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RENO DISPATCH: CRAMMING FOR FINALS--CAN SAN DIEGO STATE REALLY WIN A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP THIS SPRING?

 

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

Jan. 28, 2014 (San Diego) -- The San Diego State Aztecs, who passed a tough road test at Utah State University Saturday night with a 74-69 overtime win, are headed toward the top of the 2014 class. Now ranked #5 in both major national college basketball polls, the 18-1 Aztecs, winners of 17 straight, are cramming for the Final Four in April and a possible national championship.

RENO DISPATCH: DID THIS LEGENDARILY INERT CONGRESS REALLY JUST GET OFF THE FLOOR AND DO SOMETHING RIGHT FOR OUR TROOPS & VETERANS?

 

 

By Jamie Reno

Jan. 16, 2014  (San Diego) -- It’s been a pretty positive week in Washington for our troops and veterans. As you've probably heard, Congressional negotiators have shockingly agreed on a $1.1 trillion spending package that almost everyone says is a pretty good deal. Go figure! And one of the real positives of this whopping budget agreement is that it gives active-duty military a one percent pay raise. 

But wait, there's been even more surprising action from this historically do-nothing Congress.  Read more at the Reno Dispatch.

RENO DISPATCH: SANDERS BILL WOULD PROTECT VETERANS BENEFITS IN A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

 

By Jamie Reno

October 2, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – Just hours before the likely shutdown of the government, legislation that many anxious American veterans have been hoping for has arrived - and Congress had better pass it. Tonight, Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) introduced legislation to ensure that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continues to make disability compensation and pension payments to veterans in the event of an extended government shutdown.

“We must not let our veterans be counted among the House Republicans’ hostages,” Sanders said this evening.

RENO DISPATCH: CONFUSION AND OUTRAGE: WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN REALLY MEANS FOR VETERANS

 

September 30, 2013 (San Diego) – With the government on the brink of shutting down for who knows how long, America's veterans are trying to make sense of the conflicting and confusing information spewing from inside the Beltway. And the national media isn't helping much.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been sending out painfully mixed messages. Last week, the department announced that under its contingency plan, 95 percent of VA employees would be either fully funded or required to perform excepted functions during a government shutdown.

RENO DISPATCH: BOB FILNER THANKFULLY RESIGNS, BUT TROUBLING QUESTIONS LINGER

 

 

By Jamie Reno

August 20, 2013 (San Diego) – I'm sure by now you've read the news that embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is probably resigning. Yes, the greasy pol is apparently out - though some of the details of his pending resignation "deal" are still uncertain. It had to happen. At least 18 very credible women have come forward with specific accounts of Filner's creepy behavior. That he is apparently leaving represents a potentially healing moment for this city, which has taken a major PR hit in recent weeks.

RENO DISPATCH: NO MURDER CHARGES FILED IN THE CASE OF MISSING AMERICAN AUBREY SACCO

 

August 8, 2013 (San Diego) – An update today from Nepal on a story I've been following for two years: Contrary to what a number of media reports suggested last week, lack of enough evidence has prevented police from filing murder charges against the three people identified as suspects in the alleged murder of American woman Aubrey Sacco, who went missing in 2010.

Nepal's Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) arrested the three suspects Friday in connection with the possible murder of Aubrey, an athlete, scholar and musician who as I reported for ESPN had gone missing from the Langtang area of the Rasuwa district of Nepal more than three years ago.

RENO DISPATCH: IS AMERICAN JOURNALISM CORRUPTED BY BIG PHARMA DOLLARS?

 

August 8, 2013 (San Diego) – There have been many breakthroughs recently in the study of adult (non-embryonic) stem cells. But the national media has all but ignored them. Most news outlets still seem to prefer perpetuating the tired notion that all adult stem cell researchers are cons and all patients who enroll in adult stem cell clinical trials are fools. That's no longer the case.

Yes, there are still unethical players in this sector who take advantage of ailing, desperate patients willing to try anything. And yes, this is a relatively new field about which there is still much to learn. But a number of reputable companies that specialize in this research, including Medistem and Cytori Therapeutics, already have FDA-approved trials under way or in the pipeline for a variety of health conditions.

RENO DISPATCH: THE SAD DEATH OF ONE OF AMERICA'S LAST REAL INVESTIGATIVE REPORTERS

Originally posted Wednesday, June 19 at the Reno Dispatch

June 25, 2013 (San Diego) – The news of Michael Hastings' death comes as a total shock. Michael, 33, who was killed early Tuesday in a car crash in Los Angeles, was among the last of a disappearing breed of fearless investigative reporters. A friend and former colleague, he and I worked together often when we were fellow writers at Newsweek.

