Local Community Radio Act on fast track to approval

I just got this in my inbox today. I keep tabs on my ol’ Davis station, KDRT, and I’ve been hearing about legislation designed to help Low Power FM stations get on the air and stay on the air. They’ve been treated as second-class citizens in the radio world, which hit home when a commercial station, KMJE, tried to wipe KDRT off the air by moving closer to Davis a little more than 2 years ago. Technically, KDRT would be encroaching under the old rules… not for much longer, it seems! (It still gets me that NPR was an opponent of LPFM. Glad to see that the laws of physics have changed for NPR.) Here is the press release from Prometheus Radio:

Energy and Commerce Committee Unanimously Supports
Local Community Radio Act:

Bill Moving Swiftly Toward Full House Vote

With a unanimous voice vote, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Local Community Radio Act this morning. By repealing restrictions that drastically limit channels available to low power FM (LPFM) stations, the Act will allow hundreds of community groups nationwide to access the public airwaves.

The popular, bipartisan legislation is on the fast track to becoming law. Shortly after all five FCC Commissioners reaffirmed the FCC’s longstanding support, the bill passed out of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet by a voice vote. After today’s passage out of committee, the Local Community Radio Act heads for a floor vote in the House. Continue reading Local Community Radio Act on fast track to approval


Watching the Inauguration

Yep today’s productivity virus is the inauguration of President Barack Obama! Well, it won’t stop me from getting some work done – I’ve got a gel running downstairs!

Watch it live on Hulu.

I’m counting down the minutes until Bush is officially powerless.

10:40 Central Time I believe they gave his middle initial when announcing his name.

10:50: Is that Rick Warren, then? Ugh. Hey he said we’re not united by religion! Points for him for sticking it to the revisionists.

I guess I’m liveblogging it!

10:59: Joe Biden has been sworn in!

11:00: They’ve got an all-star classical music team, right down to composer John Williams.

11:06 President Obama!

11:08: Speech! Speech!

11:15: Restoring science to it’s RIGHTFUL PLACE! He also gave a clear plug for biofuels, mentioning soil, it was clearly plant-based. Well, duh.

11:17 “We reject as false the choice between our safety and ideals.”

11:20: We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and Nonbelievers.

11:28: All done with Obama’s speech. Um, can the “news” guys shut up and let the poet read her poem?

(This is interesting, watching the afterwards footage, Dick Cheney is in a wheelchair. Didn’t know his health was that bad. Hard to feel sorry for him, though. I sincerely hope he lives long enough to see how he will be written in the history books.)

Correction: Cheney reportedly pulled his back while moving his stuff.

Hawai’i and Genetic Engineering

My new post is up at Biofortified, discussing Hawai’is curious relationship with GE. Here’s a taste:

Hawai’i is a remote archipelago of islands with a declining sugar industry. The new expanses of open acreage are now being filled with GE crop trials, and controversy.

PRSV-Resistant Papaya
PRSV-Resistant Papaya

The University of Hawai’i produced the first GE Papaya resistant to Papaya Ringspot Virus, which grows there today (and even surrounds and protects organic plots of Papaya), and is currently investigating several other crops and their potential for improvement. Those efforts have been put in jeopardy recently as the council of the big island of Hawai’i banned the growing of GE taro and coffee with no allowance for continued academic research.


So if this was about helping Hawai’ian farmers defend themselves against Monsanto and worried coffee consumers, why was there no provision to allow University GE research on the big island of Hawai’i?

Read the rest here.

I voted!

Now if you can get out there and vote in the U.S. Election today, DO IT.

(I voted by in-person absentee last week to avoid the election-day trouble)

Remember, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain!

McCain’s semi-endorsement of Autism Alarmism Redux

A listener just sent me a comment about McCain’s statement on autism over a month ago. I answered it, and here’s my response, reproduced so everyone can benefit! (They were probably responding to my comments in Episode 78)

It sounded to me as if McCain was taking
the same position as you, that vaccines
aren't the source of autism.

My response: Continue reading McCain’s semi-endorsement of Autism Alarmism Redux

Clinton on Science in the Debate

I sent a message this week to the Clinton campaign, suggesting that during the Thursday night debate, Senator Clinton should bring up the issue of science policy, which has been only barely touched-upon by either her or Obama’s campaign lately. Wouldn’t it be so cool if this moment in the debate was a direct result of reminding them about the political predicament of science? (via onegoodmove)


It really goes to show that it had to be inserted into the debate, instead of being a pre-planned topic…

Hot for Hillary in Madison

I just went to my first political rally today. Senator Hillary Clinton made it through the Wisconsin storms to finally host a rally in Madison. The presentation was good, and the spirits of the attendees were up. Just in case there was an opportunity for questions, I prepared one about science policy. It was a long shot, but there was no space for it. I did, however, have my iRiver along, and recorded the talk. Download and listen to it here. (It has also been added to the Mindcast Extras.)

I have a few pictures, but I don’t have the time to edit them tonight. Ariela and I waded up to the front at the end, to shake hands and get close-up pictures, but they left before we were up there. I got a couple good shots of Chelsea Clinton, and Hillary was in the corner of one of them.

Hillary said a few brief things related to science, such as energy independence and global warming. But not enough attention is being paid to it. ScienceDebate2008 hopes to change that.

Politically and socially I would be happy with either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Their health care positions are similar, their approach to the Iraq War are similar, and they would both be a “first” president of one kind or another. I suspect that their equal popularity will put them on the same party ticket anyway. Then they will be unbeatable. Continue reading Hot for Hillary in Madison

You don’t know me!

OK – now I’m fed up. I’ve been getting emails from presidential campaigns for months now, which is on purpose. It’s good to keep tabs on candidates as they’re on the campaign trail, because I don’t always catch the news, and an email that brings up something I haven’t heard about helps me keep up to date. But now I’m officially getting sick – of how eerily personal they’re getting. By far, the Hillary Clinton emails are the funniest!
“Let’s do Lunch” Continue reading You don’t know me!