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High-Tech Tools to Manage Your Health Information


Even if you don’t use a computer, there are new ways to help manage your health information and improve how you and your health care providers communicate. This electronic technology (also called Health Information Technology or Health IT) can help improve the quality of your health care. It can also reduce paperwork, medical errors, and health care costs.


Here are two examples of Health IT that your health care providers might already be using:


Electronic Prescribing—An electronic way for your prescribers to write and send your prescriptions directly to your pharmacy.


Electronic prescribing can help you save money.
·         Providers can instantly check which drugs are covered under your insurance plan, so they can prescribe a covered drug that costs you less.

Electronic prescribing can help you save time.

·         You no longer have to drop off a paper prescription and wait for the pharmacist to fill it. In most cases, your electronic prescription will be ready when you arrive.

·         There are fewer phone calls and faxes between your provider and your pharmacy. This means you get your prescriptions sooner.

Electronic prescribing can help keep you safe.

·         Electronic prescriptions are easier for the pharmacist to read than handwritten prescriptions. This means there’s less chance of prescription mistakes.

·         Prescribers will have secure access to your prescription history, so they can immediately alert your provider to potential drug interactions, allergies, or other health risks.


Electronic Health Records (EHRs)An EHR is a safe and confidential computer record of your health care history and treatment that is used by your doctor, your doctor’s staff, or a hospital. If your health care providers use EHRs, they can join a network to securely share your health records with other providers that treat you. This is sometimes called “health information exchange.” Remember, just like your paper records, EHRs are protected by state and federal privacy laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.


EHRs can help improve the quality and efficiency of your health care in the following ways:

·         Providing an instant medical history. This could be especially helpful in urgent care situations or when you are unable to provide information yourself, such as during an emergency room visit or if you are unconscious.

·         Allowing all your doctors and other providers to see the same up-to-date information about your condition, treatments, tests, and prescriptions so they can better coordinate your care.

·         Helping to lower the chances of medical errors and duplicate tests and treatments.

Here are several examples of Health IT that you, the consumer, can use:


Personal Health Records (PHRs)—A collection of health information kept on a computer and maintained and updated by you or someone helping you. A PHR provides a downloadable, easy reference to your health history and personal information that you choose to enter such as health insurance coverage, contact information for your physicians and pharmacies, and other information described below.
·         These easy‑to‑use tools can help you manage your health information from anywhere you have internet access.

·         With your permission, some providers and health plans are able to enter information into your PHR to help you maintain a complete picture of your health.

·         Even if your provider doesn’t enter information directly into your PHR, you can enter and track important health information yourself such as major illnesses or operations, allergies, a current list of your prescription medications, or the date of your last physical examination.

·         PHRs are often offered by providers, health plans, and private companies. Some PHRs are free, while others may charge you a fee. To learn more about PHRs and to find one that might be helpful to you, visit www.myphr.com

If you decide to use a PHR, you will want to be sure your records are being kept on a secure Web site.  With a secure Web site, you usually have to create your own user ID and password, and the information you type is encrypted (meaning that it’s kept private by using a secret code) so other people can’t read it. 


There are Federal and state laws that protect the privacy and security of your information. PHRs that aren’t sponsored or maintained by health plans or health care providers may not have privacy rules. When choosing a PHR, always read the sponsor’s privacy and security policies and be sure you understand them. Visit www.medicare.gov/phr to learn more.


MyMedicare.govPart of the Medicare.gov web site, MyMedicare.gov is a free and secure site where you can check the status of your eligibility, enrollment, and other Medicare benefits. It also allows you to access your claims information once they are processed by Medicare. The site also provides you with preventive health information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Visit www.mymedicare.gov and sign up today.


Medicare’s “Blue Button”—MyMedicare.gov has a new “Blue Button” feature that gives you the ability to download your Medicare claims and self-entered personal information and health information such as emergency contact information, names of pharmacies and providers, self-reported allergies, medical conditions, and prescription drugs.


After logging on to the secure www.MyMedicare.gov  site, you can click the Blue Button and download a computer file of your claims data and personal and health information that you can share, on paper or in digital form, with health care providers, caregivers, and family members. The file may also be imported into a PHR that can accept the format.

·         Having ready access to information from Medicare claims and self-entered personal health information can help you more fully understand your medical history and partner more effectively with providers.

·         The Blue Button data file also can be imported into other health management tools, such as one of the PHR tools described above and available in the market place today. To find a PHR that can upload the blue button file, visit www.myphr.com

·         The Blue Button is safe, secure, reliable and easy to use!

