News

Fixing the salt issue

5 hours ago
Tamera Clark / Flickr

For decades, Americans have been told to eat less salt and that sodium contributes to high blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke. But what if salt wasn't the culprit? This week on WRVO's health and wellness show “Take Care,” hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen speak with Dr. James DiNicolantonio, the author of the new book, "The Salt Fix: Why the Experts Got It All Wrong." DiNicolantonio is a leading cardiovascular research scientist and doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute.  He says salt should not be demonized.

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Planned Parenthood leaders in New York are anxiously monitoring the actions in the Republican-led Congress to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and they say in all versions, their health care centers face big reductions.

Robin Chappelle Golston with Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, the lobby group for the state's Planned Parenthood clinics, is watching the attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, also known as Obamacare, with trepidation.

She said it’s hard to follow, and she thinks that’s deliberate.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

The first draft of Onondaga County’s shared services plan calls for creation of a BOCES-like entity intended to help local governments efforts to become more efficient.

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says it was learning the way BOCES facilitates sharing services among local school districts that inspired the proposed Greater Syracuse Shared Services Consortium.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The city of Syracuse could soon be speeding up its process of code enforcement of property owners. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation allowing Syracuse to create a new municipal violations bureau.

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said if the Syracuse Common Council cooperates, the city could have the bureau up and running this year.

"It's been my experience that I tend to be very ambitious with what I think can be accomplished," Miner said. "I think we will get the lion's share of it done."

The bureau would circumvent the courts in handling code violators.

nysfair.org

Following a ride malfunction that killed one person and injured several others at the Ohio State Fair this week, state officials want to assure fairgoers in New York that everything that’s possible is done to ensure that rides are safe.

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President Donald Trump says upstate New York is not working and people are "getting very badly hurt." The president made the comments during a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, suggesting people leave the area in search of better work elsewhere.

Trump's remarks were made while he was talking about Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer, that he says will open a LCD flat-screen manufacturing plant in Wisconsin.

CREDIT ONPOINT.WBUR.ORG

A recent poll for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield shows almost half of upstate New Yorkers aren’t taking their prescription medication as directed.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Central New York Medical Director Nicholas Massa says it seems obvious that people should take their medications as directed, but sometimes they just don’t.

"A significant number of people say they just forget, or they don’t have the medication with them. Some say side effects are a concern. They don’t like the way medication makes them feel.”

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The new online website will allow anyone who’s interested to delve into the massive amounts of data collected by the city of Syracuse. Where are potholes getting patched? What water mains are breaking? Where is lead paint a big issue? These are some of the questions that can be answered on DataCuse, a new online portal that is open to the public.

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing this morning about foreign agents and attempts to influence the U.S. election. The panel is among the bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Senators had requested Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, to appear as witnesses. Instead, they are in closed-door discussions for now.

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The Senate is moving ahead on the repeal and possibly the replacement of the Affordable Care Act, and policy makers in New York are bracing for the worst.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, speaking Tuesday on the Senate floor, painted a grim picture of the current state of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, saying it’s caused pain “for literally millions of families.”

“Premiums have skyrocketed,” McConnell said. “Insurance options have declined.”

He said in some states, there is only one carrier available — and in some cases, there are none.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Some industrial hemp farmers in Madison County are rooting for a bill that would take the plant off the federal government's Schedule 1 list of Controlled Substances and into the homes of New Yorkers as food products, like a baby green or protein bar.

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The Onondaga County Legislature is in the process of hiring legal counsel to sue opioid manufacturers and distributors over the costs of the heroin and opioid epidemic. Some legislators say opioid manufacturers lied about the addictive nature of their products.

Although they do not have a number yet, Onondaga County Legislative Chairman Ryan McMahon said whatever amount they end up suing opioid manufacturers for will never be enough.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced a series of what he calls “aggressive actions” to expand voter registration, saying he wants to “help combat low voter participation” amid “troubling” attempts by the federal government that might restrict voter access. But a nearly century-old voting rights organization said the governor did not go far enough.

Cuomo, in an executive order, directed all state agencies to mail or provide electronic voter registration forms to members of the public who have had contact with the agencies.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The wet weather has made it another challenging year for dairy farmers. State agriculture officials are trying to help farmers cope how ever they can, including expanding the New York State Grown & Certified marketing campaign to include dairy products.

