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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
5:05 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit uhipnj.org

Has Alzheimer’s Disease has touched your family? There are 50,000 Utahns affected by Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Utah has the nation’s highest growth rate of AD (127%). There are more than 5 million cases of AD in the US today and by 2050, that number is expected to nearly triple to 13.8 million and care costs will reach over $1.2 trillion. There is no known cure and the impact on afflicted individuals and their families is devastating. The AD process may begin decades before diagnosis. But Maria Norton, USU Associate Professor of Family Consumer and Human Development, says that while there are some factors we are born with (e.g. genes) that can't be modified, there are a host of factors that have been shown to affect our risk for Alzheimer’s that ARE modifiable, and if we can encourage individuals, families and communities to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, we may be able to make a "course correction" to avoid or at least delay AD as individuals, and as a society.

 

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Access Utah
11:46 am
Sat August 3, 2013

It's Even Worse Than It Looks on Monday's Access Utah

Credit npr.org

What caused the dysfunction in Washington? What has changed, if anything, since the 2012 elections? What we can learn from recent Utah political developments, including the defeat of Senator Bob Bennett and re-election of Senator Orrin Hatch? What should we do to fix our political system? The book by Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein: “It’s Even Worse than It Looks--How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism” caused quite a stir when it was published last year. Mann and Ornstein said that the dysfunction in our government is the result of a mismatch between increasingly parliamentary-style parties and our constitutional separation of powers.

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Access Utah
4:39 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Sugar, History & Obesity on Thursday's Access Utah

Credit nqm.nationalgeographic.com

Rich Cohen writes in National Geographic magazine's August cover story titled “Sugar Love (a not so sweet story)” that sugar was the oil of its day. The more you tasted, the more you wanted. In 1700 the average Englishman consumed 4 pounds a year. By 1900 he was up to 100 pounds a year. Today the average American consumes 77 pounds of added sugar annually, or more than 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. As lands with oil and gas are greatly sought after today so it was with lands for sugarcane that needed tropical, rain-drenched fields to flourish. In school they call it the age of exploration, the search for territories and islands that would send Europeans all around the world. In reality, it was a hunt for fields where sugarcane would prosper.

 

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Access Utah
3:46 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Trekking for Continental Wildways on Wednesday's Access Utah

Credit trekwest.org

Chip Ward writes in The Nation: “At this very moment, [TrekWest adventurer John] Davis is walking, biking, paddling and horseback riding 6,000 miles through a chain of mountain ranges that stretches like a spine across North America from the Sierra Madres of Mexico through the Rockies of the American West up into Canada. He started this winter in the Sonoran desert we share with our southern neighbor and has been heading northward for months. He will cross many of our most treasured national parks like Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, the ones that tourists love, but his trek is no sightseeing adventure. Davis and his Trek West partners along the route are advocating for what they call 'landscape connectivity' on a continental scale.”

 

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Access Utah
3:28 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Himalayan Cataract Project on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit cureblindness.org

Ophthalmologists Dr. Geoffrey Tabin (based in Salt Lake City) and Dr. Sanduk Ruit have dedicated their lives to restoring sight to blind people in some of the most isolated, impoverished reaches of developing countries in the Himalayas and Sub-Saharan Africa. Drs. Ruit and Tabin founded the Himalayan Cataract Project (HCP) in 1995. Geoffrey Tabin was a high-achieving Harvard Medical School student from the suburbs of Chicago who was also an accomplished mountain climber; he was the fourth person to reach the famed Seven Summits, the tallest peak on each continent. It was through high-altitude climbing that he first came to witness the dramatic effects of cataract surgery on blind villagers. Dr. Tabin joins Tom Williams for the hour on Tuesday’s Access Utah.

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Access Utah
8:20 pm
Sat July 27, 2013

Sheldon Harnick on Monday's Access Utah

Credit broadwayworld.com

Legendary lyricist Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me, Fiorello!) is in Logan for events with the Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater. He is Tom Williams' guest for the hour on Access Utah. Monday 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Sheldon Harnick set out to be a violinst and ended up as one of the great lyricists on Broadway.  He'll talk about his mentor, E. Y."Yip" Harburg; working with Jerry Bock and Richard Rogers and other composers; and the enduring legacy of "Fiddler on the Roof."

Access Utah
7:04 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Part Wild on Thursday's Access Utah

Credit books.simonandschuster.com

Ceiridwen Terrill writes about how, at a particularly sad and frightening time in her life, a wolf dog was the kind of companion she was searching for. In her book, "Part Wild: Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs," she talks about an animal whose heart is divided between the woman she loves, and the desire to roam free. In the end, Terrill realizes she must confront the reality of taming a half-wild animal.  We revisit a conversation from December 2012.


Access Utah
2:09 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

The Life of Brigham Young on Wednesday's Access Utah

Credit bycommonconsent.com

Brigham Young was a rough-hewn craftsman from New York whose impoverished and obscure life was electrified by the Mormon faith. He trudged around the U.S. and England to gain converts for Mormonism, spoke in spiritual tongues, married more than 50 women, and eventually transformed a barren desert into his vision of the Kingdom of God.


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Access Utah
2:26 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Utah's "Ag Gag" Law on Tuesday's Access Utah

Credit eatdrinkbetter.com

Animal welfare activists filed a lawsuit Monday, challenging Utah’s “Ag Gag” law. We'll revisit a debate from May when, in the first test in the nation of an “Ag Gag” law, a Utah woman was charged for using her cell phone to film a slaughterhouse. Charges against Amy Meyer were subsequently dropped.  Under Utah’s law (H.B. 187) passed in 2012, it is illegal to film an agricultural operation while trespassing or entering the premises on false pretenses. What do you think? Do surreptitious whistle blowers at farms and slaughterhouses provide a needed service or are they public nuisances? Do you think Utah’s “Ag Gag” law is a necessary protection or an infringement on citizens’ rights?


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Access Utah
5:24 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

The Utah Bucket List on Monday's Access Utah

Credit saltlakecity.about.com

What’s on your Utah bucket list?  What adventure have you always wanted to do? What activities have you crossed off your Utah Bucket List and can suggest to us? We’d love to share your list with others. We’d also love to share your photos. You can share your list & photos on our Utah Public Radio Facebook page and call 1-800-826-1495 Monday 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.  A film, “The Utah Bucket List,” premieres August 1 on KUED and is hosted by Salt Lake Tribune outdoor writer Brett Prettyman and produced by KUED’s Nancy Green. Prettyman has featured several of the adventures on the list in a series of articles in the Tribune.

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