Merlino & Gonzalez - August 2023

Check out our latest edition!

August 2023




Hey there, this is Frank! I run Superior Pools right here on Staten Island, where we specialize in maintenance, product installations, renovations, troubleshooting, underground leak detection, and pool openings and closings. I’ve been a pool tech since I was a teenager and managed a local pool company during my college years. Upon graduation, I worked as an independent commodities floor trader for several successful years. I returned to the pool industry 17 years ago and started my family owned and operated business. These days, I still personally oversee every job. It’s not unusual to find me on the phone walking clients through trouble shooting or crouched under a deck or in front of an equipment pad. Here are a few questions people (including John) ask me all the time. 1. How often should I check the chemical levels in my water? To ensure the water chemistry remains ideal, it is recommended a maximum of every seven days. 2. How often should I clean out my filters? As needed, but under perfect conditions, it certainly couldn’t hurt to clean it once per month. An impacted filter can cause a number of problems, such as various types of algae, unnecessary equipment, wear and tear, and heater malfunctions.

Last summer, I had a pool emergency. I forgot to book the appointment to open my pool for the summer! Memorial Day was right around the corner, and I knew our five kids would be crushed if the long weekend didn’t involve swimming. So, I called my old friend Frank Cafiso. Frank is the CEO and founder of Superior Pools, and his team squeezed me into their busy schedule and opened my pool just in time. Miraculously, I escaped being named Worst Father of the Year! Frank is my first call when I have pool trouble, and his advice never lets me down. Now that it’s summer again, I asked him to answer the pool-related questions that keep me up at night. He gave me this letter to share with you!

3. Which is better: chlorine or saltwater? I personally recommend saltwater pools. They’re milder on the skin, won’t fade your bathing suit, and eliminate the need to store harsh chemicals. To me, those things are worth the higher upfront cost! If you’re still operating off of an older, chlorine-based sanitizer, you should think about upgrading. 4. Should I pay extra for safety fencing? If you have young children, definitely. Drowning is the No. 1 cause of unintentional death for children under age 5, and self-latching gates can keep them safe. 5. Which cutting-edge pool gadgets should I buy? The industry is always presenting new and exciting items. From an ease of maintenance standpoint, I recommend a digital tester for saltwater pools. It’s always a smart idea to verify your digital salt panel

Frank and his son, Frankie — future boss in training.





How to Set Boundaries With Your Family

your children. If they question your tactics, practice what you will say so you’re not caught off guard. But most importantly, remember why you’re establishing these boundaries and upholding those values. If your loved ones fail to respect your wishes, don’t be afraid to reinforce those boundaries — it’s okay to say no! Give your family time to adjust. Changing and creating new habits is challenging, so give your loved ones time to adjust to your boundaries. However, if you’re continuing to reinforce your wishes and still meeting pushback and disrespect, it’s okay to distance yourself or cut ties. You have to put what’s best for you and your family first. If you have any questions or concerns about establishing boundaries with your loved ones, contact a marriage and family therapist to assist you. They can provide more insight and resources to help you during this time.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, so when you become a parent, you’ll likely employ techniques you learned from family or friends and what you learned on your own. Naturally, these techniques and your preferences may differ from what your loved ones did for their children, and sometimes, it can be difficult for them to adjust. Because of this, how do you set boundaries with family members regarding your children? Be direct when communicating boundaries. Don’t assume your loved ones know or understand your parenting style. Instead, clearly state your rules, values, practices, and expectations when others are around your children. When creating physical boundaries, you can say, “Please don’t give my child soda when they visit. That’s something I don’t want them to have.” For emotional boundaries, you can say, “Please don’t force my child to hug you. If they refuse, give them their space without compromising their feelings and comfortability.” Develop a strategy for handling pushback. “I did this with my kids, and they turned out fine!” You may have heard this quote when vocalizing your wishes to loved ones about how to treat

A Textbook Won’t Do You Justice!


You gain a deeper appreciation for history. When you walk through important historical locations, you understand the past better because you’re living it! You’re walking the same roads or staring at the same landmarks that civilizations from centuries ago did. When you immerse yourself in the history of a place, you can better understand why its origins are meaningful. You leave your comfort zone. Traveling somewhere new can be nerve-wracking! You won’t know the best mode of transportation or know anyone there — you may not even speak any native languages! By leaving what makes you comfortable, you’ll learn to depend on yourself and embrace change and uncertainty. These skills can and will help you in all aspects of life. So, travel this month and learn something new! We understand you can’t drop everything just to hop on a plane to another country, so try venturing to a nearby city you’ve never visited and learning about its history.

As you mark your calendars with upcoming holidays, get-togethers, events, and school activities, there may be one you’re missing: American Adventures Month. This monthlong event encourages you to be adventurous and travel so you can better understand the world around you. While you can research online or open a book to learn more about any part of the world, nothing beats visiting these places yourself. Here are three reasons why traveling is the best form of education. You learn more about people. When you travel to other states or internationally, you can learn a lot about the culture of these places by speaking to residents. They can suggest historical places for you to visit that teach you about their heritage, lifestyle, and what life was like for their ancestors. You will think about things you’ve never considered before and have a deeper appreciation for the views of others.


