Bill Signing, Economy, National Issues, Press Release, Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today commended the U.S. House and Senate for approving the federal Farm Bill, legislation that provides funding and guidelines for farm and food programs in the United States.“The Farm Bill is critical to ensuring that the agriculture industry and all who depend on it have access to the programs, supports, and services needed to continue operations,” said Governor Wolf. “Provisions that will protect our workforce, expand our opportunities, and preserve our industry are welcomed and appreciated. My administration has made significant investments in agriculture, and Pennsylvania is primed to capitalize on those investments. The addition of the passage of this legislation will further position us for future success.”The legislation contains a number of positive aspects for Pennsylvania agriculture. Two provisions are particularly notable. The first strengthens support for dairy farmers by offering reduced premiums and new coverage levels for milk produced under the new Dairy Risk Management program. The second removes hemp as a schedule 1 drug under federal law, allowing states to create programs for the cultivation of hemp for commercial purposes.“Support for Pennsylvania’s farmers – whether dairy, organic, or vegetable – is made readily available in the approved Farm Bill,” said Sec. Redding. “What’s more, the provisions found within the bill also include support for low-income Pennsylvanians, consumers, the environment, and our communities.”Redding also praised aspects of the final bill related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which maintains current requirements for recipients, and includes language that would provide permanent funding of programs that support farmers markets and organic farmers. He also applauded increases in funding for conservation efforts and workforce and education opportunities, and continued support for programs that help rural communities and businesses thrive, including broadband access and local food systems. Additionally, the legislation includes protections for crop insurance, helping farmers purchase policies to protect them from devastating weather conditions. The Farm Bill also includes a significant increase in federal funding for farmland preservation nationwide through the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), with Pennsylvania poised to access these funds over the next four years.Finally, the bill includes $20 million for a Farm-to-Food Bank program modeled after Pennsylvania’s successful Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This program provides an efficient mechanism for the agricultural industry to donate safe, wholesome food products while being reimbursed for the costs involved in harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation.Over the past four years, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $50 million in agriculture-related economic development projects; increased support for workforce development and agricultural education to help prepare students and workers for the thousands of anticipated job openings in the industry over the next decade; and signed historic legislation that has created new markets for farmers and lowered their tax burdens. The administration is working to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, creating jobs while improving infrastructure statewide, especially in rural communities.Learn more about Pennsylvania’s strategies and investments in growing the agriculture and food industry at agriculture.pa.gov. Pennsylvania Applauds Bi-Partisan Approval of Federal Farm Bill SHARE Email Facebook Twitter December 13, 2018
Even though most schools have implemented rules and regulations to curb the bleaching phenomenon such as banning offending student-athletes from school representation, it is still a problem they have to deal with continuously.The extend of bleaching was evident in the recent schoolboy season with a majority of the participating schools’ teams featuring players who engage in skin bleaching.Star striker for daCosta Cup champions Cornwall College Jourdain Fletcher was probably the most recognisable student-athlete, with a toned skin throughout this season. His speed, skills, and goals were as eye-catching as his discoloured face, but coach Dr Dean Weatherly explained that students bleach ardently during holidays, so when they return to school, it takes some time for their original colour to return.”When he (Fletcher) came in the summer (camp), he had stopped, but I saw it creeping in towards the end of the season when it was coming around to Christmas. So up to that point, I mentioned it to him. But over the holidays, it seems he intensified his use of the product, so now he looks white,” Weatherly declared. “It’s not that we don’t try to prevent it, but when they are out of school for three to four weeks, we can do nothing.”Excelsior’s female football coach, Xavier Gilbert, believes the females’ admiration for the bleaching practice has strengthened the males’ love for the habit. He also feels that it’s the parents who should take the lead in stopping their children from altering their skin tone.”They (boys) do it because the females like it, and once females like it, it is going to be difficult to stop. Females, in general, like when males behave like gangsters, so if youngsters behave that way and females are attracted to them, then they are going to continue to behave that way and wear tight pants and bleach,” Gilbert said.”But the parenting is a big part of it, but when you send to call the parents, you understand why the kids do it because the parent bleach, too,” he added.Weatherly agrees.”We should start educating parents first and see how it goes. All schools should implement rules to prevent it from happening. If parents won’t put a stop to it, the school has to enforce the rule,” he reasoned.”It would be nice if posters and notices are put up to show how harmful it can be, just like how they educate about teenage pregnancy and drugs so they know the harmful effects,” Gilbert [email protected]
