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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Black history month, perspective

Courageous... committed... and sometimes controversial.

On this edition, we celebrate Black History Month through the many voices of African Americans who made history and changed forever American culture, politics, and entertainment and the way we look at our country and ourselves.


Martin Luther King Jr.; Angela Davis; Huey Newton, Rosa Parks; Malcolm X; Fannie Lou Hamer; Muhammad Ali; Paul Robeson; James Baldwin; Langston Hughes; Barbara Jordan; Barack Obama; James Brown.

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio.

For more information::

Pacifica Radio Archives3729 Cahuenga Boulevard, WestNorth Hollywood, CA 91604800-735-0230 www.pacificaradioarchives.org

The Freedom Archives522 Valencia StreetSan Francisco, CA 94110415-863-9977 www.freedomarchives.org

Angela Davis, Feminist Studies UC Santa Cruz1156 High Street, Humanities 1, Room 315Santa Cruz, CA 95064831-459-2813; aydavis@usc.edu http://humwww.ucsc.edu/FMST/facDavis.html

Highlander Research and Education Center1959 Highlander WayNew Market, TN 37820865-933-3443 www.highlandercenter.org

The King Center449 Auburn Avenue, NEAtlanta, GA 30312404-526-8900 www.thekingcenter.org

National Civil Rights Museum450 Mulberry StreetMemphis, TN 38103901-521-9699 www.civilrightsmuseum.org

Black Radical Congress - National OfficeP.O. Box 24795St. Louis, MO 63115314-307-3441 www.blackradicalcongress.org

National Black Programming Consortium68 East 131st Street, 7th floorNew York, NY 10037212-234-8200 www.nbpc.tv

Jericho Movement - National ChapterP.O. Box 340084Jamaica, NY 11434 www.thejerichomovement.com

The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement - National Office877-248-6095; www.mxgm.org

The Black Panther Party http://www.blackpanther.org/

Greener News Room


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3:38 PM

Monday, January 29, 2007

AU summit opens with call to globalization

The African Union Summit, which convenes today in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will face several challenges not the least of which is likely to be the issue of science and technology development on the continent.

In his opening address to the delegates, Calestous Juma, chairperson of the African Union's high-level panel on biotechnology, urged the summit to work toward the establishment of a council on science, technology and innovation, which would be under the joint direction of the Presidents of the AU’s member countries. Juma is Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

When thinking of Africa, one generally thinks of the potent issues of poverty, disease, civil strife, war and genocide, which have plagued modern African nations for much of the last 100 years. It seems, to many Africans, disingenuous to discuss advancing technology and science when most Sub-Saharan Africans live on less than $8.00 a day.

In fact, as if to illustrate that very point, the children’s protest, which marked the closing Friday of the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya seems testimony to the issue of grinding African poverty, as approximately 40 street children from a nearby slum in the heart of Nairobi raided the tent of a food caterer, chased away the staff and helped themselves to the food.

The vendor, an upscale caterer from a local golf/ country club, relented and allowed the youth protest to go unchallenged. The action organized by a group called the Progressive Youth Organization protested, that the five-star hotels “had no business selling food at the WSF, saying their prices were too high."

The ongoing genocide in Darfur (see: All Africa article), deforestation in Kenya and the increasingly punitive and violent exploitation of South Africa’s mineral wealth by giants like DeBeers, Rio Tinto, even China (see Times article 1/29/07) would appear to most observers to take precedence over science and technology development.

Just the opposite says Juma; he believes the initial focus should be on making effective use of technology and scientific innovations that are relevant to local needs and are ready for commercialization, including techniques for disease control, pest tolerance and weed management. He went on to say, "I will consider the summit a success if a handful of leaders return home emboldened to champion the role of technological innovation in developing their country and region."

The African Union, unlike its European counterpart, the EU, has no standardized trade agreements, infrastructure or unified monetary system. What it does have is a series of broken governments, hereditary tribal mistrust and a history of western colonial abuses.

Africa also has one seventh of the world’s population, twenty percent of the world’s land space and much of the world’s mineral and ecological wealth. Africa is a land with rich traditions, an ancient historic place and, if she is to succeed as a continent in the 21st century, then perhaps Calestous Juma is correct, it is time for the AU to put forth its best and brightest innovations and join the world market.

By Harlan Weikle
Greener Magazine


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9:40 PM

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Is anybody listening?

Globalizing communications ::

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) held the first conversation from the deep ocean to the edge of space.

The world got a little smaller Friday as NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and a marine biologist aboard the deep-sea submersible Alvin dropped a dime and made the first inner to outer, interspace call from earth orbit to ocean floor.

