tagged w/ Quality of Life Issues
A recent study shows that that 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
As the economy falters and more companies downsize, laid-off workers are being faced with a new decision: find more work as a corporate cog or create something new for themselves.
An August issue of Bloomberg Business Week quotes John Seely Brown...
"more people seem to be choosing a passion over a paycheck... In a world of mounting economic pressure driven by intensifying global competition, passion is essential to the kind of performance improvement needed to succeed."
Is he right? Will more people use the downtime they face from unemployment to become entrepreneurs? In this economy can you choose a job you are passionate about over a job that pays a lot?A recent study shows that that 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs.
As the... more
Cleveland leads a slew of Midwestern towns on our annual list, but thanks to high taxes New York and Chicago make it too.
The city of Cleveland has had a colorful history. The Cuyahoga River, which runs through the city, famously caught fire in 1969 thanks to rampant pollution, and it wasn't the first time. In 1978 it became the first U.S. city to default on its debts since the Great Depression. Cleveland sports fans have had to endure more anguish than those in any other city. The city has been dubbed with a less than endearing nickname: the Mistake by the Lake.
This year Cleveland takes the top spot in our third annual ranking of America's Most Miserable Cities. Cleveland secured the position thanks to its high unemployment, high taxes, lousy weather, corruption by public officials and crummy sports teams (Cavaliers of the NBA excepted).
Misery was on the rise around the country last year. Sure the stock market was up big, but so were unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcy filings. Meanwhile housing prices, the U.S. dollar and approval ratings for Congress continued their downward spiral.
The widely tracked Misery Index initiated by economist Arthur Okun, which combines unemployment and inflation rates started 2009 at 7.3 and rose to 12.7 by the end of the year thanks to soaring joblessness. That is the highest level since 1983.
Our Misery Measure takes into account unemployment, as well as eight other issues that cause people anguish. The metrics include taxes (both sales and income), commute times, violent crime and how its pro sports teams have fared over the past two years. We also factored in two indexes put together by Portland, Ore., researcher Bert Sperling that gauge weather and Superfund pollution sites. Lastly we considered corruption based on convictions of public officials in each area as tracked by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.
We expanded the list of cities under consideration this year to include the 200 largest metropolitan statistical areas (in years past we've examined 150), which led to a shuffling in the ranks. Any area with a population of more than 245,000 was eligible.
Cleveland nabbed the top spot as a result of poor ratings across the board.
(and a bit extra on Cleveland)---
http://andreakristen.wordpress.com/2009/04/08/cleveland/Cleveland leads a slew of Midwestern towns on our annual list, but thanks to high... more
Good Morning San Francisco, Good Morning Bay Area, Good Morning Vietnam.
This is YouWebRAdio and the News on Healthcare and Transportation.Good Morning San Francisco, Good Morning Bay Area, Good Morning Vietnam.
This is... more
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- As President Obama presses the House and Senate to finalize their own versions of health care reform, the real battle over the issue is just heating up -- and it's about to get very personal.
From Jim Acosta
CNNWASHINGTON (CNN) -- As President Obama presses the House and Senate to finalize their... more
A proposed ordinance aimed at quieting loud motorcycles passed the city's Public Safety Committee Tuesday and will now be considered by the full city council.
By Casey Conley
ReporterA proposed ordinance aimed at quieting loud motorcycles passed the city's Public... more
GIVE the Commonwealth’s miffed motorcyclists credit for imagination. The aggrieved group protesting Boston’s new ordinance against poorly muffled bikes has christened itself the Massachusetts Riders for Justice Committee.
Here, in the interest of greater accuracy - and onomatopoeia - is my suggestion: ROARR, or Riders Outraged About Reasonable Restrictions.
Let’s face it. Motorcycles are prime offenders when it comes to noise pollution. One night a few weeks back, a friend and I were walking near the Public Garden when there arose such a clatter that all heads turned to see what was the matter. A dozen or so bikes came snarling and snorting around the corner, almost all with unmuffled pipes.
By Scot Lehigh
Globe ColumnistGIVE the Commonwealth’s miffed motorcyclists credit for imagination. The... more
Central District Newsletter
Captain James I. Dudley
July 14, 2009
“Arm yourself….with knowledge!”
It’s great to be back in San Francisco!
I had the good fortune to have spent the past two weeks travelling in our great State of Alaska. What a great experience. If you haven’t been, I would encourage you to take the trip north and see the last American Frontier. While there I visited Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali, Juneau, Skagway, Petersburg, Sitka and Ketchikan, as well as the great glaciers of Glacier Bay. Wild life was abundant and the fishing was unbelievable. Not much crime in the back country, at the fishing streams or on the cruising ships.
