WBEZ | News http://www.wbez.org/news Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Justice Antonin Scalia, Known for Biting Dissents, Dies at 79 http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-antonin-scalia-known-biting-dissents-dies-79-114847 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/scalia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the nation&#39;s highest court, was found dead Saturday, Chief Justice John Roberts has confirmed. Scalia, who had been staying at a luxury ranch in West Texas, was 79 years old.</p><p>&quot;On behalf of the court and retired justices, I am saddened to report that our colleague Justice Antonin Scalia has passed away,&quot; Roberts said in a statement. &quot;He was an extraordinary individual and jurist, admired and treasured by his colleagues. His passing is a great loss to the court and the country he so loyally served.&quot;</p><p>In his 29 years on the court, Scalia achieved almost a cult following for his acerbic dissents, which in many ways shaped the ongoing legal debate over how courts should interpret the Constitution.</p><p>For decades Scalia railed against the Supreme Court&#39;s rulings on abortion, affirmative action, gay rights and religion. He lived to see many of the decisions he so reviled trimmed and even overturned after President George W. Bush replaced two conservative justices with even more conservative justices. But Scalia remained impatient with the pace of change. His influence continued, not by brokering consensus, but by goading his colleagues with biting dissents.</p><p>He was a fundamentalist in both his faith and his constitutional interpretation, according to former Solicitor General Paul Clement, a onetime clerk to Scalia.</p><p>&quot;I think that he looks for bright lines in the Constitution wherever he can. I think he thinks that his faith provides him clear answers,&quot; Clement said, &quot;and I think that&#39;s sufficient unto him in most areas.&quot;</p><p>A fine example of that was Scalia&#39;s landmark 2008 decision declaring that the Constitution confers on individuals a right to own a gun. The decision was greeted with cheers by gun enthusiasts, but denounced by police chiefs and big city mayors.</p><p>&quot;We hold that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to have and use arms for self defense in the home,&quot; Scalia said in striking down the District of Columbia&#39;s ban on handguns.</p><h3><strong>Unanimous Confirmation</strong></h3><p>Scalia was born in 1936, the only child of a Sicilian immigrant and a first-generation Italian-American mother. Scalia, whose parents were both teachers, was educated largely at Catholic schools until he went to Harvard Law School, where he became editor of the law review. At Harvard, he met Maureen McCarthy, a feisty Radcliffe student with views as conservative as his. The two married and had nine children.</p><p>In the years after law school, Scalia at first practiced law, then taught it. But his love was politics and government, and he soon became a force to be reckoned with in Republican administrations.</p><p>Shortly after President Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal, President Ford assigned then-Assistant Attorney General Scalia the task of determining who owned the infamous Nixon tapes and papers. Scalia decided in favor of Nixon, a reflection of his belief in a strong executive. But the Supreme Court ruled otherwise, and by a unanimous vote declared that the tapes and papers belonged to the government and the public.</p><p>Scalia returned to academic life when Democrat Jimmy Carter won the presidency, but when Republican Ronald Reagan succeeded Carter, Scalia was appointed first to the federal appeals court in Washington, and four years later, he was appointed to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by William Rehnquist, who was being promoted to chief justice.</p><p>That pairing turned out to be a lucky break for the quick-witted conservative. Democrats, in the minority in the Senate, could fight only one battle. Rehnquist&#39;s conservative judicial record was well known, while Scalia had only a four-year record, not to mention the fact that Italian-Americans were ecstatic about their first Supreme Court nominee. So opposition focused on Rehnquist, and Scalia skated to confirmation by a unanimous vote.</p><p>Once on the Supreme Court, Scalia almost immediately began pounding the table far more forcefully than the very conservative Chief Justice Rehnquist, particularly on the hot-button social questions. While Rehnquist, for example, consistently sought to overturn&nbsp;Roe v. Wade, the court&#39;s abortion decision, he sided with those who sought a buffer zone at abortion clinics to protect women from being harassed. Scalia vehemently disagreed.</p><p>&quot;Does the deck seem stacked? You bet,&quot; he thundered. &quot;The decision in the present case is not an isolated distortion of our traditional constitutional principles, but is merely the latest of many aggressively pro-abortion novelties announced by the court in recent years.&quot;</p><h3><strong>A &#39;Great Writer&#39;</strong></h3><p>Scalia was a staunch advocate of free speech in general, surprising many when he provided the fifth vote to strike down laws banning flag burning.</p><p>Over the years he wrote many important majority decisions on the First Amendment and other topics &mdash; from property rights to environmental questions, gun control and states rights.</p><p>But, as legal scholar Cass Sunstein observes, like the great Oliver Wendell Holmes, Scalia will likely be remembered most for his dissents.</p><p>&quot;The thing to remember about Scalia is he was one of the great writers in the court&#39;s history,&quot; he said.</p><p>And he didn&#39;t pull his punches. When the court struck down a state law that made private homosexual conduct a crime, Scalia was outraged.</p><p>&quot;It is clear from this that the court has taken sides in the culture war, and in particular in that battle of the culture war that concerns whether there should be any moral opprobrium attached to homosexual conduct,&quot; he said.</p><p>Sunstein says dissents like this one are illustrative of Scalia&#39;s Achilles&#39; heel: &quot;He was a hysteric in cases he cared about most.&quot;</p><p>And yet, as it turned out, Scalia was more right than his critics foresaw on one point. He was dismissive of the majority opinion&#39;s denial that it was supporting same-sex marriage. A decade later, same-sex marriage had been legalized in 13 states. And the Supreme Court, with Scalia in loud dissent, struck down a federal law that had denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.</p><p>Scalia wrote with a sure pen. When the court, for instance, upheld the independent counsel law, Scalia alone dissented, declaring that the law would lead to unrestrained and politically driven prosecutions, a prediction that both Democrats and Republicans came to agree with when they refused to renew the law after the impeachment of President Clinton.</p><h3><strong>Constitutional Interpretation</strong></h3><p>On questions of separation of church and state, Scalia was a consistent voice for accommodation between the two, and against erecting a high wall of separation. When the court, by a 7-to-2 vote, struck down a Louisiana law that mandated the teaching of creationism in school if evolution is taught, Scalia was dismissive of evolution, calling it merely a &quot;guess, and a very bad guess at that.&quot;</p><p>And when the court struck down a spoken prayer at a public school graduation, Scalia angrily dissented. The Founding Fathers, he said, viewed nonsectarian public prayers like this one as a mechanism for breeding tolerance and unifying people of diverse religious backgrounds.</p><p>&quot;To deprive our society of that important unifying mechanism in order to spare the nonbeliever what seems to me the minimal inconvenience of standing or even sitting in respectful nonparticipation is as senseless in policy as it is unsupported in law,&quot; he said.</p><p>On death penalty questions, Scalia consistently dissented from decisions limiting its use, as he did when the court ruled unconstitutional the execution of the &quot;retarded.