The feat, some say is prelude to improved technologies for communication between land based systems and research teams working on any platfrom, no matter how remote, is a next crucial step in man"s inevitable exploration of the environment.

WHOI marine biologist Tim Shank, diving in the Alvin submersible, compare notes on life, science, and exploration with NASA astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams as she orbited 250 miles above the surface on the International Space Station.

Backdropped by the blackness of space and Earth's horizon, the International Space Station is shown shortly after it separated from space shuttle Discovery on December 20, 2006. (Courtesy of NASA)

Built as the world's first deep-ocean submersible, Alvin has made more than 4,200 dives and can reach 63 percent of the global ocean floor (reaching depths of 14,764 feet/4,500 meters).

Greener Special Feature:: Part of a new series on "Globalization"


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1:18 PM

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Harvesting Justice

Farm workers are vital to the production of food in the United States. Without their labor, our lives and our national economy would be very different. Yet American farm workers are often undervalued and marginalized.

Working long hard hours, for little pay, the men, women and children who make up this vital workforce are frequently exposed to toxic chemicals, like pesticides and herbicides.

On this edition, we'll hear from speakers working on behalf of farm workers in the U.S. today, and we'll hear from some of the farm workers themselves. Their message is clear: America's farming community deserves our recognition and our support.


Erik Nicholson, Director, United Farm Workers of America; Tirso Moreno, Executive Director, Farm Workers Association of Florida; Senor Everardo, Senor Guzman, Senor Sacramento and Senor Zenon, farm workers featured in the documentary, "Pesticides: From the Fields to Your Table"; Doctor Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño Band, "El Picket Sign."

This week's host/producer: Tena Rubio.Contributing producers: Justin Beck, Emily Polk.

Greener News Room


For more information::

United Farm Workers of America821 Yakima Valley HighwaySunnyside, WATel: (509) 839-4903; Fax: (509) 839-3870 http://www.ufw.org/

The Farm Workers Association of Florida815 South Park AvenueApopka, Florida 32703Tel: (407) 886-5151; Fax: (407) 884-6644 http://www.farmworkers.org/

Documentary: "Pesticides: From the Fields to Your Table"The Farmworker Health and Safety InstitutePO Box 510Glassboro, NJ 08028 mailto:08028fhsinj@aol.com

Doctor Loco's Rockin' Jalapeño BandP.O. Box 410023San Francisco, CA 94141Tel: (415) 822-3209; Fax: (415) 822-3203 drloco@drloco.comwww.drloco.com/records.htm

Other helpful links::

National Center for Farm Worker Health (NCFH)1770 FM 967Buda, TX 78610(512) 312-2700; (800) 531-5120 mailto:531-5120info@ncfh.org

Farm Worker Justice Fund, Inc.1010 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 915Washington, DC 20005Tel: (202) 783-2628 http://www.fwjustice.org/

Association of Farm Worker Opportunity Programs (AFOP)1726 M Street NW, Suite 800Washington, DC 20036Tel: (202) 828-6006; Fax: (202) 828-6005 http://www.afop.org/

Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN)300 Young Street; Woodburn, OR 97071Tel: (503) 982-0243; Fax: (503) 982-1031 farmworkerunion@pcun.orghttp://www.pcun.org/

Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO1221 Broadway StreetToledo, OH 43609Tel: (419) 243-3456; Fax: (419) 243-5655 info@floc.comhttp://www.floc.com/

National Farm Worker Ministry438 N. Skinker Blvd.St. Louis, MO 63130Tel: (314) 726-6470; Fax: (314) 726-6427 http://www.nfwm.org/

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8:09 PM

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Fresh water Tanganyika

Lake Tanganyika,(TANGA (Sail) and NYIKA Pori), meaning FOREST or BUSH) is the world’s longest freshwater lake. Located in Central Africa on the borders of Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Burundi, Lake Tanganyika stretches approximately 676 km long and 50 km wide.

With a maximum depth of 1470 m and an area of 32 900 km² , Tanganyika is the second deepest and the fifth largest lake on the planet. Its volume of 18 880 km³ makes it the third largest lake in the world by volume, exceeded only by the Caspian and Baikal.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Tanganyika is Africa’s greatest single reservoir of freshwater and the second largest in the world.

Tanganyika is situated in the Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley – a 9656-km crack in the Earth's crust – and was formed as a result of the rifting African plate. The lake is estimated to be about 10 million years old, making it one of less than 20 ancient lakes on Earth. Because of its age and location, scientists are actively researching the lake’s sedimentary geology to learn more about Africa’s climatic and environmental history.

