Accessibility for aging citizens- what cities need to do

Handicapped parking space

Older persons come across challenges (increasing) due to the changes they go through due to their age like sensory changes. In a city that is supposed to be age-friendly services, community policies and structures associated with the environment (physical and social) are specifically made to sustain and enable the older persons to age in an active manner.

This includes living in a secure place, good health and ensure full participation in society. Service providers who are age-friendly, public officials, faith leaders, business people and community leaders do the following:

  • Identify the diversity (great) amongst older people
  • Support presence and influence in all community life areas
  • Respect the decisions older persons make and their choices of lifestyle
  • Respond and react flexibly to needs that are related to the ageing community needs and likings

Characteristics of an age-friendly city

The cornerstone of a successful age-friendly city is access to everything and anything that interest older persons

Increasing accessibility and efficacy may also mean an environment that is healthier and also greener by decreasing carbon footprint, developments that are transit-oriented which integrates accessibility and efficacy to building projects (new). The theory of developments that are transit-oriented is very easy: position new, residential (high-density) and multi-purpose developments near hubs (transit) to the advantage of pedestrians and other persons who do not own cars like people who use public transport.

Equitable access to neighborhoods that are healthy and coming up with recreational resources and fresh foods sourced locally within a short time and can reach about 75 % of residents.  Accessible food which is basically the heart of all concerns of accessibility for the aged. Insecurity about food affects everyone, whether poor or rich or people who have issues accessing the city or have issues with their health.

Besides the coming “handicapped” parking, it’s also critical that both public transportation and private transportation be accessible.  Furthermore, opportunities  like civic, educational, cultural and voluntary engagements;  Locations and programs for leisure (active) and making friends, interior and exterior spaces that do not have any barriers for older persons, and senior citizens should have ample access to mobility assistance products (i.e. Uplifting Mobility).

Additional Issues

Additional issues that should be addressed by both the government and society include:

  • Programs and details that boost health spiritual and social well-being
  • Outreach and promotion socially
  • Health services that are easily accessible and appropriate
  • Services that help with chores in the household and maintenance in the house
  • Offers support to caregivers
  • Professional services and stores that are easily accessible
  • Neighborhoods that are supportive
  • Safe from victimization (criminal) and abuse
  • Information for the public and training that is appropriate
  • Plans for emergency and disaster recovery
  • Employment opportunities that are accessible and appropriate for the older persons

Basically, for a city to be age-friendly, it needs to meet the need required by the older persons like good health and access to basic needs.  It’s something that we’d all want for our parents and grandparents, so we should want it for our neighbors as well.

Moving to Parkersburg, WV? Here’s what you need to know

Welcome to Parkersburg WV

If you are planning to move to Parkersburg, WV alone or with your family either for work purposes or studies then it is important to gather all the information so that the entire process can be smooth and stress free.  If you are moving, here’s what you need to know so that the relocation can be done without any kind of issues and you will have an amazing experience in this new place. The best part of living here is that there are ample of job opportunities that are available for you so that you will not have to be concerned about earning a living for yourself and your family.

Parkersburg, WV is a mountainous place in eastern United States which is known for its Appalachian traditions and heritage as well as its well maintained infrastructure. This place is also popular for its autumnal beauty as you are sure to be swept away by the beauty of this place and enjoy the different sports of this place including mountain biking which is an extreme sport of this place.

Moving? Keep these tips in mind…

The most important thing that you will need to do is to look for a professional moving company that will make the entire relocation process easy and smooth for you. The company that you select should be experienced and reliable so that it can service your move requirement in an effective manner and for this you will need to contact several companies and ask for their quotation so that you can select the most cost effective option.

Vet Your Moving Company

Getting moving quotes is very important after which you need to opt for a company and enter into a contract for moving all your belongings to a new place. Moving companies can be of great help to you as the professionals of the company is responsible for packing all your belongings in an excellent manner so that you will not have to worry about its damage.

Keep in mind the length of the trip.  If you are moving from California, you’ll need a company that handles long distance moves.  If you are keeping it within a smaller radius, you can settle for a more local company.

