Livingston Reporting

Snow and Ice Preparedness

Most people are “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to snow. This mindset might be acceptable for home or other personal settings, but as a business owner, it’s imperative to start planning for snow removal services now. Don’t get buried in snow due to a lack of planning.

By pre-planning for early winter snowfall, your business won’t get shut down or experience operation delays due to a large dump of snow. Blizzards, colossal storms, and bomb cyclones have wreaked havoc on many states throughout America. There have been weather disasters even meteorologists couldn’t predict. Snow removal, including plowing, salting, and de-icing, can make or break your brick-and-mortar business.

According to the CDC, millions of people sustain injuries from falls yearly. Hazards such as ice and snow contribute to this statistic. Don’t let snow and ice become a hazard to you, your employees, or your customers. If a massive storm blows through your business and leaves a great deal of snow behind it, will you be prepared? Part of a storm preparedness plan is to secure a contract with a reliable snow removal services company.

Professional snow removal businesses are well-equipped to handle ice and snow in any accumulation, thanks to heavy equipment and experienced contractors. Grounds management companies are always prepared to cover – or uncover – more ground.

As the winter season approaches, commercial snow removal companies gain an influx of customers. Start planning today to ensure your business driveways, sidewalks, and more are free from snow and ice.

Looking for a commercial snow removal company? Look no further than T&T Property Maintenance!

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T&T Property Maintenance has been visualizing, creating, and maintaining commercial properties since 1997. We offer a vast number of services for our clients, including lawn and landscape maintenance, irrigation set up and repair, fertilization, weed and pest control, snow plowing and salting, and tree trimming and stump grinding. We are licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, so you can rest assured we will do the job right – every time. We work with commercial businesses of any size and offer our services in seasonal or yearly packages, and a la carte. For over 20 years, we believe a satisfied customer is the only kind of customer. Check out our website, call, or e-mail us today to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Layering Clothing in Cold Weather

Cold, frigid air is heading our way. If you find yourself in a chilly survival situation, it’s crucial to regulate your body temperature before executing other tasks. Exposure to freezing temperatures combined with windchill can freeze you solid.

To keep your body dry and warm, layering is essential. This simple yet effective process will keep a moisture-wicking layer against your body while ensuring warm air is trapped between a light, fluffy layer. A weatherproof outer layer will also be valuable in minimizing wind and snow.

Cold weather can quickly saturate your body, especially when you are in harsh environments. The most natural reaction people have when it comes to being cold is to get warm immediately. If you overdo it, however, you could start to sweat, which causes wet skin. Wet clothing or skin exposed to cold temperatures will make you susceptible to rapid freezing. Frostbite and other conditions can easily set in before you realize it.

Choose three different types of materials for your base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer. Base layers should be a modern synthetic fabric or merino wool. Avoid cotton as it saturates quickly and takes a long time to dry. For the mid-layer, consider a lightweight, fluffy material that is mainly responsible for trapping air, warmed by your body heat, to keep you warm. Synthetic blends or wool are good options, and again, avoid cotton. Outer layers are the shell between your body and the elements. Choose a heavy  jacket that will block wind, precipitation, and is waterproof.

It might go without saying, but don’t forget hats, gloves, boots, etc. Look for hats with flaps to cover your ears. Ensure your boots have room for a second layer of socks.

Regulate your body temperature through layering, and you will notice a difference when outdoors. In extreme situations, layering could make a difference between survival or death.

Are you looking for cold-weather gear? Check out our online store – we have what you need!

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

EV Growth Expected to Continue

A recent report released by BloombergNEF called the “Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook” worldwide momentum toward zero-emission vehicles has grown substantially since 2019.  

In 2019, Electric Vehicle (EV) sales were 2.1 million. In 2020, that number rose to 3.1 million, and in 2021, they are projected toward roughly 5.6 million. 7.2 percent of global new car sales throughout the first half of 2021 were electric, a jump from 4.3 percent in 2020 and 2.6 percent in 2019.

Fueled by automakers that have committed to selling 40 million EVs by 2030, 27 percent of automakers have also planned to phase out combustion engines at that time.

