On June 21, 1985, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it was ending more than a century of national tours. Not quite one year later, on May 31, 1986, the very last tour closed its doors with a farewell performance in Minneapolis’s Northrop Auditorium. Many commentators opined that this was a severe blow to the Twin Cities opera scene, from which it would be hard-pressed to recover – an especially topical comment, given that the final curtain dropped on Violetta’s death scene in La Traviata. Three decades later, a very different scene unfolds on both banks of the Mississippi. Minnesota Opera, then focused on experimental new works, seized opportunity by the (Viking helmet) horns and broadened its programming to encompass more of the classics that the Met had formerly imported.
Above: The Monticello reactor. Note the tall stack used to vent cancer-causing radioactive gases. (Please forgive the personal notes in this post. So often we debate the technical merits of nuke power, without sufficiently considering the human side, the human impacts, of the decisions getting made. This was originally posted on my blog alanmuller.com.)
I’ve had more of a relationship with the nuclear industry than seems ideal. In Delaware, I can look out a window and see the domes of three reactors. In 2000, I wrote in an alert:
“Parts of New Castle County (DE) are in the “ingestion zones” (= within fifty miles) of 7 nuclear reactors (Limerick 1 and 2, Peach Bottom 2 and 3, Salem 1 and 2, and Hope Creek). While the nuclear industry has always claimed that it’s radiation output is too small to cause health problems, more and more reports are linking proximity to nuclear facilities to breast cancer, leukemia, childhood cancer and birth defects, and other health problems.” For a while, for some reason, I was on a Nuclear Regulatory Commission “call list” usually reserved for public officials. Whenever something official was up with my favorite three reactors, a pleasant and well-informed NRC official would call in advance. It was a good lesson in how artfully the nuclear industry is able to manipulate official perceptions and mainstream media coverage. I remember the rainy night of March 28, 2004, spent in Londonderry Township (Middletown) Pennsylvania, at the site of the Three Mile Island nuke plant. We listened to people, on the 25th anniversary of the meltdown there, talk about the impacts on their lives of the meltdown. Continue Reading
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“But should they really publish such things?”