tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN August 18, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EDT
they rename it and make it more difficult for the teacher to be successful because they give it another name or call it by another a new paradigm and that went on for several years, and not one public official can you name who sends his child to a public school. governor christie in new jersey, he says it's none of your business, and the others say the same thing, and most officials know public schools are to produce cheap labor. how many people would they have if everybody graduated from college taking jobs at minimum wage? the people who run the companies know it, and the politicians know it, and none of them, name one of them for me that sends their kids to a public school.
>> he makes a really good point, which is that it's hard -- you got to have skin in the game, you know. you really do. i am always curious to ask people, and we have a poll coming out soon that does ask this question of parents, if money were not an issue, would you send your child to your neighborhood public school? if you had a choice and you could send them, you could take them out and send them to a private school, or any school of your choice, would you do it? and it was astonishing to me how many people would. and the fact is they can't, and that's what is frustrating. you know, he is right, politicians and people in power do have a choice, and if you are at a disadvantage and you don't have the money to choose a private school or you don't have educational options where you live, you don't, and that's not fair, that goes right to the heart of the inequality piece.
>> if some of our viewers want to check out the poll that you are talking about, is that on the website, the -- >> we just completed it, but i do think -- i think we put a post up that has some of the early results that has a summary of it. check it out. i don't have my computer in front of me but i am sure there's a piece that will clarify that for you. >> it might be a good time to explain why you chose the name you did for the website? >> you are right. the seventy-four, it's for the 74 million children in this country under 18 who we are dedicated to being a voice for. >> wendel is up next, a teacher that teaches some of the 74 million. wendel from maryland, you are on with campbell brown.
>> caller: i am a teacher in a predominantly african-american and hispanic county, and i find a lot of males in the classroom, especially those that are demographically black and latino, what can you do to get more of those -- of that demographic in the classroom around the country so these kids have somebody they can relate with who talks like them teaching them? >> you are talking about in teaching or mentoring positions, right? >> certified classify room teachers. >> you know, that's a great question, because -- i was just in new orleans where they have -- the sad thing about katrina was because of the devastation, because the school system was wiped out, they did have an opportunity to start from scratch, but one of the big
challenges they faced in new orleans was they lost a lot of the local teachers, people scattered and people moved to texas, and a lot of people came in to help after katrina, and there were teachers coming in from all over the country to try and rebuild those schools, but to your point they were not part of the community. so a lot of people felt like they didn't have a stake in the reforms that were taking place and trying to make things better and they were not people that the kids could identify with, because they were not part of the community, and so that's what we are trying to rectify, to recruit people who are part of their lives in some way. other than more outreach, and i certainly believe that we should try and professionalize, you know, teaching in a way and raise the bar in terms of how we
think about teachers and treat teachers in this country. the average teacher, if you factor in teachers with, you know, years of seniority, that makes $57,000 a year, and that doesn't recognize, i think, the kind of effort that they have to put in to these jobs and the challenges they are facing. we don't pay teachers enough and don't reward great teachers, and it's hard to attract real talent, and it's -- we need to change the way we think about this, and not only try to recruit people who can work in communities where they really have relationships, but also across the board. you know, erase the way we think about the profession in this country and, you know, again, treat teachers more as professionals than i think we currently do. >> along with the viewer calls we are looking for your tweets, too. beverly writes in, to fix
education we must deal with zip codes and segregation and housing all underlying issues that got us here, not just about choice. and caylee, you are on with campbell brown. >> caller: yes, i just wanted to comment that i think another big problem with baltimore city schools is that people do not notice there are other minorities which happens to be the caucasian race. everybody gets that in baltimore city. we're usually not supposedly around the world, but in baltimore city we are a minority, you have about five white students in the entire classroom, and that doesn't mean the child is not going to learn, but they are surely not going to learn if there is bullying or other children interfering with the education, and a lot of parents don't know it's going
on, because i pick my child up, and drop her off, and there are no other parents at all when i go up there, and you might see ten out of 30 students parents there, and you have little kids walking themselves home, and you have kids that don't even have book bags or pencils, and nobody seems to notice what is going on, and it goes back to parents, i feel like the parents are not involved like they should be. you have kids bullying because they are so frustrated with their own home line. they are taking it out on other students, and then the board supposed to magically fix everything and then the board will try to address it all, and the board can't because the parents come and the parents, they don't care, they just don't care, and not all of them do care. >> campbell brown, i will let you jump in. >> there are so many factors
that you are touching on. obviously poverty in the country, it's an enormous challenge and does have an enormous impact, and you wish every parent could be like you, they could be there at the beginning and end of the day with their kid, and unforekhau tputly because people are working long hours it's not as possible to be as involved as parents want to be, and when you are dealing with all of these issues, i think we can't pretend there is a silver bullet, that there is one answer that is going to solve this problem. it's tackling it from a lot of different angles. whether it's the, you know, trying to increase parental engagement, or dealing with neighborhood poverty or the stress that comes from, you know, things that you are dealing with at home and how that manifests in a school, and there's interesting organizations, one called turn
around, and it tries to go into schools and deal with the emotional stress that a lot of kids experience because of things going on in their lives that prevents them from learning, and obviously leads to acting out, and they are experimenting with programs that basically put a social worker in the school to do a lot of the mental health piece, and to try and help these kids through some really difficult times so that they, you know, can be in a space where they can learn, and where the other kids can learn. that is a really tricky problem. as i said before, we have to tackle this from so many different angles because there's no one answer that will address all of the things you are talking about. >> speaking of some of the education organizations that are out there. i phrabelieve the last time youe on, you were looking for the department of justice, and remind the viewers what that is and what the status is.
