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An innovative oasis in Longwood will relieve city stress

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first_imgIt’s deep summer in Boston. Oppressive humidity slows you down. Sidewalks radiate heat. Droning insects and city traffic hum. Just across the courtyard from the Kresge Building of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, you happen upon a place of respite in your otherwise stressful day. The brainchild of five budding garden designers from across the University, the Countway CoLab doesn’t exist yet except on paper. But with Erika Eitland’s passion and determination, what is currently the small, hidden Countway Community Garden will someday be a flourishing multiuse community space conceived by Harvard students.Eitland, S.D. ’20, a doctoral candidate in environmental health and president of the School’s Built Environment & Health Student Consortium, first learned about the community garden soon after arriving at the Harvard Chan School. Now she is leading the effort to make the Countway CoLab — or some version of it — come to fruition. It is a place of cooling shade, lush-green, canopied by native trees. Settling in on a comfortable bench, you notice that something is missing—the nonstop urban soundtrack, thanks to the living willow fences and sound-absorbing walls.You turn to admire the murals painted by members of the local Mission Hill community and check out the handiwork of volunteer gardeners whose plantings foretell a crisp salad later in the week. Your gaze wanders over to the fresh produce at the farm stand, and you begin to envision a succulent plant-based evening meal. You notice a class by the herb beds and wonder if the students are learning about herbal medicinal treatments past and present. It’s then that you realize the stress of the day has slipped away. Spirits lifted, you text your friends to meet you at the Countway CoLab. Tucked away alongside Countway Library, behind the bicycle cage and above the rare-book stacks in the library’s Center for the History of Medicine, the current Countway Community Garden was created in 2012 by staff and faculty from Harvard Chan School and Harvard Medical School (HMS). Bounded by the library and by concrete walls, the garden features 17 raised wooden beds of various heights. Since the garden sits on pavement above the subbasement of the Countway Library, there is no soil beneath it.During spring and summer, volunteers from the three Longwood schools tend to beds of their own vegetables, herbs, and flowers. A large bed of medicinal herbs for teaching, two strawberry beds, and pots containing tomatoes, mint, chamomile, and basil are communally managed. But fecund as it may be, it’s a city garden cut off from its city—and from most of the Longwood community.In spring 2016, Eitland and her classmates discovered that the bike cage adjacent to the garden was to be moved to accommodate a new ramp connecting HMS with the Chan School—one of several projects to bring the Harvard Longwood Campus into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “….We started focusing on the need to preserve the garden area … We realized we could harness students’ perspectives and knowledge in shaping its future.” Read Full Storylast_img read more

Reed Questions State Nursing Home Probe, Blames Cuomo

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first_img“Placing the blame squarely on the staff who care for our grandparents — when the state knowingly created COVID hotspots by forcing homes to accept COVID-positive patients — is a slap in the face to those who lost a loved one. Even a cursory review of ADMA’s dire warning to New York State makes it clear what really contributed to New York’s horrific death toll,” Reed said.In a response to Monday’s press conference, Stephen Hanse, the President of the NYS Health Facilities Association and the NYS Center for Assisted Living, said: “At the onset of the COVID-19 virus, nursing homes and assisted living facilities were not the top priority. The principal focus of policymakers was on bolstering hospital resources and ramping up hospital bed capacity. This strategy included the Department of Health’s March 25th Advisory… As we learn more about the COVID-19 virus every day, policymakers now know that the men and women residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are the most at risk to infection from the COVID-19 virus…”Several Republicans continue to call for an independent investigation into the coronavirus in nursing homes. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: PixabayWASHINGTON — A new State Department of Health report Monday that examined the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, is just a way for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to dodge responsibility for nursing home deaths, according to Rep. Tom Reed.Reed, who has been calling for an independent investigation into the deaths of thousands of New York nursing home residents, blasted Cuomo.“This is a blatant attempt by Governor Cuomo to sidestep an ounce of accountability,” Reed  said. “As we’ve said all along, an independent investigation is needed to fully evaluate the impact of New York’s disastrous nursing home policies. Justice is not served when the individuals who were responsible for the state’s deadly edicts are reviewing their own conduct.”The report found that more than 37,000 nursing home workers were infected with the Coronavirus between March to early June. That accounts to about one in four nursing home staff. “The correlation is between what happened between community-wide infection and staff infection were the more prevalent reasons why there were fatalities in nursing homes. But it was not because of a directive on March 25,” said Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling. That order required nursing homes to re-admit COVID positive patients unless they could not provide adequate care.“The March 25 guidance was not the driving factor in nursing home deaths,” NYS Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said.However, Reed places theWNYNewsNow File Image.blame squarely on Cuomo and his administration.last_img read more