Posts Tagged ‘secretary’

“Covered California,” California’s Marketplace for Health Care Coverage, is Open for Business Today – All the Deets

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Enjoy!

“Covered California Is Open For Business - Historic Day for Millions of Californians Who Will Have Access to Quality, Affordable Health Care Coverage at CoveredCA.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 1, 2013 — Covered California(TM), California’s marketplace for health care coverage, opened for business today, providing Californians and small businesses access to quality, affordable health care coverage from major health insurance carriers.

“As of Oct. 1, Covered California is officially open for business — our phone lines are humming, our website is live, and we stand with thousands of Californians across the state as we kick off our effort to help educate and enroll millions of currently uninsured Californians,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee.

Today’s announcement kicks off a six-month open-enrollment period and includes:

–  The formal launch of the new features of CoveredCA.com. They will enable
consumers to determine their eligibility for premium assistance and
no-cost or low-cost Medi-Cal and to shop for, compare and enroll in
coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
–  The statewide rollout of outreach efforts and marketing that will
educate consumers about their options and how to enroll.
–  Forecasts and backgrounds of who Covered California is seeking to
enroll. It is estimated that during this initial six-month
open-enrollment period (ending March 31, 2014), Covered California will
enroll 500,000 to 700,000 Californians who are eligible for premium
assistance to make their care more affordable.
–  The opening of Covered California’s Small Business Health Options
Program (SHOP) that will allow employers to start shopping for
small-group coverage that can start in January. This program is not
subject to the six-month open-enrollment period.

Diana S. Dooley, Secretary of California’s Health and Human Services Agency and chair of the Covered California Board, applauded the launch of Covered California and said, “From Eureka to San Diego, from the Central Valley to the Central Coast, we want Californians to know we are open for business. Californians can now get quality, affordable health care by enrolling in one of the many plans offered under Covered California.” She added, “The Brown administration is proud to be a part of this historic change to make coverage affordable for all Californians.”

By the end of 2014, Covered California aims to have insured approximately 1,050,000 Californians newly enrolled in Medi-Cal and between 840,000 and 1.2 million who qualify for premium assistance to help them pay for a health insurance plan.

Toby Douglas, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services, said, “Today marks the beginning of a reform of California’s health care system, in which many of our most vulnerable and needy residents will have the opportunity to enroll in Medi-Cal. We are excited to be an important part of this historic day, and we are ready to enroll the thousands of newly eligible Californians in partnership with county offices around the state.”

Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment and a Covered California Board member, pointed out that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act promises more than just affordable coverage. “When we open the doors today in California — and the doors of health care marketplaces open throughout the country — we will be moving away from the political arena and into the implementation of a new program that will literally change the lives, and the health, of millions of Americans. I’m thrilled to be part of history.”

“Here, and in every state in the nation, health care marketplaces are ushering in a new era in U.S. history, one that will provide its citizens with the health care they need, when they need it, through high-quality, affordable insurance. This is truly a historic day,” said Lee. “Health care is no longer a privilege, but a right, and is now within reach for millions of Americans.”

The official launch of Covered California started in Rancho Cordova, where the Service Center kicked off the opening day. That was followed by other events that “covered” the state: a news conference in San Francisco, overlooking the Bay Bridge; an event in the Central Valley at California State University, Fresno, to announce the open-enrollment opportunity to students; an event at a beach in San Diego; and a grand celebration at Los Angeles’ Union Station.

Dooley added, “Our goals are bold, and we won’t get there overnight. Over time, this new state of health will improve health care quality, lower costs of health care, reduce the dramatic health disparities in the state and offer choice and value to Californians. Today is the starting line. By the end of the six-month open-enrollment period, we forecast having more than 1 million Californians enrolled in health coverage with support from premium assistance or Medi-Cal.”

Lee concluded, “The drive toward making health care a right and not a privilege has been a long time in coming. The Affordable Care Act delivers on a long-unmet promise of the American dream. It has survived naysayers, Supreme Court challenges and a great deal of political pressure, but today we put all that behind us. Covered California is open for business, and our success does not depend on what happens in Washington or Sacramento. As we go forward, our success will depend on what happens in communities across California where millions of Californians have been waiting for this day to come, to call, visit CoveredCA.com, ask for help and enroll. Today is the day to ‘get covered.’”

About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. With coverage starting in 2014, Covered California will help individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that will be available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses will be able to purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.

Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information on Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.

