tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 9, 2012 7:00am-7:30am EDT
all over the place. scared the living hell out of me. >> out of the sea and into the city. new york city. a rare twister strikes the big apple causing a big scare for bystanders. plus, bracing for a blackout. chicago schools could go dark tomorrow if teachers don't get what they want today. can a last-minute deal this morning avert the largest u.s. labor strike in a year? i'll ask the woman at the center of the talks. and two hawaiians walk into a bar. the president takes a crack at his birther critics by cracking a joke of his own. it is sundays, september 9. good morning, everyone, i'm randi kaye. we begin this hour with a huge teacher strike looming in chicago. if they don't get what they want today, there will be no classes tomorrow in the nation's third largest school district. at issue is working conditions,
pay, job security, and how to deal with new, longer school days. negotiations resume in about five hours. both sides vowing to prevent a monday strike. if they fail, the school year will come to an immediate halt. some 700 schools and 400,000 students would be affected. the city plans to open 144 sites to provide services for students if a strike does happen. and coming up in about ten minutes, i'll talk with karen lewis. she is the president of the chicago teachers union. we'll talk about where the negotiations stand. now to the race for the white house. and with 58 days until election day, the campaigns are taking different approaches to getting out their message on this sunday. republican nominee mitt romney and his running mate paul ryan will leave the campaign trail and instead turn to the airwaves. both men will be guests on several sunday talk shows. there's no rest for their democratic rivals who have headed straight from the party's national convention to hit the campaign trail.
today president obama will continue his tour of florida with stops in melbourne and west palm beach. vice president biden will head to ohio for stops in portsmouth and milford. and by the way, you can get up close and a personal look at the two men vowing to hold the country's future in their hands. find out what barak obama and mitt romney are really like beginning at 8:00. profiles the republican presidential nominee in "romney revealed: family, faith, and the road to power." followed at 9:30 by "obama revealed: the man, the president." another story we're following this morning is, of course, the weather. people will be cleaning up today after two tornadoes touched down in the new york city area. one witness said it looked like a scene out of "the wizard of oz". this is video from a beechfront neighborhood in queens -- beachfront neighborhood in queens. the twister started as a water spout and came ashore.
winds topped 70 miles per hour knocking down trees, power lines, damaging buildings. no one was hurt, but it sure did scare a lot of folks. >> huge amounts of debris flying all over the place. scared the hell out of me. we didn't know which way it was going to move. i'd put it 60 feet across. >> reporter: how did you take cover? >> i just stood still and -- to be honest, the first instinct is people. you're not thinking of yourself, you're thinking, my god, people might have got hurt here. >> and look at the damage the second tornado caused in brooklyn just nine miles away. this one was stronger. 110 mile-per-hour winds. the storm that spawned these tornadoes caused damage up and down the entire east coast. more than 26,000 homes still without power this morning. meteorologist alexandra steele joining us. we hear about tornadoes in a lot of states, but they're rare in this area. >> absolutely. yesterday at 10:30 or 11:00, an
ef0 and ef1, as you spoke about. but they are quite rare. before yesterday, there had only been ten tornadoes in and around new york's metro area since 1950. so again, the storm and the front that provided and really allowed those tornadoes to blossom has pushed off the coast. still, eastern, you see here in the eastern new england area, still holding on to some rain showers. but it is all very progressive and moving eastward. the lightning off the coast now, as well. and farther south, this is the kind of southern extent of that strong cold front for this time of year. kind of moved to the very warm, moist, humid air. and really exploded these storms. the tail end of it bringing showers and storms to tampa this morning. but here's the big story. behind that strong cold front, really the coldest, the coolest air we've seen thus far this season. so a taste of fall for many. walking out, upstate new york, you're saying, ooh, it hasn't felt like this in ages. mid to upper 80s yesterday. behind that today, 60s and 17. look at what buffalo will do for the next three days.
60s. so high temperatures, 79. much chillier than where it's been. and as we look toward the next few days, portland, boston, staying in the low 70s. buffalo in the 60s on monday. so temperatures really chilling out in terms of the dew point. the amount of moisture in the air. air mass really is quite changed. it is much drier. all right. a quick note on what is now tropical storm leslie. no longer a hurricane. it will make its closest pass to bermuda, just east of bermuda. this afternoon and tonight, already right now, wind gusts of 45 miles per hour. expecting about two to four inches of rain. so really kind of the worst of it to its east. but they will see tropical storm-force winds throughout this afternoon and tonight. and then we're going to watch it really move quickly. it's going to pick up speed. and then become a hurricane once again potentially. but then really move offshore quickly and continue its northeast track. so bermuda certainly going to fare better than expected. and the northeast, as well.
much cooler temperatures than what we've seen. and the severe weather is over. >> we'll actually see u.s. open tennis? >> we will. a fun day. breezy, chillier, too, in the stands. it's been an incredibly hot meet so far. . >> they had to get them out of there quickly when the wind and storms moved in. the nasty weather caused delays at the u.s. open tournament in queens, as we were saying. the court, sopping wet. several matches pushed back. that included the much-anticipated match in the semifinals for the men. the women's final was pushed back. that will be later today. serena will be playing in that one. their match, by the way, the men's match was suspended after a half-hour of playing yesterday. the finals for the men has been now moved to monday instead of today. this is the fifth consecutive year the tournament has failed to finish on time because of that darn weather. also in sports, a tulane football player is in stable condition after fracturing his
spine. devin walker collided head-on with a teammate yesterday during the game against tulsa. trainers and doctors, you see, rushed to his side. a tulane doctor says the plan is for walker to have surgery in the next day or so. walker's coach called saturday "one of the most difficult days ever." 29,000 chicago teachers threatening to walk off the job tomorrow. but can a strike be averted? i'll ask karen lewis. she's waiting for us right there, president of the chicago teachers union. ally bank. why they're always there to talk.
