Alternate Realities Roundup 3/18 | Buzz Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Alternate Realities Roundup 3/18

Posted By on March 18, 2014, 10:38 AM

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While “fracking” has grabbed the attention of environmental advocates, other contatminations by the oil and gas industry are so large they have been written off as imposisble to prevent or clean up by regulators and the industry itself.---

Top of the Alty World

“America's Dirtiest Secret”--Boulder Weekly

Russia annexes crimea.--Mother Jones

A researcher says exposure to certain chemicals such as mercury and lead have cost Americans the loss of a combined 41 million IQ points.--The Atlantic

The Los Angeles City Council votes for a fracking moratorium and hopes the state's Legislature will do the same.--High Country News

Top of Alty Utah

Sophia Hawes is running to become Utah's first transgender legislator.--Salt Lake City Weekly

Eagle Forum President Gayle Ruzicka talks about women in Utah politics and recaps the 2014 Legislature (video)--Utah Political Capitol

Caucus meetings this week will mark the end of an era.--Utah Policy

A Murrary metal recycling business skirted state pollution regulations and faced almost no negative consequences as a result.--Salt Lake City Weekly


The Nation looks at the high level of white males in the media, including new media ventures and what that says about the privilege of the white male perspective.

“FiveThirtyEight is just one of several new media ventures launching this year that we are told will change the media as we know it today. Yet, as Emily Bell and others have pointed out, so far FiveThirtyEight, Vox and First Look Media appear to be replicating the same structural problems that produced the white-male dominated media we already have. Silver’s initial editorial hires are 31.5 percent women. As far as I can tell, almost all of the male hires are white. Silver justified the gender balance by pointing out that 85 percent of the applicants were men.

When I reached out to ask for an interview, I received the following comment: 'Diverse viewpoints benefit a newsroom in myriad ways. As we’ve hired staff for FiveThirtyEight we’ve sought to assemble varied viewpoints and continue to make diversity a priority as we move forward.' I’m no stats expert, but I am a baseball fan, and I have to say, Nate, that this isn’t baseball. You’re not in the running for the batting title because you’re hitting above 300. Your numbers suck”--The Nation

The Long View

City Weekly looks at how former Salt Lake County Sheriff contender Beau Babka got in over his head in county politics and how his life has been since being implicated in in having used taxpayer money to buy gas for a few of his personal vehicles.

“Beau was an Adonis, a beautiful officer,” says attorney Greg Skordas, who represented Babka on the charges of misusing public funds. Skordas saw Babka’s fall from grace as a tragedy. “He was a cop’s cop, and very revered, which was why it broke so many hearts.” Babka’s high-profile image, Skordas says, in effect sealed his fate. “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” It’s been three years now since the gas-theft scandal immolated Babka’s career, and in that time, his jobs have become only more menial. In fall 2013, he started work driving delivery trucks for Nabisco during the day and working the graveyard shift at Walmart filling dairy shelves. One late night, Babka was stacking milk cartons when he heard giggling behind him. Two well dressed couples were staring at him. “Look,” one of the young men said, “it’s the great Beau Babka, shoveling frozen food.”--Salt Lake City Weekly

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