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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
2:05 pm
Thu May 23, 2013

Snake Valley Water on Thursday's Access Utah

Credit npr.org

Calling it “one of the most difficult calls he’s had to make,” Governor Herbert has rejected a deal that would have shared rights to water beneath Snake Valley with Nevada. The Southern Nevada Water Authority says that Las Vegas needs Nevada’s share of the water and wants to pipe it south. Local citizens fear that the export of water could damage Snake Valley’s environment and economy.


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Access Utah
12:14 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Michael Pollan on Access Utah Monday

Credit npr.org

In his new book, "Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation," Michael Pollan explores the previously uncharted territory of his own kitchen. Here, he discovers the power of the four classical elements—fire, water, air, and earth—to transform the stuff of nature into delicious things to eat and drink. "Cooked" becomes an investigation of how cooking involves us in a web of social and ecological relationships: with plants and animals, the soil, farmers, our history and culture, and, of course, the people our cooking nourishes. Cooking, above all, connects us. 


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Access Utah
11:59 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Speaking with Doctors on Access Utah Tuesday

  Almost 20 billion times each year, a person walks into a doctor's office and becomes a patient. Dr. Kevin Jones says that physicians can’t tell you what they don’t know. They can tell you when they don’t know, but they might not. Dr. Jones, in his book "What Doctors Cannot Tell You: Clarity, Confidence, and Uncertainty in Medicine," explores the uncertainty that pervades medicine.


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Access Utah
3:05 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Chicago's Holocaust Survivors home on Access Utah Wednesday

Over the years, the Selfhelp Home in Chicago has brought together more than 1,000 refugees and Holocaust survivors under one roof. A new documentary film, "Refuge:  Stories of the Selfhelp Home", features the stories of the eventual residents of Selfhelp, who spent the war years surviving by any means necessary – fleeing to the Jewish ghetto of Shanghai, hiding in the French countryside, taken in by English families as part of the Kindertransport, or as prisoners in Auschwitz and other concentration camps.


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Access Utah
10:32 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans discuss their eating habits Thursday on Access Utah

  A few months ago we explored the culture of hunting with Stephen Rinella author of “Meat Eater.” He asserts, as does Michael Pollan who wrote “The Omnivore’s Dilemma & Cooked,” that Americans are losing their connection with the way their food finds its way to their tables. Hunting, Rinella argues, is intimately connected with our humanity; and assuming responsibility for acquiring the meat that we eat, rather than entrusting it to proxy executioners, processors, packagers and distributors, is one of the most respectful and exhilarating things a meat eater can do. Thursday we explored this idea from the other direction, talking about vegetarian and vegan culture with a panel of vegetarians & vegans and a former vegetarian. 


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Access Utah
11:30 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Marc Mauer and Sabrina Jones address US incarceration Wednesday on Access Utah

  The United States’ rate of incarceration is the highest in the world. Why and how did this happen? Marc Mauer’s “Race to Incarcerate,” first published in 1999, has become an important text for understanding the growth of the US prison system and a canonical work for those active in the US criminal justice reform movement. Now Sabrina Jones, a member of the World War 3 Illustrated collective and an author of politically engaged comics, has collaborated with Mauer to adapt and update the original book into a comics narrative designed to reach new audiences. 


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Access Utah
10:19 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Prairie dogs protected under the Endangered Species Act Tuesday on Access Utah

  The Utah Prairie Dog Recovery Implementation Program (UPDRIP) has two goals: “Recover the Utah prairie dog so that it no longer requires protection under the Endangered Species Act; and allow for existing land uses and continued growth and development within the historic range of the Utah prairie dog.” Some in the area want the process to move faster. 


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Access Utah
12:18 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Legendary Cronkite legacy documented by Douglas Brinkley Monday on Access Utah

For decades, Walter Cronkite was known as "the most trusted man in America." Millions across the nation welcomed him into their homes, first as a print reporter for the United Press on the front lines of World War II, and  later, in the emerging medium of television, as a host of numerous documentary programs and as anchor of the CBS Evening News, from 1962 until his retirement in 1981.


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Access Utah
8:45 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Privacy in the Modern Age on Access Utah Thursday

  In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings, we’ll ask you what the proper balance should be between privacy and security, between rights and safety.  We’re all glad, of course, that ubiquitous security and cell phone cameras helped in the rapid capture of the alleged perpetrators in Boston, but are you comfortable with the idea of surveillance cameras on every corner or the increasing ability of law enforcement and others to snoop into what used to be private areas of your life?  Are you willing to give up some privacy rights for increased safety? Do you worry your rights will be eroded? What should the rules be regarding these new technologies?

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Access Utah
8:42 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Ag gag bill's first defendant on Access Utah Wednesday

In the first test in the nation of an “Ag Gag” law, a Utah woman was recently 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. Meyer says that she became an animal rights activist and vegan after learning about the conditions in factory farms and that people deserve to know where their food is coming from. <--break->Supporters of the law say that these secret recordings do nothing to help the public and that if a person suspects wrongdoing at an agricultural operation the proper step is to contact law enforcement.

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