March 17, 2014 |
Lourdes was 69 years old when I first met her in 2012. She was living next to a bus stop on a busy four-lane street in front of a Silver Lake supermarket. Lourdes had claimed the spot three years earlier, after she was rousted from her encampment in Griffith Park. Before that, she'd lived in her 1973 Toyota, but it was eventually impounded because of overdue parking tickets. Lourdes was one of the folks we call "chronically homeless. " She'd been surviving on the city's margins for 20 years after losing her low-cost housing because of gentrification.
March 16, 2014 |
SACRAMENTO - Cities, counties and law enforcement officials across California are bristling at a 6-year-old law that they contend prevents regulation of massage parlors they suspect offer more than therapeutic bodywork. A profusion of massage parlors, often near schools and neighborhoods, creates blight, they complained at a legislative hearing. Local government officials told lawmakers last week that they're frustrated by a 2008 law that sought to regulate illicit massage parlors and support legitimate spas and other businesses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 |
He's a hefty, baby-faced teenager, a head taller than his teammates, and the anchor of a high school soccer team that won a city championship this month. Watching him on the field this week, I found it hard to believe that this time last year Canoga Park High goalie Mauricio Garcia was battling leukemia. The cancer sidelined him in the fall of 2012 as Mauricio was preparing for soccer tryouts. He was front-runner for the goalie spot, but he'd been struggling during tough workouts.
March 13, 2014 |
NEW YORK - The caller who reported a gas smell minutes before a deadly explosion that destroyed two Manhattan buildings had noticed the same odor the night before but did not report it at the time, officials said Thursday, indicating the catastrophe could have been averted if utility crews had been alerted earlier. At least eight people were killed in Wednesday morning's blast on Park Avenue, between 116th and 117th streets in East Harlem. In a biting wind and temperatures in the 20s, rescue workers continued searching for more people possibly buried beneath the rubble.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 11, 2014 |
SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco firefighters were able to prevent a massive fire at a condominium construction site near AT&T Park from spreading to other properties, San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White said. As of 9 p.m., scores of firefighters continued to contain the flames and began mop-up operations. No injuries were reported and no cause has been identified. Hayes-White said 140 firefighters were spraying nearby buildings to prevent the blaze from burning other structures.
March 8, 2014 |
An Army sergeant at Ft. Hood who was tasked with helping prevent sexual assault now faces potential court-martial for sexual abuse, adultery and other criminal charges. The 21 initial charges filed Friday by the Army against Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen are related to pandering, conspiracy, maltreatment of a subordinate, abusive sexual contact, adultery and detrimental conduct, the Texas base said in a statement. Army investigators started looking into McQueen, 38, last May after allegations surfaced that he had turned a few cash-strapped female soldiers into prostitutes who he then offered to higher-ranking members.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 2014 |
Doctors are fueling the nation's prescription drug epidemic and represent the primary source of narcotic painkillers for chronic abusers, according to a new government study. The finding challenges a widely held belief that has long guided policymakers: That the epidemic is caused largely by abusers getting their drugs without prescriptions, typically from friends and family. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study, said the research showed the need for greater focus on doctors who are "problem prescribers.
February 28, 2014 |
In America you're innocent until proven guilty. But the federal government can seize your assets before trial and prevent you from using them to hire the lawyer of your choice, even though the right to counsel is protected by the 6th Amendment. That's an injustice, and it was compounded this week by the Supreme Court. In 2007, Kerri Kaley, a sales representative for a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and her husband Brian were indicted on charges that they had participated in a scheme to resell medical devices allegedly stolen from hospitals; they maintained that the hospitals no longer had any use for the devices.
February 25, 2014 |
The manipulation of human genes could lead to profound advances in our ability to cure or prevent terrible diseases. But in some cases, it might also mean introducing genetic material that could be passed from one generation to the next, changing the human gene pool in a manner that could inadvertently harm peoples' health. Such "inheritable" DNA is a hotly debated issue among bioethicists, and one that an advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration will review Tuesday and Wednesday as it considers whether human trials should be allowed for a new therapy that could prevent a rare but devastating inherited disorder.
February 25, 2014 |
If you are taking vitamin supplements to reduce your risk of heart disease or cancer, a government panel of health experts wants you to know that you're probably wasting your money. In some cases, those vitamins may actually increase your risk of cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force came to this conclusion Monday after reviewing dozens of studies, including many randomized clinical trials, considered the gold standard for medical research. The task force's final recommendation was published online Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.