Tanganyika is considered one of the most biologically rich lakes on the planet. According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), "no place on earth holds such a variety of life." Of the 2000 plus species found in the lake, over half are found nowhere else.

Surrounding the lake are four protected areas, including the Gombe Stream National Park where primatologist Jane Goodall spent many years studying the behaviour of endangered chimpanzees. The other protected areas bordering Lake Tanganyika are the Rusizi Natural Reserve in Burundi, the Mahale Mountains National Park in Tanzania and the Nsumbu National Park in Zambia.

The Ruzizi River and the Malagarasi River (Tanzania's second largest river) flow into Lake Tanganyika, which in turn flows into the Congo River system before entering the Atlantic Ocean.

This image was acquired on 4 September 2006 by Envisat’s Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) instrument while working in Full Resolution mode to provide a spatial resolution of 300 metres

Greener News Room


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11:59 AM

Monday, January 22, 2007

Technology transfer for the poor

My father, Douglas A. Weikle, a career journalist and, until his retirement in the 1990s, Asian desk director of the Lao service, USIA/Voice of America, spent many years covering the post war plight of developing East Asian countries.

During his several tours overseas, he came to understand that the inequitable distribution of technology increasingly was to blame for the discontent and rebelliousness, called aggression. His solution, which became an ongoing State Department program, was both practical and elegant, requiring corporations to share technology as a “cost of doing business” with underdeveloped nations.

Greener’s feature editorial this week is by David Dickson, Director of SciDev.Net, one of our valued news partners. Harlan Weikle, Editor

Developing countries must adopt effective policies on technology transfer that meet the needs of all social classes, including the poorest.

There is a common misconception that the single most important factor in science and development is the need for adequate funding for relevant research. This type of thinking — sometimes described as the 'science push' model of development — tends to focus on the proportion of a country's gross national product spent on research and development.

But spending on research is part of a broader picture. An arguably larger role is played by government policies affecting the practical application of scientific knowledge. This usually involves embedding such knowledge in technological products and processes, what is widely described as 'technology transfer'.

Technology transfer has in the past often been demonised in many development policy circles as a process by which multinational corporations become rich at the expense of poor countries — selling them products they cannot afford and keeping them politically subservient by refusing to license technical know-how.

But as developing countries have become increasingly integrated into a single global economy, such thinking has changed.

For regions like East Asia or Latin America, effective technology transfer, tapping into the scientific and technical knowledge of not only researchers in the North, but increasingly their own, is now recognised as essential to economic growth and social prosperity.

The importance of technology transfer, and the policy challenges it represents to governments in the developing world, is reflected in a new dossier launched by SciDev.Net this week (see Technology Transfer dossier). This complements the existing resource on research and development policy (see R&D dossier). Together, they span the spectrum of issues in the field of science, technology and innovation.

Shared responsibility

One important theme to emerge is that technology transfer has become a complex business, with many different actors. But, just as important, is the fact that society's poorest sectors are often forgotten in technology transfer debates. Debates raised by the poverty gap between rich and poor countries are being replaced by concerns about the gap within developing countries themselves.

This should come as little surprise. In practice, the private sector tends to provide the most widely used channels for technology transfer. This is largely because the most effective mechanism for promoting rapid technology innovation is the market, with incentives for entrepreneurs and rewards, through patents, for inventors.

But governments still share substantial responsibility for making technology transfer work effectively and in the national interest. They must, for example, invest in the capital and intellectual infrastructure needed for smooth technology transfer. This includes investing in university-based research and training, to ensure that a country has the knowledge and skills it needs to not only acquire but also use new technologies.

Governments also need to regulate all transferred technologies — these should not just be useful, but socially acceptable as well. Governments must develop public institutions that can make such a judgement, either by adopting international criteria (on safety levels, for example) or by developing criteria of their own.

Creative thinking needed

But perhaps the biggest challenge governments face is actively developing forms of technology transfer that will directly benefit the poor. In some relatively rare cases, the utility of a new technology will be enough to reach all levels of society; the mobile telephone is perhaps the best example. In others, however, the needs of the poor are inevitably marginalised by procedures structured around the dynamics of the marketplace.

Take employment, for instance. As Ashok Khosla, of Development Alternatives in India, has pointed out, India is likely to see its workforce increase by 40 million over the next three years (see Exporting problems: arguments against technology transfer). The growth of new industries, such as information technology (IT), during this period may hold the key to the country's economic prosperity. But IT is only expected to create about one million new jobs, leaving the rest of the workforce to find traditional employment in areas such as farming or construction.

