Broad Shoulders Update

news and information for cmun dev advocates in metropolitan Chicago

Archive for the ‘child’ tag

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WIC nutrition program expands to cover fruits, vegetables,” - Los Angeles Times

Beginning today, women and children who receive food vouchers through the federal government’s WIC program will be able to use them to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

“It’s a really welcome change,” said Gail Harrison, a public health professor at UCLA who was on the national Institute of Medicine panel that recommended the revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children — the first major change in the program since it began in the 1970s. “The supplemental food package contributes a very substantial share of dietary intake, and so making it healthier is all to the good.”

Swiss Health Care Thrives Without Public Option,” -  The New York Times

ZURICH — Like every other country in Europe, Switzerland guarantees health care for all its citizens. But the system here does not remotely resemble the model of bureaucratic, socialized medicine often cited by opponents of universal coverage in the United States.

Swiss private insurers are required to offer coverage to all citizens, regardless of age or medical history. And those people, in turn, are obligated to buy health insurance.

$35 Billion Slated for Local Housing,” -  The wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is close to committing as much as $35 billion to help beleaguered state and local housing agencies continue to provide mortgages to low- and moderate-income families, according to administration officials.

The move would further cement the government’s role in propping up the housing market even as some lawmakers push to curb spending at a time of rising debt.

Written by Keith Forest

October 1st, 2009 at 8:46 pm

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Grass Roots Put New Orleans Back on Its Feet,” - The Wall Street Journal
With Federal Aid Finally Flowing to Hurricane-Ravaged City, a Flurry of Rebuilding Helps Shield It from U.S. Downturn

NEW ORLEANS — This once-ravaged city is finally mending from Hurricane Katrina after years of administrative delays and political disputes that choked the flow of millions of dollars in federal aid.

Money now flowing through the city is beginning to deliver the most visibly widespread improvements since Katrina struck four years ago today. Scores of public works projects are under way. The last police precinct using a FEMA trailer as temporary headquarters moved into real offices earlier this year. More than half the public schools in New Orleans have been turned into higher-performing charter schools. Returning residents have pushed the population to 76% of its prestorm total of about 455,000.

Yes, We Can Afford Health-Care Reform,” - Washington Post

“Moderate” opponents of health-care reform like to say that we cannot afford it, particularly in the midst of a recession that has widened the deficit with both reduced tax revenue and the fiscal stimulus package. This was the argument advanced by Sen. Joe Lieberman on TV a week ago and repeated by Michael Gerson in this newspaper: “Obama’s massive spending, intended to stabilize the economy, also drained the Treasury, making it more difficult to propose major new expenditures.”

 ”Report maps out solutions to child obesity,” -  USA TODAY

To make it easier for children to eat healthfully and move more, local governments in towns and cities across the country need to help create a better environment, a new report says.

Children and their families should have access to grocery stores that offer plenty of healthful food such as fruits and vegetables, and schools shouldn’t be surrounded by fast-food restaurants. Children should be able to ride their bikes or walk safely to school, and they should have safe places to play afterward, says the report out today from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council.

Written by Keith Forest

September 1st, 2009 at 6:13 pm

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Neighborhoods can affect children’s health,” - Palo Alto Daily News

There is no shortage of obstacles when it comes to raising healthy, active children. A healthy diet and exercise is overwhelmed by the Internet, sugary drinks, fast food, and our fast-paced lives. Now, leading pediatricians are pointing a finger at the design of our neighborhoods as another impediment to raising healthy children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a policy statement several weeks ago highlighting how the design of neighborhoods affects our children’s health. According to experts, neighborhoods play an important role either expanding or limiting children’s opportunities for regular, daily physical activity. While a pediatrician can recommend that a child get regular exercise, taking this advice is difficult for families whose homes are surrounded by busy streets, broken sidewalks and few parks. Fortunately, we have been addressing this issue here in San Mateo County for several years.

 ”A Warning About Disaster Housing,” - Washington Post
Repeat of Katrina’s Diaspora Is Feared

U.S. authorities remain unable to provide emergency housing after large-scale catastrophes and must do more to prepare survivors of such disasters for permanent relocation, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general is expected to tell a House panel today.

Nearly four years after Hurricane Katrina destroyed or damaged 300,000 homes on the Gulf Coast and led to billions of dollars of waste in the diaspora that followed, federal homeland security officials could face a repeat scenario if another storm struck a major coastal city or a high-magnitude earthquake hit population centers in California or the Midwest, according to prepared testimony by Inspector General Richard L. Skinner.

Mental-health court for re-entering prisoners ‘long overdue’,” - Philadelphia Daily News

City and state officials yesterday announced the launch of a special mental-health court that is intended to reduce recidivism by helping mentally ill prison inmates transition back to society.
Mayor Nutter praised the program as another in a long list of innovative and successful First Judicial District specialty courts, which also include Drug Court, DUI Court and the former Eagles Court at Veterans Stadium.

“Some folks make some bad decisions or have challenges in their lives and find themselves in the criminal justice system,” Nutter said. “That doesn’t mean that they don’t need and deserve treatment with the utmost dignity and respect.”

Written by Keith Forest

July 8th, 2009 at 3:53 pm

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Street Farmer,” - New York Times

Will Allen, a farmer of Bunyonesque proportions, ascended a berm of wood chips and brewer’s mash and gently probed it with a pitchfork. “Look at this,” he said, pleased with the treasure he unearthed. A writhing mass of red worms dangled from his tines. He bent over, raked another section with his fingers and palmed a few beauties.

An Urban Farmer Is Rewarded for His Dream (October 1, 2008) It was one of those April days in Wisconsin when the weather shifts abruptly from hot to cold, and Allen, dressed in a sleeveless hoodie — his daily uniform down to 20 degrees, below which he adds another sweatshirt — was exactly where he wanted to be. Show Allen a pile of soil, fully composted or still slimy with banana peels, and he’s compelled to scoop some into his melon-size hands. “Creating soil from waste is what I enjoy most,” he said. “Anyone can grow food.”

For a Frugal Dieter, Weight Loss on a Sliding Scale,” -  The New York Times

IF you’re one of the millions of people who are dieting right this minute, or even thinking about it, here’s some good news: you don’t have to throw a lot of money at the problem to see results. In fact, you may not have to spend much at all.

Every year consumers spend billions of dollars on supplements, diet foods, books and meal replacements. But the truth is that success depends not so much on what diet plan you choose or what program you join.

 ”Calls Grow to Increase Stimulus Spending,” - The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden said the Obama administration “misread how bad the economy was” and didn’t foresee unemployment levels nearing double digits, in comments likely to intensify calls for the administration to do more to counter job losses.

Some economists are pressing the White House to enact a second round of stimulus spending or find some other way to avert a prolonged job and wage slump. But the White House is in a tough spot. Officials want to give the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February time to work — only 10% of the spending is out the door so far — and there is little appetite in Congress, particularly among Republicans, for spending more money at a time of record deficits.

Written by Keith Forest

July 6th, 2009 at 5:44 pm