Sunday, June 25, 2017

Rent from her position

Yours truly is just catching up with this sign-of-the-times item from the Daily Bruin of June 20:

A member of the Westwood Neighborhood Council recently resigned after moving out of the Village.
Shelby Kretz, a UCLA doctoral student in urban schooling, announced her resignation at the council meeting on June 14. The council selected Kretz to fill a vacant seat in January after two council members announced their resignations.
Kretz said she can no longer serve on the council because members on renter seats must actually rent within the council’s boundaries, which are Sunset, Santa Monica, Beverly Glen and Sepulveda boulevards. She said she is moving to Culver City because she felt she could not afford the rent in Westwood.
“Finding (an affordable) place in Westwood can be very challenging,” she said...

Feinstein - UC-SD - China - Dalai Lama

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Slams Chinese Paper for 'Threatening' UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla

LALIT K. JHA, PTI   June 23, 2017

WASHINGTON — California’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein has slammed a Chinese newspaper for "threatening" Pradeep Khosla, the Indian American chancellor of the University of California-San Diego, for hosting the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan spiritual leader delivered the commencement address at UCSD June 17.

"I find it unconscionable that a reporter for the Global Times, a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, would threaten UC San Diego and its chancellor and students for inviting the Dalai Lama to speak," Feinstein said.

In a statement released June 23, the top senator demanded that the newspaper should "immediately apologize and retract" the article that not only threatens to withhold visas from Chancellor Khosla but also suggests the university would be punished by withholding students.

"The newspaper's portrayal of the Dalai Lama as an anti-China separatist is also patently false," Feinstein said.

"I've known the Dalai Lama for more than 25 years and was directly involved in the latest discussions between him and the Chinese government.

The Dalai Lama is not in favor of separating Tibet from China. Rather, he strives for greater autonomy so Tibetans may freely practice their faith," Feinstein said.

"The Dalai Lama's desire to end religious persecution for his people doesn't make him a separatist, it makes him a peaceful leader who should serve as an inspiration to all students. The Chinese government and the media outlets it directly controls should recognize this and not threaten Americans or American institutions," said the senator.

In its editorial on June 20, Global Times threatened the university chancellor, saying: "Khosla must bear the consequences for this." It went on to say: "His support for Tibet independence will affect his personal and the university's exchanges with China. Chinese universities will take cooperative programs with it into prudent reconsideration.

"It's suggested that relevant Chinese authorities not issue visas to the chancellor and not recognize diplomas or degree certificates issued by the university in China."

The International Campaign for Tibet has also condemned the Chinese newspaper. It said there is no evidence to suggest that Chancellor Khosla has been involved in any action supporting Tibetan independence. 


Saturday, June 24, 2017


UCLA Investment Co. dropped support of venture capital firm tied to harassment accusations

The group that manages $2 billion of UCLA’s endowment had invested in a venture capital firm whose co-founder has come under scrutiny this week for allegedly unprofessional behavior toward women.

Six women, three of whom allowed their names to be used, came forward in a story in the Information saying that Justin Caldbeck of Binary Capital made unwanted sexual advances as they tried to seek investment from his firm. On Friday, Caldbeck went on an indefinite leave of absence from the firm and apologized for “mistakes” over the years.

UCLA Investment was among many contributors to the $125 million in Binary Capital’s inaugural fund in 2014. But over undisclosed concerns with the management style of Caldbeck and his partner Jonathan Teo, UCLA Investment decided not to invest in the San Francisco firm’s second fund, which was raised last year. And it has no intentions of putting money into Binary Capital’s newest fund.

Joe Bryant, associate investment director for UCLA Investment, said her team had stepped up the amount of research it does before investing in venture capital firms. After this week’s revelations, among the questions she plans to bring up are whether venture capital firm founders have faced sexual harassment allegations.

“Folks should be a lot more careful when committing to first-time funds,” Bryant said.

Binary Capital didn’t respond to a request to comment.

Source: [scroll down]

UCLA Has Enough Problems Without Being Confused with CSULA

Only one problem with this headline: The article refers to CSULA, not UCLA!

The End (for now)

If you follow state news, you know that a single-payer health plan has been moving through the legislature, partly in response to current events in Washington, DC. There are various versions of "single payer" but generally it replaces private insurance carriers with a government-run insurance entity. Under any such play likely to be adopted in the U.S., hospitals, doctors, and other health providers would remain largely private. They would simply receive payments from the government insurance entity rather than, say, Blue Cross.

If California had gone ahead and created a single-payer plan, UC's various options would be replaced by the government-run insurer. Exactly what that would mean would depend on what the new insurer covered.

For now, however, the single-payer plan in the legislature, which was really more a concept that a detailed program, is dead:

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon put the brakes on a sweeping plan to overhaul the health care market in California Friday, calling the bill “woefully incomplete.”

Rendon announced plans to park the bill to create a government-run universal health care system in Assembly Rules Committee “until further notice” and give senators time to fill in holes that the bill does not currently address.

“Even senators who voted for Senate Bill 562 noted there are potentially fatal flaws in the bill, including the fact it does not address many serious issues, such as financing, delivery of care, cost controls, or the realities of needed action by the Trump administration and voters to make SB 562 a genuine piece of legislation,” Rendon said.

