WBEZ | Culture http://www.wbez.org/news/culture Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, 1st black player in team history, dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/banks_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Baseball&#39;s Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. &quot;Mr. Cub,&quot; who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team &mdash; eighth in the majors overall &mdash; and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.</p><p>&quot;Forty-four years after his retirement, Banks holds franchise records for hits, intentional walks and sacrifice flies and in RBIs since 1900,&quot; <a href="http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/107316594/beloved-mr-cub-hall-of-famer-banks-dies-at-83" target="_blank">MLB.com reports</a>. &quot;He likely holds club records for smiles and handshakes as well. ... His 2,528 games are the most by anyone who never participated in postseason play. Chicago never held him responsible for that and believed he deserved better.&quot;</p><p>Banks, who was 83, was named National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.</p><p>His back-to-back MVP awards were among the few given to players on losing teams, notes The <em>Associated Press</em>:</p><div><blockquote><p>&quot;Banks&#39; best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP.</p><p>&quot;Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-sullivan-ernie-banks-spt-0124-20150123-story.html" target="_blank">describes the outlook of Banks, who also was known as &quot;Mr. Sunshine&quot;</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Ernie Banks didn&#39;t invent day baseball or help build Wrigley Field. He just made the idea of playing a baseball game under the sun at the corner of Clark and Addison streets sound like a day in paradise, win or lose. ... He was a player who promoted the game like he was part of the marketing department. Not because he had to, but because he truly loved the Cubs and the game itself.&quot;</p></blockquote></div><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/24/379510352/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-in-team-history-dies">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 Advocates urge McDonald's to serve meat raised without antibiotics http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-urge-mcdonalds-serve-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-111441 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/antibiotics mcdonalds.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Advocacy groups are urging McDonald&rsquo;s Corp to stop serving meat from animals fed antibiotics.</p><p>Members of the Illinois Public Interest Research Group, the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition and Rosenthal Group held a press conference at Sopraffina Caffe in the Loop Thursday to formally challenge the fast food giant to rethink its meat sourcing on the issue.</p><p>McDonald&rsquo;s Corp did not respond to requests for comment.</p><p>Leading the charge was Illinois PIRG, which launched the campaign along with its national parent in seven cities across the country Thursday.</p><p>&ldquo;This is part of a larger public health issue of antibiotic resistance,&rdquo; said Illinois PIRG advocate Dev Gowda. &ldquo;The overuse of antibiotics on factory farms and the practice of feeding antibiotics to healthy farm animals is leading to antibiotic resistance. Now 2 million Americans get sick each year and 23,000 die from antibiotic resistant infections&nbsp; It&rsquo;s a danger when people go to the doctor for routine infections and they get antibiotics, but sometimes they don&rsquo;t work. So it&rsquo;s a really scary situation for many families.&rdquo;</p><p>Joining him was Taryn Kelly of the Rosenthal Group which owns Sopraffina Caffes, Poag Mahone and Trattoria No. 10 in Chicago. Four years ago all of those restaurants began sourcing their meat exclusively from producers who do not use antibiotics on healthy animals.</p><p>&ldquo;It is hard work. It takes dedication and passion,&rdquo; Kelly said. &ldquo;You have to be passionate about the cause. And the more restaurants we can get on board the easier it will before us. That&rsquo;s why we are here urging a big player like McDonald&rsquo;s to get on board with us.&rdquo;</p><p>When asked how such changes in sourcing affected prices for consumers, Kelly pointed out prices on the menu boards at the restaurant which included an 8-inch sandwich filled with grass fed beef raised without antibiotics. It cost $8.99. A 12-inch sausage and pepperoni pizza for two costs $10.49.</p><p>National chain Chick-Fil-A has pledged to start sourcing its chicken from producers who don&rsquo;t use antibiotics within five years and local chain Hannah&rsquo;s Bretzel has already instituted those standards for all of its meat.</p><p>In a released statement Rosenthal group president Dan Rosenthal said, &ldquo;If McDonald&rsquo;s were to [demand meat raised without antibiotics from] its suppliers, it would be a game changer, and one that would help preserve these vital drugs for our kids and grandkids. We&rsquo;ve done it for all the meat we buy for our restaurants&hellip;it&rsquo;ll take time, but McDonald&rsquo;s can do it, too!&rdquo;</p><p>In 2003, McDonald&rsquo;s put in place a policy that would prevent the use of antibiotics for growth promotion but would still allow them for disease prevention among healthy animals. And they do not apply to all producers.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Thu, 22 Jan 2015 14:09:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/advocates-urge-mcdonalds-serve-meat-raised-without-antibiotics-111441 E-Cigarettes can churn out high levels of formaldehyde http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/e-cigarettes-can-churn-out-high-levels-formaldehyde-111430 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/vaping_slide-259922e9c838be3bf53a7f24472dd9a2796845e2-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Vapor produced by electronic cigarettes can contain a surprisingly high concentration of formaldehyde &mdash; a known carcinogen &mdash; researchers reported Wednesday.</p><p>The findings, described in a letter <a href="http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1413069">published</a> in the <em>New England Journal of Medicine</em>, intensify <a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/12/16/371253640/teens-now-reach-for-e-cigarettes-over-regular-ones">concern</a> about the safety of electronic cigarettes, which have become increasingly popular.</p><p>&quot;I think this is just one more piece of evidence amid a number of pieces of evidence that e-cigarettes are not absolutely safe,&quot; says <a href="http://www.pdx.edu/profile/david-peyton">David Peyton</a>, a chemistry professor at Portland State University who helped conduct the research.</p><p>The e-cigarette industry immediately dismissed the findings, saying the measurements were made under unrealistic conditions.