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Sunday, 25 January 2015
Topic: REEALY?



By Tammy Duffy




The world's first ever pet terminal will be built at JFK Airport next year. Named "The Ark", the state-of-the-art facility will cater for the overseas travel of everything from household pets to farmyard animals.


ARK Development, LLC, an affiliate of real estate company Racebrook Capital, announced this week that it has signed a 30-year lease with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop the mammoth facility. Spanning 178,000 square feet, the terminal will include direct access to the runway for animals, as well a 24-hour veterinary hospital and a 24-hour quarantine facility for the import and export of horses, pets, birds and livestock.

"The animal terminal will set new international airport standards for comprehensive veterinary, kenneling and quarantine services," said Founder John J.Cuticelli, Jr.

Indeed, the site is the first of its kind in the world. For those who are worries that air travel is about to go to the dogs, though, the project is also expected to give some puppy love to the economy. The $48 million development will create more than 180 jobs and generate revenues for the Port Authority of
New York and New Jersey estimated at $108 million over the span of the project’s 30-year lease.

"The ARK at JFK posed a unique design challenge for us: to create a place that could ease and simplify the sometimes complex process of transporting animals by plane," said Cliff Bollmann, Senior Associate of Gensler, the architect firm hired to design the facility.


"For the animals who pass through The Ark, as well as the people who own them, air travel can be stressful and confusing. Aligning the needs of quarantine with kenneling and elevating the experience for animals and their owners, our design team sought to create a comfortable, healthy environment for them all."

Animals travelling through The ARK will be treated to a large departure lounge - including stalls, food and water for horses - and an arrival area complete with cattle handling facility. The site also includes an aviary and a veterinarian, plus Paradise 4 Paws - a 24-hour pet resort with overnight accommodations for cats and dogs, plus grooming, training, and airport parking.

The ARK is estimated to handle at least 70,000 animal passengers every year. There is no confirmation yet on whether they will have to travel two-by-two.

Posted by tammyduffy at 7:48 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 25 January 2015 7:59 AM EST
Monday, 15 December 2014
When A Town Ignores Patient Privacy Rights
Topic: REEALY?


When A Town Ignores Patients Privacy Rights


By Tammy Duffy





Imagine going to an Aids clinic, an ob/gyn clinic or any kind of disease clinic and that night, you see yourself on the evening news. Imagine  buying your newspaper in the morning after the prior day having gone to a clinic; and you see your face posted all over the internet, in the local and national newspapers. If you do not think this can happen, it can, if you live in Hamilton, N.J., Mercer County. This recently occurred during two Hepatitis clinics in December.


( I will not repost the links to the area newspapers and news crews that were filming and photographing at the clinics in respect of the privacy of the patients)


In 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA was established. It is a set of laws passed by congress in part to protect people’s medical privacy.


As you know we live by HIPAA in the USA. If you have a friend or family member in the hospital and they have not told the hospital you are allowed to get their results, you cannot get them. If you do get them, the hospital is hit with very large fines and the person who gave them instantly fired in most cases. Hospitals and outpatients have policies established that they implement to ensure they follow the HIPAA guidelines. It is the law.





What happens when a town’s leadership thinks they are above the law and have no concern for anyone’s privacy around you? What happens when there are no policies to protect patient’s rights at the health clinics performed by the town? 


Recently, in Hamilton, NJ, there was one food  handler who was diagnosed with Hepatitis A. The restaurant involved was dragged through the mud by the media and the township officials. This has created a large economic hardship for the restaurant. Is it no coincidence that the restaurant is owned by one of old Mayors of the same town. Being an observer of this behavior has been quite despicable for residents in the town. There were 35 people who contracted the enterovirus at restaurant in Princeton. The same media mayhem was not evident.


The township of Hamilton set up two hepatitis clinics to give everyone hepatitis A vaccines. We won’t go into how poorly this was all orchestrated, for that would need to be another column. However, I will share one tidbit. The Hamilton Township Health director was telling those of us who already had gotten the HepA vaccine in our lifetime, a vaccine that is good for life, to get a booster shot. However, there is no booster shot available. There is not one manufacturer of hepA vaccines that has ever created a booster. This information comes from the 2 manufactures of the vaccines (Merck and GSK), the CDC and a physician in Princeton. The vaccine is only effective if given within two weeks of first onset of symptoms by the host. The clinics were set up and the public was notified three weeks after that first magic day of symptom onset. When false information is given to the public it creates confusion and social unrest.


The media strolled into the hepatitis clinics with cameras, videocameras, etc and videoed and photographed all the people who attended the hepatitis clinic. Google this and you will find the video and photos. The people waiting in line were also videoed and photographed. I have always been taught from my 30 years of working in a hospital settings, NEVER photograph or video a patient, against HIPAA. Unless of course there is a release from the patient allowing this to happen. There were no releases signed by the patients who attended these recent clinics.

Several months ago there was a press conference for the unfortunate loss of a little boy in the same town from EVD68. The school nurse that attended a press conference and was on stage, left a file on the stage after the press conference. This file was picked up by the media and demonstrated the township files and medical information on children from the school. This nurse should never  have even been at the press conference. When this issue was brought to the attention of the towns leadership, there was no response.


