Cuba, Ebola & the Cuban 5

first_imgGerardo Hernández Nordelo, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez, Fernando González Llort, Ramón Labañino Salazar, and Rene González Sehewert.Revolutionary leader and former Cuban President Fidel Castro’s Oct. 17 reflection, “Duty calls,” explains Cuba’s urgent mobilization of medical personnel “to combat the brutal epidemic outbreak in Western Africa.” (Read the entire article at tinyurl.com/pta4u4k)He notes that calling on highly qualified staff to fulfill a risky task “is something far more difficult than sending soldiers to fight and even die for a just political cause.”This effort surpasses by many times the mission against terror undertaken by the Cuban 5 in the early 1990s, but the willing self-sacrifice to take on a complicated and risky task to save the lives of others is the same.Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino and Gerardo Hernández, who remain in U.S. prisons after 16 years — along with their comrades René González and Fernando González, who served their full, unjust sentences and returned to Cuba — appeared to renounce the revolution they love in order to infiltrate the violent, Miami-based thugs bombing Cuban hotels and restaurants. Their efforts, however, thwarted an airline explosion, revealed a boatload of explosives docked in the highly populated Miami river area and protected their vulnerable homeland while it struggled to restructure its economy after losing its primary trading partner, the Soviet Union. This extremely painful, imposed restructuring process did not close even one hospital or school.At the same time, Cuba managed to expand its free, prevention-oriented health care system by instituting a neighborhood-based family doctor-and-nurse program which covered more than 98 percent of its population by 1999. By 2010, Cuba’s physician-to-patient ratio was 1 to 150, more than double the 1 to 400 ratio existent in the U.S. in 2011. (data.worldbank.org/country/cuba)The corporate media, including “The Hill,” a Washington-based publication focusing on U.S. political news in the country’s capital, are headlining Fidel’s statement, “We will gladly cooperate with the U.S. staff in this endeavor, not in the pursuit of peace between the two States which have been adversaries for so many years, but, in any case, for world peace, which is a goal that could and should be pursued.” (tinyurl.com/qgdkzr2)Cuba’s principled internationalism that puts human life first is nothing new. The media haven’t noted that August 2015 will be the tenth anniversary of Cuba’s offer to send 1,586 fully equipped, disaster-trained medical personnel to the hurricane flooded New Orleans.Rebuffed by the U.S. federal and state governments, many of the Cuban personnel then set up medical facilities to serve earthquake survivors on the hillsides of the Himalaya mountains of U.S. ally, Pakistan. Nor are the media noting that U.S. students are presently training in Cuba to be doctors, to return, upon completion of their studies, to practice medicine in their underserved U.S. communities.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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Pasadena Restaurateur Robin Salzer Awarded 2016 Small Business of the Year for 41st Assembly District

first_img Business News HerbeautyThese Are 15 Great Style Tips From Asian WomenHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyShort On Time? 10-Minute Workouts Are Just What You NeedHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 Beauty Secrets Only Indian Women KnowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Dark Side Of Beauty Salons Not Many People Know AboutHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyThink The Lost Weight Won’t Be Regained If You Stop Eating A Lot?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA Mental Health Chatbot Which Helps People With DepressionHerbeautyHerbeauty Make a comment Assemblymember Chris Holden (l) and Robin Salzer (r)The Robin’s Woodfire BBQ sign at 395 N. Rosemead Blvd. has become a part of the landscape in the Hastings Ranch community of Pasadena.This year, the owner, Robin Salzer has joined an elite group of California entrepreneurs lauded with statewide recognition as “Small Business of the Year Honoree” status in their respective state assembly districts.Salzer was singled out by Assemblymember Chris Holden (41st District), who said he is “very pleased to recognize Robin Salzer of Robin’s Woodfire BBQ for his successful career as a small business owner, and the positive impact he has made in our community.”Out of 3.3 million small business owners in the state, Robin was one of 80 honored at the CA Small Business Day celebration held at the Sacramento Convention Center on May 25th. The day commenced with State and Assembly leaders holding a morning session, followed by the Awards Luncheon. “This was a once in a lifetime honor and experience,” was Robin’s