Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
|9-21-11 Fall Equinox 3650 kWh produced since 12/11/10|
So, in round numbers,
we had 0 kWh on the Winter Solstice of 10;
500 kWh on Spring Equinox of 11;
1950 kWh on the Summer Solstice of 11, and now, 3650 kWh on the Fall Equinox, just a few days ago.
My little reports prompted this comment from a true friend of mine:
"You are an absolute F----g freak. Srsly, I am into this sh!t but you are way off the hook."
SolarCity (a nice offering, including a $0 down plan)
Sunwize (our choice -- if you have them out to do a visit on your plance and you tell 'em I sent you, they'll give me $50 that we'll put towards one of the Salem causes or activities posted here).
Solarize Salem -- a cool, local organized effort.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
Best part: America's downfall summed up in a sentence (see, "biofuels," "climate change = hoax," "tax cuts = increased revenues," etc.)
"Sure, people should have known better than to trust a magical card that allowed them to buy anything they want without any money whatsoever," Williams said. "But at Visa we understood that people will believe anything if they want it bad enough. That was the genius of our whole scheme."
Visa Exposed As Massive Credit Card Scam | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Best bet for today (through Weds): Manhattan Short Film Festival -- Only Oregon venue is Salem Cinema
Just another of many reminders of how lucky we are here in Salem to have this tremendous resource, bringing us perspectives we would likely never encounter otherwise. Remember, a movie at Salem Cinema a week helps keep this gem sparkling brightly here in "So-Lame."
Oregon Salem Sunday 9/25 Monday 9/26 Tuesday 9/27
Salem Cinema 6:45pm
Saturday, September 24, 2011
- Totally Tomatillos, Saturday, September 24: Location: Northgate Forgiveness and Peace Garden, in Northgate City Park. North end of Fairhaven Ave. NE.
- Glorious Greens, Saturday, October 1st: Location: Southeast Salem Neighborhood Garden. Bellevue and 19th St. SE
- Tubers and Roots, Saturday, October 8th: Location: John Knox Community Garden, 452 Cummings Ln. NE in Keizer.
- Super Squash, Saturday, October 15th: Location: Oregon School for the Deaf. 999 Locust Ave. NE. Enter gate off Maple.
T: 503-581-3855 x329 C: 503-798-0339 F: 503-581-3862
Friday, September 23, 2011
August 27, 2011
Sunday Dialogue: Curing the Health System
A letter on Wednesday urging a single-payer health plan, rather than individual mandates, set off an outpouring of reaction.
To the Editor: In "Will Health Care Reform Survive the Courts?" (State of Play, Sunday Review, Aug. 21), Philip M. Boffey states that "reforms would work far less well without an individual mandate" that requires citizens to buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
I disagree. Health care reform could provide better care at less cost by replacing individual mandates with a single-payer national health care plan financed by taxes. Congress's power to mandate purchase of private products sold at a profit is disputable, but Congress's power to tax is not.
Other industrialized countries have national health plans providing care to more citizens at less cost with better outcomes than our system. And they don't use mandates that allow insurers to charge different prices for different people.
These health care systems have three common properties: public subsidies ensure that everyone has access to care regardless of health, wealth or employment; primary care is encouraged; and publicly accountable, transparent, not-for-profit agencies transfer funds from patient to provider.
There is no need to experiment with mandates. Convert our current health care system into a national health plan.
Portland, Ore., Aug. 21, 2011
The writer, an anesthesiologist, is a founding member of Mad as Hell Doctors, which advocates a single-payer system.
Dr. Metz is spot on with his advocacy of a single-payer plan instead of the individual mandate.
Sadly, despite the success of Medicare — a single-payer system that politicians tamper with at their peril — the "just say no" climate in Washington, fostered by Republicans who place ideology over country, took that option off the table and left us with an alternative that not only raises legal questions but also fails to address the real threat: the escalating costs of health care.
That said, the health care plan that the politicians have given us, which extends protection to millions of uninsured, is better than no plan at all.
After decades of talking about reform, we finally have a plan in place. With luck, a day will come when the political will for a single-payer system exists.
