Homeless Student Count Reaches All-Time High – The Skanner and Oregon Dept of Ed.

The numbers keep growing. Locally, we find reasons to reject helping them with any kind of tax to build new homes for them. This is the black mark of our supposed democracy. That we cannot find a solution supported by the average voter, to help those that have fallen through the safety net (if one even exists anymore). The story from Oregon. We’ve already reported on the one from Washington.

The number of students meeting the federal definition of homeless is up for the fourth year in a row, reaching a new record for both the number and percentage of homeless enrolled students.

For the 2016-17 school year, 22,541 students “lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence” which the federal government classifies as homeless. That represents 3.9 percent of the entire public K-12 student population.


Cheri Van Hoover narrows gap to Bruce McComas

While still trailing Bruce, Cheri has narrowed the gap to 113 votes. It is  certainly not impossible for her to win, as there are still contested ballots and mail in ballots that will be counted as one batch (for protection of voters’ privacy) on Nov. 28th.  A huge number of ballots cast in the election did not vote for either candidate, likely voting for Prop 1 or a Port candidate. This shows, again, why getting out the vote is so important and that every vote counts in local elections. It could come down to a single vote or two.

Patient Deaths Show Darker Side of Modern Chinese Medicine – Bloomberg News

Very interesting articles by Bloomberg. Very well balanced coverage. You might need a subscription to either Bloomberg or ScribD. Or go to the library and read it there.

Early on a snowy, winter morning in January 2012, Wu Xiaoliang, a 37-year-old farmer, stopped by his local doctor to remedy a headache. At a small clinic near his village he received two injections made from traditional Chinese herbs. Hours later, villagers saw him struggling to prop himself up on his moped as he drove home. By noon, he was dead.


First Digital Pill Approved to Worries About Biomedical ‘Big Brother’ – NY Times

The medicine, an antipsychotic drug, has a sensor that will show doctors whether and when patients are taking it. Other medicines will follow, experts say. Feedback from a medical professional was, “This is all about performance markers and doctors being able to “divorce” non compliant patients, so their reimbursement doesn’t go down. Patients who don’t/ can’t understand or cannot afford medications, or have other barriers are once again the disenfranchised group.”

New York Times Article

80 affordable apartments for seniors opened in Bham. How long before all were rented? – Bellingham Herald

What we could have done with the Prop 1 money. So Prop 1 people, how are we going to solve the housing crisis here?

The Eleanor Apartments on North Forest Street opened in mid-September. Built by Mercy Housing Northwest, the four-story building is near bus services and has 80 one-bedroom units, a 3,000-square-foot community center, and health and wellness services on site through a partnership with PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. About $2 million for the project came through the city – a little more than $1.7 million from the levy Bellingham voters approved in 2012 to help the needy and the homeless get into affordable housing and roughly $280,000 from federal sources


Seattle isn’t alone: Homeless crisis stretches up and down the West Coast – Seattle Times

With the failure of Prop 1 to find supporters in Jefferson County, including some within the board of Hospital Commissioners and medical society who can’t seem to make the connection between homelessness and health,  the question remains: “How are we going to address the growing issue of homelessness in our county before it overwhelms us?”

Yesterday I talked to one of the local leaders helping run our Food Banks. He said that they are feeding about 250 people a week. Some of these are homeless, some are on the verge of homelessness, perhaps a paycheck away from the streets. I’ve personally talked to a waitress in town with four children who had to choose between feeding them or paying for medical support when they had ear infections. She couldn’t afford to take her sick children to the hospital ER. She was embarrassed about accepting Medicaid. So putting food on the table won out and the children cried for days fighting the infection. This is our town.

I’ve stayed in a hotel in San Francisco, listening to the cries of homeless mentally ill people on the streets below throughout the night. It was like being in Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell. This is our country.

Somehow, we as a society have to help address this issue and find a way to give these people shelter. They can’t help themselves. They have been trying . If Prop 1 isn’t the answer, then those that voted against it have to come to the table and help us all figure out what the answer really is.

Today, the Seattle Times looked at the problem. It’s immense.