>> since i launched the seventy-four, i am not involved as much. and states are working with parents wherever they come and request the help to challenge the laws on the books that prevent us from getting the best teacher in the classroom for every child. there's a concentration, you know, of in effective rated teachers in new york especially where this is happening, in schools with the most disadvantaged kids, and the wealthier schools are getting the most highly rated -- excuse me, the most highly effective rated teachers, and there's -- this goes back to that inequity piece that we were talking about before. it's challenging laws on the books that prevents the chancellor in new york being able to make decisions about
staffing, and there was -- it was inspired by a similar case in california where some families challenged teacher tenure, last and first out seniority rules and protections that gives uber due process rights that made it in some cases impossible to remove a teacher that abused a child, and i don't think anybody thinks it's okay for a teacher that abused a child is in the classroom. that case was successful in california, and those cases are being brought in other states around the country. the partnership for educational justice is a legal organization that tries to help parents who want to take legal action with probono attorneys and support that they need to get those cases off the ground. >> campbell brown co-founder and
editor in chief it's seventyfour.org if you want to go there. judy, you are on the line. >> caller: i want to talk about common core. obviously it's a big issue in the '16 election, and it's not popular and it's not popular among the states. in fact, one of the things that government is not supposed to be involved in education at the state level, it's unconstitutional according to the 10th amendment. the common core, they don't want to call it a curriculum, but it is, and it was not at all
written by educators. no educators or administrators of education were involved inputting this program together. yes, they have put together stringent testing, and now these same people that put together the testing for, you know, for the third, fourth, fifth, whatever, throughout the k through 12 are now going to be doing -- writing the testing for the exact same people that are going to be changing the;7 tesg on the sats. >> do you want to weigh in on the common core debate? >> it's going to be a hot topic at the forum. this has been a huge issue on the republican side during the campaign, and, you know, she is right, i am astonished at the
degree to which some of these politicians completely flipped their positions on common core from where they started. this was something that, you know, whether you love it or hate it was embraced by a lot of republican governors from the get-go, and the problem she was addressing about the federal government is, you know, just to give viewers a sense of how it work san diego when common core was created there was financial incentives for the states to adopt common core under the program race to the top, and that was in place when common core launched. what i struggle with a little bit with some of the republican politicians that flipped their position on this, is on the one hand, they are now saying they are opposed to common core and want to get rid of it altogether, but for the several years prior to that they were fighting to get those federal dollars for their state and so
they were supporting common core, and now that they are running for president and hearing from people like, you know, the woman that just called in, they are changing their positions. and, you know, to me it goes to more of the issue of credibility, and what you really believe. has it not worked out on your state, have there been real problems with it or a political issue. if we could get past the politics a little bit, i think what is important about it, is just what your caller is talking about, is how this position is being implemented and if it's not going well, you know, it's an issue that has to be addressed. she is right about the testing that has been sort of explosive almost around the country as a result of many of the incentives in race to the top. in many places, there is over testing and of course there is going to be a huge backlash. we had in new york some 200,000
families who didn't participate in the test who opted out, and you know, there was a situation where, you know, there is a test that is in place, a national test that deals with reading and math, but most teachers in this country don't, you know, don't teach reading and math, they teach history or art or something, and the question is how do you evaluate these teachers so they started creating all these different test and rightly parents got to a place where they said, wait, my kid is taking six tests, so what is happsin happening? i don't think the leaders on the political side did a good job of explaining to people what the intent was behind common core, getting their places to raise their standards. >> many of the leaders on the stateside expected to be at the
forum, the education summit that the seventy-four is putting on,ing and the editorial board headline on their piece, paysonning a good idea, the right and left poisoning common core if you want to check that out. sam has been waiting in west virginia. did i get the town right? >> caller: yes. >> go ahead, sam. >> caller: you showed us 23rd in math, and where was we at in 1980. i am watching three generations of kids lost to prescription drugs, and the lottery money, where is the trillions of dollars of lottery money, and i think the football coach for alabama is making $6 million a
year to teach the kids how to throw a football. >> a couple issues there from the caller if you want to pick up one or two. >> well, i mean, he is right, and i hate -- there's -- if you go to our website, there's a skit that key & peel did on our website that makes a joke of what the caller just said which is not a joke, and they are trying to make a point, and their skit is what if we treated teachers the way we treat professional athletes, and what if they were paid and put on a pedestal the way we put professional athletes on a pedestrian -- pedestal look like. >> some stats from the national
center for education statistics. public schools employment 3.1 million full-time equivalent teachers in the fall this year, and so the number of pupils fte will be about 16, and that same is back in 2000. national center of education w statistics. mark is up in norfolk, next. >> caller: i am a fan of yours from cnn. >> thank you, mark. >> caller: thank you. i want to echo the gentleman from florida that called in the first segment, he is 100% correct. the system is correct. even with my children, we have four school-aged children and it makes no sense, and what the caller from florida implemented or indicated was that the system is trying to teach our children
how to think versus doing just math or just understanding english. that's my one point. second point quickly, mrs. brown, who is a student of journalism, i have to unfortunately disagree with you in regards to why journalists are polling so low. i do not believe that is a journalists point to be able to infuse their opinion in interviewing. i will give aquick example. rñ probably one of the best journalists i have ever seen. i never knew what his faith was. i never knew what his political affiliation was. but every person that sat down with him every sunday morning on nbc got grilled, they got grilled from one end to the
other, and he did not let loose. i think you can take your opinions, your passions, and you can make sure that through interviewing that you can make sure that that person is accountable and responsible for all points of view as it relates to accuracy of facts. >> campbell brown, i will let you respond. i believe tim russert was a mentor of yours, correct? >> i am so happy to hear you say his name, yeah. i was hired for my first network television job by tim russert and there is and was nobody better, and he was an amazing mentor and boss. tim trained me in the ways of old school journalism, which is what you are saying, and i worked for nbc for tim, went to work everyday thinking every side has, you know, there are two sides to every story, and
every side has a look, and your job is to referee the match is how i thought about it, but tim also taught me to not be a stenographer, which is what you are saying, which i think he did better than anybody, which is call people out when they are not being truthful or honest and to hold people accountable. you made another point that i think is critically important, which is you may see -- i am feeling very comfortable now having sort of left my old job at nbc news at cnn sharing my opinions, i am a mom, and i have views on these things and i want people to know what my views are, and you will never see anything on the seventy-four or in the columns that is not grounded in fact. you can make an argument for one
side or the other, but make it a fact-based argument and some of the debates we are having in the country around common core or issues you will hear people say things factually impossible, so it makes it hard to have a debate on it. even opinion journalism or, you know, where reporters are making judgments on things, they have to make sure that there is accuracy behind what they are reporting in writing, and that's so critical and that, to me, defines good journalism. in this day and age, i agree we have to make the point and it is an important point the caller made and it's worth reminding people. >> dennis, you are on with campbell brown. >> caller: good morning.
thanks for having this show. schools beginning now and once again we are talking about school reform and i don't think there has been a school year in the course of my life where we didn't talk about reforming the public schools, so i don't know what is going on. it's just mind-boggling to me. we have a civil liberties union, and since we have the right to exercise my religions, and mine says i should put my kids in the catholic school, and the supreme court already ruled that is constitutional, and who is actually trying to prevent kids from going to religiously-affiliated schools? >> campbell brown, go ahead. >> look, i agree with you, and i am an advocate of school choice. i think parents should be able to make the decision, and federal dollars and state dollars should, you know, go towards the child, and if a parent wants to send their kid
to catholic school, they should be able to send their kid to catholic school. to his earlier point, though, about why we are talking about school reform, here is what is fascinating to me. just think over the last century, how our lives have changed in so many ways because of technology. you know, for 100 years, i mean, we are living vastly different lives except in how we educate our kids. if we are educating our kids today and our grandkids exactly the same way we educated my grandparents and great grandparents. we have not had innovation or advancement in the same way in education, and it's -- you know, we failed to see real gains because of that. so i think people are watching what is happening in the world
right now and with our economy, which is, you know, really scary for a lot of people because we are going through a huge transition because of technology and the way the world is changing and it's happening really fast and a lot of jobs are going to disappear because of automation and that's terrifying for a lot of people, understandably. globalization means a lot of jobs are leaving the country and trying to figure out what we do is really scary, but i think, you know, the one thing we can do is help our kids be better prepared for this, because there's no putting the genie back in the bottle. we can't turn back the clock and make all this technology go away. it's here to say. how we educate our kids and get them ready for the 21st century economy and world -- >> "miami herald" has a article,