Every contract includes obscure terms and fine print that can come back to bite you if you don’t read carefully, and your real estate contract is no different! When buying or selling a home, you need to read that paperwork closely to identify turns of phrase that could affect your transaction. In particular, we recommend looking for contingency clauses. The Purpose of Contingency Clauses Contingency clauses act as fail-safes to protect the homebuyer or seller (depending on the type of clause) from getting stuck with a bad deal. Lawyers add these clauses to real estate contracts to establish that the contract is legal and binding — if and only if specific actions are taken or conditions are met. If those steps don’t happen, one of the parties will have a legal basis to back out. KNOW YOUR RISKS WHEN NEGOTIATING Look at the Fine Print of Your Real Estate Contract!

There are several types of contingency clauses, and each one can work for you or against you. However, the most common contingency clauses all favor the buyer. Here are a few you might discover in your contract. 4 Clauses That Favor the Buyer 1. The Appraisal Contingency — This clause lets the buyer back out of the deal if the home is appraised for a value lower than their offer.

2. The Financing Contingency — This clause allows the buyer to leave the deal if they can’t secure a mortgage.

3. The Inspection Contingenc y — Similar to the appraisal contingency, this clause allows the buyer to back out or, in some cases, renegotiate if the home inspection reveals major issues.

4. The Home Sale Contingency — This clause gives the buyer the option to pull out of the deal if they can’t sell their current home during a specific window.

You should look for these contingency clauses in your real estate contract whether you’re a buyer or seller. If you’re buying, you need to know which protections you have, and if you’re selling, you need to know how and when your buyer could leave you high and dry. Sifting through your contract can be challenging, so when in doubt, call your real estate lawyer for help!



has an accurate display. You can also find solar-powered pool skimmers that do an amazing job of keeping the water surface clean. Healthy water is about consistency, so I highly suggest automation products. At the very least, you need a time clock to ensure water is filtering daily. 6. Do pool-cleaning robots actually work? Yes! The robots that drive around on the bottom of pools to vacuum up debris are some of my all-time favorite products. Give me a call if you want a specific brand recommendation. 7. Which YouTube channels and social media accounts give the best pool tips? Social media is great for some really creative tips and unusual pool hacks, but I believe creating a relationship with a professional, local swimming pool company that can provide honest and timely results is the best way to go. Superior Pools is currently in the process of creating specialized content to help pool owners answer questions with some amazing videos. Do you have a question I didn’t answer? Call me at 718-967- 1964, and I’ll give you my advice over the phone for free. Any friend of John’s is a friend of mine!


Inspired by


• 1 tsp kosher salt • 1/4 tsp black pepper • 1/2 cup olive oil • 4 6-oz skin-on halibut fillets

• 1 16-oz jar roasted red bell peppers, drained • 5 garlic cloves • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar • 2 tsp honey


1. In a food processor or blender, mix bell peppers, garlic, vinegar, honey, salt, and black pepper until smooth. Transfer sauce to a bowl; whisk in oil. 2. Into a large plastic zipper bag, pour 1 cup of sauce; add halibut fillets and seal bag; turn to coat fillets. Let marinate in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Reserve remaining sauce for serving. 3. Preheat a grill to medium-high (400–450 F). Remove halibut from marinade; scrape off excess. 4. On oiled grill grates, arrange fillets and grill, covered, until fish flakes easily, 4–5 minutes per side. 5. Transfer fillets to serving plates or a large platter. Drizzle with reserved sauce. Serve alongside preferred veggies and crusty bread.

-Frank Cafiso CEO and Founder of Superior Pools



394 Manor Road Staten Island, NY 10314




Got Pool Questions? Frank Has Expert Answers! Page 1

Boundaries Can Be Met With Pushback — Are You Ready?

Ditch the Textbook — Go Travel Instead! Page 2

Important Fine Print Homebuyers and Sellers Miss

Grilled Halibut With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce Page 3

A Guardian Angel Covered in Fur Page 4

How Willow Saved Her Owner’s Life A CAT’S NOSE KNOWS

Willow went to the living room, where Amanda’s husband had fallen asleep watching television. Willow proceeded to bite his leg and jump on him until he woke up around 4 a.m. He could tell something was wrong, as this was abnormal behavior for Willow, so he followed her to the bedroom, where he spotted his wife. She was slumped over and unresponsive, and he immediately called her an ambulance. Doctors informed Amanda’s husband that she was moments away from slipping into a diabetic coma, but Willow had smelled something off and gotten help before it was too late.

We all wish our pets would be there for us in an emergency. Dogs, cats, and other animals can accomplish amazing feats when provided with enough love and care, and a cat from Liverpool named Willow recently proved that many times over. A cat’s sense of smell is incredibly

effective at detecting when something is abnormal, and Willow used her nose to save her owner in the nick of time. For many with diabetes, falling into a diabetic coma is a constant concern, and they regularly check their blood sugar levels and take insulin shots to avoid that scenario. Amanda Jameson, a 51-year-old woman from Liverpool, received a diabetes diagnosis years ago but had always stayed

Most pets would get a few extra treats for their heroism, but Willow’s feats earned her a more prestigious award. The National

Cat Awards named Willow as a finalist for their “Moggy Marvels” category. If Willow wins, she’ll receive a trophy, a £200 pet store voucher, and a year subscription to Cats Protection’s “The Cat” magazine. Although Willow likely doesn’t care about the trophy or the subscription, she’ll be happy enough with £200 worth of goodies and her owner safely by her side.

on top of it. In April 2023, she fell asleep while her blood sugar was dangerously low. Thankfully, her cat, Willow, noticed something was wrong and sprang into action. 4

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator