Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pioneer Day Schedule 2012

Meadow Vista History - Famous Faces

Every issue of the “Foothill Folks” used to have a feature called “Personality Spotlight” by Donna Mae. These were some of the ‘famed’ citizens of our town of old. See if you can match them then check out their full profile.

1. Pat Buchanan, Realtor
2.  Colonel Earle Temple, Chairman of the Fire District
3. Cliff Ramos, Postmaster 
4. Pat Betteridge, Placer Hills School PTA President
5. Frank E. Pfunder, Placer Hills School Principal
6. Capt. Richard B. Langer, Highway Patrol

Using a Mortgage Broker vs Bank

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

If you are in the market to buy a home, chances are you'll need a mortgage. Who offers the best option – the bank or the mortgage broker? There are distinct differences to be aware of when making a choice.
• The Bank
The bank offers a variety of programs that they have created based upon their financial return.  Their loan officers are employees who sell those specific mortgages to you. There programs are priced based upon the bank’s costs, ie overhead, etc. If your circumstances fit the specific guidelines, then you will be granted a loan.  This works for clients with great credit, money for down payments and low risk factors. If you do not fit into the guidelines set forth, then there are no options to offer. Special income issues, unusual properties and personal loan requirements are often not considered.
• Mortgage Brokers
Mortgage brokers bring together lenders and borrowers. They usually work with dozens or even hundreds of lenders, not as employees, but as a kind of scout.
They find and evaluate home buyers, analyzing each person's credit situation to determine which lender is the best fit for that person's needs. The broker has choices of lenders so they can search for the most competitive pricing.  They are not tied to one ratesheet. If there are unique circumstances, the broker can fit a lender to those needs. A good mortgage broker can find a lender for just about any type of credit or situation.
 Make your choice based upon your personal needs.  While the best loan terms are important, service is critical. Both a bank and the broker are held to the same laws so always ask for a quote in writing to compare fees and costs. Ask questions about expected time-frames and the loan process. Check with family and friends who have recently bought a home, for lender and broker referrals.  Taking out a home mortgage is an important part of your financial picture – find an expert to fit your needs.

Online vs Traditional Advertising

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

As the saying goes, “Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes.” However, if everything out there is changing except for you - you can bet you’re getting left behind. The growth of online information technology has changed the landscape of business marketing. The internet has replaced or vastly altered traditional advertising mediums such as magazines, newspaper, radio and televisions. All of these once “print only” mediums have online versions. With a good strategy and market awareness; businesses can utilize the internet to achieve effective and cost efficient marketing. Below are a few comparisons drawn between online and traditional -only advertising.
• Online Advertising is Targeted
Instead of spending time and effort (as well as lots of money) to send out mass mailings and junk mail with low return on investment, businesses can allocate their money smarter and more efficiently with online advertising by targeting specific audiences who are actually searching for your business, product or service.
• Tracking and Conversion
Here’s the big question - How many people have actually seen your ads? It’s very difficult to measure the effectiveness of direct mail, newspaper and TV advertisements. Online advertising however, empowers businesses with powerful tracking tools that can measure the smallest details such as impressions, conversions and ‘click-through’ rates.
• Entry-level and Ongoing Fees
      Yellow page ads can be very costly. Internet advertising has yet again empowered the business users to control their budget (sometimes daily) by allowing various bidding methods and low initial fees. Due to the targeted nature of online advertising and the ability to track the effectiveness of ads, making instant adjustments to campaigns is much cheaper than traditional advertising mediums which require a firm commitment and investment in advance.
• Internet gives businesses control.
The biggest advantage of Internet advertising is that it is the most powerful communication tool available. It can reach households and other businesses via computers, mobile phones and tablets. Rather than allocating your efforts on finding different mediums for various regions and audiences; you can focus on what you do best and let your clients come and find you by setting up targeted campaigns.
• Better Branding
Any form of advertising helps in improving the branding, but online advertising stands a notch higher in effectiveness. Internet advertising can expose a small business to potential customers all over the world. When used for the right products and in the right way, it has the potential to reach more customers for less money than any other form of advertising.
Online advertising is a powerful tool for businesses to have in their marketing strategy to effectively get the word out and achieve their marketing goals.

