Thursday, November 29, 2012

Meadow Vista Christmas in the Village

Saturday, December 8th • 4-6pm
Several local merchants will host open house celebrations and extend shopping hours with tasty treats, food, drink and festive goodies. Participate in the Treasure Hunt for a chance to win $$$!
Then, here comes Santa!
Stick around because Santa makes a stop in Meadow Vista to hear what’s on your wish list this holiday season!

A Gift of Thanks...

As the year comes to a close, we tend to anticipate the newness and change waiting around the corner. A new year filled with new adventures! The Meadow Vista Merchants Association is embracing 2013 with hopes of change sprinkled with a dash of tradition. We look forward to a new Board and a new format to our meetings. If you are a local business - we invite you to join us! Shopping and supporting small business is increasingly vital to our local economy and we encourage everyone to continue this tradition. We need YOU!

 As an association built upon volunteerism, we are enormously proud to bring you this publication. Blood, sweat and tears go into our little magazine. The struggling economy has made it rough but we have consistently been able to deliver over 3000 magazines to Meadow Vista and Applegate residents every other month - fully funded by our local advertisers. To our members and our community, thank you for supporting the View Magazine! We could not do it without you and we hope to continue the tradition for years to come!

 We hope you have a joyous holiday season and a hopeful new year. May you enjoy the gifts of living in our beautiful community all year long!

The Meadow Vista Merchant's Association

Oktoberfest 2012 - A Success!

Then & Now - Lending Has Changed

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

If you have you tried to get a purchase or refinance mortgage loan recently - you might have noticed a new trend: It has gotten MUCH harder. Lenders are growing increasing picky and demand more out of borrowers today than every before to secure home financing. Why? It is important to understand that the lending market has changed since the financial meltdown. Prior to the recession, there were many institutions and small banks who negotiated loans and retained them in their portfolio as investments.  What’s changed? Today almost all loans are sold to one of the top FOUR banks: Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Chase, and Bank of America - Each with specific requirements which change frequently (sometimes DAILY!).  Just like in any industry  the fewer the players, the tighter the rules.

Added to fewer options are the new regulations coupled with the high incidence of fraud. It has become more costly for most institutions to keep and service a loan.  The profit is made by packaging a loan and selling it (to one of the above banks) within10 days of that loan closing. This profit is greatly reduced when a file is held longer than 10 days due to documentation issues. Profit decreases further if the institution must keep the loan because an issue with the file cannot be resolved. 
 To avoid delays when selling the loan, companies require more documentation that is as current as possible. This requirement, which often changes as new issues arise, is the primary reason most borrowers experience frustration.  Social security numbers are verified with the government as well as the filing of two years of tax returns.  Gone are the days of just giving copies of your documents.

The second issue is the turn around time to close a loan.  Interest rates are low so lenders are busy.  The lender will prioritize a purchase loan over a refinance because there is a deadline - this means refinances always take longer.  Once all documents are gathered and verified and the appraisal has been competed, the loan file is then placed in underwriting.  This can be take 4 to 7 business days.  Often a request for more information is received with the approval which adds more time as well.  Then when all items are satisfied, documents are drawn, prepared, signed, sent back for review and then funds are sent to the escrow company. Be wary of promises of “10 days to close” - this usually means 10 days AFTER all documentation is collected upfront and all verifications are completed

While it is a difficult process, the rewards are great as we experience the lowest rates in 50 + years.  It helps to know the process so you are prepared. The investment in time is a fact in today's market and you are not alone. Connect with a knowledgeable mortgage professional to aid in the process. Then sit back, take a deep breath and BE PATIENT!

4 Steps to Handling Negative Online Reviews

Visit for a high
quality version of this guide. Note: You do not
have to join Pinterest to view it.
By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

If you work with small businesses like us you start to recognize the cries for help when a usually spotless reputation shows the dark mark of an almost unspeakable villain...the unhappy customer.
"Yelp! I've Gotten a Bad Review - Now What?"

