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California

SCE Offers Tips on How to Stay Cool and Keep Summer Bills Low

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To help residential and business customers stay cool and lower their summer electricity bills, Southern California Edison (SCE) offers a variety of ways to conserve energy, money and the environment.

“There are so many free and lowcost ways to stay cool and comfortable this summer – while keeping electricity costs in check,” said Gene Rodrigues, SCE’s director of Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar. “Now, more than ever, people are interested in saving money and the environment. We’re focused on being able to help our customers do that.”

SCE, recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others for its groundbreaking work in energy efficiency, suggests three initial steps:

1. Take an energy efficiency survey for home or business. The customized results outline energysaving opportunities even the most energy-conscious customer will value. Visit www.sce.com/survey for homes and

www.sce.com/bizsurvey for businesses. 2. Look for SCE rebates and incentives. Go to www.sce.com/rebate for residences and www.sce.com/business for businesses. Examples of savings in the home include:

• ENERGY STAR-qualified portable room air conditioner ($20). • Energy-efficient evaporative cooling systems ($300).

• Refrigerator and freezer recycling program ($50).

• Select an ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator ($50).

• Variable-speed pool pump and motor ($200).

• Air-conditioning maintenance and installation services (up to $2,000).

Rebates for businesses include: • Reflective window film ($1.35/per square foot).

• Energy-efficient evaporative coolers ($123 per ton).

• Package terminal air conditioners through-the-wall, self-contained and two tons or less ($100 per unit).

3. Install CFLs now.

According to a recent survey, many customers have bought CFLs, or compact fluorescent lights, but are waiting until their current inefficient incandescent bulbs burn out before installing these energy-and-moneysaving bulbs. This delays the tremendous savings CFLs provide.

Not only are CFLs up to 75 percent more efficient, but they emit far less heat, reducing the need for air conditioning.

SCE works with manufacturers and retailers to lower the cost of ENERGY STAR-qualified CFLs in SCE territory, so the price is not a hindrance to its customers.

For more energy-saving solutions, check out www.sce.com/tips or call SCE at 1-800-736-4777.

Community Briefs

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ATLANTA
Sixth Annual Conference For African American Financial Professionals

Tuesday, August 16 –Wednesday, August 17, 2011 – Sixth Annual Conference For African American Financial Professionals, Sheraton Atlanta Hotel, 165 Courtland Street, NE, Atlanta, GA.

Join The American College, MetLife and Northwestern Mutual at the Sixth Annual Conference for African American Financial Professionals, to help promote the education and advancement of African American financial professionals.

This two-day event will provide participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to be successful as financial representatives and advisors. Keynote speakers will include Cory A. Booker, Mayor of Newark, New Jersey and Byron Pitts, CBS Chief National Correspondent and “60 Minutes” contributor.

For more information on this event please visit http://www.theamericancollege.edu/ca

SAN MANUEL INDIAN NATION
Regional Mexican Band, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, At San Manuel Casino

Thursday, August 18, 2011, San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino welcomes Northern Group Los Tucanes de Tijuana to the stage. Tickets on sale today, and available at Ticketmaster.com and the San Manuel Box Office for $25 and $45.

Every Thursday night with headl iner entertainment , San Manuel gives away $1,000 just for seeing the show. To be eligible to win, guests only need a ticket to the show, a Club Serrano card and to be 21 or older. Guests can enter beginning at noon on such days. Three drawings will be held on those nights: $250 at 7:20 p.m. , $250 at 10:00 p.m. and $500 at 11:00 p.m. Winners must be present.

PALM DESERT
Palm Desert CA Dentist is offering Patients 90 Percent Discount on Services

Dr. Marc LeBlanc is organizing a Food Drive this summer to put smiles on the faces of some needy families in his community.

Dr. LeBlanc, in an effort to give back to the community, is promoting a “Let’s Help Card” Special. This event is designed to help people who, because of the economy, may have lost their insurance or not have the funds to pay for a dental visit, which is very important to their health.

The “Let’s Help Card” gives patients a complete dental exam, cleaning and a full set of X-rays for $39.00 and all the proceeds will be donated to the DESERT SANDS UNIFIED HEADSTART PROGRAM.

“We will be conducting similar specials periodically throughout the year to help the less fortunate in our community,” explains Dr. LeBlanc.

This special incentive which benefits the less fortunate of Palm Desert CA and surrounding communities will expire on Aug 31, 2011.