&quot;</p><p>&quot;The principle question,&quot; he said, &quot;is who is to decide whether execution of the retarded is permissible or desirable? The justices of this court or the traditions and current practices of the American people? Today&#39;s opinion says very clearly, the former.&quot;</p><p>When the court struck down the death penalty for juveniles and pointed to what other countries do as evidence of what is considered cruel and unusual punishment, he dissented again.</p><p>&quot;The underlying thesis that American law should conform to the laws of the rest of the world is indefensible. It is our Constitution that this court is charged with expounding. The laws of foreign nations and treaties to which this nation has not subscribed should have no bearing upon that exercise,&quot; he said.</p><p>Scalia&#39;s concept of constitutional interpretation became the focus of huge debates on the court and in the legal community. Is the Constitution a living document that adapts to the times, so that, for example, punishments once accepted could now be viewed as unconstitutionally cruel and unusual?</p><p>&quot;The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring,&quot; he said. &quot;It means today not what current society, much less the courts, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.&quot;</p><p>And since the death penalty existed when the Constitution was adopted, for instance, Scalia believed it could hardly be viewed as cruel and unusual punishment.</p><p>But Scalia&#39;s critics contended that there were some issues on which the justice ignored the plain meaning of the times. For example, on the question of affirmative action, proponents note that the framers of the 14th Amendment specifically approved measures that helped the newly freed slaves and not similarly situated white people.</p><p>Scalia, however, maintained he was a textualist, that in constitutional matters as in interpreting statutes, legislative history was immaterial. All that mattered were the words on the page.</p><p>More than anything else, Scalia was an advocate for bright lines in the law, lines that everyone could follow easily. He disdained the balancing tests advocated by more moderate conservative justices like John Marshall Harlan, Lewis Powell and Sandra Day O&#39;Connor.</p><p>That meant that in some criminal law cases, he sided with defendants. In several cases involving the defendant&#39;s constitutional right to confront accusers, Scalia said that meant earlier recorded statements could not be substituted for real live witnesses being cross-examined in front of the defendant at trial. And in search cases, too, he drew firm lines, ruling for instance that police could not attach a long-term tracking device to a suspect&#39;s car without a warrant.</p><p>Even in some terrorism cases he was something of a purist, declaring that the administration of George W. Bush could not imprison an American citizen indefinitely without charge. On this, his opinion was the most radical on the court, rejecting the more equivocal and prevailing approach of other justices.</p><p>&quot;If civil rights are to be curtailed during wartime,&quot; he insisted, &quot;it must be done openly and democratically as the Constitution requires, rather than by silent erosion through an opinion of this court.&quot;</p><p>Such unexpected liberal moments, however, were rare. More often, Scalia&#39;s aggressive conservatism, even when it failed to prevail, often framed the debate, and justices once considered centrists came to be viewed as liberals compared with Scalia.</p><h3><strong>Pushing The Envelope</strong></h3><p>Scalia changed more than legal doctrine. When he came to the court, the justices asked few questions during oral argument. And Scalia, the junior justice, jumped in, pummeling lawyers relentlessly with questions. Soon other justices took a more active approach to questioning, so that most lawyers could get less than a sentence out of their mouths before being interrupted.</p><p>Witty and savagely funny, Scalia could also be bombastic and impolitic. In 2013, he referred to the Voting Rights Act as a law of &quot;racial entitlements.&quot; On occasion, he could even alienate fellow justices. In 1989, for instance, when Justice Sandra Day O&#39;Connor, a fellow Reagan appointee, deprived conservatives of a fifth vote to overturn&nbsp;Roe v. Wade, Scalia attacked her opinion as one that &quot;cannot be taken seriously.&quot;</p><p>Comments like that lessened his influence. But Scalia happily observed that he looked to push the envelope, that if he had a 6-to-3 majority, he hadn&#39;t pushed it hard enough.</p><p>Sometimes when he pushed, his views prevailed. When they didn&#39;t, he took the fight to the printed page, knowing that his carefully crafted words would live to fight on long after he was gone.</p><p><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/13/140647230/justice-antonin-scalia-known-for-biting-dissents-dies-at-79">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Sat, 13 Feb 2016 17:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-antonin-scalia-known-biting-dissents-dies-79-114847 Information Overload and the Tricky Art of Single-Tasking http://www.wbez.org/news/information-overload-and-tricky-art-single-tasking-114840 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/infomagical_aa2_magicphone-41ba9cca38a6771ea763b8fef119b78f06f265cf-s800-c85.png" alt="" /><p><p>Multitasking is a myth, says Daniel Levitin.</p><p>This was the premise underlying the first of the tasks posed by WNYC&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wnyc.org/shows/notetoself/">Note to Self podcast</a>. I had signed up for their&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/01/25/463232382/get-a-grip-on-your-information-overload-with-infomagical">five-day set of challenges</a>&nbsp;in hopes of decluttering my brain of the uselessly consumed Internet detritus to get a boost of creative energy. And now my first elimination target was multitasking.</p><p>Levitin is a neuroscientist. He should know. But it&#39;s 8:30 a.m., and I&#39;ve got 16 Internet tabs on my computer, three more tabs on my phone, two opened emails, a pending phone call and a scrolling Twitter timeline. And I&#39;m doing perfectly well. I&#39;m clearly an exception.</p><p>Of course, I am not. As Levitin put it to&nbsp;Note&nbsp;to&nbsp;Self, &quot;You&#39;re not actually doing four or five things at once, because the brain doesn&#39;t work that way.&quot; Instead, &quot;you&#39;re rapidly shifting from one thing to the next, depleting neural resources as you go.&quot;</p><p>In fact, the onslaught of online content has us shifting among online and offline activities a lot &mdash; really a lot. Our attention switches&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/infomagical-challenge-1/">every 45 seconds</a>, according to Gloria Mark, an informatics professor at the University of California, Irvine. By 9 a.m., I had more tabs, emails, calls, plans, lists &mdash; while also listening to a story and taking a survey. I was caught up in the&nbsp;process&nbsp;of consuming.</p><p>&quot;Information overload is not something new,&quot;&nbsp;Note&nbsp;to&nbsp;Self&nbsp;host Manoush Zomorodi&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/08/466047471/infomagical-wnycs-note-to-self-tries-to-make-information-overload-disappear">tells NPR</a>. &quot;It has been dated to the 13th century. But what is new is the pace. And what we&#39;re finding is loss of focus.&quot;</p><p>To get a grip on that focus, All Tech invited you to participate in the&nbsp;Note&nbsp;to&nbsp;Self<a href="http://project.wnyc.org/infomagical/">&quot;Infomagical&quot; challenge</a>. It involved five daily challenges: spend a day focused on one task at a time, tidy up your app collection, avoid meaningless memes and trending topics, discuss something for at least seven minutes and set a longer-term resolution or &quot;mantra.&quot;</p><p>Several of us at NPR tried the challenge &mdash; <a href="https://twitter.com/alinaselyukh/status/694167334345428993?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">and a challenge it really was</a>.