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LIQUID TWENTYSOMETHINGS | JAMES DEEN | TRADER JOE’S EXPOSED

SINKING IN BUREAUCRACY The Long, Litigious Path to Offshore Wind Power

THE HUFFINGTON POST MAGAZINE • MARCH 10, 2013


03.10.13 #39 CONTENTS

Enter POINTERS: Chavez Departs ... Regis Comes Home JASON LINKINS: The Deficit Debate Needs Less Fantasy, More Accountability Q&A: James Deen on Using Condoms in Porn HEADLINES

ON THE COVER: GETTY IMAGES, GETTY IMAGES/FLICKR RF, GETTY IMAGES/PICTURE PRESS RM, STOCK.XCHNG THIS PAGE FROM TOP: COURTESY OF CAPE WIND ASSOCIATES; KARL GEHRING/THE DENVER POST VIA GETTY IMAGES

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Voices MICHAEL NEILL: The Fastest Way to a Quiet Mind

THE CAPE WIND PROJECT Twelve years after it was proposed, not a single turbine is in the water. BY TOM ZELLER JR.

SUGATA MITRA: We Need Schools ... Not Factories QUOTED

Exit CULTURE: All the Shades of New York Black TASTE TEST: Who Makes Trader Joe’s Food? 25Q: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum TFU

BREAD LINE Panera’s bakers fight for a union in a union-free world. BY DAVE JAMIESON

FROM THE EDITOR: Headwinds ON THE COVER: Photo illustration

for Huffington by Troy Dunham


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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

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Headwinds n this week’s issue, Tom Zeller Jr. looks at one man’s journey to build a wind farm off the shores of Cape Cod. Twelve years after Jim Gordon, a New England developer of natural gas plants, launched his effort to build the country’s first offshore wind project — known as Cape Wind — the effort is mired in a bureaucratic tangle of permits, sign-offs and lawsuits. None of the 130 envisioned wind turbines — which would send power to shore via undersea cables — have been built. As Zeller writes, “More than a dozen lawsuits, citing everything from potential disruption of whale and bird migrations to interference

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with airplane and shipping traffic, the wrecking of commercial fishing grounds and the desecration of sacred Native American sites, have thrown sand in the project’s gears at every turn.” Through Gordon, Zeller puts flesh and blood on two of the most pressing crises facing our country: climate change and infrastructure. And while the momentum is slowly gaining — see President Obama’s State of the Union address, where he spoke of action on climate change “for the sake of our children and our future,” and promised to

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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

“speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy” — Zeller’s story shows that, in many cases, there are simply too many obstacles standing in the way of meaningful change. As Matthew Brown, an attorney with Common Good — a nonpartisan group trying to simplify and streamline the approval and rejection process — puts it, “There has to be a better way. It shows just exactly how far away from the purposes of the process the actual reality has come.” Elsewhere in the issue, Dave Jamieson writes about the bakers of Panera Bread and their efforts to unionize. It’s a story of the rapid rise of Panera — one of the country’s increasingly prevalent “fast-casual” restaurants — and the bitter battle some of its employees are fighting to unionize. A year and a half ago, Jamieson writes, a group of Panera bakers in Michigan decided to join a union, “to improve working conditions and earn some-

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thing a little closer to a middleclass living.” But as Jamieson writes, they’ve encountered obstacles, including one of the chain’s major franchisees, Paul Saber, who is waging an aggressive antiunion campaign. More We meet Kaththan a leen VonEitzen, a dozen Panera baker who lawsuits … spends her 10 p.m.have thrown dawn shift turning sand in the out fresh baguettes, cookies, scones project’s and bagels, and gears at who earns $10.45 every turn.” per hour, or about $21,000 per year — just enough to pay the bills, but not enough to cover her husband’s heart medication. And Kyle Schilling, a Michigan union hopeful, who says, “I came into this thinking we had the right to bargain collectively. They make it so that it’s almost impossible. They just wear you down.”

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VENEZUELA MOURNS HUGO CHAVEZ

Venezuela announced seven days of mourning for Hugo Chavez, who led the country for 14 years and died of a heart attack this week after a long battle with cancer. VP Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez named as his preferred successor, will run the country until an election is called. When he announced Chavez’s death, Maduro said, “In our hearts there should only be one sentiment: Love. Love, peace and discipline.” It’s unclear if relations will improve between the U.S. and Venezuela. Maduro expelled a U.S. attache on Tuesday, alleging the U.S. was trying to destabilize the country, and said “the historical enemies of our homeland” had given Chavez cancer, a claim a U.S. spokesman called “absurd.”


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ANN ROMNEY BLAMES MEDIA FOR MITT’S LOSS

During the Romneys’ first interview since the 2012 election, Ann Romney told Fox News that the media was partly to blame for her husband’s loss. “... It was not just the campaign’s fault. I believe it was the media’s fault as well,” Ann said. “He was not being given a fair shake ... people weren’t allowed to really see him for who he was.”

OSCAR PISTORIUS’ FATHER MAKES INCENDIARY STATEMENTS ON GUNS

The track star charged with murder is facing more negative press after his father made comments about South African crime that sparked a backlash from his own family. Henke Pistorius told the Telegraph he owns handguns for “hunting” and “protection.” “It speaks to the ANC government, look at white crime levels, why protection is so poor in this country,” he said. “You can’t rely on the police, not because they are inefficient always but because crime is so rife.”

JEB BUSH FLIP FLOPS ON IMMIGRATION

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) shocked many observers this week by reversing his stance on immigration in his new book, Immigration Wars, arguing that undocumented immigrants should not be eligible for a pathway to citizenship. Yet on the day of the book’s release, Bush reversed his position, saying on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he would support a pathway to citizenship as long as it doesn’t encourage more unauthorized immigration. “I don’t have a problem with that,” he said. “I don’t see how you do it, but I’m not smart enough to figure out every aspect of a really complex law.”


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BRITISH CARDINAL ADMITS TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT: ‘I APOLOGIZE AND ASK FORGIVENESS’

A week after announcing his resignation, Britain’s highest ranking Catholic clergyman admitted to sexual misconduct. Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who served as the archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, had resigned after being accused of “inappropriate acts” in a report by the Observer. He at first denied the allegations, but said in a statement Sunday released by Scotland’s Catholic church that there were times his “sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal.” His resignation comes as cardinals meet to choose a successor to Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down last week.

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REGIS JUST CAN’T STAY AWAY

THAT’S VIRAL OMG WHAT IS THIS?

When Regis Philbin left Live! With Regis and Kelly!, he said he thought he’d “do some more TV down the line,” but hadn’t “heard the right thing yet.” The search is over. Starting in August, Philbin will be hosting Rush Hour on Fox Sports 1, a new all-sports network for the media conglomerate. “Everybody is starting a sports channel now, you know ... So Regis is going to have a show on that,” he said on The View.

A selection of the week’s most talked-about stories. HEADLINES TO VIEW FULL STORIES

BABY BORN WITH HIV IS CURED!

WOMAN FIRED FOR HAVING PREMARITAL SEX

THE FOUR SPECIES OF McNUGGETS

CONFESSIONS OF AN IN-N-OUT COOK


PETE MAROVICH/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES

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JASON LINKINS

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THE DEFICIT DEBATE NEEDS LESS FANTASY, MORE ACCOUNTABILITY S VETERAN CRITICS of the post-crash financial industry well know, one thing that has allowed big banks to maintain their rosy outlook is a rule change from the Federal Accounting Standards Board that allows these entities — still flush with toxic

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assets — to avoid having to mark their assets “to market.” Instead, banks are allowed to essentially treat these assets as “marked to fantasy,” a hoped-for future value that is unlikely to ever be realized. The banks have fought, and beaten back, any attempt to return to a “mark to market” regime, and it’s easy to see why: Reality comes with a cost. Should they ever have to realize the true

Obama speaks to the media on March 3, 2013, announcing that the automatic spending cuts will be a “slow grind” on the economy.


Enter value of the assets on their balance sheets, their false façade will fall, and it will be revealed that they are more structurally insolvent than they prefer to let on. This idea of “marking to fantasy” is a useful metaphor to describe how “centrist” pundits are warping what’s going on in the federal budget debate in order to hew to their fetishistic idea that both sides are equally to blame for the current impasse. This is not, strictly speaking, true: We are at an impasse because congressional Republicans will not countenance revenue, they will not compromise and they greet any effort to bridge the gap as an opportunity to extract additional demands. This only helps to firm up the impasse. In order to maintain this façade, these pundits engage in a blend of magical thinking (“Obama needs to show leadership!”) and outright misinformation. The good news here is that other members of the media are helping to force a reckoning, back in the direction of “mark to market.” David Brooks’s recent insistence that Obama had not presented a plan to offset sequestration opened the floodgates — numerous critics rightly pointed out that Obama’s plan to

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offset sequestration was right on the White House website. To his credit, Brooks recanted his claim, and as a result, it’s now harder to support this false façade. But more needs to be done to get pundits out of their “mark to fantasy” mindset, and the New York Times’ Bill Keller’s recent dollop of piffle is a fine example of the way nonsense can linger. In his most recent column, Keller

It takes a Marvel team-up of three different reporters, from three different news organizations, to perform [an] elementary act of real-keeping.” accused Obama of “abandoning” Simpson-Bowles, campaigning solely on raising taxes and offering nothing on entitlement reform: “If Obama had campaigned on some version of Simpson-Bowles rather than on poll-tested tax hikes alone, he could now claim a mandate from voters to do something big and bold. Most important, he would have some leverage with members of his own base who don’t want to touch Medicare


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Enter even to save it.” As Greg Sargent points out, this is all quite ridiculous. Obama’s February budget “contained hundreds of billions in spending cuts — including cuts to Medicare.” The president asserted his desire to use Simpson-Bowles as a framework for a Grand Bargain in his speech at the Democratic National Convention. That sequestration offset proposal contains spending cuts and entitlement reforms in the form of Medicare cuts and chained Consumer Price Index. Pushback, like the sort Sargent offers, is important in bringing the debate back into the real world. There are stirrings that a return to reality might be possible. Over the weekend, Ezra Klein wondered if maybe the congressional GOP just doesn’t know what Obama is offering, pointing to an unnamed Republican legislator who said he’d take the White House more seriously if they offered chained CPI (CCPI) as part of the deal. As Klein knows, that’s specifically on offer. But Jonathan Chait warned that even if Obama could “get hold of Klein’s mystery legislator and inform him of his budget offer, it almost certainly wouldn’t make a difference.”

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There’s an easy economy to the centrist pundits’ work: They just keep writing the same piece, over and over again.” “He would come up with something — the cuts aren’t real, or the taxes are awful, or they can’t trust Obama to carry them out, or something,” Chait wrote. Hours later, Klein got to observe in nature the process Chait had only theorized. Republican strategist Mike Murphy penned a column for Time in which he asserted that Obama needed to utter “six magic words” on entitlements to break

In a recent column, the New York Times’ Bill Keller wrote that Obama “abandoned” SimpsonBowles and campaigned solely on raising taxes — a point that runs counter to reality.


