Tag Archives: public health

Mobile asthma clinic makes its debut at Berkeley school

Outside the Breathmobile at Malcolm X Elementary School, Oct. 18, 2012. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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A mobile asthma clinic designed to keep kids in school and out of the hospital debuted Thursday at Malcolm X Elementary School in south Berkeley.

The Breathmobile, a 33-foot-long Winnebago RV, drew inquisitive looks and questions from students throughout the day. The vehicle was parked in the school courtyard to offer easy access to families that signed up for its first day ever in Berkeley. The program, which provides free asthma and allergy treatment, has ties to ongoing city-wide efforts to target the achievement gap and bring more accessible healthcare to a high-risk population.

Dr. Washington Burns of the West Oakland-based Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement brought the Breathmobile program to the East Bay in 2009. It began in Emeryville and has since expanded to serve 18 sites around the Bay Area. It’s the only one of its kind in Northern California, according to Burns’ staff, though there are also about a dozen other Breathmobile RVs that operate across the nation. … Continue reading »

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Layoffs, fee increases proposed for 2012 budget

Mary Kay Clunies-Ross and Phil Kamlarz at city budget briefing
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In order to close a $12.2 million deficit next year – and a projected $13.3 million deficit in 2013  – the city of Berkeley will eliminate 79 positions, cut services, and may raise fees on garbage collection, marina rentals, senior center rentals, and permit inspection fees.

The city may even ask voters to approve a new parcel tax to pay for road and building improvements.

The suggestions are part of the two-year budget City Manager Phil Kamlarz will present to the City Council tonight. And, while the news is gloomy, it is a slightly better forecast than in March, when the city thought it was facing a $12.5 million deficit.

“This is the longest and deepest depression we have had in the last 25 to 30 years,” Kamlarz said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The city has eliminated 130 positions in the last two years but must cut deeper to balance the $320 million budget for fiscal 2012 and the $311 million budget for fiscal 2013, said Kamlarz. Of the 79 positions that will be eliminated, 57 will be cut in 2012 and 22 will be cut in 2013. Because the city has not been filling vacant positions, 26 people will lose their jobs next year and 18 the year after. … Continue reading »

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