Grassroots movements stop biomass incinerators in two counties, one still at risk

May 12, 2012

Dr. William Sammons, an expert on the health and environmental effects of biomass combustion, has traveled to southern Indiana from the East Coast numerous times to testify at public hearings against burning biomass for energy.

Biomass includes everything biological in origin: crops, trees, animals, manure, sewage sludge, and construction and demolition debris, which unavoidably contain heavy metals and fungicides. Burning it produces significant threats to the environmental and human health.

“Biomass is dirtier than coal," Sammons once told citizens fighting proposed biomass combustors in southern Indiana. "Forget it.”

May 1, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • How CEO pay compares with yours
  • Profits from the prison-industrial complex
  • Suicide rates soar in the West
  • Student strike in Quebec: 178,390 participate over 73 days
  • Putting politics in birth control
  • Human rights at risk in Bahrain
  • Connecticut joins 16 other states in abolishing the death penalty
  • Restaurant worker fired for standing up for her rights

The Powell Memo: A roadmap for the 1 percent revolution, Part 1

May 1, 2012

Lewis F. Powell's 1971 memorandum to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce --- "Attack on American Free Enterprise System" -- may or may not have been the first shot fired in the nation's late-20th-century right-wing revolution. But from the document's title to its ominous conclusion -- "Business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late" -- it was a literal call to the political arms that have subsequently driven the nation's devolution from democracy to oligarchy.

While the then-Richmond, Va., lawyer couched his message in noble-sounding calls for openness, balance, truth and fairness, his overall tone was doomsday and militant. Referring to the enemies that Powell said were arrayed against the Chamber -- largely on campuses, in the media and in the courts -- he used the term attack 18 times; revolt/revolution/revolutionaries five; war/warfare four; assault four; hostility two; destruction two; and shotgun attack and rifle shot one each. The stakes, he said, were tantamount to life and death.

"The overriding first need is for businessmen to recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival -- survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people," he wrote just two months before being nominated to the Supreme Court by President Richard M. Nixon.

Indiana citizen groups says bailout should be rejected
May 1, 2012

News Release
Citizens Action Coalition, Sierra Club, Valley Watch, Save the Valley

The settlement filed April 30 at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission between Duke Energy, the Indiana Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Nucor Steel and the Duke Energy Indiana Industrial Group falls well short of what the captive ratepayers of Duke Energy deserve.

Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) stated, "We maintain our position that this is an illegitimate power plant that never should have been approved in the first place. This proposed settlement amounts to nothing more than a massive bailout for Duke Energy."

April 28, 2012

The Greene Report is a compilation of environmental stories written by Linda Greene for the Alternative and WFHB Community Radio's EcoReport. This week's edition includes:

  • Indiana leads the country in pollution discharges
  • Trial begins on ALCOA’s toxic waste dump at Indiana’s Squaw Creek coal mine
  • IU-Bloomington named one of top “green” colleges and universities
  • Westinghouse gets the okay to supply nuclear reactors to India
  • No second term for Krinstine Svinicki, NRC commissioner
  • Gatica wins the Goldman Environmental Prize
  • Nine low-tech steps to community resilience under global warming
  • Coming to your supermarket: dioxin-laced corn
  • Let’s eliminate carcinogens in our everyday products
  • Prescribed burns and managed wildfires are deadly
  • Read The Greene Report archive on The Bloomington Alternative.

April 22, 2012

Peace & Justice News is a collection of news items collected by Bloomington Alternative contributor Linda Greene. Today's edition includes:

  • Living well without God
  • Animal rights activist plaintiff in First Amendment case
  • Military spending, taxes unending
  • Help end 21 years of solitary confinement for prisoner
  • Single-payer health care can save $570 billion
  • Mali union activist Tiecoura Traore visits the U.S.
  • If you have a large student loan debt, it’s your fault
  • 43rd Venceremos Brigade to leave for Cuba
  • Corporations profiteering on women’s health
  • Rio Tinto supports Olympic Summer Games, locks out workers

April 21, 2012

Van Jones said in Rebuild the Dream, "For millions of people the thrill of seeing Barack Obama beat the odds to become president of the United States was one of [the] most exciting and uplifting experiences of our lives. The feelings of joy, hope, and anticipation were heady and unforgettable."

If he's going to win the 2012 presidential election, Obama will have to win back the support of many of his 2008 followers who became disgusted by his policies and actions, many of which have flouted promises he made as a candidate. In the 55 brief chapters in Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion editors Jeffrey St. Clair and Joshua Frank list some of them. They include his:

April 21, 2012

The terms of Dow Chemical's $10 million gift to the University of Michigan ought to raise eyebrows in universities across the country.

Under the gift agreement made public by the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Dow Chemical would have its own paid representative on the committee that chooses Sustainability Fellows funded by the gift.

April 21, 2012

The Kinsey Institute chose not to dignify minister Douglas Wilson with a protest when he gave a talk in Bloomington described as a two-part lecture called "Sexual by Design," the first half Creation Sexuality and the second Redemption Sexuality. His April 13 speech in IU's Woodburn Hall included a commentary on Alfred Kinsey's ideas and activities.

Though the Kinsey Institute chose silence as the appropriate response to Wilson's presence in Bloomington, IU students and members of the larger community thought Wilson's views were too repulsive and dangerous to ignore. About 75 people gathered outside Woodburn Hall with signs lauding diversity and condemning hate, with some wearing "Out and Proud" buttons and either carrying or wearing rainbow flags, the symbols of LGBTQ liberation. The group walked over to nearby Ballantine Hall, where Wilson spoke.

April 14, 2012

Last November's pepper-spray attack on nonviolent University of California Davis (UCD) students resulted from poor leadership and lack of communication among campus police authorities and university leaders, according to a University of California task force report released on April 11. The report condemned the actions of the campus police officers and their use of excessive force against student demonstrators.

According to an April 11 KTVU article, Lt. John Pike and other campus police authorities who doused a line of seated student protesters with pepper spray used canisters larger than campus police officers were authorized and trained to utilize. The incident drew widespread public condemnation, and many called for UCD Chancellor Linda Katehi's resignation. The report provided findings about the incident along with a set of recommendations to prevent future clashes.

"Our overriding conclusion can be stated briefly and explicitly," wrote former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso and the report's co-authors, according to an April 11 Chicago Tribune article. "The pepper-spraying incident that took place on Nov. 18, 2011, should and could have been prevented."