The professionals will offer you complete peace of mind as all your relocating needs will be taken care of and you will not have to worry about anything. Planning ahead is very important if you want to experience a safe as well as stress free move which also include mapping your route carefully so that you do not get distracted from the main road. You should plan moving to Parkersburg, WV on a weekend so that you will not have to face traffic and the roads will be quiet and uncongested.

Know the Local Parking Laws

This isn’t just important in Parkersburg (in fact we are pretty good about parking restrictions), it’s a big tip to keep in mind for all cities.  Another important thing that you will have to pay attention to is the street cleaning schedules as well as local parking restrictions so that your journey can be stress free and you will not have any kind of concern. If you are looking for safest roads and best access then you should consider travelling on the highways as it will help you reach your destination within a short span of time and there will not be any delays.

, ,

This Weeks Citizens Tip – Picking a Home Contractor For the Stubborn DIYer

Frustrated Home Improvement Contractor

Parkersburg is filled with handymen.  The number of pickup trucks and toolboxes might outnumber the people.  Sometimes we can get a little too stubborn on doing something ourselves, and forget to that it might be best to go with a professional.  here are some tips on when to go it alone, versus getting a specialist for that home improvement project.

DIY Versus Contractors

Whenever you want to do, or are planning a home improvement project, you are going to have two options – either do it your self, or hire a contractor. Generally, there are some jobs that DIY enthusiasts can do on their own, and some that are just too complex or difficult to do yourself. In those cases, you should hire the job out to a contractor. However, for the stubborn DIYer, who thinks that they can do everything themselves, this can be hard. But if they hire the right contractor, DIYers can hire the job out, while still participating in the renovation.

Communication

The most important thing to consider is how well the contractor communicates. If you want to be fully involved, then you are going to need to hire a contractor who is willing to share with you very regular updates, and let you know everything that is going on. Without the regular updates, you will not feel as if you are a part of the process, and this can be difficult for many people. Communication should be discussed with the contractor before hiring them, to ensure both parties are on the same page.

Skills

Of course, you are going to want to hire a contractor who has the right skills for your job. While this may sound like common sense, some contractors have specialized skills, which cannot be hired out to do any job. However, due to pricing or other factors, they will be hired. Before you go through with paying and hiring a contractor, it is important that you see that they have the skills necessary for your exact job. Because if they don’t have the skills that are needed, why are you paying someone to do a job when they have the same skill levels as you?

Teaching

Not all contractors are going to force you to be detached from the project. Many contractors will guide you step by step through each process that they are going to complete, and some will even teach you how they do their job. For those who want to be able to have the skills necessary to complete more jobs on their own in the future, the expert knowledge of home contractors can be invaluable, especially if they are willing to take the time to teach you how to complete various tasks.

Share Responsibilities

While some home contractors are willing to teach you skills, some will even let you share the responsibilities of completing the job. This of course will depend on whether or not you as the client want to participate in the renovations. But some contractors can give you small tasks that you can complete on your own. This allows you to be a large part of the renovations, as well as learn new skills from an expert. If this is something that you are interested in, you must always ask the contractor before you hire them for their services.

Resources:

http://www.proformanceroofs.com/contractor-services/

See Map:

 

 

Prepare Early for Tax Season with these Accounting Tips

Tax Preparation Forms

The onset of tax season is usually associated with several uncertainties that call for adequate prior preparation. For all accounting professionals, it is paramount to prepare for the tax season early enough so as to avoid such uncertainties. Preparation for tax season is also vital in enabling accounting professionals to sum up annual financial transactions. It is therefore expected that as an accounting professional, you are likely going to engage in a number of operations, which largely depends on the complexities of income sources and expenses. In order to avoid hassles towards the onset of tax season and be able to file the taxes with ease, here are some relevant tips that can guide you to master the taxes as well as prepare early enough for the tax season. You need to:

Understand what can help you most

Whether you trust using traditional paper filing, professional help, accounting software or a combination of two or all of them, be sure of settling for your best. Take factors such as time, budget and skill into consideration. For instance, if you have large volumes of file, you can opt for accounting professional for convenience. Cloud-based software can also update you on any changes in the file tax anytime. If you have a smaller budget, you can choose different tax software for filing solutions that are cost-effective. You can as well ask for help from a skilled and experienced friend.

