731 W Skippack Pike
August 10, 2011 8:03 pm
A recent national survey from Allstate Insurance reveals that nearly six in 10 Americans favor a federal law that establishes minimum requirements for state graduated driver licensing (GDL). Survey results show that support for a national law corresponds with low opinions about teen driving skills, which received the lowest ranking among all ages surveyed.
Currently, the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection (STANDUP) Act is pending in Congress as part of the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011 (MVHSIA) or Mariah's Law, named after an Arkansas teen killed in a crash involving texting. STANDUP calls for uniform standards that restrict nighttime driving, limits the number of passengers in a teen's car, prohibits the use of cell phones while driving, and issues permits and licenses with specific age requirements and through a gradual, multi-phased process.
When asked about the specific provisions included in the STANDUP Act, Americans are solidly in favor of the policies. Key findings include:
• Seventy-six percent back a minimum age of 16 to receive a learner's permit, and 69 percent favor requiring three stages of licensing.
• Seven in 10 Americans favor restricting unsupervised nighttime driving for those under age 18, and 65 percent support restricting the number of non-family passengers for drivers under 18.
• When asked about the prohibition of cell phones or texting while driving for younger drivers, 81 percent are in favor.
• Support for STANDUP and its individual provisions crosses all age groups, geographic regions, and political affiliation.
The survey also shows that American drivers are highly critical of teenage drivers, giving them the lowest rating of all age groups. Eighty-one percent rate teenagers as "average" or "poor" drivers.
"Results from this survey show that Americans clearly understand that GDL laws can help save lives, and that a majority of them support a legislative solution that safely introduces teen drivers to the road," says Bill Vainisi, senior vice president and deputy general counsel, Allstate. "What's needed now is national leadership in the form of uniform standards for those GDL laws."
For more information, visit www.allstatenewsroom.com.
August 10, 2011 8:03 pm
Getting your child back into study mode can be tough after a long, fun summer. So, grab a highlighter and take note of these easy ideas for finding and creating the perfect homework space for back to school success.
Designated space. Designate a set place in your home for your child to study. For younger children, make the space someplace you can easily supervise the work and be readily available to answer questions. For older children, their bedroom is an ideal location because it gives them a quiet place to focus.
Table it. Classrooms have desks and chairs instead of couches and beds to keep students alert. The same should hold true at home. Make sure your child has a designated desk or table to use for studying and doing homework. If you don't have the space for a desk, a small folding table that adjusts in height is the perfect size for a small student desk and it can easily be folded and stored on the weekends when homework is out of sight.
Table space. Making sure your child has a desk or table is important. But, it also needs to be the appropriate size. Middle school and high school students often have multiple items in use at the same time.
Light bright. Your child's homework space should be well-lit to provide good reading light, as well as to keep your child alert while studying. Placing your child's desk near a window for natural lighting also will help brighten his or her homework mood.
Shhh. Study halls require students to be quiet while studying and so should you. Keep your child's homework space free from noise distractions. Kids will complain, but that means no TV, no radio, no iPods, no video games, no cell phones, etc. Parents and other siblings should also abide by this rule and be quiet in and around the homework space.
For more information, please visit www.lifetime.com.
August 10, 2011 8:03 pm
Discount broker. A full-service broker who charges less than the prevailing commission rates in his or her community.
August 10, 2011 8:03 pm
Q: How do I determine the value of a distressed property?
A: One of the best ways is to get your hands on a comparable market analyses. See what price similar properties have sold for in the past and find out the listing price of others currently on the market.
It is important to examine the fixer-upper carefully and figure out how much it will cost to fix any defects or repairs. If you are unable to get in, talk with nearby neighbors about the home’s condition.
You can also do your own cost comparison by researching comparable properties recorded at the local county recorder's and assessor's offices, or at Internet sites specializing in property records. If the property is in foreclosure, you should get as much information as possible from the lender.
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
I didn’t feel too smart when it came to the latest information about the rapidly growing U.S. Electrical “smart grid”—so I plugged into some good intel on the subject from Tom Simchak of the Alliance to Save Energy.
