Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 Meadow Vista Pioneer Day

Bad Credit? Let’s Fix It!

By Toni Ryan, Princeton Capital

Fact: Poor credit history and a bad credit score can have a serious impact on your life. No one wants bad credit but sometimes mistakes happen. Sometimes factors like medical bills, job loss and tragedy influence our financial profile in ways we never could have predicted. Bad credit can happen to anyone.

Factors that Damage Credit
First let’s clarify what can lower your credit score and damage your credit profile.
• Excessive Debt: If your credit cards are maxed and you have several loans, your debt profile is probably contributing to your low score
• Late Payments: The credit bureaus note any 30, 60, 90 & 120 day payment lates. It is essential that you pay your bills on time.
• Dormant Credit: A dormant credit card is an account that has infrequent or no use. In some cases, if an account has no activity for a period of time, issuers may close the account which revokes future charging privileges. Dormant accounts may not have additional debt but they also don’t help your credit score.
• Collections: If you fail to make a payment or pay off your account – the creditor may send your account to collections. This severely affects your score. Make sure to work closely with your mortgage or credit professional regarding paying off collections. Note: Collections on federal loans such as student loans will prevent you from getting financing from most (if not all) lenders.

Get Familiar with Your Credit History
It’s time to take charge of your credit profile and the first step to doing this is by getting familiar with your credit profile. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from the following credit bureaus:
• Experian  • TransUnion  • Equifax
Please note that many of the advertised credit reporting companies will charge you fees. The law entitles you to a free credit report so use a site like You will notice that you the actual credit score is not included in the report. This is because credit scores differ between different kinds of financing. For example: a credit score for an auto loan might differ from a mortgage loan. The score is not really what’s important here. Review your credit report for any errors and misinformation. It is your job to ensure your credit report is correct.

Start Establishing & Using Your Credit Wisely
If you don’t have any or enough credit – it’s time to get some. Apply for a secured credit card (usually requires a deposit) that reports to the credit bureaus mentioned above. Don’t apply for too many cards at once as this can harm your score but make sure you are managing at least 3 cards.
Once you have your credit cards or with the cards you currently have – start using them wisely. You should use your card regularly and pay off all or most of your bill every month to start showing that you can effectively manage your finances.
This article with a harsh fact and now to end on another one: Repairing your credit takes time and discipline. Is it worth it? YES! Negative history will not go away overnight but you can do it and when you see that shining credit score at the end of the road, you’ll know just how powerful it really is. Good Luck!

5 Ways to Beat the Summer Business Blues

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Many business owners feel the stagnant summer drag, not only from the heat but from the steady slowing of clientele who are out enjoying the warm weather activities rather than buying or booking. How do you cope? Change your attitude and change your strategy! Summer is a change of pace for everyone every year, so make the most of it and better your business. While we grownups don’t get to take this time to lay around and do nothing until fall approaches here are some equally fulfilling things you can be up to:
1. Get some “me time” in - Now that you’re not rushing around to take care of clients, you can look inwards, to take care of your brand and other internal systems. This is the perfect time to figure out what is working and what needs to be tweaked. Summer is a great time to re-group and test some new policies, or get that big marketing campaign started.
2. School’s IN for summer - Summer’s a great time to get in the business education that you had no time for the rest of the year! Go to a convention, take classes, connect with other business owners and learn from them.
3. Motivate & Team Build - If you’re feeling the summer slow down, odds are that your employees are too. This is a great time to throw in some motivating sales contests and team building exercises to get your staff to pump up the energy and connect. Even if you only have a few employee, don’t negate the value of this.
4. Summer Make-over - Re-vitalize your office with a new picture, new paint on the walls or clear out the clutter. Most of the time, the summer blues come from the fact that we don’t want to be inside while the weather is nice. Take a lesson from this and make the ‘inside’ more inviting and welcoming. Freshening up the office will make you and your clients happier just by walking in the door.
5. Do something crazy! - If you’ve been tossing around a few marketing ideas in your head, now is your chance to try it out.  Try out a new coupon or promotion, host an event (indoor or outdoors), volunteer or amp up your networking. If you’re feeling the slow-down, odds are other business neighbors are as well. Take some time to connect with other like-minded people and you might even get inspiration of new ways to increase business.
BONUS: Take a Break - Yes, I know you’re self-employed. Yes, I know that money doesn’t grow on trees. Yes, your company might be your whole life but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to step away once in a while. Whether you take a formal vacation or just avoid the office for a few days - be proactive and take a break. You’ll find that when you stop thinking about all of the things you HAVE to do, you’ll think of things you WANT to do including positive ways to improve your business. Trust me. Your business will survive in your absence.
Once again, your down season, whether it be summer or another, is nothing to worry about! All businesses have their ebb and flow. So use that ebb time to prepare for a rush of business, better than ever!

