Friday, December 6: We'll listen back to a conversation Jim Meadows had with the former "Voice of NPR," Frank Tavares.
Farmers have been operating for more than a year now without a farm bill. Since the 2008 bill expired, there’s been an ideological debate surrounding the funding of certain programs in the farm bill, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. There are currently two versions of the farm bill stalled in Congress, one passed by the Senate and one passed by the House, and if legislators can’t come to a compromise by January 1, farm policy written in the 1940’s will take effect. This hour on Focus, we’ll talk about why there’s been such a fight over this year’s farm bill and how that differs from farm bills past.
Jonathan Coppess, a Clinical Professor of Law and Policy in the Department of Agriculture Economics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and former chief of staff to Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, (D) who worked on the Senate version of the bill and Mary Kay Thatcher, Senior Director of Congressional Affairs for the American Farm Bureau Federation join us.
Tuesday, the Illinois Legislature approved a history plan to eliminate the state’s $100 billion pension shortfall, considered the worst in the nation. The House voted 62-53 in favor of the plan, and the Senate approved the measure minutes earlier. The bill, however, passed with little support from East Central Illinois lawmakers.
How will it help the state’s budgetary woes and what will it mean for state employees? Does it violate the state’s pension protections spelled out in the Illinois constitution? This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Illinois Public Radio’s Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and former Illinois State Senator Rick Winkel about what’s in the bill and what it means.
After he retired from the NBA, urban farmer and author Will Allen returned to his roots. He was born to sharecroppers in South Carolina and grew up on a small vegetable farm. Today, he’s CEO of Milwaukee’s urban farming project, “Growing Power” and is working to help eradicate food deserts, places where it’s hard to find affordable, fresh produce. This hour on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Allen about the project and its mission to help more people, especially those living in cities, gain access to healthy food.
Then, during the second half of this hour on Focus, Meadows talks with Sam Wortman, an Assistant Professor of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. Wortman studies urban agriculture and says projects like Allen’s are helping accessibility problems but warns that the model for how to create a sustainable urban agriculture system varies from place to place.
The way we power our lives is constantly evolving. Today on Focus, host Jim Meadows talks with Scott Tinker about fracking, his documentary "Switch" and his mission to educate the public about where our electricity comes from and the reality when it comes to try and make changes to what fuel keeps the lights on.
Tinker will be showing his film and speaking at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Tuesday, December 3 at 7:00 p.m. in Lincoln Hall Theater and will be giving a seminar on fracking on . Find more information at the link below.
In this holiday special, Hannukah Lights 2013, NPR's Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz read memoirs and stories from acclaimed authors' experienes during the Jewish festival of lights. The stories are written expressly for the show.
Doyle Moore loved to cook, and what he craved most was a chance to share the food he made and stories about the food he made with family and friends. That’s probably why he joined former Focus host David Inge to talk cooking on Focus580 for more than 30 years.
This hour on Focus, we pay homage to WILL’s "Chef-in-Residence." Join host Jim Meadows as we listen back to conversations Doyle had with David and Focus' listeners about pumpkin pie, the Thanksgiving turkey’s supporting cast, and what Doyle liked to call “gifts from the kitchen.” We'll also hear from former Focus producers Jack Brighton and Harriet Williamson, and WILL’s Dee Breeding about their favorite Doyle stories and recipes.
Do you remember Focus' cooking show? Did you ever make a recipe Doyle shared over the air? We'd love to hear from you about it! Post in the comment section below or find us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.
Read more to find recipes from the show (and a few extras)!
Jamie Moyer made his major league debut with the Chicago Cubs when Ronald Reagan was President, and after a close to career ending elbow injury, became oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a game at the age of 49 four years ago. During this segment on Focus, Moyer tells Jeff Bossert about why he returned to the game. He also tells Bossert about his relationship with his late mentor and friend Harvey Dorfman.
When Dave Isay founded Storycorps, he wanted to create an opportunity for people to have a chance talk to each other about the things that had shaped their lives and relationships with each other. Ten years later, he says he never expected the project would be as large as it is today. He tells Jim Meadows about why he started Storycorps, where he hopes it will go and about how it came to be.
Meadows also talks with Isay about his new book “Ties that Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of Storycorps” and about his “National Day of Listening,” which is this Friday, November 29.
When Sara and Micah’s oldest daughter Naima showed resistance to wearing dresses and playing typical “girl” games, they thought she was a tomboy who someday could be a lesbian, until the day when Naima told Sara she shouldn’t keep correcting people when they confused Naima for a boy.
It’s been about a year now since Naima became Daniel, with full support from his school, friends and parents. But as he grows older, there are lots of unanswered questions. Daniel is 8, but what happens in a few years when he hits puberty? This hour on Focus, we'll listen back to when Host Jim Meadows talked with Sara and Micah about their son and about his transition from Naima to Daniel at school, at home and in the community.
Psychologist Marco Hidalgo, who works with transgender youth and gender non-conforming youth at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago also joined us. He talked about what options transgender children and parents have as kids grow older and will talk with us about some of the social obstacles transgender youth face.