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Author: Wisconsin Examiner

Congressional effort seeks to expand federal benefits of firefighters for first time in two decades

Years after firefighters extinguish a blaze, after the smoke has lifted and ashes have cooled, the people who risked their lives to contain the fire face another danger: cancer and cardiovascular disease resulting from exposure to smoke and heat. Government and academic studies have shown firefighters are 9% more likely to develop cancer and 14% more likely to die from it, due to their exposure to smoke and toxic chemicals. That is not the danger firefighters and their families anticipate when they take the job. And federal law does not account for that increased risk, though a bill the...

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Wisconsin activists mobilize against looser gun laws as Governor vetoes bills that threaten public safety

Activists seeking to curb gun violence believe that gun-related bills that Republican lawmakers passed and Governor Tony Evers vetoed should become important campaign issues next fall, against the GOP lawmakers who passed them and in support of Evers’ re-election. “We don’t want to get rid of guns — we just want people to use them safely,” said Jennifer Hoffman-Jonas, a leader in the Milwaukee North Shore suburbs for the group Moms Demand Action. The organization seeks stronger regulations on firearms. On April 15, State Representative Deb Andraca (D-Whitefish Bay) held a news conference outside Whitefish Bay High School to...

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The fate of Roe v. Wade: Why a thirst for power is driving the Republican assault on abortion rights

Being a woman in this country often feels like an exercise in futility. It is repeatedly baring your soul and sharing your personal and intimate stories in hopes of proving that you deserve basic rights, only to be slapped in the face with decisions that explicitly negate your own experience. It is exhausting. I am rarely rendered speechless, but I literally do not have the words to explain how exhausting it is. We are here. We are screaming. And we have not gone unnoticed. Most people understand what we are saying. Most of them agree with us. But none...

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Impact on well-being: How Wisconsin’s agricultural runoff became an overlooked threat to public health

In Wisconsin, much of the discussions around water quality have been focused on contaminants including lead and PFAS. But George Kraft, UW-Stevens Point emeritus professor and emeritus director of the Center for Watershed Science and Education, says his biggest concerns looking to the future are nitrates and pesticides from agricultural runoff. “Instead of something that we see going away, it’s going the other direction,” Kraft said during an online panel discussion of water quality’s impacts on public health. Thursday’s panel discussion was a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program, the Marshfield Clinic Health...

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May Day 2022 March: Wisconsin activists continue fighting for overdue immigrant rights

More than 4,000 people assembled on Sunday for an annual May Day march organized by Voces de la Frontera, the immigrant workers’ rights group based in Milwaukee. The march signaled the start of a two-day series of “Days Without Latinxs & Immigrants” actions in Wisconsin and in 17 other states. Starting on Milwaukee’s South Side, the march trekked north across the 6th Street bridge towards the downtown, ending at the Federal Building. For years, Voces has organized the May Day march and rally at the Federal Building. On May 1 organizers of the march pointed to Republican Senator Ron Johnson,...

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Standing Up: Fictional novel by Milwaukee activists explores the long struggle for workers’ rights

“‘Good Lord almighty, what is that? What the hell is that?’ Eve’s screech was loud enough to reach the foremen’s office. She jumped three feet back from the sorting table as the two foremen came hurtling in. ‘That’s human flesh up in there!’ Eve pointed to the jumble of hospital linen. Sure enough, a gelatinous chunk of something purple had rolled out of a sheet onto the table.” Those are the opening lines of the new novel, Standing Up: Tales of Struggle, by long time Milwaukee social activists Ellen Bravo and Larry Miller (Hardball Press, 284 pages). If readers...

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