Livingston Reporting

The Difference of a Custom-Made Website


When owning a business, one of your top priorities is to find the best way for your customers to find your company and promote the desired appearance to provide a unique first impression to potential new customers and will create interest for them to reach out to begin working with. The way technology is today, it is important for your company website to display your company in a professional, creative, and responsive way that will set you apart from your competitors. Unfortunately, in the web design market, many phrases of “custom design” are used but not to its true meaning. What makes a website truly custom made? Let us take a closer look at web development and understand what will be the best website for your business needs.

Using Templates

One of the most common ways to start a website is by using a simple site such as WordPress or other companies such as Wix or Squarespace that provide a theme that allows a person to choose different templates that can be purchased and edited with their personal business information. These type of website creations are chosen mostly due to the low startup cost aspect as well as development times are much shorter. However, as with many things in life, you get what you pay for as it’s always said. There are disadvantages that should be considered when using these website creators as well. Many other businesses could be using the very same templates that you have chosen so this will remove the uniqueness and will not stand out as much from competitors.

Choosing A Custom Design

Quality web design is an art and science incorporated together. The placement of pictures, videos, shortcuts, etc is all arranged in a specific format that has been analyzed for industry trends and to better target a business audience. The main goal of a customized website is for the visitors to gain a complete visual representation of a company and what they have to offer. Having a custom website will also allow the possibilities for specific features to be utilized as well whether you are needing to incorporate e-commerce capabilities or be able to utilize CRM software to input data from a website. Another large aspect that will impact a custom-designed website is your SEO placement. Google can recognize a site’s uniqueness and in turn, will promote a higher rank than a standard template website.

Weighing the Options

Making business decisions is not always easy and of course, everyone is always hoping they are making the right choice based on the facts that they are presented with. A company that is just starting out and needs to get a website up fast and inexpensively may get away with a template or website with starter sites available. Keep in mind, these templates should be used as just a simple stepping stone and the only way to reach the top of your business’s potential is by choosing a custom design. Several websites will state that custom website design is dying however that is far from the actual truth. There is no doubt, as time continues on there are more templates being used each day but this will only give a custom-designed website even more of an advantage, it’s better to stand out than to blend in with the rest!

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing.  All work is done in-house, we never outsource services from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development, to search engine optimization and paid advertising, our professionals provide results.  For more information on CPS check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.



Why You Should Have A Water Filtration System


Without water, we could not live so it’s easy to see why choosing the best source for the cleanest water is an important decision to be made. Industrial chemicals, heavy metals, and pesticides are found in water supplies all over the world and it is up to us to protect ourselves and our families from the pollution we can potentially put into our bodies. The good news is there are many affordable options that are available to produce and improve water quality.

Knowing You Water

The first step to improve your water quality is to know exactly what type of water you are currently dealing with. There are several ways that water testing can be performed some more accurate than others. The most simplistic form of testing is by using your senses of sight, smell, and taste. With sight, you may notice cloudiness or particles that float or if the coloring of red, brown, or orange it could indicate rust from corroded pipes. As for the smell, certain aromas will inform you of chemicals that are in the water such as bleach type which could be chlorine from the local facility. Or perhaps you smell rotten eggs, and this may indicate somewhere through the water’s course there is bacteria growth. Lastly with taste, if the water instantly doesn’t taste normal it is best to never swallow it. The next option for water testing is to have a professional water treatment company to test your water supply or purchase an at-home water test kit. These tests can determine if the water contains harmful materials and reveal the water’s pH and hardness. If your water source is from a private well, it is advised to have the water tested twice a year.

Water Filter Options

Water filters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and each one has unique features that will benefit a home differently depending on your water quality needs.  The first question to ask yourself is what impurities are you wanting to remove from your water? After reviewing your water quality report or speaking to your professional water treatment company, you can decide what type of filter you are needing to use.

