Connect with us

Arts

From Health Care to History, CommonWealth Commentary Covered Waterfront in 2021

Avatar

Published

on

We are eager to have CommonWealth serve as a forum for healthy debate and the exchange of strongly argued points of view from a range of voices across the state. The most widely read op-ed pieces from 2021 certainly hit that mark in some ways, with commentary offerings from a sixth-grade student and one of the state’s US senators among the 10 opinion pieces that drew the most readers. We also found, appropriately enough, that pieces reaching back to draw on the state’s rich history can have real staying power, as one of the top 10 pieces this year was first published two years ago, in 2019.

When it comes to the topics dominating the list, it should perhaps be no surprise that health care, an area in which Massachusetts is a world leader in, emerged as the subject leader. Two of the three most widely read pieces related to concern over expansion plans by dominant health care providers in the state, while two more of the top 10 pieces related to health care or health issues. 

The most widely read piece was a strongly argued op-ed offered in November by Douglas Brown against proposed expansion plans of Mass General Brigham, the state’s largest health care provider. Brown, the chief administrative officer at UMass Memorial Health in Worcester, said Mass General Brigham’s proposed expansion plans, including new ambulatory care centers in Westborough, Weston, and Woburn, have put our health care system “at a crossroads.” 

Brown says the greater good of a financially sound “ecosystem” of health care providers is being jeopardized by Mass. General Brigham’s quest for an ever-larger piece of the health care pie – particularly the share of patients covered by commercial insurance, which pays much more for services than government coverage through Medicare and Medicaid. 

“This is a zero-sum game,” wrote Brown. “There is only so much profitable commercial business to go around. As Mass General Brigham uses its market power to acquire more of that commercial volume, it is taking this market share from other hospitals who tend to serve higher percentages of Medicaid members and other low-income populations.”

Brown said he is looking to state regulatory authorities to address the threat he sees posed to health care in the state. “We cannot blame Mass General Brigham’s leaders for this situation,” he wrote. “Most health care leaders in their shoes would do the same thing: maximize their advantages within the rules and take what they can to further the interests of their organization and its patients. It is up to our government to fix this.”

Here are the 10 most widely read CommonWealth commentary pieces of 2021. 

“Stark differences make many Mass. communities neighbors in name only” May 1

Garrett Dash Nelson, the president and head curator of the Norman B. Leventhal Map & Education Center at the Boston Public Library, offers an eye-opening view on the role municipal boundaries have played in dividing communities in Massachusetts. Read it here

“Time to plug gaps in Medicare coverage” September 4 

Sen. Edward Markey and Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, president and CEO of the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, make the case for expanding Medicare to cover dental care, vision, and hearing services. Read it here.

“How modern leaders got John Winthrop’s ‘City on a Hill’ wrong” January 19, 2019

Carter Wilkie’s 2019 essay on a book reconsidering John Winthrop’s famous “City on a Hill” speech continues to draw readers, as he argues that the speech has been wrongly appropriated as an anthem to American exceptionalism rather than the expression of humility it was meant to be. Read it here

“Jerome Rappaport and the destruction of Boston’s West End” December 10 

When Jerome Rappaport died in December, there was considerable attention paid to his role as a leading developer, philanthropist, and civic leader in Boston. In separate essays, former Boston planning official Jim Vrabel and political scientist Peter Dreier offered accounts of another major chapter in Rappaport’s public profile – his role in the razing of Boston’s working class West End neighborhood and replacing it with luxury housing. Read it here

“Maverick Square, which honors the state’s first slave owner, should be renamed” April 17

Annamarie Hoey, a Cambridge sixth-grader, tells the little known story of Samuel Maverick, the state’s first slave owner, and argues that the East Boston square that bears his name should be renamed. Read it here

“FDA must ban menthol cigarettes this time” May 15

State Sen. John Keenan urges the Food and Drug Administration not to retreat from its vow to ban menthol cigarettes. Read it here.   

“Lawrence no longer city of the damned” January 30

Lane Glenn, the president of Northern Essex Community College, recounts all the ways Lawrence, once famously derided in a 2011 magazine headline as the “city of the damned,” has made progress over the last decade. Read it here

“Another wealthy hospital system expanding in to the suburbs” July 17 

Dr. Paul Hattis says Boston Children’s Hospital’s plans for suburban expansion, like those of Mass General Brigham, will not serve the greater health care good. Read it here

“Reverse the curse: pedestrianize Storrow Drive” November 13 

Nathan Phillips, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University, says we should reverse a 70-year mistake and make Storrow Drive a car-free corridor. Read it here.

