Monthly Archives: April 2009

Swine flu outbreak continues to grow in U.S. and internationally

[Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] — The human swine flu outbreak continues to grow in the United States and internationally.  Today, CDC reports additional cases of confirmed swine influenza and a number of hospitalizations of swine flu patients.  Internationally, the situation is more serious too, with additional countries reporting confirmed cases of swine flu.  In response to the intensifying outbreak, the World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4.  A Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.”  The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.

U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

As of 11:00 AM ET on April 28, the CDC has confirmed 64 human cases of swine flu infection in the United States:

  • California: 10 cases
  • Kansas: 2 cases
  • New York City: 45 cases
  • Ohio: 1 case
  • Texas: 6 cases

Yesterday, CDC issued a travel warning recommending that people avoid non-essential travel to Mexico.  CDC continues to issue interim guidance daily on the website and through health alert network notices.  CDC’s Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak.  The swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir.  This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.  For more information, see the CDC Swine Flu website.

International Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection

For information about investigation into cases outside the United States, see the World Health Organization website.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.  Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

For more information on what you can to stay safe and healthy, check the CDC Swine Flu website.

Additional Updates on the CDC Swine Flu Website

To learn about other updates made to the CDC Swine Flu Website in the past 24 hours, please check the “What’s New” page on the CDC Swine Flu website.

Viewpoint: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona

Okay, this is one of those chain e-mails from a friend.  But it’s all about Phoenix.  Which is what we communicate here.  And we can’t be serious all of the time, right?  So here goes: How to drive in Phoenix, Arizona…

  1. “Phoenix ” actually consists of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, Mesa, Gilbert, Glendale, and half of border with Mexico.
  2. The morning rush hour is from 5 a.m. to Noon.  The evening rush hour is from Noon to 9 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.
  3. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph.  On Loop 101, your speed is expected to match the highway number.  Anything less is considered “Wussy.”
  4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere.  Phoenix has its own version of traffic rules.  For example, cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second.  However, East Valley, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.
  5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended.
  6. Never honk at anyone.  Ever.  Seriously.  It’s an offense that can get you shot.
  7. Road construction is permanent in Phoenix.  Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.
  8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, dogs, barrels, cones, cats, mattresses, shredded tires, rabbits, vultures, javelinas, roadrunners, and the coyotes feeding on any of these items.
  9. Maricopa Freeway, Papago Freeway, and the “I-10” are the same road.  SR202 is the same road as The Red Mountain FWY.  Dunlap and Olive are the same street too.  Jefferson becomes Washington, but they are not the same street.  I-17 is also called The Black Canyon Freeway as well as The Veterans Memorial Highway. The SR 51 was renamed to Piestewa Freeway because Squaw Peak Parkway was too easy to pronounce.  SR 101 is also the Pima FWY except west of I-17, which is also The Black Canyon FWY, and The Veterans Memorial HWY.  Lastly, Thunderbird Rd. becomes Cactus Rd. but, Cactus Rd. doesn’t become Thunderbird Rd. because it dead ends at a mountain.
  10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been “accidentally activated.”
  11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly.  If you return the flip, you’ll be shot.
  12. For summer driving, it is advisable to wear potholders on your hands.

Phoenix’s Tres Rios wetlands project gains federal stimulus funding

street map depiction of Tres Rios Wetlands east of 91 Ave. and south of Broadway Rd. The site is north of the Salt River and south of the 91 Ave. Wastewater Treatment Plant.[Source: City of Phoenix] — Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced federal stimulus dollars for the city of Phoenix.  The Corps is committing $36.4 million for additional construction at the Tres Rios environmental restoration project.  The project will restore the ecosystem in this 8-mile reach of the Salt River, including re-establishment of native vegetation and wildlife habitat.  The wetlands will work in conjunction with a regional wastewater treatment plant that currently services about 2 million residents in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon stated, “We are thankful to the Army Corps of Engineers for recognizing the importance of this project and to Congressman Ed Pastor (D-AZ 4th) for his help and support.”