Visit www.mymedicare.gov to sign up for your account and use the Blue Button today!


On 11/23/10, at about 7:00 AM, Eureka Police Department officers responded to a business in the 3100 bock of F Street after a passerby reported the business’ front window was shattered.  Upon arriving and meeting with the owner, officers discovered an unknown suspect had forced entry into the business via the window sometime overnight.  The suspect took only the victim’s “prized Roosevelt Elk antlers,” which had been in the front room.


According to the victim, the antlers had recently been measured and rated, and they were going to be listed in the Boone and Crockett Club’s records book.  The trophy antlers had an estimated value of $10,000.00. 


Anyone with knowledge of the antler’s whereabouts and/or the suspect’s identity is asked to call the Eureka Police Department at (707) 441-4060 or 441-4044.  (Investigating officer, Justin Winkle, reference case #3C10-9607). 


Members of the media wishing to speak with the victim, Michael Grundman, may do so with his permission by calling (707) 496-2679.  


UPDATE - December 28, 2010

After 6 months of trash and hazardous materials accumulation, the mysterious Dutyville dump is gone!! Thanks. Somebody please let Google Earth know....

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The converted bus pictured below was dumped at the foot of Dutyville Rd. this summer. The vehicle has since accumulated graffiti and trash while sitting directly above the Mattole River.The first photo was taken in July, and subsequent photos show the trash dumping and the progressive graffiti.

The bus' location can be seen in the Google-Earth picture below:The general vicinity, and the dump's proximity to the Matole River are shown in the picture below (from Google Maps):

dutyville road - google earth

dutyville larger map

Why doesn't anyone do something about this dump?

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Navy Meetings in Ukiah, Fort Bragg and Eureka

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At the request of Congressman Mike Thompson (D-North Coast), Dr. Jane Lubchenco, the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, December 9 from 1:00-3:00 pm at the Mendocino Board of Supervisors Chambers in Ukiah.
Dr. Lubchenco will be taking comments from constituencies regarding such issues as the new National Ocean Policy and Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning initiative, fishing catch shares, salmon fishery issues, and other topics of local interest. Speakers from various entities are invited to make a short presentation and there will be time to respond to written questions.
“This is a time of great urgency and strong hope for the oceans,” said Dr. Lubchenco to a group during Capitol Hill Ocean Week, adding, “I have had the pleasure of visiting communities on coastlines all around our country. During listening sessions with citizens representing a broad array of interests, I paid special attention to trying to understand what Americans want from their oceans and coasts.”
“I’m pleased that Dr. Lubchenco has agreed to come and listen to the concerns of the residents of our district regarding these important issues,” said Congressman Thompson. “The ocean and rivers of our district are essential to the well-being and prosperity of the families and the economy of the North Coast.”
A marine ecologist and environmental scientist, Dr. Lubchenco became the first woman administrator of NOAA in March, 2009.  Her scientific expertise includes oceans, climate change and interactions between the environment and people. Raised in Denver, she received a B.A. degree in biology from Colorado College, a M.S. in zoology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in ecology from Harvard University.
She subsequently taught at Harvard and then Oregon State University while actively studying marine ecosystems around the world and championing the importance of science and its relevance to policy making and human well-being.
Dr. Lubchenco has provided scientific input to multiple U.S. Administrations and Congress on climate, fisheries, marine ecosystems and biodiversity. As one of the ‘most highly cited’ ecologists in the world, Dr. Lubchenco has served on the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and academies of science in Britain, Europe and Chile. She has received numerous awards including a MacArthur (‘genius’) Fellowship.

At the request of Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Napa Valley), representatives from the United States Navy will also hold public meetings regarding the Northwest Training Range Complex (NWTRC) on Wednesday, December 15th from 5:00-7:00 pm at theWharfinger Building in Eureka, and on Thursday, December 16th   from 5:00-7:00 pm at Pentecost Hall at 822 Stewart Street in Fort Bragg.
“I requested that the Navy come to the North Coast to provide information for the community and answer their questions regarding the NWTRC,” said Congressman Thompson. “A highly trained Navy, transparency regarding planned activities off our coast, and protection of marine life are not mutually exclusive.”
The NWTRC is one of many Navy Range Complexes used for training of operational forces, equipment and other military activities. Based at Whidbey Island, near Puget Sound in Washington, the Navy has been training in the NWTRC since World War II. The bulk of the air, surface and subsurface activity takes place in waters off the state of Washington, but the scope of influence covers approximately 122,400 nautical miles and extends from Washington to the southern tip of Humboldt. Training exercises vary in scope and effect, and in California, are carried out between 12 and 250 miles offshore.
For more information contact Congressman Thompson’s office at 707-962-0933 in Fort Bragg or 707-269-9595 in Eureka.


