WBEZ | Front and Center: Water http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en After Water: 'How do you sleep at night?' http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/after-water-how-do-you-sleep-night-110529 <p><p>This summer WBEZ has been reporting <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/dayton-ohio-economic-comeback-water-110520">a lot on water</a> and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/great-lakes-brace-more-toxic-algae-110112">Great Lakes.</a> But this week we are beginning a series that puts a twist on that&mdash;it is called <a href="http://afterwater.tumblr.com/">After Water.</a> We have asked fiction writers to pen stories set in the Great Lakes region some 100 years from now. We paired them with scientists and asked them to leap off from there. &nbsp;</p><p>As we looked for writers who would be game for this experiment, we came across <a href="http://www.michelemorano.com/">Michele Morano</a>. She teaches creative nonfiction at DePaul University and it turned out she was already talking with scientists. We decided to launch our series with the story about those conversations.</p><p>It all started when Morano was having trouble sleeping. She would wake up in the middle of the night, thinking about climate change. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t even think I knew enough then to imagine scenarios, I think I just had this blank fear of, what&#39;s going to happen, what&rsquo;s going to happen to my child?&rdquo; she explained.</p><p>All her 3 a.m Googling wasn&rsquo;t helping much. But then she tripped upon this online support group for people anxious about climate change. No one was debating politics or policy, they were just genuinely trying to figure out the same problem Morano was trying to solve.</p><p>&ldquo;How do we get through, not even through the global warming, but how do we get through what we are facing right now, which is the kind of knowledge that something awful is coming, but not knowing exactly what&rsquo;s that going to look like?&rdquo; said Morano.</p><p>This online support group was for everyday people, but Morano started to wonder if the people who study climate change were having these conversations, too. Do scientist feel better because they know more? Or is it scary studying about what could be ahead? So she did something kind of crazy and kind of brave: she called some of the top climate change scientists and asked: What are you seeing and how are you coping?</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">How it feels to predict the future</span></p><p>Morano thought it would be hard to get the scientists to be emotionally open, but it turned out they were eager to talk. Some scientists said they just did not focus on the future too much, because they had to detach themselves if they were going to keep working to solve the problem. Others said they worried about their children and grandchildren.</p><p>Morano says most scientists she talked with did not &nbsp;think we will be able to stop the earth from heating up by at least <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/02/1402277-global-warming-2-degree-target/">two degrees on average</a>. As Morano talked with scientists, she started to get a more real idea of what that was going to look like.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/water-issues-in-the-west-could">What water issues in California mean for the Midwest</a></strong></p></blockquote><p><a href="https://woods.stanford.edu/about/woods-faculty/terry-root">Terry Root</a>, one of the &ldquo;go-to scientists&rdquo; looking at how animals and plants handle climate change, told Morano that if we get to 2 degrees warmer, we could lose 20 to 40 percent of all the known species on the planet. If we get to 4 degrees warmer then we could lose as many as half.</p><p>&ldquo;Some of them are going to be species that we need. How do we know what species we need ahead of time? We can&rsquo;t save them all. That&rsquo;s why I get into<a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/conservationists-triage-determine-which-endangered-species-to-save/"> triage</a>,&rdquo; Root told Morano.</p><p>Morano said it was comforting for someone to be frank about the harsh situation we were up against, it was also comforting to hear such practical solutions. But Morano says she could tell that Root was also someone who was struggling with the realities.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I just had a discussion on the phone with my boyfriend about how much longer can I do what I&rsquo;m doing,&rdquo; Root told Morano. &ldquo;I &nbsp;mean all I do all day long is think about how species are going extinct. It is tough. It truly is tough.&rdquo;</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/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-21%20at%2012.01.48%20AM.png" style="height: 438px; width: 620px;" title="This little brown fish is called a sculpin. (Flickr/Ohio Sea Grant)" /></div><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The local take</span></p><p>Morano talked to scientists all across the country. But we wanted to hear local scientists answer Morano&rsquo;s questions&mdash;what were they predicting for Chicago and how they were coping with those predictions. So we joined Morano as she talked to some local scientists.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/california-drought-renews-debate-regional-food-systems-110497" target="_blank">Will California drought prompt more Midwest agriculture?</a></strong></p></blockquote><p><a href="http://www.sheddaquarium.org/Conservation--Research/Conservation-Research-Experts/Dr-Phillip-Willink/">Philip Willink</a> is a research biologist at Shedd Aquarium and he took us down to Lake Michigan. He said the lakes are predicted to get warmer and he pointed out species that would thrive in that environment, such as the &nbsp;big mouth bass. But he also told us about species that would struggle in warmer water, for example, a fish called a sculpin.</p><p>Sculpins are not the kind of charismatic creature that you&rsquo;d see in an environmental ad&mdash;like a dolphin. It&rsquo;s brown and grumpy looking. But Willink studies it. It is his brown fish.</p><p>He says sculpins are having a hard time because of habitat destruction and invasive species. But climate models show the fish may have bigger problems. The fish likes cool water.</p><p>&ldquo;So do we go through all the effort to save this species from invasive species and habitat loss if it&rsquo;s just going to be doomed by climate change?&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Willink says studying an obscure and at-risk fish can be a lonely pursuit. But as a scientist he is used to change.</p><p>&ldquo;If we were to go out over here in Lake Michigan there&rsquo;s the remnants of a forest, because we know at one time Lake Michigan was 50 to 100 feet lower, at one time. &nbsp;So we know over the past several thousand years the waters have gone up and down,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>To understand the kind of long-term changes Willink talks about we went next door to The Field Museum where we met <a href="http://www.fieldmuseum.org/users/abigail-derby-lewis">Abigail Derby</a>, a conservation ecologist.