New Years Resolutions for 2017

Healthy and Happy New Year’s Resolutions

December 5, 2016

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Who among us has never made a New Year’s resolution? Who among us has kept their New Year’s resolution for more than a few weeks?

1.     Yes, it’s that time of the year when we begin to realize that the New Year is almost upon us.

It’s time to think about improving the quality of our life. According to, there are a number of ways to be healthier and happier in the New Year. We looked at a few from their list, and also added some of our own. And, so no one gets overwhelmed, we thought it best to focus on a handful of resolution suggestions instead of a long list that will only serve to overwhelm us before we ring in the New Year.

2.     What’s among the most popular resolutions of all time? Yes, you got it if you said “go on a diet.”

 Health for New Years Resolution

We’re not going to use that word. Instead, think about enlisting a buddy to adopt a new-to-you healthy habit, such as walking after dinner, taking a yoga class or trying a new sport, such as kayaking, tennis or cycling. The secret of success? Keep doing it! Studies have shown that less than half of us keep our resolutions for more than six months. In addition to trying a new activity that will ultimately help with weight loss, enroll in a cooking class at the local co-op for new ways to prepare vegetables, tasty, healthy soups or baking whole wheat bread. Remember, your journey begins with that first step….

3.     Quit Smoking!

It’s hard for most of us to believe that people still smoke today. It’s deadly, it’s expensive and it stinks. There. We said what everyone thinks. If you smoke, there are more ways to quit today than ever before: hypnotism, drugs, counseling, holistic aids and faith-based smoking cessation programs. There’s bound to be one for you, but you’ll never know unless you give it a shot.

4.     Reduce Stress

Let’s be real here: we all have stress. A former boss, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a tough cookie, once said “Hell, if we didn’t have stress we wouldn’t get up in the morning.” So true. There are myriad ways to reduce stress, and many of those ways are right under our nose: exercise, reading, napping, a vacation or getaway weekend, a new hobby. Reducing stress can be lifesaving, as stress brings on obesity, alcoholism, sleeplessness, headaches, muscle aches…you get the picture. Add one of our suggested stress reducers, and see your quality of life improve.

5.     Go Back To School

Yes, we mean you! A woman once wrote to a renowned advice columnist. She was 50, her kids were off to college, her husband had a great career and she longed to complete her education at the local veterinary school, a dream she had since she was a child. She wrote to the columnist and asked if she was too old to realize her dream. Too old? The columnist replied “Of course not! What if you write to me when you’re 60 and you still long to be a vet? What then?” The woman went back to veterinary school, got her DVM degree and became a country vet dedicated to farm animals, starting in her mid-50s. She thanked the columnist profusely, sharing how elated she was with her new career, a dream realized all because she followed her dreams and threw out the adage of being too old…. A quilting class, a class in oil painting, English literature, a new program in graphic design, you will be learning something new and fulfilling. Studies show that those who continually learn help to keep Alzheimer’s away. Go ahead. Sign up today. And enjoy!

6.     Friendships are Treasures

Holiday Hugs

How many of us were in scouting? I remember the campfire song about friends. It had the verse “make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.” I’ve never forgotten it. Send a Christmas card to someone you haven’t reached out to in years. Plan a dinner reunion for the board of directors you sat on five years ago of that favorite local charity dedicated to homeless veterans. Have an open house the week after Christmas and invite 25 people in your profession you’d love to connect with before the New Year. Research shows that those of us who have strong social ties live longer than those who do not. Go ahead. Use Facebook and LinkedIn to find missing connections today.

And, have a healthy and happy Holiday Season and New Year!

Family sitting around thanksgiving table

Holiday Safety Tips for Your Family

November 17, 2016

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Before we know it, we’ll be sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, enjoying the company of family and friends and giving thanks for our many blessings. As we anticipate the festivities of the most wonderful time of the year, let us be mindful of holiday safety in the home. The National Safety Council offers the following tips to ensure that your home is a safe destination for holiday celebrations.

