What is a Self-storage?

According to the Self Storage Association of America, from the estimated 50,000 self-storage facilities in 2010, the industry has grown to more than 54,000 facilities (in 2015), and is now in more than 200 cities, specifically, in states that include California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.

Self-storage is an industry in which storage spaces also known as storage units are rented (often on a month-to-month basis) to tenants for personal or business use. This extra space is usually used for storing old furniture items and/or mom’s and pop’s favorite things; things that they may have no need for anymore, but which they simply cannot throw away. For companies, these spaces are great for storing currently unused office equipment, important files and paper works.

Not all self-storage facilities offer the same features and security, though. For instance, some facilities also offer spacious units, big enough for a boat or entire household furnishing. Some also allow drive up access, allow renters 7/24 accessibility, and feature remote cameras, fence protection, personal access codes, and climate controlled units wherein items can be kept totally safe from the weather regardless of how hot or cold is it.

Here are some tips:

  • Utilize all the space in your unit. Make a plan as to how you are going to arrange your items. A good plan will save you the time of having to rearrange your unit. Leave an aisle in the center of your unit so that you have a walkway to the back of the unit.
  • Use freestanding shelves to help organize your unit.
  • Label the boxes on all six sides and keep a list for easy reference. This will save you time if you need to find a specific item.
  • To protect your items, cover them with moving pads, sheets, or light blankets.
  • Be sure to check your unit once a month.

Rent of a unit is usually short term (monthly basis), though, long term lease is also available. With regard to non-paying tenants, the lien law in each state may grant the facility owner to conduct lien sales or storage auctions in order to eject them. Some states, however, first require facility owners to make a public notice, through periodical ads, of the auction or sale; in other states, public notice made via the internet is enough. Until before the start of an auction, unit renters are given the right to settle their bill and so save their belongings (all the contents of their storage unit) from being auctioned.


The Most Dangerous Driving Behaviors

Car accidents can happen because of unintentional errors, but they can also happen because of the blatant disregard of safety rules and lack of common sense. Unintentional errors can be forgivable, but negligent and reckless behaviors are not.

This is especially true on instances where an innocent party has been undeservedly involved in an accident, just because a driver has been reckless. It is good to know that, according to the website of this Toronto accident lawyer, those who have been hurt in car accidents caused by someone else may receive compensation.

But why is the law so protective of innocent drivers and unforgiving towards those who are reckless? Because law makers are very aware of how certain driving behaviors can be very dangerous.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is one of the most overlooked driving behaviors, even though they are equally as devastating as other dangerous behaviors. Anything that may put the driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, and thought in the act of driving, is considered a distraction. The most common distractions are mobile devices, foods, and beverages.

Driving While Fatigued/Sleepy

Drivers tend to overestimate their driving capabilities that they think they can drive even if they are fatigued or sleepy. But what people fail to realize is that they can never overcome extreme physical limitations such as these. Their body will just give in, usually in the form of slow reaction time and the tendency to fall asleep or close the eyes while on the wheel.

Driving While Under the Influence of Illicit Drugs or Medications

Whether the drug is illegal, used for recreation, or used as a medication, it doesn’t change the fact that it can physically and mentally influence its user. Usually, the influence is in the form of sleepiness and poor comprehension.

Drunk Driving

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is one of the worst things a driver can do on the road. Alcohol has various effects on the body, including physical and mental limitations that may compromise his or her driving abilities. The worst effects include poor body coordination, limited comprehension, and slow reaction time.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter

Certain types of jobs require a license or certification before it can be practiced. A license is clear proof that a person meets the basic skills required of a certain job and has undergone proper training or education and tests. There is one type of profession, though, that requires not just a license and skills, but lots of stamina and, most of all, a deep love for dogs too – this new profession is dog walking. One can probably say that it is one of the latest professional interests in the market which, lately, has created movements in the business world as a number of accountants, writers, computer experts, painters, real estate agents, nurses, and other high-paying experts, have left their jobs to become professional dog walkers.

Dog walkers undergo a special training. Things that they need to learn include a dog’s behavior and body language, canine first aid, proper management of a pack of dogs, trail etiquette, and marketing strategies that will enable them to earn clients and win clients’ trust. Often, they will also need to learn how to deal with people who hate canines, as they will surely get to meet some as they take their clients (dogs) in the park, in jogging trails, or in any other place where they need to go to or pass through.

