Summer Sizzle

JUNE SOLSTICE 2021

In the Northern Hemisphere, the June solstice occurs when the Sun navigates the northernmost path in the sky. This designates the first day of summer in the northern half of the globe.  The word “solstice” comes from Latin solstitium—from sol (Sun) and stitium (still or stopped).

The timing of the June solstice is not based for any specific calendar date or time; it depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the celestial equator. Therefore, the solstice does not always occur on the same day. Currently, it shifts between June 20, 21, and 22.

Today we expect the temperatures to be in the 80s in the Seattle Region. Summer coolers and snacks are packed for lunch at the beach. Enjoy your first day of summer if you are in the northern hemisphere.

Heatwaves

Seattle, June 26 -29 was Hot!, over 100 degrees three days in a row!

Flag Day in America

My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. John F. Kennedy

In the United States, Flag Day is celebrated on June 14. It commemorates the adoption of the flag of the United States, on June 14, 1777, by resolution of the Second Continental Congress.

It has been a year and a half since the pandemic began in Washington State (Seattle area). Life is gradually changing. We are close to reopening by the end of June. Many false starts and changes in mask policies and reopening of businesses. People are weary, hopeful, and moving forward. Enjoyed a stroll in downtown Everett, Washington on Sunday morning. Street vendors were setting up displays for the market before the crowd swarmed. Drizzling rain with clouds; it is the Pacific Northwest.

Snohomish County

World Environment Day 2021

World Environment Day

The United Nations (UN) day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This year’s theme of “Ecosystem Restoration”.

ecosystem

[ˈēkōˌsistəm] Noun – a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment

World Environmental Day is observed every year on June 5. This is a an opportunity for the UN and other environmental agencies to create awareness of the environment and encourage political attention and action. This day is not a public holiday but a day  to focus on the environment.

Memorial Day 2021

 Moment of Silence

The federal government requests that Americans take a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day to remember the fallen soldiers who have fought for our country. It is called the National Moment of Remembrance. Three minutes to express gratitude for liberty, democracy, and freedom.

The Poppy Symbolizes Fallen Soldiers
Photo by David Bartus on Pexels.com

There’s no honorable way to kill, no gentle way to destroy. There is nothing good in war. Except its ending.

Abraham Lincoln

Virtual 42nd IEEE Symposium

Cybersecurity and Privacy

Four days of workshops, presentations, sharing of ideas, papers, research, plus collaboration, and feedback from participants around the world. Topics ran the gambit from basic security principles to AI Machine Learning. These were live presentations hosted on the Hopin platform.

My personal experience was positive. I attended presentations and workshops on a variety of topics including: networks, malware attacks, AI machine learning and the Internet of Things. A few subjects refreshed my memory bank and others challenged my brain. Presentations were reviewed and selected by committees prior to the event. Attendees could ask the presenters questions after presentations and the workshops.

Presentations & Workshops

A forum for sharing, learning, and networking despite a pandemic. This event was hosted from San Francisco, and participants were from around the globe participated. This was an opportunity to be creative, strategic, innovative, and inclusive. This four day event required hours of planning and work. Thanks to the companies and organizations who donated time and/or money. Looking forward to the future with an onsite forum as an option. Virtual and in-person interaction is essential for personal and professional relationships.

Art and Utility Boxes

Victory Heights Park, Seattle

Communities allow people to connect with one another, share experiences, build relationships, and work towards common goals. Without communities, people would live detached lives with little or no contact outside of their familiar circle of influence.

The neighbors from Victory Heights Park created an event for their local community to raise money, decorate their neighborhood, and invite people to have fun simultaneously. A neighborhood project that entailed painting the gray utility boxes in Victory Heights by local artists, which won a city matching grant to pay for the artists and the graffiti-proof appliques that were applied to eight utility boxes. They invited local food trucks to the park on Saturday, May 15, 2021, and held a raffle for art work submitted by the local artists.

Utility Boxes Plus Art

A beautiful day for a walk with friends and neighbors. Posting my favorites from the Art Walk. A great idea to mingle with people in person outside and still socially distance.

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

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