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Friday, July 28, 2006

San Francisco to insure uninsured

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has voted generally in errand of a plan to provide universal health insurance for San Franciscans.

Officials are still working out the details, and the Chamber of Commerce predicts a court fight as businesses that do not give health coverage will be required to help fund it, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The plan is projected to cost $200 million, with funding coming from the city budget, entity premiums and business payments.

The San Francisco Health Access plan will cover more than 80,000 city residents who are now uninsured. The plan will not be mandatory but is based on the assumption that anyone who now lacks health insurance will be willing to pay for coverage.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

One killed in crash on Highway 101 in San Francisco

The California Highway Patrol is reporting that one person was lethally injured today in a car crash on south bound state Highway 101 in San Francisco.

According to the CHP, collide occurred at 2:30 p.m. on southbound state Highway 101 at northbound Interstate Highway 280. The crash concerned a silver sport utility motor vehicle and a tanker truck.

The CHP reported that two people mixed up in the crash were evicted from a vehicle, though which vehicle each was ejected from was unclear.

According to the CHP, one person mixed up in the crash was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where they were later marked dead.

The CHP issued a Sig-Alert for the highway at 2:43 p.m. It was afterward lifted at 3:44 P.M.

Monday, July 24, 2006

San Francisco suicide prevention walk draws 11,000

SAN FRANCISCO Organizers of an overnight suicide anticipation walk in San Francisco are calling the affair a success this morning.

More than 11 thousand walkers turned out to remember loved ones and hoist awareness of despair and mental illness.

Walkers set out at sunset previous night from San Francisco's Crissy Field for the 20-mile round-trip. The walk finished up at six o'clock this morning in view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The event raised one-point-seven (m) million dollars, and organizers with the American Foundation for Suicide anticipation say money is still coming in.

The money would be used to research the causes of suicide and fund education programs.

Friday, July 21, 2006

San Francisco Plans to Offer Healthcare to Uninsured Residents

In a bold experiment, San Francisco moved a pace closer this week to accomplishing what no metropolis has done before: offering complete healthcare services to all uninsured residents.

The Board of Supervisors does not plan to offer common insurance, but it will expand access to San Francisco's public health system to residents who lack coverage.

The proposed Health Access Plan, planned for a final vote next week, will offer preventive, primary and emergency care by hospitals and county- and community-run clinics in the city.

With the number of uninsured Americans expected at 46 million, healthcare experts described the proposal as a pioneering local attempt to address a growing national crisis.

"This is an example of a city stepping forward saying, We're going to get our hands around this problem and do the right thing," said Dr. Kevin Grumbach, a UC San Francisco professor and chairman of the department of family and community medicine.

"It is possible to achieve universal healthcare. If it doesn't start nationally, it'll have to start city by city," said Grumbach, who served on a mayoral committee that planned details of the plan.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Universal health plan approved in San Francisco

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted collectively to make the city the nation's first to give all residents with health care, approving a plan that will give adults access to medical services regardless of their immigration or employment status.

Financed by home government, obligatory contributions from employers and income-adjusted premiums, the universal care plan will cover the cost of all from checkups, prescription drugs and X-rays to ambulance rides, blood tests and operations.

The plan, approved Tuesday, will not pay for any services participants seek outside San Francisco. Instead, residents will obtain care at existing clinics and public hospitals and from doctors who previously participate in an HMO for low- and middle-income clients.

To offset the predictable annual price tag of $200 million (euro159.6 million), firms with 20 or more workers will be required to spend $1.06 (euro.85) for each hour worked by an employee, and those with more than 100 workers will have to pay $1.60 (euro1.28) per hour up to a monthly maximum of $180 (euro143.64) per worker. Companies that already offer health coverage will still have to pay if their insurance contributions did not meet the city's funding levels.

The Board of Supervisors still desires to vote on the plan once more for it to become final

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Titanic artifact exhibit opens in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO -- Wistful music plays in a darkened room as visitors file past glass cases showing the detritus of tragedy past.

The items might seem unremarkable at first -- a pair of old-fashioned spectacles, a battered bowler hat -- but these are leftovers from the Titanic, material links to the human side of that iconic event.

"It's just a story that has thousands of human stories inside of it," said John Zaller, designer of "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," which recently sailed into San Francisco.

Six years shy of its centennial; it might seem that all has already been said about the April 15, 1912, sinking of the "practically unsinkable" Titanic. But while other disasters have pale quietly into the pages of history, Titanic lives on.

"Every element of what it means to be human is encapsulated in that vessel after the iceberg hits," Zaller said. "Every human emotion is evoked in the decision of whether you get in the lifeboat or whether you stay behind -- how you say your goodbyes and how you meet your end."

Monday, July 17, 2006

A rail of two cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco

IF LOS ANGELES Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to alleviate traffic congestion and decrease transportation energy use, he must join his San Francisco Bay Area foil in pushing for high-speed rail in California.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom lately exhausted a day in Sacramento to make the case for high-speed rail and to support AB 713, which will put the state's moribund rail bond issue on the 2008 ballot.

