IRS and FTB Deadline for Filing 2018 Taxes for California Wildfire County Residents Extended to April 30, 2019

For tax return procrastinators out there. Did you know...that the IRS has automatically extended the deadline for 2018 tax returns and payments that would normally be due by April 15, to April 30 this year, as a result of the November 2018 Wildfires. This applies to anyone residing within Ventura, Los Angeles and Butte counties, regardless of if you were directly impacted by the fires.

More information on the IRS website at www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-relief-for-victims-of-november-8-wildfires-in-california.

The IRS automatically identifies taxpayers located in the covered disaster area and applies automatic filing and payment relief based on zip codes provided by FEMA. FEMA proclaimed a major disaster as a result of the Camp, Hill and Woolsey fires on November 12, 2018 in DR-4407. See www.fema.gov/disaster/4407 for more information.

The California Franchise Tax Board followed suit . They indicate at www.ftb.ca.gov/individuals/disaster.shtml how to notate your tax return to reflect the fire impacted you.

Free Dignified American Flag Disposal Offered to the Public at Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks

Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks – Griffin Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory has announced that it will provide free dignified U.S. flag disposal year-round to the community. Community members are encouraged to bring tattered and worn flags to the office at 5600 Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. The flags will be transported to the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Crematory and destroyed in an appropriate manner.

“The United States flag is a revered symbol of freedom and justice and should be treated with the highest respect,” said Tamara Eacker, general manager. “This extends to its eventual retirement and destruction, which is why we are offering this free service to our community.”

No other symbol captures the power and glory of our nation. It has flown as our national emblem in some form without interruption since 1777. The American flag remains a living piece of history and a source of pride and unity for all Americans. It embodies the very qualities that make our nation great: liberty, justice, freedom, love of country and national purpose.

The United States Flag Code formalizes and unifies the traditional ways in which Americans give respect to the flag. It states that, “The flag, when it is no longer a fitting emblem of display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” The code also provides information on the use and display of the flag. Visit this link to read the complete U.S. Flag Code.

For more information, contact Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks at (818) 889-0902.

About Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks

Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Mortuary and Crematory, FD 1344, in Westlake Village, Calif., is a proud Dignity Memorial provider. The Dignity Memorial network of more than 1,800 funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers is North America’s most trusted resource for funeral and memorialization services. Dignity Memorial providers offer an unmatched combination of products and locations serving families with care, integrity, respect and service excellence. For more information, call (818) 889-0902 or visit www.piercebrothersvalleyoaks.com.

Simi Valley Police Department Warns of Increase in Wallet Thefts

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The Simi Valley Police Department has noted an increase in the theft of wallets taken from woman’s purses while shopping at local grocery stores.

Shoppers are being distracted by a female and/or male suspect. While distracted, the suspects are reaching into women’s purses and removing their wallets. Credit and debit cards are the items needed for a shopping spree on your dime. The usual purchases are gift cards, which are untraceable. Retail businesses do not request IDs to validate credit card ownership due to their corporate policies.

The SVPD would like to remind you STAY ALERT! DON’T BECOME A VICTIM!

  • Never leave your purse or backpack unattended in the shopping cart.

  • Always zip your purse or backpack closed to prevent any thefts.

  • If a fellow shopper interrupts your shopping to ask a question or make small talk, be sure that that your purse is not unattended in the shopping cart.

  • Secure your property to the cart’s safety belt or use a caribiner to attach your purse or backpack. (SVPD is giving away FREE keychain caribiners from the front desk, located at 3901 Alamo Street, Simi Valley).

  • Report suspicious subjects to the stores management.

    Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and crime complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or Text “BUSTED” plus your message to CRIMES (274637).

VCCF Update on Conejo Valley Victims Fund, Fires and Scholarships

Some updates from the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF):

A good place to start for those seeking aid in recovery from local disasters is Ventura County 2-2-1. Visit THIS LINK for an intake form to start the process (THiS LINK for Spanish).

Note that VCCF continues to raise support for those impacted by the Thomas Fire as well. For those individuals in need of financial assistance in relationship to the Thomas Fire who are not currently working with a case manager, they should reach out to 2-1-1 so they can be assigned to the appropriate organization.

Conejo Valley Victims Fund

The final protocol for financial support for those impacted by the Borderline Bar & Grill shooting has been finalized at THIS LINK.

The deadline for submitting a claim is February 18, 2019. For more information, visit www.ConejoValleyVictimsFund.org.

