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California’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 11.1
California’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 11.1 Percent In December, and nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 10,700 during the month for a total gain of 240,300 jobs since 2011 began, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys...

Time-Saving Tools to Improve Your DMV Experience!
The DMV recognizes that your time is valuable, and is therefore committed to making your experience with us better than ever. In recent months, the department has launched several new services designed to make your visit with the DMV more seamless than ever... http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/newsrel/newsrel11/timesavingtools.htm

CA.gov Receives Sunny Award for Transparency
For the second consecutive year, California has been honored with a Sunny Award by the Sunshine Review for having one of the most effective government websites in the nation for promoting government transparency. The non-profit citizen advocacy group gave California an A grade for the CA.gov state portal which has easy-to-navigate information on the state budget, financial audit reports, state contracts, state official contact information, state taxes, state ethics commission information, public records requests, and registered lobbyists listings and reports... http://techblog.ca.gov/?p=1474

Be Careful When Selecting a Tax Preparer
The Franchise Tax Board (FTB) and the California Tax Education Council (CTEC) remind the 65 percent of California taxpayers who use a paid tax preparer to be cautious when choosing a professional. CTEC and FTB partner to educate taxpayers about tax preparers’ legal responsibilities...

Government Mobility 2012
FEBRUARY 8, 2012, Sacramento Convention Center Empowering Government Organizations to Understand and Leverage Emerging Communication Technologies • Meet constituent expectations for improved service delivery models. • Make public agency information accessible for tech savvy Californians. • Answer questions and solve problems at the push of a button. Government Mobility Forum Prepares Government Technologists to Meet Demands for Delivery of Mobile Services • Prepare to meet demand by focusing on how new technologies will impact government and delivery of services. • Proven solutions showcased in Solutions Center. • Offers reference points for California Government personnel for follow up and guidance. Targeted Education Sessions Chaired by Subject Matter Experts • Learn how to tailor new technologies for smart phones and tablets. • Keynote speaker and general audience presentations discuss the promise and challenge of new mobile based platforms. • Speakers and instructors from major innovators in the mobile technology market.

Changes to DMV Registration Renewals
For vehicle registration renewal fees due July 1, 2011 and later: State law requires DMV to implement changes in the billing and renewal process for registration fees due on or after July 1, 2011. Registration renewal notices will be mailed out close to or on the expiration date. (Previously notices were mailed 60-days ahead of the expiration date). NOTE: Fees are still due for registration notices due prior to July 1, 2011. No money will be collected until renewal notices are issued. (Previously renewal fees could be collected up to 75 days ahead of the expiration date and were required to be collected within 30 days of expiration when part of another transaction such as a transfer of vehicle ownership) All customers will be given a 30-day grace period after they receive their registration notice. Penalties for delinquent payment will not be imposed until 30 days after the registration expiration date. (Previously penalties were due the day after the registration expiration date) Law enforcement is aware and will not cite vehicles until the first day of the second month after the vehicle registration expires. For example: A vehicle with a registration expiration date of July 10th would not be cited for delinquent registration prior to September 1, 2011.

SNO-PARK locations, passes, and fees
Seasonal SNO-PARK permits are available for purchase online. This online service allows visitors an easy and convenient way to purchase SNO-PARK permits. Permits may be purchased by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or e-check. Daily permits may be purchased for $5.00; seasonal permits $25.00. An online service fee of $1.95 will be added to the price of each permit...

Federal Unemployment Insurance Extensions
Federal Unemployment Insurance Extensions Congress and President Obama have reauthorized the federal extensions of Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits for two months, sparing an estimated 1.1 million unemployed Californians from losing extension benefits after the New Year. The stop-gap measure takes UI claimants through the holidays and into the New Year with no interruptions of extended benefits...

California’s Unemployment Rate Decreases to 10.9%
California’s unemployment rate decreased to 10.9 percent in January, and nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 5,200 during the month, for a total gain of 322,400 nonfarm jobs since the recovery began in September 2009, according to data released today by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) from two separate surveys...

Technology Agency Launches New Mobile Template
Technology Agency Secretary Carlos Ramos announced the launch of a new California State Mobile Web Template, Version 3.0 at the Government Mobility Forum. The newly redesigned template allows developers to create mobile applications that can access state resources from any smartphone device...

Child Safety Seats: New Law
California Law Beginning January 1, 2012: Children *MUST* be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4' 9" in height.

