A Legacy of Helping Others How My Grandfather’s Work Shaped My Career
When I was a kid growing up in San Jose, one of the highlights of my year was spending a few weeks each summer withmy grandparents in Arizona. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, my grandfather was a giant inmy life. Frank H. Estavillo was born in 1911, before Arizona was even a state, and grew up dirt poor, sharing a bed with two of his siblings. To compound that financial difficulty, he lost an arm in a train accident when he was 18. Still, he never let adversity slow himdown. Grandpa was the first in his family to go to college, and he went on to get his master’s and to become one of the first to teach a bilingual curriculum in the country. In 1974, two years before he retired, he was named Arizona Teacher of theYear. He was so dedicated to helping the children of the community that even after retiring, he would take me with him to local parks to pull cans and newspapers out of garbage cans, which he’d redeem for money to donate to the school. I remember joining himone summer at the unveiling of a new play structure built with the money he’d raised that way. He wasn’t embarrassed about how he’d earned the funds, just proud of doing what he could to help others. You don’t realize howmuch people affect you until you look back and reflect on your own choices. In retrospect, I think my grandfather was one of the most important people inmy life, and his influence had a big part inmakingme the man—and the lawyer — I am today. While he helped kids get a leg up in life through education, I help people facing financial difficulty avoid foreclosure and win other important real estate battles in the courtroom. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Navy pilot, but my eyesight wasn’t sharp enough. That turned out to be a good thing because my stubborn streak and a fortuitous choice of college classes ledme to law. I immediately fell in love with
the courtroom, and as a law clerk, I got the opportunity to work on a big land dispute case that piquedmy interest in real estate law. I quickly made that my niche. I loved the work but ended up at a firmwhere I didn’t feel so warmly about my boss. It’s important tome that in addition to being a great lawyer, I also try to be the best husband I can tomy wife Lyn and an attentive father tomy three daughters, 13-year-old Emmie and 7-year-old twins Gigi and Sloane. So, whenmy boss made snide comments about the week I took off work when Emmie was born and the hours I missed when I had to rush her to the hospital, I knew that when the time was right, I would strike out onmy own. At first, I wanted to focus my firmon construction defect litigation, but the foreclosure crisis of 2008 changedmy plans. A seminar about the crash openedmy eyes to all of the horrible things happening across the country, and it frustrated me that while good people were losing their houses because of bad bank loans, no one on Wall Street was in jail or even in trouble. From that point on, I made it my mission to help people
who were down on their luck— just like my grandfather had done.
My staff and I can’t always keep people in their homes, but we do our best to ensure they leave our firm in a better position than they came. I’m proud of our 90% success rate when it comes to protecting clients from immediate foreclosure and of the work we do in real estate litigation, helping people with easements, breach of contract cases, andmore. I’m also happy to say my employees can always take time off to attend to their families —even if I have to work overtime.
I hope my grandfather would be proud of how far I’ve come. I aim to leave a legacy for my children
and grandchildren as weighty as his.
www.EstavilloLaw.com | 1 -Jason Estavillo
We Fight to Protect Your American Dream of Homeownership
HONORING THE CANINES OF 9/11 The 4-Legged Heroes of Ground Zero
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets to clear rubble, offer supplies, and search for survivors. It was a powerful act of resilience in a deeply trying time, and while most of the individuals helping with the disaster stood on two feet, more than 300 canines also answered the call to service.
Some dogs that found deceased victims refused to eat or interact with other animals. Search and rescue dogs became increasingly stressed and depressed the longer they searched without any results, mirroring their handlers. It wasn’t uncommon for handlers to stage mock “findings” of survivors to keep the dogs’ spirits up.
Dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, including search and rescue dogs, police dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs, were brought in to help find and care for survivors in the wake of the destruction. They worked tirelessly alongside rescue crews as they searched through the debris. Search and rescue dogs and their handlers worked 12–16-hour days, searching for survivors and victims. They worked through dangerous conditions: Many dogs burned their paws as they dug through hot rubble, and both handlers and canines inhaled toxic dust. The task was both physically and mentally exhausting for the dogs during their shifts.
Fortunately, the sacrifices these dogs and their handlers made did not go unnoticed. Many dog owners were inspired to earn their search and rescue certifications after the events of 9/11, promising to aid in future disasters and hopefully lessen the impact of such catastrophes. After 9/11, various researchers conducted many studies examining the effect this kind of work has on animals, both physically and mentally. Many of these studies wouldn’t be possible without the AKC Canine Health Foundation, so if you’re looking to give back this September, visit them at their website to see how you can help: AKCCHF.org.
