Flashback Friday – Kansas City, Missouri

For this week’s Flashback Friday, we are taking a journey to the City of Fountains – Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). Kansas City is full of history and culture, and today we will explore some of the unique experiences available to visitors and residents of KCMO. Our trip will take you from the somber and historical National World War I Museum to the lively and upbeat American Jazz Museum. Kansas City offers many chances to learn and to appreciate and immerse yourself into many different areas of life, in just one city!

Part one of our journey begins at the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial. The Liberty Memorial was completed in 1926 after five years of construction and was dedicated by President Liberty MemorialCalvin Coolidge on November 11 of that year. The memorial stood untouched and was enjoyed by millions until 1994. Time and Mother Nature deteriorated the structure and it was closed for safety concerns; however, the citizens of KCMO stepped up and passed a limited-run sales tax to support the restoration. In addition to the citizens, the City, State and U.S. Government provided support to expand and revitalize the area. In 2006 the site received a designation as a National Historic Landmark and the National World War I Museum opened to the public. In addition to the stunning Liberty Memorial, rising 265 feet into the sky, the museum features a glass walkway. Under the walkway there are 9,000 poppies, each representing 1,000 lives, which have been planted in memory of the 9 million people who lost their lives in World War I.

Our second stop is at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM). Opened in its permanent location in 1997, the NLBM showcases the accomplishments of great players, teams, and management of theNegro League Museum Negro Leagues. The museum features a 10,000 square-foot facility with photographs, interactive displays, and a field of 12 bronze sculptures. Kansas City is most well known in the Negro Leagues for being the home of the Kansas City Monarchs and their star player Jackie Robinson. Robinson was recruited by the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African-American player in the modern era to play in Major League Baseball. The Negro League began to decline after this and closed its doors in the early 1960s, but its legacy forever lives on at this museum.

Our final stop on this part of our journey is just next door to the NLBM in the famous 18th & Vine Jazz kansas-city-jazz-museum_1District. The American Jazz Museum, also opened in 1997, showcases jazz through a multidimensional visitor experience. Featuring interactive exhibits and films, rotating galleries, a theater, and a jazz club, the American Jazz Museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in a diverse and creative environment. The museum hosts educational programs and exhibitions and provides the community a chance to learn about the legends and enjoy the foundation of jazz music within the City. The museum also features an 18-foot memorial to Charlie “Bird” Parker. A Kansas City native, Parker is credited with providing the foundation for the genre known as “bebop.” Charlie Parker has a permanent place in the Jazz Masters Exhibit, which features his iconic saxophone on display along with photos, album covers, and listening stations.

 

Stay tuned next week for part two of our journey through KCMO! For more information on things to do around the City, visit www.visitkc.com.

To learn how to enroll with Service Line Warranties of America, and provide yourself with peace of mind, please visit www.slwofa.com.

Flashback Friday – Phoenix, AZ

Identified by VisitPhoenix as “the cosmopolitan heart of Arizona and the soul of the American Southwest,” Phoenix, Arizona, is a longtime partner with Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA). The sixth largest city in the United States by population, Phoenix has plenty of things both residents and visitors alike can enjoy. For this Flashback Friday, we explore some of the fun and exciting things Phoenix has to offer!

Blessed Downtown_Phoenix_Aerial_Looking_Northeastwith beautiful weather nearly year-round, Phoenix has many opportunities to get active. From hiking and mountain biking trails to extensive golf and public park facilities, there is a little bit of something for everyone. In 2013 the City launched a unique program designed to promote a healthy lifestyle that can complement the beautiful outdoors. FitPHX is an initiative that drives residents to live a healthier lifestyle by creating an environment where healthy habits, such as being active and eating healthy, are the norm.

One example of this is FitPHX’s partnership with the event Meet Me Downtown. Launched in November of 2014, the event invites people to meet with the group at The Corner at Cityscape. Once you have registered for the free event, you are invited to walk or run the provided course of either 3 or 5 miles. At the conclusion of the event, participants enjoy closing ceremonies where prizes and incentive awards are presented. This event is for the whole family and offers people the chance to socialize with other members of the community while showcasing the beautiful downtown area. Encanto Golf Course

If walking or running doesn’t pique your interest, there are five championship golf courses and three nine-hole golf courses in the city. These courses feature all of the amenities of any full-service golf course. Providing scenic landscapes, these courses give residents and visitors alike a chance to get out, get active, and have some fun while they do it.

