Restaurant Reviews From California To New York

There’s no need to search far in California or New York to locate one of several fine dinning restaurants. For anyone who is seriously interested in locating a fantastic one for supper, whether or not it’s with close friends, family members, or maybe that special someone to you personally.

It could be as challenging as looking for a needle inside a hay-stack at times.

There might be a number of respectable smartphone applications where you can look into restaurants within your neighborhood however they really don’t provide detailed food selection or menus and or photographs. In cases like this, you wouldn’t want just a listing of restaurants, you need a little something a whole lot better.

It is advisable to find ways to get sneak-peeks by means of images, in addition to insightful information and price ranges, and also the different varieties of delicacies that a restaurant features.

Does your special occasion need more thrilling restaurant choices than usual?

It’s quicker to select the ideal family type restaurant, fine-dining restaurant, as well as informal dining destinations whenever you take full advantage of on-line restaurant guides, they can assist you to quickly pick out exactly what you or others are looking for. In many cases, a lot more than the ordinary names and standard specifics. You will get all sorts of bonuses and information on eating place with the proper information such as, kinds of food items these places serve, the typical range of prices for that restaurant, photos in addition to menus.

In case you are to the business side with the restaurant, like an owner or even thinking about opening one in the near future, you are going to have a very distinctive narrative. On the internet cafe and restaurant reviews imply different things in your case and what they necessarily mean to individuals searching for a spot to try to eat. Strategies are for testimonials to be able to paint the eatery within the most optimistic light achievable. You need the bistro cafe or any eating hot spot to be able to capture the interest of people searching for wonderful restaurants within California or anywhere for that matter.

Fundamentally you must always be thinking about appealing to those people who are searching for just what your own eating place is offering, it could be a family type restaurant, or perhaps Ancient Greek, Mexican, Native Indian, or even Chinese eating place. You need to have the ability to give folks discount coupons to enable them to come and find whatever you are offering at a lower price. You need detailed evaluations or positive reviews for any dining establishments within Los Angeles and also the San Francisco Bay-Area, and you will get these whenever you list ones restaurant with the appropriate tutorial, yes, on the internet.

You have to create and keep building a positive reputation for the eatery and make certain that it’s recognized by the general public if you wish the restaurant to flourish. Those who work in the business currently have paid out a whopping price tag while surviving in the past economic downturn.

The end result is, it does not matter if you’re the greatest thing to hit Thai food markets in Brooklyn, if no one has seen you or even that you’re among the best dining places in New York, if nobody is aware where your location is, they are not going to come inside. So, get on the information highway of the world-wide-web and enjoy the ride of good fortune.

Mammoth Magic: California’s Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain is a stocky hulk of a volcano that stands apart from the Sierran peaks around it. Some 300 miles north of Los Angeles, California, along U.S. Highway 395, this 11,053-foot peak is the centerpiece of a year-round playground. Amidst this alpine region in the Inyo National Forest, numerous lakes and streams and geological wonders await the visitor and offer countless recreational opportunities. In the summer, backpacking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing, bouldering, boating and fishing top the list of activities enjoyed here. In spring and fall, seasonal beauty offers special allure for hikers, photographers and artists. In winter, a snowy cloak drapes the landscape, beckoning sports enthusiasts to the area’s world-famous Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort, and to nearby cross-country ski and snowmobiling trails. And numerous public and private campgrounds in the area offer year-round camping, making it a favorite destination of many RVers.

Depending on the visitor’s interests, an RV tour of Mammoth-Mono country can be approached from different locations and during any season. As a sample tour to introduce the area, begin your visit at the Inyo National Forest Mammoth Visitor Center, the first right as you’re coming into town on State Highway 203. The center has books, maps, leaflets, displays and helpful rangers to assist visitors in planning itineraries and to issue wilderness permits for overnight wilderness backpacking trips. The center also sponsors ranger-led hikes and evening programs.

Unless you’ll be camping in the Devil’s Postpile area, you’ll have to take a shuttle bus between 7:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. daily to get there. Instituted to alleviate traffic congestion in this very popular area, the bus cost $8 per adult or $4 per child ages 3-15, free for children under 2 years of age, round-trip service. Bus rides between stops in the canyon are free. If you’re going to camp in the Middle Fork Canyon of the San Joaquin River, you should know that the road from the Minaret Summit to Agnew Meadows is curvy, steep and scarcely more than one-lane wide. The shuttle is free after Labor Day into October.

The trailhead at Agnew Meadows are packed with the vehicles of hikers, and the meadow is even more packed with flowers. Horseback trips into the wilderness start at a pack station near here. Both hikers and riders visit such places as Shadow Lake, which the guidebook Mammoth Lakes Sierra called “one of the jewels of the Sierra, particularly because of its setting below the peaks of the Ritter Range.” It is a moderate 3-mile hike.

At Devil’s Postpile, you’ll see a jumble of talus of the Postpile (something like giant, polygonal Lincoln logs piled in the corner) made when basalt lava filled this place to a depth of 400 feet. As the basalt cooled, it cracked to form a honeycomb of columns – in fact, one of the best examples of columnar-jointed basalt in the world.

But volcanism was only one part of the story here and in the Mammoth-Mono area. Glaciers were another. After hiking to the top of the Postpile, you’ll see the tiled floor finish of the column tops. A glacier 4,000 feet thick left not only polish, but also parallel scratches called striations. The glacier also plucked 100 feet worth of basalt off of this formation, although the columns are still another 280 to 300 feet and go straight down.

From the Postpile you can reach the end of Highway 203 at Reds Meadow. The meadow is a resort with a general store, cafe, cabins and pack station offering horse or wagon rides. Just before reaching the resort, you can camp at a Forest Service campground and luxuriate in it’s free hot-spring-heated bathhouse.

Also in this area is the trailhead for Rainbow Falls. The hike is only 1-1/4 miles and re-enters the national monument. The San Joaquin River broadly plunges 101 feet over a lava ledge and partly atomizes into a spectral-colored mist, which is best seen at midday. The rainbow in the mist of the falls is a daily occurrence, as long as the sun is shining.

