Category: Local / Living

Juneteenth Celebration – Five Points, Denver – 2022 – Some Pics

Juneteenth celebrates the day African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom two years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Celebrated in cities across the country, Denver is home to the Juneteenth Music Festival, a dynamic community event which annually attracts 50,000 people. In 2021, Juneteenth was recognized as a commemorative holiday by Denver City Council.

https://www.juneteenthmusicfestival.com/

Mega Drought in Western US

But bring up the American West’s worst drought in 1,200 years and their reverie turns to head-shaking anxiety and disgust. They may have more water than most — hundreds of miles from fallowing farms in Arizona or browning lawns in Los Angeles — but they know that on the Colorado River system, the massive, unchecked demand for water downstream is threat to everything upstream.

“It takes millions of gallons of water for a golf course,” Tharrett said. “It’s going to reach a point when people have to decide, ‘Do I survive or do I play golf? Should I have a lawn in the desert or pay a $100 for a basket of berries?'”

“How long can we do this?” Williams said of the Flaming Gorge releases. “It’s limited to a few years. The rest of it is going to depend on how long do we persist in the drought, and where does our water use go? We’re going to have to learn to live with the water we have, and the use we’ve sustained for the last several decades is going to change.”

The Southwest’s unchecked thirst for Colorado River water could prove devastating upstream

Getting an Abortion in Texas – Travel to New Mexico

Under Texas law, insurers are forbidden to cover abortions unless the woman’s life is at risk. At the New Mexico clinic, the appointment to get a sonogram and obtain the five abortion pills would cost the family seven hundred dollars. And, because the trip was so long—ten or eleven hours by car—they would also have to leave a day early and pay for somewhere to spend the night. The previous month, the father had ransacked his savings to make a five-thousand-dollar down payment on a three-bedroom house—a step up from the decrepit rental where the family had lived for five years. After renting a U-Haul truck for the move, paying utility deposits, and buying pots, pans, and a toaster, all he had left was fifteen hundred dollars—his emergency stash, “something to fall back on,” he said. He felt sick at the thought that he’d now be using that stash to secure a legal abortion for Laura in New Mexico.

The father understood intimately what teen-age parenthood entailed. Laura was born when he was a high-school sophomore. She was, as he always told her, a wanted child. But, after his relationship with Laura’s mother imploded and he found himself raising their daughter and, later, two younger girls, it had taken him a decade, and at times three jobs, to get his family off public assistance. If Laura had a baby, they might find themselves slipping back into the food-stamp life they’d left behind. More than that, though, the pregnancy threatened a particular dream he had for Laura: that she would press through this hard phase of her adolescence childless, and enjoy some of the fun, silliness, and high-school dance parties that he had missed.

One in four girls and women in the United States will, at some point in her life, seek an abortion. Yet, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which, in 1973, established a woman’s constitutional right to the procedure, the long journeys to oversubscribed clinics that have become a fact of life in Texas will almost certainly become the norm throughout much of the country.

A Texas Teen-Ager’s Abortion Odyssey
The Heartbeat Act is forcing families to journey to oversubscribed clinics in other states—offering a preview of life in post-Roe America.
By Stephania Taladrid

The New Union Resurgence

This is the most exciting — and promising — moment for the nation’s labor movement in decades thanks to the landmark union victories at Starbucks and Amazon, as well as the spread of union drives to well-known companies like Trader Joe’s and Apple. To find similar excitement about unions, one would have to go back to the 1930s and the victorious Flint Sit-Down strike against General Motors, which inspired a tremendous wave of strikes and union drives across the U.S.

What has made this moment even more promising for labor is the huge enthusiasm that many young workers are showing toward unions, including museum workers, nurses, journalists and graduate students, among them the 17,000 University of California grad student researchers who won union recognition in December. Two recent surveys also hold promise for labor: 74% of workers 18 to 24 say they would vote to join a union if they could, and a Gallup poll found that 77% of Americans 18 to 34 approve of unions.

Propelled by this youthful excitement, the Starbucks union drive has gone from workers at a single Starbucks in Buffalo, N.Y., voting to unionize in December to 75 Starbucks unionized today, with workers at nearly 200 more petitioning for unionization votes. One measure of this youth-driven enthusiasm: John Logan, a labor studies professor at San Francisco State, says anti-union consultants often boast that they defeat unions 95% of the time in union votes, but Starbucks baristas have voted to unionize 90% of the time — winning 75 of 84 union elections.

Op-Ed: A new generation is reviving unions. The old guard could help
Steven Greenhouse