Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 7, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 13



 Mountain Views News Saturday, September 7, 2013 


The latest on Business News, Trends and Techniques

By La Quetta M. Shamblee, MBA



Saving money while making money should be the goal of every business. However, business owners 
and managers should be able to distinguish between decisions and processes that are “pennywise, yet 
dollar foolish.” Translation? Be sure that you’re not spending ten dollars to save only one. Very often, 
companies engage in processes that require more time and more staff than necessary to complete 
certain tasks.

I recently worked on a project that had operations in several Southern CA counties. The company 
that hired me and other consultants was very frugal with their choice of equipment and tools they 
provided for us. When it came to our actual work, the same company didn’t have a clue, or didn’t 
seem to care that each consultant was “reinventing the wheel” that was readily available. A simple 
process of convening or poling the group of consultants would have provided the company with an 
arsenal of recommendations and expertise to streamline many of their inefficient processes.

One example was the barrage of questions to the project manager from each consultant about the 
same type of scenario encountered with a client. This required the project manager to respond to the 
same types of questions multiple times, as opposed to establishing a simple communications tool or 
formal feedback look that would have made it easier, quicker and more cost effective for the pool of 
consultants to have their questions answered.

A Q &A section on a webpage or prepared in a single document could have easily be prepared and 
updated on a daily or weekly basis to create a centralized point of communication that would have 
allowed all of the consultants to access the information. If the business lacked the staffing to update 
the webpage on an ongoing basis, a simple text document could have been created, updated and 
distributed on a daily or weekly basis.

Years ago I worked in the development department for a school for the developmentally disabled 
through two annual fundraising seasons. The director of development had a reputation for his cost-
cutting strategies. The first year I was there, he insisted that his two-person development staff take 
on the responsibility of preparing bulk mail for three separate mailings of 4,000 to 6,000 fundraising 
solicitations during the year. He considered $500-700 plus the cost of postage to be an excessive 
amount to pay a company that specialized in processing bulk mailings.

He was filled with glee as he shared that one of the attorneys on the organization’s board of directors 
had offered to have his secretary print the mailing labels from our database. This was another feather 
in his “cost-savings” hat. Turns out that no one informed the secretary that the labels should have 
been sorted by zipcode prior to printing – she printed all 6,500 of them in alphabetical order by last 
name. After we placed labels onto each of the envelopes, we spend the next two weeks sorting the 
envelopes by zipcode. Then we commenced to painstakingly match each envelope with the letter that 
was personally addressed to the potential donor. Quite a task to flip through stacks of envelopes now 
sorted by zipcode ranges to locate the exact addressee to match. In the end, our organization spent at 
least $2,300 for the staff time that we spent as a result of this “cost-saving” approach, plus postage. It 
seems in this instance, the willingness to spend money would have saved even more.


 A listing that offers a home warranty presents a win-win for all parties. Sellers can use this 
attractive marketing tool to give buyers some added assurance and confidence in their purchase, 
by giving the buyers protection against failures in the home’s systems and appliances.

Not all home warranties are the same, however, so sellers should be careful to educate themselves 
about the differences in cost, coverage, and policy owner feedback among the various 
companies that offer these contracts. These warranties may cost between $250 and $500 for one 
year, but that investment is well worth the return when a confident buyer makes an offer.

 Even if the seller does not offer such a policy, buyers are able to purchase one themselves, if 
they wish. Visit websites such as to check reviews and ratings with 
the Better Business Bureau. 

Also pay attention to what fees, if any, are charged for the service calls, and what exclusions may 
apply. All warranties offer a “basic coverage” policy, and you can often upgrade to include additional 
systems and appliances that are not included in the core package.

Chances are that the listing agent and buyer’s agent will have a list of recommended companies 
that offer these warranties, and will have worked with many buyers and sellers in the past who 
gave them feedback. 

Don’t be afraid to ask!


If you want to give a longer shelf life to a Facebook post, you can embed it and 
repurpose it on your website or blog. This is great for posts that spawn lots of 
interesting comments that could be helpful for a wider audience. For example, 
say you asked an interesting question about one of your products or services on 
Facebook and 50 people commented on the post, maybe they gave you great 
feedback and testimonials. You could showcase this post on your web site. 

 You can embed posts from other pages too, not just your own. Maybe there is a trending news story 
on a Facebook page that you want to talk about on your blog. Instead of taking a screen shot of the 
post, embed the post and it will be a living Facebook post that people can interact with while on your 
website or blog.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Hover over the top right corner of a post you want to embed 
(it must be a public post). 

2. A tiny gray arrow pointing down will appear. Click on the 
gray arrow, and select “Embed Post.”

3. Copy and paste the code into your website or blog. 

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: www. 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

By Sean Kayden


Denmark indie rock group The Kissaway Trail’s existence in the states is comparatively 
unknown, but with their third album, “Breach,” they hope to change all that. After 
the departure of two founding band members in 2012, the internal discord could 
have imploded the band all together. Instead, the group ultimately decided to stay 
together as a trio. However, their sound is tighter and more cohesive than ever before. 
With material of theirs played at a Google Glass conference earlier this year, they may 
be heading out of obscurity. Nonetheless, the real test comes with the reformed band and their latest release. 
“Breach,” The Kissaway Trail’s first album in over three years touches greatness. Back are the huge crescendos 
and anthem driven songs found on previous affairs. Rather than completely treading the same ground, the band 
has pushed their limits into new heights. They may look and sound familiar, but this is a brand new frontier 
they’re embarking on. After hearing the first track, “Telly The Truth (The Breach),” I was fully on board to follow 
them into the unknown. 

