renew). Rasmussen is a pioneer member of HPBA, having joined the original Wood Heating Alliance (as HPBA was known then) when it first started in 1980. We know we can’t do it alone, and don’t believe it is proper to ride free on the backs of others, so we continue to renew our membership each year.

Wall Street Journal Article – 2/12/13

WSJCourt Snuffs Out Rule on Fake Fireplaces

By RYAN TRACY

WASHINGTON—The Department of Energy’s push to make gas-log fireplaces use less energy has flamed out, at least temporarily, after a court decision that will force the agency to rewrite efficiency rules.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in a 2-1 decision, threw out rules adopted in 2011 to regulate faux hearths—household products that simulate a wood fire with artificial logs and a natural-gas flame. On Monday, an Department of Energy spokeswoman declined to say whether the Obama administration will try again with new rules after the appeals court decision, which was released Friday.

“We hold DOE’s feet to a not-so-decorative fire,” wrote Judge Janice Rogers Brown for the majority. She wrote that the department needed to do more homework in order to justify efficiency standards on “decorative” fireplaces.

The department had said that the 1987 National Appliance Energy Conservation Act allowed it to regulate fireplaces “designed to furnish warm air,” including products designed to heat up a room and “decorative” models designed primarily for aesthetics. To placate manufacturers, the department excluded decorative products from the strictest part of the 2011 rule.

The Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, an industry group, sued anyway, saying the rule still illegally imposed requirements on decorative products.

“We are gratified that the court agreed that the Department of Energy overstepped its bounds in regulating these products,” said Jack Goldman, the group’s president.

The ruling left the door open to future regulations. The majority opinion said the agency could regulate decorative products, not as heating devices but separately under the 1987 law. In that case, the department would have to justify the rule by analyzing the products’ energy use and improvements manufacturers could feasibly make.

Judge A. Raymond Randolph dissented, saying the Department of Energy acted mostly correctly when it exempted decorative fireplaces from the law’s main restrictions.

Rett Rasmussen, whose company, Rasmussen Iron Works Inc. of Whittier, Calif., makes decorative fireplace sets, said he hoped the ruling was the “final word” on the matter.

If the department does move forward with new rules, “we are going to protect ourselves and protect what rights we have under the law,” he said. “I hope that they do so in a much more thought-out and more measured way.”

Gas Logs Saved! Court Rules In Our Favor.

We Win!

DC Court of Appeals Rules for Fireplace Industry

Gas Logs Saved! Court Rules In Our Favor.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit sided with the Hearth Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA) and its Gas Logs and Fireplace manufacturing members in their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy in a ruling released today. (Read the full text: DC Court of Appeals Ruling)

Industry had challenged two Final Rules issued by DOE in 2011 that imposed severe restrictions on Vented Decorative Hearth products and which would have greatly altered their appearance, performance and, ultimately, their appeal to consumers, all in a negative way. We filed a lawsuit to protect our interests while attempting to negotiate an outcome that would have been more beneficial to all parties.

In late 2011 we were able to convince DOE to remove gas logs from their rules regarding eliminating standing pilots and other restrictions. However, DOE kept the door open for future regulation by defining gas logs as “Vented Hearth Heaters.” Other provisions regarding Vented Decorative Fireplaces were to take effect on April 16, 2013, and would have except for this ruling, as negotiations had gone nowhere.

This ruling by the DC Court of Appeals appears to have closed that door by throwing out the regulatory definition of “Vented Hearth Heater” and by invalidating the two DOE Final Rules issued in 2011. However, government being what it is in this era of over-reaching regulation, DOE may still appeal this ruling, or respond with new regulations. We will remain ever vigilant in responding to any further attempts by DOE to impose regulations that are beyond their regulatory jurisdiction, or which do not serve the public or industry.

But today, we are thankful for the reprieve afforded by this ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Rasmussen hopes that Thanksgiving finds you surrounded by family and friends, with an ample table of seasonal delights, and filled with a spirit of gratitude. While there is much to be wary of in the future, we have much to be thankful for from the past and in the present, and it is fitting to give thanks.