California News Portal Celebrates First Anniversary
It's been a year since we launched news.ca.gov, and it has proven to be valuable tool. Already, more than 5,000 people use it each month to catch up on California news. The news site, which was launched in July 2010 as a part of the award-winning CA.gov State portal, aggregates real-time news and social media from across state government into a central page. More than 200 news feeds, Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels continuously populate the site with up-to-the-minute news. Clicking on topical areas such as business, education, government, health and safety, family, and visit provides users a view into new items organized by category. Users can also search for topics using the search feature. The site provides a way for people to find out what is happening in California at a glance. The unique part of the site is that it is constantly updated with real-time information, but it costs virtually nothing to operate or manage. As state agencies publish their news feeds, make Twitter updates, and post YouTube videos, the site is automatically updated with new content. The only time the system needs to be touched by staff is when a new feed is added or deleted. Before the creation of this news site, there was nothing like it available in state government. Anyone looking for up-to-date news and information would have to go directly to each agency website and search for it. Now, those looking for the news can go to the news.ca.gov site and find all of the information in one place. Since we first launched the site, there have been improvements. In January, we added the ability to search the news site and began archiving all of the Twitter, YouTube, and news feeds. Also, we added the ability to subscribe to the feeds. For example, if someone wanted to subscribe to the business news, they could subscribe and get all of the news delivered to their preferred news reader (e.g., Google Reader, FeedDemon). Once they subscribe to the feed in their own reader, they don't even have to visit the news.ca.gov page since their own news reader will check for updates for them. We also created a mini-news channel widget http://www.ca.gov/Multimedia/multimedia_rss.html. The dynamic widget takes all the feeds and puts them into a compact package, making it available for anyone to embed on their websites. The widget has received more than 6,300 impressions and has already been embedded on a number of different websites (including .com and .org sites). This brings more traffic to the news site and to state agency social media channels. All state agencies are encouraged to participate in the news channel. If your agency wants to add their feeds to the site, please contact info@eservices.ca.gov.

Debit Cards Replace Unemployment Checks
The Employment Development Department (EDD) will be issuing debit cards in place of unemployment checks, beginning July 8th. The new EDD Debit Cards will offer a faster, more convenient, and more secure way for individuals to receive their benefits. The EDD has also created an informative YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/user/CaliforniaEDD) explaining features of the card, such as how to use it and avoid fees, as well providing important information customers need to know about their transition to the card. The card will be good for three years and may be used like any other Visa card to withdraw cash at an ATM and make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. There is also a direct deposit transfer option so customers can choose to have some or all of their benefits transferred from their card account to their own personal bank account. The new EDD debit card is one of the largest prepaid card programs in the nation, covering both the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program as well as the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. As there are 1.2 million unemployed Californians who receive unemployment benefits, the debit cards will be an important cost-saving method of distributing billions of dollars. The EDD will start issuing about 10,000 cards a day so the roll-out is expected to take a few months to complete. Click here for the full press-release: http://edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/nwsrel11-29.pdf

Job Fairs and Events
Check out EDD's Job Fairs and Events page for seminars and workshops throughout California. http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Job_Fairs_and_Events.htm

Shots for School (7th-12th Graders)
This site provides news and information for schools, parents, and healthcare providers about school immunization requirements in California. 7th through 12th graders need a whooping cough (pertussis) shot before starting the school year. http://www.shotsforschool.org/



California Today: The Push to Reclaim Starry Skies
Astronomers have preached the virtues of dark skies for years. Modern cities, they say, use way more artificial light in the evenings than necessary, much of it emanating into the sky where it does no good. So-called light pollution erases our view of ...

Debit Cards Replace Unemployment Checks
The Employment Development Department (EDD) will be issuing debit cards in place of unemployment checks, beginning July 8th. The new EDD Debit Cards will offer a faster, more convenient, and more secure way for individuals to receive their benefits. The EDD has also created an informative YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/user/CaliforniaEDD) explaining features of the card, such as how to use it and avoid fees, as well providing important information customers need to know about their transition to the card. The card will be good for three years and may be used like any other Visa card to withdraw cash at an ATM and make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. There is also a direct deposit transfer option so customers can choose to have some or all of their benefits transferred from their card account to their own personal bank account. The new EDD debit card is one of the largest prepaid card programs in the nation, covering both the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program as well as the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program. As there are 1.2 million unemployed Californians who receive unemployment benefits, the debit cards will be an important cost-saving method of distributing billions of dollars. The EDD will start issuing about 10,000 cards a day so the roll-out is expected to take a few months to complete. Click here for the full press-release: http://edd.ca.gov/About_EDD/pdf/nwsrel11-29.pdf

Steve Bannon's scheduled speech to the California GOP has some Republicans nervous
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Republican Party's decision to invite right-wing provocateur and former presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon to address its convention Friday created an unsettled concoction of excitement, dread and rubbernecking ...

