Tom Williams

Program Director, Host Access Utah

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
3:26 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

The Emerald Mile on Thursday's Access Utah

Credit www.post-gazette.com

We continue a series of conversations with authors whose books are featured on our UPR Book List. Today: Kevin Fedarko talks about his new book, “The Emerald Mile: The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon.”  Here’s how the publisher, Simon & Schuster, describes the book: “In the spring of 1983, a massive snowmelt sent runoff racing down the Colorado River toward the Glen Canyon Dam. Worried federal officials desperately scrambled to avoid a worst-case scenario: one of the most dramatic dam failures in history. In the midst of this crisis, a trio of river guides secretly launched a small, hand-built wooden boat, a dory named the Emerald Mile, into the Colorado just below the dam’s base and rocketed toward the dark chasm downstream, where the torrents of water released by the dam engineers had created a rock-walled maelstrom so powerful it shifted giant boulders and created bizarre hydraulic features never previously seen.

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Access Utah
2:13 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Filmmaker Helen Whitney on Wednesday's Access Utah

Award-winning filmmaker Helen Whitney says “forgiveness is elusive, mysterious, primal...an idea and an ache that is rooted in existential concerns.” PBS describes her film Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate this way: It “provides an intimate look into the spontaneous outpouring of forgiveness: from the Amish families for the 2006 shooting of their children in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania; the struggle of '60s radicals to cope with the serious consequences of their violent acts of protest;

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Access Utah
3:14 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Population Rebuttal on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit www.guardian.co.uk

Physicist and climate change & sustainability educator, Dr. Robert Davies responded to Monday's Access Utah (about the new book: "What to Expect When No One's Expecting") by saying that the author, Jonathan Last, “was throwing out one piece of misinformation after another, contradicted by the data, utterly unchallenged." Robert Davies asked for rebuttal time, and we're happy to continue our discussion on population and the environment on Tuesday’s Access Utah. We received comments from Peter, and from Dell in Minneapolis which we'll share and discuss as well.

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Access Utah
12:42 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Overpopulation or Underpopulation? Monday's Access Utah

Credit www.goodreads.com

For years, we have been warned about the looming danger of overpopulation: people jostling for space on a planet that’s busting at the seams and running out of oil and food and land and everything else. In his new book “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting” Weekly Standard senior writer Jonathan Last says it’s all bunk. The “population bomb” never exploded. Instead, he says, statistics from around the world make clear that since the 1970s, we’ve been facing exactly the opposite problem: people are having too few babies.


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Access Utah
12:56 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Seven Summers on Wednesday's Access Utah

Credit www.tower.com

Today we begin a series of conversations with authors featured on our UPR Booklist. Julia Corbett's new book, "Seven Summers: A Naturalist Homesteads in the Modern West" (University of Utah Press) is the story of a naturalist-turned-professor (Corbett) who flees city life each summer with her pets and power tools to pursue her lifelong dream: building a cabin in the Wyoming woods. With little money and even less experience, she learns that creating a sanctuary on her mountain meadow requires ample doses of faith, patience, and luck.  The task also involves a gradual and sometimes painful acquisition of flexibility and humility in the midst of great determination and naive enthusiasm.

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Access Utah
1:37 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Landlords & Tenants on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit metro.us

Most of us are renters at some point in our lives. It certainly is part of the college experience for many. The landlord/tenant relationship can be interesting. Whether you are or have been a landlord or tenant, we want to hear your story on Tuesday's Access Utah. Perhaps things started out bad and got worse from there? Maybe you became friends with your landlord or tenant? What about your roommates? We'll also provide some advice for you, whether you're looking for an apartment to rent or wanting things to run smoothly in your apartment building.

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Access Utah
2:23 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

What Are You Watching? Monday's Access Utah

Credit shutterstock.com

Last week our UPR community compiled an impressive book list. Now, we want to know what movies & television shows you’re watching. What’s in your Netflix queue right now?  Is there a movie or show that has had a big impact on you? Which shows and movies are you looking forward to seeing? Maybe you’d like to tell us a personal story connected to a favorite movie. We’d love to hear about movies and shows in any and all genres. What’s on your all-time top ten list?


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Access Utah
1:57 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Gay Marriage at the U. S. Supreme Court on Thursday's Access Utah

Credit evidencebasedliving.human.cornell.edu

The U. S. Supreme Court has struck down a key provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, declaring that same-sex couples who are legally married deserve equal rights to benefits under federal law. The court also has sent California’s Proposition 8, which defines marriage as only between a man and a woman, back to the appellate court. What do you think of these rulings? Did the Supreme Court get it right? What does this mean for Utah? For you? What comes next? Are you in favor of gay marriage? Why or why not?


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Access Utah
12:50 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

New Study on Distracted Driving Wednesday's Access Utah

Credit David Strayer

According to NPR, AAA CEO Robert Darbelnet is saying that the proliferation of hands-free technology in cars "is a looming public safety crisis," and that "It's time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars." This follows the publication of a new study from AAA and the University of Utah. U of U psychology professor David Strayer, the lead investigator, says that "these new, speech-based technologies in the car can overload the driver's attention and impair their ability to drive safely."  He adds that we shouldn’t  assume that if our eyes are on the road and our hands are on the wheel that we aren’t unimpaired.

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Access Utah
1:21 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Religion and the Environment on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit energystar.gov

About 80 percent of Americans say they belong to a faith community. Some people of faith feel a strong sense of stewardship for the earth which moves them to environmental action. Many view climate change as moral issue. Some churches are divesting their investment portfolios of stocks related to oil and gas extraction. At the other end of the spectrum, some religious people feel that the earth is in God’s hands and that unwarranted action on climate change is morally wrong because of effects on the poor. How does your faith inform your views on the environment? Is this a moral issue? What does your church or faith tradition teach about the earth, the environment and/or social justice?

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