Rough and Ready 2000


In May 2000, the Ukrainian press reported that residents were trapped and needing assistance after a flood near the Pechenizs’ke Reservoir on the outskirts of Karkiv as water levels rose on the Sivers’kyi Donets River. Residents were seen on rooftops awaiting rescue. The Ukrainian government appealed to the international community for help. The response was immediate. As aid poured in, a plane carrying rescue and medical workers crashed southeast of Karkiv causing an explosion at an automobile factory located in Chuhuiv.

Rough and Ready is a disaster response exercise in which California Air National Guard and members of California’s Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) participate with civilians and military members from Ukraine – focusing on interagency cooperation, disaster preparedness, emergency response and civil emergency planning. The exercises presaged the February 2022 Russian invasion of the Ukraine when the Pechenizs’ke Reservoir was actually bombed in September 2022 in an attempt to destroy critical infrastructure.

Richard Watson (my Father), then Interim Director of California’s EMSA, and his indispensable Chief, Dan Smiley, joined members of the State of California National Guard, EMSA, California Department of Health Services and California Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) in the 2000 Rough and Ready exercise. Dad lead the civilian medical personnel, and Deputy Director Smiley was the primary civilian planner for the event which was lead by General David Hudlet from the California Air National Guard. Rough and Ready 2000, was held near Kharkiv, at a Ukrainian National Guard facility. The California team consisted of 165 personnel including the California National Guard and civilian medical and health personnel. In addition to simulating a disaster, the team provided humanitarian aid and health education to the population during the event. Funding was provided by the Cooperative Threat Reduction program.

“The California National Guard has had a close working relationship with the Ukraine military and the Ukraine National Guard since 1993,” writes Jim Garamone. “When Russia invaded Ukraine with more than 150,000 troops…most people — especially Russian President Vladimir Putin — expected a Russian cakewalk. The men and women of the California National Guard knew better.”

One of the charities Dad supported was Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières). The nonprofit provides emergency medical aid to people in crisis, with humanitarian projects in more than seventy countries, including Ukraine.

Of course, Dad managed to find an Irish pub when he was in Karkiv.

They’ve got one in Honolulu, they’ve got one in Moscow too
They got four of them in Sydney and a couple in Kathmandu
So whether you sing or pull a pint, you’ll always have a job
‘Cause wherever you go around the world you’ll find an Irish pub

The High Kings

Getting the Goat

If Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary ask you to join them on a hike in the mountains, or ultra running legends Jim Walmsley and Courtney Dauwalter invite you for a run, or Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson ask you to help make up a foursome, you should know you’ll be in for one of the best experiences and something special. The same holds true when waterway steward Deborah Dodd asks you to join her for a wee trash mop-up at Riverdale. Her mop-ups are quite the thing, but this River City Waterway Alliance cleanup at Riverdale was really getting the goat.  

On Tuesday evening, nine intrepid volunteers pitched in to tidy some areas which had been heavily cleaned by RCWA before. But if you follow these RCWA tales you know that much trash is hidden on the American River Parkway. And it’s what lies beneath that is really shocking.

We wanted to clear some barbed wire, continue to chip away at a mound of buried trash, and get the small bits of trash leftover after County Parks cleared out some big stuff. But Debbie pointed out a buried tarp to Joe and mentioned that it needed some badgering. The crew dug in, and Lisa and Rudy joined Joe. Some twenty minutes later, the tarp was unearthed. Debbie, Margarita, Mirna, and Sharon covered the perimeter of the former camp tackling the bushes. Meanwhile, Mark and Rick went after some barbed wire but quickly discovered that heavier tools would be needed. A good chunk of wire was removed, but more remains…

After creating a respectable pile of trash for County Parks to pickup, the crew adjourned to Camp Pollock for some beverages. No sooner had we settled down, then the goats decided to bust through their protective fencing and head in the direction of Northgate Boulevard, their Great Pyrenees guard dog leading the way. 

