Total Clips: 30
Headline Date Outlet Links
(Trudy Steuernagel) Autism is a challenge in murder case 03/29/2009 Los Angeles Times Text
Wire Sky Walker watches recordings of "The Price Is Right" over and over again on a TV outside his jail cell, a calming ritual for the autistic teenager, who is prone to erratic behavior swings when his routine is changed. He also gets his favorite b......
(Trudy Steuernagel) Son of late KSU professor sent to state facility 03/27/2009 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text View Clip
The autistic teen accused of the fatal beating of his mother was moved to a state facility in Toledo this week. Sky Walker, 18, will be at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center indefinitely, a spokesman for the Portage County Sheriff's office said. ......
(Trudy Steuernagel) Son of late KSU professor sent to state facility 03/27/2009 Akron Beacon Journal, The Text
Mar. 27--The autistic teen accused of the fatal beating of his mother was moved to a state facility in Toledo this week. Sky Walker, 18, will be at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center indefinitely, a spokesman for the Portage County Sheriff's office......
(Trudy Steuernagel) Autistic teen moved to Toledo facility Accused of killing mom 03/27/2009 Record-Courier Text View Clip
By Matt Fredmonsky Record-Courier staff writer A state mental health facility in Toledo is now responsible for the autistic teenager charged with murder in the death of his mother, Kent State University professor Gertrude Trudy Steuernagel. Until Tue......
(Trudy Steuernagel) Walker Moved To Mental Health Facility 03/28/2009 Akron News Now Text View Clip
The son of late Kent State University professor Gertrude 'Trudy' Steuernagel, is taken to a state mental health facility for an indefinite stay. The Record Courier reports Sky Walker is being housed at the Northwestern Ohio Developmental Center in Toled......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Question President Obama open to America's questions 03/27/2009 St. Louis American Text View Clip
President Obama opened the doors of the White House to the people at a townhall meeting yesterday (Thurs., Mar. 26). Listed below is a full transcript of the detailed question and answer session. THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Well, it is great to se......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team working the web 03/27/2009 Sydney Morning Herald Text View Clip
Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are ......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team working the web 03/27/2009 The Age Text View Clip
Email Normal font Large font Saved Anne Davies Washington correspondent March 28, 2009 Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now th......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Bathurst Western Advocate Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Cooma Monaro Express Text View Clip
Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are ......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Northwest Tasmania Advocate Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Illawarra Mercury Text View Clip
Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are ......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Ballarat Courier Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Sydney Morning Herald Text View Clip
Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are ......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Central Western Daily Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Northern Daily Leader Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Independent Weekly Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Manning River Times Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web 03/27/2009 Canberra Times Text View Clip
ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which inc......
(KSU Students Question to Obama) President Obama's Never-Ending Virtual Town Hall 03/27/2009 Huffington Post, The Text View Clip
'We're actually going to have some live stuff,' explained President Obama, 'instead of some virtual stuff.' On that plucky note, Obama essentially ended the first open, democratically operated virtual town hall in White House history, turning his attention......
(Vitale) OBAMA ANSWERED QUESTION SUBMITTED BY KENT STATE STUDENT ALEX VITALE 03/27/2009 Channel 3 News Midday - WKYC-TV Text
THE VIDEO RELEASED YESTERDAY SHOWS RTA DRIVER ANGELA WILLIAMS WHO STRUCK 59-YEAR-OLD PATRICK MERRILL OF BEREA. HE WAS CROSSING ONTARIO STREET. HE DIED FROM HIS INJURIES ON WEDNESDAY. RTA FIRED HER THREE YEARS AGO FOR HITTING ANOTHER PEDESTRIAN. THAT PE......
Kent State seeking input on plans for May 4 visitors' center (Davis, Harvey) 03/28/2009 Record-Courier Text View Clip
By Colin McEwen Record-Courier staff writer A new Kent State University visitors center is in the works for those seeking to learn more about the events on May 4, 1970, that resulted in the deaths of four students and the wounding of nine others. ......
Kent State making move downtown; university to lease space for offices (Lefton, Kolbe) 03/29/2009 Record-Courier Text View Clip
By Matt Fredmonsky Record-Courier staff writer Kent State University is getting ready to make history in downtown Kent on the eve of the schools centennial celebration. The university is planning to occupy about 6,000 square feet of office and ret......
Free Kent concert features Miami String Quartet (Chan, Yu Jin, Meng Robinson, Robinson) 03/29/2009 Stow Sentry Text View Clip
Kent State University's Hugh A. Glauser School of Music will host the internationally recognized Miami String Quartet with special guest, renowned pianist Andr-Michel Schub, as they perform their spring concert on April 4 at 7:30 p.m. The concert will b......
(KSU Tuscarawas) SBDC schedules financial summits (Spencer) 03/30/2009 Weirton Daily Times, The Text View Clip
Email: ' ' *To: <--TO Email REQUIRED! *From: <--FROM Email REQUIRED! STEUBENVILLE The SDB Finance Corp. will hold a growth summit on financial programs at Jefferson Community College May 22 as part of a series of financial summits being hel......
(KSU Trumbull) Good news, bad news on the academic front 03/28/2009 Record - Online, The Text View Clip
True, its not a great time financially to be going or sending a kid to college. But from the success of a bailout to the federal student loan system, to the tuition 'deals' some colleges are offering, theres more good news out there on college costs and fi......
(LCI) Scientists solve 'wet shoe' problem 03/27/2009 Hindustan Times Text
London, Mar. 27 -- Ever wondered why your shoes' top gets soaked while walking on a wet pavement? Well, researchers from the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University in Ohio have got the answer for the query. Using a high-speed video camera to ......
(LCI) The Wet Shoe Mystery Solved 03/27/2009 Good Magazine Text View Clip
Have you ever wondered how the top of your shoe gets wet just from walking on a wet surface? Researchers from a place called the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University took it upon themselves to find out. The answer is incredibly satisfying. ......
Researchers at Kent State University have published new data on microdialysis (Ruby, DePaul, Glass) 03/30/2009 Biotech Business Week Text
"Ruby CL, Prosser RA, DePaul MA, Roberts RJ, Glass JD. Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster," scientists in the United States report (see also ). "Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R411-R41......
Researchers at Kent State University have published new data on microdialysis (Ruby, DePaul, Glass) 03/30/2009 Pharma Business Week Text
"Ruby CL, Prosser RA, DePaul MA, Roberts RJ, Glass JD. Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster," scientists in the United States report (see also ). "Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R411-R41......


(Trudy Steuernagel) Autism is a challenge in murder case
03/29/2009
Los Angeles Times

Wire

Sky Walker watches recordings of "The Price Is Right" over and over again on a TV outside his jail cell, a calming ritual for the autistic teenager, who is prone to erratic behavior swings when his routine is changed.

He also gets his favorite barbecue potato chips, and visitors have been allowed to bring him McDonald's Happy Meals -- an attempt to keep his environment as normal as it can be as he awaits a decision on whether he is competent to stand trial in his mother's fatal beating.

Walker, 18, is charged with murdering his doting mother, Gertrude Steuernagel, a professor at Kent State University who once wrote publicly about having to cope with her son's aggressive behavior. She was found unconscious in their kitchen Jan. 29 and died eight days later.

The case has posed special challenges to the justice system from the start; Walker had to wear a face mask at an initial court appearance to prevent him from spitting at deputies.

The case has also worried advocates of autism, including Rory McLean, president of the Autism Society of Greater Cleveland, who fear that Walker's actions -- he was found cowering in the basement when sheriff's deputies responded to the home -- could be misinterpreted.

Walker, who has a court-appointed guardian, is also charged with assaulting a deputy who investigated the beating. His lawyers have entered a plea of not guilty.

Judge John Enlow, who is handling the case, has ordered exams for competency and mental retardation.

The issue of Walker's competency to stand trial will be handled at a court hearing to be scheduled later. To be deemed competent, a defendant would have to understand the charges against him and be able to help in his own defense.

Prosecutors and Walker's attorney declined to discuss the case. But Dr. Phillip Resnick, a psychiatrist who has worked in the Cleveland courts for decades, said interviewers would need to determine whether a defendant knew at the time of such a crime that killing was wrong.

Autism is a developmental disability that limits social interaction and communication skills, usually starting before age 3. Walker, for example, has trouble putting words together to express himself. A family friend said he used words in a way that only his mother could easily interpret, such as saying "wheels on the bus" to indicate he was getting upset.

Those with the disorder can be easily upset by a different routine, such as a new food item or schedule change. They might find the rub of clothing upsetting and often take comfort in repetitive behaviors, such as rocking back and forth. The gentle hum of a refrigerator might be maddeningly loud for the autistic.

As many as 30% of autistic children display some level of aggressive behavior, said Dr. Max Wiznitzer, who treats autistic children in Cleveland.

A 2005 study in the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law reported on the cases of three autistic defendants charged with murder. Two were sent to prison mental health units; the third was acquitted.

An autistic man was convicted in 2004 in San Diego of killing a 17-year-old, and a man with a form of autism got a life prison term in Charleston, S.C., for killing a family friend.

"Generally, there is no diagnosis which would make someone categorically not responsible," said Resnick, who has seen hundreds of mental competency claims although few involved autism.

For his video arraignment on the initial charges, Walker had to be taken from his holding cell, which is being used in place of a regular jail cell so deputies can keep a close watch on him. Seated in a restraint chair and with a cloth mask to prevent him from spitting at guards, he thrashed his head back and forth.

"That's probably because he got out of a routine we've been able to establish for him," said Sheriff's Maj. Dennis Missimi.

Family friend Molly Merryman said she never saw aggressive behavior from Walker during visits he and his mother made to her farm. The adults would make dinner, and Walker would pace a 120-foot circle for hours outdoors, she said.

But as Walker grew older, his behavior appeared to change. Steuernagel hinted at this in a campus newspaper article she wrote a year ago belittling complaints by colleagues on how busy they are.

"Busy? Try spending an evening sitting in a closet with your back to the door trying to hold it shut while your child kicks it in," she wrote.

Neighbor Donald Toth recalled talking to Steuernagel outside several years ago. Walker approached his mother and began pounding her with his fists. Steuernagel excused herself, grabbed her son and took him into the house, Toth said.

