Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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  • BREAKING NEWS: Amazon Rigged Its Website, Forcing Consumers To Pay More

    The Counterfeit Report|Feb 23, 2024

    February 15, 2024, Los Angeles, CA – Amazon rigged its website "Buy Box" to "routinely" push the overwhelming majority of consumers to pay more for items that could've been purchased at lower costs with equal or faster delivery time, says a class action lawsuit. The plaintiffs allege that the biased Buy Box algorithm drives customers to "reasonably" believe that featured items offer the best deal on the platform and that nearly 98 percent of Amazon sales are Buy Box featured items. "But they...

  • The Grave Dangers of Counterfeit Christmas Gifts

    The Counterfeit Report|Dec 28, 2023

    December 21, 2023, Los Angeles, CA – 'Tis the season of giving, a time when the warmth of joy and generosity fills the air. However, lurking beneath the glittering paper and festive ribbons lies a menace that threatens to cast a shadow over the holiday spirit – counterfeit Christmas gifts. While the allure of a bargain from online giants, including Amazon, Walmart, and eBay may be irresistible, the dangers associated with fake presents are far-reaching and can wreak havoc on both your loved...

  • REI's Departure from Santa Monica Due to Crime According to Local Business Group

    Alyssa Erdley, Observer Staff|Dec 18, 2023
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    December 5, 2023 - REI announced last week that it is closing its location in downtown Santa Monica. The store replaced the previous tenant, Toys 'R Us, in 2006 at the two-story location at Santa Monica Boulevard and 4th Street. The Santa Monica REI location will close on February 29 of next year. Statements from the company about the reason for the store closure vaguely refer to "the positive impact of the store, our market presence, and external factors" as reasons for the departure. "The over...

  • Don't Imagine Amazon Prime Membership Protects You From the Many Frauds and Counterfeits They Allow On Their Site

    The Counterfeit Report|Jul 19, 2023

    July 6, 2023 - Los Angeles, CA – Amazon's highly anticipated Prime Days event on July 11th and 12th comes with a warning: "Buyer beware." Despite Amazon's hefty $139 Prime membership, consumers should be alarmed that it offers no protection against counterfeit, fraudulent, and dangerous product listings, fake reviews, and deceptive endorsements. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has critically examined Amazon's practices and filed a lawsuit against the company for deceiving millions of...

  • Paid and Fake Product Reviews on Amazon Create an Unreliable and Perilous Online Environment

    The Counterfeit Report|Jun 28, 2023

    June 22, 2023, - Los Angeles, CA – Product reviews are critical to a product's success on Amazon. Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers have resorted to deceptive tactics, such as paying for positive reviews to manipulate the system and mislead consumers. Consequently, many consumers fall victim to deceptive and fake product reviews on Amazon. Despite Amazon's claims and promises to combat the notorious corruption in their product review systems, Amazon now endorses third-party paid reviews....

  • SoCal Gas Company Announces 68% Drop in Prices in February From January

    Feb 6, 2023

    Southern California Gas Company has announced that prices in February dropped by 68%, in comparison to January. Prices were up 288% in January from last year at this time. The increase was said to be mostly due to severe cold in the Central US, including such ordinarily temperate States as Texas. The press release from SoCal Gas reads as follows: After unprecedented highs due to West Coast market conditions, Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today is announcing that the natural gas...

  • Signature Filing Offers Online Filing Service to Customers in California and Throughout the U.S.

    Sarah Storkin, Observer Staff Writer|Jan 18, 2023

    Do you want to start a business? File to become a corporation? Or legally change your name? Then you could use a service like Signature Filing to file the proper documents with the correct authorities. While it is possible to deal directly with the County Clerk or the California Secretary of State, it can require some know-how that most newbies lack. Fictitious or Assumed Business Name statements (DBAs) are required for businesses operating in California, New York, and some other states. Bank...

  • Southern California Gas Company Admits Natural Gas Prices Are High, Blames Freeze in the Eastern United States

    David Ganezer, Observer Staff Writer|Jan 13, 2023

    Southern California Gas Company has put out an explanation for why Gas is so damned expensive: It's mostly the one month freeze in the Eastern part of the United States. Gas prices to consumers are believed to have doubled in the last sixty days. "There's no easy way to put this: January bills are likely to be shockingly high. An unprecedented cold snap across the nation in part has caused natural gas market prices in the West to more than double between December and January – to the tune of...

  • PETALS by the CaliGreenGold (CGG) luxury brand, expands its exciting ZIG-ZAG Partnership via introduction of new "Original Organic" Products: Rose Petal King Cones & Rose Wraps.

    Christine Peake, Peake PR Group|Jan 6, 2023

    David JP Danon, CEO and Founder of luxury brand PETALS by CaliGreenGold, (CGG) announces expansion of ZIG-ZAG partnership and the release of new, hand-made, "Original Organic" Products: Rose Petal King Cones & Rose Petal Wraps. PETALS, a luxury brand of unique, organic, exotic cones, rolls and wraps is expanding its partnership with rolling paper industry giant, ZIG-ZAG. CGG currently produces a variety of rose petal products for ZIG-ZAG made entirely by hand from Organic Rose Petals. Now,...