 

We at Rasmussen are grateful to live in a country that is vigilant in the security of its citizens, both here and abroad. We are thankful for those in the various services who are on watch away from their families so that we may share Thanksgiving with ours. We have solemn gratitude for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country, and for their families who must live with their loss.

 

We are thankful for our families, our co-workers, our customers, our reps, and our suppliers. We are thankful for the ability to create products that give people comfort and bring happiness to their lives, and we are thankful for the opportunity to serve those who buy, sell and use our products.

 

We are thankful to live in a country where we can worship as we choose, and give thanks to our God from whom all blessings flow.

 

God Bless you all, our country and have a Happy Thanksgiving.

9/11/2001 – We Remember…How Could We Ever Forget?!

[Read below for a tribute to the Benghazi Four]

“This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never,
never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty –
never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.
Never yield to force;
never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
— Sir Winston Churchill, 1941

 
 
 

“Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom.
Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our
enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.”
— President George W. Bush, Address to Joint Session of Congress, September 20, 2001

 
 

 

“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
— President Abraham Lincoln, “Gettysburg Address”, November 19, 1863

 

God bless America, land that I love
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above.
From the mountains To the prairies,
To the ocean white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

— Irving Berlin
 
 
 

 

On September 11, 2012, we added four more names to those who died on American sovereign territory at the hands of Islamic Jihadists. The American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked by a heavily armed group of men shouting “Allahu Akbar.” Three Americans and seven Libyan guards were injured, and the following four Americans were killed:


J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. Ambassador to Libya for three months, having server in Libya twice before in other diplomatic capacities. 52 years old. He earned a B.A. in history in 1982 at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1983 to 1985, he taught English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco. He graduated with a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1989, and received an M.S. degree from the National War College in 2010. He spoke English, Arabic, and French. He was the eight US Ambassador to be killed in the line of duty, the first since 1988. Ambassador Stevens is buried in his family’s ancestral plot in Grass Valley, CA.
 
Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer. 34 years old. Served for six years in the US Air Force. Smith was known as a leading player and former member of the Council of Stellar Management in the Eve Online gaming community (under the username “Vile Rat”) and was a moderator on the Something Awful forums. On the day of his death, Smith typed a message to the director of his online gaming corporation that read, “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” Smith is survived by his wife, Heather, and children, Samantha and Nathan.
 
 
 

Glen Doherty. US Navy SEAL for 10 years. 42 years old. Served two tours in 2003 Gulf War “Iraqi Freedom”. Private contractor working for peace and security in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. From B. Curtis, friend and former Navy SEAL: ““Glen Doherty was a true American hero in every essence of the word. He embodied the selfless spirit, unwavering determination to succeed, and dedication to our country that sets the standard for what every American should strive to be.”
 

Tyrone S. Woods. US Navy SEAL for 20 years. 41 years old. Was awarded the Bronze Star with combat “V” Device for valor in Iraq. Since 2010, as a member of State Department Diplomatic Security, Tyrone protected American diplomats in posts from Central America to the Middle East. Woods also served with distinction at the Naval Medical Center San Diego as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Having settled in Imperial Beach, CA, for a year of his retirement he owned The Salty Frog bar there. He is survived by his second wife, Dr. Dorothy Narvaez-Woods, their one child, and two sons from a previous marriage.
 
In the years since the attack on the US Consulate and the deaths of these Americans, no prosecutions have been made of any of the attackers. (On August 6, 2013, The United States Department of Justice filed the first criminal charges in the Benghazi attack against Ahmed Abu Khattala, leader of a Libyan militia. The charges were sealed and their exact nature wasn’t clear, nor was the number of suspects named in the case). Much controversy has swelled around the Obama administration and media response to the attack, with charges of cover-up and foot-dragging through Congressional hearings (remember “what difference does it make?”) to uncover the truth about the lack of response to aid the heroic Americans who were under attack for over seven hours. Regardless, just as with the attacks years earlier on 9/11/01, we must always remember our countrymen who perished from this earth prematurely, and we must remain ever vigilant against those who are a threat to our liberty, faith and American way of life.

