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Idaho ranks 50th for status of women

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research has released its “Status of Women in the States: 2015” report, and Idaho came out 50th among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. for employment and earnings, ranking better than only West Virginia. The study, which compares data on poverty and opportunity, violence and safety, health and well-being, reproductive rights, political participation and work and family, found that Idaho ranked 50th for women’s employment and earnings and 48th for reproductive rights, earning F grades in both categories; 43rd for women’s poverty and opportunity, earning a D; and 14th for women’s health and well-being, earning a C+.

Idaho ranked 50th for the percentage of women who own businesses; 50th for the share of women in managerial or professional jobs; 42nd for the percentage of women with health insurance, at 77.7 percent; and 44th for its gender-wage ratio, which showed that women earn 75 percent of what men earn, compared to the national average of 78.3 percent. The state’s best rankings were for its low incidence of AIDS among women, ranking 4th lowest; low incidence of diabetes, ranking 7th; and low rate of lung cancer deaths among women, ranking 8th.

The reports, funded in part by the Ford Foundation, have been issued since 1996 and track data on women at the state, national and international levels. Detailed data is being released each month this spring; the latest showed that in almost every state, women are more likely to experience poor mental health than a decade ago, but less likely to die from heart disease and breast cancer. The full report is online here.

The Valley Precinct wants your drugs

The Spokane Valley Police Precinct is giving everyone a chance to get rid of their old drugs on Sept. 27. Drop off expired, unused and otherwise not needed medication between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Precinct, 12710 E. Sprague Ave.

This is what 2,000 calories look like

Buzzfeed created a video that illustrates what 2,000 Calories look like using bagels, chicken McNuggets, carrots, and other foods. The video was inspired by WiseGEEK’s awesome photo collection showing 200 Calories of various foods.

Tuesday Video: How to eat an apple

You know what they say, an apple a day. But this clip makes me wonder if I've been doing it all wrong. The story begins at FoodBeast:

It all happened early yesterday morning — I ran up to the fridge in our office just a few short skips away from my desk, pulled an apple from the fruit drawer, and chomped on it as I returned to my seat. Upon the first crunch, my desk-mate Geoff looked up from his computer, and said the inevitable phrase that eventually led to me writing this post: “Dude, you’re eating that apple all wrong.”

This is the right way:


According to Geoff, if you eat it from the top, the core doesn’t even exist.

The traditional method of eating around “the core” seemed to create a sizable amount of waste. In fact, after doing a mass and volume test, we concluded we were seemingly throwing away anywhere from 15 to 30% of every apple. If you live by the ‘apple a day’ motto, then apples priced at $1.30/lb. will set you back $137 year, with a waste of $42.

Mind blown. Read the full article HERE.

Also, bonus Mitch Hedberg quote after the jump.

Do we really crave junk food?

Check out the quick teaser for Anna Lappé's "Food Mythbusters" which examines the myth of junk food and takes on Big Ag.

“The American public has long been presented a false choice between growing food sustainably or feeding the world,” said Lappé. “It’s time we put such a pervasive myth to rest so that our communities can more effectively work to create a food system that serves human need over corporate profit.”

How mercury ends up on your plate

Check out this report about fish and mercury from the Blue Ocean Institute. The conclusion: "The answer isn’t to avoid seafood, it’s to avoid mercury. Particularly for pregnant or nursing women, as well as young children, the risks of mercury are significant enough to cut out high-mercury fish from their diet." Read more from Ecocentric.

Friday Quote: 2 Chainz

The cookbook "#Meal Time" from 2 Chainz just makes me love him even more. To wit:

-First step of sautéed asparagus: “Drape yourself in an Adidas sweatsuit, chainz n thangs.”

-First step of garlic mashed potatoes: “If wearing a four-finger ring, carefully place it on a side table before starting to cook.”

-First step of garlicky green beans: “Call Fergie, invite her to watch a movie on Netflix. Once she accepts, start making green beans.”

