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WEEKLY Volume 23, Number 30 - July 30, 2010

Dean Sanders

2113 Kell Blvd

Wichita Falls, Texas 76308-1245

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In This Issue

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Choosing The Best Water Heater For Your Lifestyle
(ARA) - When ranking household appliances that con- temperature or water pressure.
sume the most energy, no one is surprised to see heating
and air conditioning units at the top of the list. On the other A drawback to a tankless model is the initial cost. The unit
hand, many people are surprised to learn that their water typically has a price tag between $800 to $2,000, plus an-
heater ranks at No. 2. other $1,000 to $2,500 for installation. Compare that to a
conventional water heater, which usually runs about $300
“Monthly energy costs have become an important factor to $500 for the unit and another $300 to $500 for installa-
in the decision-making process for homeowners looking tion. That all adds up to a $1,200 to $3,500 difference.
for a new water heater,” says Ed Begley, Jr., actor and
environmentalist. “That’s why manufacturers are introduc- The third option is a hybrid unit. As the name implies, the
ing new technologies that increase the energy efficiency hybrid combines the technologies of a conventional and
of their products.” In order to find the right water heater for tankless water heater. The result is a product that per-
your lifestyle, Begley points out that you need to consider forms better than both technologies with energy efficiency
both the performance of the machine and the monthly en- at 90 percent or above.
ergy costs associated with it.
A hybrid allows you to have back-to-back showers or si-
Your first option is a conventional water heater. These multaneous showers because of the stored hot water in
models typically include a glass-lined tank that holds any- the hybrid design. The installation of a hybrid water heater
where from 30 to 120 gallons of hot water at a time. A is the same as a conventional model, however, the unit
40-gallon tank is generally ideal for two or three people, itself can cost $1,200 to $1,800.
while a larger family may need a 50- to 80-gallon tank.
“For the absolute ‘greenest’ option available today, home-
A tank-type water heater can run on electricity, natural gas owners should consider a solar thermal water heating sys-
or propane. A natural gas model is generally the least ex- tem,” Begley says. “These units include a solar thermal
pensive in terms of monthly energy costs, with an electric collector that goes on the roof of the home in order to sup-
model costing up to three times as much to heat the same ply up to 70 percent of the total energy needed to run the
amount of water. Most homeowners simply select the type unit.” A solar thermal system is typically more expensive,
of water heater that matches their current fuel source. but right now they are eligible for a federal tax credit of 30
percent of the total installed cost in addition to other state
A conventional tank-type water heater can operate at any- and local utility rebates.
where from 75 to 80 percent efficiency, depending on the
brand. In other words, 75 cents of your heating dollar goes Homeowners looking for a conventional electric model
into heating the water, and the other 25 cents is lost. have a new “hybrid” option to consider. “These water heat-
ers include a heat pump that literally pulls heat out of the
Within the past 10 years, manufacturers have begun pro- surrounding air, like an air conditioner in reverse,” Begley
moting another option - the tankless water heater. These says. “As a result, they are more than twice as energy ef-
models typically deliver about 82 percent energy efficien- ficient as a traditional electric model.” This efficiency can
cy. Compared to a conventional water heater, your sav- translate to savings over $360 each year. These hybrid
ings will typically range from $30 to $75 per year. electric models qualify for the federal tax credit and there
are also additional state and local utility rebate programs
A tankless water heater uses a very large burner to heat to encourage the adoption of these products.
the water as it passes through a copper pipe on its way to
your sink, washing machine or shower. These models are If your current model is more than eight years old, you may
measured in gallons per minute. even consider proactively replacing the older, less efficient
model for one of the newer, more energy-efficient models
If you don’t use a lot of hot water, it can run almost in- and start saving right away.
definitely without running out. However, if you exceed the
capacity of the machine, you will notice a drop in either Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Virtual Schools ‘Clicking’ For Many Students This School Year
(ARA) - A record number of students are heading back ized education for their children, where students’ stud-
to school this year - without ever stepping foot inside a ies are tailored to their abilities and interests, and they
classroom. A growing number of virtual schools (also can work at their own pace,” says Dr. Steven Guttentag,
known as cyber schools or e-schools), combined with executive vice president and chief education officer for
booming parent (and Connections Acad-
student) demand for emy, a leading virtual
high-quality virtual school provider that
education, have more offers both public and
students than ever private virtual school
logging on, instead of programs. “Of course
boarding a school bus, most importantly, they
this back-to-school work. Students are
season. achieving at high lev-
els and matriculating
More than 2 million into some of our na-
children in kindergar- tion’s best universi-
ten through 12th grade ties.”
are learning online,
and their ranks are Many parents are
growing by almost 20 drawn to the qual-
percent each year, ac- ity curriculum a virtual
cording to research by school can offer their
Ambient Insight. Cur- student - and pro-
rently, 45 states have grams they might not
significant supplemen- have access to at the
tal online learning pro- local brick-and-mor-
grams, or full-time programs, in which students take tar school. The current economic climate has forced
most or all of their courses online. many neighborhood schools to eliminate programs
like foreign language instruction, Advanced Placement
“One reason families are turning to full-time virtual (AP) courses and more. At the same time some virtual
schools is that parents are seeking a more personal- schools are adding courses like Mandarin Chinese and
AP Chemistry.

