Sure signs of spring in the desert: balmy weather, nesting birds, budding mesquite trees, and – be warned…
Rattlesnakes—They’re out – and they’re biting.
It’s a good time, to brush up on rattlesnake behavior, safety strategies, and what to do if you suffer a bite.
Randy Babb, a biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department, along with other reference sources, provides some guidance when encountering a rattlesnake.
Southern Arizona is home to nine or 10 species of rattlesnakes, depending on how one defines the region.
It’s possible to encounter one on any warm day of the year even though they’re usually inactive during the winter months.
When rattlers come out of their dens in the spring, they sometimes slither many miles to their summering grounds.
Their peak daytime activity comes in the warm months of spring and in September and October. They’re often out at night in the hot summer season.
About those Bites
Western diamond rattlesnakes, a large species that can deliver a big dose of venom, account for most of the bites in Southern Arizona.
Between 150 and 250 snakebites are reported to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center in a typical year. Experts estimate the actual number of snake bites is closer to 350.
Only a very small percentage of victims die as a result of bites. In a recent 10-year period, poison centers reported 1,912 bites leading to only four deaths. The most recent confirmed snakebite death in Arizona was in 2007.
Prompt treatment at a medical facility with antivenin is the main reason for the high survival rate. Another is that an estimated 10 percent or more of rattler strikes are “dry bites,” which deliver no venom.
Rattlesnakes sometimes coil and rattle before striking – but not always. People have been bitten by snakes that didn’t sound a rattling warning.
A “golden rule” for avoiding snake bites is to watch where you put your hands and feet.
Simply put: Don’t mess with snakes. More than half the bites reported to the Poison and Drug Information Center involved people who saw a snake, recognized the danger, and still chose to approach the snake.
Don’t even mess with a dead or decapitated snake. The head can still deliver a venomous bite minutes after death by a sort of reflex reaction.
If you see a snake, step back slowly and move a safe distance away.
If you are bitten, go immediately to a medical facility. Don’t use a tourniquet or make incisions around the bite because you’re likely to do more harm than good. Don’t try to capture or kill the snake for identification. It’s dangerous and not necessary because all rattler bites are treated with the same antivenin.
Some fire departments will remove rattlers from a house or confined yard. Call the Golder Ranch Fire Department (520) 818-1017, (or 911 in case of an emergency) for details on snake-removal services.
Poison Control Information:
Call 1-800-222-1222 anytime for information on snakebites. The line is operated by the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.
Update to the Alliance Bank Fee Structure for Paying your HOA Dues
From Cadden Community Management to all Eagles Bluff HOA Homeowners
2024 Alliance Fees Update
We’d like to ensure everyone is aware of changes in fees implemented by Alliance Bank. We apologize that notice was not sent in advance of the changes going into effect.
On January 1, 2024, a $0.25 processing fee was implemented for recurring payments facilitated through the Alliance Bank payment portal. The $0.25 fee takes effect when you log in to your Alliance/ Cadden Connect payment portal and acknowledge this update when prompted.
The breakdown of processing fees for payments made through the Alliance portal are as follows:
$0.25 for recurring eChecks,
$2.00 for a one-time eCheck,
3.5% for a credit card, or
$5.00 for a debit card.
While this is a valued service and the most efficient way to deposit funds directly into the Association’s operating account. There are other methods where a fee is not applied, such as
Mailing your payment to the following Las Vegas address or
Setting up online bill payment through your own financial institution using the following Las Vegas address:
Canada Hills Village 14 c/o Cadden Community Management PO Box 94737 Las Vegas, NV 89193-4737
Summary The Board of Directors at the November 7th meeting approved a 5.8% increase in the annual association membership assessment for 2024. The 2024 assessment is $330 dollars per household, that’s a quarterly payment of $82.50. This is an increase from the 2023 assessment by $4.50/quarter.
Why is the Increase Necessary? The increase is necessary to address inflationary increases in goods and services, as well as to provide increased funding to the Capital Reserve Fund.
