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Are You Ready for the Next Big One?

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As Californians, we are always on the lookout for the next big earthquake. The San Andreas Fault runs along the entire length of the state, making California highly susceptible to earthquakes. In fact, California has around 10,000 earthquakes a year.

Since our state is so prone to shaking, it is important for all of us to be prepared for the next big quake. Here are some tips to help keep you ready for the next big earthquake:

  • Have an earthquake plan ready. This way, you will have a better idea of how to react when an earthquake happens.
  • Make sure large objects like bookcases or china hutches are bolted to studs in the wall so they cannot fall over during a quake.
  • Locate a spot in every room of your house where you can find shelter during a quake. This means a place where nothing can fall on you.
  • Have a supply of 3 gallons of water per person, canned food, an up-to-date first aid kit, and flashlights in an accessible place.
  • Know how to shut off your gas and water mains.

Following these tips can help you in the aftermath of a big earthquake. As Californians, we have all studied the history our state has with earthquakes. We know how bad they can be, which is why it is so important to be prepared for the next big quake.


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Neighbors Partying Too Much?

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Do you have neighbors who love to party and create a lot of noise late at night, or even into the morning hours? If so, they have probably awoken you, or prevented you, from sleep on numerous occasions.

If you are like most people, you like being able to sleep so that you will have enough energy to face the day tomorrow. This means these noisy neighbors are preventing you from efficiently handling your days. If that is indeed the case, you probably want them to stop with all of the racket.

Your first step to handling this problem, should be to politely confront your neighbors. Let them know that they are making quite a bit of noise and that it is keeping you awake. Be sure to be nice and not be rude or mean to them, doing so could make the situation worse. There is a chance that your neighbors did not know they were being too loud and they might keep it down.

If you have tried talking to your neighbors, but that has not solved the problem, talk to your local authorities. Most cities have noise ordinances that make it illegal to create too much noise during normal sleeping hours.


If this is what is happening with your partying neighbors, then local law enforcement will come and shut their party down. Then you will be able to get a good night’s rest.


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Do Not Believe Everything You Read Online

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You always hear that you should not believe everything you see online, and unfortunately, it still needs to be said. You can still find stories online of people who were scammed or cheated out of money.

This can happen quite often on websites such as Craigslist and Amazon were goods and services are sold and exchanged. People will advertise that they are selling one thing, but then fail to deliver on that promise. When a buyer gets their product, if they do actually get their product, they find out that what was sent did not match what was pictured.

This is why most sites have introduced review systems. This allows clients to leave a warning to any future clients. The reviews also help prospective clients determine if they want to buy anything from that seller. This is why, you should always look at the product and seller reviews before making a purchase online. Doing so can prevent you from wasting your money.

Another thing to be wary of online, is whether or not a statement or claim is true. An example of this would be when you can routinely find celebrity death hoaxes circulating different social media sites. A good way to fact check stories that you read online, is to first make sure that you are getting the information from a credible source. Next, you can check the information on Snopes.com. This is a fact checking site that looks into stories that come from less than credible sources.


The internet has a lot of information to offer, but not all of it is real. Learn to figure out what you can and cannot trust online, and you will be able to better protect yourself from all sorts of internet scams.


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The Dangers of Dares

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We all know what dares are, and how they can are often used to challenge our friends and family members. Often times, adults use dares in a joking manner. We do this by daring a friend to talk to a romantic interest, or say something to their boss at work. However, even though we have dared that person, we do not actually expect him or her to go through with the dare because we, as adults, understand the consequences.

Unfortunately, kids pick up on what the adults around them do, and that often includes dares. However, while they understand the concept of a dare, they do not always understand the joking nature behind it. They can take dares seriously, and do not fully comprehend the consequences for following through with the dare. All they want to do is uphold their reputation.


This can cause kids to get into bad, or even dangerous, situations.


As a parent, it is important to talk to your kids and teach them about dares and how dangerous they can be. Make sure your children understand that dares should not be taken seriously, especially if it involves doing something dangerous. Let them know it is okay to ignore a dare.

It is also important to let your child know that he or she can always come and talk to you about these sorts of things. Show them that you are always willing to listen to them. You can even use talks about dares as teaching moments. Verbally walk through the dare with them, and show them the factors and consequences that they might have overlooked. This can help them get better at risk assessment, and teach them how to handle this sort of thing on their own.

As a parent, you just want to keep your child safe, and one of the ways you can do that is by teaching him or her about the dangers that dares can possess. By doing so, you can keep your child from inadvertently harming him or herself.

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Do You Protect Your Credit Card?

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Credit cards are a great way to purchase things, since they let you make a purchase without actually having the cash in hand. However, they are very vulnerable and can be subject to be stolen.

Crooks can get ahold of credit card information in a number of different ways. Once they have someone’s credit card info, they can open accounts and make purchases that the victim will have to pay for. This is why there are people out there who steal credit card information. They get to buy whatever they want with stolen information and they do not have to pay for any of it.

This is why it is important to protect your credit card information. Here are a few tips for keeping your credit card info safe from the hands of criminals.

