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

Center for American Progress

President Donald Trump will phase out a program that has protected hundreds of thousands of young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children and call for Congress to find a legislative solution to protect the immigrants, sometimes known as “dreamers.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Tuesday called the program known as DACA as an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”

Drug addiction changes the trajectory of many lives. A drug addict may cycle many times in and out of jail. Families confront the serious dilemma of how best to help their addicted family member. We’re going to talk about an innovation that is showing some promise in helping: drug court. We’ll talk with Judge Thomas Willmore from the Cache Valley Drug Court.

The Banner

What would it be like to see everyone as a friend?

Twelve-year-old Eli D'Angelo has a genetic disorder that obliterates social inhibitions, making him irrepressibly friendly, indiscriminately trusting and unconditionally loving toward everyone he meets. It also makes him enormously vulnerable. 

Author Jennifer Latson follows Eli's story in "The Boy Who Loved Too Much," exploring the boy's coming-of-age as his mother, Gayle, is forced to decide whether to shield Eli entirely from the world or give him the freedom to find his own way. 

Northwestern University Press

Wild Mustard, an anthology of prizewinning short fiction by contemporary Vietnamese writers, throws into relief the transformations of self and place that followed Vietnam’s turn toward a market economy. In just three decades, since the 1986 policy known as doi moi (renovation) ended collectivization and integrated Vietnam into world markets, the country has transformed from one of the poorest and most isolated on earth into a dynamic global economy.

Center for American Progress

 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has completed the review of national monuments mandated by President Trump. He has not released his recommendations. The New York Times is reporting that those recommendations include reducing the size of 4 national monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante in Utah. Reports are that Secretary Zinke may recommend a drastic reduction in size for Bears Ears.

Photo courtesy of Amazon.Com

 

Charlie Huenemann is professor of philosophy at Utah State University. He is the author of several books and essays on the history of philosophy, as well as some fun stuff, such as “How You Play the Game: A Philosopher Plays Minecraft.” We’ll talk about white supremacists’ fascination with Nietzsche and ask if they are misreading the German philosopher. (Huenemann has written a book on Nietzsche).

Family history, usually destined or even designed for limited consumption, is a familiar genre within Mormon culture. Mostly written with little attention to standards of historical scholarship, such works are a distinctly hagiographic form of family memorabilia. But many family sagas in the right hands can prove widely engaging, owing to inherent drama and historical relevance. They can truthfully illuminate larger matters of history, humanity, and culture.

Salt Lake Tribune

We'll discuss the recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia. We’ll ask if there should be any limits to free speech and assembly. What provisions should be made if the protesters are armed? Should ideas repugnant to most people be allowed expression? When such ideas are expressed what should the push-back look like? Is President Trump right to see an equivalence between the protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville? Regarding controversial monuments and memorials: How should we make decisions on what stays and what gets removed?

  

Quoting CNN: “More than 70% of antibiotics sold in the U.S. are for food production animals, according to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. The problem is that many experts believe this is an overuse of antibiotics, and they fear significant public health consequences.

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air...

Physics professor, bestselling author, and dynamic storyteller James Kakalios reveals the mind-bending science behind the seemingly basic things that keep our daily lives running, from our smart phones and digital “clouds” to x-ray machines and hybrid vehicles.

Hope, Heart, and the Humanities tells the story of how Venture, a free, interdisciplinary college humanities course inspired by the national Clemente Course, has helped open doors to improve the lives of people with low incomes who face barriers to attending college. For over a decade, this course has given hundreds of adults, some of them immigrants or refugees, the knowledge, confidence, and power to rechart their lives.

Using minimal tools and a simple technique of bending, interweaving, and fastening together sticks, artist PatrickDougherty creates works of art inseparable with nature and the landscape. With a dazzling variety of forms seamlesslyintertwined with their context, his sculptures evoke fantastical images of nests, cocoons, cones, castles, and beehives.

