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Governor Brown Declares Drought State of Emergency in California

From the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. 

SAN FRANCISCO – With California facing water shortfalls in the driest year in recorded state history, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today proclaimed a State of Emergency and directed state officials to take all necessary actions to prepare for these drought conditions.

CA Drought“We can’t make it rain, but we can be much better prepared for the terrible consequences that California’s drought now threatens, including dramatically less water for our farms and communities and increased fires in both urban and rural areas,” said Governor Brown. “I’ve declared this emergency and I’m calling all Californians to conserve water in every way possible.”

In the State of Emergency declaration, Governor Brown directed state officials to assist farmers and communities that are economically impacted by dry conditions and to ensure the state can respond if Californians face drinking water shortages. The Governor also directed state agencies to use less water and hire more firefighters and initiated a greatly expanded water conservation public awareness campaign (details at saveourh2o.org).

In addition, the proclamation gives state water officials more flexibility to manage supply throughout California under drought conditions.

State water officials say that California’s river and reservoirs are below their record lows. Manual and electronic readings record the snowpack’s statewide water content at about 20 percent of normal average for this time of year.

The Governor’s drought State of Emergency follows a series of actions the administration has taken to ensure that California is prepared for record dry conditions. In May 2013, Governor Brown issued an Executive Order to direct state water officials to expedite the review and processing of voluntary transfers of water and water rights. In December, the Governor formed a Drought Task Force to review expected water allocations, California’s preparedness for water scarcity and whether conditions merit a drought declaration. Earlier this week, the Governor toured the Central Valley and spoke with growers and others impacted by California’s record dry conditions.

-JK

 

Top 10 U.S. Business Risks for 2014

According to the “Allianz Risk Barometer,” a survey from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE, the top 10 U.S. Business Risks are:

  1. Business interruption, supply chain (61 percent)
  2. Natural catastrophes (58 percent)
  3. Fire/explosion (24 percent)
  4. Loss of reputation, brand value (17 percent)
  5. Cyber crime, IT failure, espionage (15 percent)
  6. Intensified competition (12 percent)
  7. Quality deficiencies, serial defects (10 percent)
  8. Environmental changes (10 percent)
  9. Changes in legislation and regulation (10 percent)
  10. Market stagnation or decline (10 percent)

Loss of reputation or brand value joined the top 10 list, and was the fourth ranked business risk as cited by U.S. companies.  Cybercrime, including IT failures and espionage, were No. 5. Those rankings were lower for non-U.S. companies, which ranked cyber at No. 8 and loss of reputation at No. 6.

Source: Insurance Networking News

-JK

Minimum Wage Increases for 2014

As of December 1, 2013, 14 states, including California, have announced an increase in their minimum wage rate. In addition to California, these states are: New York, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Employers in these states should review their employees’ wage payment rates and update their minimum wage poster requirements as necessary to ensure their compliance with state regulations.

Here are the 2014 minimum wage rates for all of these states:

2014 Minimum Wage Rates-JK

2014 Marketing Ideas

As 2013 comes winding down to a close, I’ve been thinking long and hard of new ways and ideas to market myself as a reputable business insurance agent/broker. How about a sign waving mannequin in front of the agency?

This commands respect! I’m sure the neighbors in Torrance and Palos Verdes would love seeing this on their sidewalks.  And business owners will be lining up to talk about their insurance needs.

Back to the drawing board…

-JK

Exercise To Improve Hunchback Posture

I don’t know about you, but I’m in front of the computer way too damn much in my opinion. I worry all the time that my posture is going to go to crap and I’m going to be a hunchback one day. That’s why I got a little excited when I saw this video of an exercise to improve hunchback posture

Two times per day for one month?? I’m in. I’m going to set some reminders in my Outlook to make sure I stick to this. And when I’m on the road I’ll make it up at other times. Who’s in?