These sectors need new technologies that can create jobs, not displace labour. Such technologies are unlikely to be sufficiently profitable to attract the investment capital that flows into IT — particularly if, as Khosla argues, they are based on a commitment to sharing intellectual capital. But they are essential if countries like India are to avoid a growing gulf between the rich and poor, with all the social tensions that can result.

Various forms of creativity are needed. Some are purely technical; Khosla describes the success of various novel brick-making techniques in creating small-scale enterprises. Others require social innovation — by combining modern science with the practical experience (and good sense) of traditional communities, filling gaps left by the private sector in fields such as niche agriculture (see Agricultural technology transfer to developing countries and the public sector), or finding new ways of attracting investment without patent fights.

These activities should not replace conventional technology transfer. But they are more likely to provide the basis for a sustained attack on poverty.

Just as developing countries need new forms of social entrepreneurship to meet the needs of the poor, so they need new types of social technology transfer for such entrepreneurship to flourish.

Greener News Room
David Dickson
Director, SciDev.Net


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8:51 PM

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Civil War in Burma, next on News Radio

Burma is a country run by one of the strictest military juntas in the world. For nearly 60 years, the country has been embroiled in civil war.

More than1 million people have been displaced and hundreds of thousands of ethnic minorities have fled to refugee camps in neighboring Thailand escaping forced labor, rapes, killings and imprisonment. The situation has deteriorated so badly that last September the U.N. Security Counsel added Burma to its formal agenda.

The Karen tribe is the largest ethnic minority in Burma. They continue to fight the junta. They say they will not surrender until there is peace and a separate state for the Karen people. Producer Jack Chance and the international documentary team Outer Voices went to Burma and Thailand to interview refugee activists from the Karen Women's Organization. Their story, next week on Greener.

Greener News Room

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11:17 AM

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sneaky shrimp wreak havoc in Great Lakes

They’ve been on experts’ Most Wanted lists since 1998. Since the 1970s, investigators have been tracking their movements, waiting for them to burst on the scene and wreak havoc at any moment.

And finally, this November, it happened.

But these outlaws are no ordinary criminals. In fact, they’re no more than half an inch long, and from a distance, could be mistaken for fish.

For more than thirty years, scientists have been keeping tabs on Hemimysis anomala, one of seventeen species of shrimp living in European waters frequented by U.S.-bound cargo ships. It was only a matter of time, experts feared, before these minute crustaceans strayed across the Atlantic and invaded North American fresh water environments.

And now, Hemimysis has been the first to do just that. The members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who first spotted this warm-water species of mysid shrimp in Lake Ontario in November were stumped at first. How had these fresh-water dwellers traversed the thousands of miles of salt water separating them from their home in Eastern Europe’s Ponto-Caspian region?

Could ballast tanks be to blame? A ship’s ballast is a large tank that can be filled with water to adjust the ship’s stability and center of gravity. Water can be added or released from the tank as needed; if water is taken in one area and released in another, it would be easy to inadvertently transport aquatic organisms.

The shipping industry’s NOBOB – “no ballast on board” – rule was designed to avoid just this problem. According to David Reid of the NOAA, more than 90% of the ships entering the Great Lakes since the mid-1980s have been NOBOBs.

However, these very NOBOBs are probably still to blame for the shrimp invasion. Closer investigation has proved that it’s impossible to expel the last few gallons from the bottom of a ship’s ballast – and even one gallon is one too many. Ships are now required to completely rinse out their tanks with salt water, thus totally displacing the fresh water.

But it is too little too late. The Hemimysis are already quite at home in the warm surface waters of Lake Ontario. McGill University researchers predict that the species will compete with native fish for the microscopic organisms at the bottom of the aquatic food chain, potentially causing serious problems in the native food web. In turn, the shrimp themselves could be a tasty new source of food for larger fish species. Unfortunately, their high fat content makes them prone to bioaccumulation of PCBS and other pollutants in the lake waters. These toxins, which accumulate in the fatty tissues of the animals that consume them, are then passed on to the fish that eat the shrimp, and the humans that eat those shrimp.

