Health

Thumbnail image for University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

University of California Doctors Call One Day Strike

by Doug Porter 01.26.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Physicians at all 10 University of California student health centers will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike on Tuesday.

They gave notice to the UC system on Friday, following the failure of 41 bargaining sessions over a year’s time to gain an initial contract for The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD). Over 90% of the student health doctors voted in favor of striking in meetings during December.

The union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the  California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) saying the universities are failing to negotiate in good faith. In one instance cited, the UC administration increased pension contributions without negotiating over the issue.

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Thumbnail image for On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

On Roe vs. Wade Anniversary, GOP House Passes Vicious Assault on Women’s Right to Choose

by Source 01.23.2015 Economy

Reproductive rights advocates say legislation would cause entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small businesses

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

On the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirms a woman’s Constitutional right to an abortion, House Republicans passed a far-reaching anti-choice bill that women’s health advocates say would cause the entire insurance market to drop abortion coverage while raising taxes on small business who provide comprehensive health care to their employees.

After pulling a more extreme anti-abortion bill at the last minute due to intra-party dissent, the GOP on Thursday voted 242-179 in favor of alternative legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) that restricts federal funds for abortion.

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Thumbnail image for OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

OB’s People’s Food Expansion Plans Put on Hold

by Frank Gormlie 01.21.2015 Business

Organic Store Had Agreement With “Tiny” of Tiny’s Tavern Before His Recent Passing

By Frank Gormlie

The expansion plans of Ocean Beach’s largest employer, the famous OB People’s Organic Food Market, have been placed on hold due to the unfortunate and untimely death of “Tiny”, the owner of Tiny’s Tavern.

The market co-op, which is a mainstay on Voltaire Street in OB, has just recently purchased the two parcels of land directly to the store’s east, one containing a duplex and the other containing Tiny’s Tavern. And part of the store’s expansion plans were based on an agreement with “Tiny” who was on the verge of retiring from operating his bar and small grill. “Tiny” – the nickname of Alan Kajiwara – had planned to use the land sale to the co-op as a push for him to move back to Hawaii where he has family, but his fatal stroke at the age of 54 ended all that.

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Thumbnail image for As Measles Continues to Spread, It’s Time to Hold the Anti-Vaccine People Accountable

As Measles Continues to Spread, It’s Time to Hold the Anti-Vaccine People Accountable

by Doug Porter 01.19.2015 Columns

By Doug Porter

Nuts. That’s what the people behind the current batch of measles cases spreading through the country are. And not in a good way, like a zany friend. In a bad way, as in gun nuts, a small group of people whose fanaticism poses a danger to those around them and society at large.

Collectively known as anti-vaxxers, these folks use faux science to justify not immunizing children against highly contagious diseases. Measles, chicken pox, mumps and whooping cough are all on the increase nationwide.

There are 51 cases of measles reported in the latest outbreak, traceable to Disneyland visitors in the week prior to Christmas. Orange county, with 21 cases reported in 2014 is ground zero for one other reason: a pediatrician friendly to parents seeking to exempt their children from public health agencies requirements for vaccinations.

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Thumbnail image for The War on Hen-Pecking

The War on Hen-Pecking

by Source 01.16.2015 Activism

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego.

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Thumbnail image for If You Like Sleep, You’ll Like Death Even Better

If You Like Sleep, You’ll Like Death Even Better

by Judi Curry 01.14.2015 Culture

A summary of the League of Women Voters meeting on Death with Dignity

By Judi Curry

The League of Women Voters has scheduled nine different discussion locations for the “Death with Dignity” topic.

On Monday. January 12th, the discussion was held at the Point Loma Library.  The turn-out was disappointing to me – three men and nine women, plus the three female moderators.  The discussion, although slow at first, was interesting as the small audience began to participate.  The moderators were Nancy Witt, Shirley Walkoe and Jeanne Brown.