Well, RCWA volunteers are good at doing what needs to be done and instantly became goat wranglers! Debbie made for Northgate to block the goats from accessing the road. Others dashed around like Border Collies until the actual Border Collie showed up. The goats were successfully corralled back into their enclosure after munching their way around Riverdale for a bit.

You never know what you’ll get when you go to a RCWA cleanup…but it will never be boring.

(google the Monty Hall Problem for insight into the title of this piece)

Curious goat before its dramatic escape later in the evening.
After buried trash.
Yanking out the tarp.
Working on the tarp.
Rudy scores.
Nothing can stop him.
Tarp action.
Tarp action continued…
The Border Collie shows up.
Headed in the right direction.
Finally into the enclosure.
And back where they belong.

Plastic Goats and Hogs

Trindade Island is so remote that when Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova Antarctic expedition put ashore in 1910, only a few were known to have visited before: Scott himself in 1901 in the Discovery; the astronomer Edmond Halley who allegedly populated the island with “Goats and Hoggs”; Sir James Ross on his way to Antarctica in 1839; and E. F. Knight with a party of Newcastle miners who were in search of buried treasure left by Captain Kidd (1). Rather than treasure, Scott’s expedition found the island infested with land crabs. Of these Henry Bowers wrote:

“One big fellow left his place in the circle and waddled up to my feet and examined my boots. First with one claw and then with the other he took a taste of my boot. He went away obviously disgusted: one could almost see him shake his head.”

But now, this uninhabited volcanic island is infested with something else – plastiglomerates. These are rocks which have become mixed with plastic as fishing nets wash ashore and melt from the heat – forcing geologists to rethink the three standard classifications of rock: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. You may already be familiar with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch where a gyre of plastic waste slowly rotates in an area covering 7.7 million square miles. Or you may have heard of the 5-tons of debris which washes up annually at Midway Atoll smack in the middle of the Pacific. Birds are dying on the atoll from ingesting plastic. Where does it all come from? It is estimated that “80 percent of plastic in the ocean” is from land-based sources.

Sacramento contributes to this whirling vortex of plastics via its creeks and rivers. Already this year, one volunteer group, River City Waterway Alliance, in coordination with Sacramento County Regional Parks, has pulled 269,000 pounds of trash from the American River, and Arcade and Steelhead Creeks. Most recently 15,000 pounds of trash were pulled from behind Governor Newsom’s home along the American River with help from American River Lost & Found and Elk Grove Anti-Trash Community Cleanups.

The problem starts here with our complacent attitude towards trash. But the solution also starts here.

That pile of trash behind the Governor’s House

Trash near Steelhead Creek

1) Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World.

The Unquestioned Orthodoxy


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What is to be done? Tolstoy’s question is immediately relevant upon first opening the door of an abandoned shipping container along the American River. Abandoned in the sense that its owner has given up in frustration over its constant assault by vagrants. Abandoned in the sense that to the City of Sacramento, it is out-of-view from the general public, on land belonging to a third-party, and therefor does not exist and can be disclaimed. Abandoned in that it can be adjudged to be out of jurisdictional bounds.

However that shipping container is not unused. It has become a drug-den and an attractive nuisance as demonstrated by the abundance of used needles and half-eaten meals left to decay, as well as a place for romantic assignations evidenced by used condoms and the word “Love” scrawled on one door. But there is no love in the brilliant sunshine of these trash strewn, concrete pads on which the container sits – only honey-buckets lining the very back of the darkest corner of this receptacle, concealed on, and emptying into the American River.

The American River has become a receptacle for those “snarled and entangled in the extreme penury of things…” The river is a convenient place to hide human detritus while providing a false sense of confidence. Cities have become complacent with their tent-lined streets, but to wander along Sacramento’s rivers and streams is to witness the full-extent of squalor and failure. Politicians speak an infinite deal of new rounds of homeless funding, proclaiming progress because money is being spent. Yet the tales told along the river and near homeless camps tell otherwise.

