Keep Your Utility Bills Down as Home Heating Costs Rise This Winter

(NewsUSA) – Winter 2022 promises the perfect storm for soaring home heating bills. The convergence of surging energy prices, plummeting temperatures and escalating demand means optimal energy-efficiency is more challenging and critical than ever.Rising global energy prices hit home with forecasts indicating households could see their bills increase up to 54%, according to The United States Energy Information Administration. Further, forecasters including the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Farmer’s Almanac predict a colder-than-normal season. Rounding out this frosty trifecta, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the rise of remote work which is set to accelerate and become a more permanent fixture as of 2022, industry observers say.The good news is that families can prevent a utility-bill blitz by following a few simple tips. With home heating and cooling accounting for nearly half of home energy use, small steps can go a long way.

School Choice Week Challenge: Start Finding Your School

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Forty-three percent of moms and dads describe the process of finding a school for their child as “stressful.” That’s 43% too many. This National School Choice Week (Jan. 23-29), here’s how to easily get started on school and scholarship applications for August…minus the stress.
As you think about the next school year, take thirty minutes to consider what the ideal learning environment would look like for your child. Would it be large or small? STEM-focused? Art-focused? Sporty? Religious? Secular? Make special health accommodations? Start with your insider knowledge about your child’s needs and your family’s goals.
Once you’ve described what you need and want for your child’s education, look for it.
You can access the free Schools Near Me tool at schoolchoiceweek.com/schoolfinder to search more than 130,000 public, charter, magnet, and private schools. And don’t forget to consider online school and homeschooling as well. If you’re open- minded in considering your options, you might be surprised by what works for your child.
By looking for a school based on your insider knowledge about your child — and not just based on test scores, zones, or your neighbor’s opinion — you can likely find the school option most suited to your unique situation. Today, there are many more school options and scholarships than we adults had access to as kids. This is truly a reason for hope. For any child who is currently struggling in school, there are opportunities and alternatives available.
At the end of the day, making a great school choice starts with knowing your options. Whether you’re searching for a new school or happy with your current choice, you can make a difference for others this National School Choice Week (Jan. 23-29) by spreading the word about school choice. You can do this by posting about your educational experience on social media using #schoolchoice, or by telling a friend or family member about the Week.
With free and affordable choices and community support, the school search process can be transformed from one that’s laden with stress to one that is empowering. This School Choice Week, let’s bring as much support as we can to families so they can help their children succeed.

BookTrib’s Bites: CIA Intrigue, a Love Story, a Loss Story and an Art Master

(NewsUSA)The Poison Factory"The Poison Factory"
by Luck Kirk If you’ve ever wondered what life as a CIA "operative" would be like, read this book, written by a former CIA operations officer. Decktora Raines (Decky) is on leave from the CIA, doing her best to dodge memories of her first agent, Elena, an asset she recruited and tragically lost, as well as the heartbreaking disappearance of her life partner, Alex.A surprise contact from a Russian defector she once handled urges her to come to London immediately. She coordinates with Langley Headquarters and the CIA Station Chief in London who is focused on the murder of another Russian defector. The only clues: claw marks and an unidentified white powder. Soon to be a major global TV series. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3Dwvrcp.Love Has No Limits"Love Has No Limits"
by Armine PapouchianAt sixteen, Armine fell in love for the first time and lost that love for the first time. She was the youngest daughter of three in Armenia and the only one underage when her parents decided to immigrate to the U.S. She had to leave her beloved Alex behind.But it wasn’t the end of her story with Alex. Even as life moves on, their lives intersect again and again, and through deaths and divorces, their lives never quite line up. This is Armine’s story of keeping faith in oneself and in love despite heartbreak, betrayal and loss. It reveals the joy available to those who rise and rise again. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3yXVgQ1.
The Confessional"The Confessional"
by Claudia ErmeyMirta and Alberto DeSalvo, refugees of the Dirty War of Argentina, owe their lives to wealthy American Julia Parks, who rescued them from the horrors of the junta and offered them a new life. Julia, confronted with a late-in-life pregnancy, asks the DeSalvos to adopt the baby with the condition that they not return to Argentina until she is grown.A generational story that skillfully illuminates the resilient lives of characters touched by loss and betrayal, loved ones stolen in the night, and the search for a birth mother hiding in plain sight, "The Confessional" is a compelling rendering of how war and love thousands of miles apart create trauma that ripples through two generations and emerges as love, understanding and forgiveness. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3C39qS3.Hiroshige 53 Stations of the Tokaido Fujikei"Hiroshige 53 Stations of the Tokaido Fujikei"
by Cristina Berna and Eric ThomsenIn this series by the last great master of the ukiyo-e tradition in Japan, the viewer is struck by the harmonious palette of blues, grays, peaches and pale yellows, and by the strict composition of each woodblock print — a bijin (or beautiful woman) posing in front of a framed landscape. Each print features a woman wearing a different intricately patterned kimono, a different activity with various props, and a different landscape depicting scenes along the historic Tokaido Road.Berna and Thomsen take us on a fascinating tour, explaining not only the cultural references in each image, but also the relation of the Fujikei prints to several earlier Hiroshige Tokaido series. The insightful commentary along with full-color images opens a window to the treasures of a bygone Japan. Purchase at https://bit.ly/31ImbVx.NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com

