tv PBS News Hour PBS May 24, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> sreenivasan: and i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: on the newshour tonight: the chief of security for the t.s.a. is fired amid outrage over record long lines at airports and generous bonus checks. but will the shake-up solve the problem? >> sreenivasan: also ahead this tuesday: as campaigns pivot to the general election, it's all about the dollar signs. how candidates are getting the financial support they need for the next phase. >> woodruff: and months after a standoff at an oregon wildlife refuge became national news, opposing sides of the federal land dispute are coming together to try a different approach. >> we can sit down and talk, you still don't agree on everything, that's a given, that's people. but you respect one another to listen.
>> sreenivasan: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fathom travel. more at fathom.org. lincoln financial is committed to helping you take charge of your future. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
thank you. >> woodruff: the democratic presidential hopefuls worked california today, heading toward their final primary showdown, on june seventh. bernie sanders is aiming for an upset, and he says he'll keep pressing his case-- even if it means what he calls a "messy" process leading up to the convention. in anaheim today, sanders touted his support among the nation's youth and said it's a message to party leaders: >> we are winning the overwhelming majority of young people. what should that tell us? what does that tell us? it tells us-- it tells us-- and it should tell the country, and certainly the leadership of the democratic party-- that our ideas, our vision is the future of america. >> woodruff: the sanders camp
also asked today for a re- canvass of last week's kentucky primary results. hillary clinton finished just over 1,900 votes ahead in kentucky. she, too, campaigned in california today, in the los angeles area, and again, trained her fire on republican donald trump. >> now he says he wants to roll back the financial regulations that we have imposed on wall street to let them run wild again. well i'll tell you what. you and i together we're not going to let him bankrupt america. >> woodruff: this was primary voting day for the republicans in washington state. but trump-- the de facto nominee-- turned his attention to holding fundraisers, starting in new mexico. we'll explore his campaign funding later in this program. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, president obama made a show of support for dissidents in vietnam-- after formally ending a u.s. arms embargo. it came on his second day in hanoi.
>> there are still areas of significant concern in terms of freedom of speech, freedom of >> sreenivasan: it was a telling moment: the president meeting with human rights activists and criticizing repression, but with some chairs unfilled. >> i should note that there were several other activists who were invited, who were prevented from coming for various reasons. and i think it's an indication of the fact that, although there has been some modest progress, there are still folks who find it very difficult to assemble and organize peacefully around >> sreenivasan: in a later speech, mr. obama argued greater freedom would benefit the communist state. he balanced that with another show of solidarity with vietnam against china's aggressive moves in the south china sea. >> nations are sovereign, and no matter how large or small a nation may be, its sovereignty should be respected, and its territory should not be violated. big nations should not bully
smaller ones. >> sreenivasan: beijing had issued a relatively mild statement on monday. but today, its defense ministry essentially warned washington to back off-- in diplomatic language. >> ( translated ): we believe the countries outside the region should respect the efforts by regional countries in safeguarding peace and stability. they should not threaten other countries' sovereignty. >> sreenivasan: from hanoi, the president flew to ho chi minh city-- the former saigon-- where thousands welcomed him, and his push for greater economic ties and trade. the president spends a final day in vietnam tomorrow, then heads to japan. >> woodruff: mystery swirled again today around the fate of an egypt-air plane that crashed last week, killing all 66 people on board. an egyptian forensics expert said the small size of body parts found so far, points to an explosion. but the head of egypt's forensic agency called that report "baseless". the aircraft's black boxes have yet to be found.
