Urbanization Will Sweep the Planet

megacityIf there’s one thing the experts are clear about, it’s that our world will be significantly more urbanized by 2039. There will be a rise in the number of mega-cities – urban areas with more than 10 million inhabitants.

Baby boomers will be part of that phenomenon. Many empty-nesters are attracted to the manageable charms of the city. But it’s the desire of Gen X, those born in 1966-1976, and Gen Y, those born in 1977-1994, cohorts to live, work and play in a compact area that’s largely fueling the trend. Multifamily residential stands to gain, but companies keen to attract young, educated talent are paying attention, too, and positioning themselves accordingly.

“Some businesses today consider location even more important than compensation in recruitment efforts,” said Rick Cleveland, a managing director at Cushman & Wakefield. “That’s driving a lot of the trend toward urban areas.”

That doesn’t mean that any old building on any city block will suffice for the worker of 2039. “The features that older-generation office spaces have, in terms of locations and amenities surrounding or in the facility, don’t work for the new-age tenant,” said Sicola, who points to companies in Manhattan that are abandoning midtown for the west edge of the island and buildings that can be retrofitted for open infrastructure.

“For baby boomers, it was ‘live to work,’ but Gen Xers are working to live. They like to take breaks, have fun. Incorporating that into the workplace is critical,” Cleveland said.

Spring Lawn Tips

A healthy lawn starts with spring maintenance. Winter can alter soil pH, compact the soil and create conditions friendly to weeds and disease, so it’s crucial that you properly clean, fertilize and mow your yard now that spring is officially here. When winter’s receding snow reveals bare spots, invasive plants and other problems break out the broadcast spreader and click through this list of spring lawn care tips.

● Clean and Repair Your Lawn. A thorough raking is a good start. One common problem is uneven ground. Low spots cause poor drainage, while high spots are often scalped by the lawn mower. Grab a shovel, cut away areas that are raised, and fill in those that are depressed.

lawn● Planting Grass in the Spring. Before choosing a seed, determine which varieties work best in your region and with the amount of sunlight in your yard. Then roughly estimate the size of the area where you plan to plant, as seed coverage is recommended in pounds per square foot. If you’re spreading the seed over a large area, it is best to use a broadcast spreader, but smaller areas can be seeded by hand. Don’t ignore the grass once you’ve planted it. Water regularly to maintain soil moisture and fertilize with a slow-release, low-nitrogen product. Mow when the grass reaches 3 or 4 inches (7.6 to 10 centimeters) in height, but try not to trim off more than a half-inch (1-centimeter) as doing so could stress the plant.

● Fertilizing Grass in the Spring. Fertilizer can help your lawn grow thick and lush, but if it’s not used properly, it can actually damage the grass. A slow-release nitrogen fertilizer is best, and no more than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of nitrogen should be spread per 1,000 square feet (93 square meters). It should be applied early in the season when the turf begins actively growing, so the timing varies among regions. Fertilizer should not be applied too early or late, however, as lingering cold or early heat can stress the grass. Check the packaging to see when and how much you should water after applying the fertilizer.

● How to Mow Your Lawn in the Spring. Though it may reduce the number of times you have to mow, cutting your grass short is harmful to your lawn. Mowing with a low blade height removes nutrients stored in leaf blades and exposes the soil to sunlight, allowing weeds to take hold more easily. Taller grass is better able to compete with weeds, thanks to a larger root system and a higher tolerance for heat. It also shades the ground, allowing the soil to retain water more effectively.

● Lawn Care Equipment Maintenance. A little bit of service and preventative maintenance can ensure that your mower, trimmer and other implements are running efficiently and won’t break down before you haul them back to Dino’s Storage for the winter. Such machines are typically gasoline powered, so they should be serviced frequently.

Top Ten Lists

Livability.com compiles lists of the Top Ten Best Places for a variety of things – health care, college towns, to retire and more – and communities in middle America rank well in many of the lists. A few selections from their recent lists are detailed below.

Health Care
UofIowaHospitalNumber 1 – Residents of Iowa City, IA, spend 17 percent less on health care than the rest of the nation. But it’s residents’ easy access to hospitals, doctors and dentists that earned Iowa City the top ranking on Livability.com’s list of Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care. Health-care costs are kept low here, thanks to competition between 14 area hospitals. The city has a doctor for every 634 residents. If that doesn’t give Iowa City residents something to smile about, the ratio of one dentist for every 532 people sure should.

Number 8 – Lincoln, NE, residents have 30 area hospitals from which to choose – the highest hospital total for a city on the Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care. Having all those choices helps keep medical expenses down for residents here, who (on average) spend 12 percent less on health-care costs each year than the rest of the nation. Lincoln’s clean environmental record, cultural offerings and recreational activities make it one of the best places to live in America.

College Towns
Number 1 – You have to wonder how college students in Boulder, CO, find the motivation to get themselves to class. With so many other things to do, from rock climbing, skiing and hiking to sampling microbrews and checking out the latest museum exhibits, it has to be hard to hit the books. But Boulder is a city of innovative thinkers, environmentalists and researchers who work as hard as they play. Home to the University of Colorado and a collection of national laboratories, residents place a high value on the city’s diverse perspectives. Breathtaking natural beauty, a sense of cultural freedom and a highly educated population combine to deliver a wildly creative atmosphere where both students and residents flourish.

