Annndddd We’re Back!

Between holiday travels and holiday activities, we found it best to be on a bit of a hiatus here at DPP. We hope all our readers had a happy holiday season, and are finding the New Year to be all they would like it to be.

And we are ready to get back to blogging.

The Supreme Court is back in session and busy, busy, busy. We’ll keep an eye on that and inform you of what happens as the information becomes available. In the meantime, Logan has an update on the Mt. Holly case below, which settled in November. Oral arguments on Brandt, the case involving easements that could impact Rails-to-Trails and other such programs, are scheduled for this month. For review purposes, if you haven’t seen it already, here’s our posts on Brandt (here and here).

The Court is also scheduled to hear oral arguments in February in a case involving EPA rules on gas emissions. I’ll be posting a discussion of that shortly, along with some links to other discussions of the case. This case represents a foray by the Court into debates about climate change and to what extent the federal government can limit “greenhouse gases”. Since climate change and natural disasters have been linked in multiple ways by scientists, we think this case deserves some scrutiny.

That’ll get us started for the New Year — looking forward to a lot of writing in 2014!

Catching Up

I hope everyone celebrating Thanksgiving had a great holiday. After a couple of intense weeks, I have been enjoying some pretty weather and restful times with the part of my family living in Idaho. Next week, I will be heading to Oregon for more of the same. The time away from Carbondale, as time away from Carbondale always seems to do, has provided an opportunity to catch-up with some of my blog writing, so expect new posts soon, including reports on the last of the Colorado trip, a little more writing about the Mt. Holly case from Logan, and some other materials we have in preparation. I also have finished the editing of the last round of Colorado pictures, so you’ll get to see those as well.

That said…  The world has had so many things happening in it, some of which was close to home for us at DPP… The two news items I have paid most attention to in the last couple of weeks involve tornadoes nearby and a typhoon far away. Because I’ve had a few people ask me about relief efforts, I wanted to take a moment to post some links to information that I hope will be useful.

Tornadoes in the Midwest

Tornadoes hit our region of the US. Carbondale is fine (the storms swept through quickly and relatively harmlessly), but our neighbors in southeast Missouri as well as in other parts of southern and central Illinois were hit hard. Here’s some links to relief efforts you can use to help out if, you are interested in doing so:

For information for central Illinois relief efforts, including a list of different forms of help and contact information, take a look here.

By the way, folks, the food pantries throughout southern Illinois need donations right now. If you go to this webpage  there’s a listing of the food pantries and homeless shelters not only in Carbondale (despite what it says on the top of the page), but in other parts of southern Illinois as well. Look to the right on the page, and you’ll see these links as well as links to other information for food pantries in other parts of the state. 

In Scott County, Missouri, the Scott County Community Action Committee has set up a webpage with information for donations (food, clothing, etc.).

Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

If you watched the news the last few weeks, you know that the Philippines was first hit by a serious earthquake, and then by Typhoon Haiyan. According to an article published on-line today in USA Today, the death toll has risen to 5,560 with another 1,757 missing. For those of you who want to learn more, USA Today has a set of links off to the side of this article with photographs and other information from their continuing coverage of this horrific disaster. While the Huffington Post has a story up about a study showing Americans do not care about this particular disaster, I’ve fielded several questions about it and have also had more than a few people ask me to take a closer look. I will do my best from far away, but if anyone out there knows of someone on the ground who could do some guest writing for us and can put me in touch with them, I would welcome a more in-depth look on this blog at this disaster. In the meantime, for those who have emailed me (or, in one case, stopped me in the grocery store to ask about it), here’s some information concerning relief/donation opportunities. This article also comes from USA Today’s coverage of the disaster (which, so far as I can tell, has been very good). It provides information not only information on how to help, but helps you figure out how to determine where your help will do the most good (i.e., how to tell one charity organization from another).