Cookie Recipes

Per a request from Seesmic viewers, here are two I mean three of my favorite cookie recipes:

Chocolate Mint Wafers Makes about 3 dozen

Peppermint oil is very potent, so use only two to three drops, depending on how strong you want the filling to be. You can substitute peppermint extract, which is available at grocery stores. When preparing the ganache, be sure to chop the chocolate very finely so that it will melt with ease.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup cocoa powder
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
¼ cup heavy cream
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 – 3 drops peppermint oil (or 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract)

1. Make the cookies: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar until completely smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg, and continue mixing until well combined. In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and flour. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture, and continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl down, until just combined. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a small disc; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. (The dough can also be made a day ahead and refrigerated overnight.)

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with Silpat nonstick baking mats or parchment paper. Lightly sprinkle a clean work surface with confectioners’ sugar. Place the chilled dough on the work surface. Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick. (Save the scraps to refrigerate and roll out again.) Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out the cookies, and place on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2 inch apart. You should be able to fit about 35 cookies on a baking sheet. Bake until you can smell the chocolate, about 12 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool.

3. Meanwhile, make the ganache: In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil over medium–high heat. Very finely chop 6 ounces of chocolate, and add to hot cream. Stir with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Add peppermint oil. Let cool slightly, about 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Transfer ganache to a pastry bag fitted with a #11 tip. Pipe out quarter–size amounts of chocolate, about 1 teaspoon each, onto the center of half the cooled wafers. Top with the remaining wafers. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 10 minutes.

5. Melt remaining chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium heat. Let cool slightly. Dip one side of the cookie sandwich to coat. Remove excess chocolate by scraping the cookie against the side of the bowl. Return to the refrigerator until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes.

White Chocolate Cherry Chunkies

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
Show: Paula’s Home Cooking
Episode: Holiday Show
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1/2 cup candied cherries
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Set aside.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt. Add milk to the butter mixture and then add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Batter should be stiff.

In another bowl, combine nuts, cherries, and white chocolate. Then add to batter, stirring only to blend. Drop by heaping tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake for approximately 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

JUST ADDED!!!

chocolate-covered coconut macaroons

from the epicurious.com site

The combination of chocolate and coconut makes for a luscious treat.

Servings: Makes about 12.
subscribe to Bon Appétit
Ingredients
3 cups (lightly packed) sweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup egg whites (about 6 large)
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

9 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Preparation
Mix first 3 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture appears somewhat pasty, stirring constantly, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/4 teaspoon almond extract. Spread out coconut mixture on large baking sheet. Refrigerate until cold, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line another baking sheet with parchment. Press 1/4 cup coconut mixture into pyramid shape (about 1 1/2 inches high). Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining coconut mixture. Bake cookies until golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and cool.

Set cookies on rack over rimmed baking sheet. Stir chocolate and cream in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Mix in remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spoon glaze over cookies, covering almost completely and allowing chocolate to drip down sides. Refrigerate until glaze sets, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Transfer cookies to airtight container and keep refrigerated.)

Legal Precedent Set for Web Accessibility

508 accessibility is now starting to be taken quite seriously…and legally. The internet is very young in the big scheme of things, but I hope that it will not take a hundred years before it is equally usable and utilized by everyone. Our society is richer, wiser and more interesting now that we are embracing the input and participation of our traditionally under served and disenfranchised citizens.

Lets not make the same mistake for the web and its netizens.

LEGAL PRECEDENT SET FOR WEB ACCESSIBILITY
Federal Court Issues Landmark Decision Certifying Nationwide Class Action Against Target Corporation to Make its Web Site Accessible to the Blind

San Francisco, California (October 2, 2007): A federal district court judge issued two landmark decisions today in a nationwide class action against Target Corporation. First, the court certified the case as a class action on behalf of blind Internet users throughout the country under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Second, the court held that Web sites such as target.com are required by California law to be accessible.

