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Special Report

Grapevine: Occupy Hygiene?

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Occupy Hygiene

At least one health expert is decrying a lack of sanitation at Occupy Wall Street's base camp in New York's Zuccotti Park.

The New York Post reports the expert on city health regulations found at least 15 violations including a lack of lavatory facilities.

That was a major issue for New Yorkers living near the park, who made some of their own demands at a community board meeting last week.

Neighbors complained their quality of life had declined since the protests began a month ago, saying protesters urinate and defecate on doorsteps of homes and retail shops and beat drums late into the night.

The meeting resulted in a resolution calling for a limit on drumming time and arrangements for porta-potties.

Independent Thinker?

Some of the journalists covering the movement may have been less than perfectly objective. New York Times freelancer Natasha Lennard defended herself today, after the conservative BigGovernment.com posted video of her taking part in a panel discussion about Occupy Wall Street.

Earlier this month, she was arrested while reporting for the Times during the Brooklyn Bridge demonstration.

Lennard tweeted this morning -- quote -- "Not only am I not on NYT payroll; have only freelanced sporadically. And a debate in a bookshop is not an organizing meeting."

A freelance broadcaster for a pair of radio shows distributed by NPR was fired, after officials questioned her involvement with the Occupy D.C. protests.

Lisa Simeone says she was dismissed last week and NPR's code of ethics was read to her during that phone call.

Group Therapy

And finally, does a memo being distributed by the Occupy Baltimore protest group discourage victims from reporting sexual assaults to police?

The Baltimore Sun writes some of the people are alarmed by a pamphlet encouraging victims to report incidents to the group's own security committee, where it says counseling resources are available.

It also says the group does not encourage police involvement in the community but understands victims can report abuse to the appropriate authorities.

A spokeswoman for that group denies that the pamphlet discourages people from calling the police but she maintains it is trying to deal with all conflicts internally.