Patagonia donates $10 million tax break to eco causes

Businesses across the country received a reprieve in their tax burden after the Trump Administration signed a bill into law that changed the corporate tax rate. Now, Ventura-headquartered outdoor clothing company Patagonia says that it will donate its savings to environmental groups.

The corporate tax rate was substantially lowered when the House and Senate passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which was signed by President Donald Trump. The bill lowered the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent in 2018.

In a statement, Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario criticized the Trump Administration, calling the tax cuts “irresponsible.”

“Taxes protect the most vulnerable in our society, our public lands and other life-giving resources,” said Marcario. “In spite of this, the Trump Administration initiated a corporate tax cut, threatening these services at the expense of our planet.”

The $10 million will be donated to groups “committed to protecting air, land and water and finding solutions to the climate crisis” and is on top of Patagonia’s ongoing donation of 1 percent of its sales, which the company has adhered to since 1985.

Ventura Unified Superintendent resigns amid controversy

Creswell

Ventura Unified School District Superintendent David Creswell announced on Friday, Nov. 30, that he would resign following controversy over remarks he made prior to taking the position.

In an email to staff sent on Friday afternoon, Creswell said that he would be working with the school board on his exit plan.

Controversy arose over Creswell’s remarks regarding gay and transgender students delivered during a sermon he presented as an elder at Redeemer Baptist Church in Riverside. Remarking on a picture of a gay couple embracing in a school yearbook, Creswell remarked, “oh boy. Here we go. Here’s our world.”
The yearbook selected “Most Changed” to a transgender teen, accompanied by a picture of the student in makeup, holding a picture of herself as a male.

“There’s a growing sector of our culture, of our society, that says that’s good and that’s normal, and not only do they embrace it, we’re now celebrating it.”

Creswell replaced Michael Babb in 2017 and had been Superintendent for 16 months.

FEMA opens disaster recovery center in Thousand Oaks

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in partnership with the State of California has launched the Ventura County Disaster Recovery Center to provide services to those impacted by the Woolsey and Hill fires and to connect residents with local, state and federal assistance programs.

Representatives from several agencies including FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration are among those that will provide information on available services, explain assistance programs and help survivors complete or check the status of their applications.

Survivors with losses are encouraged to register for assistance before visiting the Command Center by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov. Businesses and residents can visit www.sba.gov/disaster or call SBA’s Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955.

The Center will operate Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends, at 173 North Moorpark Road, Suite A, Thousand Oaks.

Lawsuit filed against Southern California Edison over Woolsey Fire

Three Los Angeles-based law firms have filed a joint lawsuit on behalf of renters and property owners in Los Angeles and Ventura counties alleging Southern California Edison played a role in the start of the Woolsey Fire.

The suit alleges that Edison negligently operated and failed to repair and maintain electrical equipment, as well as failing to adhere to electrical and fire safety practices, which ultimately resulted in the start of the fire.

“Had Southern California Edison Company followed the standard of care in inspecting, maintaining and repairing its overhead lines, properly maintaining its electrical equipment, and trimming away vegetation from its wires as is required by law and industry standards, the catastrophic Woolsey Fire could have been avoided,” said Patrick McNicholas, partner at McNicholas & McNicholas, LLP.

The suit was filed on behalf of Wendell Philips, Mary Dee Rickards, as an individual and as the trustee for the Trust of Dale O. and Carrie L. Rickards, and Spunky’s Rescue Ranch.