The President of the National Federation of the Blind, Dr. Marc Maurer, commented on the court’s ruling: “This is a tremendous step forward for blind people throughout the country who for too long have been denied equal access to the Internet economy. All e-commerce businesses should take note of this decision and immediately take steps to open their doors to the blind.”

Larry Paradis of Disability Rights Advocates, one of the lead counsel for the class, commented on the court’s decision: “Target Corporation has led a battle against blind consumers in a key area of modern life: the Internet economy. The court’s decision today makes clear that people with disabilities no longer can be treated as second-class citizens in any sphere of mainstream life. This ruling will benefit hundreds of thousands of Americans with disabilities.”

The ruling was issued in a case brought by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). The suit charges that Target failed and refused to make its Web site (www.target.com) accessible to the blind and, therefore, violated the ADA as well as two California civil rights statutes: the California Unruh Civil Rights Act and the California Disabled Persons Act.

The court granted the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a nationwide class under the ADA for injunctive relief. The court also granted the plaintiffs’ motion to certify a California subclass for both injunctive relief and statutory minimum damages. The court denied Target’s motion for summary judgment.

The court certified, as counsel for the class, the following law firms: Disability Rights Advocates (www.dralegal.org), a Berkeley-based nonprofit law firm that specializes in high-impact cases on behalf of people with disabilities; Brown, Goldstein & Levy (www.browngold.com), a leading civil rights law firm in Baltimore, Maryland; Schneider & Wallace (www.schneiderwallace.com), a national plaintiffs’ class action and civil rights law firm based in San Francisco, California; and Peter Blanck, chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute and university professor at Syracuse University (www.bbi.syr.edu).

Dan Goldstein of Brown, Goldstein & Levy noted that: “The blind of America seek only the same rights and opportunities as others take for granted. This case should be a wake-up call to all businesses that their services must be accessible to all.”

Josh Konecky of Schneider & Wallace also noted: “This has been a hard-fought case addressing fundamental issues of access and equality. The judge’s decision today is a great step forward.”

Original Article at http://www.dralegal.org/cases/private_business/nfb_v_target.php

Dyslexia and the Challenge of Using Today's Technology

This article is on the Learning Disabilities Online site at www.ldonline.org.
Although it is written for people who have dyslexia, the problems and solutions are great suggestions for everyone.

Dyslexia and the Challenge of Using Today’s Technology

By: Dale S. Brown (2005)

Technology is a miracle for many people with dyslexia. Word processing enables dyslexic people to write. Computer software and reading machines turn the written word into spoken language, enabling many of us to “read.” We use cell phones to get directions and tell people we will be late. Small tape recorders allow us to record our thoughts during the day, a great substitute for taking notes. Telephones can be programmed to remember and dial phone numbers at the click of a key, relieving us of a major memory chore.

Nina Ghiselli, Psy.D., a psychologist in Hayward, California, finds that Power Point keeps her presentations on track, allows her to express herself in pictures and words, and cues her as to what to say next. She uses her favorite computer software to organize her outlines for class. She says that online bill pay saved her life and her credit.

Patrick Costello, a trial attorney in New York explained, “With dyslexia, your organization has to be superior. The computer permits that. You can put everything in the computer, your personal memos, notes, and all the material. You don’t have to write anything down. Litigation is lots and lots of paper. And it’s all right there. You just print it out.” Bill Butler, from Arizona, uses a data bank wristwatch, which keeps his phone numbers, reminds him of appointments, and much more.

Unfortunately, in order to access these devices, we have to actually learn and program them. The “keys” to our information are strings of numbers called “passwords” that we must remember. Technology can create challenges for some of us. This article will explain how people with dyslexia overcome these barriers.