</p><p>&quot;They clearly did not talk to [people who use e-cigarettes] to understand this,&quot; says <a href="http://vaping.com/news/greg-conley-to-lead-american-vaping-association">Gregory Conley</a> of the American Vaping Association. &quot;They think, &#39;Oh well. If we hit the button for so many seconds and that produces formaldehyde, then we have a new public health crisis to report.&#39; &quot; But that&#39;s not the right way to think about it, Conley suggests.</p><p>E-cigarettes work by heating a liquid that contains nicotine to create a vapor that users inhale. They&#39;re generally considered safer than regular cigarettes, because some research has suggested that the level of most toxicants in the vapor is much lower than the levels in smoke.</p><p>Some public health experts think vaping could prevent some people from starting to smoke traditional tobacco cigarettes, and could help some longtime smokers kick the habit.</p><p>But many health experts are also worried that so little is known about e-cigarettes that they may pose unknown risks. So Peyton and his colleagues decided to take a closer look at what&#39;s in that vapor.</p><p>&quot;We simulated vaping by drawing the vapor &mdash; the aerosol &mdash; into a syringe, sort of simulating the lungs,&quot; Peyton says. That enabled the researchers to conduct a detailed chemical analysis of the vapor. They found something unexpected when the devices were dialed up to their highest settings.</p><p>&quot;To our surprise, we found masked formaldehyde in the liquid droplet particles in the aerosol,&quot; Peyton says.</p><p>He calls it &quot;masked&quot; formaldehyde because it&#39;s in a slightly different form than regular formaldehyde &ndash; a form that could increase the likelihood it would get deposited in the lung. And the researchers didn&#39;t just find a little of the toxicant.</p><p>&quot;We found this form of formaldehyde at significantly higher concentrations than even regular cigarettes [contain] &mdash; between five[fold] and fifteenfold higher concentration of formaldehyde than in cigarettes,&quot; Peyton says.</p><p>And formaldehyde is a known carcinogen.</p><p>&quot;Long-term exposure is recognized as contributing to lung cancer,&quot; say Peyton. &quot;And so we would like to minimize contact (to the extent one can) especially to delicate tissues like the lungs.&quot;</p><p>Conley says the researchers only found formaldehyde when the e-cigarettes were cranked up to their highest voltage levels.</p><p>&quot;If you hold the button on an e-cigarette for 100 seconds, you could potentially produce 100 times more formaldehyde than you would ever get from a cigarette,&quot; Conley says. &quot;But no human vaper would ever vape at that condition, because within one second their lungs would be incredibly uncomfortable.&quot;</p><p>That&#39;s because the vapor would be so hot. Conley compares it to overcooking a steak.</p><p>&quot;I can take a steak and I can cook it on the grill for the next 18 hours, and that steak will be absolutely chock-full of carcinogens,&quot; he says. &quot;But the steak will also be charcoal, so no one will eat it.&quot;</p><p>Peyton acknowledges that he found no formaldehyde when the e-cigarettes were set at low levels. But he says he thinks plenty of people use the high settings.</p><p>&quot;As I walk around town and look at people using these electronic cigarette devices it&#39;s not difficult to tell what sort of setting they&#39;re using,&quot; Peyton says. &quot;You can see how much of the aerosol they&#39;re blowing out. It&#39;s not small amounts.&quot;</p><p>It&#39;s pretty clear to me,&quot; he says, &quot;that at least some of the users are using the high levels.&quot;</p><p>So Peyton hopes the government will tightly regulate the electronic devices. The Food and Drug Administration is in the process of deciding just how strict it should be.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/21/378663944/e-cigarettes-can-churn-out-high-levels-of-formaldehyde" target="_blank">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:21:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/e-cigarettes-can-churn-out-high-levels-formaldehyde-111430 How food gets the 'Non-GMO' label http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-food-gets-non-gmo-label-111423 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/gmo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Demand for products that don&#39;t contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is exploding.</p><p>And now many food companies are seeking certification for products that don&#39;t have any genetically modified ingredients, and not just the brands popular in the health food aisle. Even <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/original-cheerios-now-free-gmo-ingredients#.VJBo8zHF_pU">Cheerios</a>, that iconic cereal from General Mills, no longer contains GMOs.</p><p>&quot;We currently are at over $8.5 billion in annual sales of verified products,&quot; says Megan Westgate, executive director of the <a href="http://www.nongmoproject.org/">Non GMO Project</a>, an independent organization that verifies products.</p><p>To receive the <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/28/283460420/why-the-non-gmo-label-is-organic-s-frenemy">label</a>, a product has to be certified as containing ingredients with less than 1 percent genetic modification. Westgate says that&#39;s a realistic standard, while totally GMO-free is not. She says natural foods stores began the process of defining a standard, involving other interested players along the way, including consumers. Now, General Mills is just one of the big food companies selling non-GMO products.</p><p>Sales of food labeled as non-GMO ballooned to over $3 billion in 2013, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-gmo-fight-ripples-down-the-food-chain-1407465378">according</a> to <em>The Wall Street Journal.</em></p><p>&quot;Interestingly, with all of this traction in the natural sector,&quot; Westgate says, &quot;we&#39;re increasingly seeing more conventional companies coming on board and having their products verified.&quot;</p><p>But how does a company get into the non-GMO game? They might call <a href="http://www.foodchainid.com/">FoodChain ID</a>, a company in Fairfield, Iowa, that can shepherd a firm through the process. It&#39;s one of the third-party auditors that certifies products for the Non-GMO Project.</p><p>&quot;We start looking at ingredients, and we identify what are all the ingredients,&quot; says David Carter, FoodChain ID&#39;s general manager. &quot;And of course, the label itself doesn&#39;t always identify all of those. So we need to be sure that we have a list of all the processing aids, the carriers and all the inputs that go into a product.&quot;</p><p>Next, FoodChain ID figures out where each ingredient and input came from. If there&#39;s honey in cookies, for example, the company will have to show that the bees that make the honey aren&#39;t feeding near genetically modified corn. When there&#39;s even the smallest risk that an ingredient could contain a modified gene, DNA testing is in order.