The report states, “The global clean road transport market will be worth around $244 billion this year,” but cautioned, “Most of them [automakers] still have a long way to go before we can be confident that we are on a zero-emissions trajectory. Manufacturers and technology companies will need to accelerate the development and deployment of vehicles and supporting technology, such as batteries, infrastructure, and software.”

A policy paper published by COP26 titled “COP26 Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100 Percent Zero Emission Cars and Vans” promised, “As representatives of governments, businesses, and other organizations with an influence over the future of the automobile industry and road transportation, we commit to rapidly accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Together, we will work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040 or earlier, or by no later than 2036 in leading markets.”

Major governments, city, state, and regional governments, auto manufacturers, business fleet owners and operators, investors, and financial institutions signed the agreement. Throughout the United States, 13 states signed the agreement, as well as 11 automobile manufacturers.

Time to get an EV? State Electric Company sells and installs residential and commercial EV chargers.

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New Nerve Cell Discovered in Retina

A new type of neuron, or nerve cell, has been discovered in the retina by scientists at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

A complex group of neurons communicate with each other in the central nervous system, relaying sensory and motor information. These interneurons are an essential aspect of communication. This finding marks a breakthrough for scientists who are working toward a better understanding of the central nervous system. By identifying and classifying all neurons, researchers can more easily distinguish between different aspects.

A research team led by Ning Tian, Ph.D., identified the interneuron in the mammalian retina. Tian said, “Based on its morphology, physiology, and genetic properties, this cell doesn’t fit into the five classes of retinal neurons first identified more than 100 years ago. We propose they might belong to a new retinal neuron class by themselves.”

The new neuron is dubbed Campana after a handbell, resembling its shape. Campana cells are able to transmit visual signals in the retina, but the exact function is yet to be determined.

Tian said, “In the brain, persistent firing cells are believed to be involved in memory and learning. Since Campana cells have a similar behavior, we theorize they could play a role in prompting a temporal ‘memory’ of a recent situation.”

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Ozone Proves to be Useful to Disinfect Water

The standards of water disinfection are currently chlorine and ultraviolet light when pertaining to city water. A project called MIKROOZON backed by Schleswig-Holstein, CONDIAS, and the European Union aims to create a tiny ozone generator for people to use in water dispensers or appliances such as fridges or dishwashers.

There are several advantages when it comes to ozone being used for water disinfection, including a positive environmental impact, a short retention time, and tasteless quality. Ozone is an excellent choice when it comes to combatting germs, thanks to its high oxidation potential. The cell membrane in common pathogens is easily broken down by ozone.

Ozone water disinfection is the standard in Germany to clean swimming pools, drinking water, and wastewater. However, ozone is not typically implemented to purify water in small appliances such as ice machines, water dispensers, and showers.

Norman Laske, a researcher at Fraunhofer ISIT, said, “The ozone generator is very compact and can be integrated in systems and appliances that require regular disinfection. You simply connect it up to the water line, and it will produce the right amount of ozonized water whenever required.”

Only a couple of centimeters in size, the ozone generator can generate pure, clean water through electrolysis.

Volker Holinder, CEO of CONDIAS GmbH, said, “Each partner has contributed years of experience from their own area of specialization. This has created a product that can now be manufactured on an industrial scale. The spread of the coronavirus has underlined the importance of disinfection. The use of chemical disinfectants is often problematic, because they leave harmful residues. Our system uses electrolytically generated ozone to eliminate germs. It therefore does not produce any residues from disinfectants.”

Do you have dirty water? Contact the water purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Electrical Component Industry Shortages

By now, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the global supply shortages affecting nearly all industries. From vehicle manufacturing to computer components, nearly every business involved in overseas production has been affected.

The sudden rise in consumer electronics created a demand that the electronics supply chain couldn’t handle during the beginning of the pandemic. Due to worldwide shutdowns creating a pause in production, many companies are now playing catch-up. Moreover, tariffs were imposed on imported Chinese goods, which made the situation more challenging.

