Discussion on EPA and HR Bill 861

By Saul Bez and Rachel Swansburg

Bill HR 861 would terminate the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The HR 861 bill was proposed by Republican Florida House Representative Matt Gaetz.

The EPA is responsible for safe guarding human health and ecosystems from pollution. President Trump’s proposed budget would slash more than 30 percent of funding  and eliminate roughly one fifth of the agency’s workforce.

Some of the accomplishments  by the EPA include the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act that both set regulations on air and water pollution rates respectively.

It remains unclear how these regulations would be maintained without the EPA. So Saul and Rachel decided to ask students around the UMass campus about their thoughts on the proposed bill and EPA as an American agency.

WMUA’s February Concert Review

WMUA hosted a show in the Student Union Ballroom on February 4, 2017. WMUA News’ Andrew Cunningham and Becky Wandel got to speak to all three performers, Cliff Jensen, Pink Navel and Ivy Sole.

The night opened with Cliff Jensen who specializes in producing flipped versions of popular music and television shows, like Spongebob Squarepants. Jensen was joined on stage by the next performing act, Pink Navel. It turns out that Jensen and Pink Navel are friends. They’re both performers in Massachusetts, too.

16707472_10154622451402670_4124622473290400469_o
A projection of Cliff Jensen looking into the webcam of his Macbook. That’s how he performed on Feb. 4, 2017. Courtesy of photographer Zach Becker.

Pink Navel’s act was more poetic and entrenched in references from Steven Universe, the TV show that inspired the performer, Devin Branting’s music and band name.

16700594_10154622452232670_8917884213360938486_o.jpg
Pink Navel performing at the WMUA show, Feb. 4, 2017. Photo courtesy by Zach Becker.

“Worrying about physical human bodies, and all the stress that comes with that would be erased if I was just a computer file. I’ve been so moved by that idea now that I’ve written poetic songs about it,” says Branting.

Headlining hip hop artist, Ivy Sole took to the stage and brought the audience closer to her, both physically and emotionally. The Philadelphia artist encouraged clapping, singing along and dancing. Sole released a single off her new EP East and performed it live at the show.

16797749_10154622452092670_3778898811660706302_o
Headlining act, Ivy Sole, energizing the crowds on Feb. 4, 2017. Photo courtesy Zach Becker.

“2017, I honestly just want to make the best music possible. I’m  not really concerned with a specific end goal. I think my optimal year would include, but not be limited to, lots of shows, maybe getting a nice opening spot for an artist I respect and an artist I can learn from.”

You can check out the artists here:

Cliff Jensen: https://cliffjensen.bandcamp.com/

Pink Navel: https://pinknavel.bandcamp.com/

Ivy Sole: https://ivysole.bandcamp.com/

Reporting and producing: Andrew Cunningham and Becky Wandel

Photography: Zach Becker. Check out his show, Hip-Hop Made Me Do It, Mondays 10 pm – 12 am on WMUA 91.1 FM.

Rally Against Police Brutality and Racism — Haley Chauvin

WMUA’s Haley Chauvin covers a protest against police brutality and racism that took place on October 1, 2014. The protest featured talks by local activist Vira Douangmany Cage, who successfully lead a campaign “Justice for Charles” for her wrongfully imprisoned nephew Charles Wilhite, and Graduate Student Senate president Adina Giannelli. Douangmany Cage addressed the death of Lenny Brown of Springfield who died while in police custody in 2008, while Giannelli issued a call to action from the community to engage in dialogue about racism and to work to fight it on campus and in our communities.

While looking for details of Brown’s death in Springfield, WMUA could find no mentions in media or evidence of an investigation. The meeting minutes of the Police Oversight Committee in Springfield on December 15, 2010, where Brown’s mother, Brenda Douglas addressed the committee was the only source we could find.

This piece was produced by Despina Durand.

Music for this piece is “Peace or Violence” by Stromae.