Household Hazardous Waste Collection Options for Thousand Oaks Residents

CityOfThousandOaks_logo.jpg

The City of Thousand Oaks Public Works Department's "GoGreen" website has hundreds of conservation tips relating to composting, energy conservation, hazardous waste disposal, recycling and trash, reuse programs, water conservation, living green advice, and much more. Check it out at www.toaks.org/GoGreen.

Like me, you may have a lot of junk lying around the house that you'd like to get rid of but are not allowed to place in the trash

Since May 2014, the City has run a permanent Household Hazardous Waste Facility located next to the Service Center at 2010 Conejo Center Drive, Newbury Park.

Residents of Thousand Oaks and unincorporated areas of Ventura County may sign up to drop off items at this facility on Fridays/Saturdays from 9am to 1pm, except certain holiday weekends, at THIS LINK. Advance registration is required.

Items accepted at these monthly collection events include acids, motor oil, antifreeze, asbestos, nail polish/remover, automatic switches, oil filters, batteries, paints, cement, paint thinners, chlorine, fertilizers, pool chemicals, fluorescent lights, propane cylinders, fire extinguishers, rodent poison, garden chemicals, smoke detectors, gasoline, solvents, used frying oil, household cleaners, weed killers and more. They do not accept tires, medications. business waste and other items.

hazardous_waste_03.jpg

One person's hazardous waste is another's gold! The City's Hazardous Waste Material Reuse Program allows residents to take away certain items previously disposed of, such as cleaners, paint, pool chemicals, motor oils, adhesives, etc. Selection obviously will vary. No appointment needed. Just stop by ReUse Store (same location as waste collection facility) on Friday/Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the weekly collection events described above.

The ReUse store will be closed weekends associated with the following holidays: President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day

There are also convenient hazardous waste disposal for other items:

Batteries: Community Centers at Borchard Park, Dos Vientos and Thousand Oaks (next to TOHS), Home Depot, Goebel Senior Center, Thousand Oaks/Newbury Park Libraries, City Hall and Thousand Oaks Transportation Center.

Motor Oil/Filters: See THIS LINK.

Electronic Waste: Best Buy, Goodwill Industries, PC Recycle, Waste Management and Gold Coast Recycling Center. More info at THIS LINK.

Fluorescent Lights/CFL's: Home Depot Newbury Park

Unwanted and/or expired medications can be dropped off throughout Ventura County at designated police stations, such as the East Valley Police Station Lobby at 2101 E. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. Open Mon-Fri 8am to 5pm.

Visit toaks.org/GoGreen for updates.

Earned Income Tax Credit & Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Locations in Ventura County

iStock_taxes.jpg

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Program is a refundable tax credit available to individuals and families earning less than $49,194 and $54,884, respectively, in 2018. This is the federal government's largest anti-poverty measure and refunds can amount to as much as $6,431 (for 2018) for families with three or more qualifying children.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program recruits volunteer tax preparers to provide free preparation of federal and state income tax returns to taxpayers with incomes less than $55,000 in 2018. VITA benefits these taxpayers by eliminating the cost of commercial tax return preparation and by securing valuable tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and EITC.

Local VITA location sites are as follows (see this IRS link for details, including dates and times):

What to bring:

  • Proof of identification (photo ID)

  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents

  • An Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) assignment letter may be substituted for you, your spouse and your dependents if you do not have a Social Security number

  • Proof of foreign status, if applying for an ITIN

  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return

  • Wage and earning statements (Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R,1099-Misc) from all employers

  • Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)

  • Health Insurance Exemption Certificate, if received

  • A copy of last year’s federal and state returns, if available

  • Proof of bank account routing and account numbers for direct deposit such as a blank check

  • To file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required forms

  • Total paid for daycare provider and the daycare provider's tax identifying number such as their Social Security number or business Employer Identification Number

  • Forms 1095-A, B and C, Health Coverage Statements

  • Copies of income transcripts from IRS and state, if applicable

www.irs.gov/individuals/free-tax-return-preparation-for-you-by-volunteers

Senior Adult Centers and Programs Throughout Ventura County

Here is a list of senior centers and programs throughout Ventura County. For more extensive information about serving the needs of seniors, visit the County of Ventura Area Agency on Aging website at aaa.countyofventura.org.

GoebelSeniorCenter.gif

The Goebel Senior Adult Center at 1385 East Janss Road in Thousand Oaks operates Monday through Saturday and offers games, arts and crafts, classes, music and dance, seminars and workshops, sports and exercise, special events, support groups, travel opportunities and more. The facility is managed by the City of Thousand Oaks and is staffed by the Conejo Recreation & Park District. No membership dues, primarily for those 50+ (but some programs are available for 18+), non-T.O. residents are welcomed for most activities, hot lunch is available M-W for a small charge and many classes are offered for free. Visit www.goebelsenioradultcenter.org or call 805.381.2744 for more information.

