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Councilor proposes sunscreen dispensers in city parks

Matt O'Malley

City Councilor Matt O'Malley (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain) says making sunscreen dispensers outdoors as ubiquitous as hand-sanitizer stations in city buildings would let residents and visitors enjoy this most walkable of cities with less fear of sun-caused skin cancer.

In a motion that goes before the council on Wednesday, O'Malley calls for a hearing to consider how to equip Boston parks with free sunscreen dispensers so that people can liberally coat themselves with the lotion.

O'Malley says he already has the backing of the Melanoma Research Foundation.

The council's meeting begins at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.

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When homeless creeps decide to rub in some sunscreen where it doesn't need to be applied.

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...that they're considering "hand lotion" dispensers on the Orange Line...

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some bum would drown this sad sack loser in a vat of SPF. Everyone in JP and WR hates O'Malley.

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Oh, wait ...

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to win an election when qualified people with real credentials and real jobs can't run for this barely part-time hack job. This clown and his bowling shirt collection has done nothing to generate revenue, reduce property tax, or improve quality of life for property owners.

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Are you going to run?

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The last time a viable candidate ran against this clown was 2 elections ago. It was a gentleman named Jim Hennigan who has done more for his the community on his own personal time than this guy has on the tax payers dime.

But why should you care, you live in the burbs!

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That was an open election with no incumbent and O'Malley won with 60% of the vote. Then last election he got the most votes ever for a district city councilor. But keep going on about the groundswell against him.....

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with 49% eligible voters casting ballots for City Council D6 election.

Tip: If you're going to use figures make sure you all of them, not just the one(s) that help prove your opinion.

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cast ballots?!? Compared to most elections, that actually sounds like a really good turnout.

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I hate to confuse you all, sm4269a, anon (not verified), Rob not verified, and Swirls, but there was an election less than 2 years ago, and there were 2 names on the ballot, and Matt got 85% of the vote. The results are even in the internets.

All else is opinion, but the election is the only thing that matters.

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he's shown his true colors and I know about 50 of my neighbors will vote for his next opponent. Suck on that.

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Maybe you misread my comment(s), but that's exactly what I was saying. Amen.

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I was just throwing the blanket.

Of course, with those 51 people ready to vote for Matt's theoretical opponent, he must be quaking in his boots.

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I live in the district represented by O'Malley. So I can speak with some experience concerning the quality of his representation.

He has done nothing to help people who have nearly or have lost their home due to fire or other disaster. At the very least O'Malley should be responding to those constituents. When asked for help with awful noise from English High his office failed to do anything. The person who did something was Liz Malia, the House Representative, even though this was a city issue.

Speaking of things one knows nothing about, living in an area that is not addressed by the specific topic, a city councilor, does not support that respect that a person is otherwise due.

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If your experiences are so bad, perhaps you should use your name, and get a response.

I also live in O'Malley's district and have sought his help on problems directly. He has, always, either helped or put me in touch with someone who could.

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Councilor O'Malley or his office has always been responsive to our neighborhood concerns. He often has local office hours as well, if you need to speak to him directly. And, I often see him around JP or WR and at most neighborhood events. He is quite accessible and visible to his constituents.

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on multiple important issues. They've done nothing and sometimes worked to worsen quality of life for us.

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And you seem so nice, too...

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a fluffy pussy cat like you.

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What did you ask O'Malley for help with?

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O'Malley "worsened" your quality of life unless you're one of those folks who thinks that tearing down the Casey was the equivalent of dynamiting Fenway Park.

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Take a $60k pay cut? Are you mental? I didn't get two post-grad degrees to piss away my life on the kind of BS SchmoMalley thinks is important. But maybe the "donations" (cough*bribes*cough) make up for it.

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will be here before we know it, hopefully someone steps forward.

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O'Malley has lost elections. Just not district ones.

Any yes, I have claimed that since he is from Roslindale's Crimea that he is a West Roxbury guy living in JP, but I love that he got that water fountain with the ability to fill bottles installed at Jamaica Pond. It's similar to this initiative. He sees a problem and tries to solve it. And that's the kind if thinking that wins elections.

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???

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O'Malley's ancestral homestead is near that intersection just in Centre from where the VFW Parkway splits off from Centre just past the Hebrew Center, on the same side as Yucatan Taco and across the street from the ever charming Weld American that all the neighbors hate but don't want to see replaced with apartments.

You know, the area that was Roslindale until a few years ago, when the residents finally won their battle with the postal service to change their Zip code from the then dowdy 02131 to the then resale-value-enhancing 02132 (who's laughing now?), i.e., a bunch of Rozzie rats got to call themselves Westie, um, whatever it is Westie people call themselves and add another $10,000 or $20,000 to their home prices.

Interestingly, O'Malley wasn't the only Roslindale kid who grew up to be a politician who suddenly found himself with people denying his Rozzie roots because of this - John Connolly had to face the same accusations of not really being from Roslindale for the same reason.

Oh, Boston and your neighborhood boundary wars!

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Or West Roxbury residents camouflaged as Roslindale residents?

One of the residents of the disputed territory used to live across the street from me (before moving, of course.) They were quoted in the Globe as saying that they didn't see what the fuss was. We still welcome them back to the homeland with open arms.

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The line originally went down the W. Rox pkwy, meaning at one point Yucatan was in Roszie. The line was redrawn down Centre St, meaning Yucatan is now Westie. O'Malley's parents house and that entire area is and always was Roslindale.

Basically a triangle was added to Westie. The W. Rox pkwy, down the VFW pwky and back up Centre.

And not all residents supported the idea, increased housing value also means increased property taxes.

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My house was W Rox until the 80's and then the last 3 houses on my street got transitioned to Rozzie. My neighbors across the street are W Rox. Who freaking cares? I'd rather see everyone here use their b*tching skills to get the Orange line to go through Rozzie and W. Rox! Now that's a win-win :)

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Between Center and West Roxbury Parkway. It was annexed by West Roxbury about 8 years ago.

Sometimes I get the feeling Roslindale will eventually be partitioned vis a vis Poland at the end of the 18th century. You and I will end up in Hyde Park, though there is the odd chance I could end up in Jamaica Plain. The Stephen Lynch part of the neighborhood will go over to West Roxbury entirely, while north of the Square/Village/Triangle will end up in Jamaica Plain. That's why we need a 20 foot high border fence. And guards. And drones, lots of drones.

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The partisans of BelWash (see last weeks thread) will never accept the trustifarians of JP or the lace curtain tyrants of WR as our rulers. We have excellent access to the food suppliers of the Square/Village can't be starved out.

I think the Dapper memorial has to go to Steve Lynch, regardless of location. Maybe as an isolated territory like Kalingrad.

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I grew up in Rozie and still live here. Let me tell you, the trustification started about 5 years ago.

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Roslindale is being overrun by yuppies (meaning at this point middle class professionals who had their kids in their 30s?) not people who live off of trust funds and are social justice activists who shop at WF and only eat artisanal foods.

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The yuppies are being priced out of Jamaica Plain by the trustifarians.

Roslindale will never be cool enough for trustifarians. They will take over and destroy Dudley Square before going south of Forest Hills.

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I was thinking we were more like pre-fall of the wall Berlin.

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Is Roslindale Russia in this scenario, believing itself historically wronged for losing the Crimea to a newly constituted Ukraine after the fall of the Soviet Union? Or the Ukraine, having now had territory annexed by West Roxbury, er, Russia?

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Excepting that Roslindale didn't decide redraw the boundaries back in the 1950s. That said, when Waquiot Jr. becomes a President of the Roslindale Federation, he will probably give a televised address after the Olympics are held in Healy Field reminding neighbors that Roslindale could have it's forces at Egleston Square or Havey Beach within hours.

Besides, we are all just a part of what was historically the Town of West Roxbury, with the town hall in Jamaica Plain. With a mess like that, the whole former town could be seen as a much more polite version of the former Yugoslavia.

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...and I am proof.

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...unclear what post you are responding to. ;-}

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and the subsequent delay.

I was responding to this, from some troll who has had an account for years but only recently decided to pop up and share his dandruff of wisdom with us.

Everyone in JP and WR hates O'Malley.

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So only homeless people are creeps that do this? #sweepinggeneralization

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So what sunscreen company is going to get that sweet kickback -I mean contract with the city to fill those dispensers?

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one way or another via politics!

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Rape is a huge problem. Why not a more worthy cause than free sunscreen. Free lube around Kenmore. Less fully loaded jocks looking for release on a drunken Saturday night if they took care of business before hitting the town. A little astroglide and some frictionless frolics and everyone can go home safe and sound.

