News Roundup - Series takes on healthcare/Loads okay on Halls Hill Road

Series takes on healthcare

The modern-day healthcare system leaves too many people at a loss – confused by their options and uncertain how to act.

That was the reasoning driving a group of reform-minded members of Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church to develop a new learning and discussion series, “The Moral Imperative of Health Care.”

“This is targeted at informing people...and also engaging them as citizens to go forward,” organizer Barbara Clarke said.

Clarke, who worked in managed care for many years, recalled numerous debates with colleagues over the question of whether healthcare was a “right or a privilege.”

“And I think it’s really moved beyond that,” she said. “When you see that women with breast cancer and no insurance have a 40 percent less chance of surviving, that’s moral. When you see a mother who can’t take her children to the doctor, that’s moral.”

The six-session workshop, which begins tomorrow and runs weekly through Feb. 17, will combine the reading of background articles with facilitated discussions, scenario-based role-playing and the sharing of stories, all with an aim to illuminate the state of healthcare on personal, political and institutional fronts.

A significant component, Clarke said, will be to train future facilitators to organize subsequent workshops

Ultimately, the group hopes to to organize a large-scale public forum to be held in August at which community members and public officials work together to create healthcare reform.

“When informed citizens come together, they can create policy and affect change,” she said.

Though the upcoming workshop is full, oganizers are taking reservations for the next “Moral Imperative of Health Care” series. Contact Karen Scarvie at 780-0720 or Clarke at 780-0686.

– Lindsay Latimore

Loads okay on Halls Hill Road

The city lifted the three-ton vehicle weight limit from Halls Hill Road Friday, citing repairs of cracks and potholes completed in December.

In a release, city engineer Bob Earl noted that there was “virtually no effect or damage” done to the road during the rainstorms of Dec. 3. The three-ton limit had been in place since January of 2006 when heavy rains damaged the drainage ditch and saturated the roadbed. In November the reconstruction of Halls Hill Road was the subject of a community forum, and city engineers hope to find money for more comprehensive improvements in the 2009 to 2014 Capital Facilities Plan.

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