Steuernagel kept her cellphone handy and warned students she might have to leave class on short notice to check on her son, who attended high school. But, Merryman said, mother and son shared happy moments. They went to Disney World. They danced, taking turns leading. When he was younger, they went door to door on Halloween.

Still, Steuernagel yearned for a simple conversation with her son.

"I keep waiting for that day," she wrote in the Daily Kent Stater. "In the early days, right after his diagnosis, I was sure it would happen. Now, as Sky has celebrated his 17th birthday, I'm not so sure that will happen."

Copyright © 2009 Los Angeles Times

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(Trudy Steuernagel) Son of late KSU professor sent to state facility | View Clip
03/27/2009
Akron Beacon Journal, The

The autistic teen accused of the fatal beating of his mother was moved to a state facility in Toledo this week.

Sky Walker, 18, will be at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center indefinitely, a spokesman for the Portage County Sheriff's office said.

Walker is accused of killing Gertrude Steuernagel, 60, a political science professor at Kent State. Her beaten body was found on the kitchen floor of their Franklin Township home in January and she died a week later.

Lawyers for the autistic teen have entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The attorneys have said their client can't hold a conversation, understand the charges against him or assist in his defense.

Autism is a developmental disability that limits social interaction and communication skills, usually starting before age 3.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation operates the facility in Toledo for 162 patients in nine homes on the campus. The majority of people in the facility are severely mentally retarded, according to the state website.

The transfer from the Portage County jail was made on the orders of the Portage County Common Pleas Court.

The autistic teen accused of the fatal beating of his mother was moved to a state facility in Toledo this week.

Sky Walker, 18, will be at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center indefinitely, a spokesman for the Portage County Sheriff's office said.

Walker is accused of killing Gertrude Steuernagel, 60, a political science professor at Kent State. Her beaten body was found on the kitchen floor of their Franklin Township home in January and she died a week later.

Lawyers for the autistic teen have entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The attorneys have said their client can't hold a conversation, understand the charges against him or assist in his defense.

Autism is a developmental disability that limits social interaction and communication skills, usually starting before age 3.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation operates the facility in Toledo for 162 patients in nine homes on the campus. The majority of people in the facility are severely mentally retarded, according to the state website.

The transfer from the Portage County jail was made on the orders of the Portage County Common Pleas Court.

Comments Click here to post your comments

john

Posted 12:28 PM, 03/27/2009

better than jail....poor fellow doesn't know what he did or why he is in trouble.

JUSTANOBSERVER

AKRON, OH

Posted 12:34 PM, 03/27/2009

IF THERE IS A POSITIVE OUTCOME FROM THIS TRAGEDY - THIS IS IT. MR. WALKER WILL RECIEVE THE ATTENTION TO HIS DISORDER THAT HE NEEDS, IN A MUCH MORE SUITABLE ENVIORNMENT. BEST WISHES TO HIM.

working girl

Akron, Oh

Posted 01:13 PM, 03/27/2009

I dindnt know autistic people were violent. Is this common?

The_Original_Jason

Posted 01:29 PM, 03/27/2009

Question Authority,

I don't know what's more offensive; your post or your lame attempt to appear like some Libertarian warrior with your 'provocative' posts and really 'edgy' screen name. You're cool.

Heidi

Posted 01:33 PM, 03/27/2009

I fear for the other children that this so called child (18 yrs old!)could harm while in this facility. This is so unfair to the other children who will be exposed to this psychotic MAN.

Matt

Posted 01:37 PM, 03/27/2009

Yeah Question Authority you are probably one of the people that our tax money takes care of. You are pretty much an idiot and know nothing on the subject.

The_Original_Jason

Posted 01:42 PM, 03/27/2009

Heidi,

Are you familiar with the operating procedures of the facility? I'm guessing no.

In my opinion

Akron, OH

Posted 01:51 PM, 03/27/2009

Ask our Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan-Walsh, she has an autistic child that our tax dollars are probably still paying her to work from home to care for.

The_Original_Jason

Posted 02:17 PM, 03/27/2009

In my opinion,

How many days does she stay home? I don't know that answer, but I guess I'm not that concerned about it. I know a lot of professional employees in the private sector that work at home some days. When you're not working a line, these types of arrangements are feasible. Go to law school and maybe you can do the same.

Glock20

Posted 02:25 PM, 03/27/2009

What is it with Kent State professors getting killed by their children? Back in 2004 or 2005, a Kent professor was bludgeoned to death on Sunnybrook Road, and his son was arrested in the murder.

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(Trudy Steuernagel) Son of late KSU professor sent to state facility
03/27/2009
Akron Beacon Journal, The

Mar. 27--The autistic teen accused of the fatal beating of his mother was moved to a state facility in Toledo this week.

Sky Walker, 18, will be at the Northwest Ohio Developmental Center indefinitely, a spokesman for the Portage County Sheriff's office said.

Walker is accused of killing Gertrude Steuernagel, 60, a political science professor at Kent State. Her beaten body was found on the kitchen floor of their Franklin Township home in January and she died a week later.

Lawyers for the autistic teen have entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The attorneys have said their client can't hold a conversation, understand the charges against him or assist in his defense.

Autism is a developmental disability that limits social interaction and communication skills, usually starting before age 3.

The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation operates the facility in Toledo for 162 patients in nine homes on the campus. The majority of people in the facility are severely mentally retarded, according to the state website.

The transfer from the Portage County jail was made on the orders of the Portage County Common Pleas Court.

Copyright © 2009 The Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio

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(Trudy Steuernagel) Autistic teen moved to Toledo facility Accused of killing mom | View Clip
03/27/2009
Record-Courier

By Matt Fredmonsky

Record-Courier staff writer

A state mental health facility in Toledo is now responsible for the autistic teenager charged with murder in the death of his mother, Kent State University professor Gertrude Trudy Steuernagel. Until Tuesday, Sky A. Walker, 18, had been housed in the Portage County jail since deputies found his mother lying beaten on the kitchen floor of their Franklin Township home Jan. 29.

Portage County Sheriffs Office Maj. Dale Kelly said he and one other officer transported Walker to the Northwestern Ohio Developmental Center in Toledo. Officers made the trip with assistance from Portage County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities employees and the agencys bus, which has a secure chair in whicih Walker was seated for the about 130-mile drive.

Kelly said Walker will receive more proper care at the center than he could at the county jail. Hes going to be there indefinitely until the court orders differently, Kelly said. Walkers transfer came as the result of court proceedings held Tuesday between attorneys for Walker and the Portage County Prosecutors Office. Fran Ricciardi, assistant county prosecutor, declined to comment on the conditions under which the transfer agreement was made.

According to court documents, Walkers $2 million bond was amended to a $2 million personal recognizance bond. The recognizance bond was signed by his court-appointed legal guardian, Ravenna attorney Deron Boring. Walker was released to the mental health facility with a condition he appear in court as required.

The majority of the residents at the Toledo mental health facility are diagnosed with severe and profound mental retardation and need extensive support for daily living, health care and social skills development, according to the Ohio Department of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Web site.

Autism is a developmental disability that limits social interaction and communication skills. Walker was diagnosed with autism before he turned 3.

The Toledo center serves more than 160 individuals in nine different homes on the campus.

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(Trudy Steuernagel) Walker Moved To Mental Health Facility | View Clip
03/28/2009
Akron News Now

The son of late Kent State University professor Gertrude 'Trudy' Steuernagel, is taken to a state mental health facility for an indefinite stay.

The Record Courier reports Sky Walker is being housed at the Northwestern Ohio Developmental Center in Toledo, which will be his permanent home unless ordered otherwise by the court.

Walker faces murder in connection with Steuernagel's death as well as the charge of assault on a police officer. Walker, who suffers from autism, had originally been charged with attempted murder for the incident that took place on January 29.

The transfer decision was made in court Tuesday and details on the agreement are under wraps.

His team of three defense attorneys and a lawyer, who serves as his guardian, entered a 'not gulity' plea for Walker on March 20. Walker's attorneys say he can't hold a conversation and thus can't understand the charges or help in his defense.

Steuernagel had been a KSU faculty member since 1975 and taught classes in political theory and public policy. She also served as the political science department chair for several years.

Previous coverage: Son Charged With Murder In Mom's Death

Previous coverage: Steuernagel Remembered

Previous coverage: Son of Slain Professor in Court

Previous coverage: KSU Professor Autopsy Complete

Previous coverage: Remembering Gertrude Steuernagel

Previous coverage: Beaten KSU Professor Dies

Previous Coverage: KSU Professor Found Badly Beaten

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Question President Obama open to America's questions | View Clip
03/27/2009
St. Louis American

President Obama opened the doors of the White House to the people at a townhall meeting yesterday (Thurs., Mar. 26). Listed below is a full transcript of the detailed question and answer session.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Well, it is great to see all of you. And I am thrilled that all of you here in the White House and everybody who is viewing this online is participating in this experiment that we're trying out. When I was running for President, I promised to open up the White House to the American people. And this event, which is being streamed live over the Internet, marks an important step towards achieving that goal. And I'm looking forward to taking your questions and hearing your thoughts and concerns -- because what matters to you and your families, and what people here in Washington are focused on, aren't always one and the same thing.

Here in Washington, politics all too often is treated like a game. There's a lot of point scoring, a lot of talk about who's up and who's down, a lot of time and energy spent on whether the President is winning or losing on this particular day or this particular hour. But this isn't about me. It's about you. It's about the folks whose letters I read every single day. And for the American people, what's going on is not a game. What matters to you is how you're going to find a new job when nobody seems to be hiring or how to pay medical bills after you get out of the hospital or how to put your children through college when the money you'd put away for their tuition is no longer there.

That's what matters to you. That's what you expect your leaders to be focused on. And that's why I've been working to deliver the changes you sent me here to make; to ensure that we're not only making it through this crisis, but come out on the other side stronger and more prosperous as a nation over the long term. That's the future that I believe is within our reach.

But that future will not come about on its own. It will come because we all, every single one of us, from Main Street to the halls of Congress, do what generations of Americans have done in times of trial; because we remember that at heart we are one nation, and one people, and united by a bond that no division of party or ideology can break; because we come together as Americans to choose that better day.

