Ongaro & Sons To The Rescue!

Owning an older home (built in 1968) presents challenges from time to time updating electrical, roofing, etc. Recently we had another experience coping with our ancient housing infrastructure–PLUMBING!

To be more specific–the sewer lines UNDER our house!

  • I will skip the “fun” details as to how it came to our attention.
  • Suffice to say, it was a memorable experience…one we do not wish to repeat! ¬†ūüė¶

Equally challenging was finding a plumber contractor able to take on the task.¬† After several “misfires” we located a company in our area capable of taking on the job– Ongaro & Sons

They sent a very hardworking team who attacked the problem and installed new sewer lines under the house…

Pedro & Kurt

Travis

Ongaro On Site

To give you an idea what our main sewer line looked like after removal by the Ongaro Team, I offer these two images below. I will understand if you don’t linger over them…

As many of my followers know, over the years I frequently include work photos of various Rebuilding Together Petaluma job sites and Kaiser Permanente MLK Day Volunteers on this blog as well as my photo blog.

As all the work took place under our house I was not able to photograph the Ongaro Team at work. I trust you will understand why I did not join them to get a few images!! ūüôā

Petaluma Railroad Crossings Are Still Out Of Control!

Frankly, I CANNOT believe I am having to tell this story…Again! Fortunately, this time we avoided damage to our vehicle.

I was foolish to believe that any serious corrective action would be taken after the close call we had with the total lack of coordination of the railroad signals and traffic lights on Lakeville & D Streets in December 2012.¬† For details of that event, go to Railroad crossing arms close on Petaluma couple’s car at green light.

Today, I observed that the Same Dangerous¬†Lack of Coordination is still manifest–this time at Lakeville and East Washington.

  • We were headed downtown this morning and stopped at the red light on¬†Lakeville and East Washington. As in December 2012, I was the passenger in the vehicle.
  • Our¬†light turned green for East Washington traffic¬†and within a few¬†seconds the railroad lights started flashing and the arms came down.
  • At least two cars continued through the intersection driving past the arms as they were lowering.
  • The traffic light stayed green throughout the event.

Fortunately, I caught a few photos through the windshield to document this lack of coordination between the two signal systems.

Photo Notes

About 5 seconds passed before I took the first photo of the scene…

9:37:22am

9:37:22am

Here is¬†another…eleven seconds later…

9:37:33am

9:37:33am

A¬†minute later¬†these railroad cars appeared…stopped at this location…then reversed and left the scene without crossing East Washington.

The arms went up and the traffic light finally went from green to red!

9:38:09am

9:38:09am

Fortunately there were no vehicles in the intersection at the time the arms finished closing–how the two that did pass through made it was pure foolish luck on their part.

Given the overall incompetence displayed here in failing to coordinate the lights, it will only be a matter of time before there are serious injuries or worse.

I dare anyone in authority to explain this kind of screwup…much less defend it!

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Ohana Construction–The People’s Choice

Petaluma’s Argus Courier sponsors an annual awards event for local businesses…known as the People’s Choice awards. “The contest… gives members of the public a chance to vote for their favorite local business and service in more than 70 different categories.” (Petaluma Argus Courier)

Ohana Construction won as Best Contractor for 2016.  As a point of information, this is the third such award won by Ohana. We have contracted with Ohana Construction numerous times and just finished a major project with them in June.

We believe that a major factor in their service is the quality of their people and their associate contractors.  They are all consistently friendly, hard working, and dedicated to their crafts.

Perhaps the clue is in the name “Ohana”–Do a Google Definition search to learn the meaning of the word.

Here are a few images of Team Ohana on our recent project…

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Some of the associated contractors Ohana¬†employed on our recent project…

 

 

Spring Cleaning…getting rid of the wood burning fireplace

Spring is the time of year when many engage in a little extra cleaning around the house.¬† This year we added another item to the annual work order—Get rid of the wood burning fireplace!

1Before 1 IMG_0039

After a winter of “spare the air” days last winter, we decided it was time to move on…and away…from toasty wood burning¬†evenings in the family room.¬† This, of course, required contracting with professionals to carry it out.¬† We still wanted a supplemental heating unit in that room and elected to go with an electrical unit instead of a natural gas unit.

