Monday, August 13, 2012

Back 2 School Tidbits

From the editor of the View Magazine, Ashlei Jackson - Sponsored by Qlixite

As the kids (and many parents) get ready to say goodbye to summer and welcome the upcoming school year - we thought we’d help rev up your minds with some thoughtful tidbits of knowledge. Will this trivia help you pass a test? Maybe. Are you sure to win Jeopardy? Maybe not but we think you will enjoy these juicy fun facts that we’ve plucked from Wikipedia. Happy Learning!

The First Pencil - The “lead” of the pencil, is actually graphite, as you may already know. This graphite was discovered in a large and very pure quantity near Cumbria, England, sometime in the early-mid 1500s. It was discovered to be very useful for marking sheep. So, the first ever “pencil” was used for marking sheep.

Shorthand Snippets - Shorthand is a system of abbreviation in which only a bare outline of a word is written. Shorthand systems go for maximum speed at the expense of readability. The earliest known indication of shorthand systems is from Ancient Greece when documents were engraved on stone tablets.

Famous Lefties- Despite many longstanding beliefs and myths regarding lefties -  there are many famous left-handers including:  George H.W. Bush,   Barack Obama; Prince William, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Paul McCartney,  Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Benjamin Franklin, Michelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci, Charlemagne and Julius Ceasar.

Folding a Paper Myth - It has been commonly thought that no matter it’s size or thickness, no piece of paper can be folded in half more than 8 times (go ahead and try it) however in 2005 a high school student managed to fold a sheet of paper 12 times. She currently sells a booklet that explains how she solved the “Impossible challenge.”

Cut to the Facts - No one knows who invented the first pair of scissors but we do know, however, that scissors appeared in Ancient Egypt in 1500BC. They were ‘spring scissors’ with two bronze blades connected at the handles by a thin strip of bronze. That strip of bronze brought the scissor blades together when it was squeezed.

The Ancient Eight - The term “Ivy League” was officially used in 1954 to describe an athletic conference involving the “Ancient Eight” schools. Eight U.S. colleges make up the “Ivy League”: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, and Yale. Harvard is the oldest college in the United States. It is also the first and oldest corporation in the United States.

An Apple a Day - From the 16th century until 18th century in various countries including Denmark and America, parents helped to pay educators with foods like fruits and veggatables. During this time, teachers did not receive enough salary to sustain the cost of living as you were not allowed to marry.

Lunch Box Bonanza - The first character-licensed lunch box came out in 1935, and it featured Mickey Mouse. But the lunch box market didn't really explode until the 1950s when the makers released a lunch box emblazoned with a decal of Hopalong Cassidy. Sales boomed - 120 million lunch boxes were sold between 1950 and 1970.

Going Greek - The first Greek student society, Phi Beta Kappa (“Love of learning is the guide of life”) was founded by John Heath in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Heath was initially declined admission in Latin-Letter fraternities. The society chose Greek letters because Heath was the best Greek scholar on campus.

Chalk it Up - James Pillans, geography instructor and headmaster of Edinburgh, Scotland's Old High School, invented the chalkboard by placing two pieces of slate together on a wall. Chalkboards first appeared in American schools in 1801 and became indispensable tools in most American classrooms by the mid-1800s.

Old School - The oldest public school in the United States is Boston's Latin School, which was founded on April 23, 1635. Five of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence were Latin School graduates, including Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Robert Treat Paine, Samuel Adams and William Hopper.

Erasers 101 - Erasers pick up graphite particles, thus removing them from the surface of the paper. Basically, the molecules in erasers are 'stickier' than the paper, so when the eraser is rubbed onto the pencil mark, the graphite sticks to the eraser preferentially over the paper.

Higher Education - Until the 1930s, most Americans only completed eight years of school. “High School” only became popular during the Great Depression when job-strapped communities saw benefits to keeping teenagers in class and out of the workforce where they’d only serve as low-cost competition to adults.