Jeanne led the discussion by handing out a statistical page of Assisted Suicide Laws by State.  We found out that three states have passed legislation permitting physician-assisted suicide:  – Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

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Thumbnail image for Mental Health Professionals Strike at Kaiser Permanente

Mental Health Professionals Strike at Kaiser Permanente

by Doug Porter 01.12.2015 Activism

By Doug Porter 

Protesting what they’re calling systematic under-staffing, 2,600 psychologists, therapists and social workers have called a week-long strike at Kaiser Permanente medical centers.

Organized by the National Union of Health Workers (NUHW), there are 65 picket lines in 35 California cities in responding to failed negotiations with the company.

Back in September, Kaiser agreed to a $4-million fine levied by state regulators. The Department of Managed Health Care found patients had excessively long wait times to get a therapy appointment, or were shuttled into groups when they wanted individual therapy.

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Thumbnail image for The Best Reporting on Guns in America

The Best Reporting on Guns in America

by Source 12.20.2014 Gun Control

By Blair Hickman, Hanqing Chen, Cora Currier, Lois Beckett and Suevon Lee / ProPublica

Are Mass Shootings Increasing? Depends on How You Count Them

Criminologists have made the same point again and again: the number of mass shootings in America is not increasing. Experts told the Los Angeles Times that mass shootings represent only a small fraction of the annual deaths due to gun violence, and that police data indicate that the overall count of mass shootings per year has not shown any significant increase over time. This conclusion is based on the FBI’s broad definition of a mass murder: four or more people murdered in the same incident, typically in the same location.

But what if you focused just on shootings “in which the motive appeared to be indiscriminate mass murder”? Mother Jones decided to track the number of high-profile attacks in public places excluding armed robberies, gang shootings and domestic violence murders that happened within a home. Using this different definition—a controversial choice—Mother Jones concluded mass shootings are on the rise.

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Thumbnail image for The Horrifying Banality of Mass Shootings in America: 3 Shocking Facts About Gun Violence

The Horrifying Banality of Mass Shootings in America: 3 Shocking Facts About Gun Violence

by Source 12.19.2014 Gun Control

By Allegra Kirkland / AlterNet

By now, the cycle is familiar. One morning the news will light up with reports of a lone gunman wreaking havoc in a public place or a relative’s home. For days, left-wing politicians and grieving families will plead for common-sense gun control legislation, even as conservatives and NRA reps make their usual “gun’s don’t kill people, people do” stump speeches. Then, as quickly as the tragedy entered the public consciousness, it falls off the radar, forgotten until the next mass shooting occurs.

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Thumbnail image for What’s the Deadliest Day of the Week in Your State for Gun Violence?

What’s the Deadliest Day of the Week in Your State for Gun Violence?

by Source 12.18.2014 Gun Control

By Janet Allon / AlterNet

You might think Monday would be the most likely day when miserable, unhinged people are most likely to go on a murderous gun rampage. But you’d be wrong.

In 20 states, including California, Sunday is the deadliest day for gun violence. And in several Bible Belt states, Saturday is the worst. All in all, weekends, including Friday, are the times when Americans are most likely to get shot in 29 of the 50 states.

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Thumbnail image for The Best Reporting on PTSD in Children Exposed to Violence

The Best Reporting on PTSD in Children Exposed to Violence

by Source 12.17.2014 Gun Control

By Lois Beckett / ProPublica

Updated Sept. 19, 2014 with new stories; originally published June 24, 2014.

When people think of post-traumatic stress disorder, they often focus on military veterans. But there’s growing evidence that PTSD is also a serious problem for American civilians, especially those exposed to violence in their own neighborhoods. Researchers in Atlanta found that 1 out of 3 inner-city residents they interviewed had experienced symptoms consistent with PTSD at some point in their lives. Earlier this month, we published a new story on an Oakland family struggling with PTSD after two young children, ages six and one, witnessed their mother being shot.