This canyon is snowed in during the winter, but Mammoth Mountain is open all year. This inactive volcano is home to one of the country’s grandest downhill-ski areas. The skiing terrain is a healthy mix of 30% beginner, 40% intermediate and 30% advanced. Thirty-two lifts and 150 trails covering 3,100 vertical feet serve skiers of all abilities. For the borderline suicidal, there are advanced to expert runs (i.e., cliffs and near cliffs) from the summit, which a gondola reaches in 20 minutes. That gondola is also open for summer visitors who want to hike across the summit to enjoy the scenery from probably the best, most easily reached vantage point around.

Returning to the village, turn right on the Lake Mary Road to get to the Mammoth Lakes. The distinctive granite spire called Crystal Crag dominates this glacier-scoured basin. The cluster of lakes here is sprinkled with campgrounds. Mammoth Mountain RV Park is one of the most popular and is open year-round. In addition to camping, visitors can enjoy fishing, boating, horseback riding and hiking.

From Horseshoe Lake, the farthest one you can drive to, you can hike to McLeod Lake in a half-mile, then on over Mammoth Pass to Reds Meadow. For a memorable meal, picnic at the Twin Falls Overlook, where the outlet of Lake Mamie tumbles over volcanic boulders 300 feet to the Twin Lakes below.

Heading back to U.S. Highway 395 and turning right (south), you can visit more Mammoth attractions. Convict Lake, a 10-minute drive from Mammoth Lakes Village, offers camping, fishing, horseback riding and hiking, including a level, one-mile long trail around the north shore, and trails into the John Muir Wilderness. Mount Morrison looms over the southside of Convict Canyon, and aspens in the campground put on a show in the fall.

Farther south, Crowley Lake is heavily fished, which isn’t surprising, since the fishing is fantastic in the eastern Sierra. During the summer, it seems that every lake and stream has at least one angler on it everyday after brown, rainbow, golden or brook trout. The opening day of the trout season, in April, sees its share of eager anglers, too. You can get a copy of the fishing regulations and a fishing license from just about any store in the area.

Heading back north on U.S. Highway 395, the next road, mostly dirt, leads to the Hot Creek Fish Hatchery and the Hot Creek Geologic Site. The hot springs here provide the hatchery with ideally warm water for the incubation of trout eggs. It is one of the many hatcheries in the area that keep nibbles on the line throughout the season. Hot Creek is open to visitors daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The nearby geologic site, open for day use only, has boardwalks leading to steaming vents and boiling waters. Swimming is not recommended, partly because of inconsistent mixing of the heated water with the cold creek water.

Continuing northward, toward Mono Lake, you’ll turn onto the June Lake Loop. On your way to June Lake, you can climb an observation deck near Oh! Ridge, so named because of how suddenly you see the lake. The lake itself has one of the best sunbathing beaches in the area. All along the loop, numerous public and private campgrounds accommodate the RVer. Trails strike off from the road, inviting the hiker or horse packer to the higher country of the Ansel Adams (formerly the Minarets) Wilderness and the “back door” of Yosemite.

After passing Silver Lake, where the California record brook trout was caught, you’ll parallel the upper reaches of Rush Creek to Grant Lake. Grant is the main holding reservoir for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s diverted Mono Basin water. From this point, the water goes under the Mono Craters instead of to Mono Lake, to the Owens River. Below the dam, Los Angeles has kept lower Rush Creek – once the finest brown trout stream in the eastern Sierra – bone dry. That is, until three wet winters a few years ago swept trout over the dam. These fish actually re-established their own wild spawning population once again, though perhaps only temporarily. The creek would be dry through the summer, were it not for a temporary injunction brought on by fishermen’s groups and the Mono Lake Committee, which has been fighting to protect Mono Lake. The injunction requires Los Angeles to maintain a 19-cubic-feet-per-second minimum flow. Anglers have been treating the reborn creek as a wild catch-and-release trout stream.

Returning to U.S. 395, head south, crossing Rush Creek, and turn left onto State Highway 120, east toward the Mono Craters, which tower 2600 feet above the surrounding plains. These volcanic craters are practically newborns in geologic terms. This is especially true of Panum Crater. You can take a short trip to the crater’s rim and take in the surroundings. Panum Crater was formed only 640 years ago when explosive eruptions piled up pumice to create the rim, set up by the oozing of a glassy, obsidian plug. To the west, Sierran canyons show the broad U-shape of glacier-carved valley. Mono Lake itself rests in a bathtub-shaped basin with the eastern Sierra as the wall, with faucets on one end and with volcanic highlands forming the rims, but this tub loses water only to evaporation. Today, it is drying up because of Los Angeles’ diversion of four of the five Sierran streams that flow toward Mono.

Return to Highway 120 and turn left. After about three miles, turn left onto a dirt road, then follow the left fork. This takes you to an interpretive trail at the South Tufa Grove. Tufa is one of the most peculiar products of the lake, owing its existence to Mono’s unusual chemistry. Mono’s water is three times as salty as the sea and about 80 times as alkaline, which makes it feel soapy. One type of these salts is carbonates – chemically related to baking soda – which react with the calcium in spring water as it wells up from the lake bottom. The result is tufa. The fragile, other-worldly sand tufa at the nearby Navy Beach was formed in the same way as the tufa towers, except that the calcium carbonate formed in sand. The hardened calcium carbonate holds the grains of sand together in fragile formations.

In spite of its “dead sea” appearance, Mono teems with life. It supports algae, brine shrimp and brine flies by the billions, which, in turn, support nesting gulls and millions of migrating shore birds. The fall migration is particularly heavy. The black, volcanic Negit Island was the main nesting colony for gulls until 1979, when the lake level dropped enough to expose a land bridge. Coyotes then crossed the island and routed the gulls. Thanks to those wet winters, Negit is an island, once again.

