February 1, 2008

Community Notes:

4th Annual Free Electronics E-Waste Event at Southwestern College

Free Drop Off Takes Place on February 2nd from 9 a.m. – 3p.m.

WHAT: The Southwestern College (SWC) Environmental Technology Club is proud to host its 4th Annual Free Electronics E-Waste Event with the added collection of batteries and fluorescent light bulbs to promote necessary recycling in the local communities.

The Environmental Club seeks to inform the public that electronic waste could contain hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury, and if improperly handled, these materials can be released into the environment.

Participants benefit by allowing new products to be manufactured through reusing and recycling the raw materials from the end-of-life electronics. In addition, recycling helps by conserving natural resources and decreasing further greenhouse emissions in air, and minimizing both land and water pollution.

WHERE: Southwestern College – Parking Lot “B/C”, 900 Otay Lakes Road, Chula Vista, CA 91910

MORE INFO: FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

“It’s No Secret…Marketing done right increases business!”

California Southern Small Business Development Corporation will be presenting a “Free” workshop that covers the fundamentals of how to prepare or update a realistic marketing plan for your business. Of 80% of businesses that fail within the first 4 years, many attribute it to the lack of a formal and effective marketing strategy. The best product or service won’t sell if no knows about it!

The workshop will be held Wednesday, February 13, 2008, from 9 am to 12:00 pm at the Small Business International Trade Center: 880 National City, Suite 103, California, 91950.

Two Months Left to Apply for Free Shade Trees Through the South Bay Shade Tree Program

Applications are due March 15, 2008

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), in cooperation with The Home Depot Foundation, is giving away 1,000 trees to South Bay residents at no cost through the South Bay Shade Tree Program.

Applications are due March 15, 2008. South Bay residents still have time to apply for up to 10 free, full-sized, 15-gallon, nursery-quality trees, available in more than 20 varieties. There are many benefits of planting shade trees:

Up to 20% savings of energy (and money): Trees shading your home reduce the need for air-conditioning. They also reduce the “urban heat island effect” by lowering outside air temperature.

Improved air quality: Trees remove carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) from the atmosphere and release oxygen.

Increased property values: Trees improve your neighborhood’s appearance and can increase your property value up to 10%.

Reduced storm run-off: Trees absorb excess groundwater.

For those living outside of South Bay, free trees will be available until December 2008.

The South Bay Shade Program helps the communities of National City, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach create a cleaner, healthier environment by increasing awareness of trees as valuable elements of the urban environment. The program also helps to increase the survival rate of trees by educating home owners on proper tree planting maintenance techniques.

The South Bay Shade Program is modeled after CCSE’s award-winning Cool Communities Shade Tree Program which provides similar services throughout San Diego County. For more information about the South Bay Shade Program, visit www.trees.energycenter.org or call 1-866-SDENERGY.

Volunteers Provide Free Income Tax Service at UCSD

Taxpayers must meet certain requirements

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program at the University of California, San Diego is offering free, confidential income tax return preparation for UCSD students, staff and members of the public who qualify for the service. VITA will begin taking appointments Feb. 12.

“To qualify, an individual must make less than $40,000 and meet certain other income requirements,” says Jessica St. Clair, legal education coordinator for UCSD Student Legal Services. “Interested persons may find out if they qualify by calling (858) 822-2414.”

Tax preparation will be available on Saturdays between Feb. 23 and April 12 and appointments will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis for those who qualify.

“For those who do not qualify or do not wish to make an appointment, free IRS and California Franchise Tax Board publications are available in Student Legal Services on campus for taxpayers seeking additional resources,” says St. Clair.

The VITA program is a collaboration between the Internal Revenue Service, California Franchise Tax Board, UCSD Student Legal Services, and UCSD Student Educational Advancement. Student Legal Services, a program within Student Affairs, administers the free tax services.

  St. Clair says that VITA staff and student volunteers began an intensive training course on basic tax law in October. Upon its completion in February they must pass the IRS Qualifying Exam to authorize them to prepare federal and California state income tax returns by electronic file (e-file).

To learn more about the VITA program, to check eligibility for the free tax return preparation service, and to make an appointment, call (858) 822-2414 beginning Feb. 12.

Veteran’s History Project

Vitas Innovative Hospice has become an official “partner” with the Library of Congress, sponsor of the “Veteran’s History Project.” Trained by the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project, interviewer Judé Begell will have a display table in the lobby of the Oceanside Senior Center, 455 Country Club Lane, on Tuesday, February 5th, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon to sign-up veterans who would like to be interviewed for this project.

If you are a veteran of WWI, WWII and the Korean, Vietnam and or Persian Gulf wars, including the current conflict, you are invited to participate by making an appointment with Judé to tell your story.

The interviews will be recorded by audio or video and added to the official archives at the Library of Congress and become a permanent record of our nation’s history.

The project was motivated by a desire to honor our nation’s war veterans for their service and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 27, 2000. There are at least 19 million veterans of previous conflicts currently living in the United States. Every day we lose 1,500 before they are able to share their stories.

Those veterans who cannot attend the February 5 date can still participate by calling Jude Begell at: (760) 505-5188.

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