Friday, June 27, 2014

California family vexed by fired nanny who refuses to leave

California family vexed by fired nanny who refuses to leave

By AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN
June 27, 2014
Source: CNN

(CNN) -- Ralph and Marcella Bracamonte's California home has become their personal hell.
They fired their live-in nanny this month, but the woman -- Diane Stretton -- has refused to move out, and the couple has little legal recourse to evict her.
"I fired her June 6 and she refused to leave, saying she had rights and I needed to evict her," Marcella Bracamonte told CNN on Friday. "She quit working about a month before I ever fired her -- she would just stay in her room."
How bad did it get?
"She threatened to sue me after I didn't turn the air conditioner on," Bracamonte said, adding that Stretton "wrote me this long letter with all her terms and what she wanted -- she wanted my family out of our home for certain hours everyday -- it was crazy."
CNN has left repeated messages at the cell phone number that Bracamonte provided for Stretton but received no reply so far.
According to the Bracamontes, Stretton started out fine when they hired her March 4 after running a background check. In exchange for room and board, Stretton was expected to help out with household chores and child care at their home in Upland, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles.
But once she gained the family's trust, they said, Stretton stopped working and stayed in her room.
They sought help from law enforcement and were told that Stretton was legally permitted to stay in the home.
Sgt. Don Dodt with the Upland Police Department told CNN that in general, once someone has established a residency in a home, the landlord or owner of the property must go to court to get the person evicted.
Typically, the police department can only take a keep-the-peace type of role in such a case because it is a civil dispute. The sheriff's department would carry out a forceful eviction if ordered by the court.
The family is working its way through the legal eviction process, but why not change the locks and refuse to allow Stretton in the home in the meantime? The nanny threatened to sue, and California tenant laws are in her favor so she would likely win.
Bracamonte tells CNN her family has too much to lose.
While their case moves through the courts, the family has turned to the media for help.
"Don't worry -- I will ruin her publicly! But she will NOT take a dime from us!" Marcella Bracamonte wrote on her Facebook page.
She accused Stretton of filing frivolous lawsuits before. CNN confirmed that Stretton is on the California Courts' Vexatious Litigant List, a list of people who continually bring legal action, regardless of merit, against others with the sole intention of harassment. CNN found dozens of lawsuits filed by Stretton in California over the years.
The family has been interviewed on TV and Bracamonte says she wants a constant barrage of family and friends at the house to pressure Stretton to vacate.
"I need help! I need A TON OF FRIENDS TO COME STAY AND HANG WITH ME AT MY HOUSE! Sleep in the living room all spread out to annoy her!" Bracamonte wrote on Facebook.
Perhaps it's working. Friday, Bracamonte said Stretton "hasn't come back to the home since yesterday morning around 5 a.m."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

San Diego Supervisors give themselves two million each to personally spend on "Neighborhood Reinvestment Program"

The Return of the County’s Controversial Grant Program

Photo by Sam Hodgson
Wednesday’s County Board of Supervisors meeting was a public hearing, but there was no public testimony and the audience was packed mostly with county employees.
A county program that was slashed in half under intense scrutiny may be on its way back to full strength.
Four years ago, under sustained criticism, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors cut in half a controversial community grants program that gave $2 million a year in taxpayer money to each of the five county supervisors to dole out to local nonprofits.
Starting in the 2011 fiscal year, instead of $2 million, each office would have just $1 million to award, and the cash came with some new strings that reined in how it could be used and how it was reported.
Now the supervisors want the other $1 million apiece back.
Supervisor Dave Roberts introduced a motion Wednesday to “restore the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program funding” to the earlier level. It was quickly approved.
Wednesday’s meeting was a public budget hearing, but there was no public testimony and the audience was packed with county employees (it was unclear where the public, if they were to actually come en masse, would sit).
Roberts’ motion, as well as the entire county budget, must still be approved and deliberations are continuing.
“When the economy went down, that budget was reduced,” Roberts said of the original cuts to the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. “This change brings it back to $10 million,” $2 million for each of the five supervisors, and will fund things like health centers and outdoor classrooms at parks. He said the pot of money is dedicated for “bricks and mortar” type improvements.
But one reason the program, formerly known as the Community Projects Program, was unpopular was because of a nagging impression that supervisors were doling out money with their own interests in mind, not those of county taxpayers.
Some have called it a slush fund. Others say it gives sitting supervisors a $2 million re-election fund.
And a slew of allegations of misuse and conflicts of interest didn’t do much to bolster its reputation.
Former Supervisor Pam Slater-Price traveled to Europe in 2006 courtesy of a nonprofit that she had helped fund to the tune of $180,000 over several years. And Supervisor Ron Roberts, after directing money to the San Diego World Trade Center, went on six Asian trade missions on their dime. The practice of nonprofits paying to send elected officials on international trips has since been deemed illegal by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
The reinvestment program started in the 1998 fiscal year with a total budget of $5 million. The budget was increased to $10 million the next fiscal year and stayed there through the 2010 fiscal year.
Dave Roberts said he hopes increasing the budget will allow him to do more for his district without squabbling with fellow supervisors over funding priorities.
“Every year we can pick and choose what are the priorities in our district,” Dave Roberts said. “My contention is, who can better make recommendations on their districts than the representative for that district?”
The grant program is important for the county “as long as it’s done in an open, transparent and fair way,” Dave Roberts said. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on the budget June 24.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

