Thursday, July 5, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism: No meeting in July, see you August 9

Hello Tourism Supporters-
Summer is in full swing and I hope you are hearing the cash register ring, so to speak.
No Board meeting in July  and I want to keep you informed of all our activities.
1.       To repeat, we do not meet in July. See you on Thursday, August 9th at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort.
2.       Yelp: Many thanks to those who attended our Yelp Business Strategies last week. We heard great feedback from you. Big thanks to Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort for the room, d├ęcor, appetizers and no-host bar.
We have extended the deadline for Yelp activities to Thursday, July 12, next week. Our nighttime activities are set, and we want to provide some great experiences for the Yelp Elite Squad attending the Gold Country Getaway starting, Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16. Please send an outline of your activity, day, date, time, number of people you will host, cost. If you want to host an event and don’t know what to do, please contact me on my cell, 209-969-5065, and let’s put our heads together. Otherwise, email your plan to or We expect to include all opportunities for the Yelpers and hope you will add your business to their experience.
3.       State Fair, July 13-29: if you want your business brochures in the booth, please contact us immediately. Phone is best to arrange a time for pick-up or drop-off. The last day we can get items onto the grounds before opening day is Tuesday, July 10th.
4.       Supper Under the Stars: tickets are still available and shuttles are available for overnight stays in the following hotels: Best Western Amador Inn, Hotel Sutter, Imperial Hotel and Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Big thank you to sponsors. This fundraiser is our signature event and pays to continue our marketing efforts for Amador County.

Any questions? Please contact me at 209-969-5065. I am in and out of the office and can be reached by cell most of the time.
Thank you for your support,

Amador Council of Tourism
Phone: 209-267-9249

Friday, June 22, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling: Do I really need a permit to install or change a water heater?

The simple answer is YES! Sometimes people think that pulling a permit means excessive costs, invasive inspections and having to bring their entire home “UP TO CODE” on everything they have ever done or repaired. This is not the case.  Most of the time the inspector will limit their inspection to the items on the permit.

 When we replace a water heater (propane, gas or electric) we are dealing with gas, flame, exhaust gasses or 220 volts of electricity. If everything is done safely & up to code you should have many years of good service from your new water heater.

 I used a licensed Plumber or Contractor, so they must have done the work up to code, RIGHT??  I mean they are licensed aren’t they? It is unfortunate, but that is NOT TRUE!

 Recently we have replaced 2 water heaters.  #1 was in a manufactured home, it was installed improperly and when it leaked it caused property damage.  #2 was installed by another local plumber who didn’t install the water heater up to code so the warranty was voided by the manufacturer and our customer had to replace the unit.  On another job, a water heater was vented by the contractor in an unsafe manner, under a deck, within 18” of combustibles & less than 48” away from windows and doors.

The advantage of pulling a permit is that your life & health safety are being protected as an independent 3rd party does the safety inspections. Had the people with the above water heater installations insisted on permits then everything would have been done up to code & safely.  Look for more on this in our next article, and thank you for reading.

 London Plumbing & Remodeling (formerly Stuart London Handyman) is licensed, bonded & insured.  Contractor’s license # is 846653.  We are located in Pine Grove, CA & are a full service Plumber, contractor & handyman.  Please give us a call @ 209-296-3613.  “WE CALL BACK & SHOW UP!” TM

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism: Yelp Business Strategies - Wed June 27

You are invited to an educational session, Yelp Business Strategies,  on Wednesday, June 27, 5 pm to 7 pm, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Attached is the information about our exciting event September 14-16, a Yelp Gold Country Getaway. In preparation for the Getaway, Amador Council of Tourism and Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort are offering an opportunity to elevate your knowledge about Yelp for your business. Appetizers will be available and a no-host bar thanks to the generosity of Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort.

Guest speakers are John Carroll, Yelp Senior Manager of Business Outreach, and Alex Lane, Yelp Sacramento Community Director. Discussion will cover a range of topics like: benefits and considerations of Yelp, how to drive good results from Yelp’s Gold Country Getaway. Amador Council of Tourism will provide a handout on reputation management on social media platforms.  

Thanks to all who have responded with ideas for the Gold Country Getaway. It is really taking shape. We still have room for more, if the opportunity fits your business plan. Please do call or email Maureen Funk, or 209-969-5065, or Emily Tirapelle,, 209-223-8589, with any questions or ideas.

Thank you for your support,

Maureen Funk
Amador Council of Tourism
PO Box 40/460 Sutter Hill Road, Ste. D
Sutter Creek CA 95685
Phone: 209-267-9249

Yelp Gold Country Getaway 2018, September 14-16

We are looking for experiences at Amador destinations for the Yelper Elite on Friday, September
14, and Saturday, September 15. We want exclusive, awesome experiences that will bring them
back to Amador for more.

