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"The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination" -- Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic.

* ProPublica continues its coverage of the petroleum industry and environmental oversight: "Injection wells have proliferated over the last 60 years, in large part because they are the cheapest, most expedient way to manage hundreds of billions of gallons of industrial waste generated in the U.S. each year. Yet the dangers of injection are well known: In accidents dating back to the 1960s, toxic materials have bubbled up to the surface or escaped, contaminating aquifers that store supplies of drinking water."

http://www.propublica.org/article/trillion-gallon-loophole-lax-rules-for-drillers-that-inject-pollutants

* California shutters its signature redevelopment program to address urban decay. (Bridge reported recently on the impact of property tax trends on Michigan's local redevelopment programs.)

http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/redevelopment-in-california-the-program-that-disappeared-85899418135

* Jack Lessenberry assesses the unpredecented attempt by Manuel Moroun and family to use the ballot process to advance private financial interests:

http://www.michiganradio.org/post/commentary-what-matters-most-november

* Two captains of the starship Enterprise get tangled up in the details of cable TV policy. It's nerd policy wonk heaven!

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2012/09/20/patrick_stewart_and_william_shatner_complain
_about_their_cable_service_on_twitter_.html

* Life expectancy is crashing among white women without a high school diploma. Researchers aren't sure of a full explanation for the trend:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/us/life-expectancy-for-less-educated-whites-in-us-is-shrinking.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

* Federal budget politics -- the oncoming sequester -- could cost the state $1 billion next year. Imagine that circumstance arising if voters approve Proposal 5, the constitutional amendment that would severely limit how legislators can make tax changes:

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120924/POLITICS02/209240335/1022/POLITICS/Mich-may-lose-1B-U-S-goes-off-fiscal-cliff

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