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Infrastructure

You Can’t Be Neutral In A Flooding House

Cicero, Illinois - A crowd swells outside an auditorium one summer evening in 2023, trying to enter a special town hall meeting. The air fills with chants: ​“Where’s our money?” and ​“El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” (“The people, united, will never be defeated”). Soon, police inform the hundreds outside that no one else is allowed in. It felt apt: We wanted answers about why our city was so dysfunctional, and the city couldn’t even host a proper meeting. I’m a journalist and also a Cicero resident, and I was there because I, too, was angry. Howard Zinn famously said you can’t be neutral on a moving train; it’s also difficult in a flooded house.

Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Created A ‘Climate Time Bomb’ In Black Neighborhoods

Nearly 45 years ago, the Acres Homes area north of Houston was the largest unincorporated Black community in the South, a thriving 9-square mile area  where homeownership was the norm. That was until the city of Houston annexed it, and the Interstate 45 highway was built through its heart. In the aftermath, the community’s poverty rate has jumped to almost double the city’s average, and health ailments from pollution  have increased. President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, one of the nation’s most significant investments in curbing climate change, was supposed to consider the history of areas like Acres Homes in an attempt to make communities whole again.

Targeting Of Gaza’s Essential Workers And Infrastructure Is An Attack On All

Across Gaza, public service workers face scenes of unimaginable devastation: 392 educational facilities destroyed; 132 water wells out of service; 24 hospitals knocked out with the remaining 11 only partially functional. The entire energy grid remains offline due to fuel import restrictions and the severing of external lines. Lack of electricity has forced desalination and water treatment plants to close with wastewater openly flowing in the streets. Lack of washing facilities is forcing many women to take pills to delay their menstruation.

The Axis Of Resistance: Like Seeds In The Soil

While many articles written on Al Mayadeen and other platforms have exposed and highlighted the brutality of the Zionist occupiers and their American masters, I want to take this opportunity to expose the humanity and fraternal conduct of members of the Axis of Resistance throughout the history of this network of organizations seeking to liberate West Asia. It came to me to write this as I read Aurelie Daher’s masterful history book: Hezbollah: Mobilisation and Power. In this book, Daher shows that the first steps of resistance in Lebanon were not conducting military operations against the Zionists, but building bonds with the masses.

Guerilla Bus Benches Are Spurring Berkeley To Step Up For Bus Riders

By day, Mingwei Samuel works as a software developer. Also by day — together with urbanist and writer Darrell Owens — he builds and installs benches at bus stops around Berkeley and Oakland that have no seating. It’s a tale as old as social media: In November, Owens tweeted a photo of his 64-year-old neighbor sitting on the curb at a bus stop to draw attention to the lack of seating for bus riders. “Which stop?” replied Samuel. “I can put a bench there.” A month later, he had placed a wooden bench, built based on a template from the Public Bench Project, at the bus stop in downtown Berkeley.

Tribes Say SunZia Line Threatens San Pedro River, Sue To Stop Work

Two Arizona tribes filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management for approving a high-voltage transmission line, alleging the government failed to account for historic and cultural sites through the line's San Pedro Valley route. The Tohono O’odham Nation and the San Carlos Apache Tribe, along with Archaeology Southwest and the Center for Biological Diversity, filed the suit on Jan. 17 over the authorization of the SunZia transmission line. The plaintiffs want a federal court to halt construction and require the BLM to comply with the law before continuing further activity.

Wales Gets Its First ‘Dark Sky’ Community

Presteigne and Norton, a town and neighboring village in the Welsh county of Powys, have been announced as Wales’ first “dark sky community” by DarkSky International. Lights will be dimmed or turned off earlier in order to lower light pollution in the area, allowing residents to get a clearer view of the night sky, reported BBC News. “The Community has worked tenaciously over the last six years to highlight the benefits of becoming a dark sky community,” said Leigh-Harling Bowen, leader of the Presteigne & Norton Dark Skies Community, a press release from DarkSky International said.

