Chicago’s ‘problem landlords list’ questioned by experts

By Stephanie Choporis

Housing experts and a private building owner are questioning the effectiveness of Chicago’s ‘problem’ landlords list and the properties selected for the record.

Some think the list is limited in scope and not targeting landlords with the most serious building code violations.

The inaugural list, published on the department of buildings website on Jan. 27, contains 45 residential properties and their landlords. Owners on the list have gone through at least two administrative hearings in the past two years for the listed property and were found responsible for three or more serious building code violations, such as inadequate heat, lack of hot water, defective or missing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and insect infestation.
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Roll up your sleeve: Adults may need a measles vaccine too

By Priyam Vora

While the focus surrounding the current measles outbreak is on children, adults may need a measles vaccination too.

Measles made national headlines after a recent outbreak among visitors to Disneyland in California. Out of the 99 cases reported in California (not all were related to Disneyland), more than 60 percent occurred in people over the age of 20, according to California health officials. The first measles case confirmed in Illinois on Jan. 27 was also contracted by an adult, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

While measles is perceived to be a children’s disease, health experts emphasize that adults can catch the highly contagious disease and  need protection.

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18th Chicago Bike Winter Art Show Opens Friday

By Shanley Chien

Bike and art lovers rejoice! The 18th Annual Chicago Bike Winter Art Show opens Friday with a public reception at Genesis Art Supply.

Members of the Rat Patrol Bike Club, a pro-bike and anti-consumerism organization, uses recycled parts and scrap metal to hand-weld unique bikes.  The club showcases some of their offbeat creations that are guaranteed to entertain, such as their “tall bikes,” choppers, and the “can crusher,” an inventive mechanical apparatus composed of interconnected bike pieces that crushes cans as you pedal. Continue reading

Reducing emergency room visits among elderly patients

By Jamie Friedlander

Nearly 45 percent of ER visits from nursing home residents on Medicare or Medicaid could have been avoided, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

These ER visits ended up “accounting for 314,000 potentially avoidable hospitalizations and $2.6 billion in Medicare expenditures in 2005,” CMS reported as part of an on-going effort to reduce ER visits with more preventative care.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago is one of three hospitals across the country working to lower the number of nursing home residents that end up admitted to the hospital after an ER visit. The initiative is part of GEDI WISE,  a Health Care Innovation Award funded by CMS, according to Dr. Jill Huded, a geriatric fellow at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Continue reading

Wolves players, coaches in favor of outdoor game

By Sara Romano

Chicago Wolves defenseman Brent Sopel has fond memories of his childhood hockey days growing up in Calgary.

“I grew up with a rink in my backyard that my dad would flood for me every winter,” Sopel recalled. “Growing up in Canada, that’s all we wanted to do. We didn’t want to go to school, we wanted to play on the outdoor rink.”

Capturing that childhood nostalgia is a constant refrain, and a source of the popularity behind outdoor hockey games for both players and fans. Continue reading