Check Your Previous Tax Documents

It is possible that most tax preparation methods you are seeking are the same as what you have been doing previously. You can therefore review your existing tax documents to find a good plan to adopt. This will be further advantageous in enabling you realize previous mistakes and avoid them accordingly. It will also be faster and help you to avoid delays. Manage necessary updates and embrace necessary changes that may alter financial structure. This way, your tax filing process will be successful and comfortable.

Update Yourself

Regular updates on current tax regulations can greatly influence overall filing. To avoid penalties, you need to completely do away with older inaccurate older systems and adopt new ones. Regular updates can help avoid all hassles as well as avoiding common errors. You can find best updates on tax regulations from relevant websites. Other news sites and accounting blogs can also offer helpful updates. You can also hire an accountant who is informed and updated to escape a lot of research work.

Beware of Frauds

It is important to be aware of possibilities of encountering frauds during the tax season. There are several solutions meant to protect taxpayer’s money from fraud. Filing taxes early enough can also help you escape possible incidences of hijacking. Another strategy to avoid fraud cases is to avoid disclosing your tax filing details to anyone any haul. Your devices and documents must be secured all time.

Properly Organize your Documents and Forms

Your forms and documents are important in provision of relevant information required in tax filing. There are plenty of such files that will be necessary depending on a number of reasons. They help to keep things simplified and easy. You can use technology for help by relying on accounting software to store and retrieve the forms as well as store both bills and invoices.  Even better is to utilize the services of a bookkeeper.  Such online bookkeepers, like Xero bookkeeper Surry Hills, are able to organize your spending/info all throughout the year so that when it comes time to file taxes, everything is already prepared. You can also use your software to integrate with bank accounts and payment cards to reduce manual work that is often tedious and painstaking

In a nutshell, the above mentioned tips are beneficial in ensuring adequate preparation for the onset of tax season. These are just but some of numerous tips that can be adopted to ensure good preparation, efficiency and effectiveness. By choosing to follow them accordingly, you are able to avoid confusion, losses and other challenges.

Local Tree Ordinances for Tree Removal and Pruning in West Virginia

Generally it is not a overly to have trees removed from your property. All you need is to call up the professionals (definitely don’t try to do it yourself!) and they take care of the rest. However, there are some states and localities which have certain laws and ordinances around removing trees.  They also have various guides that are needed for helping home owners identify the trees that affect their property, such as our Parkersburg Tree Commission.

One example, in West Virginia it is made very clear that the branches and other remains of the trees are to be removed by the owners only and the state or the city would handle them, even if they fall in the street.  In other states like Michigan, the laws are much different, including regulations over when a homeowner can or can’t remove a tree.  Most often there are requirements that trees must be removed if they are threatening to fall or break.

Here are the the necessary steps for the proper pruning of the trees:

1. It is always advised to use the proper technique for pruning of the trees. It is always better to call in for the specialists and professionals who are equipped with the modern techniques for the pruning.

2. It is best to remove or prune the trees during the latent seasons. It is wise to dismantle the trees in this season because one can remove the dead ends and the branches easily rather than the time when the tree is young.

3. It is necessary to follow the local laws since one gets to know the proper information and better understanding the law as well as the procedure to be followed while removing the trees.

The basic facts which are included while one removes the trees in West Virginia:

Workers in a tree service

Don’t try this at home. Tree services are heavy duty operations that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

According to the local tree Ordinances in West Virginia, there is no such law and regulation which needs to be followed when one wants to remove the trees from the personal property of the people. However, one should check out with the minor regulations which come under the state while one needs to remove the trees.

1. One basic fact is if the property of a person comes under the association of the homeowners then there are certain restrictions for the removal of the trees and vegetation as well. One needs to consult the association and then after taking proper permission from them before they remove the trees.

2. If one is engaged in the growing of timbers in the personal property, this certainly comes under the department of forestry of West Virginia.

3. 2500 square feet of the property should be kept free before one starts cutting down of the trees.

4. The parking zone and the other areas are also being to kept clear and one should take care so that it does not hamper the other residents of the area.

So it is necessary to consult the department of forestry and also keep informed about the local laws before one gets engaged in the cutting the trees.

References:

Tree Removal Denver (http://www.treeremovaldenver.net) – The helpful staff were very responsive to our questions.

