Show Notes, July 15, 2013

Listen to the show at BlogTalkRadio.com.

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Colorful Shade

Richmond County Superintendent of Schools Frank Rober­son said he plans to re-examine admission policies to magnet schools later this year to prepare for the 2014-15 class. Because Richmond County is no longer under a desegregation order, it can no longer use race alone as a factor in selecting students to its magnet schools. Seventy percent of the school district’s students are black, and 23% are white. A.R. Johnson Health Science and Engi­neering Magnet School‘s student body reflects those percentages, while both C.T. Walker Traditional and John S. Davidson Fine Arts have almost equal numbers of black and white students.
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Tiny, mosquito-eating fish could be a big solution for abandoned swimming pools that have turned into breeding grounds for the pesky insects. “Mosquitofish can be used only at abandoned homes where an owner cannot be located or lives out of state.”
The foreclosure crisis has another impact I would have never thought of. Many swimming pools are completely abandoned and have become breeding grounds for mosquitos. I don’t understand why we have homeless people, abandoned homes and new home construction all at the same time.
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There’s an excellent article examining why Georgia has fewer death penalty cases. Because of federal mandates for due process before capitol punishment, the state is choosing to seek life sentences in cases that it used to seek capitol punishment.
Prosecutors are choosing life sentences to more quickly provide victims’ families closure in state court systems that they say are riddled with delays and overworked capital defense lawyers. … “Quite frankly, trials move a lot quicker if you do not seek the death penalty,” [Richmond County District Attorney Ashley] Wright said.
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The Richmond County Commission is scheduled to hear details today about a proposal to grant management of The Patch to Fore Augusta Foundation on the condition that the city of Augusta spend up to $2.25 million in renovations.
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Today’s Business Section profiled Kim Hines of Augusta Locally Grown. I buy products from there frequently, and I recommend people to consider locally grown, organic foods. And Kim Hines is a friend!
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The Augusta Chronicle’s lead editorial advocated for moderation in regulation of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. It criticized the tone President Obama used when announcing new executive orders restricting carbon emissions. It then said if we don’t use every source of energy available, we’ll lose the Energy War to Russian and China.
Opponents of action to reduce pollution always claim that if we don’t allow private corporations to do whatever they want without regarding for the side effects, nobody will have a job. If you ask me to choose between clean air and water and a job, I’d much rather have clean air and water. Especially when the kinds of jobs being create are ones that you can’t even survive on.
Regrettably, President Obama’s executive orders, which have not yet been enacted, will probably not go far enough, but are at least a step in the right direction. The United States has met very modest carbon emission goals because it has switched from coal to natural gas and our economy has slowed down and hence industry is using less energy. While natural gas is better than coal, the extraction process known as fracking is highly polluting and should be stopped until the gas can be extracted cleanly.
Aside from limiting the use of coal, the number one way to know whether we are serious about averting climate change is if we allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built.
Am I crazy to think we should reinstate the 55 miles per hour speed limit? Is it wrong to tax gasoline and motor vehicles to disincentivize suburban sprawl? Shouldn’t we be building mass transit and safe bicycle lanes? Is it wrong to believe that having the money to buy or build something does not automatically give you the right to do so?
The craziest argument those opposed to action to protect our environment make is that China and India are building new coal plants every day. The average USA resident created 17.2 metric tons of CO2 emissions in 2009.  The average in China was 6.2, and the average in India was 1.4. Yes, our modest proposed reductions will make little impact by themselves, but the world has to start somewhere, and we are the main problem.
For an educated and much more moderate position than mine, listen to Atlanta-based Sam Collier of the Climate Reality Project discuss this editorial. I heard Sam speak at an Augusta Sierra Club meeting in February 2013, and I sent him the editorial and asked him what he thought.
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Speak Out Against SRS Becoming a Nuclear Waste Dump!
SRS Community Advisory Board (C.A.B) Meeting
MON July 15th, 6PM
DOE Meeting Center 230 Village Green Blvd., Suite 220 Aiken, SC 29801
The Savannah River Site Community Advisory Board is considering a resolution opposing using SRS as an “interim” commercial nuclear waste storage site.  Please speak up and have your voice heard!
ALSO please email your comments about the resolution opposing “interim” commercial waste storage at SRS.
Listen (mp3) to David Matos of Carolina Peace Resource Center discuss the issue of “interim” storage of nuclear waste in Aiken, SC.
Like the Facebook Page Don’t Waste Aiken
Women in Black
Vigil for Peace
MON July 15th 4:30PM-6PM
Corner of Whiskey Road & Hitchcock Dr.
(Diagonally across from Moe’s, in front of Bethlehem Lutheran Church)
Opposing all war…. calling for an end to the war in Afghanistan and no war on Iran.
All-men, women & children- welcome to vigil.
First and third Mondays of each month.
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I do want to recommend two news shows I saw yesterday. The first is an amazing PBS Frontline episode profiling two working class Milwaukee families from 1991-2012. The second is a new show on CNN entitled Inside Man by Morgan Spurlock. The first episode was an intimate portrayal of a family of undocumented workers and the challenges they face.
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