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Public health

Sex, drugs and filth plague city-sponsored public restrooms

Nina Frazier, SF Public Press — Apr 4 2011 - 10:16am

Second of two articles about hygiene options for San Francisco’s homeless

San Francisco’s 25 freestanding, so-called “self-cleaning” public restrooms scattered across the city are magnets for prostitution and drug use. They are so filthy that even after automatic cleanings, they require one to five manual scrub-downs a day. The Department of Public Works, which contracted with JCDecaux more than a decade ago to install and maintain the units, blames the company. The company blames the police. And the police say they don’t have time to babysit city toilets 24 hours a day. The homeless are often shut out of the facilities, which constitute the only public restrooms where they are welcome. Meanwhile, San Francisco takes a cut of the company’s profits from billboards that envelope the toilets.

California officials say radiation ‘plume’ from Japan won’t increase state’s levels above normal

Alison Hawkes, Way Out West — Mar 17 2011 - 5:58pm
California health and emergency officials said a “plume” of radiation coming from the Japanese nuclear crisis that’s expected to hit the West Coast as early as tomorrow will bring radiation levels to no higher than normal background levels.

Upscale medical cannabis club aims to change image of industry

Hank Drew, SF Public Press — Jan 24 2011 - 1:03pm
The San Francisco Patient and Resource Center in the South of Market area resembles an art gallery where customers in sports coats and skirts suck THC vapors from plastic balloons and feast on cannabis-laced caramels. The medical cannabis dispensary at 1256 Mission St. was designed by Larissa Sand of Sand Studios in the South Park neighborhood with the intention of luring new customers in this evolving area, which includes the new Federal Building just two blocks away.

Tracking of medical pot data, key aim of state program, varies greatly by county

Hank Drew, SF Public Press — Jan 17 2011 - 2:13pm

San Francisco hands back applications to cannabis card users

San Francisco is among the most active cities in California in easing access to medical marijuana, having issued more than one-third of the 47,828 cannabis cards in the state. But unlike surrounding counties, San Francisco has a long-standing practice of handing back the paper applications for cards and not recording the names of patients or the doctors who give them the required recommendations.

Test results of city sludge don’t satisfy critics

Alison Hawkes, SF Public Press/Way Out West — Aug 18 2010 - 1:58pm

When activists dumped processed sewage compost on the steps of San Francisco City Hall in March, the stunt was meant to draw national attention toward a supposed hypocrisy afoot in the greenest city in America. The city immediately stopped the giveaway of sewage sludge, a mixture of treated sewage and yard wastes, and ordered a series of expensive tests to prove its safety. The Public Utilities Commission said the compost was no worse than commercial fertilizers. But opponents say the fight is far from over.

Minority voters think greener, statewide poll shows

Rosemary Macaulay, SF Public Press — Aug 6 2010 - 1:10pm

A poll of California's voters released last week has revealed disparities between the environmental attitudes of ethnic groups. Asian, black and Latino voters are more concerned about air pollution, more sensitive to the effects of global warming, and more willing to see the government act on environmental issues than white voters. But in the wake of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, all ethnic groups reject more oil drilling off the coast of California.

Stranded: One man’s fight to re-establish safe haven for Haitian street kids

J. Malcolm Garcia, SF Public Press — Jul 15 2010 - 3:01pm

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti — I first met Michael Brewer in 2005 when I was in Port au Prince reporting on Citie Soleil, a notoriously violent ghetto at the time. Michael, a Texas native and a registered nurse turned child advocate, ran a nonprofit organization called Haitian Street Kids Inc. and spent a lot of time in Citie Soleil helping homeless children.

HIV, AIDS gap widens between blacks and other ethnic groups in East Bay

Danielle J. Brown, SF Public Press — Jul 9 2010 - 11:33am

As overall AIDS rates fall in Alameda County, the rate in the black community has hardly budged in the past 10 years, making African Americans in this part of the East Bay increasingly overrepresented among sufferers of the disease.

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Balanced city budget would restore $25 million to health and social services

Conor Gallagher, SF Public Press — Jul 2 2010 - 6:00pm

City leaders Thursday got closer to bridging a $483 million deficit. The Board of Supervisors budget committee approved a plan that uses savings from across city departments to restore proposed cuts to health and human service programs. It also retains city workers whose jobs the mayor wanted to contract out.

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Report: Black, Latino young men twice as likely to suffer from poor health

Katy Gathright, SF Public Press — Jul 1 2010 - 10:27am

A new report concerning the health of boys of different ethnicities focuses on the effect of neighborhoods and communities on physical and mental health.

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