Makes about as much sense as this sunscreen idea.

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This is not very funny.

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Get the fair skinned ginger to launch the proposal, well played!

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“Being a redhead who grew up in Boston in the ’80s when sunscreen wasn’t as well used, I suffered many, many burns as a kid,” O’Malley said. “So many Bostonians, particularly those who are fairer skinned, have had to deal with this.”

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Skin cancer affects everyone, regardless of melanin levels.

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http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/race.htm

People who have high melanin levels in their skin have far lower rates of skin cancer than fair skinned people. While all people have some risk, dark skinned people have much lower risks.

Dark skin does experience some damage from the sun, but it is more superficial. One mom of a kid on my soccer team used the word "ashy" to describe it. As a coach of a mini model UN squad representing the full range of People Colors crayons, I just passed the tube around and people took it or left it as they chose.

Essentially what O'Malley is proposing. Not much different from hand sanitizer that you can take or leave.

Perhaps he's just expecting a wave of Irish tourists this summer? :-)

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Being "ashy" comes from having dry skin. Fair people get "ashy" too, it's just not as visible. Not the same as being sunburned.

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Not having dark skin myself, I took her word for it.

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I know that there's a lot in the world each of us doesn't know. But you could have just looked this up.

No, skin cancer does not affect everyone equally regardless of melanin levels. It's far lower in Africans and Asians than it is in Caucasians.

UV light is not a significant factor in the development of melanoma for non-caucasians; in brown-skinned people, melanoma develops most often in the mouth, soles of feet, under toenails, etc.

Sunscreen is irrelevant to the most dangerous forms of skin cancer for most of the world. This really is a white people problem, not an all people problem.

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...well, of course you can make them out to be wrong.

No, skin cancer does not affect everyone equally regardless of melanin levels.

Right. And that's not what she said. You added one very important word that completely changed the meaning of the statement. Now stop being so preachy.

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I don't know why. Sunscreen is important, especially if you are going to be out for a while, but there's something skeevy about this.

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Intended to break down capitalism by handing out free sunscreen and therefore forcing sunscreen and pharmacy companies to go bankrupt, therefore reducing capitalist potential.

Western Intelligence has been fooled for now, but not all of us have!

(But sir, surely you know the thing about Western Intelligence!)
(What would zat be, comrade?)
(That there is no such thing!)

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Mr. Mayor, we must not allow a sunscreen gap!

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Or are you shitting us? This is from a city councilor? are there no more important things to worry about -- education, crime, housing, health care, Olympics, transportation?

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And even city councilors can deal with more than one issue.

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...even city councilors can deal with more than one issue.

Citation needed.

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Or watch it on cable or YouTube. They have agendas and everything :-).

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"I have the backing of the Melanoma Research Foundation." I mean, you're proposing to dispense sunblock. I very much doubt that the Melanoma Research Foundation was going to review your proposal, and then grab their mustache between their fingers and say "I've pulled one over on you, sucker! We don't want to cure melanoma! Muahahahaha!"

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Degrades sunscreen and renders it much less effective, I'm curious how he's proposing to ensure this doesn't happen?

Ditto to warm plastic leaching harmful chemicals into liquid.

Maybe air-conditioned, glass dispensers that will be refilled by a team of people hired for just this one specific purpose?

I'm all for sun safety, but this city has way, WAY more pressing problems it should be spending money on. (And that's without even getting into the whole "you can lead a horse to water" thing...)

PSAs about sun safety from local figures and athletes - like Ference's face on recycling bins - would be cheaper and more effective.

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Sunscreen separates so you need to shake it before you apply. How does that work with a dispenser?

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The past couple of years many sunscreens have gotten reformulated with zinc oxide as the active ingredient, and zinc oxide is immortal it won't ever degrade.

I don't know why, but this has been happening very quietly. Last year I bought a tube of Banana Boat Kids and half the tubes on the shelf were hexa-oxy-cyclo-whatever based, and half of them were zinc oxide based. The packaging and UPC codes were identical, without any hint of change except the ingredients list.

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Must use spf 2000

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CVS is either poised to make a fortune on this, or maybe we can get them to sponsor it.

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... with everything running so perfectly in the sparkling City of Boston.

It takes an awful lot of effort to come up with exciting new ideas like this to drain the city's overflowing coffers of money.

