Saturday, July 26, 2014

波士頓首屆婦女騎自行車節 8/16

Boston Bikes – Women’s Program Logo
City of Boston
Mayor Martin J. Walsh
cityofboston.gov/bikes | bostonbikes.org
Registration Open!
Boston's First-Ever Women's Bike Ride & Festival 8/16

Register now for our hallmark women’s event of the season, the Boston Women’s Bike Ride & Festival, Saturday August 16th. Save $10 by registering before 11:59 pm on 8/8. Use code EARLYBIKE.
This celebration of women on bikes will be New England’s largest all-women’s ride and festival, and will feature scenic 10, 30, and 50 mile rides, skills clinics, family activities, music, an expo with bike-friendly companies, and more! Seasoned commuters, occasional cyclists, new riders, and kids are all welcome to participate in the event.
Join for just the ride or take part in a workshop taught by some of the best pro cyclists in the area to get tips on mountain biking, commuting, mechanics and more.
Adult learn-to-ride clinics will be offered for new riders or those who can’t remember the last time they were on a bike.
Discounted registration is available to low-income Boston residents.
And men on bikes – we love you too! Please join the festival as volunteers, or to cheer on the women in your lives as they take part in the ride.
Please email bostonbikes@boston.gov or call 617-918-4343 for more information on discounted registration or to volunteer.

For women who never learned to ride or who can't remember the last time they were on a bike, our Learn- to-Ride clinic will provide on-bike training led by experienced urban riders. Our free two-hour clinic helps women gain the skills and confidence to get on a bike and keep on rolling. The first clinic will be held next Tuesday, July 29th from 6:00 to 8:00 at Roxbury Community College. For more information and registration click here, or call 617-918-4458.

For women looking for a fun night on the town, our Women's Bike Socials provide a weeknight outing by bike, each with a different theme and destination. On August 7th we'll ride from Ruggles Station to two different farmers markets in Boston, ending in Dudley Square. Get your fruit and veggie shopping done by bike! Our Bike Social rides are a good introduction to riding in traffic for those newer to urban cycling, with several experienced urban cyclists who serve as ride leaders. Sign up now!
Connect with Women Bike Boston & Boston Bikes
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Boston City Hall - Suite 932 | Boston, MA 02201
bostonbikes@boston.gov | cityofboston.gov/bikes | bostonbikes.org

HHS: Consumers have saved a total of $9 billion on premiums

Consumers have saved a total of $9 billion on premiums
Health care law will return to families an average refund of $80 each this year

 
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced today that consumers have saved a total of $9 billion on their health insurance premiums since 2011 as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Created through the law, the 80/20 rule, also known as the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule, requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement activities.  If insurers spend an excessive amount on profits and red tape, they owe a refund back to consumers.

“We are pleased that the Affordable Care Act continues to provide Americans better value for their premium dollars,” said Secretary Burwell.  “We are continuing our work on building a sustainable long-term system, and provisions such as the 80/20 rule are providing Americans with immediate savings and helping to bring transparency and accountability to the insurance market over the long term.”

An HHS report released today shows that last year alone, consumers nationwide saved $3.8 billion up front on their premiums as insurance companies operated more efficiently.  Additionally, consumers nationwide will save $330 million in refunds, with 6.8 million consumers due to receive an average refund benefit of $80 per family.  This standard and other Affordable Care Act standards contributed to consumers saving approximately $4.1 billion on premiums in 2013, for a total of $9 billion in savings since the MLR program’s inception.

The report shows that since the rule took effect, more insurers year over year are meeting the 80/20 standard by spending more of the premium dollars they collect on patient care and quality, and not red tape and bonuses.

If an insurer did not spend enough premium dollars on patient care and quality improvement, they must pay refunds to consumers in one of the following ways:
  • a refund check in the mail;
  • a lump-sum reimbursement to the same account that was used to pay the premium;
  • a reduction in their future premiums; or
  • if the consumer bought insurance through their employer, their employer must provide one of the above options, or apply the refund in another manner that benefits its employees, such as more generous benefits.
The 80/20 rule, along with other standards such as the required review of proposedpremium increases, is one of many reforms created under the health law helping to slow premium growth and moderate premium rates.  Combined with the savings consumers are receiving from tax credits on the Marketplace and the new market reforms, including the prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions and charging women more for insurance than men, the 80/20 rule helps ensure every American has access to quality, affordable health insurance.

To access the report released today, visit: http://www.cms.gov/cciio/Resources/Forms-Reports-and-Other-Resources/index.html#Medical Loss Ratio.

For more information on MLR, visit: http://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Market-Reforms/Medical-Loss-Ratio.html.