Trips for Traveling out of State – Finding Locksmiths and other Services that you might need

Early summer last year, I was traveling with a group of friends for a weekend getaway to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Wee carried all necessary gear we needed to make our visit as comfortable as possible. We arrived late that evening and famished and fatigued from the 300+ mile long drive, to our first rude shock. We had completely forgotten to carry the keys to the cabin! The cabin was in a bad condition. Part of the steel roofing was rusted and prone to leaking in the event rainfall and parts of the wall had gaping holes. After managing to break down the door, we realized that someone had made his way inside the cabin through the gaping holes and vandalized the pantry making away with everything in it. Suddenly it dawned on us that it would be a long night ahead of us due to the sorry state the cabin was in. It was almost dark outside, and dark clouds were settling in.

All said and done, we put our heads together and we able to get everything sorted. Needless to say that despite the setbacks we were able to have a memorable and enjoyable week end.

This experience taught me a few do’s and don’ts to consider while traveling out of state. Let me share a few of these.

Have Your Phone and Charger Handy

GPS System for Car

GPS is crucial nowadays when traveling far from home.

Carry your mobile phone or preferably a smart phone with you. Make sure you have a backup battery or an alternative charging system e.g. a power bank or a solar based charger. Also make sure you have sufficient airtime in case you need to make calls out of state that are affected by roaming charges.

Food and a GPS

Carry sufficient food to last you through the stay or buy some on your way to your destination. This is in case there is no food service available at your destination. Carry a map in case you don’t have a smart phone that has GPS services. It will help you in getting around your area in case you are lost. If you have a smart phone reference to google maps and other map applications to get around.Research in advance on the expected weather during your stay at the cabin.

Good Equipment + Emergency Services

A Locksmith for yrou Automobile

Never know when you might need a locksmith, especially traveling out of state.

This will help you carry the right gear needed to make your stay as comfortable as possible.Make sure your vehicle is well serviced and in good condition. Make sure you have one or two spare tires, an extra can of fuel and all necessary tools needed to change tires and other functions.As you pass by the nearest town, ask at the local diner and gas station for a directory to emergency services. If there is no directory get a contact of a resourceful person that can assist you in case of an emergency. You can take a further step to inform the local sheriff of your arrival and the period of your stay.

This was what actually saved our day. We had to locate a Locksmith Fort Lauderdale that repaired the broken lock and a carpenter who repaired the roof and the walls. He also brought along some food to last the night. Finally make sure you have enough money with you. If you don’t have cash make sure you carry your debit or credit cards for emergency situations.

,

How are West Virginians Sleeping? A look at sleep quality in Apalachia

Sleep Problems

Introduction

Sleeping is a very essential part of our health. when our sleep is disturbed, it can lead a various physiological and psychological disorders.  According to the Centre of Disease Control (CDC), West Virginia is the most sleep-deprived state in the US.  In a 2008 poll conducted on residents of all the US states, west Virginia scored 38.6% of the percentage of residents that had insufficient sleep in a month.

Analysis on how west Virginians are sleeping and a look at the sleep quality in Appalachia:

  • A study showed that west virginians lack of sleep doubled due to health problems like obesity
  • It was also found that the number of health problems and poor medical facilities were high in west Virginia than any other state.
  • It was suggested that 1 in 5 people in west Virginia does not get enough sleep.
  • Experts also suggest that the financial stress and odd-hour work shifts could also play roles in sleep deprivation among Virginia residents.

A recent study was conducted in the heart of Appalachia to answer the as to why this place has more than double the rate of bad sleep than places like Wisconsin.  The researchers did look at a lot of factors ranging from education to income rates to alcohol drinking to physical and mental health.  The study revealed that younger people with low incomes and poor health conditions were more likely to live in place with high rates of bad sleep.

The counties in Appalachia are the most economically distressed in the US which could be the major factor as to why there are high rates of sleep deprived residents unable to get a wonderful night’s sleep.

A combination of health and money worries is keeping the residents of Appalachia awake all night is the current hypothesis.

It is still unclear about the exact cause but there have been a number of sleep centre that have set up to help tackle the problem of sleeplessness.

How to Improve sleep quality in places like Parkersburg:

A lots of factors need to be taken into consideration but the major factors from the study and health and only issues.

1: Government should invest in youth related programs in order to get the youth engaged in work to earn a living.

