SAN FRANCISCO: California drivers are experiencing insurance premium increases of 62% after just one claim.
On average, drivers pay an average of 38% more for car insurance after making a single claim, according to a new insuranceQuotes.com report.
The hike is steepest in Massachusetts, where just one claim leads to an average premium increase of 67%, followed by California with an increase of 62%.
A second claim puts an even deeper dent in Americans' wallets. A driver with two claims pays nearly twice as much for car insurance as a claim-free driver (+86%) according to the report.
"The biggest lesson for consumers is not to file a claim unless absolutely necessary," says Laura Adams, a senior analyst at insuranceQuotes.com.
"Making a claim for a few hundred dollars doesn't make sense if your premium is going to skyrocket as a result," she adds.
In addition to geography, increases are also affected by the type of claim. Bodily injury and property damage (including collision) claims are the most expensive (+42% and +41%, respectively). Comprehensive claims (for non-collision events such as theft) are the cheapest and only account for increases of 2%.
Highest and lowest post claim increases
Massachusetts has the highest post claim increase at an average of 67%, followed by California with an average increase of 62% and New Jersey at 59%.
Maryland has the lowest post-claim increase average at 20%, followed by Alabama at 22% and Michigan at 23%.
Click the link for the full study, as well as a helpful "Should I Make a Claim?" calculator.
Daniel Andreas San Diego Bombed Two Buildings in the San Francisco Area 10 Years Ago
Domestic terrorism suspect on FBI’s most wanted terrorist list featured as part of Northern California's fugitive awareness initiative
SAN FRANCISCO: The FBI are still seeking the public’s help for any information leading to the arrest of fugitive Daniel Andreas San Diego, who exploded bombs in Emeryville and Pleasanton.
The FBI has received numerous tips allegedly placing him in different areas of California including Novato, San Rafael, Santa Cruz and also Northampton, Massachusetts.
It's also understood that the fugitive has overseas ties to Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Costa Rica, and Bolivia. If overseas, he may possess documentation allowing him residency in one of these countries, but he may not be fluent in a foreign language.
On August 28, 2003, two bombs exploded approximately one hour apart on the campus of a biotechnology corporation in Emeryville, California. In September that same year, a bomb strapped with nails exploded at a nutritional products corporation in Pleasanton, California.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for San Diego in October 2003. In April 2009, he was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List, making him the first domestic terrorist placed on this list.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $250,000 for information leading directly to the arrest and prosecution of San Diego. The reward can be paid confidentially.
San Diego, who was a California resident, was described in October 2003 as a white male with a light complexion, 6’0” tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
At the time of his disappearance, San Diego did not eat meat or food containing animal products. The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) assessed if he has maintained this discipline, people around him may notice that he avoids consuming or wearing anything made with animal products.
Several years of living as a wanted fugitive may have forced San Diego to engage in secretive behavior. The BAU believes this deception may affect other areas of his life, to include being vague or contradictory about his past history, routinely using prepaid cell phones or calling cards, or often changing his e-mail address.
He has training in computer networking, so San Diego may be known by those around him as someone to offer computer-related assistance. He may also be using his English language abilities for teaching/translating, or part of a service industry such as tourism overseas.
He is also known to cook and bake vegan and vegetarian foods and to have an interest in sailing. He may be using these skills as a form of income, specifically for cash to avoid using banks, checks, and credit cards.
THE FBI warn that San Diego should be considered armed and dangerous.
If you have information
Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is urged to contact their nearest FBI office or dial 911.
The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 415-553-7400 in the San Francisco area. All calls are confidential. Tips can also be submitted at tips.fbi.gov.
SAN FRANCISCO: An agreed, preliminary settlement in a 'false advertising' claim may well open the floodgates for other consumers to get on board.
The District Court in Oakland has granted preliminary approval of a settlement to resolve a legal spat concerning the company CytoSport and the advertising and marketing claims made on some of their products.
Claire Delacruz had previously filed a suit against CytoSport, who she said had mislead consumers by stating that their Muscle Milk products were incorrectly labeled as 'nutritious' and 'healthy' snacks.
CytoSport vigorously denies these allegations, saying that its products are part of a healthy, balanced diet and that it has complied with applicable laws and regulations.
However, the FDA had also sent a warning letter to CyoSport after they carried out tests on their 'Ready-to-drink' products, and found that they did not comply to physical and legal requirements for the claims they were making.
