A recent study indicates people are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives when they feel connected to nature. But urban planners often don’t take that need into account. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams has more:
A recent study indicates people are more likely to feel
satisfied with their lives when they feel connected to nature.
But urban planners often don’t take that need into account. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Rebecca Williams has more:
You’ve might’ve guessed that crawling along on a crowded highway, or working
all day in a stuffy office can be bad for your mental health. A new study confirms that.
Stephen Kaplan co-authored the study in the American Journal of Public
Health. Kaplan says urban design that limits contact with nature can make
people feel tired and irritable.
“Planners are typically educated in the economic mold, and from that point
of view, people want to achieve as much financial input as possible, they
want to get places in the fastest way as possible. We’ve done studies that
show that people much prefer a route that isn’t the fastest if it gives them
a chance to experience nature along the way.”
Kaplan says if planners are to design livable communities, they need to keep
nature in mind.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Rebecca Williams.
Chronic Wasting Disease has killed deer and elk in 15 states. The fatal brain disease – first discovered in Colorado – has spread as far east as Wisconsin and Illinois. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Corbin Sullivan reports there is no proven plan to stop it from going further:
Chronic Wasting Disease has killed deer and elk in 15 states. The fatal
brain disease – first discovered in Colorado – has spread as far east as
Wisconsin and Illinois. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Corbin Sullivan reports there is no
proven plan to stop it from going further:
Michigan is the latest state to unveil a plan to prevent Chronic Wasting
Disease from crossing its borders. A state task force is urging more
effective tracking of captive deer and elk herds.
Howard Tanner is the co-chair of Michigan’s Chronic Wasting Disease Task
Force. He says, so far, there is no evidence of the disease in Michigan.
We’re gonna keep it out. We’re gonna prevent it. We don’t want to have to
deal with it after the fact if we can possibly avoid it.”
There are more than 3,000 deer and elk farms in the Great Lakes region.
Tanner says the farms are a risk because the animals can escape and infect
If Chronic Wasting Disease spreads throughout the Midwest, officials say it
could decimate the wild deer population.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium this is Corbin Sullivan.
Apples have become just part of the attraction
to going to the orchard. Most offer carnival-like attractions to draw big crowds. (Photo by Lester Graham)
Apples don't sell for much in the wholesale market, so
some orchards try to draw crowds to sell retail. (Photo by Melissa Ingells)
Kids still take part in the harvest, but the big thrill
seems to be the circus-like atmosphere of rides and games. (Photo by Lester Graham)
The fall season brings with it celebrations of the harvest. Pumpkins and gourds show up at the grocery store. And for many families, fall means a trip to the apple orchard. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham observes that often that traditional celebration of the harvest just ain’t what it used to be:
The fall season brings with it celebrations of the harvest. Pumpkins and gourds show up at the
grocery store. And for many families, fall means a trip to the apple orchard. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Lester Graham observes that often that traditional celebration of the harvest just ain’t
what it used to be:
When I was a kid, autumn meant going to the apple orchard. There was a old barn there. I don’t
think it had ever been painted and the wood planks were weathered gray.
The barn smelled of apples, of course, but not just the fresh ones. There was also the sweet-sour
smell of apples fermenting on the dirt floor, rejects that didn’t make it to the bushel baskets for sale.
Bees were always hovering over the bruised and brown skin of the slightly rotting fruit.
After my Dad paid the old guy who owned the orchard I would ask for one of the newly picked
apples. That first bite of the hard, sweet little apple would bring such a rush of flavor reminding me
of the autumn before. This was harvest, the essence of fall for me. This was the celebration, the
taste of that apple. Today, it’s a different story.
(sound of train and crowds)
Today, a trip to the apple orchard is much like a trip to a carnival. A little train circles the orchard,
kids crawl through a rainbow-colored inflatable worm, there’s a corral of little tractors that the kids
pedal in circles, draft horses draw wagons through the fruit trees, and, oh, yeah, the orchard sells
I wondered if some of the folks my age or thereabouts longed for the simpler times when
celebrating fall meant that first bite of apple. I wondered if they thought the kids today,
mesmerized by gimmicks, games and glitz might be missing something.
