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February 2013

January 2013

Visiting Angels: Caregivers and Kits Fight the Flu

This winter's vicious flu epidemic threatens everyone, but especially seniors, and now their families are fighting back with “Fight the Flu" kits and caregivers to protect their elderly loved ones. Weaker immune systems make seniors more vulnerable to the flu and that’s why 90 percent of all flu-related deaths and more than half of flu-related hospitalizations occur in people age 65 or older.

That’s why Visiting Angels, one of the nation’s largest in-home senior care companies, helps local families in two ways: assembling Visiting Angels "Fight the Flu" kits so seniors can protect themselves from the flu; offering in-home senior flu service, where caregivers sanitize seniors’ homes and run errands for them (e.g., drugstore, market) so they’re not exposed to the flu; taking seniors to get their flu shot; caring for seniors at home and taking them to the doctor if they have the flu.

Visiting Angels “Fight the Flu" kits include items available at most retail stores:

Paper towels: Use paper towels in the bathroom instead of hand towels, which can harbor germs.
Medisim TempleTouch™ thermometer: Fever higher than 102 degrees could indicate flu.
Pocket-size hand sanitizer, with aloe: Helps keep skin germ-free and moisturized.
Pens: Carry your own pen – pens shared in public areas carry a ton of germs.
Disinfectant: Spray doorknobs, handles, and light switches, etc. every few days – viruses can live up to 48 hours on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces.
Hand soap: Recent studies show plain soap and water work just as well as, if not better than, antibacterial soaps.
Hand sanitizer wipes: These are handy to have on the go, whether to clean hands or public surfaces. Don’t rely on just baby wipes because they do not kill germs.

Avoid these places that carry the most germs:
Public restrooms, especially the sink, because bacteria can survive there the longest. (Source: University of Arizona study)
Malls, especially food court tables, because rags used to “clean” can spread harmful bacteria – they can contain E. coli because they are not cleaned or changed regularly. (Source: Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University)
Grocery stores – This is where many people go when they are sick, whether to get some juice, chicken noodle soup, or medicine. As much as 80 percent of shopping cart handles tested nationwide had E. coli bacteria, according to Charles Gerba, Ph.D., University of Arizona.
Restaurants – One of the dirtiest areas is tabletops due to the “clean” rag used to wipe them down. (Source: Lifescript)
Libraries – Some of the dirtiest areas are the books, computers, and tabletops, just from the many people who touch them each day. (Source: Lifescript)

Taco Town

Pacifica has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to taquerias. We can think of seven, but let us know if we missed any: The Green Enchilada, La Mordida, Guerrero’s, El Toro Loco, El Grano de Oro, La Playa, El Gran Amigo. Sorry, Taco Bell, love the location, but the food—not so much.

If you are feeling adventurous, head on down 280 and 92 to El Sinaloense in San Mateo (Palm Street behind the Safeway on El Camino Real). The owner Mario warmly welcomes regulars and visitors, offering a menu of tasty Sinaloa specialties. This friendly, colorful neighborhood place is decorated with photos and paintings of life back in the Old Country.


What a day to honor the memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the inauguration of President Barack Obama for a second term. Those of us who struggled in the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty certainly can be proud that all of our sacrifices and dreams helped bring about a day like this: January 20, 2013.

John Maybury, Editor & Publisher

High Noon @ Eureka Square: "It Was a Zoo Down There"

A reporter friend of ours says "it was a zoo down there" today at Eureka Square, where several hundred NRA gun rights supporters rallied in front of City Arms gun store, while gun control advocates rallied on the sidewalk in front of the shopping center.

Please submit your eyewitness reports by hitting the Comments link below. Thanks to our readers who already checked in. Be sure to read their comments, especially Marie Aquanette's.

Is Nothing Sacred? New Girl Scout Cookie Has "Nutrifusion"

By Katie Kincelan, ABC NEWS, January 15, 2013

Girl Scout cookie lovers accustomed to seeing items like peanut butter, chocolate, coconut and more chocolate on the ingredient list may do a double take when they see the newest cookie on the order form.

Alongside Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Samoas in this year's Girl Scout cookie repertoire are Mango Crèmes, a crispy cookie featuring mango, coconut, vanilla and Nutrifusion™? Yes, Girl Scout cookies have been vitamin-punched.

The Mango Crèmes are the first cookie in the Girl Scouts' long history to be partnered with NutriFusion™, the makers of a product that "supercharges" foods' nutritional value by adding preserved all-natural nutrients, according to the company's website.

ABC Bakers, the "official Girl Scout Cookie Bakers," says in a description of the new cookie on its website that the cookies, "feature a mango-flavored creme filling with all the nutrient benefits of eating cranberries, pomegranates, oranges, grapes, and strawberries!"

The marketing of the product has led to some controversy online where a writer for Gawker said young Girl Scouts should be told they are "selling a lie," and one blogger for mocked the cookie's tag line by saying, "So go ahead and eat that cookie: it's like you're having a fruit salad."

NutriFusion™ denies any claims that eating Mango Crèmes would be an appropriate substitute for getting one's daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

"Girl Scout cookies come under criticism because it's basically sugar and flour," NutriFusion™ president William Grand told "By adding our ingredient they have the ability to add the nutrition of fruits and vegetables into the cookie and that's important."

"People aren't going to stop eating cookies, but because of the processing done by the food industry we can actually put some of the nutrition back in and provide a healthier alternative to the consumer," Grand said of the product, formulated by removing the moisture from freeze-dried, macerated fruits and vegetables and then grinding them into a powder.

Though the NutriFusion™ in the Mango Cremes will give you, according to ABC Bakers, 15 percent of your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin B1 and 5 percent RDI of Vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6 per three-cookie serving, a cookie is still a cookie.

That same three-cookie serving of Mango Crèmes also contains 180 calories and four grams of saturated fat, more calories than four Thin Mints and the same amount of saturated fat as Tagalongs.

"Our product does not replace people eating fruits and vegetables but it provides an alternative, especially for people who are continuing to indulge in their favorite snack foods," said Grand. "That's a plus."

ABC Bakers said in a statement the decision to add the more nutrition-friendly ingredient was "initiated by consumers wanting to eat great-tasting cookies that also have health benefits." NutriFusion describes its product as one that can, "significantly increase the nutritional profile, and therefore the marketability, of food, beverage and snack products."

The cookies, like all other Girl Scout cookies, are produced for a limited time once a year and are on sale now.

A representative for Girl Scouts did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Police: Keep Your Car Locked at All Times

An unlocked vehicle is an open invitation to a thief, even if you are parked at home. Auto burglars typically steal items of value from the center console, glove compartment, and anything on and under the seats, such as purses, wallets, cash, GPS units, cell phones, tablets, laptops, and various electronic devices. Thieves like to move quickly and focus on items in plain view inside the vehicle. Keep items out of view, secured inside your locked vehicle trunk, or inside your home. (from a county sheriff's alert, in response to several recent car burglaries in Half Moon Bay)

Strange Bedfellows of Journalism

What a cruel twist of fate that three former business rivals should wind up in the same company and the same building together. The San Francisco Newspaper Company now owns the S.F. Examiner, the S.F. Bay Guardian, and the S.F. Weekly. Just imagine those painful pauses and surreal moments at the water cooler, break room, elevator, and parking lot. Awkward!