– NDC launches investigationResidents of Atlantic Gardens are peeved at what appears to be the unlawful establishment of a ‘junkyard’ at Lot 169 Azalea Avenue, Atlantic Gardens, East Coast Demerara.Guyana Times recently visited the location and saw what appeared to be several dilapidated heavy-duty trucks parked on the Government reserve precariously close to the main roadway and old rotted truck cabins, trays, chassis and other vehicular parts on the once lush green plot.Parked trucks in Atlantic GardensParts of dismantled trucksOne visibly upset resident explained that he managed to get the Overseer of the La Bonne Intention/Better Hope Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC), Shevonne Savory, to visit the site and inspect the operations.He related that the Overseer confirmed that what was occurring was illegal and the NDC would take steps to have the operations removed.More than a month later, the situation has gotten worse.Residents are peeved at the eyesore the business has become, the apparent loss of affluence and value in their properties, as some even questioned whether Atlantic Gardens was still a residential area.Other residents took the opportunity to lambaste the NDC for not fulfilling its mandate of collecting garbage, weeding the drains and for turning a blind eye to littering in addition to condoning this disgrace.Upon enquiry, one resident mentioned that the owner of the property upon which the operations was established was only known as “Fat Man” and he owned a spare parts dealership situated opposite Apex School on the Public Road.Residents are claiming that the ‘junkyard’ would become a haven for thieves and animals, had the potential to be a public health hazard by adding to already unsanitary conditions, while polluting the environment with rubbish, which was already evident on the southern parapet, as well as obstruct traffic and pose a fire hazard through the use of welding torches to cut the metal.The daily traversing of heavy-duty vehicles was seen as bringing further destruction to the already severely potholed roads and damaged parapets.Damage to the parapets was clearly visible when Guyana Times visited, as heavy machinery was rolling upon the reserves to manipulate their overweight and over-sized cargo into position.InvestigationsThe Overseer who initially visited the site and suspected the operations to be illegal has resigned from her post with the NDC.NDC Chairman Zamin Shaw, when contacted, explained that an investigation was ongoing into the matter and assured residents that all steps were being taken to address the issue.Shaw said the NDC was unable to ascertain the owner of the property; however, a notice to clear the roadways was dispatched to a caretaker who often visited the property.Currently, the NDC is awaiting a response.Moreover, the Chairman said he was in the process of seeking advice from technical personnel on how to proceed with the matter, since not much substantial information has been gathered on the operations.
Longer Looks: The Time Is Now For Community Health Workers This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Every week Shefali S. Kulkarni selects interesting reading from around the Web.The Philadelphia Inquirer: Temple Hospital Trains Workers For The New Front Lines Of Health Care(By) the time Frederick Pegues Jr. was resting in bed at Temple University Hospital, the irony struck him hard. Here, he had just finished a month-long course in being a community health worker, sponsored by Temple University Hospital. He had learned how to help patients navigate a complicated health system. Yet he himself had not been able to get the help he needed. Unwillingly, Pegues, 38, an unemployed and uninsured diabetic from North Philadelphia, had become Exhibit A for why people needed a community health worker. … In the United States, these health workers have been an idea whose time, over the decades, is always coming but yet to fully arrive (Jane M. Von Bergen, 9/28).The Atlantic: The Cost Of Assuming Doctors Know BestShared decision making is a process designed to ensure that patients are fully informed, and then use that information to get the treatment they want. A common though non-essential part of informing patients is a “patient decision aid.” Decision aids can be videos, websites, or pamphlets, and they present the available medical evidence on all reasonable treatment options — including the option to do nothing — in a way that patients can understand. … Here’s the icing on the cake in terms of health care spending: Patients also tend to choose less invasive (and therefore less expensive) treatment options (Shannon Brownlee and Joe Colucci, 9/28).Earlier, related KHN story: Study: Decision Aids Show Promise In Reducing Medical Procedures (Rao, 9/5)Journal of the American Medical Association: Lack of Data Right after the birth of our first child and during my final year of fellowship, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. I could write many things about this: the difficulty of going from full-time physician to full-time patient and the loss of professional identity that comes with that. Knowing enough about what’s going on medically to be terrified, but not enough to be able to sort through the data on my own. Dealing with insurance companies from the other end. … I want to focus on an incredibly frustrating thing that the medical community can do something about: the “lack of data” regarding rare diseases, which now defines my life and care (Dr. Julie Maher, 10/3). Slate: Why Is Romney Campaigning On Medical Quackery?Let’s play doctor. A patient comes to you with joint pain, difficulty concentrating, anxiety, poor attention, and mood swings. You might run a series of tests to rule out a persistent infection or other disorder. … If you are a doctor who believes that the CDC and NIH have misrepresented carefully vetted clinical trial data about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease, however, you might diagnose your patient with chronic Lyme disease and prescribe an intensive, long-term, side-effect-laden, mega-dose of antibiotics. And who would be the biggest supporter of your and your patient’s right to pursue a worth-testing-but-found-wanting treatment? Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan (Laura Helmuth, 9/29).The Economist: An Incurable Disease Health care expenditure in America is growing at a disturbing rate: in 1960 it was just over 5% of GDP, in 2011 almost 18%. By 2105 the number could reach 60%, according to William Baumol of New York University’s Stern School of Business. Incredible? It is simply the result of extrapolating the impact of a phenomenon Mr Baumol has become famous for identifying: “cost disease”. His new book gives a nuanced diagnosis, offerings both a vision of a high-cost future and a large dose of optimism. The cost disease may be incurable, but it is also survivable—if treated correctly (9/29).