Sick Leave Bill “in the Talks”… For Real This Time…

Speaker of the City Council and mayoral candidate Christine Quinn decided to bring the sick leave bill to the forefront this week, and begin significant discussions on the bill which would mandate that businesses provide paid sick leave for their workers.

A couple of weeks ago, a counterfeit site proclaimed that Quinn said it was finally time to vote on the sick leave bill. That turned out to be a hoax, but this time, it’s real, at least according to the New York Times.

Well, it’s about time. It’s been three years.

Although the discussions of the bill are still shaky and uncertain, they are moving quickly. Quinn, who is against the passage of this bill, blocked a vote on it until now, possibly because much of the council disagrees with her.

If passed the bill would require that all businesses with at least five employees provide paid sick leave. According to the Times, Quinn’s office has been pushing for this bill to apply only to businesses with at least 20 or 30 workers.

Another mayoral candidate, current Public Advocate Bill de Blaiso, has expressed his support for the bill as it is, and has criticized Quinn’s actions regarding the bill.

“I ask Speaker Quinn to tear down this obstacle to economic justice,” said Thompson, according to the New York Post.

De Blasio said that modifying this bill to apply only to businesses with 20 or more employees would leave 384,000 city residents left to decide whether or not they will work while sick.

“The only thing that is worse for these New Yorkers than waiting for a bill is waiting three years for a watered down bill that will leave out huge numbers of New Yorkers,” he said to the Times.

I think its time the council discuss this bill and reach a decision. Blocking a vote on the bill until the time is right is simply counterproductive, for the time may never be right.

And now, after three long years, the council hopes to come up with a reasonable compromise this week!

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Japan Times Signs Publishing Agreement with International New York Times

JT-NYT-Agreement

The New York Times has signed an agreement with Japan-based English-language news publication The Japan Times to distribute a print edition of The Japan Times with International New York Times from Monday to Saturday.

The International New York Times is currently known as the International Herald Tribune. The combined publications will become known as The Japan Times/International New York Times when its first issue debuts on October 16.

Japan Times president Takeharu Tsutsumi said the partnership will not affect the publication’s independent status.

The Japan Times/International New York Times will consist of two sections, one featuring Japan Times content and the other International New York Times content.

Read more details about the partnership here.

Fasting for Religion and Weight Loss?

While Christians in New York (and around the world) are fasting for Holy Week as a way to strengthen their relationship with God, British physician Michael Mosley and author Mimi Spencer are promoting fasting as a way to lose weight in their new book, The Fast Diet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy and Live Longer With the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting.

According to its authors, dieters are to only fast two days out the week and can indulge the remaining five days. The caloric intake for women on the fruits and vegetable rich diet are approximately 500 calories and 600 calories for men.

The 55-year-old BBC medical journalist began his get healthy journey after receiving news that he was on the verge of living as a diabetic and other risky health diseases. “I decided I wanted to find a different way,” said Mosley. After two months of dedication, his sugar and cholesterol levels dropped to normal levels.

Mosley understands the skepticism and doesn’t encourage anyone to jump on board until consulting with their physician. “It’s just the beginning of something interesting. People need to try it for themselves and see if it works,” said Mosley.

It’s been the craze across the pond and is slowly becoming as popular in the U.S, currently No. 46 on USA TODAY’s Best-Selling Books list.

Tune in April 13 for part one of three part PBS-series, Eat, Fast and Live Longer With Michael Mosley. 

For more info on the fast diet, click here.

Pic: Instagram

Tobacco Products Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg propose the Tobacco Product Display Restriction and Sensible Tobacco Enforcement bills with hopes to decrease youth smoking.

Bloomberg is at again.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is again tackling health issues, this time gearing his focus towards young smokers, proposing the Tobacco Product Display Restriction and Sensible Tobacco Enforcement bills, which would restrict outward display of tobacco products and illegal cigarette smuggling respectively.

