Good News Headlines 2/15/2023


Alabama Community Rallies Around Author After School District Cancels Black History Month Event

by Jacalyn Wetzel, Upworthy

Imagine how children feel when they find out that the person preparing to read them a story is the person who wrote it. That’s exactly the treat that several classrooms were primed to get when award-winning children’s book author Derrick Barnes was scheduled to read to students at three schools in the Hoover City Schools public school district near Birmingham, Alabama. But just days before the start of Black History Month, the superintendent of Hoover City Schools abruptly canceled the scheduled readings. But the Alabama community decided they were not going to allow this situation to stand and chose to do something about it any way they could.

The Stress Secret: 12 Ways To Meditate – Without Actually Meditating

by Amy Fleming, The Guardian

Meditation isn’t for everyone. Or at least not when life has taken you so far from calm that your brain is soup. “It’s the nature of the mind to have this ongoing conversation in the background,” says Joy Rains, a mindfulness practitioner and author of Meditation Illuminated: Simple Ways to Manage Your Busy Mind. “I call this ‘Stuff’, which is an acronym for stories, thoughts, urges, frustrations and feelings. When you’re in a meditative state, you’re in the here and now and you’re releasing your Stuff. You’re not getting caught up in judgments, thoughts about the past, worries about the future.”

Meet The People Safeguarding The Sacred Forests And Lagoons Of West Africa

by Ricci Shryock, NPR

When a logging company tried to force its way into a traditional forest in Daniel Karworo’s hometown in rural Liberia, the machine got stuck in the mud and did not manage to cut down a single tree. Karworo says the spirit of the sacred forest stopped the truck. But he also remembers his aunts and relatives physically protesting to protect what they say is their priceless community forest. “[The logging company] said the government already gave them papers to enter the forest,” he recalls nearly 20 years later. “The people said, ‘No, this is our traditional forest. We are reserving it for our great-grandchildren. We are protecting it for them.’ ”

‘Huge Win’: Railway Unions Strike Deal On Sick Leave With Industry Giant CSX

by Brett Wilkins, Common Dreams

After sustained pressure from organized workers and their allies, freight rail giant CSX Transportation agreed Tuesday to provide 5,000 employees in two unions with four days of paid sick leave each year—an industry-first move progressive said should serve as an example for other companies to follow. The agreement reached between Jacksonville, Florida-based CSX and two unions—the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen (BRC) and the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED)—will provide four days of fully paid sick leave each year, while allowing union members to take up to three personal leave days annually.

Report: London Ultra Low Emissions Zone Succeeded In Curbing Harmful Air Pollution

by Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch

In 2019, London Mayor Sadiq Khan established the world’s first 24-hour Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in central London to protect the city’s residents from deadly air pollution. The ULEZ imposed £12.50 fines on vehicles whose emissions exceeded certain standards. Two years later, Khan expanded the zone to include inner London within the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads. Now, a new peer-reviewed report from the mayor’s office finds the policy has paid off months before Khan plans to expand it once again.  “As a former lawyer, I just love looking at the evidence. The evidence today is game, set and match unequivocal,” Khan told the Evening Standard of the report.