Cycling In Los Angeles: Rules Of The Road

Cycling In Los Angeles: Rules Of The Road

Cycling In Los Angeles: Rules Of The Road

Not only does using a bicycle mean decrease the carbon footprint you leave during your daily commute, most people find that riding a bike is often an easier and faster way to commute in Los Angeles. As a cyclist, there are a few rules you should be aware of before you jump on your bike and start pedaling to work.

1. Drivers have to respect your right to be on the road

You have just as much right to bike to work as motorist have to drive to work. According to the AB-1371-California Statutes, which was passed into law n September 2013, drivers are required to maintain a safe distance between their car and a bicyclist when they pass the person on a bicycle. The distance must be a minimum of 3 feet between the bike and the car. The one exception to this is if the car driver slows down and take extra precautions to make sure not to hit the biker.

2. You must follow the flow of traffic

Bicyclists are not allowed to ride against the flow of traffic. While going against the flow of traffic might be the fastest way for you to get to your destination, it also increases the risk of you getting seriously hurt in a car/bike accident.

In addition to being required to go with the flow of the traffic, cyclists are also required to stick to the right side of the road. There are exceptions to this rule such as making a left turn, riding on a narrow road or a one-way street, or if the road is under construction.

3. Car drivers are responsible for car doors

One of the most common accidents between drivers and cyclists is accidents involving car doors. LA lawmakers passed Cal. Vehicle Code 22517, which requires the driver and other occupants in the car to look and confirm that there aren’t any cyclist close by before they open the doors. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look where you’re going, if you’re far back when the car door opens and you crash into it because you weren’t paying attention, you’ll be the one the police consider responsible for the accident.

4. Don’t drink and cycle

Don’t assume that just because you’re riding a bike rather than driving a vehicle, that you don’t have to worry about how much you drink when you’re out on the town. You do. Cal. Vehicle Code 23152 states that when used for commuting, a bicycle is a vehicle, which means that if an LAPD officer pulls you over, they can arrest you and charge you with a DUI.

When you and the drivers in Los Angeles watch out for one another and obey the traffic laws, you’ll find that there’s plenty of room on the streets for everyone.

2018: What Happened So Far

2018: What Happened So Far

2018: What Happened So Far

We are halfway through the year and we’ve already had an eventful year. It feels like it was just yesterday we were ushering in the new year. We had hopes and dreams that 2018 would be better than the previous year. We had New Year’s resolutions that were supposed to transform ourselves for the better. Yet here we are, halfway through the year, and we’re all pretty much the same.

We may have changed differently than how we expected. We set forth goals at the beginning of the year, but plans might have changed. We may have thought we’d go to the gym more, do more acts of kindness, and eat a few more salads. If we’re being honest we probably went to the nearest In-N-Out Burger the third week of January. Work, school, or drama dragged us into projects. We struggled, but we made it this far. We’ve grown in ways we didn’t think possible.

As a society we’ve witnessed horrible incident happening to innocent people. On February 14th, as nation we suffered an unspeakable act against humanity. The Parkland shooting in Florida reminded us that we have a long road ahead when it comes to protecting each other on our home turf. As a result we’ve experienced a giant movement in our educational system.

The education in our nation has been under fire. Unfortunately, it seemed to take a tragedy to ignite a fire to ask for a better system from our government. School protests popped up all over the country asking the government to do something to help protect students. Thousands protested about the gun violence. From asking for protection, the protests turned into just asking for more for our education. Teachers began walking out for pay raises and more school funding. States like Arizona, Oklahoma, and Vermont had massive teacher protests.

From tragedies to protests to walk-outs, we’ve experienced a lot this first half of the year. We even survived President Trump coming to visit California. This first half of the year we’ve also seen some good, like the Winter Olympics and the Korean War coming to an end. They say it’s never too late to chase your dreams and goals. It’s not too late for us to turn this year around. Get back to eating salads and starting thinking positive thoughts. This can still be your year to shine.

