News of Note

i Jun 25th by


Justin Solondz Torches a Movement
While being transferred into U.S. custody may have come as a relief, it also came at the cost of being held accountable for one of the most notorious crimes in Pacific Northwest history. In 2001, Solondz and four other environmental activists set fire to the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture as a protest against genetic engineering.
The targeting of an esteemed academic institution—carried out on the same day as a related arson at an Oregon tree farm—made national news. It propelled a major law-enforcement effort to catch the saboteurs, dubbed “Operation Backfire,” and a fierce debate about the meaning of terrorism. Authorities labeled the arsonists terrorists, a term the press turned into the catchier “eco-terrorists,” while activists warned of a “green scare” and argued that property crimes did not constitute terrorism—an argument that had particular resonance after 9/11.


Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet?
With the publication this month of “Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness,” by the vegan distance runner Scott Jurek, vegan diets have become a wildly popular topic on running-related Web sites. But is going totally meatless and, as in Mr. Jurek’s case, dairy-free advisable for other serious athletes, or for the rest of us who just want to be healthy and fit?


Flooding rips up Duluth, drowns zoo animals
Dozens of people commented on the zoo’s Facebook page, most expressing sadness but some anger over what they felt was inadequate precautions by the zoo, which is next to a creek that has flooded before.  A 2010 flood was the worst in memory, the zoo said at the time. But in that event no animals died or were hurt and only one had to be moved.


Stack of Farm Proposals Is Coming Up for Votes
The Senate began voting Tuesday on a slimmed-down list of amendments to a farm bill that would set the nation’s food and agriculture policy for the next five years.


New egg lobby heats debate over hen-house legislation
Last summer, the United Egg Producers and the Humane Society of the United States agreed on legislation that would set national standards for the treatment of laying hens, setting aside years of enmity over the issue.  But the development did not sit well with Amon Baer, an egg farmer and pork producer in Minnesota who says he decided to set up his own Washington lobbying group in response.


Did California learn anything from Chicago’s foie gras ban?
Before Charlie Trotter revealed he had quit serving foie gras and suggested eating the liver of fellow Chicago chef Rick Tramonto, before Ald. Joe Moore proposed that the city ban the sale of the fat livers of force-fed ducks, before the City Council enacted the ban and prompted Mayor Richard M. Daley to declare it “the silliest law that they’ve ever passed,” before two years of foie gras prohibition followed as some Chicago restaurants continued serving the forbidden dish by giving it away or offering it under other names, and before the City Council repealed the ban with almost as little discussion as it had passed it in the first place, there was California.