Good News Headlines 3/22/2023

Students Hug Democratic Minnesota Gov Tim Walz After He Signed A Universal Free School Meal Bill Into Law On March 17 2023

Students hug Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz after he signed a universal free school meal bill into law on March 17, 2023. (Photo: More Perfect Union/Twitter)

‘Beautiful’: Minnesota Becomes 4th State To Provide Free School Meals To All Kids

by Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams

Surrounded by students, teachers, and advocates, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on Friday afternoon signed into law a bill to provide breakfast and lunch at no cost to all of the state’s roughly 820,000 K-12 pupils regardless of their household income. The move to make Minnesota the fourth U.S. state to guarantee universal free school meals elicited praise from progressives. UC-Berkeley professor and former U.S. labor secretary Robert Reich wrote on social media: “Let this serve as a reminder that poverty is a policy choice. In the richest country in the world, it is absolutely inexcusable that millions of our children go to school hungry because they are living in poverty.”

Disband Homeless Camps? Some Cities Rethink Them Instead

by Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor

When Salt Lake City began enforcing an urban camping ban several years ago, hundreds of Utahns picked up their belongings and headed toward the Jordan River. For centuries, it has been “a place of refuge,” says Søren Simonsen, executive director of the Jordan River Commission. Today, growing numbers of encampments filled with Americans without permanent homes dot the banks of the river. A decade ago, Utah had largely “solved” homelessness, reducing it by 91%. Now it is considering an idea that is gaining traction across the United States: outlawing unsanctioned camping and creating government-sanctioned tent encampments as steppingstones for those without homes to find more permanent housing.

The End Isn’t Nigh. Why We Should Be Optimistic About The Future

by Daniel Fahey, Positive News

Doom has become a profitable industry. Do a quick search for ‘wipe out humans’ and Google will spit out page after page of the-end-is-nigh predictions. It’s all great Hollywood fodder. But, as the scientist and writer John Hands argues in his latest book The Future of Humankind, when these types of forecasts are tested against their eventual outcomes, they are always disproven. Following on from the success of this last book, Cosmosapiens, the former University of North London lecturer, has spent the last six years delving into the evidence surrounding the main existential threats to humankind, and offers a different take: we should be more optimistic.

Mushroom Explosion In California: Rains Lead To Epic ‘Supershroom’ Season

by Andy Corbley, Good News Network

With Southern California stuck in a 20-year drought, the torrential rains this winter have given the state’s wood wide web a bumper crop of mushrooms not seen in 26 years. 600% more rain has fallen this year than in any other this century, and combined with chilly nights and a waxing moon that’s past half-size, mushrooms can start coming out everywhere there’s grass. Across the world, every mushroom picker knows that a day or two after heavy rains is the best time to look for mushrooms. National Geographic reports citizen scientists and fungal researchers, called mycologists, are plucking dozens of never-before-identified species of shrooms.

Buzzzz! World’s First TV Gameshow For Deaf People

by Robin Eveleigh, Positive News

A groundbreaking quiz show celebrating the unique skills of deaf people has proven a hit with viewers. Sign2Win is one of the latest shows to be launched by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT), which commissions TV programmes made in British Sign Language. Its slate includes drama, comedy, chat shows and documentaries, with deaf programme makers involved behind the scenes, and deaf actors. Quiz shows have proved a bugbear for deaf viewers, with questions often based on audio cues like music, or buzzer rounds demanding quick-fire answers which lose immediacy with a picture-inscreen sign language interpreter.