5 Best Treatments for Your Pet’s Allergies

Shared By Meadow Vista Veterinary Clinic - From

Here are some top recommendations for alleviating your canine or feline companion’s symptoms.
1. Take your pet to the vet — Since there are so many conditions that can appear clinically similar to allergies, having your veterinarian examine your pet is an important first step. Diagnostics, including skin impression smear and scraping, blood testing, and others may be needed to determine the nature of the condition and the most appropriate treatments.
2. Bathing and topical treatments — Cleaning your pet’s skin surface and hair coat using a pet-appropriate shampoo helps remove environmental allergens, bacteria, oil, and other irritating substances. Full-body bathing or localized cleansing can be performed on a daily basis depending on your pet’s needs. A general recommendation for pets suffering from environmental allergies is to be bathed on every 7 days. Besides shampooing, a leave-on-conditioner or veterinary-prescribed topical treatment can help to manage skin irritation and infection.
3. Eye rinses — Applying a few drops of eye irrigating solution, just as you would use in your own eyes (can be purchased from a human pharmacy), is one of the simplest means of removing allergens from your pet’s eyes. Doing so every morning, afternoon, and evening for 24 to 48 hours can help lend perspective on whether your pet's problem is simply mild environmental inflammation or merits evaluation by your veterinarian. Eyedrops or eye ointment containing an antibiotic, steroid, or other drugs may be called for.
4. Ear cleaning — Allergens, broken hairs, microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, mites, etc.), and other substances can all get stuck in your pet’s ear canals. Gently irrigating (flushing) the ear canals with a pet-appropriate ear cleaning solution removes these offensive materials and modifies the pH and microenvironment of the ear canal to deter microorganism growth. Additionally, trimming the hair from the ear canal and inner flap prevents accumulation of environmental allergens that can irritate the ear canal and promote the growth of microorganisms. If your pet is a swimmer, sprinkler-diver, or is frequently bathed, then irrigating the ears post-watery activities can help ensure that moisture doesn’t linger in the canals.
5. Dietary modification and nutraceuticals — Skin allergies can correlate with our environment and with food components (protein, carbohydrates, fat, etc.). Therefore, it is vital that owners consider changing their allergy-prone pet's diet as part of a food elimination trial. Novel proteins and carbohydrates (those your pet has not previously consumed) should be chosen and vigilance must be employed to prevent your cat or dog from consuming other food sources (non-approved human foods and pet treats, etc.) that could negatively impact the trial by causing an allergic flare up. Additionally, diets that are human-grade and whole-food, as feed-grade ingredients in kibble or canned pet foods can potentially contain undesirable contaminants that could sicken your pet on a short- or long-term basis, or further contribute to allergies. Nutraceuticals like fish oil derived Omega-3 fatty acids have a natural anti-inflammatory effect and promote healthy lipid layers in the skin to permit the body’s defenses toward microorganisms and allergens.

MV MAC Forms Library Committee

Submitted by Connie Alward-Mayer, Meadow Vista MAC

The MV Municipal Advisory Council has created an ad hoc committee to gather information regarding use of existing library resources in Meadow Vista.  The committee will soon be distributing a survey to gain feedback about utilization of library services in this community.  The more respondents, the more informed the MAC can be regarding decisions affecting the future and direction of local library services.  The committee will have an information table at the upcoming Pioneer Day and residents are encouraged to stop and sign up for the email version of the survey.

Community Service Award Recipient: Dave Johnson

Info from Community Service Award Committee

Dave Johnson has been selected as the recipient of the Meadow Vista Community Service Award for 2015. Dave, his wife Dana and their two children moved from Southern California to Weimar in May 1976. A year later they opened “Dave & Dana’s Donut Hole” and served delicious pastries and Pioneer Day “Meadow Muffins” to Meadow Vista for the next 7 years. He’s has been an active member of the Meadow Vista Lions Club since 1977 which included playing “Santa” for over 30 years for Christmas in the Village. He has also served as a Lions District Governor and Council Chair.
His passion for helping the children succeed has extended into many areas of the community. He has served as a Y-Indian Guide Leader and Cub Scout Master - often paying for scout registration dues for kids, who could not afford it otherwise, to ensure everyone had a chance to participate. He continues to stay involved in the local scouting programs as a Golden Empire Scout Commissioner.
He served on the Placer Hills School Board for 12 years advocating to “do the most good for the most students” by working with teachers and the community to better local education and activities. With very little knowledge of the sport, he helped establish the Meadow Vista Youth Soccer League and coached for several years. He also actively advocated to establish girls soccer at Colfax High School and was president of the CHS Football boosters. It was during this time, he made it a personal mission to get lights installed at the high school - a dream realized in September 1990.
Dave is currently a Real Estate agent for Coldwell Banker in Auburn yet amidst his busy schedule, he continues to give countless hours of support to our local communities. He continues his 25 year run as the announcer for Colfax High School Football games and has added Colfax Jr. Falcon games to that highlight. He has been the president of the Auburn Old Town Business Association for 2 years and recently became the president of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. This year he will continue to serve as the Master of Ceremonies for Pioneer Day.
Few can argue that Dave is dedicated to community service and our town continues to reap the rewards of his efforts. Please join us in congratulating and honoring Dave Johnson with this award and our gratitude.