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Thumbnail image for Washington State Voters Overwhelmingly Approved Citizens’ Initiative to Expand Background Checks to All Gun Sales

Washington State Voters Overwhelmingly Approved Citizens’ Initiative to Expand Background Checks to All Gun Sales

by Source 12.15.2014 Activism

By Jennifer Fuson / The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Washington, D.C. – In the only place where guns were directly on the ballot this election day, Washington state voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 594 to expand background checks to all gun sales, including online and at gun shows. A competing initiative (Initiative 591) designed to block the implementation of background checks and sponsored by the gun lobby failed 55 to 45%.

Washington became the seventh state to require background checks on all gun sales, the fifth state since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 (Washington, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, and New York).

“The bottom line is this law will save lives. Washingtonians should sleep better tonight knowing that their state will be a safer place thanks to expanded Brady background checks,” said Brady Campaign President Dan Gross.

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Thumbnail image for A Couple of Heartless Transactions at Union Bank

A Couple of Heartless Transactions at Union Bank

by Bob Dorn 12.09.2014 Business

By Bob Dorn

So, this 71-year-old with the income of a teenager walks into an uptown branch of Union Bank. He had just $28.75 in his checking account following his open heart surgery two weeks before on Nov. 17.

This was his first chance to get to the bank to take up some issues.One reason he had so little money had nothing to do with the bank’s operations. He’d had an angiogram and an EKG earlier in the month – stuff the medical world must do before doctors can open everything up to repair floppy heart valves – and the upfront co-pays were about $160 more than he’d anticipated. Those and smaller amounts for medicine accounted for the couple of hundred he hadn’t factored into demands on the checking account.

Still, he had his “overdraft protection savings account” with a balance of $600 available to cover any shortfall in his checking account. So he wasn’t worried when his wife took him to the hospital for the surgery Nov. 17. The money would be automatically transferred from the savings account to the checking to cover the unanticipated advance medical fees.

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Thumbnail image for Judy Finally Goes To the Dentist In Tijuana

Judy Finally Goes To the Dentist In Tijuana

by John Lawrence 12.08.2014 Culture

By John Lawrence

Judy hadn’t seen a dentist in some time and she needed to go. I tried to persuade her to go to my dentist, Dr. Miguel Garcia in Tijuana, but she had a fear of crossing the border. I had been going to Dr Garcia for 10 years or more, and I told her she had nothing to fear.

Everybody in Dr Garcia’s office spoke perfect English. They had the latest, most modern equipment and the best training. My friend Olof who had been going to Dr Garcia for years on my recommendation also tried to persuade Judy that there was nothing to be afraid of. She would be in good hands.

Finally, Judy agreed to go. I had assured her I knew the way by heart, and we could drive right into the building to park. Then it was just a short walk to the elevator. We’d be on the fourth floor and in the Baja Oral Center in no time.

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Thumbnail image for Mentally Ill People Often Face Violence From Police—But These Cities Are Trying to Fix That

Mentally Ill People Often Face Violence From Police—But These Cities Are Trying to Fix That

by Source 12.05.2014 Culture

Crisis Intervention Teams train police officers to understand mental illness without resorting to violence.

By Daniel Ross / Yes! Magazine

Brandy Brown was in her kitchen when she heard the gunshots.

“I thought it was fireworks at first. But I looked outside and I saw a police car down the street. My first instinct was to get my nephew inside the house,” she said.

Brown shepherded her 4-year-old nephew inside her apartment in South Central Los Angeles before going to investigate, which is when she discovered that her friend Ezell Ford had been shot and killed by police.

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Thumbnail image for The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

The Food Waste Fiasco: You Have to See It to Believe It

by At Large 11.22.2014 Activism

By Rob Greenfield

You may have already heard a few appalling facts about food waste but just in case you haven’t, here are a few tidbits of information to catch you up on the issue.

-We throw away 165 billion dollars worth of food per year in America. That’s more than the budgets for America’s national parks, public libraries, federal prisons, veteran’s health care, the FBI, and the FDA combined.

