Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

August 12, 2008


Host: Ted Simons

Public Health Update


  • school is back in session and we discuss the importance of immunizations. We also examine this summer's public health issues, including pool health safety and salmonella with Maricopa County Department of Public Health Nursing Administrator Machrina Leach.
Guests:
  • Frank Neville - Associate Vice President of Communication and Outreach, Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Machrina Leach - Nursing Administrator Maricopa County Department of Public Health
  • Teresa Welborn - Public Involvement Director Arizona Department of Transportation
Category: Medical/Health

View Transcript
Ted Simons
>>> Tonight on "Horizon" the potential political and economic impact of the Olympics on China.

Ted Simons
>>> Plus, a public health update on immunizations, swimming pool safety, and salmonella in food.

Ted Simons
>>> And we continue our series on small town challenges with a look at the big road project in Sedona. Those stories coming up next on "Horizon".

Ted Simons
>>> Good evening. Welcome to Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. Ethics complaints against Senator Jack Harper have been dismissed. A senate ethics committee today took up the issue. Harper was accused with breaking senate rules on June 27th, the last day of the legislative session. Harper turned off democrats' microphones, ending a filibuster and enabling lawmakers to vote on the same-sex marriage ban.

Ted Simons
>>> The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games are in their fifth day. The games cost the host country $43 billion. That's up from 15 billion spent by Greece in 2004. Some of that money was clearly spent for the opening ceremony as China made quite an impression on the world. Unfortunately, the construction of the Olympic facilities forced thousands of Beijing residents to move elsewhere. Joining us to discuss the political and economic impact of the games on China is Frank Neville, a thunderbird associate vice president of communication and outreach for the Thunderbird School of Global Management. Thank you for joining us on Horizon.

Frank Neville
>> Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

Ted Simons
>> The political impact of the Olympics on China. Give us an overview.

Frank Neville
>> Well, I think the Chinese government would like to see the political impact in two areas. One is bolstering their domestic legitimacy and creditability with the Chinese public. Internationally, they want the Olympics to serve as sort of a coming out as China reemergence.

Ted Simons
>> The opening ceremony impressive and in some ways rather daunting. I was watching them and say, wow, I think I'm seeing the world here. Could that be a mass mobilization of the world?

Frank Neville
>> I think you saw the strengths of China. The power of the population and creative minds and Mo the movie producer that was behind it. This really shows China's tremendous need to put its best foot forward and show its best face to the world.



Ted Simons
>> Is that image of mass mobilization to a degree, is it a good thing for China politically, you know, in talking to the outside world in response?

Frank Neville
>> I think mass mobilization, their ability to mobilize the masses have been probably reduced over the past couple of decades. If you think about the Cultural Revolution and Great League Forward, mass mobilization has been part of their tool kit. They have probably less leverage than they used to have in that area. But for Olympics where Chinese national pride is at stake, certainly the average citizen is willing to step up and do their part.

Ted Simons
>> How much did one crazy person committing a murder in China at Beijing at a tourist site, how much did that hurt China's image?

Frank Neville
>> We'll see going forward. I think you can look at the tourist figures and see what the impact might be. This was not something who was watching the situation would have expected. If you look at the risk factors going into the Olympics and I have seen some of the documents, this wasn't any where near the top or, you know, in the middle. It was not something anybody expected.

Ted Simons
>> That being said in terms of political, you know, speak here, in terms of real politics, if you will, how much does that affect China in the games?

Frank Neville
>> We'll see from the tourist figures in the months going forward. They want to present an image of China has a powerful, worldly, cosmopolitan, interesting, dynamic place. And this puts a big or potentially puts a big puncture hole in that.

Ted Simons
>> In terms of the winners--these are the Olympic Games after all, in terms of who gets the gold medal, the government, the communist leaders or those pushing for more reforms or more freedoms.

Frank Neville
>>I think if the games go off without any major glitch, then the government gets the credit. Their legitimacy is not tied up with being popularly elected. There's public goods in defending China's interest globally. If they show they can pull off the Olympics and impress everyone around the world, then they will get, I think, a considerable boost to their domestic creditability.

Ted Simons
>> Does that hurt those who are pushing for more freedoms inside the country?

Frank Neville
>> Not necessarily. Not necessarily. I think pushing for freedoms comes in various forms. Right now it comes in the social economics sphere. The political sphere is controlled and I don't see that changing because it comes to the survival of the regime. This government has given the ability to affect them in political areas.

