Politics/National Security

Bloomberg and Brown bolster a business-friendly climate for climate change solutions

By Aaron Dorman
Medill Reports

Looking up at the Salesforce Tower, now the tallest building in San Francisco. Salesforce was one of the sponsors of the Global Climate Action Summit. Photo by Aaron Dorman.

“Fighting climate change and growing the economy go hand in hand,” Michael Bloomberg insisted at the Global Climate Action Summit this fall.

Al Gore, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Harrison Ford repeated this message throughout the main and affiliate events that gathered  hundreds of regional politicians, business leaders and environmental advocates to the summit at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Bloomberg and Brown co-chaired the summit, billed as a way for cities and non-state actors to form coalitions with each other and the private sector to forge a path to carbon drawdown and a renewable economy. Ford and other celebrities such as Alec Baldwin, delivered powerful speeches. Gore rallied the troops.

But they weren’t the only stars. Corporate behemoths such as PepsiCo and dozens of others rolled out sustainability plans to combat climate change.

But that didn’t stop protests. Despite Brown’s (and San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s) consistent opposition to the Trump Administration and promises to make California a leader in the renewable economy, demonstrators gathered outside the convention center and made their way into the main  hall to decry California’s continuing fossil fuel portfolio of oil and fracked natural gas.

But even if you came to the summit skeptical that businesses could drive climate solutions, it was hard not to be impressed by the sheer volume and scope of action plans—science-driven goals and commitments—put forward by corporations. Maybe the economic system that’s driving climate change with a dependence on fossil fuels can be the economic system that solves it.

Elan Strait, the U.S. Director of Climate Campaigns and manager of the “We Are Still in Initiative,” celebrated the collection of hundreds of local governments, states and companies that formally announced their fidelity to the Paris Agreement at the summit to counteract the Trump administration’s withdrawal. He also offered a compelling framework for how cooperation between corporations and green groups can meaningfully impact climate change.

Artificial trees provided part of the inddor backdrop for the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Photo by Aaron Dorman.

“Because consumers are now demanding the places they buy products from to have sustainability policies or have products [that are sustainable], corporations are turning to environmental groups about what is the right thing to do,” Strait said. “I think the companies that are most cooperative are the consumer facing ones. If you sell a product directly to a consumer, then you often have to have a sustainability policy.”

Strait stressed that renewable infrastructure is now an integral part of many local and national economies. The ‘green’ development sector was on full display during the event, as the Bay Area heralded its own innovation and leadership of green infrastructure including: urban forests, public transportation, renewable energy and net-zero carbon buildings.

Among the hundreds of affiliate events that took place across the region, several highlighted the kinds of economic opportunity that renewable infrastructure represented for cities. During a talk on the growing EV presence in the San Francisco Bay Area, ProTerra Chief Commercial Officer Matt Horton explained why his company’s electric buses are critical, not just for climate but for communities.

“We are on the ‘electrify everything side’,” Horton said. “Why buses? These are the workhorses of our nation’s transportation networks. They are also the vehicle class that makes sense to electrify first. They go to the same place every day so you know your routes, you are competing against the least efficient vehicles on the road, few technologies that is more cost effective.”

ProTerra had already sold 700 buses to U.S. cities and that the transition to electrifying public transportation could happen fairly quickly, Horton said. Currently, it is still more expensive to manufacture electric vehicles than their fossil fuel counterparts, but over the course of their life-span—EV buses are expected to last several years longer in addition to being cleaner and that all adds up to saving money.

In addition to the vehicles, there are plans and opportunities for businesses that connect them to a renewable energy grid. One such company is Paired Power., who promoted their work at the expo inside the Yerba Buena Arts Center across from the convention. The company builds solar-powered charging stations for EVs that can be installed in places, such as office parking lots, where drivers can power their work commute.

“From a big picture perspective, if we electrify all the cars, we will more than have to double the entire grid,” counter-productive if EVs are powering up with electricity from fossil fuel burning plants,  explained Mark Bauhaus, chief commercialization officer for Paired Power.  “That’s not going to happen. We will electrify cars using clean energy … so we need to have local sources of power that will go directly into cars that will not overtax the grid,” he said. “We need to build infrastructure and the more of that we have the more comfortable people are moving from gas cars to electric cars. If you go back to 1910, there was probably one gas station every 200 miles, it was really dangerous and scary to take your model-t and drive it around; same thing here.”

