Most Recent Episodes

Smart Talk 07/29/2016: Lancaster schools sued by refugees; DNC wrap-up

Turmoil around the world, specifically in the Middle East, is leaving many people displaced and seeking a new home. Conflicts arose as different sides, in the United States and Europe, argued both for whether to accept or turn away refugees. Despite the controversy, the U.S. plans to take a maximum of 85,000 refugees during the 2016 fiscal year. But once they've been screened and accepted, what happens to refugees in the United States? They integrate. They begin to live their lives in the United States. In part, that involves their children attending school wherever they've settled. The School District of Lancaster, which enrolls approximately 500 refugees annually, was recently sued by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of six student refugees. The suit alleges that school officials unfairly forced the students into the Phoenix Academy, an institution which is described as using "boot-camp-style discipline," and having less English language education, resulting in several student refugees dropping out. Joining us Friday to discuss the suit and her recent article detailing the situation is Emily Previti, a WITF reporter for Keystone Crossroads. Also, WITF's Radio Pennsylvania reporter Rachel McDevitt joins us on Friday. Rachel spent the past week in Philadelphia covering the Democratic National Convention. Rachel wraps up the week for us including her take on Hillary Clinton's nomination acceptance speech.

Smart Talk 07/29/2016: Lancaster schools sued by refugees; DNC wrap-up

Smart Talk 07/28/2016: Feel Your Boobies campaign; DNC

Nearly 1 in 8 American women develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. It is the most common form of cancer among women in the United States. It is also the second most deadly. More than 40,000 women in the U.S. were expected to die from breast cancer in 2015, and over 300,000 new cases of breast cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in 2016. Most of the women and men who are diagnosed with breast cancer develop the disease after the age of 40. It's one of the reasons that mammograms, the tool used most often to screen for breast cancer, aren't typically conducted until after those being tested are over 40. However, some 11,000 women under 40 are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Before turning 40 most women detect breast cancer through self-examination. That's where the Feel Your Boobies Foundation comes in to make young women aware and encourage them to examine their breasts for lumps or irregularities. The Feel Your Boobies Foundation has partnered with TFM Advertising on an edgy new campaign to spread breast health awareness. Appearing on Smart Talk Thursday to discuss breast cancer and the campaign are Leigh Hurst, Founder of Feel Your Boobies, Michelle Burger, breast cancer survivor and FYB supporter, and Tom Hollerbach, TFM Advertising President. Also, President Barack Obama spoke at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night. Franklin & Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna joins us again with news of that and other updates from Philadelphia.

Smart Talk 07/28/2016: Feel Your Boobies campaign; DNC

Smart Talk 07/27/2016: What industries replace manufacturing; Muslim conference in Harrisburg; DNC

With the continuous loss of manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania, many are asking the question, now what? Some cities and regions have transitioned to other industries like tech, education or healthcare. Still others haven't moved ahead fully yet. York County has shed 6,600 manufacturing jobs since the Great Recession started in December 2007. So what industries and jobs will replace those that were lost during the economic crash? The York Daily Record recently produced a package of stories examining that question. Joining us on Wednesday's Smart Talk is Gary Haber, Business Reporter at York Daily Record to tell us what he found. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA is hosting a three-day conference starting Friday in Harrisburg to "spiritually rejuvenate Muslim Americans." The conference comes at what is a tense time for many Muslims - after terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, Orlando, Istanbul and Iraq. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has launched a campaign entitled "True Islam and Extremists." Salaam Bhatti, Deputy Spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community appears on Wednesday's Smart Talk to discuss what the sect wants to achieve. Finally, Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna updates us from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Smart Talk 07/27/2016: What industries replace manufacturing; Muslim conference in Harrisburg; DNC