One cannot, however, become a dog walker if one simply intends to earn. It will require a deep love for dogs to be able to enjoy a dog-walking job as well as perform all other tasks that may result from the dog-walking or running chore. Examples of extra chores that will require great patience is bathing and drying up a dog after ending up with a mud-soaked pet due to walking, running or playing under the rain. With bathing them already an added tiring job, wait until the drying up time comes when towels get filled with dog hair (and dirt).

Besides dog walking, dog walkers also offer pet sitting services. According to Walk! ATX, pet sitting, compared to having a pet housed in a kennel, is healthier for pets since it eliminates the stressors and boredom of a kennel environment. Furthermore, it also makes sure that dogs with special needs are given their medications and the customized care preferred by owners.

It is important, however, that one hires a professional pet sitter if owners wish to enjoy the many benefits that a professional type of service will provide them and their pets. For pet owners or pet parents, these benefits include:

  • Multiple pet-sitting visits per day and even an overnight stay if requested by pet parents;
  • Knowledge that their pets are in caring, loving hands; and,
    Pet-sitters are trained to perform and deal with many other issues, such as dog walking, pet grooming and visits to the vet, if necessary.

For pets, some of the benefits include:

  • Staying at home, which is a more secure environment since the smell, sight and sound are familiar, compared to those in a kennel;
  • Pets’ regular diet and exercise will be observed;
  • Pets will receive personal care and attention, especially during emergency cases; and,
  • Not being exposed to other animals’ illnesses or parasites, which is very likely in a kennel.

Besides all these, professional pet sitters also make sure that pets are fed on time, that their water bowls are changed, that they get their needed exercise and play time, their litter boxes and other mess are cleaned, administered their needed medication, and provided all the love and care that they need.

The Devastating Effect of Risperdal to Young Boys

Risperdal, which was developed by Janssen-Cilag (a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary) in 1992, is anti-psychotic oral drug that was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1994 for treatment of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and irritability experienced by children suffering from autism.

Bipolar disorder (or manic-depression) and schizophrenia are two serious mental disorders suffered by millions of Americans. In 2011 more than 54 million antipsychotic drug prescriptions were actually written for patients; 23% of these prescriptions were Risperdal.

Janssen-Cilag advertised Risperdal as causing lesser side-effects compared to all the other anti-psychotic drugs that came before it, thus, it immediately gained popularity among doctors in the U.S. and, because it was effective, doctors also prescribed it for off-label use, specifically as treatment for attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children, behavioral disorders (in elders with dementia), Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorders, depression, stuttering and anxiety.

In 2003, after a decade in the market, reports of severe side-effects and deaths were linked to Risperdal. These reports included: Tardive Dyskinesia, which is the uncontrolled twitching of the tongue and/or face and uncontrolled limb movement because of a disorder in the central nervous system; development of Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS, a deadly state caused by irregularities in blood pressure and rigidity of the muscles; and, incidences of strokes and death. During this same year, Johnson & Johnson sent a warning letter to U.S. physicians, telling them of the risk of stroke in elderly patients who used the drug.

Eventually, Risperdal was said to be causing more harm than good. In a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology in 2006, it was said that prolonged use of the drug by male children and adolescents can also result to gynecomastia, known informally as “man boobs.”

Risperdal lawsuit attorneys say “Gynecomastia has been especially devastating for young boys who have taken the drug. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued several warnings related to the drug, emphasizing the dangers it may pose to users.” Due to this, those who have experienced side effects or complications after using Risperdal may be eligible to file a claim against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of this medication.

Employment and Housing Discrimination

Employees all across America, whether citizens or foreigners hired for permanent employment, are covered and protected by federal and state laws against any form of discrimination, most especially, on wages and overtime pay. And, based on the principle, “A laborer is worth his wage,” all employers are, therefore, morally and legally obliged to pay their employees for every minute spent on work.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (which was passed into law in 1938) and the Portal-to-Portal Act are two federal statutes that give directives on the national minimum wage and on overtime pay. FLSA, also known as the Wages and Hours Bill, covers all employees, whether full-time or part-time, and determines the minimum wage and rate of overtime pay.

Overtime pay, or payment for work rendered by employees in excess of their maximum daily or weekly work shift, is computed separately and given a higher value than regular time pay. Overtime pay is hard-earned money. Many American employees go through the sacrifice of giving up a part of their time for rest or family time to be able to take home a bit higher pay than the usual. For parents who need to send their kid/s to school or who need to pay child support, overtime pay is definitely very important as this can enable or help them accomplish a whole lot of other things for their kid/s.