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And they want a raise!

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Next?

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Never let facts get in the way here, Adam. Cmon.

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I think Matt was in the sun way too much when he was young. It must have fried his brain. Just thinking, And we pay this City Councilor how much per year. Be real.

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Melanoma is a terrible killer and a painful way to go. I understand that sunshine in the park seems healthy and full of fun, but the truth is sunburn is a dangerous experience that can come back to haunt you decades later. Making sunscreen available for all is a great idea, as it not only protects those who use it, but reminds everyone to use protection in the sun.

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Yes sunscreen is a good thing. Then go buy a tube and use it. Why does the city have to install dispensers? They have to be maintained, etc.

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Yes water is a good thing. Then go buy a bottle and drink it. Why does the city have to install dispensers? They have to be maintained, etc.

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They've been working on water fountains for a while to make them more durable and to require less maintenance. The most they have to do is clean them twice a year when they turn them on and off. In between, they deal with bubble gum, sand, and blunt trauma.

A plastic tub full of boiling goo on a stick would last a week tops under the same conditions. These gimcraws will all be broken within a short time. Public money is better spent on things that serve the public better.

If your kids are so white they need special protection like the ginger boy who proposed this, you should take specialcare of them. Not everybody needs or uses sunscreen. Everybody needs and uses water.

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Comparing sunscreen and water is silly. The logic does not track. Try again.

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What are your feelings on the hand sanitizer the city gives out for free in City Hall and public schools?

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I don't have a philosophical issue with this, but it seems impractical.

However, hand sanitizer serves to protect everyone against the spread of disease while sunblock is only protecting the individual using it. From a public health perspective, it seems very different in scope and yet the cost and upkeep on sanitizer stations inside a building where there are custodians 9-5 is a bit different than something up at Millennium or Fallon or Healy, etc....

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it kills all but the most virulent germs, which can then spread to those of us who have normally functioning immune systems.

while sunscreen dispensers may not be the most practical idea, I'd rather see something like them than continue to see hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere. like, just wash your hands. you will be fine.

[not attacking you, Vaughn, just getting in my $0.02 about hand sanitizer.]

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Is this some offshoot of the anti-vaxxer movement? The concept that we should get sick more often to strengthen our immune systems? Sounds inconvenient for me personally and dangerous for infants, elderly, immuno-compromised, etc... As far as I know, hand sanitizer doesn't have the same issues as antibiotics in terms of overuse leading to a loss of effectiveness.

Here's a link about using it from the CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html Yes, hand-washing is better, but it's not an either or situation.

If there's some legit science based research on this, please post it.

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C-diff

The rise of C-diff is tied to the use of hand sanitizers. Most sanitizers cannot kill C-diff. Most sanitizers kill just about everything else. This results in a situation where the organisms that would out compete c-diff for food are nuked, C-diff is not, and thus C-diff grows completely out of control.

Think about the reasons why people on long voyages drank beer instead of water (yeast out competed pathogenic organisms), only flipped on its head.

The only known way to cure a C-diff infection is a poop transplant. Seriously.

This is not usually a problem in the general free-range world, however. It is an extremely serious problem in hospitals and clinics, and a potential problem in the homes of germaphobes.

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How does the rise of C-diff get offset by the decreasing (if it does) of other types of contact spread illness? Still seems like the dispensers for the public in hospitals, etc... are an overall health plus but I lack your professional insight.

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Hospitals are a unique ecosystem, and the patients are not like the general population in that many are immune compromised.

While generalized use of sanitizers in that environment protects the immune compromised, it does lead to those on heavy doses of antibiotics becoming overwhelmed by C diff.

It would, at this point, be difficult to study the effect of cutting back on sanitizing agents in the hospital environment for reasons of liability. The current labor situation in hospitals also makes it difficult for staff to take time for proper handwashing, making sanitizers attractive.

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If I understand correctly, if the time comes that I have to go to the hospital, I need to bring beer.

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I don't think my distrust of hand sanitizer is related at all to anti-vaxxers; in fact, if I had to hazard a guess (and it's only a guess - I have no source for you, just a hunch), I'd bet that there's a fair amount of overlap in the Venn Diagram between anti-vaxxers and pro-hand-sanitizer-ers.

The link from the CDC is helpful, but I think it tends to underscore my initial point, wacky as it may be.

