Editors’ picks: The news that didn’t fit

Florida city fights its own citizens over clean water
Titusville repeatedly thwarts voters’ approval of anti-pollution referendum
by Craig Pittman | Florida Phoenix | June 15 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1644
Last fall, Titusville voters approved, by an 83 percent margin, making a right to clean water a part of their city’s charter. However, the city council refused to certify the election results, even after a judge ruled for the citizens. They are still fighting the measure.

Gainesville Eight anti-war activists honored 50 years after historic local trial
by Ron Cunningham | Aug. 31 | Gainesville Sun | tinyurl.com/Iguana1652
A half-century ago, eight young men erupted in celebration after learning that their jury declined to send them to prison after being accused of plotting to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach. They took a celebration photo on the steps of Gainesville’s federal courthouse. Recently, the five surviving defendants of the “Gainesville Eight” returned for a group photo at the same location.

How Colonialism contributed to the Maui wildfires
Unsurprisingly, the disaster may be worse because of actions by US colonists
by Henry Carnell | Mother Jones | Aug. 11 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1649
The wildfires on Hawaii’s Maui Island are the second deadliest in United States history. Reports suggest climate change is partly to blame; the other culprit is the widespread, nonnative grasses that have taken over parts of the island. These grasses were introduced by 19th century settlers who forcibly shifted the land away from indigenous resource management practices and toward large-scale agriculture, such as cattle ranching and plantations like the Dole Pineapple Company. When plantations were abandoned, non-native grasses spread, unmanaged, creating fuel for wildfires.

I moved to Florida to teach despite right-wing censorship. Here’s why.
Levenson is confident the faculty union can fight back against DeSantis’s war on education
by Zachary Levenson | Truthout | Aug. 19 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1645
Levenson relocated in order to teach at a Florida public university, his third university where free speech, tenure and public-sector unions are under threat. He wanted to fight these policies “on the frontlines,” rather than to “hide out” in less terrifying arenas. He explains his rationale.

The case for negotiating with Russia
A Russia analyst is asking Ukraine and its allies to consider how much worse the war could get
by Keith Gessen | The New Yorker | Aug. 29 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1648
Every day, on the front lines of the biggest war in Europe since 1945, young men and women lose their lives. Many more will before this is over. Samuel Charap, a Russia analyst at the  RAND Corporation, a think tank that has been doing research for the U.S. military, worries that the Administration is being too cautious about starting work on a diplomatic solution. The risks of not  trying are higher than the risks of trying, he says.

The other 9/11
Why many in the third world and elsewhere are skeptical that the US’s motivation is to promote a ‘just and peaceful world order’
by Paul Cantor | Aug. 18 | CounterPunch | tinyurl.com/Iguana1651
On Sept. 11, 1973, President Salvador Allende of Chile was overthrown in the “bloodiest coup d’état in Latin American history.” The author’s friend, Charlie Horman, a journalist, was arrested and shot because of the information he gathered about the US’s direct involvement in the coup.

The Tampa Five: An assault on free speech
by Stephen F. Eisenman | CounterPunch | Aug. 25 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1646
On March 6, a small group of protestors, mostly women from the University of South Florida chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, marched to the university president’s office demanding to meet with her about higher black enrollment and the proposed banning of diversity initiatives. Although they were only “armed” with a banner stating “we want increased Black enrollment,” a megaphone and water  bottles, cops grabbed them, pinned a couple of them to the floor, and attempted to chokehold another. 

‘Toxic’: DeSantis push to transform university drives out students, faculty
MSNBC | Aug. 30 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1650 (video)
Less than a year after Ron DeSantis appointed a new board of trustees to remake New College of Florida in the image of DeSantis’ ‘war on woke’ political stunt, nearly 40 faculty members have left the small school, along with many students, whom the board is trying to replace with lower standards and athletic scholarships. 

US Postal Service to unveil stamp honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg
by Miranda Nazzaro | The Hill | Aug. 24 | tinyurl.com/Iguana1647
In October, the U.S. Postal Service is unveiling its new “forever” stamp honoring late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg who served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. She was referred to as “a respected jurist … a passionate proponent of equal justice and an icon of American culture.” 

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