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Collecting Payments For Rent

The whole idea behind investing in real estate is to develop a steady stream of income. The rent is supposed to not only cover the expense of maintaining the property, but also to allow for some income. The difficulty can lie in collecting the rent. This isn’t as easy as you would hope it might be.
It is rarely a situation of dealing with an irate or stubborn tenant. Many times the individual just happens not to be at home. The bottom line is the money required is not received. This can be a real hassle for an investor. It can cause some problems in maintaining the property as well.
Rent Collection Can Be Complicated
The good news is that there are ways of getting the rent which doesn’t require angry words. This can include automatic payments from the bank or arrangements where money is routinely delivered to a specific location. The difficulty arises when you have to think about the administration of more than one unit. As a landlord, you may be dealing with 20 or more units. You also may be looking at a situation where payments are scheduled for different times of the month. The last thing you want to do is try to collect the rent in person; it can lead to a rough situation. All of this is in addition to the enormous amount of paperwork necessary. You have to keep a record of who is currently delinquent, and the government wants its fair share of taxes. All the paperwork has to be correct or there are some severe consequences.
This is not to say that you can do this all by yourself. It is possible if you have the knowledge and the software. You also have to have the time. If you don’t, you will discover that you are not getting all the money you deserve to receive. You face a nightmare of trying to get all the paperwork in order. The more you look at the situation the more you can appreciate having a good San Diego property management company. This can take a great deal off your shoulders and see to it things are not correct. Alta Vista Properties can do the job for you.
A Well-Deserved Reputation for Competence
AltaVista Properties has created a sterling reputation in San Diego property management. We see to it that our clients are provided with high-quality service, as well as the income they expect. Taking care of the rent is something that we do quite well. We are familiar with the various forms of collecting the monthly rent owed. Our people have a great deal of experience with paperwork; we can help arrange for automatic payments and online transfers. The most important feature of our San Diego property rental services is efficiency. AltaVista Properties respects the fact that landlords want things done with as few hassles as possible. Working with us is a way to guarantee you have fewer headaches when it comes to the rent. We can prepare the required forms when it comes to taxes. We can also deal effectively with any tenant who is starting to become delinquent in payment.
Why should you have to worry about rent payments and stubborn tenants when you do not have to be concerned? Our experience with property management is worth its weight in gold to you. As you develop your real estate portfolio, you’re going to appreciate more how a third-party can make life considerably easier. You can take a look at the reviews on Yelp to find out how professional our staff is and the type of customer service you can expect. Properly collected rent is going to create a wonderful income stream for you. We can help. Please feel free to inquire about our property management services. We can be reached at 858-274-3600 or by email at

Investing in San Diego Real Estate

You cannot help but be impressed by San Diego. Properties here look amazing and the neighborhoods are all inviting. If you’re looking to buy a rental property, with the hopes of developing a nice investment stream of cash, there are a number of possibilities in southwest California. At the same time, you have to remember that caveat emptor, let the buyer beware, applies.
There Might Be Hidden Problems
Curb appeal is important and many people looking to sell their property invest a lot in making the outside look good. It is what is on the inside which causes problems. Unless you have experience with real estate, you may not notice some of the problems. These can include cracks in the foundation or structural damage. Some of the worst problems may be right above your head. The roof may have serious faults or little holes that allow moisture in. That moisture does more than just make the wood damp; it is a spawning ground for black mold
As a prospective investor looking for property, you are dealing with a lack of knowledge. You do not know what is in the house or what defects to look for. This is because you may not have spent a lot of time checking up on the property. That is natural for a lot of real estate investors. They like what they see and they put down the money. It is only after they have investigated the house closely that they discovered the termite nests.
Professional Help Protects an Investment
It is essential you have a professional real estate company take a look at a property, or suggest possible opportunities to you. This is what Alta Vista Properties will do. We are a family owned property management company here in San Diego and we have helped clients for years. You can think of us as a real estate scout, because we take a look at what real estate opportunities are out there for investors. If you have a certain property in mind, you can ask us to take a look at it to be sure it is worth spending money on. That property will be looked at carefully for any sign of deficiency. AltaVista Properties will make certain that the client is made aware of any problems and what has to be done to correct them. We also have a number of properties which you can take a look at. These are all up to code and will be excellent investments for you. We have some other services that can help make the investment as risk-free as possible.
Alta Vista Properties Gives a Helping Hand
When you invest money in real estate, you want to make sure that it maintains its value. Alta Vista Properties makes sure that any real estate we manage is kept up to existing code. This includes periodic inspections and maintenance. We work with reputable contractors for any repairs, and you can rest assured that whatever you need to pay for is a reasonable price. Our other services make certain that a very healthy cash flow is experienced, with rents being paid on time and any expenses taking care of efficiently. When it comes time to sell your property we can help expedite the process. You can definitely rest easy when Alta Vista Properties is involved.
Real estate investment in San Diego can be profitable but expensive as well. Any investor may need half a million dollars or more to invest in a given property. It is to get the most out of such an expense that AltaVista Properties provides so many services to clients. We know that it is a large investment on your part. AltaVista Properties will do its best to make sure it is money well spent. You may have some questions and we would like to provide you with answers. Please do feel free to inquire at any time about our property management services. We can be reached at 858-274-3600 or by email at We look forward to hearing from you.

