Makeup and perfumes could come under greater government scrutiny under the Obama administration. (Source: Lupin at Wikimedia Commons)
The cosmetics industry is bracing for some changes under the new Congress and Obama administration. Julie Grant reports that makeup and perfumes could come under greater government scrutiny:
The cosmetics industry is bracing for some changes under the new Congress and the Obama administration. Julie Grant reports that makeup and perfumes could come under greater government scrutiny.
(sound of a store)
Claudia Lamancusa has been selling high end cosmetics at the mall for more than thirty years.
She says they recently started making a line of more natural powders, blushes and eye liners – because it’s what customers want.
“Well, I think they’re asking for them. They see it a lot on television and so the trend is going toward more mineral-based and natural products.”
And now the cosmetics industry is expecting the government ask more questions about what’s in makeup and perfumes.
Cosmetics makers already have to test products to make sure they’re safe for people to use. But they don’t have to test the environmental impacts of the chemicals in their products.
Industry officials expect that to change if Congress overhauls the Toxic Substances Control Act. They say that would mean makeup makers will have to start reporting to a new, tougher Environmental Protection Agency.
Most people think renewable energy is a good idea. It’s better
than burning fossil fuel to create electricity. But “green energy”
can be controversial. Windmill farms are springing up all across the
Some people think the windmills are eyesores. But others say windmill farms
can help preserve the agricultural landscape by supplementing the income of
farmers. In the second of a two-part series on wind energy, the Great Lakes
Radio Consortium’s Linda Stephan reports:
Most people think renewable energy is a good idea. It’s better than burning fossil
fuel to create
electricity. But “green energy” alternatives can be controversial. Windmill farms
up all across the nation. Some people think the windmills are eyesores. But others
farms can help preserve the agricultural landscape by supplementing the income of
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Linda Stephan reports:
For 30 years, Matt Mauer raised crops and livestock on his farm about 10 miles from
Michigan shoreline. Today, he’s in his backyard looking at the land now farmed by
and son-in-law. Standing there, he feels a crop they’re not harvesting.
“The good Lord makes it windy all the time for us, so let’s use it, you know.
Because I’m like
everybody else. When I get up in the morning, I want lights.”
Mauer’s hoping to put four wind turbines on his family’s farm near Ludington,
would power about 24-hundred homes. Nearby, a renewable energy company’s working with
other farmers to build a hundred turbines in the area. Mauer says many of his
neighbors want in
on the deal because they think wind energy could help save their farms.
“It’s hard to make a living just farming right now. And I consider the wind one of
the crops that
we could harvest. It will help keep farmers on the land. Like if, in this place, if
we could get
seven–thousand dollars a year, six-thousand dollars a year for four of them, that’d
make it a hell
of a lot easier to keep the people here and farm.”
The state government’s backing similar projects. It’s training financial advisors
to show farmers
how they can turn a profit with windmills.
But not everyone likes the idea. Some people who live in the area around the
say they’re worried the towers would destroy the region’s charm. That’s linked to
and to tourism. And they don’t like the size of the proposed windmills. Each one
would be four-
hundred feet tall. The blades would have a diameter nearly as long as a football
It’s a story that’s heard in many places. Cape Cod, Massachusetts, the prairies of
around the Great Lakes. For example, a Michigan couple who wanted large-scale
their property ended up losing a court-battle against local government that opposed
the plan. And
two turbines already in place in Mackinaw City – between Lake Michigan and Lake
have some unhappy neighbors as well.
Thomas and Virginia Alexander’s home is about 15-hundred feet away from the windmills.
They’re in their eighties and they both wear hearing aids… but even without them,
they say the
windmills are loud…
Tom Alexander: “There’s things about it we don’t appreciate, at times the noise –
not always –
depending upon the wind and the direction.
Virginia Alexander: “Yesterday. Very noisy yesterday. The wind was high and they,
really hear them.”
Tom Alexander: “Just a continual swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.”
Windmill developers say the sound is no louder than normal speech. But this noise is
goes beyond the frequencies of normal speech. The sound can travel long distances
the ground and the air. They keep Virginia Alexander awake some nights.
Tom and Virginia Alexander’s son Kelly lives next door with his family. He calls
windmill victim. He has this advice for others:
“Don’t let them go in your backyard. There are places they can go. You don’t just
put those in
somebody’s backyard. I don’t think it’s right.”
A lot of people agree with the Alexanders. Even wind energy boosters concede that
key to successful projects. David Johnson heads up the program for the state of
encouraging farmers to allow windmills on their land. He says turbines should be
where there’s lots of wind and few neighbors. But he says when people say ‘no’ to
they should consider the alternative.
“So, does that mean that you should build another big coal-fired plant? Is that the
of doing it with the global warming impacts and the mercury pollution and so on that
that? Is that the choice that the public wants to make?