Five Healthy Suggestions this New Year from GOLO

(NewsUSA) – As we put 2021 in the rear view mirror, now is the time to look at your health and fitness plans for the New Year. This can be a brand-new year, full of healthy possibilities, and with it, the opportunity to revisit your wellness goals. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, many people struggle to create a sustainable wellness plan over the long term.The good news is that no matter your age, fitness level, or current work-life balance, GOLO –the pioneering wellness solutions company — has suggestions that can help you achieve tangible health and wellness benefits in the new year:1. Create a plan: Instead of piling on new resolutions this year, consider building on the ones you are currently working on. Why? Because it takes much time, energy, mental resistance, focus, and willpower to make new changes, and we only have so much of each to spare.2. Establish goals: Your goals should be small, obtainable, and sustainable over a reasonable amount of time.3. Get Active: Regular exercise is one of the best-kept secrets in preventative medicine. The key is to do enough and to do it often enough.4. Stop checking the scales every day: Scales can be misleading and result in frustration. Remember: the number on the scale does not define your self-worth. Weigh yourself once a week and note how your clothes are fitting. Some people lose inches before pounds, or experience other non-scale victories such as sleeping better.5. Attitude Matters: Having a positive outlook will help you get through everyday life, but it is vital to a healthy wellness journey. When you think negatively, negative things tend to happen. So, stay positive — you got this!It is natural to reflect on past commitments to health and wellness that came up a bit short. This year, increase your chances of lasting and sustainable success by making a plan and keeping it simple.Wherever you are on your health and wellness journey, GOLO offers a range of innovative products designed to help, including the GOLO for Life® Plan®, a game-changing nutritional approach to losing weight, and a healthy alternative to conventional dieting. The program includes the GOLO Release® supplement (an all-natural dietary supplement), the GOLO® Metabolic Plan® (a healthy balanced meal plan), access to personal coaches, and free online tools.Learn more by visiting www.Golo.com for information and suggestions.