Policing of most of the towns was unlike what we do here, in “the lower 48.” Some towns had only 4-5 sworn officers, including the Chief, but that was to police populations of under 1,000. In Juneau, several dozens of police officers lined the July 3rd parade route. It also happened to be the 50th Anniversary of their statehood. The locals do enjoy their Independence Day celebration and many also celebrated the resignation of their Governor as well, which seemed a bit perplexing to me. I was told by some officers that many of the jurisdictions supplement their force in the summer months when harvesting and canning of salmon is in full swing and that many of their calls of violent incidents are usually alcohol fueled.
Thanks to Lt. Rich Pate for assuming duties here while I was gone. I understand things went very well. See below for the Crimes of Note he submitted for the past week. It was disturbing to see that there was a shooting on Broadway Thursday night inside a club. Two individuals suffered non- life threatening gunshot wounds. I have asked the Entertainment Commission to hold a hearing to examining the clubs promotions, business plan and security plan. Hopefully we will put an end to dangerous and preventable situations.
The Central Station Community Meeting is this Thursday July 16th at 6 PM at 660 Lombard, the Tel-Hi Community Room, please join us. Don’t worry, if the crowd is unruly, I can always break out a slideshow of my vacation!
SAFE Night Out! We hope to keep the “Bocce with Cops” night going this year at DiMaggio’s Playground Bocce Courts August 4th at 5 PM. Save the Date!
Happy Bastille Day! Look for several celebrations and street closures around the district. Traffic should not be impacted significantly.
Crime Trend in Chinatown
The “River Rock Burglar” is back at it in Chinatown. Over the past two weeks we have experienced up to 5 burglaries in Chinatown. The MO has been the same as in previous years. The suspect takes a cobblestone or river rock and breaks a store window and makes off with cash or merchandise. The latest hit was for a tray of computer equipment on 6/13/09 from a store on the 500 block of Washington. It has been frustrating to experience the same type of burglary over the years. We have caught the suspect twice and he was most recently released from prison on parole on July 3rd, about the time when we started experiencing the burglaries again. Plainclothes officers from Central Station are investigating and searching for the suspect. The suspect is described as a 48 year old white male, 6’, 190 pounds, blue eyes and grey and brown hair. He was released by parole and listed “homeless” as his address. In the past he was found to be sleeping in local SRO hotels and parks.Central District Newsletter
Captain James I. Dudley
July 14, 2009
Betsy Smith and her husband, Robert El, have lived on Court Street for more than 20 years, and in all that time they thought their street near Martin Luther King Boulevard in Newark was zoned residential. They started to wonder one day recently when they saw workers on the roof of a commercial garage next door to their home.
by Barry Carter/Star-Ledger ColumnistBetsy Smith and her husband, Robert El, have lived on Court Street for more than 20... more
Rua XV de Novembro
We've already written about Curitiba's great Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, but that's not all the Brazilian city has to teach us. Our friends at StreetFilms write: "In 1972 under the direction of then Mayor Jaime Lerner, it became the first major pedestrian street in Brazil. The first phase of closing the street took place in only 72 hours. At first the project was unpopular, but today is seen as a success and spans 15 blocks." Check out the video at the link above!Rua XV de Novembro
We've already written about Curitiba's great Bus Rapid... more
"Electric Vehicles" Mostly Means Electric Bikes, So Far...
Petrobras, the semi-public Brazilian oil giant (the government of Brazil owns 55.7% of Petrobras' common shares with voting rights), has just built the first of what it hopes will be many electric charging stations. It is located in the Barra de Tijuca neighbourhood of Rio de Janeiro because that area has the most electric motorcycles and bikes in circulation in the country.
by Michael Graham Richard, Ottawa, Canada"Electric Vehicles" Mostly Means Electric Bikes, So Far...
Petrobras, the... more
Staring at the camera, Shona Holmes says a brain tumor would have killed her had she relied on her Canadian, government-run health plan that would have provided treatment far too late. "Now, Washington wants to bring Canadian-style health care to the U.S.," a narrator says darkly.
The television ad from a conservative group is dramatic — but deceptive.
In fact, President Barack Obama and Democrats pushing to overhaul health care want to create an optional, government-run plan to compete with private insurers but not replace them. As Obama told a health forum last week, "We're not suddenly just going to completely upend the system. We want to build on what works about the system and fix what's broken about the system."
