Posts by Karen

The Life of a Landscaper

Posted By on Oct 31, 2017

There are so many advantages, and only a few disadvantages, to being a landscaper.  To begin, let’s start with the advantages.  I am one of the healthiest people that I, or anyone else that I am acquainted with, know, living and/or dead.  I attribute my uber healthy mind and athlete’s body to always being outside, all day and every day.  The fresh air is good for plants, animals, even humans.  We were not meant to live indoors, but to be outside and one with nature as the Almighty intended for us to be.  

Working outside builds character, just like my father always taught.  My dad is the smartest man I know, or probably will ever know.  As kids, we were always outside, even when it was hot enough to grill a steak on the driveway or cold enough to reenact the ice licking scene from A Christmas Story.  This helped mold me into the perfect image of physical health that I am today. Unfortunately, as I become older, I’ve started to be a source of recommendations rather than the person for the job.

If you’re in Chicago, there is one team I cannot recommend more, and that is the Chicago Landscapers of Ware Landscaping

Working outside builds both physical strength and a sense of mental endurance.  It pains me that I cannot come to my friends and neighbor’s aid when they need the help of a passionate landscaper.  Physical strength comes from knowing that I can still lift anything that I need to, and mental endurance comes from knowing that I can survive in any situation that life should throw my general direction. Unfortunately, landscaping is just such a time and effort consuming job that I cannot do it day in and day out anymore.   

So I can keep maintenance up in my own yard, and I offer advice and support as I can for my neighbors, but I always turn to someone else now for the heavy lifting and long-term projects. I keep active with my dogs and my friends, but I can’t do any more than that and I’m happy to have retired. I’ve taken up planting as many non-invasive tropical plants as I can possibly fit in my garden, and watching them grow is like having children again. I love the nurturing role that those plants give me and I’m excited to show them off to my friends who come and visit me. I’m finding old age to be a quite pleasant experience, and I attribute it to my time spent as a landscaper and my current attempts to stay in shape.

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Unemployment Rate in Austin Increasing

Posted By on Sep 20, 2017

Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation due to its burgeoning tech scene, rich local history, relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities, an abundance of music festivals, a unique food scene, and so much more. With hundreds of new Austinites flooding the city every day, it makes sense to worry about whether local businesses will be able to keep up with all of the new demand for jobs. The unemployment rate in Texas is at an all-time low, but in the last few months Austin’s growth has been slowing down.

According to a recent article on the on the Austin American Statesman website, the unemployment rate in the Austin metro area has gone up for the first time since 2008. Interestingly, the article states the local unemployment rate has risen from 3.2% to 3.4% between August and September on account of people losing their jobs as opposed to new arrivals to the workforce according to data collected by the Texas Workforce Commission. In fact, they found that the labor force contracted by about .5% because companies are cutting back the number of jobs available. This is also the first time since 2000 that companies have cut back jobs to this degree. The two industries most responsible for this decline are the public sector, which cut back 2,100 jobs, and the tech industry, which cut 1,700. However, these were offset by an increase in education sector jobs and restaurant industry jobs. When looking at the entire year there is still overall growth, but it looks like it may be the slowest growth that Austin has experienced since the Great Recession.

Any time there is an article that claims the unemployment rate is increasing, it tends to cause people to panic. However, the numbers for Austin actually look excellent. An unemployment rate of 4% is typically considered to be full employment, and when unemployment dips below that companies will find it difficult to keep expanding and find workers to fill all of their positions. Some local employment agencies like WorkSTEPS in Austin can help companies find competent workers they know will be reliable, but when unemployment is this low, it will still be difficult to push for ever-increasing growth.

Because the city of Austin is still expected to experience overall job growth for the year, and because the unemployment rate is still incredibly low, there is little cause to worry that there will not be enough jobs to go around. Continuously expanding growth is never sustainable, so it is only natural that as Austin gets more popular and the cost of living rises that the rush of people into the area will slow down. A local Austinite will still try to convince you to move elsewhere, but this is definitely a city that will still continue to accommodate more residents as far as employment is concerned, even if the infrastructure cannot keep up.

