Posts Tagged ‘members’

Ashton Kutcher and Jay-Z want to Disrupt Civil Aviation by Backing “BlackJet” – It’s “Uber for Private Jets!”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Here’s the news:

“A new chapter in the private jet market has opened in LA. BlackJet now allows its members to step into the lap of luxury at the cost of a business class seat on a commercial airline. The company is backed by tech moguls and Hollywood A-Listers Ashton Kutcher and Jay-Z. Each recognized that BlackJet’s technology will allow the top 15% of earners to step into a private jet as opposed to the top 1%. Instead of waiting in security lines and sitting in terminals, members are greeted by a red carpet, park next to their jet, and fall into an oversized captain’s chair.”

Check it:


Again, check it:

“Blackjet customers must be members of the service and pay an annual membership fee, currently set at $2500. The company said its target market is  business executives making more than $200,000 per year who already fly on private jets and would like to spend less money, as well as people who currently fly on commercial airlines but are looking for more of a premium service.”

Coverage:

News Release: “San Francisco Democrats elect Mary Jung chair, as newly elected DCCC members take office”

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Should a one-party town have its elected officials reflect “unity and common purpose?”

That’s the Question of the Day.

(I’ll bet PG&E lobbyist Willie Brown would answer in the affirmative.)

Deets below.

Wednesday evening, 455 Golden Gate Avenue:

Click to expand

“San Francisco Democrats elect Mary Jung chair, as newly elected DCCC members take office
Committee reflects ‘unity and common purpose’ in 2012 to re-elect Obama, help Pelosi reclaim Speakership, and make a difference on key state ballot measures
SAN FRANCISCO (July 27, 2012) — California Democratic Party Chair John Burton administered the oath of office to the newly elected members of the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee Wednesday night at the first general meeting of the local Democratic Party’s governing board following the June 5th Primary Election.  

Veteran Democratic activist Mary Jung was unanimously elected to serve as the San Francisco Democratic Party’s chair, and several DCCC members were elected to fill leadership roles that will be critical to the local party’s success heading into the November 2012 General Election.  Top priorities discussed at the public meeting include re-electing President Obama, returning the Speakership to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi by helping reclaim a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and pushing to expand the number of Democratic voters citywide.  

“I’m honored to serve as Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party, and I look forward to working hard with my fellow Democrats in an election year with so much at stake,” said Party Chair Mary Jung.    ”San Francisco Democrats elected a terrific team to lead our county central committee, and I think it reflects a spirit of unity and common purpose.  I’m confident in our ability to help return President Obama to the White House, make Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Speaker again, re-elect Senator Feinstein, and pass Gov. Brown’s revenue measure so California can maintain vital public services, restore quality education for all, and support our most vulnerable.”

Other officers elected at the general meeting held at the California State Office Building’s Milton Marks Auditorium on Golden Gate Avenue are: First Vice-Chair (Finance) Zoe Dunning; Second Vice-Chair (Issues) Alix Rosenthal; Third Vice-Chair (Voter Registration) Trevor McNeil; Fourth Vice-Chair (Club Chartering and Development) Leah Pimentel; Recording Secretary Kat Anderson; Treasurer Tom Hsieh; Corresponding Secretary Matt Dorsey; and Parliamentarian Arlo Hale Smith.  Rafael Mandelman will serve on the DCCC’s Slate Card Committee along with the Chair and Treasurer.  A committee tasked with proposing party bylaw changes to incorporate requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act, which assures public access and participation in local government public meetings, will include David Chiu, Arlo Hale Smith, Matt Dorsey and Hene Kelly.  That ad hoc committee will seek to fully harmonize local party bylaws with relevant provisions of state law to address concerns that the election of six members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to the DCCC may occasionally trigger Brown Act requirements. 

The committee also adopted two resolutions: one in support of placing AB 1648, a campaign finance reform measure known as the DISCLOSE Act, on the California ballot; and another expressing the Democratic Party’s support for City College of San Francisco.  

