To the Point Topics for April 22, 2010 Show

These were the topics of discussion for the two To the Point shows we taped on April 22, 2010. You will be able to find the shows on our YouTube channel and on the To the Point website soon!

Show 1

Topic 1

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will not accept demands that Israel stop building in occupied East Jerusalem. Will this cause a new flare up in violence or is Israel using this as a bargaining chip to jump start stalled Palestinian – Israeli peace talks?

Topic 2

On April 16, the Securities and Exchange commission filed a complaint against Goldman, Sachs & Company and one of its employees Fabrice Tourre. The suit alleges that Goldman, Sachs created a synthetic housing-market bond that was sure to fail, sold the bond to customers, and then conspired with a short seller to bet against it. Could this one bond and the people involved have triggered the collapse of the financial markets, and one of the worst recessions in recent history, all while Goldman Sachs posted record profits?

Topic 3

The Portland City Council recently approved a plan that would impose new regulations on where and how developers can build along an 11-mile stretch of the Willamette River. The River Plan, as it’s called, would require developers to set aside 15 percent of their property for landscaping when they start projects, and would require any existing project that expands a business’s footprint would undergo a new city review process. Many businesses along the river are already crying foul, and rumor has it that Washington is already courting the ports and rail yards to move north. Is the new River Plan the best way to strike a balance between businesses and the river environment, or will it just drive businesses out of the state?

Show 2

Topic 1

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki made a successful appeal to the Iraqi court to order a recount of votes for the recent parliamentary elections, due to allegations of widespread fraud. Election results showed former prime minister Ayad Allawi with a slim lead. Will this recount signal an end to the Maliki government and a shift in US-Iraq relations?

Topic 2

The FAA recently imposed a moratorium on all new wind projects in the Mid-Columbia region of Oregon. The reason? The wind turbines interfere with a military radar site in Fossil. Wind farms developed by large corporations and private land owners in Wasco, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, and Klickitat counties have time-sensitive binding power purchase agreements and a wide variety of contracts in place that could cost the Mid-Columbia region to lose $2-3 billion dollars in new investments, jobs, property taxes, land leases, and other economic activities if the ban is not lifted. Did the FAA blindside these projects by shutting them down in such a critical stage, and do the landowners have any recourse? What’s the real story here?

Topic 3

The Portland Police Bureau has been under siege for recent actions resulting in numerous deaths. Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman requested further review, and the FBI is now beginning an investigation into at least one specific incident, the fatal police shooting of Aaron Campbell, an unarmed man who was shot in the back earlier this year. If the investigation finds violations of federal criminal civil rights statutes, what can and should be done to get the police bureau back on track?

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