SOURCE  Covered California

Covered California

CONTACT: dana.howard@covered.ca.gov(916) 205-8403

Web Site: http://www.CoveredCA.com

Well, As Expected, the $7 Fee at the Strybing Arboretum is Going to Become Permanent – A Little History

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Boy there’s a lot of overhead involved with the whole process of charging people $7 to walk through the former Strybing Arboretum, it sure looks like.

Anyway, here’s a little background on how we’ve gotten to this point:

LMA-BOS-Supporter Talking Points-6-4.21.13 Budget Hearing

Arboretum Contract Critique

And here’s a post from 2010:

“Not sure how many people were at last night’s ”workshop” to discuss the idea of charging admission at San Francisco Botanical Garden (aka Strybing Arboretum) in Golden Gate Park ’cause I left before it ended. But the hand-count totaled 225 souls, so let’s call that a gentleman’s 250 altogether for the crowd.

Here’s the thing - people on both sides all seem to know each other and care deeply about The Garden. This conflict seems a kind of civil war (hence the Antietam name check, yes it rhymes exactly), a family squabble. It’s plant-loving Brother against plant-loving-but-other-stuff-too Brother. Get up to speed on this dispute here.

Now, once more into the breach, dear friends.

The mise-en-scene last night. It’s Recreation and Park Commission President Jim Lazarus taking individual questions from a hostile crowd, split up unnecessarily, it turned out, into three sections. This is what the bulk of the meeting looked like. Click to expand:

But let’s start at the beginning. Below, it’s the organized neighbors! They taped up hundreds of small signs to draw attention to the meeting. Did workers from DPW spend a lot of time taking down the unofficial notices? Apparently. Were any official notices put up, like last time? Not that I could see.

Inside, the fellow on the left, (didn’t get his name, someone called him The Kid) tried to get things started, but vocal members of the crowd didn’t like the agenda that was handed out, particularly they didn’t like being split up into three groups.

The guy with the ponytail went off, and the Eli in the Yale jacket on the right pleaded for calm. Thank Gaia for Yalies:

After a couple go-arounds like that, The Kid threatened to cancel the meeting. (Arboretum staff appears to view hosting public meetings like these as doing a favor to Arboretum visitors, and truth be told, if San Francisco officials are dead-set on allowing the charging of admission, they can do it regardless of what regular Arboretum visitors want.) Here’s a ten-minute video of the action.

But after a brief huddle, redolent of a friendly car salesperson taking your low-ball offer to the Big Guy…

…out comes lawyer Jim Lazarus calling an audible to change the meeting’s format. He seemed every bit the experienced pol he is.

The new agenda that got worked out with leadership elements from the masses: an uninterupted 10-15 minute “general presentation” of the plan. “Then you can decide how much you want to beat us up after that,” said Jimbo. “You can shoot us all when it’s over.”

This Lazarus Effect resuscitated the meeting. So, let’s hear The Proposal.

The Arboretum would set up pre-fab ticket kiosks at the Main Gate and the Friend Gate (near the Japanese Tea Garden) for $65K and then hire four part-time cashiers, a manager(?), and also a part-time accountant for $148K per year. San Francisco residents would enter for free after showing some sort of ID. Those useless freeloading parasites known as Everybody Else in the World would pay $7, or $4 (students and seniors), or $2 (kids) each time they go in. They’d have the option of getting a $75 annual pass that would also allow entry at the Japanese Tea Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers – something like that.

The projected 100,000 in paid admissions would have a “blended average” of $5.50 per, resulting in a gross take of $550K. Take away $150K for expenses and you end up with an annual net of $400K, of which $100-150K would go into the Rec and Park kitty and the rest could go into whatever, like hiring more gardeners at $68K salary (plus 25% more in benefits).

The goal would be to eventually get up to a full complement of 16 gardeners, which will “never happen” without some new source of Arboretum-specific cashola.

That’s it.

“KEEP THE ARBORETUM FREE”

What about residents of neighboring counties in the Bay Area you say? It doesn’t matter, all auslanders gotta pay.

What about the rumoured $1.3 million cost of building the kiosks and other related expenses? That was just a “Cadillac proposal” dreamed up by somebody or other – the bare bones approach discussed last night would not be as nice, but it would get the job done.

This charismatic-messianic type got lots of applause for questioning the whole idea of charging anybody anything, regardless of the numbers:

Mr. Lazarus acknowledged the fear San Francisco residents have of being the next in line to be charged, the fear that admission prices would then increase after that. No promises on that front. Que sera sera.

But I’ll let the Keep the Arboretum Free people delve into these issues more. When I left, Lazarus was answering questions one by one, Phil Donahue-style.