>> sreenivasan: kurdish-led forces in syria have launched a new offensive near the islamic state group's de facto capital. fighting was reported in villages near the city of raqqa. it could be a prelude to an assault on the city itself. >> woodruff: in greece, officials began moving migrants today from a makeshift refugee camp near the northern border with macedonia. police managed to get about 1,500 people to leave the squalid idomeni site and move to other, better organized facilities. they piled into buses, and bulldozers removed what was left of their tent shelters. separately, the international organization for migration reported fewer migrants are dying as they try to reach europe. that's largely because turkey has curbed the overall flow. >> back in this krish the justice department announced late today that it is seeking the death penalty for the killings at a church in south carolina. dylan roof is accused of gunning
down nine black parishioners last june. he faces 33 federal charges, including hate crimes and firearms offenses. >> sreenivasan: comedian bill cosby will stand trial for allegedly drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. a judge in norristown, pennsylvania issued that ruling today. cosby left the hearing without commenting, but the prosecutor said statements to police-- back in 2005-- established "probable cause". >> a preliminary hearing is a situation where we only have to show that a crime is committed and the defendant is connected to the crime. we did that through the victim's statement and the defendant's admissions to much of the crime. >> sreenivasan: a defense lawyer said cosby's rights have been violated, and he'll appeal the ruling. more than 50 women have claimed he assaulted them over the years, but this is the only criminal case so far. >> woodruff: there's word that kenneth starr is out as president of baylor university in texas. he was the independent counsel
who investigated president clinton. several broadcast and online outlets reported today that starr has been fired over his handling of allegations of rape leveled against male athletes at the school. baylor labeled the report "rumors." >> sreenivasan: for the first time, more than 40 major health groups are recommending weight- loss surgery as a routine option for treating diabetes. the new guidelines include patients who are only mildly obese. some 26 million americans have diabetes. >> woodruff: the smoking rate among american adults has fallen-- by the most in more than 20 years. the centers for disease control and prevention says 15% of adults classified themselves as smokers in 2015. that is down from 17% the year before. it's unclear if the rise of e- cigarettes played any role. >> sreenivasan: monsanto today rejected a takeover bid by german chemical giant bayer. it was valued at $62 billion. and wall street had its biggest
day since march. the dow jones industrial average gained 213 points to close at 17,706. the nasdaq rose 95 points and the s&p 500 added 28. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: a shakeup at the t.s.a.-- will it help cut down long airport lines-- congress at odds over zika funding with mosquito season fast approaching, a tax on sugar drinks to pay for pre-school, and much more. >> sreenivasan: if you've traveled on a plane recently, you've likely seen something different at the airport-- extremely long lines. it's a problem roiling the government, airlines and the public. >> one on the left, one on the right please. >> sreenivasan: at airports across the country, frustration is boiling over as security wait times soar. >> i've missed three flights because of, you know, standing
in line. >> look at the chaos that goes on here, and every checkpoint is like this. >> sreenivasan: now, the transportation security administration has sacked kelly hogan, the man in charge of day- to-day security operations. he's had a checkered three-year tenure. in 2015, a homeland security report found t.s.a. employees failed to find banned items in more than 95% of covert tests. and there've been allegations that hogan played a role in punishing whistleblowers. then, there's $90,000 in bonuses he received between 2013 and 2014. that issue riled the chair of the house oversight committee, at a recent hearing with t.s.a. head peter neffenger. >> those bonuses were given to somebody who oversees a part of the operation that was in total failure. >> sreenivasan: dissatisfaction with hoggan came to a head last week, when hundreds of passengers missed flights at chicago's o'hare airport-- after waiting for hours. >> this was always avoidable. we have a situation that is
totally not tolerable for the flying public because of people responsible were not doing the job they needed to do in funding, but also staffing positions. >> sreenivasan: the t.s.a.'s neffenger says his agency has struggled with budget cuts at a time when more people are flying. another concern: relatively few people signed up for t.s.a.'s expedited pre-check procedure. congress has voted an additional $34 million to hire nearly 800 more screeners, but neffenger says that's not enough. today, the union for t.s.a.
one is overall staffing for screeners is down something like 5800 screeners since the peak in 2011. they have about 42,500, but it's much fewer than they used to. that i.g. report that found they weren't catching much last summer has prompted them to check bags more thoroughly, so they're taking a closer look at you as you go through the lines. they're going to redo that undercover-up investigation this summer to see. they're catching more. neffenger says they are catching more. and we are also seeing more travelers than ever before. the airlines for america expects 231 million travelers this summer between june 1 and august 31. >> sreenivasan: so what's the ripple effect on the traveler? when we saw and heard those people say how many flights that they've missed. cumulatively this has to be a
lot of business concern for the airlines, too. >> yeah, the concerns -- it's a headache for the airlines because anybody missing a flight, trying to rebook them, the flights are going almost 90% full. it's dill. american airlines said during a single week in mid-march they had 6800 travelers miss their flights because of the security screening. that's why airlines for americas orged a hashtag and web site called the hate the wait to try to get more public acknowledgment to the problem. >> sreenivasan: we were talking about camera for global entry. i was going through the t.s.a. precheck lines. how many other people are joining me in this and how does that factor in? >> overall, there are 10 million people in expedited screening programs so far. about 2.5 million of them are specifically precheck, which is the t.s.a. program. if you're in global entry through customs and border protection, that gives you the added value when you're coming back from overseas, you get to go through the customs lines
