Editor’s Choice: Scroll below for our monthly blend of mainstream and alternative news and views for April 2017
New York Times, First Bipartisan Deal of Trump Era Averts a Shutdown, Thomas Kaplan and Matt Flegenheimer, April 30, 2017. A bipartisan agreement will keep the government funded through September, congressional aides said, effectively ending the threat of a government shutdown. The deal, which still must be voted on, is said to include increased spending for the military and for border security, but does not
Washington Post, Schools nationwide are pressed to act on an unseen danger: Lead in the water, Brady Dennis, April 30, 2017. Tests last summer showed troubling levels of lead in the water at Summit Township Elementary School, perched on a quiet hilltop outside Butler, Pa. But for the next five months, no one told the parents of Summit’s 250 students.
When officials alerted families to the potential lead contamination in January, the dominoes fell quickly. The district superintendent and assistant superintendent resigned. The school board hired an independent investigator. Administrators shuttered Summit and moved students to another building several miles away. And the mother of a kindergartner filed a federal lawsuit, saying the inaction had created “a school full of poisonous drinking water.”
Parents are pushing for action, but districts are challenged by aging buildings, strained budgets and a regulatory vacuum that seldom mandates testing. Health officials agree that no amount of lead exposure is safe. Even small amounts risk irreversible cognitive and developmental damage, particularly in young children.
Washington Post, Trump guarantees protection for those with preexisting medical conditions — but it’s unclear how, Paul Kane and Jenna Johnson, April 30, 2017. Appearing on “Face the Nation,” the president said “I mandate” protections for such patients be included in the latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, but he struggled to fully articulate what form those protections would take.…