Enter the budget impasse with Republicans: “some beneficiaries pay more” and “chained CPI.” On Twitter, John Harwood pointed out the obvious: those magic words are on Obama’s publicly available sequestration offset plan! From there, Murphy went through the elements of Chait’s prophecy like a grieving widower going through Kubler-Ross. He insisted, wrongly, that Obama had “refused CCPI as part of the fiscal cliff deal,” then called CCPI a “small beans gimmick,” then insisted that “Obama must move first on spending, earn trust”— which ... he did. As Klein points out, “Over the course of 2011, Obama signed into law a set of bills that cut about $1.8 trillion from discretionary spending, and that included no tax increases at all.” Klein summed this up ably: “Recall what Chait said would happen if the Republican legislator in my column was forced to react to the fact that Obama has endorsed chained CPI: “He would come up with something – the cuts aren’t real, or the taxes are awful, or they can’t trust Obama

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to carry them out, or something.” Check, check, and check.” Nice and nicely done. But you can see the structural disadvantage that those seeking “mark to market” accountability in this debate face. It takes a Marvel teamup of three different reporters, from three different news organizations, to perform this elementa-

Banks are allowed to essentially treat [toxic] assets as ‘marked to fantasy,’ a hoped-for future value that is unlikely to ever be realized.” ry act of real-keeping. Meanwhile, Bill Keller can, in one column, undo the work of Harwood, his New York Times colleague. There’s an easy economy to the centrist pundits’ work: They just keep writing the same piece, over and over again. So getting the balance sheets of the centrist clique back into balance is going to be a long, hard slog. But every little bit helps to slowly deconstruct this false façade.


Q&A

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Porn Star James Deen: Mandating Condoms in Pornography Is Wrong

“People ... are all getting tested every 14 days, with the highest standard of equipment … condoms shouldn’t be mandated because it’s a violation of my First Amendment rights.”

Deen stars opposite Lindsay Lohan in his first feature film, The Canyons — written by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and directed by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver) — out this summer.

FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW, VISIT HUFFPOST LIVE


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Zinj, Bahrain 02.21.2013 Riot police fire tear gas to disperse protesters trying to retrieve the body of Mahmud al-Jaziri, who was shot by police during clashes marking the second anniversary of the Feb. 14, 2011, uprising. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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With a toy side arm, two-year-old Arianna Ludlun holds a sign at a gun rights rally, where several hundred people marched to the Utah State Capitol in favor of Second Amendment rights.

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Nagatoro, Japan 03.03.2013 Buddhist ascentic monks chant during the “Hiwatari,” or firewalking ceremony, to herald the coming of spring. Thousands of people watched and joined the fire-walking ritual to purify the mind and body and to pray for safety. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

Thousands of people watched and joined the fire walking ritual to purify the mind and body and to pray for safety.

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Aceh Province, Indonesia 03.02.2013 A Rohingya woman — the stateless, Muslim ethnic minority — stands at an immigration center. She and other Rohingyas are seeking asylum from Myanmar as Buddhist-Muslim unrest continues. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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Lahore, Pakistan 02.26.2013 Pakistani Kushti wrestlers warm up before attending their daily training session. Kushti, an IndoPakistani form of wrestling, is several thousand years old and is a national sport in Pakistan. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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Kolkata, India 02.26.2013 Indian commuters travel in a local train. The Indian railway network is one of the world’s largest, with some 14 million passengers daily. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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Nairobi, Kenya 03.04.2013 Election volunteers listen to instructions before proceeding to the opening of the ballot boxes. Kenya held its first presidential election since the 2007 vote, which ushered in months of tribal violence that killed more than 1,000 people and displaced 600,000 from their homes. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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Lisbon, Portugal 03.02.2013 Demonstrators march down Lisbon’s main Liberdade avenue during a protest against austerity measures taken by the Portuguese government in exchange for a 78 billion euro ($101 billion) international bailout. Tap here for a more extensive look at the week on The Huffington Post. PHOTO OR ILLUSTRATION CREDIT TK

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MICHAEL NEILL

STRESS LESS

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The Fastest Way to a Quiet Mind

ONE OF THE THINGS that most people are striving for in one way or another is a quiet mind. Books, audios, and courses abound promising to teach techniques for achieving inner peace, reduced stress, less worry, and peace of mind. Yet, curiously, many of these programs seem to add to the number of shoulds, ought-tos, musts, and have-tos that fill our already noisy brains. The distinction I have found most useful in relation to all of

these ideas came from the theosopher Syd Banks, who pointed out that there is a profound difference between the act of “meditating” and the state of “meditation.” Meditating is an activity that at its best guides people into a state of meditation — the inner stillness I am referring to as “a quiet mind.” However, if you’ve ever struggled to maintain a meditation practice (or as I’ve done, made yourself laugh at the irony of getting mad at the people who are “disturbing your meditation”), you probably know that it’s all too easy to get caught up in

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Voices the activity at the cost of the state. My favorite illustration of this distinction came from a friend who was speaking at a major corporation about research that showed most people experienced their greatest moments of quiet insight in the shower. After the talk, which was extremely well-received, one of the heads of the company came up to them and asked: “How long should I get my people to shower each day?” Chances are that some of the most profound experiences of stillness, inner quiet, and peace of mind you have experienced in your life occurred far away from the meditation pillow. Walking in nature, sipping a cappuccino, looking out over the ocean, and communing with a cat have all been known to induce a quiet mind, yet the simple secret behind all these activities is this: The nature of your mind is quiet; the nature of your being is well. So the fastest way to a quiet mind is not a particular practice, whether spiritual or secular; it is simply to realize the nature of mind itself. Of course, if your mind is spinning away at a million miles an hour right now, trying to sort out the world, your life, and everyone in it, that’s probably not so much a com-

MICHAEL NEILL

forting insight as an annoying one. “Oh, I see, all I have to do is realize the nature of mind? Why didn’t anyone just say so? I could’ve saved myself years of practice, not to mention thousands of dollars on books, medication, and courses...” But stick with me a few moments longer. If the nature of your mind is quiet, then there’s nothing you need to do in order to “quiet” it. Just let it be, and it will return to quiet all by itself. That’s different from trying to “stop thinking” or even “watching your thoughts.” It’s simply allowing enough space in your life (and in your head) for the “thought dust” to settle, and then resting in the peace that naturally arises into that space. Can meditation, exercise, walks in nature, long showers, and communing with cats help? Sometimes. But if you notice that you’re spending more time trying to do self-care than time feeling cared for in yourself, why not just take a few moments out right now to enjoy the experience of being alive? Worst case, you’ll feel a little bit better and enjoy yourself a little bit more; best case, you’ll drop straight into the natural quiet of your mind and drink deeply from the well of your being.

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SUGATA MITRA

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EDUCATION: TED PRIZE 2013

JAMES DUNCAN DAVIDSON

We Need Schools … Not Factories FROM PLATO TO Aurobindo, from Vygotsky to Montessori, centuries of educational thinking have vigorously debated a central pedagogical question: How do we spark creativity, curiosity, and wonder in children? But those

who philosophized pre-Google were prevented from wondering just how the internet might influence the contemporary answer to this age-old question. Today, we can and must; a generation that has not known a world without vast global and online connectivity demands it of us. But first, a bit of history: to keep

2013 TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra explains his “School in the Cloud” initiative at this year’s conference.


Voices the world’s military-industrial machine running at the zenith of the British Empire, Victorians assembled an education system to massproduce workers with identical skills. Plucked from the classroom and plugged instantly into the system, citizens were churned through an educational factory engineered for maximum productivity. Like most things designed by the Victorians, it was a robust system. It worked. Schools, in a sense, manufactured generations of workers for an industrial age. But what got us here, won’t get us there. Schools today are the product of an expired age; standardized curricula, outdated pedagogy, and cookie cutter assessments are relics of an earlier time. Schools still operate as if all knowledge is contained in books, and as if the salient points in books must be stored in each human brain — to be used when needed. The political and financial powers controlling schools decide what these salient points are. Schools ensure their storage and retrieval. Students are rewarded for memorization, not imagination or resourcefulness. Today we’re seeing institutions — banking, the stock exchange, entertainment, newspapers, even

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health care — capture and share knowledge through strings of zeros and ones inside the evolving Internet ... “the cloud.” While some fields are already far advanced in understanding how the internet age is transforming their structure and substance, we’re just beginning to understand the breadth and depth of its implications on the future of education. Unlocking the power of new technologies for self-guided education is one of the 21st-century superhighways that need to be paved. Profound changes to how children access vast information is yielding new forms of peerto-peer and individual-guided learning. The cloud is already omnipresent and indestructible, democratizing and ever changing;

TED and The Huffington Post are excited to bring you TEDWeekends, a curated weekend program that introduces a powerful “idea worth spreading” every Friday, anchored in an exceptional TEDTalk. This week’s TEDTalk is accompanied by an original blog post from the featured speaker, along with new op-eds, thoughts and responses from the HuffPost community. Watch the talk above, read the blog post and tell us your thoughts below. Become part of the conversation!

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COURTESY OF HOLE-IN-THE-WALL EDUCATION LIMITED

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now we need to use it to spark the imaginations and build the mental muscles of children worldwide. This journey, for me, began back in 1999, when I conducted an experiment called the “hole in the wall.” By installing internetequipped computers in poor Indian villages and then watching how children interacted with them, unmediated, I first glimpsed the power of the cloud. Groups of street children learned to use computers and the internet by themselves, with little or no knowledge of English and never having seen a computer before. Then they started instinctually teaching one another. In the next five years, through many experiments, I learned just how powerful adults can be when they give small groups of children the tools and the agency to guide their own learning

SUGATA MITRA

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In the networked age, we need schools, not structured like factories, but like clouds.” and then get out of the way. It’s not just poor kids that can benefit from access to the Internet and the space and time to wonder and wander. Today, teachers around the world are using what I call “SOLEs,” “self organized learning environments,” where children group around internetequipped computers to discuss big questions. The teacher merges into the background and observe as learning happens. I once asked a group of 10-yearolds in the little town of Villa Mercedes in Argentina: Why do we have five fingers and toes on each limb? What’s so special about five? Their answer may surprise you. The children arrived at their answer by investigating both theology

A hole-inthe-wall learning station in Changjiji, Thimpu, Bhutan, in 2009.


and evolution, discovering the five bones holding the web on the first amphibians’ fins, and studying geometry. Their investigation resulted in this final answer: The strongest web that can be stretched the widest must have five supports. Now, I launch my SOLE toolkit — designed to empower teacher and parents to create their own spaces for sparking children’s curiosity and agency. My team and I are excited to see more educators trying this future-oriented pedagogical tool on for size and then sharing their learnings are insights so we can all benefit from the hive mind. Meanwhile, with my newly bestowed TED Prize, my team and I will build The School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online. Technology, architecture, creative, and educational partners will help us design and build it.

MORE ON TED WEEKENDS WHAT IS THE INTERNET DOING TO OUR MEMORY?

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SUGATA MITRA

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WHEN THE STUDENT BECOMES THE TEACHER

Kids will help us explore a range of cloud-based, scalable approaches to self-directed learning. A global network of educators and retired teachers will support and engage the children through the web. We need a curriculum of big questions, examinations where children can talk, share and use the Internet, and new, peer assessment systems. We need children from a range of economic and geographic backgrounds and an army of visionary educators. We need a pedagogy free from fear and focused on the magic of children’s innate quest for information and understanding. In the networked age, we need schools, not structured like factories, but like clouds. Join us up there. Sugata Mitra is the winner of the 2013 TED Prize.

A selection of the week’s related blogs HEADLINES TO VIEW BLOGS ABOUT THIS WEEK’S THEME

HOLE IN THE WALL LEARNING

FIRE IN THE CLOUDS

THE FEAR OF ‘I DON’T KNOW’


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BILL CLARK/CQ ROLL CALL/GETTY IMAGES (KING); WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES (REPUBLICANS); FRANK MICELOTTA/ IMAGEDIRECT/GETTY IMAGES (PALTROW); SEBASTIÁN MÁRQUES/ EL VOCERO DE PUERTO RICO (PROTEST)

“To have the balls to come in and say, ‘We screwed you now make us president?’”

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“Republicans can now claim to have been born that way. It’s not a choice.”

— HuffPost commenter Bridgette_Moore,

on a new study showing Republican brains differ from Democrats’

— Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

wrote in an email to supporters about Marco Rubio making fundraising rounds in New York City, after voting “no” on the Sandy relief bill’s passage

“I should have worn a bra.”

