Chloroflot.com has just published it’s 2006 Design Salary Survey, in which they asked different types of designers all over the world how much they rake in every year. To my surprise, Hong Kong towers over the rest of the world in times of the kind of living the average designer makes, a whopping $93,607 salary. The survey also breaks down salary by experience level and specialization, with design directors of interactive agencies making almost $70k more a year than entry level graphic designers.
CNN and NPR, as well as multiple blogs are reporting on recently released evidence that multiple Los Angeles area hospitals have on multiple occasions discharged patients and left them on LA’s notorious Skid Row; home to a large number of the city’s homeless population. From CNN:
In one case, a man dropped off at Skid Row was in fact not homeless, said Smith, the LAPD captain. A police officer took him home and the man’s family was “outraged,” he said.
“Not only did they not know that he was discharged, but the fact that he had been brought to Skid Row instead of being brought home was what further outraged that family,” Smith said at a news conference Tuesday.
The sergeant called an LAPD videographer, who over the next few hours recorded four more ambulances arriving at the facility and leaving recently discharged patients.
Police also said the patients stated in their interviews that they didn’t want to be left there.
These allegations are disgusting enough in and of themselves, but the story gets even worse. LA is currently suffering from an epidemic of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (or Staph infection), which has come to be known as Skid Row Staph. Despite the fact that city public health officials have known about the problem for over a year, almost nothing has been done to combat the spread of the infection. In the case of a Staph infection, which usually enters through surface wounds, extremely simple steps such as providing mobile shower stations and clean clothes for the homeless population would go a very long way toward slowing the spread of the outbreak. Unfortunately, nothing of the sort has been done, and the bacteria has began infecting people outside of the street dwellers. First responders such as Ambulance and Fire, Police, and other street-level workers, as well as hospital staff, have become a second pool from which the disease now feeds. The inaction of city health officials is not only hurting the people with the least means with which to help themselves, but will eventually take a grave toll on the greater population of the city if nothing is done. The way this issue has been handled is not only despicable, but criminal, and those responsible should be punished without mercy.
Rob Levin, (aka. “lilo,” “somegeek”) died this morning after being involved in a tragic hit-and-run accident while riding his bicycle on the night of September 12th. He had sustained serious head injuries and was in a coma at the Neuro Trauma Intensive Care unit at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston in the days since the accident. Rob is survived by his wife Debbie and 8 year old son Benjamin.
Many of you will know Rob as the Director of the Peer Directed Projects Center, a 502(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of Open Source, Free Software, and peer-directed projects around the world. In addition to handling the administrative duties of running the PDPC, Rob was the head caretaker of the Freenode IRC network, which has long been the center of collaboration for many online communities and projects.
Rob sacrificed a lot to work for PDPC and Freenode. For the past few years, he and his family lived in a trailer park outside of Houston, TX. As the trailer they lived in was nearing the end of its useful life, Rob set up Spinhome.org in hopes of raising money to purchase a new home for his family. Unfortunately, some in the Freenode community took offense to this and accused Rob of using network resources for personal gain. What these small brained imbeciles failed to realize is that without Rob, Freenode, as well as countless widely used Open Source projects would not be what they were today, if they still existed at all.
I can’t say that I knew Rob well, but I can say with confidence that he was my friend. In the few conversations we had, he confided in me the fact that his son Benjamin suffers from quite severe ADHD. On this point he and I connected, as I have had to grow up with the trials and tribulations of having ADHD. All I can hope is that some of the advice I gave him about possible treatment for Ben did some good.
Robs wife Debbie has requested donations be sent to the PDPC to keep Freenode going strong, as Rob would have wanted, or given to your local bicycle safety initiative.
You did a great deal for a great many of us Rob, and you will be sorely missed. Rest in peace my friend.