Volume 4, Number 7
Thank You to our Sponsors
A Little Ray of Sunshine A Publication of The Clovis Chamber of Commerce
The past few months seemed to have been filled with lots of negative news. Every day it felt like we got body slammed with something new, mostly out of Washington. The IRS scandal continued to percolate then the administration finally released some damning, though heavily redacted, e-mails about Benghazi that once again raised more questions about the integrity of the operation and the explanations following it. The economy continues to sputter along. Despite attempts by the administration to positively spin jobs numbers, we have to read them with skepticism based on the shenanigans with those same numbers during the 2012 election year. True, more new jobs have been created but we have the lowest participation rate in over 40 years and 92 million people aren’t working. Just during the past three weeks we’ve been hit with the obscene VA scandal that is inexcusable. Once again, some federal workers have acted with malfeasance and incompetence that has harmed many people, this time our brave veterans. We all know that nothing will happen to those workers and they’ll continue on and probably be rewarded with raises and bonuses just as those in the IRS. Then Bowe Bergdahl was released in exchange for 5 terrorists who will come back to hurt us. After that infamous Rose Garden speech with the parents, we learned that Bergdahl was possibly a deserter. Now
we’re in the spin cycle on the news until this too dies down although I believe this was one of the worst decisions made by any president during the past decades. And California Chrome didn’t win the Triple Crown. Woe is me. But then I snapped out it. Wait a minute. I have a lot of good things going on in my life. Why am I focusing on only the bad? I have a family that loves me and I’m respected in the community. I love my job and work with great people especially our new Membership Manager, Diana Hunnicutt, who has a passion for our Chamber members. Every month, our members report their good news for the newsletter. It’s exciting to see so many succeeding and expanding their businesses. We had one of the best BIG Hat Days in Chamber history and I work with a dynamic Board of Directors that I consider to be my friends. I’m getting back into one of my passions, acting, by appearing in the Center Stage production of Music Man. True, I’m just in the chorus but who knows what I’ll do in the future? On May 22nd, I heard our Mayor, Lynne Ashbeck, speak about the state of the city and it’s all good. From budget items to staffing to public safety, Clovis continues to do it right. The Chamber continues to work with the city to keep the momentum and the Clovis Way of Life going. The
Mark Blackney CEO/President Clovis Chamber of Commerce
Message from CEO/President word is getting out as more people are once again moving to our town. Clovis Unified continues its incredible success in all areas including test scores, Valley Championships, budgeting and bringing out the best in every student no matter his/her economic status. And, of course, Clovis is the number one city in California for raising a young family. What more could you ask for? But the best thing I’ve been involved with over the past few months has to be the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, YEA!. My wife Fran has carried the burden of Program Manager for over a year, arranging the volunteers, working with the kids and spending every Tuesday evening in class. I stepped in just recently and it has been a joy. Sunshine, continued on page 3
Mayor Reports the State of the City and it’s Strong
Clovis Chamber of Commerce 325 Pollasky Avenue Clovis CA, 93612
By Fran Blackney Business Advocate
On May 22nd, the chamber attended the annual Mayor’s Breakfast at the Veterans Memorial Building where once again we heard a very positive report from Mayor Lynne Ashbeck about the state of the city. She told us that the state of the city is strong but we still must work hard, be the best that we can and work on improvement. She then went through an extensive list of city successes. The city made a milestone in population when we hit 102,188 in residents – a 40% increase in 14 years even during the recession. The Clovis Rodeo celebrated its 100th anniversary, one of only 5 in the country to hit that mark. It will be inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in the spring. The Farmers Market is in its 25th year and is considered one of the best in the Valley. Clovis is not only one of the top cities in the state to find a job, it’s also the number one city in the state for raising a young family. 2000 new jobs were created in Clovis thanks to the expansion of the medical center, the opening of the Clovis Crossings shopping center and the new state call
center. It will continue to thrive with its job growth by re-imagining the R&T Park and enlarging our health center. The goal is to make Clovis the region of choice for smart employers. 94% of the residents of Clovis would recommend our city as a great place to live. Our fire department is only one of 13 in the state that is fully accredited. City Manager Rob Wooley has put Clovis on a solid financial footing with a $190 million budget with a 15% reserve account that is ahead of schedule. We have a positive fund balance and an A+ rating with Standard and Poors. Employee turnover rate is less than 5%. Housing starts in 2013 were 850 compared to 368 in 2012. Two large projects were completed – the Miss Wrinkles Pet Adoption Center, one of the best in the country, and the Marjaree Mason Center. Great communities have great schools and Clovis Unified continues its value of excellence. It requires the highest level of performance from themselves and the students. Some of its awards are: its schools have been declared California distinguished schools over 100 times, it
is ranked third in the state for the smallest achievement gap between low income and other students, and it once again was honored for the way it budgets. The city will continue to invest in and expand the infrastructure as prior investments in water banking a decade ago has paid off during the current drought. Issues that will be still addressed are water and air quality, mental health and gangs. The mayor said that the people who live and work here are the real Clovis story. She commended the city employees with several stories about those who rose above the call of duty. She stated that the city is strong because the employees do more than what is expected of them; they have great instincts in serving people; because people matter most of all; they go above and beyond the Clovis norm; kids matter most in Clovis; all are engaged in the community; and they care deeply about the people they serve. By the time the breakfast was over, there were a lot of proud Clovis residents in the room, an emotion that is rightly earned.
