The Verge is an art gallery that is free to the public. They offer classes on arts and crafts, as well as summer camps.
As time marches on, technology advances. These advancements are meant to provide improvements to the condition of life for everyone. For example, automation makes manufacturing faster and more efficient. Computers and algorithms make sorting millions of data points as simple as the click of a button. However, there may be a downside to technology that many people might not be aware of. Artificial Intelligence may be very advanced, but it does not yet have the strengths that people get from human interactions.
According to Gizmodo.com, the book “Automating Inequality: How High Tech Tools, Profile, Police and Punish the Poor” is exploring how technology affects poor people.
“What the system did was explicitly sever the link between local and caseworkers and the district that they served,” said Virginia Eubanks, author of the book, in an interview with Gizmodo. “The result was [a rise in] denials of benefits for basic human rights like food and medical care.”
In her examination, Eubanks brought up an examination of how statistics collected in during a case in Pittsburg determined abuse or neglect in a household were discriminating against the poor. She claims that the lower incomes families are “over surveils” because they are the one who uses public programs such as welfare, food stamp, etc. Most of the data collected used by the city come from those programs, and there, unfairly assume abuse and negligence are more common in low-income households.
Sacramento had also become more technologically advanced in the recent years. According to an article written by the Los Angeles Time in 2015, Silicon Valley was having increasing present in the Capitol. Even though they were bringing new technologies to Sacramento, they were also bringing lobbyist. For example, Uber and Lyft spent nearly half a million dollar in 2013 lobbying bills that would regulate them like the taxi industry. While technology is making life easier for some, it may also be increasing hardships for others.
On February 3rd, the Museum of Medical History of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society was open for the public during the 20th Annual Sacramento Museum Day. The museum showcases the progress in patent medicines, pharmacology, basic science, laboratory medicine, antibiotics, infectious diseases, medical diagnosis, therapy, surgical diagnosis, nursing, Asian medicine, radiology, and quackery since from the mid-1800’s. Some large artifacts were on display such as nurse uniforms, a doctor’s office cabinet, skeletons, a 20th-century iron lung, Civil War amputation kits, live leeches, examination tables, a 20th-century x-ray machine, and wheelchairs. The museum also holds an extensive library containing early medical textbooks and journals.
“Very interesting museum with lots to see,” said Zule Wimer, a tourist visiting the Museum of Medical History, “We loved it all! We kept going back to the same displays because there were so many details to read and learn about. Makes you grateful for modern medicine but also makes you wonder about what the future generations will say about our understanding of ‘modern medicine’.”
Before the arrival of settlers and pioneers of Northern California, the Sacramento Valley region was described as “… one of the most healthful territories on the continent.” However, during the peak of the Gold Rush, many Western settlers and miners arrived and brought diseases that caused numerous epidemics due to the lack of sanitation and hygiene. It was estimated that 6% of settlers died on their trip to California and 20% of the population lost their lives within 6 months all due to diseases.
Among the settlers and Sacramentans, unqualified practitioners, opportunists, and irregulars of medicine competed with doctors that which ultimately led to the founding of the Medico-Chirurgical Association in 1850 – the first medical organization in California – in order to decrease tensions between “regular” and “irregular” practitioners. The medical organization lasted for only six years until the Sacramento Medical Society was founded in 1855. The Sacramento Medical Society practiced organized medicine until it disbanded eight years later. Finally, in 1868, the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement, today’s Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society, was founded.
Under their guidance, the Sacramento Society for Medical Improvement was responsible for the second City Board of Health in the United States, the first prepaid hospital insurance plan in California, the first railroad hospital in California, the first successful appendectomy in California, the first weather bureau on the west coast, and the first building in California that was designed to function as a hospital.
The museum is free of charge and open to the public every Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM (except for holidays). Note: the museum will be closed on February 19th, 2018 in observance of President’s Day.
For more information concerning the Museum of Medical History, call (916) 452-2671.
I am a former correspondent myself, and now I’m a liaison for Utah State University’s literary journal, Sink Hollow. I’m announcing a Call for Submissions for creative works of fiction, non-fiction, art, and poetry. We accept undergraduate submissions from all over the world, and the deadline is April 9. But right now, I am asking for your story as Neighborhood News Correspondent.
As a former correspondent for NNC, I met some amazing people who do a lot of great work that goes largely unrecognized. It has shaped who I am as a person, as a professional, and as a writer. What stories or events did you cover that deeply affected you? What interview stuck with you the most? Here is your chance to turn your experience into a work of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or art. This is also a chance for you to showcase your creative talents in a way that may be inappropriate for journalism but is encouraged at Sink Hollow.