  1. Pitcher filter- The simplest water filters to use that fit inside a pitcher that can be kept inside the refrigerator. This style is inexpensive and easy to use but the lifetime is short and typically only removing few contaminants such as chlorine from the water.
  2. Faucet mount filter- this style is exactly as its name implies and is located directly under your faucet. They require little installation with easy replacements and are an inexpensive option. These filters can remove a decent number of contaminants but be sure to research what exactly it can remove to be safe.
  3. Countertop filters- These filters will not take up space under your sink but can however clutter your countertops. They work best for filtering large amounts of water without having to modify any plumbing. Installation can be done hooking to your faucet or be freestanding as well. An advantage is they do not clog as often as a faucet-mounted system but are not compatible with all types of faucets either.
  4. Reverse osmosis– A process where water is forced through a membrane that filters molecules that’s are physically larger than the water molecules. This type of filter is very well at removing minerals however it cannot remove chlorine or volatile organic compounds which are more of a cause for concern so many ROS systems combine prefilters and carbon filters to help this issue.
  5. Whole-house filters- This type of filter is installed directly in the water main and filter all water coming into the home. An advantage is they have a long lifetime and are an inexpensive option for removing sediment, rust, and sometimes even chlorine. Unfortunately, they can not remove most other contaminants, so it is important to pair this with another drinking water filter. They are on the pricier side in relation and must be installed by a professional water treatment company.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.



Consideration when Buying A Linear Accelerator


Purchasing a new Linear Accelerator can be a very costly investment that can range between $1 million and upwards to over $5 million. This cost alone is not the only expected fees associated with this equipment since delivery charges and secondary equipment such as a simulator, treatment planning computer, the treatment room itself, and the compensation for the radiographers/ physicist salaries. There is a lot of options to consider when replacing or installing new radiotherapy equipment and a few helpful tips below may help make the decision process a little simpler.

The Resale Value

Before purchasing any new or refurbished linear accelerator, it is important to ask yourself the question “How much will my Linac system be worth if choosing to replace or upgrade it in the future?” The answer to this may affect your company’s ability to purchase equipment in the future so the best way to solve this is by three other factors. First is obsolescence, this factor will greatly impact the long-term maintenance of any equipment. As parts continue to get older, replacement parts will become more and more difficult to locate for obsolete equipment. This also will make service personal harder to find as well since they will not be as familiar with repairs on older machines. Research the manufacturing company and choose one that has been in business for a decent amount of time, If you feel the company will not be around in the next ten years it will most likely not have very good resale value.

Re-licensing Fees

When shopping for a new linear accelerator, if a machine requires new relicensing it will become more costly to a buyer hence making it less attractive for purchase. Providing the license on the equipment will increase the demand which will, in turn, make it have a higher resale value as well. Company’s such as Varian and Elekta have always had higher resale value because of the licensing fees/ software and relocation charges being less than their competitors.

Technology Reimbursements

The centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services utilize reimbursement rates to entice clinicians to accept the use of new, proven treatment for the future. For example, several years ago when CMS code 77421 was released, image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) became widely accepted and hundreds of linear accelerators were upgraded, therefore. A linear accelerator that has the technology to benefit from higher reimbursement rates which certainly affect the price of a machine in the market of used equipment. Systems that use IMRT, IGRT, and CBCT technology will lead more than machines without these capabilities. The future can be a mystery when attempting to predict which technologies will be reimbursed in the following years but company’s such as Varian and Elekta have a long history of systems that have the possibility for upgrades which has helped them increase in value on used products.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Knowing the Ins and Outs of Linac Repairs Part 1


Understanding the complexities of linear accelerators can be rather difficult since these machines are such large, expensive machines. A linear accelerator operates by delivering external beam radiation treatments to patients fighting cancer, but they also include additional imaging systems that are attached such as portal dosimetry or onboard imaging which too add to the complexity. Due to such precise functionality of such a variety of parts inside the unit, it is crucial for any clinic to have the proper expertise on-site to work on these machines and know exactly what these systems do.

