Limerick GPs will not turn women away

first_imgAdvertisement Limerick doctors join growing list of Doctors for Yes Previous articlePop-up park to let dogs off the leashNext articleListless Limerick limp out of Munster Hurling Championship Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Abortion survivor to address Limerick rally on April 6th Twitter 119 Limerick women had abortions in UK last year NewsHealthLimerick GPs will not turn women awayBy Bernie English – June 17, 2018 2413 TAGSabortionDr Emmet KerinFamily DoctorGeneral PractitionerGPGP Representativehealth Email WhatsAppcenter_img Norovirus Visitor Restrictions Tightened at UHL Limerick GP Emmet KerinFAMILY doctors in Limerick will not turn women in crisis pregnancy away and abortion services will be provided, a senior GP representative has said.Dr Emmet Kerin, a former president of the National Association of General Practitioners and current executive member of that body told the Limerick Post that Limerick women need not fear that they will be left without refuge after Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced that abortion services will be provided by GPs on an “opt in’ basis.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up “There is a small minority of GPs who will not want to participate in abortion referrals or prescribing pills and their opinions should be respected. There are others who have no moral objections but have concerns around issues like having access to ultrasound to safely date a pregnancy and blood testing facilities for rhesus issues.”Despite polls showing that eight in ten GPs don’t want to personally provide services, “there are plenty of GPs in Limerick who will provide a service or be happy to refer patients on to family planning services. No GP is going to say to any woman in crisis ‘you’re on your own”.Dr Kerin, whose practice is with the busy Treaty Medical centre in the city, himself wrote to Minister Harris in advance of the Referendum vote, asking him to meet with GP representatives to discuss the issues.“It was very disappointing that he didn’t do that. GPs were completely sidelined. There was no question of trying to influence the outcome of the vote. It simply made practical sense for us to talk to the Minister about the issues in advance. But we do welcome the decision to allow GPs opt-in, Dr Kerin said.“But it’s a huge issue that there isn’t a functional relationship between GPs and the Department of Health.Dr Kerin said that he is confident that services will now be provided by doctors whose hands will no longer be tied by constitutional ban on abortion.“We had an EGM after the vote and had advice from a member of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service. It became clear that abortion is a specialist service.“And from a pragmatic point of view, polls show that around 80 per cent of GPs don’t want to provide this service for various reasons but they are happy to refer patients on and women can also self-refer to a clinic”.Read more health news here. Print Linkedin RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Crisis pending as Limerick family doctors face retirement Facebook Limerick Doctor comments on “broken health system”last_img read more