900,000-year-old human footprints found in Britain

A Sunken Kingdom Re-emerges

Prehistoric tree stumps on a beach in Borth, Wales, from a forest first flooded about 5,000 years ago, after the last ice age. Credit Luke Wolagiewicz for The New York Times

BORTH, WALES — There is a poem children in Wales learn about the sunken kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod, swallowed by the sea and drowned forever after. On a quiet night, legend has it, one can hear the kingdom’s church bells ringing.
When the sea swallowed part of Britain’s western coastline this year and then spat it out again, leaving homes and livelihoods destroyed but also a dense forest of prehistoric tree stumps more exposed than ever, it was as if one had caught a faint glimpse of that Welsh Atlantis.
The submerged forest of Borth is not new. First flooded some 5,000 years ago by rising sea levels after the last ice age, it has been there as long as locals remember, coming and going with the tides and occasionally disappearing under the sand for years on end. But the floods and storms that battered Britain earlier this year radically changed the way archaeologists interpret the landscape: A quarter-mile-long saltwater channel cutting through the trees, revealed by erosion for the first time, provided a trove of clues to where human life may have been concentrated and where its traces may yet be found.

“We used to think of this as just as an impenetrable forest — actually this was a complex human environment,” said Martin Bates, a geoarchaeologist at the University of Wales Trinity St. David, who oversees the excavation work in Borth on a beach he played on as a toddler. “The floods have opened our eyes as to what’s really out there.”
Scanning the army of ghostly spikes protruding from the sand here one recent morning, Dr. Bates said it was as if nature were making a point: The recent torrential rains, linked by a growing number of climatologists to human-induced climate change, have provided an ancient laboratory to study how humans coped with catastrophic climate change in the past.
Indeed, across Britain, two consecutive years of exceptional winter weather have left in their wake some equally exceptional discoveries: from unexploded wartime bombs and Victorian shipwrecks to archaeological finds that are nearly a million years old. Scientists have barely kept up. Last winter was the wettest on record, according to the Met Office, the national weather service.
Dog walkers and amateur archaeologists are being sought in ever-greater numbers to help record new sites. In some areas hit especially hard by erosion, locals are equipped with cameras that log digital images with geocoordinates so the artifacts they find on beach walks can be added to national databases.
“Archaeologists can’t be everywhere, but locals can,” said Erin Kavanagh, Dr. Bates’s partner and a fellow archaeologist.
Nicholas Ashton, the curator of Paleolithic and Mesolithic collections at the British Museum, has been organizing “fossil road shows” in which he invites civilians to bring in any potential archaeological finds and have them identified. (One man recently showed up with a six-inch-long hippo tusk and a well-preserved ax, both found locally and both more than half a million years old.)
Having those extra eyes on the ground can make all the difference in coastal areas, Dr. Ashton said, for what the sea reveals, it tends to reclaim almost as soon. He learned this lesson firsthand.
In May 2013, shortly after the first set of storms, Dr. Ashton commissioned Dr. Bates, an old university friend, to work on Britain’s east coast in Norfolk. The beach near Happisburgh (pronounced hays-boro), a longstanding archaeological site, had suffered severe erosion. Dr. Ashton, an expert in early humans, wanted a geophysical survey to map any channels or rivers that might lie beneath about 30 feet of sediment. Some of these channels, he reckoned, might contain evidence of early humans because sources of freshwater would have been natural gathering spots.
It was on their second visit, on May 10, that Dr. Bates noticed some indentions on the otherwise flat horizons of the laminated silts recently laid bare on the beach. The humps and bumps looked familiar. He told Dr. Ashton: “They’re just like the human footprints in Borth.”
Footprints of humans and animals in Borth had been dated to about 6,000 years ago. The site in Happisburgh was 900,000 years old, a time when mammoths and hippos still roamed in these parts. No human bones or prints that old had ever been found in Britain.
Could this be possible?
A frantic race against time began. Every day, the shape of the prints would blur a little more as the coming tide eroded the contours of heels, toes and arches. A team led by Sarah Duffy from the University of York arrived to apply a technique called multi-image photogrammetry, taking about 150 digital photographs of the surface area containing the prints and feeding it into a program that created a three-dimensional model. By the time another team had come to do some laser scanning, it was too late: The prints were barely visible.
