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by Joyia Emard

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Keeping prescription drugs out of the wrong hands is one of the goals of this Saturday’s DEA Drug Take-Back.

Last year in California, more than one billion hydrocodone pain pills were dispensed – that’s enough for a month’s supply for every California adult. Many of those narcotics are no longer needed and may be stored in easily accessible medicine cabinets where visitors and teens can easily obtain them to get high.

The DEA’s twice-yearly Drug Take-Back is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., this Saturday, September 27, 2014. The event allows you to safely dispose of those pain pills and other unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs at a location near you.

During the last Drug TakeBack event in April, the three DEA field divisions in California collected 78,495 pounds of prescription drugs.

For more information on the program, CLICK HERE

For a TakeBack location near you, please contact your county supervisor’s office.

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Those who commit fraud often target and exploit senior citizens. According to the FBI, the reason they do is because senior citizens are most likely to have a sizeable “nest egg” that criminals can target, and seniors are typically seen as more trusting of others. Older Americans are also less likely to report fraud because they don’t know who to report it to and are often too ashamed at having been scammed. Sometimes they aren’t even aware they have been scammed.

The California Bureau of Real Estate recently issued an advisory directed at California seniors to offer them essential advice and tips on how to protect themselves from becoming victims of real estate fraud schemes, including those scams involving home loans, rentals, timeshares, and false or fictious deeds.   Check out the advisory here.

 

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You still have time to get your higher education financial aid questions answered. The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education is taking your phone calls at KCRA 3’s Call 3: Cash for College going on now.

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If you’re in the greater Sacramento area, call (916) 447-2255 or send an email to college@kcra.com until 7:00pm with your student financial aid questions.


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The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education has joined the California Student Aid Commission to answer questions about financial aid requirements, application deadlines and resources available to students.

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It’s never too early to start planning your future. If you’re thinking about attending a postsecondary school, community college or university you’ve probably asked yourself, “How am I going to pay for it?”

If that sounds like, and you’re in the greater Sacramento area, you won’t want to miss KCRA 3’s Call 3: Cash for College Day on Tuesday, September 23. Tune in throughout the day to learn about student financial aid.

The Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education will join the California Student Aid Commission to answer your questions about requirements, application deadlines and resources available to students.

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Pages from ConsumerConnection_Summer2014_webNEWSFLASH – The latest edition of the Consumer Connection magazine is now available! This edition of our magazine features:

  • Data breach and password protection and precautions
  • Tips for your end of summer getaway
  • Important must-know tips when hiring a locksmith
  • Covered California and Affordable Care Act information
  • Taking your pet to the Vet
  • …..and much, much more!

Not only is the Consumer Connection magazine full of amazing fun to read articles, but you will become an even more informed consumer with all of the useful information it contains. Check out the magazine HERE.

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August 24, 2014

SACRAMENTO – The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging residents of Napa Valley and surrounding areas to only hire California-licensed contractors if they experienced damage to their homes, outbuildings, or businesses following this morning’s 6.1 magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Read more here: CSLB – Napa Earthquake Release.

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shutterstock_locksmithYou lost your keys and need a locksmith. Finding one is easy nowadays with smartphone technology – just search “locksmith,” call one of the results that pops up, and a locksmith is en route to the rescue. So simple, right? Wrong.

What the search engine doesn’t tell you is that unlicensed locksmith activity is a growing problem in California. The search results could potentially lead you to someone seeking to conduct illegal activity at your expense. What you also might not know is that California has requirements locksmiths must meet in order to legally do business.

The Department of Consumer Affairs’ Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) regulates locksmith companies and locksmith employees in California and wants you to be an aware and informed consumer. An informed consumer is one of the best deterrents against illegal locksmith activity.

Here is some handy information to keep in your back pocket when it comes to locksmiths:

  1. By law, a locksmith company must hold a BSIS locksmith license and an employee of a locksmith company must hold a BSIS locksmith employee registration.
  2. Identify a licensed and reputable locksmith before you need one. Individuals who possess a locksmith employee registration, but do not work for a licensed locksmith company are operating illegally.
  3. Check the license online or by calling (800) 952-5210.
  4. Check the business name and license number on the vehicle.
  5. Ask the locksmith to provide proof of his or her BSIS license or registration.
  6. Check the Better Business Bureau’s website for information.
  7. Get an estimate of the charges before you authorize the work.
  8. Always get a receipt for any work completed.
  9. If something doesn’t seem right, do not authorize the work to be started.
  10. Contact BSIS to file a complaint or report unlicensed activity.

Conducting business with unlicensed individuals is risky. Remember to check the license and report unlicensed activity online or by calling (800) 952-5210.

