Proposition 19: What You Need to Know, The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Income Tax

Proposition 19 passed with a very narrow margin in California and is bringing major changes to property tax assessment rules.  There are some good things about the changes for a select group of people. However, there are major changes to parent-to-child or grandparent-to-grandchild transfers that used to be exempt from property tax reassessment. I’ll cover the good news first, then the bad news, and then what can be done now before Prop 19 goes into effect.   The Good  Starting April 1, 2021, homeowners over age 55, victims of wildfires or…

How to Get a Job in the Navy as a Civilian

Try a Job with the Navy The recent COVID-19 pandemic has upset work environments and greatly affected millions of Americans in the job market across the US. If you live in Ventura County and are in the process of applying for a local job, consider a position with one of the local navy agencies. Government jobs provide decent wages and good benefits. Government workers often have paid time off, paid holidays, and affordable health insurance, as well as retirement plan options, alternative work schedules, and flexible working conditions.   The United…

People of Conejo: How COVID Affects a Hairdresser

By Deidre Fisher as told to L. R. Ames On the afternoon of Wednesday, March 18, my whole world changed.  That day, I learned that I—along with millions of other working people—would be prohibited from going to our jobs.   Just like that, starting the very next day, government orders had shut down “nonessential” workplaces because a virus had come to us.   My immediate response was one of great fear.  I felt then—as I do now—that shutting down was a catastrophe.  Our country’s economy had been the best it had been…

Why You Need an Estate Plan

Amazingly, six in 10 United States adults do not have a will or living trust, and almost half of boomers (age 53-71) haven’t put their estate planning documents in place yet. In my experience, most people fail to set up an estate plan because they simply don’t know they need one. Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy; every adult needs some level of estate planning, regardless of their age or how many assets they have. In fact, if you don’t create your own estate plan, then you are automatically…

Old Oaks Cigar and Liquor Co.

If you have ever driven on Thousand Oaks Blvd., you have probably driven past Old Oaks on the corner of Hampshire Rd. It has been a Thousand Oaks staple since 2001, and if you have ever had the pleasure of being a customer, you know why. Walking inside instantly transports you back to a different era, reminiscent partly of a Wild West cantina and partly of an old-time pub with assorted memorabilia hanging on the walls, from flags to figurines to pictures of long-time customers. However, Old Oaks also takes…

D’Amore’s Pizza: friendly, local, family business

The Maloney family of Thousand Oaks takes their Italian maiden last name of D’Amore, meaning love, to another level, creating food for many families and meshing it with their love for a community in crisis.  The legacy began when founder Joe D’Amore left his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts, to pursue dreams in Los Angeles. Once there, he pursued a new goal—bringing good pizza to the West Coast. He knew he needed a field expert, so he brought “Momma Nonna” to Los Angeles with her authentic recipes and ingredients. She helped…

Small businesses — the new speakeasies of the COVID world

Perhaps this sounds familiar—contacting your hairstylist for an in-home color treatment on your grown-out roots, coming in through the back door at your nail salon to fix your acrylics, or visiting your personal trainer for an off-the-record appointment. Small businesses are the new speakeasies of our COVID world, and like prohibition, our current COVID-related legislation has forced businesses to choose between compliance and their livelihood, putting them between a rock and a hard place.   After enduring months of lockdown and plummeting revenue, beauty parlors, gyms, restaurants, and salons were finally…

Making life work in Conejo: A Reminiscence

Story told by Carol Venus and written by L. R. Ames In 1974, the air pollution was really bad in Whittier, so my first husband and I decided to move to Thousand Oaks, which was better for his heart condition. We were lucky to find a house in the Conejo Country Homes, built in 1958 — the first tract in the city. We got the house for $20,000, and I still live in it. The going rate for that tract at that time was $24,000, but this house had a…

Creative Tips to Reduce your Taxes

Income Tax

By John Wurts By letting your creative juices flow, you can go the road less traveled and save money in the process. Here are tips for both high and low-income taxpayers. Where you put a deduction on the tax return may determine if it will be deducted by only the state or by both the state and federal. For example, if you are working in a partnership, instead of putting driving, cell phone, and home office in Schedule A miscellaneous deductions, where it will only count for the state, put…

New California Law Allows Consumers More Control over Personal Data Privacy

GDPR

By Brian Shin A few years ago, Target developed predictive scores based on customer purchases and sent out targeted coupons.  Of the many predictive scores, Target developed a pregnancy score and sent baby coupons to a certain high school student.  Her father saw the coupons for baby clothes and cribs and was outraged.  He called Target angry accusing Target of encouraging his daughter to have children. He later called to apologize because Target was right, she was pregnant. Target has since changed the way they send out targeted coupons to…