Where does the money go? Our three greatest expenses are the Management Fee (32%), Reserve Funding (24%), and the Landscaping costs (22%), respectively. Three-quarters of our annual dues are allocated to managing the business of the HOA and landscaping services for the common areas; the last quarter goes to the Reserve Fund. Road maintenance is scheduled for 2027, and the schedule of required funds for this capital expense has not been keeping pace with inflation.
Call for Board Candidates The Board of Directors is seeking candidates for two Board seats that will be “open” in 2024. The 3-year terms for Derald Owens and Hugh Mosher are ending and the Board thanks both of them for their service to our community.
The time requirements for being a Director are minimal, yet the work is important. We typically meet quarterly or as needed.
Derald and Hugh have agreed to seek reelection for another 3-year term, yet we welcome new members willing to consider serving on the Board. If any HOA member wishes to volunteer their time and talents by running for a Board seat, please contact our HOA Manager or any Board member.
An election will be held, with ballots mailed to Association Member households in early January 2024, as part of our Annual Meeting activities.
The deadline for having your name on the ballot in time for the Annual Meeting packet printing is December 15. After that date, anyone wishing to run for a seat on the Board will have to run as a “write-in” candidate.
How Are Association Officers Elected? As a reminder, the upcoming election is only for a seat on the Board. According to our By-Laws, Officers of the Association are elected or appointed by the Board for a one-year appointment, after the annual meeting.
With two exceptions (Pres. and V.P.), an Association Officer need not be a member of the Board. The offices of Treasurer and Secretary can be held by any Association Member.
We Need Other Volunteers Too We can always use help with various committees, (Landscaping, Design Review, and Enforcement). We could use your time and talent to help our (and your) HOA.
If any HOA member wishes to volunteer their time and talent as an Association Officer or a committee member contact our HOA Manager or any Board member.
The Cañada Hills Community Association (CHCA aka the Master Association) has updated their guidance and approval process for exterior modifications. These changes are effective immediately. The link below details that process.
As a reminder, modifications to the exterior property, with a few exceptions, must be approved by both the Eagles Bluff Design Review Committee AND the CHCA DRC. To streamline this approval process, Eagles Bluff follows the CHCA guidance, unless the proposed modification uniquely impacts negatively on our neighbors. Refer to the following document to familiarize yourself with our approval process.
The primary responsibility of the Design Review Committee (formerly known as the (Architectural Review Committee and the Architectural Control Committee ) is to advise and assist the Board of Directors in preserving the harmonious architectural and appearance of Eagles Bluff; and in protecting the values of property within our community.
The Eagles Bluff Declaration of Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs) Article VIII, requires that all improvements, changes and alterations which change the exterior appearance of any property within Eagles Bluff, Cañada Hills Village 14 must be reviewed and approved by the ‘Architectural Control Committee’. The Eagles Bluff committee was renamed the ‘Design Review Committee’ (DRC), to follow the same naming convention that is used by the Canada Hills Community Association’s Design Review Committee. The CHCA DRC has overall responsibility for reviewing and approving exterior changes to homeowner’s property throughout the twenty-one Villages of Cañada Hills.
Here in Southern Arizona, unlike in the North, “Winter” is usually spelled with a lower-case “w”; yet we can still experience sub-freezing nights. Desert home plumbing systems are usually not built to withstand extremely cold nights; so some precautions are necessary to avoid costly damage to your home. Here are ten helpful tips to get your home ready. – T.Fedoruk
You’ll get a full season’s worth of savings, comfort and peace of mind by taking a few steps now to get your home ready for cold weather.
By Christopher Solomon, MSN
So you’ve pulled your sweaters out of mothballs and found your mittens at the bottom of the coat closet. But what about your house? Is it prepared for the cold months ahead? You’ll be a lot less comfortable in the coming months if you haven’t girded Home Sweet Home for Old Man Winter.