Meadow Vista Area Lions Upcoming Events

06/07/2015 – Pioneer Day Breakfasts – This is a joint event with the Cub/Boy Scouts. Starting time is 7:30 a.m. at Placer Hills School Cafeteria

06/20/2015 – Meadow Vista Area Lions 1st Car Show – All motorized and people-powered vehicles are welcome to join in on the fun.  There will be a Poker walk, Food, Beer Garden, and prizes.  Please contact Lion, Greg Gross at (530) 637-5359 for more information.  Rental booth space is available for non-food vendors. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. in Meadow Vista Park. Pre-register at True Value Hardware.
07/20/2015 – Free public swim day and hot dogs at Meadow Vista Pool sponsored by Meadow Vista Lions.

08/22/2015 – The Lions will be the chefs at the annual PHEF BBQ and Brew.  So if you want to enjoy our fabulous chefs’ work of art come join us that evening.

Lions meetings for June, July and August are held only on the second Wednesday.  Starting time is 7 p.m. at the Meadow Vista Grange hall.

Please visit our webpage at and our email address is

Effective July 1, 2015 the 2015/2016 Meadow Vista Lion President will be Lion David Lease.  You may contact him through our website.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Top 10 Summer Real Estate Selling Tips

By Christine Schlittenhart, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

Research from top Real Estate professionals produced the following ten Spring cleaning tips for homeowners who want to impress potential buyers. If you don't have time to do them all, start with the first three, which have the biggest impact.
1. Replace Popcorn Ceilings. Otherwise known as cottage cheese ceilings or acoustic ceilings, this type of treatment was common in homes built from 1950-1980. Unfortunately modern day homebuyers don't like it. Removing or covering a popcorn ceiling is a time intensive process, but can increase the value of your home.
2. Apply Fresh Paint. A new coat of interior and exterior paint dramatically improves the appearance of your home and makes it feel fresh and clean. To appeal to the widest audience, stick to neutral colors that will go with any furniture, and choose an exterior paint that matches other homes in the neighborhood.
3. Focus on the Floors. Steam clean all carpets, use a wood-cleaning product on hardwood floors, and consider professional cleaning for tile or marble. The walls, ceiling and floors are what potential buyers pay the closest attention to while on home tours, so it's important that they are as clean as possible.
4. Make a Grand Entrance. Consider replacing or painting the front door; if you have shutters, paint them a matching color. Clean and polish the door knob and fixtures, and dress up the entry with seasonal decorations such as flowers or a wreath. People are naturally attracted to symmetry, so place any accents on both sides of the door.
5. Replace or Repair the Mailbox. An old or damaged mailbox makes the wrong first impression. You can purchase a new one at most hardware stores and major retailers. If you replace the post, make sure it sits at a height of 42 inches above ground to meet federal regulations.
6. Maintain the Yard. Landscaping has a major effect on curb appeal. Make sure your home looks its best by mowing the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds, and pruning the bushes. Planting small flowers in the yard can be an inexpensive way to add a pop of color.
7. De-clutter and Organize. Keep only the essentials, and put everything else in storage or give it away. Not only will your home feel cleaner and bigger when it's not filled with stuff, this process will save you time when you're ready to move.
8. Let in the Light. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the curtains and blinds, dust any light fixtures and replace any burnt-out bulbs. A room filled with light will feel more warm and inviting.
9. Deep Clean the Kitchen and Bath. Wipe down or paint the cupboards, clean the grout between tiles, clear everything off the counters. Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks and polish the fixtures. Make sure no mold is present.
10. Stage the Backyard. The backyard is often the last thing buyers see on a tour, so it should look nice. Simple staging can make a big difference. Get rid of decorations and clutter in the yard, add a table and chair set, power wash and stain the deck and fence, and clean the pool and spa. Remove any dying plants, and take down any shed or outdoor storage that's in poor condition. If budget permits, add a barbeque, fire pit, Koi pond or outdoor lighting to create an inviting space.