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welcome back. ten minutes past the hour. all morning we've been telling but a looming teacher strike in chicago. 29,000 public school teachers threatening to walk off the job. negotiations resume in a few hours. if no deal is reached, classes could be canceled tomorrow in the nation's third largest school district. about 700 schools and more than 400,000 students. karen lewis, president of the chicago teachers union, joins me now. karen, good morning. >> good morning, randi. >> so i hope you got some sleep. i know you've been deep into negotiations. we appreciate your time this morning. months of talks we've been watching. dozens if not hundreds of meetings. why atlanhasn't this been able worked out? what issues are you and the union fighting for? >> i think what people need to understand, we are actually fighting for almost the very soul of public education in this
country. chicago's been a laboratory, and quite frankly, we feel for failed experiments. we would like to get some common sense and some research-based instructions back into the schools. so our basic issues now surround compensati compensation. they surround a better day for our students. certainly an evaluation system which leads to job security for our members. >> where are you on the pay issue? >> we have some issues there. they're not where we ought to be. >> are you getting close, is there any movement at all? >> we've had -- on the pay issue, we've had some progress as of yesterday for the first time. and it's sort of annoying that we have to wait until the like 11th hour to get these kinds of issues done. >> in the last 25 years, though, we haven't seen anything like this happen in chicago. why is it happening now?
>> well, i think we've had a very aggressive administration. we've had a mayor who has been determined to silence the voices of the people who do this work. people don't quite understand -- i'm two years out of the classroom, and i can tell you already it's changed drastically. my parents were public school teachers. i'm married to a public school teacher. cps means a lot to us. i feel like it's running in my veins. and right now, what we have is work that is extremely difficult, and what we see as a lack of support throughout and a demonizing of a population of people that all of a sudden teachers are bad guys everywhere you look. so there's no reason for this demonization. we also had a 4% raise in the last year of our contract that was taken from us and given to another agency in the city. there was no reason to do that. it led to a lot of toxicity.
>> i want to share with you because there's been a lot of chatter on twitter this morning. we've been talking to folks about it on line, about this possible strike. and one viewer named phil tweeted this -- this strike proves that the teachers union is out of date and out of touch with what really matters, education. what do you say to that? >> i would say that whoever phil is has absolutely no clue as to why we are anywhere in this. our union has put together a research-based solution to solving some of the problems in chicago. those of us who do this work are tired of being told basically sit down and shut up. we know better. i don't think people understand that in our system, we have had a revolving door of administrators. every time they come in, they come in with some new idea that we're supposed to implement. and no support, no research. and basically a group of predominantly women -- and let's
look at this the way our profession is, who are being told you just shut up and do what we tell you to do even though we know it is wrong for our children. when we advocate for children, we get told, oh, you don't care about kids. and we care more -- we don't go into this because we don't care about kids. >> let me ask you about this comment yesterday from david vitaly, president of the chicago board of education. he told reporters, "we've got parents and children who are wondering what's going to happen to them monday morning. we have an obligation to them to tell them what's going to happen." i've had some parents tweeting me this morning saying, you know, if my kid doesn't go to school, we're talking about 400,000 kids who might not go to school on monday, they might not be able to work. there's that whole trickle-down effect. what do you make of that? i mean, this affects a whole lot of people. >> well, one of the real problems here is not a lack of communication on our part. we have been sawyerly ta l-- sey talking to parents who are
extremely supportive of us, by the way, for months. this isn't just something that happened last week, talks didn't just break down. people have known where we were for quite some time. we took a strike authorization vote in june. so this has been going on. we've been hoping that we would be taking a little -- taken a little bit more seriously about what we would like to see in schools. so we understand that this is difficult. but parents, we are hoping they will come together, work with each other, and help one another find a way for a solution. >> and the negotiations continue today. you'll be busy with those. any idea, inkling at all when you might know if those kids can go to school tomorrow? >> i am certainly hopeful that we can come to some sort of understanding and agreement. but if not, we know that our members are prepared for tomorrow. >> there won't be a change, you won't tell them not to walk off the job? >> i don't have that authority.
we have a democratic process. so i would have to call a big meeting of a lot of people, which i'm willing to do -- >> you have no plans or talk of that now? >> not at this moment. >> all right. karen lewis, president of the chicago teachers union. appreciate your time this morning. and do keep us posted on those negotiations, please. >> thank you very much, randi. he is a musician, humanitarian, and believe it or not, a farmer. ♪ cuz you and i both love ♪ ♪ >> if grammy winner jason mraz comes to your town, you'll probably see him doing some yardwork around town. we'll tell you why. ntgomery and abigail higgins had... ...a tree that bore the most rare and magical fruit. which provided for their every financial need.
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capzasin-hp. take the pain out of arthritis. welcome back. about half past the hour now. the issue of same-sex marriage has found its way on to the football field where this man, baltimore ravens linebacker brendon ayanbadejo is making headlines for speaking out in favor of marriage equality. that caught the attention of a maryland lawmaker who slammed the player for his views and asked the ravens to order ayanbadejo to be quiet. he responded on twitter saying this -- "football is just my job. it's not who i am. i am an american before anything. and just like every american, i have the right to speak!" and ayanbadejo is getting support from other nfl players, including minnesota viking chris kluey. he wrote a scathing and public letter to that same maryland politician saying among other things thatle woo not repeat here -- t