From the daily archives: Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Holidays And Alzheimer’s Patients Can Make For a Stressful Time

The bright lights, big crowds and bustle that make the holidays fun for most of us often do just the opposite for people with Alzheimer’s and those who care for them.
Dr. Cindy Carlsson, UW Health geriatrics physician and Alzheimer’s disease researcher at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (SMPH), says that Alzheimer’s patients may feel a sense of loss while caregivers can become frantic trying to keep up with holiday traditions and caring for their loved ones at the same time. But Carlsson has advice on making the holidays more enjoyable for everyone:
*Follow a Routine.  Sticking to a routine can reduce the stress on the patient, caregiver and family.
“Holidays are anything but routine, yet a routine is the best way to be kind to the patient,” Carlsson says. “Make sure the day is as normal as possible by providing meals at the same time they usually are.”
*Help Them Remember.  Alzheimer’s patients can become frustrated when someone tries to challenge their memories with questions like, “Do you remember me?” and “Do you remember what we did last summer?”
“Regardless of how close you are to the person, introduce yourself,” advises Carlsson.  “You could also update them on your activities so that they don’t have to ask questions.”
Carlsson says reminiscent therapy can be effective.  She suggests going through old family photos with your loved one.  In addition, consider asking guests to wear name tags.
*Involve Them in Activities.  “We recommend that you involve an Alzheimer’s patient with straightforward activities like wrapping gifts, folding napkins or simple crafts,” says Carlsson.  Activities can provide mental and physical stimulation.
*Take Care of the Caregiver.  The best gift for a caregiver can be the gift of time and respite. The typical stress of caring for an Alzheimer’s patient can become even more overwhelming during the holidays.  Carlsson says you can help a caregiver by offering to give them some “time off.”  Families can even prepare a plan to share the care giving.  For caregivers who will be hosting the holiday get together, Carlsson suggests smaller gatherings or even a potluck.
Carlsson says besides keeping the routine, the two most important things to remember are, keep the celebration simple and include the Alzheimer’s patient.
Check out the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute’s website to learn more about the disease and research to detect and treat Alzheimer’s disease


Congressman Filner Urges Toyota to Improve Push-To-Start Feature on Lexus Vehicles!

Recently, Congressman Filner contacted Christopher Tinto, Vice President for Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Safety for Toyota Motor Company regarding concerns stemming from Push-to-Start buttons on Lexus vehicles.   In an emergency, these Push-to-Start buttons may also be used as Push-to-Stop buttons; however, many consumers are not aware of this feature. This has resulted in accidents and fatalities when drivers are unable to turn off their vehicle.   “While this may be a convenient feature, these Push-to-Start buttons are causing accidents and deaths,” said Congressman Filner. “We must put security before convenience and ensure that these vehicles are safe for Americans to drive.”   Congressman Filner’s letter (enclosed) asked Mr. Tinto what Toyota’s plans are to correct this dangerous error.


By Luke Phillips
Late-night revelers, staying up to ring in the New Year this past Thursday, where treated to a rare astronomical event: A New Year’s Eve Blue Moon.
The Blue Moon itself occurs on a relatively regular basis, but rarely coincides with New Year’s Eve. The last time the two events synced up was in 1990 and the next time will be in 2028.
The blue moon, or the second full moon in a month, has nothing to do with the color of the moon, and in fact is a fairly new term. The term, in  the context of an extra full moon, first surfaced in the 1980s. Before that it was used mainly as an obvious absurdity, as in ‘he would argue that the moon is blue’, similar to the modern saying ‘he would argue that black is white’. It was also used as a way to say ‘never’, as in ‘That will happen when the moon turns blue’, similar to the modern saying ‘When pigs fly’.
For hundreds of years, the phrase has also been used in the literal sense. Smoke from volcanic eruptions or forest fires can literally turn the moon a bluish color.
In some parts of the world a partial lunar eclipse was also visible during the New Years Eve Blue Moon. The next time this event occurs, in 2028, it will be accompanied by a full lunar eclipse.


Chris Furguson
After 25 years in Brawley, KSIQ FM, or Q96, is slated to leave the Imperial Valley for Santee this weekend, barring any changes.  The move is scheduled to begin around January 9.
Due to the mountain region between Imperial and San Diego Counties, KSIQ’s signal will not reach far into Imperial County.
Expected to move to the area around Campo, California, the main tower’s signal will not reach Imperial County.  A booster signal to be placed on Mt. San Miguel, was requested and approved through the FCC, which will help the station reach the El Cajon and Downtown San Diego areas.
The move also includes a reduction in power of the main tower from 50,000 watts to 25,000.
The move was requested by station owners Cheery Creek Radio Corp in 2005 in an attempt to increase potential revenue.  Currently, the station is valued at $5 million but a move to San Diego could boost that to around $25 to $40 million in time.
The move was approved in by the FCC 2008, with a construction permit and change of license.
The local station, which topped Imperial Valley ratings for many years, played a Top 40 format that was unique to the county as most played country and Mexican music.
Currently the only on-air talents moving with the station are morning DJ Tony Driskill, who is also general manager of the station, and afternoon DJ Stacy Lynn.
The AM station, KROP 1300, will stay and continue to broadcast in Brawley with a mostly country music format.
Local reaction has been mixed, as many young listeners are looking towards stations from Riverside County for their music while older listeners have already changed station preferences.
Other radio stations are looking forward to a piece of Q96’s advertising revenue.  KSIQ’ ratings were the highest of any radio station in the Imperial Valley, which lured businesses to advertise with them.