SimiValleySeniorCtr.jpg

The Simi Valley Senior Center at 3900 Avenida Simi is a 22,000 square foot enrichment and learning center for adults. The center provides learning programs, exercise classes, meal programs, health services, excursions, computer classes, book clubs, support groups, billiard room, social services, art classes and more. For ages 50+. The Rendezvous Café operates M-W and offers hot lunch for a small charge to ages 60+. Visit www.simivalley.org/departments/community-services/senior-center or call 805.583.6363.

PleasantValleySeniorCenter.JPG

The Pleasant Valley Senior Center is located at 1605 E. Burnley Street in Camarillo. The center is open M-F from 9am to 4pm and offers a variety of recreation and leisure program, a meal site for ages 60+ and social services for local residents. Programs and activities are not limited to Camarillo residents. Visit www.pvrpd.org/recreation/senior/default.asp or call 805.482.4881. More information on senior meal programs available from the Camarillo Health Care District at www.camhealth.com/senior-meals-program..

CityOfOxnard.jpg

City of Oxnard Recreation and Community Services offers 3 senior centers. The Wilson Senior Center at 350 N. C Street is open M-F 10am to 4pm (805.385.8028), South Oxnard Senior Center at 200 East Bard Road is open M-F 8:15am to 2:15pm (805.385.8042) and Colonia Senior Center at 126-B Amelia Court, open M-F 8:30am to 2:30pm (805.385.8163). Visit www.oxnard.org/recreation/senior-services for more information.

MoorparkActiveAdult.jpg

The Moorpark Active Adult Center is located at 799 Moorpark Avenue. The center is open M-F from 8am to 4pm and offers classes, programs and more to ages 55+. Home delivered meals available to local 60+ residents and meals offered for low cost at the center. Visit moorparkca.gov/200/Active-Adult-Center for more information or call 805.517.6261.

CityAgouraCommServcies.jpg

The City of Agoura Hills runs a Senior Recreation Program for ages 50+ at its Recreation Center, located at 30610 Thousand Oaks Blvd.  The program offers fitness, social, educational and other great events and activities. Visit www.ci.agoura-hills.ca.us/department/community-services-parks-recreation/senior-recreation-program or call 818.597.7366 for more information.

CityofVentura.jpeg

The City of Ventura Senior Services program offers computer, recreational, specialty, social, health and fitness programs to 50+ at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Avenue, 805.648.3035, and satellite sites at the Salvation Army (east Ventura), Pacific View Mall, TowneHouse, Ventura College and YMCA. A Travel Program office and special events are held at the Senior Recreation Center, 420 E. Santa Clara St, 805.648.2829. Visit www.cityofventura.net/adult for more information.

Ventura's Senior Lunch Program operates Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. $3 suggested price for ages 60 and up; $6.75 for others. Nutritious hot entree with fresh fruit and vegetables plus special events. Westside Cafe located at the Ventura Avenue Adult Center, 550 N. Ventura Avenue. Call 805.648.3035 for more information.

The Santa Paula Senior Center is located at 530 W. Main Street and is open 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone is 805.933.4272. The center offers classes, card games and meal programs to seniors. www.ci.santa-paula.ca.us/CommunityServices.htm

The City of Fillmore Senior Center is located at 535 Santa Clara Avenue and is open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Phone is 805.524.4533. Meals, games, activities and classes are offered. www.fillmoreca.com/departments/parks-and-recreation-department/active-adult-center

The Orvene S. Carpenter Community Center is located at 550 Park Avenue in Port Hueneme and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The city's Senior Nutrition Program offers meals to those in need and classes are offered. Visit www.ci.port-hueneme.ca.us/facilities/facility/details/orvenescarpentercommunitycenter-2 or call 805.986.6542 for more information.

LittleHouseOjai.jpg

The Little House Multipurpose Center in Ojai at 111 W. Santa Ana Street next to Ojai City Hall is run by Help of Ojai, Inc., a non-profit organization that has been serving the needs of Ojai's seniors since 1968. The center offers programs, services, recreation and meals. Visit www.helpofojai.org or call 805.646.5122 for more information.

And for thousands of classes each year specifically geared towards seniors, check out THESE LINKS to community recreation programs throughout Ventura County.

Other Free Online Tax Filing Options for Federal and State Income Taxes

1040.jpg

In addition to MyFreeTaxes.com, (described in THIS POST), there are other online resources to enable those with simple tax returns to file for free online. Generally these options cover those W-2 income, some interest/dividends, kids and rent. What they don’t cover are itemized deductions, Schedule C (for self-employed individuals claiming business expenses), stock gains/losses, etc. Here are some options:

H&R Block www.hrblock.com/online-tax-filing/free-online-tax-filing

TurboTax Free Edition turbotax.intuit.com

TaxAct has the same option at www.taxact.com

TaxSlayer www.taxslayer.com

DIY Tax www.freetax.com

Jackson Hewitt www.jacksonhewitt.com/file-taxes-online

And these are just a few. No need to pay someone to do your taxes if you have a simple return!