Many employers, however, resort to tactics that can enable them to keep wages even below the minimum pay; some even deny employees the right to render overtime work, despite employees’ eligibility. Being discriminated against wage and overtime pay, but choosing to remain silent about it will only make the unjust practice continue and affect a lot more people. Thus, employees should know that protection against employer retaliation for reporting unjust employment practices is also provided by the law.

The Leichter Law Firm affirms and says that, “Very often, employers do not pay workers overtime even if they are entitled to it. This is illegal and employers who act with such disregard for the FLSA hurt their workers by withholding money that they have earned. Thus, if your employer has not paid you an overtime rate of at least time and a half for each hour worked in a week over 40, you may be able to hold him/her responsible for paying you the money you are owed.

Americans suffer discrimination not only in the area of employment, though. Many also experience unjust treatment when it comes to debt collection, especially where the collateral is a housing estate. This unjust treatment, which, according to the law firm Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., house owner must guard against, is called foreclosure. Many homeowners are cheated by lending companies through many different ways, such as:

  • Failure to provide homeowners with appropriate notices
  • Lender bad faith
  • Overcharging homeowners for late payment fees
  • Predatory lending

All these issues can result to wrongful foreclosure, however, these also serve as grounds for homeowners to fight back Not only can a foreclosure cause lasting damage to an individual’s financial standing, but it can also deprive them and their families of the place they have called home for years.

Wrongful foreclosure can be an extremely difficult thing to go through, but with the help of qualified legal counsel, homeowners can fight back to protect their rights and do everything they can to keep their home.

Nursing Home Abuse cannot and should not be Tolerated

In May 2014 the total number of certified nursing home facilities in the U.S. was a little above 15,000, while the number of residents was about 1.5 million. Though thousands of nursing homes existed all across the U.S., many families are hesitant to send their love one to one due to news of widespread cases of neglect and abuse which cause in residents physical injuries, humiliation, emotional trauma, self-pity, hatred, despair, etc.

The most prevalent cases of abuse and neglect in nursing home facilities include, but are not limited to:

Lack of proper care. Bedridden patients and those who spend many hours in wheelchairs are the most often victims of this type of neglect. Being unable to move, a patient can develop bedsores and other ailments if not re-positioned after from time to time.

Failure to properly manage medication. Improper medication management can be potentially fatal for some patients. Some of the ways through which this type of neglect can be committed include: ignoring medication orders; incorrect time, duration, or rate of elder medication administration; incorrect medical product, strength of product, or form of product; medication overdose; and medication dose omission or under dose.

Malnutrition: Failure to provide meals or meals that have the right amount of nutrients.

Isolation: This happens when a patient is forgotten or purposely left alone by restraining him/her, isolating him/her from others or by keeping others away from him/her.

Dehydration: This happens due to failure to ensure proper liquid intake.

Three major contributory factors to acts of negligence and abuses in nursing homes are understaffing, negligent hiring and failure to provide those hired with adequate training about nursing home care. Despite total awareness (by nursing home facility administrators) of these contributory factors, more than 90% of nursing homes in the U.S. remain to be understaffed, those with criminal records continue to be hired, and many of those hired are not given any training at all.

In its website, the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® says “Nursing homes are meant to provide individuals with a safe, supportive environment in which they can live happily and comfortably. Unfortunately, residents of nursing homes sometimes suffer abuse at the hands of staff and/or as a result of management policies. Although nursing home abuse can take many different forms, the challenges that elderly residents may face as a result of any type of abuse can be devastating.

In their website, Chicago personal injury attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg strongly emphasize the right of families to expect the nursing home facility, where they entrusted the care of their loved ones, to treat their loved ones with dignity and compassion throughout the duration of their stay there.

Nursing home abuse cannot and should not be tolerated. Fortunately, by taking legal action, families can hold the party responsible for this kind of deplorable treatment financially accountable for their actions and seek justice for their loved ones.

Factors Leading to Juvenile Delinquency: Things You Should Make Sure Your Child do not Fall into

More than 70 million children and teenagers (below 18 years old) presently populate the US, comprising more than one fourth of the nation’s total population. Like many of today’s adults, many of these young people have acted recklessly before; they have engaged in different risky activities that definitely warrant either counseling or disciplinary actions. As recorded by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), these activities include drinking and getting drunk, driving while intoxicated, carrying a weapon, attempting suicide and engaging in sexual intercourse.

