On the House

Springtime Sprinkler Tune-Up Although all signs might be pointing to the arrival of spring, the soil beneath the landscape is always the last to thaw.  Starting your sprinkler system while the ground is still frozen can result in damage to the pipes.  Use a shovel to make sure that the soil is frost-free 12 inches deep.  If it is still solid as a rock, then wait another week and test it again before starting the sprinkler system. Run a check of the irrigation controls and programs. This includes dusting away the cobwebs on the timer, making sure the date and time is correct, and that the settings are appropriate for your landscape’s watering needs. Replace the back-up battery in the timer/controller every 6 months, and keep a copy of the … [Read more...]

Pick of the Vine

Dhyanyoga Centers Dhyanyoga Centers can help you on your path to psychological growth. They offer meditation instruction and pro-active, authentic yoga classes, healing modalities and a wide variety of workshops and special events, that all support spiritual, psychological and physical well-being. The purpose of their classes and remedies is to awaken a source of energy and boost activity for a direct method of spiritual evolution. In addition to their large meditation and yoga rooms, they have an extraordinary spiritual store. Their store includes books, media, and apparel. Dhyanyoga charges less than local yoga studies and they offer donation-based yoga classes on Saturday mornings from 10-11 a.m. Their center is a non-profit … [Read more...]

For Your Dental Health

The Bitter Side of Sweet Seventy-five percent of Americans consume added sugars above the World Health Organization’s recommended 10 percent limit. The term added sugar refers to sugars that are not naturally occurring in foods. Naturally occurring sugars include honey, sugar cane, sugar beets, fruit and milk. In 1977 the first Dietary Goals for Americans were issued by the U.S. Senate, which targeted dietary saturated fat as the primary reason for heart disease. In response, the food industry reduced the fat content in processed food. To make the food taste better dietary sugar replaced the fat so by 2000 added sugar increased by 32 percent of total calories. This dietary paradigm continues to this day. More than fifty of all American … [Read more...]

Who’s Been Snooped?

Two Front Teeth Well, it’s a beautiful spring day in East County. Off to the west is a clear picture of our famous Mt. Diablo, nestled in the beautiful golden surrounding hills. It’s a perfect time to check in with a local dentist office that brings a perfect smile to everyone’s face. Dr. Huma Bayat, DDS and owner of Platinum Smiles Family Dentistry is a local gal who chose to open her practice in Brentwood, the place she calls home. Off to visit her office, I was no stranger this area, as I practically know most of the businesses in our downtown area. She is located on O’Hara across from the “old” Safeway, which for those of you who are new to the area, opened in 1990 and the whole town came to the grand opening. I knew right away … [Read more...]

Patrick McCarran

How is Your Credit? In today’s world now more than ever a good credit score can make a real difference in your future and directly affect your wallet. Although no one except the credit reporting agencies know exactly how the algorithm works these general tips are commonly acknowledged to help increase your credit score On-time payments improve your credit score tremendously. It carries almost a 40 percent weight on your score. Set up the minimum payment with e-pay and choose the recurring option so it pays every month. Just remember to check your statements in case the minimum payment changes. Because you are setting this up at your bank you can change it or cancel anytime with the click of a mouse. Keep your credit card balances … [Read more...]

Who’s Who In East County

Carpet Custom’s From sales to installation, Carpet Custom’s has everything you need to replace your carpet and flooring for increased comfort and added value to your home. Fully licensed, they are pleased to offer carpet, area rugs, linoleum, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, WPC floors, restretch services, and general repairs. Started in 1981, Carpet Custom’s has provided 38 years of excellent customer service and craftsmanship with a wide selection of products for both residential and commercial customers. Floors are often an ignored part of the interior, and they take a beating daily. However, flooring actually sets the design and ambiance of the entire home or office. Many people wait too long to replace their floor coverings, unaware … [Read more...]

Home & Lifestyle

One Week Of Healthy Meals, With Minimal Effort We all know that the week can get hectic, with work and whatever life can throw at you. In between the chaos is it important to provide a healthy yet hearty meal for your family. American household spend $70,000 on takeout annually. With such a high number, saving money is also a dire reason that cooking at home is healthy as well as frugal. The key to a week of healthy meals is choosing two days to cook and prep your food for break, lunch, or dinner. Whether it is all three meals or one, the choice is up to you. Let’s begin with the first meal of the day. Breakfast. The meal that gets you energized and ready for the day ahead. Though this meal is the most important of the day, it is … [Read more...]

Ferber Law

NEW PROTECTIONS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT California has passed a myriad of new laws that become effective January 1, 2019 that expand employer liability for sexual harassment. Of particular importance is SB 1343 which requires employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary and/or seasonal employees, to provide at least two hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisory employees, and at least one hour to all non-supervisory employees, every two years. Additionally, SB 820 adds Section 1001 to the California Code of Civil Procedure which now prohibits any settlement agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2019 from containing language preventing disclosure of factual information related to claims of sexual … [Read more...]

Law Offices of Joan Grimes

Why You Need a Revocable Living Trust Over the years, I have written a lot of articles for the Monthly Grapevine. My goal in writing these articles has been to cover more complex estate planning issues. However, I realize some of you may be new to my articles. I often meet with clients who admit they were too embarrassed to ask: “what is a revocable living trust and why do I need one?” And my favorite question is: “why did my parents not have a trust?” These are excellent questions! First, your parents may not have had a trust, but rather had a simple Will. Several decades ago, this was fine! After their passing, their Will was probated and the assets were distributed to their beneficiaries. However, today the process of … [Read more...]

From the Desk of the CEO

Return on Ad Spending Your first step will be determining exactly what ROI (return on investment) means to you. Many people use the term but often confuse the meanings. If you’re looking at trying to calculate how much your spending in print advertising translates into sales, you’re technically looking at Return on Ad Spending (ROAS), but the terms are similar enough that many people just use them interchangeably. Other things to consider are, again, to determine what qualifies as “success” - a lead, a conversion, increased advertising awareness, increased brand awareness, etc. For simplicity’s sake, assuming that you’re looking at increased store traffic as your measure of success, here are some things you can do to calculate your … [Read more...]