波士頓廣場 7/27 免費騎旋轉木馬 晤紅襪隊DJ

Out of the Park
LAST CHANCE THIS SUMMER!
Sunday, July 27
Boston Common at 1:40 pm
Corner of Charles and Beacon Streets
EVERYONE IS WELCOME AT THIS FREE EVENT
FEATURING
Free Carousel Rides
Red Sox mascot Wally
The Red Sox DJ TJ Connelly
Hot Tamales Brass Band
Live announcer
Special guests
ACTIVITIES
Live viewing of the game
Caricaturists
Balloon Artists
Face Painters
Giveaways
Refreshments
Celebrate America’s pastime as we bring the excitement of Fenway to a park near you. Bring a blanket to watch the game on the big screen and
cheer on the Red Sox!
QUESTIONS? PLEASE CALL HIGHLAND STREET FOUNDATION
AT 617-969-8900 OR VISIT WWW.HIGHLANDSTREET.ORG/OOTP
For more information, call 617-635-3510

Thursday, July 24, 2014

台灣原住兒合唱團將在羅德島、大波士頓演唱五場

有著聲音媲美“維也納兒童合唱團”之譽的台灣原住兒合唱團, 今(廿四)日起將在羅德島州,麻州演唱五場,再轉赴紐約。

原名「台灣六龜山地育幼院青少年兒童合唱團」的台灣原住兒合唱團,前日抵達羅德島州,昨(廿三)日在羅德島華人基督教會執事吳子平,宋健人,同工宋秀珍等人陪同下,到波士頓華埠喜臨門酒樓享用駐波頓台北經濟文化辦事處招待的點心宴,應同座催請,即席獻唱廣東歌”雞公仔“,以及1959年的“仙樂飄飄處處聞”電影主題曲Do-Re-Mi,聲音嘹亮,曼妙,讓全酒樓的人都忍不住停箸傾聽。
安排此行演出,來自加拿大多倫多的李帝平牧師夫婦表示,台灣原住兒合唱團能唱得這麼好,全因他們能夠融會貫通了該團指揮寇順舉牧師教的義大利美聲發音法,唱歌時用丹田呼吸,聲音是從頭頂顱腔共鳴出來的,而且這樣發聲的演唱,嗓子也不會唱啞。
寇順舉牧師認為,義大利這美聲發音法,只要方法用得對,每個人都可以學會唱,而且他把方法簡化了,悟性高的人,一年不到就能學得很好。當然要唱得好,還是得每天練。台灣原住兒合唱團的團員們平均每天要唱上半小時到兩小時,既是開聲,也是練唱。不過寇順舉牧師也不否認,有些人悟得慢些,可能學了十年還在摸索如何美聲演唱。
台灣原住兒合唱團是19985成立的。談起成立淵源時,團長楊恩惠坦言,一切緣起於寇順舉牧師和她父親,六龜山地育幼院創辦人楊洵牧師是台灣浸信會神學院的同學,1955年同時畢業。
那一年,寇順舉赴南非佈道,返美前過境台灣,特地到高雄六龜鄉探望老同學,應楊洵牧師的請托,從育幼院兒童詩班中,挑選了一批愛唱歌,有潛力兒童,把他當年師事義大利“美聲發聲法”大師吉格利(Beniamino Gigli)的傳人伍伯就學來的方法,傾囊相授。
迄今,寇順舉已教會合唱團唱二到三百首歌,其中有許多改編自歌劇,神曲,以及藝術歌曲。李帝平牧師表示,即使是今年的巡迴演唱,聽眾們最喜歡的,似乎也還是“那雙看不見的手”。
第一次演唱時,是在南投市布農族中部中會和高雄南部中會,迴響極大,接著的巡迴表演,也每到一處,都大受歡迎。這盛況讓寇順舉忍不住想要帶合唱團到美國巡演。起初,他們擔心沒經費,但就有如以台灣原住民詩歌改編的“那雙看不見的手”,1999年八月,他們就獲得美國西部多個教會邀請,巡迴演唱了十五場。
今年,他們將在美東演出共三十八場。
目前在羅德島州及麻州排定的演出共五場,包括今晚在羅德島華人基督教會位於羅州普塔基市羅斯福333的教堂演出,七月廿五日在麻州波士頓西郊華人聖經教會,七月廿六日在波士頓華人佈道會,七月廿七日在羅德島華人基督教會,以及勒星頓聖經教會等。
八月份,該團將赴費城演出。



圖片說明:

            經文處新聞組組長朱永昌(前左起),宋健人醫師,李帝生牧師夫婦,吳子平,經文處副處長陳銘俊,寇順舉牧師夫婦,團長楊恩惠等人和合唱團員合影。(菊子攝)

            台灣原住兒合唱團在喜臨門酒樓即席獻唱。(菊子攝)

            台灣原住兒合唱團員們租用校巴遊覽波士頓。(菊子攝)