We understand your plight. Used to be that when you or your employee had a bad day that affected a customer or a product malfunctioned - you only had to worry about who that individual could tell in their circle of friends. Now with the advent of the internet and jumbo review sites like - you have to worry that one bad experience could haunt you for the rest of your career (or worse lead to the end of it)

 So what do you do when your business gets a bad review on user sites like Yelp?

Step 1 - Breathe & Step Away
If you're an entrepreneur, it's only natural that you will take a negative review personally. This is normal however it can make responding the right way more difficult. Even if the review is completely wrong or overly hurtful - this is not the time to get into an argument online. This is why we recommend stepping away for an hour or a day to cool off . You'll feel much more in control and prepared to respond properly.

Step 2 - Review Your Customer Service Policy
While you're cooling off, you might review your policy for handling issues that come up during face-to-face service issues. How would you handle an unhappy customer who asks to speak with the manager? What would you say? Apply this same logic to how you want to handle an unhappy online reviewer.

Step 3 - Respond Diplomatically
Now that you're ready to respond. Be civil and professional. Remember they reviewed your business, not you - therefore your business is responding. You may not care about what people think of you but what others think of your business will have reprucussions.Try to show empathy and concern for the reviewer's feelings and show you care. Offer a solution when appropriate. Review sites like Yelp offer free review response tools to allow public or private responses. A private message is akin to sending a direct email to the reviewer whereas a public comment will be posted directly under the user's review and is visible to everyone.
 Responding with a public comment can be a great option to shed light on the specific situation or show your willingness to rectify the issue.

Step 4 - Continue to be Engaged
Actively read and respond to future reviews, both positive and negative. People like to know that their comments are heard and appreciated by a business. Remember that you will grow as a business as you consider criticism and make changes that improve your customer service. Continue to tell your clients and customers to share their positive experiences on sites like Yelp and soon the good reviews will outweigh the bad ones.

Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Holiday Fundraisers

Submitted by Etta Gross

THANK YOU for your support of our 5th Annual Christmas Pancake Breakfast.   A Special THANK YOU to Meadow Vista Area Lions for their excellent cooking abilities.    Without the Lions this event would not have happened. 

 There is still plenty to do for the Christmas Baskets since Christmas just around the corner.   Ornaments are available at Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista.  Each ornament represents a child in our community that could use some JOY at Christmas by unwrapping a present that a kind resident in the community has chosen for them.   Please remember that the Friendly Neighbors ask that your toy donation (wrapped with the ornament attached) be returned to Wells Fargo Bank in Meadow Vista by December 12, 2012.  Physical help is needed with sorting and packing the food boxes.  This will give you the opportunity to see your community working side by side to help their neighbors, please join all of us on Friday, December 14, 2012 starting at 4:30 p.m. in the Sierra Hills School Auditorium.   This evening is just so heartwarming to witness.  It is like watching Santa's elves hard at work!  Cash donations are always greatly appreciated. 

 Checks should be mailed to The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club or TMVFNC, P.O. Box 764, Meadow Vista, CA  95722.  You will receive a receipt for your tax records since the club is a non-profit 501 c 3. 

 It is not too late if you know of someone, or should you need assistance with food during the Christmas Holiday, please call Etta Gross at (530) 637-5359 or Gerry at (530) 878-6117 to register for a Christmas Basket. 

Stress-Less Holidays

By Joel Curry, MSW, CMT, Pathways to Health

It is one the ironies of our age that many people dread the holiday season.  A time that is given to communal and religious celebration evokes a dreaded response in many of us: STRESS! How can we approach this holiday season and avoid the negative effects of this dis-ease of modern times? 
 The key to avoiding stress may lie in a combination of activities that either prevent tension, i.e., planning, budgeting, to-do lists for gifts and projects; or involve direct tension relief methods like receiving a therapeutic massage.   Massage therapy is proving to be a first-line form of treatment for holiday stress related conditions.