The additional funding means that work will continue on what will someday total 380 acres of wetlands, riparian habitat, and trails at Tres Rios.  When completed, the project will be a multi-purpose environmentally effective way to treat wastewater, which is sustainable and more cost effective than traditional treatment methods.  The source water for Tres Rios is highly treated wastewater from the 91st Avenue wastewater treatment plant which is located on the northern bank of the Salt River.  ”Three hundred eighty six jobs will be maintained or created due to this funding, so we are not only able to continue with this critically important project, but keep people at work as well,” said Councilman Claude Mattox, chairman of the National League of Cities’ Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Commander, Colonel Thomas Magness said today, “We will do some remarkable work and employ a whole lot of people.  So everyone, get your hard hats ready.”

Midtown Museum neighborhood to meet April 29

The next meeting of the Midtown Museum District Neighborhood Association (MMDNA) will be held on Wednesday, April 29 at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, 2520 N. Central Avenue, starting at 6:30 p.m. 

The keynote speaker will be Philip McNeely, City of Phoenix Environmental Sustainability Program Manager.  Philip will talk about sustainability projects in the city and what residents can do to help improve the environment.  Also on tap, progress with Block Watch and current Police Department work in the neighborhood.  To visit MMDNA’s website, click here.  For more information about the meeting, send an e-mail.

History of Arizona place names topic of April 30 “brown bag” talk

image001In this presentation, Tucson writer Greg McNamee examines the history of Arizona place names, from Ali Shonak to Zephyr, using lively anecdotes to discuss the little-known stories behind names on the land.  Place names are like fossil poetry.  They afford a kind of folk history, a snapshot in time that enables us to read them and reconstruct how members of a culture in the past assigned names to the places they saw. The U.S. has over 3.5 million place names, and there is no part of the world where nomenclature is so rich, poetic, humorous, and picturesque.

  • Date: Thursday, April 30, 2009
  • Time: Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Place: Carnegie Center, 1101 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007
  • Free and open to the public
  • Bring your lunch!  Light refreshments served
  • Free parking

Gregory McNamee is a writer whose publications include twenty-six books, as well as numerous essays, short stories, articles, and translations in journals in the United States and abroad.  He is a contributing editor to the Encyclopedia Britannica and writes regularly for its blog.  Mr. McNamee has taught writing courses at the University of Arizona and elsewhere, and he delivers talks and lectures on writing in many venues.

For more information, call 602-926-3368 or send an e-mail.

Canalscape one component of “Green Phoenix”

Canalscape

[Source: Arizona State University] — On March 10, 2009, ASU President Michael Crow met with US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu to discuss a new initiative called “Green Phoenix.”  ASU, in partnership with the City of Phoenix, and other government, education and business entities, has devised a 17-point plan to make Phoenix a national leader in renewable energy, water conservation, carbon neutrality, sustainable technologies, and green jobs.

One component of this comprehensive, multi-faceted plan is a project called “Canalscape” which aims to re-imagine urban planning in metro Phoenix by creating vibrant living corridors along its nearly 200 miles of canal banks.

This podcast features a conversation with Dr. Nan Ellin, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs, and Braden Kay, a graduate student with the ASU School of Sustainability, who are working to advance this project through education and action.

Get the audio:

LISC Green Development Center offers resources to “go green”

The Galleries at Turney, Arizona's first LEED for Homes Certified project

[Source: Teresa Brice, Local Initiatives Service Corp.] — Your friends at LISC Phoenix want to inform you of resources recently made available by the LISC Green Development Center.  LISC has been hard at work developing tools and documents that we hope you find useful.  Currently available here online are:

  • The Green Screen: A resource intended for you to use in assisting evaluation of greening opportunities of proposed projects, as well as helping you to guide Community Development Corp. partners towards greener projects.  It directs you towards the right questions to be asking at different stages in the development process.
  • Energy Star Qualified Homes Guide: A resource designed to help you and your partner CDCs get their projects on the road to green by meeting ENERGY STAR Qualified Homes standards.  A link to rehab guidelines is also available.  Resource guides are customized to your local office.
  • Sustainability Primers: Documents to familiarize you with sustainability topics, such as deconstruction and geothermal heat pumps.  Have a particular topic your interested in?  Contact us and we’ll add it to our list of primers in the works.
  • Office Greening Guide: Intranet resource to help green local LISC offices.  Let’s practice what we preach!
  • Energy Assistance Programs: A guide to heating assistance programs broken down by state.