“New York City has dramatically lowered our smoking rate, but even one new smoker is one too many – especially when it’s a young person,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Young people are targets of marketing and the availability of cigarettes and this legislation will help prevent another generation from the ill health and shorter life expectancy that comes with smoking.”

The smoking rate in adults have decreased from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 14.8 percent in 2011 and in young smokers have remained steady at 8.5 percent since 2007. Despite these findings, smoking deaths are one of the leading preventable deaths of New Yorkers.

“Thousands of New Yorkers die each year of tobacco-related causes,” said Council Member Levin. “If we can keep just one young person from smoking then that is a step in the right direction. I fully support these efforts that prevent smoking and promote good health.”

Promoting good health is a common gesture for the New York’s legislators, who’ve banned trans fat and is currently appealing the blocked soda ban, that would curb obesity among children. “Eliminating enticing tobacco displays and low-cost cigarettes from unscrupulous vendors will yield tremendous health dividends that will compound in the future. Our children deserve that future,” said Councilman James Gennaro.

The illegal selling of single cigarettes to youths have declined due to Department of Consumer Affairs Tobacco inspections, and have seen a compliance of 91 percent from 52 percent in 2002. The Sensible Tobacco Enforcement would continue to decline the sells of discounted cigarettes and allow fair competition between retailers. Violators can expect fines and/or revocation of license.

Bloomberg isn’t the only one wanting to prevent youth smoking. Texas Senator Carlos Uresti recently proposed a bill that would raise the smoking age to 21, stating, “more than 503,000 kids under the age of 18 will die prematurely from tobacco.”

Death is just a few of the harsh dangers of smoking.The U.S. government recently ruled for the Federal Drug and Administration to create new labels and to ditch the graphic cigarette warning labels.

Smokers looking to quit can call 311 or 1-866-NY-QUITS, or visit nyc.gov. The Health Department’s Nicotine Patch and Gum Program runs through March 21.

Pic: Google Images

Japan Week Kicks Off on Tuesday

Japan Week

New York City’s annual Japan Week celebration at Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall will kick off on Tuesday, March 19 and run through Thursday.

This year’s theme is the Japanese “on-the-go” lifestyle, with a specific focus on the travel and train cultures of the country. Attendees will be able to experience special train station bento and standing bars featuring a large range of sake and shochu.

Read more about the event at JapanWeek.us.

Postpartum Depression in 14 Percent of New Moms

Recently, Manhattan attorney Cynthia Wachenheim committed suicide by leaping from an eight-story window of her Harlem apartment with her 10-month-old baby strapped to her body.

In a rambling suicide note, Wachenheim expressed unhappiness, referring to postpartum depression. Apparently, more moms are suffering from postpartum depression.

The largest study to date published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry shows that 1 in 7 new moms suffers from postpartum depression.

Researchers screened 10,000 new moms at a Pittsburgh hospital and found that close to 1400 women tested positive for depression, in which 19 percent considered causing  harm to themselves.

“We discovered 20 percent had suicidal thoughts — these are thoughts of death, thoughts of wanting to die, not wanting to wake up, just escape,” said University of Pittsburgh psychiatrist Dorothy Sit, one of the many authors of the study. “In fact, some patients with very severe symptoms had made the decision to take their lives.”

Researchers recommend for all new moms and pregnant women postpartum and prenatal screenings for depression. Mothers suffering from postpartum depression are encouraged to seek treatment.

To read more about the study, click here.

Little Known Ways to De-Stress

The hustling and bustling of New York City can without a doubt leave folks stressed. So it was no surprise that NYC made the list of America’s Most Stressful Cities, clocking in at five out of  100 metro cities. According to Sterling’s Best Places, cities were scored and rated based on unemployment rate, commute rate, divorce rate, violent crime, property crime, suicide rate, alcohol consumption, mental health and cloudy days.

But before you, New Yorkers wallow in shame, citizens of the world were kind enough to offer some tips of ways to de-stress. Take a look below:

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For more ways to de-stress, click here.

Pic: Google Images