educators and software developers are turning to games to help engage their students, and if you want to read more it's in the "miami herald." meggen, good morning, you are on with campbell brown. >> caller: thank you, and thank you for taking my call. from a parent's point of view, sometimes i feel like we are being really selfish, that we conflighted this with political issues or ideological bends, and this is not how we feel about what we learned and it doesn't make what we learned wrong, but the truth is it's not a great way to teach, don't ask why, just divide and multiply. you don't learn what that function is doing and you are not able to apply that function
to learn what am i doing here and how can i astrap late that into the world. math is never going to change, but we know more and we're trying to fit that into the same amount of time and you have to undertake strategies that allow to learn kernels of knowledge. >> campbell brown? >> so she brings up such an interesting point. i will be honest, i am dealing with this and a couple of the callers this hour raised this issue, which is that their kids come home with homework that we don't understand, and it scares us. my kid is now being taught singapore math. i didn't know what singapore
math was, and there's a story on the website because i was confused about it and wanted to understand it, and it's not the way i was taught math and it's different, and when he brings the homework home i can't help him because i don't understand what he's doing, and i talked to his teacher and she explained it and i since have read a lot about it, and as the caller just said, we learned a lot and we are trying to teach kids in a better way that makes them think more rather than just memorize, and understand more why they are doing things the way they are doing things so they can then apply those skills to the rest of their lives, and so it's been a little hard for me. i will be honest watching my child do this homework that i can't help him with and i don't understand, but i said to myself, you know, teaching has evolved and the way we think
about this has evolved and it's evolved for the better, and i think he will be smarter and better at math than i was because of the way they are teaching him, and because they are trying to expand the way he thinks about these things so he can, you know, tackle more challenges than i was able to than the way i was taught, so i ultimately have come down, you know, on the side that this is a good thing, but i totally understand the frustration of parents who, you know, may have their kids come home with the new common core ways of teaching, and singapore math is one of them, and your first reaction is what is going on? i had the same reaction. but, i think if you take the time to talk to the teacher and read about it and learn about it a little bit, i think it's the right direction for where this country is headed, and i hope more parents will, you know, go to our website, read about some
of the stuff and learn about some of the stuff, that's why we created the seventy--hour to help parents with the same struggles. >> the problem with schools in america is choice. the choice to abandon the public schools and undermine them, that's a tweet and you can follow along @cspan. we have a caller. joe. >> caller: thank you for c-span. you talked about the changing of technology and i couldn't atpwrae with you more, and i don't know what prevents us to put the curriculum on a computer and let kids learn ahead, you have the kids in the middle and the kids in the high end and the
kids at the end who are trying to get pulled up, and the kids on the bottom end, have we thought about using incentive methodology for them if they do in the public school system, they pass, they have a special event for them or even give them money for passing, and i think if you make it something where they get an immediate result for their efforts, maybe we would see more returns from that end of the spectrum. >> campbell brown? >> those are all good ideas, and unfortunately, because we haven't even able to innovate as quickly as we need to that's one of the things that happens in our schools is that we, you know, it's the kids in the middle, you know, a teacher can't teach everybody, right? there's just -- she doesn't have the tools or he doesn't have the tools to have the flexibility to let those kids learning more
quickly continue to be challenged or the kids who need extra help, you know, how does one person, you know, take the time to give those kids the extra help they may need and deal with everybody else, and there are lots of cool and really interesting technologies that are trying to individualize lesson plans, so these kids can move forward at their own pace, and we're giving them more of the kind of individual attention they need to progress, so the kids on the higher end can be more challenged and the kids on the lower end can help those kids more. >> althea, can you make it quick from louisiana? >> caller: i am calling because first of all i have a couple corrections for your guest. katrina was man-made, and then
teachers were fired. 5,500 in new orleans were fired. they were not scattered and couldn't come back. they were fired. i am hoping and praying that some reporters would come to louisiana and see what is going on in new orleans. don't throw flowers on jindal because he is the reason why everything is so messed up. if you check his ratings, people in louisiana would never vote for him for president or anything else. >> campbell brown, i will give from here. >> she is right, the teachers were fired. after katrina a decision was made in l.ouisiana, and that's where i am from, by the way, and they were trying to figure out how to rebuild the system, the school system, to take the
schools in new orleans and make charter schools and give the schools the flexibility to be innovative and to do different things than they had been doing before, and before katrina, new orleans was one of the worst school systems in the country. it was appalling. it was absolutely appalling. and heartbreaking to me as somebody from louisiana that we had failed so many kids that way. and, you know, regardless of what you think about bobby jen du jindal, that decision has proven to be tremendous progress in new orleans because of the decisions that were made after katrina, and it's heartbreaking there would have to be a disaster like
this and you have a clean slate and you have to see the progress. all of the studies that beared that out, and it will be coming out when we mark the 10-year anniversary of katrina, because that's a story people need to hear because it's progress that is very exciting. >> you can follow them on twitter @theseventyfour. you can look for information on their website. thank you for your time this morning. >> great to be here and thank you for having me. up next on "washington
journal," we will be joined by erin brockovich to talk about the fallout from the spill in colorado. we will talk about the state of the park system with the director of the service, jonathan jarvis. our road to the white house continues live at the iowa state fair. as the candidates walk the fair grounds and speak at the des moines register's candidate soapbox, this morning republicans senator marco rubio at 11:30 and governor john kasich at 5:00, and on wednesday, republican rick perry
will speak at 11:00. on friday afternoon at 2:30, it's senator ted cruz, and on saturday, republican governors chris christie at noon and bobby jindal at 1:00. c-span's campaign 2016, taking you on the road to the white house. with the senate in the august break, we will feature booktv primetime programming starting at 8:00 a.m. eastern on c-span 2. saturday we're live from jackson, mississippi, for the inaugural mississippi book festival with discussions on harper lee, civil rights and the civil war. on saturday september 5th, we're live from our nation's capital from the 15th annual book festival followed on sunday with
our "in depth" program, with lynn cheney. booktv on c-span 2, television for serious readers. "washington journal" continues. >> you probably recognize erin brockovich from the 2000 movie bearing her name. she is talking about the toxic river spill in colorado this month. what is the state of the cleanup effort and what sort of danger is still being posed to the people down river from that spill? >> well, it's going to be a long cleanup effort. it's important to remember that this spill didn't just suddenly happen with 3 million gallons. this has been a known leaking situation into the river for tens, 20-plus years. it will be a long cleanup and a
long monitoring process. i think what is important that most people understand is you will see governors giving the all clear, and that is not all clear, and all of these heavy meetl metals are in the river bed, and we have been discouraged with the response from the epa, and there has been lack of transparency. we have a superfund system that is just absolutely failing and not working. for 20 years they have known of this leaking situation and nothing was really done about it, so it's almost -- they're so overburdened and underfunded. they basically have been neutered. there is no power for them and they cannot get to the locations and this is one of them. so it's very concerning to us that there was not better
oversight and it's not just going to go away and it's going to be an ongoing program for numerous states for long time to go. >> gina mccarthy spoke about the spill last week here in d.c. before she headed out to the spill site. i want to show our viewers what she had to say. >> the release of mining waste in colorado is impacting not just the state of colorado, but it could impact new mexico and utah and the navajo nation as well. the most important effort that the health and safety of the residents and the visitors near that river. we are committed to helping people throughout the four corners region that rely on their education water and wreck reation and we know how important it is to them. as you may know, there are thousands of abandoned minds
throughout the west, and the epa routinely works with states to clean up the spills. the spill occurred with one of the contracting teams used heavy equipment for gold king mine and to begin the process of pumping and treating the contaminated water inside. in response to the unfortunate incident we have used the full breath and depth of the agency to respond with other partner agencies assisting as well. it takes time to review and analyze data, so understand mcfrustrati have our researchers and strati scientists working around the clock, and our commitment is to get this right and to make sure that we are protecting public health. >> that was the epa administrator mccarthy. you are one of those that expressed frustration. this is a headline from the
"washington times." are you talking about the administrator herself there? >> well, let's be clear. you know, there are very well intentioned and intelligent good people inthe state agencies and often times they are in the administration where they want to do right, and they are out there finding out information and often times their hands are tied. like i said, this agency in particular, the epa, they almost have been sf9.neutered. i am sure she is apologetic. we have all of the superfund sites and nobody comes back in to check on the health and welfare of people down the road. that's good to be said. i have been doing this for
22-plus years, and my job is to not to sit here and bag on the epa, and i have said it repeatedly, and they are well-inteltioned people, and there are overburdened and under staffed and not given any money and have little enforcement power, but we have a huge national crisis with our water. there are tens of thousands of superfund sites they never cleaned up and we never have come back to check on the health and well-fair of communities who are reporting to me in droves with serious health impacts. so she hit a good point,.;çx b it's something that i have not seen happen in 20 years. i mean, it gets passed from the epa down to the agencies for toxic substances and disease control and down to each state agency where they have their own department of toxic substances and services and we are still not getting the job done.