Hill Fire/Woolsey Fire Sudden and Urgent Needs Effort Update

The VCCF has granted more than $1,125,321 since the start of the Hill and Woolsey fires, including:

  • $150,000 to the Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross (Red Cross) for an Emergency Response Vehicle

  • $115,000 to the Red Cross for Ventura County Recovery Coordination

  • $146,250 to the Red Cross for General Operations Support

  • $1,394 to Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship for Evacuation expenses for horses, additional staffing, fuel for trailers, stall cleaning   

  • $10,000 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley for expenses related to serving children during school closures, club clean-up, and counseling services              

  • $30,000 total to KCLU Public Radio (California Lutheran University) with $20,000 to replace damaged main transmitter and supporting equipment and an additional $10,000 for matching funds for the campaign to replace equipment, which they met.

  • $5,000 to 805 Help to support their immediate response to bring online access to our community during the fires

  • $15,000 to Senior Concerns for adult daycare, meals and support for our community’s seniors who were evacuated and need care

  • $5,350 to Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association to help cover costs associated with evacuations of those on hospice

  • $7,000 to the Camarillo Boys & Girls Club to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $9,500 to the Southeast Ventura YMCA to cover costs associated with emergency childcare needs due to school closures

  • $1,827 to Mark Watring Stables for the evacuation of 43 horses, hauling of feed and water supplies, and overtime

  • $25,000 to the Economic Development Collaborative for General Operations Support as they serve business owners impacted by the fires

  • $21,500 to Cal State Channel Islands Foundation to feed and house students evacuated by the fires

  • $500 to Cal Lutheran University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership to sponsor a free webinar entitled “Fundraising in Response to a Community Crisis”

  • $445,000 to the Southeast Ventura County YMCA to provide individual assistance to families affected by the fires.

  • $6,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Oxnard & Port Hueneme to help cover expenses related to serving children during school closures.

  • $5,000 to Fly-Hope Dream to cover flights for fire survivors.

  • $10,000 to Little Angels Project to cover costs of veterinary care for injured animals.

  • $16,000 to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center to provide lodging and basic needs for people and animals.

  • $100,000 to Salvation Army for case management and basic needs assistance.

Nonprofit organizations responding to the needs from the fires should complete and submit their brief application at www.vccf.org.  Organizations can submit more than one time as needs arise. 

VCCF Scholarship Program

The VCCF Annual Scholarship Program is still accepting applications for local students pursuing their career and educational goals. Over $1 million in assistance is available in 2019.  The application deadline is January 30th.  Apply at www.vccf.org

Update From Woolsey Fire Unified Commanders on November 15, 2018

Unified command is working with local utility companies to ensure that critical infrastructure is repaired and restored. Burned out power poles, burned and damaged homes, debris filled roadways, broken gas lines, and burned guardrails pose serious safety hazards to residents attempting to return to the area.

The safety of both residents and first responders is the primary focus of our mission. Fire crews and heavy equipment are busy working to mitigate safety concerns to ensure that residents can return home safely.

The Woolsey Fire is unlike any previous fire in the Santa Monica Mountains due to the vast destruction and devastation to homes and critical infrastructure. A reminder to residents returning to the area, please stay vigilant on current fire conditions, and heed to the warning of emergency personnel. Please continue to adhere to road closures and any evacuation zones. All residents returning to the area are asked to drive slowly and yield to emergency personnel. If at any time you feel unsafe, call 911.

Residents and business owners who sustained losses can begin applying for FEMA aid now. Register online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Safety information for those returning home can be found at: www.readyforwildfire.org/After-a-Wildfire.

Although the fire has not directly impacted the communities of Monte Nido and Topanga, the threat of a wildfire due to wind reversal after the Santa Ana’s subside remains a concern. The wind reversal will test our fire lines and validate our fire behavior prediction to declare the area safe. Unified Commanders are constantly evaluating the Malibu Fire area and while smoke is no longer visible we need to ensure infrastructure is safe for you to return.

Thousand Oaks Police Department Bicycle Safety Tips

The Thousand Oaks Police Department strives to promote traffic safety within the community. In an effort to recognize certain hazards while driving, the Traffic Bureau has started a monthly traffic awareness reminder program, addressing a traffic topic each month. While we focus on a specific topic each month, it’s always imperative to constantly strive to follow all rules of the road. The month of March is dedicated to “Bicycle Safety.”