Helpful Home Improvement Tips

Helpful Home Improvement Tips

Plumbing Tools Arranged On House Plans

San Diego is a beautiful city with very attractive houses. You can tell just by driving around the neighbor’s Owners have a right to be proud, and they look to improve the place they call home. You might be thinking of perhaps selling your house in the future, or just trying to increase its value. Either reason justifies the home improvement projects you have in mind. Home-improvement is something that many people enjoyed doing. It is the ultimate do-it-yourself job and home-improvement is the subject of numerous books and cable-television shows. Here are a few tips to help with your home improvement ideas.

  1. Be Sure You Have the Right Tools First. If you’re going to go about do-it-yourself home improvements, make sure you have all the necessary tools before you get started. You don’t want a situation where you have to stop your project halfway through in order to get the proper saw, or the right screw driver. Take inventory of your toolbox and see what is needed. The larger the project you attempt; the more tools you might need to get work done the right way.
  2. Try Going Green. Protecting the environment and reducing the size of carbon footprints is not just the objective of a Woodstock hippie. Many millennials look to green construction and home improvements as a means of better use of our natural resources. You may want to have more energy-efficient house and Energy Star products (appliances with the Energy Star label) is one way to reduce the use of carbon-based energy.
  3. Create A Budget. This is going to help you keep the costs of any home-improvement project in line. The budget is not just about money but is also about time. You have to be able to allocate the amount of time, usually on the weekends, to get the project done. You always should finish any project you start.
  4. Make Use of the Right Contractor. There are some projects you need the services of a professional. Plumbing comes to mind almost immediately. You have to be a little careful because not every contractor is ethical. Some may deliberately pad the bill. A good starting point is to check Yelp. This consumer review board is a good place to check for other people are saying about a given contractor. You can also take a look at the records of Better Business Bureau.

Let Us Help You

Those who have rental property are people who know the value of home improvements, and how the overall return on investment is enhanced by them. Perhaps you’re looking to invest in rental property but don’t want to be directly involved with the tenants. Alta Vista Properties Inc., has been dealing in San Diego property management and helping investors realize a great return on investment and we have done this since 1980. We know how important it is to keep the property in the best shape, and keep the asset value. We can provide the kind of help you need to keep your rental real estate profitable,

You may have some questions about all of our services. We want to be able to answer them for you, and we welcome any inquiries. Please do feel free to inquire about our property management services. We can be reached at 858-274-3600 or by email at


We look forward to hearing from you!

San Diego first time home buyers. San Diego real estate market

First Time Home Buyer Tips

You spend years in a small apartment paying rent at the same time saving your money. Now it is time to go out and buy that first home in San Diego real estate market!iStock_000037495622_Medium It is a great idea and also a large financial investment. There is a lot to know about the real estate in San Diego. First time home buyers should keep these tips in mind as they go into the market.

1. Be Sure your Finances Are All in Order. This is going to be a very large financial transaction for you. To start,  you need to check your credit score and make sure that it is as high as possible. This will allow you to get better interest on your mortgage loan. You can consider getting pre-approved from a lending institution, letting you know how much of a mortgage you are able to get. This also lets you know how much of a mortgage you are able to get. This also lets you know how much of a house you can afford.

