Health & Medicine

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Feinstein and Boxer Introduce Drought Bill; Ballot Drive Launched to End Dark Money

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer unveiled drought-emergency legislation yesterday that seeks to counteract a bill approved by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives last week that would gut environmental protections in the state, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. And while environmentalists are pleased that the Feinstein-Boxer bill is not as draconian as the Republican bill, they are worried that it would still harm Northern California rivers and fish and wildlife, so as to ship more water to San Joaquin Valley farmers.

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Alameda County May Put Healthcare Measure on June Ballot; Ex-TV Anchor to Run for Oakland City Council

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Feb 5, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors is pushing forward with a plan to put a sales tax measure for healthcare funding on the June ballot, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The proposal would ask voters to reauthorize Measure A, a 2004 tax initiative that is scheduled to expire in 2019. The board wants the half-cent sales tax to go to the ballot in June to give the county enough time to ask for reauthorization in 2016 should it fail to pass this year. The board also wants to avoid competing with a tax to fund transportation scheduled for this November’s election.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Warriors Put Plan for SF Arena on Hold; Drought Causes State Water Project to Cut Off All Water Shipments

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Feb 3, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The owners of the Golden State Warriors have put their plans to build a new arena in San Francisco on hold, as the cost of the project continues to soar and opposition to it intensifies, the Chron reports. Opponents of the project appear to have gathered enough signatures for a June ballot measure that would require the Warriors to hold a separate election in San Francisco to get approval for their plans. And the Warriors are now seeking a lease extension at Oracle Arena in Oakland as their proposal for San Francisco continues to face roadblocks.

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday Must Reads: Drought and Record Temps Spark Fire Risk; River Otters Spotted in Lake Temescal

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 15, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Bone-dry weather conditions coupled with record high temperatures have elevated the risk of fire in the Bay Area and throughout Northern California, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. Oakland set a record high for the second day in a row, clocking in at 73 degrees on Tuesday. And extreme drought conditions, along with gusty winds, has prompted the National Weather Service to issue a red-flag warning for fire danger until 10 a.m. Thursday.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Reauthorization for Critical Health-Care Funding Measure May Not Come Until 2016

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said this week that the county may not ask voters to reauthorize a critical funding measure for the county’s health-care system until 2016. Measure A, the massive and largely successful health care tax passed by voters in 2004, has helped shore up funding for the county’s hospitals and related health care providers that serve mostly low-income residents. The half-cent sales generates more than $100 million annually funding. However, the measure is due to expire in 2019.

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Brown Wants to Use Cap-and-Trade Funds for Bullet Train; Sierra Snowpack at Just 20% of Normal

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown plans to propose this week that California take hundreds of millions of dollars from its cap-and-trade system to fund high-speed rail next year, the SacBee$ reports. Brown is expected to officially unveil his plan on Friday when he releases his early budget projections for fiscal year 2014-15. High-speed rail, which is expected to cost $68 billion to build, has been plagued by funding problems. The governor’s proposal would mark the second time he has raided the state’s cap-and-trade fund, which is designed to help finance green energy programs. Last year, he took $500 million from the fund to balance the state budget.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Oakland Airport Connector to Open This Year; Soda Tax Would Save Up to $1 Billion in Healthcare Costs

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A new elevated connector between Oakland Airport and BART’s Coliseum Station is on track to open this fall, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The $484 million project broke ground in 2011 and will make it easier for airline passengers to connect BART trains.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Must Reads: Obamacare Signups Surge in December; Mayor Quan Leads Poll By Ten Points

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Nearly 1 million Americans enrolled in Obamacare in December, pushing the total number of signups to more than 2 million nationwide, the Washington Post$ reports. The surge in signups came after the administration made fixes to the problem-plagued federal website. The total enrollment, however, fell short of the White House’s goal of 3.3 million. The enrollees to date will be eligible to receive private health insurance as of January 1, and uninsured consumers have until March 31 to sign up for Obamacare or face fines.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: FDA Attempts to Limit Factory Farm Antibiotics; Asiana Crash Probe Focuses on Pilot Error

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The FDA has finally decided to try to curb the use of antibiotics in factory farms nationwide in an attempt to stem the growth of antibiotic-resistant super bugs that kill 23,000 Americans each year, the Chron reports. Big Agribusinesses have long used antibiotics to prevent livestock that stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their own excrement from getting sick. But studies have shown that this practice creates super bugs that when transferred to humans cannot be treated. Some environmentalists, however, are criticizing the FDA’s plan as being too weak because it’s a voluntary program.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wednesday Must Reads: Oakland Pot Guru Defrauded City; Oakland to Pay Kayvan Sabeghi $645,000

by Robert Gammon
Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Dharminder "Dhar" Mann, the CEO of WeGrow, a marijuana growing store in Oakland, and a self-styled “ganjapreneur” who once graced the cover of Mother Jones magazine, pleaded no contest to five felony charges of defrauding the city, the Trib reports. Mann, who is also the son of a politically connected family that owns a monopoly on the city’s taxicab industry, is scheduled to be sentenced next month for improperly pocketing redevelopment funds. The city council had green-lighted a medical pot dispensary linked to Mann, but then withdrew the approval after his criminality came to light.

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