WBEZ | environment http://www.wbez.org/tags/environment Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Is a national policy on school milk boosting lunchtime waste? http://www.wbez.org/news/national-policy-school-milk-boosting-lunchtime-waste-113813 <p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">One day this fall, first grader Russell Muchow brought his usual bagged lunch from home to Kellogg Elementary School in the far Southwest Side Beverly neighborhood. &nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">When it came time for lunch, he wanted to have a cold milk. But when he asked for a carton in the lunch line, his mom Molly Muchow says Russell was told, &ldquo;in order to take the milk (he) had to take the lunch.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/20151103_122235_resized.jpg" style="height: 500px; width: 281px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Inside school garbage can. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" />But the 6-year-old already had a lunch and if he took a second one, he&rsquo;d just have to throw it away. It didn&rsquo;t make sense to him. So when he got home, Molly Muchow says, &ldquo;he was distraught&rdquo; over being told he had to take food he couldn&#39;t eat. &ldquo;That is not what we teach them at home. We don&rsquo;t throw out food. That is unacceptable.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Muchow says she called up the Kellogg school &nbsp;lunch director (Chicago Public Schools officials did not respond to WBEZ requests to interview the lunch director.) and basically got the same message: kids can&rsquo;t take free milk unless they take the whole meal.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">&ldquo;So I said I&rsquo;d just pay for the milk extra,&rdquo; Muchow recalled. &ldquo;And [the lunch director] told me it would actually be better for me to have him take the lunch even if he was going to throw it out, for budget reasons, and numbers and for them.&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">This may sound outrageous from a food waste perspective, but from a school money angle, it&rsquo;s true.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">That&rsquo;s because for each child who takes the full meal &mdash; which includes an entree with milk and a side of fruits or vegetables</span>&nbsp;&mdash; the U.S. Department of Agriculture pays CPS $3.15, which it shares with the food service company Aramark.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">But if a child just takes a milk, the district and Aramark get nothing from the feds.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">The situation recently dominated a Kellogg Local School Council meeting, but it&rsquo;s an issue that&rsquo;s rooted in federal policy.</span></p><p dir="ltr">&quot;In order for it to be a reimbursable meal by USDA the lunch needs to include all the meal components,&quot; explained USDA regional administrator Tim English. &quot;And that would be a grain, vegetable or fruit, milk and meat or meat alternate. The idea is that we want to provide kids who are taking school lunch with a well-rounded meal.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8546053033_e95eaad450_k.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="Students and parents at a Chicago public school say that when kids just want a single part of a meal--like a milk to go with a home lunch--they are pushed to take an entire free lunch. The full meal triggers payment from the federal government. Some think this could be generating a lot of food waste in schools. (flickr/USDA)" /></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">But it means kids who just want an egg or banana at breakfast, for instance, must take the rest of the meal, even if it&rsquo;s tossed in the garbage.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Starting last school year, most &nbsp;districts across the country like Chicago&rsquo;s, with a lot of low-income students, adopted the Community Eligibility Provision. That&rsquo;s a USDA program that &nbsp;makes all meals free to all students in the school or district regardless of income. This reduces mountains of free lunch application paperwork and the need to collect money in the lunchroom.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Students still have the ability to pay 45 cents for milk out of pocket each day. But Northwestern University economist and professor of social policy Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach says the policy doesn&#39;t make that likely.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">&ldquo;Under these circumstances, if you&rsquo;re getting the same thing and you can choose to pay for it or you can choose to get it for free the vast majority of people will choose to get the same item for free instead of paying for it,&rdquo; she said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">&ldquo;The incentives here are certainly for kids to take what&rsquo;s free and then wastefully dispose of it,&rdquo; she continued, &ldquo;so it seems like there&rsquo;s room for a policy improvement so that kids can get just the milk for free instead of taking the whole meal and then throw part of it away.&rdquo;&nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">That policy change would require an act of Congress &mdash; which happens to be reviewing the rules around school lunch right now, albeit at a slow pace.