Ask a Plumber

By Joe Mumford, Joe Mumford Plumbing & Heating Co

What is a Tankless Water Heater?  A tankless water heater only heats water when you need it.  You get an endless source of hot water, while also saving money on energy costs by not heating and reheating the same tank of water. When opening a hot water tap or starting the dishwasher, the tankless water heater recognizes the need for hot water and starts the heating process. The temperature of the incoming water is used to calculate how much heat the burners must produce to deliver water at the desired temperature. When the demand for hot water ceases the unit shuts down and uses no energy, waiting until more hot water is needed. The end result -- hot water that is not limited to what’s available in your tank. You always have clean, hot water when you want it for as long as you need it!
Why Tankless vs. a Traditional Tank?
You can produce more hot water using less energy than the most efficient storage tank style heater. Tankless is the environmentally responsible water heating solution. It saves energy, saves space and saves you money.
• Endless Hot Water: Tankless water heaters heat the water you need, when you need it. Turning any water source into hot water on demand. You are not limited to the amount a storage tank heater can hold. Whether you are washing the dishes, washing your clothes, or drawing a hot bath, tankless water heater technology will supply endless hot water to your lifestyle demands-even if you do them all at once!
• Lower Energy Bills: Enjoy up to 50-75% energy savings with a tankless water heater - designed to be highly efficient because they only heat water when it is needed.
• Longevity:  Tankless water heaters have a typical life of up to 20 years. This can be twice as long as a tank style unit!
• Space Savings: Traditional tank water heaters can take up to 16 square feet of valuable floor space. Tankless water heaters are about the size of a carry-on suitcase and can be installed on virtually any wall inside or outside of your home.
• Clean, Fresh Water: Traditional tank-style water heaters can build up rust and scale inside the tank. With tankless water heaters you will always experience fresh, clean water that is heated on demand, as it passes through the unit.
• Sustainable and “Green”: Tankless water heaters have earned ENERGY STAR approval by meeting the strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, by using less energy and preventing greenhouse gas emissions.
There will be a live demonstration of a Tankless Water Heater at this year’s Pioneer Day in the park!

The Dreaded Cavity

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

A cavity, very simply is a hole. The body “cavity” of the Thanksgiving turkey is what you fill with stuffing. A cavity in a tooth is a hole. It is made by the bacteria of the contagious disease “caries.“
 In order to have a dental cavity we need four ingredients. A tooth, the right bacteria, food for the bacteria (simple carbohydrate) and some time for the bacteria to make the hole. The variety of bacteria responsible for caries thrive on simple carbohydrate (sugars and cooked starches) and grow to form a complex biofilm of 600+ different species of bacteria. This takes time, 24 hours.  (Note: If you clean those bacteria off your teeth, your teeth are safe for 24 hours)  That biofilm then generates acids that can dissolve calcium out of the teeth, weakening the tooth structure and eventually making the hole. This takes time too, months.
 During this process the affected area slowly turns chalky white as the enamel softens. As the white lesion progresses, it gets porous enough that stain from food or bacteria begins to penetrate and the white lesion darkens to brown.
Finally, the structure gets soft enough that pieces chip out and parts dissolve away leaving the hole. Note also, before the enamel collapses the bacteria and acids have penetrated to the softer inner portion of the tooth where the cavity grows faster. When the enamel finally collapses, we find the cavity inside the tooth is much larger than the hole in the .....enamel. Picture if you will an inverted mushroom with the narrow stem as the hole in the enamel and the large cap of the mushroom is the larger hole inside the tooth.
 Cavities take time to develop though the collapse of the enamel may seem like an overnight event. Important; in the early stages of the disease, when calcium is being lost, but the integrity of the enamel still exists, the decay process can be stopped and even reversed. We would love to show you how.  Also remember, cavities start on the outside of your teeth. Cleaning a cavity and filling it can stop the cavity from creating an abscess. However, filling the cavity does nothing to stop the disease from creating another cavity in a new place. Stopping the disease can only be done by you at home. And filling the cavity will never restore the lost integrity and strength of the tooth.
Lets prevent holes in your teeth!

It's Safe to Sell Your Home Again

By Christine Schlittenhart, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

While analysts debate when the housing market will hit bottom, the turnaround has already begun and is ON FIRE in our local Placer County.
• For years, buyers were scared of overpaying for a home, but less so now.  Many buyers have grown accustomed to thinking they’ll score deals, so they tend to act slowly, and typically start bidding around 10 percent to 15 percent below list price.  However, a growing number of buyers are beginning to realize that if they wait too long in this market, they may miss out.  My buyers and I are witnessing properties going into pending status the same day they arrive on the market, and for OVER asking price!
• Sellers can hold firm on price if they’re patient.  The days of having to deal with low-ball offers are coming to an end.  The higher the price, the more patient the seller must be.  Cheaper homes are affordable to more buyers and appealing to investors, so recoveries usually start there.  • Sellers should keep in mind that while they don’t have to placate low-ball offers anymore, they also can’t shoot for the moon either.  Working with a local Meadow Vista Merchant Realtor and setting a realistic price from the get-go is key.
• Sellers should know what they’re competing against.  Homeowners should let their home’s value dictate the price.  While this may seem self-evident, some owners may have lost sight of it during the bust.  On the one hand, some sellers clung to the false hope of a return to boom prices, so they set prices unrealistically high.  Others may have gone too far the other way, and set their price too low.  Rely on the expertise of your local Realtor to guide you in a fair, comparable listing price.
• It’s also important that sellers understand they’re no longer competing with gutted foreclosures.  Buyers are tired of looking at worn-down, neglected, distressed properties and often don’t have much extra money to do a lot of fixing up.  Us local Realtors are seeing that our clients are willing to pay a little more for a home that’s ready to move into.  Also, our inventory is at historic lows.  We haven’t witnessed such a low inventory since 1986.
 NOW is the time to be a SELLER and a BUYER.  Don’t miss out on the incredible opportunities waiting for you in this fast moving real estate market.  Contact one of your local Meadow Vista Merchants Realtors today to get started on this exciting chapter of your life!