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Pennsylvania Dog Bite Accident

Posted By on Aug 5, 2017

Dogs are typically seen as man’s best friend. They are exceedingly loyal and loving creatures, and they make a great addition to any home. However, all owners are responsible for knowing their dog’s personality and training appropriate behaviors in any situation. Despite years of domestication, dog’s are still animals, with their own ability to make decisions and react rashly to any situation. It is essential that owners take the time necessary to fully understand their dog’s needs and to ensure that they protect their pet and nearby people from stressful situations that may lead to a serious dog bite. When owners neglect these duties, serious accidents can occur that can change a person’s life permanently. Just ask the parents of Kaydence Jakubowski, a 4-year old girl who was mauled by a large dog.

In July of 2017, Kaydence and her family were enjoying themselves at a party with good friends, when a large Akita got loose from its kennel and attacked the young girl. Both the family and the owners believe this to be an entirely unprovoked attack, but the dog is facing euthanasia as a result. Kaydence’s parents rushed her to a nearby hospital in Plains Township, Pennsylvania with significant facial and neck wounds. Although she was released that night with a few stitches and antibiotics, the injuries were far worse than the doctor’s originally realized. The next day Kaydence was unable to walk as a result of her injuries, and she was rushed to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia after suffering a stroke. Kaydence is still at CHOP in critical condition fighting a blood clot near her brain stem and a carotid artery aneurysm. As a result of this accident, the right side of her body is paralyzed, and there is a puncture in her vocal chords which may affect her ability to speak. The owner of the dog who attacked is immensely apologetic about the incident. Rather than undergo an investigation under Pennsylvania’s dangerous dog laws, he has decided to euthanize the animal and put the issue to rest.

No one should have to face the terrifying results of a serious dog bite, especially not the parents of a young child. In cases such as this, it is easy to label the dog the creature at fault and even possible to extend this label to a dog breed as a whole. However, we must remember that it is the owner who has the true responsibility for their dog’s actions. Whether it was an inadequate kennel or a lack of supervision that allowed this incident to happen, all of this could have been prevented if the owner took appropriate precautions with their dog.

Although nothing will fully heal a family after a tragedy such as this, at the very least, they can receive some financial assistance to manage the cost of medical bills and other long-term expenses. The Pennsylvania law firm Munley Law states that they are prepared to help individuals who have suffered from a dog bite and require financial compensation. Hopefully, Kaydence and her family will find the lawyer they need to recover after this accident.

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Drowning Accidents

Posted By on Jun 11, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2005-2014, the annual average of non-boating related fatal unintentional drownings in the U.S. was 3,536 (the yearly average of drowning in boating-related incidents for the same years was 332). Drowning, rather than traffic accidents, is the leading cause of accidental death among children below five years old. Swimming pools are the most common places of fatal unintentional drowning for children under five, while the most common places of drowning for adults older than 85 and children under age 1 are bath tubs and, for older children and younger adults, common places of drowning are rivers, lakes, oceans and other types of natural bodies of water.

There are many different factors that can cause drowning accidents (children and adults), but the ones most commonly cited are lack of pool barriers that would prevent children from gaining access to the pool area, failure to closely supervise children, lack of basic swimming skills, failure to wear a life jacket while boating, intoxication due to alcohol use, and seizure disorders.

Drowning, in the worst of circumstances, can result in the wrongful death of a loved one, leaving a family mourning. Even in situations where it does not result in fatality, a person who nearly drowns can suffer permanent disabilities due to the repercussions of drowning. This is because non-fatal drownings can cause injuries which are serious enough to alter a person’s life. One example of a non-fatal drowning injury is severe brain damage which can lead to long-term disabilities, like permanent loss of basic functioning (wherein a person ends up in a vegetative state), memory problems, or learning disabilities.

In public pools or resorts many fatal drowning accidents occur due to the fault of the person who owns or manages the resort. An owner’s or manager’s lack of initiative to have lifeguards, allow pool drains to remain uncovered, and allow the installation of  poorly designed pool safety features are just a few of the factors that increase the risk of drowning accidents. A person whose action or lack of action leads to a drowning accident makes that person accountable for the harm suffered by a victim; he or she may also be held legally accountable and be required to compensate the victim (and his or her family) for whatever damages such victim has been made to suffer.