And that's what we've already begun to do. We, as a nation, have already begun the critical work that will lead to our economic recovery. It's a recovery that will be measured by whether jobs are being created and families have more money to pay their bills at the end of each month. That's why we're preventing teachers and police officers from being laid off, and putting Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges and dams, creating or saving 3.5 million jobs in the coming years.

And that's why we're putting a tax cut into the pockets of 95 percent of working families who will see it -- see that tax cut in their paycheck by April 1st.

It's a recovery that will be measured by whether families can achieve that most American of dreams, and own a home without fear of losing it. That's why we've launched a plan to stabilize the housing market and help responsible homeowners stay in their homes. This plan is one of the reasons that mortgage interest rates are now at near-historic lows. And we've already seen a jump in refinancings of mortgages, and homeowners taking advantage of lower rates. And every American, by the way, should know that up to 40 percent of all mortgages right now are eligible for refinancing.It's a recovery that will be measured by whether families and entrepreneurs can get the loans they need. That's why we're freeing up credit that's frozen with a program that supports the market for more car loans, and student loans, and small business loans; and with a plan that will partner government resources with private investment to break the logjam that is currently preventing our banks from lending money to even the most creditworthy customers.

And in the end, it's a recovery that will be measured by whether it lasts, whether it endures; by whether we build our economy on a solid foundation instead of a overheated housing market or maxed-out credit cards or the sleight of hand on Wall Street; whether we build an economy in which prosperity is broadly shared. That's what the budget I expect to sign is intended to do. It's a budget that cuts the things we don't need to make room for the investments we do; a budget that cuts the massive deficits we've inherited in half by the end of my first term and offers a blueprint for America's success in the 21st century.

That success will require preparing every child, everywhere in this country, to out-compete any worker anywhere in the world because we know that those students who are getting the best education are going to be able to compete. And that's why we're making a historic investment in early childhood education. That's why we're going to make a historic investment in improving K-12 education, making sure that our children get a complete and competitive education from the cradle up through a career. It's an investment that will expand and improve not just early learning programs, but reward good teachers while replacing bad ones, and put college or technical training within reach for anyone who wants it.

Our success will also require freeing ourselves from the dangerous dependence on foreign oil by building a clean-energy economy, because we know that with this will not only come greater security and a safer environment, but new high-paying jobs of the future to replace those that we've lost.

And our success will also require controlling spiraling health care costs that are bankrupting families, and crushing businesses, and driving up skyrocketing deficits. At the current course and speed, these health care costs are unsustainable. And that's why my budget takes a first big step towards comprehensive health care reform that will reduce costs, improve care and ensure that everyone who works has coverage they can afford.

This is what Americans' success demands and this is what our budget will do. And I'm under no illusions that a better day will come about quickly or easily. It's going to be hard. But as I said the other night at my press conference, I'm a big believer in the idea of persistence -- the idea that when the American people put their mind to something and keep at it, without giving up, without turning back, no obstacle can stand in our way, and no dream is beyond our reach. That's why we're here today -- because it will take all of us talking with one another, all of us sharing ideas, all of us working together to see our country through this difficult time and bring about that better day.

So I want to thank all of you for this opportunity to talk with you. And now I'd like to bring Jared back up to the stage, and he's going to open it up for questions. So, Jared, let's see how this thing works.

DR. BERNSTEIN: Thank you, Mr. President. Our first question comes from Boston, Massachusetts, on the topic of education: 'The Founding Fathers believe that there is no difference between a free society and an educated society. Our educational system, however, is woefully inadequate. How do you plan to restore education as a right and core cultural value in America?'THE PRESIDENT: Well, it's a great question, and -- let me see if this mic works so that I'm not stuck at this podium. I'm here only because of the education I received. I wasn't born into wealth, I wasn't born into fame, but I had parents who cared about education and grandparents who cared about education, and I was lucky enough, through scholarships and sacrifice on the part of my family, to get the best education that America has to offer.

Too many of our children aren't getting that kind of education. It's not because their parents don't believe in the value of education; it's not because these young people are less talented. It's because of two reasons: One, in many cases, our schools are under-resourced. There aren't enough teachers; the teachers aren't getting enough of the training they need for the classroom; there's a shortage of supplies. Some of the schools that I visited during the course of traveling around the country just shock the conscience. There are schools that I've seen that were built in the 1850s that are still being used but haven't been upgraded the way they need to.

Now, there's a second problem, though, and it's one that money alone cannot solve, and that is that we have a school system that was designed for the agricultural era -- there's a reason why we've got three months off during the summer. That's supposed to be when everybody is working on -- out on the farm and bringing in harvest. And it's not just the amount of time our kids are spending, it's how our classrooms are designed, how curriculums are structured, how things like teacher promotion and training happen.

So a lot of times in Washington we get an argument about money versus reform. And the key thing to understand about our education system is we need more resources and we need reform. If we just put more money into a system that's designed for the 19th century and we're in the 21st, we're not going to get the educational outcomes we need. On the other hand, if we talk a lot about reform but we're not willing to put more resources in, that's not going to work.

So let me give you just a couple examples of what we need to do. Early childhood education we know works. Let's invest in that. That's what my budget calls for -- substantial investment; every dollar we invest in early childhood education, we get potentially $10 back in improved reading scores, reduced dropout rates, reduced delinquency rates and so forth.

Number two, let's focus on the most important ingredient in the school, and that's the teacher. Let's pay our teachers more money. Let's give them more support. Let's give them more training. Let's make sure that schools of education that are training our teachers are up to date with the best methods to teach our kids. And let's work with teachers so that we are providing them measures of whether they're effective or not, and let's hold them accountable for being effective.

Now that doesn't mean just a single high-stakes standardized test. It also means that we're working with teachers to determine, what's the best way to discipline -- maintain discipline in a classroom? What's the best way to get kids excited about science? Giving them the time and the resources to improve, but also having high standards of expectation in terms of their performance.

If we do early childhood education, if we focus on teacher training, if we invest in math and science education, which is vital -- and we're falling behind other countries on that front -- then I actually feel pretty confident that we can out-compete any country in the world. But it's going to take more money and it's going to take more reform and it's going to take, by the way, openness to innovation on things like charter schools or performance pay. There are a whole range of things that may work, in some cases may not work, but we've got to try some new things because right now too many of our kids are stuck, and we can't afford to lose them.

DR. BERNSTEIN: The next question is on homeownership, from Heather from Ohio: 'President Obama, what benefits from the stimulus plan are there to those of us who are paying our mortgages but living paycheck to paycheck?'THE PRESIDENT: Well, I mentioned this in the opening remarks. This is something that I really want everybody to understand. Our housing plan -- and we're devoting $50 billion to it -- has a number of different components. One component is setting up a mechanism where people who just can't afford their mortgage right now are able to renegotiate with banks, and the banks lower their interest, and the homeowner assures that they're going to make a commitment to pay a certain amount every month, and the government helps to step in to bridge the gap. But the point is, it's going to be cheaper, not only for that family but also potentially for the entire community, if they stay in their home.

And so that's -- that part of the housing plan is targeted for folks who are really in distress. They're getting close to the point where they might be losing their home.

But there are a whole bunch of folks out there who are not about to walk away from their home, but are getting killed right now because their home values have dropped drastically; they're still making payments, but they're in trouble. And for that huge set of responsible homeowners out there, I want people to understand what we've done is created mechanisms in the credit markets that have lowered mortgage rates down to historic levels, and what we've done is we've opened it up so that FHA loans that used to be only for people with a certain mortgage level, that we are using FHA and other mechanisms to open up refinancings to a whole bunch of homeowners who previously weren't qualified.

So now what you've got is a situation where 40 percent of the people sitting here, 40 percent of the people who are participating in this virtual town hall, could potentially refinance their mortgage. And they've got to take advantage of that. We are providing additional support from the government in order to facilitate those refinancings. We're starting to see refinancings go up significantly.

So you have the potential to cut your monthly payments, but you've got to take advantage of it. And if you need more information, you can go on our web site, whitehouse.gov, or you can contact your local bank and find out whether you qualify to participate in this refinancing.

DR. BERNSTEIN: Next we have a video question from Harriet in Georgia about bringing jobs back to America: 'Hello, President Obama. Here is my question for your online town meeting. When can we expect that jobs that have been outsourced to other countries to come back and be made available to the unemployed workers here in the United States? Thank you so much for all your hard work. God bless you. Bye-bye.'THE PRESIDENT: Well, I appreciate that. Let me talk more, first of all, broadly about what's happening in the job market. We have had just a massive loss of jobs over the last several months, the kind of job loss we haven't seen at least since the early '80s and maybe since the 1930s, in terms of how quickly we've seen the economy shed jobs.

A lot of that is prompted by the financial crisis and the locking up of the credit markets. And that's why when we are -- when we talk about dealing with this credit crisis and the banks, I just want everybody to understand it's not because we're overly concerned about Wall Street or a bunch of CEOs; it's because if we don't fix credit, if we don't get liquidity back to small businesses and large businesses alike who can have that -- use that line of credit to buy inventory and to make products and sell services, then those businesses shrivel up and they start laying people off.

Ultimately, our measure of whether we're doing a good job or not is, are we going to be able to create and save jobs? And part of that involves fixing the financial system.

There is a long-term issue, though, that we have to deal with -- and this was true even before the current crisis -- and that is that so much of our economic activity was in the financial services sector. It was related to an overheated housing market. It was dependent on huge amounts of consumer saving. And we were seeing those steady declines in manufacturing. We were seeing steady declines in a lot of other productive sectors of the economy. And one of the things that my budget is designed to do is, by fixing our education system, by reducing costs of health care, by going after the clean-energy jobs of the future, trying to put our economy on a more solid footing.

Now, a lot of the outsourcing that was referred to in the question really has to do with the fact that our economy -- if it's dependent on low-wage, low-skill labor, it's very hard to hang on to those jobs because there's always a country out there that pays lower wages than the U.S. And so we've got to go after the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future. That's why it's so important to train our folks more effectively and that's why it's so important for us to find new industries -- building solar panels or wind turbines or the new biofuel -- that involve these higher-value, higher-skill, higher-paying jobs.