  • Do not give your account number to anyone over the phone unless you have made a call to a company that you know is reputable.
  • Never sign a blank receipt.
  • Report any questionable charges on your credit card to the company that issued you the card.
  • Consistently check your bills and statements.
  • Notify the company that issued you the card if your address has changed or if you will be traveling.
  • Do not write your account number down where other people can see it, like on the outside of an envelope.
  • Never sign a blank receipt.
  • Save your receipts so you can compare them to your monthly statements.
  • Shred old cards and any papers that have your account info on them before throwing them away.

Above all else, notify your card issuer the moment you lose your card, or you think the info has been stolen. Most companies have a 24 hour, toll-free number that their clients can call to report lost or stolen credit cards. Once you report the card, you are no longer held accountable for any purchases on the card, the card itself will be deactivated, and you will be sent a new one.


Even if you just lost the card, reporting it is your best option. Better get a new card when you didn’t necessarily need it, then find out it was stolen.


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Is One Serving of Alcohol Too Much?

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The countdown to summer break has begun, leaving students and families eager to get away from school and work in order to have some fun. These long hot days and warm nights bring some of the best memories each year. Admittedly, alcohol has a big part in that because it allows everyone to relax and loosen up. Moreover, if there is no work, school, or another obligation to attend to the next morning, the alcohol will keep flowing. With that being said, the alcohol consumption should only go so far. Each individual should know when to say no to a drink.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in California is 0.08%. It does not take the same amount of drinks for everyone to reach that level. How much alcohol has an effect on someone depends on a large number of factors. Person A can have 3 drinks, be at 0.04%, and feel extremely drunk. Meanwhile Person B can have 5 drinks, be at 0.07% and still be much more coherent and aware than Person A.


BAC can depend on gender, body weight and build, the number of drinks consumed, the types of drinks consumed, whether or not a person has eaten, any medications they might be taking, and more.


Generally, women feel the effects of alcohol much faster than men, and smaller body types will feel the effects faster than bigger body types will. If a person has food in their stomach, that will help soak up some alcohol. Conversely, if they are drinking on an empty stomach, they will get drunk faster.

When it comes to determining what 1 serving of alcohol means, it depends on the type of drink you want to look at. As a general rule, 1 serving of alcohol equals 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor, a 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. wine. A 12 oz. beer is much more liquid volume than a glass of wine, but the servings are considered equal. 3 glasses of 4 oz. wine each, 12 oz. total, is theoretically 3 times the serving of a 12 oz. beer.

When you are looking at beer, now here is where things get a little tricky because after all this huge explosion over the micro brews you have things that have far larger alcohol contents. You have beers that you can imagine the difference between for instance,a light beer and a stout, for example. There is a big difference in caloric intake. There is a big difference in alcohol levels. So really it changes. When you are looking at a light beer you are looking at something that is roughly about 16 ounces, it is going to be too much. Most of your bottles are actually going to be – this is a 16 ounce bottle – most of the bottles of beer are going to be about 12 ounces for that light. When you are looking at at the Guinnes or something in the stout range, it is actually a 10 ounce size. That is your serving size. So when you go to the pub and you get a 16 ounce pint, you are getting way more, that is this whole thing fill, way more than a single serving, so keep that in mind.

A shot changes. It depends on the bar you are at; depends on the shot glass you have it home. Measure it out so that you can actually see what an ounce is. It is pretty small. So most of the time when you go to a bar and getting a drink you are actually getting a double shot. You are usually getting about 2 ounces worth. That is something to really keep in mind. Different people are affected by alcohol at different levels. So you are going to need to look at how it affects your biochemistry. Know that the grain alcohol, the one that is straight alcohol, is going to go straight to your blood stream a lot faster than if you are having that 10 ounces of Guiness.

We mentioned that the legal BAC limit in California is 0.08%, yet many people are drunk well before this limit. If a cop pulls a person over and they blow a 0.05%, they can and will still arrest them for a DUI, especially if they do not appear coherent and alert enough to drive safely. There is never a good reason to drink and drive. The risks are far too dangerous for this person and others on the road. At the same time, even if a person is not driving and is relying on a designated sober driver, they should still know when to stop drinking.


Alcohol lowers inhibitions and the ability to make safe and sound decisions. People put themselves at risk and vulnerability when they drink. It is just a precaution to know how much is too much.


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Dear Drones: The Sky is Not the Limit

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When it comes to drones, the sky is not the limit anymore. In fact, it has not been for quite some time now. The discussion of drone usage and laws has largely died down, but we think it is appropriate to revisit and go over the laws again. This even more important now that we are approaching fire season again. A few weeks ago a brush fire broke out in Riverside; the firefighters had to temporarily halt their aircraft, to spray water from the air, because of drones in the area. To avoid having to stall emergencies like these, there are certain drone usage rules set in place for both commercial and private usage.

Some laws overlap, while others apply to one or the other.

