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Stockton market helps close the fresh food gap

October 29, 2010

The city of Stockton boasts what organizers call the largest Asian farmers market on the west coast. The certified market serves a wide variety of customers from different ethnic groups and across the income strata, from low-income inner city residents to affluent suburban families. The market helps provide fresh food to people who find it hard to get at their neighborhood market. Tony Wilson offers this five-minute video profile.

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City Heights fears rising population could bring more alcohol retailers

October 25, 2010

Residents and activists hoping to reduce the number of stores selling alcohol in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood are worried that the latest U.S. Census numbers could make their job harder by bolstering the population figures used to justify the addition of new liquor outlets. Correspondent Megan Burks has the story.

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Wellness without Limits Is the Goal

October 24, 2010

“We’re walking to the Moon,” says Linda Reich, deputy director of community services for the City of Chino.
Reich is talking about the newest goal of the city’s Chino Walks program, the adult walking club that is the cornerstone of its Healthy Chino wellness initiative. Since its beginning in 2005, Reich has logged every step the club’s members have accrued in their quest for fitness. In Chino, where 68 percent of residents are obese and five of the city’s 10 leading causes of death are obesity-related, wellness is serious business. In public health surveys, Chino’s obesity rate is higher than both San Bernardino County at 65 percent and the State of California at 55 percent. Margaret T. Simpson has the story.

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Boyle Heights gets grant to explore ‘Children’s Zone’ program

October 17, 2010

The community of Boyle Heights has been selected for a federal grant that could lead to $1 million or more to improve education in the area by focusing intensely on children’s needs from the time they are born until they graduate from high school. The idea, tried most famously in New York City’s Harlem Children’s Zone, is to give kids all the support they need – inside and outside of school – to succeed academically. Joy Hepp has the story.

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A beach town moves to a wellness beat

October 17, 2010

Can a city redefine itself through health and wellness? Long Beach wants to try, and its residents are the reason. The city is the voice of the people, and the people want pedestrian-friendly streets, bicycle lanes, grocery stores and cooking seminars. Wellness doesn’t come cheap, but Long Beach is hoping its ambitious portfolio of grants and innovative programs will attract new funders eager to participate in this urban laboratory that recently hired its own Bike Ambassador, Olympic cyclist Tony Cruz. Margaret Simpson has the story.

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A city learns to market wellness

October 11, 2010

The city of El Monte sponsors a walking club and is working with local convenience stores to stock more healthy alternatives to junk food and alcohol. The efforts are part of the Healthy El Monte initiative, which seeks to combat high rates of obesity and diabetes in a city of 125,000 sandwiched between major freeways and industrial sites. Margaret Simpson has the story.

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Cycles of Addiction in ‘City of Dope’

October 8, 2010

“Addiction? Truthfully, I’ve become numb to it,” says Safiya, 23-year-old West Oakland resident who was also born here. “It’s everywhere; it’s part of life. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I feel like there’s nothing I can really do about it. So, I’m really just numb to it.” The disease of addiction is at the intersection of virtually every major crisis in West Oakland. Violence, poverty and marginalization are often issues that crisscross and overlap with the epidemic of addiction to substances including alcohol, heroin and, most of all, crack cocaine. In 1988, Too $hort (Oakland’s unofficial rap historian) called his hometown the “City of Dope,” and the nickname has stuck ever since. Xan West gives her thoughts in this post at Our State of Health.

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Success stories: Stockton kids take back their park

September 28, 2010

Williams Brotherhood Park in South Stockton was plagued with gangs and crime. Families stopped going there and parents told their children to stay away. But a group of area youth decided they wanted their park back. They started a campaign to reclaim the park and won the support of local community organizations and, ultimately, the city. Now the park is cleaner, the bathrooms are open and families and kids are returning. LeCresia Hawkins, special projects coordinator for Community Partnership for Families of San Joaquin, which has offices in the park, tells the story.

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Wealth can shape health in California

September 27, 2010

Money can’t buy you love, but it might buy better health. People who live in wealthy neighborhoods live on average ten years longer than people who live in concentrated poverty. That’s why some experts say that the best way to improve public health is not through technological advances and breakthrough drugs, or even through better access to primary care. Instead, they say, policy efforts may be better focused on reducing the wealth gap in the United States. Heather Tirado Gilligan looks at how that concept plays out in Richmond, Ca.

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Violence and Faith in East Oakland

September 20, 2010

In the past three years, two bullets shattered the front window, a teenager was shot just outside and the downstairs neighbor was mugged. Before that, a woman’s lifeless body was unearthed from a dumpster less than a block away. But this area of East Oakland — where the neighborhoods of Fruitvale and San Antonio meet — is where Dr. Joan Jie-eun Jeung chooses to live with her husband and their six-year-old son. Hilary Abramson profiles this Harvard-educated pediatrician and her family.

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