The ad is part of a handful of commercials that are expected to grow this summer in both numbers and criticism as detailed health bills emerge from Congress and dozens of interest groups, companies and labor unions tussle over influencing lawmakers.
Millions spent on TV ads
Through June 27, $31 million has been spent for roughly 47,000 TV ads on health care this year, says Evan Tracey, president of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, a firm that tracks issue advertising. That's double the roughly $14 million the insurance industry spent in 1993 and 1994 for the famous "Harry and Louise" ads credited with helping kill President Bill Clinton's health care drive, but a fraction of the $250 million Tracey guesses will ultimately be spent this year.
Hoping to shape the early debate, the initial ads are "really being aimed at some people in the administration, some people on Capitol Hill, a whole bunch of reporters, a few bloggers," Tracey said. As Congress' direction becomes clearer and interest groups seek public support, "then I think you're going to see the spending go on a hockey stick curve straight up," he said.
So far, Tracey said about $15 million has been spent on ads favoring the Democrats' push to revamp the health care system and $4 million to oppose it. Another $12 million has gone to ads generally favoring better health care — nearly all of it by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, representing drug makers, which hopes its market will expand if more people have insurance.
These figures might be too low, with several groups reporting higher figures reflecting costs Tracey doesn't track.
'It's setting the table'
Ken Johnson, spokesman for the pharmaceutical group, says the association has spent tens of millions on television ads since late 2008, thanking lawmakers for supporting previous health initiatives or urging them to support a comprehensive effort this year.
"It's conditioning the environment, it's setting the table for the debate to come," he said.Staring at the camera, Shona Holmes says a brain tumor would have killed her had she... more
US researchers have proposed a new strategy to tackle the global climate dilemma: target the biggest polluters in a country, who also tend to be the wealthiest individuals.
Under the framework, a universal cap — rather than different caps for different countries — would be placed on carbon emissions and countries would then be tasked with getting individuals living beyond that cap to reduce their carbon footprint.
“Most of the world’s emissions come disproportionately from the wealthy citizens of the world, irrespective of their nationality,” said lead author Shoibal Chakravarty, a research scholar at the Princeton Environmental Institute.
“We estimate that in 2008, half of the world’s emissions came from just 700 million people,” he added, noting that many emissions owe to lifestyles that involve airplane flights, car use and the heating and cooling of large homes.US researchers have proposed a new strategy to tackle the global climate dilemma:... more
It sounds big, but it just isn't enough. Leaders of the G8 industrial nations meeting in Italy this week are likely to agree that the world must cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent by 2050. That means cuts of 80 per cent among the rich nations.
They will say that this is essential to keep global warming below 2 °C - widely regarded as the tipping point beyond which scary global feedbacks could wreck the climate system that keeps us fed and watered.
Sorry, guys, but this is scientifically illiterate. We might be lucky: if the atmosphere is less sensitive to those gases than most scientists suppose, it could be enough to keep us below 2 degrees, for a while at least. But the best estimate is that the world needs at least 80 per cent cuts in global emissions, and probably more like 100 per cent, to stay below two degrees.
The smart talk back at the climate lab is about negative emissions. We may need to construct a planetary air-conditioning system to keep us cool by sucking carbon dioxide out of the air.
Now I have been writing about climate change since the mid-1980s, when it was not much more than a scary thought among a few atmospheric chemists. Even at the end of the 80s, insiders say Greenpeace decided not to launch a campaign on climate change because they were not sure about the science.
So I am amazed at how far the world has come since, in admitting the need to control the emissions of gases fundamental to our economies. I know the 1997 Kyoto protocol was a bit of a damp squib, with the US bailing out and everyone else taking their cue. But even to be talking about 50 per cent emissions cuts today is, from the historical perspective, dazzling politics.
The trouble is the science has moved on even faster. The planet is not waiting for the diplomats. Climate chaos is coming down the tracks fast.
Even a decade ago, most scientists figured that we could probably cope with doubling the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from pre-industrial levels. That is, going from 275 parts per million to 550 ppm. Right now, we are at approaching 390 ppm and pushing up by around 2 ppm a year. So it seemed that we had a bit of time.
But five years ago, with growing concern about climate tipping points, scientists began to see 450 ppm as the threshold we should not exceed. That's a lot closer. We will be there in 30 years.
And more recently the talk has been about 350 ppm. In other words, because of the timelags involved in the whole global warming process, we will need to lower concentrations of greenhouse gases to below where they are now.
