Friday, August 29, 2014

Activities to Help You Spend and Enjoy Your Labor Day Holiday

This Monday, the country will once again be celebrating Labor Day. Every year, the United States celebrate this holiday on the first Monday of September. During this day, the contributions of employees that made the country strong and prosperous are remembered and highlighted. Since 1887, the US has been officially celebrating this national holiday. During this day as well, the US Department of Labor along with its attached agencies are holding programs that will promote the rights of every American worker through education and celebrations commemorating this special day.

Since tons of people will be hitting the streets finding ways to celebrate this holiday, here are some celebrations that you might be interested to take part in.

Labor Day Concert

The federal government will be holding a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. A concert that lasts 90 minutes, this Labor Day concert will be jumpstarting the performance season. In the concert, patriotic, Broadway, and popular music will be played, helping raise awareness for the rights of every American worker.

Kennedy Center Stage

Another Kennedy Center-sanctioned event, you can see readings, open rehearsals, and conversations with 40 different theatre companies. The event will be held on August 30 to September 1, 2014 at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F. Street. The performances will start at around 12 noon till 10 in the evening.

D.C. Blues Festival

For music festival lovers, you may want to see the Blues Festival. This free concert has been going on for 20 years and has featured countless blues artists and workshops. The concert is for free though an after party that will happen at around 8 pm, which costs $10 in advance and $15 when you buy the tickets at the venue. It will feature Selwyn Birchwood at the Wheaton American Legion Post 268.

National Book Festival

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will hold its 14th staging. Here, 100 authors, illustrators, and poets will be there to talk about and sign their books. Pavilions for Children, Teens, Picture Books, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Science and Special Programs will be open.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

This recreation of a 16th Century English Village will consist of craft and food booths, five pubs, ten major stages, and a Jousting Arena where games will be played. This is held in honor of a visit by henry VIII and his Royal Court.

Virginia Scottish Games

This fair will celebrate the Scottish Heritage of the Virginia. A highland athletic competition will be held along piping and drumming, highland dancing, fiddling competitions, an antique car show, exhibits, along with live entertainment and children’s activities will be held.

War of 1812 Alexandria Signature Event

For history lovers, there will be a commemoration of the bicentennial of Alexandria’s involvement in the War of 1812. Exhibits, food vendors, waterfront activities, and a rematch between Alexandria residents and the British Embassy will be held.

Epicurience Virginia: Wine and Food Festival

You can have a taste and purchase the best and finest wines from Virginia in this event. See celebrated chefs create sample food and have a chance to meet top winemakers in this outdoor event.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Driving in California as an Outsider: Learning What the State’s Traffic Laws Are

If you are from outside of California but are planning to visit the state’s cities like Los Angeles or Santa Monica, you would most likely have to be aware of its road rules and driving laws. Whether you are bringing your own vehicle or planning to rent a car, it is important that you adhere with the driving regulations and at least have a grasp of the key laws. Basically, they are found in the California Driver’s Handbook, which is the simplified version of the laws set forth by the California Vehicle Code (CVC).

Meanwhile, here are some of the important road rules and laws you need to consider when you drive any vehicle as someone from outside the State of California:

  • Speed limit. When you are driving on a suburban or city road, your speed limit should be at 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour). If you are driving down a freeway or a highway, your speed limit should be 55 mph (90 kph). Unless there is a speed limit sign that says otherwise, you must assume that the road you are on has either of the two.
  • Having your car registered as a nonresident of California. If you bring your vehicle into California, or buys a vehicle in the state as a non-resident, you must know that there are some vehicles that cannot be registered in the state. That is unless your vehicle was manufactured to meet the state’s emission standards, or whether you or the vehicle is qualified for an exemption.
  • Car booster seat laws. If you are driving out to California with your family, you must make sure that your child is correctly restrained in a booster seat or safety seat in your vehicle’s back seat. They can be restrained by your vehicle’s safety belt if he or she is already 8 years old or 4’9” tall.
  • Use of handheld phones and texting while driving is not allowed. California is one of th states in the U.S. that ban cellphone use for all drivers unless there is hands-free device connected to it. Drivers below 18 years are not allowed to use cellphones, even with hands-free. Texting is likewise banned for all drivers.
  • Encountering other road users. When encountering pedestrians trying to cross the street, always remember that you must yield right of way, especially when at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Also, it is important that you are aware of the other road users, especially motorcyclists and bicyclists. Finally, when an accident happens, driving away from the scene could spell trouble for you; you may likely be slapped with a hit-and-run charge.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Another Malaysian Airlines Flight Bites the Dust