— Gwyneth Paltrow

wrote on her blog goop, about her 2002 Oscar dress

“Christians give Christians a bad name.”

— HuffPost commenter toddeklof, on Puerto Ricans protesting gay rights in favor of “traditional” family values


EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/GETTY IMAGES (ROMNEY); JEFF VESPA/WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (STEWART); DENISE TRUSCELLO/ WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES (MADISON); STEFEN CHOW/BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY IMAGES (BUFFETT, GATES)

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QUOTED

“We were on a roller coaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs. But the ride ends. And then you get off … the ride’s over.”

— Mitt Romney

told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview with Fox News Sunday about the end of the 2012 campaign

“And if you can’t sell pale and mopey to Britain, you can’t sell it anywhere.”

— ­HuffPost commenter antonymous, on Kristen Stewart being voted Hollywood’s most unattractive in a new UK poll

“This is why we remember the Andrew Carnegies and forget the Donald Trumps of the world.”

— HuffPost commenter rswarner,

on Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge getting billionaires to donate half their fortune

“I’m totally planning on having my placenta turned into pills I can take after giving birth.”

— Holly Madison

revealed on her Celebuzz blog


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03.10.13 #39 FEATURES

BLOWN OPPORTUNITIES? BREAD LINE


SINKING IN BUREAUCRACY The Long, Litigious Path to Offshore Wind Power

In 2001, Jim Gordon, a well-heeled developer of natural gas plants in New England, took up a longdiscussed but never-pursued idea that advocates said would usher in a new era of clean energy in America: an ocean-based wind farm off the shores of Cape Cod. By TOM ZELLER JR.

A visual simulation of Cape Wind from a boat at a distance of one mile.


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The advantages of the site seemed plain: Relentless, harddriving winds, shallow shoals several miles offshore on which to anchor large turbines, and, perhaps most importantly, a left-leaning population inclined to support what was already viewed at the time as an overdue migration away from dirtier sources of electricity. “We have real and looming environmental problems on the horizon,” Gordon told reporters that summer, as he prepared to apply for the necessary federal and state permits. “Is this going to solve these problems? No. But it is going to help.” Almost 12 years later, the now 59-year-old Gordon, who graduated from Boston University during the 1970s oil crises with a degree in communications and, he says, vague designs on film school before he set his sights on the energy business, is still pressing his case. Not a single turbine is in the water. Acquiring the full array of government permits and sign-offs — a byzantine process involving dozens of sometimes overlapping, often contradictory agencies, hundreds of officials and thousands of pages of impact statements — took over a decade. And more than a

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“I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING MORE BENIGN IN TERMS OF IMPACT THAN AN OFFSHORE WIND FARM.” dozen lawsuits, citing everything from potential disruption of whale and bird migrations to interference with airplane and shipping traffic, the wrecking of commercial fishing grounds and the desecration of sacred Native American sites, have thrown sand in the project’s gears at every turn. Virtually all of the opposition suits over the years have been rejected ultimately by the courts, but at least four more are still pending, and opponents promise to keep fighting. To be sure, as the first proposed offshore wind project in the United States, Cape Wind, as it is called, was bound to encounter unique scrutiny, and like any undertaking of its size, it is not without environmental impacts. But the long-thwarted wind farm also highlights what some critics say has become a bloated and overly complicated regulatory maze through which fewer and fewer project developers of any kind have the wherewithal to navigate. Indeed, while it has earned the


AP PHOTO/LISA POOLE

Jim Gordon, president of the Cape Wind project.


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backing of virtually every major environmental group — including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace and others — the government’s unhurried review of the project cost tens of millions of dollars more than it would have in countries with more streamlined permitting processes. And even now, Cape Wind remains stuck in a briar patch of legal challenges to its siting, mostly filed by a small but determined coalition of local residents and unusually wealthy property owners in the area who have no incentive to relent. It is a dilemma that developers of major infrastructure projects know all too well, and one that some critics say is in dire need of reform. “There has to be a better way,” said Matthew Brown, an attorney with Common Good, a nonpartisan group seeking ways to overhaul governmental and legal systems to streamline the approval or rejection of major projects of all kinds. “It shows just exactly how far away from the purposes of the process the actual reality has come,” Brown said, “because environmental review, and the lawsuits attending it, now actively thwart environmentally positive

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“WHEN YOU’RE FINANCING A PROJECT, NOVELTY IS BAD.” projects like Cape Wind.” During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama declared that, “for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change,” and he promised to “speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.” But just what an idealized projectpermitting system might look like — for clean energy or any major infrastructure project — remains a matter of debate. Environmental and citizen groups are understandably loath to limit access to the courts, or to overhaul a regulatory machinery that, for all of its messiness, affords them a good deal of leverage against deep-pocketed developers of far more menacing projects than Cape Wind. And while the Nantucket wind farm appears to be nearing the end of its own legal and regulatory limbo, it still remains too soon to say with any certainty when — or even if — the project will be built. This, critics say, needs to change. “I can’t think of anything more benign in terms of impact than an offshore wind farm, compared


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to our other energy choices,” said Gordon, who estimates that he has spent at least $65 million working through the regulatory hurdles and fighting lawsuits. “I think that within a certain time frame, maybe having a one-stop agency where the cooperating agencies kind of put in their concern, and the public goes before it and — we should absolutely have public hearings. We have had an extraordinary amount of public hearings on this project. And written comments. That shouldn’t stop. All I’m saying is that there needs to be a reasonable time frame for an up or down decision. Twelve years and counting, Gordon added, is simply too long for any project to sit on the drawing board while regulators and onthe-ground stakeholders squabble over details. “Most projects and most developers that would get involved in a process like that would probably throw up their arms and walk away,” he said. “And for some worthy projects, that would be a shame.” KICKSTARTING AN INDUSTRY On a blustery, early winter day, with a cold, driving rain pelting the windshield, Cape Wind’s long-

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time spokesman, Mark Rodgers, eases his car into an empty parking lot at Cape Cod’s Craigville Beach in Centerville, Mass. The hamlet is about three miles southwest of Hyannis and located midway along the tricep of the cape, a long, narrow peninsula that stretches out into the Atlantic and then curls up and back, like the flexed arm of a swaggering bodybuilder. Rodgers takes a spot facing due south, into the great emptiness of Nantucket Sound. “We knew from the beginning we had to pass two critical tests,” Rodgers said. “We had to permit the project, and we had to finance the project. And when you’re financing a project, novelty is bad. And we knew, by being America’s first offshore wind farm, that we were going to be novel. So we wanted to make everything we could about the details of the project to be as un-novel as possible. We wanted the most optimal engineering site characteristics we could find.” The project’s corporate developer, Jim Gordon’s Energy Management Inc., which had been building natural gas power plants for nearly 20 years prior to taking interest in an offshore wind project, found in Nantucket Sound what it considered to be the most advantageous offshore spot any-


AP PHOTO/STEPHAN SAVOIA

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where from Maine to New Jersey: Horseshoe Shoal. The shoal itself was sandy and shallow — generally less than 45 feet deep — which makes anchoring the turbines to the seabed easier, and the entirety of the 25 square mile project area, surrounded by the cape to the north, the islands of Martha’s Vineyard to the west, and Nantucket Island to the east, would be protected from the often punishing, 50-foot swells of a stormy North Atlantic sea.

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Sending the power generated by the giant turbines back to shore would be a relatively simple affair via undersea cables, and unlike the multiplying land-based turbines in the windy midsection of the country from West Texas to Nebraska and the Dakotas, Cape Wind would be comparatively close to the power-hungry metropolitan areas of the Northeast — another advantage, supporters noted. All of the turbines would also be at least five miles away from coastal properties — a sufficient distance, the developers had hoped, to avoid undue imposition on residents and

Mark Rodgers, communications director for Cape Wind, stands on a beach 6.5 miles away from the patch of water where 130 wind turbines would be built.


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summertime vacationers. The 130 turbines, each standing 258 feet tall from water to hub and with anywhere from six to nine football fields of open water between them, would be as close to Craigville Beach as nearly anywhere, and their massive fiberglass blades would reach 440 feet above sea level — well higher than the tip of the Statue of Liberty’s torch — at their highest rotation. On a clear day, they would be unmistakably visible from this parking lot: A row of thin hash marks along the horizon, according to photographic simulations produced by Cape Wind. Collectively, the spinning turbines would have a nominal capacity of 468 megawatts, but this is an idealized energy-industry metric representing the site’s output if the winds blew strong and steady at all times, and all turbines were spinning continually at maximum capacity. In the real world, of course, that never happens, and the average power output would likely be somewhere between 30 percent and 40 percent of that maximum capacity. Critics hew to the lower end of the range, supporters the higher, but Cape Wind estimates that the av-

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erage output of the facility would represent about 75 percent of the typical electricity demand for the Cape and its nearby islands. That may seem small, but backers have argued that a rapid expansion of offshore wind farms along the nation’s coasts could provide, in aggregate, a substantial and reliable power resource. And from Cape Wind’s earliest days, advocates noted that clean-energy development in the U.S. was already lagging woefully behind other parts of the world, principally Europe, which had already spent a decade developing offshore wind power by the time Cape Wind was first proposed. Today, there are more than 1,600 offshore wind turbines at 55 different facilities and representing more than 3,800 megawatts of capacity connected to the European grid, according to the European Wind Energy Association. Several that would dwarf Cape Wind in size and output are already being planned. China, a gluttonous consumer of coal-fired electricity, nonetheless has at least one commercial-scale offshore wind farm of its own, and several more are in the works. There are still no offshore wind farms in the United States. To supporters of renewable energy, this is inexplicable, particularly given the imperatives of cli-


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mate change and the comparative social advantages of clean power. A year of operation of a comparable coal power plant, Cape Wind’s developers say, could produce as much as 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide — the leading planetwarming gas — and tens of thousands of tons of other airborne chemicals and pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides and asthma-inducing particulate matter. Natural gas-powered plants are much cleaner, but they still have abundant emissions. A year of operation of an offshore wind farm like this produces no such pollution. Of course, even accepting these benefits, opponents have fought tenaciously to keep it out of Nantucket Sound. As the project has inched its way through an obstacle course of state and federal agency approvals — 17 in all, by Rodgers’ count — critics have challenged each approval with relish in court. In fact, the project has been in an indeterminate state for so long that it has been the subject of at least two books, hundreds of editorials and a pair of documentary films, including last summer’s Cape Spin — described by The New York Times as

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a “tragicomic” look at one of the nation’s most protracted energy infrastructure battles. “It was the first offshore wind farm proposed in the U.S., and the nation lacked a clear regulatory path established for how such a project would get approved,” Josh Levin, one of the film’s producers, told the Times last June. “Whether you are a green person or not, whether you are a renewable energy person or not, whether you’re a pro-business person or not, there is a cost to the United States having no effective energy policy.” BOGGED DOWN When the Cape Wind project received its final nod from the Interior Department in the spring of 2010 — already a decade after the project was first proposed — the editorial board at The Wall Street Journal chuckled. Having long decried the nominally higher costs of wind power relative to fossil fuels, the generally conservative newspaper had never been a friend to the Nantucket wind farm. But it had even deeper disdain for the protracted regulatory and judicial review that had kept the project in limbo for so long. “Contemplate this depressing change in America’s can-do spirit,” the editorial suggested. “The 6.6 million-ton Hoover


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Dam that tamed the mighty Colorado River was finished in 1936 after a mere five years. Yet 130 offshore wind turbines, a pioneering project of President Obama’s ‘new energy economy,’ may take three times as long to complete.” Three more years have slipped by since that editorial was written. To be sure, Cape Wind was challenged in part by its uniqueness. The U.S. had no history of permitting offshore wind farms — a task that fell initially to the Army Corps of Engineers, which took roughly three years from the time the proj-

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ect was first proposed to prepare a lengthy Draft Environmental Impact Statement, as required by the decades-old National Environmental Policy Act. Some 5,000 public comments were submitted on that draft, but it would be quickly rendered moot by passage of the Energy Policy Act in 2005, which shifted jurisdiction for offshore wind permitting from the Army Corps to the Department of the Interior. To the dismay of Gordon and his partners, Interior decided to pursue its own environmental review, which would not be published in draft form until three years later, in early 2008. A final environmental impact statement

An artist’s rendering of the Cape Wind EcoTour that will be provided by Hy-Line Cruises.


