WireFrames for Mapping

Another successful Hackathon at Democracy Lab on Saturday. The Nonprofit Exchange Hub’s goal is to connect nonprofits to other nonprofits with the purpose of creating an economy of giving, plus encouraging citizens to help the nonprofits they care about. generated numerous ideas for the project rollout and marketing plan on Saturday.

Wireframing

The goal for creating  wireframes is to design the outline of your project. This enables the User Experience team to map the process to assist the developers who write the code for the products that are relevant for the users experience. Wireframes become the design for the entire process when creating the product, branding, design, usability, and functions of the web application.

App Development

The starting point in the app development requires pen and paper, not complex coding and designing. App development is a process. Designing a product, whether it is a website, web app or a native app, entails a clear vision and blueprint before you construct the product or service.

IRS – Tax Updates May – 2021

Tax Filing Date 2021

The IRS has delayed tax filing date for 2020 taxes to Monday, May 17, 2021.

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. Estimated tax payments are paid quarterly to the IRS by people whose income is not subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income.

Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals

Use Form 7202, Credits for Sick Leave and Family Leave for Certain Self-Employed Individuals, to figure the amount to claim for qualified sick and family leave equivalent credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and attach it to your tax return.

Unemployment Benefits News

The Internal Revenue Service announced it will automatically refund money this spring and summer to people who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan. IRS to recalculate taxes on unemployment benefits; refunds to start in May

For Unemployment benefits, The Stimulus act makes the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits tax-free in 2020 for taxpayers making less than $150,000 per year.

Recovery Rebate Credit

Latest IRS information regarding refund timing for returns claiming a Recovery Rebate Credit that do not match IRS calculations. The IRS initially indicated these refunds would arrive within the normal 21-day window, they recently indicated they may take an additional 10 to 14 business days. 

More information from IRS on the Recovery Rebate Credit link.

Filing Extensions

Taxpayers who require more time for filing their taxes after the May 17, 2021, deadline can request a filing extension until October 15, 2021, by filing Form 4868 through a tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15, 2021, to file their 2020 tax return; it does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

How to File Taxes for Free

IRS Links for filing tax returns for free and other tax guidelines

Resolving Disputes with IRS

From IRS Website, Preventing and Resolving Disputes with IRS

Facilitator Techniques

The article shares techniques on how to lead group interactions,  summarizes discussion points, and offers ideas on moving obstacles into action. Community Tool Box Link Facilitation and Problem Solving This information is pertinent today for on-site or virtual meetings.

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” – Will Rogers

Arbor Day

Plant a Tree

Arbor Day—which literally translates to “tree” day from the Latin origin of the word arbor—

Celebrating Arbor Day by planting and preserving a tree is a National holiday. Honoring nature and the environment. The first  Arbor Day was, on April 10, 1872, in the State of Nebraska; one million trees were planted that day. Arbor Day became a legal holiday in Nebraska, on April 22, 1885. In most states Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday in April.

Fun facts at Arbor Day

Earth Day 2021

Celebrating Earth Day

Creating a friendly garden for bees, butterflies and a snack bar for the neighborly squirrels.

Pollinator

Earth Day is an annual event on April 22, to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First held on April 22, 1970.

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Knowing Your Value

Today, a friend told me she was dissatisfied with her job and was considering using this feeling as motivation to seek another job. My response, “if your employer does not value your work, it is time to go”.

I am not saying you should leave at this exact moment in time. It is time to plan your next pivot to a better working environment, where you are valued by your knowledge, skills and abilities. A job does not define us as a person. We are more than a job description. We are human beings first, with thoughts and emotions attached to our life at work.

Awareness of your value is important to feel success or happiness in your life. The more you believe in yourself, the more confident you will become in many aspects of your life. If you see obstacles instead of opportunities at work, it may be time to change your mindset or venture off to another opportunity.

National Volunteer Week

April 18 – April 24, is National Volunteer Week

 ”What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle

”Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew

”I’ve learnt that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” – Maya Angelou

Open Doors, Step Inside

Installing air traffic control systems and equipment at the Seattle TRACON and Tower was a rewarding experience in team work, applying knowledge and learning new skills. I was the lone woman on a team of eight for 14 months from July 2013 through August 2014. This job was a great opportunity for my personal and professional growth as an electronic tech as a contractor for Lockheed Martin.

My IT experience included an Associates degree in Electronic Technology and three and a half years in the field at the Denver International Airport as an electronic technician. The aviation industry was male dominated then and still has that reputation. Despite the odds, I never felt that my gender was an obstacle at the Seattle TRACON or Tower. I predominately worked at the TRACON. Physically, it was obvious I was the only woman on the team, and for months, the only woman in the building. It was never an issue.

I had the knowledge to perform the job and was eager to learn more skills. The members of my team taught me how to install cables, wiring techniques and expanded my electronic knowledge. The men I worked with were trained as electronic technicians in the military and had years of hands on experience. They treated me as an equal on the team. I was teased a few times, nothing negative.

The first day of this project, I saw rows of empty steel cabinets at the Seattle TRACON and Tower. A year later both facilities were fully operational. I was asked to continue for three more months to work on demolishing the former SeaTAC Air Traffic Control Tower that was damaged in the Nisqually earthquake. That was a dirty job.

There were toughs days, slow days and hectic days. Some days, I did feel challenged. Crawling under the floor, wiring all day long, or feeling physically exhausted from testing equipment for ten hours. Overall, I was grateful to have a job that paid well, had an amazing boss and team, and was proud of the work we achieved from an sparse building to an operational aviation facility over 14 months.

The installation project for the Seattle TRACON and Tower was a memorable experience for me. It was not on my list of things to do in life, one never knows what opportunities lie ahead.

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