2017 New Laws Take Effect Jan. 1. 2017


Sacramento – With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect.

Use of Electronic Wireless Devices (AB 1785, Quirk):  Driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communications device will be prohibited, unless the device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield or is mounted/affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road. The driver’s hand may only be used to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it. The law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in a vehicle.

Child Safety Seats (AB 53, Garcia):  This law requires a parent, legal guardian, or the driver of a motor vehicle to properly secure a child who is younger than 2 years of age in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches in height (3 feet, 3 inches).

Motorcycle Lane Splitting (AB 51, Quirk):  This law defines “lane splitting” as driving a two-wheeled motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The law authorizes the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of motorcyclists, drivers, and passengers. In developing these guidelines, the law requires the CHP to consult with specified agencies and organizations that have an interest in road safety and motorcyclist behavior.

Vehicle Registration Fee (SB 838, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.

Environmental License Plate (SB 839, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review):  This law increases the fee for the issuance of Environmental License Plates from $43 to $53, starting July 1, 2017. This law also increases the fee for the renewal, retention, transfer, or duplication of Environmental License Plates (personalized) from $38 to $43, starting January 1, 2017.

Accident Reporting (SB 491, Committee on Transportation and Housing):  This law increases the minimum financial threshold for property damage that is required to be reported to the DMV from $750 to $1,000 when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Vehicle Safety Recalls (AB 287, Gordon):  This law enacts the Consumer Automotive Recall Safety (CARS) Act, and requires the DMV to include a general advisory regarding vehicle recalls and needed repairs on each vehicle registration renewal notice. This law prohibits a dealer or a rental car company from renting or loaning a vehicle with a manufacturer’s recall no later than 48 hours after receiving the notice—until the vehicle has been repaired. This law gives a limited exception for a licensed dealer or a rental car company with a fleet of 34 or fewer loaner or rental vehicles. The law authorizes the DMV to suspend or revoke a vehicle dealer’s license if they violate the CARS Act.

Year of Manufacture License Plates (SB 1429, Nielsen):  This law expands the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include vehicles and license plates manufactured through 1980. This law benefits owners of vintage motor vehicles who obtain license plates from the year corresponding to the vehicle’s model-year, and wish to use those vintage plates in lieu of regular license plates. Such plates are commonly found from different sources, including relatives, garage sales, estate sales, etc. The program will include the blue and yellow license plates issued for use on California motor vehicles from 1970 until 1980.

Background Checks of Drivers of Transportation Network Companies (AB 1289, Cooper): A transportation network company (TNC) will be required to perform a comprehensive background check of all their drivers. This law also specifies penalties for a TNC that violates or fails to comply with this requirement. A TNC will be prohibited from contracting with, employing, or retaining a driver if they are registered on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender public website, has been convicted of specified felonies, or within the previous seven years, has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault or battery, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any TNC in violation of the specified requirements is subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each offense.

Installing Counterfeit or Nonfunctional Air Bags (AB 2387, Mullin):  This law prohibits knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, importing, installing, reinstalling, distributing, or selling any device intended to replace an air bag system in any motor vehicle if the device is a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag system, or does not meet federal safety requirements. The law also prohibits selling, installing, or reinstalling any device that would cause a vehicle’s diagnostic system to fail to warn when the vehicle is equipped with a counterfeit, nonfunctional, or a case in which no air bag was installed. This violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or up to a one year in county jail.




Christmas Breakfast & Brunch Ideas That Won’t Totally Spoil Dinner

Christmas breakfast is a dangerous game. You don’t want to fill up before the enormous dinner coming ahead, but you get hungry while slaving over the stove (and oven) all day. Let us solve the problem: Pick easy, satisfying recipes—and hold yourself back from downing four sticky buns.

Mushroom, Leek, and Fontina Frittata


Frittatas are excellent served warm or at room temperature, which means that this meatless main is a perfect do-ahead dish.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium leeks, whites and pale green parts only, chopped
  • 8 ounces crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper


Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 350°. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until softened and all liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, crème fraîche, and parsley in a large bowl; mix in 1/2 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms, shaking the pan to evenly distribute mixture. Cook the frittata, without stirring, until its edges begin to set, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over eggs and transfer skillet to oven. Bake frittata until golden brown and center is set, 25-30 minutes.

Citrus Salad with Tarragon


Citrus Salad With Tarragon

This no-heat method for making simple syrup also works in larger quantities. Try it using mint or lavender, too.



  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup (packed) fresh tarragon leaves, plus more for serving
  • 4 blood oranges
  • 4 clementines
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 2 tangerines


Combine sugar, ¼ cup tarragon, and ¼ cup water in a jar, cover, and shake until sugar is dissolved. Strain tarragon syrup through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean jar or small bowl; discard tarragon.

Using a sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from blood oranges, clementines, navel oranges, and tangerines; discard. Slice citrus crosswise into ¼”-thick rounds. Arrange citrus on a platter, drizzle with tarragon syrup (if your citrus is sweet, you may not want to use all of the syrup), and top with more tarragon leaves.

DO AHEAD: Syrup can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Recipe by Paula Disbrowe
Photograph by Jeremy Liebman

Spanish Breakfast Casserole with Eggs and Bacon




  • 1 pound country-style white bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 2-ounce jars roasted red peppers, drained (about 12 peppers)
  • 2 red chiles (such as Fresno)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 6 ounces bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley


Preheat oven to 425°. Toss bread and ¼ cup oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Toast until croutons are deep brown and crisp, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, pulse red peppers, chiles, paprika, and ¼ cup oil in a food processor. Transfer pepper purée to a large bowl; stir in cream and season with salt. Add croutons and toss until evenly coated.

