3 Tips For Choosing Car Insurance Plans

You may think that choosing a car insurance plan is a difficult task, so you have put it off for quite a while hoping that you don’t get in an accident. In fact, finding the right Maryland car insurance doesn’t have to be difficult, you just need to know what to look for. Here are a few tips to help you decide on the best plan.

First, consider the convenience factor. You want to work with a car insurance company that has hours that work with your schedule, and a convenient way for you to get in touch with them. That may not necessarily mean an office in your town, but it does mean they should be generally available when you need them.

Second, go into your search knowing what you want from your insurance. That may be lower monthly premiums, or a smaller deductible, or even perks like roadside assistance. Knowing which items you want most and which you do not really need can help you narrow down the best Maryland car insurance policy.

Third, check out the company you’re working with. Even though they may be offering a great price, you want to make sure they have satisfied customers and you will be happy to work with them. Read reviews, and ask around to find out what kind of reputation they have for customer service.

Finding the best Maryland car insurance should not be a hassle. When you’re ready to get your policy, visit the Advantage Group website to learn more and find the best policy for your situation.

On Subway Cars and Now TV, New York’s Tap-Dancing College Student

Joshua Johnson, the college student from Harlem whose tuition-paying subway-tap-dance exploits we wrote about last winter, was back in the limelight this week.

On Tuesday, he appeared on “Dancing With the Stars,” where he was featured in the “AT&T Spotlight Performance,” tapped his way thorough a hip-hop remake of “New York, New York” backed up by eight seasoned professional tappers and, as usual, brought down the house. (See video below.)

On Friday morning, Mr. Johnson was back in Altoona, Pa., where he is a junior communications major at the Penn State branch, and he reports that things have been going pretty well.

“I’ve never even been a backup dancer, but I was like the star of the production,” he said. “It was like 20 million people watching live. It was kind of crazy.”

Since Tuesday, Mr. Johnson said, “A lot of kids that are tap-dancing or want to go to Penn State are hitting me up on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram to tell me their struggles and tell me, ‘You’re making it and I want to make it too.’”

While school is hard, he said, “I’m really trying to focus and buckle down on getting my grades up. A lot of people are encouraging me, and it’s like I’m not just doing it for myself in a way. People are watching me. So I feel like I’ve really got to do this work now.”

Mr. Johnson is still raising money (donations can be made through his Web site) to pay off his tuition. Between the $35,000 he was handed on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in March and about $10,000 from individual donors, he has been able to pay off the student loans, though he still owes $3,000 for this year’s tuition.

But the subway performances that helped launch Mr. Johnson – he would come back to New York on many weekends to dance – are taking a back seat for now. He is trying to put together a show, to be shot in a theater in New York, that would showcase street performers, with him as the host.

“There are a lot of performers working in the streets or dancing in nightclubs or on the train,” he said, “and I want to create a stage, a big stage, that is going to allow all these great, talented street performers in New York to be seen.” The working name of the show, he said, is “Joshua Johnson Presents: The Come-Up.”

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Cultures, Shaken Together

Dear Diary:

Living in New York, we know a visit to Central Park and Chinatown offers two distinct experiences. The former is famous for being an urban oasis, while Chinatown is known for its vibrant ethnic markets and restaurants.

Recently, trying to take in the beautiful fall weather, my husband and I went to Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Suddenly there was a commotion. We saw two Chinese women holding out a bedsheet under a tall ginkgo tree, while a third woman jumped and beat the branches with a long pole.

It took us a while to figure out that the women were trying to loosen the ripe nuts from the tree. Ginkgo nuts are prized for their health benefits and often used in Chinese cuisine. Judging by the large shopping bags the women carried, we were amazed at their entrepreneurial spirit. No doubt the nuts would be shelled and packaged, then sold to restaurants and on the streets of Chinatown.

“Who would think,” my husband reflected, “that it’s ginkgo nuts that would bring our two worlds together?”