sentiment. The day rounded off with a special reception held for the honorees and a tour of the Capitol.Robin got his start in the restaurant business at the age of 16 working at an IHOP in Milwaukee. Seven years later at the age of 23, he became the youngest IHOP franchise owner in the history of the company when he bought the restaurant. He’d grown up with a love for BBQ and in 1982 he moved to Pasadena and opened Robin’s Woodfire BBQ. Anyone who knows this long-time Pasadena resident is well aware of his passion for his family, the business of BBQ and his commitment to his community, as evidenced by his generosity, personal involvement and support for many organizations over the years.George Falardeau, former Senior Vice President of Real Estate & Operations, Art Center College of Design, who has been a longtime friend of Robin, says “The phrase ‘character matters’ fits Robin, he’s the real thing. When you are next at his restaurant, watch and listen to how he treats his employees – that says volumes. He’s one of the good guys and I’m proud to call him a friend, a good friend.”When you visit Robin’s Woodfire BBQ you step into a delightful gallery of small town memorabilia that Robin and his family have collected during travels throughout America. His old-fashioned process of slow-smoking meats creates an intoxicating aroma of BBQ that greets everyone upon entering the restaurant. According to Robin: “All Meats are smoked with Apple and Oak wood for hours in our four-ton smoker, the Real Way. NO GAS, NO PROPANE, and NO STEAMING like some of those wannabe BBQ places. This here is a Rib Joint, pure and Simple. All Meats are smoked daily to ensure their freshness.” His barbeque spot is lauded by such foodies as Rachel Ray and LA Restaurant Critic Johnathan Gold.Upon hearing of this honor to Robin, Gene Masuda, Vice Mayor, Council District 4 remarks: ”Robin Salzer & Robin’s Woodfire BBQ are both attributes to our community. Robin is the definition of a good citizen – he runs a great business and thankful for his loyal patrons, gives back to the community. That is part of Robin’s success, his commitment to reinvest back into the community. We are so proud that Robin and his business Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ is in District 4.”Robin’s 2007 run for the District 1 City Council seat was unsuccessful, but the campaign experience provided him with greater enlightenment about the interests, priorities and needs of residents in the district. He became even more inspired to leverage his business success to help the community and went on to launch two new projects, the Lemonade Brigade in Pasadena and Duarte, a youth entrepreneur-training program, and the Hot Meal Program at Jackie Robinson Center that provides meals for low-income and homeless residents.When knocking on doors during his campaign, Robin said he was repeatedly asked, “Can you help my son or daughter find a job? Or how can they get skills to get a job?” Hearing this so often opened his eyes to a need and in 2008 Robin founded the Lemonade Brigade, creating job opportunities for high school students in Pasadena working in conjunction with NATHA, a non-profit in Northwest Pasadena with John Muir High School students and in Duarte at Mt. Olive Alternative High School. This social enterprise project teaches youth how to start, operate and sustain a small business. The Lemonade Brigade pop-up canopy is now a familiar site at events in the region, including events at the Rose Bowl, the summer concerts at the Levitt Pavilion, Taste of Duarte, City of Hope and other events. In fact, the City of Duarte has acknowledged the Duarte Lemonade Brigade as the city’s official beverage. The success and growing popularity of this youth entrepreneurial program has resulted in discussions to expand the Lemonade Brigade throughout Assembly District 41 by working with local Chambers and Rotary clubs as sponsor and mentors.The Hot Meal Program evolved from collaboration between Robin and another Pasadena businessman Walter Jackson, who spent years visiting stranger’s homes as a locksmith and a volunteer delivering meals to homebound. Jackson set up an impromptu cold weather shelter to help feed hungry people and went door to door to restaurants asking for help to feed them and was greeted with, “No,” from everyone, that is until he approached Robin Salzer. Jackson was elated when Robin said, “As long as I have food you have food”. After winter passed and the shelter closed Robin and Walter lost touch, but they reconnected four years later when Robin was running for District 1 City Councilmember.While campaigning, Robin knocked on the doors of many people who knew him in the community or his restaurant and recognized him. Some would invite him into their homes to talk, usually the kitchen, and in offering him something to drink Robin observed that refrigerators of some of the residents were poorly stocked. This opened his