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Andy Dandino / USDA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's expanding a program to develop the use of plant-based plastic, rubber and fiber used in manufacturing.

When the power grid fails

Jun 18, 2015
Scott Tong

The nation's system of power plants, utility poles and electrical wires is aging. And compared with other developed countries, it’s less and less reliable. Among the worst hit states: Connecticut.

Three historic storms hit the state in 2011 and 2012. Each time, more than 600,000 residents lost power for days. More than lights went out: household water comes from wells in the town of Marlborough.

PODCAST: The new face of the $10 bill

Jun 18, 2015
Mark Garrison

First up, we'll talk about what the Fed makes of your shopping habits — What we're earning and how we're spending it factors into what the Fed plans to do with interest rates. And with the announcement that a new $10 bill will feature a woman in 2020, we'll take a look at why Hamilton's face, and not Jackson's, is being replaced. And construction of an 18-story optical-infrared telescope was set to begin on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, but native Hawaiian activists protested the telescope would harm the environment and desecrate a sacred mountain.

Marketplace

Airing on Thursday, June 18, 2015: European finance ministers are meeting today to what to do about the situation in Greece. We'll talk about what action, if any, can be expected out of this meeting. And bird flu is sending the price of eggs higher, but oddly enough, it’s sending chicken prices lower. We'll talk about why. Plus, what happens when most of your city workers can’t afford to live in the city? We take a closer look at Marin County in California, where the high median home price forces many workers to commute from elsewhere.

So you want to fund a film festival

Jun 18, 2015
Adrienne Hill

Have you noticed lately how every city seems to have its own film festival — And we’re not talking Sundance or Cannes. Most are small affairs, unencumbered by Hollywood royalty and studio execs writing big checks for small movies.  

How do all those festivals stay in business?

Putting on a film festival takes money. And funding is as all-over-the-map as the film festivals themselves.

And The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Jun 17, 2015
Juhyun Lee / KBIA

  Demolition crews arrived on site early this morning to begin work on the Downtown Shakespeare’s Pizza location. A crowd of local residents and journalists gathered and watch the process unfold.

L.A. installs water pipes that can survive disaster

Jun 17, 2015
Steve Gardner

Los Angeles water officials say we have a lot to learn from the Japanese when it comes to protecting water infrastructure from natural disaster. Japan has severe earthquakes, and for almost 40 years the Kubota Corporation, a competitor of Caterpillar, has made quake-resistant ductile-iron water pipes. Underground water pipes can break in an earthquake, cutting off water supply to streets and sometimes entire neighborhoods.

Marketplace for Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Jun 17, 2015

Airing on Wednesday, June 17, 2015:  In our installment of “The Weak Link,” Marketplace explores the 710 gap — a five-mile stretch of highway in LA  that has been fought over for almost 60 years. Issues surrounding the highway include NIMBY-ism, bureaucratic tangles, haves vs. have nots, regional politics and lots and lots of money. Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal explains. Plus: as a part of "The Weak Link" series, we also take a look at the aging cast iron water pipes under the streets of Los Angeles. Many are corroding and they're dangerously vulnerable in big earthquakes.

Closing the 710 freeway gap

Jun 17, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Daisy Palacios

We're doing a series this week about the perilous state of the infrastructure in this country. The power grid, water supply, roads — all stuff an economy pretty much has to have to function. However, all that stuff in this country keeps breaking or doesn’t get built.

One example of this is right near Marketplace headquarters in Los Angeles. A 4 1/2-mile stretch of infrastructure that, so far, has not been built and has had people fighting over it for about 59 years.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

Joplin's former master developer is contesting a $1.4 million judgment the city won against the firm for defaulting on its agreements.

PODCAST: Will Fitbit stick?

Jun 17, 2015
David Brancaccio

When interest rates finally go up, don't expect them to skyrocket. David Kelly, chief global strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds, joins us with more. Plus, undocumented workers in the Dominican Republic face a deadline today to register with the government or possibly face deportation. Eduardo A. Gamarra, a political science professor at Florida International University, gives us some context on the situation. And with Fitbit's upcoming IPO, we look at the economic durability of the wearable market as the Applewatch joins the race.