The Bully Epidemic

The Bully Epidemic

The Bully Epidemic

W.D. Ross was a man who believed that we as humans had a duty to do the morally right thing. He created the seven prima facie duties that we could use to help determine if we were on the “right path”. For some of us, the right path can be unclear. While others may see the world as black and white, some see the world in many varying shades of gray.

One of Ross’ prima facie duties is of beneficence. This particular duty is about doing well to others. It’s about bettering the human condition in which we are all affected by. The prima facie duty of beneficence is about harm prevention. In order to live by Ross’ prima facie duties, one must go down the morally right path. This means we must acknowledge that we shouldn’t harm others.

Bullying has been an issue throughout the ages, but has gotten worse in today’s world. The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey finds that 16% of high school students (grades 9-12) were electronically bullied in the past. In today’s world, bullying is creative and can be part of the victim’s daily life.

The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that 6% of students in grades 6–12 experienced cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is when one person verbally or mentally, attacks another person through social media.

Cyberbullying is morally wrong.

When bullies are harming others online, they are not following the prima facie duty of beneficence. When a kid/teenager is being bullied online, they are often bullied in person as well. This makes it harder for the victim to get away from the bully or harassment.

The problem is that this is not just the pecking order or how to give kids “tougher” skin. This is a serious issue because bullying leads to suicide. “It is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 15 to 24, surpassed only by homicide and accidents,” according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. As family members, we should be concerned about loved ones around us. We need to be involved with them so that we can notice if they are being bullied.

Being aware of the issue of bullying is one thing, but taking action is another.

If you suspect that someone is being bullied, don’t just sit there and let it happen. Report it to a trusted individual and work to put an end to the problem. If more people step up and work together to stop bullying, we could put an end to this epidemic.

Wine About It

Wine About It

Wine About It

Life is stressful and a wise meme once said that a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away. Of course if you’re drinking wine, you should definitely be 21 or older and you should not be operating any kind of vehicle. Wine is a blessing at the end of the day. It’s almost like a warm cup of milk, except its fruitiness sings you to sleep. It’s also a super familiar beverage here in California because of the Wine Country that we have.

Wine Country in California goes hand in hand like champagne and France do. You can expect amazing wine tours in California like in Malibu, or go wine tasting in Napa Valley. Sipping fine wine is easy to do in California because of all the places that create their own wines. Creating a fine wine is a process and takes time. The best wineries usually grow their grapes locally and let’s face it, as Californians, we love keeping things local.

Wine tours in California can be a great escape. They usually take you through the process of growing the grape to creating wine itself. They also allow you to taste wine while exploring the vineyard. Some of the more popular wine tasting tours around are:

  • Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour
  • Napa Valley Hot-Air-Balloon Ride with Wine
  • Napa Valley Wine Train
  • Muir Woods Wine Town and Ferry
  • San Francisco Super Saver
  • Malibu Wine Safari

Wine is some people’s best friend, in a non-alcoholic way. After a long week at work or a stressful family event, sipping on a glass of wine is what some folks look forward to. Wine is one of those beverages that you have to sip. You can’t just down it. It is a slow drink, one that helps you relax. You can whine to your wine glass about your struggles.

Friends and family can gather around a good bottle of wine. It can be paired up with cheese, chocolate, and other meals. It goes hand and hand with most fancy dinners. The right bottle of wine can help loosen up a tough crowd. Don’t under estimate the power of a good bottle. With that being said, drinking too much wine will get you drunk just like drinking too much beer. It doesn’t matter how classy the drink is, when it has an alcohol content, you can get drunk from drinking too much.

If you find yourself drunk off the grapes, don’t drive home. Call a cab or give your keys to a sober friend. Drinking wine and driving is against the law, which can land you with a DUI or in car accident. DUIs can be a nasty ticket or land you in the drunk tank. If you manage to get into a car accident, your choice to drive could cost someone else their life.