eyes even more and he realized how blessed he was in life, and business. He realized that his continual reinvestment in the community over the years had been reciprocated by local residents, businesses and organizations. They had in fact helped sustain Robin’s Woodfire BBQ throughout the years when he weathered severe up’s and down’s of running the restaurant. An idea came to him and when he reconnected with Walter, they teamed up to proceed with Robin’s idea to create a Hot Meal Program.In 2010, Robin founded the Pasadena Hot Meal Program to not only help feed those in need, but also as a place for people to come together, eat a hot meal and develop friendships. In 2015, The Pasadena Hot Meal Program celebrated its 5th year with 100,000 hot meals served. Robin invests his personal resources and says the program also receives help from food brokers, the Rose Bowl and Restaurant Depot, stating, “We will take donated food and overruns any time.” He sees the Hot Meal Program a way to bring people together to rebuild our communities one meal at a time.According to Ishmael Trone of F & M Business Center is the incoming President of the Board of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce said: “Robin Salzer’s ultimate success in Pasadena comes not only from his established business and community involvement. It truly comes from his unwavering commitment to being involved in the business community, as he continuously assist business owners with daily operation challenges or local and state governmental policy changes affecting their business with his common sense approach. ‘He truly cares about the success of other business entrepreneurs.’ This is what makes Robin a valuable asset to the business community.”Throughout his years residing in Pasadena, Robin Salzer has been involved with numerous city, civic and community boards as a volunteer, including: Transportation Advisory Commission; Pasadena Center Operating Company, Pasadena Fire Dept. Advisory Task Force for Station 36; Assemblymen’s Portantino & Holden’s Small Business Task Force; East Pasadena Business & Property Owners Association; Gold Line Design Task Force for Sierra Madre Villa Station. He has also served on the following nonprofit boards: VP San Rafael Neighborhood Association; 1st VP, Foothill Unity Center; Pasadena Education Foundation; Pasadena NAACP; Pasadena Museum of History; Pasadena Chamber of Commerce; Crown City News; Center for Community & Family Services; and East Arroyo Residents Association.Robin is a proud resident of the Rose City where he resides with his wife, Ann-Marie Villicana and their twins Alexander and Nicolas (7 yrs. old) and Josefina (6 yrs. old).George Falardeau comment sums it up: “Robin Salzer epitomizes the adage, ‘Doing good, is good business.’ What an appropriate distinction for a local 2016 Small Business of the Year that has a reputation for great BBQ.” Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Subscribe Community News Business: Retail News Pasadena Restaurateur Robin Salzer Awarded 2016 Small Business of the Year for 41st Assembly District From STAFF REPORTS Published on Thursday, June 23, 2016 | 2:45 pm Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena 11 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community Newscenter_img Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Your email address will not be published. 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Investment in COVID-19 response by Biden’s son-in-law could raise questions

first_imgJoshua Roberts/Getty ImagesBy LUCIEN BRUGGEMAN, ABC News(NEW YORK) — When the boutique tech firm Yosi Health developed software aimed at streamlining the nation’s coronavirus vaccine effort, CEO Hari Prasad sought help from one of its earliest investors — a company with a special government connection.The investor was StartUp Health, and that special connection came through its chief medical officer, Howard Krein, who is married to President Joe Biden’s daughter.That detail that was not lost on Yosi’s Prasad, who reached out to StartUp Health in December with a request to introduce their platform to government health officials.“Our goal with StartUp Health is to leverage their relationships and work with state and federal agencies,” he explained in an interview with ABC News.During the 2020 presidential campaign, attention on the Biden family focused largely on his son, Hunter Biden. But experts say it is the president’s son-in-law who could present fresh ethical challenges for the new administration.