faster, scipt long lines from the airlines. they're trying to recruit more people into these programs, but so far they're falling well below 10 million total members, they're falling far below their goal of 25 million in these expedited programs. >> sreenivasan: have these point increased the number of applications? >> they were getting 2,000 to 3,000 applicantaise day at this time last year. now they are up above 10,000 a day. last week, neffenger told us this morning they got 15,000 people in one day. >> sreenivasan: you met with neffenger this morning before the news about hoggan came out. what was the mood there? >> well, yeah, he set up-- we had an editorial board arranged with him before this news broke. he was very forthright saying that he didn't say that hoggan had done something wrong. he just said he wanted a change of strategy. he wants to try to make the lines more efficient, rather than just going faster for people. they don't want to sacrifice security for moving the lines. nevertheless, they think they can move the lines for efficiently and get people
through faster. >> sreenivasan: almost every travel agent i speak with says it's going to get worse through the summer. >> yes, the secretary of homeland security, jeh johnson, has warned even as they add the screeners that was mentioned in your report, that lines are still expected to be long. you should plan ahead. but they are going to try to avoid the two- and three-hour waits that you've seen in the last few weeks. >> sreenivasan: all right, bart jansen of "usa today," thanks so much. >> thank you for having >> woodruff: now: to capitol hill and washington's efforts to combat the zika virus. back in february, the white house put together a $1.9 billion proposal aimed at mosquito control, education about zika, plus, boosting research into the virus, and a possible vaccine. last week, the republican controlled senate moved a compromise measure, for less than two-thirds that amount over
the next year-- $1.1 billion. but the also g.o.p-controlled house signed off on a bill for $622 million, over six months. joining me now from opposite sides of this funding divide are representative rosa delauro, a democrat from connecticut, and representative bob gibbs, republican from ohio. and we welcome both of you to the program. congressman gibbs, let me begin with you. the administration, as we said, asking for $1.9 billion. the amount you favor is about a third that much. why not give the administration what it's asking for? >> well, what the administration did that's ongoing through at least the next two mosquito seasons, our bill, at $600 million-plus, goes to the end of the fiscal year, september 30, and now we're in the appropriation process, and we'll look at that, what we need to do past september 30 of this year going into the next fiscal year and the next mosquito season next summer. we'll be appropriating more
money, i'm sure, but it's going to go through regular order and the regular appropriation process. we're on board to make sure to appropriate the money that's needed to get through to the end of this fiscal year. >> woodruff: congresswoman delauro tsound like a down payment on this problem. does that sound like it will be enough? >> the fact is the zika virus is a public health emergency. it is a crisis. it is going to the mosquitoes that carry the virus will hit the mainland united states within the next few weeks. we are putting american women at risk, pregnant women, who are fearful that their babies will be born with birth defects. and we have a medical community that is telling women that maybe they should not get pregnant. that is not message to the american people. the fact of the matter is, is that the $622 million is a third of what's been asked for. you know, in this body, when we
deal with appropriations for defense or going to war, my republican colleagues will say, "let us get the word from the generals, from those who are in the field, the experts. they can tell us how much money they need. and they can tell us how many troops we need." well, we do have experts in this war on the mosquitos. we have the center for disease control. we have the national institutes of health. we have the scientific community, all of whom said we need $1.9 billion. and they have documented every cent of that as to where it is going opinion we need to listen to these generals in the field on this war on the mosquitos. and keep the american public safe and american women safe. >> woodruff: congressman gibbs, it's not just democrats who are saying that this is not enough money. one of your fellow republicans in the senate, marco rubio, of florida, said today that this is not enough money, the $622
million. he went on to say that he fears that the opportunity to get ahead of this crisis is slipping away. what do you say to him? >> well, i think we're going through the appropriation process, and if it's not enough money we'll do the appropriation bills here in the next few weeks, and we'll appropriate more money when we go through request & do our due diligence. but another issue i need on talk about is my bill, 897, deals with how we control mosquitoes and kill the larvae in mosquitos here before they hatch, and that's a bill i had on the floor today, passed with strong bipartisan support. and it gives our states and local communities the resources, the ability not to have additional red tape and bureaucracy and don't waste resources to do their control efforts, to start doing the preventive programs, the onset at the beginning of the mosquito season. and that's really important and a lot of people on the other side of the iefg are not supportive of this and it's really something that needs to be done so our local communities, mosquito-control districts have every tool in the
toolbox to start preventive programs to stop the mosquitoes from growing in population and possibly reaching epidemic proportions of the zika virus or even the west nile virus. >> woodruff: congresswoman delauro, my understanding this legislation that the congressman is referring to would loosen the restrictions on the use of pesticides. is that at least a partial step in the right direction? >> let me make two quick point to you. we running out of time. it was anthony fauci at the n.i.h., at the center for infectious diseases, who said that if we wait for the appropriations process, we are not going to be able to do what we need to do to get ahead of this virus. on the bill that my colleague has introduced, let me be clear with all due respect to my colleague, it is a phony. it is a sham. it is nothing but trying to weaken the environmental regulations. it exempts, broad exemption of toxic pesticides from the cleann water act.
