Awareness by doctor of patients ByBENZINSER Medical-Science Editor , The new chief pf the psychiatric service at Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital says the problem of suicide remains one of "extreme complexity." The *VA physician, Dr. Mathew Ross, 57, is regarded as an authority on the suicidal patient and currently heads an American Psychiatric Association task force to explore the problem of doctor suicides. The loss of physicians by suicide is "shocking," he said in an interview. Â· r ,,' "Every year an entire medical school class is ..wiped out by suicide," he says. That amounts to about 100 physician deaths a year, he adds. i All the causes of suicide are not known, he says. But drugs probably play a role. Physicians, like nurses . and pharmacists, have easier access to drugs than do other persons. "Drugs, alcohol and depression -- they make a highly lethal combination," Ross says. . , Suicide prevention centers with their "hotline" , operations and counseling services should not be closed , dpwn until further evaluations can be made. Â· Some critics have recently claimed 'that these centers, statistically at least, don't save lives. . Â· "Suicide prevention centers are too new for a final judgment," he says. "We should take another look before throwing them away." ,.. After all, he says, they do offer another service to people in trouble,"and that's a big step." Ross thinks that one major effort badly needed is -.; .an attempt to "heighten the awareness" of the medical .student, the intern and the resident physician to the problem of suicide. "It would make a big difference if this were done," he says. Doctors in all specialufcB mual-Wni to recognize the symptoms of mental'depression, which often show up as a "lot of physical complaints." "The suicidal patient may come through any medical door," he notes. In other words, the patient doesn't always seek out the psychiatrist first. , In most/ cases, Ross says, mental depression precedes suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts. And it's up to the physician to try to spot signs of depression so that he can intervene in the hopes of preventing suicide. : Asked about major advances in modern psychia- Iry, Ross says that, in his view, the-concept of crisis intervention is highly significant. Crisis intervention is a brief treatment program -one hour ,to three days -- in which the therapist counsels the patient in an attempt to restore him to the same condition that preceded the emotional crisis. Psychiatry's biggest problem today, he says, is to unravel the mystery of schizophrenia, a major mental disorder. Part of the problem is that'schizophrenia may be more than one disease, he says. Before coming to Long Beach, Ross was an associ-. ate professor pf psychiatry at Harvard medical school and director of residency training at Rhode Island Institute of Mental Health. : INDEPENDENT FRIDAY, JANUARY 17, 1975 *Â· . SECTION B-Page B-l MARKETS ON PAGES C-UC-7 Gas tax to aid transit urged ByBOBGEIVET Staff Writer , A 10-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline sold in the Southland to support a regional transit system was proposed Thursday by the Southern California Association, of Governments (SCAG). The association introduced a voluminous transportation study at a hearing in Santa Ana in which the special levy was proposed. SCAG said that the Southland's population is ex. pected to increase by 2.2 million people by 1990, to a total of 12.7 million, and held that some ways must be found for those people to travel from one point to another. Transportation needs are expected to expand from the present 32 million person trips a day to a maximum ' 45 million a day in 1990, the SCAG study,held. The special levy on gasoline sales will not only reduce fuel, use but increase ridership on public transit proposals SCAG outlined, the study noted. First, the plan would be to add 1,900 buses to the existing systems in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial counties. Additional systems of mass transit would be developed, including rail lines. It proposed a "light rail" system for Los Angeles County commuters and stressed "importance of improving ground access to airports." Even bikeways came in for attention of the SCAG planners. They held that such transportation routes must be improved. SCAG plans additional hearings in Los Angeles County starting Jan. 20, and hearings in other Southland counties involved in the study. San Diego is not included because that county has its own coordinated transportation plan. The SCAG study is to be submitted to the state's Department of Transportation by Feb. 26, hopefully for approval by early April, it was learned. General plan viewed 3 ways By MARY EtLIS CARLTON Urban Affairs Writer Three members of the League of Women Voters--one of whom was male--attempted Thursday to view Long Beach's proposed general plan through the assumed eyes of an environmentalist, a developer and a city planner. The characterizations were part of a four-hour public forum, sponsored by the league, to study the city's 13-element planning document now being developed. Assuming the role of city planner, Norma Mayfield, chairman of LWV's local study committee, noted that by state law, passed in 1972, every city and county must have a general plan. Each must consist of nine required elements, plus any others a city may want to add. She said: ' "The very titles of the mandated elements reflect our new environmental concerns: land use, circulation, open space, seismic safety (how to get it), noise (how to get away from it), scenic highways, public safety, housing and conservation." Mrs. Mayfield rioted the state law requires that the people whose lives arc affected by the plans made should have a say in what they are. There will be at least one public hearing before each element is adopted. Zeroing in on the population element, she said it is currently being studied by the Planning Commission and, if approved there, will go to a public, hearing and the City Council. "This report recommends 'moderate' growth for Long Beach, Â· which would add 39,000 to our population in the next 