Holiday Safety In the Kitchen

  • As you prepare meals, wash hands, utensils, the sink and anything that touches raw meat.
  • Leftovers are safe for four days in the refrigerator. Reheat leftovers to at least 165F.
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. Here are some handy fire safety tips from the US Fire Administration:

Christmas Tree Safety

  • Never use lighted candles near trees or boughs.
  • Never leave candles unattended.
  • Keep trees away from fireplaces, radiators and all sources of heat.
  • If your tree is artificial, make sure that it is labeled “fire resistant.”
  • If your tree is natural, make sure it is well watered.
  • Make sure your tree has a stable platform.
  • Check holiday lights for fraying, bare spots or excessive kinking in the wire.
  • Turn off all tree lights and decorations when not in use.
  • Use a step stool or ladder to reach high places when putting up decorations.

Keep the Furry Family Members Safe, Too!Bulldog dressed in sweater for Christmas

While it is tempting to share your holiday feasts with the family cat and dog, know that there are many unhealthy and even dangerous foods for them during the holidays.

  • Candy can be deadly. In fact, chocolate can be fatal to pets if ingested.
  • Fatty leftovers, such as gravy, meat bones and drippings, can cause internal injury, upset tummies, diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Be careful with the bones, please! Although doggies love them, cooked bones are dangerous and can cause intestinal upset and may even splinter.

What can you share with your beloved pets? If you do share holiday leftovers, the following, in small portions, are a safe bet for cats and dogs:

  • Skinless and boneless cooked turkey
  • Steamed, plain green beans
  • Plain carrots
  • Plain, mashed sweet potato or pumpkin

For more information, visit and for pet safety tips.
Be safe, and enjoy every moment of this wonderful time of the year!


Driving is One Area Where You Don’t Want to Earn Points

October 19, 2016

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In today’s world of credit card points, air travel points, hotel miles and grocery store points, earning points is good. In the world of driving, earning points is not good. In fact, earning points when you are not driving safely and wisely can cause you to lose your driver license.

The California State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) maintains records of all traffic convictions and accidents. And, each traffic violation and/or accident is assigned a point on your driving record. You can get from one to two points for a traffic ticket and one point for an accident.

For example, running a red light, a speeding ticket or having an at-fault accident will earn one point on your driving record. A conviction for a hit-and-run, driving under the influence or driving with a suspended license will earn two points on your driving record.

A driving record is public information in California, and you may request a copy of your own record by submitting a Request for Record Information (INF 70) on the DMV website. DMV monitors the driving records of all Californians, and will take action when a traffic conviction or accident occurs.

DMV Form INF 70

DMV Form INF 70

Points on your driving record can determine how much you pay for car insurance, influence your chance at securing or keeping your job and impact your driving privileges in California. A Class C (regular driving license) negligent operator of a motor vehicle may have his driving privileges suspended, placed on probation or revoked.

Vehicle Code Section 12810.5 (a) defines a negligent operator as having:

  • 4 or more points in 12 months.
  • 6 points in 24 months, or
  • 8 points in 36 months.

Also, if you get a violation while operating a vehicle with a Class A or Class B license is 1 ½ times the regular point value.

If you are under 18 years old and have a provisional driving license the DMV is stricter. Here’s a sampling of actions the DMV takes on drivers under 18:

  • For an “at fault” accident or conviction within 12 months, DMV will issue a warning letter.
  • If a second “at fault” accident or conviction occurs (or a combination of both) within 12 months, you are not allowed to drive for 30 days unless accompanied by a parent or other licensed adult who is at least 25 years old.
  • Should a third “at fault” accident or conviction take place (or a combination of both) within 12 months, your driver license will be suspended for six months and you will be placed on probation for one year.
  • Additional “at fault” accidents or point-count convictions while your driver license is on probation will be cause for suspension again.
  • Traffic law violations that are resolved in Juvenile Court are also reported to DMV.
  • If you get a traffic ticket and fail to pay the fine, DMV will suspend your driver license until the fine is paid.