California bring its residents many benefits, and one of them is some of the best wine in the nation. From touring the wine country, to sipping with friends around the table, wine can be enjoyed in many ways. The only time you should enjoy wine while in motion is when you’re on a tour and are not the one driving. Making a good choice in a bottle of wine is one thing. However, making the choice to protect your life and those lives around you is the most important decision you can make when it comes to wine.

A Strawberry Catch

A Strawberry Catch

A Strawberry Catch

California has plenty of amazing qualities. Some may focus on the beaches and Hollywood, others may be sitting by a roadside stand enjoying a bit of fresh produce. California has a huge agriculture industry within its fertile state lines. Between the oranges, artichokes, walnuts, kiwis, plums, celery, and garlic, California produces a lot of the Nation’s produce. However, if you want to bite into something sweet and delicious, try a California picked strawberry.

California strawberries are locally grown and sold.

California strawberries are so special, that there is actually a California Strawberry Commission (CSC) state agency that conducts the sale of strawberries in the state. They also do research on ways to support the growth of California’s strawberries.

The CSC has strict standards that make California strawberries the safest and healthiest fruit to eat.

Once you see the magnificent fields of strawberries in California you may be tempted to go out and pick some for yourself. However, if you do you may find yourself in a lot of trouble. Trespassing on private property can earn you several penalties, especially if you pick one of their strawberries. Picking someone’s strawberries on their property without permission can be considered trespassing with intent and damage of property.

Not only will trespassing on someone’s strawberry field get you into trouble, actually picking one without permission will too. For starters, strawberry plants are someone’s property, and by picking a strawberry, you are damaging property. Unless the fruit is on public property, it’s actually illegal to pick someone else’s produce. Not only is it illegal, its poor etiquette to eat someone’s fruit without permission.

California has amazing produce that we get to enjoy on a regular basis. It’s pretty rare for California not have everything you need here. Local strawberries are a sweet bite of California’s sunshine and vibes. The taste will make your day and leave you feeling satisfied because you’re supporting your local farmers.

California’s Eviction Process

California’s Eviction Process

California’s Eviction Process

While a landlord has the right to evict a tenant from a rental problem if that person is doing a great deal of property damage or has stopped paying their rent, California does expect that landlord to obey the letter of the law. Failing to do so can result in the police showing up and arresting the landlord.

California has clear rules about the eviction process. The first thing landlord have to do is provide the tenant with written notice that their tenancy is terminated. If possible, this termination should be done in person and with a witness nearby. At this point, most landlords give their tenants an opportunity to correct whatever behavior prompted the behavior, such as having a pet where they’re not allowed, disrupting other tenants, or failing to stay on top of monthly rent checks.

In California, landlords are required to give the tenants five full days to leave their home.

What Happens Next?

If the tenant doesn’t change their behavior or if they refuse to leave the property, it’s time for the landlord to take the next step.

This is the point that many landlords find themselves in legal trouble. First, you aren’t allowed to simply wait until the tenant leaves their apartment and then change the locks, making it impossible for them to get back in. Second, you can’t contact the utility company and simply have them shut down the utilities to the property with the hope that this forces the tenant to leave.

Doing either of these things puts the tenant in a position where they’re free to contact the police and let them know what just happened, and even though the tenant isn’t supposed to be around anymore, that won’t stop the police from arresting the landlord. In this event, the landlord will be charged with a misdemeanor lockout, a charge that can seriously jeopardize the landlords reputation and trigger a great deal of legal fees.

When the tenants refuse to leave, the best course of action available to the landlord is taking the tenant to court. If the court agrees that the tenant violated the rental agreement, they’ll send a police officer to the property to remove the tenant. This might mean that the property remains occupied and the landlord won’t be getting rent checks but it also means the landlord won’t spend the rest of their life saddled with a criminal record. Plus, there’s always a chance that the court will order the tenant to pay back rent and cover any property damage they’re responsible for.

It’s worth noting, that it’s illegal for landlords to evict a tenant simply so they can raise the monthly rental fee on a rent-controlled property.

As A Tenant, Can You Legally Withhold Rent?