Mammoth-Mono Resources:

Mammoth Visitor Center, Mammoth Ranger District, P.O. Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546 (619)934-2505

Lee Vining Ranger Station, Mono Lake Ranger District, 1 Visitor Center Drive, Lee Vining, California 93541 (760)647-3000

Mono Lake Visitor Center, 1 Visitor Center Drive, Lee Vining, CA 93541 (760)647-3044

The Mono Lake Committee, P.O. Box 29, Lee Vining, California 93541 (760)647-6595

For information on Horseback trips, write or call:

Agnew Meadows Pack Train, Red’s Meadow Pack Train, 1 Reds Circle, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546 (760)934-2345

Mammoth Lakes Pack Outfit, 3244 Lake Mary Road, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546 (760)934-2434

McGee Creek Pack Station, McGee Creek Road, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546 (760)935-4324

Convict Lake Resort, 2000 Convict Lake Road, Mammoth Lakes, California 93546 (760)934-3800

For more online information about Mammoth Lakes, point your browser to: http://www.VisitMammoth.com

For more information about Mono Lake, go online to: http://www.MonoLake.org

Lofty Alpine County, California

The highest county in California provides visitors with panoramic views of rocky mountains, lush valleys, and tranquil lakes, as well as the host of trails that lure the adventurous to follow them.

Counties that encompass the southern Sierra Nevada mountains in California may have the highest peaks, but no county in the state has a higher average elevation than aptly named Alpine County. Although four of its mountain passes are crossed by highways (two of which are closed in the winter), Alpine still consists primarily of forest, meadows, and rocky peaks. In fact, it’s much like it was when Kit Carson crossed the mountain pass that now bears his name on his way into California.

By taking California highways 88 and 4, you can travel a loop through Alpine County that begins and ends in Stockton. Near the county line, you’ll pass the popular Kirkwood Ski Area and reach 8,500-foot Carson Pass. This pass is filled with history. Kit Carson accompanied Captain John C. Fremont and his expedition over this pass bound for Sacramento as the party completed the first winter crossing of the Sierras, in February 1844. Today, a monument to Fremont and Carson stands at the pass, as does a replica of a tree section into which Kit Carson carved his name and the date.

Another monument here honors Norwegian-born John “Snowshoe” Thompson, who should be the patron saint of postal workers. Thompson was a hardy mail carrier who skied (skis were called snowshoes in those days) over the Sierras, including Carson Pass, to get the mail through. He never failed – even during blizzards, and even though his load sometimes amounted to 100 pounds. He delivered mail from 1856 to 1876, twenty years of his life, for which his promised salary was never paid.

Carson Pass is used heavily by hikers and by cross-country skiers in the winter and with good reason. Two heavy-duty scenic trails – the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail – pass through here. As they head south, both of these trails zigzag through granite outcrops and mountain hemlock for a 1/2 mile before reaching Frog Lake. Watch for the broad, cheery flower heads of mule ears (a member of the sunflower family) around this lake early in the season. The trail continues on through a mix of meadows and conifer clusters, where gray, black, and white Clark’s nutcrackers swoop from tree to tree. From a trail junction near Elephant’s Back, the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail heads straight toward Winnemucca Lake and on into the 150,000-acres Mokelumne Wilderness. The wilderness trail plunges steeply into Summit City Canyon, passing a little jewel called Fourth of July Lake on its way to the bottom. You’ll need a Forest Service permit to hike this trail.

The Pacific Crest heads left, skirting the base of the brownish volcanic deposits of the Elephant’s Back and dropping down the eastern slope of the crest. Much of the Sierran crest in Alpine County is granite overlain by more recent volcanic deposits. Glaciers covered most of the landscape in the geologic past, so the lakes are usually set in granite basins. Many of the peaks are volcanic.

From the pass, Highway 88 drops steeply down the east slope overlooking Red Lake. The second turnoff on the right, Blue Lakes Road, leads out to the Hope Valley Campground and on to the Blue Lakes. The pavement soon becomes washboardy dirt, and the road becomes narrow and twisty in places. Somehow good-sized motor coaches manage to get back in here at the area’s campgrounds and in scattered undeveloped sites, despite the condition of the road. The lakes are set in a patchwork of pines, aspens, and granite amid looming peaks of the prevalent volcanic deposits.

As you follow the narrow West Carson River Canyon, turn right toward Markleeville at the historic town of Woodfords. On your way there on highways 89 and 4, turn left on the Airport Road, and drive one mile to the Curtz Lake Environmental Study Area. Three short, self-guiding trails, to moderately dense, coniferous forest; open grasslands; and lakeshore provide an education on the geology and ecology of this area, as well as an enjoyable introduction to the natural history of Alpine County. Among other things, the trails introduce hikers to the vanilla-odored bark of the Jeffrey pine, and to the single-leaf pinyon pine, which is still sought by the local Washoe Indians for its large, tasty pine nuts.

From Markleeville, travelers can drive three miles to Grover Hot Springs State Park. This park not only offers pine-shadowed campgrounds and hiking trails but also a pool area where hikers and weary travelers can luxuriate in 102- to 106-degree Fahrenheit (about 40-degree Celsius), mineral-rich water, alternating with the bracing plunge into an unheated pool. Although its hours vary with the season, the pool area is open year-round. The hot pool is especially inviting after a wintry day of cross-country skiing.

Less than a block before you rejoin the highway on your way back to Markleeville, you can turn left onto Museum Street and climb a hill to a historical complex that overlooks the town. Operated by the Historical Society of Alpine County, the complex consists of the town’s Old Webster School, which was in use from 1883 to 1929; the old jail containing 100-year old iron jail cells from Silver Mountain City; and a museum full of artifacts. Among the museum’s displays are a pair of skis and a certificate of citizenship belonging to Snowshoe Thompson himself, plus an enlargement of an old newspaper article about him.

At the Forest Service visitor center in town, travelers can learn about rafting opportunities on the East Fork of the Carson River. A takeout point is situated a short distance south of town. If you don’t have a raft of your own, then you can float with a number of private rafting companies. Sorensen’s Resort in Hope Valley can make reservations for rafting trips for you. Several companies offer raft trips on the Carson River; the easiest way to hook up with one is to search for East Fork Carson River rafting in your web browser.

After Highway 89 heads off toward Monitor Pass, you’ll pass the gates that keep the higher elevations of Highway 4 closed through the winter. The road continues past the gates along the East Fork Carson River until it reaches the historic site of Centerville. Near here, you can turn left onto Wolf Creek Road. After driving 3-1/2 miles, you’ll reach a fork. Take the left road of the fork and drive to the north end of Wolf Creek Meadows. Then, after 2/3-mile, you’ll reach a spur road that climbs to the trailhead for the High Trail and the East Carson River Trail, which is also called the Low Trail.