Panicked, scientists lifted from the site a 130-pound block of sediment with one faint print on top, to have it analyzed at the National Oceanography Center. It is the only remaining physical evidence of the footprints: Before the month was out, all traces of them had vanished. It was a powerful reminder of both the resilience and the fragility of human life.
“What had been preserved for nearly one million years was taken back by the sea in the space of 10 days,” Dr. Ashton said.
Initially skeptical, he said he knew the footprints were real when Dr. Duffy’s computer images landed in his inbox sometime last June. “I thought, bloody hell, we are dealing with something quite extraordinary here,” he said.
The footprints, the oldest known outside Africa, probably belonged to a family group of Homo antecessor, a cousin of Homo erectus that possibly became extinct when Homo heidelbergensis from Africa settled in Britain about 500,000 years ago, he said. Using foot-length-to-stature ratios, scientists estimate that the male was perhaps 5 feet 9 inches tall, and the smallest child a little less than 37 inches.
Little is known about this early human species. Fossil skeletons in Atapuerca, Spain, from around the same time suggest that they walked upright and looked much like modern humans, though their brains were smaller. If they had language, it was primitive. Living at the tail end of an interglacial era, as winters were growing colder, they may have had functional body hair. So far, there is no evidence that they used clothes, shelter, fire or tools more complex than simple stone flakes...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We are not as frightened as our ancestors were

We are not as frightened as our ancestors were. (At least most of us aren't.)

This RadioLab program is amazing!
It seems humans have actually domesticated ourselves.
Apparently this involves having less active adrenal glands--making us less prone to fear.

As a result, we are less prone to the violence that accompanies fear in wild animals. 
One expert notes that if you filled an airplane with chimpanzees on a trans-Atlantic flight, only a handful would be alive at the end of the flight.  But human beings can sit together quite happily for hours and hours without coming to blows--partly because we don't fear each other as much as wild animals do.

New Nice

Brian Hare tells us the story of Dmitri Belyaev, a geneticist and clandestine Darwinian who lived in Stalinist Russia and studied the domestication of the silver fox. Through generations of selectively breeding a captive population, Belyaev noticed not only increased docility, but also unexpected physical changes. Why did these gentler foxes necessarily look different than their wild ancestors? Tecumseh Fitch has a hypothesis, something about trailblazing cells and embryonic development. And Richard Wrangham takes it a step further, suggesting us humans may have domesticated ourselves.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl

The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl

Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  

“I would support,” he told CNN. “Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

But the instant the Obama administration actually made that trade, Mr. McCain, as he has so often in the past, switched positions for maximum political advantage. “I would not have made this deal,” he said a few days ago. Suddenly the prisoner exchange is “troubling” and “poses a great threat” to service members. Hearings must be held, he said, and sharp questions asked.

This hypocrisy now pervades the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and has even infected several fearful Democrats. When they could use Sergeant Bergdahl’s captivity as a cudgel against the administration, they eagerly did so, loudly and in great numbers. And the moment they could use his release to make President Obama look weak on terrorism or simply incompetent, they reversed direction without a moment’s hesitation to jump aboard the new bandwagon.

The last few days have made clearer than ever that there is no action the Obama administration can take — not even the release of a possibly troubled American soldier from captivity — that cannot be used for political purposes by his opponents.

Though we criticized the administration for ignoring the law in not informing Congress of the transfer of the Taliban detainees 30 days in advance, leave it to Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and other hyperventilators to claim that continued release of prisoners from Guantánamo without prior notice is now considered an impeachable offense, a ludicrous leap.