Hemimysis’ tiny bodies may be almost clear, but they are far from invisible. The introduction of this diminutive species will continue to impact the Great Lakes’ ecosystem for decades to come. The full extent of the damage remains to be seen, but scientists predict Hemimysis to be long-term problem. It looks like Louisiana isn’t the only place whose shrimping has seen better days.

by Sara Kate Kneidel
Greener Magazine

Keywords:: shrimp, Hemimysis, H. anomala, introduced species

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7:23 PM

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kárahnjúkar, all that glitters is not aluminum

On march 5th, 2003, Iceland's Parliament approved the construction of the world's largest hydro-powered aluminum smelter project, Alcoa's Fjarðaál ("aluminum of the fjords"). Designed and built by Canadian giant Alcoa, the plant is purported to be one of the most environmentally friendly yet productive aluminum facilities in the world. It will have an annual capacity of 322,000 metric tons and is expected to cost $1.1 billion upon completion.

The smelter will be powered by the newly constructed Karahnjukar Power Station (located on the NE coast) owned and operated by the National Power Company. Its production will ship from a new harbor facility at Mjoeyri constructed by the Fjardabyggd Harbor Fund. The combined project is one of the most extensive investments ever undertaken in Iceland and is expected to add significantly to the economic vitality of eastern Iceland.

Environmentalists have mounted considerable resistance to the development of the project with particular emphasis on the extent of the damage, which they perceive will impact the pristine environment surrounding the glacial run off fields as the project proceeds.

Advocates, and many Icelanders fall into that category, see an economic boon to the community and accept that some environmental impact is necessary in order to harness the great wealth of energy frozen in Iceland's scenic glaciers.

The first large dam, Kárahnjúkar, now complete, will begin supplying power to Alcoa's smelting plant this spring with full production to follow by year's end.

Alcoa, the world's largest aluminum manufacturer, has similar smelters on line in Australia, South America, Canada and elsewhere around the world accounting for nearly 90% of all aluminum manufactured today.

Most industrial nations agree that Alcoa makes a very sustainable product: almost 70% of the aluminum ever produced is still in use, that being about 480 million metric tons of the total 690 million metric tons manufactured since 1886 when the process was first achieved.

Before the Second World War the consumption of electricity in aluminum smelting averaged around 23.3 kilowatt hours per kilo of metal produced. Today, the most efficient pots (a term given to the "pot-like" vats in which alumina is smelted to produce aluminum) run at just over 13 kilowatt-hours per kilo. A kilowatt-hour (KWH) is the energy used burning a 100-watt light bulb for 10 hours. A kilo of aluminum is just over 2 pounds - about the weight of a standard household roll of aluminum foil.

Calculate the formula and the result is that producing 2 pounds of aluminum requires the energy equivalent of burning a 100-watt light bulb for 1300 hours (55 days).

Icelanders, like any people, are entitled to develop a rigorous, productive economy capable of supporting their society as well as their culture. However, as with most human undertakings, the stakes may be high. Next week we look in more detail at the economy of "Aluminum and the other side of mining, the bauxite rush."

by Harlan Weikle
Greener Magazine

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4:06 PM

Friday, January 12, 2007

Katrina turns NOAA shrimping study into disaster-related research

Ongoing research on the livelihood systems of fishing communities in Louisiana and Texas through NOAA Fisheries grants turned into disaster-related research when Western Illinois University socio-cultural researcher Heather McIlvaine-Newsad visited Grand Isle, LA in Summer 2006, one year after Hurricane Katrina.

A Summer 2006 trip to Louisiana’s deep south coastal Grand Isle was an eye-opening experience for Western Illinois University senior John Long (Earlville, IL), a sociology major and anthropology minor, as well as for his teacher and experienced socio-cultural researcher Heather McIlvaine-Newsad, an associate anthropology professor.

McIlvaine-Newsad had been conducting ongoing research on the livelihood systems of fishing communities through two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries grants: one, a $2,500 grant (2004) titled “Livelihood Strategies of Fishers and Shrimpers on Grand Isle, Louisiana;” the other, a $5,000 grant (2005) titled “Socio-economic and Cultural Impacts of the Decline of the Shrimping Industry in South Texas.”

Then Hurricane Katrina ran rampage through the Gulf Coast Aug. 29, 2005.

“As an anthropologist I am interested in why people do what they do,” McIlvaine-Newsad said. “This disaster-related research looks at how people’s relationship to their physical environment has changed as a result of Katrina. More specifically, I am interested in whether people are losing or gaining knowledge about their environment and how they are changing their livelihood strategies in order to adapt to huge environmental changes, like hurricanes.

“For the NOAA studies, we were looking at fishing communities in general and how they responded culturally, economically and socially to the changes NOAA regulations imposed on them,” she added. “After Katrina all you heard about was New Orleans. But a significant portion of Louisiana’s economy is based on fishing and shrimping, which takes place in rural areas. Just as various regions of New Orleans are recovering at different rates, so too are diverse fishing communities recovering differently. It is difficult to see the variation when you don’t see it firsthand. That is one reason anthropological field research is so important. You see firsthand how people are coping with change.”