Soon after you reach this point, this relatively uncrowded road takes on its high-country character. In the words of a friend of mine, “it used to be a deer trail until they narrowed it.” As such, drivers of large coaches will probably want to turn around at this point. However, the road can accommodate mini-motorhomes and Class A vehicles up to 25 feet in length, assuming that their drivers are up to the challenge.

The High Trail and the East Carson River Trail lead into one of California’s designated wilderness areas – the 160,000-acre Carson-Iceberg Wilderness – and into the East Carson River Canyon, which is one of the longest and deepest canyons east of the Sierran crest. The canyon has been carved by glaciers up to 19 miles long.

As you continue along Highway 4 next to Silver Creek, the road becomes very narrow. Small coaches that make the climb up to the Silver Creek Valley will cross the bridge over Raymond Creek, and passengers will gasp at the sight of Raymond Creek Falls upstream. Just past a sharp bend up ahead, two Toiyabe National Forest campgrounds spread out on both sides of the road.

As the highway snakes its way up from the campgrounds past aspen groves, it passes several primitive campsites. These are little more than dirt driveways leading out to rock fire rings. In fact, much of this high country provides primitive sites for the taking. A few favorite campsites are situated in this Silver Creek area. Next to a small creek with aspens and willows all around, the traveler can enjoy a broad view of the valley from the top of a bare hill. The sound of rushing water lulls you to sleep at night. The chilly creek has carved smooth contours into the granite.

After you pass the Kinney Reservoir and probably a number of anglers, you’ll once again reach trailheads for the Pacific Crest Trail, just before the 8,730-foot Ebbetts Pass. If you take the first trailhead, you’ll head south, climbing a ridge and curving along a slope toward Nobel Lake, which you’ll reach after about 4 miles. Nobel Creek is well-stocked with California’s state fish, the golden trout. If you choose the second trailhead, you can climb to an overlook that takes in the highway and Kinney Reservoir, and then continue north past Ebbetts Peak and some small ponds and lakes toward Upper Kinney Lake. This stretch is less than two miles long.

Continuing westward, you’ll cross the Pacific Grade Summit at 8,050 feet and negotiate more hairpin turns on your way to the major recreational attraction along the Stanislaus National Forest portion of Highway 4. At 7,320 feet, pine-shrouded Lake Alpine is 50 miles from the town of Angels Camp. Motorboating is popular here and the Department of Fish and Game has stocked the lake with rainbow trout. Around the lake itself, trails lead to two volcanic ridges – Osborne Point on the western side and Inspiration Point from the southeast. Four developed campgrounds offer sites for campers. These facilities and picnic areas are usually open from June 15 to October 15 only, because Highway 4 isn’t plowed during the winter months from this point east.

The Tahoe-Yosemite Trail runs next to the eastern end of the lake. To head south on this 186-mile hiker’s trail, you would start at the east end of Silver Valley Campground. After you’ve walked about a mile up and down over the low ridge, you’ll reach a meadow at Duck Lake on the border of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Rock Lake, a shallow, marshy body of water provides a warm swim, is farther on if you’re up to the 4-1/2 -mile hike from Lake Alpine. The Mokelumne Wilderness is about four miles north of Lake Alpine on the trail.

Even though the Ebbetts Pass area is closed in the winter, another of California’s more popular ski resorts, the Mount Reba Ski Area, swings into high gear. Alpine County is truly an unspoiled, year-round recreation land. Even a mostly dry-reading plan for the county transportation waxed poetic about this place saying, “life here is a dedicated involvement with nature.” For those who are interested, it’s also a dedicated involvement with history.

Alpine County’s official website: http://www.alpinecounty.com

Toiyabe National Forest website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/htnf/ then go to the Carson Ranger District, which covers the area east and south of Lake Tahoe.

California Tax Issues

California taxation of homeowners associations is still a mystery to many people. That’s because the rules are a little complex, especially as compared to taxation of individuals in the state of California. Let’s look at the basic rules that apply to taxation of California homeowners associations.

  1. All corporations in California are automatically subject to the franchise tax unless they are exempt from taxation under one of the subsections of revenue and taxation code section 23701. The franchise tax is essentially a tax on gross receipts less allowable deductions. One of the key applications of this concept that potentially affects homeowners associations is that U.S. Treasury interest, which is generally considered exempt interest income under income tax rules, is taxable under the franchise tax rules.
  2. Corporate homeowners associations can apply for exemption under Revenue and Taxation Code section 23701t. This requires filing exemption application Form FTB 3500, which is a significant process in itself. It also means that the Association must meet the qualifications set forth in that section of California code. The benefit is significant because exempt associations are subject to the income tax rules rather than the franchise tax rules. What this means is that U.S. Treasury interest for an exempt Association is not considered taxable income.
  3. Qualification under Revenue and Taxation code section 23701t is roughly equivalent to qualification under Internal Revenue Code section 528 for federal tax purposes. That means if an Association can qualify to file Form 1120-H, it generally can also qualify for exemption under California law.
  4. However, there are some differences between federal and California law. One difference is that cooperatives may not file Form 1120-H, but will still qualify under Revenue and Taxation Code section 23701t for California purposes.
  5. Another difference relates to unincorporated associations, which are automatically subject to the income tax rules rather than the franchise tax rules for purposes of California taxation.
  6. All corporations are required to file Form 100, which reports all taxable activities. Exempt Associations are also required to file Form 199, which reports all exempt activities. While FTB allows a “postcard” filing of Form 199 online, many associations still prefer to file the paper form both as proof of filing and for an internal record.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) has long had a policy of suspending corporate status for associations that either failed to file tax returns, or failure to file the biennial statement of officers with the Secretary of State’s office. Failure to file any of the tax forms or officer notice can result in suspension of the Corporation. While that has certain legal implications, such as the inability to legally contract for services, and the loss of rights to the name of the corporation, it also has a financial impact.