I'll never forget our marathon phone conversations about politics, war, civilian casualties and General David Patraeus. Michael was probably the general's most outspoken critic, as you can see in this article he wrote for Rolling Stone. Michael ripped the general in that story, and in others. I haven't exactly gone easy on Patraeus, either, but I've typically left it to my sources to evaluate him in stories such as this one for Newsweek/Daily Beast. Michael had no time for that. It just wasn't his style. He called it the way he saw it, and I admired him for it.

RENO DISPATCH: THE GOVERNMENT MAY NOT CARE ABOUT OUR DISABLED VETERANS...BUT WE THE PEOPLE DO!!

 

Originally posted Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at The Reno Dispatch

June 18, 2013 (San Diego) – Marine Corps Capt. Sarah Bettencourt, 29, was just days away from being designated a naval aviator when she developed a rare neurological disorder in 2008. Despite her disability, she bravely continued to serve in the Marines until symptoms ended her career in 2012. Sarah, who retired with a 100 percent disability rating, now struggles at home with day-to-day tasks due to severe problems with her central nervous system.

And of course she is not alone. More than 2.2 million American veterans like Sarah were seriously injured at some point while serving in the military, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Among the center's troubling findings: Veterans who suffered major service-related injuries are less likely in later life to be in overall good health or to hold full-time jobs.

RENO DISPATCH: MEMORIAL DAY MEMO TO AMERICA'S LAWMAKERS: WHY HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN OUR TROOPS AND VETERANS?

 

Originally posted Monday, May 27, 2013

By Jamie Reno

May 30, 2013 (San Diego) -- Taking a quick look around, it's easy to cynically conclude that Memorial Day has become nothing more than a paean to big sales at the mall, beach BBQ's, and getting a day off from school and work. Not that there's anything wrong with any of those things - but let's please not forget to whom this day really belongs. And for the record, this holiday isn't just for our brave warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice. It's also for those who served our country and are still with us.

As I reported late last year in The Daily Beast, as many as 30 percent of post-9/11 veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a type of anxiety disorder that can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. PTSD is often debilitating. These veterans need our help. Now.

RENO DISPATCH: BREAKING NEWS: FEDERAL JUDGES SAY NO TO SAN ONOFRE REBOOT WITHOUT FORMAL HEARINGS

 

By Jamie Reno, originally posted May 13, 2013

May 18, 2013 (San Diego) – In a rather unexpected rejection of Southern California Edison’s efforts to restart the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego, the Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) ruled today that the two reactors can not go back online before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) holds a formal license amendment proceeding with full public participation.

A three-judge panel of the ASLB granted a petition from Friends of the Earth, an environmental organization, asking the NRC to require Edison to undergo a license amendment process before a judge, including public hearings, sworn testimony from expert witnesses and rules of evidence.

RENO DISPATCH: HOW I SURVIVED MULTIPLE BLOOD CLOTS!

By Jamie Reno

January 31, 2013 (San Diego) – Last summer, as I was nearing the end of a grueling three-set tennis match in 90-degree heat, I felt a very sharp pain in my left side, below my heart, and then just collapsed on the court. It was easily the most painful thing I've ever experienced. I could barely move.

I wasn't sure if it was a heart attack, a ruptured spleen, a tumor, or what. All I knew is that it hurt like heck and that it was probably something serious. With the help of my tennis partner, I made it to the car and then to the hospital, where, after hours of blood tests and scans, the ER doctors finally discovered the problem: multiple blood clots in both lungs.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-i-survived-multiple-bloo...

RENO DISPATCH: CHILLING TESTIMONY: DESIGN FLAWS AT CALIFORNIA NUCLEAR POWER PLANT PUT MILLIONS IN DANGER

By Jamie Reno

January 26, 2013 (San Diego) – The operator of the San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California made critical errors in the design of the plant's replacement steam generators and, as a result, the public was put in great danger last year, according to expert testimony Wednesday by an internationally renowned nuclear engineer at a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) hearing.

The chilling testimony, which was presented to the NRC Petitions Review Board, was accompanied by evidence showing that plant operator Southern California Edison should have been required to go through a license amendment process before installing the new steam generators in 2009 and 2010.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/design-flaws-at-california-n...

RENO DISPATCH: BREAKING NEWS: SUPREME COURT REJECTS HISTORIC LAWSUIT AGAINST GOVERNMENT

By Jamie Reno, The Reno Dispatch

January 10, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – The U.S. Supreme Court has announced that it will not hear arguments in an historic lawsuit filed by two veterans groups in 2007 against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The lawsuit, Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, demanded that the VA fix its broken mental health care system.

