Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

San Jose: The Biggest Loser


No one wants to be a loser unless it is The Biggest Loser. Being on the show would be like a vacation! Just think about it, no job to go to and no housework. Sure Jillian might make you cry (would me), but the results… A chance to lose all that ugly fat, and win big bucks, too.

There are a few rules:
Candidates must be at least 18 years of age – legal residents of the United States.
Casting producers are looking for family teams of two with outgoing personalities.
Bring a non-returnable photo of you and your partner.
Individuals who don’t have a partner can audition on their own.
People will not be allowed to line up prior to three hours before the start of the open call. (No camping out overnight)

Now casting for Season 9 – See upper right on site for details.


SAN JOSE, CA 95112
10 AM – 6 PM

Bone Marrow Registration Drive Saturday May 30

Roys Station - photo by Matt Bruensteiner

Roy's Station - photo by Matt Bruensteiner

Your chance to save a life could happen today. Two families here in San Jose are looking for a match.

The Asian American Donor Program will be at Roy’s Station Coffee Shop. 28-year old Nick Glasgow is in need of a bone marrow transplant. He is 3/4 Caucasian and 1/4 Japanese-American. Any person of Asian and Caucasian mix can be a potential donor.

Roy’s Station
Saturday, May 30
11:00 am – 2:00 pm
197 Jackson St.
San Jose – 95112

Across town a bone marrow donor registration drive will be held by the Lincoln Glen Little League for 6-year old Mateo Kohler. Mateo was adopted from Guatemala. Though finding a match might be difficult, it should be possible here in the Bay Area.

Lincoln Glen Little League
Saturday, May 30
9:00 am – 3:00 pm
River Glen Park
Pine & Bird Aves. – Willow Glen
Be The Match

Failing Grade for Santa Clara County Air Quality

state-of-the-air-20091MetBlogs – Santa Clara County:  Santa Clara County has been given a failing grade for air quality by the American Lung Association.  The State of the Air 2009 report gave failing grades to 39 counties in California, including Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara.   

This is not a news item that we should easily dismiss.  The estimated number of people that particle pollution kills each year has tripled in our state.  According to Jenny Bard, the Bay Area regional air quality director for the American Lung Association, we have historically had the worst air quality in the Bay Area.  From 2005 to 2007, Santa Clara County surpassed unhealthy ozone limits an average 5.2 days a year.  We also surpassed unhealthy short-term pollution particle levels a yearly average of 11 days, which gave us the 24th highest level in the nation.


The report finds that six out of ten Americans live in areas where air pollution levels endanger lives.  “This should be a wakeup call.  We know that air pollution is a major threat to human health,” said Stephen J. Nolan, American Lung Association National Board Chair.  “When 60 percent of Americans are left breathing air dirty enough to send people to the emergency room, to shape how kids’ lungs develop, and to kill, air pollution remains a serious problem.”


According to the ALA, ozone is the most widespread form of air pollution. When inhaled, ozone irritates the lungs, resulting in something like a bad sunburn. Ozone can cause wheezing, coughing and asthma attacks and can even shorten lives.


It is estimated that over 3,700 deaths annually can be attributed to a 10-parts-per-billion increase in ozone levels.


Particle pollution is a toxic mix of microscopic soot, diesel exhaust, chemicals, metals and aerosols. It is the most dangerous and deadly of the outdoor air pollutants that are widespread in America. Breathing in particle pollution can increase the risk of early death, heart attacks, strokes and emergency room visits for asthma and cardiovascular disease.


County Health Department Addresses Swine Flu

According to a notice on the Santa Clara County government web site, the site was simplified to enable increased web traffic in response to the national swine flu outbreak and the upcoming elections. A special swine flu update page has the latest information about swine flu incidents in the county.

There have been four cases of suspected swine flu in the county, but none have been confirmed as swine flu by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The first of these cases was a Branham High School student, prompting the county to close the school until Wednesday, May 6.

There have been 14 confirmed cases of swine flu in California, and 91 total confirmed cases around the U.S. as of mid-day today.

Spanish and Vietnamese-language information, slightly outdated, is also linked from the bottom of the county update page.

Community Hospital of Los Gatos Closed

hospital-closedEarlier this Friday morning the hospital closed the doors to emergency. Previously on Monday, patients were moved out of the hospital.

El Camino Hospital of Mountain View has purchased the hospital and will re-open Community Hospital sometime in mid-July. The hospital to be renamed El Camino Hospital Los Gatos.

When reopened, the Los Gatos hospital will continue to offer emergency services, medical and surgical beds, intensive care and labor and delivery services, according to El Camino officials. The hospital also plans to expand spinal, orthopedics and urology services.

The closing means that Good Samaritan Hospital’s emergency room will likely be busier as it is expected to pick up many of the patients that would have gone to Community Hospital’s emergency room.

