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Healthy Living: Making Imaging Safer

For people who have multiple health conditions, fixing one can sometimes lead to problems with the other.

Now there is a new technology called Dyevert, which precisely controls and measures the amount of dye used in heart catheterizations and other procedures requiring imaging.

In Healthy Living we learn how, for some patients, the dye itself can be toxic if the kidneys can’t flush it out of the system.

Dyevert PLUSs, made by Osprey Medical, received FDA clearance earlier this year.

The system is now being used at hospitals across the country.



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Healthy Living: Metastatic Breast Cancer, dying for a cure | Q13 FOX …

Each year, it’s estimated 40,000 people in the U.S. die from metastatic breast cancer. That’s when cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body. There is no cure and the median survival rate for a person diagnosed with metastatic disease is just two to three years.
In 2001, Lynda Weatherby was diagnosed with breast cancer. In good health and with no family history of the disease, the wife and mother of two was shocked, but thought since she caught it early she was in the clear. Twelve years later, Lynda learned the cancer had returned, and this time it had spread to her brain.

Marni Hughes sat down with Lynda to talk about metastatic disease and the key to giving time and hope to the thousands of people like her who are dying for a cure.

Seattle is host to the Northwest Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference, happening Sept. 22-23rd.  This years theme is “Living Well.  Living Longer.  Driving Change”.

Sessions on Friday are open to all breast cancer patients and will cover all kinds of information on how to heal from and possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back.  Saturday sessions are for the Metastatic/Stage IV patient and will cover the latest treatment advances, research trials, and national issues affecting Metastatic Breast Cancer patients.

Lynda says breast cancer and MBC can be very isolating for the patient and this is a great way to connect with others who understand what you are going through.

The conference will be live-streaming both days if you would like to watch from home.



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Nine mental health tips for students starting university

“When you’re stressed and worried yourself, it might seem like you hardly have the time or the energy to invest in other people. But you can help yourself by making it a priority, since research suggests helping others helps reduce stress levels. No matter how nervous you’re feeling, you can guarantee there will be others out there feeling the same. Go over, introduce yourself and invite them for a drink; you’ll be helping them and yourself at the same time.”

7. Go easy on yourself

“We can be our own worst enemies when we find ourselves in situations of stress. While it’s good to be self-aware, being overly self-critical will only drive those feelings of insecurity. In fact, experts believe self-criticism can just make us more miserable. So instead of dwelling on your every failing, focus on how and why you value yourself. This shift will help make you stronger, more productive, less stressed, and yes, happier.”

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10 simple weight loss tips

10. Sleep more

Getting your eight hours shut eye is just as important as your diet and exercise regime when it comes to weight loss. In a study by the University of Leeds,  1,615 adults reported how long they slept and kept records of food intake.

Indicators of overall metabolic health such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid function were monitored, as well as weight and waist circumference recorded.

Those who slept for six hours or less a night had waists that were on average 1.1 inches (3cm) larger than those who slept for nine hours.

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5 Health Tips for Young Women

Presented by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Photo credit: Getty Images

These tips are presented by Aisling Lydeard, WHNP from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

What is the HPV (Human papillomavirus) vaccine and why should you get one? 

The HPV vaccine is the only vaccine known to protect against cancer including cervical, vulva, vaginal, penile, and oropharyngeal cancers. HPV can be transmitted to the vagina and cervix through sexual activity. The best time to vaccinate is prior to sexual activity between the ages of 11-12 for boys and girls. However, if you did not receive the vaccine at a young age it is still beneficial to receive up to the age of 26, even if you’ve had an HPV infection or abnormal pap smear, as it can provide protection against strains you may not have been exposed to.

How often do I need a Pap smear?

Pap smear testing is an important part of preventing cervical cancer because it can pick up early abnormal changes in the cells on your cervix that could progress to cancer if left untreated. Your initial pap smear should be performed at 21 years old and if the test is normal, repeated every three years until 30 years old. At age 30, you should receive a combined test including a Pap smear and high-risk HPV test to determine how frequently you should be screened in your thirties.

What’s the best type of contraception for me?

Contraception is not “one size fits all.” The wonderful thing about contraception of our day and age is that we have many varieties to fit individual lifestyle needs. Many younger women are choosing longer acting methods such as an IUD (hormonal or non-hormonal contraceptive device placed in the uterus) or implant (4 mm progesterone rod implanted in the arm) versus the more traditional birth control pill, patch, injection, or ring. IUDs available today have a smaller diameter and an extremely low number of hormones that work very well for adolescents. One appealing feature of a long acting method for young women is that you don’t have to remember to take a daily pill or change a patch­–once the device is in place, there is no work on your part. The key is to talk with your gynecologist so that you can understand the pros and cons of all methods and choose the method best for you and your lifestyle.

