Portland's teachers recently won a contract with the School Board enabling them to turn more of their attention to their work. Two leaders of the Portland Association of Teachers Gwen Sullivan and Elizabeth Thiel talk with the Old Mole's Bill Resnick about how this came about with help from students and their families. Part 2 of this interview, in which Gwen and Elizabeth discuss how Portland's teachers will be able to use their improved position to better educate children, will be aired on next week's Old Mole. 23:54 minutes (16.41 MB)
Brooks Fahy is the Executive Director of Predator Defense, an animal advocacy organization based in Eugene, OR. Rick Swart is the spokesperson for the Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife. KBOO's Don Merrill talked with both of these experts about the recent euthanizing of a cougar in a Portland community, what they both think about why it happened and what needs to be done to keep it from happening in the future. 27:52 minutes (25.52 MB)
Bill Resnick talks with Arun Gupta about how the $15 minimum wage ordinance that was recently passed by the City Council in Seattle came to be. Arun points out how people are agitated by the bank-bailouts, the role played by Socialist Alternative and Kshama Sawant's election to the City Council, the contentiousness about and limitations to the final ordinance. They also consider what kind of organizing is or is not behind getting the ordinance passed. In this vein, they talk about "militant shopfloor organizing" vs. electoral organizing, the role played by independent media, weilding control at the "point of production, and the problem of finding solidarity as "all that is solid melts into air."
23:00 minutes (15.79 MB)
Jeff Kropf is a conservative who served in the Oregon legislature between 1999 and 2007. While there, he helped pass the Charter Schools Act, a piece of legislation based on language from the free market, limited government advocating American Legislative Exchange Council. But Mr. Kropf, who is now a co-founder of Oregon Connections Academy, an online charter school says many former democrats in the legislature helped pass that law. And he says Governor Kitzhaber's administration is experimenting with blended schooling that combines forms of public education and charter schooling. Don Merrill talks with Mr. Kropf about the positives and negatives of alternative education for Oregon's kids. 29:32 minutes (27.04 MB)