Take Note

Fridays at 1pm and Sundays at 7am

Listen to conversations about issues that matter. WPSU’s weekly community affairs radio program features in-depth interviews with central Pennsylvania newsmakers.

Denny Gioia, Kline Professor of Business and Chair of Business Management in Penn State's Smeal College of Business.
Penn State Smeal College of Business

He’s been called Mr. Pinto.  Denny Gioia was the Ford Motor Company’s Recall Coordinator in the early 1970s when a field report about one of the company’s top-selling cars landed on his desk.  It was one of more than a hundred case files. At issue was whether the Ford Pinto’s fuel tank posed a serious fire hazard if struck from behind. The case would result in a series of devastating lawsuits against Ford, a recall of 1.5 million vehicles and charges of reckless homicide.

Today's program with best-selling author Karen Abbott, was recorded live at the HUB-Robeson Center at Penn State back in March.  Abbott's visit was sponsored by Centre County Reads, "one community reading one book."  The chosen book for this year's event was Abbott's 2014 book of creative non-fiction, Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Undercover Women in the Civil War.  Abbott, who has been called the pioneer of "sizzle history," interweaves the true stories of four women who risked everything on behalf of Union or Confederate sides.
 

WPSU's Patty Satalia and Charlie Hosler at the 2016 Wilson Banquet at the Nittany Lion Inn.
Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Science

Charlie Hosler is one of the titans of weather forecasting. In the late ‘50s, his state-of-the-art forecasts were transmitted by microwave from Penn State campus to a local TV station, earning him rock star status with area farmers and impacting weather reporting nationwide. Hosler also left his mark on Penn State, having spent his entire professional career there. In April, he was guest of honor at the annual Wilson Banquet, a program he started as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Sex trafficking; they call it the new American slavery.  It’s been reported in all 50 states, and whether we acknowledge it or not, it’s happening right under our noses.

As head of Education and Human Resources Programs at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Shirley Malcom is committed to finding and nurturing underrepresented talent in the sciences.  Her drive is deeply personal.    

Malcolm is a former member of the National Science Board, the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation, and served on President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. She earned her Ph.D. from Penn State and holds 16 honorary degrees.

A current lawsuit alleges that Pennsylvania has broken its constitutional obligation to provide a "thorough and efficient system of public education."  As part of a collaborative series for NPR, the new education reporter for Keystone Crossroads has been looking into education funding.  WPSU's Emily Reddy talked with Kevin McCorry, who says there are huge funding disparities among Pennsylvania's 500 school districts

As the first executive director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Open Records, Terry Mutchler staunchly defended the public’s right to know. But sharing her own story was another matter.  Mutchler chronicles here secret five-year relationship with the late Illinois Senator Penny Severns in her critically acclaimed book, “Under This Beautiful Dome: A Senator, A Journalist and the Politics of Gay Love in America.”  We’ll talk with her about open records law, about her journalistic roots at Penn State and about the impact her disclosure had on her career.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

 Peter Laurence, author of Becoming Jane Jacobs, examines the life of Jane Jacobs, a pioneering urban thinker of the 1950s and 60s. Jacobs is best known as the author of Death and Life of Great American Cities. Laurence digs into her work before that, as an activist protesting eminent domain and urban renewal. 

Then, Kristine Allen talks to Carrie Anne Noble of Lycoming County. Noble won Amazon's Breakthrough Novel of the Year contest in 2014 in the young adult category for her debut novel, The Mermaid's Sister.

Art Halvorson is a real estate developer and a former career Coast Guard pilot. He’s also a Tea Party-backed candidate taking a second crack at unseating eight-term Republican Congressman Bill Shuster in the April 26th primary. What got Halvorson into the race for Pennsylvania’s 9th Congressional District, what does he stand for, and what are his chances?  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with the candidate.

(Photo: WPSU)

David Folkenflik is Media Correspondent for NPR News. His stories are heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and Here & Now, as well as on on NPR's website and mobile platforms.  He joined NPR in 2004, after a decade as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun, where he covered higher education, politics, and the media.

Business Insider has called Folkenflik one of the 50 most influential people in American media.

Folkenflik is author of the book Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.

U.S. Senate Democratic hopeful Joseph Vodvarka
JoeVodvarka.com

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 26th. Four Democratic candidates are vying for a primary win and a chance to take Republican Senator Pat Toomey's U.S. Senate seat. Who are the candidates and what do they stand for? We’ll talk with all four candidates. This week our guest is small business owner Joseph Vodvarka. 

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 26th. WPSU is talking with the Democratic candidates vying for a primary win and a chance to take Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's U.S. Senate seat. Who are the candidates and what do they stand for? We’ll talk with all of the candidates. This week our guest is Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

Katie McGinty
Katie McGinty

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 26th.   Four Democratic candidates are vying for a primary win and a chance to take Republican Senator Pat Toomey's U.S. Senate seat. Who are the candidates and what do they stand for? We’ll talk with all four candidates. This week our guest is former secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Ed Rendell, Katie McGinty.

Admiral Joe Sestak
JoeSestak.com

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 26th.   Four Democratic candidates are vying for a primary win and a chance to take Republican Senator Pat Toomey's U.S. Senate seat. Who are the candidates and what do they stand for? We’ll talk with all four candidates. This week our guest is retired 3-star Admiral and former U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak, who ran against Senator Toomey in 2010 and lost by a slim margin. 