The California High Speed Rail Authority has developed a plan for a rail network to tie these major metropolitan areas with 200-mph passenger trains.

If implemented, it will mean that Los Angeles to San Francisco travel will take just three hours. Supported by past governors of both parties, the system will not only link the two cities, it will connect them with Sacramento, San Jose, the Central Valley, Riverside and San Diego.

Friday, July 14, 2006

San Francisco Silent Film Festival

The summer feels right to the Hollywood blockbuster, right? Wrong. To fully appreciate the ability of modern cinema, you have to tour back in time to see where the art form came from. The 11th San Francisco Silent Film Festival is your ticket to the first three decades of the 20th century when films leapt off the silver screen in all their monochromatic magnificence without accosting the senses.

By no means were these original filmmakers limited by the medium. Their works show a level of originality, brilliance, and experimentation seen seldom today. Nor were these films truly silent; musical accompaniments by solo piano, Wurlitzer organ, or funky band captured audiences' imaginations as fully as any surround-sound symphonic scores do today.

Watching these gems on the Castro's huge screen is a genuine treat. On-stage conversations with film scholars, and the progeny of some distinguished silent movie stars, add to the entertainment value. To round out the knowledge, many people attend in period dress.

This year's festival commemorates the centenary of the San Francisco earthquake and fire by presenting archival newsreel recording from the Library of Congress.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

San Francisco universal health care

The two chief architects of effective universal health care shook hands in agreement Tuesday, de facto and by force of would making the exclusive San Francisco program launch a certainty next July.

Workable because Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Mayor Gavin Newsom persevered to satisfactory agreement setting the stage for both branches of City government to totally cooperate rather than resist implementation.

"This will not have happened if it had not been for Supervisor Ammiano's extraordinary willingness to work together," Newsom reflected.

Ammiano returned, "How much better it is to have the cooperation and the involvement (of the Mayor's Office). If there's no cooperation from departments, if there's no good faith effort, the thing could never get off the ground."

Newsom agreed, noting the District 9 administrator did not require the mayor's backing.

Nine members of the Board of Supervisors had given veto-proof hold up to the Workers Healthcare Security Act (WHSA) authored by Ammiano.

"I think what the Supervisor has done with his willingness, in spite of eight co-sponsors, to work together on the mandate with this office, is a desire that we actually executed and implemented in an appropriate manner so that he doesn't have to call hearings every week saying, 'Mitch (Katz, Director of the Health Department) isn't implementing it, Controller's not, the rest of us aren't," Newsom explained.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

San Francisco soldier killed in Iraq buried

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The first San Francisco soldier killed in Iraq while fighting began more than three years ago was laid to rest in a tearful ceremony Tuesday.

Family and friends gathered at Golden Gate National Cemetery, immediately south of San Francisco, to bury 21-year-old Army Cpl. Christopher D. Rose, who died late last month when a curb bomb explode during a routine patrol in Baghdad.

Rose's parents, Rudy and Margaret Rose, scattered their son's flag-draped casket with holy water as more than 100 mourners looked on.

A military honor protector fired a 21-gun salute over Rose's grave as a bugler played "Taps," its sad strains deep off the rows of identical white tombstones for fallen soldiers lining the cemetery grounds.

"We're very proud of him," said his uncle, Benito Rose of Vallejo. "He's our hero."

Monday, July 10, 2006

San Francisco health care

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the city of San Francisco is hovering to become the first in the nation to offer universal health care to all residents regardless of income, migration status or pre-existing medical conditions.

Since this plan has been emerging in the "City by the Bay," one can not but is skeptical. That disbelief is fueled by comments such as those by Lucien Wulsin, director of a Santa Monica, CA health care advocacy group, "we'll either be extremely impressed or horrified."

The idea that government could provide something, in this case healthcare, to a portion of the population that currently can't afford to pay for it without having far-reaching inadvertent consequences is ludicrous. Of course ludicrous could frequently be used to describe governmental action in San Francisco.
The plan being advocated by Mayor Gavin Newsom will potentially add up to 82,000 uninsured to the present 52,000 member San Francisco Health Plan.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Marine World in San Francisco

If you've heard the new Six Flags Marine World radio spots and were scared the park had moved crossways the bay and you'd somehow missed it, don't worry.

The theme park is unmoving in Vallejo, and Vallejo is still an independent city, divide from its more well-known neighbor across the water.

It's all just a misinterpretation, a park spokesman said Thursday.

Marine World spokesman Paul Garcia said the ads, which effuse; "The new Marine World in San Francisco!" is running in error and will be changed.

"Unfortunately, the wrong spots made it to the radio stations," Garcia said. "Replacements are being shipped this week or the beginning of next week."

The ads have run on four days while the first ones began airing two weeks ago, Garcia said.

