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An Evening with the Experts: Healthcare Reform

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/13 9:15:16 (959 reads)

The North Central Texas College Honors Program announces

An Evening with the Experts: Healthcare Reform

August is the “make or break” month for the future of healthcare reform and North Central Texas College is inviting the public to a DIFFERENT kind of community meeting! Get the information that you need in a non-partisan and non-political environment while speaking with experts who truly understand the current healthcare situation.

WHAT: An Evening with the Experts: Healthcare Reform

WHEN: Wednesday, August 19, 6:30-8:30pm

WHERE: North Central Texas College, Corinth Campus, Room 314

North Central Texas College will host a Healthcare Roundtable Discussion featuring regional experts on healthcare systems and management. The purpose of this event is to provide the community with non-political, non-partisan information and analysis regarding the state of the healthcare system and current reform proposals. Ask the questions that ought to be asked! Examine the issues in greater depth and walk away with a better understanding of the issues involved with this complex topic.

The panel of experts includes:

Dr. Stephen Inrig

Medical historian and health policy analyst at UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Jeffrey Rous

University of North Texas economist, healthcare research specialty

Dr. Kristine Lykens

Professor of Health Management and Policy, UNTHSC School of Public Health

Dr. Forney Fleming

Director and Clinical Professor, Graduate Healthcare Management Program, UTD


NCTC’s Heathcare Roundtable Discussion is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to hear from experts in the field and get your questions answered!

For more information:
contact Dr. Lisa Morales - lmorales [at] nctc [dot] edu or (940) 498-6282 x6333

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Texas Blog Roundup for Week ending 8/9/2009

Texas Progressive Alliance - Blog Roundups
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/10 9:13:37 (1008 reads)
Texas Progressive Alliance - Blog Roundups

The Congress may be in recess, but the Texas Progressive Alliance is always in session. Here's the weekly roundup of blog highlights.

Off the Kuff takes a closer look at the crimefighting plan of Houston Mayoral candidate Annise Parker.

Citizen Sarah dances with glee as new San Antonio nuclear group Energia Mia rains on CPS' nuclear parade.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson encourages everyone to get involved in lobbying their elected officials and engaging in the political process in You get out of it, what you put into it.

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Jennifer Giles - Drafted candidate makes CNN

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/9 19:10:00 (3347 reads)

Flower Mound resident and local Democrat Jennifer Giles was the subject of a draft effort to run for U.S. Representative begun this week by a group of Southern Denton County Democrats. Should Giles decide to run, she can count CNN as her first earned media:


Giles attended the Saturday town hall meeting held by U.S. Representative Michael C Burgess (R - Lewisville, TX) who represents the 26th district since being elected in 2002. Though she didn't initially intend to ask a question of Burgess, Giles was moved by the open hostility of the crowd and some of the health care reform detractors sitting near her at the event.

When Giles took the microphone, she asked Burgess why the G.O.P. had failed to take on health care reform and get it passed during the years they were in control. This drew great applause from the outdoor crowd.

Burgess asserted that he had worked on health care workforce issues during his tenure, but then quickly redirected back to the current debate over the Democrats health care reform plan, stating "... It's easier to poke holes in someone else than it is to defend your own product."

Links:
Jen in '10 Facebook group
About Jennifer Giles
Supporters are working on a website for Giles.

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Burgess Town Hall Lively but Un-Eventful

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/8 15:00:00 (2994 reads)

I'm happy to report that I'm back from the Congressional town hall meeting, held in Denton this morning, and the video is processing as I type this.

I had concerns about some of the more radical elements attempting to disrupt the meeting, based on some emails I had seen, but the crowd of about 600 - 800 people* were fairly well-behaved, even though there was some attempt at shouting over each other, and at least one attempt by a man to provoke any union members that might be present into a fight.

(Dallas Morning News estimates 1500 attended. I'll defer to their judgment)

Burgess spoke for less than about 5 minutes at the beginning, then took questions from the audience for the remainder of the hour and half session, staying later to speak to some on an individual basis.

Because of the overflow crowd, Burgess delivered his remarks from a stage setup outside of the Art Center. An overhead door on the side of the Center was opened up to allow an unobstructed view, and a PA system was setup to project over the sometime-chattering crowd.

The questions and applause levels would seem to indicate healthy numbers of both supporters and detractors of Health Care Reform. Discussing it afterward with some attendees who stuck around to chat, most of them thought that it was about 50/50, though I would guess it was probably more like 65/35 against reform. Both sides brought signs, and to my surprise, some were actually allowed in the building.

There was no overt campaigning by any elected official, but plenty of Burgess' supporters sported campaign wear, with at least one woman bringing in a full-sized Burgess campaign yard sign.

I had emailed in advance with my concerns about whether there would be a place to setup my camera, and whether adequate security arrangements were in place. Though I didn't receive a response by the end of business on Friday, I was pleased to see that there were what looked to be about 10 Denton Police officers present - compared to the typical single uniformed officer. In addition, there was sufficient media area to get mostly unobstructed footage.