In most full-time virtual school programs that kids attend

from home, families get tremendous flexibility in when
and where school takes place, flexibility that helps them
meet work and family needs. So children reap the ben-
efits of a high-quality education and still spend impor-
tant time with parents and other family members. This
can be particularly helpful for parents who are sched-
uled for atypical work hours or have to work evenings.

The virtual school boom is good news for parents look-

ing for the best possible school for their children. But
since not all virtual schools are created equal, and of-
fer different programs, curricula and resources, parents
need to take care to pick a high-quality school that’s the
best fit for their child and family. Education experts rec-
ommend that parents look for the following benchmarks
of a high-quality virtual school:

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ner, grade book, message boards and more, all in one
* Accreditation - The school should be accredited by system; training for students and parents; toll-free tech
reputable school accreditation organizations, such as support hotline; quality computer hardware and acces-
AdvancED or the National Council of Education Provid- sories like microphone and headset; and a safe, secure
ers. e-mail system that provides communications controls
and eliminates spam.
* Certified and highly qualified teachers - Look for certi-
fied teachers who work together in a professional teach- * Community activities - Field trips and other group out-
ing environment and who are experts in virtual instruc- ings offered throughout the year, plus a wide range of
tion. Teachers should be in regular contact with students extracurricular clubs and activities.
and parents, by phone and e-mail.
* School track record - Look for a school with a track re-
* Rigorous curriculum - Curriculum should combine the cord of delivering student academic achievement, high
best, late-edition textbooks from leading publishers with levels of parent and student satisfaction or affiliation
engaging online lessons and other high-quality resourc- with a credible, established virtual education provider,
es. like Connections Academy.

* Wide range of courses - Individualized grade place- In most states, parents can still enroll their children in
ment for each child, plus college prep and career op- both public and private full-time virtual school programs
tions, honors and AP courses, plus a wide range of elec- for the coming school year. Parents seeking more infor-
tives, including foreign languages, music, art, journalism mation about virtual public and private schools can call
and more. Connections Academy at (800) 382-6010.

* State-of-the-art technology resources - Must-haves Courtesy of ARAcontent

include: an online system providing daily lesson plan-

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Smart Moves: Five Tips That Will Make Moving To College A Snap
(ARA) - As summer winds down, college freshmen - and move is to rent a moving truck. Since college moves of-
sophomores, juniors and seniors - are gearing up to ten mean traveling long distances, it can be hard to get
move onto campus. Whether you’re moving to college a lot of people to help with the move. Rather than stuff-
for the first time or the third, you’ll find there are ways ing gear into multiple vehicles, a truck is a good simplify-
to make your move smarter and, believe it or not, more ing solution.
Rather than relying on guesswork, take some tips from
You can find many resources designed to lessen the the experts at Penske Truck Rental, who have been
headaches of moving, and it’s worth it to use them. One helping people move for more than 40 years:
of the most practical things you can do for a college

She would tell you

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New Hope Church
Please Join Us For Sunday Services

300 Wichita Street, Wichita Falls, Texas 76307

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1. Condense. It’s quite likely that your space at college is experience easier - be sure you’ve got them on hand.
going to be smaller than what you’ve been accustomed
to living in at home. Stuffing every last thing you own into 3. Mark and group. Label the outside of your boxes as
your moving boxes is a bad idea - you’ll only end up with you pack. Try making a generalized list of what’s in the
a cluttered mess in your new home. Start paring things box. It’s also a good idea to put your first name or sym-
down by considering what you need most and what you bol that’ll help you recognize what’s yours on the box,
use most now. For instance, if you have some clothes particularly if you have roommates or are moving into
that you like for special occa- a dorm. In the hectic whirlwind
sions but wear rarely, it’s best of thousands of students mov-
not to bring them. Take the ing in at once, it’s important to
clothes, shoes and personal cut down on confusion.
items that you go to time and
time again. As for what you’ll 4. Plan ahead. If you’re renting
need, see if your college has a moving truck, it’s essential
a checklist of essential items to reserve at least two weeks
to act as a guide. in advance. Because it’s a
busy moving season, delaying
2. Tackle packing bit by bit. By could leave you stuck without
starting early, you’ll avoid the transportation. Most movers
stress that comes with rush- find the 12- or 16-foot truck
ing. Because you want to take perfect for moving a few large
a minimum of items, it can be items or the contents of a
difficult to actually get packed small apartment. For guidance
ahead of time, but it’s worth with truck selection, visit www.
it to keep an open box to put
items in as you think of them.
In addition, keep a running list of items that you want to 5. Safety and security. Trucks are taller, wider, heavier
bring, but which you’re still using leading up to the move. and require more stopping distance than the vehicle you
When the time finally comes, make sure you have stur- are used to driving. Take extra precautions, especially
dy boxes in a variety of sizes, along with foam “peanuts” when the truck is loaded. Watch out for low-hanging tree
and bubble wrap to protect your fragile items, a good branches and building overhangs and use extra cau-
supply of packing tape and bold markers for labeling tion when cornering. To protect your belongings, park
boxes. Moving blankets and hand trucks will make the in well-lit areas and padlock the rear door. This can be
particularly important when moving
to college, as thieves have a ripe
opportunity to take advantage of
the hectic moving days leading up
to the start of the academic year.