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Our Young Entrepreneurs have graduated Clovis Chamber of Commerce 325 Pollasky Clovis, CA 93612 299-7363 · Fax 299-2969
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Shelley D’Arcy – Board Chair Kaiser Permanente Fresno Ken May – Past Chair Karena Dillon – Vice Chair, Chamber Gives Back Baker Dillon Group Nick Maxwell – Vice Chair, Marketing LDL Financial Gary Honeycutt – Vice Chair, Advocacy B.J.’s Kountry Kitchen Deborah Ikeda – Vice Chair, Nominating Willow International Community College Cheryl Storer – Vice Chair, Finance CPA
May was a busy month for the Young Entrepreneurs that culminated with a graduation ceremony on June 3rd. On May 9th, Chandler Warne traveled to Frisco, Texas with CEO Mark Blackney to participate in the Regional Finals for the Saunders Scholarship competition. Chandler presented his company, SPOT to the judge’s panel but unfortunately wasn’t chosen to go on to the finals in Washington, DC. Nevertheless, he represented Clovis well. While there, he participated in a Speed Networking session and met many potential customers who were interested in his company that is a web based check-in system for offsite employees to contact the home office. His is different than any other in the market and is being patented and used by companies in the Valley already. In Texas, he was able to meet with the General Manager of the Dallas Mavericks who was intrigued with his business. This wasn’t the first competition for Chandler this year. Two weeks earlier he was in St. Louis as the CEO of the Buchanan Robotics team competing for the national championships. Chandler just graduated and is headed to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo where he’ll major in computer technology and business management. We know he’ll take the college by storm. In the YEA! class in May, students
Contributed photo Mark Blackney, Chandler Warne, Diana Warne at the Saunders Competition in Frisco, Texas
impressed with the YEA! program and the students that she is considering starting a business incubator in Clovis for younger entrepreneurs. Of course, the Chamber will be on board. Then, Program Manager Fran Blackney introduced the amazing students: • Abagail Bonjorni who sells knitted and crocheted accessories while donating a portion of the profits to foster
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Randy Baer Schneider Electric Alex Contreras Donaghy Sales Zack Follett Kuppa Joy Layla Forstedt Fresno/Clovis Convention & Visitors Bureau Rod Geist Central Valley Community Bank Bob Hall Blue Dot Media Shawn Miller Clovis Community Development Agency Claudia Moorefield See’s Candies Vincent Ricchiuti P-R Farms Greg Newman Sierra Vista Mall Stan Skiba The Advance Group Nykole Sullivan Starving Artists Bistro Steve Ward Clovis Unified School District Mary Williams DuMont Printing
About this publication... Chamber Insider is the official monthly publication of the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, 325 Pollasky, Clovis, CA 93612, (559) 299-7363. Reproduction by any means of the entire contents or any portion of this publication without written permission is prohibited. The appearance of any advertisements in this publication does not constitute support or endorsement for any product, person, cause, business or organization named therein, unless specifically noted otherwise in the advertisement.
