The breast-feeding report card (Five by 8 – 9/14/10)

1) Have you ever noticed that the most educated states tend to also be the healthiest states? Minnesota has been one of the healthiest states in the nation and it scores high in the breast-feeding report card, released by the Centers for Disease Control. Fifty-one percent of babies born in 2007 were breastfed at least through 6 months, according to the survey.

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The report says too many states aren’t providing enough support for breastfeeding mothers. Minnesota is one of the states that has laws mandating that employers make provisions for mothers who are breastfeeding.

2) This picture, one of the iconic images of the civil rights era, was taken by Ernest C. Withers.

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Withers, who chronicled the civil rights movement with his photography, died in 2007. This week, the Commercial Appeal newspaper — after a two-year investigation — unmasked Withers as an FBI informant. It’s raises two questions: (1) Does it change his legacy? and (2) How many newspapers still invest in investigations that might take two years to deliver results?

3) It’s Fashion Week in New York. It’s a big deal, of course, because it gives us a glimpse at the fashion trends heading our way.

Seriously.

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4) A new twist on living green: Dying green. The Fargo Forum says environmentally friendly burials are reaching the Midwest, although Wisconsin is the only state in the area that has “natural” burial grounds. There are only 22 in the entire country. Even cremation is being made smoke-free, it says.

Now here’s your factoid for the next dinner party: Americans “consume” 827,000 gallons of toxic embalming fluid each year.

5) Greyhound, the bus company — who travels by bus, anymore? — has learned a lot from the airlines. It’s started tacking on fairly outrageous fees, the LA Times reports. It’ll cost you $18 to buy a bus ticket for someone else (who gives bus tickets as a gift?).

Bonus: A homeowner took some video of the San Bruno gas line explosion.

Sometimes, it makes more sense to put down the iPhone and run.

TODAY’S QUESTION

Tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration are set to expire, and leaders in Congress and the White House are debating whether to extend some or all of them. Should the Bush tax cuts be extended?

WHAT WE’RE DOING

Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: The 30 schools that were identified earlier this year as the state’s worst performers have kicked off the school year. What will be different for those schools this year and what ramifications do those turnaround efforts have elsewhere in the state?

Second hour: Louis Guillette’s research on endocrine disruptors and their impact on alligators has raised new awareness of environmental pollutants in our water. He argues that the impact of his work, and the research being done by scientists in Minnesota, goes beyond the animal world.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: NPR health reporter Julie Rovner discusses the federal health care law: What takes effect now, and what may be changed by Congress?

Second hour: The first in a series of three gubernatorial candidate forums from the U of M Humphrey Institute. The first features DFLer Mark Dayton.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: Children at work. The recession was global, and as parents desperately seek jobs, sometimes their children end up at work. From the worst kinds of child labor in sweatshops and cocoa fields, to chores on the family farm, where do you draw the line?

Second hour: Suzanne Vega discusses women in music.

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) - NPR’s Nancy Lebens has the next installment in our continuing coverage on communities’ struggles as they try to deal with budget cuts. This week is the deadline for city officials to set their tax levels for 2011.

A Stillwater medical clinic is on the cutting edge of a part of the new health care law known as “shared decision-making,” which attempts to educate patients about the pros and cons of different kinds of treatments for diseases such as breast cancer and prostate cancer where there is no one best course of action. MPR’s health reform reporter, Elizabeth Stawicki, will have that story.

St. Stephens Shelter in Minneapolis is sponsoring a photo show at the Burnett Gallery in the swanky Chambers Hotel. Each photo is accompanied by a phone number where you can hear a message from the person in the picture. MPR’s Euan Kerr will report.