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was completed in January 2009. “Sure, we can chalk it up to the fact that this was the first proposed offshore wind farm in the United States and that we were paving new ground,” Gordon said, “but there have been structures permitted in the water for many decades. There have been fiber optic cables, weather towers, bridges, piers, docks, things like that.” On its face, a NEPA review would seem straightforward. In some cases, proposals that are similar to other projects that have already undergone a fullbodied examination and that were found to have no significant impacts can obtain a so-called categorical exclusion and move on. When a full-fledged environmental impact statement is called for, the law requires the permitting agency to provide a general discussion of the purpose and need for the project, as well as a review of potential alternatives. It also requires a description of the affected environment and the attending consequences of building and operating the project. In practice, this can involve an excruciating level of detail and extensive consultation with agencies far and wide. Each consulting

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THERE ARE STILL NO OFFSHORE WIND FARMS IN THE UNITED STATES. agency is expected to put relevant aspects of the proposal under its own microscope, with the goal that every potential impact on people, traffic, animals, plant life, soil, waterways, air quality, air travel and other elements, however small, is assessed and characterized as “negligible,” “minor,” “moderate” or “major.” In the case of Cape Wind, the project would be noisy and increase traffic during construction, for example, and the extent of this had to be weighed and documented. It would alter seaside vistas, so simulations of how the turbines might look to people on shore and even to boaters on the water had to be created; and because the giant spinning blades will undoubtedly kill birds and bats, potential impacts on all bird species that might fly across Horseshoe Shoal had to be calculated. The seabed on the shoal would be significantly disturbed during construction, and some fish populations would be affected. So too would popular commercial fishing areas, and the massive transmission cables


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would have impacts all along their length as well. Because the proposed site is located more than 3 miles from shore — the line where state law generally ends and federal jurisdiction begins — Cape Wind, like many offshore projects, also triggered the full complement of oversight, because construction staging, shorebound electric cables and other aspects of the endeavor must also adhere to state guidelines. Over the course of nine years, all of this was considered, opened for public comment, and then reconsidered again. In nearly all cases, according to the final review document, the impacts were declared to be negligible, minor or moderate. In the minds of many green advocates, this level of scrutiny has done wonders over the last 40 years to keep economic development smart and the environment safe. But the multiplicity of agencies involved, the lack of strict time frames, and the reflex to gird against lawsuits have also dramatically lengthened the review process, many critics say, not just for Cape Wind but for all manner of major infrastructure projects in the U.S., from road and bridge improvements to power plants and

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transmission lines. In a paper published in the journal Environmental Law in December, Jeffrey Thaler, a professor of energy policy, law and ethics at the University of Maine, noted that there are currently as many as “50 different federal environmental and wildlife statutes and executive orders, largely enacted or promulgated since 1980 that create a daunting gauntlet of regulatory hurdles.” Thaler added that by his own informal count, there are over 63,000 pages of such regulations dealing with environmental, energy, resource management and wildlife at the federal level — and untold thousands more at the state level. Last June, the New York, New Jersey & Connecticut Regional Plan Association’s “America 2050” program, which takes a broad look at national infrastructure planning and policy, published an analysis of NEPA that bore some startling statistics. Titled “Getting Infrastructure Going: Expediting the Environmental Review Process,” the study found that: “In the 40 years since the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act and the development of the current federal regulatory


SCOTT J. FERRELL/CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY/GETTY IMAGES

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process, the practice of completing environmental reviews for major infrastructure projects has significantly lengthened average project delivery times. For example, in 2011, the average time it took to complete an environmental impact statement on a highway project was over eight years, compared with two years just after the law was passed.” The costs of such delays are extremely difficult to quantify, but critics suggest trillions of dollars of lost economic activity. In 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobby in the country, reviewed “351 proposed solar, wind, wave, bio-fuel, coal, gas,

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nuclear and energy transmission projects” — all of which had been delayed or canceled due to what the chamber called “regulatory barriers, including inefficient review processes and the attendant lawsuits and threats of legal action.” While noting that not all of the proposed projects would — or even should — be ultimately approved, the chamber put their collective economic value, if operated for 20 years, at $3.4 trillion in gross domestic product. This included “$1.4 trillion in employment earnings ... and an additional one million or more jobs per year,” the chamber noted. This wouldn’t necessarily come as a surprise to Dennis Duffy, an attorney and Cape Wind’s vice president, who has testified before Congress on the need to stream-

Jim Gordon with other advocates at a House Natural Resources hearing on “Identifying Roadblocks to Wind and Solar Energy on Public Lands and Waters.”


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line the environmental review process — which for the Nantucket project involved numerous agencies often working independently, on their own timelines, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Coast Guard, the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Marine Fisheries Service and myriad others at both the state and federal levels. “Part of the problem with NEPA is, when it started, it would be unusual for an environmental impact statement to exceed 100 pages,” Duffy said. “It’s just expanded gradually over time. The standards are not — there’s no blackand-white line as to how much work has to be done under NEPA. It’s very subjective and case specific, site specific.” The final EIS for the Cape Wind project is 800 pages long. The process is also wide open to litigious opponents who, Duffy says, are free to bring court challenges to decisions made by regulators at nearly every level of the process. “I think they made a decision that they thought if they stretch the NEPA process out and made it as costly and long as possible, that we financially would

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“YOU CAN’T JUST HAVE SOMEONE PLUNK SOMETHING DOWN WHEREVER THE HELL THEY WANT.” collapse and go away,” Duffy said of Cape Wind’s opponents. “But we didn’t go away. Now, the NEPA process was painful to go through, but we now have the favorable position of defending the adequacy of an EIS which is one of the most complete and extensive anyone has ever seen.” Even so, few would argue that 12 years and counting is an efficient or economical time frame to get a project off the ground. A recent analysis by the Atlanta-based international law firm King & Spalding noted that an average of 126 new NEPA challenges were filed each year between 2001 and 2009: “Furthermore, an average of 24 Temporary Restraining Orders (TRO) and preliminary and permanent injunctions halting projects were issued each year between 2001 and 2009. In general, NEPA plaintiffs succeed in winning NEPA cases more often than pro-development interests. And NEPA plaintiffs have six years after a ‘final agency action’ to


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initiate litigation challenging the project, per the Administrative Procedure Act’s statute of limitations. In one instance, the nearcertainty that a project’s permits would eventually be litigated under NEPA motivated Shell Oil Company to file a lawsuit challenging its own project in order to avoid waiting six years for adversaries to file suit before the statute of limitations expired.” Several proposals for streamlining NEPA review have been floated in Congress over the years, and the 2012 transportation bill included some provisions that would do just that. But not everyone agrees that NEPA itself, as written, is problematic. Sue Reid, an environmental attorney and director of the Conservation Law Foundation’s Massachusetts office, argues that the 1970 law has proved a vital tool in curbing abuses by project developers who, prior to its passage, ran roughshod over environmental interests with little scrutiny. “Obviously I work for a shop that relies on litigation as one of many tools in our toolbox, in terms of confronting bad projects that shouldn’t have passed, or

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shouldn’t pass environmental and regulatory reviews,” Reid said. “I would say that I wouldn’t want to change the rules based on abuses of existing systems, and I think that’s what you’d be talking about potentially here. All of these environmental groups like CLF and the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club and Greenpeace and all these groups that engage in litigation — not even periodically but regularly — do so relatively surgically, and we look for when there’s a problem with a proposed development project or a regulatory process. We focus on the biggest issues and target those and go after them, when necessary, with litigation.” This is not the same, Reid suggests, as the tack deployed by opponents of Cape Wind. “That is, to sue in connection with basically every single regulatory approval, whether it’s related to the contracts or the environmental reviews or the permitting — every single turn has been challenged,” Reid said. “I think that’s a whole different animal, and again, I wouldn’t want to necessarily use the exception to the rule to frame how you should change the rules.” Kit Kennedy, an NRDC attorney who specializes in renewable energy policy, and who has written about the long-running Cape


AP PHOTO/BIZUAYEHU TESFAYE

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Wind tussle, agrees. “The thorough and careful environmental review helped to outline the environmental benefits of the project, identify where mitigation measures were called for and allowed for full participation and input by the public,” Kennedy said. “It gave us confidence that once the environmental review was done, we had all the information on the project’s benefits and impacts that we needed to support the project. “The delays in moving forward with Cape Wind,” she added, “stem not from NEPA but largely from the well-funded opposition

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of a single group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, whose sole purpose — despite its name — is to try to stop Cape Wind.” PROTECTING THE SOUND Audra Parker is the chief executive of that alliance — also known as Save Our Sound — an umbrella organization based in Hyannis, Mass., that has spearheaded the fight against Cape Wind for most of the last dozen years. In a small, second-floor office next door to Tommy Doyle’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, Parker pores over a map and explains how the virtues that make Horseshoe Shoal an attractive location to erect wind turbines are, at the same time, characteristics that are highly prized — left

Supporters of the Cape Wind project gather outside of the State House in Boston, Mass., in 2004.


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just as they are — by other commercial and recreational interests. “The developer basically went and said, ‘Okay, from a technical basis, where’s a really good spot to build?’” Parker said. “’Well, this is a good spot because it’s close to shore, so my transmission cables won’t be so long, right? It’s protected, so it’s easier to maintain and operate — my extreme storm wave heights are low, because it’s almost like a harbor — and the wind speed’s really high. So technically, it’s a great place for me — a profit-maximizing location.’ “On the other hand, those very same things make it really conflicted, because you’ve got a very lucrative fishing industry right here,” she continued. “You’ve got a lot of traffic because it’s a seasonal community. You’ve got a lot of recreational boating going on here, you’ve got ferry lines going here, you’ve got air traffic — you just have a huge amount of conflict. And at the same time, it’s a very fragile habitat. You’ve got endangered species like right whales coming in here, you’ve got endangered birds like piping plovers and roseate terns. So it’s sort of the same thing that made it very attractive to the developer makes it very conflicted

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for the public, which is why there has been such a fight.” More recently, Parker and other opponents have raised objections to the power-purchase deals brokered by Cape Wind’s developers with regional electricity transmission companies. These include contracts with National Grid and NStar to buy three-quarters of Cape Wind’s output (50 percent to the former and 27.5 percent to the latter) over the first 15 years of the farm’s operation. The cost of that power — significantly higher than the spot-price for electricity generated by more polluting sources — will pose a significant hit to ratepayers that simply isn’t worth it, Parker says. And while supporters of the project chastise opponents for standing in the way of renewable power development for purely selfish ends, Parker argues that the open vistas of Nantucket Sound are as worthy of preservation as other national landmarks. If we would blanch at placing a large-scale industrial facility in the heart of the Grand Canyon, such reasoning goes, why would we entertain doing it smack in the middle of an arguably historic body of water bounded by tranquil seaside towns? “In the West they have these huge areas of land. They’ve got


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these huge national parks like Yellowstone, and there just aren’t areas like that here. This is what we have here,” Parker said. “Why would you destroy that, you know?” This and other arguments — from destruction of property values, ruination of a lucrative tourist trade and desecration of sacred Native American vistas — have gained opponents purchase in the courts at various turns. And while much of the resistance has emanated from middleand working-class folks at the rim of the sound, there is little question that the effort to derail Cape Wind has also been helped — and prolonged — by deep-pocketed critics in the tonier compounds of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, though in some cases, that opposition has foundered. The late Walter Cronkite, the esteemed news anchor and property owner on Martha’s Vineyard, for example, was an early opponent of the project, appearing in local television ads funded by critics of Cape Wind before reconsidering his stance and ultimately supporting it before his death. Recently appointed Secretary of State and former Democratic senator from Massachusetts John

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“I’VE DEDICATED A DECADE OF MY LIFE FOR THIS FIGHT.” Kerry — a chief architect of climate legislation on Capitol Hill and a staunch supporter of clean energy — questioned the project for years, arguing in 2007, for example, that “You can’t just have someone plunk something down wherever the hell they want.” Kerry eventually lent his support to the project as well, but his early reticence echoed the opposition of the Kennedy family, whose compound in Hyannisport, just down the road from Craigville Beach, looks directly out onto Horseshoe Shoal. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy, whose bona fides as a Democrat and supporter of environmental issues was unrivaled, was nonetheless an entrenched opponent of the Cape Wind proposal. His nephew, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — himself an environmental attorney and activist and founder of the watershed protection group Waterkeeper Alliance — has argued relentlessly against the project, including in prominent op-eds in The New York Times and, more recently, The Wall Street Journal. But the chief underwriter of


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The Cape Wind scientific data tower that has been gathering wind speed information onsite since 2003.


