January, 2015 - A Few Headlines
Cantankerously Yours - I Gotta Keep on Kvetching
Health & Fitness – New Menu at CPK
Legal Intelligence – Reflecting on 2014, Preparing for 2015
Travel with Terri - Where to Stay Around the World
Wellington Amphitheatre – Current Schedule of Events
Hi-Tech Plumbing and Air
Interview by Krista Martinelli
It’s always reassuring to have a good plumber or a/c person to call when you need it – and now Hi-Tech Plumbing is able to cover both services. According to Jathy Garcia, co-owner of Hi-Tech along with her husband Abel, there are many advances in “green,” water-saving products in the plumbing industry.
“Also we have some great new gadgets and gizmos that we’ve acquired, like our full color video camera which inspects drain lines of up to 4” for cracks or root intrusions. Experiencing a foul odor from a sewer leak? Possible critters coming into your sewer? We’ll inspect all your sewer lines with our TV/ Video Camera which shows you exactly where your problem is and we’ll provide the remedy and answer to flush away those pipe problems,” says Garcia.
Hi-Tech offers a hydro-jetting system which scours the inner walls of the drains and sewer lines leaving them clean and free of debris and buildup. These are used in residential and commercial instances.
“One of my favorite products is our instant hot water systems- innovative hot water recirculation systems deliver hot water to fixtures quickly without waiting for the water to get hot,” says Garcia. This consists of a pump, an integrated electronic controller, and a zone valve. When the activation button is pushed, or when another type of control turns the system on, the pump starts re-circulating cooled water that’s been sitting in the hot water line and sends it back to the water heater through the cold water line. When the water reaches a desired temperature a control closes the zone valve and turns off the pump. It is much like turning on the hot water faucet and letting the water run until it gets hot, but instead of the water going down the drain, the water is simply returned back to the water heater. When the hot water faucet is turned on, hot water is readily available only one pump is necessary to supply hot water to any fixture. Optional wireless remote control units allow the user turn on the system from any faucet or fixture in the house.
Another step in the green direction for Hi-Tech Plumbing is going paperless in 2015. Their technicians will have iPads and will receive payments by credit card onsite with electronic swipers.
AW: You go by “Your Plumber in a Skirt” – how does it feel to be a woman in a male-dominated industry? What are the advantages?
JG: It’s great actually. The best part about my job is when I get to see the look on someone’s face, typically men, that think ‘a woman cannot understand or know this,’ and then I get to prove them wrong.
Garcia feels this way because not only are these fields dominated by men, but women can improve things with the combination of business know-how and their nurturing feminine considerations. “Only by those who have no idea what I am capable of – most times that works to my advantage. This business is interesting and every day is different in the plumbing world, but I have never viewed myself as being a woman in a man’s profession – rather a partner in a business which needs capable and talented professionals.”
AW: What do you offer in terms of A/C? What are all of the services/products you offer related to air-conditioning?
JG: We are proud that in March of 2014, we opened our A/C division. Our clients would often ask us, ‘don’t you know a good a/c company to refer?’ Now we say, ‘yes, it’s us!
We handle Commercial units too – even Refrigeration coolers and freezers for restaurants, for example.
AW: Tell us about your special program you do every October.
JG: Breast cancer month is a special month for us, especially since I’m a recent survivor. So we try to raise awareness and funds throughout the month. We have our techs where pink shoe coverings, pink name tags, even our trucks have pink ribbons, and we give all our customers pink breast cancer pens during that month. In the past years, we have given back 5% of all our proceeds in October to a non profit organization. This year we even participated in Making Strides West Palm Beach, and I was featured as their Survivor story. See the video! It was an awesome event, and we were so glad to participate as a company!
Hi-Tech Plumbing also had a Bathroom Makeover contest in October for survivors and family members of breast cancer. The winner, Susan Patrick, was announced on November 15th. Hi-Tech will be showing “before” and “after” photos on their website and Facebook page, after the makeover has been completed. The contest was a great success, and Hi-Tech Plumbing is already making plans for another exciting contest!
AW: Tell us about your own struggle with breast cancer. How did the group Your Bosom Buddies II in Wellington help you?
JG: I feel lucky to have met all of these beautiful, inspiring women – like my friend from Your Bosom Buddies Lorna Johnson. When you go through breast cancer, you have all these unanswered questions. It’s so helpful to get that one-on-one time with another woman who has been through it and to know more about what to expect. Your Bosom Buddies is such an awesome group – they offer both financial and emotional support to women who need it.
AW: What do your Hi-Tech clients appreciate most about you and your team?