Problems with modern life are listed followed by solutions. Each solution has worked for one or more (and usually many more) people with dyslexia or learning disabilities. They are not offered as techniques that work for everybody. Remember, each person with dyslexia has different abilities and disabilities. So be prepared to experiment with these ideas and to create your own.
Problem:

“I’m glad the pass code protects my account from criminals. Unfortunately, they also protect my accounts from me! I can never remember the pass codes!”
Solutions:

* Use digits, symbols, and numbers in a sequence that you can remember. For example, I might use *IDA* as a pass code, IDA stands or International Dyslexia Association. The stars on each side are there because I think IDA is a “star” organization.
* Use number positions on the keypad to develop your password. For example 1,4,7,8,9 makes the letter “L.” You can also spell a word using the telephone keypad.
* Use a sequence of numbers and letters that are already memorized, such as your childhood address or a former locker combination.
* Although it is a security risk, some people use one pass code for everything.
* Make a list of all of your pass codes and find a creative, unusual place to hide it. One person hides it in his computer where he says no search engine will find it. Another person put it in a safe.

Problem:

“I keep hearing how great all this technology is. Well, that assumes you can figure out how to use it. Not a correct assumption!”
Solutions:

* Cultivate friends who are computer savvy and network with them. When Bill Bufton, a well-known professional in the field of corrections and a black-belt in karate, comes across a computer problem, he says. “I call my geeks. When they come across a human dynamics problem, they call me.”
* Find people who can simplify as they teach. Several people had to go through two or more tutors before finding one that was able to work with them. Bill explains that he needs to be spoon-fed information. “I call them and say, ‘I can’t work my digital camera.’ And they say, ‘OK, you know that button on top.’ They wait til I find the button and say, ‘OK, press it. That turns it on.'”
* Practice what you have learned until it is in your automatic memory.
* Obtain written or recorded instructions that are clear. For example, Angela Steffens from Alameda, California found that her teacher needed to say “Push the control button.” to clarify that she wasn’t supposed to type the word “Control.”
* Obtain or develop cheat sheets that list the commands.
* “Play” with the computer. Experiment. Try things.

Problem:

“Look, I can use the computer. I can type. I can read. But no matter what anyone says, it still takes too long to get anything done.”
Solutions:

* Remove unneeded icons and toolbars on your desktop and your screens to minimize visual clutter.
* Experiment with different keyboards and mouses and find one that works. Some people find track ball mouses help them control the cursor. Angela found a touch screen mouse helped her. She appreciated separating the buttons that click from the mouse that moves.
* Empty your e-mail in box daily, so that you have less visual clutter.
* Use the “Save” button constantly so that you don’t accidentally erase your work. Back up your data constantly.

Problem:

“My e-mails have typos and are ungrammatical. My boss keeps telling me they are unprofessional and unacceptable for our organization.”
Solutions:

* Use the phone if possible.
* Use spell check for your e-mails.
* Type your e-mails in your word processor using a large font. Print and review them. Then paste them in the e-mail using a regular size font. Send the e-mail.
* Type your e-mails. Put them in your drafts folder. Then print them out the next day and review them. Make necessary changes before sending. Some people put the ones with a lot of changes back in their folder for another review the next day.
* Ask someone else to review the important ones before you send them. Be particularly careful with e-mails that represent your organization and go to a large group.

Problem:

“I can’t remember where I put my data in the computer. Once it is filed and off my screen, it seems gone forever.”
Solutions:

* Use the “find” or “search” functions. Each software package handles them differently. Usually, you type a phrase from your document into a box and the computer will search for it.
* Use names for your folders that you can easily remember.

As you work on improving your technical skills, you will need to make decisions about software and equipment. Be sure equipment is tough and can survive the rigors of your use. Can you see the letters on the screen? Can you press one button without accidentally pressing two buttons? Does the contrast between the letters and the screen work for you and if not, can you change it?

The High Cost of Gun Violence

If someone is shot, obviously there are emotional costs to the family, friends and community. There are additional costs explained well in this article from the East Bay Express.

The High Cost of Gun Violence
There’s nothing cheap about getting shot. Just ask the people who see the carnage at Highland Hospital’s trauma center.