Healthy Suggestions for the New Year from GOLO

(NewsUSA) – As we turn the page on 2021, now is the perfect time to review your health and fitness plans for the New Year. That’s right, a brand-new year full of healthy possibilities is here, and with it comes the opportunity to revisit your wellness goals. Unfortunately, even with the best of intentions, many people struggle to create a sustainable wellness plan over the long term.The good news is that no matter your age, fitness level, or current work-life balance, GOLO –the pioneering wellness solutions company — has suggestions that can help you achieve tangible health and wellness benefits in the new year:1. Create a plan: Instead of piling on new resolutions this year, consider building on the ones you are currently working on. Why? Because it takes much time, energy, mental resistance, focus, and willpower to make new changes, and we only have so much of each to spare.2. Establish goals: Your goals should be small, obtainable, and sustainable over a reasonable amount of time.3. Get Active: Regular exercise is one of the best-kept secrets in preventative medicine. The key is to do enough and to do it often enough.4. Stop checking the scales every day: Scales can be misleading and result in frustration. Remember: the number on the scale does not define your self-worth. Weigh yourself once a week and note how your clothes are fitting. Some people lose inches before pounds, or experience other non-scale victories such as sleeping better.5. Attitude Matters: Having a positive outlook will help you get through everyday life, but it is vital to a healthy wellness journey. When you think negatively, negative things tend to happen. So, stay positive — you got this!It is natural to reflect on past commitments to health and wellness that came up a bit short. This year, increase your chances of lasting and sustainable success by making a plan and keeping it simple.Wherever you are on your health and wellness journey, GOLO offers a range of innovative products designed to help, including the GOLO for Life® Plan®, a game-changing nutritional approach to losing weight, and a healthy alternative to conventional dieting. The program includes the GOLO Release® supplement (an all-natural dietary supplement), the GOLO® Metabolic Plan® (a healthy balanced meal plan), access to personal coaches, and free online tools.Learn more by visiting www.Golo.com for information and suggestions.

BookTrib’s Bites: Sci-Fi, Thriller, the Real You, and Key Political Takeaways

(NewsUSA)The Caduca"The Caduca"
by Elaine Graham-LeighThe planet of Benan Ty is just another poor and violent ex-Terran colony. Now the Chi!me, the major power in the galaxy, are coming to broker a peace deal between guerrilla group ViaVera and the government. For Quila, a rising figure in the Chi!me diplomatic service, the posting to Benan Ty could be the making of her career.Meanwhile, Terise, one of ViaVera’s inner circle, is just trying to get her lover out with his life. But in a conflict where no side’s motivations are pure, they are both about to discover how much they have to lose. Set in a future where humanity has gone to the stars but taken exploitation and oppression with them, this is a story of imperialism, resistance, friendship and, ultimately, liberation. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3blIsJV.The Danger Within"The Danger Within"
by E.L. PiniMossad Agent Avner Ehrlich stands before the most cunning enemy he has ever faced — an enemy with innovative and sophisticated methods — that conceals the danger within.Imad Akbariyah, a rising star in Al-Qaeda’s chain of command, recruits a fellow Palestinian doctor to implant the bodies of terrorist Shahids with plastic explosives that allow them to move freely through any security check and effectively create "human ticking bombs." Imad remembers the day his father was killed in front of his eyes by an Israeli commando officer — whom he learns was Ehrlich. Now he seeks revenge.A blood-soaked war is only a matter of time. Ehrlich is fighting not only to prevent the killing of innocent lives but to save his own. Purchase at https://amzn.to/2ZWbJYWYou. The Real State of Life"You. The Real State of Life"
by Austin BergmanThis book provides a shockingly honest account of the author’s life after he finally said two words; "I’m gay." It’s easy to shrink into someone else’s expectations of who you should be. While society, family, friends and colleagues are influential, their roles in your life do not include dictating who you are destined to be.He was unhappily married and miserably gay. His life transitioned from being embraced by those who accepted his straight lie to being resented for finally living his truth. Austin risked it all when he traded in his "white picket fence" life and for a new agreement on his terms. Nevertheless, during the darkest hours of his life, he eventually discovered peace, happiness and the real Austin Bergman. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3qsWsdo.10 Things You Were Supposed to Learn from Donald Trump"10 Things You Were Supposed to Learn from Donald Trump"
by Alex CarlisleDonald Trump has had the ability to shake things up and tread where no other man has tread before. Love him or hate him, he is not the kind of man you can ignore. This book takes a practical approach to understanding some of Trump’s most polarizing political and personal actions with the hope that readers can take something away from those actions.This book features more than 500 quotes, newspaper articles and manuscripts that focus on the most dynamic, memorable and poignant moments of Trump’s tenure as POTUS. It is bold and unapologetic. It does not portray Trump as a saint or a sinner but shows how he personified what was in the hearts and minds of many Americans. Purchase at https://alexcarlislebooks.com. NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com.