Bauhaus said that events such as the GCAS are integral to the expansion of companies like Paired Power, providing visibility and motivation for people looking for answers on how to tackle the climate challenge. Building renewable charging stations, particularly in urban areas, could be adopted on a time scale of just a few decades, well within the time frame demanded by the Paris Agreement. Bauhaus maintained the economics for a start-up like Paired Power were already attractive without incentives, but additional tax credits or private investment could help them grow even more quickly.

It is easy to see how the renewable sector that has emerged over the past 15-20 years will grow along with society’s commitment to a carbon drawdown; more controversial, and difficult, is the transition existing companies will make to transition away from fossil fuels. This is particularly true of the food and beverage industry, which were well represented at the summit. Unilever and Wal-Mart announced that they were joining the Sabah Restoration Project, which would help halt native vegetation loss in a region of Malaysia driven by demand for palm oil.

Another group led by Coca-Cola and Mars Incorporated launched the Climate-Resilient Value Chains Leadership Platform. The goal of this cooperative is to monitor and analyze how these businesses can address climate change through sustainable sourcing and transportation. “Supply chains, the engines of global growth, are broken,” said Barry Parkin the Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer of Mars Incorporated.  “To fix them, we must shift to long-term models for corporate buying that are anchored on building mutuality, reliability, resilience, and risk management into the core of our buying patterns.”

These companies have committed to  more energy efficiency in production, but s the broader, more uncomfortable issues questions whether  their growth models are sustainable over the long-term. Science-based models can help these companies lower their per-capita carbon footprint, but managing climate depends on lowering emissions in the aggregate. The most recent IPCC report, released this week, calls for a carbon neutral planet by 2047, and the U.N. Environment Program released data last year suggesting ‘green’ economic growth is impossible.

A performer juggles atop Planet Earth at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. Photo by Aaron Dorman.

A panel on better farming practices highlighted this problem: the conflict between supply-side companies transitioning to more efficient or fossil-free manufacturing and demand-side needs to grow  markets.

The companies had an answer.

Parkin and Christine Daugherty, a VP for Global Sustainable Agriculture and Responsible Sourcing at PepsiCo, explained their companies’ new commitments as part of the Climate-Resilient Value Chains Leaders Platform.

“The consumer today wants to have that emotional connection to their food,” Daugherty said, echoing what Strait said about WWF’s work with corporations. They want to have the understanding that the food was sourced responsibly, grown sustainably, we really are working on addressing those consumer changes where the nutritional desires are changing, addressing the issue of environmental stewardship.”

Parkin acknowledged that the Mars company was aware of the gap between stated goals and progress (“an area the size of Scotland gets deforested every year,” he said). Mars was moving away from palm oil and analyzing how to make vanilla production more sustainable in Madagascar, including paying more and educating farmers.

Jeremy Oppenheim, a founder and managing partner with the environmental consulting group SYSTEMIQ, was encouraged by the corporate announcements but wanted to see more. “We will have to push for more regulation and tough policy and the companies will have to come out arguing in favor of that,” Oppenheim said. “That is not where most of our food companies and ag companies have historically been. They want to argue that the market will solve these problems, and it won’t and it’s not … this is not going to be solved by magic and a bit of block chain and hope that will give us the dramatic pivot we need.”

Oppenheim went further, encouraging Mars and PepsiCo to use their considerable marketing resources to encouraging better consumer practices. “You guys know how to influence consumers in an astonishing way,” Oppenheim said. “What I would like to see, maybe it’s there: spend half your marketing budgeting, transforming consumer preferences, towards the kinds of goods that are more nutritious and better for the environment. “

Corporations have been working directly with environmental partners for a long time, sometimes to criticism (link). Whether including fossil fuels in one’s portfolio is a sign of pragmatism, fatalism or political opportunism remains to be seen. This debate won’t go away, not only because the climate change crisis won’t go away, but because Bloomberg himself may be eyeing a Presidential run in 2020, according to a New York Times article.

Although companies may be using science-based targets, what do scientists themselves say about using the economy to solve climate change? Glaciologist and author Richard Alley teaches a course at Pennsylvania  State University on “Energy, the Environment and Our Future,” which includes analysis of how estimating (and paying) the real cost of burning carbon can provide justification for transitioning away from fossil fuels. 

