The High Deserts Social Network Blog…

Government shutdown threatens small businesses

Reliance on contracts, fewer reserves put firms at risk


A potential government shutdown has been delayed until mid-March, but that doesn’t mean that government contractors — particularly small businesses — have stopped preparing for the possibility that their biggest customer will close up shop.

While most government contractors will be affected in some way by a government shutdown, it’s thought that small businesses will feel the greatest impact because many rely on the government for all of their annual revenue and have less cash flow and fewer resources.

Several small-business contractors that generate the majority of their revenue from government work are coming up with plans for how to deal with the potential loss of revenue, as well as what to do with scores of employees who can’t do the work they were hired for.

“How do we recover the loss of revenue?” asked Tony Jimenez, president and CEO of MicroTech, a company based in Vienna, Va., that generates 80 percent of its revenue from government contracts. “It’s a constant situation of Democrats and Republicans trying to teach each other a lesson, and government contractors are suffering.”

Small businesses have little to go on in terms of knowing whether and for how long the government will stop working. But they do know that nonessential contracts will stop and the work they do that requires supervision by a government employee will also stop if that government employee has been furloughed.

Ideally, many say they’d like to keep employees on the payroll but can’t do it if the funds aren’t there. So, do the contractor’s employees get furloughed? Are they forced to take their paid vacation time? Are there other projects for them to work on?

One of the biggest fears small businesses face is that good employees, forced to take vacations or get furloughed, might decide to leave.

“If we lose employees, then it’s very hard to bring them back and go through the security clearance process again,” said Jay Challa, chairman and CEO of Ace Info Solutions Inc., based in Reston, Va.

Challa said his firm, which has about 20 government projects active right now, will consider letting employees continue working at government sites that don’t require a government supervisor.

Another option is to allow the employees to take on nongovernment work, such as research projects and proposal writing. Challa said the company will also use the time to make sure employees are caught up on certifications. These measures will allow employees to still be paid and not have to use up any vacation time.

“We will have to use overhead dollars for those tasks,” Challa said. “But we just have to make sure we give the employees enough opportunities to continue.”

If employees aren’t able to work on other company projects, they will be asked to take paid time off, Challa said.

List Innovative Solutions, an IT provider to the federal government based in Herndon, Va., gets all of its revenue from government contracts. So the small firm is seeking legal advice to better understand the human resources laws and how it can deal with its hourly and salaried employees.

The company’s preference is for employees to take their paid vacation time rather than leave without pay. But a furlough is not completely out of the question for List and other small businesses.

“A small business can’t carry a whole lot of it,” said Katie Sleep, president and CEO of List. “We’re trying to keep going and trying not to go into panic mode because it could be in vain. I hope they can work it out to get us through the budget year.”

Aronson LLC, an accounting and consulting firm in Rockville, Md., says the impending government shutdown has been one of its most active blog topics on the firm’s website. Aronson has also been busy consulting with clients on how to handle a government shutdown.

“Treat it as a project,” said Thomas Marcinko, principal consultant with Aronson. “Assign somebody to be in charge or responsible for preparing your firm for a shutdown.”

His other advice includes looking at each contract and evaluating how each one will be affected, as well as telling small businesses to alert their banks about late payments from their clients, document any costs related to the shutdown and communicate with all the people who are affected, including suppliers.

“The shutdown is very complicated and impacts different contracts differently,” Marcinko said. “Handling it well will help a great deal. Not handling it well is close to fatal.”

John Clancey Don Rhea


March 21, 2011 Posted by | 8(a), sba, SDB, SDVOSB, Small Business Administration, small business contractor | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Time….

More than ever, pets are part of the family. We spend as much time with our four legged family members as we do with the humans we live with.
Would you like to be rewarded for spending time with your dog?
Smith Veterinary Hospital would like to reward you for attending classes with High Desert Obedience.

1. Complete the puppy or novice obedience class.
2. Bring in your certificate of completion.
3. Receive $35.00 credit on your account good toward any service provided at Smith Veterinary Hospital.
4. Offer is limited to 2 pets per household.
5. Offer is not eligible on products.
6. Offer expires: 60 days from completion of class.


March 21, 2011 Posted by | av full service veterinary, av pet care, av pet wellness, av veterinary hospital, High Desert Obedience | , , , , | Leave a comment

Join our Neighborhood


Join Positively Old today to stay regularly updated on new content and interact with others in our community. 



Come join, the web site that challenges our expectations of people over 50. We feature interviews with people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond who are still in the prime of their lives and actively pursuing their next big adventure or accomplishment. In addition, our weekly blog, written by site founder, Karen Callahan, addresses some of the inspiring details and techniques shared by our aging role models, as well as the issues and trends currently impacting boomers and beyond.