Chuck Luchsinger’s Silver Spring Farm is more than 100 years old. It has about 240 cows, 200 acres and produces about 600 gallons of milk a day.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) is getting backlash for comments she made about an opponent's family member. The Republican questioned Democratic candidate Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) because his father is a former criminal attorney who represented clients with ties to organized crime, remarks that many are calling an ethnic slur and inappropriate in general.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse) hopes putting the spotlight on Lyme disease can help prevent it. Experts and victims of the debilitating illness recently met at Ryder Park in DeWitt in an effort to put a personal face on the disease.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Two replica Christopher Columbus ships sailed into the Oswego harbor this weekend offering visitors a chance to learn about the famous explorer's voyages, but some say the ships only tell half of the story.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

The future of the Affordable Care Act is uncertain in Washington, and there are several scenarios under consideration. The latest possible changes could affect New York’s relatively healthy health care system.

The good news is that the Affordable Care Act in New York is doing quite well, according to state officials. The health insurance exchanges are functioning, with 17 carriers offering plans in 2017. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, at a recent rally to preserve the ACA, said New York has built “one of the best health care exchanges in the country.”

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

One Syracuse Health agency is trying to help fill a gap in mental health and substance abuse services in central New York for children and teens.

The shortage of services for youths in the throes of substance abuse addiction or mental health issues in central New York has been a chronic problem for years.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Tensions are high between the Onondaga Nation and the LaFayette School District, which runs the Onondaga Nation pre-kindergarten to eighth grade school. The Onondaga Nation wants a bigger say in how the school operates.

How happiness relates to health

Jul 22, 2017
Eric E. Castro / Flickr

Just a couple of decades ago, many of us would have been stunned to hear that companies were installing nap pods or allowing their employees to work from home to ensure they get ample family time. You may not have known about mindfulness or the benefits some find in meditation. And you likely would not have guessed that countries are paying as much attention to their citizens’ happiness as they are their economic standing.

The effects of optimism on health

Jul 21, 2017
Alexandre Delbos / Flickr

Scientists and researchers have found many relationships between our health and our happiness -- it seems that the two are not mutually exclusive. Dr. Laura Kubzansky is a professor of social and behavioral sciences and co-director of the Lee Kum Sheung Center for Health and Happiness, a new center at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her task, in the coming years, is to understand the relationship between psychological well-being and physical health.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

At an event Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo defined the conflict over changing the health care laws in Washington as a class struggle, saying it’s all about the rich versus the rest.

Cuomo did not mention President Donald Trump by name, but he said the nation’s health care is in crisis and the struggle is really about those with lots of money, and those with lesser means.

“Make no mistake. The rich are always going to have the best health care system in the world,” Cuomo said. “What they’re trying to decide is what’s the health care for the rest of us.”

The latest numbers of new HIV/AIDS infections in New York State show a dramatic reduction in one particular population. AIDS activists say it’s proof the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s blueprint to end AIDS in New York by 2020 is off to a good start.

The number of newly diagnosed HIV cases from 2014 to 2015 fell substantially among men who have sex with men, according to Wil Murtaugh, head of ACR Health in Syracuse.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

State lawmakers say help is finally here for the property owners who have experienced damage from flooding along Lake Ontario this year. Community leaders are organizing residents as the state prepares to distribute the recovery funding.

WhiteHouse.Gov

President Donald Trump hosted the owners of Oneida County's Sherrill Manufacturing at the White House Wednesday for a "Made in America" showcase. At a roundtable discussion with 20 small businesses, he praised the company's co-owner Gregg Owens for being the country's only remaining silverware manufacturer.

"What happened?" Trump asked.

"Well, everybody else went overseas chasing cheap labor," Owens said.

"That's terrible," Trump said. "I'm not surprised, but it is really somewhat surprising when you say the only. That's a hell of a statement."

Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

The $45 million redesign of Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport will begin in late August. Ever since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the renovations during a State of the State speech in January, airport officials have been fine tuning plans to update the airport’s terminal, with construction expected to start in late-August.

Rewiring your brain for happiness

Jul 20, 2017
Wellcome Trust / Flickr

The brain is not only the regulator of our entire body, but also the basis for the experiences we’re having, good or bad. We’re pretty dependent on our brain, according to Dr. Rick Hanson. He’s a psychologist and New York Times best-selling author of many books about the brain and happiness.

“So, one of the key takeaways here is to realize that this phenomenal organ -- three pounds of tofu-like tissue inside the coconut between your ears -- is vulnerable and fragile,” Hanson says.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s name has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, but first, he may be facing some obstacles to win a third term as governor in 2018.

Cuomo has taken actions in recent months that could be viewed as steps toward a presidential run. He’s hired key staff from President Barack Obama’s administration, as well as new chief of staff Maria Comella, who has worked on Republican presidential campaigns and was a top aide for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

New York state residents receive a five percent discount on Thruway tolls if they have an E-Z Pass. Last year, the New York State Thruway Authority decided to eliminate that discount for out-of-state drivers. Some state lawmakers want to see that new revenue go to local governments.

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