As A Tenant, Can You Legally Withhold Rent?

As A Tenant, Can You Legally Withhold Rent?

The relationship between tenants and their landlords can be complicated. Often what one person in the relationship thinks of as fair, the other considers the short end of the stick. It’s not unusual for tenants to get so fed up with a landlord, that they decide to force the landlord into taking action by withholding rent. While withholding rent until repairs have been made is allowed, in California, the laws surrounding the decision are complicated.

When Can A Tenant Withhold Rent?

H&S §17920.3 which is also called California’s State Housing Law, is a law that has been adapted by nearly all of California’s cities as well as the state’s legislators. The law clearly stipulates the minimum requirements the landlords must do with regards to things like:

  • Overall condition of the structures on the property
  • Heating/cooling systems
  • Lighting
  • Ventilation

Additional California state law, Civil Codes § 1941.1 and § 1941.3 stipulates the bare minimum amenities the landlord must provide each of their tenants. Issues addressed by Civil Codes § 1941.1 and § 1941.3 include:

  • Weather protection
  • Plumbing
  • Maintenance for basic safety features including floors, rails, and stairways
  • Sanitary issues (including trash receptacles, rodent control, and debris removal)
  • Locks for doors and windows

If the minimum requirements laid out in H&S §17920.3 and Civil Codes § 1941.1 and § 1941.3 aren’t meant, the tenant should contact the landlord and make them aware of the situation. If the landlord doesn’t respond or make any effort to bring the building up to code, the tenant can choose to withhold rent until something gets done to bring the building up to code. However, before you stop paying your rent, there are few legal technicalities you need to be aware of.

Hoops Tenants Have To Jump Through Before They Can Legally Withhold Rent In California

You can’t simply decide that you’re going to withhold your rent until your landlord takes care of a problem that you’ve been complaining about. The California court system has some requirements you have to meet first.

These requirements include:

You have to prove that the repair you require is in clear violation of H&S §17920.3, Civil Codes § 1941.1 or § 1941.3 You can’t withhold rent simply because you’re annoyed about something. When you decide to withhold rent, you have to be able to prove to the court that:

  • You weren’t the cause of the problem.
  • That the problem is clearly a health or safety hazard.
  • That you reported the issue to your landlord and also provided them with a reasonable deadline for making the repair, a deadline that they blatantly ignored. The amount of time to provide the landlord to correct the problem often depends on the problem itself. For some repairs, the state of California allows the landlord up to a month to repair the issue, but for other issues, such as a broken door or window lock, the problem needs to be corrected right away.

When you decide that you are going to withhold rent in order to get repairs done on the property, you should be prepared for your landlord to react badly. They may even try to evict you. If this happens, you’ll need to appear in court and provide the judge with evidence that you adhered to all local laws.

Before withholding rent, you need to contact the local court system for your county or city. Different cities have different rules about rent. It’s not unheard of for a city to require the rent that you’re not paying the landlord be directed to a city escrow account.

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Are Minors Allowed To Have Alcohol Under Parents Supervision?

Some parents out there who are dealing with minors and drinking tend to take a different approach to the matter. Many parents would flat out ban their children from drinking until they are of legal age to do so. However, some parents prefer to allow their underage children to drink, but only under their supervision. The idea is that this way, the child can learn about alcohol and its effects under the watchful eye of the parent.

In many states around the country, this is a common practice. The problem with this method, is that it is actually illegal within the state of California.

Here in California, minors are not allowed to possess alcohol, and they definitely are not allowed to consume it.

An adult allowing any minor to consume alcohol in their home is against the law under Business and Professions Code 25658.2. Breaking this law is a misdemeanor offense, which means a person could face up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. What’s worse is that would only be one of the charges a person would face for allowing a minor to consume alcohol.

In all likelihood, a person could also be charged with Penal Code 272, which makes it illegal for anyone to help a minor commit an unlawful act, such as possessing and consuming alcohol. This is another misdemeanor offense and can earn a person up to a year in jail, and a possible fine of $2,500.

