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The Frattalone Scoop - Summer 2000 - Vol. 7 Iss. 3

A Message from Nick Frattalone

August already? Although it may not feel like summer is almost over, it is. Due to the unfortunate cold and rainy spring and summer weather, we ere not able to "get off on the right foot" this year. But, like anyone must do to survive, we overcame the circumstance and are back at full stride. Once again, we have built up our backlog of work in order to keep you, the employee, working and happy.

As I'm sure you are aware, this past spring brought about a sign in our economy that we haven't seen in a while, a slowdown. With inflation and consumer spending on the rise, our government was destined to put a stop to this with the increase in interest rates. Now, at first glance we think; "How does this affect us? Home Mortgage rates will go up, I won't move. Car loan rates go up, I won't buy a new car." But you must look deeper into the equation and see how it affects your job.

Ninety-nine percent of the jobs we do involve an owner who must borrow money, with interest being charged, in order to pay the bill. With the interest rates going up, fewer owners can now afford to borrow the money. This creates a very competitive bidding scenario in our industry. The prices of hourly wages, supplies and materials, equipment, and fuel have all increased over this past year, while at the same time we have reduced our bid process in order to get work.

How do we survive? We do this by retaining the key ingredient to our company's success, YOU, the employee. We believe here at Frattalone Excavating that we have the best group of workers in our industry. This allows us to remain competitive in tough markets so that we get the volume of work necessary to keep everyone busy through the season. Remember my last article? I focused it entirely on our company's efficiency and ways to improve it. I would hope we are all continuously looking for ways to operate more efficiently in order to benefit the company and YOU, the employee, as well. (I hope no one is forgetting about the "Profit-Based-Bonus" that was introduced at the Spring Start-up Meeting)

Work safe, work hard, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Nick Frattalone
Corporate Treasurer

The Safety Corner

A couple of weeks ago a friend and coworker, John Kocur, was injured on the job, breaking both of his wrists. John is also a Hay Farmer when he is not on the job with us. Knowing how much work there is to do on a farm, approximately 20 of John's coworkers got together on two separate evenings, drove down to the Kocur farm and stacked hay. The response and willingness of all of the guys amazed me. It really shows what a strong team we have here at Frattalone Excavating.

We need to take this a step further. Being the strong company that we are, we should be willing to help each other before an accident or injury occurs. SAFETY FIRST! All of us have to be watching out for dangerous situations on the job site, talking with each other,  and with the foreman, to stay out of harm's way. Most accidents and injuries can be avoided with good pre-task planning and everyone watching out for each other. An ounce of prevention is the best medicine.

Hats off to the Hay Stacking Crews:

Damion Fitterer Brian Gaffney
Jeff Viner Lee Gass
Jack Kuehn Troy Williams
Joe Herkenhoff Steve Kohler
Todd Olund Robb Buche
Mark Krause Dylan Larson
Todd Johnson Lance Hammer
Robert Weyer Norm Everson
Dave Meath Steve Buche
John Christiansen

If you are interested in helping John out on some upcoming evening, give Steve Buche a call (651) 484-0448.

Stay healthy and Safe!
Steve Buche
Field and Safety Coordinator

Fishing Contest

Results as of 8-4-00:

Walleye 1st
Bob Helland
Dean Law
Frank Belisle
8lb. 3oz.
8lb. 1oz.
7lb. 8oz.
Northern 1st
Josh Dickhausen
Rob Bushe
Dean Law
8lb. 8oz.
3lb. 10oz.
Bass 1st
Bob Garin
Bob Hoffman
Dean Law
5lb. 9oz.
5lb. 4oz.
4lb. 10oz.
Crappie 1st
Scott Flesch
Benjamin Olund
Steve Buche
1lb. 4oz.
1lb. 2oz.
Sunfish 1st
Frank Belisle
Frank Belisle
Frank Belisle
Jeff Ziegelmeyer
1lb. 7oz.
1lb. 4oz.

Keep those entries coming in! Every tenth entry receives a T-Shirt. Winners so far are Lee Gass and Bob Hoffman.

Upcoming events for the "anglers":

  • On Saturday, September 9th there will be a Walleye Tournament on Lake Milacs. Look for the flyers soon, or contact Dean Law or Frank Belisle if interested.
  • This winter we will be having a fishing rod building class, which will consist of 3 - 2 hour classes. more info to follow!

Company Meetings

Following are the dates for the all company safety and informational meetings for the rest of the year. these meetings are a very important part of keeping you informed of company policies and procedures. Your attendance is mandatory.

