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Increased Santa Monica Motorcycle Enforcement on April 15

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Santa Monica Police Department is increasing motorcycle enforcement efforts to prepare for the upcoming peak motorcycling season. The Department will conduct an extra enforcement campaign on April 15, with more numbers of patrol officers assigned to areas in the city that see heavy motorcycle traffic.

Motorcycle accident lawyers point out that the enforcement campaign is part of a wider operation aimed at warning motorcyclists and motorists about the risks of motorcycle accidents in summer. Officers of the Santa Monica Police Department are especially focusing on traffic violations by motorcyclists.

They will also crack down on motorists found engaging in behaviors that increase the risks of motorcycle accidents. These behaviors include speeding, driving under the influence and distracted driving. Drunk and distracted drivers may be much less likely to spot a motorcyclist, increasing the risks of an accident. The campaign called Motorcycle Safety Enforcement Operation is aimed at preventing fatalities and injuries in motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle accident fatalities have been on the decline recently. For 10 years, there was a steady increase in motorcycle accident fatalities, with 550 fatalities recorded in 2008. However in 2009, these numbers dropped to 394 fatalities, a decline of 37%. The following year, the number dropped further to 352 fatalities.

Much of the decline in motorcycle accident fatalities over the past 2 years can be attributed to the lower number of improperly licensed motorcyclists on our roads. In 2008, approximately 62.7% of motorcyclists below the age of 25 did not have proper licenses. In 2009, only 45.5% of motorcyclists did not have proper licenses.

Motorcyclists, who are properly licensed, are much more likely to undergo a safety and training program before they begin motorcycling. This reduces their risks of being involved in an accident.

First Lady Announces Launch of New Program to Increase PTSD Training

Friday, April 13, 2012

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden have announced the launch of a new program that will dramatically increase training facilities for nurses to help them recognize and treat symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

The announcement was made on the first anniversary of the First Lady’s veterans’ program, Joining Forces, which has a special focus on helping veterans who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. The announcement of the new program was made at the University Pennsylvania Nursing School. The program is specifically focused on increasing training programs for nurses to recognize and deal with symptoms of PTSD.

The program will involve the participation of 150 nursing organizations as well as 450 nursing schools across the country. These organizations will participate in training nurses to recognize and treat PTSD. The initiative is aimed at helping expand and increase the number of professionals who are trained to treat symptoms of PTSD.

California veterans’ benefits lawyers find this initiative to be extremely encouraging because it focuses on nurses, who are often the primary providers of healthcare, and are often the first ones to notice when a patient is showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. These are not symptoms that a doctor may look for. As Dr. Biden mentioned during the launch, nurses are the frontline of America's health care.

It is estimated that one of every 6 veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. However, California veterans’ benefits attorneys believe that the numbers are likely underreported. Those numbers are likely to spike, especially as the number of veterans returning home from Iraq increases. Many veterans have been returning home, and families need to look out for symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, nightmares, and flashbacks.

Facebook-Yahoo Patent Infringement Battle Heats up

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Following up on Yahoo's patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook which was filed last month, the social networking site has filed a counter lawsuit against Yahoo making similar allegations.

Facebook's lawsuit alleges that Yahoo infringed on about 10 of Facebook’s patents. The lawsuit alleges that the Yahoo Homepage, Content Optimization and Relevance Engine, Flickr as well as the ad program on Yahoo are based on Facebook patents. In the lawsuit, Facebook asks for damages, and has requested a trial by jury.

The social networking site has also rejected the allegations made by Yahoo in its lawsuit. Facebook is asking that the claims made against it be dismissed outright, and has also asked that Yahoo pay for all the costs of the lawsuit. Facebook also wants Yahoo to be prevented from filing lawsuits based on these patents in the future.

California patent infringement lawyers believe that these lawsuits will likely lead to a stalemate between the 2 companies.

In February, Yahoo filed a lawsuit against Facebook, claiming that the company had violated its patents. Yahoo's allegations have been criticized by some in the tech industry, because Facebook has been responsible for sending a lot of traffic Yahoo's way. Facebook’s viral channels have sent a lot of traffic going to Yahoo's news website. Additionally, many of the patents that Yahoo has cited in its lawsuit are sufficiently vague, and are very similar to the kind of patents that have been used to develop technologies used on several social websites.

Patent infringement lawsuits can be expensive, and time-consuming. They can also be a drain on a company's finances, especially when it’s a company like Yahoo, which already faces severe problems of its own, including layoffs, takeover threats and falling stock prices.

IRS Tips for Taxpayers Who Cannot Pay Taxes on Time

Monday, April 09, 2012

With tax season here, the Internal Revenue Service is targeting those people who want to file their tax returns, but have no funds to pay their taxes in time. The Internal Revenue Service wants people to know that there are options for them too.

If you can't afford to pay your taxes when you file your returns, file your tax return on time, and pay as much money as you can afford to at the time. By paying some amount at the time of filing of tax returns, and paying the balance amount as soon as possible, you can eliminate many of the penalties that will be imposed by the agency.

By making partial payments, you can eliminate the possibility that you will be penalized with a late fee. Further, any late fee penalties that are imposed on you will be minimal. Late tax returns are also subjected to interest charges, and these will be reduced if you file your tax returns on time.

If you're not able to pay your taxes, consider taking a loan, or using your credit card to pay the taxes. The interest charges on your unpaid taxes may be lower than the credit card interest and loan interest.

The Internal Revenue Service also allows taxpayers to pay via installments. Choose the installment option by visiting the Internal Revenue Service website. The agency will charge you a fee to set up the agreement.

Ask for an extension on paying your taxes. Certain individuals may qualify for an extension of their tax payments, and they also qualify for a waiver of their late fee penalties. However, to qualify for an extension on your taxes, you must apply before April 17, 2012.

If the Internal Revenue Service sends you a bill for unpaid taxes, respond immediately through a California tax attorney. Ignoring the bill will only compound the problem.

Movie Chain Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit, Agrees to Get Assistive Technology

Monday, April 09, 2012

Movie theater chain AMC Theaters has settled a disability discrimination lawsuit with the State of Illinois. Under the terms of the lawsuit, the theater chain will provide assistive technology in its theaters to allow disabled consumers to enjoy movies too.

This is not the first time that California disability discrimination lawyers have found AMC Theaters accused of discriminating against the disabled in the construction and design of its movie theaters. In 2007, the chain settled charges filed by the Department Of Justice that its theaters did not comply with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Department of Justice accused the chain of having movie theaters that did not have any provision for the hearing and sight-impaired, and lacked captioning services.

In this latest lawsuit, the Illinois Attorney General decided to file a lawsuit against the movie chain when a disability rights group informed her that the theaters were not compliant with disability requirements. Now, under the terms of the settlement, AMC will begin the process of equipping its theaters with assistive technology to make sure that people with hearing and vision disability are also able to enjoy the movies.

These initiatives will be in place by 2014, and all movie theaters that are part of the chain in Illinois will come with captioning services as well as audio description devices. Almost all AMC facilities will come with the new assistive technology.

This is a major victory for people with disabilities in Illinois. Before this settlement, only 21 out of the 246 movie theaters in the state had assistive technology like closed captioning for people with hearing disabilities, and only 10 facilities offered audio description services.

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