Monthly Archives

February 2018

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California Could Legalize Street Vendors across the State

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California Could Legalize Street Vendors across the State

In many cities across the state of California, there are restrictions and laws against street side vendors. Many cities, such as Los Angeles, make it a criminal act to sell food without a license, which means any street vendor caught doing so could face jail time. Some people feel that this is too harsh of a punishment, which is why Senator Ricardo Lara has a new proposal aimed at changing that.

Senator Lara’s proposed law would make it so that cities all across the state could not regulate or ban street vendors unless the city has a licensing system in place that meets several requirements that would be set by the state. This new state law would overwrite any city laws and ordinances that do not mesh with it.

Cities would also not be permitted to prevent vendors from selling in parks. Vendors will also not be required to seek permission from brick-and-mortar business owners to sell in front of their stores. Of course, this raises concerns for many brick-and-mortar store owners.

These store owners feel that this law could negatively affect them by allowing street vendors to set up shop wherever they please. They could cause disturbances and block sidewalks, they can create excess litter, and create unfair competition for the store owners.

Many Californians are concerned by the fact that the state is trying to micromanage cities in neighborhoods who may not want street vendors on their sidewalks. While Senator Lara has attempted to remove some of those concerns, he has yet to give all of the details with regards to the bill. Concerned Californians will just have to wait and see how this all turns out.

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Do You Believe in a Flu Season?

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Do You Believe in a Flu Season?

There are all kinds of people out there in the world, and all of them have their own believes and views. Some of them make sense, and others are just plain bizarre. Every once in a while, you hear of a belief that just seems too crazy to be true. For instance, some people think that there is no such thing as a flu season.

For those unaware, a flu season is classified as an annually recurring period of the year where there are consistently large sized outbreaks of the flu. These seasons typically coincide with the cold seasons, which vary from the Northern to Southern Hemispheres. The flu season lasts for roughly 6 weeks in each hemisphere. This is a trend that had been tracked and monitored for years now.

Recently, a televangelist told her followers that there was nothing to worry about when they brought their concerns of this year’s flu season to her. In case you didn’t know, a televangelist are Christian ministers, official or self-proclaimed, who spread their messages primarily through television broadcasts. When asked about the flu season, this televangelist told her followers that there is a duck season and a deer season, but there is no flu season. She informed them that Jesus gave them the flu shot and that redeemed them from the curse of the flu.

However, this televangelist’s followers were right to have some concerns. This flu season has been rather severe, quickly rivaling the 2014-2015 season. So far, this year’s flu season has claimed the lives of 37 children.

Now of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, there are some times when people’s opinions seem extremely questionable, especially when facts have been proven otherwise.

So, what do you think? Do you believe in a flu season, or is there not enough evidence to back that up?

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Use Your Tax Return to Post Bail

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Use Your Tax Return to Post Bail

It’s that time of the year again where everyone needs to sit down and file their taxes. Some people may be receiving a very sizable check from the government after doing that. This leaves many with the enviable problem of having money to send, and no idea what to do with it. Of course, the smart thing to do would be to put it away in case of an emergency.

Of course, you could already be facing family emergency if one of your loved ones has been arrested. If someone you care about is currently in jail, then you should use the money from your tax return to help post bail. You can put that extra bit of money to good use.

Bail in the state of California is not cheap, it typically costs several thousands of dollars. This is why most people turn to bail bond companies for help. A bail bond only costs 10% of the price of the bail itself. You can get even more discounts by going to Carls Bail Bonds for help.

Here at Carls Bail Bonds we provide our clients with affordable bail bonds. On top of that, we offer personalized payment plans for all of our clients and additional discounts for those that qualify. Clients with approved credit can get their bail bond at 0% down, which means they do not have to make a payment until a month after their loved one is released from jail.

Having an extra bit of cash from your tax returns can go a very long way. So, if you are getting a sizable check from the government after filling your taxes, consider putting it away for a rainy day or using it to bail out your loved one. You will be glad you did.

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Interview Tips You Should Know

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Interview Tips You Should Know

Even though we’re not in a recession anymore and the economy seems to be turning around, getting a job is hard. There are millions of people constantly applying for jobs all over the country. Interviews, one-on-one or in groups, happen daily. If you’re just starting out and are in search of a job, the interview process can be intimidating. These kinds of things can be stressful.

