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An apparently homeless man rests on a South Park Blocks bench, across from a downtown church. City and county officials have asked Portland's religious institutions for help this winter in housing the homeless, especially homeless families. 

 

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Most reporters never have the misfortune of being sued for libel. If they are, there are broad free speech protections in court precedent, especially in California, that make it unlikely a plaintiff will win, unless a reporter has been truly reckless.

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Here's a (belated) wrap-up of the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco earlier this month, and some fodder for future stories.

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Sheila Himmel, an award-winning food writer and restaurant reviewer for the San Jose Mercury News, loved to eat. Then her daughter became anorexic, forever changing Himmel's relationship with food and her identity as a journalist. In Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia, Himmel and her daughter Lisa examine how their family coped with Lisa's serious eating disorder.

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The worldwide diabetes epidemic threatens to make today's children the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents.

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Father William Cleary helped set up a Catholic parish in Satellite Town, one of the growing suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria, in 1987. The 73-year-old served there until July 2008 and saw the country undergo massive societal, cultural and political changes while struggling to overcome stubborn public health threats from poor sanitation, a malarial climate and a reluctance to face head-on the threat of AIDS.

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Wendy Lazarus is founder and co-president of The Children's Partnership, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan child advocacy organization with offices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Washington, D.C. Lazarus has spent nearly 25 years working as a children's advocate to secure improved health care and other needed supports for children and families. She served as the Children's Defense Fund's first director of health, as founding vice president for policy for Children Now, and as a consultant to the Conrad Hilton and Piton foundations.

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Dr. Michael A. Rodríguez is a Professor of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, UCLA and Director of the UCLA/Drew Center of Excellence Summer Research Program.. An advocate for the underserved, Dr. Rodriguez has significant expertise in the principles of community based participatory research and the development of initiatives focused on improving the health and health care of individuals, families and communities.

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Martin Martinez is policy director for the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, an Oakland-based organization working to improve access to health care and eliminate health disparities by advocating for public policies and resources to address the health needs of communities of color. Martinez has served on the statewide Task Force on Culturally and Linguistically Competent Physicians and Dentists, the Office of the Patient Advocate's Cultural and Linguistic Services Workgroup, and other committees.

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Judith Stein founded the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. in 1986. She is currently the Executive Director. Ms. Stein has focused on legal representation of the elderly since beginning her legal career in 1975. From 1977 until 1986, Ms. Stein was the Co-Director of Legal Assistance to Medicare Patients (LAMP) where she managed the first Medicare advocacy program in the country. She has extensive experience in developing and administering Medicare advocacy projects, representing Medicare beneficiaries, producing educational materials, teaching and consulting.

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