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Smart Talk 12/07/2016: 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

"A day that will live in infamy." That's how President Franklin Roosevelt described December 7, 1941 when he asked Congress to declare war on Japan the next day. It was 75 years ago today that Japan attacked the American Naval Fleet at Pearl Harbor and airfields on the island of Oahu. It brought America into World War II and must be considered one of the most significant events in American and maybe even world history. More than 2,400 Americans died at Pearl Harbor. Many survived the attack but 75 years later, only a few hundred are still living today. As Smart Talk commemorates the anniversary on Wednesday's show, we talk with one of those survivors. James Downing is 103 years old and is the second oldest Pearl Harbor survivor. He was stationed on the USS West Virginia but was at home getting ready for his Sunday breakfast when the bombing started. Then Lt. Downing sprang into action only to find the West Virginia sinking. Dodging Japanese bullets, he helped to rescue survivors. Mr. Downing speaks to us from Hawaii where he is attending the 75th anniversary commemoration. On Wednesday's program, we'll also learn about two exhibits tied to Pearl Harbor. The Gettysburg Museum of History is honoring Lee Fox, a New Cumberland man, who was one of the first people killed during the attack. Also, the State Museum of Pennsylvania has just opened an exhibit called Pennsylvania at War: The Saga of the USS Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor and suffered damage during the bombing. Twenty-four crewmen were killed and 29 wounded. The Pennsylvania was repaired but torpedoed two days before Japan surrendered making it the last major Navy vessel to be damaged during World War II. Smart Talk also features a conversation with retired Major Charles Redding of Ephrata who piloted a bomber. Maj. Redding flew 69 combat missions in the Pacific Theatre. In August 1945, he flew over Hiroshima, Japan and saw the mushroom cloud from the atomic bomb blast that destroyed that city.

Smart Talk 12/07/2016: 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor attack

Smart Talk 12/06/2016: PA's Independent Fiscal Office / State Employee Lay-offs

According to Pennsylvania's Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), the state will face a structural deficit of $1.7 billion for the 2017 fiscal year. That deficit is projected to grow to $3 billion by 2021. Democratic lawmakers blame a lack of tax revenue, Republicans blame government over-spending. The IFO report points to the costs of human services including public pensions and Medicaid expansion - services whose expenditures are expected to grow as the state's senior population continues to grow. As Governor Wolf prepares the 2017-2018 annual budget, the stage is being set in the legislature for a fiscal brawl. Added to this is the potential of a low-tax climate precipitated by the incoming Trump Administration. Matthew Knittel, director of the Independent Fiscal Office will join Tuesday's Smart Talk to discuss the numbers and how they will be used to craft policy in Harrisburg. We will also look at how the state's economy is measuring up in the national picture and some prognostications about what can be expected from the next president. Also, the state senate failed to pass a budgeting bill that would have infused the Department of Labor and Industry with $57.5 million for unemployment call centers. As a result, nearly 600 state employees working within the unemployment division will find themselves unemployed by the end of the year. Opponents of the budget bill were critical of what they felt were previous misappropriations of funds. Republican State Senator Scott Wagner of Spring Garden Township told the York Dispatch "They [the Department of Labor &Industry] didn't get the job done and need to be held accountable. Let them close down." Conversely, Department of Labor &Industry Secretary Kathy Manderino said in a press release "The Senate put politics before people and now 600 employees will be without a job just before the holidays. It's beyond disappointing; it's disgraceful." We'll discuss the problems facing the public employees who work in the unemployment division with WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Katie Meyer.