Researcher and student interviewed individuals from the Grand Isle, the last barrier island at the mouth of the Mississippi River which helps protect the city of New Orleans from hurricanes. McIlvaine-Newsad then continued her research with NOAA anthropologist Palma Ingles in the communities of Venice and Empire. All three communities suffered tremendous damage from Hurricane Katrina, she said.

Inhabitants of Grand Isle are primarily Cajun and have been shrimping since the 1800s. Shrimpers in Venice and Empire are largely comprised of Cambodians and Vietnamese immigrants who have been shrimping in the area for the past 20 to 30 years. The cultural differences among the communities, their social network systems and their familiarity with their physical environment all influence how they shrimp and how they rebuild after the storm, McIlvaine-Newsad explained.

“We were in Louisiana, but in some areas it looked as if we had stumbled into a developing country where poverty is a cultural norm,” said Long, who assisted in the research by conducting and transcribing field interviews, coding data and mapping the area. “The poor are without a voice. They need anthropologists to give them that voice.

“Participating in the research was amazing,” added Long, who received grants from the College of Arts and Sciences ($300) and the sociology and anthropology department ($75) to help defray his personal expenses. “Not only was I able to be involved in a project that was unique as the post-Katrina fishery research, but also to become entrenched in this fading way of life (shrimping) and possibly contribute to the greater body of knowledge which could, hopefully, help to save it from virtual extinction.”

Although the hurricane created a surge in the natural shrimping environment, Grand Isle, Venice and Empire were annihilated. Homes are gone and residents still wait for temporary living trailers from FEMA more than one year after Katrina. Fishing boats were destroyed and other vital resources were also depleted such as dock space and ice machines. Shrimp processing plants have closed, and clients are relying more heavily than ever on farmed imported shrimp from other countries, McIlvaine-Newsad said.

“I think it’s one of the best experiences for students to have,” McIlvaine-Newsad said. “You can learn in the classroom, but to actually go out and do the research is invaluable.”

Long agreed.

“I learned not only the practical application techniques of anthropological methods; but perhaps more importantly, I learned that anthropology can assist in policy formation that can save entire economic and social systems from destruction,” he said.

McIlvaine-Newsad, who is also a research fellow for the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western, received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida (2000) in applied cultural anthropology with a focus on gender, agriculture and natural resource management strategies in Ecuador. She earned an M.A. in International Development from Ohio University. She followed her B.A. in German from Denison University serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She speaks fluent German and Spanish.

E-mail Dr. McIlvaine-Newsad at H-McIlvaine-newsad@wiu.edu or contact the WIU University Relations Office for assistance: telephone 309-298-1993; email Bonnie Barker, BL-BL-Barker@wiu.edu and Darcie Shinberger, DR-Shinberger@wiu.edu.


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12:18 PM

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Journalist fights subpoena in Lt. Watada court-martial case

Making Contact's Sarah Olson Fights U.S. Army's Attack on Journalists and Anti-War Voices

National Radio Project supports lieutenant's right to speak out freely, and defends journalist's objection to court-martial subpoena
January 10, 2007

National Radio Project and Making Contact join with PEN American Center, the Society of Professional Journalists, military reporters and editors, the editorial staff of the LA Times, Media Alliance and scores of community groups in denouncing the Army's attempt to turn journalists into an investigative arm of the government, erode the separation between press and government, and chill free speech.


If Sarah refuses to testify in the upcoming court-martial, she faces a felony contempt of court charge, up to six months in prison, and a fine of up to $500.00.

Sarah says, "It’s not my job to participate in the government prosecution of my own sources, especially when the crime relates to political speech. …why would any dissenter or whistleblower trust me in the future? As a journalist in the land of the First Amendment, I see myself owing a duty to the public, not to the state." Sarah adds, "Hauling journalists in front of a military court to testify against their own sources threatens to create a chilling effect on dissenting voices. This subpoena also creates a chilling effect on journalists willing to cover these relevant and newsworthy stories."

As an independent, non-profit media group, we want to make sure voices of dissent against the war in Iraq are heard. This subpoena seems odd given the clear, first-person statements made by Lt. Watada in Olson’s Making Contact segment, which aired publicly on over 200 radio stations, was podcast to 11,000 subscribers and is freely available on our website.