</p><p>FoodChain ID has a lab where a machine can extract the DNA from ingredient samples in order to analyze it. If that test finds no evidence of GMOs, the ingredient can go in the cookies. Carter says he can barely keep up with the number of inquiries coming in from companies that want certification.</p><p>&quot;The demand is now very, very high, and it has been for probably over a year in particular,&quot; Carter says.</p><p>To date, FoodChain ID says it has verified 17,000 ingredients from 10,000 suppliers in 96 countries.</p><p>It may take hundreds of dollars for some products to get a non-GMO label, depending on how many ingredients are already verified as being GMO-free and how many are not.</p><p>But even with the rising demand, non-GMO products make up a small fraction of the marketplace. More than <a href="http://harvestpublicmedia.org/content/acres-genetically-modified-corn-nearly-doubled-decade#.VJBlbTHF_pU">90 percent</a> of corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. contains genetically modified traits. And those two crops are ubiquitous in processed foods like packaged cookies. Still, if the current trend continues, it seems likely that more farmers will consider planting non-GMO crops.</p><p>Various companies sell non-GMO seeds, but they can be more difficult to find. Plant breeder Alix Paez hopes his central Iowa seed company, Genetic Enterprises International, can help fill that market niche.</p><p>&quot;We are a very small company,&quot; Paez says &quot;so our strategy is to find niche markets for farmers that are looking for non-GMO products.&quot;</p><p>Farmers pay a premium for seeds that are genetically modified to withstand pests, or <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/01/24/265687251/soil-weedkillers-and-gmos-when-numbers-don-t-tell-the-whole-story">engineered</a> to tolerate popular herbicides, making it easier for farmers to use those chemicals to kill weeds. Paez and his wife, Mary Jane, hope to develop seeds than can achieve the same yields without those expensive, patented traits. This past season, they grew test plots on a farm in Boone County, Iowa, which they harvested this fall with an ancient red Massey Ferguson combine.</p><p>Paez studies the effectiveness of each hybrid seed variety. It&#39;s slow and meticulous work. But the careful data collection is key to determining whether a new, non-GMO hybrid can be competitive in the marketplace.</p><p>&quot;One of the main things is yield,&quot; Paez says. &quot;Stand-ability, consistent performance, disease tolerance &mdash; things like that.&quot;</p><p>If these seeds make the grade, farmers could potentially save some money. And their grain might fetch a premium, especially as demand for <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/26/283112526/chickens-laying-organic-eggs-eat-imported-food-and-its-pricey">non-GMO animal feed</a> grows. Because the only way to end up with non-GMO certified meat is to raise animals on non-GMO feed.</p><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2015/01/20/378361539/how-your-food-gets-the-non-gmo-label" target="_blank">via NPR&#39;s The Salt</a></em></p></p> Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/how-food-gets-non-gmo-label-111423 Studs Terkel's 1963 Train Ride to Washington http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/studs-terkels-1963-train-ride-washington-111414 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/mlk.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Among the hundreds of thousands who joined Martin Luther King, Jr. for the 1963 March on Washington D.C for civil rights were some 800 Chicagoans who traveled there overnight by train. Chicago legend Studs Terkel went with them. He brought his tape recorder and chronicled the whole journey. The voices and thoughts of his fellow travelers bring us all a little closer to that historic experience. The trip culminated with King&#39;s now-famous &quot;I Have a Dream&quot; speech.</p><p><em>Find more audio from Studs Terkel&#39;s archives at WFMT&#39;s <a href="http://studsterkel.org" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">studsterkel.org</a></em></p></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:39:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/studs-terkels-1963-train-ride-washington-111414 Transgender teenager named Prom Queen http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 150116 Reyna Ortiz A bh.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When he was 12, Ray Ortiz packed a blue duffel bag and prepared to leave home forever.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s just no way in hell that I&rsquo;m going to live a life that I&rsquo;m not happy with,&rdquo; Ortiz remembers thinking.</p><p>&ldquo;At the time I didn&rsquo;t know what transgender was,&rdquo; Ortiz says in this week&rsquo;s StoryCorps. Kids at school called him &ldquo;Gay Ray,&rdquo; so he assumed that he was gay.</p><p>He wrote his mom a letter saying &ldquo;not only was I gay, but that I wanted to be a girl.&rdquo;<br />She was supportive and gradually Ray transitioned to living life as a female, going by the name Reyna and using female pronouns. &ldquo;I just made a mental decision like: I&rsquo;m going to do what I want. And I don&rsquo;t care what anybody else has to say.&rdquo;</p><p>Ortiz has three brothers, one older and two younger. And they provided a lot of support when it came time for her to attend Morton East High School in Cicero.</p><p>Other students were &ldquo;horrendous,&rdquo; Reyna said. She told her older brother and she says he went to her high school, into her classroom and confronted her bully. She says kids never bothered her again.</p><p>Ortiz became friends with the most beautiful girls in school. &ldquo;And they were willing to fight and slap somebody if they disrespected me,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But eventually people just got used to me. By my junior year, I can honestly say, I ruled that school.&rdquo;</p><p>Emmanuel&nbsp;Garcia was a sophomore at Morton East when Ortiz was a senior. Garcia was struggling to come to terms with his identity as a gay Latino man. &ldquo;Seeing someone who was so open and out with their gender identity, it was intimidating,&rdquo; Garcia said in an interview recently. &ldquo;She carried herself so fearlessly.&rdquo;</p><p>During Reyna&rsquo;s senior year, she was nominated for Prom Queen. She went without a date, and sat by herself when the court was announced.</p><p>Then, they announced the winner: &ldquo;&rsquo;And the winner of Prom Queen of 1998 - Ray Ortiz.&rsquo; And I just remember everybody coming to the stage. When I turned around it was just flashing lights and paparazzi. Pictures everywhere and people applauding.&ldquo;</p><p>&ldquo;We always hear that the Latino community is full of machismo and we never hear about a community embracing their own,&rdquo; Garcia said. &ldquo;To have this person kind of pioneer sexuality and gender identity in 1998 was unheard of.