Tom Williams

Program Director | Access Utah Host

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996.  He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.)  He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways to Connect

Downwind: A People's History of the Nuclear West is an unflinching tale of the atomic West that reveals the intentional disregard for human and animal life through nuclear testing by the federal government and uranium extraction by mining corporations during and after the Cold War.

 

ROBIN HOLLAND

  Karen Armstrong, in her book “Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence” writes that: “In the West the idea that religion is inherently violent is now taken for granted and seems self-evident. As one who speaks on religion, I constantly hear how cruel and aggressive it has been, a view that, eerily, is expressed the same way almost every time: ‘Religion has been the cause of all the major wars in history.’” Armstrong asserts that: “The problem lies not in the multifaceted activity that we call ‘religion’ but in the violence embedded in our human nature and the nature of the state…”

  Angela Palm is the author “Riverine: A Memoir from Anywhere but Here” and winner of the 2014 Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.

Frederick Law Olmsted, known as the father of American landscape architecture, made public parks an essential part of American life and forever changed our relationship with public open spaces. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition,

universe.byu.edu

LGBTQ survivors of sexual assault at BYU report feeling marginalized by the Honor Code. Black women in Utah make 60 cents to every dollar made by white men. Rocky Mountain Power receives clearance to provide energy to a proposed Facebook data center. And Donald Trump's appeal to Utah voters doesn't address Mormons. 

 

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

 Laura McBride is a writer and community college teacher in Las Vegas, Nevada. She says that she appreciates the beautiful and explosive possibilities of her home town: a community in which the conventional and social boundaries are unusually fluid, and where she has witnessed the power of second chances.

 

  All her life, Emily felt different from other kids. Between therapist visits, sudden uncontrollable bursts of anger, and unexplained episodes of dizziness, things never felt right. For years, her only escape was through the stories she crafted. It wasn’t until a near-fatal accident when she was twelve years old that Emily and her family discovered the truth: a grapefruit-size brain tumor at the base of her skull.

 Annie Bell can't escape the dust. It's in her hair, covering the windowsills, coating the animals in the barn, in the corners of her children's dry, cracked lips. It's 1934 and the Bell farm in Mulehead, Oklahoma is struggling as the earliest storms of The Dust Bowl descend. All around them the wheat harvests are drying out and people are packing up their belongings as storms lay waste to the Great Plains. As the Bells wait for the rains to come, Annie and each member of her family are pulled in different directions.

John Palfrey, founding president of the Digital Public Library of America and a director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, told the Deseret News that he has “been struck by the number of times people tell [him] that they think libraries are less important than they were before, now that we have the Internet and Google.

  Artist, researcher, and writer Jonathan Bailey is out with a new book: "Rock Art: A Vision of a Vanishing Cultural Landscape"

http://nakednutrition.life/

  Amy Choate says that her passion for a plant-based, whole food lifestyle is due to her complete recovery from debilitating depression and illness that occurred during her service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Annie Miller says that as a young married woman, she began to learn from her mother-in-law that not all prepared/canned/packaged foods are nutritious. She began to prepare most everything from “scratch” and says she learned to unlock the magic of food by using fresh herbs and spices.


http://autismshow.org/templegrandin/

  Today we revisit an episode from March 2016:

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

When Michael Copperman left Stanford University for the Mississippi Delta in 2002 - recruited by Teach for America - he imagined he would lift underprivileged children from the narrow horizons of rural poverty. Well-meaning but naïve, the Asian-American from the West Coast says he soon lost his bearings in a world divided between black and white. Trying to help students, he often found he couldn’t afford to give what they required―sometimes with heartbreaking consequences.

 

 

In the wake of U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s recent visit to the area being proposed by some for designation as Bear’s Ears National Monument, we’ll consider anew public lands issues in Utah. Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz have released their Public Lands Initiative legislation for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Chris Stewart has introduced an amendment to the Interior Appropriations Bill that would restrict the president’s ability to create national monuments in Utah and other areas, under the Antiquities Act. And the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition is pushing for President Obama to create a national monument in southern Utah.

