Vinyl siding loses lead as top cladding for new homes

Vinyl siding has lost its 25-year lead to stucco as the most popular cladding choice for newly constructed houses, while fiber cement gained ground to round out the top three exterior wall materials.

Stucco was installed on 27 percent of the 903,000 single-family houses built in 2019 compared to vinyl siding on 25 percent and fiber cement on 21 percent, according to the characteristics of new housing data collected in a survey of construction by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of the other exterior siding materials, brick was installed on 20 percent of new houses, wood on 5 percent, and “other,” as in concrete block, stone and aluminum, on 2 percent, the survey says.

In the latest shift, stucco gained 2 percent, fiber cement picked up 1 percent, vinyl siding and brick each lost 1 percent, and use of wood and other materials held steady, the survey also says.

The figures,

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Lux Interior, 62, Dies; Lead Singer of the Punk Band the Cramps

Lux Interior, who introduced the excitement of deviant rockabilly to the punk era as the lead singer of the Cramps, died early Wednesday in Glendale, Calif. He was 62.

The cause was heart failure, said Aleix Martinez, the band’s publicist.

The Cramps were founded in New York around 1976 by Lux Interior (born Erick Purkhiser in Stow, Ohio) and the guitarist Poison Ivy (Kristy Wallace) with a distinct musical and visual style. As connoisseurs of seemingly all forms of trashy pop culture from the 1950s and ’60s — ranging from ghoulish comic books to Z-grade horror films to the rawest garage rock — they developed a sound that mixed the menace of rockabilly’s primitivist fringe with dark psychedelia and the blunt simplicity of punk.

Cultivating a sense of sleazy kitsch, the band played songs with titles like “Creature From the Black Leather Lagoon,” and its members dressed like a rock

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Interior secretary repeals ban on lead bullets

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeThe case for transferring federal lands back to Native Americans International hunting council disbands amid litigation Europe deepens energy dependence on Russia MORE signed an order Thursday overturning a ban on using lead ammunition on wildlife refuges.

Zinke signed the order on his first day in office, overturning a policy implemented by former Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe on Jan. 19, the Obama administration’s last full day in office.

Ashe’s policy banned the use of lead ammunition and fishing tackle on all FWS wildlife refuges that allow hunting or fishing, as well as in all other hunting or fishing regulated by the agency elsewhere.

It was meant to help prevent plants and animals from being poisoned by lead left on the ground or in the water.

“After reviewing the order and the process by which it was promulgated, I have determined

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