 Under stress muscles can become chronically tense, knotting and going into spasms, causing pain receptors to be triggered and severe pain to be felt.   Fascia, which begins just beneath the skin and continues in layers throughout the system, is the web of elastic connective tissue that holds muscles, bones, and organs together.  Stress and tension dehydrates, thickens, and shortens fascia and contributes to discomfort in the body. 

 The action of massage further helps restore the elastic texture of fascia and the fluidity of muscles, relieving pressure on pain receptors, and generally bringing about a feeling of well being in the body. The reduction of stress is a proven benefit of massage therapy.

 A number of physical symptoms can be a result of  chronic stress.  Controlled studies now show that there is an increasing amount of scientific verification of the beneficial effects of massage therapy for stress related symptoms. A study reported in the  Journal of Clinical Rheumatology on the effect of massage on fibromyalgia found that massage improved mood and sleep, and levels of substance P, a neurotransmitter in the pain fiber system, decreased, along with the number of tender spots in the bodies of participants.  The massage sessions combined Swedish massage and shiatsu done with moderate pressure and stroking of the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs and feet.  Subjects received 30-minute massages twice a week for five weeks. 

 So, this season, besides thinking ahead and getting organized, consider massage therapy as an effective way to counter the effects of holiday induced stress.

Brush & Spit - DON'T Rinse!

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

Since 1999, when John Featherstone PhD published his new data on the mechanisms of Fluoride in oral health, I and many prevention oriented colleagues have promoted the concept that one should not rinse after brushing one’s teeth.  Just spit the excess foam out and leave the residual toothpaste on your teeth.  After all, don’t we tell you the same after your dental appointment where we give you a fluoride application and tell you not to eat or rinse for 30 minutes?  Many folks will use a fluoride mouth rinse after brushing for the express purpose of leaving fluoride on their teeth.  The same concept can be accomplished by merely leaving the residual toothpaste on your teeth.

 If you like to rinse with a mouthwash for other than a fluoride based reason, then I would recommend waiting at least 30 minutes after brushing if you are going to use a non-fluoride mouth rinse.

 Despite long term recommendation of this concept by those of us in the prevention oriented segment of oral health, there has been surprisingly little formal research to verify the concept.  It was great to see an expert panel convened to review all the available research to date.  Their expert opinion of the evaluated research supported the recommendation to “Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste and spit the excess foam, but do not rinse afterward.”  Published in the British Dental Journal April, 2012.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Exercise Makes the Grade

By Richard Peatman, Pharm D, Meadow Vista Pharmacy
Want your child to do better in school? Make sure exercise doesn't get the short end of the stick. A review of 12 exercise studies recently reported in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine underscored how important exercise is for the brain, not just the body. It found that children who regularly exercised tended to do better in school.  These were a few of the research findings:
• Middle school kids who exercised vigorously for at least 20 minutes, three days a week, achieved higher grades over two semesters than students who did not intensely exercise.
• Elementary school children with good aerobic fitness were more likely to excel in reading and math.
• Overweight children who exercised 40 minutes every day for 15 weeks scored better in tests of executive function – the "conductor" of cognitive skills – than overweight kids who only exercised 20 minutes.
 Researchers point to several possible reasons for these promising findings. For one, physical activity increases the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. And, as you may already know, exercise boosts endorphins. These are hormones in the brain that improve mood. They may give kids an extra lift for tackling academic challenges. Exercise also promotes development of a protein that acts a little like Miracle-Gro® for your brain. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is found in areas of the brain that are critical for learning, memory, and higher thinking.
  Unfortunately, many children today aren't getting the physical activity their bodies and brains so desperately need. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that children and teens need a minimum of 60 minutes of mostly aerobic, physical activity each day. Aerobic activities are the ones that get your heart beating faster, such as fast walking or running. 
 What if your child isn't into sports or shuns the idea of physical exercise altogether? Then, it's up to you as a parent to help make exercise become a habit. Here are some ideas:
• Do what you can to set a positive example.
• Find fun activities you can enjoy together as a family. Hike, go bike riding or play hide-and-go seek.
• Give gifts that promote physical activity, not just sedentary ones.
• Help your child find physical activities he or she enjoys. Remember: it's not the same for everyone. Some like team sports. Others enjoy individual activities such as swimming or skating.
• Set up an electronics-free time each week.4
 With teens, exercise may be an even tougher sell, but remember that exercise doesn't have to be just for jocks.  There are countless ways to hook a kid into being more active. Think of potentially more popular activities like the video game, DanceDance Revolution. Or maybe hip-hop, martial arts, or mountain biking is the way to go.
 Want to learn more? Check out the fitness articles in our online Wellness Library at
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
1. Singh, A. et al. "Physical Activity and Performance at School: A Systematic Review of the Literature Including a Methodological Quality Assessment." Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(1):49–55.  Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
2.  Edutopia: "A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind." Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
3. CDC: "How Much Physical Activity Do Children Need?" Available at: Accessed March 21, 2012.
4. CDC: Available at: "Making Physical Activity a Part of a Child's Life." Accessed March 21, 2012.

