Philip Weiss – Cover-up of a Peace Corps Murder

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American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps

In this edition of Radio Curious, we take a look at murder and getting away with murder. In the small island kingdom of Tonga, an American Peace Corps Volunteer murdered another American Peace Corps volunteer in October 1976. “American Taboo, A Murder in Peace Corps,” by Philip Weiss, is a detailed story about the murder, how and why it happened, the legend that developed, the subsequent cover-up, and an interview with the murderer.

Philip Weiss recommends “McArthur and Southerland, The Good Years,” & “McArthur and Southerland, The Bitter Years,” both by Paul P. Rogers

Originally Broadcast: June 29, 2003

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Dr. Gordon Neufeld: Hold On to Your Kids

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The economic and cultural changes that have occurred in North American society in the past fifty years have resulted in today’s children looking to their peers, instead of their parents, for direction; for a sense of right and wrong; and for values, identity and codes of behavior. This peer orientation works to undermine family cohesion. It interferes with healthy development and fosters a sexualized youth culture in which children lose their individuality and tend to become conformist, desensitized and alienated.

These concepts—and what to do about them to develop strong families and emotionally healthy children—are explained in the book “Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers,“ by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D. and Gabor Mate, M.D.

When I spoke with Dr. Gordon Neufeld from his home in Vancouver, British Columbia, we began our conversation with a discussion of the importance of developing an attachment between the adult caregiver and the child, beginning at infancy.

The book Dr. Neufeld recommends is “The Anatomy of Dependence,”  by Takeo Doi. More information about Dr. Neufeld’s work may be found on his website.

Originally Broadcast: October 25, 2005

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Dalton, Joan – Dogs in Juvenile Hall

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I once had the good fortune of seeing “If Animals Could Talk,” a movie made by Jane Goodall.  A segment was about The MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, Oregon. The boys incarcerated there have committed serious criminal offenses; some of them are given an opportunity to train dogs, develop relationships with the dogs and in doing so learn responsibility, patience and respect for other living creatures. There is a zero recidivism rate among the juvenile inmates who spend time training dogs at MacLaren.

Joan Dalton is the founder and executive director of Project Pooch, a non-profit corporation linked with MacLaren, where incarcerated youths train shelter dogs and find them homes. We visited by phone from her home near Portland, Oregon on February 15, 2010 and began our conversation when I asked her to tell us how Project Pooch came about and then about Project Pooch itself.

The books that Joan Dalton recommends are “Children And Animals: Exploring The Roots Of Kindness And Cruelty,” by Frank R. Ascione and “Rescue Ink: How Ten Guys Saved Countless Dogs and Cats, Twelve Horses, Five Pigs, One Duck,and a Few Turtles,” by Rescue Ink and Denise Flaim. 

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Lawler, Andrew- The Chicken: A Mirror of Humanity

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Where chickens thrive humans are nearby.  Portable and good travelers, chickens have been carried by humans around the world.  Currently there are three chickens alive at any one time for each individual person alive on earth.  Descendants of dinosaurs, chickens are primarily cared for by women, they’re a never ending source of slang and continue to be depicted in religious and/or political symbols around the world.  Americans eat, on average, 80 pounds of chicken per year—four times the world average. But, chickens raised for food are not considered animals under U.S. law and are generally not subject to humane treatment regulations.

Our guest is Andrew Lawler, author of “Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?  The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization.”  Andrew Lawler and I visited by phone from his home in the North Carolina hills on March 27, 2015, and began our conversation when I asked him how far back the lineage of the chicken goes in world history.

The book Andrew Lawler recommends is “Guns, Germs and Steel:  The Fates of Human Societies,” by Jared M. Diamond.

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Rosenthal, Ken Paul — The Space Between Brilliance and Madness

 

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In this program we discuss cultivating wellness in the space between brilliance and madness with Ken Paul Rosenthal, an independent film maker based in San Francisco, California. Rosenthal says his “work explores the geography of madness through the regenerative power of nature, urban landscapes, and archival footage from social hygiene films.”

