Earth Day Beach Cleanup

For the second year in a row, Ernst & Haas participated in Long Beach’s Earth Day Beach Cleanup at Granada Beach on April 21. The event was hosted by numerous organizations, and attended by a variety of groups including schools, churches, and businesses.

The cleanup is one of many efforts to provide cleaner, safer beaches throughout Long Beach, and are conducted monthly, on the third Saturday of every month.

Two of the main organizations that host the Earth Day Beach Cleanup are Justin Rudd’s 30-Minute Beach Cleanup, and  El Dorado Nature Center.

Justin Rudd’s organization  makes cleanups fun by asking participants to dress according to each month’s theme (i.e. Earth Day cleanup was pajama themed), and the Nature Center keeps participants informed with videos, brochures, and photos of  how to keep our oceans and beaches healthy.

The cleanups draw people of all ages and cultures, a sight that is both encouraging and impressive. More encouraging, however, was the fact that the beach was much more cleaner this year, than last.

We hope that a clean beach is a sign of progression towards a clean planet.



When Bad Things Happen On The Road

We’ve all been in situations that have tested our driving skills – from dealing with other drivers who are distracted to unforeseen weather conditions. But what do you do when the unlikely – and typically uncommon – occurs? Here’s how to stay safe in your car, even when the out-of-the-ordinary happens: (Contributed by State Farm Insurance)

• If a rock hits the windshield: Your windshield is made of laminated glass, which is strong and not likely to shatter. If a rock or other item strikes your windshield, it will likely chip or star. Don’t put off repair or replacement. The windshield works in conjunction with the air bags to protect the car’s occupants.

• If another vehicle drops something in front of your car: There’s an object hurtling through the air, ready to land in front of you. You have a split second to react. Your natural reaction is to swerve or slam on the brakes, which is OK in some situations. But doing so could land you squarely in the path of other drivers on the road. If the item is a piece of lumber or of similar size, you might be able to straddle it or drive over it. If it’s a large piece of industrial equipment, you’ll have to quickly gauge traffic and try to drive around it without running into another car.

• If the hood pops up when you’re driving: First things first: Remain calm. Don’t swerve but do lay off the accelerator. Your best bet is to roll down your window so you can see ahead. Turn on your hazard lights and work your way to the shoulder to park your car. If the hood can be latched, do so. If the latch is broken, call for roadside assistance.

• If you blow a tire: Unlike a flat tire – which is a more subtle change in steering and handling – a blown tire makes a sudden and startling change to driving. Grip the steering wheel and do not slam on the brakes. Slow the car gradually by lifting your foot off the gas pedal. Turn your hazard lights on and ease to the side of the road, where you can come to a complete stop. At this point, you can use a spare tire or call for roadside assistance.

• If your brakes don’t work: Brakes can go out when the brake fluid either boils or leaks out of the system. If this happens you’ll have to use other means to slow your car. First shift the car into a lower gear; this allows the engine to help slow the car. Turn your hazard lights on and get over to the edge of the road as quickly and safely as you can; then shift the car into neutral and gradually apply the emergency brake until the vehicle stops. If that brake has also failed, direct the car onto a soft shoulder, which will help you slow down.

• If you hit a large animal: Good news: The chance of hitting a charging elephant is nil. Bad news: You still have to share the road with some pretty big animals such as deer. If you hit an animal, your instinct might be to swerve or brake hard, but this can cause an accident for other drivers. Instead drive straight until you can pull over and stop on the roadside. Stay in your car and call fro help.

• If a wheel comes off: This might sound like a scenario in a thrilling whodunit, but the only mystery is how to get through it. If your wheel comes off, you’ll hear a thump or clunk. Handle this as you would a blown tire. Slow your car down and carefully get to the shoulder and come to a stop. If you have a spare tire, put it on.

• If the vehicle in front of you loses control:There are so many unknowns: Does the car have a mechanical problem? Is it weather-related? Your job will be to avoid a possible accident by either braking or accelerating to remove yourself from danger. If the road is icy, ease off the gas pedal instead of braking, which could cause your car to lose control as well.

• If the exhaust pipe falls off: If your tailpipe is dragging, the sound is unmistakable – and excruciating. Stop the car and use wire, such as a coat hanger, to suspend the tailpipe or call for roadside assistance. A dragging exhaust pipe can spark a fire, a very dangerous situation.