By Matthew Green

On a Sunday afternoon in June of 2006, a young man we’ll call Michael Robinson was shot six times on a street in his West Oakland neighborhood. Paramedics rushed the bleeding seventeen-year-old to Highland Hospital’s trauma center, where a medical team treated his wounded legs, arms, and abdomen. Although they stopped his bleeding quickly, and the bullets just missed his major organs, Robinson still needed multiple surgeries. Like approximately 95 percent of the patients treated for violent injuries at Highland Hospital, he had no health insurance.

By the time Robinson left the hospital nine days later, he had racked up a $75,000 bill. In addition to the three emergency medical technicians who kept him alive on the way to the hospital, he required a team of nearly twenty staff members, including a respiratory therapist, an anesthesiologist, two nurses, four surgeons, and several lab and radiology technicians.

Following his stay, Robinson received a bill for his hospital care, but he couldn’t pay it. Instead, California taxpayers covered most of it through MediCal, the state’s health insurance program for low-income residents. That is often the case with medical bills accrued by the victims of violence, a majority of whom are less than thirty years old and have low incomes.

“Usually MediCal will cover all or most of it,” said Nic Bekaert, Highland Hospital’s community injury prevention coordinator, who helps such patients figure out how to cover their jaw-dropping bills and avoid falling into debt. “But a lot of them do carry around these bills for whatever reason. Typically they don’t do much about it, so it goes through collections and stays with them for a while.”

Patients who aren’t eligible for MediCal or can’t receive help from California’s victim compensation program are expected to pay for their care out of pocket. But that rarely happens. Instead, trauma centers like Highland end up eating the costs of such care. And the last few years have been undeniably expensive for Highland’s trauma center and emergency room.

As Oakland’s murder rate spiked in the past three years, it has been accompanied by a corresponding increase in violent injuries, car crashes, and other nonviolent trauma, which often tend to mirror violence trends. In 2007, Highland’s trauma center treated 2,337 patients, more than 40 percent of whom were victims of violence. Treating them alone cost the hospital about $33 million, Bekaert said, and that may be a lowball figure, because Highland typically underbills its patients. It also doesn’t include the millions more spent treating the scores of less severe violent injuries that bypassed trauma and were handled directly in the emergency room. Nearly half of those trauma patients had been shot, the rest stabbed or assaulted.

As callous as it may seem to be equating lives with dollars, the financial costs of gun violence are clearly staggering. The last comprehensive national report was released in 1999 by the Journal of the American Medical Association. Using records and costs from 1994, it reported that 134,445 gunshot injuries produced $2.3 billion in lifetime medical costs, of which $1.1 billion was paid by taxpayers. When financial considerations such as lost productivity are factored into the equation, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence has estimated that taxpayers shoulder about 85 percent of the costs of gun violence.

Indeed, the increased rates of violence in some cities, along with the rising costs of health care, pose a major financial challenge to public hospitals. Andres Soto, Alameda County’s violence prevention coordinator, noted that the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles closed down its trauma center in 2004 partly due to the costs of treating gunshot victims from the city’s South Central neighborhood.

Shootings and violent crime have an enormous price tag by any measure. But while the price of treating victims — not to mention the associated law enforcement and incarceration costs — continually skyrocket, advocates complain that violence-prevention efforts are consistently underfunded. “I don’t know what moves people,” said Dr. Rachel Steinhert, an emergency physician at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center. “To me, it seems crazy that there isn’t more of a movement. It’s clearly preventable … I’m not sure if the public cares.”

If society isn’t motivated to invest in violence-prevention out of concern for the well-being of crime victims, advocates hope that perhaps it can be motivated to do so by understanding the explosive costs of treating the victims of violence.

Highland Hospital’s trauma center is much smaller than one might expect given the volume, and high drama, of patients who come through here. Located just off the main lobby of the massive county institution, the trauma ward is next to the emergency room and consists of two modest-sized rooms. Both were empty on a recent afternoon, when the calm of the place made it hard to imagine a flurry of medical personnel frantically trying to keep a wounded teenager alive.

Paramedics typically decide if a patient’s condition is serious enough to merit trauma activation. Less life-threatening cases, violence-related or otherwise, are generally taken to the emergency room, which treats about 40,000 patients annually. If, for instance, someone is grazed by a bullet but not in need of immediate intervention, they’ll go to the ER, a generally less costly destination.