  • Neighborhood Convenience Store Appears to be Reopening On 4th Street in Santa Monica

    David Ganezer, Observer Staff Writer|Aug 1, 2022

    It's a small victory for the neighborhood. But the 100 year old mini-market on the corner of 4th Street and Hollister Avenue appears to be preparing for a new tenant. And that tenant might even be... wait for it... a mini market. Workmen were seen re-paving the parking lot on July 28th. They knew nothing about the new tenant, and said several people had walked by and asked them the same question. We assumed the market would be torn down to make way for expensive "affordable" housing, that would...

  • Foreclosure Sale Features Medical Waste-Disposal Equipment from California Plant

    Observer Staff|Aug 1, 2022

    If you've ever dreamed of owning your own medical waste disposal equipment, now is your chance. A medical waste treatment facility in Hesperia that opened just 5 years ago, has closed. The owners who foreclosed on the real estate, are selling the waste disposal equipment at a fraction of the oroginal cost. Equipment to be sold includes a thermal oxidizer and (wait for it) even a patented Carbonizer. The press release follows.­ HESPERIA, CA – July 28, 2022 - Recycling and waste-disposal...

  • Medly Pharmacy Replaces Pharmaca On Montana, As the Duck Blind Liquor Store Becomes Bottled Poetry in Santa Monica's 90402

    David Ganezer, Observer Staff Writer|Jul 27, 2022

    7.19.22: Walking down Montana Avenue reveals post covid retail moving in. Actually, Montana Avenue has notoriously high retail rents, and stores move out and move in as time passes. But the changes this summer have been unusually dramatic. Pharmaca's location at Lincoln and Montana Avenue is now Medly Pharmacy. "Medly is a Brooklyn-based chain that over the last several years, has opened many locations on the East Coast," explained Manager Jay Wadsworth. "They opened our place last month, one...

  • Job Fair at Santa Monica Place Will Be Heavy On Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants and Rentals. After All, This is a Tourist Town

    Observer Staff|Jul 13, 2022

    Santa Monica Travel and Tourism and Santa Monica Place will host a job fair on Tuesday, July 12 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The fair will be held on the third floor Dining Deck. Businesses in attendance include a sample of local businesses. The list includes hotels, resorts, stores and restaurants. Names of participating businesses: 1212 Santa Monica, All Saints Banter by Piercing Pagoda, Bristol Farms, CycleBar Santa Monica, ETC Hotels (Shutters on the Beach and Hotel Casa Del Mar and Bayside...

  • US Consumers Misled into Switching from Paper to Digital: Companies Save Costs, the Environment Loses Out

    Two Sides North America|May 22, 2022

    CHICAGO – May 18, 2022 – Anti-paper greenwashing works, unfairly costing the U.S. paper, printing and mailing sector huge sums in lost revenue each year. But Two Sides North America's (TSNA) Anti-greenwashing Campaign is succeeding in eliminating many of these misleading claims, clawing back hundreds of millions for these businesses, according to the results of the latest TSNA study. In their efforts to cut costs, many leading U.S. financial institutions, utilities, telecom companies and...

  • Watch Out for Frauds and Counterfeits at These E-Commerce Sites

    The Counterfeit Report|May 4, 2022

    April 28, 2022, Los Angeles, CA – Most shoppers don't know or understand that e-commerce websites enjoy a unique and profitable exemption from liability for selling counterfeit and other infringing products. Brick and mortar stores don't have the same protection as online retailers and skirt product liability suits by consumers who purchase online from third-party vendors. Shoppers already face the daunting challenge of identifying counterfeit, fraudulent, and replica products and should be...

  • What Changes Does Elon Musk Plan to Make to Twitter? More free speech, he says

    David Ganezer, Observer Staff Writer|May 2, 2022

    Those on the left view Tesla billionaire Elon Musk's acquisition of Twitter with foreboding. The set that wants people like Tim Cook and Jack Dorsey to regulate the rest of us, don't want to give the world's richest man the keys to the castle. "He sells cars in China," tweeted Nancy Cosgrove. "What if they ask him to ban Uyghur activists?" "It's important to emphasize that beyond Musk's statement that he will improve Twitter by "authenticating all humans," it's not clear what he means. At least...

  • Campaign to Prevent Greenwashing - Using Unsubstantiated Claims of Environmental Sustainability

    Two Sides North America|Apr 22, 2022

    The World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has published a series of recommendations for brands, marketers and advertisers to ensure their environmental claims are credible among consumers and can be backed up if challenged by regulators. The global organization, which represents marketers responsible for 90% of global marketing communications spend around the world, aims to provide marketers with a clear set of principles and best practices to follow when they communicate the actions their...

