*Peaches Lacey hosts the last Wednesday of every month.
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On Thursday December 27, our host Tony Castaneda reviews the year 2012 in his “Top Stories of 2012” with Captain Cero. They discuss the recall election of Scott Walker and the events surrounding it as one of the biggest stories in Wisconsin this year. The re-election of President Barack Obama for his second term was also one of the hugest stories in 2012. An important and contentious issue for the coming year in Wisconsin, they predict, “the next big populist struggle in this state” will be the mining initiative. One big theme for the year is “the struggle by peoples around the world to deal with corporatism. Whether it is mining in northern Wisconsin, idle no more with the First Nations in Canada, the 40,000 Zapatistas marching in Chiapas, the riots that have gone on in Spain, Italy, and Greece, and even the Arab Spring are manifestations of people in the world going ‘no this neo-liberal image of how the world is supposed to work, doesn’t work, and people are starting to rise up against it.” They speak about the persecution of Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and the Occupy Sandy movement. Another large theme for the year was climate change. They talk about how there was three times as much tree damage during the recent snowstorm Draco, with an 18-inch snow fall, compared to the tree damage experienced twenty years ago. “The trees were much drier and brittle because of the drought we had this summer.” Also, the glaciers in the Himalayas are melting. This will cause flooding in the surrounding areas, followed by water shortages due to the rivers losing volume. Listen to the show here:read article »
December 25th , 2012, we had a very special Christmas show. Our old friend Stan Woodard and his wife Yolanda stopped by the studio to host the 8 o’ clock buzz. So in light of having Stan back in the studio we decided it would be appropriate to put the entire Christmas show online. Stan talks with Victoria Law and China Martens, Co-Authors of “Don’t Leave Your Friends Behind, Concrete Ways to Support Families in Social Justice Movements and Communities.”read article »
On Friday, December 21, our guest host Jan Levine Thal speaks with Joan Houston Hall, Chief Editor of the Dictionary of American Regional English. She speaks about the new companion volume to the dictionary, Volume 7. The volume features “212 ways of saying someone is stalling.” Joan talks about the regional variations of a single word, such as a ‘sub sandwich’, which can also be called a gyro, hoagie or grinder. The new volume matches the regional words to their respective places on the maps, on the same page, so one can easily detect the regional variations. An online version will be launched at the end of 2013. Joan speaks about regional words. ‘Scrid’, for example, is a New England word which means ‘fragment of something.’ She finds that “it seems that when a word is introduced that fills a need, it is adopted widely across the country very quickly.” The word “grid-lock,” Joan says, was quickly adopted across the country wherever situations like that came up. However, “the words that are regional that we use with our friends and families, tend to stay regional.” Joan provides the example of grandparents: from granny, grandma, nana, meema, to oma, “those are family words and ethnic words that reflect our backgrounds and those are not the kind of words that will be used as formal words.” Such words remain in their regions and do not become so widespread. Jan also talks about American words that can be traced back through history with origins from multiple languages. For example, the Louisiana word “lagniappe” means “small bonus, or tip.” The word comes from French, but the French word came in through Spanish, which came in through Quechua. Listen to more regional terms, audio, trivia, and quizzes at dare.news.wisc.edu Visit the official website for the Dictionary of American Regional English. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Friday, December 21, our guest host Jan Levine Thal speaks with Jason Ruhl of the UW-affiliated Tandem Press. He is the founding member of the artist group “No Fun”, co-director of online gallery Red Rocket, and contributing member of Art*O*Mat. He is here to speak about the Tandem Press exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art. Tandem Press is celebrating its twenty-five year anniversary. Says Jason, “the exhibit is a selection of the artists we’ve worked with over the past 25 years. It showcases the different print making techniques we do at the shop. You can see a couple of our projects that are good to see in a large space like the Chazen. One would be An American Alphabet, by Robert Cottingham – it’s a series of lithos that was done over a series of 14 years, and it’s the entire alphabet A-Z, so you get to see it in one space. Normally, we just get to see things one or two at a time.” Click here for full details on the exhibition. Tandem Press: Twenty-FiveYears Chazen Museum of Art: Pleasant T. Rowland Galleries Dec 8 – Feb 3 Visit Tandem Press online. Visit the Chazen Museum of Art. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Friday, December 21, our guest host Jan Levine Thal speaks with Roseann Sheridan, the Producing Artist Director at Children’s Theatre of Madison (CTM). CTM is doing a new adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Jan also speaks with, Will Mobley, an actor with A Christmas Carol, who plays the narrator. Will Mobley is also an actor with American Players Theatre (APT).The show features 42 actors, with 22 under the age of 18. “We really wanted to create an adaptation that was oriented around how a person’s simple acts of kindness can change the life of a human being and a community…So we framed it as a look back. It opens up with a very festive…It’s brighter; there’s a lot more humor in the show, and a sense of community and family. We wanted to make it a very accessible show for our younger audience and their families.” They would not reveal who the narrator in this adaption is, “ours is a very special character, he’s not just a narrator.” View full event details here. Visit the Children’s Theatre of Madison (CTM) website. A Christmas Carol Overture Center Dec 21 – Dec 23 7 PM and 2:30 PM Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Thursday, December 20, our host Tony Castaneda spoke with Dr. Roberto Rodriguez from Arizona.They speak about the controversy surrounding the Mexican American Studies program ban, and Dr. Rodriguez’ involvement with the issue. In 2011, a law took effect in Arizona, banning the Mexican American studies programs and ethnic studies classes in K-12 schools in the Tucson Unified School District. The ban was intended for classes that “promote racial resentment” and “encourage ethnic solidarity.” The law was met with opposition and protests. However, the Mexican American studies program is actually a part of a “federal desegregation court order” from thirty years ago, and is still in effect. This federal order would rule over the recent state law. Dr. Rodriguez points that the same politicians that were involved with Arizona’s highly controversial immigration law, were also involved with the ethnic studies ban. “It’s very much related to the whole immigration crisis. It’s the same politicians, literally, identically, it’s all the same people,” he says. He notes that Russell Pierce, the author of the anti-immigrant bill, has actually since been recalled. Explains Dr. Rodriguez, “The federal courts have been supervising Tucson Unified School District since 1978… A 1974 lawsuit was filed, the Fisher-Mendoza lawsuit, and it calls for desegregation. And one of the few things Tucson was doing right was the Mexican-American studies program. And of course, that’s what they went after. And the federal government was giving the school district $62 million a year, and probably less than 1% was going to desegregation… And then [the district] supposedly got out of supervision a year ago, but a judge got a hold of it and said ‘no, Tucson is still not in the best of shape.’” Thus, the district still falls under the supervision of the federal courts. All parties involved in the lawsuit have come together and jointly agreed on a plan that forwards the desegregation cause, “the plan calls for the expansion of Mexican American and African American culturally relevant classes to every high school in the district, and to middle schools and elementary schools.” Dr. Rodriguez says, “We’ve won. We’ve won a massive victory.” Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Wednesday, December 19, our host Jan Miyasaki spoke with Laura Olah, Executive Director of Citizens for Safe Water around Badger (CSWAB). The group is a member agency of Community Shares of Wisconsin. Laura has been named the Water Conservationist of the Year by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. The organization mission is “to support, unify and strengthen citizens concerned for the safety of water resources in and around the Badger Army Ammunition Plant; to effect expedient cleanup of any contamination caused by negligent handling of toxic waste; and to exercise means as necessary to guarantee water resources are totally free of toxic contamination for us and the generations to follow.” (Citizens for Safe Water around Badger) Laura provides an update on the organization’s activities in 2012. Earlier this year, the group worked for the better regulation and environmental monitoring for the explosive carcinogenic compound DNT, dinitrotoluene, “It has the lowest groundwater standards of all the chemicals that are regulated by the state of Wisconsin.” The army has so far not been required to test the soil for this compound. With the combined efforts from CSWAB and other regions of the EPA, the EPA will be publishing a Provisional Peer-Reviewed Toxicity Value – it provides a number that can be used in calculating clean-up goals and monitoring efforts. At the state-wide level, the group has been working with the DNR, on revisions of soil cleanup standards. Laura mentions that a main priority for 2012 was ensuring that the cleanup standards would meet the levels for children and expectant mothers. “There are many routes of exposure – dermal exposure, through inhalation, incidental ingestion…” Laura explains that without the involvement of local governments, communities, and organizations, “there are many private wells that would not be tested.” There are roughly 300 restoration advisory boards across the nation that have stationed around formerly used military sites, which CSWAB works closely with. Read more about Citizens for Safe Water around Badger and their efforts here. Listen to the interview here:read article »
On Wednesday December 19, Jan Miyasaki speaks with members of the Tibetan Youth Congress, who are advocating for the entire restoration of Tibet. She speaks with Tenzin Chokey, the General Secretary of the Tibetan Youth Congress traveling on a national speaking tour from Dharamshala, India; Kunchok Gonpo, the President of the Wisconsin Tibetan Youth Congress; and Shenten Sangpo, Treasurer of the Tibetan Youth Congress of Minnesota. Tibetan Youth Congress is the largest NGO headquartered in Dharamsala, with 85,000 chapters across the world, including US, Taiwan, Europe, India. There is a Tibetan Independence Conference being held in North America; Tenzin Chokey has traveled from Dharamshala to attend the conference and also conduct a speaking tour. At least thirty-three Tibetans have self-immolated in the last forty days in protest. Tenzin explains the conditions that have driven some to self-immolation, “Tibet is a colonized and occupied country. The self-immolations