“Well, when we were little, we didn’t have anything even like this. It was just the apple cider and
the doughnut. So, now you have this wonderful place with the pumpkins and the train rides and the
skeletons and the doughnuts and all the fun things to bring the grandkids and the kids too. I think
it’s a lot more fun now and they appreciate it more. We do this as a family, so it’s being together
as a family.”
“Well I think its good for the kids who live in the city to get out and walk around and get some
fresh air out here in the country.”
“I mean with our grandchildren, I mean it’s just been beautiful. The atmosphere is nice and I mean
it’s just lovely. That’s all I can say.”
Well, okay, so, I guess the visitors to a place like this would be enthusiastic or they wouldn’t be
here, right? But, what about the owners? I mean, here they are, growing a good product, working
through the year to produce this fruit and they’ve had to resort to this circus to get people to come
in? What’s wrong with just selling apples?
I figured Michael Beck, one of the owners of this orchard would understand what I was asking
“Our return on fruit in the wholesale sector was horrendous and it’s still is horrendous for other
growers. So we wanted a way to actually profit from our fruit and selling retail, and doing fun
things for people at a farm was the best way to get that crop moved.”
“Now, to a person, everyone I’ve asked thinks this is great and so much better than when they
were kids. But, I’m wondering, you know, for me, the apple was the big celebration. And a little
bit of cider, maybe if you’re really lucky a caramel apple. Do you think the kids today are so
wrapped up in the carnival aspect that they miss that kind of celebration of the harvest?”
“Well, I don’t know. We sure do sell a lot of cider and caramel apples and apples and I see a lot of
families taking home apple products. And, I think they still get the enjoyment of the good food plus
we offer that fun atmosphere.”
Alright, so he’s still selling apples, and he’s making a buck. That’s admirable considering the
competition of imported apples. But surely there’s someone who remembers the simpler days of
being happy just because of the taste of that crisp bite of apple. Somewhere.
I did find someone, finally. Tom Kilgore was standing, waiting for the return of the train. He sort
of had that look of someone who was, well, trying to be patient. You know, a parent or a
grandparent who was sacrificing a beautiful day to make someone else happy.
“People like fresh apples, so they’ll go to an orchard and get the fresh apples without this stuff.”
“So, you could take it or leave it?”
“I could leave it, yeah. I came because of the grandkids, so, that’s the only reason I’m here.”
Kilgore says back home he just goes to a quiet little orchard to buy his apples and maybe sip some
cider. But, you know, as I was strolling around the grounds reading the signs that directed RV
traffic – RVs! At an apple orchard. As I was looking around, it dawned on me. For most of the
people here, this was more about family than it was about fruit. Maybe the carnival atmosphere of
today’s apple orchard will be the precious memories of autumn for these kids when they’re my age.
For me, (sound of apple crunch), I’ll stick with that first bite of apple.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium. This is Lester Graham.
If you compare a ten-year-old map of any urban city in North America with a recent one, you’ll notice that almost all of our major cities are getting bigger. That means more suburbs, more cars, and according to traditional ways of thinking, the need for more roads. But is road building the solution? Or is it part of the problem? The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Victoria Fenner takes us to a place where the debate has been going on for half a century. As she reports, not everybody agrees that the debate is settled:
If you compare a ten year old map of any urban city in North America with a recent one,
you’ll notice that almost all of our major cities are getting bigger. That means more
suburbs, more cars, and according to traditional ways of thinking, the need for more roads.
But is road building the solution? Or is it part of the problem? Victoria Fenner takes us to
a place where the debate has been going on for half a century. As she reports, not everybody
agrees that the debate is settled:
On this sunny morning, a hawk sits in watch high atop a power line in the Red Hill Valley in
Hamilton. It gazes down over the valley – 1600 acres in the middle of this gritty industrial
steel town on the western tip of Lake Ontario. And soon, if the current city council has its
way, the hawk will be looking down on an expressway.
