Gather ye ‘hazelnuts’—your favorite band is coming
ROCK RIDGE MUSIC COURTESY PHOTO
Jett Beres’ life revolves around music and family. While his busy life as a rock star is consumed at times by the latter, it is the former that is showcased in some of his earliest memories.
“I can remember, very vividly, being somewhere between 2 and 3, and I can remember a couple things from that time: one is playing with superheroes, and two is listening on a little record player to three 45’s that I had,” Beres said.
He started strumming the bass in sixth grade, which eventually led him to his current gig—bass player and vocalist for the band Sister Hazel, the Florida-based band named for a minister that will play the Blind Pig March 19.
“We’re always on the road and we’re always writing and always recording,” Beres said. “We just keep it so that there’s fresh material for our fans every year to 18 months, which is kinda new for us, we used to have three-year gaps between records, but the record industry’s changing.”
Sister Hazel first hit the charts in 1997 with “All for You.” Because the song was so well-known, Beres said it defined them for years. But now the group has such a large song catalogue that new fans may not even know the song initially.
In addition to Beres, members of Sister Hazel are Ken Block (lead vocals and acoustic guitar), Ryan Newell (lead guitar and vocals), Andrew Copeland (rhythm guitar, vocals) and Mark Trojanowski (drums). Beres started the band with Block in 1994.
Their latest disc, Release, came out in 2009, and they’re already working on the next one.
“We were just in the studio cutting some tracks,” Beres said. “We kind of never stop writing. At some point along the way, we just realized we’re a career band.”
Not traveling to Ann Arbor with Beres will be his wife and children, but when he’s not on the road Beres, 39, describes himself as a “full-time family man.”
“I travel about 100 days a year, which seems like a lot when I say it, but you gotta think the other 265 that I’m home full-time,” he said.
And those aren’t just words. During the interview with The Washtenaw Voice he packed his kids in the car to take his son to karate and his daughter to a jazz class. That’s not to say working and being a dad is easy.
“I’m sorry; my son is wrestling my dog now,” Beres said after a sigh.
Although Jordan, 7, and Kai, 4, don’t travel with their dad, they do get to see the band perform every year at Walt Disney World. Both cite their favorite Sister Hazel song as 2006’s “Mandolin Moon.”
“Actually both of them, at different times, have come up on stage in front of very large audiences and sang that song with the band,” Beres said, making no attempt to conceal the pride in his voice.
In 2008 Beres released a book, “Starfish, a Lullaby” based on requests from fans who said their children loved Sister Hazel’s song “Starfish.”
Beres and the rest of Sister Hazel rely on communication with their fans, who call themselves “hazelnuts,” and host events like a “Hazelnut Hang” and “The Rock Boat” to stay connected to them.
“I think what the Hazel fans get that maybe other fans don’t is that we have encouraged and helped develop a community and communal atmosphere,” Beres said. “I think that’s a key to bands that are in it for the long haul.”
Sister Hazel’s been to Ann Arbor before, but Beres only remembers two things—the temperature and the name of the venue, the Blind Pig. He’s hopeful it’ll be warmer this visit during a show in which people can expect to hear all their favorite Sister Hazel songs.
“We keep the live shows fresh,” he said, “but the ones that we don’t change, some of the hits like “Your Winter,” “Champagne High,” Change Your Mind” and “All For You,” those are just so well-received by people, everyone’s singing every word, that it makes the tedious aspect of having played it a million times live, makes it fun.”
When my doctor told me I had mono a week into the Fall Semester, I have to admit, I wasn’t really disappointed. I’ve been working three jobs, have a puppy at home and go to school full time, so I’ll also take any valid excuse to watch “Law & Order” re-runs from under my down comforter for a few hours.
I figured I would just have to take it easy for a week or so. This was the perfect reason to take a few days off from job number two and put my feet up.
I was devastatingly misled as to what actually happens to the victims of mononucleosis.
During my senior year of high school I had a friend, we’ll call her Jane, who caught what appeared to be a cold, and was given a doctor’s note to stay home from school for an entire month. The lucky bitch had gotten mono from some guy she made out with at a party.
I would have killed for my doctor to order me to stay home, watch “The Price Is Right” and eat the contents of my parent’s pantry when I was in high school. I’ve dealt with the flu and was physically incapable of getting out of bed for a few days. I would rather be in class than vomiting like a pregnant woman for half a week.
