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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 77,767

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

El Segundo-based DaVita Medical Holdings to pay $270 million settlement

El Segundo-based DaVita Medical Holdings has agreed to pay $270 million to resolve allegations it provided inaccurate information to Medicare, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday, Oct. 1.

The settlement involves coding practices by a physician network, formerly called HealthCare Partners, that DaVita bought in 2012 for $4.42 billion. DaVita is selling the network, which was renamed DaVita Medical Group, to Optum, a health services company that is part of UnitedHealth Group, for $4.9 billion.

In one example provided by the DOJ, HealthCare Partners instructed its physicians to use an improper diagnosis code for a particular spinal condition that yielded increased reimbursement. Based on those self-disclosures, and DaVita’s cooperation with the government’s subsequent investigation, the DOJ agreed to a favorable resolution of potential claims arising from the conduct, the agency said.

The parent company, DaVita Inc. in Denver, said it will pay the settlement with escrow funds the company had the former owners of HealthCare Partners set aside during the acquisition six years ago.

Read more: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/10/01/el-segundo-based-davita-medical-holdings-to-pay-270-million-settlement/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 03:45 AM (1 replies)

San Francisco mayor prepared to compel treatment for frequently detained homeless

Mayor London Breed on Thursday vowed to introduce legislation creating a conservatorship program to compel homeless people suffering from mental illness and addiction to undergo treatment after a state bill allowing the expansion of conservatorships was signed into law.

Senate Bill 1045, introduced by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), permits San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego Counties to expand conservatorship programs, which allows a judge to order someone to undergo treatment, including in locked facilities.

The bill, signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, raises questions about the balance between medical care and personal liberties, but also about the strategies The City is using to address the homeless issue.

Counties need to pass legislation to implement the law.

Read more: http://www.sfexaminer.com/mayor-prepared-compel-treatment-frequently-detained-homeless/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 03:42 AM (0 replies)

Lawmakers debate fix after conservation fund lapses

Source: AP

WASHINGTON -- A popular program that supports conservation and outdoor recreation projects across the country expired after Congress could not agree on language to extend it.

Lawmakers from both parties back the Land and Water Conservation Fund, but the program lapsed Monday amid dispute over whether its renewal should be part of a broader package of land-use and parks bills.

A Senate panel is set to vote Tuesday on a bipartisan bill to permanently reauthorize the fund and ensure it is fully paid for.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to consider a bill offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state, the panel's top Democrat. Cantwell calls the conservation fund "the key tool" that Congress uses to help communities "preserve recreation opportunities and make the most cost-effective use of the land."

Read more: https://www.fresnobee.com/news/business/article219348635.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 03:15 AM (1 replies)

Advocates disappointed in Brown's veto of rape kit testing

SACRAMENTO — In an initial step intended to put a dent in the decades-long backlog of untested rape kits across the state, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill ordering a count of all collected kits.

But the governor disappointed rape victim advocates by vetoing a bill that would have required the kits to be tested within 120 days of submission.

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley pushed for Assembly Bill 3118, which will require agencies such as police departments, hospitals and crime labs to audit all of their sexual assault kits to determine just how many have been left untested. The bill was introduced by Assemblymen David Chiu, D-San Francisco.

But O’Malley’s happiness with 3118’s passage was tempered by Brown’s decision to veto Senate Bill 1449, which would have required the kits to be tested within a certain amount of time.

Read more: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/10/01/alameda-county-da-disappointed-in-browns-veto-of-rape-kit-testing/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 02:53 AM (0 replies)

Sarah Palin's son, domestic violence, PTSD and his reported struggles with anger and second chances

When Iraq War veteran Track Palin, the oldest son of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was arrested for the first time on domestic violence charges in 2016, his mother suggested his attack on his then-girlfriend stemmed from the “ramifications of some PTSD.”

At the time, Sarah Palin’s remarks generated limited sympathy. Veterans groups blasted her for apparently trying to blame her son’s alleged violence on post-traumatic stress disorder, Foreign Policy reported.

The groups also believed she was using a serious mental health issue to deflect her son’s responsibility as she was stumping for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Moreover, they didn’t like that the former GOP vice presidential candidate seemed to be reinforcing the stereotype of the psychologically unstable, violent veteran, Foreign Policy added.

Sarah Palin’s PTSD comments could take on new urgency after Track Palin, 29, was arrested Friday night for a third time on domestic violence charges, this time for allegedly assaulting a female acquaintance.

Read more: https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/10/01/sarah-palins-son-domestic-violence-ptsd-and-his-reported-struggles-with-anger-and-second-chances/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 02:25 AM (5 replies)

Woman Paralyzed by Tree Branch Could Receive $14.5M From San Francisco

A freak incident that paralyzed a 36-year-old mother of two in 2016 may cost the city some big bucks. On Aug. 16 2016 Cui Ying Zhou sat on a park bench in North Beach’s Washington Square Park, while her two daughters, ages 5 and 9, played nearby. But tragedy struck when a massive, 100-pound tree branch from a Canary Island pine fell on Zhou, fracturing her skull and breaking her spine into two pieces. Despite months in the hospital, it’s not expected that Zhou will ever be able to walk again.