Trauma itself is a relatively new form of medicine. Federal law requires access to local trauma centers, and any injury deemed a trauma by paramedics must be treated there. As Northern Alameda County’s only such center, all trauma injuries in the region go through Highland regardless of the patient’s economic status. Among the 2,337 people treated last year, violent injury accounted for 40 percent of visits, followed by car crashes, and then falls. “We’re the end of the line,” said Bekaert, a hint of pride in his voice. “If you get seriously injured, you go to Highland. If it’s anything else, you want to go anywhere else.”

Trauma doctors say the average cost of treating a gunshot wound is $40,000, although some professionals assert that the tab is more than double that, Bekaert said. Individual patients’ bills ranged from $1,000 to $1.5 million last year, he added.

“You can easily see how the manpower and resources quickly add up,” said Dr. Gregory Victorino, Highland’s chief trauma surgeon. But in the heat of trying to save a life, such financial factors are irrelevant, he added. “Resources and time don’t enter into my mind,” said Victorino, one of nine Highland trauma surgeons. “Initially, it doesn’t matter why they’re here. We’re just trying to take care of them the best we can and save their life.”

The resources, medical talent, and heroics poured into saving a life are at times staggering — particularly considering the simplicity of the actions that usually inflict the damage.

Even a patient with no pulse upon arrival at the hospital can rack up a costly bill. Until all medical conditions defining death are met, he will continue to receive CPR in the trauma room. “The trauma team cannot make a determination of whether a patient is Do Not Resuscitate, so they do everything they can to save the patient’s life, regardless of any other information they have,” Bekaert said. “Naturally, there is no determination of an intervention being too costly to proceed. Everything is done, no questions asked.”

Bekaert remembered the case of one fifteen-year-old boy who came in with a gunshot wound to his neck. “They did everything they could, including cracking his chest open with essentially a hammer and chisel … and hand-pumping his heart,” Bekaert said. “Miraculously, after losing his entire blood volume and several trips to the operating room, he survived. Unfortunately, they didn’t know his spinal cord was severed, rendering him not only quadriplegic but with ‘locked-in syndrome’ [in which a patient can only blink]. However, had they known this would be the outcome earlier, they still would have done everything they could to save him.”

As the manager of Highland’s youth violence-prevention program, Bekaert knows at any given time who’s in the ER and the trauma center. His days are often spent running laps around the hospital’s sterile halls meeting new, blood-stained patients. During a rare, brief respite, he retreated to his tiny office in a deserted back hallway and took a moment to describe the hospital’s $1.5 million patient.

The 25-year-old gunshot victim, who was part of the contingent that Bekaert refers to as the “high rollers,” received multiple surgeries and was in Highland for 193 days. Some of the costs contributing to his bill included approximately $12,000 for use of the trauma room, $6,000 for single use of the operating room, $1,500 a day for ventilator use, and $9,000 a day for the intensive care unit room.

“Add to that meds, procedures, equipment, labs, transfusions, x-rays, and CAT scans, which all vary from a few bucks to several thousand,” Bekaert said. The potential need for medications, ongoing nursing, and post-traumatic stress therapy also should be factored in, he noted. “Some drugs, for example, vary from pennies to $10,000 a single dose.” If the patient were a quadriplegic the rest of his life, Bekaert suggested, “over his lifetime, we’re talking many millions of dollars for just one person.”

As an advocate for his patients, Bekaert says it’s often a major challenge finding the funding to pay their bills and avoid sending them back out on the streets prematurely. It’s a process of constant jockeying with both the hospital and public insurance funders. He added that Highland’s doctors often feel pressure to keep the turnover flowing.

“No one wants to pay for these kids,” he said. “We still operate under these concepts of the deserving poor and the undeserving poor. It’s one thing if you’re a poor child and minding your own business and get shot, but if you’ve got tattoos and a possible gang affiliation, somehow you’re less worthy as a human being.”

