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Gender: Female
Hometown: Southern California
Current location: Orbiting
Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 02:02 PM
Number of posts: 4,299

Journal Archives

Enrollment and Marketing Activities Suspended for CalOPTIMA ONECARE

ORANGE, Calif. (January 24, 2014) — CalOptima received notification from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the final outcome of the first comprehensive audit of OneCare, which was conducted in November 2013. The scope of the audit included CalOptima, our health networks and our pharmacy benefits manager.

Based on the audit, CMS has directed that CalOptima suspend marketing and enrollment into OneCare effective today. This action does not affect the services CalOptima provides to existing OneCare members, although it does delay the launch of our Cal MediConnect plan. CMS plans to return to conduct a follow-up audit within the next six months.

CalOPTIMA isn’t the only scandal (Orange) County Supervisors face

A recent scathing federal audit of Orange County’s, once showcase, provider of medical care for low-income residents found major problems with the agencies management of those services.

Details on the history of CalOPTIMA’s struggles here. All of this occurred on the heels of the Supervisor’s granting Supervisor Janet Nguyen unfettered control over the agency, as well as supporting her proposal to restructure the governing board to give hospitals more influence and control. Days after the action, led by Nguyen, local health care providers participating in CalOPTIMA held a major fundraising event to support Nguyen. The Voice of OC reports that California’s Department of Health Care Services will begin its own special review Monday of potential problems at CalOptima,

When it came time last year to determine how much hospitals would be reimbursed by the County for medical services, the Board of Supervisors dismissed the advice of County staff and instead voted to give hospitals more, even reading from the lobbyist recommendations (starting at 15:15 in the video below) to help formulate a motion during the meeting.

Thia is just another example of how the politicians on the Orange County Board of Supervisors have awarded hundreds millions of dollars in contracts to campaign contributors, including companies convicted of fraud, and allowed special interest lobbyists to write laws to benefit themselves instead of Orange County residents.

Diamond Valley Lake reservoir can provide relief for drought-stricken Southern California

"In 1991, Southern California went through a pretty terrible drought," said Kightlinger. "We had to ration water and we decided we are never going to go through another drought like that and be unprepared."

"We got prepared. We invested over the last two decades, now the whole state has to do that. You're seeing parts of the state running dry," said Kightlinger

"We're saying we want to work with the rest of the state on cooperative programs so that maybe we can help people out in Northern California," said Kightlinger.

But even though we're doing OK in Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District plans to ask consumers to conserve about 20 percent of their water next week. They say every little bit will help.

This is MWD.

California bill proposes mandatory kill-switch on phones and tablets

Politicians and law enforcement officials in California will introduce a bill on Friday that requires all smartphones and tablet PCs sold in the state be equipped with a digital "kill-switch" that would make the devices useless if stolen.

The bill is a response to a rise in thefts of portable electronics devices, often at knife or gunpoint, being seen across the state. Already half of all robberies in San Francisco and 75 percent of those in Oakland involve a mobile device and the number is rising in Los Angeles, according to police figures.

California Senate bill 962 says all smartphones and tablet PCs sold from Jan. 1, 2015, should have "a technological solution that can render the essential features of the device inoperable when the device is not in possession of the rightful owner."

It will have to be resistant to a hard reset, attempts to return the device to factory condition or a downgrade of the operating system. Users should have the option of deactivating it if they don't want the protection, but retailers will be banned from offering such a service.

Freeze cost nearly a quarter of California citrus crop

EXETER, Calif. -- A week of freezing temperatures in early December wiped out nearly a quarter of California's $2 billion citrus industry, an industry group estimated on Monday.

The group, California Citrus Mutual, said the damage was confined to the state's Central Valley, where about $441 million in mandarin and navel oranges and lemons were lost during seven consecutive nights of freezing temperatures in early December.