</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/Screen%20Shot%202014-07-21%20at%2012.02.00%20AM.png" style="height: 421px; width: 620px;" title=" A display from the Field Museum’s Evolving Planet exhibit. (Flickr/Rebecca Gaines)" /></div><p>She took us to an exhibit on <a href="https://www.fieldmuseum.org/happening/exhibits/evolving-planet">earth&rsquo;s evolution.</a> The exhibit covers five mass extinctions, including the dinosaurs. Then at one point, you turn a corner, and you are suddenly in present day&mdash;the sixth mass extinction. &nbsp;According to a ticker in the museum, 33 species were estimated to have gone extinct between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. that day.</p><p>Derby told us that there are two big differences between current mass extinction and the previous five. The first is the rate: change is happening faster than at any other time we know about in geological history. The second big difference is what&rsquo;s causing the change; Derby calls this the driver. And this time, it&rsquo;s us.</p><p>&ldquo;The good news for the driver is we can change that. We can make choices to do something different,&rdquo; said Derby.</p><p>Morano asked her how optimistic she was that we would make the right choices, and make them quick enough.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it depends on the day you ask me,&rdquo; she told us ruefully. &ldquo;I happen to work with municipalities to do green infrastructure, and I find that a very rewarding and very optimistic field to be in. There is lots of action on the local level.&rdquo;</p><p>Derby acknowledged that she was not quite answering the question. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;I purposefully didn&rsquo;t answer whether or not I felt that we would make enough gains in the amount of time needed to reduce the most negative impacts, because I feel in some way if I say out loud, &lsquo;Oh I don&rsquo;t think that can happen,&rsquo; then somehow I am contributing to it not happening. And I don&rsquo;t truly believe in my heart of hearts that it can&rsquo;t happen. So I am careful about what I say. Because at the end of the day I want the message to be what you do matters.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/drought-drives-drilling-frenzy-groundwater-california-110483">Drought drives drilling frenzy for groundwater in California</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>There&rsquo;s <a href="http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/the-psychology-of-climate-change">research</a> that backs up Derby&rsquo;s worry. It shows that if you tell people about a possibly terrible future and you do not give them any sense of hope, they shut down.</p><p>Scientists worry about that because they want people to act on the research. Morano said almost everyone she spoke to was optimistic technologically and pessimistic politically.</p><p>&ldquo;Over and over again people said, we can fix this. But we&rsquo;re not doing it. And there&rsquo;s no indication we will.&rdquo; said Morano.</p><p>One of the reasons for that political pessimism is because of how we think about time.</p><p>For scientists who study big changes&mdash;the formation of the lakes, species adaptation&mdash;it may be easier to think over long, geological stretches.</p><p>But it&rsquo;s a struggle for the rest of us to think even 10, 20 or 100 years into the future.</p><p>But that is just what we are up to in a series we are beginning today. We&rsquo;re focusing on the future of the Great Lakes, in a way that is a little different for us. We have brought fiction writers together with scientists and then asked the writers to create stories set decades from now&mdash;when clean, fresh water could be a rare resource.</p><p>We want to contemplate the future from a dual lens of science and art. We will be sharing our writers&rsquo; stories online and on air over the next couple of weeks. It&rsquo;s called <a href="http://afterwater.tumblr.com/about">After Water.</a> We hope you join us.</p><p><em>Michele Morano teaches creative non-fiction at DePaul and is working on an essay about her climate conversations. You can find out<a href="http://www.michelemorano.com/"> more about her work here</a>. </em></p><p><em>Shannon Heffernan is a WBEZ reporter. <a href="http://twitter.com/shannon_h">Follow her</a>.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">***</p><p><em>Front and Center is funded by The Joyce Foundation: Improving the quality of life in the Great Lakes region and across the country. </em><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 23:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/after-water-how-do-you-sleep-night-110529 California drought renews debate on regional food systems http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/california-drought-renews-debate-regional-food-systems-110497 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/DROUGHT MIDWEST.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>At a Chicago area farmers market in July you won&rsquo;t see many signs of the California drought. This is the time of year when produce lovers can pretty much gorge on all the local cherries, blueberries and zucchini they want.</p><p>But this wasn&rsquo;t the case in January.</p><p>&ldquo;What we saw was extremely high prices on kales, leafy greens etc in the first part of the year,&rdquo; said Bob Scaman president of Goodness Greenness the Midwest&rsquo;s biggest distributor of organic produce.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/drought-drives-drilling-frenzy-groundwater-california-110483">Drought drives drilling frenzy for groundwater in California</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>And as the year wore on, Scaman says, the effects of the drought only got worse. Farmers had to decide which crops they were going to water and which they weren&rsquo;t resulting in what he called the California &ldquo;cherry season that didn&rsquo;t exist in 2014.&rdquo;</p><p>Luckily, the Washington State cherry crop was booming this year. And today Michigan cherries have filled any other gaps. But Scaman warns that this bounty will last for only about another 100 days in the Midwest.</p><p>&ldquo;But going into the late fall, early winter when we are relying again on California we are going to be right back where we were on these drought supplies,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;and we will be negatively affected back here in the Midwest.&rdquo;</p><p>One Arizona State University study says that the California drought is likely to push items like avocados and lettuce up 28 to 34 percent.&nbsp; And the USDA expects drought and other factors to push domestic food prices for meat and produce up 3 to 6 percent this year.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Business professor Timothy Richards who conducted the Arizona State study noted that the pricier California crops could drive more retailers to source their produce from Mexico and Chile. But others think we should go the other way and reestablish more regional food systems again.