So I guess the answer to the question is, not all of these jobs are going to come back. And it probably wouldn't be good for our economy for a bunch of these jobs to come back because, frankly, there's no way that people could be getting paid a living wage on some of these jobs -- at least in order to be competitive in an international setting.

So what we've got to do is create new jobs that can't be outsourced. And that's why energy is so promising. We've been talking about what's called a smart grid, and some of you may have heard of this. The basic idea is, is that we're still using an electricity grid that dates back 100, 150 years ago. Well, think about all the gizmos you guys are carrying -- (laughter) --all the phones and the BlackBerrys and the this and the that. You're plugging in all kinds of stuff in your house. We've got an entirely new set of technologies, huge demands in terms of energy, but we've got a grid that's completely outdated.

Now, one of the things that we wanted to do in the stimulus package was to go ahead and start laying a new grid. And to do that, it's like building the Transcontinental Railroad. You've got a -- it's a huge project involving all 50 states.

The benefits of the grid are that we could reduce our energy costs by billions of dollars. We could set up systems so that everybody in each house have their own smart meters that will tell you when to turn off the lights, when the peak hours are, can help you sell back energy that you've generated in your home through a solar panel or through other mechanisms. If we get plug-in hybrid cars, you can plug it in at night and sell back electricity to the utility, and then charge up your car again in the morning before you leave.

All this can be done, but it also creates jobs right now. Our biggest problem, we don't have enough electricians to lay all these lines out there. And these are jobs -- these are union jobs that potentially pay $80,000-$90,000 a year, with benefits. But it's a matter of making the investment in infrastructure and also then training the workers to be able to get those jobs. And that's where we're going to be focused on. That's where the job growth is going to occur.

One last point I want to make -- and I know I'm not supposed to talk this long, but we're going to have to be patient and persistent about job creation because I don't think that we've lost all the jobs we're going to lose in this recession. We're still going to be in a difficult time for much of this year. Employment is typically what's called a lagging indicator. Now, this is -- Dr. Bernstein, he's a Ph.D. economist, so he'll correct me if I'm wrong here, but --

DR. BERNSTEIN: I'm sure I can make this really confusing. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: But historically, if you look at every recession, what happens is that when the economy starts getting in trouble, it takes a while before businesses decide, you know what, this economy is in trouble, it's not bouncing back -- we better start laying off workers. So what we're seeing now is a lot of businesses have decided that our sales are way down, we've got to start shedding workers. And that's going to continue for a while.

Now, the reverse is true, as well. When the economy starts recovering, when these businesses start being a little more confident that, you know what, we think we've bottomed out; the recovery package President Obama passed gives us some optimism about making investments in certain areas -- it takes a while before they start hiring even if they've started to make these investments.

So the reason I point that out is, I don't want people to think that in one or two months suddenly we're going to see net job increases. It's going to take some time for the steps that we've taken to filter in. The fact that the housing market is starting to stabilize a little bit -- there's still a lot of inventory out there before people then actually start building new homes. At some point people are going to start buying new cars again, but it's going to take a little bit of time for the automakers to get back on their feet.

So employment is something that we're going to have a difficult time for the next several months, maybe through the end of this year, but I'm confident that we're taking the steps that are required to create these new jobs of the future.

DR. BERNSTEIN: After the last recession ended in 2001, the unemployment rate went up for another 19 months before it started coming back down.

This next question -- an area close to your heart -- health care reform. From Richard in California: 'Why can we not have a universal health care system, like many European countries, where people are treated based on needs rather than financial resources?'THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I was in this room last month in what we called a health care forum. And we brought all the members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats who were interested in this issue; we brought together various constituency groups, insurance companies, drug companies, you name it. And my message to them was: Now is the time to reform the health care system -- not four years from now, not eight years from now, not 20 years from now. Now.

And the reason -- (laughter) -- the reason that I think it is so important is that the high costs of health care are a huge drag on our economy. It's a drag on our families. I can't tell you how many personal stories that I hear about people who are working, maybe have two parents working and yet still don't have health care. And the decisions that they have to make -- excruciating decisions about whether or not somebody goes to a doctor -- it makes them less productive, it makes them less mobile in terms of being able to take new jobs or start a new business because they're worried about hanging on to their health care. So it's a drag on families.

But it's a drag on businesses, as well. There's not a small business or large business out here who hasn't seen their health care costs skyrocket, and it cuts into their profits.

And it's a drag on the federal budget and the state budgets. That's the thing that is going to potentially break the bank here in the United States. Medicare and Medicaid, if we don't get control of that, that is the biggest driver of our long-term deficits.

So when people -- when you hear this budget debate that's taking place right now, and folks say, oh, you know, President Obama's budget, he's increasing money for veterans and he's increasing money for education, and he's doing all these things that -- that's going to bust the budget, what they don't understand is, is that if you add up the recovery package that we've already passed and you add up the various proposals I have to grow the economy through clean energy and all that stuff that we're doing, that amounts to a fraction of the long-term deficit and debt that we're facing. The lion's share of it has to do with Medicare and Medicaid and the huge, rising cost of health care. So our attitude is, better to pay now and make an investment in improving the health care system rather than waiting and finding ourselves in a situation where we can't fix it.

Now, the question is, if you're going to fix it, why not do a universal health care system like the European countries? I actually want a universal health care system; that is our goal. I think we should be able to provide health insurance to every American that they can afford and that provides them high quality.

So I think we can accomplish it. Now, whether we do it exactly the way European countries do or Canada does is a different question, because there are a variety of ways to get to universal health care coverage.

A lot of people think that in order to get universal health care, it means that you have to have what's called a single-payer system of some sort. And so Canada is the classic example: Basically, everybody pays a lot of taxes into the health care system, but if you're a Canadian, you're automatically covered. And so you go in -- England has a similar -- a variation on this same type of system. You go in and you just say, 'I'm sick,' and somebody treats you, and that's it.

The problem is, is that we have what's called a legacy, a set of institutions that aren't that easily transformed. Let me just see a show of hands: How many people here have health insurance through your employer? Okay, so the majority of Americans, sort of -- partly for historical accident. I won't go into -- FDR had imposed wage controls during war time in World War II. People were -- companies were trying to figure out how to attract workers. And they said, well, maybe we'll provide health care as a benefit.

And so what evolved in America was an employer-based system. It may not be the best system if we were designing it from scratch. But that's what everybody is accustomed to. That's what everybody is used to. It works for a lot of Americans. And so I don't think the best way to fix our health care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to and the vast majority of people already have. Rather, what I think we should do is to build on the system that we have and fill some of these gaps.

And I'm looking to Congress to work with me to find that optimal system. I made some proposals during the campaign about how we can lower costs through information technologies; how we can lower costs through reforms in how we reimburse doctors so that they're not getting paid just for the number of operations they're doing, but for whether they're quality outcomes; investing in prevention so that kids with asthma aren't going to the emergency room, but they're getting regular checkups.

So there are a whole host of things that we can do to cut costs, use that money that we're saving then to provide more coverage to more people. And my expectation is, is that I will have a health care bill to sign this year. That's what we're going to be fighting for. That's what we're going to be striving for.

Can I just interrupt, Jared, before you ask the next question, just to say that we -- we took votes about which questions were going to be asked and I think 3 million people voted or --

DR. BERNSTEIN: Three point five million.

THE PRESIDENT: Three point five million people voted. I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy -- (laughter) -- and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience -- (laughter) -- but I just want -- I don't want people to think that -- this was a fairly popular question; we want to make sure that it was answered. The answer is, no, I don't think that is a good strategy -- (laughter) -- to grow our economy. (Applause.)

So -- all right.

DR. BERNSTEIN: Thank you for clearing that up. (Laughter.) This next question comes from Columbia, South Carolina: 'The unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is higher than the national unemployment rate. Our veterans are a national treasure. How can you, the VA, and I ensure our veterans are successfully transitioning into civilian life?'THE PRESIDENT: That's a great question. You know, I had just an extraordinary honor -- yesterday was Medal of Honor Day. And I went to Arlington National Cemetery, and we had a ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a collection of Medal of Honor winners from all our various wars.

And a special place of honor was a guy named John Finn, who had been present the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. He was on one of the ships, was shot by -- was strafed by the fire from the planes coming in, and yet still had the presence of mind to shoot down a plane, and won the Medal of Honor -- or was awarded the Medal of Honor for that.

And it just reminds you that we wouldn't be here if it hadn't been for the sacrifices of earlier veterans. We would not -- (applause) -- we would not enjoy the same safety and security and liberty that we do.

So when our veterans come home from Iraq and Afghanistan -- and they have performed brilliantly, they have done everything that's been asked of them, regardless of what your views are on these wars -- they have earned these benefits that all too often we fail to give them.

And that's why in my budget we are increasing veterans funding by more than any time in the last 30 years. We're going to make sure that we deal with the -- (applause) -- we're going to make sure that deal with the backlog that too many veterans experience in terms of getting benefits. We're going to make sure that homeless veterans are receiving housing and services.

The homeless rate for veterans is multiple times higher than it is for non-veterans. That's inexcusable. It means that we're going to provide services for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, that we're going to provide services for Traumatic Brain Injury that are the signature injuries of these recent wars. So we are going to significantly increase veterans spending.

Now, just as is true generally, government alone can't do it. So all of us individually are going to have roles. If you're a business owner, hiring a veteran, not discriminating against somebody who's a veteran is going to be absolutely critical. In your communities, in your churches, in your neighborhoods, making sure that there's outreach and celebration of veterans when they come home, that's going to be critical.

I think we've done a much better job during these wars than we did during Vietnam, where in many cases our treatment of veterans was inexcusable. But we can always do more. Government is going to do its role, and then we've got to make sure that our communities do their role, as well.