On 11/30/10, at about 7:30 PM, an EPD patrol officer stopped a red Ford F-150 pick-up truck for traffic violations in the vicinity of 6th and P Streets.  A subsequent records check revealed the driver, later identified as 30-year-old Jose Cantu Ramirez of Fortuna, was unlicensed.  Cantu was also unable to provide sufficient proof of personal identification to officers. 


POP officers responded to assist with an inventory search of Cantu’s truck prior to its being impounded pursuant to 14602.6 CVC.  Officers subsequently located approximately 23.8 grams (gross weight) of tar heroin packaged for sale and concealed inside a hidden container in the vehicle.  Officers also located a digital gram scale with heroin residue (for weighing out controlled substances for sale) in the vehicle and $740.00 cash (suspected drug sales proceeds) in Cantu’s pockets.


Cantu was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked for possession of heroin for sale, transportation of a controlled substance, and driving without a license.  He was initially booked under a false name he gave officers at the scene:  Claudio Ramirez Cantu.  However, jail staff subsequently ascertained his true identity during the intake and booking process.00205_00051.jpeg


Jose Cantu Ramirez

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Child Care Gap Leaves Employers in Lurch

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Budget cuts, low salaries and staff reductions are depriving Humboldt County families of needed child care, leaving preschoolers short-changed and making it harder for employers to fill jobs, according to a new analysis by Humboldt State University’s California Center for Rural Policy. The report was commissioned by the Local Child Care Planning Council.

The CCRP’s "Child Care Needs Assessment" found that about half the approximately 30,000 families in Humboldt County—11% of them single-parent households—were in the workforce. Those parents potentially require child care, and preschoolers are the largest group in need.

Yet the county’s licensed child-care facilities are shutting down in considerable numbers despite steady growth in child population over the last decade. Seven facilities shut down last May alone, according to the CCRP. Caregivers, already low paid and buffeted by high turnover, are burdened with mounting state budget cuts that force care centers to lay off staff and reduce hours of service.

"We need to make sure decision-makers are aware of old rules that block new child care facilities,” said Jeanine Canedo-Moncrief, chair of the Local Child Care Planning Council. “Our communities need child care addressed in local general plans. This assessment shows us all that the economy is affected by what happens in child care and that child care is a necessity."

"The CCRP needs assessment illuminates a serious burden for working families—and a challenge for our economy,” added Wendy Rowan, executive director of First 5 Humboldt, the Humboldt County Children and Families Commission. “As child care capacity in the county decreases, employers will struggle with keeping the workforce they need."

The assessment also found that Humboldt County families are disproportionately affected by the cost of child care, already among the highest of family expenses. Full-time infant care in a licensed center averages 15% of income. Put another way, the average price of full-time infant care is nearly double the cost of college tuition.

But for a Humboldt family, the cost is 19%. And the high cost is the main barrier to care, according to the CCRP. 

"As a council, we want the community to understand that although child care seems expensive, child-care providers have experience and education that warrant a living wage,” Canedo-Moncrief said. “What is more, child care providers help prepare our children for school."

Monthly child care fees are often higher than a family's food expenses, and California is one of the most expensive states for child care, data show.

The CCRP analysis, approved by the Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools and signed off recently by the county’s Board of Supervisors, also concluded that more and better child care data are needed. They should be collected frequently enough to detect trends amid the diversity of Humboldt County families, the study showed.

"It is difficult to find all of the necessary data in one place,” said Melissa Jones, CCRP health policy analyst.  "It's clear that child care is something the community depends on, and if we could show progress over time, it would be useful for advocates locally and statewide.”

The Local Child Care Planning Council has 10 members drawn from providers, consumers, public agencies, administrators and the community. It is required to perform or commission a needs assessment every five years.

Canedo-Moncrief said the council will focus the results on educating various economic sectors and decision-makers on the importance of child care and the challenges it raises.  “In light of program cuts and the reduced number of new licensed facilities, the time is now to help families in our community," she said.


On 11-30-2010 at about 4:11 PM, Eureka Police Officers responded to the Bayshore Mall to attempt to locate Jared Aubrey.  Aubrey was wanted in connection with a October 26, 2010 shooting at the 3300 block of L Street. Aubrey was also wanted for a parole violation warrant.  


Upon arrival, Officers soon located Aubrey in the food court area of the Mall.  Upon seeing officers, Aubrey attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly taken into custody by pursuing officers. Upon searching Aubrey, incident to arrest, a firearm was located concealed upon his person.


