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Pismo Beach

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pismo Beach or South San Luis Obispo county, makes a great “get-away to the beach” destination. Not only will you find a quaint city by the sea with gorgeous views in all directions, but you can simply hop in the car and in 20 minutes or less you will find some of the best vineyards and wineries in California (Paso Robles is California’s third largest and fastest growing wine region) along with a great downtown shopping experience in San Luis Obispo just down the freeway.10 REASONS TO VISITIf lying by the beach, or sipping wine is not your thing, don’t fret, that’s the beauty of visiting Pismo – where there’s a plethora of activity options.1. March through May – Hearst Castle Evening Tours – This legendary California manor sits at 1,600 feet above sea level, and the evening tour allows visitors to experience the Castle at night just as a visitor to the Castle in the ’30s might have. For more information, visit hearstcastle.org2. March 6-March 15 –15th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – The Film Festival will bring filmmakers, film buffs, and celebrities for cinematic events held throughout the county. For more information, call 805-235-5404 or visit slofilmfest.org.3. March 20-22 – 27th Annual Zinfandel Festival – At the Donati Family Vineyard in Templeton, enjoy guided winery tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Learn the grape’s journey from vine to bottle, and view the crush pad, cellar, barrel room and hospitality center! Catch great spring deals on wine - do you have your white wine yet? For more information, call 805-238-0676 or e-mail [email protected] April through November – Shell Beach Farmers Market – Enjoy perusing the market for fresh produce, flowers, jams, dried fruits and artisan vinegars, all grown by local farmers. You can also expect to see exotic foods, jewelry, massage therapy, tea and live entertainment. For more information, e-mail [email protected] April 26 – Taste of Pismo – Restaurants of Pismo Beach and local wineries will showcase multiple culinary and vineyard delights at this event. Tickets are $50 each and include a commemorative wine glass. For more information, call 800-443-7778.6. April 30-May 2 – Hospice du Rhone – an exceptional three-day event that is globally regarded as the “single most essential and enjoyable gathering of international Rhône wine producers and enthusiasts.” Attendees expand their knowledge of the 22 Rhône varieties, while rubbing elbows with the winemakers whose passion spurs the inspiration and energy that sets the tone for every seminar, meal and tasting.7. May through October – Art in the Park ­­– On the first Sunday of the month (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) enjoy 90 local artists, food and music, at the Dinosaur Caves Park. For more information, call 805-704-8128.8. May 15-17 – 27th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival – This is the marquee tasting event along California’s Central Coast, and it’s a perfect excuse to visit Paso Robles Wine Country. More than 100 area wineries host an array of special events including winemaker dinners, food pairings, seminars, winery tours, special tastings and more.9. June 19-21 – Pismo Beach June Car Show – This is one of the largest and finest classic car and street shows in the area, with over 800 classic automobiles and street rods. For more information, visit thepismobeachclassic.com or call 866-450-7469.10. October 17-18 – 63rd Annual Clam Festival – Get in on the fun in downtown Pismo Beach. There’s a parade on Saturday morning, which kicks off this annual event, followed by a carnival, clam dig, music and food. For more information, call 800-443-7778. POSTCARD FROM PISMO BEACHEATLido Restaurant805-773-8900, thedolphinbay.comNative Restaurant & Lounge805-547-5544, nativelounge.comPelican Point Bar & Restaurant805-773-0000SLEEPDolphin Bay Resort & Spa800-516-0112, thedolphinbay.comCottage Inn by the Sea888-440-8400, cottage-inn.comPismo Beach Hotel805-773-4445, thepismobeachhotel.comPLAYPacific Adventure Tours805-481-9330Extreme Hummer Adventures866-543-6355Avila Beach Golf Resort 805-595-4000 Cypress Ridge Golf Club805-474-7979Patriot Sportfishing805-595-7200The Livery Stable: Horseback Riding805-489-8100