Number 6 – Metaphorically, the road to many college journeys goes through Iowa City, IA, which is home to the national offices of the ACT, a standardized test for college admission. While ACT is a major employer, it’s the University of Iowa that drives the local economy and sets the cultural stage. The school oversees a collection of clinics and an acclaimed hospital system, produces city-wide events, and participates in community outreach.

Places to Retire
Number 1 – Highly ranked hospitals, affordably priced housing, and a vast collection of parks and cultural amenities combine to make Cincinnati, OH, the best place to retire. Retirees can find a wealth of activities in the Queen City to keep them inspired, active and engaged. A recent $2.6 billion redevelopment of the downtown gave the city a giant economic boost by attracting businesses and residents back to the city’s urban core. Residents rarely run out of things to do in Cincinnati. The city’s excellent parks system includes 70 neighborhood and five regional parks, 34 nature preserves and the Krohn Conservatory, which features a collection of more than 3,500 plant species inside an art deco building.

Number 9 – Considered the heart of Iowa’s Creative Corridor, Cedar Rapids offers a dynamic atmosphere that provides residents a vibrant arts scene, easy access to pristine outdoor amenities and top-notch health care. Cedar Rapids scored well in our hospital rankings with numerous specialists and hospitals to choose from, and a culture that promotes physical activity and healthy eating. The city ranked 30th on Livability.com’s list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live.

Summer Festivals
Number 1 – Cowboys, bucking broncos and bulls take over Cheyenne, WY, once a year for Cheyenne Frontier Days, a 10-day summer festival that celebrates the city’s Western heritage and cowboy culture on a grand scale. Just like the first Frontier Day in 1897, a rodeo forms the backbone of this event, drawing thousands of spectators and competitors to what has become the largest outdoor rodeo in the country, known as the “Daddy of ’em All.”

Number 9 – More than 50,000 people visit Papillion, NE annually for Papillion Days, a five-day festival that includes the largest parade in the state, as well as events like a tractor-pull, BBQ competition, pancake breakfast, duathlon, carnival and concerts. Much of the action occurs in the historic downtown area, which is lined with shops and restaurants, while the running and biking duathlon happens at Walnut Creek Lake and Recreation Area. More than 120 floats, bands and performers, representing dozens of organizations, parade through the city on Saturday. Several organizations, including the Papillion Area Historical Society, the local Boy Scouts, schools and the fire department sponsor events, and local musicians, bands, cheer squads and karate schools perform on festival stages.

Spring Cleaning & Storage

It’s Spring! Warmer days, still cool nights and plenty of work to do inside and outside the house.

clutterIt’s time to put away the snow blower and the sleds and break out the yard tools and bicycles. Time to haul out the hoses, rake the leaves and clean up the yard. Time to clear out the gutters, wash the windows and clean the window screens. It’s time to straighten up the garage, clean the floor and finally stow those Christmas items, skates, hockey sticks and whatever else you stacked in the corners.

There’s plenty more to be done and lots of things you’ll need to get out for the spring and summer seasons. But first you need to make room for the new season by packing away the winter things.

That’s where Dino’s Storage can help!

Give us a call, reserve a storage space and bring those winter things to our nearest storage facility. You’ll make plenty of room for the summer tools and toys. All the winter clutter will be out of sight and out of mind until you swap it all out when you bring in the summer things later, much later, in the year and retrieve what you need for next winter.

7 Ways to Maintain a Good Credit Score

There are many benefits of having a good credit score, like enjoying a lower interest rate on your credit cards and loans. A good credit score also allows you to save money on insurance and security deposits on new utilities and cell phone service. It’s all about how you use credit that lets you to keep a good score.

credit-score-tree1. Know what goes into a good credit score. The more you know about what goes into your credit score, the easier it will be to maintain a good one. Five key pieces of information are used to calculate your credit score – your payment history, level of debt, credit age, mix of credit and recent credit. Not everything financial affects your credit score. For example, checking account overdrafts and utility payments won’t automatically help or hurt your credit score.

2. Pay your bills on time. That goes for all your bills, not just your credit cards and loans. While certain bills don’t get reported to the credit bureaus when you pay on time, they could end up on your credit report if you fall behind. Even a small library fine could wind up on your credit report.

3. Keep your credit card balances low. The higher your credit card balance is, the worse your credit score will be. Your credit card balance should be within 30% of your credit limit to maintain a good credit score. Card issuers typically report the balance when your statement closes and if that’s a high balance, your credit score will be affected.

4. Manage your debt. Credit card balances aren’t the only accounts that influence your credit score. Loan balances and lines of credit also impact your level of debt (30% of your credit score). Having too much debt can cost credit score points and make it difficult to afford your monthly payments. The lower your debt, the easier it will be to maintain a good credit score.

