Together We Stand

 This year is coming to a close…  By any measure 2017 has been a very uncertain and contentious year in our country. The communities that we serve, the Conejo Valley, Malibu and Pacific Palisades, are more fortunate and less impacted by many of the troubles swirling about the rest of our state, country and even the world. But what does the future hold? Will the air continue to be cleaner than it was when I arrived in California 40 years ago? Or will suddenly unleashed fossil fuel polluters destroy what has been achieved by so many years of hard environmental management? Will our liberties become eroded by dictatorial populism? Please remember that Nazism, Fascism and Communism were populist movements. Will the stark divisions so evident in the rest of the country take hold in California as well?  On a social level, all of this translates to bringing our very complex and diverse society together; we also need to make an effort to better understand and respect differences. An elitist, overly politically correct attitude contributes toward increasing the divide. On the other hand, “I’ve got it and the heck with you” does the same thing. We cannot allow our communities, our state and our country to become fence sitters staring across an abyss at each other. We are better than that. The outreach in our local communities through nonprofits and individual effort never ceases to amaze me. The fact is that our communities are very affluent, but when it comes to supporting the people in our community and beyond, “we put our money where our mouth is.”

Unwrap Significant Savings with Year-End Tax Planning

Unwrap Significant Savings with Year-End Tax Planning

The end of the year is busy for virtually every household. With families preparing for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year, finding time to complete everything before 2018’s new goals and resolutions are underway can be challenging.

December 2017 Around Town

December 2017 Around Town

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County is putting out a special call for BIGS—mentors who can benefit from the friendship of a Little Brother or Little Sister. Some 150 youth in Ventura County, known as “Littles,” are eagerly waiting to meet their BBSVC program role model and friend.

Stand Up for Kids Gala Supports Boys & Girls Clubs

Stand Up for Kids Gala Supports Boys & Girls Clubs 10

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley’s 15th Annual Stand Up for Kids gala dinner and auction raised vital funds to support its educational programs and outdoor activities for the 4,200+ children it serves in Conejo and Las Virgenes valleys.

Ben’s Non-Traditional But Traditional Hanukkah Brisket

Ben’s Non-Traditional But Traditional Hanukkah Brisket 1

A braised beef brisket in gravy is to a family Hanukkah dinner as turkey is to Thanksgiving or ham is to Easter dinner. Frankly, as someone who has sat through many years of braised to death brisket in watery gravy or a Heinz Chili sauce concoction (instant heartburn!), I will tell you that I am not very fond of it—even my Bubba’s version….and she was an incredible cook!

Local Celebs Shout Out for Favorite Charities

Local Celebs Shout Out for Favorite Charities 9

‘Tis the Yuletide season when visions of charitable giving dance in your head. Wondering where to volunteer or send donations? Find inspiration in these local celebrities’ favorite organizations:

Holiday Home Tours Open Doors for Local Charities

Holiday Home Tours Open Doors for Local Charities 6

With Christmas just around the corner, two nonprofit organizations are once again presenting holiday home tours showcasing elaborately decorated private residences and more with the overall goal to raise money for local efforts.

Because It’s Better to Give… 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Because It’s Better to Give… 2017 Holiday Gift Guide 9

Stop in to Brow Radiance for a wide array of skin and body treatments, including microblading, facials, cellulite reduction, lymphatic drainage (post-op), tattoo removal, waxing, make up, ear candling and aromatherapy. Receive a complimentary eyebrow wax or tint with purchase of microblading service throughout December!

Drive in Style with Bumper2Bumper

Drive in Style with Bumper2Bumper 1

What started as a hobby more than 20 years ago has become Westlake Village’s premier automotive appearance shop. Conejo Valley resident Debbie Soderberg grew up in Alpharetta, Georgia. Her passion for cars, boating and horses started at an early age. Her southern charm and hospitality combined with her passion and knowledge for cars led to the creation of Bumper2Bumper. Debbie’s loyal and expert team truly takes pride in their workmanship and ensuring that all clients are beyond satisfied with each job.

10 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

10 Ways to Manage Stress During the Holidays

Welcome to the holiday season—a whirlwind of gift-giving, marketing blitzes, holiday parties, family, parking lots and many activities that begin right after Halloween, build to Thanksgiving and continue gaining momentum through the end of the year. While this season is meant to bring feelings of love and cheer, it also brings holiday stress for many. In fact, more than 80% of us find the holiday season to be somewhat or very stressful. Since holiday stress is predictable, we can prepare ourselves for it and practice the following guidelines:

“The Nutcracker” Heralds a Season of Giving

"The Nutcracker" Heralds a Season of Giving 2

Tis’ the season of sugar and spice and everything nice. This includes visions of sugar plums for Pacific Festival Ballet as they prepare their 24th year of “The Nutcracker” at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.

Giving the Gift of Life

Giving the Gift of Life 3

We all have difficult times in our life, so we’re not alone. If you are reading this right now, that means you have woken up to have another chance to what we all call life, and a chance to clean our slates. What are we going to do differently today to make it better?

Local Animal Lovers Lend a Hand

Local Animal Lovers Lend a Hand 1

Local animal lovers, including Darlene 
 Geekie, RVT, and her Veterinary Angels’ The Little Angels Project team showed their support at the recent Let the Animals Live charity event in Beverly Hills. Look for Darlene, Sarah Fitzgerald, The Little Angels Project and their rescue partners this month at the Winter’s Wish Brings A New Year’s Gift Gala on Dec. 2.