Opinion

‘Digital deserts’ push life to the slow lane

Illustration of online activity at a snail's pace. (mattsabe, Shutterstock)

OPINION: In California — and all across the country — there are “digital deserts,” places where it’s impossible to get high-speed Internet access at home and thus impossible to do homework, apply for jobs and be a full-fledged member of the digital economy. These digital deserts also prevent farmers from using Internet technology to improve efficiencies in growing crops and getting them to markets.

Opinion

COIN: Building economic clout to fight neighborhood poverty

A view of a densely populated area of the eastern San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles. (Photo: Trekandshoot, Shutterstock)

OPINION: According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report The Supplemental Poverty Measure: 2015, nearly eight million people in California were living in poverty in 2015. The report indicated that the state’s poverty rate was 20.6 percent—well above the national rate of 15.1 percent—and surpassed the rates of every other state in the nation.

Opinion

Education critical in fight against chronic diseases

Hospital health care professionals on their daily rounds. (Photo: Spotmatik Ltd, via Shutterstock)

Despite California’s well-earned reputation as a healthy living state, 14 million Californians are living with at least one chronic condition, and more than half of this group has multiple chronic conditions. According to the California Department of Public Health, nearly $100 billion annually is spent treating chronic conditions, representing approximately 42 percent of all health care costs in the state.

Opinion

Cuyamaca College’s admissions policy offers statewide model

On the campus of Cuyamaca Community College. (College photo)

OPINION: Cuyamaca College no longer relies on a standardized test to place students in math classes. Instead, placement is determined by a student’s test score OR high school grades, whichever is higher. We have also changed how we support under-prepared students.

Opinion

Safety not the issue with polystyrene foam

Polystyrene foam blocks on a sheet of corrugated paper. (Photo illustration: Nor Gal, via Shutterstock)

If you’ve been following the debate in Sacramento over the use of foam cups and food containers in California, you probably have heard some rather outlandish allegations related to their safety. After 40-plus years as a toxicologist, I can clearly state: There are no adverse health effects on humans from polystyrene foam food and drink containers.

Opinion

Needed: Food safety rules for meal deliverers

A ready-to-eat meal kit. (Photo: Process, via Shutterstock)

OPINION:Across the Sacramento region, color-coded placards tell diners whether a restaurant passed a food safety inspection. In some counties, you can even use a smartphone app to check an eatery’s safety rating before you head to dinner. But for meal kits delivered to our homes from services like Blue Apron, safety standards can be as opaque as the cardboard box the food arrives in.

Opinion

Health care: The pharmacist-to-technician ratio

A pharmacist checks the inventory. (Photo: Tyler Olson)

OPINION: For many Californians, a visit to their local pharmacy is their most frequent touch point with the health care system. In fact, pharmacists are among the most trusted professionals in the medical field.

Opinion

The regulatory landscape facing ride-share drivers

A woman hails a ride-share driver. (Photo: Maridav, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Technology has given us more freedom to choose the way we work, live, travel, and shop. But many Americans are hitting bureaucratic roadblocks on their way find full- and part-time work with peer-to-peer services like Lyft, Postmates, and Handy.

Opinion

Struggling to make California affordable

A housing tract in San Jose, Calif. (Photo: PBK-PG, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: When California residents in the Bay Area making over $100,000 per year are considered “low income” and thereby eligible for government subsidies for housing, something is seriously wrong. The issue of affordability is hitting critical mass in regions throughout the state.

Opinion

Campaign tools: Digital media, geo-fencing — and more

An illustration of the Internet and world wide web. (Ramcreations, Shutterstock)

OPINION: For years, the Silicon Valley mantra was “The Internet changes everything.” These days it’s more accurate to say “The Internet is always changing.” That’s why the conventional wisdom about online ad targeting and other digital means of finding voters can easily slip out of date. Things are always changing.

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