this bill was introduced two or three years ago, has noct to do with zika. our states and municipalities today have the authority in which to be able to control the mosquito population and to-- and to deal with it. this will only pollute our rivers and contaminate our water. this bill that was passed today has nothing seriously to do with controlling the zika virus. it's rebabd branded. >> woodruff: congressman gibbs. >> the american mosquito control association has said we have had communities that are slow to get the preventative mosquito control programs up and going because of this court case that created this praib few years ago. and the e.p.a. has full control over the-- under current law, to regulate these pesticides, and if these pesticides have restrictions have to be applied by a certified applicator and
they have to keep all kinds of records. we saw, we have testimony from mosquito control entities throughout the country that said that they've add the cost to the paperwork, and it also opens them up to litigation, and if they are in violation of the paperwork under the clea clean r act they will be find. >> again, very quickly, we are-- what's happened is the emergency preparedness money has been taken away from localities because the c.d.c. has had to shift money because this congress, this republican congress will not appropriate the $1.9 million, which makes it slow for them to deal with surveillance. the fact is, is that under emergency circumstances, our states and our municipalities have the authority to deal with controlling the mosquito population. this bill will do nothing to address that issue. >> woodruff: congressman gibbs-- >> reaching epidemic proportions they will do emergency measures
and not need any permits and start a preventative program like they normally would. >> woodruff: congressman gibbs, i want to ask you what this says to women who live in areas that may be affected by the mosquito carrying the zika virus. what do you say to women who are worried, who are concerned that the mosquitoes are coming with the warmer weather? >> well, it's obvious we have to do everything we can, and i think the money that we voted last week in the house to put-- start the process moving forward, and i'm sure we'll appropriate more money as soon as we learn it's necessary. we don't want to create just a slush fund out there with no accountability. we're doing our due diligence. the president's request goes out-- has no time frame. just goes on. so we've got this set to september 30, and before september 30 we can appropriate more money. it gets the ball rolling, and my bill gets the ball rolling so our locals can start their preventive mosquito control programs. >> what we are saying to women, we're saying to women that you are at risk.
without trying to deal with this, with the immediacy that the specific community has told us about, this is immediate. it's now, in a few weeks. that means this summer. women are going to be afraid to go out on their patio. they're going to be afraid to go to a barbecue. they're going to be afraid to take their kids to little league because it can put their ability to have children or if they're carrying children, they would be in jeopardy. this puts american women at risk, and this congress is doing nothing but stalling, this republican congress has said no five times to $1.9 million, which is well documented, it's more documented than the war in iraq was. >> woodruff: we'll have to leave it there, congresswoman delauro, congressman gibbs, we thank you both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: a first for presidential candidate donald trump-- hosting a
fundraiser. balancing the interests of ranchers and conservationists in the american west, and a woman's life entwined with science and nature. but first, the city of philadelphia is considering a new but controversial way of funding early education. here's my report-- part of our weekly series on education that airs on tuesday nights called "making the grade." in philadelphia, buying soda has bubbled into a political controversy. to make pre-kindergarten available to all three- and four-year-olds, philadelphia's mayor has proposed a soda tax that requires beverage distributors to pay three cents for every ounce of sugary drink sold in the city. >> philadelphia's chance to lift our children with citywide pre-k is now. >> sreenivasan: the mayor hopes to raise $95 million annually with the new tax. but unlike campaigns in other cities, philadelphia's soda tax is not being promoted as a health issue. >> the ancillary benefit to this
will be healthy choices, but it's not the purpose. the purpose of imposing this three cent an ounce sugar- sweetened beverage tax is to allow people to get their kids educated and move them out of poverty into taxpaying citizens. >> sreenivasan: mayor jim kenney argues beverage companies make big money from sugary drinks sold in low-income neighborhoods-- places where pre-kindergarten can make a difference. >> unless a child is reading at grade level by third grade, the odds are by seventh and eighth grade they'll be acting up because they can't read, ninth and tenth grade they're dropping out because they're embarrassed they can't read. >> sreenivasan: but the high calorie tax has become a highly- charged debate. >> when those pennies start adding up, your grocery budget is going to go... >> sreenivasan: much of the opposition is funded by the american beverage association, but some is from city grocers who rely on sodas sales. dany venus owns a grocery store in north philadelphia. he says 25% of his business is
selling sugary drinks. >> they're going to tax the big company, they're going to pass it onto us, and who is going to be paying? the consumer, at the very end, whoever buys it to consume, that's who is going to pay. >> oh, you like this juice, okay get it. >> sreenivasan: kevin eads and his family shop at vina's store every day. >> i drink soda and juice all day long, i love it. >> sreenivasan: eads says if the cost is passed on to the consumer he will have trouble paying for the sugar-based juice his children drink. >> it's not really going to be fair on them because i'm not going to have the money to buy it. i barely have enough to get what i'm getting. i'm going to have to choose between food or getting juice, you know that's not right. >> how can you tell a three year old kid drink water, drink diet soda, when they know that those sweet drinks is what they want, they're going to say no, no, no. the parent will have to buy it. >> you can fold it, if you need to. >> sreenivasan: carla hurley and her husband cameron-- who grew up in north philadelphia-- support the soda tax. >> it really makes sense to me that, okay, sugary drinks, it's