Park officials said their new ad agency, Zimmerman Advertising, to note that the park is in Vallejo, Garcia said. The Fort Lauderdale-based firm won the predictable $75 million Six Flags account last month, according to a company press release. The firm replaced Southfield, Mich.'s Independent Doner that developed the ads featuring the "Mr. Six" character.

"We communicated to the ad agency that the message shouldn't say San Francisco," Garcia said. "Unfortunately, they didn't make that change. They're making that change now."

Friday, July 07, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO- 2 health proposals for uninsured 'fit together'

A proposal by Mayor Gavin Newsom to offer universal health care will not fly without requiring businesses and other city employers to choose up part of the tab, the city's health director said Wednesday.

Dr. Mitch Katz, head of the Department of Public Health, ended the statement during a Board of Supervisors committee hearing on two health care plans -- Newsom's to expand care to the city's estimated 82,000 medically uninsured adults, and Supervisor Tom Ammiano's to need employers who do not give minimum levels of coverage to begin paying fees to help the city defray the cost of caring for the uninsured.

"I believe from a health policy point of view that the (mayor's) Health Access Plan cannot successfully go forward without the legislation that Supervisor Ammiano is carrying as well," Katz said. "I do see them as two legislations that were meant to fit together and do fit together."

After the hearing, the board's Budget and Finance Committee voted to unite the proposed ordinances.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

San Francisco C&D Recycling Law is up

A city ordinance that requires construction and demolition debris recycling has gone into result in San Francisco, according to a report from CBS5 in San Francisco.

The Construction and Demolition Debris Recovery Ordinance was introduced by Mayor Gavin Newsom and permitted in February. It took effect on July 1 and needs all contractors in the city to send their C&D debris to a certified facility for recycling.

The new systems have already brought an influx of material to area recyclers. Workers at the construction recycling facility owned and operated by Norcal Waste Systems sorted about 400 tons of construction debris on July 4, getting better between 65 and 70 percent for recycling, according to a press release from Norcal.

Robert Reed, director of corporate infrastructures for Norcal, adds that an oddly wet spring has delayed many construction projects, making summer a chiefly busy construction season in the San Francisco area as contractors try to catch up.

City supervisors expect the ordinance would increase the amount of C&D debris recycled by 8 percent, according to the report.

C&D debris accounts for additional than 100,000 tons of material in city landfills per year, according to the report.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO POLICE: Fireworks Safety Advisory for 4th July

The official City of San Francisco Independence Day fireworks displays would be launched from Muni Pier at the foot of Van Ness Avenue and from a barge in the bay just north of Pier 39 on July 4 starting at 9:30 P.M. and permanent for about 20 minutes. Large crowds are predictable from viewing areas on the Marina Green and the vicinity of the Embarcadero. Police would be deployed to enforce drinking in public and public nuisance violations, in addition to discharging of fireworks violations. The public is reminded that the auction and use of fireworks within city limits is illegal.

The public is advised that the evening's events would have an important effect on traffic conditions, particularly in the area of the Marina Green, and motorists should plan accordingly. Starting at 9:30 P.M., all traffic north of Bay Street in the Marina District would be restricted to residents only. The public is confident to use public transit during the evening.

The San Francisco Police Department is dedicated to ensuring the public safety, not only during holidays that comprise large public celebrations, but on a daily basis, working closely with other local, state and federal agencies.

For more information, please contact: Public Affairs Office-553-1651

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A Couple injured in traffic - San Francisco

SAN MATEO, Calif. - A married couple and their 7-year-old daughter were seriously injured when their car crossed into looming traffic and sideswiped another car and slammed head-on into a Sam Tans bus, the system said Monday.

The husband in fact suffered a medical emergency before deafening the family car on Sunday, but no further information was being out, said San Mateo police Capt. Kevin Raffaelli.

A 13-year-old son was treated for small injuries. None of their identities were released.

Eight other people, counting six bus passengers, were also injured, but were treated and released, Raffaelli said.

Monday, July 03, 2006

4th of July Music Festival Celebrations: San Francisco

July 4. The event features live music on two stages, an open-air movie festival, family entertainment and the firework show.

Outdoor Movie Festival: At Pier 45, the Embarcadero and Taylor Street. Noon-9 p.m. enjoy screenings of films gunshot in San Francisco on a 13-foot screen.

Live Music:

Pier 39, at the Embarcadero and Beach Street. Noon-9 p.m. Double Funk Crunch will perform from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Tainted Love will take stage at 6 p.m. and perform until 9:15 p.m.

Aquatic Park Stage, at Jefferson and Hyde streets, 2-7 p.m. Performers include The Max Perkoff Jazz Ensemble, The Marcus Shelby Jazz Quartet, Latoya London, Les Miserables, Stompy Jones, Mystique and Dwayne Wiggins. At Jefferson and Hyde streets.

Fireworks: At 9:30 p.m. fireworks would be launched from the barges of Pier 39.

Free.Noon-9:30 p.m.
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