– gun, ammo foundPolice in the Mazaruni have arrested two armed bandits who on Sunday evening robbed a gold miner of a large quantity of raw gold after they brutally chopped him about his body.Police said that the men were arrested Monday evening. The Police said Neil Jordan, 42, a miner of Bartica, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), was at a mining camp at Farback Backdam, Mazaurni, when he was held up by two men who were armed with a firearm and a cutlass.During the incident, Jordan was chopped to his body by the men who took away a quantity of raw gold before escaping.Police responded to the report and managed to intercept the two perpetrators in the Mazaruni area.Law enforcement recovered an unlicensed 9mm pistol with seven rounds and a cutlass.The men remain in custody and charges are likely to be laid before the end of the week.
Striker Trokon Myers (L) celebrates with team mates Edward Ledlum and Christopher Jackson after scoring his first goalLiberia Football Association 1st division championship contenders LISCR and FC Fassel yesterday secured advantages in the first leg of their second round matches in the ongoing FA Cup following their 3-0 wins respectively at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.LISCR, who secured their advantage in the day’s first encounter, continued their unbeaten run in both the championship and the FA Cup with a comfortable 3-0 win over 3rd division side Muscat FC.A brace from striker Trokon Myers in the second half and a right foot strike from skipper Saah Nyumah in the 14th minute from outside his opponents’ penalty area were enough to secure the advantage for Coach Tapha Manneh’s boys in their first leg encounter.Striker Myers doubled his side’s advantage in the 59th minute after he netted an assist from team mate Christopher Jackson and later completed his brace after he slid in to finish forward Morris Vambo’s low ground cross form the right angle of the field.However, Paynesville based Muscat FC who were good on ball possession, seemed to be unlucky to register a goal after missing out on several clear chances in both halves.A close opportunity for 3rd division Muscat to get an equalizer 12 minutes after LISCR took the lead was missed after forward Benedict Newton’s shot from close range was denied by goalkeeper Tommy Songo.Young Muscat’s Coach Obediah Gbeh who earlier said his side was prepared for their 1st division opponents, made several changes in during the second half, but did not get the needed result.The defeat was Muscat’s first and biggest so far since the start of the season, while LISCR remain unbeaten.In the day’s last encounter, 1st division leaders FC Fassel secured their chance with a 3-0 win against 3rd division Margibi based Morris Young Tigers.A goal from center defender Alvin Marciniel through a header from a corner kick in the first half gave the Soccer Missionaries (Fassel) a one goal lead in the first half.Morris Young Tigers, who are making their debut in the competition, made few attempts on the 1st division leaders, and could have conceded more goals, but kept their defensive posture to concede fewer goals in the first half.Upon resumption Coach Sam Chebli made changes by introducing striker Elijah Clarke who was on the score sheet for the Missionaries in the previous FA Cup match against BYC and Abraham Barshell in search for additional goals.The Missionaries later increased their lead after forward Farsedu Logan and striker Clarke registered their names on the score sheet to finally clinch the 3-0 victory.Meanwhile, the competition will continue tomorrow with another 3rd division side Samira FC taking on the Church Boys of Jubilee FC in the first match, while Nimba United will go against 2nd division side Holder FC.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Torching of vehicle in Buxton…will continue disconnectionsHead of the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Dr Richard Van West-Charles has said the entity’s workers will not be intimidated by the violent behaviour of citizens following the burning of a minibus which was taking its disconnection crew in Buxton, East Coast Demerara (ECD).The contracted bus that was set ablaze by a Buxton resident on WednesdayOn Wednesday in the vicinity of Company Road, Friendship, ECD, the GWI crew were conducting disconnections when a resident of Buxton approached the GWI vehicle with a bottle in hand containing a liquid. Upon dispersal of the substance around and inside the contracted vehicle, the employees of the water company realised that it was gasoline. The man then ignited the vehicle. The six employees, who were present at the scene, were forced to run for their lives.They subsequently called the Police.The GWI crew who were conducting disconnections in BuxtonOn Friday, West-Charles told the media that such behaviour cannot be tolerated. “This matter cannot be tolerated by anyone. This level of lawlessness will not and must not intimidate the work of GWI,” he said.He stated that upon examination of the torched bus, which was contracted to transport GWI staff members to conduct various disconnections, it was completely damaged.“The vehicle has been severely damaged to the point where it has to be written-off,” he said.West-Charles also noted that they are now seeking to have Police support in communities which are considered “high-risk areas”. He added that the majority of the cases of violent attacks from citizens on GWI employees arise from communities on the ECD. Additionally, he said that in the past, outreaches were conducted with residents in Buxton so as to spread awareness as well as to discuss the improvement of the company’s standards. He noted that this is done because these situations can only be avoided if there is great partnership between GWI and the communities.“This is in essence in seeking to provide a better quality of service to customers across the country and I think it is important at this juncture that all of our citizens must stand up against this type of lawlessness in our country,” he said.For 2018, West-Charles explained that four instances had already arisen where there were attacks on the staff adding, “We do know that this is not a representative of the people of Buxton, and in the main, is not necessarily a representative of the people of the communities but we’ve been having a number of repeated attacks and therefore it is my belief that it is time for citizens to raise their voices and their actions to ensure that law is respected and maintained, to support for the betterment of all citizens throughout the length and breadth of Guyana.”With the implementation of new strategies and the will to continue the disconnections without intimidation, GWI is hoping Guyanese will comply when they are subjected to disconnections by its staff.
