Culver City Observer -

Soc Sec Increase Wiped Out, Chronic Thieves, 49 Cent Letters



November 14, 2013

By Neil Rubenstein

Observer Columnist

Perhaps I should be smiling and full of good cheer. Yes, my friend, Social Security for 2014 will increase by about 1.5% starting in January. The very wild gypsy lady told me Medicare will go up big time, wiping out any additional pesos the government put on my monthly direct deposit check.

Presently I'm looking at my property tax statement for 2013-2014. I have often wondered why it comes so late in the year and must be paid in no more than two installments. For many this can put a serious damper on holiday purchases. We can only hope our Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will concentrate on allowing residents to make smaller payments over a longer period of time.

Is there anyone who would like to guess which California cities with more than 100,000 people are ranked in the top 10 of our nation's safest cities? Can you believe one only has to look to Ventura County with Thousand Oaks ranked fourth and Simi Valley seventh?

Sacramento is starting to hear us!!! Governor Brown signed AB562 which requires local governments to provide specific public information before approving local tax breaks.

Researchers from South Korea and Japan have been working on how to coax stem cells into regenerating pulp. Dentists concede the process is still in its early stages, but if successful it could mean reduction or even elimination of root canals.

It seems more and more of our nation's obsolete hospital properties are prime candidates for condo conversions. For example, St. Vincent's Hospital in New York's Greenwich Village will become 450 condos along with retail space.

Some large retailers such as Home Depot, Best Buy and J. C. Penney are protecting their bottom line by tracking those chronic returners or thieves who return stolen merchandise for store credit. Many buyers aren't aware some returns are being monitored at stores that outsource that information to a third party company which creates a "return profile" that catalogs and analyzes customers' profiles.

Two months ago the California Supreme Court ruled trained school employees can administer insulin shots to diabetic students if a nurse is not available.

Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring all school districts to allow transgender students in grades K-12 access to whichever rest room and locker room they want.

A word to the wise. The post office just told me postage stamps are going up 3 cents to 49 cents for first class in January 2014. Now is the time to get the "forever" stamps.


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