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until brown and crisp, 4–6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to crouton mixture, leaving rendered fat in skillet. Add onion to skillet and cook, stirring, until soft, 7–10 minutes. Add garlic, season with salt, and continue to cook, stirring, until garlic has softened, 1–2 minutes.

Transfer crouton mixture to a 13×9″ baking dish, pressing down on bread to submerge in sauce; scatter onion mixture over. Cover with foil and chill at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°. Bake casserole, uncovered, until top is golden brown, 35–45 minutes. Make 6 wells on surface of casserole with a large spoon and crack eggs into each well; season with salt. Bake again until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 10–12 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, then top with parsley.

Recipe by Andy Baraghani
Photograph by Alex Lau


The King Center ‘Salute to Greatness’ Awards Gala 2017

DSC_0193B_King (2).jpg

Message from the CEO, Dr. Bernice A. King

Every year, The King Center in Atlanta leads the nation-wide observance of the national holiday commemorating the birthday of my father, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of the marquee events of The King Center’s week-long, holiday experience is the annual “Salute to Greatness” Awards Gala. The “Salute to Greatness” Award, given at the gala, recognizes national and/or international individuals and corporations that exemplify excellence in leadership; pursue the universal quest for social justice and worldwide peace in the tradition of Martin Luther King, Jr.; and, have made notable strides toward improving the quality of life for all.

The King Center serves as the official living memorial to the life and legacy of my father. We offer various experiences that highlight Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and methodology and provide education and training on how to utilize them, which The King Center references as Nonviolence365TM (NV365TM). In an effort to meet this challenge, we developed resources and innovative initiatives that equip people from all over the world to address our globe’s most pressing challenges using NV365TM. We hope you will join in the celebration. Your support helps us to continue and expand our Nonviolence365TM initiatives.

Buy your tickets here: https://portal11.bidpal.net/Portal/bpe304200/main/home.html


5 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder In Your Office


If you live in the north, you may find your productivity during the winter months hindered by feeling sluggish, difficulty concentrating and irritability. Approximately six percent of Americans suffer from a health condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), with another 14 percent suffering from a milder form of seasonal disorder called “the winter blues.”

Dr. Norman Rosenthal, a leading expert in SAD research and author of “Winter Blues” (2012: The Guilford Press) says SAD is the strongest in January and February, when daylight hours are shortest. SAD can be a nemesis for entrepreneurs, but Rosenthal says there are easy remedies to prevent your business from getting the blues.

Follow these five tips to battle SAD in your office:

Reposition furniture to optimize natural light. SAD is triggered by a lack of sunlight. When sunlight enters the eyes it affects neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, also known as our “feel-good hormones.” “If you don’t get enough light, these neurotransmitters can be in short supply,” says Rosenthal. The problem is most office buildings aren’t designed with maximum illumination in mind. “Many have weather stripping on the windows to make them more thermally efficient, but they transmit less light,” says Rosenthal. If possible, position your desk near a window to take advantage of as much natural light as possible.

Install a light box. While windows can be of help, Rosenthal says natural light alone may not be enough to combat SAD. “The trouble with natural light is its unpredictable. One day can be very dark, another day can be very bright,” says Rosenthal. SAD sufferers can benefit from light therapy. A light box with a surface area of about one foot square emits high-intensity light (2,500 to 10,000 lux, compared with 250 to 50 lux from normal light fixtures) and is positioned one to two feet away from the eyes. The light boxes are typically used in the early morning for about 30 minutes. Simply turning on overhead lights or task lighting won’t be enough to counter the effects of SAD because the lights are too far away to have any effect. By contrast, a light box “floods the face and the eyes with light to stimulate the retinas, which in turn stimulates parts of the brain responsible for energy, appetite and mood,” says Rosenthal.

Take light breaks. Forget sipping coffee at your desk. SAD sufferers need to take advantage of as much natural light as possible. Even a 10 minute walk outdoors can have a positive effect on countering SAD.

Eat a “happy” diet. “There’s a tendency to want to graze on carbohydrate-rich foods in the winter,” says Rosenthal. Part of the reason people with SAD crave carbs may be due to decreased serotonin – the brain’s feel-good chemical. Carbohydrates promote the production of serotonin, but be warned, not all carbs are created equal. Sweets and simple carbohydrates, such as donuts, muffins and white bread cause blood sugar to rise quickly and later a sudden drop in blood sugar — aka the “sugar crash,” which can cause fatigue and irritability — not a great combination when you’re already fighting SAD. Rosenthal recommends starting the day with complex carbohydrates, such as slow-cooked Irish steel-cut oatmeal. He has a recipe on his website which can be made into a batch to provide breakfast for the entire week. Since one of the effects of SAD is difficulty waking up in the morning, having breakfast at the ready is crucial for SAD sufferers to ensure they get a healthy start to their day.

Get moving. Exercise stimulates neurotransmitters to fire in the brain and can help counter the effects of SAD. Exercise not only improves mood, but also helps reduce stress, which often exacerbates feelings of depression brought on by the winter blues. Aerobic exercise such as brisk walking outdoors, running, skiing or even taking up salsa dancing can have a positive effect.



SPMG Media Wishes You & Yours a Merry Christmas

As we race towards the end of the year, the Team of SPMG Media want to thank you for your love and support throughout 2016. We Wish You & Yours a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


From Gina and the team at SPMG Media, SPMG Media Presents, Hot Topics Talk Radio, Toni Breedlove, Richard Hall Jr., Chris Smith, Etienne A. Gibbs,Enjoli Hall, Amber Smith, Rollin Dee, Chara Ann Tappin, Reggie KearneyJanelle Washington, Aja Clayton and all the virtual team members around the country.



Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: