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Wisconsin pipeline dwarfs Keystone and affects every waterway in the state

Written by Louis Weisberg,
Staff writer
Thursday, 12 February 2015 12:07

A 42-inch pipeline buried beneath every major waterway in Wisconsin would dwarf the volume of gritty, chemical-laced sludge carried by Keystone XL when it amps up operation next year. Only a Dane County zoning committee stands in the way — temporarily — of oil giant Enbridge’s intention for Line 61 to convey more tar sands crude than any pipeline in the nation.

Environmentalists oppose DNR's approval of crude oil rail line through La Crosse wetlands

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 12 February 2015 07:46

Midwest Environmental Advocates is raising concerns over the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approval of a permit for Burlington Northern Santa Fe to fill a wetland in the La Crosse River Marsh in order to expand a rail line carrying volatile crude oil through the marsh and the urban area near the Upper Mississippi River. 

MEA said the DNR decision is another example of how the process for approving controversial and potentially catastrophic projects, such as the expansion of a rail line for trains carrying crude oil through Wisconsin, did not allow meaningful public input.

Obama disputes former aide's take on marriage equality

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:44

President Barack Obama is disputing a longtime aide's view that Obama feigned opposition to gay marriage, compromising his true beliefs out of concern it could hurt him with voters.

Former Obama strategist David Axelrod writes in a new book that Obama modified his public position to say he supported civil unions but not gay marriage. Axelrod says that was because his political advisers told him supporting gay marriages could hurt him politically.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has opened an office in Iowa, the first of the potential 2016 presidential candidates to take such a step, reports The Associated Press.

Wisconsin congressman introduces measure to remove wolves from endangered species list

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:41

Wisconsin Congressman Reid Ribble has introduced legislation that would remove gray wolves in those states from the "endangered" species list.

This legislation comes on the heels of two recent court cases that placed wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming back under federal protection due to overreaching state management programs that jeopardized wolf recovery. It is the first of several bills expected to be introduced this Congress seeking to weaken protections for wolves and to subvert a series of federal court rulings that determined that the federal government has too narrowly segmented wolf populations and that the states had overreached in their trophy hunting, commercial trapping and hounding programs.  

Coalition seeks U.S. endangered species protection for elephants

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Thursday, 12 February 2015 07:07

A coalition of wildlife groups has filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to uplist African elephants from threatened to endangered under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Since the African elephant was originally listed as threatened in 1978, the species’ population has declined by about 60 percent, primarily due to poaching for the ivory trade. Habitat destruction and unsustainable trophy hunting also contributed to the decline. Scientists say elephant mortality is outpacing the natural birth rate, fixing the species in a pattern of ongoing decline.

Recommendations for nation's dietary patterns due

Written by The Associated Press Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:35

Dietary advice can be confusing. Is it OK to eat meat and eggs? Is fat in or out? What about grains? How much salt?

An advisory committee's recommendations for the nation's dietary patterns are due soon, and some advice may be changing. The committee is expected to downplay the importance of lowering cholesterol intake and may put less emphasis on eating lean meats. The panel could also tweak its recommendations on exactly how much salt is too much and put limits on sugar consumption for the first time.

Rights groups blast Urban Outfitters for 'Holocaust Garb' tapestry

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:32

Human Rights Campaign and the Anti-Defamation League on Feb. 10 blasted Urban Outfitters for the retailer's sale of a striped tapestry featuring a single pink triangle, an unmistakable echo of uniforms Nazis issued to suspected gay male concentration camp prisoners.

“Urban Outfitters has seized yet again on imagery of the Holocaust, one of the most abhorrent chapters in world history, in an appalling effort to attract attention,” Fred Sainz, vice president for communications at HRC, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, stated in a news release. “This is an affront to LGBT people, Holocaust survivors, their families, and anyone with an ounce of humanity.” 

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker refuses to answer evolution question

Written by The AP Thursday, 12 February 2015 10:29

Likely 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker refused to say on Feb. 11 whether he believes in the theory of evolution, dodging that question and several others about foreign policy after delivering a speech about global trade in London.

"I'm going to punt on that one as well," said Wisconsin's Republican governor when asked about evolution at the end of an hour-long appearance at the prestigious Chatham House think tank. "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other. So I'm going to leave that up to you."

Rights advocates raise concerns of bias motive in Chapel Hill killings

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 10:45

Authorities say a long-running parking dispute between neighbors motivated a man to kill a woman, her husband and her sister at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill.

But civil rights advocates are raising concerns that authorities haven't addressed the possibility of hate-motivated bias.

Animal welfare groups target greyhound tracks

Written by The AP Wednesday, 11 February 2015 09:25

Two animal welfare groups are trying to bring about the end of greyhound racing, which has been declining for years, with an aggressive effort to change laws and public opinion in the states where dogs still race.

GREY2K USA and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals believe racing is cruel and are embarking on a broad-based lobbying effort. The centerpiece is a study that documents more than 11,000 injuries to racing greyhounds and 909 deaths from 2008 to 2014.

Federal Election Commission called on to investigate Scott Walker

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 10 February 2015 13:43

The American Democracy Legal Fund has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission and is alleging a possible campaign violation by Scott Walker.

The Wisconsin governor recently established Our American Revival, a political group organized under section of the 527 Internal Revenue Code.