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas says the whole exchange was cooked up to distract the public from the Veterans Affairs scandals, and the talk-show crowd has piled on Sergeant Bergdahl’s father for his suspiciously long beard.

Cowering politicians now even seem to regret their initial burst of joy that a prisoner was coming home. “A grateful nation welcomes him home,” said Representative Lee Terry, Republican of Nebraska, in a Twitter message on Sunday. The statement on his website was deleted a short time later. “Warmest regards to his family with gratitude for his/their service and sacrifice,” wrote Representative Stephen Lynch, Democrat of Massachusetts, in another quickly deleted tweet.
This duck-and-cover response is the result of the outrageous demonization of Sergeant Bergdahl in the absence of actual facts. Republican operatives have arranged for soldiers in his unit to tell reporters that he was a deserter who cost the lives of several soldiers searching for him. In fact, a review of casualty reports by Charlie Savage and Andrew Lehren of The Times showed there is no clear link between any military deaths and the search.

And a classified military report shows that Sergeant Bergdahl had walked away from assigned areas at least twice before and had returned, according to a report in The Times on Thursday. It describes him as a free-spirited young man who asked many questions but gave no indication of being a deserter, let alone the turncoat that Mr. Obama’s opponents are now trying to create.

If anything, the report suggests that the army unit’s lack of security and discipline was as much to blame for the disappearance, given the sergeant’s history.

Thousands of soldiers desert during every war, including 50,000 American soldiers during World War II. As many as 4,000 a year were absent without leave for extended periods during the Iraq war. They leave for a variety of reasons, including psychological trauma, but whatever their mental state, it is the military’s duty to get them back if they are taken prisoner. That’s what the Obama administration did in this case, and there was a particular sense of urgency because a video showed that Sergeant Bergdahl’s life might be in danger.

But the critics seeking political advantage don’t care about the life or mental state of a particular soldier, or of a principle of loyalty that should provide comfort to any soldier in danger of capture. They live only for the attack.

Friday, June 06, 2014

UCSD gives consent for sharing medical records without patient approval

I got an interesting letter from UCSD three days ago. It told me that I had consented to share my electronic medical records.

The trouble is--I had NOT given my consent. I never signed a consent form. I never clicked a box on the Internet agreeing to share my records.

And the letter from UCSD did NOT arrive in my home mailbox or even in my email. It was purely by chance that I found it on MyUCSDChart—NOT among the MyChart emails. If it had been among the MyChart emails, I would have received an alert about it in my regular email.

UCSD was definitely NOT trying to make sure that I found out about my “consent”.

Today, each time I have clicked on the link about sharing electronic medical records on MyUCSDChart, I found myself unceremoniously thrown back to the sign-in page. Automatically signed out. They really don't like it when I click on the link!

UCSD seems to be remarkably fond of both signing me in and signing me out--without my involvement--whenever it feels like it.

I found this page on the UCSD site about sharing electronic records. It seems that I am now part of two databases: The San Diego Beacon Health Information Exchange, and something called Care Everywhere.

It's not that I want to keep my records secret. In fact, I think sharing electronic records is basically a good idea. It's just that I've had problems with health providers hiding my own test results from me, so I'm sensitive about doctors violating the law regarding medical records.

Apparently the VA is also part of this system, but the VA has a more transparent consent process.

I've heard of falsified medical records, but this is the first time I heard of a falsified consent for release of medical records.

I found some interesting stuff about UCSD's informed consent process for patients in research projects:

iDASH Integrating Data for Analysis, Anonymization and SHaring

Informed Consent

Paper Consent versus Electronic Consent

Traditionally, paper-based consent has been the medium through which researchers and physicians conducted the informed consent process. The paper-based process consists of giving a hard copy consent form to a patient for him or her to review. Then a care provider answers any questions from the patient and in some cases assists the patient in reviewing the paper consent forms. The issues surrounding this procedure are that the paper-based consent form tends to be long and monotonous, and the retrieval of paper forms are often time consuming.