DR. BERNSTEIN: Mr. President, the next video will be our last Internet question before we turn to the audience for Q&A for follow-up. Let me also note that this question from Alex in Ohio happens to be about the same topic that the Middle Class Task Force is focusing on this month. Let's turn to this:'Hi, Mr. President. My name is Alex. My name is Kristin (ph). And I'm Mallory (ph). We are all sophomores at Kent State University in Ohio. We really like the emphasis you've put on education so far in your administration, but we're concerned about higher education. Our question is: What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship? Thank you, Mr. President!'THE PRESIDENT: That was pretty well done. (Laughter and applause.) Well, I am very excited about the possibility that we may be able to get national service done in the next few weeks. National service was a priority for me during the campaign, partly because of my own biography. I found my calling when I became a community organizer working in low-income neighborhoods when I was 22, 23 years old. And it gave me a sense of direction, a sense of service, it helped me grow, it helped me give back. And I think there are young people all across America who are eager for that opportunity.

And so what we've said during the campaign was, let's set up a situation where every young person who is so inspired can take advantage of service, and in exchange they will help be able to finance their educations.

And I'm confident that we're about to get legislation passed. And once that legislation is passe

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team working the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Sydney Morning Herald

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies. In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?' The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation. 'I don't know what this says about the online audience.... The answer is no, I don't think it's a good strategy to grow our economy,' Mr Obama replied. The 'web-hall' offered President Obama an unedited, uninterrupted and highly controlled forum.

More and more, President Obama is turning to ways of communicating with millions of Americans that more closely resemble a campaign rally, where he controls the message and where he won't get edited, blown off course or have his remarks immediately analysed by a bevy of commentators.

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team working the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
The Age

Email Normal font Large font Saved Anne Davies Washington correspondent

March 28, 2009 Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies. In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?' The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation. 'I don't know what this says about the online audience.... The answer is no, I don't think it's a good strategy to grow our economy,' Mr Obama replied. The 'web-hall' offered President Obama an unedited, uninterrupted and highly controlled forum.

More and more, President Obama is turning to ways of communicating with millions of Americans that more closely resemble a campaign rally, where he controls the message and where he won't get edited, blown off course or have his remarks immediately analysed by a bevy of commentators.

Last week it was the Jay Leno Show, which allowed Mr Obama to be himself. Earlier this week he scheduled a prime time televised press conference live from the White House.

Part of the thinking behind this move appears to be his frustration with the Washington media. The White House press - the major newspapers, wire services, TV networks and cable channels - pick up issues outside the president's planned agenda. Issues like his Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner's performance, withdrawals of nominees, earmarks and why hasn't reformed them.

The White House unhappiness about this is obvious. As well as attacking the overt critics Mr Obama has spent the last month deriding 'cable chatter' on the 24/7 news channels.

On Wednesday night he went further calling the news cycle in Washington 'petty and trivial.' 'I know that in Washington sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day cable chatter, and be distracted by the petty and the trivial, and everybody is keeping score are they up, are they down?' he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Washington on Thursday. 'You know, one day I'm a genius; one day I'm a bum. Every day there's a new winner, a new loser.' Email Normal font Large font RSS Feed send photos, videos & tip-offs to 0406 THE AGE (0406 843 243), or us. 1237657149442-theage.com.auhttp://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/barack-obamas-team-working-the-web/2009/03/27/1237657149442.htmltheage.com.auSydney Morning Herald

2009-03-28

Barack Obama's team working the webAnne Davies Washington correspondentTechnology

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Bathurst Western Advocate

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

Return to Top



(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Cooma Monaro Express

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies. In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?' The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation. 'I don't know what this says about the online audience.... The answer is no, I don't think it's a good strategy to grow our economy,' Mr Obama replied. The 'web-hall' offered President Obama an unedited, uninterrupted and highly controlled forum.

More and more, President Obama is turning to ways of communicating with millions of Americans that more closely resemble a campaign rally, where he controls the message and where he won't get edited, blown off course or have his remarks immediately analysed by a bevy of commentators.

Last week it was the Jay Leno Show, which allowed Mr Obama to be himself. Earlier this week he scheduled a prime time televised press conference live from the White House.

Part of the thinking behind this move appears to be his frustration with the Washington media. The White House press - the major newspapers, wire services, TV networks and cable channels - pick up issues outside the president's planned agenda. Issues like his Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner's performance, withdrawals of nominees, earmarks and why hasn't reformed them.

The White House unhappiness about this is obvious. As well as attacking the overt critics Mr Obama has spent the last month deriding 'cable chatter' on the 24/7 news channels.

On Wednesday night he went further calling the news cycle in Washington 'petty and trivial.' 'I know that in Washington sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day cable chatter, and be distracted by the petty and the trivial, and everybody is keeping score are they up, are they down?' he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Washington on Thursday. 'You know, one day I'm a genius; one day I'm a bum. Every day there's a new winner, a new loser.'

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Northwest Tasmania Advocate

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Illawarra Mercury

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies. In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?' The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation. 'I don't know what this says about the online audience.... The answer is no, I don't think it's a good strategy to grow our economy,' Mr Obama replied. The 'web-hall' offered President Obama an unedited, uninterrupted and highly controlled forum.

More and more, President Obama is turning to ways of communicating with millions of Americans that more closely resemble a campaign rally, where he controls the message and where he won't get edited, blown off course or have his remarks immediately analysed by a bevy of commentators.

Last week it was the Jay Leno Show, which allowed Mr Obama to be himself. Earlier this week he scheduled a prime time televised press conference live from the White House.

Part of the thinking behind this move appears to be his frustration with the Washington media. The White House press - the major newspapers, wire services, TV networks and cable channels - pick up issues outside the president's planned agenda. Issues like his Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner's performance, withdrawals of nominees, earmarks and why hasn't reformed them.

The White House unhappiness about this is obvious. As well as attacking the overt critics Mr Obama has spent the last month deriding 'cable chatter' on the 24/7 news channels.

On Wednesday night he went further calling the news cycle in Washington 'petty and trivial.' 'I know that in Washington sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day cable chatter, and be distracted by the petty and the trivial, and everybody is keeping score are they up, are they down?' he said at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Washington on Thursday. 'You know, one day I'm a genius; one day I'm a bum. Every day there's a new winner, a new loser.'

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Ballarat Courier

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Sydney Morning Herald

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies. In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?' The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation. Continued...

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Central Western Daily

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Northern Daily Leader

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

Return to Top



(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Independent Weekly

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

Return to Top



(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Manning River Times

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

Return to Top



(KSU Students Question to Obama) Barack Obama's team works the web | View Clip
03/27/2009
Canberra Times

ANNE DAVIES WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

Team Obama mastered the art of using social networking sites, webcasts and talking to literally millions of supporters via email during the election campaign. Now the communications team in the White House, which includes many of these campaign hands, are adapting those techniques to selling President Barack Obama's policies.

In an 'Open for questions' Town Hall webcast from the East Room of the White House - Mr Obama answered questions that had been submitted from people all over America, and then bumped up or down the list by millions of Americans who voted online.

The event was webcast, allowing people all over America to tune in from their computers at work and home to see what their President was saying.

How did it go? In terms of a participatory event it was a roaring success. The White House got 105,000 questions from 90,000 people. It then got 3.5 million votes which were used to bump questions up or down. The administration said 67,000 people watched live on whitehouse.gov but many more would have watched via the cable networks.

But in terms of providing hard questions on the president's policies or eliciting anything other than-by-the book answers, it was no ringing success.

Here's a sample question from four sophomores at Kent State University: 'What proposals do you have to make college more affordable and to make student loans easier to get? And when will your national service program be available so we can take advantage of the scholarship?'

The president had no trouble with that one.

Richard in California asked why America couldn't have a universal health care system like Europe, where people are treated on the basis of needs rather than financial resources. Mr Obama explained he wanted a universal system, but there were some legacy issues, so the European model might not quite fit in the US.

The process also threw up some oddball questions as well. One of the most popular questions was whether legalising marijuana would be good for the economy and job creation.

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(KSU Students Question to Obama) President Obama's Never-Ending Virtual Town Hall | View Clip
03/27/2009
Huffington Post, The

'We're actually going to have some live stuff,' explained President Obama, 'instead of some virtual stuff.' On that plucky note, Obama essentially ended the first open, democratically operated virtual town hall in White House history, turning his attention to a small crowd assembled in the East Room. Thursday's town hall drew swift and divergent reactions, but few observers noted how the gathering actually contained two completely distinct events. The 'live stuff,' to use the president's taxonomy, was an entirely routine presidential meet-and-greet with supporters. Five questions were chosen randomly, but they were all drawn from a screened pool of friendly faces. One questioner was invited by the DNC; another by a union that endorsed Obama; another said that he served on Obama's education platform committee. And so on. For such guests, these kind of events are usually seducing or intimidating - earnest people can easily become props.

There was a second event in the East Room, however, just before those invited guests asked their questions. Six random people - who had not been vetted and had no idea the questions that they calmly posed at home would reach the president - suddenly found their voices amplified in Washington. Not because they were handpicked for a White House event, or because they finagled tickets to a rare presidential visit, but because their questions drew thousands of votes from fellow citizens. The 'virtual stuff' did not stop at empowering only those six voices, either. 'Open for Questions,' an innovative, potentially combustible experiment with interactive government, sparked a rolling, two-day national debate about the economic issues facing the nation. Over 92,000 people generated roughly 100,000 questions. The depth of participation was staggering: Visitors voted for over 25 questions on average, suggesting participants wanted to listen to each other, not simply be heard. People even debated the administration's attempt to define the category of the 'economy,' rallying behind questions criticizing the war on drugs by casting it as an economic issue.

While the town hall did not break major 'news,' in the conventional sense, it clearly operated on a wider axis than traditional White House events.

Take health care, for example. The administration only talks about employer-based reforms, and so far, the Washington press corps has accepted those boundaries. In the president's first two press conferences, there was not a a single question on popular proposals for single payer health care. Many citizens, however, are still wondering if the U.S. will adopt 'a universal health care system, like many European countries,' as a Californian named Richard wrote, in what became the most popular health care question on WhiteHouse.gov. (A single payer query was also one of the most popular questions according to citizen votes at Ask The President, a similar, independent portal backed by The Nation, The Washington Times and Personal Democracy Forum.) In response, Obama argued that the U.S. can pursue universal health care without abandoning employer-based health care. 'I don't think the best way to fix our health care system is to suddenly completely scrap what everybody is accustomed to,' he said, 'and the vast majority of people already have [employer health care].' Obama also took a peppy video question from three Kent State students about student loan assistance and national service scholarships. Their question had almost no public support, drawing only six votes, as Internet Evolution's Nicole Ferraro noted. Student loan issues have been a popular priority in similar forums, though, as the New York Times reported, the top query on Ask The President was a question contrasting bailout assistance to student loan repayment. In response to the students' video, Obama explained his plan to stop private banks from profiting on government-backed student loans, a measure that some Congressional Democrats oppose, and he made the bullish promise that national service legislation would pass 'in the next few weeks.' Then, even after the town hall ended, unanswered questions from WhiteHouse.gov kept bubbling up, both in online discussions and more influential forums within the White House.

