Salt Lake City, UT – Utah writer and poet Katharine Coles' latest novel is "Fire Season." Set in rural Utah, Coles portrays cancer-stricken downwinders, an AIDS suffering black-sheep of a Mormon family, drought and wildfires. It's a story of death and renewal, and ultimately, of the power of human goodness to prevail. (Repeat)
Salt Lake City, UT – Drought conditions in the southwest have led to an explosive rise in bark beetle populations, causing large die-offs of pine forests. The artist David Dunn began recording the sounds of bark beetles as a way of documenting this destruction, but also found a deep artistic connection to the beetles. Jeff Rice reports for Utah Soundscapes.
Salt Lake City, Ut – With the weather as warm as it's been this past week in Utah, it's hard to imagine spring skiing. But Scott Carrier was doing it just a few days ago, and he says it requires careful timing - and the right point of view.
Salt Lake City, UT – The Bush administration has been encouraging the Bureau of Land Management to make energy exploration easier, and on Tuesday, Utah's BLM conducted a massive sale of oil and gas leases. Doug is joined by NPR's Elizabeth Shogren, along with industry advocates and conservationists, to explore the implications on the American economy and on Utah's environment.
Salt Lake City, Ut – A few years ago, a popular postcard showed a completely black picture with the caption, "Salt Lake City at night." Now there are plans, not yet unveiled, to revitalize and build a new, more lively downtown in Utah's capital city. But Salt Lake City wasn't always dark at night. Shops, restaurants and theaters thrived. Downtown Salt Lake City was the place to be. Producer Anne Milliken visits with Utahns who remember what downtown was like in its heyday. (Ben Bombard assisted in the production of this story.)
Salt Lake City, UT – A recent report from the National Alliance on Mental Illness grades the quality of mental health care in each state. The report singled out the work of Republican Senator Orin Hatch on behalf of mental health programs. Despite Hatch's efforts, Utah only got a D on its report card. Benjamin Shaw Reports from Capitol Hill.
Salt Lake City, UT – Jim Wallis joins Doug to talk about his book "God's Politics." Wallis questions how the right has been able to co-opt the language of faith to further its political goals, and why the left tries to keep public policy and a discussion of morals separate. Faith, he argues, should be free to challenge both ends of the political spectrum from a consistent moral ground. (Repeat)
Los Angeles, CA – This week, KUER is airing stories related to Mother's Day. In today's piece Connie Alvarez interviews her mother, Blanca, about crossing the border near her home in Nogales, Mexico to join her family in Los Angeles-- more than thirty years later. Kuer's Mother's Day archives.
Salt Lake City, UT – In 2004 with 72% of the vote, Utah delivered Bush his largest margin of victory of any state. With such a strong foothold, the annual Republican Convention is pivotal in shaping the politics of Utah. Doug Fabrizio is joined by party leaders and observers for a look at the results of the convention and the direction of Utah's Republican Party.
Salt Lake City – A documentary film about the war is being screened tonight and tomorrow at downtown Salt Lake City's Tower Theatre. KUER's Tasha Cook spoke recently with the filmmaker of Inside Iraq: The Untold Stories.
Washington, DC – Utah could earn more sway in Washington if Congress approves a plan to give the District of Columbia a seat in the House of Representatives. Currently, Washington, DC is alloted three electoral votes in the electoral college, but doesn't have a vote in the house...or two senators. This is a compromise that stops short of granting the nation's capital statehood. Chad Pergram reports from our Capitol Hill bureau.
New York, NY – This week, KUER is airing stories related to Mother's Day. Today's piece comes from Mombo, which produces radio pieces about motherhood. Here Todd Melby has some comic relief for us from Amy Borkowsky. You can find the answering machine messages from Amy Borkowsky's Mom at www.sendamy.com.
Salt Lake City, UT – Every year, Mexican freetailed bats gather at a roost in Davis County. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources monitors this colony, and not long ago they allowed Jeff Rice to visit there to make recordings for the Utah Soundscapes series. He brought back this week's audio postcard.