</span></p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/nutritionists-raise-glass-whole-milk-new-dietary-guidelines-113390" target="_blank"><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8542429717_dfe01d4a07_k.jpg" style="height: 207px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture have teamed up to revise the country’s dietary guidelines, as they have every five years since 1980. They aim to drop the longstanding limit on total fat consumption, which could clear the way for whole milk in school meal programs. (flickr/USDA)" /><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></a></div></div><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">There is, however, a window for a quicker fix. CPS could choose to pick up the 45 cent tab when a student wants just a milk, making the less wasteful option an easy option (We found at least one district in Ohio where the superintendent says he decided to start doing this two months ago in response to food waste).</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Still, CPS rejects the idea, saying it would just cost too much. And, to be fair, this appears to be the stance of most districts across the nation, according to Tim English, the USDA director for the Midwest.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">So if free milk won&rsquo;t be an option in the district, how are the existing choices presented to students? Are kids told they can bring money to buy a milk? Are they encouraged to take more than they want? </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>We asked CPS to explain exactly how lunch staff are told to present the options, but officials would not talk to us about it. The district also would not give us permission to talk to the Kellogg lunch staff about the procedure they follow on the matter.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Kellogg parent Jill Zayauskas says she pretty clear about the way the options are handled at her school, and it makes her mad.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">&ldquo;My son was five when he first saw this and if a five-year-old knows wasting food is wrong then the people who plan this program should know that,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I just don&rsquo;t understand why children are forced to throw away a complete lunch to get chocolate milk and actually encouraged to do that so someone can make their quota. It&rsquo;s all about money&rdquo;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">About half of the money for each meal goes to food service company Aramark, which receives $1.31 for each lunch taken.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Kellogg mom Emily Lambert says students are getting mixed messages, right when they&rsquo;re in the middle of a food drive.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">&ldquo;My son is coming home every day asking to take food to school to give food to people who don&rsquo;t have it, while in the lunchroom they&#39;re throwing it away,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They understand that it&rsquo;s wrong to throw away food that you have and you aren&rsquo;t going to eat.&rdquo; &nbsp;</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">The USDA is also in the middle of its own campaign to reduce food waste by 50 percent in 15 years.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-21bd09b5-15d2-103d-de8b-cc3df2ad6f9d">Monica Eng is a WBEZ food and health reporter. Contact her at </span><a href="mailto:meng@wbez.org">meng@wbez.org</a> or follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a></em></p></p> Tue, 17 Nov 2015 05:17:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/national-policy-school-milk-boosting-lunchtime-waste-113813 Did the language you speak evolve because of the heat? http://www.wbez.org/news/did-language-you-speak-evolve-because-heat-113687 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/worldlanguagehaet.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>English bursts with consonants. We have words that string one after another, like angst, diphthong and catchphrase. But other languages keep more vowels and open sounds. And that variability might be because they evolved in different habitats.</p><div id="res455002843"><div id="responsive-embed-map-language-20151105">&nbsp;</div><p data-pym-src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/map-language-20151105/child.html">&nbsp;</p><script src="http://apps.npr.org/dailygraphics/graphics/map-language-20151105/js/lib/pym.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div><p>Consonant-heavy syllables don&#39;t carry very well in places like windy mountain ranges or dense rainforests, researchers say. &quot;If you have a lot of tree cover, for example, [sound] will reflect off the surface of leaves and trunks. That will break up the coherence of the transmitted sound,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.unm.edu/~ianm/index.html">Ian Maddieson</a>, a linguist at the University of New Mexico.</p><p>That can be a real problem for complicated consonant-rich sounds like &quot;spl&quot; in &quot;splice&quot; because of the series of high-frequency noises. In this case, there&#39;s a hiss, a sudden stop and then a pop. Where a simple, steady vowel sound like &quot;e&quot; or &quot;a&quot; can cut through thick foliage or the cacophony of wildlife, these consonant-heavy sounds tend to get scrambled.</p><p>Hot climates might wreck a word&#39;s coherence as well, since sunny days create pockets of warm air that can punch into a sound wave. &quot;You disrupt the way it was originally produced, and it becomes much harder to recognize what sound it was,&quot; Maddieson says. &quot;In a more open, temperate landscape, prairies in the Midwest of the United States [or in Georgia] for example, you wouldn&#39;t have that. So the sound would be transmitted with fewer modifications.