Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ron Dellums at Highland

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While the Bay Area has produced many great leaders, recently in local politics there has been something of a drought. Many local Democrats can barely hold the public’s attention much less inspire their imagination. They don’t visit the County Hospital because there are too many problems and too few voters.

Today the County Hospital had a visit from Ron Dellums. Like many I had forgotten how real leaders make you feel. What most impresses about Ron Dellums is how firmly he believes in us. He truly believes he can make Oakland better for all of us because he knows that is what we want and that we are willing to work for it. He sees the value and the pain in what we do and wants to help us to do it better.

Ron Dellums and Highland Caregivers

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Ron Dellums & Wright Lassiter III

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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Flea Season

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I know I’ve been off my turf, out of my tree talking about teachers and politicos. It’s not my beat, I couldn’t help myself I’m a low budget lobbyist a social justice junky. You can take the blow-hard out of Berkeley but you can’t take the Berkeley out of the blow-hard.

Speaking of my hippie dippy roots I’ve reached that point in my mid-life crisis where liberals like myself start to wear only shades of purple. As a middle aged dumpy white woman I feel the need to express my interconnectedness to all the species of the planet and the rich native American tradition and culture which I have no real connection to but which I feel I can speak to anyway. Toward realizing my highly evolved and spiritual identity, I have been given an animal name, Pulex irritans, or just “flea” for those of you who don’t speak Latin.

You know the syndrome, I’ve heard Highland physician’s describe it: “Berkeleyitis.” It’s that overdeveloped since of self-importance and self-righteousness that can make us liberals less fun than a bar full of Mormons. See that’s the challenge with us liberals, we all agree but we can’t get along. That’s the great challenge of the Medical Center; with a bad budget we fight between ourselves about whose work is more important. What’s “non-essential” who’s “unproductive.”

As a whiny white woman I can blame and bicker with the poise and stamina of an Olympic athlete. Unfortunately, my self-righteous funk got rudely interrupted by the crisis that threatens to eat Oakland, murder city. We’re close to fifty murders this year and lots of other people shot up and coming to ACMC. At Highland my friends and co-workers have lost children, friends and family, it’s so sad. We have obituaries posted all over. You work with someone for over ten years and you don’t see a picture of their child until they’re gone. These are kids; we should be collecting money for Girl Scout cookies, not funerals. So if the Board of Supervisors, think now is the right time for the Medical Center to cut services and start giving the county money, they’re crazy! The Medical Center’s deficit is “debt” to the county and no one even showed us an IOU. Look you bloodsuckers we got a “situation” here, take it from me, I’m “the flea.”

Nurses Accept Contract

ACMC nurses and mid-level practitioners voted overwhelmingly ( over 80%) to accept a contract this week.

To read the details click here:

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Chris Thompson Down & Out at Highland

Highland has attracted the sustained attention of the Bay Area's best journalists. Chris Thompson from the East Bay Express was hanging out in our ED. He's a blondish attractive thirty-something very serious. If you see him, ask him out or offer to buy him lunch, he's been good and honest to us. It's important to see our work through the eyes of real thinkers.

Click here to read his latest piece:

Jesse from the Planet

I know lots of people in Oakland think Berkeley is another planet, but the Berkeley Daily Planet does quite fine coverage of Oakland. This is Jesse Allan-Taylor's latest work:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Thank You from an Oakland Teacher

Hi Ann –

This [the Petition to Support Oakland Teachers] is deeply, deepy appreciated. Healthcare workers, school teachers, firefighters we’re all in this to help people. And on a personal note, Highland’s ER/Trauma teamed helped save my 88 year old father’s life when he was run over in a crosswalk on Jan. 15th. Spent 4 days (!!) in the ER while we dickered with Kaiser—from what I was told at the time, 4 days is probably a record. We will always be grateful.

Bob Mandel
Adult English as a Second Language Teacher
Oakland Education Association (OEA) member

Mac Supports Oakland Teachers- You Should To

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See the little green sign not the one that says, "Plant Sale" the one that says, "I Support Oakland Teachers." There's hundreds of these signs all over Oakland.

Oakland teachers have gotten caught in a Cambio Healthcare Solutions style re-organization with Randolf Ward as the Warden and resident Spin Master. He’s quite effectively confused and frustrated anyone paying attention. He spends lavishly on PR and strikebreakers and plans to recover the money by cutting the costs right out of the classroom.

I say stop blaming public employees for weak government and bad management decisions. Don’t punish our patients or our children!

Show your support for Oakland’s teacher’s, children and families, click here to sign the online petition:

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Sykes and the Feeder

I really like this Express writer, Will Harper. Here's the latest, segment of the saga:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Don’t Litigate, Medicate!

I used to work for an entomologist. An insect guy, a doctor of Diptera, a mosquito expert, he actually had a mosquito named after him. Dr.Garcia was the hardest working straightest talking boss I’ll ever had, he was raised on a farm in Salinas. He just loved work. We’d get up at five a.m. and drive up to Lake County where we had experimental rice plots. One day as we drove north at dawn he pointed to the San Francisco skyline and said, “look at that, look at all those buildings: all that steel and concrete and waste and all the cars and people rushing over there just so they can push paper.”

Speaking of pointless paper pushing, Cambio Consultants and various and sundry ex-board members have dragged the Medical Center and the County of Alameda into the courthouse. What a waste. Anyway, the psychiatrists who went to arbitration over Cambio’s attempted union busting won, they got a decision in their favor and a judge threw the board member who sued the County over her removal from the Authority Board out of court. Justice has been served; too bad you can’t eat it. Hopefully we can stay in the hospital and out of the courthouse, with violent crime out of control in Oakland and the ranks of the aging and uninsured growing daily we’ve got plenty of real work.


Ann on Oakland, in color, uncensored, unslept, unbathed and off her medication. Elected officials are taking Oakland on a wild ride without a Breathalyzer. Since we can’t get off the bus we might as well enjoy the scenery. You got to laugh at Oakland government, otherwise it’s just too sad and you’ll have to cry.

To get an eyeful (original art) and an earful of Oakland click here:

Nurses to Vote on Contract

A contract offer for Medical Center nurses goes to vote this week. As I always say vote often, vote early and vote out loud.

To read a summary of the offer click here:

For voting times and locations click here:

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Kronos and Other Greek Tragedies

The Berkeley Daily Planet's saying what those of us who need our money already know. I think it's a little better, a little better all the time.