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

John Palfrey, founding president of the Digital Public Library of America and a director of Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, recently told the Deseret News that he has “been struck by the number of times people tell [him] that they think libraries are less important than they were before, now that we have the Internet and Google. He says he thinks “just the opposite: Libraries are more important, not less important, and both as physical and virtual entities, than they’ve been in the past.” John Palfrey, author of the new book  "BiblioTECH: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google," joins Tom Williams to discuss the future of the library on Thursday’s Access Utah.

 

 


suwa.org

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, “in what they characterized as a sweeping gesture of compromise, Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled their plan to resolve decades of deadlock over how eastern Utah's public lands are managed even as environmental and tribal groups declared the proposal "dead on arrival" and a shameless giveaway to oil and gas interests.” The bill “would set aside special landscapes like Cedar Mesa, San Rafael Swell and Labyrinth Canyon, while expediting mineral development in areas deemed less worthy of protection.”

 

 


REX FEATURES

Rep. Brian King, D-Salt Lake City says that the state should allow comprehensive sex education in its schools. Rep. King, who is House Minority Leader, says his HB246 is needed because the rates of sexually transmitted diseases are rising quickly, and youth need more education to protect themselves. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Gayle Ruzicka, President of the Utah Eagle Forum, says that "comprehensive sex education is all about teaching children that it's OK to have sex as long as they use a condom. It just doesn't work."

In McBride’s debut novel “We Are Called To Rise,” far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, lives are about to collide. A middle-aged woman attempting to revive her marriage. A returning soldier waking up in a hospital bed with no memory of how he got there. A very brave eight-year-old immigrant boy. Three lives are bound together by a split-second mistake, and a child’s fate hangs in the balance.  “We Are Called to Rise” is a story about families—the ones we have and the ones we make. It’s a story about America today, where so many cultures and points of view collide and coexist, showing what happens when the protective borders of our lives are suddenly smashed and how ordinary strangers can rise to the extraordinary challenge of caring for each other.

On Monday’s Access Utah Tom Williams talks with Laura McBride about her novel, about living and raising kids in an exotic (ordinary?) place like Las Vegas, and her list of five books to read before dying.


A 2014 report titled Finger Paint to Fingerprints: The School-to-Prison Pipeline in Utah from the Public Policy Clinic at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at University of Utah found that discipline handed down to some students was diverting them out of public schools and into the criminal justice system "through a combination of overly harsh zero-tolerance school policies and the increased involvement of law enforcement in schools."

 

Amy Choate says that her passion for a plant-based, whole food lifestyle is due to her complete recovery from debilitating depression and illness that occurred during her service as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She and Annie Miller have a book out called “Naked Nutrition: Whole Foods Revealed” which, they say, is a guide to why we should eat real food, why it matters, and how we can live with health and energy. Amy Choate and Annie MIller join Tom Williams in studio for Wednesday’s Access Utah.

For more information, visit NakedNutrition.life.

Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

On Tuesday’s Access Utah we’ll talk about the art and cultural impact of political cartoons with the Salt Lake Tribune’s Pat Bagley, Politico’s Matt Wuerker, and Jen Sorensen, whose comics appear nationally and locally, in the Salt Lake City Weekly.” Wuerker is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Bagley is a Pulitzer finalist. Sorensen is winner of several awards including the Herblock Prize. We’ll talk about Charlie Hebdo, Bagley’s cartoon legislators, Sorensen’s Trump girls try-outs cartoon, current events from a cartoonist's perspective, and much else. This episode of Access Utah is a part of the Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative in partnership with Utah Humanities, the Salt Lake Tribune, and KCPW.  


On Monday's Access Utah we'll conclude our series on Mass Shootings in America with a discussion about guns. President Obama said recently that America is facing a "gun violence epidemic" and that "we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn't happen in other advanced countries. It's not even close." The president announced that he is implementing several gun control measures by executive action.


Criminologist Grant Duwe told public radio’s Here & Now program in 2013 that mass murder rates and mass public shootings have been on the decline. He said that 0.2 percent of all homicides in the U.S. are mass murders, and of those, 10 percent are mass public killings, such as those in Newtown and Aurora.

www.playthepartbook.com/

Gina Barnett has coached executives and leaders worldwide from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, small businesses and non-profits. She has been speaker coach for TED Talks for the past five years.

 

In her book, “Play the Part: Master Body Signals to Connect and Communicate for Business Success,” Barnett focuses on embodiment: how the body affects our thoughts and emotions and, in turn, how we engage and are perceived.

    

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Join us for a live broadcast of Access Utah from the State Capitol on Monday for the opening day of the 2016 Utah Legislature. We'll talk about the issues likely to be addressed in the legislature this year. Our guests will include Governor Gary Herbert, House Majority Leader, Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville; House Minority Leader, Rep Brian King, D-Salt Lake City; Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Ralph Okerlund; R-Monroe; and Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Gene Davis, D-Salt Lake City.


http://www.howtoletgomovie.com/

The 2016 Sundance Film Festival opens in Park City on Thursday. UPR's Sundance Correspondent Steve Smith is in Park City and will join Tom Williams on Thursday's Access Utah to set the scene and tell us about the films he's excited about. Then we'll talk with two filmmakers whose films are showing at Sundance.

