Back-To-School Safety Tips

The back-to-school season can be both exciting and stressful!

It’s well into the back-to-school season and there’s a lot that can stress a parent out: the cost of clothing and supplies, how to get their child to and from school, making sure their immunizations are up to date, and more. But the more important thing every parent should set their sights upon are the specific things they can do to make this school year a safe one. Here are some safety tips for the 2011-12 school year:

•Backpacks: When purchasing backpacks, choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back, or consider purchasing a rolling backpack for students who may have a heavier load.

•Transportation: Encourage your child to wear their seatbelt when riding in the school bus or family car. If they’re riding a bike to school, make sure they are equipped with the proper protective gear (i.e. helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, etc.), use appropriate hand signals when stopping and turning, and respect traffic lights and stop signs. If walking to school, make sure your child takes a safe route and that they are met with well-trained adult crossing guards at every major intersection.

•Nutrition: Most school’s regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat. Also, try getting your child’s school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water, and 100% fruit juices in the vending machines.

•Homework Habits: Create an environment that is conducive to doing homework – offer a permanent workspace that provides privacy. Limit use of the TV and Internet during homework hours, and make sure to make yourself available to provide assistance.

By making sure these four bases are covered, you and your child are guaranteed to have a successful school year!


I Want To Ride My Bicycle!

More and more people throughout Long Beach have taken to the streets on their bikes!

In case you haven’t noticed, Long Beach has transformed into a bike-friendly city. So much so that Long Beach is currently considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world! And while some of us aren’t quite used to dealing with speeding cyclists and paved bike lanes, others are soaking up the opportunity to get out, get active, and get smart when it comes to local transportation. And one way you can join is by participating in Long Beach’s Bike Saturdays!

Bike Saturdays are all-day events held every Saturday in areas of Long Beach such as Retro Row, Bixby Knolls, and East Village. By riding your bike to local shops and eateries in these areas, you can benefit from special discounts and offers, which are given with proof that you rode your bike (helmet or bike valet ticket, if applicable). Be sure to look for the Bike LB window decal at participating stores and restaurants to receive their special offer or discount.

For a full list of participating businesses in the Belmont Shore, Bixby Knolls, Downtown/Pike/Shoreline, East Village, Naples, and Retro Row areas, click here.

For more information on Bike Long Beach, call (562) 570-6667, or visit


Ernst & Haas Career Day 2011

Eight kids joined us for the 1st Annual Ernst & Haas Career Day!

Last Thursday, Ernst & Haas had the honor of hosting our 1st Annual Career Day! From 8 a.m. to noon, we invited youth between kindergarten and 8th grades to come learn about what we do and what it means to have a career in property management.

The day began with a tour of our office and the building our office is located in. The kids then stopped at learning stations, where they learned about our vacancy listing, marketing, applications and leasing, collections and accounting, management, and maintenance. They then had their morning break (complete with doughnuts and juice), followed by a special speech given by our owner David Haas. David talked to the kids about how important education is in any field and expressed the pros and cons of owning his own business. The kids soaked up every word he had to say!

Next, the group worked on Ernst & Haas word searches and colored in pictures of houses. The day ended with a pizza party, where the kids were joined by Ernst & Haas staff for pizza, chips, fruit, soda, and cupcakes.

The day was an overall success and as a company, we plan to make it an annual event! Check out some of the photos from the day below:

Leasing Coordinator Solita Heng talks to the kids about the importance of having a lease.


Melissa Camacho, Accounts Receivable, woes the group with the stack of money she receives each month from tenants.

Ernst & Haas Owner David Haas tells the kids how important education is and that without it, success is harder to achieve.

The kids finish their day with Ernst & Haas cupcakes!

The kids may not choose to have a career in property management, but we thought it was important for them to see that there is more out there beyond being a doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer, etc. We hope they dream big and work hard to reach their goals!

Long Beach Skate Parks

Brush up on those skateboarding tricks and make your way down to one of Long Beach's 5 skate parks!

Looking to hit the pavement? Well the City of Long Beach currently offers 5 skate parks for you to do so! All of the skate parks listed below are open Monday-Friday from 6 a.m.-10 p.m. and are free of charge and unsupervised. Skaters of all ages are required to wear helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and shirts. Only skateboards and in-line skates are permitted. Below are the locations:

Bixby Skate Park

Bixby Park, 130 Cherry Ave.