…unable to verify claim senior official linked to recent seized vesselMinister of State, Joseph Harmon on Friday during his post-Cabinet press conference was unable to confirm or deny speculation that a senior Government official is linked to the recent seized vessel as he reassured the public that the matter of fuel smuggling was actively engaging the attention of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA).The Minister expressing confidence in the capabilities of the agencies in theMinister of State, Joseph Harmoncampaign against fuel smuggling, reminded of the scope of Guyana’s borders. He noted that while it was difficult to patrol every square inch, there were protective measures such as the fuel marking system. “From time to time, vessels will actually come into the country with contraband items, it is important, however, once they come to a port that we are able to inspect, once it is determined these items are contraband that the Revenue Authority does what it has to do,” he stated. It was announced by GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia at an April 24, 2018 press conference that the agency had launched an extensive investigation to determine the prior movements of MV Jubilee that was caught last weekend with undeclared fuel.
A flawed disciplinary system for Sheriff’s Department employees allows workers to “game the system,” avoiding repercussions for misconduct and improper use of force more than 80percent of the time, according to a report released Wednesday. In his semiannual report, Special Counsel Merrick Bobb said that while the overall quality of investigations into misconduct is high, the disciplinary process lacks integrity. And he said he was troubled by the persistence of the deputies union in challenging and appealing disciplinary actions. “There is too much deal-making,” Bobb wrote. “An employee has everything to gain and nothing to lose by grieving discipline. The nearly inevitable result of the grievance will be an ultimate reduction in the discipline. “A persistent employee with a smart union representative can game the system. The punishment one ultimately gets results more from who is best at playing the game, not from a fair and evenhanded approach.” But Sheriff Lee Baca said Bobb’s conclusions miss an important element of the disciplinary system, which involves settlement agreements that call for harsher punishment if a deputy breaks the rules again. “I believe Merrick Bobb’s characterizations are misleading,” he said. “The conditions of the settlement agreements are not gaming the system but strengthening the system. “An employee knows if they reoffend, they will get all the punishment that the settlement agreement included but was not served, and they will possibly get fired and have no recourse to appeal the discharge.” But Bobb wrote that the vast majority of disciplinary recommendations he reviewed were softened. He suggested that one motivation could be that sheriff’s officials decide to settle the cases before they go to the Civil Service Commission, which reviews disciplinary actions that county employees question. Bobb said sheriff’s officials complained to him about what they saw as bias in the commission’s rulings. “There is no question that fear of the Civil Service Commission brings about settlements and compromises that otherwise would not take place,” Bobb wrote. Z. Greg Kahwajian, president of the commission, did not dispute Bobb’s findings. But he said Bobb’s report only included a small portion of the cases the commission handled. Of all the cases it reviewed, only about 25percent or less resulted in a reduced or reversed disciplinary action. Playing blame game For example, in 340 cases filed with the commission from 2002 to 2006, 113 were nondisciplinary, and 84 were withdrawn. An additional 81 are pending. Of the remaining 62, the commission reversed or partially reversed discipline in 16 cases. The commission denied hearings in 15 cases and sustained the department’s discipline in 31 cases. “I think the department needs to stop looking at others to blame, like the Civil Service Commission, and should look internally at the number of cases that are settled,” Kahwajian said. “And this notion that they are settling cases because they fear the outcome of the civil-service hearing process is completely unfounded.” Reducing discipline Bobb’s report comes a year after the Daily News found that the commission overturned or reduced discipline in nearly half of all sheriff’s, probation, health and children’s services departments cases from 2001 to 2004. In the Sheriff’s Department, discipline in 33percent to 50percent of cases was reversed or reduced. As part