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Tom Williams

Program Director, Host Access Utah

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
1:52 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Legislative Summary on Access Utah Friday

Utah's 2014 Legislative session wraps up Thursday night, and top leaders will join Tom Williams for an overview on Friday morning.
Credit April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

The 2014 Utah legislature closes Thursday night. Medicaid expansion, air quality, education, the budget...these are just some of the topics we’ll talk about on Friday’s AU.

Gov. Herbert on AU

Our guests include Governor Gary Herbert, House Speaker Rebecca Lockhart, Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, and House Minority Assistant Whip Rebecca Chavez-Houck. We want to know what you think as well. What happened to the bills you were following? Are you pleased with the legislature’s work or disappointed? Here’s your chance to talk to state leaders about the important issues of the day.

Senate Leaders on AU

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Access Utah
2:04 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Warrior State Explores Pakistan's "Geostrategic Curse": Access Utah Wednesday

Why is Pakistan stuck in a seemingly constantly failing place? Scholar T.V. Paul speaks on Access Utah.

Seemingly from its birth, Pakistan has teetered on the brink of becoming a failed state. Today, it ranks near the bottom of the list in global competitiveness. Its economy is as dysfunctional as its political system is corrupt and Taliban forces occupy 30 percent of the country. It possesses more than one hundred nuclear weapons that could easily fall into terrorists' hands. Why, in an era when countries across the developing world are experiencing impressive economic growth and building democratic institutions, has Pakistan been such a conspicuous failure?

In his new book “The Warrior State: Pakistan in the Contemporary World,” international relations scholar T.V. Paul argues that the "geostrategic curse"--akin to the "resource curse" that plagues oil-rich autocracies--is at the root of Pakistan's unique inability to progress.

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Access Utah
3:56 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Living Wages And Poverty On Access Utah Tuesday

What should the minimum wage be? Is it fine as is or should it be raised?
Credit April Ashland / Utah Public Radio

Rep. Lynn Hemingway’s (D- Salt Lake City) “Living Wage” bill (HB 73) would raise the minimum wage in Utah from $7.25/hour to $10.25/hour. According the Poverty in America Living Wage Calculator, a living wage for a Utah family with two adults and two children is $18.54/hour. That same family would need to earn $10.60/hour to hit the poverty line. President Obama is pushing for a higher federal minimum wage, saying that "nobody who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty."

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Access Utah
4:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Former Biker Helps Veterans Overcome Disabilities: Access Utah Monday

Medvetz looks back on his show "Going Wild."
Credit National Geographic

Tim Medvetz is a former member of the Hells Angels and host of the National Geographic Wild series “Going Wild.” After a horrible motorcycle accident and still not fully recovered from his extensive injuries (he was not expected to walk again) he decided to fly to Nepal, live with Sherpas, and summit Mt. Everest. He eventually created The Heroes Project, with the mission of taking veterans who suffered catastrophic injuries on climbs to the world’s seven tallest summits. Medvetz’ goal for these climbs is to mirror the mental, physical and emotional challenges it takes to overcome losing limbs in battle.

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Access Utah
10:51 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Federal Funding for Medicaid Expansion On Thursday's Access Utah

Should Utah take federal money and expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act? Governor Herbert is pushing for expansion using $258 million in federal dollars. 


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Access Utah
12:31 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Legacy of Ed Abbey on Wednesday's Access Utah

A still of Ed Abbey from "Wrenched"
Credit utahfilmcenter.org

Wednesday on AU we remember Ed Abbey, author of “The Monkey Wrench Gang” and “Desert Solitaire,” and consider his legacy. What is Abbey's relevance today? What is the status of the environmental movement today? 


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Access Utah
11:05 am
Tue March 4, 2014

The Science of Air Quality on Tuesday's Access Utah

A while back, UPR listener Derek Butcher emailed us saying that he’s pleased that “UPR has devoted a fair amount of airtime to discussions of Utah's air quality...which is great because it's an important issue that affects all of us." 


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Access Utah
10:40 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Beat Poetry on Monday's Access Utah

Ginsberg, Whalen, McClure & Snyder, taken by Walter Lerhman
Credit artmuseum.usu.edu

On Monday’s Access Utah we’ll not only talk about key writers of the Beat Generation--such as Allen Ginsburg, Philip Whalen, and Kenneth Rexroth, but we’ll hear their voices as well. John Suiter, author of “Poets on the Peaks,” a book about Beat poets and their experiences as fire lookouts in the Northwest during the 1950s, discovered some historic photographs and audio tapes during his research. 


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Access Utah
10:38 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Talking Water with TEDxUSU Experts on Thursday's Access Utah

Bruce Bugbee, 2013 TEDxUSU Speaker
Credit rgs.usu.edu/tedxusu

Living in the second-driest state in the U.S. most of us are closely attuned to water issues, especially as we face changes to our climate. Three experts at USU recently chose water as the topic of their TEDxUSU talks. 


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Access Utah
11:08 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Count My Vote on Wednesday's Access Utah

Credit politicit.com

What’s the best way to involve people in the political process? Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is in favor of the Count My Vote initiative, which would mandate a change to direct primaries to determine party nominees. He says that the current caucus and convention system excludes many people and rarely reflects how rank-and-file party members feel. 


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