Adult Pneumonia Vaccines

By Richard Peatman, PharmD., Meadow Vista Pharmacy

There's a big change in recommended adult vaccinations.  It's about pneumococcal pneumonia, which hospitalizes over 300,000 people a year, most of whom are over the age of 50, and is a frequent cause of death.  It is an illness caused by the common bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia.
Symptoms often appear quickly and can be very severe.  Recovery from infection can take weeks or longer and can leave patients with cough and fatigue.  You can contract bacterial pneumonia from infected people who cough or sneeze around you.  And unfortunately, some of the bacteria that cause the disease have become resistant to antibiotics.  The illness can sometimes lead to blood infections, deafness, brain damage and meningitis.
Fortunately, immunizations can significantly decrease the incidence of the disease.  A vaccine call Pneumovax® covers 23 strains of pneumonia and has been available for years.  Recently, a vaccine covering 13 more strains of pneumonia has been approved for use in individuals over the age of 50.  It's called Prevnar® and if you have Medicare, it will probably be completely covered.  If you are between 50 and 64, check with your insurance provider to determine your cost.
Both types of pneumonia vaccines are given by injection and can cause pain and swelling at the injection site.  Sometimes there are body-wide reactions including headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain.  Usually the reactions are mild and last only a few days. The new recommendation is for individuals 65 and older to receive both types of vaccines.  If someone has not received either vaccine, they should start with Prevnar® and then receive Pneumovax® at least 6 to 12 months later.  For those who have already received Pneumovax®, they should receive Prevnar® after 12 months.
Although it is common to think of pneumonia as a disease of the very elderly or those in the hospital, it frequently occurs in otherwise healthy people.  The risk goes up after the age of 50.  Talk to your healthcare provider about getting immunized.  It's important.  For more information, go to

Sierra Pacific Real Estate Listings

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Meadow Vista Community Service Award Nominations - 2015

Meadow Vista MAC – 2015 Community Service Award

The Meadow Vista Community is blessed with many selfless, generous, and kind individuals who through their personal efforts, make life better for us all. Each year, Meadow Vista recognizes one of these individuals with The Community Service Award. Nominations are now being accepted for the 19th annual award. Nomination forms are available at Meadow Vista merchants or online at Nomination forms must be received no later than May 1, 2015. Completed forms should be mailed to:

Gil Jaramillo, P. O. Box 507, Meadow Vista, CA 95722

Guidelines for selection of the recipient include the following:
  • Service to the community has been diversified
  • Service has been outside of and beyond the nominee’s employment or business activities
  • Service has been over a number of years
  • Nominee has shown a deep concern for the well-being of others
  • Nominee has been an inspiration to others

This year’s award will be presented to the recipient during the Meadow Vista MAC meeting at Winchester Country Club. Reception will follow the meeting on June 3rd. The honoree will be invited to ride in the Pioneer Day Parade, Sunday, June 7, 2015. A tree will be planted in Meadow Vista Park in the recipient’s honor.

Click the image below to view a larger version of the nomination form.

Does Home Refinancing Make Sense for You?

By Toni Ryan, Princeton Capital

Refinancing a home mortgage is a big decision. Your situation and needs change so should your mortgage. Current market conditions have brought low rates and increasing home values so the time to evaluate your options is here.

If you have an FHA mortgage, which you entered into before January 2015, then you may want to take advantage of a new reduction in the mortgage insurance premium. This has opened the door to refinancing your mortgage using a streamline option which can allow a reduction with no appraisal or income qualification. Some restriction apply but the reduction can save you money on your monthly payment.

How do you decide if refinancing makes sense for you? Ask yourself these questions:
•  Are you in an adjustable rate mortgage?
• Do you have mortgage insurance added to your monthly payment?
• Are the current mortgage rates at least .75 to 1% lower than your current rate?
• Do you need cash out for other financial opportunities or to pay debt?
• Does the cost of refinancing divided by the monthly payment savings equate to a reasonable term for recapturing your fees?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above questions, then you may want to explore refinancing and the savings that may apply to your specific circumstances. A mortgage professional can find the right refinancing solutions for you.

Why do Customers Lie? How to Get them to Buy Instead

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Customers....we love 'em right? We're in business to deal with customers and clients (no customers = no business) but sometimes it can be frustrating figuring out exactly what they want. And just when we think we have our customers nailed down...they still don't buy! What's the deal?

Problem: Customers...Lie!
Without sounding too harsh, ask a customer about pricing, competition, satisfaction and what they tell probably not true. Why? As humans, we don't like confrontation and your customer is no different. Put someone on the spot and they are likely to give you the answer you want to hear. Most customers don't want to admit that your product is too expensive or that they like your competitor better or that your specials are on the products they don't need.  They won't say a word but they also won't buy or renew or upgrade. So what do we do?

•  Solution: Coach Your Staff (and Yourself) to Ask & LISTEN
We all know that when someone asks you, "how are you doing today?" - it's usually not an invitation to spill the beans on all of your problems. If you want to get real customer feedback, you need to ask the right questions - questions that require more than one word answers and invite honesty.  

  • Have you tried this product before? Is there anything you would suggest to improve it?
  • We've had some issues come up regarding [insert product or service] - what has your experience been? Any suggestions?
  • I've heard that other companies offer [different product, service or guarantee] - does that kind of option influence your choice to buy?
  • What is your #1 frustration with the [insert your industry]?