Today a statement suggests that the District Court in Oakland did not rule in favor of plaintiff or CytoSport. Instead, the parties attorney's agreed to a settlement valued at $5,000,000 to avoid the expense and risks of continuing the lawsuit.
This means that Miss Delacruz and the 'proposed class of consumer' who may have also purchased the same products based on their nutritional and health claims, may have a right to monetary compensation.
As part of the settlement, people who purchased a Muscle Milk Ready-to-Drink or Muscle Milk Bar product at retail anywhere across the US between July 18, 2007 and December 31, 2012 may be members of the 'proposed class' and can claim compensation, unless they decide to opt out of any claim before March of next year.
Under the settlement, qualifying households may be eligible to receive up to $60, depending on the amount of their claim and the total number of claimants.
In addition to this the settlement also requires CytoSport to discontinue the use of certain statements within marketing and labeling of its Muscle Milk products.
HOW TO CLAIM
Claim forms, a list of qualifying products, and other details of the proposed settlement are available by calling (855) 590-8658 or online at the following link
SAN FRANCISCO: Plastic bag bans in cities such as San Francisco and San Jose are bad for the environment and do not decrease costs, according to a new study from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
According to academic, H. Sterling Burnett, the alternative paper bags and reusable shopping bags use more energy, more resources and produce more greenhouse gasses.
"In short, plastic bags are the green alternative. They save money, and they save the environment," Burnett said.
He also claims that paper and reusable bags produce more waste and pollution than their plastic equivalents.
"Do Bans on Plastic Grocery Bags Save Cities Money?"
The study examined six cities, including San Francisco and San Jose, that have enacted plastic bag restrictions. Despite claims from bag ban proponents that the bans would reduce costs to cities by reducing litter costs, solid waste disposal, and recycling expenses, cities that have banned the bags show no evidence that the bans have led to a reduction in those costs.
The city of San Francisco was the first US city to enforce a law and banned plastic bags in 2007 claiming that the ban would decrease the overall amount of garbage collected. According to Burnett the study shows that garbage and recycling rates rose more than 78.6% in the city between 2005 and 2013.
Prior to the ban, City Supervisor, Ross Mirkarimi estimated that bag disposal and lost revenue cost the city and the private waste disposal and recycling contractors almost $8.5m a year.
However, this estimate included both paper and plastic bags, whereas the vast majority of collection and disposal costs are due to paper bags according to Burnett's study.
In 2011 San Jose became the largest city at that time to adopt a ban, approving one of the strictest bag bans in the nation, it became effective in January 2012. The city banned plastic bags from both large and small retailers, excepting only restaurants, nonprofits, social organizations and retailers that use plastic or paper bags for fresh produce, meat or bulk goods.
Burnett says that there was no explicit estimate of the expected savings, and data on the ban is still relatively incomplete. However, the city council adopted budgets that increased spending from about $95.5 million for the 2009-2010 budget year to $110.4 million in 2012-2013 (the ban’s first year), a 15.6 percent rise.
In Los Angeles County a have had a ban in place since 2011. The study indicates that spending on solid waste rose over 30 percent from budget year 2006-2007 to 2011-2012. Projected spending rose nearly 6 percent from 2011-2012 to the adopted budget for 2012-2013.
In June of this year, the City of Los Angeles approved an ordinance banning plastic bags, effective from January 2014 for large stores and July 2014 for smaller stores. The law requires customers to either use their own reusable bags or pay 10 cents per paper bag.
BROWNSVILLE - TEXAS:
The Texas city put some restrictions on plastic carry-out bags in 2009, but full enforcement began in 2011. For the first two years of the ban, solid waste revenues and expenses have risen. Brownsville’s garbage collection fees and waste disposal expenses have seen extreme swings, with a general upward trend, but no discernible pattern.
D.C. put in place a 5-cent plastic bag levy in 2010. While the city saw a decline in costs for solid waste collection and removal and sanitation disposal, a look at the data indicates that the reductions are almost entirely due to budget cuts and not the plastic bag tax.
Spending on public space cleaning increased in 2010 (the first year of the tax), but it declined 33 percent in 2011. There was a more modest decline in costs for solid waste collection and removal, and sanitation disposal. However the data indicates the reductions stem almost entirely from substantial federal and local budget cuts.
