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High school program combines garden, cooking to teach nutrition

March 11, 2010

With money raised from outside grants, government funding and other resources, Grant High School in Sacramento’s Del Paso Heights neighbohood has been able to run an edible garden and kitchen on campus. But the program is constantly threatened by scarce resources. HealthyCal contributor Nik Bonovich has the story.

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Water for Life

March 11, 2010

The East Oakland Boxing Association is about more than boxing. The center also has a youth internship program that trains young people in skills that could help them get a job or start a business. Recently, a group of youth interns worked with another nonprofit to overhaul the center’s water use and improve its water conservation. HealthyCal contributor Martin Ricard has their story in this video report.

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OC-based program helps thousands get refunds

March 8, 2010

Bob Cohen saw a problem and vowed to correct it. He saw a need and wanted to fill it. Today, thousands of people across the country are getting tax refunds and credits easily and without charge because of his work and the Legal Aid Society of Orange County, which Cohen directs. The problem Cohen saw was desperate low-income people, often people with little knowledge of the government or tax system, losing much of their refunds to tax preparers who offered them instant money while taking a huge cut of their check. The need he wanted to fill was for an easy, online program that would allow people to skip the commercial tax preparers, file their taxes themselves and get their money almost as quickly.

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Health reform is already here — in San Francisco

March 7, 2010

The overhaul of America’s health care system may be stalled in Washington, but in San Francisco, a new method of delivering health care is already in place. Known as Healthy San Francisco, it is designed to care for the poor and under-served. It provides universal access to health care, comes with a public option, and has no exclusion for prior medical conditions. HealthyCal.org contributor Richard C. Paddock has the first part of a series on the program and the people it serves.

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Designing our health

March 7, 2010

A middle-aged man who is a life-long smoker shows up in the doctor’s office after suffering a shortness of breath. His declining health has put his job in jeopardy, but he is addicted to tobacco and unlikely to kick the habit any time soon. He is also short of money. His physician wonders whether the patient will take a generic medication she prescribes for him or return soon to the ER with another expensive-to-treat medical crisis. See Dr. Ashby Wolfe’s blog post for the details.

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Bringing yoga to the streets

March 7, 2010

While leading a life marred by drinking and drugs, Tamara Standard discovered the restorative health properties of yoga. After becoming a yoga teacher herself, Standard’s unique vision was to expand yoga beyond the halls of elite yoga studios and into under-served communities. HealthyCal contribributor Matt Perry has this video report.

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Wiping the slate clean

March 4, 2010

The Clean Slate Practice at the East Bay Community Law Center in Berkeley aims to increase employment opportunities for individuals with prior convictions by dismissing their criminal records after they demonstrate rehabilitation. The group has urged lawmakers to ‘ban the box,’ or exclude inquiries on prior convictions, on employment applications. They argue that such remedies will make our communities safer by making it easier for people with criminal records to get jobs and re-enter mainstream society. Vanessa Lindlaw and Jason Lind have the story in this video report.

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Art therapy in the Tenderloin

March 1, 2010

The Community Arts Program in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District offers free art studio space and supplies — as well as a place to get off the streets and get creative — to more than 30 people per day, five days a week. It is run by Hospitality House, a non-profit that has served the homeless and low-income populations of the Tenderloin since 1967. HealthyCal contributor Paige Bierma offers this video profile.

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Fit bodies, fit minds

February 26, 2010

In Delano, a poor, heavily agricultural, mostly Latino community, the local school district began focusing more on physical fitness about 10 years ago. Since then, they’ve seen fitness improve, but also student behavior and academic performance. Ken Dyar, a physical education teacher who inspired the change, tells the story here.

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A troubled life turns around

February 24, 2010

Derrick Bedford spent his youth shuttling into and out of juvenile hall on drug charges. Now he runs a program that helps change the lives of troubled youth who are genuinely interested in change. He works in the same jail where he was once locked up. HealthyCal contributor Tony Wilson offers this video profile.

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