CSAC Green-Lights Vargas Title Fight

Thanks to a reprieve in April by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), boxer Francisco Vargas will get his first opportunity to defend his super-featherweight title June 4 at the StubHub Center in Carson.CSAC_bear_logo

After earning his World Boxing Council title and training in his native Mexico, Vargas tested positive for the banned substance clenbuterol, which is often associated with weight cutting by boxers and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters.

But after Vargas explained to the Commission that clenbuterol is often used in cattle feed in Mexico—and that a large amount of beef served to him by his mother was likely the reason for the positive test—CSAC accepted Vargas’ explanation and allowed his June 4 fight against Orlando Salido to continue. The use of clenbuterol in cattle in Mexico is well documented.

The Commission stipulated that Vargas would be tested multiple times leading up to his title defense. As of May 26, he had passed five drug tests, according to the Los Angeles Times. The fight between Vargas (23-0-1, 17 knockouts) and countryman Salido (43-13-4) will be televised on HBO.

The Commission regulates boxing and MMA in California.


It’s Remodeling Season: What You Need to Know Going In

shutterstock_70184671Warm weather makes newly painted walls dry faster, projects less likely to be rain-delayed and spawns desire for that outdoor kitchen. But before you put big bucks towards a better abode, the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) reminds you to do your due diligence before hiring any contractor to perform work in or on your home.

While most contractors are honest, hard-working professionals, consumers must always protect themselves from unlicensed, unscrupulous contractors who prey on them. You’d never buy a car without thoroughly researching it; do the same before investing in your home. Here are some tips from CSLB:

  • Check the license: For your protection, hire only state-licensed contractors. Verify a license by calling CSLB toll-free at (800) 321-CSLB (2752) or visit cslb.ca.gov. Any contractor doing $500 or more in work (including materials and labor) must be licensed by CSLB to work in California. Confirm that your contractor carries general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance for employees that might be working in your home. Otherwise, you could be liable for their injuries.
  • Get at least three bids: Obtain at least three price estimates and ask for references on work the contractor has completed locally. Check out the finished projects in person if possible.
  • Get it in writing: In California, there must be a written contract for all home improvement projects over $500 in combined labor and materials costs.Contractors cannot ask for a deposit of more than 10 percent of the total cost for the job or $1,000, whichever is less. Ask for a current list of contact information for not only the contractor, but also the subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Manage the project and monitor payments: Never pay in cash and don’t let payments get ahead of the work. Keep all receipts, and don’t make the final payment until you’re completely satisfied with the finished job.

CSLB’s quick and comprehensive video is a must-see for those about to undertake home-improvement projects: www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Hire_A_Contractor/Do_It_Right_Video.aspx

Also keep in mind the recent State Civil Code law change—effective January 2014—that requires anyone applying for a building permit that will alter or improve a single-family residence built in 1994 or earlier to replace all plumbing fixtures with water-saving designs. Replacement is a condition of receiving final permit approval from a local building department. In an Industry Bulletin published for contractors, CSLB clarified that building permits issued for property maintenance and repairs (such as re-roofing, water heater replacement, window replacement and some others as determined by the State Building Code) do not trigger the new requirements. Be sure to check all the details here: www.cslb.ca.gov/Media_Room/Industry_Bulletins/2014/January_17.aspx.

California Raises Smoking and Vaping Ages to 21

Choice between cigarette and e-cigarette

During a special healthcare session earlier this month, Governor Brown signed into law significant tobacco regulations, raising the smoking age from 18 to 21 and classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products. The laws go into effect on June 9.

With the signing of this new law, California becomes the second state in the country, after Hawaii, to raise the legal smoking age in an effort to block young people’s access to tobacco.

A 2015 Institute of Medicine report concluded that if all states raised the smoking age to 21, there would be a 12 percent drop in teen and young adult smokers. Also, according to a March 2015 Institute of Medicine study, raising the smoking age to 21 would result in about 223,000 fewer premature deaths and 50,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer.

The Governor also signed a bill classifying e-cigarettes as tobacco products, banning e-cigarette use in venues where traditional cigarettes are prohibited, such as schools, restaurants, hospitals, and workplaces. Just as with other tobacco products, you must be 21 years old to buy e-cigarettes.