With the help of several experts, we’ve boiled down your autumn to-do list to 10 easy tips:
Clean those gutters Once the leaves fall, remove them and other debris, especially those annoying beans, from your home’s gutters — by hand, by scraper or spatula, and finally by a good hose rinse — so that winter’s rain and that rare melting snow can drain. As you’re hosing out your gutters, look for leaks and misaligned pipes. Also, make sure the downspouts are carrying water away from the house’s foundation, where it could cause flooding or other water damage.
Block those leaks One of the best ways to winterize your home is to simply block obvious leaks around your house, both inside and out, experts say. The average American home has leaks that amount to a nine-square-foot hole in the wall, according to EarthWorks Group.
Inside First, find the leaks: On a breezy day, walk around inside holding a lit incense stick to the most common drafty areas: recessed lighting, window and door frames, electrical outlets. Then, buy door sweeps to close spaces under exterior doors, and caulk or apply tacky rope caulk to those drafty spots, says Danny Lipford, host of the nationally syndicated radio show “Today’s Homeowner.” Outlet gaskets can easily be installed in electrical outlets that share a home’s outer walls, where cold air often enters.
Outside Seal leaks with weather-resistant caulk. For brick and stucco areas, use masonry sealer, which will better stand up to freezing and thawing. “Even if it’s a small crack, it’s worth sealing up,” Lipford says. “It also discourages any insects from entering your home.”
Insulate yourself “Another thing that does cost a little money — but boy, you do get the money back quick — is adding insulation to the existing insulation in the attic,” says Lipford. “Regardless of the climate conditions you live in, in the (U.S.) you need a minimum of 12 inches of insulation in your attic.” Don’t clutter your brain with R-values or measuring tape, though. Here’s Lipford’s rule of thumb on whether you need to add insulation: “If you go into the attic and you can see the ceiling joists you know you don’t have enough, because a ceiling joist is at most 10 or 11 inches.” A related tip: If you’re layering insulation atop other insulation, don’t use the kind that has “kraft face” finish (i.e., a paper backing). It acts as a vapor barrier, Lipford explains, and therefore can cause moisture problems in the insulation.
Check the furnace First, turn your furnace on now, to make sure it’s even working, before the coldest weather descends. A strong, odd, short-lasting smell is natural when firing up the furnace in the autumn; simply open windows to dissipate it. But if the smell lasts a long time, shut down the furnace and call a HVAC professional to check your furnace. It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. Costs will often run about $100-$125. An inspector should do the following, among other things:
Make sure that the thermostat and pilot light are working properly.
Make sure that the fuel pipe entering your furnace doesn’t have a leak.
Check the heat exchanger for cracks — a crack can send carbon monoxide into the home.
Change the filter.
Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly (check them monthly). A dirty filter impedes air flow, reduces efficiency and could even cause a fire in an extreme case. Toss out the dirty fiberglass filters; reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed.
Get your ducts in a row According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a home with central heating can lose up to 60% of its heated air before that air reaches the vents if ductwork is not well connected and insulated, or if it must travel through unheated spaces. That’s a huge amount of wasted money, not to mention a chilly house. (Check out this audit tool for other ideas on how to save on your energy bills this winter.) Ducts aren’t always easy to see, but you can often find them exposed in the attic, the basement and in crawlspaces. Repair places where pipes are pinched, which impedes flow of heated air to the house, and fix gaps with a metal-backed tape (duct tape actually doesn’t stand up to the job over time). Ducts also should be vacuumed once every few years, to clean out the abundant dust, animal hair and other gunk that can gather in them and cause respiratory problems.
Face your windows According to the U.S. Department of Energy, an average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through air leaks around windows and doors. Old, leaky, double-pane windows are a major source of heat (and money) loss. If your windows are leaky or drafty, they need to be updated to a more efficient window. New, efficient windows will also save to cooling costs when summer comes back around. Of course, new windows are pricey. Budget to replace them a few at a time, and in the meantime, buy a window insulator kit, Lipford recommends. Basically, the kit is plastic sheeting that’s affixed to a windows interior with double-stick tape. A hair dryer is then used to shrink-wrap the sheeting onto the window. (It can be removed in the spring.) “It’s temporary and it’s not pretty, but it’s inexpensive (about $4 a window) and it’s extremely effective,” says Lipford.