“FREE means NO FEES, NO I.D.s”

Oh yes, the “next terrible meeting” promised by Jimbo will concern paid parking in Golden Gate Park. (Do people really plant their vehicle in the park for free and then run all over town all day? People do.)

Random observations:

The estimate of $148k annually to pay salaries for  the paid admission scheme sounds low. Way low, particularly in light of what cashiers at the Japanese Tea Garden get paid.

Park and Rec knows how to notice a public meeting but, for whatever reason, it appears to have done a bush-league job of noticing last night’s workshop.

Next up next month in June: the action will move over to City Hall and the Board of Supervisors. When will our civil war end?

Public Workshop – Botanical Garden

When: May 28, 2009 – Thursday 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
Where: County Fair Building, 9th Avenue and Lincoln Avenue, San Francisco
What: In response to the feedback received on the proposed admission program at Botanical Garden, the Rec & Park Department decided there will not be a fee for residents. The revised proposal does include a $7. fee for nonresident visitors. Public workshop is to take feedback regarding revised proposed admission fee and will be seeking topics including:
Implementation of the new fee for non-San Francisco residents.
Amenities at the Garden.
Potential new revenue sources.

To Be Continued…

OMG, It’s Zillow-Palooza 2012 – Half Day Real Estate Forum at Palace Hotel Oct. 12th – FHA Commish! USC! Free!

Friday, September 14th, 2012

I don’t know, this whole deal sounds like a lot of cheerleading for the real estate industry, which is still heavily subsidized by the Feds.

Oh, and the state of California as well.

But “post-bottom landscape” and “good time to buy?” Well, after hearing those phrases bandied about, how can you resist?

So if you want to be the next Donald Trump, have at it. After all, you can’t win your share of middle-class welfare if you don’t play.

Just don’t get too optimistic, again…

“Zillow, USC Lusk Center to Host Housing Forum in San Francisco; FHA Commissioner Carol Galante to Give Keynote - ”California’s Housing Market: Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape” - To Explore Whether It Is a Good Time to Buy, Issues Around Prop 13

SEATTLE, Sept. 13, 2012  – After a housing recession that eclipsed the Great Depression, many markets are again experiencing home value appreciation sparked by high demand but a low supply of homes. What are the sources of this situation, and how long will it last? What will come next? What should real estate professionals and consumers know about this “new” housing market?

To help answer some of these questions, Zillow®, the leading real estate information marketplace, and the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate will host the half-day “Forum on California’s Housing Market: Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape” Oct. 12 at San Francisco’s Palace Hotel.

“When it comes to today’s housing market, it’s a confusing time for professionals and consumers alike,” said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. “The sheer size of California’s real estate market, along with the fact that cities in the state were among the first to enter the housing recession, combine to make California a kind of bellwether for what to expect as other major housing markets begin to stabilize and recover. We’re thrilled to host an esteemed group of national and California-based experts to discuss the state of the market and issues of particular relevance to California.”

“With rising rents and historically low mortgage rates, owning a home appears to be very appealing,” said Richard Green, Lusk Chair in Real Estate at USC. “But underwater borrowers are reluctant – or unable – to sell, tying up supply in a high-demand environment. We look forward to discussing the implications of these factors on the housing market.”

This will be the second housing forum hosted by Zillow this year. The first, “America’s Housing Crisis: Private-Sector Responses and Public Policy Innovation,” was held in New York in April.

Full details of the San Francisco event are below, and guests can register for this free forum at http://cahousingforum.eventbrite.com. More information and updates about speakers can be found at www.zillow.com/blog/category/housing-forum.

       Forum on California’s Housing Market:
        Navigating the Post-Bottom Landscape
              October 12, 8 a.m.-noon
                   Palace Hotel
               2 New Montgomery St.
                   San Francisco

                 Keynote Speech by
                   Carol Galante
       Acting Federal Housing Administration
     Commissioner and Assistant Secretary for
                      Housing

    Top Housing Experts in Public and Private
       Sectors Will Debate and Discuss in Two
                      Panels:
     Is It a Good Time to Buy in California?:
          The Housing Market’s New Normal
    Moderated by Richard Green, Director of the
          USC Lusk Center for Real Estate
                        and
                        —
        Prop 13 in a Healing Housing Market
     Moderated by Colleen Edwards, Owner, EMC
                      Creative
Other speakers include:
    —  Spencer Rascoff, CEO, Zillow
    —  John Burns, CEO, John Burns Real Estate Consulting
    —  Bert Selva, President, Shea Homes
    —  Eric Gutshall, President and COO, Haven Realty Capital
    —  Dowell Myers, Professor, Director, Population Dynamics Research Group,
        USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
With a special overview of the nation’s housing market by Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries.