As explained by a Boston personal injury lawyer, due to their lack of experience and inherent physical vulnerabilities, children are much more prone than others to suffer serious injuries in the case of an accident. Whether in a car accident, on an unsafe premise, or from negligent supervision, the irresponsible actions of other people have the potential to cause great harm to children in particular.

Your child should not suffer from someone else’s negligent actions. Regardless of the injury, your family is entitled to legal action to help your child recover. Thus, if your child has sustained an injury through the fault of someone else, know that there will always be a legal team that can help you hold negligent supervisors, irresponsible drivers, or anyone else responsible for your child’s injury, financially accountable.


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Impairment is the primary reason why drunk-driving is considered a major traffic offense. It makes a person less sober, resulting to slower reflexes. Besides this, impairment also affects a person’s judgment, perception, coordination, reaction time and general ability to focus on the road.

In 2013, as many as 1,171,935 individuals were arrested and charged with DUI in the U.S. In 2010, the number of arrests went as high as 1.4 million, based on records from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With these huge figures it may be considered a relief that only a little above 10,000 die in car accidents due to alcohol impairment. Authorities attribute the reduction of alcohol-impaired drivers to stricter laws, the zeal of traffic enforcers in implementing these laws, and the efforts of private groups, such as the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) which, since 1980, has helped in the passing of new DUI laws, like the Zero Tolerance law that prohibits those below 21 from having in their blood system any measurable amount of alcohol while driving, and the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) law, which authorizes an arresting officer to confiscate the license of drivers who refuse to take or fail a breath test.

In some states, the charge imputed on impaired or drunk drivers can be driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). However, in states where these acronyms are used separately, DWI refers to intoxication due to alcohol, while DUI refers to being under the influence either of alcohol or prohibited drugs.

In all US states, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher is a crime (the BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%, while for those below the age of 21, it is zero tolerance, meaning they can be charged with DUI or DWI no matter how low the level of BAC in their blood is). First offenders are usually charged with a misdemeanor, granted that no one was injured or killed while driving under the influence. In such case killing or injuring someone, or if the BAC level was higher than 0.08% or if the offense were already the third or fourth violation, then the charge would be raised to something more serious: DWI felony or DUI felony.

In alcohol-impaired driving cases, drivers who are suspected of driving while intoxicated can be pulled over by police officers and asked to take a breath-screening test, also known as the Alco-Sensor test – the purpose of which is to determine the possible presence of alcohol in a driver’s breath. A positive result can lead to an arrest and once a driver has been taken to a precinct, he/she will be required to undergo a second test, which is a chemical test of his/her saliva, urine, blood and/or breath (using an instrument like the AlcoTest, Intoxilyzer, DataMaster or Breathalyzer) to determine his/her BAC level. Refusal or failure to submit to this second test can result to revocation or suspension of his/her license – this is based on administrative license suspension laws from his/her state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). (Submitting oneself to a chemical test, if suspected of driving while intoxicated, is one of the conditions of licensure as stipulated by the DMV. Thus, a license implies that a driver has implicitly consented to the chemical test that is required by DMV). Administrative license suspension laws are observed in the District of Columbia and in 41 other US states.

If convicted of DWI or DUI, a driver may also be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in his/her vehicle. The IID device is wired to a vehicle’s ignition; it will require the driver’s breath sample and will only enable the engine to start if no alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. The device also requires periodic breath tests (while the vehicle is being driven) to make sure that the driver is continuously free from the influence of alcohol.

Furthermore, the court may require DUI or DWI offenders to fill out an SR-22 or Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form (also known as FR-44 in some states) to enable them to enjoy their driving privileges again (this is if their license has been suspended). This requirement usually lasts for three years and one effect of this is higher vehicle liability insurance premiums.

Camden DUI attorneys explain that “Many people, who are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), often claim that they have only had a few drinks or that they are not intoxicated, despite what a breathalyzer may say. Unfortunately, these common excuses do not often hold up in a court of law.

Alcohol-related charges have serious consequences, and a conviction for such a crime can dramatically affect you for the rest of your life. Thus, if you have been charged with a DUI, it may be best to call a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to start preparing a valid legal defense that will save you from further legal problems.”

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