*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
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On Tuesday October 23, 2012, our host Aaron Perry interviewed authors Helen Shores Lee and Barbara Shores “The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill: The untold story of Shores and his family’s fight for civil rights.” The two sisters speak with Aaron Perry about their father, a civil right’s attorney, whom the book is about. The origins of the book began twenty years ago when Barbara began chronicling the memories from her childhood. Last year, Barbara and Helen decided to combine the social and legal aspects of the story into a book. Shores was a civil rights attorney who handled civil rights cases beginning in the late 1930s and 1940s, much before the civil rights movement began in 1963. He handled voting rights, filed suits to equalize the salaries of black and white teachers, and even defended a young black man for the rape of a white woman. He successfully fought a zoning regulation in Birmingham. The city regulation prohibited blacks from living west of a particular street in the city, and Shores filed a suit on behalf of several residents, the outcome of which allowed blacks to take residence in previously prohibited zones. Among the people who assisted Shores in his fight against civil rights were Thurgood Marshall and Constance Motley. Barbara Shores explains her inspiration for the book, “what I was trying to do originally is give my children the opportunity to know a little bit more about their grandfather and the contributions he made to Alabama and the South…so that they could understand the triumphs and the struggles that he faced.” She explains that parents tended to protect their children from the movement events, “when everything was going on with regards to the movements, parents protected their children and just didn’t talk about those things.” She stresses the importance of having the younger generation understand where they come from and African American history, and observes that, presently, the education system is not adequately providing children with this history. They stress “We set aside one month of out of the year when we celebrate Africa American history, and that passes by swiftly. We don’t teach it in the homes, they don’t teach it in the schools, so where else are children to learn it? Except in February? And even within the schoolbooks, not only do you not have information about African Americans, but also the Native Americans…It is more like one line or paragraph rather than the whole ….read article »
On Friday October 19, guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Andy Wallman of The Gomers.The band has been in the Madison area for over twenty five years. They will be playing at the High Noon Saloon in Madison on Oct 19 and Oct 20. Click here for more details about the Gomeroke at the High Noon Saloon. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Friday October 19, guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Briand Beausoleil about Bike Shepherd, formerly known as Bike Revolution. Bike Shepherd is a nonprofit organization designed by two cyclists, created to help protect and retrieve stolen bikes. It is a database in which cyclists can register their bikes, list a stolen bike, search stolen bikes, and post recovered bikes for free. They work with other database partners to combine all registries together. Briand shares two important tips for keeping bikes safe: always register the bike with a database, and always place an anti-theft tag on the bike – the tags are registered and traceable. Visit bikeshepherd.com for more tips and information. Listen here for the full interview:read article »
On Friday October 19, our guest host Kia Karlen spoke with Sandor Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation, Donna Neuwirth, co-founder of The Wormfarm Institute, and Jonny Hunter, founder of the Underground Food Collective, about the Reedsburg Fermentation Fest. The Fermentation Fest, running from Oct 12 – 21 and taking place in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, is produced by the Wormfarm Institute. Donna Neuwirth, co-founder of the institute, explains more about the unique festival, “It is a live culture convergence, and it focuses on fermentation in all its form. It’s a fifty mile self guided tour through beautiful farmland of north west Sauk County.” The festival will begin and end in Reedsburg, but will pass through three different towns, “all of which have little restaurants, little taverns, antique stores… no chain restaurants there.” There will also be art installations: sight-specific temporary installations as well as ‘field art’, interpretive materials that speak about the agriculture of the region. Sandor Katz will be teaching two of the thirty classes offered this Saturday, “The Art of Fermentation” and “Fermentation Evolution, Culture, and Community.” There will also be a book signing. This will be Sandor’s first time participating in this festival. He explains the prevalence of fermentation in all human cultures, “sometimes when I point out to people that almost every person on this planet eats fermented food, they are surprised [to hear] that… Bread, cheese, salami, and