Either that or we may face the rapid breakup of the Greenland ice sheet, runaway African droughts, drowned cities and oceans so acid they dissolve coral reefs. As the cover story of New Scientist magazine eloquently put it last week: "It's worse than we thought".
But I won't despair when the G8 leaders walk away basking in the glow of having made a strong statement on climate change. Despair isn't really an option. And there is good news.
The White House is listening to its chief scientist, Nobel prize-winning energy campaigner Steve Chu, who certainly gets it. He tells Americans they will have to abandon California to the desert if they don't act fast. He and Obama believe there can be a worldwide revolution in how we generate energy: a low-carbon revolution within a generation.
I believe that too. There are tipping points in human society, as well as the climate system. But will we reach ours in time to prevent nature going over the edge? That I don't know.It sounds big, but it just isn't enough. Leaders of the G8 industrial nations... more
The White House signaled a willingness Monday to compromise on details of a public plan to compete with private insurance companies as negotiators sought ways to advance health-care legislation.
A senior administration official said one way to meet President Barack Obama's goals would be a mechanism under which a public plan is introduced only if the marketplace fails to provide sufficient competition on its own.
Mr. Obama has pushed hard for a public option, saying it will keep the insurance industry honest, but he has also said he won't draw a "line in the sand."
The official noted that congressional Republicans created a similar mechanism when they introduced a prescription-drug benefit in Medicare. In that case, private competition has been judged sufficient and the public option has never gone into effect.The White House signaled a willingness Monday to compromise on details of a public... more
Footage from a news story about SF enforcement of loud motorcycles, this video very clearly lists health effects of loud motorcycles and attributes this information to the SF Health Dept.Footage from a news story about SF enforcement of loud motorcycles, this video very... more
Central District Newsletter
Captain James I. Dudley
June 30, 2009
“Arm yourself….with knowledge!”
My name is Lieutenant Richard Pate and I will be the Acting Captain until James Dudley returns in July 13th, 2009. I have been assigned to the night watch at Central Station since October 2008. I have been in the department since 1981, and I have to admit this is near the top of my list of stations that I have been assigned to. I hope this newsletter will provide you with the same information that Captain Dudley has sent you.
We are gearing up for the Forth of July festivities in the District. It appears there will be two venues, one at Aquatic Park and the other location is Jefferson St, from Hyde to Pier 39.
The Marine Unit will escort the barges with the fire works out to the bay where it is safe. The Command Post will be located at Jefferson / Taylor. The event is free and open to the public. It is advised that you take public transportation due to gridlock in the area. If you decide to drive your vehicle, do not leave valuables in your vehicle that are visible. Also, dress warm, because it will get very cold later in the night. Enjoy your self and have fun. One more note, alcohol consumption in public is not permitted and will be enforced by the officers assigned to the event.
Police Commission Meeting in the Central District-Postponed
Due to construction conflicts, the Police Commission in the Central District has been postponed for a future date. The Commission will hold their regular meeting June 24th at City Hall.
Friday June 26, 2009
Felony Arrests 0
Misdemeanor Arrests 2
Drunk Related Arrests 7
Moving Citations 32
Parking Citations 19
Vehicles Towed 11
Saturday June 27, 2009
Felony Arrests 1
Misdemeanor Arrests 2
Drunk Related Arrests 1
Moving Citations 25
Parking Citations 8
Vehicles Towed 8
Crimes of Note:
6/22/09 7:30 AM Washington / Grant Marijuana Sales/ Fireworks Poss.
Officers Chris Del Gandio and Travis Pitcher were on routine patrol when they effected a traffic stop on a vehicle for a loud exhaust system. As Officer Del Gandio approached the vehicle, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana. There were three occupants in the vehicle. After the driver admitted they were smoking marijuana, the officers took the occupants out of the vehicle. The driver told the officers there was some ‘small’ amount of marijuana in a white box behind the driver’s seat. When the officers opened the box, there were 18 baggies containing marijuana. The officers also located fireworks and a pellet gun in the vehicle. All three occupants were booked for possession for sale of marijuana; the driver was booked for possession of a pellet gun and fireworks.
6/23/09 12:28 PM Post/ Leavenworth Theft/ Locked Vehicle
Officers Benito Manning and Cathy Daly were driving their patrol vehicle when they were stopped by a citizen who had just witnessed an auto break-in. The officers asked the witness to help search for the suspect. The officers were driving on Geary St when the witness, who was in the patrol car said ‘that’s him over there’. The officers detained the suspect. A screwdriver was located in his jacket. The officers also learned that the suspect was on active parole. The suspect was booked on theft and a parole violation.
