Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, June 22, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page B:2



 Mountain Views News Saturday, June 22, 2013 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA


We’ll be seeing a lot more of the # symbol on Facebook. When users include a phrase or word 
with a hashtag (#) in front, it will now be clickable (for example #royalbaby). When you click on a 
hashtagged phrase it will take you to a feed that includes all of the posts from others using that same 
hashtag. In other words, it groups a conversation about a specific topic from all users and pages on 

Here are 5 ways for businesses to leverage the new Facebook hashtag feature:

1. Follow trending topics. Search or click on hasthtags to do research and get trending news 
on different topics. You might find interesting posts that you can share with your audience or get 
insight into what your competitors are doing.
2. More Visibility. Include hashtags in your posts so you can extend the reach of your messages 
and gain more brand visibility. Just make sure that your post “fits” the hashtag topic. 
3. Find your audience. Discover and network with new people and businesses who share 
interests or who are part of an industry. Hashtags will allow you to build your audience around 
specific topics.
4. Join conversations. Search for hashtags that make sense to your business and engage with 
these posts by “liking,” “commenting,” or “sharing” them. 
5. Come up with your own hashtag. Create a unique hashtag for your business, service or 
product and promote it. Make sure you research to see if it is already being used. 

Stay tuned! Rumor has it that Facebook will also be introducing trending hashtags soon. This will 
make it even easier to join in the conversation.

About MJ: MJ and her brother David own HUTdogs, a creative services business that specializes in 
Internet Marketing strategies. They are known for providing valuable information at their Social 
Media and Email Marketing classes. “Like” them on Facebook for trending news in social media, 
internet marketing and other helpful tips,

Sign up for their upcoming classes and presentations at: 


It’s almost impossible to get the 
real scoop on what the Patient 
Protection and Affordable Care 
Act (PPACA). Many embers 
from the political firestorm that 
preceded the federal statute 
signed into law by the President 
on March 23, 2010 continue to 
burn. Whether we like it or not, 
a new day has dawned with the 
most significant government 
expansion and overhaul of the 
U.S. healthcare system since 
the advent of Medicare and 
Medicaid in 1965. Coupled with 
The Health Care and Education 
Reconciliation Act (which 
was introduced to amend 
PPPACA), the ultimate goal 
is to increase the affordability 
and access to health insurance 
for Americans, while reducing 
overall healthcare costs for 
everyone, including individuals 
and the government.

Commonly referred to as 
“Obamacare,” this nationwide 
system includes mandates, 
subsidies and tax credits to 
encourage everyone to get 
on board. Obamacare is for 
us today, what Medicare and 
Medicaid were to the country 
in the 60’s – something new, 
untested and filled with lots 
of uncertainty, however, the 
country survived and those 
programs have become a 
part of our national health 
infrastructure. The uncertainty 
fueled by the unknown of 
how Obamacare will impact 
the pockets and choices of 
individuals and businesses 
has many people on pins 
and needles as they await 
unwelcomed change being 
forced upon them. Fortunately, 
there is sufficient information 
available to provide questions 
to many of the unknowns, with 
more to follow in the upcoming 

California is among the states 
leading the charge as one of the 
first in the nation to establish 
the statewide Exchange of 
major insurance companies to 
offer Qualified Health Plans. A 
lot of work has been done to lay 
the groundwork for the January 
1, 2014 date that triggers the 
requirement for every American 
to have health insurance, and 
there is a lot more work to do. If 
you’re among those interested in 
facts, as opposed to unfounded 
rumors and opinions aligned 
with political agendas on either 
sides of the aisle, there are 
tax-funded resources readily 

Obamacare is being 
administered and implemented 
through the state-operated 
California Health Benefit 
Exchange (HBEX) established 
for this purpose. Visit the 
website at: http://www. or www. Information and 
links to PPACA legislation, 
related California legislative 
actions, minutes and webcasts of 
HBEX monthly board meetings 
are available at this site.

“Covered California” is the 
HBEX brand and health 
insurance enrollment conduit 
developed for consumer use. 
website offers a great overview 
and details regarding how 
this federal program will be 
implemented through the 
end of 2014. The homepage 
features a link to the latest 
news regarding the program in 
California, as well as an online 
calculator that allows visitors 
to calculate the projected costs 
of health care premiums based 
on their annual income and the 
size of their households.

More to share on this important 
topic in the upcoming months, 
but if you want to know what’s 
really happening, you can start 
with a perusal of www.Covered.


As you search and tour homes that appeal to you, how can you be sure that the asking prices 
are in line with current values? Begin by asking your real estate agent to collect comparables 
and prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). This report indicates market trends by 
showing whether similar homes in the area are selling for above or below the asking price 
of the home(s) you've selected.

Using the comparables that your agent researched, you'll be able to figure the average cost 
per square foot for the area, and determine if the home you want compares favorably with 
those figures. Total the square footage of several homes and divide by the number of homes 
to get an average. Total the "sold" prices of each home and divide by the number of homes 
to get an average selling price.

Now, divide that average selling price by the average square footage to produce the average 
price per square foot for homes in the area. When you multiply that average price per 
square foot by the square footage of the home you want, you'll discover how your choice 
compares, and then you'll know if you're looking at a fair price.

Other factors like the seller's motivation or urgency may also affect your offer, so talk to 
your agent about that CMA and take the next step! 

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People going places, doing things. Vibrant. Smiling people. 
Making new friendships. Burnishing old ones. 
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This is senior living the way it should be.
HAPPY TAILS (continued 
from page A9)

over and rolling on the floor in a 
good gut laugh just from watching 
him be himself. That is why I call 
Charlie a ‘clown’. For example, 
during a recent walk he noticed 
a concrete deer standing on the 
porch of a nearby neighbor‘s house. 
At first glance, he did not react, 
but once the vision registered in 
his head, he suddenly stopped in 
his tracks and began to point his 
tail and nose in the direction of 
the statue. Within seconds, he was 
springing straight up into the air, 
the way he does when he is excited, 
and singing his high-pitched tune 
at the top of his lungs. I could tell he 
wanted to take pursuit and run after 
the faux creature, thinking it was 
indeed a real deer, but instead he 
looked up at me as if to ask, “should 
I stay or should I go?”. Well, I have 
to say I could barely contain myself 
when I saw that look on his face. He 
truly thought that the statue was 
a live animal and he so wanted to 
run after it, but he knew he would 
have to ask permission first!

 On several occasions during our 
walks, Charlie has shown interest in 
protecting his live-in sister, Chata. 
Chata, a gorgeous golden American 
bulldog terrier is much older and 
way more aware than Charlie, and 
she is very protective of Charlie’s 
welfare while we are out and about, 
but because she is also very sweet 
and loves her little brother, she 
allows Charlie to play the protective 
part. Chata is nowhere near as big 
as Charlie, but she is very wise and 
assumed the position of mentor to 
Charlie from the day he joined their 
family as a puppy. The two of them 
get along famously, much in the 
way we humans would like to think 
we do. Now and then, Charlie rubs 
his head against Chata’s velvety 
neck, just to remind her that he is 
watching out for her, and pleased 
with her presence. These are the 
gestures that speak louder than 
words, and can only be portrayed 
by a loving, caring canine.

 How lucky am I, to spend my 
days hanging out with such loving 
four-legged furry friends as Charlie, 
Chata and all the other canine 
clients I know? Yes, I suppose I 
could go back to being an employee 
in the corporate world and work 
hard to gain my employer’s 
recognition and make more money, 
but no amount of fortune or fame 
could ever compete with the love I 
get to share with the animals, and I 
hope to remain occupied with this 
bit of business for the rest of my life!