But Jane barely had any symptoms and was given the green light to be completely useless for a grand total of four weeks. She was excused from most of her homework, and she basically got the princess treatment for the time she was contagious. Everyone sent her cards and flowers; her mom brought her dinner in bed. People felt so sorry for Little Miss Mono.
Let me tell you, for a single girl in college, having mono is not so star-studded.
The only get-well card I received was from my boss and I doubt very much that my seven-month-old pug ever considered cooking me dinner. My mother brought me flowers, but that was only for my birthday.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my 21st birthday conveniently landed about a week into the quarantine placed on my apartment.
Physical exhaustion took over around 22 hours out of the day — every day — which makes it extremely difficult to cook. When you live alone and you can’t make dinner, there’s only one option. Delivery. So I couldn’t work, had no income and was spending an average of $15 on the one meal I could stomach everyday. An awful predicament considering I also threw up about half of what I ate.
My old friend Jane is some kind of a freak for not getting sick. Puffs tissues with Vick’s, Nyquil, daytime television, thick curtains and take-out menus became my best friends.
The only living, breathing mammals that came within 20 feet of me were my dog, cat or a blood-related family member. I actually named the massive spider that had taken up residency on my ceiling. He’s still there. And his name is George.
If mono were a person, I would junk-punch them.
And now that I’ve recovered and happily re-entered civilization, I am happy to know I will never have to meet mono again.
Some employees feel singled out by college’s inflexible no-smoking policy
J. MICHEAL COLLINS
CHRIS ASADIAN THE WASHTENAW VOICE
Ray Everett is in a quandary. He’s just had quite a workout involving some heavy lifting, which is often required in his job in Facilities Management, and he could use a smoke.
He’s got one of two choices: Go to his car and light up—and risk a five-day unpaid suspension. Or go to his car for a short drive off campus—and risk losing his parking spot and being late to clock back in, creating another issue that could result in disciplinary action.
Washtenaw Community College promotes itself as “a smoke-free” campus, and Everett’s boss takes that seriously. Smokers in other groups—students, faculty and staff—face different penalties for violating the policy.
“We are a smoke-free campus,” said WCC President Larry Whitworth. “Although we try to be flexible, we want our students starting lifelong habits that are positive. Employers are not interested in hiring smokers.
We expect our employees to abide by the rules and be a positive influence.”
Campus Safety and Security (CSS) can and will cite those who violate the policy.
“There is one policy in place for everyone,” said Ron Schebil, CSS director. “Students who violate the policy are given a written warning notice and continuous violations can lead to students being prevented from registering for future classes at WCC.”
There are also guidelines in place to deal with most of the college’s employees busted for lighting up.
“Violations of the non-smoking policy by staff and faculty are seen as a violation of the employee policy and it would be handled through progressive discipline,” said Doug Kruzel, associate vice president for Human Resources. “Progressive discipline means that an employee who violates the policy would first receive a verbal warning; a second violation can result in a written warning and a third or subsequent violation could lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination.”
To date no one has been suspended or fired as a result of violating the non-smoking policy, Kruzel said.
But it’s just a matter of time before someone is, said those who work for Facilities Management. They’re uneasy about it, and Everett said it’s starting to affect morale.
But does the college single out these hourly employees differently than other workers?
As it turns out, the collective bargaining agreements between WCC and unions representing both faculty and office staff specifies that “progressive discipline” shall be used if it becomes necessary to discipline a covered employee.
The collective bargaining agreement between the college and AFSCME Local 1921—Everett’s union that represents more than 60 grounds and janitorial workers—does not contain language requiring such progressive discipline. So when workers received an e-mail memo from Damon Flowers, associate vice president for Facilities Development and Operations saying they no longer will be allowed to smoke on campus—even in their personal vehicles—he was within his bounds of authority, however fair or unfair it seemed.
The disciplinary guidelines for Facilities employees are the responsibility of that division’s supervisor, Whitworth explained.
“Everybody smokes at will,” said Everett, 57, a lifelong smoker who has tried in myriad ways to quit. “All we want is a spot, a designated area where we can go to, out of the way but still on campus.”
The issue is non-negotiable, Flowers said.
“We are past the talking stage,” Flowers said. “The board policy is no smoking on campus. Smoking in personal vehicles was one interpretation, but it was causing interruptions in workflow.
“Leaving campus is disruptive and any place on campus is still on campus so that idea was rejected.”
Everett believes the disciplinary measures Flowers is threatening is harsh and serves no one.
“Why not offer counseling over disciplinary action?” Everett asked.
Whitworth believes that employees should be able to control their smoking urges for the eight hours they are at work.