5. Don’t close old credit cards. When you close a credit card, your credit card issuer no longer sends updates to the credit bureaus and the credit scoring formula places less weight on inactive accounts. After 10 years or so, the credit bureau will remove that closed account’s history from your credit report. If the account was an old one, losing that credit history will shorten your average credit age and cause your credit score to drop.

6. Limit your applications for new credit. Each time you apply for credit – whether a credit card or loan – your credit score takes a small hit. Credit inquiries are only 10% of your credit score, but if you have a high credit score (say 800), you stand to lose a lot of points. Opening a new credit account also lowers your average credit age (15% of your credit score). To maintain a good credit score, you should open new credit sparingly.

7. Watch your credit report. Just because you do everything right with your credit doesn’t mean everyone else will. Errors could end up on your credit report leading to a drop in your credit score. Identity theft and credit card fraud can also lead to inaccurate information on your credit report. Checking your credit report throughout the year lets you detect these mistakes sooner so you can correct them and maintain a good credit score.


To-Do Lists Are Keys to Efficiencyto-do-list

If you find yourself forgetting to do something important, being nagged to get something done or simply overwhelmed by the tasks you are facing, learn to keep a “To-Do List.”

To-Do Lists are prioritized lists of the tasks that you need to do. They list everything you need to accomplish, with the most important tasks at the top of the list, and the least important tasks at the bottom.

Keeping a To-Do List ensures that your tasks are written down in one place so you don’t forget anything important. By prioritizing tasks, you can tell what needs your immediate attention, and what can be left for later.

Used effectively, To-Do Lists will keep you better organized and more reliable. Using To-Do Lists also will cut your stress levels and allow you to focus on high value activities, making you more productive.


You may find it helpful to get in the habit of spending a few minutes at the start or end of the day to organize your tasks for the upcoming day.

And while you’re organizing your activities, think about organizing your household. Make it a priority to figure out what’s in the way, little used or taking up space that could be better utilized. You can pack up all those things and take them to the nearest Dino’s Storage where they can be safely housed until you need them sometime in the future.

The Family Dinner Table Adds Value

In the hurried pace of life in the 21st Century, we often fail to sit down together for family meals. That failure negatively affects the health and well-being of our families.

With music lessons, sports practice, play rehearsal and work schedules, it’s easy to skip family meals. But research shows that eating as a family has great benefits for your children and teen-agers.

Here are some of the reasons why you should try to sit down together at least five or six times a week, whether for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the family to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another. It’s a chance to share information and news of the day. Family meals foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.

Family mealtime offers an opportunity to display appropriate table manners, meal etiquette and social skills. Keep the mood light, relaxed and loving.

Family meals offer the chance to encourage children to try new foods. It’s easy to introduce a new food along with some of the stand-by favorites. Trying a new food is like starting a new hobby. It expands your child’s knowledge, experience and skill.

Meals prepared and eaten at home usually are more nutritious and healthy. They contain more fruits, vegetables and dairy products along with additional nutrients such as fiber, calcium and vitamins. Home cooked meals are usually not highly salted, plus soda and sweetened beverage consumption is usually lower at the dinner table.

Children today are missing out on the importance of knowing how to plan and prepare meals. Basic cooking, baking and food preparation are necessities for being self-sufficient. Involve your family in menu planning, grocery shopping and food preparation.

Research shows that eating together at least five times a week is associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking and illegal drug use in pre-teens and teen-agers when compared to families that eat together two or fewer times per week.

Children do better in school when they eat more meals with their parents and family. Teen-agers who eat dinner four or more times per week with their families have higher academic performance compared with teen-agers who eat with their families two or fewer times per week.

Meals purchased away from home cost two to four times more than meals prepared at home.

Sharing meals together gives everyone a sense of identity. It can help ease day-to-day conflicts, as well as establish traditions and memories that can last a lifetime.

Make time to eat together – your whole family will benefit.


45th Annual Folklorama Set for Aug. 3-16, 2014

FolkloramaLooking for a terrific family vacation? One that won’t break the bank, but will offer fun for the whole family?

It’s coming up August 3 through 16 when Folklorama opens its multi-cultural pavillions across Winnepeg, Manitoba, for the 45th year.

Last year, 20,000 volunteers came together to help the multi-cultural festival draw more than 400,000 visitors to its 46 pavillions where they enjoyed world-class cultural entertainment, delicious ethnic dishes, fascinating cultural displays and all-around warm hospitality.

Performing groups from around the globe, including Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Hungary, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Ukraine – in addition to artists from California, Louisiana, Nevada and Ontario – joined Folklorama’s talented local performers in showcasing their unique cultures.

Tour groups from across Canada and the United States, as well as from a wide variety of other nations descend on Winnepeg each year to take part in the events. August is a comfortable time to visit Winnepeg with average daily high temperatures in August ranging from 74 to 80 degrees, while lows range from 56 to 62 degrees.

Dino’s Storage is proud to operate a self-storage facility in Winnepeg and to be a part of such a vibrant, friendly community.

You can learn more about Folklorama at www.folklorama.ca.