The Franchise Tax Board in recent months has been very aggressive and also revoking exempt status for corporations that have been suspended for any reason. The impact of this is that the Association must not only supply any missing tax returns or statement of officers, but they must also file a “Certificate of Revivor” and a new application for exempt status on Form FTB 3500.

Exacerbating the situation is the fact that the Secretary of State is not particularly timely in posting its receipt of the statement of officers. This has resulted in two situations in our firm where associations have had their exempt status revoked and have been suspended, when in fact they had made all timely filings. We recently dealt with an association that had its exempt status revoked and placed on suspension in July, because the Secretary of State failed to post notice that the statement of officers had been received in May. In this case there was about a six-week time delay in the posting of the notice, and FTB happened to take action during that six-week period. The matter was easily resolved by a single phone call to the tax practitioners Hotline with FTB and working through the situation. However, if someone were relying strictly on the positions taken by FTB without challenging them, it would have resulted in an extensive effort by the Association and significant cost in re-applying for exempt status.

The caution to associations is to not blindly accept the positions of the Franchise Tax Board if you believe you have filed all necessary forms with the State of California.

Associations can check their corporate status on the California Secretary of State website at http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/.

This does not allow you to check exempt status with Franchise Tax Board. but it will at least let you know whether your corporation is active or has been suspended.

Lake Jennings, Lakeside California for Camping, Fishing, Boating, Wildlife Viewing and Bird Watching

Looking for a place in San Diego to camp, fish, hike or picnic? Lake Jennings is located in Lakeside, California. You’ll think you’re in the middle of the wilderness at Lake Jennings with views of the lake and the wooded surroundings. The lake is a drinking water reservoir owned and operated by the Helix Water District.

This lake hosts a campground, fishing, boating, hiking, wildlife viewing and bird watching.

CAMPING

Lake Jennings campground has a 96 space campground and is open seven days a week, year around. The various spaces for camping consist of 35 full hookups (water, electricity, and sewer), 35 partial hookup sites (electricity and water) and 26 non-hook up tent sites. The campground has free Wi-Fi throughout the campground.

For family gatherings and a place to sit indoors and play some games, the Pavilion is open for all registered campers. This large wooden covered structure has games such as ladder golf, and ping pong every day. On Saturdays, there are Arts & Crafts available. Some of the new activities include Jenga, Corn Hole, and tetherball. There is also a covered playground with a swing set and other play structures for kids.

LAKE

Lake amenities include paddleboats, rowboats or motorboats available for renting on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Plus there are numerous coves around the lake that are great rest or picnic areas.

FISHING

For fishermen or lady fishers’, the lake is open for fishing and boating every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 6:00 a.m. until 7:30 pp.m. Shoreline fishing is available from the campground daily from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A fishing permit and license are required.

For your convenience a bait and tackle shop is on site and opened Friday through Sunday providing bait, tackle, camping supplies snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. At the camp entrance station, you can purchase firewood, ice, and propane.

HIKING

If you’re into hiking, blaze some trails since Lake Jennings has miles and miles of hiking trails. Around the lake, hiking is a somewhat flat 5.5 miles. On the north side of the lake, you can reach the old “Flume” bench, a trail that’s around 5 miles along the ridge of El Monte Valley. There are trails both through and around the campground. Around the campground is about one mile with slight elevation changes and a shorter trail within the campground of approximately 300 feet for all ages.

WILDLIFE in the PARK

With Lake Jenning’s rolling hills, the lake, the coastal sage, and riparian areas, there are various habitats. Deer can be seen early morning and late evening. Other critters roaming the lake area are bobcats, coyotes, skunks and raccoons. These animals are wild but do not mind being watched from a distance.

Bird watchers while at Lake Jennings can see a variety of birds from chaparral and aquatic habitats. More than any other country in the United States, San Diego has recorded 475 bird species.

For more information, please call:

Lake – (619) 443-2510

Campground – (619) 619 390-1623

Guide to New Employment Laws for California in 2018

Ban the Box: No Criminal History Inquiries before Making a Conditional Offer (Govt. Code § 12952)

All employers with five (5) or more employees are prohibited from including on any employment application a question that seeks disclosure of the applicant’s criminal history. The employer cannot “inquire” or “consider” an applicant’s conviction history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

This also means employers cannot use background checks that reveal criminal conviction history until after an offer is made.

If an employer intends to deny employment to an application because of an applicant’s conviction history, whether in whole or in part, it must make an individualized assessment of whether the applicant’s conviction history has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job that justify denying the applicant the position. The employer shall consider: (1) the nature and gravity of the offense or conduct; (2) the time that has passed since the offense or conduct and completion of the sentence; and (3) the nature of the job held or sought. This assessment may or may not memorialized in writing.

If the employer makes a preliminary decision that the applicant’s conviction history disqualifies the applicant from employment, the employer shall notify the applicant of this preliminary decision in writing. The notification shall contain: (1) notice of the disqualifying conviction or convictions that are the basis for the preliminary decision to rescind the offer; (2) a copy of the conviction history report, if any; and (3) an explanation of the applicant’s right to respond to the notice of the employer’s preliminary decision before that decision becomes final and the deadline by which to respond. The explanation shall inform the applicant that the response may include submission of evidence challenging the accuracy of the conviction history report that is the basis for rescinding the offer, evidence of rehabilitation or mitigating circumstances, or both.

The applicant has at least five (5) business days to respond to the notice provided to the applicant before the employer may make a final decision. The applicant’s response may dispute the accuracy of the conviction history report that was the basis for the preliminary decision to rescind the offer. If the applicant states he/she is taking specific steps to obtain evidence supporting his/her dispute, then the applicant has five (5) additional business days to respond with the evidence.

If an employer makes a final decision to deny an application solely or in part because of the applicant’s conviction history, the employer shall notify the applicant in writing. The notice must include: (1) the final denial or disqualification; (2) any existing procedure the employer has for the applicant to challenge the decision or request reconsideration; and (3) the right to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Do Not Ask about Salary History (Labor Code § 432.3)

An employer may not seek salary history information about an applicant for employment. “Salary history information” including compensation and benefits.

The new law does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information to a prospective employer. If an applicant voluntarily and without prompting discloses salary history information to a prospective employer, the employer may consider or rely on that information in determining the salary for that applicant.

