Colder weather is upon us, but that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to grow vegetables. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with market gardener Karen Geiser, who owns Karen’s Garden Delights in Kidron Ohio, about cold hearty plants and vegetables. She says she cold frames, high tunnels and low tunnels to ensure she has fresh food from her garden all year round. And of course, University of Illinois Extension horticulture expert Sandy Mason also joins us. We welcome your gardening questions this hour on Focus!
We’ve long been fascinated by super heroes, but why? According to Bill Rosemann, an editor at Marvel comics, it’s because they are relatable. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Rosemann about what makes a super hero super and why they’ve captivated us for decades. Rosemann also talks about Marvel’s newest character, Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American character from New Jersey who is muslim.
Then, in the second half of this hour on Focus, Meadows talks with Mark Hughes, a comic book aficionado and contributing writer for Forbes. We’ll talk with him about the rise of the super hero on screen and how companies like DC and Marvel have expanded their stories across the media landscape.
What do you think makes a super hero “super?” Post in the comments section below!
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with renowned architect, architecture critic, author and teacher Michael Sorkin about his work with design on the city level. Will some of the redevelopment that's happened as the US pulls out of the recession, like what has happened in New York City for example, continue? What's the best way to continue to stimulate that redevelopment and growth? During this interview, Sorkin talks about the redevelopment of cities and the trend away from people living in suburbia. Meadows also talks with him about transportation and why more and more people are utilizing public buses and trains.
He’s speaking on campus at the University of Illinois Thursday, November 7 at 7:00 p.m. in the Plym Auditorium in Temple Buell Hall and will be delivering a lecture, “The City After Now.”
Next week, the Champaign City Council will vote on whether or not to allow residents to raise chickens on their property. While some are really excited about the possibility that they could raise chickens within Champaign city limits, some are skeptical about the smell and the noise. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why people choose to keep backyard chickens and what it’s like to raise them. To start their hour on Focus we’ll hear from Karen Carney, who is a Champaign and wants her own chickens.
Then, host Jim Meadows also talks with Colleen Wagner, who lives in Urbana where backyard chickens are allowed. Wagner built her own chicken coop to raise chickens for their eggs in her backyard and says its empowering to know where her food is coming from and what the chickens are being fed. Steve Ayers, who is with the University of Illinois Extension also joins us to talk about the cost of raising chickens and some things to consider before getting your own.
Do you get your eggs from your backyard? Do your neighbors keep chickens? Are you for or against the idea the idea of backyard chickens? We’d love to hear from you this hour on Focus.
US Army Captain Luis Montalván was a highly decorated member of the US military when he returned home from two tours of duty in Iraq. The trauma he encountered overseas, however, started to take its toll as he settled back into his life stateside. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Montalván about his struggle to return to civilian life after his time in the service and how Capt. Montalván’s relationship with his service dog “Tuesday,” restored him both psychologically and spiritually.
All this week, WILL presents the work of University High School students in the series, “The Changing Military.” An hour-long documentary will air at 10am during Focus on Veterans Day, November 11. To launch the series, David Dickey and student producer Sunjay Koshy join Jim Meadows on Focus tomorrow, Monday, November 4 to talk about the documentary, how it was produced and explain the long-standing relationship between WILL and Uni High. Leading up to Veterans Day, the shorter documentary features will air all next week during Morning Edition with Jeff Bossert at 6:35 and 8:35 and again during Focus at around 10:50.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Frank Tavares, who for years was the “voice of NPR." Often cited as the most heard voice on public radio, Tavares read the underwriting announcements for the news network. We'll hear from him this hour about his public radio roots in Illinois and his work with the Journal of Radio and Audio Media, an communication journal for which he is a founding editor.
Host Jim Meadows also talks with Tavares about his new fiction book of short stories, "The Man Who Built Boxes."
When Brenda Koenig founded the Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots festival, she wanted to inspire a place where people could dance, tell stories and enjoy the rich tradition sense of community that she says folk music creates. As a folk musician and fiddler herself, she says appreciating how the audience is enjoying the music, not being “the musician” in the spotlight is vital to performing folk music. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Koenig about why she and 80 volunteers put in the work to organize the festival. We’ll also hear from Matt Winters, a member of the C-U Folk and Roots Festival’s steering committee, about what’s new this year at the festival.
Then, during the second half of this hour on Focus, we’ll check in with author, banjo player and music researcher Stephen Wade. Wade is author of the book “The Beautiful Music All Around Us,” which documents the contributions to folk music made by everyday people – from prisoners to housewives to farm laborers. Meadows talks with Wade about going back to the communities where he did his research for the book. We’ll also hear a few banjo tunes and talk with Wade about why he’s dedicated his life to folk music.
Are you a folk music fan? What do you like about it? Maybe you’re a volunteer for the festival, why do you dedicate your time? Post a comment in the comments section below or find us on Facebook.
Woodturning has been an art since around 1300 BC when the Egyptians first developed a two-person lathe, but it’s only been popular in the United States for the last few decades. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about woodturning and the satisfaction of making something tangible.
Chronic wasting disease was first discovered in deer in the Rocky Mountains in the 1960’s. Since then, its spread to the Midwest, Canada and a few eastern states, and there has been ongoing debate about the best ways to keep the disease from infecting more deer. CWD, which is 100% fatal and incurable in deer populations and has been in Illinois for the past decade. According to new research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the state is doing something right when it comes to managing the disease. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Nohra Mateus-Pinilla, a wildlife veterinary epidemiologist for the Illinois Natural History Survey, and Jan Novakofski, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and a Professor of Animal Science, about the disease, how it affects deer and why we should be concerned with keeping it from spreading. We’ll also talk about managing diseases that have epidemic potential in wildlife populations.