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Playlist: O'Dark 30 episode 141 (3-37)

Compiled By: KUT

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KUT's O’Dark 30 is back at it with more of the very best from the world of independent radio production. Every Sunday at midnight on Austin's KUT 90.5 and also at 4pm on digital KUT2 we present 3 hours of a little bit of everything from the world of independent radio production.

Episode 141 (3-37) includes episode 26 (citius, altius, fortius, horrendius)...Sochi 2014 Olympic Building Boom...Mexico '68:A Movement, A Massacre, and the 40-yr Search for the Truth...The Mind of the Innovator...The Beatles: Every Little Thing - Episode 3...The Class Menagerie...#55 - How I Get By

Citius, Altius, Fortius, Horrendius

From Nate DiMeo | Part of the the memory palace series | 06:56

In which we here the outrageous story of the third olympic marathon--the first event of the 1904 St. Louis Olympics.


Sochi 2014 Olympic Building Boom

From Julia Barton | 05:24

Russia's southern-most city of Sochi is gearing up to host the Winter Olympics in 2014. Russian president Vladimir Putin says hosting the Games is a long-time dream for his country, but many Sochi residents say Olympic construction has become a nightmare.


Sochi 2014: Building Boom for Winter Olympics Leaves Some Behind

By Julia Barton March 26, 2012

Katya Davidenko sits with a group of students who study English at a college in the Russian resort city of Sochi. She said she’s excited for the day when thousands of athletes and spectators from around the world will descend on her hometown for the 2014 Winter Games.

“Before Olympic Games were announced, I felt like I will leave this city and go and live somewhere else,” Davidenko said. “But now, when I see what is happening here, I obviously will stay here.”

But not all the students share Davidenko’s enthusiasm. Diana Kozlova, who recently got married, said rents are going up quickly and she can’t afford to start a family.

“The local people can’t live here because life in Sochi has become very expensive,” she said.

Whether Sochi is getting better or worse as a result of the coming Olympics, one thing is certain — this once sleepy resort town will never be the same.

Almost every corner of Sochi now bears the marks of massive construction. New hotels and condos sprout from the hillsides. The Russian government is building new highways and some 30 miles of light rail. The construction requires multiple tunnels through solid rock.

Sochi’s facelift has officially cost the Russian government at least $10 billion, and state-controlled companies like Gazprom have spent billions more constructing hotels and resorts in the area.

Russia has pledged that Sochi 2014 will be the greenest Olympics yet, but the environmental groups Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund have already pulled out of an agreement to monitor the construction. They say the government largely ignored their recommendations.

They’re especially concerned about unofficial dumps springing up in Sochi.

Tatiana Skyba lives in the hills above the new Olympic ice skating and hockey arenas. She says one night last April, she and her neighbors were awoken by a terrible noise. Their houses shook as if in an earthquake. It was a landslide.

Skyba said her house was knocked off its foundations. The city gave her and her neighbors some money to build new homes. But those houses have started sinking at strange angles. The ground is still moving, and residents now blame a large dump up the hill. They say trucks bring loads of concrete rubble there every day.

City officials say there’s no connection between the dump and the sinking of nearby homes. Still, Sochi has seen an increase in landslides since Olympic construction began.

Meanwhile, Skyba and her neighbors are stuck in their tilted houses above the gleaming Olympic park.

“We have this joke among us on the street,” Skyba said. “By the time the Olympics start, we won’t have to buy tickets. We’ll have already slid down there.”

At least Skyba still lives in her old neighborhood. About a thousand Sochi families have had to move because of the Olympics. That number of evictions is small compared with other places that have hosted recent “mega sports events.” The UN Human Rights Council found that the 2008 Beijing Olympics prompted at least 6,000 evictions.

In a statement, the International Olympic Committee said that it takes the issue of relocation very seriously.

“A certain number of relocations have been necessary for the construction of Olympic venues, and Sochi 2014 and the government has assured us that people are being fairly compensated in line with Russian law,” the IOC said.

While the IOC said it has met with some of the displaced families in Sochi, it hasn’t spoken with one man there who’s been in a standoff with Russian authorities.