For those who are more interested in arts and culture, there are a variety of venues to explore in the city. From the Phoenix Center for the Arts and the Shemer Art Center to the Pueblo Grande Museum, you can enjoy the arts, both modern and classic. The Symphony Hall at the Phoenix Convention Center is home to the Phoenix Symphony. If your artistic taste takes more of a comic direction, check out the Phoenix Comicon, which encourages you to “Discover Your Inner Geek,” from June 2-5, 2016.

SLWA is proud to have enjoyed a long-standing partnership with Phoenix and encourages you to visit and explore all that the magnificent city has to offer. For more information on visiting Phoenix, visit www.visitphoenix.com.

For more information on how to enroll with with SLWA, please visit www.slwofa.com.

Infrastructure Week 2016

Logo_IW_Small.pngInfrastructure matters. It matters, in big ways and in small, to our country, our economy, our quality of life, our safety, and our communities. Roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports, pipes, the power grid, broadband… Infrastructure matters to companies that manufacture and ship goods. It matters to our daily commutes and our summer vacations. Infrastructure determines if we can drink water straight from our taps and flush our toilets or do our laundry. It brings electricity into our homes. Ultimately, infrastructure matters to every aspect of our daily lives.

That is why Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) has teamed up with hundreds of other organizations around the country to participate in Infrastructure Week 2016. We’re raising awareness about the need to invest in infrastructure, which is the backbone of our economy, locally and nationally.

A 2016 report found 59,000 structurally deficient bridges across America. Media stories of tainted water, natural gas leaks, and other infrastructure crises have become commonplace. And the failure to invest in infrastructure increases drag on the whole economy, costing America $2 in GDP for every $1 we fail to invest.

Based on a report released in 2013 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the US drinking water and wastewater infrastructure has received a D rating. This rating, based on a number of factors, brings to light the need for education and support of infrastructure initiatives. The ASCE estimated that the capital investment needed for the nation’s wastewater and storm water systems alone in the next 20 years will be $298 billion.

Following recent events in Flint, Michigan, the national drinking water system has become a major focus for citizens nationwide. There are an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States that account for millions of gallons of wasted drinkable water. As cities and states work to find a cost-effective assessment program, the estimates for what it will take to stabilize our drinking water system will climb to nearly $3.6 trillion by 2020.

Join SLWA in helping to promote education on infrastructure issues around the country, and learn how to help protect or improve the water and wastewater infrastructure in your community by visiting www.slwofa.com.

A Homeowner’s Tip for Conserving Water

This tip comes from David C. of Kansas City, Missouri. He was the winner of our photo contest during Service Line Awareness Week.

“I conserve water with 4 of these 55-gallon rain barrels around my home. This provides 220 gallons of water from just one-half inch of rain as they fill very quickly. The flowers and vegetables grow faster with water from my barrels versus using tap water. I rarely use all 220 gallons before a new rainfall fills them back up for me.”

SLAW Photo Winner

For ways you can help water conservation efforts by addressing leaking water service lines quickly and hassle-free, visit www.slwofa.com.

Stress Less This Spring

The employees of Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) are focusing on reducing their stress in the workplace and beyond this week. We invite you to join us in learning about stress and exploring different ways to help reduce stress every day.

Many people face stress on a daily basis, and it can affect different people in different ways. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there are at least three different types of stress: routine stress, stress brought on by a sudden negative change, and traumatic stress. All three types of stress carry both mental and physical health risks, and it is important to recognize when you are experiencing these stressors so you are better able to use techniques to reduce their effects. Over time, continued stress may lead to serious health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety and other illnesses.

Managing the amount of stress you have and reducing future stress is critical to leading a happy and healthy life. Try utilizing some of these stress management techniques:

  • Exercise regularly – just 30 minutes per day of gentle walking.
  • Meditate for five minutes. Sit up straight with both feet on the floor and focus on your breathing.
  • Laugh. When it comes to stress, laughter can be the best medicine.
  • Listen to music. Soothing tunes to help relax or blowing off some steam to some hard rock will both reduce your stress.
  • Slow down and take time to focus on the things around you.

