tv NBC10 Issue NBC May 29, 2016 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
tragedy on the track. two racehorses die as horrified spectators look on. today we discuss what's being done to keep future thoroughbreds and their jockeys safe. plus, will you ever have the money to retire? a startling study shows many in area most choose between working longer and living in poverty. plus, the urban league of philadelphia expands its reach. "nbc10@issue" starts now. >> good morning. i'm rosemary conners for "nbc10@issue." two down and one more to go when it comes to the biggest thoroughbred horse races of the year. the last leg of the triple crown. the belmont takes is in two weeks and this year's quest for
the coveted crown has take an few hits. >> and nyquist is still unbeaten! he has won the kentucky derby! >> nyquist won the kentucky derby but placed third in the preakness behind exaggerator and cherry wine. now the colt has been pulled from the belmont stakes because of a fever he developed after the race. leading up to the preakness, two horses running in earlier undercard races died. a 9-year-old colt collapsed shortly after winning a race and a 4-year-old philly named pramedya was euthanized after breaking a bone in her leg. the horse was joined by roy and gretchen from chester county. their other horse barbaro shattered bones in his right hind leg after the start of the preakness in 2006. he survived surgery but was euthanized months later an developing a painful hoof disease. at the time his plight gained worldwide attention. immediately after this week's
preakness, peta, people for the ethical treatment of animals, demanded answers. on twitter the group wrote calling on owners to release veterinary records and complete list of medications that horses were administered before preakness races. studies and our investigation show most breakdowns and deaths occur because horses have pre-existing injuries masked by excessive use of medications. again, that's from peta. in a news release, the humane society's president has said, quote, deaths of horses at the track have been routine and they are a grim reminder that this is a very poorly regulated industry with widespread doping of horses, end quote. this morning i'm joined by three people with close ties to horse racing. dr. scott palmer, a veterinarian who is the equine medical director in new york responsible for the safety and welfare of horses in the state. allen foreman, the chairman of the national thoroughbred horseman's association and sal abun dar, the president of the
pennsylvania horseman association. let's begin with dr. palmer and allen. you both co-authored a task force report about 21 horse deaths at a track in new york. what did you learn? what did you find? >> well, we were commissioned by governor andrew cuomo at the time to look into the injuries at aqueduct racetrack, and we conducted a five-month investigation, and we interviewed hundreds of individuals. we hired scientists to review reames of data, and after we had examined all the factor that is contributed to these horses' injuries, we felt as though there were many causes. there's not one single cause that causes this type of problem, and we felt though that most importantly, we felt that at least half of those cases there were opportunities for missed intervention. and so we made a number of sweeping recommendations that have been carried out in new york. interestingly, when that happened in 2012, the fatality rate at the time of the aqueduct injuries was twice the national average. >> wow.