There's plenty more where that came from - check out GrubStreet for additional instructions

Nine shocking facts about the food industry

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Check out this graphic which takes on how modern farming techniques and government subsidies have changed corn and the health effects. From Take Part:

So where do the corn growers get all of that dough? A lot of it is doled out in the massive $500 billion Farm Bill Congress passes every few years, legislation that greatly influences what goes on our plates and makes it into our grocery stores. Aside from the corn subsidies, find out what else is hidden inside the monster bill.

Downtown Spokane sidewalks get a makeover

A plan to improve downtown sidewalks has been selected for funding by the Spokane Regional Transportation Council through a grant that targets pedestrian improvements.

The Downtown Spokane Core project designs and builds pedestrian repairs and improvements. These are intended to reduce barriers for disabled persons and encourage walking by making the walking environment safer, more comfortable and enjoyable. These needed changes to the downtown pedestrian environment were first identified in the Downtown Plan update.

I’m Marc’s Prostate

Like more than 200,000 American men annually I was diagnosed recently with prostate cancer. Next to skin cancer, prostate cancer in the most commonly occurring cancer among American men. The disease claimed more than 28,000 lives in 2009, the last year for which we have the most complete figures. There is almost truth to the line I’ve heard and now use myself – “if you live long enough, I’ll get prostate cancer.” Prostate cancer is indeed widespread and it takes a particular gruesome toll among African-American men. My case – special to me, for sure – nonetheless seems fairly typical in many ways/Marc Johnson, The Johnson Report. More here.

Question: A neighbor is recuperating at home for prostate surgery. Do you know anyone who is being treated for prostate cancer?

Travel: Five Tips for Staying Healthy While Traveling

Nothing takes the shine off a travel adventure like finding yourself sick away from home.  Even the healthiest of us can fall—Colds happen. Germs find us. Stomachs revolt—so it pays to think ahead and pack for those unexpected headaches, troubled tummies and painful blisters. Here are five tips for staying healthy on the road:

Clean hands. Pack hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes and use often. I wish airports would take a tip from cruise ships and provide hand sanitizer stations at the entrance to all terminals and jetways. Everyone picking up a bin at the security checkpoint or boarding a plane should get a dollop. It couldn’t hurt, right? It’s not just germy handrails or contaminated food. Unexpected surfaces such as the airplane seatback tray or even your purse can—according to some sources—be as dirty as the bathroom floor.

Plan ahead. No travel first aid kit should be without the basics: Pain reliever, cold medicines (decongestant, antihistamine, cough suppressant, etc.) and anti-diarrhea medication can make the difference between an inconvenience and an unpleasant medical situation. Band-Aids and travel-sized antibiotic ointment are a given. If you’re going to more exotic locations make an appointment with a travel medicine specialist for the necessary shots and preventative medication. Don’t forget your vitamins.
Note: Keep prescription medications in the original container to avoid confiscation and to make it easier to get a refill on the road.

Write it down: If you have specific allergies— food or medicine— make sure your travel companions and tour operator are aware. Note: Carry the name and number of your physician in case of emergency and have a copy of your insurance card with you.

All things in moderation: Overeating, drinking too much, lack of sleep and jet lag can wreak havoc on your body and weaken the immune system. Some say the best way to beat jet lag is to start preparing days before a trip. Eat less, drink less and sleep more. Skip the inflight cocktail and opt for water or juice instead. While traveling, resist the temptation to abuse the all-you-can-eat buffet on the cruise ship and stay hydrated.

Exercise: Don’t forget to get up and move on long flights and don’t drop the workout routine when you arrive. Many hotels offer at least a basic fitness room. Even if there is excellent public transportation at the destination you’re visiting, hit the cobblestones whenever possible. Take the stairs when you can. Note: There are specific hotel room-friendly workout routines designed for travelers.

