Do I Have All I Need for the Big Move?

»Posted by on Nov 15, 2017 in Self Storage Tips | 0 comments

Moving is a pretty big deal. I’ve done it three times in my life (twice just across one town), and I still find myself getting frazzled over the whole process. I always have this feeling that I’m forgetting something like some treasured object is hiding somewhere just out of sight. Did I check that cupboard or did I just assume it was empty? Maybe I’ve left some long forgotten but very dear object there, and I’ll only miss it years from now when it’s too late.

Then there are issues of organization. Should I put the utensils with the pots and pans or with the plates? That may seem silly but when you get down to things like old, important notes or journals, i.e. old documents that were once and may somehow in the future be important, it becomes harder. You want to make sure you take them, and they get packed somewhere where you can find them, but where is the best spot?

I haven’t even gotten started here. I worry about all my breakables. Should I pack them together or wrap them up separately and divvy them up between the other boxes? Together, you can prioritize the box to try to protect it, but together they may also all break at once if something happens.

As you can see, this is a stressful business for me, and this kind of mania really slows down my packing. So, to try to make this a little easier on myself this time, I’m trying to organize everything before I even start moving.

That has meant making a huge list of everything I can think of that I’m taking. I don’t mean I exhaustively cataloged all of my possessions, but I did put everything into categories. I have the dishes category, for instance, and I break that down into breakable and unbreakable. Things like that.

I’m also trying to get a grip on what I need in order to actually pack. I found this list at Your Austin Storage, which has helped me make sure I’ve got all the boxes and tape and such things that I need.

One final thing I’m trying. I’m opening every closet and every cupboard now and searching every shelf to make sure I know everything that is on each one. So far, no family heirlooms I had completely forgotten about but the loss of which would one day haunt me. Here’s hoping, if they exist, I find them in one of the last couple of drawers I haven’t checked yet.

My hope is that with a little more systematic thinking beforehand, I’ll be able to avoid getting too stressed when the time comes to actually pack up and move.

I’d like this move to go smoothly. It’s my first move out of the state, which makes it all the more important I don’t have any nagging feeling that I left something behind.

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Dog Bites and their Unfortunate Bias towards Younger Children

»Posted by on Sep 16, 2017 in Pets | 0 comments

Any owner who owns a dog doesn’t want to think that their dog would ever bite someone let alone a young child. It is a tragic statistic that a disproportionate amount of dog bites occur to children left alone with the animal. There are a number of reasons for this like children don’t understand what a dog would take as a threat or to not bother an animal when they are eating. However, the paramount problem is that the owners of these dogs are not taking steps to keep them out of the reach of small children.

In 2016 there were 48 dog bite incidents in Detroit alone. Beyond a few campaigns by the USPS and animal control to encourage owners to control their pets better there hasn’t been much change. In May of 2017 local news network, WGN9 reported about a 3-week old infant who was killed by the family dog. Apparently, after leaving the child alone for about five minutes the caretaker in charge of the kid found her bleeding from a serious head injury and one of the family dogs with blood staining its jaws. The real heartbreaking thing about this story is that the dog probably did not mean the child any harm. At that young of an age, the skull has not formed yet so while the dog was trying to play with the child it could have treated the baby as a fellow dog. The takeaway is that the responsibility for these types of attacks isn’t on the dog or baby but on the owner who knows the fragility of the baby and strength of the dogs and still allows the two to be left alone in the same room. According to the personal injury lawyers at Ravid & Associates, P.C. around 360,000 children were bitten by dogs between 2010 and 2012. The worst part is that these types of attacks are easily preventable. Some basic tips to avoid these include the aforementioned never leave young children alone with dogs, teach older children not to pet dogs they don’t know, and if you feel threatened by a dog, back away slowly and don’t make any loud noises.

Unfortunately, there are many stories just like this one every year. Dogs and children should always be supervised together until a child is old enough to learn proper safety techniques when interacting with animals. Most dogs are good however even good dogs can have bad days and lash out at those who can’t defend themselves. As humans, we will never fully understand their behavior, but we can take all the necessary precautions to protect our youth. 