  Medical researcher and ICU physician Samuel M. Brown says “While writing a book about death culture and American religion before the Civil War, I read hundreds of accounts of the ‘good death.’ I began to wonder why good dying was incredibly rare in the hospitals where I practiced medicine.”

 

Fandom & Ownership

Jul 26, 2016
http://news.wgbh.org/post/zombies-robots-and-24-straight-hours-sci-fi-films

In December 2015, Paramount and CBS sued the producers of a proposed fan-supported feature length movie called "Axanar" which was to be set in the Star Trek universe. Included in the issues at dispute was the question: who owns the Klingon language and can a language, albeit an invented one, be copyrighted?


Backbeat Books

The banjo is emblematic of American country music. It is at the core of other important musical movements, including jazz and ragtime, and has played an important part in the development many genres, such as folk, bluegrass, and rock. The instrument has been adopted by many cultures and has been ingrained into many musical traditions, from Mento music in the Caribbean to dance music in Ireland. Virtuosos such as Bela Fleck have played Bach, African music, and Christmas tunes on the five-string banjo, and the instrument has had a resurgence in pop music with such acts a Mumford and Sons and the Avett Brothers.

wab.orb

  It’s been several months since we got together as a community and compiled a UPR book list. Public radio listeners are famous as avid readers. We want to know what you’re reading. What’s on your nightstand or on your device right now? Fellow listeners may not know about it and may love it.

We have avid reader and UPR friend Elaine Thatcher with us in studio and we’ll talk with several booksellers who will tell us what’s coming out this Fall that they’re excited about.

We’ll speak with booksellers Anne Holman from The King’s English Book Shop in Salt Lake City, Andy Nettell from Back of Beyond Books in Moab and Catherine Weller of Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City.

Terry Reith/CBC News via Reuters

In several cases this summer, efforts to fight wildfires have been hampered because of drones in the area. Utah lawmakers recently voted to allow authorities to disable or damage unauthorized drones near wildfires. The bill would also impose harsher penalties on people caught flying the aircraft. Tuesday on AU we’ll discuss this legislation, and talk about fighting wildfires in general. We’ll also look into the future of fighting wildfires. We’ll be joined by Scott Bushman who is a former hotshot who trains firefighters. We’ll also speak with Sam Ramsey, Regional Aviation Officer U. S.

apbspeakers.com

In his book “The Generals” historian Winston Groom tells the intertwined and uniquely American tales of George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and George Marshall - from the World War I battle that shaped them to their greatest victory: leading the allies to victory in World War II. These three remarkable men-of-arms who rose from the gruesome hell of the First World War to become the finest generals of their generation during World War II redefined America's ideas of military leadership and brought forth a new generation of American soldier. Their efforts revealed to the world the grit and determination that would become synonymous with America in the post-war years.

wiltonbradwatson.com

Award-winning author Brad Watson is a native of Mississippi who now teaches at the University of Wyoming. In his new novel “Miss Jane,” drawing on the story of his own great-aunt, Watson explores the life of Miss Jane Chisolm, born in rural, early 20th-century Mississippi with a genital birth defect that would stand in the way of the central “uses” for a woman in that time and place—namely, sex and marriage.

JulieBerryBooks.com

Julie Berry was inspired to write her new historical novel, “The Passion of Dolssa,” while listening to a college lecture she found online about medieval France. Fascinated, Berry began a two-year dive into research on the era, learning about the lives of several medieval female mystics like Clare of Assisi, Marguerite Porete, and Catherine of Siena, women who rejected marriage, almost unheard of at the time, and bucked the authority of the church with their own religious visions. “The Passion of Dolssa” is set during the 13th Century in southern France (the area now known as Provence), in the aftermath of the Albigensian Crusade.

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