Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Veggie Fest 2011


Join us for an afternoon of live music, local food, planting in the garden, kid-friendly activities, face painting, gardening demos, and so much more!!!

Saturday, July 9th from 1 pm - 5 pm at the Starker Arts Garden for Education (S.A.G.E)

Admission is free, though we suggest bringing a canned food donation to support Linn Benton Food Share through our Veggie Fest Food Drive! Come on out and get your hands dirty in the garden for a beautiful Saturday afternoon of gardening festivities!

This fun, family-friendly community event is brought to you by the AmeriCorps NCCC team that is working on increasing healthy food access in Benton County this summer. Come out and show your support!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Stories from the Field: Lincoln Elementary, S.A.G.E & Stone Soup

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our third service story comes from Corrie "Carrot" Alsleben, originally from Wisconsin, who is one of seven members on the team and is also serves as the Project Outreach Liaison on the team:


"I can't choose a favorite work site, I have many that I really like. S.A.G.E has been AWESOME to work at. You can really see the progress since we've been here. Cleaning the chicken coop is not as bad as I thought it was going to be, and the bee class we had at the S.A.G.E hives was so cool. Coloring little wooden pictures for the Lincoln School Garden was so much fun as well! I got to just sit down with the kids and laugh while we were all coloring. Even though it's a lot of work to prepare the meal, working at the Stone Soup soup kitchen is really fun, too. It may seem like work work work and busy busy busy, but it's all worth it in the end when people have a nice hot meal to eat.

For me this project is very rewarding. I am learning many different things every single day, and all of our site supervisors are great!"

The team has been doing great things in Corvallis this summer!  Check out the Gazette Times article about them from Saturday's edition!

New SAGE YouTube Channel!


The Starker Arts Garden for Education now has its very own YouTube channel! This first video is a quick short describing SAGE and shows how wonderful it is to get kids gardening! Thanks to Roots and Shoots (a local homeschool group) for their work in the garden and the great interview.

Major thanks to Amber Thacker from the Blue 6 AmeriCorps NCCC team for her work shooting and editing the short and also to Danielle Jetto for her guidance on creating a YouTube channel!

Finally, thank you Youth Serve America for the Flip Cam and for selecting our project from the work day we did in April with PeaceJam on Global Youth Service Day!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

State Profile: Court Blocks Indiana Law to Cut Planned Parenthood Funding


Federal judge Tanya Walton Pratt has overturned provisions of an Indiana law that blocks Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood because some of its clinics perform abortions. In denying funding, Indiana invoked its authority to determine the qualifications of a provider. However, Judge Pratt responded that the services offered by a provider were unrelated to its qualifications and therefore not a legitimate consideration. She also cited a recent federal Medicaid ruling warning states that they could not exclude qualified providers simply because they performed abortions.


Although federal law already bans the use of Medicaid money to pay for abortion services, the Indiana statute goes further by refusing funding to “any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.” It calls for the immediate termination of state contracts with such providers, hospitals excluded.


On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court issued the Roe v. Wade decision affirming a woman's right to an abortion under the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Subsequent rulings confirmed that the right exists up until viability. Although Roe v. Wade remains controversial, it has been the law of the land for almost forty years. While conservatives decry the heavy hand of the state as a health care regulator, Republican-controlled state legislatures have shown little compunction in passing laws intending to erode Roe and in effect restrict abortion rights.


Judge Pratt's opinion alludes to the likelihood that suits challenging the Indiana legislation were likely to prevail. Perhaps. But conservative judicial activism is driven more by ideology than legal interpretation. Is the eventual upholding the Indiana statute a foregone conclusion?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

IOM: Six Aims of Quality Health Care


The balance of health benefits and harm is the essential core of a definition of quality.
Avedis Donabedian
In 2002, the Institute of Medicine published Crossing the Quality Chasman influential book that framed all future discussions of quality health care. Crossing came on the heels of the IOM publication To Err Is Human (2000) and a Journal of the American Medical Association report (1998) that warned of "serious and widespread quality problems...throughout American medicine." The report called attention to three broad categories of quality defects:
  • underuse, whereby scientifically practices are not used as often as they should be;
  • overuse, especially of imaging procedures and prescription of antibiotics; and
  • misuse, when a proper procedure is not administered correctly (such as prescribing the wrong drug)
To Err Is Human estimated that as many as 98,000 people dies each year in hospitals from injuries or illness contracted during care.