Thuumbs Up Seven Up - A traditional children's game that is played in primary schools, the goal is for each selected participant to correctly guess the person who pressed down his or her thumb. The game was known prior to 1859, where it was referred to as "seven up" in the Mark Twain story River Intelligence. This game is often used by teachers to determine who the cheaters in the class are.

Book Learning - America's first textbook was published in Boston around 1690. The book, titled The New England Primer, was adopted throughout the English settlements in included lessons on the alphabet, reading, and The Lord's Prayer. More than 5 millions copies of the textbook were distributed.

The Subject of Recess - As far back as 1884, the philosopher and educator, W. T. Harris, debated whether schools should abolish recess. He declared that the "chief use of the recess is its complete suspension of the tension of the will power and the surrender to caprice (or impulse) for a brief interval." Today, schools and many companies require "break-time" so that we may surrender to "caprice.”

Understanding Mortgage Rates

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

Mortgage rates are in the news more than ever.  Consumers read about the economic factors that cause mortgage rates to change but understanding those factors and really how they affect the rates is often difficult to discern.  The discussion often includes the Federal Reserve Board Chairman speaking, the national debt figure, the GDP, PPI and CPI to name a few terms but either way, it sounds like a different language  So what affects rates and why aren’t they more stable?

 There is no secret formula, the mortgage rates, like the stock market are dictated by investor emotion and mass media hype. If you ignore the news reports and do a little investigating on your own and align with a mortgage professional to get their input, you will be able to take advantage of the market just like the pros.
 The economic data and reports that are released at various times during the month can cause the rates to fluctuate.  Keep in mind that investors buy the bonds that mortgage rates are based upon, just like they buy stock.  Put simply, one can see that if the stock market is doing well then often bonds are not doing well because the money is being used to purchase stock and not bonds.  If bond activity is low, mortgage rates are higher.  If bonds are selling well because economic fears are high and the investor is looking for more stability, then the mortgage rates often go down.

 For example, when economic reports come out stating that the US economic recovery is slowing, or that the European countries are facing economic crisis and China’s economy is slowing, then investors seek a more stable home for their investment dollars which is the US Bond, specifically the 10 year note which sets mortgage rates. As of this writing of July 25th, the experts are expecting the mortgage rate to drop.  It is important to understand that just as volatility drives the rates down, it can drive them up.  Therefore if Europe comes to a sustainable agreement regarding their economics and China makes aggressive changes in policy, the opposite can occur because emotion ultimately drives the purchasing.

 Today rates are low. Will rates go up and if so how much?  No one knows but the trend is that there will not be any major changes through the end of the year. Daily “deals” are there to be gotten by watching the reports.  Work with a professional who has the understanding and technology to take advantage of the emotions of the market to lock a rate for your benefit.


Educate Your Customer = Smart Business

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Although many marketing guru's might spout that ROI and target audience are the main focus in your business strategy - educating your customer should be your centerpiece. Educating your client is one of the best ways to increase sales and turn a one time sale into a long lasting loyal customer. Many times, when people are considering buying a product - they know little about it which makes them less likely to buy on impulse. They don't know if the price is realistic, if the product is reliable, if the quality is an industry standard - this kind of uncertainty makes a customer feel uncomfortable about the purchase.
• Be a Teacher of Your Business
 Sales and teaching go hand in hand. A teacher in a classroom wants you to learn the material to be able to pass the test (for example). A salesperson (or business owner) wants you to learn about the product to see why this purchase is ideal. So if a customer is interested in a product or service and someone takes the time with them to show them the features and how they compare to other similar items - a customer will begin to feel more confident in their decision to purchase. The more the information is balanced and informational (rather than just a 'sales pitch') the more likely you earn their trust and loyalty. Guess who they will come to for information in the future? You, their expert!
• Educate About Your Product or Service This is a no-brainer! Make sure your customers know about what you offer and how you can solve their problems. Often, missed sales occur when a customer doesn't know or understand your product or service.

