Category: Community Written by CNN News
Tacloban, Philippines (CNN) -- Survivors root through the splintered wreckage of their homes searching for loved ones who may be buried beneath. Others are scrambling to find food and water in areas littered with corpses.
Three days after Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms in recorded history, scythed across the central Philippines, people here are struggling to grasp the enormity of what they have lost and the challenges they still face.
The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, has left devastation on a monumental scale in its wake.
Thousands of houses have been obliterated. Many areas are still cut off from transport, communications and power. Some officials say that as many as 10,000 people may have been killed.
Water levels reached the second story Survivor: Conditions 'worse than hell' Social media helping in wake of typhoon
"There are too many people dead," said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross. "We have bodies in the water, bodies on the bridges, bodies on the side of the road."
And amid the carnage, hundreds of thousands of survivors are trying to cope with a lack of water, food, shelter and medicine. Aid workers and government officials are battling to get emergency supplies to hard hit areas, which have been cut off by fallen trees and power lines.
Haiyan's trackHaiyan's track
Interactive map of the storm
'Worse than hell'
In Tacloban, a city of more than 200,000 inhabitants that suffered a catastrophic blow from the typhoon, dead bodies still lay by the side of the road Monday.
Some had been covered by sheets or tarpaulins. But others still lay as they had fallen, a look of horror frozen on their faces.
Aid workers are worried that the grim abundance of corpses will create health risks for desperate survivors, who are drinking water from underground wells without knowing if it's been contaminated.
Magina Fernandez, one of many survivors who were trying to get out of Tacloban at the city's crippled airport at the weekend, described the situation there as "worse than hell."
"Get international help to come here now -- not tomorrow, now," she said, directing some of her anger at Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who on Sunday toured some of the hardest-hit areas.
Tacloban was shattered by Haiyan, whose tremendous force brought a wall of water roaring off the Gulf of Leyte. The storm surge leveled entire neighborhoods of wooden houses and flung large ships ashore like toys.
"I have not spoken to anyone who has not lost someone, a relative close to them," said the city's mayor, Alfred Romualdez, who narrowly escaped death during the storm's fury. "We are looking for as many as we can."
Many areas hit
But Tacloban is far from the only devastated area. Authorities are still trying to establish the level of destruction elsewhere along Haiyan's path.
Typhoon survivors desperate for help Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts
"It's not just Tacloban, it's all the coastal areas" in that region, Gordon said.
Fishing communities stretch for miles down the island eastern coast of the island of Leyte, the place where Gen. Douglas Macarthur led U.S. troops ashore in 1944 at the start of the long, bloody fight to retake the Philippines from the Japanese during World War II.
The other settlements along the coast are likely to have suffered a similar fate to Tacloban.
Across the Gulf of Leyte lies Samar, the island where Haiyan made its first of six deadly landfalls in the Philippines on Friday. Government and aid officials say they are still trying to reach many affected communities on Samar.
A similar challenge of damage assessment exists farther west, on the islands of Cebu and Panay, which also suffered direct hits from the typhoon.
The death toll as reported by the Philippine Armed Forces Central Command stood at 942 Monday night. But with so much about the storm's impact still unknown, a full accounting its victims will take time.
"We can give you estimates right now, but none of it will be accurate." Gordon said.
U.S. Marines join relief efforts
Aquino declared a "state of national calamity," which allows more latitude in rescue and recovery operations and gives the government power to set the prices of basic goods.
Authorities are funneling aid on military planes to Tacloban's airport, which also resumed very limited commercial flights on Monday. As aid workers, government officials and journalists came in, hundreds of residents waited in long lines hoping to get out.
Among those arriving Monday were U.S. Marines, sent in to assist in relief efforts.
"We're working hand-in-hand with the Philippines, both with their armed forces and the national police, and we will help them in their need," said Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy.
The Marines are the "forward edge" of a broader U.S. effort to aid the Philippines, he said.