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Pismo Beach

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Located half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Pismo Beach or South San Luis Obispo county, makes a great “get-away to the beach” destination. Not only will you find a quaint city by the sea with gorgeous views in all directions, but you can simply hop in the car and in 20 minutes or less you will find some of the best vineyards and wineries in California (Paso Robles is California’s third largest and fastest growing wine region) along with a great downtown shopping experience in San Luis Obispo just down the freeway.10 REASONS TO VISITIf lying by the beach, or sipping wine is not your thing, don’t fret, that’s the beauty of visiting Pismo – where there’s a plethora of activity options.1. March through May – Hearst Castle Evening Tours – This legendary California manor sits at 1,600 feet above sea level, and the evening tour allows visitors to experience the Castle at night just as a visitor to the Castle in the ’30s might have. For more information, visit hearstcastle.org2. March 6-March 15 –15th Annual San Luis Obispo International Film Festival – The Film Festival will bring filmmakers, film buffs, and celebrities for cinematic events held throughout the county. For more information, call 805-235-5404 or visit slofilmfest.org.3. March 20-22 – 27th Annual Zinfandel Festival – At the Donati Family Vineyard in Templeton, enjoy guided winery tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Learn the grape’s journey from vine to bottle, and view the crush pad, cellar, barrel room and hospitality center! Catch great spring deals on wine - do you have your white wine yet? For more information, call 805-238-0676 or e-mail [email protected] April through November – Shell Beach Farmers Market – Enjoy perusing the market for fresh produce, flowers, jams, dried fruits and artisan vinegars, all grown by local farmers. You can also expect to see exotic foods, jewelry, massage therapy, tea and live entertainment. For more information, e-mail [email protected] April 26 – Taste of Pismo – Restaurants of Pismo Beach and local wineries will showcase multiple culinary and vineyard delights at this event. Tickets are $50 each and include a commemorative wine glass. For more information, call 800-443-7778.6. April 30-May 2 – Hospice du Rhone – an exceptional three-day event that is globally regarded as the “single most essential and enjoyable gathering of international Rhône wine producers and enthusiasts.” Attendees expand their knowledge of the 22 Rhône varieties, while rubbing elbows with the winemakers whose passion spurs the inspiration and energy that sets the tone for every seminar, meal and tasting.7. May through October – Art in the Park ­­– On the first Sunday of the month (from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) enjoy 90 local artists, food and music, at the Dinosaur Caves Park. For more information, call 805-704-8128.8. May 15-17 – 27th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival – This is the marquee tasting event along California’s Central Coast, and it’s a perfect excuse to visit Paso Robles Wine Country. More than 100 area wineries host an array of special events including winemaker dinners, food pairings, seminars, winery tours, special tastings and more.9. June 19-21 – Pismo Beach June Car Show – This is one of the largest and finest classic car and street shows in the area, with over 800 classic automobiles and street rods. For more information, visit thepismobeachclassic.com or call 866-450-7469.10. October 17-18 – 63rd Annual Clam Festival – Get in on the fun in downtown Pismo Beach. There’s a parade on Saturday morning, which kicks off this annual event, followed by a carnival, clam dig, music and food. For more information, call 800-443-7778. POSTCARD FROM PISMO BEACHEATLido Restaurant805-773-8900, thedolphinbay.comNative Restaurant & Lounge805-547-5544, nativelounge.comPelican Point Bar & Restaurant805-773-0000SLEEPDolphin Bay Resort & Spa800-516-0112, thedolphinbay.comCottage Inn by the Sea888-440-8400, cottage-inn.comPismo Beach Hotel805-773-4445, thepismobeachhotel.comPLAYPacific Adventure Tours805-481-9330Extreme Hummer Adventures866-543-6355Avila Beach Golf Resort 805-595-4000 Cypress Ridge Golf Club805-474-7979Patriot Sportfishing805-595-7200The Livery Stable: Horseback Riding805-489-8100