Meadow Vista History - 1966 Country Corner

Written by ‘Uncle Josh” in the February 1966 edition of the “Foothill Folks”.

George Lay, local realtor, was thrown from his mule Tuesday of this week and sustained a dent in his derby. The next time his mule goes to throw him, he will remove his hat.
 Cliff Ramos opened his campaign as a candidate for office at the M.V. Hog Callin’ Jamboree on the 15th of Jan. He has not yet decided what offices he’ll run for.
 The Excelsior Earwigs, our local dance band, rendered some excellent music at Bear Creek Lodge a few days ago. According to its leader, Fred “Spike Jones” Hammer, of Auburn Music Store, several people bragged on the music so much the band played everything it knew.
Mr. Roberts, Weimar postmaster, sees no need of a moon since he got his new lamp.
 Vic Simpson’s calf has been missing for several days, and in search for it, he is leaving no stone unturned.
 Jim Riboni, our widely know rat-trap inventor and hardware man, has returned from a flying trip to Bounding Bowman and Applegate neighborhood and other points, where he tried out under various conditions his newest invention, which will no doubt prove a big success. The new device is on the plan of a clock, with a pendulum swinging back and forth fast...Bait is placed on the pendulum, and the rat begins to chase it back and forth until he becomes disgusted and leaves.

Chiropractic: Myths vs Facts

By Dr. Randall Hensley, DC, Hensley Chiropractic

It’s time to set the most common myths about chiropractic health benefits...straight!
Myth #1:  “Chiropractors aren’t real doctors”:In addition to a four year college degree, two years of pre-requisites, and four years of chiropractic schooling, totaling more than 4,485 hours of focused coursework in sciences such as anatomy, kinesiology, manual manipulation, dermatology, physiology, and neurology, etc., D.C.’s must also have more than 900 hours of clinical experience and pass three levels of written and oral state and federal licensing board examinations just to get a license.
Myth #2  “Chiropractors crack your bones”:
The “pop” sometimes heard during an adjustment is not bones cracking, that would be a fracture.  The “pop” sound is simply a side effect of movement produced when the release of dissolved gasses in the liquid of the joint come out of solution and the vacuum of the joint is released. 
Myth #3:  “It’s dangerous”:
As with nearly every available treatment option, including medical procedures such as surgery, drugs, and even non-treatment, there are potential risks to be weighed by the doctor and patient.  Chiropractic treatment has been found to be “remarkably safe”.  Looking at the odds, it is far more dangerous to drive to you doctor’s appointment than to receive an appropriate and carefully applied chiropractic treatment.
Myth #4  “Once you go, you will have to go forever”:  
Just like feeling the benefits of eating healthy food, you decide what and how long you want to eat healthy.  Chiropractic can be just short term pain relief or long term wellness care.  You decide.
Myth #5:  “It hurts”:
Everyone has different pain thresholds but in general, only a small fraction of patients report pain following an adjustment by a doctor of chiropractic.  Most report more movement and a greater range of motion, relaxation, and less pain. Chiropractic should not hurt. 
Myth #6  “Chiropractic is only for back pain”:
 Chiropractic is for much more.  Chiropractic can have a global affect on our health by restoring the function and posture of the body, the attitude of the person, the biomechanics and coordination of how we perform, nutrition to the discs and spine, accelerated healing, and enhance our sensory awareness and nervous control of all body systems.    
Myth #7  “It is too expensive”:
Compared to what?  Medication?  Physical therapy? Ignoring the pain? How much is relief worth?  The worse the pain, the more valuable the relief.   Avoiding drugs or surgery, looking and feeling better longer, and returning to your life, sport, or hobby faster and with less pain…priceless.