What is an Elite Yelper? The Yelp Elite Squad is Yelp’s way of recognizing people who are active in
the Yelp community and role models on and off the site. Elite-worthiness is based on a number of
things, including well-written reviews, high quality tips, a detailed personal profile, an active voting and
complimenting record, and a history of playing well with others. Elite Yelp attendees are hand-selected
to ensure our success.
Deadline: May 24th, Thursday
Short list of musts:
Current Amador Council of Tourism Membership
Brick-and-mortar business with an existing Yelp listing
At least 3 stars on Yelp.
Desirable: Guest Wi-fi during event and Amador-awesome
When: Daytimes, Friday, September 14; Saturday, September 15; Sunday, September 16
Make it work: Choose an experience your business will offer. Be playful and think VIP. Set a
maximum-size group for your event that will make it most successful for you and most enjoyable for
your Yelpers. Set a cost. Yelpers will be happy to pay for this experience, and have done so at other
getaway events.
Send Maureen Funk,, and Emily Tirapelle,, an email with “Yelp Gold Country Getaway” in subject line, and tell us your great idea, including the details.
Keep calm: This is about in-person marketing, not the Yelp platform itself. To avoid any perception of “pay to play”, Yelp sets up a separate event listing where attendees can review the event, not the
business itself. These reviews are essentially always positive! This also protects the business from
getting reviews on their business page based on a one-off experience. The event reviews will still live on Yelp and are (most importantly) viewed mostly by Elite Yelpers far and wide, not just those who
attended the getaway. By handpicking our guests, we are getting a concentrated group of influencers to visit Amador County for the first time. Yelp puts tens of thousands of marketing dollars toward
promoting and cultivating an experience for the Elite Yelpers, which is most effective for both our users and the participating businesses.
Here are some examples of other Getaways:
Yelp’s Tahoe Getaway
Yelp’s 10-Year Anniversary
Yelp Winter Break
What else to know:
Yelp Factsheet
ABC’s of Yelp
Guidelines for Yelp Posts
Still have Questions? Contact Emily Tirapelle or Maureen Funk.

Friday, June 15, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling - Toilets: Rebuild or Replace?

Sometimes we have toilet problems. It doesn’t flush completely, there may be drips or water on the floor, stained vinyl near the toilet, or the water keeps running. What do you do, repair it or replace it? Many toilets in service today use up to 5 gallons of water per flush. That’s a lot of clean, fresh water being sent “sent down the drain”! Below are some suggestions.

If you have shopped for a toilet lately you will see that all toilets have a maximum flush volume of 1.28 gallons. This is a federal law! (Some new toilets use even less water). The advantages of the newer toilets are water saving with adequate flushing of solids most of the time. You have the choice of an ADA or Comfort Height toilet, which has an elongated bowl, and is about 2” taller than the standard toilet. Please call us for our recommendations on which brands seem to have less problems than others.
   If your current toilet is having issues, purchasing a new standard size or comfort height toilet will often save you money in the long run over a toilet rebuild. Why you may ask? When we rebuild or renew a toilet sometimes the new parts are not as good as the original parts. If we rebuild your toilet you get a 30 day warranty. New toilets have fewer problems & have a minimum of a 1 year warranty.
   New toilets can be purchased at most hardware stores, big box stores & local plumbing houses. Prices of new toilets can range from about 99.00 dollars to well over 500.00. Other considerations when replacing a toilet is the angle stop or shut off valve just adjacent to the toilet. If your valve is difficult to turn, leaks or is just old we can replace it at the same time as the toilet. The entire job only takes about an hour.
   London Plumbing & Remodeling (Formerly Stuart London Handyman) is here to help with your home improvement projects, plumbing needs & repairs. We are a full service plumber and general contractor located in Pine Grove, CA.
Lic # 846653

Friday, June 8, 2018

Amador Council of Tourism - Thurs June 14

Hello Amador Tourism Industry Partners-
The next Board meeting, Thursday, June 14, 9 am, Kennedy Gold Mine. Please note changed location and plan accordingly. We will meet in the Changing House and can  be a bit cool. Bring a layer just in case.

We are still looking for Yelp Experiences and you can email or with your ideas. If you don’t know what to do or want to be involved without being a hosted site, we can help.

Save the date: Plan to attend a Prepare for Yelp meeting, Wednesday, June 27th, 5 pm to 7 pm, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. Light snacks and no-host bar. If you are interested in hosting an experience and learning how to prepare for the weekend, call the office at 209-267-9249 or email Maureen or Emily.  More details to follow.

State Fair is coming up, July 13-29. Sponsorships are available.

A new website will be launched later this summer. If you are not a member, your listing will be substantially reduced. Please email or call the office to confirm your membership status. We will happily assist you.