Recipe: Christine's Salty Toffee

From Christine Schlittenhart's Kitchen

1 c. brown sugar
2 sticks real butter
12 oz. chocolate chips
6 oz. package of sliced almonds
Saltine crackers

1. Line a large jelly roll pan (one with sides) with foil.
2. Cover with soda crackers.
3. Boil brown sugar and butter together 3 minutes (start timing when it starts boiling).
4. Pour over crackers.
5. Bake 6 to 7 minutes at 375 degrees.
6. While hot, pour chocolate chips on top. Smooth over, then spread almonds. Let cool, then freeze for several hours.
Break into pieces to serve. Perfect for Gifts Too!

Home Selling Insight

By Fred Eichenhofer, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

Why do some homes sell in days when others take months or don’t sell at all?
 When sellers or their real estate agent overlook any of the important ingredients of a successful sale, a home can linger on the market. Here are 3 reasons why a home doesn't sell quickly:

1. Asking Price is Too High.  When a home first comes on the market, the list price should be at or near the market value so buyers see it as a good value and put in an offer. The first 30 days are crucial! Pricing a house is very important even with low inventory. When buyers do not see the value in the home at the current listing price, or it’s priced far above a reasonable price range for the current market, buyers usually will not look at the house or write an offer.

2. Poor Marketing. Most real estate agents will do nothing more than put the house in the MLS (Listing system). You want an agent that will be aggressive with their marketing especially within the first 30 days. It is amazing how many agents will place a house on our listing system with no photos for days, thereby missing potential buyers that have already viewed the listing (without a photo), drastically losing potential buyers interest.

3. Home is not staged properly. A buyer wants to buy a home they can imagine living in with their family. Get the facts on how to stage your home properly. When buyers walk in the home, they should be able to envision themselves in the house as their new home.
 It is important to hire a Realtor you feel comfortable with, and a Realtor experienced to deal with all of the intricacies of a real estate transaction.
 Many times we see sellers select an agent that said their house would sell at a far higher price than the market would bear, only to sell months later at a price lower than other agents suggested. Be careful not to base your decision solely on an agent that gives you a price range higher than others, or one who will instantly cut their commission…keep in mind the old saying “You get what you pay for”.  There are a lot of expenses a listing agent incurs in order to market your home properly, other agents may not do because of the expense involved.  Lack of marketing to the public is a disadvantage for a seller, as well as initial pricing of a home. Marketing and pricing are very important aspects for a successful sale of a home.

Trick-or-Treat Trail Candids


Upcoming Christmas Fair in Meadow Vista!