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Even Lady Gaga is getting in on the act—the act to save water, that is. In support of the State’s drought-awareness program Save Our Water, international pop star Lady Gaga recently released a public service announcement (PSA) urging Californians to do their part (see her PSA at www.saveourwater.com).

“We’re thrilled Lady Gaga has joined the effort to Save Our Water,” said Mark Cowin, Director of the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). “Conservation has always been a Californian value, but in this drought regular conservation isn’t enough—we must take extraordinary measures to save water.”

Lady Gaga’s PSA is part of the State’s plan to reach out to Californians with the water conservation message. Another recent effort is the launch of the Don’t Waste Summer campaign, presented by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and DWR, in conjunction with the Save Our Water program. The campaign provides daily tips and news that can help water conservation efforts at home and at work.

Sign up for the e-mails with tips and news at www.saveourwater.com. Examples of daily tips include:

  • Install a pool cover to reduce water evaporation by as much as 90 percent.
  • Use mulch to help moderate temperature: It cools soil in the summer and warms soil in the winter.
  • Water plants and foliage less frequently, but longer and closer to plant roots.
  • Collect water while rinsing fruit and vegetables and use it to water houseplants.

Also, follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram (#SaveOurWater) and on the Save Our Water’s Facebook page. Through these social media sites, you can watch videos, view photos, and read news and tips on how Californians and State businesses and organizations are conserving water.

Lady Gaga’s got it right—stay informed and save water. Learn more about the Save Our Water program at www.saveourh2o.org and the “Don’t Waste Summer” campaign at www.saveourh2o.org/sowmonth.

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Will also pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs

SACRAMENTO – A southern California man accused of subverting state licensing exams has pled guilty to two felony burglary counts and will pay $400,000 in restitution to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

Larry Holmes, Jr., and a business associate were arrested in January following an investigation by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Division of Investigation. The investigation revealed ACEAPP Training, which was operated by the pair, helped people cheat on numerous state licensing exams.

Exam materials for 12 different state-administered exams were illegally obtained affecting licensing entities including the Structural Pest Control Board, the Department of Pesticide Regulation, the Department of Public Health, the Department of Industrial Relations, the California Secretary of State and other departments.

“We are pleased with the outcome of this case,” said Susan Saylor, the Executive Officer of the Structural Pest Control Board, who originally requested the investigation. “Exam subversion is not only illegal, but it can put consumers at risk and will not be tolerated.”

As a result of the guilty plea, Holmes was sentenced to 30 days in county jail, 30 days of Caltrans work projects, placed on three years formal probation and ordered to pay $400,000 to the Department. He has already paid $200,000 and the rest will be paid over two years. A Superior Court Order was also issued against Holmes which suspends his Pest Control Operator’s license pending final resolution of his administrative case.

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The Department of Consumer Affairs promotes and protects the interests of California Consumers. Consumers can file complaints against licensees by contacting the Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 952-5210. Consumers can also file a complaint online at www.dca.ca.gov.

 

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Photo credit: California Land Surveyors Association

 

Ever notice round, metal discs or nails set into the surface of a sidewalk or street?

Those are land survey monuments that mark major land survey points.

According to the California Land Surveyors Association (CLSA), the markers, or survey monuments, are a means of visualizing the corners of parcels or rights-of-way. The survey monuments indicate property lines among adjoining properties, neighborhoods, subdivisions, roads, highways, cities, counties, states, and even countries. There are a variety of different types of land survey monuments, including a chiseled cross in a sidewalk, a nail and brass tag, iron pipes of any diameter driven into the ground, wood stakes or posts with or without identifying tags, old nails or “X” scribed in concrete, and rebar, with or without identifying caps.

Survey markers protect property owners’ rights since they identify original survey points. But during construction and land development, the survey markers are sometimes inadvertently destroyed.

“The destruction of survey monuments has occurred for quite some time and has increased over the last 10–12 years, initially due to rapidly spreading development across the State and more recently due to the increase of road maintenance activities by public agencies,” said Ric Moore, Executive Officer of the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.

A professional land surveyor must re-establish the monument, but it’s not always easy to do. And that can mean unanticipated costs, both in terms of money and relationships between property owners.

“When survey monuments are no longer available, the land surveyor is forced to extend the survey a much farther distance from the property, which often can result in an unforeseen increase in costs to the individual property owner,” said Moore. “The land surveyor is not always able to re-create exactly the same location, and that can lead to disputes between property owners over the location of their shared property lines.”

State law recognizes the importance of preserving survey monuments, and requires them to be sufficient in both number and durability so that survey points and lines are precisely known are can be recreated.

“Legislators have long recognized that the location of survey monuments, and thus property boundaries, represents a ‘physical property line infrastructure’ that private property owners and the general public should be able to adequately rely on for their use,” said Moore. “Destroying survey monuments cost private property owners many thousands of unnecessary dollars every year.”

 

 

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