About Wanderings

Each week I will post my current syndicated newspaper column that focuses upon social issues, the media, pop culture and whatever might be interesting that week. During the week, I'll also post comments (a few words to a few paragraphs) about issues in the news. These are informal postings. Check out http://www.facebook.com/walterbrasch And, please go to http://www.greeleyandstone.com/ to learn about my latest book.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

You Can’t Wash Away Fracking’s Effects

PHOTO: Gary F. Clar
by Walter Brasch

    José Lara just wanted a job.
    A company working in the natural gas fields needed a man to power wash wastewater tanks. Clean off the debris. Make them shining again.
    And so José Lara became a power washer for the Rain for Rent Co.
    “The chemicals, the smell was so bad. Once I got out, I couldn’t stop throwing up. I couldn’t even talk,” Lara said in his deposition, translated from Spanish.
    The company that had hired him didn’t provide him a respirator or protective clothing. That’s not unusual in the natural gas fields.
    José Lara did his job until he no longer could work.
    At the age of 42, he died from pancreatic and liver cancer.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Numbering the Super Bowl

by Walter Brasch

There are a lot of numbers for this weekend’s Super Bowl. Let’s begin with ticket prices.
Tickets are $850 to $1250. That’s right. $850 to $1250 per ticket. That’s if you can find one. Most tickets are bought by the super-wealthy and corporations, and then deducted as business expenses.
If you’re desperate, scalpers can get you a ticket for the upper decks for somewhere between $2,000 and $5,0000.
A suite in the 400 level goes for between $100,000 and $300,000. It’s also tax-deductible for most who want to bring a few of their closest friends and business associates. The first Super Bowl tickets in 1967 maxed out at just $12 a seat.