For more ways to reduce stress, check out these suggestions from WebMD and the Mayo Clinic.

We hope you can find ways to reduce the stress in your daily life. SLWA’s service line warranty program can help reduce stress involved with service line failure. Visit www.slwofa.com to find out how you can get peace of mind and a stress-free repair process in the event that you have a problem.

#ThrowbackThursday

As part of our efforts to improve our customer communication, we are going to be featuring a short story about a different partner every week. We will explore the fun and diverse features of each partner! We are kicking off this new project with Clarksburg, West Virginia.

The charming city of Clarksburg is a true gem of West Virginia. Clarksburg is the county seat of Harrison County. The city is loaded with history – featuring multiple historic buildings and landmarks, it is easy to get lost in another time. Take a trip down the Civil War Trails sites or make a stop at the Waldomore, which houses a large number of historical records and the famous Gray Barker Collection.

Modern day Clarksburg provides a lot for both residents anwaterpark 2d visitors to do. One of the favorite places to visit for locals and visitors alike is Veterans Memorial Park. The 50-acre park is the summer entertainment hub for the city.

“Veterans Memorial Park is the top destination for recreation,” said Tara Morrison, Marketing Coordinator for the Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The park now features a wide variety of summer activities. A favorite is the City Parks of Clarksburg Splash Zone. Originally a city pool, it was closed for the 2012 season to complete a major renovation. The updated Splash Zone opened in 2013 and features a lazy river, waterslides, a 25-meter competition pool and a zero-depth entry children’s play area.

After you have spent Clarksburg-Amphitheateryour day in the sun splashing around, you can head over to the Clarksburg Amphitheater. The “AMP,” as it is known locally, features both local and national headlining music throughout the summer. In addition, a program that began in 2010 known as “Movies in the Park” is a big hit.

“On Fridays throughout the summer, we offer free movies for families,” Morrison said.

We are thrilled to have Clarksburg as a partner since 2009 and hope you get a chance to experience this historical city. For more information on what to do in Clarksburg, visit the Clarksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau website at http://www.clarksburgvisitorswv.com, or check out their Facebook page Explore Clarksburg.

Money-saving Monday

According to CNN, roughly half of Americans are saving five percent or less of their incomes, with 18 percent of those having no savings at all. To help get your savings jump started, here are some tips that can save money just by changing the way you do things you already do!

Around the House

  • Weatherproof your home. Caulk holes and cracks that let warm air escape in the winter and cold air escape in the summer. Your local hardware store has materials, and quite possibly useful advice, about inexpensively stopping unwanted heat or cooling loss.
  • Use low-flow shower heads. They can reduce water flow by as much as 40 percent.
  • Live relatively near your workplace. While this isn’t always possible, driving 5,000 miles less a year can lower transportation costs by more than $1,000.
  • Repair dripping faucets. A slow, steady drip (100 drops per minute) wastes 330 gallons of water in a month. That’s nearly 4,000 gallons per year.
  • Choose home repair contractors wisely. Favor contractors who have successfully performed work for people you know. Insist on a written, fixed-price bid. Don’t make full payment until satisfactory completion of the work.

Other Ways to Save

  • Never purchase expensive items on impulse. Think over each expensive purchase for at least 24 hours. Acting on this principle will mean you have far fewer regrets about impulse purchases and far more money for emergency savings.
  • Substitute coffee for expensive coffee drinks. The two dollars a day you could well save by buying a coffee rather than a cappuccino or latte would allow you, over the course of a year, to completely fund a $500 emergency fund.
  • Keep your car engine tuned and its tires inflated to their proper pressure. Doing both can save you up to $100 a year in gas.
  • Save your loose change. Putting aside fifty cents a day over the course of a year will allow you to save nearly 40 percent of a $500 emergency fund.
  • Borrow books rather than purchasing them. Borrowing books and reading magazines at your local library, rather than purchasing reading material, can save you hundreds of dollars a year.

These are just a few way to save every day. Being prepared for an emergency expense will help to reduce stress and provide you with the peace of mind to know you are ready if something goes wrong. In addition to these 10 tips, check out more money saving tips here.

To find out how SLWA can help provide you with budget-protecting peace of mind, visit www.slwofa.com.