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

austinchronicle.com

We’ve had some time now to see how the Affordable Care Act is working. On Tuesday’s AU we’ll ask you what your experience has been and what you think about the ACA going forward. The Utah Health Policy Project’s annual policy conference coming up on December 2nd is titled “Is It Working? Taking the Pulse on Health Reform in Utah.” The conference will tackle several questions: Which states are succeeding? What’s different about the 2015 marketplaces? What should Utah do to cover the Medicaid expansion coverage gap?

Our guests will include Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville, Co-Chairman of the Utah Legislature’s Health Reform Task Force; Katherine Howitt, Senior Policy Analyst with Community Catalyst; and Utah Health Policy Project’s Education and Communications Director, Jason Stevenson.


wikipedia.org

Are corporations people? The U.S. Supreme Court says they are, at least for some purposes.  NPR’s Nina Totenberg reports that in the past four years, the high court has dramatically expanded corporate rights. It ruled that corporations have the right to spend money in candidate elections, and that some for-profit corporations may, on religious grounds, refuse to comply with a federal mandate to cover birth control in their employee health plans. 

Some have noted that if we take the idea of corporate personhood literally, some corporate “citizens” display sociopathic tendencies. On Monday’s AU, In the first in a four-part series we’ll discuss the history of corporations and how they’ve reached the status they enjoy today. Our guests will include Adrian Wooldridge, Management Editor of The Economist and co-author of “The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea.” William Shughart, J. Fish Smith Professor in Public Choice in the USU Huntsman School of Business and Research Director and Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute in Oakland. We’ll look at the the rise of corporations in the U.S. through the court rulings and economic climate of the times.  

runningpress.tumblr.com

On Thursday's Access Utah we revisit a program from July of this year.

Forget the royal baby and Suri Cruise. Meet Quinoa, a viral sensation and star of the popular Pinterest board, My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler Daughter. Quinoa is a trendy, fashion-forward girl who, when she’s not hanging out with her BFFs Chevron and Aioli, is teaching the world about proper parenting, fashion and accessorization, etiquette for play dates, and much more.

In “How to Quinoa: Life Lessons from My Imaginary Well-Dressed Daughter,” Tiffany Beveridge speaks through her imaginary brainchild to offer remarkably accurate—and hilarious—insights into our obsession with hipster culture, food, and fashion. In her distinctive voice, Quinoa takes readers on a tour of high-fashion fun, filled with snapshots from her virtual life as the world's most influential preschooler, plus hints, tips, and best practices to transform anyone’s lifestyle and wardrobe from snore to roar. Quinoa has everything covered—from raising a superior child to securing a compatible BFF, from traveling in style to finding one’s own path to designer happiness, complete with hip hobbies like drinking flavored lemonades from mason jars. 

Listen Here

torreyhouse.com

Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams came across a copy of British nature writer Richard Jefferies’ autobiography “The Story of My Heart” in a small Maine bookstore. The beautiful volume intrigued them and inspired a journey: they traveled to England in order to learn more about the 19th-century nature essayist, to wander the countryside which so inspired and captivated him. 

Delving into this love letter to nature strengthened and refreshed Terry and Brooke’s relationship with each other and with the natural world. Originally published in 1883, “The Story of My Heart” explores Jeffries’ idea a “soul-life” which he experienced while wandering in England. In essays alongside Jefferies’ original work, Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams contemplate dilemmas of modernity, the intrinsic need for wildness, and what it means to be human in the 21st century. (Torrey House Press.)

Brooke and Terry Tempest Williams will headline two upcoming events in Utah: Thursday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Rowland Hall, Lincoln Street campus in Salt Lake City for The King’s English Bookshop; and Monday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m. at Back of Beyond Books in Moab.

mnn.com

President Obama is demanding that the FCC reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. He wants rules to ensure “that neither the cable company nor the phone company will be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online."