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 16 Jan 2015 08:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/transgender-teenager-named-prom-queen-111411 At the Oscar nominations, it's a good year to be an idiosyncratic man http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oscar-nominations-its-good-year-be-idiosyncratic-man-111405 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/birdman-1resize-cd7db05b4df1f65214edda519363243bebd71451-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Oscar nominations are in (you can see the full list&nbsp;<a href="http://oscar.go.com/nominees?cid=oscars_nominees_announcement_cadillac" target="_blank">here</a>), and&nbsp;<em>Birdman&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel&nbsp;</em>lead with nine nominations each, followed closely by&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game&nbsp;</em>with eight. Speaking of eight, this year, eight films will compete for Best Picture:</p><p>1.&nbsp;<em>American Sniper</em>, starring Bradley Cooper, based on the memoir of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.</p><p>2.&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Richard Linklater&#39;s 12-year chronicle of the life of a boy from kindergarten to college.</p><p>3.&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, starring Michael Keaton as an actor who once played a superhero and attempts a comeback on Broadway.</p><p>4.&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em>, Wes Anderson&#39;s offbeat but meticulously drawn story of a concierge played by Ralph Fiennes and his young protege.</p><p>5.&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, liberally adapted from the actual life of Alan Turing, the mathematician who broke Germany&#39;s Enigma Code during World War II and was later prosecuted for homosexuality.</p><p>6.&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>, about the marriage and early career of scientist Stephen Hawking.</p><p>7.&nbsp;<em>Whiplash</em>, the tense tale of a drummer played by Miles Teller facing off against a teacher played by veteran actor J.K. Simmons.</p><p>8.&nbsp;<em>Selma</em>, Ava DuVernay&#39;s dramatization of the events surrounding the Selma civil rights marches of 1964 and the development of the Voting Rights Act.</p><p>Lead actors nominated include Steve Carell for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, Bradley Cooper for<em>American Sniper</em>, Benedict Cumberbatch for&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, Michael Keaton for<em>Birdman</em>, and Eddie Redmayne for&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>. Lead actresses are Marion Cotillard for&nbsp;<em>Two Days One Night</em>, Felicity Jones for&nbsp;<em>The Theory Of Everything</em>, Julianne Moore for&nbsp;<em>Still Alice</em>, Rosamund Pike for&nbsp;<em>Gone Girl</em>, and Reese Witherspoon for&nbsp;<em>Wild</em>.</p><p>On the supporting actor side, the nominees are Robert Duvall for&nbsp;<em>The Judge</em>, Ethan Hawke for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Edward Norton for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, Mark Ruffalo for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, and J.K. Simmons &mdash; the expected winner &mdash; for&nbsp;<em>Whiplash</em>. Supporting actresses are Patricia Arquette for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, Laura Dern for&nbsp;<em>Wild</em>, Keira Knightley for&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game</em>, Emma Stone for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, and Meryl Streep for&nbsp;<em>Into The Woods</em>.</p><p>Once upon a time, there were five Best Picture nominees each year. The awards for 2009 expanded the field to ten. But in 2011, the number was adjusted again so that it could be anywhere between five and ten, depending on the way the votes fell. For three consecutive years, this has resulted in a nine-film field; this year, it shrinks slightly.</p><p>Every year, there is a capricious quality to the nominations that makes it difficult to draw any particular meaning from them, but there are likely to be a few discussion points floating around today in the wake of these announcements.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Even for the Oscars &mdash;&nbsp;<em>even for the Oscars&nbsp;</em>&mdash; this is a really, really lot of white people. Every nominated actor in Lead and Supporting categories &mdash; 20 actors in all &mdash; is white.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Every nominated director is male. Every nominated screenwriter is male.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Shall we look at story? Every Best Picture nominee here is predominantly about a man or a couple of men, and seven of the eight are about white men, several of whom have similar sort of &quot;complicated genius&quot; profiles, whether they&#39;re real or fictional.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Particularly in light of these two points, the lack of a Best Director nomination for DuVernay (nominations went to Alejandro González Iñárritu for&nbsp;<em>Birdman</em>, Linklater, Bennett Miller for&nbsp;<em>Foxcatcher</em>, Wes Anderson, and Morten Tyldum) is a disappointment not only for those who admired the film and her careful work behind the camera, but also for those who see her as a figure of hope, considering how rare it is for even films about civil rights to have black directors, and how rare it is for any high-profile project at all to be directed by a woman. Scarcity of opportunity tends to breed much lower tolerance for the whimsical sense that nominations normally have, so that even people who know better than to take Oscar voting to heart feel the sting of what seems like a deliberate snub. (While the film has been criticized for the places were it takes liberties with facts, that issue doesn&#39;t comfortably explain any challenges it faces with voters, given the welcoming of&nbsp;<em>The Imitation Game&nbsp;</em>and<em>Foxcatcher</em>, both of which have been criticized for substantial alterations to the stories of not supporting characters but principal characters.)</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Similarly, David Oyelowo was considered a good bet for his portrayal of Martin Luther King, Jr. in&nbsp;<em>Selma</em>, but the film was shut out of everything except Best Picture and Best Original Song. How a film can qualify for Best Picture and have practically no other elements worthy of recognition is an eternal &mdash; but here, particularly painful &mdash; bit of bafflement. (My friend Bob Mondello will be heartbroken that Timothy Spall was not nominated in the same category for&nbsp;<em>Mr. Turner</em>. Bob also points out that there are zero big box-office films among these eight Best Picture nominees.)</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Christopher Nolan&#39;s<em>&nbsp;Interstellar</em>, perhaps the most anticipated film of the year that doesn&#39;t involve superheroes, grabbed five nominations, but other than the score, they&#39;re all visual/sound &mdash; nothing in writing, acting, directing, or cinematography.