2. Take a Drive Through the Neighborhood. You’re going to be living there for a number of years, perhaps even decades. It makes it important for you to check out the neighborhood. You can look for various important things such as libraries, where the schools are located, and where the police and fire stations can be located. A little extra research can uncover what the crime rate is in the area and the value of the real estate.

3. Home Inspections Are Critical. Houses in the San Diego real estate market cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. You do not want to be stuck with a house which has major repairs. A professional home inspector can look at the property, and you can do your own home inspection as well. You should concentrate on the foundation, the roof, plumbing for evidence of leaks, and the electrical system of the house. You should insist that the current owner either make the necessary improvements, or reduce the price of the property so that you can pay for them yourself.

4. Have a Good Real Estate Agent by Your Side. This is a major step in your life and you need to have experienced professional helping you out. Alta Vista Properties can be your best possible guide to available properties. We understand the San Diego real estate market better than others, and we can help you in your search. Buying a home has a lot of paperwork involved. We see to it that everything is in a nice neat stack for you to sign.

Buying your first home should be one of the most exciting days of your life. It should not be a nightmare. If you allow us to help you, you’ll find that you get the best possible house at a price you can afford. You may have some questions about all of our services. We want to be able to answer them for you, and we welcome any inquiries. Please do feel free to inquire about our property management services. We can be reached at 858-274-3600 or by email at

We can help you find the house of your dreams!

Going on Vacation? Keep Your Home Safe While You Are Gone!

Keep Your Home Safe While You Are On Vacation!

Murphy’s Law for travelers: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong while you’re on vacation — which is arguably the worst time a household calamity can strike. Coming home from your honeymoon, African safari or Mediterranean cruise can be gloomy. But returning from a memorable journey and learning something has gone seriously wrong at home can be downright devastating.

To make matters worse, a house or apartment left empty while its owners are traveling is a tempting target for criminals. We don’t want to scare you — or leave you fearing for your treasured belongings while basking on a Caribbean beach. But it’s imperative that every traveler take certain key steps to keep his or her home safe and sound while seeing the world. Basic preventative measures (which take only minutes to complete) can work wonders to help you avoid power surges, broken pipes, home invasions and more.

1. Ask a Friend to Help

A simple, albeit crucial, way to gain peace of mind while traveling is to ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re away. First, bribe your friend with some freshly baked cookies or cupcakes. Next, ask him or her to drive by your home once every day or so and check on the place. Give this person a key so that he or she can bring your mail in, feed your cat, water your plants, rake your leaves, etc. If you don’t use a garage, you may also want to give this person a key to your car — you never know when your vehicle may need to be moved. He or she should also have your contact information and a copy of your itinerary in case of emergencies.

Do you have more than one person visiting your house while you’re away? If so, tell them about each other! If the neighbor you asked to keep an eye on your abode calls the police on your elderly cat sitter, don’t say we didn’t warn you.

You may want to consider using, a subscription service that allows anyone who notices anything amiss about your home to notify you, even if you haven’t asked them to keep an eye on things. The neighbor contacts the service, which then reaches out to you via phone, text or email. A subscription costs $50 a year.

2. Don’t Tip Off Criminals on the Web

In a world where it seems everyone is blabbing about their business on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to stop and think: Who exactly is reading this stuff? The anonymity of the Internet can encourage us to share personal information without fully realizing that there may be hundreds of complete strangers receiving our daily musings. Would you announce to a crowd that you will be leaving your house unattended for two weeks this December? If not, then you should think twice about posting your detailed vacation plans on Twitter or Facebook — especially if that information is visible to Internet users other than your friends and family (and it probably is).

Be careful what you say on your answering machine or voice mail too. Callers don’t need to know that you’re not home — they just need to know that you can’t come to the phone right now.

3. Do Tip Off the Police

Consider notifying the police if you’re going on vacation. No need to let the cops know about a weekend getaway, but do call them if you’re leaving town for longer than a week. It’s possible the police may go out of their way to drive by your house while on patrol, especially if you live in a small town. If you have a security alarm, leave a house key and the code with someone you trust, and provide the police and alarm company with their name and phone number. You may also want to contact your local neighborhood watch program if there’s one in your area.