The Importance Of Treatments

Investing in proper expertise is a very serious matter for the oncology department to consider due to the fact that patients receiving the treatment must continue a regular schedule with as little amount of downtime as possible because of the cumulative effect that radiation has on the cancer cells and if treatment is stopped, the entire treatment process will have to be restarted all over again.

In-Depth Training

A clinical engineer not only needs to know how to complete a repair on a broken or damaged part of a linear accelerator but needs to understand the actual process of how the equipment is designed to work during treatments. Troubleshooting can be very difficult if not familiar with the problem that is being described by the clinic operators. It is part of the technician’s job to be able to translate what an issue could be related to a piece of software or hardware component. Developing this skill set and the understanding of linear accelerators takes a great deal of time and not always be taught in just a few sessions of training during a treatment occurring. Training alone is not effective enough when needing technicians to perform repairs at clinics. Vendor service schools can range anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000 or even possibly higher depend on the level of expertise. The portion for training on linac is roughly 6 weeks of school during a 2-year period however additional schooling can be done for onboard imaging as well. The entire process could take 3 to 4 years to complete which will include hands-on experience.

Finding The Right Time for Repairs

Linac parts are regularly checked during preventative maintenance visits which are generally recommended by the manufacturer to occur 3 to 4 times each year. Each maintenance visit requires detailed checklists and the individualized machines also have onboard alert systems programmed to shut off a device if a problem is found to prevent safety concerns. The most difficult question that needs to be solved is when can time be taken to actual repair the Linac equipment? In many facilities, patients are scheduled every 15 minutes throughout an 8-hour period, 5 days a week. With the importance of continuing treatments for a clinic’s patients, downtime is the worst part of the day. If possible, a technician will bypass the issue and continue limping along, treating patients when possible. Much service work is then performed after hours or on nights/ weekends. Some clinics choose to have a backup machine when these instances occur and one needs repair but this adds on additional costs and still extended hours added to a facility.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.



Closing a Pool for the Fall Season


It’s October and the summer has officially left us. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing, and the idea of spending outside in a pool has become an idea most would not advise. For pool owners, maintenance and overall care is not new, nor is it exactly fun to go through, but it is absolutely necessary if you plan on opening that pool again next summer. The process for closing a pool for the winter is rather straightforward but done improperly can cause noticeable damage. Outlined here are some elements to the process to make sure that the pool is looking clean and sparkly to jump into next summer.

Winterizing

One of the first things to be done is making sure the chemicals are balanced properly. This involves making sure the proper assets are tested, such as pH, hardness, and alkalinity. Making sure this is done first can avoid issues when opening the pool next summer. Doing so also protects the pool from any surface damage that may occur during the winter. According to The Home Depot, the proper window for each asset is between 80 – 150ppm alkalinity, 7.2 – 7.6 pH, and 175 – 275ppm hardness.

Chlorine

Shocking is a process of literally shocking the pool full of an excessive amount of chlorine. Doing so can give the pool enough chlorine to keep the algae away during the off-season. This is important for looking ahead to the next summer so you don’t open your pool and have to spend more time making sure the pool is properly balanced all over again. It’s best to shock your pool a few days before planning on closing the pool for the winter to get the best results.

Equipment

A natural step in the closing down of a pool is to make sure all equipment is properly taken care of, including tools within the pool and outside of it. It is not advised to leave anything in the pool itself (aside from the water), so make sure any toys or cleaning tools have been removed. Lowering the water level helps with this process and is advised below the skimmer. Pool pumps, heaters, and other equipment should all be drained completely to avoid being frozen over during the winter months. Lastly, drain the chemical feeder completely and add the winter cover to the pool. You’re then ready to reverse all of these steps next spring!

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.