How do I find the right gynecologist with whom I’m comfortable?

Finding a gynecologist that you are comfortable being open and honest with is the most important component. Friends and families are often great sources for recommendations. Ask people you are close to if they have a gynecologist that they have a good relationship with. You can find provider profiles on hospital and health center websites and will be able to see their training and interests. You can also search for a gynecologist who has clinical interests and specializes in something that might be an issue for you like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), pelvic pain, or sexual dysfunction.

What’s the most important thing to know about my sexual health?

Education and protection is key! It is important to educate yourself about prevention (read about the HPV vaccine, talk to your health care provider, etc.) Have open and honest communication with your gynecologist about your sexual health and relationships so that you can be aware of diseases and risks in order to have healthy relationships.

For more information on women’s health, turn to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center by visiting

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‘Chuck and Nancy,’ Washington’s New Power Couple, Set Sights on Health Care

It will not be easy. Mr. Trump is pressing Congress to adopt the health care legislation, which would cut deeply into Medicaid and dismantle the programs and prescriptions of the Affordable Care Act.

But if the bill can be stopped, the Democratic leaders have already begun nudging the president toward another about-face: setting aside the mantra of “repeal and replace” and adopting modest measures to make his predecessor’s signature domestic achievement work better.

During a recent White House dinner, the pair pushed Mr. Trump to make permanent the subsidies, known as cost-sharing reductions, paid to insurers under the health law to help low-income customers pay for out-of-pocket health expenses like co-payments and deductibles. Mr. Trump has threatened to end such payments, raising uncertainty in insurance markets and increasing premiums for 2018.

In separate interviews, both leaders said that the president was noncommittal and that their future dealings with him would depend on whether he followed through on his pledge to protect young undocumented immigrants brought here as children — beneficiaries of the Obama-era program Mr. Trump is winding down, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“Whether he pivots or not will be one of the most fundamental questions of this administration,” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s the $64,000 question. The only way it can happen is if we have a successful negotiation on DACA, and secondly whether we get health care.”

In some respects, Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer are an unlikely pair. She represents San Francisco and for years has been the subject of harsh attacks from Republicans, who caricature her as affluent, elitist and permissive. He is from Brooklyn and far more attuned to the needs of big business and Wall Street. She is button-down and always on message — at least in public. (In private, she calls Mr. Schumer “Chuckles.”) He is more freewheeling and off the cuff.

When she was House speaker, her real Senate partner was the majority leader at the time, Harry Reid, with whom she helped pass some of the biggest legislative achievements of a generation: the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulatory law, the 2009 economic stimulus and President George W. Bush’s Wall Street rescue.


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But Ms. Pelosi’s former chief of staff, John Lawrence, said what while she and Mr. Reid worked well together, “I don’t have the sense it was the same instinctual harmonic relationship that she has with Chuck.”

Ms. Pelosi said she and Mr. Schumer know each other so well that “we speak in shorthand to each other.”


Ms. Pelosi said she and Mr. Schumer were still assessing whether they could trust Mr. Trump.

Tom Brenner/The New York Times

Ms. Pelosi said she and Mr. Schumer were still assessing whether they could trust Mr. Trump. “We will trust each other as long as we can,” she said, adding, “It’s one issue at a time.”

Meanwhile, some Democrats are watching with a skeptical eye.

“I hope and pray that Pelosi and Schumer are more sophisticated and smarter than everyone else that’s been duped by Donald Trump,” said Representative Luis V. Gutiérrez, Democrat of Illinois, after the Democratic leaders announced their tentative deal with Mr. Trump to pursue legislation allowing the young immigrants known as Dreamers to stay in the United States.

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Others see cause for optimism. Several Democratic senators, including Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, said they could foresee Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer reaching an agreement with Mr. Trump on legislation to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, an interest of all three of them.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, went one step further, suggesting possible bipartisan cooperation on the budget.

“I think it’s encouraging; some people don’t,” Mr. Durbin said. “But look what we achieved with the first level of agreement. Without delay, without debate, without histrionics, we sent Hurricane Harvey relief out, we didn’t close down the government, and we extended the debt ceiling of the United States on a bipartisan basis. Pretty good work.”

In working with a president so despised by Democratic voters, especially those on the far left, the two Democrats must tread carefully. Ms. Pelosi got a taste of that this week in San Francisco, when she was shouted down by protesters during a news conference where she had intended to talk about the Dream Act, legislation to offer legal status and a path to citizenship for young unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States as children.