If an applicant asks the pay scale for a position, the employer must provide it.

Job-Protected Parental Leave Law (Govt. Code § 12945.6)

Employers with 20 or more employees must provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for new parents to bond with a new child within one (1) year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. Unlike the federal Family and Medical Leave Act and the California Family Rights Act, this new law is limited to parental leave; it does not allow for leave due to the employee’s or the employees’ family member’s “serious health condition.”

A covered employer has between 20 and 49 employees with 75 miles of each other.

A covered employee has more than 12 months of service with the employer, and at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period.

While the leave is unpaid, the employee is entitled to use any accrued vacation pay, paid sick time, or other accrued paid time off. In addition, the employer must maintain group health coverage during the leave at the same level and under the same conditions that would have been provided had the employee continued to work.

Immigration: Cooperation with Federal Authorities (Govt. Code §§ 7285.1, 7285.2, 7285.3, and Labor Code § 90.2)

Under current federal immigration law, when federal immigration authorities visit a worksite to perform enforcement activity, the employer may allow authorities to access nonpublic portions of the worksite voluntarily or requiring a warrant. California’s new law removes the employer’s ability to voluntarily allow access to nonpublic portions of the worksite.

The Labor Commissioner or Attorney General have exclusive authority to enforce this new law. Thus, there is no private right of action under the California Labor Code’s Private Attorneys General Act. Civil penalties range from $2,000-5,000 for the first violation and $5,000-10,000 for each subsequent violation.

The new law also prevents employers from voluntarily providing immigration enforcement agents to access employee records without a subpoena or judicial warrant. This section does not apply to I-9 forms for which a Notice of Inspection has been provided to the employer.

If an employer receives of any Notices of inspections of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records from an immigration agency, it must provide employees notice of the inspection within 72 hours of receiving notice. The notice must be hand-delivered at the worksite if possible, or by mail or email if hand delivery is not possible.

Retaliation: Labor Commissioner Now Authorized to Obtain a Preliminary Injunction (Labor Code § 98.7)

An employee or the Labor Commissioner may obtain a preliminary injunction order compelling the employer to reinstate an employee pending the resolution of the employee’s retaliation lawsuit. Meaning, an employer may be required to re-hire an employee during the time it takes to litigate the employee’s claim that he/she was subject to unlawful retaliation, which usually takes no less a year or more.

Moreover, the new law drastically reduces the burden of proof for injunctive relief in retaliation cases. The general standard for a temporary restraining order or permanent injunction requires the party to prove (1) irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted, (2) likelihood of the success on the merits of the claim, and (3) these interests outweigh whatever harm the defendant will suffer if an injunction is granted. Now, injunctive relief shall be granted if the individual makes a mere showing that “reasonable cause” exists to believe the employee was unlawfully terminated or subjected to an adverse action.

In addition to handing employees a much lower burden of proof than other forms of injunctive relief, the court must consider “the chilling effect on other employees asserting their rights under those laws in determining if temporary injunctive relief is just and proper.” Thus, the court must consider an entirely new factor that only favors the employees.

Postings and Notices

Benefits

The Employment Development Department made changes to DE 2320 For Your Benefit and the Paid Family Leave pamphlets. DE 2320 must be distributed to an employee upon termination or lay off, or on a leave of absence.

Paid Family Leave no longer has a seven-day waiting period.

Victim’s Rights Pamphlet

All employers must provide new employees with written notice about the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to take protected time off for medical treatment or legal proceedings. The Victims of Domestic Abuse pamphlet can be found on the California Department of Industrial Relations Website

Transgender Rights Poster

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing developed a new transgender rights poster. All employers with five (5) or more employees must post this information. If you order the federal and state law employment poster updated annually and published by the California Chamber of Commerce, the information is contained therein. Otherwise, the poster can be found on the Department of Fair Employment and Housing website.

Also, employers should familiarize themselves with California’s new identification documentation. California identification cards, birth certificates and driver’s licenses can include one (1) of three (3) gender options: female, male or nonbinary. They will be phased in beginning September 1, 2018, for birth certificates, and January 1, 2019, for driver’s licenses.

Minimum Wage Increase

For employers with 26 or more employees, the state minimum wage increased to $11/hour. For employers with 25 or fewer employees, the state minimum wage increased to $10.50/hour.

The minimum salary threshold for executive, administrative and professional exemptions increased for 2018. The threshold is based on the state minimum wage, not any local minimum wage. The minimum monthly salary exemption for employers with 26 or more employees is $3,813.33/month ($45,760/year).

For employers with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum monthly salary exemption is $3,640/month ($43,680/year).

New I-9 Form (07/17/17 N)

The latest form can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Website.

IRS Standard Mileage Rate Increases

The 2018 IRS Mileage Rate increased to 54.5 cents/mile for business travel.

Reminders of Local Ordinances

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for employees working in Los Angeles City increased on July 1, 2016, to $10.50/hour for companies with 26 or more employees. For employers with 25 or fewer employees, minimum wage increased to $10.50 on July 1, 2017. The increases will continue as follows:

Employers with 26 or more employers

7/1/16 $10.50

7/1/17 $12.00

7/1/18 $13.25

7/1/19 $14.25

7/1/20 $15.00

Employers with 25 or fewer employees

7/1/17 $10.50

7/1/18 $12.00

7/1/19 $13.25

7/1/20 $14.25

7/1/21 $15.00

Paid Sick Leave

L.A. City enacted an ordinance requiring 48 hours of paid sick leave per year, doubling California’s sick pay law. Unlike the state law which contains exceptions for certain occupations such as construction workers, certain home health workers, flight crews and workers covered by union agreements, the L.A. ordinance contains no exceptions. Employers with 26 or more employees were required to comply by July 1, 2016. Employers with 25 or less employees were required to comply by July 1, 2017.

Paid sick leave accrues on the first day of employment and may be used beginning on the 90th day. Employers may either grant a lump sum (“front-load”) of paid sick leave or have it accrue at the rate of one (1) hour of sick leave for every 30 hours worked. However, the state law has additional accrual options not allowed by the L.A. ordinance. Further, under the front-load approach, state law provides that there is no carry over of unused sick time. The L.A. ordinance holds that up to 72 hours must carry over year to year but it does not state whether this carry over requirement applies to front-load plans.