&quot;</p><div id="res454932115"><div><div data-flash-url="anon.npr-mp3/npr/specials/2015/11/20151105_specials_georgian.mp3" data-html5-url="http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/specials/2015/11/20151105_specials_georgian.mp3" data-id="454932115" data-pause-metric-action="Pause Audio" data-pause-metric-category="Secondary Audio" data-play-metric-action="Play Audio" data-play-metric-category="Secondary Audio"><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h3><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/454853229/454932115" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></h3></div></div></div></div></div><div id="res454998084" previewtitle="The open, temperate terrain of eastern Georgia would make fast-changing sounds like 'str' in 'strength' easier to hear."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="The open, temperate terrain of eastern Georgia would make fast-changing sounds like 'str' in 'strength' easier to hear." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/georgia_wide-b3c9b5a78ab72913eafca3939990c5f46459984a-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="The open, temperate terrain of eastern Georgia would make fast-changing sounds like 'str' in 'strength' easier to hear. (Sebastian Preuber/Flickr)" /></div><div><div><p>Other scientists have noticed that habitats can affect the way different bird species sing. &quot;Say you&#39;re a bird in a forest, and some guy&#39;s going &#39;Stree! Stree! Stree!&#39; But because of the environment, what you hear is &#39;Ree! Ree! Ree!&#39; &quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://homepage.univie.ac.at/tecumseh.fitch/">Tecumseh Fitch</a>, a linguist at the University of Vienna in Austria who was not involved in the study. &quot;Well, because you&#39;re learning the song, you&#39;ll sing &#39;Ree! Ree! Ree!&#39; &quot;</p></div></div></div><p>Since bird species living in rain forests tend to sing songs with fewer consonant-like sounds, Maddieson thought maybe the same would apply to human languages. Over time, people living in different climates would adapt their speech to communicate more efficiently.</p><p>In a&nbsp;<a href="https://asa2015fall.abstractcentral.com/s/u/Se1Hr1xy6XQ">presentation</a>&nbsp;on Wednesday at the Acoustical Society of America fall meeting, Maddieson showed that consonant-thick languages like Georgian are more likely to develop in open, temperate environments. Meanwhile, consonant-light languages like Hawaiian are more likely to be found in lush, hot ecologies.</p><div id="res454997029"><div><div data-flash-url="anon.npr-mp3/npr/specials/2015/11/20151106_specials_hawaiiangreeting.mp3" data-html5-url="http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/specials/2015/11/20151106_specials_hawaiiangreeting.mp3" data-id="454997029" data-pause-metric-action="Pause Audio" data-pause-metric-category="Secondary Audio" data-play-metric-action="Play Audio" data-play-metric-category="Secondary Audio"><div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><h3><iframe frameborder="0" height="290" scrolling="no" src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/454853229/454997029" title="NPR embedded audio player" width="100%"></iframe></h3></div></div></div></div></div><div id="res454997955" previewtitle="A vowel sound like &quot;e&quot; can still sound clear through the dense vegetation in Hawaii."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A vowel sound like &quot;e&quot; can still sound clear through the dense vegetation in Hawaii." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/11/06/hawaii_wide-a13dfd35d319530c2792c3276cddf3a5adfa6ee1-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="A vowel sound like &quot;e&quot; can still sound clear through the dense vegetation in Hawaii. (Daniel Ramirez/Flickr)" /></div><div><div><p>Fitch says it&#39;s a tantalizing hypothesis, but still unproven. People who live nearby are usually related, so their languages could be too. Hawaiian and Maori are light on consonants and developed in hot, tropical climates, but they also both came from an ancestor Eastern Polynesian language. That could confound the results of Maddieson&#39;s study. Until that&#39;s sorted out, Fitch says, it&#39;s hard to know how strong the data are.</p></div></div></div><p>And the environmental effect only accounts for some of the variation in birdsongs. That&#39;s probably true for our tongues too. &quot;There are many reasons why some languages have more vowels or more consonants, and this is just one of them,&quot; Fitch says.</p><p>Other researchers say this is just the beginning of a line of research into how nature rules our speech. &quot;This is the first of its kind, and there are several others coming now. It&#39;s becoming increasingly clear that the way we speak is shaped by external forces,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mpi.nl/people/roberts-sean">Sean Roberts</a>, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands who was not involved in the study.</p><p>In his own work, Roberts found that arid, desertlike places are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/112/5/1322.abstract">less likely to have tonal languages</a>&nbsp;like Mandarin or Vietnamese. And he once analyzed a decades&#39; worth of Larry King transcripts. &quot;I carried the proportion of consonants to vowels that he was using and matched that to the actual humidity on the day he recorded those things,&quot; Roberts says. The longtime TV pundit used a few more consonants on dry days.