“The usual economic analyses make certain assumptions,” Alley says. “In principle, relaxing any of these assumptions might lead to an efficient path in which either more or less investment now is optimal to slow global warming. But my reading of the literature is that all or almost all of them point to doing more now to slow global warming.”

According to Alley, these assumptions economists build into their models include: GDP is a valid measure of well-being, GDP growth can continue indefinitely, and that money as capital is more valuable to the present generation than to future generations. In other words, “we’re more important,” Alley says.

“If we were to actually reach the economically efficient level of investment, then much more interesting discussions would result, because so many other considerations – species extinction, native/indigenous lifestyles, quality of life for future generations –  point to doing more than the path that is calculated to be economically efficient using those economic assumptions.”

While there is more dialogue than ever between businesses, politicians, and scientists, that doesn’t mean the latter are about to jump into the other roles to address climate change. “My impression is that some climate scientists are happy to take political stances—as citizens, they see a responsibility to do so,” Alley says.  “I also believe that many of us are reticent on endorsing particular individuals or policies, because of the danger that the science might become more politicized as a consequence.”

Alley notes that he is a  registered Republican.

Including everyone is the dialog is critical. Oppenheim closed out his panel remarks with this call to action: “We are sleepwalking our way into an ecological disaster, and real risk of ecological collapse in parts of the world. We are sleepwalking into a health disaster, and we know about it. And we’re waving our arms at these problems. So I think the first thing we need to do is look very, very, hard in the mirror and be clear about the scale of the problem. We are all involved, as consumers, as big companies, we are all part of this.”

Photo at top: Tom Steyer, philanthropist and founder of the environmental nonprofit NextGen America, calls for political climate solutions at all levels at the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco. (Aaron Dorman/Medill)

NGO says U.S. support needed in fight for Arab minority rights in Israel

By Aqilah Allaudeen
Medill Reports

The closing of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic office in Washington D.C. last month and President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year serve as stark reminders of deteriorating ties between the two sides.

Jafar Farah, the founder and director of The Mossawa Center, a non-profit advocacy center for Palestinian Arab citizens in Israel based in Haifa, said that the harsh policies taken by the U.S. also led to the passing of the Jewish Nation-State Law in Israel. The law made the right to exercise self-determination in the State of Israel unique to the Jewish people, established the state’s official language as Hebrew while demoting Arabic to a “special status” and regulated the use of Arabic in state institutions.

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10th District candidates debate gun control and climate change among contentious topics

By Alexis Shanes
Medill Reports

U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-10th) called for crossing the partisan divide on everything from health care to immigration reform during a debate Sunday with GOP opponent and computer consultant Douglas Bennett.

Schneider added that he is part of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus to “fight for the values and priorities of our community” and identify common ground between parties for policy solutions moving forward.
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Van Dyke suggested shooting McDonald before arriving on scene

By Becky Dernbach
Medill Reports

A defense witness revealed this week that Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was talking about shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald before he ever saw him.

“Why don’t they shoot him if he’s attacking them?” Van Dyke asked when he first heard the radio reports that McDonald had popped a squad car’s tire with a knife. Still a block and a half from the scene, he said to his partner, “Oh my God, we’re going to have to shoot the guy.”

Psychologist Laurence Miller, an expert witness in forensic and police psychology, confirmed these comments during cross examination. He testified that Van Dyke reported these reactions to him in an interview about the night of the fatal shooting, Oct. 20, 2014. Van Dyke confirmed the comments as well during cross-examination when he took the stand Tuesday in his own defense.

The prosecution in Van Dyke’s murder trial repeatedly stressed these comments in closing arguments Thursday before sending the officer’s case to the jury. The jury of 12, including just one black member, is now deliberating the fate of Van Dyke, the white police officer who shot black teenager Laquan McDonald 16 times. Van Dyke faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery, and official misconduct. The jury also has the option to consider charges of second-degree murder, an option offered during jury instructions by Judge Vincent Gaughan in Cook County criminal court. Continue reading

Star-Studded global climate summit mobilizes action plans to combat climate change

Aaron Dorman
Medill Reports

If climate activists and local governments can’t work with Washington on climate change, they plan to work around it. More than 300 U.S. cities including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles have vowed to uphold the Paris Agreement – bypassing the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw. And now dozens of cities worldwide made or renewed commitments moving toward zero carbon emissions by 2030 at a global climate summit in San Francisco last week.