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Mother's Hood

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Parenting is the toughest, most rewarding job on earth; full of unrivaled joys and challenges. But because even the most dedicated mothers need support, there is Sierra Moms.“Sierra Moms is a member-led, nonprofit organization for mothers serving the greater Folsom and El Dorado Hills areas,” says Ashley Molloy, Director of Public Relations. “Through nurturing environments, we help women connect with one another to find support in their roles as mothers.”The organization first formed in 1993, led by Margo Fowkes, who, after falling short in her search to find and join a local support group for mothers, identified need from absence and, with assistance from the National Moms’ Club, started the Folsom Mom’s Club. After splitting from National Mom’s in order to hold evening and weekend activities, the group reformed as Sierra Moms, and today fulfills its mission through a variety of means, including:• Time-out for Moms: Activities for moms such as book clubs, movies, scrapbooking, networking, etc.• Babysitting Co-op: A non-paying childcare exchange service.• Playgroups: Scheduled weekly for children at all stages of development.• Let’s Explore: Monthly outings for children.• Monthly Membership Meetings: A discussion of the latest happenings and parental topics as addressed by special guest speakers.• Online forums: An online idea and advice exchange.• The Crier: A monthly newsletter with parenting articles, events and activities.• Family activities: Sponsored parties for members and their families.• Special Needs Kids & Moms: An accepting support group for mothers with special needs children.“Currently Sierra Moms is developing a VIP card that will provide members with discounts to local businesses,” Molloy says. “We are always trying to add more value for our members.” In turn, members are asked to give back. The group has, for the last four years, brightened Christmas for more than 600 children by participating in the Gifts from the Heart program; collecting donations at annual parties on behalf of Powerhouse Ministries; and preparing dessert at Twin Lakes Food Bank’s annual dinner.Considering that women are charged with the most important task that life demands – helping to raise the next generation – they believe that it is fundamentally important that mothers be given opportunities to constructively connect with one another. “As a mom I know how important it is to be around other moms,” Molloy says. “Socializing with other moms allows us to hear that others are dealing with similar situations. It is also a wonderful way to recharge and get new ideas for facing some of the challenges of parenting.” To help raise funds in support of the organization and its programs, Sierra Moms will host its Eighth Annual Bunko Bash on March 19, from 6-9 p.m., at the Folsom Community Center. Tickets to the event, which will be emceed by Jennifer Steele of “Mix 96” – 96.1 FM, are $20 per person ($25 at the door) and will include a buffet dinner and desserts (beverages available for purchase), bunko play, a silent auction, grand prize raffle, chance raffles and more. Twenty percent of donations will benefit local charities.Women during any stage of motherhood are welcome to join Sierra Moms. Annual membership fees are $40. •To learn more about the organization, or to purchase tickets for Bunko Bash, visit sierramoms.org or call 916-978-5995.

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Pamela Hart

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

It all starts with one key principle – respect – in Pamela Hart’s classroom. But respect is just one of many lessons this extraordinary woman teaches her young students as they begin their education. Since 1986, Hart has taught 21 kindergarten classes and one first grade class at Jackson Elementary School in El Dorado Hills. Her dedication did not go unnoticed, as Hart was chosen as Style’s 2008 Reader’s Choice for Favorite Teacher. “I feel strongly that knowledge is power. Education has to start young to help children become people who will contribute to society,” she says.Hart strives to teach more than just academics, though. A self-proclaimed “big kid at heart,” she believes that education happens outside of the classroom. “I think it is important for children to play. There are so many academic requirements these days, and they are very important, but I see a need for children to socialize and develop those skills. It makes them much more ready to learn in the classroom,” says Hart.And that’s likely where you’ll find Hart for the rest of her days as an educator. She has looked into administrative roles before, but ultimately she’d rather teach children. “I love the classroom, and after all these years, I still learn from the students.”For more information about Pamela Hart, and other local happenings and information, be sure to pick up this month's copy of Style – Folsom, El Dorado Hills edition. Check out the Distribution tab on this Web site for some of our newsstand locations. Or, to order a copy of this issue, please email  [email protected], or call 916-988-9888.