4. Curtains Closed — or Open?

Before you leave for vacation, you may decide to close your curtains to prevent people from peering inside your home to see whether you’re there. However, closed curtains also stop those who aim to help — the police, your neighbors or friends — from seeing inside your house. So what’s your best bet? Leave your curtains exactly as you usually keep them when you’re home, since noticeable changes could hint that you’re not around anymore — especially if your curtains are uncharacteristically left closed for two weeks. Move expensive items, like jewelry or computers, out of plain sight if they’re visible from the window.

5. The Lights Are on But No One’s Home

Don’t leave your lights on at home throughout your entire vacation in an effort to make it look like someone is in the house. Your electric bill will end up more costly than your mortgage, and, of course, leaving the lights on is not exactly “green” behavior. Plus, house lights blazing throughout the night might look a bit odd.

Instead, purchase a light switch timer that can turn your lights on and off automatically according to a programmed schedule. Criminals keeping an eye on your house will notice lights flipping on and off, and will probably assume someone is doing the flipping. offers a comprehensive list of light switch timers available online at a variety of price points.

6. Stop Your Mail

Either place a “stop” order on mail and newspapers  or arrange to have a friend or neighbor pick up your mail while you’re away. Otherwise, a week’s worth of papers piled on your front step could signal to criminals that this particular homeowner is out of town. It’s easy to put your mail on hold at

7. Put That in Your Pipe

If you live in a cold region of the world and your pipes are in danger of freezing during winter, you have another compelling reason to leave a house key with a friend while you’re traveling. Ask your friend to stop by and check your faucets. If he or she turns on a faucet and only a few drops of water come out, your pipes may be frozen.

Take other precautions like making sure your pipes are properly insulated or keeping your heat on while you’re away. Show your key-bearing companion the location of the water main shut-off in case a pipe breaks.

8. Pull the Plug

Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. Do this to save power as well. According to the Consumer Energy Center, many appliances use power even when they’re turned off.

9. Remove Your Spare Key

That plastic rock isn’t fooling anyone. If a criminal figures out you’re away on vacation, it’s likely that he or she will check your porch for a spare key. So reach under the mat, into the mailbox, above the door frame or into the flower pot and remove your spare key before you leave on your vacation.


Conserve your water!

1. Check faucets and pipes for leaks
A small drip from a worn faucet washer can waste 20 gallons of water per day. Larger leaks can waste hundreds of gallons.

2. Don’t use the toilet as a  wastebasket
Every time you flush facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

3. Check your toilets for leaks
Put a little food coloring in your toilet tank. If, without flushing, the color begins to appear in the bowl within 30 minutes, you have a leak that should be repaired immediately. Most replacement parts are inexpensive and easy to install.

4. Use your water meter to check for hidden water leaks
Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

5. Install water-saving shower heads and low-flow faucet aerators
water-saving low-flow shower heads or restrictors are easy for the homeowner to install. Also, long, hot showers can use five to ten gallons every unneeded minute. Limit your showers to the time it takes to soap up, wash down and rinse off. “Low-flow” means it uses less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
You can easily install a ShowerStart showerhead, or add a ShowerStart converter to existing showerheads, which automatically pauses a running shower once it gets warm.
Also, all household faucets should be fit with aerators
. This single best home water conservation method is also the cheapest!

6. Put plastic bottles or float booster in your toilet tank
To cut down on water waste, put an inch or two of sand or pebbles inside each of two plastic bottles to weigh them down. Fill the bottles with water, screw the lids on, and put them in your toilet tank, safely away from the operating mechanisms. Or, buy an inexpensive
tank bank or float booster. This may save ten or more gallons of water per day.

Be sure at least 3 gallons of water remain in the tank so it will flush properly. If there is not enough water to get a proper flush, users will hold the lever down too long or do multiple flushes to get rid of waste. Two flushings at 1.4 gallons is worse than a single 2.0 gallon flush. A better suggestion would be to buy an adjustable toilet flapper that allow for adjustment of their per flush use.  Then the user can adjust the flush rate to the minimum per flush setting that achieves a single good flush each time.