But with the airport 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the city center and many roads still clogged with debris, getting the supplies to the places where they're most needed is proving difficult.
Roads blocked, airports destroyed
The problems are the same in other stricken regions.
"The main challenges right now are related to logistics," said Praveen Agrawal of the U.N.'s World Food Program, who returned to Manila from the affected areas on Sunday. "Roads are blocked, airports are destroyed."
The need for food and water has led to increasingly desperate efforts. In their frantic search, people have broken into grocery and department stores in Tacloban.
Richard Young, a local businessman, said he and others had formed a group to protect their businesses.
"We have our firearms, we will shoot within our property," he said.
Authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to try to bring the situation under control.
Another dire scene played out in the city's only functioning hospital over the weekend. Doctors couldn't admit any more wounded victims because there wasn't enough room. Some of the injured lay in the hospital's cramped hallways seeking treatment.
"We haven't anything left to help people with," one of the doctors said. "We have to get supplies in immediately."
Complicating the search efforts is the lack of electricity in many parts of the storm's path.
The northern part of Bogo, in the central Philippines, suffered a blackout Sunday, and authorities said it will take months to restore power.
Storm moves onto Vietnam
With its gusts of more than 250 kph (155 mph), Haiyan may have been the strongest tropical cyclone in recorded history, but meteorologists said it will take further analysis to confirm whether it set a record.
After leaving the Philippines on Friday, the storm lost power as it moved across the South China Sea over the weekend.
Early Monday, it hit the coast of northern Vietnam, where authorities had evacuated hundreds of thousands of people from vulnerable areas. It weakened to become a tropical storm as it moved inland.
Five people were reported dead, according to the state-run Vietnam News Agency.
Aid workers said Vietnam was likely to avoid damage on the scale suffered by the Philippines. But officials have warned that the heavy rain brought by Haiyan could cause flooding and landslides in northern Vietnam and southern China.
For the devastated areas of the Philippines, the bad weather may not be over. The national weather agency, Pagasa, said Monday that a tropical depression was moving toward the southern part of the country.
Far weaker than Haiyan, the weather system is likely to mainly affect the islands of Mindanao and Bohol, which didn't suffer direct hits on Friday. But it could bring wind and heavy rain to Tacloban and the surrounding area, making conditions even more hazardous.
Aid workers say that the recovery from Haiyan will take many months.
"This disaster on such a scale will probably have us working for the next year," said Sandra Bulling, international communications officer for the aid agency CARE. "Fishermen have lost their boats. Crops are devastated. This is really the basic income of many people."
Last Updated on Monday, 11 November 2013 07:34
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
Cycle 6 Makes an Intriguing Impact, Cycle 7 to debut in 2014
Red Bull House of Art is continuing its contribution to the cultural and creative landscape of Detroit’s internationally recognized art scene with the unveiling of its sixth cycle of artists on Friday, November 15 with a public gallery opening. This will be the last exhibition of the year.
The eight artists selected for this cycle have drawn upon an array of influences and tools to bring their artistic visions to life. From Sydney G. James’ enthralling “House of Mirrors” series to Tadd Mullinix’s Armenian-influenced abstract expressionism and Abby Tagë Lee’s introspective ink blot dissections, no medium was left behind. Dessi Terzieva’s collage work delves into what inspires us about classic sculpture, while Michael Eugene Burdick opens up his personal sketchbook for all patrons to see on opening night. Paula Schubatis’ art literally links to color and texture via woven fibers, Jay Oscar’s lush and challenging abstract pieces use a nontraditional style to tell stories, and Joshua A. Gaudette dissects animalistic every day life. It’s truly a treat to see the work of these local artists come alive in the heart of Detroit.