The Meadow Vista Christmas Fair

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
9am - 3pm
@ The Beda Place

990 Meadow Gate Road
Meadow Vista, CA 95722

 FREE to the Public!! Christmas Basket Food Drive, vendors/crafters...alot of great seasonal items, jewelry, unique art, wood works, home decor, vendors like Cookie Lee, Tupperware, etc. , fun crafts for kids! Don't miss out on a chance for a one-of-a-kind gift, or something for yourself!!

Unfortunately, due to the "ugly" weather we have made the executive decision to postpone the fair until next Saturday, December 8th, 9am-3pm. Our decision was made with the vendors and the public's best interest in mind, we want to give the best experience possible here at The Beda Place.
I hope you can understand why we came to this decision and we hope to see you next Saturday, December 8th.

Please call or e-mail if you have any questions.
Thanks again to everyone I hope you have a wonderful day.

Amy Ugalde
Meadow Vista Christmas Fair Coordinator
(530) 878-2332
The Beda Place
990 Meadow Gate Road
Meadow Vista, CA 95722

From the Meadow Vista Lions Club

Submitted by Etta Gross, MV Lions Club Secretary

Santa is coming to town! Rudolph has assured the Meadow Vista Lions that he will safely deliver Santa Claus in Meadow Vista at the field next to the Post Office on December 8, 2012.  For Santa's visit to town the area Girl Scouts will be serving up those delicious and nicely decorated cookies they have baked.  The Lions will be serving up coffee and hot chocolate.  The bond fire will be going to help keep everyone warm while they are visiting with Santa.  Should there be unfavorable weather condition look for Santa to be at Placer Hills Auditorium.  The Meadow Vista Lions look forward to seeing everyone at dusk on December 8, 2012!
 Come support your local Meadow Vista Area Lions Club CRAB FEED
 The Lions Crab Feed will be Saturday, February 2, 2013 at Gold Country Fairgrounds (Placer Building) starting at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $35.00 each.  The menu will be salad, bread and CRAB!  No host cocktail start at 6 p.m.  Tickets are available through a Meadow Vista Area Lions member, Meadow Vista True Value Hardware, Meadow Electric, Meadow-Walker Law Group, or Dr. Hensley.  Prize drawings will be done though out the evening, with the music by Runnin 4 Cover (live band).    The sole door prize winner will walk away with $200.   All the proceeds from this event will allow the Meadow Vista Lions to continue with the community projects and events.  Some of our more special projects are The Mother's Day Breakfast, Santa Comes to Town, Easter Egg Hunt, assist financially challenged resident with eye care, school day hot dogs and many other community projects! 

 Do you want to put your expertise to good use in helping your community?  Residents are welcome to visit a Meadow Vista Lions meeting.  There are held on the second and fourth Wednesday night, starting time is 7p.m. at Meadow Vista Grange. PLEASE contact Mark at True Value Hardware about the possibilities of becoming a Meadow Vista Area Lions! 

DIY Tips to Maintain Your Furnace

Submitted by Jeff Spoor, Spoor’s Heating & Air Conditioning
Winter is here and while you're well aware of how well your heater is performing, let's talk about how you can keep it running in top shape. First of all, if you do not feel capable of handling any of the following steps on your own, hire a heating and air conditioning professional. 
Preventative  - Keep it Clean!
Like all appliances and home machinery, you want to keep your furnace clean.  A build up of dirt and dust can mean a breakdown the efficiency of your heating system.  Nowadays, who can afford to waste anything, let alone fuel?  These steps apply whether you are doing gas furnace maintenance, oil or electric furnace.

 There are three areas you want to pay attention to when it comes to furnace maintenance.  They are the furnace filters, the blower and the motor.
Maintenance - Filters!
This is a critical step in furnace maintenance, but how often you clean or replace your furnace filters will depend on a few factors.   Hold a dirty filter up to a burning light bulb.  If you can see a clear outline of the bulb, your filter is still good.  When it gets to the point you can't see the bulb, it’s time for a new one.  If you have pets, or are a smoker, you'll need to change the furnace filter more often. 
 Changing the filter may not seem important but when your furnace's blower motor burns out because your clogged filter restricted too much air flow you’ll find that a new motor is going to cost you a lot more than a filter.