2: Health care and Medicare costs should be subsidized to improve the scope of the heath care coverage in Appalachia.

3: Food Stamp programs should be pushed forward more to cater for a wide range of individuals from various economic backgrounds.

4: Education should be made more affordable with a increase in scholarships and grants for economically challenged families or communities.

5: Night curfews should be initiated including alcohol curfews in order to keep residents in doors at night.

Conclusions

On an individual basis, sleep improvement depends on one simple factor and this is maintaining the Circadian sleep rhythms. The maintenance of these rhythms involves:; Early bed time, Regular body detox, proper diet and exercise and low stress levels. West Virginians should encourage friends and family with sleep disorders to attend sleep improvement centers if the disorder is detrimental to they health and very uncomfortable.

,

Water Crisis in America, Will West Virginia be Affected?

The Water Crisis in America is major issue which is not being brought into the light by the media or the government of the USA; it is hardly spoken of. The crisis is not something that has just originated out of nowhere but rather something that has been there for decades.

The majority of water pipes in the United States are made from lead which is a time bomb in itself. With the passage of time, lead will keep breaking and keep contaminating the water system. The length of the lead pipes is approximately 1.2 million miles, with a lifespan of 75 years only and with many pipes reaching this age, it will cost around $1 trillion to fix those pipes.

According to a report released by the Reuters on December 19, 2016 about America’s drinking water, there are 3000 locations with very high lead contamination rate of the drinking water.

According to another report from the Michigan State University, there will be various additive factors that will result in a large population of the USA not being able to afford water at all in the near future. The State clearly has no funds to take care of a crisis of such a scale. The water crisis has already resulted in a rise of about 41% in the water rates since 2010.

Take a look at this map put together by WaterNews, showing water condition by state.  You’ll notice West Virginia is in deep red:

Water Crises Infographic

Now the question is will West Virginia (and Parkersburg) be affected? Again? The answer is a bitter yes!

The West Virginia Water Crises

On 9th January 2017 was the 5th anniversary of the West Virginia Water Crisis. This happened when a small two – week old company that stored and processed coal-processing chemicals from 11 huge, 48,000-gallon containment units on the shores of Elk River accidentally allowed 7,500 gallons of the chemical 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHP) to seep through the region’s main source of drinking water. An estimated 300,000 people got their drinking water from this source.

Obviously, in this type of situation you should never drink unfiltered tapwater, but some people didn’t not have many options.  Where some people had the ability to forego drinking, bathing or cooking with the contaminated tap water, others just did not have another option. After two years, although the government has lifted the warning and declared the water safe, people are still scared of drinking tap water. The water crisis is not resolved yet, it has just begun.

Lawsuits have been filed against several authorities responsible for the incident and the negligence of the safety standards. Numerous civil suits were also filed which included 50 against West Virginia American Water. There were several personal injury lawsuits filed against major responsible authorities within nine months after the incident but nothing has practically been done to eliminate the risk permanently.

Historic Problem

The West Virginia water crisis was one of the worst water crisis in the history of America. Each state shall be responsible for creating laws and legislations to fulfill the EPA’s federal clean water act, but just like West Virginia, many other states do not have any such federal acts.

For those of you who are still not aware of the health hazards caused as a result of lead contamination, there is definitely need to fidn out more about this hazard for the protection of your children. High lead levels in the blood may not affect one immediately but they do have prolonged side effects.

We need to raise our voices on this matter before things get out of hand.

Citizen Spotlight – Credit Laws in West Virginia: Consumer Protection Against Exploitation

Credit Law

Just like all other states, there are credit laws in West Virginia to regulate credit cards, medical bills, personal loans or collection accounts and ensure that both the debtor and creditor are protected. Here I have rounded the laws that protect West Virginians who are in debt.

Statute of Limitations

It is a law that protects citizens in debt from being sued by collection agencies after the elapse of a certain period. The law keeps residents from being forced to defend themselves in court after their ability to give exonerating evidence has been impaired which normally happens after a long period of time has passed. This law vary from state to state. In West Virginia, the law on oral contracts states that a suite on the debt should be brought within 5 years while the law on written contracts give debt collectors 15 years to file a suite. The allowed period begins after a debtor defaults payment. If the time allowed passes, a debt is considered time barred and the collector can’t sue for its recovery since the debt is no longer legal. However, this law doesn’t bar the debt collector from attempting to collect the debt by other means.