To learn about my inspiration for this site, take a gander at my Nov. 5, 2010, blog, How a Birthday Inspired Me to Create This Site.

You can also connect with me on these social networking platforms:






March 21, 2011 Posted by | Healthy Aging, over 50, senior citizens, Successful Aging | , , , , | Leave a comment

Creating a Human Bridge From The AV to Japan

Chasing the Why with Andrew Pari, LCSW On 1380am Mondays

I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has practiced in and around Southern California for over twenty years. I’m very excited to have the A.V.’s only psychotherapy radio show whose purpose is to help and support my community. 

The title of the show, Chasing the Why, refers to the journey all of us have to find and create meaning in our lives.

From broken-hearted teens to emergency responses with celebrities, I have provided psychotherapy in a caring and supportive way to thousands of people. Now I’m thrilled to be here in the Antelope Valley responding to the calls and needs of the community.

Are you who you set out to be? Understand the choices you’ve made in relationships, work, friends, fun and life.

Well, the show didn’t go exactly as planned. The fun of juggling multiple time zones and tech in other countries. Two of my interviews were trying to call the studio an hour before the show started thinking that’s when they were on.  I had to wing the first 1/2 hour based on the info they had already given and prior interviews I had done.  It smoothed out after that, except for the continual dropped connection on my side.  Phone service from a hotel in Indonesia can be a tricky thing.

Thanks those of you who gave feedback, I’m always open to your thoughts. I’ll be rebroadcasting first Japan crisis show next Monday. If you didn’t hear, tune in, it was very informative with a good discussion on crisis response work and how different it is in the case of Japan right now.  On April 11th I’ll be back on home ground for new shows.  I plan to have some of the folks who didn’t make it on in the next few weeks, plus some fascinating people I met in Indonesia doing addiction recovery work out here.

Raining very hard here in Bali now. Just came in from a 4-hr walk around Sanur, last hour in the rain. Drenched and happy. Going to see a friend in the hospital. Sidenote: if I ever get really sick, I want my medical care in Indonesia; surprisingly good.


Good morning all.  Reporting on 4 hours sleep.  Trying to catch up to various organizations around the world given the time difference can be a bear or, given that I’m now in Bali, a fighting monkey.

Writing from Ubud in the midst of the monkey forest though I’ve yet to see any monkeys.  I got excited yesterday when I thought I saw one jumping into a tree and back down and up another tree, until one of my traveling companions pointed out that, perhaps I should put on my glasses, as I was calling him to look at one of the thousands of feral cats that populate the island.

Taking a break of sorts to tour through the jungles around Bali and onto an active volcano.  I’ll be back later in the day, while you’re all sleeping, to gather our things and move to another part of the island where I’ll begin setting up for the show.  Broadcasting at 2 a.m. my time for the 11 a.m. show back home.

Still have multiple people to connect with who have either just gotten back from or are still working with victims in Japan.  Wish me luck as I continue to bridge the distance between the people of Japan and my listeners and friends back home.



I flew into Jakarta, Indonesia late last night.  Up til 3am…again.  Visiting with the friend of a friend who runs a group of drug and alcohol rehab centers here.  Began them 15 years ago while also being one of the first in this country to address the dawning AIDS crisis, when the government here refused to listen to him.

Beautiful country, tremendous poverty and lots of good works being done.

I’m working on putting together the next broadcast on helping organizations outside of Red Cross that are working for the people in Japan while the crisis there continues.  Right now, I don’t know if I’ll be broadcasting from here or Bali.  It’s been an exciting ride!

If any of you are affiliated with or know someone who would be a good contact, let me know.

Signing off from somewhere in Jakarta,


03.21.2011 Notes Before the Live Radio Broadcast

This is Andrew Pari, LCSW, of Chasing the Why, doing a remote broadcast of the show to bring the AV together with what is happening in Japan.  Given my own background in disaster response together with hosting a radio show, it is an opportunity for me to create a human bridge from the AV to Japan.

The level of devastation is hard to put into words.  Imagine the AV being completely leveled and 1/2 the people missing, likely dead, hospitals without power to provide basic services.  I’ll try to have the Red Cross people talk to that.

And then beyond the AV, just knowing that the same thing is happening throughout all of CA…and there’s no neighboring states to respond.

My guests are Monica Diaz, Red Cross Communications, discussing the physical impact in Japan along with a psychologist on their team discussing the psychosocial impact. I’m also having on Joanne Caye, co-author of When Their World Falls Apart, a book on disaster response and its effects on families and children.

