News

Splash Page

Monte’s March, Take 4; Worth Quoting; Twin Co-ops for Amherst

Comments (9)
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
photo courtesy of Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Monte’s March, Take 4

If you listen to radio station 93.9-The River, you know morning host Monte Belmonte. For each of the past three years, Monte has pushed a shopping cart up the road to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts and the 135,000 people in the Valley it serves. This year he’ll walk the 26 miles from Northampton to Greenfield on November 6.

Monte gets started early—last year the walk (pictured) took him 12 hours—and phones will open at the Food Bank at 6:30 a.m. To help the Food Bank top last year’s take of $45,000, call (888) 323-4673 to make a donation, or join the walk by calling The River (413-586-7400) for directions about how to join Monte on the road for an hour, pushing a shopping cart of your own. There’s an exceptional urgency to the event this year because, as Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank, pointed out, “... the imminent cuts to the federal SNAP-Food Stamps program could cause a tsunami of food-insecure households turning to our region’s emergency food network to feed themselves.” For more information about the march, go to http://www.foodbankwma.org/events/montes-march.

 

By the Numbers: $268 million

That’s how much potential sales tax revenue Massachusetts lost out on from e-commerce in fiscal 2012, according to a study by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Starting Nov. 1, Massachusetts residents will begin paying sales tax on eligible items bought from Amazon, the world’s largest on-line retailer, under an agreement reached last year with the Patrick administration.

 

 

As the corporate world has developed over the last 30 years, less and less money has gone to people who actually produce things while more has trickled up—to middlemen, to administrators and CEOs. Planning to buck that trend is the All Things Local Store, a farm and craft shop now in the process of moving in at 104 N. Pleasant in Amherst, formerly occupied by the Souperbowl. All Things Local’s goal is to return 80 percent of the prices of items sold to the farmers and craftspeople in this area who produce them.

Sharing All Things Local’s mission to give local food a local market is the Amherst Community Market, which is still searching for a site. The Market will be a co-op offering local farm products and aspires to be a full-service grocery store, rather like River Valley Market in Northampton, with the emphasis on affordability. To offer updates on their operating plans and explain their missions, the two groups will hold an open meeting called the Amherst Food Forum on Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. at Food for Thought Books, located next to All Things Local at 106 N. Pleasant Street.

 

Worth Quoting:

“Type ‘Evan Dobelle’ into any Internet search engine and you get about 93,000 results for the embattled —now suspended—Westfield State University president. Add in ‘Hawaii’ and you still get more than 33,000 returns; narrow it further by adding ‘spending’ and it still exceeds more than 14,000 hits. For the heck of it, type in ‘lavish’ and it stays about the same. And the majority of the results predate Dobelle’s hiring in 2007 at Westfield.

“So it seems reasonable to ask: Did they know about Google in Western Massachusetts before the school’s trustees voted to hire Dobelle?…”

e_SEmDJack Sullivan, writing at commonwealthmagazine.org

 

The Valley-based Prison Birth Project works with and advocates for pregnant women and mothers in the criminal justice system—a not-insignificant population. According to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, 62 percent of women in state prisons have minor children, and one out of 25 women in state prisons and one out of 33 in federal prisons are pregnant at the time of their incarceration.

The Prison Birth Project offers support groups for incarcerated mothers as well as a doula program for pregnant and post-partum women at the Western Mass. Regional Women’s Correctional Center in Chicopee. It also fights to change public policy, including lobbying for a bill that would forbid the controversial practice of shackling women prisoners who are pregnant or in childbirth. Massachusetts is one of more than 30 states that allow this practice; attempts have been made to change the law at the Statehouse in recent years but have yet to pass.

On Nov. 1, the PBP celebrates its fifth anniversary with a “solidarity supper” and fundraiser, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Smith College Conference Center in Northampton. “The event will be a wonderful opportunity to discover how you can contribute to PBP’s work while enjoying a local, farm-fresh dinner,” organizers say. For more information or to buy tickets ($30 per person or $50 for two, with sliding-scale rates available), go to www.theprisonbirthproject.org.

