Focus - October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Guests: Ed Kieser, Kelly Formoso, and Jim Angel.

Sandy continues to wreak havoc over the eastern seaboard and mid-Atlantic states. The death toll continues to rise as a result of the storm, millions are without power, and the cost of damage to homes and businesses from the storm, its high winds, and subsequent flooding, is projected to be in the billions. While we all continue to monitor the damage caused by Sandy, some of the experts will give us an opportunity to understand exactly what happened to cause this “super storm.”

Focus - October 30, 2012

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character

Paul Tough, Writer specializing in education, child development, poverty, and politics and contributor to "This American Life."

Host: Craig Cohen

Children's success in school is usually measured by test scores – the SAT, IQ test, standardized exams. But in How Children Succeed, writer and This American Life contributor Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control. As scientists discover more about the longterm effects of early adversity on the developing brain, Tough argues that the ways parents can instill these qualities in children can have ramifications that last a lifetime.

Focus - October 29, 2012

Personal Finance

Kevin Waspi, C.F.A., Department of Finance, College of Business, University of Illinois

Host: Craig Cohen

From time to time, we like to provide you with an opportunity to ask some basic questions about personal finance. Kevin Waspi, who lectures on finance at the University of Illinois College of Business will answer your queries on money management. Whether you are just starting out and looking for advice on investing, thinking about buying a home, sending your children to college, or planning for retirement, your questions will be welcome.

Focus - October 26, 2012

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Interview with Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas

Host: David Inge

Since the beginning of his career in journalism eight years ago, Jose Vargas has written hundreds of stories — including covering the 2008 presidential campaign for The Washington Post; profiling Al Gore for Rolling Stone and Mark Zuckerberg for The New Yorker; writing and producing a documentary on the AIDS epidemic in the nation's capital; and winning a Pulitzer Prize for helping cover the Virginia Tech massacre.  A little over a year ago, Vargas wrote a groundbreaking essay in the New York Times Sunday Magazine revealing his "undocumented immigrant" status.  Since then, he founded Define American and has worked to facilitate dialogue about the DREAM Act and immigration issues.

On Friday, October 26th at 12:00 noon, the University YMCA will host Pulitzer Prize winning journalist José Antonio Vargas to talk about his experiences as an undocumented immigrant and how debate over immigration policies is shaping the 2012 election season.

Focus - October 25, 2012

Labor Disputes in Professional Sports

Michael LeRoy, Professor, School of Labor & Employment Relations and College of Law, UIUC

Host: Craig Cohen

The National Hockey League is currently deep in a labor dispute that has led to the cancellation of some games, and could threaten the entire season. This fall, football fans were up in arms as the National Football League used replacement referees that botched a number of calls while the league negotiated a new contract with the regular refs. Last year, the NBA played a shortened season following a protracted dispute between the players and owners.

Why so much labor/management strife in professional sports, where the players are often millionaires and the owners billionaires, and everyone seems to be making money hand over fist? Who loses in these disputes? Do they reflect attitudes towards labor and management in society at large, or is this just a case of the very rich versus the super-rich? And, ultimately, why should we care?

We’ll discuss recent labor disputes in professional sports, and what, if anything, they tell us about today’s society, with Michael LeRoy, Professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations and the College of Law at the University of Illinois.

Focus - October 24, 2012

Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

Bob Spitz, Journalist and Author

Host: Craig Cohen
Book Jacket of Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child

This August marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Julia Child. Child practically invented the television cooking program – would there be a Food Network without her? - and helped usher in the early years of PBS. But her life was so much more than the French Chef. Her files as a member of the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, were declassified in 2008, leading to a flood of information about her fascinating life. Her time in the OSS led her to France, where she took cooking classes and was determined to master Franch cooking. Journalist Bob Spitz spent time with Child in the early 1990s, and the conversations about food they had then form the basis of his new book Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child.

Focus - October 23, 2012

“9 Billion People + 1 Earth = ?”

Andrew Revkin, Senior Fellow at Pace University and Dot Earth blogger for The New York Times

Host: Craig Cohen

After two centuries of explosive growth, the planet's population is widely seen as cresting within the next couple of generations. A best guess for the peak remains roughly 9 billion people. There are even signs that resource-sapping activities will hit a peak as well. Will we overheat or innovate, conserve or despoil, crash or round the curve with a few scrapes? Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth blogger for the New York Times, explores ways to shape and share ideas that can foster progress on a finite planet.

Focus - October 22, 2012

Lawn & Garden Care

Sandy Mason, Extension Horticulture Educator, University of Illinois Extension, Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, Vermilion Counties

Host: Craig Cohen

Our topic will be lawn and garden care, and our guest will be Sandy Mason, horticulture educator with University of Illinois Extension.  We do these shows from time to time to help with problems in the home landscape, and we can take a wide range of questions on anything from trees and shrubs to vegetables and flowers, even houseplants. Whether you are trying to solve a problem, or you are looking for suggestions on what to plant, your call will be welcome.

Focus - October 19, 2012

Focus Open Line

Craig Cohen, Producer and Host, Focus

Travis Stansel, Producer, Focus

Host: Craig Cohen

Focus has been a flagship program for WILL for more than 30 years. In September, Craig Cohen took over the reins from David Inge upon David's retirement. Now we're asking you, our listeners, for feedback and ideas on the future of Focus - what would you like to hear when you tune in each morning?

Focus - October 18, 2012

The European Union’s Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies, University of Illinois

João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States

John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

Host: Craig Cohen

A number of eyebrows were raised by the decision last week to give this year’s Nobel Peace Prize to The European Union. We’ll learn more about what was behind that decision, and discuss the history, complexity, and potentially challenging future of the European Union, including the fate of the Euro as a common currency, and the viability of economically struggling nations like Greece, with Dr. Stefanos Katsikas, Director of Modern Greek Studies at the University of Illinois; John McCormick, Professor of European Union Politics, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis; and João Vale de Almeida, The European Union Ambassador to the United States.

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