March 14, 2019: What to Know 

  • Bingo Barnes
  • Could Boise transition entirely to clean energy by 2040? In a press release, the Boise City Council said it is considering a renewable energy initiative that would do just that. The plan, called Boise's Energy Future, is set for a public hearing at the regularly scheduled Tuesday, April 2, meeting of the council. According to the press release, the plan has already received extensive public input, as well as a public opinion survey conducted in conjunction with Boise State University, which concluded that 77 percent of Boiseans either strongly or moderately agree with a plan to pivot to renewable energy sources. It's also the product of a stakeholder group that includes business leaders, community organizations and local utilities. Currently, Boise spends approximately $245 million a year on energy across homes, businesses and industries, 75 percent of which comes in the form of electricity, with the remainder coming from natural gas. View the draft plan here, and make comments on the plan here.

    • Flickr, Beto O'Rourke for Congress Committee, (CC BY-ND 2.0)
    Beto O'Rourke, who made national headlines in his bid to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in last year's miderm elections, is the latest democrat to announce a run for president, NPR reports. O'Rourke's statewide campaign in Texas drew comparisons to President Barack Obama for the candidate's youth and dynamism—he's a progressive who raised $80 million, much of it in small donations—but as a three-term member of the Texas House of Representatives, his experience on the national stage has been questioned.
    • Public Domain/Department of Justice
  • In Connecticut, the parents of victims of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School scored a court win against gun manufacturers. Federal law broadly shields gun manufacturers from liability for crimes committed with the firearms they produce, but the families of Sandy Hook victims have found a novel way around those protections: suing manufacturers for damages based on what they say are opaque and unfair trade practices. They have alleged that slogans like "Consider your man card reissued" and images of war and violence used as marketing strategies for the AR-15-style Bushmaster (the weapon used in the infamous attack) may have made the weapons more appealing to mass shooters like Adam Lanza. On Wednesday, the Connecticut Supreme Court agreed that their suit could move forward, The New York Times reports, with justices writing in the majority opinion that "it falls to a jury to decide whether the promotional schemes alleged in the present case arise to the level of illegal trade practices, and whether fault for the tragedy can be laid at their feet."
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