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Monday, April 29, 2019

As a New Week Dawns: A #RandomThought

As a new week dawns, our team decided on a #RandomThought that we would feature throughout our properties to underscore our mission of doing all that we can to help change the conversation about our World:

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Notations On Our World (W-End Edition): The Free India Legion, Hitler's Indian soldiers

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Window Into Our World (W-End Edition): From Palestine

Please Enjoy!!

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): On the Reality of #ClimateChange

Please enjoy the following on Climate Change courtesy of the Weather Channel and The Climate Reality Project:

Iowa's solar entrepreneurs are in a political fight for their future as lawmakers consider new fees that could bring the state's young rooftop solar industry to a screeching halt. Small businesses and jobs hang in the balance.
(InsideClimate News)
Cleaning up all of the old and unproductive oil and gas wells in Alberta, Canada, will cost between $40 billion and $70 billion, according to a new report based on data from the Alberta Energy Regulator. About 3,000 wells in the province are slated for remediatation, but more than 100,000 unproductive wells will need to be cleaned up.
The cost of reaching global climate goals is falling as wind and solar energy prices plummet and policy makers push electrification as the main tool to cut pollution, according to a new report from the International Renewable Energy Agency. IRENA lowered its cost estimate for the investments needed by 2050.
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a Republican who previously represented Nebraska in Congress, told a House committee Tuesday that the country must confront the dangers posed by climate change. "Climate change is a real and present threat to our national security, which most likely will get worse," he said. "There needs to be a dedicated effort to address this threat."
(Omaha World-Herald)
The U.S. Department of Energy is recommending the installation of a large natural gas plant in Puerto Rico — a move it admits could run counter to emerging clean energy policies in the U.S. territory, where the governor is expected to sign legislation setting a target of 100% clean energy by 2050.
(Utility Dive)
To meet the international goal of keeping global warming well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial times, today's young people will have to live their lives with significantly smaller carbon footprints than their grandparents, a new analysis of "allowable" lifetime CO2 emissions shows.
(The Guardian)
Big real estate investment companies are pouring resources into calculating climate risk and its likely effect on property portfolios — everything from increasingly extreme weather to sea-level rise — to better gauge and develop mitigation strategies, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute.
Local communities are taking the world's largest polluters to court, and they're using the legal strategy that got tobacco companies to pay up. Luciano Lliuya, who had never left Peru, is suing on RWE, Germany's largest energy utility, for its role in climate damage that has put his house at risk.
(The New York Times)

Dr. Susan Pacheco is a pediatrician and Climate Reality Leader – and she’s made it her life’s work to raise awareness about the impact climate change has on public health, especially the health of children.
Climate change isn’t something that’s happening in 10 or 20 years. It’s happening now. Here are seven effects of climate change you’ve already seen.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On Medicare

Please see the following on guidance regarding Medicare:

Did you know that Medicare has an ombudsman to help you resolve complaints that you may have about your healthcare?
Congress created the job of Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman to assist people with Medicare with their inquiries, complaints, grievances, appeals, and requests for information.
The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman also shares information with Congress, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and other organizations about what works well and what doesn’t work well to improve the quality of the care you get through Medicare.
If you need help with a Medicare-related inquiry, there are several ways you can get help.
  1. Call your plan.If your inquiry is related to your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) plan, contact your plan first using the phone number on your plan member ID card. Your plan is the best resource to resolve plan-related issues.
  2. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. If your concern is related to Original Medicare, or if your plan was unable to resolve your inquiry, contact 1-800-MEDICARE for help.
  3. Contact the SHIP.The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provide free, high-quality counseling to people with Medicare regarding their benefits, coverage, appeals, and complaints. SHIP counselors are volunteers who often have Medicare themselves, so they know the issues and they’re not trying to sell you anything. Find your local SHIP at:
  4. Contact the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. If you have been unable to resolve your concern with your plan or 1-800-MEDICARE, ask a 1-800-MEDICARE representative to submit your complaint or inquiry to the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will help to ensure that your inquiry is resolved appropriately.
No matter how you get your Medicare, you have certain rights and protections. As a person with Medicare, you’re entitled to:
  • Be treated with dignity and respect at all times.
  • Be protected from discrimination. Every company or agency that works with Medicare must obey the law. They can’t treat you differently because of your race, color, national origin, disability, age, religion, or sex.
  • Have your personal and health information kept private.
  • Get information in a way you understand from Medicare, health care providers, and, under certain circumstances, contractors.
  • Get understandable information about Medicare to help you make health care decisions, including:
    • What’s covered;
    • What Medicare pays;
    • How much you have to pay;
    • What to do if you want to file a complaint or appeal.
  • Have your questions about Medicare answered.
  • Have access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals.
  • Learn about your treatment choices in clear language that you can understand, and participate in treatment decisions.
  • Get healthcare services in a language you understand and in a culturally-sensitive way.
  • Get Medicare-covered services in an emergency.
  • Get a decision about healthcare payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage.
    • When a claim is filed, you get a notice letting you know what will and won’t be covered. The notice comes from one of these:
  • Request a review (appeal) of certain decisions about healthcare payment, coverage of services, or prescription drug coverage.
    • If you disagree with a decision about your claims or services, you have the right to appeal.
  • File complaints (sometimes called “grievances”), including complaints about the quality of your care.
Greg Dill is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the Pacific Territories. You can get answers to your Medicare questions by visiting or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

Friday, April 19, 2019

On this Good Friday...