About the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee
San Francisco’s Democratic County Central Committee, or DCCC, is the governing body of the local Democratic Party as defined in California’s Government Code and Elections Code.  The DCCC is comprised of local Democrats elected by voters in each Assembly District, as well as partisan-level Democratic elected officials and nominees who serve as Ex-Officio Officers.  Current members elected from the 17th Assembly District are: John Avalos, David Campos, David Chiu, Malia Cohen, Petra DeJesus, Matt Dorsey, Bevan Dufty, Zoe Dunning, Leslie Katz, Rafael Mandelman, Carole Migden, Leah Pimentel, Alix Rosenthal, and Scott Wiener.  Members elected from the 19th Assembly District are: Kat Anderson, Kelly Dwyer, Bill Fazio, Tom Hsieh, Mary Jung, Hene Kelly, Meagan Levitan, Eric Mar, Trevor McNeil and Arlo Hale Smith.  Ex Officio members are: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, Attorney General Kamala Harris, State Senators Leland Yee and Mark Leno, and Assemblymembers Fiona Ma and Tom Ammiano. 

Additional information is available online at: http://www.sfdemocrats.org/

Know Your Inchoate Labor Protests: Tomorrow’s Planned Commercial Office Waste Protest at City Hall Canceled

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

For some reason.

I’ll tell you, those canceled protests are oftentimes more interesting than the ones that go forward…

Check it:

“Commercial Office Buildings Missing the Mark in San Francisco’s Efforts to Achieve Zero Waste

Labor, Environmental Leaders to Release Report Outlining How Commercial Office Buildings Can Achieve True Zero Waste by 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – POSTPONED members the BlueGreen Alliance and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 87 will join with local labor, environmental and civic leaders to release and show support for the report

Making Zero Mean Zero: Waste Diversion in San Francisco’s Commercial Office Buildings.

Findings in the report reveal actions at some of the city’s commercial buildings are hampering the city’s efforts to achieve zero waste and the report outlines recommendations to achieving true zero waste by 2020 — a goal of the city.

The report was prepared by the BlueGreen Alliance — a national partnership of unions and environmental organizations representing 14 million members and supporters.

WHAT: Labor, environmental, and civic leaders call for commercial office buildings owners in San Francisco to reduce waste and increase recycling. The event will feature Spanish speakers.
WHO: BlueGreen Alliance California Director Lisa Hoyos, SEIU Local 87 President Olga Miranda, SEIU Local 87 Members, Supervisor John Avalos (District 11), Interim Supervisor Christina Olague (District 5)
WHEN: POSTPONED
WHERE: In front of San Francisco City Hall”

So, do I think we’re going to have a million electric cars on the road by 2015, as was pledged? Nope!

And do I think that 10% of all trips in San Francisco will be made by bicycle by 2010? Oh, wait, we missed that one already – that got pushed back to 2020, when 20% of all trips made in San Francisco will be made by bicycle, for sure, like totally man, like guaranteed. (And then when that doesn’t happen, the new goal will be 30% of all trips made in San Francisco being made by bicycle by the year 2030.) Anyway, nope!

And now, do I think that all the commercial office buildings of San Francisco will produce “true zero waste” by 2020? Nope!

Anyway, don’t go to City Hall at 11:30 AM tomorrow cause nothing’ll be going on…

Cirque du Soleil’s TOTEM is Totally Awesome – The Top Five Acts in Photos – But It Leaves AT&T Park Dec. 18th

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Well, the reviews are in for five star Yelp-rated Totem down at Le Grand Chapiteau tent in the parking lot of AT&T Park.

