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The Ponchatoula Times
Ponchatoula , Louisiana
June 5, 2014     The Ponchatoula Times
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June 5, 2014

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THE TIMES, JUNE 5, 2014, PAGE 8- Like us on Facebook Health Patient confusion and medical conflicts grow By PROF. RAIDOLPH HOWES M.D., PhD (EDITOR'S NOTE: Longtime medical columnist for The Times, the author is an accomplished surgeon, medical inventor, and Country music recording artist. Dr. Howes grew up on hisparents' Ponchatoula strawberry farm. He is a graduate of St. Joseph, Ponchatoula High School, Southeastern, Tulane - two doctorates, followed by a residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in plastic surgery. He says he is "retired" now in Kentwood. The doctor's column appears on facebook.com/the- ponchatoulatimes and on facebook.com/theindependencetimes. It is also available online at ponchatoula.com/ptimes) For years, I have written of how patients are bombarded with confusing medical articles and that we have arrived at a point where common sense has collided with so-called medical science. As a patient advocate, I care- fully follow the medical litera- ture addressing the harmful potential of pharmaceutical drugs and supplements. There are so many drug-related com- plications coming out on a daily basis, that it is difficult to keep up, and full disclosure by the drug companies is still a far away goal. Manipulation of their drug data, to increase sales, is com- monplace. The unacceptable number of deaths (over 106,000 annually) from drug adverse effects must be addressed. We are in an age in which snake oil flows faster than Texas crude. The entire dietary supple- ment industry is out of control, with over 55,000 being peddled, and our citizens are paying pre- mium prices for ineffective and potentially harmful chemical concoctions tagged as "medi- cal breakthrough" and "magic pills." We are witnessing conflicting and opposing recommendations on breast mammography, cervi- cal PAP smears, desired blood pressure levels, safe levels of cholesterol, blood pressure cut off points for hypertension, safety of saturated and polyun- saturated fats, etc. And a major debate can- not decide on what really con- stitutes a so-called "healthy diet." Still, there are now gov- ernmental mandates, directing the "food police" on what you can eat, even though the long- standing food pyramid was re- cently scrapped and replaced by the new and improved food "pie chart." And don't even go to the area of weight loss. Even Dr. Oz's dai- ly hour-long infomercial can't make consistent recommenda- tions and guidelines, without pushing tons of questionable supplements on uninformed television viewers. This only leads to patient confusion and skepticism re- garding any and all medical recommendations. Just look at the panic of our population cre- ated by false alarms (national emergencies) regarding the yearly flu epidemics, or the in- effectiveness of our vaccination programs. An even larger looming prob- lem is the fact that medical in- tervention can "sustain" life, even when quality is totally gone, for indefinite or extended costly periods. As government controlled healthcare takes over, so called "death panels" may be as close as the Veterans Administration Hospitals. And, socialized medicine is as close as the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), which will bring a new low of patient care quality to all of our citizenry (President and Congress ex- cluded). Without meaningful tort reform, healthcare costs will continue to spiral out of control and where will all of the "new doctors" come from to take care of an additional thirty mil- lion people? In the America that ] love. I continually shake my head at the bleak medical picture pre- sented by the daily news. Folks, brace yourself for the medical "new normal." Fire FROM PAGE ONE better than county home espe- cially after the organization of the Ponchatoula Volunteer Fire Department, but personal trag- edies continued to occur. In February 1922 the Joseph Perrin home on Southeast Rail- road Avenue was destroyed. The fireplace flue had burned out and the roof caught fire and quickly spread. Neighbors tried to help the family halt the spread of the fire but to no avail. Ponchatoula's lone fire engine would not start and also had a flat tire and was of no help. The afternoon fire destroyed the home valued at $8,000, of which $2,000 was insured, but most importantly, no one was injured. This small sampling of early Ponchatoula home fires is reflec- tive of the many homes which were lost to the flames. These fires occurred more frequently during the cold months due to defective fireplaces, stoves and heaters. The fires mentioned above did not result in the loss of life, but sadly that was not al- ways the case. (Next Week: The Jail Fires) Parking FROM PAGE ONE old police station and onetime jail, and using both adjoining properties to create municipal parking - hopefully a parking structure. A $100,000 lighting survey will gauge the lighting needs on La. 22, whose results could help the city make its case for the in- stallation of LED lights on both East and West Pine Street and on Hwy. 51 North (Veterans Av- enue). The hope is that funding for the project will come from the Regional Planning Commis- sion where Mayor Zabbia serves as a board member. Major city street paving, in cooperation with the parish's paving projects (to save money, the Zabbia and the Burgess ad- ministrations will enter into a Cooperative Endeavor contract so both will benefit by lowering the cost of labor and materials). Look for paving to commence in June. And it promises not to be the last; this is Phase 17 in the parish paving project, with Phase 18 expected by year's end. Bids will be requested to con- struct an estimated $150,000 turn lane off La. 22 (West Pine Street) onto Hwy. 51 North (Veterans Avenue). Speculation continues regarding the iden- tity of the newest big business planning to move near the Wal- mart location, and be served by the new turn lane. As its share Ponchatoula will pay $15,000 in engineering fees for the project. Purchase of a $285,000 pumper for the Ponchatoula Fire Department. Bus service to help elderly FROM PAGE ONE "We will house one bus here in Ponchatoula," Mayor Bob Zab- bin told a Times reporter in an interview Friday. The mayor said that he hopes for and anticipates more funding coming in from the Regional Planning Commission where Zabbia is seated as a board member. Public bus transportation will initially be available five days a week, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ponchatoula is providing $32,000 in matching funds to go with the $60,000 to $70,000 being put up by the Council on Aging. The parish is expected to push for bus service in the non-incor- porated areas of rural Tangipahoa Parish, tying in with municipal lines in Ponchatoula and in Hammond. The bus service was one of the top priorities of the Samaritan Group of churches and social agencies that is headquartered in Ponchatoula. Partnering with the parish Council On Aging, the City of Pon- chatoula will help fund the new bus service at its ten planned stops in Ponchatoula, said the mayor. Ci ty budget come. For instance, the property tax income from the Ponchatoula Walmart project won't be seen until the next fiscal year. And though anecdotal evidence in the form of a seeming perpetu- ally-filled parking lot speaks of anticipated sales taxes from the mega-store, nobody at City Hall is counting any chickens before they hatch. some silt in the city water sys- tem. "Some dirty water will be necessary, as the city is under a fire rating review this week," said the mayor. A municipality's fire rating (used by insurance companies to gauge risk, and premiums) is determined in large part by the fire rating review. FROM PAGE ONE The bulk of the firefighting rolling stock is provided by Fire District No. 2 which includes Ponchatoula and much of the parish, excepting Amite. The City of Ponchatoula is doing its share by purchasing the new pumper. In related news: Residents are warned not to panic as the result of fire hy- drant flushing scheduled for Thursday, which could result in If DRIVE THRU SERVICE AVAILABLE 1 TEXT & EMAIL NOTIFICATION WHEN RX IS READY If MOST INSURANCE ACCEPTED IREFILL RX ON OURWEBSITE OR MOBILE APP If JEWELRY & GIFTS 1 GREETING CARDS 1625 HWY 51 N PONCHATOULA Located 1 mile south of North Oaks (Next to Cafe NOLA ) i FREE LOCAL DELIVERY !! Come by and get to know ! 0000ENORTHOAKS Sports Medicine I Marshall Hammond High Magnet School Jenna Ponchatoula High School Elijah Albany High School Taylin Doyle High School