"None of the six cities I examined experienced any measurable savings from their taxes or bans on plastic grocery bags," Burnett said.
He said that proponents of plastic bag restrictions who claim that restrictions will reduce cities' solid waste costs should provide evidence to back up their claims.
"But this study indicates that they can't," he added.
According to Burnett, advocates of bag bans insist that plastic bags harm the environment. But he insists that they are actually more environmentally friendly than alternatives, making up just 0.6 percent of all litter.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, plastic bags account for less than 0.5 percent of the entire waste stream.
Full text: H. Sterling Burnett, "Do Bans on Plastic Grocery Bags Save Cities Money?" National Center for Policy Analysis, December 2013.
ABOUT THE REPORT'S AUTHOR
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is one of the country's leading authorities on energy and environmental issues. He is the lead analyst of the NCPA E-Team.
Burnett's area of expertise includes topics such as government environmental policy, offshore drilling, global warming, endangered species and public lands.
OAKLAND: A group of young adults from Alameda County's foster care system have received special achievement diplomas at a graduation ceremony in the County.
The group of 18 local residents, between the ages of 18-24 received their diplomas in the chamber of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in Oakland on Friday.
Each of the graduates spent six months working in positions within Alameda County as part of the New Beginnings Fellowship Program which provides interns with on the job experience within county departments and teams up each participant with a county manager to act as a mentor and visualize their career goals.
The ceremony included the traditional passing of diplomas and photo opportunities for graduates and their families.
"They came up with the right name for this program, because for me it really has been a new beginning," said Arthur Savangsy, who is currently transitioning to his own independence after living in a group home outside the Bay Area.
"The program has helped me get the confidence to go after what i want, and it has put me in contact with people who can help me get there," he added.
During a heartwarming ceremony some of the graduates made speeches, in which they continually referred to each other as 'family' and a 'support network' that they can call upon in the future.
"I can open up to you," Miranda McGee told her fellow graduates while wiping away a tear.
The program is provided in partnership with Beyond Emancipation, an Oakland based nonprofit that serves current and former foster youth throughout the county with the transition to independent adult living.
This is the third year that Alameda County has sponsored the fellowship program which provides paid employment for interns in 12 County departments.
This year was the first year that the scheme was expanded from two to six months in duration. This was done to give participants more time to refine job skills learned and to build better industry networks.
About the program
The program was launched by County Administrator, Susan S. Muranishi, backed by support from the Board of Supervisors and elected department heads.
It began over five years ago with the establishment of several Fresh Start Cafes within county buildings in Oakland, Castro Valley and San Leandro. A further cafes opened at the REACH Ashland Youth Centre. These outlets provide employment for young adults who have had contact with the juvenile justice and foster care systems.
County workers who served as supervisors said there was a mutual, two-way benefit for all involved in the fellowship. Several of them spoke of the energy, intelligence and the work ethic that that the participants brought to the job.
However, probation supervisor at San Leandro Juvenile Justice Center, Mykeisha Lewis addmitted that some staff had a lukewarm reaction when they learned that the New Beginnings interns were coming on board.
"When you are busy everyday at your job, it is very easy to feel that you just don't have time to be teaching interns," she said.
"Then one day you see your intern showing your employees what to do and you come to appreciate how valuable they can be."
SAN FRANCISCO: The FBI in San Francisco and Menlo Park Police Department are seeking the public’s help in identifying an individual believed to have robbed two banks in the Menlo Park area.
On October 29 at approximately 12:25 p.m., the individual robbed the Bank of the West at 701 Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park.
Further Investigators have also linked the same person to a robbery at the U.S. Bank at 1105 El Camino Real in Menlo Park on November 8 at approximately 2 p.m.
Witnesses describe the suspect as a female (possibly Pacific Islander or Hispanic), 5'7” to 5'8” tall, 140 to 170 pounds, brown eyes, brown hair, and approximately 25-30 years in age.
During the October 29 robbery, she was wearing a red baseball hat with the letter “C” on the front, sunglasses, dark gray hooded jacket, and gray sweatpants and carried a dark bag.
During the November 8 robbery, she was wearing a light blue and gold baseball hat with the word “Nuggets” and a graphic on the front, long-sleeved green sweatshirt, and blue jeans and carried a light brown handbag.
During each robbery, the suspect presented a demand note and threatened she had a gun. Following the robbery, the suspect fled on foot.