Swedish Massage & Stress

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways To Health

Swedish massage is gaining acceptance as a complementary treatment for many stress related symptoms. Studies have shown that massage can relax the body, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce stress and depression. Swedish is used as symptomatic treatment for headache, facial pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, other chronic and acute conditions, and athletic injuries..
 The specific techniques used in Swedish massage involve the application of long gliding strokes called effleurage.  Friction, and kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body are also used for deeper work.      Oil or cream is used in Swedish to facilitate the sliding motion of most of the massage techniques that are used. The main massage stroke, effleurage, is a flowing motion that follows the shape of the muscle group being addressed.  The therapist’s hands are open and most of the contact is with the flat of the hands. It is the move used mainly to calm and relax the receiver. When a therapists begins to work, he or she uses effleurage to apply oil over large areas and to generally check out areas of tightness.
 When tightness and knots are encountered, the therapist may go a little deeper using Petri sage - a kneading motion that lifts, squeezes and rolls tissue to release muscle tension, improve blood flow and increase lymphatic drainage.
 When more pressure is needed, the therapist uses friction, the stroke generally used in deep tissue massage. The  therapist uses body mechanics to apply pressure using  the flat of their hands and the pads of the thumbs, knuckles, fingers, or the back  of the forearms, and then releases the pressure slowly and gently. This movement should be a continuous sliding motion or a group of alternating circular motions.

 Vibration is a technique used to release muscle tension in more delicate areas, such as those on the face or along the spine. To effect vibration, the massage therapist gently shakes or trembles the flesh with the hand or fingertips, then moves on to another spot and repeats this stroke. Other movements usually employed in more vigorous, deep tissue work are tapping and percussion, called tapotement.  The therapists may form their hands into a cup shape and use chopping motions in quick succession.  The same motion can be used with the sides of the hands as well. Loose fist may be use to rapidly pummel large muscle groups of the thighs and buttocks. Although most experienced massage therapist use a variety of bodywork methods, Swedish forms the basis of most of their work.

Meadow Vista History - Downtown Pictures

< Picture of Placer Hills Union School in in 1966. Taken by Francis Trembly.

> Picture of Lay Realty (currently Meadow Electric & Notary) in downtown Meadow Vista in 1967 by George Lay.

Cleaning up the Community - Placer Hills Park

The Meadow Vista Merchant Association has officially adopted Placer Hills Park (Behind the local pool). On Saturday, April 21st,  we completed our first work day. This included training about proper park maintenance and standards expected from us. Let’s work together to keep our community clean!

Special Thanks to the following merchants for participating:
• Marc Krupin, Cascade Gardens
• Mark Barbier, True Value Hardware
• Eric Meadow, The Meadow Law Group
• Gerry Hinkle, Goldrush Getaways
• Greg Luther, Computer Shoppe
• Christine Schlittenhart, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

Meadow Vista History - 1965 Looking at the Future

Letter from the Editor in the December 1965 edition of “Foothill Folks.” Illustration of ‘Uncle Josh’s” cabin by unknown artist.

FOOTHILL FOLKS PAPER and Uncle Josh (his cabib illustrated) send out along the ethereal waves, scented with fragrance of pine GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS for the coming ... New Year!
Taking inventory of the past year is like diggin' stones by the wayside-- just no profit in it. But to take a forward glance into the future tingles the toes, 'cause at least we know we can still draw checks on the bank of time.
 However, the worst trouble with the future is that it seems to get here quicker than it used to... It has always been and always will be our policy to hike on the cheerful side of the mountain. There are plenty of places to read about the shadows, without having to read about them in FOOTHILL FOLKS.

Special Edition Tax Tip 2012

By J.C. Harrison, Simplified Business & Tax

The tax deadline may have just passed but planning for next years start now. The IRS reminds taxpayers that being organized and planning ahead can save time, money and headaches in 2013. Here are six things you can do now to make next April 15 easier.
1.  Adjust your withholding - Why wait another year for a big refund? Now is a good time to review your withholding and make adjustments for next year, especially if you'd prefer more money in each paycheck this year. If you owed at tax time, perhaps you'd like next year's tax payment to be smaller. Use IRS's Withholding Calculator at or Publication 919, How Do I Adjust My Tax Withholding?
2.  Store your return in a safe place - Put your 2011 tax return supporting documents somewhere secure so you'll know exactly where to find them if you receive an IRS notice and need to refer to your return. If it is easy to find, you can also use it as a helpful guide for next year's return.
3.  Organize your recordkeeping - Establish a central location where everyone in your household can put tax-related records all year long. Anything from a shoebox to a file cabinet works. Just be consistent to avoid a scramble for misplaced mileage log or charity receipts come tax time.
4.  Review your paycheck - Make sure your employer is properly withholding and reporting retirement account contributions, health insurance payments, charitable payroll deductions and other items. These payroll adjustments can make a big difference on your bottom line. Fixing an error in your paycheck now gets you back on track before it becomes a huge hassle.
5.  Prepare to itemize deductions - If your expenses typically fall just below the amount to make itemizing advantageous, a bit of planning to bundle deductions into 2012 may pay off. An early or extra mortgage payment, pre-deadline property tax payments, planned donations or strategically paid medicals bills could equal some tax savings. See the Schedule A instructions for expenses you can deduct if you're itemizing and then prepare an approach that works best for you.
6.  Strategize tuition payments - The American Opportunity Tax Credit, which offsets higher education expenses, is set to expire after 2012. It may be beneficial to pay 2013 tuition in 2012 to take full advantage of this tax credit, up to $2,500, before it expires for more information, see IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
The IRS emphasizes that each household's financial circumstances are different so it's important to fully consider your specific situation and goals before making large financial decisions.