West Virginia laws on Credit Reports

Citizens are entitled to one free credit report from each credit bureau every year. Charges may apply if one wants to get more than one report. Credit reports are issued by credit reporting agencies and show any loans or credit accounts you may have. For medical debt, hospitals don’t report directly to credit bureaus but instead turn the unpaid accounts to collection agencies who report them to the credit bureau. The law allows your medical debt to appear on your credit report as a collection account listed under medical. This happens only after the set statute of limitation on medical debt expires which is also the case with credit card debts. According to the law you should receive your credit report within fifteen days of your request.

West Virginia laws on fair debt collection

The Federal fair debt collection practices Act and a couple of other consumer protection laws protect consumers from illegal debt collection tactics. These laws also prevent debt collectors from informing your employer, family and neighbors about your debt. There are instances where the law provide monitory damages when a consumer have been victimized through unfair debt collection methods. The Act on fair debt collection also gives debtors the following rights:* An outside debt collector can’t call you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m* An outside debt collector cannot call or write to you if you instruct them not to.* A outside debt collector can’t call you at work if your employer doesn’t permit personal calls and you have informed the debt collector about it.An outsider debt collector is someone other than the person you owe who is trying to get you to pay a debt.  For more information you can check out AAA Credit Guide, which has extensive information on credit repair, debt reconciliation, etc.

West Virginia laws on debt adjustment

In West Virginia, debt adjusters must file the first registration, pay a fee, get insurance coverage for errors and omissions and post surety bond. The amount payed for insurance and surety bond is high when adjusting a debt secured by a mortgage on a residential property.
Many people require a loan at one point or another in their lives. Creditors should not treat you unfairly simply because you owe them. That’s why there are laws to ensure that people who are in debt are protected even when they are unable to pay their debts. There are laid out procedures to deal with defaulters which doesn’t entail victimizing them.

 

 

Citizen Update – Bail Bondsman in the Downtown Area

Bail bondsman

Bail Bondsman, commonly known as bail bond agent or bond dealer is a licensed person who pledges money or property as surety for the appearance of an accused in court.  They are usually a licensed agent according to the state law and can provide services for criminal or civil types of bails. It is important to hire one locally so that the help is immediately available and the bail bondsman is able to reach out to the defendant’s family or friends for fee and details.

Bondsman are an important local service in downtown areas where the court areas usually reside, as is the case with Parkersburg. For instance, an Atlanta bail bondsman will follow different regulations and have different insurances then those in West Virginia.  They are typically associated with an insurance company or organization that provides bail bonds for different crimes. Bondsman in downtown areas can free the violators from needing immediate cash with their services and knowledge of the local proceedings.

High Use for Traffic Violations

Bondsman in downtown areas can keep you out of jail till the court date only if you are arrested for traffic violations. Bondsman is an important local service for downtown areas because of commonly occurring reckless driving incidents. The bail bondsman can help you get a bail bond for huge unpaid traffic fines so that you can set a court date and then have an opportunity to negotiate the penalty that you have incurred. Most downtown areas invite traffic related incidents and the violator usually ends up receiving a huge penalty for the violation. Thus these bondsman is an important service in downtown areas because they can get you a court date which will provide the defendant an opportunity to present your case and get a fair trial.

Bondsman Fees

Bondsman will charge a fee for the bail bond agreement as regulated by state laws. In most cases, it is a standard percentage of the bail amount as set by the court. When they are in downtown areas they often provide an opportunity for the defendants to fight traffic ticket penalties without actually having to pay the heavy fines for a nominal fee. Bondsman in downtown areas save you the hassles of the complicated judiciary processes.

Some offer payment plans to accommodate your budgets and are important local services since they will represent their clients in the entire bail process giving peace of mind to their clients.  It’s unclear whether the one currently opening in Downtown Parkersburg has these accomodations.

Conclusion

While it’s an unfortunate event to need to make bail, these services ensure that you or your loved one who is arrested is outside of jail within a few hours, which will mean good health and keep you free of mental anxieties caused by the stressful bail and judiciary processes and make it a cheaper process.