You can listen to Lt. Watada’s statements in Sarah’s report here...http://www..org/sound/ or in our special report 12/27 looking-back-moving-forward

Why Watada, why Olson, why now? Could it be that the military and this administration are concerned about the growing public disgust with the war in Iraq, the growing anti-war movement and GI resistance? The Appeal for Redress, a recently drafted bring- the-troops-home letter to Congress, is signed by over 1000 members of the Armed Forces.

We agree with Sarah’s assertion that, “It is ironic that the Army seeks my testimony – the testimony of a journalist – in a case against free speech itself. What could be more hostile to the idea of a free press than a journalist participating in the suppression of newsworthy speech?” We need more debate in this country, not less.

Supporters encourage people to contact the Fort Lewis commanding officer to decry this assault on the First Amendment; urge dropping all the political speech related charges against Lt. Watada; and to request that the army accept Lt. Watada’s resignation and provide an honorable or general discharge.

Commanding General Fort Lewis and I Corps
Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik
Bldg 2025 Stop 1
Fort Lewis, WA 98433

This case is representative of a larger constellation of other cases in the post-911 era that are rarely covered in the corporate-
controlled media:
  • Journalist Josh Wolf has been in prison since August 2006 for resisting a grand jury seeking his videotapes of a protest.
    more info... http://freejosh.pbwiki.com/
  • In 2005 five ex-Black Panthers were imprisoned for refusing to testify for a grand jury pursuing cold cases from the 1970’s, at which time, some of them were interrogated and tortured.
    more info...http://www.freedomarchives.org/BPP/torture.html
  • Grand juries have been called in the last two years against environmental and animal rights activists on the west coast. Many people have been jailed for refusing to testify, and for participating in political actions.
    more info...http://www.cldc.org/
  • Listen to reports of the National Guard spying on the Raging Grannies, librarians fighting the Patriot Act, and civil libertarians fighting for Habeus Corpus on Making Contact's Liberty and Justice for... Whom?
  • On January 1, 2007, the California Highway Patrol blocked the Golden Gate Bridge and barred the free speech of Code Pink protesters during their New Years Day anti-war protest. The CHP also allegedly assaulted a News-7 camera operator.
    more info...http://sfbay.indymedia.org/antiwar/
  • For updates on Press Freedom and Media Justice, including efforts for a federal shield law to protect journalists, check out our friends at
    Media Alliance
  • Sarah Olson's Editor & Publisher essay,
    "Why I Object to Testifying Against Lt.Watada"
  • Follow Sarah's situation at freepresswg.org

Greener News Room
National Radio Project

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9:22 AM

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Lockdown on life: stories from women behind bars

On this edition, we take you to two U.S. prisons (California Medical Facility - CMF and The Washington Correctional Center for Women) ­ and go behind the bars and into the lives of incarcerated women. We'll share the personal stories of transgendered-women forced to live among hundreds of men in a California prison. You'll also hear from imprisoned mothers and incarcerated expectant mothers who are being helped by a group of doulas.


Dr. Lori Kohler, prison doctor; Alex Lee, Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project; Juana, Donna, Shante, Diamond, Kim, five transgender Women at California Medical Facility whose names have been changed; Taska Harand, mom at Washington Correctional Center for Women; Christy Hall, the Birth Attendants, co-founder; Genesis, mom at Washington Correctional Center for Women; Katrina Eva, Residential Parenting Program
correctional unit supervisor; Jade Souza, works with The Birth Attendants; Julie Montie, works with The Birth Attendants; Teresa Corel, mom at Washington Correctional Center for Women;

Senior Producer/Host: Tena Rubio
Contributing Freelance Producers: Sandra Lupien and Sarah Olson

Greener News Room

Additional resource:: Medical Advocates/Prisoners

For more information::

Transgender, Gender Variant, Intersex Justice Project
1322 Webster St., Suite 210
Oakland, CA 94612
510-677-5500; info@tgijp.org

Trans/Gender Variant in Prison Committee
California Prison Focus
2940 16th Street #B-5
San Francisco, CA 94103
415-252-9211; tip@riseup.net

The Birth Attendants
P.O. Box 12258
Olympia, WA 98508

Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-255-7036; info@prisonerswithchildren.org

California Coalition for Women Prisoners
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-255-7036 ext. 4; info@womenprisoners.org

Justice Now
1322 Webster Street, Suite 210
Oakland, CA 94612

Free Battered Women
1540 Market St., Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
415-255-7036 x320; info@freebatteredwomen.org

Project Avary
1018 Grand Ave.
San Rafael, CA 94901
415-460-1184; info@projectavary.org

The Osbourne Association
Administrative Office
36-31 38th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101

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8:21 AM

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Trees manage water, even in arid environments

Water scarcity is slowly becoming a fact of life in increasingly large areas.