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The strong showing for&nbsp;<em>Boyhood</em>, with six nominations, and&nbsp;<em>The Grand Budapest Hotel</em>, with nine, is awfully nice for those who like to think you can still get Oscar nominations without throwing your film into the fourth quarter (or, in fact, the last couple of weeks) of the year.&nbsp;<em>Boyhood&nbsp;</em>opened all the way back in August, and&nbsp;<em>Grand Budapest&nbsp;</em>in March 2014, which &mdash; for the purpose of this kind of thing &mdash; is practically 2012.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-While the expanded field was once expected to perhaps provide spaces in the Best Picture race for well-regarded blockbusters, kids&#39; films or even superhero movies, that has never taken hold, as it might have this year with something like&nbsp;<em>Guardians Of The Galaxy&nbsp;</em>or&nbsp;<em>The Lego Movie</em>. Instead, it seems to provide space for more of the most traditionally Oscar-ish films to make the cut.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Wes Anderson is a beloved director for many movie enthusiasts, and this is the first time he&#39;s been nominated outside of writing (for&nbsp;<em>Moonrise Kingdom&nbsp;</em>and&nbsp;<em>The Royal Tenenbaums</em>) and animation (for&nbsp;<em>The Fantastic Mr. Fox</em>). Along with Linklater, he&#39;s perhaps transitioning from an indie writer admired for offbeat storytelling to a maker of Best Picture contenders.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-Four of the eight nominees are dramatizations of real events. That&#39;s well within range for recent years, as prestige pictures have more and more focused on telling stories with various levels of connection to history. And after&nbsp;<em>12 Years A Slave</em>,&nbsp;<em>Lincoln</em>, and&nbsp;<em>The Help</em>, this makes four years in a row that a film focused on the story of race in America has been in the running.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The documentary&nbsp;<em>Life Itself</em>, about Roger Ebert and made by popular documentary filmmaker Steve James, was one of the most-discussed docs of the year, but was not nominated for Best Documentary Feature. (Nominees were&nbsp;<em>Citizenfour</em>,&nbsp;<em>Finding Vivian Maier</em>,&nbsp;<em>Last Days In Vietnam</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Salt Of The Earth</em>, and&nbsp;<em>Virunga</em>.) It&#39;s going to be received as a significant snub, but honestly, if anyone would have known, at least intellectually, not to take it to heart, it would have been Roger Ebert.</p><p style="margin-left:15pt;">-The extraordinarily popular and well-received&nbsp;<em>The LEGO Movie&nbsp;</em>failed to get a nomination for Best Animated Feature against&nbsp;<em>Big Hero 6</em>,&nbsp;<em>The Boxtrolls</em>,&nbsp;<em>How To Train Your Dragon 2</em>,&nbsp;<em>Song Of The Sea</em>, and&nbsp;<em>The Tale Of Princess Kaguya</em>. Gotta say: nothing against the other nominees, because I haven&#39;t even seen all of them, but I can&#39;t explain that one. At least they nominated the song, so I, for one, will soothe myself with 85 consecutive choruses of &quot;Everything Is Awesome.&quot;</p><p><em>-via <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2015/01/15/377406709/at-the-oscar-nominations-its-a-good-year-to-be-an-idiosyncratic-man">NPR&#39;s Monkey See</a></em></p></p> Thu, 15 Jan 2015 08:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/oscar-nominations-its-good-year-be-idiosyncratic-man-111405 The first great album of 2015 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-01/first-great-album-2015-111391 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/The-Decemberists-What-A-Terrible-World-What-A-Beautiful-World.jpg" style="height: 620px; width: 620px;" title="" /></div><p>Let&rsquo;s get this out of the way right up front: Even if you haven&rsquo;t heard about their hometown naming next Friday &ldquo;<a href="http://www.oregonlive.com/music/index.ssf/2015/01/january_20_decemberists_day_portland.html">The Decemberists Day</a>,&rdquo; with an official proclamation to be presented by Portland Mayor Kyle MacLachlan.... er, Charlie Hales... at that craft-beer-and-Chemex-brewing, bearded-hipsters Mecca, or you didn&rsquo;t catch bandleader Colin Meloy announcing this new release by <a href="http://pitchfork.com/news/57193-the-decemberists-announce-new-album-with-colin-meloy-busking-on-brooklyn-street/">busking on the streets of Brooklyn</a>, he and his co-conspirators give the skeptical plenty of reasons to scoff.</p><p>Start with the cumbersome title of their long-awaited seventh album <em>What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World, </em>and move on to capital-&ldquo;r&rdquo; Romantic lyrics that once again are rife with characters such as the gown-wearing Philomena (who prompts the unusually bawdy confession from our former English and Theater-major bandleader: &ldquo;All I ever wanted in the world was just to live to see a naked girl/But I found I&rsquo;ve quickly bored, I wanted more, I wanted more!&rdquo;) and the Cavalry Captain, a possible veteran of Tennyson&rsquo;s infamous Light Brigade, who &ldquo;is the remedy to your heart.&rdquo;</p><p>Then, too, you must wrestle with the usual bounty of musical filigree, from horn sections to doo-wop choirs, all decorating a Celtic/hill-country lilt to many of the songs that Meloy always credits to the cooler end of &rsquo;70s British folk-rock crossed with the Smiths, but which resonates just as much of prime Jethro Tull (think <em>Songs from the Wood</em>) and ELP in its &ldquo;Lucky Man&rdquo; mode.</p><p>None of that matters. As a geeky history buff with special passions for the Napoleonic and Victorian eras, as an English professor, and as an unabashed progressive-rock fan, I&rsquo;ve always lapped it all up. But even if I put on my cynical punk-rock glasses, I just can&rsquo;t condemn Meloy and his mates for their excesses, not when these are accompanied by such a healthy sense of humor, whether one thinks of the band <a href="http://www.jimdero.com/News2007/DecemberistsatMillennium.htm">performing with the Grant Park Symphony at the Bean back in 2007</a> and trotting out a <em>papier</em><em>-</em><em>mâché Moby Dick as a stage prop, or revels in the silly video for &ldquo;Make You Better&rdquo; or the lyrics to the new tune &ldquo;The Singer Addresses His Audience&rdquo; (which contains the lines, &ldquo;</em>So when your bridal processional is a televised confessional/To the benefits of Axe shampoo&hellip; We did it all for you&rdquo;).</p><p>&ldquo;We had to change,&rdquo; Meloy also declares in the latter tune, but the changes on the follow-up to <em>The King Is Dead </em>(2011) are minimal indeed: There&rsquo;s the most oblique of political references in &ldquo;12-17-12,&rdquo; the date of the Newton massacre; the unusually straightforward nature of the ballad &ldquo;Make You Better&rdquo; (which features Chicago darling Kelly Hogan on backing vocals), and an attempt to write a timeless folk/blues classic a la &ldquo;You Don&rsquo;t Miss Your Water&rdquo; in &ldquo;Till The Water Is Long Gone.