But some Democratic strategists say the leaders have little to lose.

“I think they are in position to make deals that are good for Democratic priorities and that have the support of the Democratic caucus,” said Geoff Garin, Mr. Schumer’s pollster. “And if the deals don’t do those things, then it’s easy for them to walk away.”


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Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer were both traveling with their families on separate vacations in Italy this summer when, each said, they began to strategize on how to use a looming fight over the debt ceiling as leverage to negotiate with Mr. Trump. Mr. Schumer said he proposed urging the White House to extend the debt ceiling for three months, which would force a vote again in December, giving the Democrats leverage over other agenda items. Ms. Pelosi, he said, quickly agreed.

“We were in sync,” Ms. Pelosi said. The debt ceiling deal opened the door to the White House dinner, where the two leaders raised the issue of the young immigrants. Ms. Pelosi said it was important for the president to hear that Mr. Schumer — who became minority leader just this year — was as committed to their fate as she was.

“That’s the beauty of it,” she said. “I’m the usual suspect, and he’s the new leader coming in.”

The Pelosi-Schumer relationship dates to 1987, when Ms. Pelosi, a former chairwoman of the California Democratic Party, was a newly elected congresswoman. Her fellow Californian, Representative George Miller — who was then Mr. Schumer’s landlord and roommate — invited her to a dinner at an Italian restaurant near the Capitol. A collection of House members, including Mr. Schumer, gathered there each Tuesday night to bat around policy ideas.

Mr. Miller gave Ms. Pelosi an auspicious introduction: “You’re going to meet Nancy Pelosi,” Mr. Schumer recalls him saying. “She’s going to become the first woman speaker.”

Mr. Miller was proved correct 20 years later.

“The relationship is longtime,” said Mr. Miller, who retired from the House in 2015. “They’ve had their spats, they’ve had their agreements, they’ve had their strategies become successful and they’ve had their strategies fall flat on their face, and that’s why this is working.”

They have not always seen eye to eye. In 2014, Ms. Pelosi publicly criticized Mr. Schumer when he said it was a tactical mistake for Democrats to have put a health care overhaul on the top of their agenda in 2009 after Barack Obama was elected president. Many analysts believe public anger over the Affordable Care Act cost Democrats control of the House in 2010.

“We come here to do a job, not keep a job,” Ms. Pelosi said then. In a reference to those who gained insurance under the bill, she added, “There are more than 14 million reasons why that’s wrong.”

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Obama Argues Against Dark Worldview, Defends Health Care Law

Former President Barack Obama speaks Wednesday at the Goalkeepers 2017 conference, at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

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Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama speaks Wednesday at the Goalkeepers 2017 conference, at New York City’s Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama delivered a rebuke of President Trump’s “America First” worldview Wednesday in New York, the same city where Trump is meeting with world leaders on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

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“You have to start with a premise and believe that multilateral institutions and efforts are important,” Obama said, “and you don’t have to cede all your sovereignty and it doesn’t make you less patriotic to believe that. You just have to have some sense — and read.”

He also offered a vigorous defense of his signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, as Senate Republicans in Washington, D.C., try to corral the final votes needed to pass their latest effort to repeal and replace it.

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“It is aggravating,” the former president said of watching yet another repeal effort, “and all of this being done without any … rationale, it frustrates. And it is certainly frustrating to have to mobilize every couple of months to prevent our leaders from imposing real human suffering on our constituents.”

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Though he did not name Trump during his speech and a question-and-answer session that followed, Obama argued against a dark and pessimistic world outlook.

“We have to reject the notion that we are suddenly gripped by forces that we cannot control,” Obama said at a Goalkeepers conference, a gathering of young, international activists sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (which is among NPR’s financial supporters). “[We've] got to embrace the longer and more optimistic view of history and the role that we play in it. And if you are skeptical of such optimism, I will say something that may sound controversial. … By just about every measure, America is better and the world is better than it was 50 years ago, 30 years ago, or even 10 years ago. And I know that statement doesn’t jibe with the steady stream of bad news and cynicism that we’re fed through television and Twitter. But it’s true. Think about it: I was born at a time, for example, when women and people of color were systematically excluded from big chunks of American life. … Even if we still have miles to travel and innumerable laws and hearts and minds to change, the shift in what this country is and what it means is astonishing, remarkable and it’s happened, when you measure it against the scope of human history [snaps fingers] in an instant.”