Washington, DC – Monday is the deadline for seniors to sign up for Medicare's prescription drug benefit. The Bush Administration is on a final push to get seniors to enroll. But Congress has been locked in a fierce debate over whether to extend the deadline to give beneficiaries need more time to choose a plan. One Utah lawmaker doesn't think so. Todd Zwillich reports from Capitol Hill.
Salt Lake City, UT – Walter Kirn's novel "Mission to America" looks at the collision between faith and a spiritually overextended nation. When an isolated, waning Montana sect sends missionaries to bring back converts, or more specifically brides, the two men meet head-on with the bewildering, seductive diversity of America. (Repeat)
Salt Lake City, UT – How do you measure the value of a mother? We all have intangible ways of recognizing our own moms, but what of mothers in the broader sense? What is the value of motherhood to the economy, to our society and to our culture? At 11:00 a.m., Doug profiles "A MOMbo Mother's Day 2006," which looks at the history and significance and Mother's Day and motherhood. Then at 7:00 p.m., RadioWest presents the documentary in its entirety.
Chicago, Il – Today we hear from Omar Macias, who wrote and produced this piece after he joined the Marines. In this letter to his mom, he tries to end the battle he had with her about signing up for service in the first place, and he tries to calm her fears.
Salt Lake City, UT – Kenyan photojournalist Mohamed Amin survived imprisonment, torture and even amputation to bring the stories of Africa to the world. Best known for his coverage of Ethiopa's 1984 famine, his work inspired Bob Geldof's "Live Aid" concerts. After his untimely death on a hijacked airplane in 1996, his son Salim Amin took up his work. Amin talks about Mo & Me, the new documentary which chronicles his father's legacy, and about his own efforts to give voice to an oft-misunderstood continent.
Portland, OR – This week, KUER continues its on-going series of radio pieces that aren't often featured on NPR's regular news programs . This week we're looking at stories related to Mother's Day and this morning a piece from radio producer Dmae Roberts called "Memorial". She saved phone messages from her mother -Chu Yin Roberts - who passed away two years ago as a living memorial. It's her way of still getting a phone call from her mom.
Washington, DC – Talk of natural disaster brings to mind floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. But another weather pattern can be just as devastating: Drought. Although Utah has had a very wet year - Some lawmakers on Capitol Hill are looking ahead and recommending the creation of a national drought monitoring system. Congressional correspondent Benjamin Shaw reports from our Capitol Hill bureau:
Salt Lake City, UT – As divided as the American public may be on the important issues of the day, both red and blue can agree that something is wrong in Washington. Politics has become less about ideology and more about how to gain and keep power. Doug's guest is Joe Klein, author of "Politics Lost: How American Democracy Was Trivialized by People Who Think You're Stupid." They'll talk about the decline of courage and leadership, and about what can be done to get us out of this mess.
Salt Lake City, UT – In 1976, a handwritten will found in Salt Lake City left $150 million of Howard Hughes' fortune to a rural Nevada meat delivery driver, Melvin Dummar. Hughes' "Mormon Will" was declared a fraud by the courts, and Dummar lost everything, including his reputation. Former FBI agent Gary Magnesen has written "The Investigation," which reposes the central question: has Dummar been telling the truth all along? (Repeat)
Salt Lake City, UT – There's a ritual that happens out in the sagebrush each spring. From March until about mid May sage grouse gather at their breeding grounds throughout Utah. Jeff Rice visited a sage grouse 'lek' just before dawn to record some of the sounds for this week's Utah Soundscapes 'audio postcard.'
Washington, DC – Some lawmakers on Capital Hill want to overhaul the Universal Service Fund. It's a tax paid by large phone companies to keep service in rural areas affordable for consumers. One solution is mandating other communication companies pay into the fund, but Utah Congressman Chris Cannon says taxing internet service is not the answer. From our Capitol Hill bureau, Terry Gildea reports:
Salt Lake City, UT – On Wednesday, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Carroon announced his decision to deny Real Salt Lake's request for 35 million dollars in public financing to build a soccer stadium in Sandy. Franchise executives have argued that the funding is critical to the team's survival in Utah. Doug Fabrizio and guests look at the economics of public money and private sports teams, and at the value and culture a team brings to a community that can't be measured in currency.