Ted Simons
>> Economic impact of the games in China on China, talk to us about it.
Frank Neville
>> Well, number one the infrastructure investment that went into the games is considerable. I think 40 billion is the number that's being kicked around. You would expect that infrastructure is going to have a positive spillover effect into the economy for months, years to come. And certainly anybody who has been to Beijing recently and I have and who has been snarled in the traffic that's created by virtue of all the construction, knows that just ending the construction will probably increase economic activities. That's number one. Also we have to remember we have the World Expo and we have Asian games coming up. So this is part of a sort of national effort to build infrastructure in some of the big cities that I think is going to really stimulate economic activity.

Ted Simons
>> Last question, could the Olympics stir up too much nationalism in China? Could that become a problem with the pride that goes along with staging what may well be very successful series of games?

Frank Neville
>> I think that's really a danger. And, you know, the Chinese government stokes nationalism when it sees it to be in their interest. In of the past five or six years they started to realize that's not always necessarily a good thing and that they have to manage that a little more. In China it's called riding the tiger. You get on the tiger's back and sometimes it's hard to jump off. That can certainly be the case with Chinese nationalism. Nationalism was not created for the Olympics. It predates it. And I don't think we necessarily are seeing the peak of Chinese nationalism right now. I think we saw it several years ago. Now the danger I think it comes in if the Chinese feel proud about what happened at the Olympics and people outside of China don't see it quite that way. Then you're going to see the Chinese people being resentful and then you could see a problem.

Ted Simons
>> Frank, thank you for joining us.

Frank Neville
>> My pleasure.

Ted Simons
>>> School is back in session and public health officials are stressing the importance of immunizations. Also in public health news this summer two big issues: the safety of public swimming pools and salmonella found in jalapeņo peppers. Here with more on the public health front is Maricopa County Department of Public Health Nursing Administrator Machrina Leach. Good to have you on the program. Thanks for joining us.

Machrina Leach
>> Thanks for having me.

Ted Simons
>> The importance of immunization for school kids, talk about it.

Machrina Leach
>> School vaccines to attend school are required. Parents can actually opt out if they want to for personal for religious or medical believes. 99\% of children do receive vaccines to attend school. This year there were new ones for sixth grade, which was tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis and meningitis vaccine.

Ted Simons
>> There seems to be concern over vaccination, do you get that anymore?

Machrina Leach
>> We don't routinely get that. We have a low rate of personal belief exemptions. We get phone calls occasionally and we welcome them because it gives us opportunities to direct parents to immunization sites whether websites or books where they can get both sides and make an informed decision.

Ted Simons
>> Let's get about the latest on the salmonella outbreak, what do you have for us?

Machrina Leach
>> They found that the jalapeņo peppers grown in Mexico did have the same strain of salmonella found. The advisory is not to eat those. The other foods are safe. You want to be careful with produce and make sure to wash it. If you have produce with broken skin or broken in anyway, you don't want to purchase it. By cooking the peppers, you will get rid of anything.

Ted Simons
>> Interesting. As far as lessons learned from this, I mean, were there lessons learned or is this just simply an outbreak that occurred this summer?

Machrina Leach
>> When comes to outbreak it's something that occurred this summer. I think people will hear about food recalls in the past and probably hear about them in the future. I think it's probably a good education. That's a probability. You want to wash your foods very well all fruits and vegetables and have safe food habits. Prepare your meat and chicken on different cutting boards than the fruits and vegetables and make sure your produce is good when you buy them at the stores. There will probably be contamination in food products in the future as in the past.

Ted Simons
>> Were the jalapeņos mostly or as oppose today Serrano peppers.

Machrina Leach
>> It's time consuming. I can't remember what I ate yesterday. Let alone did you have salsa, what did you eat?

Ted Simons
>> Before we move from this, how many people in Maricopa County were affected?

Machrina Leach
>> 18 to date.

Ted Simons
>> 18.

Machrina Leach
>> Uh-huh. That's into the large number when Maricopa County has 4 million residents and proximity to Mexico and probably like me their love of salsa and things that have peppers in it. Salmonella is a self-limiting gi disease. You get diarrhea, some nausea and vomiting and fever and resolves itself in five to seven days and folks don't seek treatment. Is it a true measure or not? There's a lot of bugs that causes diarrhea.
Ted Simons
>> We have had public swimming pools with problems. Talk about this with us. Is this something always in the swimming pools and we just found out about it? Could it happen next year?

