first_imgThis past Sunday, Phish completed their historic 13-night Baker’s Dozen run, cementing their place in the history books of both Madison Square Garden and live music as a whole. Throughout the run, voter registration and political activism non-profit HeadCount teamed up with Vermont ice cream purveyors Ben & Jerry‘s to encourage the hordes of fans passing through the Garden to get involved in their local political processes.Ben & Jerry’s Announces “Freezer Reprise” Ice Cream To Honor Phish’s Baker’s DozenThe HeadCount team set up shop in the concourse outside section 110 for each of the thirteen shows, inviting attendees to take a picture in front of their Baker’s Dozen photo backdrop with various props including cutouts of Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon holding #VoteLocal signs, an Electrolux vacuum, and a Languedoc Guitar. According to HeadCount’s numbers, an estimated 5,000 fans took photos at the booth, including Phish songwriter Steve “The Dude of Life” Pollak, renowned poster artist Jim Pollock, and musicians like Matisyahu, The Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein, and teenage guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer. As added incentive to get fans registered and involved, Ben & Jerry’s is awarding one lucky fan with free ice cream for a year. To enter to win, post your photo from HeadCount’s and Ben & Jerry’s Baker’s Dozen photo activation on Instagram with the hashtag “#VoteLocal” and follow HeadCount so they can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. As of publication time, hundreds of fans have posted their HeadCount #VoteLocal photos to help spread the word and throw their name into consideration for a year’s worth of free ice cream.INTERVIEW: HeadCount Co-Founders Marc Brownstein & Andy Bernstein Discuss Effecting Change, One Show At A TimeIn addition to the hundreds of contest entries, 424 fans also registered to vote or signed up for TurboVote, which provides mobile alerts about upcoming local elections. Roughly 50 total volunteers helped run the HeadCount photo booth over the course of the 13 nights, and an original Betsy Ross 13-star American flag hung over the table throughout the residency, with a new limited-edition donut pin replacing a star on each successive show. HeadCount was a guest of the WaterWheel Foundation, Phish’s non-profit. They also joined WaterWheel in a big opening-night party outside MSG for the debut of Ben & Jerry’s special “Freezer Reprise.” The Baker’s Dozen run also marked WaterWheel’s 20th anniversary, which they celebrated with pre-show festivities, an off-night party featuring Greensky Bluegrass and Marco Benevento on the Coney Island Boardwalk, and more.Thank you to HeadCount, Ben & Jerry’s, WaterWheel, and everyone who helps to make Phish shows the socially active and politically conscious gatherings we know and love…and don’t forget to Instagram your photo from the HeadCount/Ben & Jerry’s Baker’s Dozen photo booth with the hashtag #Vote Local, follow @HeadCountOrg, and set your profile to “public” for your chance to win free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for a year! The winner will be selected next Tuesday.last_img read more

first_imgA group of visiting experts and Harvard scholars offered a grim prognosis for the success of the health care reform proposals before Congress during a symposium at Harvard Medical School (HMS) on Monday (Jan. 11).Even as House and Senate lawmakers work toward reconciling the health care bills they passed late last year and submit a unified plan for President Obama’s approval, the panel, hosted by HMS and its Department of Health Care Policy, predicted a tough and eventually unsuccessful road ahead for the effort.According to the participants, an ineffective governmental system, a flawed funding structure leading to massive debt, and a widening government involvement in personal health care decisions are just some of the problems that are likely to doom the reform proposals.“I am very pessimistic about what you are going to be able to do,” said Allan Detsky, a professor at the University of Toronto.The lone Canadian on the panel, Detsky, a Harvard-trained doctor, argued that the main problem facing health care reform in the United States involves the country’s governmental structure. He said it is far easier to approve legislation under a parliamentary system such as that in Canada, where the executive and legislative branches are “always together” when there is a majority government. Such alignment leads more readily to legislation, such as the comprehensive 1984 Canada Health Act that mandated universal coverage.“We have party discipline. The caucus will debate the policy, the cabinet will decide what the policy is going to be, the prime minister puts the bill out there, and if you are a member of the ruling party and you don’t vote for it, you are kicked out. That’s the way it works,” said Detsky. “We have a government that can do things … your government system prevents you from doing things.”The congressional health care plans are “not on the right track,” don’t acknowledge the need for trade-offs, and leave difficult decisions about how to contain costs to future generations, said Daniel Kessler, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.“The current bill confuses access with insurance, which is going to lead us to a world of unsustainable deficits, very high implicit marginal tax rates, and increased government controls of people’s personal decisions in exchange for health benefits that are at best uncertain. It has the seeds of some successful cost-containment policies, which is good, but unfortunately it pushes the hard choices on that front off to the future.”The president and CEO of the Game Show Network seemed an unlikely panelist. But a saddening experience with the U.S. health care system left David Goldhill with a personal perspective to add to the discussion. He began exploring the health care industry in depth after his elderly father died from an infection contracted in 2005 while receiving hospital care. Goldhill, who recently authored the article “How American Health Care Killed My Father” in The Atlantic magazine, argued for a return to having the patient act as consumer.“What I got out of that experience was a realization that, in this most important service in my father’s life, he wasn’t really the customer of the hospital. Medicare was.”Goldhill’s recommendations for reform included establishing a national catastrophic policy, requiring that people save for their health care and pay for part of it, and drawing consumers, who “need to be more empowered,” back into the system. He argued that the current congressional bills, which offer subsidies to expand insurance coverage and top-down systems of cost control, “haven’t worked before,” and “I am skeptical it’s going to work now.”There was one optimistic voice in the debate. Harvard’s David Cutler, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, noted that the plans introduce helpful changes, including reforms that bundle payments for patients, once scattered across hospitals and among doctors, into one place. They also incorporate performance payments into Medicare by only rewarding providers who deliver solid service, and offer a holistic approach to health care, one that oversees the transition of patients from one form of care to another and helps to navigate them through “the most complicated system of any industry in the economy.”Yet even Cutler, who was senior health care adviser to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, framed his optimism with caution.“This is a path, not a leap. What we have to do is reform the health care system over the next decade, not reform it overnight.”Jeffrey S. Flier, dean of HMS and Caroline Shields Walker Professor of Medicine, and Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor of Health Care Policy and head of the Department of Health Care Policy at HMS, moderated the symposium. Michael Chernew, professor of health care policy at HMS, William Sahlman, the Dimitri V. D’Arbeloff-MBA Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Leonard Schaeffer, professor at the University of Southern California, also took part in the discussion.last_img read more

first_imgGhana and Greuther Furth midfielder Hans Nunoo- Sarpei is keen on playing for Ghana despite initial contact from Germany.The 21 year old has impressed since arriving in Germany in 2016 after enjoying spells with Accra Great Olympics and a stint with the U – 20 side of Liberty Professionals.His performances during his time at Hoffenheim attracted interest from the handlers of the junior Germany sides but both parties could not reach an agreement.“It will be very difficult to accept that offer because I want to play for Ghana.“I was born in Ghana,I grew up in Ghana and It has always been my dream to play for my country.“My agent and I have had conversations about this.“During my time at Hoffenheim something like that wanted to surface.They wanted me to play for their youth team at the youth championships but it did not materialize.“My heart is solely for my motherland,” he admitted on The Tracker.However, Sarpei who has completed his second season on loan at Greuther Furth from his parent club Stuttgart wants to continue to grow his game with the Bundesliga 2 side.last_img read more