In Crossing, the IOM outlined six specific aims (explained by Dr. Donald Berwick in the video above) that a health care system system must fulfill to deliver quality care:
  1. Safe: Care should be as safe for patients in health care facilities as in their homes;
  2. Effective: The science and evidence behind health care should be applied and serve as the standard in the delivery of care;
  3. Efficient: Care and service should be cost effective, and waste should be removed from the system;
  4. Timely: Patients should experience no waits or delays in receiving care and service;
  5. Patient centered: The system of care should revolve around the patient, respect patient preferences, and put the patient in control;
  6. Equitable: Unequal treatment should be a fact of the past; disparities in care should be eradicated.
Recognizing that aims must be accompanied by observable metrics, the IOM defined sets of measurements for each aim. For example:
  • Safe: Overall mortality rates or the percentage of patients receiving safe care;
  • Effective: How well evidenced-based practices are followed, such as the percentage of time diabetic patients receive all recommended care at each visit;
  • Efficient: Analysis of the costs of care by patient, provider, organization, and community;
  • Timely: Waits and delays in receiving care, service, or results;
  • Patient centered: Patient and family satisfaction;
  • Equitable: Differences in quality measures by race, gender, income, and other population-based demographic and socioeconomic factors.
Of course, this is all easier said than done. Hospitals could more easily follow evidence-based practices were there a national outcomes data base that provided population-based information. Effecting efficiency programs can mean a complete redesign of institutional culture, as in Virginia Mason's (Seattle) 20-year commitment to Lean management principles. Equitable care is unlikely without a sea change in national health policy (not that there is one) that extends well beyond the limitations of the Affordable Care Act.

The most encouraging developments in the industry-wide reassessment of quality are the recognition that safety and efficiency need not be mutually exclusive, an increased capacity for the practice of evidence-based medicine, and a new emphasis on patients when it comes to setting goals and measuring results.

Source: The Healthcare Quality Book (2nd edition), edited by Elizabeth R. Ransom, Maulik S. Joshi, David B. Nash, and Scott B. Ransom.

Tool Maintenance Workshop

Please join us at S.A.G.E this Saturday for the next workshop in our summer workshop series:

Tool Maintenance

Saturday, June 25
2 pm – 3 pm
Instructor: Pam DeWolfe of the Starker Arts Garden for Education
Price: free ($5-$10 suggested donation)
Keep your garden tools longer by taking good care of them! Learn how to keep your tools sharp and maintain your rototiller, hand tools and lawn mower. Workshop includes a tool sharpener to bring home.

Check out all of the summer workshops coming up at S.A.G.E!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Stories from the Field: S.A.G.E

Here's the latest update from the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our second service story comes from Amber Thacker, originally from Florida, who is one of seven members on the team and is also serves as the Service Learning Coordinator and Peer Helper on the team:

Laughter & Life in the Garden
For the past three weeks, the team has spent many hours serving at the SAGE; tilling the land, planting starts, and weeding.  While seeing the land transform has been wonderful, it has been more than just sprouting spinach that has awakened the garden. As the sun starts shining more frequently, visitors are bringing life and laughter into the garden. The children in particular have filled SAGE with a spirit of discovery and wonderment.


Last Tuesday, the garden had many young visitors and it was so fun to watch them quiz Pam (the garden manager) about everything from worms in the soil to the roots of the plants. They wanted to participate hands-on in the garden; watering plants, feeding the birds, and assisting with starting the earth-oven. Watching these young volunteers explore the garden, with their eagerness to learn and help, has resonated with me. It can be so easy as a "grown-up" to get caught up in checking off the day-to-day tasks involved with maintaining the garden and forget to stop and take in the experience. I think it is so important to have children in the garden, not only to help them learn and grown, but also to remind the adults how to play! It is the simple art of play that makes working in the garden an experience full of joy.

We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing. -Benjamin Franklin

Meet our Summer Interns!

