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As climate change worsens, we are facing a steady decline in global water security. Today, nearly one billion people on Earth do not have access to clean water to drink, bathe in, or irrigate crops with. Many environmental NGOs predict that worldwide droughts will become more frequent and more severe in the coming years, so conserving water has become more important than ever. Not sure how to do your part? Take a look at the list below for 5 great tips to help you start saving water today!

1. Check your house for leaks.

Did you learn in elementary school that a single dripping faucet in your home can waste hundreds of gallons of water every week? While that’s true, it’s nothing compared to the water we waste by not making sure our pipes are thoroughly sealed. If you suspect a leak anywhere in your house, call a plumber to seal them up. He or she will also be able to help you spot leaks that aren’t showing any signs yet.

2. Take shorter showers.

Though there’s no denying the appeal of a long, steamy shower, cutting back just a little bit can make a big difference in how much water you conserve. The average 10-minute shower requires about 20 gallons of water, so just cutting that down to 5 minutes can help you save 10 gallons every time!

3. Install a more efficient water heating system.

The costs of installing a new water heater puts many homeowners off even looking at alternatives. But did you know that tankless water heaters – which do not store gallons of water when they aren’t needed – can save you money AND help you conserve water? Because best both gas and electric tankless water heaters heat water quickly, they make it less necessary for you to run the cold water for too long, waiting for the temperature you want.

4. Wash your produce in a bowl instead of under the faucet.

Turning on your faucet every time you want to rinse a cucumber or an apple is a surprisingly wasteful habit. You can avoid this and conserve gallons of water every day by pouring a couple of inches of water into a large bowl and then rinsing your produce in it. To make this even more effective, save that water all day to rinse the fruit and vegetables you use in all your meals.

5. Don’t throw out your cooking water.

Whether you boiled pasta, poached eggs, or steamed vegetables, the water you have left over from cooking can be put to so many good uses. After allowing it to cool, you can use it to water your plants, bucket flush your toilets, wash fresh produce (see tip number 4!), or add it to healthy smoothies. Simply let it cool and then use it again! If you have too much to use at one time, just put it in a sealable container and keep it in the fridge.

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Like turning the page on a new calendar, seems like every year in Topeka ideas surface anew on how best to fund our public schools.

It seems hard to believe, but it’s been a full two decades since the state legislature created what’s become known as a “3-legged stool,” a roughly equal mix of property, sales and incomes taxes to pay for schools.

Back then, with a nod to the diversity of wealth across Kansas, lawmakers also created something called the “local option budget.” It’s just what the name implies, a specific revenue stream generated within the boundaries of a school district.

Simply put, the local option budget is a locally-generated property tax. The idea was to allow land-wealthy school districts to add some local value to the 20 mills already levied by the state. In its wisdom, back in ’92, the legislature placed a ceiling on the amount your school board can raise. Today, it’s 30 mills, 31 with a local protest petition.

This year, Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed eliminating the limit on the local option budget authority, freeing your school board to levy a property tax as high as they believe the market or their consciences can bear.

In Statehouse parlance, this idea has become known as “blowing the cap,” with supporters claiming locally-levied dollars would rain down on public schools as though emanating from an uncapped well (water or oil — choose your own visual).

What’s more, the courts have ruled that every student in Kansas receive an ‘equal educational opportunity.’ Lawmakers answer by providing each school district with the same per-student pot of money. Play this out to its logical conclusion: Blowing the cap will mean higher property taxes and higher state expenditures to meet the court edict.

Kansans have long supported quality public schools. And the mix of income, sales and property taxes is working. If new monies are needed, they should come from sales, income taxes and gaming revenues to reduce the reliance on the property tax — state or local.

At the very least, any further increase in locally-levied property taxes should come only with approval by voters in the school district.

Most Kansans favor reduction of the state property tax levy that is now part of the school finance law. Kansans have a long history of being wary of over-reliance on property taxes, regardless of the level of government that levies the tax.

A property tax is a property tax.

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Earlier this month, President Obama made some comments that caused a firestorm in the media. Some commentators said his statements made sense, while others were outraged.

On April 2, the President stated, “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically-elected Congress.” He added that such a move would be a good example of the lack of judicial restraint that conservatives have exclaimed for years.

The next day, in response to a question from a reporter, the President stated, “Well, first of all, let me be very specific. We have not seen a Court overturn a law that was passed by Congress on an economic issue, like health care, that I think most people would clearly consider commerce — a law like that has not been overturned as least since Lochner. Right? So we’re going back to the ’30s, pre-New Deal.”