Summer Movie Night Schedule

Meadow Vista History - Unlce Josh

Letter from the editor in the January/February 1965 “Foothill Folks”

Someone asked me the other day who Uncle Josh is. Josh Billings was his nickname, his real name being Henry W. Shaw. He published what is called Josh Billings’ Old Farmer’s “Allminax” in 1870-79 (locally.) This is a masterpiece of humor, and from this deep well, I draw much inspiration. Good ol’ Josh, may his memory live on forever. Editor’s note: Fred Alseth was the editor of the “Foothill Folks” in the 1960’s but many articles were notated as being penned by “Uncle Josh.”

From the Lions

Submitted by Etta Gross, Secretary

Lions Annual Pancake Breakfast will be Sunday, June 3, 2012 at Placer Hills School auditorium from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Meadow Vista Swimming Pool grand opening on Saturday, June 9 from 1 p. to 5 p.m. will be free swimming that day sponsored by the Lions Club. Free Hot Dogs for the first 200 people and Meadow Vista 4 H club will provide other food items as well.

Questions please contact Lion Club President Mark at 878-0484.

The Meadow Vista Lions will only be meeting once a month during June, July and  August.

Meadow Vista History - 1967 Post Office

This was an article printed in December 1967 “Foothill Folks” assumed to be written by then postmaster, Cliff Ramos.

During 1967 the Post Office Department conducted an all out campaign to remind people of the importance of Zip Codes and to make the number readily available to every citizen.
 Today, Postmaster Cliff Ramos urges all residents of Meadow Vista to use the Zip Code they have added to their mailing lists on every piece of Christmas Mail.
 We expect more mail than ever before, Zip Code will be a key element if we are to efficiently handle the number of pieces of mail that will go through the Meadow Vista Post Office between now and Christmas. The Post Office is geared up to process this year's record breaking deluge of mail but public cooperation is necessary for our operation to be successful...Zip Codes can be obtained by phoning the Post Office.

Looking Back at the Good 'Ole Days

For this issue we decided to pay tribute to our roots - mainly some very old issues of the “Foothill Folks”, a precursor to the very magazine you hold in your hands. You’ll see a variety of snippets from several 1960’s editions that we thought you might find humorous, delightful and perhaps...still applicable. Some things have changed and others have blissfully remained “Meadow Vista.”
Enjoy!   ~The View Staff

Letter From the Editor from the first edition of the “Foothill Folks” published on November 20, 1964

Dear Folks,
We of the FOOTHILL AREA are mighty proud of our home base...and rightly so. We can sing praises for the sun in the winter, while down below in yonder valley, city slickers shivver under the wet blanket of fog, and squint though bloodshot eyes in the smog. "You poor city folks, better get out and come up to God's Country." We that chop our own wood and carry our own water, get mighty scared when we read headlines like this: SCIENTISTS HAVE DEVELOPED A COMPLICATED THOUGHT MACHINE SO SENSITIVE IT ALREADY HAS A STOMACH ULCER...Now, we don't say that no one of us has stomach ulcers, but at least our ulcers are healthy.
 With so much crime and corruption about, we feel it a downright duty to come out with a newspaper that has something cheerful to comment on for a change. Good cheer and some wisdom is never out of place, but is mighty hard to find nowadays. Our big aim is to communicate the good things in life and let the bad ones go their own separate ways.
 We don't mean to condemn the whole human race. Let's not be too quick to blame them for everything. But they sure made a mess of the rest. We will go on, nevertheless looking for the best in man and beast, finding merit in all men. Of course, we're prejudice, and believe that anyone in this immediate vicinity is naturally superior and far ahead of the times in physical stamina, mental prowess, and spiritual insight. That is why we are proud to advertise these folk's products...they are just naturally superior.
 You will find, perhaps, we hope, interesting things in the paper. Most everything is original more or less, but we do not hesitate to pick up bits of thoughts, etc. from whatever source presents itself most attractively at the time. It is not called is merely passing on a good thing...Our regular contributors deserve credit for volunteering to write for a publication they know little about...and so do our advertisers. We wish to express our appreciation for their support and interest in our first issue.
 We'll always guarantee that you can read this paper from stem to stern and still find time to do a "days work."

