April 2018

Cal court gig economy ruling not that broad

A recent California Supreme Court ruling is being hailed as a “game changer” for the gig economy. That’s because the court adopted a more streamlined test for deciding whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee. Gig economy companies, like Uber and Lyft, overwhelmingly classify their workers as independent contractors. As a result, they don’t comply with basic employment laws, like minimum wage…


Move over D.B. Cooper for Geezer Bandit

People have been debating D.B. Cooper ever since his Thanksgiving 1971 leap into history and out of a commercial flight from Portland to Seattle with a whole bunch of money. The same, on a smaller scale, appears to be happening with North County’s own Geezer Bandit, so-called. He hit Vista — twice — Rancho Santa Fe, La Jolla — twice — Poway and 10 other…


Memories of Pikake Gardens

Its gates are forever locked. The koi have died. A lonesome breeze blows through faded gardens overgrown with weeds. The waterfalls have ceased falling and even the roses have faded into wilted dreams. Welcome to Pikake Botanical Gardens at 15515 Villa Sierra Road, once one of the wonders of the horticultural world, now reduced to ashes and memories. A private botanical garden on nine acres,…


Seniors are hooked on useless vitamins

When she was a young physician, Dr. Martha Gulati noticed that many of her mentors were prescribing vitamin E and folic acid to patients. Preliminary studiesin the early 1990s had linked both supplements to a lower risk of heart disease. She urged her father to pop the pills as well: “Dad, you should be on these vitamins, because every cardiologist is taking them or putting…


UC program aids in citrus disease fight

At war with the Asian citrus psyllid since it was found in North San Diego County in 2008, California citrus growers and packers have had unprecedented success in slowing the spread of the tree-killing bacteria the psyllid can carry. People in the citrus business say part of that success relates to the testing and distribution of clean citrus plant material through the University of California,…


AARP membership practices under fire

In its newsletters and magazines, in congressional testimony and on its website, AARP warns seniors about deceptive direct mail and other dubious marketing come-ons as part of its mission to protect members from financial abuses. But the huge advocacy group’s own aggressive efforts to coax seniors to join or renew their memberships also have drawn a burst of criticism this year. Angry members say AARP’s…


California plays defense under Trump

On March 13, President Donald Trump inspected towering border wall prototypes at the U.S.-Mexico border during the two-day trip to California – his first to the Golden State since the November 2016 election. Surely he did not expect a warm welcome. Not only did Trump lose the state by more than 4 million votes, but his trip comes hard on the heelsof a lawsuit filed…