Archive for the ‘Pulitzer Prize’ Tag

The Coal Plant Next Door, A Story by ProPublica   Leave a comment

“This story was originally published by ProPublica.” 

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom.

The Coal Plant Next Door

by Max Blau for Georgia Health News

Mark Berry raised his right hand, pledging to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The bespectacled mechanical engineer took his seat inside the cherry-wood witness stand. He pulled his microphone close to his yellow bow tie and glanced left toward five of Georgia’s most influential elected officials. As one of Georgia Power’s top environmental lobbyists, Berry had a clear mission on that rainy day in April 2019: Convince those five energy regulators that the company’s customers should foot the bill for one of the most expensive toxic waste cleanup efforts in state history.

When Berry became Georgia Power’s vice president of environmental affairs in 2015, he inherited responsibility for a dark corporate legacy dating back to before he was born. For many decades, power companies had burnt billions of tons of coal, dumping the leftover ash — loaded with toxic contaminants — into human-made “ponds” larger than many lakes. But after a pair of coal-ash pond disasters in Tennessee and North Carolina exposed the environmental and health risks of those largely unregulated dumps, the Obama administration required power companies to stop using the aging disposal sites.

Berry had spent nearly two decades climbing the ranks of Southern Company, America’s second-largest energy provider and the owner of Georgia Power. By the time he was under oath that day, company execs had vowed to store newly burnt coal ash in landfills designed for safely disposing of such waste. But an unprecedented challenge remained: Figuring out what to do with 90 million tons of coal ash — enough to fill more than 50 Major League Baseball stadiums to the brim — that had accumulated over the better part of a century in ash ponds that were now leaking. Read more . . .

Philip Levine — The Voice Of The Voiceless And That’s The Simple Truth   2 comments

WIPPhotosScanned36 Phillip Levain blog art frameSimple TruthPhilip Levine — Image by kenne

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Writers In Performance Series, Mid-1990’s — Images by Nancy Parsons

Voice of the Voiceless

Life,
life is simple,
we make it complicated —
that’s the simple truth.


Today,
I found myself reading
the poems of Philip Levine —
blessed with the gifts
of listening and observing;
enabling him to care,
he has called the
“voice of the voiceless”.

Above all,
Levine is a story-teller
of people decaying
in the spoils of the rich,
speaking directly
from the front lines,
bearing witness to
worker 
revolutions, faded.

By writing about work,
Levine writes about life.
Waiting,
waiting in the work line.
Waiting,
waiting in the assembly line.
Waiting,
waiting for the next task —
not changed from the last.

I, too,
worked an assembly line.
I, too,
bless the imagination
that have given me
myths I live by —
images created by
my visionary power
to bear witness.

I, too,
sing America —
that’s the simple truth.

— kenne

p. s. The other day I was listening to NPR when I heard that Philip Levine added another award to the many this great American poet has received, the American Academy of Poets life-time achievement award (Wallace Stevens Award). Levine, the 2011 U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner for his book, “The Simple Truth” is one of my favorite living poets. It was not long after this book’s publication that we were honored to have Levine read at Long Star College – Montgomery, Writers In Performance Series.

Philip-Levine1

Laureate Philip Levine, Working Class Poet
by Robin Bates

An Abandoned Factory, Detroit

by Philip Levine

The gates are chained, the barbed-wire fencing stands,
An iron authority against the snow,
And this grey monument to common sense
Resists the weather. Fears of idle hands,
Of protest, men in league, and of the slow
Corrosion of their minds, still charge this fence.

Beyond, through broken windows one can see
Where the great presses paused between their strokes
And thus remain, in air suspended, caught
In the sure margin of eternity.
The cast-iron wheels have stopped; one counts the spokes
Which movement blurred, the struts inertia fought,

And estimates the loss of human power,
Experienced and slow, the loss of years,
The gradual decay of dignity.
Men lived within these foundries, hour by hour;
Nothing they forged outlived the rusted gears
Which might have served to grind their eulogy.

 

JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS — “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant”   Leave a comment

Jose Antonio Vargas — Image Source: The Village Voice – Blogs

“One August morning nearly two decades ago, my mother woke me and put me in a cab. She handed me a jacket. “Baka malamig doon” were among the few words she said. (“It might be cold there.”) When I arrived at the PhilippinesNinoy Aquino International Airport with her, my aunt and a family friend, I was introduced to a man I’d never seen. They told me he was my uncle. He held my hand as I boarded an airplane for the first time. It was 1993, and I was 12.” Read more . . .

Ruffin & Parsons Texas Poetry Shoot-Out — Revisited   Leave a comment

Now that Montgomery County has two Texas poet laureates (Paul Ruffin, 2009 & Dave Parsons, 2011), I share again a video I produced and posted on this blog, August 7, 2009,  of the Texas Poetry Shoot-Out at “Good Books In The Woods,” Spring, Texas.

The event, a poetic shoot-out , paired two Montgomery County poets, good friends and mutual supporters, which carries even more significance now that Parsons has become the most recent poet laureate of Texas. Southeast Texas is the new hub of poetry in Texas.

And on that note. . .

the event Dave Parsons began eighteen years ago, The Annual Walt Whitman Birthday Celebration will be at Lone Star College – Montgomery, is Thursday, May 12th, featuring Pulitzer winner and iconic American author, C. K. Williams. As always, the afternoon campus event will be followed by “The Gathering of Poets,” 7:00 p.m. at the Corner Pub in Conroe.

kenne

Images & video by kenne

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