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the campaign to stop Cape Wind, which includes major funding for Parker’s alliance, is William Koch, scion of the founders of the oil refining giant Koch Industries, chairman of the gas and coal supplier Oxbow Corp. — and owner of a sizable estate in Osterville, Mass., just west of Craigville beach. From a recent compilation prepared by the environmental group, The Sierra Club: “While the Alliance is largely a local group, concerned about the possible environmental, aesthetic, and economic impacts of the wind farm, their efforts have been sustained almost entirely by Mr. Koch and his gas and coal conglomerate, Oxbow Corp. In a 2006 interview with Forbes, Mr. Koch admitted spending $1.5 million on the Alliance. The group’s 2011 annual report form filed in Massachusetts includes Mr. Koch as a co-chairman for the organization — despite his Palm Beach, Florida, address, thousands of miles from Nantucket Sound. The Alliance’s 2009 ... IRS form indicates that Mr. Koch also paid most of president Audra Parker’s $147,499 salary.” Koch has made no mystery of

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his opposition to Cape Wind, and Parker is unfazed when asked about his involvement in the alliance, describing it as a red herring that distracts from what she says are thousands of grassroots supporters. “Bill Koch is our biggest donor, over time he’s been our biggest donor,” Parker conceded, adding that he accounts for about 20 percent of the group’s operating budget, with smaller donors representing the rest. “Yes, our largest donors are funding the bulk of it, yes — but that’s typical. Obviously you’re going to have a few $100,000 donors and a lot of small donors, so you just do the math. But it’s pretty typical of a nonprofit,” she said. “Koch has property here, so he cares about the area just like everyone else. It has nothing to do with oil and gas interests. I really don’t think his business model is threatened by Cape Wind.” To further demonstrate her point, Parker digs into a file folder and produces letters from a variety of supporters and small donors to the alliance. “I’m elderly and I have a limited income, but I gladly offer this small amount because I do not want to leave this earth with the Sound desecrated,” reads one letter, which accompanies a $15 donation. A $25 donor writes: “You will never know how


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much we appreciate all that Save Our Sound has done to protect our sound. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Parker, who spent summers on the cape growing up and who now lives in the area full time, begins reading aloud another letter, sent in 2011, after Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a final federal approval of the project. “Thank you so much for all you folks are doing to save one of the most beautiful pieces of water in the world,” she begins. “When the news came down the other day, I was devastated. Frankly, I took it much harder than expected. It is unfathomable to me that a group of investors can simply swoop in and lay claim to a national treasure. This is the greatest theft in Massachusetts history. Cape Wind has devastated not only the ... ” And then Parker tears up and stops. “I can’t even read this,” she said. “It always gets to me.” The truth behind the finer points of the long-running Cape Wind dispute are, as one might expect, a matter of vigorous debate. For every poll or study commissioned or endorsed by the alliance that shows Massachusetts

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residents oppose the project, that property values will drop, or that electricity rates will skyrocket, supporters can point to countervailing analyses that show quite the opposite. A 2010 study of regional electricity markets, for example, suggested that Cape Wind would actually work to lower wholesale electricity prices in New England over time. The Obama administration also has made it a high priority to encourage the diversification of the nation’s energy portfolio through generous subsidies for the burgeoning clean energy sector, and Massachusetts, like many states, now requires local utilities to obtain a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources

Audra Parker, an opponent of the Cape Wind project, is the chief executive of the Alliance to Save Nantucket Sound.


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— which means that new clean energy facilities must, at some point, be built. And while it is virtually certain that the turbines will have implications for local bird life, fish populations, boat captains and plane pilots, thousands of pages of state and federal agency analysis, judicial review and subsequent re-analysis have suggested that, all things considered, the project’s virtues outweigh its impacts. That has done very little to speed the permitting process or to dissuade the very real passions of Parker and her supporters. All but one of the legal challenges that the alliance and its allied groups have thus far filed have been rejected by the courts. The one success — challenging the Federal Aviation Administration’s finding that the project would not impede air traffic — forced the agency to revisit its review in 2011. On Aug. 15, 2012, the FAA once again came to the same conclusion: “The proposed construction of the 130 wind turbines, individually and as a group, has no effect on aeronautical operations. Therefore, the FAA concludes that the project, if constructed as proposed, poses no hazard to air navigation.”

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A challenge to that finding was filed seven days later and is now pending. “This is personal for me, too, but it’s not — what do we have to gain here?” Parker said. “We’re just trying to protect the community and the people that live here. “I’ve dedicated a decade of my life for this fight,” she added. “People believe in this.” Asked if she and her partners could imagine a moment when they might throw in the towel on this fight, Parker doesn’t hesitate. “Yes,” she replied. “When we win.” IMPROVING THE PROCESS Department of Energy data on the potential of offshore wind in the U.S. is impressive. It suggests that as much as 4 million megawatts of electricity could be harnessed from the steady breezes blowing on state and federal waters along the coasts of the U.S., as well as in the Great Lakes. That’s roughly four times the combined generating capacity of all existing electric power plants in the nation today, according to DOE — and the Obama administration has made it a mission to finally get the industry moving. Several commercial wind farm proposals or incentive programs — off the coasts of Maine, New Jersey, Delaware and elsewhere — have


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since joined Cape Wind and are now vying to be the first to become operational, but the odds that any of them will overcome the necessary hurdles during the president’s second term are hard to predict. To help expedite matters, DOE in December announced some $168 million in funding over the next six years for seven offshore demonstration projects. And that funding came on the heels of the Department of Interior’s first-ever plans to open up some 164,000 acres along the Atlantic coast for lease sales to commercial offshore wind power developers. The move is part of the Obama administration’s “Smart from the Start” program, launched in 2010 — not long after final federal approval for Cape Wind was issued — and is designed to speed offshore wind power development off the Atlantic Coast. “The Cape Wind lease is an historic milestone in America’s renewable energy future, but to fully harness the economic and energy benefits of our nation’s vast Atlantic wind potential we need to implement a smart permitting process that is efficient, thorough, and unburdened by needless red tape,” Salazar said at the time. But that program would only

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“OUR EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND REGULATORY PROCESSES NO LONGER ACHIEVE THEIR UNDERLYING GOALS ...” help to speed up leasing for offshore wind. In most cases, projects would still need to undergo a full environmental review — and the agonizingly protracted scoping and litigation that so often comes with it. “I was very happy to see it,” said Duffy, the attorney and vice president of the Cape Wind project, referring to the Smart from the Start program. “But it doesn’t address the conflicting positions of different agencies or the possibility of multiple agency appeals, perhaps even in different courts. It still doesn’t put a time limit on things.” Reform advocates at Common Good have pointed to other countries with flourishing renewable energy industries, including Great Britain, Denmark and Germany, where processes for regulating and permitting clean energy projects were designed in many cases from the ground up. These so-called onestop shop systems identify a single government agency as the designated handler of renewable project


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permitting, and as the sole interface between developers and the government. Strict timelines are in place for reviewing the impacts and considering alternatives, and an ample but clearly defined window for public input and court challenges keeps proposals from becoming bogged down in endless litigation. Matthew Brown, the Common Good attorney, also notes that in many cases a dedicated administrative court with specialized knowledge of renewable project technology and permitting issues is in place to handle disputes. “We already have a variety of specialized courts, like bankrupt-

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cy court and international trade court,” Brown said. “New York City diamond dealers are signed into an informal court system that deals with commercial disputes between diamond dealers. In other countries, challenges to infrastructure projects — these would not go to a court of general jurisdiction, they would go to a court that is very keyed in to the issues — and able to rule more quickly.” Jim Maxeiner, an associate professor of law at the University of Baltimore and an associate director of the school’s Center for International and Comparative Law, suggested in an email message that a project like Cape Wind would have been permitted and built far faster in Germany. “Under the German

U.S. Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar announces the construction plans of the Cape Wind project in April 2011.


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law that prevailed before 2012, two to three years was typical time from initial application to approval, although some applications took as long as six years,” Maxeiner noted. “Ten years was unheard of — and in January of this year the law was amended to expedite approvals. I have not seen target times, but I surmise that the idea is to have resolution within one to two years.” Philip K. Howard, the founder of Common Good and the author of several books on the need to simplify regulatory processes in the U.S., has called for a similar “infrastructure super-authority” here. Such a body, Howard recently wrote, would be “created with the mandate to approve certain new projects within one year of application — including roads, bridges, wind and solar farms, and power lines. For interstate projects, the super-authority should have the power to cut through federal, state, and local red tape. Judicial review should be limited to jurisdictional issues, and should be resolved in the timeframe of a preliminary injunction — no more than 60 days.” Despite protestations from a variety of environmental groups, a bill aimed at significantly speeding up the impact review for pro-

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posed transportation projects was signed into law in the U.S. last year. Among other things, it calls for smaller projects receiving less than $5 million in federal funds to be excluded from environmental review all together. But even those calling for infrastructure permitting reform often say the problem isn’t necessarily environmental law as written, but the way in which it is implemented. “Proposals for environmental streamlining originating in Congress often overlook opportunities to overhaul policies and procedures within the current legal framework for environmental review,” said Petra Todorovich, director of RPA’s America 2050 program, in a statement accompanying the “Getting Infrastructure Going” report. “Contrary to current thinking, our study found that more federal involvement, not less, tends to speed up environmental reviews of major projects.” Whatever the solution, it will need to be found quickly if the nation hopes to address the growing climate crisis in a serious way. In its 2011 climate assessment, the National Research Council stated that the nation must cut greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by 2050 merely to stabilize the concentration of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. The electric-


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ity sector accounts for a third of such emissions, and most experts believe the necessary reductions simply cannot be achieved without a swift transition to cleaner sources of power. “Our existing environmental laws and regulatory processes no longer achieve their underlying goals of long-term ecosystem conservation,” wrote Thaler, the law professor at the University of Maine. “To the contrary, these laws and regulations are supporting a system with increasing greenhouse gas emissions that is actually costing trillions of dollars.” Now that the permits have been obtained and at least two-thirds of the wind farm’s output has been purchased under contract, Jim Gordon and his partners are busy seeking financing for Cape Wind. They won’t comment on how much it will cost in the end, though estimates typically run between $1 billion and $2 billion. Gordon suggested in a recent phone call that he anticipated having turbines in the water by 2015. That might still be optimistic. Grid managers have suggested that it could take longer, and in any case, more legal action remains a possibility.

