, , , , , , , , Posted by on

California Limits Plastic Straws

California Limits Plastic Straws

California Limits Plastic Straws

A few years ago, the citizens of California voted to ban single-use plastic straws. At the time, the change was very controversial with many opponents of the bill upset at the loss of the flimsy plastic items. However, as time moved on, people adapted and got used to the new change. The success of this law, helped convince some Californians that similar laws should be enacted as well.

Recently, the California state legislature passed a new bill that would prohibit full-service, dine-in restaurants from distributing plastic straws unless the patron requests the item. The hope is that by doing this, it will reduce the amount of plastic straws that are used once, and then tossed away. Single-use plastic utensils like this are bad for the environment since they are only used for a short amount of time, but last for several decades in landfills and oceans.

It is important to note that this is not an all-out ban on plastic straws, like many opponents of the bill claim it is. Customers will still be able to get plastic straws in restaurants, they will simply need to ask for straws. The hope is that this will get people used to the idea of not having straws. This could also help encourage new, environmentally friendly straws to be used instead of their plastic counterparts.

The bill based with a 45-20 vote in the State Assembly and now awaits Governor Jerry Brown’s signature for final approval. While this bill may seem like a big deal now, just remember when the plastic bag ban was first enacted.

Many people were up in arms over that law, but we got used to the change. The same could happen with this law as well.

, , , , , , , , Posted by on

Show Some Compassion for Others

Show Some Compassion for Others

Show Some Compassion for Others

Far too often, we see nothing but bad and depressing stories on the news. Trying to stay in the know can get hard to stomach at times. That is why it is always a pleasant surprise to see a nice story making headlines all over the place. A perfect example of this comes from a Wendy’s located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Recently, a Wendy’s employee went above and beyond to help a pair of customers who came into the restaurant. A blind couple came in and placed an order. The employee, who has been identified as Richard Wise-Attwood, went the extra mile to ensure that they truly enjoyed the meal.

According to another patron, who took photographs of the encounter and shared them to social media, stated that Wise-Attwood helped the couple to their seats, provided them with drinks, napkins and sauce, and returned to their table multiple times to make sure they were doing okay. Wise-Attwood provided a level of service that is very rare in the fast food industry, but did it without question.

When asked about what he did, Wise-Attwood said, “I’m hoping that it does show people that even if you do work at an establishment such as Wendy’s or McDonald’s, customer service will show somebody a good day and they’ll pass it on to someone else.”

Small, simple acts of kindness like this are always guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face, so why don’t we all do things like this more often?

If we could all take some time out of our busy schedules to show someone else, a stranger even, just a little compassion, we could make the world a better place. Maybe then watching the news wouldn’t be so depressing.

, , , , , , , , Posted by on

Move Over or Slow Down

Move Over or Slow Down

Move Over or Slow Down

Ask anyone, and they will tell you that driving on the freeway is not quite the same as driving on surface streets. On freeways, cars drive a lot faster and there is very little stop and go, unless of course there is a bit of traffic. Freeways are fast moving environments, and they are not the kinds of places where you want to have car trouble. Unfortunately, we don’t always get what we want.

Sometimes, cars breakdown on the freeway and leave their driver stranded alongside a very busy road. Even if these cars are off to the side on the shoulder, it can still be nerve wracking to be that close to speeding vehicles. It can also be very dangerous, which is why they have to wait for emergency help. Thousands of accidents are caused every year because drivers hit a car parked on the side of the road.

Due to this fact, many states have enacted laws with the goal of ensuring the safety of stranded motorists and emergency personnel alike. The state of California is no different. Here, it is required by law that all motorists vacate the lane immediately next to the shoulder if an emergency vehicle is stationary there displaying flashing lights, so long as it is safe to do so. If that cannot be done, then the driver needs to slow down while passing the vehicle.

What some people do not realize, is that this does not simply mean police, fire, and EMT vehicles. This law also includes tow truck drivers and Caltrans vehicles that are displaying flashing orange lights. Failing to move over can earn a person a pricey ticket.

This law is very important, and helps keep workers safe as they work alongside the road. For your safety, and the safety of all emergency personnel helping the stranded motorist.

, , , , , , , Posted by on

Stopping for School Buses

Stopping for School Buses

Stopping for School Buses

School is back in session once again and for students, that means that the fun of summer is over. For many adults, we assume nothing changes for us when the new school year starts, however that isn’t exactly the case. With the start of school comes additional traffic around campuses, and school buses make a reappearance.

Luckily for most drivers, school buses only operate within certain time frames. This means that they are not around for most of the day. However, the times they are in operation tend to coincide with rush hour traffic to and from work. Having to stop for a school bus when late to work, or after an extra tiring day at the office, can be frustrating.