Were the President’s comments appropriate? Should a sitting President try to influence the U.S. Supreme Court on this landmark type of decision? On any type of decision?

Some quick facts about the President’s statements:

1. The national health care law passed the U.S. House by a vote of 219 to 212. Is a 7 vote margin a “strong majority?”

2. Our founding fathers felt pretty strongly about the separation of powers. Each branch of government — executive, legislative and judicial — has separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility. Their idea was to limit power of any individual branch.

Surely, the President understands this. The man taught Constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004.

Don’t get me wrong, conservatives have complained vigorously for years about what they see as a lack of judicial restraint and judicial “activism.”

I’m not debating the pros and cons of the health care law or how judges should be selected. I just think the President’s comments were aimed at influencing the Court’s eventual decision, which steps over the line drawn by the founding fathers in creating the separation of powers.

Not to sound to lawyerly (occupational hazard) but here’s the task facing the Supreme Court: They must presume the health care law is Constitutional. Then they must interpret how the law interacts with the U.S. Constitution — without undue interference from any other branch of government.

The President should respect the founding fathers’ decision to separate powers given to the people, for the people, of the people.

At least that’s one lawyer’s opinion.

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We generally think of acne as a dermatological problem that affects the face, but acne can affect the entire body. The chest, back, and arms are especially susceptible to acne, but did you know that the tongue can be affected by pimples as well? Have you ever bitten your tongue and had a painful blister rise? You probably didn’t associate it with the acne on your face, but the two have more in common than you think. Bumps on the tongue can be very painful and hinder eating, talking, and tasting.

So how does one get bumps on the tongue?

These bumps commonly arise from trauma. They are like a bruise and are very painful. They can be the result of eating rough foods like potato chips or pretzels or piercings. They can also result from biting the toing accidently or eating foods that are too hot for consumption. The problem is that once you injure the inside of your mouth it swells and you will likely bump or bite the wound which will make it more difficult to heal. There are other causes for painful tongue acne. The taste buds can swell do to an over production of saliva. This condition is harmless, and the swelling is usually painless.

The skin of the tongue can also become blocked just like the skin of the face. For this reason it is imperative to clean the tongue after meals. This causes painful blemishes to appear on the tongue and they may take a few days to heal. Viral infections can also cause different types of bumps. Thrush or a yeast infection of the mouth causes a white rash.

How can you treat bumps or abrasions on the tongue? It is important to keep good hygiene. You must brush twice daily and use a good antibacterial mouthwash. It is important to use antibacterial mouthwash because while some mouthwashes may take care of bad breath; they won’t kill germs that can cause problems with the mouth. You can also use a tongue scraper People often forget that the tongue needs to be cleansed thoroughly to care for oral hygiene. You need to remember to floss. It is also important to treat the underlying causes of pimples on the tongue. While some causes may be easily treatable. Bumps on the tongue can be a sign of more serious problems. So if your tongue bumps occur with a fever or are discolored it is important to see a dentist or a doctor.

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New furniture doesn’t come cheap —at least if you’re looking for high quality stuff. Whether you’re upgrading a piece of furniture for your new house or replacing essential items, it can be costly.

However, there are many ways to reduce the cost of building your idea house. Looking back on my own experience, following are some tricks for any first-time home buyer.

Shopping Online
Some things you can do in-house to save money. The easier way you start saving money is shopping online furniture store that allows you to sort and search quickly without leaving your sofa. There are a variety of different websites, include Ikea, Amazon, Macy’s and Overstock often provide bigger sales and the best prices to save end up in your pocket.

Building Yourself
Can you save money by building your own furniture? First-time house buyers always ask this question. You can save money, but not too much. The only problem is the quality of the furniture you care about. If you like me, you don’t have $500 to spend on a coffee table, then making your own table by investing in a best miter saw that makes cutting wood a lot faster and a good Kreg Jig kit that is used for drilling small holes.

*Garage Sales *
A friend told me recently that he bought a really nice room table from garage sales. The trick here is using your imagination when you’re looking for this kind of furniture. You need to think how to use them in your house. You still need some tools to refurbishing these furniture. Design, measure, cut, and attach, that’s it.

Refurbish what you have
If you have enough furniture to fill your new house, but you’re not very satisfied the style and design. A little do-it-yourself skill and creative ideas can build some modern and unique stuff. For example, add fresh coat of paint on the used furniture and paint the walls with different color can save end up in your pocket.

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