Auto Injury T R I B U N E
Spotlight on Karen Rodriguez A NEW LESSON PLAN
I met Karen on New Year’s Eve in 1995. That remains one of the best New Year’s Eve parties of my life. Karen and I dated all through high school and college before getting married. The statistics were against us, but I wasn’t about to let this amazing woman slip through my fingers. Karen is a wonderful wife, an amazing mother, and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. Karen stayed home to raise our kids for 18 years, and when she was ready to get back into the workforce, I jumped at the chance to bring her into the firm. She has a teaching degree, and I was pretty sure someone who could handle high schoolers could handle the ins and outs of a law firm. I wasn’t surprised to be proven right. –Ramiro Rodriguez, Jr. When Ramiro first asked me to help out at the firm, I hadn’t walked through the door in 10 years. Raising kids takes up a lot of your time! He asked me to help write some policies and procedures at the office, and when I got here, I realized I’d missed working. I didn’t know a single thing about the business, but I was ready to learn everything. That was three years ago. Now I’m here every day as the office administrator.
to bring a different perspective to the firm. Communication is a big part of my job. We can’t help people if there’s a breakdown in communication or if basic day-to-day tasks aren’t getting done right. I make sure everyone has all the information so our operations are efficient and effective. When people find out I work with my husband, they have a lot of questions, the biggest one being, “How are you two not sick of each other?” The answer is that we’re both pretty darn laid- back people. We have date night every weekend where we leave work at work and go out to have fun together. It probably helps that we work opposite shifts. I’m a morning person, so I’m here early getting everything squared away. Meanwhile, Ramiro comes in to meet with clients and work on cases in the late mornings and the afternoons. But we always meet in the middle to get lunch together. We’ve been together since high school, so we know how to make this thing work for us. Back when I was teaching high school, I never saw myself working at a law firm. Now I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I’ve seen people walk in here with nothing, completely hopeless about the future, and our team helps them out. We’re able to solve whatever problems they’re facing because of their accident. That’s what makes my job so incredibly rewarding.
to be picked up. Fortunately, there’s not a lot of slack around here. The staff is fantastic. Everyone is completely dedicated to our clients. I love how much we’re able to help people. When we step in to help a client, I can see how much it eases their mind. They know things are going to be okay. “I love how much we’re able to help people.”
My job is to make sure everything runs smoothly and pick up the slack where it needs
I came here with a lot of office administrative experience but no law experience, so I’m able
El Abogado Ramiro (El Abogado Amigo) y su equipo hablan español
Whose Picks Will Go All the Way?
WELLNESS & WHISKERS 3 WAYS TO WORK OUT WITH YOUR PET
MARCH MADNESS FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
One of the greatest things about March Madness is that you don’t have to be a huge college basketball fan to get in on the fun. Kids of all ages can fill out brackets — or have a parent fill one out for them — and watch their picks duke it out on the court. While healthy competition among family members can be fun all on its own, check out the following tips if you’re looking to go the extra mile and reap as much fun from March Madness as you can. Turn each game into an event. Not every kid may like watching basketball, but if they fill out a bracket, then they might gain at least a passing interest in who will win each game. To elevate their interest, turn each March Madness matchup into a little party. It doesn’t have to be fancy; make fun snacks to eat while you watch or bet pieces of candy on who will have the most points to create great family bonding opportunities. Reward the winners with prizes. Offer prizes to each round winner as well as the overall bracket winner to get the whole family involved. Small prize ideas for each round can include a homemade dinner of the winner’s choice, a week’s supply of their favorite snack, or a coupon for getting out of a chore. Whoever wins the whole tournament (or makes it the furthest with their bracket) deserves a bigger reward. Offer them the chance to see a movie of their choice in theaters or to eat a meal at their favorite restaurant.