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... then using hand sanitizer is probably better than nothing, but it's definitely not a substitute for proper washing with soap and water.

Malcolm is correct that sanitizers don't kill all pathogens, and; like the overuse of antibiotics causes resistant strains of bacteria to emerge; sanitizer-resistant pathogens will remain after using it. Covering up dirt with a chemical gel still leaves everything on your hands; however, washing with soap and water physically removes it.

Would you want someone preparing and/or serving you food, who merely used sanitizer, instead of washing their hands?

As someone who often rides the , my hands come into contact with grab bars, handrails, and possibly other surfaces that have been touched by countless people. The very first thing I do when arriving home or to work, is to wash my hands; even before going into my office. Same thing after going to the grocery store; before putting away any groceries.

Obsessive-compulsive hand washing? Maybe not quite that much, but it has become a habit; my hands just "feel dirty" after touching lots of public surfaces, and they feel much better after a thorough washing. I can't say for sure if that's the reason why I haven't had a lot of colds or other illness, but I certainly believe it helps.

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I agree completely. I wash my hands when I get home. When you think of it, money can be pretty questionable, let alone railings, door knobs, toilet handles, pets, etc.

Hand sanitizers will never repalce washing hands with soap and water.

Not sure if I'd be considered a germaphobe, but if you stop and think about everything we may come in contact with you could really gross yourself out.

As far as hospital workers go, my daughter never ever wears her work shoes in the house. In fact, she comes home, shoes off at the front door, grabs a change of clothes and heads to the shower before doing anything. Often times you see someone in scrubs at a store, hope they are running errands before their shift - not after.

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The sanitizer stations are there to offset the spread of germs at these specific spots, not to replace general good hygiene. Why not use these at hospitals, etc... and then still wash your hands? I don't get the objection to this as a general method to limit the spread of some germs. No-one is keeping you from washing your hands as well, later, when you are somewhere with a sink.

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I agree and do keep sanitizer in my car. But we do agree, sanitizer is not a replacement for soap and water. You'd be surprised that many people think so. I've seen it in restrooms.

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The appropriate analogy is not drinking fountains. It's bottled water dispensers. Should the city install drinking fountains in parks, connected to municipal water? Sure, maybe, water is cheap ($.001/serving) and the supply is unlimited. Should the city install 5-gallon Poland Spring bubblers in city parks? Of course not, bottled water is expensive ($0.05/serving) and the supply is very limited.

What O'Malley is missing is that a public beach in Miami is a totally different place from a grassy park in Boston. People here get a lot less sun, have a lot more shade, and wear a lot more clothing compared to a Florida beach. Free sunscreen might make sense at a public swimming pool in Boston, but not on the Common.

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There is a public wading pool on the Common though so....

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Yes toilet paper is a good thing. Then go buy a roll and use it. Why does the city have to install dispensers? They have to be maintained, etc.

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Are you opposed to public restrooms as well, Liat? Those have to be maintained. Why not just go at home? You should have been prepared if you knew you were going to be away from home for a while! Do you wear adult diapers because you are opposed to public restrooms or do you just not leave your house for more than a few hours at a time?

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It's Universal Hub. Of course none of the commenters like this.

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Plenty of the original sunscreen dispensers in moist parks.

Good Lord.

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I don't wanna know what kind of dispensers you need.

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If only Central Staff of Boston City Council welcomed enquiries, feedback, suggestions, questions. Instead the manner of Council Central Staff is that of crony politics, offputting, deflecting, minimizing, lack of robust response, delaying, denial

Boston City Council could have Public Meetings in the neighborhoods. A more accessible City Council could use technologies and software to be more open. For example, PlainText Council Communications/Notices for screenreaders used by vision impaired folks.

Why are there not more Candidates for Boston City Council?... to bring City Council practices up to date.

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Central staff? What, you're upset that the admin people aren't taking policy suggestions? Talk to members of the council if you want to change the rules. I don't follow why you'd go yell at people who have literally zero power over your grievances and then complain that they didn't do anything.

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Council Central Staff are the administrative folks charged with the day to day operations like an enquiry for a Council Communication/Notice/Document yet lack technology/software nerd skills that many participants have at UniversalHub.com

Council Central Staff are generally suspicious, resistive, jaded about open government while merely enunciating the principles of transparency. For day to day administration folks knowledgable about up to date technologies/software are needed for distributing Council Communications as widely as possible including compatible PlainText for hard of hearing, deaf and vision impaired folks using screenreader technology.