</p><p>&ldquo;This is the ideal storm for the local food network in the Midwest,&rdquo; Scaman said. &ldquo;It really brings home what people have been talking about for years: the need to grow more local food, stabilize the food supply and build the local market.&rdquo;</p><blockquote><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="20" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158677537&amp;color=ff5500&amp;inverse=false&amp;auto_play=false" width="100%"></iframe><strong>Related: <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/water-issues-in-the-west-could">What water issues in California mean for the Midwest</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Adding to the drought problems this year were high summer gas prices that further argued for more localized food production.<br /><br />&ldquo;So not only is there less product but we are paying more to transport it from California,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got a double whammy coming at us. So when you look at local food supplies, we&rsquo;ve got a little more stability in getting it to the marketplace, lesser freight costs and we are growing our local economies.&rdquo;</p><p>Terra Brockman founded the Land Connection, a local non-profit that helps train Midwest farmers. She says that while the drought hasn&rsquo;t made big waves among local farmers so far, it has revived important questions.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Like, &lsquo;Why do we have plenty of farmers market farmers and CSA farmers but not enough people growing at a slightly bigger scale that could produce quantities of fruits and vegetables that could go into our grocery stores and school cafeterias and other institutions where people are shopping and eating,&rdquo; Brockman said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a question of building infrastructure and putting together policies and funding to make that happen.&rdquo;</p><p>Brockman says that Land Connection has recently applied for grants to teach Midwest farmers techniques for extending the notoriously short growing season.</p><p>Bob Borchardt of Harvest Moons Farm in Wisconsin says he is already using some of them and investigating others.</p><p>&ldquo;Some kind of controlled environment growing is really the answer,&rdquo; he said, &ldquo;whether it be greenhouses or hoop houses or inside and vertical gardens. Anything that we can do to push more local product into the non-conventional farming months here in the Midwest I think are things that need to be on top of our list as producers.&rdquo;</p><p>Brockman notes that farmers can also extend the seasons by planting varieties of vegetables that mature early or late in the season.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s like an early broccoli and a late broccoli,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;One that comes to fruition earlier and later. Just not putting your eggs in one basket or not just planting one kind of broccoli you can sort of insure yourself from whatever the season might be.&rdquo;</p><p>But she says the drought isn&rsquo;t the only water related issue causing debate in Midwest agricultural circles.</p><p>&ldquo;If you&rsquo;re concerned about water then you have to be concerned about agriculture because the thing that affects our water quality the most of anything in this state is agriculture,&rdquo; she says.</p><p>&ldquo;So that&rsquo;s everything from erosion and soil washing into our rivers and silting them up and making them inhospitable for river life, and especially the run off. So in Illinois the main source of pollution in our waterways is industrial farming, and the amount of nitrogen fertilizer that runs off that becomes a dead zone the size of Delaware in the Gulf of Mexico is due to runoff from Illinois and Midwest corn fields.&rdquo;</p><p>Brockman hopes that concern for our waterways will prompt Midwest farmers to swap synthetic fertilizers for crop rotations that take longer but can fertilize the soil naturally.</p><p>Scaman, however, has aspirations that go one step further. Given the growing demand for local produce and the richness of Illinois soil, he hopes the drought might convince some corn and soy farmers--whose harvests go primarily to processed food, animal feed and ethanol tanks--to grow crops suitable for local human consumption.</p><p>&ldquo;Years and years ago, Illinois as an example was one of the largest vegetable growing states in the country,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t necessarily need to just grow soybeans and corn. There is a need for vegetable production here in the Midwest to supply Chicago and other cities. And it provides a lot of economic opportunities for rural communities. So [the drought] has really brought that need to the forefront. You are seeing more and more farmers every year and more local produce. And the demand for local is off the charts.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/california-drought-renews-debate-regional-food-systems-110497 Drought drives drilling frenzy for groundwater in California http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/drought-drives-drilling-frenzy-groundwater-california-110483 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Rig_DeLaCruz_SK.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>The drought in California may be thousands of miles away, but it&rsquo;s having a direct effect on the rest of the country, including the Great Lakes region. </em></p><p><em>As part of our Front &amp; Center series, we&rsquo;ll be reporting on that all week.</em><em> But first we take you back to California, which grows nearly 50 percent of the nation&rsquo;s produce.</em><em> </em></p><p><em>The situation for farmers and ranchers has become so dire there&rsquo;s a potentially dangerous drilling boom going on. Not for oil or gas. For water. </em></p><blockquote><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="20" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158677537&amp;color=ff5500&amp;inverse=false&amp;auto_play=false" width="100%"></iframe><strong>Related: <a href="https://soundcloud.com/morningshiftwbez/water-issues-in-the-west-could">What water issues in California mean for the Midwest</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>Steve Arthur practically lives out of his truck these days. But he&rsquo;s not homeless. He runs one of Fresno&rsquo;s busiest well drilling companies.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s officially getting crazy. We go and we go but it just seems like we can&rsquo;t go fast enough,&rdquo; he says, sitting behind the steering wheel as he hustles up and down Highway 99 to check on drilling rigs that run 24 hours a day, probing for water.</p><p>Some days, Arthur doesn&rsquo;t even have time to stop for gas; he&rsquo;s got an extra tank hooked up to the flatbed of his pickup. He says he&rsquo;s lucky if he gets three hours of sleep a night.</p><p>&ldquo;Toward the end of the week, I start to get run down pretty good,&rdquo; he sighs. &ldquo;On a Friday afternoon, you might see me parked on the side of the road taking a cat nap.&rdquo;</p><p>Counties in the farm-rich Central Valley are issuing record numbers of permits for new water wells. Arthur says his company&rsquo;s got an eight-month waiting list. Some of his competitors are backlogged more than a year. Drillers like Arthur say they&rsquo;re even busier than they were during the drought of 1977, when Californians drilled 28 thousand new wells.</p><blockquote><p><strong>Related: <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/california-drought-renews-debate-regional-food-systems-110497">Will California drought prompt a stronger Midwest food system?</a></strong></p></blockquote><p>&ldquo;This is off the scales, here,&rdquo; says Arthur, shaking his head. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just amazing, the amount of people that call and want wells. A customer called this morning and I&rsquo;m supposed to do two for him, and he said, &lsquo;Add 14 to the list.&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;You have to literally grab these guys and drag &lsquo;em to your property and say &lsquo;Please, please drill me a well!,&rsquo;&rdquo; laments citrus farmer Matt Fisher, who&rsquo;s been scrambling to keep his trees alive after learning that he won&rsquo;t get any water from federal reservoirs this year.</p><p>&ldquo;I have even heard of drilling companies that won&rsquo;t tell growers who&rsquo;s in front of them, because guys are trying to buy the other guy&rsquo;s spot in line,&rdquo; says Fisher. &ldquo;Its crazy, some of the things that are going on, but if you&rsquo;re in our shoes, and you have to pay a guy $10,000 for his spot in line, that&rsquo;s cheap compared to what you&rsquo;re going to lose if you lose your whole orchard.&rdquo;</p><p>It&rsquo;s not always about losing trees, though. Right where a brand new almond orchard will be planted in rural Fresno County, a 70-foot high drilling rig bores a hole in the earth 2,500 feet deep. This well will cost the farmer about a million dollars.</p><p>Juan de La Cruz works on this rig 12 hours a day, seven days a week, carefully guiding the drill bit. He&rsquo;s standing in a little hut next to the drill hole that they call &lsquo;the doghouse.&rsquo; It&rsquo;s where workers keep a log of the layers of sand and clay they find, collecting samples every ten feet as the drill probes deeper.</p><p>It&rsquo;s also home to two other essential pieces of gear: a microwave and a fridge.</p><p>&ldquo;This is basically where we live while we&rsquo;re working,&rdquo; says De La Cruz in Spanish. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve got some nopales (cacti) and zucchinis in here to cook up. The farmers bring us cantaloupes, tomatoes, whatever we want. They are so grateful because when we&rsquo;re done with this well, these fields will have water.&rdquo;</p><p>Bob Zimmerer&rsquo;s company, Zim Industries, owns this rig and a dozen others. He knows there&rsquo;s a silver lining to the drought for well drillers this year. But he knows it can&rsquo;t last forever.</p><p>&ldquo;We can&rsquo;t keep sustaining this amount of overdraft, we all know that,&rdquo; says Zimmerer, standing on the platform next to the drill. &ldquo;At this point in time, we don&rsquo;t want to keep going on at this pace. It&rsquo;s more of a temporary fix.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s a sobering admission from a well driller.</p><p>California&rsquo;s aquifers supply 40 percent of the state&rsquo;s water in normal years but in this drought year, it could be closer to 65 percent. That makes it our biggest water reserve &ndash;- bigger than the Sierra snowpack.</p><p>Scientists are already sounding alarm bells about pumping too much groundwater. State water managers estimate that water tables in some parts of the Valley have dropped 100 feet below historical lows. As water levels sink, the land can sink, too &mdash; in some places by about a foot per year. Groundwater pumping could also put more stress on the San Andreas Fault.</p><p>That&rsquo;s not the only seismic consequence.</p><p>&ldquo;We are a one-way trajectory towards depletion. Toward running out of groundwater in the Central Valley,&rdquo; warns Jay Famiglietti, a hydrologist at UC Irvine. He points out that California is the only western state that doesn&rsquo;t really monitor or regulate how much groundwater farmers and residents are using.</p><p>&ldquo;If you own property, you can dig a well and you can pump as much groundwater as you a want,&rdquo; says Famiglietti, &ldquo;even if that means you are drawing water in from beneath your neighbor&rsquo;s property into your well. So it&rsquo;s not unlike having several straws in a glass, and everyone drinking at the same time, and no one really watching the level.&rdquo;</p><p>That could change. A bill making its way through the state legislature could, for the first time ever, require local agencies to track, and in some cases, even restrict groundwater pumping. Some farmers oppose it, saying it&rsquo;s a violation of their property rights.</p><p>But retired attorney and water activist Jerry Cadagan says counties should be thinking hard right now about the permits they&rsquo;re giving to farmers to drill thousands of new wells.</p><p>&ldquo;You&rsquo;ve got to put reasonable restrictions so people are only pumping out a reasonable amount of water that underlies their land,&rdquo; says Cadagan, who lives in Stanislaus County, and is suing farmers there for drilling wells without considering the environmental impact. &ldquo;Groundwater is like a bank account. You can&rsquo;t take out more than you put in on an ongoing basis.&rdquo;</p><p>Farmers too, are starting to worry. In Merced County, farm leaders are trying to stop two private landowners from selling as much as 7 billion gallons of well water to farmers in another county. They call it &ldquo;groundwater mining.&rdquo;</p></p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:55:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-and-center-water/drought-drives-drilling-frenzy-groundwater-california-110483 College presidents wary of Obama tuition plan http://www.wbez.org/story/college-presidents-wary-obama-tuition-plan-95925 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/SIGNAdjusted.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Public university presidents facing ever-increasing state budget cuts are raising concerns about President Barack Obama's plan to force colleges and universities to contain tuition prices or face losing federal dollars.</p><p>Illinois State University President Al Bowman says the reality is that deficits in many public schools can't be easily overcome with simple modifications. Bowman says he's happy to hear Obama call for state-level support of public universities but adds that, given the decreases in state aid, tying federal support to tuition is a product of "fuzzy math."