Pfeffer News


Solving Pesticide Drift

Weed Patch, CA

The California Report – Every year, California farmers spray more than 150 million pounds of pesticides to keep insects from ravaging crops like almonds, oranges, and grapes. But when those chemicals drift onto farmworkers and nearby communities, they sicken hundreds of people each year. State lawmakers tried to address the problem five years ago, but new laws don’t appear to have made much of a difference.

Sasha Khokha reports.

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Tri-State Water Wars

Birmingham, AL

WBHM – Georgia’s population has exploded in the last two decades. But with that growth come environmental problem like where to get enough drinking water. Georgia, Florida and Alabama have been fighting over who gets how much water from rivers that flow through the states. And as Tanya Ott reports a decision in the federal lawsuit could effect communities across the country.

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Coal Companies Spend Big to Influence Climate Bill

Charleston, WV

WVPR – Some West Virginia coal companies are spending big bucks to get a seat at the table as Congress debates climate legislation. Watchdog groups want to know what those lobbying dollars are buying.

Tanya Snyder reports.

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Small Merchants Feel the Credit Card Squeeze

Merrimack, NH

NHPR – When we think of problems with credit cards, we tend to focus on consumers, banks, and credit card companies. But another group has its own struggles with plastic — merchants, particularly small independent store owners. In order to offer the convenience of letting customers pay with a credit or a debit card, they confront a welter of fees. For some, the recession has made those fees harder than ever to sustain.

Jon Greenberg has more.

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FEMA Trailers on the Auction Block

Purvis, MI

MPB – Tens of thousands of FEMA trailers once used as temporary housing for Hurricane Katrina victims are now sitting in lots waiting to be auctioned to the highest bidders. Phoebe Judge reports one town is happy to see the trailers move on.

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Tonight’s Special: Stingray

Chesapeake Bay, MD

WAMU – The Chesapeake Bay and many of its species face problems of pollution, overfishing, and ecological imbalance. Watermen who depend on the bay have been dealing with shrinking catches, and tighter controls over fishing. Now oyster growers have discovered ANOTHER challenge… an unwanted visitor to the Bay that keeps preying on their shellfish – the descriptively named ‘Cownose Ray.’ The State of Virginia is working on a plan that might help everyone – the oyster growers, the fisherman, and the bay. Well, everyone but the Cownose.

Sabri Ben-Achour has the story.

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Combating School Violence with “Calm Culture”

Chicago, IL

WBEZ – Youth violence in Chicago has grabbed local and national headlines the past several weeks, following the beating death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert. None of the Chicago Public Schools students killed last year or this year died in school. But CEO Ron Huberman is spending $30 million in education stimulus funds to tackle youth violence. Part of his plan calls for creating a “culture of calm” inside 38 high schools.

Linda Lutton reports.

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Scandal leaves ACORN Scrambling

New York, NY

WNYC – New York Acorn prides itself on standing up for some of the poorest people in the city. But a recent scandal has threatened to bring it down. Now, roles have changed and the large powerful organization is asking its 45,000 members to stand up for ACORN.

Cindy Rodriguez reports.

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Mobile Home Owners Seek Stability

Marysville, WA

KUOW – The Snohomish County Council is scheduled to decide whether to block owners of mobile home parks from evicting homeowners and redeveloping the land. Phyllis Fletcher explores the difficulty in uprooting “mobile” home owners.

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To Catch a Wolf

Saw Tooth Mountains, ID

KBSX – Wolves have been a contentious species in Idaho ever since they were reintroduced more than twenty years ago. The controversy deepened when wolves were removed from the endangered species list and despite protests from conservation groups, wolf hunting is legal in Idaho. Since the season opened in September, 50 wolves have been shot by hunters– less than a quarter of the 220 animal limit set by Fish and Game. One lesson hunters are learning is that wolves are an elusive prey.

Adam Cotterell visits Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains to find out how one man has been able to catch and collar over over three hundred wolves in his career as a master trapper with the Department of Fish and Game.

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Farm To Fork Dinners Deliver More Than A Meal

Boise, ID

Oregon Public Broadcasting – Farm to Fork dinners are usually served on the very farms where the food was grown. They’re a national phenomenon. But ultra fresh fare isn’t all these events offer.

Guy Hand goes to dinner at Peaceful Belly Farms, where the music from the kitchen ipod accompanies the preparations for the evening.

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From Corporate to Nonprofit

Silicon Valley, CA

The California Report – The “Serve America Act” which Congress passed earlier this year is intended to draw more Americans into public service. Tucked into that legislation is a commitment to expand a pilot program developed in California. The Silicon Valley Encore Initiative pairs retired corporate executives with nonprofits who could use their business expertise.

Rachael Myrow

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The Far Reach of Domestic Violence

Normal, IL

WGLT – The Centers for Disease Control estimates 25 percent of women and 11 percent of men will be subject to domestic violence at some point in their lives. Charlie Schlenker reports that on this on the costs to the children who see and experience the abuse

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