Knowing that I'm not exactly Burgess' favorite citizen journalist, I do want to acknowledge his staff for being courteous and professional in accomodating me and the several other bloggers that were there to cover the event.

When I get the video edited, I'll post what I can, and provide more commentary on what I thought were the high and low points of this meeting.

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Lewisville Budget Meeting - Saturday, 8:30 - 4:30

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/7 19:40:00 (931 reads)

Open in new windowThis is just a reminder to those who are interested in the City of Lewisville's budget, this Saturday at the municipal Annex will be the annual budget meeting.

Gilmore has some pre-meeting analysis and information here, and I tend to agree with his thoughts on it.

The live blog coverage of the meeting is here, and I must say that it seems like a pretty good job so far.

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Denton County Dems May See Contested 2010 Primary

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/5 21:14:00 (2664 reads)


Flower Mound Woman Courted by Draft Campaign

Flower Mound resident and occasional WhosPlayin.com contributor Jennifer Giles has grown accustomed to dismissing suggestions that she run for elected office, but now a group of Democrats in Southern Denton County has started a grass-roots movement to draft her to run for U.S. Representative in 2010. This time, Giles says she is going to seriously consider running for the seat, which is currently held by Republican Michael C. Burgess.

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Denton County Democrats Expand Outreach with New Black Coalition Chapter

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/4 18:17:45 (1085 reads)

The Texas Coalition of Black Democrats has formed a new chapter in Denton County. The Chapter’s first meeting was opened with an enthusiastic speech by Daniel Clayton, State President of the TCBD, who outlined the Coalition’s goals. “African Americans,” he said, “need to fully participate in government by voting and organizing.

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Calling for Civility

The Editor's Column
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/3 22:20:00 (1637 reads)

Open in new windowDiscussion versus Disruption
Can we talk about the difference between discussion and disruption for a second? You see, discussion is what happens here on this blog. It happens in the letters that you send to your Congressmen. Discussion requires exactly two actions: Someone talking and someone listening - repeat as necessary, trading roles. Since a Member of Congress represents in the case of our district, some 640,000 people, it's impossible to have a regular discussion with everyone.

True, we all try. We all want our Representatives to listen to what we have to say. And with the help of news media, blogs, letters to the editor, and questions raised at town hall meetings, they do. And if that's not enough, you can call your Representative's office and ask for a meeting. Some of them are now even on Twitter and Facebook.

What we must deal with, in a civil society is that our representatives will not always see things from our point of view. Typically, they're going to fit more closely with the party that elected them. As frustrating as that can be when you know you're right, we have to live with it.

Open in new windowWhat is Disruption?
When I speak of disruption, I am not talking about legally protesting in a public space. I'm also not talking about asking a tough question, or giving your Representative the third degree when you think they've done a poor job.

By way of example, these are some of the things that would be considered disruption:

- Talking out of turn at a town hall meeting.
- Shouting down your Representative
- Bringing signs or banners into a meeting
- Cornering your Rep, or otherwise physically intimidating or threatening.
- Making angry gestures
- Acting in a disorderly manner
- Using inappropriate language
- Booing
- Talking over others

Disruption is a breech of civility, and shows a lack of judgement that reflects poorly on the person, their group, and their ideas. It also reflects poorly on those groups who are encouraging it. In fact, I think it reflects poorly upon our society and the lack of civics education.

This is unacceptable behavior:




Health Plan Opponents make voices Heard (NYTimes)

No matter how much I disagree with my Representatives, I just won't tolerate behavior that threatens the free exchange of ideas and communication with them. You may or may not respect the man, but if you want to live in America, you had better damn well respect the office, and show some class.

Congressional Town Halls in Denton and Gainesville This Saturday
This coming Saturday in Denton and in Gainesville, District 26 Representative Michael Burgess will be hosting two town hall meetings.

Denton Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, August 8, 2009
10:00 - 11:00 a.m.
Center for the Visual Arts
400 East Hickory Street
Denton, TX 76201


Gainesville Town Hall Meeting
Saturday, August 8, 2009
2:00 - 3:00 p.m.
UPDATED: NEW LOCATION
North Central Texas College
Administration Building, Little Theater
1525 California Street
Gainesville, TX 76240

Given that Burgess has been sympathetic to the Tea-baggers and secessionists, even if not endorsing them, I don't expect as much trouble with one of his events as I would at the town hall of a Democratic Representative, such as Congressman Doggett.

Open in new windowBut I'm saying this right now as clearly as I can to my Democratic friends as well as to any Republicans or Teabaggers or Birthers who plan on showing up to disrupt things: There will be cameras there. WhosPlayin may have someone there. If you lose your cool and disrupt a meeting because you're a titty baby and your AM radio spoon-feeds you hate and lies on a daily basis, then you not only run the risk of getting ejected, but you will probably be videoed, and people like me will call you out.

I would encourage people to attend if they can behave. Your tax dollars are paying for the event, and you have a right to be there and hear what the man has to say. If you can dress respectably and submit your question, wait your turn and act right, maybe you can ask a question.

