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Madeline Bodin
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And folks, funks, jazzes, and klezmers. This eclectic band added a jolt of exuberance to the SEJ conference’s Saturday night party at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center. When lead singer Anna Purnell described one of their numbers as a combination of bluegrass and klezmer, with a little bit of blues, I thought that this was surely a unique blend of musical styles, but apparently Reptile Palace Orchestra is not the only band playing this, as I found out serendipitously on Monday morning when I read this article. (Photo from band’s Web site) Be warned, though, that the music that accompanies... Continue reading
(Photo: Tour-goers take notes and photos at an overlook of the plant) In 1941 – months before Pearl Harbor -- the federal government seized 10,000 acres of prairie farmland in Sauk County Wisconsin (northwest of Madison) to build an ammunition plant. The Badger Army Ammunition Plant first produced sulfuric acid and then gunpowder and rocket propellant during World War II. The complex geared up again during the Viet Nam War, but in 1975 it was put “on standby status,” all but shut down. The Army will soon turn over those 10,000 acres to other federal agencies, but first it must... Continue reading
Is the non-profit journalism model viable? The four panelists at Saturday’s early morning session say yes. The four organizations the panelists represent, Voice of San Diego, Capitol News Connection, Huffington Post Investigative Fund, and ProPublica, have different funding profiles that mix the expected foundation grants, and add (depending on the organization) private funding, fee-for-service payments, or individual donations. Capitol News Connection provides a sort of outsourced Capitol bureau for National Public Radio stations nationwide. Capitol News Connection executive director Melinda Wittstock said that she has noticed that similar organizations have hit their stride when they hired a dedicated development, or... Continue reading
When it comes to protecting his new-born calves from wolf predation, Minnesota cattle rancher David Radaich has found that deer are some of his best friends. Radaich loses one to five calves a year to wolf predation. He tried using guard dogs, but that didn’t work. Fencing his 1,200 acre farm would be too expensive, he says. But, he says, local fawns are born at about the same time as his calves, and when wolves have plenty of fawns to eat they are less likely to kill calves. Radaich discussed wolves and their listing under the federal Endangered Species Act... Continue reading
Local authorities want to know why a gray fox lay immobile in someone’s Wisconsin backyard. The fox was put down and its body was sent to the National Wildlife Health Center Laboratory, in Madison, Wisc. There, Carol Meteyer, a wildlife pathologist at the lab, began to unravel the fox’s mystery. On a steel table in her basement lab, she began a necropsy, or animal autopsy, on the fox’s remains. Each of the fox’s organs held a possible clue to what had caused the fox to act so oddly. She drained urine from the fox’s bladder so it could be tested... Continue reading
Tell us a story. That technique emerged as a theme at the 2009 SEJ Awards ceremony. Several award winners thanked not only their editors and colleagues, but also thanked key sources for sharing their stories and allowing the award recipients to put a human face and experience to an otherwise abstract issue of environmental justice. Notable among the award winners using this technique were Ashley Ahearn, who accepted the second place award for in-depth radio reporting on behalf of a team from NPR’s "Living on Earth" for a report on the link between lead and violent crime, and Andrew Nikiforuk,... Continue reading