One Point Count California Vehicle Code Violations

Section Violation
2800 Disobedience to traffic officer
2800.1 Evading peace officer
2801 Disobedience to fire official
2803, 2803a, 2803b, 2803c Unsafe vehicle load
2815 Disregarding non-student crossing guard
2816 Youth bus/children crossing highway
2817 Disregarding funeral escort officer
2818 Crossing safety flares/cones
14603 Violation of license restrictions
21100.3 Disregarding traffic officer’s directions
21209, 21209a Driving in bicycle lane
21367, 21367a, 21367b, 21367c Disobedience to traffic signs/controller
21451, 21451a, 21451b Illegal movement/green light/arrow
21452, 21452a Illegal movement/yellow light/arrow
21453, 21453a, 21453b, 21453c Illegal movement/red/light/arrow
21454, 21454a – d, 21455 Traffic signals
21457, 21457a, 21457b Disobedience to flashing signals
21460a, 21460b Double lines/one broken line
21460.5c Use of two-way left turn lane
21461, 21461a, 21462 Disobedience to traffic control device
21650, 21650a – f Keep right
21651, 21651a Crossing divided highway
21652 Entering highway from service road
21654, 21654a, 21654b, 21655, 21655b Lane use/slow moving vehicle
21655.8 High-occupancy vehicle lane/entering/exiting
21656 – 21662, 21662a, 21662b Improper lane use
21663 Driving on sidewalk
21664 Freeway ramp/entering/exiting
21700 Load obstructing driver’s view
21701 Interfering with driver’s control of vehicle
21702, 21702a, 21702b Driving hours limitation
21703, 21704, 21704a, 21705, 21706 Following too closely
21707 Driving in fire area
21709 Driving in safety zone
21711 Towed vehicle swerving
21712, 21712a, 21712d, 21712f, 21715, 21715a, 21715b Unlawful riding/towing
21717 Turning across bicycle lane
21750 – 21757, 21758, 21759 Illegal passing
21800 – 21804, 21804a, 21804b Right-of-way
21805, 21805b Yielding right-of-way to horseback rider
21806, 21806a Yielding right-of-way to emergency vehicle
21807 Unsafe operation of emergency vehicle
21950, 21950a, 21951, 21952 Yielding right-of-way to pedestrian
21954, 21954b Due care for pedestrian on roadway
21960a Prohibited use of freeway
21963 Yielding right-of-way to blind pedestrian
22100 – 22105 Turning and U-turns
22106 Unsafe starting/backing of vehicle
22107 – 22111, 22111a, 22111b, 22111c Signaling turns and stops
22112, 22112a School bus signaling
22348, 22348a, 22348c Speed/use of designated lanes
22349, 22349.5 Maximum speed
22350, 22351, 22352, 22352a, 22352b Basic/prima facie speed limit
22354, 22355 Exceeding posted/freeway speed limit
22356, 22356b Maximum speed 70 mph
22357, 22358.4 Speed in excess of local limits
22359, 22360, 22361 Speed in excess of local limits
22362 Speed/construction zone
22363 Restricted speed/weather conditions
22364 Speed/traffic lanes
22400, 22400a, 22400b Driving too slow
22405, 22405a Speed/bridge/tunnel
22406, 22407 Maximum designated vehicle speed
22409, 22410 Speed/solid/metal tires
22413 Speed limit on grades
22450, 22451, 22452, 22452a, 22452b Stop required/railroad crossing
22454 Stop for school bus
23109, 23109b, 23109d Speed contest/aiding or abetting
23116, 23116a Transporting person in truck load space
23127 Driving on trails and paths
23220 Drinking while driving
23222, 23222a, 23222b Marijuana or open container/driving
23235 Ignition interlock verification
23244, 23244b Defeating ignition interlock device
23253 Disobedience to toll highway officer
23270, 23270a Unauthorized towing
23330, 23330c Width/load of vehicle at crossing
23336 Disobedience to sign/vehicle crossing
24002, 24002a, 24002b Unsafe/unlawfully equipped vehicle
24004 Operation after notice by officer
24250 Lighting equipment
24409, 24409a, 24409b Failure to dim lights
24604 Lamps/flag for extended load
25103, 25103a, 25103b Lamps on projecting load
26301, 26302, 26302a, 26302b, 26302c Brakes
26303, 26304, 26304a, 26304b Brakes/combination vehicles
26307 Forklift truck brakes
26311, 26311a, 26311b, 26311c All wheel service brakes
26456, 26457 Brakes/stopping distance
26458, 26458a, 26458.5 Braking system/towing vehicles
26502a Adjustment/use of air brakes
26503 – 26506, 26506a, 26507 Airbrake system
26508, 26508a – c, 26508e – k, 26508o Emergency stopping system
26520, 26521, 26522 Vacuum brakes
27360, 27360a – c, 27360.5, 27360a – c Child Passenger restraint
27363, 27363b Child seat belt
27800, 27801, 27801a, 27801b Motorcycle/passengers and equipment
29001, 29002 Fifth wheel connecting/locking device
29003a, 29003b, 29003c Hitch and coupling device
29004, 29004a – c, 29006, 29006a Towed vehicle coupling
29201 Pole dolly/load and length
31301, 31301a Caldecott tunnel restrictions
31303, 31303b, 31303c, 31303e Hazardous waste transportation
31402 Farm labor vehicle/unsafe operation
31540, 31504b Removable containers/regulations
31614, 31614a, 3164b, 31614d – f 31614h, 31614i Explosives transportation
32104, 32104a, 32104b, 32105, 32105a, 32105c-e Inhalation hazard transportation
32106, 32106a – d Inhalation hazard transportation
34102 Tank vehicle regulations
34501.2, 34501a, 34501c Driving hours limitations
34506, 34506a – g Driving hours, equipment, maintenance, operation
34506.3 Safety regulation violation
34509, 34509c, 34509d Vanpool vehicle maintenance inspection
35784, 35784a, 35784b Violation of special permit
35784.5, 35784a, 35784b Extralegal load/weight
36400 Lift-carrier/speed
36705 Bale wagon load width during darkness


