Friday, November 05, 2010

Silver Lining

Mikaela says:

This American Life did a brilliant show asking and answering a bunch of my questions surrounding mid-term elections, looking at liberal and conservative machinations (or lack thereof).

(Especially Act III: Jack Hitt Goes to Washington - interviewing Democratic Party insider Paul Begala about whether Democrats have a VERY secret messaging strategy or whether they're just incompetent.)

One story included an interview with a die-hard conservative adamantly opposed to tax increases who found himself traveling Colorado to stump AGAINST the tax-cutting ballot propositions 60, 61, and 101, which would have cause perpetual budget crises for the state and caused businesses to flee.

They were all roundly defeated. There you have it! Good news from an abysmal election...

Colorado voters reject tax-cutting measures 60, 61, 101

Colorado voters overwhelmingly rejected three tax-cutting measures Tuesday, leading to a collective sigh of relief among government officials across the state who feared the passage of Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 could have meant financial doom.

"Every local government and state government would have been reeling from the passage of those" measures, Boulder City Manager Jane Brautigam said. "It really would have been devastating to our community."

Proposition 101, a statutory change that would reduce vehicle taxes and fees and state income taxes, as well as eliminate telecommunication taxes, was failing statewide, with 68 percent of voters opposed.

Amendment 60, which would change the state constitution to require voters to approve all property-tax increases and would limit any new increases in property taxes to 10 years, was failing statewide, with 76 percent opposed.

Amendment 61 was another proposed constitutional amendment, which would prohibit the state from borrowing money and would place new restrictions on all types of borrowing for local governments. It was failing, with 73 percent opposed statewide.

"They just had to be stopped," Boulder City Councilman Matt Appelbaum said. "It would have destroyed us. It would have bankrupted the state."

Combined, the effects of the three measures on Boulder's budget were estimated to be between $26 million and $54 million within the next four years.

Mark Swanson, a Superior Democrat, said he voted against the measures and is glad so many others did, too.

"At some point, I think people have made a very common-sense judgment that some taxes are good taxes," he said.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Duende Poetry Series 2010 - Margaret Randall & Suzanne Lummis

Mikaela advocates:

A Poetry Reading
Sunday, September 12th at 3PM at the Anasazi Fields Winery in Placitas, NM
free to the public

Margaret Randall
Author of more than 100 books, will read from her newest book: My Town: A memoir of Albuquerque in poems, prose and photos (Wings Press, San Antonio). Author John Nichols wrote the introduction to the book, which is about growing up in the Duke City in the 1940s and 50s against the backdrop of Cold War politics, the Bomb, the area's race relations and the power of the desert.

Other recent titles from Randall include: To change the world: My years in Cuba (a memoir); and, With their backs to the Sea (poems). Two forthcoming titles are: First Laugh (Essays) from the University of Nebraska Press; and, Ruins (Poems and photos) from UNM Press.

Suzanne Lummis
Founder-director of the Los Angeles Poetry Festival, is part of the performance troupe Nearly Fatal Women and literary director of the Arroyo Arts Collective as well as editor of the online magazine "Speechless." Her class "The Poem Noir: Poetry goes to the movies" at UCLA Extension University has become famous over the years. Lummis' books of poetry include: Falling short of Heaven; Idiosyncracies; Spreading the Word; In Danger; and Open 24 Hours.

For all Duende poetry readings, wine, free snacks and non-alcoholic drinks are available. The event is free, though we encourage donations for the poets. For more information, contact Jim Fish at the winery at (505) 867-3062, email or online at

The next Duende Poetry Series reading will be in January, 2011. The series presents four readings per year. The September 12 reading is supported by the Witter Bynner Poetry Foundation of Santa Fe.

To reach the winery, turn onto Camino de los Pueblitos from Highway 165 in the Old Village of Placitas, across from the Presbyterian Church, follow the road through two stop signs, then turn left into the winery parking lot. From outside Placitas, take I-25 to exit 242, drive six miles to the old village and Camino de los Pueblitos, and continue on to the winery.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Right care, right time?

