University of Illinois Assistant Professor Carol Tilley has always felt strongly about the fact that kids need comics. And she’s not the only one. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Tilley about how comics played a huge role in her childhood and why she thinks it’s so upsetting that they are less widely available and more expensive than they once were. Award-winning graphic novelist and nationally syndicated cartoonist Josh Elder also joins us. He’s creating a new series of graphic textbooks for elementary and middle school teachers. We’ll talk with him and Tilley about what sets comics apart and why they’re useful in the classroom.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics the demand for translators will increase by 20 percent by 2020, but here in Illinois, the Illinois Department of Employment Security estimates that need will be even greater. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk with Terena Bell. She’s worked as an interpreter and now owns “In Every Language,” a company based in Louisville, Kentucky that provides translation and localization services and is also secretary for the Globalization and Localization Association, an international translation trade organization. Professor Elizabeth Lowe also joins us. She’s director of the Center for Translations Studies at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign which recently announced it will offer a new master’s program next fall.
When you go away to camp, you’re automatically part of a new community. You sleep in an unfamiliar bed in a room with unfamiliar bunk mates; you eat food you aren’t used to or go hungry. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about how that “camp experience” can be good for kids. Michael Thompson is author of the book “Homesick and Happy: How Time Away from Parents Can Help a Child Grow.” He joins host Jim Meadows to talk about the things camp can teach children, lessons he argues parents can’t.
Katie Nolan also joins us. She’s a camp director at Camp Tapawingo near Peoria and Camp Peairs outside Bloomington. She’s been spending her summers working with campers for almost a decade and will tell us from first-hand experience what kids go through at camp.”
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with University of Illinois Extension horticulture expert Sandy Mason and Extension lawn care expert Tom Voigt. We’ll talk about the best ways to groom a luscious lawn or the best alternatives if lawn care is a thorn in your side. We welcome your calls and questions!
Next week on Focus, we’ll talk about the magic of summer camp, the growing need for translators and why some are pushing for comics in schools.
Claudia Quigg founded Baby TALK in the late 1980’s in Decatur after having children of her own and realizing that even though she had a supportive group of friends, she needed advice and access to resources. Today the organization has a presence in 36 states and Canada and has more than 100 programs in operation in Illinois communities. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Claudia about why the earliest years of life, from birth to age 3, are so important and what resources her organization provides in East Central Illinois. We’ll also talk about the memories and lessons she’s taken away from working with families for more than three decades and about her new book "Let's Talk Kids: Becoming a Family."
Claudia writes a weekly column for the Decatur Herald-Review and has a weekly radio segment that airs on NPR member station WUIS in Springfield at 7:55 on Thursday mornings.
The US Agriculture Department said yesterday that the honey bee population declined by more than 30 percent last winter, continuing a decrease in honey bee numbers that began in 2005. That’s a problem as more than 20 billion dollars worth of annual harvests rely on bees for pollination. No one really knows exactly why bees are disappearing, although many speculate it’s due to what scientists are calling colony collapse disorder. Researchers have pointed to pesticides, stress and microbial organisms as possible causes but conclusive answers have so far been elusive.
This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with May Berenbaum, Professor of Entomology at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign about colony collapse disorder, what it is, and what might be causing it. According to new research, high fructose corn syrup could also play a role. We’ll also hear from David Burns, a Master Beekeeper and owner of Long Lane Honey Bee Farms in Fairmount.
Are you a bee keeper? Are you a concerned farmer or gardener? We want to hear your story. Post in the comments section below!
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 and a security breach that compromised more than 5,000 debit/credit card users in the area, 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.
According to the Fiscal Futures Project at the Institute for Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, Illinois is currently ranked in last place out of all 50 states for its bond ratings. Legislators at the statehouse have made some progress towards passing reform to try and solve Illinois’ massively underfunded state pension system but even if reform is passed, the state has a long way to go to get back in the black. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Ralph Martire, Executive Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability about Illinois fiscal health and what could help improve it.
Martire is speaking at the Champaign Public Library in the Robeson Pavilion room on Thursday, May 9 at 7:00 p.m.
Coming up next week on Focus, we’ll talk about the state’s fiscal crisis, what it would be like to live in a world without cash and new research that helps scientists understand more about colony collapse disorder.