“Howard Krein is playing with fire,” said Meredith McGehee, the executive director of Issue One, a nonpartisan ethics watchdog group. “If he gets too close to that flame — if he is trying to either cash in on his relationship with the president, or he is trying to influence policy — the flame is going to get him. And it is not worth it to him or to Biden.”A renowned Philadelphia-based head and neck surgeon who married Biden’s daughter Ashley in 2012, Krein helps oversee StartUp Health investments in hundreds of companies, including some hoping to break through with the federal agencies battling the global coronavirus pandemic.Since 2011, when Krein founded the firm with his brother Steven Krein and veteran tech entrepreneur Unity Stoakes, Joe Biden has been an active supporter of the venture — headlining corporate conferences and inviting the company’s executives to the Oval Office to meet then-President Barack Obama.When the COVID-19 crisis emerged during Biden’s bid for the White House, Krein stepped up in the spring to advise his father-in-law’s campaign in an unofficial role on potential pandemic response plans — an arrangement that garnered scrutiny at the time, given StartUp Health’s push to invest in firms that were looking to tailor products to help the pandemic response.Now, with Biden in office, Krein’s involvement with StartUp Health has prompted more tough questions, ethicists and tech industry experts told ABC News. Among them: Should Krein advise companies backed by StartUp Health in their efforts to win lucrative government contracts? Should he weigh in with his father-in-law on policy decisions that may benefit those companies? And will he obtain sensitive government information that may help inform investment decisions?“Dr. Krein presents an ethical dilemma because he’s being placed in a position where people want him to deliver access and information that will provide them with a competitive advantage,” said Scott Amey, general counsel at the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight, which investigates possible conflicts of interest and allegations of waste or fraud in federal government.“At the same time, Biden has to ensure that family and friends’ private matters don’t merge with official government actions,” Amey said. “This situation will take a good amount of transparency and oversight to ensure that lines are not crossed and that ethics standards are upheld.”Neither StartUp Health nor Krein responded to multiple inquiries from ABC News.Michael Gwin, a White House spokesperson, insisted that “Biden has set and maintained the highest ethical standards for himself, his administration, and those around him.”“Any implication to the contrary is flatly untrue and unsupported by the facts,” Gwin said.Since taking office, Biden has reaffirmed his campaign pledge to maintain a wall between his family’s business enterprises and his work leading the federal government.“We’re going to run this like the Obama-Biden administration,” he told People Magazine last week. “No one in our family and extended family is going to be involved in any government undertaking or foreign policy.”Called to the Oval OfficeStartUp Health has invested nearly $2 billion over the past decade, which it has poured into more than 350 startups focused on addressing a long list of challenges in health care, ranging from nutrition and fitness to opioid addiction.“Health care is a very tough place to run a startup … so as a startup you need all of the help and support you can get,” said Prasad. “That’s where StartUp Health plays a critical role. It’s a support system to lean on.”StartUp Health is one of a number of specialists in this arena, but it has not been shy about touting its unique connection to the corridors of power in Washington. The firm has frequently linked itself to the Biden family in promotional materials, highlighting Krein’s travels with the former vice president to promote cancer research and touting Biden’s participation as a speaker at its annual festival, which he did twice as an independent citizen after leaving the vice presidency.Shortly after the company was started, its founders were invited to an Oval Office meeting with then-President Barack Obama to preview their plans. Howard Krein recounted the details of that visit in a 2015 interview.“I happened to be talking to my father-in-law that day and I mentioned Steve and Unity were down there [in D.C.],” Krein said. “[Biden] knew about StartUp Health and was a big fan of it. He asked for Steve’s number and said, ‘I have to get them up here to talk with Barack.’ The Secret Service came and got Steve and Unity and brought them to the Oval Office.”In the intervening years, as StartUp Health has expanded its footprint in the health care tech sphere, its executives have invoked the White House meeting and their special ties to Biden as evidence of the venture’s prominence. References to Biden are scattered across StartUp Health’s website and publications. The company’s blog even republished an excerpt from Biden’s memoir.Biden’s public praise of both the company and Krein only escalated when he left the vice presidency.“I love him like he’s my own,” Biden said of Krein in 2018.Twice Biden appeared as a featured speaker at events hosted by StartUp Health that were intended to entice venture capitalists to invest in the company, touting his son-in-law’s position as an executive at the firm.