all the condiments we put on that sandwich are produced by fermentation. Fermentation is so critically important to each tradition all around the world many of our most basic foods…are products of fermentation…One third of all the food we eat are produced by fermentation. In the aggregate, the fermentation industry collectively amounts to one of the largest industries in the world.” Johnny Hunter, of the Underground Food Collective, speaks to Sandor about the prevalence of the fermentation process used in restaurants today. He has observed that an increasing number of restaurants have taken on the fermentation process. Sandor affirms this observation,“more and more chefs are recognizing that it is an important part of the cuisine they are serving…they can’t just serve foods that have been fermented somewhere else.” The Underground Food Collective offers classes in Madison, including whole animal breakdown and Rillete making, the classic French potted meat. To sign up for classes ….read article »
On Thursday October 18, our host Tony Castaneda spoke with Bill Scheer, one of Madison’s golf professionals. The City of Madison has decided to end the contracts of four of the Professional Golf Associations (PGA) of America professionals at the end of this year “to capture the extra revenue that can be used to upgrade golf facilities,” says city parks spokesperson Laura Whitmore. The city will be ending the contracts of Yahara Hills Golf Course pro Mark Rechlicz; Odana Hills Golf Course pro Tom Benson, Monona Golf Course pro Rob Muranyi and Glenway Golf Course pro Bill Scheer. Bill Scheer explains his take on the situation, “The idea that this is going to save money for us is an opinion, and that is the biggest thing in question right now. Our golf courses have been manned successfully for a long time, and it’s a very difficult time in the industry…the economy has hit us very hard. Right now nobody is making much money at all in the golf industry. So [the idea] that money is going to be saved, I think is just an opinion, because the loss of customer service, and the loss of golfers could potentially be disastrous for the city golf program.” Bill stresses that the golf operation is not tax-payer funded; rather, it is considered an enterprise department within the city, and is a self sustaining organization. The PGA professional’s salary does not come from taxes, instead the money comes from the sales generated from the rentals and concessions. During peak season, the golf courses open fifteen hours a day, every day of the week. The PGA professionals are responsible for facilitate the daily functioning of their course, and for bringing in all of the revenue that comes into the golf courses. They also implement all tournaments and leagues, manage all of the golf lessons in the city, and also manage the concessions operations, for which they employee eighty people – none of which come from tax dollars. These employees are paid by the golf professionals from the money made from the carts and food and beverage operations. Now, after the golf professionals’ contracts end, the city of Madison will have to assume the responsibility of licensing and paying these employees. Bill explains that as a result of this, there is the possibility that the city will end up paying more because of the responsibilities it will be taking on. Bill comments, “All that we’ve asked for ….read article »
On Wed October 17, Jan Miyasaki spoke with Tom McGrath, co-chair on the board of directors of the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. The Network, which is a member agency of community share of Wisconsin and founded in 1991 as a coalition of activist groups in Wisconsin, is working towards the creation of a sustainable world free from violence and injustice. The network consists of over 160 groups across Wisconsin that are concerned with social justice issues – from immigration, environmental, anti-war, and more. Tom McGrath, who comes by way of the Northwoods Peace Fellowship, spoke to Jan about the upcoming Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception in Milwaukee and a Press Conference that will be held in Madison tomorrow, October 18. Tom, a navy veteran who grew disillusioned with US presence in Iraq, decided to get involved with the peace movement and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Says Tom, “I’d say I was probably very pro-military when I got out [of service] but over the years I think I’ve evolved… We’ve probably been in some form of war ever since World War II ended, and it seems like we’re always at war.” The Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice Awards Reception will be held on October 27 at the Friends Meeting House in Milwaukee. Reverend Joe and Joyce Ellwanger will be honored for their fifty year commitment to community organizing. Joe, a retired Lutheran minister, was active in the civil rights movement in the south, even marching alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And Joyce, who served six months in federal prison in 2003 for taking part in a peaceful protest on military grounds, has for a long time protested the US Army School of the Americas. Says Tom, “The School of the Americas trains soldiers to help enforce governments that are in power in [Central America]. They teach immoral tactics such as torture and assassination.” The “Peacemakers of the Year” awards will also be given out at the ceremony, awarded in three different categories: youth, adult, and senior. In the youth category, the Autonomous Solidarity Organization in Madison will be awarded for their “ongoing nonviolence and civil disobedience in support of the right to peacefully assemble at the State Capital”; in the adult category, Mike Wiggins Jr., from Odana Wisconsin, Chair of the Bad River Tribe of Ojibwe Indians, will be awarded “for his advocacy for the lands water and culture of the Penokee Hills ….read article »