El Camino Hospital Los Gatos
815 Pollard Road
Los Gatos, 95032

Winter Spare the Air Day Alerts

This winter it is illegal to burn wood, pellets, or manufactured fire logs in any indoor or outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or wood or pellet stove when a Winter Spare the Air Alert is issued.

Winter Spare the Air season runs from November 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009. I have discovered that there are a number of people unaware of this new regulation.

The new rule also places year-round prohibitions on excessive chimney smoke and the burning of garbage, plastics, or other harmful materials in fireplaces and woodstoves.

Violators will get warnings by mail. Repeat offenders face fines of as much as $2,000.

It is okay to use gas-fueled fireplaces and logs, gas inserts, or electrical fireplaces.

The Spare the Air Program website gives this explanation for the new regulation:

In the wintertime, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) becomes the pollutant with the greatest impact on air quality. Fine particulates can bypass the body’s natural defenses, penetrating deeply into the lungs and even passing into the bloodstream. Prolonged exposure to the fine particulates in wood smoke has been linked with aggravated asthma, lung and heart disease, and increased mortality rates. Wood burning in fireplaces and woodstoves creates about one-third of the winter particulate matter air pollution in the Bay Area.

So, how do you know when it is a Winter Spare the Air day?

Winter Spare the Air Alerts are available by calling 1-877-466-2876, visiting the Spare the Air Program or Bay Area Air Quality Management District websites. There you will also find information about signing up for e-mail alert notifications and automatic phone call alerts.

See also: San Jose: Winter Spare the Air 2009-2010

New medical facility proposed for downtown

As reported today in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, a new medical facility is being proposed to somewhat fill the void left by the closure of the San Jose Medical Center nearly five years ago. A site has been picked out at 14th and Santa Clara Streets, and the plan’s backers will be approaching the county board of supervisors for funding from Measure A bonds.

The proposed facility doesn’t sound like a true replacement for SJMC, more of a clinic than a hospital, and there is no mention of an emergency room in the plans. It does sound like the proposed owners have a history of serving uninsured patients, so this could really help out a lot of downtown residents.

Nov. 14, World Diabetes Day


A Healthy Day

A Healthy Day

In a store the other day, a nice man asked me about my medical bracelet. He wondered why some people wore them.  When I told him, he quickly understood, and told me about his Grandmother who had her legs amputated due to her Diabetes condition. 

I’ll bet that you know someone affected with Diabetes. If you don’t, well here I am, you know me. I have Type 1 Diabetes,  I was diagnosed in 2004 at the age of 36.   I fought some kind of weird illness in 2003, later the doctors told me it was a virus, that ultimately shut down my pancreas.  Apparently I had the inactive gene all my life, and this funky virus activated it. So there you go, long and troubled story short, I am Diabetic now, and will be forever.  I have made the best of it, and in the long run it has taught me to live healthy, happier and be more aware of life around me. 

Tomorrow, Nov. 14, is World Diabetes Day.  It is a day to reflect and understand what this disease is all about.  To help the person you know, or even don’t know, feel that they are not alone,  just don’t offer us a sugar laden dessert or beverage.   Awareness, understanding and a little knowledge is all that we can ask.  In honor of the day, the simplest thing you can do is wear your favorite Blue shirt.  

    To commemorate American Diabetes Month, cities around the world will light buildings blue on November 14, 2008 for World Diabetes Day. This year’s festivities to light San Jose City Hall blue was spearheaded by the American Diabetes Association in collaboration with Healthy Silicon Valley, and Youth Health Advocates of Gilroy.

Join Us for World Diabetes Day at City Hall in downtown San Jose!  On Friday, November 14, the world will light up the skyline with blue light for diabetes awareness in honor of World Diabetes Day!    

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases to affect children. Every day more than 200 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  Many children in developing countries die shortly after being diagnosed with diabetes simply because they either do not have access or cannot afford insulin, the life saving drug discovered over 87 years ago.  A child’s access to appropriate medication and care should be a right not a privilege.

Join the 100 Youth Health Advocates and local dignitaries for a proclamation, presentations and for the lighting of the City Hall Rotunda in blue at dusk.  Here are the details:

San Jose City Hall

200 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95113

Friday, November 14, 2008

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm


Nearly 24 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, including 500,000 in the Bay Area. Moreover, diabetes can cause severe complications that lead to kidney failure, blindness, amputations, and heart disease. In contrast to declining death rates due to heart disease, stroke, or cancer, the death rate due to diabetes has increased by 45% since 1987. 

Along with San Francisco City Hall and San Jose City Hall, 740 buildings will be lit in blue globally, including the London Eye, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York, the Tokyo Tower in Japan, the CN Tower in Toronto, Niagara Falls, the Sydney Opera House, the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. 

