WBEZ | mice http://www.wbez.org/tags/mice Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Senior public housing residents protest terrible living conditions http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-public-housing-residents-protest-terrible-living-conditions-108326 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/CHA protest 130807 AY.JPG" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Residents in senior public housing on Chicago&rsquo;s South Side say they are living with mice, bedbugs, cockroaches and other problems.</p><p>Seniors and activists from the North Kenwood community protested against poor management outside the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) headquarters today.</p><p>Resident Alphonso Jones says they&rsquo;ve<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-citizens-blast-prominent-community-leader-slumlord-105612"> complained before</a>, but managers aren&rsquo;t doing enough to solve the problems.</p><p>&ldquo;They plugged all the holes, and they put down some sticky pads. Alright, everyone knows that mice are too smart for sticky pads,&rdquo; Jones said.</p><p>Jones also described paint peeling off walls, mold, bedbugs and apartments where he can see the outdoors through holes in the wall. He says some senior residents are disabled and cannot clean their own apartments. The protesters brought placards with pictures, some of which were taken by Jones. He says he wrote over 40 letters to CHA and management, but the only response he got was that if he wrote one more letter, he would be evicted.</p><p>Resident Frances Banks says managers only did cosmetic changes without addressing underlying problems.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s like if you have cancer on your face: you put on some makeup, it covers the cancer up, but you still have cancer,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>She eventually moved out, but she says she will continue fighting for public housing tenants.</p><p>&ldquo;I could not stand the roaches, the bedbugs, the mice and the intimidation,&rdquo; Banks said.</p><p>Although the protesters described individual apartments, these problems are widespread, says Princella Lee, a member of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.</p><p>In particular, they named Judge Slater Apartments, the Judge Slater Annex and Vivian Harsh Apartments, making up 570 units of public housing in the North Kenwood community. The units are managed by the Woodlawn Community Development Corporation (WCDC), a project of Reverend Leon Finney. At <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-citizens-blast-prominent-community-leader-slumlord-105612">a previous protest this February</a>, residents called Finney a slumlord.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s easy to dismiss this to one tenant but these conditions are prevalent in many of the units on the South Side of Chicago, particularly in WCDC managed buildings,&rdquo; Princella Lee said. &ldquo;Let&rsquo;s not act like we don&rsquo;t know the history that WCDC and Leon Finney has had in the City of Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>Finney is a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/housing-d%C3%A3%C2%A9j%C3%A3%C2%A0-vu-woodlawn-residents">politically connected pastor</a> who used to serve on the city&rsquo;s planning commission. The protesters said Finney should step down, and that WCDC should not be allowed to manage public housing. They also ask for public housing officials to walk through the buildings with them, and they plan to take the issue to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.</p><p>In response to the pictures of bed bugs, Chicago Housing Authority spokeswoman Wendy Parks said the agency carries out monthly pest control meetings. She also says Charles Woodyard, the agency&rsquo;s CEO, will meet with residents this month. Parks says the CHA will be requesting proposals from property management firms interested in managing the public housing complexes, but notes this does not mean they are replacing Finney and the WCDC.</p><p>She also points out officials are improving Judge Slater Apartments, where Alphonso Jones lives, in an ongoing construction project. The $13.5-million project would install new plumbing, flooring, lights and paint. The first phase should be complete early next year.</p><p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6fefc2b9-5aba-cd02-667f-d737ab9aac4f"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Alan Yu is a WBEZ metro desk intern. Follow him </span><a href="https://twitter.com/Alan_Yu039" style="text-decoration:none;"><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; color: rgb(17, 85, 204); font-style: italic; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">@Alan_Yu039</span></a><span style="font-size: 16px; font-family: Arial; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">.</span></span></p></p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 16:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/senior-public-housing-residents-protest-terrible-living-conditions-108326 The mouse and the oak tree http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/mouse-and-oak-tree-105543 <p><p><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/topmedic/6251983913/" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Glacial-Park-by-Rolour-Garcia-via-Flickr.jpg" title="Glacial Park in McHenry County, where oak forests and grasslands share history but not a likelihood of oak reproduction. (Rolour Garcia via Flickr)" /></a></p><p>Before European settlement, Illinois was at the fountainhead of a great Midwestern <a href="http://oaksavannas.org/">oak savanna</a> that stretched west through Iowa and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Less than one percent of that remains today.</p><p>In 19<sup>th</sup> century McHenry County, like much of Northeastern Illinois, oaks dominated the forest canopy, making up 98 percent of trees in the area. Efforts to restore oak savannas in the suburban ring around Chicago are growing, but ecologists are encountering some unexpected issues.</p><p>&ldquo;Ecological restoration spent its first 20 years just trying to control invasive species, and that&rsquo;s still the biggest job we have to do,&rdquo; said Tom Simpson, a field station ecologist with the McHenry County Conservation District. &ldquo;But more restorationists are turning their attention to oaks.