Mark your calendars! *EAR CAVE* is happening…
TOMORROW January 31 – 7PM at La Paloma Coffeehouse in Hartford
*the ear cave* is a stripped down listening session, curated and hosted by a rotating cast of local radio professionals who want to share interesting, weird and wonderful radio.
*** Tucker Ives is rescheduled to host the *ear cave* in February. Catie Talarski will host tomorrow. Be ready for a story she produced about a dying artist, a youth produced piece about bullying in schools, and a love story. And more…
MONDAY: Income Inequality and Economic Growth
The November elections are shaping up to be largely about the issue of income inequality.That’s especially if multi-millionaire investor Mitt Romney gets the Republican nomination – which seems increasingly likely. News of Romney’s tax rate – around 14% – coupled with outspoken statements from other uber-wealthy investors like Warren Buffett – who think they really should be paying more in taxes than those who work for them – have set up this battle. Some call it class warfare – but authors of an IMF report say it might just be a fight over America’s economic future. They show that inequality hinders long-term economic growth. Then, there’s the question of Washington’s role in the growing inequality. When the typical member of congress is worth 9 times more than the typical voter, it can be asked – “are they really in tune with the problem?” Join the conversation with Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker.
TUESDAY: Very Hungry City
Which cities will prosper in the coming years, and which will decline? How do we secure the future vitality of our cities? We’ll talk to professor and author Austin Troy about his new book “The Very Hungry City” – he says as global demand for energy grows and prices rise, each city’s viability will be tied to its energy consumption, and that cities that use a lot of energy will be at a serious disadvantage.
WEDNESDAY: East Haven
The East Haven police chief has resigned one week after four police officers were arrested by the FBI for terrorizing Latinos in the city. The chief is at the center of the ongoing federal probe. Meanwhile, at least one Latino group is asking the Mayor to resign as well – after his highly publicized “tacogate” comments. Today we’ll talk about how the culture of abuse, intimidation and cover-up came to be acceptable in East Haven – and what’s next for the community.
THURSDAY: LIVE from Norwich!
Where We Live is taking the show on the road for the first time in 2012. We’re heading to the birthplace of Benedict Arnold and home of our WPKT transmitter: Norwich. What makes it a unique city in Connecticut? What does it have to offer? What are the challenges facing the city?We’ll be broadcasting LIVE from the Norwich Arts Center and we want you to join us! What should we know about Norwich?
FRIDAY: Toxic Stress
Are we victims of our genetic code or can we change the course of our fate? In other words–is our genetic code fixed and absolute or does our environment–the one in which we are born and later create–have the potential to alter our genetic destiny? Join Robin Karr-Morse, family therapist and author of Scared Sick: The Role of Childhood Trauma in Adult Disease, as she explores the emerging field of epigenetics, or the intricate dance between experience, genetic make-up and physical health, and Dr. Laura McGuinn, from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, who will discuss the findings of a recently released American Academy of Pediatrics study concluding that adult illness can result from toxic stress experienced beginning as early as in the womb.
Did you notice that were wasn’t a “Coming Up!” blog post last week? Did you miss it terribly and wander through the streets wondering “WHAT IS ON WHERE WE LIVE THIS WEEK?!!?” … Sorry to leave you hanging. The good news is that we have an exciting week coming up. John Dankosky will be enjoying a much deserved vacation, so we’ve reached out to a few brave souls to guest-host the show. Here’s what’s coming:
MONDAY: Where’s the Beef? (Rebroadcast)
In this country,omnivores ate over 26 billion pounds of beef in 2010. All that meat sold for roughly $74 billion. Of course, some of that was the local, grass-fed stuff that food author Michael Pollan would approve of. A lot of it was the “other” stuff that goes into Big Macs and Whoppers. But even with all those “Billions Served” – times are tough for the beef industry. Overall, sales are down…then there was this year’s Texas drought, which dropped that state’s cattle population by 600,000. And salmonella in ground beef sickened some New England residents last month. Today, we’ll talk with a livestock economist from Texas A&M and we’ll hear from a beef farmer from Connecticut who jumped on the grass-fed train before it ever left the station.