Further photos of the suspect can be seen below.
The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.
Photos courtesy of the FBI San Francisco
Anyone with information about the identity or whereabouts of the suspect is urged to contact their nearest FBI office or dial 911. The FBI can be reached 24 hours a day at 415-553-7400 in the San Francisco area. All calls are confidential. Tips can also be submitted at tips.fbi.gov.
SAN FRANCISCO: Three defendants including a married couple have been convicted in a $3.2 million Medicare fraud scheme.
Husband and wife - Patrick Adebowale Sogbein and Adebola Adefunke Adebimpe were convicted together with Eduardo Abad of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud by a federal jury.
Both Sogbein and Abad were also convicted of conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks involving the Medicare program. And in total Sogbein and Adebimpe were paid more than $1.6 million by Medicare.
Following a 13 day trial, the jury found that between dates in 2006 and 2011, Sogbein and Adebimpe submitted more than $3.2 million in fraudulent claims to Medicare through two different medical equipment companies in the Loss Angeles area. Medicare beneficiaries for these prescriptions had been purposely identified by Abad and other street-level recruiters.
The jury also found that Sogbein had paid and Abad had received cash kickbacks in exchange for the referral of the Medicare beneficiaries.
Prior to trial, on September 30, 2013 and October 21, 2013, respectively, co-defendants Edna Calaustro and Mele Saavedra, both from San Francisco, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, conspiracy to receive kickbacks involving Medicare and health care fraud.
Sogbein and Adebimpe were remanded into custody following conviction while Abad, Calaustro, and Saavedra remain out of custody.
According to evidence Sogbein who is the owner of Debs Medical Distributors began working with Calaustro who works as a physician, to obtain bogus prescriptions for power wheelchairs.
In 2008 Sogbein was experiencing increasing difficulties when Medicare started scrutinizing some of his submitted claims, so he started to submit claims through a separate company in his wife's name - Dignity Medical Supply in Santa Clarita.
Sogbein and Calaustro then worked with Abad, Saavedra, and others to identify Medicare beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries were recruited by the team in locations in the San Francisco neighborhoods of Tenderloin and South of Market and includa fast food restaurant at the Powell Street cable car turnaround and a Tenderloin neighborhood senior center.
One of the convicted would then travel to the beneficiaries’ homes with a portable copy machine where they copied their Medicare cards, and conducted sham examinations to obtain background information for the required Medicare paperwork. Calaustro would then give the fraudulent paperwork and bogus prescriptions to Sogbein and Adebimpe.
In turn, additional fraudulent paperwork would be created in the names of their respective companies and submit these to Medicare.
Sogbein paid Calaustro $100 for each power wheelchair prescription. Sogbein paid Abad and Saavedra $100 and $50, respectively, for each beneficiary they identified. It's understood that over the five-year period, Sogbein and Adebimpe billed Medicare for over 400 power wheelchairs using the bogus prescriptions.
“Health care fraud is particularly pernicious because it not only defrauds the government, but it inhibits Medicare’s ability to help those in need," said United States attorney Melinda Haag.
"The verdict reaffirms this office’s commitment to prosecuting those who intentionally engage in schemes to defraud Medicare,” Haag added.
Special Agent in Charge David J. Johnson noted that the result of this case represented the FBI’s commitment to aggressively identify and investigating health care fraud crimes.
“Our outstanding partnership with HHS-OIG nationwide allowed us to successfully work with their office in Los Angeles in order to bring down this egregious health care fraud scheme operating throughout California.”
A sentencing hearing for Sogbein, Adebimpe, and Abad is now scheduled for March 20, 2014.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy to engage in health care fraud is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000, or twice the amount gained in the course of the fraud (whichever is greater).
The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks involving the Medicare program is five years’ imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.
SAN FRANCISCO: A suspect has been picked up by SFPD following the shooting dead of a victim during a robbery of a video game console yesterday.
According to the SFPD The suspect was picked up in the industrial area of the Bayview District and was then taken into custody.
There is currently no further information to be released at this time.
He has not yet been charged and therefore, his name and information is not currently available.
The SFPD also say that details of his custody are not yet available.
The victim, 22-year-old Ikenna Uwakah was shot and killed after he arranged to meet with a person online to sell his gaming console.
However, Uwakah, from Daly City was shot as he sat in his car in the Bayview district and the suspect made off with the console.