Democratic Sens. Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins, who introduced the proposal, acknowledged the bill was dead for the year. Lara and Atkins had described the bill as a work in progress when it passed the Senate earlier this month without a funding plan. A legislative analysis pegged the cost at $400 billion.

The abrupt announcement shields members of the Assembly from having to take a difficult vote that could be used against them by critics or supporters of the policy...

Final note: The reference to the "cost" refers to the gross cost. Note that the proposed government insurer would collect as revenue what had been premiums paid to private insurers, either as taxes or some kind of alternative premiums. Probably, the key cost would be covering people who are uninsured, particularly if some replacement of "Obamacare" reduces or ends reimbursements from the federal government.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Remember the Anthem Data Breach that Affected UC?

Plaintiffs’ Counsel Announce $115 Million Proposed Class Action Settlement in Anthem Data Breach Litigation

June 23, 2017 03:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A proposed settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit over the 2015 cyberattack of health insurer Anthem, Inc., involving the theft of the personal information of 78.8 million people. The $115 million settlement, if approved by the Court, will be the largest data breach settlement in history. Attorneys from Altshuler Berzon, Cohen Milstein, Girard Gibbs and Lieff Cabraser were court-appointed to lead the representation of the plaintiffs in the litigation.

The proposed settlement provides for Anthem to establish a $115 million settlement fund, which will be used to 1) provide victims of the data breach at least two years of credit monitoring; 2) cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by consumers as a result of the data breach; and 3) provide cash compensation for those consumers who are already enrolled in credit monitoring. In addition to the monetary fund, the settlement will require Anthem to guarantee a certain level of funding for information security and to implement or maintain numerous specific changes to its data security systems, including encryption of certain information and archiving sensitive data with strict access controls. The settlement is designed to protect class members from future risk, provide compensation, and ensure best cybersecurity practices to deter against future data breaches.

“After two years of intensive litigation and hard work by the parties, we are pleased that consumers who were affected by this data breach will be protected going forward and compensated for past losses,” said Eve Cervantez, co-lead counsel representing the plaintiffs in the Anthem litigation.

“We are very satisfied that the settlement is a great result for those affected and look forward to working through the settlement approval process,” added Andrew Friedman, co-lead plaintiffs’ counsel.

In early 2015, Anthem acknowledged that it had been the target of a cyberattack, in which the personal information of 78.8 million individuals was stolen, including, for many of those individuals: names, dates of birth, social security numbers, and health care ID numbers.

Over 100 lawsuits were filed against Anthem across the country and the cases were consolidated in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California before Judge Lucy Koh, who appointed Eve Cervantez and Andrew Friedman as Co-Lead Plaintiffs’ Counsel, and Eric Gibbs and Michael Sobol to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee.

A motion for preliminary approval of the settlement was filed today by the Plaintiffs. Judge Koh is scheduled to hear Plaintiffs’ motion on August 17, 2017. If granted, the class members will be notified about the details of the settlement, and invited to participate in and comment on the settlement. For additional updates and information about the lawsuit and settlement, please visit the Anthem Data Breach Litigation Website.


Speech at Davis

UCD outlines free-speech policy

By Kimberly Hale | June 23, 2017 | Davis Enterprise

College campuses across the country are struggling with disagreements about how to allow freedom of expression on campus while maintaining safety for the speakers and participants. As a public university and one that has faced this issue over the past year, UC Davis has made this topic a priority.

Earlier this year, UC Davis Interim Chancellor Ralph J. Hexter convened a working group composed of faculty, staff and students. He charged them with considering how the campus can ensure freedom of expression, personal safety and security of campus facilities while promoting an environment where all members of the community feel safe, valued, respected and heard.

The group established an online submission form for comments, ideas and opinions, including the option to submit anonymously. Their final recommendations were delivered to Hexter, offering a blueprint to allowing free expression while maintaining safety.

“Our obligation to uphold First Amendment freedoms is essential in our democracy and on our campus,” Hexter said. “While all expression is subject to time, place and manner restrictions, it cannot include silencing or blocking speakers, even if we disagree with what is being said.

“I appreciate the commitment demonstrated by the working group to gather feedback from a wide range of our campus community.”

Among the group’s recommendations, developed with input from the campus community, is a set of education events including interactive town halls and workshops; establishment and enforcement of specific disciplinary rules for those who disrupt campus events; increased coordination with the city of Davis and other law enforcement agencies in designing safety plans to ensure physical safety of participants; and creation of a standing Freedom of Expression Committee to engage the campus community in dialogue on freedom of expression issues.

Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the School of Law and chair of the working group, added, “This is a complex issue that our society at large will continue to grapple with for some time. These findings are an important and necessary first step to address issues that arise on our campus and to ensure that the fundamental rights of each member of the community are supported.

“I want to thank the working group for its hard work and dedication to constructive dialogue in analyzing these complex issues and coming up with a constructive report and recommendations.”

Hexter has asked UCD’s campus counsel to review the recommendations to determine any changes that may be necessary to campus policy in order to implement the recommendations.