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2008 Tax Law Updates

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

The echo continues – 2009 will be a year of change! But there are several changes occurring in 2008 that will affect you as you prepare your tax returns, and plan for 2009. The following are a few of the most significant changes:Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Taxpayers with loans forgiven or foreclosed between January 1, 2007 and January 1, 2013 will be allowed to exclude from taxable income up to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiven on their principal residence. This exclusion does not apply to rental or vacation homes, only in principal residences. It is important to note that the exclusion only applies to the amount of debt related to acquiring or improving your home. If you refinanced and used the proceeds to pay off a car loan, credit card or pulled cash out to use for non-home improvement items, the forgiveness of that portion of the debt will be taxable. The rules are complex and California did not conform to all of the federal rules, so if you are in this situation it is important to seek professional assistance.A Tax Credit with a Twist First-time homebuyers will be allowed a refundable tax credit that is the lesser of 10 percent of the purchase price of a principal residence or $7,500 ($3,750 for married individuals filing separately). The credit applies to first-time homebuyers who purchase a principal residence after April 8, 2008, but before July 1, 2009. A special rule allows those who purchase a principal residence after December 31, 2008 but before July 1, 2009, to treat the purchase as being made in 2008. (Effectively allowing taxpayers to claim the credit on their 2008 returns rather than on their 2009 returns). The credit is then paid back over 15 years. So, in effect this is not a true credit, but more of an interest free loan from the government. Limitations do apply for taxpayers with income over $75,000 ($150,000 for joint filers).Property Tax Deduction for Standard Deduction Taxpayers Taxpayers who claim the standard deduction instead of itemizing deductions will be allowed to claim an additional deduction for state and local property taxes paid. The deduction, which applies only to tax years beginning in 2008, is the lesser of the property taxes actually paid, or $500 ($1,000 for joint return filers).Reduced Home Sale Exclusion After 2008, some home sellers who don’t use their properties as their principal residences for the entire time they own them may pay more of a tax bill than they would under current rules. The tax break affected is the home sale exclusion, which generally allows up to $250,000 ($500,000 married filing joint) of home sale profit to be tax-free if a home was owned and used by the seller as the principal residence for at least two of the five years before the sale. For sales after 2008, the gain potentially eligible for the home sale exclusion will be reduced proportionately for the period of time a home wasn’t used as a principal residence, such as a vacation/rental home that is turned into a principal residence by its owners. There are, however, a number of exceptions, so be sure to check with your tax professional. Deduction for Mortgage Insurance Premiums The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums has been extended and will continue to be allowed for amounts paid or accrued between 2007 and 2011. Extended Tax BreaksMore than 30 tax breaks that either expired at the end of 2007, or are soon to expire, have been extended. For example, the deduction for state and local general sales tax, the deduction for higher education expenses, and the deduction for educator expenses have all been revived to apply to the 2008 tax year, and are extended to apply in 2009 as well. Raised Depreciation Limits A qualifying business can expense up to $250,000 (increased from $128,000) of qualifying property purchased by the taxpayer in tax years beginning in 2008. Additional Depreciation A business can now claim additional depreciation equal to 50 percent of qualifying property purchased, beginning in 2008. The previous is just an overview of the most widely applicable law changes for 2008. There are many more that may apply depending on your specific situation, so please consult a qualified tax professional for advice regarding your specific tax situation. <hr>Darla A. Colson, CPA, MST and Terra VanZant, CPA, are with Gilbert Associates, Inc., in Folsom. They can be reached at 916-646-6464.

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Style Magazine
Local Area Tidbits

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Spring has sprung! Well almost, and that means the start of Daylight Saving Time so don’t forget to “spring” forward this year on March 8.Catch Imagination Theater’s opening night of Man of La Mancha on Friday March 27. For tickets and times, call 530-642-0404.Preteens ages 11-13 can learn CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and the prevention of common injuries in infants and children through a special class on March 23 presented by the Placerville Recreation and Parks. Class runs 4-7 p.m. at the Town Hall and is $35. To register, call 530-642-5232.Join the Placerville Library for their Friends Storytime in Spanish on Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m. Children ages 2-5 can participate in stories and crafts. For more information, visit eldoradolibrary.org.If you have older kids, check out the Placerville Library’s American Girls Book Club the fourth Thursday of every month at 3:45 p.m., for kids ages 5-8. For more information, visit eldoradolibrary.org.Every Saturday in March the Sierra Wild Life Rescue will be holding an Introduction to Local Wildlife class at the SWR Center in the El Dorado shopping center. For class topics and times, visit sierrawildliferescue.com.The El Dorado Peace and Justice Community is holding a Nonviolence Communication Workshop on March 14, from 12-4 p.m. at the Mountain Spiritual Center in Placerville. For more information visit edpjc.org.Join Imagination Theater on April 4 for auditions for Beauty and the Beast at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds. Auditions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and callbacks will be on Sunday, April 5. For more information, visit imagination-theater.org and break a leg!The Gold Discovery Park has a retail site where you can purchase gifts, toys, books and much more that will take you back to the days of the California Gold Rush. All revenue generated by the Gold Rush E-Mercantile site supports the educational and conservation programs at the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. To purchase items, visit marshallgold.org/mercantile.Marshall Medical Center in Cameron Park has a new solar-power system over its parking lot, which offers shade to parked cars along with environmental and cost saving benefits to the hospital.Join the Lotus Bonsai Nursery and Gardens in Placerville on March 7 for their Rock Planting Workshop from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Learn how to create a Chinese-style landscape, planting on a rock utilizing different trees and accents. For more information, visit lotusbonsai.com.Winery by the Creek is now offering elite Napa-style custom tastings with experts on hand and gourmet food. For more information, visit winerybythecreek.com or call 530-620-2402.Sub Sea Systems in Diamond Springs, has introduced their newest program, “gns” at the Xel-Ha Eco-Park in the Riviera Maya. For more information, visit sea-trek.com or xelha.com/activities.Congratulations to locally-owned Cowboy BBQ of Sutter County, who took top honors for their Sweet & Smoky Meat Moppin’ Sauce and their Cranberry Orange Jalapeno Relish during the recent 13th Annual Fiery Foods Challenge hosted by Chile Pepper magazine. To get yours, visit cowboybbq.com. Last but not least, we are still looking for Reader Recipes to publish in upcoming issues. Please send yours to [email protected]’s all for now, but check back next month for our annual Get Outside feature issue! Send your news to: [email protected]