Like state law, unused sick leave need not be paid out upon separation. If an employee separates and is rehired within one (1) year, any unused sick time must be reinstated. Unlike, state law, the L.A. ordinance does not have an exception to reinstatement if paid sick leave was paid out upon separation, i.e., under a PTO policy.

5 Best Casinos In Southern California

When traveling to California there is always that breath of excitement you take before setting foot on the Golden State, the trill of running around free in the wild wild west. Southern California offers various pleasures to people from all walks of life, this sunshine sees no color and everyone gets love.

In Los Angeles and the surrounding cities you can certainly find something that gets your jollies going, no matter if you are a theme park enthusiast or a strip club connoisseur.

-We got it.

I have a couple friends who love to gamble at casinos across California, so I’ve asked them which are the top 5 best casinos to visit while in Southern California.

Here’s the list of 5 best casinos for your 2017 travel

5. Hawaiian Gardens Casino

Located at 11871 Carson St, Hawaiian Gardens, CA.

Hawaiian Gardens Casino recently underwent a serious $90 million dollar renovation and expansion project and opened earlier this year. The old 59,500-square-foot casino has been remodeled with a modern and very appealing 200,000-square-foot gaming, dining, and entertainment complex.

For the serious poker players or even the amateurs who want to try cashing out on their beginners luck, the Gardens Casino offers a full spectrum of no-limit games, starting at $20 and $40 buy-in no-limit hold’em, ranging up to $500-$1,500. As of the moment, the casino also offers smaller buy-in daily tournaments and the occasional $100,000 and $150,000 guaranteed prize pool events. Worth checking out.

For more info visit their website thegardenscasino dot com.

4. The Bicycle Hotel & Casino

Located at 888 Bicycle Casino Dr. Bell Gardens, CA 90201

The casino here is astonishingly bigger than you would expect, and if you specifically like card games this is the place you want to be in, seriously theres only card games but various types of games.

-Not a slot machine in sight

Also you get free food when you play at the $100-$200 buy in no-limit tables. Food prices at this location are very good either way. The Korean BBQ here is amazing and taste very authentic. There has been in noticeable change in the casino as it has went under recent upgrades in the interior. Overall a very nice spot to get your poker face on. Don’t forget to swoop a drink from the brewery.

3. The Commerce Casino

Located at 6131 East Telegraph Rd, Commerce, CA 90040

The biggest card casino in the world isn’t in Las Vegas. It’s in Los Angeles.

This is by far one of the finest carding casino in the Los Angeles area. Not a bad place to get your experience on the poker tables and get your education up. Arena grills has savory food also.

No-limit tables are:

$40 table- that’s it, not 40-80, 40-140, etc, just $40 max buy in. $60 max rebuy after bust-out.

$100 table – same as above $100 only, $150 max rebuy after bust-out.

$200 table – same as above $200 only, $300 max rebuy after bust-out.

$300-500 table then it goes from there. Minimum bets all around are $5 for blackjack and $10 for baccarat.

It’s a clean casino excellent for a night out with friends. The food is delicious, outstanding service, and a huge parking lot. Lots of tables to play, many different games, the dealers are nice and welcoming. There are other perks that make this joint pretty interesting but the point is if you want to play cards you can never go wrong here at commerce.

2. San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino

Located at 777 San Manuel Blvd Highland, CA 92346

One of my personal favorites, only because of the vast memories this place has provided. This casino is located in Highland, Ca, a small neighboring city to San Bernardino, CA about 45 minutes east of Los Angeles on the I10 freeway.

This casino is always very alive and vivid, Fridays and Saturdays it gets fairly crowded. I have a few friends employed here which makes every visit very welcoming so I can say San Manuel has friendly employees and no to mention the payout. My last time here I won $400 after I stuck a $100 dollar bill in a slot when I was walking out.

Valet parking is the way to go its only $3. If you’re new to betting on slot machines remember to bet the minimum to avoid losing all your money to fast and maximize potential earning. If this is your first time here then you should sign up for a free players card since you get to spin a wheel which most likely you will get $20 free slot extra credit.

Good luck though finding an open slot machine that you like. There is no cellular signal or reception for your phone in this place but they offer free uncapped WIFI 24/7 for free you can connect to.

I enjoy coming to San Manuel and if you’re in the SoCal area give it a try, you won’t regret it.

1. Pechanga Resort & Casino

Located at 45000 Pechanga Pkwy Temecula, CA 92592

I just want to add a quick important fact:

There’s a few pokestops here. So if you’re looking for Pokemon on Pokemon Go you’re in luck. Not that I play that stuff or anything, wink-wink.

I love how classy the vibe is when you enter through the valet and how all the employees are so amicable, I feel as if this Resort is a second home. When you are here you are family. This is by far one the most immaculate casinos I’ve been to. Why even bother with Vegas when this hidden gem is so close to home. Only about another 45 minute from San Manuel on the 215 south towards San Diego. The food here is exquisite, there is a gorgeous tree surrounded by gorgeous waterfalls. If your not the gambling type their is a dope Spa&Saloon to check out. Everyone gets treated like VIP here. Lots and lots of slot machines. They have poker rooms, high stake limit slots, a live show theatre, buffet and food court.

If you have a chance to check it out on your 2017 travels or trips make sure you do and you will see what I am talking about. It’s worth the 2 hour drive (depending on traffic) if you are coming from Los Angeles.

Not Vegas but It will do.

Are Motorcycles Covered Under California Lemon Law?

When you buy a motorcycle, either from a previous owner, or from a dealer, you expect to run properly. Having to repair the vehicle on and on should make you a bit suspicious. Failing to properly function after a consecutive number of repair attempts is a clear sign that you deal with what is commonly known as a “lemon”. We know that there are specific consumer laws regarding lemon car in California, but does the law also cover lemon motorcycles?

Yes, motorcycles fall within the scope of California’s Lemon Law. If you have had repeated warranty repairs or excessive time in the repair shop, then you should call a lemon law lawyer for further assistance. California law covering motorcycles, trailers and boats is a bit different that the law covering cars. Under the California Lemon Law, motorcycles are covered by Civil Code section 1793.2(d)(1) which covers “consumer goods.”

