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environment

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons

Alex Trebek’s imprint as the host of "Jeopardy" looms large over the show, making it hard for anyone else to live up to the impeccable standard he demanded during his 37 seasons as the show's iconic host. But more than a dozen guest hosts have tried, from big winner Ken Jennings to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Who will the next host be and what will the next iteration look like?

Cars begin lining up outside the Goodwill donation center in Seabrook, N.H., around 10 a.m. most mornings.

Well-intended patrons are here with truckloads full of treasures.

"We hope everyone brings great things that help our programs, but we know some people make some questionable judgments about what is good to donate," explains Heather Steeves, spokesperson for the 30 Goodwill locations in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont.

She holds up "a lampshade, which is stained and disgusting and literally falling apart."

Tanya Miller

Cities around New England have declared racism a public health crisis. Scholar-activist Katharine “Kat” Morris is especially interested in the intersection between racism, health and environmental justice -- something she talked about in her 2019 TEDxUConn talk. Morris noted that a fifth of Connecticut’s pollution is concentrated in five cities where the majority of the state’s people of color reside: Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, Stamford and Waterbury.

Jjron / Wikimedia Commons

Aaron Rodgers leaked his dissatisfaction with the Green Bay Packers just before last week's NFL opening round. The NFL draft drew about 2 million people and has become something of a cultural event. In essence, he made himself the story within the story. So, what's going on with Aaron Rodgers? Does he have a future with the Packers, another NFL team, or will he head to Jeopardy and date Shailene Woodley?

Tobacco Barnes in Simsbury
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

A multimillion dollar land deal goes before voters in Simsbury on May 4 that asks residents to authorize more than $2.5 million in taxpayer money for the purchase of nearly 300 acres of land, including a spot where Martin Luther King Jr. once worked. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State regulators on Wednesday issued a final decision highly critical of how utility Eversource responded to Tropical Storm Isaias. The decision will reduce Eversource’s allowable profits from state ratepayers and could also pave the way for monetary fines announced as early as next week.

Agapostemon splendens bee sitting on a flower
Michael C. Thomas / PNAS

Insects are the most abundant group of animals on the planet. There are an estimated 10 quintillion of them on Earth.

Vanessa de la Torre / Connecticut Public Radio

Leticia Colón de Mejias worked for Hartford HealthCare for years. But after seeing a documentary about climate change, she changed the trajectory of her life.

“Boy, I thought I was helping people in health care, but the reality is that if we don’t tackle climate change and change the way we interact with energy and the environment, all this work I’ve been doing is for nothing,” she told NEXT in a recent interview to mark Earth Day.

Snow-covered mailboxes with tall piles of snow behind them in Boston after the January 2015 blizzard
Whoisjohngalt / Wikimedia Commons

The term global warming makes it clear that climate change is raising temperatures around the world. But climate change and a melting Arctic will shape our weather in New England in a whole host of other ways as well.

This hour: from extreme storms to “weather whiplash”, we look at the science behind why climate change is making our weather...weirder.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

State regulators met Monday to hear directly from utility Eversource about its response to Tropical Storm Isaias. At issue were potential fines for the company due to a storm response that was highly criticized in a draft decision issued by the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) last month.

Courtesy: Center For Coastal Studies

On a recent cool, windy day, a team of scientists aboard a weathered 55-foot sailboat motored across Cape Cod Bay toward Provincetown, where dozens of North Atlantic right whales had been spotted days earlier.

“A bunch of whales were seen on a line between the mouth of Barnstable Harbor to Wood End off Provincetown. So we’re going to head that way,” said team leader Michael Moore, a veterinarian and scientist with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).

AP Photo/Julio Corte

A new federal report released last week shows U.S. bald eagle populations quadrupling over the course of a decade. It’s an encouraging sign of growth for one of America’s most iconic animals, which comes as eagle populations in Connecticut also reached record-setting levels last year. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

A major trash-to-energy plant in Hartford will close next year, raising questions about what will happen with hundreds of thousands of tons of garbage. Now the operator of that plant said it will also cease operations at its nearby recycling facility, effective May 1, 2021.

Uwe Aranas / Wikimedia Commons

Gardening can be really therapeutic. For the second year in the row, seed sellers are selling out of their stock early as more and more people prepare for another pandemic spring season at home. 

This hour, Charlie Nardozzi from Connecticut Garden Journal is here to answer your questions on gardening. 

In this file photo, an Amtrak train arrives at Hartford Union Station on October 5, 2018.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Ridership on Metro North and the Hartford Line has plummeted as many residents suddenly stopped commuting by public transit during the pandemic.

But as the federal government eyes infrastructure as a recovery priority, will Connecticut benefit?

