Mission elapsed time: T + 10 and counting*
[Big day today! Not only Occupy's one-year anniversary, but the Chicago teacher's strike continues. --lambert]
"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." --Woody Guthrie
Chicago Teachers Strike. There was no contract (!!): "Instead, delegates and union leadership said Friday that they wanted to see the deal 'in writing' first. That skepticism continued Sunday, when delegates got a 23-page summary but not the final proposal, which is expected to number of 180 pages." … 'Til Tuesday: "[T]he House of Delegates voted NOT to suspend the strike, but to allow two more days for delegates to take the information back to the picket lines and hold discussions with the over 26,000 members throughout Chicago. Teachers and school staff will return to the picket lines at 7:30 a.m. Monday and, after picketing together, will meet to share and discuss the proposal. The House will reconvene on Tuesday afternoon." … Good faith negotiations: "Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tonight vowed to seek a court injunction to force teachers back to school after their union declined to suspend its week-old strike in the nation's third-largest city." … Salaries: "It became commonplace in he media to say over and over that the average salary for Chicago teachers is $71,000-$76,000. [In fact, it's] is $56,720 [here]. Maybe this will make the teachers' cause somewhat more tolerable to the pundits in the media who can barely get by on four times that much." …. Issues: "Among the big points of contention are the tying of teachers' pay to student performance [VAM] and job security with the expansion of charter schools and the closure of other public schools." F*ck Rahm and the corrupt charter movement he rode in on. That's the issue, even if Izvestia disagrees. Worth another two days, maybe?
Occupy. #S15, Saturday: "A commander wearing a white shirt took one man by the arm and threw him forcefully face down on the sidewalk. Some in the crowd said that officers appeared to be pointing out specific individuals for arrest" (TimCast; more linky goodness). Arm-locking. Chalking. … #S16 Sunday: "On Sunday, hundreds gathered on Gansevoort Street and the Hudson River Greenway, to protest Spectra Energy, and the construction of a gas pipeline in the West Village that will be supplied by fuel obtained in shale drilling." Evening photos in Zucotti Park. … #S17, Monday: "Monday morning ultimately remains a wildcard, given the unpredictable spatial strategies of the NYPD. The widely published OWS plan will combine the People's Wall, at several targeted intersections near the Stock Exchange, with mobile actions launched from a series of overlapping thematic zones, including the 99 Percent Zone." … #S17, Monday: "'Wear a suit.' This was the official Occupy Wall Street call to protesters heading to the financial district Monday morning to mark the first anniversary of the movement, in its crucible." … #S17, debt: "Why are you here? 'The student loans and the financial aid that's available. Basically, it's a circle of debt with us. Like it's over and over, I already owe money." [Ashley] Valdespino [(19)] said." Good quotes. … #S17, networking: "One of the refrains I keep hearing is this: 'After this year I know the people I'll be organizing with my whole life.'"
AK. Climate: "It's always curious to hear protests from the Lower 48 insisting that climate change is a hoax, especially when one lives down the road from glaciers that aren't--shall we say--what they used to be" (photos and trailer of Chasing Ice).
AL. Gardening: "To those who say why go to the trouble of making pickles when the grocery store has plenty for $2.50 or so, I say why do you go to a concert when you can buy the CD for $15 or the song you like for 99 cents? It is not the same."
CA. Woody Guthrie: "Guthrie 'became the voice of an entire generation of displaced Americans, many of whom came to California to start over,' Altman said."… Foreclosure: "Before they tried to carry out the April eviction, deputies were warned that the homeowner had weapons, the claim says. Locksmith Glendon Engert paused while disabling the lock on a metal security door when he heard something inside, but deputies directed him to keep drilling, the claim says." No spoiler. … Recall: "A threat to recall [San Bernardino] Councilman Chas Kelley unless he put a city charter repeal on the November ballot has been found not to illegal (they were looking at it as a bribery or extortion charge)." … Greens: "'It makes him (Romney) a global-warming denier,' said Soto. He said he might vote for the Green Party candidate, though he wasn't sure who that was. (It's Dr. Jill Stein, a Massachusetts physician.) … March: "About 50 [Wal-Mart] workers each day are marching the route taken by the trucks that carry the goods they load -- from Riverside, CA., to Downtown Los Angeles. Sleeping each night along the way on church floors and relying on supporters for meals, the marchers will deliver a letter outlining the alleged abuses they have suffered."
FL. Trafficking: "Tesoro is one among thousands of victims of human trafficking, a crime federal investigators say is growing across the country -- and in South FL. Palm Beach County, with its agriculture and tourism industries always on the lookout for low cost labor, is a 'perfect storm' for human trafficking, investigators say." … Water and sewer: "More development means more taxpayers. Yes it is a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme built on an ocean of sh*t. It's what taxpayers do." …. Charters: "[Internal] documents that show for-profit online educator K12?s student-teacher ratio is as high as 275-to-1, nearly twice the maximum ratio used by FL's state-run virtual school."
LA. Oil: "After Hurricane Isaac uncovered tar balls and tar mats along Louisiana's coastline, BP said it wants to 'deep clean' the state's beaches. The company's proposal is to sift out contaminants to as deep as four feet."
MI. Fracking: "Livingston County is one of the purest pieces of Pure MI. The state of MI's Department of Natural Resources has sold drilling rights to land underneath the Brighton Recreation Area and Lakelands Trail to open up the area to 'fracking.' No townhall meeting is scheduled. It's not on agendas of the county commission."
NC. Woody Guthrie: "Guthrie is one of those rare musicians whose work we know, even if we do not know the composer, [Poet and singer Kim Arrington] said. She cites "This Land Is Your Land." "I asked my kid about it," she said. "He didn't know Woody Guthrie's name, but he could sing that song." That kind of influence "means your song has broken through a different place, when your song is known before your name is associated with the song.'"
