The Comprehensive Border Security and Immigration Reform Bill known as the McCain-Kennedy bill seeks to change the status quo regarding immigration. The American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC) notes differing viewpoints among its members on the bill, entitled “The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act of 2005,” and encourages its members to be informed. The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) asks its members to contact their U.S. senators to urge reform. Two of ACPA's position points are:

We support the McCain-Kennedy proposal and advocate a new work visa program that would have an initial three-year authorization, renewable up to six years ... and with no requirement for undocumented workers to return home.

We support earned legalization for undocumented workers. A guest worker program would begin to harness the problem of future illegal immigration. Establishing a way for undocumented workers to get on a legal path toward citizenship would benefit workers and employers and would prove to be safer for all citizens by having legal aliens in the workforce.

To learn more about immigration reform, illegal immigration, and its human and economic reality go online to Senator Kennedy's website.

The Concrete Foundation Association's (CFA) “Basement of the Year” competition winner is a 5694-square-foot poured concrete basement with many garden walls and very few right-angled corners. The foundation contractor is Jerry Balmer, president of Balmer Brothers Concrete Work, Akron, Ohio. Balmer, who is a three-time Basement of the Year winner, stated that while it wasn't the largest foundation they have completed, it was the most complex. Many corners went from straight to curved walls with a multitude of corners, T-walls, and Y-sections coming in at various angles. One jump, from 9 feet to a 3-foot wall, occurs in the middle of a curved wall. Crews were transitioning curved into straight walls and sometimes curved to curved. Stone ledges surrounding the house added to the complexity. Balmer will receive the award at the CFA's annual summer meeting, July 19 through 22 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Learn more about this year's other winners and the latest on the summer meeting at

Keystone Celebrates 20 Years in the retaining wall industry, dating back to 1986, when founder Paul Forsberg began wet-casting retaining wall units one at a time in the back of a forklift office. Now Keystone holds more than 50 product patents and continues to bring new products to market. An example of its innovation is the new Keystone 133Elite, a larger scale retaining wall unit that combines good looks with a way to increase segmental retaining wall efficiency. Keystone expects the segmental wall system's importance to continue to increase as flat buildable land becomes more scarce. See

Go “Above Grade” with Concrete—Attend the Concrete Technology Tour (CTT) sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) June 11 through 13 in Phoenix. The CTT presents “Building with Concrete: The Basics and Beyond.” Builders, developers, and architects will learn about cement-based building materials used to build concrete homes. TruStone America shows the manufacturing process and construction methods using its autoclaved aerated system. Attendees will also learn all the stages of post-tensioned insulated masonry construction and post-tensioned foundation construction with a tour of the Robson Ranch Community, an Integra Block sub-division. Other features of the tour include Southwest Architectural Precast, Eagle Roof Tile, Superlite Block (an Oldcastle Company), and Suncoast Post-Tension. There will be designer and builder presentations looking at the successes and challenges in constructing concrete homes. As always, good fun is scheduled—a morning golf outing and plenty of networking where attendees have some of their best information exchanges. For more information go to