This is a story that happens over and over again in communities throughout North America.
This expressway plan in Hamilton has been on and off again for fifty years. It has polarized
the community, and with a municipal election happening soon, decision day for the valley is
looming. If a pro-expressway council is elected, it will go ahead.
Don McLean is with the Friends of Red Hill Valley, an organization that has been mobilizing
opposition to the freeway plan since 1991. He explains why he doesn’t want the expressway.
“The Red Hill Valley is potentially the largest urban park in Canada, and the expressway proposal
comes right down the middle of it, takes down twenty five percent of its forest and so on. There is
a large creek running through it that drains half the urban area of Hamilton. It has twenty four
species of fish that have been recorded since 1995. It’s quite an interesting place because it’s
completely surrounded, really, by urban area.”
But other people say there are also good arguments why the freeway should be built. Larry
Dianni is running for mayor and is building his whole campaign around this single issue. He
says he sees no other options, especially since parts of the freeway have already been built.
“This has been a project that has been fifty plus years in the making, and of course people have
now turned it around to say this is a fifty year old solution to current problems. Wrong. This is an
overdue solution to problems that manifested themselves fifty-four years ago, and by virtue of
ignoring them, the problems have gotten worse.”
The problems Larry Dianni is referring to are all about economic growth. His arguments for
the expressway are not a lot different from other cities across North America. He says as
more people and businesses move into the area, the road is necessary to accommodate
But Don McLean says this is outmoded thinking.
“There are good studies now in the U.S., and this has been understood in Europe for a long time,
that building more roads mainly results in generating more traffic. It does not address congestion
issues, it actually increases them because it encourages more driving and it encourages people to
move further and further away from their destinations.”
Don McLean’s position is one shared by the Sierra Club of Canada. The Sierra Club
recently published a major report called “Sprawl Hurts Us All.” Janet Pelley, the report’s
author, has heard the full range of the debate on both sides of the border. She is an
environmental journalist who recently moved to Canada from the U.S.
“The fact that you see on both sides of the border that there are these battles over freeways that
have been going on for fifty years just shows it’s an outmoded way of thinking, that the
government hasn’t caught up with the new smart growth initiatives and the new ways people are
looking at cities.”
The bottom line, Janet Pelley says, is we’re too dependent on motorized traffic. She says we
have to find ways of reducing our dependency on our cars.
“If you’re assuming people have to have cars, then you’re going to be sucked into that whole “car
junkie” habit of “we have to have more freeways to get people to move around. It’s really key
how you build your city. If you build your city for pedestrians and for public transit then you don’t
have to worry about the car traffic.”
It’s a story that is repeated over and over again as communities such as Hamilton try to
balance economic growth with environmental responsibility. In Hamilton, it’s still not a
foregone conclusion whether or not the freeway will proceed. November’s municipal
election is shaping up to be a single issue campaign, with pro-expressway and anti-
expressway candidates staking their political future on the issue. Whether or not this will
settle the matter is another question. With many sides to this story, this is an issue that
many communities will be wrestling with for a long time to come.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Victoria Fenner.
An old insect pest is becoming a problem again because of new approaches to pest management. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
An old insect pest is becoming a problem again because of new approaches to pest
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
You’ve probably heard this little bedtime gem… “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t
let the bedbugs bite.” But, most of us have never even seen a bedbug. That might be
The bedbug is making a comeback.
Because of consumer’s health concerns, pest control
longer use insecticides that wipe out everything. That means some bugs are spared.
Mannes is with the National Pest Management Association.
“So as a result, there might be other pests that may have been controlled 20 years
ago with a more
broad spectrum-type product that would have eliminated lots of other insect species.”
Bedbugs don’t spread diseases, but the little insect does bite, feeding on the
blood of its host.
Mannes says it only comes out at night and can hide anywhere dark, under cushions,
pictures on the wall or under your covers.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.