Contributed photo Giana Guizar shows off her company Day Dreamers Apparel at the Trade Show on May 31st
learned about filing their DBA’s, sales and income taxes and obtaining their business licenses. A highlight was a behind the scenes tour of the SaveMart Center. They also prepared for the trade show held at the Sierra Vista Mall. Instructor Rick Snow, owner of Snowflake Designs, travels cross country taking part in national trade shows so he was able to give the students a great tutorial on trade shows. They obviously listened because their booths at the mall on May 31st were first class. They were able to interact with the public and sell their products. Several parents and students also learned about the YEA! program from Mark Blackney. The graduation on June 3rd was a special evening. Supervisor Debbie Poochigian hosted the event held at the Classic Catering Banquet Hall in Old Town. The dessert reception was attended by about 60 people including the students, their parents, business leaders and representatives from our elected representatives. The evening started out with Mark Blackney talking about the impact of the YEA! program and our plans for the future. He also presented a power point of the students throughout the year. Ben Berquam, field representative for Assemblyman Jim Patterson and owner of Ground Force Fitness spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship and YEA!. Clovis Mayor Lynne Ashbeck then talked about the need to work with our younger people so they are able to improve the economy. She is so
care programs. Her company is Brave by Design • Alex Ewing who has created a phone app and hopes to hold classes to teach the young and old how to use social media. His company is Kids 4 Innovative Design • Andrew Wettstead has created a smartphone case with a tether that attaches to your belt. This will prevent the phone from falling on the ground and breaking. His company is Smart Gadgets • Chandler Warne created SPOT, the web based check in system for offsite
employees. • Giana Guizar sells denim shorts that she has added “bling” and other features in her company Day Dreamers Apparel. She has 18,000 followers on Instagram • Angelica Person who plans to open a chain of hotels after receiving her MBA • Trent Jolly who partnered with Giana on her Day Dreamers Apparel company Each student received a YEA! tote bag filled with gifts from the Chamber and Clovis Chamber members. They also received certificates from Congressman Devin Nunes, Assemblyman Jim Patterson, State Senator Tom Berryhill, Supervisor Poochigian and the City of Clovis. The students who spoke to the audience on June 3rd were not the same students that started in November. These were selfconfident, had good eye contact and spoke confidently. As Alex said, “I wouldn’t be able to stand up her and talk to you if it wasn’t for YEA!”. The transformation over the 30 week course is amazing. That’s why every parent is so appreciative. The Young Entrepreneurs Academy is the most extensive course in the Central Valley. The students don’t just learn about business plans, they create professional business plans critiqued by a bank manager. They learn about insurance, taxes, finances, legal issues, marketing, e-commerce and even meet with the media. They also interact with over 3 dozen business people. The students mention that as one of the favorite parts of YEA! especially when they hear about mistakes and failures and how they are overcome. As Trent said, “I learned it’s okay to fail. That’s how you learn”. Interest is building for next year’s class as parents are e-mailing and calling the Chamber. We are accepting applications throughout the summer and will conduct interviews on a rolling basis. Visit the chamber web site at www.clovischamber. com or call Fran Blackney at 299-7363 for information.
Contributed photo Young Entrepreneurs at Graduation. Chandler Warne, Angelica Person, Abagail Bonjorni, Giana Guizar,
The Pain of Obamacare
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By Fran Blackney Business Advocate
It’s been around for just a few months but already, every one of us has been “touched” by Obamacare through cancelled plans, incompetence in the state exchanges, increased premiums and co-pays and decreased access to doctors. One of the worst aspects is contradictory information that we hear from hospitals, clinics, the state and our insurance companies. It is impossible to depend on their advice because it’s probably wrong. For businesses, the rules keep changing like shifting sand. This makes it impossible for companies to budget or plan. Many have put off expanding due to the uncertainty of the new regulations. What they do know is that their employees are going to cost them a lot more money. The administration is already threatening to penalize those who the government deems are taking actions to avoid paying for their employees’ coverage. Once again, business owners are considered criminals. I have heard from health providers that the paperwork and regulations will be the death of their clinics. Frivolous requirements and rules that have heavy penalties are taking time away from our clinicians who are needed to heal the sick. Most private practices will not be able to survive this onslaught. But the real snake in the grass is waiting to strike at tax time in 2015 when we all have to report our health coverage. This will create new forms and add to the cost of tax preparation. H&R Block is rubbing its hands together with glee. You’re all aware of the penalty for not having essential coverage as mandated by the government. Collection of that penalty is through any refund you’re to receive. So, the best way to avoid it is to adjust your withholdings so you don’t get a refund. The IRS cannot attach your bank account or wages to collect the penalty however, the amount does carry over from year to year so if you do get a refund in a later year, they will assess the penalty. At the end of the year, we will each receive a form from our carriers listing essential information about our health coverage. We have to transfer that to a new tax form. The IRS will match it up to what