Raw materials and bulk electronic component shortages forced manufacturers to remain idle, many with half-finished products. The electronic components in high demand include capacitors, resistors, semiconductors, and other parts. Prices for several raw materials, including copper and steel, have doubled between 2020 and 2021. Semiconductors, microchips, and PCBs are all produced in Asia, so some manufacturers are looking to move their operations back to America to compensate.

Rising prices are also a factor; as demand rises and supply dwindles, costs increase. ElectronicsB2B reported that the semiconductor industry value is expected to increase by 11 percent from 2020 to 2027. Factors such as 5G-based automation, increased chip demand, and geopolitical issues could all play a massive role in whether the semiconductor shortage will ease up any time soon.

Labor shortages are also another large factor in part causing supply deficiency. The number of global working hours was decreased by 8.8 percent due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. 

Supply chains are the root of the shortages; the longer they are, the more susceptible to interruptions. This is partly why many suppliers are trying to relocate closer to home, called reshoring. With a more relative location, electrical components will arrive more punctually.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Low-Maintenance Kitchen Finishes

Let’s face it; kitchens get a lot of action. To keep your cooking area clean and tidy, it’s essential to pay attention to the types of finishes used throughout the space. Are you tired of scrubbing your flooring, hardware, cabinets, and more? Read on to learn how you can reduce your cleaning time by using these easy-to-maintain finishes.

Flooring

  • Ceramic or porcelain tile is best for high-traffic areas and wet zones, a.k.a. kitchens. Their moisture resistance is unmatched, and they are highly resilient to scratching and staining. Another added bonus? Unlike natural stone, you don’t have to seal ceramic or porcelain tile or use special cleaning agents.
  • Vinyl is ideal in kitchens as it can handle moisture, spills, stains, and more. Cleanup is quick and easy; it is also difficult to scratch. Without grout lines, there is no place for dirt and grime to hide and accumulate.

Cabinets

  • Flat-panel doors are so chic right now. The less door detail, the less grime and grease. Since the surface of flat panel doors doesn’t have raised grooves or deep recessions, they are super easy to wipe and clean.
  • Shaker doors are a great alternative to flat panels. These add a touch of detail yet are easy to maintain.

Backsplashes

  • Ceramic and porcelain are again the clear winners here, as they are nonporous and repel water, don’t require sealing, and are generally durable.
  • Glass is super easy to wipe down, thanks to its smooth finish. Though their highly reflective surface shows grease and food more than tile, solid-glass sheets allow you to forgo grout as well, which is a huge advantage.

Hardware

  • Brushed nickel is superior to most metals since its matte finish helps to hide water spots and fingerprints. It’s easy to clean and has a long-lasting appearance.
  • Oil-rubbed bronze doesn’t require much upkeep but does show fingerprints more.

Do you want to replace some of your kitchen finishes to help ease the upkeep? Contact the remodeling experts at JFC today.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail: jfcllc@comcast.net, or visit us at: www.jfcremodeling.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Using Gift Money for a Down Payment

Did you recently receive a monetary gift and want to use it toward a down payment? That extra cash might be helpful when exploring options in making that initial up-front parital payment. Gift money could be the extra boost you need to achieve homeownership.

Gift money can come from relatives, defined as the borrower’s spouse, child, or other dependent; another individual related to the borrower by blood, marriage, adoption, or legal guardianship; or a fiancé fiancée, or domestic partner.

Gifts can also be accepted from non-relatives, including close family friends. Ensure the money is coming from someone you trust and will not create any conflict in the future.

Today’s prospective home buyers generally struggle to save funds due to rising rental costs, student loan debt, and other financial burdens – not to mention the steady rise in housing. Therefore, the quickest path to homeownership is to utilize gift money.

To avoid mortgage insurance on a conventional loan, a 20 percent down payment is required. To overcome this challenge, gift funds or other loan options can offer a more flexible down payment. Sellers, realtors, or brokers are ineligible to gift funds to potential borrowers.