Machrina Leach
>> It's probably something that's always been in the swimming pools. Cryptosporidium. It's a strong bug. Chlorine will not kill it. It will survive in chlorine. If when you think about diarrhea and probably an unpopular topic and a lot of kids at any given moment will have diarrhea. When you have kids in pools with diarrhea for mild they will contaminate it. The kids are if the pools and slashing around and their mouths are opened and the water gets in their mouth and they swallow. You may be get ill. It's a mild diarrhea and okay in healthy children.

Ted Simons
>> Unless you get folks sick going to doctors and health people and say, hey, my kid is sick. I think it might have been the pools. The same levels could have been there before and again and no one knows about it.

Machrina Leach
>> That's the part of surveillance that can be exciting for people. A disease is reported and you do the interview and, okay, it's in a pool and find it's happening in a pool. You interview a few other folks and find out they were at the same pool. It's fascinating when you find, ah-ha, I found it. It's probably been around in pools for a long time. We didn't have the group that went to the same pool, go to the doctor and get tested. It fell together.

Ted Simons
>> Next year if somebody gets sick we will not see Tempe scrubbing down the water parks?

Machrina Leach
>> They went above and beyond what is recommended to clean the pools and hyper chlorinate them. They did a really great job. Part of our job in the department of public health is provide the education to the families about okay, the city's are doing what they need to do. If you have a child with diarrhea don't take them to the pool especially children in the diapers. Provide education trying not to swallow large amounts of pool water. I think it's both ends the parents and the cities.

Ted Simons
>> We'll stop right there. Thank you for joining us. 10

Machrina Leach
>> Thank you.

Ted Simons
>>> This week we are examining the challenges that Arizona's small towns must deal with when facing growth. In part two of our series, the town of Sedona has a large transportation improvement project through town. How will Sedona maintain its charm as the roads are enhanced to handle more traffic? Producer Merry Lucero and videographer David Riffle have the story.

Merry Lucero
>> The town of Sedona in northern Arizona is known for the towering red rock formations, historic charm, tourist appeal, and famed energy vortexes. But for the past couple of years, the area has been dealing with another kind of circular power hub. Roundabouts. There is a maze of orange roadwork barricades against the red scenic backdrop. Its part of a $100 million effort to heal Sedona's stressed roadways.

Jennifer Wesselhoff
>> The highway route was in need of improvement for many years. ADOT and the city put it off because we wanted to develop a comprehensive plan for Highway 179 route. ADOT received intense community input about the project. The community said that they wanted to maintain their small-town character.

Kristin Bornstein
>> The road was a narrow road. One lane in each direction, just divided by a stripe and no room for bikes or pedestrians.

Merry Lucero
>> But with plenty of tourist traffic, which increasingly slowed to stop-and go.
It was also tough for emergency vehicles to get through. The Arizona Department of Transportation began pre-planning long before the project launched.

Carl Burkhalter
>> They have been engineering this project for 15 years. They start with prefesibility studies in the late 1980s and early 1990s we went all the way through and did a final design for one alternative that came up. The one that was the actual four-lane road that went through here. The community actually came out against that so we started again.

Merry Lucero
>> They started the public process again in 2002. Residents were clear about what they did not want.

Kristin Bornstein
>> They didn't want just that real highway feel. They wanted more character. They wanted a preservation of the natural beauty, and most importantly also economic vitality the ability for residences and businesses on the corridor to remain and thrive with the new facility.

Merry Lucero
>> The project stretches nine miles from the Village of Oak Creek to the junction of state route 89A also known as the Y intersection. Construction in the village is now nearly complete. ADOT says they learned a lot in that phase.

Kristin Bornstein
>> One thing we learned was the businesses were very adamant about keeping the access opened at all times. That makes a project go longer. One of the things we learned at the end, they said, hey, if we had known, we would have done that. That's one the things we are instituting as we move up the road to be out as quickly as possible and working closely with the businesses to discuss the traffic situations.

Merry Lucero
>> Still some businesses are struggling with periodic closures. Others like Ken Erikson of Ken's Creekside Restaurant are keeping a positive outlook.

Ken Erikson
>> From day one when we opened originally, there was a construction on the road. And in one way or another has been under construction since. And I am aware of the fact that there is a lot of work to be done but they are reaching the final phases and I'm really very optimistic. There are times when you get very frustrated and then you look at it. Well, this is a huge project.

Merry Lucero
>> One of the biggest challenges for engineers, the environmental impact.

Carl Burkhalter
>> Engineering this road through the absolute minimum footprint that we can. You can see here in this section we are here, this was the old road. We did great care in trying to protect all the trees. We're planting new trees.

Merry Lucero
>> There are also engineering challenges at the Oak Creek Bridge. Tearing the old one down and building a new one.