We have an fantastic group of interns working on a variety of projects with the Edible Corvallis Initiative this summer. You'll likely see a few of them out at the garden at any given time weeding, planting, working with volunteers, watering, organizing events, leading summer camp activities and even making documentaries! Here are some quick bios to introduce you to our crew:

Amelia Yeager
Summer Camp / Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Amelia is working with the S.A.G.E summer camps and in the garden this summer.  She's gaining experience in her field through this internship - she's an Environmental Science major (Env. Policy & French minor) studying at Western Washington University.  Amelia is  a native Corvallian, home to roost at S.A.G.E for the summer.


Emily Olivo
Community Engagement / Summer Camp Intern
Emily comes to Corvallis from Raleigh, where she a student at N. Carolina State University.  She is majoring in Wildlife Biology and loves working with kids.  She is helping plan and deliver our S.A.G.E Summer Camps and is putting her creative energy to good use with us this summer.

Kelly Holcomb
Community Engagement Intern
Kelly is working on event planning and outreach through our Community Engagement Internship position. You can also find her at the Philomath Library, and hopefully at OSU next year working on a MFA! She's an avid beginning gardener and her enthusiasm for growing is contagious!



Keith Fortenbach
Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Keith is out in the garden this summer working on his green thumb! He's an engineering student at OSU and was in the Navy for 5 years. Keith is enthusiastic about learning more about gardening and is interested in water resources issues as they relate to sustainable farming.

marinna
Marinna Guzy

Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Marinna is an Environmental Studies major at Vassar College, but grew up in Corvallis.  She's excited about increasing community access to fresh food and is also excited to use her filmmaking skills to create a mini-documentary about S.A.G.E!


melissa
Melissa Sloan
Sustainable Agriculture Intern
Melissa is an OSU student studying Environmental Science and Geography. She's an avid rower and is giving her strength to S.A.G.E this summer! She's looking forward to learning more about how the garden works and getting her hands into the dirt.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

outdoor eats part two


Now with the weather getting hotter and sunny days are in abundance (love) and cooking anything complicated is out of the question. You want something healthy, quick and fresh. One of my go to things especially if you have people coming over and you're firing up the grill but you don't want to go the meat and potato salad route is to gather up some veg and grill some ciabattas. I love using jarred roasted bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes for things like this. Add a few other favorite things, top with cheese and your ready to go.
Another of my favorites is out of the ordinary salads. Forget the caesar or garden salad and op for something different, maybe with roasted butternut squash? Which tastes great cold too if you want this salad portable. Maybe too fall? You could always do watermelon.
Last we cannot forget about dessert. Hot days require something cold and light and oh so refreshing. Ice pops are perfection on days like this.

pinacoladaicepopsblog

roastedbutternutsquashblog

pina colada ice pops

100% pineapple juice
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 a lime
3 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp desiccated coconut
(coconut rum optional)

In a bowl mix the coconut milk with the honey, vanilla, lime juice and coconut. Set aside. In a popsicle mold or small paper cups fill the mold half of the way with the pineapple juice. Place in the freezer for 1-2hrs, place a popsicle stick in if using the paper cup mold just before it it fully frozen. Let that freeze. Add the coconut mixture and freeze for about 2-4hrs or over night. Makes 4-8 pops depending on size of the mold.

Grilled open-faced ciabatta's
(or add all your favorite things to a slice of thick bread and grill it)

First half (sweet and earthy): Red chili jam, dijon mustard, arugula, shallots, radish, roasted yellow bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Top with mozzarella or goats cheese and a drizzle of olive oil or sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a grill or roast in the oven until cheese has melted and the veg is slightly soft.
Second half (smokey and salty): Basil pesto, arugula, roasted yellow bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes (in oil), cherry tomatoes and prosciutto. Top with white cheddar, mozzarella or goats cheese (your choice) and drizzle with olive oil and pinch of pepper.

Butternut squash and feta salad

1 medium size squash
50g greek feta
arugula and spinach leaf mix
roasted sunflower seeds
for the dressing
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 clove garlic finely chopped
2-3 tbsp rice wine vinegar

Heat oven to 350 F. Cut up the squash in to medium size chunks, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and place on a pan in the oven. Cook for 15-20 min or until soft. Let cool. Meanwhile mix all the ingredients together for the dressing. In a bowl add the arugula and spinach mix, the cooled squash, and the sunflower seeds. Add as much dressing as you need and lightly toss. Top with feta and a pinch of pepper.