NY. Fracking: "Signers -- 5,000 to date -- of the 'Pledge of Resistance' represent a commitment [to employ tactics used in the 1960s Civil Right's movement] that seems to extend beyond an ill-defined crowd that can be written off as reactionaries, hellions, ideologues, and band-wagon riders. Alliances within the group cut across demographics, with heavy representation from baby-boomers, some with a history in the Civil Rights movement that defined 1960s-era activism. [A]nti-fracking campaigners are represented by credentialed leadership including politicians, academics, and professionals with family and jobs. And they appear ready to push their comfort zone." … Fracking: "The Quinnipiac poll finds that New Yorkers surveyed believe that the economic benefits of natural gas drilling, including job creation, outweigh the potential harmful environmental effects. [F]or the first time in more than a year, a growing number of upstate voters, many of whom live in areas above the Marcellus Shale natural gas deposits, support hydrofracking by 48 percent to 41 percent." … Queenborough Community College: "Yesterday I reported that the English department at Queensborough Community College had voted to reject an administration-initiated restructuring of their composition program, and that the college's Vice President for Academic Affairs had in response informed them that the department will be largely dismantled next fall."
OK. Woody Guthrie: "SHAWNEE -- As the worldwide Woody Guthrie centennial celebration continues, the late, great folk troubadour's sister will sign copies of her new book [Woody's Road] about the Oklahoma icon Thursday evening at Rose Manor Nursing Home."
PA. Fracking: "The PUC suggested that a provision in the proposed North Towanda ordinance that completely prohibits water impoundment areas within a federally designated flood plain is at odds with a section in the law that states well sites that include water impoundment areas may not be drilled in a flood plain unless a waiver is obtained from the state Department of Environmental Protection." Which was probably the point, but never mind that. … Climate: "Over the last 50 years in Pennsylvania, significant rain events -- when more than an inch of rain falls within 24 hours -- are up by 50 percent. But our average rainfall totals have remained about the same." … Protest: "ACT UP Philadelphia also held a rally today outside [Gov.] Corbett's office. Their gripe with the governor: His budget cutting off general assistance funds for the poor, sick and disabled."
TN. Voting: "Despite expressing confidence in the reliability of electronic poll books, the Davidson County Election Commission on Thursday stuck with its decision not to use the devices in the November election."
TX. Trafficking: "Brilliant observation, and true: What's the secret ingredient to Texas' much-ballyhooed job creation boom that you'll never hear from Rick Perry on the presidential campaign stump? Drug trafficking" (golden oldie, via). … Supply chain: " On Friday, a federal judge ruled that the people in Hillcrest and other Corpus Christi neighborhoods that were harmed by the illegal pollution created by Citgo's East Refinery have the right to be considered crime victims in the sentencing phase of the case against Citgo. This is a landmark case, as it is the first time a refinery has ever been convicted of criminal charges. It is also the first time residents living near a refinery have been recognized as potential crime victims" (more).
VA. Uranium: "In the call, [State Sen. Bill Stanley] can be heard saying that he had been called and asked to 'reach out' by [Gov.] McDonnell to persuade the board to shelve the uranium resolution. He tells [Supervisor Jerry A. Hagerman], who has come out openly against ended [sic] the state-wide moratorium against uranium mining, that going along with dumping the resolution could be good for him 'personally and politically.'" … Mining: " [Kyanite Mining Corp.] is turning to the VA Supreme Court to block a lower court's order forcing the company into receivership and eventual liquidation. At stake is the mining company, valued at least at $160 million and tens of millions of dollars in assets represented by approximately 28,000 acres of old growth timber and the immensely valuable Cavalier Hotel waterfront property in Virginia Beach.
WI. Swing state: "Romney's selection [of] Ryan -- pushed WI to the short list. Last week marked WI's move into full battleground status with candidate visits and television buys."
Outside baseball. Cheri Honkala: "The fight of the next generation is going to be over who determines how land is used and who does that land belong to." Nice framing.
The trail. Polls, Nate Silver: "At the very least, Obama's lead in the national polls no longer seems to be growing. If he gained additional ground following the attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya -- or from Mitt Romney's response to it -- there has been no sign of it in the most recent national tracking surveys. ... Undecideds: "A striking finding of the [NBC/WSJ/Marist] poll is how many voters have already made a choice. Just 5 percent were undecided in Florida and Ohio, 6 percent in Virginia. All the ads and campaigning -- and the hundreds of millions of dollars being spent in this race for the White House -- are for them.:
The Romney. Comedy: "NY Post Full Page Ad, 'Obama's Big Lie Revealed'" Which one, you may ask. But in vain... More comedy: "Romney associates are baffled that such a successful corporate leader has created a team with so few lines of authority or accountability. Romney has allowed seven distinct power centers to flourish inside his campaign, with the strategy pod, headed by [Stuart] Stevens and [Russ] Schriefer, handling the most essential ingredient -- the candidate's public message and image." The article is a Stevens takedown, but it looks like The Romney isn't taking Steven's advice. Weird. … Desperate: "The peril to Romney's candidacy of being seen through the lens of desperation can't be overstated. "
The Obama. Comic impersonator: "Jay Pharoah debuted his Obama impression on Saturday Night Live last night, but the whole skit was hijacked by Jason Sudeikis's Mitt Romney." … Comic impersonator: "'There's your choice America,' [T]he Obama character says, 'stick with what is barely working, or take your chances with that.'" … Master debater: "'He's got to speak shorter, that's all,' Axelrod said."
* Slogan of the day: Long live Commander-in-Chief Presumptive Willard Mitt Romney!