Nobody doesn’t want you to see this show:

Robert Hurwitt:‘Totem’ review: Whimsical vision shapes sweet show

Karen D’Souza: Review: ‘Totem,’ playing in San Francisco, one of Cirque du Soleil’s most magical productions

Leslie Katz: ”High drama at Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Totem’

Chad Jones: Thrilling return to form in trippy Totem”

Cindy Warner: Totem in SF shows Cirque’s evolution into higher art form, totally dazzling

Practicalities:

Join the CirqueClub, why not?

They used to have 15% and 20% discounts but I don’t know how those links are working now. Costco San Francisco will sell you a pair of Category 1 (good seats, but not the best) for like $157, I think.

Even the cheapest Category 3 seats for $50-something aren’t all that bad, actually. How happy you’ll be depends on the particular act and your particular seat, I s’pose. You won’t be far from the stage at all but you will be off to the side.

Parking is $20 but you can always park for free in the evenings on Channel one block to the west, just south and west of the 4th Street Bridge.

All right, on with the show.

Roller Skates:

OMG, this one‘s off the hook. Is she going to hit her head on the platform? And just how many RPMs is she spinning now? Check out Massimiliano Medini and Denise Garcia-Sorta from a documentary here and don’t miss the start of their IRL romance at 2:30. This is the best act by far, IMO.

Fixed Trapeze Duo:

OMG, it’s Rosalie Ducharme and Louis-David Simoneau on the trapeze. Per Leslie Katz, “A trapeze duo cleverly plays out figurative as well as literal ups and downs of romance in a delightfully attitude-filled act.” Yep, pretty much.

Perches: 

Amazing. Aluminum poles, very bendy.

Russian Bars:

This is your “Aztec Astronaut stuff

Unicycles and Bowls:

So, you can figure out the rules of the game pretty quickly and then you can sit back and grade them on how they do. Very impressive. (What this has to do with evolution I have no idea, but anyway.)

Those are your top five acts in Totem.

All right, see you there!

Opening
Parallel bar and trampoline
Hoop dance
Rings trio
Clown act
Chinese unicycle and bowls
Foot juggling
Perches

Intermission

Devil sticks
Fixed trapeze duo
Cone juggling
Clown act
Hoop dance
Roller skate
Russian bar
Finale

OMG, Cirque du Soleil is Back! TOTEM Starts Friday at the Big Tent Near AT&T Park

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

You have your ticks yet for the new Cirque du Soleil coming to the AT&T Park area starting October 28th, 2011?

Alls I know is that 2011′s TOTEM is going to rock, hard, consistently and thoroughly, on a par with 2009′s oVo.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes peek from Stark Insider.

And learn about the “Aztec astronaut stuff” here.

Get the latest and see a few photos, below.

“Cirque du Soleil returns to Bay Area with TOTEM, its latest big top production written and directed by Robert Lepage. Proudly presented by iShares, TOTEMpremieres in San Francisco on Friday, October 28, 2011 for a limited engagement under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) located at AT&T Park.

Tickets are now available online at cirquedusoleil.com/totem or by phone 1-800-450-1480.

About Totem

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.   Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix, TOTEM brings together the following team of 12 Creators: Robert Lepage, Writer and Director; Neilson Vignola, Director of Creation; Carl Fillion, Set and Props Designer; Kym Barrett, Costume Designer; Bob & Bill, Composers and Musical Directors; Jeff Hall, Choreographer; Étienne Boucher, Lighting Designer; Pedro Pires, Image Content Designer; Jacques Boucher, Sound Designer; Pierre Masse, Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer; Florence Pot, Acrobatic Performance Designer; Nathalie J. Simard, Makeup Designer.

About Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on five continents. For more information about Cirque du Soleil please visit cirquedusoleil.com 

Click to expand

The Circus is Back at AT&T Park! Cirque du Soleil Returns with TOTEM – Starts October 28th – Here’s a 20% Discount

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Here’s how it went in the big parking lot of AT&T Park today.

All together now:

Via Kasey L. Ross – click to expand

And it’s good:

It’ll be huge inside when they get done putting everything together.