The gallery, built out directly below the artists’ dedicated workspace in the E & B Brewery Lofts, was built in 1891 and renovated by local architect Tadd Heidgerken, Red Bull House of Art blends traditional New York-style gallery space with raw, cavernous rooms unique to Detroit’s rich architectural history
The eight featured artists in the fifth cycle are: Sydney G. James (Acrylic on Mirror), Tadd Mullinix (Acrylic Paintings & Decoupage), Abby Tagë Lee (Ink), Dessi Terzieva (Collage & Mixed Media), Michael Eugene Burdick (Mixed Media), Paula Schubatis (Oil Paint & Woven Fiber) Jay Oscar (Inks & Acrylics), and Joshua A. Gaudette (Mixed Media).
Curator: Matt Eaton
Red Bull House of Art | 1551 W Winder St | Detroit, MI 48207
November 15, 2013 | 7-11pm
Facebook: facebook.com/redbullhouseofart| Twitter/IG: @redbullHoADet @redbullDET | #houseofart
Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 14:42
Category: Community Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act impact Medicare?
The Michigan Chronicle met with Karen Wintringham, the Vice President of Medicare Programs with Health Alliance Plan (HAP), to gain insights regarding how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act impacts Medicare.
According to Wintringham, the existing Medicare coverage will not be reduced or taken away under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In fact, the ACA adds a number of benefits and protections to Medicare coverage, including:
Improved coverage in the donut hole: If a consumer has Medicare Part D coverage, the ACA helps them save money on drugs. For 2014, if they’re in the prescription drug “donut hole,” they will get a discount of 52.5 percent when they buy Part D-covered brand name prescription drugs. They will save on generic drugs, too. By 2020, all but 25 percent of a beneficiary’s costs – both brand-name and generic – will be covered. This compares to the beneficiaries having to pay 100 percent of both generic and brand-name drugs prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Additional preventive benefits: Medicare now has a list of approved preventive benefits covered at no cost to the beneficiary, including:
• A yearly wellness visit: This is different from a physical, which is a more extensive exam. Consumers may choose to have a physical at another visit with their doctor, but generally Medicare will not pay for the physical.
• Routine screening exams, such as mammograms, colorectal cancer screenings, Pap smears, prostate exams, bone density measures and other preventive screenings.
Extra resources to fight fraud and inefficiency: The ACA provides extra resources to fight fraud and abuse in Medicare and puts in place more tools to catch those who fraudulently bill Medicare.
Financial incentives for Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans (pdp): The ACA provides financial incentives for Medicare Advantage plans and Prescription Drug Plans that provide high quality care and high levels of customer satisfaction. Plans that rate at least four out of five stars by Medicare will receive bonus payments. In addition, plans must now limit how much they spend each year on administrative costs.
Income-related Medicare premiums: Some Medicare beneficiaries will pay an extra amount for Part D because of their yearly income. The extra amount is paid directly to Social Security (not the Medicare plan). The income level that drives the additional premium starts at $85,000 for a single person or $170,000 for married couples filing joint tax returns. These income levels will stay the same until 2020.
Inclusion of Individuals with ALS: Individuals with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as “Lou Gehrig ’s Disease,” can now qualify for Medicare coverage.
When is Open Enrollment for Medicare? In 2013, open enrollment for Medicare runs from October 15 until midnight on December 7. Medicare beneficiaries whose plan is ending on December 31 have a special election period. They can enroll in a Medicare plan up until December 31 for coverage effective on January 1, 2014.
Medicare Expert Karen Wintringham answers Medicare questions:
Q. What changes are happening in 2014 to the prescription drug coverage?
A. Medicare prescription drugs are becoming more affordable under the health care reform law. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries will continue to have better coverage for both brand name and generic drugs than in prior years, so they’ll pay less in out-of-pocket prescription costs over time. This filling of the Donut Hole is scheduled to continue each year through 2020, at which time all but 25 percent of a beneficiaries’ costs will be covered. In other words, Part D will cover 75% of both generic and brand-name drugs in the Donut Hole.
