County baby names, dog names, faulty price scanners and vaccinations

Know any Noahs and Liams? You will soon.

(Editor’s Note: San Diego County News Service information officers have been hard at the news game recently providing information in a journalistic format. Here are some highlights…)

Top Baby Names in San Diego County — Jose A. Alvarez

Liam came close, but it did not quite make the top of the list of most popular baby male names in San Diego in 2015.

There were 272 Emmas born in the region in 2015, but another female name reigned supreme.

According to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, which records all births and deaths in the region, more than 45,000 babies were born in San Diego County last year, and the most popular boy and girl names were just a few babies apart.

Here is the list of top 10 baby names parents chose for their children in 2015.



Top Dog Names in San Diego County — Michelle Mowad

What is in a name? Whether you put a lot of thought into selecting a name fit for your dog or you adopted it with an existing name, there are some trends in San Diego County.

The Department of Animal Services released a list of the most popular names among currently licensed dogs in San Diego County.

Just like baby names, dog names rise and fall in popularity. However, the local list of the most popular dog names did not change much from last year. Bella remained at the top of the list. Max moved up from the number four spot into second place. And Lola walked her way into the top 10 replacing Maggie. Just missing the list this year was Rocky, Coco, Maggie, Sadie and Jack.

Looking to adopt a four-legged friend? Animal Services has several dogs with these well-liked names at its shelters; see their bios and photos below. To see all the animals available for adoption, visit the County’s webpage or call (619) 767-2675.


Back to School’s First Assignment — Check This Receipts — Gig Conaughton

So much to buy and so little time. Yup, it’s back-to-school time again around San Diego County.

That means lots of shopping, from binders to backpacks, clothes, laptops, tablets and everything in between.

It also means this first homework assignment — remember to double-check all your receipts so you don’t get overcharged by faulty cash-register price scanners.

It can happen. Every year inspectors from the County’s Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures check thousands of local businesses to make sure all the devices that scan, weigh or measure the things people buy are charging people accurately. Last year, one out of every six businesses inspected had overcharging errors.

And even small overcharges can add up. This year, the National Retail Federation estimates that kindergarten through high school families will spend an average of $673 as they head back to school. College students and families are expected to spend an average of $888.

So here are some tips to help you shop smartly and safely:

Protect Against Overcharging:

  • Always verify receipts and immediately notify store management of any price discrepancies.
  • Stores are required to display the price of an item (as you are buying it) before the transaction is complete. Watch the display screen as your items are scanned.
  • Take sales advertisements with you when shopping to verify prices.
  • Know that stores cannot legally charge more than their lowest advertised, posted or quoted price.

Shop Smart:

  • Plan ahead. Start watching for store sale fliers, flea markets, garage sales, clearance sales, etc.
  • Make a list of what you need.
  • Comparison shop with at least five different sources for the best values.
  • Don’t buy everything at once. Establish a spending plan and timetable to buy what you need over several weeks or months to take full advantage of future sales and true bargains.
  • Call Agriculture, Weights and Measures at 1-888-TRUE SCAN (1-888-878-3722) or email to to report overcharges you can’t resolve with store.

County Conducting Vaccination Survey — Jose A. Alvarez

County conducting vaccination survey.

County conducting vaccination survey.

Some local residents may be getting a call from the County Health and Human Services Agency’s Immunization Program in the coming months.

It’s important for residents to pick up and answer the callers’ questions, as their responses will help the County determine how many people are up-to-date on immunizations.

Eleven interviewers will be calling residents Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The interviewers speak six different languages: English, Spanish, Tagalog, Hindu, Korean and Chinese.

The phone interviews take from 5-20 minutes. If the interviewer calls residents at an inconvenient time, they can make appointments to complete their surveys over the phone at a different time.

Phone calls are made using Random Digit Dialing, where interviewers make phone calls to randomly selected phone numbers and ask participants about their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs on vaccinations. Information provided by participants is kept confidential.

The phone calls started in early July and will continue until June 30, 2017.

“Our goal is to complete more than 3,000 surveys over the next 11 months,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “To accomplish this goal, interviewers are likely to make more than 350,000 calls.”

The results of the survey will provide valuable data to determine what proportions of infants, pregnant women, adolescents, adults and seniors living in San Diego County are fully immunized. The information collected is used to plan education and outreach programs that help inform our San Diego communities about how to protect themselves from vaccine preventable diseases.

For more information, please contact the San Diego Immunization Program at (866) 358-2966.

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