Consumer goods are covered by lemon laws if they are sold with a written warranty and they are bought for personal or household use. Just like cars, consumer goods must be subjected to a reasonable number of repairs before being declared “lemons”. But, unlike cars, a manufacturer can repurchase the product or replace it in order to fulfill its obligations under the California’s lemon law. The good news is that the found defect need not “substantially impair the use, value or safety”, meaning that you can recover your money even for some minor defects.

Typical defects compromise the safety of driving a motorcycle, making lemon cases stronger than in the case of cars. It is important to collect as much of the repair documentation as possible. They will support your claim and will allow you to settle the claim faster. Also keep track of incidents during operation of the bike is also helpful. Sale documentation and warranties provided at the time of sale can again make a claim stronger and easier to obtain a refund.

Owners of faulty, lemon motorcycles can ask for a replacement motorcycle or a full buyback. The latter will include:

• Full motorcycle price or paid monthly payments and down payment

• Registration fees

• Sales tax

• Incidental damages

• Vehicle rental cost and towing reimbursement

• Attorney`s fees

However, a small amount of money may be calculated and deducted from the repurchase costs, The sum of money is based on the mileage that the motorcycle was driven for prior to the first problem.

California DUI Arrests Under The Legal Limit

CA DUI Laws- BAC Under.08 Can Still Lead to a DUI Arrest

Did you know that according to California DUI law, a driver 21 years of age or older with a BAC under .08% can still face DUI charges? Most drivers are aware that driving with a BAC of .08% or more will result in DUI charges- this is known as a per se DUI. Per se DUIs are straightforward. They rely on testing the driver’s blood-alcohol level. If the result of the chemical test comes back at .08% or above, it is an automatic DUI. However, under California DUI law, a driver 21 or older can also be charged with a DUI with a BAC within the legal limit if their driving is impaired because of the use of drugs or alcohol.

California Vehicle Code 23152(a)

According to California Vehicle Code 23152(a), “it is unlawful for a person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage to drive a vehicle.” Legally, you are “under the influence” if your “physical or mental abilities are impaired to such a degree that you no longer have the ability to drive with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.” This type of DUI is far more subjective. To be charged with a DUI with a BAC below .08, simply requires the officer to have probable cause or a reasonable suspicion that you are driving impaired. For example, a police officer can develop probable cause based on observing suspicious driving behavior. Suspicious driving behaviors include driving excessively fast or slow, weaving between lanes, failure to use turn signals, failure to stop at a stop sign, etc. After pulling the driver over, the officer will look for signs of behavior or physical traits that indicate impairment and thus establish probable cause. Examples include red or bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, dilated pupils, an open container, slurred speech, the smell of alcohol, erratic behavior, etc.

California Implied Consent Law

If the officer observes signs that could indicate impairment, he or she will ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests that serve to test your mental and motor skills in order to identify whether you are impaired. California implied consent laws require anyone with a valid driver’s license to submit to alcohol and drug testing if an officer suspects you of committing a DUI. After conducting several field sobriety tests, the officer will likely ask you to submit to a breathalyzer. If you blow within the legal limit but performed poorly on the field sobriety tests, the officer can still arrest you for DUI. Even if you refuse to blow, the officer can still arrest you if they believe that you are impaired. According to California’s implied consent laws, refusal to blow can result in the immediate suspension of your driver’s license. Fortunately, there are several California DUI Defenses to Vehicle Code 23152(a). A skilled and experienced California DUI attorney can help you fight your DUI charge and possibly get the charges reduced or even dismissed.

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs in California

California DUI laws make it illegal to drive while “intoxicated” by any substance. If the officer witnesses signs of impairment resulting from drugs (legal or illegal), you can still be arrested for DUI/DWI. Law enforcement officials believe that the legalization of recreational marijuana will lead to an increase in California DUI arrests. The lack of an accurate scientific method to accurately measure the amount of THC affecting a person at a specific time, gives law enforcement officials extraordinary discretionary power to arrest based on the suspicion of intoxication.

How Car Title Loans Work in California and Across the Country

How Car Title Loans Work In California And Across The Country

Car title loans. You may have heard of them before, but there’s also a large percentage of people who haven’t. A car title loan can often be a fantastic way for people to get cash quickly in the event of an emergency.

However, it’s something that you need to properly understand before you attempt to even look into the world of car title loans. You need to understand how they work and how your car would be used, so let’s take a look at them here and now.

What Is A Car Title Loan?

Officially, a car title loan is a loan which is secured because you offer the deed for your vehicle as a collateral. When you’re trying to get an urgent loan, the car acts as an asset that you have to barter with.

You give them temporary legal rights to your vehicle, and often the promise that you will surrender the vehicle to them if you can’t pay back the loan. It’s a bit of extra security for loan companies.

So, How Do They Work?

Of course, what we’re looking at here is how things work in California. In case you start to look for car title loans in California, it’s a good idea to make sure that you understand what’s going on.

First, you’re trying to get a loan from a company. It’s urgent, and would really help to get you out of a tight spot. So what do you do? You offer the company your vehicle as part of the loan conditions. It acts as a fallback for them – if you don’t pay the loan, they keep your vehicle.

To do this, you transfer ownership of the vehicle, or the title deed, over to them. While they have it, they may impose certain conditions on the car – you can’t drive it, or you can only use it between certain times. They will then hold onto your vehicle’s title deed until you pay back the loan in full.

That’s when they’ll give the vehicle back to you entirely because business between you and them has concluded. It’s important to understand that during the loan period, the company will impose a lien on your vehicle. It’s a legal term which grants them the right to keep it should the contract be violated.

Overall, car title loans are a great way to get yourself out of a jam when you’re in California. They’re really helpful for people who don’t necessarily have other assets to bargain with.

However, it’s important to understand that a failure to keep to the terms of your contract will result in your car being taken by the company. You should always make every effort to repay your loan.

This helps to prevent an unfortunate circumstance where you do lose your vehicle and ensures that you don’t have to worry about that particular consequence.

However, it’s still worth noting that the car title loan is a good idea, and can be very beneficial in a lot of situations.