they received from the insurance carriers also. This is not a problem for those of us with employer paid coverage or plans purchased on the open market. But for those who received subsidies from the government, they have a whole new obstacle course to get over. When you enrolled through Covered California, you estimated your income that the state does not verify. That income number determines the amount of your subsidies. Nobody knows this, but if your income goes up or down, you are supposed to contact the state during the year to adjust your subsidy. If you don’t do this, it’s reconciliation comes at tax time. Your friendly tax advisor or online tax program will do the complicated calculations based on your actual income that you are reporting on your 1040. If they determine that your income was lower than estimated, you’ll get a bigger credit and a nice refund. However, if your income is higher, you get to pay back those subsidies with your return. This is not like the penalty that you can avoid. Since you actually received
government funds that you were not entitled to, you do have to return it. Wouldn’t it be nice if the IRS went after people who received fraudulent refunds by lying on their tax returns? The IRS does not have all your income data until at least late March. If they come up with additional income that you failed to report, then you will be billed for the overpaid subsidies. In recent days, the extent of the over payments are coming to light. The latest estimate is $152 billion, with a B. That’s a lot of our money. Originally, the administration said that income would be instantly verified during the application process. Then they realized that was an impossible task so no verification is being done until the following year. Whether people falsified their income or just misjudged, they will face additional taxes. Well, somewhat. There is a cap based on income of how much they are liable for and, the number of overpaid taxpayers will be so large, it will take years for the IRS to pursue payment. The bottom line is that we taxpayers will be supporting a whole new
entitlement group. As typical of every government program, Obamacare is riddled with over complicated rules and regulations that nobody, especially the government workers who have to enforce them, can understand. And once again, we regular folks are hurt the most. Preparing your taxes will be more expensive and frustrating than ever. Many people will lose those health forms, go to a tax office without them and not be able to complete their returns. The complicated calculations for the subsidies will be costly and hit the people who can least afford to pay the extra preparation fees. The CBO estimates that when Obamacare is in full force, that 30 million people will still not have coverage, about the same number as before Obamacare. It is a good thing that people with pre-existing conditions now can have coverage and that kids can stay on their parents’ plans until they’re 26 but one has to wonder why we’ve gone through the gyrations of Obamacare to have the same results. That is the answer for the ages.
Some California job killers still kicking around in Sacramento
By Fran Blackney Business Advocate
Every year the California Chamber of Commerce creates its Job Killers list that includes dozens of anti-business bills being considered in Sacramento. The list has a high success rate of stopping damaging legislation. Last year, Governor Brown signed just one into law. It was a doozy, the minimum wage hike, but the list still has a positive track record. In this year’s session, several are still percolating up north. We know that our two representatives, Assemblyman Jim Patterson and State Senator Tom Berryhill are doing all they can to stop the madness. But, being in the minority party, there is only so much they can do. The first is the worst. SB 936 by Leno –D, San Francisco. He’s not satisfied with a minimum wage hike to $10/hour as legislated last year. He wants it to creep up
to $13/hour by 2017 then incrementally based on the CPI. Everybody knows, well, thinking people know, that raising the minimum wage hurts employment as employers cut hours and jobs. This is what is happening in some San Francisco restaurants with their mandated wage hikes. Companies can only raise prices just so much until volume starts decreasing. The easiest expense to cut is payroll. But the larger argument is that one size fits all mandates just don’t work. Every business has its own financial situation and must decide its expenses. It isn’t the government’s business. If employees are unhappy, get another job or increase your skills. Just don’t demand a raise without a commiserate increase in responsibilities. SB 1021 Wolk – D, Davis would allow school districts to raise property taxes on
commercial buildings at a higher rate than on residential buildings. This is an end run around Prop 13 and unfair to businesses. SB 1188 Jackson – D, Santa Barbara. This would allow product defect litigation to occur long past the warranty period thus clogging up our courts. AB 1522 Gonzalez – D, San Diego. Mandates paid sick leave for all employees including seasonal, part time and temporary. Employees are given a right to action that threatens litigation on employees. The Cal Chamber recommends that instead of a mandate, that Sacramento lightens up on current mandates and regulations giving employers more flexibility to be able to offer sick leave on their own. AB 1897 Hernandez – D, West Covina. This bill would hold a contracting entity legally responsible for a contractor’s wage
and hour violations, lack of workers compensation insurance and failure to remit employee taxes regardless of whether the contracting entity had any control over those issues. AB 2416 Stone – D, Scotts Valley. This one is vicious. An employee would be able to place a lien on an employer’s business or personal property for wage disputes even before they are proven. This not only hurts those employers but could substantially hurt the real estate market as housing contracts would be delayed until these specious liens are removed. The Clovis Chamber will continue to keep an eye on the shenanigans up in Sacramento. California is still the most regulated state in the country. At some point, you’d think that those in Sacramento would get the message.