Until then, let's do our best to make the plan we have work. JAY N. FELDMAN
Port Washington, N.Y., Aug. 24, 2011
Dr. Metz is right that a single-payer system would be better than an individual mandate. But he does not mention that Medicare, although it is a single-payer, tax-supported system, still cannot control costs and will soon be bankrupt. A national health plan that controls costs needs to reform the way doctors are paid and are organized in practice.
This is how doctors, if they are really "mad as hell," could help. They should join salaried multispecialty, not-for-profit group practices that can accept capitated prepayment for comprehensive care instead of fee for service, and can provide good, cost-effective care that supports primary-care doctors working in close collaboration with specialists.
ARNOLD S. RELMAN
Cambridge, Mass., Aug. 24, 2011
The writer, a physician, is professor emeritus of medicine and of social medicine at Harvard Medical School and a former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine.
We need Dr. Metz to keep the flame of national health insurance alive until this country is ready to embrace it as the most cost-effective way to provide coverage. But as Winston Churchill said, "You can always count on Americans to do the right thing — after they've tried everything else."
The battle to pass the Affordable Care Act and the challenge to sustain it should make clear that national health insurance will not be given serious consideration by politicians for some time.
Our approach to health reform has desirable features, like elimination of pre-existing condition exclusions. An individual mandate is required to make health reform work.
Dr. Metz simply prefers another way to require all Americans to have coverage. More power to him. In the meantime, let's try the next best thing.
Minneapolis, Aug. 24, 2011
I am a young professional who is just starting out on my career path.
I have already been juggled among health care systems because of different schools and different jobs, and the experience was not fun. Recently, I was lucky enough to find employment that offers health insurance, but if I should lose my job, I would lose my health insurance. This doesn't make me feel secure. The individual mandate doesn't make me feel secure either. Health insurance does not equal health care.
I don't want to start paying into health insurance that I may lose because of powers beyond my control. With a single-payer system, you simply get enrolled into a public health insurance system. Through my taxes, I would be making an investment in my health future that would be there whether I lost my job or not. Now that would make me feel secure.
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Aug. 24, 2011
The writer is the education and outreach coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program California.
Of course Dr. Metz is correct that a single-payer system — comparable to that used in a number of other countries — would be both beneficial and less expensive than the privately skewed, hodgepodge system we have now. Unfortunately, the lack of political maturity in this country means that arguing that other societies have better ideas than we do is counterproductive, since the myth of American exceptionalism is more important than actually providing better health care while saving money in the process.
East Lansing, Mich., Aug. 24, 2011
Dr. Metz presents a compelling argument in support of a single-payer plan. He cites the experience of other countries to show that such a system provides better health outcomes at lower cost. Our own experience shows that Medicare requires only about 3 percent for administrative costs, as opposed to 29 percent for private health insurance.
Alas, these arguments are fated to fall on deaf ears. Between 2006 and 2009, the health sector spent $1.7 billion lobbying Congress and federal agencies. No wonder our government can't hear the rest of us!
SHERMAN C. STEIN
Philadelphia, Aug. 24, 2011
The writer is a clinical professor of neurosurgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Let me add some data to support Dr. Metz's proposal. The evidence is overwhelming. The cost of health care per person in other industrialized countries is on average less than half of that in the United States. If we spent as much per person as the other countries do, we would save $1.3 trillion every year.
One characteristic of those countries' health care is that there is a single entity that runs the system. This ensures uniform and minimal overhead and compliance costs, and provides guidance and regulation for the medical effectiveness of the various procedures.
We can learn much from other countries. The question is whether we are mature enough to do so.
LEONARD S. CHARLAP
Princeton, N.J., Aug. 24, 2011
The Writer Responds
I thank these readers for their thoughtful comments.
Dr. Stein notes that private insurance overhead is many times higher than Medicare's. Most economists agree. Including the cost to providers to collect from insurance companies nearly doubles the difference.
This administrative excess is more than sufficient to finance comprehensive health care for every American. Nearly 25 state and national studies of single-payer plans corroborate this.
Although single payer enables universal care without additional cost, Dr. Relman notes that it will not slow cost increases. He proposes a salaried physician model to replace fee for service. There is much evidence in support.
The salaried physicians in the Department of Veterans Affairs medical system care for America's sickest patients at the lowest cost with the best outcomes and highest patient satisfaction of any system in the country. Clearly, when financial pressures are removed, physicians provide superb care.
