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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President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was met with mixed reactions across the country and especially in Utah. While some climate scientists and government leaders including Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski called the decision a mistake, others argued the decision could have positive economic consequences for the United States. 

Michael Patrick Lynch / University of Connecticut

Michael Patrick Lynch is featured in a TED talk about "Finding Common Reality." In his talk, Lynch explains the future of how we know information is true. Just because we can Google information does not mean the information is accurate. And even more  surprising, Lynch explains how we are not just polarized in our opinions or values, but in the facts we learn. 

Kansas City Library

After oil was discovered beneath their land in the 1920's, the richest people per capita were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. They rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions and sent their children to study in Europe. 

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing a ruling to roll back net neutrality rules enacted under President Obama, to, in part, spur innovation and investment. President Obama demanded that the FCC reclassify the Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act. He wanted rules to ensure “that neither the cable company nor the phone company [would] be able to act as a gatekeeper, restricting what you can do or see online."

 

The Colorado River is an essential resource for a surprisingly large part of the United States, and every gallon that flows down it is owned or claimed by someone. David Owen traces all that water from Colorado's headwaters, to its parched terminus, once a verdant wetland but now a million-acre desert. HE takes readers on an adventure downriver, along a labyrinth of waterways, reservoirs, power plants, farms, fracking sites, ghost towns, and rv parks, to the spot near the U.S.-Mexico border where the river runs dry.

According to the Dessert News, "Some disaffected Republicans and Democrats who say extreme views are co-opting their parties have decided to carve out a middle ground in Utah politics. Taking a centrist approach, the group announced the formation of the United Utah Party.

Executive Director of the United Utah Party, Jim Bennet, and University of Utah associate professor of political science, Tim Chambless, come on the show to answer your questions and explain the new party. 

 

There are over 30 million birders in this country alone, according to the Cornell Institute of Ornithology.  Why are so many people interested in birds and birdsong?

"Birds might reveal the secrets of Communication" writes Sylvia Torti in her new novel "Cages." 

The words “Nixonian” and “Watergate territory” are being used increasingly in connection with the Trump Administration.

Next time on Access Utah we’ll examine those comparisons with John A. Farrell, author of the new book, “Richard Nixon: The Life.”

Las Vegas-based writer Laura McBride, is out with a new novel. “‘Round Midnight” spans the six decades when Las Vegas grew from a dusty gambling town into the melting pot metropolis it is today. It is the story of four women-- one who falls in love, one who gets lucky, one whose heart is broken, and one who has always wondered--whose lives change at the Midnight Room.

Laura McBride, author previously of “We Are Called to Rise,” is a graduate of Yale. She teaches at the College of Southern Nevada and lives in Las Vegas with her family.

As of last year, suicide was the leading cause of death among 10- to 17-year-olds in Utah and the youth suicide rate had tripled since 2007. Teen suicide is a hot topic lately with the advent of the Netflix series “13 Reasons Why.” Several groups, including The Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, have expressed concerns that the media tends to glamorize and sensationalize suicide. We’ll talk about it next time on Access Utah, when our guests will include a representative from the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the American Health Care Act which, they say, fulfills their promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill now moves to the Senate.

Access Utah Our guests will include Jason Stevenson, Education and Communication Director from the Utah Health Policy Project and Boyd Matheson, President of Sutherland Institute.  

We’ll talk about taxes, Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, and much more.

David Sandum appeared to have it all: a beautiful young family and a promising career ahead as a business consultant. But his life started veering off course, and upon returning to his native Scandinavia, he fell into an inexplicable, deep depression.

I'll Run Till the Sun Goes Down is an account of Sandum's struggle to overcome his crippling mental illness. After years of hopeless despair, bleak hospitalizations, and shattered dreams, he is finally saved by his art. The paintbrush becomes his lifeline. 

President Trump has ordered Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to conduct a review of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments (along with many other other national monuments) and to report back with recommendations. Secretary Zinke is in Utah now, consulting with various stakeholders. We’re going to talk about this mandated review of national monuments today. Our guests include Josh Ewing, Executive Director of Friends of Cedar Mesa; Matt Anderson, Public Lands Policy Analyst with the Sutherland Institute; and Willie Grayeyes, Board Chairman with Utah Dine Bikeyah.

T. J. Stiles won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History for his book "Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America." In his biography, Stiles demolishes George Armstrong Custer’s historical caricature and says that the key to understanding Custer is that he lived on a frontier in time. In the Civil War, the West, and many areas, Custer helped to create modern America, but he could never adapt to it. He freed countless slaves, yet rejected new civil rights laws.

If you were lost on a mountain, who would come to your rescue? Mother Nature can be harsh, especially if you're unprepared or in the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately, hundreds of men and women are wiling to risk their lives to bring other to safety.

tesla.com

  USU Marketing Professor Edwin Stafford and his family have been early adopters of various forms of green technology. They have solar panels and a ground sourced energy system, for example. The next step, they decided, was the purchase of a Tesla electric vehicle as the new family car. Professor Stafford recounts some of their experiences in his article “Bridging the Chasm: An Early Adopter’s Perspectives on how Electric Vehicles Can Go Mainstream,” to be published in June in Sustainability: The Journal of Record.   

 

 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year.1 Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.2 Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%.3

Alfred A. Knopf

Richard Bushman is professor of history emeritus at Columbia University and formerly the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

  Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, a professor of Christian ethics, is the author of the 2013 book, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological-Economic Vocation (Fortress Press). She gave a lecture yesterday at USU in the Tanner Talks series from the College of Humanites and Social Sciences. Dr. Moe-Lobeda joins us for Access Utah today, along with Rev. Scott Thalacker, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Logan.

  In his book, “Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS” (now out in paperback), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Joby Warrick traces how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents. Drawing on high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it.

carrienewcomer.com

Carrie Newcomer's songwriting has impressed the likes of Billboard, USA Today, and Rolling Stone, which wrote that she "asks all the right questions". Newcomer speaks and teaches about creativity, vocation, activism, and spirituality at colleges, conventions and retreats. She has shared the stage with performers like alison Krauss and writers like Parker J. Palmer, Jill Bolte Taylor, Philip Gully, Scott Russell Sanders, Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Barbara Kingsolver.

  Lily Hoang’s latest book is “A Bestiary,” In this genre-transcending work, selected by Wayne Koestenbaum as the winner of the 2015 Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Essay Collection, Hoang teases apart mythology, familial memory, and investigative essay into searing fragments, then weaves them into a dazzling swarm. Hoang models her postcolonial bestiary on the Chinese zodiac—“A pack of dogs. A swarm of insects.

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is Pulitzer Prize winners, and we have Utah Humanities' Cynthia Buckingham with us to revisit our discussions with Annette Gordon-Reed, John Luther Adams, Ken Armstrong, and Pat Bagely. 

This week, we are searching through the archives and bringing you the best of Access Utah. Today our theme is fun and music, and we have Dr. Lynne McNeill with us to revisit our episodes on Sherlock Holmes, Mormon naming practices, and the band Evening in Brazil. 

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