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Uninsured Californians Will Pay Tax Penalty

Though young and in good health, Marcus Sesay of Riverside enrolled for health insurance in 2015 to fulfill the mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Sesay, a 35-year-old native of Sierra Leone, was not motivated by free services like an annual checkup and other health screenings, but wanted to avoid the tax penalty consumers will face if they fail to get coverage in 2016.

“Having insurance is the law, and I obey the law,” said Sesay, a security guard who has a plan with Health Net and pays $65 a month for his coverage. “Insurance also gives me peace of mind. We don’t know what tomorrow might bring.”

Protecting your financial tomorrow is one of the many reasons to sign up for affordable, high-quality health care.

“It’s impossible to predict when or whether someone will get sick or have an accident, which makes purchasing health insurance a wise decision for anyone,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said. “Now there’s another reason to get insured — taxes.”

The “shared responsibility payment” is a new tax penalty that Americans have to pay this year if they can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it. It is called a shared responsibility payment because everyone in the United States is now required to be part of our health insurance system — buying health coverage for themselves and their families rather than relying on others to pay for their care.

Those who do not buy health insurance in 2016 may be subject to the penalty, which is $695 per person in a household or 2.5 percent of their income, whichever is greater. That’s the stick the law can whack you with, but Covered California prefers offering most consumers a helping hand —financial help paying for coverage.

Of those already enrolled, almost 90 percent got financial help to cover their premiums. In 2014, consumers who qualified received an average of $5,200 to pay for their insurance. For more information and to find local, no-cost assistance, visit CoveredCA.com and click the “Find Local Help to Enroll” button in the middle of the page.

Youth Action Project Hosted YAP TALKS: An MLK Event


SAN BERNARDINO, CA- On Friday, January 15, 2016, Youth Action Project hosted YAP TALKS: A Martin Luther King Jr. event, to commemorate and honor Dr. King’s life and legacy. This event was held at the San Bernardino Valley College Library Viewing room.

YAP TALKS strongly resembled a TED Talks. Four speakers were invited to deliver 15-minute speeches that incorporated the philosophies, teachings and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to current issues experienced by San Bernardino community members and its youth. Each speaker projected a positive message by bringing awareness to these issues and by sharing their insight on how we can resolve them. The speakers consisted of:

Enrique Murillo, Professor at California State San Bernardino and Executive Director of Latino Education Advocacy Days (LEAD); Johnathan Buffong, co-founder of Buffong Consulting and Mental Health Consultant with the County of San Bernardino; Raihanah Medlock (Grand Terrace High School, Junior), Sheba Jennings (Summit High School, Junior), & DeVon Clay (California State University, San Bernardino, Freshman); Lolita Lyles, Professor at California State Long Beach and University of La Verne; and Rev. Dennis Brown, influential speaker who is also known as the “Voice of King.”

The event also featured a special guest, R&B sensation, Abraham McDonald. You may have seen him on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Voice. He graced everyone with his humorous personality and beautiful voice.

Jonathan Buffong, a speaker for this event, said, “To see the community celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King life’s work and dreams is always a great thing. Youth Action Project went an extra step when they did YAP TALKS, as each speaker not only analyzed King’s memory, but also forced the audience to look at ways to actualize how they can implement Dr. King legacy in their daily life. That’s when you will see true change in the way we engage with each other”.

Eleven-year-old student, Alexis Gallarzo, simply said, “I loved listening to everyone’s speech, especially since I am learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in class right now. The best thing about this event were the girls who free-styled their poems. It was so cool!”

Carol Flores, one of the event coordinators, said, “It was an honor working on an event that served as an agent to promote social change. My goal was to construct an event that would make people think about their current predicament and take action by fighting for social justice and equality as Martin Luther King Jr. did.”

Youth Action Project had one purpose in mind when planning YAP TALKS and that was to host a community event that would impact a diverse audience. C.E.O Joseph Williams closed the night with a powerful quote stating: “Youth Action Project was pleased to host this event. Our aim was to see Dr. King’s dream implemented. I believe we did just that.”

What It Do With the LUE: The Model Experience (TME)

Mussett Gonzalez

Mussett Gonzalez


Erika Bardere

Erika Bardere

The Model Experience (TME) – is WHAT IT DO WITH THE LUE this week. LUE Productions photographer, Mr. Freddie Washington of Freddie’s Photography, was out and about. Sunday, January 10 he was doing what he do in Orange County. Mr. Washington had the opportunity to be one of the many talented photographers for the fashion show “The Model Experience.”

The Model Experience is based in Los Angeles, California. A modeling development firm for individuals aged 4 to 28. Spoke person for TME, Ashley Covarrubias, says that “The Model Experience is a CATALYST for unsigned Models creating unique opportunities and experiences for emerging models.”

More than 400 individuals attended this year’s event. The Inland Empire was represented by two beautiful young ladies. If you’re thinking about getting into the model industry please check out TME website for upcoming audition dates. Shows are in San Diego, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Until next week L’z Up!

The website is www.themodelexperience.net and contact email is: info@themodelexpereince.net. Congratulations to Local I.E. Model, Erika Bardere. Erika was born in Fontana and grew up in Riverside. She is now living in San Bernardino and has done a few videos with Kid Ink, Chris Brown, Omarion, and Nervo. Her designer was Higher Level Design and the photographer was Michael Moriatis. The other local I.E. Model was Mussett Gonzalez, 19. She graduated from Eisenhower High in 2015. Her designer was B.I.M. Mode and the photographer was Freddie Washington.