 

Twin Co-ops for Amherst

As the corporate world has developed over the last 30 years, less and less money has gone to people who actually produce things while more has trickled up—to middlemen, to administrators and CEOs. Planning to buck that trend is the All Things Local Store, a farm and craft shop now in the process of moving in at 104 N. Pleasant in Amherst, formerly occupied by the Souperbowl. All Things Local’s goal is to return 80 percent of the prices of items sold to the farmers and craftspeople in this area who produce them.

Sharing All Things Local’s mission to give local food a local market is the Amherst Community Market, which is still searching for a site. The Market will be a co-op offering local farm products and aspires to be a full-service grocery store, rather like River Valley Market in Northampton, with the emphasis on affordability. To offer updates on their operating plans and explain their missions, the two groups will hold an open meeting called the Amherst Food Forum on Nov. 2 at 4 p.m. at Food for Thought Books, located next to All Things Local at 106 N. Pleasant Street.

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (9)
Post a Comment

By the Numbers: Possibility that the Advocate would utterly ignore a President's Syria policy, spying on foreign leaders, and collapse of his/her signature legislation if he/she were a Republican.

0%

Posted by The Gander on 10.31.13 at 9:24

Maybe you could put a number on the chance that a right wing troll will post something dumb on an Advocate story?

You ever actually read this paper? Not exactly been an Obama lovefest, either. Without the old Imperium Watch column, there hasn't been so much national political coverage. Calling it the supposed collapse of his singnature legislation, which was Romney's before his, seems a little premature.

What's next? 'But... but... Bengazhi!'

Posted by SDudgens on 10.31.13 at 10:24

Well, I look forward to the articles contrasting Obama's promise that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan" and the millions of people losing coverage.

Obamacare in theory: Insure the uninsured

Obamacare in reality: Uninsure the insured

Posted by The Gander on 11.1.13 at 7:26

Oh please. Don't be disingenuous. You know or at least you ought to know that's not really what's happening.

Here's Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economist who had a hand in planning Romney's plan and then Obama's plan, quoted in the New Yorker-

' It turns out than many people—probably millions—will not be able to keep the exact plans they currently have.

But the details and context are important.

Gruber broke down the A.C.A. “winners” and “losers” for me. About eighty per cent of Americans are more or less left alone by the health-care act—largely people who have health insurance through their employers. About fourteen per cent of Americans are clear winners: they are currently uninsured and will have access to an affordable insurance policy under the A.C.A.

But much of the current controversy involves the six per cent of Americans who buy their own health care on the individual market, which the A.C.A. has dramatically reformed. Gruber argued that half of these people (three per cent of all Americans) will have little change to their polices. “They have to buy new plans, but they will be pretty similar to what they had before,” he said. “It will essentially be relabeling.”

The other half, however, also three per cent of the population, will have to buy a new product that complies with the A.C.A.’s more stringent requirements for individual plans. A significant portion of these roughly nine million Americans will be forced to buy a new insurance policy with higher premiums than they currently pay. The primary reason for the increased cost is that the A.C.A. bans any plan that would require a people who get sick to pay medical fees greater than six thousand dollars per year. In other words, this was a deliberate policy decision that the White House and Congress made to raise the quality—and thus the premiums—of insurance policies at the bottom end of the individual market.'

But those poor millions! Oh the humanity.

Posted by SDudgens on 11.1.13 at 7:50

This is why we can't have nice things. Words mean absolutely nothing to you leftist zombies. Obama repeated, ad nauseum, that "if you like your health plan you can keep it" often punctuating it with "period!" or "end of story!."

Oh but now it's not whether YOU like your plan, it's whether HE likes your plan. Because don't know know that if Grandpa doesn't have maternity coverage, it's just no damn good, so it has to be updated for Grandpa's sake. Also, keep convincing yourself it's a tiny sliver of the individual market: various reports indicate that tens of millions of Americans will lose their health care plans and the vast majority will not get subsidies for their more expensive plans. Stop getting your news from MSNBC and Huffington Post.

For good measure, here's the Washington Post giving Obama their highest "four Pinocchio" rating for his repeated lying.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2013/10/30/obamas-pledge-that-no-one-will-take-away-your-health-plan/

Posted by The Gander on 11.1.13 at 12:30

I quote the New Yorker and you say I get my news from MSNBC and Huffington Post. So that makes a lot of sense.