Why it Works: Quantity = Trends = The Truth!
The more people you talk to, the more you're likely to notice a pattern. This truthful feedback can be used to increase your sales and conversion. Customers might not always be "right" but if you take the time to listen - they do have the "answers" you need.

Reducing Hypertension

By Richard Peatman, Pharm. D., Meadow Vista Pharmacy

High blood pressure means your heart is working overtime. Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure not only raises the risk of heart disease, it also increases risks to your arteries, brain, kidneys, and eyes.   Blood pressure measurements give you two readings: the top number is the pressure in your arteries when your heart pumps blood. The bottom number is the pressure in arteries between beats.
  If you don't know what your blood pressure is, it's time to find out. High blood pressure can be a silent killer.  Some reasons for hypertension are out of your control, such as age and family history.  In some cases, certain medications can raise blood pressure such as ibuprofen. Often, your health care provider may not be able to determine the exact cause but making lifestyle changes can make a big difference.  Here are some things you can do:
• Lose weight. Even 5 to 10 pounds can make a difference in blood pressure. Studies have also found that belly fat may be the kind that's most likely linked to high blood pressure.
• Exercise. Try to exercise 30 to 60 minutes four or more days of the week. You may see a change in your numbers within just a few weeks.
• Proper Diet. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products. Go easy with foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol.
• Limit salt, alcohol, and caffeine. Read food labels, eat fewer processed foods, and don't add salt to your food. Track your habits so you can see exactly how much alcohol and caffeine you drink each week.
• Stop smoking. Smoking can be a tough habit to kick. If that's true for you, get help to quit for good. And, remember: Even second-hand smoke isn't harmless.
• Relaxation. Stress can temporarily boost your blood pressure. You know better than anyone what helps you relax. Try to build that into your daily (or weekly) routine.
If your doctor gives you medication for high blood pressure, take it exactly as prescribed.  Be patient as it can take a while to get results. You may also need to try more than one medicine.  The good news is that there are many safe and effective medications available for controlling hypertension.  You can't feel blood pressure, so there's only one way to know medicine or a lifestyle change is working.  Consider buying a blood pressure cuff so that you can regularly check your pressure.  Educating yourself on hypertension is a smart thing to do.  For more information on hypertension, heart healthy meal recipes and lifestyle tips, go online to the American Heart Association at

Contagious Cavities?

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning with Smiles

Most people recognize that cavity problems seem to run in families. Research has definitely demonstrated the bacteria that cause cavities are contagious and we usually get ours from our caretakers when we are infants and first growing teeth. Immediate and inexpensive, or even free things people can do are:

1. Become a truly effective tooth brusher. Use disclosing tools (tablets, solutions, or kitchen food color) to show you the bacteria. Then teach yourself how to thoroughly clean your teeth. Check yourself every couple weeks until you are confident you have figured it out.

2. Become a flosser. Getting the bacteria out each day will reduce the cavity causing bacteria significantly over time and improve the odds for your baby.

3. Choose gum and mints with Xylitol as the first ingredient and preferably the only sweetener. Xylitol inhibits the acid producing capacity of cavity causing bacteria. That helps you. By doing this it also reduces survival of these bacteria, leading to fewer of these type bacteria in your saliva.

4. Stop sipping sodas and sweetened beverages between meals. Even the diet drinks which don't have sugar to feed bacteria do have high acid levels and cavity causing bacteria thrive in an acid environment.

5. Don't rinse the toothpaste off after you brush. Just spit. Giving the fluoride in that residual toothpaste taste more time will make stronger enamel faster. If you have unfilled cavities it will also be more effective in those holes resisting the growth of the cavities.
Caretakers with clean mouths and good oral health practices pass on fewer detrimental bacteria to their babies.  Good oral health for your baby begins long before your baby has teeth.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Meadow Vista Lions Club: 2015 Mother's Day Breakfast

Submitted by Etta Gross, Meadow Vista Lions Secretary

Thank you to those that attended our 2015 41st Crab Feed. Your support allows us to continue with our many community events. Meadow Vista Area Lions Club upcoming events are:

  • Mother's Day Breakfast at Sierra Hills School on Sunday, May 10, 2015, starting time is 7:30 a.m.  All Moms are FREE!
  • Pioneer Day is Sunday, June 7, 2015, Lions will be cooking breakfast at Placer Hills Campus Cafeteria. Starting  time to be announced at a later date.  
  • Welcome to all types of vehicles to participate in the annual Car Show, Meadow Vista Park, Saturday, June 20, 2015 starting at 7 a.m. entry fee $25 or $20 with donated eye glasses.  Vendors welcome, contact Greg Gross at (530) 637-5359 for more information. 