Obama argued that crime, teen birth, dropout, poverty and uninsured rates are all down; and that the share of those with college degrees is up, as are median incomes and life expectancies. He also contended that democratic and civil rights — like the right to vote and the right to marry — have expanded for women, ethnic and racial minorities and gays and lesbians.

“All of this has happened in such a steady march that sometimes we have a tendency to take it for granted,” Obama said.

He added, “If you had to choose any moment in history in which to be born, and you didn’t know in advance whether you’re going to be male or female, what country you’re going to be from, what your status was, you’d choose right now because the world has never been healthier or wealthier or better educated or in many ways more tolerant or less violent than it is today.”

That “Yes, we can” optimism stands in stark contrast to the nostalgia signified by Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. The current occupant of the White House rose to prominence and power by selling millions of Americans on a vision of America and the world now as dark and scary places.

Part of how Trump did that was by channeling their cultural anxieties. Obama hat-tipped to that rising feeling of grievance as a critical problem in the world, describing it as “the rise of nationalism and xenophobia and a politics that says it’s not ‘we’ but ‘us and them,’ a politics that threatens to turn people away from the kind of collective action that’s always driven human progress.”

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Insurers Come Out Swinging Against New Republican Health Care Bill

Senate Republicans are already under pressure from 11 governors — including five fellow Republicans and a pivotal Alaskan independent — who this week urged the Senate to reject the last-ditch repeal effort.

The two major trade groups for insurers, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and America’s Health Insurance Plans, announced their opposition on Wednesday to the Graham-Cassidy bill. They joined other groups fighting the bill, such as the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, AARP and the lobbying arm of the American Cancer Society.

“The bill contains provisions that would allow states to waive key consumer protections, as well as undermine safeguards for those with pre-existing medical conditions,’’ said Scott P. Serota, the president and chief executive of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. “The legislation reduces funding for many states significantly and would increase uncertainty in the marketplace, making coverage more expensive and jeopardizing Americans’ choice of health plans.”

America’s Health Insurance Plans was even more pointed. The legislation could hurt patients by “further destabilizing the individual market” and could potentially allow “government-controlled single payer health care to grow,” said Marilyn B. Tavenner, the president and chief executive of the association. Without controls, some states could simply eliminate private insurance, she warned.

Insurers had been reluctant to speak out against the Republicans’ previous proposals in hopes that the White House and Congress would agree to stabilize insurance markets by providing critical funding for subsidies aimed at low-income Americans. But with hopes of securing that money before they finalize their rates virtually extinguished, insurers have less to lose by coming out against the proposal.

And many within the industry are worried that the next two years will be chaotic, with little support for the current market while states scramble to come up with a new way for individuals to buy policies.

“It’s just basically injecting chaos in 50 state capitals for the next two years,” said Sabrina Corlette, a research professor at Georgetown University.


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At this point, Republicans have not secured the 50 votes they would need to pass the bill, with help from Vice President Mike Pence to break a tie. But President Trump, in New York for meetings with world leaders at the United Nations, said he thought the health care bill had “a very good chance’’ of passing.

It has “tremendous support from Republicans — certainly we’re at 47 or 48 already,’’ he said, and “a lot of others are looking at it very positively.’’

“A great Bill,” Mr. Trump concluded on Twitter later Wednesday.

The latest Republican drive to repeal the Affordable Care Act has created painful choices for Republican senators from states that stand to lose money under the legislation.

The bill would eliminate penalties for people who go without insurance, and it would funnel federal funds to states in the form of block grants for health care or coverage. States could decide how to spend the money, which is now being used for the expansion of Medicaid and for subsidies to help low- and middle-income people buy private insurance.

State officials were racing to try to figure out the impact, looking to experts to help them do the calculations.

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“States such as Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington would see reductions of 25 percent or more over the 2020 to 2026 period,” compared with what they would receive under current law, said a monograph issued on Wednesday by Manatt Health, a unit of Manatt, Phelps Phillips, a national law firm that advises many states on health care issues.

Among the Republicans agonizing over how to vote is Ms. Murkowski, who has said the bill’s effect on her state will be her paramount consideration.

Becky Hultberg, the president and chief executive of the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association, said on Wednesday that the cuts in the bill could have a “huge impact” on Alaska.

“The cuts could be devastating to our health care system, including rural and frontier hospitals that operate on razor-thin margins,” Ms. Hultberg said in an interview. “These hospitals are often accessible only by airplane or ferry, so the loss of a hospital means an expensive and disruptive medical evacuation out of the community.”


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“Ultimately,” Ms. Hultberg said, “patients will bear the consequences, through reduced access to health care and lost insurance coverage.”

The authors of the new repeal bill, Mr. Graham and Mr. Cassidy, say decisions about health care are best made at the local level.