Mr. Marlow is only partly correct. In countries with national health plans, patients see their physicians more frequently than we do and spend more days per year in the hospital. Despite this increased access to care, these nations spend half as much as we do, and their populations are healthier. Presumably, unlimited access to inexpensive primary care reduces consumption of more expensive, more complex intensive care.
Ms. Tavella makes two important points. First, an insurance policy is no guarantee of health care. Most personal bankruptcies in America are precipitated by medical crises in families with health insurance when the crisis began.
Second, when the young, healthy and employed make health care payments in excess of what they consume, this is not a loss. It is an investment in future care when they are old, sick and retired.
Messrs. Feldman, Kelley, Posner and Charlap mourn our inability to achieve single-payer health care despite its obvious financial advantages. But our obstacle is not political, but moral. Many Americans believe that it is immoral to pay for other people's care, even if doing so reduces their own costs. Others believe that it is immoral to pay taxes for health care, even if doing so protects their family from illness and financial catastrophe. We cannot argue morality, but we can present the health and financial consequences of allowing these morals to drive health care policy.
American single-payer systems include the Department of Veterans Affairs system; the Indian Health Service; Tri-Care, the military health plan; Taft-Hartley multiemployer plans; and Medicaid and Medicare. Any of these systems could be improved and expanded to cover all Americans.
Single-payer health care is America's health care solution to America's health problem.
Portland, Ore., Aug. 25, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
WORD: Joel Salatin: How to Prepare for A Future Increasingly Defined By Localized Food & Energy - Blogs at Chris Martenson
A very, very smart guy. Given our natural gifts, Salem should be a leader in this type of thinking, which is going to be evermore valuable.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The diminutive, birdhouse-like libraries, which Brooks and Bol began installing in Hudson and Madison, Wisconsin, in 2009, are typically made of wood and Plexiglas and are designed to hold about 20 books for community members to borrow and enjoy. Each Little Free Library runs on the honor system, displaying a sign that asks patrons to Take a Book, Leave a Book. "Everybody asks, 'Aren't they going to steal the books?'" Brooks told Kelley. "But you can't steal a free book."
Fifty libraries have been built so far, with 30 more underway and plans to expand into Chicago, Long Island, and elsewhere. Brooks and Bol have a long way to go to reach their goal of 2,510 libraries, but they're digging the ride. "At a personal, human level, it's very thrilling how it excites people," Bol shared with Kelley. "But on a larger plane, it's such a nice spark for literacy, art, and community all at once."
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Church St. Pizza now delivers!
Due to customer inquiries, we have decided to
offer delivery service during all business hours.
Please note that our weekly specials on
Tuesday and Saturday apply only to dine in and take out and not delivery.
Thank you to our customers for your continued support!
Tuesday thru Friday
11 AM - 2 PM lunch
5 PM - 8 PM dinner
Saturday 11 AM - 8 PM
Fall pizzas are coming soon including the
new and improved potato and bacon as well as some tasty new additions!
Church St. Pizza, 324 Church St. N.E.
Salem, Oregon 97301
Click on photo to see the Craigslist ad
Monday, September 12, 2011
Tea Party types typically pick from among the Founders' many writings and statements to justify whatever policy position they personally adhere to, ignoring that "the Founders" were themselves quite divided on nearly all important questions. But, just as the Tea-flavored Kool-Aid drinkers get it wrong most of the time, so too do those who ignore the positions of the Anti-Federalists (probably history's most important example of how important naming is to having any chance of winning a political debate).
I understand these things fill up fast, so you might want to get there early if you want a seat.
Willamette University’s U Think, a popular pub series featuring talks and discussions with university professors, will move to the second Wednesday of each month beginning Sept. 14. History professor Seth Cotlar will discuss the historical accuracy of Tea Party claims about America’s founders.
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Brown's Towne Lounge, the series features topics from the sciences and humanities. No background knowledge is necessary, and a question and answer session follows each presentation.
The venue is open to adults 21 and over, and it is in the heart of downtown Salem at 189 Liberty St. NE. Willamette U Think is free, so arrive early to eat, drink and ensure you get a seat.
Friday, September 9, 2011
From: the flying public
Re: Salem airport
We're just not that into you. Now stop pretending that we need commercial service, privatize McNary Field so that it produces some tax revenue instead of wasting it, and get on with planning for transporting people and things in the new high-cost energy world.