Aubrey was later booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility for charges stemming from the October shooting, along with the Parole violation and a fresh felon in possession of a firearm charge.


The Eureka Police Department is still seeking Steven Lawrence Dorfman (40 years old) for his suspected involvement in the October shooting incident and also for parole violation.  


This is an ongoing investigation and further details will be released as they become available. Anyone with information regarding Dorfman’s whereabouts is urged to contact Det. Sgt. Patrick O’Neill at 707-268-5261.       

Jared Aubrey


Steven Lawrence Dorfman


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that Hyland’s Teething Tablets may pose a risk to children. The FDA recommends that consumers not use this product and dispose of any in their possession. The manufacturer is issuing a recall of this product. 

The recalled products were distributed widely in California to various retail chain stores, pharmacies and supermarkets including but not limited to: Target, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Wal-Mart, CVS, Safeway, Winco Foods, and Grocery Outlet. 

Hyland's Teething Tablets are manufactured to contain a small amount of belladonna, a substance that can cause serious harm at larger doses. For such a product, it is important that the amount of belladonna be carefully controlled. FDA laboratory analysis, however, has found that Hyland’s Teething Tablets contain inconsistent amounts of belladonna. In addition, the FDA has received reports of serious adverse events in children taking this product that are consistent with belladonna toxicity. The FDA has also received reports of children who consumed more tablets than recommended because the containers do not have child resistant caps. 

The FDA advises consumers to consult their health care professional if their child experiences symptoms such as seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using Hyland’s Teething Tablets. 

Hyland’s Teething Tablets is an over-the-counter product intended to provide temporary relief of teething symptoms in children. The FDA has not evaluated Hyland’s Teething Tablets for safety or efficacy, and is not aware of any proven clinical benefit offered by the product.  

The FDA urges both health care professionals and consumers to report side effects from use of Hyland’s Teething Tablets to the FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.  Consumer information is available at 888-INFO-FDA.                            

On 11-09-10, the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office – Criminal Investigations Bureau, assisted by the California Highway Patrol, conducted an enforcement operation in McKinleyville in an attempt to locate outstanding warrant suspect Sean Lance Hawkins – a 37 year old resident of 3593 Central Avenue.




 Hawkins was not located and remains outstanding, but the operation led to the seizure of approximately (15) pounds of processed marijuana, a hashish extraction laboratory, volatile chemicals used during the extraction process, 16.0 grams of cocaine, 7.0 grams of hashish, 5.8 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, a large quantity of Ecstasy tablets, scales, packaging material, (14) firearms, and a law enforcement style ballistic vest with trauma plate.  These items were located in a travel trailer occupied solely by Hawkins’ 16 year old son, whose name is not being released due to his young age.  Hawkins’ son and 18 year old Blaine Martin were arrested for a variety of criminal charges and were booked at the Humboldt County Juvenile Hall and the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.



 “Deeply concerning is the fact that a 16 year old boy was in possession of such a quantity of drugs, multiple firearms – one of which was an assault weapon, and an extremely dangerous hash extraction lab”, stated HCDA Chief Investigator Mike Hislop.  “With the smallest spark or the presence of static electricity, the lab could have become an incinerator, killing or maiming those involved in the manufacturing process, and quite possibly – innocent persons living nearby”.


 During the investigation, HCDA Investigators saw several vehicles occupied by what appeared to be high school age children arriving at the Hawkins’ residence.  Many stayed for a short period of time before leaving, a pattern that is indicative of illegal drug sales.  Based on the possibility that drugs were being sold to high school students, the HCDA’s Office forwarded the information to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer for follow-up with school officials.

 Anyone with information regarding the location of Sean Hawkins is urged to contact law enforcement.  Additionally, many of the firearms seized appear to be high quality collectibles, yet none return as being stolen in the Automated Firearm System.  Anyone missing firearms is urged to contact HCDA Investigator Wayne Cox at 707-268-2591.  Callers should be prepared to provide an accurate description of the missing firearm and serial numbers if available.



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veterans' Discounts

Written by

Veterans Day Restaurant Freebies  plus other discounts

Restaurant Freebies

Applebee's Restaurant - Free dinners to veterans throughout Veterans Day November 11th; selections will be from a new Veterans Day menu.

Outback Steakhouse - Free Blooming Onion and beverage.

Golden Corral - Free buffet dinner from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 16 to anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military Staff.

In celebration of Veterans Day 11 Nov 2010, Subway is showing its thanks with free six inch subs to all Veterans or Active Duty members.