not something that we need, it's something that we want. >> sreenivasan: their four-year- old son, chance, would qualify for the free pre-kindergarten the tax would provide. currently, the hurley's pay $1,000 a month. >> my job pretty much pays for child care, but at this point, developmentally, they would benefit more from going than from staying home with me. >> the money that she brings in, the net, is really close per pay to the money that goes out for daycare. it's really close. >> sreenivasan: the couple has moved in with carla's mother until they can afford to buy a house. >> that's a mortgage payment for us, so that would be amazing to at least take some of that burden off us for paying for two kids, for childcare. it would be great. >> sreenivasan: the mayor says the soda tax would expand high quality preschools like the parent infant center in west philadelphia-- where the waitlist is substantial. >> this is part of an advocacy effort to get the children to deliver messages to city council to understand the importance of
the sugar tax right now. >> sreenivasan: executive director deb green shows drawings the students created in support of the tax, describing what they liked most about pre- kindergarten. >> this one says because the playground is so much fun to play on. this child loves the blocks. >> sreenivasan: the center serves both low-income families who receive state subsidies and full-paying families. >> i think we're learning the importance of children being in classrooms with children of other races. when they learn it at three, four and five, they no longer have bias, stereotypes, prejudice. >> sreenivasan: currently, 150 families are waiting for full- pay slots and 70 families are waiting for subsidized slots. store owner venas supports funding pre-kindergarten, but says the city should find another way to pay for it. venas worries the added cost-- which he says could double the price of some beverages-- will drive his customers outside the city to buy tax-free soda. >> most of the people, they're going to just drive away, and drive ten minutes, and do the
whole shopping at another supermarket out of the county of philadelphia. >> we're not taxing thirst. it's kind of comical, their argument that this product is so critical to your life and your happiness that you're going to go and stock up your whole car with it. it's kind of laughable. >> when the next crate comes in let's make it orange. >> sreenivasan: but david days, of days' beverages, an independent soft drink company on the border of philadelphia, believes the tax has bigger implications than any losses he may incur. for him it's an issue of fairness. >> many products have sugar. cakes, all your candy bars have sugar, your cereal has sugar. if you're going to do it, let's do everything that has sugar will be taxed, proportionally. let's be fair, you just cannot pick on soft drinks. >> sreenivasan: the city council is expected to vote on the mayor's proposal soon. >> woodruff: we turn now to the
race for the white house and zero in for a moment on the money chase. one of donald trump's main pitches to g.o.p primary voters was that by funding his own campaign he was not beholden to big donors. but tonight, the presumptive republican nominee holds his first official fundraiser in albuquerque, new mexico. here to discuss the shift and what trump's goals are for the rest of the campaign is matea gold, who covers money in politics for "the washington post." matea, welcome back to the program. so as we just said, donald trump holding his first fund-raiser tonight, well behind the other candidate cans, certainly well behind hillary clinton hillary . how much of a difference does that make? >> well, trump has set a very ambitious goal for his joint fund-raising operation with the republican national committee. that's $1 billion by election day, which comes out to about $250 million a month for the next five months.
so he has a lot of work to do. he does not have a formal fund-raising structure. so unlike hillary clinton, who has a very robust national network of donors, he is just now in the process of identifying fund raisers throughout the country, bringing people on board to help bring in the big dollars to really finance that fall get-out-the-vote effort that will be so critical. >> woodruff: as we've said, matea, donald trump has been saying for months that big donors are bad in politics. he has been critical of other candidates and their big donors. how does his campaign explain the shift now? >> well, they are, i think, struggling to try to frame how this pivot is really working. on the one hand, trump and his top aides are maintaining that he's still really just raising money for the party, when in fact the joint fund racing agreement he has with the r.n.c. does divert a substantial amount
of money directly into his campaign. the first $5400 of any donation a contributor makes goes directly to trump for president. he's trying to maintain the bulk of this money will go to finance the party's get-out-the-vote effort. and even if donors do give small amounts of money, he is worth $10 billion and he cannot be bought by wealthy contributors the way he maintained other politicians can. >> woodruff: do we know how much he's really going to need? you said they're saying $1 billion, but he has certainly gotten by with a lot less than that during the primary season. he got so much news coverage he didn't need the traditional tv advertising the other candidates do. >> i think most veteran party fund raisers privately agree $1 billion is incredibly ambitious and difficult to pull off. as you point out, he might not need that much. we haven't seen him need to put the kind of millions of dollars into television advertising that
the other candidates have had to do. he will, however, need a really robust on-the-ground field effort to identify voters and turn them out to the polls. that's something the party's going to take the lead on, but that's something they need substantial resources to finance. >> woodruff: now, we also know, matea, there have been a number of stories about big republican-- wealthy republican donors either being reluctant or just saying flat out they're unwilling to give donald trump money. where does that stand in i know you did some reporting on that today. >> well, what's really remarkable is we're seeing a coalescing of the top donor and fund-raising class in the party coming around trump, people who were ardent dakers of jeb bush, for example, who was really pounded by trump in the primaries, major backers of wisconsin governor scott walker and other candidates have really come to the conclusion that between the choice of trump and likely democratic front-runner hillary clinton in the fall, they're going to put their
investment with trump. and so i think it's been incredibly striking to see how many of them have signed up to help on this effort. >> woodruff: so do you think between now and election day we are going to see a steady stream of fund raisers that donald trump is going to have to be taking part in? well, it remains to be seen how many he will be willing to take part in. he's doing one tonight in albuquerque, and another really high-dollar event in los angeles later this week that is set to bring in as much as $5 million. but, you know, at this time four years ago, governor romney was doing 50 events over the summer. that's a big chunk of your schedule to take out for fund raisers, not something that donald trump necessarily has interest in doing. but i think a lot of fund raisers are telling him he's going to have to step up to the plate. >> woodruff: matea gold, we're watching this every day for the "washington post," we thank you. >> my pleasure.