</p><p>And the language you&#39;re reading now evolved in a cold, gloomy climate prone to light mist and drizzle. Fitch says: &quot;English is quite a consonant-heavy language, and of course it didn&#39;t develop in a rain forest.&quot;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/06/454853229/did-the-language-you-speak-evolve-because-of-the-heat" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Fri, 06 Nov 2015 15:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/did-language-you-speak-evolve-because-heat-113687 Residents in Little Village worry about pollution from Hellmann's plant expansion http://www.wbez.org/news/residents-little-village-worry-about-pollution-hellmanns-plant-expansion-113414 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/15058048097_027327821b_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In May, the Chicago City Council approved an expansion to the Hellmann&rsquo;s plant in Little Village. Ald. Ricardo Munoz (22nd) said Hellmann&rsquo;s parent company, Unilever, plans to donate land to a nearby school, Zapata Elementary.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s some significant community benefits,&rdquo; said Munoz. &ldquo;As a result of the 40 to 60 jobs being created.&rdquo;</p><p>But it&rsquo;s the plant&rsquo;s proximity to the elementary school that worries Kimberly Wasserman. She&rsquo;s with the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization. She&rsquo;s concerned about the additional pollution that could come with extra diesel trucks traveling through the neighborhood. Wasserman said there&rsquo;s another option, if Unilever wants to take it on.</p><p>&ldquo;Changing the dirty diesel to a system that doesn&rsquo;t pollute,&rdquo; said Wasserman, who noted other area companies have retrofitted their vehicles. &ldquo;Or ones that pollute very little.&rdquo;</p><p>There&rsquo;s no word on whether Unilever will do that. Along with Hellmann&rsquo;s, Ben &amp; Jerry&rsquo;s, Dove and Lipton among the company&rsquo;s brands. Unilever did not respond to requests for comment.</p><p>An air quality monitor to test pollution levels was set up in the area for a two-week period in September. The results will be ready in January.</p><p><em>Follow WBEZ reporter Yolanda Perdomo on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/yolandanews" target="_blank">@yolandanews&nbsp;</a></em></p></p> Mon, 19 Oct 2015 18:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/residents-little-village-worry-about-pollution-hellmanns-plant-expansion-113414 Dentist who killed Cecil the Lion escapes prosecution http://www.wbez.org/news/dentist-who-killed-cecil-lion-escapes-prosecution-113321 <p><p>The Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the black-maned lion in Zimbabwe last summer, generating international outrage, won&#39;t face charges and can return to the country, government officials said.</p><p>Zimbabwe officials announced last summer that they would try to extradite Walter Palmer, the big-game hunter who killed Cecil in a bow-hunt, after allegedly paying $50,000 for the &quot;privilege.&quot; But after reviewing the case, they decided Palmer hadn&#39;t broken any hunting laws.</p><p>Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters in Harare that Palmer&#39;s &quot;papers were in order&quot; and that he is free to return to the country &quot;as a tourist.&quot;</p><p>Not so lucky are two men who arranged the hunt, including Theo Bronkhorst, who has been charged with allowing an illegal hunt.</p><p>Authorities say Cecil was lured from Hwange National Park, a protected habitat, to a nearby farm, where he was killed.</p><p>The killing sparked an enormous outcry around the world, and Palmer was so vilified he was forced to close his dental practice temporarily. Several airlines said they would no longer transport hunting trophies as a result. Some Zimbabweans, in turn,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/in-zimbabwe-we-dont-cry-for-lions.html">expressed dismay</a>&nbsp;over the amount of attention given the lion&#39;s death.</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/gettyimages-487278812_sq-333d41679f00402d98c14a36f708d8eef9910769-s1400.jpg" style="height: 300px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Dentist Walter Palmer, left, in short sleeves, walks into his clinic with private security and members of the media last month in Bloomington, Minn. Protests over his killing of a lion in Zimbabwe had forced him to temporarily close his practice. Now officials say they will not prosecute him. Dentist Walter Palmer (left, in short sleeves) walks into his clinic with private security and members of the media last month in Bloomington, Minn. Protests over his killing of a lion in Zimbabwe had forced him to temporarily close his practice. Now officials say they will not prosecute him." /></div><p>The decision to clear Palmer of wrongdoing was criticized by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, which says it still plans to pursue legal action against him in U.S. courts.</p><p>The task force&#39;s head, Johnny Rodrigues, said, &quot;The fact is the law was broken. We are going to get our advocates in America to actually see what they can do to bring justice to him.&quot; The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has previously said it was investigating Palmer.