The U.S. Coast Guard is working to develop a new standard for cargo ships to help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Officials are holding five public meetings to discuss the environmental impact of such a standard. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush reports:
The U.S. Coast Guard is working to develop a new standard for cargo ships to
help stop the spread of aquatic invasive species. Officials are holding five
public meetings to discuss the environmental impact of such a standard. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush reports:
At the moment, foreign ships coming into the Great Lakes are supposed to exchange
their ballast water in the open ocean to flush out foreign organisms, such as
zebra mussels. But no one knows how effective that is. Now, the Coast Guard
is developing a standard that will establish how biologically clean a ship’s
ballast water has to be.
Mike Gardiner is a commander with the U.S. Coast Guard in Cleveland:
“I think that some of the preliminary work would indicate that if you eliminate
organisms above a certain cutoff, and you take care of everything that size and
above then you tremendously reduce the chance that you’re going to have an
The Coast Guard is holding a series of public meetings across the country in the
next month in including one in the Great Lakes region. They hope to get input
from biologists, the shipping industry, and environmentalists to help develop
the national standard.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mark Brush.
A new study indicates even when the EPA’s Air Quality Index is green, indicating ‘good’ air quality, the pollution in the air could trigger asthma problems for kids. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
A new study indicates even when the EPA’s Air Quality Index is green, indicating
quality, the pollution in the air could trigger asthma problems for kids. The Great
Consortium’s Lester Graham reports:
This study by Yale University looked at children who had asthma and measured the
effects of air
pollution such as ozone.
Janneane Gent led the study.
“And what we found was that among the children who had the more severe asthma, for
parts per billion increase in the level of ozone, the likelihood that they would
increased by 35 percent. And the chance that they would experience chest tightness
increased by 47 percent.”
That 50 parts per billion of ozone is within the range that’s considered ‘good’ air
quality by the
Environmental Protection Agency. Gent says that means even on ‘yellow’ or
quality days parents should make sure kids with asthma are kept indoors and their
kept low to avoid triggering asthma attacks.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.
Fifteen more endangered whooping cranes are are following ultralight aircraft through the Midwest, on the way to Florida. It’s part of an experiment to create a migrating flock of the birds in the Eastern U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
Fifteen more endangered whooping cranes are about to follow ultralight aircraft
Midwest, on the way to Florida. It’s part of an experiment to create a migrating
flock of the birds
in the Eastern U.S. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Chuck Quirmbach reports:
This is the third year that pilots wearing cranelike costumes are leading a flock of
whooping cranes on the birds first southerly migration from Wisconsin. About twenty
now migrate on their own. A public-private partnership is trying to create a flock
whoopers, including two dozen breeding pairs.
Larry Wargowsky is the manager at the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, which is the
point of the birds flight. He says it’s important to keep building the numbers of
because it takes 4 to 7 years for them to mature.
“If it takes that long, there’s a chance of birds having fatalities. They hit power
disease, parasites, injuries of some sort. So you need more birds.”
The only other migrating flock of whooping cranes travels between Canada and Texas.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Chuck Quirmbach.
One of the gases that figures prominently in the global climate debate is carbon dioxide. Scientists believe CO2 emissions can be reduced if carbon in the atmosphere is “stored.” Economists want to incorporate carbon storage into a market-driven solution to regulate emissions. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Ann Murray has this story about climate change, forests, and the emergence of a carbon trading market:
One of the gases that figures prominently in the global climate debate is carbon
Scientists believe CO2 emissions can be reduced if carbon in the atmosphere is
Economists want to incorporate carbon storage into a market driven solution to
emissions. The Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Ann Murray has this story about climate change, forests, and the
emergence of a
carbon trading market:
Climate experts say the earth’s temperature started to change about 150 years ago.
people began to burn coal and gas and oil to run factories and generate electricity.
fuels release carbon dioxide into the air. CO2, a “greenhouse gas,” traps the
Climatologists warn that unless carbon dioxide emissions are curbed, the planet will
heat up. Scientists are now looking to nature to counteract this human influx of
Coeli Hoover with the U.S. Forest Service is among these scientists.
“There’s a plot over there.”