Cheryl-Anne Millsap is a travel writer whose audio essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of ‘Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons’ and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Expanded hours at WIC locations

Good news: Spokane Regional Health District’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program kicked off spring by extending its hours of operations in most of its clinic locations. The following sites will operate from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (with no closures for lunch):

Downtown – 1101 W. College Avenue, 324-1620
NECC – 4001 N Cook, 323-2828
Valley – 10814 E. Broadway Ave, 323-2800
North – 5901 N. Lidgerwood Street, Ste 224

"We want to be as flexible as we can in supporting Spokane’s nutritionally at-risk women, infants and children,” said Tiffany Schamber, WIC program manager. “Expanding our hours will improve access to our services, which is a win not only for our clients, but also our community. WIC is one of the nation’s most successful and cost-effective nutrition intervention programs.”

WIC provides families with nutrition as well as healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and whole grains.

Power Of Our Regional Food Economy is April 19th

Don't forget: Spokane’s only conference covering every facet of opportunity that lies within a regional food economy will be held April 19, 2013. The Power of Our Regional Food Economy: 2013 Conference in Spokane’s University District is expected to attract more than 200 participants, rallying around the theme, Our Food, Our Economy, Our Health.

“The time is ripe for local leaders and key stakeholders to reclaim a food system that builds health, wealth, connection and capacity in our community,” said Ben Stuckart, conference chair and Spokane City Council president. “This day-long conference will give us the road map we need to bring a true systems approach to the regional food sector, potentially creating new labor income and new jobs.”

Economist Ken Meter will deliver Friday morning’s keynote. He is considered one of the country’s foremost food system analysts in integrating market analysis, business development, systems thinking and social concerns.

Shopping: This One’s For the Girls

Life can be cruel. Erin Broughton Hughes and her mother, Claire, are both undergoing treatment for an aggressive form of breast cancer. Erin, a single mother of two young boys, has a heart condition as do both of her sons.

As you can imagine, medical costs and bills are already piling up, so a group of local vintage vendors is putting together a tag sale tomorrow at the Bigelow Gulch Grange, north of Spokane.

Donations have poured in and the organizers have been busy gathering and pricing hundreds of items that will be for sale. In addition to gently used and household goods, toys, furniture, accessories and vintage items, raffle baskets will also be available.

By all accounts, tomorrow is going to be cold. But the sale, spearheaded by Unexpected Necessities' Jennifer Walker, offers a chance to do something that will leave you feeling a warmer and at the same time do some real good.


Note: If you are not able to make the sale, please consider making a donation to the Erin Broughton Hughes Benefit Fund. Drop by any Spokane Teachers Credit Union location and ask to donate money to the Erin or send a check to Kim Leighty at 3228 W Alice, Spokane WA 99205. Make the checks out to the "Erin Broughton Hughes Benefit fund."


Where: Bigelow Gulch Grange, 7001 E. Bigelow Gulch.

When:  Saturday, (Tomorrow) Nov. 10 9am-4pm


Got Drugs? National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is tomorrow


Through a collaborative effort with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the public will have an opportunity to safely dispose of their expired, unused and unwanted medications tomorrow at collection sites statewide from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous and you can find a local site HERE.

Drug Take-Back Day addresses a vital public health and safety issue. Other methods of discarding unused medicines, such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential health and safety hazards to our waterways.

Miners, conservationists work to protect Idaho trout

RIVERS — Two conservation groups and three phosphate mining companies in eastern Idaho have formed a partnership intended to improve water quality in the Blackfoot River in eastern Idaho.

JR Simplot Company, Monsanto and Agrium/Nu-West Industries have joined with the Idaho Conservation League and Trout Unlimited to form the Upper Blackfoot River Initiative for Conservation.

The announcement came after a study revealed mutated trout in Idaho streams, possibly related to mining pollution.  The study had been highligted on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (above) as well as the New York Times, as featured in this blog post.

Meanwhile, here's another interesting angle on the story, giving Simplot some credit, by Idaho Statesman columnist Rocky Barker.

In the latest story, the Idaho Statesman reports the conservation initiative group had compiled data on fish populations throughout the Upper Blackfoot and completed an assessment of fish passage obstacles and habitat conditions in February.

Monsanto, Boise-based J.R. Simplot Co., and Agrium/Nu-West Industries have mines in the so-called phosphate patch near the Idaho-Wyoming border.

