Renting in this valley has become ridiculous. You cannot find anything for less than $900, and if you have a dog you might as well live under a bridge or with your parents. Which is worse?
I do not want a roommate, all I want is a small apartment with my 12-year-old dog, but is that possible in this valley? Heck, no! I am sick of it. I have been searching and searching and can’t find a thing. It is impossible to live by yourself in this valley. How is it we all get paid peanuts and people rent out homes for way more than what is possible for the average person?
I am looking at getting a second full-time job just to make it. Is that right in this world? Is that the American dream? What happened to making money? Why has it come to the fact that no one is actually making money, we all just seem to be paying bills? I have given up on the American Dream and have come to the reality life is all but a horrible financial nightmare.
Landscaping is more than an occupation for me, it has been my life and my love for decades. Recent events have given me feelings of hopelessness and distrust, and I feel like abandoning my chosen life’s work.
This summer I landscaped a new Ironbridge home. I presented an estimate that clearly stated my offer was to work on a time-and-materials basis. All work done was requested and approved by the owner, who also had access to the estimate to understand the costs of materials and labor. When the owner became concerned about the budget, he requested a bill to date. I provided a bill to date, which was already over budget. In spite of that, the owner asked me to do additional work. When that was done, he and his wife stopped communicating with me.
I provided documentation of all charges on the invoice. They responded with a letter explaining they were paying me what they felt the job was worth and included a check for about 1/10th of the balance due. The letter also said further correspondence should be directed to a local law firm. The check was stamped with a statement of waiver of lien rights and said the check could not be cashed without my signature on the lien.
In fact, I was able to cash the check without signing the lien. I assumed the unsigned waiver was then invalid. When I contacted the law firm, I was told I had waived my rights and they would not talk to me further.
My understanding of the professional code for attorneys is they are required to learn as much as possible about a case, determine what can be proven with evidence, and determine how the law will apply to the matter. How can a lawyer throw a roadblock in the way of a legitimate claim for payment without information about the claim from both parties?
Ironically, the homeowner is employed by a local construction trade magazine, which provides services that match homeowners and contractors.
We all hear about shopping locally especially during the holidays, but have you ever wondered if it really does make a difference?
By shopping locally, you support your town services like street maintenance, police, fire, etc., through the sales tax collected at each sale; you can help save the planet by driving less or even walking or biking to do your holiday shopping; you can engage with your neighbors and find truly unique gifts; and you help keep those special shops in business and keep the vibrancy of our business districts alive.
Shopping locally really doesn’t cost much more than driving downvalley to a big-box store when you consider everything that goes into that trip ” gas, public improvement fees (PIF), time and stress. The bottom line is if you’re going to spend the money anyway, it just makes sense to keep it local.
Consider those few extra dollars you may spend by shopping small, locally owned businesses as an investment in something intangible but priceless: a thriving, healthy and diverse community, and a less-stressful holiday season!
Heather Smith, executive director Basalt Chamber of Commerce
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Between putting the winter toys away and anticipating upcoming COVID-19 freedoms, now is a great time to freshen up your finances.