Marshall, Joseph Ph.D. — Black Lives:  Alive and Free

Keeping young black men alive and free is the topic of this edition of Radio Curious.  Our guest is Dr. Joseph E. Marshall, who in 1987 co-founded the Omega Boys Club of San Francisco, now called “Alive and Free,” of which he is the executive director.

Alive and Free is a community violence prevention effort for at-risk inner city youth and a surrogate family support system for young black men and women, based in San Francisco, California, to encourage their academic pursuits and obtain financial help for college.  

Joseph Marshall is also the host of Street Soldiers Radio, broadcast every Sunday evening on KMEL 106.1 FM at 8 pm.  In 1994 he received a McArthur Foundation Genius Award for his skills and accomplishments.

Dr. Joseph E. Marshall and I visited by phone, from his office in San Francisco, California on May 4, 2015, and began our conversation with his description of Alive and Free.

The books Joseph Marshall recommends are “The Autobiography of Malcolm X,” and “Street Soldier:  One Man’s Struggle to Save a Generation – One Life at a Time,” by Joseph Marshall and Lonnie Wheeler.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Vogel, Barry and Gravois, John — A Interview with Radio Curious Host Barry Vogel

For this edition of Radio Curious, broadcast at the beginning of our 25th year on the air, I invited my friend John Gravois to interview me about my experiences, reflections and thoughts over the past 24 years that I’ve been the host and producer of Radio Curious. 

John Gravois is the deputy editor of Pacific Standard magazine and a contributing editor to the Washington Monthly. His work has appeared on This American Life, in The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He lives in Albany, California.

John Gravois and I visited in the studios of Radio Curious on December 27, 2014.  We began our conversation with his comments about the archives found on the Radio Curious website.

The books that I recommend are “The Warmth of Other Suns:  The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration,” by Isabel Wilkerson and “Jacobson’s Organ and the Remarkable Nature of Smell,” by Lyall Watson.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Edge, Jerome — Unity and Healing After a School Shooting: A Native American Perspective

The shooting and deaths at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, on October 24, 2014, brought sadness, fear, unity and a special form of healing to the Tulalip and other Native people of the area. 

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Jerome Edge, a Native American of Swinomish and Upper Skagit heritage, hip-hop activist and radio host at KSVR-FM in Mt. Vernon, Washington. When Jerome Edge and I visited from his home in Mt. Vernon, Washington, we discussed the trauma and sadness caused by the shootings and the turn toward healing that then occurred.  We also discussed a developing hip-hop focus — a way to instill values of personal and community respect and strength.  The song “Rise Up,” which you will hear in the program sung by Shaundiin Zollner, is used by permission.

Jerome Edge and I began our conversation on November 16, 2014, when I asked him to put the shootings in a context of time and place.

The book Jerome Edge recommends is “The Indians of Skagit County,” by Martin J. Sampson.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

California Burning: The Mendocino Lodge Fire

California wildfires present a serious public safety concern, create fear of serious loss for many and cost millions of dollars to fight. In California each fire is given a name, as is done for hurricanes. We devote this edition of Radio Curious, to the Lodge Fire that occurred in Mendocino County, California in August 2014.  We visit with four Mendocino County people who meet the public need at times of crisis.

We begin with Mary Aigner, program director of KZYX and KZYZ, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, the public radio station where Radio Curious was originally broadcast beginning in 1991.  She describes what local public radio is able to do at a time of crisis. We then hear from Chris Rowney, the Mendocino Unit Chief for Cal-Fire, the California fire protection agency, who explains what Cal-Fire does when confronted with a wildfire. We also hear from Mendocino County Sheriff, Tom Allman, whose responsibility it is to order a mandatory evacuation if a crisis so requires. Finally we hear from Dr. Sharon Paltin, a family physician in Laytonville, California, the community closest to the Lodge Fire.  She describes the public health effects of exposure to the extraordinary amount of smoke created by a wildfire.

We begin our conversation, recorded on August 29, 2014, with Mary Aigner from Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, describing the role of community radio when a wild fire occurs.

The book Mary Aigner recommends is “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus,” by Charles C. Mann. The book that Chris Rowney recommends is “Young Men and Fires,” by Norman McClean. The book Dr. Sharon Paltin recommends is “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster,” by Rebecca Solnit.

This program was recorded on August 29 and September 1, 2014.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Gottlieb, Dr. Dan — Our Body Holds Our Life’s Truth

Dr. Dan Gottlieb is a psychotherapist, author and host of Voices in the Family, a weekly public radio program originating from WHYY in Philadelphia.  In 1980, half his life ago, a wheel from a large truck crushed his car and he has been a quadriplegic ever since.

In this interview, we discuss his current work and physical condition.  He describes a recent severe accident where he was thrown from his wheelchair on the way to his first class to be a stand-up comic, and suffered a concussion and paralysis of his left arm.  Although the pain in his arm remains, he says, “it’s just an arm.”

