community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
On today's show: Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling may take place minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, UPMC Braddock has officially closed. We'll bring you a local reporter's insight into what's next for the facility, A prominent and contentious far right Israeli general and politician speaks at the Hillel Jewish University Center, The Olympics kick off in Vancouver to protests, increased border controls at both sides of the border, and the independent media finds itself under an uncomfortable spotlight, and more in our local and global headlines
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Rustbelt Radio for February 15, 2010
Welcome to this week's edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of the news from the grassroots, news overlooked by the corporate media.
On today's show...
Rustbelt Radio is broadcast live from WRCT studios every other Monday at 6 PM on 88.3 FM in Pittsburgh, and the program airs again on WRCT every Tuesday morning at 9AM.
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We turn now to local stories.
Pittsburgh native Michael Hayden is the former director of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. In 2008, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl authorized a street sign in honor of General Hayden at the intersection of North Shore Drive and Allegheny Avenue. The Northside nameplate has recently come under pressure due to controversial policies and practices under the leadership of General Hayden.
Duquesne University professor and community activist Greg Barnhisel explains:
In order to speak at the March 1 hearing of the case for removing the Hayden nameplate, participants must register with the City Clerk by calling 412-255-2138.
*Note: Greg Barnhisel is not representing the views of Duquesne University.
The proposed site for a new Marcellus Shale gas well and platform is located just minutes from downtown Pittsburgh. This site is no less than 2 blocks from Mifflin Elementary School in Lincoln Place.
According to a February fourth Post-Gazette article, a resident of Lincoln Place, Jeanne McMullen, told city council that a land leasing company contracted out by Chesapeake Energy has been going around the neighborhood asking residents to sign gas leases to drill on their land. She expressed concerns that the site is near a heavily wooded, steep embankment that could cause mudslides.
A local action group has formed, comprised of residents who have concerns with the proposed plan. We speak with Michael Bitsura, a member of Lincoln Place Action Group.
Michael explains that there are actually three other locations in the area where Chesapeake Energy plans to drill:
Until now, the majority of the 300 gas wells drilled in Pennsylvania have been in rural areas. The noise pollution created by large gas drilling operations have raised concerns about quality of life issues, especially in densely populated urban areas such as Pittsburgh.
Stephanie Hallowich, a victim of a gas drilling operation on her land, speaks to the impact it has made on her daily life:
The process used to extract the natural gas is called hydro fracturing. Drillers inject large amounts of water, sand, and Fracking fluid into the ground under high pressure to split the shale bedrock and release the natural gas deposits. The process requires for each well about 3.5 million gallons of water mixed with chemicals. According to Dr. Theo Colburn, who pioneered the concept of Endocrine Disrupters, the fracking fluid contains at least 278 chemicals, of which 93 percent are known to have adverse health effects.
More from Michael Bitsura of the Lincoln Place Action Group:
One of the byproducts of the fracking process is TDS or Total Dissolves Solids, a mixture of salt and other minerals lying deep underground that are brought up by the drilling process. Large quantities of TDS can clog machinery and affect the color, taste and odor of drinking water – precisely the problems reported along the Monongahela River last winter.
The irresponsible disposal of the water has been blamed on the gas industry's exemption from the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Steve Hvozdovich from Clean Water Action.
This story featured audio from the Third Ward Documentary. To listen to this documentary or to find out more about Marcellus Shale gas drilling in the Pittsburgh area, log on to www. Lp actiongroup.blogspot.com
Agriculture isn't just for country farmers anymore. As more and more city folks want to have a hand in their own food production, urban beekeeping, commercial gardening and raising chickens have become more common. The City of Pittsburgh thinks it needs to update its agricultural ordinance to regulate this trend. Reviews are mixed among the people the law will impact most
Ann Murray also reported and contributed to that story. That's from the Allegheny Front, environmental news for western Pennsylvania. Visit www.alleghenyfront.org for more stories.
When UPMC Braddock closed its doors on January 31, 2010 Braddock residents lost local access to non-emergency and emergency healthcare, charity care, Braddock's only cafe and only ATM. Residents are now facing a 10 million dollar yearly tax increase to compensate for lost revenue from UPMC's wage taxes. On February 2nd, County Executive Dan Onorato in co-operation with UPMC proposed that UPMC will pay 90,000 dollars per year for five years, one-one hundredth of the yearly deficit, to offset the gap. In addition, the proposal includes a finalized plan to raze the hospital and accounts for the cost of that effort. We turn to Tim [Poo-koh] Puko, reporter for the Tribune Review for a review of that plan, beginning with UPMC's announcement to vacate the building in October.
Braddock council members have rejected the County Executive's plan, and continue to pursue a national health care provider to replace UPMC in the building. Visit www.savebraddock.org for more information on rallies, letter writing, and other actions.
For more on local news, you can visit pittsburgh dot I-N-D-Y-M-E-D-I-A dot org.
[ HMB BREAK RUSTBELT - 0:20 (fades down 0:10 in to start global intro) ]
You are listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news overlooked by the corporate media. We turn now to news from other independent media sources around the world.
The 2010 Winter Olympics kicked off this past weekend in Vancouver Canada. This year's games are the first that have drawn a mass mobilization of protest, similar to those held during global summits such as the G20. Not everyone hoping to speak out against the gathering has been able to cross the border into Canada.
Liam Nauska in Washington brings us this report:
Stay tuned later in this episode for more on this year's protests against the 2010 Olympics.
You're listening to Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.
And now we present the Indymedia Calendar of Events:
[ Outro Music ]
Thanks for tuning in to Rustbelt Radio here on WRCT Pittsburgh, WNJR Washington, and FRSC Santa Cruz.
Our hosts this week are Carlin Christy and Nigel Parry with contributions from Liam Nauska, Nigel Parry, Carlin Christy, Juliana Stricklen, Kara Holsopple, Seth Bearden, and Gretchen Neidert. This week's show was produced by Shawn Watson (and) Phill Cresswell. Special thanks to all of our hosts, producers, and contributors.
You can get involved with Rustbelt Radio! To contact us, or to send us your comments, email RADIO at I-N-D-Y-P-G-H dot ORG. All of our shows are available on our website at RADIO dot INDY-P-G-H dot ORG and this show can be heard again Tuesday morning on WRCT at 9 AM after Democracy Now!
Tune in next week at this time for another edition of Rustbelt Radio, the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center's weekly review of news from the grassroots.