“Is it unfair to expect people to be concerned about their own health?” Whitworth asked.
But experts confirm that while quitting nicotine forever is difficult, refraining from smoking for short periods of time is not impossible – with a little help.
“Because of nicotine replacement products that are available, cravings will exist but smokers won’t experience withdrawal,” said Sally K. Guthrie, associate professor at the University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy. “It’s extremely hard to discontinue the use of nicotine. Even though withdrawal itself is dangerous, it doesn’t last long in comparison to the cravings which can continue for years.”
Meantime, Flowers said his department’s new policy is a hit among some workers.
“Several non-smoking employees have expressed that they are grateful for the policy,” he said. “And they say it’s about time.”
Feeling sick? Stay home!
WCC also braces for H1N1 by offering vaccines
ILLUSTRATION BYKATE BIZER
Schools begin to prepare as the H1N1 (swine flu) virus makes its way north through the United States, causing fear and angst for many in Michigan this flu season.
The virus, first seen in April of this year in North America, is expected to take its toll on the northern states just in time for the regular flu season, beginning in early October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.
Unlike the seasonal influenza virus, the H1N1 virus appears to have the greatest effect on people under 25 years old, while 90 percent of those who have died from the seasonal flu are over 64. This factor means a new, greater risk for college students, a group previously considered to have one of the lowest risks for flu hospitalization or death, warns Roger Palay, vice president of Instruction.
Washtenaw Community College is taking the upcoming flu season head-on, preparing the college, its students and employees for what is predicted to be a bad one.
“We’re taking our cues from authorities,” Palay said. “And they’re saying at this point to plan on it being a bad flu season, but not an epidemic.”
And epidemic is what many fear after the CDC labeled it one earlier this year.
Initial lab results showed that the H1N1 virus had many similarities with the type of influenza that infects pigs in North America, thus mislabeling it the “swine flu.” But as with many new viruses, with time more information is gathered about the different parts of the virus, as well as its effects, according to the CDC.
Now, officials believe that with proper medical care and early detection of the virus, H1N1 will be, for many, just a really bad flu, and a great deal of the people infected have recovered without any medical treatment, the CDC said.
With many of the same symptoms as the seasonal influenza, the H1N1 virus often causes a sore throat, stuffy nose, fevers and aches. All of these symptoms often found curable by the universal “sick-person” treatment. This typically involves plenty of fluids, vitamins and both physical and mental rest.
But those who are experiencing severe symptoms such as chest pains, sudden dizziness, confusion or extreme vomiting should see treatment immediately, the CDC warns. Here, students and employees are asked to take precaution while on campus. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed in many of the classrooms by the end of the month and everyone is encouraged to use them.
“We want to get the word out to everyone,” Palay said. “Whether it be staff or students, it’s very important not to put your fingers, or anything that’s touched something that could be contaminated near your mouth, eyes or nose. But you don’t think about it. You can pick up the infection that (easily).”
“Washing your hands and coughing into your elbow instead of your hand is important,” said Gloria Velarde, the WCC nursing department chair.
The CDC agrees, telling people to wash their hands frequently, avoid crowds and close contact—and get both the seasonal influenza shot and the H1N1 vaccine.
WCC will administer the regular flu shot to employees at the end of September and is anticipating a great deal of the vaccine to be available to students as well for a small fee, about $10. That’s an incredible price, according to Palay, considering many places charge $25 or more for the same vaccine.
The vaccinations on WCC’s campus are expected to take place in the Campus Safety and Security office on the second floor of the Student Center building.
WCC will also provide the H1N1 vaccine about the third week of October.
The H1N1 vaccine has been declared an emergency vaccine and may therefore be administered by those trained but have not yet received certification. This could give some WCC nursing students the opportunity to perform a service while learning the skills required in their careers. Details remain uncertain, however, Palay said.
“We have to find out what our limitations are (for H1N1),” he said. “I would expect that we can give that first come, first serve.”
But for both faculty and students, the easiest way to catch the flu is by being around people who have it. So for those who have the flu, either seasonal or the H1N1 virus, whether symptoms are mild or severe, the college says to stay away from campus.
“We’re trying to encourage people not to spread it,” President Larry Whitworth said. “So if you have it, or you think you have it, stay home.
“We’re not as vulnerable as some colleges that literally have thousands of people staying in the same building night and day. There are no dorm rooms. We have a different environment.”
The goal is to limit contact between those who are sick and those who are not.
“People need to talk to their instructors about what the expectation is if they are sick,” Palay said.