So we got out of the way, so to speak, and within a few days, Ohana Construction¬† of¬† Petaluma presented us with this…

DSCF6274WEB

Now, when we want to take the chill off the room, we merely have to click a remote! No more kindling…no more ashes…no more checking on whether it is a “Spare the Air” day.

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 Work Photos

Photo Gallery (Click to Open)

 

 

Shopping Cart Protest in Petaluma!

Given¬†the unrest in various quarters of our society, both locally and nationally, it was no surprise that a group of shopping carts decided to occupy a local shopping center.¬†They were objecting to the tracking devices, wheel locks, and other restrictions being placed on some of their fellow carts, thus inhibiting their¬†unrestricted movement around and about town…¬†

CARTS HAVE RIGHTS! © Frank Simpson

The protest was also a warning to future carts at shopping centers under construction that it could happen to them also if they did not stand up for their rights to freedom of movement…

Carts on Strike! © Frank Simpson

What will happen next? I hear rumors that plastic bags are organizing! They are angry about proposals to ban them and to otherwise limit their freedoms. They are particularly upset over treatment such as this…

Shopping Bag Abuse! © Frank Simpson

Yes, indeed! Things are very interesting in Petaluma on this April 1, 2012.

Happy April Fool’s Day

The Drug Problem in Your Medicine Cabinet

The proper disposal of leftover or out of date pharmaceuticals is receiving more attention as part of a national concern over contamination of our water tables.

Think this is not a problem in your household? Just for fun, check your medicine cabinets, dresser drawers and cupboards to determine how many pill bottles and medications¬†are in your home…

  • How many are current?
  • How many are out of date?
  • How many are no longer being used?

In Sonoma County, local officials from many jurisdictions and agencies have developed a joint program to remedy the problem by creating recycling locations around the county–The Safe Medicine Disposal Program.

Background

According to the Centers For Disease Control: Almost 50% of the US population has taken at least one prescription drug in the last month. In the United States, 2.34 Billion prescriptions are issued annually. 

Add the volume of over the counter (OTC) drugs and household inventories can build up dramatically.

While most drugs and pills are consumed, many are not due to changes in treatment, recovery, or death. If discarded drugs and medicines are not kept out of our landfills and waste-water systems, they will contaminate our water table by leaching out from the landfills or passing through (in whole or in part) even the most sophisticated waste-water filtering systems.

So, what do we do with the household inventory of out of date or unused medications and drugs? In the past, the advice and¬†practice was to simply throw¬†them in the trash or flush them down the toilet. Today, such disposal practices are not recommended–if not illegal in some jurisdictions.

The better practice is to gather all of your unused or out of date medications, pills, lotions, liquids, etc. and take them to a location that will ensure their safe disposal.

Sonoma County water agencies are now providing such¬†convenient disposal options…

Sonoma County Safe Medicine Disposal Program

The Safe Medicine Disposal Program is a countywide pharmaceuticals recycling program jointly managed by several agencies providing convenient locations for you to safely dispose of unwanted medicines without charge. It has been in operation since 2008. For more infomration on the program and disposal sites, go to Safe Medicine Disposal and Sonoma County Drop-Off Locations

Heather Johnson, Santa Rosa Environmental Compliance Inspector, provided numbers measuring the growing effectiveness of the program: 

Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Sebastopol

  • 2008–2552 pounds
  • 2009–4492 pounds
  • 2010–7475 pounds
  • 2011–4612 pounds to date

To fully appreciate these numbers, note that they are exclusive of bottle or container weight.

In Petaluma, Jamil Harb of The Medicine Shoppe advises that his take back program is currently processing 100 pounds a month.

In addition, an official of Petaluma‚Äôs Water Resources & Conservation Department advises that they are setting up a disposal site program at ‚Äú‚Ķtwo public building locations (one to serve the western sections of the community and one to serve the eastern portions)‚ĶOur goal is to have the full-time program in place by the end of the summer in time to be announced in the fall newsletter.‚Ä̬†

The Department recently sponsored a one day take back program at the Petaluma Senior Center that recovered 114 pounds.

Below are related links providing additional information on medicine disposal and related recycling issues.

Sources & Reference Links