First thing that you should do when preparing for an interview, is be aware of what you’re wearing. It may seem shallow, but employers will judge you on your appearance. Having a clean, professional appearance will greatly benefit you in an interview. The old saying, “Dress for Success,” is very relevant when it comes to interviews. If you can find out the company’s dress code policies before the interview, you should adhere to those policies.

When you’re in the interview, the next big thing for you need to do is to listen. Don’t over talk in an interview. As soon as you sit down, start listening. You want to remember all of the information about the job and company that the interviewer gives you. Most of the time in an interview, the interviewer will tell you what there are looking for in a potential employee.

Be aware of your non-verbal and verbal communication. Be professional in all your communications. Don’t slouch, or frown. If your face naturally looks mean/irritated, try to practice an easy smile. Don’t be guarded, or abrasive. Don’t be too cocky either. There’s an area in between confidence and modesty that you want to land within.

Practice answering question before the interview. With a quick Internet search, you can pull up potential interview questions, and practice answering them. It may seem silly, however, practice makes perfect. Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task. On top of that, the process itself can be extremely stressful. However, you have no need to worry, everyone feels a little bit of anxiety when it comes to interviews. Luckily, you now know how to face this situation.

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Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers

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Dealing with Difficult Co-Workers

Early on in our childhoods we’re taught to get along with others. We were told things like, “treat others how you’d like to be treated” and “sharing is caring”. If we ever faced a bully, or didn’t get along with others, we were told to take the high road. Now that we’ve grown up we face the challenge of dealing with difficult co-workers.

This becomes problematic because unlike in school, where our classmates changed every year, our co-workers rarely change. Even though we might not get along, we are unified by needing this job to make money. Having to deal with a difficult co-worker can be extremely stressful, and cause a lot of unnecessary pressure. This uncomfortable situation causes tension at work, making the job more difficult than it needs to be. So, how do you fix it?

According to Oprah, whether you’re dealing with a lazy boss, or an aggressive co-worker, poor work relations can affect the whole company. You need to be able to figure out the root of your problems with your co-worker. Was it a confrontation that made you irritated with him or her? Did they say something offensive? Is it just a problem you mentally created or can they fix the problem? Understanding the problem is the first step to resolving your issues.

After locating and understanding the problem, your next task will be getting to know your co-worker. If the problem is within their actions, you need to figure out their motivation for acting that way. Are they like this with other co-workers? Do they have unusual amount of stress causing them to behave this way? Maybe this is just how they are. Once you figure out their motive, you can address the problem head on. Maybe you just need to be blunt and talk to them. You also might need to involve your boss, or another trusted co-worker to be a neutral witness.

Dealing with difficult people is a problem that will occur constantly throughout your life. The challenge will be how you handle them. When problems begin affecting our work and attitudes, we need to address them. Letting anger, or any other negative emotion build up over time is not good for you and can affect your health. Don’t let a negative co-worker have that kind of power over you.

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Things that Actually Make You Happy

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Things that Actually Make You Happy

Unfortunately life doesn’t come with manual or guide. In life we often get dragged down by the mundane. Routines become our way of life, and leave little time for having fun. The challenge many of us face is how to be happy. This simple question plagues many people’s minds on a day to day basis.

Endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine are all chemicals that contribute to your happiness. When we feel good, it’s usually because our brains have released one of those chemicals. These chemicals, also referred to as hormones, can be released for many different reasons. Exercising, stretching, laughing, and smiling can all help activate the release of these hormones.

When you exercise, your body releases oxytocin and endorphins. These hormones increase your happiness. Even through exercising may seem like a daunting task at first, it can actually improve your mood. The best part about exercising to feel happier is that the more of a regular routine you have, the more hormones will be released.

Laughing is an excellent source of happiness, but you’re probably thinking that you can’t control when you laugh. However you would be wrong. Studies have shown that if you fake laugh for over a minute, you will actually start laughing naturally. Yes, faking it till you make it works. Fake laughing relaxes your body, and releases just enough dopamine to trigger a real response. Also when you make a fool of yourself, you can begin to naturally laugh about it.