</p><p>Jeff Flocken, North American Regional Director for&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ifaw.org/united-states">the International Fund for Animal Welfare</a>, said it was &quot;not a surprise that Palmer won&#39;t be prosecuted, since hundreds of Americans kill imperiled lions for fun every year.&quot; He added:</p><blockquote><em>&quot;The U.S. has a real opportunity to make the death of Cecil&mdash;and the hundreds of other lions needlessly slain&mdash;not be in vain. They can list African lions as Endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, and make sure Americans like Palmer cannot continue to go kill lions for fun and bring their grotesque trophies back to the U.S. The U.S. does not need to be a party to this type of senseless killing.&quot;</em><div>&nbsp;</div></blockquote><p>Palmer, who declined to comment on the government&#39;s decision, has previously expressed regret about the lion&#39;s death, but has said he<a href="http://www.startribune.com/walter-palmer-speaks-hunter-who-killed-lion-will-resume-dental-practice-tuesday/325185401/">&nbsp;did not know&nbsp;</a>the lion he shot was the beloved Cecil.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/13/448321072/dentist-who-killed-cecil-the-lion-escapes-prosecution?ft=nprml&amp;f=448321072" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 15:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/dentist-who-killed-cecil-lion-escapes-prosecution-113321 Morning Shift: August 6, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/morning-shift-august-6-2015-112582 <p><p>It&rsquo;s the 70th anniversary of one of the most horrific events in world history...the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and instantly killed 70,000 people. We explore the role the University of Chicago in building the first nuclear bomb.</p><p>We also get a Buddhist perspective on our warming planet. The recent Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change says: &ldquo;There has never been a more important time in history to bring the resources of Buddhism to bear on behalf of all living beings.&rdquo; In light of President Obama&rsquo;s Clean Power Plan and leaders from many world religions speaking up about environmentalism in recent months, we talk to a local Buddhist priest.&nbsp;</p><p>We also bring you up to speed on the card game of bridge as the World&rsquo;s Largest Bridge Tournament kicks off today in Chicago. Our guest says it&rsquo;s not JUST for the retired set.</p><p>And we discuss the myth of the low level offender and why releasing them from prison may not do much to reduce the prison population.</p></p> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 10:58:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/morning-shift-august-6-2015-112582 Environmentalism is second nature for Chicago Buddhists http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/environmentalism-second-nature-chicago-buddhists-112580 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/buddhist Flickr ancientdragonzengate.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In recent months, leaders of the world&rsquo;s major religions have been speaking up more and more about the dangers of climate change. And just this week, President Obama talked about it when he released his Clean Energy Plan, saying,&rdquo; We only get one planet...there is no Plan B.&quot;</p><p>In June, Pope Francis released a papal encyclical where he warned that a warming world would hit the poor the hardest. And he talked more broadly about environmentalism in pretty stark terms. He wrote, &ldquo;The world, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.&rdquo; The Dalai Lama has also been vocal about global warming and the environment for years, and this spring released a statement about how much carbon dioxide should be in the atmosphere.</p><p>Of course, it&rsquo;s not just world religious leaders, but local leaders as well. One person that signed on to the Dalai Lama&rsquo;s recent statement is Taigen Dan Leighton, a Buddhist priest here in Chicago at Ancient Dragon Zen Gate, a temple in North Center. And he joins us to talk about the Buddhist perspective on climate change and the environment.&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 06 Aug 2015 10:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-06/environmentalism-second-nature-chicago-buddhists-112580 Chicago's plastic bag ban is full of holes http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-31/chicagos-plastic-bag-ban-full-holes-112530 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/plastic bagsDay Donaldson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>On August 1, Chicago joins the more than 130 cities and counties in the US with bans on plastic bags.</p><p>Chain stores more than 10,000 square feet in size will no longer be able to offer customers those flimsy plastic bags we&rsquo;re all used to.</p><p>There are three types of bags that are OK under the new law and two of them are technically plastic. So, what&rsquo;s going on here?</p><p>Joining us to sift through what&rsquo;s under the ban &mdash; and whether the new law is good to begin with &mdash; are two people on opposite ends. Jordan Parker is an environmentalist and executive director of Bring Your Bag Chicago and Jonathan Perman represents the American Progressive Bag Alliance, the trade association for manufacturers and recyclers of plastic bags and plastic film.</p></p> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-31/chicagos-plastic-bag-ban-full-holes-112530 Young Conservative group weighs in on how to reduce dependence on fossil fuels http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-31/young-conservative-group-weighs-how-reduce-dependence-fossil-fuels <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/GOP energy reynermedia.