Hi folks, lots to respond to -
Jan, I think those "worms" are saw fly larvae. There are several different types, up here they destroy Mugo Pines. You could try a bT product on them, but unless the roses are totally covered (which I have dealt with on Mugos), just pick them off. They will reappear for the next few springs - keep picking them off. I might also suggest that you check in with your Extension Service for some suggestions for better suited rose varieties.
Adam - the CSM has often had a pretty balanced approach to reporting - I remember that during the Soviet-Afghani war they were the only reporters allowed behind the lines. I'm sure that they'd be happy to hear any suggestions. My other thought is to all the researchers out there trying to quantify the benefits of gardening. I have often suggested that numbers from urban forestry studies be tapped into - look at the article; data on crime reduction, business growth, community satisfaction. All under the big 'community greening' umbrella. Not too hard to draw the right conclusions.
Poverty and making right decisions - it's really easy for me to know exactly what someone else should be doing with their life to make it better. If only I could get my own life in order.... I know we all mean well, but Laurie is right, poverty (and other possibly cultural issues) is not something reversed and cured with a bit of well-placed advice. Ehrenreich's book sounds great - I was just musing on the wonders that would occur if every elected official had to live just three months in the conditions of the poorest person they represented.
Best to all - the greening has begun up here, found a nest of the tiniest baby bunnies this afternoon (actually my dog found it first), Lisa in Mpls.