Ocean Acidification Event in PortlandLearn more about our "other" carbon problem.
Care about the Pacific Northwest’s oceans? Worried our fossil-fuel addiction is jeopardizing our marine and shellfish industries? Learn more about ocean acidification in the Northwest at E2′s event, the Acid Test: Ocean Acidification and the Pacific Northwest.
Speakers will include Washington Representative Brian Baird, NRDC oceans attorney Leila Monroe, and commercial fisherman Amy Grondin. E2 will also screen NRDC’s new short film, Acid Test: The Global Challenge of Ocean Acidification.
Where: White Stag Block, University of Oregon – Portland
When: Monday, September 12, 6:00-8:00 PM.
It’ll be a great, informative event about the Northwest’s “other” carbon problem.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The mining & burning of coal is at the epicenter of America’s struggle to balance its energy needs with environmental concerns. The BIG COAL industry detonates the explosive power of a Hiroshima bomb each & every week, shredding timeless landscape & leaving devastated communities & poisoned water. Oregon is at a turning point with the upcoming closure of the Boardman Coal Burning Plant, with opportunities for creating reliable, renewable sources of energy that will bring economic improvement, cleaner air and water. Stars Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
A very powerful demonstration and special feature for this upcoming First Wednesday -- a valuable reminder that those of us who struggle with keeping our weight down are not the only or most important people who struggle with food issues.
Monday, September 5, 2011
· Who: Hosted by local enthusiast, Michael Taylor.
· Where: West Salem Boys & Girls Club Community Garden. 925 Gerth St. NW. Salem, OR.
· When: Saturday, September 10th, 10am –12pm.
· How: RSVP by September 7th. This event is free and open to the public.
About the workshop: This class is intended to introduce participants to cold frame construction and gardening while leaving individuals with a greater understanding of the techniques used to extend harvest seasons and establish earlier growing seasons. Class will cover concepts such as site selection, construction, heating and managing through seasons. This is a hands on class so intend to get a little dirty!
About the presenter: Michael Taylor holds a an M.S. in Environmental Education and was on the Board of Directors for the Garden Institute located in Camden, Maine. He has spent the majority of his life living in New England learning and practicing the techniques of cold weather gardening. Michael currently lives in Keizer, OR and works for the Greenhouse Catalog as their Education Coordinator and Customer Service representative.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-581-3855 x329.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
American Idol is a living metaphor of everything that we are now supposed to desire, buy, cheer and vote for. While there are still real artists, heroines, singers, and leaders, their role in American society has been largely eclipsed by fame factories that transmogrify the ordinary into something we are finally convinced is grand.
Perhaps the most startling example can be found in our politics. Bearing in mind the process, culture and style of American Idol, consider again the rise of our two last Democratic presidents – Clinton and Obama – or the current crop of GOP contenders.
Neither Clinton or Obama had any particular qualifications to be president. But according to the media and the Randy Jacksons, Steve Tylers and Jennifer Lopez’s of their party they were incredibly magnificent (with a just few reservations for the sake of reality) . . . which is to say the contestants had the ambition while the American Political Idol show had the money, the moxie and the public relations manipulation to turn them into icons. And so on the same night that I watched Scott McCreery returning home to North Carolina and pitching to his old baseball buddies and Obama going to Ireland and playing ping pong with the British prime minister I felt like it was the same show.
Our political contestants have to prove themselves in the primaries just as Idol singers have to prove themselves in numerous weeks of competition, but in both cases the original choice of whom America will get to choose among has been made at the start of the season and largely out of sight of the public. Think of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as Scotty McCreary and Laura Alaina and you get the idea. The show’s producers would have been happy with either one, because they had created chosen and reconstructed both. And, while you’re at it, think of the trio of judges as panelists on Meet the Press and Ryan Seacrest as the show’s David Gregory, and it all begins to become clear.
Even this year’s undistinguished Republican crowd is reminiscent of the early season Idol shows. We know practically nothing about almost all of them, but months before the first actual primary, the inside selection process is already underway, witness the unexplained sudden departure of some.
