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 VOL. 4, ISSUE 9 - SEPTEMBER  2011

In This Issue

Happy 75th Birthday, Consumer Reports magazine!

Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card

Eco-friendly Bee Removal

Consumer Feedback: Guy's Fencing

New Diamond Certified

Savvy Tips of the Month

Your Health Records in the Digital Age

Sleep and Pillow Talk with an Expert

Sewer Line Repairs Without Trenches

Diamond Certified Quick Links






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Dear Savvy Consumer:

In one my favorite photos shown here, Consumers Union is testing permanents. You can find more vintage photographs and the history of Consumers Union here.
Copyright © Consumers Union of U.S., Inc., 1997

Happy birthday to Consumer Reports, and thank you very much—you’ve helped me time and again over the years when I’ve had to make major purchases…and minor ones, too! I can count on you to identify top-rated products and services, best buys, and safety hazards. Most recently, I checked your ratings for a new washing machine, and by using your consumer-friendly website, I was able to easily pick a make and model, find a fair price, and make the purchase with confidence.

Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, has tested more than 150,000 products during the past 75 years. Vacuum cleaners were among the first appliances rated (a few models caused electrical shocks). In 1938, Consumers Union tested permanents, which had “almost become a national pastime.” This is one of my favorite photos. Check out other vintage testing photos from the archives.

More celebrations and exhibitions in honor of this milestone moment will be held at the end of October in New York City’s Grand Central Station. I’ll be attending, having served on the national Board of Directors for 24 years.

James Guest, the President of Consumers Union, explains that in the early years, the founders and testers had very little money. However, they possessed “a different kind of currency: trust and credibility. Products were tested on a level playing field, and the resulting ratings were insulated from bias and favoritism because Consumers Union refused advertising and free samples.

“We didn’t hesitate to tell the truth about products and services or the companies that made or sold them,” continues Mr. Guest. “Our goal was to change the marketplace into one that treated consumers fairly and offered them safe, affordable, high-quality products and services. Consumers Union was born with a rebel spirit and the boldness to do our work unintimidated by outside pressures. Our sole constituency was, and still is, the consumer.”

My birthday wish for Consumers Union is this: Keep calling them as you see them! The marketplace works best when we consumers have all the facts.

Chris Bjorklund signature
Chris Bjorklund
The Savvy Consumer

Chris Bjorklund
Diamond Certified Preferred Consumer Card
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Eco-friendly Bee Removal
You’ve probably heard that honey bee colonies have been in decline for the past few years. This is bad news, and not just for the bees, since they’re the primary pollinators of many of our food crops. In other words, honey bees are beneficial insects.
Bee Keeper

Still, as much as honey bees do for us, you probably don’t want a swarm of them setting up a colony in or near your home. If that happens, you may be able to get expert help from a local beekeeper, who can capture or “extract” the bees without harming them.

The Sonoma County Beekeepers’ Association offers instructions for dealing with a honey bee swarm on your property. At the top of their list: Don’t spray the bees with anything, especially pesticide. Once you do that, beekeepers can’t use them. And before calling a beekeeper, check the photo gallery to make sure you’re dealing with honey bees. For other types of bees and wasps, you may have to contact a pest control professional rather than a beekeeper., one of many beekeepers who provide free swarm removal services in Sonoma County, lists contact information for bee-friendly removal services in other California counties at

Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Mr. Jim Stein
Chief Executive Officer
American Ratings Corporation
Diamond Certified Organization
504 Redwood Blvd. Suite 210
Novato, CA 94947

Dear Mr. Stein:

I recently utilized the services of Guy’s Fencing (Certification Number 1203). Before I comment on Guy’s Fencing, I would like to commend you for the service you perform by holding businesses to such a high standard in order to qualify for this award. In the future, I would not hesitate to seek businesses listed in the Diamond Certified Directory.

Guy’s Fencing exemplifies the motto of the Diamond Certified Award: Quality, Satisfaction and Trust.

The entire experience working with Guy’s Fencing was excellent. The end product was exceptional. I have never considered fencing as a work of art until my experience with Guy’s Fencing.

I would not hesitate to recommend Guy’s Fencing to my family, friends or neighbors.

Sincerely (A Very Satisfied Customer),
Santa Rosa, CA

Diamond Certified ® Only companies rated Highest in Quality earn Diamond Certified

Companies Recently Earning Diamond Certified

Alameda COUNTY
John M. Jameson Construction, Inc.,
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American Ratings Corporation - Diamond Certified • 504 Redwood Blvd. • Suite 210 Novato, California 94947 • (877) 312-1307
©2011 American Ratings Corporation  

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