Mikaela says:
Okay, I have to post this letter from a local health care provider almost in its entirety or you won't believe it. Has it really come to this? Do that many people really drop everything and decide to spend umpteen hours waiting to be seen at the emergency room for ... hangnails or something else that can wait for an appointment? Really?

One way Presbyterian is working to help lower the cost of health care is to make sure patients get the health care they need in a setting that is most appropriate for the level of care they need. That’s why the Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department is starting a new process for helping patients who come to the Presbyterian Hospital Emergency Department with non-emergencies beginning July 26, 2010.

All patients who enter the Emergency Department at Presbyterian Hospital will receive a medical screening exam to determine their appropriate level of care. Patients with conditions that are not emergencies will be directed to an onsite patient navigator, who will make an appointment for patients to be seen quickly in a primary care office or refer patients to urgent care if primary care is not timely enough or inconvenient.

If patients still wish to be treated in the emergency department after being informed their condition is not an emergency, they will be required to pay for services at the time of treatment. Under these circumstances, the health plan will likely not reimburse the patient.

Through this effort, emergency department services will be better accessible for patients with life-threatening emergencies. All State and Federal laws and regulations will continue to be followed to ensure patient safety and protect the health care system. Careful monitoring will occur to ensure patients receive timely care and patient safety is not compromised.

Patient education is central to helping patients determine the “right level of care at the right place” for their medical condition. We hope you will join us in our efforts to help educate your employees about accessing care most appropriately and maximizing their insurance coverage for the level of care that their health requires. Of course, true emergencies will continue to be covered by insurance, according to your Group Subscriber Agreement or Summary Plan Description.

We are very optimistic about this new and innovative approach as we work to make healthcare more affordable, accessible, and of the highest quality.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day of Memories

Mikaela says:
Lest we forget what we are supposed to remember on this Memorial Day, a reading from Archibald MacLeish.

The Young Dead Soldiers

The young dead soldiers do not speak.

Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses: who has not heard them?

They have a silence that speaks for them at night and when the clock counts.

They say: We were young. We have died. Remember us.

They say: We have done what we could but until it is finished it is not done.

They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished no one can know what our lives gave.

They say: Our deaths are not ours; they are yours; they will mean what you make them.

They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say; it is you who must say this.

They say: We leave you our deaths. Give them meaning.

We were young, they say. We have died. Remember us.

Monday, March 29, 2010

NM Public Schools

Mikaela says:
I'm an ardent public school fan. I did just fine in public schools, and I believe a good, free public education is what we owe all children.

Which is why this little tidbit caught my eye and makes me fear for my daughter's education. Not only are the majority of our public schools in New Mexico not making "adequate progress" - more and more are losing ground each year.
Time for education overhaul? I think so!

(3 years til preschool, people! Get moving!)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Academy Awards 2010: Snore!

Mikaela says:
An hour in, and so far ... snoresville!

Only the histrionic tribute to John Hughes has been worth my attention.

I mean really, who cares about the movies this year? Is anyone out there rooting for a particular movie? I can want Precious to win just for the exposure, but did I see it? No! Too much of a downer. To be fair, Kleenex ads are too much of a downer for me, these days. Still...

Avatar should win best picture. Steve and Alec should be funnier. Enough said.

Afterward: Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech was among the classiest and funniest I've seen. Wasn't the biggest fan, but I'm kind of in love with her now!

Jeff Bridges is weird, man. I've always hated his teeth, anyway.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday m-pyre quiz

Mikaela says:
Well this should give you a little glimpse about what we're talking about behind the scenes.

  • Healthcare? Nope.
  • Why Democrats don't just call the Republican bluff and let them try to filibuster? Not even a little.
We're talking shoes, people! We invite you into our little tet-a-tet with this challenge:

  • Who out there can match the shoes with the girl?

The 3 ms bought the following 3 shoes, but the question is - who bought which?

P.S. - Don't you just love shoes? We do!

Shoe #1: Born Miriam

Shoe #2: Born Lewisa

Shoe #3: Softwalk Montego

Regardless of the answer, do we have good taste, or what?