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“If I knew from the very beginning that it would take 12 years and cost as much as it did, I would have had to think very long and hard about accepting that challenge,” Gordon said. “I’ve spent 36 years of my life developing energy projects, and our mission has been trying to improve the efficiency and improve the environmental attributes of these types of projects. I was really devoted to trying to contribute to helping transition to a cleaner energy future. “I am where I am. I can’t look back,” he added. “I don’t know what I would have said 12 years ago because I’m a different person. I’m older. In some ways I’m wiser; in some ways I’m not wiser. At the end of the day, I think this is a very important project.”

William Koch, chairman of the gas and coal supplier Oxbow Corp., owns property in the area and opposes the Cape Wind project.


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Panera Bakers Battle for a Union in a UnionFree World BY DAVE JAMIESON

PREVIOUS PAGE: GETTY IMAGES

ATHLEEN VONEITZEN heads into work at 10 p.m. with a long night ahead of her. A trained baker, VonEitzen spends the evening and early morning hours cutting and shaping trays full of dough, shuffling between multiple ovens, and constantly checking her crusts until they’re browned just right. She pulls hundreds of fresh baguettes, bagels, cookies and scones from the ovens until her shift finally ends around dawn.

VonEitzen, 55, doesn’t work in some boutique bakery, but in a Panera Bread franchise in Battle Creek, Mich. The company prizes VonEitzen’s craftsmanship, referring to her as an “artisan.” “It takes a special type of person to dedicate their night to baking fresh bread,” Panera says on its website.

Though Panera bakers don’t bake from scratch (the raw dough comes from a regional facility) they’re still required to master a wide range of baking disciplines. They typically undergo a “bakery boot camp” that’s at least seven weeks long, with homework, exams and demonstration bakes,


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capped by a 90-day on-the-job assessment period. Many bakers say it takes a year on the job before they can comfortably handle all the responsibilities of the kitchen. The fresh-made breads and pastries are Panera’s hallmark, and they’ve earned the chain a devoted following among the kind of health-conscious, middle-class diners who are willing to spend $7 to $10 on a quick meal. So-called “fast-casual” restaurants like Panera, Chipotle, Chopt and Cosi have come to occupy an increasingly large swath of the American dining landscape. Panera has expanded rapidly in recent

years, and now boasts 1,600 locations in 44 states. By combining convenience with fresh, highquality ingredients, it aims to offer something better than fast food. But how much better are the jobs? VonEitzen, who has worked at her Panera franchise for two years, said she earns $10.45 per hour, or about $21,000 per year, putting her earnings at roughly 140 percent of the federal poverty line for a couple. The median pay for a baker in the U.S. is just a touch higher, at $11.27 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the cost of VonEitzen’s employer health insurance plan for a couple would swallow nearly half her earnings, so she and her

A customer considers his sandwich options at a Panera in Brookline, Mass.


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husband, who’s had two heart attacks, go without it. Her paycheck brings in just enough to cover the mortgage payment and utilities, but the money is so tight that they often have to forgo her husband’s costly heart medications, she said. “We are skilled bakers, and they advertise us as artisan bakers,” said VonEitzen. “I’ve been in the restaurant industry most of my life. ... This is less money than I worked for 10 or 20 years ago.” Most fast-food jobs don’t entail a formal training program like the bakers’ do. Landing a job in the kitchen is seen as a considerable upgrade from manning a register, with an attendant raise of a couple bucks an hour, not to mention a more marketable skill set when a worker wants to leave. Jared Miller, a fellow baker of VonEitzen’s in Michigan, says he waited a year working out front at his Panera cafe before he had a shot at being trained as a baker in the back. He jumped at the opportunity. Given their designation as craftsmen, a number of Panera Bread bakers in Michigan decided a year and a half ago that they wanted to join a union to improve working conditions and earn something a little closer to a

middle-class living. (The bakers do not work for Panera but for a Panera franchisee.) Their effort to become the first unionized group of Panera workers in the country has led to a prolonged and ugly legal battle with their employer, Paul Saber, a major Panera franchisee and former McDonald’s executive. Saber seems determined not to recognize the bakers as a union, carrying out what appears to be an aggressive anti-union campaign, judging from complaints with the federal labor board. The percentage of U.S. work-

Jared Miller, 25, worked as a Panera baker to pay his way through school.


“We had to hear about how he was a good Christian who’d take care of us so we needed to stop this union nonsense.”

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COURTESY OF KATHLEEN VONEITZEN

ers who belong to a labor union has dropped to a historic low of 11.3 percent, including a mere 6.6 percent of the private sector, in part because traditionally unionized industries like manufacturing have shrunk. Meanwhile, restaurant chains remain a nearly union-free world. The Panera bakers’ fight to unionize may shed light on what kind of future organized labor has in the modern service economy. NOT THE SAME BIBLE Saber read the consumer trends years ago. While McDonald’s has done just fine in the past decade, fast-casual chains like Panera have taken off by appealing to health-conscious diners on the go. Fast-food chains, in turn, have been forced to adjust in order to keep up with the changing times. Last year, McDonald’s ended its use of “pink slime” in its hamburgers and recently vowed to use sustainable fish in its Filet-OFish sandwiches. Burger King announced that it would start using only free-range eggs and pork.

After 17 years as a McDonald’s franchisee, Saber sold his 14 golden arches locations back to the company in 2000, apparently choosing to invest instead in the up-and-coming Panera, according to a 2003 story in Businessweek. His company now operates more than 50 Paneras in California and Michigan, according to a restaurant trade publication. “The McDonald’s-type fast food isn’t relevant to today’s consum-

Kathleen VonEitzen, 55, has worked at Panera for two years, for $10.45 per hour.


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er,” Saber told Businessweek. But according to Dan Wood, the baker who’s taken the lead for the unionizing effort in Michigan, Saber’s company has imposed McDonald’s-style working standards on its Panera cafes. The artisanalbranded bakers, Wood argued, aren’t treated like they perform skilled jobs. “Most of my people have no benefits,” said Wood, a five-year Panera veteran and a career baker. “They have no insurance. They’re making anywhere from $10.25 to $11 an hour. “These are people who can

make pastries,” he added. (McDonald’s employees, like Panera’s front-of-the-house workers, earn closer to the minimum wage, which is $7.25 at the federal level but higher in many states.) In his previous baking job at a mom-and-pop cafe, Wood had a better wage and health coverage through BlueCross BlueShield, he said. Back then, he had no complaints. “The union guys would leave their cards, and I would laugh,” Wood said. The bakers first started whispering their grievances to one another in 2011. At the time, the Panera franchises they worked at were owned by a different company from Saber’s. The bakers felt

Ken Rosenthal (left), the founder of Panera Bread Co., with his son-in-law Craig Flom.


“We didn’t want extreme things. We wanted, like, health care. Normal basics.” BREAD LINE

management was squeezing workers, adding to their workload while simultaneously cutting hours. Some management practices were “arbitrary and abusive,” Wood claimed. One such practice was known as “splits.” Bakers were often required to work at two different cafes on the same day, but they weren’t paid for the time they spent traveling between cafes or reimbursed for the miles they put on their own cars — a not-insignificant cost for someone earning $10 an hour. Saber’s company, Bread of Life, bought the cafes in August 2011 and brought in new management, but the pro-union bakers say their problems continued. Bringing some old-school unionism to the new world of fast-casual eateries, the workers sought out the 127-year-old Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union as their representative. “These are bakers just like I was a baker,” said John Price, an international representative for the union, which recently gained

national attention for its strike against Hostess shortly before the Twinkie-maker’s liquidation. Eventually, 90 percent of the Panera bakers signed cards authorizing a union election. But according to a complaint filed last year by a regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that enforces labor law, Bread of Life managers allegedly violated labor law in trying to dissuade workers from joining the union. Saber was personally responsible for many of the violations, the complaint stated. Bread of Life has since settled the complaint without admitting any wrongdoing. Among the allegations in the complaint, in the weeks leading up to the election Bread of Life told employees not to sign union authorization cards; asked employees who’d signed them to retract them; launched a website designed “to discourage support” for the union; promised workers better employee benefits if they declined to unionize; and threatened employees with “loss of benefits” if they did unionize. The effort also included at least two required meetings with man-

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agement and a consultant, who outlined the reasons why the employees didn’t need a union. The bakers say the meetings were held at hotels in Kalamazoo, Mich., just before the union election, and started in the morning, right after they’d finished their overnight shifts, and lasted several hours. According to the NLRB complaint, Saber promised workers promotions if they didn’t unionize and told them he would fight the union “until his dying breath.” He also said it would be “futile” for them to unionize because “he would delay the certification ... as long as possible no matter the cost.” According to bakers who attended the meetings, the pressure

from Saber also included religious appeals. Well-known as a Christian, Saber has been a board member of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the name Bread of Life (like another Saber holding, Manna Development) has obvious religious connotations. (The website for the Graham organization tells the story of Saber once proselytizing a friend as the pair drove together in a Ferrari during a Ronald McDonald House Charities fundraiser.) According to the bakers, Saber said workers shouldn’t unionize in part because Bread of Life is a Christian company that looks after its own. “We had to hear about how he was a good Christian who’d take care of us so we needed to stop this union nonsense,” said Vo-

In November 2012, more than one hundred fastfood workers walked off their jobs at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King for a one-day strike in New York City, urging chains to pay a living wage.


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nEitzen, whose version of events was corroborated by Jared Miller, another baker in attendance. “They asked us to delay the vote. “I read the Bible regularly,” VonEitzen added. “We don’t have the same Bible.” When asked about the unionbusting allegations, a Panera spokesperson said the company would not comment on legal matters, but stressed that “we take our relationships with all of our associates seriously, whether they are employed by the company or a franchisee.” In a statement, Bread of Life insisted that it treats its bakers with

fairness and respect. “We have a good track record of offering competitive pay and benefits in our industry,” the company said. “As we understand it, the issues that resulted in this unionization effort pre-date Bread of Life’s ownership of these cafes. We remain fully committed to working within the law and treating our bakers and all associates with fairness and respect.” But the case of the Panera bakers shows just how difficult it is for workers at a restaurant chain to organize to improve conditions. Several told HuffPost they either lost work shifts or saw their employee evaluations nosedive after coming out in support of the union. “I came into this thinking we

Protesters rally outside of a Burger King in N.Y. last November as part of the “Fast Food Forward” campaign, aimed at giving the workers of fast food companies the right to form a union.


“Somehow, I went from the best kind of baker to the worst.” BREAD LINE

had the right to bargain collectively,” said Kyle Schilling, a baker who claims to have lost work hours due to the campaign. “They make it so that it’s almost impossible. They just wear you down.” AN ANTI-UNION CLIMATE There’s nothing inherently lowwage or low-benefit about the bakers’ work or even fast-food work, according to Eileen Appelbaum, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Their circumstances are largely due to the weak presence of unions or other labor advocacy groups in their broader industry, she argued. Until food and service workers have more representation, she said, low-wage and poverty jobs will continue to prevail. “What made manufacturing jobs good jobs? Not all the skills. Unions,” Appelbaum said. “If not the unions of the past, we need some employee representation. ... We have so many low-wage jobs.” Many fast-food employees seem to have tired of the stagnant wages and lack of benefits. This past November, more than a hundred

fast-food workers walked off their jobs at McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King restaurants for a oneday strike in New York City, urging such chains to pay a living wage. In 2010, a group of workers for Jimmy John’s sandwich shops in Minnesota tried to unionize. The workers earned roughly the minimum wage and received no paid sick days. They narrowly lost the election by a vote of 87 to 85. Prounion employees accused the Jimmy John’s franchisee of pressuring employees to vote against the union. (Last year, a judge ordered the company to rehire workers it wrongfully dismissed. Two years after being fired, the workers are still waiting, due to appeals.) Despite the pressure from management, the Panera workers voted 11 to 7 in favor of the union last March. Nearly a year later, however, they still aren’t recognized as a union, as Saber’s company challenges the bargaining unit that the labor board determined for the election. The union election involved 18 bakers in the Western Michigan market; Bread of Life management has said the appropriate unit would have been 45 bakers. (Employers often prefer a

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larger bargaining unit, given that workers are less likely to know and support one another.) “Bakers have a right to criticize our management and seek to join a union,” the company told HuffPost. “Bread Of Life also has its rights in the legal process to appeal what we sincerely believe is an inappropriate unit of bakers for union representation. Use of the established legal process is not ‘union-busting.’”