</p><p>For starters, most of us chose the goal of &quot;being more creative&quot; (the challenge begins with a choice of an information goal) and then struggled to evaluate ourselves against hard-to-define thresholds for improvements in creativity. Secondly, unplugging and avoiding memes or trends in many instances cut contrary to the requirements of our jobs. But we had our takeaways.</p><p>The day of single-tasking proved the most powerful for me and Malaka Gharib, editor over at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/">Goats and Soda</a>.</p><p>Malaka reported feeling more mindful of her distractions (&quot;I had to repeat the word &#39;focus&#39; in my head to keep going with the task,&quot; she says), more appreciative of her analog experiences (eating without looking at her phone helped her better appreciate the work and care her husband put into making her lunch). She also felt more aware and thereby more victorious about finishing tasks.</p><p>&quot;Single-tasking made me feel like I had more time to complete tasks and I didn&#39;t feel so rushed,&quot; she writes. &quot;My greatest creative victory of the week went into doing some nail art I wanted to try out (three stripes of different shades of purple nail polish). I felt like I could do it because I didn&#39;t feel so frantic.&quot;</p><p><img alt="Carol Ritchie's Zen iPhone home screen." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/09/carol_ritchie_custom-d0d81c252d5eaf3e4cd4c3eb3a46b197727268ec-s400-c85.png" style="height: 553px; width: 310px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Carol Ritchie's Zen iPhone home screen. (Carol Ritchie/NPR)" /></p><p>I didn&#39;t fare so well. I struggled to prioritize my tasks and then, like Malaka, had to remind myself to focus. With the short attention span of an expert digital consumer, I launched into things with curiosity and optimism only to move on, with false satisfaction of busy-ness, before finishing. (For context, it took me overcoming more than a dozen distractions today to get to this line of the story.)</p><div id="res466195474"><div><div><p>Malaka and editor Carol Ritchie also found gratification in the process of clearing their phones from unused or, by<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/07/462230434/japanese-organizing-consultant-marie-kondo-takes-america-by-storm">tidying guru Marie Kondo&#39;s standards</a>, less joy-eliciting apps. Carol organized her apps into eight folders on the second screen and found the difference stunning.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;No more scanning around for something that just might need doing or checking,&quot; she says. &quot;I go where I intend, do what I want, and then I click off. Now I can&#39;t believe I put up with all that clutter on the one device that is most important to me.&quot;</p><p>Carol also recounts her experience going social media-free at a concert: &quot;As it started, I saw screens light up all around me, but by sheer force of will resisted the pull of my phone. After the first minute, I forgot about it. Maybe &mdash; who knows? &mdash; enjoyed the performance a little bit more for it.&quot;</p><p>Over several similar challenges (like&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2015/11/26/457368210/this-thanksgiving-struggling-to-skip-the-instagram-obsession">this failed ambition to disconnect</a>&nbsp;over last Thanksgiving) I know that phone-free is not for me. Wasteful clicking is part of the habit, sure, but like Matthew Malady over at<em>&nbsp;The&nbsp;New Yorker, </em>I love the thrill of constant learning (though he goes as far as&nbsp;<a href="http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-useless-agony-of-going-offline">calling it the &quot;useless agony&quot;</a>&nbsp;of going offline).</p><p>&quot;Infomagical&quot;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wnyc.org/story/infomagical-results/">results</a>&nbsp;show that by the end of the challenge, 71 percent of participants felt less overloaded by information. And I realized that maybe I wasn&#39;t overloaded to begin with, but not selective enough, getting enthralled with the process of opening, starting, thinking up and launching. Now it&#39;s time to focus on seeing things through &mdash; like this article.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/02/11/466177618/information-overload-and-the-tricky-art-of-single-tasking"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 16:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/information-overload-and-tricky-art-single-tasking-114840 Colonialism Comment Puts Facebook Under Scrutiny http://www.wbez.org/news/colonialism-comment-puts-facebook-under-scrutiny-114839 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/fbcolon.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In India, Facebook has a program to give people <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/02/11/466298459/should-indias-internet-be-free-of-charge-or-free-of-control">free Internet access</a> &mdash; just to use Facebook and handful of other services. Earlier this week, regulators in that country ruled that the program is discriminatory to other websites and is illegal. A Facebook board member took to Twitter to criticize the ruling. And in so doing, he sparked a global controversy.</p><p>It got ugly.</p><p>Marc Andreessen &mdash; Facebook board member and celebrated venture capitalist &mdash; started by tweeting: it is &quot;<a href="https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/697226616812900352">morally wrong&quot;</a> to deny the &quot;world&#39;s poorest free partial Internet connectivity.&quot;</p><p>He then called India&#39;s decision &quot;another in a long line of economically suicidal decisions made by the Indian government against its own citizens.&quot; And then came this tweet: &quot;Anti-colonialism has been economically catastrophic for the Indian people for decades. Why stop now?&quot;</p><p>His tweetstorm quickly drew fire from across the Web, including the tech community in India. The country is Facebook&#39;s second-largest market and could rise to be the largest by next year, according to eMarketer. Andreessen soon withdrew his controversial tweets and apologized, but the colonialism remarks left many people scrutinizing Facebook&#39;s intentions for India.</p><p>&quot;Does he really think this way? Does he really believe that colonialism is a good thing for a lot of countries in the emerging markets?&quot; asks Mukund Mohan, director of strategy at Microsoft. &quot;Or did he just say that as a comment that was uninformed and off the cuff on Twitter?&quot;</p><p>Mohan, who splits his time between Seattle and Bangalore, says these are questions he was getting from his investor friends in India.</p><p>Members of Indian Youth Congress &mdash; a wing of the National Congress party &mdash; and National Students Union of India protest for Internet freedom in April 2015 in New Delhi.<br /><br />He says that as U.S. companies seek to appeal to the everyday consumer abroad, they need perspective: &quot;Most people, I would say the world over, don&#39;t think that colonialism was a good thing.&quot;</p><p>Political correctness varies country by country. According to Mohan, Indians can be more racist and open to jokes about skin color than Americans, but Indians are far more sensitive to being depicted as backward &mdash; a land of snake charmers and child brides.</p><p>Mohan believes Andreessen has never visited India, and that could be why he under-estimated the sensitivity of the topic. &quot;I don&#39;t necessarily think he thinks that, but there are enough people asking that question,&quot; Mohan says.</p><p>Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm that Andreessen co-founded, declined to comment on whether Andreessen has traveled to India or on the Twitter maelstrom.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/697613266382626816">Andreessen has now tweeted:</a> &quot;To be clear, I am 100% opposed to colonialism, and 100% in favor of independence and freedom, in every country, including India.&quot;</p><p>Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has chastised his board member in a Facebook post.