The city immediately came under fire for not properly pruning its park trees’ branches, and arborists were deployed to parks citywide to examiner other trees that could cause injury to parkgoers. The family’s attorney, who helped them file a suit two months after the incident, alleged that branches had been dropped on the Washington Square Park playground in both 2008 and 2009. But officials from the Recreation and Parks Department said the pine had been assessed as recently as 2010 and was deemed healthy.

Two years later, the settlement is nearing a conclusion. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will vote on whether to approve a $14,500,000 settlement for Zhou, her husband Jian Cong Tan, and her daughters Angelina Tan and Arosia Tan. The money will be granted to the family in addition to nearly $70,000 raised through a GoFundMe shortly after the incident. The expenses of such an injury are no doubt enormous; Zhou spent a significant amount of time in rehab, and her husband had to leave his job to take care of the girls.

The personal settlement case will be one of the largest civil suits in city history.

(no more at link)
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 01:44 AM (0 replies)

Supreme Court Foils Tech Billionaire's Restriction of Martins Beach

In a win for public access to the California coast, the U.S. Supreme Court today refused to hear a tech billionaire’s appeal to control access to Martins Beach near Half Moon Bay.

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has fought since 2010 to restrict usage of the only road to the San Mateo County beach, arguing that he allowed to as the property owner. Lower courts previously ruled that without a permit from the California Coastal Commission, he must keep the beach open.

Khosla appealed to the Supreme Court, which offered no comment in its denial to hear his case. The Surfrider Foundation, which sued Khosla to open the beach’s access, billed the case as one that could reshape access to public areas nationwide should the Supreme Court rule in Khosla’s favor.

“The most conservative and divided Supreme Court in my lifetime confirmed that even a billionaire, who refuses to acknowledge that the law applies to him, and retains the most expensive attorneys he can find, cannot create a private beach,” said Joseph Cotchett, attorney for Surfrider Foundation. Beaches are public in California, and the immensely wealthy must comply with the Coastal Act just like everyone else.”

Read more: http://www.sfweekly.com/news/supreme-court-foils-tech-billionaires-restriction-of-martins-beach/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 01:32 AM (1 replies)

Landlords Take Aim Against Three Oakland Ballot Measures

Members of the East Bay Rental Housing Association, a landlords' group, are raising money through two political action committees in an effort to defeat two Oakland property tax measures and a ballot measure that would limit the ability of landlords to carry out no-cause evictions.

The “Committee for Better Choices” is opposing measures AA, W, and Y, which are on Oakland’s November ballot.

According to campaign records filed last week, the "Committee for Better Choices" was created by Carlon Tanner. Tanner owns Beacon Properties, an Oakland-based real estate company.

Property owners have already raised $31,905 for the PAC to campaign against AA, W, and Y.

Read more: https://www.eastbayexpress.com/SevenDays/archives/2018/10/01/landlords-take-aim-against-three-oakland-ballot-measures
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 01:23 AM (0 replies)

Bars Are on the Rocks as 4 a.m. Last Call Bill Falters

Late-night party people who had hopes of drinking longer at the bars were served a shot of bad news Friday. Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have extended last call until 4 a.m. in certain communities. If you think this gives you a case of the bitters, imagine how the late-night bars feel.

“We’re extremely disappointed, obviously,” DNA Lounge owner Jamie Zawinski tells SF Weekly. (DNA Lounge is sometimes open later than 2 a.m., but cannot serve alcohol after that hour.)

“As a nightclub, we make the vast majority of our income during just four hours per week — between Midnight and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday,” he tells us. “Extending those four hours by even a little bit would be an enormous help to a struggling business like ours.”

The law’s failure is a surprise, as State Sen. Scott Wiener had meticulously lined up co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. “This bill had wide-ranging support, having passed innumerable committees and overwhelmingly passed the Senate,” Zawinski says. “I have no idea what the Governor was thinking.”

Read more: http://www.sfweekly.com/news/bars-are-on-the-rocks-as-4-a-m-last-call-bill-falters/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 01:07 AM (0 replies)

Audit Aims to Uncover the Truth About DMV Employees Sleeping on the Job

Less than a week after Gov. Jerry Brown called for an audit of the Department of Motor Vehicles, a Westside state lawmaker has pledged to “hold their feet to the fire” when the Legislature returns to Sacramento next week.

What began as a series of complaints about hours-long wait times has since spread to allegations of DMV employees sleeping on the job and problems with the department’s motor voter files, and has the potential to blow up into a full-on scandal.

On Sept. 4, DMV officials admitted that they sent more than 23,000 erroneous voter registrations to the Secretary of State’s office, which could have an impact on voter registration, party registration and the ability of those affected voters to cast their ballots — just over a month before the midterm elections.

The audit has drawn the ire of state lawmakers.

Read more: https://www.laweekly.com/news/audit-aims-to-uncover-the-truth-about-dmv-employees-sleeping-on-the-job-9919892
Posted by TexasTowelie | Tue Oct 2, 2018, 12:56 AM (0 replies)
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