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Good News from Clovis Chamber Members
Congratulations to two of our Chamber members who were recently honored by the BBB. Butler Web & Design was selected for the 2014 Business Ethics Award for Marketplace Excellence in the medium business category. The award is for those businesses that maintain exceptionally high standards of ethical behavior. AdVenture Video Productions, Inc. was feted as the 2014 Spirit Award Winner. Both companies are active Chamber members who recently worked with the students in the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. The American Cancer Society hosted the Bark for Life event on June 14th at Dry Creek Park. A large crowd brought their furry friends for a fun day at the park and to support a very worthy cause. Details: 451-0722. San Joaquin College of Law congratulates 17 Alumni who passed the February Bar including Ranjeet Brar, Nicole Christy, Jessica Fierro, Karen Gill, Lucia Gonzales, Nicole Idiart, Kent Jones, Carlos Leyva, Ann Litten, Angela Martinez, Claire Meredith, Jesse Molina, Charles Palmer, Vernon Reynolds, Jonna Williams, Mark Wilson and April Woods. Details: 323-2100 Sequoia Sandwich Company’s manager Chris Dias is engaged! They welcome you to come by and congratulate him and Kate. Details: 250-7001 Tara Marks tells us that she was just honored as a VIP this year by SendOut Cards. They’re launching a new iPhone App in July to make sending cards and gifts even easier. They are also launching a new Social Media site, SendCare. Staying connected just got a whole lot easier. Details: 269-4889 Jason Peters, owner of Diversified Builders opened a second business in March called QUICK BATH – a convenient way to remodel your bathroom and kitchen. The unique aspect is speed and guaranteed construction schedule with
work completed in as little as 7 days using client selected materials. They are excited about their growth and getting ready to train their second team of specialists. Details: 365-6542 Optimal Hospice Foundation announces its 10th Annual Kids Camp for children ages 8 to 16. They will have the opportunity to share in an experience with others who have had a loss in their immediate family. The camp is held at Camp Oakhurst in Coarsegold from July 11th – 13th. Thanks to generous donations, there is no cost for children interested in attending. Details: 3208000 The Law Offices of Jerry R. Lowe is pleased to announce that Efren Diaz has joined its bankruptcy law team. Details: 4951529 I S U / M V P Insurance Agency has added three new brokers to its expanding operations. MVP is pleased to welcome Lori Abin, Erik Hansen and Doug Carnation. MVP has also hired Melanie Marlow as a Commercial Account Manager. MVP Insurance Agency now has offices in Clovis, Hanford, Los Banos, Monterey, Salinas and Visalia. Details: 324-7333 It is Madeleine’s Bridal Boutique Anniversary Year. Madeleine’s Bridal has been helping valley brides for 60 years. Sheri Mosher has owned the boutique for 10 years and is celebrating 4 great years in Old Town Clovis. Happy Anniversary! Butler Web & Design is celebrating its Better Business Bureau Medium Business ETHICS AWARD. They thank client Janet Edson, a Clovis Chamber member and
owner of CA Paralegal for the nomination. “In a world where we have to applaud when a business simply does what they are supposed to do, it is humbling to be recognized among other great businesses”. Valley Caregiver Resource Center announces the expansion of the PALS Adult Day Program. Due to the growth in attendance, PALS has increased its days of service to Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm. PALS is an innovative program for persons who are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease or have mild cognitive impairment. The goal of PALS is to help individuals remain as independent as possible and live life to the fullest. Details: 221-0396 Join hosts Keith Allen and Liz Harrison for UCP of Central California’s 3rd Annual Pulling Strings dinner on July 12th. Savor premium wines, exquisite culinary creations, enjoy live music and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at www.PullingStrings. ccucp.org. The Fresno Cycling Club enjoyed great success during National May is Bike Month with over 250 members attending the Annual Kirch Flat Century Ride. 150 members participated in the Annual Mall to Mall ride that started at the Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis, continued to Manchester Mall then on to the Fulton Mall in downtown Fresno. On June 28th they are hosting the 38th Annual Climb to Kaiser bicycling event. Good News from Kaiser Permanente Fresno: • Three Central Unified School
District libraries will be open this summer thanks to a $7,500 sponsorship from Kaiser Permanente Fresno. Harvest and HerndonBarstow elementary libraries as well as the Central East High School library will be open Monday through Friday, June 16 – July 11 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm • Kaiser Permanente Fresno also granted $75,000 to open five learner pools in the city of Fresno this summer. They are located at Fink White, Einstein, Quigley, Romain and Pinedale neighborhood centers and will provide local children a safe place to swim and be physically active over the summer. Free lessons will also be offered. FitnessSocial tells us that they’ve hired Stephanie Schwartz and Taryn Cole to teach new classes. Stephanie teaches a Tabata HIIT class and Taryn does a Heated Vinyasa Yoga class. StrongFirst & HKC Certified Kettlebell Instructor Aaron Hunter Is holding a Finding Your Edge Kettlebell Workshop from June 7th through July 12th. FitnessSocial is also offering a Fit Kids Camp and Nutrition this summer staring June 24th. Details: 324-8500 Divine Body Works Studio has hired recent Fresno State grad Brianna to do their public relations. She looks forward to meeting everyone as she starts this new chapter in her life. Klein, DeNatale, Goldner expands its employment practice with the addition of litigator K. Poncho Baker as a new partner in the firm’s Fresno office. Baker brings more than 20 years of legal experience to KDG and will be focusing his practice on labor and employment and employment litigation. He has spent his entire career in Fresno and has been selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list every year since 2009. Only five percent of lawyers in the state are selected for that honor. Details: 328-5291