For new installations, consider buying “low flush” toilets, which use 1 to 2 gallons per flush instead of the usual 3 to 5 gallons.

Replacing an 18 liter per flush toilet with an ultra-low volume (ULV) 6 liter flush model represents a 70% savings in water flushed and will cut indoor water use by about 30%.

7. Insulate your water pipes.
It’s easy and inexpensive to insulate your water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe insulation. You’ll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while it heats up.

8. Take shorter showers.
One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

9. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush
There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

10. Rinse your razor in the sink
Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

11. Use your dishwasher and clothes washer for only full loads
Automatic dishwashers and clothes washers should be fully loaded for optimum water conservation. Most makers of dishwashing soap recomend not pre-rinsing dishes which is a big water savings.
With clothes washers, avoid the permanent press cycle, which uses an added 20 liters (5 gallons) for the extra rinse. For partial loads, adjust water levels to match the size of the load. Replace old clothes washers. New Energy Star rated washers use 35 – 50% less water and 50% less energy per load. If you’re in the market for a new clothes washer, consider buying a water-saving
frontload washer.

12. Minimize use of kitchen sink garbage disposal units
In-sink ‘garburators’ require lots of water to operate properly, and also add considerably to the volume of solids in a septic tank which can lead to maintenance problems. Start a compost pile as an alternate method of disposing food waste.

13. When washing dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing
If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. Dual-swivel aerators are available to make this easier. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.

14. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables
Just rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water. Use a dual-setting aerator.

15. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the fridge.
Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful. Store drinking water in the fridge in a
safe drinking bottle. If you are filling water bottles to bring along on outdoor hikes, consider buying a LifeStraw personal water filter which enables users to drink water safely from rivers or lakes or any available body of water.

Water conservation in the yard and garden…

16. Plant drought-resistant lawns, shrubs and plants
If you are planting a new lawn, or overseeding an existing lawn, use drought-resistant grasses such as the new “Eco-Lawn”.
Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Native plants will use less water and be more resistant to local plant diseases. Consider applying the principles of xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard.
Plant slopes with plants that will retain water and help reduce runoff.
Group plants according to their watering needs.

17. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants
Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth. Adding 2 – 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or minimize water runoff.
For information about different mulch materials and their best use,
click here.

18. Don’t water the gutter
Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days.

19. Water your lawn only when it needs it
A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move, it doesn’t need water. If it stays flat, the lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3″) will also promote water retention in the soil.
Most lawns only need about 1″ of water each week. During dry spells, you can stop watering altogether and the lawn will go brown and dormant. Once cooler weather arrives, the morning dew and rainfall will bring the lawn back to its usual vigor. This may result in a brown summer lawn, but it saves a lot of water.

20. Deep-soak your lawn
When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems. Put an empty tuna can on your lawn – when it’s full, you’ve watered about the right amount. Visit our
natural lawn care page for more information.

21. Water during the early parts of the day; avoid watering when it’s windy
Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduce water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defence against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it’s windy – wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation.

22. Add organic matter and use efficient watering systems for shrubs, flower beds and lawns
Adding organic material to your soil will help increase its absorption and water retention. Areas which are already planted can be ‘top dressed’ with compost or organic matter.
You can greatly reduce the amount of water used for shrubs, beds and lawns by:
– the strategic placement of
soaker hoses
– installing a rain barrel water catchment system
– installing a simple drip-irrigation system
Avoid over-watering plants and shrubs, as this can actually diminish plant health and cause yellowing of the leaves.
When hand watering, use a variable spray nozzle
for targeted watering.

23. Don’t run the hose while washing your car
Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing – this simple practice can save as much as 150 gallons when washing a car. Use a spray nozzle when rinsing for more efficient use of water. Better yet, use a
waterless car washing system; there are several brands, such as EcoTouch, which are now on the market.

24. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks

25. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets and couplings
Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they’re not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks indoors. Check frequently to keep them drip-free. Use hose washers at spigots and hose connections to eliminate leaks.

Water conservation comes naturally when everyone in the family is aware of its importance, and parents take the time to teach children some of the simple water-saving methods around the home which can make a big difference.