Smiling is similar to laughing when it comes to making you happy. If you force yourself to fake a smile for a certain amount of time, you’ll eventually trick your brain into releasing the happy chemicals. Fake smiling is more effective if you can see yourself smiling in the mirror.

Another great way to improve your happiness is dancing. Taking a moment of your day to let go, and dance around like a fool, can help relax your body. A relaxed body is more likely to release the hormones that improve your happiness and overall mood.

When you break down what makes you happy, there can be many factors. However there are scientific explanations for why you are feeling like you do. There may be physical factors, as well as mental ones. Just know that if you’re searching for a way to improve your happiness, trying these simple gestures can help you out.

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Why Don’t You Get Your Money Back from a Bail Bond?

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Why Don’t You Get Your Money Back from a Bail Bond?

When it comes to bail, there is something that many people might not realize. When a person rescues a friend or family member from jail by posting bail on their own, the bail money will be returned to them after the trial has come to an end. It does not matter if the person was found innocent or guilty, the money will be returned.

Some people know this fact, and then think it applies to bail bonds as well. These people fail to realize that bail and bail bonds are not the same thing. They may be similar yes, but they are two different things. Bail is the amount of money required to be paid to the court in order for a person to be released from jail. A bail bond is an agreement between a bail agent and their client in which the agent agrees to pay the full amount of the bail. In return, the client pays a percentage of the bail amount to the agent as payment for doing so. This is called a bail premium.

Some people mistakenly assume that the bail premium will be returned back to them after the trial is over, but that is incorrect. Bail premium is payment for the bail agent’s services, which are complete the moment the client has been released from jail. After that, the bail agent has held up their end of the deal, and has earned their payment.

This simple misunderstanding can cause a lot of confusion and anger. People are already in a bad mood when they find out that they need to post their loved one’s bail. Finding out that they actually won’t get their money back can be pretty upsetting news.

While not getting money back can be a bit of a drawback, posting a bail with a bail bond is a much cheaper alternative. Bail bonds only cost 10% of the bail that they are for, and they can be paid off with a personalized payment plan. This makes bail bonds much more affordable than posting bail on your own.

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Tax Season Is Here

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Tax Season Is Here

The new year is already a month old now that January has come and gone. This means we are truly entering into tax season. Businesses are handing out tax forms to their employees, and people are gathering all of the paperwork that they are going to need. It’s time for everyone to sit down and fill out some paperwork for the government. How exciting!

Most people aren’t very excited about this time of the year. It means extra work filling out dull paperwork, or paying someone to fill it out for you. Sometimes, you can get some money back from the government, other times you end up owing them money. All the while, you are hoping you filled everything out properly so you do not get audited.

This year, taxes are due to be completed by Tuesday April 17th. If you fail to file your taxes by then, you can miss out on any money that might be owed to you. However, if you owe money on taxes, you can face a failure to file fee. The fee is 5% of your unpaid tax bill every month that the balance remains unpaid.

If a person repeatedly fails to file their taxes for a number of years, they could face criminal charges. They will also receive a visit from the IRS if their unpaid taxes equal more than $25,000. This is why it is a good idea to pay your taxes on time.

Sure, filing tax returns may not be the most exciting thing in the world to do, but it can be very nice when that extra bit of money comes in. plus filing taxes doesn’t take that long if you just commit to doing it. Better to do that then wind up on the IRS’s bad side.

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California Considering Plastic Straw Ban

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California Considering Plastic Straw Ban

Just over a year ago, the state of California banned grocery stores from giving away single use plastic bags. The goal was to reduce the amount of plastic that made it out into the environment. Now, California lawmakers are considering making it a crime for dine-in restaurant waiters to give out plastic straws.

This new law was proposed by Assemblyman Ian Calderon this January, and since then it has received a lot of criticism. The many reason for this, is the fact that the bill calls on any waiter caught giving plastic straws to customers who didn’t ask for them to be fined $1,000 and face up to 6 months in jail. This would be a misdemeanor offense, and it is a pretty hefty penalty for handing out straws.