For 2014 members of approved Medicare Prescription Drug Plans will receive a 28% discount on generic drugs and 52.5% on brand-name drugs. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, members had to pay 100% of the costs for both generic and brand-name drugs.
In addition, some of the payment amounts under Part D (outpatient prescription drug benefits) will change annually as they do under Part A and Part B. For 2014:
a) The Initial Coverage Limit (the amount a member pays for prescriptions plus what the member’s plan pays before entering the Donut Hole) decreases from $2,970 to $2,850.
b) The amount the member must pay out of his or her own pocket (the True Out-Of-Pocket costs or TrooP) decreases from $4,750 to $4,550. This is the amount for deductibles, copays, and coinsurance (not premiums) the member pays for Part D services before being able to exit the Donut Hole.
c) The copays a member might pay after entering the Part D catastrophic coverage period benefit decrease from $2.65 for generics to $2.55 and from $6.60 for all other drugs to $6.35. Members at this coverage level pay either the copay or 5%, whichever is greater. One other change happing to prescription drugs includes access to barbiturates.
In 2013 Medicare Part D added coverage for benzodiazepines and for barbiturates when used to treat epilepsy, cancer, or a chronic mental health disorder. For 2014 the restricted use for barbiturates is removed, and may be covered under Part D for medically accepted indications.
Q. What Hints Do You Have for Consumers When Comparing Medicare Plans
A. As you begin reviewing the new plan benefits and premiums for 2014, be sure to look at more than just the premiums and whether there is a deductible or not. How much would you pay out of your own pocket if you were hospitalized, or if you needed skilled nursing care? If the plan offers care outside the network, how much would you pay? What you would pay if you have an ambulatory surgery procedure or service in a hospital outpatient setting? Are there restrictions on how much care you can receive? What are the new coverage rules for emergencies when you travel outside the country? Depending on your personal needs, these could be areas with significant financial impact.
Q Why Preventive Services Are Covered?
A. On January 1, 2013 Medicare began covering many – but not all – preventive services with no cost to the Medicare beneficiary. Preventive services coverage will continue in 2014. Here are a few examples of covered services: Mammograms, cancer screenings, and vaccinations for influenza, pneumonia, and Hepatitis B (for at risk individuals). A complete list of preventive is available in the Medicare and You handbook sent to every Medicare beneficiary. Medicare Advantage plans fully cover preventive services and annual well visits (with no copay, no coinsurance).
Editor’s Note: Karen Wintringham leads HAP’s Medicare programs and provides legislative and regulatory policy expertise on program administration and compliance. Since joining HAP in 2007, Karen has expanded HAP’s portfolio of affordable health care solutions for Medicare beneficiaries. She previously held leadership positions at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Aetna and has participated in national policy committees and quality initiatives. She received a bachelor’s degree with honors from Colby College and a master’s degree with honors in Health Policy and Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine. She serves on the board of directors of
Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 10:24
Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
The Public Lighting Authority of Detroit (PLA) will begin construction and installation of new street lights in the two pilot areas, the first steps of the PLA’s efforts to relight Detroit this Friday. PLA Executive Director Odis Jones will give details about the new design, construction and installation in the pilot areas, as well as discuss the progress, and next steps of the PLA’s three-year plan to relight the entire City.
Installation of lights will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, November 8, at the intersection of Brock and Collingham, just east of Gratiot, a couple of blocks south of Eight Mile. An engineering survey of the two pilot areas that was recently completed showed that nearly half the lights in both areas are not working.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 November 2013 09:46
Category: Community Written by G. Strand
Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy emphasizes technology and eco-friendly practices
At Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy, students are engaged in virtual learning in one of DPS’ small, self-governing high schools that is focused on college-readiness. Felicia Cook, fourth-year principal at Osborn Evergreen, has transformed the school’s reputation by infusing its curriculum with technology and an eco-friendly culture dominated by student cooperation and achievement.