For the past three summers, Hoover and technicians from the Forestry Sciences Lab in
County, Pennsylvania have traveled to hardwood forests in the northeastern United
“What we’re doing is trying to get a basic handle on how much carbon is stored in
forests and how management might change that.”
Today, Hoover is in the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. She and her
their equipment from their van. As they head to a stand of cherry, maple and beech
explains some basic biology about carbon storage and trees.
“They pull carbon dioxide out of the air to make sugars, carbohydrates for trees to
live on. And in
the process that carbon gets stored as wood. And carbon also get stored in the soil.”
Hoover’s study is the first to examine carbon stored in forest floors and soils.
The regional study
looks at uncut forests and those that have been thinned. Hoover wants to see if
management practices affect the amount and type of stored carbon.
(knife cutting around forest floor)
This morning, Hoover and a technician use a knife and template to cut small sections
of the forest
floor, the layer of organic material above the soil. After the forest floor samples
are labeled and
bagged, the crew takes samples of the soil.
(sound of slide hammer core)
They dig 12 holes per plot with a slide hammer core. That’s a metal cylinder with a
cutting tip on
the edge and brass core sleeves inside.
“This method allows us to get these really nice depths without having any doubt of
Hoover says the whole point of her study is to eliminate the carbon guessing game.
there’s little information about belowground carbon, it’s been hard to establish
how much carbon
is stored in forests. Scientists call this a “carbon budget.” The big picture,
says Hoover, is
important because of the emergence of a domestic carbon trading market. A market
foresters can grow trees, store carbon and make money.
“Right now carbon dioxide isn’t regulated as a pollutant. There are people who
think that it
probably will be. There’s voluntary reporting where companies can report their C02
and their uptake for different projects. So there’s a lot of experimental work
An experimental program in Chicago is working to give industry a reason to reduce
dioxide output. The Chicago Climate Exchange will begin trading carbon credits. If
reduces its CO2 output by installing new technologies, that difference can be sold
exchange. Companies will buy credits that represent storage of carbon in either
trees or soil. Dr.
Richard Sandor is the founder of the Climate Exchange.
“We are going to have projects which would have to be monitored and verified and
our offset and forestry committees where people would agree to reforest. If a
that absorbs 100,000 tons of carbon in the aboveground biomass can be measured, then
sell those on the exchange.
Sandor says this isn’t the first time that pollution credits have been traded in the
He points to the success of the sulfur dioxide market. Sulfur dioxide is the main
acid rain. The U.S. EPA estimates that this market driven program has cut sulfur
dioxide output in
half and saved $50 billion a year in health and environmental costs.
Not everyone sees such a sunny future for carbon trading. Some critics believe that
emissions must be regulated by the government or through the international
agreement called the Kyoto Protocol.
Others worry that foresters or landowners will resort to single age, single species
to quickly fulfill contracts.
Back in the Monongahela National
Hoover says biodiversity need not suffer.
“I don’t think that you have to manage for carbon or sustainable timber production.
I think you
can do both and manage for wildlife. I don’t think there are a lot of tradeoffs
We probably won’t know the success of carbon trading in the United States for
another five or ten
years. The Bush administration has refused federal regulation of carbon dioxide and
for now, has
left the solution to the markets.
For The Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Ann Murray.
Most people understand the relationship between clean water or clean air and their own health. But having a healthy environment doesn’t stop with natural ecosystems. It also includes our manmade environment – the places we work… and the places we play. One doctor says the places we play are putting us at risk. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David Hammond has the story:
Most people understand the relationship between clean water or clean air and their
But having a healthy environment doesn’t stop with natural ecosystems. It also
manmade environment. The places we work and the places we play. But one doctor
places we play are putting us at risk. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s David
(sound of Cheetah parents cheering)
It’s a chilly fall morning in Canton, Michigan and the 12 soccer
fields at Independence Park are humming with activity. On this
field, the Cheetahs are playing the Dolphins. And in this battle
of nine-year-old girls, the Cheetahs seem to have the edge.