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Remember Sarah Palin&rsquo;s energy policy? It basically consisted of three words: Drill Baby Drill. During the last presidential election, the GOP party platform included drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil...and saying no to the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But not all Republicans are in lockstep with those policies &mdash; including a group called Young Conservatives for Energy Reform (YCER). Some of them will be at this weekend&rsquo;s Young Republicans National Convention here in Chicago to give people a sense of where they&rsquo;re coming from on this issue. Michele Combs, founder of YCER, joins us to talk about about what the GOP and the nation need to do to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and move toward cleaner sources of energy.</p></p> Fri, 31 Jul 2015 11:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-31/young-conservative-group-weighs-how-reduce-dependence-fossil-fuels Global Activism: HIV/AIDS education in Malawi http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 <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/USAID%20U.S.%20Agency%20for%20International%20Development.jpg" title="USAID U.S. Agency for International Development" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078355&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: Fostering HIV/AIDS education in Malawi</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Challenged by her Malawian friends to get involved in &ldquo;the warm heart of Africa&rdquo;, Phyllis Wezeman started Malawi Matters, Inc. Its mission is to develop culturally-inspired HIV and AIDS education in the southeast African nation. For our Global Activism segment, she&rsquo;ll update us on some new initiatives she&rsquo;s working on in sub-Saharan Africa, a region with two-thirds of the world&rsquo;s HIV infections and three-fourths of the globe&rsquo;s AIDS-related deaths, according to the World Health Organization. Wezeman is author of the book Through the Heart: Creative Methods of HIV and AIDS Education, a handbook of activities that enable children and adults to better understand the disease.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e093-2873-79b1-9e7bd2dc5427">Phyllis Wezeman is the founder and director of <a href="http://malawimatters.org">Malawi Matters, Inc</a>.</span></em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217078841&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">What next for the Taliban</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>On Wednesday the Afghan government said that it had credible information that Taliban leader Mullah Omar was dead and that he had died in 2013 in a hospital in Pakistan. Pakistan has not confirmed the news. This is not the first time that information has surfaced about Omar&rsquo;s death. Just a couple of weeks ago the Taliban released a statement that it said was from Mullah Omar. That statement backed peace talks with the Afghan government. Anand Gopal, author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes&#39;, joins us to discuss the latest news of Omar&rsquo;s death and what it could mean for the peace talks between the militants and the Afghan government.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<em><span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e097-20ac-2746-e222608169d6"><a href="http://twitter.com/anand_gopal">Anand Gopal</a> is a journalist and author of &#39;No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan eyes&#39;.&nbsp;</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/217079197&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 22px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">The effect of military spending on the environment</span></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p>Peace activist Kathy Kelly, who is co-coordinator of the peace group Voices for Creative Nonviolence, was just released from FMC Lexington Satellite federal prison camp. She was convicted of criminal trespassing onto the Whiteman Air Force Base in Kansas City. Kelly and a group of activists were protesting what they believe are the extrajudicial killings of innocent civilians by U.S. drones. While in prison, Kelly began to think about the connection between climate change and militarism- things like the carbon footprint of the U.S. military and the use of federal dollars for military initiatives, rather than efforts to combat climate change. She&rsquo;ll explain why she believes &ldquo;the Earth&#39;s military crisis, its climate crisis, and the paralyzing economic inequalities that burden impoverished people are all linked&quot;.</p><p><strong>Guest:</strong>&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-d19007d5-e09a-26b3-e76f-d8534ee555e3"><em>Kathy Kelly is co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence</em>.