A sweeping transportation bill being debated in Congress addresses how to prop up dwindling funds for the nation's aging highways. States with their own budget shortfalls are facing the same challenge. In California, researchers are trying to stretch those resources by developing next-generation pavements that are quieter and more fuel-efficient to drive on.
Teacher Ruben Gonzalez conducts the South Gate High School band. According to Gonzalez, thieves passed up a computer as well as a stash of valuable flutes, saxophones and clarinets to get to the school's tubas.
Credit Krissy Clark for NPR
The words "black market" usually summon images of drugs, guns or pirated DVDs — not tubas. Yet authorities in Los Angeles say the instrument is in such high demand that the black market may be what's driving a wave of local tuba thefts.
Ruben Gonzalez is teaching an after-lunch band class at the scene of one recent tuba crime — the music room at South Gate High School outside L.A. He starts with a request only a band teacher would make.
"Make sure we rinse out folks — we don't need any hamburgers or hot chilies coming through those instruments," he says.
Originally published on Mon February 13, 2012 4:20 pm
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals heard a challenge to California's 15-year ban on using affirmative action in public college admissions.
As the AP put it, Proposition 209, as it's known, "barred racial, ethnic or gender preferences in public education, employment and contracting." And over the 15 years since it was approved by California voters, that same court has upheld it.