of his investigation, Bobb reviewed 101 Sheriff’s Department investigations involving 127 employees in 2005 and found that discipline was reduced or suspended 84percent of the time. On average, a typical suspension of 4.2 days was reduced by an average of 2.5 days in the cases Bobb reviewed. Of the 101 investigations, 10 involved the Palmdale station, 11 were in the Santa Clarita station, and eight were in Pico Rivera. Of cases reviewed at six sheriff’s stations, fewer than 10percent involved discipline serious enough to meet the commission’s standards for a hearing. “It is also possible that management in the LASD may not be as dogged and persistent in defending discipline as (the deputies union) is in attacking it,” Bobb wrote. “Although it certainly is an employee’s right to challenge discipline, and it is the union’s job to represent the employee vigorously, the pressures brought to bear on the LASD by the grievance process seem to swamp the department. Those stresses produce pressure to settle grievances rather than engage in protracted proceedings.” Encino attorney Dick Shinee, who represents members of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs, said the department often agrees to settle cases after the union points out flaws in their investigations. “And, oftentimes, they over-penalize the deputy with the intent of reducing it during the grievance procedure,” Shinee said. “The department tries to use the commission as their whipping boy because of their inept investigations and inept evidence collection. “They have problems with assessing what the investigation means in terms of evidentiary value. They come to wrong-headed conclusions and lose by virtue of those facts. “No one is gaming the system.” email@example.com (213) 974-8985 Department misconduct Some examples from Special Counsel Merrick Bobb’s semiannual report on the Sheriff’s Department: One deputy was accused of operating her own fast-food business while on duty and in uniform. The investigator said the deputy had conducted personal business during normal work hours and had violated several department policies, including misuse of the department’s squad car. The department recommended termination of the court deputy’s bonus pay. The deputy filed a grievance to the department’s Review Board, offering to voluntarily relinquish her bonus position and be transferred. The case outcome was changed from “founded” to “inactivated,” and her request was granted, which Bobb wrote was “highly inappropriate.” A deputy was alleged to have pointed his gun with a laser sight at a crowd of partygoers, pushed multiple people, used profanity and unlawfully entered private property without a warrant, cause or permission. Witnesses told investigators the deputy pushed a woman using “an open hand to the shoulder” or a “forearm to the chest.” Another witness and a deputy at the scene said they did not see the push, and the deputy denied making any physical contact. Ultimately, the charge of unreasonable force was deemed unresolved. But investigators found that the deputy violated department policies by pointing his gun at partygoers. The department sought to suspend the deputy for four days. But after the grievance process, it was reduced to three days. A deputy improperly gave his radio-car key to a civilian in a volunteer ride-along program. The civilian used the key to steal the car, threatened to commit suicide with a shotgun and triggered a 30-minute pursuit. The department recommended that the deputy receive a two-day suspension. But the deputy filed a grievance. Without explanation, the captain reviewing the case changed the outcome from “founded” to “unfounded,” and the suspension was rescinded. Bobb wrote that it appeared that the deputy had succeeded in eliciting sympathy from the decision-maker.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
“The players with an immigration background have always enjoyed playing for us and nothing has changed,” added Loew who has been head coach since 2006.Arsenal midfielder Ozil retired from international football on July 22 with a stinging three-page statement, in which he directly accused DFB president Reinhard Grindel of racism.This is the first time Loew has commented on the Ozil saga.– No contact –“His advisor called me to inform me that Mesut would issue the third part of his statement,” added Loew.“The player himself did not call me, which normally players have done in the past.“Mesut has still not called and for the last two weeks I have unsuccessfully tried to reach him.“I am sure there will be a chance for a personal conversation in the future.