it's very frustrating for me and for many people in this country, why we're not having up on this hill a conversation about a national crisis of what is going wrong with our water in this country. from lack of enforcement, oversight, failing agencies, bringing in amoebas, algae blooms, and duke energy and spills where we have to shut in-take valves down as the pollution goes by to the big spill in the elk river, and you have five similar mine situations ready to do the same thing, so i am frustrated and perplexed and i appreciate her statement but i will continue to say this, the epa is not getting the job done and protecting our water supply, cleaning up the pollution and the health and the
welfare and the future of citizens and its exposure to tainted water. >> our phone lines are open if our viewers want to chat with erin brockovich. questions and comments. regionally, in the eastern or central time zone, 202-748-8000. and if you have been impacted by the spill or down river from the spill through four states at this point and perhaps further. you mentioned the epa has little funding and one of the problems you have had with it is that they have not had the funding to do the job. who should pay for the cleanup? should it be the mines? you mentioned the leak had been happening for years before the incident on the 5th? >> absolutely. we see this all over and the mining companies, and other companies come in and they do
whatever they need to do and then they pack up and go away and leave the mess in its wake. i think that has got to be looked at from the mining companies and got to be looked at from a state perspective that actually permitted them to come in, and you can set a fund aside so when the things happen the money is there for the cleanup to a federal program. so it's not just one entity. i think it will have to be a collective effort on numerous parts when you have a spill like this, the cleanup is very, very costly and a little too late because the damages are already done, and in a situation where you knew was pending but you did nothing about. >> it's almost too late to ask the mining companies to prepare for the types of spills? >> in the future we should, and it's an interesting conversation to have, state by state, if you are permitteding them to ducomen
here, and they need to have a price tag to pay that can be put in a reserve so when this happens we have the funds available to clean up. you are looking at just on the mining cleanups, about a $72 billion cleanup, and we're in short supply for money as well, and that's something as a conversation should be had between the company and the state, and also to be available federal funds for when you have a disaster like this. >> the "washington times," they had a map of the abandoned mines in colorado alone, and you can see the uranium minds, and the gold mines, and led and silver mines, and you can see them throughout the state of colorado. we are showing our viewers a map of where that spill happened from the gold king mine down
into arizona and new mexico. david, you are on with erin brockovi brockovich. >> caller: i find this a pile of garbage right now, the epa are political hacks on the left, and they go after people with water puddles and they ruin their lives and take things from them, and they make the bloody spills, and it's all right, we have it in control, and it's a leftist tool to destroy people that they don't like, and i am sick of it. >> erin brockovich? >> caller: there are many things, i never look at the epa or any situation regarding the safety of water and our water supply.
it shouldn't be a republican issue. it shouldn't be a democratic issue. it's everybody's issue. i agree with you, what i am sick of is the bureaucracy and the constant argument we are having about a commodity is the most precious one we have, more than gold and oil is going to be water. somehow we need to come to a place. i am sick of it, too. the arguing and the right and the left and the bureiocracy that goes on in this country over our water is pathetic. it needs to stop. everybody needs to get together and this is the most important thing to all of us in this country. i appreciate your frustration and we're certainly going to keep doing what we can to try to make it better. >> as you talk about politics of this you think epa's critics will use this to undermine the effort, the climate change push
that they are undertaking right now? >> i think that's very possible. i think that is starting and we have had that conversation. it is just noise going around us. they do look for those moments. it's easy to sit here and bag on the epa. i am very frustrated with them across the country but at the same time to remember that it's the administrations above them. their hands are tied in so many instances to do what they need to do. i do not think there is room for this constant political argument. i don't care if you are republican or democrat. this is a human issue. this is our water supply. it's in peril. and we need to stop the bs, if you will, and find a way to fix it. we are not solution-driven about this issue at all. we are argumentive about it. >> environmental activist erin
brockovich is our guest. >> good morning. thanks for taking my call. i have been fully aware of complaints that people have. they are always different, but they are always connected like the food chain. me myself dealing with problems that we have in our lives every day, the one thing that keeps me going in a positive direction is having clean air to breathe and beautiful sights to see, the landscapes and what not. i respect nature. and i try to work]v with natur why didn't we have a response like the bp spill, learn from that problem? drill through the mountain of all of the mines that we have that could end up with the same problem and seal them off at the
entrances that way there you can protect children's lives if they end up going in there because the beams are wood and are rotted. plus we don't know how much water is contaminated and which is the next mine that will breach. another thing is on the political end of the deal all of these different problems and the only time that something might get done is if there is enough publicity, enough people standing together because it is a people problem. all of our problems, water, clean air, these are things that can effect our health and our children's health. the american indians respected the earth and worked together. the chief was not the one that set the rules. it was the indians sat around
the fire and talked about where they were going to migrate, how long the winter would be and worked together. and the majority of the indians and what they thought they wanted to do that would be best for all of them would bring this up to the chief and the chief would not decide where it would go. he would count heads. >> that is edward in manchester, connecticut. here is the front page of the denver post. navaho way of life and farms threatened talking about the fallout from the mine spill. you can read that story in today's edition. erin brockovich, i'll let you jump in. >> your caller in is very accurate. it is going to be all of our issues. we have a great gift before us. it was one that i was taught by
a very republican father. that is the great gifts clean air, great land and fresh water. it is the one thing that we do not respect anymore. i think that is an enormous problem. in all of these politics there is a lack of respect going on. there is a loss value system. the most precious gift we have, this laissez faire and great frustration from an idea that was meant to do good with agencies for protection. it is so big and no money and so out of control we set up for an absolute national crisis. we are already seeing it happen. you are right about the mines. there are 500,000 abandoned mines. this is coming from the government accountability office. you have about 4,400 uranium
mines that could breach at any time in colorado. the navajo nation is very upset. this is sacred to all of us and it is really time for us to, as you said, identify these mines, get busy sealing them up so we don't have another disaster. that's key. again, that has been a lot of our frustration with the agency is they're back logged 70,000 sites. we have to get solution driven. there are solutions to the problems but there has become laziness, disrespect, lost value system and nobody is getting the job done. >> washington, d.c. is next. ned is waiting to chat with you. good morning. you are on with erin brockovich. >> i had a real estate company in durango, colorado in '73. we didn't know about that up. we used to ride bs there and back. the river is a location where
butch cassidy and the sun dance kid jumped into the river. it was a beautiful river. we would go kayaking on it. this is a shame but the epa is not the villain. it happens over time. to hear that gentleman down rank the epa is unfortunate because we have a good woman in charge of it now and they are doing things that need to be done. so let's grow up and think of our water and think of the world environment. thank you. >> thank you. i agree. well said. we do need to grow up. i've said before i don't want to sit here and pick on the epa. there is very intelligent well meaning people. it is the administration. set the politics aside. we have a problem. let's find the solution. let's get busy making it better and making it right for everyone because it is all of our problems. >> let's go out to colorado where jake is waiting in denver.
you are on the washington journal. >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead, jake. >> caller: i'm calling. all i ask listeners to do and ms. brockovich is look at the money. follow the money. everything that involves collection of money and the large amounts is driven by political issues, as well. republican party stops everything that is collective in nature. anything in happening they are doing it in order to put the president in bad light so that they can say the government doesn't work. i suggest to your listeners look at that and consider that as a jhere. thank you. >> thank you. and it does. a lot of it does boil down to
money. we've got to have a good leader that steps up and takes a stand on this issue. one thing that i am always optimistic about is people such as yourself and everyone who called in today and everybody i meet with in communities across the nation, there is a growing frustration and they are starting to unite and use their voice and starting to push back in a productive good way. i'm hoping that we can look at the bigger picture here and have a leader here that is going to step up and make some decisions affirmative ones especially when it comes to our water issues. >> when you talk about the epa's hands being tied by the administration, what exactly do you mean when you say the administration? >> and there is somebody above the epa whether from the white house or how we do budgets. about 57% will go to the
military. there is not even in the pie chart a little squeeze that comes to the epa. so from there trickling down engineers and scientists in those agencies, they see these things. >> could the president cut through that red tape that you are talking about? >> i would like to think that the president of this country could do that and could step up and say as our leader this is a problem. stop the bs and let's fix it. yes, i would like to believe that. but i have heard nothing of the sorts. >> let's head to arizona where eric is waiting. you are on with erin brockovich. >> caller: i know how you can fix your problem with the mines there, take the pot money from colorado and use it. maybe that will take care of it. >> his suggestions from arizona. we will go to woodstock, illinois next. you are on with erin brockovich.
