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

Wednesday on Access Utah, Tom Williams moderates a discussion between proponents and opponents of Utah signing the Health Care Compact, which would move health care services away from the federal government to be managed by individual states. Our guests are Danny Harris of Utah AARP, Jason Cook of the Utah Health Policy Project, Stan Rasmussen of the Sutherland Institute, and Don Ruzicka of the Eagle Forum.

Frederick Kempe, author of the bestseller, Berlin 1961: Kennedy, Khrushchev and the Most Dangerous Place on Earth, will be our guest for the hour on Thursday’s Access Utah.  

Air Quality is the topic of Wednesday’s Access Utah. In the first half we’ll talk with Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for Healthy Environment; Cherise Udell, Founder and President of Utah Moms for Clean Air; and Matt Pacenza, Policy Director for HEAL Utah. In the second half our guests will include Tom Bingham, President of the Utah Manufacturers Association; and Jim Holtkamp, a Board Member with the Utah Mining Association.

Immigration in Utah

Feb 21, 2012

Immigration legislation has been in the news lately in Utah and that's our topic on Access Utah today. In the first half we welcome Bishop John Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and Chairman of the U. S. Conference of Bishops’ Committee on Migration. Our guest in the second half is Eli Cawley from the Utah Minuteman Project.

Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA, was a hotly-debated issue at last year’s legislative session. News organizations say Utahns still need to pay attention to the issue. The Utah Media Coalition has launched Grama Watch, which, it says, is an effort to keep a public eye on pending legislation that may have an effect on the openness of Utah government.

Today on Access Utah Tom Williams talks with Patricia Schultz, author of the New York Times best-selling book, 1,000 Places To See Before You Die: A Traveller’s Life List.

In the last segment, an encore broadcast of Tom Williams' interview with NPR's Scott Simon from September 2010.

Today on Access Utah a conversation on higher education in Utah with members of the stat legislature. We'll discuss enrollment, tenure, budget, tuition and more with Representative Joel Briscoe and Senator Casey Anderson.

Some of Utah's veterans were honored in the legislature yesterday, including Representative Patrice Arent's father. In the last segment of the show today, Marvin Arent tells Tom Williams why he disobeyed direct orders in WWII and saved lives as a result.

In the first half today, we replay a conversation with John McDowell from last year. His book, Poetry and Violence: The Ballad Tradition of Mexico's Costa Chica, examines the question whether or not art that portrays violence, promotes violence.

In the second half Tom Williams talks with Senators Aaron Osmond and Karen Morgan about K-12 education and what's going on in the current state legislative session.

On Wednesday’s Access Utah we’ll discuss writing the stories of our lives, and the book, One World, Many Stories - Seeking Freedom and Dignity, Experiences of Utah residents, which was published recently as a community outreach project of the Utah Chapter of the Association of Personal Historians.

Tom Williams’ guests include Paulette Stevens (editor of the book and member of the Utah APH,) Tom Taylor (member of the Utah APH,) Sheryl Allen, and Rozina Bahlibi, all of whom tell their stories in the book.

Police say Josh Powell killed himself and his two sons over the weekend.  Susan Cox Powell remains missing.

Wednesday on Access Utah we explore the pros and cons of building a nuclear power plant in Southeastern Utah near Green River. Reed Searle, Senior Vice-President for Business Development at Blue Castle Holdings, a Utah company seeking permits to build the plant, argues that nuclear power is a clean energy source that needs to be part of our energy portfolio. He’s Tom Williams’ guest in the first half of the program.  In the second half, we talk to Matt Pacenza, Policy Director for Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah,) which opposes nuclear power in Utah.

On the opening day of the legislature we talked briefly with Utah Governor Gary Herbert. We continue that discussion in the second half of Tuesday’s Access Utah.  We’ll talk about the economy, education, air quality and the proper balance of federal and state power.

Gardening is back! Today on the first half of Access Utah, Jerry Goodspeed joins us from Odgen. He's the Weber County Horticulture Specialist with the USU extension. We'll discuss catalog ordering and some unique plants that might find a home in your garden this year.

On the second half, we'll feature some Sundance reviews and interviews from UPR's Sheri Quinn, Steven Smith, and Tom Williams.

Let us know what you think about the governor's State of the State Address. We'll bring your comments to the table on Access Utah as we continue our coverage of the Address with responses from State Republican Party Chairman Thomas Wright and Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis.

A Canadian company has received a state mining permit from the Utah Division of Water Quality to extract oil from tar sands on public land in the Book Cliffs area of eastern Utah. The Moab-based group Living Rivers opposes the project and has appealed the permit, citing a possible pollution risk to the Colorado River.

Tom Williams will talk with Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee, University of Utah Professor William Johnson,  John Weisheit of Living Rivers, and  Rob Dubuc with Western Resource Advocates.

The Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University is celebrating 40 years in existence at the university. To accompany the celebration, there is currently an exhibit at the university library that follows the history of human rights for persons with disabilities. Tom Williams is joined by key staff members from the Center on today's Access Utah.

More information on the topic can be found at http://www.cpdusu.org.

 

On a very special Access Utah, broadcast live from the opening of the 2012 Utah Legislative Session, Tom Williams talks to lawmakers about some of the hot-button issues that will be tackled in the next 45 days. Guests include: House Majority Leader Brad Dee and House Minority Leader David Litvack; Senator Pete Knudson, Assistant Majority Whip and Minority Leader Senator Ross Romero; and at the end of the hour, Governor Gary Herbert.

Two pipeline debates: one program.

Proponents of two proposed pipelines say that growing areas need more water. Opponents raise objections, including threats to endangered fish, impaired water rights, and budget problems.

There are some topics that shouldn’t be discussed in polite conversation. On Wednesday’s Access Utah, we’ll dive right into two of them: Religion and Politics. In the first segment, we’ll talk about a new LDS caucus in the Utah Democratic Party with party chairman Jim Dabakis, and with LDS Dems Vice-Chair, Crystal Young-Otterstrom.

Tuesday, January 17

The book Streaked with Light and Shadow: Portraits of Former Soviet Jews in Utah features the stories of the emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union to Utah. The book’s editor Leslie Kelen, Executive Director of the Center for Documentary Expression in the Arts, will lead a discussion and several people featured in the book will tell their stories at an event Wednesday evening at 6:30 at the Wagner Jewish Community Center in Salt Lake City.

The Legacy of Joe Hill

Jan 13, 2012

Thursday, January 12

Today on Access Utah we revisit a program from September of last year on The Legacy of Joe Hill:

The execution of Joe Hill is one of the most famous in American history, immortalized in the ballad "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night." William Adler talks about his book, The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon.

Wednesday, January 11

We review the results of the New Hampshire primary with New Hampshire Public Radio reporter Dan Gorenstein.  We’ll look at the future for the Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman campaigns.

Then, what should we do about  what Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood calls an epidemic: distracted driving? We talk with U. of U. professor David Strayer who has studied the effects of cell phone use on drivers; and with Rob Reynolds, Executive Director of FocusDriven, a group that advocates for the elimination of cell phone use while driving.

Tuesday, January 10

The death of Ogden police officer Jared Francom and wounding of five other members of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force last Wednesday has shocked and saddened Utahns and reminded us of the high cost sometimes paid to protect our communities.

Monday, January 9

Mark Anderson joins Bryan Earl to answer gardening questions in the first half on Monday’s Access Utah.
Then Tom Williams’ guests in the second half, Stanford researcher and doctoral student William Anderegg and University of Utah Biology Professor John Sperry, say they’ve discovered the reason for a phenomenon known as Sudden Aspen Decline.

Pages