Some people assume that if they see a school bus stopped, but it is on the opposite side of the street, that they can simply ignore it and keep on their way. Other people will keep going regardless of the stopped bus and the line of cars behind or in front of it. In both instances, this is against the law.

In the state of California, all drivers are required to stop for a school bus that is displaying flashing red lights and a stop sign. Not only will ignoring a school bus stop signals earn a driver a costly ticket, it could harm a child. School buses are used to transport kids to and from school. When they stop along the road, it is either to pick kids up or let them off. This means that there are kids near an active roadway, and extreme caution should be used.

The only time a driver is allowed to ignore a stopped school bus is when it is on the opposite side of a divided roadway. This means that there is either a median or barrier separating the two different directions of traffic. Any other time a driver comes across a school bus with flashing red lights and a stop sign out, they need to stop, regardless of what side of the road they are on.

Stopping will only take a moment, and will help keep everyone safe.

, , , , , , , , Posted by on

Keeping California From Burning Up

As the Weather Begins to Warm Up Again, Wildfires Become a Real Possibility

As the Weather Begins to Warm Up Again, Wildfires Become a Real Possibility

Every Californian knows that wildfires in the state are a pretty big deal. This is only reinforced by the fact that 2018 has been one of the worst years for wildfires in the state to date. This year, the Mendocino Complex Fire became the largest wildfire to ever burn across the state. The blaze scorched 459,123 acres, and is estimated to have burned hundreds of structures, uprooting the lives of many people.

This is the perfect reminder that we all need to do our part in preventing blazes like this from even starting. One such way to do that is by properly disposing of cigarettes finished. Throwing cigarette butts onto the ground or out of a car window is a fairly common practice. After all, just about everyone has seen cigarette butts lying discarded on the ground.

The problem with this, besides the fact that it is littering, is that these butts are often still lit when discarded. If one were to fall in to some paper or dry brush, they could easily spark a blaze. If you think this is too farfetched, think again. Dozens of fires are started around the world annually by discarded cigarette butts. It is a real problem that people need to be made aware of.

Properly disposing of used cigarettes can greatly reduce the risk of them starting a fire. Finished cigarette butts should be extinguished and placed in ashtrays. This way, they cannot fall into any sort of kindling and spark the next big blaze in California.

Wildfires are a big deal in this state, and every resident needs to do their part to keep California from burning up.

, , , , , , , , , Posted by on

Did You Hear about This Change to Kids Car Seats?

Is It Legal to Break a Window to Save a Child or Pet from a Hot Car

Is It Legal to Break a Window to Save a Child or Pet from a Hot Car

Any experienced parent will tell you that kids need different kinds of car seats at different ages. As the child grows, they need different styles of car seats until they are finally big enough to sit in the seat without any additional device. For a long time, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children should remain in rear-facing car seats until they are 2 years old. However, that has now changed.

Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendation and eliminated the age limit. Now they say that a child should remain in a rear-facing car seat until they weigh over 40 pounds. The lead author of the updated rule said: “It’s best to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible. This is still the safest way for children to ride.”

This change breaks a long held rule, largely due to the fact that manufactures of car seats are now making rear-facing seats that can support children up to 40 pounds. Since this is the best way for children to travel, the Academy changed the long standing rule.

According to the academy, using the right kinds of car seat for a child can reduce the risk of serious injury or death by 70%. That is not a number that should be ignored by parents. Furthermore, the Academy goes on to list when kids should be moved from one style of car seat to the next.

  • Rear-facing seat – Up to 40 pounds.
  • Safety seat with harnesses – Up to 65 pounds.
  • Belt positioning booster seat – Until the child is 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Parents should follow these guidelines, as well as the recommendations in the car seat’s safety manual to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their child while driving.

, , , , , , , , Posted by on

Should Cellphones be Banned by Law in Schools?

Should Cellphones be Banned by Law in Schools?

Should Cellphones be Banned by Law in Schools?

Times have definitely changed since many of us were kids. Back when most of us adults were in school, the only thing teachers had to worry about were calculators. Nowadays, students walk around with cellphones that can do infinitely more than a calculator ever could. And, we were told we wouldn’t be carrying a calculator around when we grew up.

Cellphones in schools have become quite a problem. They either distract the student from the lesson, or allow the child to sneakily look up answers on the internet. This is why most school ban cellphones, but the country of France has taken it a step further.

As schools began their new year in France, the French legislature recently signed a new law into effect. This new law basically makes it illegal for students under the age 15 to use cellphones at schools, though it is more complex than that.

The law leaves options that allow each school to change what is permitted on their campuses. Some schools may choose to say that these students cannot have phone period, while others may allow them on campus, but they have to be turned off at all times. The decision is up to each school. Before any parent grows too concerned, the new law does allow students to use their phones in the event of an emergency.

There is no denying that cellphones can be very distracting, and as much as we adults hate to admit it, they can be addicting as well. After all, how many of us feel lost without a phone in our hand or pocket? What do you think of France’s new law?

