Earth Sunday.

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40,000 take part in Science March, Chicago.

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Just a few years ago, the police in Chicago almost never locked anyone up for violating probation or parole. Now, they do it several times a day, on average.

From 2001 through 2012, the police made a total of 96 arrests for parole violations, city data show.

The number then rose to 338 in a single year, 2013. Then, it surged to 1,978 in 2015.

Arrests for all types of crimes plummeted last year after the release of the Laquan McDonald shooting video led to more scrutiny of the police. But Chicago cops still remain on pace this year to arrest more than 900 people for parole violations.

“It’s a way to get them off the street” and also to make it easier for the police to keep tabs on gangs, says one veteran cop who spoke only on the condition that his name not be used.

He also offers a reason for the sudden rise in parole arrests, pointing out that it began after the city decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 2012: “We can’t get them for weed anymore.” Mick Dumke. Sun-Times

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EPA attorney Nicole Cantello said she and her colleagues knew the EPA was going to be on the chopping block, so they started brainstorming who they should enlist for the coming battle.

“We thought we had to hire a lobbyist,” she said. “But several people, including several Senators said to us, ‘No, you should hire a publicist.’ ”

So that’s exactly what they did.

Joanna Klonsky, a PR consultant that can usually found around Chicago’s City Hall juggling press requests for a handful of aldermen, is now helping Cantello and seven other attorneys on their lunch breaks figure out that most people won’t know what to make of phrases like “bioaccumulation of PCBs.” WBEZ
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Since the 9/11 attacks, most of the 796 terrorism defendants prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice have been charged with material support for terrorism, criminal conspiracy, immigration violations, or making false statements — vague, nonviolent offenses that give prosecutors wide latitude for scoring quick convictions or plea bargains. 523 defendants have pleaded guilty to charges, while the courts found 175 guilty at trial. Just 2 have been acquitted and 3 have seen their charges dropped or dismissed, giving the Justice Department a near-perfect record of conviction in terrorism cases.

Today, 345 people charged with terrorism-related offenses are in custody in the United States, including 58 defendants who are awaiting trial and remain innocent until proven guilty. The Intercept.

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Chester “Checker” Finn, Grand Poobah Emeritus of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, is the reformster most likely to unleash his higher dudgeon over Kids These Days and Those Darn Teachers, and he has done so again on the Fordham Flypaper blog. “Will Teacher Tenure Die?” appears to have been edited down from an original title, “Will Teacher Tenure Ever Die, Please?”

Some of his complaint is simply incorrect. As his old colleague Diane Ravitch points out, his notion that K-12 trickled down from colleges and universities is ahistoric— K-12 tenure was a response to too many teachers losing jobs to school board members’ nieces and failing to register with the correct political party, among other abuses.

After cheering on the slow death of tenure at the college and university level (because I’m sure having a cadre of part-time underpaid instructors is going to make college education super), Finn goes on to bemoan the continued existence of tenure in the K-12 world (even, in some cases, by contract in right to work states). And teachers can get tenure after only a few years and some “satisfactory” ratings, which strikes Finn as evidence. This is an old reformy trope, and I’m not sure what to make of it– instead of saying, “Hey, teachers are mostly well-rated, so the profession must be in good shape,” reformsters say, “Hey, teachers are mostly well-rated, so the evaluation system must be broken, because we just know that a huge number of teachers suck.” So, data is good, unless it conflicts with your pre-conceived biases, in which case, just throw the data out. Peter Greene

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With Dr. Eve Ewing on this week’s Hitting Left.

On Prince by Eve Ewing

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