Tompkins Budget 2020: Here’s a first look at the $191 million budget

first_img Kelsey O’Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor. More by Kelsey O’Connor Tagged: budget 2020, climate change, ithaca, tompkins county energy strategy, tompkins county legislature center_img Kelsey O’Connor TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. — Budget season has begun. On Tuesday, Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino released his proposed $191.8 million budget for 2020. Again this year, the tax levy has increased, but the tax rate has gone down.A key initiative outlined in next year’s budget is laying the groundwork to achieve a goal of net-zero emissions in county operations by 2035. Over the next 15 years, the county intends to invest $100 million to get as close to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions as possible.Before getting into the details — how will the budget impact local taxpayers? Again this year, the budget includes a property tax levy increase and a property tax decrease. The proposed tax levy increase is 2.76%. Meanwhile, the tax rate has decreased for the sixth year to $6.31 per $1,000 of assessed property. So, the owner of a median-valued single-family home of $190,000 in Tompkins County would see an increase in their property tax bill of $12.86. The budget also recommends a solid waste annual fee increase of $2, which would bring it up to $60.An increase in development in recent years has helped the tax base grow, keeping the tax rate down. According to Molino, the tax base increased by 4.2% last year. Since 2015, the tax base has increased by 17%. As of July 2019, the total taxable base in Tompkins County is $8.1 billion, up from $7.7 billion the previous year.Molino said the budget continues to benefit from a strong local economy, saying for the fifth year, the budgeted cost of mandated human services programs has remained manageable “in part, because of an economy that is creating opportunities for employment.”Tompkins County legislators and the public got a first look at the proposed 2020 budget Tuesday at the Tompkins County Legislature meeting. From here, legislators will dive deeper into the budget and listen to department leaders and members of the community before making any final decisions. The process usually takes more than a month. More information on the budget and process is available from the county here at the 2020 Budget Page.The recommended budget increases funding for some programs, builds on existing projects and includes some new ones to meet the county’s “space management, emergency services, informational technology, energy, and other needs” over the next 15 years. According to the proposed budget, some of those include:Developing a downtown facility — Legislators recently approved the purchase of property on North Tioga and Sears streets for $1.8 million. Currently, the county estimates it will cost up to $22 million to construct a new 37,000 to 47,000 square-foot building.$30 million for public safety building improvements.$2 million for emergency response improvements and $4.5 million to establish a backup dispatch center$32 million over the 15-year period to make “needed improvements to existing county facilities with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions – and $200,000 for engineering related to those projects.$2 million to convert the county’s 70-vehicle passenger fleet to electric vehicles.$1.8 million continuing annually for capital improvements to roads and bridges.With the 15-year plan and significant funding proposed over that period, the county is investing in climate goals it has committed to over the years.“We’re probably one of the first communities to really take a step towards minimizing greenhouse gas emissions, a real step, not adopting a resolution of support or intent,” Molino said.Over the years, Tompkins County has shown support for sustainability and addressing climate change. In 2017, the county pledged support for the Paris Climate Accords after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the agreement. The New York Department of Environmental Conservation named Tompkins County a “Certified Climate Smart Community” after the county reduced government operations greenhouse gas emissions by 53% and community greenhouse gas initiatives by 21%. In 2016, Tompkins County planners presented a roadmap which aspires to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The roadmap consisted of initiatives to create energy efficiency in buildings, transition from grid-supplied electricity to local renewable energy, shift from natural gas to heat pumps and biomass heating, move towards electric vehicles and reduce the overall miles driven in the county. During that year, the county invested in hybrid electric vehicles, more bike racks, and the reduction of food scraps and other waste. LED lighting was also added to several of the county’s facilities like the reception area of the Mental Health Building as well as the exteriors of the Health Department and Recycling and Solid Waste Center.The county most recently updated its energy strategy in Aug. 2019. The updated strategy included an analysis to see if the county can commit to net-zero emissions in the shortest timeframe possible which could be 2030, 2040 or 2050. Tompkins County also plans to conduct more feasibility studies to aid in reducing emissions, host an “Energy Summit” to discuss climate and sustainability in the community, and continue to support programs like the Business Energy Advisors Program that can help businesses and non-profits reduce their buildings’ greenhouse gas emissions.The budget does include some risks and expenses the county may encounter in 2020, including recycling and materials management and the airport. Recycling revenue has continued to decline sharply while expenses increase. The county is expecting to end 2019 with a $400,000 operating deficit. The Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport is also soon wrapping up a major renovation, which cost about $37 million. Though $27 million has been covered with reimbursables, Molino said, about $10 million in non-reimbursable costs will be locally bonded and initial costs for a new customs facility are estimated to be about $150,000 to $250,000.The county will also have to allocate funding to keep up with a few unfunded mandates, including early voting and criminal justice reform. Medicaid remains the largest single cost in the county’s budget at $11.8 million.A few tidbits after a first glance at the budget:The budget includes a 5% increase in sponsor contribution for Tompkins Cortland Community College, bring the county’s contribution to $3.13 million for the 2020-21 academic yearIn previous years, criminal justice reform and alternatives to incarceration have key talking and funding points in the budget. The proposed 2020 budget still includes some programs and initiatives, including investing in the outdated public safety building. As The Ithaca Voice recently reported, the jail population has continued to decrease and was actually boarding in inmates this summer. The proposed budget includes $110,000 for the College Initiative Upstate Program.Last year during budget season, the community voiced strong support for the county to increase funding for a local outreach worker program that helps people in distress in Tompkins County. The proposed 2020 budget includes increased funding of $40,000 for another full-time outreach worker.With the presidential election coming up in 2020 along with early voting changes, the Tompkins County Board of Elections has requested $160,000 in additional one-time funding to support aspects of conducting the 2020 elections and early voting.Legislator Mike Lane, who chairs the budget, capital, and personnel committee, said Tompkins County is a center for growth in the region, and as such has to respond to many different demands for service.“We need to continue to make this the kind of community that people want to come to, to stay, to raise their families in, and to educate them here, and we’re proud of our community and we’re proud of the work our county does for all municipalities. I think this budget reflects a lot of work and a lot of understanding of that goal,” Lane said.The proposed budget will be available for review at Legislators will begin reviewing the budget in detail at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5. Public copies of the budget are available for review at the county administration office, 125 E. Court St., third floor, and at the office of Tompkins County Legislature, 121 E. Court St., Ithaca.Check back for more updates as the budget discussions continue. Is there a topic area you would really like to see covered related to the budget? Or is there a question you would like answered? Email Kelsey O’Connor at [email protected] Voice Contributor Meghna Maharishi contributed to this report. Your government news is made possible with support from: last_img read more