We begin by simply saying thank you as we are privileged to serve.    We also chose this uplifting and engaging message from MOAS that we've periodically featured in our properties--as we go dark through Easter Sunday, we wish all a fabulous Easter Week-End:

MOAS Director's Easter Message
This Easter, our Founder, Regina Catrambone, reflects on those who risk their lives in search of peace and safety  
On Easter Day, we want to share a story of hope and solidarity. Earlier this month, MOAS delivered emergency supplies to the Sea-Eye vessel Alan Kurdi, which rescued 64 migrants on Wednesday 3rd of April, and was subsequently denied safe harbour in Europe for over a week. MOAS has stayed in touch with two women who were evacuated from the vessel and transferred to hospital in Malta. 

On Tuesday 9th of April, as we were waiting for the go-ahead to deliver food, water, blankets, clothing and medication to the Alan Kurdi, we heard that a 34-year-old woman, whom we’ll callPatricia, had fallen unconscious and been evacuated to Malta. Knowing those on board were struggling to cope with their confinement at sea, we felt it was more urgent than ever to reach them and show them our solidarity. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, another evacuation took place: a 23-year-old pregnant woman suffering from seizures, whom we’ll call Beatrice, was also taken to hospital in Malta.

Since last Friday, the MOAS team has visited Patricia and Beatrice in hospital several times. It is clear they have appreciated the company, and the love that we have shown them; several hospital staff members have commented on the value of our visits, and the positive effects they have had on both women. On Palm Sunday, MOAS arranged for Patricia and Beatrice to receive holy communion, as they had expressed a strong Christian faith.

Patricia had been travelling with her sister, and Beatrice with her husband; both had also formed close bonds with the other women and the two small children on board. Throughout their time in hospital, they were desperate for news. They were overjoyed when we informed them that the rescued migrants had finally been allowed to disembark in Malta, and excited to be reunited with their families.

It is difficult for anyone to be separated from their loved ones, especially when feeling unwell. Considering the challenges that many have overcome to reach a place of safety, rescued migrants are particularly vulnerable to loneliness and isolation. At MOAS, we believe that a gesture of kindness can go a long way towards letting someone know that they are not alone – that others are thinking of them, and looking out for them.

MOAS co-founder and director Regina Catrambone says: “This Easter, our thoughts are with all the children, women and men who risk their lives to seek peace and security, and particularly those trapped in the hands of merciless traffickers. We also think of all those celebrating Easter around the world – particularly our team in Bangladesh, empowering Rohingya refugees to lead on preparations for the monsoon season, and our partners in Yemen, where we are delivering life-saving medical aid and famine relief.

Our mission at MOAS is to keep hope alive wherever it is needed the most. On Easter Day, we wish for a world where we all try our best to share the gestures of solidarity that can mitigate suffering and bring comfort to our most vulnerable brothers and sisters.”

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): A Life Lesson in Civics....

We hereby present this on Democracy courtesy of the team at Education Next:

Education in the United States has a foundational public purpose: to prepare students for effective citizenship. Enter Democracy Prep Public Schools, a charter network whose mission is “to educate responsible citizens for success in the college of their choice and a life of active citizenship.” In a new article, researchers examine how the network is moving the needle on students' public participation.
"A Life Lesson in Civics: How Democracy Prep charter schools boost student voting" is available now on and will appear in the Summer 2019 issue, available in print May 24, 2019.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Notations On Our World (Special Local Edition): "Help Them Home"

We have had the honor to be supportive of the wonderful work by HomeAid Orange County for a number of years.    We hope all will consider being supportive in whatever way they can:

There are thousands of Orange County residents experiencing homelessness, including many families with children. 

Join us on April 24th as HomeAid Orange County and 16 community organizations come together to bring these individuals and families home.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Special Weekly Edition): On Online Safety

Online Safety is a major challenge.   Please check out this guidance on Phishing we trust all will embrace:

Monday, April 8, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): Admonitions From Gandhi Ji (Courtesy @ValaAfshar)


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): On How a card game can help city residents suggest new ideas (First in a Series)

Our team recently discovered this on what Helsinki has done to be able to bring the community together to suggest ideas to transform their community.   It is a full stack of 80 cards--and we will be featuring them during our W-End Series--The first seven is hereby presented here:

Monday, April 1, 2019

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On #California Watch

As we welcome all to a new Quarter throughout our properties, we hereby present the following courtesy CalMatters on the Week that was in our home state of California:

Recent Articles

Coming soon: Force of Law, a new podcast on the debate over police shootings in California

By Laurel Rosenhall
Our new podcast, Force of Law, will bring you the stories of families who have lost loved ones to police, law enforcement officers who face split-second decisions while doing a dangerous job and policymakers grappling with an issue that is emotional and politically charged.  Subscribe and get the first episode Monday.