&rdquo;</p><p>Oaks are a keystone species in the region&rsquo;s savannas and woodlands &mdash; they structure the ecosystem, nourishing the food chain and <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/reuniting-nature-nations-backyards-105473">encouraging insect diversity</a>. But they don&rsquo;t make many seedlings, even when other elements of the oak savanna are restored.</p><p>At first most ecologists chalked the oak reproduction problem up to light availability. Oaks in many of the region&rsquo;s natural areas are <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-01/restoring-prairieland-calumets-industrial-corridor-104751">shaded out by invasive species like buckthorn</a>. Simpson&rsquo;s research over the past four years, however, showed light availability didn&rsquo;t tell the whole story.&nbsp;Despite producing plenty of acorns near grassy areas cleared of invasives, oaks weren&rsquo;t taking off.</p><p>Holding back the mighty oak could be lowly rodents. Simpson looked at squirrels, white-footed mice and meadow voles &mdash; major acorn-consumers &mdash; in McHenry County&rsquo;s Glacial Park. Unlike the other two species, squirrels are critical to the lifecycle of oaks because of their tendency to bury acorns. Squirrels avoid certain open, grassy landscapes where mice populations are high, which could explain why oak seedlings aren&rsquo;t expanding into prairies and grassy savannas as expected.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a question you wouldn&rsquo;t ask until you try to restore the ecosystem,&rdquo; Simpson said. Exactly why mice and voles have apparently edged out squirrels, a species they have shared the ecosystem with for thousands of years, is unclear. As ecologists like Simpson continue to research that question, he said, it underscores the challenges restorationists face.</p><p>&ldquo;Restoration brings us face-to-face with problems that we otherwise would never have seen,&quot; he said. &quot;But, it also gives us the opportunity to find a solution.&rdquo;</p><p><span style="font-size:14px;"><em>Follow Chris Bentley on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Cementley">@Cementley</a></em>.</span></p></p> Fri, 15 Feb 2013 05:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/chris-bentley/2013-02/mouse-and-oak-tree-105543 Behind the scenes of MythBusters http://www.wbez.org/story/adam-savage/behind-scenes-mythbusters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/adam and jamie 2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman are special effects guys, not scientists, but the kind of curiosity and rigor they bring to their TV series <a href="http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/mythbusters/">MythBusters</a> certainly befits men of science.</p><div>Whether they&rsquo;re blowing up radiators or probing the reality behind everyday myths and urban legends, Savage and Hyneman have a kind of methodical mischievousness that feels both fun and smart. What happens when the poo really hits the fan? Can you teach an old dog new tricks? Or knock someone out of their socks? Could you defy the odds to make a lead balloon that actually floats?</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>These are questions a legit scientist might deem beneath them (unless they were vying for the <a href="http://improbable.com/ig/">Ignoble Prize</a>). But their wacky experiments have earned Savage and Hyneman a dedicated following on the Discovery Channel and beyond (especially among ten-year-old boys). I, for one, am glad to know the truth behind <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rO2A1k76PR0">killer quicksand</a> and <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAnz95zzEzk">exploding tattoos</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div>In the audio posted above, <em>Dynamic Range</em> goes behind the scenes of MythBusters as they divulge the secrets of their experiments. They spoke to a live audience at Chicago&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.harristheaterchicago.org/">Harris Theater</a> in 2009, where moderator John Williams asked them to start by describing an experiment gone horribly wrong. (Two words: cannibal mice.)</div><div>&nbsp;</div> <div><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified's vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. MythBusters was presented in March of 2009 by </em><a href="http://www.sciencechicago.com/"><em>Science Chicago</em></a><em> and was recorded by </em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/amplified"><em>Chicago Amplified</em></a><em>. Click <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wbez/id364380278">here</a> to subscribe to the Dynamic Range podcast, and click </em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/science-chicago-presents-afternoon-mythbusters-adam-savage-and-jamie-hyneman"><em>here</em></a><em> for the full MythBusters talk.</em></div></p> Fri, 03 Dec 2010 19:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/adam-savage/behind-scenes-mythbusters New study shows black raspberries may reduce colon cancer risk http://www.wbez.org/story/black-raspberries/new-study-shows-black-raspberries-may-reduce-colon-cancer-risk <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2010-November/2010-11-03/Black Rasberry.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>New research by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago shows a link between black raspberries and a reduction in the development of colon cancer in mice. The study appears in the November issue of Cancer Prevention Research.<br /><br />Dr. Wancai Yang is one of the authors of the study which took place in his lab on UIC&rsquo;s campus. He said mice aren&rsquo;t the only species that could benefit from a diet supplemented with the berries. He hopes to secure funding to begin clinical trials on humans. The study worked with two different mouse models in the study based on the two major causes of tumor formation in the colon.<br /><br />Yang said, based on what they found, the berries could be &ldquo;good for everybody, even people with different backgrounds,&rdquo; but added that patients who already showed signs of inflammation would benefit the most. Because they are 90 percent water when fresh, the berries are most effective when dried because they are smaller and easier to intake.<br /><br />The new findings are the result of a two year collaboration between Dr. Yang and Dr. Greg Stoner of the Ohio State University. Previous studies in mice revealed that black raspberries were also effective in suppressing esophageal tumors. So far no funding has been secured for clinical trials in humans.</p></p> Wed, 03 Nov 2010 21:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/black-raspberries/new-study-shows-black-raspberries-may-reduce-colon-cancer-risk