  • Drones must be registered with the FAA.
  • Drones must be flying within eyesight at all times, may not fly higher than 400 feet, and may not fly faster than 100 mph.
  • Drones may only be used during the day.
  • Unless given permission, a drone may not be flown over other individuals and their private property.
  • If a drone is carrying a package, the combined weight of the package and the drone must be under 55 pounds.
  • People need a pilot’s license to fly a commercial drone or have passed an aeronautical knowledge test and a background check at an FAA-approved facility.
  • If a business sees the need to use their drone in ways that would go against the standard regulations, they may apply for a waiver from the FAA.
  • Drones may not fly near airports and must not interfere with manned aircraft operations such as police or fire helicopters that are in active duty.

There are other rules and regulations for drone flying, in addition to those mentioned above. Anyone caught violating any of the laws will generally face a misdemeanor and the fine can be a few hundred to a few thousand, depending on the situation. Consequences can get worse if drones are intentionally flown to stall emergency operations, such as the need to put out a spreading wildfire. The longer firefighters are stalled, the bigger the fire gets, the more damage it does, and more resources are wasted.


Simply put: the sky is not the limit when it comes to drone usage.


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The Very Serious Consequences of Hazing

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Hazing is an initiation ritual or practice that happens most notoriously with college fraternities, school sports teams, or other clubs and organizations. In order for prospective members to be initiated into the fraternity, the existing members will have them complete certain tasks that are humiliating and sometimes dangerous. At times, the prospective members will also have to drink copious amounts of alcohol. If they fail to complete the tasks, they will lose their chance to become a part of the organization.

Hazing officially became a crime in California in 2006 when a 21 year old college student died at California State University, Chico after being forced to drink huge amounts of water and perform many tiring exercises in the cold. At the same time, the fraternity members were dousing him with water. There have been numerous hazing crimes since then, and a more recent one that has caught national news is the death of a young man at Penn State. The man, who’s BAC at the time of his death was well over the legal limit, fell down stairs. For the next 12 hours, he was in and out of consciousness and constantly falling over and hitting his head. Fraternity members neglected to call 911. Instead they continued to shrug off the possibility that he needed medical attention. 18 members of the fraternity are being charged with multiple penalties and the fraternity has been banned from the university.

In California, a person can be charged with a misdemeanor or felony if hazing resulted in serious injury or death. The charge will be determined based on the facts of the case and the defendant’s criminal history. If it is a misdemeanor, the defendant faces up to 1 year in jail. If it is a felony, the defendant faces up to 3 years in prison. If a defendant is charged with additional related crimes like forced sexual penetration, and assault and battery, they can get extra time in jail tacked on.

In addition to legal consequences, the defendant faces other consequences like getting expelled from school, getting their fraternity banned from the university, damaging their reputation, severing relationships with friends, and damaging their conscience knowing they participated in events that led to someone’s serious injuries or death.

Hazing is not condoned on college campuses in California or the rest of the United States. It is illegal here and in the majority of other states. If you see it happening, speak up to the authorities before someone else, even yourself, gets seriously hurt or in trouble.


You can save a life of a victim and the life of someone who would otherwise face very harsh consequences.


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How Much is 1 Serving of Alcohol?

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The countdown to summer break has begun, leaving students and families eager to get away from school and work in order to have some fun. These long hot days and warm nights bring some of the best memories each year. Admittedly, alcohol has a big part in that because it allows everyone to relax and loosen up. Moreover, if there is no work, school, or another obligation to attend to the next morning, the alcohol will keep flowing. With that being said, the alcohol consumption should only go so far. Each individual should know when to say no to a drink.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in California is 0.08%. It does not take the same amount of drinks for everyone to reach that level. How much alcohol has an effect on someone depends on a large number of factors. Person A can have 3 drinks, be at 0.04%, and feel extremely drunk. Meanwhile Person B can have 5 drinks, be at 0.07% and still be much more coherent and aware than Person A.

BAC can depend on gender, body weight and build, the number of drinks consumed, the types of drinks consumed, whether or not a person has eaten, any medications they might be taking, and more. Generally, women feel the effects of alcohol much faster than men, and smaller body types will feel the effects faster than bigger body types will. If a person has food in their stomach, that will help soak up some alcohol. Conversely, if they are drinking on an empty stomach, they will get drunk faster.

When it comes to determining what 1 serving of alcohol means, it depends on the type of drink you want to look at. As a general rule, 1 serving of alcohol equals 1 oz. of 100 proof liquor, a 12 oz. beer, or 4 oz. wine. A 12 oz. beer is much more liquid volume than a glass of wine, but the servings are considered equal. 3 glasses of 4 oz. wine each, 12 oz. total, is theoretically 3 times the serving of a 12 oz. beer.

We mentioned that the legal BAC limit in California is 0.08%, yet many people are drunk well before this limit. If a cop pulls a person over and they blow a 0.05%, they can and will still arrest them for a DUI, especially if they do not appear coherent and alert enough to drive safely. There is never a good reason to drink and drive. The risks are far too dangerous for this person and others on the road. At the same time, even if a person is not driving and is relying on a designated sober driver, they should still know when to stop drinking.


Alcohol lowers inhibitions and the ability to make safe and sound decisions. People put themselves at risk and vulnerability when they drink. It is just a precaution to know how much is too much.