Timothy Hawkes and Warren Petersen join Tom Williams to discuss the governors proposed 50 year water plan.  

Quoting from the Recommended State Water Plan: Utah faces a daunting challenge. We have the distinction of being both one of the driest states in the nation and one of the fastest growing. At the convergence of those two realities is the challenge of providing water for a population that is projected to nearly double by 2060 while maintaining strong farms 

In 2016, now President Donald Trump became the first major-party candidate in more than half a century to advocate a return to the gold standard for the U.S. dollar. In ONE NATION UNDER GOLD: How One Precious Metal Has Dominated the American Imagination for Four Centuries (Liveright: June 2017) INC Magazine editor and financial writer James Ledbetter explains how most mainstream economists argue the idea of returning to the gold standard is just not possible.  

Photo courtesy of Wellspring Educational Services

Monday's program is a window into the world of music therapy: an interesting intersection of arts and science. 

Music therapists work with patients of all ages for help in everything from reducing asthma episodes to lessening the effects of dimentia. The healing power of sound was even used to help Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords regain her ability to speak after she was shot in the head at a political event in Tuscon, Ariz.

GPB/NPR

Thursday, Tom Williams’ guest for the hour is journalist, author and public radio broadcaster David Baron. Baron is an avid umbraphile who has witnessed five total solar eclipses; he has crossed the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia to catch the shadow of the moon. On August 21, Baron will be in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to witness the first total solar eclipse to cross the country from coast to coast in 99 years. We talked about the history and science of eclipses and share some tips for the best way to experience the upcoming eclipse.

 

A new study by Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of four New York Times bestsellers on interpersonal communication and influencing human behavior, reveals that more and more of us are losing connection with our lives in order to earn “likes” and social media praise. We have, in a sense, turned into social media “trophy hunters.”

Slate.Com

In her memoir, "Memory's Last Breath: Field Notes on My Dementia,” Gerda Saunders writes: “When I was diagnosed with early- onset dementia just before my sixty- first birthday in 2010, I kept my hurt, anger, fear, and doubts under wraps. I had no choice. I had a job, a husband, children, grandchildren, friends. I had a life. However, there is nothing like a death sentence—  in my case, the premature death of my  mind—  to provoke questions about life. What, actually, is memory, personality, identity? What is a self?

Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, ​flies, ​noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. ​Roach ​​visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, ​she discovers that diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Back in the US, fashion design​ers at U.S. Army Natick Labs​ explain why a zipper is a problem for a sniper.

Salt Lake Tribune reporter Christopher Smart reports that “News is spreading across the country on the state of homelessness in downtown Salt Lake City — and it isn't pretty.

Just over the Fourth of July holiday, a professional baseball player was attacked and suffered a concussion. And a car plowed into a group of homeless people on a sidewalk, killing one and sending five others to the hospital.

Today’s program is by request. Aleq in Southern Utah emailed us to ask for more science on Access Utah and to suggest that we talk about the great work being done in Utah in paleontology.

Our guests today include State Paleontologist Jim Kirkland; and Andrew Milner and Jerald Harris, authors of “Tracks in Deep Time: The St. George Dinosaur Discovery Site at Johnson Farm.”

To call these unsettling times is an understatement: our political leaders are less and less respectable; in the realm of business, cheating, lying, and stealing are hazily defined; and in daily life, rapidly changing technology offers permission to act in ways inconceivable without it. Yet somehow, this hasn’t quite led to a complete free-for-all—people still draw lines around what is acceptable and what is not.

UPR listeners are avid readers, so our periodic question to you isn’t if you’re reading, but what are you reading? We hope you’ll share your booklist with us and we’ll compile a UPR list and post it on www.upr.org  You can share your booklist by email to upraccess@gmail.com or on Twitter @upraccess. We’re also asking if you have any suggestions for beach or camping or summertime reading. And what do your children read during the summertime?

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