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But totally impractical. Maybe they can encourage sunscreen manufacturers to set up promotion booths instead? Then the city doesn't have to worry about maintenance and someone else gets to bear the costs...

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Unlike certain Web sites, the Globe actually talked to O'Malley, who provides more details.

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As a fellow fair-skinned ginger, I looove this idea. When I was a kid, I used to get so many sunburns that the thought of going outside to play was just honestly painful. And I eventually ended up spending tons of time inside when really I should have been running around outside.

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the last thing I want to do is touch a public sunscreen dispenser. *shiver* You don't know who's hand was there first. And you know these things are just going to be caked and dried up because people wont use them properly. (or broken like many of these 'ideas' that get tried because they aren't maintained properly)

(and I do second that this stuff will not be used as sunscreen but as 'personal lubricant')

I'm sorry I think the idea is in the right place but I can think of many more things that could require O Malley's attention and our tax dollars than whether park go'ers are getting sunburned or not.

But go ahead if you must, but only if its no cost to the tax payers and someone else maintains them. Because we know if its up to the city, they'll be empty or broken for a long long time after they are initially installed.

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Theoretically a good idea. Very impractical to implement for all the reasons listed in this thread.

The dispensers would be gross.

The dispensers would be broken.

The dispensers probably wouldn't get refilled in a timely fashion.

The sunscreen would break down due to the heat.

If and when we have the ability to tap into the municipal sunscreen supply that pipes sunscreen throughout the metro area and simply apply a spigot on the top of it, then it might be sane to compare this idea to public bubblers.

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...about nanny states and how the city council should be doing REAL IMPORTANT STUFF in 3...2...

Nevermind.

Some of you obviously have deep well of dudgeon, but even so you're going to run out soon at this rate. I suggest you reserve some for your elder days.

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I think we are way too quick to cynicism. Progress requires imagination.

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Like the old saying "Rome wasn't built in a day, with out sunscreen."

Whats next, free rain coats so people don't get hypothermia?
Free winter gloves so people don't get frostbite?
Free blood glucose meters for diabetic?

Progress isn't holding peoples hand every step of the way, it empowering people. Maybe do an ad campaign like Mumbles "fat smack" posters about higher fructose drinks.

After all were supposed to be the most advanced species on earth. Lets act like it....

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People in need can get free coats. It's one of the great things about living in a society where not everybody wants to just put the less fortunate out to die.

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Not local government.

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I'm glad to live in a state and city that spend tax money, however imperfectly, to provide an actual safety net for people who need it.

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The BPHC gives coats, gloves, socks, & blankets to the homeless each winter. And emergency clothing year round.

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*without

*What's

*people's

*it's empowering

*we're

*Let's

you sound nice.

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...and get a real account if you're going to write screeds like that.

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I was in San Diego this March and the sun was beating down on me hard (still felt good given the winter we had). I popped into a CVS and bought a small pocket-sized tube of sunscreen for $3. It lasted me a week and I still have some left. Problem solved.

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...lasted you a week in a city where there's never a cloud, you were either inside 23.5 hours out of the day, or you weren't using it right.

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only needed to cover a limited portion of ones body, not everyone walks around nude!

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Nothing gets past Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective.

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I bet nothing gets past your bunched-up wad of underwear either, "Scratchie".

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I'll thank you in advance to stop fantasizing about my underwear.

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...a ruiner of fun, Scrunchie. I mean Scratchie.

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I'm weirdly tempted to tell you two to get a room, already.
Oh, look. I just did.

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But, even I am against this. Give out coupons for free or reduced sunscreen from CVS, if you must. But dispensers in parks, that we all know will be broken, misused and not maintained? My vote is No.

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...it will ever be warm and sunny here again

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Proposals like this clearly show that the City Council has to much time on its hands. This brings the concept of a nanny state to a new low.

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Seeing as some people have skin allergies, we should just follow Mr. Burns lead and install a sun blocker.

https://metrouk2.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/article-1300967207614-0b510...

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Everyone needs water. Water fountains satisfy that need. Not everyone who is outside needs sunscreen. If I am walking around Jamaica Pond I don't need sunscreen. I am not in the direct sun long enough.

