Western News

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Monday, 25 July 2011 16:41

And You Thought You Knew Ugly Dogs

One of our reporters, Ed Attanasio, recently entered his Chihuahua mix named Ratdog in the 23rd annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, held June 24th at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.

To view the full text of this article with photos please click HERE.

The first prize was $1,000, which comes with the coveted Ugly Trophy and a year-round modeling contract from House of Dog (which also comes with another $1,000!).

Unfortunately for Ratdog, there was one canine deemed even uglier than Ratdog. A real dog from Sacramento, California named Yoda. Ratdog finished 2nd in the Mutt Division, which was a nice performance by this 14-year-old deaf and toothless rescue mutt.

Pictures of Ed and his dog appeared in newspapers worldwide and were interviewed for television news organizations from the U.S., Germany, Israel, Japan and the UK, among others.

In an amended class action complaint filed in July in federal court in California (Perez et al v State Farm et al) against State Farm, Allstate, GEICO and others, the plaintiffs describe the Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) as an insurer-controlled tool designed to help the defendants compete unfairly against insurers using genuinely high-quality parts in repairs.

It alleges the "consumer group" represented on CAPA's board (Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety) is also insurer-funded. It quotes a State Farm executive as having said at a CAPA meeting that if "the parts were high quality, a public relations campaign would not be necessary."

Without saying when this occurred, the lawsuit (originally filed in 2006) says that "CAPA itself decided to lower its standards," and quotes an internal CAPA memo by Karen Fierst (who left CAPA in 1998) saying the change was done in such a way "to avoid calling attention to this detail."

The suit seeks damages for "at least several hundred thousand" members of the class that it says have been harmed by the defendants' unfair competition and restraint of trade.

Carrillo & Sons Collision Center is proud to announce the addition of Tony Jr., David and Daniel Carrillo to the day-to-day business operations combined with the public announcement that the company will assume the new business name of Carrillo & Sons Collision Center (formerly known as Carrillo’s Auto Body) located at 4680 Old Cliffs Road, San Diego, CA.

Carrillo & Sons has been family owned and operated in San Diego since 1981. Tony Jr., David and Daniel Carrillo have been a part of the shop since infancy, and are now fully involved in the day-to-day operations of Carrillo & Sons.

All three brothers have been trained to the highest industry standards and are truly dedicated to provide the utmost in customer service. The staff at Carrillo and Sons Collision Center has over 80 years in the auto repair industry collectively.

“I am so proud to have my 3 sons included in our business,” says Maria Carrillo, President of Carrillo & Sons Collision Center. “My sons have grown up in this garage and have learned that our name is our reputation. My sons and I take great pride in the service and quality that we provide to our customers.”

Carrillo & Sons Collision Center is a state certified green facility that has over 15,000 square feet of covered space inside their garage.

After recently celebrating its 30th anniversary, the family owned and operated automotive repair business, Furgerson’s Garage is proud to be named a certified “Green Station.”

The Bureau of Automotive Repair and the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control officially recognized the shop after its continued effort to prevent chemical waste and pollution.

Designed by the Bureau, the Green Station Recognition Program recognizes businesses that uphold the highest environmental standards. The program advocates for the reduction of our carbon footprint on the world and believes businesses like Furgerson’s Garage should be praised for their environmentally friendly practices.

Furgerson’s Garage owner, Brad Dow, agrees with this advocacy. “As an automotive repair professional in California, I feel it’s my responsibility to do all that I can to protect our environment, not only by properly performing Smog Check inspection and repairs that aid in keeping our air clean, but also handling and disposing of the toxic substances we generate in an environmentally friendly way.”

Furgerson’s Garage is one of two auto shops in the city that has been certified as a “Green Station.” Only 36 auto shops have received certification in California.

Monday, 25 July 2011 15:17

BMW May Recycle Ontario, CA, Workforce

Senator Barbara Boxer sent a letter to BMW North America CEO Jim O’Donnell on June 24, asking him to reconsider a poorly thought-out plan to fire BMW’s nearly 100 Ontario, CA employees later this summer and immediately re-open the facility the very next day with a cheaper, inexperienced work force. U.S. Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA 43) sent a similar letter to BMW as well.

The German automobile giant, Bavarian Motor Works AG, America’s most popular automaker for luxury-class autos, booked its richest earnings in its 95-year history this quarter.

BMW had global sales of almost $81 billion in 2010, or about $848,000 per employee, ranking it number 82 on Fortune’s Global 500 Companies. BMW also received over $3.6 billion in secret low-interest loans during the 2008-2009 taxpayer bailout.

Boxer wrote, “As the economic recovery continues, it is deeply disappointing that these loyal employees would be penalized at a time when your company recently reported 2011 first quarter earnings of $1.78 billion —triple that of first quarter earnings in 2010—and first quarter sales 21 percent greater than last year.”

Nevada has become the latest state to adopt a ban on texting behind the wheel as well as outlawing motorists from being able to use their cell phones while driving.

Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, praised Nevada’s governor for supporting driver safety.

“I commend Governor Brian Sandoval for signing legislation that will help save lives and put a stop to dangerous distracted driving behavior on Nevada roads,” said LaHood. “In a split second, the consequences of texting behind the wheel can be devastating. There’s no call or text so important that it can’t wait.”

This move makes Nevada the 34th state to ban texting while driving and the ninth to forbid drivers from using a hand-held cellphone behind the wheel.

Violators will be penalized $100 for the first offense, $200 for the second and $250 if they’re ticketed a third time for cellphone use.

Auto insurance premiums may also increase as a result of the infractions.