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Hidden Day Care Records And Other State Secrets

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)
File photo.

Tonight on KUOW Spotlight, we present the latest episode of Reveal.

Part 1: The Murkiness Of American Day Care Reports

State inspection reports of day care providers are public record, but accessing them is still a problem for many parents. Washington state posts records online, but more than a dozen states don’t.

In California, where Reveal reporter Katharine Mieszkowski lives, the situation is one of the worst. In fact, once Mieszkowski started publishing reports on this information gap, California passed a law requiring some day care records to be posted online.

The problem is that lots of crucial information remains hidden. Mieszkowski met one family and showed them documents they could have benefited from seeing much earlier.

Part 2: Secrets, Scams And Surrogacy

For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has been sitting on information about the serious health risks that certain toxic chemicals pose. The agency’s job is to protect public health and the environment, so why haven’t we heard a peep about these concerns?

Lawmakers and industry groups opposed to new regulations on toxic chemicals have found a way to keep the EPA mum. Reporter David Heath from The Center for Public Integrity uncovers a strategy of delays that has been remarkably successful for those standing in the way of public health.

The next story brings us into the fake and fraudulent world of a 21st century boiler room scam. David Evans, an investigative reporter for Bloomberg Markets, reveals a foreign exchange scam that leveraged the Internet to rake in billions of dollars from victims all over the world. All these fraudsters had to do was wait for potential investors to search and land on their site.

The final story takes us south of the border, where we get a glimpse into the growing surrogacy industry in Mexico. Reveal reporter Sandra Bartlett discovers what can go wrong when one of the biggest players in the baby game abruptly closes up shop.