Access Utah

Weekdays 9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Access Utah is UPR's original program focusing on the things that matter to Utah. The hour-long show airs daily at 9:00 a.m. and covers everything from pets to politics in a range of formats from in-depth interviews to call-in shows. Email us at or call at 1-800-826-1495.

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Language is always changing -- and we tend not to like it. We understand that new words must be created for new things, but the way English is spoken today rubs many of us the wrong way. Whether it’s the use of literally to mean “figuratively” rather than “by the letter,” or the way young people use LOL and like, or business jargon like What’s the ask? -- it often seems as if the language is deteriorating before our eyes.




Today we’ll get a view of our presidential election from journalists and academics from Ukraine and Georgia and from a journalism professor here in the U.S. We’ll talk about media independence and bias; how Mr. Trump and Secretary Clinton are viewed in eastern Europe; how the debate about Russian president Vladimir Putin is playing in Georgia and Ukraine and elsewhere; and we’ll ask our panel about vote rigging and the integrity of elections.

  Folklorist Jens Lund recently gave the 2016 Fife Honor Lecture at USU, presented by the  USU Folklore Program and USU Department of English. His lecture was titled “‘I Done What I Could’: Occupational Folk Poetry in the Pacific Northwest.” The Fife Honor Lecture is an honorary lecture given every year in honor of Austin and Alta Fife, folklorists, documentarians, and founders of the Fife Folklore archives.

We continue our occasional series, Our Favorite Books, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s enduringly popular creation Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes is thriving on television and continues to occupy an important place in popular culture. The famous fictional detective even figures prominently in the debate over evolution vs. intelligent design. We’ll look at how the character has changed over the years (and how our response to him has changed) and we’ll ask what Sherlock Holmes means in our culture today.


The New York Times bestseller “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis” is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has, perhaps, never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

Our guest for the hour today is Matthew Garrett, author of “Making Lamanites: Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Student Placement Program, 1947-2000” (University of Utah Press).

From 1947 to 2000, some 50,000 Native American children left the reservations to live with Mormon foster families. While some dropped out of the Indian Student Placement Program (ISPP), for others the months spent living with LDS families often proved more penetrating than expected.

George Hirthler’s new historical novel, “The Idealist,” is the inspiring and tragic story of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the French visionary who founded the modern Olympic Games. When the novel opens in early 1937, Coubertin is 74, he's broke, his health is failing, and although he has created one of the most influential international movements of the 20th century, he is completely unknown outside a small circle of admirers, whose financial help he has repeatedly declined.

This extraordinary campaign season got more so over the weekend. What is your reaction to Donald Trump’s comments from 2005? And Utah Republican’s and some national Republican’s repudiation of their presidential nominee?  What did you think of the debate? What is on the top of your mind as you get ready to vote? Cache County Libertarian Party Chair, Jonathan Choate of SD7 Technologies in Logan joins us for the hour.

 When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem, he sparked a vigorous national conversation about Race, Police, Patriotism, Free Speech and other issues. We’re going to continue that conversation next time on Access Utah. We’ll be talking with Forrest Crawford, Professor of Teacher Education and former Assistant to the President for Institutional Diversity at Weber State University; and Jason Gilmore, Assistant Professor of Global Communication at Utah State University.

  On April 20, 2010, a blast aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil platform killed 11 workers, critically injured others and caused a leak that spilled thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for more than three months. The Deepwater Horizon, one of worst environmental disasters in history, is now the subject of a pulse-pounding new movie. Historian and archaeologist, USU Professor of Environment and Society, Joseph Tainter will watch the film with special interest.

Charles Bock's daughter was 5 months old when his wife was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. His wife died two and a half years later, just before their daughter's third birthday. Charles Bock has written a new novel that's based on that experience. It’s titled "Alice & Oliver."


The award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Children has created an unflinching yet deeply humane portrait of a young family’s journey through a medical crisis, laying bare a couple’s love and fears as they fight for everything that’s important to them.