>> and then we implemented these recommendations in 2013, and the injury went from being twice the national average to half the national average in one year. >> what kind of recommendations are we talking about? >> we're talking about prerace examinations, medication recommendations, and the kinds of things that support the safety, integrity, and well fair of racing particularly with respect to the welfare of the horse and the rider on the horse and i think one of the things we concluded was the allegations by peta, and they lodge these allegations every time there is a public fatality, i think we pretty much debunked those allegations, and there was not widespread drugging or we certainly saw missed opportunities, and i think we're learning from that experience, and our recommendations are being adopted in racing throughout the country, and we have brought the fatality rate down. i would just like to say with respect to the incidents at pimlico on saturday which were
unfortunate, they're always unfortunate, with both owners and particularly with the jacksons given the coincidence of having another horse, but those two incidents are being investigated. we will receive the veterinary records. we will look at the medication records, and we'll have an answer for the public as to what happened. >> i would add that here at parks, i represent the horseman parks racetrack, we've seen the study. we tried to implement as many of those as we're able to. we recently hired a safety coordinator when you see full-time job is to work with the track condition. so we're taking this very seriously here in pennsylvania. >> is part of this that with any sport there are risks involved and that this is the reality of it? >> well, that's a very good question. i take umbrage with the concept that some people say that this is simply a cost of doing business, and i disagree with that. >> uh-huh. >> i think our record in new york in the last four years has -- speaks for itself. we've saved horses' lives by
implementing the changes we've done, and i think the core concept is what we've son, in a summary, is we've put together an evolving quality control program where we investigate circumstances and identify circumstances that cause these injuries and design interventions and we re-evaluate if we need to change them or make new ones. the job of safety is never done, and we really care about these horses, and i think we honor the lives the ones that die by dedicating our efforts to preventing them in the future. this is something we work at all the time and it's a journey. it's not something you just do it and it's done. >> niece animathese animals are race. that's their purpose. they receive extraordinary veterinary care and it's the veterinary care you would expect of any animal. we are very vigilant with respect to the treatment of these animals and the manner in
which they perform, and i think as scott said, we're never, never happy about the fact there's a fatality, and we do everything we can to prevent it. it's unfortunate that on saturday we had incidents on one of the biggest days of the year. they were unfortunate incidents, and we'll try to learn from them. >> as horsemen, our primary responsibility is to the jockey and the horse, to keep them as healthy as possible. that's the primary thing. look, we all love to win races. we all like to enjoy the sport, but the main thing to us is to make sure that that jockey and that horse are as safe as possible. >> dr. palmer, you also treated barbaro after his injuries. if you can, i think talk to us about euthanasia. when the public sees the horses go down and they're euthanized immediately, that wasn't the case in barbaro's situation, they see it happen to quickly, and i think people may wonder
why is the decision so quick? is it treatment is too difficult? how do you come to that conclusion? >> it depends on the type of injury. it's a triage functions. the veterinaries make a determination is the injury life threatening. second of all, given the circumstances of the injury, what is the prognosis for treatment. >> for example, if it's a leg injury, could the horse really put weight on the leg? is that part of it? >> that's part of it. the horse -- there are a number of rigid criteria for repairing fractures in horses, and one of them is if the wound is already con ttaminated or if the degreef injury is so he can tensive that the surgical opportunities to fix it are not practical or possible then it's necessary to perform humane euthanasia. >> that's why it's done so quickly. >> why put the horse through a difficult time, a painful, difficult time unless there's a reason that maybe there's a good chance to save his life. for example, with barbaro, as
terrible as that injury was, the injury was closed. there were no bones through the skin. the fractures were fixable, and that horse was handling himself in a way most horses can be very upset with is eric stance li-- circumstance like that. we never talked about euthanizing barbaro. >> there's will go the question what do you do with the horses after they're no longer able to run. that's an important to mention and to have this opportunity because, you know, in 2007 they prohibited the killing of horses in the united states. doesn't mean they weren't being shipped to canada or to mexico, and efforts have now begun in pennsylvania and other states have adopted it where we will take a horse that's been at the track with no charge to the owner, take it, we'll have it vetted and find a home for it and i think that even at parks alone we've saved over 1,800
horses in the seven years we've been in existence, and we now i think are the number one rescue -- there's others. maryland has it, national has it -- >> after their careers are over. >> after their careers are over. because before as an owner, i have been an owner for a long time, i used to wonder what would happen to my horse if it couldn't run anymore. i tried to find homes for it but it was difficult. i think the effort that has been made for the horse industry throughout the united states but especially in the mid-atlantic area to save horses when they no longer can run, when they don't have a useful purpose, has been phenomenal. i think it's spreading throughout the country. i think that should not be ignored because it's safety on the track but what do you do with these horses -- >> the next chapter. dr. palmer, before we go, one last thought. obviously we're approaching the belmont stakes as we had mentioned at the top of our interview, and nyquist not running. we know he has a fever. i think the last thing i read recently was low white blood cell count. is this serious? what does this mean?