Have an amazing weekend and happy father's day to all the father's out there!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vermiculture Workshop

Join us for the first of the S.A.G.E garden workshop series tomorrow afternoon!

Vermiculture for Beginners
Saturday, June 18
2 pm – 3 pm
Location: Starker Arts Garden for Education (S.A.G.E at 45th Place and Country Club Drive)
Instructor: Cynthia Dort of Dort Worm Farm
Price: free!

Join us as we learn about those wriggly little soil-smiths! Vermiculture is a method of worm composting that can be done from small to large scale, and allows you to create amazing soil and amendments from household scraps.

Check out all of the summer workshops coming up at S.A.G.E!

Paul Ryan on Single-Payer



As Sam Husseini reports, there is a fair amount of floundering and disingenuousness in Ryan's remarks. It's not the case, for example, that government-run health care has failed wherever it's been tried. The actual track record of government-run health care is good, including in the United States: The VA health care system is highly regarded. Moreover, Ryan's own plan is "patient-centered" only in the sense that it shifts costs onto patients without doing anything to slow medical inflation or end fee-for-service payments.

Also, anyone who thinks that U.S. health care is not rationed hasn't been paying attention. Ryan would state his case more honestly (and accurately) if he said what he apparently believes: De facto rationing by the free market is acceptable, while policy-based rationing by government to assure equal access is not.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stories from the Field: Stone Soup & Buy Local First Breakfast


Hello everyone! Welcome to the first blog post from Blue Six, the AmeriCorps NCCC team currently serving at SAGE. Through this series of blog posts (each written by a different member of the team) we hope to provide you with an inside look at AmeriCorps NCCC and the service experiences the team is encountering at SAGE, the Corvallis Environmental Center, and with our 11 partner organizations in Benton County. Our first service story comes from Brendon Esquibel, originally from Maine, who is one of seven members on the team and is also the team leader. Thanks for checking out the project - come by the garden to meet the team when you have a chance!


A Different Kind of Service

In AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), we pride ourselves on “getting things done!”  These “things” tend to vary widely, whether its tutoring elementary school students in California, felling trees and blazing trail in Wyoming, or gardening in Oregon. In official AmeriCorps terminology, these tasks fall into five distinct categories: urban and rural development, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation, infrastructure improvement, and disaster relief. While these terms may sound nice in corporate offices and on official government paperwork, they do little to describe the unique and often intimate experiences our team has shared throughout the last ten months. So instead of telling you that our current project is addressing “urban and rural development” needs in Corvallis and leaving it at that, I hope to provide a little more insight into our experience by describing one of the more impactful project days we've had thus far. 

Last Saturday (June 4) our team was split between two Corvallis service sites: 1) the Buy Local First Breakfast event hosted at Oddfellows Hall and 2) Stone Soup soup kitchen offered at First Christian Church. While close in proximity (only 4 city blocks separate these concurrent events), these two project sites address very different community needs. At Buy Local First Breakfast, an event that encourages individuals to support local farmers and businesses through the purchase of local ingredients and produce, we helped prepare and serve food made from all-local ingredients to members of the community. However, only 4 blocks across town, another vital community need was being met as team members and volunteers helped prepare and serve food at the Stone Soup soup kitchen. While local groups and organizations also donate many of the ingredients for these meals, the efforts at this project site served to alleviate a very different community need: poverty and hunger.


Although seemingly disconnected in both purpose and location, our dual presence at both these sites goes to show that these two events are not so different after all. Both provide an essential service to meet a community need, and both work with partner organizations like the Corvallis Environmental Center. Perhaps most importantly, both events allow for a different kind of service, yet the same kind of joy.



I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. - Rabindranath Tagore

Friday, June 10, 2011

outdoor eats part one

AGCsummerbeansalad410

Outdoor eats. We love them. There's nothing better then gathering a bunch of friends, lots of food and sitting it all out under the big blue sky or even the starring night. This is my favorite time of year for this reason alone. The weather is nice, everyone is more relaxed and fresh produce is abundant. I can't complain.

