California 16 and 17 Year Olds Can Pre-Register to Vote Online

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In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 113 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson which allowed voter pre-registration beginning at age 16 once the California’s statewide voter registration database, VoteCal, was certified. VoteCal was certified in September 2016

Pre-registering to vote helps enable California youth to vote as soon as they turn 18. The process can be done online at registertovote.ca.gov as long as 16 and 17 year olds have signatures on file with the DMV. If signatures are not on file, they may pre-register by completing a paper form and mailing to their county elections office.

Learn more at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/pre-register-16-vote-18.

Facts About Getting Real ID Cards in the State of California

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Now that we are well into 2019, it’s time for people like me, and perhaps most of you,. to start thinking about getting a Real ID card.

WHAT IS REAL ID?

Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver’s license or ID card to be Real ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight or enter secure federal facilities that require identification. The California DMV now offers federally compliant REAL ID drivers’ licenses.

The Real ID is a requirement of the Real ID Act of 2005.

DO I HAVE TO GET A REAL ID CARD?

No, you don’t. But if you plan to board a domestic flight starting October 1, 2020, your existing California driver’s license or state-issued ID will not work with TSA if it is not Real ID compliant.

In lieu of a Real ID card, you will need to show a U.S. passport, passport card or other forms of identification noted at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

HOW DO I GET A REAL ID CARD?

Plan your DMV visit by making an appointment to visit a field office. DMV offices closest to the Conejo Valley include Thousand Oaks (Avenida de los Arboles), Ventura, Simi Valley,. Oxnard and Santa Paula. San Fernando Valley DMV locations include Winnetka, Van Nuys and Granada Hills.

Prepare for your visit as follows:

  1. Bring proof of your identity (original or certified copies only). It should show your date of birth, true full name (sorry, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cher, this goes for you too). Documentation can include a current, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card, U.S. birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card or other items.

    Note that the identify document must show your current true full name; multiple name change documents are required if your name has changed multiple times. So for example, you’ll need to bring a certified marriage certificate if your current legal name is different than on your birth certificate or other identifying document.

  2. Bring proof of your full Social Security number (SSN) in the form of either an original Social Security card, W-2 form, 1099 form, pay stub or other items.

  3. Bring two** printed documents showing proof of California residency which list your first and last name and residence listed on the ID card application. It must show a physical address, not a P. O. box. Items you can use include mortgage bill, signed rental agreement, home utility bills, employment documents, property tax bills, etc.

  4. You will also need to complete an ID card application. The California DMV strongly encourages residents to complete applications online at www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/dl/dl44. It is available in 10 languages (sorry, no Pig Latin though). Register for and complete the form online and when you arrive for your appointment, DMV staff can access and process the form. Easy peasy.

  5. Application fee is $30 for the ID card ($35 for a non-compliant driver’s license).

    ** As of April 2019. Note that previously this was just one printed proof of residency, but Federal requirements changed this to two, according to the DMV.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE REAL ID CARD?

Usually within 60 days by mail.

Learn more at REALID.dmv.ca.gov.

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

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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

100 Year Old Joyce From Newbury Park Fulfills Her Dream of Meeting Alex Trebek

"We're going to be all over social media" says Alex Trebek as he slowly walks 100 year old Joyce Pesner of Newbury Park back to the audience.

The Dream Foundation grants wishes for terminally ill adults, and Joyce's wish was to meet Alex. She has watched Jeopardy! every night before bed since the show has been on the air.

(Fellow Conejo Valley inhabitant and friend L David Irete was the lucky person who shot this video.)

More: www.jeopardy.com/jbuzz/features/dream-foundation-100-year-old-fan

California Minimum Wages Increase Again on January 1, 2018

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Pursuant to California Senate Bill No. 3 signed by Governor Jerry Brown in April 2016, on January 1, 2018, the California minimum wage increases from $10.50 to $11 per hour for employers with 26+ employees and from $10 to $10.50 for employers with 25 or less employees (with the exception of California sheepherders...which you can read about more HERE).

The overall target of the legislation is $15 per hour for all employees by January 1, 2023 (companies with 26+ will get there by January 1, 2022; one year earlier than smaller companies).