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Barely four months after flight MH370 mysteriously disappeared, Malaysia Airlines is facing another controversial tragedy. Early Thursday morning, July 17th, 2014, the company’s MH17 flight was shot down by a missile, causing it to crash near the Russian and Ukraine border. According to some officials, a complex surface-to-air missile was used to bring down the jet, the only thing is that it is unclear who fired it.

Over 300 Lives Lost
This incident is not a case of a simple aviation accident. The plane, exploded as soon as it was shot, causing it to crash in a village called Hrabove. This area is controlled by the pro-Russia separatists that are going against the Ukranian government. The crash has caused the death of 283 passengers along with the carrier’s 15 crew members. Victoria Premier Denis Napthine has told reporters that a “substantial number” world-renowned AIDS Researchers as well as activists were on board the plane. These are headed to the 20th International AIDS Conference to be held in the following week. And so, here is a list of the nationalities of those who were killed because of the crash.

-          154 Dutch
-          27 Australians
-          23 Malaysians
-          11 Indonesians
-          6 Birtish
-          4 Belgians
-          4 French
-          4 Germans
-          3 Filipinos
-          1 Canadian, and
-          15 Malaysian crew members

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Construction Accident Halts Freeways 405 and 605’s Operations

In the construction industry, the safety not just of the workers but the general public is of paramount importance. Preventing construction accidents should never be left to chance. This mantra shows in the equipment they use, the safety gear they wear, and the policies that are being implemented in their sites. However, accidents, as cliché-sounding as it may seem, happens when you least expect it to happen. Such is what happened in a construction site along Seal Beach in California.

Beams Falling
The 405 and 605 Freeways were closed in Seal Beach as a construction accident caused injuries to two Caltrans workers. Reports revealed that three of the steel beams in the construction area, which are about 130 feet long and weighs around 60,000 pounds each, fell onto the southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway. These beams fell from a new connector that is set to link the 605 and 405 Freeways.

Aftermath of the Accident
One of the workers feel 25 feet and sustained injuries. He was immediately brought to the Long Beach Memorial medical Center. The man, who is in his 50s was awake and able to talk. Initial findings reveal that he is experiencing pain in his legs and suffered a head injury. Another worker, a 47-year-old man was said to be struck by one of the beams. The man who was standing on a ledge did not fall after being struck by the beam. He was still taken to the hospital and is now in moderate condition.

Because of the accident, both the north and southbound lanes of the 405 Freeway were temporarily closed. This was needed as large equipment that is used to clear the site have occupied both lanes. The north and southbound lanes of the freeway were later on reopened after the clearing operations.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hero in a Pick-up Truck

We’ve always believes that heroes have to be mythical characters with great superpowers to be able to save people from harm. Well, this story might just prove it all wrong. In fact a hero could be a regular, pick-up truck driving Joe. In Utah, the Syracuse Police are pursuing a 14-year-old made that have taken the car he was driving from his grandfather in Duchesne County. The teen driver was in danger of running over the kids as he was trying to evade the authorities.

Hero in a Pick-up Truck
Bryson Rowley was driving his pick-up truck on a regular day. He got the surprise of his life when he saw a car running wildly. He saw that his and others’ kids in the park were in danger of getting run over by the fleeing vehicle. Bryson, made a quick, unexpected decision. Using his truck as a ram rod, he stopped the fleeing vehicle. The car struck his truck, causing great damage to the car, and injuries to the car’s driver and even to Bryson.