What Happened in Reed Springs? HOW A SMALL TOWNWENT BANKRUPT OVER A POTHOLE
In 2002, the quaint town of Reed Springs, Missouri, declared bankruptcy. The hard decision came after the town was forced to pay $100,000 to Sally Stewart, a woman who sued Reed Springs after she tripped over a pothole during a shopping trip. News of a greedy woman ruining a small village to make a quick buck sparked outrage across the country. But Stewart wasn’t the real villain of this story. A little digging into this case reveals a much deeper conspiracy. Stewart had been visiting Reed Springs in 1998 when she tripped on a pothole hidden beneath some overgrown grass on the sidewalk. But this was no small stumble. Stewart tore two ligaments in her ankle and
had to undergo surgery. To help pay for the medical bills, Stewart, who’d never sued anyone before, initially filed a personal injury lawsuit against the owners of the store in front of the pothole. However, the Missouri Court of Appeals determined the city of Reed Springs was liable for Stewart’s injuries. The court ordered Reed Springs to pay Stewart $100,000, over half the city’s annual budget. Despite the high price tag, in normal circumstances, this verdict wouldn’t have forced Reed Springs to declare bankruptcy because the town’s insurance would have covered the bill. Unfortunately, at the time of Stewart’s accident, the mayor of Reed Springs was a corrupt man named Joe Dan Dwyer. Dwyer left office while being investigated for insurance fraud, child pornography, statutory rape, witness bribery, and perjury, and he was later sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Among his many indiscretions, Dwyer also let the town’s insurance policy lapse. Reed Springs didn’t have insurance when Sally Stewart got hurt, which is why they had to write a check out of their own budget and ultimately declare bankruptcy. In this case, what started as a simple pothole accident quickly unveiled the lasting damage of an unscrupulous politician. Perhaps this case serves as reminder about why it’s important to vote in local elections.
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TAKE A BREAK
Have you ever wanted to experience the colors of a Boston fall while enjoying the peace and tranquility of the great outdoors? Autumn leaves are a universally appreciated sign of the changing seasons, and there’s no better place to see those vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds on display than in one of America’s national parks. So, if you’ve got some free time this autumn, here are some parks worth seeing. THE BEST NATIONAL PARKS TO VISIT THIS FALL While the maple, birch, and poplar trees of Acadia begin to change color in September, mid-October is the best time to witness autumn in full swing. The park is crisscrossed with unpaved trails that date back to a time of horse-drawn carriages, preserving an idyllic setting. If you want to see the colors in full effect, take a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point along the North Atlantic seaboard, and watch the sun crest over the vibrant leaves. To fully experience fall in the Northeastern U.S., Acadia National Park is a must-see. Acadia National Park, Maine
CACIO E PEPE
Inspired by Bon Appétit
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee and North Carolina
6 oz pasta, ideally spaghetti or bucatini 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and divided 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, ideally Parmigiano- Reggiano 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese Kosher salt, for pasta water and to taste
Further south, the autumn colors of the Smoky Mountains are no less breathtaking than those in the Northeast. This park offers many scenic lookout points accessible by car, so don’t worry about hoofing it into the forest if that’s not your thing. Park wherever you like and watch the warm colors of ancient maples, oaks, and cedars change before your eyes.
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
1. In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook, stopping 2 minutes short of desired doneness. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. 2. In a large pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add pepper and cook until toasted and aromatic, about 1 minute. Add reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. 3. Transfer pasta and remaining butter to pan and reduce heat to low. Add Parmesan and cook until melted, tossing pasta throughout. Remove pan from heat and add pecorino, continuing to toss until cheese is melted and sauce coats pasta. 4. Transfer to bowls and serve.
While the West might typically be associated with evergreen pines, the deciduous trees of the relatively small Grand Teton National Park pack a colorful punch starting around the third week of September. It’s also breeding season for elk in the area, and their high, eerie whistles can be heard in the evenings. Popular destinations in the park include the Christian Pond Loop and String Lake. Just because the weather is cooling down doesn’t mean you have to abandon your favorite national parks until next summer. The natural beauty of America can be experienced at any time of the year, so start planning your next autumn outdoor excursion!
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
A Legacy of Helping Others
Honoring the Canines of 9/11 A Surprising Reason for Bankruptcy
Cacio e Pepe The Vibrant Colors of America’s National Parks
Why Are So Many People Deciding Not to Retire?
FINDING FULFILLMENT IN YOUR GOLDEN YEARS Why More Adults Over 55 Continue toWork
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, upward of 40% of people aged 55 and older are continuing to work past the normal retirement age. There are a number of reasons why people are choosing to stay employed, with one of the biggest being a lack of retirement funds, but some are also using work to keep their minds and skills sharp. In fact, most of the jobs that the 55-plus crowd goes after keep them engaged with the community and help them lead more active lives.
ones. This balance is exactly what many older workers are looking for, especially those who are “part-time retired.”
More importantly, however, most older workers find these jobs fulfilling. They allow older folks to interact with the community and stay active, both of which, research suggests, are essential to healthy living as people age. For many, working past retirement, or not leaving the workforce entirely, can be a win-win-win: It’s a win for your bank account, a win for your health, and a win for the community.
The BLS categorized the jobs many older workers are currently pursuing:
Real estate appraisers/assessors
• Property/real estate/community association managers • Technical writers • Tax preparers • Construction/building inspectors • Crossing guards • Clergy These seven jobs are projected to grow between 8–14% over the next six years according to BLS data. They often pay well and don’t always require a full-time commitment. Many even offer flexible schedules, which can help older workers spend more time with peers or loved
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