FROM Jim Owen
America's National Parks under Pressure From Maine to California, America's most popular government program is in trouble, just as vacation season gets under way. Some 300 million people visit national parks, monuments and other federally protected places every year. Despite increased appropriations, almost 400 of these may cut services to meet increasing costs, and managers at 12 of the most highly visited facilities say they can't meet their budgets. Meantime, Congress has told the Department of Energy and Bureau of Land Management Congress to speed approval of "energy corridors" to bring gas and electricity to the booming Southwest. On this archived edition of To the Point, will Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Shenandoah, and Acadia offer travelers what they expect? Do energy corridors threaten protection of parks and other public lands for future generations?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?