• Educate About Your Business
 This is one aspect that often gets overlooked in marketing but can be just as important as educating your customer about your product or service. The relationship your customers have with you and your business is emotional.
Customers often ask themselves...
• Do I trust this business?
• Is the staff knowledgable?
• Does the company stand behind their product with a warranty?
• Is this company the best place to get this service?
If you're still unsure about how important this aspect of marketing is then consider this: If you are looking at two identical products at the same price - who do you go with? Have you ever paid more money for a product or service because you like the company or owner. Everyday, people choose to pay more or shop exclusively with brands because they like the company as well as the product (examples: Macy's, Nike, Pepsi, Budweiser and Apple). If it works for them - it can work for you too!
• Conclusion
It is often said that knowledge is power - think of educating your customer as a marketing strategy that empowers your customer. The more they know, the more power they have to make a decision and well as share what a helpful expert you are!

Free Swimming Day at MV Pool

As a thank you to the community we love, the Meadow Vista Lion’s are sponsoring another Free Swimming day at the Meadow Vista pool.  This Free Swim Day will be on the last day the MV pool is to be open.  Watch for the exact date to be determined by ARD.

Meadow Vista Lions Need You!

By Etta Gross, Secretary, Meadow Vista Lions Club

Have you ever wanted to help your neighbors and community?  The Meadow Vista Lion’s needs you.  There are many benefits of joining this well respected international service group.  You will be able to meet other amazing people, volunteer your skills, and network within your community, county, state, country and world wide.  As a Lion, you will help to better your community, help those with eye sight or vision problems, and contribute your ideas in helping others.

 Some of the local events you may recognize and could be involved with are: our annual Crab Feed, Mother’s Day Breakfast, Hot Dog Day at the local schools, the Easter Egg Hunt, Santa Comes to Town, White Cane day, See’s Candy sales, and other fundraising events such as a number of pancake breakfasts. 
 To become a member of the Meadow Vista Lions feel free to visit our regular meetings held on the second and fourth Wednesday night’s at the meadow Vista Grange Hall, located at 1121 Grange Road.  The starting time is 7 p.m. with dinner served.  (Dinner is prepared by fellow Lions club members, the cost is only $6 and beverages are extra)  We ask that you attend at least three of these meetings without any obligation to join.  Once you have chosen to become a member, the annual dues are $120. (There is a family plan discount when married couples join.) There is also a smaller one time membership fee for registering with International Lions, and buying a vest and name badge.

 If you would like additional information please contact a Meadow Vista Area Lion, Lion President Kurt Bleuel at (530) 885-4830, and Immediate Past Lion President Lion Mark Barbier at Meadow Vista True Value Hardware (530) 878-0484.

Christmas in August? MV Friendly Neighbors

Submitted By Etta Gross, Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors

Christmas already???  Well, the Friendly Neighbors Club is starting early this year.  Last year the families that needed help at Christmas time broke the record for more than 20 years.  The community helped over 138 families last year.  This year we want to be prepared for even more families since our economy has not improved.  One of the Christmas Baskets goals is to help OUR local (Meadow Vista Christian Valley, Clipper Gap, Applegate and Weimar) families in need with enough food to last for the two week Christmas vacation from school and supply Christmas dinner.   This helps the families tremendously since many of these children won’t be able to receive lunch at school during those two weeks of vacation.  Cash donations are always greatly appreciated.  With cash donations we are able to purchase food from our county food bank at a huge discount since we are a 501(c) 3 organization.   Non-perishable canned foods are always gladly accepted and greatly appreciated!

  In the coming months we will need the community’s help with assembling the boxes of food.  Those notices will come out in September/October.  As in many past years, ornaments will be available in town that represent a local child in need to bring a little brightness to his/her Christmas.  Cash donations may be payable to TMVFNC (The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club) and mailed to P.O. Box 764, Meadow Vista, CA  95722.  Any questions or concerns please contact a Friendly Neighbor member or Etta Gross at (530) 637-5359.