Rotisserie Turkey Tips on a Solaire Infrared Grill:

  1. At Solaire Blog;
  2. At Great Grilling Simplified;
  3. Helpful videos at the Solaire Youtube Channel.

 

At Christmas I roasted our family’s 15 pound turkey on our 42-inch Solaire Infrared Grill. We have the IRBQ-42C, which does not have the rear infrared rotisserie burner. Not to worry, as you can prepare almost any kind of food on a Solaire – it’s all about managing the heat.

A happy Solaire customer had told me how she brined her turkey at Thanksgiving, so I thought I would give that a try. There are many brine recipes on the web. I combined a couple to create a solution of apple juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, kosher sea salt and various spices. I placed the bird in a 5 gallon bucket and soaked it in the brine solution and ice overnight, turning the turkey over once during the night. Brining is supposed to add moisture and flavor (in the end, it didn’t hurt to do so).

I then placed the spit rod through the turkey, tied the wings with twine (you don’t want any parts flopping around as it turns) and balanced it as best as I could using the counter-weight. In theory, if you have a perfectly balanced load, a rotisserie motor could turn an unlimited amount of weight. It’s the unbalanced load that creates the strain on the motor. So you want to eliminate as much of the grinding noise you hear as the motor strains to bring the load “over the top”. Balancing the food on the rod as best as you can will lengthen the life of your rotiss motor.

I then preheated all of the burners in my grill for three minutes (that’s all it takes with Solaire Infrared to reach maximum temperature). I coated the bird with olive oil, then mated the bird/spit rod to the motor, directly over one of the burners.

I seared the turkey over the direct infrared high heat for about 15 minutes (or until the juices really start to flow). This really starts the cooking process and is the Solaire Infrared advantage for any type of food you wish to grill. (If your grill has the rear infrared rotisserie burner, turn it on and leave it running during the entire process. The bird will be finished sooner with the additional direct heat, without sacrificing any succulence).

Please note the oven thermometer on the back ledge of the grill. While most Solaire grilling is done with the hood up and air temperature is inconsequential, the next phase of grilling this turkey is aided by having a thermometer. I purchased this one at the grocery store a few years ago for less than $10. It can be placed on the rear or side ledges – it’s just to provide a guideline of the temp when you close the hood during the next phase.

On to the next phase. After searing the bird over the direct infrared heat, now we move to using indirect heat utilizing the BBQ Tray accessory. First turn the burners to two dots up from the lowest setting on the valves. Place the BBQ Tray directly underneath the turkey and fill it with water (I’ve used beer and wine in the past – your choice).

The liquid in the tray serves two functions: (1) It keeps the tray from warping as the direct infrared heat is converted to convected heat; and (2) It steams up into the food, acting as a self-baste to keep the food moist. Then close the hood. After a few minutes, take a peek at the thermometer. You want to achieve around 350 degrees F. Adjust the valves as necessary to achieve and maintain this temperature. Refill the BBQ Tray with liquid as needed, ensuring that it never goes dry. During the cooking you want to adjust the balance as needed to ensure smooth turning.

The bird will get nicely roasted on the outside over time. The true measure of doneness, however, is when the internal temperature in the meaty part of the breast reaches 165-degrees F. Test with an instant-read thermometer (the kind professional chefs keep in their pocket). This 15 pound turkey took close to 2 hours (120 minutes) to do so. When this is achieved, remove the turkey from the grill and let stand (rest) for 20 to 30 minutes before carving (the bird will continue to cook during this time).

This turkey looked great on the outside, and was juicy and flavorful on the inside. But the true test of success is how your guests respond. Please note the plates of these happy teenagers at the “kid’s table.” They ate all of the turkey first, leaving the prime rib and mashed potatoes for last.

Happy Grilling!

NEW! Radiant Patio Heaters

Rasmussen is now the US distributor for a new, contemporary-styled radiant infrared patio heater from Bromic of Australia.  Please learn more at www.radiantpatioheater.com.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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