</span></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 30 Jul 2015 14:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-07-30/global-activism-hivaids-education-malawi-112523 Star light? Too Bright! http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/star-light-too-bright-112452 <p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s celestial landscape is bright and beautiful, but it&rsquo;s virtually invisible because it&rsquo;s obscured behind the orange glow that emerges from the city&rsquo;s streetlights and buildings each night. This obscured sky has hundreds of thousands of stars, dotted with bright travelling planets, crisscrossed by satellites and burning meteors. To see that sky, you need a dark sky, and in Chicago &mdash; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/art-and-science-behind-glow-chicagos-skyline-111928" target="_blank">a city of stage-lit skyscrapers, sprawl and sodium streetlights</a> &mdash; it just doesn&rsquo;t get dark enough to see more than a handful of the brightest stars and planets.</p><p>According to Larry Ciupik, an astronomer at <a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/" target="_blank">Adler Planetarium</a>, Chicago is one of the most light-polluted cities in the world. One of the many potential consequences of that is clear, he says:</p><p>As the night sky fills up with more artificial light from increasing development and glare from unshielded streetlights, more people are forgetting what darkness even looks like. Or, worse, they never experience it at all.</p><p>&ldquo;I think we gradually become used to not seeing the sky,&rdquo; Ciupik says. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s a whole kind of primal feeling when you see a very dark sky. A black sky with thousands of stars &hellip; you can&rsquo;t duplicate [that] even inside of a planetarium. Artificial doesn&rsquo;t compare to reality.&rdquo;</p><p>That reality hit our questioner, Paula de los Angeles, between the eyes when she moved to Chicago a few years ago. Having grown up in a small town in Connecticut, she missed seeing the stars when she looked up at Chicago&rsquo;s night sky. And she asked for help finding them:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>What are the best spots in Chicago or the suburbs to stargaze?</em></p><p>To Paula, moving to Chicago not only meant she had to give up seeing stars, but also the feeling that goes along with it: She misses the part of herself that had been filled with wonder just by looking up at night.</p><p>&ldquo;You kind of have to pick when you&rsquo;re in Chicago what kind of experience you want,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s too bad we can&rsquo;t see the night sky and also be around technology and a lot of lights, too.&rdquo;</p><p>We asked astronomers and stargazers to tell us where Chicago&rsquo;s good stargazing spots are. They all told us the same thing: nowhere. Not in the city or in Chicago&rsquo;s near suburbs. But, some spots are better than others, and you&rsquo;re better off getting as far from the city as possible. Adler astronomers and members of the <a href="http://www.gadboisproductions.com/cas/" target="_blank">Chicago Astronomical Society</a> promised visiting a few of their favorites is worth your time. (Assuming there are no clouds, of course!) We&rsquo;ve listed their suggestions below, from least-worst to OK. Consider the list your invitation to catch a bustling display of stars, constellations, meteors, and galaxies you&rsquo;re denied each evening!</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://blue-marble.de/nightlights/2012" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chicagoglow1_0.png" style="height: 336px; width: 620px;" title="Night-lights imagery by NASA's Earth Observatory shows Chicago's light pollution at night. Click to explore the map." /></a></div><p><span style="font-size: 22px;">Before you leave</span></p><p>Bad timing can break a stargazing trip, so plan for both cloudless, moonless nights. Consult <a href="http://cleardarksky.com/c/Chicagokey.html" target="_blank">this handy clear skies chart</a> for 3-day forecasts. Bring plenty of warm layers, a seat cushion or foam mat, water and snacks. Also, consider loading your phone with a neat stargazing app. (Options: Google Play store: <a href="http://wbez.is/1LrJcvo" target="_blank">http://wbez.is/1LrJcvo</a>)</p><p>*Note: Our recommended stargazing spots fall on the <a href="https://grok.lsu.edu/Article.aspx?articleId=12612" target="_blank">Bortle Scale, which measures a sky&rsquo;s darkness and light pollution</a>. In this scale, a 1 is the darkest theoretical sky, and a 10 would render stars invisible.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">In the city</span></p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Northerly Island</p><p><strong>Why:</strong> It&rsquo;s slightly east of the Loop, and that slightly cuts down the light pollution.</p><p><strong>How:</strong> Point your eyes or telescope east over Lake Michigan. The sky will be a tad darker than it would if you were facing the glow of downtown.</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale:</strong> 8-9</p><p>Other suggestions: Adler Planetarium staff and other volunteers organize stargazing meetups through their &nbsp;<a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/scopes-in-the-city" target="_blank">&lsquo;Scopes in the City program</a>, where you can gaze at Chicago&rsquo;s night sky through telescopes in various places around the city. For indoor stargazing, <a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/news/527t2u2qou5sp2br97mksvkjoddr1y" target="_blank">Adler&rsquo;s Doane observatory</a> has the largest telescope in Chicago. (It&rsquo;s becoming more accessible to the public<a href="http://www.adlerplanetarium.org/news/527t2u2qou5sp2br97mksvkjoddr1y" target="_blank"> as renovations are completed</a>.) The University of Chicago&rsquo;s<a href="http://astro.uchicago.edu/RAS/" target="_blank"> Ryerson Observatory</a> is another option, but call in advance.