Come to a Lion's meeting at the Meadow Vista Grange Hall on the second and fourth Wednesday at 7 pm. Questions - Please contact Lion Club President Ron Carmichael at (530) 637-5805 or visit our website at for information and calendar of events.

Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 Scotch Broom Challenge in Meadow Vista

Volunteers Wanted
Meadow Vista Scotch Broom Challenge 

March 14, 2015 
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 
Come for as long as you can! 

Meeting site: staging area, intersection of Placer Hills and Sugar Pine Roads 

Get involved! Take the Challenge! 

We are teaming up to educate landowners, businesses and organizations about Scotch Broom. Join us and remove it using the most successful techniques. Make Meadow Vista safer by eradicating this highly invasive, flammable plant! 

Get more information and sign up today!

Fire Safe Council of Nevada County


Or Site Coordinator - 530-878-2411 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First-Time Home Buyer Programs with Down Payment Assistance

By Toni Ryan, Princeton Capital

There are several programs available that assist the first time homebuyer in purchasing their first home.  These programs provide up to 105% financing at low rates and allow for higher debt to income ratios.  The eligibility requirements include a minimum of a 640 middle credit score, zero interest second mortgages with deferred payments to cover the down payment and closing. There are maximum household income requirements so it is important to check with your mortgage professional regarding income and property eligibility.

• CalPLUS Conventional Program

The CalPLUS Conventional program is a first mortgage loan insured through private mortgage insurance on the conventional market. This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for down payment assistance only.

• CalHFA FHA Program

The CalHFA FHA program is an FHA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage. This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and can be combined with the California Homebuyer's Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP).

• Cal-EEM + Grant Program

The Cal-EEM + Grant program combines an FHA-insured Energy Efficient Mortgage first mortgage loan with an additional Cal-EEM Grant, making energy efficient improvements even easier. The interest rate on the Cal-EEM is fixed throughout the 30-year term.

• Placer County First Time Home Buyer Assistance Program (FTHB)

This program is designed to promote home ownership for low-income, first time homebuyers. The assistance is in the form of a deferred loan (second mortgage), due and payable upon sale, default or transfer of property. The amount of assistance cannot exceed $100,000 and no more than forty percent (40%) of a home's value. The maximum sales price shall not exceed $300,000 for single family homes and $185,000 for condominiums. The combined loan to value cannot exceed 97%. This program does require the buyer to have 3% of the sales price for a down payment but those funds can be a gift from a family member.
Additionally, be sure to ask your lender if you qualify for the Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit Program (MCC). This MCC Tax Credit program is a federal credit which can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income which borrowers may use toward their monthly mortgage payment. This program may enable first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on their U.S. individual income tax returns. Borrowers would need to seek the advice of a financial professional.
The options are available to make homeownership a reality. Not all mortgage lenders offer these programs so check with a trained mortgage professional to understand your choices.
Prices are affordable and rates are low. Now is the time to take advantage of the assistance available and buy a home.

5 Habits That Ruin Productivity

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

Our lives (and our businesses) are run on a valuable commodity that runs in limited quantity...time! When time is money and family and stress and health (did I mention money?), it matters how we spend it. Productivity is maximizing the amount of time we have to create a valuable result. Take a moment to "learn" from these bad habits to keep your productivity running strong:

Habit #1 - Touching emails more than once

You’ve got mail! What you do with that new message matters. Open it. Read it. Act. The faster you can deal with the email message and file it away - the less time you will spend re-reading, re-thinking and re-adding it to your to-do list. If you don’t have time to “act” - don’t read the message until you can. This also keeps you from checking your messages constantly throughout the day.

Habit #2 - Meeting without an agenda

Whether this applies to a staff meeting, a follow-up with a client or meeting with a new need a plan. This might be a goal, a formal agenda, or an outline but by the end of the meeting, you should be able to clearly identify if the meeting was successful. Make sure you also stick with a time limit. This keeps the meeting moving forward and allows you to stay on schedule.

Habit #3 - Letting Mistakes Go Unnoticed

Mistakes are going to happen which is okay because it’s part of risk taking. However making a mistake over and over is just bad business. It’s much better to take the time to acknowledge a mistake, identify a way to correct it and establish a go-forward plan than to wait it out. You will end up wasting more time making the mistake repeatedly than if you take the time to respond right after it happens.

Habit #4 - Allowing app distractions

In the world of smart phones and tablets, you are probably surrounded by apps. If you stick with the default settings (which allow alerts called push notifications) on these apps like social media, news, email and more then you are also encountering the constant flow of distractions. “A new message is waiting,” “Sally left a comment,” “You might enjoy this new article.” These alerts cause you to look at your phone/tablet and might even tempt you to stop what your doing and click. Make sure your notifications don’t make sound or buzz or remove them altogether. Check your apps when you want to - not when they want you to.