The Importance of Preventative Maintenance of Bus Ducts


Having an uninterrupted supply of electricity for customers is the main goal of a power generation industry to allow them to meet their demands. It can be very costly for a company to have any unplanned downtime due to any equipment failures. This is a fact when looking at bus duct systems since they effectively transfer power to switchgear and other loads. To prevent avoidable downtimes from occurring it is imperative to have preventative bus duct maintenance in place.

Neglect on Systems

Too often, critical systems like bus ducts that transmit power at industrial buildings go neglected. The reason behind this is because people are under the wrong concept that since bus duct systems do not consist of moving internal parts that they do not need regular maintenance or service. Over time, carbon and other foreign debris can build up and contaminate the bus systems that will, in turn, cause cataclysmic arcs and damage the equipment. Without proper inspection and preventative maintenance performed regularly, the equipment will have without a doubt have unexpected failures that will cause outages, can further damage equipment and increase safety risks for personnel as well. 

Preventing Failures

It is very important to have regular and systematic inspections of the bus duct systems performed. If the installation is done in unfavorable conditions, for example, high temperature/ humidity or environments with a lot of dust it is recommended these inspections are performed at a more frequent interval in these instances. The most common failures that are observed during bus duct failures can range from damaged gaskets/ bellows, grounding issues, cracked weld joints, conductor connection integrity, and even improper termination design or installation.

Installing New Bus Ducts

One factor to consider when installing a new or replacing bus duct system is to consider the ampacity requirement for your actual operating environment as opposed to just choosing one based on a standard chart’s temperature assumption. The most bus generally occupies at high-temperature areas since they are installed near the ceiling. Temperatures will continue to fluctuate while under load or no load as well, so it is important to do the research and know the limits of the equipment. Another good piece of advice is to install extra protection with service conductor bus ducts to protect the bus duct zone from fault. It may be an extra up-front cost but the savings from downtime in the future will be well worth it.

J & P Electrical Company is a full-service electricalcompany that supplies contractors, end users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We offer a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugsbus ductspanelswitches, and transformers. Services include asset managementproduct reconditioning, and electrical products. More information can be found at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com



Remodeling Your Home During the Holidays


The year has flown by and you may find yourself panicking to invite friends and family over to your home for the holidays knowing that all the home projects you were trying to get done haven’t even been started. It may be best to wait until the new year to tackle larger renovations, but the good news is that there is still plenty of time to accomplish some of the remodels before their arrival and make your home guest-ready. Before starting any home project big or small during the holiday season, it is wise to ask yourself how much holiday stress are you ready to encounter? Beginning any home project will sure to make a mess and adding on the tasks of holiday decorations, shopping, etc. might be too much for some to handle. Hiring a professional home contractor will most definitely make home remodels much less stressful and make deadlines easier to coordinate. Perhaps the dust doesn’t deter your home remodel desires, and this may be a opportune time for a few projects with having extra time off work or having some extra help home for the holidays to help as well.

Flooring Upgrades

One project that can be completed quickly is to install new carpeting, hardwood, or laminate flooring to give your guests a new wow factor for your home. This project is one that can be handled by a standard DIY homeowner but if wanting to be done even faster, a professional home remodeler can achieve this new look within only a few days depending on the square footage needed to be replaced.

Bathroom Remodels

Bathroom remodels can be from one extreme to another and if wanting to spruce up your current bathroom without having to rip out walls and having to move plumbing lines, a simple bathroom remodel can be done on a tight timeline as well. Consult with a professional home remodeler to discuss timeline needs that will depend on the size of fixtures that are being replaced. There are several factors to keep in might that can add on additional time that is out of a person’s control such as getting proper permits or inspections. Choosing certain materials can also change timelines due to special orders for custom made items so if wanting to complete the project quickly, your options could be more limited.