BookTrib’s Bites: Inner Peace, Epic Twists, Caffeinated Crimes and Celestial War

(NewsUSA)Surviving Chaos"Surviving Chaos"
by Harold PhiferFor more than 50 years, Harold Phifer’s childhood living conditions remained a secret, even from those who thought they knew him best. No one knew about his past growing up with a mother who suffered from mental illness, a greedy aunt, a mindless and spoiled older brother and an absent father.It wasn’t until an explosion in Afghanistan that his memory was blasted back into focus. This book is the result of a long, cathartic chat with a stranger at a beach bar, where Harold finally found some peace. Says Blue Ink Review, "Entertaining, sprinkled with humor, drama and sadness. Readers will discover an intriguing life, one of turmoil and finally, thanks to a stranger on a beach, inner peace." Purchase at https://amzn.to/3DmfUvR.
Skinwalkers: The Uprising"Skinwalkers: The Uprising"
by Monica L. SmithIn this paranormal thriller, three individuals are at pivotal points in their lives –Ashley, Gethambe and Lana. While their lives will soon intertwine, not all will get their happy ending.Ashley’s world crumbles when her husband files for divorce and moves on to another woman. Gethambe, a half-breed human and wolf, needs to prove himself to his pack and take an epic journey from death to life, fighting seven Archangels. He is not provided any information or weapons. Gethambe must use only his wits and survival instincts. Lana, a half-breed human and wolf with healing abilities, tries to prove her loyalty to become Gethambe’s wife. It’s full of strange twists and turns as they seek their destinies. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3uDBHMp.Cold Brew Corpse"Cold Brew Corpse"
by Tara LushEspresso bar owner Lana Lewis returns in this second Coffee Lover’s mystery, a stimulating read that fans of Cleo Coyle and Laura Childs will savor to the last drop. The bright, sunny days at Perkatory — the hottest coffee shop in Devil’s Beach, FL., — turn decidedly dark-roast when the body of the owner of the neighboring yoga studio turns up in a nearby swamp.When the local newspaper editor asks Lana to write about the murder, her dreams of getting back into journalism start to percolate. She grinds her way through the suspect list. Was the killer one of the victim’s students? An envious yoga teacher? Or a local photographer who seems to know too much? Purchase at https://amzn.to/3kHUcf3.Worldmaker of Yand-Polaris"Worldmaker of Yand-Polaris"
by Andri E. EliaSavage invaders from space, the k’tul, all but destroyed her home world of Yand. Fleeing the aftermath of that war, Yanara, Worldmaker and Celestial Wizard, brings her wife Mandolen and her husband Frost to a bronze moon orbiting the fifth planet of the star, Polaris B. In this idyllic place of three suns, the three of them only sought to lick their war wounds.Instead, along with their families, they start a new life and new colony. Filled with magic and new adventures, the challenge of colonizing their new home blends with unraveling threads of Yanara’s darker past … tying her to the k’tul. What secrets will they discover? Will they find the peace they so crave, or will the vengeful k’tul find them again? Purchase at https://amzn.to/3nL4v3M.NOTE: BookBites is presented by BookTrib.com. 