Each year, hundreds of bicyclists in California are involved in a collision with a motor vehicle. Most of the time, the bicyclist is the one who will receive the most injuries. With that in mind, we all need to know the importance of sharing the road with one another. Motorists and bicyclists both need to do their part in keeping each other safe.

Here are some important facts you should know:

1. California vehicle code section 21202(a) states: Any person operating a bicycle upon a roadway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at the same time shall ride as close as practicable to the right – hand curb or edge of the roadway.

2. A bicycle ridden at night must be equipped with a lamp emitting a white light. There must also be a red reflector on the rear of the bicycle that must be visible from 500 feet when directly in front of a motor vehicle whose headlights are on.

3. Riders under the age of 18 must wear a helmet at all times. We suggest all riders regardless of age, wear a helmet at all times to reduce injuries.

4. No person shall drive a motor vehicle in a bicycle lane established on a roadway e xcept to park where parking is permitted, to enter or leave the roadway, or to prepare for a turn within a distance of 200 feet from the intersection.

5. Bicyclists must travel on the right side of the roadway in the direction of traffic, except when passing, making a legal left turn, riding on a one-way street, riding on a road that is too narrow, or when the right side of the road is closed due to road construction> (CVC 21650)

6. Handlebars must not be higher than the rider's shoulders (CVC 21201(b))

7. A driver of a motor vehicle shall not overtake or pass a bicycle proceeding in the same direction on a highway at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator. (CVC 21760(c))

8. Bicyclists obey the rules of the road because they travel along the roadway with other motorists. It is important to note drivers and bicyclists must share the road. When making turning movements in a car or on a bike, use caution, be seen (appropriate lighting after dark) and be predictable.

The Thousand Oaks Traffic Bureau urges citizens to drive their cars and ride their bicycles responsibly. Wear equipment to protect you and make you more visible to others, like a bike helmet, bright clothing (during the day), reflective gear, and a white front light and red rear light and reflectors on your bike (at night, or when visibility is poor). Plan your route if driving as a vehicle on the road; choose routes with less traffic and slower speeds. Your safest route may be away from traffic altogether, in a bike lane or on a bike path.

For more information on bicycle safety, visit:

www.safekids.org/bike

www.ots.ca.gov/grants/pedestrian-and-bicycle-safety

Nominations for Thousand Oaks Excellence in Arts Award Due July 28, 2017

The Excellence in the Arts Awards are designed to honor and celebrate persons and organizations that contribute to the vibrancy of the arts and culture and increase access to arts experiences in Thousand Oaks.

2017 Award Categories
The arts are defined as visual and performing arts, including but not limited to music, dance, theater, painting, sculpture, photography and traditional/folk art.  For these specific awards, the arts do not include literary arts. All winners may be asked to participate in city events, either by serving as an Arts Ambassador or through performance or exhibition opportunities. Philanthropy, while important, is not considered to be a factor in the criteria for any award.

  1. Community Impact
    The Community Impact Award is presented to a person or organization who has inspired and encouraged the arts and culture in Thousand Oaks in a creative or innovative way. The winner will be notable in the community memory for years to come because of an emphasis on some or all of the following: a) bringing together organizations or people in the arts, b) elevating the arts and culture through visionary leadership, creativity, advocacy and volunteerism, and c) inspiring and encouraging artists and arts groups in the areas of innovation, outreach, inclusiveness and access.
  2. Emerging Arts Leadership
    The Emerging Arts Leadership Award is presented to a person or organization demonstrating the potential to influence and elevate the arts and culture through outstanding vision, leadership and creativity.  Age is not a factor in this award.
  3. Exceptional Arts Education
    The Exceptional Arts Education Award is presented to an individual or organization for excellent work in and significant contributions to arts education, either a) through enhancing the education curriculum within the school system, or b) through creating educational opportunities in the arts outside the school setting. 
  4. Artist of the Year
    The Artist of the Year Award recognizes a dedicated individual’s excellence and accomplishments in an arts discipline.  This award is for unique vision, high artistic quality, creativity and innovation.
  5. The Mayor’s Award
    The Mayor’s Award is granted each year to a recipient chosen by the Mayor of Thousand Oaks. There are not parameters or restrictions for this award, which is up to the sole discretion of the current mayor.

The award determination is based on the award criteria listed below and the category definitions detailed on the award nomination form. Nomination deadline is Friday, July 28th (extended - originally was the 20th) at 4pm. Learn more at www.toaks.org/departments/cultural-affairs/arts-awards.