“Changing the culture to vastly expand cooperation; that’s what attracts me to Startup Health — not just my incredible admiration for my son-in-law,” Biden said at the 2018 StartUp Health Festival in San Francisco. “[Krein] is one of the finest men I’ve ever known in my life, and when a father-in-law says that you know it means something.”Prior to founding StartUp Health, Krein volunteered with the World Pediatric Project for 15 years, participating in international humanitarian missions to provide reconstructive surgeries for children. He did so while continuing to practice medicine in Philadelphia.One pandemic, two rolesIn the spring of 2020, Krein appeared on StartUp Health NOW, the firm’s podcast, to discuss how new technologies may contribute to the pandemic response. During the interview, he promoted a wearable pulse-oximeter developed by an Israeli tech startup called Oxitone as a way of detecting the virus in patients before the onset of symptoms.“It’s really going to revolutionize the way we care for patients,” Krein said of Oxitone, one of StartUp Health’s earliest investments.In an interview with ABC News, Dr. Leon Eisen, the founder and CEO of Oxitone, said StartUp Health has been an invaluable partner in the growth of his company, and counts Krein as “a very good friend.” Eisen agreed it is difficult to ignore the benefit of Krein’s connections, even as he made it a point to say that StartUp Health has always conducted itself with integrity.“[Krein’s] connections could help StartUp Health to make much better business, and, as a result, all StartUp Health companies — independent of their relationship with Howard — will benefit in general from the relationships of StartUp Health and connections of StartUp Health,” Eisen said.Weeks after his March podcast appearance — during which Krein also announced that the pandemic response would become the company’s 12th “moonshot” initiative — Krein’s name surfaced as one of a small group of health experts helping then-candidate Biden shape his own pandemic response platform.A campaign spokesperson told ABC News in October that Krein’s contribution to the campaign was limited to sharing his experience treating COVID-19 patients during the daily conference calls convened by top campaign officials.Potential conflictsIn the hypercompetitive world of venture capital, where information and connections are valuable currency, Krein’s dual roles as a tech entrepreneur and as son-in-law to the president present several novel challenges, experts said.One of those challenges is determining whether Krein will have access to nonpublic information about the Biden administration’s pandemic response plan that may help guide StartUp Health’s investment choices, according to Dr. Johannes Lenhard, a University of Cambridge ethics researcher and author of a forthcoming book on the ethics of venture capital.Given the inherent risk associated with venture capital in determining which startups may someday become profitable, any informational edge would be of tremendous value to investors, Lenhard said.“This whole world is based on insider knowledge, and the information is not equally distributed,” said Lenhard. “A lot of stuff that would be totally outrageous in banking, like this idea of insider trading, is totally commonplace in venture capital. Every deal, in a sense, is based on specific information that an investor might have gotten from their network.”A White House official said that processes involving both the White House Counsel’s office and Biden family representatives are in place to address conflict-of-interest questions, but the official declined to describe those processes in detail.Ann Skeet, an expert in leadership ethics at Santa Clara University, said the ethical considerations surrounding Krein demonstrate the inherent tension now facing the Biden administration as it seeks to regain much of the public’s trust in government after what Skeet called four years of overt nepotism during the Trump administration.“Everyone who holds elected office has an obligation to the constituents they serve, and part of that includes avoiding even the appearance of any kind of impropriety,” Skeet said. “It’s something that people in those roles deal with on a regular basis.”During Trump’s four years in office, his eponymous company continued to pursue real estate deals and his hotels and golf clubs catered to a string of foreign and lobbying clients in what Skeet called a flouting of the barriers that traditionally prevent elected officials from profiting from private business while in office. Skeet said Biden owes it to Americans to hold himself to a new, higher standard of ethical conduct.“[Biden] is in a new territory now,” she said. “We all are. The whole country is.”Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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