Although WCC administrators cannot force instructors to wave an attendance policy for those experiencing a confirmed case of either the seasonal influenza virus or H1N1, they can ask. A letter was recently sent from Palay’s office to WCC instructors asking them to “be appreciative and understanding of the fact that people can get sick.”
“We, as administrators, don’t have the authority to tell faculty you must let your students stay home,” Whitworth said. “We really have to simply encourage.”
But with the technology involved in most WCC courses this fall, keeping up with the syllabus shouldn’t be difficult for anyone. Palay suggests teachers make sure they have the e-mail addresses for all their students. In case the class is cancelled for a day or two because of a health issue, it would be wise to communicate with students some other way.
“Given the technology that we have, it shouldn’t be an issue for faculty to stay in touch with students,” Whitworth said.
But the best way to avoid missing class, and the flu, is to stay healthy, stay hydrated, eat well, boost anti-oxidant consumption and get the vaccines. Follow these guidelines and the 2009 influenza season should be just another flu season.
Individuals bring their choices to campus — and should be able to smoke in their vehicles
Washtenaw Community College’s student and employee smoking policies (see story Page 1) have honest intentions, but they are overly optimistic and leave no options for those who do smoke on campus.
“As a college, we are in the business of trying to encourage people to be intelligent about their health, about preparing for work,” said WCC President Larry Whitworth. “We’re trying to encourage people to do the right things for the right reasons. Nobody should be smoking – it’s just stupid.
“For people to continue to do it just doesn’t make a lick of sense. However, we know that people have their habits. . . . We’re trying to do them a favor and they may not see it, but eventually we will see some changes in behavior and hopefully they will quit smoking.”
The college administration seems to assume the smoking policies will force students and employees to quit smoking, but people make their own lifestyle choices outside campus and, inevitably, bring those choices to campus too. There should be options for campus smokers.
Some Campus Safety and Security officers, who enforce the student smoking policy, allow students to smoke in their vehicles – and will tell students lighting up by buildings to go to their cars rather than get a violation ticket.
But other security officers do no such thing, giving students who smoke no real place to light up on campus. Realistic? No. So students are left to sneak around or blatantly smoke right outside buildings because there’s no security officer around.
The WCC Facilities Maintenance department also doesn’t allow its employees to take a smoking break in personal cars, and that is supposed to apply to college employees in general.
“Hourly employees, if they’re not smoking, are not on the job,” said WCC President Larry Whitworth. “If you leave campus for your half-hour lunch break and smoke a cigarette and then rush back, I guess that’s fine, but we don’t want you smoking in vehicles.”
Many campus smokers think there should be a place on campus where they can take smoke breaks. Well, personal vehicles are the best option. Cars are away from large congregations of students, so there is little likelihood smokers would bother anyone or expose others to secondhand smoke, and it certainly would not pollute campus buildings.
Smokers who work and take classes at WCC will smoke on campus. The question is whether it will be in community spaces or isolated vehicles.
Decry all options and the best option is the most convenient one.
ILLUSTRATION BY KATE BIZER
When it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones from killer diseases like the Swine Flu, knowledge is power.
Truth is, there are many ways to ward off the flu other than having an untested vaccine injected into your body.
It’s all about prevention and common sense. Herbalists and the holistic community have done it for years.
If your immune system is strong enough, and you keep stress levels down, you won’t get the flu or you might only get a mild case. It does, however, take some focus and work.
“Seventy percent of your immune system is in your digestive tract,” said Nathan Worthing, natural pharmacist and certified clinical nutritionist of Clark Professional Pharmacy in Ypsilanti.
In other words, eating healthy is a huge part of keeping you well.
So where do you begin, with a strong flu virus expected to hit the area this year? Start by limiting your sugar intake.
“Eating or drinking 100 grams (eight tablespoons) of sugar, the equivalent of 2 1/2 12-ounce cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by 40 percent,” Dr. Bill Sears, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine, states on his Web site. “The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than 30 minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.”
Eat organic, unprocessed foods if possible. Many people are deficient in vitamins and minerals from processed foods and get even more depleted during stressful times such as the holidays.
“You should definitely think about supplementation before the flu season,” said Donna Gilpatrick, an herbalist and foot reflexologist of Balanced Health in Northville.
She suggests taking “a good multi-vitamin, extra vitamin C, and something called ‘Elderberry Defense,’ which contains Elderberry, Echinacea, Royal Jelly (from bees), and Olive Leaf, a well-known antiviral.”