 

Community Briefs

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RIVERSIDE
Revival 2011

Good News Community Baptist Church will host Revival 2011, featuring guest speaker Bishop Trevor Williamson of Trinity Full Gospel Baptist Church, Nassau, Bahamas on July 20-22, 2011 beginning at 7 PM. Nightly events during the revival include: Wednesday Night Civic Night: First Sunday Attire; Thursday Night: Full Gospel Night - Casual Attire; and Friday Night: Bahamian Night - Casual Attire.

Good News Community Baptist Church pastured by Overseer Levonzo Gray, Sr. Pastor is located at 178 Iowa Avenue, Riverside. For more information contact 951-231- 9131 or 951-276-1676.

PALM DESERT
Palm Desert CA Dentist is offering Patients 90 Percent Discount on Services

Dr. Marc LeBlanc is organizing a Food Drive this summer to put smiles on the faces of some needy families in his community.

Dr. LeBlanc, in an effort to give back to the community, is promoting a “Let’s Help Card” Special. This event is designed to help people who, because of the economy, may have lost their insurance or not have the funds to pay for a dental visit, which is very important to their health.

The “Let’s Help Card” gives patients a complete dental exam, cleaning and a full set of X-rays for $39.00 and all the proceeds will be donated to the DESERT SANDS UNIFIED HEADSTART PROGRAM.

“We will be conducting similar specials periodically throughout the year to help the less fortunate in our community,” explains Dr. LeBlanc. This special incentive which benefits the less fortunate of Palm Desert CA and surrounding communities will expire on Aug 31, 2011.

RIVERSIDE
National Night Out 2011

National Night Out will occur across the nation on August 2, 2011. In Murrieta, it will take place in Town Square Park (behind City Hall) from 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm. This family event is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and strengthen police-community relationships and to send a firm message to criminals, letting them know that our community is organized and will FIGHT BACK!

There are FREE vendor opportunities if your business (product or service) is focused on crime prevention, security or emergency preparedness.

If you think your company fits into one of these categories, please contact Mary Lee (mary.a.lee@target.com or at (909) 890-7568. Time (and space) is running out, so contact her today!

Community Briefs

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RIVERSIDE
Shade Tree Planting Program Surpasses 100,000 Tree Mark

After ten years of providing free shade trees to Riverside residents, which help reduce energy usage, beaut ify the city, and lower green house gases, Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) “Tree Power” program has surpassed the milestone of providing more than 100,000 trees to its customers.

In fact, with the closing of its annual free shade tree coupon promotion last month, the program has now provided a total of 102,768 shade trees that are estimated to save more than 16.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity and offset more than 20.2 million pounds of green house gas emissions annually.

“This is a terrific milestone to reach,” said Riverside’s Mayor Ronald O. Loveridge. “Riverside has long been known for its beautiful canopy of trees, and this program has helped get the word out to our residents and businesses on the many benefits that shade trees provide them, their community, and their environment.”

RPU’s Tree Power public benefits program encourages Riverside electric customers to plant shade trees around their properties that help to curb their energy use. Well placed trees around a structure can reduce air conditioning and cooling costs by as much as 20 percent.

Through their highly anticipated annual “free shade tree coupon” program, RPU gives out more than 12,000 trees annually. This year, 12,638 free trees were planted. For more information on RPU’s Tree Power shade tree program, visit GreenRiverside.com.

RIVERSIDE
Summer camp goes operatic

For the fourth year, the City of Riverside, in partnership with the Riverside Lyric Opera, is holding an opera summer program for youth and adults.

The weeklong rehearsals in voice, staging and classical music culminates in a free public concert at the Cesar Chavez Community Center Auditorium at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 17.

The summer workshop started this past Monday with daytime rehearsals for youth and evening sessions for adults. There are over 30 youth in the program, ages 6 to 17. Mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzman, artist-in-residence at the Los Angeles Opera, has also lent her talents as an adult instructor this week, as she has since the program’s inception in 2008. There are 25 people in the adult program.

“Our workshop program gets better every year,” Melendrez said. “There’s a lot of classical vocal talent in Riverside and surrounding communities, and this event provides a fun and supportive way to showcase some really strong and beautiful voices.”

