The Three Major Credit Bureaus

| March 5th, 2013 | No Comments »

According to Steve Kroft, an American journalist and weekly correspondent for the television news program 60 Minutes, the three major credit bureaus are not the safety net most Americans believe.  Mr. Kroft, a much awarded reporter, tried on camera to question an error on his credit report, to no avail.  What prompted Mr. Kroft was a single mother’s effort to rid her credit report of false information. The woman, Judy Thomas, spent a tremendous amount of time and effort trying, unsuccessfully, to remove false and untrue reports to the three major credit reporting bureaus.  Apparently, Ms. Thomas had the knowledge and resources to sue the agencies in federal court, successfully, after many years of frustration, trying to comply with the bureau’s requests and/or demands.  Another woman, with a different name, from a state Ms. Thomas had never visited, was listed with derogatory reports of being late in payments, being sent

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Brutal Rape of Teen Outrages Nation Plagued by Sex Crimes

| March 1st, 2013 | No Comments »

Johannesburg, South Africa  –  In a country where 1 in 4 women is raped, some months-old babies, to a 94 year-old grandmother are  assaulted with their assailants feeling no threat for their actions.  However, one particular assault on a 17 year-old girl proved to be a rallying cry from citizens demanding action.  The teenager was gang-raped, had her stomach sliced open, then left for dead on a construction site. The girl lived long enough to identify one of her attackers, a 22 year-old man.  Police arrested him and a second suspect aged 21.  Authorities promised more arrests soon. “Kill them” was one of the demands voiced on talk radio stations.  Every few months, this nation with the highest rate of rape of babies and young girls in the world, yells its outrage at a particularly brutal attack.  Last year, South Africans were shocked when village boys gang-raped a mentally ill

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Gun Shows

| March 1st, 2013 | No Comments »

Over the course of my law enforcement career, depending on my assignment or off-duty status, weapons I carried varied in size and power.  As a reserve police officer for the Hayward Police Department (CA) we were required to purchase our own firearm.  My first purchase was a Smith & Wesson Model 66 revolver. 30-plus years later, this handgun remains my favorite to target shoot.  Both of my sons, when they were young, learned to shot with this gun.  My sons were also taught gun safety, the use of speed loaders, and the proper cleaning and storage of weapons. For the majority of my life, I have resided in the state of California.  What is being argued today throughout our country, has been standard operating procedure in California for years in regards to firearms.  As a reserve officer, I was still considered a civilian, thus subjected to the laws of the

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Domestic Violence Is Against The Law

| February 19th, 2013 | No Comments »

The following article was written for Alameda County in California.  If you find yourself in a violent situation, please use the guide to direct you towards people who are there to help.  No one deserves to be bullied, whether physically or verbally.   Please allow trained professionals to help you.  Children, women, and men have the right to be safe.  It is against the law to contacted, annoyed, or harassed by anyone.   You do have the right to be Safe!   Emergency Police –  Fire –  Ambulance 911   Is someone you love hitting you, hurting you, threatening you, putting you down?  You are not alone, help is available to you, your children, your family.  Do not fall into the trap that you are “Bothering” someone, all of us are vulnerable to violence.   Many of us have faced similar situations in our lifetime.  With the help and understanding,

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Just How Safe Are All Those Online Banks? It Depends . . .

| February 18th, 2013 | No Comments »

FDIC insures deposits in many, but not all.  So do some checking Question: How can investors know money at an online bank is safe? Answer: Savvy online investors know keeping uninvested cash with a brokerage is usually a bad idea.  Most brokers sweep cash into money markets paying next to no interest. So that leaves online investors with another option for cash the do not want to put in the market; an online savings account.  There is no shortage of banks that pay higher rates of interest than brokerages do.  You can usually pinpoint banks with decent interest rates using sites such as Bankrate.com. Warning: Be careful before blindly mailing your cash to some no-name bank somewhere just to get an extra 0.1 percentage points of interest.  You will want to log into the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s website at FDIC.gov and use the BankFind feature at research.fdic.gov/bankfind.  This tool