Of course, the goal of the law is a good one. The idea, which is identical to the plastic bag ban that voters passed in 2016, is to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated by Californians every single day. Plastic straws are often used once, and then thrown away. From there, they can end up in the ocean or in other areas of the environment where they will stay until they decompose several decades later.

Assemblyman Calderon claims that the penalties were added on by the state legislative rules committee, and that he does not want there to be any fines or jail time for waiters who give out straws. He plans to rework the bill and expects to have it go across Governor Jerry Brown’s desk with in the next two months.

While this may seem like a big deal now, in all likelihood, this will blow over pretty quickly if such a law were passed. Just look at the plastic bag ban. That was a huge deal when it first occurred, but nowadays most people don’t care. It has simply become a part of their daily live, and it was not as big a deal as people feared it might be. A ban of this nature would not be the end of the world, and it could do a lot to helping keep the environment clean.

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The First Amendment

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The First Amendment

The United States is an interesting place when it comes to politics. There are marches and rallies about various different political issues nearly every day. From college protests to riots in the street, Americans are exercising their First Amendment right. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution covers:

• Freedom of religion
• Freedom of speech
• Freedom of press
• Freedom of assembly
• Freedom to petition

 
The First Amendment covers a lot of freedoms that people use daily. Without the First Amendment, the American culture and climate would be completely different. We wouldn’t be seen kneeling, or flag burning because we wouldn’t have a right to protest. Imagine the Internet without freedom of speech? Say goodbye to anything that holds an opinion opposing the government. Think of all the memes we’d miss out on. Sure, we’d see less hate online if we didn’t have freedom of speech, but we also wouldn’t be able to express our beliefs.

It’s important to know that we may have a lot of freedoms, but they’re not a get out of jail free card either. A standard of reasonably good, or being a decent person, has drawn a line on where your rights to certain freedoms end. Areas that are not protected:

• Obscenity
• Fighting words
• Defamation
• Child Pornography
• Perjury
• Blackmail
• Incitements to lawless action
• True Threats
• Solicitations to commit crimes
• Plagiarism

 
Living in America, we’re fortunate to have such freedoms. Being able to practice whatever religion you want, say whatever you want, petition the government, and to express oneself is something we might take for granted from time to time. It’s important to our culture that we do exercise our freedoms. After all, what’s more American than having an opinion?

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Hate Speech and the Internet

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Hate Speech and the Internet

In today’s world, the Internet consumes us. Most of us wake up in the morning and the first thing we do is roll over and grab our phone. This is an undeniable truth that we face as people of this nation. The problem is that with this new territory of the Internet we’re not quite sure where the line is between freedom of speech and being hateful.

The First Amendment protects our freedom of speech from the government. This is something we Americans view as very important. As a nation, we believe that we have the right to say whatever we think and do whatever we can to achieve what we feel is right. The Internet has given us a platform to discuss and voice our opinions on every issue that upsets us.

Hate speech, according to the American Bar Association is, “speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups, based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits,” The problem is where is that line of offensive and how do you limit hate speech without infringing on someone’s First Amendment rights. The fast paced online world can take cyber bullying to terrorism within a matter of seconds. However, that’s not always the case. There are a lot of gray areas that make creating a definite law or rule around hate speech difficult.

The first amendment protects a lot of offensive sites from being considered hate speech. Website that declare the Holocaust never happened, may be offensive to most people, however they are allowed to exist. The reason being is due to the fact that they are not inciting violence. A true threat is classified as: statements where the speaker means to communicate a serious expression of intent to commit an act of unlawful violence to a particular individual or group of individuals. The speaker needs not actually intend to carry out the threat. As long as the website does not cross this line, they are protected under the First Amendment.

Courts have argued on hate speech, and in one case in particular, Elonis v. United States, a husband posted rap lyrics that threatened to kill his wife. The judge sided that any reasonable person would understand that these were just lyrics, not an actual threat. When the judge decided this for this case, it has now opened a “reasonable person” standard. This is problematic because who is able to define reasonable what constitutes a reasonable person?

Like most things in life, there are good things and bad things about being able to say whatever you want. For example, it’s a good thing to know that not everyone agrees. However, it’s bad when words cross the line from friendly dialogue and discussion into hate speech.