&rdquo; But the overall impression is of familiar Decemberists terrain indeed. And that&rsquo;s fine, too, at least when every one of these 14 tracks boasts a melody as strong as any the band ever has given us.</p><p>That, ultimately, is why we love this group, and why we keep coming back. And your disdain of pretension and allergy to the thesaurus be damned.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Yb8oUbMrydk" width="560"></iframe></p><p><strong>The Decemberists, </strong><strong><em>What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World</em></strong><strong> (Columbia)</strong></p><p><strong>Rating on the four-star scale: 4 stars.</strong></p><p><em><strong>Follow me on Twitter </strong></em><a href="https://twitter.com/JimDeRogatis"><strong><em><strike>@</strike>JimDeRogatis</em></strong></a><em><strong>, join me on </strong></em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jim-DeRo/254753087340"><strong><em>Facebook</em></strong></a><em><strong>, and podcast or stream </strong></em><a href="http://www.soundopinions.org/"><strong>Sound Opinions</strong></a><em><strong>.</strong></em></p></p> Wed, 14 Jan 2015 06:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2015-01/first-great-album-2015-111391 What happens when a Chicago mom tries to become a deer hunter? http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 <p><p><em>Some of the images in the slideshow above depict graphic scenes from deer hunting.</em></p><p>After years of handwringing over the ethics of meat, I decided that this year I needed to kill my own &mdash; or maybe stop eating it.</p><p>My evolution started a decade ago with meat I bought from local farmers who raised the animals outside. Before long I tried to <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2008-09-21/features/0809160163_1_organic-meat-sales-pig-factory"><u>attend the slaughter of every kind of meat I ate</u></a> for a summer. I moved on to<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D45zEpIzxiM"> <u>learning how to butcher</u></a> animals myself. And finally I thought I was ready to kill my own dinner. &nbsp;</p><p>It was <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/columnists/chi-110226-hunt-novices-pictures-photogallery.html"><u>part of a project that I did</u></a> with my then-colleague Barbara Brotman when I was a reporter at the <em>Chicago Tribune</em>.</p><p>We wanted to see if you could take two urban moms and turn them into hunters.</p><p>We worked under hunting mentors including Department of Natural Resources instructors Bill Boggio and Ralph Schultz, who told us &ldquo;If you can learn to walk like a squirrel, you can sneak up on anything in the woods.&rdquo;</p><p>But after freezing through several weekends in deer stands and deer blinds on the Illinois-Iowa border in 2010, we came away with nothing. A minor gun accident convinced our editors that it was probably time to stop. So that was the end of it.</p><p>Or so I thought.</p><p>As I&rsquo;ve continued to report on food ethics over the years the fact that I never faced the true cost of meat &mdash; never killed my meal myself &mdash; has gnawed at my conscience. &nbsp;</p><p>So much so, that this year I decided I had to hunt again. &nbsp;</p><p>I knew it would be a long shot. I&rsquo;d have to get licenses, guns, land, special equipment, time off from work and kids, and mentors to guide me. But somehow I managed to do it.</p><p>I revisited hunter safety. Brushed back up on deer anatomy. And relearned how to shoot a gun.</p><p>My new mentor was Kankakee county horsewoman and hairdresser Amy Strahan. She scouted a spot with me and even convinced her dad, Bill, to help us put together a tree stand.</p><p>Next I headed to the Farm and Fleet boys department for more than $200 in head to toe camo gear. Amy kept my hunting clothes in one of her horse stalls for weeks to soak up animal smells.</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/HUNTER%20AMY.jpg" title="Amy Strahan agreed to become Monica Eng’s hunting partner for this year’s season in Kankakee County. She sits here in the woods just minutes before a four-point buck approached the two of them. (WBEZ/MONICA ENG)" /></div><p>Then in late November, I slipped on those clothes before dawn and jumped into Amy&rsquo;s truck. After a short drive, we crossed a craggy frozen field, climbed into our stand and sat in the darkness with the faint whine of the interstate in the distance. The warmth generated by our hike faded as the frosty predawn temperatures crept under my five layers of clothing. I started to remember that, the last time I tried the biggest challenge was just warding off frost bite. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>But I also remembered that hunting gives you a front row seat to the spectacle of mother nature turning up the house lights on the world. I sat on the east side of the tree stand and welcomed the tiny warm of the rising sun on my face. &nbsp;</p><p>Three frigid deerless hours later, &nbsp;I was thrilled to hear Amy announce that she had to get to work and we called it a day. I spent the rest of the day just thawing out and vowing to bring hand and footwarmers next time.</p><p>But by 5 a.m. the next morning I was dressed and trudging through a now-slippery rainsoaked field cradling a 12 gauge shotgun. Let&rsquo;s just say this is not my typical day as an urban food writer. And still no deer. The whole thing was startng to feel futile and a little absurd.</p><p>As we climbed out of our stand for the second morning, I asked Amy what she thought.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a little discouraging,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve usually seen something by now. But we&rsquo;ll just keep trying.&rdquo;</p><p>On the advice of farmer Roger Marcott, who was letting us use his land, we checked out another spot in a treeline across the road.</p><p>This time we had bellies full of big country diner breakfasts and a bottle of doe urine that we dabbed on cottonballs and placed in the trees.</p><p>Before we even loaded our guns, a buck appeared 40 yards away, snorted and dashed off. A doe frolicked in the distance but she was too far to shoot. My mentors always stressed that one of the worst things you can do is maim an animal with a bad shot. Waiting for a clean kill is essential.</p><p>So we settled down on a log tuning into every little crackle in woods. And then just as I was about to nod off, I heard a rustling in the tall dry weeds. A four-point buck was walking right toward us. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>My heart thudded in my chest as the deer browsed the greenery and kept advancing. He was now 15 yards away but facing us. Side shots are always a lot cleaner, but he wouldn&rsquo;t turn. Finally, he raised his head and turned his body to leave.</p><p>Amy had taken four deer in the last five years, but I&rsquo;d never shot anything.