Questions, comments, feedback?  Feel free to contact Madeline via e-mail.

Sign-up now for Phoenix Parks and Recreation summer programs

[City of Phoenix] — Registration is now open for the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department’s complete summer schedule of full-day drop-in recreation programs, classes, and sports leagues and instruction.   Participants can sign up for programs online with any major credit card in the Classes and Programs link of the department Web site.

Registration opens May 2 at 10:30 a.m. for swim classes and aquatics programs at the 21 city pools open this summer.  Complete information and online registration is done through the Classes and Programs link on the department homepage.

In addition to dozens of sites for our full-day Phoenix Afterschool Center program, many community centers will be hosting full-day structured recreation programs. Parents can choose from a number of options – from four week programs to full-summer ten-week programs. Prices vary but generally average about $30 a week.

New for this year, city of Phoenix golf courses will be hosting weeks-long golf clinics to introduce Phoenix youth to the great game of golf.  The clinics will be low-cost, intensive clinics that will get kids ready to head out on the course. Parents also can choose from among dozens of community center-based general interest classes from dance, to music to visual arts as well as basketball and other sports leagues and instructional clinics.  Adults aren’t left out and can choose from the same number of high quality, low cost programs.

Risk of swine flu associated with travel to affected areas

[Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)] — Public health officials within the United States and throughout the world are investigating outbreaks of swine influenza (swine flu). Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs.  Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur.  Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu virus spreads from human to human and can cause illness.

The outbreak is ongoing and additional cases are expected.  For more information concerning swine flu infection, please see the CDC website.  For specific information on travel precautions and an update on the affected areas, click here.

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include:

  • Fever (greater than 100°F or 37.8°C)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Stuffy nose
  • Chills
  • Headache and body aches
  • Fatigue

Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people.  Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

People entering the United States who are experiencing symptoms consistent with swine flu and have traveled to an affected area, or have been exposed to someone possibly infected with swine flu, during the last seven days should report their illnesses to their health care provider immediately and inform them of their recent travel.  People traveling from the United States to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness with swine flu and take precautions.

To prevent the spread of swine flu:

  • Avoid contact with ill persons.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue).  Throw used tissues in a trash can.
  • After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.

If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible.  Stay at home or in your hotel room.  Seek medical care if you are severely ill (such as having trouble breathing).   There are antiviral medications for prevention and treatment of swine flu that a doctor can prescribe.   Do not go to work, school, or travel while ill.

Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition meets April 30

The next meeting of the Phoenix Historic Neighborhoods Coalition will be held Thursday, April 30, 2009, starting at 7 p.m. in the Governing Board Room at Phoenix Elementary School District #1 (turn south off Palm Lane, just east of 7th St.; meeting room at northeast corner of the campus).  The major agenda items:

  • Status report on City of Phoenix Planned Urban Development (PUD) process ~ Paul Barnes, Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix
  • Fund-raising efforts for Phoenix Parks & Recreation and Phoenix After School Center ~ Martin Vogel
  • Group discussion on the question, “Does Class 6 status limit the legal protection of historic homeowners in collecting damages from the Arizona Registrar of Contractors?”
  • 2009 National Preservation Month Luncheon, May 5, 11:30 a.m., Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa.  Seats are $50.  RSVP to Kay via e-mail or phone 602-340-0745.
  • 6th Annual Arizona Centennial Workshop, May 21, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Coor Hall, ASU, Tempe.  For downloadable flyer, click here.
  • 7th Annual Statewide Historic Preservation Partnership Conference,  June 18 – 20, Hyatt Regency, downtown Phoenix.  For details, click here.
  • Historic Homeowner’s Expo, June 20, Hyatt Regency, downtown Phoenix.  Free to the public.  For details, click here.
  • Old/new business.