State Plans Cut in Quake Premiums
The California Earthquake Authority on Thursday proposed changes in premiums for next year that would result in an average rate reduction of 22 percent statewide. The reduction would be the first since 1999, when premiums were cut by 4.5 percent. The state hasn’t been hit by a major temblor in more than a decade, enabling the earthquake authority , which underwrites two-thirds of the earthquake insurance in California , to build its cash reserves. It now has the ability to handle damage claims of as much as $7.2 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported. The proposed rates, which must be approved by Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi, would vary greatly across the state.
Getty Leader’s Chief of Staff to Quit by Year-End
Jill Murphy, the controversial chief of staff for J. Paul Getty Trust Chief Executive Barry Munitz, disclosed Thursday that she will leave her post by the end of the year. Murphy announced the departure to her staff in the afternoon after describing her plans in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times. In the e-mail, she summarized a letter written in November to Munitz, saying that they had agreed on a plan for her exit. Some said her broad power and brusque management style drew complaints from current and former Getty employees, who blamed her for internal tension and low morale. Nevertheless, Murphy said in her e-mail Thursday that the decision to leave was hers.
Police Issue Warning to ‘Geeks’
Agents of the computer-fixing “Geek Squad” wear badges and uniforms and drive black and white cars a look the California Highway Patrol fears too closely resembles actual police officers, the Associated Press reported. So, Best Buy Co. Inc. is repainting its “Geek Squad” Beetles throughout California to comply with the highway patrol’s request that the vehicles not look so much like their patrol cars, the company said Thursday. Police said they don’t know of any law enforcement divisions that use Beetles but wanted to avoid any cases of mistaken identity.
Rancho Palos Verdes Parkland Deal Nears Reality
A state panel approved a $10 million grant Thursday toward the acquisition of 463 acres of Rancho Palos Verdes parkland, bringing the widely held vision of a 1,000-acre nature preserve closer to fruition. The Wildlife Conservation Board approved the grant, the largest remaining part of the funding for the large piece of coastal open space. The $10 million in state funding comes from voter-approved Proposition 50, the Water Security, Clean Drinking Water, Coastal and Beach Protection Fund of 2002. The money will go toward the purchase of two parcels of land owned by Orange County developer Barry Hon, the Daily Breeze reported.
Former Bandmates Again Sue Axl Rose
Former Guns N’ Roses members Slash and Duff, known as Saul Hudson and Michael McKagan, are suing band leader Axl Rose for the second time in less than two years. The complaint, filed Aug. 17, alleges that in May, Rose fraudulently named himself sole administrator of the band’s copyrights, jilting his former partners out of their share of revenue that is said to total about $500,000 a year. The filing claims that Rose directed ASCAP to send all publishing royalties to Rose’s publishing company. The plaintiffs allege that they have been excluded from their shares of at least $92,000 in royalties collected in one quarter of 2005, the Los Angeles Times reported. Rose’s lawyer, said the singer had asked to receive only his portion of royalties, and that the overpayment was due to a clerical error by the society.