CJC DAILY SUMMARY for 9.24.07 NEWS “Schools Still Rise Close to Freeways: L.A. Unified continues to build near roads that spew pollution despite a state law and evidence of health hazards” 9.24.07, Los Angeles Times, Evelyn Larrubia Despite a state law that seeks to prevent schools from being built near freeways and mounting evidence that road pollutants harm children’s lungs, the Los Angeles Unified School District is in the process of adding seven new schools to the more than 70 already located close to highways. The law prohibits school districts from building campuses within 500 feet of a freeway, unless the district can mitigate the pollution or determines that space limitations are so severe that there are no other options. Last year, more than 60,000 L.A. Unified students attended school within 500 feet of a freeway, records show. And 2.3 percent of all California public schools – about 170 – are located within 500 feet of high-traffic roads, those that carry more than 50,000 vehicles per day. Officials say their choices for new school locations have become more and more limited. Scientists from both UCLA and USC have been studying the health effects of freeway contaminants in recent years and have found that they are significant. A report released in February said that children who live near freeways are more likely to suffer from decreased lung function than those who do not live near them. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-freeways24sep24,0,7701117.story?coll=la-home-center “U of I, Iowa State Use Student Data to Sell Credit Cards” 9.23.07, Des Moines Register, Clark Kauffman Iowa’s two largest public universities are aggressively marketing credit cards to their students as part of an arrangement that generates millions of dollars for the schools’ privately run alumni organizations. While the University of Iowa and Iowa State University publicly have expressed concern over the debt of their students, many of whom graduate with $25,000 to $30,000 in bills to pay, the two schools have signed deals with their alumni associations in which they have agreed to endorse, promote and profit from Bank of America credit cards marketed directly to students. Records obtained by The Des Moines Register also show that the U of I has agreed to give the bank access to databases that include the mailing addresses, telephone numbers and e- mail addresses of students, parents and people who buy tickets to Hawkeye football and basketball games. The university has also promised to provide its biggest-spending cardholders with exclusive access to university facilities, coaches and even student athletes. The practice is part of a widespread but increasingly controversial effort by colleges and universities nationwide to form partnerships with for-profit lenders. The financial details of these partnerships are often shrouded in secrecy, despite the involvement of public universities that rely on taxpayers to provide a substantial portion of their operating revenues. Consumer advocates and state legislators are protesting such activities; federal legislation to curb on-campus marketing of credit cards is under consideration, and U.S. Senate hearings are expected this fall. http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070923/NEWS/709230350/1001&lead =1 “Human Trafficking Evokes Outrage, Little Evidence: U.S. estimates thousands of victims, but efforts to find them fall short” 9.23.07, The Washington Post, Jerry Markon In 2000, Congress passed a law, triggering a little-noticed worldwide war on human trafficking that is now a top Bush administration priority. As part of the fight, President Bush has established 42 Justice Department task forces and spent more than $150 million – all to find and help the estimated hundreds of thousands of victims of forced prostitution or labor in the United States. But the government hasn’t found them. In the seven years since the law was passed, human trafficking has not become a major domestic issue. The administration has identified just 1,362 victims of human trafficking brought into the United States since 2000, nowhere near the 50,000 a year the government had estimated. Ronald Weitzer, a criminologist at George Washington University and an expert on sex trafficking, said that trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims often fear coming forward. He said that might account for some of the disparity in the numbers, but only a small amount. “The discrepancy between the alleged number of victims per year and the number of cases they’ve been able to make is so huge that it’s got to raise major questions,” Weitzer said. “It suggests that this problem is being blown way out of proportion.” But Tony Fratto, deputy White House press secretary, said that the issue is “not about the numbers. It’s really about the crime and how horrific it is.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/22/AR2007092201401.html TRENDSPOTTING “Bush’s False Claims About Children’s Health Insurance; The president mischaracterizes congressional efforts to expand the SCHIP program,” FactCheck.org, Lori Robertson and Jess Henig, with Brooks Jackson and Justin Bank http://www.factcheck.org/bushs_false_claims_about_childrens_health_insurance.html “Bush: Kids’ health care will get vetoed,” The Associated Press/Kansas City Star, Jennifer Loven http://www.kansascity.com/426/story/286401.html “No Child Left Alone: An education reform run amok,” Weekly Standard, Andrew Ferguson http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/118xfsjy.asp “New Features Limit Kids’ Cellphone Usage,” The Wall Street Journal, Dionne Searcey http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB119051060929336418.html “Both Sides Making Quiet Voucher Moves,” Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), Bob Bernick Jr. and Lee Davidson http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695212452,00.html “Sex-Offender Law May Cause New Problems,” NPR/KQED-FM (San Francisco), Judy Campbell http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14635235 “Life Sentences: Scholars are just beginning to understand how prison is reshaping the country,” (opinion) The Boston Globe, Christopher Shea http://www.boston.com/news/globe/ideas/articles/2007/09/23/life_sentence/ “School for the Blues,” NPR/Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Ron Brown http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14620540 “Breathing Life Into the Lecture Hall,” The Washington Post, Valerie Strauss http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/23/AR2007092301035.html “U Visa Gives Immigrant Women Victims a New Chance,” New America Media, Viji Sundaram http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=345ac44e65dd9d776118859 5c37c7046 “Envían Menores de EU a México: El objetivo es reunificarlos con sus familias,” La Opinión, Claudia Núñez http://www.laopinion.com/primerapagina/?rkey=00000000000002343570 English summary: “American Children Seek Better Lives in Mexico” http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=61dadf45acd96a7fbfd61b87 d1e2d76a ABOUT THE CJC SUMMARY The CJC Summary helps journalists keep in touch with the latest news articles, policy analysis and research reports focusing on the issues affecting children and families. 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