Kid Started One of the California Fires

Greetings from Bryant Park, where we stopped playing with matches a long time ago.

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BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT with Alison Stewart and Luke Burbank.

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LUKE BURBANK, host:

This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News, your home for news information and today, some blood sucking. And I don't mean the Democratic debate.

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BURBANK: We got to get a laugh track on this show. Geez, Louise. We are going to talk about the Democratic debate, though. I'm Luke Burbank.

ALISON STEWART, host:

And I'm Alison Stewart.

It is Wednesday, October 31st. And this is the story that everybody was talking about in the newsroom this morning: California wildfires. Everybody wanted what set them off. One person described a boy - a child apparently has admitted to starting one of the more than dozen wildfires that just destroyed Southern California. A kid admitted to it. He was playing with matches.

BURBANK: I mean, that is - I don't know if it is just a little boy thing more than a little girl thing. I can say the main occupation during the summertime for me as a kid was almost starting fires, all the time.

Dr. Minoli Weatherall in the control room is agreeing. She did that, too. Anyway, just talked about the worst. I mean, let's - we don't know how old the kid is, but if he's a little kid anyway, I mean, you got to feel kind of bad for him.

STEWART: Yeah. The case will been presented to the L.A. County District Attorney's Office for further action. That's what the officials have said.

BURBANK: And you are so grounded, kiddo. We have got a lot of great stuff on the show today - the Halloween Edition of THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

There's a panel, a committee called the CPSC, that's the Consumer Product Safety Commission. And it's supposed to sort of make sure that toys and things that get brought into this country and just basically things you buy aren't full of lead, that they're safe. And the Senate is trying to really beef up this commission, give them way more money, more control. And there's somebody who doesn't want that to happen.

STEWART: And boy, is she in a lot of trouble with a lot of people right now.

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BURBANK: And the lady is the boss of that commission. Have you ever heard of that happening? We're going talk about that.

STEWART: You heard Luke mentioned Dr. Minoli Weatherall, our engineer today. In the spirit - Halloween spirit - has a costume on, has put cobwebs up in the studio. We're going to have an editorial from Jill Sobule, singer-songwriter and now commentator for the BPP, giving us her thoughts on what's really scary about Halloween.

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Ms. JILL SOBULE (Singer, Songwriter): (Singing) It's not on the razor in the apple, though I heard that never happened. No, it's something much worse.

BURBANK: Ominous.

STEWART: Tell us what it is, just very shortly.

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