  • Backdoor in Google Chrome Browser, Forces Alphabet to Issue Unprecedented Emergency Security Update

    Stan Greene, Observer Staff Writer|Apr 1, 2022

    In a Chrome stable channel update announcement, published March 25, Google confirms it "is aware that an exploit for CVE-2022-1096 exists in the wild." In an unprecedented response, Google Inc aka Alphabet, issued an emergency security update on its Chrome browser. It confirmed that attackers are exploiting "a high severity zero-day vulnerability," meaning your data could be mined by guys in a cafe in Lagos, Nigeria. The emergency update to version 99.0.4844.84 of Chrome is highly unusual in tha...

  • 7th Annual Flair Cares Food Drive, March 1 - 31, Benefits Food Pantries throughout Los Angeles County

    Phyllis Grabot, Corridor Communications|Feb 26, 2022

    STUDIO CITY, CALIF., February 23, 2022 – Flair Cleaners, Southern California's leading eco-friendly dry cleaner, will host its 7th Annual Flair Cares Food Drive, Hang Up Hunger, March 1 - 31. The drive benefits the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry, Food Pantry, LAX, the Salvation Army Santa Monica food pantry, and the nonprofit Santa Clarita Grocery. Flair will match donations of up to 250 pounds of food donated by customers at each location. "Our challenging social and economic times...

  • In a Show of Support For Doge Coin and Elon Musk, Santa Monica Pier Displays Doge Coin Meme

    Stan Greene, Observer Staff Writer|Feb 5, 2022

    Elon Musk would be proud. In a show of support to send the crypto currency "to the Moon," the Santa Monica Pier will display the Shiba Inu dog that represents Dogecoin in lights on the Ferris Wheel. The Ferris wheel is part of Pacific Park, the amusement park on the Santa Monica pier. The Pier is 111 years old, and is a symbol of Los Angeles and of Santa Monica. Doge is an Internet meme that became popular in 2013. The meme typically consists of a picture of a Shiba Inu dog accompanied by...

  • Sustainability for Small Businesses: Why It Matters and How to Get Started

    Amy Collett, Bizwell.org|Jan 4, 2022

    Collectively, humanity is using 70 percent more resources than the Earth can naturally renew each year. Living beyond our means, which is what we are doing, is inherently unsustainable: Pollution, natural disasters, and generally reduced quality of life for everyone, now and increasingly in the future, are some examples of the fallout. Small businesses are in the driver’s seat SMEs have a disproportionate impact on the ecosystem, thanks to their sheer numbers, size, and scope of operations....

  • Auto Dealers Adding "Market Adjustments"of Up to $50,000 to Price of 2022 Vehicles. Hence, the $150,000 Dodge Ram Truck

    Stan Greene, Observer Staff Writer|Dec 29, 2021

    In yet another sign of inflation, U.S. automobile dealers are adding premiums of up to $50,000 on new cars. This is on top of the Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price. A photo posted on Facebook shows a 2022 Dodge Ram 1500 TRX for sale for an MSRP of $94,370. An anti theft option and other options, add $4,480. A "Market Adjustment" adds another $50,000, so you're out the door for $148,000. Plus tax and license, which would take you to about $165,000 out the door. Or about the average price of a...

  • About Half Products Sold on Walmart.com are Counterfeits according to US Government Accountability Office

    The Counterfeit Report|Oct 31, 2021

    October 28, 2021, Los Angeles, CA – Walmart shoppers face the daunting challenge of identifying and dodging a vast assortment of counterfeit, fraudulent, and replica products offered on Walmart.com. Walmart is both a direct retailer of fake and fraudulent items and has opened its website to global third-party sellers who can list just about anything they want, including counterfeit, replica, and fraudulent products. The counterfeit items appear right alongside authentic products, creating the...

  • "We refuse to become the vaccination police for any government," Says the In N Out Burger in San Francisco

    Samuel Alioto, Observer Staff Writer|Oct 23, 2021

    San Francisco's only In N Out Burger issued a statement decrying the City's vaccination mandate policy. The policy would require the luxury burger chain to check Covid-19 vaccination cards before allowing customers to enter. The In N Out at Fisherman's Wharf has reopened, but it is now take out only. That way the restaurant does not have to check for proof of vaccination. Conservatives and libertarians immediately lauded the burger chain for its stand against government over reach. Arnie...

  • Amazon Manipulates Search Results to Boost its Own Products and Copies Popular Products for its Own Brand

    The Counterfeit Report|Oct 18, 2021

    October 14, 2021, Los Angeles, CA – Amazon is running a systematic campaign of copying products and manipulating search results to boost its own product lines, according to a Reuters Special Report. Rigged search results and creating knockoff products under its own brand are highlighted from a trove of internal Amazon documents that provide a rare unvarnished look, in the company's own words, into business practices that Amazon has denied for years. Internal documents seen by Reuters show for...

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