We’re now halfway through 2022 and it appears as if the supply chain crunches that snared up shipping rates and caused soaring inflation has begun to finally even out. Southern California readers will vividly remember an ocean horizon filled with well over 100 massive cargo ships waiting for unloading during the pre-holiday rush, but the line to enter the Los Angeles harbor has finally slowed to a manageable trickle.
This slowdown has two major causes – a dramatic fall in demand thanks to markets responding to vastly increased shipping prices and the current port closures all over the Chinese seaboard. As fewer and fewer ships enter and exit Chinese ports, shipping rates have slowed dramatically, finally giving a beleaguered Los Angeles port a welcome break to clear out the buildup.
This situation is not to last, however. Chinese authorities have already begun easing some restrictions on some port cities, including some of the largest in the country near Shanghai. With 1/5 of the entire world’s shipping fleet stuck off the Chinese coast, once operations begin in earnest, we can expect a deluge of shipping containers making their way back across the Pacific.
This means that logistics companies need to start getting ready now to handle the huge influx of cargo coming our way. Companies that will be servicing the port need to ensure vehicles are well-serviced, new drivers are trained, and fleets are ready to hit the ground running once the vessels make their way into port.
A key part of this is making sure fleet vehicles are properly insured and that drivers, loaders, and logistics operators are fully aware of what paperwork needs to be filed quickly and efficiently once containers are picked up. This means finding a highly communicative insurance provider that can find you the best policies for your field of operation.
One southern California local insurance provider that checks all these boxes is S.W.A.N. Insurance. S.W.A.N. Insurance has been finding San Diego trucking companies great rates for Last Mile, Cargo, Auto Liability, and Inland Marine insurance coverage for the better part of a decade.
S.W.A.N. is best known by their clients for going above and beyond the line of duty to ensure that they know exactly what procedures and paperwork are needed to create an airtight claim in the event of an accident. Here it is in their own words:
Chris Mahlberg of Swan Insurance was recommended by a friend. At the time, I was searching for a knowledgeable, proactive agent that would find the best policies to fit my personal & business needs. I wanted a professional I could rely on to continually keep our policies updated with the right coverage and competitive rates. The top notch customer service and ongoing communication with personalized support that I have received has been absolutely AMAZING!! A major factor in my decision to retain this agency was the willingness that Chris provided to go above and beyond the customary practice. He is extremely competent, driven, and extremely passionate about his job and it shows. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for help in finding the best coverage for commercial auto, general liability, workers’ compensation etc. Swan Insurance values client relationships which provides outstanding, professional service along with competitive pricing. By far this agency is one great example of a local company demonstrating that capacity and aptitude!
Danny Boyd, Google Review
With a new port logjam likely coming up on the horizon, logistics companies need to be ready to take advantage of yet another spike in demand for their services. Being ready means making sure your fleet is properly insured, and for that, you need S.W.A.N. Insurance. Call now:
When ending a marriage, many couples don’t realize they have any options outside of the highly publicized litigable method of separation. In practice, options outside of litigation may be highly preferable to the often highly destructive and emotionally charged court battle.
Outside of divorce litigation, couples have two options. The first, annulment, is very specifically legally defined and only applicable to a small percentage of marriages. Annulment is typically only available to parties whose marriages have been either illegally or improperly conducted, as in the case of bigamy or to facilitate fraud, or for parties who are deemed incapable of performing as needed in a partnership, as in the case of those incapable of consummating a marriage.
The third option is a process called mediation. Mediation involves the use of a neutral third party to guide the couple through the process of separation, divvying up assets and resources and facilitating negotiations over items of interest such as spousal support and custody over children.
Mediation is typically a much smoother and more constructive process than traditional divorce litigation, since parties are not incentivized to fight tooth and nail over every item. Mediation turns the zero-sum game of divorce into a cooperative and amicable separation, where each party leaves the relationship with their bridges intact.
The key to a successful mediation process is the mediator themselves. No matter how amicable the parties may be, the act of separating is an inherently emotional event and it’s easy to succumb to the baser aspects of our souls as we see items and people stripped away from us.
For southern California readers who are in the process of separating from their spouses, this means getting in contact with Colleen McNamee, divorce expert and mediator. She has been working with couples during the darkest and most stressful periods of their lives for decades, and yet has managed to accrue an astonishing number of glowing testimonials from her clients over the years.
A few short examples from her Google page:
“As a financial planner, I see my clients go through a number of changes in their lives and sometimes it includes a separation/divorce. Mediation is the far better option when dissolving a marriage as it puts a lot less strain not only on the finances but also the emotions of everyone involved. This is where Colleen McNamee stands out. As an attorney-mediator, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field, has two decades of experience, but also truly cares about her clients. Something that cannot be taught in law school is the gift of empathy and caring for others, which translates into achieving fair and equitable results for couples. Thanks to her very strong skill set and the services she’s able to offer, she remains a neutral counsel to both parties throughout the process, and the Agreements she drafts are far superior to any other divorce mediator I have seen! My clients have come out feeling like they were treated fairly, received their equitable shares, and can now move forward with their lives onto their next chapters.”