Lee Benson of the Deseret News recently wrote a nice profile of Jim Steenburgh, author of “Secrets of the Greatest Snow on Earth.” And with fresh powder on the ground, we thought this a great time to revisit our conversation from November 2014.

For a generation, some of the money we’ve spent at the gas station and the mall has gone to empower the authoritarians and the armed groups that have given us our worst foreign-born crises. How can we get ourselves out of business with hostile petrocrats and the violent extremists?

  


Moab resident Steph Davis is a superstar in the climbing community. But when her husband made a controversial climb of Delicate Arch, the media fallout and the toll on her marriage left her without a partner, a career, a source of income...or a purpose. Accompanied by her beloved dog, Fletch, she set off in search of a new identity and discovered skydiving.  


The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016 and today we’re kicking off a series of programs focusing on America’s national parks.


National Geographic

“Cars, for Americans, more than anything else represent freedom.” So says Matt Hardigree, executive director of Jalopnik.com, who is featured in National Geographic Channel’s  documentary film, “Driving America.” The film examines how car culture has changed the way we live, work, travel and socialize; and looks into the future, including potential game changers like Tesla’s electric cars.  

http://coloradoreview.colostate.edu/books/the-logan-notebooks/

My guest for the hour today is poet Rebecca Lindenberg. Clouds, mountains, flowering trees. Difficult things. Things lost by being photographed. Things that have lost their power. Things found in a rural grocery store. These are some of the lists, poems, prose poems, and lyric anecdotes compiled in “The Logan Notebooks,” a remix and a reimagining of The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, a collection of intimate and imaginative observations about place—a real place, an interior landscape—and identity, at the intersection of the human with the world, and the language we have (and do not yet have) for perceiving it.

 

 

 


University Press of Colorado

In her new book, “Epiphany in the Wilderness: Hunting, Nature, and Performance in the Nineteenth-Century American West,” historian Karen Jones uses the metaphor of the theater to argue that the West was a crucial stage that framed the performance of the American character as an independent, resourceful, resilient, and rugged individual. 


According to recent studies, 50% of us set New Year's resolutions and 78% of us fail to keep them. But there's something compelling in the idea of a new you in the new year. Should we set New Year's resolutions? How do we keep them past, say, February? We'll ask you what you do and what successes or failures you've had. 

“The West was once seen as a beacon of opportunity, and it is still a place where many ways of life can flourish. But it is also a region that leaves some people isolated both culturally and geographically.” That’s David Kennedy, from his foreword to a collection of essays titled “Bridging the Distance: Common Issues of the Rural West.”

 

 

 

 

 


http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/politics-mental-illness-history-213276

  Alex Thompson, writing in Politico Magazine, says “Political taboos, campaign dealbreakers and electoral glass ceilings are crumbling. Members of Congress are openly gay and bisexual, there’s a black man in the White House, and a woman may be next. Voters have accepted all sorts of behavioral warts and missteps in their political candidates, too. DUIs? A mistake of their youth. Draft dodgers? There’s a long list. Womanizers? A much longer list. Illegal drugs? In just a few short elections, we’ve gone from a president who “didn’t inhale” to one who openly admits using cocaine in his youth.

Yet one large taboo remains stubbornly fixed—mental illness. Sure, it’s part of the conversation, in that pundits these days can, and do, speculate casually about whether Donald Trump has narcissistic personality disorder, Joe Biden has slid into depression, Hillary Clinton is clinically paranoid or Jeb Bush will be undone by a Freudian sibling tangle. But here’s the really sick thing: For a politician to admit to seeing a psychiatrist would likely be far more politically damaging than any of the possible symptoms of actual mental illness.”

 

On Monday's Access Utah, Alex Thompson will join the discussion and provide insight into a world of high expectations and powerful stigmas. In the upcoming year, could America elect a mentally ill president? And what might be the implications?

 

 

Join us for the Access Utah Holiday Special 2015. We’ll hear music for the season performed by the Lightwood Duo (Mike Christiansen on guitar and Eric Nelson on clarinet). We’ll also hear readings for the season by the author of The Christmas Chronicles, playwright Tim Slover. 


Ginny on Flickr.com

Periodically we join together as a UPR community to share what we're reading. On Wednesday's Access Utah we're doing it again, but with a twist: We want your list of the best books of 2015.
 

Elaine Thatcher joins me in studio and we'll hear from Anne Holman from The King's English Book Shop in Salt Lake City, Andy Nettell from Back of Beyond Books in Moab and Catherine Weller of Weller Book Works in Salt Lake City.


www.dailydot.com

On Today’s Access Utah we continue our series on Mass Shootings in America by asking how the media should respond. Our guests include Tom Teves, whose son Alex was killed in the mass shooting in Aurora Colorado. Teves is a founder of No Notoriety a campaign that urges news outlets to limit how much they use a gunman’s name and photograph. Tom Teves says the hope is to curb shootings by denying many perpetrators what they want: fame.

 

We’ll also be speaking to Deseret News reporter Chandra Johnson, whose series of articles on mass shootings can be found in the Deseret News National Edition.


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