Pfeffer News


Dairy Farmers Turn Activists

Lewis County, NY

North Country Public Radio – Not everyone is celebrating this holiday season. Dairy farmers are warning of a crisis. The price farmers are paid for their milk has been below the cost of production for almost a year. Farmers say without changes to dairy policy, today’s farms won’t be able to survive. The dire economic reality in dairy country is sparking a grassroots movement. Some North Country farmers are traveling to Washington next week to make an urgent appeal for reform.

David Sommerstein reports.

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Natural Disaster: The Musical

Providence, RI

WRNI – Natural disasters are not usually seen as subjects for the musical stage. But then there was “Titanic” on Broadway and in film. Now another improbable production is being developed in New York – and it is centered in Rhode Island. Bill Gale has the story.

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Caring for Employees as Business Shrinks

Charlotte, NC

WFAE – We often hear small business owners talk about how their employees are like family. And that can make layoffs tricky for people like Katie Tyler. She’s the founder and president of Tyler 2 Construction in Charlotte.

“I spend more time with these people than I do with my husband on many given days,” says Tyler. “So it’s a different relationship. It’s a different commitment. It’s much more personal.”

The recession has forced Tyler to shrink her staff by a third. But she’s doing what she can to ease the pain. Julie Rose has the story.

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Informal Survey: What Sells when Money is Tight?

Portland, OR

OPB – Consumer confidence statistics are slowly inching up, after months of belt-tightening. And yet, there’s plenty of evidence that Oregonians are still keeping spending on a tight leash – even for their most commonplace needs.

April Baer recently caught up with one of the people we’ve been following, who sees those consumer trends first hand.

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Beetle vs. Beetle in Battle to Save Trees

Vernon, VT

VPR – The recent discovery of an insect that destroys hemlock trees is causing some alarm in southern Vermont. Now, researchers are hoping to halt the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid by introducing an adelgid-eating beetle.

Susan Keese reports.

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‘New Urbanism’ Popular Despite Housing Slump

St. Charles, MO

KWMU2009 will go down as the worst year for real estate since the Great Depression. But advocates of so-called “New Urbanist” communities, such as the one in St. Charles County, called “New Town at St. Charles” claim that home sales are doing quite well despite the housing slump. As the real estate market shows signs of rebounding, many housing economists wonder if home-buying trends have truly shifted, or if lenders, builders and buyers will simply revert back to business as usual.

looks at the success of New Urbanism in the midst of a housing crisis.

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A Different Kind of Cheerleading Squad

WFCR Smith College is one of the nation’s most academically rigorous women’s colleges — and alma mater to several notable feminists, including Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. So one thing people don’t expect to find on campus are cheerleaders. A new “Smith Spirit Squad” is bucking that stereotype, and raising questions about women’s roles in athletics and the definition of feminist.

Karen Brown reports.

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Helping the Most Troubled Foster Kids

San Leandro, CA

The California Report – Foster children with serious mental or emotional problems are often confined for years in institutions. But a new treatment method is helping some of these troubled kids grow up in families. This is the last of a three-part series on foster care in California.

Elaine Korry

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An Increase in Need for Veterans Services

Milwaukee, WI

WUWM – Back in the late 1980s, there were 300,000 homeless military veterans living on America’s streets. That number has been more than cut in half, because of stronger support systems for veterans and their families. But there are worries that the ranks of homeless veterans could grow again, as thousands of men and women return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On this Veteran’s Day, Erin Toner profiles a program that helps homeless veterans return to the flow of life.

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Cycling Industry Picks Up Speed

Brooklyn, NY

WNYC – Even bike shop owners are surprised at how well their business is fairing in the economic slump. Ilya Marritz takes a closer at the industry’s upward trend.

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Clean Smell Encourages Good Behavior

Chicago, IL

WBEZ – Does virtue have a smell? According to new research by a professor at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Business, it might be the smell of clean.

Adriene Hill reports.

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Gay Marriage Supporters Reflect as Opponents Savor Victory

Portland, ME

Maine Public Broadcasting Network – In the 24 hours after Maine voters rejected same-sex marriage, emotions are still raw for volunteers and organizers of the No On One campaign. They say they remain proud of their message, of the families headed by same-sex couples who shared their stories along the way and of the strong showing at the polls. And they say they are determined to pursue the goal of marriage equality for all Mainers no matter how long it takes.

Susan Sharon gets the reaction from both sides.

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A Look Back at the “Neighborhood” as Mr. Rogers Statue is Unveiled

Pittsburgh, PA

WDUQ – “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” began broadcasting more than 40 years ago, and though the show ceased production in 2001, two years before Fred Rogers passed away, it has left an imprint on educational programming and generations of parents and children. This morning a statue of Mr. Rogers was unveiled on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.

Larkin Page-Jacobs takes a look at the endearing legacy of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”


First Carbon Capture and Storage Project Begins

New Haven, WV

WFPL – Attention is turned to the first commissioning of a carbon capture and storage facility at American Electric Power’s Mountaineer Power Plant.

The 1,300-megawatt coal-fired plant, along the Ohio River north of Charleston, is the first in the world to successfully demonstrate a technology on this scale that removes carbon dioxide from its emissions stream and sequesters it in the ground.

Kristin Espeland reports.

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Local Currencies Spring Up in the Down Economy

Washingon, D.C.

WAMU – Various communities across the U.S. are ‘making’ their own money – in the form of local currencies. At least 150 of these alternative moneys have sprouted nationwide, including several right here in the National Capital Region. Rebecca Sheir has the story.

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