For more information about World Diabetes Day please contact Richard Alejandro, Executive Director, San Jose, American Diabetes Association.  In addition, if you would like to find out more information about American Diabetes Month, please call 1-888-DIABETES (1-888-342-2383) Information is available in English and Spanish.

American Diabetes Association – There is no cure, only help. Thank you.

Make-Over for Breast Cancer Awareness

Today I was given a relaxing make-over by my friend Nancy at the Boots aisle in Target inside Westgate Mall.  She’s this sweet woman with a light touch and a magic for makeup.  

Many years ago when I was in England for business and some fun touring, I was introduced to Boots cosmetics, after forgetting to bring my moisturizer.  This product is a must have in England, the weather over there is not very forgiving on a persons skin.  So I was directed to the “Chemist” down the street from my Inn.  Chemist? Skeptical, I headed over not knowing what to expect, my mind raced with visions of  mini chemical bottles and weird potions.  I was pleasantly surprised “the Chemist” is the same as our Pharmacies, and the the aisles are lined with makeup, skin-care and the usual OTC healthcare remedies.  I was directed to the moisturizers by a friendly gal who gave me a thorough look, and handed me a No. 7 product, perfect for protecting my skin in the cooler climate. 

Since then, I’ve had  my mother-in-law from No. Ireland either send me the products, or bring it over on visits.  I found this wonderful skin-care line, and I wasn’t giving it up.  So, when Target added a Boots aisle to their cosmetics I was overjoyed!  Now when I shop at Target, I head to Boots if not to buy, just to browse the products. 

So, today, Nancy asked if I wanted a make-over, and since I had time, I took this offer and we started chatting.  Turns out, she and the other Boots Beauty Advisor Jenna are hosting a Complimentary Make-over in the Boots aisle this Saturday, Oct. 25th,  12:Noon to 5:PM

For those of you in Cupertino, Nancy and her co-Beauty Advisor Carol are hosting a Complimentary Make-over Friday evening Oct. 24th, 4:PM to 7:PM in the Target store at 20745 Stevens Creek Blvd.

All this is all in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month,  a subject close to Jenna’s heart, her mother being a survivor.  And this big bonus, 10% of the proceeds of the  sold Boots No7 Mascara will go to the Susan G. Koman Fund.  They hope to see you!

The Boots Aisle at Target

The Boots Aisle at Target!


P.S. Nancy told me, if you don’t want a make-over, she’s happy to give you a hand/arm massage, what a treat!!!

Rock ‘N’ Roll 1/2 Marathon to shut down traffic

To the runners preparing for the Rock ‘N’ Roll Half-Marathon this Saturday, Oct. 5: Good luck!

To the motorists planning on driving through the city this weekend: Good luck! You will meet plenty of road closures, clogged freeway exits and a lot of athletic-type people running around. They get their exercise while you continue to pollute, which makes these traffic headaches even more guilt-inducing.

But never fear! Here’s a map to help you avoid running over those athletic-types with your SUV (click to enlarge, and notice I said AVOID):

And here’s more traffic information I got via the marathon’s Web site:

Freeway Information

No freeways will be closed on race day; however, expect delays on Highway 87 near downtown and Highway 880 near Bascom Avenue due to the close proximity of the race course to those roads.

Specific Access Routes
Fairmount Hotel / St. Joseph’s Basilica:

Due to close proximity to the finish line at Plaza de Cesar Chavez, allow extra time for alternate access and expect delays before the race starts (7- 8:00 am). Use the following access route during the race (8:00 am – 12 Noon): From San Carlos Street, use 1st and 2nd Street to connect with San Fernando Street. Hotel guests will be metered in/out on Market Street.

Hotel DeAnza
Please notify the hotel’s valet parking service on Saturday night if you will
be leaving between 7:00 and 10:00 am. The race organizers have arranged
for hotel parking on Notre Dame, between Santa Clara and Carlysle
Streets. From this parking area, you will be able to drive north on Notre
Dame, turn left on Julian Street, and access Highway 87/Guadalupe
Parkway. To access the San Jose airport, follow directions above to
Highway 87 north and follow signs to airport. Prior to the complete
reopening of Santa Clara Street/The Alameda at 12:30 pm, use Highway 87
to return to the Hotel De Anza before 10:00 am. From Highway 87, exit east
on Julian Street, turn right on North Almaden Blvd, left on Carlysle Street
and right onto Notre Dame Ave.

Cory Neighborhood
Residents between Newhall and Hedding, Monroe and Bascom, can use
Cherrystone Drive to exit this part of the route between 7:00-11:30 am.
Roiscrucian Neighborhood – YMCA, Calvary & Scientology Churches
Residents, YMCA patrons and church visitors can use Park Avenue for
inbound access and The Alameda for outbound access between 8:00 am
and 12 Noon.

For more assistance regarding road closures and alternate access routes, please
email Please provide as much information as pos-
sible, including your starting and ending destinations, so that we can more readily
assist you.

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