JG: They LOVE us! The good thing is you don’t have to take my word for it – just visit our website and on our home page, we have a button that says ‘Read clients’ reviews.’ We are proud of our immaculate 5-star rating, and it’s all thanks to our loyal customers who make us what we are.
Here are a couple of sample reviews.
“I asked around about plumbers and kept hearing your name. I went with their recommendation and I’m glad I did! You were everything just as hoped and expected!” – Cheryl M. in Highland Beach, FL.
“I’ve used you for years but just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I appreciate your caring, professional concern. It is a real pleasure to have a service pro you can trust! I tell all my friends about you too. Thanks Again.” –Barbara G. in Lantana, FL.
AW: Tell us about the history of Hi-Tech. When was it founded? How has it grown?
JG: We started in January of 2000. Just my hubby and me. He already had a good 10 years of plumbing foreman experience, running crews, supervising and even helping customers and providing service work. We decided shortly after to build a business with the ingenuity of a woman. That’s where I come in, combining with the work ethic and knowledge of a skilled master plumber. Together we have been the best team EVER. I mean how many of us get to say that they work with their best friend and sleep with their boss…legitimately? LOL! We have grown from having one service van to five service vans. On the new A/C side of things, we have two highly-skilled service people.
AW: You are also one of our two “Living Green” writers for AroundWellington.com. What’s the key to green plumbing?
JG: We’ve seen this whole wave of green living. People eating organic and trying to leave a better footprint for our future generations. So we are more conscious now of waste – clean water is not a luxury, it’s a resource and so is energy. So I’m always trying innovative new products that help our homes to be more resourceful. And even though the initial cost is more- like buying organic food that we know is more expensive, but in the end it is better for our health. It’s the same with these green products – in the long run the savings are evident and they make up for the initial cost. We can provide you with a 1.28 gallon toilet instead of the old 8 gallon toilet. And it has a better flushing mechanism. Meanwhile, there are solar hot water heaters and solar panels and many other green improvements.
AW: Your family was featured on the news because you are one of the few in S. Florida with solar panels on your roof at home. Are you glad you did it?
JG: Yes, we were so lucky to have been picked out of just 15 people in Florida to receive the rebate from FPL. We were featured on the Channel 5 news a while back and yes, I had Steven Wiegel on the roof of my home broadcasting live, showing off our solar panels. The system is amazing; shortly after we also purchased the solar system for our water heater, so now our home is completely solar. Yes, the saving are there, my bills normally were in the $300’s – now I don’t ever pay more than $140 in the hot months. In the winter, it’s between $90 to $110 per month. If you plan on living and staying in your home for more than 3 years, it is worth the investment and you get a nice write-off on your taxes.
AW: Is there anything that you wish the average person understood better about plumbing services?
JG: We all know the saying ‘time is money.’ It is always better to prevent a disaster than to be in one. So even if it’s not us, get a professional, licensed plumber and A/C specialist to go to your home once a year and just do a complete overview of all your appliances and fixtures. It could end up saving you thousands in emergency costs and save you from having to deal with your insurance carrier. We see it all the time, a small little part that went bad that could have been prevented or caught on a home inspection. We are glad to provide peace of mind to the hundreds of customers that join our HTP maintenance plans. It’s low and cost effective. Best yet, it provides you with priority service and discounted pricing all year round. Always think prevention!
AW: When someone calls with a plumbing request, what’s the turnaround time? What are your most frequent service calls?
JG: We usually respond within 30 minutes to one hour. Our most frequent calls are for ‘leaks, leaks and more leaks.’
AW: Tell us about your family.
JG: We are native Floridians. We have been in Royal Palm Beach for twelve years. We really enjoy family time with our son Andy – boating and fishing. We love and enjoy the parks here in Royal Palm Beach and Wellington. As a family, we enjoy biking 10 to 15 miles about once or twice a week.
AW: Anything else you’d like to mention?
JG: Don’t fret… just call Hi-Tech!
And now we can say Don’t Sweat…Just call Hi-tech for A/C too!
1000 Stinson Way, Suite 111
Licensed & Insured
Let’s Be Honest Here…
(The emperor is stark naked!)
Lori Hope Baumel
German Stamp: The Emperor’s New Clothes by H.C. Anderson Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a short tale by Hans Christian Andersen about two weavers who promise an Emperor a new suit of clothes that is invisible to those unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent. When the Emperor parades before his subjects in his new clothes, a child cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!”