Smart Talk 07/26/2016: Heat = drought?; DNC; Energy jobs

Thunderstorms rolled over most of the region Monday night bringing some much needed relief from the heat and humidity of the last week. However temperatures are expected to rise into the 90s again for the next couple days. Pete Jung of the National Weather Service in State College appears on Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss what's been referred to as a "heat dome" and whether drought conditions could be in our our future. (In response to a listener's question about the highest low ever in Harrisburg, Mr. Jung answered: #1 - 83.0 set 08/09/1900 #2, #3, #4 - 81.0 set 07/24/2011, 07/24,2010, 08/05/1930 #5, #6, and #7 - 80.0 set 07/22/2011, 07/15/1995, 07/02/1901 All others are below 80 degrees. So in other words, there have only been 7 occurrences where the overnight low in Harrisburg failed to drop below 80 degrees, with the record "high-low" of 83 degrees on August 9, 1900.) Day one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia is in the books and it wasn't the smooth running event Democrats were hoping for. Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna updates us. Nineteen-year-old Sawyer Neale of Elizabethtown is one of the youngest delegates at the DNC. He joins the program too. Also, a new report says more people are getting jobs in the clean energy industry. A recent report conducted for the groups Environmental Entrepreneurs and Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance by BW Research Partnership claims that PA is home to 66,000 clean energy jobs. According to the report, that is a 15% growth from 2014. Joining Smart Talk this Tuesday to discuss the report and the state of clean energy jobs in PA is Bob Keefe, Executive Director of Environmental Entrepreneurs. The report can be found here.

Smart Talk 07/26/2016: Heat = drought?; DNC; Energy jobs

Smart Talk 07/25/2016: Hershey-Pinnacle merger; DNC; Climate change in PA

A proposed merger between Penn State Health and Pinnacle Health could have major ramifications in Central Pennsylvania. It certainly would be the largest healthcare provider in the region. A federal court gave its blessing to the merger earlier this year but then the Federal Trade Commission took the unusual step of appealing the ruling - still arguing the merger could create a monopoly. The two sides will be back in court Tuesday. WITF's Transforming Health reporter Ben Allen has been following this case closely and appears on Monday's Smart Talk to provide the latest. The Democratic National Convention opens in Philadelphia this week. Before the convention even got started, marchers are parading through the city to bring attention to climate change. The march comes just a few days after a report that says the Delaware River will flood significantly as the climate changes. StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter Susan Phillips joins us on Smart Talk to provide details. Finally, we'll a report from the Democratic National Convention itself.

Smart Talk 07/25/2016: Hershey-Pinnacle merger; DNC; Climate change in PA

Smart Talk 07/22/2016: Antiques

Friday's Smart Talk is one of our most interactive programs — in part because almost everyone can relate to our topic — antiques. Do you have a family heirloom rattling around in the attic, a dusty hand-me-down, or maybe something you've picked up along the way? Perhaps you have an old letter or postcard — something with a famous person's signature on it? Today it seems almost everyone has an older piece they've purchased, handed down through the family or held onto from childhood. And at one time or another, we've all wondered what that item may be worth. Friday, Smart Talk returns to what's becoming a show favorite. Describe it as Antiques Roadshow on radio. David Cordier, President and CEO of Cordier Auctions and Appraisals, appears on the show to discuss antiques, collecting, and value. Far from just talking about antiques, we want to hear from you. Give us a call at 1-800-729-7532 to describe an antique item that you have. Or, even better for Mr. Cordier, send us a photo and basic description of your item to smarttalk@witf.org as the show's going on. Mr. Cordier will try to provide a rough estimate of its value, based on what he sees and hears.

Smart Talk 07/21/2016: What you need to know about wills

This past April, the world was shocked when rock star Prince died at the age of 57. Then, we learned that the late artist had not left behind a will. This left his large estate, valued at about $300 million, in a state of flux for Prince's five half-siblings and the more than 700 people who came forward claiming to be related to the artist in the weeks following his death. When is the proper time to draw up a will? How does one go about it? Maybe you're even asking yourself, what is a will? With the massive Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, and the even larger Millennials entering their 20s and 30s when their assets will begin to grow, these questions matter to the young and old alike. On Thursday's Smart Talk we look at all those questions and more. To provide answers are our guests Sean Foley, Owner of ComForCare Home Care, and Randy Moyer, partner and practice group leader for Barley Snyder Law Firm's Personal Planning Group.