During the Press Secretary's daily briefing on Thursday, Robert Gibbs discovered that the press wanted to pick up where the citizen questions left off. Several reporters pressed for answers to citizen questions that the President only vaguely addressed. It was an unusually lively exchange - one regular correspondent said it was the least controlled briefing this year.

Obama laughed off the popular questions about marijuana during the town hall - blogger Nancy Scola's Mary Jane Rule holds that pot questions always win in open web forums - but several journalists had serious follow ups. 'When the president said he doesn't think legalizing marijuana would give the economy a boost, was he giving a political answer or an economic answer?,' asked one reporter, continuing, 'does he have economic numbers to back that up?' First Gibbs tried to joke about a lack of government studies on that front, but the reporter pressed on: 'What about medicinal marijuana?' Gibbs referred that angle to the Justice Department.

Then an NBC reporter protested to ask why Obama even mentioned marijuana, stating, erroneously, that 'no one asked about it online.' Gibbs noted that the question actually was popular, but then he attempted to downplay the support as the product of an 'interest group.' Some reporters swallowed that unsubstantiated claim, including Friday's Washington Post, but others pushed back, such as the Washington Times' Jon Ward:

You said from the podium a couple minutes ago that interest groups drove up the questions on the web site about marijuana. But the President and Secretary of State have also said in recent days that demand domestically is driving the problems on the border. You seem to be contradicting yourself a little bit and trying to say that the web site issue was an interest group issue... does the White House think that this is a major issue on the minds of the American people? Obviously you think demand is high.

Gibbs pivoted to express the administration's support for Hillary Clinton's analysis of the drug trade, but said it was a 'stretch' to ask about marijuana as an economic stimulus. Ward did not let up, however, pressing Gibbs to articulate what the administration would do to 'drive down [narcotics] demand.' The conversation continued, as journalists fleshed out and sharpened queries on an otherwise neglected topic, all because a few thousand citizens put it on Thursday's agenda.

The interplay between the media's chosen topics and the virtual town hall experiment also went beyond the administration's reluctance to address drug policy.

First, a little context: The White House briefing room runs on its own Washington power law. Top news organizations are assigned coveted front row seats, and the Press Secretary often gives those reporters two or three questions a day. Everyone else usually sits through the briefing without being called on.

On Thursday, however, ABC correspondent Jake Tapper used his front row perch to amplify two sharp questions from WhiteHouse.gov that were not used in the town hall:

There were a couple of questions that were on your web site that were not asked that I thought were interesting that I wanted to just get an answer from you here; that they weren't the top vote-getters. One was from Jason in Detroit. He said, 'Will we ever see any CEOs go to jail for destroying the economy?'...From Peter in Oregon, he said: 'I appreciate the efforts of the administration to fix the economy quickly. However, why aren't you giving the American public the chance to review these bills? In your campaign you promised we would have at least five days.' The bill delay issue was more critical than any questions posed at the virtual town hall, and one conservative blogger had already flagged it as an issue that Republicans could use to organize within the Open for Questions experiment Tapper, to his credit, used the government's own forum to press unanswered citizen questions. And the administration, to its credit, built a transparent portal that lets everyone see all the questions, including popular or important items that did not make the town hall.

Those are key steps towards more open, transparent interactions between the people, their government, and the press. Reporters can use their access to give the virtual town hall questions life long after the event ended, or to sharpen, advance and contextualize generalist sentiments - legalize pot! - by repurposing them in larger policy debates - many Americans use drugs, as the administration just told Mexico, so how can you claim only interest groups support marijuana and what is your demand-side approach to drug policy?

Ultimately, virtual town halls and press conferences can be symbiotic, not competitive.

Journalists and citizens both want access to the president, but few would openly argue against access for all. After the town hall, several reporters reflexively scored citizen participants as if they were auditioning to be White House correspondents. 'No hardballs,' grumbled one reporter. Some political strategists, meanwhile, still presume a binary battle between online citizen access and pressers. 'The prime-time news conference,' says former Clinton press secretary Mike McCurry, 'will probably be a relic real soon.' He sees the virtual town hall, in contrast, as the 'future.' Well, maybe a distant one. This week, however, the prime time presser drew a staggering 40 million views with blanket coverage across every network, while the virtual town hall was only carried in full by CNN and C-SPAN. (FOX and MSNBC showed excerpts, and another 60,000 people watched a live stream online). The topics, tone and purpose of these forums diverge a lot, as they should. Obama ran a campaign urging voters to reject Washington's gamesmanship and 'false choices,' and the town hall did the same. It's not about reporters versus citizens, or hardballs versus softballs, or real versus virtual. It's about opening up government to the people. What they do with it, naturally, is up to them.

--

Ari Melber covered the White House virtual town hall for The Nation, where this article was published.

Thursday's White House daily briefing with Robert Gibbs:

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(Vitale) OBAMA ANSWERED QUESTION SUBMITTED BY KENT STATE STUDENT ALEX VITALE
03/27/2009
Channel 3 News Midday - WKYC-TV

THE VIDEO RELEASED YESTERDAY SHOWS RTA DRIVER ANGELA WILLIAMS WHO STRUCK 59-YEAR-OLD PATRICK MERRILL OF BEREA. HE WAS CROSSING ONTARIO STREET. HE DIED FROM HIS INJURIES ON WEDNESDAY. RTA FIRED HER THREE YEARS AGO FOR HITTING ANOTHER PEDESTRIAN. THAT PERSON WAS NOT SERIOUSLY HURT. THE BUS DRIVER'S UNION APPEALED THE FIRING AND AN ARBITRATOR REINSTATED HER. THE LAKEWOOD MAN WHO PLOTTED WITH A BOY TO BLOW UP HIS SCHOOL WILL SPEND YEARS BEHIND BARS. LEE BILLY WILL CHARGED WITH CHILD PORN. THE ONLY THING THAT STOPPED THE ATTACK WAS THE ARREST OF THE TWO. THE TEEN WAS PREVIOUSLY SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN JUVENILE DETENTION. HUNDREDS OF JOBS MOVING TO CLEVELAND. THE MAYOR FEELS GOOD ABOUT THE IMPROVEMENTS FOR THE CITY. OHIO IS STILL A DONOR STATE. WE NEED TO MAKE CERTAIN WE GET OUR FAIR SHARE. HE ANNOUNCED THREE CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AS PART OF A FEDERAL STIMULUS PACKAGE. INCLUDING WORK ON THE Y-BRIDGE AND UPGRADING WHITE DRIVE AND $8 MILLION FOR THE 277 ACCESS CORRIDOR. IMPROVING ACCESS TO THE STONE TECH CENTER. IN CLEVELAND, THE COST OF BUILDING THE INNERBELT BRIDGE GETS BANK ROLLED WITH STIMULUS MONEY. ALSO IN THE WORKS, $20 MILLION TO CONTINUE PLANS AND DESIGNS FOR A CONNECTOR BETWEEN INTERSTATE 490 AND UNIVERSITY CIRCLE. PRESIDENT OBAMA BECAME THE FIRST PRESIDENT TO HOLD A TOWN HALL MEETING VIA THE INTERNET. STUDENTS IN NORTHEAST OHIO WERE VERY INVOLVED. ONE OF THE QUESTIONS THE PRESIDENT ANSWERED WAS SUBMITTED BY KENT STATE STUDENT ALEX VITALE AND HER FRIENDS. WHAT PROPOSALS DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE? THE PRESIDENT ANSWERED THE QUESTIONS AND ALEX SAYS IT WAS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING THINGS TO EVER HAPPEN TO HER. STUDENTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF AKRON WERE PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE PRESIDENT. THE TOPICS THE PRESIDENT ADDRESSED WAS NOT ON THEIR PRIORITY LIST, BUT? HE HAS NOT BEEN IN OFFICE LONG ENOUGH TO SEE WHAT HE CAN DO. THIS SO-CALLED RECESSION DOES NOT MEAN A WOODEN NICKEL TO ANY OF THESE PEOPLE. ALL RIGHT. MANY STUDENTS SAID THEY WERE HAPPY TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO BE INVOLVED IN THE TOWN HALL MEETING AND WOULD CONSIDER DOING IT AGAIN. IT IS NICE AND SUNNY TODAY. WHAT IS IN STORE FOR YOUR WEEKEND? HERE IS HOLLIE WITH THE FIRST CHECK. TAKE A LOOK. IT IS BEAUTIFUL. LOTS OF LOWER AND MID-50s AT THIS POINT. IT IS 56 DOWNTOWN AT BURKE LAKE FRONT. LOW 50s FOR AKRON AND CANTON AND WOOSTER. WE WILL CONTINUE WITH THE MIX OF CLOUDS AND SUNSHINE. THERE IS ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM TRACKING IN OUR DIRECTION. YOU CAN SEE THE RAIN SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. WHEN DO THEY ARRIVE? IT IS OVER THE WEEKEND AT SOME POINT. I'LL LET YOU KNOW WHEN AND TAKE A LOOK AT THE NEXT FIVE DAYS COMING UP. THANK YOU. COMING UP THIS MIDDAY, SOCIAL NETWORKING IS WILDLY POPULAR THESE DAYS. ONE GROUP IS USING ALL THOSE SITES TO HELP UNEMPLOYED WORKERS FIND JOBS. PLUS, IF YOU ARE DEALING WITH UNEMPLOYMENT OR FORECLOSURE, WE WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO THE GUY THROWING A PARTY FOR YOU. AND A BOBCAT ATTACK IN A BAR? CAUGHT ON TAPE. WE WILL SHOW YOU NEXT. AND THE ROCK 'N'ROLL INDUCTION CEREMONY JUST A WEEK AWAY. CHANNEL 3 IS PARTNERING WITH THE ROCK HALL TO BRING YOU SPECIAL STORIES AND INTERVIEWS ON AIR AND ONLINE AT WKYC. COM. TUNE IN TOMORROW MORNING AT 9:00 AMFOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN TICKETS TO A SPECIAL ROCK HALL INDUCTION WEEK CONCERT. NEXT FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd, WE WILL BRING YOU THE RED CARPET ACTION WITH THE LIVE SPECIAL AT 7:00 P.