TUESDAY: Measuring the World (Rebroadcast)
Here in America, we take for granted our feet, our inches, our Fahrenheit temperatures…we even watch our pounds. But, leave this country, and it’s pretty clear we’re on an island – an island the rest of the world would measure in meters…an “international standard” that we’re still resistant to. Today we’ll take the measure of the world of weights and scales, yardsticks and stones with philosophy professor Robert Crease. His new book is called “World in the Balance: The Historic Quest for an Absolute System of Measurement.” We’ll find out why we’re still struggling to figure out how to measure our world. We’ll look at wrangling over an international standard…and Robert Krulwich considers the “smoot.”
A report by The National Alliance to End Homelessness says homelessness has decreased by one percent from 2009 to 2011. This drop might be short lived though, as it was likely due to 1.5 Billion dollars in federal aid – part of an economic stimulus package that will run out this year. Coming up, Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell will guest host a conversation about homelessness in Connecticut, on the day of Hartford’s “Point in Time Count.”
THURSDAY: Prenatal Genetics
As medical technology continues to improve, expecting mothers are now able to have prenatal genetic testing performed. The tests show potential birth defects, health problems or mental disabilities so parents can decide whether or not to continue the pregnancy. If you knew your child would be born with Down Syndrome, would you continue with the pregnancy? WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil will guest host today’s conversation on the ethics of prenatal genetic testing.
FRIDAY: El Sistema
Venezuela’s music program called El Sistema has produced some of the best musicians in the world. It is free for children in that country and the model has been adapted in communities throughout the United States. Those behind it say it can not only teach kids music but also change the lives of these students. El Sistema inspired programs are popping up throughout Connecticut at a time when many schools face tough budget decisions. Is this a program worth funding and what impact could it have on children? Join the conversation, guest hosted by WNPR reporter Diane Orson.
Last month, U.S. forces officially ended the war in Iraq. And now, global pressure is building against Iran. New sanctions have hit the country’s economy hard. We’ll discuss the latest news surrounding Iran’s nuclear program, the increasing tension between that country and the west…and how it’s playing out in the Presidential race.
Tuesday: Stefan Pryor
Stefan Pryor took over as Connecticut’s Commissioner of Education in October last year. Once again, Connecticut missed out on Race to the Top money last month…it was the third time its application was rejected. As we approach what has been declared “the education session” in the legislature, Pryor joins us in-studio to discuss funding, teachers, testing and more. What changes do you want to see made to Connecticut’s education system?
Wednesday: Governor Dannel Malloy
Nearly a year ago, Governor Dannel Malloy was inaugurated as the state’s first Democratic governor in 20 years. The governor joins us in-studio to look back at his first year and look ahead to the rest of his term. And to take your phone calls, of course.
Musicians Stephen Haynes and Joe Morris are masters of improvisation – and they are taking their craft to Real Art Ways with a concert series centered on improvised music. And improv acting isn’t always comedy. We’ll hear from improvisational thespians about how the skills translate to real life.
Friday: MLK Magazine
Wait for it…
By Tucker Ives
This afternoon the NHL’s Winter Classic kicks off at 3pm between the Rangers and Flyers. Last year’s game is partially remembered for one of the big hits on Sidney Crosby that forced him to miss the rest of the season (and most of this season).
This has me thinking again about a topic we recently covered on Where We Live: sports and violence. John started off this episode by explaining his own conflicting feelings on this topic as a Pittsburgh sports fan. Here’s the transcript:
If you’ve listened to this show for a while, you know I’m from Pittsburgh. And that makes me a Steelers fan. Steelers fans root for their team in good seasons and bad, and have always had a belief that their players embody the spirit of Art Rooney, one of the founders of the modern NFL. Their players are tough and gritty, without being thuggish. They play hard…and they play right.