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Mayor Lends a Hand to Gay-Marriage Push in Maryland

Expanding his support for same-sex marriage onto the national stage, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg donated $250,000 this month to support an effort in Maryland to do what no state has done so far: legalize same-sex marriage at the ballot box.

The mayor’s donation, to be announced on Friday, is the largest individual contribution received by proponents of same-sex marriage in Maryland, where voters will face a referendum in November on whether to affirm or reject a state law passed this year to allow same-sex couples to marry.

Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire who attended college in Maryland at Johns Hopkins, dipped into his personal fortune to help persuade New York lawmakers to approve same-sex marriage in 2011, and he has supported a similar effort in New Hampshire. His contribution came after discussions with Maryland’s governor, Martin O’Malley, a Democrat who has spearheaded the effort to pass the referendum, known as Question 6.

“The fact that someone of Mayor Bloomberg’s national stature and recognition would care about our referendum campaign for civil marriage equality, I think, tells people all over our country that this is a serious and real campaign,” Mr. O’Malley said in an interview on Thursday evening from Kentucky, where he was attending the vice-presidential debate.

Mr. Bloomberg often speaks passionately about his support in the fight for same-sex marriage, which he considers a significant battle for expanding civil rights. Voters in three other states — Maine, Minnesota and Washington — will also weigh in on same-sex marriage on Election Day, offering a litmus test of popular sentiment on an issue that has never been approved by a popular vote.

“I do not believe that government has any business telling one class of couples that they cannot marry,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an e-mail, to be distributed on Friday morning to supporters of same-sex marriage in Maryland. “The next great barrier to full equality under the law is marriage equality. There is no doubt in my mind this barrier will fall, just as so many others have.”

With his mayoralty ending next year, Mr. Bloomberg has been developing his national profile through a series of donations to political candidates and social causes. In February, he gave a matching gift of $250,000 to Planned Parenthood after it lost funding from a breast cancer advocacy organization; his donation earned praise from progressive groups.

Governor O’Malley of Maryland said he hoped the mayor’s generosity would spur additional donations to his group, Marylanders for Marriage Equality, saying he was concerned that opponents of same-sex marriage would outspend supporters in the state. “A contribution as generous as this is certainly a big help to us,” he said.

The mayor and Mr. O’Malley have known each other for years: Mr. Bloomberg frequently travels to Baltimore, where Mr. O’Malley served as mayor, to visit his alma mater, to which he has contributed about $800 million over several decades. Mr. Bloomberg also traveled to Maryland in 2010 to endorse Mr. O’Malley’s bid for re-election.

The mayor and the governor met in New York’s City Hall over the summer to discuss the same-sex marriage referendum. Mr. O’Malley said the two had been playing phone tag since he heard about the mayor’s decision to donate last week. “We’re very grateful for the contribution,” he said.


This post has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: October 12, 2012

An earlier picture caption with this article misstated the date the picture of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was taken. It was September, not this week.

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Protecting Your Home

Home insuranceWhen you invest your hard earned money in a purchase such as a home, you will want to protect it as well as you can. A home is not a small investment, and in order to avoid losing money, you will need to insure it. Many people may not understand why home insurance is necessary. There are quite a few situations where you may be surprised to find out that you can use your home insurance Wisconsin to protect or repair your home.

When you purchase home insurance, you will want to protect not only your home and its contents, but also the exterior of your home. If your home is damaged in any way, repairing the problem can be incredibly expensive if you were to pay out of pocket. If your home is completely destroyed, you may be unable to rebuild if you don’t have home insurance to cover the costs of rebuilding. Replacing all of your belongings can also be extremely expensive, but can be covered in your home insurance Wisconsin.

If you borrow money to purchase your home, your lending company will require that you have home insurance. This is in order to protect their investment. If there is a problem while you still owe them money, they want to be sure that they get their money back. Once your house is paid off, you will wan tot have home insurance in order to make sure you get your money back. For low home insurance rates, visit Cliff Insurance to get your quote.