And oh, here, have a 20% discount. And they just added more shows, from December 12-18. And be sure to join the Cirque Club why not?

“Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring production TOTEM is hitting San Francisco this fall, and friends of SF Citizen can receive 20% off select performances!

Cirque du Soleil is pleased to announce that it will return to San Francisco with its latest big top touring production, TOTEM, starting Friday, October 28th, 2011. TOTEM will perform for a limited engagement under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at AT&T Park.

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Fun for the whole family!”

This is going to be mega.

All the deets:

“CIRQUE DU SOLEIL RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO WITH A NEW BIG TOP PRODUCTION!
TOTEM
IT ALL STARTED TODAY WITH THE RAISING OF THE BLUE-AND-YELLOW GRAND CHAPITEAU AT AT&T PARK

Opens Friday, October 28 for a limited engagement

SAN FRANCISCO (October 20, 2011) – The first visible sign of the arrival of Cirque du Soleil and its live production TOTEM in San Francisco is the raising of the blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) and the set-up of the Cirque du Soleil Village.   This event took place today at AT&T Park in San Francisco where a team of 60-plus men and women have hoisted more than 100 steel poles from the ground up.

About the Grand Chapiteau and the Cirque du Soleil Village:

*    The Grand Chapiteau seats more than 2,600 people.
*    The entire site set-up takes 8 days. This includes installation of entrance, hospitality and rehearsal tents, box office, administrative offices and kitchen.
*    The Grand Chapiteau stands 19 meters high, 51 meters in diameter.
*    The 4 masts stand at 25 meters tall each.
*    550 pegs are required to hold the Grand Chapiteau firmly to the 4,500 square meters of asphalt.
*    The Grand Chapiteau, the Tapis Rouge and Artistic tents are all climate control with air conditioning in warm seasons or heating for colder seasons.
*    TOTEM travels via 65 trailers carrying more than 1,200 pounds of equipment for the tour.

Box office

Also as part of Cirque du Soleil village, a box office will be set up at the front of the Grand Chapiteau.  Regular box office hours are from 2 hours prior to show time to 30 minutes after beginning of the show.  The box office is closed on Mondays.

Tickets can also be purchased at all time online via www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem.

Performance schedule

As of October 28 for a limited engagement: Tuesdays through Thursdays at 20h; Fridays and Saturdays at 16h and 20h; Sundays at 13h and 17h; and dark on Mondays.

Cirque du Soleil to visit San Jose 2012

TOTEM will be presented as March 2, 2012 for a limited engagement under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at the Taylor Street Bridge in San Jose. Tickets are available online at www.cirquedusoleil.com/totem .

Sponsors

Cirque du Soleil gratefully acknowledges iShares®, Presenting Sponsor of the US 2011 TOTEM Tour as well as CGI, Xerox, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Infiniti, Sun Life Financial and American Express as the Official Sponsors.”
See you there!

OMG, Get a 15% Discount on the New Cirque du Soleil Show, TOTEM – Starts October 28th, 2011

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Oh, here you go – 15% off.

Here’s the latest:

“Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring production TOTEM is hitting San Francisco this fall, and friends of the SF Citizen can receive 15% off select performances!

Cirque du Soleil is pleased to announce that it will return to San Francisco with its latest big top touring production, TOTEM, starting Friday, October 28th, 2011. TOTEM will perform for a limited engagement under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) at AT&T Park.

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Fun for the whole family! Please click this link to enjoy a 15-percent savings.  

Also, don’t forget to download the new free Cirque du Soleil iPhone app for information on all of Cirque du Soleil’s shows worldwide and exclusive discounts!”

So that’s the news – if you use the special links above to get to their website, you’ll get a 15% discount. And if you don’t, you won’t. I don’t know how long this deal will last.

Anyway, now’s the time if you are at all interested.

And here’s a retread post with some more deets, below.

See you there!

 

You have your ticks yet for the new Cirque du Soleil coming to the AT&T Park area starting October 28th, 2011?