Hero Shrugs Off Accolades
Bryson, who declined to be photographed, has just shrugged the praises he has been getting. He said that he just acted to end the car chase for fears of the safety of his and other children playing at the park. His truck got damaged because of the car crash but he would do the exact same thing all over should it happen again.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Safety in Riding Motorcycles: What You Can Do as a Rider

Taking motorcycle safety into consideration steers you away from the potential of sustaining serious to fatal injuries in the event of an accident. If the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are any indication, it is truly imperative that you prioritize safety when you operate your motorcycle. That way, you avoid yourself becoming a statistic.

A total of 4,957 people riding the motorcycle, whether they were riders or passengers, were killed in 2012, according to the NHTSA. This was a 7-percent increase from the 4,630 fatalities recorded the year prior. The 2012 figure accounted for 15 percent of all traffic deaths, even though motorcycles only made up 3 percent of all vehicles registered in the U.S. during that year. In terms of injuries, the year 2012 also saw an increase, from about 81,000 in 2011 to about 93,000 in 2012.

The statistics mentioned above only goes to show that being a rider entails risks. Knowing to work your way around these risks, however, reduces your chances getting injured in the event of a crash, much less getting killed. So as a rider, here are some things you need to keep in mind:

•    Train yourself on how to operate your ride in the safest manner possible. If you are a novice, rider, you might need to undergo a safety training course to help you with gaining the most important skills, knowledge, and conduct needed for you to become an effective rider. If you are already an expert, you can still take courses, either refresher or a specialized training course. That way, you can always be reminded that riding a long-term motorcycle-riding requires absolute safety at all times.

•    Always equip yourself with a helmet, as well as other protective gears, for safety and for the benefit of other road users as well. Your helmet should be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, a sign that it passed federal safety standards. It must also complete head-and-face protection. Your gears, from your jacket, pair of pants, boots, to your gloves, increases the level of protection that you need. Also, your gears should be highly-visible, you’d want other riders and other motorists to see you on the road, especially when you are far away from them or you are driving under inclement weather conditions.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Prison Explosion Kills Two, Injures Hundreds

The prisoners, jail guards and other staffers got the shock of their lives when a prison cell in Florida that killed two inmates. According to authorities, the explosion happened around 11 pm Wednesday that “partly leveled” the four-story Escambia County Jail’s central booking facility. This detention center is home to 600 inmates. After the explosion, all of the inmates were accounted for. Other than the 2 killed after the explosion, reports revealed that around one hundred to a hundred fifty inmates and guards got injured. The explosion was so violent, the building, though standing is unstable and partially collapsed.

According to witnesses, the explosion shook the building like it was in an earthquake. A good number of the inmates who have been in to the facility shared their experience on how dangerous the accident was.

Authorities are still trying to figure out what happened. According to initial reports, investigators say that the signs are saying that what happened was an “apparent gas explosion”. Investigators said that people heard an explosion and smelled gas. However, no fire was reported. Up to this very moment, investigators are still trying to figure things out, wanting to make sure what the real cause of the explosion was. The families and relatives of the workers and inmates in the facility are all worried about the safety of their loved ones. Meanwhile, the families of those killed are still in disbelief over what happened.

If the incident was indeed caused by a gas explosion, can the management of the prison be held responsible for the death and injury incurred by the victims? As administrators of the building, it is their task to make sure that these facilities and everything in it are well maintained to prevent accidents such as this from happening. In cases where accidents happen in the premises controlled or maintained by an entity or individual, people can file a wrongful death or personal injury claim with the help of a wrongful death or personal injury attorney for what has happened to their loved ones. Here, some people are thinking if the same can be done given that this was a state-maintained correctional facility.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lane Splitting The Right Way

Motorcycling has always been referred to as something that’s dangerous, and life-threatening. That is completely understandable as motorcycle accidents has been quite rampant in the state of California and everywhere in the United States. This has caused hundreds of thousands of dollars-worth of damage to property. Moreover, hundreds of thousands either get injured, or worse die because of these mishaps. However, what people fail to realize is that riding can also be safe and enjoyable. Riding is not only about those dangers. In fact, what happens to you depends on how you ride your bike and your actuations on the road.