Important date for taxpayers living abroad If you are a U.S. citizen or resident alien living and working (or on military duty) outside the United States and Puerto Rico, June 16 is the filing due date for your 2013 income tax return and to pay any tax due. If your return has not been completed and you need additional time to file your return, file Form 4868 to obtain 4 additional months to file. Then, file Form 1040 by October 15. However, if you are a participant in a combat zone, you may be able to further extend the filing deadline (see below). Caution: This is not an extension of time to pay your tax liability, only an extension to file the return. If you expect to owe, estimate how much and include your payment with the extension. If you owe taxes when you do file your extended tax return, you will be liable for both the late payment penalty and interest from the due date. Combat Zone - For military taxpayers in a combat zone/qualified hazardous duty area, the deadlines for taking actions with the IRS are extended. This also applies to service members involved in contingency operations, such as Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom. The extension is for 180 consecutive days after the later of: The last day a military taxpayer was in a combat zone/qualified hazardous duty area or served in a qualifying contingency operation, or have qualifying service outside of the combat zone/qualified hazardous duty area (or the last day the area qualifies as a combat zone or qualified hazardous duty area), or The last day of any continuous qualified hospitalization for injury from service in the combat zone/qualified hazardous duty area or contingency operation, or while performing qualifying service outside of the combat zone/qualified hazardous duty
area. In addition to the 180 days, the deadline is also extended by the number of days that were left for the individual to take an action with the IRS when they entered a combat zone/qualified hazardous duty area or began serving in a contingency operation. It is not a good idea to delay filing your return because you owe taxes. The late filing penalty is 5% per month (maximum 25%) and can be a substantial penalty. It is generally better practice to file the return without payment and avoid the late filing penalty. We can also establish an installment agreement that allows you to pay your taxes over a period of up to 72 months. Have questions about whether or not to retain certain records? Give this office a call first. It is better to be sure before discarding something that might be needed down the road.
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Sunshine Continued from page 1
When we started out, they weren’t very good. After 5 weeks, they were polished professionals who spoke confidently. They impressed everybody at the Investor Panel and were richly rewarded with funding for their companies. On May 9th I traveled to Frisco, Texas with Chandler Warne who was chosen to represent Clovis at the regional championships. Chandler is an extraordinary young man who is going to be highly successful. In Texas I was surrounded by 30 other highly successful young entrepreneurs. The energy in the room was palpable as each student presented his/her product or service. Although I felt Chandler should have won, he didn’t, but he still made a lot of contacts for the future. That’s what it’s all about. The graduation on June 3rd was a wonderful experience as parents and community leaders were able to see the students in action. Words like “life changing” and “I’m a different person
thanks to YEA!” were heard throughout the room. It was a most satisfying ending to a great experience. Although I worked with them for a relatively short time, I got to know each student and it was a total joy. We hear so many negative stories about our youth but these seven kids belie those tales. These are the ones who have been raised well and have a passion to succeed and do the right thing. They have an eagerness for learning and a passion for business. All seven completed the 30 week course after school. Angelica said that the YEA! class was the highlight of her week and she couldn’t wait to attend. The Chamber’s focus this year has been the younger generation so when the US Chamber asked the Clovis Chamber to be the first to present YEA! in California, we knew it was a custom fit for us and we are more than pleased with the results. We only had seven students but they will go out into the world and make a big impact. We just need a whole lot more. Based on the phone calls and e-mails from parents and students for next year’s class, we will have a lot more budding entrepreneurs in 2015. Now that’s Good News.
Speed Networking Returns on June 26th One of the most popular Chamber networking events, Speed Networking, returns on June 26th . This is where you get fast, efficient connections, instant leads, high volume and high quality networking. During the 2 hour session you will meet and pitch to 24 businesses in a fast paced, fun atmosphere. Snacks and beverages are provided. You must register in advance to guarantee a seat and space is limited to 24 people. This event always sells out. Tickets are $18 for Clovis Chamber members and $35 for non-members. Call 299-7363 for more information
Comcast Business Mixer - July 16th
Calling all Clovis Chamber members! Join us at the Comcast Business Mixer on July 16th held at the Classic Catering Banquet Hall from 5 to 7 pm. Get back in the mix and connect with the best networkers in the Valley. Enjoy great food, door prizes and a change to win a Kindle Fire while you network and build your business. As always, it’s free for Clovis
Chamber members who are encouraged to bring a potential new member as a guest.