California Citrus Mutual said about 20 percent of the mandarin crop had already been harvested when the freeze set in, but about 40 percent of the remaining oranges, or $150 million in revenue, was lost. The navel crop suffered a 30 percent loss, with the dollar value of the damage hit $260 million, the group said. About $24 million in lemons also were lost.

California's drought will not affect this year's crop, but it could be a factor for the following year, he said.


California Assembly approves limits on drones

The bill, by Assemblymembers Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo), Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) and Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), would require public agencies to destroy data collected by drones within six months and would ban the weaponization of drones in California.

It also would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant to use a drone, except in certain emergency situations.

"We also have to recognize there are going to have to be some parameters in place around how we use unmanned aerial vehicles," he added. "We want Californians to feel confident that this legislative body is protecting their right to privacy."

The bill, AB 1327, passed on a 59-5 vote.


I worry about my grandkids.

Scientists don’t know what’s causing the problem, whether it’s bacteria, a toxin, something that’s been discharged in the water or ocean acidification. They’ve termed the outbreak “sea star wasting disease.” (Scientists now call starfish “sea stars” because they aren’t fish.)

Starfish die-offs have happened before in Southern California in 1983-1984 and 1997-1998, when El Niño events turned ocean waters warmer than normal. But those events were localized, only affecting portions of the population. That made it easier for starfish to recover.

Scientists say they’ve never seen a die-off of this magnitude. It’s spread through most of the starfish’s range, which stretches from Alaska to Baja California. And it’s affecting several starfish species including pisaster, the five-armed, orange and purple starfish commonly seen on the Oregon coast.

Broad outbreaks can pose recovery risks. A die-off in the Gulf of California in Mexico between 1976-1978 killed 99 percent of one species of starfish there, said Pete Raimondi, chairman of UC Santa Cruz’s ecology and evolutionary biology department. More than 30 years later, the population still hasn’t recovered because the die-off affected the species’ whole range.

(AP) LOS ANGELES - Across the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan's crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance.

"We were frankly kind of startled," said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that's still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments.

Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors.

Another political scandal brewing in San Diego

(Posted in GD by Joanie Baloney)

The complaint identified the political candidates involved only by number — 1 through 4. A confidential source close to the investigation told the U-T San Diego that Candidate 1 is San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Candidate 3 is former Mayor Bob Filner and Candidate 4 is former mayoral contender Nathan Fletcher.

The source didn’t know who Candidate 2 was although the complaint said the candidate ran for federal office in 2012.

The complaint specifically notes that Candidate 4 — Fletcher — didn’t have any knowledge of the meetings that took place to discuss possibly funding his failed campaign in the 2013 mayoral special election created by Filner’s resignation.


Try to find good fruit cups for kid's lunches.

This is only ten years old or so...

Another rapidly growing trend involves U.S. produce product imports. The idea is to save on labor costs, by shipping products from the U.S. to other countries and then shipping them back. One example Doyle gave are fruit cups, which are canned in the U.S., shipped to China or Thailand, repacked in plastic cups and are then shipped back to the U.S. as ready-to-eat.


Basic Guidelines on How To Rain Dance

1. Never do a rain dance on a hill.
2. Make sure you have a lot of room so you don’t run into anything.
3. Spin around in clockwise circles.
4. Make up your own rain chant. It should be rhythmical and easy to say fast.
5. Yell your rain chant while spinning around in circles.
6. If you are trying to get rid of rain, spin in counterclockwise circles and say your chant backward

(everyone/tribe is unique, be creative, remembering to honor the earth. nothing can be taken less something given.)

Claremont Church Nativity Scene Replaces Jesus With Trayvon Martin

Rev. Dan Lewis stands by a Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church featuring
a depiction of Trayvon Martin. Artist John Zachary sought to draw attention to gun violence.
(Credit: Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

For several years, Zachary has brought his artistic interpretations of the Nativity — as well as the occasional controversy — to the church, as he used a scene that traditionally conveys themes of joy and innocence to spread messages of social justice. Over the last few years, his installations have touched on homelessness, poverty and acceptance of gay families.

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