>> caller: thank you. i appreciate all of the work that you have done, both of you. and i want to put into context the situation regarding the epa was put on hold for katrina. it was put on hold probably in the executive branch because in that process there was a law that the companies if they damage the water supply have to report it and every day that report is put in the paper and they are fined. and that process was put on hold and directed into the legal venue. now, the other thing is you are a city lawyer. i put that out to you as a compliment. you are not just an activist. activists are extremely important, but you look up the word in the dictionaries,
lawyers question authority and put out information to make a case against the process and they are often the ones that save us from disasters. i would like to see you become more active in educating the public on the process that you represented so skillfully and as demonstrated in that wonderful film. thank you very much. >> thank you. that was very nice. thank you. you know, that is exactly why for me and my frustrations in looking for a solution and its honest way we started the erin brockovich foundation. that is a way to get into the communities and to inform and educate. when we can do that and create more awareness communities can begin to make different choices, more information is available. they can begin to work at more local levels and state levels whether it be for cleanup or solutions for further prevention of destroying the water supply.
so we will continue on that plight. it will be my life's work. i can't think of anything more important going back to my father and i was a small girl born and raised in kansas, the greatest gift we have is water so it is worth the fight. fairfax, virginia is up next where john is waiting. you are on with erin brockovich. >> caller: good morning. i think that the american people really need to know and complain that there is no royalty charged for gold extractors. i would like to know what other extraction is done without any kind of royalties that can be set aside for these cleanup projects. thank you. >> you're welcome. that is an excellent question. we were discussing that very earlier. as all of the different projects come into the state that conversation being had with the state or in a federal oversight with these companies to have that money set aside. these breaches do ooccur.
we are seeing it happen. we are all experiencing the same frustration. i am certainly thankful that the media is putting this out here. it is going on everywhere. that could be a part of a bigger solution to what happens when we have an accident or there is a breach how we can have the funds available to begin the necessary cleanup process. >> is there an industry model that you would suggest as this happening in other drilling sectors whether oil or natural gas or something like that? >> i think the answer to that here is no. i see it happening with other countries where they have and they set up certain committees. committees get set up and go awry. it would probably need to be done with some oversight but could be a model, that could be a solution that could be set in place that could take care of this type of situation. speaking of committees, jason is the chairman of the
house oversight and government reform committee. he tweeted last week that that committee will be investigating the toxic spillism very critical of the epa and its involvement. we are talking with erin brockovich about this subject. if you have questions or comments our lines are split up regionally. another john is waiting in virginia, fairfax station, virginia. >> caller: good morning. thank you for c-span and for the opportunity to speak with ms. brockovich. i would like to ask ms. brockovich to revisit her response to an earlier question where a caller was complanning that epa regulates puddles and ditches. earlier in the segment the problem of blooms and dead zones came up. it is important to recognize that the nutrients in pesticides and fertilizers that contribute
to these problems do flow from ditches and from drained wetlands into larger streams and ultimately cause these problems. so you said you fully agreed with that caller. i would like you to perhaps re-visit that answer. thank you very much. >> you're welcome. algae blooms do occur. we have a lot of water shed issues not just from mining. when we talk about algae blooms we have seen that happen in ohio where we have to shut down municipal systems for three, four, five, six days. those do occur from agricultural run off and it is something that has to be looked at and controlled. that is what effects the water. i am thinking that might answer his question. i'm not sure. >> val is in savannah, georgia. good morning. you are on the washington journal. >> caller: good morning. i am so passionate about this issue. i'm going to try very hard to
temper my comments. i have one personal remedy for myself. on saturday, john, you opened the conversation with the denver post reporter with this question. how many people have been effected and what are the greatest risks at this point? the phone lines are jammed up but at this point it is the biggest problem and the greatest travesty is these type of toxic exposures as well as ongoing exposures wherever we live in this country is because they slowly bio accumulate on a cellular level in our bodies and may take years, decades or even generations for actual health impacts to manifest. so by the time there will be no correlation to the original causation. so my personal solution is the only way to eliminate this toxicities that we are all
exposed to is to toxify with quality nutrition. i won't mention the name of the multi botanical i use but if anyone wants information we want to hold epa accountability but we cannot rely upon this government to help us get well when they are making us sick. god bless us all. >> thank you. and you bring up very valid points. we have accountability for ourselves, as well. this is why conversations like today, the media's involvement and the community's and the people speaking out. we are aware of the problems and it's the education, the information. it's the awareness. it's taking action and finding solutions. and that can take time. in the meantime absolutely be accountable for yourself and your health and welfare. >> christy cream on twitter is
skeptical of setting up a fund to be set aside for spill cleanup. oh please. see social security. politicians will always spend that money on pet projects. >> you know what? that could be, but -- everybody is going to have an opinion. we have to appreciate every single opinion. and i can understand why she says that because it's happening all the time. but at a state level when these companies come in, somebody is permitting them to do this. if you do, there has to be a fund set up aside and a trust where that money is there in the event of a natural disaster that affects not one state, not two, not three but four or more and tens of thousands of people. >> speaking of money, a superfund designation is a way to move money to a specific project. you said at the beginning of this segment that this had been
happening for years that the spill had been ongoing before the epa was there on august 5th. why wasn't this designated a superfund site? what were the political and economic reasons that this didn't happen? >> there is tens of thousands of places waiting to be on the national priority list and then get made into a superfund. they have a long criteria of what the contaminant is and the levels of those contaminants are, where they are at in the water and soil and sediment. it's a time issue as well as af money issue. and some level is just simply not working anymore at all. and superfund again sounds like i'm picking on someone but somebody somewhere has to start taking a look at this situation. it's a super failure. i'm in every single state in this nation and there is a
superfund site sitting there that hasn't been cleaned up or touched for five years, seven years or ten years. is it because the list is so big there is not enough people to get there? is it because there is not enough funding to get there? is it because their hands are tied? something stuck in the process here and you have a program called superfund. the superfund sites are not getting cleaned up. they still exist today. and so their criterias take forever. they have a whole host of reasons for that and a whole host of reasons why they are not getting there. maybe we see changes as we see more disasters and more and more frustrated public and more interested media and a little more pressure on the leaders to be to start finding solutions to this critical issue. just a few minutes left with erin brockovich in this segment. matt is waiting in north port,
washington. goode morning. >> caller: thanks for having me. i have been involved with an environmental issue here in northeastern washington where the epa has been trying to determine whether we are a superfund site over lead and arsonic that was dumped into the columbia river. and my comment is industry and the media have interesting way of relating this story of the epa and how they treated(ay the spill. i noticed comments from the city and the mining industry in colorado that they claim that it was -- they didn't want epa there because they didn't want it to become a stigma for the local community. and 15 years ago here in north
port we dealt with the same issue dealing with across the border in canada. and i think the media has a responsibility to tell the story like it really is and not the story that industry and people that have financial gain from the mines to be telling their story. they are not telling the whole story. >> that is a very valid point. i know the area where you are at. thank you for calling in. it's everybody's responsibility. i think that is the one thing that is so frustrating to myself and countless communities is the lack of transparency. please, give the american people more credit than that. they can handle the truth if you tell them the truth. when you know the truth the
people, the community, the local agencies, the local state administrators or governor's office can make more informed and better decisions on how to deal with that water crisis. it's something that should happen from the media to the people too local all the way up. and i think that the conversation is finally starting to be had and to have just one oversight epa being the grand poopaof millions of sites that they couldn't get to then and can't get to now we are going to be screwed in the future. it is time to start acting, stop the fighting, finding solutions and have more of those conversations and get off our butts and get busy because you are right. there is a total lack of transparency. we need to start disclosing the truth. when we know the truth we will find a solution to the problem. a few different takes on the mine spill from viewers
watching. tillman says the failed execution of an ineffective agency. and chris pickle writes the mine spill is just another example of corporations getting profits while socializing the cost. time for one or two more calls this morning. barbara waiting west port, massachusetts. good morning. >> caller: good morning. and i want to first of all beg the discussion from getting the public ear and also i want to acknowledge that i am from the indigenous nation people, one of the nations in the eastern corridor here. begin to understand how the indigenous people such as the navajo people have always lived precolonization which made this land so pristine and so livable
for many, many, many nation people. and to say that all of these years that we have been trying to teach our philosophy and our way of living with nature because we will not live without it. we need nature more than nature needs us. and until we come to that honest talk and you talk about going back to the truth. the truth is that we need to start listening to the ways of the indigenous people that kept this land so pristine until the colonizers or invaders came and started digging up stuff that is not supposed to come up above mother earth. >> that's barbara in west port, massachusetts. did you want to jump in? >> very well said and very, very true. we have a gift. and it was pristine and we are
ruining it. we will have to be the solution to it. and there is, again, nothing more valuable. it is very well said and thank you. sharon is our last caller, long creek, oregon. you are on with erin brockovich. >> caller: i have a much different opinion of epa than possibly other people. i am very much opposed -- hello. >> you're opposed to what? >> caller: i am very much opposed to epa and their waters of the u.s. i am working diligently with my representative in congress to stop epa. in oregon we have the water resource board. we have the ag water quality management plan. i serve on the committee. every two years we update and we have our plan in action. it is working. we also have the board of agriculture. i serve on that.