The new electronic consent forms use tablets or computers as the medium for communicating information and seeking consent from the patient...The iDASH team is also currently working on two systems, iCONS and iCONCUR, which are intended for such open source use in the future.

iDASH electronic informed consent management system

iCONS is a system currently being tested in a clinical trials environment at Moores Cancer Center Biorepository. The system supports informed consent electronically by enhancing the consent process for patients and researchers by acting as a consent broker and by adding multimedia aspects to the process. This consent process is opt-in, meaning no patient information is shared with researchers until the patient specifies what specific information he or she would like to share with researchers. The iCONS system creates a permission ontology to model the consent choices of the patient to assist in the process of releasing data and specimens to researchers for their consented uses.

iCONCUR is a pilot study within the University of California - San Diego Health System. This system transforms the sharing of electronic records from the opt-out system that is currently in place, meaning a patient’s record is automatically entered into the system unless the patient specifically requests to have their records taken out, to an opt-in system. The tool presents the patient with a taxonomy of his or her medical record allowing the patient to dictate what parts of the medical record to share and with whom it may be shared with.


Tufts Medical Center sued for faxing patient records without consent
July 15, 2011
By Karen Cheung-Larivee

Tufts Medical Center in Boston faces a lawsuit after a patient said the hospital faxed her medical records to her workplace without her consent, causing her embarrassment, reports The Boston Globe yesterday.

"I feel like I might have walked in (the office) naked," said patient Kimberly White.

White requested Tufts to send a form for a disability claim, but instead the hospital allegedly sent four pages of medical records about her hysterectomy to a shared fax machine at her workplace.

White filed a complaint in Plymouth County Superior Court. The hospital denies any wrongdoing, according to the article.

Tufts spokeswoman Julie Jette said, "In this matter, we complied with a patient's request to share information. We firmly believe we responded to the patient's request appropriately."

"I can't go back there," White said. "I am so embarrassed. ... I couldn't live with knowing what these people knew about me."

Earlier this year, another Boston hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, faced accusations that an employee lost records of 192 patients on the subway. The hospital in February settled the federal case for $1 million, according to the article.


UCLA Health System pays $865G to settle HIPAA violation charges
July 8, 2011
By Ken Terry

UCLA Health System has agreed to pay a fine of $865,000 and to develop a correction action plan to settle potential HIPAA privacy violations involving improper disclosures of medical records at its three hospitals, the federal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) reports.

OCR launched the investigation in 2009, following complaints by two unnamed celebrities that their medical records had been compromised. The government probe revealed that from 2005 to 2008, "unauthorized employees repeatedly looked at the electronic protected health information of numerous other UCLAHS patients," according to an OCR press release.

The Los Angeles Times reports that violations allegedly occurred at all three UCLAHS hospitals: Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, and Orthopaedic Hospital and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, which are regarded as a single unit.

The hospital had disclosed in April 2008 that it had discovered that several employees had snooped into the patient records of dozens of celebrities, including Britney Spears, Tom Cruise and Maria Shriver.

When the alleged violations came to light in 2008, the California legislature passed a law that imposed escalating fines on hospitals for patient privacy breaches. The state fined UCLAHS $95,000 in 2009, reportedly in connection with the medical records of the late Michael Jackson.

The UCLAHS settlement with OCR is much smaller than previous HIPAA settlements, including those involving CVS Caremark ($2.25 million) and Rite Aid ($1 million).

As part of its settlement, UCLAHS agreed to institute new security and privacy policies, improve employee training, take action against employees who violate privacy rules, and designate an independent monitor to oversee compliance.

In a statement, UCLAHS said, "The UCLA Health System considers patient confidentiality a critical part of our mission of patient care, teaching and research. Over the past three years, we have worked diligently to strengthen our staff training, implement enhanced data security systems and increase our auditing capabilities."


J Law Med Ethics. 2008 Fall;36(3):560-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.304.x.
Research on medical records without informed consent.
Miller FG.

Observational research involving access to personally identifiable data in medical records has often been conducted without informed consent, owing to practical barriers to soliciting consent and concerns about selection bias. Nevertheless, medical records research without informed consent appears to conflict with basic ethical norms relating to clinical research and personal privacy. This article analyzes the scope of these norms and provides an ethical justification for research using personally identifiable medical information without consent.