-About 50 million of our 317 million Americans are food insecure yet we produce enough food to feed over 500 million Americans.

-To create just the amount of food that ends up in the landfills we waste enough water to meet the domestic water needs of every American citizen.

Even with these mind-blowing statistics you probably still need to see it to believe it. That is where I come in.

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Thumbnail image for Water Conservation San Diego Style: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Water Conservation San Diego Style: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

by Lori Saldaña 11.17.2014 Editor's Picks

By Lori Saldaña

Are you taking steps to help conserve water in your household? Maybe added low-flow fixtures, or taken out grass, or received rebates from the city for installing rainwater tanks?

If so- congratulations for being part of voluntary solutions!  Now it’s time to up your conservation game with some of the new mandatory requirements. An insert was included in water bills this month, advising us that water restrictions started Nov. 1 in San Diego. The city wants us to be sure to follow the dates/times when watering is allowed.

However, because of the city’s billing method, even if you follow these guidelines, it may not impact the actual amount charged on your water bills in any significant way. This is because much of the costs are not for the water coming INTO your house, but for disposing of water after it’s been used and flows OUT of your house.

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Thumbnail image for Veterans For Peace Give Out 2,300th Sleeping Bag Set in Downtown San Diego

Veterans For Peace Give Out 2,300th Sleeping Bag Set in Downtown San Diego

by At Large 11.15.2014 Activism

By Gil Field

Veteran members, associate members, and friends and supporters of the San Diego Veterans For Peace, Chapter #91 are proud to announce that in October 2014 the 2300th sleeping bag set was given out to the homeless in downtown San Diego!

It is through the generous on-going financial contributions of friends and the general public that our Compassion Campaign is able to indefinitely continue this humane life-saving program.

In December 2010 the San Diego chapter of the national Veterans For Peace organization began the “Compassion Campaign” — an outreach effort to help displaced homeless veterans. Ignited by conversations with many homeless veterans on the street in downtown San Diego, the chapter membership determined that the lives of homeless veterans and non-veterans downtown could improve significantly if given basic equipment – like a sleeping bag, as many were sleeping rough on hard pavement each night with only a light blanket, their jacket, or nothing.

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Thumbnail image for SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

SeaWorld Stock Tanks As Financials Disappoint and Protests Continue

by Doug Porter 11.12.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

Attendance and revenues continue to fall at SeaWorld, according to financial reports released today. The stock market reacted to the news, sending shares in the company down 10.3% by mid-day. 

Third-quarter net income fell 28%, revenues fell 8% and  attendance at SeaWorld’s parks also declined year-over-year, with attendance in the third quarter totaling 8.4 million visitors, down from 8.9 million a year ago.  According the Bloomberg’s Business Insider, the price for stock in SeaWorld has fallen 51% since the movie Blackfish premiered on July 19, 2013. 

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Thumbnail image for Don’t Read This Column If You Haven’t Voted

Don’t Read This Column If You Haven’t Voted

by Doug Porter 11.04.2014 Columns

By Doug Porter

Today’s supposed to be the day I hit you with the “Get Out and Vote or I’ll Shoot This Puppy” column. It ain’t happening. I’ve already voted.

I’ve written 22 stories and columns about the November 2014 general election, and I’ll probably write a few wrap ups after the dust settles.  If you’re going to vote later, fine, read this column later. If you’re not going to vote at all, look for me to come to your house in search of a puppy.

So today, for those of you who have already voted, I’m going to cover other news, and some good news at that.  I’m perfectly aware that I will be punished by the search engine gods for not going apocalyptic about the election.

(Seriously, if you need election info…)

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Thumbnail image for Climate Change Linked to Rising Violence: Report

Climate Change Linked to Rising Violence: Report

by Source 10.29.2014 Courts, Justice

Meta-analysis of 55 separate studies finds global warming and increased conflict go hand-in-hand
By Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams

Along with rising sea levels and global insecurity, climate change is producing yet another unforeseen consequence—rising violence, from road rage to civil war, a new report finds.