According to Simchak, the smart grid is a system of interconnected technologies that enable two-way communications between different parts of the electric power system—from generation through to the appliances—that consume electricity.
This system of communication gives grid operators greater awareness of the condition of the electrical grid at any given location. But Simchak says it also allows consumers the opportunity to have a better understanding of their own energy use—potentially down to individual appliances’ consumption, which allows consumers to identify energy saving opportunities.
Smart grid systems also could open up opportunities for energy management companies, hired by consumers, to use data from “smart meters” to identify opportunities for energy savings, or to measure the success of energy saving measures after they are undertaken.
For utilities, smart grid technologies have the capacity to allow for reductions in electricity use targeted at times when demand is highest. Called demand response, these peak reductions can reduce the strain placed on the electrical grid, and the need for high-cost generation resources.
According to Simchak, consumers participating in demand response activities are compensated for the service.
Consumers do not have to take an action each time a utility calls for demand response activities. Simchak says a utility can simply send a signal to smart-capable appliances that take action based on pre-programmed consumer preferences.
The Electric Consumer Right to Know Act proposed in May of 2011 would allow customers to give third parties access to their consumption data, allowing third-party energy management services to process and reinterpret data from smart meters and to program smart appliances for consumers.
Such services could simplify smart meters’ use, create the potential for greater energy savings, and allow for an aggregation of savings for load management. Retail electric providers would be able to recover the costs of this requirement in electricity rates, subject to the regulation of their public utility commissions or other authority with jurisdiction.
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
This year is certainly flying by, and with the fall just a month away, it’s a great time to start prepping your home before warm weather turns to cooler temperatures. From water leaks to the chimney, it’s better to be ready for the cold season…before it hits.
Here, State Farm offers up some pre-fall maintenance tips for your home:
Check all window and door locks for proper operation
• Windows that can be opened by breaking the glass and unlocking them, are less effective deterrents to criminals. Check with the hardware store for window lock alternatives.
Make sure there are working nightlights at the top and bottom of all stairs
• All exterior doors should have deadbolt locks.
Other safety ideas for stairs:
• Tile and painted wood or concrete stairs can be slippery when wet or when a person's shoes are wet. Resurface the treads with slip-resistant strips near the stair nosing.
Have a heating professional check your heating system every year
• All stairs of at least three risers should have a handrail.
• Do not store items on the stairs.
• Woodburning stove connector pipes and chimneys should be inspected by a certified chimney sweep at least annually.
Replace your furnace filter
• Furnace filters need to be replaced frequently to allow your heating and cooling systems to operate properly.
Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel tank is empty
• By doing this, you are removing flammable liquid storage from your garage. At the same time, make sure you aren't storing dirty, oily rags in a pile. They can ignite spontaneously.
Remove bird nests from chimney flues and outdoor electrical fixtures
Have a certified chimney sweep inspect and clean the flues and check your fireplace damper
• Soot and creosote, which build up inside the chimney, can ignite when a fire is lit in the fireplace.
• Bird nests on top of light fixtures are a fire hazard. Bird nests in chimney flues can prevent a proper venting of combustion gases and can catch fire from sparks. You should exercise great caution when working on your roof or consider hiring a qualified professional to take care of any work that needs to be done.
Make sure the caulking around doors and windows is adequate to reduce heat/cooling loss
• Check glazing for loose or missing putty or glazing compound. This will also help reduce water damage to the windows and door frames.
• Make sure that the caulking around your bathroom fixtures is adequate to prevent water from seeping into the sub-flooring
• Check for cracked or missing caulk around the base of your toilet, bath tub, and bathroom cabinets. Properly sealing gaps between your bathroom fixtures and flooring material can prevent damage.
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
With the summer season coming to a close, make your summer last a little longer by trying the following tips.
1. Plan more down time. When the season is ending, most of us try to cram in more activities, which can make the season seem shorter! Section off a Sunday or two where you make no plans, allowing you to plan your activities based on your mood, the weather, or that good book you’ve been meaning to finish.