15 years, moving us from 361,000 to 400,000." The coastal element, based on the city's Sasaki-Walker study, will come up for public hearing probably next month, she said, adding that noise, seismic safety, .scenic highways and public safety are complete, or nearly so, and soon will be presented to the Planning Commission. "When all these are completed, everything will come together in one final plan," she continued. "Using the principles and goals established in the other elements, this will set standards for residential, commercial, recreational and public uses of all available land, zone by zone." Marion Seretan, speaking from the developer's standpoint, emphasized that "people rights must not completely override property rights." She touched on the controversial high-rise issue, noting that Ocean Boulevard is still zoned R-5, yet every permit for high rise east of Cherry has been denied. "This serious problem must somehow be resolved," she said. "Many investors have life savings invested in these properties. They have rights, too. "We must have a more positive approach to growth," she concluded. "We must meet the eeo- (Turn to Page B-4, Col. 1) PILE UP IN CARSON AREA AS SANITATION STRIKE ENTERS THIRD DAY South Bay garbage piles up in 2-day unsanetioned strike Story and Photo By BOB ANDREW A two-day unsanetioned strike by rubbish truck drivers left growing amounts of garbage lining the curbs Thursday in Carson, Lawndale and other South Bay cities. The drivers, members of Teamsters Local 396, staged their unsanetioned walkout when the first crews Were due to report for work at 3 a.m. Wednesday at the Gardena plant of Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. Since then none of the regular drivers and only two union mechanics have crossed the picket line. BFI holds exclusive contracts for residential collections in Carson and Lawndale and has a total of 35,000 residential accounts and 5,000 commercial locations in the South Bay area. Company supervisors and salesmen have been manning the refuse trucks on a 1 limited schedule Wednesday and Thursday, according to Gene Meredith regional vice president of BFI stationed in San Jose. He is directing the Gardena-based operation until a new general manager is hired for that branch of BFI, the largest refuse firm in the nation. Meredith said other company drivers are being brought in from locations in California, Texas, and as far away as Boston and Baltimore. He hopes to restore full collection service by this weekend. Â· Local 396 officials were not available for comment. Arthur Pulver, shop steward at the picket line, said drivers are now paid $3.65 per hour for a six-day week and are asking $7 an hour. He said the large increase is because no provisions were included for any cost-of-living increases during the life of the five-year contract which expired Jan. 1. Meredith, however, contended that contract still has a year to run, but refused to discuss the contract negotiations in detail. "We've got more lawyers talking to lawyers than you can imagine," Meredith declared. "The important thing right now is to get the trash picked up." Pulver and other pickets said they had waited two weeks since the contract expired for some kind of wage offer from the company before they struck. "They never offered us nothing--not one penny," Pulver said, "so we walked out. We've got no backing from the union either so we're dead right here--we've all been fired." He explained that union officials had met with the pickets to tell them the strike was unsanetioned and told them to vote on what to do from there. They voted unanimously to continue the walkout even without official Teamsters sanction. Wayne Swanson, code enforcement officer for the. city of Carson, reported that the city has relaxed some of its contract provisions on equipment condition so BFI could use older trucks as soon as drivers are available t'o collect the backlog of rubbish. "The two areas that are the hardest hit are the two largest residential sections of Carson: the Dominguez- Lineoln Village area and the Dominguez Hills area," Swanson said. Both of those areas were due for collection Wednesday, j BFI plans to make pick ups in those areas on Saturday--the same schedule it would use if there had been a national holiday on Wednesday, Swanson reported. Other areas are being collected as quickly as drivers can be brought in for the trucks. "We're telling the people to leave their trash at the curb in sealed containers until it is picked,up," Swanson said. "In this situation there is no telling just when the company may be able to make a pick up in a given area." With the strike situation, he added, the public is well advised to use plastic bags with tie seals instead of their usual containers for health reasons. Swanson confirmed that the failure to make collections as required on Wednesday constituted a breach of its contract with the city. Councilman John Marbut explained that the company had been warned to make its pickups as quickly as possible or the city would exercise the contract clause providing for the city to bring in another refuse company to make the collections and bill BFI for the service. Health Service officials have been advised of the problem and are monitoring the area for indications of rodent or insect problems, Swanson said. Most of the complaints reaching city hall, however, have indicaated dogs anb cats are the main problem. BFI officials have also complained of harrassment of replacement drivers on the routes and of refuse containers being intentionally dump over by unknown persons. BFI bought out the former Carson Refuse Co. in 1972 and acquired its exclusive franchise for residential collections in Carson which runs until 1978. The current rate in Carson is $9.20 per quarter compared to the $7.50 per quarter when the franchise 1 was approved in 1968. When BFI acquired the business the rate was $8.55 per quarter, but it was increased to the present level last July 16. Disputed city candidate files Travis A. Montgomery, whose candidacy in the Feb. 18 special election in Long Beach's Seventh Councilmanic District was accepted on an o r d e r from the State