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Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See for full contents of our site

March 24, 2010


WALL STREET JOURNAL - The United States Conference of Mayors is citing President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs as its members push for more infrastructure money to go directly to local governments. They are pointing to the legacy of programs like the WPA to bolster their case that such direct public-sector job efforts can work when mayors run them. . . The Civil Works Administration, created during a lunchtime meeting in November 1933, put 4.3 million people to work 10 weeks later on roads, schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields, according to Bonnie Fox Schwartz, a historian of the program. President Roosevelt's better-known WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps employed millions more and left durable monuments all over the country.

WASHINGTON POST - Maryland, trying to protect a species whose ranks have declined by 99 percent, is cracking down on watermen who catch oysters in protected sanctuaries or with banned equipment. Over the winter, officers with the Maryland Natural Resources Police conducted undercover surveillance operations in small fishing towns and on rivers, hiding on patrol boats in the dark. . . In the past few months, police and poachers have played hide-and-seek in a tense drama that seems out of place along the new Chesapeake, with its art galleries and weekend homes.

USA TODAY - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Itawamba County, Miss., school board violated the rights of a lesbian student by canceling the prom when the student challenged a ban on same-sex dates, but the judge stopped short of ordering the district to reinstate the April 2 prom. U.S. District Court Judge Glen Davidson said he denied the injunction request because a private prom parents are planning will serve the same purpose as the school prom and because "requiring defendants to step back into a sponsorship role at this late date would only confuse and confound the community on the issue." ACLU Mississippi legal director Kristy Bennett called Tuesday's ruling a victory. "This ruling clearly tells school districts there is a First Amendment right to bring same-sex dates to the prom," Bennett said.

WASHINGTON EXAMINER - The Obama administration's six-month delay in approving new offshore drilling leases in federal waters will become a new three-year ban, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar quietly told reporters last Friday. Which means that no new oil and gas leases will be approved during President Obama's term.

TECH NEWS WORLD - Biking directions and extensive bike trail data are now available for the United States through Google Maps, giving cyclists nationwide a way to customize their trips, figure out the most efficient routes, make use of bike lanes and avoid big hills. . . More than 12,000 miles of trails are now included in biking directions and outlined directly on maps through the service . . . Also included are data on bike lanes and recommended streets for 150 cities across the country.

LOCAL HEROES - The Idaho House of Representatives has voted to limit use of digital strip search machines. The 58-9 vote sends Bill 573 to the Idaho Senate, which will vote on the anti-body scanner measure. The bill would bar body scanners as primary screening, require security officers to offer an alternative search, and mandate an independent investigation into the scanners' health risks.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a trained Master Gardener, there's a couple of points I'd like to bring to other's attention regarding the construction of raised beds.
Certainly, the concept of raised bed gardening makes the most sense. And, it needn't be as complicated a process as many would lead one to believe.
In areas that have heavy clay content and poor drainage, it's the only way to go. However, areas with high sand, arid climates, and low moisture, raised beds can only further complicate cultivation. One must always be aware of the local conditions and balance their cultivation practices to their environment--it is best to become acquainted with a regional university extension and tap the rich treasure of guide sheets they can provide.
Additionally, regarding the linked article and its advice regarding the initial creation of raised beds---there are some concerns about simply placing a barrier over existing grass or sod and then building the bed atop. It is advisable to try and remove existing grasses, etc. and, if possible, slightly till (about one or two inches) the soil to create a transition zone that will allow deeper root growth and moisture mobility below grade.

March 24, 2010 7:35 PM  

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