Habit #5 - Prioritizing everyone else

We’ve all heard the saying - “the customer is always right,” but if every time someone complains about something, you change your business plan or if you drop everything to meet a client whenever they’ll end up ruining your business. Yes, you want clients to be happy but don’t sacrifice your business to literally make everyone happy. That’s impossible. Listen to what is being said and evaluate if the complaint is valid and should be fixed or if it’s just one person’s point of view. One bad review won’t kill your reputation like an inconsistent business strategy will. And if that client who calls you and wants to meet asap threatens to go to a competitor if you don’t comply - let them go. You can’t make everyone happy but you can certainly make yourself miserable trying to.
If you found that you have one or more of these habits - don’t worry. Take it one habit at a time and make 2015 ROCK!

Recipe: Butterscotch Bread Pudding

Own a Local Business? Join MVMA!

The Meadow Vista Merchants Association is an offshoot of the Auburn chamber of commerce. When you become a member - not only will you get a discounted rate to advertise here in the View Magazine but you’ll get exclusive invitation to our Member & Sponsored Events!

• In April we hunt for Cash Filled Easter Eggs in True Value. Members and their spouses are invited.
• In June, we serve ice cream at Dessert & a Movie and member businesses get to participate & sponsor the ice cream for added exposure.
• In September, we enjoy Merchant Game Night where members can test their movie and TV knowledge to win tech goodies.
• In October, we hand out candy to cowboys and princesses at Trick-or-Treat trail in downtown Meadow Vista
• In December, we host Christmas in the Village Scavenger Hunt that gets families out to your business for holiday fun.
We’d love to have you as a member! Learn more at

Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors 2015 Thank You

Submitted by Gerry Hinkle

A special Thank You goes out from The Meadow Vista Friendly Neighbors Club to all those businesses, organizations, clubs, churches, schools, and individual residents in the Applegate, Christian Valley, Clipper Gap, Meadow Vista, Weimar, and even in the Auburn and Colfax areas, who helped make our 2014 Christmas Food and Toy Basket Program a great success by donating canned foods, monetary donations, and toys.  

We are truly fortunate to live in a community that cares for its friends and neighbors, and this certainly showed during the assembling of Christmas food boxes on Friday evening, December 19th, Sierra Hills Multipurpose Room.  Thanks to all those wonderful hard-working volunteers, approximately 80 families (300 people) received enough food to last at least two to three weeks. It definitely warmed the hearts of those families who were experiencing some extremely difficult times.  

Thanks to Wells Fargo Bank for helping collect and store the many beautifully wrapped donated toys from generous community members.  Santa certainly had an abundance of gifts for all those happy little children on Christmas Day.

Thanks to all your caring support, our 70-year old Club has been able to continue helping local families in their time of need, provide emergency assistance whenever needed, and help support community activities and events.  

Happy New Year 2015!

Laser Therapy for Pets

By Dr. Pam Pussich, DVM, Meadow Vista Veterinary Clinic

Laser therapy is a drug-free, surgery-free, non-invasive innovative treatment for your pets.  Laser therapy stimulates the body to heal from within by sending photons (packets of light) to deep tissues.  These non-thermal photons of light are administered to the body for about 3-8 minutes, depending on the condition, and are absorbed by the injured cells.  These cells are then stimulated to produce ATP (the energy or fuel for the cell), which can not be made at an optimal rate by injured cells.  This increased rate of metabolism will result in decreased inflammation, accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, decreased pain, improved circulation, improved nerve function and several other beneficial effects.  These effects will result in faster healing times with more comfort, less scar tissue and better strength/elasticity of scar tissue, increase mobility and motion in joints, as well as providing relief for chronic conditions. Conditions that we are seeing positive outcomes include:
• Arthritis, degenerative joint disease or hip dysplasia
• Post surgery pain management
• Skin problems (hot spots, lick granulomas, infections)
• General pain management (sprains, strains and stiffness)
• Ear infections
• Dental procedures
• Fractures and wounds (snake bites, abrasions, burns)
During a laser treatment session you can expect your pet to relax and enjoy the treatment because it provides relief.  Pets often respond similarly to people having a massage.  The almost immediate relief of pain will allow your pet to be comfortable and any anxiety that your pet initially experiences will dissipate. There are no known side effects to the treatment so for chronic conditions laser therapy is an excellent long-term treatment.  There is also no need to clip the hair and pets can go right back to their normal or prescribed activity.
Laser therapy has been around for approximately forty years and there a numerous studies showing the benefits to this treatment.  On the human side many of the professional sports teams are using the treatment modality.  Meadow Vista Veterinary Clinic is excited to now offer our clients and their pets this amazing treatment.  It can be used as the sole treatment or in conjunction with other treatment protocols.

Clean Molars...Ugly Smile?