In interviews, the bakers all described the process as exhausting and dispiriting, taking tolls both financial and emotional. “At this point in time, I see the guy’s just throwing a fit because he doesn’t want a union, and he goes and spends a bunch of money because he wants to get his way,” said Jared Miller, 25, who had taken the job to pay his way through school. “We didn’t want extreme things. We wanted, like, health care. Normal basics.” “All the money they’ve spent on this,” Miller added, “it could have

Hand-made pastries at a Panera in Denver, Colo.


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covered a union contract for three or four years. It’s nuts.” After the election, Bread of Life filed a charge of its own against the bakers union, claiming that several bakers, VonEitzen and Wood in particular, had tried to pressure employees into supporting the union. The charge alleged there’d been an “overall environment of anger and intimidation” emanating from pro-union bakers. The labor board’s regional director dismissed the charge, saying there was “no substantive merit to the allegations.” She also chided Bread of Life for not fully cooperating with the very investigation the company requested. The regional director has since filed another complaint against Bread of Life, however, accusing the company of “refusing” to bargain in good faith and “coercing” employees, among other charges. Such litigation can drag on for years, making it an effective delay tactic for employers fending off unionization efforts. In an industry where low pay and high turnover are standard, the prospects for unionization tend to dim as workers leave for new jobs or tire of the battle with management as they try to make ends meet.

Price, the union representative, said labor law is tilted too far in the favor of employers, making it nearly impossible to unionize workers in an industry like restaurants where organized labor has little presence. “This is the problem with the NLRB — they have no enforcement powers whatsoever, and most attorneys know it,” Price said. “I tell people what the law is, ‘This is your right.’ After I tell them that, I say, ‘They’re going to break every one of those laws, keep in mind.’” The Panera bakers claimed management has retaliated against them for their pro-union stances. Schilling said he lost work hours after supporting the union. Under the settlement over the earlier labor board complaint, Bread of Life agreed to give Schilling roughly $500 in back pay. But Schilling claimed the lost shifts will cost him hundreds, if not thousands, more than that. Others claimed they’ve taken a hit on their evaluations. The bakers receive semi-annual grades for their work known as “calibrations,” which help determine what kind of bonus they might get. A succession of failing grades is cause for termination. VonEitzen alleged that her calibrations dipped after the union-


“Bakers have a right to criticize our management and seek to join a union.”

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ization effort became public. So, too, did Matt Motsinger, a former Panera baker who was pro-union. “Somehow, I went from the best kind of baker to the worst,” Motsinger said. Motsinger himself shows how management has the upper hand in a drawn-out union fight. He left Panera last year, after the union election, when he realized he’d developed tendonitis in his right arm, an ailment he assumes came from hours of handling dough every day, he said. Since he didn’t have health insurance, he said he decided to leave before the condition became worse. “I had planned on staying with the company at least as a parttimer until the whole [unionization] process was over,” Motsinger said. “I was there from the beginning. But at the same time, I couldn’t do it anymore.” With the bakers’ case on appeal, Michigan became the 24th “right-to-work” state in the nation, when Gov. Rick Snyder (R) and the GOP-controlled legislature fast-tracked the anti-union measures into law in December.

Such laws forbid contracts between companies and unions that require all workers to pay the union for bargaining on their behalf, thereby weakening organized labor’s clout. The law prompted massive and emotional protests at the state capitol, about an hour from the Panera bakers’ homes. “The climate is very antiunion,” Wood said. “Even my own family gives me grief. But am I asking for a BMW? No. I’m asking for a schedule to be posted on time, to get some time off.” Wood and his fellow bakers launched a website documenting their efforts, titled Panera Bakers Unite. Sprinkled between developments on their case are sharply written posts about income inequality and the shrinking middle class in America. Wood said he’s received emails from other bakers around the country who are facing the same challenges in work and life. The union drive has become a job unto itself, he said, and he doesn’t plan to give it up anytime soon. “I don’t want to hurt the company,” Wood said. “I just want us to be recognized for what we are: the engine. You can’t buy anything from a Panera that we don’t touch.”


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All the W Shades of New York Black BY MALLIKA RAO

HAT KIND of young person collects antiques? The question confronted The Huffington Post when a press release came our way for something called Young Collectors Night. Preliminary research told us that on a scheduled night every year, an army of young people stream into the Park Avenue Armory, a vast, castle-shaped building in Manhattan where the snooty Gilded Age

Antique helmets on display at Young Collectors Night in January 2013. One 400-yearold German helmet was priced at $90,000.


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families used to hang, to look at the items on display for the annual Winter Antiques Show — Turkish rugs, fountains from the 1800s — and perhaps buy one or a couple. We were intrigued. Who were these liquid twenty and thirtysomethings? Would any actually drop $1.2 million on a Wendell Castle desk and chair, the priciest item for sale? The money from ticket sales (at $175 each) would go to East Side House Settlement, a charity that offers classes for underserved kids and adults. The charity is

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A man approached us. ‘Excuse me,’ he said. ‘Are you really interested?’ We indicated yes. It took nothing to be interested.” just two subway stops from the Armory’s Upper East Side digs, and a world away, in the country’s poorest Congressional district, the South Bronx. We called Emily Israel Pluhar in advance. An East Side House Settlement board member and cochair of Young Collectors Night, Emily has privileged access. Her mother, Barbara Israel, runs a stall

The 59th Annual show Winter Antiques Show featured more than 70 exhibitors.


Exit at the center of the Armory stocked with garden statuaries — oversized sculptures that often require multiple union men with tools to move them in. For Emily, who lives in Boston, the several-hundred person event is “a mecca for meeting lots of friends and people we’ve known forever.” At the end of the night, Barbara gives her a private guided tour of the stalls, rattling off facts about any item Emily takes a fancy to. Emily told us to prepare ourselves for “glitzy” and “glamorous.” She doubted any students from the South Bronx would be there. The day arrived. So did we. A guard promised us “all the shades of New York black” inside, meaning black clothes. From the neck up, the scene diversified in a limited sense of the word: lots of red lipstick, two rabbit fur stoles, one hat that looked like a bandage for a head wound, one camera obscuring one distinctive face (that of Bill Cunningham, the legendary photographer, who attends each year), and white smiles bobbing in not-quite-unison. We asked a seller of swords and other hammered metal whether he expected to relieve his stall of anything that night. At the time, he was showing a man who

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looked to be in his early thirties a 400-year-old German helmet, priced at $90,000. The visitor peered into the bowl of the helmet, and fingered a patch of red lining. “I expect to sell everything here in the next five minutes,” the seller told us sternly, in a British accent. “That’s the way to think.” In the bathroom, women were touching up their red lipstick. One asked another where she got her

From the neck up, the scene diversified in a limited sense of the word: lots of red lipstick, two rabbit fur stoles, one hat that looked like a bandage for a head wound … and white smiles bobbing in not-quite-unison.” pants from. “I feel like I’ve seen them before,” she said. “I’d be surprised,” said the woman in pants. “These are Dolce & Gabbana, from 10 years ago.” It seemed as if they might argue about it, but just then, a pair of blondes at the mirror started talking about a shade of red lipstick that looks good on everyone. “This party is always pretty fun, and al-


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ways has good clothes,” someone was saying as we left. Back outside, at a stall draped in 19th-century Turkish kilims, we met Jesse, a long-haired young man who once worked for the kilim-seller, and had returned to pitch in for the night. Jesse looked to us like a potential young collector himself, outfitted as he was in a bow-tie that made his long hair look Victorian. But Jesse assured us he wasn’t,

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before giving us the low-down on the antique Turkish rug market. Stock comes exclusively from collectors in Germany and Switzerland, according to his experience. “There’s nothing in Turkey anymore,” he told us. He did not pause for a moment of silence, and so neither did we. Are young collectors truly a viable clientele, we asked, back on point? Jesse shrugged. “I can’t really say,” he told us, before moving onto a topic that seemed to interest him more, the fact that he makes rap videos now. He told us he was working on

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

Proceeds from the show go to the East Side House Settlement in the Bronx.


Exit a video for Fashion Week. By now the hors-d’oeuvres had vanished. A nearby 18th-century crystal bowl made in England, which had been full of gold-foiled Rolos at the start of the night, was empty. We were drinking on what felt like empty stomachs, egged on by waiters in suits who seemed to be switching out our glasses constantly, each time whispering the new cocktail’s ingredients. Jesse was beginning to feel less like a new friend and more like a lonely kidnapper. We extracted ourselves. A maple gateleg table caught our eye. It stood at the center of a large stall, its elegantly arched legs topped with a plank half smooth and half spider-webbed in white scratch marks. In a sea of $1,800 porcelain snuff boxes, it stood out as respectably used, and useable. A man approached us. “Excuse me,” he said. “Are you really interested?” We indicated yes. It took nothing to be interested: the table was as enchanting as a table can possibly be. “It’s $60,000,” he told us. The scratches, he said, were from baking pins. The table’s smooth half had mostly been folded out of sight, in a home in Rhode Island where it

CULTURE

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

had spent most of its days. He was shouting. “Diamonds,” the Rihanna song, was on high, spun by someone advertised on an entry sign as DJ David Chang. We shouted back that we wished we could afford it, and the seller bowed his head with a woeful smile. The song wound down. “It’s quite alright, that’s how it goes,” he said. Around us, young collectors were collecting mostly

‘I expect to sell everything here in the next five minutes,’ the seller told us sternly, in a British accent. ‘That’s the way to think.’” their coats, from the coat check. Days later, a spokeswoman let us know the results by email. No one bought the $1.2 million desk and chair, or a replica of a famous dog sculpture that Barbara had told us was the most interesting piece in her stall. But plenty of people showed up. East Side House Settlement made $175,000 in ticket sales, enough to buy two German war helmets from the 1600s.


Exit

TASTE TEST

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

Who Makes Trader Joe’s Food? BY KRISTEN AIKEN

T’S NO SECRET that Trader Joe’s sells marked-down name-brand products disguised under its own label. What is a secret is which big brands Trader Joe’s carries — when it comes to publicizing that information, TJ’s remains mum. The price difference between the Trader Joe’s and big brand products is sometimes so big ($2.99 vs. $5.49 for the same box of cereal?!) that it sparked our curiosity. Now, we’re on a quest to discover who’s hiding under those TJ’s labels.

I

PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAMON DAHLEN

First things first: How is Trader Joe’s able to sell its product so cheaply? A major factor is the company’s refusal to bother with advertising or couponing, both of which cost most supermarkets a large chunk of money. (If you’ve never heard of Trader Joe’s till now, that’s why.) Score one for TJ’s. Secondly, Trader Joe’s buys its product directly from the supplier whenever possible, saving even further cost. You may be wondering why big brands are okay with Trader Joe’s marking down their products so drastically. It’s actually


Exit pretty simple: If you were General Mills, would you want your customers finding out they can buy the same box of $4.99 Cheerios at Trader Joe’s for $1.99? We didn’t think so. The secrecy prevents the big brands’ customers from fleeing traditional supermarkets in favor of buying the cheaper Trader Joe’s version. And thus, the big brands are willing to operate under Trader Joe’s cloak of secrecy, under which the “vendor shall not publicize its business relationship with TJ’s in any manner.” And so our taste test begins. We selected 10 Trader Joe’s products and their rumored big-brand matches and tasted them with a panel of judges. We conducted a double-blind tasting — not blind, because it’s important to note visual differences in the products, in this case — and tried our hardest to detect any similarities and differences. Then, we came up with a final verdict. Here’s the main thing we can’t get over, and the moral of the story. For the major price difference between TJ’s and its big brand matches, the difference in taste and quality is so slight that it’s almost nonexistent. We’re reeling with regret over all the money we’ve spent on the big brands in the past. This post is in no way influenced or sponsored by any of the brands involved — especially not Trader Joe’s.