- Wikipedia: “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
As we embark upon the new year, it is important to recognize that we must be selective when it comes to how we spend our free time. Spare time does not come easily these days. Obligations to our workplace, family and our own personal well being require most of our waking hours. When we choose to enjoy a particular form of entertainment, hopefully it is worth the time and/or money spent on the activity.
For example, last November, my husband and I traveled to New York City. In most cases I rely on reviews and word of mouth regarding show tickets I purchase in advance. I am usually pleased with the result. This time I did not abide by my traditional formula. Prior to the trip, I purchased two rather expensive tickets to see A Delicate Balance while still in previews on Broadway. My reasoning was “What could be bad? It’s a revival of a Pulitzer Prize winning play. The cast includes Glen Close, John Lithgow, Bob Balaban, Lindsay Duncan and Martha Plimpton… how can we go wrong?” Well WRONG I was! The show was stilted, poorly directed and tiring. Yes, I can still say that I saw a spectacular cast. But, that statement was not worth the price of those tickets. In retrospect, I should have waited for the reviews. Luckily, I saw a few more excellent Broadway shows that week as well.
Another great disappointment was the recent broadcast of “Peter Pan Live!” on NBC. I have fond memories of watching the 1965 broadcast (and re-broadcast) starring the late Mary Martin. In addition, my children repeatedly watched a tape of it when they were tykes. Over time, we all memorized every aspect of the musical. In truth, Mary Martin performed it hundreds of times in front of a live audience prior to the ’65 broadcast. Therefore, she was comfortable with the show and it seemed second nature to her. Unfortunately, the modern broadcast’s lead players, Allison Williams and Christopher Walken, who are known for stellar performances in both pre-recorded television and film, appeared awkward, stiff and unprepared. The lack of a studio audience further muted their act. The only lead talent that seemed comfortable with the concept of the live broadcast was stage veterans Kelli O’Hara and Christian Borle (as Mr. and Mrs. Darling). This, as in A Delicate Balance, does not in any way reflect the capabilities of the lead performers in other media platforms. I’m a staunch Christopher Walken fan and Allison Williams is terrific in the HBO series Girls.
In other words, the emperor was stark naked. So let’s say it… both A Delicate Balance and Peter Pan were simply bad! In conclusion, as part of your New Year’s resolution, I urge you to be honest with yourself. Be selective with how you spend your hours (and in many cases – your money)! Most of my adult life I have advocated for the enjoyment of the arts. Therefore, I suggest that you read qualified reviews, talk to your friends who have similar taste and do your research. Whether it be live theater, television or film – be discretionary. It is an investment of your time that is well worth the effort.
Still, I urge you to…
Live… Go… Do!
Top Five – January 2015
(Based on top-notch reviewers and resources)
Oscar season rolls around next month. I would highly recommend the following films prior to viewing the broadcast:
Into The Woods
The Theory of Everything
For more information see The American Film Institute’s (AFI) nominees for the top films of 2014 at:
After you take down the Christmas lights and settle back into the 2015 TV season, be sure to catch up on past episodes of outstanding shows. Some of the 2014 honorees deemed by AFI’s jury to be culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements are:
For a more in-depth list go to:
National Public Radio has been as staple in my adult life as long as I can remember. Fortunately for us, the best of their weekly broadcasts are now available as free podcasts. I would highly recommend you try out a podcast of any of the following shows:
Fresh Air (with Terri Gross)
This American Life
“Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me”
A Prairie Home Companion
For more information and shows go to:
Scroll down the list of programs. You’re sure to find a topic of interest.
NPR announced its list of the Top Ten Breakout Artists of 2014. You are sure to find some extraordinary talent amongst them. The artists’ videos are wonderful! Also included are stories and podcasts about each artist. There’s bound to be something on this site that will open up your mind to new music and expand your horizons.
Sample some of this exciting new (and not necessarily mainstream pop) music at:
As you all know by now, I’m an avid fan of Audible.com. But, if it’s a good old-fashioned book with actual paper pages or an e-book you’re in the mood for then check the New York Times bestseller list at:
Lori Hope Baumel and her husband Eric live in Wellington and have three children.
Their eldest, Sam, 27, is a media producer and conceptual artist who currently resides in (extremely hipster) Brooklyn, NY. Her younger children, Evan and Rachel, wrote the Around Wellington “Teen Talk” column in previous years. Rachel, 24, lives and works in Boston, MA and Evan, 21, is a senior at American University in Washington DC. Eric has practiced radiology in Wellington since 1991. His many talents include artist, cook, photographer and, recently, medical app developer. You can learn more about Lori at www.loribaumel.com or read her blog:www.grownupcamp.tumblr.com
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