Environmental groups have been concerned about selenium pollution from phosphate mining that’s killed livestock and aquatic life in eastern Idaho waterways.

Daily Show sets hook on Simplot connection with two-headed fish in Idaho

FISHERIES — Maybe there's no connection with the two-headed trout being found in Idaho streams and the six selenium mines operated by the J.R.Simplot Co

I mean, who would believe anything in the New York Times.

Maybe there's no involvement with the giant agribusiness and the silence on the research by Idaho politicians who've married into the Simplot family.

But this special video report by Jon Stewart's reporter Aasif Mandvi on The Daily Show last night sure makes an angler think about the possibilities, and have a good laugh about how things operate.

Mutated fish:  another good reason for catch-and-release.

Meanwhile, here's another interesting angle on the story, giving Simplot some credit,  by Idaho Statesman columnist Rocky Barker.

Consequences, still

Our Boomer lifestyle choices, discontinued decades ago, may still influence our health.  A report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention  reveals  the “number of baby boomers dying from a ‘silent epidemic’ of hepatitis C infections is increasing so rapidly that federal officials are planning a new nationwide push for widespread testing.”

Many Boomers contracted the virus decades ago – through injection drugs or blood transfusions, before blood screening was improved, during the time of AIDS.

New medications are available for the suppression of the virus. The meds are not cheap and they do come with side effects, but may be more appealing than a liver transplant or the agony of treatment for liver cancer.

Watch for a recommendation later this year from the CDC for routine testing  for Hep C of people born between 1945 and 1965.

Yes, no, good, bad…what to eat, drink?

Coffee, alcohol, dark chocolate…you name the substance and there is a study which indicates that substance’s health-enhancing properties or its contribution to your demise.

In Dr. Alisa Hideg's column today, Dr. Hideg advises readers how to dig into these various studies and their claims.  She tells us to read the fine print, not the drive-by headlines and take time to ask who are the subjects of a study? The effects of caffeine on a Petri dish subject are most likely different than how caffeine impacts a middle-age woman.

Take time to read her good advice – and then dig into the latest study on your favorite food or drink.

(S-R archives photo: Coffee berries grow on a tree in the highlands of Jamaica’s Blue Mountains.)

Why fast food is more expensive than homemade


I stumbled across a great infographic from The New York Times that breaks down the cost of two home-cooked meals, relative to McDonald's. It's not too shocking the homemade stuff is healthier but the graphic shows, it's also cheaper. Way cheaper. 

October: The Power of Pink, The Power of Community

Each October I honor my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor, by re-posting this 2006 column.  She was, and will always be, an inspiration and a guiding force in my life. CAM



The Home Planet: Community potent weapon against breast cancer

Cheryl-Anne Millsap
Staff writer
Oct 30., 2006


October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I’m sure you’ve noticed – next to the orange and black Halloween and harvest decorations – the pink ribbons, pink tools, pink kitchen gadgets, all being sold guaranteeing part of the profit will go to work for a cure for breast cancer.

Thanks to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, pink is the other color of October.

Now pink is the signature color of breast cancer awareness, the color of breast cancer research and, for some, the color of hope and success.

Pink is also the color of community. And that might just be one of the most powerful weapon in the arsenal against breast cancer

When I was a small child I went with my younger sister and infant brother to live with my grandparents. Our young mother was simply unable to care for us.

Two years later, in 1963, my grandmother – a woman who had just turned 50 – found a lump in her breast. After her surgery, the surgeon walked into the waiting room, put his hand on my grandfather’s shoulder and gave him the bad news. It was cancer. And it was very serious. She might not make it.

Both of my grandmother’s breasts were removed and she started her treatment. I don’t really know what was done to fight her cancer, beyond the surgery and radiation treatments, but I know she lost her hair.

During this time my brother, sister and I were aware that our grandmother was ill; I have a vague memory of her being in the hospital, of my grandfather brushing my hair, something my grandmother usually did. I remember the strangeness of finding him in the kitchen cooking hot cereal. I remember her wearing a wig.