Nobody wants to see their family dog injure or in the worst scenarios kill someone. When it comes to dogs, they have very little instinct and learn much of their behavior from their owners and neighborhood dogs. By properly training them and limiting their exposure to dangerous dogs and young children, theses kinds of horrific attacks can be prevented.

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Chinatown Tax Increase: Is a beautiful landscape worth it?

»Posted by on Sep 2, 2017 in Landscaping | 0 comments

Although most of us can agree that having a beautiful community is beneficial, it is a hot topic for debate who should pay for its upkeep and landscaping. Most cities fund their public works through local taxes, but in huge cities, it becomes more difficult to decide who should pay for beautification projects considering that they will only be enjoyed by the people who live in the immediate area. The City of Chicago has recently received pushback against a proposed tax increase to beautify one of its most heavily visited and popular destinations.

According to the news site DNAinfo.com, the Chicago Chinatown Chamber of Commerce is proposing a new property tax increase that, if it is approved by the City Council, will go towards beautification projects and the promotion of high traffic commercial areas in Chinatown. The city of Chicago already has a number of these “special service areas”, or SSAs. The proposition has received plenty of pushback, however, and there are large banners all around Chinatown that proclaim “No to SSA Tax”. Residents and business in the area claim that they cannot sustain yet another tax increase and that the timing of the proposed increase is poor. However, Chinatown is the only big entertainment area in Chicago that does not yet have an SSA, and the money would go towards landscaping, garbage can placement, and would even provide for a full staff to maintain the area. In addition, this SSA would cost less than any of the other 53 SSAs around the city, so the tax burden would necessarily be less than in other areas. According to the chamber, the property tax increase would come out to about $860 per year for property owners. Other supporters of the increase say that large investments in the area have already been made in the form of a $20 million library that opened in 2015, as well as a 30,000 square foot park house that was opened the year before.

The article states that both sides concede that it is difficult to measure how helpful the special service areas are, but beautification projects and new landscaping have been proven methods of raising nearby property values and attracting more people to the area. Personally, I think the new tax increase would help Chinatown and that local businesses would benefit from increased tourism, but I think the city council ought to reevaluate at a later date since new taxes were already recently imposed.

One way a new tax could be avoided altogether would be to encourage business owners to landscape their own properties, but this may end up being more costly. Landscaping companies such as Ware Landscaping in Chicago provide all sorts of services and can pick out shady trees that can even lower your energy bill. Individual landscaping efforts could certainly increase the appeal of your neighborhood, but it would still be necessary for the government to take care of public land. Tax increases for this purpose are unavoidable, but they will result in monumental gains in the long run.

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Child Drownings in Swimming Pools

»Posted by on Jul 30, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Children have a dangerous combination of attitudes – they are curious and reckless. Also, they are physically and mentally limited to defend or save themselves. These traits make them extremely vulnerable, especially near areas with deep water, like swimming pools.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, those who have been hurt in swimming pool accidents may have legal options, and this is particularly true if there is negligence on the part of the property owner.

But at the end of the day, avoiding accidents such as drownings is still the smartest choice, and to avoid them, the first thing you should know is the elements that influence them.

Lack of Supervision

Because of the traits that make children vulnerable, adults such as yourself should give them particular attention. You should always have your eyes on children, because you will never know when they will do something that can put them in danger, especially that swimming pools can be particularly dangerous to them because of drowning.

Lack of Security

The swimming pool or resort owner also has the responsibility of ensuring that no accidents happen, so it is fair to say that they should have the adequate number of competent security personnel to keep an eye not just on children, but on everybody that is in the premises.

Lack of Lifeguards

Even if there is adequate security, you will never know when an accident will occur, so it is best for the swimming pool or resort owner to employ lifeguards. There should be enough lifeguards to reach different parts of the premises immediately, because obviously, a drowning accident doesn’t take long to be fatal, especially for children.

