Monthly Archives: January 2011

COULD IT BE THE END OF STATE/MEDICAID FUNDED NURSING HOMES IN TEXAS?

Press Release: In releasing a budget bombshell similar to the one introduced by the House last week, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) today said the Texas Senate’s bill, SB 1, proposes deep 33 percent cuts to Medicaid-funded nursing and rehab care that would cause bankruptcies and facility closures, lead to widespread displacement of fragile nursing home residents, and send skilled frontline health care workers to unemployment lines in local communities across Texas.

Graves said SB 1, like HB 1, the House version of the legislative appropriations bill, recommends nursing facility payments $1.4 billion or 33 percent less than current funding.

“If this proposal proceeds, Medicaid nursing home care in Texas will cease to exist,” Graves warned.

“This draconian action is a clear disconnect between what is being proposed in Austin, and the damage that will actually occur in local lawmakers’ home districts.”

Graves said THCA would commence a new statewide ad effort to begin with a full-page ad in tomorrow’s Austin American Statesman, and said the eldercare advocacy group’s strategy will be to focus attention on the local impact of the untenable funding reductions.

“Our strategy is straightforward: we will take this debate to the local level and ensure that the lawmakers who will ultimately craft a state budget know without a doubt that this initial proposal will hurt their elderly constituents, cost the jobs of local caregivers, and put at risk the fundamental viability of many communities’ most significant local employer.”

Even before the House and Senate bills were introduced, the already proposed 2 percent Medicaid rate cuts –on top of last September’s $25.6 million state Medicaid cuts, and federal Medicare cuts of over $1.5 billion over ten years enacted as part of health care reform –”placed Texas nursing facility residents, their caregivers and local communities in clear and present danger,” Graves concluded.

“We will vigorously engage this budget debate, and will continue to believe that Texas’ elderly citizens, Texas’ jobs and the very well being of Texas’ communities ought to be a top budgetary priority.”

Founded in 1950, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) is the largest long term care association in Texas. THCA represents a broad spectrum of long term care providers and professionals offering long term, rehabilitative and specialized health care services.

Member facilities, owned by both for-profit and non-profit entities, include nursing facilities, specialized rehabilitation facilities, and assisted living facilities.

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HOUSTON FIRE DEPARTMENT RESPONDS TO MORE ALLEGATIONS OF RACISM AND WHERE’S THE CHIEF?

If it’s true one would have to ask when will they ever learn.

There has been yet another allegation of racism in the Houston Fire department.

This time a Hispanic male claims a noose was left hanging with a message for him at station 42.

The note allegedly read…do your job Mexican.

The fire department responded Monday via the City Attorney after a press conference by community activists.

Here’s that statement released:

City Attorney David Feldman “We take any allegation of racial harassment very seriously. This matter has been under investigation by the OIG and it is my understanding that the investigation is near completion. Nothing further can be said until the investigation is complete.”

What has been visibly absent in the wake of the recent allegations of racism and confirmed sexism by an EEOC report? The newly appointed fire chief Terry Garrison.

He was hired by Mayor Annise Parker last year to clean up the fire department.

Some are saying it’s business as usual in the department with no shake ups in sight.

No one is quite sure what Garrison’s strategy is but if what happened at station 42 is proof that change has come, then it’s likely change the embattled department can’t afford!

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HAVE YOU SEEN THIS HIGH RISK SEX OFFENDER ON THE STREETS?

DPS is searching for a high risk sex offender who escaped from a Houston halfway house earlier this evening.

At 6:15 p.m. today, 39-year-old Timothy Rosales Jr. fled the Reid Facility on Beaumont Highway, where he was under electronic monitoring.

Rosales is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds.

He has brown eyes and numerous tattoos.

Rosales, who has family in the Denton area, should be considered armed and dangerous.

He was originally convicted of two aggravated sexual assaults in Potter County in 1987.

He is now wanted on felony civil commitment and parole violation charges.

Anyone with information is asked to call local police immediately.

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FORMER KPRC WEATHERMAN DOES ONE MAN SHOW ON YOUTUBE!

Does this guy look familiar?  If so he should.  It’s the former weatherman Jonathan Novack from KPRC TV 2.  He did a one man show where he plays the guy and the girl in this interview segment.  I’m not quite sure what he’s doing now but he’s managed to keep the spotlight on himself via Youtube.  What do you think?

OPRAH HAS A SISTER!

An emotional Oprah Winfrey says that one of the most impressive things about a Milwaukee woman’s discovery that the two are half-sisters is that the woman never tried to take advantage of her or sell her story.
  
On “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that aired Monday, Winfrey announced that she was related to a woman identified only as Patricia. She says Patricia had known the two were related since 2007. Even though she continually tried to reach Winfrey, she never went to the media or otherwise publicized her discovery.
  
Patricia appeared on the show and explained that she felt it was important that she talk to Winfrey herself and not let someone else tell her.

INTRODUCING THE GALAXY PLAYER – SO MOVE OVER APPLE IPOD PLAYER!

This will soon be on the market so does anyone want to buy my Apple Ipod Touch:

Samsung has announced a new Android-based Galaxy Player that will be showcased next week at the CES 2011. Samsung says the new music player takes inspiration from its successful Galaxy S phone and is spec’d similarly sans the cellular connectivity.

The 9.9mm thick Galaxy Player (YP-GB1) runs on Android 2.2 Froyo OS and features a 1GHz CPU, 4-inch Super Clear LCD screen supporting up to WVGA resolution (800×480), T-DMB, SoundAlive audio enhancing technology, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, 3.2MP rear camera with front facing camera for video calling, GPS, HD video playback, microSD card slot, Android Market and Samsung Apps access and a 1200mAh removable battery.

UPDATE: Front facing camera is VGA. Will come in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage capacities.

THE MEDICAL CENTER PREPARES FOR THE NEWS MEDIA AND CONGRESSWOMAN!

It’s becoming like a small media circus at the Texas Medical Center in Houston.

Members of the news media from around the country are in town to cover Representative Gabrielle Giffords arrival in Houston.

She’s being transported from Arizona to be treated at TIRR Rehabilitation center in Texas.

Giffords was shot in the head earlier this month in Arizona by a gunman who’s since been arrested.

Members of the local and national media have planted roots near TIRR.

Long lines of satellite and microwave trucks are on the streets.

Local law enforcement officers have been as accommodating as possible by delivering reporters and photographers coffee and cakes at 4am Friday morning.

But some have rubbed the cops the wrong way.

Two local news crews got into a confrontation with cops and faced having their vehicles towed but the issue was resolved.

In the meantime, TIRR administrators allowed some of their vanity to show.

At 7 am landscaping crews arrived at the rehabilitation center to spruce it up a bit.

There’s a new bright red flower bed and the trees were trimmed around the facility’s sign.

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VINCE YOUNGVTO HEADLINE HISD GOLF TOURNAMENT!

NFL Quarterback Vince Young is coming home to serve as the Honorary Chair of the 2011 HISD Foundation Golf Tournament.

Young will also play in the tournament which is scheduled for Monday, April 4, at 1:00 p.m. at the Sweetwater Country Club in Sugar Land.

HISD Foundation President Tina Medlin said, “We are thrilled Vince agreed to join us as the Honorary Chair of the 2011 Golf Tournament.

He is so young but has accomplished so much –he is an inspiration to all of us –especially the students of HISD.

We look forward to an exciting day out on the golf course with Vince!”

This is not the first time Vince Young has given of himself to help HISD.

He has returned to Madison High School on numerous occasions to encourage students to stay in school and go on to college and take on leadership roles.

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