Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Leave Storm-Related Tree Work to Professionals

“What’s this? Another tree/branch/large shrub in my yard that wasn’t there before the storm? I better gas up my brother’s old chain saw and go cut it up.”

Stop! Just don’t.

Yet another storm has brought distress into your yard in the form of large branches and even entire trees that have broken and fallen into your world view. Before you dig out your brother’s old chain saw, the first question should be, “Am I capable of removing this large tree/limb myself or should I seek professional help?” Major tree-damage cleanup will undoubtedly require the use of a chain saw and climbing equipment. Unless you are experienced in the use of such equipment and comfortable working off the ground, it would be best to have the work performed by a competent professional.

Wind places loads on trees, including trunks, branches and roots, leading to higher stress. The varying lengths and sizes of tree branches tend to dampen the overall effects of wind; however, as wind speeds increase, the loads placed on stress points within the tree increase exponentially. When the loads exceed trunk, branch or root strength, various types of failures occur.

But my brother’s chain saw is right here – it wouldn’t take me long at all!
It might be tempting to get out there with your brother’s old chain saw and do the work yourself. And this is where so many homeowners get into trouble. Run an internet search for videos of “tree cutting gone wrong” to see just what can happen.

I’ve used a chain saw before to cut up an old fence. What could possibly go wrong if I cut up this giant tree branch in my yard?
Professionally trained tree workers have to know what to look out for. Do you?
• There could be overhead and/or nearby electrical wires that create potential hazards and limit the options for tree cutting. Torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them.
• Most chain saw work on large limbs or trees requires the experience of a trained operator to prevent injuries. Wood under tension (one or both ends of the fallen tree or branch pinned under other branches or debris) can have different types of binds at different places. Releasing that tension with chain saw cuts is extremely dangerous and can seriously, or fatally, harm the chain saw operator.
• Uprooted root plates or root balls are unpredictable. Cutting the trunk of a fallen tree from an uprooted plate releases the pressure holding the root plate. The roots are still anchored and may have enough tension that they will pull the stump and root ball back into the hole. It could suddenly sit back into the root hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.
• Slope and uneven footing surfaces are dangerous while operating a chain saw.
• Watch that bar tip! Cutting branches on the ground can cause you to bury the saw bar in the dirt or hit hidden obstacles, causing chain saw kickback.
• Many homeowners injured doing their own tree work were working alone at the time, significantly lengthening emergency response time and hospital stays. Always have at least one other person work with you. In case you get trapped or injured, there’s someone to call for help.

Removing large, fallen trees should always be done by an experienced professional.
Find a professional

A professional arborist can assess your landscape and work with you to determine the best course of action to care for and maintain the trees and shrubs in your landscape. Contact the Tree Care Industry Association, a public and professional resource on trees and arboriculture since 1938. TCIA has more than 2,400 member tree care firms and affiliated companies. All member tree care companies recognize stringent safety and performance standards and are required to carry liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, where applicable.

TCIA has the nation’s only Accreditation program that helps consumers find tree care companies that have been inspected and accredited based on: adherence to industry standards for quality and safety; maintenance of trained, professional staff; and dedication to ethics and quality in business practices. An easy way to find a tree care service provider in your area is to use the “Find A Tree Care Company” program. You can use this service by calling 1-800-733-2622 or by doing a ZIP Code search on http://www.treecaretips.org.

Editors: If you would like additional information or digital photos, please contact TCIA via 1-800-733-2622 or press@tcia.org.

TCIA arborists, safety and business professionals are also available as sources for tree-related articles and issues: 1-800-733-2622 or tandersen@tcia.org.

Advertisements
Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Shopping for Holiday Deals? Make a List and Check it Twice

Holiday promotions have kicked off at retailers throughout Wisconsin and the one-day deals and doorbusters are on their way. To help keep track of all of the deals and sale-specific terms, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) asks shoppers to pay close attention to the details of this season’s online and in-store promotions.