Creating a healthy lifestyle is often easier with support, but if you’re struggling to find someone to join you on your path to wellness, then look to your furry friends instead. Read on for some ways to get active with your pet, and learn more about their wellness and health at PetMD.com. Racking Up the Miles A simple way to get moving with your pet is to go for a walk. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, then try running, biking, or hiking with your pet. Anything beyond a walk may require extra obedience training or equipment — like a specialty tool that prevents your pet from colliding with your bike — but after a few loops around the trail, your pet will be begging to go again. And how can you say no to that face? Plus, this idea isn’t just for dogs. You can find leashes and harnesses for cats, lizards, ferrets, and other pets that love to get fresh air. swimming might be the workout for you! Swimming is a joint-friendly cardiovascular exercise that works your entire body. If you’re not one for a dip in the pool, then kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are great for your arms and core. Meanwhile, your pet can enjoy a relaxing ride or an exciting game of fetch. Just be sure to secure your pet with a life jacket before you and your four-legged friend splash away! Keeping It Traditional If you want a good full-body workout while entertaining your pet, then consider including them in traditional exercises. Entertain your pup with a game of fetch and drop down for a burpee every time it runs away. Balance your bird on your shoulder while you squat and lunge. Mentally and physically stimulate your cat by dragging a string around your body during Russian twists. With a little creativity and a few of your pet’s favorite things, both of you can work up a sweat. Going for a Swim If you have a dog that appears to be more fish than canine,
Create a learning opportunity. Learning math or geography might not sound like your child’s idea of fun, but it can be when they learn it through the lens of March Madness. See if your kids would be interested in understanding the inner workings of the ranking system or studying where some of the qualifying colleges are located on a map of the United States. They may find it so interesting that they don’t even realize
they’re learning valuable skills.
Will a New Law Make Your Next Car Cheaper?
Thinking about buying a new car this year? You’re in luck! Thanks to a new Georgia law that went into effect Jan. 1, 2020, you’ll be saving some money on that next big purchase. In 2019, Senate Bill 65, also known as “Title Ad Valorem Tax: Used Cars and Tax Rate” or SB 65, was approved by the Georgia General Assembly. This new law amended Georgia tax code and reduced how much Georgians would spend on sales tax when buying a new car, from 7% to 6.6%. While a 0.4% change doesn’t sound like much, it’s the equivalent of a $100 discount on a $25,000 car purchase!
SB 65 changed this so now the sales tax on used cars must be calculated based on the retail sales price. Because the retail price of used cards tends to be higher than their book value, the sales tax will likely be higher than before. There are exceptions to this. If you’re buying a car privately and not through a dealership — like buying a used car from Craigslist, for example — then it will be taxed at the lower book value. If you’re in the market for your next car, keep in mind how you can use SB 65 to your advantage. If you want to save on the sales tax, then look into the benefits of a new car or a used car purchased privately.
Get to Know SB 65
What if I want to buy a used car?
Not everyone is singing the praises of SB 65. This new law is expected to raise the cost of taxes for people purchasing used cars. In the past, used cars were taxed based on their book value and not the actual sales price.
Rich with fresh, colorful ingredients, ratatouille is a French dish that has experienced a revolution of its own in recent years. Enjoy this vegan-friendly spin on an old-world classic.
1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. 5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving.
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
• • • • • • •
2 tsp salt
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
5 sprigs thyme
1 large onion, halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick 1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced 2 pints cherry tomatoes
Solution on Page 4
Inspired by Bon Appétit
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The Key to Communication Get Fit With Fido March Madness Fun for the Whole Family Looking for a New Car? Ratatouille A Tour of Marietta
In August 1839, a Philadelphian merchant named William Root moved south to Georgia. Root was one of Marietta’s founding citizens and opened the town’s first drug store. After marrying Hannah Remer Simpson in 1840, Root built his family home on the corner of present-day Church Street and Lemon Street. Today, this house is the oldest wood- frame house still standing in Marietta. In the 1850s, 11 members of the Root family and their four slaves lived in the Root House. When the Union Army approached Atlanta in 1864, the Root family’s home would be one of just four Marietta buildings to survive William Sherman’s Atlanta campaign. The family continued to live in the house until it was sold in 1886. Over the next century, the house was moved down the hill to face Lemon Street, remodeled in the Victorian style, and ultimately renovated into apartments in the 1940s. During the next few decades, the Root House fell into disrepair. This piece of history was slated for demolition and almost lost forever when Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society acquired the house in 1989. After the Root House was moved to its current location at the corner of Polk Street and
North Marietta Parkway, architectural analysis was used to restore the exterior to its 1845 appearance. Meanwhile, the interior of the house was renovated to match how the home would have looked in the 1860s. Today, the William Root House Museum and Garden preserves a piece of Marietta and American history. Interactive exhibits show what daily life was like for the Root family, from the parlor and kitchen to the historically accurate gardens where William Root grew herbs for his pharmacy. There are also recently completed exhibits dedicated to the lives of Marietta’s enslaved population during the antebellum South. Guests are invited to curate their own experiences by signing up for a guided tour or exploring the museum on a self-guided discovery. Waiting for the best time to visit the museum? Saturday, April 4 is Smithsonian Magazine’s annual Museum Day! The William Root House Museum and Garden is offering free admission to guests with a Museum Day ticket. Visit RootHouseMuseum.com to learn more about all of the museum’s special events and start planning your next visit.
A Time Long Gone
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