We knew she was sick but the seriousness of her illness was never mentioned. You just didn’t talk about that kind of thing. Especially with children.

As soon as she was well enough, my grandfather went back to work and so did she. She went back to keeping house, to cooking all of our meals and caring for three young children. Back to raising a second family.

Although, when we got older, we were told that my grandmother had had breast cancer, the full impact of what she had been through didn’t hit me until much later. Until the pink campaign.

In 1990, at the first Komen National Race for the Cure in Washington, D.C., pink ribbons were worn to signify status as a breast cancer survivor. The little badge took off and became a universal symbol. The simple pink ribbons worn that day have evolved into a potent marketing tool.

Now October has gone pink. I’ll admit that when I see pink kitchen mixers, pink umbrellas and pink vacuum cleaners, each promising to donate a portion of the profits from each sale to breast cancer research, I am vaguely irritated by all the hype. Enough already, I think. I get it.

But then I think about the monumental effort behind the campaign, and the work that has been done because of it, and I think about the world my grandmother lived in and changes that have come about. There’s a lot of power in that pink.

Just 40 years ago, we didn’t talk about cancer. You especially didn’t talk about breast cancer. Women like my grandmother had no choice but to soldier on taking care of homes and families, keeping what they endured to themselves, without the benefit of therapy or counseling. There were no support groups.

My grandmother was a relatively young woman to be raising grandchildren. She didn’t have a large circle of friends. She didn’t go to clubs or meetings. She didn’t meet other mothers for lunch downtown. She didn’t even drive. She was a true stay-at-home caregiver.

She battled cancer and the permanent effects of that battle, with only my grandfather to hold her hand. And she beat the odds. Despite a poor prognosis, she lived 20 years after her surgery before the disease reappeared. But what she didn’t have access to when she was so sick, and what I have to think would have been good medicine, was the support that only other fighters and survivors can offer.

She had sympathy but no empathy. She had no one to go to and complain, or cry, or shake her fist and scream about the pain and unfairness of what had happened to her.

That is a tool that, if today I was to find myself in her place, I would reach for immediately.

The scars after my grandmother’s surgery were disfiguring. But as I get older I wonder about the scars that were hidden. The scars no one ever saw.

There were no stitches or soothing salves for those wounds. She was left to care for them on her own.

The advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer; the advances in the search for a cause and a cure since my grandmother’s illness in 1963, have been huge.

Now, there are television commercials and magazine ads urging women to get mammograms and to make a pledge to remind one another to do regular breast self-exams.

Now, if a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer there is a community for her.

The disease is no longer shuttered and closeted. When a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer she doesn’t just have the benefit of science and medicine behind her. She has the benefit of a corporate identity; a network of support groups, literature, advocacy and caring. That community is a big advance.

October only lasts 31 days, but the power of pink can last a lifetime.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review and is a contributing editor at Spokane Metro Magazine. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com

Feminist trailblazer Gloria Steinem talks about population and climate change in ABC interview

Gloria Steinem is an amazing journalist and political activist and it's too bad she has to field such awful questions from an interviewer at ABC News' Nature's Edge. Still, she's able to make it worth watching, talking about how climate is connected to women's rights and population. 


Creating a Healthy Community Training in Spokane

The Spokane Regional Health District is inviting you to a training to learn more about how you can make your community a healthy community. The training will consist of two sections: Healthy Planning in your Community and Opening your Community to Play.

Robert Ogilvie will be on hand to help. He's the Program Director for Planning for Healthy Places at Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP). Over the past 15 years he has worked extensively in community development and planning to help improve low- and middle-income neighborhoods.

The group focuses on land use, economic development, and redevelopment policies that offer a valuable set of tools to promote and enhance healthy communities. "Local governments, private developers, and community groups can all work to create patterns of development that improve community health–by ensuring that farmers' markets and neighborhood grocery stores are supported, for instance, or by promoting sidewalks, parks and other environmental components that encourage physical activity" says PHLP.