Over the holiday shopping season, most retailers will have different store hours, product inventories, and return policies than usual. Some discounts are only offered in stores while others may require the use of a retailer’s website or mobile apps. To minimize confusion and help set realistic expectations, shoppers should review the details in advertisements so they know about these limitations before they head out for a shopping spree.

Some tips to remember when you are shopping for deals this holiday season include:

  • If you use a retailer’s app, familiarize yourself with its operation in advance of your trip to the store so you can access discounts and promotional offers before you hit the register.
  • In-store promotions may require you to spend a certain amount on particular products and accept a text message from the business in order to receive a coupon or promo code. Read the fine print on posted signs for the offer.
  • If you use print ads, keep them available and take note of any special prices while you shop online or in store.
  • Print out promotional offers from retailers’ websites if you intend to buy a particular item in store.
  • Some one-day deals may require tickets that you receive at the front door of the store. These tickets may be limited.
  • A store’s price match policies may not apply to sale items listed in holiday ads.
  • Make sure you understand return/refund/exchange policies before you buy. Retailers may have alternative policies in place for holiday sales, and online purchases may not be eligible for in-store returns. Keep your receipts and remember to pick up gift receipts to include with your presents.
  • Be aware that clearance and “open items” may have different return policies or not be returnable at all.

Wisconsin law requires stores to charge their lowest advertised price for a product and to refund any overcharge, so it is important for consumers to keep an eye on the prices at the register or in the online shopping cart. Take note: special pricing may only apply to specific products, so make sure that you have the correct item, color, and model name or number before you start to checkout. Speak up if you believe that an item did not register at its advertised price.

If you are charged the wrong price on an item and the business will not correct the error, file a complaint with DATCP’s Weights and Measures Bureau, visit datcp.wi.gov, send an e-mail to datcpweightsandmeasures@wi.gov, or call 608-224-4942.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Hot sauce hold-up: Cops says suspect used spicy sauce to rob store

A 42-year-old Alabama man allegedly confessed to robbing a 73-year-old store clerk on Sunday, but he didn’t use a knife or a gun — his weapon of choice was a cup of hot sauce.

According to the Opelika-Auburn News, the plucky clerk got suspicious of the suspect, whom she followed from the store, to the parking lot, back into the store, where he bought some candy.

In a statement, the Valley Police Department recalled, “When she opened the register to give him change, he flung a cup full of liquid, later determined to be hot sauce, into her face and started to grab at the open register drawer. They struggled over the drawer and he then fled the area on foot.”

The stinging sauce left the victim in need of medical attention.

After checking out the store’s surveillance footage, cops soon nabbed the suspect, identified as Michael Brisky LaFayette, and charged him with first-degree armed robbery and fourth-degree theft of property.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

BBB Warning: “Secret Sister” Gift Exchange is Illegal

The Better Business Bureau is reminding consumers that the online “Secret Sister” gift exchange and similar invitations are illegal and should be ignored. The campaign, which was first big in 2015, has again been circulating on social media sites, particularly Facebook.

The post claims that participants will receive up to 36 gifts in exchange for sending one gift valued at $10. Users are encouraged to invite others to participate in the holiday gift exchange, where they will receive information on where to mail gifts.

But there is one big problem with gift chains like “Secret Sister” – they are pyramid schemes. The U.S. Postal Inspection Services says that gift exchanges are illegal gambling and that participants could be subject to penalties for mail fraud. Pyramid schemes are illegal, either by mail or on social media, if money or other items of value are requested with assurance of a sizable return for those who participate.

Here is how this scheme works: If a consumer purchases one gift for a stranger, she will receive as many as 36 gifts in return. This type of gift exchange may seem reasonable enough in theory: six friends invite six more friends, who all send gifts to the participant in spot 1 before that person’s named is removed. This process repeats itself with the participant in the 2 spot, and so on. Of course, starting this gift exchange comes with a catch – you need to disclose your personal information, such as your home address.

If you receive a chain letter by mail, email, or social media, especially one that involves money or gifts, ignore it. Report the post to Facebook by clicking on the three little dots in the upper right corner of the post.