When Constance Brown moved from Arizona to Indiana two years ago, she was struck by a major difference: people in Indiana don't think about water every day the way people in Arizona do.

The difference shows up in many ways. In Arizona, Brown said, if you drop a piece of ice on the kitchen floor and ignore it, in a few minutes it will be gone -- melted and then evaporated. In Indiana, if you drop a piece of ice on the floor and ignore it, the water will just stay there until it's wiped up.

In Arizona, she said, if you need a particular garment on short notice and it's in the laundry, you can wash it by hand and hang it outside. It will be dry in 15 minutes. Not in Indiana.

In semi-arid environments such as the southwestern United States, humidity is so low that water is scarce to begin with and hard to hold onto when there is a rare cloudburst. Rain that collects in puddles is quickly sucked up by evaporation into the dry air. Most of the rest runs off before it can soak into the ground. Maintaining an adequate supply of water is a constant challenge, and water management is a top priority.

One way to make better use of scarce water resources would be to retain more of the water that falls during a heavy rain. To accomplish this, better understanding is needed about how water behaves in the environment. Brown, a micrometeorologist in the Atmospheric Science Program of Indiana University's Department of Geography, is one of the scientists working to provide this understanding. Her research is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation.

In a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Arid Environments, which is available on the Web at http://authors.elsevier.com, she reports the first results of a study designed to characterize the surface exchanges of water and carbon dioxide in a forest in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Ariz. Mountain forests are an important source of water for the rest of such semi-arid regions, and these forests provide relatively isolated conditions where scientists can get a clearer picture of what is happening to the water that so many people depend on. In a desert region, such forests are found only at the tops of mountains because only there does precipitation exceed evaporation enough for forest vegetation to survive.

Understanding surface-atmosphere interactions is important to understanding a range of water resource phenomena including predictions about water supplies, Brown said. "This research seeks to characterize the explicit relationship between water availability and photosynthetic activities of the vegetation. This paper is the first step in that process, and it illustrates the seasonal characteristics of the forest vegetation-water relationship as observed during a three-year period during which there were extreme drought conditions in the semi-arid southwestern United States."

Brown's measurements showed that in this environment, there is a predominant, direct and immediate correspondence between water availability and photosynthetic activity of the vegetation. This is different from what happens in most coniferous forests, where the seasonal behavior of the trees is significantly influenced by temperature changes: the trees are largely dormant in winter and have a summer growing season. The mountain-top forest that she studied was in some ways the opposite.

"During the summer season before the heavy rains, when almost all the winter precipitation had been evaporated and the soil was extremely dry, the trees essentially closed down," she said. "This behavior suggests that the trees have little ability to access any moisture present in bedrock fractures. Because a late spring/early summer period without any rain is very common in southern Arizona, the mountain forest must have evolved the capability to survive it. The rapid recovery of this forest when heavy rains begin confirms the tight coupling between the trees and the available soil moisture."

In short, winter has a significant impact on the primary growing season for these mountain trees, because moisture is continually available from rain or snow, the tree root zones don't freeze, and there is enough sunlight for photosynthesis. The trees slow down during the pre-monsoon dry season in May and June when water is scarce, and then quickly respond to the sudden availability of water at the onset of the monsoon in July.

As unlikely as it may seem, Arizona does experience a monsoon every summer. Certain roads have yellow warning signs posted -- "Do Not Cross When Flooded." Though these signs may seem out of place in the middle of a desert, they have a serious purpose. In Arizona, as in other regions of the world such as India, residents must cope with a season of high temperatures, high winds and high moisture, resulting in potentially deadly weather.

The Arizona monsoon usually begins around July 7 and continues for the next two months, resulting in about one-third of the region's yearly rainfall. The monsoon varies from year to year in starting date, duration and intensity.

"The semi-arid forest ecosystem adapts to the extremes in the annual cycle of water availability by its ability to remain turned on during the winter," Brown said. "Water stress, rather than temperature, is the primary control on the forest's behavior. The trees will remain significantly active regardless of the season, providing they have access to moisture."

It remains to be seen whether coniferous forests at lower elevations in the western United States will be able to do the same if they are confronted with prolonged water scarcity.

Brown can be reached at 812-856-5047 and combrown@indiana.edu. For assistance in reaching her, contact Hal Kibbey at 812-855-0074 and hkibbey@indiana.edu.

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4:32 PM