PMID: 18840249 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

'The GM nod,' 'The GM salute' and a clash of cultures

'The GM nod,' 'The GM salute' and a clash of cultures

Safety, cost-containment and impenetrable decision-making

"We cannot conclude," the Valukas report reads, "that the atmosphere of cost-cutting had no impact on the failure of GM to resolve these issues earlier."
DETROIT -- Page 248 of Anton Valukas' report on what went wrong with General Motors' deadly ignition switch defect outlines how GM's safety efforts run smack into its cost-conscious culture.
Under the heading "Tone at the Top," the report tries to peg how much GM's culture -- in full-blown cost-cutting mode at the time the bad switches were installed in Chevrolet Cobalts and other small cars -- had to do with its handling of the defect.
The report, which relied in part on interviews of 230 employees, describes a troubling mixed message subtly conveyed by senior leadership: that safety is paramount, yet so is keeping a lid on costs.
"Repeated throughout the interview process we heard from GM personnel two somewhat different directives," the report reads. "When safety is an issue, cost is irrelevant" and "cost is everything."
The report provides a harsh rebuke of GM's infamous committee culture, too, one that on the ignition-switch issue rendered "determining the identity of an actual decision maker … impenetrable."
Some GM employees told investigators that they didn't take any notes during "critical safety meetings" because they didn't think lawyers wanted them to.
Investigators never found evidence of an edict banning note-taking. But "the no-notes direction … reached the status of an urban myth that was followed, an instruction passed from GM employee to GM employee over the years," the report reads.
One of the most colorful descriptions of the cultural morass came from CEO Mary Barra herself. She described for investigators a phenomenon known as the "GM nod."
"The GM nod, Barra described, is when everyone nods in agreement to a proposed plan of action, but then leaves the room with no intention of follow through," the report reads. "It is an idiomatic recognition of a culture that does not move issues forward quickly, as the story of the Cobalt demonstrates."
There was also the "GM salute," described by another interviewee as "a crossing of the arms and pointing outward toward others, indicating that the responsibility belongs to someone else, not me."
Ultimately, Valukas' report says it uncovered no evidence of any employee making "an explicit trade-off between safety and cost" related to the ignition switch. It notes that, because engineers early on failed to grasp a link between the ignition switch slipping out of the "run" position and airbags not deploying, the problem was treated as a customer-satisfaction issue, not a safety problem.
Still, "we cannot conclude," the report reads, "that the atmosphere of cost-cutting had no impact on the failure of GM to resolve these issues earlier."

Monday, June 02, 2014

Loophole in California law allows car dealers to sell used cars without repairing safety recalls first

Close loophole in California law that allows car dealers to sell used cars without repairing safety recalls first
Courage Campaign

Last October, David Clayton was driving 65 miles-an-hour down a highway in Fresno near his home. His newly purchased "certified" 2009 Dodge Ram was driving just fine, but all of a sudden, everything changed.

The drive train linking the engine with the rear axle literally broke off. The back wheels locked up, and the truck started bouncing -- yes, bouncing -- down the freeway. He somehow was able to wrestle the truck to the side of the highway without colliding with another vehicle. He soon learned his “certified” used truck was actually a ticking time bomb.

Chrysler had recalled it because it would literally fall apart without warning. But because of a loophole in California law, car dealers are allowed to sell used cars without repairing safety recalls first.

Fight to get killer used cars repaired before dealers can sell them to consumers. Send an email to your California Assemblymember to support Senate Bill 686 by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson.(1)

Shockingly, millions of us are driving cars with open safety recalls. An analysis by CarFax shows that 36 million cars on the road right now -- or roughly one in seven -- are subject to a safety-related recall but have never been repaired.(2) Good Morning America and other news organizations have gone undercover to investigate, catching car dealers telling consumers that used cars are "safe" and passed rigorous inspections, when they're actually ticking time bombs.(3)

It's obvious that the law needs to change, but David can't win this fight alone. The car dealers are lobbying furiously because they don't want to bother repairing the cars before they make another sale. The next victim could be you, or someone you love, even if you don't buy a recalled used car. You share the road with these cars every day.

SIGN THE PETITION and tell your representative in Sacramento to support SB 686 to require dealers to repair used cars that are under a federal safety before they can sell them to consumers! As an added bonus, passing the law will create at least 1,000 new jobs in California for auto technicians who perform safety recall repairs.

The only way we are going to be able to change this, is if we have the support of courageous Californians like you to push this law forward NOW. Polling shows that 88% of California voters support closing this auto safety loophole(4), but the car dealers are one of the most powerful lobbying groups in Sacramento and managed to stall the bill a year ago.

Help keep Californians and their families safe from killer recalled cars, by telling our state leaders to support SB 686.