The comparison to hand sanitizers is false. Not everyone should use hand sanitizers. Anyone with psoriasis is causing more harm than good to their hands. The CDC reference also qualifies the efficacy of hand sanitizers by limiting their recommendation to the alcohol content of 60% and offers the caveat that even these are not always effective if not properly used. On the other hand free hand sanitizers in large public gatherings might be a good idea if they produce a genuine decrease in the inscidence of colds then perhaps the benefits outweigh the negatives. But in that case should any government mandate availability in all public places?

Bring your own toilet paper to a public toilet comparison? Well sometimes that actually is needed. Yet do we want bathrooms without the proper tools for the job?

If the debate is free hand sanitizers or not, and the argument is that if the city won't provide free hand sanitizers as a matter of cost, and therefore the city should not provide free bathrooms, then we could return to pay toilets. We could go a further step and install pay water fountains.

I think the idea of free SPF whatever is ridiculous. If I want a tube of skin protecting lotion then I can buy it. Plus even if the city spent the money on this what SPF will be used? Will the city uninstall the dispensing devices in the cold months? And just how much money will this cost? Should elderly folks who pay taxes but don't go out to parks have to support in their taxes paying for another person to have access to skin cream?

Matt: there are much better issues you could focus on. Such as a certain dental practise that uses deceit and lies to buy and tear down a building to put up a parking lot. Or deal with the plague of boom-boom cars and motorcyclists who like to terrorize people with noise. How much have you done to pressue Logan to stop terrorizing the Southwest section of the city with noise?

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However, implementation seems insurmountable.

You want a free/cheap way to dispense lotions at all the parks. You want people to use it, but not so much that it's no longer free/cheap. You want the dispenser to be unbreakable, but not so much that initial cost is high or use is too difficult. You want the ubiquity of public hand soap dispensers in bathrooms, but with the ruggedness of dog poop bag dispensers.

This just doesn't seem very viable...and for what purpose? To save people a few bucks or help those that didn't plan well enough in advance before heading out into the sun for the day?

When was the last time you said, "oh man, I'd totally go to the park today but I forgot/ran out of my sunscreen!"? If that's not occurring, I'm not seeing the use case.

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They do it in Miami and it seems like it works out. I don't see why it couldn't be implemented here in a similar fashion. Might not be the most pressing need in the city but it'd be beneficial and not cost anything as proposed. Seems like a win-win.

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It's barely been a full month of free sunscreen in Miami. Can we give it a year or two and see how it's going then?

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I need to see what the comment section of Universal South Beach looks like first.

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As a son who watched a family member fight skin cancer over many severe battles with it, I think this is fantastic. I have forgotten to wear sunscreen many times as I am sure many others have. It looks like it getting privately funded as well so as a taxpayer it's even better.
Thanks Councillor O'Malley

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Remember when able minded and bodied adults had responsibility to take care of themselves and not expect everyone else to do it for them?

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Most local people with low melanin know to use sunscreen.

Most outdoor athletes and their parents know to use sunscreen.

Who isn't using sunscreen, and why? If there is an at risk population, doesn't it make more sense to target them more directly with a public education campaign?

The only people that I could see benefiting here are the homeless population and tourists from high latitude places who get unpleasantly surprised. As in "How can you tell a British tourist from an Australian tourist? Look for the sunburn".

I also wonder if it would be cheaper to pay high school kids to sit under sun shades in each park and hand out little packets of sun screen along with information on sun damage risks in multiple languages. It would be a great learning and outreach project to have the kids help develop the outreach materials and the city might be able to get grants to fund that.

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Why don't you ask the people in Miami Beach?

If I'd have to guess, I'd say that maybe, in spite of the fact that we are all well-educated and responsible adults, it may be possible to conceive of a situation where one finds oneself (and one's family) out in the sun on a day when one has neglected to supply oneself in advance with a sufficient quantity of sunscreen.

In such a case, it does not, perhaps, require too much suspension of disbelief to imagine that some such unfortunate individuals might -- perhaps even against their better judgment -- opt for convenience over prudence, or even speculate that the sun is "not that bright" today, or that they "won't be outside for too long", and choose to forgo the additional effort and expense that would be involved in leaving Common, purchasing sunscreen, and returning.