Facilities, hospitals, clinics, outpatient centers all have policies that ban photography and video from being done in their establishments without written permission from the facility and the patients. I question why the town felt it was more important to photograph the mayor and all those who attended. The mayor has rights to her privacy as well. It’s her health record. Why does the township not have any policies that protect the rights of people who attend the clinics? This is quite disturbing. This will cause people to not use the clinics due to fear that their medical information will end up on the national news. 


One of the hepatitis clinics was performed at a local firehouse. Clearly, they have no policies about media involvement during healthcare clinics. There clearly needs to be optimization of the health clinics that the town is involved in. Recently, in October there was a flu clinic held at an event in Hamilton where the vaccines were not refrigerated. I also noticed in the media photos and video on the hepatitis clinic that there the vaccines were on the table. I did not see any coolers to keep the hepatitis vaccines that need to be kept at 36-46 degrees F. I can only hope they did not make that same mistake again. If so, then everyone like at the flu clinic will have to get the vaccines again.



The public’s medical privacy should never be ignored. Congress implemented laws in 1996 to protect the public. HIPAA is a law.  You are your own best advocate for privacy when it comes to ensuring the rules of HIPAA are being followed both inside and outside of the doctor’s office.  Only you can protect yourself, do not expect leadership to do it. 



Posted by tammyduffy at 7:04 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 16 December 2014 6:11 PM EST
Friday, 31 October 2014
Arlington Cemetery: An Education
Topic: REEALY?



Jeopardy the other night, the final question was 
"How many steps does the guard take during his 
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns?" 
All three contestants missed it! 

This  is really an awesome sight to watch if you've  never had the chance . 
Fascinating.  Tomb  of the Unknown Soldier

How many steps does the guard take during his 
walk across the tomb of the Unknowns 
and why?

alludes to the twenty-one gun salute which 
is the highest honor given anymilitary or foreign dignitary. 

How long does he hesitate after his about face 
to begin his return 
walk and why?

seconds for the same reason as answer number 

Why are his gloves wet?

gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his 
grip on the rifle.

Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all 
the time 
, if 
not, why not? 

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder. 

How often are the guards changed?

are changed every thirty minutes, 
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a 

What are the physical traits of the guard 
limited to? 


person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he 
must be 
between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and 
his waist size cannot exceed 30. 

must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, 
live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot 
drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of 
their lives. They cannot swear in public for the 
rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the 
uniform or the tomb in any way. 

two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that 
is worn on 
their lapel signifying they 
served as guard of the tomb. There are only 
400 presently worn. The guard must obey 
these rules for the rest of their 
lives or 
give up the wreath pin. 

shoes are specially made with very thick soles 
to keep the heat and cold from their feet. 
There are metal heel plates that extend to 
the top 
of the shoe in order to make the loud click as 
they come

to a halt. 

There are no 
wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards 
dress for duty 
in front of a full-length 

The first six months of duty a 
guard cannot talk to anyone nor 
watch TV. 
All off duty time is spent studying the 175 
notable people laid 
to rest in 
Arlington National Cemetery .
A guard must memorize who they are and where 
they are interred. Among the notables are: 

President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most 
decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.. 

2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was 
approaching Washington , 
DC , our 

US Senate/House took 2 days 
off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC 

evening news, it was reported that because of 
the dangers from the 
hurricane, the military 
members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb 
the Unknown Soldier were given permission 
to suspend the assignment. They 

respectfully declined the offer, "No
Sir!" Soaked to the skin, 
marching in the 
pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that 
the Tomb was not just an

it was the highest honor that can be 
to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled 

24/7, since 1930. 

Bless and keep them. 

We can be very proud of our men
and women in the service no matter where they serve.

God Bless America


I thank the friend who sent this to me....quite lovely! 


Posted by tammyduffy at 8:27 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 31 October 2014 8:27 PM EDT
Thursday, 30 October 2014
Barista's Duke It Out
Topic: REEALY?

Baristas Duke It Out




Café culture is bigger than ever and so are the attitudes of some coffee connoisseurs. As I waited in line to acquire my morning coffee, a sudden eruption of female shouting filled the coffee shop. A patron, who evidently was a barista, was yelling at the barista behind the counter accusing her of touching the inside of her cup. When the barista behind the counter handed the patron her coffee the patron said,” I will NOT drink that, you touched the inside of my cup. Make me a new one.” 


The barista was very annoyed and challenged the patron saying, “I did not, you are nuts.” The patron stood her ground and demanded a fresh cup.  The barista complied but not without additional glaring looks and comments.


Does the patron have a valid concern? Is she valid to have said,"Don’t touch the inside of the cup or give me a new one."


How many of us, as a matter of habit, actually pay any attention to a coffee shop's espresso machine of the staff each time we patronize? I'm guessing not many.

Even though every coffee  outlet has a legal obligation to observe certain hygiene regulations and standards of practice (which include the maintenance and cleaning of coffee machines), the ugly truth is there are operators out there who simply do not care about them - or worse, are ignorant of them. They allow their espresso machine to be caked in old milk and coffee residue - forgetting that, apart from its visual appeal, a clean machine also improves the taste of the coffee that comes out of it. Do you watch to see how they are handling the cups. Are they sticking their fingers inside the cups?

