On February 17th and 18th, there was a two-day conference for youth who are involved in journalism programs throughout the state. The conference had workshops which were lead by professionals from the field, as well as key-note speakers that shared their wisdom about journalism. Young people from all over California came to Oakland for this event, and this video features a taste of how their programs are run.
Many people believe that laws exist in society in order to keep its citizens safe. When a person commits a crime, they should be penalized accordingly. However, there are some that are questioning if punishment is the appropriate way to keep people safe. After all, if the punishment cripples a person’s ability to return to being a productive citizen, is it really the best option?
According to the Los Angeles Times, community reinvestment is the key to reducing crime and violence. Instead of locking up the people who break the law, they are assigned projects or summer jobs to improve their community.
“Indeed, there is now sufficient evidence to support an entirely new model for countering violence — one driven by investment,” said Professor Patrick Sharkley, the writer of the article Community investment, not punishment, is key to reducing violence.
In Sacramento, organizations such as the California Endowment encourage restorative actions rather than punishment. One reason to choose reinvestment is the much lower cost. According to the New York Times, the average cost of locking up one inmate annually is $168,000, The prison population of California in 2015 was 112,300 people. According to the Orange County Register, California could save half a billion dollars by introducing new rehabilitation programs for inmates and ex-convicts.
In the Sacramento City Unified School District, there are some educators who hold similar views. Often, the teachers and school administrators have to strike the balance between restorative programs and punishment.
“I definitely think that the balance should tip in the favor of, restorative, reinvestment, supportive, as opposed to punishment,” said David Van Natten, Principal of John F. Kennedy High School. “Particularly in the context of school, sometimes a consequence is appropriate but that it’s a much better learning experience and it’s more likely result in long-term change if there is a restorative component.”
The American prison system has become one of the largest in the world. It is up to the people to decide what happens next.
Recently, Hmong women converged on a Sacramento community center to discuss the issues they share and the ways to move forward with power.
In January of 2017, President Donald Trump issued a new ethics policy regarding lobbyists. The policy weakens the ethics policy which prevented lobbyists from joining agencies related to where they lobbied before. This change by the Trump administration allows lobbyists such as corn syrup advocates to help the USDA set rules and guidelines about what’s healthy.
For context, let’s take a step back for a moment. In 2009, Barack Obama made an executive order to prevent lobbyists from joining agencies if they had lobbied for something similar within the past two years. Though this ethics policy still remains, it has gotten easier for lobbyists to join an agency as long as they have an “ethics waiver”.
Now, how does all this affect citizens? Kailee Tkacz, a previous corn syrup lobbyist, was given an ethics waiver to serve as a member of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She lobbied on “education regarding federal food policy”, but now with her new position in the USDA, she can change those very same policies. That could mean that the maximum amount of corn syrup in any given product could rise, and it could mean that corn syrup will be seen as more healthy based on new standards.
“Recently, the World Health Organization recommended that an average adult consume only twenty-five grams of sugar daily,” Bruce Tran wrote in a previous article about health on our website. “However, an average American consumed about three pounds of sugar each week. With two-thirds of American being obese or overweight, there are many scientific studies to support that sugar is strongly linked to obesity.”
Tkacz is just one example of a former lobbyist joining the ranks of a government agency they once sparred with in a professional setting. Since June of 2017, over 30 lobbyists were appointed to Trump administration posts to oversee the same issue area on which they had lobbied on in the two year prior, in an apparent total shift in the Obama area policy.
On February 10th, the Sacramento Bee published an article about a McClatchy High School student’s controversial science fair project that questioned if certain races were intellectual enough to handle the elite magnet program that the student was currently in, based on their IQ scores.
The project, titled “Race and IQ”, justified the lack of diversity in the schools accelerated Humanitanities and International Studies program because “the average IQ of Blacks, Southeast Asians, and Hispanics are lower than the average IQ’s of non-Hispanic Whites and Northeast Asians.”
Many Students in Sacramento Charter High School’s 12th grade Advanced Placement Literature class, a school with a predominantly Black and Hispanic population, were outraged after reading and discussing the article during class, but few were surprised.
“Not to be blasé about the whole situation but when you’re Black in America, you hear about racist [stuff] you whole life,” Layla Dobson, a 12th grader at Sacramento Charter High School explained on Monday. “It gets depressing and eventually you become numb from it all because racism against Black people, subtle or overt, is an everyday occurrence.”
The empathy gap between races, socio-economic statuses, and religion has always been present, but some believe that, with the current presidential administration, such blatant examples of lack of empathy will only become more common.
“Racism is everywhere. It’s not going to change,” said Jacqui Guzman after reading the article. “The president talks so bad about my race, at this point, nothing that has to do with racism [surprises] me.”
According to a national survey from the Public Religion Research Institute referenced in the Washington Post, Republicans show very limited awareness to discrimination in minority groups. “Less than one-third of Republicans believe [B]lacks face a lot of discrimination in society, compared to roughly two-thirds who say they do not.”
And one can only imagine how oblivious, or blissfully optimistic, the 24 percent who believe that “not any groups (including minorities, immigrants, LGBTQ, etc.) experience a lot of discrimination” must be.
But studies have hypothesized that a person’s failure to empathize with other groups and, or in this case, races, can come from their own implicit bias of that race.
An article in Slate references a study that shows that people, including those in the medical field, assume Blacks feel less pain that other races.
This, obviously, is untrue. Blacks experience the same amount of physical pain as as everyone else. But when participants in the study were asked to rank the pain tolerance of photos of Blacks and White in different scenarios, most ranked that the Blacks were able to endure more pain than others.
This belief correlates with a very common misconception that Blacks and Hispanics are “harder” than other races because of their backgrounds and need stronger discipline than other races. This convoluted way of thinking really sheds light on how racial stereotypes and disparities are created.
Now that the problem has been identified, the next is to figure out what to do about it.
An article in Education Week says that early childhood, specifically through education, is where most people first begin to learn to empathize. Through relationships with their peers and teachers, children learn who they can trust and who and what to value.
The article says it’s up to instructors, and parents, to create a learning condition that teaches students to foster and support empathy of each others.
So while it may be too late for the current generation to learn empathy, it’s not too late for the next one.
The Verge is an art gallery that is free to the public. They offer classes on arts and crafts, as well as summer camps.
Sacramento housed the fourth largest Japan Town in the United State during the 1920s. Today the town is known as Old Florin Town. Explore in this video the untold history that many that still have a message today.
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
Additionally, the first 10 family-friendly 10-minute screenplay entries from women age 21 and under are also free regardless of what school they attended. A script entry is normally $25. For more information about the “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival script competition, the March 21 script final deadline, and other classes and support for the festival participants, go to AccessSacramento.org