Supplementing with acidophilus/bifidolphilus, healthy bacteria for the gut, or plain yogurt containing these probiotic cultures will help to re-populate the digestive tract. These cultures help keep bad bugs away and produce the B vitamins needed for nervous system health which in turn helps it relax from stressors, experts say.
Worthing, whose pharmacy is just down the street from Washtenaw Community College—just across the street from St. Joseph’s Hospital on Clark Road—recommends a variety of over-the-counter products, especially vitamin D.
Recent research has shown a much higher RDA is needed than previously thought to maintain immune system health. Worthing notes that “many people take a product he has called Virus Stop which has enzymes that break down the protein matrix coating of cold and flu viruses. People love it.”
As a safer alternative to the flu vaccine, Dr. Melinda Benn, a holistic chiropractor and nurse from Healing Hands in Flint, recommends a homeopathic remedy called Flu Balancing Solution. It is an antidote to all the particular flu’s coming out this year. She says you take it throughout the flu season.
“In quantum physics, there is a subtle energy field before the physical is formed,” she said. “Homeopathics work on the vibrational level of the flu, and that is why one should be taking the remedy before they are exposed.”
Many plants produce essential oils such as Lavender to keep pests away so they stay healthy—and they work for people, too.
Benn and Gilpatrick both use essential oils in their business for sterilizing the rooms and also for people who need it for immune system issues. These oils have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties against germs and have shown to increase white blood cell immunity.
The oils are very strong and need to be used sparingly. One use is to put drops on your skin in the shower to inhale the scent regularly. Some examples of beneficial oils to use would be lavender, thyme, cinnamon, clove, tea tree, lemon or oregano oil that you can put in a spray bottle filled with water and use it to sterilize your doorknobs, computer keyboards and air. Putting some under your nose while in close quarters such as on an airplane may ward off a virus from taking root.
Overall though, experts say stress seems to be the biggest depleter of immune function. What exactly is stress? If you really think about it and break it down, besides physically overdoing it, stress is fear.
The next time you are stressed, stop and breathe deep, and ask yourself if this type of worrying is going to serve you or waste your energy? The latter is usually the answer, and you can stop running the physiological stress response that leads down the path to the flu.
When you start to feel the “mass consciousness” hysteria of the swine flu panic as the season approaches, just remember your power in that simply being in a state of fear can lower your resistance to the flu.
Spiritual gurus and motivational speakers like Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Tony Robbins all say, “what we focus on, we become.”
“Our mind/body connection is very powerful, you need to program yourself (like a computer) to be well and healthy,” Gilpatrick said. Daily meditation, and positive affirmations like, “I am strong and healthy, no matter what,” keep your body in a more peaceful, balanced state, which means strong immunity against the flu.
Another way of putting it: We write our own story every day. What will your story be this flu season?
Eight steps to avoid the flu this season
- Wash your hands often
- Get plenty of rest
- Limit your sugar intake
- Avoid stress and slow down
- Take supplements such as multivitamins, extra vitamins C and D, healthy gut bacteria and anti-viral herbal combinations.
- Try homeopathic flu remedies specifically for the flu
- Use essential oils like lavender, tee tree or thyme to sterilize surfaces and increase your immunity to harmful bugs.
- Meditate and relax with positive affirmations that program your health, anember the power of the mind/body connection in relation to disease.
Truth takes a beating in health care debate
Turn on “News at 10” these days, and after the typical robbery and drive-by reports you are almost guaranteed to hear the anchor chime in about President Barack Obama’s attempt to reform health care in this country.
We have all heard about it, and thanks to 24-hour news stations and Web sites, we’re all probably sick of hearing about it. But even after being bombarded with all that info, if someone were to encounter you on the street and ask for an explanation on the main issues of either side of the debate, could you give a thorough answer?
The problem is there are several bills, or proposed bills, all of them hundreds and even thousands of pages long. And it’s not exactly light reading.
As a result, rumors abound, promoted by zealots on either side of the issue, further confusing citizens about this critical issue.
Most of the debates are on whether or not the government should provide a public health care option. If a public option were introduced, its backers say, about 50 million people who aren’t currently insured would be covered by a basic plan.
But many believe the public option would force a lot of private insurance companies to increase their rates and compete with the government’s funding. Eventually, a majority of private companies could go out of business.
Still confused? We’re here to help.
To set the record straight so you can be better informed on this critical issue, The Washtenaw Voice interviewed three experts willing to sort the rumors from the truths in a clear, concise way. They include Dean G. Smith, of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, and WCC political science instructors Beverly Hammerstrom, a former Michigan legislator, and Donna Wasserman.