have happened especially since March 2011… It is not just a matter of people are not getting their religious freedom to pray. They face human rights abuse… They have had enough of human occupation. They’ve done all the usual non-violent actions, and now they’re taking to a message that they think would draw the attention by burning themselves.” Tenzin also speaks about the militarization of the people and environment. When militarization takes place, “there are all sorts of human rights abuses that happen following a military occupation. You basically do not need to be in a jail to be incarcerated. Since the Chinese occupied Tibet, there has been a systematic abuse of human rights. If you would walk around, you would basically feel like you are walking in a war zone.” Kunchok, the President of the Wisconsin chapter, explains the importance of having a Wisconsin chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress. There are growing numbers of Tibetan families in Madison, with the younger generation showing a lot of interest in the movement. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has strong ties with the Dalai Lama, and the Tibetan community is well respected in Madison. They also talk about efforts from the U.S. governments towards the liberation fo Tibet. Tenzin says that a few members of congress have taken action towards this effort by writing a letter to President Obama, urging him to take international action on behalf of Tibet. Visit the Tibetan Youth Congress website. Visit the Wisconsin chapter of the Tibetan Youth Congress. Listen to the interview ….read article »
On Tuesday December 18, host Aaron Perry spoke with Luis Yudice, the Coordinator of School Safety and Security for the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD). They speak about school safety and safety measures here in Madison, following the disaster that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Luis Yudice, who retired as captain at the police department, now works for the school district overseeing the safety programs in the fifty different schools in the district. Luis speaks about the security measures at the schools. The MMSD contracts with the Madison Police Department to provide for school resource officers, posting one in each high school. There is also a staff of thirty school security assistants, “these are civilian, unarmed employees that we train. And we really train them in the art of talking, engaging kids in a positive way, every morning getting to know names, because that’s what’s really critical.” Luis also explains a challenge that comes with ensuring strict safety measures, “We always have to maintain a balance between providing for the safety of our students while not creating a climate that resembles a correctional institution or a fortress in our schools, because that’s also counterproductive.” He speaks about a recently instated program, “Crisis Management and Intervention,” training 1,000 staff members so far on how to temper school conflict and forge stronger relationships with the students to allow for more open communication. Luis speaks about the ‘reasonable measures’ the district takes to ensure student safety. “A response to a critical incident is only one part of what we do. We emphasize working at the front end of the problem. We encourage teachers, students to come forward with any information regarding any threats – and we have been quite successful with that. That enables us to begin to work with the problem. We work with the police department, other schools, community agencies… We try and get ahead of the problem before it becomes a full blown crisis. That’s what we tend to emphasize in the MMSD.” Visit the Madison Metropolitan School District website. Listen to the entire interview here:read article »
On Tuesday, December 18, host Aaron Perry spoke with former Idaho State Representative Boise Brian Cronin, now a Senior Vice President at Strategies 360. They speak about the referendum that Idaho recently voted on regarding the state’s teacher’s union rights and collective bargaining. In 2011, the state was faced with a series of education reform proposals – “at the heart what they tried to do was erode the collective bargaining rights of teachers, but [these were] also proposals to require students to take online courses before graduation, and to put a laptop in the hands of each student.” This was for the purpose of saving money: through a combination of online courses and laptops, students would not need as many teachers and would use the other tools as replacements. There was a large public opposition to this, with enormous protests and rallies at the state house. Brian explained that there was bipartisan opposition, although the majority was Democrats. Nevertheless, the legislation did pass. “At that point, the opponents had about 6 weeks to generate enough signatures to put this on the ballot for 2012 …we had to gather roughly 48,000 signatures. We did that, we got close to double that number in a very short amount of time, so we knew it would be on the ballot on 2012.” Brian, who described himself as a parent and former teacher, explains why he opposed the legislation himself, “This is personal for me… There was nothing about these reforms that suggested that we were going to improve student’s achievements…these were highly politicized measures that were designed to undermine and/or destroy teachers unions, and to do education on the cheap.” Brian explains that their campaign was strong. All three of the laws were struck down, “In fact, on the third law – the one that was going to mandate online classes and a laptop to each student, the ‘No’ votes were higher than the number of votes Mitt Romney got in Idaho. And of course, Mitt Romney did very well here; this was one of his best states.” Read Brian Cronin’s blog. Visit Strategies 360 here. Listen to the interview:read article »