>> sreenivasan: a small community in southeast oregon was thrown into the national spotlight earlier this year when several dozen armed occupiers took control of the the national wildlife refuge, leading to a month-long standoff with law enforcement. they were protesting federal government control of local lands, a long-standing grievance in the american west. but some local residents say they were surprised the conflict took place there because they've been working together to resolve land management disputes. special correspondent cat wise reports. >> reporter: the malheur national wildlife refuge has reopened to the public, but the headquarters complex remains closed, for now. >> once the repairs are done, and we're back in the buildings, and operating again in full, then we'll open up the headquarters. >> reporter: refuge manager chad karges says that while cleanup efforts from the occupation are ongoing, everyone's attention is now refocused on the most
important visitors here: birds. >> malheur refuge is about migratory birds, and so this basin is one of the most important spring migratory stops for migratory birds in the western u.s. the basin serves as kind of like an international airport, it's a hub. >> reporter: more than 320 species are found here, including sandhill cranes, ross's geese, long-billed curlews, and red wing blackbirds. but the birds don't just hang out on the refuge, they land wherever they want. and at this time of year, that's often on local private ranch land, wet with spring runoff. it's wonderful habitat for birds. and for cows. cows outnumber people by 14 to one in harney county. there's a long, proud tradition of ranching here, and cattle and haying are the main drivers of the local economy. cows and birds seem to get along quite well on private ranches, and many in the community appreciate the tourism dollars that birders bring in. but it's when those cattle have
to graze on public, government owned land-- which makes up 75% of the county-- that conflicts between ranchers, environmental groups, and the government become evident. so about ten years ago, refuge manager karges and a small group in this community decided to try a fairly novel approach to resolving those conflicts face- to-face conversations. and those conversations have led to this. the high desert partnership-- a nonprofit that was formed with one goal: collaboration. >> can you add to a committee or does it need to be a standing committee? >> i just recommend it is a standing group. >> reporter: participants at a recent meeting-- held at the historic hotel diamond-- included ranchers, federal and local government employees, scientists, and conservation groups. a diverse group you might not expect would share so many laughs. brenda smith is the group's director.
>> we wanted to go beyond litigation when land issues were being challenged. if we could bring people together, maybe those things wouldn't happen, and that is where we have seen our success. >> reporter: the group has made progress in other areas too-- like reducing the number of invasive carp that are hurting the ecosystem in malheur lake on the refuge, and improving flood irrigation systems on private ranches that benefit both cattle and the birds. but how to manage cattle on federal lands, especially on the refuge, is an issue they are still sorting out. dan nichols is a local rancher and an elected county commissioner. he's a firm believer in the partnership, but he says it's not always easy to find common ground when ranchers feel their way of life is threatened. >> there needs to be some change in the way the federal lands are managed. the west is continuously bombarded by threats of
monuments, national parks, further restrictions on grazing. the lock up of millions of acres over a succession of time is causing a demise, to a certain degree, in the rural communities. >> reporter: nichols says working through those tough issues has been a lot easier with the partnership in place. >> we can sit down and talk, you still don't agree on everything, that's a given, that's people. but you respect one another to listen, and to look at the world through their lens a little bit, and others are starting to see, because they've been here enough, that, eh, cattle aren't all bad. >> reporter: malheur is one of a small number of federal wildlife refuges around the country that allow limited grazing and haying, largely to help control plant growth and invasive species during times of year when cattle won't impact the birds too much. but when a long-term plan was being developed for the refuge,
some hoped to get cattle off the land entirely. >> we think public lands need to be managed for their ecological value. that needs to be the top priority. and too often those ecological values have been sacrificed for cattle grazing. >> reporter: bob sallinger is the conservation director at the portland audubon society. sallinger says cattle cause a number of ecological problems including trampling vegetation and nests and reducing water quality, but after many, many discussions with the group, he decided he could live with some cattle on the refuge. >> as we talked, we realized we did have some common ground on some of the biggest issues particularly carp and flood irrigation. that we could agree to move forward on those issues, and that also that there needed to be better science in terms of understanding the role that cattle are playing in the ecosystem. >> reporter: in fact, better science has become the shared goal of the various high desert partners. and they've put their trust in this group. esther lev, dustin johnson, and jess wenick are scientists with different backgrounds, but the
three are collaborating on projects around the refuge aimed at understanding how vegetation responds over time to different management tools like flooding, and grazing, but what they aren't doing, they say, is taking sides. >> we're really trying to say what goes on here, what is the ideal plant community we want and water regime that's going to give the birds the habitat they need. >> we're really only two years into the sampling that's being done. we're just now beginning to understand some of these changes we're seeing when we do certain things. >> the beautiful thing that i see in this collaborative effort is the value of the shared science because too often politics removes some of the tools from the toolbox that you are able to use on a site like this to meet your objectives. >> reporter: the data from their experiments will ultimately help refuge managers determine how many cattle are allowed to graze from year to year. but not everyone in the larger community is supportive of the high desert partnership.