“At Mass General Brigham, when is enough enough?” November 6

Douglas S. Brown says it’s time to put the brakes on expansion plans by the state’s largest health care provider. Read it here

MICHAEL JONAS

FROM COMMONWEALTH

Expansion would lower prices: A report released by the Department of Public Health finds few concerns with Mass General Brigham’s plan to build three ambulatory care centers in Westwood, Westborough, and Woburn. The report, written by Charles River Associates and paid for by Mass General Brigham, said the expansion would curb prices slightly and not give the hospital system more leverage with insurers.

– Mass General Brigham said the cost analysis buttressed the hospital system’s claim that opening the three facilities would allow existing patients in the three communities to obtain their care locally and save money doing so by not having to travel to more expensive academic medical centers in Boston.

– The Mass General Brigham plan is facing pushback from hospital rivals in the communities, lawmakers on Beacon Hill, and Attorney General Maura Healey, who released a report in November saying the $224 million expansion would net the hospital system $385 million in annual profits. Read more.

Mask appeal: A public defender asked a judge to release his vaccinated client from the Middleton jail because corrections officers there are either not wearing masks or not wearing them correctly. The judge appeared skeptical but agreed to wait for a report promised by the district attorney’s office on the masking situation at the jail. Read more.

Downing out: Former state senator Ben Downing was the first candidate to seek the Democratic nomination for governor and now becomes the first to drop out, citing a lack of campaign funds. His exit leaves the Democratic field to Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, but Attorney General Maura Healey is expected to jump in soon. Read more.

OPINION

7 wishes: With health care spending rising, Paul Hattis of the Lown Institute offers seven public policy wishes for 2022. Read more.

FROM AROUND THE WEB

 

MUNICIPAL MATTERS  

The Beverly Board of Public Health attempts to meet to discuss mask and vaccine mandates, but the virtual meeting was unable to get started before anti-mandate members of the public took it over and ran their own speaking program – even after city officials left. (Salem News)

A proposal in Northampton to require patrons of restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues to show proof of vaccination draws a huge crowd and three hours of public comment. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

Municipal workers in Boston are organizing to fight Mayor Michelle Wu’s new vaccine mandate for all city employees. (Boston Herald

The Sharon school committee will pay former superintendent Victoria Greer $750,000 to settle her claims of racial discrimination. (Patriot Ledger

Westfield Mayor-elect Michael McCabe tests positive for COVID-19 and cancels his plans for an in-person inauguration in favor of a virtual one. (MassLive)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

Westminster native Elizabeth Carr, the first baby born via in vitro fertilization, turns 38 today. The Gardner News catches up with Carr about her life tagged as “the world’s first test-tube baby.”

Massachusetts has now reported more than 1 million COVID cases since the pandemic began. Its latest data reports 20,247 new breakthrough cases last week. (WBUR) State officials announce plans to open four new COVID vaccination sites, including one at Fenway Park. (MassLive)

ELECTIONS

Its official duties are limited and the office recently sat vacant for nearly 20 months with no apparent impact on the Commonwealth, but that’s not stopping a bevy of Democrats from considering a run for lieutenant governor next year. (Boston Globe)  

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

Cambridge-based Moderna has seen its stock price fall 50 percent since its peak in August – though that still leaves the COVID-19 vaccine maker’s stock up 136 percent since the start of the year. (Bloomberg

EDUCATION

The University of Massachusetts system becomes the latest university to announce plans to require all students and staff to get a COVID booster shot in the coming months. (WBUR)

ARTS/CULTURE

Wynn Resorts is skirting a state law that forbids theaters from being opened in casinos by making plans to open an 1,800-seat theater across the streets from its Everett gambling facility – a move that has some theater leaders in the state crying foul. (Boston Globe

The Worcester Historical Society opens a “mystery box” that was donated to the society in 1915 on condition that it not be opened for 100 years. (Telegram & Gazette)

TRANSPORTATION

Berkshire County is surveying residents to gauge interest in an on-demand, publicly-run ride-sharing service. (Berkshire Eagle

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

The city of Salem now needs to take a number of practical and administrative steps to prepare for the building of an offshore wind industry there. (Salem News)

MEDIA

Dan Kennedy says a New York state judge’s ruling against the New York Times imperils First Amendment rights. (GBH)

PASSINGS

Rudi Scherff, the longtime restaurant host who ran The Student Prince and The Fort in Springfield for decades, dies at 73. (MassLive)

Former Senate majority leader Harry Reid died at age 82. (New York Times)

The post From health care to history, CommonWealth commentary covered waterfront in 2021 appeared first on CommonWealth Magazine.