  • Thursday, 8/10/00 @ 6:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, 10/26/00 @ 5:30 p.m.

Holiday Schedule

Listed below are the days Frattalone Excavating will be closed.

Labor Day Monday 9/4/00
Thanksgiving Thursday 11/23/00
Christmas Monday 12/25/00
New Years Monday 1/01/01

3rd Annual Frattalone Golf Tournament

The 3rd Annual  Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, September 9th at Gem Lake Golf Course. It was originally scheduled for August 5th, but had to be changed because of some conflicts. The tee times start at 10:00 a.m. The sign up sheet will be posted on the lunch room door within the next couple of weeks. It's always a great time! Hopefully more can join us this year.

New Employees:

Darren Merth James Mattson
Todd Elbert Steve Trudeau
Peter Peterson Brian Radtke
Steve Levinski Norm Everson
Robert Brooks Stacie Lynn Louis
Tucker Cramlet Kristian Vitalis
Jason Gabrick Dan Craoston
Jack Entzel Kory Kunza

Welcome Aboard!

Frattalone Christmas Party

O.K., I know it's hard to think Christmas in July, but I know everybody likes to get that date on their calendars! The Christmas Party will be on Saturday, December 9th at the Maplewood Community Center again this year.

Splat Ball

We are getting a group together for a day of splat ball in Hinckley on Sun., Aug. 13th from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. The cost will be $20.00/person (includes a gun, mask and 200 paint balls.) Sign up in the shop or contact Troy Williams or Dave Meath with any questions.

Jonathon Sam's Update

In the spring newsletter there was an article about Jonathon Sams (Mike Sams' nephew) who is 13 years old and is fighting bone cancer. Frattalone Excavating matched any donations made by employees and their families. We raised $300.00! Jonathon had surgery in May and it went well. Though he has 4 months of Chemotherapy left, his family is very optimistic. Please keep Jonathon and his family in your prayers. Thanks again to everyone who made a donation.

CLC Golf Tournament

Frattalone Excavating held the 2nd Annual Central Lakes College Golf Tournament on July 18th. Despite the rain, the tournament was another success. We raised over $15,000.00, with all the proceeds going to the Heavy Equipment Program at the College, located in Staples, MN. Thanks to all that helped and participated.

For the "Health" of it...Get a grip on Anxiety
(from Let's Live, August addition)

Anxiety, although not pleasant, plays a protective role in our lives. The feeling of apprehension - that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach - is a natural warning signal. Anxiety occurs as part of the stress, or "fight or flight," response, a built-in mechanism to ensure our survival in the face of danger. Anxiety often triggers excessive activity, from restlessness and pacing to tossing and turning with insomnia. Trivial, everyday problems may suddenly seem unmanageable, exaggerated beyond all proportion. You may feel tense and moody. this is bad enough, but the long-term damage is potentially more serious. Prolonged, continuous stress suppresses the immune system, depletes the body of essential nutrients and can lead to high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels and heart disease.

Anxiety can also be related to low blood-sugar levels, or hypoglycemia. Any combination of poor diet, irregular mealtimes and stress can cause blood-sugar levels to dip, with resulting irritability, anxiety, depression, fatigue and even headaches. Then, to raise blood sugar, many people unknowingly "help" the process along by reaching for a cup of coffee, a doughnut or a cola. The solution is to stabilize blood sugar by eliminating coffee and sugar, and eating a regular schedule of healthy meals with sufficient protein, "good" fats and complex carbohydrates. An alternate to using some of the additive drugs to treat stress, anxiety and insomnia is using herbal remedies, which are more compatible than drugs, with our body chemistry.

Some of the best anti-anxiety herbs are:

Kava - A south pacific herb that increases awareness. Taken in low doses, kava calms, where higher doses will naturally enhance sleep.

Valerian - A favorite for the treatment of anxiety. It has a tranquilizing effect without the side effects of drugs.

St. John's Wart - is used as an antidepressant, which enhances the mood-elevating neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine and also has a calming effect.

Siberian Ginseng - this plant helps the body cope with stress and anxiety, supporting the adrenal gland, which often becomes depleted.

Although these supplements can help in balancing moods and energy, a wholesome diet is essential. Adding lifestyle enhancers, such as meditation exercise, massage and other types of self-care therapies are imperative for a well-rounded anxiety reduction program. Exercise alone goes a long way toward enhancing mood, calming anxiety and overcoming insomnia. And, of course, a combination of all of these can lead you out of the stress trap and into a more relaxed, fulfilling life!

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