Two Point Count California Vehicle Code Violations

Section Violation
2800.2, 2800.3 Evading peace officer/reckless driving
14601, 14601a,14601 b, 14601.1- 14601.4 Driving while suspended/revoked
14601.5 Driving, suspended/revoked for refusing test
20001, 20001a 20002, 20002a, 20002b Hit and run/injury/property damage
21651b Driving wrong side/divided highway
22348b Speed over 100 MPH
23103, 23103a,23103 b Reckless driving
23104, 23104a Reckless driving/causing bodily injury
23109a, 23109c Speed contest /exhibition of speed
23140, 23140a, 23140b Minor driving with BAC of 0.05% or more
23152, 23152a-d DUI/alcoholic beverage or drugs
23153, 23153a-d DUI/causing bodily injury or death
31602, 31602a, 31602b, 31602c Explosives transportation


Two Point Count Out of State Violations

Section Violation Section Violation
02 Speed contest/aiding or abetting 38 DUI/dangerous drugs not narcotics
15 Reckless driving 46 Manslaughter without gross negligence
16 Reckless driving/injury 47 Manslaughter with gross negligence
17 Drunk driving 81 DUI/BAC 0.04% or more/commercial vehicle
18 Drunk driving/injury 82 DUI/commercial vehicle
19 Hit and run 84 DUI/controlled substance/commercial vehicle
20 Driving while suspended or revoked 85 Hit and run/commercial vehicle
37 DUI/narcotics 89-90 Reckless driving/commercial vehicle

Source for DMV Point Count:

Drive smart.

Sacramento Driving in Rain

Drive Safe in Bad Weather

October 15, 2016

The weekend is here and it’s a wet one. We all need to take some measure to be safe drivers in bad weather. It would be a wise decision to set aside a little time to insure that your car is bad-weather ready. The California Highway Patrol recommends that drivers in the Golden State check the following before driving in bad weather:

Bad Weather Checklist:

• Do your tires have plenty of tread?
• Are your windshield wipers in good condition?
• Is your windshield wiper fluid container full?
• Is your gas tank full?
• Is the defroster working?
• Are the muffler and exhaust in good condition?
• Is there antifreeze in the radiator?
A little bit of time spent checking your car this weekend can mean the difference between a good driving experience in bad weather or an accident. Be safe, not sorry.

For more information on bad weather driving, see:

Up-to- the-Minute Road Conditions

In today’s cell phone world, we often overlook the other tried-and- true ways that still offer reliable and solid information at our fingertips.

The California Highway Patrol has offered road information for decades to Californians who call the toll-free line 24/7 from California telephones: 1-800- 427-7623. If you are outside California and need California road information, call 1-916- 445-1534. And, if you are planning a drive to Nevada, you can get the latest road information at 1-877- 687-6237.

Information on weather is also available on the web: and