Heisler: Whatever their expectations, for Clippers these are the good old days

first_imgOnce upon a time there was a little West contender that nobody could see, or cared to.For years it had a wacko owner who got all the press, even at the end after his people miraculously neutralized him long enough to take his team from laughingstock to legitimate.Unfortunately, the little contender played in a city owned lock, stock and barrel by a once-great NBA team.Local fans were so devoted to the once-great team, when it fell on hard times and cable ratings cratered, they stopped watching NBA games altogether. The little contender’s ratings slid, too, even as it finished in the West’s top four annually. Nor was it just local fans who didn’t like the little contender. It had a spectacular, high-flying star but he got lots of endorsements and dunked on everyone’s head, prompting opponents to maul him at every opportunity. The little contender lodged constant complaints with the referees, getting a reputation as the NBA’s biggest hype/crybaby.The little contender had a little big man to run the point, not that it brought credibility. Instead, the media asked every spring, “Does he have to win a title to validate his greatness?”With local fans busy rooting for the once-great team all season, nothing counted for the little contender but the playoffs … so despite never having won anything, the team is held to the Lakers’ old nothing-counts-but-a-title standard that the current Lakers are no longer held to.Of course, the little contender was — aw, you guessed it — the Clippers.Giddy as local fans are with the Lakers at 7-6, the Clippers have long been what the Lakes yearn to be again one day, an exciting contender. In Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, the Clippers have two of the brightest upcoming free agents but with the Lakers as far away as they are, you don’t hear much from their fans about stealing away either.Not that free agency is predictable a year out, or a day out. Ask Oklahoma City about Kevin Durant … or Dallas about DeAndre Jordan who agreed to terms with the Mavericks before the Clippers stole him back.Despite years of reported coolness among the Clippers’ Big Three, they’re in their sixth season together. All three re-signed in that time, Griffin in 2012, Paul in 2013 and Jordan in 2015. With all that has happened, it may no longer matter to anybody if this was Blake’s team before Chris took charge or if Deandre is upset because he hasn’t been an All-Star.The media narrative has the Clippers as the next Thunder, waiting to be torpedoed by free agency. Happily for the Clippers, they’re not in Oklahoma City but Los Angeles, the glamor market that still acts as a lure … if more for them than for the Lakers.It’s not clear how big Clipper Nation is, but it’s enough to fill Staples Center (however soft their figures that showed them playing to 101% of capacity last season) and get a new cable deal reportedly worth $50 million annually from Fox, half of what the Lakers get from Time Warner but still one of the NBA’s biggest.There have been no financial constraints since Steve Ballmer bought the team for $2 billion … about $400 million more than the second highest bid by David Geffen, Larry Ellison and Oprah Winfrey.For what it’s worth, insiders say both Griffin and Paul are inclined to stay, loving the area and, in a total break from Clipper tradition, the Clipper organization.If it will be the last long-term deal of Griffin’s prime at 28, he’s not excited, noting that “true friends and family” who understand how much he loves the area and the team “pretty much know not to bring that up.”The elephant in the room no one talks about is Griffin’s comeback after duking out his friend, Matias Testi, the equipment manager who no longer works for the team. Whether or not there was a settlement, it effectively cost Blake a season of his career, showing him how precious it is. He’s playing that way, defending as never before—a big reason they’re No. 1 in points allowed per possession–rebounding better than he has in years.In the good news and the bad news for the Clippers, they haven’t underachieved. They’ve never been higher than a No. 4 seed and have never made the conference finals.Aside from 2015 when they blew a 3-1 lead over Houston and a 19-point lead in Game 6 when they were 15 minutes from their first West Finals, they’ve largely beaten the teams they were better than … and lost to the teams they weren’t as good as.There are fewer great teams in the West but the Warriors still look the Warriors, even with two losses before Thanksgiving.“It is about us getting to a title,” says Coach Doc Rivers, embracing the expectations. “The Lakers have won titles. Everybody here has won titles.“If we weren’t as good, our narrative would be different. Because of the talent we have, we have pushed ourselves into the conversation.“That talk doesn’t get old for me — ‘Hey guys, you going to do it this year?’ I’m fine with it. We have a realistic chance so let’s be in that discussion.I don’t want to be in the situation where they say, ‘You won 45 games, you had a good year. That’s not why I’m coaching.“I’ve been in this league for 34 years. Twenty-nine of them, the Clippers were not held to Laker standards. That’s a great standard to be held to.”If it’s the hard way to go, think of where they came from. For the Clippers, these are the good old days.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His column is published weekly for the Southern California News Group throughout the NBA season.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more