Carl Burkhalter
>> The bridge is very difficult because we are working within Oak Creek, which is unique and impaired waterway with the state. We have a lot of regulations. We have to be careful what we discharge in the creek. That's been a unique challenge. But our contractor has stepped up to the plate and done it good.

Merry Lucero
>> The bridge is due to be under construction for the next two years. To try to help visitors navigate the roadwork, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce has a campaign called follow the red rock road. It's a scavenger hunt through businesses for people to enter for prizes.

Jennifer Wesselhoff
>> We're doing raffle prizes every month, so anytime you have a chance to come and complete the scavenger hunt, we'll do it through the end of the construction project which is scheduled to be completed the beginning of 2010.

Merry Lucero
>> Meanwhile drivers manage the roundabouts, eventually there will be 11 of them.

Carl Burkhalter
>> Roundabouts are becoming popular all throughout the United States. It's always an option for the intersection. Because of their controversial nature, ADOT leaves it up to the community to take a look at it. In this case the public involvement came out two-thirds for roundabouts. We put them in and so roundabouts actually work pretty good.

Merry Lucero
>> Engineers say when drivers properly yield, the roundabouts ease congestion and improve safety. For now they don't seem to be slowing the visitors flowing in to enjoy Sedona.

Ted Simons
>>> Improving roads poses different challenges in different small communities. Joining me now to talk about some of those is Teresa Welborn, public involvement director for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Thanks for joining us.

Teresa Welborn
>> Thank you for having me.

Ted Simons
>> What we just saw happening up there in Sedona. Is everyone happy enough?

Teresa Welborn
>> I think now they are. ADOT works very closely with the community as you saw in that piece to make sure that we understand their core values, their economic development issues, their emergency services issues. So that we understand the end product. I would think the majority of Sedona citizens are going to really enjoy that project when it's done.

Ted Simons
>> In general, some challenges that the state faces in working with some communities and trying to keep that charm, that small-town charm alive and keep them moving.

Teresa Welborn
>> Exactly. The state roads we have is probably the reason why a lot of small communities started. As the communities grow, that road becomes their main street, which puts a strain on a state road. A state road is hard to function as a main street. So then ADOT has to work with the community to determine, do you want to keep this as a main street or do you want us to go build a road around? What do you want us to do? We work closely with the communities.

Ted Simons
>> It was fun to watch the roundabouts. Some people get it. Some take longer to get it. I know they have one in Payson right now. We talked about Payson yesterday on the program. The smaller communities are they opened to the new ideas? You get the larger communities and they don't want anything to do the ideas. Do you think they are a little more opened in the small towns?

Teresa Welborn
>> I do believe they are a little more opened for a couple of reasons. They have a little more land to work with. If you have a tightened area it's hard to change the infrastructure to put in a roundabout. The rural areas have little more room and opened and understand a change. It will keep the traffic moving in the way it works with their community.

Ted Simons
>> We talked about some of the concerns that you have and the state has regarding some smaller towns how Main Street is often the state road through the towns. Are some of these towns almost hit by victims of their own success? I mean, to where there's--like Sedona. It is so popular up there and the roads had not been updated to the point where people were stuck in the traffic. It was almost counterproductive.

Teresa Welborn
>> Right, communities have to determine what their core values are. Do you want to build that road for a Main Street or do they want people to go through their community? To or through. I think we need to understand that. If we want them to go to the community and use the services there, sometimes in some cities, the city has actually taken back the road and ADOT never uses it has a state road and becomes a local road.

Ted Simons
>> What about bypasses? Are cities looking at that? Some smaller towns?



Teresa Welborn
>> Absolutely. We have smaller cities, Lake Havasu and Boulder City and we understand you have this. We would like you to look at and study the road. They also understand by doing that some folks will have to decide to go to the city and some will have to make a decision to go around.

Ted Simons
>> I would imagine downtown interests especially would be a little concerned about that.

Teresa Welborn
>> Absolutely that's why ADOT works closely with the businesses and residents of the community so we understand what their values are regarding economic development so that we help them reach their goal.

Ted Simons
>> Quickly, we looked at Payson today and Sedona today and we'll look at Prescott tomorrow. We have 10 seconds left. Which is more progressive?

Teresa Welborn
>> Prescott but Sedona, too.

Ted Simons
>> They're catching up. Thank you.

Teresa Welborn
>> Thank you.

Ted Simons
>> This is it for now. Thank you for joining us on "Horizon". I'm Ted Simons. You have a great evening.

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