This hour, we talk to Senator Richard Blumenthal about what this could mean for our region’s rail system.

And some proponents in our region see this as an opportunity to bring high speed rail to Connecticut. Is that a realistic possibility for our state?

Gov. Ned Lamont holds a press briefing at the Community Health Center in New Britain to highlight CHC’s walk-up COVID-19 testing site and to encourage continued testing, June 18, 2020.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Members of the state legislature heard testimony Monday on a bill from Gov. Ned Lamont aimed at reducing transportation emissions via a multistate collaborative called the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program (TCI).

Connecticut Solar Developers Enlist Sheep To Cut Grass And Ease Tensions

Mar 8, 2021
Antalexion/Creative Commons

It wasn’t your usual Connecticut Siting Council hearing. 

The petition before the regulators last week concerned a proposed 4.99-megawatt solar project on a tobacco farm in East Windsor. But many of the councilors’ questions for developer Greenskies Clean Energy had little to do with the technicalities of solar. 

Agapostemon splendens bee sitting on a flower
Michael C. Thomas / PNAS

Insects are the most abundant group of animals on the planet. There are an estimated 10 quintillion of them on Earth.

But in recent years, scientists have found disturbing evidence that insect populations are on the decline around the world.

Courtesy: DEEP

Crews worked Thursday to contain a fire at a scrapyard in Waterbury, which environmental officials said impacted the Naugatuck River.

Pixabay

Preserving agriculture in our state is important. Farmers have the option to preserve their land as farmland in perpetuity. But this risks pushing potential new residents out of farming communities.

Apocalypse When?

Feb 19, 2021
Courtesy of National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office / Wikipedia

The Doomsday Clock is a metaphor. It moves closer to midnight depending on how close we are to human-made global catastrophe through climate change, nuclear weapons, and pandemics fueled by misinformation and failed leadership. Y’know, the typical folly of humankind.

Find out what time it is from two members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Carbon Capture And Brews: Rhode Island Brewery Puts Emissions Back Into Beers

Feb 16, 2021
Grey Sail is the first craft brewery in Rhode Island to install carbon-capturing technology specially designed for microbreweries.
Grey Sail Brewing

After a decade of beer brewing in the beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island, Grey Sail Brewing has grown from a small operation brewing up batches of its signature Flagship Ale to a regional purveyor of more than half a dozen different beers.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Connecticut’s top environmental official said Wednesday she supports a proposal to prohibit the use of firefighting foam containing a family of toxic chemicals of the type that washed into the Farmington River in 2019.

Wood Heat Tax Credit Gives New England Industry ‘Something To Rally Around’

Feb 10, 2021
Proponents say burning wood for heat is more efficient than doing so for electricity.
Alex Lazaro / Creative Commons

Congress included the new tax credit in December’s COVID-19 stimulus bill, offering 26 percent off the cost of installing high-efficiency wood boilers.

New England’s wood heat industry is hoping a new tax credit and marketing campaign can convince more homeowners to buy a high-efficiency wood boiler.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

Gov. Ned Lamont said last week that he doesn’t want to build a proposed natural gas power plant in Killingly and that he is hamstrung by regional market obligations. But the head of a trade group representing virtually all of the power plants in New England said the state does have some control over whether to approve the project. 

Jim Henkens

We have a complicated relationship with our food. We need food to live; yet, we've become removed from the food we eat and how it's grown and processed.  Even with the best of intentions, today's ultra-processed foods make it hard for us to know exactly what we're eating or how the methods used to mass produce our food are affecting our environment and our health. And I haven't even touched on how food has led to war, famine, poverty, and enslavement.    

Adam Glanzman / Northeastern University

A professor from Northeastern University in Boston is bringing a “justice first” mindset to President Joe Biden’s Department of Energy. Shalanda Baker has been appointed deputy director for energy justice.

While COVID-19 and the state’s budget are likely to dominate the current legislative session, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter said Monday that environmental issues are also on his radar.

John Kees / Wikimedia Commons

During this pandemic, most of the day our eyes are glued to our screens as we continue to work from home. This hour, we challenge you to look outside as we talk about bird watching in our state! 

Sales of bird feeders and bird seed have skyrocketed this year. If you are one of the many people that have picked up birding, look out for cardinals and woodpeckers!

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Severe storms. Heat waves. Rising seas. New England is already seeing the impacts of climate change, and scientists project they will become more severe and deadly, shaping how we live and work in the northeastern U.S.

In a special ahead of Inauguration Day, the New England News Collaborative and America Amplified look at climate change in our region and how President-elect Joe Biden’s administration could affect future climate action. Biden has proposed the most ambitious climate platform of any incoming U.S. president in history.

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