Safe Lane Splitting
Case in point: Lane splitting. This is something that a lot of motorcycle riders do that is seen negatively by car owners. Contrary to what others think, lane splitting is completely legal in the state of California. This is as long as a rider does it in a safe and prudent manner. Lane splitting is the process of riding between lanes of stopped or slower moving vehicles or one rider’s moving between lanes to the front of the queue of vehicles at an intersection stopped by a traffic light. Competent riders can definitely do lane splitting as long as they follow the following general guidelines in doing it.

  • Do not travel at speeds higher than 10 mph faster than other traffic. As a rule of thumb, the faster the speed differential between the lane splitting rider and the traffic, the higher are the chances of accidents as rider will be having less time to identify and react to hazards on the road.
  • Do not lane split if the traffic speeds are at around 30 mph or faster. Basically, higher speeds means bigger risks for all motorists. That is why you should refrain from lane splitting while running at these speeds.
  • Line split only at the first and second leftmost lanes. These are the safest lanes to do lane splitting. However, one should be careful enough not to lane split in areas near freeway on-ramps and exits.
  • Before doing some lane splitting, do consider the width of the lanes, the sizes of vehicles surrounding the lanes, as well as the road situation, weather, and lighting conditions. Finding the perfect lane splitting conditions help make it easier for riders to lane split successfully and safely.
  • Be alert and anticipate. Be very aware of everything that happens around you. This way, you’d be able to anticipate what your next actions are going to be to prevent ending up in an accident.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Continuing Fight Against Drunk Driving

Drinking sounds fun yes. Drinking gives fun times to anybody who consume alcohol. It is a perfect way to relax after a busy day. Drunk driving on the other isn’t. What it brings are property damage, injuries, and even deaths to other innocent people on the road. Since time immemorial, driving under the influence of alcohol has claimed the lives not just of the drunk driver but their passengers, as well as other commuters, even pedestrians. It is funny that after all of these years, drunk driving still remains to be one of the biggest problems that various government agencies have been facing.

Wasted Lives
The US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that in 2010, 32,885 people have died because of motor vehicle crashes in the United States. 10,228 of those deaths of 31 percent were due to drunk driving. This proves that with every drunk driver hitting the road, one or a group of people can get hurt, injured, and even dead. This puts victims is a very bad situation as they are either forced to give up their savings just to get treated for the injuries that one has got because of the vehicle. Moreover, 

What a Victim Can Do?
If you have been a victim of a motor vehicle accident, you can seek legal remedies that will help you run after those responsible for the injuries that you have incurred because of the accident. By filing a personal injury claim and hiring the services of the best motor vehicle accident attorney in California, will give you the chance to best represent your claim in the courts. This could lead to a great amount of compensation for the injuries as well as the pain and suffering that you have experienced. 

Is America’s Sobering Up?
Through the various programs launched by the NHTSA, the number of people who die because of drunk driving has significantly decreased through the years. For example, since the NHTSA began recording statistics about drunk driving in 1982, the number of fatalities has decreased by 52 percent from 21,113. The inception of The Century Council as well as the many programs and campaigns to stop drunk driving, the number fatalities due to drunk driving has declined from 15,827 in 1991. These numbers prove that these programs work and that thousands of live are going to be saved from DUI-related traffic crashes.

There have been many achievements that anti-drunk driving campaigns have reached. However, the tens of thousands of people left dead because of drunk driving is a great reminder that a lot of work still needs to be done. And so, more and more things should be done to help further drive down the number of, or completely stop deaths because of driver intoxication.

There is indeed so much work left to be done to put completely stop DUI-related motor vehicle crashes and deaths. However, by doing your share and saying no to alcohol before driving, you’ve done your part of saving your life and the lives of others on the road.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Surviving After Being Entangled with a Police Car Chase

What could be worse that being caught in an insane traffic jam? Try getting caught in between a deadly police chase. That was what happened to some motorists travelling along the westbound 10 Freeway in Claremont California one weekend. Three cars got involved in a police chase that could got them injured because of a multi-vehicle car crash.