Thank you to these renewing members - July 2014 First Year Renewal Equity Ag Financial - Irma Moore (559) 226-0681 Method Media (559) 696-9946 EcoWater of Central California - (559) 439-2006 Seven Cafe & Grill - Mike Mohammadi (559) 322-1605 2 to 4 Years Deli Delicious No. 11, Inc. - (559) 325-3354 R.J. Miller Construction - Bob Miller (559) 233-1600 Copper River Country Club - (559) 434-8995 Clovis Roundup - Donna Melchor (559) 472-6443 The Big Fresno Fair - Lauri King (559) 650-3228 Firestone Complete Auto Care - (559) 323-0157 5 to 9 Years Scottish Society of Central California - (559) 891-7571 Clovis Storage & Exec. Office Suites - (559) 324-9675 CA Teaching Fellows Foundation - (559) 224-9200 MVP Premier Insurance Agency - (559) 324-7333 ITT Technichal Institute - Allison Hopkins Andiamo Ristorante Italiano - (559) 298-3196 Lowe’s - John Metcalf - (559) 322-3000 Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino - (559) 925-7653 Fresno County Republican Party - (559) 458-5081 10 to 14 Years Snowflake Designs, Leotards & More! - (559) 291-6234
BJ’s Kountry Kitchen - (559) 275-1981 Kitchell CEM - Raj Brar (559) 263-9701 Bell Memorials & Granite Works - (559) 299-7055 Toyota of Clovis - Scion of Clovis - (559) 291-5544 American Cancer Society - (559) 779-8223 Parker General Insurance Services - (559) 224-8222 15 to 19 Years Signal Communications Systems - (559) 273-8500 County Fair Cinnamon Rolls - (559) 760-6220 Brooks & Associates, Inc. - Troy Brooks (559) 298-9135 Clovis Stationery & Office Supplies, Inc. (559) 299-4349 Hydro Dynamics - Barry Brandau - (559) 297-0556 20 Years Weed Man - Jeff Kollenkark (559) 266-1624 21 Years Smart & Final - Allison Church (559) 298-4057 Primary Care Consultants
25 Years Edward Flores Real Estate Broker - (559) 681-4447 42 Years Blair, Church & Flynn Consulting Engineers - Adam Holt (559) 326-1400 61 Years Clovis Applicance - Glenn Skinner (559) 299-6806 68 Years Hedrick’s Chevrolet - Brett Hedrick (559) 291-7711 104 Years Sassano’s Men’s Wear - Greg Sassano (559) 299-4430
23 Years Ace Trophy - Jay Ogas (559) 299-7476 Clovis Glass Inc. - Dee Hoover (559) 299-2819 24 Years Guarantee Real Estate - Jim Whitlach (559) 650-6040
Welcome our Newest Members! California Health Sciences University 120 N. Clovis Ave., Clovis, CA 93612 (559) 325-3600 Richelle Kleiser | www.chsu.org
(559) 297-8369 | Mike Casanover Deli Delicious #26 2195 Shaw Ave., Suite C, Clovis, CA 93611 (559) 213-3347 Becky Fraser | www.delidelicious.com
Clovis Grocery Outlet 1848 Clovis Ave. Clovis, CA 93612
Eller Plumbing 1465 N. Tollhouse #103, Clovis, CA 93619
(559) 940-1328 | Mike Eller MB2 Raceway 1200 Shaw Ave., Clovis, CA 93612 (818) 403-9893 | Gary Custer www.MB2raceway.com Moore Than SEO 1187 N. Willow Ave., Ste. #103
Clovis, CA 93611 (559) 978-4096 Christopher Moore www.moorethanseo.com Non-Offending Parent Advocacy 6163 N. Dewey Ave., Fresno, CA 93711 (559) 697-0008 Jeanne Barsby | www.nopa-inc.org
Are You Kidding Me?