Updating the Kitchen

The kitchen can be a much more time-consuming area of the home when it comes to home remodeling and the larger renovations may be best to hold off until the hustle and bustle are all gone however there are a few things that can be checked off your to-do list. A few simple updates such as a new kitchen faucet, updated light fixtures, a new backsplash, and new paint can really spruce the room up. Also, if Santa decides to come early, purchasing new appliances as long as the new dishwasher doesn’t need a different location or stove need gas to be installed can also all be easy upgrades that can be done within a week or so from purchase.

JFC Remodeling is a full-service licensed contractor out of Howell, Michigan.  Specializing in kitchen and bathroom renovationsflooring upgrades, and home remodelingservices.  More information can be found online at https://jfcremodeling.com/.



Company Holiday Party Planning Tips


With the holiday season fast approaching, your calendars are sure to start filling up fun festivities. Now is the perfect time to begin planning a company holiday party for your workplace as well. Begin planning early enough to stay organized and make this a party that will create an experience that will boost company morale but also increase employee satisfaction.

Start with the Basics

It may seem overwhelming planning a party, especially when it’s a company holiday one. For this reason, many people will decide to hire a professional event planner to help in this task but depending on the size of the party, it is still something that can be done individually or as a team with a few helping tips. The first step is setting your budget for the party so that you will not over plan and realize what has been chosen will not work with your funds. Next, gather a list of the basic information you will need such as how many people are coming. Is this even going to include all employees or just upper management? Other key questions are what dates are going to work best for the company group, location, and what type of event whether it is a casual or formal gathering. Every good party will need these core elements, but they do not all have to be written in stone but should be considered when choosing different options in relation.

Choosing a Date/ Time

There is no magic day that will work best for a company holiday party, but some will be better than others. People, in general, tend to be very busy during this time of year with other events and obligations that they may need to follow. Asking for employee preference will keep them feeling included and have a better turn out in guest size if the date works for the majority. Hosting a holiday party on a weekday during lunch hour or after work could work however keeping in mind normal work hours is needed. Most holiday company parties are preferred to occur on a Friday night after the workday is completed. A possible option of allowing your employees to leave a little early to get ready even more excited to attend. Choosing a Friday night however will come at a higher cost since this is the most popular option.

Food and Drinks

When selecting the menu options for your company holiday party, several options should be considered to make this party a success. Deciding on a plated meal option will be more cost-effective and can be presented more elegantly than having everyone stand in line at a buffet style. Talk with your caterer or event planner about your budget and look for food options that are suited well for the season since a caterer will have likely experience with serving food for holiday parties. Menu choices can also be chosen is a specific theme is set for the party, so it is not required to rent expensive holiday décor and materials.

Drinks selected for the party can be just as important as the food menu. The holidays are filled with lots of different holiday options such as eggnog, hot chocolate and more. If choosing to provide alcohol, it is best to set limitations on how much guests can consume for a variety of reasons such as budget, to avoid embarrassing holiday party stories and to also guarantee everyone’s safety when departing. Creative ways to minimize alcohol during a party is to offer only signature drinks, having only wine or beer, closing a bar time frame early or only available during dinner. 

Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, wedding planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia, with access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget.  We pride ourselves on providing only the highest-quality event coordination, giving you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion including exclusive corporate and non-profit eventsweddingsBar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events and milestone celebrations.  More information can be found online at https://www.eventplanningdc.com.



LINAC Removal and Disposal Service

Out with the old and in with the new as people always say. Replacing your radiation equipment is a must in the cancer treatment world to better provide quality and efficient services to cancer patients worldwide. If repairs to linear accelerators exceeds the value of the machines, it is best to begin looking at buying a new or refurbished linear accelerator to replace it. The removal of your equipment is no easy task and should consult the professionals that are experienced in this process to comply with state regulations, liability and safety concerns, and to ensure it is done properly so that you do not spend additional money to get services done multiple times.