Near the entrance of the shipping container lies a dead dog, or cat. The state of decomposition is advanced, so the distinction is irrelevant. Sink a spade into a patch of ground that looks clean, and indeed was recently cleaned. Turn over that shovelful of dirt, and the smell immediately informs that a trash pit has been unearthed: used needles, always needles; always batteries leaking their toxins into the soil and drinking water; clothing soaked with so much mud that a plain shirt weighs five-pounds or more; uneaten meals in single-use plastic containers; shredded canvases and bits of what once were tents now decomposing into attractive bite-sized pieces for fish to devour; and yes, plastic reusable bags for which Californians pay 10¢, ironically to keep out of landfills. One need hardly mention the Styrofoam which degrades into thousands of pieces. Some of the trash has been burned, and the fire damaged trees leave no doubt as to the cause…as to the excrement, some things shall remain unmentioned. But in summer, people swim downstream from this spot in nearby Discovery Park.

These problems are not new. During Tudor times (England in the 1500s), it is estimated that perhaps 20% to 30% of the population lived in poverty. Elizabethan prayer books “…implored mercy for the poor” according to Lucy Wooding in Tudor England. But a distinction was made between the “helpless poor” who “merited compassion,” and the vagrants who were undeserving and “…who had the capacity to work, but did not do so.” Towns feared that their limited resources for the “deserving poor” would be rapidly depleted if an overly permissive attitude was taken, so “vagrants” were sent back to their village of origin.

A great deal of money has been put towards seeking a solution to homelessness. And much more has been pledged for the future. So much so that tending to the needs of the homeless has become a multi-billion dollar industry. But why, for instance, is there an inverse relationship between funding and success? Over the last twenty-years, more funding has only resulted in growing numbers of homeless individuals. Could it be that the promise of free housing and services has attracted a new westward migration? In Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, the poor came to California seeking work rather than handouts. “Muscles aching to work, minds aching to create…” When the migrants reached California, they found an oversupply of labor and limited work opportunities. The opposite is now the case, and often idleness abounds. Quoting Steinbeck again “There is a failure here that topples all our success.”

The types of housing and services required are expensive. A unit of affordable housing in California costs $600,000. The Corporation for Supportive Housing published a report calling for a rather exact 112,527 apartments to be built at a cost of $67.9 billion – which is $603,411 per apartment unit. In the absence of supportive services, this housing is quickly destroyed, since drug addicted or mentally-ill residents are usually unable to live independently. Many fine organizations have attempted to remedy these problems. Yet the nonprofit groups which have been tasked with this intractable work often find themselves overwhelmed and short of funding or the technical expertise necessary for long-term success.

California purports to be a leader in environmental issues, yet its rivers warn that it is best not to follow some leaders.

George Orwell’s introduction to Animal Farm, written nearly eighty-years ago, is worth quoting at length:

If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion…Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban…At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question…Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing…

The Sash My Father Wore, or How the Orange Came to Ireland

“I remember music. The Glorious Twelfth is celebrated in July as a grand march in Belfast to mark the occasion when King Billy of Orange (the Dutch prince who became the Protestant King William III of England, Scotland and Ireland) rousted the Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

We lived at a house on Marguerite Park, just off the Upper Lisburn Road where the bands from the Orange Order lodges would parade wearing their dark suits, orange sashes, and white gloves, with their big Lambeg drums beating out the rhythm of The Sash My Father Wore. My mother would play hostess bringing chairs for the family to sit on the crowded sidewalks and watch the marchers with their colorful banners of orange, green and white and pictures of William of Orange proudly displayed. We watched as my father marched by with his lodge and sash, and I remember the music.”