 Save the date of the second Saturday in November for the Community Christmas Basket Program pancake breakfast.  All the proceeds go to the community Christmas Basket Program. It is a good way to come meet your neighbors and help your community at the same time.  More on this event will be announced soon! We thank all those that have donated generously to our community Christmas Basket Program and hope you will continue to support this project. Please remember your donations will stay within our local area of Meadow Vista, Clipper Gap, Christian Valley, Applegate and Weimar to help your neighbor at Christmas. 
The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club is a 501(c) 3 organization.  Please consult your tax advisor for verification on whether your donation is tax deductible.

What is Community Based Healing?

By Tonya Elliott-Walker, LMFT - University of Phoenix Lead Faculty Area Chair I, Morningstar Counseling & Wellness Center

There comes a time when everyone can use a little support during difficult times. Sometimes it's because of a situation in life and sometimes it's because of a kind of emotional imbalance that causes depression, anxiety and relational difficulties. There are lots of theories about what causes emotional imbalance. Some believe it's biochemical; some believe it's mental and still others believe it's spiritual. The bottom line is that it causes suffering for you or your loved one. Many people in this situation do not want to reach out for help due to pride about what others may think. This often leads to isolation and distancing from others which actually exacerbates the problem. Community based healing is not just a type of treatment it's a way of life. It's creating and using a support system of compassionate, caring and empathetic people who share similar values and interests.

 When people are struggling and they isolate from their families out of shame or fear they often get to a point where they can no longer manage or function on their own. This is usually the point at which people consider entering into therapy.  In the wellness model, we encourage people not to wait until it gets to that point. Reach out and use your support system first. If you don't have a support system, then find one. Find those people who will love you for who you are right now, even in your pain, and help you overcome your challenges.  Sometimes reaching out can be so hard to do but it can also be the most healing and therapeutic experience to be accepted and loved, even in all of your imperfections. Ultimately, the lesson learned is to love and accept ourselves but, sometimes we need others to help us learn to do that.

 With community based healing, in addition to traditional therapies, you're engulfed in a community of compassionate, spiritually open minded people who have similar morals and values.  They will not judge but, hold one another accountable to specific values, dreams and goals created by the individual. Experiencing this level of acceptance and unconditional love from others, we often experience profound change and healing deep within. Sometimes all we need is spiritual direction, encouragement, and a sense of belonging to realize that inner peace is available to us now if we will just open to receive it. 

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Therapeutic Bodywork: A Path to Health

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways to Health

How do I stay healthy? How do I keep from incurring medical bills?  A first step is to begin to take responsibility for one’s own health.  But where do I start?  
For many people the path to health through self-care has taken them to a combination of  endeavors that include nutrition, exercise and relaxation. We will focus on the activity that most of us discount, relaxation.
 The pressures that cause stress have always been with us.  But the opportunity to balance those pressure filled times with periods of deep relaxation  appear to be lessening.  The advent of instant communication through advanced media systems brings a constant barrage of catastrophic happenings to our awareness. Plus, in our fast paced, competitive culture, the last thing many of us feel we can afford to do is relax.  We may attempt to distract ourselves with movies, TV, alcohol, tobacco and other activities that may actually increase stress levels. This makes countering stressful periods  more difficult  and may be contributing to many people developing physical symptoms as a result of chronic stress. 
 Most massage and bodywork methods are focused on bringing the body to a balanced, relaxed condition, with the idea that healing begins in this state  In a  typical massage session, you and the therapist will discuss what you want from the session and this will determine which parts of the body will be the main focus of the work and what methods will be employed.   A trained massage therapist can discern chronically tight parts of the body and employ appropriate strokes and pressure to relieve the tightness. 

 Even methods that may not employ soothing oils, like Bowen Therapy, acupressure or shiatsu can lessen stress levels. Also the therapist may use movement and stretches and suggest activities at home such as breath focused progressive relaxation exercises to further create a balance in the body. 

