Stimulus Bill Allocation Breakdown

1) 465B Directly by deposit and indirectly via tax credits to people living in America2) 361B Provides aid to states and local governments to make up deficits3) 350B Increased unemployment insurance and extended emergency unemployment through September. It includes 570M for 15 additional weeks of paid leave for federal employ-ees.4) 160B For all things COVID-195) 170B To fund schools and colleges, whether they open or not6) 85.7B Bailout aid for Multi-Employer Union Pension deficits7) 58B for Transportation and Transit Systems8) 30B Provides for rental and small landlord support9) 25B Provide…

Stimulus Bill Allocation

As we pass the one-year mark since the COVID pandemic virtually shut down the nation, we now face another 2021 COVID Relief Bill. The actual amount targeting COVID relief is less than 9% of the $1.9 trillion package.  The pie chart shows where this bill has allocated the taxpayers’ money.  If we add it to all the bills passed in 2020, they total $5.3 trillion—keep in mind there is nearly $1 trillion from the 2020 Relief Bill left unspent. Critics are concerned that this will plunge our country into crippling…

IRS Annual Dirty Dozen Top Tax Scams For 2021

The IRS posted its annual list of the top tax scams for 2021, called the “Dirty Dozen.” Every year, the IRS takes a look at the most prevalent tax scams affecting U.S. taxpayers. In its continued effort to keep us safe from tax fraudsters, the IRS tells us what these scams can look like. They also remind us that although scams increase during tax time and crisis events, they continue to happen year-round. The IRS says no one in the organization ever uses email, phone calls, or texts to initiate…

Perils of Cancel Culture

The effects of “cancel culture” are all around us. A popular conservative social media site with more than 10 million users is suddenly shut down. It essentially disappears from the Internet. A particular pillow brand is not to be found at stores that previously carried and advertised the product. Even a can of beans is eliminated from grocery store shelves due to a different or “unacceptable” philosophy or political idea held by company leadership.  The practice of cancel culture is threatening the very foundation of America and further polarizing our…

Ventura County Drops Lawsuits Against Local Businesses

On March 17, 2021, Ventura County dropped its lawsuit against five local businesses that had defied closure orders by remaining open: Pizza Cookery, Mrs Olson’s Coffee Hut, Colosseum Gym, House of Gains, and Anytime Fitness-Westlake. At the center of the businesses who chose to fight back is an organization called “BRAVE,” an acronym standing for “Businesses Representing American Values & Enterprises.” Matt Brimigion, the president of BRAVE, says it started at a table in his business, Mrs Olson’s Coffee Hut, with three other people who felt the need to push…

COVID: CALIFORNIA vs. FLORIDA

California has some of the highest COVID restrictions in the nation, whereas Florida has lifted many of its restrictions, including restaurants and schools.  Let’s explore the facts. As of 03/09/2021, there are 16 states that have lifted COVID restrictions/mask mandates. CALIFORNIA FLORIDA Total Cases Overall                     3,620,000 1,980,000 Total deaths (03/15/20-03/14/21) 56,351 32,254 Schools Six million students in distance learning.A projected cost (incentive) of at least $2 billion just to open TK-2nd grade classes by 04/01/21. All schools open as of…

LOVE SPARK CHALLENGE #3

The Conejo Guardian’s monthly “Love Spark Challenge” continues! With each “love spark,” readers are taking the challenge to make a difference in our community and in the lives of others.  Let’s extend our care to those who keep our grocery stores running: store managers, cashiers, stockers, folks behind the meat and deli counters and in the produce and dairy areas, and those ensuring our carts are free of germs.  Instacart workers are also part of this great group. Hats off to all who support our access to food and supplies!…

High-end Restaurant Tangles with Westlake City Council

Tina Forti, co-owner of Novo restaurant with her husband Massimo, broke into tears as she spoke with the Westlake City Council recently. “You all keep saying we made a choice [to defy the council]. It was not a choice,” she said. “We signed to sell our house today… we have two kids.” Tina was referring to comments made on February 24 when City Councilman Ray Pearl said, “We are here because of a choice Novo made, not because of a choice we made. If they adhered to the orders, we…

Local Wedding Venue Reaches Breaking Point Due To Lockdowns

County and State anti-business mandates continue to drive local businesses to the brink of extinction. Soroor Campbell, owner of The Vineyards, a wedding and event venue in Simi Valley, says she has had to cancel $1.7 million in reservations and counting, including $600,000 in prom business alone. “I’m on the verge of losing everything,” says Campbell. “What I don’t understand is how the County can provide instructions for other businesses to open, but not us. We have the room to socially distance; we have acres of space outdoors; we can…

Businesses Defend Themselves from County Lawsuit

On January 26, the Ventura County District Attorney’s office took The Pizza Cookery, Mrs Olson’s Coffee Hut, and Colosseum Bootcamp Gym to court for an administrative hearing to get a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against them to close their businesses. Ronda Baldwin-Kennedy is representing the businesses. Based on Fifth Amendment violations, Kennedy filed notices in the state court to remove these cases to the federal court.  The Ventura County Board of Supervisors was contacted for comment. Conejo Guardian received a response from County Counsel, Michael Walker, who stated:  “In all…