More details for this exciting event after the jump.

Keep Planned Parenthood funded

"For every one million cut from family planning services, that represents cutting off services to 4,000 people," explains Dana Laurent, political director for Planned Parenthood Votes! WA. "We're talking about over 18,000 women and families losing access to basic preventative care in Washington."

It seems like I have budget on the brain today. But in the past three state budget cycles, the Department of Health's family planning budget has been cut from $10 million in 2007-2009 to the proposed $4.5 million for the 2011-2013 biennium. And today, congressional leaders will vote on whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood, cutting $300 million in Title X funds for these same basic services.

"Nationally, locally, we're stretched to the brink," says Laurent. Overall, public funding for family planning in Washington has dropped by $14.5 million since 2005 which includes both federal and state cuts. Every dollar cut from family planning services in Washington results in $4.10 in new unintended pregnancy costs that start the same year.

The Upside of Jet Lag

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)  


    The upside of jet lag, and I suppose it takes a certain kind of optimism to even search for an upside, is that you sometimes find yourself awake and alone deep in the night. Or, at least, that’s what happens to me. For days after a trip my internal clock is upended. While everyone else is tucked in and sound asleep, I am a ghost. I tiptoe through the house making tea and toast. With the muffled whine of jet engines still ringing in my ears and a stuffy head thanks to the combined coughs and colds of hundreds of passengers packed into a 10-hour flight, I wrap myself in blankets and sit on the chaise lounge by the window in my living room with wool socks on my feet and a box of tissues by my side. I am miserable.

    But, I have discovered, there is a gift. When you are awake - half-awake as the case may be - in the dark and quiet world, you are free to think. Wrapped in warm blankets watching the snow fall on the other side of the glass, a comforting mug of hot tea in your hands, you can plan, imagine and dream. Who cares if you have to struggle to remember dates and names? If you’re too sluggish to do more than fall back against the pillows. Under the influence of too much travel and too little sleep, one is free to play with memory and ambition like a puzzle. The pieces can be arranged in whatever way suits you best.    

    Back from a December trip to Germany, cruising down the Rhine River past castles and villages and light-studded Advent markets; after navigating snowstorms, airport closures, cancelled flights and last-minute schedule changes, arriving just in time for Christmas with my family, I spent the last days of the year in just that condition. Exhausted, congested, confused and restless at night and too sleepy to function well by day, I cocooned in thick blankets. I looked back over the previous months. I measured my progress against the plans I’d made. I was too tired to run from my mistakes so there, in the darkest hours of the night, I let them catch up with me. There was, as is usually the case, plenty to answer to.

    I looked at the year ahead. I lay there and thought about what I really want to achieve. Maybe it is my age, my place in life, but when I really considered it, I realized the list is surprisingly short. I want less now than I’ve ever wanted before. The important things still matter: good health and happiness for myself and my family, time to daydream and write, freedom to travel and explore. But I’m no longer inclined to tilt at windmills. Let them spin. I’ve learned to choose my battles.

    Although it didn’t feel that way at the time, those hours by the window, awake in a dark house illuminated by the moon shining down on a snowy world, were the best gift I received. I could see where I’ve been. And where I want to go. And, perhaps this is the most important thing of all, I made peace with where I am.


Cheryl-Anne Millsap writes for The Spokesman-Review. Her essays can be heard on Spokane Public Radio and on public radio stations across the country. She is the author of “Home Planet: A Life in Four Seasons” and can be reached at catmillsap@gmail.com


Dude, only a week to stock up on Four Loko

You might’ve heard Four Loko (aka liquid cocaine) is coming off the shelf. The alcoholic energy drink is like the bastard child of an orgy involving a Steel Reserve and about four Red Bulls hopped up on Crystal Lite. With eleven percent alcohol  and enough sugar and caffeine to fuel Justin Bieber’s 12th birthday, you knew it was only a matter of time before the Loko was thrown in the Looney Bin.  The Washington State Liquor Control Board agrees. They voted yesterday to impose a 120-day ban on alcoholic energy drinks. Governor Chis Gregoire and Washington State attorney general Rob McKenna both praised the vote, the guvnah saying, “By taking these drinks off the shelves we are saying ‘no’ to irresponsible drinking.” Then this gem came in from the Spokesman and KREM-TV:

Just hours after Gov. Chris Gregoire announced a state ban on alcoholic energy drinks the Hamilton Market near Gonzaga University in Spokane sold 30 cases of Four Loko.

