Friday, March 26, 2010

Playing catchup - three weeks of Youngstown Pride

It has been an interesting couple of weeks for Youngstown and the United States. I've been busier than usual and have missed several opportunities to post some thoughts and news, so let me get caught up with a couple of things.

  • First, we have healthcare reform in America! After a year of interesting (and rather ugly) debate, the healthcare reform bill passed the Senate and House and then again the Senate and the House. This process showed all of the great things about America as well as some of the ugliness that divides us. The saying 'it's all politics' doesn't really apply here because it's about our livelihoods and it is indeed very personal. In the 17th congressional district, this new law will:
    • Improve coverage for 355,000 residents with health insurance.
    • Give tax credits and other assistance up to 180,000 families and 12,300 small businesses to help them afford coverage.
    • Improve Medicare for 109,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.
    • Extend coverage to 39,000 uninsured residents.
    • Guarantee that 9,300 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.
    • Protect 1,700 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.
    • Allow 53,000 young adults to obtain coverage on their parents' insurance plans.
    • Provide millions of dollars in new funding for four community health centers.
    • Reduce the cost of uncompensated care for hospitals and other health care providers by $11 million annually.

      This information is sourced from Rep. Tim Ryan, who obtained it from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, whose data comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Congressional Budget Office.
  • Second on my hit parade is some news out of the Youngstown Business Incubator and Jim Cossler, who is leading Youngstown's technology revolution. YBI portfolio company Zethus Software has entered into a partnership with Bruker-AXS who will serve as a reseller of Zethus' cumulus::CyberLab, a product that allows for secure, resilient, collaborative, remote use of instrumentation and the associated data collected. Awesome! (Nextgen: Remote use of a pancake flipper from the couch? Get working, Zethus!)
    • Who is Jim Cossler? This piece from December missed my monitor until just now. (link)
  • Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County is getting busy in the Lincoln Knolls neighborhood over on the East Side. This would be their fourth house Maranatha Drive and 33rd house in the County. Call (330) 743-7244 to find out about the next volunteer orientation and to help with future projects!
  • Lastly, let me wish a fond farewell from the blogosphere to the guys at Blue Gray Sky. BGS is my second favorite blog! These guys captured the heart and essence of Notre Dame football for the better part of six years. The level of effort and research that they put into every one of their articles is incredible. For any Irish football fan who never ran across this site, I encourage you to browse the archives. Best of luck, fellas, and Go Irish!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Youngstown, meet Google. Google, this is Youngstown

I am a huge Google nerd. With little exception, I love the company and what they do. I use Gmail, Google calendar, reader, documents, etc. The only thing I haven't fully grappled with yet is Buzz. It is too much too soon. I was put off by their initial 'in-your-face' shove of Buzz into the world.

That said, I would be super excited if a plan by the YBI came to fruition. The redesigned Vindicator has the latest:

Will Youngstown and Google connect?

YOUNGSTOWN — Google is looking for cities where it can install an incredibly fast communications network, and Youngstown wants to be considered.

A local team will begin meeting next week to develop a proposal for how it would use the broadband, fiber-optic network, which Google said will be 100 times faster than current high-speed networks.

Jim Cossler, who assembled the team, is looking for practical ideas about how super-fast connections can help improve society. He is the director of the Youngstown Business Incubator.

For the complete story, see Saturday’s Vindicator and