SAN DIMAS
16th Annual JazzFest West

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - Sunday, July 17, 2011, Doors open at 10:30a - 16th Annual JazzFest West. Saturday: Featuring: Boney James, El DeBarge, Ledisi, Leela James, Mike Phillips, and Joey Sommerville; Sunday: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly; Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds; Jazz Attack! featuring Rick Braun, Gerald Albright & Peter White, N'Dambi - Jeff Golub's Blues, 480 East. Location: Bonelli Park, San Dimas, CA. Tickets can be purchased at

www.omegaevents.com/jazzfestwest.com; Omega Events Box Office: (940) 360-7800; Inglewood Tickets: (310) 671-6400 or Wahoo's Taco Locations. Any questions, please call (949) 360-7800 or email: jazz@omegaevents.com.

Jerome Horton Announces Next Steps in Enforcement of New Tax Collection Bill

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Jerome E. Horton, Chairman of the California Board of Equalization, today announced the next steps in enforcing ABx1 28, the measure passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor on June 28, 2011. The law establishes use tax collection obligations on out-of-state retailers.

Under ABx1 28, out-of-state online retailers who meet the criteria must register with the BOE and collect and remit the use tax. If the out-of-state retailers refuse to comply with the law, the BOE, in accordance with Article 3, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution, is obligated to enforce the law.

Passage of the law, which the California legislature projects will help California collect an additional $200 million annually, adds California to a growing list of states that have turned to such measures in hopes of bringing in more revenue, and leveling the playing field for business. The BOE has estimated that purchases from out-of-state retailers results in approximately $1.1 billion in unreported use tax.

Under Article 3, Section 3.5 of the California Constitution, agencies like the BOE do not have the power to declare a statute unenforceable, or refuse to enforce a statute, on the basis of it being unconstitutional, unless an appellate court or a referendum by the people has made a determination that such is the case.

“We are actively providing retailers information so that they have a clear direction regarding their new responsibilities.” Horton said. “We will engage in the necessary steps to ensure that the affected retailers collect and remit the use taxes owed to the State of California.”

The entire Board will receive an update on the staff's implementation and enforcement plans and proposed future regulatory changes at the Board Meeting on July 26th which is open to the public for comment.

The BOE will have its first indication of non-compliance on October 31, 2011 when the third quarter of 2011 returns are due and payable. At that time, the BOE may begin issuing estimated billings to retailers who are required under the law to report and remit the use tax collected, but fail to comply.

Amazon has argued that the law is unconstitutional and wants California voters to decide whether to overturn the new law. “This will likely set the stage for a potentially high-dollar ballot fight next year that would pit business against business,” said Horton.

A petition for a referendum was filed Friday with the state Attorney General's Office, which could eventually require voters to decide on the new law. Amazon also has an option of challenging the law in court.

“Once the public learns that non-California companies who currently fail to comply with the law and play by the rules are costing California approximately $12.5 billion in sales and $1.1 billion in use taxes which translates into 37,000 jobs, $52 million in property taxes, and $48 million in income taxes, Californians will potentially reject the referendum,” said Horton. Chairman Horton believes that the court of public opinion and the law of free trade will ultimately make the final determination of the winners and losers under ABx1 28 and Amazon will lose in the court of law.

“Amazon has also canceled all of its California based affiliates,” Horton pointed out. “This has caused some confusion and questions about customer loyalty. Will the California consumers wait until these legal and political differences are resolved? If not, market share and free trade will govern the day.”

Chairman Horton believes that California retailers have a window of opportunity to convince California consumers to buy from them online or in their local California base stores due to this action by Amazon. In addition, he believes that the affiliates may decide to associate with out-of-state or California based retailers willing to comply with the new law.

“Ultimately, until the public via a referendum, or the courts tell us otherwise, the Board of Equalization will enforce ABx1 28,” said Horton.

California and Non-California retailers with questions regarding California nexus or registration are encouraged to call 916-227-6600.

Elected in 2010, Chairman Jerome E. Horton is the Fourth District Member of the California State Board of Equalization, representing more than 8.5 million residents in Los Angeles County. He is also the Board of Equalization Legislative Committee chairman. He is the first to serve on the Board of Equalization with over 21 years of experience at the BOE. Horton previously served as an Assembly Member of the California State Assembly from 2000-2006.

The five-member California State Board of Equalization is a publicly elected tax board. The Board of Equalization collects more than $48 billion annually in taxes and fees supporting state and local government services. It hears business tax appeals, acts as the appellate body for franchise and personal income tax appeals, and serves a significant role in the assessment and administration of property taxes. For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit www.taxes.ca.gov.

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