KREM reports some college students are stocking up before the ban takes effect next Thursday.

Gregoire said Wednesday that the caffeine-and-alcohol combination encourages excessive drinking and the fruit-flavored drinks in brightly colored cans are aimed at the young.
Nine Central Washington University students who drank Four Loko were hospitalized after a party.

The emergency rule ban is a reaction to that particular incident at CWU and a way to work on policy for a permanent ban but is that the right thing to do? Do “just say no” and prohibition work?

Neighborhoods Matter meeting

The Spokane Regional Health District has selected the East Central Neighborhood - including South Perry Street - as a partner for the 2.5-year-long Neighborhoods Matter Program. The kickoff meeting is on Monday July 19 at East Central Community Center, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Lunch is provided if you RSVP to (509) 625-6699.


OpenCDA Demands Health Disclosure

At OpenCDA.com, the inmates are in a lather re: transparency, believing that Mayor Sandi Bloem’s administration is withholding info re: the health of one of the City Council members. Intones one of them: “Elected officials are not entitled to certain levels of privacy expected from the general public. For example, if an elected official were to become ill, I believe it’s the government’s duty to inform the people.” Then, keyboard commando Dan Gookin speculates in error that City Hall has requested that the media sit on any info re: sick officials. And his fellow commenters in the echo chamber attack the individual council person who is suppose to be sick as “a dictator” and “an appalling human being.” Such caring people under that particular cyber rock. I have made a call re: this situation. And will provide info when I get it. Meanwhile, you can read the venom re: this subject on OpenCDA.com here.

Question: Is the ill health of elected officials at the local level a concern that should be made public?

Idaho Leads In Melanoma Deaths

Item: High skin cancer rates in Idaho, Wash. prompt warnings/Betsy Russell, SR

More Info: Idaho has the highest death rate from melanoma in the nation, and both Washington and Idaho are among the top 10 states for incidence of the deadly skin cancer, so health officials are urging folks to slap on the sunscreen and think about hats and shade as the sunny holiday weekend kicks off. Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire highlighted the problem in 2008 when she declared Washington a “SunWise” state, launching an EPA-sponsored program to educate kids in schools about how to be “sun-safe.”

Question: Do you take the threat of skin cancer seriously? What precautions do you take when you’re out in the sun?

A Charity-a-Day: Health

American Cancer Society

The American Canccer Society is committed to  ”providing programs aimed at reducing the risk of cancer, detecting cancer as early as possible, ensuring proper treatment, and empowering people facing cancer to cope and maintain the highest possible quality of life.” according to the website, here.

The Relay For LIfe is the epitome of medical fundraising walks. The Relay for LIfe website, here, describes it as “Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Relays are an overnight event, up to 24 hours in length.” I’ve heard it’s pretty much amazing.

Make A Wish Foundation

Make-A-Wish is an incredible foundation. It grants “wishes” to children with life-threatening medical conditions. The wishes fall from “I want a playhouse,” to “I want to meet Miley Cyrus and see her concert.” I personally have experience with Make A Wish, and I only have good things to say. Our “Wish Granter,” Mitch, was amazing. He came out to the airport to wish us goodbye. He lived way out in the country, and our flight left at 6 AM. He met us at abut 4:30 AM. Amazing.

However, if you want to volunteer, the Ways to Help page on the site is very informative.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease. According to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation site, “Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States (70,000 worldwide).”

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation holds various events throughout the year, but the one that’s most widely known is Great Strides, the fundraising walk. Spokane’s walk is held at the Jundt Art Museum on the Gonzaga campus. More information is here.