Earthquake readiness tips for 2010

Local experts released a report in 2009 identifying thousands of residential buildings in the city that a major quake could render unlivable — and that was just based on a partial survey. And with seismologists saying that there’s a 63 percent chance the Bay Area will suffer a powerful earthquake within the next 30 years, there is a need to act soon to remedy the problem.


City won’t move mental health clinic, raises privacy concerns

After protests by patient advocates, the city last week reversed its decision to move an Outer Mission geriatric mental health program more than two miles west, meaning elderly clients may continue to receive care in the neighborhood.

But the decision was accompanied by another controversy — whether mentally ill patients belonged in the media spotlight when their clinic was threatened with relocation.

The Department of Public Health expressed concern that patient privacy laws may have been violated at a July 24 press conference staged outside the clinic. A spokeswoman cited media coverage of the event that featured video and interviews with clients who have mental illnesses.

SF budget cuts target behavioral health

Hundreds of San Francisco’s most vulnerable people — the mentally ill, homeless, and seniors among them — will be pushed out of the social services safety net and even further into the margins if proposed cuts to the Department of Public Health go through.

Cuts to state HIV and AIDS programs will put thousands at risk

Proposed cuts in funding to HIV and AIDS programs around the state could put thousands of lives at risk and set back years of progress fighting the disease, activists and service providers say.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest budget proposal would cut $80 million from the state Office of AIDS budget, reducing funding to prevention and testing programs and disease trend tracking by 80 percent. The cuts would also reduce funding for home care, cut the AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) budget by $12.3 million, and eliminate the Therapeutic Monitoring Program, which pays for blood tests for people with HIV infection.

Propositions 1E and 1F

Proposition 1E proposes to divert a portion of the funds from Prop. 63 to the state general fund. Approved by voters in 2004, Prop. 63, also known as the Mental Health Services Act, is funded by an additional 1 percent income tax for Californians who earn more than $1 million. Prop. 63 has brought in between $900 million and $1.5 billion per year since its enactment, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO). However, Rusty Selix, executive director of the Mental Health Association in California, says Prop. 63 revenues are expected to drop “dramatically” in coming years as income tax revenues plummet.