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Preventing Child Abduction

Feb 28, 2009 ● By Super Admin

Ask almost any mom, and she’ll remember a time when her son or daughter went missing – if only for a moment. She’ll likely describe the aching panic in the pit of her stomach at the thought her child might have been kidnapped. But for parents who have actually experienced the reality, they say the nightmare is indescribable.While child abduction cases are thankfully rare in our community, local law enforcement leaders say it’s important for parents and children, from toddlers to teenagers, to stay educated, prepared and alert. New Tools and Old Beliefs Over the past decade, the child safety playing field has changed considerably. Advancements in technology have led to the AMBER Alert notification system and an international database for missing children. Yet, we’ve also witnessed the growing popularity of a dangerous new tool for child predators – the Internet.Unfortunately, old myths about kidnap prevention remain, such as teaching “stranger danger,” and the need to wait 24 hours before reporting a missing child – two mistakes that could be deadly.Detective Sergeant Dennis Walsh with the Placer County Sheriff’s Department says that statistically, the vast majority of child abductions are perpetrated by someone familiar to the child or the family. That’s why national experts say the “stranger danger” message gives children a false sense of security around familiar faces, while at the same time promotes a fear of strangers whom actually could be rescuers. Kidnap Prevention TechniquesThe key to reducing the risk of child abductions, say authorities, is a combined effort on behalf of parents, children, law enforcement and the community, focused in three areas – education, awareness and preparation. They offer the following tips:For Parents of Younger Children:Make sure your child knows their address, full phone number and parents’ full names.Don’t put your child’s name on the outside of clothing, backpacks or lunch boxes. Warn children about approaching a vehicle or giving out personal information, such as name, address or school, to strangers. Remind children that adults should ask other adults, not children, for things like directions, or help finding a lost pet. Role play other scenarios with examples of common enticements such as candy or ice cream.Watch for teachable moments where you can practice “what if” scenarios and point out “strange” adults (security officers, other parents) your child might safely approach if lost.Have your child’s picture taken yearly and keep a photo and their fingerprints with you at all times. Consider purchasing a GPS-enabled wristwatch or bracelet, or child-locating device.Never leave children unattended in a vehicle. Have your child practice the Buddy System, even in public restrooms. Establish a family code word for emergencies.Screen babysitters and caregivers carefully. Be aware of others who may live or work at the same facility.Teach your child that if a stranger tries to grab him, he should yell loudly for “HELP!” or “I DON’T KNOW YOU!” And then run.Without a doubt, one of the best tools for prevention is community involvement, says El Dorado County Sheriff Sergeant Bryan Golmitz. He says over the last year his office received multiple calls reporting strangers approaching young children, and they thoroughly investigated every one. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to identify and report suspicious circumstances immediately to law enforcement,” Golmitz says. “We can’t help if we don’t know about it.”

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