Concerns over lack of Hillcrest pride
I bought a home in Hillcrest about three years ago. My husband and I live out of state, and for the past three years have been coming to Hillcrest monthly. Our plan is to move here this fall, when we retire.
Unfortunately I have not been happy with what I see as deteriorating conditions here. For example, I have never seen as much dog excrement in the neighborhood as I did this past week. When I first moved here I was amazed, given the number of dogs, how clean the streets were. Well, maybe I was wearing rose-colored glasses at the time, but this is no longer the case. If I had out-of-towners visiting me, I would have been embarrassed to walk them around the neighborhood. It was horrible.
Which leads me to the shopkeepers. In other similar places, shopkeepers take pride in their stores and restaurants, and are diligent in keeping the sidewalks clean. Not here. I walked the gauntlet of street garbage. …
I believe there are solutions and I am willing to be a part of the solution when I move down here full time. I love so much about Hillcrest: the diversity, the restaurants [and] the choice of shopping venues in walking distance. I would like our Pride events to celebrate not just the rich diversity of peoples and cultures, but also to celebrate pride in the city of Hillcrest.
—Ann Rubin, via email
Steve Lawrence art exhibit a hit
I have been to this exhibit and seen Steve’s artwork at Park BLVD Artworks Gallery in University Heights [see “Philanthropy and art,” Vol. 4 Issue 17]. It is amazing stuff. I love the colors and textures of all his paintings. If you have not gotten a chance to go see it you should check it out!
—Dustin, via sduptownnews.com
Open your mind on Balboa Park plan
Jerry Sanders must have hired a PR firm to instruct him what words to use to describe opposition to his and Irwin Jacobs’ plan for Balboa Park [see “SOHO officially files suit against City,” Vol. 4, Issue 17]. Describing what the plan is doing as “improvements” and “further beautifying” the park are some of the key words he’s obviously been instructed to use to describe his plan. While the opposition is described as a “narrow-minded special interest group” that is “holding … hostage,” “delaying” and “trying to kill” the project.
Maybe the mayor needs to open HIS mind. One man’s “improvements” can be another man’s eyesore.
—Carol McD, via sduptownnews.com
Sad to see Whistle Stop closing
It saddens me to see this business go [see “Whistle Stop Train Shop comes to a halt,” Vol. 4, Issue 17]. Scott Rhodes is a real gentleman and total professional. With only days left before the closing of his almost empty shop, I saw him handle a very trying patron with grace and compassion, then take time to help a befuddled mother with her little boy’s malfunctioning toy locomotive.
Scott will be working half-Tuesdays at Reed’s Hobby Shop in La Mesa. Whether you’re a beginner or an old-timer, I urge you to drop by during his shift to enjoy his knowledgeable and friendly customer service.
— Joe Callahan, via sduptownnews.com
Dora’s Story: why California needs AB 2392
By Helen Cox, Interpreting for California
Imagine it’s one of the happiest days of your life: you’re a new mother and your child, born the night before, is lying peacefully in your arms while you’re asleep in your hospital bed. All of a sudden, your baby begins to choke; you don’t know why but she can’t breathe and her whole body begins to go stiff in your arms.
You cry out, “Help, help, my baby can’t breathe,” but no one comes to your aide. You run through the halls of the hospital, barely clothed, in the hopes that you can find someone to save your baby. After what seems like an eternity, you finally find a nurse, but there’s a problem: she can’t understand you; none of the available providers in the hospital can.
This is Dora Beatrice Lopez-Aguilar’s birth story. Aguilar is a 34-year-old documented immigrant, by way of Mexico, whose family lives and works in San Diego. The day this happened at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in San Diego, she was recovering from the birth of her third child.
“I was extremely scared because no one was coming to help me,” Aguilar said. “My doctor told me to go to this hospital, that it would be fine, but I didn’t know that no one there would be able to help me because of the language barrier. If the cleaning lady had not stopped by my room when she heard me screaming for help and then gone to get a nurse, I don’t know what would have happened to my baby.”
Aguilar’s hospital experience is a terrifying tale for any new mother, but the reality is that it’s not an unusual one. More than six and a half million legal residents in the state of California, or one out of every five residents, speaks English “less than very well” according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Right now there are 2.5 million people in our state healthcare program who aren’t able to communicate with their doctors, and half of the people coming in under the Affordable Care Act won’t be able to either.
This week, the legislature is passing a bill to create an interpreters program to make sure that people can communicate with their doctors, and Gov. Jerry Brown is refusing to sign the bill, leaving millions of federal dollars on the table that could be used to get the state ready for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The governor needs to sign this bill during the next 30 days in order for the state to be ready to meet the needs of the Medi-Cal expansion population in 2014.
It’s a do or die time for getting the state ready to communicate with patients who speak English less than well, and getting them enrolled and avoiding malpractice, liability and unnecessary costs that come from failed communication.