“The word orange,” according to author John McPhee “evolved from Sanskrit.” Originally a Chinese fruit, the orange traveled west through India and into Persia where it became naranj then finally orange in France. An old Roman city in the south of France had a name which sounded somewhat like the local word for orange – auranja – similar to the Spanish word for the fruit. The city eventually came to be known as Orange, and the prince of the city, Philibert of Orange, provided certain services to the Holy Roman Emperor of the time for which he “…was awarded a good part of the Netherlands…The Prince had no immediate heir, and his possessions and titles eventually passed to a German nephew. This was William of Nassau, Prince of Orange, who founded the Dutch Republic and the House of Orange.”(1) It was that subsequent holder of the title Prince of Orange who became William III. The Protestants in England were afraid of a Catholic resurgence and invited William to “invade” on a usual pretext in 1688 and depose James II. Thus, the orange was introduced to Ireland.

So sure I’m an Ulster Orangeman, from Erin’s isle I came,
To see my British brethren all of honour and of fame,
And to tell them of my forefathers who fought in days of yore,
That I might have the right to wear the sash my father wore!

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore,
And on the Twelfth, I love to wear the sash my father wore.

For those brave men who crossed the Boyne have not fought or died in vain
Our Unity, Religion, Laws, and Freedom to maintain,
If the call should come we’ll follow the drum, and cross that river once more
That tomorrow’s Ulsterman may wear the sash my father wore!

It is old but it is beautiful, and its colours they are fine
It was worn at Derry, Aughrim, Enniskillen and the Boyne.
My father wore it as a youth in bygone days of yore,
And on the Twelfth, I love to wear the sash my father wore.

And when some day, across the sea to Antrim’s shore you come,
We’ll welcome you in royal style, to the sound of flute and drum
And Ulster’s hills shall echo still, from Rathlin to Dromore
As we sing again the loyal strain of the sash my father wore!

Belfast – July 12, 2006.

(1) Oranges, John McPhee, pages 64-65. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2000.

Single Audits and COVID-19 Relief Funding


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Something to be aware of if you are a nonprofit organization is the potential effect of COVID-19 relief funding on single audits. A nonprofit organization which expends $750,000 or more in federal financial assistance within one year must have a single audit. Grants, cost reimbursement contracts and loans, among other sources of funding, can be included in determining whether the $750,000 threshold is achieved. The Uniform Guidance is the authoritative set of rules and requirements for Federal awards.

The AIPCA has asked the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a series of questions about the impact of relief funding on the need to have a single audit which you can download here.

Here is what the AICPA has said regarding whether Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) are subject to single audit:

One of the most common questions we have received is whether SBA PPP loans obtained by NFPs are subject to the Uniform Guidance single audit requirements. The good news is that we have recently received an answer to this question. Based on recent discussions with SBA staff, we have been informed that PPP loans made to NFPs will not be subject to single audit.

On the other hand, SBA informed us that loans made to NFPs under the EIDL program are considered a direct loan program disbursed from SBA to loan recipients. Therefore, these loans are considered federal financial assistance and are subject to the Uniform Guidance single audit requirements.

On March 19, 2020, the OMB released a memo apparently allowing a six-month extension for auditees to submit their single audit. Although according to the AICPA the memo has caused confusion:

The memo is not [emphasis added] instructing federal agencies to provide a blanket waiver for all recipients impacted by COVID-19. Instead, its guidance primarily relates to recipients receiving funds disbursed from the approximately $9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations for coronavirus preparation and response (H.R.6074). Note that there could be cases where agencies may decide to apply the guidance in the memorandum for existing awards that are deemed by the agency to be for continued research and services necessary to carry out the emergency response relating to COVID-19.

Guidance is expected soon.

Relief Provisions for Individuals



Relief programs of potential benefit to individuals under the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act include the following. Additional information is available at the IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page.

Recovery rebates for individuals

To help individuals stay afloat during this time of economic uncertainty, the government will send up to $1,200 payments to eligible taxpayers and $2,400 for married couples filing joints returns. An additional $500 additional payment will be sent to taxpayers for each qualifying child dependent under age 17 (using the qualification rules under the Child Tax Credit).