New U. S. Stamp Prices Take Effect January 27, 2019

hines.jpg

The U.S. Postal Service announced last October that the following price changes will take effect on January 27, 2019:

First class letter postage increase from 50 cents to 55 cents.

Additional ounces on letters actually decreases from 21 cents to 15 cents.

The price of sending postcards remains at 35 cents.

Regular flat rate envelope increases from $6.70 to $7.35.

about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2018/pr18_086.htm

Ventura County 2-1-1 for Human Service Programs

Ventura County 2-1-1 provides a quick, easy, free and confidential way to obtain information and local referrals for these types of services:

  • Basic human needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and other support

  • Physical and mental health resources, including intervention services, crisis counseling, support groups, counseling, drug and alcohol intervention and health insurance programs

  • Employment support, including unemployment assistance, job training, education assistance, transportation help, etc.

  • Support for elderly and disabled individuals, such as convalescent care, home health care, meal services and transportation services

  • Children, youth and family support, including childcare, after school programs, family resource centers, mentoring, recreation, tutoring, protective services, etc.

  • Volunteer opportunities and donations

Ventura County was the first county in California to launch 2-1-1 service on February 11, 2005.  The Ventura County 2-1-1 service is staffed 24 hours a day and is managed by Interface Children & Family Services with the support of the Ventura County United Way and First 5 Ventura County. Additional support is received from the County of Ventura, the County of Ventura Health Care Agency, the County of Ventura Human Services Agency, and the cities of Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Port Hueneme, Moorpark, Ojai and Thousand Oaks.

For more information about 2-1-1, visit www.211ventura.org.

Information About Clean Power Alliance Electricity Rates in Ventura County, Conejo Valley

CPAlliance.png

As like many of you, I’ve received a number of notifications from the Clean Power Alliance and due to my sheer lack of time, desire, interest, energy, procrastination and/or (fill in the blank), have waited until now to actually investigate what this means.

So let me impart my newfound wisdom to you.

Clean Power Alliance (CPA) of Southern California was established in 2017 to provide cost competitive “clean” electricity to residents in certain parts of Los Angeles County and several other cities. It quickly grew to 31 communities, including our local Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Simi Valley, Ventura and unincorporated Ventura County.

What CPA does is purchase renewable, clean energy, while Southern California Edison (SCE) will continue to deliver it and bill for it.

Each member city that opted in to this program established a default rate option for residents to acquire electricity from CPA via SCE. This is just a default rate. You can change it (see below). The CPA website describes these rates at cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options/residential-rates:

  • Lean Power - costs 1-2% less than SCE’s default rate (Lean Power provides 36% renewable energy content at the lowest possible cost)

  • Clean Power - comparable to SCE’s default rate (0-1% savings) (Clean Power provides 50% renewable energy content)

  • 100% Green Power - at most, 7-9% premium to SCE’s default rate (as the name indicates, this is 100% renewable energy content)

CPA further noted that SCE has proposed a double digit increase to 2019 rates to make up for a budget shortfall. If these increases are approved, they will likely take effect in March/April 2019 and CPA rates will also change accordingly.

Your Default CPA Power Product

Here are the “default” power products from CPA that local agencies in the Conejo Valley and Greater Ventura County areas have selected:

  • Lean Power (36%) - Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Simi Valley

  • Clean Power (50%) - Malibu, Moorpark

  • 100% Green Power - Ojai, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Unincorporated Ventura County

You can verify your own rate default option at cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options.

Changing Your Default or Opting Out

As mentioned above, you are not required to stick with the default option. You can switch to a different option at any time. Do so as follows:

  • Go to cleanpoweralliance.org/rate-options and log in, using your 10 digit SCE customer number (remove the dashes), last name and zip code.

  • There you will see your account status and the other rate options. You may opt down, or up, as it were, to one of the other options, based on your current default.

You may opt out if you’d like, but be aware of the fine print: If you opt out, you will be charged a one-time account processing fee by SCE and will be prevented by SCE from returning to CPA for a minimum of 12 months.

The City of Thousand Oaks provides additional information about CPA at THIS LINK. One other item of note on that page for solar users is “Although applications for onsite solar will still need to go through SCE for interconnection to the grid, CPA will pay customers at a higher rate than SCE for any excess solar energy generated.” Sounds pretty good to me.

More Info:

Clean Power Alliance: cleanpoweralliance.org

So Cal Edison: www.sce.com