What about the chimney?
Natural Gas Fireplaces If you’re using a clean-burning natural gas fireplace, annual chimney sweeping is not required. You should however, check to see that the flue damper and chimney are functional and unobstructed. To keep out cold air, gas fireplaces should have glass doors installed, and keep them closed when the fireplace isn’t in use.
Word Burning Fireplaces Ideally, spring is the time to think about your chimney, because “chimney sweeps are going crazy right now, as you might have guessed,” says Ashley Eldridge, former director of education for the Chimney Safety Institute of America. That said, don’t put off your chimney needs before using your fireplace, Eldridge advises. ” A common myth is that chimney needs to be swept every year,” says Eldridge. Not true. But a chimney should at least be inspected before use each year, he adds.” I’ve seen tennis balls and ducks in chimneys,” he says. Ask for a Level 1 inspection, in which the professional examines the readily accessible portions of the chimney, Eldridge says. “Most certified chimney sweeps include a Level 1 service with a sweep,” he adds.
Wood Burning Stoves Woodstoves are a different beast, however, cautions Eldridge. They should be swept more than once a year. A general rule of thumb is that a cleaning should be performed for every ¼ inch of creosote, “anywhere that it’s found.” Why? “If it’s ash, then it’s primarily lye — the same stuff that was once used to make soap, and it’s very acidic.” It can cause mortar and the metal damper to rot, Eldridge says. Another tip: Buy a protective cap for your chimney, with a screen, advises Eldridge. “It’s probably the single easiest protection” because it keeps out foreign objects (birds, tennis balls) as well as rain that can mix with the ash and eat away at the fireplace’s walls. He advises buying based on durability, not for its decorativeness.
One other reminder To keep out cold air, fireplace owners should keep their chimney’s damper closed when the fireplace isn’t in use. And for the same reason, woodstove owners should have glass doors on their stoves, and keep them closed when the stove isn’t in use. Check out the CSIA’S Web site for a list of certified chimneysweeps in your area.
Reverse that fan Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of doing. By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. Here’s how you know the fan is ready forwinter: look up, the blades should be turning clockwise.
Wrap those pipes
A burst pipe caused by a winter freeze is a nightmare. Prevent it before freezing nights hit. You can protect your exterior water spigots by simply purchasing little Styrofoam cups with a screw attachment for a few dollars that help insulate then from the cold.
Next, go looking for other exposed pipes that aren’t insulated, or that pass through unheated spaces; pipes that run along the outside of your house or in your garage. Wrap them with pre-molded foam rubber sleeves or fiberglass insulation, available at hardware stores. If you’re really worried about the pipe freezing, you can first wrap it with heating tape, which is basically an electrical cord that emits heat. If you have already wrapped your pipes in a previous year, check the condition of the insulation and heating tape, to make sure they are in good condition.
During those nights of extreme cold (<25 DegF), for added safety, (1) allow a faucet to drip very slowly, and (2) open the cabinet doors of vanities that are mounted along exterior facing walls. Moving water has less chance of freezing at these extreme lower temperatures, and with the cabinet doors open, cold air will not get trapped under the sink. A little water loss is better than a burst pipe in your ceiling or exterior wall. Just remember to close the faucet completely, once daylight and warmer temperatures return.
Finally, check those alarms
This is a great time to check the operation — and change the batteries — on your home’s smoke detectors. Detectors should be replaced every 10 years, say fire officials. Test them — older ones in particular — with a small bit of actual smoke, and not just by pressing the “test” button. Check to see that your fire extinguisher is still where it should be, and still works. Invest in a carbon monoxide detector; every home should have at least one. Prices range from $12 to $200, with many excellent detectors below $30.
Monsoon Season is officially over for this year; and while the rainfall amount was below average, it’s been enough to feed the weeds. Just a friendly reminder from the HOA, that weeds are not only unsightly, they lower the “curb appeal” of your home and our neighborhood.
Before the weeds on your property become an unsightly nuisance, the HOA Board is requesting you remove them at your earliest opportunity.