On Wednesday October 17, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with Jennifer Wilson of Des Moines, Iowa, a travel writer whose works have been featured in National Geographic Traveler, Gourmet Magazine, Midwest Living, and more. Jennifer is the author of Running Away to Home – Our family’s journey to Croatia in search of who we are, where we came from, and what really matters. The book was named Best Nonfiction Book of 2011 by the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She spoke with Jan about her experience in Croatia. During the recession, Jennifer, who is Croatian by ancestry, decided to leave Des Moines, Iowa and “take a family sabbatical” to the land where her great-grandparents were born. “As a travel writer I get obsessions with places, and Mrkopalj, Croatia became an obsession… and within the year, we were plunked down in this little mountain village in the northwest of Croatia that seemed like it had stopped in time since my great-grandparents left.” Jennifer’s great-grandfather left Mrkopalj for Iowa in 1906, where he worked in a coal mining community, and then sent for Jennifer’s great-grandmother to join him in 1908. Much like her great-grandfather, Jennifer traveled ahead of her family to Mrkopalj to see if she could bring her family there. Encountering an entirely unfamiliar landscape, lifestyle, language and currency, Jennifer was initially daunted by the drastically different life that Mrkopalj presented. Entering the village the second time however, this time with her family, Jennifer explains, “it was an entirely different scene. Croatia is all about family, and when I arrived with my family, in search of my Croatian family, the tone had changed significantly.” Jennifer describes the amount of help that was extended to her family by their friends and neighbors. “… it became an obsession for them to help us find old relatives and help us learn what kind of lives our grandparents must have lived when they were there.” She will be speaking at Sequoya Branch Public Library on Friday Oct 19 at 7 pm. Visit Jennifer’s website at www.jennifer-wilson.com. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Tuesday October 16, our host Aaron Perry interviewed Nina Jablonski, author of Living Color: The Biological and Social Meaning of Skin Color. Jablonski is a distinguished professor of Anthropology at Penn State. She has been focusing her research on “why human skin comes in the range it does, and what skin means to us.” Comparing the high movement of people today with the relatively low movement across spaces with our ancestors thousands of years ago, Nina looks at the potential mismatches that “exist between our bodies and the new environments in which we find ourselves. Obvious examples are related to skin color.” Nina presents the example of a person with lighter skin pigmentation who might go to a place where the sun is very strong would easily get sunburned whereas this would not have happened as easily had the person remained in the land of his or her ancestors. On the other hand, those with a darker pigmented skin color who live in areas with weaker sunlight could potentially experience a Vitamin D deficiency from the lack of adequate sunlight. These mismatches, she points, have effects on our health. Nina also discusses in her book about the phenomenon of “colorism”: the discrimination of people who have more melanin. She discusses the serious effects that this phenomenon has on the economic and social progress of the world, “the lack of awareness of these issues, and the lack of public discussion about them, is an impediment to social progress.” When Aaron asks Nina to discuss what she hopes the outcome of her book will be, she explains, “First, what I hope to see is that people gain an appreciation of how skin color developed in the first place, that it wasn’t arbitrary; it evolved according to a very predictable pattern according to solar radiation. The second is that we have come to assign names to different skin colors, and names to different races of people with different skin colors. These assignments are cultural arbitrary assignments that we’ve made at different points in our history, and many of these assignments have been made by incredibly fallible and narrow-minded people. We need to understand that races are not biological entities. Skin color is not related to most other aspects of how we look and act… the idea that we should consider races based on color is really fallacious. This doesn’t diminish the fact that people live with the consequences of racism. One of the outcomes I hope is that ….read article »
