Author: Lagniappe

Springhill Medical Center one of few treating decompression sickness

BY JOHN MULLEN Diving for dollars is big business along the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida as tourism officials market offshore offerings to scuba enthusiasts. And as Lagniappe reported Aug. 3, local and state governments and private organizations keep adding offshore attractions on the Gulf floor to lure more and more divers to stay in the hotels and condos and eat in the restaurants. Alabama recently announced it will add a 250-foot vessel off the coast of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach this fall or early winter. But all this worries Julio Garcia, program director at the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbarics at Springhill Medical Center in Mobile. A hyperbaric chamber is vital to treating divers who suffer from decompression sickness during a dive. What is sometimes called “the bends” occurs if divers surface too quickly after a deep-water dive. It can cause a variety of symptoms from simple limb pain to paralysis or even death. Just about every hospital along or near the Gulf Coast in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle has chamber facilities. But only two along an approximately 600-mile stretch of the coast — prime diving destinations— use those facilities to treat decompression sickness. “My hospital here in Mobile, Springhill [Medical Center], and Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers are the two facilities on the Gulf Coast that treat diving emergencies,” Garcia said. “This...

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Music Listings: August 10 – August 16, 2017

THUR. AUG 10 Bluegill— Al and Cathy Callaghan’s— Bobby Butchka Cockeyed Charlie’s— JJ Dority’s Bar and Grill— Matt and Sherry Neese, 6p Felix’s— Grits N Pieces Flora Bama— Zachery Diedrich, 2p// Brittany Bell Duo, 5p/// Dueling Pianos, 5:30p//// Mark Sherrill, James Daniel, Chris Newbury, 6p//// Ben Callaher, 8p//// Andy Brasher Band, 10p//// Brian Hill Trio, 10:15p//// Oliver’s Twist, 10:30p Hangout— Whyte Caps, 6p// Ryan Dyer, 10p Lulu’s— Lefty Collins, 6p Manci’s— Ross Newell SanBar— Jim Andrews Tacky Jacks (Orange Beach) — Damien Lamb, 6p Veets— Phil and Foster, 8p Wind Creek Casino— The City, 8p FRI. AUG 11 Alchemy—...

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Calendar of Events: August 10 – August 16, 2017

GENERAL INTEREST Absentee Election Office The Absentee Election Office for the Aug. 22 city of Mobile municipal election is now open on the first floor of Government Plaza, 205 Government St. The hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 251-208-7377. Mobile Tiki Week Mobile Tiki Week runs through Aug. 12. Included bars are the OK Bicycle Shop, The Merry Widow, The Noble South’s Sidecar Lounge and The Haberdasher, with each bar featuring original tiki cocktails (and more). Call 251-229-2718. Cuts for kids During the month of August, Remington College will provide free back-to-school haircuts for students 17 and under at 4368 Downtowner Loop S., Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 251-342-4848 for appointments. Walk-ins are also welcome. AIDB information Certified professionals with Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) will discuss the services offered to help those with vision and hearing loss. Thursday, Aug. 10, at 9:30 a.m., Ben May Main Library, 701 Government St. Call 251-208-7078 or email [email protected] Cocktails and Conversation Historian Raven Christopher presents “Negotiated Affections: A History of Prostitution in Mobile,” Thursday, Aug. 10, at the Gulf City Lodge, 610 State St. Free for members of the Downtown Mobile Alliance, $5 for nonmembers. Email [email protected] Mental Wellness Conference Starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 10, there will be a discussion about crisis issues in mental health care services for families...

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Door seems shut to me

Editor: When Sandy Stimpson was campaigning for mayor, he promised an open-door policy. But when he won the election, the door was closed to the ordinary people. After several attempts to visit him in [his] office, I finally achieved a short telephone conversation with him. My primary concern was the city retirees’ insurance, which was one of the first on his agenda to cut or reduce. He said the retirees’ insurance was unsustainable. He claimed in a letter that he was offering a “win-win” plan. It was a take it or leave it, no options. He claimed the replacement plan was equal to or better than the current one — it’s not! The monthly fee is higher and the co-pay is extremely higher. He stated in his letter that it would save the city $2.5 million by cutting the 700 retirees’ insurance. Soon after, he announced his plans for a Mardi Gras park for $2 million, but in a recent newscast he said it will cost approximately $4 million more to finish the project. I realize Stimpson was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is used to getting what he wants, but do we the people owe him these individual, selfish ambitions? Lately, all the City Council members seem to be rubber-stamping all the mayor’s requests. Recently, a friend who lives off Dauphin Island Parkway called...

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Downtown baseball or bust

Editor: There is something about pulling for the local team. The pride, the history, the satisfaction of beating your rivals … those rivals being similar-sized cities in the region that you know well. Our local team, the BayBears, are rumored to be on the selling block lately. While local officials say it’s all rumors, the sports investment group in the mix for moving the team says the BayBears are “the only Double-A team that league officials will agree to move on.” And it’s not just potentially moving to the Huntsville market. Both Baton Rouge and Savannah are being listed as possible new sites. This interest from other cities in the team makes sense. The BayBears are consistently winning games and division titles but have little fan support, combined with struggles in the front office and with the City Council. So, our local team is prime to move. Regarding fan support, the numbers don’t lie. Mobile was last in the league in attendance with an average 1,527 per game last season. There is the occasional 3,500 or so for a game, but it’s really depressing to see 900 fans more often in a stadium that seats 6,000. In comparison, the smaller market of Pensacola averaged 4,319 last year. And the new-ball smell of the Wahoos is gone … they have been there over five years now. With a capacity of 5,000, the Wahoos sell out on...

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