Welcome to A to Z, steves.
In most states, the fact that another state has accepted a certain test amounts to about as much as Harry S Truman's "bucket of warm spit": each state tends to require whatever it requires (and at some point soon, unless you've got an ESL certification, you're going to have to take CTEL: California Teachers of English Learners). In addition, most of these tests need to be passed within five years.
Fortunately for you, however, basic skills requirements work differently: you can indeed use your NTE results, and there's no recency requirement. See http://www.ctc.ca.gov/credentials/leaflets/cl667.pdf
: you're looking for option 4.
For the record, CBEST does indeed test basic skills: unless you have specific disabilities or galloping test anxiety, it shouldn't be that huge a challenge for you.
As for live human beings at the California office, apparently they tend to be available in the afternoons Pacific time: according to http://www.ctc.ca.gov/notices/coded/2009/0903.pdf
, the hours are 1 pm to 4:45 pm, which would translate into 4 pm to 7:45 pm EST.