>> the main problem is not being addressed. >> reporter: erin maupin and her husband jeff own a 1,700 acre ranch and 350 cattle. they, like so many ranchers in this area, need much more land than they own to feed those cattle. but they say they feel under constant threat that their government permits, to graze on public lands, will be taken away to preserve habitat for wildlife. maupin says she participated in early high desert partnership meetings, but stopped going after she felt like her views weren't getting traction. >> i thought if we could just get the truth out there that we're not here raping and pillaging the land that environmental groups would recognize our grazing rights. i think if people would listen to us more in the collaboration, instead of we're the only ones that have anything to give, and so we're constantly giving, and giving, and giving. >> reporter: but those who are committed to the collaborative process say the recent occupation has strengthened their cause. partnership director brenda
smith: >> i think it might actually encourage people, that yeah, this is something that's important, and that we really need to work hard at it. >> reporter: the group recently received a $6 million grant from a state agency for wetlands habitat projects-- on and off the refuge-- and they are now collaborating about how to spend that money. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in harney county oregon. >> woodruff: next, the latest addition to our newshour bookshelf: "lab girl," by geo- biologist hope jahren, is both an investigation of the thrilling lives of plants and a deeply personal memoir. jeffrey brown has that. >> brown: hope jahren, welcome to you. >> thank you. >> brown: part memoir, part science. what were you after or are they both the same to you?
>> yes, well, i wanted to write a book, and in my field that's what you do. you get your degree, you write a lot of papers and you get a broad view of the dispeeld you write a textbook-- >> brown: for other scientists. >> which changing the way the field is taught. when i sat down to do that i couldn't keep my own storyute of it. when i tried to explish plish what we accomplished i needed to talk about how we accomplished it and then i needed to talk about all the late nights and special people and strange experiences that went into that. i couldn't keep the two separate so now you have a book that's all entwined. >> brown: it begins for your first discovering or at least seeing science in your father's lab. you taught science at community college, right? >> yes. >> brown: what did you see? >> my very earliest memories as a small child were in the laboratory, what it smelled like, what the cement felt like, the hard angles of it, the shiny objects and interesting things and how they could all be used for something. and they were toys but they weren't toys.
they were serious things. >> brown: you even write,"there's nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule." >> yes. >> brown: that's a serious thing. >> it's a beautiful thing that we don't use anymore, unfortunately. we broke things and then we fixed them. you could have fund breaking them and then you fixed pem thp there was nowhere better. >> brown: it's the natural world, the world of plant life, that ultimately grabbed you. >> yes. >> brown: why? >> it's the biggest question there is-- what does it mean to be alive on the planet. answering that for you and me is one thing but answering it for an organism that is so terribly different than we are and so terribly more successful and long-lived and spectacular that we can't even interview the way you ask me a question. i have to pull it out of its environment and put it in the explab try to grow it and control it and work so hard to just get a small, small window into something so different. >> brown: you know, i was thinking, because so much of your book is about moving through the world and seeing green, right. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> brown: seeing colors around
us, and yet, most of us, maybe i should speak for myself, we don't see it every day. it's right there, but we don't see it. >> but you used to. you got away from that. another thing i say in the book is everybody has a tree they remember from being a child. it's very common i meet somebody who remembers looking carefully at a tree, and being near it, and what it meant to them, et cetera. and i think one of the only interesting things about me is they never lost that. i never moved away from it. >> brown: one of the interesting things about the way you write the obamacare going back and forth between yourself and the plant world is the similarities but also as you were saying just before the great differences between us, right. >> yes, yes. it's juxtaposed. i talk a little bit about how a plant establishes itself, and the struggles it undergoes. and i talk a little bit about how i established myself, and the good parts and the bad parts and the tough parts and then i let the reader say to themselves, "did i see any similar threads? did i see any differences?