On Tuesday October 16, our host Aaron Perry interviewed Dr. Handel Reynolds, author of The Big Squeeze: A Social and Political History of the Controversial Mammogram. Dr. Reynolds is a breast radiologist at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The Big Squeeze, which “traces the forty year journey of… the mammography in the United States,” provides the history and roots of the controversy and clarifies many misconceptions about mammography. Says Dr. Reynolds, the intent of the book is to “inform, educate, and ultimately empower women to make some of these important health choices for themselves.” The origins of the mammography test can be traced back to1973, when the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society jointly sponsored the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project. In this project, 300,000 women were, for the first time, recruited to undergo annual mammography and physical exams during a five year period. Dr. Reynolds discusses one part of the book in which he speaks about the controversy behind the exam, “mammography has been promoted as a ‘just do it’ approach…we have not had a frank and open discussion of the strengths and the weaknesses of the exam. Because screening for cancer is never a completely straightforward proposition. There are risks or harms associated with mammography as are associated with all cancer screening tests.” Dr. Reynolds explains three possible risks: false positives, in which a mammogram falsely detects cancer, false negatives, in which the mammogram fails to detect cancer, and over-diagnosis, in which although cancer is found, it would have in actuality never “come to light” in the individual’s lifetime had it not been detected. Dr. Reynolds advocates for informed decision making that will allow a woman, after hearing about both its strengths and weaknesses, to decide for herself when, and if, to undergo a mammogram. When asked to discuss some of the misconceptions society has about mammograms, Dr. Reynolds discusses the belief many people hold that mammograms can prevent cancer. Mammography should be treated as an early detection test, he says, not a preventive measure. According to Dr. Reynolds, a survey conducted in 2003 showed that over 50% of women believed a mammography was indeed a preventive measure. A huge controversy in the United States regarding mammography is the question of whether women under the age 50 should indeed be getting this test. For women undergoing a mammogram in their forties, Dr. Reynolds explains, “The magnitude of the benefits is smaller, and also some of the risks or ….read article »
On Monday October 15, our host Linda Jameson spoke with Matt Southworth, a legislative program associate for foreign policy with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL): A Quaker Lobby in the Public Interest. First serving in the US army at the age of nineteen, Matt was deployed to Iraq in 2004 as an intelligence analyst doing predictive analysis. Since then, he has joined the FCNL and is also on the Board of Directors for Veterans for Peace. He was in Madison to attend a Veterans for Peace board meeting, and to plan the annual Veterans for Peace conference which will be held in Madison in August 2013. Matt travels across the country, advocating for a peaceful transition to the war in Afghanistan and a political solution without a large military presence in the region. He also reaches out to the college demographic, speaking to them about the realities of war, rather than the “cinematic version” of war that is often portrayed. Matt speaks about the US involvement in Afghanistan, and the issues that face Afghanistan today and threaten its future. Southworth comments, “under this current [US] strategy…regardless of 2014 or later, civil war is the most likely outcome for Afghanistan.” He explains that there can not be a centralized solution for the conflict in Afghanistan; rather, it should be regionally based and Afghan-centric. Matt had organized a congressional delegation on a “fact finding mission” that brought eight people to Afghanistan, including congressional staffers, journalists and representatives from non-profits. The delegation met and spoke with Afghan and international NGOS, opposition leaders, and civilians. He describes the consensus, “the US is putting Afghanistan in a position that is going to be harder to dig itself out of. We are over-militarizing Afghanistan and the region, and we are almost completely focused on a military transition, when the reality is that [the Afghans] need an economic and political transition, which is Afghan led and culturally based, but with the assistance of the US and other international parties.” The US is currently funding and arming 280,000 Afghan national security forces, empowering militias and war lords. This has threatened Afghans throughout the country. In fact, he explains that one complaint the delegation received from everyone they spoke to was the US funding of war lords, people who had proven human rights abuse records. Matt stresses that the political transition should be Afghan-based, and that the US has a “moral responsibility” to do the best ….read article »