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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.

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Access Utah
6:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Farm: A Multi-Modal Reader" On Access Utah Thursday

Credit usu.edu

Go back a few generations and odds are that your family lived and worked on a farm. On Thursday’s AU we’ll revisit a program from April, and go back to our roots with USU professors Joyce Kinkead, Evelyn Funda, and Lynne McNeill, authors of “Farm: A Multi-Modal Reader,” which explores what farms, farming, and farmers mean to us as a culture. “Farm” moves from the Jeffersonian idealism of the yeoman farmer (“Cultivators of the earth are the chosen people of God”) to literature of the 19th and 20th centuries (Thoreau’s bean field, Cather’s prairie novel, Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, as well as very contemporary memoirs like Farm City) to current issues such as agribusiness and chemical farming.

Listen to the program here.

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Access Utah
10:59 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Eboo Patel And Interfaith Action On Wednesday's Access Utah

Eboo Patel is speaking at Utah State University Sept. 4.

Eboo Patel founded the Interfaith Youth Core to counter the growing problem of religious intolerance and violence at home and abroad. IFYC trains students to bridge the faith-divide through interfaith cooperation. Patel says that “interfaith interactions can be a bomb of destruction, a barrier of division, a bubble of isolation, or a bridge of cooperation.” He says that he’s inspired to build a bridge of cooperation by his faith as a Muslim, his Indian heritage, and his American citizenship.

In this segment, Eboo talks of his past, and how he became interested in Interfaith action.

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Access Utah
10:42 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Eula Biss: "On Immunity" On Access Utah Tuesday

Why do we fear vaccines? Eula Biss discusses in her book, "On Immunity."

Why do we fear vaccines? Upon becoming a new mother, Eula Biss addresses a chronic condition of fear—fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what is in your child’s air, food, mattress, medicine, and vaccines. She concludes that you cannot immunize your child, or yourself, from the world. In her new book “On Immunity: An Inoculation,” Biss investigates the metaphors and myths surrounding our conception of immunity and its implications for the individual and the social body. She asks what are we more afraid of: the needle, the disease, our scientists and doctors, or each other? As she hears more and more fears about vaccines, Biss researches what they mean for her own child, her immediate community, America, and the world, both historically and in the present moment. She extends a conversation with other mothers to meditations on Voltaire’s Candide, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” Susan Sontag’s “AIDS and Its Metaphors,” the philosophy of Kierkegaard, and beyond. “On Immunity” shows how we are all interconnected—our bodies and our fates.

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Access Utah
11:59 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Living Off The Grid On Access Utah Monday

Nick Rosen joins us on Access Utah Monday to discuss why people live off the grid.
Credit Nick Rosen

The grid is everywhere, sending power to the light switch on the wall and water to the faucet in the kitchen. But is it essential? Must we depend on it and the corporate and government infrastructure behind it? My guest on Monday’s AU is Nick Rosen, who has traveled the United States, spending time with all kinds of individuals and families striving to live their lives free from dependence on municipal power and amenities, and free from dependence on the government and its far-reaching tentacles.

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Access Utah
12:00 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Frankenstein: A Commentary On Humanity And Nature On Friday's Access Utah

Credit Mary Shelley

Frankenstein brings to mind Boris Karloff’s character in the 1931 film, or monster masks worn for Halloween. The book, however, surprises those who think they know the story. It’s a thought-provoking tale examining education, knowledge, and society.  Goodreads says “Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation, genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.”

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Access Utah
1:58 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Suicide And Hope: Moving From Darkness To Light On Access Utah Tuesday

Robin Williams' apparent suicide in August left many fans and family stunned and affected. Author Wendy Parmley speaks on Access Utah about finding hope after suicide.
Credit Utah Public Radio

Robin Williams’ apparent suicide has us not only remembering his life and talent but trying to come to terms with the reality of suicide. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, "Suicide claims more than 38,000 lives each year in the United States alone, with someone dying by suicide every 13.7 minutes. A suicide attempt is made every minute of every day, resulting in nearly one million attempts made annually." Utah author and suicide prevention advocate Wendy Parmley knows this reality all too well. Her new book “Hope after Suicide: One Woman's Journey from Darkness to Light,” details her journey following the suicide death of her mother nearly 40 years ago. She was 12-years-old at the time, the oldest of five children, and her mother was just 31. For years, Ms. Parmley locked away the pain of her mother's death. But after a disabling bike accident in September 2011 that left her unable to return to her nursing career, she began to write her mother's story--and her own healing journey began.

She says, “I know too well the feelings of loss, helplessness, and hopelessness that follow the suicide death of a loved one and I mourn for Williams' family, for his wife, and for his children who must continue to live in the aftermath of his unexpected death. Suicide's effects are devastating, its impact vast... [But] I know there can be hope after suicide. There is light beyond the darkness. I'm confident [I] can help those who have survived suicide loss understand they are not alone. My purpose with 'Hope After Suicide' is to reach out to others who have experienced the tragic loss of loved ones to suicide, to those who are contemplating suicide, and to those who are still silent, not knowing what to say."

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Access Utah
11:23 am
Mon August 18, 2014

The Legend Of Old Ephraim On Monday's Access Utah

A tribute to Old Ephraim.

The legendary conflict between sheepherder Frank Clark and Old Ephraim the giant bear is one of the most widely-told stories in the Logan area. Old Ephraim was a very large grizzly who roamed the Cache National Forest from about 1911 until his death on August 22, 1923. Old Ephraim stories are still told. We’re going to talk about local legends on Monday’s AU.

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Access Utah
4:04 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Life and Times of Charles Manson on Thursday's AU

Jeff Guinn, author of “Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson” (now out in paperback) says he wanted to answer two questions with the book: “Why does Manson’s name still resonate with us, all these years after those famous murders? And what happened in his life to make him the way he turned out?” Guinn says that in answering those questions “it was really like a trip across American history because Manson represents so many aspects of American society.” More than 40 years ago Charles Manson and his mostly female commune killed nine people, among them the pregnant actress Sharon Tate.

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Access Utah
5:55 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Fractured Fairytales on Wednesday's AU

 

Fairy tales have endured as a part of our culture since at least the days of the Brothers Grimm, and they’re  still going strong on television, movies and books today. What do fairy tales mean? What do they reflect in our shared concerns? And what does the continuing trend toward fractured and reinvented fairy tales say about us? We’ll talk about this with Lynne McNeill, an instructor and director of online development for the folklore program at Utah State University and co-founder of and faculty advisor for the USU Folklore Society; and Utah author RaShelle Workman, who writes reinvented fairy tales. Her books include “A Beauty So Beastly,” in which she imagines what would happen if the beauty was also the beast. And her “Blood and Snow” series is a retelling of Snow White with a vampire twist.

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Access Utah
11:01 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Grizzlies on My Mind on Tuesday's AU

At 22, Michael Leach’s dream of becoming a Yellowstone ranger came true. It wasn’t long before he’d earned the nickname “Rev” for his powerful Yellowstone “sermons.”  In Grizzlies on My Mind: Essays of Adventure, Love, and Heartache from Yellowstone Country,” Leach shares his love for Yellowstone—its landscapes and wildlife, especially its iconic bison and grizzlies—as he tells stories of human lives lost, efforts to save a black bear cub, a famous wolf who helped Leach through some dark personal days, the unique and often humorous Yellowstone “culture,” backpacking trips that nearly ended in disaster, and Leach’s spiritual journey with his Assiniboine-Gros Ventre “brother.”


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