The Venardos Circus

The Venardos Circus, a unique Broadway-Style Circus is coming to Tempe with 16 performances running April 11-28 at Singh Meadows, 1490 E Weber Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281. Created by former Ringling Bros. Ringmaster Kevin Venardos (veh-NARR-dos), the Venardos Circus wraps world-class animal-free circus acts into a Broadway musical-style format dubbed "The American Circus with the heart of a Broadway Show." Shows have been selling out in other states as it opens its first-ever visit to Arizona.

Guests can expect to be transported back in time to the center ring of a centuries-old tradition; but one that has been reinvented for the next generation. With an amazing assortment of aerialists, acrobats, juggling, hand-balancing/contortion, comedy, daredevilry, magic, musical production and much more, this amazing Circus experience will truly delight adults and kids of all ages. Venardos Circus proudly features its own custom-made big-top, a classic red-and-white striped tent, with an intimate feel and limited seating. The circus performers also are the crew in this 15-person traveling tour who are completely self-contained, much with the original circus tradition.

An interactive pre-show party begins one hour before each show time with opportunities to meet the cast, snap selfies and play games. Classic circus treats like popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, lemonade and more are available. The main event lasts approximately 90 minutes, with a brief intermission.

General Admission Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for youth under 12 yrs. Babes in arms are free with a paying adult (24 months and younger). Premium Reserved seating is priced from $35 to $45.

For more information, tickets and complete show schedule available at www.VenardosCircus.com.

Maricopa County Fair

Maricopa County youth will most certainly shine at the annual Maricopa County Fair Wednesday, April 10 through Sunday, April 14. Hundreds of kids will showcase their achievements and animals hoping to earn blue ribbons, bragging rights, and auction revenue for their next project. At last year's Maricopa County Fair, nearly 1,000 animals sold at auction, generating over $1.3 million for our youth.

In addition to hundreds of animals on display, the Fair offers plenty of motor sports, magic, music, and merriment. This year's motor sports line-up includes Demo Cross (demolition derby meets racing), Monster Trucks and Motocross shows. There's a wide variety of amazing attractions, including Magician Terry Godfrey, Think Safety Magic Show, Skip Banks the Balloon Man, and Steve's Fun Balloons. Musical options will resound throughout the fairgrounds and on four different stages, including Washboard Willy strolling musician, Musical Stylings of George Johnson, and community acts from across the county. Guest can get some up-close and personal moments with lovable creatures with World Class Bird Show, Freckle Farms Petting Zoo, and Farm Tours. All of the traditional Fair favorites exhibits, rides, games, and unique Fair food will be in abundance.

FFA Ag Mechanics Exhibits and Silent Auction Engineering-minded youth display and offer their handcrafted items such as tables, chair, home décor, jewelry, livestock feeders, etc. in a Silent Auction which runs from Wednesday, April 10 until 3pm, Sat., April 13.

Ugly Cake Contest- Friday, April 12 at Noon. The uglier the better, all decorations must be edible.

Pie baking contests Saturday, April 13 at Noon in the Exhibit Building. Bring your pie!

Fair Fashion Show and Style Review Saturday, April 13 at 2pm Youth, ages 5-18, who exhibited will model a garment they made.

Maricopa County Fair:

  • April 10-14, 2019
  • AZ Exposition & State Fairgrounds
  • 1826 West McDowell Road Phoenix, AZ 85007

For more information: www.maricopacountyfair.org or phone: 602-252-0717

Phoenix Magazine: Brow Transplant

Phoenix Magazine presents the 2019 Top Doctors Issue featuring a breakthrough procedure on the market for restoring thinning brows with Dr. Andrew Wolin Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

  • Raising Eyebrows Thicker brows are back and yes, you can have them too!
  • Thinning eyebrows is a common issue what are the causes: over-tweezed, hormone disturbances, chemotherapy
  • This ultra-minimally invasive eyebrow restoration uses hair transplantation techniques to give amazing, natural and permanent results.
  • The Procedure: outline the ideal brow, NeoGraft - extract hair follicles, insert the follicles use play roll b
  • Time frame for the procedure and for the brows * before and after photos
  • Cost starts at $4000.00
  • Ideal candidate for eyebrow transplants

For more information on Phoenix Magazine article visit: https://www.phoenixmag.com/2019/01/17/top-doctors-2019/

Wolin Plastic Surgery Center and NeoGraft of Scottsdale-8415 N Pima Rd #110, Scottsdale, AZ 85258