By Fran Blackney Business Advocate
Most of today’s column comes from our educational institutions and crazy notions about raising kids. You have to wonder how our parents were able to raise us without the help of all these “experts”. I wonder how many actually have had kids or are coming up with their ideas in the faculty lounge of our local universities. After all, their intellect far surpasses any of us regular people who live in the trenches with our kids. So the latest mantra of the connoisseurs of child rearing is that our little darlings are as fragile as a piece of fine porcelain and they must be protected from disappointment, failure or words. North Hill Elementary in Michigan sent a flyer home to parents about the annual field day at the school. The following was included: “The purpose of the day is for our school to get together for an enjoyable two hours of activities and provide an opportunity for students, teachers and parents to interact cooperatively. Since we believe that all of our children are winners, the need for athletic ability and the competitive ‘urge to win’ will be kept to a minimum. The real reward will be the enjoyment and good feelings of participation”. Hmm. Do you think our brave soldiers at D-Day had this belief? Of course, our kids have no self - control so the city council of Garden City, CA, has come up with a bill that will punish anyone from the age of kindergarten to 25 who makes another person feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” with no legitimate purpose. The first infraction is $100, the second $200 and the third is a criminal misdemeanor charge. Must be nice to live
in a city with no real crime so the cops can bust kindergartners. Perhaps the real bullies exist in City Hall. Here we go again. A Rhode Island middle school tried to cancel Honors Night because of its exclusivity. Instead, they wanted to include the awards with all others except sports, that still gets its own ceremony. The school explained that “by having the recognition ceremonies during team based ceremonies, it will afford us the opportunity to celebrate the individual and collective success of all students and their efforts, progress and excellence.” In other words, it wasn’t “fair” to honor the harder working kids. After a loud outcry from the public and parents, the school quickly reversed itself. Darn internet. They can’t get away with this stuff anymore. Since so many schools are failing to teach our kids anything, they’re now going after their weight. Chula Vista, CA, whose district lags behind 200 others in the state in test scores, is now tracking every student’s weight and BMI level. They are planting gardens, coordinating with doctors and even tracking activity levels. Hey, those kids won’t have good paying jobs but they’ll be skinny. Meanwhile in New York, a similar program is so extreme that a 4 foot 1 tall third grader weighing 66 pounds was called obese. I thought we are supposed to be concerned about our kids’ self-esteem. News like this could lead to eating disorders and poor body image problems but hey, the experts know best, right? The experts in a San Antonio school district have banned the application of sunscreen while at school. Why? Well, it’s considered toxic and they’re worried that
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kids may eat it or get an allergic reaction if it is shared. You know, kids are just too stupid. One young 14 year old received a severe sunburn while on a field trip thanks to no sunscreen. The sad part is that her father had recently died from skin cancer. As mom said, “We want our children to eat healthier foods yet we send them out to get burned by the sun.” Typical government short sighted mindset. Another expert is now crowing that by having girls wear pink and boys blue, we are reinforcing gender stereotypes that is pernicious because it leads to boys and girls reading different kinds of books, playing with different toys, studying different subjects and having different roles in the workplace and at home. I bet she’s really upset that boys can’t have babies. There is a constant drumbeat especially in California that schools need more and more money or they can’t teach the kids properly. Never mind that Clovis receives the least amount in the Valley and yet produces the best results. Sorry, common sense. Now comes a study that shows that Washington DC spends the most per pupil - $29,349 and yet it scores near the bottom in test scores. 83% of their eighth graders are not proficient in reading and 81% are not proficient in math. It’s not the money, honey. The parents of an armed robber is angry that a customer at the Carolina Waffle House shot their son. The customer had a Concealed Carry Permit and was within his rights to have his gun and use it. Mumsie said that he shouldn’t have felt threatened by her son even though he was pointing a gun at the employees. She’s angry that he wasn’t charged for the shooting and may sue him. That would be a fun trial. Meanwhile, during the past weeks, two restaurants with “No guns allowed” signs were held up at gunpoint. I hope you’re as incensed by the recent VA scandal as I am. How dare those people
deny our veterans their appointments. The VA does have its priorities, however, no matter how twisted. They spent over $500 million on conference room and office makeovers. They‘ve had their budgets increased every year by Congress yet feel that draperies and roller shades have a top priority. Continuing with health care – the Obamacare roll out continues to be a disaster. This week it was reported that 2 million people won’t have the coverage they think they do thanks to a computer glitch. Now we hear that an Obamacare contractor in Missouri received millions of dollars to man its call center. Only problem is that there are so few callers that the employees spend their days playing games and fooling around. And the company is still hiring. No wonder our unemployment rate has been falling. Remember how badly the web site worked during the initial roll out? We paid CGI, a Canadian company, over $700 million for that debacle then an additional $90 million went to another company to fix CGI’s problem. Of course, we’d never get a refund from CGI. After all, it’s only OUR money. Well, CGI just scored again and was awarded a multi- million dollar contract to do the technology for the Department of Homeland Security. Meanwhile over at the IRS, another upstanding government agency, its responsible employees paid out over $15 billion in fraudulent tax refunds mostly for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2013. The solution is simple – do not pay any refunds until late March after employers have sent in W-2’s and refund requests can be verified. Can you imagine the uproar if that was to happen? On a parting note, IRS workers spent 521,725 hours on union activities that cost us, the taxpayers over $23.5 million. Have you had enough yet?
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