&nbsp;</p><p>She held her 20 gauge shotgun steady with her scope focused on the target and assumed I was doing the same.</p><p>But I&rsquo;d chickened out. All I had in hand was my recording equipment.</p><p>Finally, when the deer turned to leave, she took a shot. The deer leapt in the air and dashed away. I assumed she missed or just nicked him. But we followed after him anyway.</p><p>The trail of blood grew thicker as we followed it into another nearby wooded area where just 40 yards away he lay motionless, eyes wide open, tongue flopped to one side and a scarlet hole in his chest.</p><p>I was stunned that it could be over that quickly. Amy was stunned that I never lifted my gun.</p><p>&ldquo;I had no idea you were just recording,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I was waiting patiently, waiting patiently, and then when he turned to leave, I took a shot.&rdquo;</p><p>Amy is a Kankakee mom, hairdresser and horsewoman who agreed to take me hunting this season. It was part of a decade long personal and professional project to&nbsp; understand the true cost of my meat.&nbsp;</p><p>She thought today I&rsquo;d shoot my first deer, but it wasn&rsquo;t to be. She said my face had gone ashen. But we needed to move quickly, to remove his internal organs and cool him down or the meat would start to rot.&nbsp; Neither of us had ever done this.&nbsp;</p><p>So we heaved the 170 pound buck out of the forest and called, Roger Marcotte, the farmer who was letting us use his land.</p><p>While we were waiting, I asked Amy how she felt.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I think I would have been just as happy to let that buck walk on by.&rdquo;</p><p>Even though we both eat meat, the immediacy of the experience was filling us both with some remorse. She confessed that after she shot her first, &ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think I would ever be able to do it again.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Roger arrived in his tractor and we loaded the buck and ourselves into the tractor&rsquo;s bucket, the part usually used to shovel grain or dirt. As we rode across the craggy field, the buck lay at our feet like a sleeping pet. I took some video and thought about how unlike a normal day at the office this had been. But it was about to get even stranger.</p><p>Amy&rsquo;s friend Luke Chappel was waiting for us with his field dressing equipment at the edge of the field.</p><p>&ldquo;Did you bring some [rubber] gloves?&rdquo; Amy asked.<br />&ldquo;No,&rdquo; Luke replied. &ldquo;I just go in raw.&rdquo;<br />&ldquo;Awwww,&rdquo; Amy responded.&rdquo;Really?&rdquo;</p><p>Luke explained the first cut is around the anus cavity to prevent any feces from spoiling the meat. Next we had to gently slice through the skin and fur on the buck&rsquo;s belly to expose and carefully remove his organs.</p><p>Luke&rsquo;s taken dozens of deer as a hunter. I asked if it ever made him sad.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If you don&rsquo;t have some remorse, there&rsquo;s something wrong with you,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You gotta have some remorse. You&rsquo;re taking a life. But this is going to feed your kids. You&rsquo;re not wasting it. You&rsquo;re not just leaving it there and killing things for fun.&rdquo;</p><p>We left the colorful jewel-like pile of organs in the field for the coyotes to eat and brought the carcass across the road to Faith&rsquo;s Farm. Farmer Kim Snyder raises livestock outdoors and she was letting me stay at her house.</p><p>After we hosed off the carcass and cooled it down, we hung it in a barn to dry age several days.</p><p>Amy had to return to her kids but Luke said he&rsquo;d take me out the next morning--the last legal day of the month. I was still feeling pretty shaken by the day&rsquo;s events, but agreed to go.</p><p>After a third restless night of sleep and more dreams about deer, I rose at 4:45 a.m. and was out in the field by 5. Luke and I settled down behind the same log where Amy and I had hunted but saw nothing. We called it a day.</p><p>For the next two weeks, I mulled over the experience, haunted by my failure to pull the trigger. My license granted me one last weekend of hunting in early December. And I went to bed thinking about it every night, but finally decided I was done. My boss, however, thought differently. I ran into him on the Friday of the last hunting window of the season. He said I needed to follow it through.</p><p>So I returned to Roger&rsquo;s land to meet Amy on Sunday, the last day of the season. She was delayed so I struck out on my own. Roger was just a phone call away if I needed help, but the help I needed was a compass. I got lost looking for our old spot and wandered way off course. I&rsquo;m sure I angered and amused several hunters who watched me in their binoculars spook the deer on their land.&nbsp;</p><p>Eventually, I was picked up for trespassing by the landowner. Her name was Vanna. She grows pumpkins and sews American Girl Doll clothing in the off season. I apologized and got a ride back to Faith&rsquo;s Farm.</p><p>There I checked my phone and found a new text from Amy. It said:</p><p>&ldquo;I feel so bad. I&rsquo;m so sorry. I am trying to rally some troops in case you get one. If you have a shot, take it. But I will warn you, the remorse is hardest the first time. But you feel it every time.&rdquo;</p><p>With this warning echoing in my head, I ventured back out into the field--this time to the nearby tree stand. At least I knew how to get there. And I load my gun.</p><p>It was a cold, windy December afternoon and worse in the treestand. But it was also supremely peaceful up there. As a mom whose life is organized by deadlines, I can count on one hand the number of times I&rsquo;ve felt totally justified doing nothing but tuning in to nature for hours.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, as the sun began to fall, it became increasingly clear that today the deer would win and I would lose. They&rsquo;d chosen to make themselves scarce. But I wasn&rsquo;t altogether ungrateful. I honestly don&rsquo;t know if I was ready.</p><p>Farmer Kim Snyder, who was housing me during my trip, told me as much. She blamed it on my city upbringing that didn&rsquo;t prepare me for the realities of animal life and death when it comes to food. She had a point.</p><p>When and if I do go back out next year, I want to feel more confident. I want to leave behind this nagging sense of fear and doubt.</p><p>To do this, hunting expert and author Hank Shaw told me that I needed to get to the range and sharpen my shooting skills in the off season. He said I&rsquo;ll still feel sad after a kill but the least I can do is &ldquo;give any animal I shoot a death that I would be proud to have.&rdquo;</p><p>For that, I&rsquo;ll need practice and maybe even my own a gun. This was never part of the original plan.<br /><br />I still don&rsquo;t know what the future holds. But deer hunting season doesn&rsquo;t start up again&nbsp; in Kankakee County for another 11 months. So I&rsquo;ve got a little time to figure it out.