Rebates are gradually phased out, at a rate of 5% of the individual’s adjusted gross income over $75,000 (singles or marrieds filing separately), $112,500 (head of household), and $150,000 (joint). There is no income floor or ”phase-in”-all recipients who are under the phaseout threshold will receive the same amounts.

The rebates will be paid out in the form of checks or direct deposits. The IRS will compute the rebate based on a taxpayer’s tax year 2019 return (or tax year 2018, if no 2019 return has yet been filed). If no 2018 return has been filed, IRS will use information for 2019 provided in Form SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement, or Form RRB-1099, Social Security Equivalent Benefit Statement.

Rebates are payable whether or not tax is owed. Thus, individuals who had little or no income, such as those who filed returns simply to claim the refundable earned income credit or child tax credit, qualify for a rebate.

Unemployment Benefits

Includes an additional $600 on top of the current weekly benefit amount.

Waiver of 10% early distribution penalty

The additional 10% tax on early distributions from IRAs and defined contribution plans (such as 401(k) plans) is waived for distributions made between January 1 and December 31, 2020 by a person who (or whose family) is infected with the Coronavirus or who is economically harmed by the Coronavirus (a qualified individual). Penalty-free distributions are limited to $100,000, and may, subject to guidelines, be re-contributed to the plan or IRA. Income arising from the distributions is spread out over three years unless the employee elects to turn down the spread out. Employers may amend defined contribution plans to provide for these distributions. Additionally, defined contribution plans are permitted additional flexibility in the amount and repayment terms of loans to employees who are qualified individuals.

Charitable deduction liberalizations

The CARES Act makes changes to the rules governing charitable deductions:

(1) Individuals will be able to claim a $300 above-the-line deduction for cash contributions made, generally, to public charities in 2020. This rule effectively allows a limited charitable deduction to taxpayers claiming the standard deduction.

(2) The limitation on charitable deductions for individuals that is generally 60% of modified adjusted gross income (the contribution base) doesn’t apply to cash contributions made, generally, to public charities in 2020 (qualifying contributions). Instead, an individual’s qualifying contributions, reduced by other contributions, can be as much as 100% of the contribution base. No connection between the contributions and COVID-19 activities is required.

(3) Similarly, the limitation on charitable deductions for corporations that is generally 10% of (modified) taxable income doesn’t apply to qualifying contributions made in 2020. Instead, a corporation’s qualifying contributions, reduced by other contributions, can be as much as 25% of (modified) taxable income. No connection between the contributions and COVID-19 activities is required.

RMD requirement waived for 2020

In general, Code Sec. 401(a)(9) requires a retirement plan or IRA owner to take required minimum distributions (RMDs) annually once the owner reaches age 72.

The CARES Act provides that the RMD requirements do not apply for calendar year 2020 to: (I) a defined contribution plan described in Code Sec. 403(a) or Code Sec. 403(b) ; (II) a defined contribution plan which is an eligible deferred compensation plan described in Code Sec. 457(b) but only if such plan is maintained by an employer described in Code Sec. 457(e)(1)(A) ; or (III) an individual retirement plan.

The RMD requirements also do not apply to any distribution which is required to be made in calendar year 2020 by reason of: (I) a required beginning date occurring in calendar year 2020, and (II) such distribution not having been made before January 1, 2020.

Two Weeks of Emergency Paid Sick Leave

The law requires employers with fewer than 500 employees (including nonprofits) and government employers to provide their employees two weeks of paid sick leave, paid at the employee’s regular rate, to quarantine or seek a diagnosis or preventive care for the coronavirus. It also requires payment at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate to care for a family member for those purposes or to care for a child whose school has closed or child care provider is unavailable due to the coronavirus. These provisions expire at the end of December 2020.