So, to help minimize your chances of getting served a bad-tasting, or bacteria-infested cup of coffee the next time you pop into a co
ffee shop, I'm going to share with you a few things you should look out for before placing your order.

1. The steam wand. This is that part of the espresso machine used to steam milk.  Steam wands should be shiny and clean at all times. Observe; does the barista immediately and properly wipe/clean the wand after each use?
He or she should, before the milk dries up and hardens. The build-up of caked milk quickly harbors bacteria which will in turn infect the milk used to make subsequent beverages which, in all likelihood, could well be yours.  In making coffee beverages, milk is usually heated to 65°C-70°C which isn't hot enough to kill bacteria; so beware.


Another thing to note with regards steam wands is this: has its steel coating worn off, exposing the copper underneath? If so, best go elsewhere for your caffeine fix because ingesting copper - bacteria or not - is a health risk in itself.


2. The cloth used to wipe/clean the steam wand should be dedicated solely for this purpose and nothing else. A good barista will always wash, rinse and change the cloth regularly during the course of the day to ensure that it stays clean and doesn't smell. When you walk into a coffee shop, spend a fleeting moment - for instance, when you're browsing through the menu or checking out the cakes on display - to give the cloth a once-over (it's invariably placed next to the espresso machine). If it's dirty or soiled, it shows that the barista hasn't been washing or changing it as regularly as they should, if at all. Just like a dirty steam wand, an unclean piece of cloth soaked with old milk and coffee residue can harbor bacteria. Likewise, a ragged piece of cloth is a sure-fire sign of lackadaisical housekeeping. Time to decide if you should stay or take your leave.

3. The portafilter(or coffee basket; see next picture) refers to that part of an espresso machine that holds a tamped puck of coffee grounds through which hot water is injected to produce an espresso. Now, I know it's not always easy to try and catch a glimpse of the portafilters from your vantage point in front of the counter. But try to move around it and watch the barista in action; they should be cleaning the coffee baskets by either flushing or wiping them after each use to remove the coffee residue left over from preparing the previous cup. Failure to do this will almost certainly result in rancid espressos. It also reflects poorly on the barista.

Having shared with you the things to look out for the next time you visit a coffee shop, I should also add that there's really no need for anyone to become paranoid about coffee shop hygiene after reading this. If the place is busy, some degree of untidiness can be expected as the barista rushes through the orders.

But tidiness is one thing and hygiene quite another. Generally speaking, so long as both the steam wand and the cloth used to wipe it are kept clean, and the barista cleans out the coffee baskets after each espresso shot, there's really no reason for y
ou to fear being served a bad cup - unless of course the coffee is of poor quality and the barista so unskilled. The good news is most operators do observe these standards of practice; it's just those few bad apples who do not that give the decent ones a bad name. But, hey, who's to say you won't innocently find yourself in one of these bad-apple shops one day?

Posted by tammyduffy at 7:22 PM EDT
Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Topic: REEALY?


Staying Safe As We Age

By Tammy Duffy 

In many communities there are many people who live alone. In Hamilton Township. NJ, the Police Department instituted a program known as “Operation Reassurance”.

To take advantage of this program you must live alone and have a telephone.   Upon signing up for this program, you are then required to call the Hamilton Police Division at a special phone number to inform them that all is well. You must make this phone call to them each day Monday thru Sunday, between 8:00am and 9:00am. If your call is not received by 9:30am, the police will call you. If there is no answer, the desk officer will dispatch a police car to your residence to see if everything is alright.  The intention of this program is to make sure that people living alone will have personal contact each day with someone to make sure all is well. We are interested in your welfare and are here to help.

This always seemed like a great program  to me, until this evening.  I attended a neighborhood watch meeting and we were all reminded of the existence of this program.  They were looking for volunteers to make the phone calls. 

There was an older gentleman who attended the meeting and said,” This could be a great way to find a single older woman to date.  How can I sign up to make the phone calls to check up on them and find a date.”

At first some of us giggled at his outburst for he was an older gentleman. However, after a few moments I no longer found it funny and thought, “Wait a minute, this could be a perfect avenue for some nut job to find where are all the helpless older people and people living alone in a town are and target them.”  These volunteers are given the personal home numbers of these people living alone who sign up for the program.  I wondered what kind of background check the township does on the volunteers making the phone.

We live in a very different world today. One cannot be too careful or too aware of their surroundings and those we interact with. As your family members and friends  age and they consider signing up for these “alert” services, one must be  sure to thoroughly investigate the program. Understand who has control of your data, is the database on a secure network that cannot be hacked, have the people  at the companies selling the services had extensive background checks to ensure that they are appropriate to have your data or if its an organization using volunteers, have all of the volunteers had background checks.

Don’t assume it’s a safe program because it’s being run by a police department. Sometimes the simplest things can be overlooked, opening a door for a criminal to know you are alone. Do your own background check on these services and stay safe. 

Posted by tammyduffy at 9:23 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 29 October 2014 9:38 PM EDT

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