</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">The suburbs</span></p><p><strong>Where:</strong> <a href="http://www.openlands.org/openlands-lakeshore-preserve" target="_blank">Openlands Lakeshore Preserve</a>, Highland Park</p><p><strong>Why:</strong> It has few lights! This 77-acre nature preserve lies along the Lake Michigan shoreline, 25 miles north of Chicago. It officially closes at sunset, but the Chicago Astronomical Society sometimes gains permission to host stargazing meetups there.</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale:</strong> 6-7</p><p><strong>Where</strong>: The <a href="http://fpdcc.com/nature-centers/little-red-schoolhouse-nature-center/" target="_blank">Little Red School House</a>, Willow Springs</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale: </strong>6-7</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> <a href="http://www.cantigny.org/" target="_blank">Cantigny Park</a>, Wheaton</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale:</strong> 7</p><p>Other options: For indoor stargazing, Northwestern University&rsquo;s<a href="http://ciera.northwestern.edu/observatory.php" target="_blank"> Dearborn Observatory</a> is open to the public on Fridays.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://djlorenz.github.io/astronomy/lp2006/overlay/dark.html" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lightpollutionmap_0.PNG" style="height: 359px; width: 620px;" title="Light pollution in the Great Lakes region. Note Chicago's whitewash of light for about 50 miles. Click the map to explore in detail. (Source: P. Cinzano, F. Falchi, University of Padova. C. D. Elvidge, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder. Copyright Royal Astronomical Society. Reproduced from the Monthly Notices of the RAS by permission of Blackwell Science.)" /></a></div><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Beyond the suburbs</span></p><p><strong>Where:</strong> Indiana Dunes State Park</p><p><strong>Why:</strong> This park promises some of the metro region&rsquo;s darkest skies; its 21,000 &nbsp;acres of wetlands and dunes are mostly unlit, and the darkness of Lake Michigan lies just north. It&rsquo;s within an hour&rsquo;s drive of Chicago and is accessible by <a href="http://www.nictd.com/" target="_blank">public transportation</a>, too, though a commuter train trip can take twice as long as a car ride. Under the right conditions, many stars are visible and you can clearly see the hazy patch of the Milky Way above the horizon.</p><p><strong>How:</strong> The park is open until 11 p.m. To stay later, consider camping, which is possible year round. The park holds <a href="http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-Dunes_SpecialEvents.pdf" target="_blank">special stargazing events</a>, some of which involve sleep-overs on the beach.</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale: </strong>4-5</p><p><strong>Where:</strong> <a href="http://www.dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r2/silversp.htm" target="_blank">Silver Springs State Park</a>, Yorkville (about 90 minutes southwest of Chicago)</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale:</strong> 5</p><p><strong>Where: </strong><a href="http://www.mccdistrict.org/rccms/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Coral-Woods-Site-Map-2014.pdf" target="_blank">Coral Woods Conservation Area</a>, Marengo (about 90 minutes northwest of Chicago),</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale:</strong> 4.5-5</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Lake Michigan!</span></p><p><strong>Where: </strong>Ferries start from Milwaukee or Manitowoc, Wisconsin. From Milwaukee, catch a night ride with the <a href="http://www.lake-express.com/" target="_blank">Lake Express</a> that cuts right across Lake Michigan to Muskegon. <a href="http://www.ssbadger.com/" target="_blank">The S.S. Badger</a> departs from Manitowoc.</p><p><strong>Why: </strong>The trips can take approximately 3 &frac12; hours. About halfway through, you&rsquo;ll see the best stargazing in the area! The Milky Way is bright enough to cast shadows onto lighter objects. Some stars appear red or yellow, others blue, while others are white.</p><p><strong>How:</strong> Head to the top deck about 90 minutes into the voyage. The ferries move quickly, so be warned that the pinnacle of darkness doesn&rsquo;t last long. Bring layers because it gets windy!</p><p><strong>Bortle Scale: </strong>2-3.</p><p><em><strong>Can we suggest a sailboat?</strong></em></p><p><em>If you have a boat (or have a friend with one), you&rsquo;ll be surprised to find how many stars you can see even just 10 miles due east of the city and northern suburbs. While looking back at the view of Chicago&rsquo;s skyline could be tempting, give yourself about 15-20 minutes to gaze out into the darkness to adjust your eyes, too. Here&rsquo;s a look at our own trip, and be sure to listen to our audio story which takes place on board!</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="560" id="iframe" scrolling="no" src="//flickrit.com/slideshowholder.php?height=550&amp;width=620&amp;size=medium&amp;speed=stop&amp;setId=72157656147604916&amp;caption=on&amp;credit=2&amp;theme=1&amp;thumbnails=0&amp;transition=0&amp;layoutType=fixed&amp;sort=0" width="620"></iframe></p><p><em><a href="https://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">Logan Jaffe</a> is Curious City&#39;s multimedia producer and Jesse Dukes is Curious City&#39;s audio producer.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/star-light-too-bright-112452