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Ecoterrorism Suspected in Home Fires

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Ecoterrorism Suspected in Home Fires


Ecoterrorism Suspected in Home Fires

Ecoterrorism Suspected in Home Fires

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Three luxury houses in Washington State were destroyed early Monday, and officials say it may have been the work of the Earth Liberation Front. The radical environmentalists have claimed responsibility for dozens of similar attacks.

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

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Live from NPR studios in Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News - news, information, some gay kissing.

I'm Alison Stewart.


Hey, I'm Rachel Martin, and it's Monday, March 4th. It's not Monday. It's Tuesday, March 4th, 2008 - Super Tuesday, of sorts.

STEWART: Yeah, it's - didn't somebody call it Mini-Tuesday or Mojo Tuesday or…

MARTIN: You know, remember back on - in February, February 5th, the original Super Tuesday?


MARTIN: I had friends - we gathered, we stayed up late and watched returns -not so much.

STEWART: Not tonight?

MARTIN: People are getting tired. Mm-hmm.

STEWART: Yeah, well…

MARTIN: (Unintelligible)

STEWART: …there's four states getting to it. Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island go to the polls today, so this could be done tomorrow.

MARTIN: Could be.

STEWART: This could not be done tomorrow.

MARTIN: Could not be.

STEWART: And we'll be talking about Pennsylvania a lot.

MARTIN: We'll be here either way.

STEWART: What else is on today's show?

MARTIN: We are going to talk about gay kissing, actually.

STEWART: Not Rachel and I - we're not going to do it, although you're very attractive…

MARTIN: Thank you.

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STEWART: There is this hot couple on daytime TV these days - Luke and Noah are their names - and they smooched on an episode a while back. And it's believed to be the first time that a gay couple kissed on a daytime soap opera. It's caused a little bit of a stir, because they haven't kissed since, and there are some people out there trying to get them to do so again.


STEWART: The man leading the charge is going to talk with us…

MARTIN: They had one sort of chaste kiss about a month later. But not nearly kind of…


MARTIN: …you know, up to soap opera standards.

STEWART: Okay, who doesn't like hearing that something is free - you're getting something for free? But how exactly does a business make money giving away things for free? We're going to talk to one man who's written a book about how that is the business model for the Web: Your content - what's on the Web - has to be free. He'll explain how that exactly works.

MARTIN: Okay. And a program that's attempting to measure light pollution by how many stars you can see in your backyard. The organizers need your help stargazing. And I'm going to walk you through today's headlines in just a minute, as well as The Most.

But first…

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MARTIN: …arson in Seattle may have come with a political message. Three luxury homes in Washington State were destroyed early yesterday, and so-called eco-terrorists may be to blame. Now, a sign left near the scene of the fires written on a sheet with spray paint bore the initials E-L-F, for Earth Liberation Front. That's a group of extremist environmentalists that has claimed responsibility for dozens of similar attacks since the 1990s. While officials consider the sign as evidence, they have not yet accused the ELF of the crime. Incendiary devices were removed from the homes, but officials said there was no evidence they had been used in the fires. The FBI is investigating the fires as a possible act of domestic terrorism.

STEWART: The local sheriff's office estimates the fires did $7 million in damage to the so-called Street of Dreams, a row of unoccupied, furnished luxury homes. Tens of thousands of people visited the structures last summer to see the latest in high-end housing, interior design and landscaping.

MARTIN: The homes were also touted as eco-friendly. They were much smaller than previous Street of Dreams developments in the area - about 4,500 square feet instead of 8,000. And they were equipped with waterproof sidewalks, super-insulated walls and windows and products made with recycled materials.

STEWART: But some residents took issue with the homes' proximity to an aquifer, and the sign left near the fires read, quote, "Built Green? Nope. Black," and "McMansions in RCDs are not green." RCDs is a reference to rural cluster developments.

MARTIN: Builder Grey Lundberg says if environmentalists are to blame, they've done more harm than good.

Mr. GREY LUNDBERG (Builder): They've just doubled and tripled the impact of these homes on the environment. They're burned down. They've got to be rebuilt. It's really sad.

STEWART: Earth Liberation Front has claimed responsibility for several other luxury home fires in the area in recent years. One alleged ELF activist is on trial in a separate incident in Tacoma, Washington right now for the 2001 firebombing of the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture.

Now let's get to some more of today's headlines.

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