6/23/09 3:07 PM 700 Block of Montgomery Weapon Possession
Officer Mary Godfrey responded to the above location on a report of a male with a gun in his waistband. When she entered the premise, a retired LA Sheriff advised her that he had taken the gun away from the subject. The gun was a semi-automatic handgun fully loaded. The subject did not possess a permit for the gun and was cited.Central District Newsletter
Captain James I. Dudley
June 30, 2009
Growing up is tough. But for boys, it may be even tougher.
While both boys and girls face issues — in school and out — the problems affecting boys are serious and have not been properly addressed by policy makers, according to a new review article by psychologist Judith Kleinfeld. Among the results: high rates of functional illiteracy and a troublingly high suicide rate that's become even more pronounced in recent years compared to the rate among girls.
"Boys' issues are being neglected, whereas girls' issues have been addressed for over 20 years, with great success," said Kleinfeld, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. "Now it's time to turn our attention to boys."
Following concerns about psychological and educational problems affecting girls in the early 1990s, discussion of a so-called "boy crisis" emerged. Some publications claimed that boys were falling behind girls in school success and that feminist ideology was partly to blame for lack of attention on the issue.
In her paper, Kleinfeld examines gender differences through a number of academic and social measures. She looked at educational achievement, school grades, engagement in schools, dropout rates, college entrances tests, suicide rates, depression problems, and conduct disorders for both girls and boys. She concludes that, while neither gender is in a crisis, boys' issues are troubling and overlooked.
Johnny struggles to read
Kleinfeld finds that, compared with girls, American boys have lower literacy rates, lower grades, less engagement during school and higher drop-out rates. Boys also have higher rates of suicide, arrests and premature death.
On the other hand, girls are more likely to have other problems, such as suicidal thoughts and eating disorders.
"I, like Dr. Kleinfeld, don’t want to say that one [gender] has more problems than the other," said William S. Pollack, the director of the Centers for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School. "But it tends to be boys whose deeper problems are not looked into, and for whom programs that exist are not funded...that’s absolutely true."
While Pollack has worked with Klenfield in the past, he was not involved in the current review article.
One of the most urgent issues, says Kleinfeld, is boys' writing. She looked at scores from the National Tests of Educational Progress, and found that boys' scores are far below those of girls. For 12th grade students, about 26 percent of boys had scores at the "below basic" writing level, while only 11 percent of girls were in this category. The situation is similar for younger boys. In 8th grade, 17 percent of males scored below basic while just 7 percent of females scored at this level.
Boys' suicide crisis?
Another serious problem is suicide rates, Kleinfeld points out.
In her review, she cites data from the National Center for Health Statistics to show the "alarming" suicide rate among boys. From 1995 to 2005, the rate of suicide among 20 to 24 year-old boys was 20.7 suicides per 100,000, while the rate for girls was just 3.5 per 100,000. Among 15 to 19 year olds, the rates were 12.5 per 100,000 for boys and 2.8 per 100,000 for girls.
And the difference between the gender suicide rates is rising. "In 1933 the young male suicide rate was 1.54 times higher than for young females. In 2005 the male rate was 4.63 times higher than the female rate," Kleinfeld said.
In general, suicide is a problem that is downplayed in our society, experts say. In fact, suicides are more common than homicides. Overall, the U.S. murder rate is about 6 per 100,000; for suicides it's 10.8. It's higher among adult men than women.
"There’s no doubt that in relation to suicide, boys and young men are in a crisis," said Pollack. "And almost nothing has been done to remediate it from the gender perspective."
Unlike Kleinfeld, Pollack does not feel that the word "crisis" should be avoided when discussing boys' issues.Growing up is tough. But for boys, it may be even tougher.
While both boys and... more
Lyn Shimuzu, left, and her partner, Silvia Castellanos, right, play with a train set with their children, 6-year-old twins Che, left, and Liana, right, at their home in San Francisco. Recent data has found that denying LGBT people equal access to family benefits and other civil rights may be contributing to higher poverty rates in the LGBT community than in the general population overall.Lyn Shimuzu, left, and her partner, Silvia Castellanos, right, play with a train set... more
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Wednesday is the start of a new fiscal year for many Bay Area transit agencies. And that means it is the day fares go up. In the case of Bay Area Rapid Transit, the increases come amidst difficult labor negotiations.SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Wednesday is the start of a new fiscal year for many Bay Area... more
Not surprising, but still troubling: A new study from the University of Washington and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health shows that subways are the loudest forms of mass transit in the city.Not surprising, but still troubling: A new study from the University of Washington and... more