AGCroastedpotatoes410

For the recipes, check out the summer issue of N.E.E.T. magazine, where both of these recipes and I were featured along with a couple other fab bloggers.

Happy Weekend!

Choice?

David Brooks argues that the future of health care comes down to "centralized technocratic" planning or a a free market solution. Health care, he sagely observes, is "phenomenally complicated," then goes on to inform us that providers have more information than patients and that insurance companies "are rapacious and are not in the business of optimizing care."

Brooks then compares what he calls the Affordable Care Act's concentration of cost-control power into a board of fifteen experts with the Republican laissez-faire model, which opposes top-down decision making (at least from the government). Rep. Paul Ryan's proposal to finance U.S. health care with a "premium support system" would replace fee-for-service medicine (in fact, it would not):

Seniors would select from a menu of insurance plans. Their consumer choices would drive a continual, bottom-up process of innovation. Providers could use local knowledge to meet specific circumstances.
Brooks writes with great confidence that this will happen -- presumably due to the Magic of the Market -- without explaining exactly how or why anyone should buy this argument.

Jonathan Cohn points out that the Republican plan has a track record, and that it's not especially encouraging. He argues that Ryancare would effectively eliminate health insurance for elders and summons the 1959 congressional testimony of retired autoworker John Barclay:
We retired workers are very proud of being citizens of the greatest country in the world, but … we cannot think it is the greatest possible country when about 65 percent of the aged do not have any insurance to deal with their needs for hospitalization and medical care. Without such insurance, the retired person must pretty much exhaust any savings he has before he can get free hospitalization. This is a constant source of worry. Many of my acquaintances will not visit a doctor for minor illness because they have no money to pay for drugs. After they exhaust their savings they go on welfare to get medical aid, but then, in many cases, it is too late.
The real difference between Democrats and Republicans on health care is not, Cohn writes, between an idealized free market and Stalinist central planning. Rather,
The most salient difference is that Democrats would preserve Medicare's fundamental guarantee of health benefits at affordable prices. Republicans would not.
Meanwhile, Ezra Klein contests Brooks' claim that
...if 15 Washington-based experts really can save a system as vast as Medicare through a process of top-down control, then this will be the only realm of human endeavor where that sort of engineering actually works.
It happens all the time, Klein writes: Around the world, government-regulated and -planned health care has a excellent track record for controlling costs without sacrificing outcomes.

At The Economist, M.S. dismisses Brooks as well, and focuses on the distortion brought about by the marketing and advertising of drugs and devices. 

As I've written before, Ryancare substitutes ideology for honesty. Brooks sips from this cup of Kool-Aid regularly, rarely if ever pointing out that Ryancare is all in on controlling costs by shifting them to elders. If that's what the country wants, then it's what we should do. But how about being up front about the choice?

Monday, June 6, 2011

AmeriCorps NCCC in Corvallis

SAGE is very lucky to have a fantastic group of AmeriCorps volunteers working with us this summer on the Corvallis Environmental Center's Food Access Project.

This team of 7 volunteers has come to Corvallis from all over the country to work on improving access to fresh, healthy food for Benton County residents, and to help strengthen our local food security. They are tackling these issues with our partner organizations: Linn Benton Food Share, Dunawi Creek Community Garden, Stone Soup, Westside Community Garden, Lincoln Elementary School Garden, Creciendo en Salud, Neighbor 2 Neighbor Community Garden, South Corvallis Food Bank, Peanut Park Community Garden, Ten Rivers Food Web, and Philomath Community Garden.


The team is planting gardens, cooking meals at the soup kitchen, building fences and raised beds, assisting with gleans, landscaping, providing cooking demos at the food banks, and helping at community events that promote fresh food for all. Look forward to future posts from team members about some of the projects they are working on this summer!

If you see one of our fabulous volunteers around town (they can be spotted by their grey and dark green AmeriCorps hoodies and tees!) please give them a big smile and a high five.


This particular NCCC team (Blue 6) is full of energy and spunk, and we are so happy that they are here!