and it's turned out to be a wonderful thing to see people read it. that's been wonderful. >> brown: some of the tough parts, personal parts byour struggles with depression, bipolar disorder. >> yeah. >> brown: you had to work hard to keep this under management, right? >> yeah. >> brown: but it affected your life tremendously. >> yeah, yeah. i spent 10 years being very sick and hiding it. i spent 10 years doing the very hard work of getting well. and i had not seen that written in a book the way it had been a real thing for me for very important parts of my life. and so i thought maybe i can do this. maybe i can make a book that tackles this in a way it hasn't been done before, and i did my best. >> brown: and then, of course, for all the wonder of scientific discovery and research, there's the nuts and bolts of, you know, actually booing a worker, right? >> absolutely. >> brown: of having to get funding, of having to get positions to teach and do your research. >> absolutely.
it's work. i mean, it's hard work that doesn't usually pay off. it's hard and it might not come to anything, and the only salvation you have is the joy you get from the moment, the joy that you get from watching the samples accumulate right next to you. >> brown: it's called "lab girl." >> yes. >> brown: you are a woman in science. >> yes. >> brown: you right about this, all the discussion about why there aren't more women? is it sexism at an individual level, at a cultural level? what do you see going on? >> well, i think being a scientist is a position of respect and power and access and it's a prifnlged position in, privileged position in society. and i think there are fundamental mechanisms that keep men and women from achieving the same level of power and access and privilege in society. and so i think these things apply to science in the same way that they apply in who's in congress, and who is running the
world in many other ways. >> brown: but give me an example. where does it happen? because, you know, this discussion is always what happens to young girls who start out interested and somehow don't make the same progress, or don't achieve the same positions? >> one thing that was very important to me was that i felt comfortable in the lab from being very, very small. i knew that, that's where i belonged, and i could fix things and move things and no matter how many classrooms i went into where i was the only girl in the physics class, or whatever, i never questioned the fact they didn't belong there. i knew that as well as i knew my own name that this was the place i was comfortable and this was the place where i could cothings. >> brown: all right, the book is "lab girl," hope jahren, thank you so much. >> you're welcome. >> sreenivasan: finally, a special public media investigation casts new scrutiny on the disaster recovery system. that's the subject of tonight's
"frontline," called the "business of disaster." it looks at how billions of dollars were spent after superstorm sandy, including the profits insurers make through the national flood insurance program, and through special housing aid congress gives to local governments. the project was done in conjunction with npr, which is also airing its report on "all things considered" today. here's an excerpt from "frontline" about one of the housing programs in new york with npr reporter laura sullivan. >> sullivan: the job of rebuilding these homes in new york city is the responsibility of a special housing program called build it back. >> we've created a powerful program. >> sullivan: the program got $1.7 billion from washington. >> and we've secured federal aid money. the name of the program is nyc build it back, and it's here to make your home safer, our community stronger, and our city the very best it can be. >> sullivan: one family that was told they'd be among the first to be helped by build it back was diane and nick camerada, the couple the president had comforted.
>> just don't forget about us. >> that's my point. that's why i came here. (laughter) >> sullivan: hi! but three years later, they were still living with a fish tank filled with sandy storm water. >> this is our fish tank. >> sullivan: is this the water from the tidal surge? >> yes. >> sullivan: this is tidal surge water. >> tidal surge plus the fish tank water. i mean, everything must have intermingled, because the water actually went up to the top step before my second floor. >> sullivan: the water came all the way up here? this whole floor was underwater? >> underwater. >> sullivan: this used to be your entryway? the cameradas were still waiting to get their first floor fixed up and their house elevated. >> we had our television, our couch, our living area. >> sullivan: like many homeowners, they gambled and didn't have flood insurance. they were now counting on help from build it back. >> do you know i had to itemize every single thing that i lost? >> sullivan: diane showed me what that process has been like. >> i know i filled this same application out three times.
>> sullivan: no, this same application, this pile? >> yes. >> sullivan: how do you keep all of this straight? >> i have no choice but to keep it straight. i have to know where everything is so when somebody says, "oh, you didn't fill this out," or "you didn't fill that out," here it is, i filled it out. i filled it out three or four times. >> sullivan: it wasn't just lost paperwork. it was also hard to get a straight answer. >> you would talk to one person and then if you would talk to another person, you would get a totally different story. so who do you believe? >> sreenivasan: tune in for "frontline's" "business of disasters" later tonight on your local pbs station. >> woodruff: on the newshour online: we asked experts if the new overtime regulations announced last week will help or hurt the economy. as you can imagine, we got a wide range of responses. you can read all of them on our "making sense" page. that's on our website: pbs.org/newshour. later tonight on pbs: north carolina's move to legislate who uses which bathroom is just the
tip of the iceberg. "point taken" debates the state of gender and transgender rights in america. >> sreenivasan: and on "charlie rose:" the cast of a "streetcar named desire:" gillian anderson, ben foster, and vanessa kirby. and that's the newshour for tonight. tomorrow i sit down with the head of veterans affairs to ask how after millions of dollars of fixes problems persist for delivering care. if you're a veteran, we'd like to hear about your experience. share your responses on social media using the #asktheva, and we might incorporate them in tomorrow's interview. i'm hari sreenivasan. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪
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