His 2011 film “Crooked Beauty”, Crooked Beauty chronicles artist-writer Jacks McNamara’s journey from psych ward inpatient to pioneering mental health advocacy.  Rosenthal’s 2018 film “Whisper Rapture” Whisper Rapture is a ‘doc-opera’ about the life, music, and radical mental health advocacy of cellist-vocalist Bonfire Madigan Shive. The music you are hearing now is by Bonfire Madigan Shive on her cello, with permission.

Not a stranger to demons of the mind, Rosenthal readily shares his personal experiences, and describes how communities of like-minded people can collectively ease their individual pain by creatively navigating the space between brilliance and madness.

When Ken Paul Rosenthal and I visited by phone from his home in San Francisco, California on July 30, 2018, we began our conversation when I asked him to describe what many people call ‘mental illness.’

The books Ken Paul Rosenthal recommends are both by David Abram: “The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World,” and “Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology.” The film he recommends is “Leave No Trace,” about a father and daughter who lived off the grid in the wilderness.

www.kenpaulrosenthal.com   www.whisperrapture.com

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Golden, Victoria — An Orphan Train Survivor

Between 1854 and 1930, it is estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 children were involuntarily put on Orphan Trains, and “placed out” in the southern and western United States.  Both protections for the health and safety of these children and record keeping of who they were, where they went and accounts of what happened to them are sketchy at best.

William Delos Vansteenburgh was one of the last of the “placed out” children on an Orphan Train.  At age four, he and his slightly older brother with whom he virtually lost contact, were “placed out” from Pennsylvania, after their mother died in 1930. William had clear memories of being loved and treated well until then.  After a long train ride he was removed from a station platform in Gallup, New Mexico, by Henry and Eleanor Walters, a childless couple. They gave him their last name, repeatedly abused him and treated him in a most wretched manner for five years.  He successfully ran away at age nine and was then free to create a unique adventure and life for himself until he died in Santa Rosa, California, in 2017.

Victoria Golden, our guest in this edition of Radio Curious, met William Walters in 2012. Intrigued by his story and keen memory for details, they met most every week for the next four years. Golden recreated his story into a memoir: “A Last Survivor of the Orphan Trains.”   Told in the first person, each page of Golden’s book could be a stand-alone short read.

Victoria Golden, also of Ukiah, California, visited the Radio Curious studios on July 24, 2018.  We began our conversation when I asked her to describe the kind of person that William Walters was.

The book she recommends is “Educated: A Memoir,” by Tara Westover.

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Mark Mello, Reflections on The Underground Railroad—What now?

New Bedford, Massachusetts, a sea port located in the southeast corner of Massachusetts, at the base of Cape Cod is the locale of our program. Early in New Bedford’s history a group of Quakers from Boston moved there and “New Bedford became a safe haven for formerly enslaved African-Americans” who had been able to escape bondage.

stories of those who safely arrived in New Bedford on the Underground Railroad are presented at the 34 acre New Bedford National Historical Park in the Old Town section of New Bedford.

This two part series on the New Bedford Underground Railroad with National Park Ranger Mark Mello was recorded on September 2, 2016, with the sound of wind and street traffic in the background. Part one begins with a historical perspective of the Underground Railroad and the way in which New Bedford, Massachusetts was a safe haven for former slaves.  Part two begins with Ranger Mello’s story of Nathan and Polly Johnson, a free black couple who lived and worked there–he as a pharmacist and she a confectionary.

The books Mark Mello recommends are “Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts,” by Kathryn Grover; “Whale Hunt,” by Nelson Cole Haley; and “Leviathan,” by Philip Hoare.

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Mello, Mark –The Underground Railroad in New Bedford, Massachusetts

New Bedford, Massachusetts, a sea port located in the southeast corner of Massachusetts, at the base of Cape Cod is the locale of our program. Early in New Bedford’s history a group of Quakers from Boston moved there and “New Bedford became a safe haven for formerly enslaved African-Americans” who had been able to escape bondage.

stories of those who safely arrived in New Bedford on the Underground Railroad are presented at the 34 acre New Bedford National Historical Park in the Old Town section of New Bedford.