States across the nation are struggling to find the right balance between clean
energy and the
beauty of an uncluttered landscape. Few regulations are in place right now. More
communities will be facing the decision of whether clean energy and keeping farmers
on the land
is worth the price of adding wind turbines to the scenery.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Linda Stephan.
We’ve come a long way since Henry Ford’s black Model T. Cars of every shape, size – and color – now practically dominate American life. Which poses a problem – what to do with the cars once they’re piled high in junkyards. A recent public art project offered one passionate recycler a chance to reuse junked cars in his art. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Joyce Kryszak has this story of “Art on Wheels”:
We’ve come a long way since Henry Ford’s black Model T. Cars of every shape, size – and color
– now practically dominate American life. Which poses a problem – what to do with the cars
once they’re piled high in junkyards. A recent public art project offered one passionate
recycler a chance to reuse junked cars in his art. The Great Lakes Radio
Consortium’s Joyce Kryszak has this story of “Art on Wheels”:
The American landscape is filled with automobiles. Lines of fancy molded steel are everywhere
– in parking lots and bumper to bumper along the highways. Or, as Canadian folk singer Bruce
Cockburn once observed, a kind of “sheet metal ballet.” But, sadly, when the dance finally ends,
there’s nothing left but junkyards of crushed steel. A recent community art project suggested that
re-use could be an answer to the old environmental debate of what to do with all the junk.
(sound of kids at the art show)
Dozens of artists were asked to come up with their own unique ways to re-use at least some of
that automotive scrap for the recent “Art on Wheels” Project. Art teacher Bruce Adams describes
what he and his high school students call the “Environmentally Friendly Car.”
“There’s a picket fence on each side. The front we call the front lawn, because the surface is a
big, grass lawn, with a bird house, so the birds can live there over the summer. Then the back of
it, we call the backyard, it’s a garden, it’s a got a pond, it’s got a stream running down to the pond
– it had fish living in there all summer.”
Adams says they built the car as sort of an ironic commentary on the whole American dream
thing. That’s what many of sculptures in the exhibit were designed to do – to make a statement.
Other sculptures, such as the cement truck chicken, were simply intended to be outlandish. But
for one of the exhibit artists, Doug McCullum, re-use isn’t a novelty. It’s a lifelong expression.
You might even say an obsession.
“My sister broke her femur…I made a lamp out of her steel leg splint. It was a little strange
thinking that, you know, this thing spent six months in my sister’s leg –
but she kind of enjoyed the lamp.”
McCullum is, well, shall we say, passionate about re-use? Okay, so you might even call him the
Dr. Frankenstein of the junkyard. His Gremlin car sculpture from the exhibit features some of
his junkyard creations. They’re popping out of the roof, the hood, the doors and the gas tank.
Come meet Scratch, Knock, Guzzle, and the rest of the Gremlins gang.
“The car is covered in a wide variety of monsters, all named after things that go wrong with your
car – henceforth the name Gremlins. They are all made out of various things like air compressor
tanks, and old recycled drive shafts, and snow blower hoods, and old air tanks.”
No, McCullum isn’t an auto mechanic, or a junk dealer. He’s an architect by trade, who likes to
create recycled art in his spare time. But McCullum doesn’t have to go far for re-use materials
when he begins a project. He just walks downstairs and scrounges around in his basement.
McCullum says he saves everything – and he’s especially partial to automobile salvage.
“I have so much steel, and so much stuff that I’ve recycled in my basement that it would take a
small crew to move that stuff out, and that’s just the way I create.”
McCullum says there are plenty of worn out or broken parts from his own cars down there. And
he’s never one to pass up somebody else’s cast off muffler or tire tread abandoned at the side of
the road. McCullum hauls it all home for his next project. And if he does run into roadblock
while creating? McCullum says he loves to go shopping – at the junkyard of course.
“It’s like shopping at the mall for me. I like climbing through the piles, and digging through
something, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. Like, oh… this could be a great head, and sit
that aside… I go looking for a part and I come out with like a couple hundred pounds worth of
steel. Like, yeahhhh, like there was a big sale at the mall and I’m coming out with the spoils of
But make no mistake, for McCullum re-use isn’t an idle past time, it’s a professional and personal
commitment. As both an artist and an architect he says he believes in the beauty and the
possibility of preserving everything. McCullum says things can and should last. He says it’s
purely a matter of vision.
“Basically, anything that is discarded can be re-used in a wide variety of ways, just people don’t
have the vision or that kind of mentality to really think in a different way. And that’s really what
this whole project is about – the Art on Wheels thing in general – you can re-use everything.”
(sound of kid yelling, “Look a bug car! There’s a bug on top!”)
MCullum says the unusual automobile inspired sculptures were fun to make – and to look at.
Mind you, he doesn’t expect to see gremlin cars or cement truck chickens roaring down the
highway anytime soon. But McCullum says hopefully the exhibit will help turn people on to the
possibilities of recycling.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Joyce Kryszak.