Lack of Barriers

Aside from security, the premises should also have the proper facilities to directly avoid drowning accidents. One of the most basic requirements is a barrier around the swimming pool, so it is not easily accessible for unsupervised children, if there are children who are unsupervised by security in the first place. This is an added measure to deter accidents.

Slippery Spots

There are also instances where children have gone to the water not because they want to, but because they have accidentally slipped from something. The most common culprits are the buildups of mold in a diving board or on the edge of the pool, especially those that are on the deep end of the pool.

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The Problem with Nursing Homes

»Posted by on May 20, 2017 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

You put your loved one in a nursing home because you know it is for the better. In there, your loved one will receive the medical attention he or she needs, and it will be received in a dignified manner. At least, that is what you think.

You should consider the possibility that the nursing home is abusive and neglectful. You loved one may be too limited physically or mentally to effectively say to you that this is the case, so you should be the one obligated to put him or her in a safe environment.

Abuse

Abuse happens when your loved one has received incidental force from another person. Many times, this person is either a nursing home staff or another patient. Either way, the nursing home management should prevent abuses from happening.

Abuse can come in many forms, such as physical, sexual, psychological, and even financial. Here are some of the signs you should look out for:

  • Behavioral changes, particularly in the presence of a specific person
  • Rise of new health complications or worsening of existing ones
  • Rise of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Unexplained wounds, especially on areas that are likely to be restrained, such as the wrists

Neglect

You put your loved one in a nursing home so he or she can get care, so if he or she isn’t getting it, what is the point? Like abuse, neglect can come in many forms, such as the failure to give the adequate hygienic, medical, and nutritional needs of the residents. The signs you should look out for include the following:

  • Dryness of skin and lips
  • Hygiene problems in body or clothes
  • Loss of weight
  • Worsening health condition

What You Can Do

It is important to point out that the existence of these signs don’t necessarily mean that your loved one is experiencing abuse, but they can serve as your first clues. According to the website of Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, those who have loved ones that have suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home may have legal options.

But to prevent the hassles of spending time in court and money on legal fees, it is better to observe the nursing home first before putting your loved one there. Look at the place if it has the adequate facilities, competent staff, and clean environment that your loved one deserves.

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What to Do If You Suspect Childcare Abuse

»Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Childcare Abuse | 0 comments

If you are a working parent with children below school-age, you may be utilizing a daycare to keep your children safe during the day. When you consider that one-third of toddlers and infants are enrolled in some form of daycare in the U.S., you will see that this is common. While you want to believe your children are always safe and under the best care, it does not hurt to be wary of childcare abuse.

Childcare facilities are governed by strict laws to keep children safe, but this does not mean that abuse does not occur. When abuse or negligence does occur, it can have devastating effects on the child. According to The National Academies Press, the consequences of childcare abuse can result in negative effects on the child’s development – physically, psychologically, cognitively and behaviorally. These affects can stay with the child throughout their entire life.

It is important to be aware of the signs of child abuse and neglect. According to Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, some signs to look for are unexplained or repeated minor injuries, major injuries, bruises, cuts, or swelling. They also suggest speaking with your children regularly about their daycare experience and listen to any concerns they may voice. Notice if they are happy when you drop them off and if they speak positively about their care providers.

If you are concerned that your child may be experiencing abuse, you may want to consider contacting a child protection agency, removing your child from the services, seeking counseling, and getting in contact with a childcare abuse and neglect attorney.

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Bike Your Way To Safety With These Helpful Tips

»Posted by on Nov 22, 2016 in Bike Injury | 0 comments

Riding a bike is acknowledged as one of the best forms of exercise. It is good for preventing cardiovascular diseases. But unlike other vehicles, bicycles expose the rider to greater risks to injury or even death. According to statistics from the US Department of Transportation, 811 bikers were killed from bicycle accidents in 2015. There were also 45,000 injuries on the same year.

