March 2018 Avoiding Collisions between Vehicles and AnimalsThere are over half a million large animal/car collisions each year. A significant number of these accidents involve fatalities – both animal and human – and most involve major vehicle damage.While these incidents are typically covered by comprehensive auto insurance, the best option is to avoid the accident altogether. Here are tips to prevent an animal/car collision, plus the appropriate steps to take if you encounter Bambi, Smokey, or one of their pals.Be alert during peak times: Deer in particular, but other large animals as well, are generally active shortly before and after sunrise and from sunset to midnight. Remain alert for animal crossings during these hours.Wait for the others: Bears often come with cubs, and deer rarely run around alone. If you catch sight of one animal in your headlights, there may be others nearby. Proceed with caution.Use lights, not devices: High-beam headlights can illuminate animals’ eyes, but devices such as deer whistles and reflectors have not been proven effective in preventing collisions.Brake, don’t swerve: A driver’s instinct may be to swerve out of the lane to avoid an animal, possibly putting the driver in the line of opposing traffic, or causing him or her to veer off the road and roll over. Instead, hit the brakes – hard.Contact your insurance carrier: If you are in a collision with a large animal, contact your insurance company to report the accident and begin the claims process as soon as possible. Your agent will help walk you through the appropriate steps to make repairs to your vehicle. Good Words from Our ClientsBarbara Swanson has gone above and beyond to assist us with our insurance needs.Jeanette RedstoneWhenever I call all the agents are always willing to help me. I am very happy with my service.Cari EasthamAlways friendly and helpful. Thanks for the great service.Troy JensenYour customer service is exceptional. Keep up the great work!Velma SullengerThank you for your kind words. Our staff works hard to give the best possible service to our clients.Lamb Kabobs with Creamy Avocado DressingServes 41 ripe avocadoJuice of 1 lemon3/4 cup olive oil1/4 cup white vinegarSalt and pepper to taste1 1/2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces1/4 cup lemon juice2 tablespoons olive oil3 cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped1 tablespoon parsley, chopped1 tablespoon sweet paprika1 teaspoon salt and pepperDirectionsBlend the avocado flesh, juice, oil, vinegar, and seasoning on high for 10 seconds or until it reaches a smooth consistency. Set aside.Marinate lamb pieces in lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper for at least one hour or overnight. Thread lamb pieces onto skewers and discard marinade. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and cook skewers until charred and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from heat. Drizzle with avocado dressing and serve over greens, grains, or grilled vegetables. Time to Wake Up and Smell the CoffeeCoffee drinkers are becoming younger. According to online restaurant supply store WebstaurantStore: “The fastest-growing demographic of coffee drinkers is the 13- to 18-year-old age group.” And this is changing the way we drink coffee. Here are some WebstaurantStore trends to look for:Younger consumers like mobile coffee. Ready-to-drink portable bottles of prepared Frappuccinos and other popular hyper-sweetened coffee beverages are now readily available in convenience stores, meaning fewer trips to coffee hangouts.When they do head to local coffee spots, younger drinkers are looking for something special: presentation. The Instagram generation now loves selfies with coffee and milk served French-style in beautiful café au lait bowls.Nitro coffee – coffee infused with nitrogen gas – is popular thanks to its rich creamy taste, and the new cold brew coffee is an in-demand cold drink that’s stronger, but less bitter. Finally, the interest in gourmet coffee continues, driven by more sophisticated consumers who aren’t interested in the latest trends and still value the taste and the experience of drinking good coffee.Diana Stuhaan is pictured giving check to Al Oliver, Executive Director of the Visalia Rescue Mission. Diana was the top referrer to our agency in 2017 and an ardent supporter of the rescue mission.Thank you Diana for your referrals. And to Al, keep up the great work at the Rescue Mission. Your charity is making a difference in our community.