Though OJJDP research shows a downward trend in the number of juvenile crime in the U.S. since the early 90s, the number is still more than a million. In fact, about 1.5 million juveniles get arrested annually for criminal activities that include shoplifting, vandalism and damage to property, murder and many others.

Identified reasons why these young people engage in criminal activities, include:

  • To test the limits of parents and/or society
  • Lack or leniency of rules and lack of supervision
    Substance abuse
  • The kind of environment they are or were exposed to
  • The poverty level of the family they belong to
  • Relationships (which can lead to gangs) developed inside or outside the school
  • Peer pressure

Gangs are definitely major factors to juvenile crimes and, with at least 700,000 youths belonging to street gangs, there can be as many who are pressured and driven to commit offenses. Besides identifying the reasons behind the crimes, the OJJDP also gives the following information:

  • Boys, more than girls, are prone to becoming juvenile delinquents. This can be due to the “male phenomenon,” which states that boys commit more crimes compared to girls since they are supposed to be more aggressive and as proof of their masculinity.
  • Juvenile crimes are committed during and after school hours, specifically between 3 and 7 p.m. (crimes committed by adults usually peak from 8 p.m. to 12 midnight).

Crimes, whether committed by youth or adults, are serious, thus these need full attention from authorities. Oftentimes adolescents act irresponsibly without fully understanding the consequences of their acts. As explained by the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, “Being convicted of any criminal offense can have long-lasting effects on any individual’s life, but juveniles face very unique circumstances if they are accused of committing a crime. Being convicted of a juvenile offense has the potential to result in a number of court-ordered penalties that can have an effect on every aspect of a young person’s life, and can continue to affect them for years to come.”

According to Dallas criminal defense lawyers of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, “There are a variety of criminal offenses that youths may find themselves accused of, and these range significantly in the severity of the crime and any punishments associated with a conviction. However, a conviction of any criminal charge, no matter how seemingly minor, can have dramatic effects on a young person’s life and as such, it is important to have experienced legal defense when facing the following charges:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Minor in Possession (MIP)
  • Minor in Consumption (MIC)
  • Public Intoxication (PI)
  • Traffic Violations
  • Sexual Assault
  • Property Damage / Vandalism
  • Theft / Shoplifting
  • Drug Offenses

Some families make the mistake of not fighting criminal charges, and instead paying a fine for their child’s crimes, hoping that these offenses will be forgotten in time. This mistake is a significant one,
as far too often these offenses are not forgotten or overlooked, but rather continue to affect an individual well into their adult years.”

How to Determine if the Job Applicant You will Hire Possesses the Ability to Perform the Job

While it is reasonable for employers to want and demand a productive and profitable workforce, employees, on their part, deserve and have a right to a safe workplace. But how can an employer know if the job applicant he/she will hire possesses the skills and ability that will render him/her effective and productive?

Before a job offer is made, an employer can ask an applicant about his/her ability to perform job functions or to describe or demonstrate how he/she would perform job tasks; questions can even include an applicant’s qualifications so long as these questions are not disability-related as these would violate the stipulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the ADA).

Only after an applicant has been given a conditional job offer can an employer ask disability-related questions and require medical examinations, but, again, this is allowed only if the same process is required of all applicants in the job category. These questions or tests are called Post Offer Employment Testing or Post Employment Testing. The medical exams, in particular, are designed to reveal any type or form of impairment an applicant has; more than determine an applicant’s ability to perform a task, it measures an applicant’s physiological responses to performing job tasks. Post-employment testing usually includes fit-for-duty testing, functional capacity evaluations and sincerity-of-effort testing.

According to a job analysis expert, “The foundation of an effective, legally-compliant functional testing program is a job analysis that accurately measures the actual requirements of the job in a fair and reliable way. Functional employment testing that assesses a candidate’s ability to perform the actual physical demands of the position, calibrated to the precise weights and measurements that are required of the job, is the most effective predictor of a candidate’s physical ability to perform those essential functions.”

Functional employment testing given by employment testing firms is job-specific, with the functional tasks created from precise data that is collected via an onsite, job analysis that conforms with the EEOC’s Uniform Guidelines for Employee Selection. Employers who seek the services of employment testing firms can be confident that their new-hire candidates will be tested to the actual physical requirements of the job – safely matching a worker to the positions for which he/she is being hired, reducing injuries, thus, reducing the cost and incidence workers’ compensation claims in the process.