Citizens pressure county for alternatives to jail

August 16, 2012

Though the U.S. contains less than 5 percent of the world’s population, it confines nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Furthermore, as of 2008 it had 2.3 million in jails and prisons, according to the International Center for Prison Studies at King’s College, London.

Reducing the population in the Monroe County jail is the goal of a local, grassroots organization, Decarcerate Monroe County (DMC). In its own words, DMC “is a local coalition challenging the belief that cages, coercion and confinement keep our community safe. DMC believes people are safe when they have their basic needs met and when they feel empowered and free.”

August 14, 2012

News Release
Valley Watch

Last week, headlines in this region showed that Kentucky placed first and Indiana fourth in the release of toxic chemicals to our air from coal plants, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

None of the stories looked at the cross border figures like the region considered the “tri-state” of Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Therefore Valley Watch decided to take this ominous study a step further and did its own analysis of those coal-fired power plants that currently operate within a 100 kilometer radius (62 miles) of Vanderburgh County.

Our analysis of EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory and EPA’s eGrid power plant data base reaffirms the shocking problem we have in this area which sports the largest concentration of coal plants in North America, if not the world, at 15,113 megawatt total capacity.

Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee biased against environmental studies

August 11, 2012

The federal panel charged with allocating funds for autism research has squandered hundreds of millions in taxpayer money on ideological, nonscientific priorities. Its decisions have been financially irresponsible and practically ineffective. Its chairman should be fired and many board members replaced.

So says the Brooklyn-based Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy (EBCALA) in a stinging critique of autism policy under the Bush and Obama administrations titled "A Critical Review of the Performance of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee" (IACC).

"From the controversial appointment or retention of committee representatives, to the troublesome history of committee members themselves, to the lack of accountability for the few advances made in autism research, to the questionable direction of the Strategic Plan, it is fair to state that the IACC is not living up to Congress’ and the public’s expectations," the July 10, 2012, report says.

August 10, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Global education strike planned for the fall
  • Surveillance of citizens with automatic license plate recognition cameras
  • Drone use inside the United States
  • Feminist punk band Pussy Riot on trial in Russia
  • Pfizer bribing foreign physicians to hike sales
  • Cutting funding for nuclear weapons
  • Cuba lifts ban on anti-Castro musicians on the radio
  • Women farm workers win sexual harassment case
  • British workers in solidarity with trade unionists in Turkey
  • Expulsion from school for pregnancy

Justice Party's Anderson derides Democrats in The Nation

August 5, 2012

While Mitt Romney trips over his tongue with hysterical predictability and Barack Obama persists in calling America's economic criminal class folks, the two leading progressive candidates for president are putting it on the line, in Dr. Jill Stein's case boldly crossing it.

Less than a month after securing the Green Party nomination, Stein emerged from a Philadelphia jail on Aug. 2 declaring that a night behind bars should be "a required experience for anyone in public office." Both she and running mate Cheri Honkala were arrested the day before for protesting foreclosure policies at a Fannie Mae office on the city's Banker's Row.

And in a lengthy Q&A with The Nation's Sasha Abramsky, Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson called the Democratic Party "irredeemable" and Obama a "phony" on the issue of gay marriage.

"His position on equality was evolving?" the former Democratic mayor of Salt Lake City asked incredulously.

August 3, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • ArcelorMittal agrees to clean up contaminated Lake Michigan site
  • Latinos’ attitudes toward the environment
  • Rainforest havens at risk
  • Fracking: who’s in control?
  • Texans poisoned by oil and gas facilities
  • Utilities spend millions on attacking EPA action while deaths accumulate
  • Murder of environmental activists
  • Oil company threatens 284 remaining beluga whales
  • Oil dispersants disrupt the ocean food chain

July 27, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Indiana’s Camp Atterbury one of 64 U.S. drone bases
  • Vote for Hyatt as the country’s worst hotel employer
  • Congressional opponents of women’s health attacking again
  • Happy 50th to Walmart
  • Global elite evades taxes to the tune of $21 trillion
  • Most minimum-wage workers at large, profitable companies
  • New Israeli ship operates without people on board
  • Petition demanding troop withdrawal from Afghanistan now
  • Judge prevents closure of Mississippi’s last abortion clinic
  • Activist arrested near White House for protesting hemp ban

Citizen, physician concerns ignored by public-private conspiracy

July 24, 2012

In his state of the city address on Feb. 16, 2010, Bill Schmitt, mayor of the southern Indiana city of Jasper, addressed the topic of what to do with the city’s idle coal-fired power plant. One option, he said, according to the Dubois County Herald, would be to convert the plant to a “green-energy-producing facility.”

Little did anyone realize at the time that his comment would turn out to be an early salvo in what has become a bitter, protracted battle between the people of Jasper and their local government.

July 20, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene. This week's edition includes:

  • Push for high-speed rail in Indiana
  • Earth First! temporarily halts fracking operation
  • Fossil fuels draining water supply in middle of drought
  • Four environmental victories in two weeks
  • Victory for baby sea turtles in Puerto Rico
  • Critical fight to save Alaska’s Bristol Bay wilderness
  • Problem at California nuclear power plant is worse than originally thought
  • Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 produce
  • Big polluters opposing EPA’s regulations on soot
  • Bureau of Land Management to safeguard public lands from fracking, with public pressure

Gallup: public confidence in corporate news at record lows

July 14, 2012

NBC News, if that's what it is or can still be called, devotes a substantial amount of resources to stories on opinion polls. Its website boasts five such reports between July 11 and 13, 2012. Their subjects range from American confidence in organized religion and "wealthy friendly" attitudes to a growing anti-bailout mood in Finland.

Not surprisingly, the former home of John Chancellor, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reported nary a word about a July 11 Gallup Poll that showed American confidence in television news, like that in religion, has plummeted to unprecedented depths.

"Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by 1 percentage point, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it," the Gallup report begins. The figure has hovered in the 21- to 23-percent range since 2007.

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