He was then driven from the scene before being left for police officers to find.
He died in hospital a short time later from his injuries.
SAN FRANCISCO: A court in San Francisco will hear a single mother's compliant against members of the Bush administration, as she claims the Iraq War was illegal under international law.
Plaintiff, Sundus Shaker Saleh, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now lives in Jordan.
She filed a complaint at the San Francisco Federal Court in March of this year, alleging that the planning and waging of the Iraq War was a "crime of aggression" against Iraqi civilians, a legal theory used at the Nuremberg Trials to convict Nazi leaders for planning and waging wars in Europe during World War II.
Saleh served the complaint against six Bush-era officials, including George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz. She is seeking damages for herself as well as for other Iraqi civilian victims of the war.
War on Iraq was openly planned
She alleges that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz openly planned the Iraq War beginning in 1998 through a neo-conservative think-tank called "The Project for the New American Century". She further alleges that once in power, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz convinced other Bush officials to invade Iraq and to use 9/11 as an excuse to scare and mislead the American public into giving their support.
President Obama's Department of Justice
President Obama's Department of Justice (DOJ) is representing the defendants and has filed court papers seeking to immunize them from civil proceedings. They are arguing that the former officials were acting within the scope of their employment in planning and waging the Iraq War. The Obama DOJ has also argued that Saleh's lawsuit is a political question and should be dismissed.
"This is the first time that a court will examine arguments that the Iraq War was illegal under international law," chief counsel Inder Comar of Comar Law said.
"We will ask the court to recognize the Nuremberg judgment as binding precedent against these six defendants, and to reject the Obama DOJ argument that Bush-era officials were acting within the scope of their employment when they publicly planned the Iraq War prior to entering office," Inder added.
International Military Tribunal
In 1946, the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg ruled that planning and waging a war of aggression is a "supreme international crime". It convicted Nazi leaders of engaging in premeditated wars that violated international law. Several Nazi leaders were sentenced to death for committing the crime of aggression and other war crimes.
Oral argument for the case: Saleh v. Bush is set for hearing on April 3, 2014, 2:00 p.m., in the Northern District of California, San Francisco division.
Updates, including court documents, can be found at http://witnessiraq.com.
SAN FRANCISCO: A spectacular Rolls Royce motorcar that was stored in a San Francisco garage for 30 years will go to auction in the run up to the holiday season.
The amazing, low-milage motorcar was stored at the Green Street Garage in San Francisco since 1937 and still runs and drives.
The 1920 Rolls Royce, Silver Ghost, Barker Roadster is considered by experts to be one of the most original, untouched examples known to exist in the world today, and the sellers expect it to make over half-a-million at auction.
Originally owned from new by a gentleman in the Cerrito area of California, the car has only had two owners in the last 90 years and remained undercover in storage until 1967.
A one off special with coachwork by Barker, It includes unique sliding running board seats, original spot lamp and all original accessories. It's understood to be one of the most extraordinary Silver Ghosts in existence.
A spokesperson for Dragone Brothers said that this specific model of Rolls Royce was a 'very desirable car'. Dragone Brothers are estimating that the car will sell for a price between $550,000 - $650,0000. They also commented that they are expecting a large amount of national interest and even international interest in the sale.
According to their company spokesperson, It is not just San Francisco that can uncover such hidden gems.
"Every place is a good hunting ground as you never know and you find them. We find cars all over the world and in barns up and down the country. But in the big cities like San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Dallas the wealth was there and people put cars in garages and storage and that's where a a lot of them remained".
Although the Silver Ghost is expected to receive a huge amount of interest during the auction, it will not be the most expensive car for sale on the day. Dragone Brothers will also auction a 1930 Packard 734 Speedster Phaeton, that they expect will make between $950,000 -$1.3m.
The Dragone Brothers
The Dragone brothers are experts at searching for 'rare, hidden-away, motoring treasures' that have never been offered for sale before. Their auction on December 7 will be the second sale this year and will take place at their premises in Westport, Connecticut.
On December 6 they will offer an all day preview of the classics that will be for sale on auction day. The preview will start at 10:00 am.
"This auction promises to offer a remarkable group of cars that have not been seen in decades. "This is a must attend sale for any true classic car enthusiast," Manny Dragone said.
Pictures courtesy of Dragone Brothers: www.dragoneclassic.com
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