Should something like that be done here in California, or do you think kids should be allowed to have their phones whenever and wherever? Let us know in the comments down below.

, , , , , , , , Posted by on

More Reckless Driving in Southern California

More Reckless Driving in Southern California

More Reckless Driving in Southern California

Reckless driving comes in many forms. Most people think of speeding and swerving through traffic, and they are not wrong. However, there are other dangerous forms of reckless driving, some of which are on the rise in Southern California. The culprits of these crimes may only be concerned with having a bit of fun, but they are breaking the law.

Yet again, another incident of reckless driving has surfaced online. This time, a group of drivers took over the parking lot at Anaheim Plaza Mall on a Sunday night. The drivers then proceeded to perform stunts, burn rubber, and essentially cause havoc in the parking lot. By the time police officers could get to the scene, the drivers had dispersed.

While these drivers were not speeding through streets or swerving through traffic, they were driving in a reckless manner. In the state of California, reckless driving is defined as driving with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. This is exactly what the drivers in the Anaheim mall incident did.

California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers have been cracking down on this kind of behavior in recent months as incidents such as these become more common. A few months ago, a similar incident occurred in a South Los Angeles intersection.

Videos of both incidents can be found online, and will likely aid officers in their search for the culprits of these crimes.

, , , , , , , , , Posted by on

As a Landlord, am I Responsible for my Tenant’s Injuries

As a Landlord, am I Responsible for my Tenant’s Injuries

As a Landlord, am I Responsible for my Tenant’s Injuries

Owning a rental property is a great way to earn extra money, but it also means a great deal of responsibility. One of the issues many landlords and tenants argue about is who is responsible when the tenant is injured.

The simple truth is that the issue doesn’t have a black and white answer. Each situation is different and triggers different results.

Landlord Negligence

Often, when a landlord is deemed responsible for paying a tenant’s medical bills it’s because the landlord was negligent. They failed to make repairs that were needed to keep the tenant safe. In this case, the burden of proof falls on the tenant. They have to be able to prove that not only was there a safety hazard on the property, but also that the landlord knew about the issue and failed to correct it. Examples of this could be a tenant reporting a loose banister on a stairway, which the landlord doesn’t repair, and it eventually breaks while the landlord was holding on to it.

Children as Tenants

While a landlord is legally allowed to tell a prospective tenant that they can’t have a dog or cat on the rental property, they really can’t say that children aren’t allowed to live there. This creates a problem for the landlord because having kids, especially young kids, means the landlord must take a few extra precautions, such as making sure there aren’t any loose rugs a running child could trip on, providing covers for electrical outlets, making a repair as opposed to just hanging a warning sign.

Criminal Acts

Many landlords are surprised to learn that there are instances when they can be held liable for criminal acts that take place on the property. The idea is that if negligence on the landlord’s part made a property attractive to a thief, the landlord is responsible. For example, if the landlord constantly fails to provide decent door/window locks and the apartment is broken into, the landlord will be responsible for covering the cost of the lost items.

The best way to make sure you’re never held responsible for a tenant’s injuries is to routinely inspect the rental properties and immediately take care of any safety concerns, even if they’ve yet to be reported by your tenants.

, , , , , , , Posted by on

Are Your Kids Safe While Being Unattended?

Are Your Kids Safe While Being Unattended?

Are Your Kids Safe While Being Unattended?

It’s a parent’s nightmare, but according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, approximately 800,000 children are reported missing every year. When broken down, this equates to about 2,000 children being kidnapped each day. While most of these result in a happy ending, the initial number of children being reported missing is staggering.

Kids Health breaks down the reality of some of these abductions. The majority of children who are reported missing have actually run away from their home on their own accord or there has been a miscommunication with their guardian about where they are supposed to be. Out of the children that are truly abducted, the majority of them are taken by a family member or known family associate, only 25% of abductions are the result of a child being taken by a stranger.

So, as a parent or guardian, how do you prevent your child from being abducted and becoming another statistic? The first thing you should do is have an open and honest dialogue with your children about safety and abduction prevention. You should stress the importance of your children not getting into the car with people they do not know and not to accept candy or other forms of bribery from strangers trying to lure them away.

If you and your family are heading to a crowded public space, such as an amusement park, it is wise to identify a meeting spot in the instance you all get separated from one another. This can be a visitor’s center, information booth, the food court, a lifeguard stand, or an emergency station. An idea if you have young children that cannot remember their guardian’s information is to write it on their arm in permanent marker.

The last suggestion to prevent your child from being abducted is to invest in a children’s tracking device. These can be useful when in crowded areas or in places where your children have room to run around and play.

The thought of having your child abducted is every parent’s worst nightmare. Through proper safety and abduction prevention education, you and your family can work together to help prevent it from happening to you.