Concerts to see in San Diego 2015

Best views to see in San Diego


1. Mt. Soledad. From atop this 822-foot-high natural outcropping, you’ll be able to see panoramic views of San Diego that stretch all the way down to Mexico; to the north, UCSD and the Torrey Pines golf course are visible. Atop the mount is a somber veterans’ memorial marked by a 29-foot-tall concrete cross. Mount Soledad was also the chosen home of Dr. Seuss; his widow still lives here.


2. SeaWorld’s Sky Tower.

This 265-foot landmark in the popular theme park allows views, via its ascending elevator, of up to 100 miles in every direction on a clear day. Of course, you have to pay admission for SeaWorld to experience it.


3. Atop the cliffs at Black’s Beach. From these La Jolla cliffs, which get as tall as 300 feet, you can see down to Tijuana and up to Orange County. The gorgeous view also includes a beautiful stretch of coastline, so keep an eye out for surfers, hang-gliders, and dolphins.

4. Altitude Skybar, the Marriott Gaslamp Quarter Hotel’s rooftop bar, offers a swank way to take in a 180-degree view of downtown, Coronado, the bay, and the Padres (if they’re playing a home game at Petco Park). Come in the late afternoon to lounge around the lava-rock fire pit and sip down a specialty Cosmo or martini as you watch the sun go down.

5. Cabrillo National Monument offers one of the world’s best harbor views. From its Old Point Loma Lighthouse, you’ll see the bay, the ocean, the skyline, the Cuyamaca Mountains, and Mexico. Watch, too, as Navy ships make their way in and out of the harbor.


6. Bertrand at Mr. A’s. If you like your views served with a side of refined Mediterranean cuisine, head to this Bankers Hill restaurant, which huge jets fly right past. Dine indoors or outside on the wraparound balcony; either way, you’ll get amazing views of the downtown skyline, Balboa Park, Point Loma, Coronado, the bay, and the zoo.

7. Coronado. To see the downtown skyline, head across the bay to Coronado. Its Ferry Landing Marketplace, a lively little shopping center along the water, attracts picnickers and diners for the excellent view across the bay.


8. Palomar Mountain Observatory, on wildlife-laden Palomar Mountain, is home to massive telescopes used for astronomical research. While NASA employees and Cornell academics are getting views of the universe, you can get views of the surrounding areas, including Mendenhall Valley, from this 5,500-foot elevation. In the mood for a hike? Take the Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail, which offers observation platforms along the way.

9. Atop the Sunset Cliffs at Ocean Beach is, as the name suggests, a fantastic place to watch the sun set into the Pacific. Check out the tide pools, dream homes, and the surfers, too.


10. Top of the Hyatt offers one-stop sightseeing from the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The vertigo-inducing view extends from downtown all the way to Mexico.

Being Ready For An Earthquake


The primary dangers to workers result from: being struck by structural components or furnishings, inadequately secured stored materials, burns resulting from building fires resulting from gas leaks or electrical shorts, or exposure to chemicals released from stored or process chemicals. Many of the hazards to workers both during and following an earthquake are predictable and may be reduced through hazard identification, planning, and mitigation.

There are many things you can do to prepare your workplace before an earthquake occurs:

  • Pick “safe places”. A safe place could be under a sturdy table or desk or against an interior wall away from windows, bookcases or tall furniture that could fall on you. The shorter the distance to move to safety, the less likely that you will be injured. Injury statistics show that people moving as little as ten feet during an earthquake’s shaking are most likely to be injured.
  • Practice drop, cover, and hold-on in each safe place. Drop under a sturdy desk or table and hold on to one leg of the table or desk. Protect your eyes by keeping your head down. Practice these actions so that they become an automatic response.
  • Practice these safe earthquake procedures (i.e., drop, cover, and hold-on) at least twice a year. Frequent practice will help reinforce safe behavior. When an earthquake or other disaster occurs, many people hesitate, trying to remember what they are supposed to do. Responding quickly and automatically may help protect you from injury.
  • Make a plan for workers to follow in the event of an earthquake and be sure that it includes the following precautions:

    What are aftershocks?