On Nov. 7, McCormick & Schmick's restaurants will offer a free entree to military veterans for it! s 12th annual Veteran's Appreciation Event. 
Menu picks include such seafood items as parmesan crusted tilapia, roasted cedar plank salmon and almond crusted rainbow trout. "Our 
Veterans Appreciation Event has become a tradition that our restaurants look forward to each year," said Bill Freeman, CEO of 
McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, in a statement. For more information: www.mccormickandschmicks.com

Krispy Kreme - One free doughnut of any variety.

UNO Chicago Grill - Free entree or individual pizza with an entree or pizza purchase of equal or greater value.

Coushatta Casino Resort - The Louisiana casino and resort is offering a free seven-clans lunch or dinner buffet to veterans or active military.

MarketPlace Grill & Express - Veterans and active-duty milita! ry receive free entrees.

Masala Wok - The Northern Virginian restaurant is offering a free entree to veterans.

Hy-Vee supermarkets - The mid-western supermarket chain is offering a free breakfast to veterans.

Abuelo's Mexican Food Restaurants - All veterans and active-duty military receive a free entree.

Carolina Burgers & BBQ - In Matthews, NC is offering a free meal to all service members and veterans.

Retail Freebies

Brides Across America - Provides free wedding gowns to qualified military brides.

Lowe's & Home Depot - Extra 10% off to active-duty military members, National Guard and reserve members, retirees, honorably discharged veterans and immediate family members.

Sam's Club - Over 25,000 Hugo canes will be given away to U.S. veterans in need of mobility assistance. Membership is not required, but supplies are limited, so check with your local store.

Amazon.com - Free "Veterans Day Honor" MP3 album download. The album includes 12 songs by The Bands and Ensembles of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Cabela's Outdoor Store - Offers their employee discount to all veterans, active-duty military and reserves, law enforcement, fire and EMS personnel Nov. 11-12. Discounts vary from 5% to 50%, depending on the item.

Build-a-Bear Workshop - Members of the armed services including the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Reserve Officer Training Corps, will receive a 20% discount Nov. 11-15 on any one transaction at Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Dollar General - 10% discount for all veterans, active-duty military, National Guard and reserve and their immediate families.

Fashion Bug - 20% off all plus-size and misses clothing purchases with a copy of military ID or spouse's military ID.

Entertainment Freebies

National parks, forests and monuments - Admission is free to everyone on Veterans Day.

Anytime Offers:

MILITARY DISCOUNTS UPDATE 02: All these businesses offer military discounts; all you have to do is ask:


Arby's ? A&W ? Back Yard Burgers ? Burger King ? Captain D's ?Chick-Fil-A ? Cotton Patch . Denny's ? Dunkin' Donuts ? Farmers Boy ? IHOP (20 percent discount with military identification) . Java Cafe? KFC ? Long John Silver ? Pancho's Mexican Buffet ? Pizza Hut ? Quiz! no's ? Sizzler . Sonic ? Taco Bell ? Whataburger


AT&T  California Cryobank  Geico -? Jiffy Lube ? Meineke ? Sears . Portrait Studio . Travel and Leisure . Blockbuster ?Movie theaters ? Ripley's attractions and museums ? Professional Sports teams


Apple Computers ? AutoZone ? Barnhill's ? Bass Pro Shop ? Bath and Body Works . Big 10 Tires ? The Buckle ? Champs Sports ? Copeland's Sports ? Dell . The Discovery Channel Store ? Dress Barn ?The Finish Line ? Foot Action ? Footlocker . Gadzooks ? GNC ? Goody's ! ? Great Party? Happy Harry's ?Home Depot ? Hot Topic . Jockey ? Lerner ?Lowes ? Michael's ? NAPA Auto Parts ? New York &  Company ? Pac Sun . Payless Shoes ? Play It Again Sports ? Pure Beauty ? Sally Beauty Supply ? Spencer's Gifts . Suncoast ? Timberland Outlets ?Wilson 's Leather

Cell Phone Service Discount - All Federal employees are able to get a 15% discount on their personal cell phones by calling their carrier and mentioning the "Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 - Discount to Federal Employees Past and Present." You will need to know the military member's supervisor's name, phone number, and full address, so that his/her military status can be verified. Use the following contact numbers:

Cingular  - 800-319-6393

Sprint     - 877-812-1223

T-Mobile - 866-646-4688

Nextel    - 800-639-6111

Verizon  - 800-865-1825

[Source: VA Frederick Service Office Maryland VSO msg. 26 Apr 2010)

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