Alls I know is that 2011′s TOTEM is going to rock, hard, consistently and thoroughly, on a par with 2009′s oVo.

Get the latest and see a few new photos, below.

“Cirque du Soleil returns to Bay Area with TOTEM, its latest big top production written and directed by Robert Lepage. Proudly presented by iShares, TOTEMpremieres in San Francisco on Friday, October 28, 2011 for a limited engagement under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) located at AT&T Park.

Tickets are now available online at cirquedusoleil.com/totem or by phone 1-800-450-1480.

About Totem

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.   Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix, TOTEM brings together the following team of 12 Creators: Robert Lepage, Writer and Director; Neilson Vignola, Director of Creation; Carl Fillion, Set and Props Designer; Kym Barrett, Costume Designer; Bob & Bill, Composers and Musical Directors; Jeff Hall, Choreographer; Étienne Boucher, Lighting Designer; Pedro Pires, Image Content Designer; Jacques Boucher, Sound Designer; Pierre Masse, Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer; Florence Pot, Acrobatic Performance Designer; Nathalie J. Simard, Makeup Designer.

About Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on five continents. For more information about Cirque du Soleil please visit cirquedusoleil.com 

OMG, the New Cirque du Soleil Show, TOTEM, Looks Awesome, So Get Your Tickets Now – Starts October 28th

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

You have your ticks yet for the new Cirque du Soleil coming to the AT&T Park area starting October 28th, 2011?

Alls I know is that 2011′s TOTEM is going to rock, hard, consistently and thoroughly, on a par with 2009′s oVo.

Get the latest and see a few new photos, below.

“Cirque du Soleil returns to Bay Area with TOTEM, its latest big top production written and directed by Robert Lepage. Proudly presented by iShares, TOTEMpremieres in San Francisco on Friday, October 28, 2011 for a limited engagement under the blue and yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) located at AT&T Park.

Tickets are now available online at cirquedusoleil.com/totem or by phone 1-800-450-1480.

About Totem

TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species.   Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.

Under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix, TOTEM brings together the following team of 12 Creators: Robert Lepage, Writer and Director; Neilson Vignola, Director of Creation; Carl Fillion, Set and Props Designer; Kym Barrett, Costume Designer; Bob & Bill, Composers and Musical Directors; Jeff Hall, Choreographer; Étienne Boucher, Lighting Designer; Pedro Pires, Image Content Designer; Jacques Boucher, Sound Designer; Pierre Masse, Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer; Florence Pot, Acrobatic Performance Designer; Nathalie J. Simard, Makeup Designer.

About Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities on five continents. For more information about Cirque du Soleil please visit cirquedusoleil.com 

OMG, It’s a Brand New Cirque du Soleil! TOTEM Under the Big Comes to S.F. and San Jose for 2011-2012

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

OMG, OMG, it’s a brand new show and they’re bringing the tent:

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL RETURNS TO BAY AREA WITH ITS LATEST BIG TOP SHOW  TOTEM 
In San Francisco as of October 28, 2011
In San Jose as of March 2, 2012

That’s a ways off now, but do join the Cirque Club today, why not? It’s free.

This is going to be mega.

See you there!

EXCLUSIVE OFFERS NOW AVAILABLE TO
CIRQUE CLUB MEMBERS ONLY
Specially-priced tickets available!

San Francisco – June 8, 2011 – Cirque du Soleil returns to the Bay Area with TOTEM, its latest big top production written and directed by Robert Lepage. Proudly presented by iShares, TOTEM will open in San Francisco on October 28, 2011 for a limited engagement under the blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) located at the AT&T Park and in the spring 2012 in San Jose as of March 2 at the Taylor Street Bridge.
Cirque Club special offer

Specially-priced tickets for TOTEM in the Bay Area are now available to Cirque Club members for an exclusive period through June 26 (San Francisco) and September 18 (San Jose) at cirqueclub.com. Cirque Club Membership is free and registration is quick and simple. Cirque Club members receive advance access to the best seats under the Grand Chapiteau, ticket upgrades, partner promotions and insider information on the world of Cirque du Soleil.