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Buy a Home with No Monthly Payment

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

Borrowers age 62 and older can qualify for a reverse mortgage either on their existing home or to purchase a new home.  Reverse mortgages were developed to give seniors the ability to stay in their home or purchase a home without a monthly mortgage payment.

A reverse mortgage works opposite of a typical mortgage (referred to as a “forward” mortgage) in that the interest from the monthly payment is added to the total loan amount owed hence what is owed goes up, in “reverse” rather than down, as in a regular mortgage. The idea is that as the home increases in value over time, the amount due stays at a level below this value.

Our current economy has shown that values are not guaranteed - but not to worry.  The owner can stay in the home as long as they want, as long as they live on the premises, even if more is owed than the home is worth.  If they decide to move, or their family takes over the property, then if the home is worth more than the loan, it can be sold or refinanced to pay the loan.  If the home is worth less than what is owed, then it is deeded back to the lender.  Mortgage insurance guarantees that the homeowner and or their heirs will not be responsible.
 The requirement is up to 60% equity in an existing home or as a down payment. No credit or income qualifications.  This is a great financial tool.  Check it out!

Blogging: Become an Expert in Meadow Vista

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Remind me again - What is a BLOG? The word "blog" is one of the most searched words on the internet today. Why? This buzz word is searched because increasing numbers of people are trying to understand what blogging is about. A blog is a log or public "diary" posted online - A journal that is written for others to read. You can create blogs for personal, educational and informational reasons, business and corporate reasons or a multitude of other uses.
 As a marketing tool, blogs offer great potential. Blogs are much easier than newsletters to get your idea across. They can be added to, and they can be updated at any time and from virtually anywhere. Blogs have long lasting shelf lives, as they exist on the internet until you decide to remove them. This contrasts to newsletters which once you send it out, it’s sent, hopefully read but if’s gone.
 Unless you are just posting marketing materials, most blogs offer a large amount of information thus increasing you or your business’ credibility. Whether your blog is a personal blog or a business blog, viewers come to blogs expecting to find frank and personal perspectives on a topic that you are passionate about.
 If you maintain your viewers and you respect the idea that you should be passionate about the content of your blog, then your credibility will go up, and this is what blogging is truly about. Blogs are easy to syndicate, meaning that you can get your information and opinions out there, and can allow them to spread. If you have an opinion to share, a product to sell, a brand to market or something else to say on the internet, and you think that people are going to want to read what it is that you have to say, then blogging is an excellent option.
 If you do not have a blog that is associated with your business or your website, then now is an excellent time for you to start blogging. Blogging is an excellent addition to your marketing strategy. There are completely different dynamics when it comes to e-mail communication and blogging. Nothing facilitates conversation, communication and community the way that blogging does. There is no confusion about blogging being spam the way e-mails can. Blogs enhance your product, idea or brand.  Setting up a Blog is easy - go to "How to Set Up a Blog".  Want ideas to write about - go to 50 Blog Topics
 So the answer to "Why Should I Blog?" is...... "Why Not?"

New IRS Fresh Start helps Taxpayers

By J.C. Harrison, Simplified Business & Tax

The Internal Revenue Service has expanded its “Fresh Start” initiative to help struggling taxpayers who owe taxes. The following three items explain the expanded relief for taxpayers.
 Penalty relief Part of the initiative relieves some unemployed taxpayers from failure-to-pay penalties. Penalties are one of the major factors a financially distressed taxpayer faces on a tax bill. The Fresh Start Penalty Relief Initiative gives eligible taxpayers a six month extension to fully pay 2011 taxes. Interest still applies on the 2011 taxes from April 15, 2012 until the tax is paid, but you won't face the failure-to-pay penalties if you pay your tax, interest and any other penalties in full by October 15, 2012.
 *Wage earners who have been unemployed at least 30 consecutive days during  2011 or in 2012 to this year April 17 deadline.
 *Self-employed individuals who experienced a 25 percent or greater reduction in  business income in 2011 due to the economy.
 TO QUALIFY for this penalty relief, your adjusted gross income may not exceed $200,000 if married filing jointly or $100,000 if filing status is single, married filing separately, head of household or qualifying widower. Your 2011 balance due can not exceed $50,000.
 An installment agreement is a payment option for those who cannot pay their entire tax bill by the due date. The Fresh Start provisions give more taxpayers the ability to use streamlined installment agreements to catch up on back taxes and also more time to pay.
 Under the first round of Fresh Start in 2011, the IRS expanded the Offer in Compromise (OIC) program to cover a larger group of struggling taxpayers. An Offer in Compromise is an agreement between a taxpayer and the IRS that settles the taxpayer's tax liabilities for less than the full amount owed.
 Generally, an offer will not be accepted if the IRS believes that the liability can be paid in full as a lump sum or through a payment agreement. The IRS looks at the taxpayer's income and assets to make a determination regarding the taxpayer's ability to pay.