Supreme Court, filed Thursday for the regular 1975 council elections. Also f i l i n g Thursday was Paul F. Diefenbaeh, 839 E. Ocean Blvd., who will run in the First District. The two filings brought the total number of City Council candidates in the March 18 primary nomi- n a t i n g election to 58. There also arc four candidates running for the citywide elective offices of auditor, a t t o r n e y and prosecutor. Last Tuesday, a f t e r being served with a writ of mandamus from the State Supreme Court, the council reversed itself and o r d e r e d Montgomery's name on the ballot. At L.B. Veterans Hospital Heroic old China hand decorated--a\ GLEI (L), CONSUL PING-NAN CHANG By MOLLY BURRELL Staff Writer For Bill Glei, 54, ex-photographer, military intelligence agent, and old China hand, Wednesday was a day of time warp. And a week from freedom. First.'the consul general of Nationalist China came to Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital to present him with one of that country's highest honors, a Defense Department medal for meritorious service three decades ago and half a world away. Then his doctor told him he could sever his two-month-old intravenous tie to the hospital next Wednesday and re- turn to his Belmont Heights home to await results of a unique experiment doctors hope may help his ailing circulation and prolong his life. Glei didn't exactly look like a former military spy, standing there pale and thin in his striped seersucker robe. He didn't even look like an oft-decorated war hero, much less a China hand. But he's all those and more, and the heavy bronze medal which Consul Ping- nan Chang pinned on his .hospital mufti triggered quick recall of three incredible years in mainland China in World War II. The ceremony was informal, brief, and a little late. The consul apologized for the latter, explaining there had been a few years delay in locating him and procuring the medal from Taipei. Glei looked at the award, the latest of 14 which range from Silver Star .through Purple Heart, U. N., Korean and WW II honors, and thought back 33 years. Back to three years of danger, consent action, quick lessons in survival and day- by-day "winging it" on a top secret assignment for Gen. Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell -- an assignment that earned him a battlefield commission and captain's bars. The year was 1943 and then M. Sgt. William Glei, after two months in the Army Signal Corps and a few months in India and Burma, got the call to join Stilwell in Chungking for a special G-2 assignment. "It was like being dropped in the ( middle of a haystack," he recalls. "There weren't any guidelines, no military intelligence courses, no language schools. So I winged it." His immediate assignment: Set up information-gathering contacts preparatory to mapping a plan to send an American military "Dixie Mission" into Communist territory in the North. The mission was a liaison with Communist (Turn (o Page B-4, Col. II People Talk F.C. Anderson IT'S TOO BAD Ponce de Leon isn't looking for the Fountain of Youth today. He'd find it in the Anchor Club of Covenant Presbyterian Church. "But even if Ponce were reincarnated for a second chance, he would have to stand in line behind me. I got there first. ' There are many things to recommend the Anchor Club, not the least of which is the minimum age requirement for membership. It's 50, or made to order'for people like me who arc too young tor Lawrence Welk and too old for rock. Furthermore, the food served at the Wednesday luncheon meetings would tax even Tcdd Thomey's powers of praise. For a dollar, where else in Long Beach can you get a plateful of spaghetti, jelloed fruit cocktail, tea or coffee and seconds on hot buttered biscuits and jam? And where can ono find better fellowship, more tuneful singing and such stimulating conversation? I'm not a Presbyterian, but that didn't make any difference. The Anchor Club is ecumenical. It's open tc all older adults who seek companionship, intellectual growth, spiritual maturity, recreation and service. Members make gifts for adult patients in convalescent homes and hospitals and for youngsters in pediatrics wards. They're always on the go. They write to and visit shut-ins, go on excursions and fill their days with the simple joy of living. I LEARNED these things from my head table hostess, Mrs. Tyrone Richardson, the club president. Mrs. Richardson has been president for so many terms she's almost forgotten her first inaugural address. But she would get anybody's vote. You'll never hear her charged with lack of leadership. She handles the microphone with the skill of Johnny Carson, a fellow Ncbraskan. Indeed, she is a tough act to follow at the rostrum, as 1 discovered. The microphone stayed in place for her but kept slipping when my clammy hands were on its neck. Maybe it was the weight of my words that caused the mike to retreat, or perhaps it didn't want to hear what I was saying. Charles Thompson, an Anchor Club member, came to '"Â· aid with a roll of scotch tape, and the microphone ;.-Â«liy stayed in place. Wonder of wonders, so did my audience. The presence of Charles Thompson and a few other gentlemen helped to case my fears about my wife's reaction when I told her I had lunched with some 75 beautiful women. She did accept my word that I had behaved myself, although she seemed a mite dubious when I told her about the singing. "The only time you sing is when you've had a second cocktail," my wife said. 1 TOLD HER the cocktail in question at the luncheon was fruit and Julio, and she seemed nppnocnrf Sim wns Â«nmpwhiit mollified when I in- fo'iTncd her the tunes I carried were "Bless This House" and "God Bless America." "Carry a tune?" my wife shot back. "I've only known you to carry tunes to ridiculous extremes." That may be so. But attendance at an Anchor Club luncheon brings out one's best. As soon as 1 can redeem my pitchpipe.from the pawn shop I'm going to start rehearsing for the club's talent show on Jan. 29. Maybe I'll even win enough at the club's Jan. 22 bingo party to pay off the pawn ticket. You never can tell.
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