• If the car catches a fire while you’re driving: Need a convincing reason to keep up with your car’s maintenance schedule? Mechanical or electrical failures cause more than two-thirds of highway fires and often begin in the engine, running gear, or wheel area. This means the fire is likely to be small and smoldering, giving you time to get out of and away from the car and potentially extinguish it. If you have an auto fire, get over to the shoulder quickly and safely. Stop the vehicle and turn it off. Turn on your hazard lights and get everyone out of the car before calling for emergency help. If you see flames coming from under the hood, do not open it. Oxygen increases the energy of a fire and can turn a bad situation tragic in an instant.

• If your check engine light comes on: On some cars, if the light is red and you have serious trouble – you might be out of oil or have a damaged engine. On others it’s just a warning to get your car checked out as soon as possible. Consult your owner’s manual to see if you should stop right away and call for assistance.

Regardless of what may come your way on the road, be sure to drive safely and responsibly!


Easter Brunch

This Sunday is Easter and what’s better than honey-baked hams, creme-filled eggs, and bunny-shaped marshmallows? Easter brunch, of course! Below is a list of fabulous restaurants throughout Long Beach that will be offering brunch this Easter Sunday:

Champagne Easter Brunch @ Claire’s at the Museum, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Long Beach Museum of Art, 2300 E. Ocean Blvd.

Price: $44.95 (adults) & $12.95 (children 10 and under) & 39.95 (Museum members)

For more information, call (562) 439-2119, ext. 270 or 234

Easter Brunch @ Fuego’s at Hotel Maya, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hotel Maya, 700 Queensway Dr.

Price: $52 (adults) & $26 (children 12 and under)

For more information, call (562) 481-3910

Easter Brunch @ Gladstone’s, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Gladstone’s, 330 S. Pine Ave.

For more information, call (562) 432-8588

Easter Egg Hunt & Brunch @ Skylinks Golf Course, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Skylinks, 4800 E. Wardlow Rd.

Price: $28.99 (adults) & $12.99 (children 12 and under)

For more information, call (562) 421-3388, ext. 205

Easter Sunday Brunch @ The Aquarium of the Pacific, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way

Price: $42 (general adults) & $32 (general children 11 and under); $32 (member adults) & $22 (member children 11 and under)

For more information, call (562) 590-3100

Champagne brunch @ Parker’s Lighthouse, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Parker’s Lighthouse, 435 Shoreline Village Dr.

Price: $39 (adults) & $19 (children 12 and under)

For more information, call (562) 432-6500

Easter Brunch @ Hyatt the Pike, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Hyatt the Pike, 285 Bay St.

Price: $25 (adults) & $10 (children 11 and under)

For more information, call (562) 432-1234

Please keep in mind that the majority of these restaurants require reservations for their Easter brunch. So get to hoppin’ and prepare to feast! Happy Easter!


Ernst & Haas Attends CalNARPM!

Pictured are (left to right): Lorenzo Alatorre, Property Supervisor; Sal Lopez, Property Supervisor; Solita Heng, Leasing Coordinator; Frank Figueroa, Property Supervisor; Brooke Karli, Marketing Coordinator; Jeannine Riley, Property Supervisor; David Haas, Owner and Broker; Jaime Martin, Property Supervisor; and Luis Hernandez, Property Supervisor.

Last week, a handful of Ernst & Haas staff members traveled to Napa, California to participate in the National Association of Residential Property Manager’s (NARPM) annual California conference, also known as CalNARPM.

The conference hosted nearly 150 property management professionals, all of whom benefited from numerous speakers and vendors throughout the 3-day conference.

Workshop topics at the conference included “How to Use a Camcorder for Video Tours and Inspections”; “Dealing with Difficult Tenants”; “What You Need to Know About Fair Housing”; “Preventive Law: Landlord Tenant Law in 2012”; “How to Deal with Negative Online Reviews”; and much more.

In addition to the workshops, guest speakers such as Tom Brannon, CEO California Apartment Association, and Dan Sandri, Chief Auditor of the Department of Real Estate, spoke about the new laws affecting property management, as well as the audit results from 2011, respectively.

Although our staff learned a lot at the conference, it was encouraging to know that Ernst & Haas is on the right track and in many cases, ahead of the game—what the conference deemed “early adopters”. While other  firms were learning how to film their properties, we were learning how to do it better, since we already do it. And while some firms were learning how to deal with difficult tenants, we received confirmation that we’ve been doing it right all along.

It is also noteworthy to mention that we were the largest group there, with 9 of our employees representing Ernst & Haas!

In a nutshell, the conference solidified what we already know and do and simply helped fine tune our services. We truly enjoyed having the opportunity to represent our company and to network amongst other professionals in our field.