Airing on Wednesday, June 17, 2015: We know that words matters, especially in the case of words on the way from the Federal Reserve. For more, we talk to Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stiefel Nicolaus. Plus, are we experiencing a baby bounce? While the great recession slowed down the birth rate in America, the numbers are coming back up. We'll also talk about the Port of New Jersey, where the roadways around it are so congested that picking up one shipping container and trucking it five miles can take all day.

Fitbit's many steps about to pay off in IPO

Jun 17, 2015
Tim Fitzsimons

Fitbit’s initial public offering is scheduled for Thursday. Projected share prices value the fitness tracker company at roughly $4 billion.

But the newest entrant to the wearable technology market, the Apple Watch, has investors wondering about the future growth potential for competitors.

Dan Ledger, a principal at Endeavour Partners, says Fitbit isn’t trying to be the everything computer for your wrist.

Fedex reports on last quarter and plans ahead

Jun 17, 2015
Gigi Douban

FedEx reports fourth-quarter results Wednesday morning. It’s enjoyed a stellar year, and the company hopes to keep the streak going. 

While international shipping has not been great for FedEx, Richard Armstrong, chairman of supply chain consultants Armstrong & Associates, says FedEx has a plan. 

“UPS and FedEx frankly have a duopoly in the U.S. market,” he says. “They’re probably going to build the same kind of thing in the European market.” 

L.A.'s biggest vulnerability lies under its streets

Jun 16, 2015
Steve Gardner

Ask people in Los Angeles whether they have extra water on hand in case of a big earthquake, and you usually get a sheepish response. “Nothing, like, substantial,” one 23-year-old L.A. native says. “If water were taken away from me for a week or two, I’d probably be screwed at that point.”

Helping global trade's 'losers'

Jun 16, 2015
Aaron Gross

The vote in the House of Representatives last Friday that effectively stalled President Obama’s push for a big Asia-Pacific trade deal has brought attention to a little-known worker assistance program called Trade Adjustment Assistance. That program’s been around since the 1960s to help Americans who lose their jobs because of global trade.  

Marketplace for Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jun 16, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, June, 16, 2015: Amid the confusing welter of deadlines, institutions, egos and last-minute talks, we look at where we stand in the Greek debt crisis. It’s an issue that never seems to leave the headlines or come any closer to resolution. Next: everybody knows Californian is going through one of its worst droughts and how it emphasizes the state's reliance on imported water. What's less apparent is how vulnerable the aging water infrastructure is, especially in Southern California.

Marketplace for Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jun 16, 2015

Airing on Tuesday, June 16, 2015:

Meter Permits Available in Downtown Columbia in August

Jun 16, 2015
Katie Cammarata / KBIA

Some 10-hour parking meters off Locust Street, Second Street and parts of Broadway will soon have permits available for $35 a month. 

PODCAST: Tux rentals tucker out

Jun 16, 2015
Mark Garrison

The Pope weighs in on climate change, and why it's an economic change, as well. Plus, the Army is looking to replace its Humvee with a new vehicle. And that means an opportunity for a defense contractor. Next: it used to be a rite of passage to rent a tuxedo when it came time to go to prom or get married. But the tuxedo rental business may be fading away. We take a look at why.

Airing on Tuesday, June 16, 2015: Goldman Sachs gets into business with ... normal humans. Plus, in recent undercover tests, the Transportation Security Administration failed to detect weapons and explosives in 95 percent of trials. The TSA’s acting boss was immediately reassigned. We look at what it would take to improve the TSA. Next: In our series "Weak Link: The state of infrastructure," seismologist Lucy Jones explains why it’s important for scientists to learn how to tell stories and to engage the public in difficult but critical subjects like infrastructure.