Last May, a federal appeals court in California voted 10–1 to dismiss the case, ruling that only Congress or the president has the authority to direct changes on how veterans are treated. The decision overturned a 2–1 ruling in 2011 by the same court, which said that the department’s “unchecked incompetence has gone on long enough,” and permitted the plaintiffs to ask a federal judge to order changes in the VA.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/breaking-news-supreme-court-...

RENO DISPATCH: BREAKING NEWS: IS NUCLEAR POWER DONE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA?

January 8, 2013 (San Diego) – Will there be no more nukes in Southern California? That now appears to be a very real possibility. It's been a year now since a radioactive steam leak lead to the closure of the two aging reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), which is located between San Diego and Los Angeles. The power plant is not expected to reboot any time soon, if ever.

Last month, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a Request for Additional Information to Southern California Edison, the plant's majority owner, for its review of the company’s restart idea, asking the utility to provide evidence that reactor Unit 2, which Edison wants to reboot, can be operated safely.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/breaking-news-is-nuclear-pow...

RENO DISPATCH: WILL CONGRESS THROW VETERANS UNDER THE BUS?

January 2, 2013 (San Diego) – What has sadly been lost this week amid all the chatter about the so-called fiscal cliff is the fact that members of Congress are already threatening to throw our veterans under the bus. And it is nothing short of despicable.

Back in September, I reported for Newsweek/The Daily Beast that an unidentified Senator tried to block disabled veterans and their survivors from getting a cost-of-living adjustment to their benefits. The Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) increase for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, which typically passes the House and Senate without opposition, was cleared by Senate Democrats but was unconscionably placed on a “secret hold” by an unidentified Republican senator.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/12/will-congress-throw-veterans...

RENO DISPATCH: WOULD PRESIDENT OBAMA LIKE THE NEW FILM "PROMISED LAND?"

January 2, 2013 (San Diego) – I just watched the poignant new film Promised Land, which will be released nationally on Friday, and as I watched I couldn't help but wonder: Would President Obama like this movie? Is it something he would embrace, or dismiss?

As you may have read, Promised Land, which is written by and stars Matt Damon and John Krasinski, is a cautionary tale about hydraulic fracking, the relatively new and controversial process of injecting water, sand and a variety of chemicals, some of them toxic, deep into the ground to free natural gas trapped in rock.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2013/01/would-president-obama-like-n...

RENO DISPATCH: WEST SIDE STORY: THE GREATEST HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL GAME EVER PLAYED?

January 2, 2013 (San Diego) – Talk about your Friday Night Lights. It was 35 years ago that arguably the greatest high school football game in America was played, and the greatest high school rivalry was born. And the game wasn't played in Texas. Or California. It was played in Central Iowa.

The game in 1977 between the Valley Tigers and the Dowling Maroons, both of West Des Moines, Iowa, was epic. It created a high school rivalry that USA TODAY recently called one of the greatest in the nation. Well, I say it is the best in the nation.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/12/west-side-story-greatest-hig...

RENO DISPATCH: REPORT - CANCER VACCINE SAVES LIVES, BUT FDA DOESN'T CARE

December 27, 2012 (San Diego) – Many lives have been saved by a personalized vaccine for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer called BioVax ID. But inexcusably, BioVax ID, which has been around since 1994, remains unapproved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is unavailable to many patients.

The FDA says it denied a request for accelerated approval for this vaccine from the company, Biovest, because the vaccine does not fill an unmet need. But patients and patient advocates I've spoken to across the nation strongly disagree.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/12/cancer-vaccine-saves-lives-b...

RENO DISPATCH: WHAT DOES THIS ELECTION REALLY MEAN FOR VETERANS?

November 11, 2012 (San Diego) – Veterans Day is a day to remember and honor all American men and women who served our country. But this year, it's also a day to reflect on just what impact last week's election will have on America's 22 million veterans.

In his stirring victory speech late Tuesday night, President Obama passionately reminded the nation how important it is to support our warriors and their families. He reiterated that support today in a speech at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery's Memorial Amphitheater, saying, "No one who fights for this country overseas should ever have to fight for a job, or a roof over their head, or the care that they have earned when they come home."

Full column:  http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/11/what-does-this-election-really-mean-for.html

RENO DISPATCH: ONE QUESTION BEFORE YOU VOTE—WHO IS BETTER FOR VETERANS?