Rumor: Most everyone will prefer government-funded care if offered, forcing private insurance companies out of business.
Truth: Not always. “Think of it this way: Our government funds the U.S. Postal Service, yet there are those who’d rather do business with Fed Ex and UPS. Giving the public another alternative would probably not ensue in a dramatic decline in the number of private insurer’s clients.” – Smith
Rumor: This plan will be just like Canada and Great Britain’s health care systems.
Truth: A better analogy would be car insurance. “The plan being offered is not socialized medicine like they have in Great Britain or Canada, where the government is in complete control of our health care system.
“The government requires us to have automobile insurance in order to drive, but they do not tell us where we have to buy our automobile insurance. Many private auto insurance companies compete for our business and we shop around for the best and cheapest policy to fit our needs as long as the minimum coverage mandated by government is provided.
“Under health care reform, Americans will now also be required to have health insurance coverage, and we will get to shop around and choose from an array of private and public health insurance options.” – Wasserman
Rumor: This plan will immediately go into effect once it gets approved.
Truth: Not a chance. “For everything to become finalized, it could take up to 10 years. The House and Senate are asked to prepare bills, which specific committees figure proposals for. Then hundreds of amendments are written and debated over. Truthfully, no one may know when exactly it will happen. It took 10 years for the MediCare payment plan to be changed in 1983 or 1984.” – Smith.
“Congress has not yet put together a final plan because they are still debating what should and should not be included in health care reform.”- Wasserman.
Rumor: You can’t keep your current doctor or insurance plan if the bill passes.
Truth: Depends entirely on the doctor and insurance plan. “If the doctor is a provider under the plan you have chosen, changes in that area aren’t necessary. At least that’s what Obama promises.” – Hammerstrom
Rumor: This will produce a $6 billion surplus to the government’s budget, which has been suggested by to the Congressional Budget Office.
Truth: The deficit is in trillions of dollars in debt, severely limiting these chances. “Over the course of 10 years, the government could spend another $1 trillion to fund this reform.” – Smith.
Rumor: Subsidized coverage and universal coverage are the same.
Truth: “Subsidized coverage is partial funding from the government. Universal health care limits people to having equal coverage.” – Hammerstrom
Rumor: This is a typical left vs. right, Democrat vs. Republican issue.
Truth: This controversy involves all citizens of this country despite their political views. “There are three ways to look at this: People who view this as a social responsibility would push for more reform than there is now. People who view health care as a luxury probably don’t support this. And people who view health care as a natural right want even greater coverage than there is now.” – Smith.
Rumor: This will raise costs for seniors using MediCare.
Truth: “Obama promises to cut senior prescription plans, yet he wants to save money with the public option. He’ll have to get the money somewhere. Most of this is hype, but the statements are contradicting.” – Hammerstrom.
Rumor: For those who work in the medical profession, all this talk of reform is bad news.
Truth: There is an upside to everything. “Additional patients will be covered, giving doctors the chance to perform more treatments. It could bring a healthier population. The administration system in hospitals could be easier to work with too.” – Smith.
Handle with extreme caution: Asbestos removed in WCC kitchen renovations
Workers renovating the Culinary Arts kitchen encountered potentially dangerous asbestos, used as insulation in several of the college’s older buildings. But officials say this is routine and posed no danger.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asbestos has been used in numerous building materials. Exposure to asbestos in the air “may cause serious lung diseases including asbestosis, lung cancer, or mesothelioma,” according to the agency.
“The campus was built at a time when asbestos was used as insulation, and so every renovation project, we run into asbestos,” said Washtenaw Community College President Larry Whitworth. “We follow all of the regulations regarding asbestos. We treat this very, very seriously. But getting rid of it is part of the whole renovation process.”
The EPA said that having asbestos in schools is “not necessarily” dangerous.
“Undamaged asbestos that is properly managed in place poses little health risk to students or teachers,” the EPA said.
“We test any area we go in,” said Damon Flowers, associate vice president of Facilities Development and Operations. “If you know the age of the building, you know if there’s asbestos.”
Flowers said that the Gunder Myran (GM) and Business Education (BE) buildings do not have asbestos present, but older buildings like the Student Center (SC), Technical and Industrial (TI) building and the Crane Liberal Arts and Science (LA) building do.
Flowers said the college follows procedures mandated by the state when dealing with asbestos.
“These are things we have to deal with as part of what we do,” Flowers said.
To learn more about asbestos, visit: http://epa.gov