Twelve Weeks of Emergency Family and Medical Leave

The law expands the number of workers who can take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act for coronavirus-related reasons. After the two weeks of emergency paid leave (above), employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees will be eligible to receive at least two-thirds of each employee’s usual pay. Employees must have been employed for at least 30 days to qualify and meet a “qualifying need related to a public health emergency.” The qualifying reasons for the emergency paid leave are caring for a child if the child’s school or childcare center is closed due to coronavirus. The provisions would also expire at the end of 2020.


See additional information at:

Guidance for Stay-at-Home Order, Sacramento County (Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP)

Defending Against COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Covid-19 Stimulus Programs for Small Businesses


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Three major pieces of legislation have been signed into law creating several relief programs. The following is a brief summary of some of these programs (the links provide sources of additional information). You can expect changes and clarifications, but due to funding caps and the number of businesses expected to apply for assistance, it is important to determine the course of action which best suits your organization.

According to the Journal of Accountancy as of April 16, the Paycheck Protection Program quickly exhausted the $349 billion in initial funding:

SBA has approved more than 1.6 million loans submitted by nearly 5,000 lenders. That has accounted for more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days, according to a joint statement issued Wednesday night by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. Mnuchin and Carranza also urged Congress to approve $250 billion in additional funding.

These programs aim to encourage employers to retain employees through a combination of: loans or credits towards payroll taxes for businesses which retain employees; payroll tax credits to cover the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave; and delayed payment of the employer-portion of payroll taxes.

Participation in some of these programs exclude one from participation in another, so they should be carefully analyzed.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loans

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Small businesses and sole proprietorships affected by the coronavirus pandemic can apply for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program beginning Friday, April 3. Starting April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.

Loan forgiveness is based on the employer’s maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease. You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender, and the SBA is advising businesses to contact their local bankers.

The National Council of Nonprofits has a chart describing the different loan programs under the CARES Act.

Businesses participating in Paycheck Protection Program Loans may not receive the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit described below.

Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit

A refundable tax credit has been created to assist employers in retaining employees. The credit is computed at 50% of qualified wages paid by eligible employers for up to $10,000 paid to each employee between March 13, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020.

Employers can be immediately reimbursed for the credit by reducing their required deposits of payroll taxes that have been withheld from employees’ wages by the amount of the credit.

Eligible employers will report their total qualified wages and the related health insurance costs for each quarter on their quarterly employment tax returns beginning with the second quarter. If the employer’s employment tax deposits are not sufficient to cover the credit, the employer may receive an advance payment from the IRS by submitting Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.

Qualifying employers must fall into one of two categories:

  1. The employer’s business is fully or partially suspended by government order due to COVID-19 during the calendar quarter.
  2. The employer’s gross receipts are below 50% of the comparable quarter in 2019. Once the employer’s gross receipts go above 80% of a comparable quarter in 2019, they no longer qualify after the end of that quarter.

These measures are calculated each calendar quarter.

Eligible Employers who paid qualified wages between March 13, 2020 and March 31, 2020, inclusive, will report 50% of those wages together with 50% of any qualified wages paid during April, May, and June 2020 on their 2nd quarter Form 941, Employers Quarterly Federal Tax Return, to claim the employee retention credit. Employers should not include the credit on their 1st quarter Form 941.

An eligible employer may not receive the Employee Retention Credit if the employer receives a Small Business Interruption Loan under the Paycheck Protection Program described above.

Coronavirus paid sick leave and family leave

Eligible small and midsize employers can claim refundable payroll tax credits, designed to reimburse them, dollar for dollar, for the cost of providing coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

The Department of Labor has issued this FAQ to address questions about the program.

Delayed payment of employer portion of payroll taxes

Employers (including self-employed individuals) will be able to postpone payment of 50% of 2020 employer-portion of payroll taxes until Dec. 31, 2021; the other 50% will be due Dec. 31, 2022.