(high-res version can be seen here)
If you haven’t seen the hit, it’s gruesome – one of many that linebacker James Harrison has leveled on opposing players over the years. He’s gained such a reputation in fact that this hit cost him a game suspension – and about $75 thousand dollars. That’s on top of $125 thousand he was fined last year for blows to the head. Many football players – and Steelers fans – defend Harrison, saying he’s just playing a fast game the way he was taught…and the way fans like.
Detractors say these fines – and others levied by the league in a recent crackdown on hits like this – are essentially meaningless to players who make millions. They worry that the game will only really change when a player dies on the field. Or maybe, as in the case of pro hockey – it’ll be the story of Sidney Crosby, an icon for my hometown team, the Penguins. The best, most skilled player in the league, has missed roughly a year – and is still recovering from concussions received on consecutive, dirty hits. The NHL is facing enough bad press already, with a groundbreaking profile of “enforcer” Derek Boogaard, who died young after a career of league-sanctioned brawling.
Question: What’s the penalty for a gloves off, blood-on-the-ice fistfight in the NHL?
Answer: Five minutes in the penalty box.
Isn’t this all just part of the game? Yes, but it shouldn’t be. Of course fights are going to break out from time-to-time when cheap hits are made and elbows are flying. In baseball, benches clear and punches are thrown but those players are then suspended and fined. If fans want to see fights, there are plenty of avenues for that (boxing, UFC, Jackie Chan movies). Hockey is exciting enough without this ugly part of the game. Here’s an excerpt from the NY Times’ profile on Boogaard:
There is no athlete quite like the hockey enforcer, a man and a role viewed alternately as noble and barbaric, necessary and regrettable. Like so many Canadian boys, Boogaard wanted to reach the National Hockey League on the glory of goals. That dream ended early, as it usually does, and no one had to tell him.
But big-time hockey has a unique side entrance. Boogaard could fight his way there with his bare knuckles, his stick dropped, the game paused and the crowd on its feet. And he did, all the way until he became the Boogeyman, the N.H.L.’s most fearsome fighter, a caricature of a hockey goon rising nearly 7 feet in his skates.
Derek Boogaard (NYR) vs. Steve MacIntyre (EDM) 11.14.10 (Photo by Matthew D. Britt, Flickr Creative Commons)
Boogaard was a man who fought his way into the NHL and then to his death. This should be unacceptable in 2012. For as long as I’ve been alive (which admittedly is not very long), athletes have been idolized by people of all ages including children. This idolization will not change anytime soon and leagues and athletes need to accept this responsibility.
We should move past the gladiator mentality of athletes being expected to put their bodies on the line for the sake of sport. Sure, hockey is supposed to be a physical game. But it shouldn’t be as explicitly violent as it is. One of the more troubling aspects is the belief throughout the hockey world that “enforcers” are actually making the games safer. This is from an AP story in December:
(NHL) Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said the league last discussed stronger penalties for fighting from the current 5-minute major penalty at general manager meetings two years ago and there has been little appetite for it recently.
“Fighting is part of our game,” Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “It impedes more injuries to happen because of what potentially can happen with people taking liberties they shouldn’t take.”
Here’s an idea: change the rules and train the referees to be stricter. The referees have turned into something like prohibition-era police officers in Chicago. They leave enforcement to the players on the ice and have lost their authority. While there is a fine line between over-regulating the game and turning it into a free-for-all, the current system is not working. The belief that players can police themselves through fighting is damaging to the players involved and the game as a whole.
One listener emailed us after the Where We Live episode and said that highlighting violence in hockey is hypocritical. Richard said, “Compare this to deliberate beaning of your opponent in baseball. Pitcher throws 90+mph at the head of a perhaps unsuspecting, minimally protected batter. Which usually results in the other pitcher doing the same next inning.”
I agree with most of what Richard says, but the one big difference is the league’s response. A pitcher suspected of throwing at a batter is ejected from the game and the pitcher and manager are suspended. Tempers will always flare up in sports but the consequences need to be strict enough to prevent it from becoming a regular occurrence.
If you take the fighting out of hockey, the fans will still come (or at least I will).