Massage Therapy Relieves Stress

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways to Health

Stress is the body's reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Stress can come from any situation or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, nervous, or anxious. Stress is caused by an existing stress-causing factor or "stressor." For example, dealing with a serious illness, losing a job or a home or a loved one are obvious sources of stress.  Other stressors may not be so obvious: a difficult boss, a difficult employee,  traffic, deadlines, tax time, teenagers.
 Just becoming aware of what is creating your stress is a first step in dealing with it in a positive ways.  Understanding some of the effects on our bodies is another way we can become more aware. Muscle pain and chronic fatigue are two ways our bodies respond to stress.
• Pain -  Stress gets reflected in the form of firmness and stiffness in Muscles.  This restricts the supply of oxygen, leading to accumulation of lactic acid and waste products in these muscles after prolonged periods of stress, This results in soreness and pain in muscles.                                                        
• Chronic Fatigue- Prolonged periods of tension weaken the muscles. When one muscle gets weakened, its opposing muscle is also compromised; slowly it also gives in. It results in lack of coordination between various body parts  muscles, connecting tendons, joints, etc. Since musculoskeletal system consumes largest share of body's energy, this imbalance brings about a state of chronic fatigue and tiredness.                         
 Massage Therapy can control stress effectively.  It improves blood circulation , relieves tension, increases oxygen flow, boots immune system, and clears the mind  - After a massage session, you feel rejuvenated and more confident. The massage brings about an emotional release and improved balance in body, mind and emotions. It is not going to dissolve away all those things that are causing you tension and stress in the first place, but it surely is going to help in making you mentally and physically more capable of dealing more effectively with stressors.
 Certified Massage Therapists are now licensed by the state of California and trained in various bodywork methods of stress relief. Most can offer guidance in other approaches:  Heat therapies; steam baths and saunas in combination with essential oil therapies, progressive relaxation and meditation, exercise, and nutritional guidance.

From Meadow Vista Trails Association

By Rich Walker, MVTA

The Meadow Vista Trails Association (MVTA) was formed in April 1995 as a membership based IRC §501organization dedicated to the establishment, improvement, and maintenance of multi use trails between  Christian Valley, and Colfax.  We encourage public trail access through the community for use by the community for horseback riding, walking, hiking and biking.   Five years ago an Equestrian Arena was built at the end of Combie Rd, as well as an Agility Dog park and Picnic Area.  Membership gains you access to this facility.
 MVTA has been able to obtain easements from property owners to secure many of the trails in the area.  We were also actively involved in the establishment of the Sugar Pine trail that follows the perimeter of the Winchester Community.  Our members act as agents of the County and are solely responsible for new construction and maintenance of our many trails.
 Some of the organized work completed last year include:  An extensive trail network on the Simpson Ranch,  trails through Walgra Meadows, we opened a section of the trail in Bear River County Park, work on the Sugar Pine trails around the Winchester Community, installed new sand in the arena and round pen at the Arena and on the Esoteric property, and the Cerro Vista trail.
 General Meetings are held @ 6:30 the fourth Tuesday of every month normally at Mountain Mikes Pizza. Please be our guest at the next meeting. We want you to enjoy and use the community you live in. Look for our booth at Pioneer Day as well!

Free Education: Khan Academy

By Deborah Kaplan, Home Tutoring Plus, Inc.

Whether you've never heard of the Khan Academy or you're a seasoned user, read on to explore the out-of-the-box possibilities of this phenomenal site. With about 3,000 videos on a variety of subjects, about 300 math exercises and the ability for both students and teachers to track students' progress, the Khan Academy is achieving its mission: “We're a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.”
 Wow. Pausing for breath. ;-)
  Students of all ages can use the academy's video library. The videos cover K-12 math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even has videos on finance and history. Each video is a digestible chunk, approximately 10 minutes long, and set-up for viewing on the computer.
 Students can watch a video, try the exercises, get help and tips along the way, track their progress and earn “energy points” and badges for successfully completing work. By logging in, their progress is automatically tracked and they can view it in a variety of motivating graphs. By setting goals, they can continually monitor their progress towards the goals.
 Name yourself or your student's tutor as “coach” and track what your student has done, how long they spent working on Khan Academy and more. Watch this video for a good introduction to the student tracking component.