</p><p>During a speech Friday at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Obama fired a warning shot at the nation's colleges and universities, threatening to strip their federal aid if they "jack up tuition" every year and to give the money instead to schools showing restraint and value.</p><p>Obama is targeting only a small part of the financial aid picture — the $3 billion known as campus-based aid that flows through college administrators to students. He is proposing to increase that amount to $10 billion and change how it is distributed to reward schools that hold down costs and ensure that more poor students complete their education.</p><p>The bulk of the more than $140 billion in federal grants and loans goes directly to students and would not be affected.</p><p><strong>Focus on improving clarity, transparency in aid process</strong></p><p>As part of his broad plans to make college more affordable, Obama said Friday that he would push for financial aid "shopping sheets" that make it easier for families to comparison shop between schools.</p><p>Federal education officials say the goal is make adoption of the form mandatory for schools to maintain access to federal aid.</p><p>As it stands, officials say the financial aid award letters that schools mail out to students in the spring can be unclear or even misleading. That can result in students signing up for more debt than they realize.</p><p>For example, schools usually state an "out of pocket" cost in award letters after subtracting aid such as grants and scholarships. But some schools also subtract loans from the out-of-pocket cost. That's despite the fact that loans actually push up costs because of interest charges.</p><p>Schools also may not spell out the type of loans that's included in the aid package, even though the terms on federal and private loans can differ significantly.</p><p>To address the issue, the Department of Education and the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rolled out a model financial aid form in October and asked for the public's comments on how it could be improved. On Friday, the CFPB said feedback indicated the most important figure for students is the amount of debt they would have upon graduation.</p><p>The Department of Education was required to develop the model form as part of federal education reforms in 2008. The adoption of such a form has also been widely supported by student advocates.</p><p>The push to standardize financial aid award letters comes at a time when students are graduating with more debt than ever before. The Institute for College Access &amp; Success estimates that two-thirds of graduates have student loans, with an average debt of about $24,000.</p><p><strong>Congressional reaction mixed</strong></p><p>Obama can't proceed, though, without the OK from Congress, where the reaction of Republican lawmakers ranged from muted to skeptical. Higher education leaders worried about the details and the threat of government overreach, and one dismissed it as mere election-year "political theater."</p><p>Average tuition and fees at public colleges rose 8.3 percent this year and, with room and board, now exceed $17,000 a year, according to the College Board.</p><p>Obama delivered his proposal with campaign flair, mounting a mainstream appeal to young voters and struggling families. He said higher education has become an imperative for success in America, but the cost has grown unrealistic for too many families, and the debt burden unbearable.</p><p>"We are putting colleges on notice," Obama told an arena packed with cheering students at the University of Michigan.</p><p>"You can't assume that you'll just jack up tuition every single year. If you can't stop tuition from going up, then the funding you get from taxpayers each year will go down."</p><p>Rising tuition costs have been attributed to a variety of factors, among them a decline in state dollars and competition for the best facilities and professors. Washington's leverage to take on the rising cost of college is limited because American higher education is decentralized, with most student aid following the student. And that's not counting the legislative gridlock.</p><p>"If you were a betting person, you would not bet on it getting done, simply because the political atmosphere in Washington is so poisonous," said Terry Hartle, senior vice president at the American Council on Education, an organization that represents colleges in Washington.</p><p>Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said Obama put forward "interesting ideas that deserve a careful review." But Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., who leads a House panel with jurisdiction over higher education, said Obama's plan should have tackled federal regulations that she said contribute to the problem.</p><p>The top Democrat on the House education committee, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said Congress has bipartisan concern about the rising costs of college and thinks the president's plan will open up a conversation about the problem. Some Republicans in the past, including Rep. Buck McKeon of California, have offered proposals similar to the president's.</p><p>Others were sharper in their critique.</p><p>Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a former education secretary, questioned whether Obama can enforce any plan that shifts federal aid away from colleges and universities without hurting the students it is meant to help. "The federal government has no business doing this," he said.</p><p><strong>Key stop in key electoral state</strong></p><p>Enacted or not, Obama's plan may have the kind of popular appeal he can use in the campaign.</p><p>In Ann Arbor, he soaked up the cheers of students as he outlined the agenda from his State of the Union speech, and gave a shout out to the popular quarterback of the school's football team. And Obama used the college-aid matter to put the onus for action on Republicans, again painting them as obstructionists and himself as the fighter for the middle class.</p><p>Mary Sue Coleman, president of University of Michigan, said schools should be challenged to find ways to restrain costs, but they can't continue to make up for state cuts. Money for state universities in Michigan dropped by 15 percent in this year's state budget, and many — including the University of Michigan — raised tuition to help make up for the lost support.</p><p>Obama challenged states to be more responsible, too.</p><p>"He recognizes every part of it," Coleman said. "That's what was so powerful about the speech."</p><p>Kevin Carey, policy director at the independent Education Sector think tank, said higher education leaders will surely detest Obama's plan even if they do not say so directly.</p><p>"Instead, they'll work behind the scenes to kill it," Carey predicted.</p><p>University of Washington President Mike Young said Obama showed he did not understand how the budgets of public universities work. Young said the total cost to educate college students in Washington state, which is paid for by both tuition and state government dollars, has actually gone down because of efficiencies on campus. While universities are tightening costs, the state is cutting their subsidies and authorizing tuition increases to make up for the loss.