A Look back At Some Columns From a Year Ago And Events Now

WE TAKE A LOOK AT some of our columns from the beginning of 2009 and where we are now with those issue.
January 15, 2009 – HOLTVILLE IS BACK TO TRYING TO GET THE SHERIFF to take over its police department.
The majority of voters said they wanted their own police department, but not enough of them said it in a vote to get a two-thirds majority.
As a result, the city may be looking at County police protection.
The plan I saw  in ideal form would put five deputies in Holtville, who would work out of this city’s public safety department. And the city would turn over its police equipment to the county. The county would also handle dispatch duties, something currently being done of Calexico.
I guess we will have to take what we get over here, as the city moves to a minor league status in Valley affairs.
The county talks, we listen.
We’ll miss the interaction with the police officers who used to live and work in Holtville. Some of them have even retired here. That police involvement with everyone is one reason people felt safe here. They knew who would be responding to a call.
These days the police live all over the Valley, which means they have  no particular loyalty to  this community over any other.
As long as they  get the job done and the bad guys are kept in line, I suppose its OK. But it is a far cry from the good old days when everyone knew the cops and the crooks equally.
The Sheriff’s Department took over policing Holtville officially Jan. 4, 2009.
WE WOULD BE REMISS if we did not thank the Holtville police officers who stayed on the job, despite the threat of losing it, to the end of their contract.
We also want to thank them for the good job they did keeping our city safe from criminals. They deserved a letter reward, but the status of law enforcement means they shouldn’t have much trouble finding other jobs.
To those officers who were on the job while we have been in Imperial Valley we say THANK YOU! For a job well done.
Jan. 23, 2009 – WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE HOLTVILLE Chamber of Commerce?
They used to have a party of some kind every month. Those would appear to have gone by the wayside. When was the last time the chamber  had a mixer for a local business?
They  are also supposed to be in the forefront of promoting the city to the outside world, but have stopped doing that too, relying only on a an outdated marquee for its  advertising  promotion methods.
This body is getting as moribund as the city.
Are there any fresh voices and faces out there who can liven this place up?
And what happened to the  new electronic marquee? Some folks say it is bogged down in red tape with Cal Trans. We say it is probably bogged down in the usual nonsense that happens in Holtville. Somebody should get going on  this or give an explanation to the public as to what has happened. One is certainly owed.
SOMEBODY GOT GOING ON THE marquee and Chamber of commerce mixers too.  The marquee was officially put into effect in November and has been blinking messages ever since.
They had some parties during the year too.
Feb. 19, 2009 – The TV pundits are telling us that newspapers are going to fade from the scene because people are using the internet more to get their news. To this, we politely say bunk.
Maybe some big city dailies need to trim some fat. But we on the low end of the scale have found business to be quite normal and actually booming in some areas– such as legal notices.
We were looking at ads on television that featured dot com addresses, but if you want a specific product you are going to have to locate the address for that product somewhere. Probably from another ad located either in print or electronics.
Electronic ads don’t have much shelf life, especially on TV. They’ll be around for about 30 seconds and then they disappear for up to 24 hours or more. An advertiser may buy multiple spots, but you have to search the airwaves for a specific product.
Isn’t it much easier to turn to the pages of your local newspaper and find what you are looking for at your leisure? Of course it is.
That’s why newspapers and the printed word will be around for a long, long time.
You can put electronic media to work for you, but unless you have a gigantic budget  and an international market, the local market is still going to be your best.
Newspapers may have to change to reflect the times, but they are still going to be needed. Remember, you heard it here first.
We’ve had several advertisers who have dropped their print media ads, stating the market is “too small,” or “the ads don’t work.”
Everytime we have heard this, the company making that claim has gone out of business within a few months after years of prosperity.  Let’s see. Advertise and have prosperity. Don’t advertise and go out of business. So, what’s working and what isn’t?
The I.V. Weekly-Chronicle and Tribune have joined in the internet revolution with an expanded website and listings on Facebook and You Tube. We even have two full time employees working on the ‘net and gathering news for it.
But it’s s till the newspapers that pay the bills for us.
Happy New Year!

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