February 2010 E-Newsletter

April 18, 2011

EARTH DAY AND “40 FOR 40’’

In observance of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary in April, my staff and I are looking for 40 volunteers or more for our “40 For 40’’ campaign to clean up a section of Los Gatos Creek in Campbell. The clean-up is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, April 17, at Campbell Park, between Campbell and Camden avenues.

In 1970, U.S. Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Nebraska founded Earth Day to focus the nation’s attention on the environment. Forty years later, Earth Day serves as a potent reminder that we must all be caring stewards of this rare planet.

In an essay he wrote prior to his death in 2005, Nelson recalled the impact of his idea and the very first Earth Day:

“The American people finally had a forum to express its concern about what was happening to the land, rivers, lakes, and air - and they did so with spectacular exuberance. . . . Earth Day worked because of the spontaneous response at the grassroots level. We had neither the time nor resources to organize 20 million demonstrators and the thousands of schools and local communities that participated. That was the remarkable thing about Earth Day. It organized itself.’’

Following the clean-up, I’m planning a free community barbeque at Campbell Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that same day.

ASSEMBLYMEMBER BEALL’S NEIGHBORHOOD MEET-UP

Have an opinion about how to improve state government or balance the budget? Tell me what you think. Meet me Saturday, Feb. 20, 9 a.m.- 11 a.m., at the community room of Santa Teresa Library, 290 International Circle, San Jose.

CAL GRANTS DEADLINE

High School seniors face a March 2 deadline to submit their applications for a Cal Grant, free money from the state they can use to pay their college costs. Students who qualify for the program do not have to repay their grant. For more information about eligibility and how to apply for the grants please visit Calgrants.org.

If you need help on applying for a Cal Grant there are free workshops by California Cash for College all over the county. To locate a workshop near you click here.

ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 24’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR

In observance of Women’s History Month each March, members of the Assembly are asked to select a woman whose contributions have made their district a better place.

This year, I have chosen Cynthia Chang as the Woman of the Year for District 24 because of her outstanding record of public service over the last two decades.

A resident of Saratoga for almost 25 years, she has been an active member of the League of Women Voters, the Friends of Saratoga Libraries, and the Hakone Garden Foundation. She also has the distinction of being the first Asian American elected official in Saratoga, serving as a school board trustee since 1994 -- first for the Saratoga Union School District, and now for the Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.

Ms. Chang’s lengthy record of civic involvement exemplifies the spirit of the Women of the Year award. She has given back to her community in a multitude of ways.

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

One of my priorities is to increase awareness of the Earned Income Tax Credit and to ensure low-income Californians, who qualify for the tax credit, take advantage of it. Click here for more information.

FREE TAX PREPARATION

Once again, the Tax EZ Program of Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County is offering free tax return preparation for earners with an annual income $49,000 or less.

The program will run six sites – many accept walk-in clients -- until April 8. The sites are located at:

  • Vietnamese Martyrs Chapel, 658 Singleton Ave., San Jose. Open Mondays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. until April 5. Walk in.
  • East Side Neighborhood Center, 2159 Alum Rock Ave., San Jose. Open Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m. until April 6. Walk in.
  • Serra Cottage, 7980 Church St., Gilroy. Open Wednesdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. until April 7. Walk in.
  • Catholic Charities, 2625 Zanker Road, San Jose. Open Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. until April 8. Open designated Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Feb. 13, 20, 27, and March 6, 13, 27, and April 3. Appointments only.
  • St. Joseph Catholic School, 1120 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View. Open Saturdays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Feb. 27 until March 27. Walk in.
  • Most Holy Trinity Church, 2040 Nassau Dr., San Jose. Open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. until April 12. Walk in.

Please bring photo identification, all W-2s and 1099s, Social Security Card or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number letter for all family members, a copy of your 2008 tax return (if available), and bank account and routing numbers if you prefer direct deposit of refunds.

DO YOU HAVE A STATE IOU?

More than 89,000 letters were mailed by the offices of the State Controller and Treasurer last month reminding people to cash IOUs they received in lieu of checks as a result of last year’s delay in approving a budget. About $50 million in IOUs, also called registered warrants, have not yet been cashed.

The first IOUs were printed in early July and stopped in early September. The IOUs stopped accruing interest as of Sept. 3, 2009.

If you have not yet cashed your IOU, you can redeem them by mailing to 915 Capitol Mall, Attention Registered Warrant Desk, Sacramento, CA 95814. The State Controller’s website also contains information on how to redeem an IOU.

The office of the State Controller also suggests IOU holders can contact their financial institution to determine if it will redeem the registered warrant. Inquire if any charges will apply.