Things can get even worse if the minor then proceeds to get behind the wheel of a car and cause an accident, which is why it is best to simply wait until they are older before allowing them to have any alcohol. This way, everyone stays safe and no one ends up breaking the law.

Rules On The Beaches In California

Rules On The Beaches In California

Rules On The Beaches In California

California is known for its coastline. Famous beaches line Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Big Sur are iconic to the rest of the nation. People travel from all over the world to see the golden coast. Musicians write songs about the west coast all the time. California is continuously engraved in to the books for its beaches.

The beaches are a great place to spend time with family and friends. Here in California, it’s easy to load up the car for the day and spend hours looking out over the ocean. Going to the beach is free, and you can pack your own lunches and save money. You can always explore the local beaches for a food stand or even check out a nearby restaurant. While you’re at the beach you can lay out with the proper amount of sunscreen, go surfing, boggy boarding, or just stand out in the water. While you’re at the beach you are being active.

Your body will thank you for going to the beach too. The sand exfoliates your skin by getting rid of dead skin cells. The salty water is also good for any small cuts and scrapes. If you do go out in the water with a cut, be prepared to clean out any sand particles to prevent infections.

Besides packing the perfect lunch and bringing a towel, there is one other thing you need to worry about. The beaches are great, but they’re great because there are rules that protect them. There are several rules and laws in place for your safety, and to help protect the ocean environment. The following rules and laws were found off of See California, a tourist site for the state:

  • No smoking on any beaches
  • No glass bottles or glass objects
  • No swimming in marked areas
  • No alcoholic beverages
  • No nudity unless marked as a nude beach
  • No fires
  • No dogs unless otherwise marked
  • No admission (beach curfew hours vary)
  • No surfing in designated areas

Beaches are a great place to escape the hustle of the world. They are great for relaxing and listening to the waves crashing upon the shore. Beaches are a staple to the California lifestyle. Just be sure you aren’t breaking any laws. A good rule of thumb when it comes to finding out what rules a beach may have is to do some research or ask the locals.

Think Twice Before Throwing That Frisbee

Think Twice Before Throwing That Frisbee

Think Twice Before Throwing That Frisbee

If you’re in Los Angeles County, you might want to reconsider playing frisbee with your best friend or dog. The county has a law that clearly states that before you can throw a frisbee, permission needs to be granted by a lifeguard.

Yep, this sounds like one of those ridiculous laws that are just plain silly. After all, if you’re in your own yard or a public park, it’s unlikely that you’ll even be able to track down a lifeguard. And even when you’re on the beach, no one seeks a lifeguard out just to ask if they can throw a frisbee back and forth. Yet, it does exist, and when you dig just a little deeper, you’ll start to realize that there’s actually a pretty sound basis for the law.

Basically, what the law means is that if you’re on a public beach and your playing with a frisbee (or anything else) and the lifeguard feels that you’re being a nuisance or disruptive, they can ask you to quit. The reason for the law is that there are times when throwing frisbees, balls, boomerangs, etc. can not only prove disruptive to others who are trying to enjoy the same space.

If a lifeguard (or police officer, park official, etc.) requests that you stop throwing the frisbee and you fail to do so, the Los Angeles courts have the right to hit you with a $1,000 fine for failure to comply to the request. Failing to pay the fine can result in your arrest and criminal charges.

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when a lifeguard or park official comes up to them and requests that they stop doing something, such as tossing a frisbee around, is taking the request personally and losing their temper, which in turn means the official gets upset. Tensions mount until the official has no choice but to take drastic action that could result in your arrest. The best way to handle the situation is to remain polite and listen to what the official has to say. More often than not, they’ll provide an explanation for their request as well as a suggestion about another location or time when you can resume your frisbee throwing. If the request seems outrageous to you, rather than getting upset with the official, ask to see their supervisor.

Keeping a cool head and knowing when it’s best to take your frisbee and walk away from the entire situation, you’ll avoid a hefty fine and won’t risk spending a night in jail.