Residents must conserve so Placer County can sell water to Bay Area

Placer county American River water to be sold to East Bay MUD as Placer County residents are forced to conserved and some Californians have no water in their homes.

In a May 18th op-ed in the Sacramento Bee Even in a drought, selling some water makes sense, Einar Maisch, General Manager of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) argued his agency was merely fulfilling their environmental duty to release 12,000 acre feet of water into the American River so it can be sold to […]


Will the California drought create a residential water market?

What is a homeowner's incentive to conserve water when farmers make money selling their water?

With Governor Brown’s declarations of a drought emergency in 2014 and subsequent State Water Resources Control Board’s (SWRCB) decisions that some water districts must conserve up 36% of their consumption over the baseline 2013 year, many homeowners are wondering how they can conserve enough water without killing their entire landscaping. While some homeowners have voluntarily […]


Assurant Health insurance will exit California

Assurant Health to close up or sell by end of 2015.

While some health insurance companies are thriving under the ACA with record enrollment numbers, Assurant, Inc. announced they will either sell their health insurance business, Assurance Health, or shutter it completely. Assurant Health will not be participating in open enrollment in the fall of 2015 for new individual and family health plans in 2016. Assurant […]


Proposed Tahoe -Truckee River to San Francisco water tunnel

Could the proposed Tahoe-Truckee River water tunnel of 1875 help California's water woes?

Sometimes the craziest ideas actually become reality. In 1870 one man proposed tunneling underneath the Sierra Nevada mountain range to ship Tahoe lake water to San Francisco. While that may seem like an audacious scheme today, similar projects were already underway in the 19th century and parts of the tunnel project under the Sierras have […]


Killing grass with wrapping paper and mulch

Smothering grass to reduce maintenance and water.

  In the winter of 2015 the time had come for me to make my front yard grass disappear. After researching various labor intensive methods of removing turf, I finally settled on smothering the grass with wrapping paper and shredded cedar mulch. While this isn’t a full proof method, killing the grass in place is […]


West Winds, century old California short stories

West Winds, 1914, book of short stories from California authors and illustrators.

  I found the century old book West Winds at Mockingbird Used Books in Sebastopol, Ca. In addition to being printed in 1914, I was drawn to this book of California short stories because the illustrations were actually glued on to their respective pages and several of the authors signed their title page in the book. […]


Jones excoriates Aetna increase while ignoring Health Net rates

Dave Jones scolds Aetna for rate increases but ignored Health Nets.

California Department of Insurance Commission Dave Jones excoriated Aetna in a news release on December 18th over Aetna’s planned small group premium increases but he was noticeably silent when Health Net submitted a similar rate increase for individuals and families. The average increase for the 2015 Health Net IFP PPO plans is 10.8% while the Aetna small group […]


Covered California extends 2015 enrollment deadline

Covered California extends 2015 enrollment deadline.

In response to high call volume for assistance and a website that has gotten slow and started crash at times, Covered California issued and Agent Alert notifying Certified Insurance Agents that they were extending the deadline for 2015 renewals and enrollment until December 21, 2014. URGENT! You Have Extra Time to Help Consumers Complete Enrollment for January 1st! […]


Who are these Covered California dental plans?

Who are the dentists in the new Covered California dental plans?

Covered California is changing and expanding their dental plans. First, all health plans will include children’s dental insurance. There will be no need to purchase a separate dental plan for dependents 18 and younger. Second, Covered California will begin to offer family dental plans on the exchange. But who are these dental plans and are […]


Covered California health plan consumer survey

Survey of Covered California consumers and their experience with 2014 health plans.

If you purchased an Individual and Family Plan through Covered California or off-exchange directly from an insurance company or health plan, I would like you to take a short, anonymous survey on your experience with your health plan in 2014. Your participation and responses are anonymous and in no way can they be used for […]