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

Most people would be surprised to find they are cleaning their molars more effectively than their front teeth.  Most of us think we are getting our front teeth the cleanest and need more effort in the back.  The truth is, the cheek muscles have little leverage against the tooth brush and so the brush gets the whole tooth easily.  The lips, on the other hand, are great protectors of our gums around our front teeth.  Their orientation allows them to interfere with the tooth brush and handle, preventing the brush from fully reaching the gum line.  The end result can be devastating!

Many dental exams reveal more bacterial plaque, gingivitis, bleeding, and damaging tartar build-up at the lower front gum line than other areas of the mouth.  This explains why many of you notice the dark unattractive look of lower front teeth during conversations (when the lips reveal the teeth and gums).  It also explains why so many people lose their lower front teeth first from gum disease and infection.  This is definitely not attractive in a smile.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:  Spend an extra 5 seconds on the lower front teeth, making sure your lip is getting out of the way and you are feeling the brush actually brushing the edge of the gums.  For some of you this may cause some bleeding of the gums the first week you do this.  Please persist!  If the gums are kept clean for a week the bleeding will stop.  Persistence over a long period of time will result in stains diminishing if you have some coffee/tea stains on your teeth.

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Medication Safety in Children

By Richard Peatman, PharmD., Meadow Vista Pharmacy

Did you know that medications are the top cause of poisoning in kids?  Here are a few answers to some questions parents commonly ask about medication safety for kids.

1. Where should I store medications?  People may call it the “medicine cabinet,” but it's not a good place to store medications. Bathrooms are moist and can lower the strength of a medication. Plus, they're a little too easy for little hands to get into.  Instead, keep drugs, eye drops, and vitamins out of sight and out of reach of children. Try a high place, such as a hall closet or kitchen shelf.  Consider using safety caps.  Yes, they are a hassle, but they are an excellent deterrent for kids.

2. How should I measure medicine?  With young children, it's especially important to get the dosing right. Always use the dosing device that comes with the medicine. Measuring spoons or other home utensils aren't the same as a medication syringe or cup. If you use a syringe, try squirting the medicine on the inside of the cheek where there are fewer taste buds.  If your child takes the wrong dose, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.  It is staffed 24/7 with experts who can help you immediately.  

3. If your child objects to the taste of a medication, it is usually okay to mix a liquid medication with chocolate or maple syrup. However, don't do this for babies. If they don't finish a bottle, they won't get the right amount of medication.  Be careful about crushing and mixing a tablet or capsule with food.  Some medications should not be crushed or mixed.  If you have questions, ask your healthcare professional.

4. Is it okay to share prescription medications?   No matter how similar their symptoms, don't have your kids share medications.  And never repackage them. Keep medications in their original childproof container.  Serious errors can occur if drugs are not properly labeled.

5. How long can my child use a medication?  Be sure to not use drugs past their expiration date. Most drugs lose their strength after about a year.
6. Are OTC drugs safe for kids?  Be sure to read labels.  Not all over-the-counter (OTC) medications are safe for children of all ages.  Some medications that work in older children and adults do not work in the very young.  For example, the FDA recommends against the use of cough and cold medicine in children under the age of two.  Instead, rest, clear fluids and a humidifier may be the best route to recovery from colds and flu.  Of course, never give aspirin to any child - it can cause serious illness, even death.

Make sure you know a drug's potential side effects.  But stay alert to any adverse reactions.  Kids can be more sensitive to drugs than adults.  When in doubt, call your healthcare professional.

2015 Real Estate Update

By Fred Eichenhofer, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

Last year was a very active year in real estate, sales slowing down somewhat towards the end of the year, but it is still a good real estate market.  It is a new year and it started out with a bang, activity picked up just after the first of the year.  I went to a California Association of Realtors Convention in October 2014 attending a luncheon where an economist spoke.  She said that prices have come down some, and activity has slowed, she didn't know if prices would continue to fall, her thoughts are they will probably remain stable, but in time we will know if lower prices would be a trend.
The challenge now is home affordability, inventory selection is still a problem for buyers, but should increase in 2015 since equity has gone up with the rise of prices, thus allowing homeowners that have wanted to move is now giving them the ability to put their home on the market which should increase inventory.
Interest rates are still low and have come down some in the last few weeks.  The Federal Reserve is talking about raising rates, so we don't know what this will do with real estate lending rates.
The real estate market should remain strong throughout 2015 provided the economy remains stable and interest rates remain low.
Factors that could hold back a recovery are, tight credit standards, lack of first time home buyers.
To maximize the value and price of a home, presentation is important.  It helps to have everything in place, clutter picked up and having good curb appeal.  It is best to have the home depersonalized, removing family photos, walls painted a neutral color, this allows the buyer to visualize their furnishings in the home.
Meadow Vista is usually a very stable real estate market, but is not immune from the ups and downs to the fluctuations of the real estate market in general.  Meadow Vista is a very desirable place to live and should hold values better than other areas.