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Kent State seeking input on plans for May 4 visitors' center (Davis, Harvey) | View Clip
03/28/2009
Record-Courier

By Colin McEwen

Record-Courier staff writer

A new Kent State University visitors center is in the works for those seeking to learn more about the events on May 4, 1970, that resulted in the deaths of four students and the wounding of nine others.

Forums are planned this week to seek public opinion and input on the proposed permanent exhibit.

Visitors center coordinator Dr. Laura Davis said the exhibit will be located in Taylor Hall adjacent to the May 4 Memorial site, and serve as an on-campus educational resource for students as well as community members. There are some resources on campus that have to do with recognizing the legacy of the event, but theres no place on campus to find information about what happened, said Davis, who is also an associate provost with the university. A lot of people want to know more. She said the exhibit will be helpful for visitors to the campus, and could be used as a teaching tool for instructors.

The university will cover the cost of designing the exhibit, and the improvements to the area of Taylor Hall in the former Daily Kent Stater newsroom will be paid for through donations and grants.

Davis was a witness to events on May 4, 1970, which resulted in the deaths of four students and the wounding of nine others in the aftermath of an anti-war protest on the campus. If the project gets enough funding in time, the exhibit will open near the 40th anniversary of the events in 2010, she said.

Organizers are hoping citizens in the community pitch in their ideas.

KSU is sponsoring two public forums this week seeking feedback from the community about goals of the proposed center as well as organizing themes.

Iris Harvey, vice president of university relations, said the university believes the events on May 4 serve as an important moment in American history and hold significant educational value. We understand fully there are strong emotions and different perspectives about what happened that day, she said. In planning the visitors center, we want to ensure that many voices are heard. All members of the campus and Kent-area community are invited to attend and share input at both meetings. The first forum is scheduled to take place from 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday in Room 250 of Oscar Ritchie Hall on the Kent campus. The second will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday at McKay Bricker Gallery & Framing in downtown Kent. What happened on the day was as important to the city as it was for the campus, said Davis. I hope people will take advantage of this opportunity while the opportunity exists. No price tag has been placed on the project yet, as KSU is still in the early planning stages.

The university is working with Maryland-based Gallagher & Associates exhibit design which designed such structures as the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood and the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum in Chicago.

For more information, or to make reservations for the forum, call 330-672-8560 or e-mail kspicer@kent.edu.

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Kent State making move downtown; university to lease space for offices (Lefton, Kolbe) | View Clip
03/29/2009
Record-Courier

By Matt Fredmonsky

Record-Courier staff writer

Kent State University is getting ready to make history in downtown Kent on the eve of the schools centennial celebration.

The university is planning to occupy about 6,000 square feet of office and retail space in the $6.5 million Phoenix Project redevelopment under way on East Main Street.

Offices and student-run retail operations are set to open in the summer and fall, just as the university starts celebrating its 2010 bicentennial with a homecoming bash in October.

The Phoenix Project space marks the universitys first physical presence downtown.

Ron Burbick, who is funding the redevelopment, said one goal of the project is to attract students to downtown Kent. We wanted to get more of the town and gown together, and this is an ideal way of doing it, Burbick said. Its a good way to get students downtown other than just for tattoos and the bars. Marketing students from the universitys College of Communication and Information will fill the entire second floor of the projects second phase, which is about 5,000 square feet. Framing for the second floor addition began rising this week.

Business students will run two store-front locations on Acorn Alley, the third-phase retail expansion of the project, totaling about 900 square feet. The businesses will operate under the supervision of Rick Kolbe, chair of KSUs department of marketing and entrepreneurship.

Kolbe said one of the store fronts will include a snack shop. Students are submitting proposals to determine what the second business should be. We like to give students opportunities to develop business ideas and let them have the experiences they need to start up a business, keep it running and modify it to market trends, Kolbe said. Those stores are being created for that purpose. The idea of having a strong town-gown relationship is one of our motivations for doing this, as well as having the opportunity to have students start up businesses and make them work, he said. Students in the entrepreneur program also will be running a new cafe inside the Kent Free Library. The universitys presence in the Phoenix Project and city library could be seen as the first symbolic steps in the larger effort of tying together KSU with the city.

Expanding into downtown is a part of KSU President Lester Leftons endeavor to improve the universitys status in the region.

Lefton said integrating downtown Kent with the KSU campus can open up a world of opportunities. We see downtown Kent as integral to the success of Kent State, Lefton said. Kolbe said the University of Dayton and Boston College are existing examples where students are running store-front retail operations. Secession plans are established, and the businesses are passed on to younger students as seniors in management positions graduate. The businesses may evolve over time, but a particularly successful approach may become permanent or move on to a larger space.

The operations may attract students, but Kolbe said the businesses will not deter community members. We also anticipate and would value patronage by the community, he said. We encourage that, in fact.

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Free Kent concert features Miami String Quartet (Chan, Yu Jin, Meng Robinson, Robinson) | View Clip
03/29/2009
Stow Sentry

Kent State University's Hugh A. Glauser School of Music will host the internationally recognized Miami String Quartet with special guest, renowned pianist Andr-Michel Schub, as they perform their spring concert on April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will be in the Ludwig Recital Hall in the Music and Speech Center, 1325 Theatre Dr. in Kent.

The repertoire for the concert will include the Mozart piano quartet in g minor K 478, Schubert 'The Wanderer' Fantasy Opus 15 for solo piano and the Dvorak piano quartet in E flat Opus 87.

The concert will feature guest pianist Andre-Michel Schub, winner of the 1974 Naumburg International Piano Competition, recipient of the 1977 Avery Fisher Career Grant and grand prize winner of the 1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Schub has been the artistic director of the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Music Series since 1997.

The Miami String Quartet has been Kent State's Quartet in Residence since 2004 and the members serve as full-time faculty in the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music. The Quartet's members are Ivan Chan, violin; Yu Jin, viola; Cathy Meng Robinson, violin; and Keith Robinson, cello.

The Miami String Quartet has appeared extensively throughout the United States and Europe. Highlights of recent seasons include performances in New York at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Boston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Paul and its own concert series in Palm Beach, Florida. International highlights include appearances in Bern, Cologne, Istanbul, Lausanne, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, Hong Kong, Taipei and Paris. The Quartet has toured with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and they appear annually with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. In 2002 the Miami String Quartet made its debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Schub has appeared as a guest artist with Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Ravinia, the Blossom Festival, Wolf Trap and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico. He has repeatedly performed with the world's most prestigious orchestras, among them the Boston Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles and the New York Philharmonics, the Detroit Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw and the Bournemouth Symphony.

The concert is free and open to the public.

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(KSU Tuscarawas) SBDC schedules financial summits (Spencer) | View Clip
03/30/2009
Weirton Daily Times, The

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STEUBENVILLE The SDB Finance Corp. will hold a growth summit on financial programs at Jefferson Community College May 22 as part of a series of financial summits being held across Eastern Ohio. The Business Growth Summit is provided by SDBFC and the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Kent State University Tuscarawas. The Summit replaces the annual SDBFC Finance Seminar that was held at the at the KSU Tuscarawas campus, making it more convenient for small businesses to attend at nearby locations around the region.and brings the same quality information to a location near you. The summit provides information about financing programs available through the Small Business Administration, the Ohio Department of Development and the Ohio Small Business Development Center. Information will be available on changes to SBA loan programs, including the elimination of fees and increased guarantees as part of the national recovery act. There is no charge to businesses or prospective business owners to attend, but reservations are required by contacting Deanna Spencer at the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Kent State Tuscarawas at (330) 308-7522 or by e-mail at dmspence@kent.edu. The Growth Summit schedule includes: April 17 Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, 222 Market Ave. N., Canton, OH 44702 May 8 Zane State College Campus Center, Room T430, 1555 Newark Road, Zanesville, OH 43701 May 15 Holmes-Wayne Electric Co-op, 6060 state Route 83, Millersburg, OH 44654 May 22 Jefferson Community College, 4000 Sunset Blvd., Steubenville. Registration for all programs will take place from 8 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. with the program running from 8:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.

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(KSU Trumbull) Good news, bad news on the academic front | View Clip
03/28/2009
Record - Online, The

True, its not a great time financially to be going or sending a kid to college. But from the success of a bailout to the federal student loan system, to the tuition 'deals' some colleges are offering, theres more good news out there on college costs and financial aid than some families recognize.

A look at the good and the bad for the college-bound: Tuition Bad: State budgets are still in flux, but when theyre done, many public universities are likely to impose sharp tuition increases. During the last decade, tuition at public colleges has been rising at a rate of 4 percent per year " above overall inflation.

Good: With help from federal stimulus money, some public colleges will manage more modest price increases as they drastically cut spending. Maryland will try to freeze in-state tuition for a fourth straight year. Others will keep it closer to their usual increases, like Kentucky, with increases set for between 3 and 5 percent.

Many private colleges have announced their smallest increases in years. Becker and Merrimack colleges in Massachusetts are among those freezing tuition, room and board. William Jessup University in California will cut tuition 2.5 percent. Some are offering 'specials.' Laid-off employees get one-time tuition and application fee waivers at Kent State-Trumbull in Ohio. Mercer University in Georgia and Manchester College in Indiana promise to cover the costs of additional time if students stay on track but are unable to graduate in four years. Manchester will even refund a years tuition if you dont have a job or a slot in grad school within six months of graduation. Financial aid Bad: The average college endowment is down around one-fourth. Many colleges, particularly regional universities, will be unable to offer as much scholarship support.

Good: The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says more than 90 percent of private colleges will increase aid next year. The group recently surveyed about 200 institutions and found they planned tuition increases averaging 4 percent, but aid increases of 9.8 percent.