About half of America’s farmland is planted with genetically engineered crops—principally corn, cotton and soybeans. Genetic engineering allows scientists to change the genes in some farm animals and food crops to make them grow faster or bigger and be more resistant to bugs, weeds and disease. Proponents say the technique holds the key to feeding an ever-increasing population in the most environmentally conservative way. Opponents say the science of biotechnology is moving too quickly with neither adequate study nor precaution and that we tinker with nature at our own peril.

  Lead poisoning may seem to be an issue of the past. But earlier this year, residents of Flint, Michigan were reminded just how common — and dangerous — lead still is. The city switched water supplies, causing the lead pipes to leach toxins into the water. Scores of children have been diagnosed with lead poisoning, which can cause developmental delays and medical complications. But Flint isn't the only city in the country that has lead infrastructure. 

Edible waterbug on plate
Sevda Eris / KQED

Montana State University Professor Florence Dunkle has been an entomologist for nearly 50 years. But it wasn’t until a trip to Rwanda in 1985 that she began studying insects for their nutritional value. Now one of the world’s leading entomophagists, she warns against unsustainable food practices and the detrimental effects of Western cultural bias.  She also champions the low-cost, high-protein benefits of eating insects.

Since the United Nations Volunteers program began in 1971, more than 50,000 volunteers have been mobilized around the world. Volunteers help organize and run local and national elections and support a large number of peacekeeping and humanitarian projects.  What does it take to become a volunteer—and are volunteers making a real difference?  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks about that and more with Jennifer Stapper, Communications Chief for the United Nations Volunteers program.

According to the Treatment Advocacy Center, more individuals with mental illness are in America’s jails and prisons than in residential mental health care facilities.  Many are  there for nonviolent offenses.  Why is the criminal justice system becoming our de facto mental health care provider?  And how can we improve the outcomes when law enforcement and other first responders encounter individuals with mental illness who are in crisis?  Tracy Small answers those questions and more.  She's program coordinator of the Crisis Intervention Team, or CIT, for the Centre Region.

Americans of all stripes increasingly say our political system is in a state of crisis.  They point to intense partisanship, lack of civility, and the inability of government to get things done.  Just how dire are things?  How did we get into this fix?  More importantly, what can we do about it?  Christopher Beem, the managing director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State, and the author of "Democratic Humility," says part of the problem is that we are all hardwired with "confirmation bias," and that we are too quick to reject any information that goes against our belief

Why can it be so difficult to get kids to behave?  Our guest has the answer to that question, and advice on rediscovering the joy of parenting.  Amy McCready is the Founder of Positive Parenting Solutions and the author of “If I Have to Tell You One More Time...The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids to Listen Without Nagging, Reminding or Yelling.”  She’s also a Penn State graduate.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell is the co-author of the landmark book, The China Study. A professor emeritus of Cornell University, he did his undergraduate work at Penn State. WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with him about the health benefits of plant-based nutrition, about his most famous convert, Bill Clinton, and about why so many Americans consider a plant-based diet so radical. 

 

Dr. Patricia Jabbeh Wesley is a gifted poet, scholar, public speaker and human rights activist.  Her powerful poems are a tribute to the dead and an appeal to the living. Wesley teaches English and Creative Writing at Penn State-Altoona and is the author of four widely acclaimed volumes of poetry.  We talked with her about surviving Liberia's civil war and her new memoir, about how education saved her, and about going home.

Lewis Goldstein
Penn State/Flickr

    

How is organic food changing the landscape of food production? We talk with the vice president of brand marketing for Organic Valley, Lewis Goldstein, about his unique company and why they think everyone should know what’s in their food.  

Editor's Note
Jan. 7, 2016

We originally said organic food is grown without the use of pesticides. Organic farmers can use pesticides from a restricted list approved by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). 



Sandra Fluke was a third-year law student at Georgetown University in 2012, when she was invited by Democrats to speak at Congress’ contraceptive mandates hearing.  Conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh stunned the country when he called her a "slut" and a "prostitute" because of her testimony.   In 2014, she narrowly lost her bid for a state senate seat in California.

In his latest work, renowned photographer and researcher Richard Ross opens our eyes to the harsh realities of America's juvenile justice system.  

For his book, “Juvenile In Justice,” Ross photographed and interviewed more than a thousand youths over a five-year period in juvenile detention facilities around the country.  The result is powerful and haunting. 

A distinguished professor of art at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Ross has received numerous grants and awards and his works have been exhibited in museums worldwide.  

If you’re like most people, you’ve given only limited thought to the fluoride in your tap water.  That is, unless you live in Bellefonte, where the issue is now being hotly debated.  The Bellefonte Water Authority has voted to end the practice; some area dentists and residents want the authority to reconsider and continue to add fluoride to the water system.  Why is this long-standing practice still so controversial?  What are the benefits—and risks—of fluoridating drinking water?  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks about that with Dr.

Farnoosh Torabi is an award-winning personal finance expert, TV personality and best-selling author.  She’s also a Penn State graduate and Schreyer Honors Scholar.  WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with her about her money philosophy, about having it all, but not doing it all, and about what it really means when she makes more than him.

As longtime Centre County Court of Common Pleas Judge Bradley Lunsford prepares to retire, two State College attorneys have been selected to run for the open ten-year-term on the bench. Republican Ron McLaughlin and Democrat Katie Oliver will appear on the November 3rd ballot with precious little time to campaign. WPSU's Patty Satalia talks with both candidates.  McLaughlin is a shareholder in the State College law firm Stover McLaughlin; Oliver is a shareholder in the State College law firm McQuaide Blasko.

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