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Changing the message of aging…subliminally

October 27, 2014

Changing the message of aging…subliminally

By Matt Perry

As a reporter who covers Aging issues, discussing the topic in public typically evokes this response through clenched teeth:   “Getting old sucks.”

There are variations on this reply – some involve profanity – but today’s accepted cultural message is that aging is terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad.

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Native American Tribes Have the Right, but Not the Resources, to Prosecute Abusers

October 22, 2014

Native American Tribes Have the Right, but Not the Resources, to Prosecute Abusers

By Leah Bartos

Native American women face a 2 in 5 chance of experiencing some form of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. In most of these cases – 86 percent – the perpetrator of the violence will be non-Native.

These statistics, based on federal data, reflect a rate of violence against Native American women far greater than that experienced by any other ethnic group in the U.S.

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State Refuses to Identify Hospitals it Says Have Harmed Patients

October 15, 2014

State Refuses to Identify Hospitals it Says Have Harmed Patients

By Chris Richard

California has been withholding money from 66 hospitals it holds culpable for medical errors, but state officials refuse to describe the mistakes or publicly identify the hospitals, all of which have allegedly harmed patients.

California Department of Health Care Services spokesman Norman Williams said the agency is withholding disciplinary records to protect patients’ private medical information, but patient advocates are criticizing the lack of transparency.

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Santa Cruz pilot project equips foster youth with education champions

October 15, 2014

Santa Cruz pilot project equips foster youth with education champions

By Lynn Graebner

An Oakland-based nonprofit group is building a national model to help foster youth overcome one of their biggest challenges: staying in school.

Moving among multiple homes, often dealing with the trauma of neglect or abuse on top of being separated from parents and siblings, fewer than 50 percent of foster children graduate from high school.

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Tulare County Fights Domestic Violence on a New Front

October 15, 2014

Tulare County Fights Domestic Violence on a New Front

By Leah Bartos

Nestled in central California and flanked by the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Tulare County is sometimes called the Appalachia of the West. It is home to the giant Sequoia trees; Mount Whitney towers over the county’s eastern edge. It’s also one of the most poverty-stricken regions of the state.

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Finding Humor – and Wisdom – in Aging

October 13, 2014

Finding Humor – and Wisdom – in Aging

By Matt Perry

When actor and comedian Robin Williams committed suicide at age 63, the tragedy traumatized fans worldwide who wondered how someone so famous – and so funny – could pull the plug on a legendary life and career.

It also spotlighted the vicissitudes of aging. Besides Williams’ recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, friends say he was depressed over his faltering career after the cancellation of his TV show “The Crazy Ones.”

Fellow comic Jack Gallagher long ago started thinking about the same issues that ultimately doomed Williams, but came up with a very different solution.

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Project to Reduce Obesity Nationwide Starts With Kids in Imperial County

October 5, 2014

Project to Reduce Obesity Nationwide Starts With Kids in Imperial County

By Lisa Renner

Children love pulling fresh carrots out of the garden or picking berries off a bush. It’s fun to eat food they have grown themselves.

The Imperial County Childhood Obesity Project is funding community and school gardens in hopes that kids who enjoy gardening will eat more fruits and vegetables, and ultimately slim down.

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In Counties Where Teen Pregnancy is High, a Sex Ed Program Offers Promise

September 28, 2014

In Counties Where Teen Pregnancy is High, a Sex Ed Program Offers Promise

By Lisa Renner

The teen boys in the San Joaquin County Juvenile Detention Center had a lot of questions for the two sex education instructors who paid them a visit.

Among them: Where are free local clinics that provide testing for sexually transmitted diseases? Is there a cure for AIDS? Can you use ear wax to find out if your partner has an STD?

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A Golden Idea for Senior Women Living Together

September 28, 2014

A Golden Idea for Senior Women Living Together

By Matt Perry

When Bea Arthur and her merry band of aging pranksters graced the airwaves with their “Golden Girls” sitcom a quarter century ago, they paved the way for shared senior housing that’s both fun and affordable.

And like the world-famous Red Hat Society which celebrates aging gracefully and vibrantly, expect the Golden Girls Network shared housing movement to grow rapidly in California.

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California Skimps on Diabetes Prevention

September 28, 2014

California Skimps on Diabetes Prevention

By Robin Urevich

Diabetes afflicts one in 12 Californians. It causes early death and disability for millions and costs the state $27.6 billion annually in health care and related expenses.

In 20 years, diabetes rates are expected to double in the United States.

But the disease doesn’t have to wreak that kind of havoc.

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