Also see this recently issued COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave.

Insurance Coverage

The question naturally arises as to what, if any losses insurance policies will cover. As this is a highly complex matter that is likely to be litigated, no general predictions can be made.

IRS Scam Warnings

People are urged to take extra care during this period. “The IRS isn’t going to call you asking to verify or provide your financial information so you can get an economic impact payment or your refund faster. That also applies to surprise emails that appear to be coming from the IRS. Remember, don’t open them or click on attachments or links. Go to for the most up-to-date information.”


Information from various agencies can be found at these links:

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster

Internal Revenue Service

Franchise Tax Board

California Office of Business and Economic Development

National Council of Nonprofits

State of California

90-Day Mortgage Payment Relief

Eviction Protection for Renters

California Association of Nonprofits

Wagner Kirkman Blaine Klomparens & Youmans LLP covid-19 resources

U.S. Chamber of Commerce


Candid – Listing of Funds for Coronavirus Relief

“Been a Breach of Promise”



Back in the Sixties, Pete Townshend said he didn’t mind “other guys dancing with my girl.” It was fine because he knew “them all pretty well.” Now in the Teens as a septuagenarian, Townshend doesn’t mind “other guys ripping off my song.” Which he so expertly demonstrates by lifting the melody line from that early Who single and giving it a fiery new incarnation as All This Music Must Fade. It’s still fine now, because “we never really got along.”

The joke is that most music is recycled in some form or another. After all, there are only so many guitar chords. This is a theme The Who have visited many times. On the album Who Are You, Pete lamented that he wrote “the same old song with a few new lines, and everybody wants to cheer it.” On Who By Numbers, the complaint was that he’s “seen magic and pain, now I’m recycling trash.” And on Quadrophenia, he was already doubting his own relevance by declaring –

I have to be careful not to preach
I can’t pretend that I can teach
And yet I lived your future out
By pounding stages like a clown…

Thinking The Who no-longer had a place in music with the onslaught of the punk movement (which ironically was greatly influenced by The Who) in the late Seventies, Townshend issued his most angry challenge through his solo work on Rough Boys

Rough boys
Don’t walk away
I’m still pretty blissed here…

But back to All This Music Must Fade where Pete updates this feeling of irrelevance by declaring at the end “who gives a fuck?” The answer, or perhaps example, is found in the next song from the forthcoming album – Ball and Chain. The song is about Guantanamo, where men are “still guilty with no charge.” In this, everyone should care, because it remains one of the most egregious human rights violations committed by America. But when was the last time you heard anything about this “breach of promise.” We should all give a fuck.

If the rest of the record is as good as these first two songs, Roger Daltrey is right in claiming it is The Who’s best since Quadrophenia.

Who, due out December 6, 2019.

Returning to Earth

The fighter jet, a North American F-86 Sabre, flamed out. Or perhaps it ran out of fuel. Certainly, the later would cause the former – the extinction of flame in the combustion chamber – but the events are not necessarily synonymous. In the milieu of flight, these things happen. In the milieu of memory, what matters is that you safely returned to Earth.

The pilot has two friends was what you told me – speed and altitude. So you stayed high and continued your flameless glide. This was the right stuff – surfing the clouds and hoping for a break, for a sighting of Earth. 

With luck, you make your own, so why not double-up. When that break in the clouds appeared, not only was there Earth but also a glimpse of runway. You landed and because of that, so did I. You once broke the sound barrier, and now you have broken the speed of Earth and are with the stars, finally admitted to the space program.

In your all too brief instructions, the doomsday book, you began at the end and returned to the beginning. This is my journey to rediscover your life – my homage to you. This is how my mind works when inspiration steals sleep at 3am most nights. This is how I feel it all, find my compassion and kindness, and regain my footing on this Earth.

This will be the first time I am missing your encouraging comment on this blog – “well written son.”