This two part series on the New Bedford Underground Railroad with National Park Ranger Mark Mello was recorded on September 2, 2016, with the sound of wind and street traffic in the background. Part one begins with a historical perspective of the Underground Railroad and the way in which New Bedford, Massachusetts was a safe haven for former slaves.

The books Mark Mello recommends are “Fugitive’s Gibraltar: Escaping Slaves and Abolitionism in New Bedford, Massachusetts,” by Kathryn Grover; “Whale Hunt,” by Nelson Cole Haley; and “Leviathan,” by Philip Hoare.

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Sisk-Franco, Caleen — Puberty Rights of the Winnemem Wintu

In this edition of Radio Curious, our assistant producer Christina Aanestad is the guest host in a conversation about puberty rights for young women within the Winnemem-Wintu tribe in Northern California. This visit with Caleen Sisk-Franco, the Spiritual Leader and Chief of the Winnemem-Wintu was recorded near Mt. Shasta, California in August 2010. In the last few years, the tribe has revived an ancient ritual, the Puberty Ceremony-which honors and celebrates a girls transition into womanhood.

The “Middle Water People” are a small tribe near Mount Shasta, in Northern California. During World War 2, they were relocated and their homeland was flooded to make the shasta dam. Nearly 80 years later, the tribe has reinvigorated one of its ceremonies, there, called the Puberty Ceremony, which honors a girls transition into womanhood. For 3 days and nights, men sing and dance on one side of a river, while the women, pass on traditions to girls on the other side.

But holding a ceremony on stolen land can be a challenge. The forest service refuses to grant the tribe private access to their ancestral land along the McCloud river, because they are an “unrecognized” tribe. Their ceremony is held with recreational boaters driving by, and camping as the tribe holds it’s right of passage. Under the guidance of their Chief and Spiritual Leader, Caleen Sisk Franco, the Winnemem-Wintu have sued the federal government to protect their rights and their ancestral land. She describes the puberty ceremony and it’s importance to their way of life.

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Funk, Indigo — One Student’s Response to Gun Violence

Our guest in this edition of Radio Curious is Indigo Funk, a 2018 graduate of Ukiah High School, here in Ukiah, California.  Funk was the winner of the 2017 California Lions Clubs’ state-wide student speaker contest, when he answered the question: “Is the right to privacy a threat to national security?”

Funk, who will begin his college career at Brown University in Providence Rhode Island, in the fall of 2018, caught my attention when I heard him speak, rather eloquently, at the March 24, 2018, Ukiah version of the national student March For Our Lives organized here by Ukiah High Students.

When Indigo Funk arrived the Radio Curious studios on June 15, 2018, to record this interview, I asked him if he’d like to read Frank Bruni’s Op-Ed column entitled “How to Lose the Mid-Terms and Re-elect Trump,” that had been published two days prior in the New York Times.

Bruni’s article challenges the effectiveness of Robert De Niro’s “profanity-laced comment about President Trump,” for which he received a standing ovation at the June 10, 2018 Tony Awards in New York City.

Bruni shares De Niro’s anger but challenges his expression.  In his op-ed piece, Bruni wrote, “When you answer name-calling with name-calling and tantrums with tantrums, you’re not resisting him. You’re mirroring him. You’re not diminishing him. You’re demeaning yourselves. Many voters don’t hear your arguments or the facts, which are on your side. They just wince at the din. You permit them to see you as you see Trump: deranged.”

Bruni then posed the question: “Why would they (the voters) choose a different path if it goes to another ugly destination?”

When Indigo Funk finished reading Bruni’s Op-Ed, he said he had just been thinking about that issue. So we began our conversation when I asked him to share his thoughts.

The book Indigo Funk recommends is “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League,” by Jeff Hobbs.

This program was recorded in the studios of Radio Curious on June 15, 2018.

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