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January Links: Health Care, the Affordable Care Act Teaching Health Center, the Maternal and Child Health Pipeline Training Program, and more

* Isaac was interviewed on Nonprofit Spark Radio.

* As Ranks of Insured Expand, Nation Faces Shortage of 150,000 Doctors in 15 Years: “A shortage of primary-care and other physicians could mean more-limited access to health care and longer wait times for patients.” Limited access to care health care is already here—not because of insurance, per se, but because many people on Medicare/Medicaid simply can’t find providers who take either.

* As Grant Writing Confidential readers already know from reading “Be Nice to Your Program Officer: Reprogrammed / Unobligated Federal Funds Mean Christmas May Come Early and Often This Year,” unspent grant dollars tend to get spent. Politicians evidently don’t know that or don’t want to admit this, as evidenced in “Unspent Stimulus Tough to Retrieve” from the Wall Street Journal.

* The New York Times: “Consumer advocates fear that the health care law could worsen some of the very problems it was meant to solve — by reducing competition, driving up costs and creating incentives for doctors and hospitals to stint on care, in order to retain their cost-saving bonuses.”

* Strapped Cities Hit Nonprofits With Fees.

* The [Unjust] war against cameras:

Police across the country are using decades-old wiretapping statutes that did not anticipate iPhones or Droids, combined with broadly written laws against obstructing or interfering with law enforcement, to arrest people who point microphones or video cameras at them. Even in the wake of gross injustices, state legislatures have largely neglected the issue.

* Modern Parenting: If we try to engineer perfect children, will they grow up to be unbearable? Fortunately, I do not believe this was a problem for me growing up.

* You should blog even if you have no readers.

* Eminent domain now effectively has no limits, and that’s definitely a bad thing.

* A study confirms every suspicion you ever had about high-school dating.

* The last time the Maternal and Child Health Pipeline Training Program appeared in the Seliger Funding Report was 2005. Unless we managed to miss a year, it’s been a while since we’ve seen this program.

* The challenge to German liberalism, which may have its lessons for the United States as well.

* The Problem of Measurement in evaluating teachers, with these problems still being better than no measurement at all, which currently exists.

* A hacker’s guide to tea. This is really worth reading—who knew that “Tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes mental acuity. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine creates a sense of ‘mindful awareness.’ ”

* Apparently, the Nissan Leaf is pretty good.

* Touching Your Junk: An Ontological Complaint.

* To mildly alleviate the doctor shortage mentioned above, HRSA released the Affordable Care Act Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Payment Program. But there’s something unusual about this RFP: HRSA says $230,000,000 is available for 10 awards of up to $900,000 each. We sent out this caveat in the Seliger Funding Report:

Note that the bizarre numbers in the amount ($230M), number available, and max grant size are HRSA’s (10 x $900,000 = $9M; where are the other $221M?).

* This is not good but, regardless of whether it’s good, may simply be the new state of things: “In essence, we have seen the rise of a large class of “zero marginal product workers,” to coin a term. Their productivity may not be literally zero, but it is lower than the cost of training, employing, and insuring them.

* Not Really ‘Made in China’: The iPhone’s Complex Supply Chain Highlights Problems With Trade Statistics. The short version: beware trade statistics, especially those related to manufacturing.

* The Future of China? Look at Mexico.

* Department Of Education Study Finds Teaching These Little Shits No Longer Worth It.

* Close the Washington Monument.

* Shortage of Engineers or a Glut: No Simple Answer.

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Fake Grant Writers, Spammers, Scams, Community Spec’s Ryan Reeves, and Resource Associates

Attention grant writing consultants of the world: if you can’t even write your own website text, you’re not going to be very believable as a writer of any kind.

I point out this obvious fact because various people have copied our website over the years. Alert reader and grant writer Shirley Nelson of Grant Strategies showed us a recent example in the form of “Community Spec, Inc.,” which I’m not going to dignify with a link. Until very recently, their front page said:

CSI staff have over 15 years experience in successfully writing grants for clients in over 28 states across America. We differ from other grant writers in that we use a turn-key approach. Our clients only have to give us general direction and sign the completed grant applications. We do all the rest, including the program design, needs assessment, narrative, budget and final submission package.

Does that sound familiar? If you’ve ever been to the Seliger + Associates homepage, it should:

…We have been in business since 1993 and have had over 500 clients in 42 states.

Seliger + Associates has written over $200,000,000 in funded grant applications. We differ from other grant writers in that we use a turn-key approach. Our clients only have to give us general direction and sign the completed grant applications.

We do all the rest, including the program design, needs assessment, narrative, budget and final submission package.

In response, Isaac called Ryan Reeves, who was listed as the contact person for Community Spec. At first Isaac left a message with a secretary, and within an hour the offending Community Spec website disappeared. At the time of this writing, however, parts of the site are still available through Google’s cached version.

A day later, Ryan called back to claim that a) his site had been up for five years and b) he hired a web designer, who wrote the text for the site. The latter claim is particularly interesting, since when we hire web designers, we give them the text, not vice-versa. There are two unflattering possibilities in Ryan’s claim: he either plagiarized and then lied about it or is too incompetent to write his own text. The most hilarious part of the call came when he said that he wanted to “work with us” on the issue.

Doing so is really quite easy: don’t plagiarize our material.

I can’t imagined that Community Spec is long for this world.

In any event, if the copied website weren’t enough to tip off potential clients or workers, the e-mail Ryan Reeves sent to Shirley ought to be another clue. He’s trying to hire contractors based on the websites of other grant writers, apparently trying to position himself as a broker. If that’s the best way he can find employees, he’s doing something wrong. Other consultants aren’t looking to be hired as contractors for third-parties; they’re looking for clients of their own, and unsolicited junk isn’t much appreciated. As Shirley wrote in an e-mail, “I am also annoyed by competitors that spam my e-mail box looking for grant writers. The most notorious was Resource Associates.”

[REMOVED FOLLOWING LEGAL THREATS FROM RESOURCE ASSOCIATES AND DEBORAH MONTGOMERY; it appears, however, that Deborah Montgomery herself is not part of Resource Associates anymore. That has to be an improvement.]

If you’re Ryan Reeves of Community Spec, don’t copy our stuff, and if you do, don’t blame it on your web developer. If you put it on the Internet, you’re responsible for it. And if you’re reading this, remember that there are plenty of questionable and shady characters in grant writing, and you don’t want to associate with them.