Tag Archives: Joanna Hamer

2013 Week Nine looks into the future of unsustainable health care crisis

By this time next summer, if the Affordable Care Act proceeds as planned, big changes will be in effect.

Standardized billing and electronic records will become mandatory; increased funding will be provided to the Children’s Health Insurance Program and state Medicare programs that offer preventative health services; hospital performance statistics and evaluations will be publicly reported; and a tax hike of 0.9 percent on those earning more than $200,000 annually will be earmarked for health care costs.

That is if everything goes according to plan, which may be unlikely. A presidential election, along with other political movements in favor of and against the act, will likely modify, transform, or even render irrelevant that timeline.

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Tasso Spanos stretches inside Hurlbut Church. Spanos suffered a stroke five months ago and still has trouble with his speech. His recovery has been helped by his training in exercises for dealing with pain, which he has taught for years through Chautauqua’s Special Studies program. Photo by Adam Birkan.

Muscle therapist Spanos heals self through own methods

Five months ago, while treating a patient, Tasso Spanos suffered what was supposed to have been a life-ending stroke. He collapsed on the floor and found himself unable to speak, with the right side of his body partially paralyzed.

Fortunately, his patient called emergency services and Spanos arrived at the hospital in less than 20 minutes. Even more fortunately, Spanos is a certified trigger point myotherapist who studied under Dr. Janet Travell, the first White House physician, and is an expert on the human body and its recovery.

Spanos first began studying trigger point therapy many years ago, when he saw Bonnie Prudden on tour with her book Pain Erasure. At the time, his wife was suffering from fibromyalgia, and traditional doctors couldn’t seem to help her.

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Tomatoes, lettuce and herbs grow in the community garden located on the southern end of the Chautauqua grounds off Bryant. There are 15 plots for residents to work. Photo by Michelle Kanaar.

Community gardens blossom in fourth season of growth

The Chautauqua season is nine weeks long, but for some who live on the grounds, there is a longer, more important season to arrange one’s summer around: the growing season.

At the southernmost end of the Institution, hidden behind bushes that grow along Bryant, are 15 small plots that together comprise the Chautauqua community gardens. The gardeners who tend them extend their Chautauqua time for planting and harvesting.

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Amp’s infrared hearing enhancement system keeps speakers amplified

Have you ever wondered how the speaker’s voice gets from the microphone into your ears when you use the Amphitheater’s hearing enhancement system?

The sound travels on infrared waves sent out from two panels above the podium, written into the electromagnetic waves by modulating their frequency. Two “eyes” on the front of the hearing enhancement devices catch the waves from the panels, or from bouncing off the reflective yellow paint of the Amp, and turn the waves back into words.

Infrared waves are the standard for hearing enhancement systems because of their many benefits.

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Architectural and Land Use Study Group to present new, clarified regulations

Chautauqua’s grounds are at the same time historic and contemporary, the houses cut from the same cloth and incredibly diverse, the emphasis both on maintaining the integrity of the buildings and the environment. Is the Institution more a museum or a village? Should it reflect the 19th-century vision of the founders or the 21st-century minds of current Chautauquans?

Those difficult issues confronted the Architectural and Land Use Study Group, formed last season to look at the current regulations, whose work is coming to a conclusion at the end of this year.

On Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. in Smith Wilkes Hall, the group will present their current work reviewing and reconsidering the regulations and take questions from the community.

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Fein stands with eight of his “White Flags” in an “umbrella installation” in front of the Post Office Building on Aug. 3. Fein joined his wife, Aug. 2 morning lecturer and Slate senior editor Dahlia Lithwick, with their two children on the family’s second trip to Chautauqua. Photo by Lauren Rock.

‘White Flags’ installation illustrates common cloth

After Sept. 11, Aaron Fein watched as cars sported American flag bumper stickers and patriotism swelled in response to the tragedy. During the next 10 years, he watched their colors slowly fade under the influence of time and nature.

“Everybody puts up a flag thinking that it’s a symbol that doesn’t ever change,” Fein said last Friday, standing on Bestor Plaza under a structure that resembled a rotary airer hanging out eight large white sheets.

The project, “White Flags,” contains 193 flags, one for every member of the United Nations. Sewing each together, and using a digital embroidery machine for the complicated flags, took him almost 10 years. He turns the Portugal flag into the sun so the intricate embroidery catches the light to show two young girls who have entered under his umbrella-like structure.

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Gold Ruby Emperor Bowl by Randi Solin of Solinglass. Submitted photo.

Community engagement keeps craft show artists coming back

“My favorite story about the show at Chautauqua is from a few years ago, when there was a terrific thunderstorm — you know, one of those Chautauqua thunderstorms,” said Pat Sorbini, a book and paper artist.

Sorbini has been coming to the Chautauqua Crafts Alliance Festival on Bestor Plaza for six years now, and she, along with the other participating artists, look forward to this year’s second show with great enthusiasm.

The show is open today and Saturday from 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., and on Sunday from 12–5:30 p.m. on Bestor Plaza. Sorbini loves the show for its audience, the interactions it gives her and the Craft Alliance’s choreography of the event.

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Undocumented immigrants pose challenges, bring narratives to America

Nancy Brown Diggs is always amazed at how willing people are to tell their stories. An author and co-author of six books, Diggs was particularly surprised by the forthrightness of those she interviewed for her latest book, Hidden in the Heartland: The New Wave of Immigrants and the Challenge to America.

Diggs will present her most recent book at 2:30 p.m. today in the Smith Memorial Library Meeting Room, reading excerpts, giving updates on the situation and participating in a discussion. Her presentation title is “Hidden in the Heartland: A Conversation about Immigration Experiences, Policy and Reform in America.”

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