March 6, 2009

Community Notes:

Local Law Students Offer Free Tax Preparation Services

TJSL’s Tax Clinic Has Served San Diegans for 12 Years

Since 1998, the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Tax Law Society has operated a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on its Old Town San Diego campus that offers a valuable service to members of the San Diego community. This year’s VITA clinic once again provides FREE income tax return preparation by Thomas Jefferson students, who are IRS trained and certified volunteers, to senior citizens, low-income families, students and others on limited budgets who cannot afford professional tax services or who are unable to complete their own tax forms.

“The trained volunteer tax assistors explain the various credits and deductions involved in tax returns and how to properly claim income. They help those interested both complete and electronically file their tax returns,” said Rebecca Ritchey, president of the TJSL Tax Law Society.

The free tax clinic will be open from now until April 15. Clinic hours are Monday from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.; Friday from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.; and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Assistance is by appointment only.

There is a list of documents that clients must bring to the appointment, including social security cards, amount of 2008 stimulus payment received, employer wage and earning statements, 2008 tax package and other items that can be found listed on the law school’s website at www.tjsl.edu/academics_tax_clinic. There are some restrictions as to the types of tax preparation forms that volunteers are permitted to prepare. They cannot help those with business or rental tax situations.

The VITA clinic is located in Thomas Jefferson’s Courtyard Building at 2120 San Diego Avenue in the southern section of Old Town. The Coaster and Trolley stations are within walking distance.

Please call 619-297-9700, ext. 1485, to make an appointment or for more information about the tax clinic.

McDonald’s Offering $25,000 in Scholarships to Local Hispanic High School Seniors

Five outstanding students of Hispanic descent will start college with $5,000 already paid toward their education thanks to a scholarship from the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Southern California, RMHC of San Diego, the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California and the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of San Diego.

The Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (HACER) scholarship is offered to high school seniors who have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage and who are eligible to attend a two- or four-year college or university with a complete course of study.

Since 1990, more than $2.7 million in scholarship funds have been awarded for students who reside in Southern California. This is the second year that a HACER scholarship is being offered exclusively to San Diego County residents. Five scholarship recipients in good academic standing will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship for their first year of college.

“We had an overwhelming number of applicants last year, and it’s great to see so many Hispanic youth in San Diego eager to attend college,” said Ernie Sandoval, San Diego McDonald’s Owner/Operator. “McDonald’s has a strong history of giving back to the community in areas that matter most, and we’re proud to help these students on their path to educational excellence.”

Applicants are evaluated on an academic basis, financial need, personal successes and their commitment to the community. Recipients will be selected by an advisory board consisting of educators, and community and civic leaders. More than 125 high school seniors applied in 2008. The deadline to apply is March 13. More details and an application for the HACER scholarship are available at sdmcdonalds.com.

6th Annual Law Enforcement Challenge Guacamole Bowl

On Saturday, March 7, 2009 (10:00am – 2pm) members of Law Enforcement and the Media will scoop and smash and chop and mix it up at the Balboa Park Club to answer the question: “Who Makes The Best Guacamole?”

Competing along side the Law Enforcement and Media teams will be community teams competing in the Open division and a Professional division featuring local restaurants and caterers. 30+ teams are expected to compete in the four divisions.

The public is invited to come and sample the guacamole and vote for their favorite teams. Admission is $5.00 and includes tortilla chips provided by Mission Foods and lots of fun. Entertainment will be provided by the Chula Vista High School Mariachi Band.

Southwest Chula Vista Civic Association and Councilman Rudy Ramirez are jointly sponsoring a Community Meeting; “The City Budget Crisis and Proposed Sales Tax Increase”

· Get your questions answered!
· Express your point of view!
· Hear what your neighbors think!
When: Monday March 9 at 7 pm
Where: Chula Vista City Hall, Council Chambers

The Oceanside Green Fair

The City of Oceanside invites you to celebrate Green Week 2009 from March 16 – 21 at the Oceanside Public Library and Civic Center. Free events throughout the week will promote community environmental awareness through educational programs, and the first Green Fair on March 21, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Oceanside Civic Center. The Green Fair will include children’s activities, vendors, a free electronics drop-off event, free goodies, and much, much more!

For more information on Green Week 2009 programs and events please visit www.oceansidecleanwaterprogram.org or call the Oceanside Library at (760) 435-5590.

Residents’ opinions sought for federal funds application

Two public meetings to be held

City of San Diego residents are invited to provide input about how to spend the federal housing and community development funds that will be allocated during the next five years (2010-2014). The Five-Year Consolidated Plan is a community investment “blueprint” that serves both as a planning guide and grant application for up to $26 million annually in federal grants for local community and economic development activities, including affordable housing and social service programs.

Public Meetings

Tuesday, March 10, 1:30 – 4 p.m: Villa Harvey Mandel, 72 17th Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Father Joe’s Village Classroom

Wednesday, March 11, 6 – 8:30 p.m; St. Vincent de Paul, 640 16th Street, San Diego, CA 92101
12th Floor Community Room

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