Dr. Victorino often worries about what will happen to patients once they get back out on the street. His greatest fear is that he will see them again on the operating table. Since January alone, 170 youths aged twenty and younger have been admitted to Highland’s trauma center or emergency room for violent injuries. Eighteen — more than 10 percent — were repeat patients and five have come back more than twice. One kid, who was treated by the trauma team for a gunshot wound at the end of April, was shot on the street five days later and pronounced dead at the scene.

Dr. Steinhart, the ER physician at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center, notes that gun violence disproportionately affects young people. She cited one recent study that showed if you can just get some of these kids through their mid-twenties, they’re not that violent anymore.

Homicide is the leading cause of death in Oakland for males aged fifteen to 24. According to Highland’s Trauma Log, 470 youths ages fourteen to twenty were treated for violent injuries at the hospital last year. The number went down a bit from 2006, the city’s bloodiest year in over a decade, but was almost double 2003’s rate. Of those treated by the trauma team, more than 70 percent had gunshot wounds and 45 percent were under eighteen. The large majority were black males from Oakland.

“We’re completely numb to the reality of this situation,” said Bekaert, who’s worked in and around the hospital for the past nine years. “The term used is epidemic. It’s of absolutely epic and unimaginable proportions. Usually, when something that epic occurs in society, the public is up in arms and something gets done. But really, we’ve been living with this crisis for so long, it’s become socially acceptable — part of the fabric.”

In light of the explosive medical expenses, Bekaert and many colleagues insist that violence-prevention programs are a very wise investment, both financially and humanely. A former employee of the Oakland nonprofit Youth Alive, he still works closely with the organization’s Caught in the Crossfire program, which uses peer-based intervention to prevent the common occurrence of violently injured youth retaliating against their assailants. When a young patient is admitted to the hospital, Bekaert makes a referral and a caseworker from the program shows up within an hour at the bedside.

Such was the case with Michael Robinson, the seventeen-year-old with the $75,000 tab. Soon after a phone call from Bekaert, Emilio Mena of Caught in the Crossfire introduced himself to the stitched-up young man in his small room at Highland. Like the program’s other caseworkers — known as Intervention Specialists — Mena, a former gangbanger, is a product of the streets and has experienced his own share of violence. The program is completely voluntary, but once it’s made clear that there’s no connection to the law, most patients gladly accept the services. Mena frequently checked in with Robinson after he left the hospital, getting him on MediCal and helping him finish up school. Robinson also got hooked up fixing air conditioners in another local hospital, a job he still holds.

On average, the program, which also operates in Los Angeles, provides services to approximately 120 Oakland youths per year. Since its inception in 1994, it’s worked with more than 1,000 violently injured youths. Among them, 98 percent avoided violent reinjury and not a single participant has retaliated, according to the program’s web site. A 2007 study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons compared youth in Caught in the Crossfire with violently injured youth not in the program and found that one year after the injury, participants were 70 percent less likely to be arrested than their peers.

The cost of the program per youth is around $3,500, which isn’t too bad compared to the $40,000 average cost of treating a gunshot wound or the nearly $100,000 annual cost of keeping someone behind bars in the California Youth Authority.

For Bekaert, the bottom line is that public funding is finite and resources could be focused on other medical needs if the rate of violence dramatically dropped. “That’s money that could go elsewhere,” he said. “If you prevent that, that’s money well spent.”

Dr. Victorino notes the absurdity of the situation, a public-health crisis that many medical professionals have deemed a disease, yet which is so seemingly preventable compared to, say, cancer. “I think the hospital provides a wonderful service for people in the community,” he said. “But on a particular Friday or Saturday night I say, ‘God, when is this going to stop, when are we going to do something? … We need a trauma center, but we don’t need to be taking care of all these kids.

“I knew what I was getting into when I did my training here eight years ago. … But I look at these young fifteen- and sixteen-year-olds. This is something that we as a society should be able to prevent. This is a waste of human life.”

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/news/the_high_cost_of_gun_violence/Content?oid=742997