Smart Talk 12/06/2016: PA's Independent Fiscal Office / State Employee Lay-offs

Smart Talk 12/05/2016: Police Shooting Guidelines / Pennsylvania Without the ACA

The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has announced a 16-point guideline for investigating police-involved shootings. The recommendations are the first of their kind in the country. According to the group, they are meant to "standardize investigations," but also "improve community relations through a transparent and understandable process." In recent years, criticism has been mounting of law enforcement agencies investigating shootings by their own officers. In effort to bolster positive relationships between police and the communities they serve, the association worked with "community groups, police organizations and prosecutors" in developing what they hope to be a guide of uniform standards. The recommendations include: - Using an agency independent of the law enforcement agency being investigated - Procedures for securing the integrity of a crime scene - Not allowing officers involved in a shooting to corroborate stories prior to an investigation - Maintaining confidentiality during an investigation - District Attorneys would make decisions about releasing video and audio evidence and making any statements to the media during an investigation While these guidelines are unenforceable, the authors hope that it will serve as a roadmap for police agencies and prosecutors in establishing acceptable levels of transparency in investigations into officer-related shootings. On Monday's Smart Talk at 9:00am, we will discuss these guidelines as well as issues involving the use of police body-cameras and the release of the names of officers involved in shootings. Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico and Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed will join Smart Talk to talk about these recommendations and how it will improve community policing in Central Pennsylvania and how it could be implemented elsewhere in the country. Also, Candidate Donald Trump promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act - Obamacare - if he were to be elected president. Candidate Trump is now President-Elect Trump and 20 million Americans who obtained their healthcare from the ACA Marketplace are wondering where their insurance will come from if the act is repealed. Transforming Health reporter Ben Allen will join Smart Talk to discuss the impact an Obamacare repeal could have on Pennsylvanians.

Smart Talk 12/05/2016: Police Shooting Guidelines / Pennsylvania Without the ACA

Smart Talk 12/02/2016: Lancaster County planning; Holiday cocktails

Lancaster County is treasured by visitors and locals alike, for its rolling farmland, natural areas, and urban places. But with a growing population and more demands on its open spaces, what will it look like 25 years from now? If current trends continue, county planners project the amount of undeveloped land will fall from about 8,300 acres today, to just 93 acres in 2040. Scott Standish of the Lancaster County Planning Commission appears on the show to discuss its major initiative, Places 2040. And December has arrived, which means holiday parties. Steve Wood of Luca will offer up holiday drink ideas and discuss the evolution of the local cocktail scene.

Smart Talk 12/02/2016: Lancaster County planning; Holiday cocktails

Smart Talk 12/01/2016: 2016 Holiday Books

It's early December so it must be time for Smart Talk's annual show focusing on books as gifts for the holidays or books you would like to read during the holiday season. Books have always been a thoughtful and treasured gift. Almost everyone enjoys and can appreciate a book as a present — whether it is fiction, a novel, non-fiction, poetry, or a how-to book. Maybe one of the classics. We'll also have a few book suggestions for children or teenagers. On Thursday's Smart Talk, we'll discuss the books that would make great gifts. They may or may not be new or on the bestseller lists, but our panel will recommend and describe several titles to think about. Joining us will be Catherine Lawrence, co-owner of the Mid Town Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg and a writer herself and Todd Dickinson, co-owner of Aaron's Books in Lititz We'd like to hear your suggestions as well. What books do you think your friends or loved-ones would enjoy or what books are on your wish list this year?

Smart Talk 11/30/2016: 20 Years of Competitive Electricity

Twenty years ago, Pennsylvania enacted the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act of 1996, shattering the long-held paradigm of monopolistic energy distribution. The act allowed Pennsylvanians to shop for competitively priced electricity from the source, choosing how it is generated it and who supplies it, essentially creating a' la carte energy delivery rather than a prix fixe rate from a singular supplier. Two decades on, supporters regard the act as a success. Power costs in Pennsylvania are 9.3% below the national average. That's a 25% decrease since 1996. Critics are concerned about protecting low-income consumers from the predatory marketing techniques that can accompany marketplace competition, but properly regulated, they feel this trend will be successful. We'll speak with John Hanger, a former Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and one of the architects of the Electricity Generation Customer Choice and Competition Act. We'll discuss the benefits to both the industry and consumers in the Commonwealth. We will also speak with Christina Simeone of the Kleinman Energy Center and co-author of a retrospective study of the affects the act.