</p><p>"They really should know better," Young said. "This really is political theater of the worst sort."</p><p>Obama also wants to create a "Race to the Top" competition in higher education similar to the one his administration used on lower grades. He wants to encourage states to make better use of higher education dollars in exchange for $1 billion in prize money. A second competition called "First in the World" would encourage innovation to boost productivity on campuses.</p><p>Obama is also pushing for the creation of more tools to help students determine which colleges and universities have the best value.</p><p>Michigan was Obama's last stop on a five-day trip to sell his State of the Union agenda in politically important states.</p><p>The White House has begun facing criticism from Republicans and daily questions from reporters about the blurring of Obama's governing and campaign-style events. Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said Obama went before Michigan students to promote a policy idea.</p><p>Said Carney: "We're not going to tell people not to applaud."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Associated Press writers Kimberly Helfing, Candace Choi, Ben Feller and Julie Pace in Washington, David Runk in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Donna Gordon Blankinship in Seattle contributed to this story.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Sat, 28 Jan 2012 15:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/college-presidents-wary-obama-tuition-plan-95925 Using sound to find leaks and save dollars http://www.wbez.org/content/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-22/RS4348_Henry Listening to X mic on Hydrant-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-22/RS4348_Henry Listening to X mic on Hydrant-scr.JPG" style="width: 275px; height: 366px; margin: 2px 10px; float: left;" title="With the X Mic placed directly on the fire hydrant, Tim’s crew mate Henry listens for signs of a leak. (Front and Center/Sarah Lu) ">While fresh water is abundant in our region, water loss has an economic cost. It is common for local water utilities to lose between ten and twenty percent of treated drinking water in transmission due to leaky underground pipes. To cut down on water loss, some local utilities have formed their own leak investigation units.</p><p>Illinois American Water in Woodridge created a leak investigation department about two years ago. To see what a day in the life of a leak detector is like, I meet up with supervisor Tim Morris and his crew on a quiet tree-lined street in Bolingbrook.</p><p>“We received a phone call from a customer, saying that they found that their parkway was saturated.” Morris says.</p><p>We survey this customer's front lawn, and a small patch of grass squishes under my feet.</p><p>The customer comes out to talk to us. He points to the squishy area and says, “There’s water all the time here. It all comes up over here"</p><p>The water in his lawn could be groundwater that collects there because of a drainage issue. But if it’s a leaky pipe, Morris and his crew can help by pin-pointing the cause. We can see that there might be a leak, but to find the possible source, Morris’s crew relies on sound.</p><p>They place a sensitive microphone called an “X Mic” directly onto the closest fire hydrant.</p><p>“We’re trying to listen to find the leak,” Morris says.</p><p>A loud squealing sound is a sure sign of a major leak. I hear a quieter sound, which tells us there <em>could</em>be a small leak. To further their investigation, Morris and his crew use another piece of equipment that measures sound waves. It’s called a correlater.</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/greatlakesjobs"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"><strong>GRAPH: </strong></span><strong>Great Lakes, great source for jobs?</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/resource-wars-mining-vs-environment-94162">Resource wars: mining vs. the enviroment</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>One correlater box is attached to the fire hydrant. Another correlater box is attached to a valve at the end of a pipe about one hundred feet away.</p><p>“What they’re doing is they’re sending signals back and forth to each other, trying to find out where they’re losing the frequency that they’re initially sending out,” Morris says as he looks at the correlater readings on a small screen. “You can see from our graph that it’s about twenty-six feet from the red spot there.”</p><p>Morris’s crew mate Skip Semetulskis marks the spot. It’s about ten feet away from the saturated, squishy ground where we first saw evidence of a leak.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-22/RS4350_Skip Marking the Spot-scr.JPG" style="width: 275px; height: 366px; float: left; margin: 2px 10px;" title="Tim’s crew mate Skip measures a distance of twenty six feet away from the fire hydrant, where the correlater’s graph shows there might be a leak. (Front and Center/Sarah Lu) "></p><p>Morris says,“You know, if the maintenance crew had come out here before we did any kind of work, they would have dug right here. They would have dug, and if this hadn’t been the spot, then they would have trenched. So now if everything else leads it to being at that point, we dig right there, it ends up being right there, then that just saved us ten feet of excavation. That’s time, that’s money, and that’s the customer’s inconvenience. We were able to limit that. “</p><p>In this way, a proactive approach to leak detection reduces the costs of recouping lost water.</p><p>Morris says that eventually, the Leak Detection Department at Illinois American will pay for itself. Since they started, they have already saved a lot of water.</p><p>“My team has been able to save a loss of tens of millions of gallons over the last year and a half. Less than ten percent of all the earth’s water is drinkable. Lake Michigan itself is constantly losing water. It is a limited resource. I take my job at a very personal level. I love what I do."</p></p> Fri, 25 Nov 2011 14:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/using-sound-find-leaks-and-save-dollars Company doubling jobs with defense contract http://www.wbez.org/content/company-doubling-jobs-defense-contract-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-21/MarinetteMarine.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A shipbuilder in northeastern Wisconsin plans to double its workforce thanks to a contract with the United States Navy. Marinette Marine will build at least ten Littoral Combat Ships. Called the LCS for short, the ships represent a new direction for the Navy, according to company president Charles Goddard.</p><p>The LCS is small by military standards. The ships are less than 400 feet in length and are able to navigate in shallow waters close to shore. Each ship costs an estimated $400 million and takes a year and a half to construct. Once the initial ten ships are built and delivered Goddard says his company will have the opportunity to bid on more. He says the Navy may eventually want 55 littorals.