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…

Irwin’s Bill Reduces Government Transparency in Death Records

As California recovers from the strong public response to the COVID-19 outbreak, one proposed state measure by Ventura County’s representative would make it more difficult to research and discover causes of death, including deaths due to COVID-19. California Assembly Member Jacqui Irwin has authored a new bill, AB 268, which would add Section 27523 to the government code and change what the county medical examiner’s office is allowed to reveal to the public. The bill would “prohibit the disclosure of any report of death, autopsy report, investigation summary, toxicology report,…

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…

Frontline Workers Not Eager For Vaccine

Recent findings from the Franklin Templeton-Gallup Economics of Recovery Survey looked at frontline workers’ willingness, specifically healthcare workers and first responders, to get a COVID-19 vaccine.  Surprisingly, 51% of these “Tier 1A workers” did NOT say they would agree to get the vaccine even if it was “free, available, FDA-approved, and 90% effective.” Gallup Poll Front-line Workers No Keener Than Others to Get Vaccine The Biggest COVID-19 Vaccine Skeptics? Front-Line Health Care Workers

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…

Conejo Valley Schools Dominate at Ventura Mock Trial Tournament

Despite the challenges of competing virtually, Conejo Valley high schools made an impressive showing this year at the 39th Annual Mock Trial tournament hosted by the Ventura County Office of Education and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Out of twenty-six teams, Trinity Pacific’s Silver Team placed second, while their Blue Team placed first, earning them a spot in the upcoming state mock trial competition. Newbury Park’s Panther Team and Gold Team placed sixth and fifth, respectively. And Oak Park Gold and Oak Park Black placed eighth and fourth, respectively.  This year’s…

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…

Supervisor Linda Parks Faces Recall

A notice of intention to circulate a recall petition against Supervisor Linda Parks (District 2) was filed with the Ventura County Clerk/Recorder’s office on February 23, 2021. District 2 includes Thousand Oaks, Westlake Village, Newbury Park, Las Posas Valley, Oak Park, Hidden Valley, Somis, Lake Sherwood, California State University Channel Islands and portions of eastern Ventura County. The effort began after Parks and three other supervisors — Matt LaVere, Kelly Long and Carmen Ramirez — voted on January 12 to initiate litigation against 18 businesses for repeated violations of State…