Against the backdrop of deadly Hurricane Florence and accelerating climate change, hundreds of leaders in government and business are taking solutions into their own hands. They came to the Global Climate Action Summit, a week-long series of events in the Bay Area to mobilize efforts that could put the planet on a path towards lower (or zero) carbon emissions to avoid the worst effects of global warming. A wide range of players from indigenous groups focused on preserving forests, to billionaire investors committed to financing a transition away from carbon fuels committed to more than 500 action steps during the summit.

Thousands of delegates, speakers and reporters convened in calls to action by some of the most prominent figures in the environmental movement – former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Vice President and “Inconvenient Truth” author Al Gore, naturalist and animal rights activist Jane Goodall, and actor-turned-environmentalist Harrison Ford, currently vice chair of Conservation International’s board of directors.

“Cities are where it’s happening,” Al Gore said during a kick-off event hosted by the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group. “Cities are where the solutions are being found. For reasons I don’t fully understand, but some of you may, cities are far more responsive and creative in finding policy solutions.”

“You wouldn’t know it from reading the headlines that we are making progress,” said Bloomberg, a co-chair and one of the main organizers of the summit. “The headlines focus on the political fights in Washington. But the real action is happening in cities, states and the private sector. And the good news is those groups are positioning the United States to uphold our end of the Paris Agreement no matter what happens in Washington.”

Bloomberg and California Governor Jerry Brown, among others, spoke of the urgency of the climate crisis at the main summit plenary events on Thursday and Friday. The summit focused on ways to aid and inform the parallel climate negotiations of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). The calls to action focused on five key areas that cities and regions could undertake to bypass inaction by parent governments: healthy energy systems, inclusive economic growth, sustainable communities, land and ocean stewardship, and transformative climate investments.

“Since the White House announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement, more than 3,000 U.S. cities, states, businesses and other groups have declared their commitment to the Paris agreement,” wrote Brown and Bloomberg in a Los Angeles Times op-ed during the summit. “Together, these groups form the third-largest economy in the world, and they represent more than half the total U.S. population. They have been ramping up actions to cut carbon pollution and move toward the goals in the Paris agreement, just as the rest of the world is doing.”

Summit leaders view inaction at the top acute in the United States, where President Donald Trump’s Administration has vowed to back out of the Paris Agreement while threatening to undermine the Clean Air Act and roll back President Barack Obama’s clean power agenda.

Bloomberg set the tone by stressing that solving climate change was an economic opportunity. “California is a great example of how fighting climate change and growing the economy grow hand in hand,” Bloomberg said. “That’s something we also saw in NYC. We created a record number of jobs while at the same time reducing our carbon footprint by 19 percent.”

Some of the major new commitments announced during the summit include:

  • 12 major cities—including Tokyo, Seoul and Oslo—joined an existing network (now of 26 municipalities) pledging commitment to the C40 Cities’ “Fossil Fuel Free Streets Declaration.” This means using zero-carbon buses by 2025 and “ensuring a major area of the city is zero emission by 2030.”
  • 72 cities committed to adopting a climate action plan by 2020 and become emissions neutral by 2050.
  • A coalition of companies launched of the “Climate-Resilient Value Chains Leaders Platform,” including Coca-Cola and Mars that will assess climate risk in their supply chains.
  • Some 277 cities and counties committed to upholding the Paris Agreement as part of the summit’s “We Are Still In” initiative, among them cities that originally backed the accord when Trump announced plans to withdraw in June 2017.

The business-friendly attitude of the summit proved problematic at points. On Thursday morning, entrance to the plenary sessions in the Moscone Center was blocked by protestors critical of California Governor Jerry Brown, who they believe has not done enough to move away from the state’s substantial oil and gas portfolio. California in particular has suffered in recent years from the effects of climate change, experiencing a mix of intense drought and historic wildfires that have ravaged the interior of the state.

Nevertheless, the choice of locating the summit in San Francisco was strategic, as both the city and the state of California itself have become leaders in supporting renewable infrastructure and industry. “My plan is an integrated plan built up over time,” Brown said. “And we welcome any suggestions but I believe California has the most far reaching plan to deal with emissions as well as oil and production.” Brown also reminded attendees that if California was a country, it would have the third largest economy behind China and the US.