A number of people have expressed concern about my safety.  I’ll mention it on the show, but I am very safe; hundreds of miles from the affected areas. My concern is more on the brave men and women or are literally a few feet from the Fukushima.

Dai-ichi nuclear plant who are desperately pumping water to cool it down. Those people will likely die to save their people from a potential nuclear meltdown.

March 21, 2011 Posted by | Andrew Pari, Japan earthquake, psychotherapy radio show | , , | 2 Comments

Vintage Clothing

I love old clothes. I fanatically love vintage clothes. Some of my vintage clothes were new when I bought them. Ha!

One of my favorite pastimes (when I have time !) is going to the stores on Melrose, such as American Vintage and Jet Rag on La Brea. I see so many things that I used to wear and wish I’d kept. Other things I see, I used to have and just plain wore them out and turned ’em into rags.

Another fave place of mine is the Goodwill in Santa Barbara on the corner of Carillo and Bath St. I have found many cool things there. What the rich folks give away is astounding. I’ve found some fantastic things in the Salvation Army in Chico. They have a seperate store dedicated to “Elite Repeat”; some great finds in there!  I could list many more places I’ve been to in my travels up and down the whole state . I check them all out, in the time I have, at one time or another. Many terrific places in Oregon too.

Now we have one in Lancaster ! On the BLVD ! Vintage Styles Now, it’s called. This past Saturday (Mar.12th) I went to their booth at the Almond Blossom Festival to check out their merchandise. From the small sampling they had there, I was very pleased. I bought a funky man’s jacket that I love. It’s bright, colorful, and I love the pockets on it. And it’s for me, not my husband ! Paired with a t-shirt and jeans, I love how it looks. Can hardly wait to check out what else they will have. And I can do it right here in Lancaster, right down the street from my business

Be sure to check them out. You will find something you love too.

Graphic Experience 661.945.1718 624 W. Lancaster BLVD

March 21, 2011 Posted by | av best framing, Lancaster blvd, vintage clothing | , , , , | Leave a comment

The importance of the hand written note

In this day of the social media revolution, cell phone texting, etc., the hand written note is rapidly becoming obsolete. Yet, how many of us still really appreciate getting that special card with a special personalized note written in it?

I know I do.

How many of us still have those special notes tucked away in a drawer to be taken out and looked at again and again ?

I know I do.

I really treasure the ones that are from people that are no longer on this earth and am really glad that I have saved some kind of communication from them, to see their handwriting again. It makes me “see” their hands and faces again.

I personally regret not saving more of the things that my mother wrote. I have plenty of things that my father wrote and I’m glad I still have those as both of my parents are long gone. I have a sister that has passed and I printed out her last e-mails to me and have kept them but it’s NOT THE SAME! I wish I had more things with her writing on it.

Anyways, the moral of my story is: in this age of rapid communication, please don’t forget to take the time to do something the old-fashioned way, WRITE a card or letter to someone you love. They WILL cherish it !!!


Graphic Experience 661.945.1718 624 W. Lancaster BLVD



March 21, 2011 Posted by | av best framing, av local art, cards, graphic experience, hand-written notes | , , , , | Leave a comment

Donating Blood !

On my soapbox again! If it’s not about some great musician, art, or cleaning up the desert, it’s going to be about something VERY IMPORTANT -giving blood !! There is ALWAYS a critical shortage of blood. Only about 15% of the population give blood, even less than that give REGULARLY. If you are able, please do it. I donate at the Antelope Valley Hospital at their blood donor center every 56 days. It is a lovely facility with the nicest people that run it. The nurses are all fabulous and treat everyone with the utmost kindness. The benefit of giving at A.V. Hospital is that the blood stays here in the Antelope Valley and is used to treat local citizens first. I personally have given over 12 gallons of blood, one pint at a time.

Blood cannot be manufactured, only drawn out of people that are willing to give it. Then, it is processed and filtered and all those other things they do before it is used to SAVE LIVES. You would be surprised at the medications that you can be taking and still give blood, so don’t let the thinking of ” Well, I take this and that so I can’t give blood” stop you ! A simple phone call to the center (949-5622) and they will tell you if you are able. Of course, there are restrictions and you can find out those too. They are open Tues & Thurs. 9 am to 6 pm, Wed 7 am to 4pm, 1st and 3rd Sat of every month 8 am to 1 pm.
The whole process takes about an hour out of your busy day. Think of all the people you can help in this simple way.


Graphic Experience 661.945.1718 624 W. Lancaster BLVD

March 21, 2011 Posted by | AV Hospital, Blood Donations, blood donor, chris calaba, donating blood, saving lives | , , , , , | Leave a comment