For more information: www.awolin.com or phone: 480-945-8440

OdySea Aquarium: Autism Exhibit Friendly

  • OdySea Aquarium is an approved Pal Place which means we were audited by a behavior specialist on sensory components and loud spots, quiet spots, dark areas, etc. and they have made accommodations to the Aquarium to that enhance the experience for everyone and we are committed to accessibility year-round.
  • OdySea Aquarium offer a quiet room off the main floor of the Aquarium. Room has books, sensory toys and bean bag chairs for kids/families to just take a time out from the "action" of the aquarium.
  • OdySea Aquarium offer a walk-thru experience for our popular Voyager experience (ride). Voyager is a seated theater in the round, that revolves (the floor moves) and guests go past several Aquariums (5 sharks, turtles, rays, sea lions, etc.) in the early AM and at the end of the day. Sometimes it is easier for these families to walk the experience than be in the slow-moving carousel style.
  • OdySea Aquarium have trained staff on what to expect with someone with sensory disabilities and they offer ideas and suggestions to families who inquire.

For more information: www.odyseaaquarium.com

OdySea Aquarium-9500 E Via De Ventura, Suite A-100, Scottsdale, AZ 85256

The Garden Guy: Hot Weather Gardening

Here and here are a few tips to help you make your plants a little less stressed out. Paint citrus trees and other fruit trees, like apricots, apples, peaches with 50% latex paint and 50% water. It acts like sun block and keeps your plant trunks from sun burning. Prune your palms, keep an eye out for powdery mildew. It looks like a white film on your leaves. Spray the leaves with ¼ cup baking soda and a drop of dishwashing soap per gallon of water. Hold off on pruning sun or salt damaged foliage until September or October. The damaged or dead foliage protects the plant from further damage. Potted plants need to be protected from the sun and one way to insulate them is inserting your existing pot into a larger pot and then insulate the space with peat moss, sphagnum moss or newspaper.

Contact Dave at gardenguy@gardenguy.com, or visit www.gardenguy.com

Autism Awareness

-1 in 59 children is living with Autism

-1 very positive change coming from increased awareness of Autism is that, according to the Autism Speaks website, over the past 10 years the average age of diagnosis has decreased from 4-5 and even 6 years old to an average of less than 4 years old. But VERY IMPORTANT, many children can be identified and diagnosed by age 2. This is extremely important as early identification and diagnosis leads to early intervention. Early intervention services including therapy in a team-based parent coaching model is key to optimizing functional daily living skills and decreasing challenges that the children experience, as we coach and train families on how to best support their children.

-we need to continue Autism Awareness to continue Early Identification, Early Intervention, and Research to optimize treatments and identify the root cause of ASD to ultimately eliminate this for all children and families.

Here's what to look out for in babies and toddlers under 3 yrs. old:

  • No social smiles or other warm expressions directed at people
  • Limited or no eye contact
  • No sharing of vocal sounds, smiles or other nonverbal communication
  • No babbling
  • No use of gestures to communicate like pointing or waving
  • No response to their own name
  • No words
  • Any loss of any speech, babbling or social skills that they were previously using

Here's what to look out for at any age older than 3 yrs.:

  • Avoids eye contact
  • Prefers to be alone
  • Struggles with understanding other people's feelings
  • Is nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over (which is called echolalia)
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and often intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors
  • They may also experience sleep problems, digestion problems, and irritability.

What to do if you are a concerned parent:

First call would be to your pediatrician. Depending on your child's age, they may refer you to one of our government agency resources like the Arizona Early Intervention Program, otherwise known as AzEIP. You can also refer your child directly to any of the following resources:

Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) (birth-3yrs old):

Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) (all ages):

Local School District (3 yrs. or older):

Online: http://www.azed.gov/specialeducation/

Dynamite Therapy, LLC (all ages):

  • 10049 E Dynamite Blvd, Ste 130
  • Scottsdale, AZ 85262
  • www.dynamitetherapy.com
  • Phone: 480.419.0848
  • Toll Free Phone: 844.330.8600
  • There are a lot of resources out there to help children and often times one or more may be what is best for your child.

To Donate to Help Fund Autism Research:

Last minute tax tips from the IRS

-If you haven't filed yet, is it too late to find a tax preparer?

It's not too late to find a tax preparer or file your returns electronically using a tax software.