Later this year, the U.N. Climate Conference will be held in Katowice, Poland. Earlier this year, a report published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences warned that we are very close—less than one degree of global warming away—to producing a series of positive feedback loops that will generate what was ominously described as a “hothouse Earth” scenario.

“We are all rich or poor,” Harrison Ford said in a speech during the opening plenary. “Powerful or powerless. We will all suffer the effects of climate change, and we are facing what is quickly becoming the greatest moral crisis of our time.”

Photo at top: California Governor Jerry Brown called for urgent action to control climate change at  the “Global Climate Action Summit” on Friday. (Aaron Dorman/Medill)

Duckworth: Administration ‘stonewalling’ efforts to visit shelter for immigrant children

By Lauren Robinson
Medill Reports

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Illinois) said Friday that the federal government is “stonewalling” her attempts to visit a Des Plaines facility that houses immigrant children taken from their families at the U.S. border.

Duckworth, flanked by American Civil Liberties Union staff at a news conference at the John C. Kluczynski Federal Building, also accused President Donald Trump’s administration of missing a Thursday deadline to return those children to their guardians.

“How many court orders does the Trump administration need before it reunites these families?” she asked.
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Families Belong Together rally in Chicago

By Katelyn Sabater
Medill Reports

While an estimated 2,000 immigrant children wait to reunite with their families, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of downtown Chicago to participate in the Families Belong Together rally.

Hundreds of protests around the country took place on Saturday in opposition to the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Continue reading

Stop The Violence

By Richard Foster-Shelton
Medill Reports

In recent years, Chicago has made international headlines for the sky-high murder rates in the city. Unfortunately, this problem has cast a shadow on the people that are doing their part to reverse the trend. During this episode of Medill Newsmakers, Richard Foster-Shelton highlights the people in Chicago that are making a positive impact – from 1st District Commissioner Richard Boykin to Jenesis Scullark of the Jeremy Scullark Foundation.

Photo at top: Chicago’s iconic skyline masks the truth about the city. (Richard Foster-Shelton/MEDILL)


Getting to know sharks one tag at a time

Mollie McNeel
Medill Reports

Sharks. They’re everyone’s favorite underwater enemy. Between nerve-wracking drama’s like Jaws to stories about prehistoric mega-sharks, we have all but made the shark species a completely fictionalized being. But, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, are changing that one tag at a time.

May 14, 2018—Our shark tagging adventure began with an eight-hour car ride from the SERC campus outside of Baltimore, down the East Coast of the United States to Morehead City, North Carolina. While others had planned on joining us, I was the only team member making the journey with Chuck Bangley, a SERC marine ecologist at SERC. So, we loaded our government issued mini-van, stopped at Dunkin Donuts and hit the road.

May 15, 2018, 7:00 am— “If you start feeling sea sick just remember, feed the fish not the birds,” instructed a crew member on the R/V Capricorn as he addressed the 10 passengers that would be heading out on today’s trip.

Chuck and I are among other researchers from the University of North Carolina’s Institute of Marine Science. Some of them are interested in sharks, just like Chuck, while some are looking for squid or eels.

Captain Joe stops for gas, filling up the 200-gallon tank before we head out to sea. “I don’t see many white caps out there yet, but storms are in the forecast, so it might get rough,” he says, clearly excited as he steers the vessel towards the open ocean.

Fisherman on the R/V Capricorn brings in a large net of fish.Photo: Mollie McNeel

First item on today’s agenda is to “trawl” for about 15 minutes. To do this, the deckhands lower a large net with wooden and metal pallets at the ends to drag along the seafloor, collecting bait for the rest of the journey. As we float along, our net following behind, we catch the attention of a pod of dolphins that trail the net closely, making an easy meal out of the fish that narrowly avoid the net and an exciting spectacle for all on the boat.

As we reel in the net and dump its contents on deck I hear Chuck call out with excitement, “Dogfish!” That’s the shark he was searching for.

Smooth Dogfish that was tagged by SERC. Photo: Mollie McNeel
A student from UNC places the shark on its back putting it into an unconscious state. Photo: Mollie McNeel

A UNC undergrad student grabs the small shark and places it in a black plastic tank filled with seawater. “Flip it over onto its back,” instructs Chuck. Doing this helps subdue the shark by putting it into an almost unconscious state. He readies his surgical equipment, slips on blue latex gloves and grabs a scalpel to tag the shark.