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My Granddaughter’s Experience . . . Frightening

| February 17th, 2013 | No Comments »

For over 30 years I responded to the needs of others as a member of the San Jose Police Department, in California.  I suppose after many years on the job, most cops get a feeling of invincibly, falsely believing we are immune to crime, having witnessed, seen and heard everything and anything. The day my granddaughter called, all the myths associated with being a “Cop” flew out the window.  As my granddaughter spoke, my heart just sank.  I could not believe the fear in hers words as she described the following incident to me.  I will start my story from the beginning: I have a 20 year old granddaughter living in South Sacramento with a roommate.  One night, my granddaughter received a telephone call from a friend who needed a ride home.  On her way to her friend’s location, she was pulled over, by a “Marked” police vehicle, as she

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KTVU Signing-Off*

| February 16th, 2013 | No Comments »

The first independent television station I can recall was KTVU, Channel 2, located in Jack London Square in Oakland, California.  One of their “Firsts,” was to move their newscasts from the traditional “11 O’clock” time slot to 10 P.M.  Besides starting an hour earlier, their news’ broadcast was 60 minutes long, doubling the airtime of the nationally known television corporations, such as ABC, CBS, and NBC. Over the years, as the internet changed the way viewers watched television, Channel 2 has remanded a constant.  The mixture of local, national, and worldwide news continues, live football and baseball games were/are broadcasted, movies, sitcoms, generally entertainment that whole families could view together, brought the advertisers and advertisements needed to survive financially, which they have done quite well.  Another oddity that I found refreshing over the years and unlike many other television stations, local and nationally, were the employees, especially those in the

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Doors . . . Our Last Means of Defense

| February 14th, 2013 | No Comments »

Today, most homes have three to four doors that allow us to enter/exit our homes.  Usually, the front of our homes have a ornate, large front door and garage door(s), with perhaps a side entrance and/or rear sliding door.  If we have an alarm system, those doors, with the possible exception of the garage door, are wired into the alarm system. To understand the function of the various doors we have in our homes, let’s go back to the framing of our homes during construction.  In this illustration, our home is a single story dwelling with 8′ high ceilings inside.  Although heights may vary, this basic framing technique pertains to all framing of door and window openings. As we watch our home being built, whether a custom home or production home, the framing is the same.  In our home the framing consists of 2″ X 4″ bottom plates, pre-cut studs,

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On-Line Storage GoDaddy.com

| February 13th, 2013 | No Comments »

There are many advantages to on-line storage as there are companies that provide this service.  We recommend Go Daddy as our number one choice based primarily on the fact that you can speak with a “Live” person 24/7.  To us, that in it self, speaks volumes. Many sites, such as Just Cloud, Sugar Sync, Drop Box, and Carbonite may not offer tech support via telephone, unlimited storage not available, high cost per gigabyte, only offer annual payment plans, etc.  However, Go Daddy offers a highly trusted, full service website for all your needs.  They have hosted all my various on-line needs for many years.

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Making a Habit of Safety

| February 13th, 2013 | No Comments »

When I was a little boy growing up in Oakland, California, I had the same teacher for both the fifth and sixth grades, Marilyn Thomas.  Mrs. Thomas was really, really, really    pretty.  She was in her late twenties, had hair and eyes the color of dark chocolate, wore bright red lipstick and fingernail polish.  She always dressed very professionally, usually in suits, and always wore high heels. When Mrs. Thomas was on vacation or ill, our substitute teacher was Mrs. Horowitz.  Mrs. Horowitz was really, really, really old, she must have been in her 40’s.  She had her hair piled-up on the top of her head, fashioned in the shape of a beehive, wore glasses, and had teeth that seemed not to fit very well.  She wore dresses, usually with a floral pattern, with a belt matching the print of the dress.  Her shoes could best be described as being

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