PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Workers at Atlanta Apple Store File to Hold First US Union Election (Maria)

The authors write, “Workers at an Apple Inc (AAPL.O) store in Atlanta on Wednesday filed a petition to hold a union election, seeking to become the company’s first US store to unionize amid a wave of labor activity at other major firms. The effort at the Apple store in Cumberland Mall is backed by the Communications Workers of America, according to a news release issued by the union and workers involved in the effort. More than 70% of the more than 100 workers eligible to join the union — in sales, technical, creative and operations roles — signed cards expressing a desire to organize, the union said.”

Red States Send Back Millions in Federal Housing Aid, Putting Rural Renters at Risk (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “When Brian Vickers, a mechanic who fixes antique tractors, temporarily lost his job during the pandemic, the single father worried he could lose his two-bedroom home on the edge of Omaha. So the staunch Republican turned to the government for help making his $775 monthly rent for the house in one of the area’s coveted neighborhoods. It was a lifeline. … But other struggling tenants in Nebraska may not be so lucky. Governor Pete Ricketts, a Republican, has declined to spend $120 million in federal housing assistance funds, claiming the aid risks turning Nebraska into ‘a welfare state.’”

Ukraine’s Ability to Withstand Russian Artillery Critical to Fight for Donbas (Sean)

From The Drive: “As Russia begins its push to capture a wider swath of the Donbas, the ability to mass and continue to supply its artillery and other long-range fires capabilities will play a huge role in the success of its latest campaign. Indiscriminate massed fires, meant to kill, confuse, soften and destabilize an enemy ahead of an advance, has long been a key tenant of Soviet and Russian military doctrine. It was as true in World War II (in much of the same territory) as it is today.”

Melissa Lucio Is Not Alone (Bethany)

The author writes, “A few months ago, in that blurry haze of new motherhood, I left my infant daughter Eureka on the couch for just a few seconds. She rolled and slipped and tumbled to the floor, hitting her head, then burst out crying. I held her against my chest, crying myself, trying to calm her, feeling like the worst mother in the world. My mom reassured me that I’d hit my own head in the exact same way more than once. And sure enough, Eureka was fine. Not even a bruise. It’s a rite of passage, I learned, the first time your child falls, that first moment of parental negligence, that first jolt of unexpected pain that shocks them (and you) into tears. But an hour later, they’re okay and you’re okay, and life goes on. Unless it doesn’t. Unless you’re Melissa Lucio, whose daughter died from just such an accident, whom the state of Texas plans to execute on April 27th for a crime that never even occurred.”

Wikipedia Community Votes to Stop Accepting Cryptocurrency Donations (Reader Jim)

From Ars Technica: “More than 200 long-time Wikipedia editors have requested that the Wikimedia Foundation stop accepting cryptocurrency donations. The foundation received crypto donations worth about $130,000 in the most recent fiscal year — less than 0.1 percent of the foundation’s revenue, which topped $150 million last year. Debate on the proposal has raged over the last three months.”

Newsom Hailed This ‘Critical’ Wildfire-Prevention Program. Two Years On, It Hasnt Completed a Single Project (Laura)

The author writes, “A monthslong investigation by CapRadio and The California Newsroom found that projects across [California] … are encountering a bureaucratic bottleneck before shovels can even break ground. The state’s byzantine environmental approval process, required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), is slowing projects from Mendocino County to the Sierra Nevada to the Central Coast. … To combat this, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration launched a program more than two years ago that promised to break the logjam, by fast-tracking environmental reviews. But that program, called the California Vegetation Treatment Program (CalVTP), hasn’t led to the completion of a single project so far. This stands in stark contrast to projections by the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection, which anticipated CalVTP would lead to 45,000 acres of completed work in its first year.” 

‘You Inhaled It’: Man Inhales Drill Bit During Dental Visit (Dana)

The author writes, “A routine trip to the dentist was anything but normal — after an Illinois man inhaled the dentist’s drill bit and had to go to the hospital to get it removed last month. Tom Jozsi, 60, told WISN-TV that he was at the dentist getting his tooth filled when he was told he swallowed a tool. ‘I didn’t really even feel it going down. All I felt was a cough. When they did the CT scan they realized, “You didn’t swallow it. You inhaled it,”’ he said. Doctors believe that Jozsi inhaled just before he coughed, sending the 1-inch bit deep into Jozsi’s lung.”