波士頓首辦台客語班 林俊育教學幽默風趣

新英格蘭台灣商會、紐英崙客家鄉親會、台灣同鄉聯誼會利用兩個週末,首次舉辦台(客)語研習會,十九日在波士頓華僑文教中心順利結業,廿,三十人領得證書。
        波士頓華僑文教中心指出,波士頓地區的台客語研習會因各種因素,多年來一直未能舉行,今年在新英格蘭台灣商會會長許炳煌倡議下,有紐英崙客家鄉親會會長陳裕逢、台灣同鄉聯誼會會長林展輝協辦,邀得波士頓台語進步社社長林俊育執教,才順利開課。
            多名學員表示,要不是看到主辦單位派發的簡歷,還真不知道老師林俊育資歷豐富,熱心奉獻,2001年在波士頓受哈佛大學台語課老師李岸勤啓發後,就全心投入推廣台語,不但曾任台灣公論報台語文專刊番薯園主編,還策劃製作“馬偕在台灣”布袋戲DVD,擔任台語、客語信望愛網站策劃人,台語文影音創作,網路福音事工巡迴講師,還參與中央研究院語言學研究所的“閩客語典藏”計劃,翻譯“台日大辭典”,並協助台灣基督教長老教會建立信仰資源網站等。
            在十二,十九日這兩個週末中,林俊育發給學員不少講義,包括台語羅馬字基礎篇。他還頻頻舉例,指出以往人們學台語,客語,常用中文註解發音,反而讓從小用注音符號學中文的人受到注音符號只有五音的限制,無法正確發出有七個音的客家語,有八個音的台語,教育部才出爐了"台羅拼音法",把ㄅㄆ ㄇㄈ 和英文字母對照起來,分成母音,子音,呼音,再加上送氣,不送氣,輕音,濁音,入聲尾,入聲調等台語語音特色,來幫助人們學習。
            學員中紐英崙客家鄉親會的余媚鳳學得很投入,直說老師教得很有意思,十六個小時一點都不夠,還好老師大方地提供了台(客)語輸入法網站,(台語)http://taigi.fhl.net,(客語)http://hakka.fhl.net,有興趣的人可以上網自修。
      
圖片說明:

            波士頓華僑文教中心主任郭大文(後右五)頒發結業證書給學員。(圖由文教中心提供)

            台(客)語研習會開幕式時,波士頓華僑文教中心主任郭大文(後右八)和老師林俊育(右一),新英格蘭台灣商會會長許炳煌(右六),台灣同鄉聯誼會會長林展輝(右七)等人合影。(圖由文教中心提供)


            曾策劃製作“馬偕在台灣”布袋戲DVD的林俊育(左二)教台羅拼音法。(菊子攝)     

麻州居民對非法移民兒童應安置、遣返 意見分歧

波士頓環球報昨(廿三)日刊文指出,麻州州長派區克( Deval Patrick)打算用州內的空軍基地,或軍事訓練場,安置一千名無人陪伴的非法移民兒童,麻州選民的支持,反對率約各半。
麻州州長派區克計劃的細節包括,由聯邦政府付款,派員營運四月個。接受意見調查的麻州州民中,50%支持,43%反對。調查誤差率約4.9%
            麻州選民對聯邦的移民計劃顯得更持懷疑態度。當他們被問到在司法聽證之後,非法移民兒童是否應該獲准留在美國時,只有39%回答是,43%說那些兒童應被驅逐出境。
            辦理意見調查的”社會領域(Social Sphere)“公司的創辦人兼執行長Della Volpe表示,這意見調查結果顯示的麻州民眾對移民問題態度,比許多人想得溫和。很多人願意接受派區克的計劃,很可能是因為它規模,時間及費用有限。
            接受調查的人中,只有52%支持給那些已經在美國的非法移民一條成為公民的路。由於麻州一向以自由主義聞名,這結果讓一些追蹤麻州移民議題者意外。
            麻州州長派區克上週五在一次感性演說中表示,麻州將用麻州西部奇可匹(Chicopee)鎮的偉思托福(Westover)空軍儲備基地,或者鱈魚角的愛德華營,安置那些非法跨越美國邊境,來到麻州的兒童。
            Della Volpe表示,麻州州長說的是在有限時間內,為有限人數提供的一項安置計劃,目前民眾似乎願意接受。不過只有36%選民支持動用州府經費來安頓這些兒童,57%反對。
這調查是在七月廿日和七月廿一日之間做的,共有404人填表,誤差率4.9%
去年秋天,有遠超過五萬名的無人陪伴兒童,在非法跨境後被拘留,其中大多數來自薩爾瓦多(El Salvador),瓜地馬拉(Guatemala),洪都拉斯(Honduras)。 聯邦政府估計今年會有六萬名這樣的兒童。2012年時只有不到一萬四千人。
麻州移民難民聯盟(MIRA)通訊主任Franklin Soults表示,移民問題在麻州一向引不起強烈反應,每次調查時,大部份麻州選民都把移民問題放在優先性很低的位置。直到最近這幾年,人們才開始認真想這些問題。