Child Safety Seats: New Law
California Law Beginning January 1, 2012: Children *MUST* be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 8 YEARS OLD or 4' 9" in height.

Shots for School (7th-12th Graders)
This site provides news and information for schools, parents, and healthcare providers about school immunization requirements in California. 7th through 12th graders need a whooping cough (pertussis) shot before starting the school year. http://www.shotsforschool.org/

7,000 buildings destroyed in deadly California wildfires
California officials have raised the number of homes and structures destroyed in this month's wildfires to nearly 7,000 and said Thursday that the number will likely climb as crews continue assessing areas scorched by the blazes that killed 42 people.

California News Portal Celebrates First Anniversary
It's been a year since we launched news.ca.gov, and it has proven to be valuable tool. Already, more than 5,000 people use it each month to catch up on California news. The news site, which was launched in July 2010 as a part of the award-winning CA.gov State portal, aggregates real-time news and social media from across state government into a central page. More than 200 news feeds, Twitter feeds, and YouTube channels continuously populate the site with up-to-the-minute news. Clicking on topical areas such as business, education, government, health and safety, family, and visit provides users a view into new items organized by category. Users can also search for topics using the search feature. The site provides a way for people to find out what is happening in California at a glance. The unique part of the site is that it is constantly updated with real-time information, but it costs virtually nothing to operate or manage. As state agencies publish their news feeds, make Twitter updates, and post YouTube videos, the site is automatically updated with new content. The only time the system needs to be touched by staff is when a new feed is added or deleted. Before the creation of this news site, there was nothing like it available in state government. Anyone looking for up-to-date news and information would have to go directly to each agency website and search for it. Now, those looking for the news can go to the news.ca.gov site and find all of the information in one place. Since we first launched the site, there have been improvements. In January, we added the ability to search the news site and began archiving all of the Twitter, YouTube, and news feeds. Also, we added the ability to subscribe to the feeds. For example, if someone wanted to subscribe to the business news, they could subscribe and get all of the news delivered to their preferred news reader (e.g., Google Reader, FeedDemon). Once they subscribe to the feed in their own reader, they don't even have to visit the news.ca.gov page since their own news reader will check for updates for them. We also created a mini-news channel widget http://www.ca.gov/Multimedia/multimedia_rss.html. The dynamic widget takes all the feeds and puts them into a compact package, making it available for anyone to embed on their websites. The widget has received more than 6,300 impressions and has already been embedded on a number of different websites (including .com and .org sites). This brings more traffic to the news site and to state agency social media channels. All state agencies are encouraged to participate in the news channel. If your agency wants to add their feeds to the site, please contact info@eservices.ca.gov.

New federal forecast: What the coming La Niña means for California rains
After enduring the driest stretch of years in our history, and then logging the wettest spell on record this past winter, befuddled Californians have one question on their minds these days: What’s next? In two words: La Niña. But whether the water ...

California Wildfires Leave Seasonal Agricultural Workers In Limbo
For more than a week, Marisol Paniagua has been living at an evacuation center. She had been scheduled to pick grapes at a vineyard near the city of Santa Rosa, Calif. But that work was canceled because of the wildfires ravaging Northern California.

Eastside Fire spent week helping California crews
Firefighters have been pushing themselves past exhaustion to make progress on California's deadly fires that have done so much destruction. More than 40 people were killed. About 5,700 homes and structures are gone. The images of the relentless fire that ...

Job Fairs and Events
Check out EDD's Job Fairs and Events page for seminars and workshops throughout California. http://www.edd.ca.gov/Jobs_and_Training/Job_Fairs_and_Events.htm

Dolphin diets show how climate change could alter food chains off the California coast
Scientists studying dolphins dining off the California coastline have found that the marine food web is starting to look a little threadbare. The length of food chains in that web appears to have gotten shorter in response to environmental changes — such ...

Official: California Fire Losses Top $1 Billion
Official: California Fire Losses Top $1 Billion California's insurance commissioner says preliminary estimates of losses from the state's recent siege of wildfires exceed $1 billion and that the figure is expected to rise. (Oct. 19) Check out this story on ...

California fires: A rising toll in deaths and dollars
SAN FRANCISCO - The wildfires that have devastated Northern California this month caused at least $1 billion in damage to insured property, officials said Thursday, as authorities increased the count of homes and other buildings destroyed to nearly 7,000.

Challenge to California's prostitution ban may proceed, judges rule
A federal appeals court gave the go-ahead Thursday to activists seeking to overturn California's 145-year ban on commercial sex. A three-judge panel of 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the plaintiffs' legal challenge against the ban ...






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