(562) 570-1601

Houghton Skate Park

Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave.

(562) 570-1640

El Dorado Skate Park

El Dorado Park, 7550 E. Spring St.

(562) 570-1773

Skate Park @ Silverado Park

Silverado Park, 1545 W. 31st St.

(562) 570-1675

Michael K. Green Skate Park

14th St. Park, 14th St. & Chestnut Ave.

(562) 570-1608

Recycle. Reduce. Reuse.

It's time to stock up on reusable bags, because plastic bags have been banned in Long Beach!

In an extended effort to go green, the City of Long Beach has banned the use of plastic bags, making Long Beach the 12th city or county in California to restrict plastic bags since San Francisco’s 2007 law.

The ordinance, which went into effect August 1, is intended to reduce litter, plastic debris in waterways and storm drains, and waste transported to landfills. Currently, about 66 larger retailers, such as supermarkets, drugstore chains, and stores including Target and Walmart, are banned from distributing the bags. About 2,000 smaller corner markets, liquor stores, and others must comply with the ban beginning January 1, 2012. Businesses not offering perishable foods, such as clothing stores, are exempt.

According to, a high-quality tote can replace 600 plastic carryout bags over its lifetime. But it’s important to remember to wash the reusable bags as frequently as possible and to designate one bag for meat products, and another for produce.

Under the ordinance, stores are allowed to provide customers with paper bags, but must charge 10 cents per bag to offset their costs in purchasing paper bags. The ordinance also provides that stores are required to provide a free reusable bag or paper bag to customers participating either in the California Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or the Supplemental Food Program.

Some retailers, however, are offering reusable bag giveaways. Albertsons, for example, will give shoppers a free reusable bag (while supplies last) when they spend $30 or more on qualifying products in a single transaction with their Preferred Savings Card until August 9. Participating locations include:

-6255 E. Second St.

-644 Redondo Blvd.

-101 E. Willow St.

-6235 E. Spring St.

-450 Long Beach Blvd.

Target will also offer its signature reusable bags for 50 cents each through August 31. The bags are regularly priced at 99 cents each.

Good Old-Fashioned Family Fun

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and the truth is, we don't get to pick who our family is. So we might as well have some fun with them!

August is Family Fun Month, and if you love your family as much as we do, then you’ll have no problem having fun with them. There are thousands of things under the sun that you could do with your family,  but here are some budget-friendly ideas:

1. Plan a day trip: Load up your picnic baskets and head down to the beach, your local park, hiking trail, amusement park, or favorite museum for an all-day adventure that will get you out of the house.

2. Try a new recipe together: Pick out a recipe you all want to try, go to the grocery store together to get the needed ingredients, and cook together! A meal made with love is always tasty!

3. Pick a project: Choose a project your whole family wants to participate in, such as making a bird house, or building a playground.

4. Be crafty: Turn those empty toilet paper rolls into napkin rings and make handmade Christmas ornaments out of popsicle sticks. Whatever you use, get creative and host your own “art show” to display it.

5. Get active: Try a new sport. Ride your bikes. Go bowling, ice skating, or miniature golfing. Simply, get off the couch!

6. Host a yard sale: Encourage your family to condense their belongings and host a yard sale. The money you make can be used for a family outing, or donated to your family’s favorite charity.

7. Hunt together: Scavenger hunt, that is. Pick one person to hide the “treasure” and make a map for those on the hunt.

8. Get your game on: Have everyone bring their favorite game and enjoy a night of playing a variety of games.

9. Movie marathon: Choose a specific genre of movies to show, and wear costumes and eat snacks that coordinate with those movies (i.e. if watching scary movies, you can dress like zombies and eat gummy worms).

10. Grow together: Plant a garden together, making sure everyone in the family has their own responsibilities in the upkeep of the garden.

11. Volunteer: Volunteer together at your local library, senior citizens home, hospital, or non-profit organization.

12. Ride the wheel: Take the fam bam to the fair and enjoy rides, prizes, music, and lots and lots of food.

Ultimately, the goal is just to have fun with your family. Whether that’s spending the day at Disneyland, or cuddling up together to watch your favorite movie, just be sure to appreciate each other…and have fun!