</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-21/MarinetteMarine.jpg" style="margin-right: 15px; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 183px; " title="(U.S Navy/Tiffini M. Jones)">The company is located in Marinette, Wisc. It’s a city of about 20,000 located 60 miles north of Green Bay on the shore of Lake Michigan. The region has a long history of shipbuilding dating back more than one hundred years. The company itself began making ships in 1942 and has employed generations of area residents.</p><p>Goddard says the company currently employs 1,100 workers. “Seven hundred of those are hourly wage earners," he says. "They’re union employees, they’re steel fitters, they’re welders, pipe fitters, they’re electricians, they’re painters, they’re outfitters.” He says Marinette Marine is hiring 35 to 40 people each month, “so by the end of the year we’ll be at 1,200 and over the next year and a half we’ll essentially double the work force here.”</p><p> <style type="text/css"> div .inline { width: 290px; float: left; margin-right: 19px; margin-left: 3px; clear: left; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }div .inlineContent { border-top: 1px dotted rgb(170, 33, 29); margin-bottom: 5px; margin-top: 2px; }ul { margin-left: 15px; }li { font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: 1em; background-repeat: no-repeat; background-position: 0pt 5px; padding-left: 3px; margin-bottom: 0.5em; }</style> </p><div class="inline"><div class="inlineContent"><a href="/frontandcenter"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-06/FC-logo-sm_0.jpg" style="width: 280px; height: 38px;" title=""></a><ul><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/greatlakesjobs"><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);"><strong>GRAPH: </strong></span><strong>Great Lakes, great source for jobs?</strong></a></li><li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/imadeajob"><strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">INTERACT: </span>Made a job? Tell us about it</strong></a></li><li><strong><a href="http://www.wbez.org/story/resource-wars-mining-vs-environment-94162">Resource wars: mining vs. the enviroment</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="inlineContent">&nbsp;</div></div><p>To ensure a supply of qualified workers Marinette Marine is working with a local technical college. Only 15 percent of local residents have four-year college degrees. So technical training is important to ensure skilled workers. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, NWTC, is instituting two new degree programs. One is a certification in Marine Construction. It’s a three-semester course that teaches students a variety of welding techniques, safety requirements, and familiarizes them with blue prints. The other is an Associates’ Degree in marine engineering, which teaches more technically involved aspects of shipbuilding.</p><p>According to Pat O’Hara, the Dean of NWTC’s Marinette Campus, the new training programs are part of the school’s efforts to brand the region as a ship building powerhouse. “That’s going to be our North Coast Marine Training center, coining this as the North Coast of the United States," O'Hara says. "Our goal is to be the premiere marine manufacturing training center in the Midwest.”</p><p>Student Logan Dettman is in the inaugural class of the marine construction program. After he completes his schooling he says his first stop will be Marinette Marine’s human resources department. “I feel like getting a job is hard today and with a little bit of schooling, [you can] get your foot in the door and get a good job there," he says. "The pay is a little higher and everything else.”</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-21/BuildingImage.jpg" style="margin-right: 15px; margin-top: 15px; margin-bottom: 15px; float: left; width: 275px; height: 203px; " title="(Photo courtesy of Marinette Marine Corporation)">Marinette Marine president Chuck Goddard says people like Dettman may well be the next chapter in the company’s seventy year history. “There’s a great heritage of shipbuilding here and there’s a lot of people here, their fathers worked in the shipyard, their uncles, their mom," he says. "And they’re continuing that tradition.”&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Besides direct employment with Marinette Marine, the Navy contract is expected to have a manufacturing “ripple effect.” The company buys parts from other Wisconsin based suppliers. Also the Navy requires its contract holders to buy American made parts whenever possible. The company is also spending $75 million dollars to improve and expand its shipyard. Local contractors have been hired to build a new construction building and a new paint shop.</p><p>Marinette Marine is owned by an Italian company, Fincantieri. It was one of two companies tapped to build the LCS. The other is, Austal USA, based in Mobile Alabama.</p><p>Marinette Marine’s first LCS was the USS Freedom, which has is already being used by the Navy. The second ship, the USS Fort Worth, will be delivered early in 2012. Work is underway on the third vessel.</p></p> Tue, 22 Nov 2011 13:30:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/content/company-doubling-jobs-defense-contract-0 Milwaukee taps into Great Lakes' economic potential at Water Summit http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-20/milwaukee-taps-great-lakes-economic-potential-water-summit-92215 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/Milwaukee.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>An airtight solution for unemployment, the top issue in the U.S. of late, remained unsolved by politicians and policymakers alike. But for the city of <a href="http://www.visitmilwaukee.org" target="_blank">Milwaukee</a>, the economic future was clear: water. The Wisconsin city planned to bank on Great Lakes water and the technology to clean it for their economic boost. In an effort to further that vision, dozens of the region’s top water scientists, business leaders and politicians gathered at the <a href="http://www.thewatercouncil.com/temp2/water-summit/" target="_blank">Water Summit</a> in Milwaukee.</p><p>WBEZ’s Cecilia Vaisman was at the Summit yesterday. Vaisman is the editor of <em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter" target="_blank">Front and Center</a></em>, WBEZ’s project exploring critical Great Lakes issues, and she joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>with an update from the summit.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 14:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-20/milwaukee-taps-great-lakes-economic-potential-water-summit-92215 Postcard: Detroit's floating post office http://www.wbez.org/content/postcard-detroits-floating-post-office-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-May/2011-05-31/img_1542.