Small groups of parents huddle under blankets, sipping coffee,
and shouting encouragement. The cheering is high-spirited, but
no one seems to take the action too seriously. The biggest
decision of the day will probably be where to go for lunch after
But with increasing frequency, the next stop for these kids is not
the pizza parlor, but the emergency room. According to the U.S.
Consumer Products Safety Commission, nearly 12 million
children seek treatment for sports injuries each year.
Michael Kedroske is one of those kids. He’s a six-grader from
Dexter, Michigan. A year ago, Kedrowski played soccer for a
premiere traveling team. That ended after a head injury. His
mother Beth, says it was a freak accident.
“They were all just kind of gathered around for a water break,
getting ready to start their scrimmage, and he just happened to be
walking on the field as the other person was just kicking the ball.
Just wrong place, wrong time kind of thing.”
Michael had a headache for a couple of days and sat out from the
team. After being pain-free for a week, he started playing again.
But in his first game back, he had a relapse. After using his head
to pass the ball to a teammate, he collapsed. For the next three
months, Michael suffered constant headaches. For the next six
months, he had to limit all physical activity.
It’s just not fun at all, your sitting out from everything, and you just want to
play a sport,
but you can’t, cause, you’re even gonna get hurt more, so, really, you’ve got to be
on yourself about not doing anything that is going to effect your injury even more.”
Unfortunately, injuries like this are becoming more common.
And its not just soccer. Baseball, softball and basketball all send
hundreds of thousands of people to the emergency room each
“One of the real fallacies about sports injuries is that they’re little bumps and
that they don’t carry with them long term ramifications and there is nothing you can
That’s Dr. David Janda. He’s an orthopedic surgeon and founder of the Institute for
Preventative Sports Medicine. The Institute is a small, non-profit focused on
“The hope is when folks get our studies they realize that many of these injuries are
severe. They carry with them life long costs from an economic standpoint, but
disability as well.”
It’s a passion for Dr. Janda. He doesn’t take a salary and
volunteers his time. He says the Institute’s emphasis on injury
prevention makes it unique.
“Throughout my education, throughout high school, college, medical school, internship,
residency, fellowship, it all focused on one thing. Wait for someone to get hurt,
them to get cancer, then do something. What the Institute is all about is teaching
how to be proactive, how to identify problems before they occur, act upon them, and
prevent the negative ramifications that occur when problems develop.”
Janda’s Institute has studied the effectiveness of things like
padded soccer goalposts, breakaway bases in softball and
eyeshields in hockey. Over its fourteen year history, the Institute
has published nearly 60 such studies in peer-reviewed journals.
Most have focused on children’s sports. The studies have given
Dr. Janda a respected voice within sports medicine. A voice that
Janda’s not shy about using. He’s a frequent guest on network
television and radio shows, and he even co-hosted an episode of
the Oprah Winfrey show.
“I do a disservice to the Institute, to my efforts at the Institute, to our
researchers’ efforts at the
Institute, if I publish a study that has significant positive ramifications for the
public welfare, and
I don’t let people know about it.”
Dr. Janda’s emphasis on injury prevention is not just attracting
attention from parents, but from the private sector as well. Bill
Young is CEO and President of Plasticpak Packaging Group.
It’s one of North America’s largest manufacturers of rigid-
After learning about Janda’s work, Young thought the same
ideas could benefit his company. He saw parallels between
injury prevention in sports and injury prevention in the
workplace. He worked with Janda to identify safety hazards in
his factories. Since Plasticpak made injury prevention a priority,
Young says workers compensation claims have gone down
“Since we are self-insured. We are paying less out. Which helps tremendously and
important than that, anytime you lose valuable employees in the workplace. Due to any
downtime that they have to take. That in itself is a major interruption. And the
being as competitive as it is today. That’s been beneficial for us.”
For his part, Dr. Janda says he’s happy he’s saving companies
money, but his emphasis is on children. He wants parents and
coaches to understand the importance of injury prevention. He
also wants them to realize that small changes can make a big
difference. To help them, he’s developed a safety checklist of 20
questions. Dr. Janda says that parents can use this simple
checklist to ensure that their children have the safest possible
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m David Hammond.