About TOTEM
TOTEM traces the fascinating journey of the human species from its original amphibian state to its ultimate desire to fly. The characters evolve on a stage evoking a giant turtle, the symbol of origin for many ancient civilizations.

Inspired by many founding myths, TOTEM illustrates, through a visual and acrobatic language, the evolutionary progress of species. Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.
Sponsors
Cirque du Soleil gratefully acknowledges iShares®, Presenting Sponsor of the US 2011-2012 TOTEM Tour as well as CGI, Xerox, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Infiniti, Sun Life Financial and American Express as the Official Sponsors.

Blue Shield of California Announces Independent Review of Rates, Possible Refunds, But Then Takes It Back

Friday, January 14th, 2011

[UPDATE: Not sure why Blue Cross pulled and then re-issued this press release. Some background on the rate increases here.]

I don’t know, here’s the release that Blue Shield of California sent out this AM, which wouldn’t be all that interesting excepting for the fact that they just went and called it back, they’re saying right now they want you to disregard it.

The Blue Shield, they want a Mulligan on this one looks like, but they don’t say why so that’s bad cricket, IMO.

I can’t decide that for you. You’re going to have to choose whether you wish to avert you gaze or not. Starting…. now!

As seen at AT&T Park during that whole Icer Air ski jump thing back in ought -seven. That’s a Blue Shield, right?

Blue Shield of California Agrees to Independent Actuarial Review of Rates. Company will make refunds to policyholders if rates are unsound

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 14, 2011 — Responding to concerns raised about rising individual health insurance rates, Blue Shield of California announced today that it will voluntarily subject its rates to an independent actuarial review and make refunds to policyholders if the actuary finds that the rates are unsound. David Axene, the respected actuary who discovered errors in other California rate filings last year, will conduct the independent review of the not-for-profit health plan’s rates.

Approximately 194,000 Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company members recently received notices of rate increases that averaged 15% annually. Due to a variety of factors, some members received increases much higher than the average.

“We regret that our members have received significant rate increases in recent months and want to be absolutely certain that the rates reflect our actual cost of providing medical care,” said Blue Shield Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken. “To establish trust and confidence in our rate-setting process, we have taken the unprecedented step of agreeing to be bound by the conclusions of an independent third party. If this independent review finds that the rates are not sound, we will hold our members harmless by refunding the difference with interest.”

Mr. Axene is president of Axene Health Partners LLC, and has worked as a professional actuary since 1971. Last year, he conducted independent reviews of individual rate filings for the California Department of Insurance, where he found errors that, when corrected, resulted in lower rates for hundreds of thousands of consumers.

Mr. Axene will be free to confer with the Department of Insurance on his review, which he hopes to complete in 30-45 days. He will evaluate Blue Shield’s rate filing to determine if its calculations are accurate and its assumptions are sound. He will determine if the rates are “excessive, unjustified, or unfairly discriminatory,” which is the standard suggested by recently proposed federal rate review regulations. Whatever conclusions he reaches, his report will be made available to the public.

Despite Blue Shield’s recent rate increases, the company expects to lose $10-20 million on its individual health plan business in 2010 and another $20-30 million in 2011. Blue Shield’s total costs for hospitals, physicians and prescription drugs have risen by an average of 15% annually for each of the past three years.

“Our premiums are rising because of the rapid increase in healthcare expenses for our members,” said Bodaken. “Reducing medical costs must be an urgent national priority for health coverage to be affordable for the vast majority of Americans.”

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.3 million members, 4,800 employees, and one of the largest provider networks in California. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California offers a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed more than $125 million over the past four years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation–which was named one of BusinessWeek’s 20 most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield website at www.blueshieldca.com.