All posts by karynsimpson2018

Larry Antonsen: Healing, helping and speaking out

By Karyn Simpson
Medill Reports

Larry Antonsen wants to do everything he can to ensure no child is ever abused by a priest again. That’s why he works with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and attends events like All Survivor’s Day at Holy Name Cathedral Parish. The day is dedicated to drawing attention to sexual abuse by clergy members and demanding justice for the survivors. As a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest and a still-practicing member of the Catholic faith, Antonsen knows how hard it can be to heal from this kind of trauma. He wants to share his story in hopes it can give someone else the courage to come forward and get help.

Photo at top: Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) protest outside Holy Name Cathedral on November 3rd. (Karyn Simpson/MEDILL)

 

Israel’s Sea of Galilee and Dead Sea are dying – What is being done?

By Karyn Simpson
Medill Reports

ISRAEL – The Dead Sea is dying. So is Israel’s Sea of Galilee – the country’s only surface-level source of freshwater. The effort to save these sacred and historic lakes involves a convoluted mix of religious tradition, tourism and technology.

Over the past several decades of carving out an oasis from the desert, Israel has pushed back countrywide water scarcity through desalination, conservation, efficient use of the country’s limited freshwater, and wastewater treatment and reuse. Today, approximately 80 percent of Israel’s drinking water comes from desalination plants, meaning that even as Israel enters its sixth consecutive year of drought, the country should continue to have a stable supply of drinking water for its residents.

The main concern surrounding the drought is the health of Israel’s two natural, above-ground bodies of water, the freshwater Sea of Galilee and the saltwater Dead Sea – both sacred to residents, if for entirely different reasons. While the Dead Sea is valued particularly because of its contributions to Israeli tourism, the Sea of Galilee holds special import in religious history and because many residents remember when it was the country’s main source of water.

“The Sea of Galilee, for all the people in Israel, is emotional – 100 percent emotional,” said Arnon Eshel, who works at Sapir, the water pumping station for the Sea of Galilee. “We come here, we see the Sea of Galilee as it looks now, we are in totally depression.”

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What the world can learn from Israel’s water reuse programs

By Karyn Simpson
Medill Reports

Negev Desert, Israel – A country that is 70 percent desert faces a unique challenge in finding sustainable water sources, but by treating and reusing approximately 90 percent of its wastewater, Israel has done just that.

The small country is light years ahead of the rest of the globe – the next closest competitor is Spain, which reuses around 30 percent of wastewater, according to Dr. Jack Gilron, head of the department of desalination and water treatment at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research.

Yet Israel’s success in wastewater treatment and reuse likely won’t translate effectively to other countries.

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