School Choice Week Celebrates ‘Magic’ of Education

(NewsUSA) – Celebration is on the horizon. Americans are gearing up for the twelfth annual National School Choice Week, the nation’s largest celebration of opportunity in education on January 23-29. As president of the Week, I know firsthand that exploring your K-12 education options can change the trajectory of your family.This annual public awareness week celebrates great schools and empowers families to find the right fit. This year there’ll be more than 25,000 events and activities planned by schools and homeschool groups. Participants celebrate the Week however they like: Some host open houses, some plan multi-school fairs, some run student showcases.The reason so many people celebrate the Week is the same reason I’ve worked in education so long: Because learning is magical. It fuels children’s natural curiosity and allows them to unleash their talents and gifts into the world.What’s especially magical is kids finding a learning fit where they excel. Whether it’s at their neighborhood public school, a public charter school, a magnet school, a private school, an online school, or through homeschooling, it is ever-exciting and awe-inspiring to see kids who love learning and are fulfilling their potential. And it’s a tragedy when that fails to happen.Too often the happy "magic" of learning falls to the wayside as we become preoccupied with the stress of school searches or classes that aren’t the best fit. School Choice Week helps families rediscover the positive in education, bringing them support and a time to celebrate their choice, whatever it may be. Those who celebrate it believe that every child, given the right environment, can succeed. They believe that great teachers always deserve a "thank you!"After two disrupted school years, this School Choice Week is a much-needed moment for families to take a deep breath and rediscover the magic of learning.So, here are three simple ways you can be involved in the Week. First, start a conversation with your child about what they like about school and what they wish were different. Second, learn more about educational choices at schoolchoiceweek.com/state-guides, or share that information with a friend. Third, show appreciation for your school by volunteering at it or saying thank you to a teacher during Jan. 23-29.By working together, we can help more children experience the magic of an educational fit where they thrive. And when students experience that magic, their futures are so much brighter. Andrew Campanella is president of National School Choice Week and the author of "The School Choice Roadmap: 7 Steps to Finding the Right School for Your Child."

Campaign Empowers Individuals to Make a Difference

(NewsUSA) – -Despite the steady stream of bad news, from politics to the pandemic, many aspects of society are more connected, peaceful, and advanced than ever. It is human nature to want to do good, and a new empowerment campaign supports the collective power of the individual and encourages everyone to be a force for good and make a difference in the world.The nonprofit Force for Good Foundation is launching the "I Love This Planet" campaign on January 12, 2022, with a billboard in New York City’s Times Square that starts a 100-day countdown to Earth Day 2022. The Times Square billboard features renowned primatologist and United Nations Messenger of Peace Jane Goodall, who makes her pledge as follows:"I love this planet, and commit to continue doing everything in my power, as a force for good, to make the world better for all of us, people, animals and environment," Dr. Goodall says."The most powerful force for good in the world is each individual in their many roles as children and parents, spouses and friends, employees and employers, leaders and followers," says Force for Good chairman Ketan J Patel."Empowered by the will to do good — and the fact that the individual begins with two thirds of the world’s capital — makes the fully aware, responsible and compassionate individual the most powerful force to make the world better," he emphasizes."As a couple of billion people are connected to the world’s financial systems through fintech, their choices will be felt, and these need to be a powerful force for good if the world is to address the challenges we face," says Jonathan F Miller, Director, Force for Good, former Chairman and CEO of AOL.Research from Force for Good shows that individuals own two-thirds of the world’s money, and consumes 80% of the world’s total consumption. The empowered, caring, and compassionate individual can make the biggest difference to changing the world for the better, and can move governments, corporations, and financial institutions to do the same, to create a safer, fairer, and healthier world, according to Force for Good.The "I Love This Planet" campaign is an opportunity to host a common pledge to do good for each individual. The website and campaign will be developed to provide the place, tools, and partners for doing good and making a global impact.Visit ilovethisplanet.org to make your own pledge and commit to being a force for good in the world. 

Financial Planning for 2022 Taxes

(NewsUSA) – The new year has just started, but it is never too early to review your financial plan to meet your 2022 financial goals.Now is the perfect time to take steps to reduce your 2022 tax obligations, according to Dan Mathews, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional.Five strategies that may reduce your 2022 taxes include:

  • Maximize your health savings account. Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a great way to put money aside and reduce your taxable income. For 2022, you can contribute $3,650 for individual coverage and up to $7,300 for family coverage. You don’t have to use the money in these accounts by the end of the year; in fact, the money can be invested to maximize growth until your retirement.