So how do I stay healthy?  I need to continue on the path to taking responsibility for my own health through self-care, and to keep experimenting with the nutrition, exercise, and stress relief approaches that are right for me.

The Filipino Impact in America

Interview of Romy Velasco (Methodist Pastor in Meadow Vista) by Joe Hoffmann

The Rev. Romy Velasco, born and raised in the Philippines, upon graduation from high school in 1970 was encouraged by American missionaries to become a preacher.  In 1987, he came to America, earned a Master of Divinity degree, and pastored churches here for 25 years. For the past two years he has been the talented and energetic pastor of the United Methodist Church in Meadow Vista. 

• Pastor Romy, why do Filipinos want to come to America?  Why did you come?
My parents were liberated from the Japanese occupation by American soldiers in 1944, and they taught me great respect for Americans.  I was often reminded of the debt we owe America. Whenever I saw an American, I wanted to bow and say, “Thank you, thank you for saving my country and my family.”  I wanted to come to America to show my gratitude, as have many other Filipinos, but most come for the employment opportunities here that are not available in the Philippines.  At first many farmers came, but now most come for professional and service positions.  According to the 2010 census, the unemployment rate of Filipinos in the U.S. is only 5%, much lower than that of the general population.
• Are there many Filipinos living in the U.S.?
Yes, according to the 2010 census, the number of Philippine-born people in the U.S. was 180,000. Plus, many of those have America-born children raised the “Filipino way.” My three daughters, born in the Philippines, married American men here.  Now my six grandchildren are being raised the “Filipino way,” with a little of the “American way” mixed in.
• What do you mean by the “Filipino way” of raising children?
Filipinos raise their children in a special way.  Filipino relatives usually live together, so when Filipino babies wake, there is always someone there to cuddle and rock them.  Also, there is no pressure to potty-train nor to eat like adults at the table.  They are spoon-fed until they are nearly six years old.  The growing child is included in the activities around the house and gradually learns to be helpful.  But I think the biggest difference is that children are consistently taught self-esteem, respect for authority, and the importance of education.  They must be doing something right, because the literacy rate for all adults in the Philippines is 96%, including many primitive tribes in the mountains and the poor living in shanty towns around the big cities. 
• Do Filipinos have other, unique customs?
Oh, yes!  The Philippines are blessed with an abundance of rice, served at every meal, and with sea foods, served almost daily, and with year-long supplies of fruit.  For special occasions guests are served Léchon, a roasted pig whose brown crust is cut into delicious strips. Everyone is invited to come and try some Léchon at our Filipino Festival on Saturday, September 15, from 10:00 to 2:30 at 17250 Placer Hills Road.  With the help of many Filipino friends, we are serving a variety of authentic, delicious Filipino dishes followed by exciting Filipino entertainment clearly showing the impact of the Filipino culture on America.   (Adult reservations are $10. Call 530-878-0651 or 878-8087. Limited to 150 people.)

Nature is Waiting with MV Trails Association

By Rich Walker, Meadow Vista Trails Association

MVTA is happy to be the latest dues paying member of the Merchants Association. We continue to be an active Community Service Organization that can help you learn about the community through our local trail network.   In years past we have sponsored local nature walks on the Simpson Ranch, out Combie Rd., with our local historian, George Lay, and covering the local Indian grinding areas in Meadow Vista.  We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about both the public trails and private paths in our area.