Meanwhile, "various reports" refute my claim. I consider myself duly chastened, oh virulent troll. Maybe you should stop getting your news from "various reports?"

What you say about people "losing coverage" is not true. Which you clearly know since now you have moved the goal posts. Claim A won't work, so here comes Claim B, that people's plans are being replaced with better ones and that is proof of that goll danged meddlesome gummint.

Let's see- 3% of people get their policies replaced with ones that allow a maximum out of pocket number of $6000. So it's the same but better, and the subsidies that will help a lot of people haven't even been discussed yet. Therefore Obama is a disaster?

That is some pretty weak tea you're bringing to the party, troll.

Thing is I don't love this frankenstein approach myself. Obama either for that matter. I was all in favor of real universal health care, single payer style. Instead we have this stuff, dreamed up ages ago by Republicans and even implemented by one in this state. And Republicans act like it's socialism. Maybe you wingnuts should look in the mirror. I guess the teabag is in the way.

Posted by SDudgens on 11.1.13 at 13:02

Here are some various sources. CBS News: "Obamacare: More than 2 million people getting booted from existing health insurance plans"

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57609737/obamacare-more-than-2-million-people-getting-booted-from-existing-health-insurance-plans/

And Forbes: "93 Million Americans Will Be Unable To Keep Their Health Plans Under Obamacare"

http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2013/10/31/obama-officials-in-2010-93-million-americans-will-be-unable-to-keep-their-health-plans-under-obamacare/

But, hey, I said MSNBC instead of the New Yorker, so... Sometimes the gunpowder gets in the eyes of us Teabagger/troll/wingnut Rethuglicans.

Much as you'd like to wrap yourself in Obama's shroud of morality, there are real people out there losing their coverage and paying much, much more to get it back. This whole scheme was sold on an oft-repeated lie that gave Americans the false sense that they had the choice to hold on their coverage if they wanted to. But they don't, and they can't, and waving your hand - oh they can shop for better plans! - doesn't make it right.

Posted by The Gander on 11.1.13 at 18:44

I'm not here to do all your research for you. I've provided three links to stories; you've provided none. The sky is blue - go outside and look up.

Tell you what: the White House swears the exchanges will be up and running by November 30th. Let's see how many people rush to sign up for more expensive coverage for hospitals and doctors who won't take the new coverage. Obamacare needs 7 million people to sign up for non-Medicaid insurance. As of this morning, they're up to a shade under 40,000 which, for all intents and purposes, is zero.

Posted by The Gander on 11.3.13 at 11:18

And there go the goalposts again. Sayonara, goalposts. Nobody asked you to do their research. There isn't a point in saying anything new. Same thing stands- I don't love this mediocre solution to healthcare problems. Of course it won't be perfect, because it is the messed up result of Democrats trying to put lipstick on a Republican plan. THe Repubs dreamed up some fundamental parts of this approach, and now they are acting like they didn't and hoping their own ideas will fail. Boggles the noggin.

Here's some fun reading- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/apr/01/barack-obama/obama-says-heritage-foundation-source-health-excha/

Posted by SDudgens on 11.4.13 at 12:33
Comment:

Name:

Password:

New User/Guest?

Find it Here:
keyword:
search type:
search in:

« Previous   |   Next »
Print Email RSS feed

Stagestruck: Expecting the Unexpected
The adventurous theater of Ko Fest
From Our Readers
Casinos: A Many-Sided Issue; Pipeline Clarification
Between the Lines: Bad Times for A Good Teacher
Still mourning the death of Phoebe Prince, Debra Caldieri is now fighting for her own life.
More Than A Free Lunch
Summer meals program serves up nutrition, but many children don’t take advantage
The Pipeline Revolt
Massachusetts residents take to the roads to protest the Kinder Morgan gas line.
From Our Readers
Help Blue Water Navy Vets; Stop Demonizing Pot; Pot Lobby Gives Pols a Pass
Between the Lines: A New Day for Chicopee?
Mayor Richard Kos and the City Council are getting along. But how long will that last?