</p><p>For months, Zuckerberg has been trying his hand at diplomacy: hosting India&#39;s prime minister at Facebook headquarters, lobbying in India for the free Facebook plan, writing an op-ed and placing ads in newspapers (not just on his platform).</p><p>Facebook presents its restricted free Internet program, called Free Basics, as connecting the poor. The company will not disclose how many new Internet users have joined Free Basics. Its telecommunications partner, Reliance Communications, has told The Times of India that 1 million people signed up.</p><p>But another news report says, of those new subscribers, only 20 percent had not been previously active on mobile phones, meaning 800,000 were not new to the Internet. Sumanth Raghavendra, a startup founder in India, says they&#39;re people who &quot;were just looking to sort of scrimp on their data plan and get to surf a bit without having to pay for it.&quot;</p><p>Facebook doesn&#39;t pay for the data plan either. The company has convinced telecom providers to give it away. And Raghavendra worries the American tech giant is sending the wrong signal to Asian telecom companies &mdash; saying it&#39;s OK for them to pick and choose what content they&#39;re willing to stream online.</p><p>&quot;Everybody who comes in through a particular telco basically gets to see a different part of the Internet and that&#39;s all he gets to see when he first comes on board,&quot; Raghavendra says.</p><p>And Mohan notes, Facebook isn&#39;t the only game in town. Other companies, including Google, are also launching programs to expand Internet access, most recently in Indian train stations. But they don&#39;t limit users to Google or other preferred parts of the Web.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;m still shocked and I&#39;m not able to understand why Facebook didn&#39;t follow that same plan,&quot; Mohan says.</p><p>To Raghavendra, setting aside the drama of Andreessen&#39;s ill-advised tweets, what really deserves scrutiny are the facts about Facebook&#39;s plans for India.</p><p>&quot;It is about control, and it&#39;s especially about controlling it on their terms.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/02/12/466506966/colonialism-comment-puts-facebook-under-scrutiny?ft=nprml&amp;f=466506966">via NPR</a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 15:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/colonialism-comment-puts-facebook-under-scrutiny-114839 Illinois Lawmaker Moves to Criminalize Posting Fight Videos http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmaker-moves-criminalize-posting-fight-videos-114831 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/pixabay_watchingfightonscreen.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Page views translate into dollar signs for advertisers, nowadays.</p><p>And a growing Internet <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/2013/05/28/wealth-poverty/rise-worldstarhiphop-popular-and-controversial-website">phenomenon</a> capturing lots of clicks, is amateur fight videos. These are real fights, usually captured on cell phones --&nbsp; then posted to online.</p><p>A YouTube video of a fight at a boy&rsquo;s Chicago Public League high school basketball game last year has been viewed more than a quarter of a million times.</p><p>An Illinois lawmaker is trying to make it illegal to post&nbsp;videos like it, for the sake of entertainment.</p><p>Rep. Terri Bryant&rsquo;s bill would make it so that adults caught filming, and sharing, these types of videos would be slapped with a disorderly conduct misdemeanor.</p><p>Bryant says her intent is to look out for the victims.</p><p>&ldquo;Imagine you&rsquo;re the person on the ground, being beaten up, and soon find out that someone is recording that so they can get their 30 seconds of fame on some social media site. That&rsquo;s a problem,&rdquo; Bryant said.</p><p>The Murphysboro Republican said she was prompted to act after seeing a <a href="http://www.kfvs12.com/story/30904119/parents-speak-out-after-scuffle-between-murphysboro-middle-school-students">video</a> on Facebook of a middle school boy from her hometown beating up on another kid, as he lay on the ground. She said while the law would only apply to individuals over the age of 18, she hopes it could teach children a lesson.</p><p>&ldquo;When we wonder why our kids are doing certain things,&rdquo; Bryant explained, &ldquo;a lot of times they are mirroring what culture is saying is okay because adults are doing it.&rdquo;</p><p><a href="http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/leja/faculty_staff/curtis.php" target="_blank">Michael Curtis</a>, a professor of law enforcement and justice administration at Western Illinois University, said he thinks the Bryant&rsquo;s heart is in the right place, but getting the bill passed will be difficult.</p><p>Curtis said two challenging legal hurdles stand in its way: First, the bill infringes upon the basic constitutional right to freedom of speech; second, determining the purpose behind filming a violent act is very hard to accomplish.</p><p>&ldquo;There is a potential that students, especially young students, can video these [fights] with the purpose of putting them on social media to humiliate or intimidate or bully an individual,&rdquo; Curtis explained. &ldquo;But I also see an evidentiary value to it as well.&rdquo;</p><p>He said that even though someone may post a fight to social media because they think it&rsquo;s entertaining, it can also be used to solve crimes.</p><p>&ldquo;Maybe I post it on YouTube not knowing the parties involved but somebody comes forward and says, &lsquo;Hey I know these parties involved and not only that but I know the perpetrator of the offense.&rsquo; Do we really want to limit that application?&rdquo; said Curtis.</p><p>That video of the fight at the Chicago boys basketball game last year did result in consequences. After video of the brawl between players and spectators from North Lawndale High School and Marshall High School was posted, the<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/western-springs/sports/ct-dws-stjoe-bbk-tl-0312-p2-20150312-story.html"><em> Chicago Tribune </em>reported</a> that both teams were suspended for three games.</p><p>The Illinois High School Association investigated the fight, interviewing players and coaches. It issued a statement supporting Chicago Public Schools&rsquo; decision to suspend both teams -- which meant that the winner of that game, North Lawndale, had to forfeit the Sectional Final, and its opportunity to play for a state championship.</p><p><em>Alissa Zhu is a WBEZ news intern. Follow her @AlissaZhu.</em></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 13:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmaker-moves-criminalize-posting-fight-videos-114831 Science Seeks Clues to Human Health in Neanderthal DNA http://www.wbez.org/news/science-seeks-clues-human-health-neanderthal-dna-114830 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/neander.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res466304750" previewtitle="A reconstruction of a Neanderthal man (right) based on skull found at the La Ferrassie rock shelter in Dordogne Valley, France. He's face to face with a male Homo sapien."><div data-crop-type=""><a href="http://www.sciencesource.com/" target="_blank"><img alt="A reconstruction of a Neanderthal man (right) based on skull found at the La Ferrassie rock shelter in Dordogne Valley, France. He's face to face with a male Homo sapien." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/10/neandertal_custom-fdc1a983353d000c96f8e53d5065a055e7cf4e4c-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 415px; width: 620px;" title="A reconstruction of a Neanderthal man, right, based on skull found at the La Ferrassie rock shelter in Dordogne Valley, France. He's face to face with a male (Philippe Plailly &amp; Atelier Daynes/Science Source)" /></a></div><div><p>If you&#39;ve ever seen what a Neanderthal is supposed to have looked like, it might be hard to imagine mating with one. But modern humans did. We know because, a few years ago, scientists found stretches of Neanderthal DNA in living humans.