Mr. McCain is a close friend of Mr. Graham, but is still studying the bill and has not said how he would vote.

The other Republican senator from Arizona, Jeff Flake, had no such hesitation. “Given the choice between Arizona or Washington deciding how federal health care dollars are spent in the state,’’ he said, “I’ll take Arizona every day of the week.’’

The Manatt study said Arizona would lose money under the bill, and a study by Avalere, a health policy consulting company, reached a similar conclusion. Both studies indicated that Tennessee would gain money.

Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, said he liked the latest repeal bill. “I’d be ecstatic if we could finally make something happen on health care’’ by passing it, he said, adding: “I’m a states’ rights kind of guy. Our state has been well run for a long time. To know that our state would have the flexibility to carry out the program with more money than it now has could be a real win for us.’’

The studies by Manatt and Avalere suggest that West Virginia would lose money under the bill. Ms. Capito “is still evaluating the proposal,” said her spokeswoman, Ashley Berrang.

But the state’s senior senator, Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, said, “The numbers do not work at all for West Virginia, with an older, sicker population and an opioid addiction problem.”

“As a former governor, I like the concept of block grants because they give you flexibility,” Mr. Manchin said. “But the cuts are deeper than the needs we have, and our needs are greater than the money we would have under the bill.”

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Article about health care company included inaccuracies

On behalf of the dedicated staff and caregivers of Reliant Care Management Co., I want to express our deep disappointment in a number of inaccuracies and mischaracterizations of our company in the article “McCaskill friend beset by nursing home problems” (Sept. 19).

The article portrays me and the Reliant organization as having engaged in fraud. Given no such evidence, other than pointing to a civil False Claims Act settlement that is fairly common in the health care industry, I find such a characterization to be patently offensive and irresponsible.

Despite our numerous efforts to educate, provide context and correct misperceptions in advance of the article, the reporters ignored pertinent information and simply took what they wanted that fit their predetermined narrative, and discarded the rest.

Reliant was dragged into what was obviously a politically motivated article, presented with callous disregard to me and the compassionate care Reliant provides to our geriatric and mental health patients from throughout Missouri. We, however, know the truth.

We, our patients and their families know that Reliant and the facilities it manages remain wholly and tirelessly dedicated to continuing our 27-year track record of providing quality care for our patients.

Rick DeStefane  •  Maryland Heights

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DC Health Department Cracks Down on Dogs on Bar and Restaurant Patios

Andy Pants has been evicted from his beer garden dog house. Peyton Sherwood, owner of the Midlands in Park View, says a DC Department of Health inspector paid him a visit yesterday and told him that his bar dog, and all other dogs, would no longer be allowed at the outdoor drinking spot.

And it’s not just there. Last week, the same inspector also visited the Wonderland Ballroom, Popville reported. “They came by and left a flyer and said absolutely no animals on premise except for service animals,” the bar told the blog.

It turns out that this has long been the law. It’s just not often enforced.

“The DC Food Code prohibits animals in commercially licensed food establishments. This is not a new regulation and DOH has enforced when observed,” says DOH spokesperson Jasmine Gossett in an email. “We inspected several locations based on consumer complaints about the presence of dogs, of which Midlands was included in.”

“It’s very disappointing, because everyone loves bringing their dogs out to the patio,” Sherwood says. While he understands why it might be a good idea not to have pets inside a restaurant or bar, he doesn’t get why they should also be banned from outdoor spaces. “There are rats. There are opossums. There are raccoons and squirrels and pigeons that are all over patios in Washington, DC. But having a well taken care of, loved, and vaccinated animal on a leash is not OK.”

Sherwood says the inspector told him that someone recently complained about dogs at bars in the Washington Post. But he wasn’t able to find such an article.

Sherwood is now calling on people to contact their councilmembers and DOH Director LaQuandra Nesbitt. He’s also going to be talking with one of his Advisory Neighborhood Commission reps about starting a petition to change the law.

As for Andy Pants?

“He’s going to have to stay home in his air-conditioned apartment with his giant bed,” Sherwood says.

UPDATE (2 PM):  After hearing from a number of constituents, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is working on emergency legislation with health committee chair Vincent Gray to address dogs on patios. “There aren’t any details to share yet,” says Tom Fazzini, Nadeau’s deputy chief of staff. “The earliest it could be up would be the Oct 3 session.”

UPDATE (4:45 PM): DOH sends a new statement: “We are aware of the concerns about the enforcement of the current health code and will review best practices and evaluate the agency’s posture on the matter.”

Jessica Sidman

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

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