About Zillow, Inc.

Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow’s Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 150 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions(TM) and RentJuice®. The company is headquartered in Seattle.

Zillow.com, Zillow, Zestimate, Postlets and RentJuice are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Diverse Solutions is a trademark of Zillow, Inc.

(ZFIN)

SOURCE  Zillow.com

Zillow.com

CONTACT: Katie Curnutte, Zillow, +1-206-757-2701 or press@zillow.com

Web Site: http://www.zillow.com

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/

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Graces the New Richardson Apartments in Hayes Valley – HUD’s $5 Million Grant

Monday, November 28th, 2011

[UPDATE: Barbara Taylor has the deets.]

[UPDATE II: And it should be noted that Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture designed the landscape for this project.]

Well here’s the news from last week:

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan today announced the recipients of the 2011 Sustainable Communities Grants, totaling nearly $96 million. Twenty-seven communities and organizations will receive Community Challenge grants and 29 regional areas will receive Regional Planning grants. The goal of HUD’s Sustainable Communities grants is to help communities and regions improve their economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.”

Our San Francisco Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission scored $5,000,000 worth of these grants, so some feds dropped by to celebrate this afternoon.

San Francisco Mayor with House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi greeting people at the brand new Drs. Julian and Raye Richardson Apartments for the formerly homeless on Fulton near Gough:

Click to expand

Oh, here they are up at the Richardson’s awesome-looking rooftop garden:

Via MayorEdLee

And here’s Supervisor and MTC Commissioner David Campos. (To him, Nancy Pelosi “will always be Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”)

Remember this mural? I haven’t seen it in a while. Anyway, here’s where’s your Central Freeway used to be. Parcel G., specifically, per the Socketsite.

All the deets, after the jump

(more…)

Wow: Vogue Magazine on What Former First Lady Jennifer Siebel Newsom was Doing Four Years Ago, Back in 2007

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Here’s the latest from Vogue (which of course has nothing, nothing at all to do with anything even possibly connected with “overt sexualization,” oh no).

Leave us remember 2007:

“Four years ago, when Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a onetime businesswoman and actress, decided she wanted to have a baby with her husband, Gavin Newsom, former mayor of San Francisco,* she looked at the world into which she would be bringing a daughter and saw a bleak picture. Around her, a tabloid culture in which women were prized for cattiness and overt sexualization was thriving, and in the political realm, things didn’t look much better.”

All right, but ’round about the same time, I seem to recall somebody going on about how “the woman is the culprit” and that same somebody calling writer and fellow “girl” Heather Maddan a liar.

Photo: Girls Club Entertainment

OK fine.

Thanks for your insights, Vogue!

* And current Lt. Governor, don’t forget.

What’s the Point of Having Bill Clinton Speak at Your Public Health Event if You Have to Pay Him $150K?

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

I mean, is this really such a no-brainer good idea?

No no, I can see how Bill Clinton benefits and I can see how the people running BAAQMD benefit and I can see how troubled PG&E or Chevron (or whomever the sponsors turn out to be) would benefit, but is this really such a no-brainer good idea?

(And isn’t former president Bill Clinton still on double secret probation for his relatively recent behavior?)

I would have thought he’d do this for expenses.

How naive I am!

Impressions, Strybing: There’s a Riot of Color Going On in Golden Gate Park These Days, For Those Who Break the Boycott

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

This is what you can see inside Strybing Arboretum this time of year:

Click to expand

And outside, what you’ll see are a bunch of tourists debating the merits of paying $28 or whatever to enter the gates. Usually, they walk off dejectedly.

Oh well.

Take a Look at Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) After the Admissions Boycott

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Why does our Strybing Arboretum (aka San Francisco Botanical Garden) need to become “world-class?”

Nobody’s ever explained that one to me. But that’s the rationale for charging admission these days (after six decades of free admission.)

Now, why isn’t our Strybing Arboretum called Strybing Arboretum anymore?

So it can become “world-class.” (Apparently, naming an arboretum after the woman who gave the money to start things up is considered provincial Back East. Plus Founder Helene Strybing made the mistake of becoming old and dying so nobody gives a ROMEO ALPHA about her anymore.)

Anyway, they started charging admission so the place turned into a ghost town, a “museum of plants and trees.”

Click to expand

Oh well.

They said if things didn’t work out, they’d stop charging admission.

They said.