Preventing Prolonged Downtime

With every linear accelerator replacement or removal, a clinic will expect to have treatment for their clinics to be suspended. This delay can be very difficult and dangerous for many cancer patients due to the nature of the sickness. Radiation therapy destroys the DNA of cancerous cells much faster than healthy cells which is a large advantage in cancer treatment. Healthy cells recover from radiation quicker sometimes even by the next days treatment while the cancer cells continue to become weaker. Interruptions to this treatment schedule will allow cancer cells to grow back and gain strength so down time is not really an option for many of people. Having to travel to a new hospital for treatment is not ideal so many clinics may try to have a second machine that can be of use, but this too can be an expensive alternative for the companies.

Moving the Linear Accelerator Equipment

The process of moving a linear accelerator to a new location or for disposal can be quite a large task and by large they estimate roughly 25,000 pounds that stand over 8 feet high. Despite their massive size, they are very fragile and must be moved properly and with most care which can take extensive amount of time anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks even. Depending on the type of linac being removed, concrete floors or walls may have to be broken around the base frame so that future construction for renovations can be completed.

Purchasing Refurbished Equipment Vs New

When ready to purchase a replacement linear accelerator there are a few options to consider since this is a big financial decision. A new linear accelerator on average can cost $2,928,771. Purchasing a refurbished linear accelerator is considerably less in comparison. A refurbished or used linear accelerator does not mean that it is old or outdated technology. Many newer style oncology equipment can be found on used product market. Buyers can purchase the latest technology at a more affordable price with refurbished. Another advantage, many of the machines are upgraded frequently with platforms designed for the used systems.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.



What Is the Cost Of Resurfacing A Pool?


Owning a pool can be very luxurious during the hot summer months and is a great way to relax and cool off. It is not however enjoyable to get in and out of the pool and get scraped by the rough sides of the pool or when the water begins to turn an unpleasant or strange in the least color because of the reflection from the damaged pool floor. If these situations sound familiar, it may be time to begin looking at options for resurfacing the pool. To begin, we will discuss just how much to budget for when its time to resurface your swimming pool.

What Causes Pool Surface to Get Damaged?

When pools are first constructed, they are beautiful structures that bring beauty to your back yard however over time, chemicals and sun exposure will take a toll on it. Proper chemical balancing is key to extending the life of your pool plaster. Having low calcium levels and hard water stabilizers will damage the pool’s finish and create worn spots. It is also important to be conscious of the pools water levels since the water helps hold the pool together and creates a layer of protection.

Pool Resurfacing Pricing

There are many of factors that with influence the cost range for resurfacing a pool with items such as location, size of pool, and the amount of damage that needs to be repaired. Location is a large aspect in pricing considerations since areas that are warmer climate often have a larger quantity of people who have them. This allows for many more pool contractors to be in the area with supplies nearby so shipping costs will be less. With more contractors also in the area, the competition will also drive pricing down. The size and condition of course will fluctuate and the larger or more repair that needs to be done, the more hours a professional pool plaster company will have to spend more hours in labor to seal the cracks and remove damaged plaster from. If deciding to do a DIY plaster resurface this could potentially also change the amount of money that will need to be spent on the project. On a average, plaster resurfacing will range $5 to %7 per square foot for materials and labor cost typically is between $400 to $565 for about 6 hours’ worth of work.

Hire A Professional or DIY?

A question to ask yourself is if the savings of a DIY project outweigh the advantages of hiring a professional pool plaster company to do the resurfacing of your swimming pool. The resurfacing process entails an extensive amount of time, specializes tools, and qualified product materials that many suppliers will only sell to other professionals. Many DIY pool owners will not be able to find these materials from a local hardware store which is why many choose to hire pool plaster companies to complete the pool repairs. Regardless if choosing to take on the pool plaster yourself or leave to a professional, it is wise to know the basic steps in the resurfacing procedure.

Pound Pool Plastering offers several options when it comes to servicing your pool including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, plumbing, and coping in both commercial and residential settings.  More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.