The Gang of 8 has announced that in order to be a citizen of the United States, you have to listen to The Capitol Steps 4th of July special, “Politics Takes a Holiday!” Also, statistics show that many people who have not listened to past specials have been audited by the IRS. Coincidence? Probably! This episode is not for the faint of heart….or those considering running for office.
Capitol Steps: Politics Takes a Holiday is a holiday special. We apologize that we are not able to provide a podcast for this hour.
Airline travel has never been safer… but what exactly does that mean? This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Mark Gerchick, author of the new book “Full Upright and Locked Position: Not So Comfortable Truths About Air Travel Today.”
Former Chief Counsel to the Federal Aviation Administration Mark Gerchick writes in his new book that air travel, while once glamorous, has been reduced to “an uncomfortable, crowded and utterly soulless ordeal to be avoided whenever possible.” Do you agree?
This hour on Focus, Chris Berube talks with Gerchick about the behind the scenes details of air travel. He’ll tell us about how the industry has changed since 9/11 and will talk with Chris about why flying first class keeps getting classier while flying economy seems to get more miserable all the time. We’ll also talk with Gerchick about safety; while the act of flying has really never been safer, pilots, like just about anybody else, are overworked and flying with equipment that is sometimes outdated.
Do you have questions about what happens on planes? Focus producer Lindsey Moon was horrified to find out that any humidity inside an airplane is entirely comprised of fluid from the humans on board…sweat and breathing moisture. Tweet us @Focus580, find us on Facebook or post in the comments section below.
Do you use ketchup? Maybe you prefer mustard or a more flashy Chicago style? This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with Bruce Kraig about the hot dog, where it came from, and why it’s such an integral part of summertime in the US.
They go by many names… Frankfurters. Franks. Weiners. Tube Steaks. Coneys. Grillers. Shaggy Dogs or just “dogs.” But when and why did hot dogs become such a quintiensccial part of American culture? This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with Bruce Kraig, co-author of the new book “Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture In America.” Bossert talks with Kraig about what’s in a hot dog, how they are made and how hot dogs, like sausages, have played a role in city politics in Chicago. We’ll also talk about the virtually limitless recipes and ways to prepare them.
This hour we'll also hear from long-time Wonderdogs owner Jay Feitz. He left a career as an engineer to run the hot dog shop located in Campustown in Champaign nearly 30 years ago and is officially closing his doors this week.
Do you have a favorite local hot dog shop? What are your toppings?
This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation we had this spring about what it would be like to live in a cashless society.
Fewer and fewer people are regularly carrying cash. Carrying cards seems easier, and paying with plastic leaves a handy electronic record to track where your money goes. But with lots of questions circling about cyber-security, isn’t there a huge advantage to paying with cash money? This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about money, currency and what it would be like to live in a world without cash. David Wolman, author of “The End of Money: Counterfeiters, Preachers, Techies, Dreamers – and the Coming Cashless Society and Professor of Finance Charles Kahn join us. Kahn is a consultant at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has written about payments economics and identify theft.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talked with horticulture expert Sandy Mason and entomologist Phil Nixon. We welcome your lawn and garden questions today!
It’s finally officially summer, and while that means sun, lemonade and cool days at the beach, it also means that mosquitos, ants and other creepy crawlers are gracing us with their presence. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with University of Illinois Extension entomologist Phil Nixon and horticulture expert Sandy Mason. We welcome your pest, lawn and garden care questions this hour on Focus!
Monticello been called “the patent medicine capital of the world,” and is home to the famous Allerton Park. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with author Maureen Holtz about the town’s history…in pictures. Then, we’ll talk with former Mayor Dannel McCollum about his book “Remembering Champaign County.”
This hour on Focus, we’ll take a look through into history through the lens of a camera. Maureen Holtz, author of the new book “Images of America: Monticello” joins us to talk about some of the things that make Monticello’s history so rich. We’ll talk with her about the pepsin syrup factory that earned the town the title “patent medicine capital of the world,” and how she went about compiling the town’s history dating back to the 1800’s in authentic photos.
Then during the second half of this hour on Focus, Dannel McCollum, former Mayor of Champaign and author of “Remembering Champaign County” joins us. We’ll talk with him about March Madness on campus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Benjamin Franklin Harris, entrepreneur extraordinaire. Host Jim Meadows also talks with Dannel about the county’s first convicted murderer who was defended by Abraham Lincoln.
The weeding of thousands of non-fiction books at the Urbana Free Library has created controversy over transparency in libraries. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about how libraries are curated, what role they play in community and some of the challenges they face due to strained government budgets.
What services do you expect from your public library? Do you want a library to be like a book store, with only newer books and lots of cutting edge technology, or would you rather have a library with extensive collections of books published across several decades? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Carol Tilley and Kathryn La Barre of the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science about the challenges public libraries face as many make the transition into the digital age.
100 years ago this week, Governor Edward F. Dunne signed a bill giving women in Illinois the right to vote for President. This hour on Focus, we remember Illinois’ push for women’s suffrage.
In 1870, Frances Willard proclaimed before the Illinois General Assembly that it was an “insult” that 21 year old boys could vote to make laws for their mothers but that the mothers themselves had no voice. More than three decades later, she, among several others, finally convinced enough lawmakers that was true. In 1913, Illinois gave women the right to vote in Presidential elections. The catch – the bill for women’s suffrage did not apply to gubernatorial elections or elections for state representatives, congressmen or senators, yet.
This hour on Focus, we’ll remember the men and women who pushed for women’s suffrage in Illinois, and those who pushed back. Mark Sorensen, who has written extensively about suffrage in the state, joins us. He’ll tell us about some of the key players who fought for the bill and how the state worked to dissuade female voters from exercising their new right to vote. We’ll also talk Professor Virginia Boynton of Western Illinois University about why it took so long for women to be granted the right to vote in the first place.
This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation with Jeremy Hobson, a Champaign-Urbana native. He's the new co-host of Here and Now, coming to WILL on July 1. We’ll also hear from Jason Croft, WILL’s new local host of the program.
Jeremy Hobson got his start in broadcasting at the ripe old age of 9 when he started contributing to a program called “Treehouse Radio” on WILL. These days, he’s co-host of the Boston-based WBUR’s program, Here and Now, which is coming to WILL on July 1. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with Jeremy earlier this spring about his time as the host of American Public Media’s Marketplace Morning Report, his new adventure at WBUR and his roots in Champaign-Urbana. Then, we’ll talk with Here and Now’s new local host, Jason Croft.
Next week on Focus, we'll commemorate 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage in Illinois, will talk about issues facing Public Libraries and much more!
Next week on Focus, we’ll talk about issues facing public libraries and will remember the men and women who fought for women’s suffrage in Illinois. We’ll also listen back to an interview with Here and Now’s new co-host Jeremy Hobson and will welcome your lawn and garden care questions.
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