i believe that oregon is extremely responsible and can manage our own water. we do not need washington, d.c. when you get washington, d.c. and the administration involved it never works as well as if you have a state that takes control and will work for water. i'm a rancher. i'm a conservationist. my grandparents were conservationists. we take care of the land. i respect the land. i respect the water. i produce high quality food. we have heard from all of these people from the eastern side of the united states. we need to hear from the west, too, because, for example, a state like california and oregon we produce an abundance of quality foods. and so please keep in mind the epa is out of control right now in my opinion. i want oregon to administer their water and do it well. thank you very much for allowing
me to speak this morning. >> i will give you the last minute. >> that was very well said. we had that conversation earlier. we have a failed agency. we have a problem here. it needs to be everybody's responsibility and it will begin state by state, as well. i live in the state of california. i applaud the mayor first and foremost to step up on some of the greatest maximum contam nate limits, hexvalent chromium being one of them. i think it is something we need to talk about as we move forward. again, the time has come. the bs has got to stop. this is everybody's issue. this cannot be a political issue. this is water. it is every man, woman and child's issue, every state and we have to start finding solutions and ways to deal with these problems and not just continue to sit and wait and blame everything on the epa. a good group of people exist there. it's a broken system, but we
have to get busy. not arguing about it anymore, but looking at what the truth is. the complexity and how massive the issue is and group by group, person by person, state by state begin to address this issue. >> if you want to follow erin brockovich's work you can check it out at brockovich.com and on twitter. appreciate your time this morning. >> thank you very much. up next we talk to national park service director jonathan jarvis about the 99th birthday of the agency and the state of the u.s. national park system and we will open phones to hear about your experiences in national parks this summer and where you think national parks are succeeding. we will be right back. tourllow the c-span cities as we travel outside the washington beltway to communities across america. >> the idea behind the city tour is we take programming for
american history tv and bookkeeping to produce the idea e visual that provide a window into these cities that viewers would not normally go to that have rich histories. >> a lot of people heard the history of new york and chicago, but what about albany, what is the history of them? >> we've been to over 75 cities. we will have hit 95 in april of 2016. >> most of our programming on c-span's event coverage. shorter, they take you some place they take you to a home, historic site. cablepartner with affiliates to explore the history of literary culture of various cities. >> the key entry into the city is the cable operator who contacts the city. it's the cable industry bringing us there. >> they are looking for great
characters. you want your viewers to be able to identify with these people that we are talking about. >> we will take a program where we are taking people on the road to places where they can touch things, see things and learn about -- it's not just local history because it plays into the national story. >> it should be enticing enough that they can get the idea of the story but also feel as if this is just in our backyard, let's go see it. >> we want viewers to get a sense that i know that place from watching one of her pieces. -- our pieces. leads tospan mission what we do on the road. >> you have to communicate the message of this network to do this job. is done the one thing we wanted it to do, build relationships with the city and our cable
partners and gather some great programming for american history tv and bookkeeping. watch the cities tour on the c-span networks to see where we are going next, sea schedule as he's been.org/citiestour. >> "washington journal" continues. asking our viewers to give us a call if you visited a national park this summer. . we are asking viewers to give us a call if you visited a national park this summer. we want to hear your advice when it comes to running the 408 national parks and want to see your photos. you can tweet us your photos at c-span wj. we will look for those if you visited a national park. otherwise phone lines are open 202-748 202-748-7000. if you are in mountain and
pacific regions you can start calling in now. this month marks the 99th birthday of the national parks service. joining us on the phone to discuss that birthday is national parks service director jonathan jarvis. how is the national parks service celebrating 99 years? >> we look pretty good for 99 years old but we are celebrating across the system by inviting the public to share their stories just as you have indicated. find your park website up and people can post their instagrams, their poetry and photographs. >> the official birthday is the official birthday and begins the 100th anniversary of the national parks service, a year of events. how are people using the parks? do we have latest numbers on
stats on visitations to give us a sense of how many americans go out from the national parks? >> we are setting records this year for visitation. we are up about 3% over last year. in 2014 we had 292 million visitors come to the national parks. but already this year we are up about 5 million over average for the summer. for instance in the intermountain regions southwest utah parks are seeing almost 2 million increase visitation over 2014 going to the mighty five, parks like bryce and arches. and then excellent weather for visitation in the some parts of the country. i think that attributes to the increase, as well. >> what is the park service doing to try to diversify the people who come out to the parks?
two recent opinion pieces to point you to, the hill newspaper had a piece by michael snoto talking about the need to increase awareness and another editorial noting that visitors to national parks are disproportionately white and not hispan hispanic. the future of our parks, the last reserves of the wilderness is in peril if more don't learn to value the natural beauty. >> i would say the articles are spot on. we have created a goal for the 2016 centennial to really connect with and create the next generation of park visitors, supporters and advocates for the national parks. so we have a number of initiatives around connecting this next generation particularly the millennials. so for instance we have latino
heritage initiative and historic american black college internship program connecting with diverse youth to get them out into the national parks and have great experiences. we just came out of the 150th commemoration of the civil war which just happened to coinside with the 50th anniversary of the civil rights movement. we link through things like walking classroom where we invited high school students from around the nation to hike the selma to montgomery trail and interact with foot soldiers of that period and really connect the issues of 150 years ago when the nation was torn apart through to today with the issues we deal with with civil rights. this is sort of a core value of national parks service. we keep the stories alive. and by doing so we build
relevancy into the next generation. >> what is the cost to tell the story and at the same time run a park system of 408 parks and pay a staff? what is the budget of the national park service and how has it been impacted by cutbacks of recent years? >> well, the total budget of the entire national parks service is roughly $3 billion. and out of that we have to do everything from fight fire to search and rescue to run the basic infrastructure of parks, water systems, wastewater, roads. we do law enforcement, security, all of those things plus meet and greet the public when they show up and make sure they have a good time and are safe and learn about the parks, as well. so i have 22,000 employees. we beef that up in the summer with another 6,000 or 7,000 seasonal employees. and then we have an army of
volunteers, about 250,000 volunteers that work side by side with us across the system in order to really provide these incredible places for future generations and current visitation. the budget has been flat, to be blunt about it. we are frankly in decline. utility costs go up. and we don't get an increase in our budget to take care of those things. so we have a very robust request in from the president to the congress for fiscal '16 and we are certainly hoping that the congress will see fit to provide us the funding that we really need to greet the new visitors coming in. >> before we let you get back to work you mentioned water issues and firefighting, two stories in the news that river spill and then the wild fires out west. have any national parks been impacted by either of those events?