Summer Camps

We’re gearing up for summer camps! At the SAGE Garden, our summer camps are week long learning adventures where kids will learn about their local ecosystems, where food comes from, and how to grow their own food!
Click HERE for a printable registration form, or  To register online click HERE.
SAGE Youth Summer Camp Schedule, 9am-3pm
Cost: $36/day
  • June 27-July 1: Discovering Dinner
    Ages 8-11
    Travel to nearby farms on a journey to discover where your food comes from.  We’ll explore fields and pastures, markets and orchards, soup kitchens and food banks in search of all Corvallis grows!  Bring your bike.
  • July 25-July 29: What’s for Lunch?
    Ages 8-11
    Grow locally and cook globally in this food-filled camp.  Learn how to plant, nurture, and harvest fresh vegetables and then prepare garden feasts! Bring your bike.
  • August 1- August 5: The Buzz about Bees
    Ages 9-11
    Garden life depends on these busy, buzzing pollinators. Suit up and explore bee hives at the garden, build a bee box, harvest honey, and make beeswax candles.
    *Possible field trip fee.
  • August 22- August 26: Edible Chemistry
    Ages 7-10
    Explore the intersection between gardening, cooking, and science!  Spend time learning about the garden in the morning and then take food that you’ve helped grow and harvest to the kitchen to cook it up using science! Bring your bike.
SAGE Kid’s Camp Schedule (Ages 5-7) 9am-12pm or 9am-2pm
Cost: $32/day or $18/half-day
  • July 11-July 15: Critters, Veggies, and Dirt Search for bugs, get your hands in the dirt, and taste garden veggies in this exploratory camp.
  • August 29-September 2: Roots, Shoots & FlowersNibble and grow!  Taste test different plant parts as they ripen and bloom.
Call (541) 753-9211 for more information.

Vouchercare

Paul Krugman writes that Vouchercare is not a "new, sustainable version of Medicare." It may be new and I suppose that its adherents can call it whatever they like, but its recipients would not find it especially sustaining.

Vouchercare, a.k.a. the Roadmap for America's Future, would starting in 2022 provide seniors with an average of $11,000 with which to purchase insurance. But there's a catch: That's $11,000 in 2012 dollars. To understand what that means in terms of actual purchasing power, calculate the present value of $11,000 using a discount rate based on historical medical inflation rates (3-5% over the last ten years):

  • At 3%: $8,135
  • At 4%: $7,431
  • At 5%: $6,753
Moreover, Ryancare vouchers are indexed to the general rate of inflation as opposed to the medical rate. The medical rate is historically higher. Suppose that the vouchers grow at an average rate of 3% a year for five years while medical inflation increases at a rate of 4%. Although the payout would be $12,752, the actual purchasing power will have dropped to $7,081. This table shows the declining actual value of the vouchers over 25 years given a medical inflation rate of 4% with the vouchers indexed to 3%:

  Payment Value
Year 1 $11,000 $7,431
Year 5 12,752 7,081
Year 10 14,783 6,747
Year 15 17,138 6,428
Year 20 19,867 6,125
Year 25 23,032 5,836

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using the CBO assumptions provided by Rep. Ryan, estimates that by 2080, Medicare benefits will have been effectively cut by 76%. And even that may be optimistic: Medicare currently operates with an administrative overhead of 1-2%. One organization estimates health insurance company overhead to be as high as 31%, all of which is passed on to purchasers in the form of reduced purchasing power.

So, Krugman is right: Vouchercare is not Medicare. It would be one thing if its adherents were forthright about their intent to gradually eliminate the government role as a health insurer for elders. Then we could have an honest debate, albeit one they would lose. But, as happens too often in the health care reform discourse, ideology has once again trumped honesty.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Saturday Mornings at SAGE

Good morning!

SAGE is open for volunteers to come out to the garden on Saturday mornings this year. We know that our Tuesday afternoon time doesn't work for everyone, so we have added open hours on Saturdays from 9 am - noon. We'll often be working with groups at the garden, but feel free to join in!



This morning we'll be out there planting veggies and tilling compost and manure into our soil. Swing by to chat, learn about soil fertility, or to plant some peppers. All ages and of all levels of farming ability are welcome to come! Hope to see you there.