>> i don't think we have enough information to indicate whether it's serious or not, rosemary, but i believe that i applaud the decision on the part of the owners and the trainer to scratch the horse from the race because this is -- the horse's health is a top priority, and this horse will be fine sometime again to race later in the year. we have a lot of racing coming up this summer, a lot of exciting racing in new york and saratoga and in the fall in belmont and he will hopefully be health aaeealth any and be able. it's a great example of protecting the health of the horse even though he had an opportunity to enter into a race where a lot of money was at stake. >> thank you all for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you for having us. coming up next on "nbc10@issue," dreams of retirement may never become a reality for a lot of people in our area. we'll explain why it's happening and the steps you can take right now so that planning for retirement won't become your
we're all told early on to save for the future and plan for retirement. it turns out that's much easier said than done. according to the city of philadelphia, one-third of retired seniors live in poverty. most senior households in philly live on less than $29,000 a year and nearly a quarter of senior households depend on government programs to buy food. joining me now is allen but ka
advice the senior controller and john whitelaw of senior legal services of philadelphia. thanks so much for being with us. allen, let's begin with you. this was your department study. the numbers we just mentioned, that's where they came from, and it turns out that a big reason why this is happening is because more than half the people working in philadelphia don't have access to a retirement plan through their employer. >> that's right. 54% have no plan. they couldn't save for retirement if they wanted to, and that's one of the suggestions that come out of the report, that we administratively set up some plans so people who are transferring between different employers have the ability when they transfer jobs to save for retirement and the possibility of having some auto ira plans in which employers that right now don't even have a check-off or a withholding program for retirement would be required to have it for their employees. >> and, john, i would imagine
that if an employer isn't offering a retirement plan, like a 401(k), as we mentioned, it's got to be pretty difficult to be so self-disciplined to put that money away yourself, especially if you're living paycheck to paycheck. >> and i think it's even more important to note that for many people the wages they get are not enough to set aside for retirement even if they wanted to. we see people who have worked for 20, 30, 40 years and the wages they have been receiving are so low that they have not had the wherewithal to do anything other than meet their monthly bills with their housing expenses and medical expenses, but i think what was said is incredibly important. we want to make it as easy as possible for working families to set money aside, and the current system makes it difficult even for those who are able financially to do that. >> you touched on this, alan, just a moment ago, but what are some of the ways, what are some of the solutions that employers in philadelphia can get involved in, that their employees can start saving for their future?
>> well, there's something called a multiemployer plan, meps plans, which would be set up under federal law. any private company could do it right now, but the plan will be set up so that you can have money withheld from your paycheck, and you will be contributing to your own retirement even if the employer doesn't match it at all. another one is there are plans that are already existing under federal law for very low income individuals, myira which is where people can accumulate the first $15,000 towards retirement and there's consideration of other measures such as a mandatory ira savings plan so that employers right now who don't have any plan would be required to at least set up the account so, again, people could save into those plans. but, you know, another major problem of this whole thing is the whole perception of the pension issue. which for the last 20 or 30 years has been viewed as a problem for employers, about how to get liabilities off their
balance sheet. completely ignoring what this looks like on the perspective of the pensioners. and what's happening is that the baby boom generation, which is like the biggest generation in american history, is now getting into their 60s and 70s, and within the next ten years there's going to be an enormous increase in a population that is going to have a big drop in their standard of living, and that has consequences not only for them but for people who manufacture and sell tv sets and cars and furniture and people who have been used to the baby boom generation going out and spending. people simply will not have the means to spend. >> to live the life that they had been living. >> right. >> john, in terms of the clients you see, what's some advice, what are some quick tips for adults who may be nearing retirement and realizing they don't have enough money but also for young people who may be just getting into the workforce and should be thinking ahead to retirement? >> so for young people and some
of these obvious but we forget about them, it's very important to start saving early. even if it's just a little bit. and setting it aside either through an employer plan and taking advantage of the match. it's also really important for people to work on the books. many people think that sometimes working off the books ends up working for them better, but it does not. if you're not on the books, if you're not contributing, there are no benefits at the end when you need to retire. and then another area where people who are currently working is applying for services when they're eligible. when you meet hard times, there are some social service network, safety network programs that are available, and many times people simply don't apply for them. they don't think they're eligible. there's some stigma that they think might be attached to these programs, and to the contrary these programs are there for when people need them and they should be accessed so that people will have the means to survive day to day. >> alan and john, thank you both so much for being with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you.