 We cannot recommend this great resource enough!

Why Travel Insurance?

By Gerry Hinkle, Independent Travel Agent, Goldrush Getaways

In a world of uncertainty, travel insurance has never been more important. According to a recent survey, 17 percent of people who buy travel insurance actually wind up filing a claim.  That's fairly high compared with other types insurance, considering that one of the fundamental reasons for insurance is that most people won't use it - if they did, policies would be unaffordable. 

Just ask yourself the following questions:
• Can I risk losing my vacation investment if something goes wrong due to illness, weather or other unforeseen circumstances?
• If I have to cut my trip short due to an emergency, can I afford the cost of a return airline trip home?
• Does my health insurance provide coverage away from home and out of the country?  What if I become ill or I am injured while traveling?
• If my bags are lost or I have to spend an extra night because of weather-related problems, can I afford to buy necessities and pay for extra lodging? 
 In difficult economic times, it is common for travelers to cut out the insurance element to their vacation to save money, but for some, travel insurance can turn out to be a wise investment.

Recipe: Mother’s Day Quiche

From Christine Schlittenhart’s Kitchen

½ cup light or regular mayonnaise
½ cup milk or half-n-half
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces of shredded pepper-jack cheese
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
¼ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped green or red pepper
Garlic salt & pepper to taste
Minced garlic to taste
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell, using a deep dish pie plate

• Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
• In a large bowl, whisk together mayo & milk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Add salt & pepper.
• In skillet, saute' onion, peppers, minced garlic & patted dry spinach.
• Layer spinach & cheese in unbaked pie shell, making several layers of each.
• Pour in egg mixture. Place quiche on prepared cookie sheet. Cover quiche with foil.
• Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover & bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown & filling is set.

From the MV Lions Club

By Etta Gross, Secretary, Meadow Vista Lions Club

On Thursday, February 23, 2012, The Meadow Vista Area Lions with Laura Suddjian support feed 150 people pancakes and sausages at the Sierra Reach Ministries Food Closet.  The Lions Club presented Sue and Chet the Directors of the Food Closet with a check from the proceeds of the See's Candies Christmas sale for $2,600.  Breakfast started when the clients were in line awaiting the food closet doors to open.  The Meadow Vista Lions would like to every three months cook breakfast for those at Sierra Reach Ministries Food Closet.  The Lions Club is looking for future sponsors of financial support for purchasing the breakfast items, if you are interested please contact Lion President Mark Barbier at 878-0484.
Dates of upcoming Lions events to remember:

Pancake Breakfast at Sierra Hills Auditorium - All Moms are FREE

Pancake Breakfast (See your local Cub or Boy Scout for advance tickets) & Hot Dog eating contest (At the Meadow Vista Park)

MV Lions meet on the second and fourth Wednesday at the Meadow Vista Grange hall, starting at 7 p.m.

Sugar: More then Cavities

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

Good research is finally clarifying what has been known a long time.  In the 1970's books like “Sugar Blues” told us that sugar was the culprit in our dietary errors, not fat.  Though excess fat in the diet is likely not healthy, it is not nearly the culprit that sugar is.  After all, Eskimo and Northern American Indians lived on fat but did not suffer heart disease or diabetes until after the introduction of refined carbohydrates to their diet by Europeans. Dietary fat is not the issue.  It is refined carbohydrate; sugar.

Sugar is truly addictive, which is why it is difficult to reduce the amount in our diet as well as the reason sugar is added to nearly all our packaged and processed foods to improve our appreciation of their flavor.  Catsup is nearly 40% sugar!  Approximately 50% of the sugar we eat is Fructose.  No system in the body uses Fructose.  It is up to the liver to detoxify the Fructose in our body and change it into something useful.  At 50 grams Fructose per day the liver begins to fail.  Yes, fail.  The average American who ate 15 grams of Fructose in the 1960's is now eating 100 grams of Fructose daily.
 It is time to look at what we are eating.  Read labels.  Vitamin Water is the lowest calorie beverage you can buy in the store today; only 50 calories per 8 oz.  That translates, in grams, to a full 20 oz bottle having 33 grams of sugar.  That is more than the average American ate in an entire day in the 1960's.
 Keep your eyes on the health literature; this is a growing hot topic as degenerative disease claims more of our friends at younger ages.  Keep your eyes on the labels of packaged foods and be surprised!  Consider doing more “cooking” of real food from the vegetable, dairy and meat perimeter walls in your supermarket.  Real food.  Fresh food.