</p><p><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-51e5f9a0-e4d5-f7cb-20cc-67497667a133">Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</span><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 13 Jan 2015 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/what-happens-when-chicago-mom-tries-become-deer-hunter-111390 5 years after quake, Haitian immigrants in U.S. long for home http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/5-years-after-quake-haitian-immigrants-us-long-home-111383 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/0112_eriveau-brockton-624x460.jpg" alt="" /><p><blockquote><p><em>Five years ago today, an earthquake devastated the lives of millions of Haitians. Hundreds of thousands died, and many more were displaced from their homes.&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/" target="_blank">Here &amp; Now&rsquo;</a>s&nbsp;Peter O&rsquo;Dowd&nbsp;went to Brockton, Mass., to speak with a group of Haitians still struggling to adjust to life in America.</em></p></blockquote><p>After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the United States government allowed Haitians already living in the United States and those arriving within a year after the earthquake the opportunity to stay and work.</p><p>According to government data, about 58,000 Haitians qualified. But living in the United States has been a challenge for displaced families, especially for those who came too late to qualify for the special status.</p><p>Five years ago today, Beatrice Gedeon was at home in Port-au-Prince when she says the earth beneath her felt as if it had turned to water.</p><p>&ldquo;The house turned like a circle, a circle, and then I fall on the floor. And then, pop pop pop pop!&rdquo; she says.</p><p>As her home fell down around her, Beatrice tried to protect her 2-year-old daughter. She was also four months pregnant.</p><p>&ldquo;What I say in my heart, even if I die they will find the baby down on me, and I bend over the baby and everything fall down,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I stay down on the floor and pray god, pray god, pray god. After that I don&rsquo;t hear anything.&rdquo;</p><p>Beatrice and her daughter weren&rsquo;t injured, but the home was ruined. The nights that came next were troubled. She and her husband, Atto Eriveau, slept outside. It was cold and dark. She says children buried beneath the rubble of a nearby school called out for help.</p><p>Atto and Beatrice worried about the health of their unborn baby. The hospitals were full. Malaria was in the air.</p><p>&ldquo;Sometimes when I explain that to other people, I almost cry,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s day I am going to remember until I die.&rdquo;</p><p>Atto adds, &ldquo;The earthquake, I can say, changed all our life.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A new, challenging life in America</strong></p><p>A month after the earthquake, the family decided to join Beatrice&rsquo;s mother and sister in Massachusetts, where the baby would be born. Beatrice and Atto had resources. He was a customs inspector. She was a nurse.</p><p>&ldquo;I used to get paid $1,600 every month,&rdquo; Beatrice says &mdash; a fortune in a poor country like Haiti. &ldquo;One month here I could pay my whole year in Haiti for the rent&hellip; That mean I had a good life. I had two maids in my house that took care of my kids. But when we came here, you know, even if you had family here it&rsquo;s very hard because you don&rsquo;t know the system. You don&rsquo;t work, you know.&rdquo;</p><p>Beatrice and her family qualified for something called temporary protected status. After the earthquake, the U.S. government allowed Haitians in the United States to work here without fear of deportation.</p><p>Beatrice wasn&rsquo;t trained to be a nurse in this country, so she took a job as a nursing assistant. Atto is a home health aide. They have four children now. They make less money here than they ever did in Port-au-Prince.</p><p>&ldquo;We have a lot of problems in our country, but I still have some emptiness inside of me,&rdquo; Beatrice says. &ldquo;I need something different. I need to go home&hellip; Every step, every action we take over here we take it in the idea we gonna come back, let&rsquo;s say very soon.&rdquo;</p><p><strong>A &lsquo;robust diaspora&rsquo;</strong></p><p>According to the government, 58,000 Haitians like Beatrice and Atto qualified for protected status in the U.S. after the earthquake. Muzaffar Chisti follows the Haitian diaspora at the Migration Policy Institute.</p><p>In 2010, Chisti says there was no Haitian exodus &ndash; not like there was in the 1990s when Haiti shuddered with political unrest. He says most migration from the island is legal. Large communities have settled in Miami, New York and Boston.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s a very robust diaspora,&rdquo; he explains. &ldquo;It sends about $1.8 billion in remittances a year, which is pretty close to 25 percent of the GDP of Haiti. So it&rsquo;s a very important contributing factor to the Haitian economy.&rdquo;</p><p>Back in Brockton, Beatrice and Atto say they&rsquo;re thankful for the chance to work and occasionally send money home. Protected status for Haitians expires in 2016. By then, they&rsquo;ll be ready to leave.</p><p><strong>Too late for protected status</strong></p><p>Frankine Senozier, 37, isn&rsquo;t so lucky. She also lost her home and her job to the earthquake. But she waited too long to flee Port-au-Prince. By the time she moved to Massachusetts in 2013, the window for protected status had closed.</p><p>Through an interpreter, Frankine says her tourist visa expired long ago. She cannot legally work. She lives with a friend who supports her. When someone offers Frankine money, she asks that it be sent back to Haiti instead &mdash; to her daughter, who still lives there.</p><p>&ldquo;Until now, I don&rsquo;t really get the life that I would like to,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;I know I have a lot of potential. I know I can work. I know I am a professional, but it&rsquo;s not easy to work with my status.&rdquo;</p><p>Five years after the earth shook, Frankine spends much of her time on a church pew. She prays her life will change.</p><p>&ldquo;Since it&rsquo;s worse in my country, I should say I am not really disappointed,&rdquo; Frankine says. &ldquo;I am living by faith. I believe that USA is land of opportunity. I want to seize that opportunity. I want to live by faith. One day things will change.&rdquo;</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbur.org/about/people/peter-odowd" target="_blank">Peter O&rsquo;Dowd</a> is associate managing editor for&nbsp;Here &amp; Now. He tweets&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/odowdpeter" target="_blank">@odowdpeter</a>.</em></p></p> Mon, 12 Jan 2015 13:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/5-years-after-quake-haitian-immigrants-us-long-home-111383