-JK

There Is Always Someone Who Will Do It Cheaper

I saw this photo and caption surfing my LinkedIn home page, so I don’t know who to give credit to on this one, but had to share. I think pretty much any human can identify with this one:

Cheaper

This totally reminds me of the insurance industry, especially personal auto insurance. Every commercial you see on TV is along the lines of “give us 15 minutes and we’ll save you 15% on your car insurance.” Or, “you can save hundreds on your car insurance.” 

Well, maybe you can, but at what costs when you actually need the coverage? Instead of looking at the bottom line only, know what value you’re getting on what you’re buying. I don’t care if it’s the sprinkler repair guy, rain gutter installation, home remodeling, or insurance, is cheaper always better in the long run? Or, just more time, money, and headaches in the future?

Don’t believe everything you see from the surface. Have a need? Talk to a friend and see they have had a good experience with someone they can recommend. Then you can have the peace of mind knowing you’re getting the best VALUE for what you’re buying.

My go-to quote from Oscar Wilde sums it all up: “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing”

-JK

Grand Opening of Long Beach Fire Station 12

On Tuesday, September 24, 2013 Mayor Bob Foster, Councilmember Steven Neal, Long Beach Development Services, and the Long Beach Fire Department hosted the Grand Opening and Dedication of newly constructed Fire Station 12.

The new Fire Station 12 and the Emergency Resource Center is located at 1199 E. Artesia Blvd., on a 1.2 acre site covering the entire northwest corner of Artesia Boulevard and Orange Avenue.

The 11,296 square-foot Fire Station has a 100-foot-tall communication tower that will greatly enhance radio coverage throughout the city. The Station has been built on a highly visible major traffic corridor; which provides noise and traffic-safety benefits.

The landscape design at this location uses native vegetation with water-saving irrigation systems 90 percent of construction debris was diverted from landfills and recycled.

In addition, the facility will also serve as home to a 5,294 square-foot Emergency Resource Center (ERC) that will serve as an important supply and distribution facility in North Long Beach. With the ERC in place, Station 12 will allow the City to create a regional disaster supply depot with enough materials to handle the northern half of the City in case of a major disaster.

-JK

Price vs. Value

“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money — that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot — it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.”

This is a quote from John Ruskin apparently, who was an English author, poet and artist, most famous for his work as art critic and social critic.

When I read this, the first thing I think of is insurance naturally, as it relates to price vs. coverage. However, this is basically the law of the land. From buying your clothes at the department store, to hiring a general contractor, or deciding on the right accountant, are you just looking for the best price, or do you want to save the headaches and find the best overall value for YOU?

-JK

Underground Mansion on Sale for $53 Million

This Southern California underground mansion, located in Rolling Hills/ Palos Verdes, is just over 4 miles from my office in Torrance.

“Over 50,000 square feet with 9 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, outdoor clay tennis court to French Open Specifications, indoor tennis court to US Open Specifications, complete with neoclassical details, stunning murals & capable of conversion to a 350 attendee ballroom, orchestra & full catering facilities; Indoor & Outdoor swimming pools ; Staggering underground Moroccan-style baths; unimaginable panoramic views encompassing the beaches, West Side, the Hollywood Hills, downtown Los Angeles & the San Gabriel Mountains; 24-hr guarded/gated estate community & multiple property surveillance cameras & breach sensors; Tranquil & exceptionally aromatic manicured grounds that include jetliner views, aligned marble fountains, a bocce court, rose garden, a wide selection of herbs, wild flowers & orchards that produce 24 varieties of fruit & nut trees.”

Holy crap.

-JK

Who’s Ready For College Football 2013??

The 2013 College Football season is officially underway today! I hate it when summer slowly comes to a close being my favorite season, but football is the only saving grace to help alleviate the pain. Tonight, I’ll be heading home to watch USC take on Hawaii with my Dad and two brothers. Go SC!

If you need help getting pumped for the season, this should help some:

Who’s your team?

Also, can’t forget, Go Dodgers.

This should be a good Fall season.

-JK

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