Aleksei Kravets stands in front of his home on the Black Sea in Adler. (Photo: Julia Barton)

Alexei Kravets stands in front of his home on the Black Sea in Adler. (Photo: Julia Barton)

Alexei Kravets has been living in one room of his house on the Black Sea coast. He’s been without water, gas or electricity for five months, since the city demolished the rest of his neighborhood to make way for a new rail yard. His cinderblock house is surrounded by mud and rubble, and he’s painted slogans like “IOC help!” and “SOS!” in red on all the windows.

“In the evening, a backhoe comes up to the house and starts to scrape the concrete just to pressure me psychologically,” Kravets said. “If I left the place for, like, 15 minutes, they’d tear it down right away.”

Kravets said the backhoes have damaged the walls and he’s afraid the house could collapse on him. He’s refused the government’s offer of an apartment three miles from the coast. He’s a lawyer, and he’s appealed to Russian and European courts for help, but has gotten no ruling.

“We never asked anything from the state,” Kravets said. “We built the house all by ourselves, and now the state is taking it away from us.”

Kravets pulled out a small laptop and showed a video he made. Recently he put some of his belongings into a metal storage unit behind his house to save them from demolition. Construction workers immediately showed up with a crane to take the unit away.

“Where do you work?” Kravets demanded of the supervisor in the video. “Where are your orders to remove my things?”

“We are building Olympic facilities,” the man said. Kravets again asked for court papers, but the man brushed him off.

“It’s a government decision,” the man said.

Mexico '68: A Movement, A Massacre and the 40-Yr Search for the Truth

From Radio Diaries | 22:25

In the summer of 1968, students in Mexico began to challenge the country's authoritarian government. But the movement was short-lived, lasting less than three months. It ended on October 2, 1968, ten days before the opening of the Olympics in Mexico City, when military troops opened fire on a peaceful student demonstration. The shooting lasted over two hours. The next day the government sent in cleaners to wash the blood from the plaza floor.

The official announcement was that four students were dead, but eyewitnesses said hundreds were killed. The death toll was not the only thing the government covered up about that event.

The Massacre of Tlatelolco has become a defining moment in Mexican history, but for forty years the truth of that day has remained hidden.

Produced by Joe Richman and Anayansi Diaz-Cortes of Radio Diaries.

Rd_mex68_prx_small In the summer of 1968, Mexico was experiencing the birth of a new student movement.

But that movement was short-lived. On Oct. 2, 1968, 10 days before the opening of the Summer Olympics in Mexico City, police officers and military troops shot into a crowd of unarmed students. Thousands of demonstrators fled in panic as tanks bulldozed over Tlatelolco Plaza.

Government sources originally reported that four people had been killed and 20 wounded, while eyewitnesses described the bodies of hundreds of young people being trucked away. Thousands of students were beaten and jailed, and many disappeared. Forty years later, the final death toll remains a mystery, but documents recently released by the U.S. and Mexican governments give a better picture of what may have triggered the massacre. Those documents suggest that snipers posted by the military fired on fellow troops, provoking them to open fire on the students.

The Beginning Of A Movement

In 1968, student movements were breaking out all over the world — including in France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Argentina, Japan and the United States.

Mexico, like many countries in the prosperous 1960s, had spawned a vibrant middle class that enjoyed a quality of life unimaginable in previous decades. These children of the Mexican Revolution that now lived in comfort were, for the first time, able to send their own children to university in unprecedented numbers.

The student movement got its start from a street fight between high school students after a football game. The students confronted the Mexico City riot police sent there to end the skirmish. After hours of student resistance, the army was called in to quench the violence. The siege ended when the soldiers blasted the main door of the National Preparatory School in San Ildefonso with a bazooka, killing some of the students in the building.

The National University oversaw the Preparatory School, so the involvement of university officials and students was inevitable. In the following hours, the students decided to organize and protest against the violence exerted by the riot police. Over the following months, Mexico City witnessed a series of student protests and rallies against repression and violence.

The Massacre

Students expected the government to give in to their demands, but they were greeted with a clear message from the president: "No more unrest will be tolerated." The army proceeded in the following days to seize the National University, with virtually no resistance from the students, and later the National Polytechnic Institute, with active and violent student resistance.

