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What you need to know about drones and drone safety

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Perhaps it is the remote control or it might be the fact that they are sold alongside other products that are considered toys, but drones certainly have the feel of a toy. These amazing flying contraptions have been spotted in all kinds of places, some for fun, and others for business purposes.

As they have increased in popularity, the prices have allowed more people to buy drones of their own. But with the higher number of drones occupying the skies comes an increase in injuries from inexperienced drone operators.

Is your child's Halloween costume safe?

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Halloween has become a time-honored tradition for kids to stay out late, dress in amazing costumes and get candy from the neighbors. Children talk for weeks about who or what they want to be for Halloween and what their costume will look like. As a parent, you may spend the days before looking for the last piece that will make your child's costume perfect.

Halloween can also be a dangerous time. Most trick-or-treaters do not start walking the neighborhood until after dark and many costumes can be difficult to walk in and hard for drivers to see.

Did an arbitration clause block your workplace harassment claim?

After the #MeToo campaign gained national attention, California legislators began taking stronger measures to protect people from harassment and make reporting less intimidating. Still, harassment continues to take place in the workplace.

Until recently, some workers who had summoned the courage to come forward were met with another roadblock: an arbitration clause in their employment agreement. With AB 3080 in the works, legislators are working to make this barrier a thing of the past.

Were you forced to pay an illegal tax in Palo Alto?

If you are a resident of Palo Alto who uses a cell phone and has a landline, you could be eligible to recoup unlawfully collected utility taxes. In 2006, it was determined that taxes not billed by both time and distance are not collectable.

According to legal claims against the City of Palo Alto, the city continued to collect taxes on Palo Alto residents' phone bills in violation of current laws. A class action lawsuit has been ongoing for several years. Additional people who are — or were affected — may join in on the lawsuit. Those who join may be entitled to a return of the taxes paid.

Electric scooters: Tips for a safe ride

In the wake of ride sharing and bike sharing, scooter sharing is the next big thing. Electric scooters are quirky and convenient. They're easy to operate and can zoom along at swift speeds. And with their thin, light profiles, they're not as clunky to navigate as mopeds or Segways.

Given all these features, it's no surprise they've become the latest craze in many areas, including California. You may have seen them lined up on sidewalks in Santa Monica or Long Beach. You may have even been tempted to give one a spin.

How reliable is the backup camera in your new vehicle?

It seems that with backup cameras in a lot of the new vehicles, having eyes in the back of your head can be for more than just moms and teachers. These new cameras can give drivers a view of those hard-to-see areas behind a car or truck. This is something that can be particularly helpful for people who drive larger vehicles.

The increase in visibility, however, is not stopping people from running over obstacles with their cars. While the frequency is down, one would expect it to be virtually zero with the help of technology.

Have you developed cancer after using Roundup?

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For many years, a dispute has been going on regarding the dangers of Roundup, a popular lawn and garden weed killer. In a recent verdict, San Francisco jurors decided that there was enough evidence behind one man's claim that the herbicide gave him cancer. In a move to punish the agricultural company that makes Roundup, the jury awarded Californian Dewayne Johnson $289 million in damages. The verdict has paved the way for thousands of other cancer victims to bring claims against Monsanto. 

If you were punished for getting pregnant, you are not alone

Policies and industries aside, many women feel they have to choose to have children or have a career. Between the time off for pregnancy and the struggle to find affordable childcare, it can be a difficult choice to make.

Unlike some other industries, dock work has been a male-dominated career for a long time. Many of the policies in place, including those regarding pregnancy, make it difficult for women to have both a career and a child.

Do you know what to expect after getting anesthesia?

anesthesia.jpegAlthough it is necessary during surgical procedures, there are a lot of risks with using anesthesia. Even when the surgery goes as planned, there can be problems that don't show up until after you are already at home and recovering.

As a patient, you're already in a vulnerable position. Undergoing surgery can be scary and risky even before you consider the potential complications of using anesthesia. It has sometimes caused long-term damage or debilitating side effects. Part of the problem can because you are not sure what is normal and what is not during your recovery. Here are some common symptoms of anesthesia complications to watch for after surgery.

Were you affected by the Porter Ranch gas leak?

If you were in or near Porter Ranch in October of 2015, you knew about the horrific methane leak. The gas leak, which took months to resolve, affected thousands of Los Angeles residents, especially those in the Porter Ranch area who were forced to be evacuated from their homes.

More than two years later, a $119.5 million settlement has been reached between Southern California Gas Co. and several government entities. The court must approve the settlement before any money exchanges hands.

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