next year the urban league of philadelphia celebrates 100 years of career education, housing, and entrepreneurial support. but even a century in, the organization says much work is still needed to close the gaps of economic and social injustice in our area. now they're expanding their services into camden and chester. joining me now is the roslyn maxfursson, the president of the urban league of philadelphia. >> thanks for having me. >> first, let's talk about the services that the urban league provides and who benefits from them. >> we are an economic empowerment engine. we second people to opportunity. so we provide housing counseling, especially for people who are on the verge of losing their homes, and more
recently we're doing a lot of first-time home buyer counseling because that is the key to economic success. all of our housing counselors are hud certified. we have a very robust career services center where we provide support to the most low-skilled workers trying to help them do the things that will result in a liveable wage, and we also serve those people who are up to ph.d.s who may have fallen hard on their luck and are looking for some encouragement, new methodology in this world of technology to help connect them to employers. >> and as i mentioned at the top of our discussion, you're expanding beyond the philadelphia area into chester, into camden. >> right. >> what are you finding the greatest needs are there? >> well, the needs are similar. and we look at this as a region. even our chamber of commerce is the greater philadelphia region, so it is our intention to be in
alignment with the way that our region is viewing commerce. so camden certainly has great need. we can practically walk there from our philadelphia office. it means that we will provide some of those same services, but that has to be customized for the needs of that particular area. but in all this time it seems that we must include the people in need in those areas that border us. >> ros, i want to talk about the national urban league's report called "the state of black america." the report found some interesting things. black unemployment in philadelphia and the philadelphia area is more than two times the rate of white unemployment, and on average black s earn far less than whits in our area. $37,000 compared to $75,000. >> that's right. >> what do those numbers mean to you? >> what those numbers mean to me is we have not progressed much since 1976 when this report first came out 40 years ago, and that is our region begins to
look at a different type of economic success, that we have to pay attention to those who are less fortunate in this region because we have a responsibility to bring everybody up, to put them in a position to earn liveable wages, and there should not be that kind of disparity in the 21st century. so 100 years later we still need to do everything we can to buoy the people of our region so that they too can enjoy the american dream . >> ros mcpherson with the urban league of philadelphia. thank you very much for coming in. we really appreciate it. the urban league of philadelphia's 2016 empowerment week will culminate with the empowerment celebration. it's a dinner on the evening of tuesday, june 14th. it's from 5:30 to 9:30 at the philadelphia marriott downtown. if you'd like to get tickets go online to the urban league's website, urbanleaguephila.org.
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this is "nbc10@issue." >> that's it for this edition of "nbc10@issue." you can join me again every saturday starting at 5:00 a.m. and sunday mornings at 5:30. on this sunday before memorial day, we leave you with pictures of volunteers placing flags on the graves of military veterans to honor their service and sacrifice. thank you.
the best or nothing. nbc sports, home of the 2016 rio olympics. the enhl. premiere league. the nascar chase for the sprint cup playoffs and prime-time's number one show, monday night football. only on nbc. welcome to the u.s. bank nbc sports report. and hi again, everyone. jimmy roberts here. we will get you to paris for tennis, and our coverage of the french open in just a moment. first, though, some other sports news starting with the nba playoffs. the cleveland cavaliers already claimed a spot in the finals. the thunder looking to join them. last night, western conference finals, game six, okc