</p><p>And now there&#39;s evidence, from a&nbsp;<a href="http://science.sciencemag.org/content/351/6274/737">study</a>&nbsp;published Thursday in&nbsp;Science,&nbsp;that some of that DNA might help shape our health.</p><p>If you look at a Neanderthal skeleton next to a modern human skeleton, the Neanderthal looks stocky, barrel-chested, and rather brutish. Neanderthals were genetically different but, nonetheless, the closest relative to modern humans &mdash;&nbsp;<em>Homo sapiens</em>. The Neanderthals lived in Europe and western Asia. Modern humans initially lived in Africa.</p><p>Then, about 60,000 years ago, some of those modern humans got restless and traveled to Eurasia. They met the Neanderthals there, and apparently some liked what they saw. They had kids.</p><p>Those kids got genes from both groups, and some of those genes were passed down to many of us. Genetic researcher&nbsp;<a href="http://as.vanderbilt.edu/biosci/bio/tony-capra">Tony Capra</a>, of Vanderbilt University, has found some intriguing Neanderthal genes among modern Americans.</p><p>&quot;For example,&quot; says Capra, &quot;we found a specific bit of Neanderthal DNA that was associated with increased amounts of blood clotting.&quot;</p><p>Capra found the stretch of genetic material linked to blood clotting by comparing DNA from Neanderthal fossils to DNA from the electronic health records of about 28,000 adults. (The records, which were all anonymous, were drawn from the&nbsp;<a href="https://emerge.mc.vanderbilt.edu/about-emerge/">Electronic Medical Records and Genomics Network</a>, a research database of genetic data and health records drawn from a number of universities and medical institutions across the U.S.)</p><p>Capra says his colleagues also found Neanderthal DNA that&#39;s associated with things like an increased risk of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/actinic-keratosis">actinic keratosis</a>, a condition that causes growths on the skin. And they found another bit of Neanderthal DNA that was unusually common among people with depression.</p><p>But Capra notes that these are just associations &mdash; the study couldn&#39;t say whether the preserved bits of Neanderthal DNA are direct contributors to these conditions.</p><p>&quot;This Neanderthal DNA influences [a] general bodily system in humans,&quot; he says, meaning the circulatory system, for example, or the skin or the brain. &quot;But it doesn&#39;t mean it was bad for us or bad for them.&quot;</p><p>And even if some of the Neanderthal DNA we carry around did contribute to our propensity for one or another illness, many inherited medical conditions are influenced by the environment and/or numerous genes. Having one piece of Neanderthal in the mix isn&#39;t likely to have much effect.</p><p>Still, Capra says it could be that some bits of Neanderthal DNA stuck with us because at some point it helped&nbsp;<em>H. sapiens&nbsp;</em>adapt as they spread across the planet.</p><p>For example, Capra says, the Neanderthal version of a blood-clotting gene might show up more often than expected among modern humans because quicker blood clotting promotes quicker healing and can help prevent pathogenic microbes from gaining a foothold. It could be that the Neanderthal version of the gene or genes worked better at fighting the microbes found in Eurasia. So whoever had&nbsp;that&nbsp;version had a better chance of surviving and passing that stretch of DNA along through the next generations.</p><p><a href="http://bio.psu.edu/directory/kmw4">Kenneth Weiss</a>, a geneticist at Penn State, says the closer scientists look for these bits of shared DNA, the more they&#39;ll find. &quot;It&#39;s interesting but it&#39;s not a surprise anymore,&quot; Weiss says.</p><p>The genetic mashup between Neanderthals and humans from Africa, he says, isn&#39;t that different from the way we all exchange genes now.</p><p>For example, &quot;you&#39;re going to find evidence for things in Mexican-Americans that came from Europe and that came from Native Americans,&quot; he says.</p><p>It&#39;s just that Neanderthals and the first modern humans weren&#39;t as different from each other as people once thought, Weiss says.</p><p>In a way, the research shows that our species evolved much the way languages do &mdash; made up of bits and pieces of whomever we met and lived with along the way.</p></div></div><p><em><a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/11/466224456/science-hunts-for-clues-to-human-health-in-neanderthal-dna?ft=nprml&amp;f=466224456">&mdash;via NPR</a></em></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 12:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/science-seeks-clues-human-health-neanderthal-dna-114830 Can Dementia be Prevented? Education May Bolster Brain Against Risk http://www.wbez.org/news/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk-114829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/knowledge-tree_slide-231995ee55735ba2fb011e8ab30272470c8e9df7-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res466433587" previewtitle="Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/11/knowledge-tree_slide-231995ee55735ba2fb011e8ab30272470c8e9df7-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="(Nanette Hoogslag/Getty Images/Ikon Images)" /></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div><p>The odds of getting Alzheimer&#39;s disease or other forms of dementia are declining for people who are more educated and avoiding heart disease, a study finds. The results suggest that people may have some control over their risk of dementia as they age.</p><p>This isn&#39;t the first study to find that the incidence of dementia is waning, but it may be the best so far. Researchers looked at 30 years of records from more than 5,000 people in the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has closely tracked the health of volunteers in Framingham, Mass.</p><p>They found that the incidence of dementia declined about 20 percent per decade starting in the 1970s &mdash; but only in people who had at least a high school education. The decline in people diagnosed with Alzheimer&#39;s wasn&#39;t statistically significant, but there were fewer people with Alzheimer&#39;s, which could have affected that result.</p><p>The study, which was&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1504327">published</a>&nbsp;Wednesday in the&nbsp;<em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>, also looked at risk factors for heart disease and stroke, including smoking, obesity and high blood pressure. They found that the people who had better markers for cardiovascular health, such as normal blood pressure, were also less likely to develop dementia.</p><p>&quot;That&#39;s telling us that perhaps better management of cardiovascular disease could potentially help in the reduction of dementia,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://profiles.bu.edu/display/49141807">Claudia Satizabal</a>, an author of the study and an instructor in neurology at the Boston University School of Medicine.</p><p>To figure out what this all means, we called&nbsp;<a href="http://micda.psc.isr.umich.edu/people/profile/566/Kenneth_M_Langa">Dr. Kenneth Langa</a>, a professor at the University of Michigan who also studies trends in dementia. Here are highlights from the conversation edited for length and clarity.</p><p><strong>One of the very confusing things about this is that even though an individual may be less likely to get dementia than they were 40 years ago, the number of people with dementia is going up. Why is that?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s an interesting and sometimes complicated concept. The number of cases in the population could still be going up in the future because of the larger number of adults.</p><p>It&#39;s very easy to get your wires crossed when you think of &quot;what&#39;s my own individual risk&quot; versus the number of people in the population.</p><p>It&#39;s certain that we&#39;ll have significantly more older people in the United States and around the world, so now the big question is &mdash; on an individual level, what&#39;s going on with the risk? Does a 70-year-old today have the same risk as one 20 years ago?