In this program, Dr. Gottlieb describes how trauma changes human hormones and human wiring; and how the body holds the truth of our lives, without judgment or narrative; and his current work to teach compassion to oneself and others. This program was recorded by phone from his home near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 17, 2013, and is a sequel to his other Radio Curious interviews.

The books Dan Gottlieb recommends are: “Self Compassion: A Healthier Way of Relating to Yourself,” by Kristin Neff and “Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation,” by Sharon Salzberg.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Gross, Terry — Fresh Air

If you like interview programs perhaps you have listened to Fresh Air, produced in Philadelphia and broadcast regularly on public radio stations, and hosted by a woman named Terry Gross, our guest on this edition of Radio Curious.  I wanted to know who she is, and what she does to prepare for and create Fresh Air.  I spoke with her by phone from her home near Philadelphia in 1994 and asked her how she does it, how does she put together so many interesting programs so frequently?

The books Terry Gross recommends are “Self-Consciousness: Memoirs,” by John Updike & “U and I,” Nicholson Baker.

Originally Broadcast: March 7th, 1994.

Click here to visit and listen to our archived program or click on the media player below.

McVicar, Gregg — 22,000 Songs=Under Currents

Our guest in this program is Gregg McVicar, the host and producer of Under Currents. Under Currents is Public Radio’s freewheeling eclectic music mix of Triple A, Rock, Folk, Blues, Native, Americana, World, Reggae, Dub and Electronica.  It brings you five hours of music every day.

Gregg McVicar and I visited in the Under Currents state of the art studio in the San Francisco Bay Area on April 6, 2013.  We were in the sound booth listening to it’s superb quality and I realized that it was really Radio Curious on tour.

The book Gregg McVicar recommends is  “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” by Stieg Larsson.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Toms, Michael — A Memorial to Michael Toms of New Dimensions Radio

Radio Curious presents a memorial to Michael Toms, the executive producer of New Dimensions Radio, in an interview recorded at his home in Ukiah, California on January 9, 1995.  Michael Toms passed away on January 24, 2013 at the age of 72.  We discuss radio as it was in 1995, his predictions for the future of radio, and many of his personal observations.

For over 40 years, Michael and Justine Toms have produced fascinating and long enduring and endearing programs on public radio with over 5000 programs in their archives.

In this conversation we get his perspective about how radio works, the producer to the listener point of view, and the future of radio.  I asked Michael Toms about his thoughts of the relationship between the producer of a radio program and the listener.

The Books Michael Toms recommends are:

“Feather Fall” by Laurens Van Der Post

“The Millennium Whole Earth Catalog” by Howard Rheingold

“Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine“ by Larry Dossey.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Berkowitz, Eric — Sex and Punishment Part Two

We continue our conversation about sexuality with Eric Berkowitz, author, journalist and lawyer.  His book, “Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire” is a story of the struggle to regulate the most powerful engine of human behavior. This engine that drives the human species is substantially different in us than in other mammals. In our million years of evolution, physically and socially we have developed the ability to communicate ideas and the expected, if not “required” behaviors of women and men and children regarding sexual thought, expression and procreation. The history of these ever changing definitions and controls of this fundamental aspect of our lives are visited in this two part series of conversations with Eric Berkowitz, recorded in the Radio Curious studios on December 29, 2012.

Part One discusses the effect the topic of sex has on other people; the development of laws dealing with adultery and women as property; enjoyment of sex; and the way humans dress compared to other animals.

Part Two discusses the issues of young women having sexual relationships with considerably older men; the intention and effect of religion in relationship to sex; prostitution; and same sex intimacy.

The books Eric Berkowitz recommends are “Nemisis,” by Philip Roth, “Love and Exile: An Autobiographical Trilogy,” by Issac Bashevis Singer, and “Jerusalem: The Biography,” by Simon Sebag-Montefiore.

Click here to listen to part two or on the media player below.

Click here to download the podcast.

Aanestad, Christina — Gold, Oil and a Journalist’s Adventure in Ecuador

One of the things I learned in law school about bankruptcy was that if you have to borrow money to take a trip and then go bankrupt, the judge can’t take the trip away from you. In this edition we have a travel report from Christina Aanestad the Associate Producer for Radio Curious. Christina recently returned from a 6 week exploratory, journalist visit from Ecuador, a favorite country of mine.

We visited at the Radio Curious studios on August 29, 2011, to discuss her adventures and what she learned about oil drilling, gold mining and dam construction, as well as what motivated her to take this trip.

The books that Christina Aanestad recommend are, “Now is the Time to Open Your Heart,” by Alice Walker and “Pronoia is the Antidote to Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings,” by Rob Brezney.

Click here to listen to the program or on the media player below.

Click here to download and subscribe to our podcast.