Government grants

Bad: State budget cuts will hit a range of programs that support students at both public and private colleges. Criteria for merit scholarships in some states have already tightened.

Good: The federal government is expanding college aid, particularly for low-income students. The stimulus package raises the maximum Pell Grant from $4,731 to $5,350 starting July 1, and $5,550 in 2010-2011. An extra 800,000 students are expected to get Pell funding.

Federal student loans Bad: There are two major components of the giant federal loan program " direct lending by the government and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Under the latter, lenders including banks and non-profits provide student loans that are guaranteed by the federal government. The program accounts for more than $50 billion in new student loans annually to more than 10 million students, but hundreds of lenders have dropped out.

Good: Considering the upheaval in family loan program, the flow of federal loans has held up remarkably well. In fact, if the system that lends money to businesses, homes and automobiles had held up half as well as the one that provides government-backed loans to students, the economy might not be in such a mess.

Private student loans Bad: When students max out on their eligibility for federal loans and still need more money, many turn to private loans that dont have government guarantees and are usually more expensive. This year, there is less money available. Tim Ranzetta from Student Lending Analytics estimates the 'supply' of loan capital from private lenders has declined by around one-third, or between about $6 billion and $7 billion.

Good: The federal government accounts for five times as much student aid as do private loans. Increased limits for federal programs like Stafford loans have lessened students need for private ones.

For more info, contact your college financial aid office, or go to www.ed.gov.

True, its not a great time financially to be going or sending a kid to college. But from the success of a bailout to the federal student loan system, to the tuition 'deals' some colleges are offering, theres more good news out there on college costs and financial aid than some families recognize.

A look at the good and the bad for the college-bound:

Tuition

Bad: State budgets are still in flux, but when theyre done, many public universities are likely to impose sharp tuition increases. During the last decade, tuition at public colleges has been rising at a rate of 4 percent per year " above overall inflation.

Good: With help from federal stimulus money, some public colleges will manage more modest price increases as they drastically cut spending. Maryland will try to freeze in-state tuition for a fourth straight year. Others will keep it closer to their usual increases, like Kentucky, with increases set for between 3 and 5 percent.

Many private colleges have announced their smallest increases in years. Becker and Merrimack colleges in Massachusetts are among those freezing tuition, room and board. William Jessup University in California will cut tuition 2.5 percent. Some are offering 'specials.' Laid-off employees get one-time tuition and application fee waivers at Kent State-Trumbull in Ohio. Mercer University in Georgia and Manchester College in Indiana promise to cover the costs of additional time if students stay on track but are unable to graduate in four years. Manchester will even refund a years tuition if you dont have a job or a slot in grad school within six months of graduation.

Financial aid

Bad: The average college endowment is down around one-fourth. Many colleges, particularly regional universities, will be unable to offer as much scholarship support.

Good: The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities says more than 90 percent of private colleges will increase aid next year. The group recently surveyed about 200 institutions and found they planned tuition increases averaging 4 percent, but aid increases of 9.8 percent.

Government grants

Bad: State budget cuts will hit a range of programs that support students at both public and private colleges. Criteria for merit scholarships in some states have already tightened.

Good: The federal government is expanding college aid, particularly for low-income students. The stimulus package raises the maximum Pell Grant from $4,731 to $5,350 starting July 1, and $5,550 in 2010-2011. An extra 800,000 students are expected to get Pell funding.

Federal student loans

Bad: There are two major components of the giant federal loan program " direct lending by the government and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). Under the latter, lenders including banks and non-profits provide student loans that are guaranteed by the federal government. The program accounts for more than $50 billion in new student loans annually to more than 10 million students, but hundreds of lenders have dropped out.

Good: Considering the upheaval in family loan program, the flow of federal loans has held up remarkably well. In fact, if the system that lends money to businesses, homes and automobiles had held up half as well as the one that provides government-backed loans to students, the economy might not be in such a mess.

Private student loans

Bad: When students max out on their eligibility for federal loans and still need more money, many turn to private loans that dont have government guarantees and are usually more expensive. This year, there is less money available. Tim Ranzetta from Student Lending Analytics estimates the 'supply' of loan capital from private lenders has declined by around one-third, or between about $6 billion and $7 billion.

Good: The federal government accounts for five times as much student aid as do private loans. Increased limits for federal programs like Stafford loans have lessened students need for private ones.

For more info, contact your college financial aid office, or go to www.ed.gov.

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(LCI) Scientists solve 'wet shoe' problem
03/27/2009
Hindustan Times

London, Mar. 27 -- Ever wondered why your shoes' top gets soaked while walking on a wet pavement? Well, researchers from the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University in Ohio have got the answer for the query.

Using a high-speed video camera to film a person walking on a wet floor, researchers calculated that shoes flick up about a pint of water after walking 20 kilometres on a damp day.

The effect, however, is lessened if a person is walking slowly, reports New Scientist.

Researchers say shoes designed with car tyre treads on the soles would solve the problem by draining water away before it can be flung upwards. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Asian News International.

Copyright © 2009 Hindustan Times

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(LCI) The Wet Shoe Mystery Solved | View Clip
03/27/2009
Good Magazine

Have you ever wondered how the top of your shoe gets wet just from walking on a wet surface? Researchers from a place called the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University took it upon themselves to find out.

The answer is incredibly satisfying. And science may even be able to solve this problem with better shoe design. Just dont tell Bobby Jindal if the Liquid Crystal Institute gets any stimulus money.

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Researchers at Kent State University have published new data on microdialysis (Ruby, DePaul, Glass)
03/30/2009
Biotech Business Week

"Ruby CL, Prosser RA, DePaul MA, Roberts RJ, Glass JD. Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster," scientists in the United States report (see also ).

"Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R411-R418, 2009. First published December 10, 2008; doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.90782.2008.-Disrupted circadian rhythmicity is associated with ethanol ( EtOH) abuse, yet little is known about how EtOH affects the mammalian circadian clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Clock timing is regulated by photic and nonphotic inputs to the SCN involving glutamate release from the retinohypothalamic tract and serotonin (5-HT) from the midbrain raphe, respectively. Our recent in vitro studies in the SCN slice revealed that EtOH blocks photic phase-resetting action of glutamate and enhances the nonphotic phase-resetting action of the 5-HT1A,7 agonist, 8-OH-DPAT. To explore the basis of these effects in the whole animal, we used microdialysis to characterize the pharmacokinetics of intraperitoneal injection of EtOH in the hamster SCN extracellular fluid compartment and then studied the effects of such EtOH treatment on photic and serotonergic phase resetting of the circadian locomotor activity rhythm. Peak EtOH levels (similar to 50 mM) from a 2 g/kg injection occurred within 20-40 min with a half-life of similar to 3 h. EtOH treatment dose-dependently attenuated photic phase advances but had no effect on phase delays and, contrary to in vitro findings, markedly attenuated 8-OH-DPAT-induced phase advances. In a complementary experiment using reverse microdialysis to deliver a timed SCN perfusion of EtOH during a phase-advancing light pulse, the phase advances were blocked, similar to systemic EtOH treatment. These results are evidence that acute EtOH significantly affects photic and nonphotic phase-resetting responses critical to circadian clock regulation. Notably, EtOH inhibition of photic signaling is manifest through direct action in the SCN," wrote C.L. Ruby and colleagues, Kent State University.

The researchers concluded: "Such actions could underlie the disruption of circadian rhythmicity associated with alcohol abuse."

Ruby and colleagues published their study in American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology (Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2009;296(2):R411-R418).

For additional information, contact J.D. Glass, Kent State University, Dept. of Biology Science, Kent, OH 44242, USA.

The publisher's contact information for the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology is: American Physiological Society, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.

Copyright © 2009 Biotech Business Week via NewsRx.com

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Researchers at Kent State University have published new data on microdialysis (Ruby, DePaul, Glass)
03/30/2009
Pharma Business Week

"Ruby CL, Prosser RA, DePaul MA, Roberts RJ, Glass JD. Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster," scientists in the United States report (see also ).

"Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 296: R411-R418, 2009. First published December 10, 2008; doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.90782.2008.-Disrupted circadian rhythmicity is associated with ethanol ( EtOH) abuse, yet little is known about how EtOH affects the mammalian circadian clock of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Clock timing is regulated by photic and nonphotic inputs to the SCN involving glutamate release from the retinohypothalamic tract and serotonin (5-HT) from the midbrain raphe, respectively. Our recent in vitro studies in the SCN slice revealed that EtOH blocks photic phase-resetting action of glutamate and enhances the nonphotic phase-resetting action of the 5-HT1A,7 agonist, 8-OH-DPAT. To explore the basis of these effects in the whole animal, we used microdialysis to characterize the pharmacokinetics of intraperitoneal injection of EtOH in the hamster SCN extracellular fluid compartment and then studied the effects of such EtOH treatment on photic and serotonergic phase resetting of the circadian locomotor activity rhythm. Peak EtOH levels (similar to 50 mM) from a 2 g/kg injection occurred within 20-40 min with a half-life of similar to 3 h. EtOH treatment dose-dependently attenuated photic phase advances but had no effect on phase delays and, contrary to in vitro findings, markedly attenuated 8-OH-DPAT-induced phase advances. In a complementary experiment using reverse microdialysis to deliver a timed SCN perfusion of EtOH during a phase-advancing light pulse, the phase advances were blocked, similar to systemic EtOH treatment. These results are evidence that acute EtOH significantly affects photic and nonphotic phase-resetting responses critical to circadian clock regulation. Notably, EtOH inhibition of photic signaling is manifest through direct action in the SCN," wrote C.L. Ruby and colleagues, Kent State University.

The researchers concluded: "Such actions could underlie the disruption of circadian rhythmicity associated with alcohol abuse."

Ruby and colleagues published their study in American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology (Acute ethanol impairs photic and nonphotic circadian phase resetting in the Syrian hamster. American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2009;296(2):R411-R418).

For additional information, contact J.D. Glass, Kent State University, Dept. of Biology Science, Kent, OH 44242, USA.

The publisher's contact information for the American Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology is: American Physiological Society, 9650 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.

Copyright © 2009 Pharma Business Week via NewsRx.com

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