Maintenance - Blower & Motor:
Clean the blower assembly.  Check to make sure the belt isn't loose or damaged. Assuming your furnace doesn't have a sealed blower motor, put a few drops of oil in the motor.  Now the blower motor is running smoothly and efficiently, and your heating system should keep you warm this winter.

 A few furnace tips worth noting. Your heating and air conditioning vents are there for a reason.  Neither your return air vents nor your supply registers should be obstructed by furniture or anything else.  Air needs to circulate through them freely.  And that includes filters that are used at the vent.  Are they trapping lots of junk?  They're likely trapping lots of air too. If you absolutely must use thick filters of any sort, have the static pressure tested at both the return and supply vents to make sure you're getting the required minimum airflow for your furnace.    

 Does your furnace room double as a storage closet?  Bad idea.  No kind of flammable material should be stored anywhere near your furnace or water heater.  And speaking of your furnace room.  Did you know that your furnace and water heater need a lot of combustion air?  Unless your furnace has a fresh air vent installed and piped to the exterior of your house--and no, that does NOT mean your chimney--you need to have a vented furnace room.

Meadow Vista Troop 6 Scouts Give Back

 For more than fifty years Troop 6 of Meadow Vista has been helping many area boys mature into young men through various activities and countless hours of community service. The next major community service project is the pickup and recycling of Christmas Trees, this upcoming January. More information will be delivered to Meadow Vista residents through the Mail in December.  Please watch for it.

 In recent years Troop 6 has served as Color Guard for the Pioneer Day Parade, Colfax July 4th Parades, served many Mothers and Grandmothers at the annual Mother Day Breakfast,  helped clean their meeting place and supported the Lions Club Christmas adventure when Santa arrives in our town. 

 “I really enjoyed giving the Mom’s flowers and seating families at the Mothers Day Breakfast,” said David Hunt, 15 year old Star Rank Scout. “You get a good feeling giving back to the community.”
 Scouting is exciting, fun and rewarding. Everyone knows the Boy Scout Motto “Be Prepared” but through various activities a scout also learns to be, “Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.”  Scouts learn these values through activities such as, camping, hiking, backpacking, compass navigation, overnight trips to Alcatraz Island, USS Hornet and Pampanito Museums, plus exposure to Science, Crafts, Trades and Business merit badges to mention a few.

 “The very best part of being in Scouts is the serenity of the woods when we camp together as a group,” said Jeffrey Holt, Life Scout currently working on an Eagle project for the fire department.  “Thanks to Scouting I have learned more skills than would have in any other setting such as Wilderness First Aid and Wilderness Survival, to mention my two favorites.”

 As a Scout progresses through various ranks, he shoots to earn the highest and most respected possible leadership rank of “Eagle,” the pinnacle award in Scouting. To achieve this rank, the Scout demonstrates his learned leadership skills and completes a major community service project.  To date our Scouts have provide thousands of hours to the community.  Eagle Projects you may have seen include the large Meadow Vista Park and Pool shade structures, Equestrian Trail picnic tables, Placer and Sierra Hills Nature area planter beds and irrigation systems, Placer Hills School and Methodist Church Signs, and expansion of address markers for residents to ensure that emergency services promptly  find locations, to name a few.

 If you are a young man ages 11 through 17 and being part of Scouting is interesting to you, we welcome you to join us on Tuesdays’ at Faith Lutheran Church (Combie Road, Meadow Vista), 7:00pm – 8:30 pm.   For more information please call 878-3798 or to support BSA Troop 6 write care of P.O. Box 754, Meadow Vista, CA 95722.  Thank you for the ongoing continuing support.