 Did you know you can actually walk from Café Vista, in downtown Meadow Vista to the Placer Nature Center.   You’ll experience dogs, lots of birds, including turkeys, chickens, peacocks, and during the right time of the year, I’ve experienced a rattle snake ball.  We are continuing to follow the guidelines of the Community Plan to keep the community connected through Trails.   We’d love to have you share in the experience of traveling on the old stage coach route into the canyon to the upper reaches of Lake Clementine.   And, it’s all downhill.   We’ve recently had a trail incident reported on our web site of an encounter between a dirt bike and equestrian rider on the Sugar Pine trail around Winchester.   Thankfully no one was hurt, but we’re continuing to educate, that our trails are not open to off road vehicles.   Signs are posted. This incident has been reported to the Sheriff’s office, so they’re watching too.  Mountain bikers have been very cooperative when sharing the tails with equestrians and hikers, and we thank you for that.  Visit our site for current schedule, newsletter and events:

Hope to meet you at our monthly meeting, last Tuesday of the month or on a work day.  Check our newsletter on the website for our meeting location and trail work days. Did you know we have our very own multi-class Meadow Vista horse show, including Trail Trials, --- and it’s coming up. 

Save Money on Central Heating & AC

By Joe Mumford, Joe Mumford Plumbing & Heating Co.

Air conditioners are responsible for the major part of most people's electric bills during the summer months and heaters are responsible for a large part of the utility bills during the winter. There are several simple things you can do to cut back on our bills.

• Maintain Your System - With the proper maintenance your air conditioning and heating equipment will work more economically and be dependable for years to come.

• Get a Tune Up - To keep your central air conditioner and heater working to its fullest potential occasionally you need a tune up If you skip your regular maintenance, you will cost yourself money and be inconvenienced in the long run. For maximum performance and long life have a professional perform needed maintenance on your air conditioner in the spring and your furnace or heat pump in the fall.

• Have Freon leaks repaired - Leaks in your system will lower its efficiency and will only get worse with time. Freon is not a fuel source it is only a cooling medium and it should only need to be replaced if there is a leak.

• Get a Programmable Thermostat -This will allow you to set your unit to a more efficient temperature while you are gone and raise the temperature when you arrive home. Many experts agree that 78°F is a good starting point.  Every degree below 78°F that you set your thermostat for AC will increase your energy usage by around 8 percent.

• Properly Seal your Ducts - Have your ductwork checked to see if it needs any repairs or if it needs to be replaced. Also return grilles and grills in each room should be evaluated to see if they are properly sized.

• Repair Air Leaks - Have a professional examine your air conditioning unit to see if air is leaking. The average home leaks 30 percent of air that the AC and heating unit is putting out. This is wasted energy that can be easily recouped.

Recipe: Cowboy Caviar

Four Corner Flossing

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

Cavity free kids and keeping it simple.  Kids who enjoy going to the dentist and consistently belong to the "No Cavity Club." That's what we parents want, right?

 After age 3 about 90% of the cavities are in 4 locations.  Between the molars in the 4 corners of the mouth. If I could get parents to spend 10 seconds each evening flossing these 4 spots, it would nearly eliminate all the cavities I have to fix.  And I do mean 10 seconds!

 Here is how I did it. At story time each evening the kids brought a book and I brought some floss. Each in turn would lay on the couch with head in my lap, mouth open and looking up at me. It is an easy view of upper and lower teeth and I am not chasing a bobble-head.  Zig zag the floss between the molars so it does not snap as it goes past the tight spot.  Snap it back out.  Four corners and you are finished. After a couple nights practice you will discover this takes about 10 seconds, really!  A hug or tickle and a question about the book they brought might make it 30 seconds.

 Once parents have done this they are astonished how easy it is and elect to use their fingers rather than flimsy flossers (which I find are often ineffective due to their flexibility). Those spots are so easy to reach, you don't even have to do a big wind of floss on your fingers. Just grab it with your hands.

 Some parents do this when the kids are lying in bed being "tucked in." Others do it on the bathroom floor after the bath.  You can even use that towel to papoose them if they are the wiggly type.

Even though my kids took over their own tooth brushing at 6, I kept responsibility for flossing the important molar spots till they were 9.  Since that is where the cavities happen, I wanted to be sure their hand skills were adequate before I turned it over to them. Once cavities start, it is a lifetime maintenance nuisance. So far, 3 kids in their early 20s and no cavities.  They know flossing is the most important oral health measure.