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Thinking of Leaving California? Try Italy!

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Thinking of Leaving California? Try Italy!

Have recent changes to California law gotten you down? Are you considering leaving the state in search of better prospects? If so, consider going to Italy. Recently, the small town of Candela, Italy decided to begin paying people to live there. If you ever imagined living in Italy, this could be your chance.

Candela is a small, medieval town near the southern portion of Italy. In the 1900’s, around 8,000 people called the small down home. However, times have changed and the population has dwindled to roughly 2,700 residents. The town’s mayor, Nicola Gatta, has come up with a plan offering nearly 2,000 euros, around $2,300, to people who move to the town.

The amount of money received depends on who moves to the town. Singles will get 800 euros, couples will get 1,200 euros, and anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 euros for families of three or more people.

Of course, they are not simply giving this money to people to just live within the city. They do not want people to come there with the intent of living off the cities money. If a person wants to earn the money for moving to the city, they need to meet three requirements.

• Move to Candela.
• Rent a house.
• Have a job with a yearly salary of 7,500.

 
As long as a person does that, they can receive the money as well as some different tax credits.

So, if you are considering leaving California due to recently added or changed laws, or you simply are looking for a new adventure, consider moving to Italy. The small town of Candela would be more than happy to have you.

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What Is a Real ID?

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What Is a Real ID?

If you have been paying attention to the news lately, then you have probably heard something about Real IDs. This is a new type of identification card that is compliant with the federal Real ID Act, which was enacted in May of 2005. The new law was in response to the 9/11 terror attacks. These new cards will have more information on them, and will be more difficult for criminals to duplicate.

The big concern for many Americans, is that these new ID cards will be required for anyone looking to fly on a commercial flight within the United States. The California DMV has recently begun accepting applications for these new ID cards, though there is no need for people to rush to get the cards just yet. They will not be required to board a flight until October of 2020.

For a person to get one of these new cards, they will need to visit their local DMV office. They will need to bring with them:

• Proof of identity like a birth certificate, US passport, or something of the sorts.
• Proof of California residency.
• Proof of social security number.

 
These new Real ID cards will be used to not only get through TSA checkpoints at airports, but they will also be used to enter federal buildings, such as military bases.

For the most part, these new Real IDs will only affect people who are looking to fly from state to state and do not US passport or military ID card. Thankfully for many of those people, there is still plenty of time for a person to get their own Real ID card from the DMV.

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Catfishing and Dating Apps

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Catfishing and Dating Apps

As time goes on, dating apps and online dating are becoming increasingly more popular. While this has helped many people find the love of their life, it has also led to quite a bit of pain for some people. Unfortunately, not everyone online is who they say they are. This fact can lead to a lot of heartbreak when a person pretends to be someone else on a dating website.

Most people know of this kind of thing as catfishing. This is when a person pretends to be someone else on social media sites. Typically, the intent of doing such a thing is to either better meet implied social criteria, such as being a certain weight, or to scam people into giving money away.

When a person pretends to be someone they are not, and enters into an online relationship with a person, they can cause some serious emotional damage. To them, the relationship is not real, but to the person they are catfishing, the relationship is very real. When the victim inevitably discovers the truth of the matter, they can be devastated.

A person who falls victim to something like this can suffer:

• Emotional damage
• Potential loss of money
• Psychological damage
• Public embarrassment

 
None of this is fun, which is why people who use online dating sites or apps should be aware of the signs of being catfished. A person should always check the other person’s profile page, and see how much information is actually there. Is there a lot of information about the person? Are there linked social media accounts? Check the linked accounts. Fake accounts typically don’t have a lot of friends, nor do they have a lot of activity on them.

Lastly, the person should consider the interactions they have had with the other person. If the suspected catfisher has been inconsistent, or avoids meeting with the person, then there is a pretty good chance of them not being honest.

Online dating can be a great way for a person to meet “the one”, however people should be cautious. Not everyone is who they say they are online.

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What Is a Watson Murder Charge?

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What Is a Watson Murder Charge?

This is one of those many legal terms out there that worry people the moment they hear it. They have no idea what the term can mean, and that causes quite a bit of fear. When someone is facing a Watson Murder charge, they should be very concerned.