“He has chosen this path – I have to accept that.”Ozil and Ilkay Gundogan, who were both born in Germany to Turkish parents, sparked a political storm on the eve of the World Cup by meeting Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.When Erdogan’s office put out pictures of the meeting, the pair’s loyalty to Germany was hotly questioned, sparking fierce debate about integration, and they were attacked by German far-right politicians.Ozil walked away from the German set up after the World Cup, complaining of facing “racism and disrespect” and specifically took aim at Grindel.Sami Khedira is the biggest name casualty in the Germany squad to face France and Peru next month with the Juventus midfielder axed by head coach Joachim Loew. © AFP/File / BENJAMIN CREMEL“In the eyes of Grindel and his supporters, I am German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose,” Ozil wrote damningly.Following Germany’s World Cup debacle, finishing bottom of their group in Russia, Loew announced on Wednesday that assistant coach Thomas Schneider has been demoted to chief scout.The axe has also fallen on Sami Khedira, 31, who was part of the team which won the 2014 World Cup.The Juventus midfielder is the biggest name casualty in the new squad, which included Gundogan, as well as his Manchester City team-mate Leroy Sane, who was dropped for the World Cup.Loew says ‘the biggest mistake’ he made in Russia was to assume Germany could reach the knock-out stages by playing possession football.– ‘Almost arrogant’ –“That was almost arrogant. I wanted to take our game to the limit and perfect it,” admitted the 58-year-old.“I ended up taking too many risks and after the first game (a 1-0 defeat to Mexico) we had our backs to the wall.”Loew’s new squad has a mix of “experience and youth” with his 2014 World Cup winning stars Mats Hummels, Jerome Boateng, Tony Kroos, Thomas Mueller and Manuel Neuer included despite below-par performances in Russia.Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Thilo Kehrer, 21, Hoffenheim left-back Nico Schulz, 25, and Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz, 19, are called up for the first time.Sane, Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah and Freiburg striker Nils Petersen, who were cut from the provisional World Cup squad, all return.In May, Loew signed a four-year deal to take him through to the next World Cup, but admits Germany’s woeful performance in Russia puts him under huge pressure to turn things around — starting against world champions France.“We are all being specially observed and put under pressure, I am aware of that,” said Loew.“However, I am still convinced of our class and quality. The World Cup squad was very, very good, but we did not perform.”Germany squadGoalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona/ESP)DefendersJerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Matthias Ginter (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Jonas Hector (Cologne), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Thilo Kehrer (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Antonio Ruediger (Chelsea/ENG), Nico Schulz (Hoffenheim), Niklas Suele (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)Midfielder/forwardsJulian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen0, Julian Draxler (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich), İlkay Gundogan (Manchester City/ENG), Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid/ESP), Thomas Mueller (Bayern Munich), Nils Petersen (Freiburg), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Leroy Sane (Manchester City/ENG), Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Germany head coach Joachim Loew admits he had been ‘almost arrogant’ with some of his decisions in Russia as he outlined the reasons for Germany’s World Cup debacle © AFP / Christof STACHEMUNICH, Germany, Aug 29 – Joachim Loew has rejected Mesut Ozil’s accusations of racism within the German FA (DFB) as the head coach gave his analysis of Germany’s World Cup debacle on Wednesday.“Mesut made allegations of racism, but I can clearly say that in the DFB, there have never been racist comments,” Loew said while announcing his squad to face world champions France in Munich on September 6, then Peru three days later.
James Milner in action for England 1 James Milner will lead out England for the first time against Holland on Tuesday.The Liverpool will take over the armband with captain Wayne Rooney injured and vice-captain Gary Cahill on the bench.Milner will be making his 58th appearance for the Three Lions at Wembley.He was an unused substitute in Saturday’s victory over Germany, with his last international appearance coming in October’s 2-0 win at home to Estonia.