If you are interested, please go to https://www.sinkhollow.org and follow the submission guidelines (again this is for current undergraduate students only). It is also important to see if your style is the right fit for a journal before submitting, so please check out our issue for Spring 2018.
PS: Your submission can be about whatever you want, but you are encouraged to share your story as a correspondent.
Thank you for the important work you have done and are still doing, and happy writing!
Liaison, Grant Researcher
Utah State University
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously referred to as “Food Stamps”, has been shown through a variety of studies to be associated with lower healthcare costs and better overall health in its recipients. A new study states that SNAP recipients are 23% more likely to consume whole fruits and vegetables than non-participants. The study also suggested that the decline in consumption of healthy foods may be connected with the budgeting constraints and lack of preparation times to cook meals and that SNAP recipients have been shown to consume less sodium and saturated fats than non-recipients.
Food-secure households spend half the amount food-insecure households spend on healthcare, and according to an article written for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, there is a strong connection between food insecurity and chronic health problems among children and seniors.
While SNAP relieves only a small monetary burden off its recipients, it is the country’s primary anti-hunger program, having assisted over 42 million Americans in 2017, and is a vital source of nutrition assistance for many families.
“All Americans, SNAP participants, and non-participants alike have work to do when it comes to eating a healthy diet,” said Agriculture Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon in an article. “The results of this study reinforce the critical role of USDA programs designed to increase access to healthy foods and nutrition education among low-income children and families to help make the healthy choice, an easy choice.”
SNAP improves food security which gives families the opportunity to buy more nutritious meals and allows recipients to participate in more health-promoting activities. SNAP can reduce food insecurity by 30% and is shown to be most effective in children whose households have “very low food security”.
Aside from nutrition, SNAP recipients have shown to have better health in other aspects.
According to another article by CBPP, children who’ve had early access to SNAP are less likely to become obese or have heart conditions, pregnant mothers on SNAP are more likely to have improved birth outcomes, and elderly SNAP recipients have a higher medical adherence than non-recipients.
By making nutrition assistance more available to low-income communities, researchers predict, SNAP can continue to improve the health conditions of those who need it.
The City of Sacramento’s Neighborhood Services is hosting three community meetings on February 21st, February 22nd, and March 3rd at the Fruitridge Community Collaborative, Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course, and KVIE Community Room respectively and is inviting all associations, neighbors, communities, youth, organizations, businesses, and overall networks to partake in a discussion about the economic future of Sacramento.
Sacramento Neighborhood Services believes that the only way change and improvement can happen is if they hear from as many Sacramento residents, business owners and organizations as possible and that these meetings are critical to help develop the model that the City of Sacramento uses to create prosperous neighborhoods and thriving business corridors.
At each of these dates, an engaging discussion is to be held with group exercises, voting opportunities, and a chance to voice your concern on what you believe your neighborhood and City of Sacramento needs. Light refreshments will be provided by local businesses.
“I think civic engagement is critical and it looks like they’re doing a good job reaching out to the community. There’s plenty of notice and the three different options is convenient,” said Alex Dash, a concerned resident of the Sacramento county. “My big question is: what action has been taken from prior community meetings and how will they follow up on the input they receive from these upcoming meetings?”
RSVP at ProjectProsper.eventbrite.com.
For more information, you may call or e-mail the Interim Division Manager of Sacramento Neighborhood Services, Kriztina Palone, at (916) 808-2260 or email@example.com.
On January 10th, 2018, the American Journal of Public Health, a team of public health, nutrition, and policy researchers from New York University and Tufts University, published a paper to figure out how feasible it would be for the government to impose taxes on unhealthy foods. The researchers concluded that it’s definitely possible and they recommend putting a tax on junk food to encourage consumers to choose a healthier alternative. This tax doesn’t just make people pay more for junk food but rather it also discourages people from consuming them altogether.
The taxes derived from junk food would be invested in public health purposes, especially to help low-income citizens who may not have healthy food resources in their communities. The authors of this report were hopeful that this research could provide state and local governments with insights and frameworks of the public health benefits of taxing junk food. However, many people have noted that these taxes on junk food may need local support in order to bring awareness to the situation and to affect change.
Despite this feasible plan, many people doubt that the federal government will willingly support this due to the lack of political capital and the extensive lobbying that goes against it. A tax on junk food would negatively affect the food industry and the industry itself is known to be assertive when protecting their profits. Other than influential lobbying practices, the food industry was also known for promoting ‘industry-funded junk science’ that largely supported their position and interests.
“The food industry has a very strong lobbying component. They would join together and lobby against this,” said Jennifer Pomeranz, an Assistant Professor of Public Health Policy and Management at New York University. “Industry opposition to public health policies, in general, has been very successful.”
