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What’s A Park Worth?

INCLUDES: ARTICLE; KQED AUDIO CLIPS

Natural-Bridges State Beach, near Santa Cruz (credit: Ca. Dept. of Parks and Recreation)

“These state parks are our cathedrals. This is what defines us as Californians to the rest of the world.  But they are not cheap to run. And so I think Californians need to decide whether it’s worth it to them to save these parks … I think it begs a much deeper question of what we value as Californians.
- Ruth Coleman, California state parks director

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Why Facebook Is Going Public (and how it made one graffiti artist rich)

INCLUDES: ARTICLE; KQED AUDIO; PBS NEWSHOUR VIDEO

Facebook CEO announces his company's plan to go public (credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

When Facebook filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in February, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a public letter outlining Facebook’s mission: to bring the world closer together. With the additional investment money that an IPO would bring, he explained, Facebook would have the resources to better reach that goal.
Or, to put it another way, when Facebook goes public, it stands to make a whole lot of money. IPO’s can be a good way for companies
to have access to a lot of funding fast, Continue reading

IPOs, Investments, and Stocks, Oh My! Explaining the Business of Business

INCLUDES: ARTICLE AND KQED AUDIO; INVESTOPEDIA VIDEO

Credit: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

Since 2004, when Mark Zuckerberg launched the first version of Facebook from his college dorm room, the company has been privately-owned. That means that only a handful of people – Zuckerberg,  a bunch of his early co-workers, and a few private investment firms – owned shares (parts) in the company. This February, though, Facebook announced it was going “public,” which opens the door for outside investors to start thinking about buying into it. Continue reading

Super PACs: Political Fundraising On Steroids

Includes NPR audio and PBS video

Watch Outside Super PACs Poised to Dominate 2012 Spending on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

If there’s anything you should remember about U.S. campaign finance law, it’s this:

For almost every set rule, there is most likely a loophole for getting around that rule.

Keeping track of America’s campaign finance laws is really difficult. Why? Continue reading

What’s So Fair About Fair Housing Laws?

INCLUDES: ARTICLE AND KQED AUDIO CLIP

Rick Reinhard/Flickr

In the 1960’s Congress began enacting a series of civil rights laws intended to (among other things) protect certain classes of home-buyers or renters from discriminatory housing practices,  and to help increase the supply and access of housing for lower income and underrepresented populations. Continue reading