2. Plan an early fall vacation. Make a weekend getaway in early September to extend your care-free summer vibes.
3. Spend more time outdoors. This doesn’t have to be saved for a weekend. Cook dinner on the grill after work, or take a long evening walk at a local park or beach with pals or your pup.
4. Rise early. Some people like to snag more zzz’s during their down time. But during summer, the sun shines earlier, and so should you. Getting up early, even if it’s only to read on the porch with a cup of coffee, will make your days feel longer and your season sweeter.
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
After a year of mandatory dorm living for college freshmen, most students have the option to choose between dorm living or off-campus apartments for the remainder of their college years. Each has its advantages, but there's one way that apartment living excels: it gives you the chance to express your individuality.
Painting walls is often an option if you can prove to the landlord that it will enhance the property or that you will paint them back to their original color before you move out. If that's the case, a little paint can make a world of difference. It can transform "blah beige" walls into a bright, inviting space that will let others know more about the creative you.
Before you start, make sure you have the right tools assembled for the project. Since you're a college student on a limited budget, you'll be tempted to buy the least expensive paint. The reality is that it makes more sense to buy better quality paint right from the start. It'll enable you to get the job completed—and you on your way to self-expression—in just one application.
You'll also need to keep a good painter's tape handy. Just like paint, it makes sense to buy a premium quality tape that lets you get the job done right the first time. Cheap tape can leave residue, tear unevenly, damage the surface, and leave messy paint lines where paint seeps under the tape edges.
Quality painter's tape also enables you to try some new and interesting approaches to wall painting. Besides choosing just one color per wall, you can try decorative striped patterns, diamond patterns, checkerboard designs, or a variety of other wall graphics.
For more information, visit http://www.itape.com
August 9, 2011 5:01 pm
Delinquent loan. One where the borrower is behind, or late, in payments.
August 8, 2011 8:01 pm
In the wake of recent student athlete deaths due to excessive heat, the American Red Cross recommends team officials, coaches and parents take steps to help ensure the safety of their players during extreme heat.
"Keeping athletes safe during extreme temperatures is as important as getting them ready for the upcoming season," says Dr. David Markenson, Chair of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council. "One of the most important things athletes can do is stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids like water or sports drinks with electrolytes before, during and after practice—even if you are not thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol," Markenson adds.
During the hot weather, team practices should be scheduled for early in the day and later in the evening to avoid exposing players to the hottest times of the day. Other steps teams, schools and parents should take to protect their athletes include:
• Allow athletes to get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of practice until they are more accustomed to it.
• Make frequent, longer breaks a regular part of practice. About every 20 minutes stop for fluids and try to keep the athletes in the shade if possible.
• Reduce the amount of heavy equipment—like football pads—athletes wear in extremely hot, humid weather.
• Dress athletes, when appropriate, in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored, cotton T-shirts and shorts.
• Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely.
"Knowing the signs of heat-related emergencies and how to help someone who is suffering from the heat is vital," Markenson stresses. "Coaches and parents need to be vigilant in watching for signs of heat-related emergencies. Athletes should inform their coaches, teachers or parents if they are not feeling well."
Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes. Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat. If someone is experiencing heat cramps:
• Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. Stretching, massaging and icing the affected muscle may help.
• Give a half glass of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes every 15 minutes. Do not give liquids with alcohol or caffeine in them, as they can make conditions worse.
Heat exhaustion is caused by a combination of exercise induced heat and fluid and electrolyte loss from sweating. Signs of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion. To help someone with these symptoms:
• Move the person to a cooler place. Remove or loosen tight clothing. Spray him or her with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If the person is conscious, give small amounts of cool water or a sports drink with electrolytes to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in his or her condition.
• If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Heat stroke (also known as sunstroke) is a life-threatening condition in which a person's temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
• Signs of heat stroke include those of heat exhaustion and hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; change or loss of consciousness; seizures; vomiting; and high body temperature.
• Heat stroke is life-threatening. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
• Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person's body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. If unable to immerse them, continue rapid cooling by applying bags of ice or cold packs wrapped in a cloth to the wrists, ankles, groin, neck and armpits, spraying with water and/or fanning.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org.
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