Archive for January, 2011

Teen Fun at Fremont

On Saturday, January 15th ,over 20 teens joined us for a fun and decorative program. A local multicultural artist, Rachel – Anne Palacios, came and gave a lecture and demonstration on henna. Everyone got to try their hands at this art, and then Ms. Palacios did a piece on everyone. Here are some pictures of the art.

and look for more information on our duct tape programs (and maybe a few other activities) . The first one is this Saturday, January 29th at the Castro valley Branch.


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Become a Booklegger!

Enjoy working with kids? Love reading kids’ books? You might like to become a Booklegger. The Bookleggers are volunteers from our community that visit students in grades K-8 in the Fremont Unified School District, presenting book programs.  Training will be at the Fremont Main Library on Tuesdays, February 1-March 29, 9:15-11:45 am. For more information about the training, please visit our Booklegger link:


For more information about the Bookleggers:


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Don’t be misled by the fancy term “Estate Planning” – having such a plan applies to anyone, rich or poor. Estate Planning is a legal way of taking care of yourself during your life time and planning for those who will be left behind, here and now. It is better to have such a plan than to lose whatever you have worked for, however small, by paying federal estate taxes and court probate fees. 

Fremont Main Library ushered in the New Year with a series of free estate planning programs with Atashi Rang Law Firm, headquartered on Spear Street in San Francisco, with offices throughout the Bay Area.

The first in the series entitled the “Estate Tax Repeal Myth” took place on January 10th. This was a very timely discussion of the new law in which Atashi Rang compared the effect of federal estate tax year by year, and confirmed the new tax law which was passed by President Obama on December 17th.

Forbes Magazine provided some pros and cons on the new tax law with

several articles by Hani Sarji during December.  These articles summarize the new federal estate Tax law, comparing the years 2010 and 2011.


Obama Brings Back the Estate Tax: 35% Tax Rate, $5 Million Exemption

Dec. 17 2010 – 7:43 pm  


“On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed H.R. 4853, the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, into law. This legislation extends the Bush-era Tax Cuts and it brings back the federal estate tax for two years at tax rate of 35% and with an exemption of $5 million. The exemption and rate would be in effect for two years. “

Obama Estate Tax Deal Would Chill Estate Planning

Dec. 7 2010 – 2:42 pm



“Under current law, if Congress reaches no agreement, the estate tax is scheduled to come back in 2011 at a top rate of 55% (60% in some cases) and an exemption of a mere $1 million for individuals.” 

How the New Tax Law affects your estate plan?

If this law had not taken shape, how would that have affected your estate?  The new tax law is actually of benefit to a majority of taxpayers, especially in the Bay Area where house prices have risen the most in the last decade. Take, for example, a senior who has limited income but has lived in a house since the 70’s which is now worth over a million dollars. Let us also assume the senior would like to pass the property on to the children or grandchildren. If the house should now be 1.2 million or if the senior also had life insurance, the death tax on the property or combined estate would have 1 million passed tax free but the heirs would have to come up with cash of 55% of any inheritance over 1 million. For 1.2 million this would mean coming up with at least $110,000 of tax money.  Since most people may not have this kind of cash, it would mean either selling the house or confiscating most of the life insurance (if there was one to begin with).


Why Should You Have an Estate Plan?

You will have to go through Probate Court on an inheritance over 100,000 if there is no plan, with a Will or without a Will. This is very costly.

Atashi Rang lists a number of foundational documents which need to go into such an Estate Plan:

  1. A Pour Over Will
  2. A  Living Trust
  3. Durable Power of Attorney
  4. Advance Health Care Directive
  5. Guardian Instructions for Minor Children

Take advantage of these free seminars to learn what needs to be done to have such a plan, and to check up on any plan you already have in place.

Learn how to protect your assets during your lifetime in the event of incapacity and take care of you loved ones after you are gone.

Upcoming Sessions: 7-8:30 p.m. Fremont Main Library. All sessions are free, no reservations are required:


  • January 24       The Effect of Gift Tax on Your Estate
  • January 31       The Parents Planning Portfolio
  • February 7        Basic Estate Planning Principles
  • February 14      The Pros and Cons of Having a Revocable Living Trust
  • March 15          Transferring Property from One Generation to the Next


Significantly, the end of the new estate tax would be in January 2013. Remember also 2012 is an election year – the myth may again be repealed.

Further Reading:

See Janet Novack’s recommendations:


Paul Caron has compiled an excellent list of resources on the new law: President Obama Signs Tax Package Into Law, TaxProf Blog, Dec. 17, 2010



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Click on the present to see what’s inside!

Many of the pictures in this multimedia poster have a link to the video of the event. Click on some of them and enjoy!

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Here is the January 2011 update on the current status of the “books to film” projects that have been mentioned on this blog to this point. I will attempt to do this once a month in order to follow each film until it reaches the theater/TV/whatever. Please remember that release dates are subject to change, and that sometimes “Announced” and “In Development” films never get made, more’s the pity. (Please note that I update this post during the month as I find new projects, so check back periodically.) And here we are at the beginning of 2011. Let’s see what’s going on with the 2010 projects now.

As always, if you have any news about an upcoming book to film adaptation, please comment and let me know.

The current “books to film” list:

The A-List: In development with a 2011 release date.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter: In pre-production with a release date of 22 June 2012.

The Adjustment Bureau: Due in U.S. theaters on 4 March 2011 .

Agincort: In development with a 2012 release date.

Airborn: In pre-production with a 2011 release date.

Airman: In development with a release date in 2011.

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: In development with a 2012 release date.

All Quiet on the Western Front: In development with a 2012 release date.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: In development with a 2012 release date.

Amerika: In development with a theoretical release date in 2012.

The Art of Racing in the Rain: In development with a 2012 release date.

The Associate: In development with a theoretical 2012 release date.

Atlas Shrugged: This film is finally in post-production. Release date is 15 April 2011 (tax day? I’m sure that there’s some irony there.). (Paul Johansson is John Galt. That answers that question. 😉 )

Barney’s Version: Due in U.S. theaters on 14 January 2011.

Beastly: Due in U.S. theaters on 18 March 2011.

The Bell Jar: In pre-production with a theoretical release date in 2012.

The Big Short – Inside the Doomsday Machine: In development with a 2012 release date.

Bless Me, Ultima: Currently filming with a release date in 2011.

The Boggart: In development. US theatrical release sometime in 2011.

Born to Rock: In development with a release date sometime in 2012.

The Box of Delights: In development with a theoretical release date in 2011.

Breaking Dawn – Part 1: Filming with a release date of 18 November 2011.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2: Filming with a release date of 16 November 2012.

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