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

TASTE TEST

$2.49

$4.69

CREAM OF TOMATO SOUP TRADER JOE’S VS. PACIFIC TASTING NOTES: Aside from a slight difference in color and thickness (the Trader Joe’s version may have been a bit thicker and darker colored), there was no discernible difference in taste between these two products, leading us to believe ... THE VERDICT: They’re probably the same product.

$1.49

ORGANIC SHELLS AND WHITE CHEDDAR TRADER JOE’S VS. ANNIE’S HOMEGROWN TASTING NOTES: There’s no denying this one. From the packaging to the shape of the shells and the contents of the flavor packet … THE VERDICT: These are the same product.

$3.29


HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

TASTE TEST

Exit

$2.19 $2.29

$4.19

VEGETARIAN CHILI

PRETZEL CHIPS

TRADER JOE’S VS. AMY’S

TRADER JOE’S VS. SNACK FACTORY

TASTING NOTES: Upon first tasting, there’s no difference between these two products. So we took a closer look and noticed a few differences in the amount of tomato chunks and the level of spice, but they’re such slight differences that the same could be found among any two cans of the same product. And then, the kicker: After the blind tasting, we looked at the cans and noticed the chili images on each label were identical, convincing us that …

TASTING NOTES: The Trader Joe’s product comes in small, broken pieces, but appears to be just a broken version of Snack Factory. All of our tasters agreed that the flavor and crunch factor of both products are identical.

THE VERDICT: They’re probably the same product.

$2.99

$3.69

THE VERDICT: These are probably the same product, but we’re guessing Trader Joe’s sells the broken leftover pieces from Snack Factory at a discounted price.

$5.49

RAISIN BRAN TRADER JOE’S VS. POST TASTING NOTES: There is no question that these two products look different. The Trader Joe’s version is darker brown and tastes a bit maltier, while Post tastes sweeter and more “cardboard-like.” Overall, our tasters preferred the Trader Joe’s version. THE VERDICT: These are different products. (But you may want to save some cash and try the Trader Joe’s version.)

$1.99

$4.99

O’S CEREAL TRADER JOE’S VS. CHEERIOS TASTING NOTES: Trader Joe’s O’s are paler and have a milder taste, whereas Cheerios are darker and have more depth of flavor. This leads us to believe that … THE VERDICT: There is a difference in the quality of these two products; however, it’s possible that Joe’s O’s are the undercooked Cheerios rejects.


HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

TASTE TEST

Exit

$2.79

$2.49

$6.49 $4.69

HONEY NUT O’S CEREAL TRADER JOE’S VS. CHEERIOS TASTING NOTES: This is the exact same case as the traditional Joe’s O’s vs. Cheerios. Trader Joe’s product is paler and milder in flavor, whereas Cheerios are darker and wheatier. There’s not much of a discernible difference in fundamental flavors. THE VERDICT: These appear to be slightly different, but it’s possible that Joe’s O’s are the undercooked Cheerio rejects. (And wow, look at the difference in price.)

ALMOND THINS TRADER JOE’S VS. JULES DESTROOPER TASTING NOTES: These look different, but taste exactly the same. Not only is the color slightly off, but the shape is different enough that it makes us wonder whether they can possibly be related. THE VERDICT: These are probably not the same product, but the flavor is so similar that no one would notice the difference if you swapped them.

$3.99 $2.75

$0.44/ounce

$1.99

$0.52/ounce

$3.99

GINGER THINS TRADER JOE’S VS. ANNA’S TASTING NOTES: From looking at these products, they’re clearly not the same. Visually, the scalloped edges are different sizes, and the Trader Joe’s packaging includes twice as many cookies as Anna’s. In terms of flavor, our judges preferred Trader Joe’s — it exhibited more of a spicy flavor and a stronger ginger kick. THE VERDICT: These are not the same. (And Trader Joe’s is the preferred product.)

PITA CHIPS TRADER JOE’S VS. STACY’S TASTING NOTES: There is absolutely no question here. We’re not even going to waste your time … THE VERDICT: These are the same product.


Exit

25 QUESTIONS

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

© 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES FUNDING, LLC.

Nicholas Holt (center) stars as the title character in Jack the Giant Slayer.

Is This Movie Better Than You Think It Will Be? (AND 24 OTHER URGENT QUESTIONS)


J

Exit

01

I haven’t been impressed by the television spots for Jack the Giant Slayer. There’s no chance this movie is good, right? Jack the Giant Slayer is much better than the promotional effort would you lead you to believe. At least, most of the movie is, I should say.

02

What’s the worst part of Jack the Giant Slayer? The first 25 minutes.

03

What’s wrong with the first 25 minutes? Jack the Giant Slayer attempts to tell a more mature version of the Jack and the Beanstalk story. To achieve this, it front-loads the film with a lot of

25 QUESTIONS

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

ACK THE GIANT SLAYER is an updated telling of the Jack and the Beanstalk story starring Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Ewan McGregor (Attack of the Clones). As a service, we answer every question you could possibly have about Jack the Giant Slayer. — Mike Ryan

exposition to explain a giant stem will eventually sprout from a bean plant and extend all the way into Earth’s stratosphere.

04

Is at least part of this exposition done using animation that would look suspect on a Sega Genesis? Yes.

05

06

Do we meet some interesting characters during the first 25 minutes? Boy, is the beginning of this movie muddled with characters; it’s kind of hard to tell who is interesting and who isn’t — at least at first.

At what point will I know that I’ve made it past the muddle? Once the beanstalk goes up, the story tightens and becomes something that could be described as enjoyable.


Exit

25 QUESTIONS

07

08 © 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES FUNDING, LLC.

What five words can you still not believe that you just wrote as a defense for a movie? “Once the beanstalk goes up.” How do things become less muddled after the beanstalk goes up? Let’s just say that once the beanstalk goes up (there it is again), the large group of characters is whittled down to just a few, which makes the proceedings much more enjoyable to watch.

09

Why does a beanstalk “go up” in the first place? Honestly,

it doesn’t matter. If it were possible, I’d recommend that a viewer start the movie right when the beanstalk emerges, armed with the knowledge that (A) there’s a coveted magic bean that people seem to want very much that produces giant stalks, (B) giants live at the top of the stalk and they are dumb and mean, and (C) a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) is trapped up there and needs to be rescued from the aforementioned dumb and mean giants. Who are the people trying to rescue the princess? The only three you really need to worry about are a farm boy named Jack (Nicholas Hoult),

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

Ben Daniels (center) as Fumm, of “Fee, Fi, Fo...” fame.


Exit

11

25 QUESTIONS

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

because his name is in the title; Elmont (Ewan McGregor), an earnest warrior; and Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci), who is the dick of the group. Does Ewan McGregor make a Star Wars reference in Jack the Giant Slayer? Yes.

12

© 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES FUNDING, LLC.

What’s the best part of Jack the Giant Slayer? Stanley Tucci’s Roderick.

13

Is Stanley Tucci channeling Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in Jack the Giant Slayer? Yes, but a more cartoonish version.

14

Does Roderick betray the group at some point? Yes. But, to be fair to him, he all but announces to the group that he is evil from the beginning.

15

Why is Roderick evil? Roderick wants to marry the princess, but she rejects him. Later, it becomes obvious that the princess is falling for Jack (because his name is in the title of the movie), and Roderick doesn’t particularly like that.

16

Does Roderick happen to own a crown that enables the wearer to control the giants? Yes. And, yes, you probably see where all of this is going.

17

Do the giants have individual personalities? Kind of. And at least five of them have names: Fallon, Fee, Fi, Fo and Fumm. But, again, all of the giants are mean and stupid, so each giant’s personality is just a variation of mean and stupid. Does Fallon have two heads for some unknown reason? Yes.

19

Is Fee a tribute to the actor Fra Fee who played Courfeyrac in Les Misérables? No.

Bill Nighy (right) stars as General Fallon, and John Kassir (left) as General Fallon’s small head.


Exit

20

With each word that you are writing about this movie, are you liking it less and less? Well, when I see it written out like this ... but, I swear, while I was watching the movie (sans the first 25 minutes), I enjoyed it.

© 2013 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND LEGENDARY PICTURES FUNDING, LLC.

21

How is this possible? The cast is charming — especially McGregor, whom I haven’t seen smile this much since shooting wrapped on Revenge of the Sith.

22

Is Jack the Giant Slayer surprisingly violent? It’s certainly not gory, but giants routinely pick

25 QUESTIONS

up human beings and eat them like Twix bars.

23

How are the visual effects in Jack the Giant Slayer? Not counting the opening animated exposition segment, pretty great. The beanstalk, in particular, looks fantastic.

24

Given your fascination with this beanstalk, if it called you right now on the phone and asked you on a date, would you go? Yes. I mean, a fictional beanstalk just made a phone call — who wouldn’t go? How many times during this piece did you write the former title of this movie, Jack the Giant Killer, by accident? Three times.

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

Left to right: Ian McShane as King Brahmwell, Ewan McGregor as Elmont, Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabelle and Nicholas Hoult as Jack.


01

TFU

JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES (HAITI); PA WIRE (BREWER); GETTY IMAGES (PRISON, NURSE)

Exit

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

The UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti Is Responsible for 8,000 Deaths

3

British Politician: Disabled Children Should Be Put Down

2

BUSINESSWEEK GOES RACIST-CHIC FOR HOUSING BUBBLE COVER

4

MAN COMMITS CRIME SO HE CAN GET PRISON HEALTH CARE

05 Women Make Up 91% of the Nursing Workforce. But Male Nurses Earn More.


06 Exit

HUFFINGTON 03.10.13

TFU

GETTY IMAGES (SITTING, DOG); GETTY IMAGES/PHOTOALTO (DREADLOCKS)

Skechers’ New Shoe Line for Teen Girls Is Called Daddy’$ Money

7

Seven Ways Sitting Will Kill You

8

9

10

KIDS PHOTOSHOPPED TO LOOK LIKE ADULTS ARE PRETTY CREEPY

Hair Jackers Steal Dreadlocks Right Off Their Victim’s Heads

Remember When Animals Were Tried in a Court of Law? Neither Do We.


Editor-in-Chief:

Arianna Huffington Editor: John Montorio Managing Editor: Gazelle Emami Senior Editor: Adam J. Rose Editor-at-Large: Katy Hall Senior Politics Editor: Sasha Belenky Senior Voices Editor: Stuart Whatley Pointers Editor: Marla Friedman Quoted Editor: Annemarie Dooling Viral Editor: Dean Praetorius Editorial Assistant: Jenny Macksamie Editorial Intern: Emma Diab Creative Director: Josh Klenert Design Director: Andrea Nasca Photography Director: Anna Dickson Associate Photo Editor: Wendy George Designers: Martin Gee, Troy Dunham Production Director: Peter Niceberg AOL MagCore Head of UX and Design: Jeremy LaCroix Product Managers: Mimmie Huang, Gabriel Giordani Architect: Scott Tury Developers: Mike Levine, Carl Haines, Terence Worley, Ron Anderson, Sudheer Agrawal QA: Joyce Wang, Amy Golliver Sales: Mandar Shinde, Jami Lawrence AOL, Inc. Chairman & CEO:

Tim Armstrong

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