Monthly Archives: October 2012

5 posts

A Public Meeting on “Dual-eligibles” and the Future of Health Care

A local group called Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR) is holding a public meeting tomorrow from 1-3pm at The Paulist Center at 5 Park St. in Boston. Everyone with an interest in shaping health care delivery methods is encouraged to attend, but this meeting should be of particular interest to so-called “dual-eligibles.”

What’s a “dual-eligible?” In plain English, a dual-eligible is any person who qualifies for both Medicare and MassHealth. If this is a new term for you, that’s because it’s a fairly new term for all of us. Part of President Obama’s health care reforms called for a tighter and more efficient coordination between Medicare (which is administered by the federal government) and Medicaid (which is administered by the states). According to federal estimates, dual-eligible people make up 15% of Medicaid enrollment but account for nearly 40% of Medicaid costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better-known as Obamacare—awarded $1 million each to Massachusetts and 14 other states to implement pilot programs to deliver care in a seamless, cost-effective way for dual-eligible people.

On the national scale, this is Obamacare in action: a federally funded drive to let states create the health care models that will save us all money in the 21st century. On a local scale, this is a fantastic opportunity to make your voice heard and to help create a program that could become a model for the rest of the country.

If you are dual-eligible or know someone who is, I encourage you to attend tomorrow’s meeting. To request accommodations or for more information, please contact Allegra Stout (astout@bostoncil.org; 617-338-6665) or Florette Willis (willisflorette@yahoo.com; 617-297-2030).

Halloween Fun at Somerville’s Monster MashedUp Event

The Great Pumpkin Returns!
Somerville’s Monster MashedUp promises fun for all ages. Photo credit Somerville Journal.

Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, so the City of Somerville is getting a head start on the festivities with Monster MashedUp, sponsored by Somerstreets in coordination with Union Square Main Streets, Shape Up Somerville, and the Somerville Arts Council. The event will take place this Sunday all along Somerville Ave., from Washington St. to Beacon St., rain or shine, beginning at 12 noon and ending at 4pm.

Monster MashedUp features family-friendly activities such as costume contests, a haunted house, a hayride, live music, entertainment on two stages, and delicious seasonal food from local vendors. The highlight of the event might be the pumpkin carving contest, featuring five enormous pumpkins and carvers wielding chainsaws. Anyone looking for frightful fun can join the Ghosts of Milk Row Cemetery tours for a suggested donation of just $5. And for adults who prefer Bavarian beer to ghastly ghouls, there’s an Oktoberfest co-sponsored by Sally O’Brien’s and Bull McCabe’s from 1-6pm near Union Square, stretching from Washington St. to Bow St.

Somerville Ave. will be closed to traffic for the event (to learn more about changes to traffic patterns, call the city’s 3-1-1 customer service hotline), and—fingers crossed for good weather—this will be a great opportunity to get out and enjoy what’s been a lovely fall in our community. Whether you’ve been planning your costume since last Halloween or you’re scrambling to find one now, Somerstreets’ Monster MashedUp promises to be a fun and active way to celebrate the harvest season.

Charles River Skatepark Designs Unveiled

Artist's rendering of new Charles River Skatepark
An artist’s rendering of the new Charles River Skatepark. When completed, the park will be the largest in New England. Photo courtesy of ASD/Santec and Charles River Conservancy.

As reported by the Beacon Hill Times, the latest plans for the largest skatepark in New England were recently unveiled. The new, 40,000-square-foot Charles River Skatepark  represents a group effort by the Charles River Conservancy, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Action Sports Design/Santec, a California-based company that specializes in the construction of skateparks.

This project has been a longtime coming, and it’s part of our plan to reclaim and beautify the Charles River and connect the Cambridge waterfront with Charlestown. I’m thrilled that yet another milestone has been passed.

Have you been to the new North Point Park yet? If not, get out and enjoy this amazing fall weather!