>> we have had no impacts to national parks from the river spill but we do have a number of fires burning in national parks in yellow stone and sequoia kings canyon. the park service is part of the interagency fire response across the nation and in the west there are about 40,000 fires this year already and there are 29,000 firefighters including national park system employees on the line as we speak taking on this extraordinary fire season we have. >> jonathan jarvis, we appreciate your time this morning on the washington journal. >> take care. >> we are asking viewers to call in today. did you visit a national park this summer? talk about your experience. what suggestions do you have for washington when it comes to running this country's national park system.
you can tweet us your photos. we will look for those. sterling, virginia. goode morning. which park did you go to? >> george washington memorial park. i go to that park about ten times a week, five times in, five times out. the only suggestion i have is that they cut the grass longer because if you will notice the potomac every time it rains in virginia the potomac turns red. when it rains in maryland it turns yellow because of the clay. when it rains in west virginia it's a blue gray because that's the color of the soil. everybody is cutting their grass too short. a rain drop goes 35, 40 miles per hour. when it hits it breaks up some of the soil. and they would have more lightning bugs, too and they eat moths and slugs. it consums more co 2, does more
oxygen, makes more oxygen like that. using these herbicides you are wiping out bio diversity. >> that is gary in sterling, virginia. we are talking about your stories about visiting national parks as the summer is coming to a close. we are talking about the 408 national parks in this country covering more than 84 million acres in every state, d.c., american, guam, puerto rico and virgin islands. the largest state park in alaska at 13.2 million acres. of course, several parks much smaller than that. michael is up next in new jersey. michael, you are on the washington journal. >> caller: hello. i just had visited the rockies mountain national park in colorado and had a wonderful time. i was camped there for six days. i just got back last monday and
i'm 68 years old. i have a senior pass that i really honor and value and think it's a great idea. and i have been visiting the national parks major national parks ever since i was a child. i live close to philadelphia and visit my parents, my dad used to take me there often and explain the history of our great country and as i got older when i was 22 i started exploring the national parks on my own. the year before last summer i was at yosemite national park, something i wanted to do for a long time, but i think the park service is great and wonderful. i support them 100%. it's always an education. i enjoy the evening programs and all the help. i'm a hiker and all the help
particularly that they give. >> gene from ohio writes my suggestion to d.c. politicians, don't you dare privatize our national parks, land or water or you are fired. we are asking viewers to call in here getting in stories if you visited a national park. how often do you use national parks and do you have suggestions for washington on how to better manage our national parks system. beverly is up next in delaware. >> caller: i had a question about the senior path. we were just in mt. rush more and were told they wouldn't take it. you had to pay $11 for parking and they didn't honor the senior pass. and the friend said they weren't using it anymore. so i would like to know about
that. my husband has had it for over ten years. we don't use it often. is it still being used? i would like to know about that. >> i point you to nps.org is the best place to go for information about passes and entrance fees to parks. i can tell you that august 25th next tuesday the official 99th birthday of the national parks service is a free entrance day in national parks around the country. that is one of nine free entrance days that the national parks service had where there is no fees to get into a park around this country on that day. only 127 of the country's 408 national parks usually charge entrance fees. probably the largest is part of the 127. keith is up next in washington. keith, thanks for calling. >> caller: i wanted to talk
about hurricane reg. i visited it a lot. i'm a 72 year old and enjoy the national parks. the trick is to keep them natural which is very, very difficult. you have to be careful you can end up with parking garages and stop lights and asphalt all over the place. it can look like k-mart parking lots if you are not careful. i know that is a real challenge. sd >> how do you balance accessibility in national parks to concerns you are worried about? people talking about wanting to get as many people as possible to national parks. part of that is sort of accessibility and building the infrastructure there that would allow people to visit. >> caller: i think yellow stone -- some of the really crowded parks i think they are
starting to use shuttles quite a bit which looks to me as they have been talking about that a lot. that seems to be extremely effective. i think it's a great idea. i know you run into people on schedules and you see them zooming from one point to the next. and the parks become straight line highways and can be extremely dangerous. it's not easy to keep it natural. it's a challenge. that's about it. thanks a lot. >> that is keith in washington. george is up next bethesda, maryland. >> caller: good morning. i have gone to national parks. i am 82 years old. pd
this year we went to the shen n shenendoah national park. we went to see the persiad meteor showers. it was a marvelous experience driving there. i climbed a lot of those mountains when i was younger. even in a car it is so beautiful. they keep it gloriously. we got to see a bear which i thought was fun. we were in the car so we were safe. the people were courteous. >> you say they keep it up so well. are there other national parks where you are concerned about pollution or the effects of too much human traffic? >> caller: well, we used to go to mt. azure island which is a national park. and it got so crowded and it got
so many people on the trails that really gave it up and left it for others. so that does happen. especially in the east where the recreational areas at least in the northeast and central east, central atlantic states are not that large or that numerous. but i am concerned about that. they do a wonderful job with what they can. not all their volunteers are as good as they might be. that's a problem but they have to have volunteers. they don't have the budget. >> thanks for the call this morning. george on pollution in national parks this from the national parks conservation association, the nonprofit set up to advocate on behalf of this country's 408 national parks. they put out a polluted parks report that graded the pollution-related damage in the 48 national parks required by
the clean air act to have best possible air quality among things rated were healthy air, seeing clearly and impacts from climate change among 12 parks most harmed by air pollution according to that report is sequoia national park in california, king's canyon national park, ever glades in florida. so on down the line you can see their letter grading system on each subject if you want to go to the national parks conservation association. james is up next in mississippi. good morning. >> caller: i live in natchez, mississippi, the southern end of the natchez trace. i have been to many parks and just not this summer. i happen to live in one. it's one of the largest national parks in the country if you consider length anyway.
but next year the city of natchez is having the 300th anniversary, the tricentennial. it is a beautiful place to live. it is a beautiful place to see. and i have enjoyed many national parks. i have been to all the majors. i have been to the grand canyon three times and each time it's like tears crop up. i have been to yosemite, smoky mountains, too many to name. and it's the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to a country. >> if you had a chance to talk to director jarvis who joined us earlier in the segment would you have suggestions to him? it seems like you have been to a lot of places that his service
manages. >> caller: yes. well, i don't know. i'm not real qualified except. after hearing erin brockovich talk about the environment and all the things about the spills, we need to really make the whole country a national park it sounds like. i just get so frustrated when i hear these people that want to get rid of the epa. they think that the national federal land should be used for exportuation of things that we are going to run out of anyway. it's just very frustrating. i don't know what to tell the director of the national parks system. i suppose it's a political appointment or something. i don't know. this country is really hurting
on protection of our people. and i am so glad i live in a national park now because maybe it will be. they are trying to fracin this area and they are trying to drill oil right in the middle of the city because this guy can't afford to maintain a beautiful house. so i would like to send everybody to natchez especially next year and see our beautiful area and a town that is a national park. it's very unusual. >> i can tell you the number of visitors who went to the natchez trace parkway national park site in 2014, those numbers also from the national parks service conservation association in terms of the number of recreational visits last year about 5,800,000 people.
the park with the most visitors in 2014 and consistently high on the list golden gate national recreation area followed by blue ridge parkway in north carolina and virginia and great smoky mountains national park in tennessee and north carolina rounding out the top three. those numbers from national parks conservation association. michael is up next in missouri. you are on the washington journal. >> caller: hello. i have to put -- i have been to the natchez trace where he lives and i did love it. it was a wonderful experience. i live right in the middle of mark twain national forest on the border of arkansas and missouri. it's the ozarks. they consider it the ozarks. we are right in the middle. we are in the middle mountains.
