Salt Lake City, UT – The perils of 19th century westward migration are well-known from stories of the famous Donner Party. But in 1856 - five times as many people died in two Mormon handcart companies that had gotten a late start out of Iowa. Caught by early snow in Wyoming, 200 of the 900 pioneers died, and Western history writer David Roberts says the tragedy was entirely preventable. Thursday, he joins Doug to talk about his new book "Devil's Gate: Brigham Young and the Great Mormon Handcart Tragedy."
Salt Lake City, UT – When the journalist Michael Kodas went to climb Mount Everest in 2004, he envisioned the project as an adventure piece. By the time he returned he had a crime story. Kodas discovered an atmosphere of corruption on Everest: petty thieves and con men, prostitutes, extortionists. Michael Kodas joins Doug to talk about the book he's written on the experience. It's an expose of a culture that exploits the grand impulse for adventure. (Rebroadcast)
Salt Lake City, UT – KUER occasionally airs radio stories and commentaries written and produced by youth from across Utah. This morning, we hear from 18-year old Michelle Cedeno. She's now a freshman at the University of Utah studying pre-med. Cedeno wrote this commentary at age 17 for a Spy Hop Productions Youth Radio class and first aired on KRCL's "Loud and Clear" radio program.The essay is called, "Childhood Friends."
Salt Lake City, UT – In its first season - an all-day chairlift pass at Utah's Alta Ski Area cost $1.50. It was 1938, and personalities like ski jump champion Alf Engen and silver miner George Watson were working to make the area a destination. The result wasn't just a world-class ski resort, but a community as well. Alta is celebrating its 70th season this year, and Tuesday, Doug talks to ski historian Alan Engen and to KUED producer Joe Prokop about Alta and about the development of a billion dollar industry in Utah.
Salt Lake City, UT – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has announced it's pulling 34 parcels near National Park land in Utah from an oil and gas drilling auction set for next month. Utah Congressman Jim Matheson was among the many critics of that proposal. He spoke to KUER's Dan Bammes about that and the broader questions of energy development on Utah's public lands.
Salt Lake City, UT – Some topics - no matter how common they are to all of us - just leave people a little uncomfortable. But one of these - practiced behind closed doors and talked about in euphemisms - is central to clean water and health throughout the world. Monday on RadioWest, we're talking about - well, human waste. The journalist Rose George will join us for a look at something as natural as breathing and yet so unmentionable.