The TSA needs more than a quick fix

Jun 16, 2015
Amy Scott

On Tuesday, the Transportation Security Administration is under the microscope again on Capitol Hill. A House subcommittee is expected to take a closer look at how the TSA vets airport workers after an investigation found that 73 workers with ties to terrorism passed background checks.

Earlier this month, the TSA’s acting director was reassigned following reports that in undercover checks, airport screeners failed to detect mock explosives and weapons 95 percent of the time.

Marketplace Tech for Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Jun 16, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Tuesday, June 16, 2015: First up, we'll talk to Lindsey Turrentine, Editor-in-chief at CNET.com, about why Belgium is suing Facebook. Then, Melvin Backman, finance and markets reporter for Quartz, joins us to talk about why neighborhood branches still matter in the age of mobile banking. Plus, we'll talk about about sexism and the gaming community with Shannon Sun-Higginson, director of ‘GTFO’.

To sway public, scientists need to tell stories

Jun 16, 2015
Steve Gardner

Persuading the public to pony up for infrastructure can stump the best politicians. It can also frustrate the engineers and scientists warning about the dangers of ignoring crumbling roads, bridges and water systems.

Bridging the edtech gap from Oyler School to home

Jun 15, 2015
Amy Scott and Mary Wiltenburg

Ray Nephew’s seventh-grade English class at Oyler School is about as high-tech as it gets. Every student has a laptop to use. On one wall, a device turns his whiteboard into an interactive touch screen. A 32-inch “coffee table” computer sits idle against another wall, covered with a cloth.

“That thing is malfunctioning,” Nephew says.

Nephew explains that it is a great tool — when the computer works. 

"It’s just another way for kids to be engaged," he says.

Marketplace for Monday, June 15, 2015

Jun 15, 2015

Airing on Monday, June 15, 2015: As more schools invest in technology, a new sort of digital divide has emerged. Kids may have access to the internet and the latest devices in class, but almost a third of families don't have broadband access at home. Marketplace's Amy Scott returns to Oyler School in Cincinnati, where kids are getting a taste of what they've been missing. Next: if you’ve watched “The Sopranos,” you’ve seen the Pulaski Skyway in the opening credits. The New Jersey bridge, the country's first "superhighway," is falling apart.

PODCAST: Is this the year VR will dominate?

Jun 15, 2015
David Brancaccio

On Friday, the house of representatives failed to pass measures that would have granted President Obama a kind of fast-track authority to negotiate the so-called Trans-Pacific Parternship. Claiming victory here: labor unions. More on that. And with the E3 video game conference beginning Tuesday, will this be the year that virtual reality takes prominence in gaming? Plus, a huge swathe of people don’t take all their vacation in this country. To what extent is corporate culture and badly designed vacation policies to blame?

A trans fat ban might just be the icing on the cake

Jun 15, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

About a year and a half ago, the FDA said that partially hydrogenated oils — the source of trans fat — “are not generally recognized as safe.” 

Would an outright ban be a big burden for the food industry? Food companies say they’ve already eliminated 86 percent of trans fats voluntarily.

“There’s been huge progress," says Michael Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest. “And now the FDA needs to nail the coffin shut,” he says.

Vacation, all I ever wanted ... but I don't take one

Jun 15, 2015
Mark Garrison

Many Americans get frustrated when they hear about people who work for European companies; those lucky souls with upwards of 6 weeks paid vacation, not to mention generous family leave and a long slate of national holidays.

But the relatively stingy vacation policies of American companies aren’t the whole story as to why Americans take relatively less vacation time overall. Many Americans fortunate enough to get paid vacation don’t even use up all the days they do have. That can be bad for employees and companies alike.

Marketplace Tech for Monday, June 15, 2015

Jun 15, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Monday, June 15, 2015: Will this be the year that virtual reality takes it place in gaming? We’ll see when the E3 conference kicks off. More on that. Plus, it's been three days since the FCC's Net Neutrality rules officially took effect. We'll talk to Brian Fung, technology reporter for the Washington Post, about what that means.

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