 I’ve always found this band to be criminally underrated. 
I love the vocals of Thomas L. Fagerlund especially when you can 
make out what he’s singing. With the combination of dreamy 
rock and minimalistic synthesizers, “Breach” dabbles in both 
90s indie rock and 80s snyth-pop. The record is more in your 
face at times than, their debut self-titled album and sophomore 
release “Sleep Mountain.” “Breach” bleeds with a youthful and 
anthemic resonance. The record settles on an ethereal vibe most 
of the way through. It’s painfully romantic at times with tracks 
like, “Beauty Still Rebels” and “Sarah Jevo.” The production values seem to be higher than previous efforts 
because The Kissaway Trail has created an enormous sound with their third LP. “So Sorry, I’m Not” dabbles 
with darker snyths this time around. This is the track that kicks off the second half album where the band takes 
a bit of a detour. However, as it may be, it was a diversion worth taking. The Kissaway Trail may share some 
comparisons with better-known acts such as Arcade Fire. Don’t think for a second this is second-rate material. 
In fact, “Breach” proves to be an outstanding record that will be disappointing if it doesn’t launch the band from 
anonymity to celebrated indie rock act. 

 I must say the single, “Nørrebro,” which is awesome in its own right felt slightly out of place. It sounds 
more like a modern day rock track, with the rest of the album wearing its influences on their sleeves. There is 
nothing wrong with that. Still, for “Breach,” it tilts the album just a bit from smooth sailing. However, with the 
exception of the two instrumental songs that don’t provide too much thrill, I was hard pressed to find a flawed 
song on the compilation. In the end, I was completely enamored by “Breach.” It’s usage of prior sounds of 
generations before them really shows, but never overshadows the bands artistic intentions. The influences merely 
add an element to the record, but it’s the way The Kissaway Trail puts together the pieces that demonstrates 
their pure talent. “Breach” may be the ticket The Kissaway Trail has always needed, but regardless of gaining 
popularity, the record shines with or without a new fan base. Those willing not to take a chance on these guys 
will miss out on the incredible and pure emotive experience that “Breach” effortlessly guides you along on. 

Grade: 9.3 out of 10

Key Tracks: “Telly The Truth (The Breach),” “Cuts Of Youth (Razor Love),” “The Springsteen Implosion,” “Sarah 
Jevo,” The Sinking,” 


By William Joyce & Laura Geringer

 September has now started, and we bid adieu to our leisurely 
reading for the time being. But do not worry, fellow readers, 
because our first pick of this month will not just rekindle your 
youthful spark, but may be the perfect pick for your kids as 
well. I introduce to you the first book in the “Guardians of 
Childhood” series: “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the 
Nightmare King”, by William Joyce and Laura Geringer. 

 Although lengthy in title, this book is the perfect choice for 
younger readers within 7 to 11 years of age, and is wonderful 
in helping to transition readers to more challenging chapter 
books, be it for their own delight or if it is required. William 
Joyce has taken classic chilhood icons and thrown in his own 
unique twist, providing readers with a fresh and exciting 
perspective on the icons we’ve adored from our youth, but 
also learning a different view of how they came to be. 

 In “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King”, 
readers are introduced to Nicholas St. North, whom we will 
later learn to be Santa Claus, but in his younger days. Joyce 
paints a wonderful picture of this younger Santa, revealing 
him to be an adventerous bandit and skilled swordsman, but 
an individual who possesses a pure heart. North finds his 
calling as a Guardian to children when he rejects the temptation of treasure and instead teams up 
with a wise wizard named Ombric and his young friend Katherine to help protect the young ones 
in the village of Santoff Claussen from Pitch, the Nightmare King. Joyce and Geringer’s words and 
pacing will not disappoint, as his work is rich with details, a spirited and optimistic tone, adventure, 
and complete with various illustrations throughout. Even supporting characters, such as the 
children of the village and a spectral lad called Nightlight will give readers completion, and sense 
of the story told from various perspectives and backgrounds without being overwhelming. A brief 
interlude of the Golden Age and shorter chapters flow perfectly and smoothly into later chapters 
without a dull or lacking moment, which is guaranteed to keep young readers (or even some older 
ones) intrigued with each turn of a page. 

 Copyrighted in 2011, and receiving praise from various critics,, and Library Media 
Connection, “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King” is sure to kindle the spark 
of the inner child in you or warm the spark of your children, and to present a world where dreams, 
magic, and adventure are all made possible. And if you wish to continue with this magical journey, 
be sure to keep an eye out for next week’s review, as well as the Dreamworks film “Rise of the 
Guardians”, which includes Alec Baldwin as the voice of North and Jude Law as the voice of Pitch.

Artist: The Kissaway Trail

Album: Breach

Label: Yep Roc Records

Date: August 20th, 2013


Lee Jackman discovered her writing voice at age twelve when 
she began writing poems for family, classmates and teachers. 
She is an author, pianist, songwriter-lyricist who, for thirty-
five years, served as a not-for-profit executive at Pitzer 
College and Doheny Eye Institute, helping to raise funds to 
benefit these organizations.

Ms. Jackman is a life member of the American Cancer Society, California Division, secretary of Children’s 
Fund, Inc., past-president of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles, Association of Fund Raising Professionals, 
and House of Ruth. She currently serves as a member of Children’s Fund, Inc., Claremont-West End 
Auxiliary of Children’s Fund, Claremont Heritage and Coalition for Crime Prevention. She also writes for 
International House and Claremont Colleges.

Her first book Love, Lee was published in October 2012 and she has just released her second work, 
“Becoming Lee: A Memoir”. Her talents extend to include the production of three CD’s that feature songs 
she has written.

For information on Lee and other members, visit