and as a national tourist it's a little bit more open. there is access but not -- it's kind of rough access in a lot of places. but they have designated horse trails where you can't have motorized vehicles. it runs the white river which used to be a main artery to the mississippi river before they started putting dams and things up runs through it, as well. so you have everything from mild plains to large mountains. james needs to come up here and visit and see what he thinks. i'm outside of branson so there is entertainment. i will stick to the woods if you don't mind. i enjoy your sounding board. you guys are the heart beat of america on the program. a good segue from erin brockovich to our national forest. i want to say vote paul for
world environmentalism. i wish you guys would have a round table. i keep asking about this. i wish you would have a round table with all of your, everybody that works on the program. that would be interesting to see what you have to say about the way the world is through the eyes of the people that call you. >> want to keep the focus on you our viewers why we are trying to get as many to call in as possible especially in this segment as we are talking about whether you visited a national park this summer. share your stories, share your suggestions of how washington can manage the park system better. 202-748-8000. up next in massachusetts. tim, good morning. >> caller: i have been to ten
national parks this summer. i'm on a mission to go to as many national parks as i can. i want to see as much of the country as i can. >> so ten this summer. how many total have you been to of the 408 that we have cited so far or that we have cited the number of that many so far in our show this morning? >> i don't have a number but i have the passport book getting pretty full. i have been to a great number of national parks. >> what was your favorite of the ones you have been to? >> this summer i went to big bend national park. i don't plan ongoing back that way anytime soon. i was in dallas and then i finished up at glacier national park. i went to the canadian border. >> appreciate the call.
if you have pictures from your trips tweet them to c-span and we will look for them. we will go to wayne next from nebraska this morning. wayne, good morning. >> caller: hi. we used to live at natches park, one way road up there is a lot on that road and that one plant has a lot of seeds on it. >> you are worried about invasive plants getting into our national parks? >> definitely. lots of seeds and they will spread and are hard to kill. and they are in the park. >> an issue the park service has to deal with. paul is up next in indianapolis, indiana. good morning. you are on the washington journal. >> thank you. we have been visiting the civil
war battlefields the last few years most especially we took the fort donaldson natchez trace down to vicksburg. and we also -- hello. >> i'm listening. go ahead. >> caller: we have also been out in the west at wilson's creek and then we have been over to the east, gettysburg and . we noticed in the last few years that the parks service just has done a marvelous job cleaning up the parks, getting back to look the way they did during the civil war. and i just want to give them a shout out for how much work has been done. >> do any of those reenactments, do they happen on park grounds or do they happen outside of the
parks? i'm wondering about the conservation angle of trying to re-enact a battle in the national parkland. >> i understand the national parks service does park service does not allow re-enactments on the park grounds themselves. some state parts like down in kentucky, perryville, they allow re-enactment on the battlefield. but as i understand, the national park service does not. there may be some that do, but i know for certain gettysburg does not. >> thanks for the call from indianapolis, indiana, this morning. i want to point you to a recent column by congressman don beyer of virginia, democrat, who represents one of the districts in northern virginia right outside washington, d.c. he had a piece in the huffington post late last month, helping national parks is personal for this congressman, his first job was as a park ranger at the lincoln memorial on the national mall in washington, d.c. he writes as part of that piece,
documentary historian ken burns calls our parks america's best idea. based on access to parks and europe european version of rich exclusivity. we know our parks face challenges, outdated -- air pollution, wildlife management and a backlog of road repairs. in addition, park visitation skews older, lacking in diversity. research shows millennial es seem aware of top pashgs like yellowstone but that seems distance. it's time to find your park, which is what don beyer writes in ""the huffington post."" which parks have you found this summer? judy is up next. good morning. you're on "the washington journal." >> caller: good morning. >> go ahead, judy. >> caller: i have volunteered -- i have been to like 30 parks and
i have volunteered in two parks. i wish they would have been more supportive of the parks. they're in real trouble. when you go and you visit the parks, they look like paradise. they do. but underneath all of that, you have the decrease in the budget, decrease in the number of rangers at each park. and if it wasn't for volunteers, the parks would not be able to keep going. the rangers are not paid a lot. the seasonal rangers are -- they are seasonal rangers. when they lose that job, they have to apply to another park, which they may or may not get the positions. and it's a very cumbersome system. and they lose their housing, they lose their insurance. they're like nomads and they get
paid very little, and yet they have the backbone of our park. and they are not hiring more permanent employees. also, like i said, the volunteers are there. when you look, they cannot keep up the environment of the park, even though it looks great without the rangers that we need. another point is just that we -- if the senior pass, which i am on, it's ridiculous to have $10 for a lifetime. seniors should pay at least $5 a year. something minimal to help support the park and protect the park because seniors use it a lot. they travel a lot and use it a lot. so, i guess that's my comment. is that when you look under -- the park is hurting badly. and protecting the environment and supporting what is our best treasure. >> jude y thanks for the call from washington.
i'm sure director jarvis or some members of the national park service staff are watching us this morning and heard your call. glenn is up next, tallahassee, florida. glenn, good morning, you're on "the washington journal." >> caller: good morning, john. i'd like to say, really appreciate you and the rest of the hosts on c-span for doing a great job. >> thanks, glenn. i just echo the sentiments of the lady that just called about seniors helping the national park service by contributing. we need to do more of that. we get a free pass and there's just too much of that. it needs to be -- we need to help more. what i wanted to say is we did this -- i was at the great national smokey park this year and national battlefield, i
believe they call them, at shiloh. they are pretty well taken care of, thanks to the volunteers as much as anybody else. i did to want say this. i have spent over 30 years in the u.s. forest service. and back in time congress decided federal laws, federal lands, some were so scenic and gee logically important, he can logically important they created national parks. the rest of the land, i won't say mediocre, because not a good word for it, but anyways just more regular forest land. i think the national forests are so mismanaged these days.
it's not even close to being what it is. i graduated from college with a degree in forestry. we were taught to take care of the soils, the wildlife and all the rest of the organisms that use the forest. and then we -- we were trying to do what we thought was right on the national forest. and the environmentalists, the radical ones, i think, took over in washington and now the national forest are really a disgrace as far as i'm concerned. >> that's glenn in tallahassee, florida, this morning. we've been asking our viewers to tweet in their photos, pictures from national parks. steve davis says, i was lucky enough to visit two national parks, appomattox and bryce canyon. and michael writes n i visited boston national historic park this summer and i had a great time. a shot from the bunker hill monument there.
as we said, national park service pushing to get millenniials more interested in national parks. the hill column we noted earlier notes to bridge the gap between millenials and nature, the national park service has implemented the find your park campaign that's been going on this year. here's a bit from one of the advertisements the park service put out with their find your park campaign. >> there are oceans and rocks. places where fish swim and birds fly, where mountains spring up and trees and grass grow all around. history is made. art is created. things happen that should always be remembered. heroes emerge. a woman sets people free.
a man makes life. a leader steps forward. people get together, they help each other out. they make their own places to run and play and contemplate the universe. there's pride and gratitude and fun. it belongs to everyone. it can be a place, a feeling, a state of mind. get up, get out there and find your park. >> we've been asking our viewers on "the washington journal" what parks you found over your summer vacations and summer travels. ian's witting in canton, michigan, to talk about his experience. ian, good morning. you're on "the washington journal." >> caller: good morning. i recently visited the shenandoah national parks. have i two feedbacks. one links back to erin
brokovich. the first is i feel the parks are a great way to interface with the public. a lot of times first time people can learn about the nuances of the outdoors. one thing i would like to see more is sort of how people apply the things they learned. for example, shenandoah they had ranger presentations that talked about the black bears. the other thing is they had an opportunity to point out, let's say, potentially venomous snake or poison ivy, general hazards and maybe some native plants in the area. i feel that's helpful for educating the public, what they might find at home as well. when it comes to potential collaborating with agencies like the epa or even state conservation agencies, that can
be a tremendous help because oftentimes when a public hearing comes forth a a lot of people really don't know what's in their area, whether it's groundwater, local geology, native species and the impact. the second item, because i came from michigan and i was visiting a different park, i know there's a best practice in new zealand where -- to prevent invasive species, often they have guests skrab their boots so plant -- don't get communicated, i guess, into new environment. having screening or recommendations when guests enter, i feel that might be a good way to kind of patch any potential hazard or threat to the local