Please do call or email with questions.
Thank you for your support,

Maureen Funk
Amador Council of Tourism
PO Box 40/460 Sutter Hill Road, Ste. D
Sutter Creek CA 95685
Phone: 209-267-9249

Friday, June 1, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling: Whole House Fans: Keeping cool in Summer

In previous postings we looked at attic ventilation and ceiling fans. What is the difference between an attic fan and a whole house fan? The attic fan is designed to keep temperatures in the attic lower. By keeping the attic cooler less heat pushes down through insulation and the ceiling and this keeps your living space cooler.
The whole house fan is a different type of fan. Usually installed in the hall it operates by exchanging the hotter air inside of your home for the cooler outside air. The best time to use your whole house fan is in the evening when it cools off (thru the night if you like) and early in the morning before it gets too hot.
By opening the windows (and turning off the A/C) we draw cool fresh air into the house and vent it into the attic. In addition to cooling the house it also cools the attic helping to keep energy costs down. The whole house fan is usually two speeds and by running a motor (or fan) and not using the A/C the house is kept cooler at a lower energy cost.
These fans require some real effort to install and often we need to bring power to the appliance in the attic. In addition to significant time and experience to install these units we need to make sure that the attic has enough venting in the gables & eaves so that we can exhaust the hot air quickly. Without enough venting the whole house fan will not be as efficient as it should be.
Whole house fans come in a variety of styles & costs. Considerations are amount of air we need to move, noise and cost of fan & installation. These fans start in the $200.00 range up to $1600.00 or more. The more expensive units are quieter, have insulated doors and are usually energy star rated.
If you have questions or want to discuss installation of a whole house fan (or if you need other home repairs including plumbing, electrical or carpentry please call us. We are here to help! London Plumbing & Remodeling (formerly Stuart London Handyman), License #846653. We are a licensed plumber & contractor. Please call us a 209-296-3613. Thanks for taking the time to read this post & let us know if you have questions you want answered.

Friday, May 25, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling: Ceiling Fans: Keeping Cool in Summer

Hot summer weather will be upon us again and its important to be able to keep cool without breaking the bank. A CEILING FAN can be installed in almost any room and helps to circulate the air. Often with the use of a ceiling fan people find that they can leave the A/C thermostat 2 or 3 degrees higher (so the A/C will work less) and still be comfortable in their homes & businesses.

Ceiling fans are available in multiple styles, colors and price points. We do however recommend staying away from fans that are very cheap as they tend to vibrate, hum and usually don’t move enough air unless on high speed.What are the factors we should look for when purchasing a ceiling fan? The most important factor when purchasing a ceiling fan is Sizing. Here is a good guideline: 

Length of Longest Wall in Room - Best Ceiling Fan Width
Less than 12 feet - 36 inches or less
12 to 15 feet - 40 to 48 inches
More than 15 feet - 52 inches or more

By following the above chart you will be able to move enough air in the room to be cost effective (you save energy by using slower fan speeds). Some things to consider are: is the fan an energy star rated appliance and what is the warranty. Finally of course style and cost. A ceiling fan can save you money, improve home values and keep you cooler in the hot summer months.

Other important factors are: is there an existing ceiling light (we need power to run the fan) and is the electrical box installed suitable for the weight of a ceiling fan. Special electrical boxes are built to carry the weight of heavy items. The electrical box also needs to be braced properly. If you don’t have power in the attic, we can run power, install the electrical box & fan complete the project for you quickly.

Please call London Plumbing & Remodeling (formerly Stuart London Handyman) at 209-296-3613 for ideas, installations of ceiling fans and other projects in your home. We are a full service plumbing company & a general contractor. Thanks for reading.
License # 846653

Friday, May 18, 2018

London Plumbing & Remodeling: Attic Fans: Do they work, and should I get one?

Fun Tip Friday by London Plumbing & Remodeling

Before you know it the hot summer days & warm summer nights will be upon us. The air conditioner will be running & the electric meter will be spinning! Can an attic vent fan help reduce cooling costs & keep our homes cooler during the hot summer months?

Yes, they can IF properly installed. An attic fan will remove hot air from the attic space and discharge it to the outside of the house. Did you know that attics can reach temperatures of 150 to 160 degrees F during a summer day, although outside air temperatures are only 95 to 97 degrees F.

Exhausting the hot air allows the outside air to cool the attic. With a cooler attic less heat enters your home thru the ceiling and makes it easier to keep your house comfortable during those hot summer months. Your air conditioner or cooler will work less as the inside temperature of your home will be lower.

It is important to have the fan set with a thermostat (at about 100 degrees F +/-). We also like to install a switch to turn the fan off during the winter months, but this is optional. Many homes already have an attic fan but it is no longer working. Other homes have attic fans but they were installed improperly…what I mean by that is the fan is installed in the gable but there is no blocking around the rest of the vent. A large portion of the exchanged air is limited to the immediate area of the fan instead of having the air drawn thru the attic and cooling it.

Finally what is the cost of an attic fan replacement or new installation? That depends on many factors but the fans range in price from about $ 89.00 to $ 400.00 or more. Differences in price are due to energy efficiency, noise, & how effective are they at changing the air in the attic. Sometimes additional vents may need to be installed. Installation price will vary as well depending on the complexity of the job.

Please feel free to call London Plumbing & Remodeling at 209-296-3613 for an estimate & to review options. BTW we also install ceiling fans & whole house fans (but we will talk about them next time).

ACWN Presents Wendy Cookson "Capsuling Your Wardrobe and Dress for Success" - Wed May 23