Hospitals statewide are required to provide translating for 28 languages, and most try to use some kind of phone service, Lott said. But 200 languages are spoken in California, and one state resident in five is considered limited in English proficiency, according to a 2003 study by the University of California, San Francisco, that emphasized a shortage in health-care interpreters. The study found there were about 500 qualified health-care interpreters statewide, not nearly enough, especially in rural areas, said Ellen Wu, executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network. Her agency co-sponsored legislation that would require insurance companies to provide reimbursement for interpretation services at hospitals. The new regulations, drafted by California’s Department of Managed Health Care, would require that all HMO plans statewide provide health care in the patients’ primary language. The regulations, first drafted in 2003, are expected to be implemented beginning next year. While federal and state laws require that all patients – regardless of language barrier, race or culture – never be turned away from a hospital, there is no funding to enforce those laws, and those who speak no English are less likely to file complaints. “I think that the Healt hcare Interpreter Network does maximize services, because multiple hospitals can come together and be more efficient,” Wu said. “Interpreting is such a delicate process. There’s body language involved. Cultural nuances (are) involved.” San Fernando Valley hospital officials acknowledge that providing interpreters is important, but challenges include cost of equipment and finding qualified interpreters, and other issues, such as nursing shortages, may take precedence. In a 2005 study sponsored by the Economic Alliance of San Fernando Valley, five of eight hospitals did not conduct an assessment of patients’ language needs, though all eight provided some form of interpreting services. “What we had found was that hospitals were looking for affordable ways to allow the privacy of the patient, while providing interpreting,” said Kenn Phillips, director of education and workforce development for the alliance. At Northridge Hospital Medical Center, the staff has found success with the telephone system, which connects through an outside provider and offers translations of 150 languages, from Armenian to Zulu. “To my knowledge, it has worked 100percent of the time,” said Cathy Walter, head nurse for the Emergency Department. “We just key in a couple of quick dials. We speak into the phone as if we speak to the patient. The interpreters are readily available. It works very well.” But at County-USC Medical Center, the staff has found the video mobile units easier and quicker to use, and the face-to-face contact not only adds a personal touch but improves accuracy, said Margaret Berumen, administrator for the outpatient clinic. “One of the common problems is how do we meet the interpreter needs of patients,” Berumen said. “How can we improve the quality of care? Mediators didn’t have the training. The communication wasn’t ideal. There was concern in respect to patient care, in that perhaps we weren’t getting all that was communicated.” She also said the video system – which includes 30 video monitors within clinics and the emergency department – is quicker to use than what she calls the “elaborate process” it replaces. “Our first intent was to try to find someone within the clinic,” she said. “If that didn’t work, we would use overhead page. If that didn’t work, then we would use the AT&T translation line. It could take quite a few minutes.” Despite its benefits, the new system can be costly, which is still a challenge for many hospitals, Paras said. Membership in the network costs $40,000 to $60,000 for a public hospital. The equipment and installation costs $100,000 to $150,000. “There’s an obstacle there for hospitals,” Paras said. “But these are all new technologies that were not even possible five years ago.” Meanwhile, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, and other lawmakers said hospitals are feeling the pressure to find better methods of interpreting, especially after he drew attention to the use of children as translators. “Over the years, … I have always felt that it is extremely important to not use our children as an interpreter, to make sure there are sufficient professionals that can address the diversity of the population we serve in California,” Yee said. “The video-conferencing technology is a result of these kinds of response to pressure.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champBefore the end of the year, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar and Harbor-UCLA also will be online, expanding the language base in everything from Hmong to Tongan, American Sign Language to Tagalog, said Melinda Paras, a former health commissioner in San Francisco who founded the network. “In most hospitals today, doctors and patients are not getting the best information from each other,” Paras said. “Doctors and nurses are calling out for translators in the hallways, and that’s a violation of privacy. Suddenly you are bringing strangers in the room who may not be qualified to translate, and this (technology) is trying to avoid that.” Providing translators at hospitals has been an ongoing concern among civil-rights groups, legislators and community leaders, though the issue often takes a back seat to others. “With all the issues facing hospitals today, this has not been on the top of the list,” said Jim Lott, executive vice president of the Hospital Association of Southern California. Lott said the video conferencing could eventually make its way to all the hospitals if it proves more cost-effective than the current telephone interpretation systems in place. After a few taps on a computer screen, nurse Catherine Rabena comes face to face with a Spanish-speaking interpreter, working from somewhere far within Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Certified translator Miriam Pe a pops onto the screen, ready to interpret for anyone in need: a patient who points to her heart, a child who describes a headache, an elderly man who can’t walk. The new tool is a far cry from translating of the past, when family members – including young children – served as go-betweens for mothers and doctors, often leading to misdiagnoses. The technology at USC is one of the first in a Los Angeles County public hospitals to be linked to the Health Care Interpreter Network, a group of California medical centers that pool qualified, multilingual staff members. Last year, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey became the first Southern California public hospital linked to the network.