    Aftershocks are smaller earthquakes that follow the main shock and can cause further damage to weakened buildings. After-shocks can occur in the first hours, days, weeks, or even months after the quake. Be aware that some earthquakes are actually foreshocks, and a larger earthquake might occur.

    • Wait in your safe place until the shaking stops, then check to see if you are hurt. You will be better able to help others if you take care of yourself first, and then check the people around you. Move carefully and watch out for things that have fallen or broken, creating hazards. Be ready for aftershocks.
    • Be on the lookout for fires. Fire is the most common earthquake-related hazard, due to broken gas lines, damaged electrical lines or appliances, and previously contained fires or sparks being released.
    • If you must leave a building after the shaking stops, use the stairs, not the elevator, and look for falling debris. Earthquakes can cause fire alarms and fire sprinklers to go off. You will not be able to rule out whether there is a real threat of fire, and the elevators may have been compromised. Always use the stairs.
    • If you’re outside in an earthquake, stay outside. Move away from buildings, trees, streetlights and overhead lines. Crouch down and cover your head. Many injuries occur within ten feet of the entrance to buildings. Bricks, roofing and other materials can fall from buildings, injuring persons nearby. Trees, streetlights and overhead lines may also fall, causing damage or injury.
  • Inform workers of the plan and discuss earthquakes with workers. Everyone in your workplace should know what to do if an earthquake occurs. Discussing earthquakes ahead of time helps reduce fear and anxiety and lets everyone know how to respond.
  • Get training. Take a first-aid class from an organization such as the American Red Cross, American Heart Association, or National Safety Council chapter. Get training on how to use a fire extinguisher. Keep your training current. Training will help you to keep focused and know what to do when an earthquake occurs.
  • Businesses can use the Federal Emergency Management Agency How to Series for protecting people/property during emergencies. Perform a workplace survey, especially if you are in an area with a high risk of earthquakes, to identify potential hazards to workers if an earthquake occurs. Look for furniture or materials that could fall and strike workers or block means of egress, or cause a release of hazardous materials, or otherwise affect the health and safety of workers as a result of utility loss or system/structural  failure. Follow mitigation techniques recommended by FEMA for equipment and furniture.

Get emergency supply kits and keep them in shelter locations.

  • Basic Disaster Supplies Kit. – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Lists supplies needed for a disaster kit.
  • Workplace Plans. – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Provides basic information on developing an emergency management plan for the workplace.
  • Emergency Supplies for Earthquake Preparedness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (CDC). Lists supplies needed for an earthquake preparedness kit.



Tips on putting out a grease fire!

Extinguishing a Grease Fire

Grease fires happen when collections of oil or grease on a stove, oven or fryer get hot enough to ignite. Grease fires are extremely dangerous because the fuel source (the grease) is a liquid, and easily splashed. Grease fires burn very hot and can quickly spread to cabinets or other flammable areas of the kitchen.
The most important thing you can do to prevent a fire in the kitchen is to stay put while cooking. The most common grease fires are the ones where the cooks left their food unattended.
You only have a few moments to either put out a grease fire or escape the house.
Here’s How:

  1. DO NOT USE WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! (see Tips) Start evacuating everyone from the building. Fires spread extremely fast and can overwhelm victims in minutes. Treat burns only after evacuating the building.
  2. Turn off the burner as your first plan of action. The fire might go out with this simple step.
  3. Call 911. There’s no reason to wait.
  4. The easiest way to smother a grease fire is to cover it with a pan lid.
  5. Grease fires can also be smothered with baking soda. Keep baking soda near your stove/oven as a precautionary tool.
  6. A dry chemical fire extinguisher will also work but has way more chemicals and will contaminate your kitchen..but hey better that than a burned down house.
  7. A newly developed fire extinguishing spray is now available. Highly effective on common household fires including grease fires. Dispensed from a common aerosol spray can.


  • DO NOT PUT WATER ON A GREASE FIRE! This can not be stressed enough. Pouring water on burning grease or oil will not extinguish the fire. It will only cause the burning oil to splash, spreading the grease fire around.
  • DO NOT TRY TO CARRY THE FIRE OUTSIDE! Trying to carry a pot or pan full of burning oil will just slosh and splash the grease fire.
  • If clothes are caught on fire; STOP, DROP, and ROLL to extinguish them.