</p><p><strong>And you&#39;re finding a trend similar to what the researchers reported this week &mdash; a declining risk of dementia in the United States.</strong></p><p>We&#39;ve been looking at data from the&nbsp;<a href="http://hrsonline.isr.umich.edu/">Health and Retirement Study</a>, large study funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration. We&#39;ve been collecting data on older folks in the United States since 1992. We&#39;re finding a decline in the prevalence of dementia and cognitive decline very much in line with the Framingham Study report.</p><p><strong>You also are finding that a person&#39;s level of education is a key driver in dementia risk. Is that because education makes your brain stronger, or that educated people are healthier overall?</strong></p><p>That&#39;s a big question, and one I&#39;ll be focusing on for the rest of my career.</p><p>I&#39;ll give you my usual researcher on-the-fence answer: I think it&#39;s a bit of both. I do think there is a direct biological effect of using your brain and having it interact with the world. You may have heard the term cognitive reserve, which means your brain gets wired up differently if it&#39;s challenged.</p><p>I&#39;m a believer that there is a causal effect of education on how your brain is challenged. But I definitely would agree that that&#39;s not the only pathway.</p><p>Education sets you off on a different path in your life; it sends you into different occupations. You may live in different neighborhoods, have less stress, have more money. That gives you access to better health care and social networks.</p><p>But still, if I do my 12 years or 14 years or 16 years of school, I don&#39;t think that 100 percent determines your risk of dementia.</p><p><strong>You&#39;ve also found that our parents&#39; level of education may affect dementia risk.</strong></p><p>It&#39;s very intriguing; a mother&#39;s education may be more important than a father&#39;s education. Again there are lots of complicated pathways you can talk about, but one that we and other researchers are trying to follow up on is whether a more educated mom may interact with a child in ways that are more beneficial to the developing brain of a child.</p><p>How your brain is nurtured throughout life is a really fascinating part of this story.</p><p><strong>The study published this week didn&#39;t look explicitly at exercise, but that does affect cardiovascular health. Could it help prevent dementia?</strong></p><p>The evidence both from animals in the cage and epidemiological studies shows that physical activity seems quite important for keeping your blood vessels healthy, and probably some specific growth factors that help the neurons in the brain. The general point that was brought out in the Framingham study is that cardiovascular fitness is very important.</p><p><strong>You and other researchers have pointed out that the trend toward more obesity and diabetes in the United States could threaten this more hopeful trend toward lower risk of dementia. When might that happen?</strong></p><p>The short answer is I think we don&#39;t know. Again, there are so many complicated interacting pathways going on here we can&#39;t really be sure what will happen.</p><p>Even though the number of people with diabetes has really skyrocketed in the past 20 or 30 years, it also seems to be that having diabetes doesn&#39;t have as many bad complications as it did 20 or 30 years ago. There&#39;s been a decline in things like heart attacks and amputations due to vascular complications. More aggressive treatment of diabetes and high blood pressure and cholesterol is probably one of the factors that&#39;s caused this decline in complications.</p><p><strong>We&#39;re all terrified of getting Alzheimer&#39;s. Given that being heart healthy seems to reduce that risk, why aren&#39;t we all exercising like crazy?</strong></p><p>It&#39;s still complicated, I think. Part of it is that it&#39;s a benefit that&#39;s going to come to you 20 or 25 years later; it&#39;s not easy to motivate people even with something as feared as Alzheimer&#39;s disease. I&#39;m an internist. I see middle-aged people with diabetes and hypertension and tell them about these findings. But it can be tough to motivate people.</p><p><strong>What else can people do to reduce the risk?</strong></p><p>These findings are optimistic; it&#39;s not a done deal. But there do seem to be things we can do not only from an individual perspective but from a public policy perspective, for instance, making education as available as possible to people in the United States and other countries.</p><p>I tell my patients, &quot;You can do everything right and still get Alzheimer&#39;s disease and dementia.&quot; It&#39;s a question of trying to change your risk to make it as low as possible.</p><p>The research that is ongoing to find medical interventions to affect the trajectory of the disease are still important to do also.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/02/11/466403316/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk?ft=nprml&amp;f=466403316"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/can-dementia-be-prevented-education-may-bolster-brain-against-risk-114829 Possible New TIF for First National Center; Historic Tax Credit Ending? http://www.wbez.org/news/possible-new-tif-first-national-center-historic-tax-credit-ending-114828 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/bb-maps-ins-bbf_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Council discussed making changes to the tax increment finance district, or TIF, for the area affected by MAPS projects.</p><p>The council wants to increase the budget for the downtown MAPS district &ndash; adding $40 million to bring the total to $165 million.</p><p>&ldquo;The says that the investment so far has already brought in $1.8 billion in private money, and adding the $40 million would bring in another $1 billion,&rdquo; said&nbsp;The Journal Record&rsquo;s&nbsp;managing editor Adam Brooks.</p><p>The group also floated the idea of creating a new $45 million TIF district specifically for the First National Center, which is currently vacant and awaiting finalization of a $200 million redevelopment plan.</p><p>TIFs can be controversial because they essentially give public tax dollars to private businesses. But the city says this type of invest now, receive benefits later approach has worked in the past, according to&nbsp;The Journal Record&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://journalrecord.com/2016/02/08/building-block-city-council-to-consider-tif-district-for-first-national-center-real-estate/">Brian Brus</a>:</p><blockquote><p>It is built on the assumption that costly infrastructure improvements will attract new investment and development, which, in turn, will raise property values and tax revenue someday. Once a TIF district is active, the city can leverage certain capital improvements to incur debt to pay for the projects. The action does not actually increase taxes.</p><p>The committees that reviewed the proposal included representatives of the county, city-county health departments, library system and the Oklahoma City Public Schools District, also identified as I-89.</p><p>City Council member Ed Shadid said he still questions the degree to which a TIF hurts local school districts by drawing away tax revenue for their own use. He has opposed previous TIF districts for the same reason, although other City Council members point out that the schools would not receive any additional funds if the TIFs did not exist.</p><p>Bryant said I-89 officials have worked closely with City Hall toward a solution that will allow a large portion of the captured revenue from the TIF to go back to the school district. He referred to it as a mutually beneficial arrangement.