Humana spokesman Dick Brown conceded there have been problems in implementing the program. “We are dealing with them as quickly as we can,” he said. Part D also has been causing headaches for pharmacists, who are awaiting reimbursement from the federal government even as they spend hours on the phone with frustrated patients and insurance companies. “We’re filling the prescriptions right now, but we’re not getting paid,” said Albert Daher, a pharmacist and owner of Jay Scott Drugs in Burbank. The problems are significant enough that California is among nearly a dozen states that have created emergency plans to help residents get the medication they need. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Thursday the state would pay for “life-saving medications (seniors) are in danger of losing because of significant problems with the new federal Medicare prescription drug program.” “The governor has saved thousands of lives today” was the response from the California Medical Association. Medicare reform was one of the cornerstones of President George W. Bush’s domestic agenda. Initially estimated to cost $400 billion over 10 years, the Bush administration now anticipates it will cost $724 billion over that period. “Who is it serving? The insurance industry and pharmaceutical companies,” said Nan Brasmer, president of the California Alliance for Retired Americans. Medicare and health insurers maintain that the majority of seniors soon will be happy with the changes. “Despite the growing pains, there are millions of seniors across the country that are seeing savings they’ve never seen before and have access to drugs they didn’t have before,” said Mohit Ghose, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans. A survey commissioned by the industry lobbying group last month found that most seniors thought evaluating the various drug plans was worth their time and most would recommend others sign up for the switch. The average patient will save about 50 percent, said John Cheevers, a Medicare spokesman. Already, he said, Part D has enrolled a million people nationwide whose prescription coverage was minimal or nonexistent. Costs vary among plans, and it’s been no easy task for seniors trying to select which is best for them. The sheer number of plans – each covering different drugs and having different co-pays – creates countless variables. On a standard plan, a patient who does not qualify for additional assistance pays an average premium of $32 per month. There is also a $250 deductible. After that, Medicare pays 75 percent of drug costs until the patient hits the $2,250 mark. This is where seniors enter the so-called “doughnut hole.” The patient pays all drug costs until they reach $5,100 in annual drug expenses. After that, Medicare covers 95 percent. If a Medicare patient previously paid $12,000 for prescriptions, they might pay as little as $4,000 or $5,000 under the new plan. “This new deal stinks,” said Rose McAleer, a 73-year-old North Hills woman staying with her HMO. “You’ve got to pay $250 and then you might get something? To hell with that.” Only seniors who receive Medicare and Medicaid (or Medi-Cal in California) are required to get prescription drugs through Part D. This category includes about 1 million of the 4.2 million Californians on Medicare and about 6 million people nationwide. Enrollment in Part D opened Nov. 15. People only on Medicare have until May 15 to do so without paying penalties. Those on Medicare and Medicaid, known as “dual-eligibles,” had until Dec. 31 to choose a health plan before automatically being enrolled. In California, “virtually all were auto-enrolled,” Cheevers said. This contributed to confusion in pharmacies and created a bottleneck at Medicare and insurance call centers. Medicare boosted its call center capabilities thirtyfold. Senior advocates say the government was shortsighted in how it implemented Part D. For example: Seniors were encouraged to surf www.medicare.gov for answers. “Everything is developed on the Internet. Sixty to 70 percent of the seniors I talk to don’t have access to a computer or don’t know how to use a computer,” said Evelio Franco, who facilitates Medicare enrollments at ONEgeneration in Van Nuys. Weiner was automatically assigned to Health Net. After a week of uncertainty, she was told Wednesday afternoon that a doctor’s note sent to the insurer will enable her to get the drugs with a $3 co-pay each. She previously paid nothing because her annual income is less than $10,000. Patricia Verdugo is waiting. A 43-year-old former psychiatrist on Medicare and Medi-Cal, she switched to Humana before Jan. 1 because she was told they covered her prescriptions. “But they didn’t know the difference between oral and IV,” said Verdugo, who is continually connected to an intravenous tube because her stomach cannot absorb drugs. She has prescriptions to fight chronic urinary and kidney