In Other News

RV occupants are dumping human waste in LA’s streets, but Valley leader has a plan

By Elizabeth Chou|

Long Beach Marine, other vets trace illnesses to open-air burn pits in Iraq, Afghanistan

The last casualties of war die at home, yet that is when we look away. No more; and certainly not when we’re talking about war deaths connected to the burn pits of Iraq and Afghanistan. A decade ago, Marine Sgt. Brian Alvarado of Lo...

By David Whiting dwhiting@scng.com @DavidWhiting on Twitter|

MOST RECENT STORIES

  • State legislature

    ‘Urgent…alarming’ – but rehab investigator won’t be in thick of SoCal action any time soon

    The idea seemed simple, elegant and eminently logical — but in Sacramento, there may be no such thing as a simple idea. Assembly Bill 572 would move one of the state-paid inspectors of addiction treatment centers from Sacramento to the epicenter of the drug rehab industry, Southern California. “I’m a former resident of an Orange County treatment center, with six years of sobriety,” a young woman, a recovering alcoholic, told state senators last week.

    By Teri Sforza tsforza@scng.com @terisforza on Twitter|

  • Legal settlements

    Kaiser, California reach settlement on lapses in mental-health access

    California insurance regulators have reached a settlement with Kaiser Permanente to address its repeated failures to provide patients with timely access to mental-health services. Under the agreement — the result of two years of negotiations between the state Department of Managed Health Care and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan — Kaiser has agreed to hire an outside consultant for three years to help it address the access problems and improve oversight of its behavioral...

    By Jenny Gold California Healthline|

  • Public health

    Valley fever cases spike in Los Angeles County

    Valley fever infections continue to rise in Los Angeles County, health officials said Friday, but it’s not clear why men, older adults and Antelope Valley residents are more affected than other groups. A total of 714 cases were reported in the county last year, a jump of 37 percent from 2015, health officials said. Increases have been reported since 2009. “The exact reasons for the increase in the number of reported cases are unknown but may include changes in...

    Susan Abram
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  • Food safety

    Cockroaches, rodent droppings shut down 4 San Fernando Valley restaurants

    Four restaurants in the San Fernando Valley were temporarily closed last week due to major public health hazards. Between July 9 and July 15, those facilities had their health permits suspended for cockroach and rodent infestations, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. Restaurants and markets whose permits are suspended must close until another inspection determines the problems have been fixed. Closures can occur during routine and...

    Stephanie K. Baer
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  • Heart transplants

    Some heart transplant patients struggle with post-op housing, but this jazz dancer wants to help: Dennis McCarthy

    “When I told him what I was doing, his first comment to me was ‘I thought you had to be rich to get a heart transplant.’” — Ava Kaufman, founder of Ava’s Heart. She’s a 67-year-old former professional jazz dancer with the heart of a young mother beating inside her. Ava Kaufman is her name, and she’s doing well for herself financially these days, which is important to mention up front. Not as well as she was...

    Dennis McCarthy
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  • Food safety

    Rodent droppings, cockroaches, lack of hot water force closures at 5 Los Angeles restaurants

    Five restaurants in Los Angeles were temporarily closed last week due to major public health hazards. Between July 9 and July 15, those facilities had their health permits suspended for cockroach and rodent infestations and a lack of hot water, according to a report from the Los Angeles County Public Health Department. Restaurants and markets whose permits are suspended must close until another inspection determines the problems have been fixed. Closures can occur during routine...

    Stephanie K. Baer
    |

  • Health care policy

    Southern California patients uneasy about future of health care after Senate bill fails

    Obamacare prognosis: Uncertain. Across Southern California on Tuesday, patients, doctors and insurance experts reacted to the collapse of a Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a mixture of relief, worry and calls for a bipartisan solution. While much is unknown about what lawmakers might do next and how the Trump administration could choose to undermine the law, insurers are expected to raise rates sharply for next year. And consumers will likely use...

    By Courtney Perkes cperkes@scng.com @cperkes on Twitter|

  • Drug addiction

    Boy, 10, among youngest victims of opioid crisis

    MIAMI (AP) — Prosecutors in Florida believe a 10-year-old boy who died with the painkiller fentanyl in his system is among the state’s youngest victims of the opioid crisis. Preliminary toxicology tests show Alton Banks had fentanyl in his system when he collapsed and died at his home on June 23, the Miami Herald reported . Health officials say fentanyl and other synthetic forms of the drug are so powerful that just a speck breathed in or absorbed through the skin can be...

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  • Health

    Successful Aging: If we have ageism laws, what’s the problem?

    Last week we discussed G.C.’s somewhat ageist experience with a cardiac technician (and by ageist, we are referring to age discrimination). This week I’d like to explore that topic a little further. Ageism — prejudice against older people — is the last remaining socially acceptable “ism” in our society. While racism, sexism and homophobia still exist, ageism seems a bit different for one reason: It’s considered a social norm. It is...

    Helen Dennis
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  • Waste disposal

    ‘It’s raining needles’: Drug crisis creates pollution threat

    LOWELL, Mass. — They hide in weeds along hiking trails and in playground grass. They wash into rivers and float downstream to land on beaches. They pepper baseball dugouts, sidewalks and streets. Syringes left by drug users amid the heroin crisis are turning up everywhere. In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016. In March alone, San Francisco collected more...

    By MICHAEL CASEY Associated Press|

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