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="384" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/25048736?title=0" width="577"></iframe></p><p>Twenty percent of the earth’s fresh surface water is contained in the five Great Lakes. From industry to recreation, the lakes affect life in the Great Lakes region. That connection is the focus of a new WBEZ series called <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter" target="_blank"><em>Front and Center</em></a>.</p><p>Over the next several weeks the series will be examining critical issues centered on water. The first installment takes a look at how the lakes affect our lives.&nbsp;</p><p>In the banks of the Detroit River, there sits the J.W. Westcott. The ship is only 45 feet long.&nbsp; But believe it or not, it has its own zip code.</p><p>Since 1874, the J.W. Westcott Company has served the Great Lakes Waterways,&nbsp; delivering mail and freight to cargo ships on the Detroit River.</p><p>Zak Rosen provided an audio postcard for <em>Front and Center</em> - Chicago Public Media’s new series about the Great Lakes.</p></p> Tue, 20 Sep 2011 06:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/postcard-detroits-floating-post-office-0 Testing festival-goers taste: bottle or tap? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-16/testing-festival-goers-taste-bottle-or-tap-92074 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-16/3175532558_539de1558e_b.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>WBEZ&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter" target="_blank"><em>Front and Center</em></a> series covers a host of environmental issues in the Great Lakes region&ndash;-from the air Midwesterns breathe to the water they drink. Water quality is a big challenge. Sure, Chicago has lots of freshwater &ndash; a resource many are clamoring for. But<em> Front and Center</em> was interested in another debate, a controversy that just wouldn&#39;t go away: Which is better &ndash; tap or bottled water? The environment and a person&#39;s health were at stake in its answer. But for some, it could just came down to taste. <em>Front and Center</em>&rsquo;s Maham Khan decided to do a little experiment this summer at the <a href="http://milwaukeeavenueartsfestival.org/" target="_blank">Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival</a>.</p><p>There was no better place to find thirsty people, willing to sip some water, than at a street festival on a hot July Sunday.<em> </em>Khan filled one bottle with tap water and another with bottled water. She asked festival-goers at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival in Chicago to try one of each and determine which was what and which they liked better.</p><p>Loud speakers blasted everything from live hip-hop to Polka music. Patrons wandered from booth to booth in search of art. But at Khan&rsquo;s booth, instead of art, they found a challenge: &ldquo;Which do you like better?&rdquo; WBEZ&#39;s volunteer Emilja Novatovich asked this question of each sipper after offering them unlabeled cups of water.</p><p>Victor Navarez was sure his was tap water.</p><p>&ldquo;Tap water. Of course, you can taste the plastic&hellip;the chemical they put in there. I grew up with tap water, and I just think it&rsquo;s good. And now, I mean they&rsquo;re selling us water!&rdquo; Navarez explained.</p><p>The little experiment may have been unscientific but it took place against a backdrop laden with science&mdash;around purity, nutrition, environment and even taste.</p><p>One festival-goer smacked his mouth as he tasted the samples.<br />&ldquo;I can&rsquo;t tell the difference&rdquo; he said at first. But after more smacking, determined one was tapped, the other was bottled&mdash;and he preferred the tap.</p><p>But his estimation was wrong&mdash;and the samples were reversed.</p><p>&ldquo;Both of these are exactly the same right?&rdquo; Angie Hall asked. Hall thought Maham and company were messing with her because they also asked folks if they could identify which is tapped or bottled. Like Hall, over half of the sippers could not tell the difference.</p><p>&ldquo;They taste exactly the same, so therefore why fill up landfills with plastic bottles?&rdquo; Hall asked.</p><p>Hall&rsquo;s question got right into the kind of questions one side of the debate asked. Many of the pro-tap water drinkers at the festival brought up their concerns about the carbon foot print bottled water might leave behind. The advocacy group Food and Water Watch said it was a pretty big footprint&mdash;75 percent of plastic bottles still end up in landfills instead of being recycled.</p><p>One taster was pleased to learn that the sample he preferred was bottled water, which he often invested in.</p><p>Which brought up another contingent&mdash;Americans who collectively spend $21 billion a year on bottled water&mdash;some insisted it was taste; others were convinced bottled water is more pure&mdash;and convenient. A lot of the bottled water lovers said water on the go is a plus.<br />Samplers had their convictions about what was at stake in the choice&mdash;and it turned out, a blind taste test was not easy.</p><p>Ramon Rodriguez confessed he was just thirsty and had no idea there was difference. He was visiting from Puerto Rico.</p><p>He tried the bottled water first.</p><p>&ldquo;Ugh; that was awful,&rdquo; he said. A bit of an overreaction later, he tried the tap water.&ldquo;Ah, a lot fresher,&rdquo; he sighed.</p><p>In a sample of more than 300 thirsty festival-goers, almost half of the sampled Chicagoans&mdash;and one Puerto Rican visitor in particular&mdash;preferred the taste of Lake Michigan tap water over bottled.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><em>Music Button: Ron Trent &amp; Chaz Daimer, &quot;Morning Factory&quot;, (Prescription)<br />Music today provided by guest DJ, DJ Frique</em></p><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 16 Sep 2011 15:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-16/testing-festival-goers-taste-bottle-or-tap-92074 The face of climate change in Lake Superior http://www.wbez.org/content/face-climate-change-lake-superior <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/frontandcenter/photo/2011-07-12/89058/six.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><div class="daylife_smartgalleries_container" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 375px; width: 500px;"><iframe class="daylife_smartgalleries_frame" src="http://galleries.wbez.org/gallery_slideshow/1310510116211?width=500&amp;disable_link_to_hosted_page=0&amp;height=375&amp;show_related=0" style="border: medium none; margin: 0pt; padding: 0pt; overflow: hidden; height: 100%; width: 100%;" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></div><p>Wednesday we reported how <a href="http://www.wbez.org/frontandcenter/2011-07-13/climate-change-hits-mightiest-great-lakes-89058">climate change isn’t just hitting polar bears and melting glaciers</a>. Scientists and advocates say it’s hitting the Great Lakes too. Now, see the land and people who are feeling and researching the impact.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jul 2011 16:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/face-climate-change-lake-superior