There are other things you can do if you really want to:
- Consider passing around a petition or literature explaining your position. Congressman Burgess allows this even for un-American things like Secessionists calling for rebellion against the United States. If your position is less extreme than that, there's a pretty good chance you'll be alright.
- Protest outside if you can do so without blocking any entrances or getting into a non-productive shouting match.

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Lewisville City Council Notes - 8/3/2009

Local News, Notes and Events
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/3 19:20:00 (912 reads)

Open in new window(live-blogged - please forgive the abbreviated nature)

Item #7 is considered first - was pulled from the consent agenda. Churchill residential agreeing to payment in lieu of taxes for senior assisted living facility which would otherwise be tax-exempt. Mr. Brad Forslin - available to answer questions. Durham moved to approve. Gorena seconded. Unanimously passed.

back to regular order:

Item #1 - hearing for a zone change - reidential townhouse to Medical district. Hearing closed, passed unanimously. Thornhill moved, Durham seconded. Passed unanimously.

Item #2 - Consideration of CDBG annual action plan. Gorena wanted to hear Staff presentation about funding. Plan is to continue first-time homebuyer program, $40,000 to day stay adult care facility, various street improvements.

Committee recommended approval of plan with exception of FTHB plan which will be funded again in October. Question from Thornhill about rehab of houses. We have funded that in the past. No questions or cards for speakers. Hearing closed.

Gorena moved to approve. Second by Thornhill. Passed unanimously.

Visitors / Citizens Forum
Dennis Devaney - 1818 El Paso St. LV, TX
Has called city about water usage. City waters College st. improvements during day and night. 1pm watering, water running down the street.

Consent Agenda
Passed unanimously

Item #8 - Variance to city code to allow variance that would allow a church not to have to construct a screening wall. Unanimous.

Item #9 - TxDot reimbursement agreement for the city to operate traffic signals. Staff recommends tabling. Tierney moved to table to Aug 17th. Second by Gorena. Unanimously tabled.

Item #10 - Variance to waive permit fees for Masonic lodge race for the Children 5K run. Staff recommends approval waiving $1640. Watts moved, second by Durham - Unanimous approval

Item #11 - Settlement agreement with TNMP. TNMP wanted to increase by $24.4 million its rates. Cut way down. They want to charge recovery fees for Hurricane Ike. Durham moved. Tierney seconded. Passed unanimously.

Item #12 - Settlement agreement (second reading) with Atmos over gas rate increase.

Closed session to discuss property acquisition and economic development. (7:29pm)

Adjourned (time unknown)

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Caught the Vile Rodent. Now What?

Links, Thoughts, and Open Thread
Posted by WhosPlayin on 2009/8/3 14:20:00 (1840 reads)

A few weeks ago, I was awakened by a scurrying noise in my bedroom which turned out to be a very unwelcome vistor - a mouse.

I immediately got up and drove to the store to purchase the only mouse traps they had available - some little plastic clip-looking things which basically had a little platform for bait, surrounded by black plastic springloaded jaws.

They didn't work worth a crap, either allowing the bait to be brazenly stolen, or clamping shut prematurely. Figuring the old standby technology of the wooden trap with the spring-loaded bar couldn't possibly be worse, I picked up a pack of them, baited them with peanut butter, and set them up around my bedroom and in the kitchen.

Again, these were outsmarted by the tiny mouse, who apparently could very well lick the peanut butter without tripping the decapitator bar.

The other night, I was sitting up in my bed reading way after my bedtime when I saw the little bastard run out from under my chest of drawers, dart through the bathroom and into my closet.

Not knowing how I could physically catch a mouse, but realizing that I had to somehow stop the little turd fairy from destroying things, it dawned on me that maybe I could shoot it.

I've recently gotten a full-size-and-weight Airsoft replica of an M-16 A3 service rifle. It basically shoots little plastic BBs at about 400 feet per second, which is plenty to bludgeon a mouse, but barely enough to cause any damage in my house.

So I get my trusty rifle out, and I'm in the closet poking around, moving things and hoping to see him run out into my line of fire. But it was no luck. He was well hidden, and would not move. Nevertheless, my wife has an old chest in the closet with plenty of space under it for a mouse to run, so I fired under it several times, hoping to either get lucky and hit him, or drive him out.

I heard a giggle from the other room from my wife, who was now telling me that she's tickled to see her grown husband in the house "hunting" in his underwear late at night with a fairly scary looking assault rifle.

I went back to bed and laid back with my rifle for awhile, watching the door in case the vile rodent shows back up. I guess I must have dozed off, because I woke up sometime later with my rifle across my body. I put the gun away and resolved to get better traps.

Fast forward to last night, I picked up some glue traps and one of those little plastic numbers where the mouse walks in, but the trap door won't let him out. I spread some peanut butter on a Frito and stuck in in the trap, which I then placed behind my dresser where I had seen him run several times.

Sometime in the middle of the night - I didn't look at the time - there was a horrible racket coming from behind my dresser. I gleefully popped out of bed, muttering "gotcha, you little fucker".

The mouse apparently knew how fucked he was, because he was bouncing himself off both ends of the trap, hurling his tiny mass against the trap door hoping to escape. My next thought was "Now what?"

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