In addition to these two laws, five related bills that will expand smoking restrictions in the workplace and in schools were signed. One measure that would have allowed cities and counties to impose local taxes on tobacco products was vetoed.

For more information about the new laws, visit the Governor’s website at www.gov.ca.gov.

Special Enrollment for Covered California

Vert-269x220pxCovered California, the State’s health insurance marketplace, is reminding Californians who experience a life-changing event that they may be eligible to enroll in a health insurance plan outside of the Open Enrollment period.

During the Special Enrollment Period, Californians may be eligible to enroll in a health plan through Covered California if they experience a qualifying life event such as:

  • Losing health coverage through their job.
  • Income changes so dramatic that he or she becomes eligible or ineligible for help paying for his or her insurance.
  • Turning 26 years old (a California resident is no longer eligible to stay on their parents’ plan).
  • Moving from another state to California.
  • Getting married or having a child.

After a qualifying life event, you have 60 days to enroll in a health plan through Covered California. Call (800) 300-1506 or click here for more information on Special Enrollment.


BoxerThe California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) is on a quest to find former professional boxers who may be eligible to receive their fair share of a pension fund exceeding $5 million.

Read the news release here.

New Publication from the Board of Barbering and Cosmetology

EyelashExtension_coverThe State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology (Board), which licenses and regulates barbers, cosmetologists, manicurists, estheticians, electrologists, apprentices, and the establishments in which they work in California, has released a new publicationEyelash Extensions Safety Tips.

The brochure details who should be applying eyelash extensions, what to look for at the salon you choose, when a consumer should not get eyelash extensions, and tips for consumers before and after getting eyelash extensions.

Consumer publications from the Board are available online at www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/consumers/index.shtml.
The Board can be reached at (800) 952-5210.

The Fight Against Extreme Weight Cutting

The practice of extreme weight cutting in combat sports—when mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters and boxers drastically lose weight before a fight in order to compete in a certain weight class—has become a chief concern of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), which regulates combat sports statewide.

Weight cutting—often achieved through drastic dehydration—has landed fighters in the hospital with criical injuries and, in the most extreme cases, has been fatal. Through an educational campaign that includes informational flyers and posters detailing the dangers of severe weight cutting, CSAC has become a leading voice nationally in combating the practice.

macro of a doctor's office scale

The Commission recently held a summit in Southern California in an effort to find solutions to extreme weight cutting.

In the most recent issue of Consumer Connection, the quarterly magazine published by the Department of Consumer Affairs, CSAC Executive Officer Andy Foster said: “Dehydration and weight cutting is the most serious issue facing mixed martial arts from a health and regulatory perspective.”

Read the full story on extreme weight cutting, and catch up on the latest news on other consumer-related subjects, in the spring issue of Consumer Connection, which can be viewed and downloaded on the Department of Consumer Affairs website.

Psychologist Convicted of Indecent Exposure

Psychology_Logo_BannerSACRAMENTO – The California Board of Psychology recently filed an accusation to revoke the license of Thomas F. Machos of Oceanside after he was convicted of multiple counts of indecent exposure.

Read the entire news release here

Small Claims Court: DCA Guidebook Explains How to Navigate This Valuable Consumer Resource

One of the Department of Consumer Affairs’ most popular titles—The Small Claims Court: A Guide to Its Practical Use—has been recently updated and is available now for download!

Some people think going to court is difficult or frightening, but it doesn’t need to be. DCA’s handbook, written by DCA’s Legal Affairs Division, is designed to help anyone who is suing or being sued in small claims court, or deciding whether or not to file a case. Although your local small claims court clerk or small claims adviser should be your first go-to for questionsshutterstock_74941255, our guide is a handy backup. It includes:

  • A glossary of legal terms.
  • A checklist for plaintiffs and defendants.
  • An explanation of what small claims court is and how to decide if it’s your best option.
  • Factors to consider before filing.
  • Resources for locating the party you’re filing against.
  • Guidance on what to do if you’re the defendant.

It also contains advice on how to make the most of your day in court.
Get your copy here: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/small_claims/small_claims.pdf.