infections and a back disease – osteomyelitis – that causes her forehead to parallel the floor when she stands. She has enough medication to cover her until mid-week. “This Medicare D is the worst thing that could happen to someone like me,” she said. “What are they doing? Are they leaving us to crawl into a hole and die?” Brad A. Greenberg, (818) 713-3634 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita While some seniors have managed to find their way through the bewildering number of alternatives, others have besieged Medicare, pharmacies and insurance companies with questions about which option is best. “The plan is fraught with confusion,” said Sandy Risdon, manager of the health insurance counseling and advocacy program at the Medicare-funded Center for Health Care Rights in Los Angeles. “People are falling through the cracks.” Verna Ahls, 78, started planning last fall for the switch, gathering information and researching which of the 47 health plans in California would suit her best. The Canoga Park woman chose Humana Complete, believing her co-payments would be $30. But Costco charged $60 for an antibiotic and $53 for Celebrex because the co-payments vary by pharmacy, a fact lost on many seniors. “I don’t know where to start now,” said Ahls, one of about 595,000 seniors who became Humana subscribers at the beginning of the year. “I’ve tried to call Humana many times. They put me on hold. They say, ‘We’re too busy. It’ll be about a 20-minute wait.’ I waited 50 minutes and then it got cut off. I’ve tried many times since. I cannot get through to anybody.” Marilyn Weiner needs 10 prescription drugs to help manage a long list of ailments: high cholesterol, hyperanxiety, needling pain in her feet and, the most serious, bipolar disorder. She used to rely on a combination of Medicare and Medi-Cal to pay for the drugs – assistance that allowed the retiree to get by on an annual income of less than $10,000. So she panicked when the Medicare drug plan that took effect Jan. 1 arbitrarily assigned her to a program that wouldn’t cover three of the medications, including Neurontin, which stabilizes her mood. “I’d be climbing the walls” without the medication, said the 66-year-old Granada Hills resident. “I’d think I was flying – or I’d want to kill myself.” Like millions of other senior citizens nationwide, Weiner found herself overwhelmed by the Medicare Part D drug plan, designed to provide cheaper prescriptions to a wider audience of low-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Donegal locals and visitors will be inspired to hit the road of the Inishowen 100 after the route was named the second best Road Trip in Ireland.Travel website Expedia Ireland highlighted the Top 10 most scenic driving routes in Ireland to check out this summer, with Donegal being well-represented in a top spot.The blog post, by Nial Toner, guides motorists along the best of the 100mile trip, taking in Malin Head, Grianán of Aileach, Doagh Island and Lough Swilly as well as the best towns and villages along the coast. Rock climbing on Malin Head. Images via Fáilte IrelandThe article recommends activities to do around the stunning Inishowen Peninsula as well as linking to hotels and the local tourism site VisitInishowen.com to bring readers to connect with local businesses.The Irish ‘staycation’ blog will serve to inspire domestic and foreign visitors, while Expedia Ireland’s new Drive Ireland website also showcases Donegal among some of the best driving routes and driving itineraries on the island of Ireland.A video was also created to present a dream view of road trips along the Wild Atlantic Way, including Donegal’s coast. The site covers the popular driving routes of the Wild Atlantic Way and the newly launched Ireland’s Ancient East, Donegal features prominently with the Northern Headlines and Surf Coast routes included. Some of the Donegal highlights recommended along the way for travellers include taking a step back in time to Grianan of Aileach and uncover over 3,000 years of Irish history, visit Glenveagh National Park the second largest in Ireland, visitors are also encouraged to explore Mount Errigal Donegal’s highest peak and marvel at the spectacular panoramic views from the top. Glenveagh National Park An area of outstanding natural beauty, Inishowen Peninsula and Tory Island are recommended as providing the perfect backdrop for a driving holiday in Ireland, allowing visitors to explore so much of the area, either on 4 wheels, 2 wheels or on foot.With Fáilte Ireland reporting an increase in domestic travel around Ireland, the Drive Ireland website is a good starting point for people looking to get out and explore more of the country. Inishowen featured in top 10 great Irish drives was last modified: May 18th, 2017 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegal tourismexpedia irelandInishowen PeninsulaTravelvisit inishowenWild Atlantic Way