After these events, the students rapidly called for a new gathering on Oct. 2 at the Three Cultures Square in the Tlatelolco housing complex. Thousands of students showed up to get firsthand knowledge of the movement's next steps. As the gathering was ending, soldiers arrived to capture the movement's leaders. They were greeted by gunshots from the buildings surrounding the square. The troops then opened fire, turning the evening into a shooting that lasted nearly two hours.

Over the following days, the official account of the events would be that the students — infiltrated by communist forces — had fired on the army, and the soldiers had to fire back to defend themselves.

The 40-Year Search For The Truth

Under an authoritarian regime, no formal investigation into the killings was ever initiated. But a renewed hope to find the truth arrived in 2000 with the election of President Vicente Fox, who broke nearly 70 years of one-party rule. In November 2001, Fox ordered the creation of a "special prosecutor for crimes of the past" to investigate the Tlatelolco massacre. But little was uncovered about the killings or those killed.

The number of civilian casualties reported has ranged between four — in the official count directly after the event — and 3,000. Eyewitnesses recount seeing dozens of bodies and prisoners being trucked away to military bases. But despite efforts by both the student leaders and the special prosecutor to compile the names of the dead, only about 40 have been documented. No siblings, parents or friends of the remaining casualties — if they exist — have come forward to add names to the list.

But new information has come to light through the release of official documents. They reveal that the Presidential Guard — a branch of the military — had posted snipers in the buildings surrounding Tlatelolco Plaza on the day of the massacre. The idea was that the snipers would shoot at the troops posted around the square, and the troops would think student snipers were shooting at them — and then they would open fire.

Using the documents, first-person accounts and archival news reports, along with historic recordings — many of which have never been broadcast before — Radio Diaries has woven together a clearer picture of what happened on Oct. 2.

This story was produced by Joe Richman and Anayansi Diaz-Cortes of Radio Diaries. Thanks to George Lewis and NBC News for some of the audio used in this story.

The Mind of the Innovator

From Richard Paul | 59:01

How engineers think and where innovation originates.

Yoki_and_arm_small We’re told almost daily that we need innovation; that it drives prosperity and economic growth and is the engine of job creation.  We hear about these innovations all the time.  But do we ever stop and wonder where the innovation comes from?  What fosters it?  How we keep it flowing?  In this program we tell the stories of some of real-world change-makers, examine just where their big ideas come from and demonstrate exactly how innovators cultivate an environment of curiosity and experimentation.

The Beatles: Every Little Thing - Episode 3

From Andy Cahn | Part of the The Beatles: Every Little Thing series | 54:02

ELT 3 includes a Beatles "Home"-themed set, and Ringo Starr discussing songs from his 2010 album "Y Not."

Elt-logo3_small Hosted by Ken Michaels ELT3 includes a Beatles "Home"-themed set, an interview with Ringo Starr discussing songs from his 2010 album "Y Not," and a song that George Harrison produced for Badfinger.

The Class Menagerie

From Mary Helen Miller | 11:45

Amy Boortz bought a full-size school in north Georgia to live in with her family. They turned classrooms into bedrooms, and life was alright for a little while... That is, until all the dogs came.

Feeding_dogs_small Wallaceville School was built in 1952 as an elementary school for African-American kids in Chickamauga, Georgia. Eventually, it was shut down and auctioned off as private property. Amy Boortz bought the place a few years ago to fix it up a little. She moved in with her family, but there was still so much extra room. So she started giving a home to rescue dogs. Turns out, taking care of a school full of dogs is a lot of work.

#55 - How I Get By

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | Part of the SaltCast: the Backstory to Great Radio Storytelling series | 14:35

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Logo200_small Focus. Focus. Focus. Someties, the most daunting task for a producer is staying focused. With all the tape and characters and ideas and narration and ambiance and.... it's a challenge to wade through the mountains of info and whittle it down for clarity and intelligibility. Producer and recent Salt Radio grad Andy Mills knows all to well about the "slug-fest" with focus. We feature his story on Maine's youngest medical marijuana user on this edition of the Saltcast.