CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2012 |
A Ventura County commission is trying to keep secret the details of a state-ordered investigation into the management and claims procedures of a healthcare plan designed to serve the county's neediest residents. Complaints about alleged late payments and poor management prompted the Department of Health Care Services to request that auditors step in and examine the plan's financial condition and claims practices. Gold Coast Health Plan was launched last year to switch an estimated 110,000 Ventura County Medi-Cal beneficiaries into an HMO-style healthcare plan. Previously, doctors and hospitals were free to charge Medi-Cal directly on a fee-for-service basis.
March 4, 2012 |
Question: I am a recently elected association board director. The other directors have told me that our property manager is the "authority" and "go to" person for everything and she's the "go between contact" with our association attorney and his firm. Individual directors must go through the manager with legal questions. The manager contacts the attorney, or his firm, and discusses board concerns. She is not a licensed attorney but often interrupts meetings to impart her "legal knowledge," and directors rely on her words.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2012 |
The mother of a Santa Barbara County teenager says he was wronged twice — once by the 450-pound Boy Scout leader who sexually abused him in 2007, and then by a local Scouts executive who she says told her not to call police. "He said that wasn't necessary, because the Scouts do their own internal investigation," said the woman, whose name The Times is withholding to protect her son's identity. "I thought that was really weird.... I thought it was really important to call the sheriff right away.
February 15, 2012 |
Here's your walking-on-sunshine Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --The Obama administration thinks pennies and nickels cost too darn much. So it's asked Congress for permission to change the mix of metal that goes into making the coins -- a recipe that's remained unchanged for more than 30 years. It currently costs 2.4 cents to make one penny and about 11.2 cents for each nickel. Given the number of coins that the U.S. Mint produces -- 4.3 billion pennies and 914 million nickels last year alone -- those costs add up quickly.
February 14, 2012 |
Here's your take-it-on-the-run Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --Happy Valentine's Day. Here's everything you need to know: The average American will shell out $126.03 to mark the holiday, up 8.5% from last year. Jewelry sales are expected to dominate sales, with a collective tally of $4.1 billion. Meanwhile, 72 million Valentine's Day cards have been purchased by parents for the kids to hand out in the classroom. An estimated 220,000 marriage proposals will be made today.
February 13, 2012 |
Here's your all-the-man-that-I-need Monday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --Tech monster Apple just doesn't have enough impressive news to report. So as a public service, allow me to convey that the company's stock has topped $500 for the first time. It was the latest step in a rally that began more than two weeks ago, when the company reported staggering sales and profits for the holiday quarter. Apple has been trading the position as most valuable company in the world with Exxon Mobil since last summer, but the latest rally has made it 17% more valuable than the oil company.
February 10, 2012 |
Here's your fortunate-son Friday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --Are there better cities for singles? Our friends at Kiplinger's Personal Finance crunched the numbers and found that there are, based on such stats as how many households are single versus married, whether those households are affluent enough to date, and just what a date might cost. The top city in the country to be single turns out to be Ann Arbor, Mich. More than half of the city's population is single, thanks in part to proximity to the University of Michigan.
February 9, 2012 |
Here's your theme-from-Shaft Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --The Postal Service's troubles get worse and worse. The agency says that it lost $3.3 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31 and that it expects to run out of cash in October unless Congress agrees to cuts in facilities and employees. This was the ninth straight quarter of losses. The Postal Service, which doesn't receive taxpayer funding, last year reached its $15-billion borrowing limit from the U.S. Treasury and has forecast a record $14.1-billion loss for this fiscal year.
February 8, 2012 |
Here's your walk-like-an-Egyptian Wednesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --How do you sell merchandise for a green movie? With green businesses, of course . The Lorax, perhaps the most famous anti-industrial crusader from children's literature, is getting just such treatment. Universal Pictures will begin promoting "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax" this month. The animated movie is about a creature who "speaks for the trees" and fights rampant industrialism. The studio's nearly 70 launch partners -- including the Environmental Protection Agency and Whole Foods Market -- are seeking to latch on to the Lorax's nature-friendly message.
February 7, 2012 |
Here's your touch-me-in-the-morning Tuesday roundup of consumer news from around the Web: --You think you pay too much in taxes? Facebook's upcoming IPO will make founder Mark Zuckerberg a billionaire, but it will also stick him with an eye-popping tax bill that could reach as high as $2 billion . The gigantic tax hit is a consequence of Zuckerberg's plan to exercise stock options worth billions. The move will significantly increase his ownership stake in the company he founded eight years ago. Zuckerberg currently owns almost 414 million shares of Facebook, but he also holds options to buy an additional 120 million shares at the bargain price of 6 cents a piece.