Illinois is one of 24 US states that have not yet elected a female governor. Why not?
There are women running for governor in 19 US states; Illinois isn’t one of them. Of the 19 states where women are competing in primary gubernatorial races this spring, there are only a handful who are expected to make it onto the ballot for the general election. Why does it matter?
According to Kelly Dittmar who researches gender balance in politics for the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, the lack representation for women at the gubernatorial level is due to a number of factors, including the support political parties do and do not show for women and the complex relationship our culture has with women taking executive leadership roles. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about what barriers still exist for women seeking gubernatorial office in Illinois and across the country. Dittmar, an Assistant Professor at the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University and Tom Kacich, who writes about politics for the News-Gazette, join host Jim Meadows.
Have you ever forgotten something? Can you imagine what it would be like to forget nearly every detail about your life?
About a decade ago, David Stuart MacLean woke up on a train platform in India. He had no idea who or where he was and had no money and no passport. He came to believe he was a drug addict and spent two days in a psychiatric hospital in India chain smoking, writing poetry and hallucinating.
When his parents showed up and told him about what he was actually doing in India, he was floored. It was after his parents took him back to his hometown in Ohio that he was told his memory loss was caused by a rare reaction to a preventative malaria medication he had been taking. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with MacLean about what it was like to rediscover who he was.
Have you ever suffered from amnesia or do you know someone who has? What was it like trying to remember things? Give us a call this hour on Focus!
Are you a science fiction fan? Today on Focus, we'll listen back to a conversation host Jim Meadows had with New York Times best-selling author Kim Stanley Robinson.
Kim Stanley Robinson’s interest in science fiction all in an orange grove. When he was young, he says he watched southern California suffer what he calls “future shock,” – a process by which the natural landscape was rapidly replaced with apartment buildings and roads. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Robinson about how that experience inspires his writing
Robinson also talks about his Mars Trilogy that depicts a society where people have colonized Mars to escape overpopulation and ecological disaster on Earth. We’ll hear how he imagined life on Mars and how he deals with questions of plausibility as he writes about future time.
There’s a pill that can protect against HIV infection. Why aren’t more people taking it?
For decades, the message has been that the only way to prevent HIV infection is to wear a condom every time you have sex. Jim Pickett, who heads prevention advocacy for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, says that advice will never be effective enough to eradicate the disease.
Truvada, a drug made by Gilead, was approved more than a year ago by the FDA as another option to prevent the spread of the disease. In clinical trials, it has proven more effective in protecting HIV negative people from contracting the disease than condom use, but it’s been slow to catch on. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about Truvada, why the HIV community has been slow to embrace the drug and how new HIV prevention tools are changing the way we think about the disease. Jim Pickett of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Mike Benner, Executive Director of the Greater Community AID Foundation in Champaign join us.
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25. Should it be higher?
Rachel Warren is 21 and says that she “makes it work” supporting herself by working two jobs for minimum wage, one in Champaign and one in Urbana. If she had to support someone else, however, she says that just wouldn’t be feasible. Gov. Pat Quinn has been pushing for an increase to Illinois minimum wage, which is already a dollar higher than the federal standard. If the state mandated a wage increase for people like Warren, she says even a dollar more an hour would make a substantial difference in her monthly budget.
This hour on focus, we’ll hear from Warren and will talk about the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage and the arguments for and against doing so. Bob Bruno, Professor of Labor and Employment Relations at the University of Illinois at Chicago and James Sherk, a Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at the Heritage Foundation join us.
Do you or have you ever worked for minimum wage? Are you a small business owner who would be affected by a potential wage increase? Post in the comments section below!
Today on Focus, host we’ll learn more about cooking with and growing herbs. Do you grow herbs in your garden in the spring and summer? We want to hear how you use them!
Due to the life-threatening cold that shut down schools and businesses through much of the Midwest yesterday, we'll spend the first few minutes of this hour on Focus checking in with State Climatologist Jim Angel to get an update on the weather and hear a little more about this weekend's storm.
Then, we’ll turn our attention to thoughts of warmer days ahead… There are lots of beautiful plants to incorporate into a garden, and if you're a person who likes function as well as beauty, planting a herb garden might be a good way to go. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Chuck Voigt, University of Illinois Extension vegetable and herb specialist, and Holly Shimizu, Executive Director of the US Botanical Garden about herbs.
According to historian and author Jon Lauck, in comparison to the South, the far West and New England, the history of the American Midwest has been far overlooked in its importance. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows.
The American Midwest played a crucial role in the development of the US as a whole, helped spark a revolution of American manufacturing by producing food for urban centers and played a critical role in the Union victory of the Civil War. If you ask most historians about the Midwest, however, you might find yourself explaining all that.
We see squirrels every day in cities across Illinois, but squirrels didn’t always live in urban areas in such abundance.
If you’ve spent time on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign-Urbana, you’ve likely noticed the squirrels… and their odd behavior. According to mammalian ecologist Ed Heske, they live on campus because in the early 1900’s, the UI allotted $125 dollars to introduce squirrels to campus to enhance interaction between its students and the natural world.
Ryan Bartelmay recently published his debut novel, which is based in central Illinois. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows.
If you were going to create a town with fictional characters who could live anywhere in the world, where would those characters go when they go home? Your first inclination may not be to create a story based in central Illinois, after all, there are much more exciting places to set a novel. But Morton native and author Ryan Bartelmay says he wouldn’t think to write about characters living anywhere else. This hour on Focus, he talks with host Jim Meadows about his debut novel, “Onward Toward What We’re Going Toward.” We’ll hear about why he writes about cultures in small towns in the Midwest and will hear about a set of characters who make a living working at a pumpkin canning factory.
This hour, we'll hear a roast of 2013 from the team at Capitol Steps.
According to the team at Capitol Steps, 2013 has been great for job creation....mostly for comedians. This hour we'll hear their annual mock documentary special, "Politics Takes a Holiday!" This year will feature all-new year-end awards including"Best Moment in Senator Ted Cruz's 21-hour Filibuster," "Best Thigh-Reducing Exercises to do While Waiting for Healthcare.gov" and, of course "Best Reason to Spy On the American Public — Because You Can!"
We are sorry we cannot provide a podcast of this holiday program locally. Please visit Capitol Steps' website to download this program.
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