Destination El Salvador: Newsom’s first international trip as governor is a counterpoint to Trump

By Elizabeth Aguilera
Gov. Gavin Newsom says he’s heading to El Salvador for his first international trip to explore the reasons Central Americans are fleeing their countries. But he’s also aware of the political symbolism of the trip, which is designed to highlight what Democrats regard as California’s more compassionate approach in sharp contrast to the Trump administration’s aversion to the waves of asylum seekers at the U.S. border.

Did Newsom “defy” the will of the people on executions? New poll says no

By Ben Christopher
Though Gov. Gavin Newsom has been criticized for “thwarting” the will of the California voter in freezing the death penalty, a new poll suggests he might have his finger on the pulse.

After weeks of Trump trolling, California’s Capitol hits mute on the Mueller report

By Laurel Rosenhall
When the long-awaited report from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III landed last week, the response from California was more or less . . . crickets.

A state lawmaker borrowed nearly a half-million dollars to buy a home. You might have voted for her lender.

By Matt Levin
Former U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez loaned state Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva $430,000 to buy a house in Orange County—an arrangement that some legal experts labeled unusual. Both politicians said it was not improper and resulted from their friendship.

The #RealCollege guru offers three ways to fix California’s student financial aid

By Felicia Mello
If the plight of hungry and homeless college students has lately caught the national media’s attention, it’s in no small part due to the efforts of Temple University professor Sara Goldrick-Rab.

Diminishing returns: Is California running out of ways to lead voters to the polls?

By Ben Christopher
Assemblyman Evan Low wants to make election day a state holiday—the latest in a string of Democratic proposals Would it bring more Californians to the polls or have state lawmakers run out of obstacles to knock down between the voter and the ballot box?


For the privilege of helping others, I will be paying off student loans for 20 years

By Anna Shoopman
The college admissions scam, much of which involves parents of USC students, serves as a blaring signal that college is not about education. It is about status. The majority of us do not have anyone to help buy our admission, let alone our education. I am one of the millions of Americans who will graduate with massive debt. By the time I earn my master’s degree in a year and a half, my student loans will amount to about $80,000.

Are big tax increases coming to California?

By Dan Walters
Big tax increases would be needed to pay for the expansionist goals of Capitol Democrats, but they would be a heavy political lift.

An execution at Parchman Farm

By Gregory Favre
Anyone who has witnessed an execution never forgets it. The memory of August (Boogie Woogie) LaFontaine’s death by lethal gas, pushed far back into the darkest shadows of my mind, came to light again with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s announcement of his moratorium on the state’s death penalty, an action taken in four states in recent years.

Banning paper receipts just more pettifoggery

By Dan Walters
Banning paper cash register receipts doesn’t rise to the level of a legislative solution. It’s pettifoggery.

Poll underscores California’s housing crisis

By Dan Walters
A new statewide poll indicates that Californians are very worried about housing affordability — so much so that many are contemplating leaving the state.

Solving California’s housing crisis demands action. These steps will help

By Jared Martin
California’s 4.2 percent unemployment rate is at a 10-year low. Wages are accelerating at their fastest pace in nearly a decade. But prospective home buyers continue to see sticker shock, with median prices still hovering in the $530,000 range. The affordability problem must be addressed, and fast, if California is to remain a place where middle-class people can live.

We must end bias in the justice system. Here’s one answer

By Sydney Kamlager-Dove
We all have biases. We need to stop pretending that we don’t act on our perceptions. Most of us prejudge, even if those prejudices are unintentional. The good news is that studies also reveal that as people become aware of their unconscious biases, and are reminded of them regularly, they can correct themselves.

California can’t wait for Washington’s approval to control health care spending

By Glenn Melnick
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call in his State of the State speech to restrain health care costs in California is rooted in some eye-popping numbers.  The cost of health care for a family of four reached $28,000 in 2018. If nothing is done, it will soon be $30,000 and more. This is clearly unsustainable. The governor can take the lead on two issues right now.

Can California close its ‘achievement gap’?

By Dan Walters
A persistent “achievement gap” plagues California schools, but it’s uncertain how it can be closed.

Fewer California youths are getting arrested. Consequences have become more serious for those who are arrested

By Mike Males
Violent offenses such as murder, robbery, rape and assault are declining. Lower-level offenses, especially petty theft, minor vandalism and minor status offenses like truancy, show the biggest increases in court dispositions per arrest. Yet lesser offenders are exactly the ones most successfully diverted to community-based and restitution programs.

New path on California water must include Delta communities

By Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla
Any new path on California water must bring Delta community and fishing interests to the table. We have solutions to offer. We live with the impacts of state water management decisions from loss of recreation to degradation of water quality to collapsing fisheries.