Smart Talk 11/30/2016: 20 Years of Competitive Electricity

Smart Talk 11/29/2016: A Spy in Lancaster / 2016 Toy Safety

In September of 1992, FBI Special Agent John W. Whiteside was summoned by his superiors at the Bureau's Philadelphia Field Office. He was told that a man code-named "Dan" was an agent for the KGB, selling over 200 top secret documents between 1965 and 1967. "Dan" was Robert Stephan Lipka, a former Army intelligence officer assigned to the National Security Agency, and he was living in Lancaster County. Agent Whiteside's investigation led him across Amish Country and involved Soviet double agents, a fake KGB contact and a crack in the case that came from a game of chess. Retired FBI Agent John Whiteside joins Smart Talk to discuss the case of Robert Lipka, the spy who lived in Lancaster. Whiteside chronicles the investigation in his book, Fool's Mate: The True Story of Espionage at the National Security Agency. Also, last year more than 254,000 children visited America's emergency rooms with injuries caused by toys. The $25 billion industry has come a long way since fire-prone E-Z Bake Ovens and flesh-piercing lawn darts. But today's toys still can pose hazards to young children. We'll talk with Michael Roles, Field Director of the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group and David Pollick, a personal injury lawyer and managing partner at Dale E. Anstine law firm of York. They'll tell us how to follow recalls, what types of toys never to buy second-hand and what to do if your child is injured by a well-intentioned holiday gift.

Smart Talk 11/29/2016: A Spy in Lancaster / 2016 Toy Safety

Smart Talk 11/28/2016: Pipelines in the spotlight

Two pipeline projects that run through the midstate have gotten a significant amount of attention. The Atlantic Sunrise project that will send natural gas from the shale fields of northeastern Pennsylvania to the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions crossing ten counties along the way. The Mariner East 2 pipeline, that would located next to the Mariner 1 existing pipeline, could carry liquidfied natural gas from west to east to the Marcus Hook refinery south of Philadelphia. There has been opposition to both pipelines from property owners who are concerned about property values, the environment and even the threat of eminent domain in some cases. The protests in Central Pennsylvania have been somewhat mild compared to what's going on in North Dakota. There, the Dakota Access oil pipeline has drawn hundreds of protestors from across the country and have turned violent as police used water cannons in sub-freezing temperatures and rubber bullets to subdue protestors trying to get past a barricaded bridge. The biggest fear in North Dakota is water could be polluted and the pipeline is near the Standing Rock Sioux Native American reservation. What Dakota Access has done is bring more attention to pipelines. We'll look at the midstate projects and opposition on Monday's Smart Talk. Appearing on the program are Chris Stockton, of Williams Partners — the company building Atlantic Sunrise, Mark Clutterbuck of the group Lancaster Against Pipelines, landowner Susan Cappiello, Cumberland County farmer Ralph Blume, who may lose some of his land through eminent domain and Marie Cusick, WITF's StateImpact Pennsylvania reporter, who covers Pennsylvania's energy economy.

Smart Talk 11/28/2016: Pipelines in the spotlight

Smart Talk 11/23/2016: PA rules of the road

The Thanksgiving weekend is the most traveled four-day period of the year. Families are going "over the river and through the woods" to enjoy and share their holiday dinners with loved ones. Friday has earned a reputation as the biggest shopping day of the year, so traffic will be heavy near shopping centers and malls and even some downtowns. Of course, in Pennsylvania, Monday is the start of the antlered deer season, so thousands of hunters will be on their way to deer camps throughout the state. Against that backdrop, Smart Talk features a discussion and mostly a question and answer session on the rules of the road. Specifically, what's legal and what isn't? Pennsylvania State Police Public Information Officer, Cpl. Adam Reed joins us to answer questions about who has the right-of-way and maybe a few less than obvious ones as well. Do you have a question about a traffic law in Pennsylvania? Write it below or call 1-800-729-7532 between 9 and 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Smart Talk 11/23/2016: PA rules of the road

Smart Talk 11/22/2016: What to call aging adults?

How we refer to people of different races, ethnicities, religions and age groups obviously is important. While there is consensus on most groups, there seems to be some confusion and no clear-cut answer to what to call an aging adult. It's one of the reasons the York County Community Foundation's Embracing Aging initiative asked nearly 650 individuals that question as part of their "A Name for the Ages" survey. We've heard most of the descriptions before — elderly and senior citizen are two that have been used in the past and not used very often today. Embracing Aging's Managing Director Cathy Bollinger appears on Tuesday's Smart Talk with the term that was most popular and it spawns a conversation many have about stereotypes.

Smart Talk 11/22/2016: What to call aging adults?

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