According to the website of Hankey Law Office, while some bike injuries are minor such as cuts, bruises, or scrapes, others can be more serious such as broken bones, head injuries, and death. Given these circumstances, here are some tips on how you can stay safe while biking:

Protect your head

Wearing a helmet reduces a biker’s risk of head injuries by over 50 percent. Likewise, it can reduce the danger of face or neck injury by more than 30 percent.

Stay visible

If other drivers can see you, the risk of accidents is much lower. For this reason, you need to use lights when biking at night or in low-light conditions.

Look, signal & look again

Use hand signals to notify other drivers where you are going. Establish eye contact. More importantly, never assume that drivers will stop.

Be alert

Always be on guard for obstacles on the road. Sometimes, even a little bump can trigger ass serious accident.

Go where the traffic goes

Stay where the traffic is going. Act like you are driving a car. Avoid weaving in and out of traffic. Be aware of what is happening on the road.

Check your bike

Before heading out to your biking trip, make last minute checkups to be sure that your bike is ready. Check if the bike is properly adjusted or the saddle is in a comfortable position. Also check your brakes and wheels.

With the number of bicycle accidents increasing, having a “safety first” mindset can help prevent you from being part of the fatality statistics.

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Subsys Medication Guide Warnings

»Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Subsys Spray Lawsuit | 0 comments

When painkillers, such as morphine, fail to provide relief, especially to cancer patients suffering from late-stage breakthrough cancer pain, oncologists start prescribing fentanyl, a very powerful synthetic opioid painkiller that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

Different fentanyl-containing medications have already been prescribed to millions of cancer patients in the U.S., including the skin patch Duragesic, the lozenge Actiq,the sublingual tablet Abstral, Fentora, which is a a tablet that goes between the gum and the cheek, and Subsys, a sublingual spray which is also the latest to be introduced in market.

Like all other fentanyl-based drugs, Subsys was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for the use of cancer patients who have developed a tolerance for opioid drugs due to regular use. However, being a powerful opioid (narcotic) pain medicine, which is also powerfully addictive, Subsys is considered a federally controlled substance (CII) due to the high possibility of it being misused, especially by those who abuse prescription medicines or illegal drugs.

It its Medication Guide, some of the warnings made with regard to the use of Subsys say:

It should not be taken by anyone who is not opioid tolerant;
It should be used by a patient exactly according to a healthcare provider’s instructions;
It should never be given to a child or anyone else, even to another cancer patient who has not been prescribed with this drug since it may harm or even kill them;
It should never be used to treat short-term pain, such as pain due to dental problems, pain after surgery and migraine; and,
Use of this highly potent drug can cause life-threatening breathing problems which can lead to death.

Though one of the biggest selling highly addictive painkillers in the U.S. today, Subsys has been included in the “drugs of concern” list of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Inspector General office.

Besides this, Subsys drugmaker Insys Therapeutics, Inc. is also facing lawsuits due to its aggressive marketing of said drug for off-label use or non-approved treatments. Patients or families of patients, who have been severely harmed by this drug, have also filed lawsuits to pursue compensation which they may be found eligible to claim.

A Subsys lawsuit may be filed by anyone who has been inappropriately prescribed and harmed by this powerful opioid medication that can cause serious or potentially fatal effects. Consulting with a highly-skilled personal injury lawyer, who can help determine the best legal action to take, should be the first step to this legal pursuit.

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Make Sure You Qualify for Social Security Benefits

»Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Personal Injury | 0 comments

Make Sure You Qualify for Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are the U.S. Federal government’s two largest programs aimed at providing financial assistance to people with disabilities. SSDI was introduced by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 1956, while SSI was created in 1974.

These programs, though falling under the management of the Social Security Administration, address different disability needs and have different requirements for qualification.

  • The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI pays benefits to qualified SS insured members who may be 65 years old or below and who are also totally disabled. To qualify for payment, a member must meet the following requirements:

  • Had worked long enough (or recently enough) and have paid Social Security taxes or Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes while employed (these taxes are automatically deducted from the worker on a monthly basis);
  • Has earned the number of credits required by the SSA (workers earn four credits annually); and,
  • Is suffering from total disability

Total disability or disability, as considered by the SSA, means: (i) inability to perform previous work, as well as any other work, due to the medical condition; (ii) the disability has either lasted for a year or is likely to last for a year or more; and, (iii) the disability can result in death.