“I have known Colleen McNamee for over two years and I love how she handles people who are having marriage problems. She is always interested in what is best for everyone involved, especially for any children. Sometimes, it’s a “marriage contract” that she draws up to help people stay together amicably instead of getting a divorce. If divorce is the only option, then unlike a contentious court divorce with attorneys pitting spouses against each other in public and draining the couple’s bank accounts, Colleen can get couples working together for the best solution, at far lower cost, and it’s a private matter. I highly recommend her services, and so do people who have gotten divorces through her because they often talk about how she made it so much less stressful than a courtroom divorce.”
You and your partner may not be right for one another, but that doesn’t mean you want to destroy the lives and family that you’ve built together. For those of us who do not want to burn our bridges, choose the third option of mediation, with Colleen McNamee.
4590 MacArthur Blvd Suite 500, Newport Beach, CA 92660
As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to slowly wrap up, we will be seeing report after report come out regarding the last year’s events and how it affected various industries. One industry whose report I was particularly interested in was in home improvement and how much people spent in remodeling their homes while they were shut in during the peak lockdown periods.
In one particularly lengthy deep dive into the statistics around home improvement, I happened to catch a glimpse of a tangential industry and how the pandemic affected them: pest control. With the huge number of additions being constructed by bored homeowners, pest control and termite exterminators were hard at work treating the new structures and providing spot treatments for buildings whose insides were exposed for the first time in decades.
With most people stuck at home, they had the added benefit of being able to spot termite infestations much earlier than usual, with 66% of pest control companies reporting that customers became aware of termite issues sooner than in the past. “Swarming”, or the initial stages of infestation, is often missed by homeowners who are away during the day for work. Many homeowners were able to witness the disturbing spectacle for the first time during their work-from-home escapades, which made for a much easier pest disposal process.
This hasn’t magically ended with the worst of the pandemic – many of us are still working from home, voluntarily or otherwise, and therefore may be blessed to see the swarms of termites encroaching on our domains. For those of you in southern California who are lucky enough to be chosen by the termite queens, Grand Oaks Termite Control can help get rid of your unwelcome guests quickly and for a reasonable price.
Why Grand Oaks? Well, they have one of the best ratings we’ve seen for a pest control company, with many customers raving about their customer service and their carpentry skills when patching up structures damaged by the invading insects:
“I highly recommended Grand Oaks Termite Control. I had an unusual situation where there were many areas of my wood paneling and roof that were affected by termites and wood rot. I have a decorative tree growing through the front part of my home which makes it very difficult to treat without damaging the tree. When Jason came for the preliminary inspection, he knew exactly how to effectively treat my home without harming my favorite tree. His estimate was very reasonable, and his communication was top notch. He kept me appraised of all the curve balls and never stuck me with any unexpected cost. I was very impressed with the workmanship of his teammate Gary who took care of all the woodwork, a true craftsman.
I can wholeheartedly recommend Grand Oaks without any hesitation.”
John B., Yelp Review
“If you have any type of termites or wood boring insect infestations, GRAND OAKS TERMITE CONTROL is the professional GO-TO exterminator company to resolve your issues. The owner, Justin Mater is a fully state licensed termite control specialist and is very knowledgeable about termite infestation and approaches towards exterminating its colonies. what I especially liked was his work ethics….they came as early as 6am in the morning (ON TIME!) to work on & treat my property….very much a NO BS straight-forward extermination company which does not mess around! If they said they will be there….they will be there to take care of your infestation problems! highly recommended!”
Don Tamba, Google Review
“We needed our house inspected and treated. Justin and Gary did an amazing job. They are professional, prompt, thorough, and experienced. We received our report and estimate in a timely manner. They came out and did their work diligently and expertly. We were informed of each step, and they finished the job as they had expected. We are so pleased with our experience with them; they do great work and are good-quality people. Thank you Justin and Gary!”
Linda W., Yelp Review
If you’re stuck at home and you’re noticing a strange uptick in the number of small, reddish brown winged insects, congratulations! You’ve been selected by the swarm. If you find this problematic for you and your home, give Grand Oaks Termite Control a call:
Here in sunny, arid California, many of the more environmentally- and cost-sensitive among us are looking at alternatives to the traditional grass turf for our front and back yards. While some settle on more hardy plants that require less water to grow, like clovers or Bermuda grass, others have decided to go with a more modern, technologically driven solution.
Artificial turf has begun sprouting up in a greater number of lawns with each passing year. With a water requirement of 0 gallons per year and production methods growing more advanced and allowing for better looking and cheaper turf, the fake stuff is looking more and more like the preferred alternative for the typical homeowner.