Another TV-worthy Police Chase
According to the authorities, the chase began around 5:30 in the afternoon after receiving a call about a burglary at a store in the 9000 block of Central Avenue. As soon as the officers arrived at the scene, one male suspect that was carrying two large TV sets ran out of the store through a fire exit. He then hopped into a four-door Honda Accord which was driven by a 28-year-old woman. The suspect took the woman for a wild police chase as they headed south on Central Avenue. There were countless times when the officers tried to stop the vehicle but the suspect evaded the blocks and entered the westbound 10 Freeway. The chase went on for a moment before it ended in a four-vehicle crash as they tried to exit at Indian Hill Boulevard. The male suspect was pronounced dead at the scene as he was ejected out of their car, ending up under a white truck which landed on its side. The other suspect was injured and was immediately brought to the hospital as she complained of pain all over her body. The female suspect now faces charges which includes murder.

Victims Caught in Between
Three other people, occupants of the other three cars that the suspects’ car crashed into were also taken to the hospital and were treated for the minor injuries they got because of the crash. The three victims now are recovering from their injuries while losing their cars because of the accident.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Construction Worker’s Near Brush with Death

There are a lot of people in office spaces that oftentimes complain of how difficult their jobs are. They complain of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, back pains, migraines, and similar ailments. But who are these people kidding? The thing is, there are a lot of other more difficult and dangerous jobs that other people are into. Case in point: construction site employees. These workers do their jobs for hours every day. They carry heavy loads, get exposed to the heat, cold, dust, and other elements. While they have safety equipment to protect them from injuries, these poor workers can still end up in compromising situations such as construction accidents.

Action-packed Surprise
One man working on the construction of an apartment complex in Houston, Texas was surprised as he found that the building he was in was on fire. The massive fire destroyed that apartment complex where one of the construction worker’s life was put in danger. Emergency response teams staged a daring rescue attempt to save the man trapped in the building. The worker spent most of the time on a window ledge before firefighters could raise ladders to pick him up. The rescue effort wasn’t completed as easy as it seemed. For a couple of times, the worker’s foot slipped and witnesses claimed that they even doubted if the construction worker could survive. Just moments right after the worker was saved, a portion of the apartment complex’s roof caved in as fire continued to tear the place down. All of the employees working in the construction site were saved and nobody got injured. Authorities are still trying to find out the real cause of the inferno that took two and a half hours to put off.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Suing for Damages after a Slip and Fall Injury as a Tenant

As a tenant, you always expect that the property you are occupying is safe from any hazardous conditions. As any reasonable person should, it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure that the whole complex, including every room, is free from anything that could potentially injure you and your co-tenants. Unfortunately, there have been incidents of slip and fall inside and outside properties being occupied by tenants, causing injuries to the latter. Even though your landlord, by law, can’t and isn’t expected to protect you or your other tenants from such situations, you are still entitled to your right to seek compensation from him or her. In this regard, it is imperative that you devise a claim right away.

Basically, a slip and fall accident occurs when you slipped or tripped and then fell forward or backward, causing you injuries. Dangerous conditions that may cause you injuries include broken steps on the staircase, slippery floors, lack of lighting on stairwells and corridors, and other conditions brought about by inclement weather, such as rain and ice. If you get injured in any of the abovementioned situations and you believe your landlord failed to address the condition, then you may claim for damages against him or her, demanding compensation for whatever losses you incurred.

However, it is important that your claim should establish that the landlord was indeed negligent. In this case, you need to show in your claim these elements:

  • The landlord has a duty of exercise reasonable care;
  • The landlord failed to perform said duty;
  • The failure to perform said duty resulted in you getting hurt.
  • The accident resulted in physical and/or financial injuries.

More importantly, you must also establish in your claim that your landlord must have knew the hazardous condition before your accident, or the condition itself had been existing for a long time enough for him or her to have known of it.

If you suffered an injury in a property as a tenant, it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. Moreover, since you are claiming for damages, you need to have legal assistance, and that is through an expert personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Basically, your legal counsel must have experience in handling various personal injury claims, including those stemming from slip and fall accidents. Your attorney will guide you throughout the process of the claim, in which you may have the chance to recover compensation for the losses you incurred, from medical costs, future medical care, to emotional damages. You may likewise be advised to contact witnesses and assist you in gathering pieces of evidence in order for your claim to be strengthened.