Source: commonwealthmagazine.org

Arts

Choose Some Disney Tunes and I’ll Give You an “Encanto” Quote for Inspiration

Avatar

Published

on

“Even in our darkest moments, there’s light where you least expect it.”

View Entire Post ›

Original Post: buzzfeed.com

Continue Reading

Arts

Temperature Textiles Translate Climate Crisis Data Into Colorful, Graphic Knits

Avatar

Published

on

Design

#blanket
#climate crisis
#data
#knitting
#scarves
#socks
#weather

Temperature Textiles Translate Climate Crisis Data into Colorful, Graphic Knits

January 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

All images (C) Raw Color

Creating tangible records of weather patterns has been a long-running practice for crafters and designers interested in visually documenting the effects of the climate crisis over time. Daniera ter Haar and Christoph Brach, of the Eindhoven, The Netherlands-based studio Raw Color, join this endeavor with their new collection of knitted goods that embed data about temperature changes, the sea’s rising levels, and emissions directly within their products’ patterns.

In each design, the duo translates data from the IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, into colorful, line graphics that represent four possible outcomes for the world through the year 2100. The titular Temperature Textiles rely on warm shades, sea level uses cool blues, purples, and greens, and emissions a combination of the two to visualize the changes.

Raw Color shares more specifics about the data behind Temperature Textiles on its site, where you can also shop the collection of flat and double knits. Follow the studio on Instagram to keep up with its latest designs. (via Design Milk)

#blanket
#climate crisis
#data
#knitting
#scarves
#socks
#weather

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

Also on Colossal

Related posts on Colossal about blanket climate crisis data knitting scarves socks weather

Feedzy

Original Article: thisiscolossal.com

Continue Reading

Arts

An Annual ‘Giant Letter’ Installation Displays a Heartfelt Note From a 100-Foot-Tall Boy Named Bobby

Avatar

Published

on

Art

#installation
#letters
#public art
#street art

An Annual ‘Giant Letter’ Installation Displays a Heartfelt Note from a 100-Foot-Tall Boy Named Bobby

January 21, 2022

Grace Ebert

2020 in Austin. All images (C) Giant Letter, shared with permission

Every year on December 12, a handwritten letter on oversized lined paper appears on a residential lawn in Chicago or Austin. The massive constructions, which stand between 8- and 12-feet high, are part of an ongoing project that shares heartfelt messages between an imaginary 100-foot-tall boy named Bobby and those who matter most in his life (aka his mother Lucinda, cat Mr. McFluffins, and Santa).

Chicago-based artists Caro D’Offay and Laura Gilmore began Giant Letter back in 2012 as a way to connect with their community following the tragic killings at Sandy Hook Elementary. Marj Wormald joined the pair a few years later, and together, they’ve installed 10 iterations. “We’re trying to create an atmosphere,” D’Offay said in an interview. “The person standing there can in a way feel very small but also have big emotions. It can be transformative for someone, and they’re just walking their dog.”

2021 in Chicago

During its decade-long run, Giant Letter displays have included microscopes and astronomy books, huge pencils and cups of tea, and of course, chocolate chip cookies and milk. Every piece also sets a “Bobby box” nearby that encourages visitors to drop in messages they’d like to share with the child. In the most recent version installed at the intersection of Glenwood and Albion avenues in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, a 35-foot tool stretches alongside a letter from Bobby’s mother detailing her cancer diagnosis. “I know this is a much bigger tape measure than you probably need but I want you to dream big and make giant magic!” it reads.

Organizers say the 2021 installation will stay in its current spot indefinitely, although they’re hoping to transfer the project to a museum or gallery in the future. You can follow their progress on Instagram.

2021 in Chicago

2019 in Austin

2016 in Austin

2016 in Chicago

2014 in Chicago

2013 in Chicago

2012 in Chicago

2012 in Chicago

#installation
#letters
#public art
#street art

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member and support independent arts publishing. Join a community of like-minded readers who are passionate about contemporary art, help support our interview series, gain access to partner discounts, and much more. Join now!

Also on Colossal

Related posts on Colossal about installation letters public art street art

Feedzy

Source: thisiscolossal.com

Continue Reading

Trending

WVPU.com