A working paper released Thursday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, which conducted a meta-analysis of 55 separate reports on global warming and conflict in a variety of settings, found that “deviations from moderate temperatures and precipitation patterns systematically increase the risk of conflict, often substantially, with average effects that are highly statistically significant.”

The paper looked at a vast range of violence perpetrated by both individuals and groups. The studies reviewed instances of road rage, domestic abuse, assault, rape, and murder alongside geopolitical conflicts like “riots, ethnic violence, land invasions, gang violence, civil war and other forms of political instability, such as coups.”

The researchers measured the records of violence against climate variables such as rainfall, drought, and temperature increases.

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Thumbnail image for Panic Over Ebola Echoes the 19th-century Fear of Cholera

Panic Over Ebola Echoes the 19th-century Fear of Cholera

by Source 10.22.2014 Culture

By Sally Sheard, University of Liverpool / The Conversation

On October 19 an inspector sent north from London to Sunderland reported a long-awaited arrival: the first British case of cholera. It was 1831 and as part of a second pandemic cholera had again progressed from its Bengal heartland through Europe, before reaching the Baltic ports. It was only a matter of time.

The British public, informed by newspaper reports, were acquainted with the symptoms: profuse watery diarrhoea, severe abdominal pain and often death within a matter of hours. In advance of its arrival in Russia thousands fled from the cities. In Poland it was killing one in two victims. And unlike today, where oral rehydration solution can prevent dehydration and shock, there was no effective treatment.

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Help Stop Ebola by Telling Congress and the White House to Order Hospitals to Put Safety Standards First

by Source 10.21.2014 Government

Simply put, the status quo is indefensible if it puts nurses, other frontline healthcare workers, and patients’ lives in jeopardy.

nurses_ebolaBy Rose Ann DeMoro / Common Dreams

Now that nurses, who have been sounding the alarm about Ebola for more than two months, finally have the attention of policy makers and many others, let’s have no more excuses and take the steps needed to contain and eradicate this virulent disease in the U.S. and globally.

You can help by signing our online petition to Congress and President Obama here.

In the U.S., long experience with the privately-run corporate hospital chains that dominate care delivery have made the sober reality abundantly clear – unless the healthcare industry is mandated to put the safety of patients, nurses, and other caregivers above their profit motive, the Ebola threat will only get worse.

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Thumbnail image for Et Tu, Carl? The Politics of Personal Destruction in San Diego

Et Tu, Carl? The Politics of Personal Destruction in San Diego

by Doug Porter 10.13.2014 Business

By Doug Porter

Last week sexual harassment accusations against congressional candidate Carl DeMaio went national by way of stories in Politico.com and CNN. Today we’ll follow up on developments in this story over the weekend.

A Saturday morning fundraiser featuring house speaker John Boehner in Pacific Beach for the 52nd district GOP candidate was notable for the absence of local politicos and a handful of protesters waving “Dirty DeMaio” signs.

The irony of the counter demonstration, reminiscent of reaction in some quarters to our former mayor’s boorish behavior, was the presence of Jess Durfee.  Back in the days when Durfee headed up county Democrats it was he chose to disregard warnings about Filner from a delegation of party women.

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Thumbnail image for Props 45 & 46: This Won’t Hurt. Much

Props 45 & 46: This Won’t Hurt. Much

by Doug Porter 10.07.2014 Government

By Doug Porter

The following analyses of Propositions 45 & 46 represent my opinions. The SD Free Press editorial board may or may not agree with me. For all our articles on the upcoming election, check out our 2014 Progressive Voter’s Guide.

There are no special interests more special than insurance companies, doctors and lawyers. Here we have two propositions involving all three groups. And there is more subterfuge going on than anybody can keep track of.

Monies from the committees supporting and opposing the different measures overlap.  There is a joint campaign committee in support of both 45 and 46. “No on 45″ funds have been transferred into the State GOP coffers and mysteriously reappeared three days later with interest.

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