Monday, May 3, 2010

McClatchy Washington report 5/3

  • After watching Arizona adopt a controversial new immigration law, Laura Long of North Carolina thinks that the federal government should butt out and let other states write similar laws. However, Gaby Pacheco, a South Florida student who came to the United States from Ecuador at age 7, said that President Barack Obama and Congress instead needed to step up and push through a comprehensive immigration law to pre-empt other states from developing their own.
  • Celebrity sightings in Haiti have transformed the quake-battered nation into a red carpet. Although some might dismiss it as ego-tripping or publicity-mongering, the celebrity drop-ins shine a media spotlight on Haiti at a time when the public's attention has wandered elsewhere. Whether the impact in Haiti is as tangible and lasting, however, remains to be seen.
  • Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez staunchly defended Florida Gov. Charlie Crist for supporting the federal economic stimulus package at the governor's first fundraiser Sunday as a nonpartisan candidate for the U.S. Senate.
  • The federal government is pressing forward with a policy that could require trees to be stripped from California levees, eliminating what shade and wildlife habitat remain along the state's rivers.
  • Gov. Haley Barbour said at a news conference Sunday that a massive oil spill might be contained without reaching Mississippi shores, but oil from the Deepwater Horizon had inched to within 9 miles of Plaquemines Parish and closer to marine nurseries that supply the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Step up to the rooftop garden of the Silo Eco-Home and look north. See how much Greensburg has changed in the three years since it was nearly wiped clean by an EF-5 tornado. What you will not see, however, are trees. Most of Greensburg's trees were hauled away after the storm. Around town, barren zombie trees jut from the ground at ghoulish angles, a reminder of what Greensburg lost on May 4, 2007, and what it cannot readily replace.
  • A high school prom is a rite of passage that should be a source of joy, not worry, anxiety or fear, regardless of the student's relationship status or sexual orientation, say California school administrators. To make the prom inclusive, schools have developed policies to encourage students to come as singles or with friends, and education officials hope that also makes same-sex couples feel welcome. That's a marked difference from the experience of a Mississippi teen whose school in March canceled its prom to avoid a legal confrontation over allowing her to attend the prom with a female date.
  • Researchers say that as Arctic sea ice recedes, the chance for human and polar-bear encounters is increasing along Alaska's North Slope. Now, following the 2008 listing of the bears as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a list of guidelines for warding the animals away from towns and villages.
  • It began more than a year ago with "tea parties" — gatherings nationwide that multitudes of Americans attended to show growing frustration with big government and federal spending. Now, some in the conservative grassroots movement want to take their activism further: They're running for office themselves.
  • Gulf of Mexico oil spill or not, Sarah Palin on Saturday defended offshore drilling as an essential component of U.S. energy security. Speaking to a crowd of mostly Republicans in Independence, Mo., the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate called the oil spill "very tragic" but added: "I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry."
  • And what shall we say about the fact that there is to be a homosexual in Riverdale?
    You know where Riverdale is, of course. It lies at that junction of wholesomeness and Americana where, for almost 70 years, it has been home to Archie Andrews, Betty Cooper, Veronica Lodge, Jughead Jones and the other eternal teenagers of Archie Comics.
  • Local police should not be put into the immigration enforcement business. Arizona recently passed a law requiring police to determine the immigration status of any person when officers have "reasonable suspicion" that the person is "unlawfully present" in the country. But police chiefs and officers around the country agree that this is a bad idea.

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