The secret to getting your artificial turf to look as natural and aesthetically pleasing as possible is an impeccable installation that contours with your space and provides adequate drainage to make sure that the place doesn’t flood when it does rain. The right installers can mean the difference between a yard that resembles a shoddy pool of plastic-filled water and one that you can barely tell is synthetic turf.
Hence our spotlighted company today, NowMow Synthetic Turf Installers, a local southern California company that has performed some of the best looking domestic turf installations we’ve seen so far. The company provides excellent service, far above it’s competition, which has made many of their customers ardent supporters on their various social media channels:
We can’t say enough about NoMow Turf & their General Manager Sierra. We have a very large front yard that was about 20 yrs old & after many yrs of fighting weeds, grub worms, crows tearing up the grass & rabbits eating big patches we had had enough. We did our research & decided on this company. Sierra is great & so easy to work with & her quote was very reasonable. The crew worked their butts off as our yard is not only large but sloped too which presents a challenge. Through the years the slope had become uneven & the crew graded it & made it look awesome! They worked for 2 1/2 days non stop & the end result is awesome. Needless to say we highly recommend NoMow Turf….you won’t be disappointed!!!
(Kevin H., Yelp Review)
Very happy!!! I did my homework and made the final choice to go with NoMow. Sierra was great to work with. Easy to talk to on the phone. Even easier in person. She came over, took measurements, answered all questions, explained everything in full detail. The guys came over and worked very hard, efficient, and no fooling around. They did a great job! Thank you NoMow!!!
(Lucia C., Yelp Review)
I had an accident with some expanding foam that resulted in me planning on having to replace a small part of my turf and green. I asked NoMow for a quote for replacement and owner Patrick offered some advice to get after it with a power washer before deciding to replace. After a week and change of washing, I’ve got it back to great condition. Thank you Patrick for the advice. I’d recommend NoMow for any of your artificial turf needs.
(Zack B., Yelp Review)
If you are looking for an ecologically friendly alternative to a natural turf lawn, get NowMow Turf to do the installation. Their service is exquisite, and the lawn you’ll be left with will be almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
ow’s the time to start planning next year’s home improvement projects, and today we’d like to give a little bit of focus to the oft-overlooked aspect of home ownership, the landscaping. All too often, people just have a spit of grass, some overgrown and poorly trimmed shrubbery on the periphery of their homes and call it a day, choosing to focus instead on the internal aesthetic of the home.
This is a major mistake, though. Nothing makes a home look less appealing on first glance than poor and lazy landscaping, though, not to mention all of the time you could be spending enjoying the amazing weather here in southern California but can’t because your yard is a total mess.
Alright, so you know you need to get it done – that’s a good first step. What’s next? Well, that’s obvious – you call the guys who are the best at not only doing the landscaping, but helping you plan it.
That means (if you’re in the San Diego area) calling Torrey Pines Landscaping company, the best of the best in our neck of the woods and beyond. Their projects are world renowned and have been winning awards for the better part of a decade now.
If you need proof, check out a couple of their projects, like this Del Mar backyard design or this Coronado landscape design and implementation. Better yet, take a look at some of their socials, where they have a perfect 5-star rating everywhere you care to look:
“Last fall we contacted Harry Thompson to redo our backyard. After considering a few other companies, we decided to go with TP Landscape Co. Harry was thorough, knowledgeable and listened to all our concerns/requests. I must say this was a big investment for us, but definitely worthwhile.
In the end, we were very pleased with the overall outcome, and just in time for Thanksgiving! His crew was respectful, hard-working and cleaned up at the end of each day. Dave, his project supervisor, was great to work with. You can tell he has a nice working relationship with the crew and clear communication with them.
Thank you TP Landscape Company for our new beautiful, tropical oasis! We look forward to firing up our built-in BBQ and fire pit. Also, it’s nice to know that you guys check up on us periodically to make sure things (sprinklers/timers/etc) are working as they should.”
– Gina L., Yelp
“Our backyard garden remodel just recently was completed by Torrey Pines Landscape and we could not be more thrilled with the execution and the final result! Harry Thompson and his crew designed our dream backyard and made it a reality. Our space is on a city-sized lot in the Banker’s Hill area and he addressed every challenge our space presented. The entire crew was completely respectful of our privacy, maintaining our security of our yard and keeping the site neat and tidy at the end of each day. Every day, either Harry or Mark would come and check in on the progress of the project and Harry had the crew rebuild part of our custom fountain because he was not satisfied with how it looked initially! Dave, the project supervisor was fantastic to work with and provided valuable insight for things concerning the BBQ island and how the layout would work best. Every single detail was considered, from dog-friendly plants to lighting. I can not recommend them highly enough, they are true craftsmen and if you can dream it, they can create it!”
– Kelli G., Yelp
If you need desperate assistance in getting your yard looking presentable and have either a basic idea or a grand scheme for the future, give Torrey Pines a call. They have a habit of making dreams come true with their work.