Future Minimum Wage Increases for Employers with 26+ Employees:

  • 1/1/19: $12/hour
  • 1/1/20: $13/hour
  • 1/1/21: $14/hour
  • 1/1/22 until adjusted again: $15/hour

If your employer has 25 or fewer employees, there will be a year lag in the increases highlighted above.

  • 1/1/19: $11/hour
  • 1/1/20: $12/hour
  • 1/1/21: $13/hour
  • 1/1/22: $14/hour
  • 1/1/23: $15/hour

So, if you are a minimum wage employee at a smaller company, you will be making slightly less than your "larger" company counterparts in California until 1/1/23.

After 2022, the minimum wage will generally be increased by the lesser of 3.5% or the annual inflation rate.

More on California minimum wages at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_minimumwage.htm.

But WAIT!

If you are a minimum wage employee in the City of Los Angeles, different rules apply:

Employers with 26+ Employees in City of Los Angeles:

  • 7/1/17 to 6/30/18: $12/hour
  • 7/1/18 to 6/30/19: $13.25/hour
  • 7/1/19 to 6/30/20: $14.25/hour
  • 7/1/20: $15/hour

Employers with 25 or Fewer Employees in City of Los Angeles (or 26+ Employees with approval to pay a deferred rate):

  • 7/1/17 to 6/30/18: $10.50/hour
  • 7/1/18 to 6/30/19: $12/hour
  • 7/1/19 to 6/30/20: $13.25/hour
  • 7/1/20 to 6/30/21: $14.25/hour
  • 7/1/21: $15/hour

More on L.A. City minimum wage laws at wagesla.lacity.org.

And of course, there's the irrelevant (at least to the majority of, but not all, states) Federal Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, which established the now current Federal minimum wage at $7.25/hour as of July 24, 2009.

View From Grant Park in Ventura and Serra Cross in January 1956

Panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura in three photos taken in January 1956.

Panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura in three photos taken in January 1956.

Here's a panoramic view from Grant Park in Ventura taken in January 1956. Shortly after Father Junipero Serra founded Mission San Buenaventura, a large wooden cross was placed on top of the hill overlooking the Mission church.

The original cross, damaged over time by the elements, was replaced in the 1860s. That cross blew down in a storm on November 5, 1875 and was not replaced for 40 years.

The cross at Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in 2015.

The cross at Grant Park / Serra Cross Park in 2015.

A new wooden cross was placed by a local women's service club on September 9, 1912. In 1918, Kenneth and Tonie Grant donated the surrounding hillside to the City of San Buenaventura. Roads to the cross were built around 1920. The circular stone pedestal and concrete pathway the cross now sits atop was built in March 1932. The cross that sits there today, a bit charred from the Thomas Fire, was replaced by the city in 1941.

The Serra Cross Conservancy is seeking donations at www.gofundme.com/serracrosshelp to help restore the cross and surrounding property.

Serra Cross in January 1956, from a private collection.

Serra Cross in January 1956, from a private collection.

U.S. Adults with College Degrees More Likely to Be Married Than Non-Degreed Adults

The Pew Research Center recently published an report of the education gap in marital status in the United States. Here are some highlights of the study:

  • Overall, approximately 50% of adults are married today, down from 59% 25 years ago and 72% in 1960. That said, the rate has been fairly stable at 50% in recent years.
  • Marriage rates are down because the median age for first marriage has increased by 7 years since 1960 and there's a higher proportion of never married Americans as well adults living with a partner instead of a spouse.
  • Marriage rates vary quite a bit based on level of education. In 2015, 65% of adults 25+ with a four year college degree were married, compared to 55% with some college and 50% who did not attend any college.
  • Marriage rates have always varied by race and ethnicity. As of 2015, marriage rates for 18+ adults were 54% of whites, 61% of Asians, 46% of Hispanics and 30% of blacks. Pew noted that this marriage gap has been existed for many years.

So bottom line is, you're more likely to be married if you have a college degree. Read more at this link.

And if you ARE looking to tie the knot for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or beyond time, there's a compilation of over 170 local venues throughout Ventura County, stretching to Santa Barbara and Malibu at THIS LINK.