Posted Thursday, September 17, 2009
Money from the state of Ohio and city of Cleveland will give the stalled Flats development a push. The Cleveland Clinic might expand its operations to include Las Vegas. Federal investigators demand records from a Lorain city official's office in an apparent widening of the Cuyahoga County corruption probe. And the dueling county government restructuring proposals on the ballot in November were preceded by some hard-nose politicking. Join ideastream®'s Dan Moulthrop to talk about those and other stories on our weekly reporters' roundtable, Thursday morning at 9.
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I was on the Good Time III cruise with the Mayor last week where he reviewed the lakefront and Cuyahoga river development. Although it is exciting to hear about the plans for waterfront development in the city, can our city realistically support all of this expansion?
Two comments regarding obesity:
1.) As with all other issues, it is important to differentiate between criticizing the person and criticizing the behavior. Obese people are not the issue. The issues are unhealthy eating and lack of exercise, which lead to obesity.
2.) The lack of availability of healthy food is also a major part of the problem. In the inner city, there are large neighborhoods where it is difficult to find fresh produce to purchase. Part of the solution is development of community gardens, urban farming, and farmers’ markets, such as the Coit Road Farmers’ Market. Another part of the solution is attacking the problem of easily available food, such as fast food, which contains excessive fat, salt, and sugar, and prepared foods in grocery stores, which have huge amounts of high fructose corn syrup.
Patricia Blochowiak, M.D.
East Cleveland, Ohio
Why isn’t the city looking at the best kept secret in Cleveland? Burke Lakefront Airport is one of the few airports with no noise abatement problems due to the east/west takeoff/landing. They are five minutes from downtown. They are an up to date modern facility. When talking about downtown development, it has constantly been overlooked. A critical mass of the fortune 500 are midsize business and a critical mass of those have their own planes. Why aren’t we selling them on the location of the airport to downtown and the affordability of Cleveland? Why aren’t we talking about an airpark for residential around the airport? Why aren’t we thinking strategically instead of the same old , same old?
I think we give far too much credit to Dr. Cosgrove in accepting that his comment on not wanting to hire obese people was merely intended to spur conversation. The fact that he did implement just such a policy with smokers is fairly strong proof that he thinks denying employment to people who make lifestyle choices he deems unhealthy is a reasonable course of action. If every employer chose to implement Dr. Cosgrove’s policy, this would mean we’ve said as a society that people who smoke or who are too fat do not deserve enfranchisement in our economic engine. This seems to be a very ill conceived plan. Asking smokers to pay an actuarially determined increase in their health care premiums to account for their more likely bad health seems reasonable. Requiring workers to undergo counseling to change their behavior sounds reasonable. Denying these people the opporturnity to contribute to our gross domestic product does not sound reasonable to me. Moreover, there is substantial evidence that some obese individuals are too fat due to genetic predisposition rather than lifestyle choice. To deny this group employment would be like saying, “we will not hire people who tan too often because this increases their likelihood of skin cancer. Therefore, we will deny employment to all applicants having a skin tone that is too dark.”
Our health care system is seriously broken, and can only be fixed by facing the roots of the problem head-on; mainly, it isn’t a system at all. There are many disincentives for providing health care rather than “sickness care”, including discouraging preventative measures by denying payment for those services by insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies soliciting physicians to push medication instead of healthy options.
It seems to me that hoping to control the cost of health care by making the recipient responsible for being “healthy”
is just another crazy idea to direct attention away from any useful discussion on the topic. It is past time to get serious about this if we don’t all want to go down the drain by doing nothing.
What exactly happened to the old flats?
Wasn’t it a nationally known entertainment district? What would’ve been so hard about stepping up law enforcement in what already existed? We talk about taking advantage of our lakefront, it was already taking advantage of it! I don’t get. Was it because none of the “big boys” in town were controlling it?