Double Day Publisher

  Mark Twain, the highest-paid writer in America in 1894, was also one of the nation’s worst investors. “There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate,” he wrote. “When he can’t afford it and when he can.” After losing hundreds of thousands of dollars back when a beer cost a nickel, he found himself neck-deep in debt. His heiress wife, Livy, took the setback hard. She wrote, “I cannot get away from the feeling that business failure means disgrace.” Twain vowed to Livy he would pay back every penny.

American West historian, author, and teacher, Patty Limerick, says that contrary to the stereotype of the boring bureaucrat, the stories of the men and women who have worked for the agencies of the Department of the Interior carry intrinsic interest and give rise to thought-provoking insights into the American West: past and present.

We’re going to talk about I.Q. v. E.Q. USU professors Jacob Freeman and Jacopo Baggio, along with UT-San Antonio professor Thomas Coyle, are studying the dynamics of nerds and poets. They want to understand the best brew of nerdiness and sensitivity to create teams that get things done. How can people work better together and why do some groups work well under pressure and some groups don’t? Professors Freeman and Baggio will join us to discuss the differences between I.Q. and emotional and social intelligence.

 Nicholas Carr started his blog “Rough Type” in 2005, when MySpace was a fast-growing social networking site and Facebook was a Palo Alto startup. Now in his book “Utopia Is Creepy and Other Provocations,” he has collected the best of those posts and added influential essays such as “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Privacy,” which were published in such magazines and sites as The Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, and Politico.

  Philo T. Farnsworth (1906–1971) has been called the "forgotten father of television." He grew up in Utah and southern Idaho, and was described as a genius by those who knew and worked with him. With only a high school education, Farnsworth drew his first television schematic for his high school teacher in Rigby, Idaho. Subsequent claims and litigation notwithstanding, he was the first to transmit a television image.


Elizabeth Smart
Credit United Way of Cache Valley

  The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time.

She endured a 9-month ordeal after being abducted from her home in the middle of the night in June, 2002, at age fourteen. She has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation and is founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation

  On Wednesday’s Access Utah our guest for the hour is Tershia d’Elgin, author of “The Man Who Thought He Owned Water: On the Brink with American Farms, Cities, and Food” (University Press of Colorado).

  “Women talk more than men. Text messaging makes you stupid. Chimpanzees have language, just like humans. These are some of the most popular ideas about language that many people think are true. Rumor also has it that men are more direct in their use of language than women; women speak more correctly than men; being bilingual makes you smarter; and the most beautiful language in the world is French.

New York, 1888. The miracle of electric light is in its infancy. Thomas Edison has won the race to the patent office and is suing his only remaining rival, George Westinghouse, for the unheard of sum of one billion dollars. To defend himself, Westinghouse makes a surprising choice in his attorney: He hires an untested twenty-six-year-old fresh out of Columbia Law School named Paul Cravath.

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

On Thursday's Access Utah, we revisit portions of our favorite episodes on race issues in America. We feature a discussion with Nikole Hannah Jones, talking about her book "A Letter From Black America," a segment from our episode on Black Lives Matter, and a conversation with author Sherman Alexie. Utah State University professor Jason Gilmore joined us in studio for the conversations.

On Wednesday's Access Utah, we revisit portions of our favorite book and author episodes. We feature a discussion with Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, talking about her book "Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History"; a segment from our episode on with Scott Hammond discussing his book "Lessons of the Lost" and a conversation with listeners from an episode featuring Ron Chernow and his book "Hamilton," which inspired the musical "Hamilton."

On Monday's Access Utah, we revisit portions of our favorite "fun" episodes. We feature a discussion with USU Philosophy Professor Charlie Huenemann, talking about "the perfect language;" a segment from our episode on fandom and what fans own, and a conversation with award winning musician Rita Moreno.

The Utah Utes and BYU Cougars prepare to meet up at Rice-Eccles Stadium for the big rivalry game. Rep. Jason Chaffetz calls for another investigation into Hillary Clinton's deleted emails. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz addresses accusations of religious bigotry regarding a campaign fundraiser. And the summer's algal blooms prompt a deeper look into Utah's water quality and treatment.