(Mike Matney Photography)

California Grass Painters Dyeing More Lawns Green Than Ever Before Amidst Drought

We first heard of homeowners spray-painting their lawns green last summer to avoid local “brown lawn” fees on the West Coast, a trend that has only grown now that grass isn’t growing amidst California’s current drought. The owner of one such service that provides landscape painting says he’s taking more orders than ever before, as lack of rain keeps lawns thirsty and dry. [More]

Lawsuit Over JCPenney’s Alleged Imaginary Discounts Receives Class Action Status

Lawsuit Over JCPenney’s Alleged Imaginary Discounts Receives Class Action Status

A class-action lawsuit that accuses JCPenney’s of violating consumer protection laws by using deceptive discount practices received the go-ahead from a federal judge on Tuesday. [More]

Legislator Demands Department Of Education Investigate For-Profit Chain ITT Technical Institute

Legislator Demands Department Of Education Investigate For-Profit Chain ITT Technical Institute

Following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision earlier this week to file fraud charges against current and former executives with ITT Education Services – the operator of for-profit college chain ITT Technical Institute – for their part in concealing problems with company-run student loan programs, one legislator is calling on the Department of Education to further investigate the company. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Class Action Suit Filed In California Over Wells Fargo’s Alleged Customer Account Abuses

A lawsuit filed earlier this month by the city of Los Angeles accuses Wells Fargo of pushing employees to engage in fraudulent conduct with regard to consumer accounts in order to meet the bank’s sales quotas. Now, one of those customers has filed his own lawsuit against the San Francisco-based bank alleging the same misconduct deceived and defrauded consumers across the country. [More]

(Brad Clinesmith)

No Tax On Sugary Drinks In California After State Assembly Committee Vote

California lawmakers trying to get a $0.02 tax imposed on sodas and other sugary drinks in the state have come up empty, after the proposed measure failed to pass an Assembly committee. Supporters said the law would help curb high rates of obesity and diabetes, while some critics said it wouldn’t properly address health issues and would hit low-income residents the hardest. [More]

(DEARTH !)

SideCar Launching Medical Marijuana Delivery Service In San Francisco

Call it whatever you want, but SideCar probably won’t be calling its new medical marijuana delivery service in California the “Uber” of pot delivery. In a bid to compete against its rivals in the ride-sharing business as well as take advantage of state marijuana laws, SideCar is launching its service in San Francisco to bring medicinal weed from dispensaries to patients. [More]

(Mariordo/Wikipedia)

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Involved In Minor Accidents

Google, one of a handful of companies with permits to test self-driving vehicles in California, has 23 such cars roaming the streets there. But in just the few months since obtaining those permits, three of those Google vehicles have been involved in traffic accidents. [More]

(m01229)

ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 Must Pay $11.5M To Settle Hazardous Waste Violations

Two Texas-based companies have been ordered to pay a total of $11.5 million to close the book on allegations that hundreds of their gas stations may have put local water supplies in California at risk.
[More]

(Scoboco)

California Says Alleged Recycling Scam Trucked In Bottles & Cans From Arizona For $14M In Illegal Refunds

It might just be a bunch of bottles and cans, but when you get enough recyclables together it can mean a hefty wad of cash. California authorities say a group involved in an alleged illegal recycling scheme was flush with $14 million in refunds after trucking roughly 250 million cans and bottles from out of state and redeeming them. [More]

(Taber Andrew Bain)

Los Angeles Sues Wells Fargo Over Unfair Customer Account Conduct

The City of Los Angeles has filed a lawsuit against the largest bank based in the state, accusing Wells Fargo of a plethora of unfair practices including encouraging employees to open unauthorized consumer accounts and then charging those accounts phony fees. [More]

California Still Deciding Whether To Block Comcast Merger That Is No Longer Happening

California Still Deciding Whether To Block Comcast Merger That Is No Longer Happening

Even though the $45 billion merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable officially failed more than a week ago. One might assume that this collapse would have sufficed for the California state regulator who proposed blocking the deal in that state, but yet the merger approval process in California moves forward — even without a merger to approve. [More]

New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews

New Law Would Ban Companies From Penalizing Customers Who Write Negative Reviews

For the last couple of years, we’ve been telling you about ridiculous, so-called “non-disparagement” clauses that threaten customers with financial penalties for writing (or threatening to write, or even encouraging someone else to write) something negative online about a company. California has already outlawed these clauses, which tend to fail when challenged in court, but an attempt to enact legislation at the federal level has so far fallen short. But that’s not stopping some members of Congress from trying to ban this form of consumer bullying. [More]

Corinthian Colleges Completes Collapse, Closes Remaining Campuses Effective Immediately

Corinthian Colleges Completes Collapse, Closes Remaining Campuses Effective Immediately

Although it was nearly a year in the making, the largest collapse in U.S. higher education finally occurred Sunday, as embattled for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges Inc. – the operator of Everest University, Heald College and WyoTech – announced it would close the remainder of its campuses effective Monday. [More]

(DCvision2006)

Gift Card That Isn’t A Gift Card Can Ignore Consumer Laws

There are some disadvantages to using gift cards, but there are some laws that protect consumers who buy and use them. California has the strongest laws of this type: gift card holders can ask a retailer to cash in a gift card at any time, for example. Yet what happens when something that seems like a gift card isn’t, and it isn’t regulated the way that you expect–even in California? [More]

California Orders Corinthian Colleges To Stop Enrollment At WyoTech, Everest Campuses

California Orders Corinthian Colleges To Stop Enrollment At WyoTech, Everest Campuses

The collapse of for-profit education chain Corinthian Colleges – operator of Everest University, Heald College and WyoTech – continued today after a California regulator issued an order requiring the company to cease enrolling new students at its Everest and WyoTech campuses in the state. [More]

Taco Bell’s Founder Originally Intended To Start A Burger Empire

Taco Bell’s Founder Originally Intended To Start A Burger Empire

If you drive to Downey, CA, you can find the oldest existing McDonald’s eatery and the currently vacant building that housed the first Taco Bell. And the tie between the two famous fast food names goes deeper than that. It was in the parking lot of the very first McDonald’s that the man who would eventually create the Taco Bell empire dreamt of a fast food empire stretching from coast to coast. [More]

Comcast Bringing Super-Fast Fiber Network To Silicon Valley & Other California Markets

Comcast Bringing Super-Fast Fiber Network To Silicon Valley & Other California Markets

Two weeks after Comcast announced that Atlanta would be the first market to get its new Gigabit Pro fiber service — which promises speeds of up to twice that of Google Fiber — the company is now saying it will bring the high-speed broadband to several markets in California where it already offers service. [More]

Walmart Raises Suspicions After Closing 5 Stores In Same Day For “Plumbing” Problems

Walmart Raises Suspicions After Closing 5 Stores In Same Day For “Plumbing” Problems

There are thousands of Walmarts in the U.S., so the fact that five of them were temporarily shut down all on the same day, all for the same reason, and all for the same estimated amount of time, may be statistically insignificant. But some workers and city officials are raising questions about what’s actually behind these six-month shutterings. [More]