By Catie Talarski
Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend, friends! Looks like the weather is on our side.
Here is what is coming up next week – May 30 to June 3, 2011:
MONDAY: Memorial Day Special Programming: Travels with Mike: In Search of America 50 Years After Steinbeck
In the fall of 1960, the writer John Steinbeck climbed into a pickup-camper that he’d named Rocinante, after Don Quixote’s horse, and started driving. He left his home on Long Island with a set of questions that could, he wrote, be lumped into a single one: “What are Americans like today?” With his poodle Charley by his side, the novelist traveled 10,000 miles in three months, making a loop from one coast to the other and back again. His account of the journey, Travels with Charley In Search of America, was published in 1962, the same year Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Perhaps even more than Steinbeck could grasp at the time, the United States was at a turning point. He drove along an historical seam between one era and another, one kind of country and another. Half a century later, it seems fair to say that America finds itself at another crossroads.Travels with Mike retraces Steinbeck’s steps, not with a poodle but with a stereo microphone (i.e., Mike). Producer John Biewen went to key locations on Steinbeck’s itinerary and in each place collaborated with an artist who’s deeply grounded in that place. Travels with Mike comprises a series of conversations, across time, between a great American writer of the last century and a diverse array of contemporary artists — conversations about issues, place, and the spirit of the country. This special program is hosted by Al Letson, host of the NPR/PRX show, State of the Re:Union. Travels with Mike is a production of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.
TUESDAY: Memorializing The Past
Upon our return from Memorial Day Weekend, we’ll explore the purpose and power of memorials, and the controversy they often engender. We’ll speak with the editor of a recent book about the difficult task of creating a public space that allows both a collective and intensely personal experience of remembrance. And we’ll hear from Mary Fetchet, the founding director of New Canaan-based Voices of September 11th about their interactive online Living Memorial Project, and the controversial 9/11 Memorial at ground zero. And Dave Skoczulek, lead organizer for the Hartford Distributors’ memorial garden, will talk about the commemorative sculptures to be dedicated later this summer on the one-year anniversary of the workplace shooting.
WEDNESDAY: The Best Intentions
In the US, people give more than $200 billion to charities each year. But are our philanthropic dollars being put to the best use? Yale economics professor and Founder of IPA – Innovations for Poverty Action, Dean Karlan, joins us to talk about his new book, More Than Good Intentions, which reveals the most successful, pragmatic and cost-effective ways to fight global poverty.
THURSDAY: Changing The Way We Eat
E. coli, Salmonella Listeria, Cyclospora…. All bacteria that have caused food borne illnesses and deaths in the past decades. Today we’ll ask the question: How safe is the food we eat every day? We’ll look at the moment in American history that changed the food industry for the better – and how some are fighting for even more regulation.
FRIDAY: Regional Reporter Roundtable
So, Connecticut has tackled it’s enormous budget deficit through new taxes, happier revenue projections and a tentative deal on massive union concessions – what’s next? Well, now we might be up against the spending cap? Huh? We’ll find out what’s happening at the capitol – and check in with Missouri native Susan Campbell, just back from Joplin.