In 2015, Coca-Cola, stapled as “the world’s largest producer of sugary beverages”, promoted a science-based solution to solve obesity: a focus on exercise rather than worrying about the amount of what people eat or drink. Of course, health experts said that this message was misleading and also part of an effort by Coca-Cola to deflect criticism about the role of sugary drinks in contributing to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
The term “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health as a disorder that can develop in people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous, and overall “traumatic” event. PTSD is most commonly associated with symptoms seen in returning war veterans, but an action brief released on the California Endowment’s homepage redefines the term in a way many services providers seem to overlook. The report explains how PTSD symptoms in boys and men of color are often dismissed as the patients being “too hard” or “unremorseful” while really they are suffering from trauma that cannot be pinpointed to a single incident but are recurring factors in their daily lives.
To begin to understand how PTSD affects BMoCs, you first have to understand trauma.
The National Center for Trauma-Induced Care says that when a victim experiences trauma, an “external threat overwhelms [that] person’s coping resources.” While many people picture trauma as involving violence, abuse, or a disaster, just as many fail to realize is that factors like as poverty, racial discrimination, and incarceration or detention can be equally traumatic. While a form of PTSD is definitely experienced in many BMoCs, the term itself fails to accurately represent the trauma they experience.
For one thing, BMoCs quite often fail to get the help that they need, whether it be from lack of primary care and behavioral health treatment or an absence of emotional support derived from “victim-blaming”.
The brief also claims that because of the mis-definition of trauma, services like schools, healthcare, and law enforcement “will overlook these symptoms in BMoC, considering them “unworthy” of the diagnosis of PTSD” or “consider BMoC’s to be solely responsible for creating the circumstances that led to their trauma will therefore not offer empathy or treatment” which only reinforces the trauma. Aside from that, the empathy gap concerning mental health and poverty of Blacks and Latinos in our society enforces a stigma that BMoCs are “hard” and don’t need support or assume that the victims are at fault for experiencing their trauma and violence.
Often times, BMoCs misunderstand their trauma themselves and internalize their stress as just parts of their lives. Usually, BMoCs will identify their trauma as them just “trippin’ out” or feeling “angry”, many times they refer to physical symptoms like grey hairs or feeling as if they’re “killing [themselves] slowly” with stress, many describing experiencing sleep dysfunction.
In these situations, it’s common for BMoCs to self-medicate themselves with drugs like marijuana or alcohol in order to “be cool” enough to fall asleep, though is only helps reinforce a negative stigma to providers that BMoCs are “drug seeking” and will ignore their complaints, the brief explains.
There are more restorative ways to help with this problem. PRO Youth and Families, an organization in Sacramento, works with youth through Life Skills classes and mentoring programs.
“We get to know the youth we’ve been entrusted to work with by not only focusing on their exposure to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), but also on family, social and community assets that could serve to moderate risk exposures or enhance resilience,” said Dimitrius Stone of Pro Youth. “We also introduce mindfulness, meditation and the benefits of yoga to our youth. Although many are reluctant to try these practices to help cope with anxiety or mental illness, we make sure to share data that shows a correlation between communities with an abundance of fitness clubs/yoga studios and the high life expectancy of its residents, and communities with few fitness clubs/yoga studios and residents with low life expectancies and mortality rates and allow the students a chance to talk about the disparities and draw their own conclusions.”
You can read the full brief for yourself here.
A counter-march to the widely promoted MLK walk was held in Sacramento, hosted by Black Lives Matter and other groups who took issue with the people message behind the larger rally.
According to KCRA 3, 44 pedestrains and bicyclists were killed in Sacramento County in 2015. That’s why the City of Sacramento is working on its own “Vision Zero”, a program that is based on traffic and biking safety. Their ideas are to bring biking fatalities down to zero.
“Vision Zero” believes that traffic deaths are preventable, and they use preventative measures to try and keep residents safe. Vision Zero recommends changing speed-setting standards for cars, improve enforcement on speeders, and updating roads to accommodate everyone who uses them, not just cars.
“Well, last time I rode my bike I ran into a parked car and the handle smacked (me) and almost broke my ribs!” Katherine Mills, a Sacramento resident explains. “Bruised like crazy! I don’t like how sidewalks here have the wave effect. They aren’t flat.”
New York City and other town have seen a decrease in biking accidents after implementing Vision Zero, or other programs like it.
Locally, there are four upcoming meetings in different areas at different times, in order to get input from the city of Sacramento:
- January 17 – 5:30-7: 00 pm, South Natomas Library, 2901 Truxel Rd.
- January 24 – 5:30-7: 00 pm, Pannell Community Center, 2450 Meadow View Road
- January 29 – 5:30-7:00pm, Oak Park Community Center, 3425 MLK Jr Blvd
- January 31 – 5:00-7: 00 pm, City Hall, 915 I Street