Before accepting the monetary gift, ensure the borrower and gift-giver both fill out a formal document detailing the following information:

  • Borrower’s name
  • Donor’s name
  • Donor’s contact information
  • Donor’s relationship to the borrower
  • Gift amount
  • Address of property being purchased

All parties must sign the letter, and it should state that no repayment is expected or required. Financial records should clearly document the transaction as well.

Are you looking to get approved for a home loan? Contact the experts at EB Mortgage today.

EB Mortgage is a locally-owned mortgage company with experts in new home purchase, refinancing, and commercial loans. Our wholesale rates can’t be beaten. We offer more products, more options, and more solutions. Our “3C” Process is simple: complete our pre-approval request, consider options based on your requirements, and choose the offer that suits your needs best. Call us at 866-246-0516 or e-mail contact@ebwmtg.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Microsoft Teams Partners with Meta

A new integration will allow Microsoft Teams users to access Meta’s Workplace updates without switching screens. The two companies also plan to enable streaming video calls directly from Workplace soon.

Workplace, which has more than seven million paid subscribers, plans to support Teams on the Meta Portal video device. A Workplace app for Teams can be pinned to either the side navigation or added as a tab. Workplace content can be marked by Teams admins to garner attention from teammates. Users can also drag Workplace content into a Teams channel and react to Workplace posts within Teams.

In early 2022, the duo is planning to introduce video integration, which will allow users to view a Teams video call from Workplace. Those using Teams will be able to track views and reactions in both apps.

Ujjwal Singh, head of product at Workplace, said the Teams integration “Will make it easier for people who use both tools for work to keep up to date with information and create even more opportunities for company-wide engagement.”

Jeff Teper, Microsoft Teams CVP for product and engineering, said, “It made sense for us to come together to help our mutual customers unlock collaboration and break down silos within their organizations.”

The new integrations are a no-brainer for Meta since they help to deliver information from Workplace to users. Workplace can reach employees through the Teams newsfeed while also allowing HR leaders to retain control over the communications.

There will undoubtedly be some hiccups; for example, both Teams and Workplace have their own chat functions. The solution for combining or separating chats will be discovered in time.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

GE Plans to Form Three Public Companies

GE will form three industry-leading public companies concentrated on three sectors: aviation, energy, and healthcare. GE will retain 19.9 percent of shares in the new healthcare company, a spin-off of GE Healthcare, which will be fully functional by early 2023. As for renewable energy, GE plans to merge GE Renewable Energy, GE Power, and GE Digital by early 2024. Later on down the line, GE will be a company focused on aviation and the future of flight.

The goals are to create long-term growth and better value for customers, investors, and employees. GE plans to deepen operational focus and accountability to rise to customer needs. Distinct strategies and industry-tailored features will be fulfilled through capital allocations. Growth opportunities will be achieved through tactical strategies and financial flexibility. Incentives and career opportunities will be available to employees. Investment profiles will be presented in a compelling and more distinct manner to broaden investment areas. Finally, the boards of directors will have a thorough understanding of each domain.

H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., GE Chairman and CEO, said, “At GE we have always taken immense pride in our purpose of building a world that works. The world demands—and deserves—we bring our best to solve the biggest challenges in flight, healthcare, and energy. By creating three industry-leading, global public companies, each can benefit from greater focus, tailored capital allocation, and strategic flexibility to drive long-term growth and value for customers, investors, and employees. We are putting our technology expertise, leadership, and global reach to work to better serve our customers. Today is a defining moment for GE, and we are ready. Our teams have done exceptional work strengthening our financial position and operating performance, all while deepening our culture of continuous improvement and lean. And we’re not finished—we remain focused on continuing to reduce debt, improve our operational performance, and strategically deploy capital to drive sustainable, profitable growth. We have a responsibility to move with speed to shape the future of flight, deliver precision health, and lead the energy transition. The momentum we have built puts us in a position of strength to take this exciting next step in GE’s transformation and realize the full potential of each of our businesses.”

GE plans on reducing debt by over $75 billion at the end of 2021. By 2023, the company will be a well-capitalized, three-part company.

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.