Archives July 2017

Skateboarders And Law Enforcement Clash — Literally — At San Francisco’s Dolores Park

feet-1844875_960_720In San Francisco’s Mission District, what should’ve been an impromptu yet enjoyable skateboarding event ended up turning into something resembling a brawl with law enforcement.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the encounter started at around 7 p.m. at a competition called a “hill bombing.” About 11 million people self-report that they enjoy skateboarding on a regular basis, but it can definitely cause injuries, and when law enforcement was called to Dolores Park to help an injured skateboarder, another rider collided with an officer, sending the rider through the air.

Many of the almost 300 onlookers say the injury looked deliberate, and videos posted to Twitter clearly show that the officer was, in fact, standing in the center of the street.

“Dude, a cop just (messed) him up,” one witness said.

The video also shows just how steep the street was and how fast the riders were going.

“It seems pretty obvious to me that the police officer just kind of stuck his shoulder out, and you know, it’s a really dangerous, reckless thing to do at that speed,” said Chris Atwood in an interview with CBS.

Incidents such as these inevitably beg the question as to whether or not the use of police body cameras should be more heavily enforced. While it is estimated that 67% of burglaries can be avoided by the installation of video surveillance, it’s not at all a stretch to say that video surveillance can also improve the conduct of law enforcement, who should be held to higher standards upholding the law as it is.

The skater was taken to the hospital and treated for minor, but unspecified, injuries, and the park was shut down.

As a result of the confrontation, however, multiple police cruisers were defaced, and one even had its windows smashed.

Although nobody was arrested, the investigation is still underway.

Probably the biggest propeller in this story was social media.

Witness Joel Hamill posted his own video as well. “Purposely push skateboarder into car causing serious injury,” he Tweeted as a caption.

“We literally shut down Dolores Street,” a 22-year-old San Francisco skater who identified himself only as Pete told SF Gate. “They (police) were doing their job. That doesn’t mean we always agree with it … It got very very serious very fast. Then the cops got involved and the skaters got mad.”

Grace Gatpandan, police spokesperson, fully supports the actions of the officers.

“The officers were just trying to keep them safe when this all happened,” she said.

Millennials Are Now The Largest Home Purchasers In The Nation

Mortgage concept

The housing market has been hit in a big way by the millennial generation, who have entered it with force recently. For years now, the millennial generation had been seemingly uninterested with owning homes, but for the first time they make up the majority of home purchasers.

According to a millennial real estate agent, Nick Sakkis, the reason why this took so long to occur is really tied to the lifestyles and employment options that the generation had.

“I think Millennials have a lot of options that the GenX-ers or Boomers didn’t have. They can work remotely so the idea of putting down roots in one place might not appeal to a lot of them, so that’s where the disconnect comes in.”

But that appears to no longer be the case with the older members of the generation, who are no longer restrained by the burdens they had early in their professional lives. A lot of their resources had been tied into their education and career until now, and financial analysts say not to underestimate that. It’ll have a lot of impact on the power of their purchasing and in a good way.

Greg McBride,’s chief financial analyst, is one of the voices speaking about the power of the millennial real estate buyer.

“A lot of those Millennials who were reluctant to buy because of student loan debt or career mobility will look in their 30s and – by virtue of those investments in education and career early on – will be able to skip right over the starter home.”

So, while the big bank results state otherwise, the housing market could see an exponential increase in the coming years as millennials obtain a little more financial freedom, especially amongst military members finally leaving duty.

Veterans who’ve served for a period of time longer than six months get access to special VA home loans that require no mortgage insurance and give 100% financing options. So, not only will older millennials have the benefit of an education, but also potentially great housing options from the armed services, too.

As the millennial generation begins to settle down and have families of their own, the investments made in their future are starting to show a good return. If this will drive the housing market out of its slump has yet to be determined.

Police Called About Giant Water Slide, Go For a Ride Themselves

A police car rushes to the emergency call with lights turned on

Since its inception nearly 50 years ago, the inflatable industry has been growing steadily as a market. This can include jump houses, obstacle courses, and water slides, which are the real summertime pleasure.

And that’s something even the police can agree on!

During a Fourth of July party, the police received a complaint that a large water slide was causing a disturbance in a residential area. Upon arriving on the scene, the police officers did the most logical thing they could do:

They partook in the fun.

A resident of the area, Katlen Joyce Smith, said that one of the local parents had decided to build a slip-and-slide for the neighborhood kids to enjoy during the annual block party for the holiday.

Although the initial complaint claimed that the water slide was blocking the road, the officers found no apparent violations.

“When the police came, they quickly realized that wasn’t the case and asked if they could take a turn,” Smith said.

One of the officers to arrive at the scene, Carrie Lee, stated in a video posted on Twitter that there weren’t any violations that could be seen with the slide. It did not block the road.

“We looked at it and determined it wasn’t really an issue. So the first thing I said, I said I’m not here to break up your fun,” Lee reported to CNN.

In that same video, Lee can be seen using the trash bag as her raft while her partner, Officer Joe Jones, slides down on an inner tube with one of the neighborhood kids.

Smith was ecstatic about the events and could hardly believe how the complaint had turned out, taking to Facebook to share:

“I still can’t handle the amazing mess of it all I hope the neighbor who called them saw it all go down!!”

Officer Jones didn’t have any intention of going down the slide originally but caved to pressure from one of the local kids.

“I thought I was going to be able to get out of it, because I’m too big to fit in a trash bag. But then when the kids pulled out this big raft … I had no choice.”

The events can be seen on YouTube and the Police Department’s Twitter feed.

Big Pharma Needs To Adapt To The Times, Says Teva CEO

Female pharmacist

The CEO and interim-President of pharmaceutical giant Teva, Yitzhak Peterburg, believes that the health-care industry is facing a “huge disruption” in the coming years. The cause, Peterburg believes, is the fact that technology heavyweights are not “jostling” for consumers with more traditional providers.

“I am a very great believer that we are now in a huge disruption within the health-care (industry),” he said, “and I think it will affect our industry. For me, the digital reform, or whatever we see, is a huge enabler.”

Teva Pharmaceutical, which is located in Israel, is one of the largest producers of generic medicines. It also has treatments for sclerosis as well as late-stage programs for disorders of the nervous system.

Peterburg believes that pharmaceutical companies need to start thinking of ways to navigate their changing landscapes and take a look at the competitors that are appearing.

“Being good at manufacturing pills and injections is no longer enough for pharma companies. Consumers have also changed and they expect very different value from pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry as a whole,” said Peterburg.

Some of the competitors he listed that need to be watched out for in the modern pharmacy world are companies like Amazon and Google. Amazon was reported to be attempting to enter into the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry earlier in the year.

Peterburg believes that there is no easy solution to the issue and that it’s not as straightforward as one would expect. This is due to the fact that the industry is, according to him, “not moving at the same pace.”

“It’s very, very difficult, especially for incumbents, to find the right way and where to move,” he noted. “That’s why we have to do it by collaboration maybe with start-ups, with small companies and try to find the solution.”

What this collaboration would mean for the hundreds of thousands of individuals working in the industry (there were 397,430 pharmacy technicians working in the U.S alone in 2015), is unknown.