Short Takes: News From All Over

September 13

| September 2007

Struggling to Reopen California's Only Tribal College
By Shadi Rahimi, Indian Country Today
After California's only tribal college, Deganawidah-Quetzalcoatl University, closed abruptly in 2005, the administration ordered students to leave the campus and seek education elsewhere. Some students, however, defied the administration and refused to abandon the land. More than two years later, 25-year-old former student Chris Yazzie is the lone standoff holdout on the campus' 643 acres, where he holds drum circles and gardening classes, records rock albums, and tirelessly works to rebuild the school. -- Cara Binder

Black Ops Jungle: The Academy of Military-Industrial-Complex Studies
By Chris Colin, Mother Jones
Seventy five students at Maryland's Joppatowne High School are learning the ins and outs of homeland security and emergency preparedness in a new program dubbed by Chris Colin as 'homeland security high.' Defense firms, with help from federal, state, and local agencies, funded the course, which teaches students about cybersecurity, geospatial intelligence, and terror attacks. According to Colin, 'Critics see the school as a troubling landmark: a public school, possibly the first of many, that is an active participant in the war on terror.' -- Cara Binder

The Road Home
By Linda Heuman, Plenty
Ten years ago the Zapotec village of Benito Ju?rez took an unusual approach to counter its growing emigration problem: ecotourism. So far, Linda Heuman reports, the town has managed to preserve its indigenous ways, bolster its economy, fend off timber companies, and stem the tide of young people crossing the border in search of better paying jobs. -- Chris Gehrke

Drop Spots
By Brijetta Hall, Dan Phiffer and Ed Purver
A Drop Spot is a grab-bag 'alternative mailbox' -- half swap-meet, half interactive art installation. Here's how it works: You run a search on the Drop Spot website, find a Drop Spot near you, take the present awaiting you, and leave one of your own. The site suggests 'small things that you've made yourself,' like a mix CD, or a wacky curio, perhaps a strange vegetable. It's like the office Secret Santa, but without the gnarly candy canes. -- Brendan Mackie

The New Land Rush
By Erin Halcomb and Jonathan Thompson, High Country News
Coloradan hikers are discovering that many of their beloved mountain trails are now off limits because they cut through private land dating back to the post-Civil War mining land rush. While the mineral wealth is long since gone, these claims are generating a new kind of land rush among real estate developers looking to build the next fashionable mountain getaway. The land fever has also created a bureaucratic 'headache' as rural counties try to figure out how to navigate land-use issues 'in places where the idea of building a house once seemed preposterous.' -- Brendan Mackie

Brazil: Quilombo Communities Fight Exclusion
By Fabiana Frayssine, Inter Press Service via Upside Down World
In the 17th and 18th centuries, escaped slaves in Brazil would often band together in isolated jungles or rugged mountains in communities called quilombo. Now, as sprawling urban areas absorb the quilombos, revealing their unique culture, but also their isolation and poverty.?Inter Press Service takes a look at the government's development plan to help develop these areas, which have among the worst childhood malnourishment rates in Brazil, while still preserving their heritage. -- Brendan Mackie

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