Virtual classrooms, which enhance student ability to learn online, are only a part of the reason student achievement is advancing at Osborn Evergreen, where its 11th and 12th grade students are involved in E2020, a turnkey digital learning environment featuring lectures, assignments and homework.
With one of Osborn’s core components being design, the school’s art program plays a critical role in shaping the students’ creative eye. Through Osborn Evergreen’s art program, students create ceramics, pottery, web design, paintings and free-hand drawings. Students have even used technology to design some elaborate car sketches.
Pierre Hawkins, an 11th grade student at Osborn Evergreen, expressed his enthusiasm toward art and design as he proudly shared a sample of his work on his Smartphone. “I think every student should have the opportunity to experience art,” he said.
Student-designed showcase windows are displayed throughout the school, many showcasing recycled material. Each month, several students are designated a window and act as ‘artistic directors’ in designing and executing the completion of the showcases. Students can use the showcase as a creative muse and paint, draw and assemble a masterpiece. Students have even designed three dimensional showcase displays.
Teaching students to be echo-conscious through science
Biology and Environmental Science teacher Ashley Marderosian infuses real-world concepts into her classroom by utilizing the 5E (engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation) Lesson Plan Template, which allows students to explore the material before she reveals the answer.
“It’s easy to get involved with real-world practices such as eco-conscious activities when you teach science,” Marderosian said.
Working with the environment and getting the local community involved is something Osborn Evergreen students do best. This year, the students worked with the Conner Creek Elderly Living to design and build flowerbeds that were installed around the Osborn campus.
“The students, as well as our community, have done a great job at cleaning up our campus and giving it a great look and feel. In the spring time, students will be designing and displaying their recycled sculptures to aid in the beautification of our campus,” Cook said.
Osborn Evergreen also has a highly active Recycling Program led by Marderosian. The Urban Farming Club and Environmental Club meet regularly to discuss what new and innovative projects students and staff can get involved with to help make their school more ‘green.’
Teaching students to become leaders
Aside from helping them learn how to have a better appreciation of the environment, Cook is in sync with her young scholars and realizes communication is what drives her students to work hard.
Osborn Evergreen’s Student Council members have been deemed the “heartbeat of the school.” They are the “eyes and ears” on campus and take on many responsibilities at the school.
“Here at Osborn, we want to make sure our students are educated on character, integrity and accountability,” Cook said. “That’s why open communication between staff and students is so important.”
Osborn Evergreen 11th grade student Kitara Hamilton previously attended a different school and said there was no connection for her there.
“The school was so big it was to the point where the principal didn’t even know me, and you just had to get to your class,” she said. “I love Osborn because here they communicate with you and actually make you want to go to class.”
Hamilton was featured on FOX 2 to represent the Osborn Safety Station, an after-school program at Osborn open to 9th, 10th, and 11th graders. The Safety Station is committed to fostering a violence-free culture where young people can thrive. The Safety Station executive board members are often called upon by Cook and other teachers to rally students for assemblies and other activities regarding safety, violence prevention and positive youth development.
A critical part of Detroit Public Schools new Strategic Plan has been the Safe Routes Program and a Call to Action to generate more volunteers to help ensure all students get to and from school safely.
“There are many kids, teenagers and little ones who walk to school by themselves. We need adults and other authoritative figures to look out for us so that we get to school safely,” Hamilton said.
In early August, Detroit Public Schools announced a broad expansion of its Citizens Patrol programs to vastly increase Safe Routes for Detroit children and their families going to and from school.
The expanded citizens patrols, which are part of a comprehensive, multi-agency program has already proven to reduce incidents.
Editor’s Note: Osborn Evergreen Academy of Design and Alternative Energy is located at 11600 East 7 Mile Road in Detroit. For more information call: 313.866.0343. For those interested in volunteering for the school patrols, call: 313.748.6008
Last Updated on Saturday, 09 November 2013 15:02
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