Smart Talk 07/21/2016: What you need to know about wills

Smart Talk 07/20/2016: Lyme Disease questions; Republican Convention report

There are medical conditions and illnesses that have no cure — think many forms of cancer or Alzheimer's Disease. But it isn't often that there is one that is known and has been making hundreds of thousands of people sick for years and we still can't agree on how to treat it or whether it's a chronic illness. However, that's the case with Lyme Disease. It is a illness that is difficult to diagnose and not all doctors treat Lyme patients the same way. There is even a disagreement about how many people are infected from the bite of a deer tick. The Centers for Disease Control increased their estimates of Lyme Disease tenfold three years ago from 30,000 to 300,000. What we do know is that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of Lyme Disease cases and has for the past several years. A state Task Force made recommendations on education, prevention and treatment last year. We'll discuss Lyme Disease on Wednesday's Smart Talk with Dr. Loren Robinson, the Deputy Secretary for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Eric Huck, co-founder and board member of the Pennsylvania Lyme Resource Network and Dr. Timothy Stonesifer of Shippensburg.

Smart Talk 07/20/2016: Lyme Disease questions; Republican Convention report

Smart Talk 07/19/2016: Mental wellness; Republican Convention report

Earlier this month the Central Pennsylvania-based American Mental Health Wellness Association launched a website that could be described as a one-stop resource for mental wellness or mental illness. It includes information on mental illness symptoms, diagnosis and how and where to get help. The AMWA has also joined with other organizations to promote and educate on mental wellness, including Please Live — an organization that focuses on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention — especially amongst young people. Education and awareness of mental wellness is important today when the numbers are taken into account — one in five adults experienced a mental health issue in 2014 and one in five young people live with a diagnosable mental health condition. But yet, mental illness still has a stigma attached to it and isn't discussed as often as physical illnesses. We learn more on Tuesday's Smart Talk from Sharon Engdahl, the Executive Director of the American Mental Wellness Association and her assistant Alexa Moody, who also is the founder of Please Live. Also, Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster Dr. G. Terry Madonna speaks to us live from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Smart Talk 07/19/2016: Mental wellness; Republican Convention report

Smart Talk 07/18/2016: Merit selection of judges; Report from Republican Convention

Three police officers were shot and killed and three others wounded - one critically - in Baton Rouge, Louisiana yesterday. The shootings occurred less than two weeks after police shot and killed an African-American man — Alton Stirling during a struggle. Five police officers were murdered in Dallas and another black man was killed by police in Minnesota - all in the last two weeks. Police identified the Baton Rouge shooter as 29 year old Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City Missouri. Joining us to discuss the latest is Sue Lincoln, Capitol Access reporter at WRKF Public Radio in Baton Rouge. Merit selection of statewide appellate court judges is an issue that has been debated for years in Pennsylvania but yet never seems to change. Currently, Pennsylvania voters elect judges to the state Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts. There are several criticisms to electing judges. Critics say voters don't know the candidates so they'll choose a candidate based on their ballot position or area of the state they're from. They also contend too much money goes into judicial races — much of it from law firms or organizations that may one day appear in the courtroom of a judge who they supported with contributions. No changes have been made until this point because legislators are hesitant to take the responsibility away from voters and many say that a panel appointed to choose judges could also be too political. Legislation is being considered in Harrisburg now that would change how judges are chosen. Widener University Commonwealth Law School Professor Emeritus John Gedid appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss it. Also, the Republican National Convention opens Monday. We'll get a report from Cleveland with Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster, Dr. G. Terry Madonna.

Smart Talk 07/18/2016: Merit selection of judges; Report from Republican Convention

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