By Jamie Reno

Despite the fact that we have been a nation at war for more than a decade, sadly, and surprisingly, the plight of America's veterans has not by any measure been a front-burner issue in this presidential election. But it's not too late for you to make it one.

Full column:  http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/11/election-eve-question-wholl-be-better.html

WHAT IS DCA? THE REAL STORY BEHIND THIS ALTERNATIVE CANCER TREATMENT

By The Reno Dispatch Guest Blogger Martin C. Winer

November 3, 2012 (San Diego) -- One of the most devastating diagnoses a patient can receive is cancer, which can sometimes mean years of chemotherapy, radiation and/or surgery affecting the patient’s quality of life. As a result, patients often look to the Internet hoping to find an alternative that will restore their health with greater speed and fewer side effects.

A simple Internet search produces a plethora of results with great promises but little backing research. Separating the silver from the dross often requires a graduate degree, so typically, the patient, in frustration, brings a ream of printouts to his or her oncologist, who usually hasn’t heard of half of the remedies or at best rolls his or her eyes at them. 

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/10/what-is-dca-real-story-behin...

BREAKING NEWS - GREEN PARTY CANDIDATES ARRESTED AT DEBATE

October 16, 2012 (San Diego) – Not a banner day for our beloved democracy when a legitimate candidate for President of the United States is arrested simply for practicing her right to free speech.

But so it goes...

Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees, were just forcibly prevented from entering the grounds of tonight's presidential debate and arrested by local police.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/10/breaking-news-green-party-ca...

CANCERCARE AND CARIBOU COFFEE: A PERFECT BLEND FOR CANCER PATIENTS

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

Oct. 11, 2012 (San Diego) -- As a 16-year cancer survivor and longtime patient advocate, I was excited to learn that Caribou Coffee, one of the leading branded coffee companies in the country, has formed a new partnership with CancerCare, a non-profit organization that for nearly 70 years has provided a variety of free support services for cancer patients and their loved ones.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/10/cancercare-and-caribou-coffe...

ONLY IN AMERICA: A CIVIL DEBATE WITH MY MUSLIM FRIEND

By Jamie Reno

Exclusive for the Reno Dispatch

October 8, 2012 (San Diego) – Last week, Randy Hamud, the attorney, author and civil rights activist who represented several of the friends of the three 9/11 hijackers who lived in San Diego, wrote an op-ed piece for the U-T San Diego newspaper in which he addressed whether the now-infamous 14-minute video ridiculing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad was an exercise of free speech, or an incitement to violence that should not be granted First Amendment protection.

http://therenodispatch.blogspot.com/2012/10/only-in-america-civil-debate...

VETERANS EMBRACE LIFE AT SUMMER SPORTS CLINIC THIS WEEK IN SAN DIEGO

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

September 25, 2012 (San Diego) -- I've been openly critical of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for its massive backlog of disability claims, entrenched bureaucracy, and other problems. The VA has a long, long way to go.

But that doesn't mean I don't recognize that there are many people at VA who are dedicated to veterans, and many programs that help veterans survive and thrive.

HOW ARE OUR VETERANS REALLY DOING?

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

OK, let's cut to the chase: How are America's veterans really doing overall? While that question has no simple answer, what I can say is that there are a number of positives to share - but at least one very large negative.

In a briefing last week, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) candidly shared with the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee what it considers its greatest successes as well as its most urgent problems.

HISTORIC LAWSUIT FOR VETERANS HEADED TO SUPREME COURT?

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

September 24, 2012 (San Diego)--My trusted veteran sources tell me that we may soon know if Veterans for Common Sense v. Eric K. Shinseki, the historic lawsuit filed by veterans advocates against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) way back in 2007, will be heard by the Supreme Court.

RENO DISPATCH: KEEP KILLING THE BAD GUYS, KEEP TALKING TO THE GOOD GUYS

By Jamie Reno

The Reno Dispatch

Sept. 19, 2012 (San Diego)-- I'm not a bleeding-heart liberal. I certainly recognize that the violent anti-American protests this week throughout the Middle East and beyond in response to a stupid video denigrating the Muslim religion are a real threat to the United States and need to be taken very seriously.

IS THERE ANY OBJECTIVE JOURNALISM ANYMORE?

By Jamie Reno

Several years ago I wrote a story about my two best friends - one a Christian conservative Republican ex-Marine, the other an agnostic liberal Democrat college professor. In the piece I described how much I admired both of them but always seemed to find myself in the middle. 

Well, they're still my best friends... and I'm still in the middle. My liberal friend still thinks I'm too conservative, and my conservative friend still thinks I'm too liberal. 

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