-Where should people look / how do you suggest doing the research?

Ask for recommendation from your friends, look for an enrolled agent or CPA in your area, or utilize IRS Free File on IRS.gov.

-Does the IRS.gov site walk you through the filing like some programs?

IRS Free file has a dozen brand name tax software which assist taxpayers in filing their tax returns quickly and accurately.

-If you can't meet the deadline, what should you do?

File an extension and pay what you can to avoid penalties and interest. Anyone can file an extension for free through IRS Free File.

-What is the IRS impersonation scheme?

Fraudsters purport to be from the IRS and demand tax payments today. High pressure calls requesting taxes be paid over the phone via gift card.

IRS Free File:

  • Available through IRS.gov and the IRS2Go mobile app for those who have income $66,000 or less (7 out 10 taxpayers qualify).
  • Has brand-name software designed to help taxpayers successfully navigate the new tax reform landscape and file their federal returns quickly, accurately and at no charge.
  • Some Free File providers also offer free state return assistance.
  • Free File is available through the mid-October extension deadline. This means that taxpayers who get tax-filing extensions can still use Free File to file their returns.
  • Anyone, regardless of income, can use Free File to request a tax-filing extension.

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping tax reform legislation in more than 30 years now in effect, some taxpayers may choose to have a paid professional prepare their tax returns this year even if they've done it themselves in years past.

It is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare a tax return. Well-intentioned taxpayers can be misled by preparers who don't understand taxes or who mislead people into taking credits or deductions they aren't entitled to claim. Scam preparers often do this to increase their fee.

Here are a few tips to consider to help avoid fraudsters:

  • Look for a preparer who is available year-round. In the event questions come up about a tax return, taxpayers may need to contact the preparer after the filing season is over.
  • Ask if the preparer has an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers are required to register with the IRS, have a PTIN and include it on tax returns.
  • Inquire whether the tax return preparer has a professional credential (enrolled agent, certified public accountant or attorney), belongs to a professional organization or attends continuing education classes. Because tax law can be complex, competent tax preparers remain up-to-date on tax topics. The IRS website has more information regarding national tax professional organizations.
  • Check the preparer's qualifications. Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool can help locate a preparer with the preferred qualifications. A searchable and sortable listing of tax preparers registered with the IRS, the directory includes the name, city, state and zip code of attorneys, CPAs, enrolled agents, Annual Filing Season Program participants, enrolled retirement plan agents and enrolled actuaries.
  • Check the preparer's history. Check the Better Business Bureau website for information about the preparer. Look for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. For CPAs, check with the State Board of Accountancy. For attorneys, check with the State Bar Association. For Enrolled Agents, go to IRS.gov and search for "verify enrolled agent status" or check the Directory.
  • Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client's refund or boast bigger refunds than their competition. Don't give tax documents, Social Security numbers or other information to a preparer if merely inquiring about their services and fees. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous preparers have used this information to improperly file returns without the taxpayer's permission.
  • Make sure the preparer offers IRS e-file and ask to e-file the tax return. Paid preparers who do taxes for more than 10 clients generally must file electronically. Since electronic filing began in the 1980s, the IRS has processed more than 1.5 billion e-filed individual tax returns. It's the safest and most accurate way to file.
  • Provide records and receipts. Good preparers ask to see these documents. They'll also ask questions to determine the client's total income, deductions, tax credits and other items. Do not hire a preparer who e-files a tax return using a pay stub instead of a Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules.
  • Understand representation rules. Attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent any client before the IRS in any situation. Annual Filing Season Program participants may represent taxpayers in limited situations if they prepared and signed the tax return. However, non-credentialed preparers who do not participate in this program may only represent clients on returns they prepared and signed before the end of 2015.
  • Never sign a blank or incomplete return.
  • Review the tax return before signing. Be sure to ask questions if something is not clear or appears inaccurate. Any refund should go directly to the taxpayer not into the preparer's bank account. Reviewing the routing and bank account number on the completed return is always a good idea.
  • Report abusive tax preparers to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. If a return preparer is suspected of filing or changing the return without the client's consent, also file Form 14157-A, Return Preparer Fraud or Misconduct Affidavit. Forms are available on IRS.gov.
  • www.irs.gov/chooseataxpro has additional information to help taxpayers including tips on choosing a preparer, the differences in credentials and qualifications, as well as how to submit a complaint regarding an unscrupulous tax return preparer.
 


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