A Watson Murder charge occurs when a person commits DUI and kills someone as a result. The name for this charge comes from the ruling in the People v. Watson court case. This allows someone to be charged of second degree murder if they kill someone while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A Watson Murder charge is a felony offence, and comes with very hefty penalties. A person convicted of a Watson Murder charge will face 15 years, to life in a California state prison. They will also face a fine that can be as much as $10,000.

Driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is never a good idea. Doing so not only puts the driver at risk, but risks the lives of everyone else on the road. If a person accidently kills someone while committing DUI, then they can count on receive a harsh punishment. This just gives more reasons to never drink and drive.

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Mudslide Preparation

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Mudslide Preparation

Most Californian’s know to be prepared for earthquakes and fires, but often overlook another common natural disaster within the state. We received a lot of rain in the early parts of 2017 in California. Then things dried up and we experienced plenty of fires as a result. Since we’ve had several large fires and winter storms are now here, we need to be prepared for mudslides.

Mudslides happen when the ground soaks up high amounts of water and then breaks away. With plenty of vegetation burned away from the fires, most of our hill sides don’t have enough vegetation to hold themselves together. All it takes is one good downpour and the hillsides could breakaway.

Ready.gov is an excellent place to gather information of how to prepare for natural disasters like mudslides. They have several highly recommended steps to take in order to help you be more prepared. They break their plans into three categories: before, during and after.

Before Mudslides

• Prepare an emergency kit.
• Form a plan.
• Know the land around you.
• Consult your insurance company.
• Planting ground cover on hills.
• Build retaining walls.
• Build channels to direct water flows.

 
During a landslide

• Listen for usual sounds.
• Move away from debris paths.
• Avoid rivers and low lying areas.
• Curl up into a tight ball if you cannot escape.

 
It’s important to always be prepared for any disaster. Unfortunately we don’t always know when they’ll hit. Take the first steps today and become more prepared for tomorrow.

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Trying to Stay Energized

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Trying to Stay Energized

Staying awake during the day, or even the week is hard. We’re constantly bustling around, and staying on our toes. Sometimes making it to Wednesday seems to be the biggest challenge of the week, let alone making it to Friday. How can you keep your energy up?

According to Maverick Health, an online health blog, there are several tips that can help you boost through your days and week. These simple steps can be tremendously beneficial.

• Eat a balanced breakfast
• Make and eat your own lunch
• Simple meals throughout the day
• Drink a lot of water
• Lower the amount of salts, sugars, and fats in your diet
• Exercise regularly
• Get enough sleep

 
These tips may seem simple and that’s because they truly are. Unfortunately, how often do we lose sleep or skip a meal because we’re too busy? Eating a balanced meal, or just eating the right amount of meals is a challenge. Too often fast food is a quick and easy pick me up.

Exercising is another element of staying energized that we often ignore. Sometimes after a long day of work, we don’t want to exercise. The thought behind exercising consistently is that you will build up stamina. However, exercising regularly doesn’t have to consist of two hours at the gym every day. By going for walks, and even just having a daily 15-minute work out, you may start to see a difference sooner than you think. Keeping up with these key points will help you stay awake and energized during your crazy day to day life.

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When Can You Safely Cross a Road?

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When Can You Safely Cross a Road?

With the start of the new year, several new laws were put into place in California. One such law revolved around crosswalks. Something that many people may not have realized, was that it was illegal to enter a crosswalk once the signal began to flash or display “Don’t Walk.”

Anyone who failed to follow this law and crossed regardless would face an infraction level offense with a fine not exceeding $250. Opponents of the law felt that this was too harsh of a punishment for simply crossing the street. However, California Highway Patrol felt the law was important for keep pedestrians and drivers safe.

Well, for those unaware of this law’s existence, there is no need to worry. This is thanks to Assembly Bill 390. This new law took effect at the beginning of the year and allows a person to enter a crosswalk provided they have enough time to finish crossing. A person will be able to judge that based on the countdown timer on the signal.

Now in California, as long as a person has enough time to safely cross a crosswalk without disrupting traffic, they can start crossing at any time. They no longer have to worry about being accused of jaywalking, at least in that situation.