For more information on scams, check out BBB Scam Tips (BBB.org/ScamTips). Report scams to BBB Scam Tracker (BBB.org/ScamTracker).

Community Events, Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Christmas in the Mansion

The Rahr-West Art Museum will once again host Christmas in the Mansion. This event kicks off after the City of Manitowoc’s annual Holiday Parade on Wednesday, November 21 with a Santa reception. Parade goers are invited to visit with Santa and take in the splendor of the beautifully decorated Vilas-Rahr mansion.

As in year’s past, volunteers have worked tirelessly to breathe gorgeous Christmas spirit into the historic mansion. Be sure to take some time during the busy holiday schedule to get into the holiday spirit and take in the wonder of Christmas in the Vilas-Rahr mansion.

Christmas in the Mansion will run from November 21, 2018 through January 6, 2019.

The Rahr-West Art Museum is a City of Manitowoc Facility, located at 610 North Eighth Street in Manitowoc. The museum and art galleries are open Tuesday – Friday from 10am to 4 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 11am to 4 pm.  The museum is closed Mondays.  The Museum will also be closed on Christmas Eve Day.  The Rahr-West Art Museum is free to the public.  For further information, contact the Rahr-West Art Museum at 920-686-3090 or visit our website www.rahrwestartmuseum.org.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Wisconsin FFA Foundation Receives #GivingTuesday Matching Pledge

Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s #GivingTuesday kicks off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back.

Compeer Financial has pledged $7,500 in matching gift support on #GivingTuesday to the FFA Foundations in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Each state will be eligible for up to $2,500 in funds, based on the amount raised on #GivingTuesday, November 27.

“FFA played an important part of my life as a young adult and helped shape me into the leader I am today,” says Rod Hebrink, president and CEO of Compeer Financial, and former Minnesota FFA State President. “FFA gave me the important foundation in giving presentations to small and large groups, interacting with farmers, and telling the story of agriculture and rural America. As president and CEO of Compeer Financial, I use the skills I learned in FFA each day. Serving as a state officer and being a member of FFA is something I am very proud of to this day.”

“Agriculture education and youth organizations are important to Compeer Financial, and the future of agriculture and rural America,” Hebrink continues. “Not only do we support our three state FFA organizations, but we give back to local classrooms with our agriculture education equipment grants and FFA chapters. Our team members are involved in presenting to FFA chapters, serving as judges at section and state events, and have membership and leadership roles in FFA Alumni chapters across Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

To meet the generous $2,500 matching pledge from Compeer Financial, the Wisconsin FFA Foundation will be accepting online donations anytime on Tuesday, November 27. Gifts can be made via credit, debit and/or EFT directly on the Foundation’s website at www.WisconsinFFAFoundation.org/donate.

Lakeshore News, News Around the World

Survey says iPhone users are happier and more successful than Android phone folks

While iPhone and Android users are usually very faithful to their respective devices, one study says the differences between each type of user is more than just a matter of technological preference.

The online retailer SlickDeals says based on its survey of a thousand users of each type of phone, iPhone users are generally happier, make more money, and have more friends than those slinging around a Samsung or Google Pixel phone.

According to the poll results posted by the website StudyFinds, iPhone users were 27% more likely to say they were “very happy” with their lives, compared to Android phone users; they also on average have five close friends as compared to the Android phone user’s three; and prefer a night out with friends compared to Google phone users, who’d rather be, “curled up on the couch watching TV or reading a book.”

Seeing as they’ve got more expensive phones, on average — a new, top of the line iPhone can top $1,000, easy — the iPhone users reportedly earned a higher average income than their Samsung-calling counterparts. The breakdown was more than $53,000 a year for the Apple users to $37,000 for the latter.

On the flip side, Samsung users were seen as more frugal, spending not only less for their phones, but half as much monthly on clothing and beauty products compared to the Apple fans.

Also interestingly, iPhone users were said to take an average of 12 selfies a day compared to seven for the Android phone folks — and the Apple fans sent 58 texts on average per day compared to 26 for their counterparts.