Here’s How Evanston’s Streets Have Become Safer For Cyclists

There’s a wide spectrum of cyclists who take to the streets each week with the Evanston Bicycle Club. Newer, lower-speed riders mostly stay inside Evanston and surrounding suburbs, taking advantage of barrier-protected bike lanes and quieter residential streets. Cyclists with a bit more energy and experience go for longer rides up to Wilmette or Glencoe. But only the more advanced groups venture into the city of Chicago, said Al Cubbage, who last month ended a two-year stint as president of the club, which organizes multiple rides per week. Taking Clark Street down through Rogers Park means “taking your life into your own hands,” said Cubbage, a retiree who considers himself an intermediate rider.

While Lahaina Is Destroyed, Honolulu To Construct $60 Million Bridge

While the island of Maui faces the rebuilding of over 2200 structures in Lahaina and 18 structures in upcountry Kula, on the neighboring island of Oahu, the City and County of Honolulu is going ahead to spend $25 million in federal funds for an unnecessary and controversial pedestrian bridge across the Ala Wai canal.  The canal seperates the hotels and condos of Waikiki from the residential area across the canal. In the spirit of Aloha, I suggest that our Honolulu elected officials give the $25 million in Federal funds allocated for the non-essential Ala Wai bridge to Maui for the reconstruction of Lahaina.

Biden Infrastructure Report Pushes ‘Disastrous Water Privatization’

An under-the-radar report by U.S. President Joe Biden's National Infrastructure Advisory Council should not go unnoticed, said the national watchdog Food & Water Watch on Thursday, as buried in the document is a call for the privatization of U.S. water systems, which progressive lawmakers and civil society groups have long opposed. On page 15 of the 38-page report, the advisory council said the federal government should "remove barriers to privatization, concessions, and other nontraditional models of funding community water systems in conjunction with each state's development of best practice."

‘Underground Climate Change’ Is Shifting Chicago’s Foundations

Climate change is causing global temperatures to rise, leading to droughts, heat waves and wildfires. It is warming the surface of the ocean, intensifying hurricanes and increasing acidity and ecosystem imbalances. But the climate crisis is also happening beneath our feet, in a phenomenon called “underground climate change.” The concept has been studied for years surrounding issues of railroad tracks buckling in the heat and groundwater contamination, according to CNN. However, it was not until recently, in a new study by Alessandro F. Rotta Loria, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern University, that the effects of underground climate change — also known as “subsurface heat islands” — on civil infrastructure were examined, a press release from Northwestern University said.

From Bayanihan To Talkoot

For all of human history, societies have depended on communal work to sustain themselves into the (often unpredictable) future. However, at a certain point, that all changed. Market forces took over, and communal projects ceased to have the same significance. The individual took precedence over the community, and large public works became the purview of burgeoning states. The classic North American example of such communal work projects is the Amish tradition of barn-raising, wherein the community gathers to help a neighbor erect their barn without remuneration or any expectation of reciprocity because, as we’ll see, these acts of generosity benefited everyone, not just the barn owner.

Water Crises Portend Socialism Or Barbarism

It’s 2022 and the climate has changed. Around the world, the new climate is making itself felt via droughts, heatwaves, floods, and storms. Many of these events are record breakers, and their effects go beyond local areas to affect global supply chains and the lives of millions of working-class people. These are more than just “natural” disasters, though: these multiple water crises are driven, sometimes even created, by a capitalist society organized to put short-term profit above long-term sustainability. Our untenable management of water illustrates the impossibility of addressing climate change under capitalism, and shows how only socialism can produce a sustainable and equitable civilization.

Russia Retaliates For Ukrainian Strikes On Electricity Networks

A typical U.S. attack on a foreign country begins with a swarm of cruise missiles which will disable the countries basic infrastructure. The U.S. attack on Iraq and other countries demonstrated that electricity and water supply will be gone in first days of a U.S. waged war. Over more than 200 days the Russian special military operation in Ukraine had never attacked the basic infrastructure of the country. When the Ukraine used its electrified railway network to bring in weapons from the 'west' the Russian forces only took out electric substations that supplied the railway. But it never attacked the general electricity production for the population. The lights in Ukraine staid on.

States Propose Expanding Highways With Federal Infrastructure Funds

In November 2021, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Package into law, which allocates $1.2 trillion toward infrastructure and was meant to reduce transportation emissions. While the federal government is guiding states to use the funding toward public transit and other improvements, like increased bike lanes, a new report finds that state and local governments may lean toward using the money toward highway expansions instead. The report from U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit organization, maps out highway projects across the country that could use up infrastructure funding while making climate change worse.
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