Author Archives: Fred Zimmerman

We are not amused by your security theater

OK, here’s a really bad idea that should be nipped right in the bud. US Senators Cory Booker and Richard Bloomenthal think the TSA should implement some kind of airport-level security for trains and subways. Seriously?   StreetsblogUSA has an excellent take-down of this farcical proposal.  The Senators are concerned about an attack like the […]

Stagnant Wages

If you care about population health, you probably know that real wages have stagnated. Here’s the Economic Policy Institute on the depressing stagnation of wages over 40 years.   Given all the research on the effects of low income on health—because of long working hours, poor educational opportunities, lack of effective access to care, stress—we should […]

Making Room in Public Health for Vaccine Denial

What should we do with vaccine deniers? A mother named Kristen, interviewed by Saul Gonzalez for Which Way LA says that she’ll leave the state if she is forced to vaccinate her child in accordance with California’s new law. She and many others like her have deeply held beliefs, equally deeply at odds with current science. To […]

Racial Profiling — Who knew?

  Sandra Bland died in custody after failing to signal a turn.  Walter Scott was shot in the back by a police officer after a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight. Samuel DuBose lost his life over a missing front license plate.   Maybe you thought racial profiling in police stops was only for New […]

Toxic work?

Anne-Marie Slaughter laments excessive workplace demands.  She’s right to raise the issue, and generally raises the right issues.  The problem is especially severe for those at the bottom and the top of the wage gamut.  At the bottom: When an abundance of overly rigid workplaces causes 42 million American citizens to live day to day […]

Every Which Waze but Loose

The LA Times reports on resident dissatisfaction with the road diet on Rowena Avenue in Silver Lake. It’s a great article on an important change, balanced and with lots of perspectives. But one irony jumped out at me.   After 24-year-old Ashley Sandau was killed crossing Rowena, momentum for changes to the street accelerated. It’s […]

A Fairer Gas Tax

California is trying to decide how—and in fact whether—to adequately fund the huge backlog of overdue road repairs and investment in transit. California Democrats in the legislature have proposed an increase in the gas tax by 12 cents a gallon. With Republicans digging in their heels against any tax, Jerry Brown has proposed a compromise—a […]

Emergent Public Health

This is a blog for those interested in finding public health in unexpected places.   An American maize researcher in Mexico is working with New York chefs to get specialty strains of maize into restaurant use. Activists in Indianapolis are transforming a public square from car-dominated to people-friendly.  After-school music education programs in New York […]