In order to implant the acoustic tracker, the study procedures require Chuck to perform a small surgery on the sharks. He gives the aquatic patient a small shot of lidocaine to numb the area, makes a small incision on the shark’s underbelly, inserts the small black cylindrical instrument and stitches the wound closed—all in under five minutes. After the procedure is complete, they roll the shark back onto its stomach, making sure it is alert and moving well before it gets tossed for a dive back into the ocean.

After sorting through the rest of the net full of fish – squid, crabs and some of the biggest shrimp I’ve ever seen (which the crew happily set aside for their dinners) we were ready to continue fishing for the “big dogs”— more sharks.

Our first stop was just a mile off the coast. The crew began lowering a line of buoys and metal fish hooks loaded with our bait, impaled but still flailing, into the water. One buoy, 10 hooks. That was the order we followed in a smooth and practiced routine.

Once the hooks were out there, we did what fishermen do best – we waited. An hour passed easily with talk of science, fishing stories and dreams of catching a great white. As our boat circled back around to pick of the first buoy, excitement filled the air. Members of the crew were ready pull in whatever was attached to the hooks, scientists ready to tag and measure sharks and me, ready to take photos and come face-to-face with “jaws.”

The first couple of hooks come up empty but then the frenzy starts – one, two, three sharks about 3-feet long each are pulled aboard. They are Sharpnose sharks, not a species Chuck is looking for, but ones UNC scientists are tagging in a separate study. Grab a shark – measure to the fork in its tail, to the tip of the tail – tag it – throw it back – repeat. Over and over I watched as this series was performed in a shark assembly line.

A scientists measures the length of a shark. Photo: Mollie McNeel

After about 30 hectic minutes, we had pulled in 15 sharks, none that can be used for SERC’s study but still an impressive population size that scientists rarely see on these trips. “I’m your good luck charm,” I say joking. To my surprise, the team agrees and tells me to forget the rest of graduate school and join the crew instead.

Next, we move farther off the shore to about seven miles out. We no longer can see land in any direction and the captain’s gadgets show that we are floating in water about 57 feet deep. The wind has begun to pick up causing swells about three feet tall to rock the boat side to side harshly. As I look out the window from the boats cabin one second I can see nothing but blue sky and the next the boat shifts and the window only shows dark blue water.

We repeat the buoy and hook pattern as we cast again in the deeper water. Everyone takes the opportunity to eat some lunch while we wait. “Goldfish crackers are a must while out on a boat,” says Lewis, a student from the UK who is at UNC working towards his doctorate. We take bets on how many sharks we will catch this round. The buy in is a quarter and I bet high with hopes that my luck will continue — “12,” I say.

Unfortunately, I didn’t win the bet since we only brought in two sharks. But, while the number was disappointing, the last catch was not. As we were nearing the end of the hooks, we pulled in a large Sandbar shark spanning about 5 feet long. She was not happy to be pulled up onto the deck and was flailing around violently, mouth open, teeth visible and bloodied from the hook. A deckhand jumped on top of the shark, straddling it and pressing down on its head to keep it from biting anyone on deck. The shark was quickly measured, tagged and shoved off the back of the boat into the deep waters.

Sandbar shark that was the last catch of the day. Photo: Mollie McNeel

After that excitement it was time to make the long trip back to the docks. Some people on board began conversations while others, me included, settled in for a nap in the sunshine.

As we reached the dock and gathered our belongings someone in the background asked Chuck if he thought the trip was successful. “Well, we are leaving with one more shark tagged than before, so I would say that is a success,” exclaimed Chuck with a smile as he stepped of the boat and back onto dry land.

PHOTO AT TOP: Smooth Dogfish Shark caught and tagged off the coast of North Carolina. (Mollie McNeel/Medill)

The After-Bern: Will Bernie Sanders make another run for President?

By Elizabeth Beyer
Medill Reports

Supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are already calling on him to run for president in 2020.

The Vermont politician has yet to confirm or deny his second bid for the presidency but multiple news outlets have hinted at the possibility.

Regardless of his rumored political aspirations for the next presidential election, the impact Sanders had on the 2016 campaign trail and Democratic Party politics is lasting.

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