While highly-evolved individuals such as you and I would never dream of compromising our families' health in such a crass and lazy manner, it is, I am afraid, not completely outside of the realm of possibility to imagine that such unthinking clods may, in fact, still exist in today's society. Providing such unfortunate souls with a convenient source of sunscreen close at hand, one that requires neither financial expenditure nor significant physical effort, may, in fact (astonishing as this may sound) make the difference between their willingness to protect their family's health instead of (in the vernacular) "blowing it off" and taking their chances in the blistering solar radiation that characterizes the summer season in our northern hemisphere.

While such selfish, lazy dolts are surely beneath any reasonable conception of "contempt", you will, I am sure, agree that their innocent children are still worthy of protection, and if there is anything that we, as intelligent, highly-educated alpha humans can do to ensure that such blameless little cherubs have a chance to rise above their no-doubt neglectful upbringings, it surely behooves us to do anything in our power to accomplish that objective.

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Miami Beach is at a far lower latitude. Sun is a year round issue there, and a tourism issue. Dispensers likely meet their needs, but they might not be the right solution in Boston.

The point is that "putting sunscreen in a park" is a solution, and it might not be the best solution if we haven't actually defined what the problem is. Is the problem awareness? Is the problem access? Education?

TL/DR: it isn't a bad idea, but there may be better ideas for outreach, education, and dispensing given our seasonal climate.

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Exactly, a seasonal PSA campaign makes so much more sense than an expensive give away program.

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ban the SUN and do it now!

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Who's a clever little girl?

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This may be the last post I read here. You all realize you're arguing about sunscreen. SUNSCREEN! With the same fervor you use to debate the Olympics! I used to enjoy reading the discussion in the comments here, but you've all turned into the most negative NIMBYs who are completely devoid of nuanced or original thought. Universal Hub has become a cynical and depressing corner of Boston political discussion and completely boring and predictable. Every time any local politician (rep, councilor...) suggests something new you all attack with, "there are more important things to worry about," as if caring about multiple issues simultaneously is a bad thing. I'm worried about the people in Baltimore as well as the people in Nepal. How novel. I would actually be more upset if my representatives only focused on one thing at a time. We would never get anything done! This isn't only about this councilor, or even the city council at all. It's about you attacking an innocuous and potentially positive idea before it even sees the light of day. There is always a need for intelligent and searching discussion, but you've all become broken records of tired and stale arguments. It's a shame that real conversation is drowned out by your incessant whining. I don't know why this post finally pushed me over the edge. But, really, 90+ negative comments on f-ing sunscreen is a new low for Universal Hub.

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Some of the comments are against the idea, but there is a decent argument about hand sanitizer, my 2 cents about Roslindale's Crimea tacked on to a discussion of O'Malley overall. All in all it is a classic UHub thread.

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This is one of those small, cheap things that can be done to improve public health, like Purell dispensers-- which I wish we had in every T station, to be honest. Yes, they will probably run out often, but they're cheap and even when empty will remind people to put SPF on their kids, and to get into the habit.
http://www.pksafety.com/sun-x-sunscreen-dispenser-30-spf.html?gclid=CjwK...

If we're serious about keeping medical costs at a minimum in the long run, this is exactly the sort of easy, effective, preventative action that can be taken. Again, like hand sanitizer and flu shots.

On a side note, given that O'Malley's sister recently died from cancer at age 40, he probably doesn't think of this as a meaningless gesture. And whatever criticism anyone has of the councilor, being an asshole is unnecessary.

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not quite getting all the hate here

IMAGE(http://www.quickmeme.com/img/c8/c8760bea8af06268dbf2dd98491e50cd22bc7ef7263efcbb0af5f1065f3a5592.jpg)

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#HubberGate

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Why not give this a try? As someone who grew up in New England, spending summers outside in the 1970's / 80's when getting a tan was considered healthy and a sunburn was no big deal, I am paying for it with trips to the dermatologist now. Thank goodnsess I ignored people teasing me for being pasty white and at least stayed away from tanning beds! A friend in her 30's who loved being tan in the summer and frequented tanning salons in the winter has already had suspicious moles removed that tested positive for cancer. When it happens to someone you know who is your age or younger, it's shocking. Please do put free sunblock in the parks -- what is the controversy? Sometimes you forget to bring sunblock with you or need to reapply it and you're outside longer than expected. What's wrong with parks offering sunblock at not cost to taxpayers?? If it doesn't work out, then the program will end. There is no harm in giving it a shot.

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