The key part of the metaphor is that if you go back to the beginning of the season, you will find something much like that outlined in Wikipedia:
|||| Contestants go through three rigorous sets of cuts. The first is a brief audition with three other contestants in front of selectors which may include one of the show's producers. The number of auditioners can exceed 10,000 people each city, but only about 100–200 contestants in each city may make it past this round of preliminary auditions. Successful contestants are sent through to audition in front of producers. More contestants are cut in the producers round before they can proceed to audition in front of the judges, which is the only audition stage shown on the show. Those selected by the judges are sent to Hollywood. Between 10–60 people in each city may make it to Hollywood. At the end of the Hollywood week, 24–36 contestants were selected to move on to the semifinal stage.|||
In other words, though the illusion is that the American Idol is picked by tens of millions of viewers, this is far from the case. It all started in seven cities with 10,000 or more contestants in each. This was winnowed down to 24 to 36 before the public was brought in. The fame factory eliminated over 100,000 in its own manner and of its own choosing, before the public had a damn thing to say about it.
In other words, a pretty good analogy to American national politics. And to how we get to choose a lot of things in this land. . .long after many important choices have already been made.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
In their embrace of testing, Sparks Middle School, Aspire Antonio Maria Lugo Academy and Wilmington Middle School reflect the data-driven approach to education that has dominated American schools since the No Child Left Behind Act was approved in 2001.That was from Miller-McCune magazine, a very interesting new magazine. More on schools from their website:
These schools swear by their system, but it’s a trend that many reformers decry, among them Diane Ravitch, the former assistant U.S. secretary of education. Ravitch, who initially supported No Child, now says the mandate for standardized testing is “part of the sickness of American education.” She chronicled her change of heart in The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education, a 2010 best-seller.
It’s not data that’s missing, Ravitch says. It’s vision. Testing should be used as a diagnostic tool, not to replace instruction. As she said in a recent interview with Miller-McCune, “You don’t spend your life to get a temperature of 98.6.”
“This heavy concentration on testing and scores distorts education,” Ravitch says. “The schools take time from the arts, history, foreign languages, civics and other important studies to get those scores up. Makes a school look better, but it has nothing to do with good education. … Are the kids in the school honest? Are they responsible? Are they willing to stand up to bullies and show courage?”
Back-to-School BasicsFor a look at what public schools are doing to repair themselves on the cheap, check out the education stories found in the September-October 2011 issue of Miller-McCune, and when they’ll be available on Miller-McCune.com:
Teacher Collaboration Gives Schools Better Results, August 22
What Would Diane Ravitch Say?, August 22
Chicago Charter Schools Aim to Lift Urban Education, August 23
Bad Teachers Improving With Help From Peers, August 24
Showing Where Community Colleges Pass, Fail, August 25
Bridging the Budget Gap with Stolen Lunch Money, August 25
Teaching Religious Literacy in California’s Bible Belt, August 26
Checking Consumerism at the School Door, August 26
And … an online exclusive:
The Real Cheating Scandal of Standardized Tests
- Diane Ravitch on Democracy Now: "Poverty is the Problem" (seattleducation2010.wordpress.com)
- School Cred: How Much Time Have Ed. Reformers Actually Spent in the Classroom? (educationclearinghouse.wordpress.com)
Friday, September 2, 2011
At the American Journal of Public Health, experts examine the risks posed by peak petroleum | Energy Bulletin
Thursday, September 1, 2011
So go through and purge your no-longer-needed books and set them aside for one or two great causes: Friends of Salem Public Library or, for certain titles, the Oregon Women Lawyers Society's "Coffee Creek Book Drive." Coffee Creek is the Oregon women's prison.
The OWLS Coffee Creek Book Drive, which collects books to donate to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility located in Wilsonville, will take place from October 1, 2011 through October 15, 2011. We are searching for volunteers to coordinate drop-off sites for the books.
If you would like to be a collection volunteer, coordinating a drop-off site for books, please contact Amy at Amy_Blake@ord.uscourts.gov or Jennifer at Jhunking@Gattilaw.com.
If you might be interested, but need more information, feel free to contact us with questions. We are particularly interested in securing volunteers in busy locations, such as the county courthouses, and in far flung locations, so that donors have easy access to the collections sites.
Amy Blake and Jennifer Hunking
Coffee Creek Book Drive co-coordinators