</p></blockquote><div><a href="http://kgou.org/sites/kgou/files/styles/x_large/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg"><img alt="The Tower Theatre on NW 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. (CREDIT BRENT FUCHS / THE JOURNAL RECORD)" data-interchange-default="http://kgou.org/sites/kgou/files/styles/default/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg" data-interchange-large="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kgou/files/styles/large/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg" data-interchange-medium="http://kgou.org/sites/kgou/files/styles/medium/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg" data-interchange-small="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kgou/files/styles/small/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg" src="http://mediad.publicbroadcasting.net/p/kgou/files/styles/large/public/201602/mf-tower-theater-and-sunshine-bbf_2-11-13-15.jpg" style="height: 330px; width: 620px;" title="The Tower Theatre on NW 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. (CREDIT BRENT FUCHS / THE JOURNAL RECORD)" /></a><div><div><strong>Tax Credit Takeaway</strong></div></div></div><p>Earlier this week the Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill that would place a two-year moratorium on a 20 percent tax credit for developers who rehab certified historic structures. The bill is authored by state Sen. Mike Mazzei, R-Tulsa.</p><p>&ldquo;We&#39;re talking a lot about how troubled the state budget is, and he wants to save the state $4 million in the coming year, which is Fiscal 2017, and then $140 million in Fiscal Year 2018,&rdquo; Brooks said. &ldquo;He admits that this probably won&#39;t pass, but it&#39;s part of a general idea of reviewing all the tax credits that are available in the state to see which ones really add value.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s the second time the tax credit has been addressed, and the move has caught the attention of some developers who say they just want some consistency,&nbsp;The Journal Record&rsquo;s&nbsp;<a href="http://journalrecord.com/2016/02/09/history-in-the-making-bill-would-suspend-tax-credits-for-some-buildingrehabilitations-capitol/">Molly Fleming</a>&nbsp;reports:</p><blockquote><p>Developer Judy Hatfield said the on-again, off-again tax credit could hinder future developments. She used state and federal tax credits when she rehabilitated the Carnegie Centre library into downtown apartments.</p><p>&ldquo;If you stop right in the middle, you&rsquo;ve made serious commitments,&rdquo; Hatfield said. &ldquo;Financing hinges on knowing that it&rsquo;s a viable program. This is the wrong time for us to cripple development.&rdquo;</p><p>On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee passed an amendment that would make projects already under construction eligible to receive the tax credits. Developer David Wanzer and The Pivot Project team&nbsp;<a href="http://journalrecord.com/2015/11/12/preservation-and-destruction-group-rehabs-some-buildings-removes-others-real-estate/" target="_blank" title="have two rehabilitation projects">have two rehabilitation projects</a>&nbsp;under construction, with two others starting soon. He said he&rsquo;s hopeful the Main Street Arcade Building and the Tower Theater would still be eligible for the tax credits.</p><p>&ldquo;Some of these projects we take on literally do not happen but for the availability of state and federal tax credits,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s really key. These projects we take on, (we) do them in a meaningful and thoughtful way because of tax credits.&rdquo;</p></blockquote><p>The Business Intelligence Report&nbsp;is a collaborative news project between&nbsp;KGOU&nbsp;and&nbsp;The&nbsp;Journal Record.</p><p>As a community-supported news organization,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kgou.org/">KGOU</a>&nbsp;relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kgou.org/donate-online">online</a>, or by contacting our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kgou.org/contact-us">Membership</a>&nbsp;department.</p><p><a href="http://journalrecord.com/">The Journal Record</a>&nbsp;is a multi-faceted media company specializing in business, legislative and legal news. Print and online content is available via&nbsp;<a href="https://subscribe.journalrecord.com/">subscription</a>.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://kgou.org/post/possible-new-tif-first-national-center-historic-tax-credit-ending#stream/0"><em>&nbsp;Listen to the story via KGOU</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:31:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/possible-new-tif-first-national-center-historic-tax-credit-ending-114828 Cliven Bundy's Arrest Caps Years of Calls For Government to Take Action http://www.wbez.org/news/cliven-bundys-arrest-caps-years-calls-government-take-action-114827 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/clive.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The defiant leader of the anti-federal lands movement, Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, is now facing multiple felony charges &mdash; including conspiracy and assault on a federal officer &mdash; in the 2014 standoff at his Nevada ranch.</p><p>Bundy, who inspired the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, was arrested at the airport in Portland, Ore., Wednesday night, apparently on his way to Malheur.</p><p>In a 32-page criminal complaint, prosecutors allege Bundy and his co-conspirators led a massive, armed assault against federal officers in April 2014 near the town of Bunkerville, Nev.</p><div id="con466457417" previewtitle="related stories"><div id="res466456865">&nbsp;</div><div id="res466457402"><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div></div></div><p>According to the U.S. attorney for Nevada, Bundy and his armed supporters on horseback effectively ambushed federal Bureau of Land Management officials as they were trying to round up 400 of Bundy&#39;s cows illegally grazing on federal land.</p><p>The tense dispute ignited a fierce debate over federal land management and cattle grazing that continued for the past month in Oregon. But Bundy&#39;s self-described &quot;range war&quot; has always been about more than cows.</p><p>&quot;What&#39;s at stake here? Freedom, liberty and statehood, that&#39;s what&#39;s at stake here,&quot;&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/06/17/321705941/tensions-still-high-in-nevada-land-over-cattle-dispute">Bundy told me when I visited his ranch in southeastern Nevada</a>&nbsp;shortly after the 2014 standoff.</p><p>That hot summer day, Bundy sat between two bodyguards. Photos of his 14 children and framed Mormon scripture hung on the wall behind him.</p><p>&quot;[Federal authorities] was acting like an army coming against &#39;we the people,&#39; &quot; Bundy said at the time.</p><p>&quot;We the people&quot; is a constant Cliven Bundy refrain. He has flouted federal grazing laws and four prior court orders because he believes his Mormon ancestors arrived in the region and claimed a &quot;right&quot; to this land, predating the federal territories &mdash; an argument often disputed by historians who study the American West.</p><p>Bundy owes the federal Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, more than $1 million in leases and fines.</p><p>After the 2014 standoff, Bundy enjoyed a few weeks in the national spotlight, and was a darling of some talk show hosts. Most distanced themselves from the rancher when a video surfaced of him espousing racist views about the African-Americans he said he&#39;s came into contact with in nearby Las Vegas.</p><p>&quot;I&#39;ve often wondered, were they better off as slaves, picking cotton, having family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?&quot;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agXns-W60MI">Bundy said in the video</a>, apparently filmed a few days after the 2014 standoff.</p><div id="res466453190" previewtitle="Bundy at his home outside Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014, a few months after the standoff with federal agents."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="Bundy at his home outside Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014, a few months after the standoff with federal agents." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/02/11/bundy1-edit_custom-652e6911ff222714010fed287e598b7ebd33c081-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Bundy at his home outside Bunkerville, Nev., in 2014, a few months after the standoff with federal agents. (Kirk Siegler/NPR)" /></div><div><div><p>But after all the attention started to fade,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/04/14/399397139/year-after-denying-federal-control-bundy-still-runs-his-bit-of-nevada">the federal government still didn&#39;t act against Bundy</a>. The BLM completely pulled out of the region, and Bundy and his supporters declared victory &mdash; until Wednesday night.</p></div></div></div><p>&quot;I&#39;ve been waiting for this for a long time,&quot; says Alan O&#39;Neill, a retired park superintendent at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which spans the Arizona-Nevada border near Bundy&#39;s ranch.</p><p>O&#39;Neill&#39;s first brushes with Cliven Bundy&#39;s defiance began in the late 1990s, when Bundy&#39;s cows were illegally grazing on park service land. He said there was a plan in place to remove them, but it was stopped back then at the last minute because the federal government worried about another Waco.</p><p>&quot;I thought that the government should have moved quicker on Cliven Bundy, but I&#39;m just happy that they did,&quot; O&#39;Neill says.</p><p>It&#39;s not clear how Bundy&#39;s arrest will affect his followers and the larger anti-federal lands movement. Reached by cellphone on Wednesday before she began negotiating with the Oregon occupiers and encouraging them&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/11/466394039/listen-final-occupier-refusing-to-leave-oregon-wildlife-refuge">to surrender</a>, Nevada state Rep. Michele Fiore was as defiant as ever.</p><p>&quot;Across the Western states, this is a pattern of behavior where the BLM has literally become a bureaucracy of terrorism,&quot; she said.</p><p>If convicted, prosecutors say, Cliven Bundy faces up to 42 years in prison and fines up to $1.5 million.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/02/11/466451287/cliven-bundys-arrest-caps-years-of-calls-for-government-to-take-action?ft=nprml&amp;f=466451287" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/cliven-bundys-arrest-caps-years-calls-government-take-action-114827 The Unfulfilled Promise of Carbon Capture http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-12/unfulfilled-promise-carbon-capture-114826 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/carbon.jpg" style="height: 384px; width: 620px;" title="Many carbon-capture-and-sequestration, or CCS schemes aim to intercept carbon emissions and store them underground. (Vattenfall)" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div>Renewable energy is reaching record levels around the country, but fossil fuels aren&rsquo;t going away anytime soon. As states look for ways to fight climate change, one idea is to capture the carbon pollution from power plants and store it underground.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite millions in taxpayer dollars invested, it still remains largely just an idea.&nbsp;Lauren Sommer&nbsp;from&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/02/11/carbon-capture-flops"><em>Here &amp; Now</em></a>&nbsp;contributor KQED reports.</div><div><br /><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/farming-less-fossil-fuels-114731" target="_blank"><strong>RELATED:&nbsp;<span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 16px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; line-height: 21px;">Farming with Less Fossil Fuels</span></strong></a></div><div id="content-titles" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&mdash;<em><a href="http://ww2.kqed.org/science/2016/01/24/despite-millions-in-investment-carbon-capture-flops-in-california/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Read more via KQED</a></em></div><ul style="display: table; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 0px 10px; list-style: none url(&quot;http://cdn.wbur.org/wordpress/hereandnow/images/da.gif&quot;); font-family: 'Droid Sans', arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 19px;"></ul></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 11:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-12/unfulfilled-promise-carbon-capture-114826 After Nearly 4 Months, Porter Ranch Gas Leak is Temporarily Plugged http://www.wbez.org/news/after-nearly-4-months-porter-ranch-gas-leak-temporarily-plugged-114825 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/porterrance.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A natural gas leak that has poured methane gas into the air since October has been &quot;temporarily controlled,&quot; according to a utility company in Southern California. Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes in an upscale section of the San Fernando Valley.</p><p>&quot;Many residents of the Porter Ranch community complained of headaches, nosebleeds and other symptoms,&quot; Danielle Karson tells our Newscast unit from Los Angeles. &quot;State regulators need to inspect the broken pipe before cement is poured into the well to permanently seal it.&quot;</p><p>The leak was first reported in late October and has since spewed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/aliso_canyon/aliso_canyon_natural_gas_leak_updates-sa_flights_thru_feb_4_2016.pdf">more than 5 billion cubic feet of natural gas</a>. Since then, the leak has forced more than 6,000 residents to evacuate the area northwest of downtown Los Angeles.</p><p><a href="http://www.scpr.org/news/2016/02/11/57424/porter-ranch-gas-leak-has-been-temporarily-stopped/">Member station KPCC</a>&nbsp;quotes LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich:</p><blockquote><div><p>&quot;Our residents, who have had to deal with this crisis since October 23rd and have had their holidays ruined and forced them out of their homes and schools, now have to bear the burden of rebuilding normal lives &mdash; still face uncertainty and fear of a repeated disaster from the remaining wells.&quot;</p></div></blockquote><p>The leak occurred at Southern California Gas Co.&#39;s Aliso Canyon natural gas storage field, spewing more greenhouse gases than any other facility in California, according to<a href="http://www.latimes.com/science/la-me-porter-ranch-greenhouse-20160124-story.html">The Los Angeles Times</a>. In addition to allowing huge amounts of methane &mdash; a potent greenhouse gas &mdash; to escape, the utility is accused of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/15/463178568/gas-company-understated-benzene-exposure-from-california-leak">understating the levels of the cancer-causing chemical benzene</a>.</p><p>Paula Cracium, who lives in the area, says residents are eager to return home &mdash; and apprehensive about returning to normal.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s going to be a version of PTSD as people move back into their homes,&quot; Cracium tells Karson in a report for NPR&#39;s Newscast. &quot;Every time they smell something, they&#39;re scared it&#39;s happening again.&quot;</p><p>Once the area is declared safe to inhabit, residents will be given eight days to get back into their houses. After that point, subsidies for temporary housing will expire. Some residents are pushing for a longer timeline &mdash; up to 30 days &mdash; to be sure the area is safe, KPCC reports.</p><p>News of the temporary plug comes weeks after&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/24/464195563/california-regulators-order-company-to-permanently-close-leaking-gas-well">state regulators told SoCalGas</a>&nbsp;that when it finally seals the leak, the utility, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, must also shut down the well permanently.</p><p>&quot;After the leak is permanently sealed, the company&#39;s troubles won&#39;t be over,&quot; Karson reports. &quot;It&#39;s getting slapped with almost a dozen lawsuits from families, businesses and regulators claiming negligence.&quot;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/02/12/466527059/after-nearly-4-months-porter-ranch-gas-leak-is-temporarily-plugged?ft=nprml&amp;f=466527059"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 12 Feb 2016 10:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/after-nearly-4-months-porter-ranch-gas-leak-temporarily-plugged-114825