To make sure you’ve got everything

you need on moving day, create
a travel bag for keeping important
paperwork (like your registration in-
formation and dorm confirmations),
credit cards, identification, change
of clothes, drinks and snacks close
at hand. For a complete list of mov-
ing tips, visit www.PenskeTruck-

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Fall Grilling Spices Up Family Mealtime
(ARA) - The end of summer doesn’t mean you need
to head indoors to cook your meals. The ease of op- Besh proudly passes down family recipes while teach-
erating gas grills ensures that grilling is a great way to ing his sons the importance of safety in the kitchen -
prepare a meal any time of year, and seasonal food and in the backyard. “Cooking with my sons enables
can inspire grillers to try new recipes. me to demonstrate proper food preparation and grill
safety,” he says.
“Each grilling season offers new ingredients to incor- Parents who involve children in outdoor meal prepara-
porate in dishes,” says award-winning chef, restau- tion can become role models themselves by brushing
rateur, and “My New Orleans: The Cookbook” author up on the steps to safe grilling. Tips from the Propane
John Besh, adding that outdoor meal preparation is Education & Research Council (PERC) on using gas
one way to keep busy families connected even as grills include the following:
school and activities fill the family calendar.
* Read all the grill manufacturer’s instructions before
Get the whole family involved turning on and lighting the grill.
* Keep the top of the grill open until you are sure the
“Memories are made in the kitchen, whether it’s in- grill is lit, even if you have an electronic ignition.
doors or outdoors,” says Besh, a father of four. “Meal- * Make sure the area around the grill is free of leaves
time is family time, and I love cooking with my wife or anything else that could ignite and keep the grill at
and sons. It’s something we do together year-round.” least 10 feet away from your house or any structure.

Involving younger family members in menu planning Experiment with seasonal ingredients
and grocery shopping gives parents the opportunity
to spend time with their children, while teaching them One of Besh’s favorite ways to entertain family and
proper food preparation. Kids who usually avoid do- friends is preparing homemade pizzas on the grill. “It’s
mestic chores may even find that chopping vegeta- a delicious way to experiment with seasonal ingredi-
bles, mixing marinades and assembling toppings is ents, and grilling allows even novice cooks to achieve
more fun when the “kitchen” is outdoors. the crisp crust and smoky flavor of gourmet pizza at
home,” he says.
Put safety first
To celebrate the fall harvest,
Besh offers his signature
Attend college and high school without grilled pizza recipe: acorn
My school
leaving MSU’s campus area! squash, pear and bacon with
offers both
fontina cheese. Home cooks
high school &
can start with ready-made
Come to Bright Ideas University Center, college...
a public junior high and high school that
pizza dough or visit www.
prepares young minds for college. All Before I for Besh’s
Call us today at 940-767-1561. grADuAte! easy homemade dough reci-
pe. Besh also invites parents
to substitute the family’s fa-
Announcing the addition of vorite ingredients or local in-
My school Dance Classes & Texoma Judo! season varieties.
focuses on
learning, For additional safe grilling
character, Come to Bright Ideas Charter
tips, family activity checklists,
college... School, a public school that’s been
recipes and more, visit www.
Shaping Young Minds for 25 years.
AND fuN! Call us today at 940-767-1561.

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3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
John Besh’s Grilled Fall Harvest Pizza 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
Serves four to six 1 ripe pear, cored and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 pound sliced bacon, cooked until crisp
Ingredients: 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces pizza dough Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 acorn squash, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-
thick slices Directions:
1/4 pound grated fontina cheese While waiting for the pizza dough to rise, rub the acorn squash
slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil and grill over
medium heat for five minutes on each side or
until the squash has softened. Season with
salt and pepper and let cool. Spread dough
over oiled sheet tray or pizza pan. Drizzle with
the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with rose-
mary and crushed red pepper flakes. Crumble
bacon over dough, then add grilled squash,
fontina cheese and sliced pears. Place onto
grill rack, close lid and cook for a few minutes,
then reduce heat to low flame and cook for
another three to five minutes until cheese has
melted and crust is crisp and golden.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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401 N. Scott Avenue
Wichita Falls TX 76306
Phone: 940.322.4121
Fax: 940.716.9333

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2010 (and prior year) models between 6/1/10-9/30/10. Offer good only in the U.S., excluding the state of Hawaii. Professional riders with advanced skills on closed course. Some models
shown with optional accessories. Dress properly for your ride with a helmet, eye protection, gloves and boots. Do not drink and ride. It is illegal and dangerous. Yamaha and the Motorcycle
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