A list medical conditions that are severe enough ahs been drawn up by the SSA; finding one’s health problem in this list would automatically include him/her in the roster of disabled insured SS members. Not finding one’s health condition in the list, however, will require an evaluation by Social Security in order to determine if the health condition is serious enough to be considered a form of total disability.

  • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Program

SSI provides non-taxable financial assistance to Americans, who are, at least, 65 years old, blind, or disabled (the meaning assigned to “disability” is the same with SSDI), and whose income or resources fall within the federal benefit rate (FBR) determined by the government.

The source of SSI funding is the U.S. Treasury general funds (rather than the SS taxes paid monthly by insured SS members); thus, neither SS credits nor previous employment is required from applicants to qualify into the program.

The main intent of the SSI program is to help provide for the basic needs of its beneficiaries. These basic needs include food, shelter and clothing. In a number of states, SSI benefits application is also considered as application for food stamps, while other states allow the benefits to be supplemented by Medicaid to cover prescriptions, doctor’s fee and other medical care costs.

As explained in the website of the firm Hankey Law Office, disability benefits vary by amount and duration, regardless, receiving this will definitely be huge financial help whether you have recently been diagnosed with a disability or have been disabled since childhood. To help make sure that you get approved for either an SSDI or SSI benefit if and when you file an application, having an experienced Social Security Disability Insurance Lawyer helping you through the whole process may be advantageous.

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The History of US Immigration

»Posted by on May 21, 2016 in History | 0 comments

Since the 18th and 19th century, the United States has been encouraging free and open immigration. Relocation to the United States traces its origin to 12,000 years ago when indigenous people crossed ice bridges connecting Asia to North America. It was the French and the Spaniards who were the first to establish settlements before the English and the Dutch. Before the American Revolution, the United States was already a kaleidoscope of languages and ethnicities.

According to the website of AmLaw Global, the immigration system in the United States is not always easy to understand or navigate. The immigration process is supported by different laws that governs immigration matters. In this article, we will look at the different laws through the years.

The Naturalization Act of 1790

A year after President Washington was inaugurated in 1790, the first attempts to take control of immigration was set in motion with the enactment of the Naturalization Act of 1790. The first set of naturalized citizens were free white persons of good moral character residing in the United States for two years. This excludes the indigenous people, free African Americans, indentured servants and slaves. It was amended in 1795 and extended the minimum residency requirement to 5 years.

The Naturalization Act of 1798

This law further expanded the residency requirement for American citizenship from 5 to 14 years. However, the law was designed for suppressing voters who disagreed with the Federalist party since majority of the immigrants supported Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson.

Alien Friends Act and Sedition Act

The former gives the President the authority to imprison or deport aliens considered as a “risk to the peace and safety of the United States.” The latter, on the other hand, puts restrictions on critics of the Federal government. The two laws were abolished in 1801.

The Alien Enemies Act

Under this bill, the President was given the authority to detain or deport male citizens of a hostile nation who are 14 years and above during war times. A modified version of this law is still in place today.

Anti-Coolie Act

The bill imposed a monthly tax on working Chinese immigrants. The law was enacted in order to soothe the increasing tension between Chine

Naturalization Act of 1870

The Naturalization Act of 1870 provided citizenship to both whites and African-Americans. The bil, however, excluded Asians.

Chinese Exclusion Act

Enaced in 1882, this law prohibited Chinese citizens from immigrating to the US. Although it was designed to last for a decade, it was extended in 1892 and was made permanent in 1902 until its abolition in 1943.

Anarchist Exclusion Act

Also known as the Immigration Act of 1903, this law barred immigrant anarchists, beggars, importerrs of prostitutes, and epileptics from immigrating to the United States.

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