Elise Hu of NPR’s All Tech Considered reports that the president sees reclassification of the internet as the best way to achieve the objectives of an open Internet: No throttling of some content and speeding up others, no paid prioritization — customers getting stuck in a "slow lane" because the sites they are visiting didn't pay a fee — and no blocking content.  According to Hu, big ISPs — Comcast, Verizon and Time Warner — and their trade associations and lobbyists argue that the Title II option would lead to suffocating regulation that would give them no incentive to invest millions in developing new technologies and maintaining or improving the current network connecting Americans to the Internet.


amazon.com

After nine years of keeping his prostate cancer at bay, the drugs were no longer working. The doctors told him his time was nearly up. So Jeff Metcalf dove deep into writing, tasking himself with writing one essay each week for a year. His new book “Requiem for the Living” contains the best of the resulting fifty-two essays by an author who continues to defy his medical prognosis. The essays form a memoir of sorts, recounting good times and critical moments from Metcalf’s life. 

He does not describe a life defined by cancer but writes to discover what his life has been, who he has become, and what he has learned along the way. Brian Doyle, author of “Two Voices,” says, “I liked this book first for what it is, a cleanly written and fascinating story of a life spent paying close attention to the miracles. But I also like it very much for what it isn’t, and could so easily have been—a work of self-pity, a litany of ills and blaming.” “Requiem for the Living” is funny, moving, profoundly personal, and a testimony to the human spirit.


npr.org

NPR Science Correspondent Joe Palca set out to become a college professor and ended up on the radio. He’s in Logan for several events for UPR and USU and he’s Tom Williams’ guest for the hour on Friday’s AU. They’ll talk about the art of reporting on science and the fascinating stories he has covered, including a story from Utah about the dangers of household sponges.

His recent reporting includes stories about the Rosetta spacecraft getting ready for a rendezvous with a comet; a non-GMO way to get more and tastier tomatoes; a phone app that checks photos for eye disease; and why theories about black holes are full of holes.

Joe Palca will give a talk titled “Unwrapping Science on the Radio” as a part of the Science Unwrapped series presented by USU’s College of Science on Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Eccles Science Learning Center Emert Auditorium, Room 130. The event is free and open to the public and hands-on learning activities and refreshments will follow the presentation. Joe Palca’s USU appearance is sponsored by UPR.

Since joining NPR in 1992, Palca has covered a range of science topics — everything from biomedical research to astronomy. He is currently focused on the eponymous series, "Joe's Big Idea." Stories in the series explore the minds and motivations of scientists and inventors.

usupress.com

Jim Steenburgh says that for many who come to our state, powder is more than snow. It is a way of life.

Utah has long claimed to have the greatest snow on Earth—the state itself has even trademarked the phrase. In Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth: Weather, Climate Change, And Finding Deep Powder in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and Around the World (Utah State University Press) Steenburgh investigates Wasatch weather, exposing the myths (the famous “lake effect” is, he says, the most misunderstood Wasatch weather phenomenon) and revealing how and why Utah’s powder lives up to its reputation. (One section of the book is titled “Mother Nature’s Five-Step Plan for a Snowstorm.”) 

washingtontimes.com

Robert Poole says that “for most of the country, the longest war in the history of the United States has taken place largely out of sight, the casualties piling up in faraway Iraq and Afghanistan while normal life continued on the home front, with no war taxes, no draft notices, no gas rationing, and none of the shared sacrifice of the nation’s earlier conflicts. The one exception has been in section 60, a corner of Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 900 men and women have come to rest in the past decade.”

On Veterans Day 2014 we’ll talk with Robert Poole, whose book “Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery: Where War Comes Home” is the biography of a five-acre plot where many of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been laid to rest alongside service members from earlier wars. 

April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

What happens when newcomers from the suburbs move into farm country? Or when small-scale backyard farmers in cities or suburbs want to continue or begin operations against neighborhood opposition? Sometimes conflicts ensue. How should these be handled?

In Michigan, a “Right to Farm Act” was created in 1981 to protect farmers from the complaints of people from the city who moved to the country and then attempted to make it more urban with anti-farming ordinances. According to Gail Philburn of the Michigan Sierra Club, a recent ruling by the Michigan Commission of Agriculture and Rural Development “effectively removes Right to Farm Act protection for many urban and suburban backyard farmers raising small numbers of animals.”  

 

On Monday’s AU we’ll talk about Utah laws and rules and discuss the issues with Cache Valley farmers Don Baldwin and Reid Zought; USU Cache County Extension Agent Clark Israelsen; and Logan City Councilman Herm Olsen.

 

 


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